Mold Damage After Flooding
Large commercial flood damage in Houston, TX.
Water damage can lead to mold growth in as little as 24-48 hours. Since mold spores multiply in moist conditions, you will need to get the area dry as quickly as possible. Mold can form on any organic material, even in places you cannot see. Once formed, you may notice a musky smell in the vicinity of the water damage. If you have experienced flooding in Houston, TX, there are a few things you can do to restore damaged items and keep mold from forming in the first place.
Where Mold Might Form
When standing water is left to sit, bacteria and mold can begin to grow and multiply. Your best protection is to remove the water, disinfect, and dry any items that came into contact with the floodwater. Mold forms easily on pulpy surfaces and may infect many different types of items:
- Building materials like carpets and drywall
- Paper products such as photos, documents, and cardboard
- Ceiling tiles
- Underneath flooring or behind walls
Mold spores are always in the air around us, so once wetness sets in, mold growth is likely to occur over a short time.
How To Keep Mold From Forming
The best way to keep mold from forming is to dry the area. If you have standing water, a professional can use an extraction machine to remove it. Specialized fans can be used to circulate the air and dry the area faster than it would dry on its own. If the water came from a contaminated source or picked up pollutants along the way, the area will need to be disinfected with the appropriate products. Some materials may need to removed and replaced and others may need to be taken in for specialized cleaning or restoration.
If you have mold growth, your best course of action is to hire a professional remediation company to fix the problem. They can identify and clean mold in unseen places and restore your building to its preflood condition.
How To Deodorize a Smoky Home
Ozone treatments emit ozone into the area.
How To Deodorize a Smoky Home
Home deodorization can be tricky, especially if you are dealing with a smoke odor. Certain short-term solutions can trick you into thinking you have removed the odor, but the odor returns a few hours or days later. Additionally, not all permanent solutions work for every situation. The following outlines the differences among various odor removal techniques to help you choose the one most appropriate for your Spring Valley, TX, home.
When dealing with lingering odors, it is important to remove the particulates that are causing the smell rather than simply covering them up with other fragrances. The following are some common items that may cover up an odor for a little bit:
- Air fresheners
Eventually, the pleasant aroma from such items will fade and the smoke odor will return. In other cases, the fragrance from the air freshener may combine with the smoke smell and create an even more unpleasant odor.
Smoke odor, whether from a fire or cigarette smoke, is a very long-lasting problem. The particulates tend to get trapped in porous surfaces and put off an unpleasant smell until they are properly removed. Fortunately, there are several methods of home deodorization that can effectively handle smoke odor, including the following:
- Air scrubbing
- Ozone treatment
- Thermal fogging
Air scrubbing filters the smoke particles out of the air. Ozone treatments emit ozone into the area, and the ozone combines with the smoke particles to form a new particle that does not produce a smoky odor. Thermal fogging is better for areas affected by fires where the high temperatures caused surfaces to expand and trap the smoke odor. A certified restoration service can help you choose the best odor removal method for your home.
Home deodorization is often frustrating, especially if the offending smells linger for long periods or reappear. The best deodorization methods are those that permanently remove or alter the smoke particles so that they no longer emit unpleasant odors.
Create a Maintenance Plan for Your Building Exterior
Storm damage in Hilshire Village, TX
Check The Outside Of Your Building Frequently
It is important to set up a routine maintenance plan for your commercial building. Not only will it keep your property looking great, but proper exterior maintenance protects your building from storm damage as well.
There are many areas on the outside of your building that should be checked frequently.
1. Roofing Inspection
Your roof is the most exposed part of the building, which makes it prone to damages during heavy winds and rainstorms. Inspect the roofing materials routinely and after a storm. Missing or damaged pieces should be replaced as soon as possible.
Inspect the gutters and drains for leaves and debris which can clog the drainage system, causing water to pool. Make sure skylights and HVAC equipment are protected from the elements.
2. Window and Building Caulking
To keep your building maintained before winter arrives in Hilshire Village, TX, check the caulking around the windows and doors to make sure there are no gaps around the frames. If the caulking has dried out, remove it and fill the space with fresh caulk. Be sure to caulk both the inside and outside of each window.
Your building inspection should also include checking the exterior of the building. Seal any cracks or gaps in the brick and cement. Inspect the foundation as well.
3. Landscape Upkeep
Landscape inspections should be a part of your exterior maintenance plan. Check for areas that are prone to flooding and look for pooled water from the irrigation system. Make sure all sprinkler heads are in good condition and replace any damaged units.
Keep trees and bushes trimmed frequently. During a storm, loose branches can break off and damage the building and break windows. Lay down mulch and keep landscaped areas weeded regularly. If your building sustains water damage during a storm, contact a water restoration service right away.
Implement an exterior maintenance plan to reduce the risk of storm damage to your building.
3 Factors for Fixing a Flooded Basement
Speeding up the drying process.
3 Factors for Fixing a Flooded Basement
A basement flood requires urgent attention to prevent mold and structural damage. It is important to assess three factors, which may vary based on the cause of flooding and the design and location of a residence in Houston, TX.
1. How Much Water Is Present
The depth of standing water in a basement is an important consideration for determining the extent of the damage. Water deeper than an inch may pose a greater risk of structural damage. Depending on the source of water and whether you have flood or sewer backup insurance in addition to homeowners insurance coverage, it may be necessary to foot the restoration bill out of pocket.
2. Interior and Exterior Pressure
In the event of a basement flood, hydrostatic pressure may be important to assess and consider when setting a schedule for cleanup and restoration. Pumping water out too quickly can cause structural damage that results in leaks or even causes basement walls to collapse. Basement flooding experts can determine the right pace for pumping out water while preserving the integrity of your home.
3. The Category of Water Damage
As mentioned above, a basement flooded with outside water or sewer water may not be covered under by homeowners insurance. Sewer water may be Category Two gray water or Category Three black water. Both contain microbes, but Category Three damage also involves solid waste. It will be necessary to disinfect damage that results from exposure to any type of contaminated water.
It is important to extract water from a basement flood as soon as possible. It may not be possible to quickly pump out all of the standing water in a structure, as equalizing pressure levels may be necessary to prevent structural problems. The category of water damage will also determine insurance coverage and the extent of cleanup required for a flooded residential basement in Houston, TX.
The Top 3 Challenges Posed By Large Losses
Storm damage in Bunker Hill Village, TX.
The Top 3 Challenges Posed By Large Losses
A devastating natural disaster such as a tornado or other severe weather event can result in a catastrophic loss at properties throughout Bunker Hill Village, TX. Find out more about the three main obstacles property owners and insurance agents must overcome in order to achieve a timely recovery.
1. Many Properties May Be Affected
Adverse weather such as flooding or a tornado can affect an entire neighborhood, town or city. When these events occur, local restoration franchises and independent remediation firms may all have their resources strained to the limit. The difference among these service providers is that franchises in a national company can share staff and resources to meet sudden spikes in demand for mitigation, cleanup and restoration.
2. Insurance Response Can Be Limited
Insurance agents and adjusters in a region affected by severe weather, or any other disaster resulting in catastrophic loss, may also have claims from many clients to inspect. As a result, it may not be possible to visit every affected property before mitigation is needed to limit the severity of the damage. Relying on a restoration company that arrives on-site within hours and thoroughly documents conditions makes it possible to start alleviating the destruction sooner.
3. Property Owners Must Act Quickly
The severity of storm damage can increase significantly over the hours following an incident. It is important to extract water within 24 to 48 hours to prevent serious mold problems. A local restoration franchise that is part of an extensive network can ensure that mitigation and cleanup measures stay on schedule.
Each of these factors has the potential to hold up recovery from an incident that causes catastrophic loss in Bunker Hill Village, TX. Property owners and insurers can avoid delays by relying on a restoration company that has over 1,700 locations across North America. Affiliated local and regional franchises can work together to provide mitigation, cleanup and restoration services after a large loss.
Why Preventative Maintenance of Your Commercial Plumbing System Is Important
Flushing the water heater is an important preventative maintenance step, as well.
Be Proactive With Your Plumbing System
A commercial building needs proper maintenance in order to function properly. The plumbing system is no exception. You need to take care of your pipes, sewers and drains to avoid any plumbing problems. In fact, there are several benefits of being proactive with your plumbing system. Preventative maintenance:
- Keeps the pipes running properly
- Limits water temperature spikes
- Assures everything is up to code
- Prolongs the life of your system
How Does Preventative Maintenance Save Money?
Perhaps most importantly, being proactive can help you financially. After all, fixing a water main can be expensive. Specifically, a broken pipe may necessitate costly water damage repair services.
Emergency cleanups are typically more expensive than regular maintenance calls are. You should thus have a professional regularly inspect your Hilshire Village, TX, property for potential issues.
What Does Preventative Maintenance Entail?
The preventative maintenance should start with your pipes. The professional should look for signs of corrosion or leaks. He or she can also test the water pressure within the building. Low pressure could be a sign of sediment buildup or other plumbing problems.
However, the plumber you choose should not only look at your pipes. The drains, water heater and sewers should be inspected, as well. Slow drainage may indicate a clog deep in the system. A professional can use advanced cameras to locate the problem and then break up the clog with high-pressure jets.
Commercial bathrooms are common locations for leaks. Have someone check the seals and gaskets in the toilets. The caulking in the toilets and sinks should also be inspected.
Flushing the water heater is an important preventative maintenance step, as well. Best of all, you can do this yourself. A professional can also inspect various parts of the heater, including the vent pipes and burners.
Frequent inspections of your pipes, toilets, water heater, drains and sewers should prevent plumbing problems. Even a small leak can cause lots of damage, so being proactive about water issues is cost-efficient.
How To Keep Your Furry Friends Safe in the Event of a Fire
Your pets need to be a part of your emergency fire plan.
House fires are the most common disaster that emergency responders respond to, according to the United States Fire Administration, but they are also the most preventable. While many homeowners in Houston, TX, have a fire emergency plan in place, many do not have one that includes their pets. Thousands of animals are left without homes each year due to the lack of pet preparation. If you want to keep your furry friend safe and in your care even if a fire breaks out, keep these pet safety tips in mind when drafting your family emergency plan:
- Include your pets in your plan! Pets get left behind because their owners panic and aren’t sure what to do with them in an urgent situation. By being prepared, you can act swiftly and effectively when it comes to keeping your loved one safe.
- Practice makes perfect. When performing a fire drill, take your pet with you as if you were dealing with a real emergency.
- Keep in mind: Though your pet is your family too, do not delay leaving if a fire becomes too dangerous, even if you haven’t found your pet yet, as this could put you in danger.
Prevent House Fires
The first item on your fire emergency plan should be “Prevent House Fires.” You won’t have to worry about evacuating if there isn’t any fire to escape from. You can help keep your home, family and furry friends safe by doing the following:
- Put Out Flames: Pets, like children, are naturally curious and will likely investigate the source of an open flame should there be one. When you’re not around to keep an eye on your pet, extinguish all flames.
- Go Flameless: If you cannot remember to blow out the candles when you leave or if your pet is always curious, buy flameless candles.
- Remove Stove Knobs: Larger dogs can reach stove knobs and yours may accidentally turn one on with its nose when sniffing around. Remove knobs when you’re not around.
Your pets needs to be a part of your emergency fire plan. If they're not already, use the above tips and make them one.
3 Ways To Prevent Mold From Invading Your Business
Drying equipment in a business in Spring Valley, TX
Tips To Help Prevent Mold
Mold can grow anywhere and spread easily. It is a common result of water damage when water is left unseen in unattended places. Mold is persistent and challenging to clean, so here are a few tips to help prevent mold in your home or business in Spring Valley, TX.
1. Identify and Correct Problem Areas
Mold thrives in warm, moist air. If there are areas of your home that are frequently filled with moisture or humidity, such as a laundry room or bathroom, find a way to ventilate the area regularly by installing fans or windows. Fix dripping or leaking pipes quickly. Get rid of carpets that seem to be persistently damp. Mold is tricky to clean. Address the problem areas in your home to stop the problem before it starts.
2. Dry Wet Areas Quickly and Thoroughly
Broken appliances, leaking pipes, and flooded basements can all lead to mold if not dried quickly. The errant water soaks into carpets and flooring and festers where you cannot see it causing water damage and mold. Mold is not always immediately visible. You may smell it before you realize you have a problem. Cleaning and drying leaks and floods as soon as they happen is an essential step in mold prevention.
3. Use Mold Resistant Building Products
When building, fixing, or renovating any structure, there are products available that can help to prevent mold growth. Look for mold-resistant drywall and moisture-resistant drywall. The latter can be especially useful in bathrooms or laundry rooms that are known for frequent moisture build-up. There are even some paints available with mold inhibitors.
Mold infestations require thorough cleaning. Infected possessions may need to be discarded, and walls and flooring often need to be torn out and replaced.
When not cleaned properly, mold often reappears. Mold restoration specialists can assist in mitigating the problem after any unexpected water damage.
What Is a Category Three Water Damage?
Water that is contaminated with feces or raw sewage, such as an overflow from a toilet
Which Water Damage Situations Fit Into This Category
Category 3 water damage is known as black water. This type of water damage can contain bacteria, fungi and unsanitary agents, such as raw sewage. Examples of this type of damage include seawater, storm surge, overflow from streams and rivers, standing water and ground surface water. This type of water damage usually requires the assistance of professionals, so it is important to recognize which water damage situations fit into this category.
Black Water Examples
Several events can lead to water being classified as category 3. You may need to employ the services of a professional water mitigation company in Houston, TX when you have certain types of damage:
- Water that is contaminated with feces or raw sewage, such as an overflow from a toilet or sewer backup
- Standing water that has been standing long enough to become stagnant
- Floodwater from oceans, streams, rivers, storm surge, or groundwater
What To Do
The steps you should take depend on the cause of your problem. If you have a clogged or overflowing toilet, do not run any of the toilets in your building until the clog has been identified and removed. If you are experiencing a sewage backup, close all of your drain openings with stoppers or plugs to prevent further backup issues and schedule sewage cleanup services.
Close off contaminated areas to prevent contaminants from being spread around your facility on the shoes and clothing of people passing through the area. If you must enter the contaminated area, wear protective gear and remove it before you pass through the rest of your building. Do not move anything from the contaminated area into the rest of your building until you have had a chance to clean and sanitize it.
Dealing with a black water situation is best left a professional restoration service. Properly dealing with the issue can avoid cross-contamination and further damage to your facility.
How To Extinguish Fires
To make extinguishing flames easier, keep the appropriate equipment on-hand
When you encounter a fire, it is critical to extinguish it quickly if possible. This will prevent it from spreading and minimize fire damage and injuries.
Determine the Type of Fire
There are different types of fires, which are categorized based on the fuel source. Each type should be extinguished differently. A kitchen fire uses some type of oil as a fuel source and should be put out using a fire extinguisher. Electrical fires can be stopped by turning off the power source. Fires fueled by common sources, such as wood or trash, should be extinguished with water. If any fire is too large to put out on your own, contact your local fire department in Bunker Hill Village, TX, immediately.
There should be fire extinguishers available throughout your building. Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is crucial for quickly putting out fires. These are the steps for proper use:
- Pull the pin.
- Aim the nozzle at the base of the flames.
- Squeeze the handle.
- Move the nozzle side-to-side in a sweeping motion until the flames are gone.
Water can be used to put out most fires, except for an electrical or kitchen fire. Installing sprinkler systems or hoses can help extinguish flames quickly.
In case of an electrical fire, it is good to know where breaker boxes are located and how to turn off the power in specific areas. Turning the power off will eliminate the fuel source and help stop the fire.
After the fire has been put out, you will need to have the fire damage repaired. A fire damage restoration specialist in Bunker Hill Village, TX, will be able to fix structural and smoke damage and restore belongings.
Quickly putting out a fire with the use of a fire extinguisher, water, or other methods, will prevent it from spreading, reduce damage, and reduce the risk of injury. To make extinguishing flames easier, keep the appropriate equipment on-hand and make sure everyone is familiar with how to use it.