Signs Of Hidden Water Leaks In Your Bathroom

Bathroom leaks can be tricky and hard to detect, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Puddles left on the floor after a shower or bath can seem innocent enough, especially if you have children. You may need to poke around to find the not-so-obvious bathroom plumbing leak.

Look for these somewhat subtle signs to determine whether you need to hire a plumber to fix those leaking pipes or plumbing fixtures before things get worse. If left untreated, a water leak in you bathroom can cost you, expecially if it leads to serious water damage to walls, flooring and paint.

Mildew or Mold

No matter how well and how often you clean your bathroom, mold or mildew can spring up if you have a hidden water leak. Mold thrives on moist, dark areas, and a pipe, which is typically hidden in a wall or under flooring, provides the perfect starting point for mold or mildew if the pipe springs a leak.

While it’s normal for a little mildw to occur wherever water accumulates, such as in the corner of a shower, mold or mildew on non shower walls or in corners of the bathroom is a clear sign that water is leaking somewhere and finding its way close to those areas. A leaking pipe provides plenty of moisture so the longer it takes you to detect and fix the leak, the easier and faster mold will grow.

Damaged paint or wallpaper

Wall damage from toilet leak.

A wall with blistering paint or wallpaper is another sign of bathroom leaks.

In most cases, steam from the occasional hot shower shouldn’t cause paint or wallpaper to come loose. When water and moisture get between the wall and paint, they eliminate the bond and begin to separate the two, causing the paint to rise from the wall and fall off in pieces. The same goes for wallpaper: The adhesive used to bond the paper to the wall becomes less sticky and the paper begins to come loose.

Damaged Walls

Tile damage from leak in shower. Mold in wall board behind tile.

A wall that is warped or stained for no reason is a clear sign that you have a plumbing leak in your bathroom.

When drywall is exposed to moisture, it becomes soft and begins to bubble, ultimately warping and breaking into pieces. If the leak reaches the ceiling, it causes it to sag and possibly leak some of the water that has accumulated. The same goes for the wall board behind tiles; once water has penetrated and moisture can accumulate, the tiles will begin to come loose and fall off.

To fix the leak, a plumber often must tear out the drywall, requiring someone to patch and paint or retile when the plumber is finished.

Damaged flooring

Unless you purposely let water sit on it, a bathroom floor rarely suffers water damage unless there is a leak. If your bathroom floor is buckling, cracking or beginning to stain for no obvious reason, chances are hidden water is the culprit. The water could be from a pipe directly underneath the floor, or it could have traveled there from another area.

Depending of the type of flooring in your bathroom, moisture can make it feel spongy or soft. Tile may lose its adhesion and become loose, allowing you to easily remove a piece and possibly expose water or moisture underneath it. You will also often find a damp subfloor.

Stains on ceilings

If you have a bathroom on a second floor, you might spot a leak in the ceiling under the bathroom. Check the patch of ceiling in the room directly beneath the bathroom for stains and signs of water damage. However, because water can travel a long distance, it’s possible to find water stains on the ceiling farther away.

An occasional wet floor in a second-story bathroom won’t cause enough seepage to damage anything underneath it. Any brown, copper or dark stain on the ceiling is a sign of a pernicious water leak in the ceiling. A sagging ceiling is a sign that water from a leak is reaching the area.

sources: J.T. Gonzales. Signs Of Hidden Water Leak In Your Bathroom. Web blog post. Solution Center: Plumbing. Angie’s List.

The Difference Between Mold and Mildew

Mold in interior of window https://www.prs24hr.com

Mold and mildew are both types of fungi that are commonly found in the home. They thrive in moist environments, spread easily, and live on various surfaces which makes them very difficult to get rid of. If left unattended, however, the harmful microorganisms can quickly affect large areas of your property and may even result in health problems and structural damage. While the two types of fungi share many common features, they pose different risks and respond to different treatment.

So, in order to come up with an efficient cleaning strategy and ensure the safety of your living environment, you need to understand the difference between mold and mildew.

What Is The Difference Between Mold And Mildew?

Common Mildew Types

Primarily, mildew is a plant disease that causes great damage to crops and plants. It is classified as powdery and downy:

  • Powdery mildew mainly affects flowering plants and first appears as white or gray patterned splotches that gradually become yellowish brown or black as the fungus grows.
  • Downy mildew is commonly found in agricultural products, such as grapes and potatoes. Its appearance varies depending on the type of surface it grows on, but usually downy mildew starts as yellow spots that eventually turn brown.

Common Mold Types

Although the number of mold species that can live indoors exceeds 10,000 according to the latest CDC estimates, most household molds belong to one of the following five types. (Picture and description to the right.)

  • Penicillium spores can spread very easily and have strong musty odors.
  • Alternaria under prolonged exposure can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
  • Aspergillus is the most common type of mold found indoors. It can cause allergic reactions and respiratory infections, as well as inflammation of the lungs in those with weak immune systems.
  • Unlike many other molds, Cladosporium can grow in cool areas.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum is the most dangerous kind of household mold – it produces toxic compounds called mycotoxins that can cause severe health problems, such as allergic symptoms, breathing problems, asthma attacks, chronic sinus infections, fatigue and depression. Usually grows around areas that are constantly damp.

How To Tell The Diffence Between MoldAnd Mildew?

There are several crucial differences in the appearance and properties of mold and mildew that will help you recognize the type of indoor fungi you have discovered in your home

Visual differences between mold and mildew https://www.prs24hr.com

Differences between Mold and Mildew in Appearance

Typically, mold appears black or green while mildew looks gray or white. Yet, there are some more detailed specifics on the appearance of the fungi:

  • Mildew usually grows in a flat pattern and appears either powdery or fluffy. It can be easily identified as a patch of white, gray or yellowish fungus that is lying on the surface of a moist area. Mildew usually turns black or brown over time.
  • Mold is usually fuzzy or slimy in appearance. It appears as irregularly shaped spots that can have different colors – blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black or white. Oftentimes, surfaces that are covered in mold begin to rot.

Differences in the Effects of Mold and Mildew

Both Mold and mildew need to be taken care of in a quick and efficient manner as they can cause a lot of trouble over time:

  • Mildew usually affects plants and crops. If it develops indoors, however, it can also pose health risks. When inhaled, mildew spores cause coughing, headache, sore throat and respiratory problems.
  • Mold can result in considerable structural damage when left unattended for a long time. Prolonged exposure can cause a variety of health problems, depending on the strain of mold. Common health effects of mold include various allergic reactions (sneezing, skin irritations, irritation of the eyes and throat, nasal congestion, ect.), respiratory problems (difficulty breathing, coughing, pneumonia, asthma attacks), heart problems, migraines, inflammation and pain in the joints, dizziness, depression and extreme fatigue. The mycotoxins produced by black mold are particularly harmful and may have severe long-term health effects, especially in younger kids and individual with weak immune systems.

Mold and Mildew Testing

If you are not sure what type of fungi you are dealing with, you can have them tested:

  • Home testing – the easiest way to identify the kind of microorganisms in you home is to drip a few drops of household bleach on the affected area. Wait for about five minutes and inspect the spot:
  1. If it has become lighter, you are dealing with mildew
  2. If it remains dark, it is mold that has developed in your home

You can also use various mold and mildew testing kits that are available on the market:

  • Professional testing – if you suspect considerable mold growth in your property or if you aren’t sure about the best course of action to take, your best bet is to ask for professional assistance. Contact a trustworthy mold removal company in your area for inspection, testing, evaluation and efficient mold removal services that will help you get rid of the harmful fungi in your home.

How To Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew?

If you can prevent mold and mildew in the first place, you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and headaches.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew

The most efficient way to prevent mold and mildew in your home is to keep all the areas dry and moisture-free. Maintain a humidity level of about 40-50% inside the house (a dehumidifier provides the most advantageous solution for ensuring appropriate indoor humidity), have your heating and cooling systems regularly inspected, keep air ducts clean and in good condition ensure good air circulation inside the premises, fix any leaks in the bathroom, kitchen or other areas, ect. Remove any mildew-affected plants and weeks as soon as you notice them in order to prevent mildew infestation.

How to Clean Mold and Mildew

Mildew is a surface fungus that can be efficiently treated with a commercially available cleaner and a scrubbing brush. Just make sure you work in a well-ventilated area and wear a facial mask to prevent inhaling mildew spores, as well as to avoid breathing in fumes given off by the cleaning product you use. It is also advisable to put on rubber gloves in order to protect your hands both from the mildew and from the cleaning agent. Clean all the surrounding areas carefully as well, to ensure that all the fungi have been successfully removed.

Mold, on the other hand, attaches to the affected materials with microscopic filaments that penetrate beneath the surface. The mold spore spread very easily and can survive in extreme conditions, so they can quickly affect large areas of your property and result in permanent damage. Moreover, despite its characteristic musty smell, mold is only visible to the eye when the colonies start growing, so early detection and prevention is very difficult. Worst of all, mold can have a very negative impact on your health, so DIY removal attempts are not recommendable. Beside, DIY remedies are very rarely efficient because the fungus usually grows in area that are very difficult to access and to treat.

The safest and most efficient way to get rid of a mold problem is to call a mold remediation company. An experienced professional will come to your home to assess the situation and determining the type of mold or mildew in your property, as well as the extent of the damage. Then, the most appropriate actions will be taken to remove the harmful fungi and prevent its appearance in the near future. The experts will help ensure not only the safety of your living environment, but also your peace of mind.

Have a professional detect and determine mold in your home https://www.prs24hr.com
Have a professional clean mold in your home https://www.prs24hr.com

http://Luke Armstrong. “Mold Vs. Mildew: The Main Differences Between Mold And Mildew” Web blog post. mold Removal, Restoration Master

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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

 

 

Why Should You Hire a Licensed Contractor?

Being a licensed contractor in Florida is a privilege. Many do not understand the difference in being licensed and why some are not licensed. Obtaining and keeping your contracting license in Florida is expensive and there are requirements you must meet. An unlicensed company is taking the easy and unethical approach to assisting those in need.

Licensed or Unlicensed – Is It a Big Deal?

When you are in need for repairs questions run through your head: What does it mean to be licensed? Why are some contractors licensed and some are not? Does it really matter? Being a licensed contractor means they have passed all required testing, met the minimum experience level of four years, passed a credit and background check, and they must carry insurance to cover liability and workers compensation.

Risks of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor:

  • No insurance – No liability: An unlicensed contractor typically is uninsured – you unlicensedmay end up being liable for personal or financial injuries to others. If they happen to damage your property, there is no insurance to cover that.
  • Poor qualifications and poor quality work: Unlicensed contractors usually do not have the education or qualifications required of a licensee. Therefore, they usually do poor quality work and do not finish the project, leaving the homeowner to pick up the pieces.
  • Possible criminal background: Unlicensed contractors also pose the threat for having a lengthy list of criminal history. This list may include violent crime, sexual offenses, substance abuse, fraud, and/or theft. Do you want someone like that working on your private property?
  • Scam artists: Unlicensed contractors often disappear after taking your money. The department cannot discipline an unlicensed person or help you with any recovery of repairs or money lost. These con artists usually try to scam those in need or urgent repairs such as hurricane damage.
  • Not covered under homeowner’s policy: Most homeowner policies require any repairs be done by a licensed individual.
  • Limited resources for broken contracts: If you have a dispute with a licensed contractor, you have rights and are able to contact the department who will take disciplinary action. However, this action is not available if the contractor is not licensed.
  • Noncompliance with building codes: Most projects require permits and inspections, unlicensed contractors usually ignore such things. If your project isn’t permitted or doesn’t comply with the building code you may have to remove or repair the work at your own expense and be subject to fines.

Before you agree to any repairs confirm the individual is licensed and has insurance. Below are helpful links for you to use:

Click here to verify a Pinellas County license

Click here to verify a State license

Why Hire a Licensed Contractor?

  •  A licensed person has the required education, experience, insurance and qualifications to obtain a license.  They must pass a competency examination before practicing.hire a liecensed contractor
  • Licensed individuals are screened for prior criminal history.
  • The department can discipline and even revoke a license if the person does not live up to professional standards.  This is a not a total safeguard, but is a strong incentive for the licensee to do good work.
  • You may be able to sue the licensee in civil court for problems related to the work done.

Why Should You Hire PRS?

PRS logoProfessional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc. holds 4 state licenses, multiple certifications and the experience to get the job done right. We strive for customer satisfaction and believe in ethical work. We are dedicated to people in need and we are available 24/7 365 days a year to assist you. We are certified to handle all stages of home restoration. Please take a look at our licenses and certifications below:

State Certified Building Contractor CBC #1258546
State Certified Mold Assessor #MRSA236
State Certified Mold Remediation Contractor #MRSR102
State Certified Home Inspector #HI907
State Certified Radon Measurement Technician #R2257
Crime & Trauma Scene Clean-Up
BBB Accredited Business
CMI #79154, CMRC #79178, WRT/ FSRT #135042
Clean Trust Certified Firm #187012 (formerly IICRC)
EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm, Lead-Safe Renovator #NAT-50994-1
FEIN# 270863221
Knight of Columbus
Community Associations Institute member

Mold Removal In Tampa, Florida

Mold removal continues to be one of the most pressing issues that the people of Tampa have to contend with. Always use a company certified in mold removal to remediate any problems your property may have. Inexperience in removal can make a mold situation worse.

Causes of Mold Growth

One should be familiar with how mold grows in Tampa. Under the right conditions (moisture, organic food, and time) mold will grow, multiply and produce spores. Mold grows throughout the natural as well as the built environment. Mold reproduce by microscopic cells called “spores” that are spread easily through the air. Mold spores are present though the indoor and outdoor continually. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, food, ceiling tiles or any surface where dust has accumulated. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no particular way to eliminate all mold and their spores in the indoor environment. The way to control indoor growth is to control the amount of moisture available to the mold.

Tips for Mold Removal in Tampa

Mold trapped in homes is extremely dangerous, and toxic varieties can cause many problems, including severe illness and the complete destruction of property. Once mold is discovered action should be taken immediately to prevent further issues. Unfortunately when it comes to getting rid of mold the first thing people reach for is the bottle of bleach under the kitchen sink, but it can and does make the problem worse. Bleach can actually feed the very thing you are trying to get rid of. There are various reasons why chlorine bleach should not be used for the cleanup of mold. It’s for these reasons that chlorine bleach is not registered as a disinfectant to kill mold with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There are quite a few reasons why chlorine bleach is ineffective at killing mold:

  •  Firstly, chlorine bleach does not have the ability to cut through a dirty surface. Bleach cannot clean dirt and only masks it by bleaching it white or transparent. Any soiled surface that requires mold restoration will initially require cleaned before being disinfected with bleach. This is twice the amount of work required to get rid of mold than if the correct product was used in the first place. In addition, the killing power of bleach is quickly deactivated by organic material.
  •  Secondly, even full strength chlorine bleach is too diluted to get rid of mold permanently especially on porous surfaces. The chlorine itself will not soak into porous materials such as drywall and wood, but the water making up 99% of chlorine bleach does, and feeds the mold. The ionic structure of bleach prevents Chlorine from penetrating into porous materials such as drywall and wood—it just stays on the outside surface, whereas mold has enzyme roots growing inside the porous construction materials. Mold grows its roots deep into the surface of drywall and wood and the chlorine can only kill what is on the surface, allowing the roots of the mold to remain very much alive. Mold removal of porous materials is the only safe way of getting rid of the entire mold.
  • Lastly, whatever killing power chlorine bleach does possess drops rapidly even over a very short period of time. Apart from the fact that the disinfecting power of bleach is quickly deactivated once it comes into contact with organic material, chlorine bleach also has a very short shelf life. As the bleach sits on the grocery store shelf or in the cupboards in a home, the Chlorine ions continually bleed through the plastic which is why bleach smells like bleach even when the bottle is closed. It is reported that in just the first three months after being bottled there is a 50% loss in killing power in an unopened container of bleach.

The most critical step in solving a mold problem is to accurately identify and fix the source(s) of moisture that allowed the growth to occur. In order to prevent mold from growing, it is important that water damaged areas begin to be dried within 24-48 hour period. If mold is a problem in your home, the mold must be cleaned up and the excess water or moisture removed. There are many common sources of excess moisture that can contribute to indoor mold growth. Some of the primary means of moisture entry into homes and buildings are water leakage (such as roof or plumbing leaks), vapor migration, capillary movement, air infiltration, humidifier use, and inadequate venting of kitchen and bath humidity, The key to controlling moisture is to generally reduce indoor humidity under 60% and fix all sources of leaks and moisture.

Using PRS in Tampa Bay for Mold Removal

PRS is an experienced company in Tampa, Florida which deals with cases involving water damage and mold removal. We realize that our clients are looking for a quick solution when they encounter mold growth in Tampa. This is why we provide a quick response to any calls that we receive, restoring your home to its former state in no time at all. Regardless of whether you are a residential or a commercial customer, you can always count on us to deliver. Give us a call and we will be there for you whatever the time of the day.