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What to Look for to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home

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Homeownership is a source of pride despite the never ending to-do lists. The list of home repair projects seems to grow by the day. While you do your best to keep on top of problems, sometimes they simply get away from you.

Water Problems are the Biggest Headache for Homeowners

One of the most common problems for homeowners in the North Bay area is related to water. Water damage causes expensive damage, affects air quality and promotes the growth of mold. It pays to consistently check pipes, hoses and watch for leaks in the home. Items you may not think to check include dishwasher hoses, secured laundry tub hoses, broken seals around tubs or plumbing fixtures, water heater leaks and roof leaks. If the house smells musty, you might have mold somewhere, which strongly indicates a moisture or water problem. A professional restoration company has the equipment to detect water problems, measure moisture levels and begin remediation or repair work sooner than later.

Mold

Although still learning about health issues caused by mold, research has proven the connection between mold and allergies, asthma and respiratory issues. Keeping moisture-prone areas dry is the first step in getting rid of mold. Once found, scrub the mold away with a bleach and water cleaner. The bleach kills bacteria and cleans mold away, disinfecting the affected areas at the same time. If moisture and mold is a recurring issue in your home, contact a mold remediation company to resolve the problem for good.

Sewer Backups

While water and mold problems are common, sewer backups are dangerous and damaging to your home. Pay attention to slow drains, a gurgling noise from sinks/toilets, rising water levels in the floor drain or a very unpleasant sewer smell. If you notice these things, call a plumber specializing in sewer backups to check things out. If you miss the warning signs and experience a sewer backup, don’t try cleanup on your own. There is too much disease-infested bacteria floating around the damaged areas. It takes a restoration company to manage the mess, restore damaged items and properly disinfect/sanitize your home. When you’ve done your best to prevent problems, but they get worse or just don’t seem to go away, contact the certified professionals at RCS, serving Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. We are experts in home remediation and repair of even your worst home problems. Call us today for a free consultation.

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Benefits of a Clean Crawlspace

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A crawlspace is an area between the ground and first floor of a home. Typically, it’s a hollow area usually not higher than 3’ or just enough space to crawl through. Crawlspaces should insulated and can be used to store mechanicals of your home like plumbing, electrical, HVAC ducts.

Disadvantages of a Crawl Space

While a crawlspace provides support and acts as a buffer between your home and the ground, there are distinct disadvantages especially if not maintained regularly. Crawlspaces are not counted as livable space and not suitable for storage. Because of its small size and exposure to outdoor elements, a crawlspace is not the place to store anything that you don’t want exposed to the elements. Water and moisture problems: Excessive moisture and standing water are serious problems in a crawlspace. If not cleaned and dried, the mechanicals of your home can incur damage, and energy bills will rise due to HVAC and electrical not working efficiently. Excessive moisture causes musty odors which will infiltrate your home. If you notice a foul sewer smell in your home, it may be due to water or sewer damage coming from the crawlspace. Mold: Where there is excessive moisture and water, there is mold. Once mold begins to grow in the crawlspace, mold spores become airborne and travel into your home. This puts your family at risk for allergies, asthma attacks and other respiratory issues. Pest infestations: Crawlspaces make excellent homes for all kinds of pests and rodents. The dark, damp area complete with insulation gives mice, rats and other unwelcome rodents an invitation to live there. Where rodents live: there is excrement. This smell will seep into your home, and it’s not just unpleasant, but potentially dangerous to inhale.

How to Clean Your Crawl Space

If unable to fit in the crawlspace or are unsure of how to clean it properly, call a local professional to manage the cleanup for you. Certified Restoration Specialists will remove wet/moldy items stored in the crawlspace, clean/dry any water or sewer damage and replace moisture and/or vapor barriers. The entire area will be sanitized. Any damaged insulation is replaced, after a thorough vacuuming. All pest/rodent droppings are removed, and a pest control company may be brought in. Plumbing, electrical or HVAC referrals may also be necessary to repair/replace any damage in those areas. Other issues are addressed based on the condition and assessment of the crawlspace. Benefits of a Clean Crawl Space Once your crawlspace has been cleaned, restored and sanitized, you’ll notice the benefits right away. Safety of House Structure: After cleanup, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing there are no pests or water/sewer issues causing damage to the structure of your home. Improved Energy Efficiency: New insulation and vapor/moisture barriers ensure your mechanicals are safe and running at maximum capacity. Dry Conditions: A dry crawlspace prevents odor and mold from affecting the air quality inside your home. Pest Control: A clean, dry crawlspace discourages pests and rodents from living under your home. This prevents bacteria from pest excrement, odor and rodent damage to insulation and mechanicals. Improved Health: By far the most important benefit, a clean crawlspace prohibits mold spores, bacteria and airborne allergens from negatively affecting your health. To reap the benefits of a clean crawlspace, contact the certified professionals at RCS. We will work with you during the cleanup process and show you how to prevent future problems. RCS proudly serves the Santa Rosa, Sonoma County and surrounding North Bay areas.

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How to Bounce Back Fast from Water or Sewer Damage

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One of the worst things that can happen in your home is water or sewer damage. It’s not only a complete mess, but if not treated immediately, is dangerous, expensive, and destructive.

Water Damage

Due to unforeseen circumstances like burst pipes, undetected leaks or flooding, water damage causes a lot of damage unless the water is removed quickly.

Potential Problems from Water Damage

It’s important that all of the water be removed quickly and completely. If not, damage escalates. Some of the damage and loss comes in the form of saturated drywall, swelling or rotted wood, rusted metal and the onset of mold and bacteria. A professional water damage restoration company has the equipment to remove a lot of water very quickly. After that, industrial strength drying equipment is brought in to thoroughly dry all affected areas while moisture levels are monitored. They will clean and sanitize your home to prevent mold, bacteria growth and odors. A professional service will also remove unsalvageable items and throughout the process, works directly with your insurance company.

Sewer Damage

There aren’t too many things worse than a sewer backup. Sewer backups can be caused by long tree roots, old or damaged sewer lines and clogged drains. Older homes with older sewer lines are at greater risk to experience sewer backups. There are usually warning signs that a sewer backup is coming.
  • Slow drains, always start in fixtures at the lowest level (first floor, basement)
  • Clogs in multiple drains; wastewater is not able to pass
  • Leaking or sewage coming from the cleanout pipe (located outside, in the basement)
  • Bubbling sinks, toilets
  • A foul, sewer smell coming from drains
  • Sewage coming up through floor drains or showers
  • High water levels in floor drain

Potential Problems from Sewer Damage

Because of the dangers associated with sewer water backups, you should always call in a professional to manage the cleanup. To say sewer water is contaminated is an understatement. It may contain any type of human or industrial waste. Sewer water is dangerous because it has high levels of bacteria which exposes homeowners to diseases of the worst kind. Even breathing in sewer water vapors can make you very sick. Sewer water puts you at risk for E. coli and Hepatitis A. Airborne contaminants and pathogens can trigger asthma attacks and respiratory distress. A certified restoration company will clean up the wastewater, in addition to your furniture, carpet and other items affected by the damage. They have the products to safely restore your home by disinfecting and deodorizing to kill and stop the spread of fungus and bacteria throughout. The experts at RCS are only a phone call away, 24 hours a day. RCS has been proudly serving Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, and the North Bay area since 1975. We have the knowledge, equipment, and experience to manage the entire restoration of your home after water or sewer damage.

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Getting Rid of Mold in Your Home

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Aside from the unsightly appearance, mold does more than signal a water or moisture problem in your home. Mold negatively affects overall air quality and in some people, triggers serious health issues. Find out how to check for mold and what to do if you find it in your home.

What is Mold?

Mold, sometimes called mildew, grows in your home due to excessive moisture or water. It could be caused by a leak, flooding or improper ventilation. Mold is a fungus that doesn’t need a host to grow. It’s capable of growing on its own. In most cases, mold is black or gray, but can also be white, orange or green.

Where does Mold Come From?

Mold can grow in any damp area or on moist surfaces. You will find it growing on anything from wood, caulk around windows, ceilings, walls, floors, under carpeting, crawl spaces and even on appliances and your clothes. If there’s a musty smell in your home, odds are there is mold growing somewhere in the house. Homes near water or high humidity are more susceptible to a mold problem.

Health Issues Related to Mold

Health issues are not caused by the mold, but by the microscopic particles (or mold spores) which are released into the air. As you breathe the air in your home, you inhale mold spores which settle into the lungs. While there is more to learn about the negative health effects of mold, what is known is that it can trigger serious health problems for many people. Those with pre-existing respiratory conditions are primary candidates for mold-related health issues. Breathing in mold spores can cause wheezing, sneezing, headaches, fatigue, stuffy or runny noses and asthma attacks. Long-term exposure to mold increases the odds of developing an allergy to mold.

Getting Rid of Mold

The first thing to do is to find the source of moisture that is causing mold to grow. The only way to control and eliminate mold is to get rid of the sources of moisture. To dry problem areas, run a fan or dehumidifier. Properly repair and seal areas in your home where water or moisture are found, such as windows and bathtubs. To clean mold, use a mixture of one cup bleach to one gallon of water. Spray the mixture directly onto areas affected by mold, let soak for a few minutes, wipe/brush off and dry completely. If mold continues to re-surface, call in a professional. Since 1975, the professionals at RCS have provided complete mold/water damage assessments, mold removal and prevention services. Contact us with any mold-related questions or to schedule a free consultation.

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