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How To Tell When Mold Is Behind Your Walls

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Mold behind walls

Mold behind walls

Mold behind your walls may be a part of nature, but it’s one natural thing that you never want to see in your home. Even the most minor examples of mold can be visually unappealing and potentially cause issues for people who are allergic.

Never Leave Black Mold Unchecked!

Some types of mold, specifically black mold, can be dangerous if left unchecked. In some cases, mold can be easy to visually identify and take care of, but in many cases, it’s the mold you can’t see that is the biggest problem.

This is especially the case in flood/water damage scenarios, where water and moisture tend to get into all different parts of a home or building, creating a perfect environment for mold to grow.

One common issue people with water damage have to deal with is mold behind their walls. Here are some signs that there may be some mold growing out of sight in your home. Interested in learning what causes mold and how to prevent it, click here.

First Off!

For one thing, even if you can’t actually see the mold behind your walls, there are still some tangible indicator that it may be present. As we mentioned before, some people tend to have allergic reactions to even non-toxic mold. These tend to manifest with the following:

  • Runny noses
  • Skin rashes
  • Red eyes
  • Excessive sneezing

If you start noticing this out of the blue, it could be a potential clue, especially if there was recent flooding or heavy rains. In addition, mold, even behind the walls, still leaves a trademark odor.

If you can smell it, but can’t see it, there’s a chance that it may be growing behind the walls!

Have The Eye For Visual Signs

In some cases, there may even be visual signs on the walls itself, if not of the mold, there are clues that you’re at potential risk of mold.

For example, water stains on drywall aren’t 100% indicator that you have mold, but there’s clearly water getting there from some sort of source. With this in mind, chances are that you’re going to get mold in time if you don’t find and address the source. This is part of the reason why many experts recommend doing home examinations during periods of the year where there’s a lot of humidity or rain.

The Screwdriver Test

Other visual indicators of moisture include peeling wallpaper or condensation on the wall or ceiling. Be careful if you think there’s mold under your wallpaper, though. Peeling it off yourself to see may end up exposing you to a cloud of spores.

If you’re willing to do a more intensive test, consider trying to probe the wall in question with a screwdriver. If things are soft or crumbling, you may already have rot taking hold from mold.

How Can You Curb Mold’s Growth?

If you find that there’s mold behind the walls or have a suspicion that this is the case, there are a few things you can do right away to try to at least curb its growth.

One example of this is using any means necessary to try and tune down the humidity in your home. In general, you want to try to shoot for indoor humidity at 55% or less. There are detectors you can buy to chart this, but if you live in a naturally humid area, you may need to buy dehumidifiers to try and keep things down.

Something else worth looking at is potential areas where excess moisture may get into your home. Cracks in the foundation or leaky gutters are common sources for extra moisture that could make the mold behind your walls grow faster.

When you initially discover that there’s mold behind your walls, some of the things we just mentioned are good ways to minimize the initial spread.

These Are More Of A Stopgap Solution Rather Than A Final Fix

Because of the potential danger that unchecked mold can cause, if you see evidence of it behind your walls or anywhere else in your home, make sure you reach out to professionals like Total Care Restoration.   Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified.

This means we use the best cleaning and restoration tactics to help target mold and other remnants of water damage, and fix them so you can come back to your home or business with peace of mind.

 

Buying a New Home? Use These Tips to Avoid Paying Extra for Water Damage

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Buying a new Home

Buying a new home

The moment you go to visit a house to buy, you probably have a mental (or physical) checklist of exactly what you are looking for and what you need to check.

In some cases, this may be the basics, like having a certain feature or design that you find appealing.

In other cases, you may be thinking about what home improvement projects you need to take on when you buy the place. Any prospective home-owner, especially first-time home-owners, should also take the time to look into water damage when they are house hunting.

Pay Attention!

There are many different issues with a home that may cost you money down the line, but water damage is among the most costly. Not only is there the physical indicators of damage, but fixing it is extremely expensive, requiring both the removal and replacement of damaged walls and floors. In addition, it’s not the type of issue you can simply ignore. Heavy water damage could provide a home for mold and other undesirable elements, and even impact the structural integrity of your home. Here’s how to catch this before you move in.

Professional Home Inspection Maybe Needed

For one thing, you’re going to want to make sure that you keep an eye out for any sort of physical or sensory indicators. Some of these are easily visible, like trademark water damage stains, rotting wood, or the presence of mold.

However, some signs of water damage may not be as immediately noticeable, or attributable to water damage. For example, excess humidity in a home can create an unappealing smell that you may not realize actually stems from water damage.

In addition, you may be planning on doing your own paint job when you buy a home anyway, but if the paint is in bad condition, this is a clear sign that there may be water damage. The moment you detect any of these types of signs, be sure to bring on a professional home inspector to look at the property. In some cases, they may be able to use an infrared camera to look at areas you suspect.

Look Beyond The Obvious

Perhaps the most important thing to do when scouting a home for water damage is not to get too hung up on one particular area. Yes, the basement or the roof may be some of the most common areas to find water damage, but you can see signs of it anywhere in the home if you know what to look for.

For example, take a look at the flooring and see if there is any buckling or warping. Damp carpeting or white spots on wooden floors are also a general clue.

Another place where you may potentially miss telltale signs of water damage is the home’s exterior. Standing water anywhere outside the home is a clear clue, but other things like cracked or missing shingles or leaky gutters could be a potential problem. In some cases, the issue is where the house is on the property. Ideally, it should be on the highest point, with the ground sloping away from it.

What About After The Storm??

Finally, it may be a good idea to pay an extra visit to the home after a storm. In many cases, this gives you a chance to see how it handles excess water in action. Where is the water flowing? Is the gutter running off correctly? Look at crawl spaces and the foundation for excess dampness, as these may not be as easy to detect when the weather is dry.

Despite your best efforts, there’s a very good chance you may still end up having to deal with water damage in your home. Perhaps the signs of damage were in an obscure area you didn’t notice until it was too late. Not to mention, there are plenty of people who buy homes that are perfectly fine and have to deal with water damage after the fact.

In either scenario, to take care of water damage, reach out to us at Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means we use the best cleaning and restoration tactics to help protect your home from water damage and other issues. In addition, we make sure that we’re able to bill your insurance company for our services instead of making you pay.

Rain on window

Rain on windwow

The Benefits of Shrink Wrapping a Roof over Blue Tarps

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Shrink Wrap a Roof

Shrink Wrap a Roof

 

Intro To Shrink Wrapping

There are a variety of reasons why you may feel like you need to go that extra mile to keep your roof safe, especially in South Florida, where weather can pose a potential hazard. Perhaps hurricane season is coming and you just want that added layer of security for your home.

Perhaps your roof is being restored and you want to protect the work while it is being done. Or, in the worst case scenario, your roof is already damaged and you need a temporary hold-over while waiting for repairs. A lot of people in this situation simply use a blue tarp to cover their roof, but you have other options. Here’s how shrink wrapping a roof works and why it may be your ideal choice.

Roof Tarp Miami

Roof Tarp Miami

Why Do I Need To Shrink Wrap?

Shrink-wrapping a roof is basically what you would expect, using a tough yet light shrink wrap installed around a roof in order to serve as a layer of protection for roofs that are either already damaged or at risk of damage from weather or other problems. There are a variety of different materials and brands of shrink-wrap out there, even among those designed for roofing.

Ideally, you’re going to want to get a recommendation from our restoration experts in Miami to see what brand works best for you.

Shrink-wrapped roofs are generally a series of shrink-wrapped sheets held together with a combination of clips, patch tape, and a propane gas hot air gun. This gun is the key item here, as it is used to create “welds” between the different shrink-wrapped sheets, which leads to the actual tightening of the sheets.

Should I Try To Shrink Wrap A Roof?

Note that this isn’t the type of work that you want to try and do yourself. On top of the inherent danger of working on a roof, a proper shrink wrap roof installation will generally require scaffolding, especially for a new roof. Even with these steps, it can still be quicker to do certain shrink wrapping installations than using something like a blue tarp.

So, with all these added precautions, why go to the trouble of shrink wrapping your roof? One of the major benefits is that when it comes to using a blue tarp over a roof, you basically have to hope your roof is a good fit in order to get proper coverage.

Because of the nature of shrink-wrapping, it’s a lot easier to try and get something that fits tightly around oddly-shaped roofs, which can be essential if you have an older or custom-made home. This perfect seal/shrink wrap is going to be what keeps out rain, mold, and other undesirable things until your roof can be repaired.

This is essential when it comes to heavy storm or wind conditions, as contractors don’t have to worry about returning to different parts of the shrink wrapping to reattach things due to damage.

Wraps Look Much Better

If you’re working as a contractor, this also makes for a more appealing look. This may seem like an odd trait to bring up for something like roof repair or restoration, but there are plenty of reasons that you may need a smart appearance. For example, you may be working on a more public or high-profile project where keeping a good appearance is paramount. Shrink-wrap sheeting is far better than blue tarp at helping keep up these kinds of appearances.

There are some added bonuses as well, depending on your plans. For example, as part of your restoration process, you may need to do work inside the home before the roof is worked on. Unlike your conventional blue tarp, there are a lot of shrink wraps out there that allow for the transmission of natural light. 

TCR Roof Wrap

TCR Roof Wrap Picture

Call Us To Shrink Wrap Your Roof

If you’re interested in getting your roof shrink-wrapped today or having any sort of work done to avoid or mitigate water damage, be sure to reach out to Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means we use the best cleaning and restoration tactics to help protect your home.

In addition, we make sure that we’re able to bill your insurance company for our services instead of making you pay.

Leaving Town Before Hurricane Season? Do This First

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Leaving Town

Leaving Town

Hurricane season can do a number on your property. We’ve already seen massive storms like Hurricane Harvey and Maria wreak havoc on homes across the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. But as these southern coastal areas heat up for the summer, you might be thinking of leaving town during the height of hurricane season. If you won’t be around for any potential storms, make sure you prepare your home for hurricane season by doing the following:

Clean Out Your Gutters

Water will collect on the roof of your home if there are a bunch of leaves and debris in your gutters. This can overwhelm the structure of your home, leading to leaks and structural damage. Make sure you clear away this debris before you skip town for the season.

You don’t want to come home to see a bunch of water collecting on the roof of your home, or worse, a massive leak in your living room or bedroom. Cleaning out your gutters won’t cost you a cent, just an hour or two of your time.

Move Valuables Away from the Windows

You’ll also want to move your valuables and furniture away from the windows while you’re out of town.

Windows can turn into danger zones during hurricane season. You can even go so far as to buy window guards or covers, but if you don’t have the time or money, make sure nothing of value is in harm’s way. The carpet, drapes or furniture could get wet while you’re gone, leading to the spread of mold and water damage.

 

Guy & Hurricane Shutters

Guy & Hurricane Shutters

Caulk Windows and Doors

Water can seep into your home in all kinds of ways during hurricane season.

Take a few moments to caulk your windows and doors with some caulking gel. These small cracks and openings leave just enough room for water to get inside, flooding your entire home. Seal these openings around your home as much as possible to prevent even a small amount of water from slipping inside.

Trim Trees and Branches

All those large trees and branches around your property can turn into deadly weapons during hurricane season if you’re not careful.

High winds can rip the branches off a tree and send them shooting through one of your doors or windows, causing all kinds of headaches for you when you return home.

Take A Little Time Do The Extra

Tt’s a good idea to get rid of some of the potentially dangerous branches and trees before you leave town. Anything near a window should be taken down.

If you’re not sure how to get your home’s landscaping in shape for hurricane season, call a professional in your neighborhood. They’re probably used to trimming trees and branches for those worried about tropical storms.

Tree On House

Tree On House

Double Check Your Insurance Policies

It’s vital that you check your home’s insurance policies before you leave the area. You never know what kind of a mess you’ll have to deal with when you return home, so now is the time to make sure your policies are in good standing.

In addition to flood insurance, you’ll also want to check for wind insurance and other policies that might help you cover any unexpected damage to your property. Let them know that you’re leaving town and it might take you a while to submit a claim if anything goes wrong.  If damage does occur you may want to consider hiring an adjuster.

 

Every homeowner should do everything they can to protect their property before leaving town for hurricane season. If you’re not sure how to protect your home from potential water damage, contact the professionals at Total Care Restoration to learn more.

Water Damage Stains

How to Get Rid of Water Damage Stains

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Water Damage Stain

Water Damage Stain

Even after you handle the root cause of water damage or a leak, chances are that there’s still going to be plenty of reminders out there of what happened, particularly water damage stains.

Various Areas Can Cause Water Stain Damage

While it may seem odd that something we associate with being clean can leave a stain, water damage can do just that, whether it’s from minerals in the water itself or dirt brought up in the water from a variety of different areas.

The important thing to understand about water damage stains, in Southern Florida or anywhere else, is that the approach to get rid of them varies based on the intensity of the damage and the surface stained.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common areas for water damage staining and what you can do. But what about preventing damage stains before they even happen?  If interested please click here.

Ceiling Drywall

Chances are that if you’re dealing with water damage from above, this is probably going to be the first place that you see it. The first thing you want to do in these scenarios is to check for any mold that may be left from the initial leak. If that’s clean and the leak is taken care of, you can get started. When the drywall fully dries out, it’s not that hard to get rid of the stain. Use these following steps to help:

  • Combine chlorine bleach and water together
  • Then wash the stained area thoroughly with a sponge. This may not clear the stain itself but will kill any residual mold.
  • After the drywall dries again, add some stain-blocking primer and repaint the affected area.
  • Please note if you haven’t painted the ceiling in a while, the area may look brighter than the rest of the ceiling.
Water Drops

Water Drops

Wood

Whether it’s furniture or decorative pieces, water damage on wood is extremely frustrating, from warping to stains.

The Good News? You have homemade options

There are a few things you can do. If the stain just appeared, you can take advantage of a few homemade options like using an clothes iron, emptying the water, plugging it in, then applying it briefly to a piece of fabric on the table.

A dab of toothpaste or even mayonnaise (as bizarre as it may sound) scrubbed gently on the area makes a good second option.

Upholstery

Chances are that you look at your favorite couch or piece of furniture just about every day, which makes it that much more annoying when there’s a big water damage stain sitting there.

One good homemade solution is to start with a combination of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Be sure to test it first to see if it causes additional spotting before applying it to the area.

When you get the right balance, lightly mist around the stained area and blot as you spray with a white microfiber cloth. Speed up the drying by aiming a fan or hair dryer at the area as you do this.

The Double-dosage of Stress

Stains are small forms of water damage, but that doesn’t make them any less frustrating to deal with. On top of having to clean or even possibly replace a piece of furniture, water damage stains are often a smaller indicator of a larger issue. Thes issues can lead to a double-dose of stress.

The best thing you can do in this is case is make sure you call a water damage repair specialist. A specialist can help you deal with situations as they arise. This can apply doubly somewhere like Southern Florida, where the weather can make water damage a common concern.

IICRC-Certified!

Total Care Restoration is here to help when it comes to water damage repair. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means we use the best cleaning and restoration tactics to help protect your home.

 

Emergency Water Damage Repair

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Help Emergency

Help Emergency

An emergency water damage repair skill set will come handy in Southern Florida’s tropical and hurricane season. You never know when your home might fill up with water due to torrential rainstorms and volatile ocean waves. If you are leaving town before a tropical storm or hurricane follow these

If this happens to your property, you’ll need to call an emergency water damage repair company to help clean up the mess.

To better prepare for this nightmare scenario, learn more about what the water damage repair process looks like and how it can affect your home.  You may be also curious about what to do first before that tropical storm or hurricane damage comes. If so, read on here.  If leaving

1.  Inspect the Damage  

The first step is to survey the extent of the damage to your property. Some mild flooding may only require some light vacuuming.

However, if a massive tropical storm has wreaked havoc on your home or office resulting in several feet of standing water, the damage can be quite extensive. 

Minimize Your Damages 

Flooded Housing

Flooded Housing

 The amount of time the water has been sitting around your property will also affect the extent of the damage. That’s why it’s best to call an emergency water damage repair team as soon as possible once you detect a leak. 

2. Removing The Water 

Once the water damage restoration team understands what they’re working with, they will need to start removing the water. This is usually done using a water pump or vacuum.

Find Mold Remediation Specialists 

 Then the team will need to remove the water as quickly as possible to prevent the spread of mold and other bacteria. This part of the process may take several hours or the better part of a day if the entire room is filled with water.

If water has been absorbed into absorbent surfaces like pieces of fabric, upholstered furniture, or porous building materials, the crew will need to vacuum these surfaces or remove the furniture altogether.

If you want to learn more about removing water stains from furniture check out this: How to Get Rid of Water Damage Stains

3.  Drying Out Water Damage 

Once the standing water has been removed, it’s time to start drying out the space and removing the rest of the moisture. This involves:

  • Opening the windows
  • Using fans
  • And dehumidifying the space

It can take several days for a space to dry once it’s been flooded with water. 

Mold Can Become A Serious Problem 

Mold tends to grow during the aftermath of a flood, so it’s best to remove the water and start the drying process as soon as possible.

The Center for Disease Control lays out some robust guidelines for how you can protect yourself from mold and bacteria after a flood. Mold can be very dangerous for the health of anyone living in the home or business that is affected.

Mold spreads very quickly and it is very difficult to get rid off.  If you find mold, call us immediately as it can spread everywhere.  In addition, you may want tips on how to prevent mold.

4.  Cleaning Affected Surfaces and Personal Items 

Once the space is dry, it’s time to start sanitizing and cleaning all affected surfaces using antimicrobial cleaning agents and products to prevent the spread of mold and mildew. You’ll also need to start going through your personal items that were affected by the flood.

The EPA has laid out a set of water damage guidelines to make this part of the process easier. They have instructions for what to do with damaged items depending on what they’re made of and how long they’ve been exposed to water.

Smaller items that are not that valuable like books and larger porous items, including some building materials like fiberglass and ceiling tiles, might need to be thrown away. You can use these guidelines to determine what stays and what needs to go in the trash. 

Damaged House

Damaged House

5.  Restoring the Space 

To fully restore the space and make it livable again, you may need to replace some items that were affected, including structural elements like tiles and flooring, support beams, fiberglass insulation, drywall, and other essentials. This process may take several days or longer if you need to extensively rebuild the space.

Dealing with water damage can be stressful. That’s why it helps to have a trusted water damage repair specialist handy in case of an emergency. If you live in Southern Florida, contact the pros at Total Care Restoration for all your water damage repair needs.  A claim might be needed for your damage repairs.  Learn more here about hiring an adjuster.

We’re IICRC-certified, which means we use the best cleaning and restoration tactics to help protect you and your loved ones from mold and the spread of disease.

Contact us today to learn more! 

4 Causes Of Water Damage To Your Home & How to Prevent It

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4 Causes of Water Damage To Your Home & How to Prevent It 

Water damage, at best, is an expensive annoyance, and at worst, can compromise the structural integrity of a home. The most obvious types of water damage come from incidences like a flooded basement, but more covert water damage, like a discolored ceiling, could be hiding something just as serious. Here are a few warning signs to look for and preventative measures to take to protect a home from water damage. 

1. Test Your Sump Pump 

A sump pump drains water that has collected in a basin that would have otherwise ended up in the house’s basement. This water typically comes from rainfall but can also come from other sources like the condensation created by an air conditioner. If the sump pump is not working, the water will accumulate and overflow, causing flooding. It is better to test out a sump pump before the rain starts rather than find out there is something wrong after the basement floor has already gotten soaked.

To test your sump pump, go to the basement and pour some water into the basin. The basin contains a floater, much like in a toilet, that measures how much water there is in the basin and when the water gets to a certain height, the water will start to drain. Finish pouring the water to the point where the floater will react and wait. If the water begins to drain than the sump pump is working fine, if not, there might be something clogged.

Problems That Can Happen

If the sump pump did drain than it is time to go outside and see if the external drainage system is clogged or damaged. There should be an outside pipe that drains from the pump and leads water away from the house. Take a look inside the pipe if you can, and see if it is clogged. There might be debris from the street such as leaves, newspapers, or sticks blocking the drain. If there is something in it, remove it and see if the water from the pump drains. However, if it doesn’t, there might be a more serious problem.

If there are no physical issues seen with the pump, and the water still won’t drain even with the debris removed, it is time to call the experts. A plumber can identify the problem with the pump and fix it before the rain comes. 

2. Check for Pipe Leaks 

A leaky pipe can cause serious damage to a house, but it’s also one of the hardest issues to identify as a house’s plumbing system is located mostly within the walls. To check for a leak, the first step is to see if the house has a leak indicator on its water meter. If it does, simply stop using water for about half an hour and then go back to check the indicator. Leak indicators all have different methods of indicating a leak, for example, some have a triangle system that points to a different color if it detects a leak. Finding out how to read a leak indicator can usually be done with a simple google search of the specific model.

The trouble comes if a house does not have a leak indicator. The best thing to do if a house does not have one is to be vigilant and about changes in water pressure. If there is a consistent drop in water pressure, it is better to be safe than sorry and call a plumber. They can check for leaks using gauges and can identify the problem quickly. It is better to have this issue fixed before there is a water damage in the ceiling or walls, as behind the discoloration there could also be dangerous mold. 

Roof Rain

Roof Rain

3. Keep your Roof Updated 

The part of a house that gets the most abuse from the rain is the roof. Over time it will wear down and let water seep in through weakened shingles. If it has been a long time since a house’s roof has been repaired or replaced, it is a good idea to look into getting it updated.

To check if water has already gotten through the roof and is damaging the inside of the house, check the ceiling in the attic. You can also check the upper floor for discoloration. It is unfortunate that when water has already entered the house, it is often too late. Also it may be hard to get out the water, but it is important to call a plumber as soon as possible to stop the situation from getting worse.

It will save money in the long run. Check out this great article on how to find and fix leaking roofs.

If you encounter any of these issues, call the professionals at Total Care Restoration in Miami, for 24-hour emergency services. 

4. AC Leaks Can Cause Water Damage 

Also make sure you change your filter and service your AC. One of the most common causes of water damage is AC leaks. These leaks can be avoided by servicing your AC regularly.

Here are a few steps that will help:

  1. Shut Off The Power.
  2. Remove Debris.
  3. Clean The Fins.
  4. Straighten The Fins.
  5. Clean Area Around The Unit.
  6. Level the Unit.
  7. Clean the Evaporator Coil.

Ready this DIY article for more information on how to service your AC.

In addition, most people notice AC leaks when the damage is already done. 

Working on a Mold Remediation in Miami

Working on a Mold Remediation in Miami

Many times mold may already be forming, so you will have to do a mold test. If your mold test is positive, you may need a mold remediation.

Final Word 

There are many causes of water damage to your home, so be careful and inspect your home regularly.

If you have any water damage in Miami contact us, and we can give you a free estimate. We service all of Miami and Broward for residential and commercial properties. Some of your water damage repairs may be covered by your home owners insurance.

 

What Causes Mold & 5 Tips How To Prevent Mold

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How To Prevent Mold

How To Prevent Mold

Mold is a natural substance that’s existed since the beginning of time, but it doesn’t belong in your home. Mold can cause or worsen the symptoms all sorts of health problems, including asthma, respiratory diseases, skin irritation, allergies, fever, eye irritation, and sore throat. The health effects of mold are still being researched by various government agencies and healthcare providers, most notably the Environmental Protection Agency, so its important to understand what causes mold growth and how you can prevent can prevent it. 

Common Causes of Mold

Mold spreads via tiny spores that are invisible to the naked eye. They float through the air, growing in places with plenty of moisture, which can include food, damp fabric, wood, and other places where excess condensation and moisture tends to collect.

Mold usually starts to grow within 24 to 48 hours, so it’s important to act fast if you notice water forming inside your home. 

Some common situations that can lead to mold include:

  • Water damage from a leaking pipe
  • Flooding from a natural disaster or excess rain
  • Spoiled food
  • Excess humidity
  • Leaks in the roof or foundation of your home
  • Excess condensation from cold surfaces such as a window, pipes carrying cold water, cold concrete floors and other metallic surfaces
  • Wet clothes that haven’t properly dried
  • Pools of water around the sink or bathtub that fail to properly evaporate
  • Lack of ventilation so wet surfaces can’t dry
  • Basements with poor ventilation or excess humidity

If you have mold growing in your home, you might notice a few white spores on a piece of fabric, on the wall, or in the corner of a room. Remember, do not touch or inhale the mold. Use proper mold remediation techniques or contact a mold remediation specialist immediately for further assistance.

How to Prevent Mold from Growing in Your Home

There are many steps that you can take to prevent mold from growing in your mold. Mold is the result of moisture, so it’s important to keep an eye out for water damage and excess humidity. Use these tips to prevent mold growth based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control
  1. Keep Humidity Levels at 50% or Below

Unlike water damage and leaky pipes, humidity can be hard to detect on your own unless you have the proper equipment. If you’re serious about preventing mold growth, get a humidity meter and keep the level in your home at 50% or below. Humidity levels can change on a dime, so you’ll need to check up on the meter at least several times a day. You can turn up your air conditioning or use a dehumidifier to keep levels under the 50% threshold. 

  1. Use Exhaust Vents

Not having proper ventilation in your home will make your mold problem much worse. All the steam from your morning shower and bath routine can lead to excess pockets of moisture and humidity. Try adding a bathroom or an exhaust vent to the bathroom and kitchen.

You also need to make sure that your clothes dryer vents outside, not into your basement or another room in your house.

  1. Use Mold-Killing Cleaning Products

When you’re cleaning your bathroom and kitchen, there’s bound to be traces of mold in the corners of your tub and sink. To stop the mold in its tracks, use mold-killing cleaning products to make sure that these moisture-ridden areas don’t develop into a full-blown mold problem.

  1. Fix Leaks Right Away

Thoroughly inspect the plumbing in your home to make sure there aren’t any leaks around. Even the tiniest crevice can lead to some big problems down the line. You can also call your local plumber for a thorough inspection once or twice a year for some added peace of mind. 
  1. Remove Wet Carpet or Switch to Hard-Surface Floors

Carpet can be a breeding ground for mold because it’s so difficult to keep dry. If you’ve experienced some water damage, remove the moist carpet entirely before the mold can spread. If you really want to mold-proof your home, consider removing the carpet from your home all together. Especially remove carpets from high-traffic areas like the living room or dining room where people tend to eat and drink.

If you suspect or notice mold growing in your home, act immediately. Don’t wait to start the cleanup process as the mold will spread to other areas of your home.

Contact the mold remediation professionals at Total Care Restoration for fast mold cleanup services in Miami and South Florida.

7 Things To Do When You Have An AC Leak

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7 Things To Do When You Have An AC Leak

You live in South Florida and your AC leaks…Of course its August and about 99 degrees with 110% humidity. You need your AC to function so that you don’t melt. Not only has your AC leaked you think it may have caused some water damage. Now what are supposed to do? Here are 7 simple ways to know if you have water damage and need to call in a professional water restoration company.

  1. Don’t Ignore the Problem

Maybe you think it’s not a big deal. But if your AC is leaking a little bit now, it is only going to get worse. AC units should not leak, and if it continues, it could cause further damage to your home that will be costly.

Do I have water damage? Can you spot the signs of water damage?

  1. Fix the Air Conditioning Leak

Some DIYers can diagnose and fix the routine reasons for AC leaking. If you have a clogged condensate line, a hole in the overflow pan, or need to change the filter, you might be able to fix it yourself. If, however, you are like most of us, you need to call in an AC repair company to stop the leak.

If the leak is large and threatens the electrical components of the AC unit, you need to turn it off before it can cause a short or other problem. No matter what you do, you have to get the AC fixed.

  1. Look for PONDING AND POOLING

Next, look for any water damage. The most obvious clue that you have a problem is if there is ponding or pooling of water near the area of the AC vent. When you see that, there is a problem and you may want to seek help right away.

  1. Check for color changes

If your ceiling is no longer that beautiful color of white that you painted it, you may have a problem. If there is an area around the vent that is a tan, brown, or yellowish color you can be sure that there is a water leak and you need to get the damage repaired.

  1. Inspect the surface texture

Look at the area around the AC vent; is the texture the same as the rest of the wall or ceiling? If you have water damage you might see bubbling of the paint, peeling paint, or even your dry wall or plaster falling apart. If your vent is near the floor and you think there may be water damage, you may start to see your wood floor buckle or lift. If you have carpet, you may not see the buckling or lifting but you may start to see the carpet deteriorate or change in color.

  1. What’s that Funny SMELL?

If you walk into your house and wonder if you forgot to take out your garbage you may have water damage that is now beginning to grow mold. Mold may not always be visible to the naked eye. However, there are some molds that you can clearly see. Mold can grow inside of the wall and not be known for quite sometime. So if you see signs of water damage but not signs of mold, you should still call in the professionals.

Obviously, if you see the mold you need to call a professional company right away. Even the smallest of the leaks can lead to a mold issue.

We all know how scary and dangerous prolonged exposure to mold can be to our health. This may not be the time to try your hands at DIY mold removal. Mold is trickier than you think, and if you don’t get all the mold out, it will just continue to grow and infect your house.

  1. FIND AN EXPERT

At this point, you are going to want to do some research to make sure you are getting the best company to do the work for you. Mold and water removal is nothing to leave to just anybody, you will want to make sure you are choosing a reputable company.

A mold remediation and water restoration company should undergo industry training to stay at the forefront of advanced techniques. The company should also be able to use the latest tools in the mold remediation and water restoration industry.

The best companies can even bill your insurance, so you have no out-of-pocket expenses. Don’t count out the importance of a business that has superior customer service making a stressful situation a little less stressful. Total Care Restoration has all of these qualities and more.

 

 

Assignment Of Benefits – What Is It & Does It Help You?

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Do You Have A Claim?

If you find yourself in need of home restoration, be it because of a natural disaster or normal wear and tear problems that can arise over time, it is helpful to have someone turn to for honest advice about how to proceed. The first thing many people do is to pick up the phone and call their insurance company.

But, as the insurance company most likely has their own best interest in mind, this is not necessarily the best course of action. Several things can happen if you do this, including getting an inaccurate or incomplete assessment of the damage by a contractor hired by the insurance company specifically to keep costs low, or have the insurance company flat out refuse to cover the issue, essentially leaving you in the lurch.

Hire An Adjuster

If you are not aware of the specifics of exactly what your insurance policy covers, you could also end up getting stuck with a bill for something you are not liable for. That is why it is best to hire a public adjuster who can give you an unbiased assessment of the damage, so that you can proceed with confidence and get everything repaired the right way with no out of pocket expenses for you. 

Assignment of Benefits

Assignment of Benefits is a method by which a restoration company will assess the damage for you and deal directly with your insurance company so that all the details are taken care of by experienced professionals with your best interest in mind.

Total Care Restoration will provide a broad and accurate assessment of what needs to be restored and make the insurance claim for our clients. If an insurance company refuses the claim, we have attorneys that work on behalf of our clients at no cost to them, and we always win our claims. 

Florida allows AOB

Brief description on AOB and not all states have AOB. But Florida does.

https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/consumers/AssignmentofBenefits.htm

What to expect when you do AOB?

If you choose to do an assignment of benefits, the process of getting your home repaired will be streamlined, as all communication occurs directly between our contractors and the insurance company. We do our absolute best to get all of the damage covered, at no cost to you. That means that the whole process will be taken care of start to finish by us, and you will incur no additional out of pocket expenses.

You will not have to spend hours on the phone arguing with the insurance company, and pouring over the fine print because we will take care of all of those details for you. Put your claim in the hands of experienced professionals who will have your best interests in mind.

If you are in the midst of dealing with damage to your home or business, Total Care Restoration can help. Call to make your appointment today. 

Will I still get paid when I do an AOB?

Yes you will get paid for all repairs that are covered under your home owners policy.

This is why we recommend getting a public adjuster, as they will help you file the claim correctly. This way you will get paid as much as possible.

Contact us to get an estimate on your repairs after a water, mold or fire damage.