Storm Damage Inspections

"Healthier Air Starts Here" (407) 383-9459


Storm Damage Inspections
  
Storm Damage Inspections
and Environmental Testing
Bacteria
Sewage
Mold

Call Microshield

Take Control of Your Indoor Environment Call Microshield Today
and talk with an Indoor Environmental Consultant. (407) 383-9459

Property Damaged by Water?    Itís not just a Mold problem.

Storm Damage Inspection

The use of untreated or inadequately treated groundwater is responsible for a number of outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses that occur every year throughout the United States. In many of these outbreaks, sewage was most often identified as the contamination source. 

The recent flooding events in Florida have created sewage contamination problems, however simple testing solutions can provide fast information to business and homeowners.

Here at Microshield Environmental Services, LLC, we test for sewage contamination by testing for certain indicator organisms (total coliforms, fecal coliforms, E.coli, and Enterococcus).  These indicator organisms are assumed to be indigenous to feces, and thus their presence in environmental samples is indicative of fecal contamination. We also provide our clients with more definitive answers by testing for individual pathogens such as Salmonella, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium.

If you think you have a sewage, bacteria, or mold contamination problem, either in ground water or other bulk material, please contact Microshield Environmental Services, LLC. for information on your indoor environmental testing needs.


After The Clean Up Make Sure Your Home Is Free Of ;
Storm Damage Inspection
  • Mold
  • MRSA
  • E. Coli
  • Bacteria
  • Legionella
  • Fecal Coliform
  • Fecal Streptococcus
  • Sewage Contamination

  • Call Microshield

    Call Microshield Today for a Free IAQ Telephone Consultation.
    We'll Make sure it was done right the first time  (407) 383-9459

    Avoiding IAQ problems after a Flood

    When cleaning up after a flood, the indoor air quality in a home or office may appear to be the least of the problems. However, failure to remove contaminated materials and to reduce moisture and humidity can present serious long-term health risks. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks and continue to damage materials long after the flood.

    After The Flood

    Storm Damage Inspection

    Time is the key factor in the amount of damage to your homes structure.  If the water has been in the structure more than a few hours, the damage and amount of material which will need to be removed will be extensive.  In this case, items such as gypsum board on the walls and insulation under the floor, within the walls become damaged beyond repair and must be removed to minimize further damage to the overall structure.

    When the power goes off for several days in hot, humid climates, it is difficult to avoid a mold explosion. Molds produce spores that spread easily through the air and form new mold growths (colonies) under the right conditions: moisture, nutrients (nearly anything organic) and a place to grow. Mold growth is common after flooding or water damage.
     

    Mold can damage materials and your health. The longer you allow mold to grow, the greater the risk and the harder the cleanup. So as soon as it is safe to return home, begin cleanup and drying.  Mold testing is not usually needed immediately following the flood and is rarely useful to answer questions about health concerns. Testing is extremely necessary after the restoration and cleanup after the flood to ensure that the work has been completed according to the protocol and has returned the home or building to a safe habitable environment.  Some insurance companies and legal services may require sampling for documentation.


    Storm Damage Inspection

    It is necessary to have your homes damage assessed in a way that your insurance company is familiar with.  For this reason you should use a professional Indoor Environmental Company to provide you with a written protocol for the restoration process of your home.
     
    It is necessary to have your homes damage assessed in a way that your insurance company is familiar with.  For this reason you should use a professional Indoor Environmental Company to provide you with a written protocol for the restoration process of your home.  The protocol will list in detail what materials need to be removed and replaced within your home and how the home will be tested upon completion to ensure the work was completed correctly.  The protocol will help expedite your insurance claim and allow you to receive several proposals for the work listed by the Indoor Environmental Consultant.  This eliminates the varied proposals that a homeowner can receive and eliminates any unnecessary work that may not be covered by the insurance company.

    It is absolutely necessary to initiate the drying process throughout the structure as quickly as possible.  The movements of air throughout the structure can be supplemented by the use of fans and air conditioning.  DO NOT USE HEATERS TO ASSIST IN DRYING OUT THE STRUCTURE.  Heaters can actually cause the humidity inside the structure to increase rather than decrease and will also promote growth of mold and bacteria.  KEEP THE STRUCTURE WELL VENTILATED UNTIL THE INTERIOR MATERIALS ARE COMPLETELY DRY.  The length of time will vary and should be monitored.  If extensive water soaking has occurred, you may need to test materials with a moisture meter.  This is called the drying cycle and your restoration contractor drying your home should provide you with the drying status daily at a minimum. 

    Once the restoration or drying contractor has completed the work, the Indoor Environmental Consultant will perform testing to ensure that the home or building is free of any Bacteria, Sewage Contamination, E. Coli, Fecal Coliform, Fecal Streptococcus, Legionella, or MRSA.  Testing for mold will also be conducted to ensure that there is no microbial growth on the surface of the cleaned materials and that the air quality had been returned to normal fungal activity.


    The best way to avoid mold hazards is to hire a reputable Indoor Environmental Consultant that is certified and trained to provide a written protocol that will allow you to receive competitive bids from licensed restoration and drying contractors trained in dealing with water damage and mold remediation. But that may be difficult after a disaster. You may have to do the cleanup yourself. If so, follow the steps below.

    Before you Proceed:
    Storm Damage Inspection
    After the water has receded enough to the point that it is no longer standing in your home or business, you should begin clean-up procedures.

    Before beginning clean-up efforts on your own, it is recommended that individuals get a tetanus shot if their vaccination is not current.  Boosters are good for approximately 10 years.  Check with the local health department for more information.

    Before entering the building, be certain that the electricity has been turned off.  If power is still provided to the flooded area, immediately disconnect power throughout the structure by switching the main breaker in the electrical panel to OFF.  Verify that gas-burning appliances are not on and that no gas is leaking out of appliances, space heaters or water heaters into the structure.

    The flood waters carry all types of creatures which have been displaced from their usual habitats along creeks and river bottoms.  Before beginning any work, it is necessary that you make a thorough walk-through of the structure, carefully check in all closets, corners, cabinets, drawers, attic spaces, and similar locations throughout the structure for animals, insects and snakes.

    When performing clean-up activities, be absolutely certain to PROTECTIVE GEAR WEAR RUBBER GLOVES, GOGGLES, BOOTS, mask or a respirator to filter mold spores (N-95 or better) to prevent direct contact with flood water or water-logged items.  The flood water and materials which were exposed to flood waters contain all sorts of debris and bacteria, which, when in direct contact with skin, can have harmful effects leading to illness or infection.  Be watchful of small children and do not allow them to play in the affected areas or with materials which have been exposed to flood water.


    Take Control of Your Indoor Environment
    Call Microshield Today and Schedule Your Indoor Air Quality or Mold Inspection.
    (407) 383-9459

    Once Your Home or office is Safe:
    1. First take an inventory: Compile a room-by-room inventory of missing or damaged goods, and include manufacturer's names, dates and places of purchases and prices. Take photographs to document the damages for insurance purposes. A video recording would also be a very effective way to document flood damage.  This documentation will be useful if claims need to be filed with insurance companies, banks or various agencies later.
    2. Dry all wet materials as quickly as possible. If possible, use air conditioning with fans and dehumidifiers. If you have no power and can get access to a generator, run a dehumidifier indoors to help remove moisture from the air. New mold colonies can form in as little as 3 days if materials stay wet. Wood and other materials that look dry can still be wet enough to support re-growth of mold.
    3. Remove wet carpeting right away. It's best to discard it. If the carpet is salvaged, clean, disinfect and dry it quickly. Never reuse flooded padding.
    4. Cut away wet wallboard and remove all damp insulation right away-even if wallboard appears to be dry. Wet insulation will stay wet far too long, leading to the growth of hidden unhealthy mold and decay fungi inside the walls.
    5. Clean items with non-phosphate detergents (any phosphate residue is mold food). If you disinfect, follow the directions carefully and never mix bleach with ammonia or acids (vinegar). Disinfectants can kill molds, but they do not prevent re-growth.
    6. Speed the drying of subfloors, slabs and wall framing before replacing insulation, wallboard and flooring. Use air conditioning, fans or, better yet, a dehumidifier. Restoration and Drying Contractors that specialize in water damage restoration have special equipment (dehumidifying blowers) that can provide the fastest drying.
    7. Testing the moisture content of studs and sheathing.  When monitoring the drying cycle and protocol procedures, the Indoor Environmental Consultant will test the studs using a moisture meter.  The wood products specialists recommend that wood have no more than 20 percent moisture by weight before you close the wall and before replacing insulation.
    8. DO NOT use vinyl wallpaper. It will prevent further drying on the inside.

    Remember when cleaning up Yourself:
    Mold cleanup guidelines:

    Minimize your exposure during cleanup.
    People are exposed to mold by breathing spores or fragments. You can also be exposed through skin contact. Wear gloves and a mask or a respirator to filter mold spores (N-95 or better). If you are sensitive to mold, wear splash goggles to help protect your eyes. Wear long sleeves, long pants and sturdy shoes.

    Isolate the work area and ventilate it to outdoors.
    Disturbing mold colonies can cause a massive release of spores, so seal off the contaminated area from the rest of the house. If the power is on, use a fan to send air to the outdoors. If you have no power, ventilate the area if the outside humidity level is not above 60 percent.

    Remove and Discard Moldy Materials.
    Porous moldy or sewage-contaminated materials should be removed, bagged and thrown away. This includes gypsum wallboard, insulation, plaster, carpet/carpet pad, ceiling tiles, processed wood products and paper. To minimize the spread of spores, cover moldy material with plastic to contain spores before removal.

    Items that can be cleaned in a washing machine likely can be saved, depending on how long the mold has been growing on the items. Extended periods of mold or mildew growth may stain them.

    Upholstered fabric furniture should be discarded if it has been in a flood. If it has only surface mold on it, you might be able to clean it outdoors by letting the mold dry in the sun and then cleaning it with a HEPA-filtered vacuum.

    Clean all surfaces.
    Surface mold on non-porous materials such as hard plastic, concrete, glass, metal and solid wood can usually be cleaned. Cleaning must remove, not just kill, the mold because dead spores can still cause health problems.  After cleaning, you should apply an antimicrobial disinfectant to kill any mold missed by the cleaning. In the case of sewage contamination, you must disinfect.

    You may wish to consult a Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant if you are unsure about how to clean an item, or if the item is expensive or of sentimental value. Phone books often have listings of specialists in furniture repair, restoration, painting, art restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire or water restoration. Look for specialists who are affiliated with professional organizations. Be sure to ask for and check references.

    Remain on Mold Alert
    Continue looking for signs of moisture or new mold growth. If mold returns, repeat the cleaning and consider using speed drying equipment and moisture meters.
    Re-growth may signal that the material was not dry enough or should be removed. Rebuilding and refurnishing should wait until all affected materials have dried completely.