Florida Governor Says Be Prepared

The newest hurricane that could threaten North America intensified Monday morning, though its future path remains uncertain.

As of 8 a.m. ET, Hurricane Irma was about 610 miles (980 kilometers) east of the Leeward Islands, the National Hurricane Center said. It’s packing maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph) as it headed west-northwest at 14 mph (22 kph).
The islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Saint Martin and Nevis, at the eastern edge of the Caribbean, are now under hurricane watches. More hurricane or tropical storm watches could follow for the British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

View image on Twitter

Hurricane watches are in effect for the Nrn Leeward Islands. TS force winds are most likely to begin late Tuesday. http://hurricanes.gov/#Irma 

“Swells generated by Irma will begin affecting the northern Leeward Islands today,” the NHC said Monday. “These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”

Puerto Ricans warned

Irma is expected to remain a “dangerous major hurricane” through the week and could directly affect the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas, the agency said.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello warned the public on Sunday that the island could feel Irma’s wrath around noon Wednesday.
Puerto Rico’s State Agency for the Management of Emergencies and Disaster Management (AEMEAD) is monitoring Irma and has opened an information hotline.

Florida governor says be prepared

It’s too soon to know the impact Irma could have on the continental United States, where no warnings or watches are currently in effect.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged the state’s residents to ensure their disaster supply kits were ready.
“FL knows how important it is to be prepared. Encourage your loved ones to have a plan ahead of any potential storm,” Scott tweeted Sunday. “Disaster preparedness should be a priority for every Florida family.”

Why Irma could be especially intense

Irma is a classic “Cape Verde hurricane,” meaning it formed in the far eastern Atlantic, near the Cape Verde Islands (now known as the Cabo Verde Islands), then tracks all the way across the Atlantic, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said.
And Cape Verde storms frequently become some of the largest and most intense hurricanes. Examples include Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Floyd, and Hurricane Ivan.

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Floods and Mold Growth

Mold growth may be a problem after flooding. Excess moisture in the home is cause for concern about indoor air quality primarily because it provides breeding conditions for pests, molds and other microorganisms.

EPA’s Fact Sheet Flood Cleanup: Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems discusses steps to take when cleaning and repairing a home after flooding to avoid creating indoor air quality problems during cleanup. U.S. EPA, EPA Document Number 402-F-93-005, August 1993.

For more information on Flood Cleanup see:

Replacing your flooring after a flood: If you are repairing your home or building after a flood or hurricane, to prevent mold growth you should be sure your foundation is dry before you replace the flooring. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) issued a standard which describes an easy way to check if your concrete slab is dry enough to replace the flooring. The basic approach is to fasten the edges of a clear piece of plastic sheeting to a concrete slab, and wait for approximately 16 hours. If moisture is visible on the plastic sheeting, it is still too wet to replace the flooring. For more details, visit the ASTM’s portal for standard, testing, learning and more.

Colyer Services are experts in all of the above mentioned matters, and have been performing water damage restoration, mold prevention and remediation in Central Florida since 2005.

Colyer Services:

Tampa – 813-734-2552

Sarasota – 941-201-8520

Orlando – 407-388-8800

DOES BLEACH KILL MOLD?

People often ask us, does bleach kill mold? While people often try using bleach for mold, it may not be a viable solution. There is not a simple yes or no answer to this question, but it is important to know how bleach works when you’re trying to eliminate a mold problem in your home.

SOME SAY BLEACH KILLS MOLD

The North Dakota State University recommends using bleach for mold. The Clorox Company, a company that makes bleach, says bleach and water will kill some types of mold on hard, non-porous surfaces. They claim it will kill Aspergillus niger and Trichophyton mentagrophytes (the mold that causes Athlete’s foot) but don’t say whether or not it will kill any other types of mold.

Since there are more than 100 types of mold commonly found growing in American homes, using bleach for mold seems unwise unless you know for certain what type of mold you’re dealing with. You can have Colyer Services come in and test your mold for you if you want to know for sure, and will will perform a comprehensive mold assessment on your home

SOME SAY BLEACH DOESN’T WORK WELL ON MOLD

Both the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used to answer the question – does bleach kill mold? – with a “yes” but both agencies have changed their opinions and advice on the matter. They no longer recommend using bleach for mold.

Bleach may kill some strains of mold but not others. Bleach is corrosive and many damage some surfaces. In addition, bleach will not penetrate deeply into semi-porous materials like wood, so it may remove mold on the surface but leave traces of mold behind that will just grow back and spread. Water that is in bleach may penetrate deep into the wood which can actually help any mold that is in there to grow.

BLEACH AS A COMPONENT IN MOLD KILLING PRODUCTS

Many products on the market today, advertised to kill mold, contain bleach. They appear to answer the question – does bleach kill mold – with a “yes” but it appears they often based their answer on popular opinion, not science.

Despite the advice of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, many people that have not read their recommendation still mistakenly believe bleach kills just about everything. Companies know that people will feel comfortable using bleach for mold because people won’t realize it’s not an effective way to get rid of mold.

SO WHAT DOES KILL MOLD?

Unfortunately, there is not a real simple answer to that question. It depends on what type of mold you have.

You can purchase a variety of mold killers at most hardware stores, some of which work better than others, and some of which work for some types of mold but not others.

It’s hard to remove all of the mold on some surfaces, such as the wooden studs in your walls. You’re better off hiring a licensed professional to perform the job, as they will have all of the necessary safety equipment tools and chemicals to perform the job.

It’s often impossible to kill mold or remove mold from some surfaces, like carpet, drywall and the insulation inside your walls. Even if you kill some of the mold, if you don’t remove it all from these materials the dead mold spores of some types of mold can still make you sick. These items need to be disposed of and replaced. When disturbing mold on surfaces, spores can contaminate the air throughout the home and cause health problems.

It should be noted that the EPA recommends calling a professional if you have mold that covers a large area, or if it was caused by contaminated water or sewage. Professionals should know what kills different types of mold and how to handle it safely.

Keep these in mind if you believe you have mold:

  • A mold removal specialist will know what type of biocide will work best against the strain or stains of mold growing in your home.
  • A mold removal specialist will know what materials in your home can be cleaned and saved and which must be removed and replaced.
  • A mold removal specialist will have any special equipment needed to complete the mold removal job, including safety gear, respirator masks, vacuums with HEPA filters, and negative air machines.
  • A mold removal specialist will know how to handle mold safely and to prevent the spread of mold spores to other areas of your home.
  • You can get plenty of helpful advice by consulting with a mold removal specialist even if you decide to handle the mold removal job yourself.

Contact Colyer Services, Today!

Tampa – 813-734-2552

Sarasota – 941-21-8520

Orlando – 407-388-8800

MOLD AND WATER DAMAGE SPECIALISTS

Water mitigation dryers and pumps

 

Colyer Services cleans up black mold and other toxic molds, as well as repairing water damage that can cause mold growth. The need for mold and water damage remediation can sometimes be avoided if the problem is addressed within 48 hours of severe leaking or flooding; otherwise the cleanup can be quite a bit of work. We can advise you about what needs to be done in order to resolve the problem.

WATER DAMAGE REMEDIATION

If you’ve experienced flooding in your home, a broken pipe, a serious leak in your roof or other severe water damage, prompt cleanup may prevent the growth of harmful mold, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as black mold. Insulation, drywall, ceiling tiles and carpeting, including the backing, may need to be discarded and replaced.

In some cases, carpeting and the backing can be dried out and saved if treated within 24 – 48 hours. Continue reading “MOLD AND WATER DAMAGE SPECIALISTS”

How A Water Restoration Technician Assists After Disaster

A water restoration technician has an extremely important job when a home is affected by excess moisture or a Flood. Colyer Services can quickly reverse the extensive damage that a flood or sewage back-flow can cause, and save as many items as possible in the process. And when dealing with contaminated fluids, especially when it has pooled in the home, only certified professionals should be allowed to manage the cleanup. Attempting to perform cleanup efforts without expert assistance can lead to injury or illness, both of which can be severe.

Colyer Services will be on call around the clock, including those times when an entire community has been affected by a major disaster. As soon as a professional is on site, we will assess the situation and determine what items need immediate rescuing. If fluid has pooled in areas around the home, then pumps will be used to remove it.

The home will be dried using a configuration of heavy duty air movers and dehumidifiers, and while it dries, the we will move through the building and look for any evidence of mold or pathogen contamination. If pathogens or mold are present, they will be eliminated using special  procedures. This should only be achieved by State of Florida licensed professionals. This will ensure the home is safe to return to, and with concerted drying efforts, the building will as good as new once professionals have completed their work.

Colyer Services are State of Florida licensed Mold Assessors and General Contractors

Colyer Services:

Tampa – 813-734-2552

Sarasota – 941-241-8520

Orlando – 407-388-8800

The 4 most common questions about home flooding

Flood damage isn’t something homeowners deal with often. Unlike “routine” services like a plumber or carpet cleaner, it’s fortunately very rare when you need a flood damage company like us. But because it isn’t very common, it’s also very confusing to most homeowners. And you can only imagine how much stress is added to the equation when you’re dealing with an emergency event like substantial flooding. Many people have no idea where to turn or what actions to take. In some cases, that can lead to paralysis. In other cases, it can lead to making poor decisions that can either put your health and safety at risk or cause you significant financial hardship down the road. We always tell people in your situation that it’s a good idea to ask as many questions as possible as soon as possible. That goes for any flood restoration service company you are talking to, your insurance adjuster, or anyone else that might be involved in the recovery process.

Here are the most common questions we get from home or business owners that have experienced significant flooding damage to their property. If you find yourself in their shoes, you’d be wise to make sure you have the answers you need to make the best decisions to protect yourself, your family and your bank account.

Does my homeowners insurance cover flooding?

This depends on your policy. Homeowners insurance typically covers flooding due to internal plumbing or roof issues, but you would need special flood insurance for cover for storm flooding, usually. If your home is located within a flood zone, then you likely are covered. Colyer Services have experience insurance adjusters to help identify your coverage, and see to it that your claim is paid!

What should I do immediately to protect my safety?

During a flood event, your life is at risk from a number of dangers. Obviously rising water levels and quickly moving water can cause drowning, but there are other dangers you should be aware of. If it’s the case you find yourself unable to leave your home due to the rapidly rising water levels, seek the highest position in your home possible. If you live in a 2 story home, go to the second story and call for help. If you’re unable to stay dry, it’s important you turn off the electricity to your home as well as your gas. In some instances, electrocution or gas leaks can occur due to flooding.

Who should I call to help me?

If you’re in danger, always call 911. If the danger has subsided but you don’t know where to turn, you have a variety of resources. Locally, you may have some non-profit organizations that can help you put the pieces back in place and begin the recovery process. The Red Cross is always a good resource in the event of a natural disaster. They typically put employees and volunteers on the ground after large-scale flood events to help people in your situation.

If you do have flood insurance and aren’t sure what to do, we would encourage you to call us to begin the process of assessing your loss. It’s probably a good opportunity to remind you that costs for our services are dictated by your insurer. So as long as you hire a company that is using Xactimate, such as Colyer Services, to estimate the cost of your flooding damage cleanup services, that company is going to ultimately work with your insurer to determine the cost of the loss. We say that to remind you that you don’t need to worry about whether or not the cost of your loss will be covered by your insurer. Sometimes people wait around for their adjuster to take the lead on the claim, and when there has been a major flood event, they’re often overloaded with claims and can’t get to you in a timely fashion. That means your property ends up with even more damage to it, and not to mention the risk of health hazards increase as your property sits waterlogged.

How much will it cost?

It’s impossible to say. Every property is unique and every situation differs. What does remain constant is the unit cost of every single item that must be replaced and every action that must be taken by whichever restoration company you hire.

If you have a flooded property, contact the Emergency Response Team at Colyer Services right away

Tampa – 813-734-2552

Sarasota – 941-201-8520

Orlando – 407-388-8800

Pictures of Black Mold

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so we’d like to show you some pictures of black mold. You might think household mold is not such a big deal, but when you see a picture of toxic black mold covering a wall, well, you might think again. Black mold spreads rapidly, so what starts out as a little bit of mold in a corner can quickly grow to nightmarish proportions.

Black Mold Pictures

Black mold, officially known as stachybotrys chartarum and sometimes referred to as toxic mold, is typically black and slimy in appearance. Its appearance may vary somewhat depending on what type of surface it’s found growing on, though. It is typically found in areas that stay damp, whether from a leak in the roof, leaky pipes, leaky toilets, or leaky windows. It can also begin to grow after a home has been flooded. We’ll show you some examples of what black mold may look like.

Here is a picture of toxic black mold growing on a wall. When you see a lot of black mold on a wall like this, there is often mold growing inside the wall, as well. It’s usually impossible to clean walls like this. In such cases, it’s usually necessary to remove the drywall and insulation and replace them with new, mold-free materials.

Mold in corner of walls

Here is a picture of black mold growing on a ceiling, which often happens after a roof has been leaking for a while. If you see mold on your ceiling, there is a good chance you have mold in your attic, as well.

Black mold on ceiling

Mold can also grow on floors, of course. Here’s a picture of toxic black mold growing on carpet. If you see mold on carpet, there’s probably mold under the carpet, as well. It’s usually impossible to remove mold from carpet; in most cases, the carpet must be removed and replaced.

Black mold on carpet

Black mold can be found in any part of the home. Here are some pictures of black mold in different areas.

Mold on basement wall
Black mold in a basement
Black mold in attic

Black mold in an attic

Black mold in bathroom behind tiles
Black mold in a bathroom
Black mold in air ducts
Black mold in heating ducts

What If You Have Mold That Looks Like This in Your Home?

So what if you have mold that looks like these pictures of black mold in your home? Well, your health, and the health of your entire family, is at risk. Black mold is sometimes referred to as toxic mold because it produces mycotoxins that can cause numerous health problems, including breathing problems, asthma attacks, respiratory infections such as pneumonia, coughing, sneezing, headaches, sore throats, exhaustion, and depression. It can even make your pets sick; some families have lost pets due to serious infections and other health problems related to exposure to black mold.

If you have mold like this in your home, you need to get it cleaned up as soon as possible in order to prevent health problems from beginning or worsening. If you have black mold covering a large area (greater than three square feet) or mold growing in your heating and ventilation ducts, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends having a professional handle the cleanup. If you have and mold-related health problem, or health issues such as asthma that might be worsened by exposure to mold, it’s also best to have a professional handle the job. If you need to hire a mold removal professional, or if you’d just like some expert advice about the mold in your home, you can schedule a consultation with Colyer Services. Fill out our contact form below, or call!

Orlando – 407-388-8800

Tampa/Sarasota – 813-734-2552