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6 Places To Check for Mold Growth in a Commercial Facility

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Hand showing mold growth on ceiling Mold growth in a Phoenixville, PA commercial building

Places To Check For Mold Growth

The ominous musty odor of mold often alerts many commercial property owners to the growth of the fungus. While you can immediately call an indoor environmental specialist in Phoenixville, PA, out to your property to perform a mold test, you can always perform a thorough inspection of areas common to fungal development.

1. Plumbing
Look around exposed plumbing throughout your facility. Search for damp areas or signs of leaks. The plumbing problem need not be extensive; a few consistent drips are often enough to lead to mold growth. Unfortunately, not all plumbing issues occur on exposed pipes, which means you may need a professional inspection to rule it out.

2. Foundation
Take a walk around the outside of the building and in the basement. Look for signs of damage, like cracks in the building materials, anywhere that water may enter the property.

3. Windows
Before contacting the indoor environmental specialist, check around the windows, making sure that the seals are intact. Many facility owners neglect window and door seals, which can lead to water intrusion and mold development.

4. Vents
Kitchen and bathroom vents can trap all sorts of debris that become food to mold, and when in a humid space, development can occur rapidly. Also, the seals around roof vents, when old, can provide another access point for water.

5. Storage Units
Many warehouse facilities have large storage units that do not move. Unfortunately, these units, especially those against walls, can hide water damage and mold. During your inspection, pull away boxes and materials to view the wall behind the shelves.

6. Appliances
Pull appliances out to ensure there are no leaks. Also, clean frequently used devices, like microwaves, to eliminate a potential food source for mold.
While a thorough inspection is not a replacement for the tests performed by an indoor environmental specialist, it can make you aware of an actual problem. The odor alone is not an indicator for mold; finding visual proof of growth, and then testing is the only definitive approach.

How Can I Be Proactive About Plumbing Issues?

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

water leak out from piping system make ceiling damaged Water leaking out from pipe system

Plumbing Inspection And Maintenance For Your Business

How often do you have someone come in to inspect the plumbing in your business in Valley Forge, PA? Regular inspections and maintenance help prevent plumbing problems and keep your company running smoothly. Don’t let a broken pipe catch you off guard. Set up a routine to look at the following so that you don’t miss a potential problem.

1. Rust and Limescale
Look for corrosion on pipes and limescale on faucets. The significant buildup may mean you need to replace those pipes and parts soon.

2. Visible Leaks
Do you see any standing water or water damage? Are there signs of mold, or does the area smell musty? Leaking pipes damage your property and also cost you thousands of dollars a year in wasted water.

3. Water Pressure
Normal water pressure is between 40 psi and 80 psi. If you have a multistory building, it will be higher on the lower floors and lower on the upper floors. Pressure that’s too high puts a strain on the water main, leading to plumbing problems such as a broken pipe.

4. Drains
Test the flow rate of all your building’s drains. Clean out any that are clogged, and use a camera to inspect the drain lines to make sure they’re not cracked, bent or damaged.

5. Valves
Verify all the safety and shutoff valves work properly and replace any that are broken. If you have a major water issue, you want to be able to shut off the water to just the affected areas, not the whole building.

6. Backflow
Commercial buildings must have working backflow prevention. Test it yearly to make sure water isn’t flowing backward or isn’t getting contaminated with toxins.

7. Water Heater
Inspect your building’s water heater to ensure it heats water to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit and doesn’t have any broken valves.
Annual preventative maintenance on your building ensures small plumbing problems don’t grow into severe complications. If you discover damage, work with a water cleanup company in Valley Forge, PA, to clean up the water and repair any structural issues.

Supplies That Protect the Health and Well-Being of Your Employees When Disaster Strikes

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Safety goggles Keeping goggles in a first aid kit can protect the eyes

A Well-Stocked Emergency Kit For Your Business

A well-supplied first aid kit that is easily accessible to every employee after a disaster at your Charlestown, PA, business is as essential as an emergency disaster crew to assist with the following.

  • Clean-up
  • Repair
  • Restoration
  • Safe return

You can deal with injuries until medical attention arrives if your emergency kit includes these supplies.

Antibiotic Ointment
Wounds of any size can become infected and something as simple as an antibiotic ointment can prevent cuts and scrapes from leading to severe problems.

Variety of Bandages
Storing multiple sizes of bandages in an emergency kit can keep wounds clean and prevent infection when unexpected accidents break the skin.

Tourniquet
If a catastrophic event causes an injury leading to large quantities of blood, having a tourniquet available in a first aid kit can save someone's life.

Splint
Accidents, including falls, slips, and falling debris, can cause broken bones or strained muscles. A splint can steady and immobilize injured parts of the body to ease pain and prevent further injury. part and prevent

Non-latex gloves
If you need to administer emergency medical care to a colleague, it is helpful to use non-latex gloves to avoid transmitting or receiving germs from unclean hands.

CPR Mask
If a fire occurs at your business, you may need to revive someone by using CPR. A CPR mask will make it easier to seal the victim's nose and also seal off body fluids.

Tweezers
Hurricanes or storms can cause broken glass windows and doors. If glass goes flying, it can cause injuries from cuts and debris that become lodged in the skin. Tweezers can help extract foreign particles from wounds.

Eye Goggles
Events like fires can cause flames, smoke, and soot to irritate the eyes, making it difficult to see. Keeping goggles in a first aid kit can protect the eyes.
A Charlestown, PA, business should not underestimate the value of a well-stocked emergency kit.

3 Signs Your House Has Nasty Black Mold

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on white wall Mold damage in a Kimberton, PA home

Three Potential Signs Of Mold In Your Home

Inside your home, the air is filled with countless spores of all sorts of different fungi. Most are harmless, but some can cause explosive mold growth in the right conditions.
Unfortunately, air purifiers are generally no help in the fight against mold. There are three potential signs of mold in your house:

  • Visible mold growth
  • Flooding or water damage
  • A noticeable musty odor inside

1. Black, Green or Yellow Mold Can Be Visible
Unless you can actually see the mold, you’ll probably need a mold test by an indoor environmental specialist in Kimberton, PA, to know for sure. Here are two other signs that you need to test your home for mold.

2. Water Damage Should Always Be Suspect
Mold loves water and cellulose. That’s why water-damaged wood and especially drywall are so attractive to it – it provides the perfect combination of nutrients and a porous surface, leading to uncontrollable growth.
After a water leak or flooding in Kimberton, PA, you need a licensed indoor environmental specialist to check for hidden damage. A Certified Industrial Hygienist can perform a thorough examination for any area of potential mold.
Black mold can grow anywhere the conditions are conducive. Once a porous surface with available food has absorbed water, the mold doesn’t need light to develop. It digs into construction materials and even carpets, becoming tough to eliminate.

3. A Moldy or Mildew Smell Is a Sure Sign
A very transient smell of fungus may come from outside. However, if you notice a musty odor more than once in a spot, you have fungus growing inside – it’s like smoke to fire.
Mold damage can often be easily fixed if caught early. Once the indoor environmental specialist has identified the location, a restoration technician will strip the mold from all surfaces or replace items that can’t be cleaned.
Most areas can be disinfected using SERVPROXIDE™, a hospital-grade disinfectant. Other, less water-sensitive items can be sanitized – not only removing mold spores but even killing dangerous viruses and bacteria. SERVPRO returns your home “Like it never even happened.”

Protecting Windows From Strong Winds

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Metal accordion storm shutters closed to protect a home from the oncoming hurricane. Protect the windows of your home with storm shutters

Ways To Keep Your Home Safe From High Winds

When a storm with high winds comes to East - West Pikeland, PA, one of the most important things you can do to protect your home is to cover the windows. Fortunately, there are a variety of permanent and temporary solutions to keep your home safe.

Permanent Options
For homeowners in areas with frequent strong storms, investing in permanent window protection can be a wise choice. There are a variety of shutters on the market, including the following:

  • Accordion
  • Bahama
  • Colonial
  • Rolling

The accordion style shutter is the least expensive permanent option. They are generally made of aluminum and open horizontally. The Bahama style shutter opens like an awning and can be closed flat against the window when high winds are forecast. Colonia style shutters are two panels placed on either side of the window that closes inward and are bolted together for protection during a storm. The rolling style shutter is the most expensive, but also the most protective. When not in use, they are in a roll at the top of the window. When needed, the homeowner rolls them down using a crank or remote, depending on the model. The shutter is then bolted at the bottom of the window.

Temporary Options
In addition to permanent storm shutters, there are a few temporary solutions available. Storm panels are usually made of aluminum, steel or polycarbonate. They are bolted to the top and bottom of windows when a strong storm is expected. Plywood sheets are another temporary option. Although effective and economical, plywood can be difficult to install. If you choose to use plywood, make sure it is at least five-eighths of an inch thick and securely attached to your home.
While storm shutters, either permanent or temporary, can protect your windows from high winds, your home may still suffer serious damage during a hurricane or other strong storm. Fortunately, an experienced restoration team can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

Estimating Restoration Costs in the Wake of a Fire

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Boarded up storefronts Board up services in Chester Springs, PA

Estimating Restoration Costs in the Wake of a Fire

The wake of a commercial fire is not the time to start trying to figure out what to do. Contacting a restoration company immediately helps to ensure that the process is handled thoroughly from start to finish. This company assesses the damage, provides a cost estimate to return the building to its pre-fire condition, collaborates with the insurance company, and handles all of your remediation needs. So, what can you expect the entire process to look like? The restoration company will:

1. Perform Emergency Board-Up and Roof Tarping
It’s important to begin the restoration process by preventing further loss resulting from secondary damage, theft, or vandalism. Boarding up all affected exterior doors, windows and walls will do the job until permanent replacements are installed. Any standing water from a fire hose or sprinkler system will also be eliminated immediately. If the roof suffered damage, emergency tarping will be necessary to prevent additional deterioration due to weather intrusion.

2. Assess Damage and Create a Bid
Assessments will be performed to determine the extent of loss and the recommended measures for returning the property to its preloss condition. The professionals will work up an estimate of their costs for completing the total restoration process including the emergency services that have already taken place. Then, they’ll present you with a bid.

3. Remove Odors
Fire damage isn’t only the result of burning, but also includes harm from water, smoke, and soot residue, as well as foul odors. Many odors can be eradicated with the right equipment and procedures.

4. Eliminate Debris
Debris needs to be eliminated as soon as possible to get rid of odors and harmful materials. An inventory of the items that can’t be salvaged will be sent to your insurance adjuster.

5. Clean and Sanitize
Finally, the area and salvageable contents will be cleaned and sanitized. Some of the items will be taken to a facility to be specially cleaned and deodorized.
If your Chester Springs, PA, building suffers fire damage you can count on restoration professionals. You'll receive an accurate estimate to return your property to its preloss condition.

Why Hire SERVPRO for Your Document Restoration Needs

6/20/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents You don't have to take care of document restoration by yourself

Discovering water in your Spring City, PA, office can be devastating. A flood can quickly destroy your important information. Luckily, the team at SERVPRO has the knowledge and training to take on cleanup tasks such as document restoration. All hope is not lost if these items get wet. With proven processes, the professionals can clean your items and have them back in one piece.

All Types of Documents

As a wise business practice, you should back up all your important files digitally. However, you may still have other types of documents that get wet during a flood. You still want to salvage these belongings. The technicians at SERVPRO have the skill and equipment to dry and clean the following:

  • Books
  • Photographs
  • Maps
  • Magazines

Saving You Money
You should already know that a professional flood cleanup company has the expertise you can rely on to clean up your office following water damage. The team will remove the water, dry the affected area, and sanitize all surfaces to discourage the growth of mold. The cleanup crew can also handle document restoration. Instead of paying a separate company to dry and clean your documents, let SERVPRO take care of these needs. This will help you keep costs low as you mitigate this disaster.

Always Cautious
Not only is the team thorough in its document drying techniques, but you can trust the team to take good care of your belongings. It's vital to handle wet documents carefully. The company knows how important these items are to you, so the technicians will be delicate as they handle these materials. The team will use freeze-drying methods and other proven approaches to dry and clean wet and saturated paper.
You don't have to take care of document restoration by yourself. Leave this task to the professionals. You can save time, money, and a lot of hassle by contacting SERVPRO today.

What To Do About a Noisy Water Heater

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

bald man covering his ears over gray background Water heater noises can generally be addressed before they result in more serious issues

Your Phoenixville, PA, water heater may make a variety of noises over the course of its life. Sometimes these noises indicate a problem, but other times they are perfectly normal. Routine maintenance will minimize the noises and keep your heater in good shape for years to come.

Reasons for the Noise

There are many reasons why water heaters make noise. The following are three of the most common:

  1. Sediment buildup
  2. Vibration
  3. Partially closed valves

Sediment buildup can lead to cracking, popping, or rumbling noises. Vibrations can cause a humming sound. Water being forced through valves that are not fully open often creates a screeching. Noises can also be caused by pipes expanding and contracting, valves closing too quickly, or simply the normal operations of a heat trap.

How To Stop the Noise
As with all appliances, routine maintenance goes a long way to keep the machine running smoothly. Doing a water heater flush every year with a descaling cleaner will eliminate sediment buildup. If you have a lot of buildup and annual cleanings are insufficient, installing a water softener may help. If you have an electric water heater and hear a humming noise, the problem could be a loose heating element. Tighten the element and make sure it is secure. For screeching or banging sounds, make sure that all valves, to and from the heater, are working properly, i.e., opening fully and not closing too quickly. In some cases, it may be necessary to install a water hammer arrestor to stop the banging sound. If you cannot locate or resolve the source of the noise, call a plumber to help you address the situation.
Fortunately, water heater noises can generally be addressed before they result in more serious issues. However, if you do experience water damage from a malfunctioning heater, an experienced restoration company can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

How Furnace Maintenance Can Help Prevent Residential Fires

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Home furnace air filter replacement Furnace maintenance is an excellent fire prevention step

How Furnace Maintenance Can Help Prevent Residential Fires

It's easy to take some appliances for granted, especially when they are out of sight and mind. Furnaces can be located outside, in basements, or attics. Most people do not venture near these machines because they are controlled inside using a thermostat. However, these machines need constant upkeep and tuning to ensure routine cleaning doesn't become fire cleaning. Any fire restoration company in South Pottstown, PA, can tell you that a dirty or unkempt furnace is a fire hazard. Therefore, make sure to hire a furnace repair technician for the following jobs.

  • Air filters
  • Ducts
  • Thermostat
  • Wiring

Air Filters
While you may not need a professional to replace your air filters, you may want them to look at the filtration system and blower. Small fires can start in these spaces because of dirt and dust buildup, meaning that you may need to hire a smoke cleaning crew if you get lax on maintenance.

Ducts
Like the blower and air filter areas, the ducts are prone to dust buildup. While surplus dust may not be a fire hazard in the summer, when the heat is blasting through the system, it is concerning. While a fire cleaning may not yet be necessary, make sure to have your ductwork cleaned at least once per year.

Thermostat
During a professional inspection, the technician can make sure the thermostat is working appropriately. They will turn the temperature up and down to judge the system's response, making any necessary adjustments or tweaks after their assessment.

Wiring
Overtime connectors can wear away, and wire housing can become worn. During annual inspections, you or a professional should note any potential electrical threats. Faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of residential fires.
Furnace maintenance is an excellent fire prevention step. You can contact fire cleaning experts to discuss other preventative measures you can take, but proper maintenance and upkeep of residential systems is a practical approach to prevention and preparation.

How To Distinguish Mold From Mildew

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. Mold and mildew are both fungi

How To Distinguish Mold From Mildew

Mold and mildew are both fungi. In general, the effects of mildew are less severe than mold. This is particularly the case in comparison with toxigenic mold species such as black mold. The following considerations are helpful for distinguishing mold from mildew at a building in East-West Pikeland, PA.

Appearance
Mold and mildew differ in appearance. Mildew starts as gray, white, or yellow spots that turn brown or black. Mildew may be downy or powdery in texture. Depending on the stage of the growth cycle, mold may be any of the following colors:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Green
  • White
  • Yellow

It is impossible to accurately identify mold species based solely on a visual examination. For example, alternaria, aspergillus or cladosporium all may appear black. None of these species of mold are stachybotrys chartarum or black mold.

Location
Mildew primarily grows on plants, organic materials, and damp surfaces. Mold can grow wherever moisture and nutriment are available. Both types of fungus are prone to grow in an indoor area with a moisture problem. It is important to restore water damage caused by plumbing or roof leaks to discourage fungi from growing. Damp surfaces that are relatively undisturbed are ideal environments for fungal infestations.

Testing
There is a simple way to determine whether fungi are more likely to be mildew than mold. Put a few drops of chlorine on the affected area. If growth becomes lighter, it is probably mildew. If the color remains unchanged, the fungus is probably mold. Chlorine bleach is not effective for mold cleanup because this solution does not penetrate to the mycelium, which is similar to a root structure.
While mildew poses less of a risk than black mold, it is important to clean and disinfect any area where fungus is growing at a building in East-West Pikeland, PA. Controlling moisture levels can discourage mildew and mold from returning.