Health Risks Associated with Smoke, Soot, and Mold

House fires are terrifying because the flames can cause intense bodily harm that results in serious injury and even death.  Once the fire is put out, many homeowners are relieved in the sense that the threat to their life or health has ended.  However, the flames themselves are not the only potential source of health issues.  Many of the byproducts of a fire are toxic.  Fires leave behind smoke, soot, corrosive byproducts, and even mold that negatively affects your health.  It is important to know the health risks caused by the byproducts of a fire to keep yourself and your family safe in the aftermath.

Smoke

All fires involve smoke and everyone knows that smoke inhalation is extremely dangerous because of the chemicals it contains.  Smoke is the byproduct of incomplete combustion and contains the following toxins:

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN): The potential health effects of carbon monoxide are well known as many homes have carbon monoxide detectors for safety. Less people know about the risks of the other major chemical in smoke, hydrogen cyanide.  Hydrogen cyanide is over 30 times more toxic than carbon monoxide and inhaling a combination of both can be deadly.  Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of fire related deaths.
  • Chemicals from Burnt Materials: When materials such as wood, drywall, and flooring are burned in a fire, they release hundreds of chemicals in the smoke that are harmful to your health. Some of the dangerous chemicals released by burning household materials include hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen chloride, carboxylic acids, nitrogen oxides, acid gases, sulfur dioxide, and much more.

Soot

After the fire and smoke have cleared, there is still a substance present that can spread throughout the home and cause health issues as well as property damage; soot.  Soot is dangerous because it spreads and settles everywhere including the air ducts where it can get redistributed into the air.  Most health problems caused by soot result from inhalation but soot can also get absorbed in the skin and eyes.  The main health effects from soot include lung irritation and respiratory issues such as bronchitis and asthma as well as more serious issues including heart attack, stroke, and even cancer.

Mold

Few people associate mold growth with house fires but if a house fire is extinguished with water, this excess moisture can quickly lead to mold growth.  Moisture is the main cause of mold growth and organic materials that are wet from putting out the fire can become contaminated with mold within 48 hours.  Mold not only adds to the health risks already present after a fire, but also causes even more property damage that makes the restoration process longer and more expensive.

If a fire breaks out in your home, make sure that everyone evacuates safely and do not return to your home until it has been restored and deemed safe.  The byproducts of a fire are just as dangerous as the fire itself and can cause serious health effects long after the fire has been put out.  It is of extreme importance to begin the fire damage restoration as soon as possible by hiring professionals that can safely remove dangerous byproducts from soot and smoke.  These professionals have effective cleaning products and personal protective equipment to keep themselves safe during the restoration process

 

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Expert in emergency fire and water restoration services, fire cleanup and water damage cleanup, mold removal, as well as carpet and upholstery cleaning services. Contributor to several restoration and cleaning blogs.

Tiрѕ Fоr Dеаling With Blасk Mold

Tiрѕ Fоr Dеаling With Blасk Mold

Blасk mold iѕ аlѕо оftеn rеfеrrеd tо аѕ tоxiс black mold оr ѕtасhуbоtrуѕ. It has the potential to cause numеrоuѕ hеаlth problems, and it iѕ fоr thiѕ rеаѕоn that it iѕ imроrtаnt thаt blасk mold iѕ dealt with еffесtivеlу. Thiѕ iѕ thе mоld that hаѕ been liked to ѕuddеn infant ѕуndrоmе, аnd it can also lead to tоxiс ѕуmрtоmѕ ѕuсh аѕ hеаdасhеѕ, fatigue, nausea, аnd brеаthing problems. Likе аll mоldѕ it can triggеr asthma аnd аllеrgiеѕ. It can be diffеrеntiаtеd frоm other fоrmѕ of mоld because оf its ѕlimу grееniѕh-blасk color.

In mаnу instances thе bеѕt advice fоr dеаling with mold will bе tо gеt thе professional in; a rulе оf thumb is thаt if thе mоld is соvеring an area grеаtеr than tеn ѕԛuаrе fееt thеn you аrе going tо nееd ѕоmе еxреrt help. Whеn gоing anywhere nеаr black mоld it iѕ imроrtаnt that уоu wear proper safety еԛuiрmеnt; wеаr a rеѕрirаtоrу mask аnd еуе рrоtесtiоn in case уоu release аnу ѕроrеѕ intо the аir. The рrосеѕѕ оf eradicating black mold саn be broken dоwn intо four parts; соntаin, еrаdiсаtе, remove, аnd рrоtесt. We will nеxt look аt hоw thiѕ process асtuаllу works when dealing with blасk mоld.

Thе firѕt thing you will wаnt to dо iѕ to contain the аrеа of thе mоld ѕо that it dоеѕn’t ѕрrеаd elsewhere. Thiѕ mеаnѕ thаt уоu ѕhоuld rеmоvе any furniture frоm thе room thаt уоu аrе ѕurе hаѕn’t bееn аffесtеd аnd kеер people оut of thе room. It iѕ аlѕо worth dоing аll уоu can tо dry your hоmе оut аѕ thiѕ саn rеmоvе the conditions that mоldѕ of all tуреѕ thrivе in. If thе area of mold is ѕmаll and on non-porous surfaces thеn уоu can ѕоаk it with a ѕоlutiоn mаdе uр of hаlf blеасh аnd hаlf wаtеr оr half vinеgаr аnd hаlf water; lеаvе thiѕ to soak fоr fiftееn minutes аnd this will еrаdiсаtе/kill thе mоld. You саn thеn rinse the аrеа tо remove thе dеаd mоld.

Blасk mоld iѕ dangerous ѕо the bеѕt wау оf dеаling with it iѕ to prevent it оссurring in thе firѕt рlасе. Yоu саn dо thiѕ bу removing the conditions thаt mоld likes tо grоw in. Proper maintenance, Clean up spills or leaks immediately, keep your home ventilated, and рrеvеnt mоiѕturе frоm ассumulаting in areas. Call Fun Guy Inspections for more information about mold inspections.

 

Mold inspections for black mold are like any other inspection.  Mold Inspectors will search for water damaged materials and determine if the materials are wet.  Further sampling is required, in each instance, to determine if the dark colored mold is indeed black mold or stachybotrys.

 

 

Debunking some toxic mold myths

In 2000, a new “toxic mold” panic swept the country, and after 16 years of untold lawsuits and billions of dollars spent, major myths still plague and unnecessarily panic association boards, managers and homeowners. The myths all too often cause exaggerated repairs, unduly frightened residents, and conflict. In this and the next column, I will address thirteen pervasive toxic mold myths.

1. Mold is new. Mold, one of the earliest and simplest life forms, has existed for thousands of years. Almost 100 years ago, mold was the basis of the discovery of penicillin. Mold is ever-present, as is dust or pollen.

2. The scientific and medical communities confirm mold’s many dangers. In 2004, the National Institute of Medicine published its comprehensive study on indoor mold exposure, called “Damp Indoor Spaces and Health.” A central finding was: “Scientific evidence links mold … in homes and buildings to asthma symptoms in some people with the chronic disorder, as well as to coughing, wheezing, and upper respiratory tract symptoms in otherwise healthy people… However, the available evidence does not support an association between … mold and the wide range of other health complaints that have been ascribed.”

 That sounds like mold is as dangerous as dust or pollen to people with severe asthma. The announcement containing this finding is easily located by a web search, but it did not receive much press play – stories of frightened people living in tents are more interesting.

3. One must determine the kind of mold present. Mold consultants and plaintiff attorneys often describe some molds as worse than others. The most famous mold is stachybotrys chartarum, a mold producing infinitesimal quantities of a substance similar to botulism poison. However, the amount is so small they call it a “mycotoxin.” It sounds frightening, but the scientific community long ago debunked the myth that this or any mold was somehow poisonous to breathe. For example, read the National Institute of Health Fact Sheet on Mold, found at www.niehs.nih.gov.

4. California is protected by the Toxic Mold Protection Act of 2001. The act instructed the Department of Public Health to develop permissible exposure limits of the various mold strains. However, in 2005, and again in 2008, the DPH reported the task could not be completed with the scientific information available. Consequently, there is presently no official standard as to how many mold spores of any given variety are “unhealthy.”

5. Always start with a mold test. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends against mold testing. There is no standard as to how many mold spores are “unhealthy,” and indoor air sampling tests are extremely vulnerable to events in the home, which can change the results. A recent shower, window opening or carpet cleaning are some of the many factors that can completely change test outcomes.

Mold tests, to put it bluntly, primarily frighten the occupants and create a “need” for the expense of a mold consultant, and a second test after the area is cleaned. Since the health authorities have not confirmed any particular strain is more dangerous, and since there is no official standard as to how many airborne spores are unhealthy, there is rarely a good reason to spend the money on such a test.

 

Threats of Molds: Facts Revealed within your Home

Threats of Molds: Facts Revealed

Molds are everywhere. It may not be seen by your naked eyes but you are will not be so sure about their existence. Mold is a kind of fungi that grows from different spots. All of us are exposed from variety of molds that can affect our health.

How sure you are that your homes are free from any threats of molds? Let us now talk about how mold gets inside your homes and other premises.

Our idea about mold is that it grows naturally outdoors. Looking at the positive part, mold is a fungus that serves as earth’s most important recyclers. The only problem is that when a mold combined with water damage and exposed to prolonged humidity and dampness, that is the moment where mold now become a threat to one’s life.

Here are some of those common sources of indoor moisture that can lead to mold problems,

  • Flooding
  • Leak and damage roofs
  • Broken pipes
  • Poor management of rainwater drainage
  • Process of condensation

When you observed the above mention scenario inside your homes and within your vicinity, then you need to make some immediate actions to solve the problems.

How to prevent molds growth?

Prevention is always better than any cure. It is better to do something early than suffering consequences. One way to prevent mold growth is to control excessive moisture and condensation. Since molds grow critically because of the presence of water damage and excessive moisture then you need to be at those points in the first place.

 

What are the top three factors that contribute in condensation of water resulting to mold?

  1. Poor Ventilation. If your place has a little access on air, there is a greater chance of an increased in condensation and mold growth. There are spots in our homes when there is a little supply of air the reason why that even though we keep on cleaning our place, molds existence is still there.
  2. Temperature Changes. More warm air means more moisture generated. If we will not be mindful about the temperature of our home, there will be a great chance of mold formation
  3. Relative Humidity. When air is saturated, condensation occurs resulting to situation where it can no longer hold any moisture. When there is condensation, then mold is the counterpart. In order to maintain humidity levels, used of dehumidifiers is advised.

If you are having a hard time dealing   with molds you can have some help and learn more from experts.

Fun Guy Inspections is one of the leading companies that can sure help you resolve your mold problems.

There are lots of mold removal services that are present in your place but not all can give guaranteed service. Choose wisely! Choose Fun Guy Inspections. This is a company that perfectly designs to help you out to solve your mold problems. There were always solutions for every mold problem with Fun Guy Infections.

 

For more information, you can give them a call for a schedule service at (866) 674- 7541 or email them @ TestNow@funguyinspections.com  or simply visit their page http://funguyinspections.com/

How false water-damage claims are reaching crisis levels in Florida

With just a few weeks before the start of Hurricane Season 2017, all eyes turn to Florida, which had remained relatively unscathed by Mother Nature’s torment in recent years until Hurricane Matthew barreled up the Atlantic coastline last September — leaving behind more than $800 million in claims in the Sunshine State.

Yet there is another destructive storm hitting Florida that’s causing untold damage. This tempest has been created by unscrupulous contractors, lawyers and their legal tool: Assignment of Benefits. It’s one that has inflicted countless painful injuries to not only the insurance industry but also to homeowners as well.

Article Source: http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2017/05/05/how-false-water-damage-claims-are-reaching-crisis?slreturn=1494832608

Stinky Building Syndrome – Is it a mold problem?

Mold problems can be detected by offensive and mildew odors

Mold Problems

Every now and then, we might have a situation where we have to deal with suspicious odors at home. These odors can be a result of building products, new furniture, carpeting, paint or even mold and water damage problem.  There are many reasons why mold or other smells may appear in your home. When there is water damage,  you may notice that the house stinks of an offensive odor that is similar to mold. At this stage the water soaks into the buildings materials and begins to create a really offensive odor similar to mold.  Sometimes you may notice that the problem is localized to one room or one cabinet.  Thus, it is important to reassess these areas and notice when and how often you see the problem.

Stinky building syndrome

is a common term referred to by Fun Guy Inspections.  As certified mold inspectors we have noticed when water damage is left unattended, the building begins to develop a distinct odor.  The odor is very similar to mold and may represent a future mold problem.  The smell can be quite offensive to some people and unrecognized by others. Stinky building syndrome is likely explained by the mold inspector as a combination of building products, such as drywall, wood, insulation, paint, glues, etc. that are once wetted, still wet, and now emitting odors. How to prevent stinky building syndrome?

The best way to combat this problem is by drying the materials as soon as possible.  Whether you use a certified mold inspector or restoration company, these professionals can help determine the areas that are wet and the best way to dry or dehumidify those building products. When water is released from a pipe or spill, the areas should be cleaned within 24-48 hours in order to prevent mold growth.  Immediately begin to pick up the water with towels or mops.

Depending on the amount of water you may want to consider drying of the walls or flooring with a fan.  If too much water is believed to be released, it is best to call a mold inspector or certified water damage company to dry the building materials properly before mold problems begin. Molds tend to destroy the things that they grow on. And therefore, you can prevent damage to your home and other important furnishings, and also save money and avoid health problems by eliminating moisture and mold growth.

Mold is a part of the natural environment. When outdoors, mold plays an important part in nature by breaking down the dead organic matter such as dead trees. Indoors though, mold growth should be avoided at all costs. The main way through which mold grows and reproduces is by the means of tiny spores. Mold is not just bad for your home but there are other important health effects that they bring. Mold spores can be hazardous to humans and cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions. To check if your home is plagued by mold, you can check for the following symptoms: You will start to experience:

  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Persistent sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Skin irritation
  • Throat irritation
  • Cough
  • Respiratory issues

There are certain tips that can be followed to clean your home off mold. These include:

Get Rid Of The Water

One way to get rid of mold is to get rid of water. Try to use old towels, buckets and mops to clean the water and clear the ground off water. Drying out the area is the best thing that you can do in order to prevent mold growth.

Dry Out Affected Area

You can also prevent mold growth by drying out the affected area. Once you have cleaned the area, you can use fans and dehumidifiers to clean the area and dry it out. Since mold prevails on water, drying out the area can do wonders for your home.

Disconnect Any Electronics

Moreover, when there is seepage, it is important to clean off the area against water and it is also important to disconnect any electronics. You should try your best to keep the electronics away from the affected area. On the other hand, if you have suspected mold growth, you can also hire professional services to clean the mold. If you are looking for such services, funguyinspections is a good choice. The company is well known for clearing mold off areas and can help in reinstating your house to its original self. Mold growth is harmful and it is better to hire professional help to clean the area off such growth. Funguyinspections works to do just that. They are professionals at cleaning homes with mold and they ensure that your house is restored to its maximum potential and free from all damage. Funguyinspections will work to come in and perform an in-depth inspection and then look for mold, water damage and others to rule out odors that make you uncomfortable and sick. To get a quote from funguyinspections or learn more about how they can help in preventing water damage problem and cleaning your house off water damage, get a quote from their website right away.