Home is where families spend most of their time together. When searching for the right house, home buyers are looking at aesthetics, yard size, kitchen appliances, and bedroom arrangements. Buyers find the right house, fall in love, hire the inspector, and are devastated when inspection reveals the presence of mold.
Hurricane Matthew pummeled Haiti with sustained winds of 140 MPH (gusts up to 157 MPH), up to 40 inches of rain, landslides, and storm surge as high as 20 feet. Weakening slightly, Matthew will strike eastern Cuba as a category 3 storm before marching across the Bahamas.
Matthew’s Impact On North Carolina
Confidence is increasing that Matthew will then set its sights on the Carolina coast, potentially making landfall somewhere between Charleston, SC and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Though multiple landfalls in the Caribbean will weaken the storm, Matthew may strike the Carolina’s as a strong category 2 or 3 hurricane. If it does make landfall in the Carolina’s as a category 3 storm, it will be the first major hurricane to hit the East Coast since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. It would also be the first major hurricane to make landfall in the Carolina’s since Hurricane Fran in 1996.
Hurricane Matthew’s Current Forecast Track
Once predicted to steer harmlessly out to sea, Matthew’s official forecast track has shifted steadily westward. The forecast cone pictured below is an amalgamation of several different computer models.
Similar to last year’s Hurricane Joaquin, computer models are literally all over the map. The range of possibilities is not as dramatic as it was with Joaquin; nevertheless, this is not a time for East Coast residents to let down their guards.
Similarities to Hurricanes Fran, Floyd, Irene and Hazel
Matthew’s forecast track has been compared to past North Carolina storms: Fran, Floyd, Irene, and Hazel.
Mentions of storms like Fran and Floyd conjure memories of epic flooding, fallen trees, and lengthy power outages.
Recent heavy rainfall will complicate the potential damage Matthew could cause well inland. A slight shift westward could mean a major impact for Greenville, Rocky Mount, Raleigh, and Durham.
Proper Preparation Is The Key To Recovery
Residents all along the coastal regions of North and South Carolina should prepare for strong winds, heavy rain, flooding rainfall, and high storm surges.
Preparation is the key to storm recovery. Coastal North Carolinian’s should heed warnings to evacuate. Inland residents should make sure they are very familiar with their insurance plans and be prepared to document any damage.
North Carolinian’s are not strangers to major hurricanes. Make sure your family is ready for the storm, but be prepared to help your neighbor. If you have any questions about what you can do to make sure you, your family, and your community is ready for the storm, check out or storm preparedness checklist or give us a call.
Home remodeling and renovations are all the rage. Kitchen and bathroom remodels can yield high return on investment. So what happens when you or your contractor discover mold on the road to your dream kitchen or spa bathroom?
So you’ve decided to put your house on the market. You spruced up the paint, had the carpets cleaned and maybe even installed a few upgrades throughout your home. You list your home with a great realtor and your house is under contract in a matter of days. The day of the inspection rolls around and you get a not so great call from your realtor: the inspector found mold.
The Inspector Found Mold: Now What?
Take a deep breath, mold, while a nuisance, can be remediated. You cannot control the buyer’s reaction. They may hear the word mold and run or they may stand by your house and weather the storm. Either way, you have a mold problem that must be rectified.
What Does Remediation Look Like?
Honesty is the Best Policy
It is important to address your mold issues head on. Like it or not most buyers will likely expect professional mold remediation with lots of documentation paid for in large part by you, the seller. Be sure to not only take the proper routes to correct mold growth in your home, but also find and fix the source of the problem.
*Please note that every state has different requirements when it comes to the seller’s responsibility to disclose mold issues. Please contact a licensed realtor or real estate attorney in your state for more information.
The housing market is hot here in the Raleigh area. Homes are selling in a matter of days. So what happens when the house you’re in the process of purchasing has mold?
You found your dream house, your bid was accepted, it’s time to get the ball rolling towards closing. The day of the inspection comes and you’re told the house you are buying has a moldy secret. Is mold a deal breaker? Should you kiss your earnest money goodbye? Not necessarily.
Should You Stay or Should You Go?
The Home Inspector Finds Mold: If the home inspector finds mold your next step should be to contact a mold company to assess the issue and determine if a third party testing firm needs to be brought in.
Price and Timeline of Remediation: Consider the time and money it will take to properly remediate your mold problem and decide if it is worth the price.
Determine Seller’s Willingness to Negotiate: Is the seller willing to cover or at least share the cost of remediation?
There is no formula to determine if the presence of mold should warrant walking away from the house you are trying to purchase. Every situation is different. The amount and type of mold and the underlying reason for the mold are all important factors to consider. Seek advice from your buyer’s agent and a mold specialist to help you make your decision.
What Does Remediation Look Like?
Some amount of common mold is present in every home. However, if you are facing a larger mold issue, here is a list of what you should expect from a reputable mold remediation specialist:
Assess the size of the mold problem and identify mold-damaged materials.
Identify the source or cause of the moisture problem.
Plan the mold remediation strategy and adapt guidelines to fit the unique situation.
Remove the mold growth and remediate the affected area.
Fix the water or moisture problem.
Clean and dry moldy materials.
Discard moldy items that can’t be cleaned.
Perform follow-up inspections to check for the return of moisture and mold.
Let Your Budget and Health Be Your Guide
If you have the time and money to make repairs, buying a house with mold may be a viable option for you. If however, you have health issues or time constraints, it may be in your best interest to walk away from the deal.
As this long winter concludes, are you or your family experiencing the sniffles, itchy eyes, and scratchy throat? Those may be symptoms of something more sinister than the common cold. You may have mold in your home. Mold allergy symptoms often present similarly to pollen allergies.; however, it can lead to even greater health concerns if allowed to survive and thrive.
Below are several symptoms to help you diagnose mold in your home and take action against it:
Common Symptoms Your Home Has Mold
1)Allergies: Sneezing, itching, coughing, or unexplained rashes can all be symptoms of mold, though they are almost indistinguishable from pollen allergies. Here are a few questions to help you determine if your sniffles are due to mold?
Are my allergies worse at home? If your sniffles ramp up when you arrive home in the evening, it could indicate that your symptoms are due to home environmental factors, such as mold.
Are my allergies worse on rainy days? Or, in other words, do you find that you or your family gets the sniffles after being stuck indoors for several hours or days?
Are my allergies worse in certain parts of the house? Do you wake up with a runny nose that clears up throughout the course of the day? Are your itchy eyes exasperated by spending time in the basement? Answers to these questions may help diagnose the presence and specific location of mold.
2)Visible Signs: Mold can be difficult to distinguish from dirt, but there are a few key differences that can help you identify molds.
Color: Molds are generally green, pale blue, grey, white, or black. Grey and black colored molds are the most difficult to distinguish from dirt.
Texture: Molds are bumpy, velvety, or slimy, and will smear if wiped. If you attempted to clean the “dirt” and found it smearing, it is likely mold. However, intentionally attempting to smear potential mold is not a safe way to test for it.
Colonies: Molds tend to group together in colonies. Mold colonies are similar in appearance to paintball splatters.
Location: Mold often develops is dark, moist, hidden places in the home.
Often what is visible is just the tip of the iceberg. Mold can hide behind drywall, under flooring, and in all sorts of places invisible to the naked eye.
3)Odors: Molds usually smell musty or sour. It can be similar to the smell of old, dirty gym socks, or a wet towel left in a vehicle in the hot sun, or even like a wet, nasty dog. If you smell that odor, especially in a part of your home prone to moisture, there is a good chance you have mold.
4)Water Damage: Mold can develop as quickly as 48 hours from the first occurrence of water damage. Even if the cause of the damage has been repaired, if the moisture is not properly and adequately dried, mold will likely form. The best practice is to address and correct water damage immediately, before mold has the opportunity to develop. If you find old damage in your home, and you’re experiencing the other symptoms of mold, contact a professional immediately.
What To Do If You Have Mold
If the symptoms add up and you have diagnosed your home as having mold, there are a few things you should and should not do:
You should not:
Panic: Don’t feel like you need to immediately leave your home forever, board up the windows, and have it condemned. Mold can be remediated.
Ignore it: Don’t assume mold is not a big deal or that it will go away on its own. You do need to do something about it.
Clean it yourself: We have previously written about the few instances wherein mold can be cleaned by homeowners if they strictly follow the proper procedures. However, we always recommend consulting a professional before attempting to remove even a small amount of mold. What is visible often pales in comparison to what is invisible.
Avoid it: If mold is confined to one room or area of you home, consider avoiding that area until it is remediated.
Address it: Contact a mold remediation specialist as soon as possible. The situation will only worsen over time.
Correct the source: Mold thrives where there is excess moisture. If the source of the moisture is not corrected, even if the mold is professionally remediated, it is likely to redevelop. Repair the water damage, fix the leak, and dehumidify high humidity areas of your home.
If you have symptoms of mold, our prescription is to contact a mold remediation professional immediately. The sooner you address your mold situation, the better for your health and your wallet.
Joaquin strengthened to a major storm (category 3 or higher) overnight Wednesday and could slam the Bahamas as a category 4 hurricane. The current official forecast track released by the National Weather Service has Joaquin passing just east of the Carolina shore; however, several computer models are trending west with the storm’s track, some bringing it through eastern and central North Carolina. (more…)
Much was made in the media about the National Hurricane Center’s lower-than-average prediction for the number of hurricanes in 2015. So far their predictions have proven accurate. However, in 1992 Hurricane Andrew devastated south Florida in a year with only seven named storms. It only takes one storm to cause major damage and destruction.
Hurricane Danny became the first hurricane and subsequently the first major hurricane of the 2015 season. Danny encountered significant sheer as it crossed the Leeward Islands last weekend, weakened to a tropical storm, and eventually dissipated. On Danny’s heels, Erika became a Tropical storm this week and will likely become the second hurricane of the season as it passes just north of Hispaniola and heads toward Florida’s Atlantic coast.
Revisit Your Hurricane Plan
Though Erika may seem like a blip way out in the Atlantic Ocean, this is a good time to revisit your hurricane plan. Successful recovery begins before the storm even hits. Take this opportunity to identify time sensitive or critical business functions and develop a list of resources that support them. Check in with providers regarding their response plans and see whether you need to make adjustments to their ability to serve your business.
Should a storm make landfall in our area, it is a good idea to have a pre-storm/post-storm checklist. According to the National Hurricane Center, good documentation is a vital part of the pre-storm planning process.
Pre-Storm and Post-Storm Checklists
Before the storm make sure you are:
Taking pre-storm photos and/or videos and lists of your inventory. This is a tremendous help to everyone involved in the recovery process.
Making copies of important documents and add them to your emergency kit. Also, make sure important computer files are saved to the cloud or on another off-site computer.
Covering windows, reinforcing garage doors and securing outdoor objects such as furniture, decorations and garbage cans will help minimize damage when the storm comes.
Examining your insurance policies and know the extent of your coverage.
Keeping your landscape wind resistant with good pruning methods. Clearing gutters and downspouts are two ways to minimize wind and water damage.
Turning off electricity, water, and gas as you leave, should you need to evacuate. This should help to minimize damage and preserve your property.
Keeping up with how much your property and goods are worth.
After the storm you should:
Take post-storm photos as soon as it is safe to enter your property. These are invaluable to insurance adjustors when surveying your property and its losses.
Make sure your documentation is secure and accessible.
Remember that the process will be lengthy and try not to become discouraged.
Remtech Environmental has the ability to handle any sized disaster and can help you when planning the appropriate response. A pre-event contract with Remtech moves you to the top of the response list at a fixed, pre-approved price. Our response begins as soon as it’s safe and an immediate response minimizes damage, prevents mold growth, and gets you back to generating revenue as soon as possible.
There have been about 45,000 American deaths due to asbestos-related diseases since 1979. There are between 2000 and 3000 new cases of Mesothelioma diagnosed every year. Asbestos exposure is very serious, so the most fundamental question you probably have about it is, “Does my home have asbestos?” (more…)