Why Do I Keep Finding More Mold?
Black mold damage in Chesterfied, MO.
Time and time again, you scrub the mold from your Chesterfield, MO home. Yet every time you think you’ve eradicated it from your home, you find another spot of black mold in a new place – or even worse, it shows up right where you scrubbed before. You’ve tried airing out the house, you’ve searched for leaks and water damage, and you’ve even fallen back on chemical cleaners. So why does the mold keep coming back?
Mold Is Everywhere
It may be disappointing to hear, but it’s impossible to remove 100 percent of mold from your home. Mold is a prevalent part of your environment even when you can’t see it. The reasons you can’t eliminate all your black mold problems are:
• You can’t always see it. Mold may be hidden in nooks and crevices you can’t see, or even inside the walls. This makes it almost impossible to get rid of it entirely without professional help.
• Mold spores are prevalent in the air. You’re constantly surrounded by mold spores. You breathe them every day, but in such small concentrations that generally your immune system processes and rejects them. Those spores can easily take root at any time and start to grow into mold on surfaces in your home.
• Mold can be immensely resistant to cleaners. Most of the methods you use to clean and kill mold only kill what’s on the surface. Mold can resist chemicals and only responds to certain special treatments.
So What Can You Do About Mold?
The instant you find black mold, the first step is to begin mold cleanup and remediation. Mold remediation involves doing everything you can to eliminate the source, such as leaky roofs or appliances. You may require professional assistance if the mold is inside your walls or in other inaccessible areas of your home where only a mold test will be able to point to its existence.
Soot and Smell: Cleaning Up After a Fire
House damaged fire in Creve Coeur, MO.
Cleaning Up After a Fire
If your home in Creve Coeur, MO, catches fire and undergoes the extensive damage that typically follows, one of your first calls should be to your local fire restoration specialists. While the main problems you see may be the soot and smoke damage that permeates your home, there are many steps that come before taking care of those particular issues.
Preparing for Cleanup
The professional technicians that you hire to restore your home start by addressing the dire circumstances that could cause further damage. Before getting to the soot damage, these specialists complete a number of tasks:
- Inspect the property and assess the damage
- Secure home from outside with boards and tarps
- Extract water caused by sprinkler system, busted pipes or broken sewer lines
Only after these steps have been taken can the restoration experts begin the smoke cleaning process.
Cleaning the Grime
Ridding your home of smoke damage may take some time. After all, there is a lot of surface area to clean, and all of it is probably covered in soot. Technicians will probably start with walls and ceilings. Countertops, hardware and appliances that survived the fire must also be cleaned. Through the use of special techniques and equipment, every surface must be cleaned and sanitized.
Deodorizing the House
After all surfaces and items remaining in your home have been thoroughly cleaned, and every item that could not be salvaged has been removed, the experts move on to removing the smell. Cleaning the soot damage off every inch of the house may help reduce the odor slightly, but additional measures are necessary for full restoration. Technicians may have to bring in fogging equipment or industrial air scrubbers to remove the smell of smoke from the air.
Having your home in Creve Coeur, MO, cleaned and restored thoroughly may take a long time, but the results are worth the wait. It is a good idea to discuss the process and the timeline when you hire restoration specialists.
Water Losses: What Doesn’t Your Commercial Policy Cover?
Damaged pipes and any resulting issues are most likely considered casualties of failed routine maintenance.
Most commercial businesses are required to have some form of a commercial insurance policy; however, many plans do not cover all types of damage. For instance, leaking or damaged pipes or flooding may not be covered under your current policy. As many water problems can be quite expensive to remedy, you may be interested to know the most common issues that possibly require a special or additional plan to protect both you and your business.
1. Frozen Pipes
As a property owner, you have a responsibility to maintain the facility as best you can, and part of that responsibility is ensuring that the temperature of the building is warm enough to prevent freezing. While there are instances of freezing that are out of your control and likely covered by your policy, most cases of freezing pipes or water lines will require special coverage, as maintenance falls under your purview.
2. Consistent Leaks
Damaged pipes may be another area that most insurance companies feel is the responsibility of the business owner, as the maintenance of pipes and other plumbing is considered routine; therefore, when a building has been exposed to slow and persistent leaking pipes, many insurance companies will deem the expense the owner’s responsibility.
3. Mold Growth
Mold growth and mold damage are also examples of routine maintenance. Most insurance companies believe that an apparent mold problem, persisting for months, should have been noticed by the owner of the property before reaching the point of extensive damage. While it is possible to recoup some of the cost of mold remediation, you will likely need it in addition to your current policy.
Damaged pipes and any resulting issues are most likely considered casualties of failed routine maintenance; however, you can check with either your insurer or with another insurer located in the Bridgeton, MO, area to find out more specifics.
Is My Home Covered by Mold Insurance?
If your home has been affected by fungus or mold, work with a Chesterfield, MO, mold remediation representative, like our SERVPRO team!
Unfortunately, most homeowners' insurance policies in Chesterfield, MO, do not provide mold coverage. There are some exceptions to this, however. Your policy may cover fungus growth if it was the result of situations that are covered, such as
• Fire or lightning
• Overflow of water or steam from home systems, such as the plumbing or air conditioner
• Frozen pipes
• Vandalism or theft
• Damage caused by vehicles
• Falling objects or damage due to heavy snow or ice
Examples of Mold Coverage
When your insurance policy covers accidents, it will generally cover fungus growth that was a direct result of the accident. Check out some situations when your insurance would probably cover you:
A pipe in your home bursts while you're at work and floods the basement, soaking into carpeting, drywall, and furnishings. Mold growth begins before you call the insurance company.
Heavy snowfall leads to an ice dam in the roof gutter and this allows water to seep under your shingles. That water and ice combination continues to grow until it has soaked your attic floor and insulation. A mold colony develops.
Examples of Non-Coverage
The old roof on your aging home becomes saturated with water and gives in to the heavy weight of snow during the winter. That saturation and damage lead to mold growth.
The pipes in your basement burst at the end of the winter. You don't realize that there's a problem for a couple of weeks. Fungus growth develops because of the standing water.
Get the Facts From Your Insurance Provider
Basically, your insurance provider expects that you'll provide routine maintenance on your home, addressing small problems before they develop into much larger issues. However, you can contact your insurance provider to ask about specific mold insurance. Be aware that even in this case, there may be a mold cap. If your home has been affected by fungus or mold, work with a Chesterfield, MO, mold remediation representative or your insurance adjuster for more information on how to proceed.
Storm Water Damage Requires Immediate Attention
From tear-out to completion, storm restoration can be performed quickly and completely with the help of local restoration specialists.
The storm may have ended in Bridgeton, MO, but the water-damage estimate continues to grow. If the original damage is left unaddressed, your otherwise repairable home could become a total loss due to mold or other problems. However, before you begin to tear out damaged areas, you should check with your insurance agent and take pictures of the damage.
Everything that is wet and non-structural water damage needs to leave the home one way or another.
1. Send important damaged items out to be restored. Dispose of all items that will cost less to replace than to restore.
2. Remove all furniture, appliances, electronics, pictures, and other items that are not firmly attached to the house. Leaving them in place might make them the source of a future mold problem.
3. Tear out all material that has been damaged by the flood including wallboard, woodwork, flooring, and possibly ceilings. Remove all the damaged surface material below the waterline, including the flooring. Do not remove any structural components of your home.
Next, Remove Moisture from Your Home
Once the damaged material is removed and your home's structural components are exposed, it’s time to remove the remaining moisture. If there is standing water, removal will involve pumps and wet/dry vacuums. Afterward, you will use fans and other equipment to move the air and dry things out. This continues until the home is completely dry.
Finally, Put Things Back in Order
It’s time to start the restoration. This means repairing or replacing the walls, floors, and ceilings, as needed. New furniture will be delivered, and restored items will be returned. Before you bring anything back from storage, look closely to make sure that you won’t be bringing any problems back into your newly restored home.
Things Are Finally Back to Normal
From tear-out to completion, storm restoration can be performed quickly and completely with the help of local restoration specialists. This keeps the restoration costs down and minimizes the interruption and inconvenience. You couldn’t ask for more.
How to Stop Mildew Growth on Plants
Plant mildew damage.
How to Prevent Plant Mildew Growth
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 Creve Coeur, MO. High levels of humidity and insufficient air circulation are two major culprits when it comes to mildew growth.
Understanding What Happens to Building Materials When They Get Wet
Water damaged kitchen floor in Chesterfield, MO.
Understanding What Happens When Building Materials Get Wet
Water damage from any type of water deluge can be devastating to a home’s structure and not just to the contents within it. From swelling wood to supply line damage, the damage that an influx of water has the potential to cause can be costly and extensive. If you want to know what to expect from a burst pipe, flood or any other type of water issue, keep reading. Some common issues that stem result from sitting water include:
- Weak drywall
- Swollen wood
- Ineffective insulation
- Bad electrical
- Contaminated furniture and flooring
Common Structural Issues From Water Damage
Though a burst pipe is unlikely to cause the foundational damage a flood can cause, it can still wreak havoc on your home. If your home has been subject to several water deluges in the past, you may notice a few subtle signs.
For one, your drywall may become weak and begin to crumble, get soft, or grow mold. If this happens, your drywall needs to be replaced and the structure of your home dried out, otherwise, the swelling wood will continue to swell and cause additional damage. If your walls are plaster, you may be able to get away with simply drying the material.
Another sign you may notice is that your home doesn’t retain heat or cool air as well as it once did. A water-damaged insulation is no longer effective and should be replaced when the drywall is replaced.
Depending on how extensive the damage was, you may notice that some outlets or switches don’t work as well. If there are electrical lines behind the damaged areas of drywall, the water surge may be the cause.
Finally, you may notice that your furniture and flooring take on a musty, moldy smell. If this happens, chances are because your furniture and carpet are contaminated, in which case, you would be better off replacing those items.
From swelling wood to bad electrical, a burst pipe can wreak havoc. If you’ve recently experienced a water surge, contact your Chesterfield, MO, water restoration team for immediate and effective water pipe repair and restoration efforts.
Properly Maintain an Emergency Sump Pump
A sump pump can prevent serious damages and the need for expensive repairs in your home.
Maintaining Flood Equipment
If you live in an area of Maryland Heights, MO, where heavy rains and flooding are likely, you should become familiar with the value of maintaining flood equipment, such as a backup sump pump. This appliance protects homes with poor drainage, foundation weaknesses, and aging basement walls.
Prepare for Action
When your emergency sump pump is in top condition, it may be able to remove two feet of water at a time from your basement. Keep it ready for action with the following maintenance.
• Rinse the pump inlet screen and remove dust or debris.
• Visually inspect the power cord and power connection.
• Run water through to make sure the float rises, and the pump turns on.
• Schedule professional inspections and maintenance for the sump.
• Read your owner's manual for DIY maintenance, such as greasing pump bearings.
• Remove the pump to thoroughly inspect and clean it. Make repairs as necessary.
• Clean out the rest of the equipment.
• Reassemble the machine.
Protect Your Primary Sewage System
When your primary sewage piping or sump system is at risk, a back up battery pump is crucial. This pump kicks in when water levels are high. It keeps your home safe when too much rain water and debris has overwhelmed your existing drainage system. An emergency battery-powered pump can keep your home safely dry when the power goes out. It may sit on the shelf, unused for months or years at a time, but with appropriate maintenance, it will be ready when you need it.
If a sump pump isn't a possibility, you may be able to work with a remediation professional. These experts often have a truck-mounted trash pump, in addition to the sump.
The immediate use of this equipment can prevent serious damages, mold growth, and the need for expensive repairs. Protect your Maryland Heights, MO, home and family from standing water, mold growth, and other flooding damages with a second layer of protection.
5 Steps To Protect Your Rental Property From Mold
Inspect your building periodically.
Protect Your Rental Property From Mold
Mold grows nearly everywhere. Because mold can develop in as few as 24 hours, it is important to adapt a few key mold prevention practices to protect your investment. Here are five things you can do to protect your rental home while you are away:
1. Use a checklist. Whether you provide the checklist directly to renters or your property manager, make sure to share the steps listed here as proper actions for guest departure.
2. Turn off water. The source of a leak or flood must be resolved immediately to minimize damage to your home. Mold growth can take place in several hours. Turning off the water to your home whenever guests leave is the only way to guarantee no water damage from pipes.
3. Don't turn off the heat. You may be tempted to save yourself some money on power bills during winter by shutting the heat down completely, but you should just maintain a lower setting to prevent pipe breakage due to freezing temperatures.
4. Keep air conditioning on. Relative humidity of more than 45% is enough moisture for mold to grow. In hot, humid regions, a closed-up house without ventilation quickly becomes an incubation chamber for mold. Keep your air conditioner running between guests to reduce humidity levels in your rental home and aid in mold prevention.
5. Inspect periodically. Mold reproduces quickly by sending spores into the air. When those spores meet a moist environment, they begin to form colonies that dig deep into the building materials in your home. Mold damages building materials during the digestive process. While prevention is the best practice, a quick response to any mold growth is also critical to minimize damage.
While mold prevention efforts are very effective at protecting your property, sometimes things are out of your control when you are away from your rental home. Flood damage in Fernridge, MO, or a leak that was not fixed immediately, can cause enough moisture for mold growth. When that happens, it may seem tempting to clean mold yourself or have existing maintenance staff do the job, but trained and knowledgeable professionals will make sure the cleanup is quick, safe, and effective.
Dos and Don’ts for Putting Out Grease Fires
A grease fire is preventable if you stay close to food while it cooks and use safety precautions, but accidents do happen.
Do's & Don'ts To Combat Kitchen Grease Fires
Cooking with grease is one of the leading causes of kitchen fires in homes. Hopefully, you’ll never experience the damage that one can cause in your Fernridge, MO home but if you encounter a grease fire while cooking, there are a few things you can do to put it out.
• DO: Turn Off the Heat
The first thing to do is turn off the heat source. Fires need heat to thrive.
• DO: Cover the Fire
Smothering the fire prevents oxygen from fueling the flames. Use a cookie sheet or a metal lid to cover the fire. Glass and ceramic can explode from heat, making them dangerous to use as a cover.
• DO: Pour on Some Baking Soda
If you’re up against a small fire, pouring baking soda onto the flames will put it out. This only works for small fires because it requires a lot of baking soda to do the job.
• DO: Use a Fire Extinguisher (If You Must)
For worst case scenarios, Class K or B fire extinguishers will put out grease flames. This will make a mess and contaminate your kitchen, however. After using an extinguisher, experts can assist with fire cleanup.
• DON’T: Pour on Water
Pouring water onto grease can actually make the fire worse. Remember that water and oil do not mix!
• DON’T: Use Other Baking Products
Baking soda is the only baking product that can put out a grease fire. Baking powder and flour look similar but have different reactions with flames.
• DON’T: Use Fabric to Swat at the Fire
Using a kitchen rag, blanket or other fabric to swat at a fire only fans the flames. Even worse, the fabric is flammable and can catch fire, too.
A grease fire is preventable if you stay close to food while it cooks and use safety precautions, but accidents do happen. Remember these dos and don’ts to keep your home safe when you cook.