Exposure to mold can cause various health problems ranging from minor irritations to allergic reactions and even serious lung infections. Mold thrives in moist areas. Therefore, to prevent mold growth in your home, you must control moisture levels. Check out this list of mold prevention tips: 1. Repair leaks in the walls, roof, gutters and plumbing pipes as soon as you can to reduce moisture. Inspect ceilings and walls for water stains. 2. Keep indoor humidity at 30-50% by using a dehumidifier, air conditioner or by opening windows and doors. Check the humidity levels at least twice a day. 3. Prevent condensation in your home by reducing humidity and adjusting the thermostat. 4. Ventilate appliances that generate moisture (cooking stove, shower, dryer, etc.) using exhaust fans. 5. Have your HVAC system inspected annually by a certified professional. Make sure your HVAC drip pans are clean and flow properly. 6. After a flood, all wet areas in your home must be cleaned and dried within 48-72 hours by a professional water damage specialist. 7. Prevent mold growth on indoor plant soil by adding a small quantity of Taheebo tea to the water you give to the plants. 8. Use mold-resistant paint, drywall, and sheetrock to prevent moisture absorption in your walls. 9. Slope the ground surrounding your home away from the house foundation to keep water at bay. Provide drainage to direct water away from your home. 10. Clean gutters. Assure water flow from downspouts is directed away from the foundation....

CATEGORY ONE water losses originate from a clean water source that affects A CLEAN NEAT AND TIDY HOME. For example, if a basement supply line leaks the water travels through the dog poop on the floor that the homeowners were too lazy to pick up, is that a cat 1 loss? How clean were the floors that got affected by the "clean water"? There is more to determining the category of the loss besides where the water originated from. CATEGORY TWO water losses are approximately 75% of all losses based on my experience. Cat 2 losses include sump pump failures, toilet overflows, dishwasher discharge, and washing machine overflows just to name a few. But like others have mentioned category 1 losses can and usually do degrade to a cat 2 loss. Again look beyond where the water originated from because other factors including indoor temperatures, air circulation, and cleanliness of the indoor structure help determine what category of water you are dealing with. Cat 2 water losses usually require a disinfectant to be applied to affected surfaces. CATEGORY THREE water losses are grossly contaminated and require the use of PPE ( personal protective equipment ) and an AFD ( air filtration device ). Cat 3 losses require removal of contaminated porous building materials such as drywall, carpet, carpet cushion etc. although for the life of me I can't understand why you don't have to remove wood structural members?? Different topic for a different day. Cat 3 losses usually require HWE ( hot water extraction ) and the use of a disinfectant on affected surfaces. CATEGORY FOUR water losses are specialty losses that if you are a newbie and you're dealing with this then I assure you that you are incapable of handling this and you should exit stage left. And yes for you other responders there is a category 4. Category 4 losses are water losses that are mixed with fuel oils, oil or any other "out of the ordinary" chemical that is mixed with the water. These losses require environmental waste hauling companies. After removal of chemically contaminated water the loss is treated as a category 3 loss but requires MUCH more cleaning after removal of contaminated building materials. In conclusion, the IICRC S500 guide for water damage restoration is just that, A GUIDE. Usually, it is a minimum guideline to be followed. For example in construction building codes are a minimum guideline. The best builders go way above and beyond minimum guidelines as do the best water damage restoration companies....

Water damage can strike your home at any time, from any number of sources. The longer you put off water damage restoration, the worse, and potentially more expensive, the project will become. Especially if mold starts to grow. So what do you do? Before you decide to go the DIY route – after all, everything you need to know is online, right? – take a step back and look at the bigger picture. WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION IS NOT A DIY JOB Despite what you may find online, tv shows, blog articles, and youtube video channels, water damage cleanup should only be handled by trained and certified professionals. These trained professionals not only have the training, experience, and certifications to get the job done right, they also have specialized drying equipment needed to do the job properly to prevent further damage. ie mold.  Sure you can rent fans and dehumidifiers from Home Depot, but drying a soaked carpet using residential or rental equipment can take much longer than the Low Grain Refrigerant (LGR)Dehumidifiers professional water damage restoration companies use. Time is of the essence when dealing with water in your home or business. One day is the difference between saving your building materials and having to demolish and restoring. Additional benefits of hiring a professional water damage restoration company: Health Hazards: Depending on the source of the water damage, safety can become a concern. There are three categories of water damage, ranging from clean water to black water, each more hazardous than the next. Black water, the most dangerous of the three, is water that has come into contact with fecal matter or other unidentified contaminants. Hidden Damage: Water damage is not always obvious. Sometimes it is found inside walls and under floors. If you attempt a DIY restoration and fail to diagnose hidden damage, the resulting issues could be extreme…and expensive. Peace of Mind: Hiring a professional restoration company gives you the peace of mind knowing you have done everything in your power to rectify the situation.   WHY CALL FLOOD DOCTOR FOR WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION: We respond and work quickly – Depending on the extent of the damage, Flood Doctor professionals may be able to clean up water damage in your home in as little as three days. We’re experienced – After 20 years in the Water Damage Flood Damage Restoration business and thousands of Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC properties restored, we know how to handle your water damage cleanup emergency. We help with your insurance claim – Working with insurance companies while recovering from water damage or flood damage is stressful. We can work with your insurance company to settle claims quickly.  ...

Flood insurance is a special type of homeowner's insurance designed to shield homeowners from the financial devastation of flood damage to their home. People commonly think that flood insurance covers all losses, but insurance coverage actually breaks down what is covered by the location of the damage. Damage to the structure of a home is not treated the same way as to damage in a basement or to belongings. Flood insurance spells out what is covered in each of these areas. Residential Buildings Flood insurance covers homes and other dwellings, including garages, against damage. This coverage includes dishwashers, furnaces, radiators, water heaters, plumbing fixtures, stoves, ovens, and refrigerators. The coverage also includes roofs, exterior and interior walls, flooring, ceilings, permanent cabinets and fixtures, electrical outlets, vents, light fixtures and ceiling fans. The coverage is for direct water damage, mold damage, and mudslides. The damage can be caused by river, lake, pond or stream flooding, or coastal floodings such as the storm surge that occurs during tropical storms and hurricanes. Basements National flood insurance covers basements to the extent that the losses are for items normally stored in a basement. This excludes coverage for furniture, TVs and other electronics that are not considered to be a part of a regular basement. The coverage also is for the actual structural elements of the basement. This includes unfinished walls, the foundation insulation, electrical junctions and circuit breaker boxes, central air units, fuel tanks, heat pumps, light fixtures, furnaces and water heaters. Coverage includes the cost of cleanup. Coverage excludes improvements such as flooring and finished walls. Personal Belongings Flood insurance covers items inside the home that are declared a loss, including clothing, furniture, bedding, decorative accessories, books, electronics, rugs, drapes, air conditioners, washing machines, clothes dryers, microwave ovens, photos, and paintings. Nonresidential Buildings Flood insurance coverage for nonresidential buildings is similar to that for residential structures. Instead of providing full coverage for finished interiors, though, it mirrors the coverage provided for the interior of a basement. This means that structural coverage is only for unfinished drywall on walls and ceilings, and non-flammable insulation. Coverage does not extend to the paint on walls and ceilings. Flood loss coverage is also provided for Electrical junction and circuit breaker boxes, central air units, light fixtures, permanent cabinets, Foundation and cleanup costs. Coverage for contents includes furniture and fixtures, machinery and equipment, raw materials, and unfinished or finished goods....