Recent Posts

Different Causes of Commercial Water Loss

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms. 
 
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings. 
 
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems 
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

2. Damaged appliances and equipment 
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 
 
3. Broken pipes and plumbing 
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. 
 
4. Backed up sewer lines 
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings. 
 
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Oceana/Damneck will get you back up and running again.  Give us a call at 757-431-1400.

Water Loss in a Commercial Building

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

When a water event occurs in your commercial property, damage to the structure and contents can occur. The type of water that affects a building includes:

Category 1 water originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. In most cases drying procedures are recommended.

Category 2 water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted by people. For this category, environmental interpretation is critical as drying for some materials is acceptable while removal of others must occur

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. In most cases removal is necessary and environmental remediation is necessary.

When a water event occurs a water extraction contractor is generally hired to remove the water. However, the ability of the contractor to identify the water category, deal with the issues of health and safety properly as well as remove or dry out the affected building materials and contents can vary greatly.

Assessment for water damage independently of the water removal contractor ensures that the project is dealt with relative to the category of water, health and safety concerns are identified and controlled and their work product is validated.

Mold Removal & Remediation

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours, and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.  

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Oceana/Dam Neck can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

SERVPRO of Oceana/Dam Neck

  • Provide 24/7 Emergency Service
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Specialists
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry with over 1,700 Franchises

If You See Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Oceana/Dam Neck 757-431-1400.

Understanding Mold

Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or on a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return. 
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Common Mold Misconceptions

With sensational news stories and misleading advertising, you can easily understand why so many people are misinformed about indoor mold. Learn the facts about mold and the mold remediation process.

Mold Behind Wallpaper

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold behind wallpaper is a big health concern. To get rid of the mold you must remove the wallpaper. First and foremost remove the wallpaper safely by wetting it with a wetting agent and water. But first wear a good cartridge-type respirator.

When removing mold behind wallpaper safely wet it first. Even if the wallpaper removes dry still wet it

A simple dust or particulate mask won't offer adequate protection. Also wear gloves and goggles, remember safety first. In a garden type sprayer add the wetting agent and water for easy application.

Using the sprayer to wet the wallpaper down will reduce the mold spores from becoming airborne. Even if the wallpaper removes dry still wet it first. Move slowly and deliberately so you don't stir up spores as you work.

Once the wallpaper is removed from the walls the next step is to wash the walls down with a water and bleach solution. This should remove the mold from the walls if it is just surface mold. If the walls are soft and spongy the mold may have penetrated deeper into the wall.

One way to tell if the walls are totally saturated with mold you can take a utility knife and cut a small square out of the wall and look at the back side of the square. If there is mold behind the wall then you should replace the walls. If you plan on wallpapering again use a Nonwoven wallpaper so you will never get mold behind wallpaper again. Nonwoven wallpapers can breath unlike vinyl wallpapers.

Severe Weather Facts and Myths

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Myth: Highway and interstate overpasses are safe shelters against a tornado.

Fact: Overpasses can concentrate the tornado winds, causing them to be significantly stronger. This places the people under them in an even more dangerous situation. In recent years, several people seeking shelter beneath overpasses have been killed or severely injured. Being above ground level during a tornado is dangerous.

Myth: The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to explode. Opening the windows will equalize the pressure, saving the building.

Fact: Opening the windows in an attempt to equalize pressure will have no effect. It is the violent winds and debris that cause most structural damage. It is more important for you to move to a safe area away from windows and exterior walls. With a tornado, every second counts, so use your time wisely and take cover.

Myth: Thunderstorms and tornadoes always move from west to east.

Fact: More often than not, thunderstorms move from west to east. Conditions in the atmosphere dictate how and where storms will move, and it can be in any direction. Tornadoes have been known to act erratic, and can change directions and speed very quickly. Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.

Myth: It’s not raining here, and skies above me are clear, therefore I am safe from lightning.

Fact: Lightning can strike many miles away from the thunderstorm. If storms are in your area, but skies happen to be clear above you, that certainly does not imply you are safe from lightning. Though these “Bolts from the Blue” are infrequent, lightning strikes 10 to 15 miles away from the storm are not out of the question.

Myth: Since I am inside my house and out of the storm, I am completely safe from lightning.

Fact: Just because you have taken shelter inside, you are not automatically safe. While inside waiting out a storm, avoid using the telephone or electrical appliances and do not take showers or baths. Also stay away from doors and windows. Telephone lines, cords, plumbing, even metal window and door frames are all lightning conductors and pose a threat

Myth: Large and heavy vehicles, such as SUVs and pickups, are safe to drive through flood waters.

Fact: It is a common belief that the larger the vehicle, the deeper the water it can drive through. Many people do not realize that two feet of water can float most vehicles, including SUVs and pickups. If the water is moving rapidly, vehicles can be swept away.

Myth: Flash floods only occur along flowing streams.

Fact: Flash floods can and do occur in dry creek or river beds as well as urban areas where no streams are present.

Fun Storm Facts

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Are you afraid of storms, or do you embrace them? Whichever side you fall on, we all have some sort of respect for storms. They can cause great damage, paint beautiful pictures across the sky, alter any outdoor plans, and completely turn a day around. Although you’ve probably experienced many thunderstorms in your life, you might not know a whole lot about them. In today’s post, we’re going to share some fun storm facts that you may not have known!

  • The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter!
  • The typical thunderstorm lasts about 30 minutes.
  • About 1,800 thunderstorms are happening around the world at any given moment.
  • Lightning kills more people than tornadoes every year.
  • A severe storm “watch” means that a serious storm has the potential to develop, but has not developed yet. However, a sever storm “warning” means that a storm has developed and been sighted.
  • About 10% of storms are classified as “severe”.
  • If you’re ever heard the term the “four horsemen” of thunderstorms, it’s referring to wind/tornadoes, hail, floods, and lightning.
  • Thunderstorm clouds grow to heights of above 20,000 feet!
  • A “derecho” is a type of severe storm that lasts a long time, covers a great distance, and involves serious wind.
  • Wind speeds can be up to 120 mph in thunderstorms, even without a tornado.
  • A massive hailstorm in Munich, Germany, in 1984 caused over $1 billion worth of damage.
  • In 1933, huge hailstones were reported to have fallen around a city in Massachusetts, containing fresh, frozen ducks inside.

4 Facts About Hurricanes for Oceana/Dam Neck

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane season runs from June through November. Here is Virginia Beach, we thankfully did not get hit this year. However our southern neighbors in North Carolina did and it was devastating.

Living near the coast in the south, most people are all too familiar with the hurricane season and the tropical storms that come with it. But what about hurricane damage to your home? If you haven’t had hurricane damage before, here are 4 facts about hurricane damage you need to know before the storm hits.

1.  Primary Causes of Hurricane Damage

The primary cause of hurricane damage to homes is damage from high wind and flooding from the torrential rains.

2.  What the Wind Does

The wind can cause damage to siding and it can break windows and blow in garage doors. Broken and downed trees are another result of hurricane damage.

3.  What the Water Does

Torrential rains can often cause flooding from overwhelmed gutters and downspouts, broken windows and damaged roofs, and saturated soil around and near your home.

4.  What a Storm Damage Expert Will Do

A storm damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Oceana/Dam Neck will help you deal with hurricane damage quickly. With 24-hour emergency response and the tools and equipment to deal with the damage to trees, siding and flooding, they’re you’re one-stop-shop for hurricane damage.

Please give us a call at 757-431-1400.

Severe Thunderstorm Damage Facts, Safety & Tips for Oceana/Dam Neck

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Severe Thunderstorm Facts

Thunderstorms are defined as storms that produce thunder and lightning. Severe thunderstorms may also produce:

  • Rain
  • High winds
  • Sleet or snow

It’s important to note that thunderstorms do not always produce moisture. A storm in which you see lightning and hear thunder but never feel a drop of water is known as a “dry” thunderstorm. Thunderstorms that produce hail and tornadoes are known as “supercell” storms. Storms occur either in clusters or lines; therefore, they may present as a single thunderstorm or as multiple thunderstorms hitting one after the other.

Causes

Thunderstorms are caused when moisture from the lower or mid-level part of the atmosphere mixes with warm, unstable air from the ground. Moisture and air then push upwards into the higher atmosphere to form clouds that produce thunder and lightning, as well as potential precipitation. Spring, summer and fall are most conducive to thunderstorms because the sun heats the ground and moisture is more perceptible in the air, especially in humid climates.

Thunderstorms must also be lifted to begin their formation. Some sources of lift include:

  • More heat on the ground than in the air
  • Changes in atmospheric conditions near mountains
  • Weather front changes caused by clashing cold and hot air
  • Drylines, or when moist and dry air clash
  • Land or sea breezes

Any of these situations can immediately create a thunderstorm without warning, even in the middle of a clear blue day. In many cases, these storms will also be accompanied by lightning. Most will not come with hail or tornadoes, unless they occur in tornado-prone states such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri.

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Thunderstorm Statistics

Severe thunderstorms are responsible for a significant number of injuries, fatalities and property damage claims across the United States every year. According to statistics reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2013:

  • Lightning accounted for 23 fatalities, 145 injuries and $23.9 million in property damage.
  • Tornadoes caused 55 fatalities, 756 injuries and $3,642.2 million in property damage.
  • High winds resulted in 17 deaths, 121 injuries and $626.8 million in property damage.
  • Hail led to 4 injuries and $1,234.5 million in property damage.
  • Flash flooding ended in 60 deaths, 25 injuries and $956.9 million in property damage.

It’s estimated that at least 867,000 people are affected by thunderstorms every year, with  lightning accounting for at least 300 injuries and roughly 60 fatalities. Moreover, at least 16 million thunderstorms occur worldwide every year — and at least 2,000 storms are causing damages and injuries around the world at any given time.

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Preparing for Severe Thunderstorm Conditions

Severe thunderstorms can cause significant physical harm as well as damage to your home and land; therefore, it’s imperative to take measures to protect yourself. Some homeowners might invest in lightning rods to better defend their homes against a surge. There are also whole-house surge protectors so you don’t have a power outage during a severe thunderstorm. There are many other types of defenses you can put in place to protect your home against severe thunderstorms. For example, here’s how to prepare for hail, winds, tornadoes and floods.

Hail Damage

If you have a car, it’s imperative that you park it in your garage before a severe thunderstorm. Otherwise you could be looking at dents, cracks in the windshield and potentially broken glass on the driver or passenger’s side. While hail is not the most common precipitation to accompany a severe thunderstorm, it can happen. You could also:

  • Install wind shutters (i.e. hurricane shutters), designed to defend against high winds and hail.
  • Purchase & install pressure or high impact windows.
  • Secure doors with heavy-duty bolts at the top and bottom of the door frame.

Hail can cause damage to many parts of the home, but it most commonly hits the roof the hardest. A damaged shingle, in particular, can allow water to get through to the roof deck and cause harm to your ceiling and support beams. This will eventually lead to more leaks in your roof, stains on the ceiling and walls, and potential flooding.

The cost to repair a roof following such damages will be expensive, but holding off could lead to even more costly repairs down the road. It’s best to perform repairs as quickly as possible. The two types of repairs you might be faced with include:

  • Asphalt: Hail damage will appear as a dark spot or bruise because the granules will be missing. Look for holes, cracks or absent shingles. Repair immediately.
  • Other shingles: Wood, metal, tile and other shingles will be hit hard by hail as well. Cracked, missing or broken shingles will allow leaking, so you’ll need a roofer in immediately to fix the problem.

Wind Damage

Winds can reach at least 300 miles per hour during a severe thunderstorm, which can rip siding off your home and exacerbate the pelting of your exterior with hail and debris as well. Wind damage repairs can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of the injury. While you can’t prepare for flying debris from other houses, you can minimize damage by curtailing debris in your own yard. To prevent wind damage, you can:

  • Trim back tree branches to prevent fallen limbs.
  • Secure window shutters to defend against debris.
  • Tie down anything that could fly away and hit the siding or the roof.

If your siding is looking worse for wear, have a siding professional come out to repair it. It could make the difference in whether you’re left with an intact home exterior after a storm or not.

Tornado Damage

Tornado damage occurs following high winds from blowing debris. While you can’t do a lot to prepare your home for a tornado, it helps to trim tree branches back from your roof and windows. You can also reinforce your roof to better handle high winds:

  • Shake roof: Add more nails.
  • Slate roof: Seal down with cement.
  • Tile roof: Place a steel strap over the tiles.
  • Asphalt roof: Nothing can be done, but inspect after.

You can also invest in a storm cellar, which is built underground and allows great defense against high winds during a tornado. A storm shelter is built close to the home so you have easy access during a tornado and don’t have to run far for safety. A storm cellar door is built at an angle so that debris blows over the door. This allows for debris to roll over the door rather than trap it, so you can get in and out easily. The confines of a storm cellar for a family is around 8 by 12 feet with an arched roof. It’s made of cement blocks and rebar to ensure maximum defenses.

Flood Damage

Flooding can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages to your home. To prepare your home for potential flooding, ensure that the ground is sloped away from your foundation. This will defend your home against water buildup. Also, regularly maintain any storm drains, gutters and downspouts. Other tips include:

  • Cleaning gutters regularly
  • Check and clean storm drains on a bimonthly basis
  • Clean the storm drain cover
  • Check window wells and sump pumps
  • Construct barriers to stop flood water from getting into your home.
  • Raise your heating system to a higher floor level to avoid flood water.
  • Seal cracks in the basement walls.

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Warnings, Alerts & Where to Go

You will see severe thunderstorm warnings and alerts appear throughout the span of the storm, whether it’s on the radio, TV or your smartphone. You can find warnings:

  • In emergency notifications on smartphones
  • On weather apps as alerts in real time
  • On the radio from the National Weather Association
  • On TV at the bottom as a grey moving bar with affected counties, times

When you see a severe thunderstorm warning in effect for your area, you need to stay indoors until at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder. Stay away from windows and doors, in case they happen to blow open or break in high wind conditions. Stay out of water in case of lightning. If you’re driving when you get the alert, head home if you’re close or get off the road immediately.

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Storm Recovery and Damage Repair

After a severe thunderstorm hits your home, you could be looking at a few hundred dollars worth of simple repairs — broken windows, landscape upkeep and debris removal, for example — or you could be looking at thousands of dollars in repairs due to hail damage and flooding. Survey the extent of the damage and determine whether it will cause additional long-term issues; immediately fix anything that will. Here are some common post-storm damages and how to address them:

Roof Damage

Broken tree branches, high winds, flying debris and hail can cause roof damage that will need to be addressed following a severe thunderstorm. Some signs of roof damage after a storm include:

  • Holes
  • Split seams
  • Missing, bruised or dented shingles
  • Cracked or broken tiles
  • Granules in the gutters
  • Leaks
  • Dents on the vents and gutters or roof flashing

It’s imperative that you have a roofing contractor fix your roof following a severe thunderstorm. Otherwise, these damages could lead to expensive interior problems like attic flooding, ceiling stains, and mold. In worst-case scenarios — those in which your roof is old and cannot handle the high winds or hail storms — your roof may cave in on itself. This is uncommon, but you do run the risk of having to replace your roof if it’s reaching the 15-20 year mark around the time of a severe thunderstorm.

Siding

Weather associated with severe thunderstorms can also significantly impact the exterior and siding of your home, causing:

  • Cracks that run parallel to the siding
  • Chips or breaks in siding
  • Breaks or holes that are punched into the siding by hail and debris
  • Dings and dents, most commonly found in aluminum siding
  • Paint damage such as chips, cracks and color changes or small black marks

If your siding shows cracks, chips, or dings and dents, have it repaired immediately to prevent pests, insects or climate conditions from further impacting your home. Breaks and holes, in particular, negate the siding’s ability to defend your home entirely. Such damage will require siding to be replaced by a contractor — in parts or in whole — which could cost thousands of dollars. Paint damage is the least of concerns because it’s a cosmetic injury rather than a functional one.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors bear the brunt of severe thunderstorms’ debris and high winds, making them highly susceptible to damages. Some damages you’ll see after a storm might include:

  • Cracked or splitting doors and frames
  • Broken glass or shattered windows
  • Debris embedded in a door or window
  • Paint chipped or cracking around a door or window

Contractors recommend taking the following steps to protect your windows and doors against severe thunderstorms.:

  • Window film: This keeps window glass from shattering.
  • Plywood boards: Install over windows before a storm.
  • Storm shutters: Shutters defend against high winds and debris.
  • High impact glass: Impact glass breaks into two pieces rather than shattering when hit by debris.

Tree Damage

While you can trim your trees back before a storm, there’s still a chance that high winds, flying debris and hail will cause them to bend, twist and break during a severe thunderstorm. There are six different ways a tree can be damaged during a storm:

  1. Blow-over: A tree is pushed over by high winds.
  2. Stem failure: Stems break under high winds because of old wounds and pest damage.
  3. Crown twist: Tree crowns will twist and split under high winds because of poor maintenance, or because they’re lopsided.
  4. Root failure: Poor anchorage to the ground will cause the root to pull up or snap, and the tree will fall or lean over.
  5. Branch failure: Branches will break off from the tree because they’re poorly attached in the first place.
  6. Lightning: Lightning will hit the tree and cause small explosions down the line of the tree, causing it to break and fall.

There’s not much a homeowner can do to prep a tree for potential damage except provide good care and maintenance. Trim trees on a regular basis and try to keep branches away from your home and power lines.

Flood Damage

If your home is flooded following a severe thunderstorm, there are various steps you can take to recover your home. It’s going to be a long process, involve a lot of tearing up, remodeling and time, but your home will go back to its original state eventually. Some recommendations from the CDC include:

  • Wear safety gear.
  • Get rid of anything that can’t be cleaned (bedding, fabric flooring, upholstery, toys, linens)
  • Throw away drywall and insulation that’s wet.
  • Deep clean and scrub hard surfaces with hot water and dish detergent.
  • Use fans, A/C units and dehumidifiers to speed the drying process.
  • Wash all clothing touched by flood water with hot water and laundry detergent.

Be aware of electrical power lines, natural gas lines, frayed wires and any other hazards from flooding that could injure you. You should check with the gas company or the fire department before returning to your home to avoid injury. Do not return to your home during the day to avoid any accidents from being unable to see. You shouldn’t be allowed to return until the police or fire department say it’s okay. You should also not wade in standing water or around downed power lines, just in case.

If you need help with the big part of the recovery job — pulling up carpet, taking down drywall, removing appliances, so forth — you can call in a disaster recovery contractor to help you. These professionals are licensed and experienced in handling situations like flood recovery and know where to start. They can also look out for disaster-specific issues like mold, foundation issues and the like.

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Top States for Thunderstorms

Some states are more prone to severe thunderstorms than others, which means homeowners in such states need to be better prepared. According to a report on WeatherBug, in 2013 the top states for severe thunderstorms between March 1 and June 17 included:

  1. Texas: 922 events*
  2. Oklahoma: 725 events
  3. Kansas: 652 events
  4. Missouri: 515 events
  5. Illinois: 456 events
  6. Nebraska: 405 events
  7. Iowa: 403 events
  8. New York: 252 events
  9. Mississippi: 233 events
  10. Virginia: 232 events
  11. Louisiana: 223 events

*Note: events are defined as severe thunderstorms

The most active states — Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri — received 300 severe thunderstorm alerts per week.

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Thunderstorm Safety Tips and Prevention

To keep your home and family safe before and during a thunderstorm, it’s imperative that you take precautionary measures — especially if you live in an area prone to storms.

To prepare for a thunderstorm, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) recommends:

  • Putting together an emergency kit and family plan
  • Removing debris and branches
  • Securing outdoor objects that could blow away or damage the home
  • Staying inside your home
  • Closing all exterior windows and doors
  • Unplugging all electronic equipment before the storm.

While there isn’t much you can do to prevent a severe thunderstorm, you can keep the damages to a minimum by securing as much in your home as possible and reinforcing the defenses around your home exterior. Tie down your roofing or seal it with mortar, call in siding professionals and clean up all the debris around your house.

There are storm damage professionals who can come in following a natural disaster and help with the recovery. While they don’t fix everything, they can help you start the process. If you want to read more about what they do, read this FAQ from the National Storm Damage Center.

How to Keep Your Insurance Down

Standard homeowner policies cover your home and what’s in it. You should be covered for storm damages and major natural disasters, including severe thunderstorms; however, flooding is not generally covered. Storm-resistance improvements that will lower your premiums include:

  • Impact-resistant shingles
  • High impact glass
  • Storm shutters

Always file a claim following a severe thunderstorm if your home is extensively damaged. 

Basic Mold Facts

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

What are molds?

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.

What are some of the common indoor molds?

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus

Where are molds found?

Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Outdoors they can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.

How can people decrease mold exposure?

Sensitive individuals should avoid areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas. If there is mold growth in your home, you should clean up the mold and fix the water problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use (see product label).

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
  • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area.
  • If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.

Specific Recommendations:

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

What areas have high mold exposures?

  • Antique shops
  • Greenhouses
  • Saunas
  • Farms
  • Mills
  • Construction areas
  • Flower shops
  • Summer cottages

I found mold growing in my home, how do I test the mold?

Generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds. Current evidence indicates that allergies are the type of diseases most often associated with molds. Since the susceptibility of individuals can vary greatly either because of the amount or type of mold, sampling and culturing are not reliable in determining your health risk. If you are susceptible to mold and mold is seen or smelled, there is a potential health risk; therefore, no matter what type of mold is present, you should arrange for its removal. Furthermore, reliable sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or tolerable quantity of mold have not been established.

A qualified environmental lab took samples of the mold in my home and gave me the results. Can CDC interpret these results?

Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable, or normal quantity of mold have not been established. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the building’s characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.

Four Signs of Water Damage in Your Commercial Building

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

When water infiltrates your masonry, time is of the essence. The longer a leak lasts, the more damage it does. If you see any of these signs of a leak, you should get your masonry evaluated by a professional.

1. Bulging, spalling, and cracking

These are all exterior signs of a leak that is degrading the masonry. Once water has leaked past the mortar joints, it can wear away at the masonry. After water has begun corroding the steel beneath, this damage will become much worse as a result of rust jacking.

2. Rust staining

This is a late-stage sign of water infiltration. You’ll find this commonly in concrete structures, where the red rust stain is visible on a lighter surface. When you see rust staining, it’s a sign that water has penetrated not only the masonry but the steel structure beneath. Water is causing the corrosion of the steel, which leaves a stain on the masonry surface.

Steel will expand as it rusts, creating further damage to your building’s structure. We call that rust jacking.

3. Mold and musty odors

After water has made it past the exterior, you may notice signs of water damage inside the building. One of these signs could be a sign of mildew or mold. Mold is not always easy to detect.

4. Interior damage

Other interior signs that can tip you off to a water leak are staining on interior walls and ceilings. You may also see cracked drywall or peeling wallpaper as water begins to saturate your interior walls.

Keep water from damaging your building

At SERVPRO of Oceana/Damneck, we help restore and rehabilitate the exterior of commercial buildings so you don’t have to worry about what happens when water leaks into your building. We can help you prevent it from happening and even if water damage does happen we can always make it "Like it never even happened."