3 Mold Growth Prevention Tips
Mold in this home grew in this space due to stagnant, humid air. Be sure to lower the humidity to appropriate levels!
Nobody wants mold growth on their property, but many property owners fail to take the necessary steps to prevent it in the first place. If you’re worried about potential growth, we’re here to offer 3 tips that will help with mold growth prevention!
- Keep your indoor humidity low. Mold spores are virtually everywhere, but they only become an issue in ideal conditions. Because mold needs moisture to activate, humid areas tend to promote mold growth. That’s why it’s important to keep windows closed on humid days and to consider using a dehumidifier when levels are high!
- Dry up water damage immediately. As we mentioned, mold growth is activated by moisture, so when your property has a leak or any kind of flooding, be sure to address it immediately. If the damage is small enough, you might be able to handle itself. In many cases, however, it might be advisable to call your local cleanup and restoration company.
- Seal areas in your home where water might leak inside. It’s one thing to address water damage when you have it, it’s another thing to prevent it altogether. In case you missed it the first two times, it’s important that you keep excess moisture out of your home because it fuels mold growth. One of the most common ways for water to get into the home is through cracks and vulnerabilities in the structure. By addressing this, you’re less likely to have mold growth issues!
Mold growth can happen when and where we least expect it, but by taking the necessary precautions, you are less likely to have an issue! But if you do have mold problems, contact SERVPRO of Burke County today at (828) 874-0966!
4 Things You Should Do Immediately After a Water Damage
When your home or building has water damage, immediately place objects between furniture and wet carpet to prevent further damage!
Water damage is the last thing anyone expects to have at their property, but it’s a very common occurrence. That’s why you should be prepared for the worst. If you have water damage, there are 4 things you should do while you wait for help to arrive.
- Remove as much water as possible. After you’ve called your local cleanup and restoration company to perform services, you should begin getting out as much water as possible. While the company will do this upon arrival, the faster drying can begin, the less likely you’ll have mold growth.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture once items are removed. Wood and water are not a good combination, particularly when it comes to furniture. The longer the wood is wet (especially if it’s a lot of water), the more likely the wood will warp.
- Place objects between furniture legs and wet carpet. Allowing your furniture’s wooden legs to immerse in the wet carpet can actually blemish your carpet. We suggest you use aluminum foil or wooden blocks to keep them from touching.
- Turn on the air conditioning (particularly in the summer). Your A/C can go a long way in the drying process. Because humidity drags out the drying process, cool temperatures and air circulation can speed it up. This is especially important when it comes to mold prevention, as the longer the affected area is wet, mold has a chance to begin growing.
Water damage can be overwhelming, but taking some action while you wait for your local disaster cleanup and restoration company can go a long way. If you need help restoring your Morganton, NC home or business after enduring water damage, you can call SERVPRO of Burke County at 828-874-0966!
2 Simple Ways to Prevent Rain from Flooding Your Home
Rain can easily enter weaknesses in your building's structure! Be sure to address those before it rains!
It’s often not at the forefront of homeowners’ minds, but rain can sometimes become a major problem. Believe it or not, when we have heavy rains in the area, we often get calls from customers who need restoration services due to flooding. And while the weather may sometimes be unpredictable, there are steps you can take to prevent rain-induced flooding. But if you’re looking for quick actions you can take, here are two:
- Clean Your Gutters. It’s the one task that nobody ever seems to want to do, but your gutters play an important role in deterring water from your home; in fact, it’s one of the first lines of defense. So if you want to do the bare minimum to protect your home from rain: clean your gutters.
- Repair Leaks or Cracks in Your Home’s Structure. If you already know there are weaknesses in your home’s structure, you should address them immediately. Known leaks or cracks may become a major issue under the pressure of rain and cause major (and expensive) damage.
There are a lot of things you can do to prepare your home for storm-related disasters, but as we showed, some of it comes down to simple cleaning and maintenance! If your home does have flooding or storm-related damage, call us today to make it “Like it never even happened!”
4 Important Contacts Your Company Should Have on Speed Dial
When your business has an emergency, you shouldn't have to scramble for vital contact information. Save that information now!
In the event of a disaster, time can make a world of a difference. Whether it’s flooding or a fire, the faster you respond, the less damage your business will likely endure, and the faster your operations can resume. But oftentimes, the contact information for the people you need to call is locked away or lost in the disaster. So if you want to ensure that your business recovers as quickly as possible, make sure these contacts are stored in an easy-to-access location!
- Head Maintenance Worker. Your maintenance staff will know the structure of your building, which will be important for certain disasters because they will be able to take the necessary steps to mitigate the damage. For example, they will know where the water and electrical shut-off boxes are located.
- Building Owner. If you do not own your business’ building, you’ll want to contact the building owner. Sometimes, depending on the lease and the cause of the incident, this may fall on the building owner to cover.
- Insurance Agent. Your insurance agent is an important asset in the process of returning to normal operations. In addition to helping you start the recovery process, they are great resources for finding contractors and others to do the necessary work.
- Local Disaster Restoration Company. It’s important that the company that comes out to clean up your business is quick and professional. That’s why we recommend doing the research now while it’s not as urgent. You’ll want to call this company as soon as you get the chance once the property is safe to enter because they are important in preventing additional damage.
The last thing you want to do right after a disaster is to scramble for contact information. If you save the above information in easy-to-access places, you’ll be able to react quickly and mitigate the overall damage!
What to Do During a Flood
Floods can do a lot of damage, so act quickly and safely!
It was just recently that parts of Burke County and the surrounding areas were flooded due to heavy rains. While flooding isn’t very common in our area, there have been a couple of severe incidents in the past several years. It may not be top of mind for many locals, but learning about flood safety is important for both you and your property. If you find yourself in a flooded territory, there are a few things to remember.
- Evacuate to safety. Depending on the flood severity and your location, it might be advisable to evacuate to a safer location, especially if an official declaration has been made. If you are unable to evacuate, then head to higher ground if it’s safe to do so.
- Don’t drive through flooded waters. One of the most common mistakes people make during heavy rains is to drive through flooded areas. According to Ready.gov, just one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. If a road is completely or partially flooded, turn around and find an alternative route.
- Monitor official alerts. The government and local news stations will provide important updates regarding weather and road conditions. You can access these networks via the Internet or on television. If you don’t have access to either of those, listen in through a radio station.
Overall, during a flood, it’s best to avoid flood waters and listen to official advisories. While we don’t often have major threats, it’s still important to review these safety tips so that you can keep you and your family safe. If you do have flooding and your home or business is affected, call SERVPRO of Burke County at 828-874-0966!
3 Factors That Might Have Caused Your Home’s Mold Growth
Mold growth can get out of control if left untreated, but with a few simple steps, you can prevent mold growth altogether!
Our first instinct when we see mold is to do whatever we can to get rid of it. While it’s impossible to actually remove mold spores from your home, it is possible to stop active growth and take steps to prevent it from growing in the future. But what caused it begin growing in the first place? There are a few possibilities.
- Untreated Water Damage. One of the main ingredients mold needs to grow is water, so when water is left untreated, it tends to activate the mold spores. That’s why it is highly recommended that water damage is mitigated quickly after it occurs!
- High Humidity. As we stated, mold needs water to grow, so it stands to reason that high humidity would lead to such growth. We highly recommend that you keep your home’s humidity levels between 30 – 50%, which can be accomplished by using a dehumidifier.
- Lack of Air Circulation. This actually ties in with humidity, but we think it’s a common enough problem that we should mention it separately. When air has adequate movement, it actually helps speed up the evaporation of moisture; this is actually the main goal of some of our water mitigation equipment. Conversely, when doors are closed and stifle air flow, it actually retains the moisture and leads to longer periods of humidity. So make sure your doors are open and fans are running!
Mold can be a major nuisance (and even damaging), but as homeowners, we can often prevent mold growth by ourselves. But if you’re still concerned or have questions, call SERVPRO of Burke County today at (828) 874-0966!
Water Damage Q&A: When is Water Damage Dry?
Employee Eric Hershberger shows off one of our moisture readers, which indicates the relative moisture level of an object.
Imagine heavy rains have recently flooded your basement and now it’s submerged in about 5 inches of water. Once your local cleanup and restoration company has sucked up all of the standing water, they then have to set equipment to speed up the drying process and remove moisture from the affected areas. But it’s been two days and they say they still aren’t done drying, so they leave with the equipment behind and promise to check again tomorrow.
How Do You Know When the Water Damage is Dry?
It might seem like the technicians aren’t doing anything after initially setting the equipment, but the drying process can be relatively long and require little to no action from the technicians during that time. Their role during this process is to check on the moisture levels every 24 hours and make any necessary adjustments to the equipment.
So how do they know when they’re done drying? They use moisture readers to check the relative level of humidity of both the affected area and several samples from unaffected areas. Based on the levels picked up in the unaffected areas, the technicians have a drying goal to achieve in the affected area. Once they’ve achieved their drying goal, they are able to remove the equipment and cleanup.
If you’re currently recovering from a water loss, feel free to ask the technicians on the job what their drying goal is and where they currently are in the process. If you choose us to do the work, our technicians are more than happy to walk you through the process and provide daily updates as they check moisture levels!
Things to Dispose of After a Fire
Don't assume that because your food hasn't been destroyed by the fire that it's safe to consume!
Fires already take away from you, but just because something survived doesn’t mean that it’s still safe to use or consume. In fact, we don’t often talk about what to do after a fire, but there’s a lot of safety issues that arise. If you or somebody you know has a house fire, it’s highly advisable that you dispose of the following items:
Food (including packaged food). Most—if not all—of your food will need to be thrown out if they’ve been exposed to a fire. Smoke and chemicals will contaminate exposed food. Even when food is packaged, the fire’s heat can activate bacteria growth or change the consumable’s flavor. Also, refrigerator and freezer contents will need to be evaluated to ensure that smoke was not able to infiltrate; if you smell smoke when opening these containers, dispose of everything inside.
Medicine. In the same vein as food, medicine will likely be destroyed, altered, or ineffective by high heat, especially since most are stored in plastic containers. It’s much safer to buy new medicine than to risk consuming what you already have. If you are in an immediate need for more, call your doctor.
Cosmetics. Like the others, cosmetics can be altered or rendered ineffective by high heat. It’s best to consider throwing them out, especially if they look warped or have a different consistency.
As with anything, use your best judgment when deciding what to keep or toss. If it looks questionable or you’re just uncertain, you’re likely safer to just throw it out. If you have fire damage in Morganton or anywhere in Burke County, call SERVPRO of Burke County to be your cleanup and restoration professional!
Why Water Mitigation is Important
Air movers and dehumidifiers are essential for any water mitigation work!
We rarely expect it, but it happens to most people at some point in their lives—their home or business suffers water damage. If you’re lucky, the damage is minor and can be easily cleaned up; if you’re less fortunate, it can be a stressful and expensive process. Regardless, no amount of water damage should be ignored or insufficiently handled. In case you’re not convinced, we have a few reasons why you should perform water mitigation services immediately after a water damage.
Nobody wants mold on their property, but if you don’t clean up water damage, it’s exactly what you’re going to get. Mold is a fungus that breaks down organic material and is spread by spores. One of the key ingredients for its growth, though, is water.
Oftentimes when mold is present, it’s because of unaddressed water damage or high humidity (which could also be a result of water damage). Earlier this year, we had to gut two homes because they had been infested with mold as a result of severe unattended water damage (both homeowners had been out of state during the time of their respective disasters).
Many homes are built with porous materials, which means that water is likely to seep into spaces that you can’t see. When water damage is not treated, the water can be absorbed by structural materials and begin to weaken or rot. This can ultimately lead to extensive repair work.
Mitigation work addresses this moisture and draws it out before it can cause substantial damage. The process is aimed at restoration rather than replacement, so it’s also much cheaper than getting repair work.
Water damage is assessed and divided into categories based on contamination levels. These categories help water restoration experts determine the steps needed to complete the job. Ranging from categories 1 - 3, the higher the category, the more contaminated and dangerous the water is.
When anything other than Category 1 water damage is present, there is a strong possibility of bacterial growth. This growth can create hazardous environments for the elderly or those with respiratory or immune system complications; in some cases, it can be very toxic.
Water mitigation in many cases will include antimicrobial and other cleansing measures to eliminate much of the present bacteria.
Water Mitigation Protects You & Your Property
Water damage is a serious issue that can lead to more expensive problems. Unless you’re familiar with the mitigation process, we highly recommend that you call your local water restoration company. If you need professional services, call SERVPRO of Burke County at (828) 874-0966 today!
3 Types of Storm Damage
Several months ago, a tornado ripped through the area and caused substantial wind damage!
Since spring has arrived, thunderstorm season has kicked into gear. While these types of storms are generally mild, especially in North Carolina, they have the potential to cause significant damage to your property. So you can prepare for the event of a thunderstorm, we’ve identified 3 kinds of damage you should look out for.
- Fire Damage. It might not be common to be struck by lightning, but these electric bolts are incredibly hot. Your home, grass, and even surrounding trees are susceptible to igniting if they are struck by lightning. If a lightning bolt strikes near your powerline, it could lead to a massive power surge that will potentially damage your connected devices (unless you have a surge protector). In some cases, this surge can start electrical fires.
- Flooding. Heavy rain can cause serious problems for property owners who don’t have a sound structure. Leaks and flooding can damage property and create financial stress. On top of that, standing water and high humidity can create an optimal environment for mold growth!
- Wind Damage. Thunderstorms can bring heavy winds, which can knock trees and other debris into your home. In the event that your home or building is damaged by debris, you’re at risk for other damage, particularly water.
We often take thunderstorms for granted other than the occasional power outage or heavy rains, but these natural phenomena can cause serious damage to your property. If your property is struck by disaster, call SERVPRO of Burke County immediately!