Blog

Water pipes can rupture at any time – What are the warning signs? And what should you do?

Water-pipes-can-rupture-at-any-time

A ruptured water pipe is something people usually associate with extremely cold conditions in the middle of winter. As pipes freeze in the cold and then thaw out as the temperature rises, they can in fact leak and burst. Depending on where you live, ruptured pipes can happen at any time of the year. It won’t always be a pipe that’s easily accessible that ruptures; many times pipe fractures will take place inside of walls where it can go undetected for days, weeks or even months!

Unfortunately, ruptured pipes can be one of the most common causes of water damage within the home.

Non-weather related causes of ruptured pipes
There are three main, non-weather related causes of ruptured pipes:

Rust
Unless you have a newer home, chances are the pipes in your property are made from cast iron, steel, or even lead. Over time, all of these materials will rust and weaken the pipes, causing them to eventually break. Newer homes have copper and PVC pipes, which resist rust, but it’s extremely expensive to run new plumbing lines through a home unless absolutely necessary.

Hard water
Water contains a variety of minerals naturally, but an overabundance of magnesium and calcium is referred to as “hard water”. It is deemed safe for humans and animals to drink, although can leave an unpleasant taste. Unfortunately It’s not safe for your pipe plumbing; these minerals can build up inside your pipes. Over time, the buildup slows down the flow of water and can corrode and weaken pipes. Eventually holes can develop and allow water to leak out and cause water damage within your home. One way to limit the damage hard water inflicts on your plumbing is to install a water softener, which removes the calcium and magnesium from the water.

Poor installation
If your pipes weren’t assembled and installed correctly, it will eventually cause problems. A poor soldering job or loose connections can lead to a pipe rupturing, usually when you least expect it.

Tell-tale signs of ruptured pipes
The most common sign of a ruptured pipe is standing water, but there are other signs that may indicate pipe problems long before you need to pull out the gumboots. It is always a good idea to regularly check around your home frequently and look for these red flags:

Wall stains
Water will leave discolorations on walls and ceilings, so be sure to take action at the first sign of a watermark. This may be the only sign you come across for a ruptured pipe inside your wall until the water eventually soaks through the drywall.

Discolored water
If the water coming out of your taps is of a brownish colour, you may have rust inside the pipes. Rusty water will ruin appliances, as well as clothing when it goes through the wash cycle. It’s not nice to bathe or clean your home with rusty water and you definitely can’t use it for drinking and cooking.

Lower water pressure
Small cracks and leaks in pipes can reduce water pressure in your home. If the pressure drops suddenly, a pipe may have recently fractured and started to leak.

What to do if you suspect a ruptured pipe

If you suspect a ruptured pipe, it is important to take immediate action to prevent damage to building materials and furnishings, as well as prevent any mould growth. Disconnect the water supply to the pipes until they can be repaired.

Unfortunately sometimes the damage is done and burst or just leaking water pipes can reach the extent of serious water damage. Quite often the residents won’t even notice until it’s too late and professional water damage restoration is needed. Fortunately Disaster Restorations Australia can help. We can work out where the problem originated and have the issue rectified quickly and efficiently. Our professional water damage specialists provide emergency extraction and dehumidification, applications of sanitation and antimicrobial products, moisture monitoring and assessments, and mould remediation, among other services. We’ll work with your insurance company to process your claim as quickly as possible so you can get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.

Considerations when facing property water damage

Considerations-when-facing-property-water-damage

When you have experienced flooding or general water damage within your property there are a few considerations you will face as the cleanup and remediation begins.

Flooded Flooring

To start, all carpets must be removed so that a water damage expert can inspect the subflooring and commence floor drying procedures as soon as possible.
Wooden floors should be dried gradually. Sudden drying could cause cracking or splitting. Wood drying specialists can advise on the correct procedures and timeframes. When it comes to salvaging your carpets there are three flood-water types that determine whether the carpet and underlay can be restored to their former condition:

Clean Water

Non-contaminated water that may come from a broken pipe, sink, etc. After the water has been extracted, carpets and underlay can be dried and restored in place.

Grey Water

Water That doesn’t contain any solid animal or human waste, but it has been used. An example of this would be a toilet that has overflowed or a broken washing machine that leaks a large amount of water mid-cycle. This water has potential to cause illness, even if the threat of disease usually isn’t present since there’s no solid waste. It is better to be safe and avoid the risk. The carpet underlay that’s been soaked with grey water needs to be discarded for safety reasons, the carpet itself can sometimes be saved, though it is best to have it assessed by a professional.

Black Water

Water containing dangerous contaminants that may originate from sewage and toilet backflows as well as from floods caused by natural disasters. To protect your family’s health, carpets and underlay should be removed, discarded and replaced.

Electrical hazards after water damage

All electricals within the property must be switched off and inspected by an electrician before they can be turned back on. The wiring must be completely dried out, even behind the walls. Mud can be widespread and possibly may have contaminated electrical components.

Appliances may obtain stains, odors, silt deposits, and gritty deposits and will need to be serviced, cleaned and sanitised. Running equipment before it is properly cleaned could seriously damage it and/or shock you. Professional cleaning and servicing is recommended for electronics, TVs and radios, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners. The hard exterior can be hand cleaned. All metallic appliances that have been flooded should be properly grounded to prevent electric shock.

Structural hazards after water damage

When a property is flooded it can cause major problems for the structure of your home. It is always best to have your home assessed by a water damage expert to ensure that it is safe to enter structurally. Sometimes walls will need to be remediated professionally or fully replaced. It depends on the severity and depth of the flood waters and their contaminants. Once again it is best to have your building fully assessed by a flood damage expert to see what needs to be done. Sometimes if flood depths are high enough even roof insulation will need to be replaced. Sometimes it can be salvaged, depending on it’s type and the damage that has occurred. Plaster and paneling can often be saved, but air must be circulated in the wall cavities to dry the studs and sills. Never turn on ceiling fans or lights if the ceiling is wet, and do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Water stain removal after flooding

A common issue after experiencing water damage is water staining. The removal of water stains strongly depends on how the recent the staining is. A water damage specialist can easily assess the extent of the damage and determine the likelihood of your water stain being completely removed. A water damage expert will have many years experience removing water stains from a range of surfaces, most commonly they are asked to remove water stains from carpets, flooring and upholstery after flood damage.

Mould removal & prevention after water damage

Another frequently experienced problem arising after water and flood damage is the growth of mould. Mould can be very harmful to those in the immediate environment if left untreated over a long period of time. Mould has been directly associated with allergies, itchy eyes, sore throat, respiratory problems (asthma), rashes, lung infections and even cancer. Many people do not recognise the dangers linked with inhaling these microscopic mould spores, and often try to remove mould with home remedies such as bleach, which merely changes the colour of the mould and does not get to the root of the problem itself. A water damage expert will have many years of experience in removing mould. They only use the safest, most effective practices for mould removal to ensure that it is completely killed off and prevented from returning.

What should I do if my property has been flooded?

Water and flood damage can be truly devastating to your property and take a massive emotional and financial toll on you and your family. The last thing you want to be thinking about is how you’re going to remove the water and fix any damage that has been caused by the flooding. Disaster Restorations are also experts in water extraction for when your house is flooded and you need to remove the water before further damage occurs. Our expert technicians at Disaster Restorations Australia are available 24 hours 7 days a week to ensure that you have peace of mind at all times of the day, no matter what home disaster you are faced with.

Water Damage Prevention Tips

With all the rain we have been experiencing up and down the coast at the moment there is always risk of flash flooding if your property is not up to scratch with water damage prevention.

Water damage in the home can cause all sorts of issues from mould growth, internal cosmetic damage, all the way to structural damage. We have made a list of prevention tips that can assist in reducing the risk of water entering and damaging your property.

Have your roof checked regularly

Cracked or loose tiles, leaking skylights, rusty or loosened fasteners can all contribute to a leaky roof. When water enters your roof cavity it can cause mould, timber rot and damage to your ceiling from above. Having your roof checked by someone experienced will ensure that small repairs can be done with ease and not turn into larger issues down the track.

Have_your_roof_checked_regularly

Maintain your gutters

When guttering becomes clogged there is nowhere for excess water to escape efficiently. This can increase the risk of water entering your home where it is not wanted.

Sometimes guttering can become loose or cracked and this can result in water escaping in all directions. Just like your roof, doing small regular repairs when needed can stop water from leaking into your property causing water damage.

It is a good idea to clean out your gutters regularly, and at least once a year have them done by a professional so that any small repairs to your guttering can be performed at the same time.

worker cleaning house gutter from leaves and dirt

Have your drainage assessed

When heavy rain falls blocked drains can be a nightmare. Although you can’t really do much about the maintenance drains on your street, you can keep your drains maintained on your own property. If you feel that water is not draining away as it should, have your drains assessed. If you don’t have drainage on your property, this can be a major risk for water damage to your home in the event of flash flooding or even days of heavy rain.

Large puddles in your yard that aren’t subsiding, rising damp and mouldy areas can be signs of a property drainage issue. Sloping yards also need extra drainage due to pooling wet areas. If you are not sure of the drainage needs of your property, always ask a professional.

Have_your_drainage_assessed

Invest in Sandbags

If you live nearby a body of water, whether it be a large river, creek or even just a large drain – it is a good idea to invest in some sandbags. In the event of rising king tides or flash flooding sandbags will help to keep some of the water out of your property in order to prevent water damage.

Invest_in_Sandbags

If you have already discovered water damage in your home whether it be from flash flooding, mould, rising damp or a plumbing issue – give us a call at Disaster Restorations Australia. We are water damage experts who will give your specialist advice specific to your property.

What can I do about water damage in my property?

What-can-I-do-about-water-damage-in-my-property

 

There are many reasons that water damage can occur in your home or place of business. Floods, heavy rain, plumbing mishaps, burst pipes, leaking roofs and guttering, or even faulty appliances such as washing machines can cause flooding. Water damage problems should be attended to as quickly as possible in order to stop the source, repair the issue and stop any further problems from arising down the track.

If you have discovered water damage in your home, here are our ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ in order to reduce any further damage to your property and assist in water damage restoration.

Water damage DOs

Find the source of water and end it. If your pipes are leaking get in a plumber to fix the problem. If the leak has been going on for too long and you are aware of it, you may have trouble with insurance claims if flooding does occur. Therefore it is best to rectify the problem as soon as possible.

If you have water damage, turn off the electricity to wet areas so that access to the electrical panel is safe for those attending to the job.

When discovered, record photographic or video evidence of the root cause of the problem that led to the water damage. This is especially important if repairs have begun before your insurance company has seen the damage.

Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and wiping. Use large fans to circulate air to assist with drying. If you have access to dehumidifier, they are fantastic for removing excess moisture from the air.

Retain samples of the damaged property materials including carpets, flooring, or other damaged areas for insurance assessment.

Remove wet rugs or other floor coverings. If possible, move wet furniture and curtains outside into the sun to dry. Move any precious photos, and other sentimental items to a safe, dry location. Open drawers, closets, and cabinet doors to enhance drying. Spread out any other wet items to dry.

If water the water that has flooded your property is contaminated, avoid contact with such water and contaminated items and wash hands thoroughly if contact has been made.

Water Damage DON’TS

Never use a household vacuum cleaner to suck up water or any wet debris. In fact never use any electrical appliances while on wet carpet or wet floor. This will only end in disaster. Don’t even enter rooms with standing water if electricity is still switched on for the property.

Try not lift up tacked-down carpets yourself. It is better to get a professional to do this task as it can lead to further damage. Remove any books, newspapers, magazines or any other paper based or coloured items on wet flooring as it could cause staining.

If you discover mould growth – do not disturb it. Call in a professional for remediation.

Do not turn on ceiling fans or lights if the ceiling is wet, and do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

If the flood water is contaminated, don’t spread the problem further by walking on damaged or wet areas. If the water is contaminated, do not turn on the air conditioning system or use household fans to dry the structure. This must be handled by a professional.

If you have water damage in your Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne home we can help. Property damage from water and bacteria growth can begin within hours – call us at Disaster Restorations Australia we are the water damage experts. We offer property tailored solutions and a quick response to get your home back to its former condition as quickly as possible.

What to do after fire damage

Arson Burned Building

When disaster occurs and a fire strikes a home or business suddenly, what trails thereafter is a lengthy and emotionally taxing process in its wake. When you are standing face-to-face with damaged valuables, ash, soot and smoke damage, figuring out your next steps can definitely feel somewhat overwhelming. When considering the path ahead see our tips below.

Know when you need the help of a professional

You may be able to fix minor fire damage like paint bubbling and blistering on some surfaces DIY style with cleaning, scraping, and repainting. However, when you are dealing with major fire damage, seek the assistance of a fire damage specialist. A professional disaster restoration company will assess the situation and recommend the necessary remediation steps. These steps could include clearing out odours and removing residue to prevent ongoing damage to your contents.

Unfortunately, if proper precautions are not taken, a fire can still wreak havoc on your belongings and health long after it has been extinguished. Besides fire and smoke damage, It may also be necessary to remove excess moisture and address water damage at the same time! A professional inspection can determine the need for structural repairs or techniques to dry out moisture hidden under floorboards or behind walls that has occurred during the extinguishing of the fire.

Health and safety risks after fire damage

Always have your home or business inspected by a fire damage expert before re entering the building. Only re-enter spaces after professionals have assessed the safety of the area. Do not assume that an area which looks and feels ok is safe for habitation or working. Fire can compromise a building’s structural integrity. Floorboards or walls that appear solid may not actually be so. It is best that a fire damage restoration service can help you close off and protect unaffected areas. Fire and smoke can create breathing hazards in the damaged area; however, this contaminated air can spread to other parts of the home or business that are currently unaffected. An expert can also guide you to safe techniques and cleaning supplies for fixing minor smoke and soot damage.

Have an insurance assessment done ASAP

When you are faced with a huge mess it can be very tempting to just sift through the piles and throw things out. For insurance purposes, please resist this urge. Your insurance company will want to inspect and assess the damage and value of everything that has been affected. This process can be taxing on your patience, especially when you are eager to make progress and return to some sense of normality. Though hastily purging items will only make things more difficult with your insurance damage claim. As soon as possible after the fire, call your insurance company to organise an assessment so that you can get the process started.

A home or business fire is a frightening experience, but working with a fire damage expert such as Disaster Restorations Australia means that we are here to support you through the process, work with your insurance company and help you get the best restorative outcome to get your home or business back on track.

Does my home have rising damp or general water damage?

Mold and moisture buildup on wall of a modern house

What is rising damp?

Rising damp occurs when excess moisture from the ground absorbs up into porous building materials such as stone, brick, earth, mortar and into the structure of the building. The moisture evaporates from either face of the wall, allowing more to be drawn from below. Rising damp is common in older buildings, but can also occur in more modern buildings if your damp-proof course has been damaged.

Though rising damp may cause unsightly aesthetic damage, it can also cause the structure of the building to be compromised and cause you bigger problems in the future. Damp walls also encourage mould growth, which can lead to health problems for occupants.

You can often identify rising damp by just looking at and touching your walls, though if you are unsure whether there is a real problem, it is best to have a water damage professional do an assessment.

What are the tell tale signs of rising damp?

There are a number of typical signs that can identify rising damp including:

TIDE MARKS AND DAMP STAINING

One of the most common signs of rising damp are tide marks left on walls. Tide marks are caused by evaporation and salts from the ground. You will usually notice them anywhere up to one metre above the skirting board.

If you do not notice tide marks, another frequent tell tale sign is damp patches or staining. usually, these damp patches are yellow to brown in colour and similar to tide marks, you will notice them again up to one metre above the skirting board.

PEELING WALLPAPER

If you’ve noticed wallpaper coming off or peeling from the wall there may be a damp issue. Usually the wallpaper will start coming loose from the skirting board first, and the corner of the wallpaper may be curved up.

DECAYED SKIRTING BOARDS

As with many forms of dampness, rising damp has the potential to cause rot within timbers it comes into contact with. Look out for skirtings that are cracked, easily crumble or localised fungus growing on or creeping out of the side. Also, look out for damaged or flaky paint.

SALTS WITHIN THE PLASTER

Fluffy deposits in the plaster are a sign of salts within the plaster. This is another sign of rising damp. These salts are washed out of your bricks and into your plaster leaving what can often look like blistering patches on your walls.

BLACK MOULD

If you start to notice black mould appearing above your skirting board it is a clear sign that there is some form of moisture issue affecting the area. This is especially true if you have no other black mould within the property and the black mould you see is localised from the skirting board to up to one metre above.

Just like water damage, rising damp can cause mould!

As you can see above, rising damp can cause mould, with black mould being the most common culprit. Mould can cause detrimental health effects for you and your family, or the occupants of your property. Plus mould spores can spread once they take hold.

Identifying rising damp against general water damage

Sometimes rising damp can be misdiagnosed and it ends up being general water damage. Often water damage can be caused from a leaking pipe or gutter, flash flooding, a damaged plumbing pipe or a number of other problems that can also cause moisture issues within the home. So if you are not sure and you want some expert advice on water damage, give us a call at Disaster Restorations Australia. We can assess your moisture problem and give you the right specialised advice so that mould does not take hold in your home today.

Think you’ve got a mould problem?

Think-youve-got-a-mould-problem

What does mould need to grow?

Keeping mould from growing in your home is really important for the health of you and your family. The first step in keeping mould under control in your home is discovering what areas and conditions are best for mould growth. Mould spores thrive and multiply in moist wet conditions. How does mould grow? Mould grows easily when moisture and humidity are present. Mould spores search for a damp surface in your home so that they can begin to grow and thrive.

What does mould need to Grow? Mould spores need three things in order to grow and multiply. That being nutrients, moisture and time. Mould can start to grow on a surface in the right conditions in as little as 24 hours.

How can I prevent mould?

Mould spores are everywhere. They are carried by air currents throughout your home. They look for a moist dark environment where they settle and multiply. In order to prevent mould growth in your home is to maintain your home in order to keep out excess moisture. This includes having your roof checked regularly for leaks, have plumbing maintained and drying any spills, leaks or flooding that may occur.

It is recommended that home humidity levels are kept to to 30-50% to prevent mould growth. Mould also grows efficiently in warmer more humid climates, and blossoms at 25 to 30 °C. Condensation on or around windows can be an indication that your home’s moisture levels are too high. Two ways a homeowner can decrease the humidity in the home is by increasing ventilation and buying a dehumidifier.

To increase your home’s ventilation, be sure to use correctly vented exhaust fans while in the kitchen and bathroom, to reduce the moisture in the air. Assure that ventilation throughout your home is adequate to keep up with moisture levels, consider sub-floor and roof ventilations as well as high quality bathroom and laundry ventilation systems. If your home is still struggling with higher than advisable humidity levels, consider buying a dehumidifier to maintain a optimum levels of humidity resistant to mould growth. Make sure you purchase a dehumidifier that will cover the square footage necessary for your residence.

Flooding and other water damage to your home

Flooding is a serious risk factor for mould growth. When excessive amounts of water enter a building and remain for a period of time, mould will begin to develop in as little as 24 hours. Therefore prompt action is needed in the event of a flood to prevent or reduce mould damage in your home.

You may wish to hire a professional to restore your home after a flood. This is a very good option because a professional water damage specialist has the credentials and equipment to deal with flood and water damage in a home most flood damage specialists will even deal with your insurance for you.

What are the symptoms of indoor mould exposure?

Sometimes you can’t see mould because it is within a wall or in the ceiling cavity. However, if you’ve been experiencing some of these symptoms that improve when you are no longer in the home, you may want to have your house checked by a mould professional.

  • skin rash
  • eye irritation
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sneezing
  • cough

You should talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and consider having your home tested by a mould expert.

Preventing mould in your home

Prevention is better than cure and it It is always better to take action to prevent mould through keeping your home in the right conditions rather than dealing with an expensive and unhealthy mould issue in the future. The right ventilation systems and performing routine maintenance can save a lot of money by avoiding mould contamination in the long run. The following six steps will significantly reduce your risk of mould or other issues in the home.

  • Monitor indoor humidity
  • Clean and repair roof gutters
  • Dry wet materials quickly
  • Fix leaks
  • Increase ventilation
  • Have your roof checked regularly

Do you think you may have a mould problem? Give us a call at Disaster Restorations and we will be happy to assess your home for mould today.

In Blog
Posted

Can my carpets be salvaged after flooding?

Can-my-carpets-be-salvaged-after-flooding

There are many reasons a home can be flooded – flash flooding from a blocked street drain, heavy rain, river banks bursting due to king tides, plumbing mishaps and damaged pipes that fail. All of which can cause mild to severe water damage in your home. One of the first things to be affected is your flooring, and carpets are not cheap to replace!

After a flood, many homeowners and property managers wonder if their carpet and underlay can be saved. The answer is, it depends. Factors such as the age and quality of the carpet and underlay, as well as the type of installation used, have to be taken into consideration. However, the type of floodwater that caused the damage is most important when determining whether or not carpet and underlays can be salvaged.

There are three flood-water types that determine whether the carpet and underlay can be restored to their former condition:

Clean Water
Non-contaminated water that may come from a broken pipe, sink, etc. After the water has been extracted, carpets and underlay can be dried and restored in place.

Grey Water
Water That doesn’t contain any solid animal or human waste, but it has been used. An example of this would be a toilet that has overflowed or a broken washing machine that leaks a large amount of water mid-cycle. This water has potential to cause illness, even if the threat of disease usually isn’t present since there’s no solid waste. It is better to be safe and avoid the risk. The carpet underlay that’s been soaked with grey water needs to be discarded for safety reasons, the carpet itself can sometimes be saved, though it is best to have it assessed by a professional.

Black Water
Water containing dangerous contaminants that may originate from sewage and toilet backflows as well as from floods caused by natural disasters. To protect your family’s health, carpets and underlay should be removed, discarded and replaced.

Since every water damage situation is different, you cannot know for sure if or when your carpet and underlay can be salvaged until you have a professional water damage and restoration company inspect the situation.

What should I do after flooding?

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place
  • Gather loose items from floors

What should I NOT do after flooding?

  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in place, hang to dry
  • Don’t leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water
  • Don’t use television or other household appliances
  • Don’t turn on lights or ceiling fans if ceiling is wet, and keep clear of rooms where ceilings may appear sagging.

Whether your carpet is damaged as a result of water or flood damage, or has just become dirtier over the years, Disaster Restorations Australia can assess your flooding situation and your floors. We have the skills to bring your carpet back to life. We have trained our technicians in accordance the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) guidelines and ensure that they always keep up with the newest technology and best practices. All of our carpet cleaning, repairs and re-installations are undertaken by experienced professionals with many years of experience. If you have a carpeted floor that is subdued to water damage, you will NEED to contact a carpet restoration professional as soon as possible to reduce the damage and prevent further problems such as the growth of mould.

If you have experienced water damage or flooding in your property then drying, cleaning and restoring your carpet are absolutely crucial to the water damage restoration process. If ignored you carpet may begin to emit bad odours and even become a breeding ground for potentially harmful types of mould.

Contact Disaster Restorations Australia and our team can assist you in having your water damage assessment done as soon as possible so that your flooring can potentially be salvaged today.

Health Hazards of Past Meth Labs

disaster_restoration

When you rent or buy a new property, probably one of the worst things you can find out is that it used to be a past meth lab.

Methamphetamine is a crystal that vaporises when heated. The vapor clings to surfaces and reforms into crystals. It can permeate into walls, furnishings, vents and even structural components of the building. Unlike the usual street drugs such as marijuana or cocaine which are created from natural plant-based substances, methamphetamine is a purely synthetic drug where the cooking process is not only incredibly dangerous in itself, but also produces dangerous chemicals, bio-hazardous waste and chemical by-products that seep into and cling onto porous items in your property. Meth labs are considered hazardous waste sites and should only be entered by licensed meth lab remediation professionals. Often new tenants and buyers are unaware of the past lab’s existence either during inspecting the property, or worse, after moving in – It is then that they may start to experience terrible health issues which may provoke further investigation.

People who come in contact with surfaces that have been contaminated by meth can ingest the meth through their skin or by touching contaminated surfaces then touching mouth, nose or eyes. Babies and pets are especially vulnerable. They live in a world where they crawl on all fours and everything is sampled by tasting. It takes only small amounts of meth to affect a baby or a dog.

Not only are chemicals dispersed during meth production, but meth itself becomes airborne during cooking and can contaminate an entire house. Imagine a young child crawling on carpet, touching walls and other surfaces, then the child puts a hand in his or her mouth and gets a dose of the drug. Typically, according to reported instances, residents complain of respiratory problems, scratchy throats, kidney problems, migraines, skin problems, sinus problems, paranoia, irritability, sleep issues and many other irritations. There have also been some reports of neurological problems in children.

Common Contamination Areas Found in Past Meth Labs

Cooking Areas

Higher contamination in these areas is always found and can be caused by spills, fumes, explosions and gasses created during the cooking process.
Disposal Areas
Anywhere chemicals, by-products or materials used to create meth are disposed of including toilets, sinks, drains, vents, chimney flumes, soil, water and groundwater including supplies, bins and septic systems.

Storage Areas

Meth Lab decontamination will also be needed in areas the cooked meth and drugs have been stored. Leaks, spills and open containers all have the possibility to cause contamination.

Other possible locations that may need remediation

Locations adjacent, or near, to any primary area including hallways or high traffic areas. Common areas in multiple dwelling structures and adjacent apartment including floors, walls, ceilings, carpeting, light fixtures, draperies and other textile products. Common ventilation or plumbing systems in hotels and multiple dwellings.

What should I do if I suspect my property was a past meth lab?

Past meth lab homes can still be contaminated after 10 years and beyond, still causing ill health in their inhabitants. If you have experienced ANY kind of ill health after moving into a different house, the best thing you can do is give us a call at Disaster Restorations Australia where we can send out one of our qualified professional technicians to test your home and give you appropriate advice as to how to proceed from there. If results conclude that you are in need of a decontamination we will guide you through the procedures from start to finish. Our staff will look after all clients with care and empathy during this challenging process.

Mould in your home after flooding

Mould_in_your_home_after_flooding

Those who lived in Brisbane in 2011 know first-hand that we live in a crazy world. Mother nature can flex her muscles at any moment and send water where we never intended it to go. Since mould grows and thrives in a moisture rich environment, a flooded home is perfect. Mould is the last thing we want in our home. Not only does it look and smell terrible, but it is a health hazard to you and your family.

What can you do about it?

About the flooding? Not much sadly, except maybe live at the top of a hill, or an apartment building off the ground floor. But once your home has been flooded, there are things you can do to minimise the amount of mould that will grow:

  • Start hauling wet things, especially plush items like pillows, upholstered furniture, or curtains out of the house to a place like the garage or the driveway where they can dry.
  • Use a shop vac or wet vac to suck water out of soggy carpets.
  • Fans can help get air moving in enclosed spaces, but be aware they may not be enough.
  • Consider renting or buying a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels low in the air in rooms you’re trying to dry. Basements and big areas may require larger, commercial-sized machines.
  • Remove baseboards and skirting boards from flooded walls.
  • Cut small openings along the bases of walls to let air into the wall to dry the back as well as the front.

How long have you got?

The faster you act, the more you can save. “You’ve really got 24 to 36 hours to work with,” says Rebecca Morley, executive director of the National Centre for Healthy Housing, a not for profit organization that wrote a guide to help residents clean up flooded homes after Hurricane Katrina. Mould is dangerous to those with asthma or pre-existing health problems, but high levels of mould are dangerous to otherwise healthy people.

DIY or call in the professionals?

If you choose to clean it up yourself don’t forget to use protection. A respirator – either a P95 or a P100 – will keep particles out of your lungs. Wear non-porous gloves, eye protection and coveralls to protect your clothing. Open windows and make sure the room is well ventilated. Do NOT mix bleach with other cleaning products to kill the mould. Mixing bleach and ammonia and other cleaning products will produce toxic fumes which are dangerous to you.

If more than one room of your house has been flood affected you should probably call in the professionals. They will bring in big fans and dehumidifiers to dry everything out. This needs to happen before you can even think of getting rid of the mould. No point wiping it off for it to grow back again! They will also be able to take care of specific mould testing and certifying how well they do the job, which the insurance company will want to see.

It is not uncommon for flooded properties to also have trouble with fire and smoke damage, from electrical fires that can occur from appliances and wiring getting wet. At Disaster Restorations we are mould specialists – we can take care of all your mould problems after flooding and deal with your insurance company too.

Want to talk to one of our professionals? Contact us today for an obligation free quote.

1 2
page 1 of 2