TIP OF THE WEEK

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RESTORATION ONE
1663 ROSSVILLE AVE.
FRANKFORT, IN  46041
(877) 652-1002 / (765) 659-0600

Tip # 1

Water damage is the biggest culprit when it comes to mold buildup in the property. It doesn't matter if the water comes from a flood originating from inside or outside the structure, when left unattended it soon becomes a menace. Moisture can seep inside walls and saturate the drywall. Not only is the drywall now ruined, it becomes a breeding ground for mold. Mold can also occur anywhere in the property where there is dampness, like showers and bathroom walls. Similarly, mold can occur in the kitchen around the sink and in cabinets where moisture is allowed to accumulate.

Determining whether or not you have a mold problem isn't that difficult. If you see the formation of that black mold in corners or on walls, you'll know. Even people out in the well maintained neighborhoods of Jefferson City, Missouri are not immune to this menace. All it takes is one leaky pipe and your normally immaculately-kept home will be under attack in no time.

Sometimes mold can occur in places that aren't normally in view, like under a mat or rug. In such cases, the infected item should be thrown away. Never try to salvage it. At least without professional guidance.
Mold can present a health hazard, so if you don't know what you're doing it is a good idea to hire a trained professional to remove the mold from your home. But, first you should educate yourself in mold and health facts, so that you do not subject yourself to any unnecessary health risks, or over exaggeration of damage and repair cost by operators who sense your lack of knowledge.

Exposure to mold can aggravate existing maladies like sinus conditions or allergies. It can also cause sneezing and throat irritation and induce coughing. It can also cause skin irritation if allowed to come into contact with the skin. However, if you have a weakened immune system, the effects from mold can be far more serious. For example, people with lung disease could easily become infected and, therefore, should stay away from mold infested areas.

If you do decide to remove the mold yourself, there are some precautions you should observe before attempting mold remediation. First off, always wear protective rubber gloves to both, keep the mold from getting on your hands, and to protect your hands from the harsh chemicals that will be necessary for mold remediation.

But whatever you do, never, ever, mix bleach and ammonia together. The resulting combination is a toxic mix that can cause serious damage if inhaled. Your local supply store can suggest a number of products specifically tailored for mold removal, so consult with him first. In addition, open all windows and doors leading into the affected area. You'll want the area to be well ventilated before you begin. You may also want to wear a face mask to prevent vapors from going up your nostrils, and goggles to protect your eyes.

For consumer information regarding mold and what to do if you have mold, one of my favorite, easy to understand unbiased sites to recommend as the first point of study and research is  
www.newyorkcityguidelines.com.

Tip # 2

How long should it take to dry my flooded property?

The answer; there are many factors that will determine the measure of time that it takes to return the property to EMC, or equilibrium moisture content. In other words, the water damaged areas have returned to the same moisture level as unaffected areas of the property. Sounds simple enough, right?

Some of the “time” determining influences may include; how long has the unwanted water been in the structure? What type of materials have been exposed to the water? What type of drying equipment is employed by the “restorer” or “property owner” when attempting to dry the structure.

Most prominently; how adept is the restorer in comprehending the complexities while attempting to dry the structure? Does he understand the science of drying? Does he fully understand the difference between bound and non-bound water? He should as the drying times can vary, sometimes significantly based on these factors.

So now you know the answer to the age old question that all property owners ask themselves when they have suffered a water damage calamity. While we can’t guarantee the precise time it takes to dry a property without a thorough inspection, we can promise an un-paralleled response time and a Knock your socks off customer service experience that you will love.

Give us a call, we will be there in a snap.

Tip # 3

The best all-around positive outcome, or remarkably pleasant customer service experience comes to those who dare to ask questions. But what questions can a property owner who is standing knee deep in unwanted water possibly ask, beside can you HELP?

I have prepared a simple list of questions that should be asked before making the important decision on “who” you want to dry your property. After al   l, whichever provider you select, you are really choosing the man, the visionary, the leader behind the business.

Question 1. What is your reputation like?

Question 2. Who are your employees?

Question 3. What kind of experience do you have?

Question 4. What kind of training do you have?

Question 5. What is your guarantee?

Question 6. How are you perceived in your own industry?

Question 7. Should I file a claim?

Question 8. How do you support our community?

Question 9. What is your brand personality?

Question 10. How do I know I can trust you, and your people?

Tip # 4

What kind of training does your water damage contractor have? That is a fair question. The disaster restoration industry has a plethora of educational programs. From basic training, to highly advanced college level type training. Some classroom environments are rudimentary in structure which may include "light" hands on training, under the guidance of a quasi-qualified instructor, while others are in-depth programs that include significant hands on training under the watchful eye of the industry's best qualified instructors.

I have had the good fortune of being trained by the industry's top instructors, but I have also had the misfortune a time or two of inadvertently attending a training class instructed by someone who danced around the floor as though he had been smoking helium.

Much of the training curriculum in the industry will have an optional test that the student can take, signifying that he comprehends the class content. However, successfully passing the test should not be construed as a level of success beyond basic, notwithstanding the advanced educational venues.

Operators who attempt to position themselves as "Experts" because of a certificate or badge are be flirting with disaster. It reminds me of Barney Fife from the classic sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show. Remember how many times that Deputy Fife accidently discharged his revolver and Sheriff Taylor would hold out his hand as Barney handed in his revolver?

The certificate is only the beginning. Water damage restoration like any other specialty service is the beginning of a lifelong study of the trade. It's all about keeping current. In every profession the top percentile of success stories are steeped in a long history of dedication to study, research, and networking with the highest caliber of educators in and around that specific industry.

Tip # 5

BACK TO THE BASICS: MOLD 101

What is mold? Molds are fungi that thrives everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. They grow best in warm, damp and humid conditions. In fact, when conditions are right, mold can even grow in areas where humidity is low, such as Arizona.

Molds reproduce by forming spores that are spread by air currents. Since mold spores are literally everywhere, there is no reliable and cost-effective means of eliminating them from human environments or creating a mold-free space. We can, however, limit mold growth by controlling the amount of moisture in our indoor environment.

Mold needs four things to grow:
• Mold spores
• Nutrients: any organic substance such as wood, paper, gypsum board drywall
• Moisture: water, condensation, or damp air (when the humidity is above 60%)
• Appropriate temperatures - between 40 and 100 degrees

No one knows how many molds or species of fungi exist. Some estimates range from tens of thousands to upwards of 400,000, although less than 100,000 have been named.There are approximately 1,000 types of mold found indoors across America. Less than 80 molds are suspected of causing some form of illness, and only a handful are considered toxic.

The common types of mold found indoors include:
• Aspergillus and its subspecies (A. flavus, A. versicolor)
• Cladosporium
• Pencillium
• Alternaria
• Stachybotrys atra, also known as “black mold”

Mold often grows in places not readily visible. It can be found behind wallpaper or paneling, the topside of ceiling tiles, the back side of drywall or the underside of carpets, carpet padding or wood flooring. Piping inside the walls may also be a source of mold growth since pipes often leak and cause moisture and condensation. Roofs, too, sometimes leak and water collects inside walls and insulation.

Believe it or not, many molds have beneficial effects. They aid in the decay of dead things, are the source of antibiotics such as penicillin, and are used to make cheeses. Some are also used in the commercial production of enzymes and hormones.

However, many molds also have harmful effects. They can grow on breads, foods and dairy products. They can damage grain, fruits and vegetables and livestock feed, resulting in financial losses for farmers. They can also cause diseases in garden plants. Some even cause athlete's foot or ringworm.

Mold spores, whether dead or alive, can also cause a number of adverse health problems in humans, especially those who are sensitive to molds. Symptoms include nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing or skin irritation. Those people with serious allergies to molds may experience fever or shortness of breath. Persons with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that “Mold itself is not toxic. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous.”

But Jack Thrasher, PhD, an expert on the impact of mold on human health, says the prevalence of mold in America is so great that he calls it a “hidden pandemic.” He estimates as many as 40 percent of all American schools and at least 25 percent or more of all homes are believed to be affected by mold and microbial growth due to water intrusion.

Finding A Professional Water Damage Company:

It may be possible for a homeowner to repair minor water damage in their home, but when the problem begins to worsen or if it is widespread, professional help will be needed to fix the issue. In general, if a problem can be completely fixed without having to tear through a wall or dig out plumbing in the yard or basement, a homeowner might be able to resolve it without help. This includes small, isolated leaks. In many cases, though, it is not clear where the moisture is coming from and how extensive the problem is. Professionals certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) should be called in to deal with larger issues.

Why should a homeowner hire certified professionals to repair water damage?

The damage left behind in the wake of a flood, leaky pipes or a natural disaster can be extensive. The homeowner will likely only notice the damage to the surface, but a certified technician is trained to look beyond the surface. It doesn’t take long for a saturated area to pose a health risk, so dealing with the full extent of the issue is imperative.
At Restoration One we have attended some of the best remediation schools in the country and continue to learn through technical courses.

Vortex Drying Academy
HydroLab
WRT-Water Restoration Technician
ASD-Applied Structural Drying
Technician CMS-Commercial Drying Specialist
AMRT-Applied Microbial Remediation
Technician MRS-Mold Remediation Supervisor
FSRT-Fire/Smoke Technician
OCT-Odor Control Technician
CCT-Carpet Cleaning Technician
UFT-Upholstery/Fabric Technician

What type of education does your contractor have?

Tip # 6

Tip # 7

Selecting A Restoration Firm To Preform Fire Damage Clean Up

Home or business owners who are faced with fire damage clean up are almost always encouraged to employ the services of a certified restoration firm to perform the task in an effort to minimize loss.

Time is critical in the aftermath of a fire and, ideally, restoration efforts begin right away. Aside from destruction caused by flames and heat, the acid contained in soot is a primary cause for ongoing damage to a home or commercial building.

Acidic soot begins to deteriorate metals and glass within minutes after a fire. For this reason, quick action is imperative and removal of the soot is urgent. If left to accumulate, the acid soot can form a thick layer that is extremely difficult to remove and may irreversibly destroy textiles, furnishings, carpeting, walls, appliances, and fixtures. Unless the problem is contained without delay, soot accumulation can increase the cost of restoring a building to pre-loss condition exponentially.

Building owners can certainly initiate fire damage clean up with a vacuuming device, box fans, and soapy water. However, intricate and detailed restoration is best suited to professional technicians who possess the expertise and equipment to properly rehabilitate the property in question.

Consumers have numerous choices regarding restoration firms and technicians. You are not required to use the company that some insurers try to push on you. Not all, however, offer the same level of expertise and professionalism. Reputable restoration companies should be able to produce licensing documentation along with current insurance papers, health, and safety certificates. The most qualified firms have extensive experience in a variety of restoration methods and techniques.

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