How to Prevent Mold Growth in a Rental Home
Leaving a rental property behind in Chattanooga, TN can feel like a dance with fate over the threat of mold growth. Fortunately, mold prevention is the best bet against the fungal nuisance, and consists of steps you can take today to help your property stay fungal-free.
1. Control Moisture Levels
The key to mold prevention is moisture maintenance. Needing nothing more than a dark place and exposure to water to thrive, mold can be kept at bay by keeping strict control of moisture levels within the building. Without turning it off, lower the heat to keep humidity levels at the EPA recommended 30 – 50 percent range. Turning off the water supply can ensure no leaky pipes create a mold problem in your absence.
2. Check Insulation and Circulation
Improper insulation can allow condensation to build on interior walls or near HVAC units and piping. Inspect your property for signs of condensation buildup near windows or on ceiling tiles and interior walls and correct the problem immediately. Furthermore, ensure there is proper circulation and ventilation to keep air moving and moisture levels low. Fans and dehumidifiers can help maintain appropriate levels within the property.
3. Conduct Regular Maintenance
Mold spores feed on the material they land on, quickly leading to significant property damage. Regular dusting, vacuuming and cleaning can minimize the organic nutrients found in dirt that mold growth thrives on. Furthermore, conduct regular maintenance checks of HVAC drip pans to ensure they are clean and flowing properly. Checking the foundation can reveal if any groundwater is being led to the house, while an inspection of the roof and gutters can ensure there is no water damage being caused to the ceiling.
Sometimes mold prevention goes beyond what’s immediately visible. Mold restoration specialists have technology that can read for signs of mold growth beyond what is seen, ensuring your rental property is safe for all.
Visit https://www.SERVPROnorthchattanooga.com for more information on mold.
The Three Main Reasons for Sewage Backups
A flooded basement would be a nightmare for most homeowners, and not just because of the damaged belongings and lost memories. A flood brings about many concerns, primarily when the cause is a sewer backing up. The beautiful thing is that a backup is preventable, especially when you know the leading reasons for them developing in the first place.
The number one cause of a sewer line backup is a blockage stemming from household items. These items can be anything from feminine products, non-flushable paper products, and even grease. Grease is a biggie. Many people assume that because oil is a liquid after cooking that it remains a liquid, but it doesn’t. Oil and fat solidify when cooled and even expand, causing buildup and eventual blockage in your pipes.
Tree roots have caused many a flooded basement because roots expand where the most moisture is, and if there happens to be any flaw in your waistline pipes, roots will take advantage of it, growing into and eventually blocking the flow and causing a backup. Many people think that roots are not dense enough to break through pipes, but old clay pipes often have disparities that make it easier for dense root systems to take advantage.
The third most likely reason for a sewage backup is a collapse in the line. A line collapse most often occurs in old, decaying clay pipes, and is usually exacerbated by other external elements like tree roots. While there are things you can do to prevent and resolve blockages, a line collapse will typically require a restoration or plumbing professional from Chattanooga, TN.
A flooded basement, especially one caused by a sewage backup, is never any fun, creating both a financial burden as well as a sentimental nightmare. Fortunately, this type of issue is preventable when you know the most common causes because you can change your habits and perform the necessary inspections to ensure that your basement stays as dry as it should.
Handling Mold Damage in Chattanooga
Moldy walls needing cleanup in Chattanooga.
It used to be commonly seen in Chattanooga mold damage was covered under a majority of property insurance when the mold resulted from a peril that was covered like fire control, a plumbing leak, storm or other cause which was covered under your property insurance policy.
Mold Damage Should Be Taken Seriously and Dealt With Expediently
Because of public awareness and scientific knowledge about mold and its related health hazards, concerns about mold have increased. The removal, clean up and remediation techniques are hazardous and costly to the professionals who are completing them. The insurance carriers, in response to the concerns of the public, have been removing this type of coverage from their policy forms, even if the mold is the direct result of peril which is covered. The insurance companies, in some cases, offer coverage that is limited for fungus/mold for an added premium.
Contamination from the mold can cause considerable damage to your property, so it should be taken quite seriously. Many people do not realize how serious of an outbreak of mold is for their home.
Before the changes were made to exclude mold coverage from insurance policies, the carrier minimized the impact of mold quickly by many times suggesting using a bit of bleach as a solution to your mold problem. Representatives from insurance companies many times will quote the exclusions for mold from the policy even when coverage could exist for your particular mold damage.
Testing for Mold Damage
Mold Damaged Wall After Water Damage
Often, mold damage in Chattanooga needs testing to identify the protocol for remediation for your particular kind of mold damage. After a protocol has been figured out, a remediation contractor will follow the steps needed when removing the damage from your building. When the remediation is complete, air clearance testing will need to be done to figure out how successful the contractor’s efforts were.
If you have mold in your business or home or suspect that you do, you should not attempt to clean it up on your own. Hiring a professional remediation company is much safer since they have the experience and knowledge needed to clean the mold thoroughly and correctly. They will also have all of the protective clothing and gear required to keep themselves safe while they are working on your mold problem. Plus, they’ll be able to find the hidden mold that you might never have found, making sure they completely clear your business or home of any mold problems.
It is also imperative that you act quickly. Mold does not take much time at all to grow – only about 24 to 48 hours – and you want to stop the growth as fast as possible as it will just continue to multiply and cause you and your family or employees great health concerns.
If you have suffered any water damage which has created a mold damage problem near Chattanooga, you should reach out to SERVPRO of North Chattanooga right away by calling (423) 332-7678. We can assess the extent of your damage quickly and begin remediation so that the health risk can be gotten rid of as soon as possible.
Steps for Cleaning Your Crawlspace
Storm damage in a Red Bank, TN home
A home flood in Red Bank, TN, can affect every inch of your home. Most of the storm damage is easy to see. Some areas, however, such as your crawlspace, may be flooded without your knowledge. After a thorough inspection, if you discover flood damage in your crawlspace, here are some tips for dealing with it.
1. Remove Items
While the name indicates a certain need for openness, in most homes, a crawlspace is not just an open space. Sometimes insulation is added, particularly in colder climates. They may also house parts of your HVAC unit, plumbing or wiring. Some homeowners may even use it as storage for keepsakes or seasonal items. When it is flooded, however, the restoration company you hire to remediate the water damage will need to remove all the items to determine if they can be salvaged.
2. Remove Water
After the space is cleared of items and debris, the next step of home flood remediation is removing the standing water in the space. An industrial sump pump or trash pump is typically used to complete this process. It siphons the water out of the crawlspace into a tank in the technicians' truck. From there they can safely dispose of it in another location.
3. Dry Surfaces
Once the crawlspace is emptied, the remaining surfaces may still be wet. They cannot be left this way or the space may develop a mold problem. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours, so the faster the area can be dried, the better. Technicians may use dehumidifiers to leach the moisture out of the air. High-powered fans can be used to increase air flow across the surfaces and evaporate moisture as the air moves outside.
Once the area is dry, it still has to be disinfected, as water from storm damage often contains bacteria that you wouldn't want in your home. Drying your crawlspace is an important factor in avoiding further water damage during a home flood.
3 Reasons You Might Smell Mold in Your Home
Mold damage on a bathroom in a Chattanooga, TN home
Catching a whiff of foul odors in your Chattanooga, TN, home can be distressing. Certain odors can be caused by wet weather, old carpeting and pet accidents that were not cleaned up properly. However, one common cause is from mold growing somewhere in your home, out of sight. Black mold can give off a particularly strong odor because it can spread quickly where moisture is present. There might be several reasons that mold is growing inside your home and understanding why can help you target and destroy it.
1. A Leaky Roof
Small leaks in your roof may be difficult to detect. However, when it rains and water gets into your attic, the humidity there makes for a fine mold breeding ground. If you continuously find mold in the attic, you may want to have your roof inspected by a contractor who can find the source of the leak. The moisture problem may be something as simple as a missing shingle or damaged flashing.
2. Cracks in the Basement Walls
If you have an older home, your basement walls may be suffering from minute cracks that are letting in moisture each time it rains. This problem may be compounded by poor drainage around the perimeter of your home. The basement may be breeding black mold because instead of draining away from your home, rainwater seeps in, finds its way into the cracks, then puddles in corners where you do not notice it. You may want to call in a mold cleanup and remediation service to dry out your basement and remove the existing mold before you address the drainage issue.
3. A Dirty Washing Machine
Wet, musty smells can emanate from your washing machine over time as moisture allows mold to grow inside the drum. Run a mixture of baking soda and vinegar through a cycle to break up hidden mold.
A fresh-smelling home is probably a priority for you as a Chattanooga, TN homeowner. Black mold and other fungi can create foul odors, but when you know where they might be hiding, you can find and destroy them quickly.
How To Choose a Commercial Drying Specialist
Air mover on a water loss in Signal Mountain, TN
Unexpectedly, you discover a broken pipe at your commercial property in Signal Mountain, TN. You immediately shut off the water main to the site, call your insurance agent and go online to find a commercial drying specialist. However, there are many to choose from. How can you ascertain which company will quickly and properly complete the water clean up and restoration for your business structure and contents?
Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)
The IICRC provides certification based on industry standards for restoration companies. Look for the IICRC logo on company websites or professional vehicles. When you hire a certified restoration company, you can feel confident that the technicians will have the following skillsets:
- Possess current knowledge of the field through experience, training and examination.
- Uphold the IICRC high code of business ethics.
- Maintain current licenses and insurance.
Commercial Drying Specialist Certification
When a broken pipe occurs, you need a specialist trained specifically in water clean up, commercial drying and restoration procedures. During the accreditation process, the IICRC ensures that technicians acquire and display the following knowledge and skills:
- Demonstrate proper techniques in inspection and evaluation of commercial water damage.
- Understand project management and coordination of commercial structures.
- Recognize commercial hazards and safety considerations related to water damage.
- Establish expertise in current methods of drying structures and materials.
- Comprehend moisture mechanics, air management and the microbiology of flooding.
A broken pipe at your business in Signal Mountain, TN, is a stressful experience. Not only do you worry about damage to the building structure and contents, but you also become apprehensive about the interruption to your company. Finding a reputable commercial drying specialist for the water clean up and restoration process is critical to getting up and running again in an efficient manner. When the specialist is IICRC certified, you can trust that the technician possesses the skillset to get the job done right.
3 Ways a Restoration Company May Rectify Smoke Damage at Your Business
Fire damage in a Signal Mountain, TN building
There are many ways a fire can harm your Signal Mountain, TN, business. Extreme heat, flames and water damage are all possible, but one that you may not consider right away is how smoke can affect your property. Smoky smells can linger long after the fire is out, especially once it permeates the walls or carpeting. However, a fire restoration and cleanup service may have several smoke cleaning techniques at hand that can clear away unpleasant smoky odors from your business.
1. Ozone Treatment
Once your building is dry, fire damage and restoration service technicians can perform ozone treatments to remove smoke damage, soot and smoke odor. This process disinfects any areas affected by the fire and breaks down odor molecules in the air so the smell is destroyed instead of being masked by another odor, such as an air freshener. Ozone generators can be placed in each affected area, where the ozone will oxidize the odors so they cannot linger.
2. Air Filtration
A professional restoration company usually has several air filtration techniques to offer, so discussing each with service technicians can help you decide which is the best for your property. Ozone cleansing, air scrubbing and heavy-duty filtration machines can erase smoke odor completely, even from rooms that have been sitting for some time after a fire. Since your needs will be unique, discussing different techniques can help you feel confident about the results.
3. Thermal Fogging
During this process, a cleansing mixture is superheated and then released from a machine as a fog. The fog settles over smoke-damaged items and structures, which destroys any strong odors and leaves behind a pleasant scent instead. This type of smoke cleaning may be especially useful for office furniture and other commercial supplies.
Smoke cleaning can be beneficial after a fire affects your Signal Mountain, TN, business. These odors can be stubborn, so specialized cleaning with professional techniques may be the most efficient path to restoring your property.
Reasons To Have Commercial Flood Coverage
Storm damage in a Harrison, TN home
You may feel pretty confident about the commercial insurance package your agent has put together for your business in Harrison, TN, but it may still be lacking something. If you don't have flood insurance, you could be setting yourself up for a devastating loss, particularly if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. Here are some reasons to have proper flood coverage in addition to all the other policies in your portfolio.
Commercial Property Limitations
Your commercial property insurance is essential. A solid policy will cover most of the damages that might occur:
- Fire damage to the structure of the building
- Stolen property
- Damaged business personal property
- Repairs to building
Natural disasters are generally not covered under a standard commercial property policy. To protect against flooding from storms, you need additional flood insurance.
Flood Policy Coverage
While a flood policy does not cover damage from the storm to landscaping or others' property, it protects your building and the items in it. Good flood coverage can pay for repairs after a storm. It also covers any damage done to insured items, such as office or production machines, that need to be restored by water remediation specialists.
Finally, if you live in an area prone to flooding, a commercial insurance policy that specifically protects against the damage it can cause may be required by law. This is particularly likely if you have a federally backed mortgage or if you rent your commercial property from someone else. In the latter scenario, if the law doesn't require insurance for flooding, your landlord probably does.
Your business in Harrison, TN, needs protection from many problems that may arise. Your insurance agent can recommend the policies that are necessary for your particular business in your location. If you live in an area that floods often, make sure you get flood insurance. You will probably be glad you included it someday.
Best Ways To Handle Basement Floods
Air mover on a water damage in a Hixson, TN, home
You’d be hard-pressed to find a homeowner in Hixson, TN that hasn’t thought of the possibility of a house flood. Basements are perhaps the most common place for flooding, so it’s crucial that you understand some quick and effective ways to handle a basement flood.
Evaluate the Damage
Before you do anything, you should take a quick look around your home and determine the extent of the flooded area and what type of cleanup effort you’re looking at. Here’s how you should begin:
- Take photos of the affected areas.
- Take photos of damaged property and areas.
- Write down specific items that have been damaged (this will be crucial when dealing with insurance coverage).
- If safe, get items such as furniture, books, electronics, and clothes away from water; however, don’t touch electronics that are currently in the water.
Call a Trusted Professional
Cleaning up after a basement flood isn’t something you should handle by yourself. There are experienced, skilled companies that take care of water removal and water damage. You should get in touch with a professional as some as you’ve assessed the damage in your home.
What the Pros Will Do
The restoration company will start by getting rid of the water in your home. The technicians will use pumps and wet vacuums to ensure there is no more water on your floors. In the next step, the professional will thoroughly dry the affected area with industrial-grade dryers. The restoration team will then remove damaged drywall and flooring so these areas can be replaced and rebuilt. Lastly, the team will clean and sanitize the area. This step will help prevent mold growth.
Prevent Future Flooding
Don’t run the risk of dealing with more flooding. Once you determine the cause of the issue, take necessary steps to eliminate water damage in the future.
A professional is your best resource for handling a basement flood. There are also critical tasks you can handle on your own to mitigate damage and safety concerns.