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10 Facts About Mold

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on a wall A moldy wall.

Mold Facts

  1. Mold exposure may cause health effects.

  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate moisture sources.

  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.

  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Increasing ventilation
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.

  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent and dry thoroughly. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles that are moldy may need to be replaced.

  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.

  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).

  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. Some molds can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

9 Ways To Manage Mold

9/10/2020 (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

9/9/2020 (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

Lightning Occurs More Than You Think

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Home Lightning Strikes happen roughly twice a year!

Here at SERVPRO of Gulf Beach South / West St. Petersburg, we can help you with fire damages caused by lightning strikes. When the lightning hits a residence, it travels through the electrical lines to one of the home’s electrical boxes, which can catch fire. These fires can leave severe damage, including smoke damage to your home. SERVPRO of Gulf Beach South / West St. Petersburg’s mitigation team has the ability to do a chem-sponge technique that was used to clean soot off of the walls. In doing this, SERVPRO of Gulf Beach South / West St. Petersburg can ensure that no fire damage or smoke damage goes untreated. If needed, affected walls in all damaged rooms can be painted after the cleanup is completed and drywall replaced where necessary. Our professional in-house crew use a white-glove treatment on your residence and complete the entire project quickly; from the first contact to completion here at SERVPRO of Gulf Beach South / West St. Petersburg. Why choose SERVPRO? Because in the event of fire damage or water damages large or small, we’re here to help. Contact us at (727) 341-1001

Inspecting Your Home For Damages After A Fire

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to loss incidents, fire in your Florida home can prove challenging to overcome. Even without crippling structural damage, the effects of a recent fire can often be too far-reaching for the average homeowner to face on their own. Conventional cleaning efforts and general deodorization, for example, pale in comparison to the effectiveness of professional restoration services.

Reacting to the fire damage in your Clarksville home can seem almost impossible. Once the extinguishment completes, you can get your first look at the effects of the fire and what you have to overcome to get your house back to the way it was. Fortunately, this is not a battle that you have to fight on your own. Our SERVPRO team gets trained to handle all manner of fire restoration, from soot clean up to deodorization to help make the steps towards getting your house to original condition more effectively.

Our estimator and project manager work to identify the full scope of the damage from the time that we arrive at your home. We survey every area, whether directly connected to the fire in your home or not. This thorough inspection ensures that all of the damage gets cataloged and that our SERVPRO professionals have the right equipment and strategies to contend with what they face.

This assessment of your damage gets delivered to the insurance company that covers your home. Most claims cannot get pushed through without a detailed itinerary of the work that needs to get done and a general estimated cost for materials and labor to restore the home to preloss conditions.
Whether the damage in your home was widespread or not, this process remains the same. Our professionals take great care in assessing the scope of the damage that your home faces so that no stone gets left unturned in the restoration process. You can trust our SERVPRO of Gulf Beaches South / West St. Petersburg fire restoration specialists to work quickly to bring your home back to how it should be. Give us a call anytime at (727) 341-1001.

5 Ways To Avoid Kitchen Hazards

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Five Ways to Avoid Kitchen Hazards

Many people in Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park love to cook. But even seasoned chefs sometimes make costly mistakes. Here are five helpful ways to avoid kitchen hazards such as a drain clog or grease fire.

1. Keep Your Vents Clean

It’s important to keep the vent screens above your stove clean. Otherwise grease can build up on the screen and inhibit the ventilation becoming a contributing factor in a kitchen fire. The grease build-up could even make a fire worse. 

2. Don’t Leave Pans Unattended

Most cooks know never to lean a pan unattended on the stove. The pan could be knocked over, grease can splatter, or the food can be allowed to cook too long. Each of these things can be a fire hazard.

3. Don’t Put Grease Down the Drain

When you're done cooking it may be tempting to pour the hot grease down the drain. Built up grease in drain can lead to a drain clog and sink overflow. Instead the grease can be poured into a container, allowed to cool and then placed in the trash.

4. Wipe Out Greasy Pans Before Washing

Wipe out any remaining grease and food particles before washing your pans. This can help prevent buildup that may lead to a sink clog.

5. Call a Professional to Service Appliances

If you’re having problems with your stove or drain it may be time to call a professional. They will know how to fix the problem without causing a potential electrical fire. These can come from attempting to fix a broken stove or clogged dish disposal without the correct tools. If fire or flooding does occur, then a fire and water damage restoration service may be able to help.

Following these tips can help you prevent problems like a drain clog or grease fire. Never leave your stove unattended when it’s on, don’t put grease down the drain, and call a professional if your kitchen appliances need maintenance. In the event a fire or flooding does happen in your kitchen, then a restoration professional may be able to help.

Overcoming Soot Damage

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

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

Your Florida home wasn't intended to stop fires before they spread to other areas of the house. In fact, the materials used to construct your home can catch fire and help it to spread throughout the structure. Unfortunately, this can spread the blaze throughout your property and cause a lot of work for the professional restoration team that you choose for restoration.  
 
Working to clean up the mess after the incident is over is no easy task, either. The substantial effects that stand out are smoke and soot damages. These are common versions of fire damage in Clarksville homes, and they can prove 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. Soot damage is predominately at the fires originating point, where it burned the longest, this isnt always the case. This matted debris and film from the combustion leaves a dark, 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 presents itself in the form of odor lingering in fabrics, carpeting and open spaces throughout areas of your house. Removal of this odor requires thermal fogging, a process that releases an unscented chemical compound into the environment and contents of the room to break a part odor molecules and leaves 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

Smoke Detectors Are Important

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

We've learned 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 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 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 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!

How To Check For Roof Damage After a Storm

7/9/2020 (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. Pay attention to things like dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens which indicate hail damage. 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 minor roof repair. Find the source of the leak, stop it and clean the water damage.

Find the Leak Source

During storms in Florida wind 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 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 damaged by water. Check for discolorations and rotting wood and wet drywall and insulation. When you find mold, remain careful and don't spread 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 immediately. 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. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are dry.

Kitchen Fire Tips

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Between 2012-2016 the NFPA found that cooking was the leading cause of fires within the United States. It’s important to remember safety when cooking in our homes. Don’t leave stove tops or ovens unattended and if you do have to leave the room to host guests or for another reason, be sure to take an oven mitt with you to remind you that something is cooking on the stove or in the oven. 

If you happen to have a grease fire in your home, do not pour water on it! It seems like it’s elementary, but when you’re panicked with a fire in your kitchen sometimes you can do silly things. Instead cover the fire with a cookie sheet to suffocate it. If it’s a small fire you can also use salt to put it out as well. Make sure to always have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case a fire breaks out in your kitchen. 

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