Leave Mold Remediation to Us
A close-up image of microbial growth.
Finding mold in your home can be anywhere from an annoyance to a scary occurrence. People react differently, but one thing is for certain: most everyone wants to get rid of it. We've heard all sorts of do-it-yourself methods, such as painting over it, spraying bleach on it, or even removing the material if possible (ex: drywall or baseboard). The truth is that anytime it comes to dealing with mold remediation, you should always hire a professional and here's why: mold spores. Anytime you disturb any material containing mold, you could be releasing spores into the air. Our technicians are trained with special techniques to contain any spores that may be exposed in the air. They can also make sure that all mold spores are safely removed from the area and not spread to other areas in the home. When it comes to the air quality in your home, don't take any chances. Call the professionals at SERVPRO.
Preventing Commercial Water Damage During Construction of Your New Business
Don't let water damage get your business down before opening day.
As a new business owner, the last thing you want is water damage during the construction of your business. However, it can happen if the proper procedures are not followed. Remember that SERVPRO is proud to serve our local business owners when the unexpected happens, but this article from The Hartford Insurance explains what can happen:
Common causes of water damage during construction include:
• Improper installation of weatherproofing, waterproofing and moisture barrier systems on the exterior skin of a building
• Poorly glued connections on plastic pipes or improperly sweated copper pipe connections
Supervisors should ensure that all weatherproofing/ waterproofing installations adhere to the building plans, manufacturers’ specifications, industry standards, and all relevant building codes. The WDPP (Water Damage Protection Plan) should include a quality control plan for plumbing connections and fittings such as marking each connection with a permanent marker. The plan should also include the fire sprinkler system. Worksite inspections should verify that:
• Water accumulations from rain and groundwater are not migrating into the building
• All door and window openings are covered at the end of each work shift and prior to inclement weather
• Water lines and mechanical equipment are protected from freezing
• Sprinkler or plumbing lines that are pressure tested with water are drained immediately following the test
• Standpipe valves are closed
• Roof drains are not blocked with leaves or debris
• Sink drains are not clogged
• Storage areas are dry and well ventilated
• Materials are raised off the floor by pallets for storage Controls
The WDPP (Water Detection Protection Plan) often outlines preventative measures to minimize the risk of water damage such as an administrative policy to shut off the domestic water supply during off-hours. Supervisory personnel should verify that no trades will be working during off-hours before shutting off the water supply. In addition, they must ensure that the domestic water line doesn’t provide water to any operating mechanical system that requires a constant water source. Other preventative procedures include:
• Providing a secondary power source (i.e. generator) when using sump pumps or other water pumping systems
• Testing sprinkler and plumbing systems with air pressure to identify system leaks before charging with water
• Sealing leading edges of roofing materials at the end of each day to prevent storm water from getting under an incomplete roofing membrane
• Providing heat during the winter in buildings with charged water lines or standpipes to protect from freezing
• Leaving a gap of at least 1/2” between the drywall and the floor to minimize water contact in the event floors become wet
Many leak detection systems are available to help prevent water damage. Many commercial water flow detection systems are completely non-intrusive (no cutting of pipe to install) and easy to program. Passive leak detectors monitor water flow and sound an alarm (local or connected to a centrally monitored system) when water starts to flow and the system is armed during off hours. Active leak detectors not only generate an alarm, but can also prevent water leaks by automatically shutting off the water supply. The WDPP can list the leak detection systems used on-site, identify supervisory personnel responsible for their use, and refer to the operating guidelines for each system.
SERVPRO STORM Response
When disaster strikes, SERVPRO STORM Team mobilizes!
Every year, all over the country, catastrophic natural disasters wreak havoc on communities large and small.
Whether its turbulent blizzards, or torrid flooding, the effects of these colossal events can be felt across the nation.
In the midst of the chaos and stress caused by these happenings, it is easy for business and home owners to feel overwhelmed and lost.
SERVPRO strives to put our customers at ease, guiding them and supporting them through the STORM emergency process while providing education and knowledge on how to best navigate the situation.
From the initial damage assessment, to communicating with your insurance adjuster, to final billing and processing, SERVPRO supports our clients by providing superior customer service.
SERVPRO happily responds to local and outside STORM events. Nationwide, SERVPRO franchises mobilize and act fast, traveling cross country to assist in disaster clean up in communities across the US and Canada.
SERVPRO works in conjunction with all insurance companies, and is part of the Preferred Service Provider program for many nationally recognized insurance organizations.
For our self-pay customers, SERVPRO offers reasonable, competitive pricing and payment options. We understand that STORM cleanup is an unexpected expense, and strive to make reasonably priced restoration accessible to all our customers.
So in the event that your home or business is involved in a STORM, you can rely on SERVPRO to turn a stressful situation into a manageable, professional experience.
What To Do in a Water Emergency
Before you start to row your boat, follow these tips and call us!
It happens when you least expect it. You take the steps to the basement, and when your foot hits the floor, you step onto wet carpet. Yuck. You have no idea where the water is coming from, or how long it’s been there.
But, after the initial shock and confusion, you may find yourself asking, “What do I do now?”. The following steps can help you navigate the process of managing a water loss in a quick, effective manor, reducing the amount of damage to your home, and keeping overall cost to you as low as possible.
Stopping The Source
Stopping the flow of water is the first step to getting on the right track. Shutting off the water to the appliance or area that is leaking is important to being able to fix the leak. If you are able, shut the water off to this area, or to the whole house if you are unsure of where the water is coming from.
Once the leak is identified, or even if you are unsure of the cause, calling a Licensed Plumber to identify and fix the problem is highly advisable. This ensures that the leak is fixed correctly, and/or that the appliance in question is properly repaired or replaced.
Keeping Damages to a Minimum
Once any amount of water has leaked into your home, there will be damage. However, you can keep this damage to a minimum by calling SERVPRO as soon as possible. The sooner we arrive, the sooner we can begin to clean up and minimize the damage, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in home repairs.
Also, the less time the water spends saturating the materials in your home, the lower the likelihood is that your home will develop mold and microbial growth.
Water leaking into your home is never desirable. Sewage leaking into your home can be considered a nightmare, especially when it affects a large area or multiple levels in your house. Exposed Sewage can create a risk of mold and microbial growth, as well as illness for those in the home. Prompt clean up and neutralization of contaminates is the first priority.
When sewage backs up through drains or toilets, the first thing to do is call a Licensed Plumber, or your city Water and Sewer Provider. Finding the source, and ensuring that there is not another sewage loss in your home is key to preventing multiple mitigations from being needed, and ultimately keeps the cost to you to a minimum.
Once SERVPRO is on site, an initial assessment will be made of the damages and projected time needed to dry the structure. Also, an assessment will be made of the materials affected, and it will be determined if those materials can be dried, or will need to be removed.
If your contents, such as furniture, boxes, clothing, and decorative items cannot remain in place while drying, SERVPRO provides moving and pack out services for on site or off site storage while mitigation is taking place.
The average mitigation takes about 3 days, but could take less or more time depending on the level of saturation and the scale of the loss.
SERVPRO Technicians and Crew Chiefs use a variety of equipment and tools to ensure proper drying, included but not limited to Dehumidifiers, Air Mover Fans, and Non-Invasive Moisture Monitors.
Once ensuring that your home has met dry standard, SERVPRO Crew Chiefs and Technicians will remove all equipment and remove any items brought into your home. If materials have been removed, SERVPRO will be happy to refer you to a Contractor for rebuild services.
If no rebuild is needed, you should be able to return to normal life in a clean dry home.
These steps can help guide you through the stressful time of water loss in your home.
Feel free to call SERVPRO at any times with questions about mitigation, water damage, or clean up services.
Water damage is never pleasant, but with SERVPRO you can assure a professional and quality cleanup.
The Reasons You Need SERVPRO's Help After a Fire
This is a fire that we responded to in Franktown, CO. This may look like a disaster, but we have the tools to restore it!
The following was taken from the University of Missouri Extension's website. The author, Betty Feather, explains why it is better to call the professionals than to try to "do-it-yourself" after a fire. SERVPRO West Littleton/Sheridan is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Removing smoke odor from household textiles
Smoke odor could remain in clothing, upholstered furniture, carpets and draperies unless it is properly deodorized. Professional fire restorers and some dry cleaners use a deodorizing process that actually breaks up the smoke molecule to eliminate the odor. This deodorization process is called the ozone treatment. The ozone treatment produces an oxidizing agent that creates the same sweet smelling air associated with a rain storm. The ozone treatment can be done by a professional fire restorer at the home with an ozone generator. Sometimes household textiles are deodorized in an ozone room. If the process is done at home, clothing, upholstered furniture and other textile items are put under a tent while the ozone generator is operating. Clothing and other textile items should be deodorized before they are cleaned; otherwise, the smoke odor could be set in the fabric.
Household deodorizing products are temporary relief methods. Deodorizing with perfumes, aerosol sprays, and disinfectants generally only mask the smoke odor. The smoke odor will still remain after the spray or perfume evaporates. In addition, deodorizing sprays may interact with smoke odor and create an additional odor.
Removing smoke odor from the home
Smoke can enter and remain in and between the walls of the living space. If it is not properly removed, the smoke odor reoccurs from time to time, particularly during damp periods. Therefore, action should be taken to properly remove all smoke odors.
During a fire, the heat will expand pores in the walls and fill the pores with smoke. After the fire, the house cools, the pores close and trap the smoke odor. On warm days the pores will open and release the trapped smoke odor, which could settle on furnishings. Professional fire restorers can eliminate the smoke odor with a process called thermal fogging, which opens the pores in the walls and neutralizes the smoke odor. There is probably no process a home owner could use that would work as effectively as thermal fogging.
Household vents and ducts trap smoke odors. During a fire, smoke drifts through the ducts and becomes lodged on the sides. Since it may be impossible to clean the ducts; some professional fire restorers will use a chemical sealer to secure smoke permanently to the sides of the ducts. This procedure prevents smoke odors from drifting in the air at a later time.
If the attic has been insulated prior to the fire, it may be necessary to remove the insulation. Insulation cannot be cleaned; unfortunately, it will need to be replaced because insulation retains smoke odors.
Water Damage and Flooring
Often times when a large amount of water has spilled onto hard surface flooring, it can feel dry on the surface after it has been mopped up with towels. You may wonder why you would need to call SERVPRO. The answer lies below the surface of the flooring. Most flooring types are porous or semi-porous materials, which means that they can absorb and retain water. These would include carpet, non-glazed tile, concrete, and wood. The trapped moisture between the floor and subfloor needs to be extracted. Even flooring such as laminate (pergo) or linoleum can keep moisture trapped under the surface because the moisture cannot penetrate underlayments or vapor barriers associated with these types of flooring.The trapped moisture between the flooring and subfloor creates a perfect environment for mold growth. Because of this, it is always a good idea to have SERVPRO do a moisture check. We have specialized meters that can detect the invisible moisture your flooring may be holding. Based on the assessment and readings by a certified technician, we can formulate a drying plan tailored to your needs and prevent further damage. The quicker you act, the less damage there will be.
Mold in the Workplace
Keep your employees safe from mold related illnesses.
Mold can easily grow in many areas of the workplace due to a number of causes. At SERVPRO West Littleton/Sheridan, our technicians hold a special certification to safely remediate mold from your business. Though it may sometimes seem like something that can be put off, it should be treated and remediated as soon as possible. OSHA published a guide which identified the serious effects mold growth could have on your employees. The following is taken from the OSHA website, www.osha.gov.
Building-related illnesses (BRIs)
The term building-related illness (BRI) is used to describe illnesses that are characterized by objective clinical findings related to specific exposures in the indoor environment. Building-related illnesses (BRIs) are diagnosed by evaluation of signs and symptoms by physicians or other licensed health care professionals. Mold related BRIs result from mold contamination that has occurred in buildings under specific conditions. All BRIs are preventable by eliminating and controlling the conditions that can lead to the harmful exposures.
How Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) differs from BRI
Terms such as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) have been used to describe situations in which building occupants experience a variety of symptoms that, unlike BRIs, appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. Symptoms often disappear after occupants leave the building.
If you suspect that your business may have mold, or you have identified mold, our skilled technicians are happy to help. Skip the bleach and call the pros.
Mold Remediation: Why Can't I Just Use Bleach?
Contrary to popular belief, bleach does not kill mold at the source.
We receive this question many times from a concerned caller: "Can I just spray bleach on it?"
Using bleach to take care of mold was once recommended by agencies such as OSHA and the EPA. However, they have since been revised after research revealed that the "do-all, be-all cure" for killing microbial growth, actually had the opposite effect. First, let us take a look at how mold forms to understand why using bleach is not effective.
Mold needs water, food and typically a warm temperature to grow. This illustrates the first reason to call SERVPRO: If mold is growing, chances are that the materials are wet. There has likely been a water loss of some sort, and until it is properly dried, mold will continue to grow.
The chlorine in bleach, due to its ionic composition, cannot penetrate porous surfaces. Porous surfaces include materials such as drywall, ceilings, wood, carpet and many others. Spraying bleach on the mold will only kill it on the surface. Many people do not know that mold actually has roots called hyphae. These roots will still remain in the porous material and eventually rise to the surface again. Remember that bleach contains both chlorine and water. The chlorine cannot make it below the surface - but the water can. Thus, you are actually replenishing the mold with one of the key things it needs to grow - water! Secondly, it will "bleach" the color, making it appear that the mold is gone. Again, this is only on the surface.
At SERVPRO West Littleton/Sheridan we use specialized products, designed to travel deep into porous surfaces to remove mold at its roots. Sometimes we cannot remove the mold from the material and the material must be completely removed from the home for the safety of you and your family. Our technicians are trained to differentiate between what can be safely cleaned and what cannot. In addition, live mold releases spores into the air. The air in your home may need to be treated with specialty equipment to make sure that all spores are removed.
SERVPRO helps customers in Boise, ID
SERVPRO heroes to the rescue!
In early January, we received a call from our friends and colleagues at Storm Team Stone to ask if we could help with the overwhelming number of customers needing help from a freeze in Boise, ID. The city and surrounding areas had endured subzero temperatures and snowfall for several days. Customers had ice dams form on their roofs, pipe bursts and many other weather related water losses. We gladly accepted the call to help and loaded up our trucks. On board were our general manager, Matt, our production managers, Troy and Andrew, crew chief Dalton, and technicians, AJ and Ryan. They arrived in Boise and began the process of helping customers get their homes back to normal. They spent about 3 weeks in Boise. With the help of Kimber in the office back in Parker, the event was a complete success and our crews returned feeling like they had made a difference. We would like to extend our thanks to Storm Team Stone and SERVPRO Boise. We couldn't have done it without you!
SERVPRO Restores Historic Commercial Building After Water Loss
The Owyhee Hotel
In January, our crews were in Boise, ID to help customers who had experienced water losses due to subzero temperatures and snowfall over several days. One call we received was from the property manager of a historic building in Boise. The historic Owyhee Hotel, which is now home to several businesses, had experienced water losses in several different areas. We arrived on-site and were able to stabilize the areas. We spent several long days working hard to dry out the affected areas, while still preserving the historic features of the beautiful building. It took over 60 pieces of drying equipment to get the job done. Thank you for trusting SERVPRO to help! To learn more about the historic Owyhee, visit their website at: http://www.theowyhee.com/.