Prevent water damage and mold growth
Leaves, sticks, and debris can become a problem for your rain gutters. Rain gutters typically allow the removal of water away from your home or building. In this instance, the blockage within the rain gutter allowed water to overflow and deposit near the front door of the unit. If left untended, the backup within the gutter would allow the water to impact the structure and possibly cause water damage inside the home. Water damage and mold growth inside your home can be prevented by regular maintenance of the rain gutters during this El Nino rainy season.
Do your best to observe the signs of a failing rain gutter and prevent water damage:
- Loose or detached down spouts
- Bent or broken sections of the main gutter
- Excessive debris (including leaves and dirt)
- Improper slope and grading of the gutters
- Overflowing water
These recent fungi, mold, and mushrooms were observed on the inside of a home. Fungi grow for numerous reasons in buildings and structures, including the presence of water damage or moisture intrusion.
Some fungi and mushrooms are able to import moisture from other source outside the home and continue growing even if the moisture source is eradicated. This complex rooting system allows the fungi and molds to grow in the absence of moisture leak or water damage.
Although this is not probably not a indoor air quality problem, it is a problem for the building or structure. With continuing growth of this fungi, the organism digests the cellulose within the wood, drywall, and other building components of the structure.
Experts familiar with this type of mold growth should be called to help diagnose the extent of contamination and present a pragmatic solution to eradicate the problem.
Read More > > > http://funguyinspections.com/poria-incrassata-problems-in-los-angeles/
1. Fix any roof leaks before it rains. This is a sure way to prevent water damage to the attic, insulation, and ceilings within your home.
2. Gutters and downspouts should be clean and free of debris. Also look for any breaks and make sure the gutters are tight against the roofline. Moving water away from the home with rain gutters and downspouts will help prevent water from damaging your home.
3. Buy a generator. This standby generator will help provide light and possibly heat during a power outage.
4. Install a sump pump for areas below grade. Moving water from low lying areas will prevent ponding and potential water damage to your home.
5. Exterior surfaces of the home should be touched up, sealed, or painted. Seal up any holes from cables and other wires that penetrate exterior walls to prevent water damage.
6. Examine your windows. Look for holes in the seals and caulk the openings. Check and recaulk as needed.
7. Check balcony and deck slopes. Look for holes, loose, and degrading layers of building materials on the surface of patios or decks.
8. Call an exterminator to prevent pests from intruding during the rain.
9. Store emergency repair materials (sandbags, heavy plastic sheeting) in a safe dry place.
10. Vechile – Maintain tires and fill up your gas tank.
11. Buy new windshield wipers. This will help you drive safely during the heavy rains.
12. How old is your car’s battery? At three years, have it checked by a trusted mechanic.
13. Drainage. Prepare your yard by sloping landscape away from your home. Note new drainage patterns if you have recently changed to an environmentally friendly yard.
14. Automatic Timers: Turn off your system.
15. Loosen compacted soil: Ground that has been allowed to dry out will repel water initially. Make sure soil levels are below the stucco line of your home to prevent water damage.
16. Have your trees checked: With the drought taking a toll on all trees, now is the time to bring in a certified arborist — not a simple tree cutter — to do a health check and risk assessment.
17. Secure your yard: Reinforce your fencing if needed. Store or tie down anything that might blow and cause damage in high wind.
18. Have materials on hand to divert water: Sandbags, concrete edgers and straw-waddle tubing can effectively channel water away from structures to drainage areas.
19. Secure important documents in the cloud or on a thumb drive.
20. Put together preparedness and disaster supply kits for your home and car. FEMA, the California Department of Water Resources and the Auto Club are just three of many organizations that list important things to have on hand. For more information, go to www.floodprepareCA.com (California Department of Water Resources), www.ladbs.org (Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety “Homeowners Guide for Flood, Debris Flow and Erosion Control”), www.ready.gov (National Weather Service) and www.aaa.com (Automobile Club of Southern California).
21. Prepare now: Experts agree that the toughest time to find solutions to rain-related issues is during a rainstorm.
1. Emergency Kit
Key items to include in an emergency kit include:
- Food and water to last you and your family 72 hours
- First aid supplies
- Any medical supplies you might need, like medications and spare eyeglasses.
You should also include a flashlight with extra batteries in your emergency kit in case you lose power during a winter storm.
You can find most things you’d want in an emergency kit around your home. Take a minute to gather them together to store in a safe place, so that you’re ready for any emergency.
2. Create a Plan
Creating an emergency plan for you, your family, or your business can help you better react to and recover from any emergency. Making a plan isn’t hard. By taking a few simple steps, you can be better prepared for life’s emergencies.
Talk to your family about how they would react to an emergency, for example an earthquake or a mudslide:
- Do you know what kinds of emergencies you might face at your home, school, or workplace?
- How will you know when there is an emergency in your area? What if you’re not at home?
- How will you get in touch with each other? Remember: cell phone service might be down, so think of a few different options.
- How will you let family and friends out of state know you’re okay?
- If you are separated during an emergency, how will your family reunite? Where will they reunite?
- How will you begin to recover? Do you have copies of important legal and vital documents stored somewhere safe?
Once you’ve started the conversation, get started on the plan. Use one of the easy, helpful templates from Ready.gov to get stared or create a customized plan using the Prepare LA Now web app.
3. Get Sandbags
Visit any neighborhood LAFD fire station to pick up sandbags. You can find your nearest fire station at the Los Angeles Fire Department website.
Some fire stations also have sand available. For a list of stations with sand, click here.
Not sure what to do with those sandbags once you’ve picked them up? Learn how to properly fill and place a sandbag from the pros.
Get pets prepared with these simple tips:
- Make sure that your pets have current City of Los Angeles Licenses. You can get a new license or renew your dog’s license online! Click here to get started.
- Micro-chip your pets, and verify information at least once a year! You can get your pets micro-chipped at any of the six L.A. City shelters (no appointments necessary).
- Remember to include pet food, water, leashes, medications, and treats in your emergency kit.
- Keep copies of your pets vital documents, and include the pets in your emergency plans.
- Your companion animals should have up-to-date vaccinations.
5. Get Prepared
Now is the time to get your home ready for wet winter weather. Here are some tips to get started:
- Walk around your home and look for anything that might cause problems during a storm. Is your roof showing signs of leaking? Are your gutters overflowing with leaves? Does water drain off your property? Once you’ve identified potential issues, you can start addressing them.
- Review your homeowners renters insurance policy. Does it cover flood damage? If not, the National Flood Insurance Program might be right for you.
- Clear out gutters and secure any loose items in your yard that might clog storm drains and cause flooding.
- Trim any trees that might fall over during a storm. (If you use a contractor, don’t get scammed. Be sure to check their license before starting work.)
- Install rain barrels or other water conservation systems to collect water, which saves money and is drought friendly. Learn more about El Niño and the Drought.
- Get a kit, get a plan, and practice it! Remember, your preparing for El Niño will better prepare you for whatever LA might throw our way.
- If you’re concerned about flooding, get sandbags before storms arrive. Learn how to get free sandbags.
Learn more > > > http://www.elninola.com/ready/
The reality is there is no such thing as “toxic molds.” There are some mold species that are “toxigenic,” that is they produce “mycotoxins.” Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by molds that are capable of harming other living organisms. Molds evolved these metabolites as part of their strategy to battle bacteria (and each other). One of the most famous of these mycotoxins. . . . . . Read more > > > http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/blair-king/toxic-mold-truth_b_8469358.html
Picture – Black mold behind the surface of a wall – Santa Monica, CA
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Learn more about the mold inside your home.
As many residents continue in the cleaning process, there could be hidden damage the flooding may have left in homes. Experts explain just how serious mold can be and what you need to know to protect you and your family.
Certain types of mold can grow within 48 hours and in some cases it can take just three weeks for mold to surface, but the excess moisture in a home is all the mold needs to grow.
“Anytime you have water come into your home, and it’s not properly dried you’re going to have mold, it’s indefinite, it’s going to happen,” explained Michael Burke, a bio-hazard expert, with A&I Fire & Water Restoration in Myrtle Beach.
Burke said when checking a home for damage, it should be a priority for homeowners to look for mold. Burke says his company has been busy responding to calls since the flood about water damage, and particularly mold concerns. “When we come in, we get the water out of the house, we extract the water from the house, remove any wet building materials, that won’t dry out or can’t dry out in a sufficient amount of time, then dry the structure out,” he explained.
Mold can quickly develop; it can take 48 hours or even three weeks before the signs surface. Burke said mold won’t always be seen. It could be hidden behind walls, underneath the home and even inside insulation.
Burke said people that suffered actual home flood damage are not at risk. He said homes that did not get water damage could still see mold because of the excessive moisture of the rain and water.
“Having a house on a crawl space or a raised house it could be growing underneath the house whether it’s in the insulation, the duct work, or the structure,” said Burke. “Look at the two-by-fours too, it (mold) could grow down there and initially start to develop in the house.”
The health risks from mold can be serious. Symptoms include shortness of breath, a stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing or skin irritation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even more serious risks could include mold infections developing in the lungs. Burke added, “If you have allergies, asthma, or something similar, it may be a problem right away. Some people may not notice it for years that mold could be growing in their home.”
Burke adds trying to remove the mold on your own can be done, but he recommends calling a professional to make sure the mold is disposed of properly, and to prevent re-growth.
Household products, like bleach, are not recommended. Burke says most products contain water, which will make the treatment ineffective as mold could resurface from moisture once it begins to dry.
“Using bleach or something like that isn’t sufficient enough, you actually need some antimicrobial, a product the Environmental Protection Agency regulates to kill mold,” stated Burke.
Homeowners concerned about mold should contact an industrial hygienist to have air quality test performed that will check for mold in the home.
Burke says there is an industrial hygienist in most of the counties in the area.