5 signs of water damage

Have you noticed a new stain on your ceiling? A funny smell when you walk into your basement? These could be indications that your home has water damage! Here are a few tips to help you determine if a water intrusion is affecting your home:

1. Water stains: Whether you are purchasing a new home or water stains appear in your current residence, water stains are not to be ignored. If there is no clear indication where the water is coming from, hire an expert to inspect your home and find the source of intrusion.

Stained wood due to water damage

Stained wood due to water damage

2. Musty smells: Have you noticed a change in odor in your home? Perhaps it smells damp, moldy, or musty. These can all be indications that your home is experiencing water damage; perhaps somewhere you don’t spend as much time like the attic or basement. Examine these often ignored areas thoroughly and call in a professional if the source cannot be found. If left unattended, the cause of the odor could cause costly damage.

3. Warped walls and floors: Water damage can cause wood to swell, resulting in buckling and bulging floors or walls. The longer the moisture sits in these spaces, the more extensive the damage can be. If you notice these changes in your home, address it immediately.

Buckled floors due to water damage

Buckled floors due to water damage

4. Inspect your pipes: Catching water damage before it starts can save you a lot of time and money. Check the pipes in your home for signs of leaking, corrosion or damage. Inspect caulking around sinks and bathtubs for signs of erosion. Inspect the water heater, making sure there are no signs of moisture or damage.

Exposed pipes

Exposed pipes with indications of water damage

5. Check the exterior of your home: Proper flashing, a well maintained roof, and correct run off from your home can help to prevent water damage. Check that your shingles are not cracked or missing and flashing is intact. Should you notice standing water outside your home you may need to asses run off and have the issue addressed.

 

 

Our hope is that you never have to call us for an issue with water damage! By knowing the indications of potential water damage to your home and how to respond, you can reduce your chances of unexpected home repair costs. Should you experience water damage to you home though, Kennedy Restoration can provide you with the knowledge and experience to make sure the issue is properly addressed.

Home maintenance calendar

Welcome to the New Year!  We hope you enjoyed the holidays and are excited about what 2015 will bring to you and yours!

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to take better care of your home?  If so, we have a list to help you throughout the year.  Broken down by month, here are some chores to take care of as you work towards keeping your home safe, energy efficient and in good working order:

calendar-660669_1280

 

January: Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.  Are your fire extinguishers in working order (do you know where they are?).  Review warranties and maintenance requirements on major appliances.

 

February: Check your home for signs of water damage and mold.  Inspect windows for incomplete seals and condensation.   Don’t forget areas that may not get as much foot traffic, like you attic and basement.  Neglect to these parts of your home may result in costly damage that could easily be remedied by early detection.

 

March: Check your roof!  How did it weather the winter wind and rain?  Check for lose or cracked shingles as these will only be further damaged by the sunny weather on the way.  Inspect flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and the chimney for damage as well.

 

April: Take a look around outside, what can be taken care of to de-clutter and freshen up your yard?  Throw away damaged flower pots and find new plants that will brighten your outdoor spaces.  Gather all the yard debris (fallen branches, leaves…) left over from the winter to prepare your lawn for a great spring and summer!

 

May: You guessed it, time for spring cleaning!  Whether you have hardwood, carpet or both, give your floors a bit of extra attention this month.  Now would be a great time to clean your windows, both inside and out and let all that lovely sunshine into your nice, freshly cleaned home!

 

June: Time to power wash your house, deck or patio!  The rain and weather from the winter and spring may have left your property dirty or mossy.  Take some time to address all the little nooks and crannies, your property will look great!

 

July: Summer is a great time to address areas of your home that may be costing you during the winter months. Perform an energy audit of your home by seeking out gaps around doors or windows where heat may be escaping your home.  These issues are more easily addressed in the summer months, your winter budget will thank you!

 

August: Make sure other creatures aren’t trying to invade your home!  Look for evidence of mice or rats by checking your home for droppings or nests.  These types of pests may also be indicated by holes and gnaw marks or an unusual odor in your home.  Check for signs of termites around your home as well.  Indicators of these pests include: hollow sounding wood in floors, walls or furniture, sagging wood, or frass (termite dropping).  Should you find signs of these pests, contact a professional to address the issue.

 

September:  Prepare for cooler weather by inspecting and, or cleaning your fire place.  Hire an inspector to ensure your fire place and chimney is in clean and working order.  It’s a good idea to have this inspection done once a year.

 

October: With leaves beginning to fall, it’s important to make sure gutters and downspouts are clear.  Clean your gutters of leaves and debris and inspect them for damage to ensure they are functioning properly.

 

November: With the temperatures starting to drop, now is a good time to inspect outdoor stairs and railings.  Railings that are broken or weak should be replaced to prevent slips on icy or wet steps.

 

December: Replace the filters in your heating and cooling systems.  During peak seasons of use, these should be changed monthly.

 

What would you add to this list?

 

Do you know mold?

Think you know mold?  Take our quiz and test your knowledge!

 

 

Mold can take root and propagate in areas of:

A.  Very low humidity

B.  High humidity

C.  Humidity has no affect on mold growth

 

 

Answer: B. Mold can take root and propagate in areas of high humidity.  Moisture and warmth are the food sources that allow mold to grow, both of which are found in areas of high humidity. 

 

Signs of mold can include:

A.  Visible indication of mold presence

B.  A musty smell

C.  Allergies or persistent illness

D.  All of the above

 

 

Answer: D. Signs of mold include: Visible indication of mold presence, a musty smell, or allergies and persistent illness.  Do not rely on visible signs of mold alone to confirm its presence.   

 

Which type of mold produces mycotoxins?

A. Black mold

B.  Food mold

C.  White mold

 

Answer: A. Which type of mold produces mytotoxins? Black mold.  Mycotoxicosis is the end result of prolonged exposure to mycotoxins produced by mold spores.  Extended contact with mold can lead to chronic inflammation resulting in a variety of symptoms.  These symptoms vary depending upon the type of mycotoxin, duration of exposure and pre-existing health conditions.

    

 

While mold exposure is potentially a health hazard for everyone, some groups of people are more likely to be affected than other.  Those people are:

A.  Pregnant women and children under the age of one

B.  The elderly,

C. Those with pre-existing lung conditions

D. All of the above

 

Answer: D. While mold exposure is potentially a health hazard for everyone, some groups of people are more likely to be affected than other.  Those people are:  pregnant women and children under the age of one, the elderly and those with pre-existing lung conditions.  Special caution should be taken to reduce the risk of exposure with these populations as they are more likely to be negatively affected by mold.    

 

 

If you suspect your home has a mold problem, the best course of action is:

A. Use household cleaners on the mold

 B.  Spray the mold with bleach

C.  Contact a professional to address the issue

D.  Ignore the mold growth situation

 

 

Answer: C. If you suspect your home has a mold problem, the best course of action is: contact a professional to address the issue.  Never ignore a mold issue as it will only grow over time and become more difficult to address.  Using household cleaners and bleach can also cause the mold spores to spread, causing more mold growth elsewhere.  Kennedy restoration provides mold remediation services with the precision, knowledge and extensive experience to keep you and your family safe from the potentially harmful effects of mold.  

 

 

 

How did you do?  Our mold technicians are extremely knowledgeable and skilled; we are always here to assist you should you find mold in your home. 

 

 

 

    

 

        

All About Mold

The majority of us spend most of our time indoors. Even during this wonderful weather, many people will only be able to enjoy it for a few hours after work and on the weekends. Living in the northwest means accepting that mold will eventually permeate these indoor spaces.  Mold prevention and extraction is extremely important to everyone’s health!

 Mold can take root and propagate in areas of high humidity.  Though an area may not seem damp to the touch, undetected moisture can provide the perfect habitat for mold to spread.  In order to grow mold needs both a food and a water source, which can both in found in these high humidity areas.   

 When inhaled, the body may ignore these mold spores and remain unaffected.  For others, however, mold may cause an allergic reaction, most commonly resulting in upper respiratory distress.  Those with asthma may also experience a heightened reaction to the inhalation of mold spores, causing shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, or a potential asthma attack.  Prolonged exposures to mold spores also have the potential to cause respiratory infections.

 Mold exposure may also cause far more serious health risks.  When the body takes on large amounts of mold spores, either through inhalation or ingestion, the results can be very dangerous.  Mycotoxicosis is the end result of prolonged exposure to mycotoxins produced by mold spores.  Extended contact with mold can lead to chronic inflammation resulting in a variety of symptoms.  These symptoms vary depending upon the type of mycotoxin, duration of exposure and pre-existing health conditions.

While mold exposure can potentially be dangerous for anyone, there are specific groups of people who are most likely to be affected by it.  Children under the age of one, the elderly, pregnant women and those with pre-existing lung conditions are more commonly agitated by mold spores. Special caution should be taken to reduce the risk of exposure with these populations. 

 Kennedy restoration provides mold remediation services with the precision, knowledge and extensive experience to keep you and your family safe from the potentially harmful effects of mold.  

 If you suspect mold growth in your house or workplace, it is important to contact a professional to address the issue.  Using household spray cleaners such as bleach on mold can actually exacerbate the issue.  The mold feels as though it is being attacked and fights back, releasing mycotoxins into the air and spreading spores, which are the seeds for new growth.  A qualified person such as an industrial hygienist or indoor environmental professional is the only certified person who can act as a 3rd party and help you to detect mold that is not visible with the naked eye.  Kennedy Restoration can do a visual mold assessment but we do not do mold testing.  Mold assessment, done by a certified 3rd party, can assist in identifying the species of mold and the extent of the mold hazard in a structure. This is commonly done via air sample testing, tape lift testing and visual inspection.  The hygienist can send samples to labs to be processed and then provide a written protocol for the remediator to follow. 

 As always, Kennedy Restoration is here to help should you discover a mold issue in your home that requires remediation.