Do Moldy Paintings Have To Be Thrown Away?
If your belongings have mold damage, call SERVPRO for restoration.
Is It Necessary To Discard Moldy Paintings?
When mold damage hits your The Woodlands,TX, home, you may have to go through a long cleaning process to return your space to normal. This can include removing items too riddled with mold to save as well as cleaning other objects. You may worry that paintings fall into the "throw away" category because the material may be porous, but your mold cleaning experts may be able to help you restore the artwork rather than destroy it.
Remediation Is Possible
Flood damage can cause a host of issues with your paintings. Not only can the water introduce mold to your artwork, but it can also lead to paint loss, discoloration and tears. When considering mold remediation for a painting, the most common damage is a layer of grime, dust and spores on at least a portion of the art.
Depending on the damage done to your paintings, you may be able to have them restored. Some conservation groups will work on sentimental art pieces as well as those with monetary worth. The remediation process can be long and takes multiple steps:
- Using high-quality paints, solvents and adhesives
- Treating the paint layer
- Restoring the stretchers, strainers, canvas, panel or board that supports the painting
Taking the right mold cleaning steps can help ensure that your paintings look like new after the remediation is finished.
Remediation Requires Expertise
Restoring a piece of art is not the same as removing mold from the carpet and drywall in your home. You need to take your masterpieces to artists who have the knowledge needed to clean away the mold and restore the look of the painting.
Mold remediation in all of its forms requires expertise. As a homeowner, you may want to take care of mold damage on your own. However, mold cleaning requires special equipment and knowledge to do the job right. Whether you want to restore a damaged piece of art or clean your home after a flood, it is best to work with the right professionals.
Get Smart About Smart Smoke Alarms
Fire alarms are one of the most significant ways to protect your family when it comes to fire safety.
Make The Most Of Smart Smoke Alarms
People have been dreaming of home automation since The Jetsons appeared on television in the sixties. Homes in New Caney,TX are finally getting smart now with cameras, thermostats, speakers and even smart lightbulbs. Did you know a smoke alarm can be smart too? Should you replace your current smoke detector with a smart device?
Smart devices are still using the same sensing technology that the old-fashioned devices use, which use either ionic or photoelectric. The smart part is that the device sends a notification to your phone whenever the alarm sounds. You will need wireless internet in your home for it to work, but here are some different device options for getting that notification on your phone:
* Install smart smoke detectors. If it's time to replace the devices in your home, consider replacing them with smart smoke detectors. Prices are coming down on these. Many models are still around $100 or more, but some are now around $40.
* Use smart batteries. This year, you can replace your smoke alarm's batter with a smart one that lasts for five years and sends you notifications. The smart battery is used in your current smoke alarm, pushing a notification to your phone whenever the alarm goes off. If the detector is solely battery powered, that smart little battery can also be used to hush the alarm. That doesn't work if the device is hardwired.
* Plug in a monitor. Instead of your nosey neighbor telling you when the alarm is going off, you can buy a monitor that plugs into an electrical outlet. This is a great option to get smart notification without replacing multiple smoke detectors in your home. Monitors listen for the frequency of another smoke alarm and send you a notification when that sound is detected.
When it comes to fire safety for your family, fire alarms are one of the most important ways to protect your family. If you do have a fire, thankfully a well-placed and well-maintained alarm will help your family get out fast and restoration specialists can help remedy any smoke and fire damage.
Preventing Mold After a Home Flood
Ceiling damaged by heavy rains in Rayford, TX.
No homeowner in Rayford, TX, would disagree that a home flood is at minimum, an inconvenience. Once the excess water has been removed, collateral damage in the form of mold growth can become an issue unless you move quickly to prevent it. In the unfortunate event that it outpaces you, mold removal experts can step in and arrest its momentum and restore your home to its previous condition.
Keeping Mold at Bay
Mold is an opportunistic organism, and its needs are simple: darkness, moisture, digestible material, and a surface on which to grow. Depriving it of these essentials after an episode of flooding is the key to successful mold prevention.
• Response time is crucial. After the excess water has been removed through pumping, mopping, and blotting, dry all remaining moisture within 24 to 48 hours.
• Expose the area to light and air circulation as much as possible. Open windows and run fans.
• Mold growth depends on nutrition. Clean, dry or replace anything it can digest, such as wood, drywall, fabric or any surfaces that can hold dust or dirt.
• Check hidden areas for moisture; mold can grow underneath carpets, behind wallpaper, in ductwork, under ceiling tiles and underfloor coverings.
• Discard paper materials that have been inundated.
• Check household humidity levels. Mold can grow when it is above 45%. Dehumidifiers can help reduce humidity to acceptable levels.
It is important to remain vigilant after your home has flooded and the environment has been thoroughly dried. Because its spores can remain present but dormant for long periods of time, mold growth can recommence as soon as conditions are right. A musty smell can be a giveaway, but mold does not always announce itself in this way. Keeping an eye on areas where moisture can collect makes it possible to nip a potential mold problem in the bud.
Quick Facts About Mold and Remediation
Broken pipes lead to mold damage
It doesn't take long for a building to become infested with mold once moisture takes hold. A leaky pipe, rain in the attic, or a flooded basement could all lead to mold growth. Give those spores just two to three days and the entire property could be affected. If you live in an area of high humidity or have any other reason to believe mold is present in your Shenandoah, TX, building, you need to have the right facts to deal with the problem.
• Microscopic mold spores are everywhere, inside and outside.
• Spores are often airborne and may travel into your home through open windows or doors.
• Spores are likely to travel on your clothing, on a pet, or through the air conditioner or heater.
• Mold can grow quickly wherever there's water or moisture. If your indoor humidity is higher than usual, mold growth could occur.
• Sometimes a musty odor will help you locate problem areas.
Water Damage Facts
• The types of mold present in the building depend on the extent of water exposure. Long-lasting damage is more likely when excess water is allowed to sit.
• Water can lead to direct damage, such as swollen wood, and indirect damage, such as rotting wood. Water and elevated levels of humidity often lead to indirect damage through the growth of mold.
• Some of the leading causes of water damage (and mold) include broken dishwasher hoses, overflowing appliances, damaged pipes, clogged toilets, foundation cracks, and moisture behind walls.
• If you've found mold, stay out of the area, and don't allow anyone to disturb it.
• Turn off your HVAC and other fans.
• Contact a professional right away.
• Don't try to dry the area yourself and don't put bleach or other disinfectants on the mold. This may interfere with the specialized equipment professionals use.
• It's impossible to remove all mold, but remediation experts can bring mold levels back to appropriate levels.
Professionals can advise you about mold prevention. Whether you're recovering from mold growth or looking for ways to protect your Shenandoah, TX, property, area professionals can put you on the right path.
Understanding “Black Water” From Storm Flooding
Flooded business by backed up sewer and drain in Conroe, TX.
Storms in Conroe, TX can quickly overwhelm local bodies of water and cause severe, unexpected flooding. What does it mean when someone uses the term “black water” to describe a flood? Is this just plumber lingo or a casual description? In fact, it is a commonly used term in the insurance industry. It doesn’t have anything to do with the color of water and is used to describe one of three categories of flood water:
- Category 1- “clean water”
- Category 2- “gray water”
- Category 3- “black water”
As the names indicate, the categories are defined by progressively more contaminated states. Some water, like that from sewage spills, starts as Category 3 but may be recategorized due to exposure of time, temperature, or direct contamination from additional elements.
Why Are Storm Floods Considered “Black Water?”
As you probably concluded already, Category 3 floods are unsafe for human exposure and may include the following contaminants:
- Chemical hazards
Local flood water is considered Category 3 water because rivers, lakes and seas naturally contain some of these contaminants and may also be exposed to these elements during the storm event.
What Can You Do About Category 3 Water?
Category 3 water should be mitigated as quickly as possible to reduce the damage to your building and materials and to prevent subsequent problems such as the development of mold. It’s important to remove flood water as quickly as possible because the wet environment is a breeding ground for mold, which can begin to reproduce in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
After storm damage, it’s important to find the right company to help get your building back to normal. A good remediation and restoration company will respond quickly to begin water removal and drying and be able to handle the entire restoration process. When Category 3 water is involved, it is critical to have knowledgeable and experienced professionals that know what must be disposed of and how to clean what may be saved.
Four Steps to Determining Whether You Can Save Your Carpet
Air mover after water damage on basement in The Shenandoah, TX
Does My Carpet Have To Be Replaced?
One of the most common questions asked after flooding in Shenandoah, TX, is, "Does my carpet have to be replaced?" After your home has been affected by a pipe break, you'll need to handle some repairs and assessments before you can determine whether the carpet can stay.
Step One: Contact a Professional
There are many reasons to work with a restoration professional immediately. These experts have the equipment best suited to facilitating quick and comprehensive recovery from flooding. In many cases, your insurance company may prefer that you work with professionals and may not provide coverage if you didn't respond to the pipe break appropriately. Water damage restoration professionals can provide you with expert advice concerning water exposure to your home and furnishings.
Step Two: Consider the Length of Exposure
If the materials and furnishings in your home have been wet for more than 72 hours, it is probably best to replace porous items. For example, any padding under your flooring could be harboring mold spores. It is very difficult to thoroughly dry and clean padding, so it will also need to be replaced.
Step Three: Identify the Type of Flood Water
Did the water come from an interior pipe or did it back up from the sewage system? If the water came from a clean water source, such as a kitchen sink, there's much less risk than if contaminated water affected your home. If you aren't certain in your assessment of the type of water, ask a qualified professional for testing.
Step Four: Carefully Weigh Your Options
As restoration options are presented to you, consider time, inconvenience, cost, and safety. For example, if you have to replace the padding, you may need to spend a lot of time carefully removing the carpet so that you don't damage it. Before you handle either, you'll need to be sure you aren't exposing your home or family to mold and contaminants.
Experts in Shenandoah, TX, are available to provide answers and advice. It's generally best to call them immediately after discovering your home has been affected by a pipe break.
Stay Warm & Safe With These Simple Furnace Maintenance Tips
Clean out the dust from your furnace filters.
Free-Furnace Maintenance Tips
Heating systems are generally easy to maintain. However, most people are unaware 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.
Prepare These 3 Alternative Power Sources Before An Outage
A generator is perhaps the most common solution to power disruptions in smaller buildings.
Power Alternative Sources
A power outage during or after a storm can devastate your business in Conroe, TX. The lack of power can significantly slow down productivity and revenue, which becomes worse if you are a small business owner. You can mitigate this effect by preparing a series of power alternatives to ensure your establishment continues to function shortly after a weather event.
1. Portable Generator
A generator is perhaps the most common solution to power disruptions in smaller buildings. It can directly power your devices for hours, especially if you use a power transfer switch. The generator runs on gasoline, propane, or diesel. However, it also means you should place the device in a ventilated area to avoid inhaling toxic fumes. Your staff needs to receive indications on how to safely operate the device to avoid any risks.
2. Standby Generator
Another solution for an unexpected power outage is the standby generator. This device is usually attached to the power system. When the automatic transfer switch detects the outage, it turns on the generator so it provides energy to your commercial building. Once the system regains power, it automatically shuts down, ready for the next situation. A standby generator is an ideal option if you or the employees are away since you do not have to manually operate it beyond fueling. Just make sure a professional installs it properly.
3. Uninterruptible Power Supply
An uninterruptible power supply serves as a short-term energy solution that functions immediately after the power is disrupted. You might use the UPS to buy you enough time to backup data, shut down computers properly and contact storm damage restoration services and other helpful sources. You can also use it to activate a standby generator. The UPS functions for a few minutes, but you can also purchase a version that lasts a few hours.
Preparing your business against a storm also means anticipating a power outage. From a portable generator to a UPS, there are several options that can assist you during this unpredictable time.
3 Reasons Why Professional Mold Testing Is Better Than DIY Mold Testing
Getting professional mold testing can help you know exactly what kind of mold you are dealing with.
3 Reasons Why Professional Mold Testing Is Better Than DIY Mold Testing
No one likes finding mold growing inside their home. Mold spores are everywhere, and it's hard to avoid them from entering your house. The problem arises when mold finds a wet, humid area in your home and begins to grow.
Sometimes, mold is hard to spot. Whether you live in a house or apartment in Shenandoah, TX, it's important to keep an eye on potential mold colonies. Mold testing can help you do this. Here are three reasons why professional mold inspections are better than DIY mold inspections.
1. Professional Testing Is More Accurate
Because mold spores are everywhere, a mold kit from the store almost always ends up testing positive. An inspection from a certified hygienist can ensure that you are getting the best quality of testing. They will check areas that prone to mold growth such as the air conditioner, near pipes and in the bathroom. They may also bring specific tools to test air and surfaces and well as inspect potential water damage.
2. Professional Testing Is In-Depth
You may consider doing a test on your own, but getting professional mold testing can help you know exactly what kind of mold you are dealing with. Hygienists know a lot about mold and can help you identify the source of the problem as well as the full extent of the mold growth.
3. Professional Testing Can Lead To Professional Mold Remediation
Of course, if you find mold, you'll want to get it fixed. Working with a mold remediation company to inspect and fix your mold problem is the best way to go. Not only will you identify the mold, but these professionals can start fixing the problem right away.
Mold isn't something you want to mess with on your own. Having professional mold testing can be a much better option to give you the most accurate, in-depth results.
3 Steps for Recovering From Smoke Damage
Foggers are best for large areas.
3 Steps for Recovering From Smoke Damage
Has your building in The Woodlands, TX, suffered from smoke damage from a fire? If so, you've probably already taken the necessary insurance steps and contacted a professional smoke cleaning service. While you wait for the professionals, there are some steps to take to speed the cleanup process along.
1. Air Filters
Air filters are a very easy solution to getting rid of an odor. However, there is more to this solution than putting down any air filter in any space. Each unit is designed to filter a certain amount of air in a specified amount of time. This number, usually given in cubic centimeters, is shown on the box or website description, typically. In addition, each filter inside of the unit is designed to catch only a certain size up particle and up. Most smoke particles are less than one micron, so plan accordingly.
2. Thermal Foggers
These machines are the big guns of smoke cleaning. They work by heating a chemical inside and dispersing it as a vapor. The user then aims the machine around the space they are cleaning. The molecules in the vapor bind to many sources of smoke odor and neutralize it. Foggers are best for large areas or areas that are heavily carpeted or have a lot of furniture.
3. Smaller Options
If you are cleaning up in a smaller area like office spaces, sometimes your best bet is a smaller solution, too. Prioritize the heavier equipment like thermal foggers for the bigger areas, and consider using more residential-sourced solutions. Manually cleaning the smaller items such as light fixtures and decorations makes a big difference. It's not a bad idea to start by using air filters or thermal foggers, then coming back through with a more thorough touch.
Smoke cleaning is a much more manageable task when you are informed and ready to tackle it.