How To Recognize Mold and What To Do Next
Mold can easily be mistaken for dirt or dust if not thoroughly inspected.
In Oklahoma City, OK there are many hazards that a small business owner or landlord has to take into account when maintaining their buildings and places of work. One of these hazards is mold and the smelly mycotoxin that always accompanies it. When allowed to go unchecked, this hazard can potentially ruin the hard work that has gone into a building or grind the business conducted within to a halt. To help prevent this, here are a few steps for renters and maintenance workers on how to recognize and fix mold growth.
3 Steps to Recognize and Fix Mold Growth.
- Use Your Eyes
Mold can easily be mistaken for dirt or dust if not thoroughly inspected. Depending on what fungus present, the mold could take on a variety of different shades and textures. However, mold may not have a visual presence.
- Use Your Nose
Spores often incubate where small hidden leaks show up or where condensation builds as a result of a possibly broken air condition unit or something similar. When this happens, investigators can rely on their noses. Mold growth is often revealed by a variation of a musty odor.
However, it's important to take note of any new smells. This is due to the scent of mold changing based on the spore count and where it is in its life cycle. After all, the smell is formed by the mycotoxin released by mold eating and multiplying.
- Fix the Problem
Once the mold has been found, whether it’s out in the open or recently excavated, it’s important to immediately focus on mold remediation. This is because mold spreads quickly, often manifesting within 48–72 hours. If it looks like the mold is relatively contained and has only covered a small surface area, it is possible to get it cleaned up. In this case, cleaners should use the proper equipment and maintain safety standards during the process.
When maintaining a building, it’s good to be perceptive. If the mold has spread, remember that it’s important to call in a professional cleaning service. Safety should always be a priority when dealing with mold and its mycotoxin.
3 Things You Should Know About the Risk of Flooding After a Fire
FEMA can help to protect your home in Valley Brook, OK
The Risk of Flooding After Fires
After a flood, fires often occur. It can be helpful to learn about the risk of flooding after fires and to know how FEMA NFIP (the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Flood Insurance Program) can help to protect your home in Valley Brook, OK, from flooding after wildfire damage.
1. Why Do Floods Often Occur After Wildfires?
Floods often occur during the warmer months of the year. Likewise, wildfires are more prone to occur in the heat of summer, especially in an arid environment. When a fire occurs, the landscape in an area changes dramatically, and fires can cause the majority of plant life in an area to temporarily disappear. When heavy rainfall occurs, lack of plant life in the affected area allows water to flow more easily, which ultimately makes a flood more likely to occur.
2. Why Does Flood Insurance Matter?
Though a wildfire may not affect your home, flooding damage that occurs after the fire can devastate your home. However, general homeowner's insurance policies often don't cover damage from flooding. Purchasing separate flood insurance can help to keep your home protected if a flood does occur. FEMA NFIP is often a good option for homeowners since the agency offers flood insurance at affordable rates.
3. What Can You Do To Prepare Your Home for the Effects of a Flood?
There are several ways you can prepare yourself and your home for flooding. It can be helpful to make an emergency escape plan in case a flood occurs with little warning. Backing up valuable documents is also often beneficial, as you may need to access important paperwork after a flood. Additionally, it can be wise to keep contact information on hand for an emergency service restoration company in case you quickly need to begin restoration to your home.
Preparing your home in Valley Brook, OK, for disaster is often important. Understanding why floods occur after wildfires, how FEMA NFIP can help keep your home safe and what you can do to decrease the likelihood of your home from being affected by a fire, can help you feel more prepared for disaster.
4 Things To Expect After a Fire in Your Commercial Building
Fire damage in a Smith Village, OK building
4 Things to Expect After a Fire
If you experience a fire in your Smith Village, OK, building, you know there will be a certain amount of destruction. What you may not consider is that there will be multiple types of damage after this kind of emergency. Water cleanup will often be necessary after a fire, along with everything else. Here are a few things that you can expect after a fire.
1. Fire Damage
When you think of a fire, the primary damage caused will likely come to mind first. If the fire was small, you may only need to replace some interior items. However, in some cases, you might need to rebuild portions of the building.
2. Smoke Damage
Sometimes the damage caused by smoke can be even more extensive than that caused by the fire itself. While the flames can be contained to a smaller area, smoke travels through the air, affecting a larger part of the building. It carries soot and contaminants with it, so smoke cleanup will be required to prevent long-term damage.
3. Water Damage
If the flames have become large enough that the fire department is needed to put them out, you will, unfortunately, be dealing with another type of damage entirely. Water from the hoses can flood the building, resulting in warped walls or flooring and potential mold growth if it is left to sit. Water cleanup should be performed as soon as possible to prevent this.
4. Loss of Business
Because a fire can affect the building in which you do business, you can lose profits if the damage is severe. However, if you are unable to work as usual during the fire cleanup process, business insurance may be able to cover your losses.
If you find that you need fire, smoke or water cleanup after a disaster, you should call an emergency restoration company. They will be able to begin the process quickly to get your business back to its previous condition, so you can continue work as usual.
The Steps You Should Follow After Fire Damage in the Home
The fire trucks and firefighters will arrive and assess the situation
Steps to Take After an Electrical Fire in Your Home
Few things are more complicated than having to deal with fire damage in the home. Sometimes, the steps that you as the homeowner take after the fire damage determine the speed at which the home will be restored to the state it was in before the fire damage happened. Below are is a guideline outlining the steps you ought to take after an electrical fire or another type of fire breaks out in your home.
The very first thing you need to do is ensure that all the people who were in the building have gotten out. In case there is someone still trapped in the building because of soot damage or smoke, you should call in emergency services such as the fire truck, fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses, and firefighters to help rescue them and put out the fire. Do not try to get back into the house once you are out where it is safe.
The fire suppression
The fire trucks and firefighters will arrive and assess the situation. The firefighters, fire hoses, and their fire trucks will do their best to try and put out the fire within the shortest time possible after getting to the scene. You might see a firefighter going into the house and trying to rescue people who are trapped in the soot damage. They use equipment such as fire hoses, fire sprinkler systems and other appropriate equipment to help them achieve fire suppression within the shortest time.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofsouthoklahomacity.com for more information on fire damage.
What to Do When a Category 1 Flood Happens
Office flooding in Valley Brook, OK due to a line rupture
Flooding is the last thing on a business owner’s mind as they go about work of keeping things running smoothly, increasing sales or maintaining happy and productive personnel. Where does one find the time then, or the energy to deal with a Category 1 flooding situation? Even though they may be dealing with clean water, it can do some real damage.
What is Category 1 Water Damage?
If a flood happens at work, a Category 1 event may be the best case scenario. Here are some reasons why:
- Flooding comes from clean water sources such as a leaking supply line, overhead sprinkler system or a broken pipe
- If caught early it does not contain the sewage, dangerous microbes, chemicals or other contaminants that exist in many other types of flooding
- Many items can be saved with drying and cleaning
What Causes This Type of Water Damage?
The unfortunate thing with this type of flooding is that it can happen inside a wall or in a basement where it may not be noticed until some damage has already been done. With a broken pipe or supply line, sheet rock can become soaked, wooden framework saturated and floors, lower cabinets or carpeting may see some damage. In the case of a faulty overhead sprinkling system, damage to desks, electrical and computer equipment could occur.
Can Belongings Be Saved?
It is important to act quickly before the water has time to develop bacterial growth, as it may be possible to dry out carpets and other things rather than replacing them. Extracting the water as completely as possible and using large fans will help.
You will likely need to hire water damage restoration professionals in Valley Brook, OK after a clean water flood or leak to help with the clean up and drying things out. They can determine which things may be saved and to help with the restoration process. All water can cause damage to a business, with help you can feel “Like it never even happened.”
Tips for Finding a Leak in Your Shower or Bathtub
A leak in your bathtub can cause water damage
A leak in your shower or bathtub can cause water damage, which is why it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Before the problem can be taken care of, however, you must be able to identify the source of the leak. Here are some tips to help you find a shower or bathtub leak in your Oklahoma City, OK, home.
Inspect the Shower/Bathtub
First, you need to determine where exactly the leak is coming from. If you are inspecting a shower, you should start by looking at the shower pan, or the base of the shower. Indications of a shower pan leak include:
- Water seeping through ceiling of room below shower
- Mold near shower pan
- Missing grout around shower pan
- Rotting gaps between wall and floor caused by water damage
These signs of leaking can help you get a better idea of the source of the problem and identify any water damage.
Look for Other Sources
If the leak isn’t coming from your shower pan, look for any other parts of your shower or bathtub where it may have originated. Dripping faucets or showerheads are common sources of a bathtub leak and are relatively easy to fix. When inspecting your bathtub or shower, make sure you are aware of the severity of the issue so that you are prepared to take care of it.
Check for Water Damage
If you’re still struggling to find the leak, keep an eye out for any signs of water damage. Water damage can help give you a clearer idea of where the leak is. If you do come across any signs of damage, make sure to address it while it’s still early in order to mitigate the effects that it can have on your home.
A leak in your bathtub or shower can be frustrating to deal with, but keeping the resulting water damage under control can ease the situation. Be sure to talk with a water damage specialist to restore damage from a shower or bathtub leak and help preserve the state of your home.
Understanding the Cost of Mold Damage
Testing the mold
Mold, like other damage to your home, is going to cost money to remove. Fungus growth can be expensive, but the price really depends on the extent of the damage. This is why it is prudent to have a professional remediation company come out right away if you notice any growth in your home in Smith Village, OK.
It is important to understand what you are paying for before the fungus growth is removed. Typically, you are looking at the following costs when it comes to mold removal:
- Testing the mold
- Size of the growth
- Location of the growth
Not every situation will require testing. If the mold in your home does require testing, do not attempt to do it yourself. Always hire a certified environmental hygienist to test the growth. Mold that has grown inside of your walls is going to cost more than mold that has grown in a more easily accessible area. The price is also dependent on how large the growth is. If the mold is only taking up a few square feet, it probably will not be as expensive as mold growth that is covering an entire wall.
What Insurance Covers
Not all insurance companies cover mold damage, so it is best to call your company right away to find out what type of mold coverage you have. Mold insurance often depends on why the mold grew. If it was due to negligence on your part, they are less likely to cover it than if it came about due to flood damage from an intense storm. Delays in having the mold taken care of may cause your insurance company to refuse payment, so make sure you take care of the problem right away.
The best thing you can do to keep the cost of fungus growth down is to call someone in Smith Village, OK, at the first signs of growth. Take care of the problem as early as possible, and you should take preventive measures to avoid any future growth.
When Is Fire Damage Not Covered By Insurance?
Fire damage in a vacant home in Valley Brook, OK
Your homeowner's policy is designed to pay for fire damage cleanup when you have a home fire. There are a couple of situations that your insurance doesn't cover, though. If a home in Valley Brook, OK, is vacant or the fire is set on purpose, the policyholder shouldn't expect a payout.
Your property insurance can cover a wide variety of damage that occurs to your home. These damages include:
- Fire damage
- Wind damage
- Hail damage
If you report the problem to your insurance company and take the necessary precautions and swift action needed to prevent as much secondary damage as possible, your policy is likely to cover the cost of fire cleanup.
A vacant home fire is usually not covered by typical insurance policies. If your home has been vacant for 30 days or more, your policy is probably null in that particular situation. If, however, you have an endorsement on your policy that makes allowances for vacant home insurance, the home fire may be covered. Check with your insurance agent if you need to insure your vacation home even while you are away to make sure you have the right coverage.
A house fire is not covered if it was caused by the homeowner's criminal actions. Intentionally setting your home on fire in order to receive a payout from the insurance company is known as arson insurance fraud. If the insurance adjuster finds evidence that the fire was set on purpose, the cost of fire restoration services will not be covered by your policy. This behavior can also result in legal action taken against you.
Most of the time, your homeowner's policy will cover the damage caused by a home fire. If you set the fire intentionally or it occurred while your home was vacant, however, you may have to cover the cost of repair out of your own pocket.
Maintenance Tips To Prevent Roof Damage
Keep trees trimmed
The roof is your building's main protection against outside elements. A roof leak can cause a myriad of problems such as water damage and mold growth. Conversely, a well-maintained roof can help you avoid costly flood damage mitigation. Follow these tips for successful roof maintenance.
Inspect Roof on a Regular Basis
High-speed storms can cause all sorts of wind damage. There are several signs that your roof may need repair:
- Pooling water
- Bubbles in roof cover
- Gaps or tears in roof flashing
- Detached gutters or lightning rod
- Noticeable water damage
If you notice any of these visual signs during your inspection, contact professionals in Oklahoma City, OK, for a follow-up inspection and any necessary repairs.
Clean Gutters and Rainspouts
Part of your storm cleanup should include cleaning twigs, rocks, leaves and other debris out of your rain gutters. The gutters are designed to help prevent a roof leak by channeling water off the roof and away from your building. If they get clogged, the water cannot drain properly, and the chance that storm damage will occur during the next intense rain increases significantly. Your drainage system should be checked before and after every storm and cleaned regularly.
Keep Trees and Bushes Trimmed
Most of the debris that causes storm damage to roofs comes from untrimmed trees around the property. Professional landscaping may seem like an extraneous expense, but it can save you thousands of dollars in roof repair in the long run. Landscapers not only make your property look clean and inviting, but they also keep twigs and limbs from turning into dangerous debris during a heavy storm. By ensuring that weak or broken branches are removed and disposed of properly, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary trouble with your roof.
A roof leak can lead to costly flood cleanup, but regular maintenance can help you avoid the problem. Make sure your roof remains in good condition to protect your building.
Safe Fire Restoration For Your Oklahoma City Home
A fire can also rearrange or damage natural walkways, making it necessary to inspect the entire area before entry into your home.
Restoration is The Key for Your Damaged Residential Property
A fire in your home results in ash and soot placement over many indoor surfaces. It is no secret that smoke, ash, and soot damage far exceed fire damage in most cases. There are a variety of dangers that exist when handling these materials including contact with small amounts of cancer-causing chemicals and other health concerns such as skin irritation and respiratory issues.
After experiencing fire damage on your Oklahoma City property, you should never allow children or pets near your home until after repairs are complete. All of your personal belongings, clothes, furniture, and even children's toys are not safe until you have a chance to clean them properly. Professional restoration technicians wear protective equipment to help avoid contact with these substances while they perform their services, you should too.
Attempting to perform cleanup on your own, with a regular shop-vac or home vacuum forces hazardous particles into the air. SERVPRO of South Oklahoma City technicians use HEPA filtered vacuums to help avoid this problem and fully remove small particles that might otherwise escape detection. All gathered ash piles require specific handling and disposal to prevent public environmental conditions and should never be dumped into storm drains.
Entering your home after a fire without the proper support is certainly not recommended. A professional restoration company, like SERVPRO, can provide you with expertly trained fire damage personnel with years of experience identifying and eliminating possible hazards. It only takes moving or exposing a smoldering piece of wood or other debris to reignite your fire once oxygen becomes available again.
A fire can also rearrange or damage natural walkways, making it necessary to inspect the entire area before entry into your home. Structural damages are not always visible, always have professionals check your stairs, floors, and roof before beginning repairs. SERVPRO’s initial fire damage inspection provides customers with ways to avoid hazardous materials, unstable work surfaces, electrical hazards, and other problems that might go unnoticed otherwise.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
Get the protection, cleaning, and restoration services you deserve, call SERVPRO of South Oklahoma City, today. (405) 677-4000.