The Truth is, It's Everywhere
Let’s face it, mold is everywhere. It can be found indoors and outdoors. It can enter your home or business through windows, vents and HVAC systems. Mold from outdoors can attach to clothing, shoes, pets and can be carried indoors. It grows anywhere, especially where there is moisture. And the worst part is, it can cause a variety of health effects. Children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems are more likely to suffer the effects mold can have.
Mold’s Best Friend:
Water. Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours
Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation
Because mold is everywhere, removing all mold from your home or business is impossible. A qualified restoration company understand the science behind mold and mold growth and knows how to remediate the problem area. So what do you do when you find mold growth in your home or business?
- Step 1: Emergency Contact SERVPRO of Richmond 804.740.6151
- Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Step 3: Mold Containment
- Step 4: Air Filtration
- Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
- Step 7: Restoration
Everything You Need To Know For Power Outages
This summer, we have seen some major power outages across the nation. Power outages can not only be dangerous to you and your family, but they can also cause immense stress if you are not properly prepared.
According to ready.gov:
Before a Power Outage:
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
- Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan.
During a Power Outage
- Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
- If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
- Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.
If you experience a water damage after a storm, call SERVPRO of Richmond at 804.740.6151 to remediate your damage and restore you home to pre-storm damage condition.
Top 5 Most Common Causes of House Fires
Here are top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.
From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
- Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
- Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
- Electrical & Lighting
According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
- Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
- Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
- Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
- Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
- Dryers & Washing Machines
Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage.
- Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
- Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.
- Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.
You experience a fire in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Richmond at 804.740.6151
ERP for Your Commercial Building
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a free assessment of your commercial facility. It is designed to give you all the information you need in an event of an emergency. Our SERVPRO of Richmond Marketing Representatives will come to your facility and record the details and information on their iPads such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. It will also identify the line of command for authorizing work to begin as well as establishing who to call in case of an emergency. Our marketing representative will take pictures of all exits, stairwells, elevators, electrical room, alarm location, water and gas shut off locations and many other detailed information.
The ERP can be accessed through the free mobile app that can be downloaded from the app store. We will also print out a copy of the ERP, if requested, so you always have a hard copy in reach at your office. This service that we provide our clients is has proven to be very help in a fire or water disaster.
Call SERVPRO of Richmond today to inquire about an Emergency Ready Profile for your facility! This free assessment of your building will help save you time in an event of a disaster and established SERVPRO of Richmond as your fire and water mitigation and reconstruction provider!
Commercial Cleaning Services
If you are a business owner, or run a particular business that receives a lot of visitors and foot-traffic, you know how important it is to keep your business looking clean and in good shape. A lot of times, you don't have the time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office.
When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of Richmond for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.
SERVPRO of Richmond offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:
The Right Equipment for Fire Damages
We believe at SERVPRO of Richmond that the right tools for the job is vital to timely mitigation and restoration, but perhaps more important, SERVPRO of Richmond fire damage professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration. For instance, knowing the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns are vital to proper restoration.
- Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.
- Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, nonsmeary residues.
- Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs.
- Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.
Ultra Low Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that easily penetrates sites where odor-causing residues accumulate. The device can also be used to apply fungicides and disinfectants.
Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products in large volume, dense fogs suitable for confined areas. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that pair with and neutralize odor-causing particles.
How to Prevent Water Damage from Rain
Everyone loves the occasional summer thunderstorm - but it could cause major problems if rain water seeps into your home. One of the most common sources of water damage in a home is from rain water. It can enter through leaks in your roof, seeping in from the foundation, or even flooding into your basement. It is important to take the necessary steps to prevent water damage in your home such as:
Checking for proper drainage:
- inspect your roof thoroughly for structural damage or holes
- clear your gutters from leaves and other debris that could block the flow of water from draining into the yard
Install or Check Sump Pumps:
- sump pump are very effective for keeping rainwater out of your house
- have a professional check your sump pump to insure it is working properly once a year
Check sealant inside and outside foundation
- make sure the tar sealant covering the inner and outer sides of the foundation are intact
Inspect the slope of your lawn
- grading is the slope of your lawn and it should always slope away from your home to redirect the rainwater from flooding around the foundations
When you are dealing with storm, flood, and water damage, immediate action is crucial. You should choose the company with storm damage experience and expertise that has the resources and equipment to handle the job. SERVPRO of Richmond can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.
Commercial Sewage Cleanup and Restoration
Sewage back-ups and toilet overflows are some of the most common issues home and business owners can experience. Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness.
Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination. That’s why it is important to call the professionals who have over 30 years of experience cleaning up these types of issues. SERVPRO of Richmond understands that there are three major types of contaminated water and the necessary steps to handle each scenario. SERVPRO of Richmond will inspect that contaminated water to determine the type of water and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.
The Three Types of Water
Category 1: Clean Water
- Water from a clean source like a broken water line
- If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3
Category 2: Gray Water
- May contain bacteria and viruses - may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.
- Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated.
Category 3: Black Water
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
If your home or business experiences a sewage issue, it should be treated as quickly as possible. Call SERVPRO of Richmond at 804.740.6151 and our professionals will respond 24 hours a day for emergency services.
We Can Handle Any Size Disaster
Over the weekend a very well-known restaurant located in downtown Richmond went up in flames. The fire started in the second-floor kitchen late in the night and spread throughout the entire building. Even the basement was severely affected by fire, water and smoke damage. Our SERVPRO of Richmond crew quickly sprang into action to begin the cleanup process as soon as possible.
When SERVPRO of Richmond deals with a large commercial loss, organization and efficiency is key. As seen in the displayed picture, our crews carefully pack up affected contents and document each item that is packed into boxes. Everything that will be handled is recorded and packaged carefully to be transported back to the warehouse where they will be cleaned, sanitized and delivered back to the customer.
Because we are a 24-hour emergency service company, we can begin services as soon as the disaster strikes. We have the necessary tools and equipment, as well as a large group of professionals who know exactly what needs to be done to properly restore the commercial building.
Severe Weather - Tornado Season
Luckily, in Richmond, VA we do not experience the potential threats that tornadoes can have as often as other parts of the country. These places include the upper Mid-west, the northern and southern plains and the Gulf coast.
Tornado season usually refers to the time of year the U.S. sees the most tornadoes. The peak “tornado season” for the Southern Plains is during May into early June. On the Gulf coast, it is earlier during the spring. In the northern plains and upper Midwest, tornado season is in June or July. But, remember, tornadoes can happen at any time of year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4–9 p.m.
However, it is always a good idea to be prepared in case a disaster strikes. About 1,200 tornadoes hit the U.S. yearly. Since official tornado records only date back to 1950, we do not know the actual average number of tornadoes that occur each year. Plus, tornado spotting and reporting methods have changed a lot over the last several decades.
SERVPRO of Richmond will respond 24-hours a day to emergency fire and water services. We are a proud partner with the Red Cross and take part in cleaning up damages after a storm. SERVPRO of Richmond is also an extreme team, meaning we can travel across the country to assist with a storm damage or very large loss. We have the tools and the people who have experience in water, storm, fire damage restoration and we are always here to help.
A list of questions and answers about tornadoes can be found here