Green Remediation

Water Damage And The Effects On Your Indoor Environment

The topic of water damage and mold has become a somewhat controversial topic. There are numerous opinions on the topic when it comes to clean up. But one aspect of water damage that everyone can agree on is that water damage will lead to mold if the water damage isn’t cleaned up quickly and properly. The affects of water damage on the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and health of the occupants varies greatly and is less understood.

Wikipedia’s definition of water damage:

Water damage describes a large number of possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable attack of a material or system by destructive processes such asrotting of wood, growth, rusting of steel, de-laminating of materials such as plywood, and many others.

The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property.

There are a number of reasons for water damage such as plumbing leaks, sewage problems, hail damage, leaking crawl spaces and attics and natural disasters to name a few. Regardless of the cause for your water damage, it needs to be dealt with quickly and properly to protect the building and it’s occupants from potential health risks. Water damage can also damage the structural integrity of a building.

tech doing water damage cleanup in basement

Water Damage Cleanup

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards call for mitigation procedures to begin as soon as safely possible after the initial loss. Overtime the quality of the water will deteriorate and when this happens the greater the damage will be to the structure and its contents. In addition, the potential for environmental hazards will increase and are more likely to develop.

Some of the environmental changes taking place after water damage has occurred are:

  • Mold and bacteria amplification
  • Parasitic infestations
  • In some instances, viruses can be transmitted

These things come from indoor and outdoor environments that naturally harbor microscopic life forms in varying degrees –  known as microbes. Microbes are simply these tiny one celled organisms like bacteria, fungi and viruses. These microbes flourish when they are exposed to excess moisture for a prolonged time period.

Because the health effects associated with water damage, the IICRC developed a classification for the for the water damage based on the water quality. This helps remediators,  property owners and other interested parties to determine the necessary actions to take for proper health and safety.

Understanding the risks and potential problems means that quickly dealing with restoration water damage in Indianapolis and other areas that are susceptible to flooding is imperative. Protect your property by acting quickly and finding a restoration company that follows environmentally friendly remediation processes.

IICRC Certified Water Damage Restoration

Energy Efficiency

Should I Replace My Windows?

The decision to replace the windows in your home is a big one.  How do you know if it’s really necessary?  With time and use, windows wear out.  They can become less energy efficient and begin to break down structurally.  There are a few definite signals that will let you know if it is time to replace your windows.

1.  Windows Become Drafty

All windows will let a little bit of air into and out of your home, but you should not be able to detect a draft.  If you can, then the windows are letting too much air through.  Over many years of use windows can become warped or the frames can become loose which would allow too much air to pass through.  If this happens your heating and cooling system will have to work harder to keep your indoor temperature at a comfortable level.  That will cause your energy bills to be higher, which is a sure sign that the windows need to be replaced.  Weather stripping is a temporary remedy for this problem, but since sealants expand and contract, the leaks will not be sealed for very long.

Passivhaus Fenster Beispiele.png
Passivhaus Fenster Beispiele” by Passivhaus Institut – Copied to Commons from http://en.wikipedia.org. Original source Passivhaus Institut, Germany – http://www.passiv.de. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

 

 

 

2.  Difficulty Opening and Closing the Windows

This sign is a pretty obvious one.  Clearly, if you cannot open or close your windows they are no longer useful and need to be replaced.  Wooden windows can warp and cause them not to go up and down.  Metal windows, when not properly painted can rot or rust, which can also cause them not to operate properly as well.  Double hung and triple hung windows utilize a balance system that allows them to move up and down.  If this malfunctions the windows might suddenly slam shut, which is hazardous.

3.   Condensation Between Panes on Double or Triple Paned Windows

If there is condensation, fog or even white calcium deposits between the panes of glass in triple or double paned windows, it is a sign that the seal between them may have been broken.  This means that the glass is no longer insulating against the outdoor temperatures.  In cases like this, the windows, or at least the panes of glass must be replaced.

4.  High Heating and Cooling Costs

If your heating and cooling costs are high, old and inefficient windows may be the cause.  If the windows in your home are very old they are probably not energy efficient.  In the long run, replacing the old windows with new, energy efficient windows will save you enough money on your utility bills to pay for themselves.

The benefits of installing energy efficient windows is great and well worth the investment. Search for a local window  company in your area. Ask plenty of questions and get a quote from at least two local businesses.

Single vs Double Pane Window – PlyGem