3 Ways To Discover Mold in Your Air Ducts
HVAC Cleaning is important in your San Antonio Home
Mold is everywhere. There is no such thing as a mold-free environment. Without regular HVAC cleaning in your commercial property in San Antiono, however, it could attach to the dust molecules in your air ducts and result in poor air quality. You can usually see or smell an insidious mold problem, but to be certain, you can also have your HVAC system tested for mold.
1. Professional Testing
The most thorough and foolproof method for discovering whether or not there is a mold problem in your air ducts is to have your building professionally tested. This process can be a little costly, but it is well worth the price if it means you catch the problem early before mold causes damage to various parts of your HVAC system. It is less expensive in the long run to pay for minor mold testing and HVAC cleaning than to incur the cost of the extensive damage that could result from a long-term mold issue.
2. Visual Survey
There are two things that you should be on the lookout for when you check for mold. Of course, seeing patches of mold itself when cleaning vents is a clear sign that you need mold remediation. Another issue to watch for is excess moisture. If you see any condensation or if the building is extra humid, you may have found a breeding ground for mold.
3. Olfactory Cues
If your commercial building in San Antonio, smells musty or reeks of mildew, chances are that you may have a mold problem. You can run an informal test of whether the problem is in your air ducts or not. Turn your HVAC unit off for a little while. After you turn it back on, compare the intensity of the mildew smell. If it smells stronger when the unit is on, you may have pinpointed the location of the mold.
Whether you see it, smell it or test for it, a mold issue must be remediated. A professional HVAC cleaning can improve air quality by ridding your system of mold growth.
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Cleaning After a Category Three Flood
Flooding after Pipe Break can cause a major water loss
Firms that help manage water damage often follow a list of procedures. Although there may be a vast difference in a toilet overflow and storm flood water, both can cause a great deal of damage in San Antonio. For the cleanup crew, the goal is usually the same: Remove the contaminated water as quickly as possible. Sewer cleanup is considered a category three flood and typically requires the same skills in cleaning as any other serious flood. Here are four ways a restoration team can help get a commercial building open after any type of category three water damage.
Surveying the Property
Measuring the moisture level during an inspection of the property is the first step in a rapid response to category three water damage. The amount of contamination often determines the amount of tear out required. The tear out can include walls, flooring, appliances, and personal possessions. A special moisture meter can be used to detect polluted seepage beneath the surface flooring and within the walls.
Removing the Water
Removing standing water may be the next step in the restoration objective. The team can use commercial extractors or modified vacuums to suck the excess water into large vats for easy removal. If necessary, a truck-mounted vacuum may be required to deal with heavy flood water.
Eliminating the Moisture
The drying process is frequently done next with high-speed fans and commercial dehumidifiers. If the moisture is hidden or inaccessible, portions of walls or floors may need to be cut out to allow airflow and speed moisture removal.
Sanitizing the Area
Category three water can contaminate anything it touches; therefore, it is often necessary to eliminate pathogens, viruses, and bacteria left behind on polluted surfaces. The restoration team can use fungicides and bactericides to destroy the unwanted microbes and mold spores.
Within a few days after the toilet overflow or flood water removal, the building can be completely safe and odor-free. With the help of a restoration team in San Antonio , business can quickly resume.
Use Landscaping To Protect Your Home From Flooding – Here’s How
Landscaping in front of your home can keep flood waters out.
If your home floods frequently, it may be because of your landscaping. Outside flooding is the first indicator of inside flooding. Fortunately, you can reduce the amount of flooding that your home sees each year with a few tried and true landscaping tricks. There are a few measures you can take to mitigate rain storm damage:
• Direct downspouts away from your home
• Leave a gap between your mulch and siding
• Grade your lawn in the right direction
• Use grass barriers
Redirect Your Downspouts
Make sure your downspouts are pointed away from your home and, if possible, extend them so the opening is at least 20 feet away from your structure. This may seem like a long way, but doing so can prevent outside flooding and subsequent erosion near your home’s foundation.
Leave a Gap
When laying mulch or other ground covering materials, leave a six-inch gap between the border of the covering and your home’s siding. If you go any closer than that, your siding may absorb the moisture from the mulch, which can cause premature erosion.
Grade Your Lawn
Many landscape grades tend to run toward a home instead of away from it. This doesn’t make any sense, as it redirects the rain drainage directly to the home. If your home is constantly flooding, it may be because of your lawn’s grade. Regrade it so water runs away from your home instead of at it.
Sporadic pools of water in your yard may be an early sign of foundational issues. Fortunately, the fix is easy. Build up grass barriers to create a pathway for the water to drain. This will keep your yard puddle-free and your foundation safe.
Outside flooding is a key indicator of problems to come. If you notice that your yard is flooded after a rainstorm, it may be time to invest in additional rain drainage measures. Work with your San Antonio, landscaping team to create a yard that is beautiful and stormproof.
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How to Stop Mildew Growth on Plants
Mold growing on Plants
Mildew on plants is often white or light gray in color and may be present on either the surface or underside of leaves. Whether your plants are suffering from powdery or downy mildew, there are ways to stop the growth of plant mildew. Follow these three steps as soon as you notice indications of mildew growth.
Step One: Identify the Mildew
Start by identifying whether you are dealing with powdery mildew or downy mildew. Powdery mildew usually looks like white splotches that spread across the surface of the leaves on a plant. Powdery mildew is not necessarily fatal to plants, but it is still a good idea to try to restrict the spread of this parasitic fungus. Downy mildew typically grows on the underside of leaves and is either white or light gray in color and may have small black flecks.
Step Two: Prune the Plants
Remove infected portions of the plant and destroy them to limit the spread of plant mildew. This is also a good way to improve air circulation. It is a good idea not to fertilize plants that are suffering from mildew, and avoid watering these plants from above.
Step Three: Use a Fungicide
If you are dealing with stubborn powdery or downy mildew, you may want to rely on a fungicide to take care of the problem. Be sure to use the right type and strength of fungicide for the affected plant. Most fungicides must be reapplied every one to two weeks to prevent mildew from returning.
If you still struggle with plant mildew after following all of these steps, you should assess the environment in which your plants are growing. You may want to seek the professional opinion of mold and mildew experts in San Antonio, TX. High levels of humidity and insufficient air circulation are two major culprits when it comes to mildew growth.
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Flush a Water Heater in 4 Easy Steps
Water Heater Flush in Texas
Water heater maintenance is fairly simple, but it can go a long way toward preserving the integrity of your device and extending the life of it. One thing that you can do to prevent costly repairs and damage is to flush it regularly. If you have never performed a water heater flush before and want to know how, this post can serve as your guide. Before you begin, you will need the following:
• A standard garden hose
• A screwdriver
• An outside area to which you can divert water
• Protective gear
Once you have the necessary tools, it’s time to get to work.
1. Turn Off the Device
Before you can begin working on your water heater, you need to turn it off. For a gas heater, extinguish the pilot. For an electrical one, pop the breaker that powers the heater.
2. Connect the Hose and Prep the Area
Once your heater is off, prep the drainage area and connect the hose to the drain valve. Be sure to wear protective gear while you work to prevent burning and bacteria contamination.
3. Start Draining
Once the area is prepped and the hose is attached, it’s time to start draining. Open the drain valve and allow the water to stream for several minutes. You can help the water drain faster by opening the kitchen sink’s hot water valve. Wait a few minutes, and then turn it off. Wait until the flow of water from the hose has turned into a trickle, then go inside, turn on the hot water faucet once more and let the remainder of the water flush.
4. Close Off the Valves and Restore Power
Once the tank is completely empty, disconnect the hose and close the valves. Turn on your kitchen faucet and leave it on until the flow of water has returned to normal. Once you’ve confirmed that the tank is full, restore power to the heater.
By routinely flushing the water heater in your San Antonio,TX, home, you can extend the life of your heater by years. Follow the steps above for guidance.
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Act Fast Post-Flood To Prevent Excessive Mold Damage
Commercial Water Loss Clean up
If your building was recently involved in a flood, it is imperative that you implement cleanup measures with 24 to 48 hours after the incident; otherwise, you risk mold growth and bacteria buildup. The storm damage restoration team in Alamo Ranch, TX, has tips to help you make the flood cleanup process as easy and as effective as possible. Those tips are as follows:
• Inspect the building’s contents
• Extract standing water
• Remove the building’s contents
• Clean up
• Dry out the building
Inspection Is Key
First and foremost, inspect your building and its contents for signs of moisture. Anywhere there is moisture, there is a risk for mold. Take inventory of all contents that are damaged, a task that will assist with the cleanup process and help with your insurance claim later on.
Once you’ve inspected your building, begin to extract any sitting water. This may require the help of a professional water restoration company. The professionals use commercial pumps and dehumidifiers to rid your building of standing water and any moisture that remains in the air or the walls. This step is especially important to preventing mold growth.
Once your building no longer has any water in it, go in (upon receiving the go-ahead from a professional) and begin to clear out the contents. Unfortunately, you may have to toss unsalvageable items such as carpet, wood furniture, couches and chairs, but many of your contents may be savable. You may have to remove drywall and insulation as well.
Once the contents are out, it’s time to clean up. If your carpet is savable, use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up debris and possible bacteria. Clean the walls, frames, salvable furniture and any visible signs of mold with sanitizers and heavy-duty cleaners.
Dry It Out
Once everything has been cleaned, dry out your building with dehumidifiers and fans to kill mold spores. This last step is important to preventing future mold damage.
Mold growth can happen quickly. To prevent mold damage from wreaking havoc on your building, take the above steps immediately after a flood.
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Assessing Mold Damage
If you have a black mold problem, you have a moisture problem. Mold spores exist everywhere. They are small and float easily on the air, which allows them to permeate most areas. These spores thrive in wet environments, so high levels of moisture in your building will likely lead to mold growth.
It doesn’t take much to get mold to grow. Given the right setting, black mold can begin growing within 24 to 48 hours. Here are some contributing factors to an infestation.
• Presence of mold spores
• Warm temperature
• Organic food source like wood, cotton, dirt or drywall.
When a facility experiences an unhealthy presence of mold growth, it is typically due to a moisture issue. This may be due to an obvious concern like a leaking roof, a flooded toilet or a plumbing problem. Other factors that might be an issue are high humidity, inadequate ventilation or condensation buildup.
Assessing the Problem
If you are only dealing with minor surface mold, calling in an expert might not be necessary. On the other hand, if the damage is extensive, it might be wise to contact a professional mold remediation company in San Antonio, TX who employ certified and trained specialists in mold assessment to help with the mold cleanup. Mold assessment and identification may not be as easy as spotting the obvious presence of black mold growth; it requires visual examination and testing as well.
Spores can get in hard-to-reach places like behind walls, in ventilation ducts, beneath sinks and under carpets. This means its presence may go undetected for some time. Special equipment may be necessary to determine whether mold is growing in some of these places.
If you suspect an extensive mold problem, it is important to take steps to remediate the issue. Make sure to regularly check your facility for moisture damage that might lead to mold growth. Visit http://www.SERVPROalamoranch.com for more information on mold.
3 Important Steps for Cleaning up Your Home After a Fire
Dealing with a house fire in San Antonio, TX can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to worry about taking care of your family and finding a place to stay, you also need to decide how to deal with smoke damage, cleaning, repairs, etc. Luckily, there are a few straightforward steps you can take to get your life back on track.
1. Make Sure the Area Is Safe
When it comes to fires, appearances can be deceiving. While you may not see any flames, fire may still exist deep within your house. It can be best not to go too close or enter the structure until the fire department tells you it’s safe. Your home may be contaminated by unclean water and ash, so it can be best to wait for professional help before attempting to move or touch items.
2. Decide What Needs to Be Done
After you’ve made sure you’re safe, one of the next steps you should take is to contact your insurance company. Your coverage provider can help you understand the costs related to cleaning up smoke and soot damage. You may need to make a list of everything that was damaged or destroyed. Important documents and credit cards may need to be replaced.
3. Get Professional Help
It can be nearly impossible to handle all the things that need to be done after a fire on your own. Hiring a professional damage restoration company to help take care of smoke cleaning and other repairs can save you a world of stress. A restoration company will generally know exactly what needs to be done to fix your home and possessions, hopefully returning them to their previous states.
After you make sure it is safe to enter your home, you can inventory your possessions and decide what repairs need to be done. A restoration company can help you fix smoke damage and complete other necessary tasks to get your home back to a livable state. Visit http://www.SERVPROalamoranch.com for more information on fire damage.
2 Reasons to Get Board Up Services After a Commercial Fire
A fire can be absolutely devastating to a business. The best thing you as a commercial property owner can do is stop the fire damage from escalating out of control. This requires you to hire professionals to board up the windows. There are various reasons to board up your business until you can repair the damage and get back on your feet.
1. Keep Out Looters and Vandals
Looting is far too common following disasters. These criminals are more likely to target buildings that are easy to get into. Therefore, if your building’s windows were busted, then looters could enter your building to take whatever property had to be left behind. Additionally, there may simply be people who want to graffiti your building. This only leads to you spending more money in addition to what you need to spend on the initial fire cleanup. Even placing a board in the open windows and doorways is enough to deter many would-be criminals from entering.
2. Retain Insurance
You need to contact your commercial insurance provider immediately following fire damage to begin the claims process. The amount of money you end up receiving will depend on a number of factors. For instance, your insurance company will expect you to take action to prevent additional damage from taking place. You may have coverage against a fire, but if a looter breaks in because you did not board up the property, then your insurance may not cover any damage that looter commits. You never want to give your insurance provider any reason to deny your claim.
Ultimately, board up services can save you money in the long run. The professionals you hire for fire damage remediation should be well-versed in installing boards on windows and doorways. Ask about this service so that you do not have to worry as much about people breaking in. Visit http://www.SERVPROalamoranch.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
What Is a Flood Cut?
What Is a Flood Cut?
Whether you’re dealing with flooding for the first time in San Antonio, Texas or you’re a veteran storm survivor, there’s always something new to learn. While reading about restoration options, the term “flood cut” may have peaked your interest. Here’s why professionals consider it an essential mitigation technique.
Damage Isn’t Always Obvious
Once a storm has passed and you survey the wreckage, it’s easy to see how high the water level reached. Before you start the demolition stage, though, it’s important to consider a subtle aspect of tear out projects. In the case of drywall, the flooding was likely wicked up well above the visible dirt line. That’s why the standard flood cut for discarding damaged walls is 12 inches above the high water mark.
Amplifying Your Circulation Area
Even after the waters have receded, you’ll need to work fast to get rid of excess indoor humidity. Those who don’t act decisively risk dealing with widespread contamination and greater repair costs. For this reason, your cleanup and restoration company will put an air movement plan into place. To decide how many fans are needed, where to place them and at what velocity they should be run, a professional will calculate an evaporation rate based on the following parameters:
Current ambient humidity
Wet material temperature
Air movement across moist surfaces
Water vapor pressure differential
Wet surface accessibility
By using flood cut to open walls well past the water line, you’ll be in a better position to prevent additional damage to structural members and utilities that were left vulnerable by the storm and its aftermath. It’s also part of the process of removing unpleasant odors from your building.
Take Back the Control
Although you may have done everything in your power to take the needed precautions, flooding makes it necessary to work incessantly to get your site back into shape. Extended cuts are key to doing a thorough job to make your facility look and smell like new again. Visit http://www.SERVPROalamoranch.com for more information on flooding.