Musty Smells and Tips on Finding Hidden Mold
Sometimes you only notice the mold smell and you just can't see the problem area with your own eyes.
Mold is so abundant in the environment that most people know that musty, mold smell anywhere. Not all molds have that mildew smell, but those that do are actually producing that signature scent as a result of their digestive process. Depending on the type of mold and its food source, gases known as mycotoxins are released.
Mold grows anywhere with a good supply of moisture and oxygen, and an organic food source, so mold spores are regularly flowing in the air. Those spores find ways indoors, sometimes hitchhiking on people or just flowing in your ventilation system. The spores are going to exist no matter what, but when those spores land in a damp environment, they can start to grow pretty quickly. If the water source continues to exist or the humidity remains too high, the mold eats and reproduces and you notice that fungus smell.
When you notice that mold smell, you know that there is mold in your building in Acworth, GA. Knowing that mold needs a water source, you can focus your search for leaks, water damage and humid areas. Here some tips on finding hidden mold:
• Kitchens and bathrooms get a lot of use and small leaks may occur without your notice, check under sinks and around toilets
• Examine areas where pipes run to look and feel for wet areas from leaks
• Look up at ceiling tiles and high on walls for stains
• Check individual rooms for those with inadequate ventilation that leads to high humidity
Sometimes you only notice the mold smell and you just can't see the problem area with your own eyes. Mold remediation professionals use special detection equipment, like thermal cameras, to find water problem areas that can't be seen with standard vision. Infrared imaging not only helps you find the problem, it is a reliable source of support that can be used when handling a claim with your insurance company. These detection methods are a way to cover large areas fast, so you can solve the problem more quickly. Mold remediation should begin as soon as the problem is found, as colonies can reproduce quickly and spread out in your building. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestcobbcounty.com/.
What To Do Following a House Fire
The period immediately following a house fire is bound to be a stressful time for anyone.
Are you dealing with the aftermath of a house fire in Acworth, GA, and are unsure of what to do next? Looking to be prepared in the event that the unthinkable does happen? Fire restoration is an obviously critical step for repairing any damage, but what other things should you keep in mind? Here’s a list of steps you’ll want to remember
1) Secure temporary lodging. Many victims of residential fires will be unable to stay in the home until restoration occurs. Reach out to family, friends or a local disaster relief agency to identify your options. Let local authorities know that you’ll be staying away from the home and, if necessary, ensure that openings are boarded up to avoid unlawful entry.
2) Call your insurance provider ASAP. Depending on the extent of your fire insurance, coverage may help cover costs involved in restoration and replacement of belongings. During the recovery process, you should closely monitor and record expenses, especially if “loss of use” funds are received as an advance on your claim.
3) Secure your financials. Ensure that any lost credit or debits cards are reported and replaced. Contact your mortgage lender or landlord so they are aware of your situation. Make sure your insurance agent provides a complete picture of how much coverage you will receive for costs, bills, restoration, lost belongings, etc. as part of the recovery process.
4) Contact a fire restoration specialist. Identify a trusted contractor that can sanitize surfaces and repair damages. This step should include mitigating water left over from extinguishment, smoke cleaning, construction and any other steps necessary to return the home to pre-fire condition.
The period immediately following a house fire is bound to be a stressful time for anyone. By following these steps and relying on help from insurance agents and fire restoration specialists, you can rest easier knowing that you’re well on your way to recovery. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestcobbcounty.com//
The Longer You Wait for an Adjuster, the More Damage You May Cause to Your Home
Acting as soon as possible could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
If your home was recently damaged by a flood, your first instinct may be to call the company that holds your flood insurance policy. While there is no harm in doing so, there IS harm in waiting for an adjuster to arrive before calling your Acworth, GA, flood damage restoration team.
Adjusters are busy in the aftermath of a natural disaster, and it may be days or even weeks before someone can get to your home. Even just a few days of doing nothing can have a devastating impact on your home's structure and your personal belongings. If your home was recently in a flood, call for help immediately. Here are three good reasons why:
• Mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours. The longer you wait to start the remediation process, the greater the risk of mold damage.
• Bacteria growth is another very real possibility. If you wait too long to clear your home of standing water and the contaminants it causes, you put yourself and your loved ones at risk for bacteria-borne illnesses.
• Your flood insurance company may be overburdened. If your home was flooded because of heavy rains or snowfall, chances are that your neighbors' homes were flooded as well. It may be weeks before an adjuster shows up at your door.
The Sooner You Start the Process, the Better
Many homeowners are hesitant to begin the flood remediation process without their insurance adjusters' approval for fear that the company will deny the claim after the fact. While there is the possibility of such a thing happening, it's a very small possibility. Moreover, an insurance company is likely to approve a claim for minimal damage and repairs than it is to approve a claim for excessive damage.
Flood insurance can be a great thing, but too often, homeowners use it as a crutch and will not approve necessary repairs until after the adjuster has approved of them as well. While this is understandable in some instances, it can be detrimental when it comes to flood damage. If your insurance company is backlogged, don't wait for it to start the remediation process. Acting as soon as possible could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestcobbcounty.com/.
How Long Does It Take To Clean Up Water Damage?
When your life is disrupted by bursting pipes, the faster you can get back to normal, the better.
When your home is affected by a flooding event, it can disrupt your whole life. Bursting pipes, for example, can take you by surprise and expel an incredible amount of water into your house before you turn off the main water valve. Whatever the source of the water, your first question after you call a water damage mitigation specialist in Acworth, GA, is probably how long it’s going to take to return your home to normal. The answer depends on the type of water, the amount of water and the extent of the damage.
Water damage mitigation experts have specialized equipment to help them remove water from your home. If your bursting pipes gushed water for a long time before the main valve was shut off and the water is deep, submersible pumps are used to empty out the affected rooms. Once the water becomes too shallow for pumps, industrial wet vacs suck up the remaining water. The equipment used is so powerful that even a relatively large house can usually be emptied out in around 24 hours. Once the bulk of the water is out, the affected area needs to be completely dried to prevent mold from growing.
The amount of time it takes to dry out your home is highly variable. Multiple factors all play a part:
• The type of flooring
• The size of your home
• The time of year
• The humidity levels of the region
Industrial-strength air movers are used along with dehumidifiers to pull moisture from the air to speed the drying process. To completely dry out the flooded area can take anywhere from two to three days. However, if you have wood floors or water was left standing for a long time, it can take up to five to seven days.
When your life is disrupted by bursting pipes, the faster you can get back to normal, the better. Letting a water damage mitigation specialist in Acworth, GA, handle the cleanup ensures it happens as quickly as possible. With an expert in charge, you can be back to normal within the week. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestcobbcounty.com/.
Preventing a Icy Disaster for Your Business
Sites with a history of freezing pipes and water damage are likely to experience floods again in the future.
Succeeding in business in Acworth, GA, is about balancing risks with rewards. Make sure you're taking every cost-effective preventative measure to avoid potential disasters, such as water damage. Freezing pipes pose significant risks to any business that operates on physical premises:
• Structural damage to your building's interior features
• Secondary problems of flooding, such as mold infestations
• Destruction of sensitive electronic equipment
• Expensive downtime while cleaning is being performed
• Increased insurance premiums
Wheeling and Dealing
Many water disaster prevention measures are also good amenities to look for when you're scouting a new site. You can often persuade current building owners or managers to implement freezing or water damage prevention measures as part of a real estate deal.
Keeping Your Property Clean
If you already own or rent, then you may have to take responsibility for freezing prevention yourself. However, as these can sometimes be considered improvements to a capital investment, your accountant may be able to turn any work you do into a tax break for your business.
Insulating Against Disaster
The most powerful and cost-effective solution over the long term is installing insulation. Insulated buildings are protected against the extreme cold conditions that cause broken pipes. These conditions often do not last long enough for a well-insulated site to be affected. However, facilities that are completely exposed to the elements tend to change temperature much more quickly, increasing the risk of damage from frozen pipes.
Taking Temporary Measures
If you don't have space in your budget for site improvement work, then turning up the heat to a higher level may prevent freezing over the short term. However, this is far from a long-term solution. Try to get insulation installed if you plan on being in place for more than a season or two.
If you're already dealing with water cleanup, it can be a good idea to implement a preventative solution, such as insulation, along with the restoration work. Sites with a history of freezing pipes and water damage are likely to experience floods again in the future. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestcobbcounty.com/.
8 Steps That Can Prevent Flood Damage to Your Business
Damage done by flooding waters can have a devastating impact on your business in Acworth, GA.
The possibility of floods and the resultant damage has been a fact of life in Acworth, GA, for many years. As weather conditions change globally, bad weather seems to be wreaking havoc more often and sometimes leaving businesses without utilities. Rather than meekly submitting to the potentially crippling effects of flooding, fight back with these simple steps:
1. Sandbag doors and windows to prevent water’s access. Additionally, sandbag around any machinery that cannot be moved. Wet sand can exert pressure on building walls, so make sure the bags are at least six inches away from the foundation except at edges.
2. Close gas main valves and turn off utilities. This includes water and electricity.
3. Move important papers, computer files and other vulnerable documents to higher elevations or away from the premises. Don’t forget to move computers, furniture and other small equipment to prevent flood damage.
4. Before flooding begins, backup current computer files and remove them from the building. Include contact information, customer lists, and supplier’s data.
5. Remove cleaning supplies, chemicals, paints and other dangerous liquids from the property. Removal can help prevent possible contamination of any water that enters your building and make for an easier and less dangerous cleanup by storm damage and restoration personnel.
6. Relocate any outdoor supplies and equipment. If you are unable to move items indoors, anchor them securely to prevent the rushing waters from washing them away.
7. Place a sandbag inside toilet bowls. The weight of the sandbag can prevent sewage from flowing into your business as flood waters rise.
8. Request help from flood agencies and government associations in controlling the direction and flow the waters. Retaining walls and flood skirts can often divert water away from businesses to underground access points.
Damage done by flooding waters can have a devastating impact on your business in Acworth, GA. By using the simple steps above to flood-proof your company, you can reduce the water’s impact and resume normal business operations more quickly. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestcobbcounty.com/.
Trust SERVPRO To Dry Walls After Flood Damage To Your Acworth Home
It only takes one burst of bad weather such as torrential rain to leave your home with flood damage.
Flood Damage To Your Home
Georgia was hit with severe flooding last year and early this year. The arrival of Hurricane Matthew along with several flash flood warnings caused many residents to be evacuated from their homes. Many homes were left with damage after floods. This shows that it only takes one burst of bad weather such as torrential rain to leave your home with flood damage. Even if you can avoid severe weather, a burst pipe can quickly flood your home and cause harm.
If your Acworth home suffers flood damage, one of the most important parts of the cleanup operation is drying out the walls of your house. Flood water quickly penetrates walls and leaves them susceptible to damage. Moisture in the walls of your home is a major cause of mold colony growth and mildew. Damp walls are also more likely to become structurally unsound.
Trust SERVPRO to dry out the walls of your home and leave them as clean and sound as if the flood never happened. Our expert IICRC-certified technicians are fully trained to assess and tackle the flood damage to your house walls. We use moisture meters to inspect the walls and assess how much water has got into them. We also remove baseboards if necessary for a closer examination.
Once we have assessed the level of water damage, we will bring in the best equipment to dry out your walls. We position air movers in the most strategic way to speed up the drying process. In some cases, it is necessary to drill holes in the baseboards or even remove them. If the damage is more extensive, we sometimes need to remove areas of drywall to ensure thorough drying of the wall cavity. We carry out each repair with all due care and attention to preserve your home as well as possible. Our professional teams are trained to ventilate the walls with the minimum possible damage to your home. Our plan is to find the most effective way to dry out the walls as quickly as practical.
We also examine the insulation in your walls to determine if it can be dried or if it needs to be thrown away and replaced. In some cases, flood damage means insulation gets saturated with water and mats up. This renders it unusable, and it needs to be replaced. Some fiberglass insulation is salvageable if the damage is not too extensive. Our SERVPRO team gives you honest advice on whether this is possible.
If you have suffered flood damage, rely on SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County to dry out your walls. Call us at (770) 966-1442 for assistance.
4 Steps of a Fire Escape Plan
Now that you know the essentials of a fire escape plan, it’s time to inform your employees as well.
Most Acworth, GA, offices have some sort of fire escape plan, whether it is posted on the back of a breakroom door or part of required safety training. While these instructions are there for a reason, they are often forgotten. The information below, including a few tips from the Red Cross, can give you a fast escape strategy in the event of a fire.
1. Test Smoke Alarms
Having a working smoke alarm is one of the first tips mentioned by the Red Cross, and also one of the simplest preventative measures your office can take. Test batteries every month and change them at least once a year; for buildings with multiple stories, ensure there is a working alarm on every level.
Your employees don't need to familiarize themselves with every corner of the building to know a good emergency escape plan. Set aside some time for a workplace meeting that informs all employees about the best exits on the property. Make sure workers know at least one exit route from each room of the building.
A mandatory fire drill may seem like a waste of time compared to all those crucial workday tasks. A drill routine, however, can acquaint everyone in the building with the right steps to take if worse comes to worst. It can also be helpful to designate a specific location outside – and far enough away from the building – where everyone can meet.
Lastly, one more tip the professionals provide is in regard to safety equipment. If there are multiple floors to the building, you may want to purchase safety ladders as part of your fire escape plan. Place them in accessible areas in the building, and make sure employees know how to use them properly.
Now that you know the essentials of a fire escape plan, it’s time to inform your employees as well. You’ll then have the comfort of knowing that everyone has a safety plan in case of an emergency. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestcobbcounty.com/.
Why Does Bread Always Get Moldy?
Mold is more likely to grow in wet places than in dry ones.
Everyone knows the feeling of opening the fridge to make a sandwich, reaching into the bag of bread, and coming into contact with disgusting, fuzzy mold growths presaged by that smell that always seems to accompany moldy bread. Why does food mold, anyway, and why is bread more likely to mold more quickly than anything else? Read on for answers to your Acworth, GA, mold problems and culinary woes.
You Can’t Escape Mold
Believe it or not, mold is everywhere. In the air, on your skin, in your food. It’s just a matter of the conditions necessary for it to grow. Bread in particular is appetizing to the mold because of the yeast in it. You can prevent mold on bread by:
• Storing it in a cool, dry place
• Wrapping it properly
• Always checking it for freshness on purchase
• Only keep small amounts of bread rather than storing it in the long term
Remember that if you find mold on one or two slices of bread, the entire loaf is probably infested with bread mold and just hasn’t begun to sprout.
Refrigerating Bread Actually Makes Mold Grow Faster
Mold is more likely to grow in wet places than in dry ones. When you refrigerate your bread, especially in the plastic bag it usually comes from, the bread “sweats” the moisture inside it only for that moisture to condense against the walls of the bag. That trapped, wet environment is the perfect situation for bread mold to take place and grow.
It’s Not Just Bread
Fridge mold can happen to anyone, but it’s also a sign something may be wrong with your refrigerator. If your fridge isn’t cooling properly, it may go through cycles of hot and cold that lead to condensation on the inner walls. That condensation results in a moist environment that mold loves – with plenty of food to grow on with your fresh groceries ripe and waiting. If you’re having frequent bread mold problems, it’s a definite sign you need to get your get your fridge checked out. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestcobbcounty.com/.
To Keep or To Toss: What Must Be Replaced After a Fire
When you throw away items that have fallen victim to fire damage, you are protecting yourself from the potential of further complications to your over
A residential fire can be devastating. The recovery process is often long and arduous. If your home in Acworth, GA, is damaged or destroyed by a fire, chances are high that many things within your home are damaged beyond repair as well. Fire restoration specialists may be able to salvage some things, but here are some items you will probably need to throw away.
If you look on the bottle or instruction sheets for most medications, you may see a warning to keep them away from high heat. Heat changes the chemical properties of substances, which can change the effects that those substances have. It is not a good idea to ingest anything that has been altered without knowing exactly how that change will affect you. To be on the safe side, dispose of any medications that were affected by the fire.
The cans lined up in your pantry may seem okay, but if fire, smoke or even excessive heat came anywhere near them, it is best to toss them out. The seal that protects the food inside the cans may have been weakened by the heat. It is better to throw away questionable items than take a chance on eating something that may have gone bad.
What you put on your body can be just as important as what you put in your body. High heat can destroy any of the following items:
• Facial cleanser
• Contact solution
Without knowing what affect the altered state of these product may have on your skin, it is safer to dispose of them.
Replacing everything may be expensive, but you can’t put a price on peace of mind. If you are unsure whether an item is safe to use, it is best to get rid of it. When you throw away items that have fallen victim to fire damage, you are protecting yourself from the potential of further complications to your overall recovery process. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestcobbcounty.com/.