The Water Problem Has Been Resolved, But the Mold Hasn't Gone Away
Severe mold infestation in a Houston home.
The Mold Hasn't Gone Away Despite The Water Problem Being Solved
You know a moisture problem in your home in Houston, TX, has to be addressed as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of damage done to your house. Once the water has been cleaned up, you may think your problems are over. While this would be nice, the fact is that removing the water will not help you get rid of the black mold already growing in the affected areas.
Mold Has To Be Removed
Even after the water and moisture has been taken away from the mold, a serious mold cleanup process is still necessary. If you leave the dried-up fungus where it is, it can become active at the slightest introduction of moisture. Dried-up mold does not wither away and disappear from your home. Instead it lingers, waiting for the return of the food and moisture sources it needs to continue growing. True mold remediation experts will tell you that the cleanup process requires a number of steps:
- Address the moisture problem
- Inspect the mold damage
- Contain the black mold
- Install an air filtration system to trap mold spores
- Remove mold colonies and items infested with the fungus
- Clean any salvageable items
- Restore the home
If any of these steps are skipped, the cleanup may not be as effective as you want it to be. For example, if you reintroduce moldy furniture pieces into the home after the remediation, you may also be reintroducing your mold problem. The fungus can spread quickly from the furniture to other parts of your house.
Whether you are dealing with black mold or any other form of fungus, you want your Houston, TX, house to be properly restored. Without the right mold cleanup steps, you may be dealing with mold for a long time. Taking half-measures to deal with the fungus will not help you get rid of the issue. You need to take care of the moisture problem and then address the mold growth.
Get Smart About Smart Smoke Alarms
Fire alarms are one of the most significant ways to protect your family when it comes to fire safety.
Make The Most Of Smart Smoke Alarms
People have been dreaming of home automation since The Jetsons appeared on television in the sixties. Homes in Houston,TX are finally getting smart now with cameras, thermostats, speakers and even smart lightbulbs. Did you know a smoke alarm can be smart too? Should you replace your current smoke detector with a smart device?
Smart devices are still using the same sensing technology that the old-fashioned devices use, which use either ionic or photoelectric. The smart part is that the device sends a notification to your phone whenever the alarm sounds. You will need wireless internet in your home for it to work, but here are some different device options for getting that notification on your phone:
* Install smart smoke detectors. If it's time to replace the devices in your home, consider replacing them with smart smoke detectors. Prices are coming down on these. Many models are still around $100 or more, but some are now around $40.
* Use smart batteries. This year, you can replace your smoke alarm's batter with a smart one that lasts for five years and sends you notifications. The smart battery is used in your current smoke alarm, pushing a notification to your phone whenever the alarm goes off. If the detector is solely battery powered, that smart little battery can also be used to hush the alarm. That doesn't work if the device is hardwired.
* Plug in a monitor. Instead of your nosey neighbor telling you when the alarm is going off, you can buy a monitor that plugs into an electrical outlet. This is a great option to get smart notification without replacing multiple smoke detectors in your home. Monitors listen for the frequency of another smoke alarm and send you a notification when that sound is detected.
When it comes to fire safety for your family, fire alarms are one of the most important ways to protect your family. If you do have a fire, thankfully a well-placed and well-maintained alarm will help your family get out fast and restoration specialists can help remedy any smoke and fire damage.
Steps to Making a Claim for Flood Coverage
Fallen tree on a Hillshire Village, TX home.
Steps to Filing a Flood Insurance Claim
Insurance is one of those things you hope to never need to use, but you’re happy it’s available. If you have flood insurance, it can help you with costly repairs and restore your home. Making a flood claim doesn’t have to be complicated, but you want to make sure you take the right steps, so you get the right coverage after a flood in your Hilshire Village, TX, home.
Contact and Clean
As soon as you experience a flood at your home, you need to get in touch with your insurance provider without delay. As soon as you call your representative to make an insurance claim, you need to get ready for the adjuster to arrive and inspect your home.
• Thoroughly clean your home and try to salvage as many items as possible.
• Allow the adjuster to see the extent of the damage.
• Take photos of the damaged area to provide to the adjuster.
Take Inventory of What You Lost
It’s important to make a list of items that were damaged in the flood, especially those items that you cannot salvage. If possible, gather receipts and documentation of each of the item’s costs and dates of purchase. This will help when you make a flood claim, so you can replace the items.
Sign a Proof of Loss Statement
When the insurance adjuster arrives at your home, he or she will inspect the affected area. The adjuster will note the damages and will then ask you to sign a proof of loss document. Here, you will certify items you have lost. If you discover additional damage after signing the document, you can add those notes later. You’ll also want to leave your contact information with the insurance company.
It’s important that you follow these steps when you make a flood claim. Properly doing so will ensure that you get all the help you need to recover from this disaster.
What Caused Mold Growth in My Building?
Mold remediation in Spring Valley, TX.
The discovery of mold in your building is often a cause of distress. Many Spring Valley, TX, property owners are, rightfully, alarmed when they learn mold has taken hold; this is especially true when black mold is present. One of the first questions in response to this find is "Why is mold growing in my building?" There are several possible reasons.
- Leaky pipes
- Clogged plumbing
- Storm damage
- Appliance overflow
- Broken hoses
- Weakness in the foundation
Steps of Remediation
The first step in mold cleanup is to contact a remediation professional. If you haven't already identified the source of the moisture problem, the professional will probably conduct an inspection first. The source of water must be resolved before other work takes place.
The next step in treating black mold or any other type of mold is containment. It is crucial that mold spores don't spread further throughout your property. Professionals often have access to specialized equipment and training to keep your workplace or property safe.
After the mold has been contained, professionals will establish a source of clean air and proper ventilation. This step protects the experts and anyone in your building during the rest of the remediation process. If necessary, the professionals may recommend ventilation improvements you can make to prevent further mold growth.
Some materials may have been affected by mold to the point that the materials have to be removed. Professionals will seal those materials before moving them and will dispose of them appropriately. The remaining structure and content of your building will be cleaned thoroughly.
Finally, restoration work will take place. Materials such as drywall or carpeting that was infected may be replaced and steps may be taken to prevent the growth of black mold and other contaminants.
Prevention and Immediate Action
Perhaps, the most important thing to remember is that immediate action is the best way to prevent trouble, whether from water damage or the discovery of mold. Act quickly for the well-being of your employees and Spring Valley, TX, property.
Are Any Interior Finishes Salvageable After a Flood?
Flooding due to sewage damage in Houston, TX home.
As a homeowner dealing with a flooded house in Houston, TX, you may have a lot of questions during the early stages of the restoration. Figuring out what you can and cannot save will help you get a better idea of how much the overall project will cost. For example, can swelling wood be salvaged? Because each situation may be different, you should talk with your residential water remediation experts to figure out what repairs your home requires.
The state of your flooring after a supply line flood may be warped and waterlogged. Whether you can save this piece of building material depends on the flooring you have and how long the waters sat in your home.
- Wood Floors: May be saved if removed from the house and completely dried before replacing.
- Carpets: May need to be thrown away if the water contains contaminants.
- Tiles: May remain unharmed from the flood, but if possible could be removed to allow the subfloor to dry better.
- Laminate: Water may get trapped under sheet flooring, which requires it to be replaced.
If the water has not caused your flooring to start to disintegrate, you may be able to save it. However, this restoration process can take weeks.
Because subflooring is often made of OSB or plywood, it will likely have to be replaced. The swelling wood could cause any floors you lay on top of the subfloor to bubble and buckle. Replacement is often the best option to ensure your new materials last as long as possible.
Drywall and insulation may get damaged during a flood. Because these materials are porous, they often have to be replaced during a water pipe repair. You may only need to replace the materials that get wet.
During a flood cleanup, you will likely have to replace a lot of building materials and interior finishes. Swelling wood and warped materials are often clear signs salvage is not possible.
Early Responses Save Roofs
Fallen tree on a roof by storm damage on a Spring Valley Village, TX home.
It isn't always possible to call the professionals right away to deal with a roof leak in Spring Valley Village, TX. Even small problems, such as missing shingles, can lead to a more severely damaged roof in the future. A single weak spot in a roof can expand, causing:
- Interior damage
- Further shingle loss
- Leaky roofs
Here are some of the first steps that professionals take when they clean up leaks. Once you read through these, you'll be able to easily see why it's best to address your problems as early as possible.
The very first thing that happens is that repair crews will go up on your roof and tear out all of the wet materials. There are many layers in a roof, and a roof leak doesn't have to permeate all of them to create damage. That means you may not even see drips inside of your facility. The longer you let small holes sit, the more chance water has to permeate the intermediate layers of your roof. This could contribute to mold growth, pest infestations and it can add to the weight of your roof, causing sagging and other structural problems. The extraction part of the job involves searching for wet areas and removing them as thoroughly as is necessary.
After the crewmembers remove all of the soaked material, they dry the surrounding area to salvage any elements of the roof that are even a little bit damp. If there is warping after the drying process is complete, those sections usually need to be cut out; this is a situation in which it's good to have the judgment of an experienced storm mitigation service. Just like with the removal stage, this drying process is faster and cheaper when a smaller area is affected.
As you can see, even the initial stages of dealing with a roof leak in Spring Valley Village, TX, benefit from quick, decisive action. The same goes for any rebuilding or restoration projects you might need to do.
5 Methods for Eliminating Smoke Odor
Ozone generators are efficient, but require the evacuation of residents, pets, and plants during the treatment.
Smoke Cleaning Methods
Environmental tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 compounds including ammonia gases, carbon monoxide, phenol, and tar vapors. Tobacco residue is more stubborn than smoke damage that results from a house fire. Here are four smoke cleaning methods for eliminating all traces of cigarette smoke odor.
1. Clean, degrease and seal: Over time, the tar in tobacco builds up a residue that can discolor any surface. Clean hard non-porous materials with a dry cleaning sponge or degreasing cleaner. Once a surface has completely dried, use a shellac primer to seal in cigarette smells and stains and prevent them from surfacing through the new paint.
2. Scrub the air: Use an industrial air scrubber to circulate and remove smoke odors from the air in your home.
3. Thermal fogging: Fogging machines neutralize smoke molecules with petroleum distillates. Close doors and windows for at least thirty minutes. Workers should wear respirators rated for chemical-based smoke cleaning. Match the fogger and concentration to the volume of the interior space.
4. Hydroxyl generators: These generators use UV light to produce hydroxyl radicals, the neutral form of the hydroxide ion, which destroys cigarette odors at the source. Operating a hydroxyl generator continuously for three to five days achieves an effect comparable to what an ozone generator can achieve in a single day, but there is no need to evacuate.
5. Ozone generators: Ozone follows the same path as smoke molecules and oxidizes fumes and residues that adhere to surfaces. This method is ideal for lower temperatures and relative humidity levels. Ozone generators are efficient, but require the evacuation of residents, pets, and plants during the treatment.
Smoke cleaning is a process that may involve several steps and machines. If you are dealing with smoke contamination in your residence in Houston, TX, contact a smoke odor remediation service to determine the right odor treatment options for your needs.
3 Steps To Protect Your Business From Winter Storms
Insulating exposed pipes minimizes this risk.
Prepare Before the Temperature Drops
A winter storm can do serious damage to your Houston, TX, commercial building. However, a little preparation can protect your building from cold temperatures, ice and snow. The following are three things to do before the temperature drops to make sure your business is ready for winter.
1. Inspect Building
Make sure your building is ready to withstand strong storms. Check the foundation and roof as well as the seals around doors and windows. Perform any necessary repairs promptly.
Also, check the area around your building for potential threats. Remove any sick trees or weak limbs so they do not fall on the building during a winter storm.
2. Protect Pipes
Frozen pipes are a common occurrence in winter. A pipe break can flood your building and lead to mold growth if not cleaned up quickly by the business owner or experienced restoration service. Insulating exposed pipes minimizes this risk. There is special insulation available at hardware stores, but you can use newspaper as insulation in a pinch.
Keep the thermostat set to at least 60 degrees to decrease the likelihood of a frozen pipe. If a pipe is located inside a cabinet, leave the cabinet door open to allow heat to reach the pipe. Leaving a trickle of water running through at-risk pipes also minimizes the chances of pipes freezing.
3. Gather Supplies and Make a Plan
Even well-maintained buildings can suffer storm damage and power loss. Have emergency supplies, including blankets, flashlights, water and non-perishable food, on hand for all employees. A battery-powered weather radio should also be available to keep everyone updated on the situation. Keep a snow rake on the premises to clear snow off the roof as needed.
Make sure everyone knows where all supplies are located. Create an emergency plan so that all employees know how to stay safe during severe weather.
A winter storm can result in snowbound employees, power outages and damage to your commercial building. Fortunately, a little preparation can minimize these risks.
3 Benefits of Using a Certified Mold Remediation Company
Mold damage in a Spring Valley, TX home.
Why Hire Mold Damage Professionals?
If your home in Spring Valley, TX, currently suffers from a mold problem, your best option is to go to the mold damage professionals. But what does that mean, and how do you find a good company that you can trust?
Certified mold experts can be found in most locations. What helps them stand out is that they are certified by the IICRC, which means they have been certified and proven to be experts in mold cleaning. In all honesty, these types of services are often the best option, and here are three reasons why.
1. Certified Professionals Know What They're Doing It's simple: Getting professionals who have mold certification means that they are qualified to do the work. They know how to find the mold, and then they do a proper job of eliminating it. Mold is one of those problems that needs to be completely removed. Certified mold professionals know how to get the job done.
2. They Have the Right Equipment
Getting certified takes work. Companies that took the time and effort to get certified also took the time to get the right equipment for the job. Depending on how big your mold problem is, they'll bring the equipment needed to remove the mold and restore your home back to its best self.
3. They Find the Cause of the Mold
The best part of using certified mold remediation services is that they not only remove mold, but they find the cause of the problem. Most mold is caused by unchecked water damage, such as broken pipes, leaking roofs and humid bathrooms. Before repairing damage, these experts will seek out the cause of the problem, and stop it from making things worse.
With all of these benefits, it's usually safest to go with a certified mold company. Because they are certified, you get the reassurance that they have the skills, equipment and authority to take care of your mold remediation.
3 Things You Must Do After a Business Fire
Fire damaged school.
Things To Do After A Fire In Your Building
When disaster strikes your business in Bunker Hill Village, TX, it can be hard to keep a calm head. This makes it more difficult to figure out what steps you need to take to get back to normal operations. Smoke damage and water from firefighters can wreak havoc if not handled properly. Here are three things you should do after a fire in your building.
In order to mitigate smoke damage as much as you can, it is important to ventilate your building as soon as possible once the fire is out.
Turn off your HVAC system to ensure it does not spread smoke further through the building.
Open every door and window to allow smoke to exit and fresh air to enter.
Place industrial fans facing out of doors and windows to push smoky air out.
2. Remove Soot
Soot damage can be very detrimental if not cleaned up properly. You'll need a powerful shop vacuum to suck up loose ash and other debris from any fabric or soft surfaces. Furniture, draperies and carpet can become permanently damaged very easily, so be careful to gently suck soot up without pressing it into the surface as you clean.
3. Deep Clean
Once you've cleared up the ash and soot, it's time to deep clean every surface in the area. Smoke cleaning should entail wiping down all walls and ceilings. First use a dry sponge to remove soot, then wipe with a vinegar spray. You should also clean all tables, counters, and other hard surfaces. Any heavily damaged items will need to be replaced so they don't continue to spread the smoky smell throughout the space.
Getting your business up and running quickly after fire and smoke damage occurs will help your bottom line and let your employees and customers get back to life as they know it too. It is always a good idea to get a professional fire damage assessment as well to ensure your building is safe for use.