Mold vs Mildew - What's the Difference?
Now, you may wonder what mildew is and what the difference is between mold and mildew.
In this guide, we’ll explore what both mold and mildew are, what differentiates them, and how to deal with each.
Let’s get going!
What is Mold
Mold, in the context of biology, refers to a type of fungus. Fungi are a diverse group of microorganisms that can be found in various environments.
Mold is a specific type of fungus that typically grows in multicellular, filamentous structures known as hyphae. These hyphae can form a visible, fuzzy mass on surfaces, which is what we commonly recognize as mold in homes (like in the picture above).
Mold can grow on a wide range of organic materials, such as wood, paper, fabric, and food. It thrives in environments with moisture and can be found both indoors and outdoors. While some molds are harmless, others can produce allergens, irritants, or mycotoxins that can be harmful to human health.
What is Mildew
Mildew is a type of mold, specifically a surface mold, that typically appears as a powdery or downy growth on materials like plants, fabrics, paper, or walls. It is also often associated with damp or humid conditions.
Mildew can come in various colors, including white, gray, or black, and it can be unsightly and potentially damaging to the materials it grows on.
Unlike other molds that penetrate the surface of the material they are growing on, mildew typically remains on the surface. It can be found indoors in areas with typically high humidity, such as bathrooms, basements, and kitchens, as well as outdoors on plants, wood, and other surfaces exposed to moisture.
Difference Between Mold and Mildew
The primary difference in the appearance of mold and mildew is their color and texture:
In summary, mold can come in a wider range of colors and has a fuzzy or slimy texture, while mildew is typically white or gray and has a powdery texture.
Now, let’s go over their growth conditions, because they can easily vary:
Finally, onto the most important aspect of both mold and mildew: how harmful can each of them be for your health?
Here are some key things to note:
In summary, the key difference in terms of health risks is that certain molds, especially black mold, can produce mycotoxins that pose a greater health threat compared to mildew.
Mildew is generally less harmful to health, although it can still cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
How They Are Removed
via Vetted Los Angeles Restorations https://ift.tt/VBGeSJp
Dangers of Smoke after Fire Damage - Must Read for Homeowners
If you’ve recently experienced a fire, this is a must-read for you and your family. After the fire has been extinguished, chances are that you’ll still have a lot of lingering smoke in your house until the damage is properly repaired.
Now, you may think that you can deal with the damage on your own. Huge mistake. Smoke from fires is not only unpleasant but also highly, HIGHLY toxic.
In today’s guide, we’ll explore just how dangerous is smoke after fires and then how to properly deal with it without harming yourself.
What Makes Smoke so Harmful?
Let’s first start with the basics. To understand why smoke is so harmful, you first need to get to know where it comes from and what it’s made of.
When a material is burned, it undergoes a chemical reaction in which it combines with oxygen from the air, releasing energy in the form of heat and light. This process is called combustion. During combustion, the material’s molecules break apart and recombine to form new molecules, releasing various byproducts into the air, including smoke.
The composition of smoke can vary widely depending on what is being burned, but it typically includes carbon particles, carbon monoxide and dioxide, volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, soot, and other toxic gases, chemicals, and compounds produced during the combustion process.
We’ll cover each of these elements now:
Carbon particles, particularly fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 and PM10, can be very dangerous to human health and the environment.
These particles are tiny, with diameters of 2.5 micrometers or smaller for PM2.5 and 10 micrometers or smaller for PM10.
They are small enough to be inhaled deep into the lungs and can have several adverse effects:
It’s worth noting that the health effects of carbon particles depend on various factors, including the concentration and duration of exposure, an individual’s overall health, and the size of the particles.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly toxic gas often found in smoke.
House fires can release significant amounts of carbon monoxide due to the incomplete combustion of various materials, including wood, plastics, textiles, and other household items. The lack of sufficient oxygen in a fire can lead to the formation of carbon monoxide gas.
Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it difficult to detect without specialized equipment. This is why it is often referred to as a “silent killer.”
Carbon monoxide in house fire smoke poses a severe health risk to everyone present. When inhaled, carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin in the bloodstream, forming carboxyhemoglobin, which reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.
This can lead to oxygen deprivation in vital organs and tissues, potentially resulting in symptoms such as confusion, dizziness, headache, nausea, and even loss of consciousness.
High levels of carbon monoxide in house fire smoke can be lethal, causing rapid incapacitation and death.
To protect against carbon monoxide exposure during a house fire, it is essential to have working smoke alarms and, if possible, carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home.
If a fire has happened, it is crucial to follow fire safety measures, evacuate the premises immediately, and call emergency services. DO NOT re-enter a burning building to retrieve belongings, as doing so can expose you to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Carbon dioxide is a normal part of the combustion process.
However, it’s important to note that while carbon dioxide is produced during fires, it is generally not the primary concern in terms of health and safety.
In moderate concentrations, it’s not harmful. However, in high quantities, it can contribute to a lack of oxygen.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a group of organic chemicals that can be emitted as gases or vapors into the air. During fires, VOCs are released into the atmosphere as a result of the combustion of various materials, and they can have both short-term and long-term health effects.
VOCs can originate from a wide range of sources that burn during fires, including wood, furniture, textiles, plastics, paints, cleaning products, and more. These materials contain organic compounds that can be vaporized and released into the air when they burn.
The specific VOCs emitted during fires can vary widely based on the materials involved. Common VOCs include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, formaldehyde, acrolein, and many others. These compounds can be harmful, and some are known to be carcinogenic or neurotoxic.
For individuals who have been exposed to high levels of VOCs during fires, there may be long-term health concerns. Health monitoring and follow-up care may be necessary to address any potential health issues.
It’s important to note that the specific VOCs present in fire smoke can vary depending on the materials burned and the conditions of combustion.
Heavy metals can be found in the smoke and ash resulting from house fires. A fire can burn household items and construction materials that may contain heavy metals, including:
Inhaling or ingesting heavy metal particles or vapors can lead to health problems, including neurological, respiratory, and gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, heavy metals can persist in the environment and may contaminate soil and water sources.
Soot is a black, powdery or flaky substance composed primarily of carbon, but it can also contain small amounts of other materials such as metals, organic compounds, and ash.
It is also a byproduct of incomplete combustion, typically resulting from the burning of carbon-based materials like wood.
Soot is comprised of particulate matter that we’ve covered above, making it highly dangerous if inhaled.
Other Toxic Gases
Besides carbon monoxide, house fires can release a variety of other toxic gases, including:
All of these can have very bad effects if inhaled. This is why we consistently preach caution when dealing with fire damage throughout this website.
How to Deal With Smoke Damage
We highly, HIGHLY recommend avoiding DIY fire damage restoration and instead calling our professionals to deal with the damage for you. Again, we cannot emphasize this enough.
If the dangers outlined in this article still won’t stop you from trying to attempt to clean smoke on your own, here are some steps you can follow:
That’s about it for today. Hopefully, you’ve found value in this post. Want a professional to restore fire and smoke damage for you?
Call us today for fire damage restoration!
The post Dangers of Smoke from Fire Damage – Must Read for Homeowners first appeared on Vetted Los Angeles Restorations.
via Vetted Los Angeles Restorations https://ift.tt/Mg7S1Zs
How to Dry Out a Damp Carpet - Complete Guide
We challenge you to come up with one of the worst scenarios a homeowner can find himself in. We’ll help you – a completely damp, messy carpet.
Imagine you return home after a long day’s work, only to discover that your once-shiny carpet is now soggy and smell gross, all thanks to an accidental leak from a burst pipe or malfunctioning appliance.
Not a pleasant sight, right?
A damp carpet can be a homeowner’s nightmare not only for its unsightly appearance but also for the potential damage it can cause to your flooring.
But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will show you a simple approach to drying out a damp carpet.
So, roll up our sleeves and get ready to turn this situation around and preserve your carpet.
Let’s cover how to dry out a damp carpet step by step.
1. Figure Out the Cause of the Damage
There could be multiple causes of water damage that affected your carpet. Here’s how to figure out what caused yours:
We can help you with this! Call Vetted Los Angeles Restorations if you’re struggling with water damage anywhere in LA County.
2. Prevent Further Damage
Now that you know the cause of the leak, it’s time to stop it and prevent further damage.
Fix the leaking pipe or a washing machine or at least try to prevent the water from further spreading to your other rooms.
This may involve calling a plumber for plumbing issues or a roofing contractor for roofing leaks.
After that, you need to get rid of the actual water.
3. Start Drying Out the Area
Extract the Water
Extracting standing water is a crucial step, not only for drying out your carpet but also for preventing your drywall, insulation, furniture, and other materials from getting more damp too.
Tools and Materials You’ll Need:
Steps to Extract Standing Water:
Repeat this extraction process until the area is fully dry.
Now, it’s important to note that you might not have removed all of the water.
Check hidden or hard-to-reach areas like wall cavities for trapped water.
This part can be a bit difficult to do. You may even be required to discard some items that can’t be preserved. Make sure to consult with a professional or someone knowledgeable enough to help you figure this out.
Dry Out the Entire Room
Once the water is out, it’s time to dry out the room that has a damp carpet.
Don’t worry, we’ll get to how to dry out a damp carpet specifically in just a bit.
But first, here’s how to effectively dry out an entire room:
Drying Out a Damp Carpet and Cleaning It
Time to focus on your damp carpet. By now, you should have lifted your damp carpet and placed it outside.
You can also do the following steps:
4. Further Measures
Great job, by now your carpet should be completely dry and clean!
However, your work may not be fully complete. Your drywall or insulation may be damp too. They may require a drying procedure of their own or even a complete replacement.
Learn how to repair a damp drywall.
Also, ensure that the moisture source is fully removed to prevent this from happening again.
To be honest, all of this is some hard work. So, if you’re a hardcore DIY-er like most other homeowners, apply these tips for successful drying of your wet carpet.
Need further assistance? Call us to help you restore your water damage completely. We’ll mitigate your leak, dry the room, and replace any damaged materials.
via Vetted Los Angeles Restorations https://ift.tt/SvLadCW
Fire Safety Measures in Homes - Fire Protection Guide
Our homes should be the places we’re safest at, accompanied by great memories, items that are valuable to us, and the people we love.
However, those same homes can sometimes be the breeding ground for the worst of disasters, including fires.
In this guide, we will explore what causes fires, effective fire safety measures that can protect your home, and what to do in the event of a fire to mitigate risks of harm.
Common Causes of House Fires
According to NFPA, these are the most common causes of house fires:
Faulty wiring is one of the leading cause of house fires.
Over time, wiring can become damaged or outdated, leading to electrical short circuits.
A short circuit is an electrical failure that occurs when an unintended connection is made between two points in an electrical circuit with significantly lower resistance than the rest of the circuit.
This results in an excessive flow of electrical current, which can, in addition to fire damage, also lead to several other potential consequences, depending on the context and location of the short circuit:
Short circuits are the leading cause of electrical fires. The excessive heat generated can ignite nearby materials, such as insulation, paper, or wood, and this can result in a potentially very dangerous fire.
Besides faulty wiring, short circuits can also be caused by damaged insulation, loose connections, or the presence of conductive materials where they shouldn’t be (like metal shavings or water in electrical equipment).
Overloaded outlets occur when too many electrical devices or appliances are connected to a single electrical outlet or circuit.
Overloading an outlet or circuit can cause excessive heat to build up. This heat can lead to damage of the outlet itself, the connected devices, or the surrounding wall.
Over time, this can create a fire hazard.
Overloaded outlets can also increase the risk of an electrical shock. When outlets are overwhelmed with too many devices, the chances of exposed wires or damaged insulation increase, making it more likely for someone to come into contact with live electrical components.
Electrocutions can be as deadly to a person as the fire itself, so take these risks seriously.
Now, we’re moving on to the next of the common fire damage causes.
Ah, here we go. We get that you’re trying to multitask, but when it comes to cooking, it’s just best to pay 100% of your attention to your meal.
When you’re not, some of these incidents can happen:
Just don’t rush things and you should be fine, especially during the holidays.
Space heater fires typically occur due to a combination of factors, and understanding these risks is crucial for safe use of the item and prevention of any fire damage.
Obviously, space heaters generate heat to warm a room, and if they become too hot, they can pose a fire hazard. This can happen if:
They can also tip over. Some space heaters are designed with safety features that automatically shut off when tipped over. However, if this feature is absent or not functioning correctly, a space heater can continue to operate when knocked over, overheating nearby flammable materials and even your hardwood floors.
Note that space heaters are electrical appliances, and like any electrical device, they can experience malfunctions, for whatever reason. Short circuits, damaged power cords, or faulty internal components like the examples we’ve mentioned can all lead to fires.
Furnaces and Chimneys
Similar story here. If you leave your clothing or wooden furniture too close to a hot furnace, it can cause a fire.
Furnaces also require proper maintenance, in addition to the chimneys connected to them. Neglecting this maintenance can lead to dangerous build-up of flammable debris.
Fire Prevention Tips for Homeowners
Now that we’ve gone over common fire damage causes, let’s cover how to prevent them.
Generally, these are all pretty easy to do, and with regular maintenance, you should avoid most of the fire accidents.
Installing Smoke Alarms
Safe Electrical Practices
Kitchen Fire Safety
Candle and Fireplace Safety
Fire Safety Equipment for Homes
The #1 piece of fire protection equipment you should have in your home at all times.
Here are some key points about fire extinguishers:
Fire extinguishers play a crucial role in fire prevention and safety, and having the right type in the right place can make a significant difference in controlling or extinguishing fires before they escalate.
Now, while fire extinguishers are valuable tools for fire safety, it’s essential to prioritize personal safety. If a fire is too large or spreading rapidly, it’s better to evacuate and call the fire department.
Similarly, a fire blanket is a safety device designed to extinguish small fires, primarily in their early stages, or to provide a temporary protective barrier against flames and heat.
These blankets are made from fire-resistant materials and are used to smother fires by cutting off the supply of oxygen.
Now, here are some important things about fire blankets:
There are different sizes of fire blankets available, from small, compact versions for home use to larger blankets suitable for commercial or industrial settings.
It’s important to note that fire blankets should not be used for electrical or chemical fires.
Fire blankets are a valuable addition to fire safety equipment in homes. They offer a quick and relatively safe way to deal with small fires before they escalate into bigger problems.
And finally, we’ve got escape ladders.
These are safety devices designed to provide a means of quick escape from upper floors of a building during an emergency.
They are especially important for multi-story homes, apartments, and commercial buildings that may not have easy access to ground-level exits.
There are two primary types of escape ladders:
In the event of a fire or emergency, you can quickly deploy a portable escape ladder by hooking it onto a secure window sill or balcony railing.
You can then climb down the ladder to reach the ground safely.
On the other hand, permanent escape ladders are always accessible and do not require installation during an emergency.
Don’t have either one of these? Get them ASAP.
Creating a Fire Evacuation Plan
By now, you should have understood what causes fires, how to mitigate those same risks, and the equipment that will help you during an emergency.
With all of that out of the way, it’s time to develop your fire safety plan. All of your family members should be familiar with this plan to be fully prepare for an emergency.
And this is not just for fires. You should also have a flood preparedness plan since the LA County is highly prone to flood disasters too. Learn more about flood damage.
Consider the following aspects when developing your fire evacuation plan:
That’s about it.
But please do not rely on this guide as your only source of information. Make sure to also read the following resources:
These measures are your best defense against fires. Although they’re often sudden and come out of nowhere, you can take some actionable steps to prevent most residential fire accidents.
Follow these guidelines and further educate yourself through the resources we’ve provided and you should be good to go.
In case you’ve already experienced an emergency, make sure to call us to assist you fire damage recovery. Our fire damage restoration experts are ready to respond to all fire damage emergencies through all of LA County, as soon as the fire has been put out!
via Vetted Los Angeles Restorations https://ift.tt/NvFITq1
In Santa Clarita, CA, water damage can arise from various sources, encompassing flash floods, sewage backups, hydrostatic pressure, roofing leaks, sump pump and toilet overflows, dishwasher or washing machine malfunctions, water supply line failures, defective plumbing systems, malfunctioning air conditioning units, and more.
Despite the perception of its improbability, it is imperative to recognize that water damage, if left unmitigated, can pose severe risks and substantial financial burdens. The repercussions extend beyond conspicuous manifestations, including wood swelling, steel corrosion, electronic short-circuiting, and plywood delamination. Subtle, inconspicuous ramifications encompass compromised home foundations, damaged insulation and drywall, potential ceiling collapse, proliferation of microorganisms and bacteria, and the emergence of fungi and mold.
Most notably, exposure to contaminated water in the afflicted residence can result in health ailments for occupants, further exacerbating the potential depreciation of the property. Consequently, preemptive measures are advised to avoid such consequences. Engaging the services of a proficient water damage restoration team is pivotal. Timely response to initial signs of damage is paramount in this regard.
Securing the services of the premier water damage restoration provider in Santa Clarita, CA is a straightforward process. You can reach us at (213) 657-5656, connecting you with the preeminent water restoration professionals within the city, who also extend their services to the broader Los Angeles County region. Our collaboration is exclusively with industry leaders who have garnered acclaim from the local community. These companies uphold ethical standards and prioritize the satisfaction of every customer.
Rest assured, when you contact us, you will be connected with a certified expert who is dedicated to resolving your issues exhaustively. Regardless of whether you are a homeowner, property manager, or business proprietor, our partners stand ready to deliver exceptional restoration services. Additionally, you may consult them for other services, such as mold remediation or carpet cleaning.
Allow Vetted Los Angeles Restorations of Santa Clarita to address all your water damage restoration needs professionally and effectively.
To preempt dire outcomes, it is imperative to promptly address any signs of water damage with the assistance of a proficient restoration team. The engagement of a competent restoration service is easily attainable, as the best water damage restoration service in Santa Clarita, CA is just a phone call away at (213) 657-5656. When you make this call, you will be connected to the most reputable water restoration technicians in the city, who also serve the entirety of Los Angeles County.