Tips for Preventing Mold Growth in Your Home
Residential mold damage
Mold Prevention Tips
A musty odor in your home in Edmond, OK, is a sign that you may have a mold problem. The likely culprit is residual water damage that has not been thoroughly mitigated, but there are other factors that may contribute to the issue. Here are some tips for preventing mold from growing.
Repair Leaks Quickly
Fungus needs water to thrive, so basic mold prevention always starts with regularly inspecting the areas of your home where leaks tend to occur:
- Sink pipes
- Supply lines
- Water heaters
Not all leaks are obvious with a quick glance at a room. An unexplained hike in your water usage can also indicate that there is a leak somewhere. Rely on water damage specialists to find the problem and fix it before mold starts to grow.
Control Humidity Levels
Sometimes the moisture feeding the mold growth in your home comes from the air itself. Moisture can dampen surfaces, creating the perfect environment for mold to grow. Strive for a 45-50% humidity level in your home at all times. Use a dehumidifier or increase the airflow to lower the amount of moisture in the air.
Increase Ventilation in Basement and Bathrooms
Two areas of your home that are particularly prone to fungus growth are your basement and bathrooms. In addition to making sure surfaces are dry before you leave the room, you can lower your risk of a mold problem in these spaces by increasing the ventilation. Install fans and run them frequently throughout the day to circulate air and discourage mold growth.
Preventing mold in your home takes a bit of extra time and attention, but avoiding the hassle and expense of additional cleanup is well worth it. Mitigating water damage in a timely manner, maintaining low humidity levels and ensuring proper ventilation in typically closed-off areas can help to keep mold from growing.
5 Critical Steps To Clean a Home After a Fire
Fire damage in Edmond, OK.
5 Critical Steps To Clean a Home After a Fire
Fires happen every day in homes across the U.S. They are scary events for the residents of a home. In addition to having the power to cause injury and death, a home fire creates a mess in the home. Smoke damage is one aspect of the impacts on a home and it can be tricky to clean. A local fire restoration company in Edmond, OK, is often your best resource for quick and effective fire cleanup. A team of highly trained specialists will come to your home and begin a proven process to restore your home. These steps are the foundation of a professional cleanup:
- Inspection and Assessment
- Water Removal and Drying
- Removal of smoke damage from all surfaces
- Cleaning and sanitizing
Steps 1 and 2 Explained
The inspection and assessment determines the scope of the problem. At this time the technicians can give you a better idea of the process and how long remediation efforts will take. If the damage is severe, a board-up and roof-tarp service might be needed to secure the home from additional damage from rains or vandalism. Water removal might be undertaken if fire fighting resulted in water damage.
Steps 3, 4, and 5 Explained
The impacts of a fire extend to the pernicious effects of smoke and soot damage. Both soot and smoke can permeate the home and require advanced equipment to completely remove. The step of smoke cleaning is also likely to include the cleaning and restoration of carpeting, furniture upholstery, clothes, and other personal belongings. It might include the use of air filtration devices to eliminate smoke odors. Cleaning and sanitizing wipes down all surfaces with effective and safe disinfectants. Finally, restoration includes repairing any items such as drywall or flooring that have been damaged. Your home is considered restored when all of the effects of the fire including smoke damage are completely addressed to your satisfaction.
How Deep Does Hail Damage Go?
After a hail storm, you should always check your roof.
Hail Damage To Your Commercial Building
Hail consists of large spheroid ice particles that have the potential to cause significant damage. While severe hail measures one inch or larger, hailstones that measure one-half inch or less can still cause significant damage by denting or dinging surfaces or causing roof damage that leads to leaks. Learn how hail damage affects commercial buildings in Oklahoma City, OK.
Surface Dents and Dings
Hail creates dents or dings in malleable surfaces. While this damage is often more considerable on vehicles, hailstones can still damage a building in any of the following ways:
- Breaking skylights or windows
- Denting metal roofing
- Causing dings or cracks in siding
- Puncturing roof membranes
While some hail damage is only superficial, hail that damages roofing materials has the potential to affect the interior of a structure. Roofers can identify and fix damaged areas that would otherwise be prone to leak.
Broken Roof Membranes
If a built-up roof or a roof membrane is damaged by hail, the roofing material may allow water to drip down to the roof deck or attic. A leak can affect building materials such as insulation and work its way down into a building interior.
Leaks Cause Interior Damage
A major roof leak that originates from hail damage has the potential to affect building materials and contents. From insulation in the attic to ceilings and drywall in finished interiors, hail has the potential to damage the exteriors and interiors of commercial structures.
In the year 2020, over 4,500 hail storms occurred across the United States. Maintaining roofing is the best way to prepare any commercial building for hail. It is easier to find and fix roof damage on a roof that is well-maintained, and it is less likely that minor hail damage will affect the interior. After a hail storm in Oklahoma City, OK, a property owner or manager should always check on the roof.
How Your Fire Sprinkler System Quickly Suppresses a Fire
Fire sprinkler system in Edmond, OK.
Fire sprinklers are an essential tool in controlling a fire in your Edmond, OK, facility. Here is a look at how a sprinkler system functions.
Sprinkler System Parts
The main components of a sprinkler system are:
- Pipes that hold water under pressure
- Plug to hold the water back until the system activates
- Glass bulb filled with glycerin
- Deflector that directs water around the room
Sprinkler heads are placed around 12-15 feet apart and connected by pipes that are always filled with water. Fire suppression happens quickly once a fire activates the system.
How a Fire Activates the Sprinkler System
When a fire breaks out, the room temperature rises. At 160 degrees Fahrenheit, the glycerin in the glass bulb expands, breaking the bulb and springing the plug open. Water under pressure comes out of the pipe, and the deflector sprays it around the room.
Myths About Sprinkler Systems
Contrary to popular belief, smoke does not activate a sprinkler system. Smoke by itself will not produce the temperature change needed to expand glycerin and break the sprinkler bulb. Small amounts of heat, such as those produced by an appliance or burning candle, will not raise the temperature enough to activate the system.
The temperature change activates each fire sprinkler head individually. A contained fire will only set off the sprinklers that reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sprinkler System Advantages
Fire can do a lot more damage to your building than water from sprinkler heads. If a fire breaks out in your Edmond, OK, facility, fire suppression begins as soon as the system activates. The system contains the fire and may produce less water than firefighters need to put out a larger fire. It may be easier to do fire sprinkler cleanup and fire damage repair.
Hopefully, you will never need to use your fire sprinkler. If a fire breaks out, your system is more likely to minimize damage than if you didn't have one installed.
What Items Can Be Saved After a Flood?
Commercial storm damage in Oklahoma City, OK.
What Items Can Be Saved And What Should Be Replaced
After your commercial property in Oklahoma City, OK, is flooded, you need to determine what items can be saved and what should be replaced. In most cases, the answer depends on how long your items are exposed to moisture and their type of materials. Content cleaning of any items that can be restored saves you the expense of replacing them.
When Does Water Damage Begin?
Water damage and mold growth from a flood can begin immediately. As soon as it is safe to do so, start taking steps to protect your property until a professional restoration company can begin work:
- Prevent more water from entering if possible.
- Hang up rugs and textiles.
- Mop or blot water from tabletops and furniture surfaces.
- If furniture is on wet carpet, place aluminum foil or wood blocks between carpeting and furniture legs.
- Move books or colored objects from wet carpet.
In warm weather, air conditioning can assist with the drying process.
What Items Can I Keep?
Generally speaking, most non-porous materials can be restored, while porous materials may need to be replaced. Porous materials include wood furniture and baseboards, ceiling tiles, books, paper products, and drywall. Non-porous materials include metal shelving, plastic furniture, countertops and concrete floors.
The longer an item has been exposed to water or moisture, the more likely it will sustain damage. Items exposed to black water, or very contaminated water, require special consideration.
How Are Items Cleaned?
A restoration company can use various methods of content cleaning on items. Dry or wet cleaning, foam cleaning, immersion cleaning and abrasive cleaning are a few possible methods. The technique used depends on the object's material makeup. Sanitizing and disinfecting treatments can be applied where needed.
Content cleaning can reduce the number of items you have to discard after a flood in your Oklahoma City, OK, property. The sooner you can remove items from flooding and moisture, the better your chances are restoring them.
3 Ways To Prepare Your Home for a Fire
Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom of your home.
Three Ways You Can Prepare Your Home
No one ever expects to have a fire in their home; however, the problem with fire is that it’s unpredictable. Since you can’t foresee if your home will be involved in one, it’s best to employ fire preparation strategies. Here are three ways you can prepare your Edmond, OK, home.
1. Install Smoke Alarms
The best thing you can do to reduce your risk of injury or death is to install smoke alarms in every bedroom of your home. The National Fire Protection Association states that your risk of dying in a home fire is reduced by 50% if you have working smoke detectors. This statistic alone should encourage all homeowners to install alarms.
Each bedroom needs to have an alarm, and the area right outside each bedroom should also have an alarm. Make sure that every level of your home has a working smoke alarm and that the alarms are interconnected. This means that if one beeps, the rest should also beep, ensuring the whole household can hear it wherever the fire occurs.
2. Educate Family Members
Another fire preparation strategy is to educate family members. Young children should know what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if they hear it beep. Teach children the fire safety training of stop, drop and roll if their clothes should catch flame. All family members should also know how to call 9-1-1.
3. Establish an Emergency Plan
A major part of educating family members is creating an emergency plan. Identify two ways for individuals to get out of every room, and teach children that their goal is to get outside and stay outside. Create an outdoor family meeting place and call 9-1-1 from a cell phone or neighbor’s phone.
Fire preparation doesn’t need to be difficult or time-consuming. Follow these three tips to prepare your household in case of a fire.
5 Things You Should Know About Water Damage
A simple dripping pipe can cause water damage to spread quickly.
5 Things You Should Know About Water Damage
Though water is the source of life, it is a mess when it gets into your home in Oklahoma City, OK. There are several things you need to know in case a damaged water line, pipe burst, or natural disaster strikes your home.
1. Water Damage Develops Fast
Even a simple dripping pipe can cause water damage to spread quickly. Once water enters your home, the drywall, carpets, and hardwood flooring can all be damaged. While it may start fairly isolated, untreated spots can see mold growth that carries the damage further.
2. It Can Get Expensive
What may seem like a small leak can still do a lot of damage. A water restoration company may have to take serious measures to salvage your house. This can leave you owing thousands of dollars.
3. It Is Often Avoidable
While natural disasters are unavoidable, issues like a pipe burst are often completely preventable. All you need to do is take proper precautions. Consider installing a leak detection system, upgrading your older plumbing, and having regular maintenance performed.
4. Your Insurance May Cover the Damage
Your insurance typically covers some types of damage. Flood insurance covers any flooding caused by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and thunderstorms. Meanwhile, a standard homeowner's policy covers unexpected internal disasters, such as a broken appliance line.
5. It Doesn’t Completely Destroy Your Home
The good news is that you can salvage many damaged items and materials. If you act quickly, a restoration company that offers content cleaning should be able to dry out your belongings and your house. Therefore, you need to contact the professionals immediately and get the ball rolling on restoration work.
Flooding, whether from rain or a pipe burst, can do a lot of damage to your home and personal belongings. Fortunately, knowing these facts can help you be prepared for any water crises that may occur.
5 Tips To Salvage Flood-Damaged Household Items
Water damage clean up services in Edmond, OK.
Steps To Take To Minimize The Damage
If a broken pipe recently led to a flood of water in your home in Edmond, OK, it is likely some of your household goods sustained damage. Before throwing important items out, however, it is worth trying to salvage what you can. Here are five tips that may help you get some of your possessions back.
1. Put Down the Hair Dryer
When it comes to removing the water, gentle air drying is best. Even if you think your hairdryer, oven, iron, or sunlight will work, think again. These harsher methods can cause even more damage. If you need professional help, a water damage remediation team like SERVPRO can use industrial fans and dehumidifiers to get the job done faster.
2. Separate Wet Materials
Next, look inside your drawers, cabinets and photo albums. Very carefully separate wet items and place paper towels between damaged book pages.
3. Clear Out Dirt and Debris
Water in your home should not be your only concern. Wherever you see dirt or debris, you will need to remove it. Gently brush items off, and avoid rubbing. Depending on the material, dry cleaning can be another solution.
4. Rinse and Dry Photographs
You may be hesitant to put your beloved photos near more water, but carefully rinsing them can help get them clean. Just be careful you do not touch the photos while they are wet. Allow time to air dry before picking them up again.
5. Focus on What Is Most Important
At the end of the day, you may not be able to salvage everything you own. For that reason, it is a good idea to stay focused on items that mean the most to you. Whether something is important for sentimental or financial reasons does not matter. What matters is that it is important to you.
When there is water in your home, it can be devastating to lose your belongings to flooding. That said, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage.
Know Who To Call When Your Commercial Property Floods
Commercial water damage in Oklahoma City, OK
It’s the call no business owner wants to receive: “The building is flooded and there’s water everywhere!” Naturally, you may have many thoughts and questions going through your mind, such as who to call for water cleanup and how you can protect your property from water damage. The sooner you can get someone on the task, the better — the longer water sits or continues to flow, the greater the damage and cost.
Commercial Drying Specialist (CDS)
If the flooding is at all extensive, you need a commercial drying specialist who is an expert in the water cleanup process for commercial spaces. Commercial spaces are much more complicated and often larger than residential ones and require specific knowledge of the equipment, systems and variables that come into play.
The Remediation Process
IICRC certified specialists work according to industry standards, utilizing proven methods and the latest technology to create a total remediation strategy for your specific case.
Investigation: A broken pipe or damaged roofing might be obvious sources of flooding, but sometimes the cause is hidden or multi-faceted. A CDS has extensive experience in knowing what to look for and where to find it, so nothing is left to chance and you decrease your risk of developing additional problems down the road.
Cleanup: Once the water is removed, your CDS will turn his or her focus to cleaning any carpets and fabrics and drying out electronics, equipment or electrical systems. Commercial floods can affect a multitude of areas, and certified specialists have the experience and training to address it all.
Preventative Measures: The CDS and remediation team will use highly specialized equipment to make sure the area is thoroughly dried out so you will not have a mold issue later on. They’ll also advise you about what steps you can take to prevent further damage in the future.
Know where you can find qualified specialists in your Oklahoma City, OK, area before disaster strikes. Then if the unthinkable happens, you’ll know the first call you need to make for water cleanup and remediation.
How Fast Mold Can Grow After a Leak or Flood
Mold damage in Edmond, OK
Mold spores are microscopic organisms in the air. They can be found almost anywhere. Mold growth is very common after water damage as it is difficult to clean and dry things fast enough. Mold can occur in as little as 24 to 48 hours when mold spores find the right environment. If you suspect your building in Edmond, OK, has become infected with mold, you should conduct a mold inspection.
Where Mold Can Grow
All mold needs to thrive is warm, moist air and some sort of organic material for the spores to digest. Mold can grow on almost any damp porous or pulpy surface.
- Ceiling tiles
Mold is often discovered after leaks and floods. It is left behind by water damage that is not cleaned quickly and efficiently enough.
What You Can Do
Addressing any leaks and floods as soon as possible can help mitigate the damage from mold. Invest in a good filtration system to lessen the amount of mold spores in the air. A quality ventilation system could help to expel excess moisture. You could also take proactive steps in mold prevention by using mold-resistant building products. Both mold-resistant drywall and moisture-resistant drywall are excellent options to consider for areas that will frequently be exposed to high humidity such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. There are different types of paints that contain mold inhibitors. Either during initial construction or during any process of rebuilding, look into what building products currently exist on the market to help in the prevention of mold.
After a water loss like a leak or flood, the focus is often on cleaning and drying what you can immediately see. Water damage often leads to mold just below the surface of many organic materials. If you suspect mold growth but have not been able to locate it through a self-inspection, consider consulting mold remediation specialists who can use professional equipment to conduct a more intensive search.