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/
You Can Be Ruined or You Can Be Ready!
In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO Eastern Rockland County as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to 22 years of experience in mold, water and fire cleanup. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the FREE SERVPRO READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips.
Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building quickly following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes--resolve to Be READY. Call SERVPRO to establish your Emergency READY Profile, and be "Ready for whatever happens" in 2017.
Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile
- A no-cost assessment of your facility.
- A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- Establishes SERVPRO as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Fire Damage Top Three DO's and Top Three Dont's
A basement fire caused this home in Rockland County to have major damage not only in the basement, but throughout the entire house. Follow these simple tips to help contain the damage.
- Limit Movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linins on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO.
- Attempt to clean electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water withour first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
Remember: CALL 1(800) 497-7179 SERVPRO Eastern Rockland County
Halt Winter Heating Fire Hazards
Did you know? 50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January and February.
Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment., like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot "kid free" zone around open fires and space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container a safe distance away from your home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
If your property does suffer fire damage in your home or business, contact SERVPRO to help make it "Like it never even happened."