Whether or Not You should Remove Mold Yourself
Many homeowners are interested in do it yourself mold removal. They want to know how to clean mold themselves because they want to save money. Some also like the satisfaction of doing a job themselves. In some cases, it makes sense to handle a household mold problem yourself. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to call in a professional that knows how to clean mold, like SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan Counties.
When Is Removing Mold Yourself a Good Idea?
Cleaning up mold yourself may be a good idea if:
- The mold only covers a small area.
- The mold is growing on easy-to-clean surfaces like glass, metal, tile, tubs, or sinks.
- The mold is growing on hard-to-clean materials, like carpet, that are easy to remove and replace and you know how to do it properly.
Of course, you always have the option of hiring a professional for the job if you don’t want to do it yourself or simply don’t have the time or energy for what can be a time-consuming process.
When Is Do It Yourself Mold Removal Not Such a Good Idea?
In some situations, it’s better to call in a mold remediation professional for assistance. Cleaning up mold yourself is probably not such a good idea if:
- The mold covers a large area (greater than three feet by three feet, according to the Environmental Protection Agency).
- Mold develops after flooding with water that might be contaminated with sewage or other potentially hazardous substances.
- There is mold in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (most homeowners have neither the knowledge nor the equipment needed to properly remove mold from their HVAC systems).
- You aren’t sure how to do all parts of the job correctly (if, for instance, there is mold inside your walls and you don’t know how to remove and replace drywall) or you don’t have all the tools required to do the job (such as a drywall saw, if you need to remove moldy drywall).
- You have moldy wood that cannot be removed and replaced, so the moldy area needs to be sanded and encapsulated instead (it’s recommended that only mold remediation professionals sand moldy wood since it significantly increases one’s exposure to mold, which can lead to potentially serious illnesses).
In some instances, homeowners handle part of the job themselves while calling in a professional for other parts of the job, like removing mold from their HVAC system.
For Help with Mold Removal
If you need help with mold removal, or if you’d just like some professional advice before beginning do it yourself mold removal, we suggest consulting with a mold remediation specialist in Central Auglaize, Hardin and Logan counties. You can schedule a free in-home consultation with a professional that knows how to clean mold. You can get some free expert advice and then determine whether or not it’s a job you’re prepared to tackle yourself. There is no charge and no obligation, so there’s nothing to lose.
If you suspect mold that you cannot handle or want advice on contact SERVPRO of Central Auglaize, Hardin & Logan Counties at (937) 354-3540.
How to Reduce Flood Damages to Your Home
Flood damages in our homes is something we all experience at some point in our lives. It could be caused from something as simple as an overflowing bathtub or something more serious such as a burst pipe or sewerage pipe rupture. Flood damages to your home can range from minor to severe and dealing with the issue can be tiresome and even dangerous. While some water issues cannot be foreseen, there are a few things you can do to prevent Flood damages to your home from factors you have some control over.
Clean your down-spouts and gutters: Make sure to clean out your gutters at least once every six months or more often if you have a lot of trees in the area. When water collects in the gutters it can cause damage to your roof and the gutters themselves. Down-spouts that aren’t clean and checked to ensure the water is running off properly and is running away from your house, can cause damage to walls and even your foundations.
Remove hoses from taps when not in use: When the water does not drain out of your hose, it could freeze inside of it. This in turn could freeze back into the tap and pipes. The solid ice could cause an ice block, preventing water from moving through the pipe but it could also cause the pipe to burst, which could cause damage to your property.
Switch off the mains: If you are going on vacation or you are going to be away for a length of time, switch the water off at the mains. This will stop any dripping or other water issues while you are away. You wouldn’t want to come home to water rushing out your front door to greet you.
Keep your garden in check: Trees and shrubs can cause damage to your pipes from the roots wrapping around the pipes. Keep your garden maintained and no large plants near piping. In a smaller garden it is often best to avoid trees all together.
Fix the leaks: A small leak can become a big water damage problem if not dealt with as soon as possible. Even tiny drips can cause mildew and mold in your home and even lead to structural damage and dry rot over an extended period of time. If you fix the leaks as they occur, you have less likelihood of the small issue becoming a huge problem later. If you have a sudden spike in your water bill, make sure you investigate for underground water leaks as well.
Check the appliances: Monitor appliances for leaks and replace any cracked and brittle piping. Things like a dishwasher or washing machine can flood your house out quickly if the appliance is not maintained adequately.
How Does Mold Get Into Your Home?
What can Increase the Risk of Mold Growth?
Interestingly enough, the more people in your home, the higher your risks of mold growing there. The reason for this, is because we release a lot of moisture into the air when we breathe.
Also, things such as long hot showers, cooking with uncovered pots, drying clothes on an indoor clothesline, and use of humidifiers, contribute to placing moisture into the air.
Storing wet firewood, watering many plants, and keeping many vegetables like potatoes and squash can create a mold problem too.
What Does Mold Need to Grow?
Not only does Mold need that moisture, but also food sources too. By food sources I mean materials they live on.
Food sources such as drywall, wood, insulation, cardboard and paper, as well as, invisible bio-film on hard surfaces, carpet backing, wallpaper adhesive, many fabrics, leather, and especially house dust are mold havens for spores.
Can We Live in a Mold Free World?
Mold is ever present, we cannot expect to live in a mold free world. However, mold is not a problem most of the time, until you can see or smell it, or if you are having ill affects that are not normally present in your home.
This is when a call to action is needed. Delay in these matters will worsen the problem at hand.
Always remember, when Mold is an issue.. Deal with it promptly, do not wait.
How to deal with smoke damage in commercial buildings
When a fire occurs, SERVPRO of Central Auglaize Hardin & 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. Our number is (937) 354-3540.
We are IICRC Certified
SERVPRO of Central Auglaize Hardin & Logan Counties is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO Central Auglaize Hardin & Logan Counties
SERVPRO of Central Auglaize Hardin & Logan Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.
Where does mold come from?
A mold situation begins with those small, dark, little dots that, with ample moisture and nutrients, gradually spreads and grows across a wall or on a surface. You may open a closet door and see a dark circular pattern growing on the back wall and can only wonder how it got there?
Mold has to come from somewhere and the reality is, it’s no mystery. Mold found indoors comes from the outdoors. There are many types of mold found in the environment—tens of thousands of species in a wide variety of colors, in fact—and many ways it can get in your home. Mold spores can drift indoors through a screened window or open door, or it can be carried in on shoes, a golf bag, a backpack, or a coat that gets hung in a closet, and then spread through the ventilation system. Mold spores can also enter your home through leaky roofs, foundations, door frames or window casements. Once the spores that are carried in or drift in are exposed to dampness, moisture or water, mold usually begins to grow there. The spores that come in through a leak somewhere in the structure of your house are already primed to grow.
Water Categories and Definitions
Category 1 Water - Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "clean water". Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.
Category 2 Water - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to. Known as "grey water". This type carries micro organisms and nutrients of micro organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.
Category 3 Water - Known as "black water" and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affects the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back flows that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.
Have questions about a water situation that you may have? Give us a call at (937)354-3540!
Staying Safe During a Tornado
Make sure you and your loved ones know what constitutes a safe shelter. No one can know a tornado's strength before it touches down, so keep up with local weather information, especially when thunderstorms are forecast. Prepare your home and family for the possibility of a tornado. Moving to shelter quickly is easier when everyone knows where to go, whether in your home or outdoors. Following these tips will give you the best chance for staying safe in a tornado.
Falling and flying debris causes most deaths and injuries during a tornado. Although there is no completely safe place during a tornado, some locations are much safer than others.
- Go to the basement or an inside room without windows on the lowest floor (bathroom, closet, center hallway).
- Avoid windows.
- For added protection get under something sturdy (a heavy table or workbench). Cover your body with a blanket, sleeping bag or mattress. Protect your head with anything available.
- Do not stay in a mobile home.
Storm Damage Procedures
No two water damage issues are identical. That being said, most of the time there are a standard set of steps to be followed that will produce the desired outcome.
Water damage restoration is often prefaced by a loss assessment and evaluation of affected materials. The damaged area is inspected with water sensing equipment such as probes and other infrared tools in order to determine the source of the damage and possible extent of area affected.
Restoration services would then be rendered to the residence in order to dry the structure, sanitize any affected or cross contaminated areas, and deodorize all affected areas and materials.
After the labor is completed, water damage equipment including air movers, air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, wood floor drying systems, and sub floor drying equipment is left in the residence. Industry standards state that drying vendors should return at regular time intervals, preferably every twenty-four hours, to monitor the equipment, temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the affected walls and contents.
Prepare For Fire Emergencies
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Central Auglaize / Hardin / Logan Counties have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – (937) 354-3540
Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.
Everyone knows the Red Cross helps people during emergencies. But you may not know that it’s also part of our mission to help you help yourself! Becoming “Red Cross Ready” for an emergency means following our simple steps in advance to ensure you can weather a crisis safely and comfortably.