Addressing Black Mold in Your Commercial Building
Mold growth behind drywall.
Coming across black mold in your Gainsborough, GA, commercial building is never a fun experience. The best way to confront the unwelcome fungus, however, is to understand its growth habits. You may have been led to believe that mold will only grow in specific spots, but the truth is, this type of fungus thrives in even the most unpredictable places. What, then, do you need to know about this type of mold and how to remove it from your building?
Understanding Mold Growth
Its also referred to as toxic mold, and there are a few important facts that you should be aware of when faced with this highly regenerative fungus:
- Mold can grow and colonize anywhere.
- Mold usually carries an odor.
- Prolonged and excessive moisture encourages mold spore reproduction.
- Forty-eight hours is all it takes for mold growth to begin when water is present.
- The microscopic spores can enter your building in a variety of ways.
Identifying Moisture Problems
Arguably the biggest issue surrounding the presence of black mold is the moisture problem. When exposed to water, mold spores flourish and rapidly reproduce. What kind of moisture should you be on the lookout for?
Common water-related issues can come from broken pipes, flooding, high humidity, and a broken supply line. Exposure to water stemming from any of these problems will allow the mold to thrive and grow unless the moisture is addressed and the fungus is properly cleaned up.
Cleaning Up Toxic Mold
You will want to clear out the fungus growth as soon as possible. The best way to tackle your mold cleanup project is to let the experts handle it by contacting cleanup and restoration specialists who are familiar with this type of problem. Calling on the experts can give you peace of mind that your toxic mold problem is being dealt with in the most thorough way possible.
Black mold can be a headache, but knowing your enemy is half the battle. By understanding how the fungus grows, potential moisture causes and the pros of hiring specialists to take care of the cleanup, you can rest assured that your mold problem will be no more.
The ABCs of Home Fire Extinguishers
Most household extinguishers can put out a home fire and electrical fire at the same time.
The ABCs Of Fire Extinguishers At Home
The unique shape, markings, and color of the fire extinguisher have long been established and accepted. Therefore, when standing near a small fire, everyone knows to look for the long, red cylinder to use for fire suppression. What most people do not know is that there are different types of classifications of household fire suppressors, and once purchased, the chemicals inside are not good forever.
The fire extinguisher has been around for over 150 years. Originally designed to put out combustible fires with potassium carbonate, as times changed and fires evolved, so did the fire suppressors. The units now come in three types:
Class A is for use on ordinary household combustibles.
Class B can be used on flammable gas or liquid.
Class C units are designed for use on electrical fires.
Although the specially designed fire containment containers used to be manufactured with only one of the various class of chemicals, the new and modern versions often contain all three. For that reason, most household extinguishers can put out a home fire and electrical fire at the same time.
Fire repair and restoration teams stress the importance of understanding that fire extinguishers are not meant to last forever. Depending on the brand you buy, the manufacturers typically state that most expiration dates fall somewhere between five and fifteen years from purchase date. If the label does not have a date, or there is no inspection tag attached to the unit, look at the pressure gauge and recharge as soon as the needle falls below the green area.
Your home in Chamblee,GA may be your castle, but if you do not have a fire preparedness plan in place, that castle could quickly burn down. Keep your fire extinguisher handy, do not store it away in inaccessible areas. It only takes a few moments for a fire to overwhelm a room, but if you have the suppressor close at hand, you can be on top of the fire and not let it grow out of control.
Preparing Your Home for an Extended Absence
Turn off the water supply to your house.
How Do I Prepare My Home For Extended Absence?
Are you thinking of ditching your Chamblee, GA, home for a two-week getaway on white-sand beaches? Perhaps you want to leave your home unoccupied for an entire winter to escape the cold. Whatever your plans, you should do what you can to prepare your house for an extended absence. If you fail to do this, you may come home to a flooded kitchen thanks to the unnoticed need for water pipe repair.
• Have it inspected. You may think all your plumbing is in working order, but leaks can be hidden within the depths of your walls. Calling in a plumber or residential water repair expert can help you make sure there are no hidden problems. Don't forget to have someone check your sump pump and other equipment to make sure your home is ready for heavy rain.
• Clean your gutters. No matter what time of year you're leaving, you should clean out your gutters before departing. Clogged gutters can allow rainwater to sit on your roof, which can increase the chances of leaks into your attic space and the rest of your house.
• Turn off the water. If you're going to be gone for a long time, you could turn off the water supply to your house. This can help protect you from a major water pipe repair as soon as you get back.
• Protect your pipes. If you are leaving for the winter, you need to make sure your pipes are well-insulated. This is especially true if you plan on turning off or lowering the heat. A frozen pipe can quickly turn into a broken pipe while you are away.
• Hire a sitter. Ask a neighbor, friend, or relative to stop by your home every few days. If the basement becomes flooded after heavy rain, a house sitter can catch the problem before it turns into a moldy issue.
Taking vacations is a great way to relieve stress. You can prepare your house for a vacancy to reduce the need for a water pipe repair when you get back.
Dry It, Don’t Fry It: Tips for Reducing the Chances of a Dryer Fire in Your Home
Your dryer should help you, not hinder you with fire.
How Can You Prevent A Dryer Fire?
Like dozens of other appliances and hardware in your home, your dryer was designed to make life more convenient. It allows you to get done with your chores faster so you can spend more time with friends, family, and simply doing what you love to do in North Atlanta, GA. However, they’re also one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States. The average lint fire has caused
- Nearly 2,900 emergency calls each year
- 5 deaths and 100 injuries annually
- $35 million in property damage in the span of a year
Luckily for you, there are plenty of things you can do as a homeowner to prevent one of these common fires from starting in your home.
Dry Smaller Loads
When you overload your dryer, it leads to a wide number of issues. An overloaded dryer contains more clothes for a blaze to feed on in the early stages. Drying smaller loads is not only more efficient in the long run, but it’s safer and takes a little extra time and effort from you.
Clean and Maintain Your Lint Trap
An overloaded or otherwise problematic lint trap is the leading cause of dryer fires. The dust, hair, and threads that make up the material in the lint trap are extremely flammable. If the buildup becomes too much, the high heat of the dryer itself can set it ablaze. Therefore, empty out your lint trap between every load to avoid a lint fire.
Be Aware of What You’re Drying
Unfortunately, not everything can go in the dryer. The high heat settings can burn, melt other otherwise destroy items that contain foam, rubber, or plastic. Rather than using the appliance, set these items outdoors or in another open space to dry. It’s just as effective and reduces the chances of accidentally starting a dryer fire.
Your dryer should help you, not hinder you with fire. Following these simple tips takes only minutes during your regular laundry routine and can drastically reduce the chances of a lint fire happening in your home.
Find the Right Time for Employees To Return During Flood Cleanup Using 3 Guidelines
Water removal in Doraville, GA.
Find the Right Time for Employees To Return During Flood Cleanup Using 3 Guidelines
Your business in Doraville, GA, may be recovering from the flood, but there is catchup work to be done to make up for the time lost to closure for restoration. Eager owners and employees may be wondering when it’s best to return to a business location that recently suffered black water damage. Following these three guidelines will give a general idea of the appropriate time to resume using a building.
1. Water Sitting Untreated Can Be Dangerous, So Don’t Enter Early
Even if it starts out clean, a flood can create an electrocution hazard or become contaminated with microorganisms or hazardous building residues like asbestos and lead. It’s difficult to know what’s in the standing water as it stagnates without testing, so it’s advised for no one to be near it before it’s removed and sterilized.
2. Disinfection Is Often the Key Milestone for Returning
Black water includes toilet overflow and sewage. It is not advised to work around potentially dangerous waste without high-grade protection. Your workers can typically expect safe premises after the cleaners disinfect and clean the building. Before that, there could be dangerous debris washed up in water that could still be around on the flooring.
Disinfection comes late in the process because the water needs to first be removed for the room to be properly disinfected. Any components or assets in the area that were soaked in contaminated water are removed or demolished during this process. It is likely safe to request to resume use of the building afterward.
3. Ask the Restoration Company Directly If Uncertain
As experts in the field, the professional flood damage restoration crew can offer the best estimate for their processes. Flood cleanup can differ depending on many factors, so it’s best to get an answer directly from the specialists.
The loss of wages and revenue can motivate people to come back to a flooded business sooner than later, but first, the cleanup process needs to reach its goals so the building is no longer at risk. Verifying the black water is fully treated saves the trouble of problems from a premature return.
How Can You Prepare Your Business for a Snowstorm?
Check the weather forecast every few days.
Winter storms are not unusual in Dunwoody, GA. Owning a business in this region means being ready for a big punch. However, if you’re prepared for the weather, a snow storm can be nothing more than a passing inconvenience.
How Can You Know One Is Coming?
Weather is a hot topic these days. While there’s still a lot of guesswork in forecasting, modern science has helped their accuracy enormously. Big storms are typically predicted days before they strike, and this is disseminated through many channels, including
Emergency phone alerts
Many NWS local stations also post weather information to social media. If you’ve heard talk about a coming storm, make sure to check one of these sources. Also, check the long-term forecast every few days. If a storm is predicted, pay close attention and get ready if you aren’t already.
How Can You Be Ready When a Snow Storm Hits?
Winter storms are one of the costliest disasters to hit the U.S. They can blanket an entire region with feet of snow and often paralyze cities. A business may choose to shut down when a large storm is approaching. If so, you should shut off utilities and depressurize your plumbing to avoid a pipe burst if any of it is susceptible to cold weather.
Large snowstorms often ride on a front boundary that tends to be close to freezing. However, once the storm passes, extremely cold air often follows, meaning that exposed plumbing must be prepared for it.
What Should You Do If Your Business Is Damaged?
Commercial storm damage needs to be inspected immediately by a winter weather restoration expert. If it has left areas exposed to the elements, your building will need to be tarped and boarded. Heavy snow can damage roofs and ice jams can cause mass destruction. Call as soon as possible because, in a large storm, they’re likely to get pretty busy.
It’s up to you to ensure your business is ready for a snow storm. Discuss your plans with key employees and consider all the likely contingencies.
What Personal Protective Gear Is Used in Mold Remediation?
SERVPRO techs always wear the proper equipment.
Personal Protective Gear
Following a water incident in your Dunwoody, GA home, you must take swift action to resolve the issue. Standing water and moisture can cause more problems than just water damage; mold damage is also a real threat if excess humidity lingers. It's best to hire water damage restoration professionals to manage the cleanup process. Still, whoever does the work needs to wear personal protective equipment, such as face masks. This PPE will help keep the workers safe and prevent cross-contamination into unaffected areas of the home.
1. Hair Covers
A worker should put on a hair cover before work begins, then remove and throw it away before leaving the affected area. Upon reentering the contaminated area, a worker should replace their hair cover with a fresh one.
2. Safety Goggles
Safety goggles for mold remediation should be closed on all sides to prevent mold spores and other debris from getting in the eyes. They'll also keep eyes protected from harsh chemical splashes and fumes.
Respirators, or face masks, are the most essential pieces of PPE for mold damage restoration. By utilizing the proper mask (e.g., N-95), you'll protect yourself from inhaling mold spores and other debris that's stirred up during the remediation process.
Disposable latex gloves are best for use during mold cleanup. Like the other PPE, it's vital to remove them before leaving the affected area, then replace them before resuming work.
Coveralls will help keep your clothes free of mold spores, cleaning chemicals and other contaminants. Ideally, coveralls will cover your arms and legs fully so that nothing can penetrate your shirtsleeves or pantlegs.
6. Shoe Covers
Shoe covers will protect your shoes from causing cross-contamination to unaffected areas. It's essential to remove them before leaving the mold-infested space and replace them with a new pair upon return.
If you discover mold in your home, it's critical to begin the remediation process immediately; mold will spread and can rapidly get out of control. Be sure all workers wear face masks and other PPE to keep everyone safe and the rest of your home clean.
Mitigating Fire Damage for Your Business
Mitigating fire damage to your business in Brookhaven, GA.
Are You Prepared?
No one likes to think about what will happen in an emergency. Making a contingency plan for things like natural disasters isn’t at the top of anyone’s “want to do” list. There’s a reason, though, that schools across the nation have recurring drills for a variety of situations as part of their emergency plans: If your people know what to do in the event of a crisis, you're less likely to experience losses.
1. Prepare Your People
People are the backbone of your business. As valuable as your staff is to you, you’ll want to have fire response measures in place that include an evacuation plan that you actually practice.
Think back to your fire drills from school. Everyone knew to stay quiet and stay together while walking quickly to a predetermined location. You practiced it often. Your teachers reminded you to stay together and not to run. When you got to the predetermined safe location, there was someone in charge who took attendance and reported anyone missing to the fire department. As a business owner, take charge of your employees’ safety by practicing these things, too.
2. Prepare Your Documents
Virtually every organization generates paperwork and records. Anything that’s vital for your business should be stored in a fireproof safe.
Another good failsafe for you to work into your contingency plan is keeping a second copy of those documents at an alternate site. Check with your legal department or independent council about whether you should keep those copies in the cloud or retain physical paperwork in a second location offsite.
3. Prepare for Afterwards
If the day comes where your company requires the services of a fire restoration specialist, you should have more than just a vague idea of who to contact. Be aware of the businesses in Brookhaven, GA that perform these services and their reputations.
Time is of the essence in an emergency. Your fire contingency plan will help your business thrive no matter what Mother Nature has in store for you.
What Is a Board Up Service and Do I Need One?
Severe fire damage in Brookhaven, GA.
What Does Board Up Services Mean
When your home has sustained fire damage in Brookhaven, GA, your first priority is to get your family settled in a safe place, not worry about your damaged home since it will be a while until everything can be repaired. Despite the challenges you're likely facing as you recover from this disaster, properly securing your home is important. One of the first things that will be recommended by a fire damage restoration company is an emergency board up service. This service is an important part of your home restoration for several reasons.
Most likely, your insurance company will require that your home is properly sealed in between the occurrence of the damage and when the repairs are done. Insurance pays for what is originally quoted, and if more damage is done, you'll have to pay more.
If your home isn't properly secured by a board up service, anyone who enters your home and gets injured could press charges.
Further damage from weather, animals, or humans makes an already difficult situation worse. Securing your home prevents most of the additional damage.
4. Property Loss
An open home is an open invitation to people who want what you have. While you may think there isn't much left, anything from appliances to pipes to your HVAC system can be stolen for profit, leaving you to foot the bill.
When you trust a company to do the board up service for you, you can be confident that it will be done correctly. DIY may sound simple, but in addition to being a two-person job, you can cause more damage by improperly placing boards or your efforts simply aren't effective because you're not using the right materials.
Securing your home with a board up service after a fire is not only recommended by most insurance companies, but you can have peace of mind knowing that your home will be protected until the restoration is complete.
Mitigation and Restoration Are Essential Stages of Water Damage Cleanup
Assessing the area with a thermal imaging camera.
When a flood cleanup company examines a water-logged facility, the team should discuss two cleanup stages: mitigation and restoration. What are they different, and why are both vital to repair? It's probably tempting to dry everything out move on, but the specialists should explain that in cases of water damage, that effort isn't enough. Owners must consider both phases because prevention and rebuilding are vital to securing the area. Collaborate to establish a plan of action that gets your operations back up and running without concerns of future issues like mold growth.
What Happens During Mitigation?
When the storm ends, and the water recedes, a restoration company should immediately attend to the property. The fluid from rain and floods permeates into porous materials. This lingering moisture, if not appropriately treated, permits mold, mildew and bacteria to develop. Rot and structural integrity could also become issues as wood and ceilings. The goal of mitigation is to reduce the likelihood of these secondary conditions.
A flood cleanup company in Brookhaven, GA works with certified environmental specialists to assess the premises, testing to determine where contamination exists and how to treat it best. Within hours, the crew begins drying efforts. The workers should complete the following actions:
- Pull up saturated carpet
- Remove damp objects for content cleaning
- Toss soiled valuables
- Run industrial dehumidifiers
- Perform necessary flood cuts
Once the room is dry, the team scrubs the walls and sanitizes with antimicrobial spray.
How Is Restoration Different?
While the early efforts focus on minimizing further concerns, the restoration company concentrates on mending the physical structure. This part of the project is slower. In remediation, crew members accomplish tasks at the same time. During the restoration, workers rebuild. Often, workers complete one thing before moving on to the next. Staff members replace anything pulled out, patch the walls and add a coat of paint. They also return any valuables that they salvaged.
A flood cleanup company understands that preventative measures are necessary. Their efforts with mitigation save owners future hassles. It's tempting to want to dry and paint, but taking time to care for the space is vital.