How to avoid mold growth in your property

How to avoid mold growth in your property

When it comes to avoiding mold growth, there are two different things to consider. 1) Avoiding water exposure on your property. 2) Knowing what to do if you have experienced water exposure, including how to remediate the water damage to avoid spreading any mold growth.

Avoiding water exposure

On a regular basis, review your building envelope to ensure it is watertight. We have other blogs that talk about many of the ways that water can find a way into your building. It can be as simple as looking for areas on your property to determine where water could get in. Do you have cracks in your foundation? Is there a water stain on your ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as lifting up damp carpet or wiping down the tiles from any excess moisture after showering. In some cases, it could also be a matter of major excavation and waterproofing your property. If you find something that needs repair – get on it! Trust us… it’s more cost-effective in the long run to ensure you have a watertight building envelope than to have to deal with the mess after a flood, leak or mold. Especially when dealing with water exposure, mold can settle in as early as 24 hours after any water damage has occurred, so it’s crucial to take preventative measures when avoiding water exposure.

What to do if you’ve had water exposure

If you experience any water damage such as a persistent leak, flooding, or any water or condensation entering your building, it’s imperative to take immediate action. Your response time is everything when you are trying to alleviate the potential amount of damage water can have on your property.  Mold can’t grow without moisture, so unless you deal with it right away, it will start growing mold. This means finding the source of water, and eliminating any mold and repairing the direct cause of water exposure to your property.  There are simple steps you can follow when dealing with water damage.

If you suspect your property may be at risk for water exposure, contact an expert to assess the source. At Streamside, we have expertly-trained technicians and inspectors to immediately respond to water damage emergencies on your property. We will develop a recovery plan, then reconstruct and restore your property back to its pre-loss condition.

Ceiling Rain: What is it? PRO TIPS on dealing with Ceiling Issues

Ceiling Rain: What is it? PRO TIPS on dealing with Ceiling Issues

Learn the sources and solutions for the brown stains on your ceiling.

You may not realize you have an issue beyond your ceiling until you start to notice brown stains beginning to appear on your ceiling. The most common cause of these stains is likely due to an active leak or a build up of condensation coming from your roof. If you spot any stains in your ceiling, it’s important to investigate the issue immediately as moisture can lead to the formation of mold growth, further causing safety and structural issues to your property.

A Different Kind of Roofing Issue: Ceiling or Attic Rain

One cause of stains we occasionally come across is an issue with high humidity levels inside the attic of a home. This can be due to disconnected dryer vents or exhaust fan vents, or even something as simple as not using exhaust fans properly when cooking in the kitchen or showering in the bathroom. Any of these issues can lead to the formation of stains on the ceiling near an attic or a bathroom fan.

Ceiling or attic rain happens when moisture gets inside the attic area. Next, if a gap or insufficient insulation in your attic allows cold air to come in contact with the warm, moist air not being properly ventilated in your home, then the moisture condenses into water droplets inside the attic. (Just like rain.) When the condensed water droplets occur, they collect as a puddle in your attic, causing brown stains to appear over time on your ceiling. In this case, it’s a relatively easy fix. You can double check to ensure your vents are airtight and properly connected to their hoses. You also need to ensure that you have proper insulation near any exhaust ducts.

What if it’s not from attic rain? Learn about Leaking Pipes

Sometimes water stains are not associated with a roofing or venting issue. If you suspect a hidden water leak, finding the source is the first step to putting a stop to stains on your ceiling. Often the source of the leak is not located directly above the leak. Assess the area where the leak is occurring. Is your roof located directly above the leak, or is there a bathroom or kitchen above the leak? Leaking pipes in ceilings and walls can slowly release water. Pipes can also be more prone to leaks when they are older or experience extreme changes in temperature, which often occurs in Calgary as we experience chinooks throughout our changing seasons.

Ceiling Stain PRO TIP

If your stain isn’t severe and you feel confident you’ve put a stop to the source of the leak or cause of the condensation, you can try this pro tip to help remove the visibility of the stain.

PRO TIP*: Clean the stained area with a bleach solvent (1 cup of bleach and 3 cups of warm water) to help fade the stain and remove any possible mildew. It may be best to spray the mixture onto the ceiling in a small test patch first. Do not spray too much liquid at one time.

When to call a professional

If you have any hesitations and want the comfort of a professional to help you investigate the source of the ceiling stain, you can contact Streamside Property Restoration to assist you. We have expertly trained technicians and inspectors to immediately respond to water damage.

*Results may vary due to the severity of the stain. We do not suggest or guarantee this Pro Tip without seeing and assessing the situation ourselves. This is intended as an option for your consideration.

Will air dehumidifiers and air flow fans help dry out my property after water damage or flooding has occurred?

Will air dehumidifiers and air flow fans help dry out my property after water damage or flooding has occurred?

Will air dehumidifiers and air flow fans help dry out my property after water damage or flooding has occurred?

If your property has become the recent victim of water damage or flooding due to a bursting pipe, a storm or other unplanned events, you are going to want to take immediate action to put a stop to the water source and take the time to remove excess water from the area.

How quickly do I have to take action after water damage or flooding?

When water damage occurs, fast action is required to keep any property damage minimal. Mold can set in as early as 24 hours after the water damage has occurred, so it’s vital to take fast action and ventilate the affected area. Using air flow aids, also known as drying fans and dehumidifiers, can help reduce any water damage your property has experienced. 

About air flow aids and dehumidifiers

Air flow aids are among one of the most effective ways to eliminate moisture remnants as quickly as possible from saturated walls and floors and any soaked articles. The science behind using an air flow fan is quite simple. The air from the fan blows away the humidity-laden air, and allows it to be replaced with dry air. The more air that circulates the better. Dry air has the ability to absorb excess moisture in the process of being blown away by the drying fan, therefore assisting in the process of removing moisture from the air. Once the drying fan has extracted all of the moisture from the floors, ceilings and drywall, the dehumidifier can be put to use.

The dehumidifier will pick up any excess moisture in the air and remove it. Dehumidifiers are an important step in ensuring any excess water has been removed. Even if you can no longer see any water, it doesn’t mean it isn’t present. The dehumidifier assists in condensing the water vapor in the air and collecting the condensed water in a basin. Additionally, the reduction in water vapor will promote the evaporation process, in order to assist in removing any moisture in the air.

While using air flow aids and dehumidifiers as a way to ventilate the affected area, it’s important to note that problems can occur if you have too much or too little air movement and not enough dehumidification. The same can be said for the reverse situation when you have too much dehumidification.  In order for water damage to be properly taken care of, it’s important to contact a professional property restoration team to ensure the main source of water has been properly looked after, allowing a professional to evaluate and manage your situation. Our expertly-trained technicians and inspectors will immediately respond to water damage emergencies on your property. We will develop a recovery plan, then reconstruct and restore your property back to its pre-flood condition.

How long does it take for my carpeted floor to dry out after a flood?

How long does it take for my carpeted floor to dry out after a flood?

How long does it take for my carpeted floor to dry out after a flood?

Experiencing water damage can be an overwhelming process from the moment flooding occurs to days after the flood has taken place.  Water damage can have serious effects on your property and belongings. When it comes to water damage, there are multiple factors when determining how long it will take to get your property back to its pre-loss condition. If water damage has occurred over a carpeted area, there are several aspects to consider when it comes to determining how fast your carpeted floor will take to dry out after a flood.

Determining the substrate under the carpeted area

In order to facilitate with the drying process, you first need to determine what the substrate is under the carpeted areas of your home. The substrate’s material make-up will vary greatly when determining how fast it responds to the introduction and removal of moisture.

Plywood substrate

 If you have a plywood substrate, you may experience swelling and distorting when exposed to moisture. Once plywood has become wet, it’s important to remove the moisture as soon as possible with the combination of a dehumidifier and a drying fan which usually takes a minimum of three full days. Plywood is extremely porous and has the ability to absorb water very fast, but on the reverse side, plywood also has the ability to dry out fast. It’s important to note that plywood subjected to moisture is at risk for mold growth. You can prevent this risk by taking immediate action at the first sign of any moisture.

Oriented strand board substrate

Similar to plywood, orientated strand board (OSB), is vulnerable to moisture and can become damaged very easily by prolonged water damage. OSB can lose its strength and will warp, however it is not as sensitive to small amounts of water and will absorb water slowly. If your OSB substrate has been badly damaged by water exposure, it’s best to have it replaced.

Concrete substrate

Concrete can vary greatly in porosity due to the materials used and whether any finishes or sealants have been applied to the concrete. In most cases, when concrete gets wet, it can be recovered as long as you have a restoration company deal with the moisture right away.  Unlike plywood or OSB, concrete is not at risk for mold growth, however it can be at risk for stress cracks which are difficult to dry out. In order to properly dry out concrete, you will require normal drying procedures put into place with dehumidification and drying fans.

Is the carpet padding still in place?

Your carpet padding can be restored if it has been wet from clean water for less than 48 hours, however if you notice your substrate such as plywood, OSB, or concrete is wet, your carpet padding should be removed and thrown out. Additionally, if your carpet padding has been exposed to dirty water, it should also be removed and discarded.

If you notice only a small area of your carpeted floor has water damage, you can cut away the wet padding from that area. It’s important to note that you should not replace your carpet padding until the subfloor is completely dry.

Take Action after Flooding

Regardless of the type of substrate beneath the carpeted area, you should still take immediate action to ensure any water damage has been properly dealt with. Contact your Property Restoration Experts to respond to any water damage, and restore your property back to its pre-flood condition.

Why quality paint matters when painting your property

Why quality paint matters when painting your property

When it comes to property restoration, many services require painting. Whether it’s adding the finishing touches to drywall, or it’s painting the entire exterior of your home, it’s always important to use high quality paint, no matter what the project is. The right paint, the right prep work and the right painters can all affect the outcome of your restoration project.

High quality paint is essential when it comes to keeping your property looking premium. Paint serves as a coating of protection against any weathering or dirt and dust, and high quality paint will actually last for a longer period of time. Choosing the right paint is key to getting the job done properly.

Longer Lasting

The most important aspect of high quality paint is that it will last longer.  It provides high-performance coverage that lasts longer as opposed to a cheaper paint. Using high quality paint will ensure your interior and exterior walls look good while lasting longer, and will hold up against any regular weathering from Calgary’s variable seasons.

Getting the Most out of One Can

In addition to lasting longer, high quality paint doesn’t require as many coats, which means you won’t need as many cans of paint for your project.  Premium brands like Cloverdale, make the most out of a one-coat paint application with their advanced formulas.

Increased Durability

High quality paint is built to endure. It will show less wear and tear over time because it has the capability to resist dirt and dust. Exterior paints can also protect from any potential water damage to your property in all types of environmental conditions.

Proper Preparation

Whether you are painting the interior or the exterior of your property, surface preparation is key.  Before any paint is applied it’s important to inspect your surfaces. Ensure your surface is dust-free by removing any loose material through the process of power washing or using a wire brush. Additionally, taking the time to smooth out any rough areas or patch up holes will make the application of your paint smoother. Following these simple preparation tips will prevent fewer touch-ups and maintenance down the road.

Paint quality matters when it comes to painting your property. At Streamside we understand the value of high quality paint and we work with the best products to meet your budget and provide the best. Quality workmanship is the foundation of our culture and that’s why we do it right the first time. Click here to book a free consultation and get a free estimate.

Learn how to deal with ice build up on your roof this winter

Learn how to deal with ice build up on your roof this winter

As Calgarians we rely heavily on chinooks to get us through the long, harsh winters our city experiences. While chinooks may give us a break from the cold and the snow, the increased temperatures can lead to a large build up of ice on your roof, which can cause possible damage to your home.

‘Ice dams’, also known as a build up of icicles, are common occurrences under substantial snow loads. If the snow on your roof is melting into long icicles, this may be an obvious sign you have ice dams forming on your roof. Ice dams form on gutters along the end of a roof or under soffits. Left unchecked, the ice can work its way into cracks and eventually melt, leading to water problems and damage to your property. Preventing ice dams usually requires improving ventilation and insulation and removing heat sources from the attic.

A warm attic can initiate the formation of ice dams as the attic’s interior temperature exceeds the exterior temperature of the roof where the snow has built up. Once the snow melts, the water drains down towards the eavestrough, where the water collects and causes a build up of ice as it starts to freeze again. Keep in mind, the eavestrough does not have direct contact with any exterior heating from the attic, which is why it acts as a reservoir for water to refreeze and ice to form, eventually leading to the formation of ice dams. Once these ice dams have formed, they do exactly what their name says and act as a ‘dam’ by preventing any further melting water from flowing off the roof. Since the attic acts as a continuous heat source for the roof, this melted water will eventually have nowhere else to go other than to seep in through the shingles and soak into the insulation and can leak further into the house.

As scary as this seems, there are ways to prevent this from happening to your home. Ensuring your attic has proper insulation and ventilation. Having proper insulation slows down heat transfer and helps prevents any air leaks, which will stop the risk of a water leak, and will also prevent any unnecessary heat loss. In addition to proper insulation, you must also consider proper ventilation, which is necessary because it allows the built up heat to go elsewhere. Ideally, ventilation provides for continuous airflow from the soffit to elsewhere on the roof.

In addition to improving the insulation and ventilation in your attic, there are various other ways to prevent the formation of ice dams.

Minimize any heat sources from your attic. These heat sources can come from bathroom vents and any light fixtures that draw rising heat into the attic. Every time you take a hot shower or turn on the lights this can be an additional contributing factor to an increase in attic temperature. To ensure your bathroom is set up for proper ventilation, and have proper light fixtures you can seek professional help.

You can also aim to clear your gutters before winter sets in. This simple chore will go along way with protecting your home after the next heavy snowfall. Keeping your gutters clean will help preserve the edging of your roof and prevent poor drainage. Also, make sure your downspouts are functioning properly. Melted snow has nowhere to go if the gutters are clogged.

If you notice your property could be at risk from ice dams, contact Streamside Property Restoration for a free consultation of your property. With a team made up of knowledgeable, out-of-the-box thinkers, we will provide you with in-depth solutions, and provide clear communication and quality work through every stage of your property’s restoration.

Remember, it is important to be proactive and act quickly to prevent costly water damage from ice dams.  These ventilation and insulation solutions will also save energy and help keep you more comfortable in your home.