Emergency Mold Remediation, Fire Damage Repair & Basement Waterproofing.
Welcome to Lize Euwes Home Restoration Services! For the majority of homeowners your home is your most important asset. Your home is like family to you. It’s fundamentally the place where memories are made.
The problem is, homes all around the world are being destroyed by mold, fire and water problems. Problems that can be prevented. Which can’t be said for all home related issues. For instance, if you live in Florida chances are you’re living over a sink hole. If you live in Los Angeles you live pretty close to the San Andreas fault. In New Jersey or New York there’s over population, homes destroyed by Sandy and new homes being built with very cheap materials. If you live in the UK you see the same patterns all around the world.
There are 3 major problems that can be prevented: mold infestation & exposure, fires and floods.
Mold – The growth of mold can occur under a large variety of circumstances. And problems can escalate quickly. Before you know it moldy floors start collapsing as fast as the World Trade Center. This is because
mold employs highly corrosive enzymes that feed off wood, wall paper, cellulose, linen or any organic material. Once a fundamental structure is destroyed, entire sections of home can fail. And the only way to stop this is mold remediation.
Before any area is treated for mold, it must be prepped or quarantined. This is a process where plastic walls are put up around the perimeter of the contaminated area. So when mold removal work is done, there is no chance that spores can move to other parts of the home (ie. cross contamination). The image to the right shows a negative air pressure machine. From a mold remediation firm in New Jersey. Workers are inside the kitchen treating mold. The machine quickly removes mold spores from the air. This allows mold remediation to be conducted in a clean & safe way.
When you see that mold is growing in your home, that’s the time to contact a certified mold removal company.
Not tomorrow, not next week, but now!
It will require an experienced mold inspector to analyze your home. Whatever you do, do not call a general contractor, home inspector or plumber! Call a specialized mold company and make sure they’re fully credentialed. You have to keep an eye out for fly by night companies as there are many. Take the time to ask all the important questions. We will create a list for you that you can use.
If mold remediation isn’t done quickly and appropriately, you risk the following problems:
Heath issues: allergies, asthma, skin rashes, respiratory problems, infections, migraines, fatigue, flu like symptoms and more.
Structural failure: walls cracking or breaking, beams cracking, floors collapsing, roof leaks, basement leaks, any part of your home can fail.
Drop of property value: undeclared mold problems can lead to lawsuits, declared and remediated mold problems raise property value.
Rain & Floods – If you live by an ocean, lake, river, pond… or anywhere it rains, your home is vulnerable to water problems. Typically this occurs in the form of a leaky roof or basement. Since these are the two areas most prone to water. The roof is directly exposes to falling rain water or freezing during cold weather. The basement becomes weakened by hydrostatic water pressure or rain water dissolving lime based soil.
Very few people realize the elusive, but highly destructive nature of water. This is because people are typically uninformed about geography. Poor grading can lead to water flowing towards your home. Proper grading will not eliminate all the water pressure but it will significantly reduce it. Waterproofing is usually done in the basement. And most people do what’s called a “french drain” or water management system. The goal with these systems isn’t to stop water from entering the basement. It’s to completely eliminate any water pressure and keep the walls dry. The second any water gets into your basement it gets deflected into sewer drains. This stops water pressure from bending, cracking, or causing more serious damage to your foundation. But most important it prevents the foundation from collapsing.
Here are the main things to bear in mind as far as water leakage:
Cracks in roof: This can be normal wear and tear over time. Or it can happen more immediately when rain hits your roof then later freezes.
Faulty gutters: Always make sure your gutters are clean. Don’t just make sure gutters direct water away from your home. Track the water flow to ensure it’s not backing up.
Rusty pipes & plumbing: This is very obvious. Pipes wear down, they freeze, sometimes tree roots will push on them over time till they crack.
Foundation: Never apply waterproof paint to the inside of your foundation. This makes problems worse. Foundations strictly require professional help.
Geography: Many times you can access data about the underground geography of your land. Soil with heavy sand content is very fluid and unstable. Soil with heavy clay content is very brittle.
For more information you can read how to fix wet basement problems here.
Fire – A home fire can be a terrifying experience. If you have gas appliances always make sure they’re shut off before leaving the house. Never put hot lamps by flammable drapes, furniture or anything flammable. If
you smoke, do not smoke in bed at night. Cigarettes are designed to extinguish themselves but this mechanism is not perfect. It takes less than 30 seconds for enough heat to transfer from a cigarette to start the burning that can lead to a fire. If you want to see how quickly this can happen, throw a lit cigarette in a trashcan full of toilet paper. But do it outside. I’ve done this myself and it’s unbelievable how fast toilet paper can ignite.
What you need to protect yourself from a fire:
Fire Extinguishers: Keep 1 in every primary room of your house. Do not keep it in it’s original box. Last thing you need when a fire breaks out is to grab a knife.
Safety – As already stated, make sure you properly extinguish or turn off anything that can lead to a fire.
Fire safe architecture: Keep any BBQ grills a minimum of 6 feet away from your home. Don’t put any flammable substances, towels, etc over the stove. Make sure your insulation is fireproof.
To summarize, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. Mold, fire and floods are all very serious yet very preventable problems. For mold, you will generally need a mold inspector to do some testing. They will isolate any mold problems and put together an action plan. With waterproofing the main goal isn’t always to stop water. The goal is to simply shield the home and stop any further damage. More seldomly a waterproofing company will reinforce your foundation and apply waterproof tar to the outside. This is highly effect yet very expensive. For fires, 90% of the time materials must be ripped out and replaced. Fire damage repair is more “restoration” than “remediation”. For more information the Red Cross has a great list of home fire prevention strategies.
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