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Restoration USA Tips: The Importance Of Cleaning Your Home’s Gutters

Fall is here, and while the leaves may not be falling in droves where you live, this is still a great opportunity to make sure your home’s gutters are clean and functional.

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Back To School Mold: The Potential Dangers of Children Being Exposed To Mold

School is starting up and children are our future. We love seeing the little ones running around, learning new skills and taking on new hobbies. What we don’t want, is to jeopardize the health of the kids. Mold can be something that hinders the path of our children. The harmful effects need to be known and mold remediation is a necessity.

The Mystery

Effects of mold are more known now than ever. That doesn’t mean everyone is safe or really knows what is happening in their homes. It is pretty difficult to determine whether or not symptoms are tied to mold, especially if the possibility of it isn’t thought of.

Mold produces tiny spores that not only trigger growth but also diminish the quality of the air. When humans are exposed to these spores, they can be inhaled and cause neutral allergic reactions that the body uses as a defense mechanism against foreign objects. Reactions to mold are different from person to person, which makes it hard to gauge what the symptoms are from. Children are among the most prone to the negative effects of mold, and the severity depends on what type of mold, the amount of exposure, and proximity of the mold to their daily routines.

Here are different symptoms children may experience when mold is in your home:

Skin Irritation

Black mold poses a threat to the skin. When spores enter the body through the skin, irritation, itching, and rashes are a definite possibility. This is much more prevalent in children because they often times are more hands on. Younger kids like to touch everything and this gives mold direct access to their skin.

Eye Irritation

On average, people touch their face 3,000 times a day. 3,000! With such a large number, it is no surprise that mold can get close to, if not in, the eyes of our little angels. When mold comes in contact with eye cells, it can cause inflammation and create vision problems. Itchy, watery, bloodshot, soreness, and puffy eyes all accompany the presence of mold. Along with that, blurred vision can come into play and that is not something we want, especially for our children.

Respiratory Problems

Studies have shown that living in a mold infested home correlates to respiratory issues in children. Different problems may arise when inhaling mold spores like these:

  • Wheezing
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itchy nose
  • Sinus congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Other flu-like symptoms

Kids with asthma are even more at risk for problems when the mold is combating their immune system. Mold can trigger more frequent attacks and exasperate the lung disease.

Black mold, in particular, can cause burning sensations in the nasal cavity, throat, and mouth. If spores get lodges in any of the sinuses and mucus membranes, it can lead to severe breathing problems, bleeding in lungs, and even death.

 Neurological Problems

The trichothecene mycotoxins in black mold do more than just affect the airways, skin, and eyes. If it wasn’t already bad enough, black mold spores can kill neurons and impair brain functions. This can cause mood swings, nervous disorders, and irritability. Common neurological problems include:

  • Slowed reflexes
  • Dizziness
  • headaches/migraines
  • Memory loss
  • Depression and anxiety
  • confusion/disorientation
  • Shortened attention span
  • Numbness
  • trembling/shaking

Problems like this can really hinder a child’s ability to develop. Learning and partaking in hobbies can stall. With even just one of these problems, there is a constant crisis on a kid’s growth in school and in their childhood.

Black Mold In The Bloodstream

When black mold finds its way into the bloodstream, vascular and circulatory problems may occur like irregular heartbeat, heart damage, inflammation in the heart, low blood pressure, too much or too little clotting,  and internal/external hemorrhaging.

Other Possible Problems

A number of other issues can affect your children due to the exposure of mold:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Weakness and general discomfort

How Does Mold Grow And What Can Be Done About It?

Mold requires little water to survive. In fact, just a little bit of moisture can cause mold to thrive and create an infestation. With tropical weather conditions, Florida is always at risk for mold. Problems skyrocket in some seasons too. School starts in the midst of hurricane season and this is when the mold is very much in power.

Small cracks and poor construction quality can let water in with ease. Within 48 hours, mold can already get a hold on life and move in. More time and more water can allow mold to spread around the home and get into areas that make matters worse. As mold spreads to air ducts, the fans will blow spores all over the house and allow it to latch onto furniture and other areas that are not confined to the walls.

How can you know when you have a mold problem? For starters, there are some easy baseline guides to discover an infestation. Musky earthy smells come from mold, so if your home has a very unpleasant smell, it can be a sign. Another routine check is to inspect the walls. Look for blotches or streaks of discoloration. Mold can cause the walls and other components to turn gray, black and even green. In this instance, your problem is already bigger than you might think.

Getting Rid Of Mold

Areas that are most commonly wet, like showers, are classified as a one man job. Some store-bought cleaners and sanitizers may be all you need to fix this. But when mold spread around to other areas of the home and is in larger quantities, cleaning it yourself may actually do more harm than good. Spraying and scrubbing these areas can cause mold to spread around as well as fling into the air.

When this occurs, it is best to leave this task to the professionals. It is good to know what your plan of action will be and making a call to a restoration company should be a part of it. Restoration USA is ready to help you tackle this job.

Making The Call

Calling is the first step of the process. This initial call is vital and lets us know what we will be coming to when we arrive on site. Other information in this call may include:

  • The full name of the property owner
  • Contact information
  • Homeowner’s  or property insurance policy information
  • The street address that the property is located at
  • More general information on the look/smell of the mold, or why you suspect mold may be in the property

Keeping these details on hand will make the call much smoother. Once a team arrives, we will take a look at the property and evaluate it. We will take into account any banned materials like asbestos insulation and lead paint. Removing these hazardous materials is a must.

When we are done with the inspection, we will gauge the cost and work directly with your insurance company so you can get back to your busy schedule.

Removing mold will be our next step. Restoration USA uses IICRC approved equipment to get this underway. We will remove affected areas of the home and dispose of them properly. Then we will implement our industrial air scrubbers to clean the air, and other areas that can’t be reached by hand – spores like to get into every nook and cranny.

After the mold is completely removed the smells will be taken care of with the further use of our air scrubbers. To combat nasty aromas even further, we will deodorize and sanitize the home and rid it of these smells completely.

 Go With The Pros!

Restoration USA knows how important your children are to you. We want to keep everyone safe and get them back to healthy living. With over 25 years of service, we know the ins and outs of mold remediation. We will work at your convenience and set up times that best fit into your schedule. Our team is ready to assist you at any time. We know that problems need to be compromised as soon as possible, so we offer 24 hour emergency service. If you notice any of these symptoms in your children, yourself, or anyone else in the home, give us a call at (866)-745-6428 or fill out the contact form on our mold removal page. Let your kids blossom and eliminate mold as quickly as possible; problems grow exponentially as time goes on so don’t wait it out!

Restoration USA Tips: How To Protect Your Property From Storm Surge

Galveston, Texas & Storm Surge

In the year 1900, hurricane detection technology like Doppler radars, computer models, and hurricane hunter air planes did not exist. Due to this, hurricanes were, for the most part, a total surprise when they made landfall. It starts as some heavy rains the day before landfall. Quickly, this turns into intense winds and flooding that can entirely decimate property and end countless lives.

Enter Galveston, Texas, September 7th, 1900. Unbeknownst to most the residents, an incredibly powerful hurricane spun at an incredible 130 mph just off of the coast of their city. The Weather Bureau reported that a storm had hammered the Caribbean and seemed to be headed in the direction of Texas.  Many people in Galveston were unaware that a hurricane was headed in their direction.  Many of the people that were aware didn’t heed the warnings of The Weather Bureau. These people instead opted to view the show that the hurricane would provide once it made landfall.

Those that opted to stay in Galveston were in for a little more than a show. When the Hurricane made landfall on September 8th, 1900, it devastated the entire city. A storm surge that got as high as 15 feet severely flooded the island as well as the majority of the Texas coast. Many people escaped the storm surge, but by the time the storm passed over Galveston, an estimated 12,000 people had lost their lives.

 Storm Surge: The Most Deadly Aspect Of A Hurricane

Contrary to popular belief, the wind and heavy rains aren’t the most dangerous aspects of a hurricane. People that live in a hurricane zone should be prepared year round for all dangers that hurricanes present – and storm surge is no exception. 88% of hurricane-related deaths in the U.S is the result of storm surge.

Storm surge forms as hurricanes travel over warm waters. This allows the storm to absorb moisture and heat from the water, which strengthens the hurricane. Storm surges can be thought of as a wall of water that will inevitably make it to shore. This wall of water can be massive – in the case of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina – 28 feet high in parts of Gulfport, Mississippi. When a hurricane brings along storm surge as it makes landfall it seems like the ocean has come onto land — sometimes as far as 2 miles inland.

Storm surge is an incredibly destructive force – but it is possible to protect your property from the dangers that storm surge can present.

The Effects Of Storm Surge On A Coastal Highway

The Effects Of Storm Surge On A Coastal Highway in Pensacola, FL

Protecting Your Property From Storm Surge

Water has the ability to travel wherever it pleases. When storm surge threatens an area, there really isn’t much that can be done to negate this powerful force of nature. One of the few options that property owners have to try and defend their home from the potential damage that storm surge can cause is protecting the foundation of the home with sandbags. Sandbags around the Foundation will ensure that the building isn’t ripped from the foundation and swept away in the force of the storm surge. Covering vents with sandbags guarantees that no water makes its way into the property.

Being prepared is the number one way to minimize loss of life in the event of severe storm surge. Being prepared for storm surge means knowing if you live in a storm-surge prone area or not. Also, how to contact your family members, and how to evacuate. Before a hurricane makes landfall, take an inventory all of your property. This will allow you to see what you’ve lost during the storm – for both personal, and insurance reasons.

To keep your family safe, you should create an emergency supply kit. This includes extra clothing for all family members, battery-powered radios, flashlights, batteries, canned food, and 1 gallon of water per person, per day. To learn more about the emergency supply kit, check out this post from the Restoration USA blog.  

Real estate and restoration experts alike will tell you the best way to protect your home from storm surge is to purchase flood insurance. Usually, homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding caused by storm surges.

Options Are Limited When Storm Surge Strikes

Truth be told, there isn’t much you can do when storm surge threatens your property. If you’re in an area that is prone to inundation by storm surge, then evacuation is your best option. Remember: your property and belongings can be replaced; the lives of your loved ones cannot.

Go With The Pros!

Restoration USA has over 25 years combined experience working in the disaster restoration field. With over 2 decades working in the South Florida area, Restoration USA is no stranger to hurricanes. Want to learn more about the services we offer? Would you like to receive a free home evaluation? Visit online at http://www.restorationusa.com/ or call toll-free at (866) 745-6428

Restoration USA Tips: Removing The Odor After A Fire

When faced with a house fire, nothing really goes the way you want. Fire is wild and rarely can be predicted.

Obliterating whatever it touches, fires are a real problem – especially in the home. The necessity of putting out a fire is great, and the aftermath is something to take into account. If everything is not burned, then the structure may remain and some of your personal belongings will be left as well. When all’s said and done, the next step is to restore your home. In doing so, the fire damage and smoke damage will need to be assessed and taken care of.

In order to comfortably return to your home after a fire, you will most likely want to rid everything of the smell left by the smoke. Taking away these awful odors is sometimes a task, but there are some remedies you can use to get the ball rolling.

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Restoration USA Tips: The Importance Of Emergency Roof Repair

Roofs are meant to keep the home safe. This keeps out water, debris and any other foreign objects. When a sudden trauma happens to a roof, the people inside and their property is likely in danger. In the event of a home emergency it is crucial to make a call before the structural problems branch out. Read more

Restoration USA Tips: Summer Home Maintenance In Florida

Summer in Florida is here!

Summer in Florida is here!

Florida’s climate brings designation for beach trips and fun in the sun during summer. This time not only delivers the opportunity for these activities, but also entitles time for maintenance to your home. The following tips can assist you in keeping your home in prime shape in the long run.

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Restoration USA Tips: Understanding The Risks Associated With Flooding

Florida tends to experience the same weather year-round. This tropical climate seems to attract many people from abroad to move down. With minimal fluctuation, Florida inherits the idea and assumption of beauty. Though not all know, Florida experiences a very wet season around summertime; which can cause problems the average person didn’t even think of.

Since Florida’s elevation is low compared to most other states around the US,  there is always the risk of floods. During the rainy season, this risk skyrockets. Recently, South Florida was hit with a wave of storms that resulted in the flooding of public roads and neighborhoods. Forcing people to get to higher ground or paddle their way around, these floods instantly show that they are no joke. This year, records in many areas for rainfall have been broken. Record breaking is not always a happy process, as we have seen lately. This amount of rain can only be drained at rates that are regularly maintainable, but it seems the sewers are no match for this year’s wave.

Flooding From Last Week's Rain

Flooding From Last Week’s Rain

Living in flood zones

Flood zones are marked out on maps as places that are more at risk than others. This includes areas with lower elevation, like coastal cities FEMA has established zones V and A that describe hazardous areas. Properties located right near the beach are at risk for rising tides and flooding intracostals due to severe rain – zone V. Other zones include areas that are near lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water – zone A. Looking at South Florida in particular, there are tons of areas that qualify. If you live in a flood zone, you probably have already experienced some of the problems that come with these rains. Flooding tends to come right from the gutters onto to streets and even up your driveway. More at-risk areas even have water rising to their doorstep.

Living in less hazardous areas

Flooding is not distinct to lower level areas. Even areas that are further up from the “Base Flood Elevation” (FEMA) are still at risk. Since floods do still occur above these levels, it looks like properties are not all safe from Florida’s recent downpour. Even homes that are less likely to endure floods are taking on more than just minor puddles.

Complications of flooding

Flooding inhibits a long line of problems. When water inches up to a home or other property, it is likely to hinder everyday activity. Whether it be minor walkway obstacles or severe damage issues, no fight with a flood is fun. In the event that water comes into the home, the structural integrity can be imperiled. Starting with that, parts of the building, especially older material, are likely to be damaged. When water comes in contact with walls and floors of a home, warping and bloating seems to follow close behind. With even small amounts of water or humidity, there is a threshold for mold. Mold needs little water to thrive in an area and can come within 48 hours of water contact. This can cause numerous health issues if the problem is not taken care of in a timely fashion.

 What if water does get into my property?

Property damage is a devastating feat that may come into the picture with the existence of unwelcome water. Even when damage is not visible, it could be present. The best way to be sure on how to deal with flood water intrusion is to evaluate the property. Everyone should do routine checks just to be safe, even if your home seems to not be at risk. To assess possible damages, checking the floors and walls for dampness is a good start. If the walls are damp, there is likely water coming into your home. Another great indicator of this is a moist, earthy odor. Smells like this are a great indicator of water invasion.

If your property is potentially damaged by water, experts can surely evaluate the premises. Restoration USA is an experienced team that specializes in detecting damage by floods. At-risk homes and businesses are recommended get assessments and Restoration USA has top-notch equipment to make sure you know what the next step is toward repairing your water damage situation.

Restoration USA Tips: Remodeling After Water Damage

There are many ways that a home can be afflicted by flooding. Overflowing bodies of water, storm surges, heavy rains, a broken dam, or even a burst pipe inside the home. The way that it entered your home aside, water damage is a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, the process of getting a house back to its former glory after water damage is a grueling, and expensive one. Read more

Restoration USA Mold Removal Tips: Top 8 Hidden Hot-spots For Mold Growth

When mold grows indoors it can harm people, pets, and property. The potential dangers that mold brings is something that should be common knowledge for any home owner. Dark, moist areas like basements and crawl spaces are the areas that most people expect mold to show its ugly face. Unfortunately, mold has been known to show up in areas that people would never imagine. Here are some of the more uncommon areas to harbor mold:

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5 Things To Keep In Mind When Your Home Experiences Water Damage

Whether it’s an overflowing sink, bad weather, a backed up sewer, or even a burst pipe, it’s important that you act as quickly as possible to prevent more damage from occurring. Always call for professional help when water damage occurs, but there are some additional steps the home owner can take to minimize damages. Here are some tips to help you out when the unexpected occurs:

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