Buying a Commercial Building? 3 Circumstances That Might Require a Mold Inspection
When you are planning the purchase of a commercial building in Kingwood, TX, there are many factors to consider, especially when it comes to the cost of inspections. While some are required by law, others may be left at your discretion. Having a mold inspection performed on a property is one such option; however, there are several circumstances where having such an inspection done can benefit you and your investment.
1. If the Building Is Old
Older buildings with plumbing that has not been updated in some time may be more vulnerable to mold because of leaking pipes. Even if there is no visible mold, water damage may be allowing it to grow behind interior walls or under bathroom sinks. If the building you are buying is more than thirty years old, you may want to call in a professional mold remediation company to have its techs check for mold.
2. If There Has Been Previous Water Damage
A building that has suffered previous water damage may have a mold problem, especially if the affected rooms were never cleaned properly. Even minor floods, such as those from overflowing toilets or a burst sink pipe, can contribute to mold growth. It is wise to ask the current owner of the building if he or she is aware of any past incidents that may be causing fungi to grow and ask to see the repair report if one is available.
3. If the Building Is in a Low-Lying Area
Buildings located close to water or that sit in low-lying areas may be more vulnerable to humid conditions and moisture. Having a mold inspection performed on such a property may save you money later, particularly if the current owner has had drainage or flooding problems in the past.
Buying a commercial building in Kingwood, TX, can be a fine investment. However, it is a good idea to have a mold inspection performed in certain cases to ensure you are buying a serviceable property and not someone else’s severe fungi problem. For more information about mold, visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com/.
The Benefits of an Emergency Ready Profile
You never expect disaster to strike your commercial business in Kingwood, TX. However, you cannot predict when a storm will strike your area and cause wind, hail or water damage. Creating an emergency profile with a commercial restoration provider gives you a better chance of coming back if your building is ever ravished by floods, mold, hail or wind. Why do so many businesses create an Emergency Ready Profile with SERVPRO?
• Identifies who can make decisions following a disaster. Having a chain of command figured out prior to a problem can make it easier for repairs and remediations to get started quickly.
• Reduces the amount of time your business is shut down. Creating a plan to get back into your building makes it easier for you to meet your goals and get back to business.
• Gives peace of mind to building owners. Being prepared with an emergency profile gives companies a better chance of being a part of the 50 percent that get back into their building after a disaster.
• Tells you who to call after a disaster. Figuring out who can help you after a flooding problem can take time you don't have, but if you already know who to call, you can get to the repairs faster.
• Details critical information. Fixing damage caused by storms or flooding requires an intimate knowledge of your building. When you set up a profile, the experts will look at where your shut-off valves are and locate other critical systems.
• Costs nothing to set up. Getting access to an ERP app with other providers may require a service fee, but when you create an emergency ready profile with SERVPRO, you don't have to pay anything for the assessment.
An emergency profile can give you and your remediation team the knowledge needed to quickly react to disasters of any kind. You can call a SERVPRO representative to get help setting up this important profile. For more information about commercial water damage, visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com/.
What To Do After High Winds Have Damaged Your Home
Hail, strong winds and torrential rains can all cause excessive roof damage that needs to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. If left unrepaired, a minor leak can turn into a gaping hole, and small patches of waterlogged roof may lead to moisture issues within the home, such as mold and mildew growth. If your roof was badly damaged in a storm, you need to take immediate roof repair measures. Some things you can do on your own before a Kingwood, TX, contractor shows up include the following:
• Inspect the damaged area and determine the source of the problem.
• Tarp off the problem area and/or place buckets beneath the damaged area.
• Dry out damaged materials such as insulation and drywall.
• Remove debris from your roof.
• Contact a local contractor for help repairing the damage.
Inspect and Protect
Wind damage can be immediate and extensive, and it may be weeks before a qualified contractor can repair any problems. In the interim, inspect your home for signs of damage. Look for leaks in the ceiling or along the walls and other visible signs of water intrusion. Feel along the attic ceiling for drafts. If possible, get onto your roof and tarp off the problem areas. Though not a permanent roof repair, doing so can protect your home in the meantime. While you’re up there, remove any fallen tree branches, limbs or debris. If you cannot get onto your roof, place buckets beneath the problem areas to prevent further water damage within your home.
Dry Out Materials
Close off any rooms in your home in which there are signs of water damage. Turn on fans and dehumidifiers to dry out damaged drywall and insulation. A water remediation team can dry the insides of your walls with special tools, but it’s not recommended to do it on your own. If it’s nice outside, open the windows and let clean air circulate.
Contact a Local Contractor
Call a Kingwood, TX, water restoration team and roofing contractor for permanent solutions. While tarps and buckets help mitigate damage, they are temporary solutions and will not hold up in the next big storm. For more information about storm damage, visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com/ .
5 Reasons There Could Be Water in Your Crawl Space
The area beneath your home is a remote space that homeowners seldom think about, let alone visit. It isn’t the basement; it’s the crawl space. It's often dark, dirty, and almost always filled with the unknown creepy crawlies of the world. When water invades the crawl space of your property in Kingwood, TX it can quickly become a mold-filled problem that needs addressing before it can affect the structure of your house. Here are five reasons you may have a wet crawl space.
1. Hose and irrigation over-watering. It is easy to open the irrigation gate or turn on a hose and forget about the water running into the yard. Human-error-caused flooding is more common than people like to admit.
2. Landscaping errors. Do-it-yourself landscapers often make the mistake of creating a level flowerbed or grassy yard. Poorly sloped or level yards invite any excess water to seep under your home through the foundation and enter the crawl space.
3. Ill-fitted downspouts and gutters. Gutters can become filled with debris, develop cracks, and break at joints. The downspouts can also become twisted or knocked out of place. Water can then trickle down the outside of your home and create a wet crawl space.
4. Subterranean waters. Broken city lines or underground water seepage can also cause standing water to form under the house. Torrential rains are also often known to raise ground water levels and fill the crawl space.
5. Leaking water lines. Water runs to the lowest possible point in a home when there is a leak. A broken or leaking pipe can quickly find a crack in the flooring or wall and flood your crawl space.
If you see standing water in the crawl space, call a cleanup and restoration team in Kingwood, TX. Don’t wait to see if the water disappears. Mold can grow rapidly in standing water and attach itself to the wood or cement of your foundation. As specialists, a cleanup crew can address the wet crawl space issue and discuss possible solutions to prevent future problems. Visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com for more information on water damage.
How To Check a House for Mold
Mold can cause damage on any porous material, especially if they are made with any organic materials.
There are a number of situations in which you may want to check a house for mold growth. For example, if you’re thinking of buying a house in Kingwood, TX or if you’ve experienced a significant water event in your own home. If a thorough visual inspection of the house, including the attic, closets, basement or crawlspace, doesn’t turn up mold but you still suspect there may be a problem, you may want to call a certified indoor environmental specialist.
If the house has any of these issues, it may have a hidden mold problem:
• A musty or moldy smell
• Past flooding
• Humidity over 60 percent
What Is a Mold Test?
When you hire indoor environmental specialists, they will conduct a mold test. There are air tests, surface tests and bulk tests. A spore trap is a device with a sticky surface inside. When air passes through it, any mold spores in the air stick to the surface. When a dye is applied, it stains the mold spores so the tester can determine the number and types of mold spores present in the air. If your home has a higher spore count than the air outside, there’s a good chance you have hidden mold.
The surface test works in a similar way. An adhesive strip is applied to surfaces and then analyzed for mold spores. A bulk test actually removes suspect material from your home - for example, drywall damaged in a flood - and tests it for mold.
What Is a Moisture Assessment?
A qualified indoor environmental specialist in Kingwood, TX can also perform a moisture assessment. Not only can this pinpoint the locations of hidden mold growth, it can also locate the source of moisture problems that foster mold, like broken water pipes, leaking roofs or areas of poor ventilation. These are carried out with moisture meters, infrared imaging and careful tracking of humidity, temperature and dew point.
If you suspect a mold problem but you can’t see one, hiring a professional to carry out a mold test and moisture assessment can give you the peace of mind you’re looking for. Visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com for more information on mold.
5 Elements of a Successful Workplace Escape Plan
In the event of an emergency such as a fire in Kingwood, TX it can be important that employees know how to escape the building. By creating a good workplace escape plan and regularly conducting a fire drill, you can help ensure that everyone can get out of the building in a safe and orderly manner.
The first part of creating a good escape plan can be putting some effort into figuring out the best routes to exit the building. The complexity of escape routes can vary depending on the size of your building.
Escape routes can include:
Everyone in the building should be aware of the locations of multiple building exit points. This helps ensure that if something prevents them from using one exit, they can use another.
In a larger business, it can be helpful to choose a safety representative from each department. These individuals can help you plan escape routes and keep track of the different groups of employees during an emergency. They can help inform the rest of their department about specific safety procedures. Communication both within and between departments can be a vital part of making sure that everyone stays safe.
Every employee should be informed about what to do in the event of an emergency. Before conducting a drill, it can be important to make sure that everyone has received the necessary information so that chaos can be avoided.
Fire drills can be a great way to prepare for any situation that requires exiting the building. Gas leaks or natural disasters can both be emergency situations that require the same type of action as a fire. Practicing often can keep employees up-to-date on safety procedures.
By preparing, communicating and conducting a fire drill with employees, you can give everyone in your building the vital knowledge of what to do in an emergency. Put more research into evacuation procedures in order to create the best plan possible. Visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com for more information on commercial storm damage.
Keep Community Coffeepots Clean – Your Employees Will Thank You!
Everyone loves a good cup of joe (yes, even the stuff made in the office), but would they love it so much if they knew what was growing in the pot? Office coffeepots are constantly full of water, and chances are they are not properly cleaned at the end of each workday. The result is generally hidden mold growth that infects every cup of coffee poured. If you want your employees to stay healthy and happy, keep your coffeepots clean. As a bonus for your efforts, your coffee will taste better (and it won’t have that moldy smell anymore either).
How To Clean Your Coffeepot
Cleaning your coffeepot is simple and shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes each week. Use these six steps, provided by your Kingwood, TX, mold remediation team, to prevent mold growth in your coffeepot and chamber:
1. Make a solution that is equal parts water and vinegar. Pour this in your coffeemaker’s water chamber.
2. Set your pot to brew. Allow it to do its job as normal until the water chamber is half empty.
3. Turn off the machine and let it sit for half an hour, then resume brewing.
4. Rinse the machine thoroughly, then put in a new filter. Fill the water chamber with just water. Allow it to run through the brewing cycle twice.
5. Fill the carafe with warm water, some soap and a small amount of either rice or sugar, both of which serve as a gentle abrasive. Twirl the combination around in the pot, and use a sponge to remove any excess buildup. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
6. Wipe down the outside of your coffeemaker with a damp cloth.
While steps one through four should be done weekly, steps five and six should be done at the end of each day. By spending an hour each week cleaning your coffeepots, you can prevent mold growth and keep your employees happy and healthy.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com.
Protect Your Business Investment With a Fire Evacuation Plan
A fire can be a catastrophic way to interrupt a workday, but a smart business owner is prepared with a contingency plan in the event of a fire. Contingency planning can prevent a number of safety issues, and prevent multiple hazardous occurrences by promoting a safe evacuation.
1. Establish formalized standards for fire response and safety. Every business should have a standard routine for how to respond to fire in a way that protects its employees and minimizes damages, injuries, and loss of life. Include this contingency plan in employee memos and information packages. Be sure to update it frequently and refresh employees on it periodically.
2. Post clear signs near evacuation routes and fire exits. Many panic in the event of a fire and attempt to take unsafe routes or even use the elevator during a fire. Clearly mark any fire exits and include these signs as part of your protocol package.
3. Conduct fire drills with your employees on a regular basis. Your employees should know evacuation plans, routes and procedures so thoroughly that they can react automatically in the event of a fire. Encourage employees to immediately evacuate on the alarm, rather than trying to salvage work or personal items before leaving. During your drills, emphasize a safe and orderly departure using practiced routes.
4. Routinely check fire safety and prevention equipment. This means checking your smoke detectors but also checking your fire alarm triggers, sprinklers, and fire extinguishers. Check with fire and emergency personnel in Kingwood, TX, about mandatory regulations and fire codes regarding fire safety testing and maintenance for commercial buildings.
Once your employees follow the contingency plan and evacuate safely, fire and emergency personnel can move in that much more quickly to extinguish the blaze and prevent further damage. Having a contingency plan is more than just a matter of safety; it’s a smart investment.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com.
5 Ways To Avoid Cigarette Fires in Your Home
There are many reasons to give up smoking. From health concerns to requiring constant house odor removal, cigarettes cause a lot of problems. Another concern is that smoking greatly increases the chances of a fire breaking out in your home in Kingwood, TX. A cigarette fire can start relatively easily, so if you or someone in your household smokes, follow these safety precautions.
1. Smoke Outside
Smoking outside is one of the easiest things you can do. This also prevents the tobacco smell from circulating throughout your abode. There are many things inside a house that can catch fire, so keeping all cigarettes outdoors is an easy solution to avoid needing fire cleanup.
2. Avoid Smoking While Drowsy
If you do smoke inside the house, then you should avoid doing so when tired. Smoking should never take place on the bed because the cigarette can fall and make the bedding catch fire.
3. Clean Ashtrays Regularly
An ashtray fire can break out if you leave lit cigarettes behind. In the event the ashtray fills up too much, then the hot ash can fall over the edge and increase the chances of a cigarette fire breaking out.
4. Avoid Smoking While Drinking Alcohol or Taking Medication
You may feel a little loopy when taking other substances. When you are disoriented, it is easy to lose track of where you left your cigarettes.
5. Keep Cigarettes Out of Children’s Reach
This should go without saying, but you always want to keep cigarettes in an area where children cannot get them. Even if your children do not smoke them, they may still drop a lit cigarette and cause a fire.
With all this being said, the easiest way to avoid a cigarette fire is to give up smoking entirely. Giving up tobacco will be advantageous for your health, and you can rest a little easier at night.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com.
Learn About Removing Odors After a Flood
Mold growth, sewage loss and flood water in Kingwood, TX can cause an array of foul odors to occur. There are several odors that you may have to deal with, so there will be several tasks that need to be performed. As long as you are diligent and get started with the process as soon as possible after a flood, you can quickly get the issue under control.
Removing the General Mold Odor
When you are working on getting out the mold growth and its associated smell, there are several steps to take to ensure that the process is done properly:
• Check all damp places so that you can identify all areas where mold is present
• Use household detergent and water to scrub all affected areas that measure under 10 square feet
• Never use bleach, as it can cause mold spores to continue to grow
• Place dehumidifiers throughout the flooded space to dry it out to reduce the risk of mold growth spreading elsewhere
Getting Rid of the Musty Smell
In addition to mold, you might notice a musty smell in different areas where the flooding occurred. For walls and other non-upholstery surfaces, bleach is often sufficient for taking care of this. For carpets, sprinkle a heavy dose of baking soda on them and allow this to sit overnight. The next morning, use your vacuum to thoroughly remove the powder.
When it comes to upholstery, white vinegar is the best option to absorb the foul odor. Simply put some into a spray bottle and spritz this on your upholstery. Once the vinegar has a chance to dry, the musty scent and the vinegar smell should both dissipate. You might need to repeat this and the baking soda several times.
Use this information to quickly tackle the odors associated with mold growth, as well as other issues, following a flood. It might be necessary to complete the cleaning process several times to ensure that the smells are completely eradicated from your home.
Visit http://www.SERVPROkingwoodhumble.com for more information on storm damage.