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Most Popular FAQs About Mold

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

With black mold turning up in so many articles in recent years, it’s not surprising that people have so many questions about water damage, mold growth and mold remediation in Phoenix, AZ. Read on to find out answers to some of the most popular questions about this common problem.

1. What Does Mold Need To Grow?

Like all living organisms, mold needs water and nutrients to grow. Mold spores are carried in the air and are found nearly everywhere. When a spore lands in a location with good conditions it will grow into a visible colony. Because the fungus can get nutrients from almost anything, including wood, paper and organic debris found in dust, moisture determines were mold grows on your property.

Flooding, burst pipes and leaks can all result in water damage that lingers for a long time after the event. When materials remain damp for more than 48 hours, mold can begin to grow.

2. At What Humidity Does Mold Thrive?

In climates with high humidity, atmospheric moisture can sometimes be sufficient to encourage mold growth. To keep mold under control, humidity should be kept below 60 percent, at least. Below 50 percent is ideal.

3. What Is the Process for Mold Remediation?

If you require professional mold remediation in Phoenix, AZ, there are several steps. First, an expert will assess the situation in your building and create a plan. Next, the affected areas are contained. Moldy materials are either cleaned and disinfected or removed from the property and disposed of. Finally, the area is dried completely and then restored to its original condition.

4. Can You Stay Around During Mold Remediation?

It depends on the extent of the mold growth. If mold is confined to a smaller area, it will be contained and it is perfectly safe to be elsewhere in the building. If most of the property is affected, the whole structure may need to be contained and you may be required to relocate during the cleanup.
For more information about commercial mold remediation, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestphoenixanthem.com/

When the Pipe Bursts: The Importance of Timely Water Mitigation

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

You depend on your business in Phoenix, AZ, to keep money flowing in, and you depend on the building where it’s located to keep business going. When a pipe or supply line springs a leak, however, it can throw a kink into your week. The time it takes for you to arrange pipe burst cleanup with a water mitigation company can make the difference between a simple cleanup or more extensive water damage.

The First Few Minutes

Water damage can be caused by a variety of events:

• Pipes breaking
• Supply line leaking
• Toilet overflowing
• Adverse weather flooding
• Foundation cracking

Even if all you need is pipe burst cleanup or supply line repair, the first few minutes of water cleanup are crucial. Turning off the line at its source stops more water from making the problem worse. Since this water is likely clean, it is probably safe to remove as much as you can before the experts arrive.

The First Few Hours

The longer water sits, the more potential havoc it wreaks. Walls can start to disintegrate, and items made of pressed wood can start to swell and warp if they are exposed to too much humidity. Water from burst pipes and supply lines can still damage the furniture, floors and supplies in your workplace.

The First Few Days

Calling water mitigation specialists in Phoenix, AZ, as soon as you know that you have a broken pipe or supply line prevents it from becoming a bigger problem. Water damage that persists can interrupt your business, having a negative effect on your bottom line. It can also become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria growth.

To limit the extent of water damage to your business, restoration specialists need to begin pipe burst cleanup as soon as possible. By acting quickly, you may be able to turn a potentially massive setback into an easy fix. For more information about commercial restoration, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestphoenixanthem.com/

Tips for Sewage Cleanup After a Flood

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

When heavy rains fall in Phoenix, AZ, the resulting rain water can overwhelm the sewage system, causing it to back up into your home. The resulting mess is contamination that must be cleaned by trained professionals. No matter how little water enters, any time you have sewer backup, you must take extra precautions. Here are a few tips on how to handle contaminated water in your home.

1. Find someplace else to stay until the problem is resolved. Category 3 water, or black water as it is sometimes called, is highly contaminated and can cause serious illness or even death if ingested. It is in your family’s best interest to steer clear of the area until it has been cleaned and tested.

2. Do not attempt to clean up the mess yourself. Your first instinct might be to grab the bottle of bleach and clean everything, but even a household cleaner as strong as bleach is no match for water from a sewer backup. Sewer water contains more dangerous bacteria than common household germs. This is a job for specialists who have the proper tools and chemicals to make your home safe and habitable again.

3. Have the area tested before you return. You cannot tell whether a room previously contaminated by black water is clean or not by simply looking at it or smelling it. It is a good idea to have it tested by a certified industrial hygienist before you and your family move back home.

4. Do not keep anything that came in contact with the contaminated water. It might be heartbreaking to throw away treasured possessions, but if they have been contaminated and cannot be cleaned, you need to dispose of them. Your family’s health is more important than a keepsake.

If you experience sewer backup in Phoenix, AZ, there are still ways to keep your family safe. Make sure that everyone stays out of the area until it is cleaned and tested by professionals. For more information about storm damage restoration, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestphoenixanthem.com

4 Steps to Take to Make Sure Employees Can Come Back During a Restoration

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

If a storm damages your Phoenix, AZ commercial building with black water, you have to follow the right steps before allowing anyone back onto the premises. At what point in the restoration process can employees come back to the building? Typically, employees can come back after the initial demolition and disinfection have been completed. You may need to keep these four steps in mind before allowing anyone besides the commercial restoration specialists into the building:


1. Validate the structural integrity of the building. Flood waters and other storm damage can leave your structure unstable. You need to have the building inspected to ensure it is stable enough for occupants.
2. Provide limited access if possible. During the flood cleanup, certain areas of your building may be ready for occupation before others. You can limit employee access to the clean areas to allow them to get back to work. You can also run air filtration systems in the safe areas to keep them clean during restoration.
3. Check for water contamination. When dealing with black water, you have to be hyper-aware of the potential for contamination. Give the specialists time to check for any sort of contamination before allowing employees back into the building.
4. Test equipment. If you expect your employees to work on computers or other electronic equipment, you should be sure to test each device before work is started. If anything was in the flood waters, there could be electrical issues to worry about.


Depending on the severity of the damage to your Phoenix, AZ building, you may be able to allow employees back into the building during the restoration process. Remember, the safety of the employees is of the utmost importance. That's why you should perform inspections and tests prior to allowing anyone to come back into the commercial building. Your commercial storm cleanup experts may be able to help you figure out how soon after a black water flood employees can return to the building. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestphoenixanthem.com for more information on commercial storm damage. 

Keep Water Damage at Bay When You’re On Vacay With These Tips

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

Before you go on vacation, it’s imperative that weatherproof your Phoenix, AZ home before you jet off. If you don’t, you may come home to a broken pipe and flooded home, both of which are costly issues. Fortunately, you can prevent water damage from happening while you’re away with these tips:

• Check your home for leaks before you go, and perform water pipe repair as necessary
• Inspect all hoses that connect your appliances to your home, and replace kinked or broken ones
• Make sure that your sump pump works
• Insulate exposed pipes and keep your thermostat set to a cool 50 degrees
• Ask someone to check on your home periodically

Perform Inspections and Repairs

Oftentimes, people return from vacation to a flooded home because they failed to check for and repair broken or leaking pipes or appliance hoses. When a pipe is allowed to leak continuously and without cleanup, the water can build up and cause serious foundational or mold issues. Prevent this from happening and set a day aside for water pipe repair if necessary.

Test Your Sump Pump

If your hometown gets a lot of rain or snow while you’re away, it could leak into your basement. A sump pump can redirect excess water away from your home and prevent flooding. If your sump pump doesn’t work, you may return to a flooded home.

Insulate Pipes

If your hometown is prone to freezing temperatures, insulate your exposed pipes, otherwise you risk those pipes freezing and bursting while you’re away. Not only can a broken pipe wreak havoc on your home’s interior, but it also can be costly to repair. Another way to prevent pipes from freezing is to set your thermostat to kick on any time your home’s internal temp dips below 50 degrees.

Ask for Help

If you have a close friend, family member or neighbor to rely on, ask him or her to check in on your home periodically. If you do not, turn off all water to the main and drain your pipes.

Water damage can be costly, as can water pipe repair. Prevent damage while on vacation with a little extra attention. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestphoenixanthem.com for more information on water damage. 

3 Ways To Tell Mold From Mildew After a Flood

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Ways To Tell Mold From Mildew After a Flood The basement pictured here suffered a serious mold loss due to moisture left over when a pipe burst.

Finding evidence of mold damage in your Phoenix, AZ home can be a cause for concern. However, you may not be able to discern if the damage was the result of mold or if you are dealing with mildew. There are several differences between the two, and understanding how they differ can help you proceed with cleanup efforts after a flood.

1. Texture

While mold and mildew are both fungi, mildew growth can be identified by its texture. Unlike mold, mildew is often thin and scummy and can be wiped away easily, where most mold species are typically fuzzy and harder to remove. If what you see is fuzzy, then you are probably dealing with a mold problem.

2. Color

Mold comes in many different colors, which range from brown to green to black. Mildew, however, tends to look more greyish instead of growing in vibrant colors. Mold damage on walls and furniture after a flood or plumbing mishap will likely be green or a mixture of white and green, and its cleanup should be left to a professional storm cleanup and mold remediation company.

3. Spread Pattern

Both mold and mildew can spread. However, mold growth tends to be more aggressive in its spread pattern and can move quickly from one surface to another in the space of several days. Mold spores in the air can attach to almost any surface capable of feeding it, including wood, fibers and cardboard. If your home has been damaged by water and you see black or green spots on your belongings, this is probably mold, not mildew, and it may require immediate remediation.

It can be hard to differentiate mold damage from mildew after your Phoenix, AZ home suffers water damage. However, knowing how to tell the difference between the two can help you understand what kind of assistance you need to eradicate either of these funguses quickly. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestphoenixanthem.com for more information on mold. 

Why Calling a Clean-Up Crew Should Be Your First Post-Fire Priority

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

After you’ve just finished watching emergency service take care of a fire in your home, the shock can sometimes make it difficult to figure out which step you should take next. However, if you want your home to stand the best chance at a full recovery, you’re going to need to make a few calls.

First, dial up your insurance company in Phoenix, Arizona. Next, you’ll want to reach out to a local fire damage cleanup crew. Doing this early on is imperative because

• Quicker action yields better results
• Mitigation of water damage is easier
• You’ll be able to salvage more of your belongings

Fast Action

When a fire happens, it doesn’t just affect the things it burns. It releases soot and smoke that seeps into materials surrounding the fire as well. Over time, these byproducts set in, discoloring and damaging porous materials. The longer these surfaces go without being properly cleaned, the more likely it is that the damage will be irreversible, which is why calling a fire damage crew right away is so important.

Water Damage

Many people don’t consider water damage to be an issue when there’s a fire, but with gallons and gallons of water coming out of the fire hose pointed at your home, it’s definitely something you’ll need to contend with. Professional cleanup crews have the tools to dry out carpets, furniture and more, faster.

Salvaging

Salvaging your belongings is not only a way to keep restoration costs down, but it preserves a little peace of mind as well. Choosing a cleanup crew to come in right away can help you make the most of your remaining belongings, so you can reinstall them in your restored home when the job’s done.

Fire damage cleanup crews are trained to handle every challenge your house has to offer. Having them on the job right away means you can get back in your home sooner, so you can get back to the life you love.

For more information visit us at http://www.SERVPROnorthwestphoenixanthem.com.

Understanding the Odor Associated With Mold

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Most people are familiar with the musty odor associated with mold. For business owners in Rio Vista, Arizona, a terrible smell can be bad for business. Even though people are familiar with this scent, they may incorrectly associate smells with mycotoxin and spores. Hiring the right mold remediation experts may help you learn more about mold, its odors and how you can eliminate the issue.

Where Does It Come From?

Many people associate mold spores with a musty smell. However, that is not exactly right. The smell comes from compounds being released by the fungus. In fact, when the mold is growing, it produces excretions in the form of microbial volatile organic compounds. Spores are usually released after the mold has used up its moisture source, so it is no longer actively growing. These smell-producing chemicals are most often released when the fungus does the following:

• Eats
• Expands
• Multiplies

Some microbial volatile organic compounds could fall into the category of mycotoxin, which is any toxic substance produced by a fungus. However, not all scent-producing compounds released by mold are toxic.

How Can It Be Managed?

During the cleanup, professionals may incorporate a HEPA Air Filtration Device to help block the smells of mildew. These filtration machines have extremely fine filters that can actually trap the compounds and spores released by mold. This means no matter what stage the fungus is in, the HEPA Air Filtration Device can help stop the spread of spores or smells. Most business owners want to get to the heart of the mold issue to ensure the smell does not keep coming back. If you fall into this category, you will need to have the physical signs of mold removed to ensure the smell cannot easily return.

Managing the musty odor caused by the release of mycotoxin and other microbial volatile organic compounds requires some elbow grease. Complete mold remediation is one of the only ways to really remove the smell.

For more information on mold visit us at http://www.SERVPROnorthwestphoenixanthem.com.

5 Ways To Handle Fire and Water Damage

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

If your commercial property in New River, Arizona, has recently experienced a fire, you can benefit from professional assistance with handling fire damage and water damage and restoring your property to pre-fire condition. Here are five ways that you can minimize the extent of the damage before and after experts arrive on the scene.

1. Avoid embedding soot into carpets or upholstery. Try to limit access to the scene of a recent fire. Put down clean towels or other linens if you need to walk around.

2. Filter the air supply. Change the HVAC filter and cover air registers with two layers of cheesecloth to start clearing the air.

3. Don’t turn on electrical appliances that have been exposed to excessive heat or water. It can be unsafe to turn on office appliances until they have been inspected. Heat can ruin electronics, and acidic smoke and soot can corrode metals and cause devices to fail.

4. Contact a service specializing in damage caused by fire and water. If your property sustained further damage from a fire hose used to extinguish the fire, you should contact restoration experts as soon as possible. The combined damage can intensify over time and require more effort and expense to restore.

5. Restore the property and contents as quickly as possible. A professional service will inspect the fire damage and come up with a clear plan of action. Restoration will likely begin with water removal, drying, and a thorough cleaning of soot and smoke residue. The final steps include cleaning, repairs, and restoration to pre-fire condition.

Fire damage and water damage can combine to make the restoration process even more challenging. Contact restoration specialists in New River, Arizona, as soon as possible to prevent progressive damage from either soot or prolonged moisture, which can result in degradation of contents combined with the risk of mold or structural damage.

Visit us for more information on commercial restoration at http://www.SERVPROnorthwestphoenixanthem.com

Tips for Preserving Personal Items After a Flood

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Time is of the essence when it comes to safeguarding valuables submerged in flood waters. Mold formation can begin within 48 hours of immersion, and contaminated "black water" can carry dangerous chemicals and pathogens. It's a good idea for homeowners in Phoenix, AZ to learn about content cleaning before disaster strikes. Here are a few tips on what can and can't be salvaged, and how to minimize damage to precious belongings.

Unsalvageable Items

Unfortunately, most porous materials that have come into contact with black water cannot be saved during the content cleaning process. This includes:

• Furniture items
• Carpeting and padding
• Particle board cabinets
• Portions of drywall or insulation that have been immersed.

Microscopic toxic chemical compounds and fungal spores can pose a serious risk to a home’s inhabitants. Non-porous items, on the other hand, may be able to be sanitized and kept.

Immediate Steps To Take

Legal papers, photo albums, artwork and other precious items that cannot be replaced might be saved, especially if you act quickly to minimize further damage.

Papers, artwork and photographs should be separated and removed from albums and frames and placed on plastic screens or hung using plastic clothespins (contact with metal or other types of materials could cause irreparable damage). Photos can also be gently rinsed in clean water before drying. To salvage important books, insert a paper towel every few pages to soak up harmful moisture.

It is recommended that you air dry items indoors. Open windows, air conditioners, fans and dehumidifiers can all help to increase airflow and reduce drying times. Avoid using heat during this process, such as irons or hair dryers, as they can cause further damage.

If the black water contamination is especially severe, or if mold is already present, you may want to leave the bulk of your content cleaning to a professional flood restoration team in Phoenix, AZ.
Visit  http://www.SERVPROnorthwestphoenixanthem.com for more information on storm damage.