FAQs

Mold

Q?What is Mold?
A.Mold and/or mildew are microscopic fungi that are present virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. They grow on a variety of organic materials, including wood, paper, or fabrics.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have suspected mold in Milwaukee, WI

Q?How does mold grow?
A.Mold needs oxygen, water, nutrients, and a temperature between 40 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit to grow. Mold spores can grow when they come into contact with a food source where there is excessive moisture, such as leaks in roofs, pipes, walls, or where there has been flooding. Additionally, an average relative humidity of 80% or more over a month’s duration will provide sufficient moisture for mold growth. Many organic materials (e.g., wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood and wood products) provide suitable nutrients to support mold growth. Inorganic materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery can also support mold growth.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have suspected mold in Milwaukee, WI

Q?Why should I be concerned about being exposed to mold?
A.Mold is a type of fungus that can grow and live in organic matter, as noted above, especially when elevated moisture levels are present. Some molds release mold spores that are small enough to remain airborne. Fungi can also release low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are thought to be the source of odors associated with mold and mildew.
Molds are known to cause a variety of health effects if spores are inhaled into lungs, swallowed, or if they get into the eyes, nose, or open cuts. These health effects may include allergenic affects, asthma, runny nose, eye infection, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs, as well as infection of immune-compromised or immune-suppressed individuals. It is recommended that all persons with asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, severe allergies, immune suppression, or other chronic inflammatory lung diseases be removed from the mold-contaminated area until remediation is complete.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have suspected mold in Milwaukee, WI

Q?How can I tell if I have a potential mold problem?
A.Use the nose test to tell if your house has mold. Sniff around without the benefit of air fresheners. If your house smells damp or musty, you may have mold even if you cannot see it growing.

Also, look at the walls in your home, especially in rooms that hold moisture, such as basement and bathrooms. Walls that sport black, green or brown areas of discoloration that do not wipe away, or recur, are most likely affected by mold. Check your closets for signs of mold or mildew. Your clothing, towels, or bed linen may be mildewed in spots if there is mold growing in your home.

Assess the health of your family. Some molds are toxic and can cause allergy symptoms in some people. Common signs to look for are persistent nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, throat irritation and a cough.

To make certain that what you have is mold, contact a mold remediation expert to provide a mold inspection.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have suspected mold in Milwaukee, WI

Q?What should I expect during a mold inspection?
A.A mold inspection will be performed by a mold specialist, which includes a visual inspection, moisture meter readings, along with surface and/or air sampling, if the situation warrants.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have suspected mold in Milwaukee, WI

Q?Can I use bleach to clean up mold?
A.Chlorine Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is NOT an effective agent for killing colonized mold. In fact, bleach usually makes mold problems worse because bleach is comprised of approximately 98% water. Once the active chemicals in bleach dissipate, all that’s left is water. Water is what caused the mold problem to begin with. Using bleach on mold is like pouring gas on fire. Bleach will kill mold on non-porous surfaces like glass, ceramic tile and porcelain bathtubs, but is NOT EFFECTIVE for killing mold on building materials (wood, concrete products, wall board, ceiling tiles, etc.).

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have suspected mold in Milwaukee, WI

Q?How do I get rid of mold?
A.It is recommended you contact a professional who is certified in mold removal and mold remediation by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification) as they have the training and expertise and the proper chemicals to treat the mold.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have suspected mold in Milwaukee, WI

Q?What can I expect in the mold remediation process?
A.After the origin of the water problem has been fixed, the following process ensues: • Step 1. Establish moisture content of effected material with dry standards if possible. • Step 2. Establish engineering controls to include containment where possible. • Step 3. Deploy mechanical air scrubber(s) with HEPA air filtration to reduce airborne particulate. • Step 4. Where accessible HEPA vacuum all involved materials. • Step 5. Application of antimicrobial agent. If stain removal is desired a second application with stain removing properties to remove or lighten mold (dark) staining. • Step 6. If required mechanical removal of suspected microbial growth where accessible. • Step 7. HEPA vacuum areas where mechanical removal was incorporated. • Step 8. If required seal all surfaces with an antimicrobial encapsulate. • Step 9. Post remediation documentation to include but not limited to visual site inspection, moisture measurements, and photos.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have suspected mold in Milwaukee, WI

Q?Should I be worried about mold?
A.This depends on how long the damage had been left unnoticed. If a water loss has been tended to quickly by a restoration professional, mold is generally not an issue. With a careful and thorough inspection, in addition to an anti-microbial treatment, mold can be avoided.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have suspected mold in Milwaukee, WI

Water Remediation

Q?What causes water damage?
A.Water damage can occur as a result of burst or leaky pipes, toilet overflows, water heater leaking or breaking, stopped drains, broken appliances, roof leaks, sprinkler breaks and many other problems. Even worse, some kinds of water damage-particularly those coming from toilet overflows or sewer backup- can contain hazardous contaminants and require special handling.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have water damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?What should I do after a flood, sewage, or water leak?
A.You should contact ProGuard Environmental Services immediately at 414-541-6878. Don’t delay, since mold begins to form after 24 hours. The longer water sits, the more damage can occur on wood walls, and carpet. Try to avoid the affected area whenever possible. If you know where the main valve to your water supply is located and can safely reach it, shut it off as quickly as possible.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have water damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?What is involved in the mitigation process?
A.The process involves restoring the property to a pre-loss condition, which consists of an inspection, extraction of water, disinfecting, dry out of wet materials, and final clean up.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have water damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?How does the dry-out process work?
A.We place air movers in the affected area which draws water moister from wet surfaces through evaporation into the air. We also use dehumidifiers to drain moisture out of the air and into a sink or drain.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have water damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?How long will my property take to dry?
A.The time to completely dry a structure depends on many variables such as temperature, humidity, how quickly emergency services begin, amount of saturation and the types of materials affected. Through consistent monitoring and evaluation of the drying process, we can determine when drying is complete. While there are no rules to determine how long your property will take to dry, we can tell you that, on average, a typical water loss will dry out in three days but can take longer.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have water damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?Can I turn off the equipment at night?
A.It is not recommended as the equipment is strategically placed to encourage optimal drying. Turning off the equipment will only increase our drying time, the threat of microbial growth, and secondary damage.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have water damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?Is water damage covered by my insurance?
A.Most insurance policies cover the cost of water damage mitigation. Carefully review your policy and contact us. We work directly with all insurance companies to make the claim process as easy as possible.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have water damage in Milwaukee, WI

Fire and Smoke

Q?How long will the restoration process take?
A.Because there are many variables and many services involved in fire and smoke restoration, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the complete restoration process will take. Consult with your ProGuard technician on the estimated dates and phases of your restoration project.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have fire/smoke damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?Can I clean it up myself?
A.For best results, do not try any self-cleaning without first consulting your ProGuard technician. It is important to pretest, use the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mix deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions, and use correct dilution rates to achieve best results. Our trained technicians use our professional cleaning system products to give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have fire/smoke damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?What are some safety concerns?
A.At ProGuard Environmental Services, safety is top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separated out for disposal and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have fire/smoke damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?The Fire Department recommended that I get my property boarded up. Is that something ProGuard can do?
A.Yes. ProGuard Environmental Services will come out to your property and board up the premises. This will provide security to your property and help prevent further damage.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have fire/smoke damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?I purchased some smoke odor removal chemicals, but they don’t seem to help. Is there any way to get rid of this smell?
A.Definitely. ProGuard Environmental Services uses sophisticated deoderization equipment that is far more powerful and effective than anything that can be found in a store. Unlike many companies, we don’t just cover up the smells, we completely remove them so they will never come back.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have fire/smoke damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?Can I stay in my home even if there’s a very strong smoke smell?
A.Smoke residue can be hazardous, so, if the damage is extensive, you may need to vacate the area for a few days while it’s professionally cleaned.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have fire/smoke damage in Milwaukee, WI

Q?Most of my valuables now smell strongly of smoke. Will I have to throw them away?
A.No, you won’t. Our contents restoration technologies allow us to thoroughly clean and deodorize nearly any item, ranging from soft goods like rugs and clothes to electronics and heirlooms. After we come to your house, we will inventory all the damaged items and send them to our restoration crew.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 if you have fire/smoke damage in Milwaukee, WI

Biohazard Cleanup

Q?What types of situations require a professional trauma cleanup company?
A.

Crime Scene Cleanup

As “Second Responders”, we work directly with local police, medical examiners, and other agencies to return your home or office to a safe, sanitary condition. Crime scene cleanup involves removing blood, biofluids and other biological materials associated with violent crimes and suicides, as well as any fingerprint dust or other chemicals that may have been used by law enforcement officials during their investigation. After cleaning and sanitizing an area, and potentially removing affected structural elements, we take care to ensure that no residual chemicals remain behind.

Tear Gas Cleanup

Tear gas and pepper spray are sometimes used by law enforcement to safely alleviate a tense situation at a crime scene. These gases are not typically fatal, but because the chemicals do not simply dissipate, a building will remain unsafe until the chemicals are properly remediated. If improperly cleaned, residual traces of these chemicals can cause rashes and or even respiratory ailments. In some cases, law enforcement will not allow entry into the crime scene until these chemicals have been cleaned by a professional company. ProGuard technicians apply rigorous methods to remove the compounds that are used to create both pepper sprays and tear gas. Our superior knowledge and swift response time will help return order to your home or business, safely and securely.

Suicide or Accident Cleanup

Not all biohazards are the result of violent crime. In many cases, biohazard cleanup involves blood from a suicide, or from accidents or natural disasters. In any event, the affected area must be cleaned and sanitized before the building is considered safe for people and pets. Because of the dangerous nature of cleaning up blood and other biological matter, our technicians receive the most up-to-date training and certifications available. They understand the need for safety protocols and wear custom-designed protective gear to protect themselves and your home by preventing contamination beyond the trauma scene. When a situation goes beyond the scope of a standard cleanup, ProGuard takes additional steps to remediate the scene, sometimes removing carpeting, flooring, or structural elements until the area is fully sanitized and safe for use.

Unattended Death Cleanup

We at ProGuard understand that an unattended death can be a very difficult experience for the family of the deceased. Not only is it mentally and emotionally draining, but if the death went unnoticed for a longer period of time, then the process can be physically taxing as well. Decomposition is a natural occurrence during which organic materials break down into liquid. The process begins almost immediately following death, and if the death goes undiscovered, biological hazards may present themselves in the form of bacteria, mold, and even insect infestation. Damage to the structure of the home and personal belongings may be extensive, as odors permeate all porous materials. No matter the size of the residence, a professional trauma scene cleanup is the only way to protect your family’s health and preserve personal property when faced with this difficult scenario. In these circumstances, ProGuard takes great pains to make sure that our workers are sympathetic, compassionate, and discreet. Our goal is to clean the home as soon as possible so the grieving family can safely enter the residence and begin the healing process.

Vehicle Blood Cleanup

Not all violent crimes or accidental deaths occur in a home or commercial building. Some happen in a vehicle, and while there may be nothing else wrong with it, a contaminated car or commercial vehicle is not safe to drive until it has been fully cleaned and sanitized. Odors indicate that there is biological material present. The close confines of a vehicle, coupled with a lack of consistent climate control, create a need for immediate and thorough cleanup. ProGuard understands that you need to have your vehicle available to you as soon as possible, especially in the case of a commercial truck or transport where replacement costs and business interruption create urgency. Our technicians are trained to scope out and fully clean every nook and cranny, including places that are hard to see or reach. Our extensive experience and quick service will help return your auto or equipment to safe working order.

Hoarding

Hoarding is a social problem which has received a significant amount of media attention in the past few years. ProGuard technicians are experienced in dealing with distressed properties at all levels of severity. Our discreet and compassionate service helps to smooth tensions and reassure the family during the difficult cleaning process. We are often called to assist in situations where there is additional biological complication, as in animal hoarding and unattended death in a hoarding house.

Communicable Disease Cleanup

Not all biological hazards are visible to the naked eye. Some of the most serious health risks cannot be seen at all. For example, when an employee or family member contracts a serious illness, it may be necessary to seek out a profession biohazard cleanup company in order to protect others. To keep communicable diseases from spreading, the room and possibly the entire building may require sanitation. ProGuard’s cleaning process provides effective protection against a large number of bacterial and viral infections such as AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Herpes, Measles, Chicken Pox, salmonella, MRSA and Lyme Disease, just to name a few. One of the growing areas of our business is commercial sanitization. Our meticulous cleaning methods and proprietary cleaning agents have enabled us to successfully sanitize healthcare facilities, restaurants, jail cells, and other public and private areas. Diseases such as MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph infection) are particularly stubborn to fully remediate, and can be very dangerous or even deadly if left unchecked.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 for your Biohazard needs in Milwaukee, WI

Q?How does professional crime scene remediation promote health and safety?
A.Attempting to clean up after a trauma scene can result in an untold number health risks. Professional and immediate cleanup of the scene can protect people by preventing the spread of dangerous bacteria and virulent bloodborne diseases, including Hepatitis C and E.coli. It can also minimize structural damage to your home, and help stop bacterial and mold growth, which can occur when biological material seeps into the hidden places ordinary cleaning products can’t reach. ProGuard’s trained specialists provide peace of mind by restoring the environment to a safe condition.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 for your Biohazard needs in Milwaukee, WI

Q?What federal, state, and local laws affect biohazard remediation and removal?
A.As an industry classification, crime scene cleaning is not an officially regulated industry, and there is no federally-recognized “certification in biohazard removal” in the way that services such as asbestos remediation is certified. However, there are existing guidelines, regulations and restrictions for all of the components of our work. For example, we adhere to federal OSHA and NIOSH requirements and recommendations to provide the highest level of safety and training for our employees and our clients. We follow local and national guidelines as it pertains to medical waste and chemicals, and Department of Transportation (DOT) for removing and transporting biohazards. Our employees are educated in safety training, chemical and biohazard materials handling, bloodborne pathogens, communication/documentation protocols, and other requirements pertaining to workplace and environmental safety. We are fully insured and licensed.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 for your Biohazard needs in Milwaukee, WI

Q?What types of chemicals does ProGuard use in the cleanup process. Is the process safe?
A.ProGuard uses both commercially available solvents and proprietary cleaning agents, developed over many years of research and experience. Our unique, multi-stage cleaning process effectively cleans, sanitizes and deodorizes an affected property, returning it to a safe, livable condition. Following cleanup, we take additional steps to ensure that all chemical compounds are removed from the area. There may be a residual chemical odor for a short time after the project completion, but it will dissipate and no further odors should be detectable.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 for your Biohazard needs in Milwaukee, WI

Q?Will my insurance cover this?
A.Every loss is unique, and, while we cannot make any guarantees regarding your coverage, in most circumstances, homeowners insurance does coverage our services.

Call ProGuard Environmental Services at 414-541-6878 for your Biohazard needs in Milwaukee, WI