Everything You Need To Know About Black Mold
Stachybotrys Chartarum also known as black mold
Stachybotrys chartarum is the scientific name for a common dark green mold colloquially known as “black mold.” It can grow on a huge variety of surfaces such as drywall and fiberboard and is most likely to appear in an area with a moisture problem.
In order to grow, mold requires a warm, moist environment, which is why it is often associated with water damage or found in areas where a lot of moisture builds up, such as:
Because it can spread so quickly, and because mold damage is a serious threat to the integrity of your commercial building, it is crucial to be proactive and get to work on your mold cleanup right away. Don’t worry, though — SERVPRO of Asheville West, is Here to Help.
The best approach to black mold is to keep it from ever finding a home in your building. To make your building mold-repellent, the most important factor is controlling the humidity. Especially if you live in a particularly humid environment or are involved in a moisture-heavy business, you should invest in a dehumidifier and an air conditioner.
To go the extra mile, purchase a humidity meter at the Enka, NC, home goods store. Check the humidity levels in different parts of your building a few times a day to make sure you don’t have a moisture problem that will attract mold.
The safest way to check for mold is to hire a mold remediation professional. Some tip-offs that you may be in need of professional help include:
- Spots or clusters of spots
- Musty smell
- Water damage
The most important action step of mold cleanup is to enlist the help of your local mold remediation specialists. That way, you can rest assured that the mold is eradicated before it spreads even further. Black mold can grow on a damp surface in as little as 24-48 hours, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry by getting professional help.
3 Steps To Rescue Your Wood Floor From Water Damage
Wooden floor damaged by water
How To Protect Your Wood Floor From Water Damage?
Disaster strikes: You have a pipe burst and your commercial building’s prized wood floor is covered with water. If you allow the wet floor to remain in that state, the wood will sustain serious damage. When water saturates wood flooring, a variety of problems can arise, such as:
- “Cupping,” when the unfinished bottoms of the panels expand but the tops do not, resulting in
- an uneven appearance
- Discoloration and staining
In severe cases, the whole floor will need to be replaced, but if you handle it right, it may only need to be refinished. What can you do to protect your wood floor from permanent water damage?
1. Stop the Source
The most important first step is to stop the water at its source. After all, you can’t clean up while water’s still pouring down from your pipe burst. Shut off your building’s water supply to keep any more damage from occurring and immediately call your local Alexander, NC, plumber to fix the pipe.
2. Dry It Off
Once you have the leak under control, it’s critical to dry your wet floor as fast as possible. Begin by removing any furniture or objects that have gotten wet so that they don’t continue to seep water onto the wood.
Next, use mops, towels, and rags to soak up as much water as you possibly can. If you have access to a wet vacuum, use that to suck up the rest of the water. Keep using it even after it looks like you’ve gotten most of the water because it will still draw out the moisture that’s lurking in the cracks and pores of the floorboards.
Finally, crank up the heat or AC and use a dehumidifier to dry the wood floor all the way through.
3. Do Damage Control
A pipe burst can feel like an overwhelming disaster, but don’t forget that everything is fixable. As soon as you’ve completed these time-sensitive steps, call your local water damage professionals to take care of the rest.
3 Things You Should Know About Renters Insurance and Floods
Purchasing a flood insurance policy to supplement your renters insurance can give you peace of mind
Did You Know Renters Insurance Does Not Cover Flood Damage?
If you rent the location occupied by your business, it may be wise to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to cover your belongings in the event of flooding from a storm. This is especially true if you live in an area where floods happen regularly, but it's also worthy of your consideration no matter where you live.
1. Don't Assume Your Insurance Covers Everything
Your standard renters policy may cover some types of water damage, such as damage from a temperamental washing machine or a toilet that suddenly overflows. However, coverage for losses and storm cleanup after a flood requires a policy separate from your renters insurance. A contents-only flood policy, for example, can cover professional flood cleanup and restoration of your furniture, electronics and documents.
2. Your Landlord Isn't Responsible for Your Machinery or Office Furniture
If a storm causes flooding in your commercial building, your landlord is only responsible for repairs to the building's structure and materials. The property contained within your rental unit itself is solely your responsibility as the tenant. This typically includes everything from equipment and retail products to computers and paperwork.
3. The National Flood Insurance Program Has Your Back
Businesses in Georgetown, NC, can acquire flood insurance coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. This program was established by Congress to help property and business owners protect themselves from financial losses due to storm activity. A contents-only policy from NFIP will cover things such as furniture, curtains, electronics, rugs and equipment.
As a business owner, if you rent your commercial space, you want to take every precaution to protect your monthly investment. Purchasing a flood insurance policy to supplement your renters insurance can give you peace of mind, as you'll know that you can afford to replace lost assets and enlist the help of a professional flood cleanup company that will make it look "Like it never even happened."
3 Ways To Get Rid of Mold Odor
Kitchen cabinet mold loss in Candler, NC
3 Ways To Get Rid of Mold Odor
There’s a reason why your favorite home fragrance company doesn't make a line of mycotoxin candles. Mycotoxins are a byproduct of mold growth, and they’re responsible for that unpleasant, musty odor that can accompany mold spores and slowly infiltrate your Candler, NC, residence. If you detect a stale, mildewed smell in your home, here are three ways to get rid of it.
1. Remove the Mold
Before you can address any lingering mold odors, you need to make sure you’ve completely removed the offending spores from your home. Contact your local mold removal company to eliminate the mold completely and safely. While you may be tempted to take the DIY route, if you want the job done right — and if you only want to do it once — mold remediation is a task that’s best left to professionals. They have the equipment and training necessary for the job.
2. Air Things Out
Mold thrives in dark, damp areas. To give that mycotoxin smell the boot, open not only your windows but also all of the cupboards, closets, and interior doors in your home as well. If you have fans, place them around your home to expedite the process. If you have central air, make sure the fan is set to run constantly.
3. Deep Clean Your Home
While your kitchen and bathroom are obvious breeding grounds for mold, there are a variety of other places where mold can hide and start to produce mycotoxins. Chief among these are the soft surfaces in your home, such as couches, chairs, rugs, and even drapery. These should be cleaned and/or aired out regularly. When spills occur, it’s imperative to promptly and thoroughly clean them up, too. If unwanted food or drink is left to sit, mold can flourish beneath the surface.
Mycotoxin makes for a terrible houseguest. The good news is that there are several ways to banish it from your home for good.
3 Reasons You Shouldn't Drive During a Flood
Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don’t drown
Avoid Traveling During A storm
While it can be frustrating to be stuck at home after a storm in Leicester, NC, this is the best option if the alternative is driving on a flooded street. This can be incredibly dangerous and risky for both you and your vehicle. The following are just a few reasons why it’s better to wait it out.
1. You Can’t See Where You’re Going
In some instances, what might look like a safe path may actually be hiding a number of dangers. Water can cover debris and road damage. For example, what you think is a shallow puddle could instead be a much deeper pothole. Because you cannot see what is beneath the surface on a flooded street, this makes it difficult to drive safely.
2. You Could Lose Control of the Vehicle
Even if you are an experienced driver, you are not prepared to drive on flooded roads. For most cars, a couple of feet of water is enough to cause it to float. One foot can do the same to smaller vehicles. If this happens, you will be unable to control the vehicle and could be swept away with the flooding water. It may even cause the car to flip over.
3. You May Damage Your Car
Along with being unsafe, a flooded street can pose a risk to your vehicle. Your car is not designed to be used in water, so operating it during a flood can cause damage. In some cases, a water damage remediation service may be able to save the vehicle. However, depending on the severity of the damage, you could end up needing to purchase a new car.
Even the best travel tips cannot tell you how to safely drive through a flood. Whenever possible, travel should be avoided completely during this time. Instead, wait to leave your home until you are certain the water has receded and it is safe to go on the road.
5 Ways To Protect Your Business From Disaster
You should regularly make inspections in your building
5 Ways To Protect Your Business From Disaster
Commercial business owners fear business interruption, and fire disasters can lead to lengthy recoveries, which means that fire preparation is key to preventing long-term financial issues. While you can contact a restoration company in Asheville, NC, for an assessment of your property, consider taking preemptive action in five steps.
Installation of a sprinkler system
Test fire extinguishers
Design an exit plan
The primary goal of disaster preparation is to resolve any problems before they become significant issues. Regular or routine inspections of existing equipment and safety measures will help ensure your building and staff are safe should a disaster strike.
Installation of a Sprinkler System
To minimize the risk of fire damage to company property, consider installing a sprinkler system or some other fire prevention system. You can purchase zoned systems, which only affect the area of the actual fire, leaving the rest of your facility dry.
Test Fire Extinguishers
Upkeep is a significant part of fire preparation. Most municipalities require the testing of fire extinguishers. If you are unaware of the regulations in your area, then reach out to the local fire department or city manager.
Warehouses get dirty fast, and it is typical for industrial complexes to have excess cardboard and paper on-site. Make sure that loose debris and other flammable materials are stored safely.
Design an Exit Plan
If your facility does not have a fire escape plan, then create one. Every room should have multiple exits, and all pathways to those exits need to be clear of obstacles.
Fire preparation is a vital part of business operations. Make sure that everyone on staff is aware of emergency plans, and contact a local disaster professional for a property assessment and specific guidance in preparing your business for a possible fire. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry, especially with your employees.
The 3 Types of Water That Could Impact Your Home
Contaminated water comes in various forms
How Serious Is That Flood? Isn't It Just a Little Bit of Water?
Sometimes something that seems innocuous could actually be quite harmful to the building's bones, requiring more than towels and bleach. Before people begin wiping up the sopping mess, they'll need to understand if contaminated water has overtaken the area. Therefore, it's prudent to know the three categories of water exposure. With that information in hand, insurance and owners in Bingham Heights, NC, can begin working together to accurately restore the premises.
1. Category 3 Water
Of utmost concern would be black water, a highly contaminated form of liquid. Highly concentrated with bacteria, fungus, and microscopic organisms, the water enters a home or business from rising waters or a sewage line. Intense storms, flash floods, or a clogged pipe could suddenly happen, invading the home and absorbing quickly into porous items, especially dry wall and carpeting. A common occurrence is a backup in the sewer line, causing the toilet to overflow when showers or washing machines are used. Because of the high level of pollution, it is recommended to tear out much of the impacted materials.
2. Category 2 Water
Although this contaminated water isn't chock full of spores, it does contain some level of bacteria. Often called grey water, this fluid enters from several appliances or lines. Is your dishwasher leaking? Has your toilet overflowed after someone uses it? Has your sump pump failed? In each of these cases, the moisture has feces, urine, or food particles. A water restoration company could identify the type of impact and clarify whether tear out needs to occur. In addition, the space should be dried out and sanitized.
3. Category 1 Water
Fresh water runs through your pipes. When a clean supply line breaks, experts refer to it as a category 1 exposure. Although it could be a leak in the wall, it also includes tub and sink overflows. Although unadulterated, the humidity proves problematic. Immediate drying should happen to offset the chance of structural damage and mold development.
Contaminated water comes in various forms. Understand it's origin to know the proper method for cleanup.
Ways To Keep Water Out of Your Home While You're Gone
Clean out your rain gutters
Like anyone, your body and mind need a vacation once in a while. It's therapeutic to get away from your normal routine and get some rest and relaxation. Leaving your home for an extended period can cause some stress, however. You may worry about coming home to damage from water or another disaster or incident. Before you take off, you may want to look for water pipe repair issues or other needs to reduce the risk of flooding.
Check for Vulnerabilities To the Weather
Depending on where you live in Juno, NC, you may encounter some nasty weather at different times of the year. You can protect your home to minimize the effects of heavy rainfall, high winds, and other issues. To minimize the chances of coming back to a flooded house, do the following:
- Re-seal your windows and doors
- Clean out your rain gutters and downspouts
- Inspect your roof for damage or weak spots
Care for the Pipes
A network of plumbing and water pipes run through your home. A broken pipe can spell doom for your home and introduce widespread flooding. When the weather outside gets cold, make sure you insulate the pipes. Also, you should enlist the help of a plumber to look at the pipes and check for leaks or cracks. Fix any of these problems immediately.
Shut off the Water
If you're gone for several days or a couple of weeks, you won't need the water on in your house. Locate the main water line valve and shut it off. You'll also want to drain the water from all faucets and spigots in your home. If you need a hand with this task, a plumber can help.
Talk To a Neighbor
Before you leave, talk to a trusted neighbor about looking after your home. You don't want to come home and need water pipe repair. A neighbor can alert you to any concerns.
Professional flood cleanup companies can help restore your home after water damage. However, you're better off never experiencing this emergency in the first place.
Caring for Contents After a House Fire
Fire damage in Avery Creek, NC
Caring for Contents After a House Fire
A fire can do serious damage to your home and belongings. Fortunately, dry-cleaning and other restoration methods can get your Avery Creek, NC, home back to pre-fire condition.
Different types of fires produce different types of soot. The following are some common types of soot you may encounter after a house fire:
- Protein residue
- Wet soot
- Dry soot
Protein residue is often hard to see and emits a very strong odor. It results from organic material, such as food, evaporating during a fire. Slow-burning fires, often fueled by rubber or plastic, generally leave behind wet soot that is difficult to clean because it smears easily. Fast-burning fires, such as from burning wood or paper, usually create dry soot. Dry soot is easier to clean than its wet counterpart but often gets stuck in crevices. It is possible for one fire event to leave behind multiple types of soot in a single home. Some surfaces and soot residue respond well to dry-cleaning, whereas others require wet-cleaning. A professional can determine the best technique and cleaner for each item in your home.
It is often helpful to move some items off-site in order to allow more room for the in-home restoration efforts. In addition to throwing away unsalvageable items and sending items off for content cleaning and restoration, you can relocate items to off-site content storage to keep restored and undamaged items safe during the restoration process. A professional service can make sure your items are properly stored and easily accessible. With fewer items in the home, the restoration team can focus on repairing building materials, carpeting, etc. to make sure your home is safe for your family's return.
Knowing how to clean, store, and repair fire-damaged items can be tricky. Fortunately, a professional restoration service can help you with everything from dry-cleaning and structural restoration to off-site storage to get your home back to normal quickly and safely.
How To Get Help Following a Flood
There are professionals who specialize in cleaning up following natural disasters
How To Get Help Following a Flood
There are many great reasons to live in Alexander, NC, but like many cities across the nation, during the spring the weather can be unpredictable. If you live in a flood plane, chances are you're going to experience residential flooding at some point. Should a disaster occur, make sure you know which crucial steps to follow for getting your life back in order.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you've made sure everyone is safe, the first call you should make is to your insurance provider so they can assess the damage to your property. Your homeowner's policy should include flood insurance.
2. Contact a Professional Restoration Company
There are professionals who specialize in cleaning up following natural disasters. These pros can work with your insurance provider to get started as quickly as possible on any necessary repairs. Because of the dangers involved in the cleanup process, including mold and your home's electrical wiring, it's best that you don't attempt the work on your own. Wait for the professional team who will be assisting you in your journey back to normalcy.
3. Apply for Federal Assistance
Because you have a deductible, it's likely your flood insurance won't cover the cost of all the damage to your property and belongings. You can apply for FEMA grants once Alexander, NC, is declared to be part of a disaster-designated county.
Even after you receive funds from the government, you may still have expenses. The Small Business Administration also offers special low-interest loans for those affected by disasters. It doesn't matter whether you rent or own your home. If you incurred damages, you are eligible for help.
Experiencing residential flooding can be stressful, but knowing beforehand where you can go for help can reduce anxiety following a disaster. Working with your flood insurance provider, FEMA, the SBA, and a reputable restoration company can ease the burdens of the recovery process.