Author - eligener

Flooding Prevention Tips

If you have experienced flooding in your home you understand how detrimental it can be. The damaged caused by flooding not only affects the contents inside the home but the structure of the property itself. Below are out top three tip to protect your home from flooding.

 

Check and Repair Your Roof

A leaky roof can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars in damage. Water seeps in to the attic area wetting the insulation, wood members, and any electrical. This can cause mold, wood rot, corroded electrical, and the electrical can catch on fire. Contract a license roofer or a reputable roofing contractor to inspect the roof, check for undetected leaks, and complete any needed repairs.

 

Keep Gutters Clean

Gutters are intended to move water down from the roof away from the house and foundation. When gutters are clogged the water takes the path of least resistance typically towards the walls and ceiling of a home. The overflowing water can damage the exterior of the home as well as the structural integrity. Water hitting the paint and siding of the home can damage paint and cause wood rot. Water hitting a home’s foundation can cause it to expand and crack. We recommend cleaning the gutters of your home two to three times a year and clearing out leaves and other debris that may be present as well as making any repairs necessary.

 

Install Sewer Backflow Valve

In you live in a flood prone area rising water may cause sewage to back up into your homes through the drainpipe.  A sewer backup is one of the most unpleasant events one can encounter, the water is dangerous because it can carry diseases.  To prevent this, we recommend installing a backflow valve, the valve has a flapper that closes automatically when needed preventing sewer water from rising and often the valve can be operated manually for increased security.

Mold Growth Prevention Tips

Have you ever gone to look out a window only to notice the window was wet. That moisture you see is called condensation and it happens when warm air hits a cold surface in this case that surface is the windows in your home. Condensation can cause mold growth in your windows. Below are tips to reduce and eliminate that moisture build up on your windows.

Ventilate:

Use bathroom and kitchen fans every time you bath or cook. Both of those activities release moisture into the air, and sometimes the moisture cannot escape from your house easily. Run the bathroom and kitchen fans 15-20 minutes after you bath or cook. Use ceiling fans, you want them to rotate clockwise in order to push warm air off of the ceiling back down to the floor. Open up your windows, this will eliminate some of the warm moist air in your house.

Raise the Temperature

Raising the temperature of the house slightly will help reduce the condensation in your windows. The use of blinds, curtains, or drapes will also help raise the window temperature.

Buy a Moisture Eliminator

Purchasing products such as DampRid will eliminate moisture. DampRid and other moisture eliminators come in bags you can hang or buckets you place on the floor, typically these products are placed in laundry rooms and closets. You can also use these products in your bathrooms and kitchen, or other places in your home that are humid.

 

Buy a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers come in a variety of sizes to suit different room sizes. With today’s technology dehumidifiers are able to turn off and on automatically to reach the desired humidity level in your home.

Keep in mind that mold growth is caused by moisture in order to prevent it, moisture must not be present. If you do come across mold in you windows or other areas in your home contact a mold assessor or remediator.

Not So Obvious Places Mold Grows

After 35 years in the business we’ve seen plenty of mold and at times in places you wouldn’t imagine. The following three are places in your home you typically wouldn’t check for mold but often times these places have ideal conditions for mold growth.

Refrigerator Drip Pans
The refrigerator drip pan harbors an ideal environment for mold growth because it collects moisture, food spills, and has low visibility. In order to prevent mold growth make sure you clean the drips pans and the floor beneath at least once to twice a year. You can clean it by spraying the pan with distilled vinegar, allow it to sit for an hour then wipe the area with water.

 

Dishes
When dishes aren’t properly dried and are stack the moisture allows mold to grow especially if the dishes aren’t used on a daily base. In order to prevent mold growth on your dishes ensure the dishes are completely dry before placing them away. If you come across moldy dishes run them through the dishwasher or soak them in dish soap for an hour and rinse them with water. Make sure you wipe the cabinet that the dishes were in with a vinegar-soaked rag.

 

Window Sashes and Seals
Window condensation occurs when there is excessive moisture in the house and the temperature inside is warmer than the outside temperature. To prevent window condensation open windows and wipe moisture from the bottoms of sashes and window sills after it rains or if you see moisture present.

 

Helpful Tips for Mold Prevention

  • Keep humidity levels low
  • Make sure your home has is ventilated including the basement
  • Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow
  • If your home floods clean up and dry out your home thoroughly

Salt Water Damage

So many of us dream with having a home on the beach, walking out of our home and sticking our toes in the sand, smelling that salty air, and going for a dip on a whim. Living near the coast can be a dream come true or an absolute night mare for a home owner. Exposure to coastal living can result in moisture build up, mold, water damage, superficial as well as structural damage due to salt water damage. That ocean breeze we love leads to humidity, living oceanside can cause moisture to build up in a home that can cause mold and mildew. Often the moisture build up occurs on the sides and roof of a property. Mold can eat away at the exterior paint as well as the exterior wood members of the house. Mold in the interior of the property can eat away at the walls, ceilings, as well as cause health issues. In addition to causing moisture to build up that ocean breeze also carries salt from the water and hits the exterior of the property. The salt crystals which are hard to see settle under the paint surfaces and build up causing the paint to slowly chip off, primarily near corners, ridges, ledges and window sills. Salt water will rust surfaces and the effects of the salt water damage can lead to a home being uninhabitable. When salt water makes contact with pipes it will corroded them, if untreated it can tarnish the entire plumbing system.

Tips for protecting your oceanside home:

  • Ensure the home is built with materials for beachfront properties such as: corrosion-resistant materials, closed call insulation, hurricane resistant windows and doors, etc.
  • When you are purchasing an oceanfront home, identify plumbing materials early so you know where to look in the event of saltwater exposure or unidentified leaks.
  • Power washing regularly (every few months) can help prevent mold from building up.
  • Use sealant to prevent exterior paint from fading, peeling, and chipping as a result of constant exposure to salt water.

Keep in mind salt water damage can be very costly and purchasing a home is a big investment, make sure you protect that investment.

Costly Water Damage

This Monday we were contacted by Dan, a home owner in the West Hollywood area. He recently decided to remodel his daughter’s bedroom, while doing so he uncovered black stains on a wall. He initially he called us for mold testing, during our initial assessment we conducted an air test and explained to Dan that even without the test results we could determine that it was indeed mold and the important thing was remediating it. He was puzzled as to how and why there was mold in his home. We explained that mold requires moisture to grow and given the location of the mold infestation (adjacent to the bathroom)  water damage such as a leaking pipe or roof leak could have caused it. Dan being the father of a small child was extremely concerned for his family and asked us to remediate the problem and identify the source causing the mold. The first step of the project was inspecting the roof and sub area for leaks and finding out what was causing the mold to grow. One of our certified inspectors examined the roof and sub area his findings were scary. Dan’s home had numerous leaks in the sub area plumbing, the area where the mold was uncovered had so much water damage and dry rot it was sinking and we were amazed it hadn’t collapsed. The worst part was that there were buckets collecting water in the area some of which had overflowed. When we presented Dan with our findings he turned pale like he had seen a ghost. He explained that when he initially purchased the house a few years back the leaks were noted in the home inspection. He got an estimate from a plumber that was cheap compared to other proposals he got and he decide to save money and hire the man to fix the plumbing. Now as Dan brought in plumbers and contractors for estimates to fix the leaks and repair the sinking area prices were astronomical compared to the initial estimates he received years back. Given that we have been in the business for decades we advised Dan to go with a license plumber we knew in the area and guaranteed his work, Dan hired him. It took twelve days, raising portion of the home, replacing and reinforcing the sub area materials, new plumbing, drying out the sub area, and interior walls of the guest bedroom but we got his home dry and safe. Next came getting the home mold free, with the use of specialized equipment we were able to eliminate the mold. Once all the work was completed we tested the home again for mold and the test came back negative. Dan was relieved, he couldn’t believe all the events that had transpired, and he told us he learned two important lessons. The first being that water damage was costly and to hire experts and not going hiring someone because they are the cheapest. We agreed with him we can’t stress the importance of doing research and ensuring you hire someone who knows what they are doing when it comes to your home

Invisible Black Mold

Mold spores are everywhere, they are outside in the open air, in kitchens, bathrooms, sub areas, EVERYWHERE! A normal level of mold spore exposure is common. We recently got a call from Karla from Glendale, who was seeking a mold inspection after it was recommended to her by her family physician. Karla’s elderly mother Karmen had been experiencing an array of health issues ranging from irritated eyes, persistent headaches, and trouble breathing. According to Karla her mother had gone to a doctor and was told it was allergies and prescribed medication but her condition didn’t improve. In hopes to get her mother healthy once again he changed doctors, visited specialist, and she underwent multiple tests to determine what was causing her to feel this way. During one of her visits to her pulmonary doctor it was suggested s mold test be conducted in their home. Karla was confused her house had no visible signs of mold but in desperation she gave us a call after seeing our $85 mold assessment ad. We conducted a visual inspection first and no visible mold was present but we did notice water stains in Karmen’s bedroom, and Karla informed us they had leaks in the roof months back. Based on all this information we determined an air test was going to be the best option in determining if any mold was present in their home. We took a sample of the exterior air and a sample of the indoor air. The results were scary, not only did Karla’s home have mold but the test determined it was black mold. Karla then hired us to remove the black mold. We had the property evacuated and we conducted our remediation services. Once our work was completed we conducted more air testing in order to ensure the property was free of the toxic black mold and it was safe for the family to return home. When we contacted Karla and informed her it was safe to return home she was relieve and she informed us that her mother had felt better as soon as they left the home, she didn’t experience any irritation in her eyes, no more headaches, or trouble breathing. Two months later we followed up with Karla and her mother and we were happy to hear Karmen is healthy again.

Mold isn’t always visible, it can be located behind drywall, flooring, ceiling material, etc. If you think you have mold call a certified mold remediation company to test it for you.

Hollywood Hydro Jetting Services

Sunday morning, we received a call from Ann seeking our Hydro Jetting Services, the drains in her home were clogged and dirty water was coming up through the sinks, toilets, and bathtubs. Our crew members were out there within the hour to meet Ann and resolve the problem. We did a sewer camera inspection and uncovered a blockage from what appeared to be debris in the main line. Ann asked if we would be snaking the line as other plumbers had done in the past, we explained that there was new more effective technology called Hydro Jetting that we would be utilizing. Hydro Jetting is a new more effective way to clean drains. With the use of an innovative pressurized water machine that produces powerful water and stream we are able to clean and de-clog drains. We inserted the specialized hose of the Hydro Jet through the cleanout point and high-pressurized water and steam began shooting through the pipes. Within minutes the clog was removed and we performed another sewer camera inspection to demonstrate the work that was completed. Ann was pleasantly surprised at how fast and effective this method was. We often recommend this service as it is:

Cost effective: routine maintenance of a home’s drains can save hundreds and thousands in the long run. Over time gunk accumulates in drains and reduces or cuts off water flow. Begin proactive in cleaning out a property’s drains regularly can avoid permanent damage to the plumbing.

Prevent health issues: a clogged drain contains germs, promotes mold growth, and can release a foul smell into the homes atmosphere which can cause health issues ranging from itching eyes, sneezing, coughing, etc.

More efficient than snaking: the snaking method has been used to unclog drains for many years but isn’t as efficient as Hydro jetting. Keep in mind snakes can’t reach the entire drain but a Hydro Jet is able.

Avoids digging: in the past when plumbing clogs are encountered the only way to remediate the problem is to dig up the pipes. This is a costly and time-consuming approach that can be avoided.

Hydro Jetting

LA Mold Hydro Jetting Service 

What is Hydro Jetting?

Hydro jetting is a new more effective way to clean drains. With the use of an innovative pressurized water machine that produces powerful water and stream to clear the drains. Hydro jetting is typically done through a cleanout, which is an opening that allows plumbers to clean out clogs. A specialized hose is inserted into the cleanout and the high-pressurized water and steam begins shooting through the pipes, and removing clogs caused by:

  • Roots obstruction
  • Build up from grease, oil, minerals from hard water, etc.
  • Soap scum
  • Waste
  • Sanitary products
  • Items accidently flushed
  • Debris
  • And much more

Benefits of Hydro jetting:

  • Cost effective: routine maintenance of a home’s drains can save you hundreds and thousands in the long run. Over time gunk accumulates in drains and reduces or cuts off water flow. Begin proactive in cleaning out a property’s drains regularly can avoid permanent damage to the plumbing.
  • Avoid health issues: a clogged drain contains germs, promotes mold growth, and can release a foul smell into the homes atmosphere which can cause health issues ranging from:
    • Itching eyes
    • Sneezing
    • Coughing
    • Allergic reactions
    • Asthma attacks
    • Permanent lung damage
  • More efficient than snaking: the snaking method has been used to unclog drains for many years but isn’t as efficient as Hydro jetting. Keep in mind snakes aren’t able to reach the entire drain but a Hydro Jet is able.
  • Avoid digging: in the past when plumbing clogs are encountered the only way to remediate the problem is to dig up the pipes. This is a costly and time-consuming approach that can be avoided.
  • A better clean: Hydro Jet cleaning works more effectively in cleaning drains than other approaches use.

 

Call us today to learn about our Hydro Jetting Special and schedule your appointment today.

LA Mold Removal Services

After being in the business for 35+ you’d think we’ve seen it all but to this day we still come across certain situations that leave us in aye. This week we were contacted by Norma, a realtor in the Los Angeles area seeking our mold removal services. She informed us she was representing the seller, Clara and was in dire need of a mold expert ASAP after having a terrible experience with another company. They explained that during a recent home inspection suspect mold was discovered in one of the bathrooms. The inspector had recommended a company to test the suspect mold and possibly remove it. According to Clara, the company went out to the property and tested the area, 5 days later they informed her and Norma that it was indeed mold. According to Clara she proceeded to hire this company to remove the mold, they went to her home spray a product on the affect areas wiped it down, told her it was mold free and billed her despite there being visible mold still present. Clara and her agent proceed to called the company to see if anything could be done about the visible mold but they were told no that the work was completed and additional work such as removing the visible mold would cost more! Clara was frustrated potential buyers were scared off by the visible mold despite her assuring them it had been treated. Ironically, during an open house one of the potential home buyers gave Norma our card and referred us for mold removal services. Once we received the call one of our highly-trained experts went to the property to conduct an assessment. This bathroom had mold throughout, we are talking spots on the walls, ceiling, and around the tub. Clara said the only treated area was the section near the tub. During our assessment, it was visible that the portion of the wall was deteriorated because of the severity of the mold so simply spraying it would do nothing it needed to be replaced. We came up with a game plan on how to tackle these issues and remove the mold. We determined our first step would be identifying the moisture source and fixing it to prevent further mold growth. Afterwards, we had to remove all mold containment materials including drywall and ceiling materials. Then, we would ensure the bathroom was dry by using dehumidifiers, a HEPA 500 HEPA Air Purifier, and both a standard Typhoon 3-speed air mover and a Viking PDS-21 pressurized wall drying system to ensure no moisture was present. Once we ensured the bathroom was completely dry we treated it with Concrobium Broad Spectrum anti-microbial solution to remove mold and fungus contamination from the structure and ceiling. Once the affected areas had been treated we began the repair process. We replaced all the drywall and ceiling materials with new none mold contaminated materials and painted. In a matter of days the bathroom was mold free and we presented a final Clearance report insuring our work to Clara and Norma. That same week Clara received an offer for her home and was able to sell it. The moral of this story is when seeking mold removal services call the experts, when trying to save money calling a cheaper non-reputable company can end up costing you more in the long run.

The Garage is Covered in Mold

On Monday we got an emergency call from Ian, a realtor in Hollywood, who’s home buyers discovered mold in the garage of the property they were going to purchase. This lovely couple had searched high and low for their dream home and came across this property and instantly fell head over heels. They wanted to make an offer right away that was until they reached the garage. It was covered in mold! The walls and ceilings were covered in the mossy black stuff. Ian told the buyers not to worry that this could be fixed and called us immediately. He informed us he was referred by another agent in his office, who hired us for our mold remediation services on her home back in January.

When we spoke to Ian on Monday and he was relieved we offered emergency mold remediation services and came highly recommended. Our LA Mold Removal experts went out to the property that same day to do an assessment of the mold and come up with an action plan. First, we found the cause of the mold, which was a small leak in the ceiling from a corroded broken pipe. Step two in our mold remediation plan for this property was to replace the pipe in the ceiling to prevent further leaking and future mold growth. Then, we determined that due to the severity of the mold infestation all the drywall and ceiling materials had to be removed and disposed appropriately. Afterwards we began the dry out process with the use of dehumidifiers, a HEPA 500 HEPA Air Purifier, and both standard Typhoon 3-speed air mover and Viking PDS-21 pressurized wall drying system to ensure no moisture was present. Once we ensured the garage was completely dry we treated with Concrobium Broad Spectrum anti-microbial solution to remove mold and fungus contamination from the structure and ceiling. Once the affected areas have been treated we began the repair process. We replaced all the drywall and ceiling materials with new none mold contaminated materials and painted. In a matter of three days the moldy garage was mold free and we presented a final Clearance report insuring our work. With that in hand the potential home owners were relieved and made an offer on their dream home.

Stories like these are common for us, our mold remediation services aid home owners all over the Los Angeles County. We as experts and trained professionals understand the risks and dangers associated with mold and how to combat them. If you have mold or suspect mold on your property do not hesitate to call us.