Tips for Mold in Your Home
Again, mold is EVERYWHERE! But here are some tips to help you rid of unnecessary mold.
- Fix water problems! Without moisture, mold cannot grow so don't feed it. If you see water damage get it fixed immediately!
- Keep the materials dry - stay aware by using your sense of smell also
- Control the humidity by keeping levels below 60%
- Ventilate "wet" rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens
- Change filters for your air condition or dehumidifier
- Toss moldy items - while some material can be saved they usually are not worth it. Keeping these items around can affect other items as well as make the air quality poorer
- Limit houseplants or refrain from over-watering them
- If the mold is visible remediate mold. Give us a call at 781.861.0500 to get a free estimate for your mold remediation. Our SERVPRO technicians are certified to remove mold from residential and commercial properties whether it be an attic, basement, bathroom or even crawlspace!
The International Code Council wants to keep people aware of "what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy-efficient homes and buildings."
Here are some tips they offer in regards to Disaster Safety & Mitigation:
- If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windbourne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up
- Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family
- In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc) and coarse fuels (dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks and walkways. Follow ICC's International Wildland-Urban Interface Code for detailed requirements.
- Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It only takes 6 inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.
Protect yourself from the storm
As storm season approaches, it is important to keep your property safe as well as your loved ones. Here are some tips to take into account:
- Have a communication plan is very important!
- Prepare an emergency supply kit* including a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio
- Post pone outdoor activities and secure any outdoor objects that can become airborne
- Don't use corded phones or electronics that plug in
- Seek shelter in a home, building or hard top automobile
- Avoid windows and doors, don't lie on concrete and stay off porches
- Steer clear of open isolated structures
After the storm:
- Avoid storm damaged areas such as downed power lines
- Do not try to drive through a flooded roadway
- Replenish your emergency supplies and repair property damage
*Follow this link to learn more about Building An Emergency Kit
While SERVPRO is mostly known for residential water and fire restoration, it is important to know that we can also handle commercial losses! Those losses go beyond just water and fire though as we remediate mold as well as provide general cleaning services.
We know when emergencies happen there is a lot at stake -- especially at commercial properties! Why not have help at your fingertips with SERVPRO's Ready App!
Use this for your home and business, as a owner, property manager, risk manager and facility management. When you create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) using the Ready App it gives us access to critical facility information that helps speed up our response time.
If you want helping setting up an ERP, call us at 781-647-9100 and we can set up to have one of our Marketing Representatives walk you through the process!
During this past spring, we got to learn a bit about sump pumps!
Sump pumps are usually located in the basement of many properties, both residential and commercial. The purpose of the sump pump is to relocate water from flooding away from the property. What many of our customers experienced was due to the water tables being low and then rapidly rising due to the wet weather (rain and snow).
While there is no size disaster we cannot restore, it is important to know as a property owner what your insurance does and does NOT cover! While many of our customers were covered, some of them had no coverage at all because they never purchased a sump pump rider on top of the insurance policy!
Make sure when you are purchasing a property and an insurance policy, that you are paying for an insurance that will cover all different attractions in you home. It's a true bummer to have damage to your property and then find out you have no coverage like you assumed!
Classes of Mold
Like we always say, mold is everywhere and not all molds are harmful to us! Molds are often found in wet, damp places and can vary in color and smell. Mold is put into different categories based on their hazard:
Hazard Class C: While this group of molds are not health hazards – they can cause structural damages, and are recommended to be removed.
Hazard Class B: These are molds that if endured over long periods of time can cause allergic reactions
Hazard Class A: These are the molds we want to identify and remove immediately! These molds create toxins and if not handle correctly the air quality of a structure with steadily decline.
If you feel like your home or business might be affected by mold, give us a call at 781-647-9100. While we cannot determine what type of mold it may be – we can remediate it with no worry!
Ways to prevent water and mold damage!
There are different ways that water can affect your property and if the mitigation is prolonged it can cause the building structure to become a food source for mold. Here are some precautions to take to try and avoid these kinds of damages to your property
- Inspect water lines every 6 to 12 months for sinks, toilets, and tubs as well as home appliances such as washing and drying machine, dishwashers. Things to check for include cracks, looseness, and corrosion of pipes. If a leak is found, shut off the water to it until it can be fixed!
- During cold weather, allow water to run through the pipes as it minimizes the risks of pipes freezing and bursting.
- Replace the hose on your washing machine supply every five years and keep your machine properly balanced! When the washing machine is not in use – shut off the water!
- As tempting as it maybe, do not run water appliances when no one is home!
Roof & Gutters:
- While you can routinely check your roof and gutters, it is great to have a professional come every three years check your roof out for you. Keeping your gutters clear help water from entering your home and cluttered gutters promote mold!
- If the roof doesn’t have a drip edge or cap, consider installing one because it aids in capturing water into the gutters. Make sure the downspouts are not facing he foundation of the structure – try to buy extenders to get the water at least 6 feet away from your property
- Check your attic’s ventilation and insulation, seal gaps that allow warm air into the attic. We don’t want ice dams forming up there!
- Test your sump pump and the water pressure in the home.
- Always know where your water shut-off valve is in case of emergency!
More Flood Facts
Floods force you to think fast!
- Flash floods can bring walls of water from 10 to 20 feet high
- Flooding can be caused by spring thawing (snow and frozen grounds melting in the spring), heavy rains, snow melt runoffs, flash floods and mud-flows
- Floods are the most widespread natural disaster aside from wildfires
- In preparation for a flood, it is important to stock up on first aid items, non-perishable foods, three gallons of water per person for three days, battery operated radio for weather reports, extra batteries and personal hygiene necessities.
- A 2,000 square foot home undergoing 12 feet of water damage could cost more than a $50,000 to repair.
At SERVPRO we are always preparing for large losses and we have teams set up all over the nation to come in and help homes and businesses get back to "Like it never even happened."
The Roof is on Fire!
We’ve all done and said it. We have all “raised the roof” at some point because it was on metaphorical fire. But what does one do when it is literal? In non-musical proportions, this recently happened to one of our local businesses. Boston Rhythmic, a rhythmic gymnastics school, had a fire in their Watertown location. Their roof was literally on fire. Their sprinkler system managed to retard the fire from spreading but water damage ensued.
To paraphrase the owner of the company, she never thought she would face that type of disaster. Never her business. Water had spread at the back end of the facility and the bathrooms were nonfunctional by the time the restoration crew arrived.
It is at these types of circumstances that we are forced to respect the wisdom: better safe than sorry. SERVPRO offers Emergency Ready Profiles to give business owners peace of mind as they become disaster ready. ERP’s are a free service we provide to consolidate all building information to respond to any disaster, small or large. Whether it is knowing the where the electric shutoff is to your main building to have the property owner’s contact information, ERP’s allow SERVPRO to respond to your needs in a timely manner.
Why raise the roof when you can prepare for the fire?
Dirty Air Ducts in Brand New Homes?
As the owner of two SERVPRO franchises, I decided in 2016 to move closer to my business, located in Waltham. I purchased a brand new home that is 9 minutes from my office and the house is great! I was very excited to move into a home that has just been built. I thought there will be nothing to fix because it is “brand new”… I was wrong!
When the home inspection was done, it was revealed that the air duct system (HVAC) was loaded with sawdust. Because SERVPRO cleans air duct systems, I knew exactly what had happened and what was needed to be done. The house was built in the winter, so all the wood was cut inside the house! I have all hardwood floors, large baseboards, wainscoting and crown molding…there is a lot of wood! They cleaned up most of the sawdust in the house but did nothing with the air duct system.
The house was on the market for over 200 days before I bought it. The impressive amount of sawdust sat inside the air duct system through the hottest and most humid of days in the summer months. The air conditioner was only turned on when potential buyers, like me, would visit. Here is a short lesson on the creation of mold:
Sawdust (organic material) + Moisture (high humidity) = Fungal Growth (Mold)
Because I own a company that cleans HVAC, this was an easy problem for me to fix. Due to the size of the house, the cost to clean my 2 systems in a 2,300 sf house would be around $1,100. If you purchase a brand new home, you should check the filters and see if it is loaded with sawdust. This can be a very serious problem for children with asthma or anyone sensitive to mold. Some people live with poor health for years because they never check the system that provides the air that they breathe! If you live in a home that has air ducts of any kind, you should have them cleaned every couple of years. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your families’ health.
– Steve Taylor, Owner of SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford & SERVPRO of Waltham/Weston/Watertown/Wayland.