Monday, December 31, 2018

Dangers of Water Damage

The effects of water damage can jeopardize your health as well as your home’s health, and the longer water damage goes untreated, the worse its results are likely to be. This article will touch on some of the common types of water damage and what can happen as a result of untreated water damage.

Water Damage from Flooding

Damage from floods can be considered the most drastic and hazardous to health. Floodwater can carry any number of contaminants into your home, including infectious microbes, chemical waste, and sewage.

Neglected water damage from a flood can lead to various forms of mold, which can aggravate asthma, allergies and other respiratory conditions and cause throat, nose, and eye irritation. Some mold spore varieties can also result in fungal infections that cause spores to multiply inside a person’s body. The worst type of mold to avoid is toxic mold (also called black mold), which at its worst can even cause death.

In order to thoroughly extract the dampness and disinfect the area, professionals with the proper equipment and protective gear are going to be the best solution. You’ll want to call them as soon as possible to avoid any of the dangerous aforementioned problems with mold spores.

Water Damage from Plumbing Problems

Your home can experience plumbing-related water damage from things like overflowing toilets, burst pipes, or malfunctioning sump pumps. Unfortunately, this water can be quite dirty and terrible-smelling.

When cleaning up water from a plumbing problem, it’s important to protect yourself by wearing goggles, a respirator mask, gloves, and other clothing that will keep your skin from coming in direct contact with the dirty water. It’s also vitally important to disinfect the area once it’s dry in order to get rid of any contaminants the water left behind.

Water Damage from Appliance Leaks

This type of water damage comes from appliances like your washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher, water heater, etc., so the damage can typically be found in places like the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. The good news is that this water is “clean”, as opposed to dirty water that comes from a plumbing leak. The important thing is to act quickly because mold will start growing within one to two days:

  1. Shut off the source of the water.
  2. Wash the soaked area.
  3. Dry the soaked area to the best of your ability to keep mold from growing.

In some cases, an extractor may need to be used to get the water completely out of the carpet so that the carpet pad won’t need to be replaced.

Water Damage from Humidity

Some water damage doesn’t even come from a leak--it can result from high indoor humidity levels, often found in areas like crawlspaces, basements, and bathrooms. The problems arise when that humid air condenses, especially where you can’t see it, such as above the ceiling or behind walls. This can result in structural damage to your home, as well as mold growth.

Your first clue that this kind of water damage is taking place might be a foul, musty odor, or you might literally see mold growth or water stains on walls, tile, underneath your sink, or on the back of your toilet. An appropriately sized dehumidifier can help prevent and combat problems with high humidity, but if you're already seeing or smelling the signs of water damage, it’s best to call a professional to keep the problem from persisting or worsening.

If you know or even suspect that you have water damage in your home or building, it’s a good idea to call a professional to make sure that no damage or health hazards are accumulating. Contact GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration for a non-destructive visual survey and indoor evaluation.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

How Your Crawl Space Affects Your Home’s Air Quality

The old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind”, could apply quite well to many people’s crawl spaces. What they don’t imagine or realize is just how much of an impact a crawl space has on the air in their main living space.

What’s Happening Inside Too Many Crawl Spaces

What happens inside a crawl space is directly affected by the weather and temperatures outside of it. The most ventilation your crawl space receives probably comes from a conveniently-directed gust of wind or pressure changes. Even so, nearly all crawl spaces are not well-ventilated, and this causes stagnant air to gather inside.
Moisture is also drawn into the crawl space due to a few different factors:
  • The dryness of the dirt inside it compared to the dirt around the foundation
  • Your house drawing moisture up from the ground
  • Warm, humid air on hot days entering the cooler environment of the crawl space through foundation vents, thereby increasing the humidity
When that moisture evaporates, the water vapor will rise and settle in various areas, such as the floor insulation or ductwork. In the warmer months, the increased humidity caused by warm air entering the crawl space results in condensation that can also settle on the ductwork and floor insulation, as well as the subfloor and floor joists.

What You Didn’t Want to Know About Your Crawl Space

If you have a crawl space, it’s probably not well-ventilated because most crawl spaces aren’t. This lack of ventilation results in stagnant air.
Now, remember that moisture and condensation we were just mentioning? Here’s the bad news: not only does the condensation lead to mold or even radon growth--the damp, musty environment being created down below along with all of that stagnant air becomes a habitat for unwanted pests, namely rodents and termites. In other words, your crawl space becomes an ideal environment for things far less than ideal.

How Crawl Space Air Gets into Your Home

You’ve probably experienced how upstairs rooms during summertime are a lot hotter than the rooms downstairs. This is because cooler air is drawn up from below as the warm air in your house rises. This is how that cooler air from your crawl space enters your house, which can be quite problematic if that air is smelly or of poor quality.
Using the exhaust fans in your bathroom or kitchen might worsen the problem. Running those fans creates negative pressure in your house, which will then pull in air from the outdoors and from your crawl space. If your HVAC system is located in the crawl space, even more of that dirty air might be finding its way into your house. Dank air can creep into leaks in your ductwork or air filter and then be circulated by your HVAC throughout the entire house.

In Need of a Clean Crawl Space?

If you’re noticing poor air quality, moisture issues, or bad odors in your home, a dirty crawl space might be the culprit. GreenPro offers professional, bio-friendly cleaning services, including an EPA-registered, non-toxic, chemical-free, botanical fungistat/disinfectant that kills 99.99% of harmful odor-causing bacteria.
Schedule your free inspection today!

Friday, December 14, 2018

You Might Need an Air Duct Cleaning If…

If you own a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, at some point it’s going to need a thorough cleaning. It’s important to know what factors might be increasing your need for a professional cleaning sooner rather than later, and the information below can help!
You might need an air duct cleaning if...

…You Have Pets

If you have pets, they are most likely spending a lot of time indoors, especially during the colder months of the year. What you might not know is that your pet is continuously dropping off pet dander that can travel all over your house, wherever your pet goes, wherever you go, and wherever there’s an air vent--basically everywhere.
Dander itself is skin flakes that all animals produce, and dander--not hair--is what causes people with animal-related allergies to have an allergic reaction. Over time, your pet’s dander will find its way into your air ducts, where it will collect and be released by your HVAC throughout each room of your house. As a result, your home air quality will start to diminish.

...You Have Allergies or Even Asthma

Literally millions of Americans suffer from allergies and asthma. On an annual basis, 50 million Americans are suffering from allergies, and 24 million are affected by asthma. So what does this have to do with air ducts?
As you can probably guess, components of your HVAC system can become coated with dust, allergens, spores, and other irritants that then get pushed out into your home, affecting its air quality. If you suffer from allergies and asthma, having clean air ducts may help lessen the volume of air particles triggering your symptoms.

...Children or Elderly Individuals Live in Your House

Children and the elderly can be especially susceptible to the harmful effects of poor air quality. While many people may know this, research from the American Lung Association has revealed that 87% of Americans don’t know that the indoor air in most American homes is actually more polluted than the air outdoors. Keeping this in mind, it’s also important to remember that children and the elderly--especially those with respiratory or cardiovascular diseases--are probably spending more time indoors than anyone else.
Before welcoming a newborn baby or an elderly parent into your home, you may want to inspect the cleanliness of your HVAC system to help ensure a cleaner living space and prevent allergic reactions and illness.

...Someone in Your Household Smokes Indoors

While smoking can be detrimental to your health, it can also increase your need for an air duct cleaning. Unfortunately, when someone smokes indoors, the smoke doesn’t have many places to go. It’s almost a certainty that it will be pulled through your air ducts and that the smell will start to saturate your home. Even if you are not particularly bothered by the smell, the smoke particles are also going to be forced back into the home by the HVAC system, which could cause guests to become ill or suffer an allergic reaction or asthma attack.
It’s perfectly normal for your air ducts to need a professional cleaning from time to time. At GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration, we provide comprehensive air duct cleaning services, including inspections, cleaning of entire HVAC systems and their components, and anti-microbial treatments registered with EPA. If you have any of the four factors listed above, contact us to schedule an inspection.