The Air Ducts Have Mold. Now What?
You can smell a pungent, musty odor every time you turn on the climate control system. You could have mold hiding somewhere in the ducts. In Tyler, TX, experts in mold remediation help you identify contamination and clear out the offending infestation with a thorough HVAC cleaning.
How Do Molds Get in the Vents?
Mold is a microscopic fungus. It reproduces by expelling spores into the air. These spores ride on currents until they find a new home.
Fungus-like mold needs the right conditions to survive:
• Plenty of moisture
• Organic material for food
• A stable resting place
Your HVAC system moves air by design. Its whole purpose is to circulate air, and it is a prime source for mold spore transmission.
Doesn’t the Air Move Constantly?
Yes, it does, but dust sticks in some places. Mold spores landing on the dust have everything they need to start a new colony. Air ducts covered in dust are also covered in mold spores. The organic compounds in the dust are enough for the fungus to grow.
Your evaporator in your air conditioning collects moisture in the form of condensation. In normal conditions, drains allow that moisture to exit the system without causing a problem. If an obstruction blocks the drain, the pooled water is enough to support mold growth.
How Do You Prevent Contamination?
HVAC cleaning and proper maintenance are key. Change the filters regularly to prevent dust contamination. When dust accumulates, it provides a foundation for mold in your system. Also, get in the habit of cleaning vents and evaporator coils.
Your indoor air quality also contributes to mold contamination in your vents. A HEPA filter and air purifier can help to reduce the number of spores in your home in the first place.
When Should You Call an Expert?
If you smell mold but cannot see it, you may need to hire an interior environmental technician to test your air quality. A professional mold remediation expert knows how to perform proper HVAC cleaning to remove mold.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Up After a Fire
After a fire, the idea of cleaning up the legacy of soot damage, smoke damage, collapses, and fire damage can be daunting. With a step-by-step process, however, fire cleanup can be less of a chore. Follow this guide for a more efficient way to focus your cleanup and restoration efforts in the wake of a fire.
1. Make a plan. Rather than just tackling the nearest available problem, make a thorough assessment of the damage to your home and what needs to be done first. Prioritize the most important tasks, and identify which other tasks are dependent on completing certain areas of restoration first.
2. Wear proper protective gear. You may be dealing with potentially harmful substances, whether they’re harmful to your health or just harmful to the state of your clothing. Cover up with gloves, masks, and thick clothing that can protect you against soot, smoke, jagged edges, or corrosive substances.
3. Cordon off unsafe areas. Places with damaged floorboard or other safety hazards should be marked and roped off until they can be repaired.
4. Locate anything salvageable. Quickly identify and remove anything you may be able to keep, restore, or salvage.
5. Know where you can dump your debris. Debris removal is a major part of fire restoration and cleanup, but some dumps in Tyler, TX, won’t allow certain types of refuse. Make sure you know the proper place to dispose of your debris, and arrange for transportation and pickup. You may hire a service to haul it away for you, or can load your vehicle and do it yourself.
6. Board up any broken windows and doors. This is essential to preventing further damage from the elements.
7. Make a budget for restoration that includes any insurance compensation. You may need to hire contractors to repair your home as well, and your budget should include contract services.
By following this guide and other common-sense tips, before long you’ll have your home spotless and on the way to full recovery.
Protecting Your Home From Smoke Damage Caused by Puff Back
When most people in Tyler, TX, think about smoke damage, they think of the aftermath of a fire. What they don’t know about is the puff back effect. This phenomenon is a small explosion inside the burn chamber or the boiler of your furnace that sends a blast of soot and smoke into your home. It can occur in both oil-fired and gas furnaces, but the risk is higher in oil-fired heating systems. The most common cause is lack of maintenance and repairs.
An Ounce of Prevention
Annual inspections are a key tool in preventing this type of smoke damage. Every year you should have your heating system inspected, cleaned and adjusted by a professional. These experts know how to check for the following problems:
• Clogged or cracked nozzles
• Improper nozzle angle
• Cracked electrodes
• Shorted ignition cables
• Defective spark transformers
• Incorrect air-fuel mixtures
• Low-grade or dirty fuel
If any of these problems go unchecked, there is a real danger of a puff back, which can result in potentially significant damage to your home.
A Pound of Cure
If you do experience smoke damage from a puff back, there are three things you absolutely need to know:
1. Typical homeowner’s insurance policies cover damages caused by smoke, soot and ash.
2. Thorough documentation of damages is necessary for making a claim, including police and fire reports if available.
3. Most insurance companies will only cover the cost of professional cleanup.
For the health and safety of everyone involved, you should not attempt to clean up the damage yourself. Professional cleaners are equipped with the proper protection and equipment to safely clean the premises. The two best things a homeowner in Tyler, TX, can do in the event of any type of smoke damage is to contact their insurance adjustor immediately and, most importantly, leave the cleanup to a crew of professionals.
How To Clean Your Home’s Items After a Flood
Cleaning up after a flood affects your Tyler, TX home can be physically and emotionally difficult. Floors and walls may have water damage, and you may not be sure which pieces of furniture and other items can be saved. However, working with an expert home restoration company can help you with content cleaning in a way that is both safe and effective.
Once you start to inspect your home’s items after flooding, the enormity of cleanup may seem overwhelming. However, taking small steps when you begin the cleanup can help you focus on the most important tasks. For example, you can check each room for black water and note where you will need your professional cleanup team to work and which rooms are safe to enter to retrieve items for content cleaning.
Gather Porous Items for Disposal
Porous items in your home that might have permanently absorbed dirty water should not be salvaged. These include:
• Stuffed toys
• Laminated or granite countertops or flooring
Nonporous items, such as canned goods, can be saved if the labels are removed and the cans are thoroughly washed and sanitized. You can label the contents and expiration date with a permanent marker before returning them to the kitchen.
Remove Furniture for Inspection and Cleaning
While you may not be able to salvage furniture made of cloth, leather or suede, pieces made of metal, plastic or wood may be saved. You generally want to completely discard soaked mattress, sheets and pillows. Remove the items you want to preserve to a clean, dry area and inspect them for damage. Once you decide which are salvageable, ask your home restoration experts to sanitize them properly.
Cleaning your Tyler, TX home can be a daunting task. However, knowing how to safely perform content cleaning and hiring a professional flood restoration company to help you salvage and sanitize items can be important first steps in getting your house back in order.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtyler.com for more information on storm damage.
3 Steps to Take After a Pipe Break
Many homeowners in Tyler, TX worry about a flash flood when the weather outside gets a little too wet. However, one commonly overlooked source of flooding is bursting pipes. A homeowner should contact a professional to fix a broken pipe immediately. It is the only way to curtail the level of water damage from getting any worse.
1. Stop the Flow of Water
The first thing you as a homeowner can do is prevent the flooding from getting any worse. You will need to shut off the main water line. After you do so, you still need to drain the pipes of all water. This will require you to run every sink and flush each toilet in your house at least once. You will also need to turn off your home’s water heater. Once there is no running tap water left, the leak should stop entirely.
2. Inspect the Damage
Next, you will need to locate the burst pipes. If you are able to find the broken pipe, then you should take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes. If you cannot find the culprit, then you will need to bring in a professional crew as soon as possible.
3. Contact a Professional Drying and Remediation Crew
For homeowners in Tyler, TX who think they are fairly handy around the house, it is always a good idea to call a professional team to take care of any water damage just to be safe. There is a lot of remediation that needs to take place, such as drying any damaged structures and preventing mold growth. Professionals also know how to safely work around water to prevent electrocution or illness.
It only takes a matter of minutes for bursting pipes to wreak havoc on your home. The faster you can respond to such an emergency, the better off you and your family are sure to be. Visit http://www.SERVPROtyler.com for more information on water damage.
What to do After Your Pipes Burst
Bursting pipes are a fact of life in the winter, especially if you own older properties, because older properties are more difficult to properly insulate and protect. You can do everything possible to prevent pipe freezing, but between the construction and design of those buildings and the age of the plumbing, sometimes you will need to fix broken pipe issues even if they haven’t frozen, just because of the age of the pipe. Either way, a prompt response to the problem will prevent water damage in Tyler, TX from escalating.
Immediate Steps to Take
Your initial response to a water problem is going to make an enormous difference. React quickly, and you could minimize the harm and the cleanup effort.
1. Shut off the water. Before worrying about getting people to clean up the problem, stop it from getting worse by shutting down the water main so your bursting pipes can’t leak.
2. Contact your insurance. Get in touch with your carrier to make sure you understand what is covered and whether there are cleanup companies they can work with directly.
3. Contact a local restoration company. Make sure they are certified for the category of water problem you are experiencing.
4. Make arrangements for your needs. Water damage in Tyler, TX can take some time to clean up, so you will need to make the arrangements necessary to keep business running elsewhere, or on supplementary resources until your pipes are repaired.
Mold Risks From Water Damage
Proper dry cleaning after an incident with bursting pipes is important. Not only does it prevent immediate damage from water exposure, it also prevents the secondary damage that can be hard to spot. Water can lead to mold growth, but the right cleaning team doing a thorough job that follows best practices for total water damage restoration can prevent the onset of mold problems and fix broken pipe problems.
Visit http://www.SERVPROtyler.com for more information on commercial water damage.
Managing mold- Part 2
Call SERVPRO of Tyler to walk through the process of managing mold.
Here we continue on with the steps SERVPRO® of Tyler will take to remediate any mold issues you may have at your home or business:
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. Our technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents and Belongings
Our technicians clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. Our teams are also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs such as replacing drywall, painting or installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various rooms in your home or business.
Managing Mold- Part 1
Call SERVPRO of Tyler to walk through the process of managing mold.
When there’s a water intrusion such as a roof leak or broken water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Although each mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process:
Call SERVPRO® of Tyler
The mold cleanup and restoration begins with a call to your local Mold Certified SERVPRO. The office staff will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Inspection and Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Check out our next blog post that will continue the steps of mold remediation!
Light the Night Safely
SERVPRO® of Tyler wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!
Pretty lights, candles, and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season—however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening.
The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.
- Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents.
- Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
SERVPRO® of Tyler wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!
Are You Winter Weather Ready?
Are you prepared for the coming cold weather?
Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet, or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.
To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.
- Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
- Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
- Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
- Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
- Ask SERVPRO® of Tyler about completing an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment to your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.
When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO® of Tyler to strike back.