Causes of Mold in Homes
Mold is a vital piece of nature, assisting with the disintegration of natural matter and the recycling of supplements in biological systems. While outdoor mold is fundamental, mold developing inside present’s health risks and can bring about property damage. Molds recreate by method of minor airborne spores that travel essentially anyplace, even in our homes.
Despite the fact that there are hints of mold spores indoors, they require the right "ingredients" to produce mold. Unfortunately, the conditions for mold development are found in many homes: a nourishment source, (for example, drywall, rugs, and wood), warmth, lack of light, enough time to develop, and above all, dampness. Since dampness is a fundamental factor in mold development, here are the most common culprits that cause heightened dampness in homes:
- Flooding can cause a measurable amount of water into your home, bringing on serious water damage and conceivably cause mold development inside 24-48 hours. Calling an expert restoration professional such as SERVPRO promptly is your best defense with regards to mitigating water damage and preventing mold development.
- Increased humidity can happen in homes from multiple sources — muggy climate, persistent rain, cooking, showering, and so on. To help prevent development of mold growth in your home, ensure your home is all around ventilated and keep the humidity below 55 percent.
- Deficient ventilation leads to increased humidity, and due to this, mold development and different issues like indoor contamination. Try to open entryways as well as windows when viable and to utilize fans as needed.
- Leaking pipes are a typical issue in homes and should be settled promptly. In many cases, leaks are hidden from view, such as inside walls or above the ceiling, so make a point to investigate wall and ceiling stains routinely.
- Roof leaks are additionally a way for water to saturate your home and cause mold. In the event that you see water stains on the ceiling, check for water damage in the attic and have your roof assessed and repaired at the earliest opportunity.
- Condensation happens when warm dampness loaded air interacts with chilly surfaces. Condensation can be seen on walls, windows, solid floors or metal pipes. Reduce condensation by adjusting the humidity in your home.
- Basements give astounding conditions for mold development because of poor ventilation, cooler temperatures (that advance condensation), and incessant water leaks and flooding.
Mold can also grow in various unexpected areas in the home, which can make mold remediation more difficult. For professional mold removal, as well as fire and water restoration services, contact the professional experts at SERVPRO today.
The Aftermath of a Home Fire
Recovering from a fire is not easy by any means. It is an emotionally draining process that turns your life upset down. The hardest part comes at the beginning, when you feel helpless and are completely unsure as to how to proceed. With that in mind, our goal is to present to you the fundamental steps you need to take immediately after the fire is extinguished.
Deal With Insurance
You should already be on the phone with your insurance agent before the firefighters even get done putting out the fire. Mind you, this is just the beginning. After a few days, you’ll need to get a copy of the official “fire report” from your local fire department. The insurance agency will likely send an adjustor out to survey the damage and help you get in touch with a restoration agency, such as the professionals at SERVPRO.
If you are renting, then you’ll obviously need to contact the owner of the home. If you own home but don’t have insurance, on the other hand, then you’ll want to speak with the Internal Revenue Service. You might be eligible for something known as casualty loss.
Settle in Somewhere
Most likely, your home is currently in an unlivable state, meaning you’re going to have to find somewhere else to stay. Your best bet is to stay with friends or family. However, if that’s not an option, check with your insurance company to see if your policy covers temporary living expenses. Otherwise, contact the American Red Cross.
Before you leave, try to rummage through your home for some essential items like the following: Identification Cards, Medications, Eye Glasses / Hearing Aids, Wallets, Credit Cards / Checkbooks, Money. **Only do this AFTER you get permission from the firefighters to reenter your home.**
Turn Off Utilities
Make certain you get all of your primary utilities turned off. Why waste money for services when you are not even living in your home? Plus, restoration cannot be performed on your home if there’s still electricity and such running through it. The risks of electrocution would be far too high.
Contact a Restoration Company
This is perhaps the most important step. You’ll need to contact a professional, full-service restoration company, such as SERVPRO. Our company is trained specifically to deal with post-tragedy damage. Below is a list of some of the things you can expect us to do:
- The company will start by removing all the water from your home. During a fire, a lot of water from the firefighters hoses usually collects all over the place. Plus, fires sometimes cause pipes to burst, thus leading to even more severe flooding. The point is that restoration cannot begin until the water is first removed.
- The company will then start with water restoration. Carpets, walls, ducts must be dried. Mold must be removed. Just this step itself can take a few days.
- Next is the actual fire restoration. First and foremost, the company will inspect the structural foundation of your home and fix any major problems. Obviously, if a ceiling is about to crash, then it must be attended to before any other restoration efforts can be completed.
- Once the structural foundation is secure, the specialists will start cleaning up soot/smoke damage, deodorizing everything (carpets, walls, furniture, etc.) and basically returning the home back to normal. If anything is so damaged that it cannot be repaired, it’ll be removed and thrown away. It’s your responsibility to let your insurance company know what items you lost.
- Last, but not least, the company will clean up the remaining mess (dust, debris, etc.) and rearrange everything back into place.
Move Back In
Finally, you get to move back into your home and resume life. Unfortunately, it can take quite a bit of time before you even get to this final step. We’re talking about several weeks. The truth is that restoring a home from a fire takes a lot of time, a lot of resources and a lot of money.
Just remember to keep in close contact with your insurance company through the whole process. If all goes well, you’ll get your home back in one piece, and you’ll get your lost possessions replaced.
When you have fire, water and mold restoration service needs, give the experienced professionals at SERVPRO a call.
Effective Yet Simple Water Cleanup Tips
A broken pipe is by far one of the greatest nightmares homeowners face. Even just a small broken kitchen pipe can quickly cause a considerable quantity of damage to your home. It is for this reason that you need to take care of water damage immediately.
Dealing with water damage requires seeking the help of a trained professional water restoration expert, such as the experts of SERVPRO. Before they get there, there are a few things you can do to assist in keeping the damages to a minimum. Here are a few tips:
Turn Off the Water
You might be tempted to seek out the source of the leak as your first step. This can be problematic, however, depending on the type of leak or damage. If, for instance is simply an overflowed sink, then you would just turn off the sink. However, what if a pipe that you can’t see has burst?
It’s because of reasons like these that you need to turn off the water supply as soon as possible. It is also recommended that you temporarily turn off electrical power as well. The last thing you want is for the water to mix with electrical wires!
Accelerate the Drying Process
The next step entails doing everything in your power to get your home to dry. Start by opening windows and turning on fans. This will get air flowing through your home, which will help to start drying it and also reduce the buildup of disgusting odors.
If you have a dehumidifier, turn it on immediately. It will extract moisture from the air, thus helping accelerate the drying process. Run it for as long as possible. If you stop early, it could lead to the growing of mold and mildew.
If you don’t have a dehumidifier, then don’t worry, because the water restoration experts will bring one with them. As we said earlier, however, just make sure you contact them right away. They need to get to your home as soon as possible!
Make sure you also remove rugs and other portable carpeting and place them outside to dry. Try to wipe down furniture and personal items (books, chairs, toys) as much as possible.
Pull Out a Wet/Dry Vacuum
Another step that we recommend taking is pulling out a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. We understand that you might not have one. If you do, use it to remove as much water as possible from carpets, upholstered furniture and/or tile and wood floors.
This process can take quite a while, but it’s important to remove as much water as possible. Also, make sure you focus more on wood surfaces than carpeted areas. Due to wood’s porous nature, it’s apt to soak up all the water, which in turn will cause it to become warped and delaminated.
Again, if you don’t have a wet/dry vacuum, don’t worry. The restoration professionals will take care of this for you. Just make sure you contact them immediately!
Things Not To Do
There are some things you should definitely NOT do after your home suffers from water damage:
- Never leave web fabrics and clothing items in place. Try to hang them.
- Also avoid leaving books, magazines and other such items on wet floors.
- Please refrain from trying to use a regular vacuum cleaner to clean up water.
- Avoid using electrical equipment and appliances a like television.
- Stay out of rooms that have a wet ceiling.
These might seem obvious, but it’s good to know. Be especially careful with wet ceilings. They could be much weaker than you think, and the last thing we want is for a roof to collapse on you!
The real work won’t start until the restoration company gets there. Professionals, such as SERVPRO, possess the equipment needed to do real water extraction and repair. Part of this process will involve installing certain equipment, be it professional-grade dehumidifiers and whatnot.
When this occurs, make sure you follow the directions given to you. Usually, the professionals will ask you to keep their equipment running for a while. Make sure you stick to their schedule and do not arbitrarily turn off their equipment. This could negatively affect the drying process and make things worse.
The last thing the professionals will do is give you preventative maintenance tips. It is recommended that you follow through on these steps to insure that your home and belongings return to their former state. It can make the difference between whether or not your home ever suffers unneeded water damage again!
For all of your water, fire and mold restoration needs, give the professionals at SERVPRO a call today!
Saving Personal Belongings from Water Damage
One of the most common topics after a client suffers water damage, is how and what they can save from water damage. Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer to this question. Every water damage is unique in some sense, so what can be saved is really on a case by case basis. However, here are some guidelines that you can use to make the best decision possible.
What Type of Water Damage
Determining whether the water that damaged your personal belongings is clean or contaminated will be a big factor in whether or not it can be salvaged. Obviously, if you are dealing with clean water, the chances of you being able to save some of your belongings is higher. Even though it may be possible to restore something that is damaged by contaminated water, it is more than likely not worth the health risk that it may bring.
Porous vs Non Porous Materials
Porous materials such as fabrics, wood, and paper are very good at retaining water. This also means it increases the chance of other dangers like mold growth, and damage beyond repair. This is not always the case and if handled quickly and properly, many times these items can be saved as well. On the other hand, porous materials like marble, metal, and porcelain - among others - usually have no problem being restored. Since there is really nothing for bacteria and mold to root itself in, a simple cleaning is usually no problem.
The Amount of Time the Water Saturated
Another factor that will come into the equation of determining what can and cannot be saved is how long the materials have been wet for. The longer an item sits in water, the deeper it can penetrate. As you can imagine, this makes it increasingly more difficult to bring it back to its normal state. The perfect example of this is wooden furniture. It takes quite a bit of time for it to really absorb and become completely water logged. If you get personal belongings out of the standing water and begin the drying process right away, you have a good chance of being able to save them.
Factor in the Replacement Cost
Water damage restoration of personal belongings is no different than any other type of repair. You will always want to evaluate how much it is going to cost to repair something versus simply replacing it. Is the item you want to save really worth paying a professional to do work on it? Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not.
You should also take into account that paying for restoration does not guarantee your item will be returned to its original state. If that’s the case, you’ll have to replace the item anyways.
If you are unsure about whether or not one of your items could be salvaged, it is best that you get it analyzed by a professional. If you hire a water damage restoration company to handle a dry out of your property, they will be able to assist you in assessing damage to your personal belongings as well. To speak to a professional water restoration representative at SERVPRO, contact them today. They are always there to help.
Do You Need Help With Water, Mold, or Fire Restoration? Call Us Today!
MOLD DETECTION AND REMEDIATION
SERVPRO is an expert at mold detection, remediation and removal.
The SERVPRO mold remediation team is trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This means we know mold, and know how to effectively eradicate it so it ceases to be an issue.
The professionals at SERVPRO are also your neighbors, and are familiar with the climate around your home, which- let’s face it - is one mold just loves.
If you think you have mold, give us a call and we will come take a look. And if you do have a mold problem, we will solve it.
WHERE DOES MOLD COME FROM?
Mold can creep up from a variety of sources. Often, mold is a by-product of a flood or other water damage. Improper or incomplete drying is usually the culprit. That is why the experts at SERVPRO take extra care of thoroughly drying a job to ensure that mold does not creep up later. But you need not always have “water damage” – for example, over the years, a simple thing like a pipe condensation can cause mold (again thanks to that humid South Florida weather), or a leaking roof, trapped moisture, a damp basement, or a hundred other reasons.
The key is to find it and remove it. Then, make sure it doesn’t come back. The trained professionals at SERVPRO will handle all phases of mold detection and removal, so you can be assured of your family’s health and well-being.
If you suspect you have mold, give the experts of SERVPRO a call today!
Emergency Water Damage Cleanup
Where would we be without water? It’s a crucial resource that we can’t live without. But sometimes, this valuable resource can turn against us if weather or faulty appliances strike. From leaky roofs and busted appliances to heavy rains and cresting rivers, water damage can strike for many different reasons. Depending on what caused the issue, water damage can range from being a little problem located in one room to a large flood-damage disaster throughout your entire house. Whatever the trouble happens to be, you must work with a reliable restoration service like SERVPRO to handle the cleanup for you. SERVPRO, a top notch nationwide emergency service company, offers emergency response company services that can mitigate the flood damage to your home.
SERVPRO provides several professional water and flood damage cleanup services in South Palm Beach, Florida as well as around the country. SERVPRO helps people put their lives back together after an experience with flooding, leaking, or other sources of water damage. A few of the services that SERVPRO offers include removal of affected property, cleaning of personal possessions, mold remediation, water restorations services, storm cleanup, fire restoration, guidance with insurance claims, and airing out wet areas. SERVPRO is there to help you get your life back in order after devastating damage occurs in your home.
The trained professionals of SERVPRO will quickly assess your home’s problems with the most effective restoration tools around. Call a local SERVPRO professional today to help you restore your home back to full working order.
Storm Damage Emergency Cleanup in Your Home
Your South Palm Beach, Florida home can fall victim to unexpected storm devastation. As soon as your home is disturbed by wind, water and debris, its effects can be devastating. Our top priority is to improve direct hazards as quickly as possible, whether it is exterior or interior damage.
What You Can Expect from Storm Damage
Even though people experience damaging storms throughout the country, it can be specifically brutal in Florida. Whatever storms are thrown at you, there is a likelihood that your home will have damage. Damage can be very destructive or not as serious.
Storms throughout the country can cause hazardous damage that will need to be fixed – from tornadoes to severe thunderstorms. With these kinds of storms comes strong wind bursts, torrential rain, and electrical disturbances that affect your property.
Being unable to repair damage inflicted on the outside of your home can be unnerving, which is why rainstorms and high winds are equally as damaging. Heavy rain and intense wind are strong enough to break trees and utility poles, jeopardizing your roof and home exterior.
We at SERVPRO offer 24/7 emergency services to South Palm Beach, Florida because we realize that hazardous weather can appear at any moment. When you’re looking for urgent service, we will work with you anytime, day or night.
We are able to perform any needed emergency board up services after you’ve experienced storm damage. Broken windows, exposed siding and other sections of your property with direct outside access can be boarded up to keep out excess water. Tarps are an option to temporarily protect your roof to prevent additional water leakage if dangerous stormy conditions continue.
Your South Palm Beach, Florida home needs to be safe again. In addition to these emergency services, the professionals of SERVPRO can do a damage assessment and give you recommendations for all of the recovery services that we have available.
Immediate Fire and Smoke Damage Cleanup
Fire and smoke can cause major damage to your home or business. At SERVPRO, we immediately clean up damage from fire and smoke in your South Florida home.
SERVPRO can quickly be on the scene to begin taking care of fire and smoke damage. If you experience a fire and require immediate service from SERVPRO, call now for immediate response. We know that you will need repairs right away, whether it’s home or office fire repair, so SERVPRO has the manpower and resources to respond quickly.
After promptly arriving on the scene, we’ll provide the following fire and smoke damage services:
- An estimate for your insurance company
- Extensive clean-up, including the extraction of dangerous chemicals
- Air purification, including smoke odor elimination
- Structural moisture removal using water extractors, dehumidifiers, air movers and other machinery to thoroughly eliminate water resulting from fire extinguishing efforts.
Call the Specialists
When a fire happens, you’ll have to deal with more than heat damage repairs. Smoke can drift to places you’ve never thought possible, and soot can stain any surface. For these reasons, and many more, it is important to contact a specialized professional to work on your home or office fire repair.
The quick-responding, qualified fire damage clean up contractors from SERVPRO in South Palm Beach, Florida are equipped with the skills and knowledge to consider all of these components and get you back into your home or business with the fewest interruptions possible. Our team has many years of practice in emergency fire repair means that we are dedicated to returning your life back to normal as quickly as possible. That’s a statement you can trust.
Common Causes of Home Fires and How to Avoid Them
Home fires can start unexpectedly, but taking preventative measures can greatly decrease the risk of a fire in your home. Although some home fire causes are quite obvious, it’s important to be aware of them and be proactive in preventing them. Here are some of the most common causes of home fires with tips on how to avert them:
Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Unattended cooking, as well as grease build-up, are the most frequent causes of fires in the kitchen. Always supervise the range or stove top when cooking and keep the kitchen surfaces free from grease to prevent fires.
- Heating Equipment
During the colder months, heating equipment, such as electric heaters or fireplaces, are major fire risks in homes. Place heaters at a safe distance away from flammable materials and always supervise them when operating. Check your chimneys for creosote build-up periodically and never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace.
- Electrical Causes
Outdated wiring and breaker boxes, as well as old appliances present a fire threat. Moreover, plugging too many appliances into an extension cord can cause the cords to overheat and start a fire.
Candle fires are more frequent during holidays, such as Christmas and Halloween. Keep candles away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles, and make sure candle holders are stable. Using battery-operated candles instead of real ones is much safer.
Fires caused by lit cigarettes can start when a person falls asleep with a cigarette in hand or when the embers from a butt fall on combustible materials. Smoke outside to avoid these risks. If you smoke inside, avoid doing so when tired, and use large and deep ashtrays.
- Flammable Liquids
Liquids that can catch fire include gasoline, paints, cleaning agents, thinners, and more. Keep these chemicals in approved containers and away from electrical and heat sources. Store them outside, in a well-ventilated area.
- Children Playing with Fire
Some children play with fire out of curiosity, not realizing that it’s very dangerous. Keep lighters and matches out of children’s sight and reach. Also, try to avoid using lighters and matches in front of them, as many kids imitate what adults are doing.
- Christmas Trees
During the holiday season, many home fires can start due to negligent use of Christmas tree decorations. Electrical failures and candles are the main culprits of Christmas tree fires. Use only lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. In addition, replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Never decorate trees with lit candles.
To help prevent fires in your home, install smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, as well as a fire sprinkler system. As Halloween is approaching, take a look at these tips to prevent home fires during this holiday. For professional fire, water and mold restoration services, contact the professionals at SERVPRO for all of your needs.
Mold Facts and How to Prevent Mold in the Home
Mold is present almost everywhere you are, however, many people are completely unaware of its presence in work, home, and public environments. Whether indoors or outdoors, mold spores are a constant in our lives.
Mold is a fungi that functions in our environment to breakdown organic materials and recycle the nutrients found therein. Resources such as paper, wood, dirt, leaves, and other organic material are key in the growth and reproductive process.
Molds often grow off of older molds. Mold spores lift airborne to populate new colonies or stay in place to increase the growth of its current colony. Color variations are due to the type of fungi and sometimes the material on which it feeds. The most common colors appear as variegations of green, gray, black or brown. Other interesting color variations include the white toxin found on wood and the vibrant blue found on citrus fruits.
There are 3 important steps to preventing mold growth in your home.
- Detect it
- Remove the mold
- Remediate the water source
If you smell mold, you have mold. The first step is finding the source of the smell. Once this is located and narrowed down to a relatively easy to inspect spot, then you are ready for step two.
Remove the Mold
Removing mold can be very messy and even dangerous if there is a large amount of it. Areas of heavy mold growth over a few square feet should be removed under containment or at least by a mold professional. It is possible to clean mold off of surfaces that are not porous such as glass and plastic, but it will not be possible to clean porous materials to a mold free level. Materials such as drywall, cloth, leather, shoes, basically any organic material will not clean very easily. If these materials cannot be put in a deep cycle cleaning machine, like a washer, then there is little hope of removing all of the mold.
Remediate the Water Source
The removal of the actual source of the water is the primary goal in preventing mold growth. If the source of water is removed or cut off, the mold will not continue to grow. It is true that mold will still remain alive after the water is gone, but it will not continue to grow. This is why, however, removal of moldy materials is only one of the important steps.
If you think you have a mold issue in your home or business, give SERVPRO a call today. We can detect any issue and rectify the problem. Call the professionals of SERVPRO for all of your mold, fire and water restoration needs.