The Return of the Mold: Conditions That Lead to Recurring Fungal Issues
If your commercial property in Clear Lake, TX, experiences a mold growth problem, you might consider cleaning it yourself and calling it a day. What happens when the mold returns, though? Several conditions can lead to a recurring mold problem in the same place, and remediation is likely to require certified technicians with the necessary training to resolve the problem thoroughly.
Excessive indoor moisture is the main culprit that contributes to the growth of mold. Many things can increase the humidity level of your building:
• Cracks in walls that let outside moisture in
• Poor insulation
• Condensation on pipes or other surfaces
• Improper ventilation
If you see condensation, clean it up immediately. Adding storm windows and doors not only improves your energy efficiency, it can also lower indoor humidity levels. Regular maintenance and use of HVAC systems can help air to circulate better and keep more moisture out of the air.
During the inspection step of the mold remediation process, technicians may notice large concentrations of hyphae. While hyphae may not be so alarming in outdoor air samples, their presence in indoor samples indicate that there is a mold growth problem somewhere in the building. A group of hyphae, called a mycelium, is the way fungus feeds off an organic nutrient source. Even if mold is removed once, a collection of hyphae speeds up the process of regrowth, making cleanup efforts seem to have been in vain.
Another reason mold becomes a recurring problem is an unresolved water damage issue. If a leak or a flood has damaged elements of the building’s structure, and that damage has not been dealt with, mold is just going to keep coming back. The only way to prevent mold from returning is to eliminate the water damage.
If a test of your commercial building in Clear Lake, TX, reveals that there is mold growth somewhere, don’t panic. Resolve the moisture issues caused by high humidity and water, and you are on the road to mold remediation. For more information about mold remediation, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/.
Beginner's Guide to Being Proactive About Plumbing Issues
Your commercial building in Clear Lake, TX, is full of plumbing. You rely on this system to handle water and sewage. Plumbing problems can quickly compound into a variety of issues:
• Interior flooding
• Mold growth
You can avoid a lot of these bigger issues by being proactive about your plumbing even when there is nothing wrong.
Fix Minor Issues Right Away
Letting a leaky faucet fester can turn your minor leak into a major water issue. As soon as you notice a plumbing issue, you should be sure to get it fixed. You may need to call in a plumber or another water professional to stop the small problem from becoming big.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
A lot of plumbing problems stem from clogged pipes and broken faucets. You can schedule regular maintenance with a plumber to stop some of the wear and tear issues in your business. This maintenance could include an inspection that gives you insight into issues that could come up in the future.
Show Tenants Where the Main Is
If a major flooding issue should arise, you and your top employees need to know where the water main is located. Being able to turn off the water to your commercial building quickly can be the difference between minor water issues and major flooding. Go over the location of the main with employees or tenants to ensure this step can be taken promptly even if you're not on site.
Know Who You Want to Call
The whole point of being proactive is to stop a problem from happening. However, a broken pipe can happen in the blink of an eye. Get familiar with the commercial water damage experts, so you know who to call should the worst happen. For more information about commercial restoration, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com/.
Tips for After the Flood
Severe storms such as hurricanes and tidal surges can create a lot of havoc. Flooded houses, washed out roads, and downed power lines are just a few examples of the destruction that these storms can cause. Once the worst of the storm is over, it’s important for homeowners in Clear Lake, TX, to be smart about flood water and other hazards while dealing with the analysis and restoration of their destroyed homes. Here are a few things you should be aware of before getting ankle-deep in the recovery process.
Don’t Return Immediately
Once the rain has stopped, it might be tempting to return as soon as possible to assess your home’s damage. However, this could be a dangerous move if the weather is still erratic or if the area where you live is currently hazardous. Before you return, here are a few suggestions:
• Wait until authorities indicate that the flooded area is safe
• Stay away from power lines or trees that have fallen
• Watch the news for any updates or warnings
Wait until it’s safe to return to your home so you can reduce the risk of getting injured.
Avoid Flood Water
If you are dealing with a flooded home, there is likely to be a few low areas that are still submerged in water. Do not come in direct contact with this water because it can contain sewage and harmful pollutants that could harm your wellbeing. Being exposed to unsanitary water can lead to serious health issues or infection, so be sure to wear protective clothing.
Discard Contaminated Possessions
Once you’ve re-entered your home and started the restoration process, be sure to get rid of any furniture or possessions that were exposed to flood water. Unless thoroughly cleaned, these items are dangerous. Be sure to either dry clean or discard any contaminated items of clothing so that harmful pollutants do not come into direct contact with your skin.
You may want to contact a professional company to help you assess the water damage, remove debris, and sanitize your home. By following these tips, you can be safest while dealing with any storm’s aftermath. For more information about storm damage, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com.
4 Things You Should Not Do After Water Damage Strikes
After flooding we often find sand and dirt along with the wet materials and contents.
Walking into an area in your home with flooding water from a broken pipe or backed-up sewer line can be overwhelming. As you try to prioritize all the questions running through your mind, it is important to consider how to address the damage promptly. The more you know about dealing with the problem, the better chance you have of addressing the issues quickly and efficiently, even while stressed. So, here are four things you should not do after water damage strikes your home in Clear Lake, TX.
1. Forget to call the insurance company. Your first instinct may be to call family and friends to help with the cleanup. But the standing water in home flooded areas can wait while you take pictures for the insurance company and make initial contact with your representative. The pictures are an important piece of evidence and can help prove the claim if there are questions raised by the adjustor.
2. Attempt to restore the area alone. Water that stands against walls, floors, and appliances can do unseen damage. That is why it is important to contact a professional cleanup crew to help restore the area after a broken pipe. The trained individuals know what to look for to prevent mold, water seepage, and further damage.
3. Miss the chance to inventory damaged items. Removing wet and ruined items from the flooding water and tossing them out the door may be the first thing you want to do, but don’t do it. It is critical to your insurance claim that you either photograph each item or make an inventory list.
4. Assume water is clean. All flood water is not created equally. There are three categories of water, and each has its own cleanup procedure. The categories are clean water, grey water, and black water. By contacting a team of professionals, you can be sure to address the contaminated flood water properly.
Water damage can be extremely disconcerting. When addressing a broken pipe or overflowing appliance, knowing what you should not do can be just as important as knowing what to do. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on water damage.
What To Expect From the Mold Remediation Process
The air conditioning of this business in Houston, TX stopped working and humidity built up in the bathroom.
Discovering black mold in one’s home can be disheartening. Mold growth, if not dealt with quickly and efficiently, can be extremely detrimental to the overall structure of a home. For this reason, if you discover mold in your home, don’t take any chances and reach out to your Clear Lake, TX mold remediation team right away. The local experts can guide you through the process and make it as hassle free as possible.
The Mold Cleanup Process
If you have mold growth in your home, you may want to know what the remediation process entails. A typical fungi remediation consists of:
• Tearing out of contaminated materials
• Cleaning and disinfecting affected areas
• Drying of wet materials
Black mold spores spread easily, so before your remediation team begins tearing out or cleaning up any contaminated materials, it will close off the affected area from the rest of your home. This will ensure that any spores that are let loose do not go beyond the polluted area.
Once the affected area is closed off, your team will begin removed damaged materials and items. Some items may be salvageable, but any drywall or insulation that has mold will need to be tossed in the trash and replaced with new materials. Those items that are salvageable will be placed in a safe area where they can dry out.
Next, your team will clean and disinfect any salvageable materials and furnishings. The Clear Lake, TX mold cleanup team uses commercial strength products designed to target spores, kill mold and prevent future outbreaks.
Finally, once all materials have been dried and cleaned, your team will begin the restoration process. This may involve installing new drywall, replacing bad insulation, ripping out and replacing damaged flooring, etc. Once the restoration efforts are complete, you can rest assured that your home is mold-free.
Black mold can be detrimental to your home’s foundation and structure, which is why you should not try to remediate the growth on your own. If you discover mold in your home, work with a mold remediation team that can eradicate the problem quickly and effectively. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on mold.
Keeping Your Business Up and Running During Unexpected Power Outages
There’s never a good time for the power to go out, especially when you happen to own a business. If you don’t rely on computers and tech, you probably rely on other tools that require electricity to operate, so a total power outage could very well end the workday altogether, cutting off your profits in the process. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to keep your business moving even when the power goes out in Clear Lake, TX such as:
• Investing in a portable generator
• Using power packs, battery-operated generator alternatives
• Keeping flashlights and batteries around the office space
Generators have been the go-to solution for the average power outage for decades. They’re easy enough to install, simple to maintain, and can keep an entire building running for hours. Portable generators offer the same convenience, but in a much smaller package that can be moved easily so you’ll always have it where it’s needed most.
Much like generators, power packs provide spaces with power when the usual source has been interrupted. While these are traditionally not as powerful as generators, they provide clean, heatless energy that’s more comfortable for you and your employees in the long run, especially if you’re confined to indoor spaces.
Flashlights and Supplies
While using flashlights isn’t the ideal solution, it may be necessary if all of your other options have been depleted. Generators and power packs can only offer so much juice before becoming depleted, so having an alternative on hand is critical. While they might not allow for much productivity, handheld flashlights and a stock of batteries can at least serve to light the way inside of your building. These can be especially useful during storm season or during other times when it would be safe for you and your employees to exit the building.
A responsible business owner is prepared for anything, and that includes the occasional power outage. Planning ahead and acquiring the proper tools can save you and your employees a huge amount of hassle down the line. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information commercial storm damage.
How Does Ice Damming Lead to Mold?
Ice damming is a problem in climates that receive a lot of snow. If the attic of a structure is not property ventilated and the gutters are clogged, ice and snow on the roof will melt, run down and refreeze around the edges of the roof. Over time, this backed-up frozen and refrozen precipitation or ice dam can cause leaks through shingles that trickle behind the walls of a structure. These leaks can cause water damage and promote the growth of black mold.
Here are three ways to prevent ice damming:
1. Adequately ventilate attic space.
Roof eave ventilation prevents ice dams from forming. Ventilation should flow from the underside of the eave through the attic and out near the top of the roof. The attic should remain cold and insulated from heat in the interior of the structure.
2. Clear the gutters. Snow and ice should slide off of the roof rather than accumulating and refreezing around the edges. Clogged gutters can cause ice dams and result in gutter and roof damage from the added weight.
3. Make sure that the roof is watertight and in good condition. The roof should be in a condition to withstand winter precipitation without admitting water into the structure.
If a structure in Clear Lake, TX, has already experienced leaks as a result of ice damming, contact a service that specializes in mold testing and cleanup as soon as possible. Leaks caused by ice damming can result in water damage and the formation of mold on drywall, masonry and in wall cavities. Mold can start to form between walls in as little as 24 hours.
Ice damming is a common cause of hidden black mold, as these leaks occur behind walls. Mold cleanup specialists can address extensive water damage and eliminate the risk of mold growth following a leak resulting from an ice dam.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com.
The Basics of Smoke Odor Removal
After a fire has blazed through your commercial property, you have several aftereffects to deal with besides destruction from the flames themselves. Smoke damage also remains, leaving its telltale smell along with chemical pollution and possible structural issues. For these reasons, smoke cleaning in Clear Lake, TX, becomes an essential component of a restoration company’s techniques when they work to bring your commercial buildings back to normal after a fire.
The Right Equipment for the Job
Restoration professionals have many tools at their disposal to permanently eradicate smoke odor from your property. In their arsenals, you’ll typically find three types of smoke cleaning equipment:
• Air filtration devices
• Thermal foggers
• Ozone machines
Air filtration equipment eliminates the fine particles and chemicals introduced by smoke. Moreover, thermal foggers put out millions of ultra-fine droplets that are each roughly the same size as the smoke particles still residing inside your building, delivering odor counteractants to wipe out the smoke’s chemical composition and dissipate the smell.
A Word About Ozone Machines
You’ve probably seen ozone machines available on the consumer market during the last couple of decades, but restoration companies use professional-grade devices instead. The O3 that they produce consists of molecules bearing three oxygen atoms instead of the standard paired oxygen atoms that exist in standard breathable Earth air. This deployed ozone works by bonding itself to chemicals at the molecular level, changing their composition and nullifying both their odors and harmful effects. However, commercial-grade equipment is meant to achieve immediate results in the hands of experts, and you should not attempt to use ozone devices on your own due to the potential hazards involved.
Leave Smoke Odor Remediation to the Experts
Fire restoration is a dedicated methodology using complex techniques and innovative technology. When utilized properly by odor removal technicians, each type of equipment eliminates the harmful chemicals and noxious odors left behind by smoke. In the hands of experts, these devices working together achieve high-quality smoke cleaning for your premises in Clear Lake, TX.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com.
Tis the Season for Fires in the Fireplace…But Are They Safe?
If you have a fireplace, you know how cozy and relaxing a fire burning in the hearth can be, but are you aware of just how dangerous it can be as well? Chimney fires are an all too common occurrence, yet most people don’t think about them when they’re relaxing in an armchair, reading a favorite novel by firelight. But they should. Why? Because a dirty chimney can cause a chimney fire.
If you have never experienced a chimney catching fire before, fire cleaning experts in Clear Lake, TX, have a few signs for you to look out for. Some indications that an inferno may be growing in your chimney include
• Loud popping or cracking noises
• A lot of black smoke
• A strong burning smell
Once a fire has begun, chances are it will end in an explosion. You may know that your chimney has erupted when you hear a loud roaring sound coming from directly above your home. Some people describe the explosion as sounding like a plane is flying low overhead. Neighbors may see plumes of smoke shoot from the top of your chimney.
The Consequences of a Chimney Fire
Though chimney fires rarely result in harm to the homeowners, they can do damage to the home itself. Some common results of a chimney inferno are
• Large missing chunks of flue tiles
• Heat-damaged TV antenna
• Damaged roofing material
• Discolored or warmed rain cap
• Warmed damper
• Cracks in the chimney’s masonry
• Smoke escaping through the mortar joints of your home’s masonry
The Importance of Proper Maintenance
Chimney fires can be avoided with a few simple maintenance techniques. For one, have your chimney cleaned regularly by professional chimney sweeps. While they’re there, they should inspect your fuel venting system and make repairs as necessary. Depending on how you use your fireplace or stove, the sweep may provide other recommendations for how you can avoid a chimney fire.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com.
4 Tips on Flood Damage Control
After a flood, it’s time for you to start thinking about cleanup. Without the right equipment, you may wonder how to get the water out of your basement or home. In case of flooding in Clear Lake, TX keep these four tips in mind.
1. Flood Water Is Always Contaminated
No matter where the flood originated, it’s safest if you always treat the water as contaminated. If the flooding was caused by a storm, or if the water has stood for more than a day, then odds are it is contaminated. You don’t want to be caught in contaminated waters without the proper equipment, so it’s safest to always assume the water is black water.
2. Don’t Let Standing Water Stand
The longer standing water is left, the worse the damage can become. For instance, mold grows within 48 hours and as early as 24. The longer the moisture stays, the harder it might be to dry your walls and furniture. Additionally, the structure could also become soggy and prone to rot if left for too long. As soon as possible, water should be removed by a sump or trash pump operated by a professional.
3. Dehumidify Your Home
A dehumidifier could help if your home or basement has flooded. This helps dry everything out once the water is removed. Remember that any moisture left behind can lead to mold growth. Pumps can get rid of excess moisture.
4. Look for Trapped Water
Once the water is gone and you have dehumidified, you may think the job is done, but this isn’t always the case. Make sure to check around for trapped mud or water. If you miss anything, it’s possible mold will still grow, which means you’ll likely continue to experience water damage.
Clearing out water after a flood and taking care of the subsequent moisture can be overwhelming at first. However, with these tips, it shouldn’t be difficult to remember what needs to be done and the equipment that should be used. Visit http://www.SERVPROclearlake.com for more information on storm damage.