Water Mitigation Basics

One of the biggest surprises a home owner can experience is returning home to standing water throughout their house. Whether the cause is a toilet overflow or burst pipe, it is important to act quickly so the damages do not spread and create damage to your home that could have been avoided. Here are a few steps to follow to in such an emergency: Locate the source – This can be difficult depending on how much water you discover and the extent of the damages. Ideally, you’ll be able to locate the source of the damages and turn off the valve to a localized water source. The most common sources can by supply lines to faucets, toilets or water heaters. These sources typically have dedicated valves that can turn off the water to that specific source without shutting the water off to the entire house. If you cannot locate the precise source, most homes have a main supply valve to the home which is typically located at the hose bib in front of the house. By shutting this valve, you will turn off the water to the entire home. Call for help – Once the water is no longer leaking the clock is ticking to save the damaged material. It is important to extract any standing water to keep it from spreading to unaffected areas of the home, and to save any material it may have already come into contact with. A water mitigation company can extract any standing water and set drying equipment to save as much of your home as possible. Fix the source – If you’re a DIY homeowner or need a plumber, it is important to repair the source as soon as possible to restore the water to your home. Contact your home owners insurance company – Home owners insurance is important in helping pay for the damages to your home. Insurance companies do provide coverage for certain types of water damage, and may cover the mitigation and repair process. If you have questions about that process or have concerns about filing a claim, contacting you agent is a great way to get clarity on the process and what to expect. Also, most reputable water mitigation companies are experienced in the insurance claims process, some even have claims specialists on staff, and can also help advise you on what to do and what you can expect. A burst pipe or toilet overflow is always going to be a difficult and unexpected event to overcome. It is important to rely on the experts who can help guide you through the process and make what can be an overwhelming and traumatic event more manageable. If you think you might have water damage in your home Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Elite For a FREE Estimate (916) 245-8862

Do You Need a Mold Specialist?

If you have discovered mold in your home and wondering if you need a mold specialist or remediation company, the odds are you probably do. A mold remediation company specializes in removing building materials affected by mold safely from your home without spreading hazardous mold spores throughout your home. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’ve discovered mold in your home: Mold can cause health issues – The most common health issues related to mold are associated with your respiratory system. Exposure to mold spores can cause difficulty breathing, sneezing and coughing, and irritation to the nose and throat. You may also experience headaches and fatigue if exposed to mold spores. Mold grows for a reason – Mold needs moisture in order to grow, so if you discover mold there is likely a water source that is feeding it. This could be a leaky pipe, repeated spills or overflows, or rain water leaking into your home. Whatever the moisture source may be, it will also need to be addressed once the mold is safely removed from your home. Mold remediation specialist – These companies can usually respond within 24 hours to provide an initial inspection and estimate. This first visit is typically a complimentary consultation to determine the extent of damages, scope of work needed to safely remove the mold, and create an estimate of what it will cost you. Keep in mind that if you have mold damage, you will likely have other water damages to your home that should also be addressed. Mold and water remediation usually take 3-5 days to remove damaged materials, and dry the wet material that is salvageable. Do not disturb the mold colony – Many people think that they can clean the mold themselves with bleach or other cleaning solutions. Unfortunately, bleach does not kill or remove mold from porous surfaces it simply changes the color. Also, when you wipe or disturb the mold colony you will spread the spores and expose other parts of your home to mold. Finding mold in your home can be a startling discovery, especially if you have children or elderly loved ones in the home. But if you keep these tips in mind, it can be safely removed in a timely manner. If you think you might have water or mold damage in your home Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Elite For a FREE Estimate (916) 245-8862

If you have recently discovered mold in your home you probably have an overwhelming amount of questions and few answers. Mold is something that just about every home owner has heard of, but few have ever had to deal with before. There are companies that specialize in mold remediation who can answer your questions, remove the mold from your home and put to rest any health concerns you may have. Finding a reputable mold remediation expert, like trying find any type of contractor, can be difficult. But having mold safely removed from your home by a professional mold remediation company is important to prevent the spread of potentially harmful mold spores throughout the rest of your home. Doing a google search is a good place to start, and reading reviews on Google or Yelp can give you a good idea about that company’s reputation. As you start to call the companies that stand out to you, keep in mind that the nature of the business of mold remediation and water mitigation is an emergency service, so any company that you call should be able to arrive on site within twenty-four hours depending on your availability. Typically, the initial visit by a mold remediation company will be to simply assess the damage and determine the scope of the work so they know how much labor and equipment they will need to complete the job correctly and safely. If the scope of work is clear and relatively simple, the mold remediation company may be able to give you a verbal price quote on the spot, however, if the scope of repairs appears to be more complicated, they may need to create an estimate before they can give you a price; this will typically take 24-48 hours. Keep in mind that most mold remediation companies do NOT perform the repairs after the mold has been removed. The inherent conflict of interest that exists when a company is going to recommend removing flooring, walls or cabinets, and then perform the repairs, keeps most reputable mold remediation companies from performing what is known as the “build-back.” Once you have chosen a mold remediation company, the work will typically take 3-5 days to remove the affected building materials and dry everything out. Once that is completed the re-construction can begin. If you need any references on who can do the repairs after the mold remediation is complete, your chosen mold remediation company may be able to give you some references. Mold is not something that will go away in time, it should be addressed in a timely fashion by a professional company who can prevent the spread of hazardous mold spores from spreading throughout the home. Finding a reputable mold remediation company may seem overwhelming, but is essential for the safety of your home and loved ones. If you think you might have water or mold damage in your home Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Elite For a FREE Estimate (916) 245-8862

Discovering mold in your home can be a startling discovery. Before you start cutting walls, pulling up flooring and tearing your house apart in a panic, please take the time to review the following do’s and don’ts of mold abatement: Don’t – Do not panic and start ripping your home apart. The mere presence of mold is not something that is inherently dangerous or harmful. Mold is dangerous when the spores are disturbed causing them to become airborne. So if you start cutting, scrubbing or removing items affected by mold without taking the proper precautions you could make the situation worse. Do – Contact a local mold abatement specialist. Any reputable mold abatement company will inspect your home and provide an estimate at no cost. Don’t – When you began your search for a mold abatement company make sure they specialize in mold abatement. Do not hire a general contractor or handyman who will just remove the materials with mold on them. Mold abatement is a specialty trade that should be done by professionals with the proper training, equipment and knowledge that will prevent the mold from contaminating your home. Do – Try to find why the mold grew in the first place. Mold needs a source of water and an organic material to start grow. Typically, mold is a sign of long term exposure to water, whether that is a leaky pipe under the sink, or a bad seal around a window that is allowing to rain water to leak in, you should identify the leak to prevent mold from growing again. Don’t – Don’t ignore the problem. While mold is not something to be afraid of in the short-term, if you ignore it, it will get worse and the cost of abatement and repairs will increase, as will the potential for negative health effects. Do – Do your research. Mold is a common problem and there is plenty of information on the internet that can either confirm or debunk some of your fears and concerns. Being knowledgeable will also help you understand what a mold abatement specialist is advising and what you can expect through the abatement process. If you think you might have water or mold damage in your home Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Elite For a FREE Estimate (916) 245-8862

If you’ve discovered mold inside you home you may be alarmed and not sure how to proceed with having if safely removed from your home. The following list is a basic information to help you get through what can be an overwhelming and confusing process. Find out why its growing. If you have mold in your home, it is growing for a reason. Typically, mold growth is caused by some type of water leak. It may be a leaky supply line under your sink or inside a wall, or it could be rain water coming in through a worn-out roof or weather stripping. Whatever the source, before the mold damaged material is removed, it is recommended that you stop the source of water before and work is done so the mold does not return. Bleach will not remove the mold. The most common misconception we hear about is that mold will clean up mold. Countless homeowners have told us that they cleaned up the mold with bleach only for it to return. Bleach does not remove mold, it only takes the color away and the colonies will remain and continue to grow. Contact a mold remediation company. To have mold safely removed from your home, it is best to have this done by professionals. When mold remediation is conducted, the company will set containment up around the affected area and use equipment that creates negative air pressure inside the containment so the mold spores do not spread and contaminate the rest of your home with potentially toxic mold. A professional mold remediation company will also remove the affected parts of you home that will allow for easy repairs once the mold is safely removed. General contractor. After the mold and affected materials have been safely removed it is time to have your home repaired. Most mold remediation companies do not repair the home after the mold has been removed. You can speak with your chosen mold remediation company before remediation begins so that you can understand what the scope of repairs is likely to be and they may even be able to recommend some contractors to help with the repairs. Call your home owners insurance company. Your home owners insurance carrier may be able to assist with some of the expenses associated with mold damages. If you are thinking about filing an insurance claim it’s a good idea to contact your agent to see if they can assist you in that process. If you think you might have water or mold damage in your home Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Elite For a FREE Estimate (916) 245-8862

Most of us have heard about mold and are aware that there are potential health hazards associated with having a mold infestation in your home. One of the most common statements we hear when talking to customers is that they have “toxic black mold” and need it removed. While black mold is not good and certainly needs to be removed, the fact that it is black has little to do with the toxicity of the mold and more to do with the age of the mold. When mold grows, it is initially green and over time will turn black. There are many different types of mold that will grow in a home and a handful pose serious health concerns when exposed to humans, but the color has little to do with that. Once you have discovered mold you should attempt to determine how it grew. Mold growth is caused by moisture, so if you see it under a sink, around a toilet or near a window, it is important to determine what is feeding the mold so that once it is removed it does not grow back. If you can perform some trouble shooting yourself by checking for plumbing or rain water leaks that is a good place to start. If you are unable to determine where the moisture is coming from then you may need to contact a plumber or contractor. After you have determined what is causing the mold to grow and stopped the source, you should contact a mold remediation company. These are companies that specialize in safely removing mold without spreading throughout the rest of you home. They will also dry any materials that are wet to prevent the mold from returning. Most reputable mold remediation companies will provide a free initial inspection and estimate. Mold can be an alarming discovery inside your home, but if you follow these steps you can prevent it from reoccurring and have it safely removed from your home. If you think you might have water or mold damage in your home Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Elite For a FREE Estimate (916) 245-8862

If you’ve discovered mold in your home, you may be concerned and feeling overwhelmed about potential safety hazards, the cost to have the mold safely removed and your home being in disarray for an extended period of time. Here are some steps to consider when your home has mold damage: Contact a mold abatement company for an estimate – the initial inspection and estimate should be free, and don’t be afraid to get multiple estimates. Getting multiple estimates is necessary for several reasons. First, it will allow you to confirm what pricing is reasonable. If multiple companies have pricing in the same range, that is a good indication of what the industry standard is for the work that is needed. If a company’s estimate is much higher or lower than the other estimates you received, that is a red flag and should be cause for concern.   Once the work begins, the scope of work can change – often times with mold, you can’t be sure of the extent of damages until work begins. Most reputable companies will put a cap on what the work will cost, but it is not uncommon for the estimate to grow larger once work begins. This is because once visibly damaged materials like drywall or kitchen cabinets are removed, additional damages my become visible and more work than originally estimated may need to take place. However, once the additional damages are discovered your chosen mold removal company should notify you.   Estimates and invoices should have clear pricing and scope of work – some mold removal companies may simply walk into your home and quote a price verbally on the spot. It is a good idea to always ask for a written estimate that details the scope of work. This estimate should also detail how much they are charging for labor, materials and equipment. If you think you might have water or mold damage in your home Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Elite For a FREE Estimate (916) 245-8862

Water damage to your home is something that almost every homeowner will have to deal with at some point in time. Whether it is from a toilet overflow, broken pipe or leaky roof, it’s a safe bet that if you haven’t experienced yet you will have some form of water damage one day. While these damages can vary in scope and size, if you don’t take care of the problem promptly you run the risk of mold developing and compounding the problem. Here are some of the most common mistakes we see: Hoping the problem will go away – If you see wet floors or walls it didn’t get wet for no reason and you should investigate why. If there is pipe leaking in the walls, attic or under your home you should contact a plumber to either identify exactly what the source is, and stop the leak. Once the leak has been identified and stopped, the remaining wet materials is still wet and unless you take action to dry it it will stay wet and could develop mold in as little as 48 hours.   Using household items to dry your home – While we always appreciate the “do-it-yourselfer”, it is important to have professionals evaluate the damages to your home. While materials my feel dry to the touch, unless you have the proper equipment there is no way to tell if something under your floor, behind your cabinet or inside your wall is actually dry. By not having a professional water and mold remediation company inspect you home you run the risk of mold developing and increasing the costs of repairs.   Cleaning mold with bleach – Bleach does not remove mold, it simply changes its color. Mold is a living organism and will continue to grow on the material it is attached to. This is why the material with mold on it must be removed from the home.   Cutting out moldy materials yourself – Again, we do appreciate the “do-it-yourselfer” but removing moldy materials yourself without taking the proper steps can contaminate the rest of your home and pose serious health risks. In order to safely remove mold damaged material there are several precautionary steps and pieces of specialty equipment that must be used. If you think you might have water or mold damage in your home Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Elite For a FREE Estimate (916) 245-8862

As the housing market continues to rebound many homeowners are contemplating selling their homes. If you’ve recently had water and/or mold damage repaired, or discovered water and mold damage during an inspection, there are some things to consider as you continue with the process of selling your home. If you have had water and mold damage repaired in your home prior to selling your home, you are typically required to disclose such damage and repairs prior to selling the home. Also, if you filed a claim for the damage through your homeowner’s insurance it will show up on a CLUE report. Having water and mold damage to your home should not affect the resale value of your home if you had the repairs completed by a professional water and mold abatement company. It is usually recommended after an insurance claim, or water and mold abatement that you save all the documents provided to you by your insurance company, mold abatement vendor and general contractor so you can demonstrate that there was an issue and is was handled properly by experienced professionals. If you did not save those documents, contact your insurance agent and the contractors you used, they should maintain a record of the work performed. If you are in the process of selling your home and discovered water or mold damage it can feel like a deathblow to the sale. However, it doesn’t have to be. Mold and water damage is very common and depending on the extent of the damages, can be repaired in a relatively quick time frame. The first step once such damage is discovered is to contact a water and mold abatement specialist. They can inspect your home and provide a free estimate and scope of work. Most water and mold abatement companies can start working within a couple of days as the nature of the industry is based around emergency calls, so lead times are usually very short. The process for water and mold abatement typically takes 3-6 days, and once they start you can begin taking bids from general contractors to start the rebuilding process. Don’t let past water damage deter you from selling your home, as long as you handled the damages properly by utilizing reputable professionals there will be no lingering issues and any potential buyers concerns should be laid to rest when you can demonstrate you took the correct course of action in having the repairs done. The same can be said if you discovered water and mold damages while trying to sell your home. By following the proper steps of remediation and abatement to ensure the safe removal and repairs to damaged repairs is an investment in the sale of your home. If you think you might have water or mold damage in your home Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Elite For a FREE Estimate (916) 245-8862

You have just discovered mold in your home and you want to have it removed immediately, but you also don’t want to be taken advantage of by a mold abatement company who hikes up the price because most people don’t have experience in this process. Here are a few tips in making sure you understand the process so you can make an informed decision: 1. Consider Multiple Bids. Having multiple companies come to your home is a good idea for a number of reasons. It will allow you to get a better feel for what a reasonable price is to have the work completed. If you get three estimates, and two are close in price while the third is double the other two estimates, that is a good sign they’re likely overpriced. It will also allow you to speak to multiple abatement experts who can educate you on the process so you have a better understanding of what to expect. And by speaking to multiple mold abatement companies, you will hopefully be able to find a company that is not only reasonably priced, but people you will feel comfortable with working in your home. 2. It is Just an Estimate. With mold, it is usually very difficult to know exactly how much work is needed to remove all the affected material. It is common that when a wall cavity is opened or flooring is removed there is more mold then is visible on the outside of the material. During mold abatement it is common to “chase” the mold until it is all identified. An experienced mold abatement company can usually anticipate how much mold there is likely to be, unfortunately there is no way to know exactly how much mold is present under floors or inside wall cavities until the material is actually removed. Most companies will give you an estimate based on what they know it will cost with the understanding that it may cost more if additional mold is discovered. Some experienced companies will also put a cap on the estimate for the possibility of additional damages. 3. Estimate Should Include Pricing. A good mold abatement company should be able to explain their estimate and how they arrived at the price they did. Their estimate should explain the scope of work i.e. the labor to be done and equipment to be used and pricing for each item. If the mold abatement company is estimating the job by labor hours, their estimate should list how many labor hours they estimate and what the hourly rate is. The same goes for equipment to be used. If they are charging for pieces of equipment, they should identify each piece of equipment, how much it costs per day, and how many days it will be used. Don’t be afraid to ask a mold abatement company to explain their scope of work and estimate pricing. While selecting a mold abatement company, keep in mind it is your home and ultimately nothing should happen…

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