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5 Things To Understand About Mold

9/29/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall damaged, drywall with mold growth Mold damage in a Redlands, CA commercial building.

How to Keep Your Company Mold Free

Keeping mold growth out of company property can be an area of concern for many Redlands, CA, business owners. Fortunately, the more that’s understood about this fungus the better the precautions that can be taken. Here’s what you may want to know to keep your company mold-free.

1. Where it Grows

Mold grows best in areas of high humidity. It is also likely to grow where water damage has occurred. This is why it’s important to clean up flooding as quickly as possible. In most cases, mold tends to prefer to grow on organic materials such as drywall or carpeting.

2. How it Spreads

Mold releases spores which can latch on to damp material and begin new growth. In damp or humid conditions it can spread quickly.

3. What it Looks Like

In many cases the appearance of mold growth can vary. The texture ranges from splotchy and fuzzy to long and threadlike. Colors may vary between brown, orange, white, grey, black, and green. The appearance of the mold may be determined by the growth location and the age of the mold.

4. Why it Smells

Mold is a fungus meaning it gives off mycotoxins as it grows. A mycotoxin is a toxic organic compound than can lead to a number of issues if the mold is left uninhibited. These compounds are the reason for the musty smell.

5. What to Do

In the event you have mold, it’s best to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible. A mold remediation specialist may be able to help. It’s best to contain the moldy area to prevent spreading, and thoroughly clean and sanitize anywhere where the mold has appeared.

Understanding mold growth can be the first step to preventing its growth. Mold should be dealt with quickly whenever it’s found. Remember, if you have any questions, a professional may be able to help.

Basement Water Removal After a Flood

9/29/2021 (Permalink)

Empty room, clean, drywall removed from the top of a wall Storm remediation services in a Yucaipa, CA home.

Basement Water Removal Following a Flood

If you've had a flood in your Yucaipa, CA, home, it's likely that you've got a lot of water in your basement. Cleaning it up can be a messy, time-consuming job. If you've got more than two feet of water to deal with, you'll want to call a professional restoration company to take care of it. They will be able to clear the water quickly and efficiently, using specialized water removal equipment and techniques. Here's what to expect once the water removal technicians start on the job.

1. Contents Removal

Once the restoration company arrives, they will begin to move out any items that are in the basement, such as furniture, electronics, appliances, and other personal belongings. Any salvageable items will be dried, cleaned, and specially treated to disinfect for mold or bacteria. When the basement has been cleared out, water removal can begin.

2. Water Removal

Next, the technicians will use specialized equipment to extract the water. These can include a sump pump or a heavy-duty extraction unit mounted on a truck. In some cases, a trash pump will be used if the water is filled with a lot of debris such as leaves, trash, or sludge. If the flooding is really severe, submersible pumps may be employed. When the bulk of the water has been removed, wet-dry vacuums will be brought in to deal with the rest.

3. Cleaning and Dehumidifying

After as much water as possible has been removed from the basement, there is still a great deal of moisture remaining in the walls and floors. Specialized dehumidifying and drying machinery will be brought in to make sure every trace of water is taken out. At this point, any problems with odor, mold, or mildew will be addressed and mitigated.

Clean up after a flood in your home can be overwhelming. But the good news is that professionals with the right equipment for the job are only a phone call away. By following the steps outlined above, the restoration company will quickly bring your home back to its original condition.v

My Commercial Furnace Is Flooded. What Should I Do?

9/29/2021 (Permalink)

Furnace flood The best thing that you can do after a furnace flood is remain calm.

Commercial Furnace Flood

If a pipe broke suddenly and lead to an unexpected but disastrous furnace flood at your Mentone, CA, business, you may be feeling helpless about the situation. But you can find a solution to this matter. Read on to learn about the three most important steps in the recovery process.

1. Maintenance

If you can, have a professional complete maintenance work on the furnace as soon as possible after the flood has been addressed. You want to do everything that you can to save your heating system if replacement is not a definite need. Ensure that your chosen helpers are trained and certified, if necessary.

2. Replacement If Needed

If repairs are not doing the trick, you may have to face that you need a new furnace altogether. A Mentone, CA, professional can help you with this as well. While it is understandable that you wish you could simply fix your existing system, you want to make sure you have the best heater in place for you and your staff. Sometimes, this may have to result in a full replacement plan.

3. Air Duct Cleaning

If you were able to have your furnace repaired, make sure that its air ducts are cleaned before use. Sometimes, as a result of water buildup from the furnace flood, water-related contaminants such as mold can grow in household systems and appliances. These colonies can spread throughout the air, and air ducts are a common pathway. Such infestations could lead to structural damage throughout your commercial property.

The best thing that you can do after a furnace flood is remain calm. You do not need to get discouraged. There are many types of water damage that commercial restoration specialists and other trained technicians can help you with. Use the steps above and your own thorough research to figure out the best, most cost-effective plan for your and your company’s needs after a burst pipe leaves you with a flooded furnace.

Most Common Causes of House Fires

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage cleanup in a kitchen by a SERVPRO technician. Don't leave your stove unattended when you're cooking, ensure that you’re doing your part to protect your home.

House Fires: The Most Common Causes

A house fire is every homeowner’s nightmare. Not only would an event such as this put your family’s safety at risk, but a serious fire could destroy the home itself and your most treasured items and belongings. The good news is, if you’re aware of some the typical causes of a home fire, you can take steps to protect your place and everything inside.


Dryers


You probably use your dryer frequently throughout the week—perhaps every day in your Mentone,CA home. You may not think much about this appliance as doing anything more than get your clothes ready to wear, but the dryer is actually a common culprit for a home fire. Here’s how:

  • Lint builds up in the exhaust trap and becomes clogged with flammable materials
  • Lint gathers in the exhaust vent leading outside.
  • As your dryer runs and generates heat, it can ignite this lint.

Candles


People love setting a peaceful, romantic atmosphere with candles. The smells and sights can create a soothing ambiance. But these are frequent fire causes when people neglect proper care. Always make sure you blow out a candle when you’re not in the room. Also, make sure no one will easily bump into the candle.


Electrical


Your home is filled with appliances and other devices that run on electricity. Your place has wires running all through the home. It’s important to not overload circuits. Don’t plug too many devices in one outlet. Also, it’s vital to have a professional conduct regular inspection of your electrical system to ensure you’re not at risk for a fire. Fire cleaning from electrical fires can be extensive, and the damage can be devastating.


Some of the best ways to avoid a home fire are to keep an eye on these three issues and ensure that you’re doing your part to protect your home. Be wise and conscientious, and you can keep these dangers away from the people and things you value most.

Avoid These Missteps Following a Flood

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

mold growth on the bottom of a wall in the bathroom Flooding caused mold damage

After a Flood, Avoid These Common Blunders

Flood water in your home is one of the biggest nightmares you could face. Even minor house floods can cause widespread damage, while severe flooding can destroy your house and even cause harm. If you’ve experienced a flood in your Yucaipa, CA, home, you want to take the right steps. The wrong course of action could lead to further damage and escalated costs. Here are some hints to help you avoid taking a misstep following a flood in your home.

Don’t Wear the Wrong Gear

Once you notice you’ve got a flooded home, you need to inspect the damage. It’s essential that you visit every room in your house and assess where the damage is most significant. As you do this, make sure you take steps to provide for your own safety and that you’re wearing the proper protective clothing. These include:

  • Wear knee-high rubber boots.
  • Wear latex gloves.
  • Wear a mask.

Stay out of the Water

As you look for water damage, you want to avoid standing water. Not only is this a breeding ground for bacteria, microbes and other harmful substances including sewage, but there’s also a strong potential for electric shock.

Keep Your Hands and Face Out of the Way

Flood water is nothing to take lightly. There’s a strong chance it contains black water, which is water that has mixed with sewage. It may contain feces and urine from sewers or from overflowing toilets. If you make the mistake of letting it come into contact with your skin, you could get seriously ill. Worse, if you ingest this water, it could be fatal.

Don’t Delay Cleanup

The results of flood water could be devastating, so you don’t want to let a minute pass by before you contact your insurance company or start the cleanup process. Better yet, contact a restoration professional immediately for assistance in the cleanup process.

5 Steps To Keep Your Restaurant Mold-Free

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold contamination on a drywall. Mold damage

Five Steps To Prevent Mold

Dealing with mold is an issue no restaurant owner wishes to endure. The high humidity of a busy kitchen can be the perfect breeding ground for it, but as inevitable as mold spores are in the environment, mold growth is an avoidable occurrence you can help prevent with these five simple steps:

1. Keep Humidity Levels Low

The EPA recommends interior humidity levels be kept between 30 and 50 percent to limit the possibility of mold development. Aim for the ideal level of 40 percent by utilizing fans and dehumidifiers in key locations such as the kitchen, bathroom and basement.

2. Maintain Ventilation Systems

The nature of a restaurant kitchen creates immense amounts of water and steam, making ideal conditions for mold spores to develop. Ensure there is an efficient ventilation system in place in the kitchen and dishwashing area. Regular maintenance checks should verify the system is clean and functioning properly.

3. Clean Regularly and Thoroughly

Mold thrives in dark, damp places that are often unseen to the obvious line of vision. The nooks and crannies of a restaurant kitchen can create ample opportunities for mold to develop: underneath sinks, behind appliances, or within refrigerators. Move equipment often, checking for moisture or water damage and cleaning on top, underneath, and behind all surfaces to minimize the opportunity for growth.

4. Inspect All Food

Chefs and cooks should be well-trained to identify signs of mold growth on food. Mold spores spread quickly, and any contaminated food could not only infect other food items but also spread to all areas of the kitchen.

5. Schedule Professional Inspections

Prevention is the preferred method when it comes to mold growth. To keep your Redlands, CA, restaurant running fungus-free, it is best to schedule a consultation with the professionals. A mold remediation team has IICRC training credentials paired with high-tech equipment to verify your restaurant is not only mold-free but also at low risk for any future development. With a clean kitchen and professional contact, mold should find no home in your restaurant!

Why Is There an Adjuster Coming to the House?

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removed due to pipe broken Water damage inside walls in a Redlands, CA home.

After a flood in Redlands, CA, you may be surprised by some of the to-dos you have. Calling in a local remediation team is a no-brainer, but do you really have to work with a home adjuster? Sure, you want your insurance to help pay for the damages, but can't the cleanup crew help you with the claims process? Your insurance provider may have several reasons for sending out an adjuster. Taking the time to work with this professional can help speed up your claim.

Damage Assessment

While your cleanup professionals can help you assess the damage done to your house, your insurance provider may want their own expert to take a look too. This extra set of eyes helps them get a better understanding of the following:

  • The damage done to your house
  • Personal property loss
  • The cause of the flooding

Your insurance claim may rely on a detailed inventory of damage and proof of loss, which is why it's important for you to allow the agent of the insurance company to come to your house.

Contractor Agreement

Your provider may also have a select list of contractors they want you to work with to make the repairs on your house. The home adjuster can help you get in touch with those contractors or approve the professional you're already working with.

Policy Overview

Not all sources of flooding are covered by a standard homeowner's policy. The inspector may need to come to your property to figure out what caused the water damage. He or she may help you better understand the causes covered by your current policy. Having an overview of your coverages prior to a disaster can make it easier for you to react appropriately should your home be affected by floods, mold growth, or fire.

Not all insurance companies require a home adjuster to make an on-site visit after a flood. If your provider wants to send this agent, make sure you cooperate with him or her.

Learn How To Properly Prevent a Cigarette Fire From Happening in Your Home

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

young man smoking outside at house balcony Take the cigarette outside.

Prevent a Cigarette Fire In Your Home

If you smoke cigarettes, it’s important for you to know how to prevent a cigarette fire from taking place in your home. It may seem like something that is preventable, but people have lost their lives due to fires that were started by a cigarette or the ash it leaves behind. There are three steps you should follow if you want to stay safe in Yucaipa, CA.

1. Don’t smoke in your bed. If you’re feeling tired and want to have a quick smoke, you may normally sit in bed with the ashtray and take a few puffs. This is a dangerous game to play because if you’re too exhausted, you could pass out on the bed with a lit cigarette in your hand that could end up causing a massive cigarette fire. If you’re going to smoke, make sure you’re not doing it in your bed.

2. Don’t use a traditional ashtray. A lot of people think ashtrays are safe to use, but they do pose some serious risks. In some cases, the ash doesn’t go out and ends up spreading even further, creating an ashtray fire. It’s better to smoke outside or to dump your ashes in water as soon as you’re done smoking so that you know everything is put out.

3. Take the cigarette outside. Rather than smoking in your home and dealing with the odor and all the potential risks, stand on your porch or sit in your backyard when smoking. It’s the absolute best way for you to prevent a cigarette fire in the home.

Many people have had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a fire caused by a cigarette. Those people may have needed help from a professional fire cleanup company to salvage their belongings and restore their homes. If you want to prevent a cigarette fire, don’t smoke in bed, don’t use an ashtray, and simply smoke while you’re outside instead of inside the home in Yucaipa, CA.

Where Is the Post-Flood Stink Coming From?

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall Flooding caused mold damage in a Yucaipa, CA home.

Mold growth and odors are just some of the There are many obnoxious and lingering side effects that could occur in your facility after your business was the victim of damage from floodwater:

  • Mold growth
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Bacterial proliferation

There are plenty of ways that the recovery pros in Mentone, CA, handle these side effects. In fact, many professional practices are designed to recover from initial problems while simultaneously preventing future issues.

Cleaning

While it's generally a good idea to throw away all the porous items that were affected by flooding, some textile items, such as waterproof coverings, might be salvageable. Other items, such as upholstered furniture, will simply contribute to your risk of mold growth and terrible odors. Most disaster relief companies can make recommendations about what to keep and what to throw away. They also usually have partnerships with large commercial cleaners, so you can take advantage of the discounts available due to the economy of scale.

Odor Control
Trust your nose when it comes to bad odors after a flood. Residual water might start to cause a stink if it's left alone. Of course, time isn't the only thing that causes water to smell bad. If your facility's bathroom gets backed up, you'll face expensive sewage loss and the nasty smells associated with it. Acting fast according to best practices with commercial-grade antiseptics and deodorants minimizes your cost and discomfort.

Act Quickly, Clean Thoroughly
If you leave it alone, you could end up with black mold problems, insect infestation and even rodent invasion. Cleanup for these problems almost always involves several steps — and possibly multiple reoccurrences. Taking care of the flood decisively minimizes your chance of these secondary issues.
Odor, mold growth and insect problems are all frustrating secondary flood issues. You can't always see the cause, but the professionals know where to look. Work with a trusted company to make sure that you're getting the inspection and thorough initial cleanup you need to protect the future of your business.

Part Five: Reputation and Hiring the Right People

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

I came across a well worn quote recently, it was by the famous and highly successful Warren Buffet, 
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.
 Pat Padgett the Carpet Cleaner wasn’t Warren Buffet and he wouldn’t have put this thought exactly the same way, but he also knew this to be true. Spending decades as the local serviceman was all about reputation. Communities are small, even our big ones. What was true then is still true today, reputation matters. A Vulnerable ReputationThere are two primary aspects of a business that are most vulnerable to depleting a reputation, the quality of work accomplished and the people who represent the company, your employees. If I were to heed Warren Buffet’s words I’d have to focus on my hiring. I’d have to hire the right people. Because Pat Padgett had a simpler operation, the company's reputation fell onto his shoulders. My dad’s proximity to his reputation guarded his reputation. But, I was trying to do something different, I was building a company intentionally larger and more complex and so I had to walk carefully and make intentional decisions along the way. Over time I learned that hiring the right people had a lot to do with being the right company. And so, I pursued after this goal. Building systems, making good hires, focusing on culture, and pursuing everything we do with excellence. It worked. Progress and Growth: Building a Winning TeamOur team continued to expand and continued to grow. Few managers develop the talent and skill necessary to realize full and maximum return from their employees. The managerial task is to take a newly hired person and make them fully productive as quickly as possible. This has a two-sided benefit: the company benefits, produces new revenue quickly, the employee benefits, it provides gratification. Pat Padgett the Carpet Cleaner employed 4 people, by 2015 I was employing 45 people, now SERVPRO Team Jeffrey Padgett has 30 in just 5 short years.  Early on I developed a strategy for hiring good people and keeping good people. I found that my best applicants came from two sources: people looking for work (at this point I know there are levels of motivation) and employee referrals. I especially valued employee referrals because I know that if someone I already trust is willing to back another with their reputation, they’ll likely fit in well. I made sure that every hire had clear expectations and even wrote out explicitly what these expectations were, I still do this. I found this to be important because, if a difficult conversation needs to be had, it can happen maturely. I had this somewhat unorthodox interview strategy that I found effective. I’d present a potential candidate with a group of blocks, each with one letter of the alphabet. I’d ask them to order them in alphabetical order — yes, I did receive a few cock-eyed looks. But what I found was this. I was able to glimpse the character of a person, if only for a moment. There is something about this task that tests a person’s patience. I’d glimpse the thought process, see how they approached a problem and then see their willingness to receive instruction. Reflections on Building the Right TeamIn those years I was trying, attempting and implementing. Not everything I did was a success, some things were outright failures. But I found the failures were equally important, the wrong hires taught me lessons for the future. In those early years I plowed forward, I still am. I think back to dad, to what Pat Padgett would think. Would he give me that attaboy, would he be proud of the progress I made? I know he would. He’d laugh with me at my mistakes and give me his onerous opinion where he felt it was needed. My Dad was worried about the reputation of Pat Padgett the Carpet Cleaner, but he was also concerned about the reputation of the Padgett name. I wasn’t my fathers employee, though at times I was, I was his son. And he invested himself in me, he taught me the ropes and I continue on, continuing the work, furthering the reputation with each new hire made.