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FAQs

Mold

Mold removal is not a do it yourself job . Mold removal requires professional chemicals, equipment and training. Treating mold with household chemicals such as bleach can cause mold to spread and create more costly issues in your property. Contact iFlooded for professional mold removal.

1. First, bleach encourages toxic mold growth on porous surfaces because it provides excess moisture.

Bleach contains about 90% water. When you apply bleach to a porous surface(like wood or drywall), the chlorine quickly evaporates leaving behind a lot of water. Then, when the water soaks into porous surfaces like wood, it encourages mold growth. So, bleach can actually make your mold problem worse.

2. Bleach only removes the color from mold.

After you spray bleach, only the surface appears clean. But the problem is, the mold’s roots, or hyphae, continue to grow.

3. The EPA and OSHA specifically advise against using bleach for mold remediation.

4. Chlorine bleach is extremely harmful to surfaces.

For example, when you use bleach is on wood, it starts to weaken it by breaking the fibers. When you spray bleach on metal, it starts to corrode it almost immediately. Thus, using bleach to kill mold creates further problems to your home.

5. Bleach is extremely corrosive.

When you spray bleach and it evaporates, it releases chlorine gas. It irritates and eventually causes damage to the skin, lungs, and eyes.

6. Bleach can be deadly when it’s mixed.

Bleach should never be mixed with acids because it causes dangerous fumes.

Remember: Mixing cleaning compounds containing ammonia with bleach and ammonia produces deadly gasses that can kill with just a few breaths.

7. Bleach doesn’t work as a sanitizing agent when it’s mixed with organic material.

To be a successful sanitizer, bleach has to be used on clean materials and surfaces. That’s why bleach products get used in the laundry after the wash cycle. Light and heat compromise the sanitizing properties of bleach. Despite the fact that the chlorine odor lingers for a while after you use it, bleach loses strength so quickly it doesn’t have a residual effect. That is, it doesn’t prevent future bacterial or fungal growth.

Exposure to mold can cause health effects in some people. Some people are more sensitive to mold then others. Mold exposure causes various symptoms including nasal and sinus congestion, stuffiness, eye irritation, respiratory problems, throat irritation, skin irritation, and/or headache.

Sewage Backup

A “do-it-yourself” approach to sewage and septic cleanup is NOT encouraged. The sewage backup restoration process involves a series of steps, to be taken in a specific order, and that need to be done right the first time.

The sewage will need to be pumped out of the affected area and everything that was touched by the sewage needs to be considered contaminated. Carpeting, rugs, clothing, textiles, upholstery, and any other items that have made contact with sewage-based flooding should be thrown away and replaced.

Mold appears even faster following cases of sewage flooding or backup. Mold aggravates the problem exponentially, increasing the difficulty of proper remediation, and adding an additional level of health risks since mold spores inhaled in large concentrations have proven to be extremely hazardous to your health.

Every surface touched by sewage will need to be cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized. This procedure may need to be repeated several times to make sure that all contaminants have been removed.

FROM THE IICRC/THE CLEANTRUST:

Here are the key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups:

Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic – disease causing – fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.

Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs or chemotherapy, or are AIDS victims.

It is not safe to stay in a building that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.

Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly. This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too. There’s simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.

Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a “third party” indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or “clearance testing” to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.

Solid Flushes

The most common cause of a sewage backup is a blockage of the service pipe between the home and the city main pipe. This is typically caused by solid objects accidentally flushed down a drain.

Structural Defects

Different structural defects can develop overtime especially with older properties and eventually cause a major damage to the system, leading to a serious overflow that may require a complete reconstruction of the sewer lines.

Root damage

Tree roots are a major cause of backups. Tree roots can enter the service pipe and travel a long way, causing blockages along the way.

Water Damage

Deductible: A deductible is the amount of money a policyholder must pay out of pocket toward damages or a loss.

Insurance Check: Once the estimate has been approved by your insurance company .The insurance company will normally send the check to you and will be payable to you and iFlooded.The check will be endorsed by you upon completion of the project.

According to the IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (IICRC S500), there are three categories of water that cause damage .

Category 1 Water

. That which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans. Category 1 water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or building assemblies (walls, decking, subflooring). Time and temperature, which promote the growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade. Examples: burst water pipes, failed supply lines on appliances, vertically falling rainwater.

Category 2 Water

. That which begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans. As with Category 1 water, time and temperature can cause Category 2 water to become progressively more contaminated.

Category 3 Water

. That which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Examples: sewage, rising flood water from rivers and streams, ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes. There are two ways in which water enters a building as a result of wind storm damage: The first involves falling or windblown rainwater that enters as a result of damage to roof components or wall assemblies. The second involves horizontally traveling ground surface water (Category 3) containing silt and soil contaminants that infiltrate into structures, generally through doors or around foundation walls. This ground surface water (storm surge) may accumulate to a depth of several inches or several feet. When structures are partially submerged or remain substantially flooded for weeks, far more elaborate procedures usually are required. Most household microorganisms (fungi, bacteria) typically require five conditions for germination, growth, amplification and dissemination. Generally, they include:

organic food source, especially cellulose (e.g., paper, wood), which are found in abundance in construction materials

moisture, even high humidity (67% RH plus)

moderate temperature – 68-86°F/20-30°C

Have a licensed plumber or call iflooded we can send our plumber to fix the water source.

Call a professional water damage restoration company immediately for help! Damage from water and microbial growth can begin within just a few hours.

Remove as much water as possible from floors until help arrives.

Turn off circuit breakers supplying electricity to wet areas if possible. Unplug and remove any small electrical devices located on wet carpet or other wet surfaces.

Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings that are not attached. Do not remove wall-to-wall carpet.

Move photos, paintings, art and any high-value items to a safe, dry location.

Open drawers and closet and cabinet doors to speed the drying process.

Make plans for a restoration crew to move large furniture items onto dry carpet, linoleum, garage or storage area.

DO NOT

Do not use your home vacuum because electrical shock may result as well as damage to the vacuum.

Do not walk on wet carpet more than necessary in order to keep from spreading damage.

Do not activate the HVAC system IF it has been directly contacted by the water or it may spread contamination.

Do not disturb visible mold.

Do not use TV’s or other appliances on wet carpet or floors.

Do not place newspaper in the traffic areas because the ink transfers onto flooring easily.

Most structures can be dried in three days or less.

If your hardwood floors are real wood and not laminate or engineered, then we can usually save them. If the water has been sitting for a few days or if its category 3 water then we cant save it.It would typically have to be replaced.

We recommend that you make a list of items (including food items) that are determined to be non-salvagebale. It is best to have a copy for your own records as well as your insurance company.

The first place you would want to check is the toilet.You want to inspect in and around the toilet area for any indications of a source of a water leak.Also want to check your tub for any leaks as well.Examine the grout & any visible plumbing.

iFlooded is qualified to handle any type of water damage including sewage overflow or sewage backups , bursted pipe, icemaker lines, dishwasher or washing machine hoses, rising water from heavy rains and tornado losses,flooded basements,Roof leak,or a broken boiler.

Yes iFlooded works with all insurance companies.

Often times, taking a do-it-yourself approach to water restoration only worsens the problem because it’s difficult to accurately diagnose the scope of the damage. There are also less experienced water restoration companies out there that don’t fully understand the proper steps and precautions to take, and leave the customer with an even bigger problem than they had originally. The use of non-commercial equipment (like a shop vac) will not properly extract water from the carpet and pad. It is important to have a professional properly dry water-damaged areas promptly as mold can grow within 24-48 hours.

Fire damage

Deductible – A deductible is the amount of money a policyholder must pay out of pocket toward damages or a loss.

Insurance Check – Once the estimate has been approved by your insurance company. The insurance company will normally send the check to you and will be payable to you and iFlooded.The check will be endorsed by you upon completion of the project.

This is ultimately your decision. You should consider all safety concers, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If you are vacating your premises for any length of time, consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence, stop newspaper and other deliveries, notify your utility company, cable company, etc. of temporary suspension of services.

When recovering from fire damage, most of your items can be salvaged, disinfected, and cleaned. However, you will need to pay attention to some safety rules when trying to determine what to keep and what to discard. Make sure you document everything you throw away.

Food

You will have to be very careful when dealing with food. If food is burnt or even partially burnt, throw it out. Throw out any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot. The high temperatures of fire and its byproducts can make food unsafe. Do not use any canned foods where the can has bulged, is badly dented or has rusted.

Refrigerated Food

If your refrigerator was not damaged in the fire, check its content. Confirm that the food is still cold and that no soot penetrated it. If in doubt, discard the food.

Your refrigerator will keep cold for 4 hours if it is well sealed. In case that the power was turned off during the fire and the refrigerator was turned off for more than 4 hours, discard the food.

Frozen Food

The food that was in the freezer can be used if it still has ice crystals on it and if it still feels cold and hard. If not, discard it. Again, whenever in doubt, discard the food.

Medicines and Cosmetics

Clothes and textile can often be cleaned and disinfected.Once you document you may then discard any burnt materials. Be extra cautious with baby and children clothes.

Accordion Con.Canned and jarred food: The extreme heat exposure from a fire can cause cans and jars to crack, spilling out the contents and contaminating the food. Even if cans and jars are intact after a fire, prolonged exposure to heat could cause the food to spoil. Smoke and chemicals can also seep under bottle caps and screw top lids. The verdict? Throw out canned and jarred food after a fire, even if the seal doesn’t appear to be broken.

.Food stored in permeable packaging: Cardboard, plastic wrap and foil are permeable, smoke has almost certainly affected the food stored inside. Unwrapped fruits and vegetables are also damaged from fire exposure, so throw them away as well.

.Food stored in the fridge or freezer: You might have hope of keeping refrigerated or frozen food, but fridge and freezer seals are not airtight. Fumes could have gotten inside and affected the food here as well. Throw anything away that has signs of smoke damage or gives off foul odors.

Power failure:You can keep refrigerated food if your refrigerator was not damaged in the fire. Your refrigerator will keep cold for 4 hours if it is well sealed. Check for signs of damaged food in the fridge and freezer, such as liquid or melted ice cream. Unusual colors, odors and textures are also signs the food has been damaged. If you see these signs, document the items then throw them out.

Food touched by firefighting chemicals: If you put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher or other fire suppression method, don’t think twice about discarding the food. Firefighting chemicals are poisonous and can’t be washed off. These chemicals can even permeate packaged products.

.Cutlery: Plastic plates, cups, utensils and other cutlery exposed to smoke and firefighting chemicals are not safe to eat or drink out of. Throw them away.

.Points to remember: If food is deemed unsafe for human consumption, it’s also not safe for pets. Never taste food to determine whether it’s safe. In the end, when it doubt, throw it out.tent

We recommend that you make a list of items that are determined to be non-salvageable. It is best to have a copy for yourself as well as your insurance company.

This is one of those instances where what you don’t know can hurt you. Restoration is a scientific discipline that is practiced by trained professionals. If not done correctly you might be creating hazardous health conditions for you and your family. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will pay for you to hire a professional restoration contractor to return your property to its pre-loss condition.

DO:

Call for professional help as soon as possible. Corrosive and acidic soot can cause irreversible etching in your glass and metals.

If the temperature is above 60 degrees, open windows to ventilate the home.

If you have to turn off your water, winterize your pipes to prevent your plumbing and/or heating supply pipes from freezing.

If the electricity is off, remove perishable foods from your refrigerator and freezer. The odor created by spoiled food is usually impossible to remove.Especially with spoiled meats. Leave the doors open.

Discard any open food packages.

Keep a list of anything you have discarded and receipts for any expenses you have during the restoration process. Most likely, your insurance claim representative will ask for these items.

Close doors on affected areas to isolate smoke odors as much as possible.

Change the furnace or air conditioner filter if it is operating.

DON’T:

Don’t touch anything with your bare hands. Oils from your hands can cause additional damage by compounding the soot.

Don’t use any TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been checked by a proffesional technician.

Don’t use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.

Don’t attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.

Don’t wipe or attempt to wash ceilings or any other absorbent surfaces. Incorrect cleaning could compound the soot residue.

Don’t eat food items exposed to smoke or canned goods that have been exposed to excessive heat.

Don’t sit on upholstered furniture if possible.