How To Prevent Mold Problems in Your Commercial Property
A mold problem can be tricky to foresee. There are many places this common fungus likes to hide, and sometimes you don’t know mold growth is happening until it is a big enough problem to require professional remediation. There are a few things you can do to head it off at the pass, though. Mold prevention involves knowing the kind of environment mold likes and eliminating as many such environments as possible.
A Mold-Friendly Climate
Mold is always present, but it requires specific circumstances to settle and grow. There are four main criteria needed for rapid mold growth:
• Organic material
• Surface to grow on
In your building in The Woodlands, TX, you don’t have a lot of control over most of these criteria. Most porous surfaces are susceptible not only to mold but also to the organic material such as dust that feeds the fungus. Unless you plan on wracking up a huge utility bill, it is unlikely that you will leave the lights on when no one is there just for mold prevention. Even if you do, there are still many dark places behind walls and in air ducts where mold growth can occur.
The Controllable Criterion
Fortunately, the biggest factor that contributes to an accumulation of mold is also the easiest to address. Moisture caused by condensation, leaks or water damage can be prevented with regular inspection and maintenance. If your building is a victim of water damage, do not hesitate to call water restoration specialists to resolve the problem quickly. Waiting even 24 hours can spur the growth and spread of mold. The longer you wait to address the issue, the more damage the problem is bound to cause.
Mold prevention is simply a matter of knowing what is going on in your building and responding quickly when something such as water damage needs to be addressed. You may not be able to control some things, but you can ensure that you have the protocols in place to take care of problems before they start. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/.
Top Tips for Preparing a Commercial Building for Spring Thaw
The spring season can mean extra flooding in The Woodlands, TX. As the snow melts, extra water enters the ground, which can raise the water table and cause flood issues in your basement or lower levels. You cannot stop mother nature from melting the snow, but you can get your building ready. Use the following tips to start preparing now.
• Create a Plan: Having a flood plan for you and your employees can help reduce some of the stress that comes with the unknown. Part of this plan may include creating an emergency kit of food and first-aid supplies. Another part of your plan could be to get in touch with a commercial water damage remediation team preemptively. You may also want to make sure your building is equipped with flood insurance. Should you have to deal with a spring flood, an insurance policy can save you a major headache.
• Move Possessions: If you have valuables in lower levels of your building, you may want to move around your belongings. In some cases, you may simply need to put porous materials on high shelves to avoid the flooding damages.
• Check Drainage: Your building should be able to handle quite a bit of water coming its way. Check the gutters to make sure they are ready to carry vast amounts of water away from your roof and foundation.
• Consider Interior Threats: While many spring floods start from the outside, some may come from within. A frozen pipe, for example, could burst and create standing water in your building. Even though the weather is warming up, remember there could be some cold days ahead that could lead to frozen plumbing.
You cannot always be prepared for flooding. It happens for a variety of reasons, and it can happen in the blink of an eye. Being as prepared as possible by knowing who to call in case of an emergency can make the spring thaw a little easier to manage. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/.
How To Handle a Canceled Flight
With the weather being the top reason for a canceled flight, it’s plausible that your plane might get delayed or called off. This can be irritating and sometimes exhausting, especially if all you want to do is get back to your home in The Woodlands, TX. Fortunately, with these flight and storm tips, you can be prepared for some of the worst situations.
Before the Flight
When you book your flight, it’s a good idea to sign up for cancellation alerts. If your flight happens to be canceled, you can often get a notification beforehand, which makes dealing with the aftermath a little bit easier. Make sure to check these alerts if the weather seems especially stormy or windy. Along with signing up for your airline’s messaging service, you can also do the following:
• Watch the weather
• Call ahead
• Have a backup plan
Being prepared can help you stay on top of things, even if a canceled flight ruins your day.
If the Flight Is Canceled
If the weather is erratic or suddenly very stormy, your flight will likely be delayed or canceled. If this happens, it isn’t the end of the world. The first thing you can do in this situation is to keep your cool and call the airline. From there, you can figure out what you should do next. Often, passengers can receive compensation for the canceled or delayed flight. Whether that is reimbursement, a freebie night in a nearby hotel, or free meals, you can take advantage of the situation.
If it’s getting late and you’re not sure when you’ll be able to return home, it might be smart to get a hotel for the night. Getting rest can be one of your best defenses against the chaos of the next day.
Although a canceled flight is never fun, you can be prepared to handle the problems that might arise. Checking the weather, calling the airline, and taking advantage of your rights as a passenger can help you minimize the chaos, confusion, and time lost due to the weather. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/.
How To Make a Strong Water Damage Insurance Claim
No matter the reason, water damage can be a costly problem for homeowners. While an insurance claim may not be the first thing on your mind while in the middle of a disaster in The Woodlands, TX there are steps you may want to take before you clean up the flood water to make sure you can make a solid insurance demand.
1. Insurance - If you have renter’s insurance or homeowner’s coverage, you need to determine if the damages are covered. Flooding due to factors completely out of your control are typically included. Flooding that results from a pipe burst when pipes are poorly maintained is generally not covered under an insurance policy. Therefore, present your claim with your best evidence.
2. Pictures - Photos of the affected area can be a solid statement to your insurance company. Taking pictures while the water is still standing, and then again once the water is removed, can help your insurance adjuster assess the incident. Calling in a restoration team to document the cleanup procedure can also help solidify your insurance claim.
3. Inventory - Once you have contacted the insurance company, and the restoration team has finished its cleanup, it is time to take an inventory of your personal property damage. When noting items, it is important to include the make, model, and function of each article. If you have time, list the replacement cost or value of each piece as well.
4. Settlement - When the adjuster visits the flood site, make sure you are there to answer any questions about the incident. After the insurance company offers a settlement, they often give you half the money in advance of the repairs. When you can show the repairs are completed, the other half of the money will typically be paid out.
Water damage can be costly in The Woodlands, TX and an insurance claim can take time. By being proactive, you can help make sure your claim is a strong one. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com for more information on water.
The Basics of Black Mold
The mold in this home was due to too much moisture coming off the air conditioner.
You may know that black mold is unsightly, smells bad and that it poses a serious threat to your home’s overall integrity, but do you understand what mold is or how it thrives? Many people do not. However, understanding mold is key to mold cleanup and prevention. If you want to preserve the structural integrity of your home and keep your home and family safe, you need to understand mold. This post outlines the basics of the bacteria and how you can use the information to your advantage.
Here's what you need to know about mold:
• Mold is a type of fungi
• Like all fungi, mold needs moisture to thrive
• Mold does not thrive in well-lit places
• Mold releases spores and can therefore multiply quickly
If your home has a moisture problem, chances are that it also has mold. Black mold, like most other fungi, thrives in moist, dark areas. Mold is involved in biodegradation, which means that it plays a key role in the breakdown of materials and objects. If allowed to spread, the mold in your home could begin to eat at your home’s structure and contents and result in costly damages.
Mold comes in a variety of colors, but it is not always visible. Because of this, mold cleanup should be conducted by a professional and only after a mold test has been administered. If you suspect mold growth in your home but cannot find any visible signs of growth, look out for the following:
• A musty, moldy smell
• Allergic reactions
• Drooping ceilings or crumbling drywall
• Moisture problems
If you notice any of the above, you may have a mold problem. Contact your The Woodlands, TX mold cleanup team right away to begin remediation and restoration efforts. If you fail to act quickly, the problem could become much more invasive and much more expensive. Mold spores spread easily and, once they land, can take root in a matter of hours.
As with most things in life, knowledge is power. By understanding how black mold works, you can prevent mold growth and keep your home safe and healthy. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com for more information on mold.
The Basics of Business Interruption Insurance
As a business owner, you already know the importance of insurance. From liability insurance to car insurance and beyond, these plans are part of your everyday operations and allow you to conduct business in your establishment with confidence. Despite this reliance on insurance, many business owners in The Woodlands, TX are unaware of one of the most beneficial coverage options out there: business interruption insurance. It has a lot to offer, such as:
• Compensating you for business lost during a rebuild
• Covering operating expenses (electricity, water, etc.) when your building is unusable
• Pricing based on present risks in your particular business
Keeping Your Doors Open
The main point of this type of insurance is keeping your doors open while you’re undergoing a rebuild after a fire, flooding or other disaster has occurred. As you know, a closed business makes no money, and with no profit, it could be impossible to keep your business open long enough to see the repairs finished. By compensating you based on your business’s normal income and taking care of operational costs, this service is designed to make sustaining a damaged business easier until you can open the doors again.
Business interruption insurance typically isn’t sold on its own. Instead, it will be included in a packaged deal with another type of insurance you purchase for your place of business. Much like your other coverage options, the price for this addition depends largely on what type of business you own. For example, a restaurant or any other business with a higher risk for fire damage will have a higher cost than a dentistry, just as businesses located in known flood zones will make higher payments than those that aren’t.
Adding this insurance option to your policy might cost you a little more at first, but if you ever need to undergo an emergency rebuild it could very well save your business. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com for more information on commercial storm damage.
How Do Experts Find Hidden Mold?
If you have noticed a mold smell in a commercial building in The Woodlands, TX, but do not see any signs of visible mold, hidden mold may be present. A fungus smell or mildew smell can be one of the most reliable indicators of the presence of mold that cannot be seen on surfaces. If this odor is present but you cannot find any evidence of mold, the next step is to contact a professional mold testing and clean-up service and stop searching on your own. If you disturb a colony while looking for hidden mold, it can be easy to spread spores and worsen the problem.
Experts rely on several tools and methods to locate hidden mold including:
• Moisture meters and hygrometers (humidity)
• Thermal cameras
• Confirming mold smell
• Making test cuts or pulling up small sections of carpet
• Checking for signs of leaks
These methods may vary in effectiveness depending on the length of time since water damage created conditions conducive to mold growth. If a commercial property has recently experienced flooding or a severe leak, it is a good idea to contact a mold testing, clean-up and remediation service as soon as you suspect that mold may be growing. Mold can quickly develop on drywall, masonry or ceiling tiles that have been exposed to moisture. Some of these methods are more reliable once the source of the leak has been addressed but while there is still evidence of water damage.
If you are experiencing a persistent mildew smell or mold smell in a commercial property in The Woodlands, TX, without any visible indications of mold growth, you should contact a reputable mold testing and clean-up service as soon as possible. These specialists can identify the source of a fungus smell and use the most effective tools and methods to confirm whether mold is present and start the clean-up process.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com.
Why Does Water Damage Occur With a Fire?
The effects of fire damage on your commercial property in The Woodlands, TX, are fairly obvious, but what about all the water damage it incurs? Fire suppression efforts are the most common cause of blaze-related water destruction, which can lead to mold problems and leave your property unusable if not immediately treated. In tandem, you’ll also have to contend with smoke-related problems and other physical hazards on your premises.
The Science Behind a Fire
Science tells us that there are four elements required to start a fire and keep it going:
• A reducing agent
• A chemical reaction
The reducing agent, commonly called “fuel,” is what it must feed on to combust and burn. Typically, most reducing agents are carbon-based, which explains why organic materials like wood are so easily consumed. Meanwhile, heat is simply the energy component, which uses oxygen to burn. All three together keep the chemical reaction going to prolong the flames and instigate fire damage on your premises.
How to Stop a Fire
To inhibit a blaze at its source, you must remove one of its four elements. Often, the quickest way to do that is the introduction of large quantities of water through a fire hose. Water absorbs the fire’s heat, then converts to vapor and reduces available oxygen. It’s a two-pronged approach, taking away the blaze’s energy and smothering it by cutting off its supply of the oxidizing agent. Unfortunately, this technique requires vast amounts of water or foam fire suppressive substances, thus flooding the property to save it.
Once a blaze on your commercial property is quenched, the fire department’s job is done. Now it’s time for fire restoration experts in The Woodlands, TX, to move in. Although fire damage and the aftereffects from smoke and water can be destructive and distressing, a professional cleanup company can assist you in getting back to business.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com.
Stay Warm & Safe With These Simple Furnace Maintenance Tips
Heating systems are generally easy to maintain. However, most people are unware that furnaces need maintenance at all, which is why you continue to hear horror stories about furnace fires and other heating disasters. Fortunately, you can stay safe this winter, keep warm and prolong the life of your furnace with these hassle-free furnace maintenance tips from the fire cleaning experts in The Woodlands, TX:
• Common sense is king. Chances are that if your furnace is malfunctioning, it’s likely due to an issue with the distribution system, thermostat or heat/cold source.
• Take proper preparation steps before working on your furnace, such as locating the power source, hitting the reset button, making sure the thermostat is set properly and checking the gas supply and pilot light.
• Have your furnace professionally maintained at least once a year.
• Keep safety at the forefront of your mind. Fire and smoke cleaning experts recommend turning off the power to the furnace before beginning any work. Also, know when it’s time to call in a professional. If your fuse pops repeatedly, your furnace’s issues may be due to an electrical problem, in which case you should not try to fix it on your own, say fire cleaning experts.
• If you smell gas, shut off the main valve and get out of your house immediately.
Bearing the above tips in mind, do the following:
Clean Out the Dust
Dirt is your furnace’s biggest enemy, so start by cleaning it out. There are three main components you should concentrate on: the filter, the motor and the blower. Your filter should be replaced or cleaned before winter and once a month thereafter until warm weather arrives.
Lubricate the Motor
If your furnace has a motor that has oil ports, grease them regularly. This helps to ensure your furnace runs cool and clean.
Replace the Belts
If your belts look frayed or worn, replace them. All motors need belts that are in good condition to run, and your furnace’s motor is no different.
If you’re concerned about the safety and wellbeing of your family and home, keep the above furnace maintenance tips in from fire cleaning experts in The Woodlands, TX.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com.
Get the Facts About Mold Growth After Flooding
Mold growth in The Woodlands, TX is always concerning because once it starts, without intervention, it is going to continue and become a much bigger problem. Excessive moisture in any area of your home can result in this issue. Of course, when there is standing water and bacteria present, it can exacerbate the growth. Knowing more about mold and how to take care of it is the first step in protecting your home.
Getting Rid of Mold in Your Home
Once mold growth has begun, it is important to get it taken care of immediately. Following a flood, you should have your home inspected to see if mold is present. The following are the steps most often taken to tackle this problem:
• Utilize the proper safety gear and equipment
• Assess the space to determine the work that needs to be done
• Start the contamination control process to prevent spreading the mold and cross-contamination
• Source the mold and then physically get it removed
• Alleviate the moisture in the space so that a future outbreak does not happen
Preventing Future Mold Growth
The first step in prevention is making sure that all flood damage was properly cleaned and repaired. Then, ensure that the moisture levels in your home are kept to a minimum. If you suspect issues with flooding such as from a leaking pipe, quickly get it fixed so that it has a low chance of causing mold. Make sure that the ventilation in your home is sufficient, and consider using mold-resistant products. It is also important to make sure that rainwater is directed away from your home to alleviate the risk of future flooding.
Mold growth can quickly become a major problem. Following a flood, it can start to grow in just 24 to 48 hours, so it is important for homeowners to act quickly in getting it taken care of. Once it is eliminated, take precautions to prevent future issues.
Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com for more information on storm damage.