Damage from water or mold can be an incredible burden for homeowners. We want to help you be as prepared as possible to avoid and deal with any problems. We reached out to Nancy Sharber of SafeHouse Solutions to learn about the ways to protect your home, detect harmful growth, and remove damage. Read the full interview here and make your home safer. Follow SafeHouse on Facebook to learn more about preventing water events in your home.

Nancy Sharber SafeHouse SolutionPlease tell us a little about yourself.

Born in Youngstown OH, I have spent most of my life in the suburbs of Cleveland although attended the University of Cincinnati while living in West Chester OH. Today I live in Sheffield Lake OH.

What types of services do you offer to local homeowners and businesses?

Indoor Water Damage and Mold Assessments, Structural Drying, written treatment plans and insurance estimates, environmental project management, Indoor Air Quality testing for Molds, Mold Consulting and Remediation. For over 11 years we have been serving people who have health concerns or those that care for someone that does when they suffer an event resulting in water damage, indoor raw sewage, smell something or suspect molds. While typical water restoration services work for your insurance company or someone else, SafeHouse Solutions works for you, your family or your business and those you care for to keep them safe.

Our regular clients include physicians, attorneys, some of the most commercially recognized home builders, general contractors, tradesmen and property managers. Several county Departments of Health in Ohio recommend us to home owners. Business, school systems, churches, hospitals and assisted living facilities across NE Ohio know we are Licensed Mold Experts that they can count on to do what’s right for them and their customers.

Do you have any advice for homeowners dealing with damaged floors?

The materials used to manufacture many floor systems are porous and can quickly form fungal colonies when exposed to any moisture. It can take several days before damage or water may be visually noticeable. In some situations it may actually take months or even years before you may even be aware of any damaged flooring, carpet or carpet padding. Our advice is to be vigilant and contact an expert properly insured and Licensed and Certified in water damage (IICRC s500) and mold (IICRC s520) as soon as you notice any moisture, indoor fungal odors, sweet or musty smells, dark spotting which seems to appear out of no where, black or discoloration around moldings on walls or paneling.

What are some things that homeowners can do to prevent damage to their homes and floors?

  • Most people may not realize that mold grows on dust. Dusting surfaces and vacuuming your floors and carpets often is very important to indoor air quality.
  • HVAC systems are designed specifically to meet the needs of your home when it is built. Closing registers in your home and particularly those in the basement to try and conserve heat/cooling costs can produce moisture/condensation indoors causing fungal colonies and odors.
  • If you put on an addition or change the use of space, consult with a mechanical contractor. Be sure to include funds to make adjustments to fit the heating and cooling needs of the new space in your remodeling budget.
  • Change the filter on your furnace regularly and always keep some extras on hand. Perform regular maintenance tasks and repairs as soon as you can.
  • Keep those gutters cleaned so they don’t pull away from the weight of leaves and debris allowing moisture behind your drywall which often results in odors and molds.

Can you recommend a flooring style that is particularly resistant to mold, moisture, or other potential damages?

That’s tough for me to answer because the question is so broad and the answer is based on each individual’s needs, budget and taste. Sometimes a negative health response may have more to do with products used for installation (glues, padding, luan, fiber board etc.) than the products themselves.

Whether any floor system can be saved may have more to do with the type of event that caused the damage and the amount of time that passes than the type of floor itself. This is why after any moisture event it is so important to consult with an Indoor Environmental Air Quality Professional (IEP) with an expertise in water and mold damage assessment, structural drying, mold testing and removal such as SafeHouse Solutions.

What I can share with you is that many people today have that extra layer placed under carpeting also called “a puppy pad” designed to trap moisture from “small accidents. ” Unfortunately it can also hinder proper drying actually causing mold. If you have a special carpeting such as this and you suffer any flood or other water damage, it is very important to tell who ever is assessing and extracting or drying the situation so they can make adjustments to their treatment process.

instant protein snap

Indoor Environmental Technician using an instant protein snap.

SafeHouse Solutions Cleveland

Collecting air samples for analysis to determine if visible contamination on floor is affecting the indoor air quality of the hone owners.

Incorrectly installed toilet

Toilet line repaired by another contractor that forgot to insert a gasket.

Water Damage in Home Cleveland

Water damage after one year of using an incorrectly installed toilet