Moisture and Mold Prevention Tips
Moisture Control is the Key to Mold Control
- When water leaks or spills occur indoors - act quickly. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
- Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes act quickly to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
Actions that will help to reduce humidity
- Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside where possible. (Combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.)
- Use air conditioners and/or dehumidifiers when needed.
- Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dish washing, etc.
Actions that will help prevent condensation:
- Reduce the humidity
- Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.
- Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.
How to deal with smoke damage in commercial buildings
When a fire occurs, SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin, and Logan Counties works to assist business owners and proprietors to move forward and put their lives and businesses back together. It can be overwhelming. The restoration process after a commercial fire is laborious if not time-consuming. It includes:
- damage assessment
- debris removal
- odor, soot, and residual water mitigation
Fire and smoke damage restoration professionals are there to advise and direct business owners to sift through the damage and greatly aid in rebuilding their businesses and commercial properties.
Once undertaken, the goal of commercial fire damage restoration is to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of a business or commercial property after a fire. In a fire’s aftermath, much of the damage restoration focuses on eliminating the persistent smoke odors and the accompanying soot and residual water. Every trace of the contaminants responsible for odors must be scrubbed clean and deodorized. High-powered equipment such as air scrubbers can help clear the air of particulates and odors. Industrial air movers and dehumidifiers mitigate residual water and moisture from putting out the fire.
It all hinges on taking action quickly. In doing so it’s possible for smoke and fire restoration professionals to minimize damage and loss. Here are several steps to anticipate how your restoration professional deals with smoke damage after a fire occurs on your commercial property.
As with most fires, commercial fires leave a pungent odor that permeates the building, furnishings, fixtures, and air throughout the property. Those odors are in large part a result of the fire source itself—the debris from the fire, the soot and residual water and chemicals that were used to extinguish the fire. The debris must be dealt with first.
Once the fire and insurance company have determined an origin and cause of the fire, restoration crews move to quickly remove the debris and soot from the premises. Materials such as charred furnishings, rugs, and ceiling tiles are carried out until the property is emptied of any burned remnants of the fire. Debris removal also mitigates odors by removing microscopic dust particles, airborne and settled, that derives from soot deposits and burned debris. Debris removal reduces the intensity of odors, but will not completely eliminate them. Soot and residual water also combine to contribute to smoke odors, and they must be dealt with.
Thick layers of soot mixed with moisture cover a good portion of commercial fire sites. Soot is the black, powdered carbon and chemical byproduct of the burned material after a fire. Depending on the material burned in commercial fires, the chemical or acidic composition of soot can cause further damage on its own to just about any surface it is in contact with. Soot can stain porous and textured surfaces, permanently discolor granite, plastics, grout and the un-burned fixtures made of wood or textiles.
Removal of soot can reduce the likelihood of permanent soot staining discoloration and may reduce the costs of replacement. As an important step in fire damage restoration, industrial vacuums are very helpful in removing the layers and bulk of powdery soot after fires.
Not only is mold a problem after flooding but after fires as well. Residual water from extinguishing the fire can lead to mold spreading throughout the property if it is not properly mitigated. The increased moisture in the air interacts with mold spores. In a confined space this allows mold to grow rapidly, covering and staining porous surfaces. The smoky odor after a fire rapidly combines with mold to further contaminate the air and interact with surfaces. The longer such odors interact with surfaces the more difficult it will be to completely eliminate the odor.
Commercial fire damage restoration entails industrial-grade air movers and dehumidifiers to remove water and moisture that can lead to airborne mold spores. All interior walls must be checked for water damage. All surfaces must be cleaned thoroughly and wiped down with anti-bacterial agents throughout the process.
If you have a commercial building with fire damage, give us a call to help get you back and running.
Kenton, Bellefontaine, and Ada Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Kenton, Bellefontaine, or Ada basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today - (937)354-3540
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (937)354-3540
Calling All Property Managers
If you manage commercial or residential property, you should be prepared for anything. SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan counties offers solutions to owners and property managers, whether cleaning vandalism from rowdy tenants or a natural disaster like fire or flood.
Your commercial property is always at risk of being damaged by natural elements. If your business gets hit by a disaster, you’ll need a commercial restoration company with real-world experience and the resources to return your property to its normal state. SERVPRO has over 50 years of experience in residential and commercial restoration services. Our team of experts offers:
- Commercial water damage restoration
- Commercial fire damage restoration
- Commercial mold damage restoration
- Commercial storm damage restoration
Our SERVPRO professionals are available 24/7 with the best tools to take care of any size loss for offices, retail spaces, healthcare facilities, residential buildings and more. If you are in need of immediate assistance, give us a call at (937)354-3540!
Wood and Moisture
A fundamental fact is that wood is hygroscopic. This means that wood, almost like a sponge, will gain or lose moisture from the air based upon the conditions of the surrounding environment.
But not only does wood gain or lose moisture, but it will also expand or contract according to the magnitude of such changes; and it is this swelling and shrinking in finished wood products—often referred to as the wood’s movement in service—that is responsible for so much mischief and so many malfunctions in woodworking.
When a tree is first felled, it is considered to be in the green state, and contains a very large amount of moisture. This moisture exists in two different forms: as free water that is contained as liquid in the pores or vessels of the wood itself, and as bound water that is trapped within the cell walls.
Once a fresh log or piece of lumber is cut and exposed to the air, it will immediately begin losing free water. At this point, the wood does not contract or otherwise change in dimension since the fibers are still completely saturated with bound water. It is only once all the free water has been lost that the wood will reach what is called the fiber saturation point, or simply FSP.
Below the FSP, the wood will then begin to lose moisture in the form of bound water, and an accompanying reduction in the wood’s volume will occur. At this point, the wood is no longer considered to be in the green state, but is now in a state of drying.
Just how much bound moisture is lost during the drying phase will ultimately depend upon the temperature and relative humidity (RH) of the surrounding air. At 100%?rh, no bound water will be lost. At 0% RH, all the bound water in the wood will be lost, a condition known as ovendry—so-called because a kiln or oven is typically required to completely drive out all moisture.
The amount of water in a given piece of wood is expressed as a percentage of the weight of the water as compared to its ovendry weight. Some species of trees, when they are initially felled, may contain more water by weight than actual wood fiber, resulting in a moisture content (MC) over 100%.
- The key to mold control is moisture control.
- It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Why is mold growing in my home?
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
How do I get rid of mold?
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you should have the mold professionally remediated and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
Fire Escape Planning Tips
After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have Smoke or Fire Damage? Call (937) 354-3540
The following are several tips that could potentially save your life, or the life of a loved one should a fire break out in your home.
*Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home.
*Test smoke alarm batteries every month and change them at least once a year.
*Consider installing a ten-year lithium battery-powered smoke alarm.
*Practice finding your way out of the building with your eyes closed, crawling or staying low and feeling your way out.
*Remember to escape first, then notify the fire department.
*Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors.
Flood Damage Info for the Kenton, Ada, Bellefontaine Ohio & Surrounding Areas
Few disasters can ravage a home like a flood. Understanding the cause, what to look for, and how to prepare are the secrets to protecting your home and possessions from flood waters.
Floods are the most common natural disaster worldwide, accounting for 40% of all natural disasters. They cause billions of dollars in damage to life and property in the United States every year. With no specific season, they can happen anywhere, and at any time. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of Americans (less than 15%) have any sort of flood insurance at all, although the percentage may be locally higher in extreme flood risk areas. High risk areas pose a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a thirty year mortgage. All federally or insured mortgage homeowners in these areas are required to purchase flood insurance. In moderate to low risk areas, the danger of flooding is reduced but not eliminated. Flood insurance is not required, but is recommended.
Restoring Your Hardin or Logan county Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
Flooding and water damage events at your local Hardin and Logan county area commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan counties
SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Protect Your Business
Multinational cyber crime could ring up an eye-popping $6 trillion bill annually by 2021, a shocking figure that would be the biggest wealth transfer the world has ever seen. Because cyber attacks are enormously profitable, every business is at risk for electronic mischief like viruses and ransomware, web jacking, denial-of-service attacks, technology piracy, information theft and much more.
What is a business to do? Know that cyber criminals, like all crooks, seek easy and fast pickings. Taking basic protective steps across three tiers of business activity goes a long way toward shielding your company and your livelihood.
Doing business in the world: Wi-Fi networks can be vulnerable to hackers, so secure, encrypt and hide yours. Don’t broadcast your network name, and protect router access with a strong password. Keep unauthorized users from accessing business electronics in the field, too. Because laptops and cell phones are easy to lose, install systems that encrypt and password-protect information and automatically lock up data with timed programs. Contracting a cyber security expert to audit your systems is another smart tactic.
Doing business in your workplace: Good planning and regular housekeeping help secure operating systems against attack. Install antivirus and anti-malware software – then use it. Cyber criminals often break in this way because employees themselves disable or disregard built-in protections. Regularly update your operating systems, because bad actors regularly exploit this vulnerability. Encrypt sensitive data and set up access levels for different data types – not everyone in your company needs to see everything. Finally, regularly back up data to the cloud or external drives.
Doing business as employees: Employees accessing your systems remotely represent significant opportunities for cyber criminals. Two-factor authentication – when an employee requests remote login, your system sends a unique code to the user’s on-file cell phone number – boosts security. Set up computer terminals and devices to automatically log out users if they are inactive for longer than 10 minutes.