Mold Always Follows a Flood
Before you start the final restoration, you want to make certain that mold growth is no longer a problem.
Once a flood invades your home, the mold isn’t far behind. It won’t wait for the water to recede or for your home to dry out. In 24 to 48 hours you can expect that mold growth has begun and there is only so much you can do until the moisture is removed. Before you start the cleanup, contact your insurance agent and take pictures of the damage.
Following that, there are several things you can do to hurry the cleanup along.
• Eliminate standing water using pumps and wet/dry vacuums.
• Discard items in the flooded area that will not be restored.
• Send items that are to be restored out for restoration.
• Put undamaged items into storage to be brought back later.
• Treat wet areas with disinfectant to minimize the negative effects of bacteria.
• Tear out damaged sections of walls and floors but not structural components.
Remove the Moisture From What Remains
Typically, this means opening windows and operating fans to circulate the air and send the moisture out of the house. You can find nearby restoration specialists in Sanibel, FL, who will bring their experience and specialized equipment to help with the drying process.
It Is Never Too Soon to Start Looking for Mold
While this moisture removal is underway, use your eyes and nose to look for evidence of mold growth. Assume you will find some. A mold problem can be addressed even if your house Is still wet, but removal cannot be declared complete until the house is dry and carefully inspected. Also, bear in mind that mold needs to be removed. Covering mold with caulk or paint is not an effective method of control.
Don’t Finish the Restoration Until You Are Certain That the Mold Is Gone
Before you start the final restoration, you want to make certain that mold growth is no longer a problem. You didn’t go through all this effort only to bury mold behind walls and under floors. Your restoration specialists can help you determine that you are ready to complete the restoration.
Flooded Homes Have an Unpleasant Odor
The key to flood cleanup and the prevention of mold growth is knowing how to deal with the several different aspects of flood damage.
Although the smell of your flooded home in Estero Island, FL, may be repulsive, that is not your biggest problem. Your biggest problem has to do with the source of the odor. Frequently, that is mold growth. No two flooded homes have the same issues, but they all have things in common.
1. Floodwater Sets the Stage for a Massive Mold Problem
From a property damage perspective, this may be your biggest threat. If the odor you smell has a musty component to it, you may already be well on your way to a mold problem. The only way to remove the musty odor is to quickly dry out your home and remove any mold that has started to grow.
2. Sewage Backup Is a Serious Health Hazard
Sometimes, flood water will cause sewage to back up from the sewer system into your home. The pungent odor it brings with it is a reminder of the bacteria and other dangerous organisms that the sewage contains. It is a risk to humans and animals and can result in significant property damage and sewage system loss. Left untreated, sewage can also be the source of mold growth. This odor will not disappear until the sewage is removed and the affected areas are cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.
3. Floods Bring in Other Sources of Odor
When the water recedes, you can expect to find that the flood left just about everything imaginable behind including topsoil, garbage, and other debris. There may also be traces of gas, oil, and other petroleum residues. In small quantities, none of this poses a significant hazard. They can be easily cleaned up and deodorized.
The Foul Odors Are Gone, and a Fresh Smell Has Returned
The key to flood cleanup and the prevention of mold growth is knowing how to deal with the several different aspects of flood damage. Consider bringing in a team of local flood remediation specialists with the experience and equipment to do the job right. Your home will thank you for it.
Black Mold and Why It Shows Up in Homes
Remember, black mold is a living organism that lives in your home because it thrives in moist places.
Mold exists in many natural forms and is found naturally in indoor and outdoor environments. Most of the time, mold isn't a problem, but it can quickly develop into one when it spreads throughout Sanibel, FL, homes. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent black mold from spreading through your home.
1. Control Moisture
The most effective way to prevent and control the growth of black mold in your home is to keep moisture at bay. If you live in an area where humidity is consistently high, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier. Other steps you can take include immediately cleaning up any spilled or leaking water, keeping appliances and appliance filters clean and dry, clean and repair roof gutters, and remove condensation from windows. Make sure you have adequate ventilation wherever water is used in the home.
2. Guard Against Leaks
It isn't unusual for older pipes to weaken and develop leaks. You may find that your pipes burst during an especially hard winter. Learn as much as you can about the potential for leaks in your home and then take steps to prevent them. For example, removing hoses from the outdoor spigots and protecting spigots from winter weather is a good way to guard against flooding in the spring.
3. Respond Immediately to the Presence of Mold
If you do find that mold has developed in your home, act immediately to arrange for mold cleanup. This means thoroughly cleaning the area and then using appropriate cleaning materials to kill remaining mold spores. If drywall or carpeting was affected, you may need to contact mold remediation professionals for stronger cleanup measures.
Remember, black mold is a living organism that lives in your home because it thrives in moist places. You can take steps to prevent mold growth and there are many professional resources available for when mold gets out of hand. As soon as you notice mold, take steps to eliminate it for the long-lasting well-being of your home and family.
3 Reasons You May Have Noisy Pipes
Broken pipe in Estero Island, FL.
Three Possible Causes of Noisy Pipes
It can be unsettling to hear knocking, hammering or whistling coming from your walls. However, plumbing can get noisy as the years go by. You don't always have to suspect a pipe break when you hear a funny noise in the wall. Check out the three reasons for noisy pipes below.
1. Momentum Changes: If you're running a shower and quickly close the faucet, you may hear a clanging in your pipes. This is caused by the water's rapid change in speed. While not necessarily a problem by itself, the vibrations caused by the hammering can actually lead to loose pipes or a pipe break in extreme circumstances. You may be able to fix the problem in two ways. First, try to tighten or replace your straps. Second, install an anti-hammer device.
2. Obstructions: Blockages in your pipes can lead to a whistling sound whenever the water is forced past it. Distorted washers in valves, loose screws or sediment buildup could be a cause of an obstruction in your plumbing. You can fix the noise by locating where the whistling sound originates from, and then replacing the appropriate faucet washers and screws. If the blockage is somewhere within the pipe, you may have to worry about the possibility of a burst pipe should the obstruction grow. The best way to clean out the pipes is to call in a plumbing cleaning service.
3. High Pressure: If the water pressure in your Estero Island, FL, home is set too high, it can cause your pipes to become quite noisy. While the sound may be annoying, you should be more concerned about the potential problems it can cause. It may not cause a pipe burst, but it could damage your dishwasher, washing machine or other appliances. You can fix this issue by making sure your water pressure is set no higher than 80 pounds per square inch.
The pipes in your home may be noisy for a wide range of reasons. Some of the noises can even leave your plumbing vulnerable to a pipe break. It is important you fix a broken pipe as soon as you find the problem.
4 Reasons Mold Is Growing in Your Home
Black mold growth on an attic.
4 Causes of Mold Growth in Your Home
If you’re trying to rid your home of black mold, it’s critical that you identify the reason it’s growing there. Until you eliminate the conditions that nurture mold, it will continue to regrow after every mold cleanup, even when carried out by the best mold remediation experts in Sanibel, FL.
Mold can derive nutrition from almost anything, and its spores are found everywhere, which means it will grow any place there is sufficient moisture. Mold in your home is a sign that you have a moisture problem. Here are four of the most common sources of excess moisture that cause mold to thrive.
1. Broken Supply Lines and Water Pipes
A water pipe or supply line may have developed a leak inside your wall. If you notice mold growing in your bathroom, kitchen or any areas adjacent to rooms with fixtures, check your water bill to see if it’s gone up. If you suspect you have a leak, call in a plumber to take care of the problem.
2. High Humidity
If you live in an area with a humid climate, you may need to take extra precautions to prevent black mold from growing. Keep rooms well-ventilated, move furniture away from walls and invest in a good dehumidifier. You’ll need to keep the humidity inside your home below 60 percent (preferably below 50 percent) to keep mold at bay.
3. Past Flooding
If your home has flooded in the past, you may have failed to fully dry out the affected areas. Water-logged floors and walls should be handled with industrial dryers and fans. A water damage professional in Sanibel, FL, can ensure that your home is completely dried out to prevent mold growth.
If black mold is growing in your attic or around windows or doors, a leak may be allowing rainwater to seep inside, encouraging mold growth. Call in an experienced contractor to make necessary repairs.
Before you arrange for mold cleanup, make sure you tackle the source of the problem. An experienced mold specialist can help you identify the source of moisture if you’re having trouble doing it yourself.
Team Zubricki Wins Icon Bronze Award
Team Zubricki Wins Icon Bronze Award at 2021 SERVPRO Convention.
Team Zubricki Wins Icon Bronze Award
This last year was one for the record books. It was perhaps the most disorienting, difficult and wild year in our country's collective memory. And like every family and every other small business spread across this great land, we took everything that came our way in stride.
It’s true what they say, “difficult moments test people.” In 2020, we were tested, our culture, our commitments and our expertise. But over the course of this last year, we persevered to make the year count and to do what we do best, help those when they need it most.
And we are proud of that.
This last month SERVPRO Franchises from around the country gathered in Orlando, FL for our annual convention. Conventions are always a fun time; we see old friends, hear and share restoration war-stories and spend time hearing industry updates. But there’s also a moment for congratulations and awards. This year Team Zubricki received an award for our 2020 Sales Performance and ranked in the top 15 franchises in the country.
Yes, you did hear that correctly, Team Zubricki is a top 15 SERVPRO in the country. We are floored and excited because this is the culmination of hard work, perseverance and tenacity.
Please celebrate with us as we revel in a job well done. We appreciate each one of you, our team members who fought hard and our friends who’ve trusted us with their emergency restoration and professional cleaning needs.
2021 is already partly over and we are full steam ahead.
To another great year!
Testing Your Business for Invisible Mold
Mold grows anywhere moisture and oxygen both reside. This is often visible in areas such as near water pipes, on carpet or near walls. If there is a strange musty smell or water damage but no mold to be seen, you may have mold lurking somewhere out of sight. Leaving it unattended allows it to spread everywhere it can and become more of a nuisance. Luckily, an indoor environmental specialist can assist in locating any mold at your business.
Where Water Runs, Mold Can Hide
Mold growth can be in unknowingly wet areas of your commercial property. There are several locations where mold often hides:
- Behind wallpaper
- Behind removable panels
- Above ceiling tiles with leaky pipes or roofing
- Under carpet or padding
- Under porous liners of ducts
- Around drain pains inside the building’s HVAC
- Behind mostly stationary furniture
While it is hard to identify these by sight, a professional mold test is adequate for figuring out which hiding place your mold problem has chosen.
Specialists Who Know Mold Can Find It
With scientific protocols, mold can be found by an indoor environmental specialist no matter where it is. Using technology such as a digital hygrometer, the specialist evaluates the moisture in the air around porous building materials such as drywall and wood.
If the hygrometer is not enough to locate the problem, he or she will use an infrared camera to look for hidden moisture with thermal imaging. The specialist’s methodology and expert use of the tools will locate the mold to allow you to act upon the problem.
Experts Who Know Mold Can Eradicate It
Once the indoor environmental specialist has identified the problem, the burden of cleanup falls back to you. Fortunately, there are professional mold cleanup companies that can ensure the area is free of mold and remains inhabitable to further mold growth. Mold should only be invisible at your Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, business, not because you don’t know it’s there. It should be invisible because it’s nonexistent.
How To Tackle Fire and Water Damage
Fire cleanup is a job for an experienced and professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Sanibel/Ft Myers Beach.
How Deal With Fire and Water Damage
The fire at your house in Estero Island,FL is blazing out of control. You watch from the street as the fire hose saturates your home with 1200 gallons of water per minute. You breathe a sigh of relief as the fire is extinguished. Now you face a new challenge, a combination of fire damage and water damage. To combat this disastrous duo, take the following steps to return your home to pre-fire condition.
It is overwhelming when you first see the destruction in your house. You recognize that you cannot clean up the mess yourself. Who do you call?
• Contact the insurance agency that holds your homeowner’s policy. Inform the agent of the damage and discuss coverage and next steps.
• Call an emergency fire and water restoration company. The specialists typically arrive at your home within hours to inspect and assess the damage, day or night.
• Before restoration efforts begin, the specialists may board up windows and/or place a tarp on the roof to secure your property and prevent further damage.
Firefighters use a significant amount of water to snuff the inferno, leaving your home drenched. What steps do water restoration specialists take to properly dry your home?
• Wet/dry vacuums and pumps extricate flooding and excess water from the house.
• Industrial strength dehumidifiers and air movers remove moisture from walls and floors.
The fire is gone, but the soot and smoke remains. How do fire restoration specialists clean and deodorize your house?
• Specialized equipment is used to remove smoke and soot from walls, ceilings and floors.
• Fogging equipment and air scrubbers remove smoke odors from the source.
It is heartbreaking to see your home in Estero Island, FL engulfed in flames. The aftermath of water and fire damage is equally hard to face. Work with your insurance agent and a fire and water restoration specialist to return your home to preloss condition and resume your life.
Locating Bathtub and Shower Pan Leaks
A dry home is a happy one.
Locating Bathtub and Shower Pan Leaks
Water damage in your Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, home can be a major inconvenience and expense, but keeping an eye out for a shower or bathtub leak can nip this potential problem in the bud. Training yourself to think like a professional home inspector can be a smart strategy in maintaining your home’s integrity.
Inspecting the Bathtub
Some leaks are easy to spot. However, there are others that can take a bit of detective work to pinpoint.
- Faucets that drip can be readily seen and sometimes heard.
- Grout can crack and shrink, which can allow water to infiltrate construction materials.
- Overflow drains have gaskets that can crack with age and hide a leak.
- The tub itself can develop a leak. A bathtub leak of this kind is uncommon but can be detected by wrapping dry newspaper around the exterior before filling it.
Inspecting the Shower
Whether your home has a tiled shower or a prefabricated stall, a shower pan leak is a potential source of water damage. Routine examination of a few vital spots will likely keep water where it is supposed to be.
- Check connections between the grout, tile and base of the shower. Resealing grout and caulking connections can prevent water intrusion.
- Inspect the threshold, also known as the dam, thoroughly. Traffic can create wear, and expansion and contraction can create openings.
- Check the drain connection in the shower floor to ensure proper alignment. Keep it clear of hair and other debris.
Benjamin Franklin’s adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is overall great advice when applied to maintaining your home or investment properties, especially when the “cure” involves your hard-earned money. The intrusion of water into construction materials through a shower or bathtub leak is not only unsightly and destabilizing but also can create health and safety hazards.
Inspecting your dwelling routinely can offer significant peace of mind. A dry home is a happy one.
5 Tips To Keep Kids (or Irresponsible Adults) from Setting Your Kitchen on Fire
The aftermath of a kitchen fire in Estero Island, FL.
Tips To Prevent a Kitchen Fire In Your Home
In Estero Island, FL, you would prefer to avoid any sort of fire damage to your home, which is why you have that ban on anyone stepping foot into your kitchen who isn’t you. As time goes on, however, and you make friends or maybe even a family, it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep troublemakers out. Luckily, there are five easy tips to prevent you from having to meet a firefighter the embarrassing way:
1. Your kitchen should have a working fire extinguisher and smoke detector. Make sure smoke detectors are tested monthly and batteries replaced as needed. The fire extinguisher should be kept in a secure, but easily accessible place. Get 100 percent comfortable with how to use your extinguisher so that you can do so in the heat of the moment.
2. Avoid baggy clothing and draping sleeves. Aside from clothing catching fire, baggy clothing can result in tripping or getting caught on things, which is a fire risk as well.
3. Ensure flammable items and fabrics never sit too close to the stove. One of the best tips is to choose oven mitts over towels to move pots and pans from stovetops or the oven.
4. To prevent a grease fire, clean your stove often to avoid the buildup of grease in or around the stove. Always use proper-sized pots and pans for whatever you’re cooking, especially if you’re using cooking oil.
5. Never leave the house while cooking and avoid even leaving the room if possible. If children (or irresponsible adults) are in the kitchen, they should always be well-supervised. It is better to keep them away from the stove or oven, but at least ensure they are given one-on-one attention from an adult who is directing and standing close.
Fires in the kitchen may be difficult to entirely prevent, but armed with the right knowledge, you can keep them rare and more easily maintained. There are many resources out there to use so you can keep your home intact and don’t have commit to solitary cooking for the rest of your life. Utilizing the tips above, you should be ready to start allowing people into your kitchen again.