Mold FAQs

This is the most asked question that we get. In order to answer it, you need to understand how mold can affect you. Mold looks much like a white dandelion under a microscope. There is a stem, or hyphea that grows into the food source; and the spores or seeds. These spores are between 1 and 20 microns (very small) and are designed to float in the air in order to reproduce more mold colonies. Because they are so small, there are hundreds or thousands of spores on a surface in order for the to even become visible to the human eye.

These spores can affect you in one of three ways: 

  1. They can be highly allergenic. The allergenic response varies depending on the person and type of mold, but can be very deadly to some people.
  2. They can cause mycotoxic response. Mycotoxins are poisons created by the mold in order to become dominate mold. Some of these mycotoxins are proven to be carcinogenic , some have been proven to cause memory loss, and many other responses.
  3. The mold can grow in your body. This reaction is incredibly rare and usually only happens in people that have severe immune deficiencies. 

When you spray something on the mold spores, you cause them to become airborne and produce mycotoxins because they feel threatened. This causes hundreds of thousands of mold spores to be deposited throughout the structure causing potential health problems. 

Even if you “kill” the mold spores, they are still allergenic and they still have all off the mycotoxins contained in the walls off the spores. 

Source removal under very controlled conditions is the only way to remediate mold. If the moldy materials are just torn out by the homeowner or an untrained, uncertified contractor, mold spores become highly elevated in the structure. These materials need to be removed under very controlled conditions, in a containment area, and cleaned to a dust free area in order to pass a clearance test. 

Because the spores are so small, the human eye cannot see them. Third party IEP’s can test the indoor environment to make sure it has been cleaned thoroughly enough. We believe that having a third party perform these tests for full transparency in the remediation process. 

For more information on mold and indoor air quality, visit www.epa.gov or call us at 1-800-477-3753

Water Damage FAQs

Initial Do’s and Don’ts:

If you have been the victim of water damage at your home or office, time is of the essence. It is important for you to know that your insurance carrier expects you to take steps to prevent further damages and your coverage stipulates that you make every reasonable effort to minimize the damage. 

You must make every effort to determine the source of the water and see if it can be shut off, if only temporary, to prevent further damage. It may be necessary for you to call a licensed plumber for repairs at the source of the water. Remember to call Overcast Restoration for help immediately.

While you wait for help, there are things you should and should not do to help contain the damages and prevent further loss. 

  • Shut off the water source when possible. 
  • Call Overcast Restoration immediately.
  • Turn off circuit breakers supplying electricity to wet areas. 
  • Unplug and remove all small electrical devices currently located on wet carpet.
  • Watch slipping hazards when walking from wet carpet onto vinyl or hardware floors.
  • Remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe place.
  • Remove Oriental or colored area rugs from wet carpet. 
  • Carefully remove miscellaneous items from wood furniture and wipe it down.
  • Remove books, magazines and other color staining items from wet flooring.
  • Place aluminum foil or saucers in between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove and prop up wet cushions to facilitate drying. Check them for any color bleeding. 
  • Separate wet clothing to prevent moisture buildup and color transfer.
  • Punch small holes in sagging ceilings to help trapped water escape. If unsure of the danger of the ceiling collapsing, don’t attempt to punch these holes!
  • Begin to remove as much standing water as possible by mopping and blotting with dry wet towels. 
  • Open wet cabinet doors and drawers. If swollen do not force open. 
  • Circulate air for maximum drying by opening windows in cool weather or turning on the air conditioning in warm weather. 

WARNING: Before doing anything, make sure there is no imminent danger from structural, electrical, or health problems. If you are unsure, don’t attempt to do anything until help arrives. If the damage involves floodwater or raw sewage, there are bio-hazardous conditions present and you should always wait for a professional before proceeding. 

• Do not turn ceiling fans on when the ceiling is wet.
• Do not use a household vacuum to remove standing water.
• Do not leave wet fabrics in place. Dry as soon as possible.
• Do not leave books, magazines or other color staining items from wet floors.
• Do not leave furniture directly on wet carpeting.
• Do not attempt to clean upholstery, oriental rugs or other potentially color staining fibers with
  ordinary household cleaners.
• Do not leave colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpeting. Remove them until carpeting is completely
• Do not begin to repair or repaint any damage surfaces until they are completely dry.

Why should I clean my carpet?

Health is the largest reason why people should have their carpets cleaned often.

1.  Carpet acts like a filter in the indoor environment by trapping soils, gases, and human or animal dander. 
2.  Excess build up of soils in carpet may have and adverse on the indoor environment. 
3. Soils, volatile organic compounds (VOC) and biopollutants be remove to maintain a healthy indoor environment. 
4.  Maximize the extraction of pollutants from the building envelope. 
5.  Minimize chemical, particle, and moister residue. 
6.  Minimize human exposure to pollutants.
7.  Properly dispose of cleaning wastes.

Studies have shown that Hot water extraction is the best method of removing not only everyday soils and pollutants, but also greatly reduce the number of biopollutants in carpet and upholstery, not only because of the high heat, but because of the fact that pollutants are removed from the home to the truck and then safely and environmentally responsibly disposed of.  The bottom line is that carpet needs to be cleaned when it is biologically soiled, and should not be delayed until it’s surface is soiled.

2. Asset management is a concern that most people don’t consider when having their carpets cleaned. What I mean is that carpet, on average, is a home owners third largest investment.  With the average price for carpet being around $24.00 per yard, the average home has several thousand dollars in carpeting alone.  Routine cleaning is recommended by the carpet manufacturers to not only maintain appearance, but to also promote a long life for the carpet.  Soiling is the number one enemy and destroyer of carpets.  The average piece of sand has around 25 cutting edges on it that work to degrade carpet every time it is exposed to traffic.  Modern carpets are designed to hide oiling, so that by the time a carpet appears soiled on the surface, it may already be to late to reverse some of the damage.

3. Appearance cleaning is third, and unfortunately, the biggest reason that most people clean their carpets and upholstery,  While dirty carpets are an embarrassing eyesore, I hope that in the above sections you have learned that cleaning only for the appearance of the carpet is not the only reason to have your carpets cleaned regularly.  With the above stated facts about how modern carpets hide soils, I would also like to point out a few more facts for you.  The more soiled a carpet is, the more harsh of detergents are needed to clean them.  These more powerful solutions can impair the stain repellence of newer generation carpets with any kind of stain guard on them.  Also some spots and spills that are on carpet may permanently damage the carpet and become permanent stains if not removed as soon as possible.