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Why Professional Mold Remediation Is Necessary

10/12/2019 (Permalink)

Professional Remediation Vs. DIY for Your Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg Home

Many Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg homeowners would argue that their methods of repairing and restoring damage to their home are as effective as the professionals could produce. While there might be instances in which this could be as effective or more money-saving, mold remediation is not one of these situations. There are some things that every homeowner should know about the differences between DIY mold removal and professional remediation work for their property.

One of the first concerns about mold damage that any Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg homeowner should have is the extent of the damage that they are currently facing. Even a small colony can spread quickly throughout a home and pose a significant risk to both structural integrity of the property and those that get exposed to the colony. This safety concern is one of the defining factors that should deter homeowners from DIY removal. Without the appropriate personal protective equipment and training, removal efforts could cause acute health effects.

DIY approaches encourage homeowners to use a harsh detergent like bleach and scrub over present colonies to remove them, but this can prove problematic as well for multiple reasons. The first of these concerns is that bleach can react adversely with certain types of mold and become more volatile. Another reason that this is less effective is that this approach only takes off surface mold, and does not remove the entire hyphae like the equipment our SERVPRO Franchise professionals use can.

Another concern is the spread of the organism. Homeowners do not have the available equipment to contain a spreading mold colony as our SERVPRO Franchise professionals do. With the use of air scrubbers, hydroxyl generators, and physical plastic sheeting barriers, we can effectively prevent the spread of the organism to new areas of the home while remediation and mold removal efforts get underway.

As tempting as it might sound to save money and take care of mold growth on your own, many homeowners find that the situation only ends up continually getting worse despite their efforts. Give our SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg remediation specialists a call at (727) 341-1001 to make mold damage “Like it never even happened.”

Recognize Signs Of Mold In Your Home

10/5/2019 (Permalink)

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like that of a roof leak or leaking water line. If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety.

Make sure you stay out of affected areas and turn off the HVAC system and fans. Then contact SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South /  West St. Petersburg for mold remediation services.

Remember significant mold growth can occur in as little as 48-72 hours.  You might notice a strong, musty odor, this may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting; mold isn’t always visible but the odor can help identify it.  Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.

If you suspect mold growth in your home or business give SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South /  West St. Petersburg a call at: (727) 341-1001.

Eliminating Mold Growth Causes

9/28/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Remediates Mold Damage and Takes Steps to Prevent Future Mold Growth

A continuous state of elevated humidity is a primary cause of excessive microbial growth in Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg residences and can quickly increase the amount of damage that follows. Other factors, such as the presence of absorbent materials in the home can also play a role in how rapidly microbial growth occurs.

Whenever a residence in Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg sustains mold damage, one of the aspects examined inside the home includes the presence of water sources. Leaky water lines, past flooding events, and saturated ground near the home can all increase the amount of humidity the interior of the home experiences. SERVPRO technicians use moisture meters and other devices to locate the sources as well as areas where moisture accumulated. Once we locate these areas and sources, we can then resolve the situation that caused microbial growth to affect the home.

Mold remediation experts know that the existence of future invasive water can cause the microbial problem to return, rendering mold remediation efforts useless. Once we eliminate these sources, we can then begin removing mold-damaged materials, laundering and cleaning household items and furniture, and caring for the carpeting throughout the home. Walls that harbor mold, even if dormant, need cleaning and dried.

During our work, maintaining a set of controls to keep all mold contained safely, affects the overall outcome of our labor. This includes the use of plastic sheeting surrounding areas within the home, along with the use of our air scrubbers. Sending microbes outdoors helps keep them from entering other areas of your property.

However, ensuring that moisture sources no longer exist where they should not helps keep old sources from returning in full force. Effectively starving microbes, their population growth stays under control. Once we complete our remediation work, diligent homeowners know to keep an eye out for leaking water lines, loose connections, and other sources of moisture. Microbes do not need a great deal of moisture to begin growing again and causing future problems.

SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg is always ready to serve those in our community. Contact us by calling our 24-hour service line at (727) 341-1001. Your family does not need to live with the effects of mold damage in your home.

9 Ways To Manage Mold

9/14/2019 (Permalink)

  1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them.Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters.
  2. Dry wet areas immediately.Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. 
  3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation.Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. 
  4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products.Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. 
  5. Monitor humidity indoors.The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. 
  6. Direct water away from your home.If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.
  7. Clean or repair roof gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
  8. Improve air flow in your home.Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.
  9. Keep mold off household plants.They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house.

Roof Storm Damage

9/7/2019 (Permalink)

Flood Damage Problems in Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg from Storm Damaged Roofs

When a storm comes into the Gulf Beaches area, damage to your roof is relatively common. Once a hole in your roof gets large enough, extensive flood damage can result. During a rainstorm, many elements such as wind or even hail can arise that can ruin your roof shingles. Wind can blow rocks or other objects into your home and create holes in your roof or exterior walls that rainwater can enter. Once water starts entering the interior of your home, flood damage can occur from the top of your house to the bottom.

As soon as moisture enters your home from the outside, multiple issues can quickly arise. The best thing to do is to immediately call in a professional restoration company such as SERVPRO to mitigate the flood damage inside your home. Water coming from the outside is considered black water and may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Rainwater can also bring in microbes from the outside increasing the chance of microbial growth, no one wants molds growing in their attics.
 
In many cases, the first place that retains moisture after your roof leaks, is your attic. Elevated moisture levels inside your attic can ruin building materials if the area does not get dried out promptly. If the insulation inside the attic gets wet, the moisture can decrease the R-value of the material. Some types of insulation can get dry when wet, whereas other kinds must be removed. 
 
After removing wet insulation, our SERVPRO team can then dry out the wet ceiling materials and roof trusses. To do this we often create a containment chamber to better control the environment in the affected area and to prevent harmful particles from entering the rest of the house. We then set up heated air movers to create a circular air movement inside the area. In addition to the air movers, we also set up dehumidifiers that remove moisture from the air. Once building materials are dry, we treat the attic with anti-microbial chemicals and sometimes spray the trusses with a specialized sealant paint to inhibit fungal growth. 

If you ever have a problem inside your attic after a storm, call SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg at (727) 341-1001

Protection From Wind Damage

8/31/2019 (Permalink)

There are many areas of the United States that have experienced heavy winds and storms this season and the strong powerful winds can cause significant damage to your home.  Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property from broken windows and fallen tree branches to more severe damage to the roof, garage, or car.  It can happen to your home directly from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house. 

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage but winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause more severe damage.  It can produce many types of damaging weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding and more. Thunderstorms are responsible for over half of all wind damage cases in the U.S. but the storm damage repair may be more costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage.  Billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year; understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs. 

It is important to know when a storm is approaching your area and what type of storm it is so you know the potential and level of damage to expect.   These wind damage facts will help you better understand the potential for wind damage and how to prevent it.  Here are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of damage to your home when severe weather strikes.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

Most wind damage is caused by flying debris either from plants or other structures and objects that are not secured.  If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris around your home such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects are either secured or brought inside.  Your doors and windows should also be secured to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

Roof damage can be reduced during the construction phase when the roof deck and the shingles or membrane is applied over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will firmly anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the building in a strong wind. Roofing material must be properly fastened to the deck. Weakly connected shingles will lift easily from the deck.

Siding damage can be reduced at the construction phase as well. Properly fastened siding is less likely to lift off a structure in strong wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger and more storm resistant structure.

 Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Tree maintenance to remove dead limbs or identify and remove weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of the structure being damaged.

Mitigating Damage after a Storm

Close any openings made in the structure by the wind. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common problem. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that can be quickly cut to size and nailed over the opening.

Keep your personal safety in mind and attempt such a closure yourself only if it can be done with little or no risk. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of emergency close up. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

Falling trees and tree limbs can open a structure with sudden violence. A tree on a structure is a very serious personal and structural safety issue. A tree may look as if it will not shift position. But it can shift and cause serious injury to the unwary. A fallen tree may also mask other very serious safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. The wires may still be live and the tree itself energized. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

If your home or business sustains wind damage during a storm, it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional as soon as the storm is over to help limit and repair the damage.  SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

Have Storm or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today (727) 341-1001

Preventing Flood Damage

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Flood Insurance program flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Flooding is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.

Three Key Steps

Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:

  1. Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.
  2. Make sure your roof is secure and protected.
  3.  Clear gutters and drains

If water ever floods your home, getting someone on site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment!

How To Check For Roof Damage After A Storm

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

After a major storm, it's a good idea to inspect your property for damage. Your home's main line of defense is your roof, and it takes a beating. Since it's hard to see your roof, be sure to pay special attention to things like dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens which indicate hail damage. Even from the ground, you may see missing tiles or other signs of roof damage, but most leaks don't represent a need for whole roof replacement. Usually, the leak is coming from something requiring only minor roof repair. Find the source of the leak, stop it and clean the water damage.

Find the Leak Source

During storms in Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg damage lets the rain into your roof. From the inside of your home, look for stains that indicate the source of a leak and the area that needs roof repair. You may see water stains on your ceiling or coming down a wall. When you see that, get your flashlight and head to the attic to look for the source of the leak in that area. Here are five common sources for a roof leak:

1. Vents and fans
2. Chimneys
3. Window dormers
4. Vent pipes
5. Unsecured nails and nail holes

Fix Water Damage

To complete your roof repair, start looking for materials that have been damaged by water. Check for discolorations and rotting wood, as well as wet drywall and insulation. If you find mold, you will need to be very careful not to spread the problem during cleanup. A mold remediation professional can help by creating a containment area while working on the water and mold damage. If you haven't found mold, be sure to start drying any wet materials right away. Mold can begin growing on wet damaged materials in as little as 48 hours. Complete drying is critical to preventing mold, and it may take longer than you realize, especially in a humid attic space. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are completely dry.

Smoke Detectors Are Important

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

The importance of smoke detectors have been ingrained into us, it feels like. We learn about fire safety and what to do when you hear a smoke detector first in school – and it’s repeated to us every year until we go to middle school. And – we’ve even been in the home when the batteries run out of the smoke alarm or every time we cook it sets off the alarm because it’s a little too close to the stove so we take down the smoke alarm.

We know this is bad, and we should absolutely think twice before taking out the batteries. Why? Because fire detectors work. According to The National Fire Protection Association three out of five home fire deaths come from homes that don’t have a smoke alarm. 

So, be sure to check your smoke detectors once a year, replace the batteries and make sure each and every fire detector is working in your home – they save lives after all! 

For all your fire cleaning needs, give us a call today at (727) 341-1001!

Overcoming Soot Damage

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Team SERVPRO Has the Experience to Eliminate Many Different Types of Soot Residues Remaining in Your Home After a Fire

Your Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg home was not intended to stop fires before they spread to other areas of the house. In fact, most of the materials used for the construction of your home have the ability to catch fire and help it to spread throughout the structure. Unfortunately, this can spread the effects of this blaze all throughout your property and cause a lot of work for the professional restoration team that you choose to help clean up this mess. 
 
Working to clean up the mess after the incident is over is no easy task, either. Most often the substantial effects that stand out are smoke and soot damages. These are common versions of fire damage in Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg homes, and they can often prove to be challenging to remove without the right equipment. 
 
Fortunately, our SERVPRO professionals have the tools and expertise to help you through often widespread soot damages throughout your household. While the most concentrated of this effect can get found around the fires originating point where it burned the longest, this is not always the case. This matted debris and film from the combustion leaves a dark, often black residue on surfaces, furniture, flooring, and other materials. 
 
Removing this residue requires multiple approaches. For wall surfaces, scrubbing with wet and dry sponges can often remove the bulk of the present film. Confined spaces like ductwork require high powered vacuums to get used instead. 
 
Smoke damage often presents itself in the form of a harsh odor lingering in fabrics, carpeting and open spaces throughout affected areas of your house. Removal of this odor typically requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break apart odor molecules and leave no discernable scent behind. 
 
There is very little that most homeowners can do alone to bring their homes back from the harmful effects of a fire. When you face these kinds of damages, seek out the professionals we employ at SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg. We can respond quickly and get your home back to preloss conditions as soon as possible. Give us a call 24/7 at (727) 341-1001