3 Facts About Mold and How It Can Affect Your Business
Mold on corner of wall in a Dallas,TX business
Understanding How Black Mold Grows
As a Dallas, TX, business owner, you are probably vigilant about keeping your building and property safe. Effective security measures and a comprehensive insurance policy can give you peace of mind; however, some silent and damaging intruders, such as mold, can take hold on your business before you realize it. Most types of fungi, including black mold, can thrive in almost any environment moisture is present, so it is important to understand how it grows, where you might find it and how to destroy it.
1. Mold Spores Exist Almost Everywhere
While you might associate mold with dirty or unkempt spaces, its spores exist naturally in the air both outside and in buildings but are too small to see with the naked eye. They float freely and look for moist spaces like air conditioner units and ductwork or anyplace your building has a moisture problem. Once there, the spores can multiply and spread, as most types of mold do not require sunlight to grow.
2. Small Leaks Can Encourage Mold Growth
Most types of fungi, including black mold, are likely to grow inside a building after a major flood. However, even small or hidden leaks can attract mold growth. If you discover a leak in your employee bathroom or inside a walk-in cooler, it is wise to call in a mold cleanup service and ask the technicians to inspect the area once you have the pipe or water line repaired. This can prevent the spread of mold to other areas.
3. Mold and Mildew Have a Different Cleanup Process
While mold and mildew are both fungi, they have different characteristics. Mildew grows on the surface of objects and can be wiped away with a sponge. Mold tends to be more widespread and requires professional cleanup to ensure it is completely eradicated.
Black mold and other types of fungi can thrive in almost any moist environment. However, understanding how mold grows and spreads can be an important step in protecting your Dallas, TX, business.
Which Does More Damage: Fire or Water?
Firefigthers putting out a fire in Dallas,TX
You have put a lot of time, effort and finances into your business in Dallas,TX. You were careful to protect your investment with security cameras and alarms, smoke detectors and a fire sprinkler system in case the worst happens. In the event a blaze does break out, fire damage is a huge concern. But did you know that your business could be in just as much trouble from the hundreds of gallons of water shooting out of that fire hose as it is from the flames themselves?
What Kind of Damage Can Be Caused by Water?
A few drops of water on a finely finished wooden desk or table are negligible, and a forgotten spill on a hardwood floor can be repaired relatively easily. The sheer volume of water used to quench even a small fire, however, can be very destructive — even to areas that did not suffer fire damage. Water damage can cause a wide variety of concerns within just a couple of hours:
- Sheetrock in walls and ceilings swelling or falling apart
- Rusting screws, nails and other metal building materials
- Warping of wooden doors, floors and studs
- Swelling and delamination in pressboard subfloors
- The onset of mold in damp materials, including saturated carpet, padding and upholstered furnishings
- Destruction to electronics and personal items that may not have been damaged by the fire itself
In the event you do have a fire, even a small one, firefighters may use a huge amount of water to make sure every last ember is extinguished. If you experience fire damage or water damage, your business in Dallas,TX, will benefit from using commercial building restoration services. Professionals who are trained to check and remediate every detail can restore your business (and your peace of mind) to its former glory and make sure your investment is as sound as before the fire.
After the Flood: 3 Actions To Take While Waiting for the Insurance Adjuster
Air movers in a Dallas,TX home after storm damage
Protect Your Property And Prepare To File A Claim
When a large flood impacts Dallas, TX, you will likely be one of many neighborhood residents filing a flood insurance claim. This is an effective way to protect yourself against any damage the flooding causes; however, waiting for the insurance adjuster can give flood waters time to cause further damage to your home. Fortunately, there are a few actions you can take in the meantime to protect your property and prepare to file a comprehensive claim.
1. Take Photos of the Damage
Once you know your home is safe to enter, begin by taking photos of flooded rooms and damaged items. Refrain from separating belongings during this stage and wear rubber boots and gloves for protection if you must enter flood waters. Catalogue whatever you find, including water stains on walls and ceilings, damaged furniture and ruined drywall.
2. Make a List of Valuables
Before you call in a flood damage and remediation service to drain flood waters from your home, make a list of any valuables that have been damaged. Include vehicles, artwork, jewelry and other items of value and list their estimated worth until you can access actual receipts. If any electronics, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets suffered water damage, retrieve their model and serial numbers to help expedite your claim once the adjuster arrives.
3. Call a Contractor
Have a contractor come in to check for water and mold damage so the adjuster can examine his or her findings and compare it with other damage estimates, such as the one the insurance company quotes you. Although each report may differ slightly when it comes to estimates, this can help you file a flood insurance claim with more efficiency.
Flooding in Dallas, TX, is likely to keep your local insurance adjuster busy for days. However, you can take steps to prepare a flood insurance claim before your property is professionally inspected.
Grilling 101: How to Clean a Gas Grill?
Outdoor cooking requires routine grill cleaning to ensure fire safety. Follow the steps below to thoroughly clean your gas grill and ensure your safety all season long.
1. Protect Yourself and Protect Your Grill
When getting ready to clean your grill, you should focus on safety. While the grill is warm, turn off the grill and the propane tank. You can also disconnect the tank at this time, reducing the risk of a propane-related fire or injury. You can also wear gloves to protect your hands from the remaining heat and grease on the grates.
2. Remove Washable Elements and Scrub the Interior
For a thorough grill cleaning, you may want to remove any washable elements, like the grates, plates and drip pan. All of these elements can be placed in a bucket of water and dish soap to soak while you scrub the interior of the grill. Focus on the hood and the sides of the grill and be careful not to damage the burners.
3. Wash the Grates, Plates and Drip Pan
While routine grill maintenance may not require the soaking of the grates, plates and drip pan, a seasonal or monthly cleaning can help to ensure the longevity of the grill and its components. Remove the parts from the bucket of soapy water and scrub them with a grill brush before squirting them down with a hose.
4. Complete the Process and Be Aware
Once the grill and its components have been scrubbed down, you can put everything back in its place and reattach the propane tank. However, be aware that routine cleaning is essential to grill maintenance and to avoid the possibility of a grease fire it should be performed monthly or at least seasonally. Especially in Dallas, TX, where grilling is a year-round endeavor, you should take precautions to prevent the need for fire restoration.
While basic grill cleaning and scrubbing after a meal does help keep a grill clean, it does not always effectively remove grease and other debris which may lead to fires. You should aim to clean your grill thoroughly at least once a season, if not monthly.
Does Your Business Need Commercial Flood Insurance?
Flood damage in commercial building
The point of owning a business is to make money while selling goods or providing services. As you likely know, a flood can stop your business enterprise in its tracks. To better protect your organization from the harmful effects of floodwaters, you may want to purchase flood insurance.
Are Floods Covered by Conventional Commercial Insurance?
Because you are a diligent business owner, you have probably purchased conventional commercial insurance. Generally, commercial policies cover the following situations:
- Damage to business property
- General liability
- Workers compensation
Glaringly missing from this list, of course, is damage due to flooding.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
If you purchase insurance coverage to protect your business from floodwater damage, you can expect it to generally cover damage to the outside and inside of your business. This includes losses from storm surges, rising rivers, excessive rainfall and other similar causes. Note, however, that a floodwater policy usually does not cover water from above your business. If your damage is due to overflowing gutters or a leaky roof, your commercial property insurance will likely cover your business loss.
What Does a Flood Policy Not Cover?
Most flood policies only cover damage to your business’s physical structures. Most do not, however, cover damage to exterior parts.
Specifically, a flood policy likely exempts the following:
- Damage to landscaping
- Damage to septic systems
- Damage to vehicles
- Damage caused by work stoppages
Are You Required To Purchase a Flood Policy?
Most business owners have no obligation to purchase a flood policy. If your business is in a floodplain, however, you may have a legal requirement to purchase flood coverage. This is specifically true if you have a federal-backed mortgage. corestoration service may be able to help you restore the condition of your company after a flood, you may need to purchase flood insurance to better protect your business.
Three Tips for Dealing with Drain Clogs
Avoid a drain clog in your Dallas,TX home
Dealing with a clogged drain can happen to anyone. Food down the kitchen disposal, hair in the bath drain, or even just toothpaste buildup can lead to blockage in the pipes. If left untreated these clogs can lead to worse problems than just backed up water. Leakage or a pipe break could be the eventual result. Whether you’re in Dallas, TX, and need help with a stopped pipe, or are looking for ways to help prevent clogs in the first place, these tips may be able to help.
1. Avoid the Drain Clog if Possible
There are a few things you can do to help avoid a stopped up pipe in the first place. Running water when you use your disposal can help flush and carry away the diced up food. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to what gets flushed down your drains. Materials like grease or plaster can harden in the pipes and lead to clogging problems. A sink strainer can also be used to catch large items before they fall into the drain.
2. Use the Proper Tools
Once your drain is clogged the next step is to use the proper tools for the problem. In many cases you can clean the trap or use a plunger. Many plumbers recommend drain cleaners for small clogs as well. However, for hard to reach or stubborn clogs a drain snake may be your best option.
3. When in Doubt Call a Professional
If you’re not sure what the problem is or how to unclog it, your best bet is contacting a professional. They can assess your clog and take care of the situation before a pipe break occurs. If you do have leaking or broken pipes a water damage professional may be able to help.
If possible taking steps to prevent a clogged drain is preferable. However, knowing what tools to use for which type of clog can be just as important. Remember, when in doubt call a professional.
A Brief Overview of the Mold Remediation Process
Mold removal should be handled by experts for safety.
If you discover black mold in your home, you may want to know what the mold cleanup process will entail. While it is beneficial for you to understand the process, know that the best way to remediate the fungus is with the help of a professional. The Bent Tree, Texas, mold remediation expert that you hire will likely perform the following six steps to rid your home of mold and restore it to like-new condition:
- Contain spores
- Remove the mold
- Prevent the growth from coming back
- Clean up your belongings
- Use a HEPA vacuum
- Dispose of the mold in a safe manner
Contain Mold Spores
First and foremost, black mold spores need to be contained. If large amounts are present, your remediation team may seal off the affected area from the rest of the home. This is done to keep spores from spreading and further contaminating your home.
Remove the Mold
Once the affected area is contained, the next step is typically removal. To do this safely, the team may dampen the mold and then use bleach, borax, ammonia or vinegar to kill and wipe it away.
Prevent Future Growth
Next, your team may clean all the surfaces in and near the affected area. Mold spores can survive just about anywhere, so this is a crucial step to prevent future issues.
Clean Your Belongings
Any surfaces that cannot be easily wiped down will need to be thoroughly cleaned by a professional. Clothes, curtains and rugs should be brought to a drycleaner, while couches and other furniture made of porous materials may have to be disposed of.
Once everything has been cleaned and dried, your mold remediation team may use a HEPA vacuum to suck out any stray spores. This also helps to prevent future growth.
Finally, the team may seal the HEPA vacuum bag and any unsalvageable materials in an airtight bag. The team will then dispose of these in a safe manner.
If you discover black mold in your home, contact your Bent Tree, Texas, mold cleanup experts right away. Your swift action can prevent costly damage.
Basics of the Flood Cleanup Process
Flood water can contain high amounts of bacteria and disease. Be sure to sanitize all affected items properly prior to returning them to your home.
When your home is flooded, you may not know where to start the flood clean process. The EPA has several cleaning requirements for ensuring that your home in Dallas,Texas, returns to a habitable state after a flood. When flood mitigation experts have removed excess water, they start the sanitation process.
Your home is not clean until all the parts of this process are complete.
Technicians may need to remove items from your home that have been damaged or destroyed by the flood. Anything in your house is subject to removal:
The professionals will assess the items and decide if they can be set aside for cleaning or if they just need to be thrown away. All items that can be salvaged must be clean before they are placed back in your home.
If the flooding was extensive, cleaning requirements may dictate that part of the structure of your home be removed. Ceilings that have flood damage may be taken out, especially if they cover damp insulation. Even part of your walls or floors may have to be replaced. Those doing the repairs are likely to remove these materials before they attempt to disinfect anything.
To combat the germs that are undoubtedly present in flood water, everything that remains has to be sanitized. Every surface that is damaged by the flood must be cleaned with flood disinfectant. The appropriate protective equipment, such as goggles, face masks, respirators and gloves, should be worn. Try to avoid mixing different cleaners, as they may contain chemicals that release toxic fumes when combined. Sanitation is not complete until every surface has been cleaned and dried.
Cleanup is not always a quick process, but you want to make sure it is a thorough one. Following these cleaning requirements ensures that your home is safe once restoration is complete.
Top 3 Benefits of a SERVPRO Emergency Profile
Always have a plan for the worst that can happen. When it does you are ready! Prepare your Emergency Ready Profile today!
Storm, fire and flood damage can happen to any business in Dallas, Texas. Fortunately, any business can prepare for a potential disaster by developing evacuation and continuity plans. Another emergency preparedness strategy that you may not have considered is a SERVPRO emergency profile.
This initiative can benefit your business in several important ways.
Floods and fires can be extremely costly to any business in terms of both required repairs and business downtime. Completing an emergency profile in advance ensures that you have a professional cleanup and restoration team readily available to render their services and help you resume normal business operations as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may waste valuable time trying to secure assistance, which may result in additional damage to your property and finances.
As you build your profile, you may be asked to provide important information, such as the following:
- Established chain of command to verify essential personnel
- Critical site details, such as the location of water main valves and circuit breakers
- A list of priority work zones
These details ensure that the response team is knowledgeable about your business from the onset, which may expedite their work.
Registering your business and creating your emergency plan is relatively easy. You can visit SERVPRO’s website to get started. You may wish to use a smartphone or tablet, which enables you to take photographs of your building and add them to your profile.
Once you complete the registration process, you can download the ERP app. This useful tool enables you to easily update your emergency plan and share it with interested parties. The app also allows you to request your local team’s assistance at the touch of a button.
Advanced Preparation Is Key
If you want your business to quickly recover after a disaster, advanced preparation and a quick response are often essential. Your emergency profile enhances coordination between your business and the restoration team, allowing them to efficiently initiate and complete the process.
Fire Extinguisher Tips for Your Business
After fire damage to your building in North Dallas, TX, you may not be sure how to begin the cleanup process effectively.
Designating employees to become educated on fire extinguisher use may help protect property and life. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides an online training video to help familiarize you with proper use of extinguishers, but they remind you that it is supplemental and does not replace hands-on training. Fires are classified by the type of material burning and extinguishers are clearly labeled for their use:
• Class A. Items in this category include paper, some plastics, and wood. Since this class uses water, you would not use this extinguisher on any flammable liquid fires, oil, combustible metals, or electrical fire.
• Class B. These are suitable for flammable liquid fires, like those from solvents, gasoline, and oil.
• Class C. When electrical equipment is involved in the fire, you need a Class C extinguisher.
• Class D. A specialty class for metals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium. These metals react with the oxygen in water and combust dramatically.
• Class K. These are especially designed for a kitchen fire from oil and grease.
• CO2 Extinguishers. Effective for Class B and Class C fires.
Be safe when using portable extinguishers. Many extinguishers are rated for multiple classes of fires but using the wrong class of fire extinguisher can cause a fire to spread or react explosively. A good example of this is spreading a grease fire by using water. When using a CO2 fire extinguisher, take extra care to protect your hands from the super cooled nozzle, which can cause frostbite, and use only in a well-ventilated area to prevent too much loss of oxygen for your safety. Be sure only to use portable extinguishers on fires that have just started, not large fires.
After fire damage to your building in North Dallas, TX, you may not be sure how to begin the cleanup process effectively. Fortunately, a professional fire mitigation company is knowledgeable and efficient at handling all the details. One company to help with your recovery and restoration will save you a lot of trouble and get everyone back to work in a timely manner. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObenttree.com/.