Got Mold?

There are many areas in a home that can be prone to mold; bathrooms, kitchens or closets that share a wall with a bathroom. You are also at higher risk if your home has experienced a flood or water damage of any nature, whether it be from a plumbing leak or leaky roof.

Mold in your home can pose some serious issues if not dealt with promptly, not the least of which is your health. Being aware of the signs of mold can help you reduce the long term effects that mold could have on your health and the structural integrity of your home if left untended. below are some waring signs that can help you determine what to look for, before mold can cause major damage to your family or home.

Moisture

Mold thrives in wet environments, so if you’ve experienced water damage, your chances of mold growth have increased. Look for spongy floor, bubbling paint and wallpaper or water stains, these all point to signs of water damage and should be inspected and repaired ASAP!

Condensation

Condensation around windows and doors, if left unattended, can lead to mold. Mold loves moisture and will flourish if the moisture build-up isn’t removed. Check the caulk and seals around these areas and repair or replace if there are signs of damage. Add these areas to your regular cleaning routine and adjust the temperature in your home to avoid creating condensation.

Musty Odors

Mold produces a smell that can be reminiscent of smelly feet or a gym bag full of sweaty clothing. This smell is one of the first signs of a possible mold problem, particularly if there are no visible signs of mold or water damage. The smell is created by mold releasing microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). These toxins may begin causing irritation to you eyes and respiratory system. So, that strange, musty smell that you can’t quite identify may mean it’s time to look for signs of mold growth.

Never Ending Allergy Symptoms

Mold sickness symptoms

Health issues that are caused by mold create allergy symptoms, because your body may be having an allergic reaction to the toxins you are breathing in. So, if you begin to have allergy symptoms and are not prone to seasonal allergies, it may be a sign that you should investigate for mold. Some of the other symptoms you can experience from mold are headaches, dizziness and difficulty with concentration. Immune suppressed individuals have a greater risk of having allergic reactions to mold.

Common Sense

Keep your eyes open to signs of water damage or increased moisture in your home and take care of it before it becomes a bigger problem. Simple maintenance checks in areas that are prone to issues (plumbing, around sinks or bathtubs and windows) can help stave off water damage or condensation build-up before it leads to mold. However, if you believe you may have a mold problem, always contact a professional to assess and repair the situation. Then you can feel confident knowing your home is safe for you and your family.

When Disaster Strikes – Call A Professional Restoration Company

When a storm, fire or water causes damage to your home, it can be difficult to know what action to take firs. Where and how does one begin the cleanup? The best step to take when it comes to reclaiming your home, is contacting a professional restoration service.

Storm Damage

Large storm systems and hurricanes can leave massive damage in their wake. Wind damage – whether from the wind itself or debris tossed about by it’s force can cause roof damage – which can leave your home susceptible to water damage. A leaky roof makes way for water and structural damage.

Fire and Smoke Damage

Professional restoration cleanup is imperative if your home has been damaged by fire and smoke. The affected areas can be treated, removed and remediated. However, smoke can leave minute particles behind that sink into tight spaces, that can cause an unwelcome stench in your home. The ever-present smoke damage also opens you to health risks – because long term exposure can contribute to respiratory issues.

Water Damage

Flooding from storms or water damage from leaky pipes or appliances can cause great damage to the structure of your home. However, there is more than one type of damage that can be left by water. Aside from the obvious damage to the contents of your home, there is the added risk of mold growth later. Time is crucial in water damage remediation. The sooner you get your home cleaned and dried out – the lower the risk of long term damage.

Seek Help Immediately

No matter what type of damage has occurred to your home, don’t wait to begin the cleanup process. The sooner you bring a professional in to help, the sooner your home will be returned to the haven is was before damage was sustained.

Purifying The Air With Hydroxyl Generators

What is a Hydroxyl Generator?

Hydroxyls (-OH) are safe, naturally occurring molecules that are created in our atmosphere when the sun’s ultraviolet rays react with water vapor. They play a critical role in cleaning the earth’s atmosphere and are often referred to as the “detergent” of the atmosphere. In chemistry, they are described as a molecule consisting of an oxygen atom and a hydrogen atom joined by a covalent bond – this means they share a pair of electrons. They are neutral, because they have nine shared bonds, but it is the free electron which makes hydroxyls so highly reactive and they will bond with any odor and neutralize it. Hydroxyl molecules are so tiny that they will penetrate anywhere odors or micro-organisms may be. They are smaller and more effective at eliminating pollutants than liquid chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and ozone. Hydroxyl generators do not use chemicals and leaves no residue behind. Hydroxyls can be used to kill bacteria, viruses and mold. They can also be used to break down volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemical fumes, gases, vapors and unpleasant odors. Hydroxyl generators are even safe to use on sensitive materials like rubber, leather and electronics.

The Odorox hydroxyl generators, like the one shown in the image above, use a two part treatment process to eliminate odors, decontaminate surfaces and purify the air. The processing chamber purifies the air and creates hydroxyls. The hydroxyl molecules exit the chamber to decontaminate surfaces and contents and to further purify the air.

The processing chamber alone is sufficient to treat the air. As air passes through, it is exposed to multiple wavelengths of UV light. The first segment of the optics produces wavelengths that deodorize the air flow. It will break down chemical vapors, volatile organic compounds and odors as they travel through the chamber. The second segment of the optics produces wavelengths that kill micro-organisms and prevent them from multiplying. It will kill bacteria, viruses and mold as they travel through the chamber. As water vapor (H2O) passes through the chamber, it is broken down into a hydrogen atom (H) and a hydroxyl (-OH). The hydroxyl molecules are the key to the second part of the treatment process. There have been many applications where the Odorox machine is set outside of the contaminated area. clean air is drawn into the processing chamber, hydroxyls are created and then injected into the contaminated area. The hydroxyls will then go to work on the air, structure and contents of that area. The contaminated air does not need to pass through the processing chamber to be cleaned.

Why use an Odorox hydroxyl generator?

  1. Safer than ozone. Ozone causes damage to plants and the mucous and respiratory tissue in humans and animals.
  2. Odorox can be installed immediately, because hydroxyls are safe for people, pets, plants and sensitive materials. This means that while the physical cleaning is being performed, Odorox is deodorizing simultaneously.
  3. Homeowners can stay home and businesses can stay open while Odorox is operating. This reduces or eliminates additional living expenses (ALE) and business interruption costs for the insurance companies.
  4. Hydroxyls are more effective than any other method. This means that many items previously though to be unsalvageable can now be restored, like rubber, leather and electronics.
  5. Odorox reduces the work involved with cleaning drapes, upholstery, carpets, laundry and dry cleaning. Most of this can now be handled on site.
  6. Odorox does not use chemicals and leaves no residue.
  7. Using an Odorox hydroxyl generator for 12 hours has been proven to reduce the presence of E. coli, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa on stainless steel and cotton fabric by 99%.

PRS uses hydroxyl generators to restore our customers homes to a clean, safe environment in a timely manner.

In what instance would a hydroxyl generator be used?

A hydroxyl generator would be used anywhere odors, bacteria, viruses or mold are present. Some instances are shown below:

  • Fire and smoke restoration
  • Water and flood restoration
  • Mold mitigation
  • Sewage backups
  • Trauma scene and biohazard cleanup
  • Odor elimination
  • Contents restoration
  • Eliminate volatile organic compounds

hydroxyl generators

20150421_074410

P.R.S. Hydroxyl generator – Tampa Bay Restoration

 

 

 

What is a hydroxyl generator? 

Hydroxyls (-OH) are safe, naturally occurring molecules that are created in our atmosphere when the sun’ s ultraviolet rays react with water vapor. They play a critical role in cleaning the earth’s atmosphere and are often referred to as the “detergent” of the atmosphere. In chemistry, they are described as a molecule consisting of an oxygen atom and a hydrogen atom joined by a covalent bond – this means they share a pair of electrons. They are neutral because they have nine shared bonds, but it is the free electron which makes hydroxyls so highly reactive and they will bond with any odor and neutralize it. Hydroxyl molecules are so tiny that they will penetrate anywhere odors or micro – organisms may be. They are smaller and more effective at eliminating pollutants than liquid chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and ozone. A hydroxyl generators does not use any chemicals and leaves no residue behind. Hydroxyls can be used to kill bacteria, viruses and mold, and to break down volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemical fumes, gases, vapors and unpleasant odors. It is even safe to use on sensitive materials like rubber, leather and electronics.

hydroxl how it worksThe Odorox hydroxyl generators use a two part treatment process to eliminate odors, decontaminate surfaces and purify the air. The processing chamber purifies the air and creates hydroxyls. The hydroxyl molecules exit the chamber to decontaminate surfaces and contents and further purify the air.

The processing chamber alone is sufficient to treat the air. As air passes through, it is exposed to multiple wavelengths of UV light. The first segment of the optics produces wavelengths that deodorize the air flow. It will break down chemical vapors, volatile organic compounds and odors as they travel through the chamber. The second segment of the optics produces wavelengths that kill microorganisms and prevent them from multiplying. It will kill bacteria, viruses and mold as they travel through the chamber. As water vapor (H 2O) passes through the chamber, it is broken down into a hydrogen atom (H) and a hydroxyl (-OH). The hydroxyl molecules are the key to the second part of the treatment process. There have been many applications where the Odorox machine is set outside of the contaminated area. Clean air is drawn into the processing chamber, hydroxyls are created and then injected into the contaminated area. The hydroxyls will then go to work on the air, structure and contents of that area. The contaminated air does not need to pass through the processing chamber to be cleaned.

Why use an odorox hydroxyl generator?Lab Results Test Organism Chart

  1.  Because ozone causes damage to plants and the mucous and respiratory tissue in humans and animals.
  2. Odorox can be installed immediately because hydroxyls are safe for people, pets, plants and sensitive materials. This means that while the physical cleaning is being performed, Odorox is deodorizing simultaneously.
  3.  Homeowners can stay home and businesses can stay open while Odorox is operating. This reduces or eliminates additional living expenses (ALE) and business interruption costs for the insurance companies.
  4.  Hydroxyls are more effective than any other method. This means that many items previously thought to be unsalvageable can now be restored, like rubber, leather and electronics
  5.  Odorox reduces the work involved with cleaning drapes, upholstery, carpets, laundry and dry cleaning. Most of this can now be handled on site.
  6.  Odorox does not use any chemicals and leaves no residue.
  7. Using an odorox hydroxyl generator  for 12 hrs. has proven to reduce the presence of  E. coli, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa on stainless steel and cotton fabric by 99%.

Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc uses hydroxyl generators to restore our customers homes to a clean, safe environment in a timely manner.

PRS of tampa bay

When would I need this service?  Anywhere odors, bacteria, viruses or mold are present.

Fire and smoke restoration

Water and flood restoration

Mold mitigation

Sewage backups

Trauma scene and biohazard cleanup

Odor elimination

Contents restoration

Eliminate volatile organic compounds

 

 

Are You Prepared For Hurricane Season?

Are You Prepared For Hurricane Season?

Having an emergency plan for hurricane season will make a hectic situation easier to deal with. As much work that is put into hurricane tracking, the projected landfall is still unpredictable. They can change their direction last minute and make a surprise turn for the worst. If you are not properly prepared for the storm chances are you will forget about valuable steps and items you may need in the event a catastrophic storm makes landfall in your area. Having yourself, your family and your pets prepared will avoid any delay in getting everyone to safety during dangerous weather. 

 

What Should You Do To Prepare?

Whether you live alone, have a family or have pets you should be prepared. Having a checklist will insure you don’t forget vital items such as medications that could easily be overlooked in a hectic event. Some examples of hurricane supplies you should have on your checklist are:

  • Water – at least 1 gallon daily for people and 1.75 liters for pets
  • Food – at least enough for 5-7 days 
  • Manual can opener
  • Plastic-ware (cups, utensils, plates)
  • First Aid Kit/Medicines/Prescriptions Drugs/Eye Glasses/Contacts
  • Toiletries/Hygiene Items/Moisture Wipes
  • Sunscreen and Lotion
  • Water purification tablets
  • Radio (battery operated and NOAA weather radio)
  • Flashlights/batteries
  • Cash (banks may be closed and ATMs may be down) 
  • Keys (house, cars, boats, etc.)
  • Ziplock bags (for food and items that must stay dry)
  • Important documents (Insurance cards, Driver’s License, SSC, etc.)
  • Coolers and ice 

If you have pets:

  •  Food, Water, Leash and Collar (ID Tags), Medications, current photographs, any favorite toys or blankets to help with anxiety. 

In the event that you are forced to evacuate your home you should take steps to help prevent possible damages from happening. Before you leave your home for a safe zone take the following precautions:

  • Cover all windows with plywood that are cut to fit the window – tape does not prevent your windows from breaking.
  • Pick up any lose debris in your yard – furniture, branches, anything loose that could become a missile to your home. 
  • Secure boats, trailers, campers and RVS in the safest place you can find. Do your best to secure them in the hopes that they will  not be damaged by the approaching storm. 
  • Move all items that can be damaged from water to higher areas and away from windows in your home. 
  • Huge items need to be secured in big storms. Strong winds can pick up vehicles and throw them. Do your best to secure any large items you have outdoors. 
  • Bring in all plants, decorative items, grills, etc. into a closed area.
  • Close and fasten all gates and doors. 

 

Picking Up the Pieces after the Storm

Some people may be stuck having to clean up after a storm has passed. Hurricanes can make areas look completely unrecognizable. If you happen to be one of the unfortunate people to suffer from the wrath of a storm hopefully your home is restorable. The first step you should take is surveying the damage to your home. Take pictures, document your losses, and be aware of possible dangers such as broken glass and leaking gas. Time is precious during this time, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. This is where understanding your homeowner’s insurance policy is important. Please see the previous post about water damage below to understand the difference in water and flood damage coverage.


After you have contacted your insurance company the next step is to contact a restoration professional in your area. This is a time sensitive step as well because the sooner repairs are underway the less damage your property will suffer from. Hiring a certified restoration professional is extremely important. Being certified is expensive and is a privilege. Many companies out there will offer a great price but chances are they are not certified. If you are a Florida resident you can go to https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp to verify a State license. Protect yourself and always do research before you agree to have a company begin repairs. 

 

Restoring Your Home after a Hurricane by PRS 

Hiring a company that can offer immediate response is critical. Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc. is here to aid those in need during a disaster. We offer emergency services 24 hours a day 365 days a year to both residential and commercial losses. PRS handles all hurricane damages; water damage, flood damage, fire damage, wind damage, and mold. We are a certified and reputable company that understands the importance of an immediate response to your loss.

 

Flood Damage in the Tampa Bay: Getting Help

If you are a resident of the Tampa Bay area then you should know that there are certain flood damage risks. You may have also experienced it for yourself. Flooding can cause several damages to your property.  This harsh reality is evident in the recently experienced tropical storm Debby.

Flooding isn’t new in Tampa Bay. The most important thing to do after the flood is to be safe. After you and your family are safe, try to assess the situation of your property. The magnitude of damage strongly depends on your location. This is the hardest part after the flood: getting things back together again.

Flood Damage to Property

A flood is the last thing any resident wants. Typical after storm surges and hurricanes – the wind speed and rainfall brings with it, the potential for property damage. Cars and basements are the usual casualties, followed by documents, furniture, appliances, etc.

Insurance Coverage

Always contact your insurance company to confirm coverage. Finances during this time are critical and you may want to figure out your financial participation. Find the best options and make sure that your family gets all the help they need financially – especially when your family struggles in this aspect.

Health Becomes an Issue

Flooding also highlights health concerns for the public. Water damage, when left out brings in different sanitation problems from mold growth to drainage and sewerage problems. You may want to hasten up the restoration of affected areas in your properties. The community and your family should be safe guarded from any health risks caused by floods.

Uncontrolled water is a catalyst for microorganism growth. Stagnant water is also a favorite for pests, insects and other animals that poses concerns. Flooding may bring in more than just property damage. This is why flood damage restoration should be a priority in prone areas like Tampa Bay.

Flood Damage Restoration in Tampa Bay

Always wait for the storm to settle before doing any restoration. This is for your own safety. Flood damage brings a lot of work for restoration. There are a lot of restoration services available in Tampa Bay. Before you call for assistance – try to see the bigger picture first. Find out what you have to get fixed and list your priorities. Try to check if the flood was all that you had to worry about. You may have to check your roofing, drainage, water supply, electric connections, etc.

Flood damage restoration is not limited to pumping water out of you backyard. Flood damage restoration, in an overall sense should bring your property back to its original state – if not better. Always find the best restoration providers that offer the most services to avoid any further stress to you and your family.

Flood Damage Assistance by PRS

Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc. helps residents cope with flood damage. Equipped with the best equipment and trained personnel that specialize in restoration – this is a one stop shop. PRS is available 24/7 for any emergency, always ready to help you with your problems.

What You Have to Know About Flood Damage

Flooding is a serious threat. Flood damage can lead to severe damage to property and human life. Houses, cars, commercial establishments, basements are all potential candidates for flood damage. Flooding has an unpredictable nature – reason for more concerns if you live in a high risk area.

Flooding usually has natural causes. This is common for storms and hurricanes that constantly prey on its path. Water is a force that is really hard to stop. However, flood damage can be minimized. This can be done by being prepared and paying attention to news updates.

Minimizing Flood Damage

Flood damage is at maximum when you are unprepared or unwilling to take the necessary actions. Elevating electronic equipment, cars and furniture should be the best action during the flooding – but always take on safety first before beginning to salvage any property.

After the flood, water disposal and drying of soaked materials should minimize damage. Always remember that any water damage requires immediate attention. This is because water damage progresses with time requiring attention every time it hits.

Immediate and Secondary Flood Damage

Flood damage may be categorized as immediate and secondary. Immediate flood damage may be best explained as deformed or warped floor boards and walls, unusable electronic equipment, broken furniture and wet documents. Immediate damage can be minimized by acting on water immediately. This can also be done by elevating objects above the flood level or by simply washing out water from surfaces to avoid discoloration – especially for good furniture.

Secondary Damage may be considered as an after effect. This damage is a result of undisposed water after the flood. The most prominent form would be mold infestation. Mold can be a huge health risk, not to mention the arid smell it produces. Mold thrives in humid areas where food and moisture exists. Quickly drying materials soaked in the flood will help control secondary flood damage.

Flood Damage: Getting Help

Flood damage can be nullified with the help of professional service providers. Specialization is greatly required with this scale of damage. Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc. – PRS, aids in any water or flood restoration projects. A team of experts from PRS has the capability to provide fast restorations. Complete with certifications for mold remediation, water and flood damage control and structural repairs – PRS is a one stop shop.

Flood Damage: Insurance

Always make sure that you are covered with insurance. This is also to say that always contact your insurance provider when flood and water damage is sustained. It is best to know your coverage to have a cost assessment and restoration appraisals before you barge in with the activities.

Flood Damage Control in a Hurry

PRS is available for service 24 hours. This means that PRS can provide assistance during emergency situations, just as needed. Water damage requires fast and accurate service – and this is what PRS provides. PRS will service the Tampa Bay and the neighboring areas just as fast.