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H&L Restoration Blog

Black Water

5 Common Causes of Residential Water Damage

Owning a home comes with a large set of responsibilities. Aside from the financial obligations such as the mortgage and property tax, there are a great deal of maintenance and upkeep items that must be performed to ensure your home is kept in peak condition. Then, depending on where you live there are the natural world’s considerations; Storms, eathquakes, wind & fire.

In the State of California the leading cause of property damage to homes is water. Unlike many other states the source of water damage is typically not from the elements. Rather it is a result of failed appliances & poorly maintained plumbing systems that wreak havoc on unsuspecting homeowners. And depending on the type of insurance you may have & the deductible amount, often times homeowners are left to spend good money out of their own pockets to remedy and repair the damages incurred.

Below we have outlined 4 of the most common causes of water damage that we see in homes everyday.

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Mold Growth & It’s Affects

Even though mold growth is a topic that is often talked about and there is a good general awareness about the dangers associated with infestations, it is still a major problem that affects households throughout the Bay Area. With the serious impact on human health, such as respiratory and skin issues, early detection and immediate remediation should always be a priority.

Mold has the incredible ability to grow and spread within as little as 24 to 28 hours. This isn’t so hard to fathom once we understand that all mold needs to grow is a damp surface and organic matter. Wood, carpet, drywall, nearly all fabrics, cardboard, dying plants, and even insulation are all perfect nutrient supplies for mold.

Common Causes of Mold Growth

When we talk about the most common causes of mold growth, flooding is at the very top of the list. Once a flood occurs it only takes 1 to 2 days before mold starts to develop. The lack of proper cleanup can allow small pockets of leftover moisture to become hotbeds for mold growth. The following is a small but good list of some of the most common causes of mold:

  • Recent flooding or a sewage backup
  • Roof leaks
  • Plumbing leaks & burst pipes
  • Bathtub and sink overflows
  • High humidity areas such as single pain windows

While most only know it by the term “black mold”, Stachybotrys Atra is the mold strain that poses the highest health risk to humans. It is especially toxic when exposure takes place over a long period of time. It’s high cellulose content allows it to thrive in wet organic materials such as wood and paper.

Of course, black mold isn’t the only toxic mold species that is harmful to humans. Any mold that produces “mycotoxin” can also wreak havoc on our well being. From symptoms as small as headaches to permanent neurological damage, and many other serious issues in between.

Mold Growth Contaminates Indoor Air

Aside from structural damage and the ability for mold to ruin personal belongings, mold can affect your home or business in another even more harmful way. Far and away the scariest affect mold growth can have on your home is it’s impact on air quality. When mold spreads, it does so by releasing “mold spores” into the air. Mold spores are tiny particles that carry mold from one surface to the next. During their journey they are inhaled by homeowners and their families. Once inhaled, mold can present itself in the following ways:

  • Serious respiratory conditions
    • asthma, wheezing, sneezing, sinus & nasal congestion
  • Eye irritation
    • itchy & watery eyes
    • severe redness of the sclera
    • burning eyes
  • Throat & nasal irritation
    • constant coughing, sneezing fits, nose bleeds
  • Unexplained body aches and pains
  • Nervous system complications
    • sudden memory loss
    • mood swings
    • sever headaches

When small children or eldery individuals become affected the risk for serious immune system issues increases significantly. In severe cases, significant & prolonged exposure to mold in indoor air can become a life-threatening issue.

The Importance of Mold Remediation Services

No matter what type of mold is growing in your home, one thing is for sure, hiring a professional mold remediation company is the best way to effectively stop mold growth in its tracks. The longer that mold is left and let to grow, the harder and more expensive the process will be. If you have suspected mold growth in your home, have noticed a wet/musty/earthy smell, or have unexplained allergies that seem to flare up in certain areas of your home, contact us today! We would be remiss not to mention that the majority of mold is not toxic. In fact, some molds are even okay for homeowners to clean themselves. However, as we mentioned befiore, mold can affect your home in many ways that are not health related. Our San Jose based team of dedicated mold remediation specialists are dedicated to providing around the clock services to the entire South Bay!



Homeowners attempting to clean up a kitchen flood.
Water Damage

The 4 Most Common Flood Cleanup Mistakes

No matter how they occur, floods are not a property damage emergency that should be taken lightly. And although we are lucky in that we do not often have flooding due to natural disasters in Northern California, there are still plenty of ways for a home to flood. In this post we will outline 4 of the most common mistakes homeowners make when cleaning up floods in their homes.

Mistake #1: Not Getting Started Soon Enough

When it comes to residential or commerical property flooding the first 36-48 hours are absolutely crucial. Depending on the severity of the flooding, the first 48 hours is when the permanent damage is done.

In the first 12-24 hours bacteria will begin to form in standing water or onporous, water soaked surfaces.  This is also when irreversible damage is done to other surfaces and belongings. As another day rolls by mold begins to set in to improperly dried areas. Mold is the #1 greatest threat to a property. It spreads easily, causes allergies in occupants, & is downright dangerous. Once mold spores begin to develop you are dealing with an entirely new set of circumstances.

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What is Mold Remediation?

Something that always comes as a surprise to home and business owners alike is the fact that mold is essentially present everywhere. No that’s not a typo. But it shouldn’t scare your or be the source of much cause for concern. This is because most mold is harmless to humans. That being said, many types of mold can have an adverse affect on indoor air quality in several different ways. Mold remediation is the process of removing mold, halting it’s growth, and returning a premises back to normal levels of mold.

Do I Have a Mold Problem?

The problem with most dangerous mold growth is that it is rarely visible. Typically a home owner won’t notice mold growth in a home until long after an infestation has occured. This is why it is so important to understand the risk factors and warning signs of mold growth. For instance, recent water damage in a property will put it at a very high risk for mold growth. Whereas damp, musty smells, unexplained and/or increased allergy-like symptoms are a key indicator that mold is present in your home or business.

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Water Damage

How To Save Water Damaged Carpet

It’s easy to feel at a loss, overwhelmed, and frazzled when the unexpected occurs and your home or business is hit with an unexpected water damage emergency. Knowing what to do and in what order is extremely important. It can save you time, energy, and headaches.

When we receive calls for emergency water damage restoration in San Jose one of the most common questions we get asked is how to fix water damaged carpet. Home and business owners alike want to know if anything can be done, or if it’s a lost cause?

Don’t fret. In this post we will outline some of the options you have when dealing with water damaged carpet in your home.

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