On October 16 at 5:00 AM Mrs L woke to find water pouring out of her ceiling. Her phone had even gotten wet so she panicked and went outside and started screaming for help. Fortunately a neighbor was leaving for work and came to the aid of 90 year old Mrs. L. The fire department was called and they did what they could, then finally at nearly 9 AM someone called Crestview. We had a crew there within 30 minutes and had all her wet carpet and furniture pulled out, and commercial dehumidifiers running, by the end of the day. Mrs. L was devastated, however. Her once-quaint little home had been ransacked by water and was in shambles. We explained to her that we’d work as fast as possible to get her back to normal but she didn’t want to hear any of it – she’d heard it all before. The difference is, though… she’d never heard that story from us.
Due to Mrs. L’s age and health condition, she declined a temporary hotel stay graciously offered by her landlord, so the Crestview crew had to work quickly and keep her safe through the rebuild. The hardest part was waiting – we couldn’t start the buildback until everything left was dried out thoroughly, and the subfloor and ceiling were soaking wet. A small portion of one of the walls was saturated, and since it was paneling on top of wet drywall, it had to come out because drywall takes forever to dry and the paper covering is an excellent source of nutrition for mold and other microbes. Once the areas were mostly dried, all affected areas were treated with an anti-microbial agent just to make sure nothing would be left to start growing and causing health issues down the road.
Once everything was dried out, a quick rebuild started. First, the wall section that was saturated and removed had to be rebuilt. Since the original construction was paneling over 3/8″ drywall, that’s how it went back together. As much of the original trim that could be saved was carefully removed, sanded down, and reinstalled. The standard paneling trim was replaced with identical materials. This was done on Friday, October 22 – only 7 days after the original incident (and the first opportunity we had after everything was dry).
On Monday, October 25th the ceiling tiles were replaced and painting began. A depressed Mrs. L looked on from the confines of her bedroom, not realizing how close to the finish line we actually were. Due to time constraints the paint was completed on Tuesday the 26th, and carpet was scheduled for the 28th. Then, by some miracle, the carpet installer called on Wednesday morning and asked if they could come in that day, as they’d had a cancellation. We naturally obliged, and just that fast her carpet was in; by the end of the day the living room was put back together and Mrs. L was ecstatic that she could finally sit somewhere other than her bedroom. This is nowhere short of miraculous, and anyone in the water restoration industry would agree. Having a major multi-floor water intrusion and going back to “better-than-new” condition in just 12 days is, for the most part, unheard of.
The crew stopped by on Thursday, October 28th to pick up some equipment and put new outlet and switch covers, and Mrs. L was entertaining guests in her newly refurbished room. She marveled at the great choice of colors and mentioned that some relatives had asked for our number because they want their houses to look the same! I informed her that we’re not a home improvement company and the only way they’d have that privilege is if they throw many buckets of water around the house.
During these tumultuous times, it’s few and far between, yet refreshing, to hear a business owner give a status as “business as usual.” Here at Crestview that’s ALMOST the case.
As a mold remediation and water damage restoration contractor, we are certainly an “essential” emergency service according to any political list. However, as they say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Although we are free to travel and commence “business as usual” our knowledge of pathogen control comes into play, and is generally in accordance with social distancing measures that are being promoted around the world right now. In a nutshell, we are operational and on call 24/7; however we’re only responding to calls which portray a potential health hazard at this time.
As of 3/24/2020, Crestview has not been in contact with any customers who have tested positive for COVID-19, or took on any remediation work involving the virus itself. However, we are fully equipped to do just that, provided the scientists prove the effectiveness in ozone treatment.
ADAMSVILLE, Tenn. March 5, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Since ozone has been proven to kill 99.999 percent of pathogens in the air, including SARS Coronavirus and influenzas such as H5N1, researchers anticipate that it may be an important tool in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“Ozone has been proven to kill the SARS Coronavirus,” Robert Smith, president and CEO of Quail Systems, LLC said. “This 2019 strand has a similar makeup to SARS; therefore, we anticipate that ozone may kill the new, stronger strand, COVID-19. For decades, we have seen that ozone is the safest and most cost-effective option for protecting people by killing dangerous viruses and other threats,” Smith added.
Viruses are small particles made up of crystals; ozone destroys viruses by attacking the nucleic acid core, thus damaging the viral RNA. After destroying these particles, ozone dissipates and leaves breathable oxygen as its only byproduct.
COVID-19 is an enveloped virus. In past studies, 99 percent of viruses have been destroyed and showed damage to their envelope proteins after 30 seconds of exposure to ozone. This can result in the virus’s failure to attach to normal, healthy cells, and the breakdown of the single-stranded RNA can lead to the destruction of the virus.
According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). COVID-19 had not been previously identified in humans.
The strongest disinfectant available to the public, ozone safely has been used for decades in homes and businesses. Using ozonated water for handwashing kills bacteria and viruses on impact. Ozone is created by special generators that release it in the air for purification or infuse it into water for disinfecting surfaces. More information about ozone generators and how they work can be found at https://ozairandwater.com/. Oz products are manufactured by Tennessee Innovative Products, LLC, a sister company of Quail Systems.
Crestview has been using ozone generators to treat mold in homes and businesses for quite some time. As mentioned in the article, ozone kills “99.999 percent” of pathogens either in the air, or settled on surfaces or in hard-to-reach areas. The benefit of ozone versus liquid treatment is that as a gas, ozone can permeate areas that even liquids can’t reach, and destroy mold that no one knew was even there. And it’s the same weight as air, so it will disperse evenly throughout a space. The definitive down side to ozone is that it’s so poisonous that it will also kill pets, plants, and ultimately humans in high enough concentration. However, the upside to that is the short half-life of ozone molecules. We allow 3 hours for the ozone to dissipate after a 12-hour shock treatment, so a space only needs to be vacated for around 15 hours for complete molecular sanitization.
Aside from ozone generation, Crestview is well equipped for the battle against this pandemic. We do have a moderate supply of our own full-face P100 respirators, suits and gloves; and our decontamination methods are in direct correlation with the Hazardous Materials Response standards found in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120.
For more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (570) 995-MOLD.
Water restoration has been around for as long as houses have been standing, but as technology moves from rudimentary electrical current measurement to the wonderful world of thermography, our job gets just a little easier.
From as early as the 1950s, scientists have been improving technology to detect moisture, primarily in wood. By measuring electrical resistance across two probes, moisture meters can precisely indicate the percentage of moisture that is in a substrate. These tools have evolved over time into a relatively inexpensive handheld, battery-operated instrument. There’s nothing better than a moisture meter for detecting the exact amount of moisture in a particular spot.
But what about on a large scale? A single handheld instrument surely can’t quantify an area of moisture, without taking individual measurements all over a room and recording the measurements, which can be a very tedious process. If only there were a way to “see” the moisture?
Enter the thermal camera. Flir and Fluke are the front runners of the consumer thermal imaging industry, but there are many other companies producing this product as well. Thermal imagery is sometimes incorrectly used synonymously with infrared, but they are different technologies. In this text we’re referring to actual thermal detection, not infrared. In the world of water restoration, a thermal imaging camera can display, in real time, areas of moisture in a room. This allows us to size up the amount of water damage and, in some instances, identify the source of the water.
How does it work, you ask? Fortunately the phenomenon of evaporative cooling provides us with a temperature gradient significant enough to visualize wetness in substrates such as carpet, drywall, plaster and wood. As we know from standard psychrometry, moisture moves towards dryness. So in a room at standard temperature and humidity, any water in said room will constantly evaporate. This provides us with a relatively clear view of the damage. Care must be taken so as not to interpret cold air sources such as HVAC ducts, drafty doors and windows, or areas of missing insulation as moisture. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved with thermography, but the time invested is worthwhile for us as well as our clients!
The nature of mold and water restoration is a destructive one; fortunately many homeowner’s insurance policies cover one or the other – or both! This means we, as the mold remediation contractor, are often dealing directly with an insurance adjuster or public adjuster. We must be able to speak the same language for proper communication. Insurance companies often want estimates to be broken down in the detailed format provided by very expensive estimating software. Fortunately, we use Xactimate, as many insurance companies do, to create detailed sketches and broken-down estimates so there is no miscommunication or mincing of words. This fluid transfer translates to less headache from all parties involved, including the homeowner.