October 16, 2017
The Truth About Black Mold and Toxic Mold
Here at Project X Restoration in Denver, we want to share the truth about black mold and toxic mold. Just the words “black mold” are enough to make you feel queasy. No one wants mold in their home and black molds and toxic molds can be particularly harmful to your health. If you suspect that you may have these molds in your home or business, it is important to contact a professional to remove it.
Toxic Molds and Black Molds
The term black mold is fairly misleading. People use the term “black mold” to refer to all mold and they use the term interchangeably with toxic mold. For professionals, there is only one black mold: Stachybotrys atra, which is also known as Stachybotrys chartarum. The weird part? This mold is actually a greenish black and can even be gray. There are over 100,000 types of mold, but only this one is the “real” black mold.
“Toxic mold” is also a misleading term. Because of the term, “toxic,” people think that the mold is poisonous. The mold itself is actually toxigenic. This means the mold produces toxins. The toxins attach to spores and float away in search of a new place to reside. Unfortunately, when these toxins are inhaled they can be harmful.
The truth about black mold and toxic mold is that mold spores aren’t released unless they are disturbed, and the mold doesn’t produce the toxins constantly. While this can provide some comfort, you really do not want mold to be allowed to grow in your home. If you find mold, you will want to have the mold remediated as soon as possible. Molds are particularly dangerous for people with mold allergies and compromised immune systems.
Black Mold Signs
A musty smell that is similar to dirt and rotting leaves is a sign of mold. Black mold or Stachybotrys is particularly strong smelling. Molds prefer moderate temperatures, darkness, and moisture. A combination of factors is an ideal environment for mold to grow.
If you have the kind of strong earthy smell in your home, you likely have a mold problem. If you know that areas of your home have moisture issues, or maybe you have had a flood in your basement recently, you should consider having it checked. If you suspect that you have a mold issue, you should call a mold removal and remediation services professional.
It is impossible to tell for sure which kind of mold you have. You could test to be sure, but the reality is that any kind of mold can create health issues in the long run and it will need to be removed and be mitigated to avoid reoccurrence. Mold removal is a must, regardless of the type.
Now that you know the truth about black mold and toxic mold, contact us here at Project X Restoration, serving Denver metro and Colorado. We can figure out whether you have a mold issue and get it removed for you quickly and safely so that you can rest easier and avoid potential health hazards.
October 16, 2017
How to Choose a Biohazard Cleanup Service
When a tragedy or disaster occurs, knowing how to choose a biohazard cleanup service is incredibly important. Here at Project X Restoration in Denver, we want to share a few helpful tips so that if you ever need a biohazard cleanup, you’ll know what to look for to ensure you only work with true professionals.
Experience and Training
The most frequent reasons a biohazard cleanup is needed are death, trauma, or crime scene. It is important to have dangerous contaminants safely removed to get your home, property, business, or scene of the trauma back to clean, safe condition. Before selecting a biohazard cleanup service, ask about:
- Bloodborne pathogen compliance and training
- OSHA training
- Medical waste transport and handling training
- Respiratory protection training and compliance
- Personal protection equipment compliance and training
Certification and licensing requirements can vary from state to state for biohazard cleanups. Here in Denver, be sure to inquire about whether the biohazard cleanup service you are considering meets Colorado’s legal requirements. The company you are considering should be able to show proof of any licensing.
When dealing with medical waste, the company in question should have a medical waste transporter license and have a contract with a licensed medical waste disposal company. It is important to note that there are no specific certifications for crime scene or death-related cleanups. This makes due diligence on your part incredibly important.
Choose a company that has a lot of experience with cleaning up biohazards. We here at Project X Restoration in Denver have over 135 years of combined experience and we will make sure that your biohazard is cleaned up properly. You want to choose a company that uses the correct equipment for the job to ensure that your home, business, or property is safe from toxins. You also want a company that has high standards for their services.
You want a service that is going to understand the severity of your situation and respect the emotional impact that can come with such experiences. The company you hire should be respectful of you and your situation. You should be treated with kindness, compassion and professionalism. A cleanup company shouldn’t add to the strain of your situation.
Look at reviews of the company. What do previous customers have to say about service, cost, timeliness and professionalism? When it comes to how to choose a biohazard cleanup service, it’s helpful if you are able to locate reviews from customers with a situation similar to yours. You want a company with satisfied customers that speak to a company’s to experience and commitment. The Better Business Bureau is another good place to check.
Now that you know how to choose a biohazard cleanup service, contact us here at Project X Restoration for your biohazard cleanup needs. We care about providing a high standard of cleanup service and most importantly, care about helping get your home, property, or business cleaned up quickly and correctly so that you can focus on other important issues.
September 19, 2017
Disaster Preparation and Taking a Home Inventory
At Project X Restoration in Denver, we recommend making time for disaster preparation and taking a home inventory. As professional restoration specialists, we’ve seen first-hand the devastation that can be caused by a natural disaster, plumbing issue, house fire and so much more. These situations are incredibly stressful, making it difficult for homeowners to clearly think through an exhaustive list of their home’s contents. Being prepared is vital.
Nobody expects their basement to flood or electrical system to ignite a fire, so it’s natural not to think too much about being ready. But, if it ever happens to you, disaster preparation and taking a home inventory can spare you added stress and more quickly get you on the path to restoring both your home and your life.
According to a 2012 survey, over half of U.S. residents have not done an inventory of their home to account for all their possessions. Of those who have completed inventories, 27% do not have photos to accompany their inventory, 28% don’t have a backup stored outside their home, and 48% have no receipts to accompany their inventory. Almost 60% have not updated their inventories in over a year. If you fall into any or all of these categories and experience damage from a fire, you’ll likely face issues when seeking reimbursement from your insurance company.
A Successful Home Inventory
Because a home inventory can seem overwhelming, it is best to start with a portion of your home. Choose an inventory tool that you will be likely to use and will be able to best keep up to date. Treat your inventory systematically and keep at it until you have completed it.
Once your inventory is complete, you need an offsite storage place or an accessible online location. Saving this information to a home computer will do you no good if it’s destroyed in a fire or home flood. Every significant purchase should be added at least on an annual basis.
Successful methods for home inventories include:
- Spreadsheets: Spreadsheets are an easy way to track and organize an inventory.
- Photos: Be sure to photograph every room systematically and be sure to take individual photos of important or valuable items. You will need a way to track purchase dates, costs, and model or serial numbers.
- Video: You will need to be sure to capture information similar to photos. Videos have an added advantage of having audio to accompany your inventory.
- Apps: There are a lot of apps that are great ways to complete your inventory. Some that have been recommended include Inventory for Homeowners, DreamVault, Home Gallery, and The Home Inventory. These apps are just a few of the available options that may work well for you.
Worth the Effort
Disaster preparation and taking a home inventory can save you time and energy in case of an emergency. It may also mean a more streamlined reimbursement process. If you need help in your restoration efforts following an unfortunate event, contact our professionals at Project X Restoration in Denver. We can help you with clean-up and restoration following water damage, fire, smoke damage, and more. We care about helping you and your family.
September 5, 2017
Why Choose IICRC Certified Professionals for Water Damage?
Why choose IICRC Certified Professionals for water damage? Here at Project X Restoration in Denver, we want to share why the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is so important when it comes to hiring a professional to clean and restore your home or business following water damage.
Water Damage Can Be Serious
Comprehensive water damage restoration involves going into a business or home following water damage caused by floods, burst pipes, or other destruction and involves helping with clean-up but also includes drying everything from substructures to drywall, wood, metal, and concrete. It’s a very intensive process that requires proper training.
Of course, one of the biggest concerns following a water disaster is mold damage, but there are many other issues related to moisture damage that are also vitally important, such as crumbling plaster and drywall, weakened supports and beams, as well as rusting of metal surfaces. Each issue must be addressed individually and restored meticulously.
So, why choose IICRC Certified Professionals for water damage? Because of the potential for the initial damage to spread, you need a professional service with appropriate training like Project X Restoration in Denver. A service that has earned the ability to post the IICRC logo has met a rigorous list of standards. The IICRC encourages consumers to look for the IICRC logo, not just because it is a sign of high quality, but also because this organization has led the way in establishing standards for water damage restoration and mold remediation.
Need to Understand the Source
In order to understand how to best to clean up after water damage, it is important that your restoration and cleaning professional know about the different types of liquid involved.
According to IICRC standards (there are 500 of them), there are three categories of liquid in water disasters.
- Category 1: Liquid in this category is from a clean, sanitary source. Liquids like water from faucets, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, etc. are all category 1.
- Category 2: Liquids in this category have a small level of contaminants. This category would include water from washing machines, dishwashers, or toilet overflow that involves urine only.
- Category 3: This liquid is considered grossly unsanitary. Floodwater from rivers or streams, sewage backups, and toilet overflows with feces, etc. are in category 3.
Need to Know the Level of Destruction
It is also important to have a full understanding of the level of destruction in order to understand how to perform the water damage clean-up and restoration. There are different levels of damage depending on the types of material ruined and amount and category of the liquid involved. The clean-up and restoration for a Category 1 liquid that affected minimal amounts of a room with a concrete floor will be very different than a Category 3 liquid that has affected the entire house and has saturated the floors, carpets, and insulation. If you use professionals that have the IICRC’s approval, you are working with a company that knows the best way to deal with such dramatically different situations.
If you have water damage and need an IICRC approved company to help with clean-up and restoration, contact us at Project X Restoration in Denver. We’re available 24/7 in case of emergency and will help you restore your home to its preloss state.
August 21, 2017
Dangers of Smoke Damage After a Fire
Fire is dangerous, that’s obvious enough, but few people understand the dangers of smoke damage after a fire. At Project X Restoration in Denver, we want you and your family to be protected not only from fire but also from the issues that can occur after you have survived a fire in your home.
Did You Know?
When people think of house fires, many focus on the flames burning things to ash, but did you know that smoke from the fires is often the true killer in house fires?
Smoke is the leading cause of death in fires; it surpasses burns by a 3:1 ratio. Many people also understand that direct exposure to smoke is harmful to your respiratory system, but did you know that the smoke could cause issues with your home’s structure? Smoke from a fire contains carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and soot. Whatever burns in the fire can also release harmful chemicals that are dangerous when inhaled but also cling to walls, furniture, ductwork, clothing, and more.
Knowing more about the dangers of smoke after a fire can help when it comes to restoring your home to its pre-loss state.
Flow of Smoke
Hot air rises so smoke damage commonly occurs in the following locations:
- Directly above the fire. This assumes there were no strong air currents flowing through the structure. The highest concentration of smoke will usually be found on the ceiling over the flames.
- Outside windows and walls. Cold air descends below warm air. This will allow a path for the smoke to travel to exterior walls. This occurs even if the fire occurs in the center of a large room. The exterior windows and walls will still often incur smoke damage and contain heavy amounts of smoke residue.
Temperature and Airflow Determines Much
One of the most surprising things about the dangers of smoke damage after a fire is where else in your home it can be found. Some of this makes sense once you understand how temperature and airflow interact with the surrounding environment. Additional heavy smoke damage occurs in the following areas, which can be unexpected, but again, makes sense once you understand.
- Enclosed spaces: Closed closets, wall cavities, and dresser drawers may seem like places which would incur very little damage, but in fact, these areas will frequently sustain more damage than the area where the fire actually burned. Part of this is because air and smoke particles in warm air move faster. The particles are kept in circulation because of the warm temperature. Smoke naturally moves towards cooler areas and as the particles move into enclosed, cool spaces they slow down and come to rest.
- Behind drapes and blinds: Because of the cooler temperatures and often because of the material involved, smoke damage can be quite high.
- In ducts: Also due to cooler temperatures, smoke will frequently come to rest in the ductwork. Following a fire, a thorough inspection should be performed to figure out the true extent of your home’s smoke damage.
If you have had a fire and are experiencing the dangers of smoke damage after a fire, contact us at Project X Restoration in Denver. We can help you sort through how best to restore and repair your home following a fire.