The Best Ways To Banish Mold Odor
Mold odors will linger and intensify as long as mold is growing in a structure.
Mold odor can be persistent, but this telltale smell usually indicates the presence of growing mold. Microbial volatile organic compounds released during the fungal growth cycle cause mold odor, not spores or mycotoxin. Here are the best ways to eliminate the source of a musty odor at a residence in Stillwater, OK.
Eliminate Mold Growth
The odor of mold originates with mVOCS. Here are a few types of off-gases released as byproducts of the metabolic cycle of fungi:
When you smell a moldy odor, you are picking up on the presence of these substances and similar compounds. Mold remediation involves removing colonies and cutting off food and moisture sources that enable fungi to multiply.
Run a HEPA Air Filter
A high-efficiency particulate air filter can eliminate mold spores and mVOCs from indoor air. Some filters connect to a central HVAC system, while others can be run in affected areas.
HEPA filters may not eliminate every trace of mycotoxin. It is important to use EPA-approved cleanup methods for toxic mold. Toxigenic species may leave behind more dangerous traces than an undesirable odor.
Do a Deodorizing Treatment
Deodorizing treatments such as thermal fogging and generating ozone or hydroxyl may be helpful after mold cleanup. These treatments work by neutralizing odor particles lingering in the air and on surfaces.
A deodorizing treatment will eliminate musty odors without addressing the source. It is important to thoroughly clean up mold in affected areas and the HVAC system for odor treatments to have lasting results.
Mold odors will linger and intensify as long as mold is growing in a structure. Getting rid of odors requires removing colonies and eliminating the factors that lead to growth. Depending on the type of mold, the severity of an infestation and whether mycotoxin is present, homeowners should rely on mold remediation professionals based in their city and state.
Making Sure Your Company is Disaster Prepared
Offer courses in first aid and CPR
Disasters come in many forms and not being prepared for them can make business recovery slower. Disaster preparedness in Stillwater, OK, should be a staple in the operations of your business. Disaster and business preparedness means your business can bounce back more quickly to help keep the economy strong.
Disasters That Can Happen at Your Business
There are many important areas for disaster preparedness. The type of proactive measures your business takes will largely depend on the industry. Some disaster precautions that are useful to all businesses include
- Fire safety
- Medical emergencies
- Tornado Warnings
- Evacuation plans
Some businesses operate with toxic materials or may need increased cyber security. Have a plan for what action to take in the case contaminants are released into the air or someone hacks into your system.
Caring for Employees
During a disaster, medical emergencies can happen. Make sure your employees know where to find the first-aid kit, and offer courses in first aid and CPR. While an employee is not required to disclose any medical condition they may have to their employer, encouraging them to do so may help other employees understand an issue they are facing in an emergency.
When Disaster Strikes
In the event that a disaster occurs your employees will know the safest part of the facility because you prepared a disaster plan. If a tornado is about to strike, you will have identified a central location without windows where employees can take cover. If there is toxic danger and an area needs to be sealed off, employees will know where to gather so everyone can be accounted for.
After a disaster does occur, never attempt to clean the disaster yourself. The environment could be hazardous, such as electric lines down, or mold present after flooding. Hire a team that is trained to handle this type of clean up.
Having a disaster preparedness plan in place for each of these situations can help employees make critical decisions more quickly, and can also help keep them safe. Start yours today.
How Does Heavy Rain Cause Sewage Backup?
Sewer clogged after heavy rain in Stillwater, OK
How Do Backups Happen After Storms?
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 rainwater 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. Blackwater 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.
Top 4 Mold FAQs
It's a good idea to hire remediation experts to help take care of any mold growth you may be experiencing.
Black mold is a relatively common issue for many homeowners. Despite this, many new homeowners aren't quite sure how to tackle the problem, as it can be embarrassing to talk about. Arm yourself with knowledge and study the following frequently asked questions to help fight off mold growth in your home in Stillwater, OK.
1. What Does Mold Look Like?
The most common type of residential mold is black mold. Like the name suggests, this fungus is typically black or green in color and may have a fuzzy or slimy texture. It looks just like a dark stain on the surface of an object.
2. Where Does Mold Commonly Appear?
Mold thrives in dark, moist environments. Any area in your house that comes into frequent contact with water, such as your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room, is at risk for mold growth. If your home has recently suffered any type of water damage, you're likely to find mold growing in that same area as well.
3. How Do You Prevent Mold?
Keeping your house as clean and dry as possible is the best way to prevent mold. High humidity environments are very inviting for mold spores, so make sure to carefully monitor indoor humidity levels. Clean and dry any liquid spills immediately to keep from attracting mold.
4. Does Mold Go Away By Itself?
Mold is a living organism, so it's natural to assume that depriving it of its basic survival needs could kill it. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Depriving the mold of the moisture and nutrients it needs to grow might temporarily prevent it from spreading, but it won't make it go away.
Black mold is an extremely common issue for many residential homeowners and certainly isn't anything to be ashamed about. Unfortunately, it is also quite tenacious so it's a good idea to hire remediation experts to help take care of any mold growth you may be experiencing.
Simple Ways To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Building
Research your climate
Mold Prevention Strategies
Water damage to your Perry, OK, property can lead to mold growth. That is why any wet areas should be dried immediately. Quick mitigation will reduce the chances of mold harming the floors or walls.
Yet this is not the only way to limit the spread of mold. Below are some additional mold prevention strategies you can enact in your buildings.
1. Consider Mold-Resistant Products
The next time you renovate your property, try using sheet rock or drywall that resists mold damage. Since paperless drywall is water resistant, it is particularly useful in kitchens, bathrooms and other wet areas.
2. Maintain Low Humidity
Even if your property has no major water damage, humid air alone can encourage the development of mold. You should thus keep indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent at all times. You can buy a moisture meter to measure the humidity level in the building. You should also watch out for condensation on walls or windows, as this could be a sign that the humidity is too high.
3. Research Your Climate
Southern states and northern states have humidity problems at different times of the year. You should keep these variances in mind when enacting your mold prevention strategy. Make sure that your plan is specifically tailed to the weather in Perry, OK.
4. Check the Gutters
Roof leaks are a common cause of mold damage. That’s because clogged gutters often force excess water back into the building. You should thus have the gutters cleaned and inspected regularly.
By addressing water damage immediately and following the above steps, you can limit the growth of mold in your property. Still, even if you have a solid prevention plan, mold could still end up in your carpet, walls, or floors. Mold remediation professionals should clean up a contaminated building quickly so you and your employees can get back to work.
Commercial Water - Choosing a Water Damage Restoration Specialist
Commercial water damage in Guthrie, OK
If your Guthrie, OK, business suffers water damage, there are a variety of other problems that may follow, including mold growth. Understanding the water clean up process can help ensure your commercial building is properly cared for every step of the way.
Choosing a Specialist
Because water damage can quickly lead to mold growth, it is important to begin drying the property as soon as possible. If you choose to hire a professional to help with this task, the following are some important qualities to look for:
- Quick response time
Many professionals adhere to the standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC has been developing high-quality best practices for the restoration industry for over 45 years. If a professional is IICRC-certified, he or she has the knowledge to complete the water clean up job properly and safely. For water damage to commercial buildings, a professional who has completed the IICRC’s Commercial Drying Specialist courses will have knowledge of the intricacies involved in commercial water damage restoration that other professionals may lack. However, all the knowledge in the world won’t save your property if the restoration team does not respond quickly enough to prevent further damage. A key sign of integrity and professionalism is a company responding in the time frame they give you and keeping you apprised of any changes.
Whether the damage results from a broken pipe, a leaky roof or any other source, the restoration process follows the same basic outline. Standing water is removed using pumps or vacuums. Remaining moisture is dried using fans and dehumidifiers. Affected items are sanitized, and damaged items are repaired. Items that cannot be cleaned, dried and properly repaired are replaced.
Depending on the severity of the damage, business owners may be able to perform the water clean up process themselves. However, an IICRC-certified restoration service can provide valuable assistance, especially in more severe cases.
Limit Business Interruptions by Being Prepared for Anything
A water loss can significantly impact a business, but owners don’t have to go it alone.
If flooding happens at your Stillwater, OK, business, the costs go beyond repairing the damage. Depending on how much water has infiltrated the property, you could be faced with large water damage, which may mean having to temporarily close down and relocate. That lost revenue has the potential to have devastating consequences. Having business interruption insurance can help ease some of the burdens, but being prepared for any type of disaster is the first step to minimizing losses.
Steps to Reduce Interruptions
While something like a broken pipe may be a sudden and unexpected occurrence, there are ways to reduce the risk of that kind and other incidents from affecting your bottom line. The first step is identifying potential risks to develop a mitigation plan. Once those are established, there are three methods to containing them.
Prevention – Identify ways to prevent damage from happening. If located in an area prone to flooding, consult experts on waterproofing a business. If a plumbing system is aged, consider replacing it.
Deterrence – Although not necessarily related to water issues, taking steps to deter potential criminal activities may keep insurance costs down, as well as provide peace of mind.
Mitigation – The truth is that some things are unavoidable. If Mother Nature brings on torrential rains and flooding, there is no way to control it. Knowing that it can happen and planning before that situation arises will better solidify the property and ensure a safe evacuation if necessary.
Develop a Solid Plan
Understanding risks and the potential cost, such as lost income or increased expenses, can give you a leg up if an emergency situation arises. Developing a communication and emergency plan helps ensure a smoother process in dealing with flooding or other potentially devastating events. Part of that is also completely understanding your coverage and what will happen if a claim is made.
A water loss can significantly impact a business, but owners don’t have to go it alone. Being prepared beforehand via having insurance, identifying risks and potential solutions, and finding trusted water mitigation and restoration expert can reduce the loss.
Mitigating the Damage From a Storm
Fallen tree damage in Navina, OK
Ways To Mitigate Wind Damage
Many homeowner's insurance policies will require that you mitigate any damage to your Navina, OK, home after a storm. This means that it is your responsibility to take measures to prevent any further damage to your home after a severe storm. Here are several ways you can mitigate any wind damage until storm restoration professionals can get to your home.
1. Broken Skylight or Windows
If you have holes in your skylights or windows from flying objects during the storm, you should cover them with a sheet of plastic. This will prevent any water from entering your home and causing more damage to its interior.
2. Leaks in the Roof
When your roof starts leaking due to a storm, you need to cover any areas with damaged, loose, or missing boards with a tarp immediately. If it is still raining outside or you cannot get onto your roof for another reason, you should put buckets underneath the leaks to prevent any further water damage to your home. Remember to have a contractor out to fix your roof damage as soon as possible, otherwise, water can enter and cause issues with your home's structure. Your insurance company will almost always reimburse you for this expense.
3. Damaged Siding
Damaged siding is another reason to break out your tarp. If you notice any damaged, loose, or missing pieces of siding, cover them with a tarp immediately to prevent further damage to the interior of your home. Like roof damage, issues with your siding can lead to problems with the structure of your home.
4. Fallen Tree Damage
If a tree has fallen on your home, the first step is to have it removed immediately. Then, tarp the damaged area to prevent water from entering your house and causing further issues.
To keep your home safe from further damage after a storm, you will need to cover most issues with plastic or a tarp until qualified personnel can get to the scene. Whether it is severe roof damage or a broken skylight, covering the issue will prevent water from entering your home and causing structural problems.
Avoid Mold After a Flood
Although mold growth may not immediately come to mind after unwanted water enters the home, it needs to move up the priority list.
If dealing with flooding in your Stillwater, OK, home, the number of things to worry about seems to be endless. Alongside the water damage, insurance claims, and destruction of personal belongings, there is another concern that needs immediate action: mold growth. Floodwaters in a home with organic material and warm temperatures produce the perfect environment for this fungus to flourish, and it does so quickly.
A Fast Grower
Mold is actually everywhere, it is just usually lying dormant waiting for the right conditions to flourish. Once that comes together, the timeline for an infestation is rapid.
Most types of mold can germinate within 24 hours. Although still microscopic, the tiny spores can begin to spread to other areas.
If the spores have not been detected within 12 days, they have likely already started to colonize without being visible.
After 18 days, clear signs of mold can be seen.
Once mold growth starts to happen, the spores can easily be spread via clothes, air ducts and other means. If that happens, the mold removal process can be quite complex and will require a mold damage remediation and restoration expert to restore a home to normal. Anytime water enters the home, preventing mold growth should be a priority. Prevention tips include:
If outdoor humidity levels are low, open windows to generate airflow.
Remove saturated items to dry out.
Dispose of porous materials that can’t be cleaned.
Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up standing water on hard floors and carpeting.
Run fans and dehumidifiers to circulate air and contain evaporation.
Clean and sanitize all surfaces that have come in contact with water.
Although mold growth may not immediately come to mind after unwanted water enters the home, it needs to move up the priority list. Taking measures to reduce a welcoming fungus environment can minimize further damage and help your home get back to normal faster.
3 Disadvantages of Using Mold Testing Kits at Home
Mold testing is the best way to determine its presence in the location
Mold Testing In Your Home
Not all mold inside your Ceres, OK, home is visible. Mold testing is the best way to determine its presence in the location. As you search for testing options, you might hear about take-home kits that allow you to detect the organism easily. Despite the simplicity of the process, it actually a few disadvantages that can greatly affect your house in the long run.
1. Vulnerability to the Environment
A mold kit is a device that is easily influenced by its environment. Since the product gets mailed to a lab for analysis, harsh shipping and handling conditions like cold, heat and others can affect the results. Additionally, the kit has no expiration date, so you cannot be certain of its quality. The kit may have been contaminated by something else or the chemicals may not be as effective.
2. Inaccurate Results
Another reason you should not attempt DIY mold detection is how inaccurate the results can be. Most kit mold testing focuses on the presence of mold spores themselves. However, these spores are always present and only develop when the right conditions are met. Without this context, the results of a test will always be positive, even though that may not be the case. Some unreliable kits can also do the opposite and detect a low amount of mold spores when it is actually higher, putting your home at risk.
3. Lack of Additional Information
A test kit lacks the information you will need to eliminate the problem. It only informs you if mold spores are present or not, and even that information can be dubious. An environmental hygienist will use a control sample to conduct a more accurate, on-the-spot test. This specialist will also discuss the mold type, the source, and the best tactic to combat it with the assistance of a mold remediation technician.
Even though mold testing with a take-home kit sounds appealing due to its accessibility, it has too many drawbacks to be worth it. Consult with a professional instead to receive more detailed results that are useful in mold elimination.