Ask The Experts: How Do I Get Rid of Mold? (part 2 of 2)
Last week we started our discussion on ways to prevent or, if need be, eliminate mold. As we said, mold and mildew don’t need very much encouragement to grow. Once it starts, it can spread very quickly. Mold can grow on a variety of surfaces, cloth, carpets, drywall, and wood. With a large commercial building keeping everyone cool or warm, condensation can form and provide the mold the moisture it needs to spread.
Regular cleanings and maintenance inspections will help keep mold from taking over the building, in particular, areas that are not often used.
4. Regular Checks
Building maintenance should be looking for anything suspicious on a regular basis. Keeping an eye on areas that have higher concentrations of moisture or humidity for signs.
Dark spots, fuzzy patches, musty smells, can all appear anywhere. Carpets, walls, ceilings, floors, and under sinks, behind walls in shower rooms, laundry room, bathrooms, and kitchen areas.
5. Regular Inspections
It’s a great idea to have your maintenance team take care of regular checks and repairs, but hiring a professional to inspect the building can be a great help. They can spot areas that may be developing mold that you are not aware of.
They are also great at finding areas of potential mold, too, so you can stop it before it gets a chance to start.
If you find mold, call in a professional team to take care of it right away. You don’t want to try and clean it by yourself. At SERVPRO of Howard and Tipton Counties, our professionals have the right tools, experience, and expertise to take care of it.
Ask The Experts: How Do I Get Rid of Mold? (part 1 of 2)
Mold and mildew don’t need very much encouragement to grow. Once it starts, it can spread very quickly. Mold can grow on a variety of surfaces, cloth, carpets, drywall, and wood. With a large commercial building keeping everyone cool or warm, condensation can form and provide the mold the moisture it needs to spread.
Regular cleanings and maintenance inspections will help keep mold from taking over the building, in particular, areas that are not often used.
1. Deep Cleaning
Start with your HVAC system. Getting it cleaned, changing or cleaning the filters, and keeping it in great form will help stop the spread of mold spores. The vents, ducts, and the rest all need to be maintained.
When the air is not moving through the vents, dust and mold can just sit there, so when you turn it back on, the room fills with it all. Any amount of hair, dust, dirt, animal hair and waste, and mold can be in the vents.
The mold can get inside these areas and grow. There are times when you don’t need the system, so have it maintained in the spring and fall, to be safe. Reducing the movement of the mold will help considerably.
Condensation can form during the hot months, during the cold months, at any time. A commercial building will have a lot of people, and people can cause condensation.
A dehumidifier will help draw moisture out of the air. It can make a big difference in a building that is very populated and turning off the heat or air conditioning is not an option.
Put them in areas when moisture is prevalent. Basements, upper floors, kitchens or cafeterias, shower rooms, laundry rooms, and anywhere that has excessive moisture. They are available in different sizes.
3. Make Repairs
Fixing small problems will help them from becoming big problems. Leaks in the roof or foundation, cracks in the walls or foundation, gaps around windows, taps or pipes that drip, or leak, and faulty thermostats.
These can all allow heat and cold air in or out, which means it makes it harder to control the humidity inside the building. Damp patches or pooling water, or a recent flood, should all be taken care of right away. Hire a professional.
Join us next week where we will discuss 2 more ways to make sure mold fears you!
If you do find mold, call in a professional team to take care of it right away. You don’t want to try and clean it by yourself. At SERVPRO of Howard and Tipton Counties, our professionals have the right tools, experience, and expertise to take care of it.
Ask The Experts: How Can I Decrease The Cost of Home Ownership?
Ah the joys of homeownership, it is never-ending! Here are a few things you can do in your home to lower your chances of getting water damage.
- Do ceiling, attic and shingle checks routinely so you can catch a small problem before it becomes a BIG problem.
- Check your downspouts. They should point away from your house so water flows away and not toward your foundation.
- Check your sump pump yearly and know when it needs to be replaced whether you think it needs to or not.
- Plants are nice but some have very evasive root systems that can wreak havoc.
- If your water bill is unusual, there might be a leak that needs to be addressed.
- Clean your gutters. This is very important to prevent overflow onto your roof and ice dams in the winter.
- Grease goes in the garbage NOT down your drain!
- Do regular inspections of hoses or water lines on wash machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators and corrosion on hot water heaters.
Baseboard's worst nightmare!!!
SERVPRO has been called out to water losses and we need to determine the extent of the damage and what materials are affected. The photo shows some baseboard separation from a wall. This is a good indicator that there could be water damage affecting the specific wall. In this case, there was a fridge line that had leaked on the opposite side of the wall and the water-saturated the wall causing the baseboards to shift away from the wall.
Saturated drywall becomes soft and no longer holds the nails in place that were used to attach the baseboards to the wall. When this occurs, the baseboards are completely removed from the wall and inspected for mold growth. In most cases, a flood cut is then performed to remove the affected drywall and expose the framing. The framing can then be properly dried before the drywall is replaced.
If disaster strikes, you can trust that SERVPRO has the experience, expertise, and equipment to get you back to "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO Tip - How To Keep Your Work Space Save As Winter Is Right Around The Corner!
Winter is just around the corner, and it is important to have a plan to keep your workspace safe! Listed below are a few tips we wanted to share to keep your workplace safe this winter season.
- Unplug all space/portable heaters.
- Keep your work area free of waste paper, trash and other items that can easily catch fire.
- Check on your electrical cords.
- Don't overload your circuits.
- Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day.
- Keep heat-producing equipment away from anything that might burn.
- Turn off the coffee pot.
- Unplug wall scents.
- Make sure all candles are blown out at the end of the day.
- Have an emergency escape plan for all employees.
- Make sure EXIT signs are posted and all employees are aware of the exit doors.
- Check your fire extinguishers and make sure they have not expired.
- Turn off all decorations and lights at the end of the day.
These are just a few things we can all do to help prevent unwanted fires to start. By implementing these simple tasks we can KEEP OUR WORKPLACE SAFE!
If disaster does strike your business this winter or any time, give the professionals at SERVPRO of Howard and Tipton Counties a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."
Is "Sump"thing up? Call SERVPRO!
Your primary sump pump should not be treated any differently than any other appliance in your home - without power, it is completely worthless. As a safeguard, invest in a high-quality battery backup sump pump. A battery kept continually charged by the backup system operates a separate pump linked to the discharge pipe, providing you hours of protection until power is restored. Some backup pumps even monitor the condition of the battery and alert you when it needs to be replaced.
Frozen Discharge Pipe
If the discharge pipe is not installed pitched properly, water will collect and eventually freeze, causing a blockage.
Switch Stuck in Place
There are several different types of sump float switches. Vertical and tethered floats are the most common. Vertical floats seem to work the best as tethered floats are known for getting stuck on the sidewalls of the sump pit (resulting in a flooded basement).
Over-worked / Under-Powered Sump Pump
Not all pumps are created equal. Make sure you install the correct horsepower pump capable of keeping up with your flow of water.
It is generally recommended that sump pumps should be replaced every five to seven years in order to be reasonably safe. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
If disaster does strike, give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to get you back to "Like it never even happened."
Did you know water damage has "class"?
The Classes of Water Damage Losses are determined by the rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected by water damage to your property. Determining the Class of Water is an important first step and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to restore your business. Here are four IICRC water damage classifications:
Class 1 - Slow Evaporation Rate
Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or losses with lower permeance/porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particleboard, structural wood, vinyl composition tile or VCT, concrete). Little or no wet carpet or cushion is present. Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, releasing moisture slowly.
Class 2 - Fast Evaporation Rate
Water losses that affect an entire room or carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up walls 12" - 24". There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particleboard, structural wood, concrete).
Class 3 - Fastest Evaporation Rate
Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion, and sub-floor in the entire area are saturated.
Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations
These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, and crawlspace). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which requires very low specific humidity.
If disaster does strike, give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."
Natural Disasters in Kokomo, Indiana Affect your Pets, too – Have a Plan in Place
If a severe storm in Kokomo is forcing a residential area to evacuate, not only does there need to be a plan in place for the residents but there needs to be a plan in place for the family pets as well. That part of the plan is often overlooked when forming the evacuation plan to begin with but not for lack of caring about the pet; it is often forgotten because most assume they will just grab the pets and leave but it is not that simple. Pet safety plans are just as detailed as human safety plans. SERVPRO® of Howard and Tipton Counties wants to share the following pet evacuation tips with you:
- Know which hotels accept pets and which ones do not – this is critical for your evacuation route planning
- Do some research and find out which shelters, veterinarian offices, boarding facilities, etc. will take in pets during an emergency or evacuation situation
- When practicing evacuation drills, include your pets so they have a sense of normality when the time comes
- If your pets will be transferred in portable pet carriers, make sure they are comfortable being in one – practice helps with this
- Grab a free rescue sticker from the ASPCA and mark how many animals you have inside the home as this allows rescue workers to know they should look for animals as well
When it is safe to re-enter the Kokomo home, take note of any damage the house may have attained during the storm (including water damage) and when you are ready, call SERVPRO of Howard and Tipton Counties to come help with the cleanup and restoration process. We are here to help!
SERVPRO of Howard and Tipton Counties is independently owned and operated.
Have an Evacuation Plan and a Shelter Plan in Place in Kokomo, Indiana
It is very important to have an evacuation plan in place before a big storm hits. The weather is unpredictable and unexpected damages can occur due to that. These damages can force homeowners and residents in Kokomo to evacuate to a safer area. If a resident does not have anywhere else to go, another option is a disaster shelter. The American Red Cross has a disaster shelter locator on their website. When preparing for a storm, one should always check and see if there are any disaster shelters around the area. Everyone is welcome at a disaster shelter. There are no qualifications to be met. Service animals are also welcome! What a great resource!
Once the residential home is safe to re-enter, carefully evaluate any damage the home may have and take note of it. SERVPRO® of Hamilton and Tipton Counties has a team of trained professionals that are ready to help when property damage occurs!
Here are some safety tips for the residents of Kokomo who are getting ready to evaluate residential home damage:
- Stay away from electrical lines and wires, especially if there is water damage nearby
- Examine the breaker box for any breakers that might have tripped, but DO NOT turn them on yourself – call an electrician to do this safely in case of wire damage
- Be extremely cautious if cleaning products have spilled – most are flammable so avoid using matches or candles
Again, we are here to help. Do not hesitate to call us if your home needs to be restored after a storm or water damage occurs.
SERVPRO of Hamilton and Tipton Counties is independently owned and operated.
Tips for Staying Safe During a Storm
Common safety rules and precautions state that the public should generally try to stay inside of a safe area or building when a lightning storm or thunderstorm occurs. There are many commercial buildings in the Hamilton and Tipton Counties area. SERVPRO® of Hamilton and Tipton Counties wants to share the following safety tips for staying safe during a thunderstorm while inside a commercial building:
- Stay away from all windows or glass walls, especially during a lightning storm
- Unplug appliances if possible
- Pay attention to all alerts and warnings, as a thunderstorm can develop into a tornado if powerful enough
- Avoid running water if possible since electricity can travel through plumbing
Weather is unpredictable. Although the weather can be predicted, it can also change in an instant without much warning. If a thunderstorm does happen to turn into tornado weather in Hamilton and Tipton Counties, consider the following tips:
- If the commercial building has a basement or storm cellar, head there immediately
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck in the event of flying debris or shattered windows
- Do not leave the safe area until the local alerting system says it is safe to do so
Remember, SERVPRO of Hamilton and Tipton Counties is here to help. Our trained team members will show up ready to go and can assist in cleanup and restoration after a thunderstorm, lightning storm, and even a tornado.
SERVPRO® of Hamilton and Tipton Counties is Independently Owned and Operated.