A Bit Of Knowledge About Flash Floods

Flash Flooding

In Austin and the Central Texas area flash flooding is one of the most common natural disasters that significantly affect our lives. This is especially true for those who live in flood-prone areas. Flash flooding hazards can be local, affecting a small community or locality or very large affecting multiple counties. If you are living in a flood prone area or have been warned about heavy rain and impending flash floods, then you should prepare to evacuate as quickly as possible. In order to prevent water damage Austin from flooding, you should take the necessary steps before, during and after the flood.

The following are the safety measures to be taken before a flood to prevent flood damage:

  • If you are living in a flood prone area, you should elevate and reinforce your home to protect yourself and your property from flood hazards.
  • If your living area is susceptible to flooding, you should elevate electric panel, water heater, furnace etc.
  • To prevent flood water from blocking the drains of your home, sewer taps should be installed with appropriate check valves.
  • You should construct barriers like flood walls, beams etc to prevent flood water from entering into your building. This will help greatly to prevent flood damage.
  • If you have been warned of an impending flood, you should watch television or public communication media to gather more information about the disaster to come.
  • If you have been warned of a flash flooding, then you should not waste time waiting for instructions to evacuate but should move to a higher ground as quickly as possible.
  • If you are preparing to evacuate, then you should secure your home. If you have the time, move the valuables and essentials to an elevated place or upper floor. You should also turn off all the utilities like power supply, water supply, gas supply etc at its main source. Also disconnect all electrical appliances, if possible. This will help to prevent flood damage to the maximum extent possible.

The following are the safety measures to be taken during a flood to prevent flood damage:

During a flood, if you have to move through water, always walk through standing water. Also check the firmness of the ground before you with a stick and only then, you move on. Never walk through moving water as it can make you fall.
It is very dangerous to drive in the floods, as the flood water can easily sweep you and your car.“TURN AROUND DON”T DROWN”
If you are in the car and if you see the flood water rising, then leave the car and move to a raised platform as quickly as possible.

The following are the safety measures to be taken after a flood to start flood damage restoration:

  • Do not go back to your home as soon as the flood water recedes. You should go back to your home, only when it is declared safe to return to the flooded areas.
  • Do not turn on or start using utilities like power supply, water supply, gas supply etc immediately after a flood. Start using them only after it is declared safe to use them or an electrician has checked them.
  • Before starting to live in your home and using your personal and household properties, you should contact a water damage restoration, Austin TX firm to clean, disinfect and dry out them. This will also help to prevent flood damage to a great extent.

If you are living in a flood prone area, it is advisable to have flood insurance for your family and property. Remember flood damage is not covered by your homeowners insurance. This will help to reduce the cost of flood and water damage restoration Austin, TX.

The Best Mold Allergy Treatment – General House Cleaning

Molds Can Cause Health Problems

Molds are tiny fungi that are found in damp, moist and humid conditions. Mold in the house may spoil you and your family members’ health. If you or any of your family members are suffering from constant runny nose, sneezing, headache, fever, respiratory problems and stuffy nose, then there’s a chance you’re being affected by mold allergy. The symptoms of mold allergy will persist as long mold is present. It is vital you make certain your house is free of mold and mold spores. If you have mold you should hire professional to do a complete mold clean up;.

Molds Need The Right Environment

Molds can be found in any places in the house that provides the right environment. You can find molds in refrigerator, on carpet, on bathroom tiles, in closets, in air conditioners, in garbage cans, in the attic and sometimes inside the walls. In order to prevent formation of molds, it is important to keep the house neat and clean. There is no doubt that the best mold allergy treatment is to prevention. This can be done by keeping the house neat, clean and free of molds.

How To Prevent Mold Growth In your House

Here some tips to help prevent mold growth in the house, to guard against mold allergy. First of all, you should remove all old and worn out things from the house. You should remove all the things you do not need in your home. Keep the house neat and clean by removing all old items. You should clean your refrigerator from time to time. Decayed vegetables in the fridge may result in the formation of molds. You should get rid of all kinds of rotten fruits and vegetables from the fridge. This would help in preventing the growth of molds in the fridge.

Keep All Areas Clean and Dry

Keep your closets neat and clean. Do not allow moisture to accumulate in your closets and drawers. Tiny black spots may appear in the closets if you do not protect them from moisture. These tiny black spots are molds and may spoil your health. So, you’ll need to do a mold clean up and keep your drawers and closets moisture free to guard against formation of molds again.

Exhaust Fans and Dehumidifiers

It is necessary to have exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathroom. This helps keep the humidity under control in these areas of the house, helping to guard against development of molds. Dehumidifiers help a great deal in lowering the humidity level in the house. Running dehumidifier is a very good way to prevent the expansion of molds in the house. Also, you should keep your dehumidifier neat and clean. Keep your garbage cans neat and clean to avoid

 

How To Dry A Wet Book

The Inexpensive Way

If you’ve dropped your book accidentally into a pool of water or spilled coffee on it, don’t despair. There is an inexpensive way to restore your wet book, although don’t expect it to be as perfect as it was before. Ideally, wet books – especially sopping wet ones – should be brought to an Austin water damage preservation expert for restoration and repair, but if you don’t have access to one or find the service too expensive, here’s a way for you to do book drying by yourself. If your book is a rare and valuable one, we suggest that rather than attempting this you should bring it to a preservation expert instead.

Air Drying

Air drying or book drying through the use of air is the cheapest method of bringing wet books back to their dry state, and does not require specialized equipment. This process takes a fair amount of time and is labor intensive, but if your book is one of your favorites, the time you put into this process will be well spent. Air drying works best for books that are damp and only mildly wet. If your book was dunked into a pool of water and is really wet, expect the book drying time to take much longer. One other thing to remember is that this process is recommended and works best for books that are made of plain paper, not coated ones.

Prepare Your Book Drying Environment and Equipment.

To carry out your book drying process, you will need the following equipment:

  • A book press (if you don’t have one, you can use heavy objects such as bricks or a telephone directory)
  • Press boards (these hard paper boards in between which you will sandwich the book to reshape it)
  • One or more electric fans
  • Paper towels
  • Blotter paper
  • Wax paper (for books with coated paper)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Wax paper or freezer paper (in case you need to put the book in the freezer)

You’ll Need Low Humidity

Find a place that is clean, dry, spacious, and where the temperature and humidity is low. If you work in places such as your basement, the humidity might be quite high and could result in the growth of molds and distortion of your books. Make sure the temperature in your work area is below 70°F and humidity is below 50%. Position your electric fans so that they are facing upwards and not directly towards the books to be dried. You want to do this because if there are any loose pages in your books, direct air will make the leaves fly off the book.

Prepare the books/sheets to be dried.

If you are drying an entire book, place unprinted paper towels, blotter paper, or blank newsprint in between the pages of the book. Do this very carefully so as not to tear the wet book paper. Wet paper is very fragile, so it is important that you handle it gently. Use both hands to support the book when you move it. For better book drying results and to minimize tearing the book’s leaves, wear gloves while you are handling the book. Don’t use printed paper for interleaving, because the print on that paper will stain your book’s pages. When placing interleaving sheets, remember to handle both the book and interleaving paper gently. Lay the book flat on the table or lean it against a bookend while doing this. If the book is very wet, you may have to do this process in stages, because adding too many interleaving sheets at a time may damage the book’s binding.

For Coated Pages Use Wax Paper

If the book you want to dry is made of coated paper, we advise you to use wax paper as interleaving sheets. Coated paper, such as those you find in coffee table books or glossy magazines, is different from regular book paper because they have been coated with a clay coating, a process that isn’t done with books made of newsprint or regular paper. When books of coated paper become wet, once they dry they tend to stick together – permanently. Wax paper used as an interleaving sheet for book drying coated books will help to minimize this adhesion. We don’t suggest using paper towels, newsprint or blotting paper as interleaving sheets for books made with coated paper, because the shiny pages will stick to them. The process of using wax paper will take longer than the time it will take you to dry a book made with regular paper because the moisture will have to be allowed to evaporate naturally. In this case, the wax paper is used to prevent the leaves from sticking together.

Don’t Forcibly Separate The Sheets

If the book is saturated with water, don’t try to forcibly separate the sheets. Place absorbent paper only on the sheets that separate easily. When the book is partially dry and the stuck sheets have separated, you can then place additional interleaving sheets in between the pages. Don’t forget to place paper in between the covers too. After you’ve done interleaving all the pages, position the book so that it is standing up, with the pages fanned slightly open. Place extra paper towels or newsprint below it to absorb the moisture.

Drying One Page At A Time

If you are going to dry single book pages, lay each page flat on the table or work surface, in between paper towels or unprinted newsprint. You can buy newsprint at the local bookstore, and paper towels at the grocery.

Dry the books with a fan.

Now that you’ve got your books interleaved and your book is standing on absorbent paper, you can turn the fan on. Remember, always position the fan upwards and away from the books that you are drying. You don’t want your books’ pages to come off and go flying all over the place. Never use a regular oven, a hair dryer, or a microwave oven for book drying. This will result in your book’s pages becoming crispy and therefore crumbly. Note that drying with the fan will take several hours at the very least, and could even last for days. This is a slow process, but necessary. If the book isn’t left long enough to dry, the pages could become warped and suffer mold damage. Patience is important. If you can, avoid drying your books outside under direct sunlight because this could fade the inks on the book’s pages and accelerate the aging of the paper. In addition, breezes outside may cause the sheets of your book to fly away.

Periodically check on the book drying.

Check on the books regularly, maybe every hour, and replace the blotting paper with fresh dry ones. Inspect the books for Austin mold damage. Molds usually grow within 24 to 48 hours. If you find mold starting to grow on the pages of the book, you can lightly and gently swab it off with some alcohol on a piece of cotton. Let’s say that you’ve got other things to do or somewhere to go and cannot stay home to periodically replace the absorbent paper. If this is the case, you will have to put the book in the freezer – the freezer compartment of your home’s refrigerator will do. Before you freeze your book, however, loosely wrap it in wax paper or freezer paper and put it in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator. Place it so that it is laid flat then put a brick on top of it to help it keep its shape. The reason you have to do this is because freezing will help to stop the bleeding of the inks, prevent mold damage, and reduce the physical distortion of the book. Once you get back home and have time to do the book drying process again, take the book out from the freezer. Leave it out for sometime to thaw it out. You will have to go through the process of putting interleaving paper in between the pages again.

Replace interleaving sheets often.

The actual book drying process is the longest and most labor-intensive part. We suggest that you replace the blotting paper often so because new, dry ones will absorb the moisture from the book faster. Each time you replace the interleaving sheets in the book, stand the book on its other side so that the book drying process will be distributed evenly. If you stood the book on its tail the first time, this time stand it on its head. Doing otherwise – like standing the book on its tail every time you replace the interleaving sheet – will dry the bottom faster than the upper part, and will make the pages warp.

Press the book.

Once the book is dry but still cool to the touch, place it on a flat surface. Gently form it back into its normal shape. Then, place a weight on top of the book. We advise that you use a book press, if you have one. Alternatively, a brick or telephone directory covered with an unprinted paper towel or newsprint will work fine. For better results, sandwich the book in between press boards before placing the weight on top of it. Leave the book pressed under the weight for several days. Do not stack the books that you are drying on top of each other. Also, do not place the books back on your shelves right away until they are thoroughly dry. Doing this may cause molds to grow.

Store the books carefully.

After you have completed the book drying process and your books have dried, you can now put them in clean boxes or back on your shelves. Remember to check these books periodically for mold growth. If you see mold starting to grow on the pages, gently swab these out with a little alcohol on a piece of cotton.

Allergies to Outdoor Mold Spores

What Are Mold Spores?

How do mold spores affect our health? Here we are going to discuss about mold allergy caused due to outdoor mold spores and ways to guard your body from outdoor mold spores. There are many people who suffer from allergy throughout the year. There are greater chances that they may be suffering from mold allergy. The growth of molds can take place anywhere. Here we are discussing about outdoor mold spores. Some people preventive measures and have professional mold remediation to get rid of molds within the house. However, they forget that molds can grow outside the house also. Outdoor mold spores can be very risky for the health just like indoor mold spores. The growth of outdoor mold spores takes place in rotten wood, soil, compost piles and decaying leaves. Moisture is the main reason behind the development of mold spores in these areas. You may be affected by mold allergy due to inhaling of these airborne mold spores. Physical contact with these outdoor mold spores can also result in mold allergy.

Humid Damp Environments

Outdoor mold spores occur in humid and damp conditions. Contact with damp conditions and environment may result in allergic reaction known as mold allergy. Such allergy may cause health disorders like stuffy nose, runny nose, fever, sneezing, headache, and hearing impairment. The allergic reaction to outdoor mold spores may last for a long period of time. Some mold spores can in fact cause serious even life threatening heath issues.

Where Are Mold Spores Found?

Outdoor mold spores can be found anywhere, and everywhere so they are difficult to avoid. You may suffer from mold allergies as soon as you inhale mold spores. It is very difficult to treat mold allergy and get quick results. The treatment may take a long time. You may have to use nasal sprays, antihistamine or immune boosters to treat mold allergies. However, there are certain ways to reduce the effects mold allergy. First, make sure you don’t allow a mold friendly environment to develop in your home. If you have a water damage event make absolutely sure you have a water damage restoration company completely remove all the water and all the moisture. When you are out of your house, you should keep away from going through compost piles, decayed and fallen leaves, and rotten vegetation. Avoid going out and doing your garden work on a humid day. Wear a mask on your face, if you need to do it. Avoid going to the farms during the harvesting period. This is the time of growth for mold spores.

Protect Your Health

So, in order to remain healthy and fit, and protect your body from outdoor mold spores, you should take care of all the preventive measures described above. This way, you would be able to guard against mold allergy. Keep your outdoors neat and clean, and avoid going to humid and damp areas, so as to protect yourself from coming in contact with outdoor mold spores.