This page answers frequently asked questions on water damage, fire damage and mold.
Water Restoration Questions
Q. My sewer backed up and now the carpet in my bathroom and bedroom are wet. How can I clean the carpet?
A. Sever backups involve “Category 3” water which contains pathogens and dangerous bacteria. Carpets contaminated with Category 3 water should be disposed of and restoration and sterilization measures implemented immediately for your health and safety.
Q. A leak in my gutters let rain water run inside the walls of my bedroom. Now the walls feel damp. Should I call my insurance company?
A. By all means yes. Dangerous mold could be growing inside of your walls which could affect your health through the growth and spreading of mold spores. Also any insulation that is wet should be removed and replaced. ITC Restorations uses high tech moisture detection equipment that can detect high levels of moisture inside walls or other hidden areas .
Q. We just moved into a rental home and I noticed that the water hoses to the washing machine seem old. My husband doesn’t seem too concerned but I’m wondering if it should be replaced.
A. Washing machine hose failure is a leading cause of water damage inside the home. Rubber washing machine hoses should be replaced every three to five years or better yet replaced with stainless steel braided hose. If you are not sure how long the hoses in your house have been in service or they look old or have bulges, then it is time to replace.
Q. We’ve got water damage in my house from a broken water line in the kitchen. Should I call my insurance agent first or a restoration company?
A. You have a responsibility to mitigate the damage caused by water damage and so without delay call a company that will extract the water and return your home to normal moisture levels. Secondly call your insurance company and report the damage and initiate your claim.
Q. A toilet overflowed from my upstairs neighbor and water was dripping into my bathroom and through the fixtures. The bathroom doesn’t smell fresh and the light works sometimes and sometimes not. Who is responsible?
A. Water intrusion from other units is very common in apartment buildings and condominium complexes. The unit where the water originated from is most often at fault. You should contact your apartment management or condominium association to report the damage. You will be helped in your claim, if you have a professional inspect the damage and provide you an estimate of what repairs are needed .
Q. Can mold grow in my air conditioning ducts?
A. Dangerous mold can grow in your air conditioning ducts and the ill effects can be felt throughout the house. Causes include water intrusion through a roof or wall, plumbing problems, excessive humidity, poorly maintained air conditioning systems, dust or dirt buildup in the ducts, moisture filtration in the ducts or other reasons.
Once the presence of excessive mold is confirmed, the root causes of the mold growth must be corrected or the mold will return quickly. Perhaps the air conditioning coils are dirty or there is sawdust or other organic material in the duct work. What ever the reasons, the professionals at ITC Restoration will correct the underlying causes of mold growth in the ducts and remove the mold growth using the most effective techniques available.
Q. What is Black Mold?
A. “Black Mold” is a type of mold that appears black or green in color and has been proven to be harmful to humans and pets. Technically named “ stachybotrys chartarum” , Black Mold produces trichotecene mycotoxin, which are some of the most harmful mycotoxins found in the environment and are considered very dangerous when inhaled by humans.
Q. How does mold spread?
A. Mold spreads through microscopic “spores” which are not visible to the eye and travel through indoor and outdoor air currents. When working in an area prevalent with mold, it is necessary to “seal off” the area to prevent further contamination from mold spores. Also any mold infested materials , must be bagged and transported safely out of the building to prevent further contamination.
Q. Can mold grow in my dryer vent?
A. Yes, laundry rooms and dryer vents are particularly susceptible to mold. Mold thrives in areas that are moist, with organic material and minimal air flow and so if there is lint buildup in your dryer vent, you’ve got all three mold factors.
Dryer vents with a lint buildup are a frequent cause of household fires and so they should be periodically cleaned and inspected to make sure they are venting properly outside with no moisture leakage.
Q. What are the most common sources of mold?
A. The sources of mold problems in your home are typically caused by flooding, leaky roofs, damp crawl spaces or attics, persistent plumbing leaks, shower/bath steam, wet clothes, and even your air conditioning system itself. Once disturbed, mold sends out spores and those spores can cause irritation and sometimes worse reactions in the elderly, very young, sick or immune system compromised.