Can You Keep Black Mold From Entering Your Home?
Mold damage in a Round Rock, TX home.
When you find black mold in your residence, it may seem as if it’s attempting to take control of your life by stealthily taking control of your home. When you find out that this pesky organism is present and is capable of spreading itself everywhere, you may feel as though the situation is daunting. How is the fungus able to make its way inside, especially when you maintain a pristine abode? However, even if you keep a squeaky-clean house, if other conditions are present, it is almost unavoidable that mold will settle indoors.
Favorable Mold-Growing Conditions
Mold spores are present practically everywhere. In the right environment, they can thrive.
• Air: Spores travel by air, which allows them to settle on any surface, including the insides of heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC). Consequently, if black mold spores are present, when the system is turned on, they could be released indoors.
• Food: Like every creature, the fungus also needs food to survive and thrive. This can be any type of organic matter; all homes offer plenty of material to feed on.
• Water: Surfaces that are in continuous contact with some form of water, whether it’s a bit of moisture, condensation or dampness, can enable mold to thrive and grow.
• Temperature: Fungi are not particular about temperature. They can live and flourish in temperatures between 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Measures To Halt Spores
One way you can prevent a mold issue from continuing unchecked is to get the help of a mold remediation company in Round Rock, TX. Experts in the field should be able to handle mold cleanup, take care of the moisture problem and perhaps make repairs if needed. They can also give you recommendations for minimizing the possibility of a new breakout.
Although these tiny spores live in the environment and cannot be completely eliminated, now that you understand how they slip inside your house, it may be easier to reduce the likelihood of a problem developing. Relying on skillful and experienced professionals can give you an added edge to control unwanted black mold.
The 5 Best Storm Preparation Tips
Prepare for adverse weather in Round Rock, TX.
Storm Preparation Tips
Preparing for a storm in advance can help you be ready when high winds, rain, or flood water arrive. These five storm preparation tips can help you stay safe and limit wind and water damage to your home in Round Rock, TX.
1. Trim Trees To Clear Your Yard
Pruning trees and shrubs can keep heavy branches from falling and damaging your roof or becoming dangerous wind-blown debris. Bring in items kept outside to prevent them from sustaining or causing damage.
2. Cover Windows With Secure Shutters
Cover the windows if high winds and flying debris are expected. Board up openings right before a major storm or have storm windows or shutters installed if you live in an area with frequent tempests.
3. Assemble an Emergency Preparedness Kit
Make a plan that accounts for every member of your household. Gather non-perishable items of food, a first aid kit, flashlights, hand cranked or battery-powered radio, and extra batteries. You will need at least one gallon of water per person and enough food for at least three days; in addition, throw in some garbage bags and moist towelettes for sanitation.
4. Anticipate Power Line Outages
Have flashlights and batteries on hand and make sure you know how to shut off the power to your home. Turn off the electricity if you see rising flood water, downed power lines, or need to evacuate.
5. Prepare a Go-Bag for Evacuation
Fill your vehicle up with gas and prepare a go-bag car kit with more non-perishable food, jumper cables, flares, maps, tools, a first aid kit, sleeping bags, flashlights, and batteries. Collect important papers in a secure box that you can grab if you need to flee a flooded building.
Prepare for adverse weather in Round Rock, TX, by following these five steps. If your home sustains damage from wind or water damage from flood water, contact a residential damage restoration company.
Burst Water Main: How to Protect Your Business After a City Main Break
Shut off the main water valve.
How to Protect Your Company Following a City Main Break
City water main breaks can be catastrophic for your business, especially if they go unnoticed, because of the potential plumbing problems in your building. If you notice the signs of a city main break, then you may want to take the following proactive steps.
1. Check Your Commercial Insurance Policy
While you may think that your insurance policy covers a burst main or that the city will pay for the damage, that is not always the case. Most commercial policies will not cover clean water damage unless it is from a fire suppression system or you have an additional policy endorsement, and the city is not responsible for damage that occurs on your property.
2. Shut Off Water Main
If you notice that there is flooding in the street outside of your business, or you see sediment coming through your faucets, you may want to shut off the main water valve to your building because these are signs that the city main may be compromised. Shutting off this valve protects your building from further damage and gives you time to notify the city.
3. Flush the System
Once you have shut down the access point for any more incoming water, you may want to flush your system to prevent any further plumbing problems. You can do this by turning on the faucets nearest the buildings main. By using the faucet near the location, you may be able to prevent any debris or blockages from further working their way into the system.
4. Call a Professional and Install Preventative Measures
After the city has fixed the main issues and repaired the broken pipe, you may want to call in a plumbing specialist in the Round Rock, TX, area to inspect your system and possibly install a water main filtration system. This system will help to prevent any debris or sediment from future issues from entering your buildings plumbing and causing problems.
Plumbing problems can be frustrating for business owners, but especially when they are not the fault of the business. While busted city mains can be devastating, the above steps may help you protect your company.
How To Mitigate Mold After a Flood
Standing water in Round Rock, TX.
After a Flood, Here's How to Get Rid of Mold
Recovering from a flood at your home in Round Rock, TX, can be an overwhelming and time-consuming process. If you do not act quickly after the storm, standing water can breed bacteria and encourage mold growth. Questions you may ask after a flood can include:
- How do you know if mold is growing?
- How quickly do you need to act?
- What steps do you take to mitigate the problem?
Mold spores are everywhere in the environment. Typically, the spores do not endanger you or your home at normal levels. However, these microscopic organisms can flourish under the right conditions. Mold needs moisture to grow and spread. After a flood, the standing water in your home is the perfect environment for mold to multiply. Dampness remaining in floors, walls and basements after the floodwater subsides can cause mold growth in as little as 48 hours. So, be on the lookout for an earthy, musty smell indicative of mold. The color of mold varies, including black, brown, white, green or orange.
How Is Mold Remediated?
Mold cannot be completely eradicated, as it exists in nature and is everywhere. It can be remediated in your home by taking the following steps:
• Act fast to prevent the mold from developing and spreading. Immediately contact a team of water restoration and mold remediation specialists to remove the excess standing water. The company inspects for visible and hidden mold and moisture, contains the affected area, and filters spores from the air. Porous materials are removed, such as carpeting, and remaining surfaces are treated for bacteria, cleaned and sanitized.
• Your role as the homeowner is to immediately turn off the HVAC system if you suspect mold growth. This will prevent the further spread of spores. Do not touch the mold or attempt to clean it yourself.
Unmitigated mold growth after a storm in Round Rock, TX, can wreak havoc on your home and your health. Recognize the signs and act quickly by having a mold remediation specialist out to your home as soon as possible after your home floods.
How Fire Damage and Water Damage Can Go Hand in Hand
A fire is one of the most destructive home tragedies.
How Fire And Water Damage Can Affect Each Other
As a homeowner, you should do everything possible to prevent disaster and to protect your loved ones and your possessions. Of course, even your best efforts can’t always avoid accidents or incidents. One of the most devastating disasters at home is a fire. Not only can fire damage destroy the structure and your belongings, but the water firefighters used to put out the fire can ruin parts of your Round Rock, TX home as well.
Putting Out the Fire
If your home is on fire, your primary concern is everyone’s safety. Then, you want fire crews working hard to put it out so they can minimize damage and save your house, if possible. Firefighters are well-trained to combat fires of all sizes and types. They use heavy-duty equipment, including high-pressure hoses. When crews are working to extinguish the fire, the fire hose puts out a significant amount of water, which can cause widespread damage to various parts of your home.
Determining the Damage
Flames can engulf your home and burn down just about anything, but water damage usually accompanies a fire. The following are often affected by water from firefighters:
- Carpet and other flooring, such as hardwood and tile
Completing the Cleanup Effort
Fire damage may render your personal items unusable and parts of your home unlivable. Water damage can do the same, but this doesn’t mean the professionals can’t help. In many cases, an experienced restoration specialist can repair damage caused by water. These crews can remove water and dry the affected areas. They can also sanitize the wet areas to help ensure bacteria and mold won’t grow.
Any homeowner should worry about the effects of fire damage. Don’t forget about the consequences of water either. Make sure you call the professionals to help clean up after the firefighters have done their job to take care of the flames.
5 Steps To Take When Your Tenant Finds Mold in Their Apartment
Mold remediation in Round Rock, TX
Mold begins as a minuscule spore, so it is difficult to believe something so small can wreak so much destruction and havoc in a large apartment building. But mold is a clever opponent that loves to hide until the problem is so big it appears to be out of control. That is why it is important to take the following steps in mold cleanup as soon as your tenant notifies you that he or she found mold contamination in the apartment.
1. Telephone your insurance company. Find out what your insurance policy covers regarding mold issues. Sometimes the fungus is a minor problem, but other times it can require extensive cleanup efforts and a big expenditure of money. Also, request an adjuster’s visit.
2. Take photos of the mold and surrounding area. Establish a record of the situation in pictures. The photographs can also help you if you need to file an insurance claim.
3. Contact a mold cleanup and restoration team. Ask the team to locate and address the water problem feeding the mold growth. This process can include removing wet walls, floors, and cabinets; therefore, cleanup can take several days.
4. Request the restoration team’s assistance in removing the mold and restoring the area. After removing the mold spores and colonies, the restoration team can sanitize the area to prevent the mold from returning.
5. Move the tenant to a hotel if cleanup and restoration turn out to be extensive. When your tenant’s belongings must be displaced during the repair process, offer to relocate him or her to a hotel for the duration of the restoration.
If mold is a reoccurring problem in your Round Rock, TX, apartment building, there is probably a hidden water leak. The sooner you can remove the water, the less possibility there is that mold can cause damage to the building’s structure or spread to another tenant’s apartment. Additionally, by removing the underlying moisture allowing mold to grow, you can save yourself a great deal of money by preventing mold from returning and requiring further mold cleanup.
How To Clean Up Sewer Damage
Use a sump pump to remove as much water as you can.
The Sewer Cleanup Process
You walk into your home in Round Rock, TX, and immediately you smell it. The telltale odor of sewer backup permeates the air. You find the problem and call restoration experts who specialize in sewer cleanup. After doing so, you should shut off the water and power to the area and then leave the space to keep you and your family safe from the contaminated water. When the professionals arrive, this is the process they are likely to follow.
Containing the Sewage
The first step of the cleanup process is stopping the spread of the contamination. There are several parts to this step:
- Technicians don protective gear to keep themselves safe.
- Remove and bag any affected items.
- Identify the perimeter of the area the contaminants have reached.
- Seal off the area so that microbes and bacteria do not go any further.
Removing the Water
After the damage from the flooded toilet has been identified and contained, the next step of sewer cleanup is water extraction. Using industrial pumps, technicians remove as much of the water as they can from the area. The faster water is removed, the faster the actual cleaning process can begin.
Assessing Items and Materials
Certified experts are trained to recognize which items can be cleaned and which items need to be discarded. After the water is removed, they discard unsalvageable items and put others aside to be restored.
Drying the Area
At this point, nothing remains that can't be dried and saved, so the intense drying process begins. Technicians increase airflow and use dehumidifiers to completely dry the area and prevent mold growth.
Disinfecting Items and Materials
Even though the area is dry, it is still not clean. Bacteria may still be on the remaining floors and walls, so they need to be professionally disinfected. Salvageable materials and items are restored and returned to the area.
At this point, everything is dry and clean. The sewer cleanup process concludes with walls, floors and other essential items that had to be discarded being replaced.
4 Tips for Preparing Pets for a Fire Emergency
Pet safety is critical during emergencies.
How To Prepare For A Pet Emergency
You should have a fire emergency plan set up for your family. This plan should contain many components, including pet preparation. Things will get hectic if a fire ever breaks out, and you do not want your furry friend to be left behind. Pet safety is critical during emergencies, and here are some points to keep in mind.
1. Have Pet Supplies in Your Disaster Kit
Your disaster kit should contain supplies to help you and your family while you wait for your house to be habitable once again. It should contain food, medications and water. It also needs to contain supplies for your pet. Have enough pet food to last for five days, medications if your pet is on anything and records of ownership and vaccinations.
2. Get Your Pet Microchipped
During a fire emergency, your pet may panic and flee. This can be extremely disheartening. In addition to dealing with fire remediation, you now have to locate your animal, too. However, if you get your pet microchipped well in advance, then finding it will become much easier.
3. Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations
While your house is being repaired, you may need to stay at a hotel in Round Rock, TX. Look at hotels in your city to see which ones allow pets. It will save you a lot of hassle if the time ever comes. You can also ask friends or neighbors if you can stay with them during this time and if they would be all right with having a dog or cat around for a week.
4. Keep a Pet-Alert Sign in Your Window
You want firefighters to be able to locate your pet in the event of a fire emergency. If you need to evacuate, then you may not be readily accessible to tell the firefighters this information. Keep a sign in your window to inform firefighters there is a pet in this house.
Why Every Business Should Consider Buying a Flood Insurance Policy
Purchasing flood insurance can provide peace of mind, so why delay?
No place is immune from storms that can potentially cause severe damage to your business. When a destructive storm hits, insurance policies act like financial safety nets, allowing businesses to recuperate damaged or destroyed property. However, insurance companies see flood damage and storm damage as entirely different entities that require separate policies.
Examples of Storm Damage
Wind and hail are examples of natural phenomenon that can cause significant damage to your building’s exterior infrastructure. Examples of potential damage include the following:
- Loosened or detached shingles and siding
- Cracked roof surfaces
- Broken windows
- Damaged or destroyed outdoor equipment
Heavy Rainfall and Flooding
Some severe storms bring heavy rainfall which, if not drained properly, can saturate an area and cause flood damage. To be officially classified as a flooded area, the general rule is the land must be at least two acres in size and a normally dry region. An area where two or more properties are inundated with water can also be classified as a flooded zone.
Flooding can also occur inside your building, especially if the roof or windows were compromised in a storm. In this case, the distinction between flood and storm damage comes down to when the destruction occurred. While this may sound like a minute detail, it is a crucial determination for insurance purposes.
Property Insurance vs. Flood Insurance
Not all insurance policies are created equal, and there is a distinct difference between flood insurance and business property insurance. Most property insurance policies will cover damage resulting from storms, such as damaged windows, roofs and siding. However, if the storm causes flooding and the primary culprit of the damage was flood waters, your property insurance policy will likely not be applicable. Instead, you will have to file a claim on an existing flood insurance policy. Unfortunately, not every business chooses to purchase flood insurance, creating the potential for substantial financial loss.
Purchase a Policy for Peace of Mind
When flood damage occurs, navigating the restoration and cleanup process can be challenging and timely, particularly if your business lacks adequate insurance. It’s hard to predict when the next severe storm will hit Round Rock, TX. Purchasing flood insurance can provide peace of mind, so why delay?
Flood Protection: Your Guide to Sandbag Alternatives
Flooded entrance of a building in Round Rock, TX.
When the weather reports indicate that a major storm is headed for Round Rock, TX, you likely take whatever precautions you can to protect your building from the impending storm and potential flooding. By far, the most common precautionary measure is to construct a sand bag dam or levee around properties or areas that are vulnerable to the threat of rising water. However, sandbagging is not the only way to protect your property in the event of a flood.
Water-Filled Flood Dams
Some alternative flood protection solutions utilize water, rather than sand, to create heavy, sturdy, and stackable barriers against rising floodwater. One example, the HydraBarrier, consists of a 72-inch-long tube. You use a hose to fill the tube with water, which takes around two minutes. Each tube is an effective barricade against up to six inches of floodwater. A larger example of a water-filled barrier is the AquaDam, which offers protection against up to three feet of floodwater. Filling these types of flood barriers with water is considerably faster than filling bags with sand; also, these barriers can be emptied and reused when the flooding recedes.
Levee-Style Flood Barriers
Another category of sand bag alternatives is floodwall-type flood protection. The options in this category vary widely in cost and design features.
AquaFence: For large commercial properties, the AquaFence Floodwall features panels of stainless steel, marine-grade laminate, and aluminum-laced PVC canvas that can be installed by a team of 8-10 workers to create a 4-foot-tall floodwall around your entire building.
Instee Levee Builder: This option uses a large tube and special sand-pouring machine that quickly creates an 18-inch-tall, sand-filled flood levee.
QuickDam: The QuickDam is a strip of highly absorbent fabric that absorbs and expands when exposed to water, forming up to a 3.5-inch-tall, 5-foot-long barrier that can be stacked as needed.
Flood damage remediation can be difficult and costly. With so many fast, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional sand bag barriers available, you’re sure to find the right flood prevention solution to protect your building against rising water.