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It’s HVAC Leak Season

hvac systemOutside temperatures are soaring, HVAC air conditioning systems are running constantly as a result. When the hot air of your house gets sucked into your HVAC system return and travels past the coiling coil the result will be an accumulation of water / moisture at the coil location. Your HVAC air handler / blower will collect the condensation water & direct it through a pipe away from the unit. If your blower is in your attic, this condensation line will be pitched toward your gutter where gravity can allow the drainage water to easily drain down to the ground below. Homes that have air handlers in a basement will often have no available way to gravity drain this condensation water to the exterior, in these situations the water is gravity drained to an electrically fed condensation pump. The condensation pump will have the ability to pump the water vertically into a higher internal sewer line or possibly out the exterior via a pipe drilled through the foundation.

Most HVAC systems will not only have this primary condensation drain but will also have a secondary condensation pan (a.k.a. drip pan) below the condensation coil. This pan can collect quite a bit of water if the primary drain is not draining sufficiently. Typically, this secondary drain would get directed to the same gutter location but instead of dumping water into the gutter the installers direct this water over the gutter so homeowners can be alerted to act immediately if they ever see water dripping from this secondary condensation drain. Water exiting this secondary drain means that the primary drain is not functioning properly. There may also be a “high water” shutoff switch within the drip pan to act as a unit “cut-off” switch which would stop the unit from working. The triggering of this switch means that the primary & secondary drain both are likely clogged, and the drip pan is becoming very full.

flood in the basement
Once your HVACs condensation system stops draining away water as designed you can be faced with a substantial internal water condition.

Once your HVAC system condensation system stops draining away water as designed you can be faced with a substantial internal water condition equivalent to leaving a water faucet turned on. The amount of internal water damage to ceilings, walls, floors can be extensive and very costly to cleanup & repair. If this leak occurs when you are at work, or even worse, while on vacation, the ensuing damages can be catastrophic especially with the specter of advanced microbial growth in higher temperature locations like attics, closets and other non-cooled areas of your dwelling.

It’s HVAC leak season, be sure to have regular servicing of your HVAC system

It’s HVAC leak season, best to take a preventative approach by having your air handler condensation lines cleaned prior to turning on your air conditioning units. Regular servicing of your HVAC system should be done with yearly cleaning & maintenance. During this maintenance process the filters would get replaced, the coil would get cleaned and most importantly the condensation line that directs the water away from the air handler would be flushed / cleaned. For those who have sustained internal damage from an HVAC leak or overflow of the drip pan, we recommend you have a water damage cleanup contractor come do an emergency cleanup & dehumidification of the affected areas to prevent the rapid onslaught of dangerous mold growth.

For more information on other water damage related topics, please visit our blog @ truerestorations.com/blog

The True Restorations Team

How to Prevent a Costly Mold Cleanup

Water damage restoration contractors come across this scenario often, especially during the spring & summer seasons as temperatures heat up. The way to accomplish turning a $5K water job into a $20K mold job is as follows…

First, at a minimum, you will need a substantial onetime water condition like a flooded basement from a burst pipe or a defective boiler in a typical residential home or commercial structure. Multiple water leak events or continual slow leak conditions make your chances much more likely to achieve this award. The second most critical aspect is to do an improper water mitigation & de-humidification. That is all you need, wasn’t that easy???

All kidding aside, the above is accurate and not exactly funny if you are the owner of the dwelling or space. Whenever we restoration contractors hear stories about a previous leak or leaks, our ears perk up. We immediately look for the tell-tale signs of mold growth, like black mold behind the base moldings or door casings. Seeing some visible mold growth in these spots are like seeing the tip of an iceberg. There is likely a large area of mold growth on the back side of the sheetrock, out of view, which is the real concern and often very difficult to determine how bad & far reaching the growth is.

In NYS there are strict mold testing & remediation guidelines. Only a NYS licensed mold testing companies can legally test for the presence of dangerous levels of mold. They are also the only company type that can confirm with post testing that a successful mold remediation was done. NYS guidelines also state that only a licensed mold remediation contractor can perform the necessary mold removal & mold cleaning protocols as outlined by the testing company. Further stated in the NYS guidelines, the remediation company cannot do the testing & the testing company cannot perform the remediation on the same project.

Hidden Mold
It’s the mold you cant see in between the walls, that is the major concern.

The mold remediation process is detailed, time consuming & very costly. Take some advice from a pro, DO NOT attempt to cleanup & dehumidify a large water condition on your own, without the proper equipment & know how. Most homeowners think they can turn on a few small fans & tiny dehumidifiers to solve the problem. The reality is they likely only evaporated the visible standing water into the air which created an elevated moisture environment throughout the entire space. This simple act creates a perfect condition for unseen mold growth. You see how easy it is to make a simple water cleanup job into a very large & costly mold remediation project?

If you have a known, repeating water leak or continuous high moisture condition, as is common for many homes with basements on Long Island, you should act swiftly on neutralizing this condition ASAP.

If you or a friend has an emergency condition involving water or mold, the first call should be to a restoration contractor for a site visit for a complete, professional no cost evaluation & consultation. Please consider the information presented in this blog before making the decision to tackle a job like this on your own. For more information on other water, smoke, fire & mold restoration please visit our blog https://truerestorations.com/blog/

For more on mold, including the Do’s & Don’t s, please visit our site https://truerestorations.com/mold-damage-restoration/

Regards,

The True Restorations Team

Long Island NY’s Trusted Partner in Complete Mold Removal and Remediation

Your Trusted Partner in Mold Removal and Remediation

moldA top Mold Remediation Company, True Restorations specializes in complete mold removal and damage restoration in the counties of Suffolk and Nassau of Long Island NY covering mold cleanup, mold mitigation, and mold abatement. Being at the top should make them trustworthy, right?

At True Restorations, it is not the company that upholds our service, it is our people. Composed of a team of mold removal experts who have experience remediating mold, True Restorations ensures that the NY state mold testing & remediation guidelines are followed.  The guidelines dictate that only a licensed mold testing company can determine the type of mold along with developing a remediation plan to safely remove all mold affected interior finishes affected. Additionally, the testing company cannot perform the remediation work, a separate licensed mold remediation company is needed to execute the mold remediation plan….True Restorations possesses the NY state licenses for mold remediation & license to provide supervisory of the mold remediation plan.

Mold infestation can attack anyone’s home or business. So long as you have a water source in your working or living space, you are at risk of getting exposure to mold.

Mold can generally spread within 24 to 72 hours but there are different strains of mold, some more aggressive than others. True Restorations are experts at solving mold-related problems just one click and you can consult them to know what kind of mold you’re dealing with.

Do you reside in Long Island? Our mold specialists in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Massapequa, Northport, and Sayville of Long Island NY are just one call way to help you guide with the whole process for elevating the levels of the mold by identifying & testing the issue. True Restorations is an NYS Licensed mold remediation contractor who not only remediates the mold condition but also provides the necessary repairs to restore the interior finishes removed during the process.

Understanding Mold And It’s Effects

The truth of the matter is, mold is found everywhere in the atmosphere both indoor and outdoor. Mold spores are microscopic and can enter your home through doors, windows, air vents and even air conditioning systems.

However, once mold spores start growing into colonies as a result of exposure to water, then you have a problem. Mold spreads by attaching onto biological food sources such as cellulose that is found in some building constituents such as drywall and wood. Once exposed to water, mold grows fast.

Exposure to mold can cause breathing difficulties, allergic reactions, skin irritation, headaches and even aggravation of asthma symptoms.

How To Detect Mold

A visible indication that you might have mold are dark spots on your walls, floors, and/or ceiling. Mold also produces a musty odor which may precipitate respiratory and allergic reactions. A definitive identification can only be made by having a mold sample taken & sent to a lab for evaluation, this is typically done by an industrial hygienist (IH). The IH (mold identification expert) will not only determine the type of mold but will also establish a mold removal protocol for the licensed remediation contractor. Upon completion of the mold removal, the IH will also provide site testing to ensure the complete removal of the mold.

Mold can also compromise the physical structure of your residence so ignoring it is not an option. You should also note that mold is not always visible; sometimes it grows in walls and under floors, therefore, you can’t rely on the visible signs exclusively to determine if there is mold in your home.

If you suspect or notice any of the signs above, call our mold specialist for a consult and they will be able to coordinate a mold inspection by an IH and determine the best course of mold cleanup.

Mold Removal And Remediation

The truth of the matter is that it is impossible to get rid of mold entirely. Why? Mold spores exist naturally in the atmosphere.

A competent company such as ours keeps it real with you. We understand the science behind how mold develops and grows. Our mold specialists carry out a thorough mold inspection and assess the mold damage if any. Next, they determine the cause of mold growth and develop a strategic plan to fix it; be it a leaking pipe or roof.

Next, we develop a mold remediation plan which includes first cleaning up existing mold while avoiding exposure to oneself as well as the home/office residents.

Once the cause of mold growth; be it from a leaked piped or roof has been fixed, we isolate the contaminated area. This means closing all doors and windows in the area. Doorways and any other openings should at this point sealed with polyethylene paper and duct tape to ensure the infestation doesn’t spread to any other parts of your home or office.

After that, you need to suppress dust and this is done by misting the contaminated space. Once misting is complete, all the wet and mold damaged permeable items are removed from the space.

Mold clean up follows thereafter to get rid of any visible mold from non-porous surfaces and items. Depending on the environment and extent of damage, we may use simple cleaning tools such as wire brushes and disposable wipes, or detergent solutions with vacuum cleaners.

Once cleaning is done, the space and all items therein must be air dried to allow any leftover moisture evaporate. Remember, mold thrives in moist environments so keeping the space dry and airy is key.

Lastly, replacement of the porous damaged items earlier removed is done. And Voila! Your home and/or business are now mold free.

Ascertaining If Remediation Worked

So your space is not cleaned up, dry, and airy. But how will you know if the mold clean up worked?

To be 100% sure that your mold problems are over, you must ensure that the issue which caused molding in the first place has been adequately fixed to avoid a recurrence.

Secondly look out for health symptoms that were present during the mold manifestation. If you and/or your family/ colleagues continue to have allergic reactions or irritations even after the mold cleanup, consult a mold specialist to come do another inspection so as to ascertain if the health conditions are as a result of a greater underlying issue.

Keeping Mold At Bay

Like earlier mentioned, mold spores are in the atmosphere and it’s impossible to get rid of them entirely but you can prevent an infestation or recurrence using the following simple guidelines:

1.    Keep the humidity levels in your home or office low. How you wonder? Opening windows or running fans when showering is a good start. Ensuring that all appliances that create moisture in your home have a vent is also a great way of managing humidity levels.

2.    A good number of mold infestations stem from leaking roofs because most homeowners don’t pay much attention to their roof until a problem arises. Keep tabs on your roof ensuring that there are no leakages; the gutters are clean and stable.

3.    Clogged air conditioner pans and drain lines can contribute towards moisture buildup so ensure they are always clean.

4.    You may consider investing in a dehumidifier which helps keep the temperatures in your space up while getting rid of excess moisture.

Remember, mold removal, clean up and remediation is not a Layman’s task especially if the damage is severe. We at We at True Restorations and Construction are absolutely available 24/7 to help you deal with your mold challenges.

 

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