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Mold: Who Is At Risk?

The CDC stated the best…”most people will not be harmed by most molds; however, some molds will harm anyone, and some people can be hard by any mold.” What that means is that some mold species are extremely toxigenic. This can include, but is not limited to: Penicillium, Aspergillus, Fusarium and Stachybotrys. Even the healthiest person can be harmed by these highly toxigenic mold species. On the flipside, most people will not be harmed by the less or non-toxigenic mold species.

People who are most susceptible to mold and reasons:

  • Young Children: A child’s respiratory system is not fully developed until after the age of two. That means that if they are exposed to high mold levels, that mold can do permanent respiratory and nervous system damage.
  • Elderly: The elderly have very low immunity systems which makes them very susceptible to the adverse health effects of mold exposure.
  • Anyone with lowered immunity systems will be more susceptible. This can include pregnant women, anyone who’s had recent surgery, anyone with an immune deficient illness such as HIV, or anyone with the genetic these disposition towards allergies such as asthma.

If you fall in one of those categories, mold can be quite harmful. Mold should always be taken serious, no matter what category you fall in. A quick and decisive action up front can prevent medical problems and extensive property damage later. As always, it costs nothing for Lightning Restoration to come out and do a free evaluation of the property to determine if further action is needed.

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Water Damage? Emergency Steps To Take & Safety Precautions

Every day, Lightning Restoration receives calls for water damage in homes and commercial properties. As a professional restoration company, we pride ourselves on an immediate response to those properties, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. It can be 2 in the afternoon, or 10am on Christmas morning. We will be there when you need us.

Some of our customers like to be proactive, while we are in route to their property. We often get the question, “What can I do while you are on your way?” The number one rule, is never do anything that you are not comfortable with or that will put you or the people around you in danger. Outside of that, here are a few quick tips:

Turn off the water: Know your home and its systems. Purchase a water meter key from your local home improvement store, if you have an in-ground meter. They are around $10. Some homes have a second valve, next to the outside hose faucet on the house. Check to see what you have and be familiar with how to turn off the water in your home. If a water loss happens, immediately turn that off.

Protect Your Furniture: If there is standing water, tear off small sheets of foil or plastic food wrap. Slide this under the legs of furniture, to protect them from absorbing the water and doing permanent damage. This will not only prevent damage to the furniture, but to the flooring as well. Dye can run off wood furniture into carpet, and permanently change the color of carpet in that spot. There is no way to remove a dye transfer.

Soak Up Excess Water: If you have some towels, that you don’t mind putting on the floor, place them on the standing water to soak up the extra. A household shop vacuum would be even better. Water will continue to travel, until it is forcibly extracted.

Use Local Weather to Help Start Drying: If the temperatures are cool outside (short period of the year here in Florida), and it is not raining, open the doors and windows. This will significantly drop the humidity levels in the property and allow us to get a good jump on the drying process.

Above All, Use Caution:

Be Careful of Electrical Items: Do not plug anything into a wall that may have absorbed water. Do not turn on any lights, ceiling fans or anything else that have water running out of them.

Be Careful of Slip Hazards: Most injuries surrounding water damage losses are from slips and falls. Be aware that any hard surface will be much more slippery when wet.

Remember, when it comes to water & mold damage, it costs nothing for Lightning Restoration to come out and evaluate your property for possible damage.

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Mold: It’s Everywhere

Mold is ubiquitous, meaning that it is found everywhere. Whether you are in the Mojave Desert or beautiful Tampa Florida, you are exposed to mold. Of course, the price that we pay by living in a tropical environment is that we have higher humidity and mold levels than many other places in the world. However, that may not be all that bad. Believe or not, mold has tremendous benefit to us every day. Mold is saprophytic, which means that its main purpose on this planet it to breakdown dead, organic materials. Without mold, we would be overrun with dead plants & bodies…ewweee.

Mold is also found in some of our favorite things, such as chocolate, beer, wine, cheese, penicillin, etc. What’s not to love about that. A nice bottle of wine, with a cheese sampler sounds like a nice way to spend an afternoon. Unfortunately, mold also has a significant negative side….that side that has adverse health effects. This comes from overexposure to mold, where it is contained in our homes & offices, constantly causing health problems. Buildings are made nearly air tight these days, making it difficult for the property to “breathe”. The result is that elevated mold conditions can be perpetuated in the home with the right conditions, such as high humidity/moisture, low air movement and the warm temperatures. The truth of the matter is that you will never be in a “mold free” environment. As you come in and out of your property, you bring mold with you. The key is to keep mold levels in the property right around or lower than they are outside. You can do this by monitoring your home for elevated moisture conditions and running your AC system at a good temperature to keep the humidity levels in check.