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What Causes Mold Odor?

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What Causes Mold Odor? Mold hiding inside a wall in a Hamilton,GA building

The musty odor characteristic of mold is caused by microbial volatile organic compounds. Just because mold is growing does not mean that mycotoxin is present. Learn about the differences between MVOCs, spores, and mycotoxins and the origin of a moldy odor in a building in Hamilton Mill, GA.

What Are MVOCs?

MVOCs are gaseous compounds produced by the metabolism of fungi during the active growth cycle. The most common MVOCs include:

  • Alcohols
  • Aldehydes
  • Butanoic acid
  • Esters
  • Ethers
  • Ketones
  • Sulphur and nitrogen compounds
  • Terpenes
  • Thiols

Industrial hygienists can sample and test MVOC levels. This analysis will determine which types of microbes are growing in a building.

Are MVOCs the Same as Spores?

MVOCs are chemicals and are not the same as mold spores. Spores are not the cause of musty odor. Mold spores can:

  • Spread to damp surfaces with food sources
  • Withstand conditions hostile to mold growth
  • Range in size from three to 40 microns

Spores may spread more readily when dry. HEPA air filtration devices can filter spores out of interior air.

Are MVOCs the Same as Mycotoxin?

Mycotoxins are another product of fungal metabolism, but these substances are not the same as MVOCs. Whereas MVOCs are off-gases that are not desirable, but should not be seriously harmful, mycotoxins should be eliminated. There are several common types of mycotoxins:

  • Aflatoxin
  • Citrinum
  • Ergot alkaloids
  • Fumonisins
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Patulin
  • Trichothecenes

Not every type of mold produces mycotoxins. The only way to determine whether a fungus growing in a structure is emitting these toxins is to have professional testing done.

If you smell a moldy odor in a building, look around for visible fungal growth. Do not puncture walls or surfaces to find hidden colonies, as this can release spores or mycotoxin into the air and cause mold to spread. To eliminate the presence of fungus, contact a mold remediation company in Hamilton Mill, GA.

What To Expect From Black Water Restoration Professionals

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What To Expect From Black Water Restoration Professionals Flooded Buford,GA home

Black water is a common cause of some of the most serious water damage. This is because the water has come into contact with fecal matter and could be full of dangerous bacteria and disease. When that water gets into your home, anything that comes into contact with it is contaminated. Fortunately, home restoration professionals in Buford, GA, have the tools and training to remove biohazardous materials. When your home is affected by flooding, contact a professional as soon as possible to minimize the long-term results of the contamination.

Protective Clothing and Gear

Professionals who handle water damage restoration work may arrive wearing personal protective equipment to protect themselves and to decrease the chances that materials are moved out of the area that has already been affected. Some of this protective gear may include the following:

  • Waterproof coveralls
  • Heavy, waterproof boots
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves
  • Face masks

Workers will often remove the gear as they leave the affected area so that contaminants aren’t spread.

Assessments Based on Training and Experience

When the technicians arrive, they'll complete an assessment of the damage to determine the best restoration plan. For example, the technicians need to make sure it's safe to enter the water. Many of the storms and disasters that cause flooding also affect electric or natural gas systems in the home.

Specialized Equipment and Cleaning Methods

Once the action plan is in place and safety is established, restoration professionals remove excess water as well as all contaminants, including sewage. Any porous building materials, such as drywall, are also removed. With the flood water out of the way, specialized supplies, such as equipment and cleansers, are used to thoroughly sanitize your home. Steps are taken to be sure other areas of the home aren't affected.

Focus on Safety

Finally, emergency restoration professionals in Buford, GA, should set up heavy-duty fans and dehumidifiers to thoroughly dry the area. Once dry, you should be allowed to move back in.

The presence of black water in your home can complicate the cleaning and recovery process. A top priority should be preventing the spread of contamination and disease by hiring a professional water damage cleanup crew.

3 Steps To Take After a Fire Damages Your Business

11/19/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Steps To Take After a Fire Damages Your Business Large fire loss in a Suwanee,GA facility

Fire Restoration Process

After your business in Suwanee, GA, has been damaged by fire, you may feel overwhelmed about what to do next. However, you can take several steps to make the fire restoration process easier.

1. Review Your Insurance Policy

Check your insurance policy to get an idea about what costs will be covered by fire insurance. While many insurance policies for businesses include fire damage, some policies offer more coverage than others. Once you are aware of what your insurance will cover, you can have a better idea of what projects to tackle first and how to make appropriate claims.

2. Be Mindful When Cleaning

As you start to clean up your business, it’s helpful to know what you should and should not try to clean. Fire restoration usually involves clearing a building of soot, and touching damaged items could result in deterioration. Additionally, it is generally wise to wear protective clothing to keep yourself safe as you enter your building. If you’re uncertain whether you should remove an item or if you should try to clean it, it’s often best to wait for professional help.

3. Start the Restoration Process Quickly

Although you want to make certain you aren’t putting yourself at risk as you start cleaning, you may not have to put the restoration process on hold. After checking with your insurance agent, you may receive permission to repair some issues before your insurance company sends out an adjuster to document the damage. Save receipts and take photos to provide proof of the costs of restoration to your insurance company.

Once you know the steps to take after your business is affected by a fire, you can start the process of fire restoration. Consider working with fire damage restoration experts who can help with smoke cleaning, sanitization and more.

Fire Safety in the Kitchen: 3 Cooking Tips

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety in the Kitchen: 3 Cooking Tips Keep cooking flames low

Cooking meals in your Hamilton Mill,GA, home’s kitchen can be an enjoyable experience. Discovering new flavors and healthy recipes for your family can be beneficial and allow you to express your creativity. However, there are a few potential dangers in the kitchen as well, especially around the stove. Keeping a few safety tips in mind can reduce the threat of fires and burns, whether you are an experienced cook or a novice.

1. Clean As You Go

One effective way to lower the risk of a fire in the kitchen is to clean as you go. This can apply to whether you are cooking an entrée or making a dessert. As you use items, return them to their appointed place and put dirty dishes and utensils in a sink full of soapy water you have prepared beforehand. Reducing clutter around the stove and nearby countertops can prevent fires caused by spills or dishcloths left too close to a stove burner.

2. Keep Cooking Flames Low

If you are pan frying a dish, the threat of a grease fire can be considerable. However, you can prevent this threat by keeping your cooking flame low. Cooking with a high flame may cause the oil to ignite and spread quickly across your stove and countertop. Prevent this by keeping the flame at a reasonable height and turn the food over often to prevent cooking fires and burnt meals. For additional safety tips, contact your local fire damage and restoration service.

3. Stay Near Lit Stove

Cooking requires concentration, and the risk of fire damage increases considerably if you step away from the stove to take a phone call, get distracted by television or by squabbling kids. Pots can overflow, and pans may catch fire quickly, so it is wise to remain focused and at the stove at all times when it is on.

Keeping a few fire prevention tips in mind as you use your Hamilton Mill, GA, home’s kitchen can prevent accidents and injury. Whether you are cooking or baking, any great recipe begins with putting safety first.

4 Steps for Fixing a Leaky Roof

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Steps for Fixing a Leaky Roof High winds may cause your building roof to leak in Hamilton Mill,GA

Storms can wreak havoc on your commercial property in Hamilton Mill,GA, but for most problems, there is a pretty straightforward solution. If the most recent thunderstorm pummeled your building with hail, high winds or heavy rains, it is likely that you will have a roof leak. Here are the four steps remediation experts can take to fix it.

1. Assess the Situation

Every damaged roof is different. Your roof may show no outward signs of a problem but definite signs of leaking through the ceiling. You may see lots of debris on the outside while everything inside looks intact. Professionals know the signs to look for both inside and outside so that they can address every issue that exists.

2. Remove Wet Materials

A roof leak will inevitably get something wet that shouldn't be exposed to excess moisture. For example, if your ceiling insulation is saturated, it will likely need to be torn out and replaced. Not only is storm weather contaminated, the dampness also tends to penetrate the porous material and weaken it.

3. Dry and Disinfect

After all the unsalvageable material is gone, everything that remains must be thoroughly dried. Failure to do this could lead to secondary damage, such as mold growth. Surfaces should be dry, and dehumidifiers should be used to control the moisture in the air. After drying, technicians will disinfect every part of the structure and every item that is going to remain within it.

4. Rebuild the Structure

The last step is reconstruction. Walls, insulation and ceilings that were removed must be rebuilt. Holes in the roof are patched and missing shingles are replaced. The restoration job is not finished until your building looks as good or better than it did before the storm.

A roof leak may cause a lot of damage, but that doesn't mean it can't be fixed. When you hire trusted professionals to restore your property, you can rest assured that the problem will be resolved.

The Best Tips for Saving Water-Damaged Valuables

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Best Tips for Saving Water-Damaged Valuables Living room water loss in a Buford,GA home

No matter what causes flooding in Buford, GA, your belongings may sustain damage due to water in the home. When valuable items become waterlogged, you want to do anything you can to salvage the items. Use these tips and turn to a trusted residential remediation team to get the best results possible.

1. Stop Mold Growth

Mold can be the death of a lot of personal possessions. During a broken pipe cleanup, you must make sure mold does not grow. You can do this by reducing the humidity level in your home and using disinfectants to clean the surface of some items.

2. Air Dry When Possible

Some valuable items may shrink or become discolored if dried too quickly after getting wet. Try to keep your possessions indoors while they dry. This can help stop the materials from cracking, warping or buckling.

3. Rinse With Fresh Water

Water in the home may be full of bacteria and other contaminants. You want to save as many of your belongings as possible, so make sure they're clean before you restore them. When appropriate, rinse objects with fresh water.

4. Use a Dry Method

Not all items can be cleaned with water or wet solutions. In these cases, use dry cleaning. This method allows you to wipe away silt and other debris to restore your valuables without inducing more damage by increasing the moisture intake.

5. Replace Damaged Pieces

Water can cause some items to weaken. If one of your valuables has broken pieces or detached parts, make sure to replace them before completing the repair. Failing to replace these parts could result in an unusable object.

Unexpected water in the home can cause a lot of damage to your belongings. Knowing how to clean up and when to call a professional after a flood may save you the expense of replacing furniture or other valuable items.

Steps of the Sewer Damage Cleaning Process

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Steps of the Sewer Damage Cleaning Process Water loss cleanup in commercial facility in Hamilton Mill, GA

If your commercial building in Hamilton Mill, GA, has sewer damage, the cleaning process is more involved than regular water damage. Because sewage is considered one of the more hazardous types of Category 3 water, extra precautions must be taken to deal with it safely. The following steps outline the sewer cleanup procedure taken by certified restoration technicians.

1. Wearing Personal Protective Equipment

Before entering the space affected by sewer backup, technicians must don their PPE. This includes coveralls that protect skin and face masks and respirators to protect eyes, noses, mouths and lungs. Waterproof gloves and rubber boots are worn to protect hands and feet.

2. Identifying Source of Problem

Before sewer cleanup can start, the problem must be identified and stopped. For example, a flooded toilet can be unclogged, and a broken pipe can be repaired. Once the source of the sewage has been thwarted, then the cleaning process begins.

3. Containing Items and the Area

Items that are affected by the sewage must be bagged for later assessment. The area must be sealed off from surrounding areas so that secondary damage does not occur.

4. Drying the Area

The standing water with sewage in it must be extracted from the area. Technicians will likely use industrial pumps to remove and contain the water. Then all surfaces must be dried.

5. Disinfecting the Area

Industrial strength cleaners that kill bacteria and harmful microbes are used to completely disinfect the area. Because sewage is such a harsh contaminant, surface testing must be completed to ensure that the cleaners worked.

6. Repairing Structure and Items

Walls, floors, ceilings and items that are destroyed must be thrown away. Everything else must be cleaned and repaired before people can enter the area again. For example, walls that were torn out must be replaced, and items that were dirty must be sanitized. Only then is the restoration complete.

If you need sewer cleanup in your building, there will be more steps than if the damage was from clean water. Knowing the process can help you understand the timeline for completing it.

Listen to Dave Matthews and Don’t Drink the Water: What You Need to Know about Black Water

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Listen to Dave Matthews and Don’t Drink the Water: What You Need to Know about Black Water Storm damage in a Suwanee, GA home

A flood can cause significant damage, but the most significant risk comes from standing water, especially when that water is considered black water. This type of water is created from above ground flooding and sewage backups, and it is considered contaminated and toxic to people and animals, causing both severe illness and even death. That being said, there are three levels of black water damage, each with varying degrees of severity.

1. Level I

At Level One, this type of contamination is limited to a single structure, and it typically affects a small area. Additionally, this type of water contamination is realized and resolved quickly. A restroom with an overflowing toilet is an example because the situations are usually fixed quickly, not allowing time for the water to penetrate the structure or other porous materials.

2. Level II

At level II, the damage is more significant than Level I because the exposure time and contaminated area are more significant. In this instance, there will likely be a need to remove any items, porous or nonporous, that touched the contaminated water, including furniture, drywall, carpeting, fabrics, and cabinets.

3. Level III

At level III, the water damage is extensive and was brought on by outside sources like city mains and septic systems and is further exacerbated by storm surges and the rising of rivers and streams. Level III usually has a longer incubation time, meaning that the water is filled with a mix of mold, viruses, bacteria, and sewage.

While saving money is tempting, cleaning up from a flood yourself is not always advisable as the water is now a dangerous substance. Check with the Suwanee, GA, municipality or your insurance provider for suggestions of local restoration specialists.

Black water damage at any level is dangerous. The mixture of sewage and other contaminants provides a significant health risk, and it should be avoided at all costs.

What You Should Throw Away When Dealing With Mold

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What You Should Throw Away When Dealing With Mold Mold damage in Buford, GA

Whether you have dealt with flood water in Buford, GA, or have recently discovered mold spores in your home, you should properly dispose of contaminated belongings. Mold is known for spreading quickly, and you’ll want to avoid that. This article lists what you should throw away and what you can preserve during the mold cleaning process.

Porous Objects

Any belongings that can easily soak up water can become a problem if you are dealing with mold damage. If these types of objects were affected by floodwater or mold, they should be thrown away. Here are a few items that are considered porous:

  • Mattresses
  • Furniture
  • Stuffed animals
  • Cardboard
  • Carpet

There are many other porous items that can get ruined when in contact with mold. However, clothes can be professionally cleaned and preserved.

Food Items

Food that is affected by mold should be thrown away. Mold has some dangerous qualities, and food can easily become contaminated by it. Plan on getting rid of all food items that have touched mold spores.

Sentimental Objects

Some porous belongings have great sentimental value, such as wedding albums, family pictures, or journals. Fortunately, these can be sanitized and preserved if you act quickly. As soon as you’ve noticed damage, place any items you wish to save in the freezer and contact a mold remediation professional. Most items can be partially or completely fixed.

Professional Opinions

Restoration experts can ultimately give you a final opinion on contaminated objects. A mold cleaning inspection can help professionals determine which objects are salvageable, and which should be gotten rid of. Once the inspection is complete, they can properly clean and sanitize everything with their specialized equipment.

Although many of your belongings might be damaged or ruined, you can be satisfied that the structure of your home will be restored to its pre-mold state. The mold cleaning process can protect you and prevent any more damage from occurring.

How to Respond to an Electrical Fire

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Respond to an Electrical Fire Fire damage on a facility in Hamilton Mill, GA

Sometimes a fire can erupt suddenly and unexpectedly. Common causes of an electrical fire may be difficult to detect in advance and include faulty outlets, wiring and appliances. Every business owner in Hamilton Mill, GA, can, however, train staff on proper extinguishing techniques and take several precautionary measures to reduce the likelihood of this type of fire.

Preventative Measures

The following three recommendations will help reduce the likelihood of an electronic device catching fire in your office:

  • Do not overload extension cords or use them for prolonged periods of time
  • Avoid running cords under rugs
  • Never tamper with plugs or attempt to remove prongs

Handling an Electrical Fire

A timely response to a fire can help minimize damage. Taking time to ensure your staff knows the proper procedures will enhance the safety of both your employees and your internal assets. To effectively respond to an electrical fire, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Unplug the affected appliance or computer
  • Switch off the device, if possible
  • Smother the fire with a blanket, jacket, Class C or multiple-purpose fire extinguisher
  • To prevent electrical shock, avoid spraying the object with water

Avoid Restarting Damaged Equipment

Once the fire is extinguished, do not attempt to plug in the device or start it. Water, grimy soot residue and damaged, exposed wiring present safety issues that can cause the unit to short.

Salvaging Equipment
To properly assess damaged equipment and determine its salvageability, each affected device needs to be dried and cleared of soot. Computer cleanup endeavors should also include disconnecting all cables as well as removing the hard drive and the battery, if the device is a laptop. You can also attempt to clear soot and dust from your computer’s internal components by using short bursts of compressed air.
Whether or not a device can be salvaged depends on how much heat and water the item was exposed to and the severity of the resulting damage to the circuits and wiring. Because the internal components of computers and other electrical devices are both intricate and delicate, you may wish to consult a professional restoration company for assistance repairing office equipment damaged in an electrical fire.