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How Do I Get Rid of Mold Damage?

12/5/2022 (Permalink)

Mold inside a wall Mold inside of your walls will cause many issues

How Do I Get Rid of Mold Damage?

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in warm, damp environments. If you see mold or suspect it's present in your home or workplace, you should take action to get rid of it. This article explains how to assess and remove mold safely.

Choose a remediation contractor.

Once you've identified the extent of your mold damage, you'll need to choose a contractor to remove it. If possible, hire someone who has been in business for several years and can provide references from customers they've worked with. Ask these references about their experience and whether they would hire this company again. Also ask if the company owner was present during all stages of the job, as well as if they have certification in environmental science or other areas related to mold remediation (such as building construction). It's also wise to get proof that your chosen company has insurance coverage in case anything goes wrong during their work on your property. 

Remediation work plan.

A remediation work plan describes the work to be done, the equipment and materials to be used, and procedures to be followed. It should include:

  • A detailed description of the problem area(s)
  • Steps for containing the mold
  • Steps for removing mold from building materials and furnishings (if applicable)
  • Procedures for cleaning up after removing mold (e.g., disposing of waste materials).

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required when dealing with mold. PPE for individuals includes a respirator, gloves, and goggles. A respirator can be useful when handling moldy materials, but it is not required by OSHA now. Gloves should be worn any time that you are handling contaminated materials because even healthy people can become ill from exposure to molds. Goggles or glasses should always be worn when working with moldy materials as they will protect your eyes from any airborne spores that may be released into the air during cleaning and removal.

Containment

Containment is a crucial step in the mold removal process. If you don't contain the mold, then it can easily spread to other areas of your home and cause more damage than necessary. Containing the mold means keeping it from spreading while you work on removing it. You can use barriers (like plastic sheeting) to keep the mold confined to one area, or you can remove items that have been affected by moisture and put them into another room until they are cleaned and disinfected.

If you decide to use plastic sheeting for containment purposes, make sure that there are no holes in between pieces of plastic so that air doesn't get through them as well! Cover all surfaces affected by moisture with heavy-duty plastic sheeting.

Mold removal

Mold removal is a multi-step process, but it doesn't have to be overly complicated. For example, if you find mold growing in your bathroom, you should use a HEPA vacuum to remove as much of the mold spores as possible. Next, scrub the affected area with a brush dipped in soap and water. Use an all-purpose cleaner if you want to make sure that no mold remains after scrubbing. You can also use a commercial product designed specifically for removing mold from surfaces like drywall and cement board - these products are available at hardware stores or online retailers such as Amazon.

Disinfectants and antimicrobials

Disinfectants and antimicrobials are often used to kill mold and mildew. However, they are not effective against mold spores. Therefore, it is important for you to use these treatments properly to avoid any potential health hazards that could be caused by their misuse.

The main difference between disinfectants and antimicrobials is how long they remain active after being applied. Disinfectants kill most microorganisms within a short period of time (usually 30 minutes), while antimicrobials only slow down growth of some types of molds (such as Aspergillus) but not all types—particularly those that produce black colony growth.

Be sure you hire reputable professionals, take precautions, and follow your remediation plan.

Mold removal can be an intimidating process. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do it alone.

We recommend hiring a professional with experience in mold remediation and EPA approval, but there are other important things to look for as well:

  • The contractor should have experience in the area where you live (for example, if you live on the coast, your contractor should be familiar with flooding).
  • If possible, work with someone who has experience in your type of building (for instance if you live in an old house or trailer).

Mold is a natural part of the world around us. It’s important to know that you can protect yourself from mold and mold damage. If you do find mold in your home, be sure to contact a professional for help in removing it. The EPA has put together some great resources on how to remove mold from your home safely, but if you still have concerns about what to do next then please contact us today! We will answer any questions or concerns that may arise during this process and make sure everything goes smoothly!

Everything You Need to Know About Sewage Damage

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Sewage backup If you have sewage damage contact SERVPRO of Costa Mesa.

Everything You Need to Know About Sewage Damage

When you have sewage damage, it's important to take the proper steps to clean up and repair it. If you don't know what you're doing, you could end up making the problem worse or exposing yourself and others to harmful bacteria. This guide will walk you through everything from setting up a containment area to hiring a professional service.

Safety Precautions You Should Consider

Sewage is a dirty business. As such, it's important to take precautions and follow safety procedures when cleaning up sewage damage in your Costa Mesa, CA home. 

We highly recommend wearing protective gear: gloves, eye protection, and clothes that cover as much of your body as possible. It's also important to avoid eating or drinking anything in the area where you're working (especially if it's been contaminated by sewage), smoking, or doing any other activity that could make you sick if there were residual bacteria on surfaces.

Remove Standing Water and Debris

To remove standing water, you will want to use a wet vac to remove any remaining standing water and debris. If you don’t have a wet vac, use a shop vacuum instead.

To remove debris, you will want to use a broom or shovel to brush off any large pieces of dirt or mud from the affected area and dispose of them as you would any other trash (in an outdoor garbage can). Be sure that there are no sharp objects such as rocks left over in your home after removing them with your broom or shovel. They may cause additional damage if they get left behind on your floorboards.

Dry Out Wet Areas

Use fans, dehumidifiers, and air movers to dry out the wet area and contents. A wet vac can be useful for removing water from the carpeting as well. A heat gun can also come in handy for drying out harder surfaces like countertops and floors.

Disinfect and Deodorize

If the area is only wet and not damaged, you can use disinfectant to clean the affected area. But if there is any damage, use deodorizer instead. If your home smells like sewage, fans are the best tool for drying out your property since they can circulate air throughout a room quickly and efficiently. If necessary, use a dehumidifier to get rid of any excess moisture in the air and prevent mold growth on walls or furniture surfaces in your home.

Sewage and Your Health

Sewage damage can make you very ill. Sewage contains bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause illness. It also contains chemicals, such as pesticides, which are harmful to your health.

In addition to the immediate damage caused by sewage backups, there is a greater threat to your health in the long run.

If you have sewage damage, you should immediately contact a professional like SERVPRO of Costa Mesa. Don't hesitate on calling us, we can help. Our experts have years of experience dealing with this kind of situation and will be able to get your Costa Mesa, CA home back in shape quickly. This way, you don’t have to worry about it, and you can focus on getting back to normal.

How Do I Prepare My Company for a Fire?

10/20/2022 (Permalink)

Sprinkler System Make sure your sprinkler systems are regularly tested and maintained

How Can I Prepare My Business for a Fire?

As a business owner, it’s crucial that you take steps to protect your Costa Mesa, CA company from fires. Fire can be devastating for any company, but it is especially devastating for restaurants and other food service businesses where an unexpected fire can result in the loss of thousands or even millions of dollars in revenue. Here are some ways to prepare your business for a potential fire:

Create a Fire Evacuation Plan

The best way to prepare is to have a plan in place. A fire evacuation plan should fit the needs of your business. This should be posted and employees should be familiar with the plan. Your evacuation plan should be posted in an area where it can be easily seen and understood by all employees.

The following are some tips for creating an effective fire evacuation plan:

  • Create several different plans that fit the needs of your business. For example, if you have only one entrance and exit point, you may want to create two separate plans—one for when the main entrance is blocked by smoke and flames while the other details how employees should leave through a secondary exit. 
  • It's also important that different types of buildings (e.g., warehouses) have their own unique evacuation procedures as well as instructions on how to get out after an earthquake or other natural disaster strikes.

Install Fire Extinguishers and Sprinkler Systems 

These will help reduce the chance of fires spreading. A fire extinguisher should be placed in an area of the building that is easy to reach and can be accessed without having to go through a door. This will make it easier for you and your employees to grab the extinguisher if there's a fire emergency.

If you have sprinkler systems, they should also be regularly tested and maintained. The professionals who install these systems will be able to tell you what type of maintenance is needed for each one, but generally speaking, sprinkler systems need annual inspections from experienced professionals who are certified in this field. In addition, it's important that you do not overwork or damage your sprinklers by tampering with them manually (for example spraying water on them).

Ensure Clear Exits, Well Lit Stairs, and Emergency Lighting

As a business owner, it’s crucial to ensure that your building is prepared for any emergency. Not only will this save lives, but it can also reduce the cost of a fire after it has happened. Here are some things you can do:

  • Make sure all exits are clear, any stairs are well lit, and that emergency lighting is installed. If there is clutter blocking an exit or a staircase, then employees might not know where they need to go when there’s an emergency. Slippery floors could also present problems in an emergency situation—make sure your flooring has good traction!
  • Ensure that all employees know where the fire exits are and how to use them in case of an evacuation (including disabled persons). Employees who don't know what's going on could end up running into each other or getting hurt as they try to escape from the building. Make sure everyone knows what their role is during such an event so no one gets left behind!
  • Alert coworkers and visitors to any potential fire hazards in your building through signage and training sessions.

If you're unfamiliar with fire safety, the best way to prepare is by educating your employees on how a fire will affect them and what they should do in the event of one. This can be done through company-wide emails or training sessions. Post signs that warn of potential hazards, such as burned-out light bulbs or electrical outlets. Make sure that all your employees know how to react when they hear an alarm sounding as well as what their evacuation plans are.

Test Your Smoke Alarms

You should also confirm that your building has working smoke alarms installed on every floor and that they have been tested recently. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and replaced every 10 years. If you have a fire alarm system, make sure it is working properly.

If you are not currently required to install fire sprinkler systems, remember that sprinklers can save lives in ways other than putting out fires. Sprinkler systems may slow down the spread of flames in a way that allows occupants time to escape safely from the building without injury or death.

No business is immune to fire damage. If you want to protect your company from this danger, it’s important that you take care of the basics now. By creating a fire evacuation plan and installing sprinkler systems and other safety features, you can help prevent any emergencies from happening in the first place.

Understanding Established Guidelines for Mold Damage

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician wearing PPE outfit for a mold removal Mold removal service in Mesa Verde, CA

Regardless of the type of business you run in Mesa Verde, CA, there are some things that are best left to specialists, such as a CPA for taxes or an electrician for electrical upgrades. Along with established rules and guidelines for those types of services, there are also mold standards that mold remediation and restoration specialists adhere to help you have peace of mind.

Established Guidelines

Before jumping into a mold clean-up plan, there are set loss levels that may require different processes and safety precautions for damage identification, removal, and mitigation.

Small Isolated – Area affected is under 10 square feet in a contained area. General PPE should be worn, such as a face mask and gloves. (10 sq. ft. or less) - e.g., ceiling tiles, small areas on walls. Workers in adjacent areas can stay on-site during cleanup.
Mid-Sized Isolated – Mold growth is contained within 30 square feet. Similar conditions apply to the first level.
Large Isolated – This might look like multiple wall panels, up to 100 square feet, having mold damage. For this amount, it is recommended for an experienced professional to handle the cleanup. Additional PPE and containment procedures will be needed, as well as significant material removal and restoration.

Extensive Contamination – Considered anything greater than 100 square feet, this level of damage will require complete containment and the removal of all people during the cleanup process. Respirators with HEPA filters and full-body disposable clothing will be worn by the technicians to adhere to mold standards.

Remediation Plan

Eradicating the black mold in your business is the top priority. The above levels will determine the extent of the remediation plan needed. Regardless of size, an expert will work to identify the source of the problem, remove damage, and restore the property to preloss condition. They will also work to ensure that the cause of the problem is addressed and fixed to ensure no future mold colonies are established.

Like with most things related to your business, you want things done right the first time. Trusting a professional that is certified on established mold standards helps make that happen.

After the Flood: What To Do and How To Keep Employees Safe

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded commercial building Never enter a flooded room or touch electrical equipment if the ground is wet.

Dealing With The Aftermath Of A Storm

If a storm creates flooding that infiltrates your office in Fairgrounds, CA, you could be facing the menace of black water. Such water is highly toxic. Act quickly and responsibly to protect yourself and others from its negative effects. Here is a quick guide to dealing with the aftermath of this frightening disaster.

Office Protection After Contaminated Water Flooding

Buildings can become inundated with toxic wastewater that's full of pollutants, including urine and feces. When this happens, you must:

  • Document the damage with photos
  • Report the damage to your insurance
  • Protect equipment and documents from further damage

Physical destruction can always be repaired, especially when you have a team of qualified water damage restoration professionals to conduct a comprehensive flood cleanup. Of greater concern is keeping employees away from the harmful effects of black water.

Employee Protection After Contaminated Water Flooding

Prevent staff from reentering the office until it has been properly cleaned and allow them to work remotely. Identify the source of the flooding and take action to keep the situation from worsening, whether by boarding up windows and doors, shutting off the water supply, or tarping over your roof.

Avoid traversing through water deeper than two inches, as well as damp areas near outlets and extension cords. Never enter contaminated water without wearing rubber boots, gloves, and waders.

Gas leaks sometimes occur when floodwaters cause significant structural devastation. Listen for hissing noises, smell sulfur, and look for bubbling. These are all signs you may have a flammable leakage. Evacuate the building if these indicators are present, then call for professional assistance.

Even after your office has been cleaned, there is still the risk of carbon monoxide. This gas is particularly perilous, as it cannot be seen or smelled. Test your detectors to make certain they are working properly.

Blackwater turns your office into a dangerous environment. Before allowing staff to return, make sure that the hazards associated with contaminated water have been completely eliminated.

3 Tips for Removing Cigarette Smoke Odor From Your Home

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Ozone Generator Ozone has been proven to be effective at destroying odor.

Tips For Removing Cigarette Smoke Odor

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2019 that 34.1 million adult Americans admitted to smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. The health risks of the practice and its secondhand leavings aside, a major problem with lighting up in buildings is that it can leave behind a long-lasting, unpleasant odor. Regardless of whether it is the result of the habit of others or yourself, you may not want such a smell to linger in your home.

There is the option of contacting a professional cleanup service in Mesa Verde, CA, for home deodorization, but it is not the only choice available. Here are some tips for eliminating any scent left behind by cigarette smoke.

1. Purify and Circulate Air
Promoting circulation and purification of the air in your home is one part of home deodorization. Some actions you can take include:

  • Opening doors and windows
  • Using fans
  • Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter
  • Placing bowls of vinegar (white or apple cider) and active charcoal in different areas for odor absorption
  • Regularly changing out HVAC filters

2. Use an Ozone Generator
Ozone has been proven to be effective at destroying odor. What happens is ozone generators make activated oxygen molecules that oxidize smoke particles. It is important to be aware that the substance may result in negative health effects and damage to some items.

3. Clean Exposed Materials
The stench of cigarette smoke can cling to objects. Washing hard surfaces with a water and vinegar solution can help get it off. With textiles, you can wash removable objects like couch covers with vinegar in the washing machine. For those things not so easily cleaned, like furniture, you can sprinkle baking soda over them, let it sit for a while and then vacuum it up. You may also want to steam clean carpets after this, as well as furniture and curtains if you have access to an attachment.

Home deodorization may become an extensive project depending on how long the issue has gone unaddressed. Preventative measures, like smoking outside and encouraging others to do the same are the best way to avoid having to go through it.

3 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Power Outage

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Portable Generator It is always important to exercise safety when using a portable generator.

How Do I Prepare For A Power Outage?

According to a study by Primen, businesses lose a total of $150 billion annually from grid problems. In fact, 70 percent of companies will experience a power outage during the next year. Before your Fairview Park, CA, business is faced with this challenge, use these steps to put a plan in place.

1. Create a Continuity of Operations Plan

Make sure you and your employees know who is responsible for what in the event that your business loses power. Who will safely escort customers out of the building, if necessary? Who will make any important customer- or vendor-related phone calls? Identify key staff, and make sure that all phone numbers are easily accessible. It may be worth investing in cell phones for all essential personnel.

2. Consider Purchasing a Portable Generator

If your business absolutely needs the power to operate, it may be worth purchasing a generator well before you are faced with an outage. Read the manufacturer’s instructions closely upon purchase, and remind yourself of how to use it regularly. It is always important to exercise safety when using a portable generator.

3. Keep Water, Food, Batteries, and Flashlights On Hand

Depending on the cause of the power outage, it may not be safe to leave the building. In that case, you will likely be glad to have plenty of food and water available for staff. Flashlights and plenty of batteries to go with them could be extremely useful to anyone inside the dark building.

A power outage is a regular occurrence for business all across the country. By putting together a continuity of operations plan, investing in a portable generator and keeping an emergency stash of food, water and flashlights stocked, your business will be better prepared for such an occurrence. Not only will this help keep you and your staff safe, but it can also help prevent a costly business closure.

What to Expect During Fire Restoration

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Man repairing a roof After a fire in your College Park, CA, home or building, restoration should be done as soon as possible.

Steps To Remove Fire And Smoke Damage

After a fire in your College Park, CA, building, restoration should be done as soon as possible. Waiting too long to begin the process can lead to further secondary damage that can increase the time it takes to finish repairs. If you have never experienced this before, you may not know what to expect. The following are some steps that will be taken to remove fire and smoke damage.

1. Inspecting Damage
The first thing that will be done by the fire damage remediation company is an inspection. This will allow them to assess the damage and determine what needs to be done moving forward.

2. Boarding Up Missing Walls and Roofs
If the fire was severe, there may be areas of the building that are completely missing. If this is the case, then these will need to be boarded up or covered with a tarp before smoke cleaning and repairs can be done. Broken windows may need to be covered as well.

3. Removing Water
Along with fire and smoke damage, you might have some water damage in the building as well. This is often the result of the use of fire hoses during severe fires. Water and moisture will need to be removed to prevent mold growth and deteriorating building materials.

4. Cleaning Surfaces and Belongings
Soot damage caused by smoke moving throughout the building can lead to serious long-term damage if not thoroughly cleaned. Acidic particles can rust metals and deteriorate other materials. Electronic devices will also need to be checked since smoke can easily find its way inside these objects.

5. Doing Repairs
The last step during restoration is making any necessary repairs. This can include major repairs such as rebuilding missing rooms, walls, and roofing as well as smaller tasks like placing new carpets and repainting walls.

While the process may seem lengthy, a professional company can get through these steps in a timely manner to remove fire and smoke damage without compromising the quality of their work. As a result, repairs may be less costly, and you can get back to your job more quickly.

Different Types of Contaminated Floodwater

7/6/2022 (Permalink)

Water Categories Not all contaminated water is the same. Businesses need to know the specific categories to use the right equipment and tactics for the job.

Different Types of Contaminated Floodwater

If your client is dealing with flooding in Wimbledon Village, CA, it is important to assume that the flood is composed of contaminated water. Whether the excess originated from a leaky roof or a broken supply line, the water may contain dangerous chemicals and pathogens. One of the best ways you can help your clients is by learning about the different contamination types that commercial building restoration services handle.

Category 1

Water under this category is known as clean water. This type of water is the least harmful due to its sources lacking a significant amount of bacteria or contaminants.

  • Defective appliances
  • Rainwater and snow
  • Water from toilet tanks
  • Overflowing sinks and tubs
  • Damaged pipes

However, just because this water is relatively safe does not mean it is harmless. If left alone, it can damage commercial property and lead to mold growth. Immediate cleanup and repair are recommended.

Category 2

Category 2 contaminated water requires a stronger response by restoration companies like SERVPRO. Also known as gray water, it originates from sources that add chemicals to the water, such as toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, and more. Exposure to this tainted fluid can make people sick or uncomfortable, and prolonged existence can escalate the contamination to Category 3. Professionals need to remove and restore or dispose of affected material as soon as possible.

Category 3
The most severe type of flood is Category 3, also known as a black water flood. The water that makes up this flood is considered extremely dangerous because it comes from sources like sewers, rivers, ground-level bodies, and other similar places. These locations have a high number of bacteria, pesticides, and other components that can threaten the lives of your clients' customers and employees. A professional flood recovery company can help keep your clients' property safe.

Not all contaminated water is the same. Remediation specialists working in Wimbledon Village, CA, businesses need to know the specific categories to use the right equipment and tactics for the job.

Water Mitigation Expectations After a Water Heater Leak

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

Water Heater A leaking water heater has the potential to cause more damage than seems possible in your Mesa Verde, CA home.

Expectations for Water Mitigation Following a Water Heater Leak

When it comes to insurance claims, water damage ranks second place. Among the various reasons a customer in Mesa Verde, CA, may file this type of claim is a leaking water heater. Since the damage is often a result of a slow leak, the damage can be far-reaching.

Damage Caused by a Broken Water Heater

Although built to last, the essential water heater is prone to aging and rusting which could lead to a leak or sudden burst. Once the problem is discovered, it may have already created a vast amount of damage that can include:

  • Carpet Damage: If there has been a slow leak, it likely means that water has been seeping into carpeting for more than 48 hours. After that period, the leak creates additional issues that usually require replacing the carpet.
  • Mold Damage: A leaking water heater creates an ideal environment for mold to flourish. Along with forming in carpet, mold can quickly spread to unaffected areas of the property, including the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. If that happens, mold spores can easily find a new home and create a massive mold problem.
  • Flooding Damage: A sudden burst will unleash excessive amounts of water into the property. Along with damaging the flooring, this standing water will begin to seep up into the baseboards and walls, which can result in structural issues.

Water Mitigation Expectations

Once a failed water heater causes damage, it is vital to get the issue taken care of immediately. Choosing a certified water mitigation company means getting a team experienced in reducing damage and property loss. A professional team will also have the know-how to address the specific restoration needs in each unique situation. The cleanup process typically involves:

  • Stopping the source of the issue
  • Beginning the water extraction process
  • Drying out the property
  • Cleaning and sanitizing affected areas
  • Repairing the damage and restoring the property to preloss condition

A leaking water heater has the potential to cause more damage than seems possible. To minimize the damage, the water mitigation process should be started as soon as possible.