Observations of Post Flood SITUATIONS
A flooded home or business does as much damage to property and possessions as a fire or a severe windstorm or tornado. Everything that the flood waters touch are corrupted forever. Most of the property and possessions have to be thrown out and discarded because once the flood waters soaks into them the items becomes tainted with disease, harmful chemicals and other caustic substances.
Flood waters contain raw sewage, both from inside and outside a structure, bacteria, viruses, pesticides, fertilizers, petroleum residues, mold and many other harmful materials. Cleaning up the water once the flood subsides is one thing, and it can be done in time, but the residue, or secondary damage can be the greatest damage if certain procedures are not followed.
Mold comes from a microscopic spore that is airborne and if it meets certain conditions, will grow profusely. All mold needs is a dark place with no moving air, and a supply of moisture. Well, in a flood situation, even after the cleanup of the aftermath of the flood, the mold may have already taken hold behind a wall, in an attic or a crawl space. If allowed to continue it can get into people’s lungs, sinuses and breathing passages and cause a lot of health problems.
The same problem can occur with bacteria, which can also grow at a rapid rated in conditions that occur in a flood. Keep in mind that flood waters can contain raw sewage, coming from the overflow of municipal sewage lines, as well as septic tanks and individual houses sewage connections being overwhelmed.
Unless all of the bacteria from a flood in a house or business is eradicated, there can be serious problems for years. It is harmful to humans just to be in the presence of a flooded area that has lots of raw sewage because simply to breath the air in the vicinity can be harmful to a person’s health.
It is easy to leave these areas alone and assume that everything is going to be alright because both the mold and bacteria are not noticed at first by our senses. This is why it is vital that a flooded out area be totally cleaned and sterilized to get rid of the mold and bacteria.
Another area that can be seriously compromised by floods are the power systems, not only in individual buildings, but in a general area as well. The electrical components can be totally ruined by flood damage, either by being shorted out by being underwater while electrical current is on, or simply being corroded as the water rises.
In a home or business, most of the electrical wiring, connections, junction boxes and outlets will need to be replaced, as will the larger scope of the electrical grid will have to be on a larger scale.
Floods also can cause major damage to the infrastructure of a town, an area or a city, and it can take quite some time to rectify that situation too, which can result in hardship for the occupants of a larger area for a time.
In an ideal sense, a person should be able to turn on their central heat and air units and get them to deliver the exact thing you want, at the temperature you want the whole day. This is the case most of the time. The difficult thing to discern as the times when the HVAC unit is not running efficiently. It may be on and doing what it is supposed to do, but is it working too hard?
In order to understand this well, you can think of your unit like a car. The same way you are required to change the oil, the spark plugs, recharging the battery etc, your HVAC unit will need some attention from to time to ensure it is running effectively and efficiently.
CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING MAINTENANCE
With regular maintenance, a new air conditioner can last between 12 and 15 years. There are some that can last even longer than that. It is important to have a routine maintenance performed on the central air or windows units. There are also a couple of features that can help you make your Air conditioner run even better.
The first step is ensuring that the unit doesn’t have any leakage issues and it is draining the way it is supposed to. If there is too much water remaining in the system, or if too much is allowed to escape, then the air conditioner is not running the way it should. Check if there are any leaks or cracks in the hose connections and the condensate tube is draining without any impediment.
It is advisable to change the filter after every four to six weeks. If there are any family members suffering from severe allergy, a clean filter will go a long way in helping them.
Clean the outside of the compressor using water. You can use a garden hose to do this
Avoid keeping things close to the compressor to ensure there is free flow of air.
The ductwork should be cleaned every three to four years, and should be done by a professional. This will make breathing a little better in your home and also prevent your home from getting dusty. This can be a good thing if you have hardwood floors. Carpets usually grab and hide dust.
CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING TIPS
If there are any doubts about the effectiveness and efficiency of your AC unit, then you should consider having it inspected by a professional. There are some adjustments that a professional HVAC Contractor in Pittsburgh can make to ensure the performance of the unit is great.
The use of fans (box fans, ceiling fans, and whole house fans) cam help in circulating cool air faster and help the AC unit. Pots, drapes, and furniture should not be close to the vent because they can restrict the flow of air to some areas of the room. The use of whole house fans will goa long way in helping with the AC and lower the indoor temperature quickly.
The attic of your home should be ventilated properly in order to ensure there is efficient airflow. You can reduce your cooling and heating costs by 10 to 12 percent by just ensuring there is good attic ventilation.
Pull the blinds and shades of the side of the house that gets direct and intense sun. Apart from keeping your home cooler, it will also protect your home from the damage the sun can have on the floor and furniture.
If you can, try running your dishwasher and dryers during the cooler times of the day, specifically early mornings and late evenings. These appliances usually emit heat when they are running and can raise the temperature of your home without you noticing. The opposite is true during winter, try running them during daytime.
CENTRAL HEATING MAINTENANCE
It is a good idea to have a professional to help with central heating maintenance checkup. HVAC usually handle these types of task and are in a good position to help you check your system and ensure it is working in the best condition.
Below are some steps you can take to ensure your unit is working properly:
- Test the heater to see if it is running before the first frost. If there is no warm air coming out of the vent, then you need to contact a professional.
- If you have a natural gas system, check the pilot light. The flame should be clear blue. If there is an orange or yellow flame, then it could be a sign of a problem.
- Your furnace filters should be changed every year. Dirty filters cause the system to work harder to push air through it, which can lead to a system breakdown.
- Ensure there are no furniture, plants, or drapes blocking the vents. There should be a proper flow of air from the vents, this means that the air getting out will get out the way it needs to.