Best Ways to Detect Whether You’ve Got Mold
Whether you use an indoor environmental specialist, or whether you search for it yourself, there are effective ways to uncover mold.
Whether you’ve just moved into a home in Lakeland, FL, or if you’ve lived in your current place for years, you want the peace of mind that it will be a safe, comfortable haven for a long time to come. Many homeowners have concerns about mold growth—and for good reason. If you want to find out whether mold has found its way into your place, there are a few steps you should follow.
Get a Specialist Involved
As an unskilled, untrained novice, you’ll have a difficult time uncovering mold unless, of course, it’s out in the open on walls or floors. Mold can live in obscure places that require the expertise of an indoor environmental specialist. This professional is well trained and uses specialized techniques to detect mold in various places in your home.
• They have experience looking for mold in homes and environments like yours.
• They have the right equipment and use the best techniques to locate hard-to-find mold.
• The Specialist may use a mold test to detect non-visible mold.
Follow Your Nose
Your best tool may be with you all the time. Often, you can skip the indoor environmental specialist and smell the mold. Mold has a musty, damp, stale smell that you won’t easily forget.
Look in the Familiar Places
Sometimes, mold will be right out in the open in common mold-growth areas. Start in your basement and cellar. Look in dark, damp places for any mold growth. You should also look in your bathroom, particularly on the shower walls. Mold can also grow on your food in the pantry or refrigerator.
Hunt for Leaks
Check your plumbing regularly. Slow leaks or broken pipes are common causes for the appearance of mold at home.
Whether you use an indoor environmental specialist, or whether you search for it yourself, there are effective ways to uncover mold. If you find any, it’s imperative that you clean up quickly and call a professional to assist.
3 Actions You Can Take To Prepare for a Flood Claims Adjuster's Visit
SERVPRO of Lakeland is ready to respond to your flood or water damage, 24/7 in the week.
3 Things You Can Do to Get Ready for a Flood Claims Adjuster Visit
Once a flood affects your North Lakeland, FL, home, it can be difficult to know how to proceed with cleanup efforts and how to recover from the monetary loss you have suffered. One of the first steps you can take is to contact your insurance company and advise it of the damage. Once the claim is filed, a home adjuster might visit to inspect the property, and there are a few ways you can prepare for this to ensure the process goes smoothly.
1. Leave Damaged Items Where They Are
While you might be tempted to throw away damaged items, your claims adjuster might want to view them to assess the extent of the damage. While taking photographs can be helpful, allowing the adjuster to look over the actual items can give him or her a better idea of the severity of the flood. Some items you may want to leave in place include televisions, mattresses and clothing.
2. Make a List of Damaged or Missing Items
If the flood was powerful enough to wash away any items, you can assist your home adjuster with making a claim by creating a list of missing and/or damaged items. This can make the assessment simpler and allow him or her to itemize losses and file your insurance claim faster.
3. Collect Estimates From a Variety of Companies
Before the adjuster's visit, you may want to collect estimates from contractors, construction companies and professional flood cleanup and restoration specialists. Compiling this list can help your claims adjuster see what repairs need to be made, how much it might cost and how long it will take. Having these figures available can avoid delays in your claim and allow repairs to begin as soon as possible.
When flooding devastates your North Lakeland, FL, property, working closely with your insurance company's home adjuster may give you peace of mind that your claim can be processed efficiently. As a homeowner, this can be just as important as replacing lost or damaged items.
4 Things That Mold Spores Hate
Mold Removal Specialists in Grassland, FL
4 Things That Mold Spores Hate
If your building has seen some recent water damage, it's a good idea to be on the lookout for blotches of mold growing on walls and ceilings. If you do discover areas of this ugly fungi, there is no need to panic. Though mold can be a tricky adversary, it does have its weaknesses. Here are four actions that stop mold in its tracks and return your commercial building in Grasslands, FL, back to pristine condition.
1. Quick Action. A professional mold remediation franchise can dispatch certified technicians to your place of business in just a few hours. An experienced company will have all of the tools to deal with just about any situation. Mold growth moves fast, so technicians need to take quick action to contain the problem. A delayed response can lead to the formation of additional mold colonies.
2. Mold Containment. One key to mold prevention is reducing the possibility of the spores spreading throughout the building. If left untreated, the fungus will colonize new areas that are suitable, such as moist areas of the building. The mold spores can also spread through the HVAC system, so it is best to turn off or limit the use of heating and cooling for a time. Physical barriers and isolation techniques will be employed along with negative air pressure equipment to reduce the spread.
3. Water Removal. Effective mold prevention hinges on the reduction of moisture in a building. Any areas of water damage should be dried and ventilated. All rooms should be taken below 45% humidity. Above this level, mold growth is likely to return even after a thorough cleaning
4. Cleaning and Sanitizing. Effective cleaning agents can kill mold and prevent its return. All affected surfaces should be cleaned, as well as any contents that have been infested.
Mold is not all-powerful. With the treatment of water damage and science-based techniques for mold removal, your mold problem will soon be in the past.
Setting Those Stormy Expectations
If you need water restoration in Lakeland, call SERVPRO.
Basic Steps To Restore Your Home: extract, tear out, dry, restore.
If your home suffered damage as a result of a storm in Lakeland, FL, complete and accurate restoration is your overall end goal. Storm restoration can only be achieved after you assess water damage, tear out appropriate items and reconstruct as necessary. It is critical to manage your expectations of damages. Understanding the process involved can minimize your storm stresses.
1. Extraction of Water
Begin water extraction by making sure it is safe to be inside your property. Opening doors and windows allows pooled water to drain. Mop saturated areas and blot floors and walls with towels and other dry materials. Move wet furniture and articles into the driest spaces available and turn the air on in your house (blasting the air conditioning in summer or heat during winter).
2. Tear Out of Wet Materials
Removing wet materials from your home in a timely manner is crucial. Mold quickly begins to form on items that are not dried, removed or torn from their location. Extremely damaged carpets or drywall should be removed, though take care not to tear any loadbearing structures from your home without seeking a professional opinion.
3. Drying of Structures
Dry and dehumidify structures as soon as possible. Ceiling fans and box fans can be utilized to dry open areas of the home. Certain areas of your property are harder to access; however, restoration service professionals should have advanced methods, including industrial fans and treatments, to reach these areas and shorten the drying process.
The last and final step of restoration varies in scope. Occasionally only some drywall and furniture will need to be replaced, while other instances may require expansive rebuilding and landscaping.
Dealing with a storm and its aftermath can be a tricky, cumbersome experience logistically and emotionally. It is important for homeowners in Lakeland, FL, to know what to expect as they deal with the cleanup process. Remember before, during and after the storm that you have four basic steps to complete in order to restore your home to its previous glory: extract, tear out, dry, restore.
Cleaning Mold From a Residence
Mold removal specialist in North Lakeland, FL.
Cleaning Mold From a House
Black mold is a fungus that’s ubiquitous in the environment. When a moist environment is provided, such as that created after a water leak in the home, this fungus proliferates and can cause damage to property and possessions. Mold remediation is often necessary and involves the following:
- Stopping the source of water
- Removing moisture-laden items
- Thoroughly drying the area
- Cleaning all affected areas
- Cleaning foot paths to and from the affected area
- Replacing damaged areas and items
Mold Removal vs. Remediation
The nature of black mold as a microscopic airborne entity often makes complete removal of the organism next to impossible to accomplish. Breezy locations with high humidity like North Lakeland, FL, compound the difficulty of this task. Remediation is usually the best option for mold cleanup because it focuses on restoration and prevention of future growth while acknowledging the innate ubiquity of mold spores and the potential for future colony formation. Trained professionals with the proper equipment are usually the ideal candidates to tackle this task.
Sources of Moisture That Promote Mold Growth
Moisture is the leading cause of mold growth. Mold thrives in wet environments. Adequate growing conditions can exist even in seemingly dry areas. The slightest bit of moisture caused, for example, by high humidity, air conditioning, or a steamy environment after a hot shower can trigger mold growth. It can be important to mitigate these sources of moisture as much as possible following mold remediation of a recent outbreak. The mold population of a previously infected area is much higher than that of an area that never supported growth. Secondary growth is possible, and likely if moisture is not kept to a minimum even if remediation efforts have been implemented.
No one likes to see black mold growing on their personal possessions and interior of their home. It can be important to contact professional remediation assistance for the safety of your belongings and the cleanliness of your domicile.
Reasons To Have Electronics Cleaned After a Fire
Electronic devices must be properly inspected and cleaned during the fire cleanup process to guarantee that they can be used safely.
Why Should You Clean Your Electronics After a Fire?
Fire damages everything near it. If a fire breaks out in your home in Griffin, FL you don't just need to have the immediate charred area cleaned. Fire cleanup must occur throughout your home. Even items that look like they are fine may have taken on severe smoke damage. This is especially true of your electronic equipment. Even if there is no visible damage, there are many reasons your electronics need to be restored by certified experts.
The effects of smoke may not be apparent at first glance. Unless your electronics are inspected by a qualified technician, you have no way of knowing if they were damaged in the fire. All of your electronics must be inspected:
- Game consoles
- E-readers or tablets
- DVD players
The heat caused by the fire damages electronics. It can melt delicate components, causing the system to short or simply not work at all. It also expands the porous openings of the device, allowing smoke to enter. It can also warp devices, causing them to overheat the next time they are used. Every fire cleanup process includes taking into account the amount of heat that was present at the time of the fire to assess the potential damage it caused.
Smoke and soot are highly corrosive. The acidity levels in soot cause anything it infiltrates to degrade. The oxidation involved in the corrosion process can cause etching or pitting in the metal components of your electronics. Smoke is also electrically charged, which can cause circuitry to short and the devices to overheat when in use.
In order to ensure that electronic devices can be used safely, they must be thoroughly inspected and cleaned during the fire cleanup process. While it's possible that the fire caused too much damage to restore the machine properly, an electronics expert is your best chance of getting it to work again.
Tips To Prevent Water Damage When on Holiday
Turn off the water main or have a friend check in on your home.
What Should I Turn Off When I Go On A Vacation?
Sun, sand and water are all part of your dream vacation. Even though you spend every day in the pool while away, a flooded pool-like house is the last thing you want to find when you return to Dixieland, FL. How do you prevent a dreaded broken pipe and subsequent water pipe repair from welcoming you home? Follow the tips below to prepare your home before you go, and keep the water back at the beach where it belongs.
Check and Inspect
Before you leave your home unattended, take a walk around and visually inspect any areas that may cause problems:
• Closely look at the pipes and hoses for appliances that are connected to a water source. This includes the water heater, dishwasher, refrigerator and washing machine. Even when not planning a trip, it is a good idea to examine and maintain the connections on a regular basis.
• To avoid a water pipe repair, inspect the pipes under sinks in the bathrooms, kitchen and utility room. Repair or replace any leaky pipes.
In addition to ensuring all pipes and connections are in working order, take the following steps before you leave for vacation:
• Prepare your home in the event a storm occurs while you are away. Clear all rain gutters and make sure the sump pump is working properly.
• Prevent frozen pipes by leaving your heat on low, insulating pipes and disconnecting outdoor hoses. Turn off the water main or have a friend check in on your home.
Through close inspection and preparation, your home in Dixieland, FL, should remain free of flooding while you are away. If despite your efforts you experience a broken pipe upon your return, immediately arrange for a water pipe repair. Once the root of the problem is tackled, contact a water restoration specialist to remove the excess water, properly dry the space and restore your home and belongings.
3 Important Steps for Cleaning up Your Home After a Fire
House fire damage in Lakeland, FL.
How Do You Clean Your House After A Fire?
Dealing with a house fire in Lakeland, FL can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to worry about taking care of your family and finding a place to stay, you also need to decide how to deal with smoke damage, cleaning, repairs, etc. Luckily, there are a few straightforward steps you can take to get your life back on track.
1. Make Sure the Area Is Safe
When it comes to fires, appearances can be deceiving. While you may not see any flames, fire may still exist deep within your house. It can be best not to go too close or enter the structure until the fire department tells you it’s safe. Your home may be contaminated by unclean water and ash, so it can be best to wait for professional help before attempting to move or touch items.
2. Decide What Needs to Be Done
After you’ve made sure you’re safe, one of the next steps you should take is to contact your insurance company. Your coverage provider can help you understand the costs related to cleaning up smoke and soot damage. You may need to make a list of everything that was damaged or destroyed. Important documents and credit cards may need to be replaced.
3. Get Professional Help
It can be nearly impossible to handle all the things that need to be done after a fire on your own. Hiring a professional damage restoration company to help take care of smoke cleaning and other repairs can save you a world of stress. A restoration company will generally know exactly what needs to be done to fix your home and possessions, hopefully returning them to their previous states.
After you make sure it is safe to enter your home, you can inventory your possessions and decide what repairs need to be done. A restoration company can help you fix smoke damage and complete other necessary tasks to get your home back to a livable state.
5 Things You Should Do To Prepare for Potential Floods
Storm cleanup in North Lakeland, FL.
Tips To Get You Ready For Storm-Related Water Damage
As a commercial building owner in North Lakeland, FL, you have to prepare for the worst-case scenario. This means knowing what to do in the event of a fire or flooding from a major storm. While you may not be able to prepare for every event, you can use these tips to help you get ready for storm-related water damage.
1. Learn about your risks. Every part of the country has different flood risk levels. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, for example, you may have a greater chance of having to deal with flood damage. Learn about the type of risks common in your area.
2. Get alerted. Knowing about the possibility of storms ahead of time can help you reduce the damage done to your building. Make sure you get weather alerts to keep you updated on what's coming your way.
3. Know who to call for help. Before flooding begins, you should know who you would call in the case of this type of emergency. Having a commercial storm cleanup professional picked out prior to a disaster can make the restoration process go faster.
4. Create evacuation plans. Fast flowing black water can pose a threat to you, your workers and your building. Teach employees and renters how to exit the building in the event of a flood to make sure everyone is prepared for rising waters.
5. Consider your coverage. Is your building covered by a flood insurance policy? If not, you may end up having to pay for any damages out of pocket. You can reduce the financial risk by setting up a new policy before a storm hits.
Flooding can affect your property when you least expect it. You may not have time to prepare for standing waters when you first learn about an incoming storm, so it's a good idea to implement preventative steps well before bad weather approaches.
Flood Fence Barriers — a Reasonable Alternative to the Traditional Sandbag
Flood fence barriers are one potential alternative.
Flood Fence Barriers
If you have ever been involved in a hurricane or other severe weather incident where there was the possibility of flooding, then you may have seen sandbags being put out. Usually composed of polypropylene plastic, these are bags stuffed with sand. When stacked properly to create flood dams, they act as an effective tool for preventing and reducing flood damage that might require the services of a professional restoration and cleanup service in Griffin, FL, to handle.
They divert the flow of water, keeping it from rushing through buildings and ruining their contents. The absorption of the incoming liquid does two things: It causes the sand particles to cling together more and causes the bags to become heavier, making them more difficult to shift. A sandbag is easy to use and works fairly well as a protective barrier. However, it has its downsides as well. Sandbags are vulnerable to degradation from exposure to the elements, labor-intensive to fill and arrange and easily contaminated by pollutants like chemicals, making them a pain to deal with afterward. Flood fence barriers are one potential alternative.
What Are They?
They are a type of moveable fence you set up around the perimeter of a structure. There are different brands available. Unlike a sandbag, these do not have to be filled with sand or other materials.
What Are the Pros of Using Them?
Flood fence barriers have some benefits, including:
- They are not overly cumbersome to carry around
- They can be placed at any location you need to
- They can shield large properties
What Are the Cons of Using Them?
They are meant to be set up in advance and are not much good when it comes to halting ongoing flooding. As a result, they are considerably less effective if put up after a storm has begun.
A sandbag is an old and effective tool for flood damage mitigation. However, there are other options available like flood fence barriers.