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Nine Ways to Prevent Mold Growth

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Nine Ways to Prevent Mold Growth Ways to Prevent Mold Growth

Yes, mold can be good or can be a problem.

Mold can grow anywhere; can spread easily and cannot be completely eradicated. It is a problem that’s difficult and costly to fix, but it can also produce allergens and irritants that may compromise your health.

Here are ways to curb moisture indoors and the mold that thrives on it.

Do an audit of your home - where are the problem areas? Flood in the basement? condensation on an upstairs window? Water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. Prevent mold from growing or spreading. Whatever the case, it is better to address the problem now. It might cost some money up front, but it will surely cost more down the road if it’s left unchecked.

Proper ventilation. It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure any domestic activities you do as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in any high-moisture area. Clothes dryers, stoves — vent appliances that produce moisture to the outside. Open a window when cooking or washing dishes or showering or run an exhaust fan.

Dry wet areas immediately, mold can't grow without moisture. Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can't be completely dried.

Monitor humidity indoors. Indoor humidity as EPA recommends should be kept between 30 and 60 percent. Humidity can be measured with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. High humidity can also be detected by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of moisture.

Equip your home with mold-resistant products. Whether you’re building or renovating a new home, use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall and mold inhibitors for paints.

Direct water away from your home. The ground should be sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement if it’s not sufficiently sloped away.

Clean or repair roof gutters. Regularly clean your roof gutters and get it inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

Improving the air flow in your home. According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air can hold less moisture. Excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors without good air flow. Increase circulation, let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

Educate yourself. Knowing what works for your climate and your home is an important first step.

One of the benefits to choosing professional restoration through our SERVPRO team is that we have your interest at heart. Give SERVPRO a call anytime that you need us at (805) 656-3911.

WHAT IS STORM DAMAGE

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

What is storm damage?

Building insurance policies do not necessarily define what a storm is, we say that a storm generally involves violent winds, usually accompanied by rain, hail or snow. However, there can be circumstances where storm damage is caused to property without high winds occurring.

What to do if I think my property has storm damage?

Call a trust-worthy and reputable contractor who will work with your insurance company to make sure you are treated fairly.

Is storm damage covered by homeowners’ insurance?

Homeowners insurance may help cover certain causes of storm damage, including wind, hail and lightning. However, damage caused by flood and earthquakes typically is not covered by a standard homeowners’ insurance policy. Check your policy.

Can storm damage impact the value of my home?

If you plan to sell your home in the future, yes. It is critical to address storm damage issues immediately. Many homeowners are shocked to learn they have costly storm damage to fix, years after the time to file an insurance claim has expired.

What is a storm chaser?

Storm chasers are companies that complete home repairs (common repairs include roofing and siding), and typically solicit business from homeowners after large natural disasters occur, such as hailstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes. If a major storm damages your house, make sure you’ve hired a trustworthy general contractor for home repairs. Then you want to begin the restoration process as soon as possible.

One of the benefits to choosing professional restoration through our SERVPRO team is that we have your interest at heart. From the first assessment of the damage to the completion of the restoration project, we're not satisfied with our work unless you tell us.

 
Give SERVPRO a call anytime that you need us at (805) 656-3911.

AIR DUCT CLEANING CHECKLIST

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

- It is important to learn as much as you can about air duct cleaning before you decide to have your ducts cleaned.

- If you suspect an indoor air quality problem exists in your home, consider other possible sources of indoor air pollution.

- Have your air ducts cleaned if they are visibly contaminated with substantial mold growth, pests or vermin, or are clogged with substantial deposits of dust or debris.

- Ask the service provider to show you any mold or other biological contamination they say exists. Get laboratory confirmation of mold growth or decide to rely on your own judgment and common sense in evaluating apparent mold growth.

- Get estimates from at least three service providers. Check references.

- Ask your service provider and insist he/she gives you knowledgeable and complete answers

- Permit the application of biocides in your ducts only if necessary to control mold growth and only after assuring yourself that the product will be applied strictly according to label directions. As a precaution, you and your pets should leave the premises during application.

- Do not permit the use of sealants except under unusual circumstances where other alternatives are not feasible.

- Make sure the service provider follows the National Air Duct Cleaning Association's (NADCA) standards and, North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) if the ducts are constructed of flex duct, duct board, or lined with fiber glass, it follows the guidelines of the

- Do a yearly preventive maintenance inspection of your heating and cooling system, regular filter changes, and steps to prevent moisture contamination.

Give SERVPRO a call anytime that you need us at (805) 656-3911.

Seven Homeowner Tips for Water Prevention

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

-Keep an Eye on Your Water Bill

A water bill spike can be the only indicator you see that alerts you to the existence of a leak. Check places under slab or walls where they often and not always obvious to occur.

-Shut off Water to the House

Do you know where you’re your water shut off valve is? Find and check where it is located. You will be able to stop the water more quickly by knowing where your water shut off, preventing any further damages.

-Know Your Shutoff Valves

It is recommended that you and everyone in your household knows where the water shutoff valves are. That includes the main valve to the house, as well as all the appliance and single fixture valves. Test that the valves work, so you're not left with a broken valve during a leak.

-Clean and Repair Gutters

A Clean gutter diverts away rain water from your home, have it cleaned regularly and repair them as needed. Why? Because if the water flow is blocked by debris, it will start to overflow and can make its way into the walls and the ceiling. It's an easy water damage prevention step that takes just a few hours but can save you thousands of dollars.

-Check the Sump Pump

Sump pump is like your insurance policy, you don't think about it until you really need it. The sump pump starts working automatically during a flood to draw water out of your home and into the street drain system. Check this to make sure it's working; in case of power outage, make sure it operates on a standalone battery and that the inlet is clean.

-Check Ceilings and Walls for Signs of Leaks

Look for leaky pipes, make repairs before a small leak turns into a big one.

-Place Pans Underneath Appliances

Protect yourself by placing deep pans underneath appliances so they can capture any water from a leaky hose. Washing machine hoses, a ruptured or cracked dishwasher, AC can cause major water damage.

Give SERVPRO a call anytime that you need us at (805) 656 -3911.

Winter Time: Protecting Pipes Before

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

We all know that water expands when it freezes; unfortunately, your pipes don't. When water freezes and expands, it puts pressure on whatever contains it, and with enough pressure, your frozen pipes will burst, causing a very costly water damage in your home. Here are ways to protect pipes in freezing weather.

  • Protect your pipes before the temperatures dip below freezing to save yourself from water damage. Especially important to remember if you're planning to leave your home for an extended period during the winter. An unattended home is a dangerous situation if you don't take the appropriate steps to winterize the house leaving.
  • If you're leaving home for more than a few days, you should drain your pipes of water. Draining is done through your main water supply. This prevents any water in the tube from freezing and backing up into the tap and then your pipes.
  • Wrap heating tapes around your pipes.
  • Ensure adequate insulation in common problem areas of the home, including attics, basements, and crawlspaces that contain pipes. Adding insulation to your home also reduces your heating bill. You can also add insulation to your pipes. It isn’t enough to prevent pipes from freezing but it will slow the transfer rate of heat to cold. Wrap the pipes in foam rubber insulation, or you can even use a ¼ inch layer of newspaper in areas that are less exposed to the cold.

Give SERVPRO a call anytime that you need us at (805) 656-3911.

MOLD 101

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

- Foods that contains wheat grow mold which is black when exposed.

- There are also allergen molds. They are the green molds, not poisonous but allergen to humans. Both black and green mold can trigger sneezing fits, and the affected person may have itchy red eyes when they've inhaled or touched the mold.  They have devastating effects on asthmatic individuals.

- Orange and Yellow molds that rarely grow indoors are non-toxic. They tend to grow on decaying organic matter and wood.

- Pathogenic mold can cause diseases, especially to the respiratory system, for persons with weakened immune systems or newborn babies.

- Toxic Mold: Toxic mold, most commonly referred to as black mold, is poisonous when inhaled or touched, and has been linked to cancer in some cases.

Give SERVPRO a call anytime that you need us at (805) 656-3911.

TIPS ON BASEMENT FLOODING

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

TIPS ON BASEMENT FLOODING

Here are some basement flooding first tips that can help you evaluate the situation and make the best decision on the next step in the cleanup process.

Don’t panic. Try to determine where the water came from to know the best course of action.

Wait until the rain or storm stops before starting on extraction. There's no sense in removing water if more it is still being flooded. When you enter the basement, make sure to turn off any power or gas in the area and wear protective gears like gloves and boots and use caution when moving around the room.

There's a chance of slipping or tripping and dangerous objections under the water. Take extra care.

If it's winter, a pipe might have frozen and burst. If it is, quickly shut off the water to stop the flood.

Floor drains need to be cleaned regularly. Remove the grate on the floor drain and use gloves to remove any clog. Then thoroughly clean the drain.

You can use a sump pump or pool pump if available, a wet/dry vacuum, or a mop and bucket for smaller floods. If the flood is overwhelming, call in professionals for help.

Give SERVPRO a call anytime that you need us at (805) 656-3911.

ATTIC MOISTURE, WHAT CAUSES IT?

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

8.ATTIC MOISTURE, WHAT CAUSES IT?

No proper attic ventilation or attic insulation. During winter months, warm, moist air enters our attics from the living space below and clashes against the cool roof decking and framing, resulting in condensation or even interior frost in attic. This repeated and sustained wetting of the wood encourages attic mold growth. Attic ventilation systems help control the attic moisture, temperature and humidity by exhausting the moist air, eliminating the potential for condensation or frost in attic.

Improper mechanical ventilation. Dryer vents, plumbing vents, kitchen vents and bathroom vents should always be exhausted to the exterior of the building. These vents should be exhausted properly to prevent any moist air deposits in the attic, humidity level rising and mold growth.

When addressing attic mold issue, the source must be addressed to provide a long-term solution. The key to eliminating attic mold is controlling the moisture in attic. Have a professional help diagnose your attic moisture and attic mold issues by properly recommending and implementing an attic ventilation system or other corrective measures.

Give SERVPRO a call anytime that you need us at (805) 656-3911.

FOUR WAYS TO PREVENT BASEMENT LEAKS

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

FOUR WAYS TO PREVENT BASEMENT LEAKS

Clean your gutters

Any leaves and debris left over from winter, then install leaf guards and downspout extenders to direct water 10 feet from the house.

Repair Cracks

If you have cracks in your basement that are allowing water to seep through, open them up. Seal it with hydraulic cement.

Tree Check

To protect your foundation, shade trees with aggressive roots, like silver maples, should be planted at least 20 feet from your house. Smaller species, keep them at 10 to 15 feet of clearance.

Check grading

Surrounding soil should be pitched away from the house at a slope of at least 1/4 inch per foot so that water drains toward your yard, not your foundation. Buy and add soil, raking it smooth, until the grade is highest at the house's perimeter.

Give SERVPRO a call anytime that you need us at (805) 656-3911.

WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR A RESTORATION COMPANY

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR A RESTORATION COMPANY

Find certified professionals. The water damage restoration industry is completely unregulated. It’s easy to start a business like this. If the company you’re looking for has certifications through a certification institution, then you know that they are professionals and will do their job the best they can. Their certifications indicate that they have the most up-to-date training, knowledge, and tools to assist you.

Offers wide range of services. A company that offers a wide range of water restoration services preferable compared to a company that doesn’t offer as many services. This is the easiest way to determine general expertise.

Do your diligence. Get recommendations. Speak to friends and family to see if they have had any experience with the companies you are looking at. Do not pick a company because they’re offering cheap service. Remember, you get what you pay for. Also, don’t let insurance companies who will suggest water restoration companies pressure you into using a sub-par company just because they said so.

Are they open 24 hours a day? Scammers and con-artists are not going to be willing to be awake at all hours of the night. Also look for companies that are willing to begin work as quickly as possible. Don’t let water damage sit for too long, it gets worse.

One of the benefits to choosing professional restoration through our SERVPRO team is that we have your interest at heart. From the first assessment of the damage to the completion of the restoration project, we're not satisfied with our work unless you are as well. This communication and relationship with our clients help us to not only build our reputation throughout the area but showcase our resolve to offer the best service.

When a fire impacts your home, restoring the damage is never something that you have to deal with on your own. Our SERVPRO of Oxnard professional restoration technicians is available 24/7 to respond quickly to any emergency that you might have and work quickly to mitigate the situation to help preserve the things that matter most to you. Give SERVPRO a call anytime that you need us at (805) 656-3911.