Are Home Mold Testing Kits Accurate?
Your best option to test for mold is to find a qualified environmental hygienist.
When you suspect you have mold in your home, you may try an off-the-shelf home mold testing kit. The problem is that no matter where you go in your home, the kit returns a positive and doesn’t help you find where the mold is — if you even have a mold problem. So are home kits really accurate, or are you better off finding a Stillwater, OK, mold remediation specialist?
Why Home Testing Kits Don’t Work
The truth is that off-the-shelf home mold testing kits don’t have what it takes to accurately test for mold. They just aren’t made to the same standard or with the same capabilities as professional mold kits. DIY mold remediation often doesn’t work because:
• Mold is everywhere in your home, even if the spores haven’t propagated into an active infestation. They’re still present in the air at all times, and a home mold kit will detect this.
• Home mold testing kits aren’t sensitive enough to differentiate between concentrations of mold spores that would indicate a heavier infestation in one particular area.
• Home kits often can’t sense mold in isolated, secluded areas.
• Home kits may tell you that you have a mold problem when you don’t, or they may tell you that mold spore saturation in the environment is so uniform that you don’t have a problem. In actuality, you could have hidden mold waiting to spread throughout your home.
So How Can I Test for Mold?
Your best option to test for mold is to find a qualified environmental hygienist. Environmental hygienists possess professional training and sensitive equipment capable of detecting mold in ways a home mold kit cannot. The techniques they use for mold detection can uncover hidden infestations in surprising places a home kit would never pick up on. Environmental hygienists can also provide accurate information on safety and mold remediation, as well as mold prevention. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
3 Methods For Maintaining Your Furnace
To prevent hazards that could result in fire cleaning, following these useful methods for maintenance can go a long way.
While many things in your Stillwater, OK, home require consistent cleaning and maintenance on a regular basis, there are some areas that fall by the wayside — like your furnace. Though you depend on it to keep you and your family comfortable, giving it proper treatment and ensuring its efficiency is rarely the first thought on people’s minds. Here are three methods for maintaining your furnace from here on out, preventing any potential issues that could result in costly professional fire cleaning in the future.
1. Depending on the type of filter in your furnace, make sure to clean or inspect it on a frequent basis. Different types of filters ask for varying levels of maintenance, such as fiberglass filters needing a change once a month or electronic air-cleaner filters that only need a sprucing up every other month. Verify which type your furnace uses and keep it consistently monitored to prevent any dust and debris buildup.
2. Keep an eye on the state of the furnace’s pilot light. Before the hottest or coldest months out of the year arrive, checking on the functionality of your furnace is key. This means verifying that your pilot light is burning regularly. Though some lights can be relit by hand using the instructions inside the access door, it’s best to call upon professionals if the process requires steps you’re unsure about.
3. Have specialized technicians perform an annual inspection. Most newer models need only be inspected once a year, but if issues regarding the device’s performance are in question, contacting professionals is a smart option. They can check to ensure problems like ventilation or corrosion are properly addressed, while also handling any fire cleaning or smoke cleaning after an accident that could result due to poor maintenance over time.
Like anything else in your Stillwater, OK, residence, the home’s furnace requires support and maintenance regularly to sustain efficient use and safe-keeping. To prevent hazards that could result in fire cleaning, following these useful methods for maintenance can go a long way. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
Mold Keeps Coming Back: Why Didn’t Bleach Work?
You spot mold on the bathroom wall and spray it with the leading mold killing spray with the active ingredient bleach. You got it, right? Wrong.
You spot mold on the bathroom wall and spray it with the leading mold killing spray with the active ingredient bleach. You got it, right? Wrong. Pretty soon, the mold is back, so why was the fungus cleanup unsuccessful?
Important Points About Mold Prevention and Cleanup
Bleaching mold does not get rid of mold. If you look at your cleaner, you will likely see it specifies the surface must be “non-porous” (i.e. glass). If you use bleach, it is over 90 percent water. The chlorine evaporates quickly, leaving the water behind to soak into the porous surface. Here are some more points to consider:
• To reduce mold growth, you should eliminate moisture quickly.
• It helps to maintain a humidity level at less than 45 percent.
• Mold growth often begins as rapidly as 48 hours on a wet surface.
• Cleanup mold on non-porous surfaces with detergent and water per EPA (it does not recommend bleach).
• Wiping off surfaces, especially porous surfaces such as walls, does not get rid of mold because of its root system.
The Root of the Problem
Mold spores float in the air, indoors and outdoors. They settle on surfaces, including your clothes, as you walk in and out of your house throughout the day.
Mold is a naturally occurring type of fungus. It is microscopic but can become visible when conditions are right for growth. When a mold spore lands on a wet surface that is porous, it roots into that surface quickly, which can make your fungus cleanup more difficult. If mold keeps coming back after you have cleaned it, then it was not just a surface problem, or the conditions are just right for the mold to grow (or both). Keep in mind, Stillwater, OK, and its surroundings may contribute to your building’s mold susceptibility.
Finishing the Job
If you made the decision to call an expert to address your need for fungus cleanup, then make sure to choose a qualified professional with certification specifically for mold remediation. A professional typically has the experience, tools and knowledge needed to get the job done. Now you can tackle the next item on your to-do list. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
Cleaning Up Your Business Post-Flood: 2 Reasons You Shouldn't Wait
No matter what one does to prepare, unfortunate accidents can occur at anyone’s business.
No matter what one does to prepare, unfortunate accidents can occur at anyone’s business in Stillwater, OK. Should a pipe burst, for example, it can cause major flooding throughout the entire building. The business owner, upon discovery, may feel that it is not always necessary to respond right away. After all, the damage has already been done. The building is flooded, and goods have already been damaged or destroyed: What is the point of immediate action? Would it really be harmful to take a few days to come up with a game plan?
It may not seem like a big deal, but it can be imperative that the business owner deal with his or her building’s damages as soon as possible. If one were to procrastinate dealing with the damages to his or her building that resulted from the flooding, there are two major damage concerns of which he or she should be aware.
When a building is flooded, direct damage caused by the water is the obvious primary concern. However, one may overlook the secondary source of damage post-flood: humidity. The humid conditions that are created by the burst pipe can be responsible for making an environment in which mold can grow.
2. Mold Growth
If a pipe burst in a building, time is often of the essence when it comes to preventing the growth of mold. Mold can grow when water has been sitting for as few as 24 hours. Many organizations recommend drying the affected building quickly, within 24-48 hours, to prevent the growth of mold. It is generally a good idea to utilize a 24-hour emergency cleanup service to avoid irreparable damage.
If a pipe burst and caused flooding in one’s place of business, he or she should not hesitate when it comes to mold cleanup and prevention. Fast action with a quality cleanup service can prevent massive damage, saving the owner both time and money in the long run. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
6 Shutter Styles You May Need for Your Home
Having your home protected with hurricane window coverings can also save you money in the long run by lowering your insurance premiums.
If you live in an area that is prone to hurricane and high winds, such as Stillwater, OK, you can mitigate potential damage to your home and protect family by installing storm shutters. Having your home protected with hurricane window coverings can also save you money in the long run by lowering your insurance premiums.
Many types of hurricane window coverings are available. Here are just a few of the more popular options.
Plywood may not be pretty. However, it is usually an inexpensive, readily available option that can cost less than $1 per square foot of window space.
2. Storm Panels
Storm panels are often an economical option that may only need to be installed if a hurricane is imminent. The cost for these panels is $7-$15 per window.
Accordion-style window coverings can be stored folded up in a box that is secured to one side of the window. They can then be manually unfolded to cover the window when needed. These shutters often cost $15-$25 per square foot of window space.
4. Bahama Awnings
Bahama awnings can provide shade as well as protect windows from damage by high winds. These shutters can be installed on the tops of windows to provide awnings, and then can be unlatched when you need to cover the window. These coverings may cost about $15-$20 per square foot.
These window coverings are typically installed in a box bolted above the window. A cranking mechanism unrolls the shutters across the length of the window, and then they are bolted down at the bottom. They can also provide effective insulation, helping to save costs of heating or cooling a home at a cost of $20-$30 per square foot of window area.
Colonial storm shutters are usually mounted permanently on either side of a window and bolted in place. When needed, they can be unfolded to cover the window. Colonial-style window coverings cost about $200-$500 per window.
Expecting stormy weather? The next time high winds are forecast in your area, you can have peace of mind when you have quality window coverings installed for your home. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
3 Reasons Your Toilet May Leak When Flushed
A leaking toilet in your Stillwater, OK home can be troublesome, especially if it leaks each time you flush. Over time, your bathroom floor can suffer water damage or mold may start to grow around the tank if the area is constantly wet. There may be several reasons for the leak; however, some may be surprisingly simple to fix on your own.
1. Failed Seal
If the base of your toilet is consistently damp or if new puddles form when you flush it, this is usually the result of a failed wax seal at the bottom of the unit. This can be a common cause of leaks in older toilets, but you may be able to fix it by using a wrench to tighten the bolts at the base of your bowl. If the toilet leaks again when you perform a test flush, the wax gasket may need to be replaced.
2. Broken Flange
A bathroom leak can be caused by a broken flange underneath your toilet. This repair can be challenging, as you will have to remove the entire toilet to change the flange, but careful preparation can simplify it. The flange is located underneath the wax ring, which you will have to remove as well. A new flange and ring can be purchased at your local plumbing or home hardware outlet.
3. Loose Unit
Sometimes the fix for a leaking toilet can be quite simple. For example, if the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor have loosened over the years, it may leak when flushed. To repair this issue, loosen the bolts the rest of the way, press down on the unit to make a tighter seal with the wax gasket, then bolt the unit down securely. You may want to call in a flood cleanup and mold remediation company to have your bathroom checked and treated for mold.
A leaking toilet in your Stillwater, OK home is cause for concern. However, the problem may not be as severe as you think, and knowing why these leaks are happening can help you repair them as quickly as possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com for more information on water damage.
Nobody Wants To Deal With Cleaning Bathroom Mildew
Sure, you can close the shower curtain when guests come over. Maybe they won’t see the designer bathroom mildew you have growing between your shower tiles. It’s not like your bathroom isn’t clean. It may just be that your warm bathroom and excess moisture from lack of ventilation is causing you to have a humidity problem. Since it only takes mildew less than 48 hours to settle in and begin to grow in this kind of environment, you are racing against time after every cleaning. If you find that this issue has become overwhelming or if it has accelerated in growth, you may consider contacting a professional cleaning and restoration company in Stillwater, Ok for some help.
Nobody Thinks It’s Fun
The whole donning of the gloves and clothes that you don’t mind ruining so you can clean the bathroom mildew from the shower is not a fun chore. Here are some tips for cleaning that may help you through this less-than-joyful process:
• Spray the entire bath and shower with a preferred cleaner and soak for five minutes
• Scrub all of the grout, caulking and drain area with a wire or nylon brush to loosen the mildew, and scour the bathtub with a sponge and rinse
• Spray and soak all grout and caulked areas with a 10-percent solution of bleach and water for 10 minutes
• Scrub and rinse again
Nobody Wants It To Come Back
The idea behind this cleaning method is to brush loose the pieces of mildew, then completely clean and rid the area of the substance as thoroughly as possible. There may still be stains on the grout that remain, and these may take follow-up cleaning to restore the surface completely. Keeping your bathroom void of excess humidity will help in between cleanings.
Bathroom mildew may not be a fun subject, but with proper cleaning and maintenance, you may be able to keep it under control. Keep your cleaning tools handy and your bathroom air dry so your shower area won’t be something to hide. Visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com for more information on mold.
How Does Heavy Rain Cause Sewage Backup?
You were already worried about flooding from a heavy storm, but suddenly from the lower levels or basement of your building, you catch the tell-tale stench of black water. You have a sewer backup, but how do backups happen after storms? How can you prevent your Stillwater, OK sewer lines from flooding your building?
1. Too Much Rain Water
The reason that a sewer backup happens is that the city sewage lines are often overflowing with rain water after a storm. Because the sewage lines cannot contain any more water, they begin to back up into everything from sinks to bathtubs, and they can overflow with disturbingly odious black water. Sometimes, the problem is mild, and sometimes, it can be severe enough to require evacuation of a building.
2. When Older Buildings Suffer
Older buildings are particularly vulnerable to more severe flood damage and backup from the sewer. Soil erosion and soil softening can make the foundations of older buildings more vulnerable, and the pipes often have less integrity. A backup can lead to a pipe bursting or can seep through weakened foundations to completely flood the basement level of a building.
3. Play It Safe
If you have contaminated water coming up through your drains, don’t try to brush it off. Black water is enormously unsanitary, containing fecal matter and bacteria. Do not try to use the faucets. Exit the building and immediately contact the city to let them know the city’s main sewer lines are compromised and backing up into your building.
4. Keep It Clean
One of your first priorities after dealing with sewer backup should be cleanup once the sewer mains have stopped overflowing. If you need to hire professionals to ensure sanitation, they may be able to provide you with more intensive options for deep cleaning and removing any contaminated water. Black or gray water can lead to mold growth, so be careful when entering the building after a sewage backup flood. Visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com for more information on commercial storm damage.
How To Know If There Is Mold on Your Property
Mold is extremely dangerous. If there are adequate conditions around your building, then mold can develop in just 24 to 48 hours. The only way to be positive one way or the other is to hire an indoor environmental specialist in Stillwater, OK, to test the surroundings for the fungi. A professional mold test is the only way to know for certain whether there is mold growth. However, you may be able to tell for yourself.
1. Signs To Look For Yourself
You may be able to see mold develop with your own eyes. You may see small green or brown blotches in a certain room. Most property owners chalk this up to being dirt, but you should take action just in case it ends up being mold.
You need to be particularly wary if these blotches are accompanied by a strong, musty odor. This odor will most likely upset your sinuses and respiratory functions.
2. Signs a Professional Will Look Out For
Calling an indoor environmental specialist will be your best bet for addressing mold in a timely manner. While most property owners are concerned about the cost of hiring a professional, it is much better to pursue this route than potentially spend a lot more in the long run because the mold grew even more. The overall cost will depend on the size of the property because the specialist will need to test every single area.
Tell your professional if there was water damage recently. Mold typically grows in rooms where there has been a leak. However, flooding from the rain or even excessive condensation can exacerbate a mold problem.
Fortunately, you can know exactly how much you will need to spend after a free consultation with your indoor environmental specialist. You will receive an itemized list, so you can plan accordingly and keep your commercial building in excellent condition.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com.
Home Safety After Storm Damage
Is your home safe after storm damage?
Are you suffering from storm damage? Do you have roof damage from high winds?
The first thing you need to do is make an emergency call to a home restoration company that specializes in storm mitigation so they can start the process of storm remediation. Do this before trying to clean your home by yourself. Wind damage may have caused your home to flood and have electrical damage. Be sure that your home is safe before entering.
River flooding and rain flooding can cause ground water to enter your home. These flood waters may carry an electrical current. It is best to let a storm damage and river flooding water restoration company deal with it first.
There is more information about storm restoration on our website www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com.