FAQS on Mold Growth
When mold growth is discovered in your facility in Spokane, WA you are overwhelmed with questions and you must act immediately. After you call the mold remediation professionals, you start to think of all the things you don't know and wished you had asked initially. While the experts do the hard work, here are some common questions and answers about mold:
1. Where does mold live? Mold lives wherever there is water, oxygen and organic material.
2. How do I prevent mold growth? Repair leaks and fix water damage quickly. High humidity (more than 45%) is enough moisture for mold colonies to grow.
3. How fast does mold grow? Infestations can take place in 48-72 hours.
4. Why does mold smell? Gases given off during mold digestive processes are smelly mycotoxins, but the presence of mycotoxins depend on the type of mold and the material being consumed.
5. Why didn't bleach work to clean mold? Bleach only removes stains and does not kill deep mold.
6. If spores are everywhere, are they in my building? Yes, spores are airborne and travel into your building through the HVAC system, windows, doors and on clothing.
7. How do I get rid of spores? You can do some regular cleaning (vacuum, HVAC cleaning, and carpet cleaning) to prevent spore buildup and bring spores levels down to normal.
8. What if the cleanup process causes spores to be released throughout my building? Spores naturally exist in the air, but professionals set up containment areas and use air scrubbers to manage indoor spore levels while cleaning.
9. Do I have to throw away special personal items? It depends on the material involved, but restoration specialists know how to clean different types of materials and will advise if any items can't be saved.
Now you are more knowledgeable about the situation and prepared for the work that will be done. Thankfully, you have professional remediators to get the mold cleaned quickly and safely, but you also know how to manage your building environment to prevent mold growth from happening again. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on mold.
Common Areas Mold Damage Grows in Spokane Homes
Mold Damage commonly occurs in basements, Bathrooms and Kitchens, but will appear anywhere there is water or dampness.
Of all the problems that a house or apartment can have, mold is one of the most common. People have dealt with mold growth as long as they've been living indoors. Homes get damp, water leaks in, and humid climates get the worst of mold growth. One of the worst things about mold is that it spreads if left untreated. It can start out on a wall or near a drain or window and spread into walls, floors, other rooms, windowsills, ceilings, or just about anywhere. If you want to keep your home as mold-free as possible and avoid mold damage in Spokane, be sure to check the most common areas in your home where mold is likely to grow. Basements especially are a breeding ground for mold because of the dampness.
Unlike the rest of your home, basements tend to harbor dampness because they're the area where most of your water drains through. Pipes run throughout most basement areas and they also tend to have sump pumps, sinks and other fixtures where water can leak, overflow, or just generally collect and lead to mold growth or mold damage in your home. In addition, any moisture or water in the ground also seeps into your basement walls, making them a breeding ground for mold spores. Home builders typically also put up drywall over the concrete walls in basements. Since drywall is made from wood, it also can provide mold with the perfect environment to grow.
In addition to basements, bathrooms are another place in the home where mold is likely to grow and cause unsightly and destructive mold damage. Bathrooms are typically warm, damp and humid because people shower and bathe in them and also because they contain sinks, toilets, pipes and bathtub and shower fixtures. Bathrooms usually have porous surfaces where mold can take root. Allergens as well as mold can begin to permeate a bathroom in a relatively short amount of time. This is one reason why a lot of people use tiles in their bathrooms. Even with tiles, however, mold can still get into drywall.
Because of sinks, water and food preparation, kitchens also tend to be one of the places where mold can take root in a house or apartment. Kitchens tend to promote the growth of microtoxins, which can include mold. Despite people's best efforts to keep the kitchen clean and sanitized, mold can grow just about anywhere there is water. Leaking sinks, drains and faucets can lead to mold growth as can spills left uncleaned or standing water.
Any spots in the home where water may run or collect creates the perfect place for mold to grow. Although these areas are just a few locations in your home where mold can grow, they are the most likely and the most common. If you want to prevent mold damage and the spread of mold in your home, be sure to check these common areas for mold and clean them regularly with a cleaning agent designed to kill mold and prevent it from coming back.
SERVPRO of Northeast Spokane is a 24/7 emergency water removal & flood clean up repair service company, Our technicians are highly trained and experienced with every water damage situation.
SERVPRO of Northeast Spokane proudly serves Spokane, Colbert, Chattaroy, Spokane Valley, Mead, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure caused by:
What’s the Best Way To Handle Toilet Overflow?
It’s happened to everyone. You think all you need to do is jiggle the handle and that messy toilet clog will clear right up, but the next thing you know the water level is rising and you’ve got smelly, foul black water flooding your Spokane, WA bathroom and leaving behind a mess of sewer damage. While it might be tempting to just grab a mop, in truth a flooded toilet can be a much bigger issue when it comes to cleanup and mitigation.
Examine the Issue
For small spills, a few towels and a good spray with sanitizing bathroom cleanser may be all you need. But larger spills can be indicative of a deeper problem requiring the aid of a sewage company or remediation specialist. To determine what kind of issue you’re dealing with, assess the situation:
• How bad is the flooding? Can it be cleaned safely, or does it require a sanitation professional to fully recover the flooded area from sewer damage?
• Has the toilet expelled more water than would normally refill the bowl and tank on flushing? What could be the source of the water?
• If the water is black water, does it seem contaminated with something other than the matter causing the initial clog?
• When flushing previously, have you noticed problems with the bowl draining and refilling in a timely fashion?
• Have these overflows been occurring with more and more frequency, indicating a recurring and possibly worsening problem?
Deal With the Problem
Asking yourself these questions when assessing sewer damage can help you create a safe plan for removing any black water and restoring your bathroom. You may need to use a water vacuum to safely funnel the contaminated water out, as well as looking into replacing linoleum if dirty water has gotten beneath it. A plumber can help you find the source of those clogs and deal with a faulty toilet or any faulty plumbing. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on water damage.
Water Conservation Tips for Your Commercial Building
Conserving water is a good business practice no matter what type of commercial building you own in Spokane, WA. Using less water can save you money and reduce the stress on your plumbing. Some property owners start researching conservation options after fixing major water issues. If you've recently gone through a water cleanup, you can ask your commercial restoration team for advice and conservation tips.
• Focus on your irrigation system. Maintaining your sprinkler system can actually help you use less water. Clogged sprinkler heads may require a greater output of water to keep your lawn looking its best. Similarly, you can focus on the schedule of your sprinklers to ensure they don't run while it's raining.
• Upgrade your faucets. If you have a lot of customers coming in and out of your bathrooms, you may want to upgrade your faucets to touchless models. This water upgrade ensures the sinks aren't left running when a negligent user forgets to turn the water off.
• Replace old appliances. Old water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and other appliances can use more water than the new energy-efficient ones. Replacing these outdated systems can help you use less water and save money in the long run.
• Install separate meters. Having your irrigation, cooling tower and other major systems on their own meters can help you better understand how much water is going into these particular systems. If too much of your allotted water is going to irrigation, you may realize you have water issues. Separate meters give you more control over the situation.
• Address water damage. Leaks, burst pipes and broken water mains can waste a lot of water. If you notice any sort of damage, no matter how small, you should get it looked at as soon as possible. Addressing these issues can help you avoid major waste.
Water issues, such as leaks, faulty irrigation systems or outdated appliances, can cost you a lot of money in wasted water. You can put some conservation methods into practice to start saving water and money. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on commercial water damage.
How Your Commercial Generator Works
You'll appreciate having a commercial generator every time the power goes out in Spokane, WA. These appliances provide the electricity you need to keep your business operational during massive storms and other causes of outages. For the best results, you need to understand how this appliance works before you face generator problems.
Components of the Backup Appliance
There are several components at work in this appliance:
• Fuel system
• Cooling and exhaust
• Control panel
• Voltage regulator
• Lubrication system
• Battery charger
Keep these parts in good working condition to be sure your temporary power source will kick in when your primary grid is out. You don't have to have a deep understanding of how each component works, but when you understand that the separate parts work together to convert mechanical energy to electric charges, you'll be better prepared to keep your generator in great working condition.
How It Works
Your generator may consist of a strong magnet and a moveable copper conductor. This "battery" creates an electromotive force, or mechanical energy. Modern appliances include electromagnets that rotate with conductors that wrap around the moving parts. Copper conductors carry high currents and are wound on stationary components. A rotating magnetic field interacts with the stationary conductors to create an electric current. An internal combustion engine may provide the force driving the rotation.
Keeping Everything in Working Condition
These appliances connect to a transmission grid. Commercial power sources must provide synchronized operation. Three characteristics affecting this are frequency, voltage, and phase. The most likely frequency in Spokane, WA is 60 Hz. Large appliances produce voltage at a rate of 20,000 volts. A business generator may output at 6000 volts, depending on the needs of the commercial property. Your appliance may produce 3-phase electric power; in other words, three separate circuits deliver consistent voltage and frequency. If any of these characteristics don't match the others or the transmission grid, the appliance could be seriously damaged. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on storm damage.
What's the Best Way to Prevent Mold Growth
Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold growing in your home.
No one wants to find mold in their home in Spokane, WA. As a homeowner yourself, you may scour the internet for the best mold prevention tips available. To prevent mold, you need to understand why it grows. Mold needs the following elements to thrive:
• Organic Matter
A lot of these elements are found organically in nature, so it may be hard to remove them from your home to discourage mold growth. However, you can control the moisture levels in your house.
Inspect Plumbing Fixtures
A regular inspection of toilets, dishwashers, pipes and other sources of water can help you better understand where excess water could be. When you are familiar with the state of your plumbing, you will be able to catch leaks and other issues quickly. This can help stop water damage from taking place.
Respond to Water Problems Quickly
Whether your bathroom gets really steamy during showers or you noticed a small drip in your living room ceiling, you need to react to water problems as quickly as possible if you want to be successful with mold prevention. Having a strong relationship with a trusted plumber can help you better respond to plumbing problems that could lead to fungus growth. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours after excess water is first introduced to your house. This means your quick response plays a big role in your ability to stave off the growth.
Have a Plan
While it's not exactly part of a prevention plan, you need to know who you are going to call should you find mold in your home. The faster you get a mold remediation team into your house the sooner your living space will be free of the unwanted growth. Knowing what you would do in an emergency water or mold situation can make handling the problem easier.
A big part of mold prevention is stopping water from pooling up in your home. However, you have to remember that prevention isn't always possible, so it may be necessary to deal with mold. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on mold.
Steps To Take Following a Commercial Building Fire
Give SERVPRO a call after commercial fire damage.
A house fire can be an upsetting experience in Spokane, WA. Beyond losing precious items, the aftermath of a blazing fire can leave you unsettled and frightened. Once the fire is out, you may immediately think about calling commercial fire restoration and cleanup services, but before you do, consider these steps.
1. Contact your insurance company and request a meeting. If possible, you may want an adjustor on site during the first walkthrough. If the adjustor cannot visit the site immediately, take pictures.
2. Ask fire officials when it is safe to re-enter the building. The fire may be extinguished, but without knowing the amount of destruction to the structure, you may not be aware of where the safety zone is.
3. Request a copy of the fire report from the fire department. Not only can it have pertinent information for your insurance claim, but it may also have information to help you identify what data is still missing and possibly necessary for fire restoration specialists.
4. To prevent possible looting, or additional vandal destruction, secure the building. Most fire insurance specialists can offer information on how best to protect the structure.
5. Contact a commercial fire cleanup and restoration crew to assess the damage. Professional cleaners can help with water, soot, and smoke cleaning, as well as sanitizing the damaged areas.
6. If emergency personnel turned the electricity off, empty refrigerators and freezers. After emptying them, leave the doors open for air circulation.
7. If water was used to put out the flames, wiring might be damaged. Heat and water may also have damaged appliances. Before turning on lights, appliances, or HVAC systems, check with repair services.
8. If the damage is extensive, contact utility companies regarding service. Suspending utilities during restoration is often necessary.
Fire restoration can be a big operation whether it involves minor damage or extensive rebuilding. By following the above steps, you may find the process less stressful or overwhelming. You can also protect your building from additional damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Ditch the Candles and Use One of These Five Alternatives Instead
People in Spokane, WA may have used candles as their main source up until as recently as this past century, but that does not mean that they should continue to use them today. Candles smell good and look nice, but they are dangerous. If you’re someone who enjoys the ambiance created by candles, or if you just want a light source for when the power goes out, consider using one of these five candle alternatives:
• Flameless candles
• Electric lanterns
• Solar lamps
• Glow sticks
Electric candles still give off the same ambiance as the real deal, except they are far safer. If you still want the nice smells afforded by candles, look into oil diffusers or even glade air fresheners. There are dozens of ways that create a calming atmosphere without creating the risk of a candle fire.
If you don’t have a couple of flashlights that are fully stocked with batteries on hand, run out to your local hardware store and get one. Flashlights are convenient, affordable and great candle alternatives for when the power goes out.
Battery powered lanterns are strong enough to light up a campsite, so they can be especially useful in a power outage. If you want to light up an entire room in a safe way, invest in a couple of flameless lanterns.
Solar lamps can work for up to 12 hours on just a single charge, so even if the power is out for days, you can still have light at night. Just recharge the lamp each morning and bring it in at night. More complex models offer a port via which you can charge your cell phone and other devices as well.
Glow sticks are a fun alternative to candles that the whole family can enjoy. They also last for up to 12 hours and are affordable. Turn some into a necklace so that you can keep track of all family members at night.
Candles are dangerous and should not be used unless absolutely necessary. Stock up on one or more of the above candle alternatives before the next big power outage, or talk to your Spokane, WA fire restoration team about other options. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on fire damage.
3 Reasons Why Mold Has an Odor
Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold in your home or business.
Sometimes, you may not realize your Spokane, WA business has a mold problem until you start to catch a whiff of that telltale musty odor when you turn on your ventilation system or if the day is particularly humid. Most types of mold release a chemical called mycotoxin, which causes the familiar smell. However, this may not be the only cause, and finding the source of the stink can help you prevent a major fungus problem from taking hold on your property.
1. Gases Are Released at Different Times
While most species of indoor mold have a similar odor, they tend to release odiferous chemicals at different stages of development. For example, some species may release mycotoxin as they eat, and others may do so as they grow or spread. In most cases, the odor becomes stronger as mold colonies spread, so by the time you notice the smell, you may already have a significant amount of fungi in your building. This situation might require the services of a certified mold removal and remediation company.
2. Breakdown of Organic Matter
Mold spores tend to be attracted by moisture and organic matter, such as drywall, cardboard and wood. As the fungi eats and breaks this material down, the organic matter may begin to rot and create the musty odor that is often associated with mold. Spores that grow and spread behind interior walls and feed on your building’s insulation may also create this rotting smell, which may be more noticeable on humid days.
3. Moisture and High Humidity
Because mold thrives best in moist, wet conditions, the odor it releases may be more noticeable on wet or humid days, especially if it is growing where you cannot see it. Fungi under carpet padding or drywall affected by a flood or other water damage may have a stronger scent when conditions are ideal for it to eat and grow. Calling in a mold remediation service can resolve this issue.
Mycotoxin and other gases that mold gives off can give your Spokane, WA business a foul odor. Knowing what causes them can help you act quickly when it comes to targeting and destroying fungi, no matter where it hides. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on mold.
Understanding Category 2 Water Damage
Give SERVPRO a call if you experience water damage. We can handle any size situation.
The extent of water damage often depends on the water’s source. In most cases, the water falls into category 1, 2 or 3. Category 1 is damage that stems from a broken pipe or burst supply line that did not undergo a proper water pipe repair. Category 3 comes from sewage backup or a flood. Category 2 is more severe than 1 but less severe than 3, but it is still dangerous to deal with on your own. Here is what you need to know about category 2 water damage:
• Category 2 water contains a substantial amount of biological, chemical or physical contaminants.
• Category 2 water has been known to cause sickness or discomfort in people who are exposed to it.
• Category 2 water is often referred to as “grey water.”
• Category 2 water typically contains microorganisms.
• Examples of category 2 water include toilet bowl overflow with urine (but no feces), water discharge from washing machines or dishwasher and sump pump failures.
Dealing With Category 2 Water Damage
Because you don’t know what type of bacteria or chemicals lurk in the grey water that flooded your building, it is best to call the Spokane, WA water restoration team for help drying out and cleaning up. Until help arrives, there are a few things you can do:
• Shut off your building’s main water supply line and perform a water pipe repair.
• Ventilate the area with fans and open windows.
• If you have one, place a dehumidifier in the affected area.
• Turn on your HVAC system to get air circulating.
Your local water remediation team can do the rest, which may include removing any standing water and removing wet and damaged materials. They may also advise you on how to prevent broken pipes in the future. Before they leave, ask for a report so you can send it along to your insurance agency. If you don’t know how to perform a water pipe repair, contact your Spokane, WA plumber to do it for you before you turn your water back on. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastspokane.com for more information on commercial water damage.