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Understanding Black Mold: Key Facts and Information

7/9/2024 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall If you have mold issues you should contact professionals to address the issue.

The Facts About Black Mold

Black mold is a type of microscopic fungus that often grows in large quantities. It’s generally found outdoors, but it can also make its way indoors. It reproduces by releasing spores into the air that settle on surfaces, and it quite often appears as an innocent little black, blue or green stain that quickly proliferates.

Ideal Conditions

Mold’s favorite places to reproduce are showers, baths, toilets, kitchens and basements – in other words, places that normally contain the three necessary conditions for it to grow and flourish.

• Water: Moisture from leaks, flooding, condensation and high relative humidity has to exist for spores to grow and reproduce. This is especially true in Navina, OK.

• Food: Like every living creature, spores need food, which they find in organic materials such as cotton, paper, leather and wood.

• Temperature: Optimal temperatures for proliferation must be warm, ranging from between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mold also likes to proliferate in dusty and dark environments containing stagnant air.

Telltale Signs

It’s not necessarily easy to tell if black mold or other fungi are invading your home because visual signs may be absent. However, a reliable clue could be a whiff of a musty, earthy scent. This specific smell almost always guarantees mold, especially if you’ve suffered a leak or flood that hasn’t dried out properly.

Control of the Problem

Since mold requires some form of water to propagate, the best way to keep it from trespassing is by solving any indoor moisture problem with the help of a knowledgeable and reliable company. If mold cleanup is necessary, or if you suspect the fungus will invade at any moment, rest assured that you can rely on professionals located in Navina, OK, to take care of your worries.

Keep an eye on any areas of your home that are especially prone to moisture. If you suspect black mold in your home, or if you notice its telltale signs, contact professionals to address the issue.

What Should You Do If You Suspect a Gas Leak in Your Home?

6/25/2024 (Permalink)

gas leak detector box on cement A gas leak in your Guthrie, OK, home could be dangerous

A gas leak in your Guthrie, OK, home could be dangerous. While the natural gas you use for cooking isn't toxic, it is incredibly flammable. It could thus cause a gas fire or even a gas explosion. You thus need to address the issue as soon as possible.

Signs of a Gas Leak

While the gas itself is not visible, there are some easy ways to tell whether there is excess gas in your home. You just need to use your eyes, nose, and ears. Any of the following could be evidence of a gas leak:

  • The sound of hissing from an appliance or pipe
  • The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs
  • The appearance of bubbles in wet areas

The Proper Response
The gas you smell may simply be coming from your stove. Check to see if someone accidentally left on one of the burners.
If that is not the cause of stench, then you likely have a gas leak. Your next step should be opening the doors and windows of your home. This will ventilate the area and allow the gas to leave the building.
To prevent a gas fire, avoid using any electronics or phones inside the house. You should not light any matches or turn on appliances, either. Instead, you should evacuate the property and dial 911. You may also want to shut off your gas meter if you know how to do so.

Prevention and Mitigation
Once it is safe to go back into your house, you can take steps to prevent gas problems in the future. Make sure to check your exhausts and change your furnace filter regularly. You should also store contact information for your local emergency restoration professionals, just in case a gas fire does occur.
If you smell rotten eggs in your home, act quickly to prevent a devastating blaze or explosion. Ventilate your home immediately and get you and your family to safety.

Creating a Serious Plan

6/25/2024 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. The business owner needs to think about the many ways they make sure this problem never happens to them again.

It is imperative to create a plan after commercial fire damage by a firefighter and a fire suppression system. Fire restoration efforts must be all about fully getting rid of any smoke damage, soot damage, and lingering fire damage from all areas of the property. The plan needs to be about working to figure out specifics.

A business owner may have found that a fire sprinkler system went off by accident and did not stop causing water damage to multiple areas of the space. They also may find that the fire sprinkler system was also in place and set off by firefighters walking across the property. Any owner needs to keep in mind that the professionals they hire for the clean up may need a great deal of time in order to complete the project.

The complete cleanup efforts should also be about putting into place efforts that can help assist any business owner with making sure they can open up space again with as little loss of revenue as possible. It's important to think as long-term as possible. The business owner needs to think about the many ways they make sure this problem never happens to them again. When a plan is put into place to help prevent future fires, this allows the business owner to think about the many ways they can fireproof all parts of their business. Any business owner should have a long-term fire reaction plan in place.

3 Steps To Mitigate Roof Damage To Your Home

6/25/2024 (Permalink)

Woman watching tv and use remote controller It’s a good idea to pay attention to what the weather is doing in your area

Consider These Three Steps

When you live in an area such as Sumner, OK, you may be worried about the local weather causing roof damage to your home. Fortunately, a storm damage restoration service can help with any repair needs you may have. However, there are a few things you can do beforehand to mitigate potential problems. Next time there’s a storm in your area consider these three things.

1. Pay Attention To the Weather

It’s a good idea to pay attention to what the weather is doing in your area. This will help you have time to prepare properly before a storm occurs. If you’re expecting heavy wind or rain you can take steps such as covering over areas of your roof that may be prone to damage with tarps or boards until a professional can make repairs. You may also want to check for debris or loose gutters that could also be knocked around by the weather and damage your roof.

2. Clean Out Your Gutters

You may also want to take the time to clean out your gutters as this also can help prevent roof damage to your home. Debris such as sticks or leaves can clog the gutter and lead to water backup. This water can then overflow onto the roof and cause problems. When the gutters are clean and the downspouts pointed away from the building, this potential issue is much less likely to occur.

3. Trim Back Overhanging Trees

Another way to help mitigate wind damage to your home’s roof is to trim back any trees that might overhang. Look for weak or dead branches that could be knocked loose by the wind. During a storm, these have the potential to fall on the roof causing damage. Taking the time to remove them beforehand may help mitigate the problem.

If you’re trying to mitigate storm caused roof damage to your home you may want to consider keeping an eye on the weather, keeping your gutters clear of debris and taking the time to trim back any overhanging trees. If damage does occur, a restoration service can help with any clean up and repair needs.

Indoor Environmental Specialists Play a Role in Controlling Mold You Can't See

2/13/2024 (Permalink)

ceiling fell through inside a kitchen As a property owner or manager, concern over mold growth may one of your top priorities.

As a property owner or manager, concern over mold growth may one of your top priorities. Any dark, humid space with a suitable organic substance can provide the ideal breeding ground for this intruder. Unfortunately, those organic substances are plentiful in the walls, ceilings, and floors of any property. One common problem for commercial property owners is that mold can become a problem before there's any visible proof of its existence. This is where an indoor environmental specialist comes in.

What These Professionals Do

According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification and other national and international professional agencies, the work of an indoor environmental professional includes the following:

  • Assessing fungal ecologies on the property, including systems and contents
  • Creating sampling strategies
  • Sampling the indoor environment
  • Interpreting data
  • Determining the course of corrective action

Many states have initiated standards and exams that professionals must adhere to before they can claim the title of an indoor environmental specialist. This move helps property managers feel confident in the work of the technicians.

A Hidden Threat to Your Properties

The unfortunate truth is that by the time you see visible evidence of mold growth, the problem could be widespread. Don't wait to see those black spots or to smell unpleasant odors before scheduling a mold test. Professionals in Perry, OK should visit your properties annually, at least, to make sure your properties aren't hosting unwanted colonies of mold and mildew.

A Combination of Understanding and Professional Efforts

The more you know about mold, the better you can control the environmental factors that support its growth. As you learn more about the conditions that spread spores and cause mold to thrive, you can take any necessary steps to prevent further trouble. An indoor environmental specialist is a key player in these actions. Schedule routine inspections and be sure to carry out the strategies that professionals recommend for the protection of your Perry, OK properties.

Differences Between Grey and Black Water

1/3/2024 (Permalink)

Ocean water Black water in Stillwater, OK

What Type of Water Has Appeared After a Flood in Your Home?

The level of concern you should feel after a flood inside your home depends on what type of water has appeared. There is white water, which is plain, clean water with little to no contaminants. You should be able to tell when water is contaminated based on the color and odor, and you should never attempt a DIY fix without professional guidance. Contact professionals in Stillwater, OK who know how to safely handle water damage caused by grey or black water. 

Grey Water 

Grey water refers to liquids that come out from pipes and other structures that does not contain human waste. This water may contain: 

  • Fats 
  • Oils 
  • Soap particles 
  • Hair 

While this does result in a certain amount of contamination, it is not as severe as it could be, and there is less of a risk of people in the vicinity suffering from health problems caused by exposure. If your household uses natural, biodegradable soaps free or boron, chlorine and sodium, then you will have even less to fear. However, if left untreated, this type of water can slowly grow worse. 


Black Water 

Water damage from black water is a severe problem that needs to be addressed immediately. When flooding occurs due to a blockage in the sewer system, drains in your house will bring up water contaminated by fecal matter and pathogens. A professional team will need to be brought in to safely remove the waste and the affected drywall. 

When you discover water backing up into your home, you need to take prompt action to handle it right away to curtail a disaster. If you cannot tell where the water came from or if it has darkened in color even in the slightest, then you should avoid touching it, because you could end up hurting yourself. Instead, leave water damage remediation in Stillwater, OK to the professionals. 

Visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com for more information on storm damage.

Commercial Water - Choosing a Water Damage Restoration Specialist

11/3/2023 (Permalink)

Wet carpet on office, water damage in an office Commercial water damage in Guthrie, OK

If your Guthrie, Oklahoma business suffers water damage, there are a variety of other problems that may follow, including mold growth. Understanding the water clean up process can help ensure your commercial building is properly cared for every step of the way.

Choosing a Specialist

Because water damage can quickly lead to mold growth, it is important to begin drying the property as soon as possible. If you choose to hire a professional to help with this task, the following are some important qualities to look for:

  • Certification
  • Professionalism
  • Quick response time

Many professionals adhere to the standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC has been developing high-quality best practices for the restoration industry for over 45 years. If a professional is IICRC-certified, he or she has the knowledge to complete the water clean up job properly and safely. For water damage to commercial buildings, a professional who has completed the IICRC’s Commercial Drying Specialist courses will have knowledge of the intricacies involved in commercial water damage that other professionals may lack. However, all the knowledge in the world won’t save your property if the restoration team does not respond quickly enough to prevent further damage. A key sign of integrity and professionalism is a company responding in the time frame they give you and keeping you apprised of any changes.

Cleanup Process
Whether the damage results from a broken pipe, a leaky roof or any other source, the restoration process follows the same basic outline. Standing water is removed using pumps or vacuums. Remaining moisture is dried using fans and dehumidifiers. Affected items are sanitized, and damaged items are repaired. Items that cannot be cleaned, dried and properly repaired are replaced.
Depending on the severity of the damage, business owners may be able to perform the water clean up process themselves. However, an IICRC-certified restoration service can provide valuable assistance, especially in more severe cases.

How To Recognize Category 2 Water Damage

10/18/2023 (Permalink)

A woman walking in an office full of water Commercial water damage in Perry, OK

The water cleanup process includes several phases, one of which is disinfecting any contaminated areas. When water damage experts assess the problem in your building in Perry, OK, they must determine the level of the water's contamination. They do this by placing it in the appropriate category. After a water pipe repair, you may have Category 2 damage, even though the water was clean when it came out of the pipe.

Contamination Levels

There are three categories of water damage contamination that experts use to determine the scope of the cleanup process:

  • Category 1 - Clean water, usually from a broken pipe or supply line
  • Category 2 - Dirty water, usually from an appliance such as a refrigerator
  • Category 3 - Contaminated water, usually from sewer lines or storm flooding

If water pipe repair is completed and the subsequent damage is mitigated quickly, the contamination level is likely to stay at a Category 1. The longer water damage sits, however, the more likely it is to move to Category 2 damage as it becomes contaminated by the dirt and the breakdown of materials. Then you have to add a step to the cleanup process to disinfect your building.

Disinfection Process

The longer you take to call cleanup experts, the more likely your flooded building is to have Category 2 damage. When experts arrive, they can test for contamination to determine if they need to add an extra cleaning step. They start by removing materials that can't be salvaged. Then they use industrial cleaners or purification machines to remove any bacteria that have started to grow in the affected area. Only after this disinfection has been completed can your structure be restored to its former state.
Fast action is necessary with any damage to your building. If you need water pipe repair, you probably need water damage remediation. Call your local experts quickly to avoid further damage that can complicate the remediation process.

3 Tips for Preparing Your Business Against a Flood

8/24/2023 (Permalink)

Commercial storm damage Commercial storm damage in Guthrie, OK

When storm season arrives in Guthrie,OK, many business owners may begin wondering about how to protect their property from flooding. When proper preparation occurs ahead of time, damage and loss can be mitigated. Here are three tips that may help your business better prepare.

1. Ensure the Exterior Is Properly Prepped

You can help protect your business's property from flood damage by properly preparing the exterior before the storm arrives. This can mean trimming trees with branches that could fall into the building, taking down awnings, making sure doors and windows are closed and sealed, sandbagging if necessary, and any other storm proofing methods recommended for your area. Prepping beforehand can mean less cleanup after. It’s also recommended that you become familiar with the water damage professionals in your area in case flood damage does occur.

2. Keep Backup Files Updated

One of the main risks to businesses when flooding occurs is the loss of electronic equipment and the files stored on them. In many cases it’s the loss of the files that’s the bigger disaster. One of the best ways your company can prevent this is to keep backups at an alternate location or in the cloud. If you have a server, your IT company may already do this for you. If your equipment suffers damage, these backups can be uploaded into repaired or replacement machines.

3. Move Necessary Items and Equipment to a Safe Area

Another way to protect your company from storm damage is to move the items you wish to protect to a safe location. This could be an upper floor or a room at the center of the building that’s away from doors and windows. In the event the building does flood, these items will be less likely to be in the path of any water.

If you're in an area such as Guthrie,OK, that could experience flooding, you may want to consider these tips before the next storm. Properly preparing your business for the weather beforehand can help prevent the loss of files and property, as well as costly repairs

Top Fire Preparation Tips for Homeowners

8/22/2023 (Permalink)

A paper that says "Escape Plan" Prepare your home in Navina, OK, your family and yourself for a home fire by heeding the above fire safety tips.

Being in a home fire in Stillwater, OK, is a nightmare. You wonder, what could be worse? The answer is not being prepared. In order to act quickly in any emergency, you must understand and practice what to do ahead of time. Fire preparation is no different. To prepare your home and your family, institute the following fire safety tips.

Prepare

The best time for fire preparation is now. If you wait until there is a fire, it is too late.

• Install functioning smoke detectors in your home. At the minimum, this includes alarms outside the sleeping areas and on each level of your home. Maintain your detectors by changing the batteries at least once per year and checking the alarm once per month. If possible, install interconnected detectors that sound at the same time when one is triggered. Teach all family members the sound of the alarm and what it means.
• Plan an escape plan, ensuring that all family members know two ways to exit each room.
• Determine an outside meeting place and how to contact one another.
• Teach even young children how and when to call 911 in an emergency.

Practice

Repetition of fire safety skills increases the chance of acting quickly in a fire.

• Practice the predetermined family escape plan twice a year or more. Start from different rooms of the house or use a stopwatch to make it more challenging.
• Practice how to stop, drop and roll in the event a home fire spreads to clothing.

Prepare your home in Stillwater, OK, your family and yourself for a home fire by heeding the above fire safety tips. If your nightmare becomes a reality, use what you have learned and practiced during fire preparation to lead your family to safety. Once out of danger, consider the next steps to repair your home. Start by contacting a fire restoration specialist to help you through the process of cleaning and restoring your house and personal belongings. Also call your insurance agent, as fire damage is covered under most homeowner’s policies. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.