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.

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.

 

The Importance of Lead Exposure & Removal

While lead exposure rates in the US have dropped considerably since the mid-1970s, recent events demonstrate that residents are not totally removed from the issue. Since the 2016 lead contamination and water crisis in Flint, Michigan, it has been discovered that thousands of other communities in the US suffer from lead exposure rates even greater than those documented in Flint.

This new awareness of the presence of lead has caught some off-guard, considering that the substance was banned from products for decades. However, many older structures, such as homes and commercial buildings, still had lead in the paint, plumbing, and other areas.

History of Lead Usage

For many decades, lead was used across a wide range of industries. Its abundance, malleability, inherent strength, low melting point, and low corrosion levels made it perfect for pipes, paints, fuels, cosmetics, and more. It wasn’t until the mid-1970s that the abundance of data from studies that lasted for decades caused lead to be removed from manufactured products.

Although lead has been banned from paints, fuels, and plumbing, many older structures still contain products made from lead. In addition, lead is not easily detectable because it has no taste, unique color, or odor. This means that you may be exposed to lead without knowing of its presence. It takes accurate testing of the water, soil, dust particles, and more to determine if lead is present.

No Safe Levels

Lead has been known as a toxin for a long time. The presence of moderate amounts of lead in the system may have dire health implications that mostly concern brain activity. Lead exposure can cause emotional and behavioral issues along with affecting the intellectual development that stunts the growth of children.

Furthermore, recent studies have shown that the presence of lead may lead to premature death due to cardiovascular issues. As many as 412,000 deaths related to the circulatory system may be attributed to the presence of low levels of lead in the system. For children, the presence of lead is devastating as it stunts the growth of the body, brain, and metabolism.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect that your home, office, or facility has lead or the structure was built before the mid-1970s, please contact Brickley Environmental. We have the right tools to identify and remove sources of lead and other contaminants from the home, office, or facility.

The Effects of Black Mold Exposure

Just like standard mold, black mold can infest residences, commercial buildings, and facilities. This is especially true in damp areas where the mold can attach and grow. Black mold is especially dangerous and identifying it in the early stages may mean the difference in affecting the health of those who live or work inside.

What is Black Mold?

Black mold is a type of mold that appears quite dark, if not fully black in appearance. It gives off a musty, damp odor and spreads quickly once it finds an organic surface, such as wood, to take hold of. You’ll most often find black mold in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry areas, or any place in the home or building where moisture is in the air.

Black mold is dangerous because it releases spores into the air that can cause allergic reactions. It contains toxins that when breathed in may cause negative effects on your health and wellbeing. Those who have respiratory issues, lung disease, or weak immune systems are most vulnerable to the effects of black mold.

In some cases, too much exposure may lead to black mold poisoning, which results in a further weakening of the immune system. The symptoms of the poisoning are similar to an allergic reaction, such as a runny nose, coughing, red eyes, and itchy throat. When in the latter stages, the symptoms may progress to the following:

  • Headaches
  • Persistent Coughing
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • General Fatigue

Although rare, severe black mold poisoning may lead to mental issues that include loss of memory, an inability to concentrate, unexplained weight gain, nerve issues in the extremities, anxiety, and more.

Identifying Black Mold Poisoning

If you have persistent symptoms of an allergic reaction, it is possible that you are exposed to black mold. It takes a blood test to confirm if the poison has entered the bloodstream. In addition, there are tests to determine if you are allergic to mold, which helps narrow down the cause.

Treatment is a combination of two efforts: the first to rid the symptoms from the body, and the second to remove the black mold from the residence or commercial building. Nasal decongestants, antihistamines, immunotherapy, and steroids are common treatments for black mold exposure.

Unless you find and get rid of the black mold itself, the symptoms will persist. Small patches of black mold on walls or floors can be removed using commercially available products, but an extensive invasion will need a professional company to remove.

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you are concerned about black mold forming in your residence or business, the experts at Brickley Environmental offers the best in inspection, treatment, and advice. Please call the professionals at Brickley Environmental if you suspect your residence or commercial building may be infected with black mold.