The Benefits of a Professional Mold Inspection
Taking care of your mold issues in a safe and timely manner is too important.
The Advantages of a Mold Inspection
If your home has the telltale musty odor of mold, you may be tempted to take matters into your own hands and conduct mold testing yourself with a take-home kit. Do these kits accurately assess the state of mold in your home, though? Experts in Clear Lake, TX, who have been trained and certified are more likely to make an accurate assessment during their mold inspection.
Mold Is Everywhere
Every home has mold. There are many places spores are present:
- Indoor air
- Outdoor air
- Furniture upholstery
- Wooden surfaces
- Window treatments
- Other surfaces
All your DIY mold test kit is going to tell you is that your home contains mold, which is already a given. If you suspect you have a serious mold problem, an environmental hygienist should be hired to conduct mold testing and pinpoint the problem.
Inspection Is Key
The detection of mold is only a small part of the certified hygienist’s job. What a mold kit cannot do is provide the visual inspection, which is the most vital part of getting to the root of the problem. These tests can be interpreted many ways. When professionals in Clear Lake, TX test for mold, they use the information they get from the test as a starting point to arrive at their ultimate diagnosis. The discovery of the condensation, poor ventilation, a cracked foundation, water damage or inferior drainage systems they find gives them more useful information than the test will show.
If you are worried enough about whether you have a mold problem to attempt your own mold testing, you are worried enough to call a professional environmental hygienist. Taking care of your mold issues in a safe and timely manner is too important not to enlist the help of someone who can make an accurate assessment that far surpasses the results you will get from a mold kit. The inspector can then advise you on the next steps you need to take to remedy the problem.
A Quick Guide to Smoke Detector Features
A smoke alarm is the best fire protection equipment you can get for your house.
A Quick Overview Of Smoke Detector Functions
When it comes to fire safety, the best device you can buy for your home in Dickson,TX is a smoke alarm. The current recommendation is that you replace your alarm every ten years. Check out this quick list of smoke detector features to guide you in your replacement decision.
* Hard-wired or battery. Devices may be wired directly into your home's electrical system or use batteries. Batteries should be replaced yearly, but there are also devices that come with 10-year lithium ion batteries now.
* Interconnected. When one alarm is triggered, all alarms will sound. This has only been available with hard-wired alarms, but battery-powered smart alarms now offer this feature as well.
* Combination alarm. One alarm to sound off for smoke or high carbon monoxide levels.
* Ionizing detection. Fast burning fires are best detected with this type of alarm. These are also triggered easily in error by steamy showers or smoke from caramelized onions. If you are into either of these, you want to look for devices with a hush function so you never deactivate the alarm.
* Photoelectric detection. Smoldering fires are best detected with this kind of smoke alarm.
* Smart alarm. This works with your home's wireless internet to send you a push notification whenever the alarm sounds off.
* Room specific alarms. Some manufacturers are offering features, like no low-battery chirp as well as verbal alarms, to for in-bedroom alarms. Kitchen specific alarms feature sensors to detect true fires with less false alarms.
Firefighters recommend that you have both ionizing and photoelectric detection styles in your home. If your home is a little older, you may find that you have too few alarms. The current minimum recommendation is for one smoke alarm on every floor, including the basement, and one outside of each bedroom. This placement is critical to getting your family out of a burning house quickly. With your family safe, you know you can count on restoration professionals to help with any fire damage to your home.
How Your Solar Panels Will Stand up to a Storm
Solar panel on a roof.
How Will Your Solar Panels Survive a Storm?
Have you decided to join the many others in Nassau Bay, TX, and have gotten solar panels on your roof? These panels provide many benefits, including an environmentally friendly way to generate power in your home. These panels are effective, but you may worry about how they’ll stand up to adverse weather. Rest assured that they will continue to do their job and withstand panel damage in just about every weather condition. Here are a few weather situations you may be concerned about.
If hurricane-force winds hit your home, there may be some significant roof damage. However, manufacturers put solar panels through thorough and rugged testing to ensure they will hold up in even the strongest of winds. In fact, you may be surprised at how secure the panels are once they are attached to your roof. Here are some surprising facts about solar panels and high winds:
- Most panels are certified to sustain winds up to 140 mph.
- Most panels will operate at peak efficiency following hurricanes.
- During the strongest storms, even if there is damage to the panels, you will probably only lose a few.
Likewise, when manufacturers build solar panels, they use the strongest, most durable materials to withstand hailstones. In fact, most manufacturers test the panels to continue to work even if stones 1 inch in diameter hit them at up to 50 mph. It is possible for the panels to break but ordinarily only if large hailstones repeatedly hit the same spot.
Large storms will also bring significant rain. Though this might threaten weak roofs, you shouldn’t have to worry about panel damage. Not only will the precipitation not cause harm to the panels, but the solar panels themselves should continue to function properly even during heavy rainstorms. During the daytime hours and when the sunlight shines, your panels should gather enough solar energy to power your home when darkness comes and when rain falls.
How To Find Mold in Your Building
Water damage causes mold growth in a Dickinson, TX building.
Mold occurs naturally and may exist on your property without posing any problems unless it begins to grow indoors. If you've been affected by flooding, found leaky plumbing, or can't seem to find get rid of a musty odor in your building, you may have problematic mold. The best way to determine if and where mold is in your building is to hire a Dickinson, TX, indoor environmental specialist. These professionals have the training and specialized equipment to conduct necessary inspections and remediation.
Where Mold Hides
Whether you've seen it or not, unseen mold could be present throughout your building. Professionals will conduct a mold test to learn more. Initially, a visual inspection may be enough to find mold:
- Behind ceiling tiles
- Under carpeting
- Behind floorboards
- Inside heating and air conditioning ducts
- In the basement or attic
However, mold growth inside the walls is hard to find without cutting into the wall. Rather than risking the further spread of spores throughout your building, it is best to leave this part of the remediation process to the indoor environmental specialist. The expert will tell you if there's mold and what type of mold is present. This information will help you and the professional know the best course to take.
Why Hire a Professional
There are many sources of information offering how-to tips regarding mold remediation, but it's generally best to hire a professional for these tasks. Professionals with the right training and equipment are sure to conduct a thorough cleaning of the area. Some DIY procedures are likely to spread mold spores through your building and this can lead to more expensive problems. An indoor environmental specialist is likely to spend time searching until the source, or sources, of trouble, have been found.
When Professional Results Matter
Cleaning up the mold you can see is just part of the process. Reaching the roots of the mold and preventing future mold growth is crucial. Professional mold remediation companies have the equipment, clothing, disinfectants, and training necessary to protect themselves and your Dickinson, TX, property from further damage.
What Do I Do After a Pipe Break?
Water damaged flooring and baseboard.
Ways To Avoid Further Damages
When you're dealing with bursting pipes, a visit from water damage professionals is one of the best things you can do to prevent mold growth and secondary damage. While you wait for that Clear Lake, TX, expert to arrive, there are some steps you can take to avoid further damages.
1. Turn Off the Water
The first step is to stop water from flowing into your home. As soon as you discover the leak, turn off the main water supply to the home. This way you don't have to try to figure out where the water is coming from or mess with water pressure. Make sure that all your family members know where the main water shut-off is because you may not always be home to take care of bursting pipes yourself.
2. Drain the Pipes
After shutting down the water to your home, open up your faucets with the cold-water knob. Flush each toilet once or twice to drain water from the pipes. Turn off the hot water heater and then use the hot water knob to flush hot water from the pipes. By now, the leak should have stopped.
3. Look for the Broken Pipe
Even if you don't have the tools or experience necessary to fix the broken pipe, you'll save a lot of time by locating the source of the trouble. A break in a major water line will be more expensive and take longer to repair than pipes under sinks, for example.
4. Remove Water
The longer water from bursting pipes is allowed to sit, the more serious water damage will become. Mop up as much as you can and use a wet/dry vacuum to get all water cleaned up. If the water has had time to seep into any building materials or furnishings, you may need to contact a Clear Lake, TX, professional for cleanup services.
Tips for First Aid Preparation at the Office
Emergency kit supplies.
It’s storm season in La Marque, TX, and you have probably dealt with some weather-related work interruptions. If you have been so fortunate that you have not had an emergency at work, now is the time to prepare. The best practice for office emergency preparation comes down to two things: having a first aid kit and having a first-aid preparation program. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires the following items to be included in your emergency kit for a small office:
- Directions for contacting emergency help
- CPR and resuscitation tools, such as a pocket mask or a bag valve mask
- Adhesive tape
- Various bandages including 2” wide rolling gauze, 4” x 4” gauze pads, 8” x 10” gauze pads, triangular bandages, and adhesive bandages
- Alcohol wipes or other types of wound cleaner
- Elastic wrap
If you have more than three people, you need to increase your emergency kit inventory appropriately or have multiple kits located clearly throughout your building. Check your kit once a month and restock items to ensure you have what you need during emergencies. Keep the kit in a location where it will be easily seen by the workers in the building. Remember to have multiple kits or more supplies for larger offices.
Now that you have a first aid kit, it’s important to create an emergency program. OSHA outlines four elements to making a first aid program: employee and leadership involvement, safety and health training, prevention, and analysis of your workplace risks.
What are the greatest risks in your building? You may not think it is much, but don’t forget the weather and other sudden events. You may have trees or other debris that can come through the roof or windows, hail, or flood potential. Professional remediation can make your building like nothing ever happened, but human injuries can’t always be resolved so easily. Make sure you analyze your risks and train multiple people on proper emergency response and use of the first aid kit.
Simple Steps of Using a Fire Extinguisher
Even the largest fires start out small. If you use a fire extinguisher, you can help prevent a blaze in your office from getting out of control. If you and your employees have never used one of these tools, learn how today. A few seconds could help avert a devastating disaster in your Dickinson, TX, workplace.
If you have the opportunity to use a fire extinguisher, you don’t want to falter. Using it correctly could save your life and could prevent excessive fire damage to your office. This process doesn’t have to intimidate you. When using this took, employ the PASS method:
- Pull the pin.
- Aim the hose.
- Squeeze the lever.
- Sweep the hose.
Pull the Pin
First, make sure you are standing a safe distance away from the fire. You should be able to reach the flames from 8 to 12 feet away. If you need to move closer, do so with caution. Grab the extinguisher and locate the pin, which is inserted in the handle. Pull the pinout and hold the extinguisher and nozzle away from you.
Aim the Hose
Take the extinguisher handle with one hand and the hose with the other. Next, aim the hose at the base of the flames, not in the middle or at the top. If you don’t aim for the base, you may not have much or any success extinguishing the fire.
Squeeze the Lever
Once you’re in position, squeeze the two levers together with one hand. Make sure you have a firm grasp of the hose with your other hand. Apply even, slow pressure while squeezing the lever.
Sweep the hose
For the most effective results, move the hose from side to side, still aiming at the base of the flames. As the flames get smaller, move closer and continue spraying.
Whether in a kitchen fire or in any other part of your office, a fire extinguisher can be a lifesaver. Follow these steps, and you can avoid costly cleanup and mitigation.
Winter Safety Tips for Business Owners
Winter storm in Clear Lake, TX.
For business owners in colder climates, winter storms inevitably affect your company and staff in one way or another once the temperature starts to drop. Whether it's freezing rain, a snowstorm, or bitter cold, you don't need to let Mother Nature disrupt you every time she sees fit to throw a little weather your way. Following a few simple tips will prepare you and your employees for the next storm and keep you up, running, and safe until blue skies return.
Know Your Storm Warnings
There are a few key terms weather forecasters use to alert the public that a winter storm may be headed to the area:
- Winter Weather Advisory
- An advisory is issued when imminent sleet, freezing rain, or snow is predicted at 80% or more probability of affecting the area. These conditions could pose serious inconveniences or harm if caution isn't taken.
Winter Storm Watch
12 to 48 hours before a winter storm is predicted to hit the area, forecasters issue a watch that heavy sleet, freezing rain, snow, or even a blizzard, is possible. These conditions pose extreme danger.
Winter Storm Warning
12-24 hours ahead of a storm (or when a snowstorm is actually underway), a winter storm warning is issued to alert the public of the likelihood that heavy sleet, freezing rain, snow, or a blizzard is imminent. Extreme caution should be taken to protect lives and property.
Use Caution That Matches the Forecast
To keep your property and building safe, consider taking these precautions:
To avoid damage and interruption from a pipe burst due to freezing, make sure to leave a tiny stream of water running when temperatures drop below 20 degrees.
Keep an eye on the news ahead of an impending storm. If road conditions are poor, consider allowing your employees to work from home if possible.
Before winter, ensure tree branches are cut back from your building to prevent damage if they break under the weight of snow or ice.
Have the number of a storm damage service in Clear Lake, TX accessible in case the worst happens.
Though meteorologists can't accurately predict every weather condition you may experience, they usually can give warnings of the possibility of a snowstorm in enough time to act. Have an emergency plan in place before it hits can potentially save your building, your business, and your employees' lives.
Can My Mold-Damaged Paintings Be Saved?
Can Artwork With Mold Be Saved?
Mold spores are everywhere, and when dampness, humidity, or leaks are left untreated in a warm environment, they can grow and multiply on virtually any surface. Often, materials need to be torn out and replaced if the damage is severe, but what if you discover mold growing on valuable artwork? Don't despair — there are professionals in La Marque, TX who specialize in mold cleaning for specific situations just like this.
First, Address the Problem Area
Depending on the severity of mold damage in the surrounding area, you may need to wait for mold remediation specialists to come in and safely remove the paintings so they can fully address the environment in which the artwork was stored. This includes:
- Documenting the damage
- Determining the cause of excess moisture
- Removing and replacing damaged materials
- Conducting a thorough mold cleaning of the entire area, including the air
- Recommending or installing preventatives, such as a dehumidifier and moisture meter
Second, Restore the Artwork
In addition to documenting the damage to the surrounding area, a specialist will carefully document the damage to your artwork and, if necessary, separate and categorize the damaged items to create a plan to salvage them.
The first step in the cleaning process is to deactivate the mold by air-drying or freezing the pieces of art until the mold growth has been curbed. It's important to create airflow around each item to thoroughly dry it out and, if stacking multiple pieces inside a freezer, to separate each item with wax paper to avoid them sticking together.
Once the artwork is dry, the specialist will gently remove the dried mold from the surfaces with a HEPA-filtered vacuum. He or she will then begin the painstaking process of removing the more stubborn mold residue with tools or solutions appropriate for the materials used in the artwork itself. Cleaning or replacing the tools used during the process will help avoid cross-contamination and the possibility of spores settling back onto the artwork again.
Don't leave the fate of your precious artwork and photographs to chance by attempting to fix the damage yourself. Remediation professionals with years of experience in mold cleaning will be able to restore them to their former glory and make the damage "Like it never even happened."
5 Steps to Take After a Fire in Your Commercial Building
Commercial fire damage in Nassau Bay, TX.
5 Steps to Take After a Fire in Your Commercial Building
After a fire in your Nassau Bay, TX, building, it can be difficult to determine what your next step should be. Fire restoration will need to be done to make your building safe to work in again. The following are some things you should do during this potentially stressful situation.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
Depending on the severity of the damage, restoration can be expensive. Start a fire insurance claim as soon as possible, so you can use this money for repairs. You may also be able to receive payments for work missed due to the emergency.
2. Have Mitigation Done
Before repairs are made, mitigation is done to prevent further damage. This can include removing water used to put out the flames, boarding up windows, and covering missing walls or roofing with tarps.
3. Repair the Building
A fire restoration company can make repairs to the building and leave it looking as good as new. Many things are done during this stage, from large tasks like rebuilding rooms to minor repairs such as giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. Some building materials may need to be removed and replaced as well.
4. Clean Damaged Belongings
Some items may be damaged not only by the fire itself but by the resulting soot and smoke. These can carry corrosive elements that can cause metal to rust and may damage electronic devices. Smoke can also enter porous materials, like upholstery and carpeting. Smoke cleaning should be done for any affected objects and surfaces.
5. Remove Lingering Odors
Even after everything is cleaned, there may still be some odor from the smoke. Using an air purifier can help remove this. It will decrease contaminants in the air, so you have a fresh and clean environment.
Although it can be a lengthy process, fire restoration is necessary to keep your building in good condition. A professional company can provide many services, from cleaning to repairs, and can quickly return your building to its pre-fire condition.