Finding and Treating Mold in Your Commercial Property
Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours
Did you know that your commercial building could have a mold problem without you even knowing it? Unfortunately, mold can grow in places that are not visible in a casual walk-through. Knowing what enables mold growth and common places it occurs can help you keep your business mold-free.
Where Mold Grows
Mold can grow anywhere it is warm and wet, but there are certain places that are more prone to mold infestations than others. Make sure you check the following areas in your building for mold:
- Electrical equipment
- Paper-storage areas
- HVAC units (particularly drainage pans and terminal units)
- Ceiling tiles
- Walls (wallboards and inside cavity walls)
Mold can also result from high humidity, so be sure to keep the inside humidity low, ideally below 45%.
Mold Growth From Water Damage
Mold can begin growing as quickly as 24 hours after flooding, leaking or any other event that causes water damage to your property. Therefore, it is important to dry the water as soon as possible. Wet/dry vacuums, dehumidifiers and fans can all help with this process. Anything that cannot be fully dried should be removed from the area.
Often the first indication of a mold problem is a musty smell. If you cannot see any mold, it may be best to call mold remediation experts to help you find the source of the mold. After the mold has been found and the water source addressed, it is important to contain the mold. This can be accomplished by turning off fans and the heating or air conditioning in the area. Professionals may use more advanced methods. Then an antimicrobial or antifungal cleaning solution should be used to clean the mold. Anything that cannot be fully cleaned of mold should be thrown out. After the mold has been brought back to normal levels, any needed reconstruction or repairs can begin.
Mold in your Holopaw, FL, business can be a serious problem. However, routinely checking for mold growth and addressing it quickly can prevent a minor issue from becoming a disaster.
Cleaning Up Smoke and Soot After a Fire
What type of smoke are you dealing with?
A fire in your Deer Park, FL, home will likely cause smoke damage. With everything else you have going on after a fire, you might want to wait to address this problem, but it is important to take care of it sooner rather than later.
What Type of Smoke Are You Dealing With?
It is helpful to know what kind of smoke is damaging your home because different types of smoke respond better to different cleaning methods. Three common types of smoke are the following:
Wet smoke comes from slow burning fires — low-heat fires, often from plastic and rubber.
Dry smoke comes from fast burning fires — high-heat fires, often from wood and paper.
Protein residue, created when food or other organic material evaporates in a fire, is not technically smoke but is still a problem because of the foul odor it produces.
What Happens if You Wait?
Because smoke damage and soot damage are corrosive, the longer they go untreated the more damage they cause. Additionally, movement in the area can cause the smoke and soot to become further embedded in upholstery, carpets, etc. This makes it more difficult, if not impossible, for the items to be fully cleaned and restored.
What Are Your Options?
There are a variety of smoke cleaning options currently available, including air scrubbing, thermal fogging and ozone treatments. Air scrubbers trap smoke particles in their filters. A commercial device can usually filter out more of the smoke than one designed for typical residential use. Thermal fogging works by heating up the surfaces in your home, causing them to expand. This allows the deodorization solution to penetrate further than it could in a room-temperature area. Ozone treatments are also an effective way to deodorize a home because the ozone oxidizes the smoke particles, destroying the unpleasant odors. For soot damage, ultrasonic cleaning is particularly effective. It uses a cleaning solution and ultrasound waves to thoroughly clean contaminated objects.
Regardless of the type of smoke damage you are dealing with, a professional restoration team can choose the best method to get your home and belongings back to normal.
What To Do When You Don't Have Flood Insurance
When your home has been affected by storm flooding you can apply through FEMA agency for some help
What To Do When You Don't Have Flood Insurance
When storms flood waters rushing into your home, there's not much time to do anything other than pack up your belongings and your family and move to a safe area. Eventually, however, you'll have to confront the costs of repairs. If you don't have flood insurance, you may feel at a loss regarding how to recover. If you live in an area where there's potential for flooding, you should consider getting a policy that covers:
- Contents of your home
- Repairs, reconstruction, or replacement of your home
- Temporary housing
Make sure you discuss the many things that insurance won't cover, such as items in the basement and swimming pools. If you don't have insurance, however, there are some steps you can take.
When your home and possessions have been affected by storm-related flooding, you can apply through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for some help. You may qualify for small grans or low-cost loans. This help through FEMA is only available for your first home, not a second residence. The type of assistance you receive may be influenced by whether the president has declared the flood plane or your state to be a major disaster area. Your specific county must be named to qualify for individual assistance.
Low-cost loans can cover some of your costs that flood insurance would have covered. For example, you may qualify for a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration to make repairs or replacements to the structure of your home. Don't plan to use this money for upgrades or additions. Work with home repair and reconstruction professionals to determine the cost of repairs and rebuilding.
Grants from the federal government may be available to help you find a place to stay while you can't remain in your home. These grants may also cover at least part of the uninsured damages, belongings, and disaster-related expenses. These expenses may include childcare, medical costs, and funerals. However, grants are only available if you don't qualify for a loan through the SBA or when you need more help that is available through the loans.
When you don't have flood insurance, and sometimes if you do, federal agencies may provide the financial assistance you need to get back into your Lokosee, FL, home. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself upfront and to get further assistance as needed.
Fire Damage: Who Pays for What in a Rental Situation?
An apartment fire in Poinciana,FL
Going through an apartment fire can be tough on both the tenant and the landlord, if in different ways. With tensions high, it can be more difficult to calmly discuss who is responsible for repairs. Before this happens to you in Poinciana, FL, educate yourself.
Assess the Damage
From the very beginning, the tenant and the landlord should be working together. It's generally a good idea to follow these steps:
Both landlord and tenant should call their own insurance.
As soon as it's been deemed safe by the fire officer, both should do a walk-through to catalogue the fire damage: written lists, pictures and receipts.
The landlord should take the lead on securing the property, like laying tarp over any exposed areas and locking it down.
Both should agree on a fire remediation service to bring in.
After an apartment fire, the responsibility of the landlord is to the bones of the property, unless otherwise stated in a lease agreement. Structural damage can include walls, windows, roofing, electrical, plumbing, cabinets and countertops- basically everything that existed before the tenant's arrival. Usually the landlord won't be paying out of pocket, it will be through their insurance policy.
The tenant is only responsible for all of their personal property, like furniture, electronics, documents and clothing. If they have the appropriate coverage, this could also be paid for through their renter's policy. Insurance could also cover temporary housing while the property is rehabilitated. If the landlord and tenant have been coordinating, the same fire remediation service can handle both the content and structural damage.
An apartment fire involves a lot of interested parties. It's a good idea to get a handle on who is taking care of what before moving forward. That way, everything can get done faster and everyone can get back to living their lives. Team work makes the dream work!
3 Ways To Lower Your Business Interruption Claim
Salon flooded in Osceola County, FL
Ways to Lower Your Business Interruption Claim
Flooding can cause your business in Osceola County, FL, to temporarily shut its doors while the process of restoration begins. Though it's often necessary for a business to temporarily shut down after a flood, the loss of business can take its toll. However, there are several ways you can lower your business interruption claim.
1. Stop the Flow of Water if Possible
When a natural disaster causes a flood, it's rarely possible to stop the flow of water. However, you can often stop water from continuing to enter your building if a flood is caused by a broken pipe or malfunctioning appliance. If a burst pipe or broken appliance is causing your building to flood, quickly shutting off the water in your building can be a useful way to stop the flow of the floodwater and can decrease the likelihood of major damage occurring.
2. Make a Claim in a Timely Manner
Making a large water damage claim soon after flooding affects your building is often helpful. Different insurance policies will provide varying coverage, and knowing what costs your policy will cover can help you to prepare for restoration. You can talk to someone at your insurance company if you have specific questions about your policy, but it's generally beneficial to make a claim as soon as possible so you can begin restoration and can start to mitigate the damage.
3. Begin Restoration Quickly
Starting restoration quickly is often wise after a disaster occurs. Waiting to begin the restoration process can cause additional damage, such as mold growth, to your building. To ensure your restoration is as effective and cost-efficient as possible, it can be helpful to employ emergency restoration services. By starting the restoration process as soon as possible, it is likely that you will be able to reopen your business sooner rather than later.
Having your business interrupted after flooding can be costly. However, reducing the cost of your business interruption claim often can allow you to begin restoration quickly and can make it easier to reopen your business in a timely manner.
How To Stop a Bath or Shower Leak
Consult a plumber to stop the leak in your bathtub
How to Identify and Fix a Shower or Bathtub Leak
A leak can result in standing water around a shower or bathtub that can leave signs of discoloration. Water damage may be apparent on the same floor, on the ceiling of the one below it or in a basement or crawlspace. Here are several pointers for identifying and fixing a shower or bathtub leak.
Replace the Shower Pan
Shower pans play a critical role in preventing leaks. If this component has worn out, you are likely to see signs of water damage. You can make sure the problem is a shower pan leak by taking the following steps:
- Fill the bath with 1.5 inches of water
- Have someone stand and walk around in the tub or shower
- Keep checking over several days
A bathtub leak caused by a shower pan may be more extensive than a drain problem or poor sealing. Expect to replace this piece every 30 years.
Repair the Drain
A faulty drain flange or gasket can also result in moisture damage. Pour water from a bucket or hose down the drain while someone monitors the area underneath. If leaking is spotted, you may have located the source.
Reseal Caulking or Grout
Caulk creates a waterproof barrier between tile and other fixtures or surface materials. If you notice standing water on the bathroom floor, re-caulking may be needed. Grout prevents moisture from getting in between tiles or behind walls where hidden mold can form.
Clean and Maintain the Shower
A shower head could also be the source of a leak. Make sure that the escutcheon is sealed with caulk or putty. It may also be necessary to replace faulty components, such as cartridges, gaskets, stems and washers.
Depending on the cause of a shower or bathtub leak, any of these measures could resolve the problem. If you cannot find a way to stop a leak, consult a plumber or a water damage restoration service in Reunion, FL.
3 Things Homeowners Should Look for in a Mold Remediation Business
Work with a company that has experienced in mold remediation
3 Things Homeowners Should Look for in a Mold Remediation Business
If your home in Celebration, FL, has sustained mold damage, finding the right mold remediation business becomes a priority. However, you may not know what a certified mold removal and restoration company is and what to look for in a mold remediation company. It can be helpful to look at the following factors when choosing a mold remediation company to employ:
Working with a company that has experience in mold remediation is often important. There can be a variety of unforeseen issues that may occur throughout the mold remediation process, and mitigating the damage is often an important element of remediation and restoration. In order to choose the best mold remediation business to hire, it can be useful to contact the company and ask questions about the business’s mitigation methods.
A mold certification can help to signal to homeowners that a company has committed itself to a standard of excellence. The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) gives businesses in the restoration industry the chance to receive certifications by passing exams and adhering to high standards. Homeowners can feel confident that an IICRC certified mold removal and remediation business will be both efficient and thorough when cleaning and removing mold. Additionally, many insurance companies prefer to work with IIRC certified businesses.
It can often be helpful for homeowners to take the time to research a restoration and remediation company by reading reviews from other homeowners. When your home is in need of mold remediation, you want to know that the process will start quickly, and that the remediation will be effective. Knowing that a certified mold remediation company has a reputation of providing homeowners with excellent service can help you feel more confident about the company you hire.
It can be beneficial to know what to look for in a mold remediation business. Working with experienced certified mold removal and remediation experts can often help to make the process of restoring your home easier.
The 4 Steps to Residential Fire Restoration
Restoration companies offer board-up, tarping and fencing services
Residential Fire Restoration Process
The residual fire and smoke damage after a disaster and rescue efforts are likely one of the most devastating experiences of any homeowner's life. However, fire restoration companies exist to repair the seemingly irreparable. Regardless of the size of the property or home, every restoration effort follows the same necessary process.
1. Securing the Property
The first step to getting your home back to normal is to secure the property. Most insurers require homeowners to mitigate further loss, which is why restoration companies offer board-up, tarping and fencing services. These companies make sure that no elements, natural or human, disturb your property or risk your coverage.
2. Removing Water and Drying the Home
Another step in the mitigation process is removing any excess water from the rescue efforts. While it may be disheartening for homeowners not to see smoke damage be cleared away, every effort is made during these early stages to reduce liability concerns for insurers, making it easier for your claim to succeed.
3. Cleaning and Removing Smoke and Soot Damage
After the mitigation work is done, the restoration company you have chosen will begin the process of debris removal and soot and smoke cleaning. Using specialized equipment and chemicals, these companies will clean the existing structure from top to bottom ensuring that all harmful residue is removed before moving on to the final phase.
Once a fire restoration specialist in the Saint Cloud, FL, area has performed all the necessary mitigation and cleaning, they will begin the process of actual restoration work. While some jobs are small enough for one company to handle, many professionals hire outside contractors to rebuild and restructure the home when necessary.
Fire and smoke damage might be extensive after a fire, and homeowners may feel like there is no hope for restoration. However, in the hands of experienced professionals, even the most devastating situation can be rectified.
Maintaining Your Business's Roof for a Longer Roof Life
Debris blocking gutters can cause a backup of water that may lead to a roof leak
Steps to Prevent Roof Damage
You might not think much about the roof over your business, but each day it protects your assets and operations. A roof leak interrupts your business and adds unexpected expenses, so take steps now to prevent roof damage.
1. Remove Debris
Roofs are designed to allow water to run off quickly during storms. Any debris on the roof can hold water, which may damage roofing materials. If you have trees nearby, make sure they are pruned away from the roof, and check after winds and in the autumn for branches and leaves that may have fallen on the roof. Check your roof regularly and after storms to ensure it is clear.
2. Clean Gutters and Drains
Debris blocking gutters can cause a backup of water that may lead to a roof leak. Gutters are designed to drain water away from the roof and building, but their function is reduced when water cannot flow freely due to debris and blockages. Wind damage can also affect gutter function if a gutter becomes loose or falls. Check gutters after every storm or wind event and frequently during the autumn when leaves fall.
3. Inspect for Signs of Damage
Storm conditions may cause minor roof damage that, if not addressed early, can lead to significant damage. Winter storms can be especially damaging due to the weight and expansion of ice. After a storm, in addition to clearing the roof and gutters of debris, you should also look for tears, gaps, bubbles, cracked seals, bent or gapped flashing, and missing shingles. Any of these issues can be a small repair if caught early rather than a major repair or roof replacement if left to worsen. As a business owner or manager, you'll want to call a storm cleanup professional in Kissimmee, FL, to inspect your business's roof.
Protect your business and avoid unexpected expenses by monitoring the health of its roof. Keep your roof and gutters clear and inspect them regularly for signs of damage in order to avoid issues that can lead to a roof leak.
Emergency Response After Storms
Storm damaged home in Kissimmee, FL
Emergency Response After Storms
Many homeowners in Kissimmee, FL, are inadequately prepared for a life-threatening storm situation. Understand the role of FEMA and other agencies in responding to a natural disaster and assessing the damage.
1. The Aftermath
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will typically send an inspector or other government official directly to the site of a flood or other disaster in order to ascertain the amount of damage and the needs of the populace. At this stage, it is helpful to be present to expedite the process. If the home is safe to enter, you can assist the FEMA official in getting a rough tally of what belongings and parts of your home structure are inundated, wind-damaged, or contaminated. Some homeowners may choose to have a complete inventory of the home as a matter of course.
2. Proof of Ownership
In a disaster situation, the federal government needs to determine the owner of the damaged property. Ensure that during a disaster or evacuation that you have access to the various deeds and titles that can prove legal ownership of your home, land, and vehicles. This will greatly expedite the process of disbursing federal aid and getting your life back on track.
After the danger of flooding is over, your insurance agency will send an adjuster to ascertain the validity of your damage claims and take a general inventory. This process is different from the type of inspection that FEMA performs to determine the severity of the disaster for the purposes of federal aid. Homeowners should be aware that public adjusters independent of any particular insurance agency also exist, and can be hired to assist with disputes over liability or coverage.
While severe storms and other natural disasters can cause significant damage and disruption, FEMA and private insurers exist to alleviate the burden and get homeowners the professional cleanup services they require.