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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Don't be scared, be informed about Mold

The Hazards of Mold

By Leo Nov
Published: January 1, 2006
The existence of mold in your home or business presents both health hazards and a risk to materials and personal belongings.
Mold is dangerous due to its ease of growth. Most molds grow naturally outdoors and can be easily carried into buildings through open windows, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as on pets, clothing, or shoes.
Once indoors, molds grow easily, needing nothing but moisture and a food source such as lint, ceiling tiles, drywall, insulation, carpets, upholstery or wood.

Health Hazards of Mold

Mold sensitivity is non-specific and depends on the type of mold present, the amount and degree of exposure, and the health condition of the occupant.
Health effects of mold can range from being insignificant to causing allergic reactions and illness including nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, shortness of breath, wheezing, and in rare cases, mold infections in the lung.
The following populations are in a higher risk when exposed to mold:
  • Infants and children
  • The elderly
  • Pregnant women
  • People with respiratory diseases, a weakened immune system, and those who suffer from allergies

Toxic mold

The term "toxic mold" is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous.
Hazards presented by molds that produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common molds.

Mold Damage to Materials and Personal Belongings

Mold growth can make materials stained or discolored. These materials will be ruined overtime if mold is not removed.
  • Moldy paper and cardboard disintegrate over time
  • Fabrics are damaged
  • Continued mold growth can be indicative of moisture conditions favorable for growth of fungi that cause wood rot and structural damage

Monday, November 29, 2010

Things to consider in the event of water damage. Do I need to call someone?

How do I know how bad the water damage is? Do I need to call someone to come dry my home or office out after water intrusion?

Here are some things to think about when water damage strikes your home or business.

Once a building has been exposed to a large volume of water, it becomes extremely hazardous as water causes both health and structural risks.

Water Damage Related Health Hazards and Risks:
Dampness and humidity promote the growth of moisture-related mold and mildew that can lead to toxic, mold-related reactions such as immune disorders, pathogenic disease. Allergic reactions consist of painful headaches, disorientation and dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, chronic asthma, rashes and open sores, and chronic fatigue.

Be aware that floodwaters may also be contaminated with sewage and waste. These are fertile breeding ground for disease carrying termites and insect infestation.

Water Related Structural Hazards and Risks:
Water saturation affects and damages structures in a few ways.

Direct damage to materials leading to structural instability:

1. Wallboard disintegrates
2. Structural integrity of concrete is undermined
3. Support columns resting in waterlogged soil slowly twist and tilt
4. Wood swells, warps, and rots
5. Stairs, floors, and roofs may collapse bulging ceilings, indicating trapped water
6. Electrical systems can short out, malfunction, and cause fires or shock.

Leaking LP gas (also known as natural gas) can cause fire or gas poisoning.

Household possessions and interior design can be damaged as follows:

1. Mud and silt get possessions and valuables dirty
2. Paint and wall coverings peel off
3. Floor tiles are lifted
4. Panels warp
5. Carpets stain and rot
6. Furnishings such as textiles and furniture stain
7. Books, photographs, paintings become extremely fragile
8. Property value decreases after being wet. Most insulation is ineffective, but it will continue to hold and create high moisture conditions which will damage metal, masonry, and wood.

Call Damage Control at 274-4168 for a free evaluation if you question the need for a professional services.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Heat and drying wet houses

Heat has many important roles in drying wet structures.  From the small house that is poorly insulated, to the large commercial building down town.  Let me explain the simple fact that heat is essential to what we do in drying wet structures.

There are 3 essential keys to drying.  Temperature (heat), airflow, and humidity.  As long as we can control these keys, we will achieve our goal of drying with as little demolition as possible.  I will explain the science involved with how heat improves the efficiency of what we do.  Much like the way a hair dryer blows the air, a direct approach if you will, heat used properly will benefit the project and drying will be achieved. 

Air temperature is a very important factor we calculate and keep records of.  We monitor the air temperature to know our equipment is operating properly, and to know that the air is at its most efficient capacity.  You see, warm air has the ability to hold more moisture than cooler air.  But, if the air becomes too hot we can loose the ability to remove the moisture from the air and it can escape into other unaffected areas of your home.  This condition is known as secondary damage.  Just as described in the above mention of the keys to drying, heat has a critical role in the balance of drying.  Simply put, warm air has a greater capacity to hold moisture. 

Along with the air, heat affects the water vapor in wet building materials.  Heat generates speed in molecules.  If we look at the elements, and the scientific make up of water we will learn how water is made.  Cold temperatures have an affect on slowing down h2o, and will form ice.  Heating water up will speed up the molecules, thus creating evaporation.  We literally transfer heat to the wet structure, and in turn the moisture comes out into the atmosphere where we mechanically collect it and put it down the drain.  With directed heat and airflow, we employ the "worlds fastest drying system" 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Is your Home ready for winter..?

With Halloween in the rear view mirror, and Thanksgiving in sight, are we ready for the weather that comes with the seasons?  Have we taken precautions to be sure that our homes and property will be safe and survive the now forcasted winter weather?  Here are some tips, and good ideas to follow as we approach the snow season.

1.  Keep your rain/storm gutters clean and clear of debris.  The downspouts should be free of debris as well.  This will ensure proper draining of moisture that accumulates on the roof of your home, or buildings.  Also this allows water to drain into a proper place, away from your foundation.  Plugged rain gutters can act like a dam, and impede the path of the moisture, freeze and cause severe structural problems.  Improperly drained down spouts can add to deterioration of your foundation and allow water to intrude into your basement. 

2.  Protect your water pipes.  It is a good idea to wrap your water pipes coming into your home.  Locate the water main coming into your home, either in the basement or crawl space and become familiar how to shut it off in the unfortunate event of a pipe break.  Wrapping your pipes can also limit heat loss from your home and promote energy efficiency, save heat, and overall lower heating bills.  Did you know that a 2" water main that typically comes into your home can allow up to 500 gallons a minute flowing into your home.  In sub zero temperatures, standing in a basement full of water is not what you want to do. 

3.  Check, and change your furnace filters.  This is a great idea, as these keep the air you breathe clean and reduces the airborne particles in your home.  Also a clean airway for your furnace means that it does not have to work as hard to move air throughout your home, thus reducing energy and keeping your power bill lower.  Any time we can increase the efficiency of the homes operating system, it will pay dividends, and in this case it will be two fold.

4.  Keep your ground/yard clear.  When snow falls, it will cover potential hazards.  Rake the leaves, and make sure the ground is picked up and free of toys, tools, or any other dangerous object that will be concealed by the cover of snow fall.  When snow accumulates, keep it moved clear of the foundation and areas of your property that could lead to water intrusion when it melts. 

Winter is coming and eventually spring will find its way back to our environment.  Let's weather the season as best as we can without any water damage emergencies.  If you are less fortunate and need assistance, call Damage Control LLC immediately at (406) 274-4168.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Moldy Spaces

What would you do if your roomate moved out, and in the closet where his stuff was stored you found moisture and mold?  The answer I hope you give is, Call Damage Control at (406)274-4168.

Recently we encountered a similar situation.  Basically what we do is remove the moisture, and then simply remove the mold.  But what about the un-reachable spots, spots we can not physically reach to sand/blast the active spores?  Also what about using hepa in your removal system? 

There are several phases that need to be followed to eradicate the problem.  Please stay tuned as we update the process from start to finish.  Each job is different, and each remediation system will need to be directed for that exact type of problem and structure. 

This is fun stuff. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our latest success story

I want to share our latest success story that came from last week.  I was called to a job site of a home owner who was a little paniced.  She was telling me about the her situation.  What she was describing to me sounded very bleak, very dismal.  Her basement had accumulated nearly 150 gallons of water over night from a broken pipe.  I explained to her that we would be there as quickly as possible.  Upon arrival I inspected her home. I noted the following details about what I had seen.  There was glue down carpet, on a concrete floor, the walls were constructed with 5/8 drywall, and pine tongue and groove wood panels on the wall.  Visually you could see the water wicking up the pine, almost 2 feet in some areas.  There was no distortion of shape from the moisture yet, so I knew we could save it.  All in all, this sturcture had absorbed quite a bit of moisture, and risked the potential of further damage if not properly dealt with.
After I inspected the details, I came up with a game plan and presented it to the home owner for her review, and blessing, before I began my work.  She expressed great joy and pleasure in hearing that I could dry it out, and not tear any of the building material out.  It was then that she explained to me that she already had one of my competitors there that morning and they told her the wood panels needed to be removed and possibly the drywall as well to make sure it was dry. She didnt want to hear that, so she kicked them out of her house. That made my emotions stir inside me, I wanted to proove our worth, and dry the structure completely with out any demolition.  These were good people, honest folks who worked hard for what they have.  This other restoration company had brought up the "m" word in saying, "we need to tear the wood panels off to make sure there is no mold in your home."  I just do not like when they try to scare the home owners like this.
With the application of Direct Heat, and forced air, and properly applied techniques, we can do neat things.  I set Etes, and proper ventalation, with dehumidification.  I took readings, charted the moisture, and used the various moisture meters to test the moisture content of the sill plate as well as the rest of the building materials in the home. I took some Flir images to provide a visual assurance that we found all the wet areas.   I checked the job twelve hours later, and was very happy with the progress.  By the 36th hour of drying, the project was completely dry.  With carefully calculated tactics, and properly applied scientific principles, we saved this home, and kept the project from having unneeded demolition.  Not to mention the trouble the home owners would have with a construction site instead of a comfortable home..... 

This is what we do, this is how we are set apart from the rest of the other companies that offer restorative services in our area. 

Simply put, this defines us; 
Damage Control

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4 Steps When A Flood Occurs In Your Home

1.  Think Safety! Identify any potential hazards. Remember, wet surfaces are slippery.
2. Find the source of water intrusion and stop it, if possible.
3.  Remove any sensitive, personal, or valuable items from wet areas.
4. Call Damage Control LLC  (406) 274-4168.  24 Hours a day, 7 Days a week, we stand ready to serve you.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Water damage in a home or business can be devastating. Damage Control strives to assist our clients with compassion, dedication, and a commitment to provide the highest level of customer service. It is our mission to restore each property to "pre-loss" condition in a comprehensive, cost-effective manner so that life can return to normal as quickly as possible.

Keep It Dry