What Are The Myths About Mold
When it comes to mold, there are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation that can lead to confusion for homeowners. Just the mention of the word "mold" can cause people to panic. While mold can be a very serious problem and should be taken seriously, it is important to have all the facts to be able to discern myth from fact so that you can make proper and informed decisions when necessary.
- "Bleach Kills Mold"
While bleach may be able to kill some types of mold on non-porous surfaces, it is unclear whether or not bleach can kill all types of mold, or if it can kill mold on porous surfaces like wood. Bleach is also a very corrosive agent and can pose its own health risks if used to kill mold. It's best to leave it to the professionals.
- "You Don't Have to Remove Mold If You Kill It"
Even if you are able to kill mold, you may not have removed the allergens that live in the mold. They can still be present even if the mold is killed. To fully protect yourself, removal of the affected areas is often necessary. You have to be careful not to spread the mold spores throughout your home when removing areas affected with mold. Professionals, like us, know how to set proper containment so that the mold allergens don't spread and further contaminate your home.
- "A Little Mold Is Nothing to Worry About"
If mold has become visible in your home, then chances are it has been growing for some time. Once mold becomes visible, it is important that you have the situation looked at, as there is more than likely more mold behind the surface.
- "Mold Remediation Is Easy to Do On Your Own"
This is usually not the case. Small areas of mold can sometimes be handled rather easily, but if the problem appears to be pervasive, it is best to call a professional. SERVPROis always "Here to help!"
Facing Natural Disasters With A Small Business
Natural disasters have an enormous impact on small businesses, especially start-ups and cash-only businesses. The livelihood of both the owner and employees are jeopardized, an a plan must be in place to protect all parties involved. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 40% of small businesses fail to re-open after a natural disaster. With preparation, you can greatly increase the chance of your business recovering.
An emergency plan should be formed when the business is formed. Insurance becomes a key component of this plan, requiring careful consideration of all assets and deciding on the best insurance policy. For example, will natural disaster or looting insurance be included or added on later? Use the following steps as a guide to develop a post-disaster plan to keep your business running after an emergency.
- Follow up with employees: Address their concerns, and note if they are able to find temporary work or aid in the recovery process.
- Develop a communication strategy: Delegate someone trusted to communicate with disaster relief services, suppliers, and financial institutions
- Keep your data safe: Have a back-up of your business' files in multiple locations. Consider cloud based services since the data is stored remotely and can be accessed from multiple devices.
- Seek a restoration expert: Restoration companies such as ours will come to your aid to listen to your concerns, minimize loss, fix damages, and find the best value out of your insurance coverage.
- File an insurance claim: Examine policy and make sure there are no gaps. Also ask the questions, "Are additional damages covered? What are my deductibles?"
- Disaster loan assistance: There are various government agencies and organizations that can help your business recover. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website to learn about their Disaster Loan Program to help fix property and restock supplies.
Preparation is vital to recovering from any disaster; no one is immune. With the right plan, your chance of re-opening will increase significantly. SERVPRO of West Concord is ready to answer your call and restore your small business back to new.
Cutting Edge Tech For Water Disasters
SERVPRO knows that staying on the cutting edge of technology in our industry will help our customers the most. That's why we add new equipment to our inventory on a regular basis. We are proud to be able to offer the best to our customers.
You may be wondering why this is important. Check out this information found on aboveboardchamber.com:
Many homeowners feel that if the water is removed, the work of water damage cleanup is done. This is because it is difficult to see or feel the extent of the saturation of water in building materials without moisture detection equipment used in the water damage industry. What follows is that either the homeowner will attempt to remove the water and simply place household fans around, with or without removing drywall; or they will tell the water damage restoration contractor to leave when the water is extracted and before equipment is placed. The paradox here is that these decisions are made to save time and money. In some cases, they may have done just that. However, in most cases, the resulting long term water damage is both costly and time consuming in addition to being inconvenient and stressful. Added to that is the fact that the cost of mold remediation consequent of an improperly dried flood damage will likely not be covered by insurance policies because the water damage or sewage damage was not dried properly to begin with.
You have probably noticed by now that it is not the water removal service that is the important part of taking care of water damage. It is actually the drying part that makes your home safe from long term mold or building material damage. In fact, there is no time to waste when it comes to drying a water damaged home. Mold begins to start growing within 24 hours and continues “growing like a weed” damaging building materials as it spreads.
Water damage restoration companies spend a tremendous amount of money on drying equipment for a very good reason. They dry quickly, effectively, and safely. After all, think about it, if we could just use household fans and a couple of blowers, we would save a tremendous amount of money on equipment. If I thought those types of equipment did an effective job, I would be all over saving money by purchasing those at less than $50 each rather than a $300-400 blower and $3000 dehumidifiers. However, I know the importance of having industrial equipment to keep your home safe and dry. Further, all of the equipment works together to both dry the structural materials (blowers), remove the moisture from the air as the wet materials dry and the water from them turns to vapor (dehumidifiers), and clean the air to prevent allergens that permeate through the air during drying (air scrubbers).
Smoke alarms can save lives when properly installed and maintained.
- In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement.
- Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.
- Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years.
- Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every ten years.
- If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately.
- Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm.
- Many fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries.
- If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department or a licensed electrician.
- Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family.
Have questions about fire, smoke, or soot damage? Call Today – (925) 681-9093
Why SERVPRO Is The Best Restoration Co.
SERVPRO of West Concord provides each certified estimator with a kit that helps provide damage estimates during your homes initial inspection. This kit helps test fire and smoke residues on your home’s structure and contents to determine whether restoration through cleaning remains possible.
If you agree to allow SERVPRO to handle the fire restoration in your home, we work with your insurance adjuster to stay within your policy limits and keep you informed throughout the process. We can provide you with quality cleaning and restoration services that help limit any losses you might experience. If you have concerns about specific areas of your home or want special attention given to family heirlooms, make sure to let your on-site restoration supervisor know.
SERVPRO of West Concord technicians handle a variety of specialty fire restoration services that focus on electronics, art, collectibles, books, and other personal belongings. Even if we do not offer these services directly, we have a relationship with a sub-contractor who does. Full-service solutions you can count on while you direct your attention to keeping your family safe.
SERVPRO of West Concord provides quality fire damage solutions to customers throughout Concord and surrounding areas. Call today to begin work with a cleaning and restoration company that you can trust to deliver quality results. (925) 681-9093.
What’s Used On The Jobsite
Commonly used equipment includes:
- Air Movers: Used to accelerate air flow and evaporation of moisture from materials for restorative drying.
- Dehumidifiers: Used to reduce moisture levels, accelerate the drying process in water restoration
- Floor Drying System: These are high-pressure air mover mats, used during water restoration to dry hardwood floors. This system draws evaporated moisture out of damages areas and creates a vacuum seal on mats to move air from the subfloor to the surface.
- Air Scrubbers: used for cleaning and controlling air quality in restorations.
- Hygrometers: Moisture meters used to detect or monitor moisture in most building materials.
- Submersible pumps: drains standing water from any surface - ideal for flooded basements, farm use, draining standing water from swimming pools, fountains, flooded basements, etc.
- Extractors: usually used for water extraction from carpet and hard surfaces.
A successfully water damage restoration always begins once the standing water has been removed - though it may not be visible in puddles. Nevertheless, there are specific methods used for each and every situation.
Making Your Home Winter Ready
Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.
To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.
- Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
- Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
- Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazer potential.
- Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of West Concord to strike back! We can provide anything from temporary heat, desiccant dehumidification to water damage cleanup and repair.
Winter Here? Keep Those Pipes From Freezing
Water damage during a winter storm usually happens when your pipes freeze. When water freezes, it turns into ice. As it turns into ice, the space that the water takes up in the pipe gets bigger. The bigger the expansion, the more pressure that is created inside the pipe. Some pipes may just get bent out of shape, but others will eventually break. Pipes that are most likely to freeze are those outside the home that are exposed to the cold air. Other vulnerable pipes are those indoors that don’t have access to heat, like those under your kitchen cabinets or in the garage.
How to Keep Pipes from Freezing
The best way to handle water damage is to do your best to prevent it from every happening. Although we have seen some pipes still burst even after precautions were taken, the damage that resulted was considerably less. You can’t always prevent things from happening, but you can always be prepared.
- Insulate exposed and vulnerable pipes. You can do this by installing pipe sleeves or even wrapping the pipes with newspaper.
- Keep the garage door closed to prevent cold air from coming in.
- Allow warm air to circulate around the pipes by opening kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Keep your home heated about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Are below freezing temperatures coming your way? If you notice that the weather is going to be getting a bit frigid start taking precautions now.
Our crews are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SERVPRO of West Concord is available to help! We can be reached anytime at (925) 681-9093.
Be Pet Safe From Fire
Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to – and also the most preventable.
- The best way to protect your pets from the effects of a fire is to include them in your family plan. This includes having their own disaster supplies kit as well as arranging in advance for a safe place for them to stay if you need to leave your home.
- When you practice your escape plan, practice taking your pets with you. Train them to come to you when you call.
- In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do to protect your pets is to evacuate them, too. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.
Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets. The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:
- Extinguish Open Flames- Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
- Remove Stove Knobs- Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
- Invest in Flameless Candles- These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
- Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
Help Firefighters Help Your Pets
- Keep pets near entrances when away from home. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Affix a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.
Protecting Your Commercial Building From Fire
Fires in Commercial Buildings can cause a great amount of damage, but there are three easy things a business can do to prevent the most common commercial building fires.
- Surprisingly, the top cause of commercial building fires is cooking fires. But a fire extinguisher placed near the kitchen area can give employees the power to stop a small cooking fire from spreading. Be sure to train your employees on how to use the extinguisher and make sure they are still in good working condition.
- Fire alarms can save lives and property from damage, yet many are left unchecked and are not properly maintained. Be sure to check the fire alarm in your building or office to make sure that it working correctly.
- A commercial fire sprinkler system can put out a potentially deadly fire in a commercial building. Have the one in your commercial building tested annually.
Be sure that your business has what it needs to protect itself from a crippling fire and be proactive in helping prevent damage to your business by following these three easy guidelines.
If you do experience a fire in your commercial building, call the experts at SERVPRO.
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