Extreme Weather Damage

 

Dealing With Extreme Weather Damage to Your Home

When winter weather gets more extreme, so do the consequences of not preparing for the worst. Small issues like an overhanging tree can turn into a tree in the living room after a cold-snap and strong winds. Foundation cracks can turn into foundation failures when exposed to freezing ground-water. Pipes can burst in winter, leaving you without hot water, or causing damaging flooding, which can be incredibly dangerous in cold weather. Regardless what kinds of catastrophes you face, a disaster restoration plan are something that no homeowner should be without. Here are some of the risks that you could encounter and ways to cope effectively.

Flooding
Don’t believe that Indiana homeowners are at risk of high-water events in the midst of cold weather? Just look back to 2005, when severe winter storms and flooding in the state prompted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to declare a major disaster that lasted for the entirety of January and much of February. Or consider the fact that the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program says that floods are the number one natural disaster in the country.

With dangers like ice jams that cause rivers to spill over and snow-melt that can overwhelm normal drainage channels, flooding hazards are real. Even if you follow FEMA’s advice by purchasing flood insurance, you’ll need to consult with restoration experts right after your disaster to get the most out of your policy.

Fires
Indiana winters can make you think of moving somewhere much warmer, but the frigid cold doesn’t protect your property from blazes. For a variety of reasons, such as increased cooking and heating activities, house fires are more common in winter than at any other time of year.

Fires can be worse in inclement weather because they eradicate your property’s barriers against the outside world. For instance, flames that burn through roofing or exterior walls subsequently allow moisture to get inside and cause additional damage by freezing. Without expert disaster management assistance, repairs may also take longer.

Ice and Snow
Ice storms don’t just cause water to freeze uncomfortably close to your home. While these events can indeed result in the formation of ice dams that tear roof shingles apart or make gutters fall, they can also impact the trees and power lines around your property. When these features collapse, the aftermath may be even more catastrophic.

In some cases, snow buildup itself damages homes. This is especially concerning with older properties that may not be quite as structurally sound as they once were. Heavy snow that causes your roof plane to bend or warp can create weaknesses that worsen with every passing season. No matter how minor the problem seems now, failing to take immediate action is almost certain to cost you down the line.

In winter, rapid emergency restoration needs to be one of your primary concerns. The risks of waiting around after an incident are undeniable, and your real estate’s equity will suffer for every second you delay. To learn more about extreme weather disaster restoration, contact a Paul Davis expert now.

Is Mold Hiding In Plain Sight?

What You Don’t Know Could Harm Your Home and Health

If you’re suffering from inexplicable sneezing, congestion or other common allergy symptoms, the cause may be unseen mold inside your home. Mold thrives in damp, dark places, so it should be no surprise that most mold problems go undetected. If you’ve ever had significant water damage, fire damage or smoke damage, the chances of mold living in your walls or carpet are very high. If you suspect that a fungal colony is growing in your home, you need a professional inspection right away before it inflicts lasting harm on your property and your health.

The Health Hazards of Hidden Mold

According to the CDC, allergic reactions to mold spores can trigger headaches, asthma attacks and chronic sinus complications. In worst case scenarios, mycotoxins from specific molds like stachybotrys chartarum can cause problems including depression, difficulty concentrating and even memory loss. If your symptoms are more noticeable while you’re at home but improve when you go out, it’s very possible that household mold is keeping you sick.

Signs of Hidden Mold

Mold often has a distinctive pungent, musty smell, but mold may still be present even if you can’t smell or see it. People sometimes mistake small mold growths for dirt or rust. Mold may appear black, brown, white, orange and even pink or purple when it grows behind wallpaper. Large amounts of condensation on your windows or pipes means that there is a lot of moisture in the air, which makes ideal conditions for mold growth.

The Causes of Mold

Mold needs moisture to grow, so water damage (including residual damage) provides a fertile ground for fungi. A common sign of moisture problems is discoloration of your walls, floors or ceilings. If you notice your paint or wallpaper peeling, cracking or warping, that could also be indicative of water issues. Anytime you have flooding, you should have your home inspected for mold damage as soon as possible. If you suspect mold in your home, contact Paul Davis for a consultation today.

Full-Service Emergency Restoration

Experiencing a fire or weather disaster is traumatic, and the aftermath can transform even the calmest of lives into stressful chaos. Water, fire and smoke damage is often overwhelming, and structural instability or collapse may lead you to believe that your home or place of business is hopelessly lost. In most cases, this isn’t true. Experienced restoration specialist Paul Davis can quickly assess damages and put even worst case scenarios on a smart and sound path to recovery by restoring normal living conditions, managing secondary problems and helping you find your way through the confusing recovery process. Here are the steps Paul Davis takes to ensure the best possible outcome.

Paul Davis Full-Service Emergency Restoration

1. Emergency Board-Up and Structural Stabilization

As soon as you and your family are safe, stabilizing your property is an essential task. Paul Davis understands the importance of promptly boarding up windows and providing structural stabilization to prevent further destruction caused by hidden damage to framing and walls.

2. Water Damage Control

Whether it’s due to broken pipes, storm damage or fire extinguishing efforts, water infiltration can quickly deteriorate building materials and create conditions favorable to dangerous mold and mildew growth. Addressing water damage quickly can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair costs. Paul Davis uses industrial-grade water extractors, air movers, dehumidifiers and other professional equipment to efficiently remove water from rooms and damp materials. To prevent mold and mildew disasters, disinfectants and antimicrobial products are used to sanitize affected areas.

3. Smoke and Fire Damage Restoration

Paul Davis uses environmentally friendly methods to conduct fire and smoke damage restoration processes such as soot removal, odor elimination and air purification. All affected items including furniture and personal possessions are removed and carefully inventoried for cleaning and restoration.

4. Reconstruction Services 

Unfortunately, if severe damage has occurred, some areas of an affected building may need to be reconstructed. Paul Davis is fully qualified to conduct reconstruction and meets all state licensing and insurance requirements. A variety of reconstruction services are available for home and commercial projects.

5. Assistance With Insurance Claims

Filing insurance claims can be confusing for the average person, especially when extensive property damage has occurred. In the midst of dealing with the fallout of a disaster, the last thing you need is to be overwhelmed by a complicated claims process or unfamiliar terminology. Paul Davis will help you with the insurance claims process so that you can focus on getting other aspects of your life back to normal.

When Disaster Strikes, Paul Davis Is Here to Help

Disasters happen, but having the right people in your recovery plan greatly reduces the negative impact they have on your life and your future. Don’t let a fire, weather catastrophe or other chaotic event disrupt your peace of mind. Contact Paul Davis for a consultation today.

Top Tips for Removing Mildew Odors from Home

Clear Away Mildew Odors Fast

In the aftermath of a flood or other water- or moisture-related mishap, mildew odors often linger. Everything may look spic and span, but that telltale scent remains. Needless to say, cleaning and restoration work can’t be considered complete until the premises not only look clean and dry but smell that way too. If you’re still detecting mildew odors long after the area has been thoroughly dried, you have a little more work to do. Fortunately, however, removing mildew odors from a home once and for all isn’t too difficult. Keep these tips in mind to help your home smell as good as it looks after flooding or other damage:

Thoroughly Clean the Affected Area – Mildew odors originate in some pretty surprising places. Often, objects in the affected area are to blame. Old cardboard and paper, in particular, tend to hold onto and emit these odors, so throw away any that you find. Fabrics should be thoroughly washed or thrown out. Upholstered items can sometimes be salvaged, but they might just as well be thrown away too. From there, use a mixture of bleach and hot water to scour the area, and allow it to dry. Finally, open windows and run fans to promote ventilation.

Use Odor Absorbers – Odor-absorbing products work wonders when mildew scents remain. There’s no need to spend a fortune on them. A tray of clean cat litter should do the trick, but make sure to replace it every two weeks or so. Charcoal briquettes can be placed in an old coffee can to absorb moisture and odors; replace them every month or so. Finally, baking soda is a tried-and-true way to absorb and eliminate nasty odors. Just open a few boxes in the affected area, and replace them every few months.

Prevent a Recurrence – Even after carefully following the steps above, mildew odors may creep back. Ward this off by consistently and thoroughly cleaning the area again as described. Further, ensure the area is properly ventilated, and take advantage of nice days by opening windows to allow fresh air into the home.

Run a Dehumidifier or Ionizer – If the affected area is prone to moisture, mildew odors may stubbornly persist. Keep it fresh and odor-free by investing in a decent dehumidifier or ionizer. The former removes moisture from the air to keep humidity levels in check; the latter removes damp ions from the air for similar results.

Don’t resign yourself to living in a home that is plagued by the smell of mildew. The above tips should rid you of the issue once and for all. If you still have water-damaged areas in the home and are located in northeast Indiana, Paul Davis can help. Learn more by visiting our website today.

How Water Damage Introduces Bacteria to a Home

Mold Spores + Water = Bacteria

Many different problems can cause unwanted water to enter Indiana homes. The Hoosier State’s thunderstorms and considerable rainfall increase the risk of leakage. Missing shingles, deteriorating windows or clogged gutters may help moisture infiltrate a building. This kind of damage can also occur when plumbing or appliances fail. Either way, leaks have the potential to ruin building materials and create ideal fungus habitats. If you don’t remove mold quickly and banish sources of moisture, your health could suffer due to this substance and the bacteria it harbors.

How it Grows

Mold spores float through outdoor air and frequently enter homes. It’s not realistically possible to keep these tiny seeds out of a building. They’re too small to see and exist in huge numbers. The spores usually don’t cause problems unless parts of your home remain moist for long periods of time. When a spore lands in stagnant water, mold begins to form. It sometimes appears on visible surfaces, such as the counter next to a leaky faucet. However, the fungus may remain hidden if it develops inside damaged walls or flooring.

Medical Concerns

Even when mold stays out of view, it can seriously harm your health. It causes lung problems and triggers allergic reactions in some individuals. People with mold allergies may find it impossible to live in homes that have sustained severe water damage. They might develop itchy rashes and sneeze frequently. Most individuals experience skin or eye irritations when exposed to the air in buildings with substantial quantities of mold. Some health conditions may be triggered by the bacteria associated with this fungus.

Bacteria Problems

A recent University of Cincinnati study found that mold introduces certain types of bacteria into homes. They include Mycobacterium and Stenotrophomonas, according to Science Daily. It’s possible to inhale these microorganisms in any building with moldy surfaces. If this bacteria invades your house, you could develop an infection. It also appears to increase the likelihood that people will suffer from allergies or asthma. Children face the greatest health hazards. Homeowners can only prevent these ailments by repairing water damage immediately. It’s crucial to dry affected areas and eliminate leaks within a couple of days. Indiana residents usually achieve the best results when remediation occurs in less than 24 hours.

If a storm or plumbing disaster causes water damage in your home, call a professional as soon as possible. Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling has the right expertise and tools to prevent mold problems. We have over 45 years of experience in repairing damaged structures. Our skilled workers respond quickly and use powerful equipment to fully dry all surfaces. We deliver long-term solutions by addressing the source of each moisture problem. To set up a service call or request further details, please contact us today.

How to Avoid Mold Hazards from Water Damage

When you were in grade school, it may have been fascinating to watch a bizarre-looking mold sample growing in a dish, but there’s nothing fun about walls covered in black, fuzzy spots or basements filled with noxious air. If you’ve recently experienced water damage in your home from a flood, fire or plumbing problem, the damp indoor conditions are highly favorable for mold growth. Mold doesn’t just smell bad and look gross. Mold exposure may have serious health implications for members of your family. Fortunately, if you act quickly, you can prevent mold from taking over. Here are a few tips to help you lower the risk of mold growth and protect yourself from exposure after water damage occurs.

Tips for Preventing Mold Growth Following Water Damage

Remove all wet carpet and carpet padding from flooded rooms. If possible, don’t try to salvage the carpet. Never reuse water-damaged padding.

Remove all wet insulation. Because it takes a long time to dry, wet insulation will almost always get moldy if left in place.

Clean and disinfect all affected surfaces thoroughly using only phosphate-free detergents. Mold feeds on residual phosphates. Follow product instructions carefully, and don’t mix chemicals.

Before replacing insulation, carpets and other materials, do everything you can to quickly dry subfloors, slabs, flooring and wall boards. Air conditioners, open ventilation, heaters, fans, and dehumidifiers can help. For serious water damage, obtain help from a restoration contractor. Professionals will have high-powered equipment that can dry your home faster.

Get a moisture detector, and use it to check the moisture content of wood in damaged structures. The moisture content of studs and sheathing should be less than 20 percent before you restore and close a wall.

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Mold Exposure

You can be exposed to mold through direct skin contact or from breathing in mold spores. Staying away from contaminated areas is the only sure way to avoid exposure. If you must be present in a moldy area, wear protective gloves, goggles and an N-95 respirator.

Seal off contaminated areas from the rest of your home to prevent the spread of mold and protect vulnerable household members from exposure.

Remove all moldy materials that can’t be disinfected; these include carpet padding, ceiling tiles and wood and paper products. Bag items in plastic to contain mold spores before you discard them.

Before working in dusty areas, mist them with water to prevent mold spores and fragments from becoming airborne.

For Reliable, Comprehensive Restoration After Water Damage, Call Paul Davis

At Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling, we respond to tens of thousands of water damage emergencies each year. We understand the importance of thorough water extraction and careful management of areas prone to mold growth. Your health and the integrity of your home are paramount, so our restoration services include comprehensive mold removal, sanitation and air purification using the most advanced technologies in the industry. If you have recently experienced water damage in your home, contact us today to learn how we can help you get your life back to normal.

The Truth About Mold Exposure

Is Mold Making You Sick?

Mold has a sneaky way of impacting people’s health without them realizing it! Symptoms including cold, wheezing, coughing, watery eyes and a runny nose might actually be allergic reactions to mold. Let’s take a closer look at the truth about mold exposure.

What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungi that can exist inside or outside a building. It reproduces quickly by forming spores and spreading through the air. While mold grows best in damp and warm conditions, it can also survive in harsher environments. Outdoors, mold is found decomposing organic matter like dead trees or leaves. Indoors, you might find mold anywhere moist areas are located, including bathroom tiles, underneath sinks or on wallpaper. Basements and kitchens are also prone for growing mold in such places like on paneling, drywall, near pipes or even carpet.

What Medical Problems Can Mold Exposure Create?

Mold is not a toxic or poisonous substance, but it can give off a potential allergen called mycotoxins. For people who are sensitive to irritating substances, mold can produce allergic reactions. Typical symptoms can include watery, itchy or red eyes, runny nose, wheezing or skin irritations like a rash. These reactions can show up immediately after mold exposure or develop after a prolonged period of time around mold.

For children or adults who are extremely sensitive to mold, stronger reactions might be high fever or shortness of breath. Many times, people who work around significant amounts of mold develop these stronger symptoms.

If you believe that you are allergic to mold, it is best to make an appointment with your family doctor. Your personal physician can refer you to an allergist or other specialist to determine if you are allergic to mold or have a mold infection. For workplace mold exposure, you may want to see an occupational health care provider.

How Do You Get Rid of Mold?

Mold remediation can take many forms. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t have a specific standard for regulating mold in buildings, there are still many things that you can do. First, you should avoid any outside areas that are most likely to have mold in them. This includes wooded areas with dead trees, piles of old grass clippings or compost heaps.

Inside your home, the goal should be to prevent the growth of mold as much as possible. Some simple solutions include controlling the moisture and humidity levels in your house as well as keeping bathrooms and kitchens well ventilated. You can also remove some visible mold by wiping down surfaces with soap and water or diluted bleach. For larger mold issues, you can contact Paul Davis Restoration directly to answer your questions and help you find effective solutions.

When Do You Need Professional Mold Remediation?

Mildewed WallsIdentifying when mold should be handled by the pros

Mold growth in your home or business is an unsightly, unsanitary problem that should be dealt with as soon as possible. Once mold spores settle in, all it takes is a little dampness and the right temperature for them to start spreading. Check for these signs of mold to determine if you need professional mold remediation.

Do You See Discoloration?

Mold grows in a wide range of colors. Look for patches of white, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue or black on walls and ceilings. Very large patches of green-black mold are cause for concern as these may be caused by Stachybotrys chartarum spores, also known as toxic mold or black mold. If you’re not sure whether a discolored patch is actually mold, put a few drops of bleach on the area and see if the color disappears. If it does, it’s most likely mold growth.

Is There a Funny Smell?

The musty, earthy odor that lingers in old homes and damp basements is a sure sign of mold. Detecting this odor in your home or business building, especially near areas where water tends to collect, is a good indicator that you have a problem. An odor without visual evidence of mold may point to growth inside walls or in other hidden parts of the structure.

Do You Have Water Problems?

Areas that are constantly wet or damp provide a breeding ground for mold. Leaky pipes, previous water damage, flooding or cracks in a building’s foundation that let water in all give mold a prime place to grow. Keep an eye out for warping wood or buckling ceilings, both of which may indicate water leaks. Have any leaks that you do find repaired immediately.

Are You Experiencing Symptoms?

Mold can cause or exacerbate allergy symptoms in many individuals. Sneezing, itchy or sore eyes, a runny nose and congestion are all common symptoms of mold allergies. Symptoms that get worse when you’re at home or at your business location may mean that mold is present. If you experience more serious symptoms such as unexplained headaches, problems concentrating, memory loss or dizziness, seek medical help. These could be signs of a reaction to toxic mold.

Don’t wait until a mold problem gets too big. Contact Paul Davis Restoration for a comprehensive assessment of your Fort Wayne home or business. We’ll determine how far mold has spread and develop a plan for removal. Our mold remediation experts work with certified hygienists to restore health and peace of mind for you and your family or your customers.

Winning the Battle Against Moldy Invaders

Learn what measures you can take today to protect your family from the dangers of mold exposure.

While most mold species aren’t harmful to human health, a rare few can be extremely dangerous, especially when they’re left untreated for long periods of time. Researchers say that continuous exposure to some of the biggest offenders – like the infamous black mold – can cause a host of unpleasant side effects, ranging from mild allergic reactions to chronic respiratory disease.

Prevention is always the best strategy for a mold-free home, but getting the hang of it can be tricky. Since mold spores are everywhere in our environment, convincing the tiny invaders to steer clear of your home’s surfaces isn’t easy. Eliminating water, the life force for floating mold spores, is the perfect place to start.

Mastering Moisture Control

Water damage and mold growth go hand in handMold spores love damp surfaces. In fact, they need them to grow into full-blown fungi. That’s why moisture control is always your first – and best – line of defense against stubborn infestations and lasting mold damage. If dampness is an issue in your home, here are some easy steps you can take to keep mold growth at bay:

1. Clean up all spills right away. When left to seep into floorboards over time, spilled liquids can contribute to new mold growth.

2. Keep your air conditioner in good shape. Units that aren’t functioning properly can start to collect excessive moisture on the inside or in the attached drip pans, creating the ideal living conditions for mold and mildew.

3. Check the ground around your foundation. It should be sloping away from your house for adequate water drainage.

4. Get professional treatment for severe water damage. Whether you had a flood or a plumbing disaster, water removal following any type of emergency should be handled by restoration experts. Only they have the knowledge and the tools to fast-track the drying process before a new mold infestation takes hold.

5. Invest in a dehumidifier. Because they remove excessive moisture from the air, dehumidifiers naturally help prevent mold and mildew.

Removing Existing Mold

Once you eliminate the source of the problem, you can go ahead and tackle leftover mold growth. To make an effective do-it-yourself cleaning solution, mix a cup of bleach in a gallon of water. As a precaution, wear gloves and put all waste into an airtight garbage bag.

Keep in mind that you should only attempt to remove growth on your own when you’re positive that you’re dealing with a harmless, garden-variety mold species. If you’re fighting a severe infestation or suspect that you have toxic mold, call in a professional crew for a safe and guaranteed removal.

Need professional help? Visit Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling online or give us a call today to learn more about our mold removal services in Fort Wayne, IN.

Are Your Personal Possessions Hiding a Plague After a Flood?

The hidden dangers of mold damage

As if flooding wasn't bad enough on its own, it often leads to mold damageIf you’ve recently experienced water damage in your Northeast Indiana home, it’ll be imperative to carefully inspect all of your personal possessions that were submerged in the water. This is due to the fact that mold can grow quickly, even if you were able to remove everything from the water almost immediately. Unfortunately, many people fail to notice mold that has grown on their items, walls, and other areas within their home, and this can lead to serious health complications.

What Risks Are Associated With Mold Damage?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, mold can cause issues such as asthma, allergic reactions, and a variety of miscellaneous respiratory complaints. Although it’s impossible to remove every single mold spore from your indoor environment, you can help control the amount of mold that grows by remaining cognizant of every source of moisture inside of your home. For example, if you discover a leak, you should have this problem fixed immediately to prevent creating an environment that’ll encourage the growth of mold. Additionally, you can reduce your risk of mold exposure by taking steps to eliminate most of the indoor humidity. This can be accomplished by using a dehumidifier, increasing the ventilation in each of your rooms, and placing a special emphasis on venting your bathroom.

Will Mold Exposure Really Make My Family Sick?

Mold is an allergen, and this means that each person will respond to it differently. It’s not unusual for people who are exposed to large quantities of mold to have symptoms such as headaches that they would most likely not equate with mold exposure. Even if you’re not highly sensitive to mold, it’s still possible for you to develop respiratory issues as a result of long-term exposure.

How Can I Deal With Mold?

As previously mentioned, ventilation is one of the most important ways to minimize your risk of developing mold within your home, but it’s also vital to be cognizant of the fact that it can grow virtually anywhere moisture is present. Therefore, if you do have a flood in your house, you’ll need to remove everything as quickly as possible and allow everything to dry thoroughly. Drying and cleaning any wet furnishings, building materials, and surfaces within the first 48 hours will typically prevent the growth of mold, but your personal items such as clothing and stuffed animals may need to be washed or disposed of right away.

Dealing with water and mold damage can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve experienced a large flood. Fortunately, you can receive assistance in Northeast Indiana from Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling. Contact us today to receive a quote.