Mold 101: Covering the Basics
It’s important to know exactly where mold comes from and how it spreads so you can protect yourself and your family.
Mold is a fungus that can grow in any damp area of your home and it's not always easy to identify. This guide will help you understand what mold is, where it comes from and how to get rid of it permanently.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that reproduces by making spores. Spores are microscopic and can be invisible to the naked eye. Molds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They may be fuzzy or moldy looking and they will usually be some shade of green, black, white, or gray.
Molds reproduce by making spores that spread through the air and settle on surfaces where they can germinate into colonies of the mold with new generations of spores that continue to spread throughout your home or office space.
Where Does it Come From?
Mold is found everywhere, even in the air we breathe. It's also present in our food and on our pets. In fact, mold doesn't need to eat anything to survive — it can grow on wood, paper, and other organic material as long as there is moisture present.
Mold grows best when there's plenty of moisture around (think humid environments), but it can also grow in dry areas if they're warm enough. It will thrive in wet areas such as bathrooms or kitchens where there are leaks from pipes or roof damage; basements with poor ventilation; floors covered with damp carpeting; roofs with leaky gutters; under sinks without adequate drainage holes and windows without screens.
How Does it Spread?
Mold spores are microscopic and float through the air. They can travel through ventilation systems, be carried on shoes, clothing, and other personal items, or be carried by pets.
When it Comes to Mold, Knowledge is Power
Mold spores are everywhere; they're carried by air currents and wind, so no place is completely free from mold contamination—you just have to use common sense when determining if you need professional help to clean up an infestation problem.
It’s important to know exactly where mold comes from and how it spreads so you can protect yourself and your family. If you have any questions about removing mold from your house, please feel free to contact us here at SERVPRO of San Diego East for more information!
What Are 3 Types of Common Biohazard?
3 Types of Common Biohazards
A biohazard is any biological material that poses a risk to human health. It can be caused by microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, or fungi), wastes or toxins. Biohazardous materials include waste products from laboratory animals and humans, human blood and body fluids, infectious agents like bacteria and viruses used in research labs or clinics.
What is Biohazard?
Biohazard is a term used to describe biological hazards that can cause infection or disease. Biohazard also refers to waste products and toxins that are potentially infectious.
Biohazards can be found in many places in the home, office, or workplace.
Biohazardous diseases: viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms.
- Viral diseases
- Bacterial diseases
- Parasitic diseases
Biohazardous substances: waste products and toxins.
Biohazardous substances are common, too. However, unlike biohazardous waste, these things aren't thrown out with regular trash or recycled. Biohazardous substances have the potential to cause injury and illness because they contain pathogens that can be transmitted through contact with a human body or personal possessions (like clothing). Examples of biohazardous substances include blood and other bodily fluids; any substance that contains blood; needles and syringes; dead animals; infected plants or plant material (including soil); insects; animal carcasses; medicines and vaccines; food products that may be contaminated with bacteria or viruses (e.g., unpasteurized milk).
Biohazardous waste: biological materials that are either infectious or potentially infectious
Biohazardous waste is any biological material that is infectious or potentially infectious. Examples of biohazardous materials include blood, urine, feces, and vomit. Even though these are not the only types of biohazardous waste and there are other types of hazardous wastes which we will discuss shortly, it’s best to think about this type first because it’s so widely used in the medical field.
Examples of Biohazard Safety Levels
The EPA's Universal Waste Rule defines biohazard waste as any biological material containing potentially infectious materials that are regulated by the Federal government. Biohazard safety levels are determined by the potential for infection and include:
- BSL-1: Low risk of disease transmission.
- BSL-2: Moderate to high risk of disease transmission.
Biohazardous waste is a serious issue that deserves our attention. If you know someone who has been diagnosed with a biological disease, it’s important to be aware of what types of waste they may produce as well as how to dispose of them properly.
Cleaning Up Water Damage In Your Home
San Diego water damage
Water Damage Tips
Water damage is a serious problem that can strike at any time and cause costly, long-term damage to your home. If you've ever had to deal with water damage in your house, you know how quickly things can go from bad to worse if you don't act fast. So, what steps should you take after a pipe breaks or an appliance starts leaking? Here's what you need to know about cleaning up water damage in your home!
Water damage is a serious problem that can strike at any time. Is your home prepared?
Have you ever wondered what to do if you suspect water damage? If you have, then this expert guide will help.
What to Do if You Suspect Water Damage:
- Check the ceiling and walls for signs of moisture or discoloration. If they're wet or showing signs of mold, it's time to call in professionals like our team at SERVPRO. We'll assess your situation and let you know how best to proceed.
- Never use hot water extraction methods on your own; these methods aren't safe for untrained individuals who don't have access to the proper equipment and training required for their execution.
If a pipe in your house breaks, turn off your water supply at the main valve right away to stop further water damage.
Here are some tips from the pros on how to deal with a water emergency in your home:
- Turn off your water supply. If a pipe in your house breaks, turn off your water supply at the main valve right away to stop further water damage.
- Turn off the heater. If you have a gas-heated home, it's important to shut off or reduce power (if possible) to any heaters that may be affected by the flooding.
- Shut down electrical appliances in affected areas. It’s often not safe for you or anyone else to be around electrical equipment during cleanup because of potential electrical hazards like live wires and short circuits – so let professionals handle those repairs.
- Don't turn on any faucets until after they're dried out completely; this will help prevent any bacteria growth inside of them while they're still wet.
Don't hesitate to call a professional for help. It's better safe than sorry when it comes to water damage.
When you have a water damage issue, it's tempting to try and tackle things yourself. But it's important to realize that you may not be able to tell the extent of the damage or what kind of long-term effects there might be from water lingering in your home. It's better to be safe than sorry by calling a professional who can help resolve the problem for you and make sure everything is resolved properly.
Professional water damage cleanup is the way to go after any major leak or flood situation.
After a flood or leak, it's important to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible to prevent further damage. Professional water damage clean-up services are equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to remove all your worries about the cost or time it will take to fix your property. If you choose not to hire a professional service, you may end up spending much more money on repairs than you would have by calling in the pros.
It is also important that you take care of any mold problems before they happen so that they don't spread throughout your home or office space. If left unchecked, mold can cause serious health problems such as respiratory issues and even death in some cases!
We hope this article has been helpful, and we wish you the best of luck in keeping your home safe from water damage. If you have further questions or concerns about any aspect of water damage repair, please contact us.
Who Pays for Fire Damage in a Rental Property?
Files damaged in a home fire.
Who Covers Damage from a Fire in a Rental Property?
Fire damage is a scary and intimidating event. When it happens, a lot of people ask this question: “Who is responsible in case of fire damage in a rental property. The answer is that both the renter and the landlord are responsible for different parts of the building and its contents. Let’s dig deeper into the details.
The Landlord’s Responsibilities:
The landlord is responsible for all structural damages caused by fire or other natural disasters that occur on their rental property like hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes. The tenant has full responsibility for their personal belongings and can file an insurance claim through their renter's insurance policy if they have one. If you need help understanding what your rights are during this stressful time, please feel free to reach out to us anytime (619) 280-2377.
Structural Damage to The Property
If the tenant's negligence was to blame for the fire, they will likely have to bear all the costs associated with repairs. However, if there were no known causes of ignition or negligence on behalf of the tenant and/or their guests or visitors, then it’s possible that your landlord may be held responsible for some expenses related to repairs following a fire at their rental property.
The first step in determining who pays for fire damage in a rental property is figuring out whether your landlord’s policy covers structural damages—the damage caused by fire spread through walls and floors rather than just flames themselves. Most insurance policies cover this type of structural damage if it is caused by external factors (like lightning strikes).
It’s important to know that renters’ insurance covers your belongings. If you rent an apartment and want to make sure your personal property is protected, it’s a good idea to invest in renters’ insurance.
This type of policy can be expensive, and landlords aren't required by law to ask tenants what kind of coverage they have. But it's still worth considering—especially if you're replacing expensive items like laptops or jewelry.
You can buy renters insurance online or through an independent broker who specializes in this type of coverage.
The tenant has full responsibility for their personal belongings.
If you are a tenant, your insurance should cover damage to your personal belongings. This is an optional service that is usually very inexpensive, and it is a good investment if you want to avoid paying out of pocket for damages.
Even if the landlord has insurance on the property, they are not responsible for damage to your personal belongings unless there was negligence involved (for example: someone else caused the fire at the house). In this case, the landlord's insurance will take care of anything that happened during their time of ownership and responsibility over the property. However, if there was no negligence involved in causing damage to one's personal possessions then tenants have full responsibility for their own things through their renters' policy or homeowners' policy with an endorsement stating content coverage while away from home.
The most important thing to remember is that both the tenant and landlord are responsible for certain parts of the building and its contents. If you need help understanding your responsibilities, contact us today!
4 Fire Safety Tips for Your Home
Smoke alarms are essential tools you can use to prevent a home fire.
Fire Preparation For Your Home
If a fire breaks out in your home in College West, CA, it can be deadly and cause lots of damage. However, by implementing fire preparation measures, you can minimize the risks. To help you get started, here are four tips that you can begin using today.
1. Make Smoke Alarms a Priority
Smoke alarms are essential tools you can use to prevent a home fire. They should be installed throughout your house, especially in and near the bedrooms. Test your alarms monthly and replace the batteries once a year. Also, never disable them, especially when you are cooking.
2. Use Electrical Appliances Safely
Check and replace damaged cords or wires on your appliances and other electrical items. Give devices such as lamps and space heaters proper space to prevent them from overheating. And never leave them on overnight or while you’re away from home.
3. Teach Your Children About Fire Safety
A big part of fire preparation is teaching your children the dangers of playing with fire. Keeping matches and lighters out of their reach will also help with this issue. You should also protect your little ones by installing safety caps over outlets. These simple tools will prevent them from sticking items into a wall socket and starting a fire or electrocuting themselves.
4. Have an Escape Plan
Create an escape plan for your family and practice it at least twice a year. Ensure it includes two ways to escape each room and a place to meet up once everyone gets out of the house. Also, make sure everyone knows to never go back in for important items. You can assure them that a trained restoration specialist will do their best to preserve your family photos and other sentimental things after the fire.
The best way to prevent a fire in your home is to prepare for it. Fire preparation is vital for the safety of your family and your home.
Water Conservation Upgrades
Consider touch-free faucets for an excellent water upgrade.
Water conservation can make a big difference in your building's profitability. Upgrading your commercial property in Grantville, CA, to prevent leaks and minimize waste is an excellent investment. You'll help the environment and your bottom line while preventing expensive water damage.
Common Water Issues
Rethink Your Irrigation
Irrigation is necessary to maintain your landscape, but it's also where you are probably wasting the most water. Here are some tips to help you conserve.
1. Maintain your irrigation system properly. This means inspecting it for leaks from cracks, worn fittings or washers, and poor connections. Water damage restoration experts agree that repairing water problems in a timely fashion is much less costly than repairing your building after a flood.
2. Only water when necessary. Over-watering is one of the simplest water issues to solve. Put in a sensor to prevent watering when the ground is moist or the weather is wet. Experiment with watering less often or for less time.
3. Select lower-maintenance plants. Drought-tolerant native plants require very little water and will thrive year after year.
Replace Older Appliances
It's not cost-effective to run out and purchase new appliances solely to conserve water. However, when it's time to replace that old dishwasher or washing machine, select replacements with energy use and water consumption in mind.
Select Efficient Fixtures
Consider touch-free faucets for an excellent water upgrade. While they do cost more upfront, you will eliminate one of the worst water issues: taps left running.
Swap the flush valves in your toilets. You may be using up to 5 gallons per flush. New valves use about 25% of that.
Update your aerators. This is a very cost-effective improvement and can save about half of the water used for washing hands.
Conserving water saves money. Maintaining equipment prevents water seepage and flood damage. Take control of the water usage in your building to improve your profitability and keep your property running efficiently.
Simplify Fire Restoration with SERVPRO
A local team is always ready to help you regain your pre-fire home
Fire Restoration Process
How do you pick up the pieces after a fire in your Allied Gardens, CA, residence? It's important to start restoration work immediately to prevent further damage or irreversible odors. Quickly resolve damage and cleanup problems by calling SERVPRO, the leading expert in fire mitigation and restoration. A local team is always ready to help you regain your pre-fire home. Here are the main steps in the fire restoration process.
1. Phone Consultation
We're available 24/7 for you to contact us about fire damage restoration. An expert will ask you questions to assess the situation and determine what resources they will need to help you.
2. In-Person Inspection
A SERVPRO team member will arrive on-site to assess the damage to your residence and create a fire rebuild plan.
3. Initial Fire Restoration Measures
If your residence's structural integrity is damaged, SERVPRO will install tarps and boards to protect against weather, animals and intruders. This procedure also gives technicians more time to survey damaged areas before starting repairs.
4. Water and Smoke Damage Removal
The next step of the fire damage restoration process involves drying any water-damaged structures and belongings. Technicians also detoxify your residence by removing soot and smoke from contaminated surfaces such as floors and ceilings.
5. Cleaning and Deodorizing
SERVPRO thoroughly cleans and deodorizes the residence and any damaged possessions before proceeding to more in-depth repair work.
6. Rebuilding Services
The last stages in fire damage restoration are rebuilding and refurbishing. Minor repairs may include painting, the installation of new fixtures and other surface-level improvements. Some restoration projects may require major reconstruction of entire rooms or sections of the residence.
Recovering from a residential fire doesn't have to be overwhelming. Simplify fire restoration by coordinating with your local emergency services. SERVPRO will quickly and efficiently help return your residence to its pre-fire state.
When To Repair a Roof With Storm Damage
Tarping over damage can help to protect your roof from further hail or wind damage
When Should a Storm-Damaged Roof Be Repaired?
"As soon as possible" is the short answer when it comes to roof repair. If a number of residences have sustained storm damage or prolonged inclement weather is expected in Del Cerro, CA, mitigation measures such as tarping over damage can help to protect your roof from further hail or wind damage and keep out moisture that might otherwise end up causing damage inside the structure.
After Documenting Damage
If the roof of your home is well-maintained, it may be possible to make a homeowners insurance claim to cover roof damage. If you plan to do so, you should take measures to document damage:
- Get an expert opinion
- Take photographs
- Record video footage
Once you have captured evidence of storm or wind damage, you should immediately arrange for mitigation or repairs. Mitigation measures can limit damage until repairs take place.
After Mitigation Measures
A damage restoration or roofing company may offer damage mitigation services to prevent further damage prior to roof repair. The most common measure involves tarping over a roof:
• Acquire a tarp large enough to cover damage and extend three feet over the ridge
• Wrap the tarp around plywood and secure with deck screws or nails
• Use strapping to tie down the tarp
A tarp can protect a roof surface and the interior of a home from further damage. Insurers seek proof that homeowners have taken every measure they can to limit the damage. Mitigation is helpful for making an insurance claim and reducing the cost of restoring primary and secondary damage.
A homeowner should try to schedule roof repair immediately after damage occurs, ideally within hours or days. Fixing any roof damage can be costly, but expenses will escalate as the damage becomes worse and potentially affects the interior of a residence in Del Cerro, CA. If this occurs, homeowners should contact a roofer and a storm damage restoration service.
How To Prepare for Water Damage With Business Insurance
Getting business insurance is a great way to save your business, time and money.
Preparing for Water Damage with Business Insurance
As a small business owner in San Carlos, CA, you need to be ready for anything. When water unexpectedly gets into places it is not supposed to, it can cause major problems. Almost all businesses, at least the ones with physical locations, are vulnerable to water damage, which can occur from things such as:
- Broken pipes
- Severe weather
- Damaged HVAC systems
- Foundation leaks
You can reduce costs and prepare for any issues caused by water by having insurance coverage for your commercial property.
Different Policies Cover Different Types of Costs
Dealing with water damage at your business is never fun, but there are a few different business insurances you can use. Commercial flood insurance, business income insurance and standard commercial property insurance policies are good options to have in times of crisis. Insurance companies can be a proper resource with the right policies; however, the source of the damage often determines the level of coverage you will have. Standard commercial policies will usually cover claims for burst pipes, but additional insurance could be needed for other causes and potential revenue losses.
Insurance Companies Can Assist With Water Cleanup
Insurance companies often work closely with cleanup and restoration professionals. These companies can provide water and material cleanup and emergency services such as mold remediation if needed. Damage assessment performed by these professionals can be directly used to help with filing your insurance claim so you can get back in business as soon as possible. It's worth having a conversation with your insurance agent about your policy's features to ensure you have the best protection and restoration plan in place.
No matter the cause of water damage, it is always best to jump in front of a possible emergency. Getting business insurance is a great way to save your business, time and money.
The Importance of Drying Time
SERVPRO technicians drying a restaurant.
The Importance of Drying Time
Before starting the remediation process during any water outbreak the drying process must be handled first. Drying time is important because residents can get their homes back into shape, business owners can start selling again, and cutting costs is ensured for insurance companies.
Drying time is the average number of days between the first air mover or dehumidifier being placed on-site until the last air mover or dehumidifier is removed from the job site. SERVPRO follows the IICRC S500 Standards in order to give customers the best drying time. There are three levels of drying time expectancy there are less than five days which falls under green, between five to seven days is yellow, and finally, more than seven days which lands in red. Our goal is to always have drying time in the green zone.
What causes a delay in drying time?
There are multiple factors that can cause a delay in the drying time. One of the most common factors is when residents or property owners unplug the air mover or dehumidifier. Unplugging appliances will surely increase the time needed to dry this also causes water to sit on surfaces which will cause the spread of mold and will further the damage to surfaces resulting in higher costs. Definitely do not unplug appliances.
Another cause of delayed drying time is moving appliances. When technicians set the appliances for drying time they are placed in areas that are most wet. This is not noticeable to the human eye therefore water levels are measured with water mapping tools for the most accurate drying placement.
Another common factor that may cause drying time is storms or more water leakage. Storms are definitely out of our control so make sure the technician that is working on your case is notified quickly to prevent further damage. If you had a water leakage make sure the water source is shut off every time water is not needed to be in use.