All posts by Top Job

Factors That Produce Mold Growth

  1. Although mold can be found almost anywhere , they need moisture and nutrients to grow. The exact specifications for optimal mold growth vary by the species of mold.  However , mold grows best in damp , warm environments. The availability of nutrients in indoor, environments rarely limits mold growth because wood , wallboard wallpaper ,upholstery, and dust can be nutrient sources.  Similarly , the temperature of indoor environments above freezing and below the temperature for denaturing proteins , can support mold growth , even if the actual temperature is not optimal.

The primary factor that limits the growth of mold indoors is lack of moisture .  Substantial indoor mold growth is virtually synonymous with the presence of moisture inside the building envelope.  This intrusion of moisture might be from rainwater leaking through faulty gutters or a roof in disrepair , from foundation leak , from condensation at an interface , or between a cold and a warm environment . Water also can come from leaks in the plumbing or sewage systems inside the structure .  Studies of mold growth on building materials , that remain wet for 48-72 hours .  Flooding particularly when floodwaters remain for days or weeks , provides an almost optimal opportunity for mold growth .

 

Fungi may have adequate food sources available , but without moistures the mold will not grow. Fungi digest food by excreting  special chemical enzymes.  The enzymes require moisture in order to be effective.  You can look at it like mathematical equation . If you remove moisture from the equation you remove fungi’s ability to grow as well.  Spores + Food+ Moistures = Mold

 

The environmental Protection Agency document in the graphic above makes it clear we must clean water damage within 24-48 hours to prevent ,old growth. This make sense when you recall the CDC stated on the last page that mold grows on materials that remain wet for 48-72 hours .

 

Its not just liquid water that can provide the moisture to complete the equation.  Elevated relative humidity for more than a few days at a time can also lead to enough ,moisture at the surface of materials to support mold growth . Therefore EPA ideal target range for Relative Humidity RH is 30% – 50%. Never greater than  60%.

 

The American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Condition Contractors and other groups also recommended keeping relatively humidity below 60% to avoid the potential for condensation in cold areas and subsequent mold growth .

 

Typically the easiest and best long term solution to mold problems is to fix moisture problems and maintain buildings so that they do not come back .   In situations where this is not possible and / or it cannot be done quickly the next best thing to do is minimize food sources .

 

 

According to EPA Mold in schools and Commercial Buildings clean water damage with in twenty fours – forty eight hours to prevent mold growth.

Home emergencies

Preparedness

Not every emergency can be prepare for , but if live in an area prone to hurricane , floods , earthquake , or tornadoes , you should have basic emergency supplies on hand , and your family should be aware of what steps to when disaster strikes.

Hurricanes . The National Hurricane Center recommends that those living in low lying areas have an evacuation plan. Find out about the routes from your local police or Red Cross chapter. Also plan for emergency communication , such as contacting a friend out of the storm area in, came family members are separate . Listened to the radio or TV for warnings , check your emergency supplies, and fuel the car. Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture and close shutters or install plywood before the storm arrives . Unplug appliances , cut off the main circuit breaker , and turn of the main water supply valve. If time permits, elevate furniture to protect it against floods.

Smaller tremors or after shocks . Live in an area has this one in blue moon. Be prepare , Shelves fasteners securely to your walls , and store heavy or breakable items close to the floor . During and earth quake after shock the safest place in your home is under a piece of heavy furniture or against an inside wall, away from windows or furniture that may topple.

Tornadoes or strong wind damage- Have a place ready where you can take shelter if you don not have basement , find a windowless spot on the ground floor, scubas a bathroom or a closet under stairs. As wind damage usually happen little warning , each family member should know the danger signs, where your emergency supplies are and what to do in case of a power outage or gas leak .

Surval tips .

If you plan to ride out a storm , have basic emergency supplies on hand including flashlights and extra batteries , battery operated radio , first aid kit , extra nonperishable food and water ,essential medicines , and a cell phone . Turn the refrigerator to its coldest setting , and open and close it only when necessary . Store drinking water in jugs and bottles and in clean bathtubs .

An early storm warning can allow time to pack up essentials and batten down the house with plywood or boards .

Install battery powered flashlight at stairwells . It charges when power is on and rights automatically when the power . On many building sites , floods waters form heavy rains can fill basements and rise close to window height. Your best protection against property and injury from fire is a smoke detector . Push the test button to check it. Circuit breakers trip automatically when there is a problem . Reset them once, but if they trip again, call in electrician.

Sometimes a simple job such as heating a frozen water pipe is all you need to do to restore essential services .

Solving problems drains pluming

To get the most force , plug the overflow fitting with a wet towel when plunging a bathtub. Standing water also helps.

Cleaners
A plumber’s auger is the safest way to clear stubborn jams in household pipes , which is a risk with the some caustic chemical drain cleaners , such as those that contain acid or lye . An auger is simply a flexible wound wire cable that you turn into the pipe either by hand or with a special drill. Another option is to used water and air pneumatic to dislodge a jam . These pneumatic devices typically fit over the stopped drain and release a charge of air into the standing water .

Clearing the clog
Tubs fitted with an a internal drain stopper , called a trip waste , require extra attention when they become clogged. Removing the linkage helps you diagnose the problem . Check the drainage flow by running water down the drain. If the drain fails to empty properly , the clog is farther down the line . If the drain flows freely , the trip waste is stretched and the stopper is too low in the drain tee, blocking flow even when open. Shorten the linkage by 1/4 inch ; tighten the lockout, and replace the linkage- the drain should work fine.

To access a trip waste linkage for cleaning . remove both screws ; grip the overflow plate and lift out linkage.

Sluggish tub drainage may be caused by a stretched trip waste linkage . Remove the linkage, and shorten it shorten it about 1/4 inch.

Pop up plugs often clog with hair . Lift out the plug and linkage; remove the hair ; and replace the assembly .

When snaking a kitchen sink line , remove the trap , and bore directly into the line with a hand held drain auger .

To snake out a bath drain , remove the overflow plate ; pull out the trip waste linkage; and bore through the overflow .

When plumbing won’t clear a clogged floor drain , it’s best remove the plug and auger the line through the cleanout.

To reduce the noise from supply and drainpipes , wrap them with foam tubes and pack the wall cavities with insulation . ( Cast iron drains are quieter than plastic ones.) Severe pipe banging called water hammer, is caused by excessive water pressure or the abrupt shut off produced by the solenoid valves on dishwashers and clothes washers. To fix hammer , anchor the pipes to the framing with hangers or install a shock absorber . You can make a simple one by cutting in a T-fitting and a capped stem of pipe . Gas and oil filled shock absorber fittings also provide damping action.

To support water pipes and prevent rattling and banging against framing , use clip on pipe hangers .

Heat cables for sillcock wil help frozen pipes.

Drain Troubles & Leaks

What could gurgling a rarely used wet bat sink when water drains in the kitchen at one end of the house or in a bath at the other end? Chances are that the wet bar is not vented or that its vent stack is blocked . You could check by looking for plumbing vent pipe protruding through the roof above the area. It will look like the ones above kitchen and bath.

Sluggish drainage is one symptom of this one problem . Sewer smell is another . When water drains in the kitchen or bath, its siphons water out of the wet bar’s drain trap , which produces a gurgling noise . Without the seal provided by water in the drain trap , sewer gas can rise up through th esink and into the house.

Big Backups
Even with proper venting, trap placement , and pipe sizing , drains still may be slow . This indicates a big blockage farther down the line. The best indicator that a blockage is in the waste line is sewage gurgling up through floor drains and basement fixtures. Solving this problem depends on your septic type.

If you have a septic system with a leachfield, your septic tank may need too be pumped out. This is a job for a professional , but it’s important to be around when the pumping concludes . Ask the pump operator if the tank was filled with enough greasy scum to cause the drain problems . If not the pipe’s in the leachfield itself may be the problem. Digging them up may be the solution.

If you’re tied into a municipal sewage system, check to see whether any work has been done on your branch line lately. If so , it could have caused problems with your drainage . If not, tree roots may have gotten into the pipes. Hire a professional to auger the line and pull out the tree roots , thereafter, flush copper sulfate root treatment through the line twice a year.

To find out whether the sink drainpipe or the flange in the sink is leaking, pour water leaks below , the problem is in the piping. If not, the problem is likely in the flange , clean off old caulk or plumbers putty ,install a fresh board of caulk , and retighten the flange . Leaks in the drainpipe generally occur in the trap . Some traps have a clean out nut that makes it easier to clean blockages.

To clear a stopped drain, you should start by using a plunger . For best results , block the over flow and second drain outlets; spread petroleum jelly on the rim of the plumbers helper, and use steady , forceful downward strokes to clear the clog . If this doe not work, you can try working a piece of wire , through the clean out plug and remove the blockage. However , snaking with a hand auger or power auger is much more effective . Disassemble the traps ; insert the auger and cleat out any blockages.

Plumbing Cutting & Soldering Pipe

Place the Cutting wheel tube over the pipe and tighten the handle so that the pipe rats on rollers and the cutting wheel is on the marked line.

Turn the tubing cutter one rotation so that the cutting wheel scores a continuous straight line around the pipe.

Rotate the cutter in the opposite direction , tightening the handle slightly after every two rotations , until the cut is complete .

Remove sharp metal burrs from the inside edge of the cut pipe , using the reaming point on the tubing cutter, or a round file .

Clean the end of each pipe by sanding with emery cloth . Ends must be free of dirt and grease to ensure that the solder forms a good seal.

Clean the inside of each fitting by scouring with a wire brush or emery cloth .

Apply a thin layer of soldering paste flux end each pipe, using a flux brush . Soldering paste should cover about 1 inch of pipe end .

Apply a thin layer of flux to the inside of the fitting . Assemble each joint by inserting the pipe into the fitting so it tight against the bottom of the fitting sockets . Twist each fitting slightly to spread soldering paste.

Use a clean dry cloth to remove excess flux before soldering the assembled fitting.

Preparer the wire by unwinding 8 inches to 10 inches of wire from spool . Bend the first 2 inches of the wire to a 90 degree angle .

Open the gas valve and trigger the spark lighter to ignite the torch. Adjust the torch valve until the inner portion of the flame is 1 inch to two inches long.

Move the torch flame back and forth and around the pipe and the fitting to heat the area evenly .

Heat the other side of the copper fitting to ensure that heat is distributed evenly . Touch solder to pipe . Solder will melt when the pipe is at the right temperature .

When solder melts remove the torch and quickly pus 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of solder into each joint. Capillary action action fill the joint with liquid solder. A correctly soldered joint should show a thin bead of solder around the lips of the fitting.

Allow the joint to cool briefly , then wipe away excess solder with a dry rag, Caution Pipes will be hot If joints leak after is turned on , disassemble and resolder.

Valves should be fully open during all stages of the soldering process . If a valve has any plastic or rubber parts remove them prior to soldering .

To prevent valve damage , quickly heat the pipe and the flanges of the valve, not the valve body . After soldering , cool the valve by spraying with water .

Turn off the water and drain the pipes by opening the highest and lowest faucets in the house. Light your torch. Hold the flame tip to the fitting until the solder becomes shiny and begins to melt.

Use the channel type pliers to separate the pipes from the fitting .

Remove old solder by heating the ends of the pipe with your torch . Use a dry rag to wipe away melted solder quickly.

Use emery cloth to polish the ends of the pipe down to bare metal. Never use fittings.