6 Tips for Preventing Mold Growth After a Flood
If your home is not cleaned well after a flood, mold can appear.
Floods can cause a significant amount of property damage; however, the initial damage from the water isn't the only problem homeowners face. The moist conditions created by flooding in a home often lead to mold growth. These tips can help you avoid this problem.
6 Ways To Avoid Mold Due To Standing Water
Mold needs several basic things to flourish. Mold requires moisture, food, warmth, and oxygen to grow. It is difficult to eliminate food sources or manipulate the temperature in a home to affect mold. The primary way to prevent mold problems is to reduce moisture.
1. Dry Your Property Out Quickly
As soon as it is safe, you should begin drying out your property. Mold can begin growing in 24 to 48 hours from the initial water exposure. This makes it important to remove any standing water and dry out wet materials and contents as soon as you can. You may be able to remove small amounts of water with a wet/dry vacuum. You will probably need professional equipment to remove larger amounts of water. In some cases, it may be wise to contact a water remediation company in West Valley City, UT, to speed up the process of drying out the home.
2. Increase Ventilation
If the weather permits it, open windows and doors during the day to increase airflow. Use fans to circulate the air and increase water evaporation. Position the fans to blow air out of doors and windows. Reduce indoor humidity by using dehumidifiers. A dehumidifier designed for home use may work for smaller spaces, but for larger spaces, you may need to rent an industrial model.
3. Remove Wet Items
Remove wet debris and contents. Carpets, carpet pads, drywall, ceiling tiles, and other porous materials may need to be discarded because these items are difficult to clean. Salvageable contents may be left outside in the sun to dry or taken off-site by a restoration company for cleaning. Clean surfaces that were exposed to floodwater with a disinfectant or sanitizer to kill mold spores and bacteria. If you can't immediately remove wet carpet, extract the water from it with a commercial carpet extractor or wet/dry vacuum.
4. Shut Off Water Sources
If anything in your home is leaking water, shut off the water to your home. As long as there is a source of moisture, mold growth is likely to be a problem. Do not turn the water back on until broken pipes or leaking appliances are repaired.
5. Turn Off HVAC Systems
Try to keep your home at a moderate temperature, but avoid over-cooling or overheating. A home that is too hot or too cold can cause the drying process to take longer.
6. Watch for Warning Signs
If you are noticing stains on ceilings or walls or noticing musty smells, then you may have a mold issue. Take steps to remove the mold before the problem can get worse.
No homeowner wants to go through the process of restoring a flood-damaged home only to have to deal with a mold growth problem. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of having to deal with this problem.
How To Safely Extinguish a Grease Fire
The most common fires in West Valley City, UT homes are grease fires.
The grease fire is one of the most common causes of fire and smoke damage in West Valley City, UT, homes, and kitchens. There are a couple of ways that grease-fueled fires get started: leave hot oil on the stovetop unattended and heating oil beyond its recommended temperature. These fires may also start if the heated grease overflows the pot or pan.
How To Respond to a Grease Fire
Your first step in avoiding a kitchen fire is to remain in the kitchen at all times when you have oil or grease on the stovetop. This precaution is appropriate when you're cooking any type of meat, such as bacon or hamburger, that releases juices. Another great tip for avoiding kitchen fires is keeping the stovetop and oven clean and free of crumbs, animal fats, and other foods. Keep flammable items, such as hot pads, towels, and cookbooks away from sources of heat; instead, keep the pan lid, a fire extinguisher, and baking soda or salt within reach.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
You can't handle a grease fire the same way you approach other types of fire. In fact, some of the first things you would do to put out other types of fire can increase the risk of harm and damage when dealing with grease. Here are some tips about common mistakes:
- Never throw water on grease, oil, or fat-caused fires. Adding water to an already dangerous fire will dramatically increase the danger and cause flames and oil to splatter.
- Do not move the pot. Too often, this movement causes the burning oil to splash and the fire to spread.
- Don't use towels or other flammable materials to smother the fire. You may have a damp cloth or a towel handy, but these materials will cause the fire to spread.
- Don't use flour or sugar on the flames. Baking soda and salt are the only baking products you can safely use to put out the fire.
With the "do not" list out of the way, it's time to focus on the things you can do to quickly extinguish the fire.
Safe Ways To Put Out the Fire
- In a best-case scenario, you will be on hand to recognize that your heated oil is starting to smoke. At the first sign of trouble, turn off the heat to your pot or pan. This may be enough to prevent flames and spitting.
- If you have your metal lid close by, you can use it to cover the pot. The lack of oxygen will put out the fire.
- A #10 can, such as a large coffee can, full of baking soda or salt can be used to smother grease-fueled fires. Bear in mind that it takes a lot of soda or salt to put out the flames.
- Use a fire extinguisher if you can't get close enough to use one of these tactics, a fire extinguisher is another good option. You should have a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher on hand. The wrong extinguisher, such as a water-based Class A, can make the fire worse.
A grease fire can be very dangerous. Use these tips to avoid damage, and then turn fire cleanup over to trained fire damage cleanup professionals.
Important Facts To Know About Sewage Cleanup
Protect yourself to clean sewage in your West Valley City, UT, building.
When you have raw sewage infiltrate your West Valley City, UT, commercial building, you can't treat it like an ordinary flood. Various situations can cause a sewage problem, such as a flooded toilet, clogged lines, or damage from tree roots. Whatever the cause, from start to finish, there are precautions that you need to take during the sewage cleanup to protect everyone involved as well as the building and contents.
How To Safely Clean After a Sewer Backup
1. Prioritize Safety
Block off the area so no one can enter, aside from people cleaning the room. Children, people with medical issues, and pets should stay out. Also, before anyone goes into the area, make sure that there are no electronics or appliances in the standing water, as an electric current could be flowing through the water. This issue can also occur when electrical outlets are exposed to the water. Turn off the building's power before stepping into the area.
2. Wear Personal Protective Equipment
Before going into the affected area, wear PPE to protect yourself from the contaminants. Safety goggles, a face mask, rubber gloves, and boots are musts. Water-resistant coveralls are also recommended.
3. Create a Barrier
Close off the contaminated area from the rest of the building. Blocking off the room can reduce the chance of cross-contamination of debris and airborne particles, and it works as a barrier to keep everyone out.
4. Extract Standing Water
Once you've identified the problem and stopped it, it's essential to remove all of the standing water. The safest and most efficient way of doing this is by using a wet/dry vacuum.
5. Remove Contaminated Materials
Remove all contaminated materials that can be removed from the area. During sewage cleanup, you must bag anything that isn't salvageable for the trash and dispose of it immediately. Items that can be adequately cleaned and sanitized should be sealed in bags and placed outside to handle later.
6. Remove Debris
After the area is clear of obstacles, it's time to clear the area of as much contaminated material as possible. You will probably have debris and could even have sludge. This material should be removed with a shovel, placed in heavy-duty plastic trash bags, and then immediately disposed of. If the flooring is soaked, you'll need to remove it, particularly if it's carpet. Wet areas of drywall will also need to be removed and thrown away.
7. Clean and Disinfect Everything
Clean and disinfect every affected surface. This washing is imperative to avoid serious issues, such as cross-contamination and mold growth. To ensure the job is performed safely and correctly, it's best to hire water damage, remediation professionals.
8. Dry Everything
Dry everything as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth. Mold can begin growing in as little as 24 hours, so it's critical to dry the area and contents thoroughly. You can use fans, dehumidifiers, and heat.
When you've had a sewer backup, taking specific steps in the raw sewage cleanup process is vital. By being thorough with this job, you'll protect not only your employees but also your building and its contents.
Which Commercial Cleaning Services Does SERVPRO Offer?
SERVPRO has a professional and qualified team to give the customer the best service.
First impressions are important for any business. Whether you have property damage or normal wear and tear commercial cleaning can be critical for restoring your business's appearance. SERVPRO franchises offer a variety of services that can make it “Like it never even happened.”
Services Offered by SERVPRO
SERVPRO offers a variety of cleaning services to meet the needs of businesses. With over 40 years in the business, award-winning training, and more than 100 exclusive cleaning products, we have the skill and expertise to provide cleaning services to many types of businesses:
- Education facilities
- Retail facilities
- Healthcare facilities
- Foodservice facilities
- Property management
- Hospitality facilities
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
The CDC recommends that businesses clean high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, keyboards, and workstations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. SERVPRO's certified clean service is a defensive cleaning program designed to make it easier for businesses to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This viral pathogen-cleaning program goes beyond what your regular janitorial staff can do and is based on our Consult, Clean, and Certify model.
Our professionals start by discovering the unique needs of your space. They then perform an expert deep clean using our proprietary EPA-approved, hospital-grade cleaning solutions. All cleaning plans are tailored to your needs and conform to CDC standards. Finally, we provide a window shield and digital emblems so that your customers in West Valley City, UT, know that your business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
Commercial Building Restoration Services
The SERVPRO team is an expert at providing restoration services for water and fire damage. Our franchises are available to you 24 hours a day to get your business operational as soon as possible. As part of this service, we can restore electronics, dry documents, and provide mold remediation services. Additionally, we can remove smoke damage and odors, provide storm cleanup services and assist with disaster recovery.
Commercial Building Cleaning Services
Whether you need odor removal, carpet cleaning, or deep cleaning of your flooring, our commercial cleaning service can help. Our professionals work hard to complete the job correctly the first time and respond quickly to make sure your business looks its best. We offer both office and industrial cleaning services.
Specialty Cleaning Services
In addition to our standard cleaning services, we offer a range of services to address the specific needs of various industries. Our professionals can clean restaurant hoods, remove biohazard contaminants, and clean air ducts and HVAC units. We can also deep clean upholstery and carpets, floors, ceilings, and walls, restore documents, remove odors, and clean drapes and blinds. Additionally, we can safely clean sewage spills, perform trauma and crime scene cleanup and deal with vandalism.
With more than 1,700 national franchises, SERVPRO is uniquely positioned to meet your commercial cleaning needs. Our professionals are ready to serve you 24 hours a day and seven days a week. We are a preferred vendor for many local and national insurance companies. Whether you need to ensure your space is safe during the pandemic or restore it after a disaster, SERVPRO is ready to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Pipe Burst? Don't Panic! Plan Your Response
A pipe burst is the cause of water damage and leads to other severe damages.
When dealing with a pipe burst, it's crucial that you take immediate action to prevent lasting water damage. Each minute that you delay increases the risk of extensive and costly damage, as well as disruption to your daily life.
Your Response to a Pipe Burst Situation
Prevent Bursting Pipes
Of course, prevention is the best course of action. When you know how to avoid the most common causes of the situation, you can significantly reduce the probability of flooding. Watch out for the following signs of trouble, especially along with your West Valley City, UT, home's main water line:
- Aging pipes may become cracked and weakened over time. Depending on the materials used to build the home, pipes may last between 20 and 50 years. Even if the rest of your home appears to be in good condition, if it was built in the 1970s or earlier, the pipes need to be replaced.
- Clogs from food, waste, and dirt create pressure along the pipeline.
- Corrosion can be recognized through visual inspections, a change of water pressure, or changes in the smell and color of the water coming through the pipes.
- Freezing temperatures affect pipes that run along exterior walls. As the water inside freezes or the metal pipes reach the freezing point, clogs or hot water can cause a burst.
Recognize a Water Leak
Sometimes, there's a clear gush of water that you can't miss, but at other times a cracked pipe happens out of sight. When this is the case, it's important to recognize signs of trouble at a hidden spot along the waterline. These include an unexplained increase in your water bill, increased sounds of water such as drips or running water behind the walls, puddles in the home, or signs of moisture on the ceilings or walls.
Turn Off the Water
As soon as you recognize a leak or pipe burst, shut off the water. If you aren't sure where the water is coming from, turn off the main valve. This may be in the basement, under the kitchen sink, or somewhere along the exterior of the home.
Disconnect the Electricity
Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Shut off power to your home before coming into contact with any leaking water or moisture.
Drain the Pipes
With the water and power turned off, open the cold-water faucets throughout your home, flush the toilets, and open the hot-water lines to drain the pipes.
Repair the Broken Pipe
It may be possible for you to complete the necessary repair to a cracked pipe, but in some situations, a professional response may be required. The same is true when it comes to cleaning up and repairing areas damaged because of the water. Professional property cleaners do more than address visible damage; they also assess for hidden areas of moisture, the possibility of mold, and other vulnerable points along the water pipes.
Your first response to water gushing from a pipe may be a moment of panic, but when you have a plan in place, you're prepared to minimize the chaos. Protecting your West Valley City, UT, home from water damage begins long before you face the risk of a pipe burst.
How To Keep Your Employees Safe During Mold Remediation
If mold appears in your West Valley City, UT business, hire a professional team to remediate the damage immediately.
If you've noticed mold growth in your West Valley City, UT, commercial building, it's essential to take immediate action. The spores can spread quickly, and you can find mold running rampant throughout the building faster than you realize. If you leave it untreated, it can be harmful to humans, animals, and even the structure of your facility and building contents. It's your responsibility as the company owner or manager to keep your employees safe.
Therefore, it's helpful to know beforehand some of the safety procedures used to ensure a safe work environment for everyone, whether you're performing the mold removal job yourself or hiring a restoration company. In the meantime, keep mold growth at bay by regularly investigating for and repairing leaks and drying condensation. Control the relative humidity indoors and ensure proper drainage around the foundation. Also, maintain your building's HVAC system.
Continue Business While Ensuring Your Employees' Safety
1. Allow Employees To Work Remotely
Immediately upon discovering mold in your building, the ideal thing to do with your employees is to move them to an area that you're sure is unaffected, or ideally, out of the building entirely. If possible, allow them to work remotely from home or another location. In the case of a severe mold problem, your business insurance may pay for a temporary work location for your employees to set up base until remediation is complete. After all, a severe mold problem can take weeks or even months to remedy.
2. Place Containment Barriers
Professionals use containment barriers to keep mold and mold spores contained in the affected area where the cleanup occurs. Typically, sheets of heavy plastic are hung around the perimeter of the room and sealed on all sides to prevent mold spores from migrating to unaffected areas of the building. Air vents and door gaps in the area will also be covered and sealed.
3. Wear Personal Protective Equipment
The team of mold remediation professionals will wear personal protective equipment for two reasons: to ensure their individual safety and to prevent cross-contamination into untouched areas. If your employees must stay in the building during the restoration process, they should wear some PPE (respirators, at minimum) if they're at risk of mold exposure. Depending on the scale of the damage and the extent of the mold removal process, this PPE must include some or all of the following: hair covers, protective eyewear (e.g., goggles or safety glasses), face masks, or respirators, gloves, coveralls, and shoe covers.
4. Install HEPA Filters
High-efficiency particulate air filters are designed to remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles, including mold, pollen, dust, and bacteria. These HEPA filters can be placed on HVAC system air vents, vacuums, and portable air purifiers. It's beneficial to have these filters installed around your building, especially during mold remediation. Place some HEPA air purifiers around the office to ensure better air quality at all times.
The mold removal process can be time-consuming and intensive, but it has to be completed thoroughly and effectively to prevent further spread throughout the building. Whether the contamination is black mold or a less severe type, it's critical to begin remediation immediately.
Things To Throw Away After a House Fire
After a home fire in West Valley City, UT, some items must be thrown away because of the damage.
A house fire can be devastating emotionally, physically, and financially. The tough decisions you need to make during recovery from the fire can be especially hard as you sort through belongings trying to decide what can be salvaged and what you must throw away. Whether you're struggling to get rid of items for sentimental reasons or because you're worried about finances, there are some items that must be tossed without question.
Perishable and Non-Perishable Food Items
Naturally, any food exposed to flames or smoke should be tossed immediately. Food stored in thin plastic, cardboard boxes, or cloth should also be thrown out. Perishable foods should be thrown away if:
- They sat at room temperature.
- The refrigerator lost power.
- The inside of the fridge smells like smoke or has a weird smell.
- Items in the fridge or freezer don't feel cold.
Consider getting rid of canned food because the high temperatures that accompany the fire can trigger bacterial growth even in sealed containers. If cans are bulging or have changed shape, the food inside isn't safe to eat. Anything that is covered in fire extinguisher dust should also be thrown out.
During and after the fire, flames, smoke, soot, water, and fire extinguishing chemicals have all affected the items in your home. Any of your medications could have been affected, and you may not see physical evidence of this contamination. Additionally, the high heat in the home can affect the potency of the drugs. According to the Federal Drug Administration, before tossing medicine into the dumpster, take it out of its container, mix it with something undesirable (such as dirt or cat litter), and seal it in a plastic bag.
Makeup, Cosmetics, and Toiletries
The same high temperatures that negatively affect your medications can also damage your makeup. The various chemicals in all the cosmetics and toiletries in your home could be impacted by those high temperatures, as well as by the water and extinguishing chemicals used to put out the fire. Even if you don't see visible signs of damage, get rid of and replace these items.
Clothes and Other Textiles
These may be some of the most difficult items to throw out. It's natural to want to save as much money as possible after experiencing fire damage, but clothing, bedding, towels, and other textiles could absorb contaminants that are irritating. It is also very difficult to get rid of the smoke and chemical smells that linger after a home fire.
Your well-being should be one of your top priorities after a fire in your West Valley City, UT, home. Although it is difficult to get rid of items that don't look damaged, it's better to protect your safety and that of your family members. This means tossing the items in these four categories and replacing them when you're able.
In addition to protecting your health and safety by learning to throw away contaminated items, contact fire damage cleanup and repair professionals. These technicians are trained to recognize potential dangers during cleanup and reconstruction. Also, if there are items that can be salvaged, these professionals can help you do so safely.
8 Tips for Tearing Out Flood Damage
The tear-out process must be done with professional equipment for your safety.
Tearing out damaged items after flooding in your home can be one of the most time and labor-intensive parts of the restoration process.
These tips will help you complete it correctly.
1. Take Precautions
The tear-out process may expose you to mold, dust, mildew, sharp items, nails, broken glass, and other debris. Wear protective gear such as gloves, sturdy shoes, dust masks, and eye protection. It may be a good idea to get a Tetanus shot if you haven't had one in the past ten years.
2. Remove Wet Contents
Before you start tearing out materials, remove wet contents. Leaving items such as wet furniture, clothing, and books in the home can cause the drying process to take longer which increases the risk of mold growth and other complications. Some wet items can be placed outside to dry, though be cautious about leaving furniture and other items that may fade or discolor in the sunlight for too long.
3. Hire a Restoration Company To Remove Black Water
If there is still water in your home from outside flooding or a sewer backup, consider hiring a restoration company in West Valley City, UT, to remove it. Sewage and floodwaters may contain contamination that is unsafe to handle without the proper safety equipment and training.
4. Remove Water Damaged Flooring Other Than Tile
Tiles that have been installed on a concrete slab are usually not damaged by floodwater and can be restored by regrouting and resealing them. Most other types of flooring, including carpets, wood floors, and subfloors will need to be removed and replaced.
5. Remove the Baseboards
Depending on how high the water level was, your baseboards will either need to be removed and replaced or detached and reset. If you aren't sure, consult with a contractor. If you have insurance, you may want to talk to your insurance company about what it will pay for, before you decide what to do.
6. Make a Flood Cut
If your drywall got wet, remove it from the floor to one foot above the waterline. Once you have removed the drywall, remove the insulation up to the same point. Insulation that has gotten wet can not be salvaged. You should remove and replace it.
7. Detach Cabinets
If your cabinets are damaged or the drywall and insulation behind the cabinets are damaged, remove the cabinets. If the cabinets were damaged, they will need to be replaced. If only the walls were damaged, the cabinets can be reset. If the face frame and doors of your damaged cabinets are not damaged, you can remove them and attach them to your replacement cabinets so that they will match the rest of your cabinets.
8. Some Countertops Can Be Salvaged
Laminate countertops can often be detached and reset because they are attached to the base with screws. Tile countertops need to be replaced because they can not be removed in a single piece.
Restoring your home after flooding is a lengthy and work-intensive process. However, taking the time to properly tear out damaged materials before beginning the repair process can help you avoid future problems.
5 Steps for Water Mitigation After a Building Pipe Burst
A broken pipe can be a dangerous situation. By knowing what to do, you can handle this problem without complications.
When you notice that a pipe has broken or a supply line leaking at your West Valley City, UT, commercial building, it can bring on a sense of panic. Water could still be pouring in, but all you can think about is how to properly perform the pipe burst cleanup procedure.
These basic steps must be taken to keep damage to a minimum.
1. Shut Off Electricity
First and foremost, in this situation, you must ensure that everyone remains safe. Turn off the electricity to the part of the building affected by the water, or to the entire building. If there are electronics, appliances, or outlets in the area, an electrical current could be in the water, so don't let anyone walk through it or touch anything until the electricity is shut off. If you can't navigate to the breaker box safely, call a professional electrician or the power company to shut it off before the water cleanup begins.
2. Remove Soaked Materials
Next, you must get all of the water-soaked material out of the building. Wet items will only contribute to the excess humidity that needs to be eliminated. Soaked carpets and drywall will have to be removed and won't be salvageable. Some porous items such as wooden or upholstered furniture may be salvageable if they can be completely dried soon enough.
3. Extract Standing Water
All standing water must be extracted as soon as possible. Every minute counts when it comes to water damage; standing water can wreak havoc indoors. A wet/dry is ideal for safely, quickly, and efficiently eliminating the water. It's a great tool to have on hand for water emergencies like a pipe burst cleanup. However, if you don't have one, many home improvement stores rent them. Mops and towels will also do the job.
4. Dry Everything
Everything in the affected area must be thoroughly dried as swiftly as possible. Besides structural damage, excess moisture can contribute to mold growth. Mold can begin growing within 24 hours of water exposure, and it can get out of control fast. Not only can standing water cause damage but humidity can also. If the humidity outside is lower than the indoor level, open windows and doors to let the fresh air blow through. You can also use fans, heaters, and dehumidifiers. Dehumidifiers can also be rented at home improvement and hardware stores. You must pay close attention to the unit to empty the collected water when necessary. If you feel you cannot dry the area properly, water damage restoration professionals have the expertise and industrial-grade equipment for these situations.
5. Inspect for Damage
Finally, once the job is complete, it's essential to inspect for damage to be repaired as soon as possible. Ideally, you can have professionals inspect the area because they know where to find damage and how to best resolve the problem. They'll check for structural water damage and mold growth and determine any repairs or cleanup procedures that must be performed.
In a water disaster, such as a supply line leaking, it's advantageous to know what to do before the situation arises. A pipe burst cleanup will never be pleasant, but it can go more smoothly having a plan in place.
Who's Responsible For What After an Apartment Fire
Fire damage in West Valley City, UT.
An apartment fire can raise a lot of questions: Did we lose any family heirlooms? Why didn't we ever replace that ancient, sparking coffeemaker in the kitchen? Are we on the hook for fire damage repairs, or is that the landlord's job? Here's a brief guide to who's responsible for what after a fire at a rental property in West Valley City, UT.
Guide of Responsibilities After an Apartment Fire
What the Property Owner Is Responsible For
In the simplest terms, a landlord is generally culpable for the apartment itself — more specifically its structure and fixtures. This typically includes components such as the following:
- Kitchen and bathroom counters
- Built-in cabinetry
- Windows and doors
If fire damage to any of these structural elements requires repairs, it's usually up to the landlord to fix them or, depending on the severity of the loss, enlist the help of an experienced fire restoration company. A landlord has a responsibility to bring the residence back up to habitable conditions ASAP.
The main exception to this provision is a fire caused by the renter. If a tenant's carelessness results in an apartment fire, and the landlord can prove that negligence, then the renter may be liable for the cost of structural and fixture-related repairs instead. For this reason, it's imperative that all parties involved take photos and videos of any fire damage after the event.
What the Renter Is Responsible For
The renter is culpable for whatever he or she brought into the apartment. These personal items can be large or small: everything from furniture and electronics to clothing and media. In short, if it wasn't there already when the renter moved in, then he or she is likely liable for any repairs or replacement that may be required.
If, however, the renter can prove that the landlord was responsible for the fire through negligence or failure to comply with building codes, then the landlord may be held liable for damage to the tenant's personal items.
The aftermath of an apartment fire can be chaotic. Knowing what you're responsible for — and what you don't have to worry about — is one way to begin regaining control of the situation and your sanity.