Tips for Defense Against Mold Growth
Did you know? Prompt mitigation is vital to avoid mold growth, which can be visible in as little as 24 to 48 hours under certain conditions. The faster the water is removed, the less chance of serious damage or excessive mold growth will happen to your building.
Follow these tips to help prevent mold growth in your home or business.
- Keep the humidity between 30 and 60 percent.
- Provide proper drainage away from building foundations.
- Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks.
- Keep gutters and drains clear of debris.
- Inspect the roof, windows and other areas where water might enter the building and perform necessary maintenance.
- Respond to all water intrusions immediately.
Don't forget to contact SERVPRO for professional water removal and mold mitigation. We are Faster to any size disaster.
It's The Water You Don't See
Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time.
The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a serious problem that will affect your property. Our service technicians have the training and equipment to find and dry unseen water before secondary damage occurs. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage and expense during a fire or water damage event.
When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to work, here are just a few of the tools our technicians use to do their job and restore your property.
Moisture sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate reading, allowing technicians to monitor the drying process.
Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, technicians can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but also to disinfect and deodorize.
Ultra Low-Volume Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard to reach areas.
Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles.
These are just a few pieces of the professional grade equipment that each SERVPRO technician is trained to use to help ensure your property is completely restored.
Extreme Heat Safety
Now that summer time is here, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat. Heat affects all people, but mainly the young, elderly and sick. There are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. If you must go outdoors, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting and fainting. (according to the Center for Disease Control) Heat Exhaustion can lead to Heat Stroke which is life threatening. Signs of Heat Stroke are a high body temperature (103 Degrees or more) rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has Heat Stroke, call 911, and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce the body temperature with cool wet clothes or a bath. Do not give a person with Heat Stroke fluids- treat the situation as a serious medical emergency. For more info visit ready.gov Extreme Heat Tips to Prepare Your Home
- Install window air conditioners snugly, insulate if necessary.
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
- Install temporary window reflectors such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard to reflect heat back outdoors.
- Weather strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers.
- Keep storm windows up all year.
Managing Mold: From Ordinary to the Unhealthy
Mold Growth on Wall
6/12/2018 - Future Scheduled Date
From the Ordinary
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing baked goods and other food products. The unique flavor of Blue Cheese is a result of mold, and edible mushrooms are a type of fungi. Lifesaving penicillin is also a product of mold (Penicillin-chrysogenum).
Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms of mold can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to mold may present health concerns for some people.
To The Unhealthy
Water intrusion events such as storm damage, plumbing leaks or equipment failures, and poor humidity control, in your home or business can result in mold growth. When these water intrusions are not addressed quickly the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. However, if the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply into mold colonies. Organic materials found inside a building, such as paper, fabric, drywall, wood, and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.
Health Concerns may arise with excessive mold growth indoors. These concerns will likely arise for people that are considered "at risk", which might include immune suppressed or compromised individuals, young children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with allergies or asthma. However, anyone can experience problems associated with exposure to mold. Possible health effects include: runny nose, sneezing, coughing, aggravation of asthma, sore throat or inflammation of the sinuses.
If there is an ongoing moisture problems in the building/home it is important to be alert for signs of mold growth:
- Presence of visible mold
- Strong musty odors
- Evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold
- Excessive humidity
Help is Here
Sometimes a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional will be required to inspect and test the building for mold growth and provide reports on the type of mold present. After, the reports are done our SERVPRO Technicians can start the mold mitigation process.
Fire Safety Tips
Fire Escape Plan
Follow these Fire Safety and Prevention Tips
Fire prevention should be your first concern. The next best thing is to make sure everyone in the household knows what to do if there is a fire in the home.
- Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and test them monthly.
- Know two ways out of every room in your home.
- Create a home fire escape plan, practice it at least twice a year.
- Identify a meeting place outside your home for your family or anyone who lives in the home.
- Don't Wait, Check the Date-Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
- Store matches and Lighters safely, mainly out of the reach of children. Also, make sure you store them in locations where combustion or exposure to flames might be an issue.
- Practice proper cooking safety. Don't leave cooking food unattended, have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen, keep children and pets away from the kitchen while cooking.
- Be careful with all open flames, never leave them unattended.
- Generators should always be used outside the home. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when a generator is not working or vented properly.
The key is to reduce risks by practicing fire safety in your home, while there are no guarantees taking these steps will help prevent fires and keep your family safe
When there's a water intrusion event like a leaky roof or leaky water line, mold can quickly become a problem in you home or business. Mold can cause health issues and can also cause significant damage to your property. Our Technicians have the training,protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle any size mold problems at your property. Although every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, the general mitigation process remains the same, the following is a typical mold removal process.
Call SERVPRO A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources and personnel needed. An independent Air Quality/Environmental Professional may be needed to do the initial mold testing.
Inspection and Damage Assessment Your property will be carefully inspected by SERVPRO for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.
Mold Containment Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Air Filtration Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. We have powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.
Removing Mold and Mold Infested Materials The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents and Belongings Restorable items such as furniture, decorative items, and curtains affected by mold can be cleaned. We use a variety of cleaning methods and techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. Technicians are trained to remove odors with specialized fogging equipment.
Restoration Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs or major reconstruction.
Our Professional Technicians have the training and equipment to mitigate mold in your home or business.
The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents
According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your home, clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup. Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles.
Water Damage may Lead to Mold Growth
Mold Growth detector mold protimeter
Did You Know?
When there's a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water pipe, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health, and can also cause significant damage to your property.
Signs of the presence of excessive mold include:
- Visible Mold
- Strong, musty odors
- Excessive humidity
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth
These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems. Our technicians have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.
The following steps illustrate a "typical" mold removal process:
- Call Your SERVPRO Professional Technician
- Inspection & Damage Assessment
- Mold Containment
- Air Filtration
- Removing Mold & Mold Infested Materials
- Cleaning Contents and Belongings
When Water Damage Strikes
water damage cleanup
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage to your home or business. To help ensure a water damage is handled correctly complete the following steps:
Inspection: SERVPRO Technicians will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.
Emergency Service: Technicians will take steps to help protect your home of business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damages by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step by step.
Monitoring: To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a technician will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently be communicated to you.
Restoration Services: Are available upon request. We will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property. A final walk-through of the job-site will be conducted with you.
Emergency Water Damage Tips:
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting.
- Place aluminium foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Don't enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Don't use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water *this could cause electrical shock and/or damage to the vacuum.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Build An Emergency Kit
Be Prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. https://www.ready.gov/ suggests you have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to include in your kit.
- 3-day Supply of non-perishable food
- Water-One gallon per person per day
- First-aid kit
- Prescription Medication
- Sleeping bags and blankets
- Fire Extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- Extra Batteries
- Cell phone charger
- Change of clothes
- Matches in weatherproof container
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
- Infant supplies
- Important documents in weatherproof container (insurance documents, bank records, IDs)
You can also keep a condensed Emergency Kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive kit go to ready.gov/