Tag Archives: flooding

Freezing Cold Ice Dams Flooding Heat Loss

Ice Dams

Due to the extreme sub zero temperatures and the recent  Nor’easter” Double Bomb Cyclone” here in the Boston area and coastal region many homeowners have experienced flooding including power outages, loss of heat, bursting and frozen water lines. The septic water drain pipes are even freezing leaving homes and businesses to not have toilet facilities and running water.

Gear up for the ice dams next in the coming weeks! The temperatures will rise from sub-zero to up to 50 degrees or more in the Boston and coastal areas. The severe temperature swings will begin to cause ice dams creating damaging affects to your home or business.

People are discovering how cold there home or place of business has become because of the extreme cold swings. Oil fills ups in our area are seven to ten days behind so stay safe and check on your neighbors and pets.

The utilization of Thermal Infrared Camera helps to discover hidden areas of moisture or cold drafts due to temperature differential of the surfaces. It can even help with frozen pipes in the basement or crawlspace before they may burst.

Hurricane Harvey Houston Preventative Measures

HURRICANE HARVEY PREVENTIVE TIPS!
Yes we are now in that time of year called Hurricane Season! Safety is always a key concern and we will have you folks in our thoughts and prayers. I have taught many years ago that it is not just the hurricane damage that affects your property but also the after effects with all the standing water and excess humidity. Mold contamination and bacteria can grow at alarming rates. Excess water and humidity is like putting gas to the fire.

It is important once you come back to your property to effectively dry out all the areas and remove all water damage and mold contents. Calling a professional is highly recommended (in Harvey’s case 36 + inches of water and then some is a large mass of water). The excess relative humidity will begin to cause a lot of mold growth and contamination that can cause just as much damage as the flood.

Insurance companies and adjusters will be scrambling so do not wait sometimes it takes days or weeks to see damage.
Document everything with pictures, video, and keep all receipts of any urgent repairs.

Note you do not have to choose the restoration company the insurance company recommends usually national franchise chains. You can choose your own make sure they are licensed, certified, trained, established companies
Do not hire out of state contractors they won’t be there after they get their check! If it is a necessity, ask restoration companies and independent assessors for their current active certifications for training.
When going back to your property be prepared to wear proper safety gear such as HEPA mask Niosh N-95 or better, gloves, Tyvek coverall suit. Etc.
Be careful of electrical wires and the water supply sewerage, drinking water, etc. Drink bottled water.
Andy Provitola –CMC
Environmental Resources LLC
www.airenvironments.com

Copyright August 2017

Excess Moisture Relative Humidity in Basements-Crawlspaces

This time of year in the summer months causes concerns for musty odors, excess moisture and mold growth on the surfaces.  What’s that smell? These complaints are often called into my office and I ask a few questions such as: Have you been flooded due to the recent heavy rains last spring or prior years. How about roof leaks, pipe leaks, or ice dams? If water intruded into the building or house and flooding occurred, how effective was the cleaning, drying out process ? Did you get to the water early such as within 24 to 48 hours to help avoid potential mold growth problems?

If existing surfaces are spotted with mold spores because the areas were not cleaned out properly then the mold will not disappear! Mold spores can and will exacerbate with any excess moisture and excess relative humidity that will cause existing mold spores to travel and move around where new growth can occur. Excess relative humidity in a basement or crawlspace is like adding ‘gas onto the fire’ where spores will grow.

Conducting a thorough visual investigation of the musty odor or any source of water leak, excess moisture is very important.  Relative humidity (RH) should be less than 60% or lower to help to control moisture (30% to 50% (RH) is the best range). When (RH) is above 60% or more this is not good for your basement, crawlspace, or living/working space where mold and other contaminants can grow; even causing wood rot and decay to the structural support of the wood beams and joists. To control excess moisture and humidity it is important to install the proper dehumidification system. Too often homeowners and business owners do not have the proper size dehumidifier(s) installed because the square footage or cubic area is too large and the unit does not cover this amount of ambient space.

Crawlspaces and basements should have quality grade vapor barriers with minimal 6 Mil thickness or higher covering the entire dirt floor including part of the lower side walls or to the top. Quality grade dehumidification is recommended to help control moisture.  During the hot and humid months less moisture is probable when the outside vents of crawlspace are closed up. Climates are different throughout the country, the Northeast region is different from the Southeast and Southwest regions.

Insulate using foam pipe sleeves any copper pipes underneath the crawlspace or in the basement area. The cold water pipes usually condensate when excess humidity comes in contact with them. Insulate Well Tanks and Water Filter Tanks as well.

If chronic water leaks or water floods into the basement or crawlspace areas then quality grade sump pump(s) are recommended with vinyl covers over the top of recessed bucket. It is best in the ground and the bucket is deep enough to effectively pump and drain water. Add drainage around perimeter if necessary.  A professional can provide the proper assessment with the proper tools to help to determine such factors as relative humidity, temperature, air flows, moisture meters, Thermal Infrared Camera, etc.

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Environmental Resources is here to help identify problem areas. Also we provide solutions with products and quality air purification with several pounds of carbon to fight odors.  We offer sampling if it is called upon. Call for a professional consultation of your home or business’ indoor air quality today.
Andy Provitola  CMC-Certified Microbial Consultant
Environmental Resources LLC
316 Washington Street
Norwell, MA 02061
781-248-9975

www.airenvironments.como my office