What Not to Do After a Flood
Never drive through a flooded street
Avoid The Following In Your Home
Dangerous flood water can cause problems for anyone, even if you've never experienced a flood before. Knowing the correct, and incorrect, actions to take during and after the incident can, not only save your life, but also help you avoid subsequent property damage. Make sure to avoid the following if your home in Lehigh Acres, FL, has recently suffered from a flood.
1. Never Enter a Moving Flood.
There are a number of reasons why wading or swimming in flood water is a terrible idea. The water could likely contain harmful biohazards or other contaminants. Likewise, it's difficult to tell how quickly the current is moving. It only takes about 6 inches of water to sweep you away.
2. Never Disobey Emergency Response Crews.
First responders, local authorities and other types emergency response crews exist to help you. Disobeying or ignoring them can put you in danger, as well as make their jobs significantly more difficult. You're better off listening to what they have to tell you and following their directions.
3. Never Touch Standing Water.
Just because the water in your flooded home isn't moving, doesn't mean it's safe. Much like the flood currents, this standing water could contain harmful biohazards. It's also possible that the water could be electrically charged, especially if it has come into contact with an outlet or electronic device.
4. Never Drive Through a Flood.
It only takes about a foot of water to sweep your car away. Avoid catastrophe by simply keeping out of the flood altogether.
5. Never Ignore Water Damage.
All types of floods can cause damage, not just severe ones. After the authorities give you permission to return home, you need to take immediate action to remediate any water damage. Leaving it untreated can cause mold growth and other types of structural damage.
Flood water should never be taken lightly. Staying alert and listening to your local authorities is the best way to keep yourself and your family safe. If your home has suffered damage following a flood, you need to contact flood remediation experts.
3 Key Differences Between Mildew and Mold
Mold infestation in a Sanibel, FL apartment
Learn The Differences Between Mold And Mildew
You spot an amorphous growth that appears to be mold damage in your Sanibel, FL, home: but is it actually mildew or mold? In fact, mildew growth is simply a specific type of the broader category of "mold," so it follows many of the same rules as mold growth. Both mildew and other types of mold:
- Are attracted to warm, moist areas
- Can grow on almost any surface
- Will spread extremely quickly if not tended to immediately
The lightning-fast growth of all types of molds is why it is key to call your local mold remediation specialists as soon as possible. By looking out for these three key differences, you can determine whether your mold damage is caused by mildew or another type of fungus such as black mold.
1. The Color Is Key
One obvious difference between mildew growth and mold growth is the color of the fungus. Mildew tends to be yellow, gray, or white, while other molds are most often green or black. Checking the color of the growth in your home against this guideline will help you determine what extent of remediation will be necessary.
2. The Texture Is Telling
Another difference that you can easily spot is the texture of the fungus. While mildew typically appears powdery or fluffy, other molds that might grow in your house are generally slimy or fuzzy. Luckily, this difference in texture should be visible to the naked eye, so no need to feel it with your bare hand!
3. The Surface Is Significant
Mildew and other molds also tend to be attracted to different types of surfaces. Both fungi prefer warm, moist environments, but mildew is more likely to grow on surfaces like shower walls and windowsills, whereas mold is more attracted to organic materials such as cloth, wood, paper, and drywall.
Determining whether your mold damage is due to mildew or another fungus can be very helpful in determining the next steps, but either way, the growth will spread fast, so it's always a good idea to get professional help right away.
3 Things To Do After a Home Flood
Flooded home by rainwater in Fort Myers, FL
Follow These Tips And Leave The Rest To The Professionals
Has your home in Fort Myers, FL, been flooded by rainwater or a pipe leak? Flooding can be an overwhelming and devastating issue, and whatever its cause, it's best to contact a professional cleanup service. While working with professionals, there are some steps that a homeowner should take.
1. Avoid Entering Flooded Areas
Standing water is dangerous for a number of reasons. There could be electrical current flowing through even the smallest amount of water, and there could also be hazardous debris you can't see under murky, dark floodwater. Additionally, your home's structural integrity could be damaged by the standing liquid. This point is especially important in the case of a basement flood. Simply exercising caution is not enough; you must not ever enter a flooded area. Leave the dangerous work to the professionals.
2. Move Belongings
While making sure to steer clear of the flooding, remove any belongings from your home that may be in the path of spreading water. The longer the water sits, the more it will spread. It's also possible that more water can continue to build up, depending on the original source. For example, a pipe leak can continuously spill water. Thus, it is imperative that you move your items out of harm's way quickly.
3. Fix the Original Issue
After the professionals have finished the cleanup, it's important to identify and tackle the original cause of the flood. Now that your home has been deemed safe to enter by a professional, you can look for the original cause. Sometimes, a pipe repair is in order. Professionals also recommend checking your sump pump. A failing or clogged pump is the cause of many home floods. Without assessing and dealing with the cause of the original issue, it is likely that a flood may happen again.
Flooding is a problematic issue with many things to consider. Luckily, as a homeowner, you only need to follow these few tips and leave the rest to a professional.
How To Use a Fire Extinguisher
Kitchen fire in Fort Myers Beach, FL
You must know how to use a fire extinguisher to help reduce the potential for damage to your home in the event of a small fire. Knowing how to put out a fire can leave you hiring restoration professionals rather than building a new house. Read on to learn the standard procedures for operating an extinguisher.
Responding to a Fire
To prevent fire damage in your home, you must react quickly to any fires. To do this, you need to know the appropriate response ahead of time. Here are the steps you should take to effectively deal with a small fire:
- Call the fire department, if necessary
- Make sure that you can safely get out of the house if you try to put out the fire
- Grab your fire extinguisher and discharge over the fire using the PASS technique
- Back away from the fire and watch for it to reignite
- Evacuate immediately if you have failed to put out the fire
The PASS Technique
The PASS technique is the standard method for operating a portable extinguisher. To start, you must pull the pin from the extinguisher. Then, aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Remember not to touch the nozzle with your bare hands because it can get so cold that it will damage your skin.
When you are ready, squeeze the nozzle to discharge the extinguisher. As you do this, sweep back and forth across the base of the fire until it is put out. Step back and watch it for a second. If the flame reignites, aim the extinguisher, squeeze, and sweep again.
Whether facing escaped ember from your fireplace or a small kitchen fire, you must know how to put out a fire. Remember to respond quickly and appropriately, using the PASS technique with your fire extinguisher. This can protect your home in Fort Myers Beach, FL, from excessive damage.
Creating an Emergency Action Plan for Your Business Can Be a Lifesaver
Unexpected events are a frequent occurrence in life, but businesses seem to get more than their share. They are so common that, in a given year, emergency expenses usually average out and can be considered a normal cost of doing business. However, some emergencies are more extreme, and having a contingency plan can help mitigate the severity of the damages to both your bottom line and the health and welfare of your employees.
Planning Always Pays Off
Regardless of the size of your business, you should have an evacuation plan in place for common hazards. The plans for Tice, FL, should be specific enough to address events such as:
- Severe weather
- An active shooter
However, an effective plan should also have built-in flexibility to handle circumstances beyond the foreseeable. Planning not only pays off directly in these situations; it keeps employees and management aware that your operation is well-organized and cares about the people there.
Emergency Action Plans
Many businesses covered by OSHA regulations require an emergency action plan (EAP), particularly if the organization has more than 10 employees. This is a well-developed, written contingency plan that employees can use to respond effectively during emergencies. The plan should include:
- How and when to report emergencies
- Evacuation procedures and escape routes
- Fight, flee or shelter in place policies
- Training procedures, especially for employees who run critical operations or who stay to respond to emergencies
- Names or job titles of specific employees who perform rescue or fire-fighting duties
Creating an EAP contingency plan in Tice, FL, isn’t just for large employers; it’s beneficial for everyone and can even help reduce liability by showing a good-faith effort to do everything possible in an emergency. With adequate training and a solid EAP, you can help avoid injuries and reduce clean-up and restoration costs from fire and water damage. Small and medium-sized businesses can usually come up with a successful plan in as little as 10 or 15 minutes, so it’s well worth your time to address this in advance.
How to Minimize Mold Damage
Mold damage in Whiskey Creek, FL
The unsightly appearance of mold is enough to stress out any building owner or tenant. It can also be embarrassing and concerning to find black mold and other forms of this fungus in the workplace. This discovery doesn't have to be inevitable, however. There are things you can do to reduce your risk of finding mold. Knowing how it thrives and how to stop its spread can give you peace of mind.
A Brief Understanding of Mold
Mold spores are tiny and float on the air outside. The spores make their way indoors through any opening and on people and animals. Once inside, mold needs the right environment to grow and spread. If any of these situations exist in your Whiskey Creek, FL, building, you may need to consider mold cleanup soon:
- Areas of high humidity such as bathrooms and laundry facilities
- Poor airflow and ventilation
- Plumbing issues such as leaky or broken pipes
- Insufficient drainage such as clogged rain gutters and downspouts
Maintaining and keeping up your building is essential to avoiding black mold and other forms of this fungus. Ignoring plumbing problems such as leaks can lead to quick mold growth. At least once a year, have a professional inspect your pipes and appliances for problems. You should also take a look at the building's foundation and roof for signs of damage.
If You Spot Mold
If you have a moisture problem and see mold in any part of your building, you should first contact a professional mold remediation company. Technicians can handle cleanup of any size and will also restore your building regardless of the extent of the damage. You should also turn off the HVAC system and water in your building while the technicians work, as airflow can spread the spores throughout the area.
You shouldn't have to contend with black mold and other types of this unwanted guest. Be aware of these guidelines and follow them.
Is Polybutylene Plumbing Dangerous to Commercial Buildings?
If you have polybutylene pipes you should replace them
One of the greatest risks to commercial buildings is water leaks. When they go undiscovered, they can cause tens of thousands of dollars in water damage in Mcgregor, FL. Types of damage include:
- Black mold
- Foundation damage
- Rotting wood
- Buckled flooring
- Attraction of wood-boring insects
What Causes Pipes To Go Bad?
Public water supplies, while usually safe, contain oxygenating chemicals. They’re harmless to humans since they’re only present in trace quantities. Unfortunately, they react with the pipes gradually over many years, causing degradation.
All plumbing will wear out eventually. Copper plumbing has a life expectancy of perhaps 50 years. Newer PVC can last at least that long, but older installations generally have a lifespan of around 30 years.
However, many new plumbing installations in 1978-2005 used different piping, including polybutylene and PEX. Both of them are problematic, with PEX being banned outright in California. Of the two, the former is the more notorious for developing leaks.
Should PEX Be Replaced?
Older PEX should be replaced. Its fittings were poorly thought out and quickly showed their flaws. If the installation was prior to around 2000, you’re better off replacing it.
A problem all PEX has is that it leaches harmful chemicals into the water. This may not be a concern for some commercial buildings, but multi-family residences should not use PEX.
When Should You Replace Polybutylene Pipes?
As soon as you read this! They haven’t been used anywhere since 1995 and are long past their lifespans anyway.
PB plumbing has everything going against it: It reacts with the chemicals in the water, it becomes brittle in relatively mild temperatures, its fittings are terrible, and it can’t even be repaired well.
If your building doesn’t have water damage from a failed PB pipe, you’ve been extraordinarily lucky — or, more likely, you haven’t discovered it yet. You should contact a good local water restoration contractor to inspect for damage as soon as you can if you have polybutylene pipes. Choose one that’s on a preferred vendor list of insurance companies to be sure you get the highest quality at a good price.
Mitigating Storm Damage
Roof tarping services in Pine Manor, FL
Two Ways To Protect Your Building From Extensive Damage
Severe weather is always a threat to businesses. The heavy rains and high winds present risks to the foundation, structure, and vulnerable entry points of a facility. There are several forms of typical storm damage beyond a simple roof leak:
- Broken windows
- Missing shingles
- Punctured roofing membrane
- Flooded basement or warehouse
While damage is not necessarily likely during every storm, business owners still need to prepare for the possibility. Commercial insurance may cover most of the cost, but insurers still expect property owners to take measures to avoid further loss. Storm mitigation companies in Pine Manor, FL, can use two materials to protect your building from more extensive damage.
Plywood, while not an optimum choice for a roof leak, does provide structural integrity to vertical damage. Most mitigation specialists use plywood to cover damaged windows and doors. The dense material is sturdy against future winds and secure enough to protect against potential intruders or vagrants. Plywood can also help to reinforce walls and other places that may have failed during severe weather. If using the material on horizontal surfaces, like the roof, make sure it is significantly wider than the hole to ensure water does not penetrate the interior.
The material of choice for a damaged roof is likely a tarp. Tarps are large, plastic, flexible sheets made of durable and waterproof materials such as vinyl. Mitigation companies often prefer using tarps on horizontal structures because water is less likely to penetrate the surface, and manipulation of the material is easy. You can also use tarps to direct water into pails, buckets or other bins, avoiding damage to the building interior.
Severe weather can cause more damage than a minor roof leak. Storm preparation as a building owner means planning for potential disasters, and the best way to do that is by creating a disaster recovery plan with a mitigation and remediation specialist.
3 Types of Damage You Might Find in Your Home After a Storm
Here Are Some Things You Might Need To Look Out For
If a storm in Tice, FL, has caused flooding, you might be dealing with some water damage in your home. If this is the case, there are multiple different problems that you could encounter as a result. Secondary damage, such as mold growth, is common and can sometimes be even more difficult to fix than primary damage. Here are some of the things you might need to look out for.
1. Mold Growth
Any kind of water damage can contribute to the growth of mold. This is because mold spores are present in most environments. When water is not removed quickly, the excess moisture allows mold to grow. In some cases, an infestation may begin to form overnight. Along with discoloration to surfaces, this can create a musty odor in your home.
The water that results from a flood is category 3 or black water. This means that it is highly contaminated. It can carry debris, mud and sewage. Because of this, it contains a high quantity of bacteria that can make it more hazardous than other kinds of water. While some items may be salvaged, those with absorbent materials might need to be replaced. Thorough cleaning must be done to remove any contamination.
3. Weakened or Rotting Materials
If it is left for long periods of time, standing water can affect the materials that make up your home. It can rust metal and warp wood. Insulation, carpeting, and drywall can absorb large amounts of water and will likely be ruined if this occurs.
If you are dealing with mold growth and other types of damage as the result of a storm, a clean up and restoration company can help. They have the experience and equipment to safely remove the water from your home and sanitize any affected areas. They can also make any necessary repairs to the building. Some damaged belongings may be restored as well.
Why Mold Grows and How to Avoid It
Mold growth in Buckingham, FL home
Ways To Prevent Mold Growth
As a proud homeowner in Buckingham, FL, you take pride in maintaining your property and ensuring it is a welcoming and inviting place to be. Unfortunately, no matter how clean it is, they are many conditions that make it an inviting environment for black mold to grow. When that happens, it is best to leave mold cleanup to a mold remediation and restoration expert. To avoid having to make that call, knowing the main mold-causing culprits and way to prevent growth is key.
Some form of the moisture problem is the ultimate cause of mold growth. Once spores have the moisture, food, and warmth they need, they can be grown and spread just about anywhere. Below are core reasons and areas for mold issues:
- High humidity levels
- Drying clothes indoors
- Leaking pipes
- Roof leaks
- Poor home ventilation
- Flooding, both natural and pipe-related
- Basements that are not waterproof
Although there are always some mold spores around, you can keep black mold at bay. Consider doing a home inspection of areas prone to moisture. Below are some other mold prevention tips to consider.
Fix leaks the instant they are found.
Any spilled water or residual water from a leak should immediately be cleaned and dried.
Insulate pipes or other surfaces that are prone to condensation.
Verify that every room in the home is well-ventilated, especially the basement, attic, bathrooms, and kitchen.
Ensure that exterior ground at the foundation slopes away from the home.
Regularly clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water drainage, as well as inspect the roof for damage.
Keep humidity levels in the home under 60 percent. Have HVAC appliances regularly inspect and ensure that air-conditioner drains are free of debris.
Dealing with black mold is not something any homeowner wants to face. Knowing the potential causes of mold and doing general maintenance can help keep you maintain a safe and clean environment.