Basement Joist

Many companies will show you before and after photos of mold with the after usually just in white.  But is the mold really cleaned?  Here is a before and after of a basement joist covered in mold, and prior to any encapsulation.  This photo shows why we always apply clear encapsulates and only use white as per the customer request.

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Water Damage in Newtown Square

A burst pipe and a faulty window well flooded a finished basement in Newtown Square PA which required water extraction, removal, mold remediation and structural drying.  The owners had admitted to storing to many items up against the walls and not seeing what was going on behind them until the pipe burst.

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Floods & Storage

Many homes use basements and some bedrooms for storing items.  Two mistakes that often occur are homeowners storing too many items, with some boxes being empty or filled with trash and two, they store items so high and so tightly packed to the wall that they can never see if there is a problem lurking.  Pictured below is an example of a home that had a minor leak that went unnoticed for several weeks because of boxes stored from floor to near ceiling.  The leak then caused damaged, not only to the stored items, but also the walls and floor.  If the home would have had a better system for storing such items, most of this issue could have been remediated and repaired prior to causing extensive loss to building materials and personal contents.  Too many packed items is also a major fire hazard and if you can not afford to part with any item, then considering a storage unit may be helpful in times like this.

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Condensate Backups

Central air conditioners produce something other than cool comfort: water, lots of it. Because dry air holds less heat energy, humidity extraction is a critical part of an efficient air conditioning process. When the air conditioner blower pulls warm household air through the frigid passages of the evaporator coil, the cooling effect causes water vapor to condense out of the air rapidly. Condensation drips down into a collector pan under the coil and is conveyed through a drain line to a household sewer connection. Things that might go wrong in the condensate drain system include damaging leaks, bad air quality, toxic mold growth, and even a complete air conditioner shutdown. As seen below, a condensate line backup caused water damage through walls and into carpet and padding. Luckily, this home in Mount Laurel New Jersey didn’t sustain major damage prior to it being discovered.

Hoarding Disorder Symptoms

In the homes of people who have hoarding disorder, the countertops, sinks, stoves, desks, stairways and virtually all other surfaces are usually stacked with stuff. And when there’s no more room inside, the clutter may spread to the garage, vehicles and yard.

Clutter and difficulty discarding things are usually the first signs and symptoms of hoarding disorder, which often surfaces during the teenage years. As the person grows older, he or she typically starts acquiring things for which there is no need or space. By middle age, symptoms are often severe and may be harder to treat.

Hoarding disorder affects emotions, thoughts and behavior. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Persistent inability to part with any possession, regardless of its value
  • Excessive attachment to possessions, including discomfort letting others touch or borrow them or distress at the idea of letting an item go
  • Cluttered living spaces, making areas of the home unusable for the intended purpose, such as not being able to cook in the kitchen or use the bathroom to bathe
  • Keeping stacks of newspapers, magazines or junk mail
  • Letting food or trash build up to unusually excessive, unsanitary levels
  • Acquiring unneeded or seemingly useless items, such as trash or napkins from a restaurant
  • Difficulty managing daily activities because of procrastination and trouble making decisions
  • Moving items from one pile to another, without discarding anything
  • Difficulty organizing items, sometimes losing important items in the clutter
  • Shame or embarrassment
  • Limited or no social interactions

People with hoarding disorder typically save items because:

  • They believe these items will be needed or have value in the future
  • The items have important emotional significance — serving as a reminder of happier times or representing beloved people or pets
  • They feel safer when surrounded by the things they save

Hoarding disorder is different from collecting. People who have collections, such as stamps or model cars, deliberately search out specific items, categorize them and carefully display their collections. Although collections can be large, they aren’t usually cluttered and they don’t cause the distress and impairments that are part of hoarding disorder.hoarding-410-kitchen-before

Water Damage Deptford NJ

Roof decking is becoming as common as a second bathroom in newer houses.  The thought of looking out at the skyline at night is an added feature which many potential new home owners or people looking to upgrade are searching for.  But like anything, if the decking is done poorly, leaks are imminent.  This particular home in Deptford New Jersey sustained water damage and mold growth due to a decking system that failed only a year after its initial construction.  This water damage actually started on the third floor of the home and traveled to the very highest point of the first floor ceiling.  Mold removal was required as were several pieces of water damage equipment, fans & dehumidifiers, to remedy the issue which could have been avoided if the contractor properly tied in the roofing.  The roofing company also didn’t have the proper insurance for this job and now it is headed to litigation because the home owners didn’t ask for proof of insurance prior to the project beginning.