Top Five Places You’ll Find Hidden Mold
Mold can result from unseen water, fortunately, SERVPRO is here ready to help you!
The Top Five Places To Look For Mold
Mold can be an unsightly blight, but you won’t always find mold growth in easily spotted places. To curtail mold growth in your Broken Arrow, OK home, you need to know the top five places to search for hidden mold — and how to keep those places clean, dry, and mold-free.
1. In Your Walls
The number one place to check for hidden mold is in your walls. If you find mold on the walls in any spot, even in hidden crevices such as under sinks, it’s likely you have mold growth inside your walls. Moldy drywall is one of the worst culprits for spreading mold.
2. In Your Ceilings
If there’s mold in your walls, there’s likely mold on your ceilings. Check for mold growth and keep a close eye out for any damp or dark spots that may hint at a mold infestation.
3. Under Your Carpet and Flooring
The moment it gets wet, carpet becomes a breeding ground for mold. But you can also find mold on wood flooring, particularly older or rotting flooring. Laminate flooring, too, is a prime culprit when mold growth can take place on the undersides of the tiles. The mold feeds on the glue and any moisture trapped there. Avoid this by keeping your flooring dry and clean.
4. Behind Furniture
Where furniture presses against walls, you’ll find dark crevices that trap moisture and create ideal conditions for mold to breed. Pulling out your furniture to clean can give you a great opportunity to watch for these types of infestations.
5. In Storage Areas
Basements, closets, and other storage areas are a haven for mold. Not only are they dark and cool, ideal conditions for mold growth, but they often suffer from water leaks that go unchecked and unnoticed for long periods of time. Even worse, they’re often filled with cardboard boxes and clothing — organic matter that mold loves to feed on.
4 Ways to Prepare for a Fire
SERVPRO is always ready to help you with any fire damage on your commercial property.
Prepare For A Fire In 4 Easy Steps
No one expects a fire to envelop their commercial property in Oneta, OK. However, having a fire preparation plan in place can help you and your employees react smartly if a fire does happen. Here are four things you may want to do to prepare for a fiery disaster.
1. Create an Evacuation Plan: Everyone who spends time in a building should know how to get out in case of a fire. You may want to hold regular trainings to ensure everyone knows the best exit routes. You can also designate an area for people to evacuate to. This allows you to take a head count and make sure everyone made it out.
2. Have Inspections: If your building is up to code, you may be able to reduce the fire damage that takes place. You can have a professional come out and inspect your building. They can look at the sprinkler system and smoke alarms to ensure your safety devices are working.
3. Know Where to Turn: Part of fire preparation is knowing what you would do in the event of a fire. Flames can do serious damage to your building, so you need to know who you would call to fix up fire damage. Finding a reputable fire restoration team before a disaster is a great idea.
4. Prohibit Dangerous Activities: Some businesses may have a higher risk of fires, so disaster preparation is even more important. If employees smoke on the property, there is the potential of an improperly discarded cigarette starting a fire. As the building owner, you should ban dangerous activities that increase the chances of a fire.
Having a fire preparation plan can get you and your tenants ready for a disaster, but there still may be some challenges if a fire does ever break out. Remember, people react differently under stressful situations, so it's a good idea to make sure everyone knows what to do in the case of an emergency.
Protecting Your Place From a Fire
Fire safety experts note that a fire can ignite and spread in a mere 30 seconds
Defending Your Home Against Fire
Part of what makes your New Tulsa, OK, home a safe haven lies in its ability to provide shelter and space for happy gatherings with family and friends. A house fire can threaten this peace. While fireplaces aren't used as mucfireh in the warmer seasons, fire can still break out in a number of ways. By better understanding this powerful element, you can sharpen the tools in your fire preparation toolbox.
It Starts With a Spark
The initial conflagration may be so subtle that it goes unnoticed, but all a fire needs to get started is three basic factors:
• Fuel of some kind
Once these three components are present, a home fire can take off immediately. As fire spreads through areas of a house, the introduction of new materials to burn and extra air can cause the flames to grow even more.
Flames Spread Quickly
The longer a fire burns, the hotter it becomes and the more quickly it can grow. Fire safety experts note that a fire can ignite and spread in a mere 30 seconds. After a minute or so, smoke layers can cloud a room and temperatures can exceed 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Because time is crucial when it comes to a fire, it is wise to prepare an emergency plan ahead of time, just in case.
Certain Rooms Are Vulnerable
Although a fire can start just about anywhere in your home, specific rooms can be especially susceptible. Focus your fire preparation by paying special attention to your kitchen, bedroom, and living room. Kitchens naturally contain some of the most fire-prone equipment, such as microwaves and toasters. In bedrooms, bedding and curtains can be highly flammable. Electronics, drapes, and chimneys in living rooms are other hot spots.
Part of fire preparation involves learning more about fires themselves and the ways they can attack particular areas of the house. Looking at home fires from this educational angle can help you sharpen your senses when it comes to the possible safety risks.
3 Strategies for Cleaning Your Dryer’s Exhaust
If you have a gas dryer, you may want to call a fire damage and restoration service to assist you.
3 Methods For Cleaning the Exhaust Of Your Dryer
You have probably invested a great deal of time and money in your Broken Arrow, OK, home and do all you can to protect from disaster. However, one danger you may not have considered is how easily a lint fire could start in your dryer and spread through the rest of your home. While lint buildup inside a dryer exhaust can be a considerable fire hazard, there are a few cleaning strategies that may help you reduce this risk and keep your dryer running at peak performance.
1. Use a Wet-Dry Vacuum
The powerful motor of a wet-dry vacuum can help you clean lint away from your dryer’s exhaust. Before you unplug the unit and disconnect the hose from the vent, you may want to inspect the hookup to ensure you can replace it easily. If you have a gas dryer, you may want to call in a fire damage and restoration service to assist you. Remove any attachments from the end of the vacuum and insert the open end into the hose to remove any lint balls that may be trapped inside.
2. Purchase a Cleaning Rod
Servicing your dryer’s exhaust with a cleaning rod designed for the job can reduce the risk of a lint fire. This tool is typically available at any hardware store. You can attach one end to a household drill or use the brush on its own. Insert the brush into the wall vent and rotate it several times, pulling away any accumulated lint. Repeat this process up to three times until the brush comes out clean.
3. Clean the Exterior Vents
Once you replace the exhaust hose, clean your home’s exterior exhaust vent, as lint can collect here and start a dryer fire. Remove the protective screen and use a hand-held vacuum or brush to clear away lint balls, then replace the cover securely.
Your Broken Arrow, OK, home may be vulnerable to a lint fire if you have a large family and use your dryer often. However, proper exhaust cleaning can reduce the risk of this disaster.
Does Your Insurance Cover Mold?
If you’re struggling with mold, talk to a claims adjuster or a SERVPRO representative to find out what your options are.
Is Mold Covered By Your Insurance?
If you’re wondering whether your insurance pays for mold remediation in Oneta, OK, the short answer, unfortunately, is probably not. Because every policy is different, you should always call your insurance provider with specific questions, but chances are slim mold is covered. That’s because homeowners insurance doesn’t cover most types of water damage likely to lead to a mold problem. If you have fungus growth due to any of the following, your insurance is very unlikely to cover it.
• Leaks due to a lack of maintenance
• High humidity
• Poor ventilation
• Water seepage due to poor drainage
If you have specifically purchased flood insurance, you may have mold coverage, but nothing is guaranteed. Check your policy or contact your provider for specifics.
What Is Mold Exclusion?
There are some types of water damage likely to be covered by homeowners insurance. A burst water pipe, for example, is almost always covered. You may also have coverage for your sump pump or a backed up sewer. Even if these types of water damage are covered by your policy, remediation for fungus growth may not be. Many insurance companies have started including an explicit ‘mold exclusion’ in their policies. These state outright that mold remediation will not be covered under any circumstances.
Even if your policy doesn’t include a mold exclusion, it may set a cap on how much it will pay for mold remediation. Alternatively, it may only pay for certain things, such as mold removal or mold testing.
What Can You Do?
As a homeowner, you have a few options for how to handle mold remediation in Oneta, OK. The best thing you can do is prevent fungus growth to begin with. There are a number of preventative steps you can take, including the following.
• Keep indoor humidity below 50%
• Do regular maintenance
• Landscape so groundwater drains away from house
• Keep rooms well ventilated
Some insurers also offer the option of paying more for mold insurance, however, the coverage may still be fairly limited. If you’re struggling with mold, talk to a claims adjuster or a SERVPRO representative to find out what your options are.
6 Cleaning Methods for Personal Belongings After a Fire
As you try to clean up after a fire, you may need the help of SERVPRO to take care of your property and the content within.
After A Fire, There Are Six Different Ways To Clean Personal Belongings.
The flames of a fire can do a lot of damage to your commercial building in New Tulsa, OK. However, smoke can do just as much harm to your belongings. As you try to clean up after a fire, you may need the help of a commercial fire cleanup crew to take care of your property and the content within. Content cleaning can come in many forms, including the following:
- Ultrasonic: The combination of ultrasound and a cleaning solvent is used to agitate the surface and deep clean. This method is only appropriate for non-porous items as they will be immersed in the solution.
- Dry: Dry-cleaning can serve two purposes. Either it provides a light clean for objects that don't need much, or it serves as a pre-clean before another method. The dry-cleaning method is great for clothes and other objects that can't get too wet.
- Wet: This typical method uses water as the primary cleaning agent. In some cases, the professionals may include soap or other cleaners to help rid your belongings of residues.
- Foam: Upholstery fabrics often cannot be submerged in water, so a foam technique may be better. This method uses a foaming cleanser and a brush.
- Immersion: Sometimes content cleaning needs to get serious. For items severely damaged, an immersion into the cleaning solution may be necessary. These belongings may have to soak for a while for the best effect.
- Spray and Wipe: When items cannot be submerged or wet, a spray and wipe cleaning may be another option. This allows the professionals to use a light layer of cleaner that is wiped away almost immediately.
Content cleaning is a necessity after a fire. If you are thinking of doing content storage until your building is ready, you should still clean the items before putting them away. Waiting too long after a fire could make all of the cleaning methods, from dry-cleaning to immersion, unsuccessful.
3 Tips for Keeping Toilets Clog-Free
Avoiding sewer damage as the result of a clogged toilet can be easier than you might think.
As a commercial property owner in Broken Arrow, OK, you are responsible for the care and maintenance of your building. Taking care of your plumbing system can be a challenge, however, when other people do not seem to share your vigilance. A clogged toilet can cause sewer damage that can only be fixed by remediation specialists. Here are three tips for keeping your toilets clog-free.
1. Post Signs
When your building has a toilet overflow problem, it often stems from the actions of the person who last used the toilet. Some items aren't meant to be flushed:
• Feminine hygiene products
• Paper towels
People probably don't flush these things with malicious intent. They may simply be thinking of their convenience. Posting signs to urge people to reconsider flushing these items can prevent a clogged toilet.
2. Provide Trashcans
One way to encourage people to use trashcans rather than flushing bulkier items is to provide multiple trash receptacles throughout the restroom. Each stall should have its own way to dispose of trash, and depending on the size of the bathroom, it may be helpful to have multiple trashcans near the paper towel dispensers. For every dispenser, you need at least one place to put the used paper towel.
3. Purchase Thin Paper
It is not unusual to find one-ply toilet paper in restrooms of commercial buildings. The main reason for this is that thinner paper flushes more easily. You can avoid sewage problems by choosing a paper that goes down the drain and mostly disintegrates before it ever reaches the septic tank. As thinner paper is also less expensive, it has the added value of saving you money.
Avoiding sewer damage as the result of a clogged toilet can be easier than you might think. If you rethink the way you stock your restrooms and ask for compliance from employees and guests, you can minimize your plumbing problems.
What Goes Down Should Not Come up: Tips for Preventing Sewage Backup
A sewer backup is not likely on your bucket list.
A sewer backup, usually caused by storm damage or flooding, is about the worst thing a homeowner can expect to find in their home. The good news for all homeowners, however, is that there are ways to prevent it from happening.
1. Do Not Pour Grease Down the Drain
First and foremost, do not under any circumstances pour grease down your drain. Made of oil and fats, grease, while a liquid during and immediately following cooking, solidifies when it cools, expanding slightly. It is the expansion of grease that causes problems in your pipes as it creates blockages.
2. Trap Food Waste and Hair
Since clogs and blockages are among the leading causes of sewer lines backing up, it makes sense to prevent things from flowing down the drain that can cause this issue. A simple item you can purchase is a drain trap, essentially a mesh cup that sits in your drain or on it, preventing hair, food, and other things from traveling where they don’t belong.
3. Know the Never Flush Five
It would be impossible to talk about preventing a backup without mentioning the never flush five: hazardous chemicals, paper towels, feminine products, diapers, and cloth rags. Each of these items can cause significant blockages, and household cleaners can even add to the deterioration of already damaged pipes.
4. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
Beyond being vigilant about things you put down the drain, you can also perform monthly routine maintenance with a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and warm water. This tidy little solution will help to break down buildups in your drains, possibly preventing significant issues in the future.
5. Call a Professional
More often than not, it pays to have professionals from the Broken Arrow, OK, area comes out and inspect your lines, even performing some routine maintenance like sewer cleaning. These individuals will have the tools and the knowledge to check and repair any drainage issues or concerns.
A sewer backup is not likely on your bucket list; therefore, it is a good idea to use as many preventative measures as possible to limit the likelihood of you ever experiencing this type of problem.
Preventing a Moldy Swamp Cooler: 3 Tips
Preventing mold from growing on an overworked or leaking swamp cooler may extend the life of the unit and stunt the spread of fungi.
Your Broken Arrow home’s swamp cooler can help cool indoor temperatures, especially on hot, dry days. Cooling your home this way can also help you save money on your energy bill, as an evaporative cooler does not use as much power as refrigerated air. However, when the weather turns humid or you have a leaking swamp cooler, this can cause mold to grow on the unit and in the air ducts. Since this can create an unpleasant smell and damage the cooler, it is a good idea to maintain the unit by keeping a few simple mold preventing tips in mind.
1. Change the Cooling Pad Often
After a few days of wet weather, your swamp cooler’s cellulose pad, which collects and holds moisture to cool down warm air the system draws it in from outside, might start to grow mold as humidity rises. If the weather turns humid and remains that way for more than a few days, you may want to check and replace the pad so mold does not have a chance to grow and enter your home.
2. Regulate Indoor Moisture
If the weather is wet or humid and you still want to run your swamp cooler, you can prevent mold growth by being mindful of indoor moisture levels. You can lower the humidity by cracking your windows and allowing air to flow out as well as in. If wet weather continues for more than a few days, you might want to use ceiling and floor fans to stay cool instead.
3. Have Your Cooler Professionally Maintained
Having a mold damage and cleanup service in to inspect or repair a leaking swamp cooler can lower the risk of damage to the unit. If mold is discovered, experienced technicians will likely have a variety of solutions at hand to resolve the problem.
A swamp cooler can keep your Broken Arrow, OK, home cool on hot, dry days. Preventing mold from growing on an overworked or leaking swamp cooler may extend the life of the unit and stunt the spread of fungi.
Prevent Water Damage From Destroying Your Home With These 3 Tips
If you’ve experienced water damage in your Oneta, OK, home, you can call SERVPRO for your help.
With These Three Tips, You Can Keep Water From Destroying Your Home.
If your home recently sustained water damage because of flooding, a burst pipe or sewage backup, you may be feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. After all, you know how devastating water in the home can be. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to minimize water damage and cut down on the costs of restoration:
- Shut off the water supply line
- Call your insurance company
- Contact your local Oneta, OK, water restoration team
Stop the Flow of Water
The first thing you need to do is restrict the flow of water through your home’s pipes. This is as simple as shutting off your home’s supply lines. Once you’ve restricted the flow of water, contact a plumber, who can diagnose the issue and make necessary repairs.
Contact Your Insurance Agency
You need to let your insurance agency know that flooding has occurred and how it happened. This is a crucial next step, as your policy may or may not cover the damage, something that you want to know before you contact a restoration team. While you should not skimp on restoration efforts, knowledge of your policy coverage can help you plan accordingly.
Call Your Water Restoration Team
Once you’ve spoken with your insurance agent, contact your local flood remediation company. The team discharged to your home will assume control from this point forward. Some steps the team may take to get your home back into pre-flood condition include:
- Remove any excess or sitting water
- Wipe down wood, tile and décor
- Remove furniture from the environment
- Place fans around the room or turn on the AC unit to speed up drying (if weather permits)
- Remove wet carpeting or rugs
- Remove other loose items
- Place a dehumidifier in the impacted room
Each of these steps will help remove moisture and minimize damage to your home. If your home was recently the victim of flooding, call your Oneta, OK, water restoration team to help today.