The Woodlands and Conroe Home Care: Where Mold Hides
Mold Fact: Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) with the right conditions.
At one time or another, virtually every property in the Houston area will have mold. Thankfully there are steps that you can take for mold prevention, however, in the event of an infestation, it is vital that you understand the causes of mold, and the risks if left unremedied. For mold removal in The Woodlands and Conroe, SERVPRO is available when you need us. Our professional team is experienced in mold remediation and restoration, cleaning up after a fire, flood, and other disasters.
Mold develops and grows in areas of the home that are warm and humid. While bathrooms, basements, crawl spaces, attics, sunrooms, and mud rooms may be on your watch list for mold, here are some other not-so-common areas to watch.
First, in bathrooms, look for mold growth around the tub and shower as this is often the first place for it to develop. It may appear dark green or black in color, and appear first in the caulking and around ceiling and wall joints. However, don’t stop looking there. Under the sink, in the linen closet, and on the walls and ceiling around the exhaust are other areas that are common to develop mold. If there is any mildew-type odor in the air, there is a good chance mold is near. Keep looking, or call in a professional mold testing team for evaluation.
Second, take a look under your kitchen sink, behind the refrigerator, and in the pantry. Kitchens, like bathrooms, are ideal places for mold to grow; they are typically warmer and more humid than other areas of the home. If your refrigerator or dishwasher leaks, or has in the past, the drywall or flooring adjacent to them may be affected by mold. Left unchecked, the drywall, floors, and structural integrity may be compromised. Your local Houston SERVPRO knows where to look for mold, and how to remove it.
Third, look for any signs of mold in bedroom closets. These are areas in which there is little air movement; the moisture from the environment as well as from freshly washed clothing can collect and cause mold to develop. Lessen the likelihood of mold growth in your bedrooms, and closets by leaving a window open, at least once per week. In the summer months, run your air conditioning and a dehumidifier to help maintain safe humidity levels.
Lastly, examine any other areas where there has been previous water or flood damage in your Woodlands Conroe home. If you’ve had a leaky roof, flood, broken water pipe, or fire, and your home was not properly restored, those areas should be on the top of your list for quarterly self-inspection. The first sign of mold on walls or ceilings in these areas may appear like spatters or water droplets. They may be soft yellow in color, but will darken and multiply with time. In the early stages, a bleach-based cleanser can remove the mold; however, it is important to understand that if there are other areas of mold in the home, or humidity levels are high, the mold may reappear quickly.
If you or your family are experiencing persistent symptoms similar to seasonal allergies, your home may have mold. For expert and The Woodlands, call your local SERVPRO team. We are available to respond to water damage, fire damage, and for mold prevention, 24 hours a day.
Storm Damage Restoration Recommendations for The Woodlands
Weatherization can include factors such as a stronger roof or siding that is better able to stand up to stressful conditions.
The Woodlands storms are destructive and can cause expensive damage to various parts of a building with the most vulnerable parts being the roof and siding. Storm damage can include:
- Flooding that results from torrential rains
- Tidal surges resulting from hurricanes
- Wind damage from tornadoes
The following recommendations can help property owners to get repairs completed quickly:
Hire a Qualified Contractor
The contractor will evaluate damage to the property. This is important since some damage may not be immediately obvious to the untrained eye. The contractor may then inform the insurance adjuster as to the damages that should be covered under the property owner's policy. It is important to get started on loss mitigation efforts as soon as possible after the damage has occurred. The property owner should not wait on their insurance company to act as damage may worsen significantly in a short period. Instead, they should hire a reputable contractor to get started on the work.
It is important to note that unqualified contractors may try to get business by canvassing communities after a destructive storm. Property owners should be on the lookout for scammers and avoid hiring people without examining their credentials. The chosen contractor should be fully licensed and qualified. The property owner should ask to see their credentials and references. It is possible to verify licensing online. The contractor should be willing to provide a written contract that includes start and end times for the work as well as a warranty.
Get in Touch with the Insurance Company
Along with The Woodlands storm damage restoration experience, the contractor should have experience working with insurance claims. It is important that the contractor and the insurance adjuster work together. They should both be involved in the inspection of the home to ensure that both are able to see and evaluate damage to the property.
Understand the Scope of the Work That Will Be Necessary
Rainwater can enter a property because of roof or siding damage caused by a windstorm. Other forms of damage may result from flooding due to overflowing rivers and streams; sewage may enter the home because of this flooding. Flooding and water damage will necessitate the removal of damaged materials from the property. It will then be necessary to dry it out to prevent the growth of mold spores. In the event that the home is flooded with sewage, it will be necessary to apply disinfectants or biocides. It is important this work be carried out by experienced personnel. Effective water damage remediation calls for specialized equipment and technical expertise.
Protect the Property from Future Damage
The property owner should take steps to weatherize their structure to make it more resilient the next time there is bad weather. Weatherization can include factors such as a stronger roof or siding that is better able to stand up to stressful conditions.
The cost of The Woodlands storm damage repairs can vary greatly. Factors in that cost range from the amount of damage to the cost of materials and the rates charged by the contractor. In all cases, it is important to hire contractors who have training and experience in the different aspects of storm damage restoration.
The Woodlands and Conroe Home Health: 7 Tips for Cleaning up After a Flood
Flash Flood A flood that can happen within minutes or hours of heavy rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or city drains overflowing
7 Tips for Cleaning up After a Flood
Here in the greater Houston metropolitan area, torrential rains and hurricanes often cause flooding. When floods damage your Conroe or The Woodlands home, give locally owned and operated Houston SERVPRO the opportunity to help you throughout the cleanup and restoration process. Our team has the training, expertise, and tools necessary to help you recover quickly from a flood. Cleaning up after a flood requires patience and persistence, and is often an overwhelming task for homeowners. However, if you decide to do the cleanup yourself, here are our best 7 tips for cleaning up after a flood:
- Wear Protective Clothing. Floodwaters carry potentially hazardous chemicals, bacteria, debris, and even wildlife. It is imperative that anyone starting the cleanup process wears steel-shank and toed boots, mid-arm rubber gloves, eye protection, and heavy clothing.
- Use Proper Equipment. As soon as it is safe to your home, extract the standing water with a wet/dry vacuum. Using fans and portable dehumidifiers throughout the home will also help to speed up the process. If electricity has been cut to your home, use a generator and extension cords designed for outdoor use.
- Remove Furniture. If possible, place water damaged furniture from your Conroe or The Woodlands home outdoors to dry, preferably out of direct sunlight.
- Remove Carpet. Carpet that has been saturated by floodwaters will need to be thrown out. Cut into narrow strips, roll, and dispose of properly. Be mindful that carpet and padding will be extremely heavy when waterlogged. Rent a dumpster to aid in the disposal.
- Scrub Hard Surfaces. Use a combination of bleach and water to scrub all of the hard surfaces including floors, walls, countertops, and others items to kill the potentially dangerous bacteria carried by the water. Purchase a large supply of buckets, sponges, stiff scrub brushes, and paper towels.
- Apply Mold Inhibitors. In our area, mold starts to develop within 48 hours of water damage. Once the water has been extracted, the drywall, insulation, and carpeting have been removed, and all surfaces have been disinfected and dried, apply a commercially available mold inhibitor, This step will help prevent the need for mold remediation in the future.
- Research Restoration Tips. When water damages personal items like photos, antiques, clothing, or fine art, it can be tempting to throw them in the dumpster with the other damaged items. However, there is a chance that with proper restoration, these items can be salvaged. It is important to use the techniques and processes professional emergency flood restoration teams utilize.
Severe weather is common in our area, and SERVPRO of The Woodlands and Conroe ensures that all of our team members have the training and the equipment necessary to restore properties to their pre-flood condition. We are honored to be a preferred service provider for many national insurance companies, allowing us to coordinate directly with them, saving you time and frustration.
4 Reasons Ceiling Tiles Become Discolored
Broken pipe leads to mold damage on ceiling in a Shenandoah,TX building
Four Potential Causes of Discoloration
Ceiling tile discoloration may be an aesthetic or indoor environmental issue. Some of the most common causes of discoloration include the condition of the tiles and whether any signs of damage from water or tile mold are present. Here are four potential causes of discoloration.
1. Water Damage
Leaks and pipe bursts are common causes of discoloration. Signs of prior damage do not necessarily mean that mold is present. If the discoloration has appeared recently, an owner should inspect the structure to identify the water source. Mitigation professionals may use a thermal camera or other technology to quickly determine the extent of the damage.
2. Ultraviolet Lighting
Ceiling tiles in clinics, labs, or manufacturing facilities that rely on UV lighting may become discolored over time. This exposure should not pose any additional risk in terms of wear or mold. Consider whether an area with discolored tiles has been used for curing, nondestructive testing, or sterilizing materials.
3. Tile Mold
Damage caused by water that is not quickly remedied may support mold growth. Mold thrives on cellulose and other food sources found in dirt or dust. Porous materials are particularly prone to developing mold. This may be the cause if the discoloration has a fuzzy texture or appears as irregular stains, clusters, or spots.
4. Age and Condition
Most ceiling tile materials are made out of porous materials. These tiles attract dirt and can become covered in residue over time. This is particularly the case with older ceiling tiles. These tiles may be made out of materials other than mineral fiber, or have been exposed to nicotine smoke.
Consider these four potential causes when trying to determine the source of ceiling tile discoloration in a building in Shenandoah,TX. If you suspect that water damage or tile mold may be the cause, schedule a consultation with a damage mitigation and restoration company.
3 Tips for Reducing Maintenance Costs on Your Facilities
Schedule annual maintenance to your heather
How To Keep Your Cost Down
Around the country, facility management professionals have learned a great deal about how to keep their costs down while maintaining safe, comfortable buildings. Take a look at some of the tips gathered from these professionals, for some improvements in your own maintenance cost.
1. Focus on Lighting
According to the EPA, about 35 percent of a commercial building's energy goes toward lighting. Schools, stores, and offices around the country have tried a few tactics to save money in this area. Some of those include
- Dimming lights during off-use periods
- Replacing older lightbulbs with more efficient bulbs
- Installing digital sensing and control systems
In lighting and other facility management areas, there may be incentives available.
2. Reduce HVAC Costs
One of the best ways to keep heating and cooling costs down is to schedule annual (or more frequent) inspections and maintenance. Heating and cooling professionals in The Woodlands,TX, understand the particulars of the environment and weather patterns. Insights and tips from these professionals could help you minimize costs directly relating to running air conditioners and heaters. Other tactics could include closer looks at machines in your facilities that generate heat or adding some landscaping elements that help you maintain comfortable temperatures.
3. Tackle Repairs Early
Many costs related to repairs could be reduced by catching problems when they are small. Scheduling routine maintenance is one way to do this. It is nearly always cheaper to prevent or repair minor issues than it is to put things off until they have grown into much larger problems. For example, one corporate location replaced filters on air handles several times a year because of the buildup of debris on the fresh air shafts. When technicians recognized this problem, they devised a solution that kept debris away from the shafts, reducing the need to replace filters, and decreasing the maintenance cost.
Have you found other tips that worked well on your facilities? What's the best tactics you've discovered for reducing your maintenance cost?
3 Types of Water Damage Your Business Might Suffer During a Fire
Water damage due to fire fighting in a Conroe,TX home
Dealing With The Aftermath Of Fire And Water Clean Up
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire at your Conroe,TX, business can be difficult. Smoke, fire and soot damage will likely be widespread, especially if the fire affected more than one floor of your building. Along with these other issues, you will likely be dealing with water cleanup, as it can come from several sources during and shortly after a fire:
1. The Sprinkler System
When a blaze first ignites, the heat and smoke will rise and trigger the building’s fire sprinkler system. The amount of water that sprays down from the sprinkler heads can be considerable and affect electronics such as laptops, office printers and internet routers. You may be able to salvage some of these systems during fire cleanup efforts, so set them aside until they can be inspected.
2. Damaged Plumbing
Depending on where the fire took place, you might find yourself facing considerable water cleanup from damaged plumbing, such as pipes that burst from the heat of the fire. Fires that start in an employee bathroom or the building’s basement can both cause plumbing mishaps. Ask your fire damage and cleanup service technicians about whether they can drain away the water before they tackle other types of restoration.
3. Fire Hoses
Firefighters’ hoses expel gallons of high-pressure water streams in the attempt to douse a blaze. In the aftermath, you will probably encounter large puddles of standing water. If water-damaged rooms are still intact, the water could make soot and smoke cleanup a challenge, as humidity levels in that area are likely to rise the longer moisture is present, and it can encourage mold growth as well. Having the water removed as soon as possible lowers the risk of long-term structural damage.
Cleaning up after a fire affects your Conroe,TX, business usually takes much time and effort. Understanding the restoration process, including water cleanup and where water might come from during a fire, can help you face the task with confidence.
The Safe Way to Sewage Cleanup
Call a professional restoration company in Rayford,TX to cleanup a sewer damage
If you're dealing with a sewer backup, flooded toilet or other sewage mess, you have every right to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. However, don't let your frustrations prevent you from taking immediate and decisive action to tackle the mess and minimize damage as much as possible. The first thing you should do in the face of a sewage mess is contact your Rayford,TX, sewer cleanup team ASAP.
The Right Way To Deal With a Sewage Disaster
Sewage is inherently dirty and poses a variety of health and sanitation hazards. For this reason, you should never attempt to cleanup a sewage mess on your own. However, because sewage does present a health hazard, there are steps you can take to reduce exposure to those in the home and keep contaminants limited to a single area:
- Turn off power to the home as well as the water supply line to the building and all a professional.
- Evacuate all children, elderly adults and others who are not assisting in the sewer cleanup process.
- Remove any dry and uncontaminated items and clean them with a heavy-duty disinfectant.
- Open windows and turn on fans to increase ventilation. However, be sure to close off the area to prevent cross-contamination throughout the home.
- Add small amounts of bleach to the contaminated water to prevent bacteria from spreading before help arrives.
Each of the above steps can help you limit damage and salvage as much of your belongings as possible. However, you must act quickly and with no hesitation if you hope to achieve the most effective results.
Let a Professional Take Care of the Rest
While it is okay for you to take some steps to limit the amount of damage to your home and belongings, you should let a professional sewer cleanup team take care of the bulk of the mess. The professionals have the proper safety equipment as well as commercial-grade sanitation equipment that will effectively kill bacteria and restore your home to its previously healthy condition.
Mitigation and Restoration: What's the Difference?
Water damage restoration in a Egypt,TX commercial building
If your Egypt,TX, business has been affected by severe flooding or rainstorms, chances are you've contacted a flood cleanup company to help get your building back to normal. You'll probably hear the terms "mitigation" and "restoration" used quite a bit, and you may be unclear about the difference. Here’s a look at what each means.
Mitigation is your first line of defense after your building has been damaged and includes measures used to stabilize the situation before more damage can occur. The mitigation company should respond quickly and take steps such as:
- Inspecting damage
- Making sure the structure is stable
- Boarding up windows
- Setting up tarps
- Removing furniture and other items
- Storing property
- Extracting water
A flood cleanup company responsible for mitigation takes the first steps in dealing with the damage, but depending on the severity, further work may be needed to prevent bigger problems and eradicate the possibility of health risks from mold or other pathogens. This is where restoration comes into play.
A restoration company is responsible for bringing your property back to the state it was in before the storm damage occurred. Once mitigation has been completed, the job of repairing structural damage can begin. The company should clean and sanitize any parts of the structure that have been exposed to mold, bacteria or other pathogens, and can disinfect and restore any salvageable items that have been removed from the building. Restoration can be a lengthy process, depending of the severity of the storm damage. After everything has been dried and disinfected, repairs might range from replacing some drywall and painting to rebuilding entire sections of the structure.
In many cases, a flood cleanup company can offer both mitigation and restoration. Now that you have more insight into what to expect from both types of services, you should be able to make an informed decision when choosing a company.
Putting Out a Grease Fire: Three Steps
Fire damage in New Caney,TX
Putting Out a Grease Fire
One day, you may have to face a grease fire in your New Caney,TX, home. What can you do to safely put one out if it should start? If you cannot call in emergency help in time, you should have an action plan in place to smother the flames. Here are the three steps you need to take to safely stop a fire so you can then figure out how to clean up from it.
1. Cover the Flames
A cookie sheet or metal lid should be placed over the fire as quickly as possible. Do not remove the lid until its surface has cooled completely, and make sure that the object is large enough to cover the flames.
2. Turn Off the Heat
Whether the blaze grew from a stove burner, an oven or another source, you should try to turn off the culprit as soon as safely possible. Do this only after you have enclosed the grease fire with a metal covering.
3. Use Salt or Baking Soda
If the fire is fairly small, pour baking soda or salt on the flames. Doing so should put them out and end the fire. If this does not work, or if the fire is too large, a dry chemical fire extinguisher should be used. Make sure that it is categorized as Class B. Never use any cooking powder besides baking soda or salt, as it will only fuel the flames and lead to a more dangerous fire.
Many times, it is best to call 911 anyway so you can allow trained firefighters to put out the grease fire. They should know exactly what to do, and you can then put all of your focus on the fire cleanup that happens after the flames are out. If emergency help is unavailable for some reason, the steps above are the safest ones to follow to eliminate the fire. If they fail, you should leave your house immediately to protect your well-being.
Dealing with fire damage
Dealing With Fire Damage Through Fire Restoration
The occurrence of a fire in home or fire in business place can be a cause for panic. Once the fire in home or fire in business is put out, the victims of the fire begin counting losses worth thousands of dollars. Items that once stood gracefully beautifying the room would end up looking sad and terrifying with all the smoke damage, soot damage and the smoke smell. The heat from the fire adversely affects a hoard of items within a burnt premise. Plastics melt, wood gets charred, the paint on the wall is damaged, and electrical wiring totally messed up. That is why in many cases, fire cleanup measures are put in place to prevent the occurrence of fires. Fire extinguishers are recommended in business premises so that fire can be dealt with as soon as it occurs to limit losses.
However, preventive measures may fail, and a fire in business or fire in home leads to fire damage of valuable property. Once a fire has occurred, it is inevitable that fire cleanup will be done to return it to pre-fire conditions. It is highly advisable that you contact fire damage restoration or commercial fire damage services to handle the task for you. You can be assured that their professionalism will ensure that losses due to the fire are minimized, and you get a value for your money.
Before the arrival of the fire damage restoration service, it is important to ensure that you do not worsen the fire damaged area to reduce losses. This can be done by minimizing movement within the house or business premise that has been burnt. This will ensure that soot particles are not disturbed. This will turn avoid the embedding of the same into carpets, upholstery and other materials. It is also advisable to cover the things in the room if the movement is inevitable to prevent further damage. Keep away from wiring and electrical appliances unless authorized by a qualified electrician. This warning includes not washing the appliances especially those that were closer to the fire. Try as much as possible to keep your hands clean when touching things around the room to avoid dirtying them further hence making the fire cleanup process harder. This is especially true for things such as walls, wood items, and upholstery. As you avoid dirtying these items, it is also advisable not to try washing them as this damages them further. Avoid setting smoke odor in clothes that were in a fire zone by taking them to an ordinary dry cleaner. Such clothes require specialized cleaning to get rid of any smoke smell that may have reached the clothes during the fire.
The commercial fire damage services will first and foremost inspect the fire zone to assess the fire damage. This is important for them when it comes to creating a workable action plan for your premise. The inspection involves looking around at adjoining rooms so as to determine the extent of the fire damage, soot damage,smoke damage and smoke smell. Where there are missing windows and walls, boarding up. Consequently, damaged roofs are covered with tarp to reduce the risk of accident and injury during the fire cleanup process. Water removal and drying are after that done in the case where water was used to put out the fire. In cases where it was not, the fire damage restoration itself begins by removal of the smoke damage and soot damage. Equipped with specialized equipment for such, the fire damage restoration or commercial fire damage company get rids of smoke and soot from walls, ceiling and other surfaces that have been affected by the two. The smoke smell, soot damage and smoke damage is also dealt with.
Restoration and fire cleanup involves carrying out of minor and major repairs where they are required in order to return the burnt area to its condition before the occurrence of the fire which is the final thing done by the commercial fire damage services. Fire in home and fire in business should no longer be a nightmare with the help of fire clean-up services.
Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com for more information on fire damage.