Winter Storm Damage Issues Common In Minnesota

By Nancee Mosley

Many Minnesota property owners believe that keeping the sidewalks and driveways shoveled after a storm is the extent of their responsibilities. We trust the structures in which we live, or work are up to the challenges of extreme winter weather.

Experts recommend that Minnesota home and business owners actively check for winter storm damage once the skies clear, the snow slows, and the wind stops howling. Types of storm damage that can affect a property after a blizzard or ice storm include the following.

During a winter storm the wind, sleet, and snow often damage roofing components. Shingles become loose, and the precipitation forces underneath. Periods of thawing and freezing exacerbate the problem, possibly cracking and splitting shingles and shakes, allowing moisture to soak into the wooden roof decking, resulting in a risk of leakage into attics and upper levels of homes and commercial buildings. Ice storms are particularly damaging to roofs, denting materials and causing granulation of the mineral coating of the shingles. Flashings and other sealing strips come loose and create more access points for water to enter your home.Heavy Blizzard Snows

Ice Dams
As the snow and other precipitation build up, warm areas of the upper stories cause melting if insulation is inadequate or joints are unsealed. The resulting water refreezes into the gutters now clogged with snow and pushes under shingles and flashings to melt again and drip into the building. Insulation is saturated, and ceilings and walls become wet and prone to secondary damage such as mold growth or crumbling.

Hail and ice can comprise a portion of what seems like a gentle snowfall. The hard and sharp edges of the frozen precipitation can dent and puncture siding. Insulation in the walls may become waterlogged as water in frozen and then liquid form seeps into tiny cracks or dents. The moist insulation wicks water into walls and provides an incubator for microbial growth that may be hidden for some time before discovery.

Doors And Windows
Heavy snow on nearby trees can cause limbs to break away and damage the structure of your property, including windows and doors. Cold temperatures combined with buffering winds with icy particles can crack windows and cause caulk and seals to deteriorate.

Plummeting temperatures can cause pipes to freeze, risking significant leakage inside the walls of your building. Although a reasonably warm temperature inside normally keeps the water in the pipes flowing in the majority of Minnesota buildings, if a storm takes out the power the temperature indoors may then fall. Even gas and oil furnaces rely upon electrical controls to maintain temperatures, meaning a power outage can expose many properties to the threat of frozen and broken pipes.

Take the time to evaluate the condition of your home or business after a Minnesota winter storm. Unexpected damage can be detected by a reliable property restoration company familiar with the specific situations a Northern winter presents.


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Mold Damage Needs Professional Remediation In Minnesota

By Nancee Mosley

No area is free of the risk of mold damage, and Minnesota is no exception. When colonies of mold proliferate, they threaten to damage the structure and contents of your home or business, and individuals with sensitivity or allergy to spores may experience unpleasant symptoms. Remediating mold is a precise and multi-step process best completed by experts.

The life cycle of mold is simple and straightforward. Spores constantly float in the air and gather on surfaces. Their presence is primarily benign as long as moisture is unavailable. When water mixes with mold spores, they undergo a germination-type process and begin dividing and multiplying. The groups of mold, called colonies, cling to a source of nourishment and quickly spread. Any carbon-based material is accessible to mold for food.

Common food sources for mold are made of cellulose, including wood floors, furnishings, floors, framing, and other building materials. Papers and pictures also provide nourishment. Additional sources include foods and beverages for human consumption and a varied range of substances like soap and sloughed off skin cells that attach to non-organic surfaces such as glass and tile. Even in a thin layer this organic debris offers mold fuel and explains why it grows well in bathrooms and kitchens.

Mold needs no light to proliferate and, although many strains prefer the relative warmth of room temperatures, there are molds that grow in cool or even freezing conditions. As mold colonies grow, they cause deterioration to the materials they inhabit, threatening the integrity of your building’s structure.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribes a four-step procedure to remediate mold. First, the moldy material must be contained to prevent further spread. Professional remediators use negative pressure air scrubbers and physical barriers to limit the movement of spores and other particulates. Second, the mold and any porous material it infiltrates is removed and disposed of per local hazardous waste rules. Third, antimicrobial treatments sanitize affected areas.

Finally, the water source that activated the spores initially must be found and eliminated or the cycle resumes. In Minnesota that source can be roof and gutter leaks or ice dams, plumbing fails, spills, or appliance malfunctions. Hot, humid summers are not uncommon, at least in parts of Minnesota, and even an ambient humidity of more than 60 percent has been linked to mold growth.

Mold damage remediation in Minnesota is a procedure best left to professional technicians. Specialized equipment and a solid grasp of the way mold grows is available through restoration companies that invest in the knowledge and tools to limit microbial growth.


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Understanding Fire Damage Restoration Services Available In Your Area

By Nancee Mosley

There is absolutely no doubt that experiencing a fire in your home can be devastating. However, with the right company on your side, it does not have to be a nightmare. A true fire damage restoration specialist provides you with services that save many of your belongings.

You likely already understand that fire damage does not necessarily stop with what comes into contact with the flames of a fire. Smoke and soot travel throughout your home, often affecting many items that were nowhere near the initial area. If you have ever attempted to clean smoke residues by yourself, you also understand that without the right solvents and chemicals, you can easily end up with an even messier situation.

Different types of soot created during the combustion process require different methods or a combination of methods to remove them from many items caught in the aftermath of a fire. Without the proper training and often specialized equipment, it becomes impossible to understand the complexities involved in removing smoke and soot from your home’s interior.

With that said, restoring your home after a fire can be extremely challenging. Even for someone with an expert IICRC certification, the original methods do not always provide the best results. A restoration technicians job is to remove smoke, soot and other particles from your belongings as soon as possible, to help avoid corrosion or other additional damages that may form.

It is entirely up to you how much attention you wish to have a technician give to particular areas or items found in your home. However, asking for additional services can lead to additional charges, so keep that in mind. A quality technician always recommends the best possible solution depending on the available resources, working with your insurance company to obtain the quality results you deserve.

When facing a fire damage situation on your property, contacting a qualified restoration company delivers quality technicians, services, and equipment to your door. Giving you access to critical services that help protect your investment and protect your family.

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Having Water Damage Can Create Other Problems Within Your Home

By Nancee Mosley

Water is a necessity of life, and every home has its own private supply. Problems can start with a small leak that is unnoticed but long-lasting. By the act of seeping under floorboards and appliances, water can create a multitude of challenges in any home.

Water damage does not stop just because the leak is found and repaired. Wherever the water went needs to be examined and possibly repaired, also. Sometimes this damage is apparent in a visible way and easily found. Some of the time, though, it is harder to find exactly where the water has gone over the weeks and months the leak might have existed. Some devices can detect higher levels of moisture in the air. These devices are called hygrometers. When elevated levels of moisture in the air are located, the surrounding walls and floors can then be examined for water damage.

Water damage can take many forms. Walls may become discolored. Ceilings can be affected in the same way. Wooden structures can develop mold, as can other areas of your home. When wooden support beams are inundated with mold, the activity of the mold can significantly weaken the wood, making your home unsafe. Carpeting can become damaged by water, also. Padding can become compressed, and wearing of your carpet may become uneven. Bare spots can start to show, and loose fibers can cause problems with your vacuum cleaner.  

Other types of floor coverings can also have problems from water damage. Hardwood floors can curl and warp, creating trip and fall hazards, which can become very unsafe. Linoleum and tile floors can suffer when the glue used to adhere them to the supporting underlay deteriorates. Bubbles under linoleum and loose tiles are not safe to have in a kitchen or bathroom floor.

Water damage is not only possible from leaks in your plumbing but also from damaged gutters, leaky roofs that have missing or loose shingles, or floods from rivers and streams near your home. All of these situations can be repaired, but none of them can go away on their own. Contact a professional water damage restoration company for assistance. They have highly trained technicians and specialized equipment to handle any size disaster.