How to Clean Your Home After a Flood 

Flooding in your home or business can really disrupt your life. Once you have been cleared to go back into the building or residence by the authorities, it becomes a race against time to properly clean the property. It’s not just the water and dirt that causes damage, it is the bacteria, viruses, and potential for mold that can really do damage. 

The first step should be to file a claim with your flood insurance. Be sure to follow the proper steps when filing your claim. But that is only the first step in the recovery process. 

Inspection of Flooding

A flood can often bring with it more damage than you might initially see. This means downed power lines, breaks in gas mains, and other damage that will need to be addressed. Walk both inside and around the outside of your home to fully assess all damage to your home. You’ll want to shut off the gas, power, or water if you detect any leaks in that regard. 

Protection from Flooding

You do not want to conduct your inspection or start the cleaning process until you have properly protected yourself. This not only means wearing gloves, but also eye protection, masks, and even putting on a respirator to filter out the viruses, bacteria, and mold spores that may be present. It is also possible that the flood has brought in unwanted chemicals that may also be dangerous. So, be sure to protect your lungs with the proper equipment. 

Dry, Clean, & Remove

You’ll need to dry out your property as soon as possible. This will not only limit the damage, but also the spread of viruses, bacteria, and mold. Use wet vacs to suck up all the water and fans to dry out the interior. 

As the interior is being dried, clean out all the debris. This means everything that has come into the home or building. Plus, remove all furniture, carpet, and other items that have gotten wet from flood water. These items will need to be cleaned separately. 

Replace Items Damaged from Flooding

Remove any drywall and wooden structural material that has been damaged by the flood. You will need to have this replaced to fully restore the property to its original condition. 

Cleaning up after a flood can be a considerable task. That is why most people call a reputable, professional company that specializes in cleaning up after a flood. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you need to clean your home after a flood, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. They have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to fully clean your home. Floods can bring with them more than just dirt and debris. Brickley Environmental can also clean away the viruses and bacteria associated with flood water. 

If your home or business has recently experienced a flood, call Brickley Environmental and talk to one of our friendly, courteous staff. We will listen to your needs and arrive quickly to address the situation. Let us help you get your life back to normal. Call today and find out more about our flood cleaning services. 

For more information on how to clean your home after a flood, click here to visit the CDC website.

Should You Test for Lead Paint Before Buying an Old House?

Many older homes have a charm and beauty that is no longer present in modern construction. Unfortunately, many houses that were constructed before 1978 may also have traces of lead-based paint.

For many decades, lead was put into common house paint to provide strength and durability. The harmful effects that lead has on the mental and physical health of both children and adults were not fully understood until it was finally banned in 1978. 

This means that while homes built after 1978 are most likely free of any lead-based paint, it is possible that homes built before that year still have lead-based paint inside. 

Why Lead-Based Paint is Dangerous?

Although the ingestion of lead is quite harmful to adults, it has a devastating effect on children. Particularly those who are 6 years old or younger as it inhibits their mental and physical development. 

Signs of lead poisoning include milder symptoms such as sluggishness, fatigue, abdominal pain, and constipation. While more serious symptoms include delays in development, learning difficulties, seizures, and unexplained weight loss combined with a loss of appetite. 

While the devastating effects of lead were partially understood many decades ago, it was not until 1960 that New York banned its use for residential properties. It still took another 18 years before it was banned across the US. 

Should You Test for Lead-Based Paint Before Buying an Older Home?

The answer is yes! You should always test for lead-based paint in homes built before 1978. Keep in mind that even if you have signed a contract, the seller is responsible for scheduling and paying for an inspection of the home.

While the use of lead paint has long since ended, it is still possible that testing performed several years ago may not have fully discovered all the lead-based paint that is present. This is because older paints may still be underneath newer layers of paint. Even while lead-based paint is under newer paint, it still presents a potential danger. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are considering buying a home that was built before 1978, you should call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. Our experts have the knowledge, experience, and tools to detect lead in houses even if it is under previous layers. Over the years, Brickley Environmental has worked with businesses and homeowners to detect and remove contaminants from properties. 

Call Brickley Environmental today and find out more about how we can detect and remove it from your residence, business, or structure. Our friendly, professional staff will explain our services, answer your questions, and provide a thorough inspection of your home to ensure that if any lead is present, it will be detected and removed safely and efficiently. 

For more information on testing lead-based paint, click here to visit the EPA website.

 

How Much Mold Exposure is Harmful?

Mold exists virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, and has a large variety of species. While mold has many beneficial functions, such as breaking down waste products and organic matter that includes garbage, dead trees, and leaves, exposure to mold also has a big downside in residences and buildings that have moisture. This can create a perfect breeding ground for mold in unwanted environments. 

Exposure to mold can be problematic for people, although it affects everyone differently. While many people may not even be aware that mold is around them, others can easily get sick by breathing it in. Understanding the dangers, identifying who is the most vulnerable, and offering solutions can help keep you protected from mold exposure. 

Exposure to Mold

Mold needs both a food and moisture source to start growing. Under the proper conditions, mold can grow rapidly, releasing spores along with VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that may cause some people to feel ill. While mold spores are mostly inhaled, they can also be absorbed through the skin or consumed if present on food. 

  • Outdoors: Mold is virtually everywhere outdoors however, concentrations of mold are quite limited. The mold growing outdoors does not produce enough sports to be extremely dangerous for those who are vulnerable.
  • Indoors: Mold growing indoors is far more problematic due to a lack of airflow within the confined space. There are also more opportunities for it to locate moist areas within food sources, leading to them multiplying. This is especially true after a flooding event. 

There are different varieties of mold, including black mold which may or may not cause serious health issues. Regardless, exposure to mold of any type can be problematic, especially for those who have underlying health issues and are more susceptible to illness.

Symptoms Associated with Mold Exposure

For those with a mold allergy, this can represent a significant respiratory issue. Those with underlying health issues such as respiratory illness, asthma, lung disease, COPD, and immune suppression are particularly vulnerable to mold exposure. 

Exposure to mold may cause a variety of conditions ranging from coughing and sneezing to itchy skin, headaches, and even dizziness. While such symptoms may be the sign of other illnesses or types of infection, those who experience such symptoms should inform their doctor and request getting checked for mold infection. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are concerned that mold may be present in your home or workplace, contact the experts at Brickley Environmental for assistance today. The trained technicians at Brickley Environmental have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to remove the mold from your property. 

For more information on mold exposure, click here to visit the CDC website.

Protect Your Family from Exposure to Asbestos

Asbestos is not easy to identify to the untrained eye. Unless it is labeled, it will normally take a trained specialist to identify whether the substance is asbestos. If you believe there has been exposure, it is advisable to call for an inspection of your home to be completely sure. 

A trained and accredited asbestos professional has the knowledge and tools to identify whether a substance is asbestos or not. If your home was built before 1978, it is possible that asbestos is present. Therefore, if you are planning on remodeling your old home or have noticed drywall or insulation that is falling apart, you should consider getting your home inspected for the presence of asbestos. 

Dangers of Asbestos Exposure

Over time, exposure to asbestos fibers in the air may cause the development of asbestos-related diseases. The most notable is mesothelioma, a vicious form of cancer that can only be caused by asbestos exposure. 

Asbestosis and lung cancer are two other potential diseases that are caused by asbestos exposure. However, it should be noted that asbestos can also be ingested which may cause issues in the throat, stomach, and even the colon. 

However, such exposure can only occur if the asbestos is compromised. Asbestos that is still tightly wrapped and in good condition poses no risk to anyone living inside the home. Only when this material is exposed to the open air should you be concerned about exposure.

What to Do

A home inspection is a good idea whether you intend on selling, remodeling, or not. Knowing what is in your home will help you make the best-informed decision. 

If you suspect that an area may contain asbestos, the best policy is to leave it alone. If such areas can be sealed off, then do so. Do not dust, sweep, or vacuum such areas as that can potentially increase the asbestos fibers and make them airborne. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If your home was built before 1978, it is possible that asbestos is present. While the chances of asbestos being in the home are much lower compared to a facility, you should call the experts at Brickley Environmental for further guidance. 

Brickley Environmental has the knowledge, experience, and equipment to properly identify and remove asbestos from your home. If you suspect asbestos is present give us a call today. 

For more info on asbestos, visit the EPA website here.

 

Demolition: Construction in Reverse with Additional Hazards

Demolition

Demolition could be dangerous. The hazards of a construction site are well known with thousands of minor injuries, hundreds of serious injuries, and accidental death being a part of the process. The same is true for demolition; the deconstruction of buildings. 

Although it is easier to demolish than construct, the injuries and fatalities that occur on demolition sites can be greatly reduced with the proper planning, training, protective equipment, and compliance with standards set by OSHA. 

The Hazards of Demolition

Demolition involves the same basic hazards as construction with additional factors that make it, in some ways, even more dangerous. These can include things such as:

  • Hidden Hazardous Materials: Asbestos, Heavy Metals, Lead, and more 
  • Unknown Changes or Modifications to the Building Structure 
  • Weaknesses in Construction Materials
  • Hazards of the Methods Used in Demolition 

To ensure maximum safety for all who are involved in demolition efforts, care must be taken right from the start. Helpful actions that can aid in this include:

  • Planning: This begins with a full survey and inspection of the building about to be demolished by a trained, qualified specialist. 
  • Locating Utilities: All nearby utilities need to be located and accounted for in the demolition process. 
  • Safety Protocols: This includes prevention of fire, having first aid and emergency services close by, and an evacuation plan in case the structure is about to collapse. 

All of this must take place before the demolition work begins. It is this type of preparation that can prevent injuries and save lives. 

Protection

All personnel on the demolition site should wear the proper personal protective equipment or PPE. These include:

  • Head, eyes, face, ears, hands, and feet protection
  • Respiratory Equipment
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems or PFAS
  • Proper Protective Equipment for specialized jobs, such as welding 

Wearing the proper protective gear can help prevent injuries and even save lives. When combined with the right training, this can only improve the safety conditions on-site. 

Of course, accidents can happen even on the safest and most secure demolition sites. So, proper training on how to deal with injuries and having emergency services easily accessible will also help ensure safety. Following OSHA guidelines also assists in protecting employees on the demolition site. This provides guidance in recognizing potentially hazardous conditions and avoiding and removing them from the property. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

Brickley Environmental is the one to call to conduct a safe, secure demolition. With over 30 years of experience in the Southern California area,  Brickley Environmental follows all safety protocols,  OSHA regulations,  and engages in the proper planning to ensure that all areas are covered for your demolition project. Call us today to discuss your needs.

For more information, visit OSHA’s website