How Do You Know If Your House Has Mold?
Mold Removal in Progress
When your house has mold, there’s more than the smell you have to worry about. Not only can mold cause odor, but it can also damage the integrity of your home. The most common indication of mold is a musty damp smell. However, there are many other signs your house has begun to grow mold in different areas.
Spotting the Signs
If you’re concerned that your house has mold, here are the most obvious and common signs to look out for:
- If you see black spores spreading on surfaces, it’s a sure sign of mold in your home.
- You can smell a musty/damp odor – Mold smells, it’s one of the best ways to detect it even if you can’t see it.
- You see uneven patches on floors or walls – If damp is finding its way into your walls or floors and causing bubbling under your paint, squishy floors, etc., then you almost certainly have mold growing there too.
What does mold smell like?
When mold is growing and spreading, it releases compounds that have a distinct, unpleasant odor.
It’s a smell that once you’ve smelled and are familiar with, there is no mistaking it. The best adjectives to describe mold are; wet, stale, and musty.
People describe the odor as being similar to damp clothes that have been sitting around way too long.
Where Can Mold Hide?
Mold flourishes in areas of the home where there is moisture, oxygen, warmth, darkness and food source. The problem is that the areas where you’re likely to find a combination of elements are not always the most visible.
Here are some of the most common places mold can hide in the home:
Bathrooms are breeding grounds for mold. While it’s easy to spot black mold creeping across white tiles, there’s also plenty of places you can easily miss.
Check behind the toilet around the waste pipe, under the flooring, under your bath (you’ll have to remove the bath panel to see), around sink taps/pipes behind the basin.
Check behind your appliances that use or produce moisture, such as your refrigerator, freezer, ice dispenser, and so on.
Mold can also start creeping up walls that are soaking up damp from the elements outside. So, check inside cupboards, behind appliances, and so on for any external walls.
The main areas of concern in bedrooms are mattresses, and window sills. If you haven’t flipped your bed in a while, do so. Also, check around your windows throughout the home as moisture can collect in window seals.
Attics and Vents
Unless you go into your attic often, you’re not going to know if mold is growing up there. All it takes is a leaky roof to fuel the mold spores, and you can have a severe problem on your hands.
It’s a good idea to check any heating vents and air conditioning units too. The constant flow of air combined with moisture are ingredients for the presence of mold.
What Should You Do If You Find Mold?
If you’ve found mold in your home, it’s important you act sooner rather than later to get rid of it, as mold is potentially very hazardous
There are two parts to ridding your home of mold. The first is to clean up and treat the area where mold is growing. The second is to take steps to fix the issue that caused the fungus to grow in the first place.
To stop mold from returning, the most effective way is to reduce the moisture in the affected areas and in your home in general.
Using dehumidifiers and air conditioners to keep the indoor humidity level below 60% will make a huge difference. You should also dry wet areas in bathrooms after use, fix any leaks, address damp structural problems, and generally wage war against damp in and around the home.
Eliminate Mold Now
Do warm, moist areas of your house continue to grow mold despite your best efforts? Do you have water damage or other mold-causing issues that need treatment? Are you unsure of the presence in your home? Contact SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City today to speak to a highly trained technician. We can restore water damaged rooms, perform water extraction, or conduct a mold inspection. Our licensed professionals work 24.7.365 to make any mold disaster "Like it never even happened." Call today: 702-564-8508
Common Types of Thunderstorm Damage
Large Hail Stones can cause extensive damage to a home or business
Thunderstorms are a common occurrence during the warm spring and the summer months. However, with these thunderstorms comes a chance for storm damage caused by those thunderstorms.
How much do you know about the different types of damage that can come from thunderstorms?How Thunderstorms Form
An estimated 16 million thunderstorms occur across the world each year. The U.S. typically sees an estimated 100,000 thunderstorms each year, with around 10% of those being included in the severe range.
There are certain conditions that must be met for the development of a thunderstorm. Moisture and rising unstable air must be accompanied by a “lifting” mechanism. This could be caused by hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air come together, causing a rising motion.
The life cycle of a thunderstorm goes through three different stages—the developing stage, the mature stage and the dissipating stage. The mature stage is where things like hail, heavy rain, strong winds and even tornadoes may come into play.Differing Types of Damage
Thunderstorms can be dangerous for many different reasons, but one of the most serious risks is the opportunity for high winds to send debris airborne.
It is possible for wind speeds to reach an excess of 57.5 mph during a thunderstorm. This is more than enough wind to create property damage.
Thunderstorms are also responsible for causing the following types of damage besides wind damage:
Hail damage. The cost of hail damage can reach $1 billion a year per the NOAA. From small hail to large, it doesn’t take long for damage to add up.
Lightning damage. With a lightning strike can come fire and electrical damage. The lightning can move through the wiring of your home, which will result in damage to anything that is plugged in.
Tornado damage. With wind speeds that can reach an excess of 200 mph, tornadoes are an extremely destructive force. They can do a large amount of damage in a rather short amount of time.
Flood damage. Heavy rain is a common companion for a thunderstorm, which means there can be a risk for flooding. Flash floods can do a large amount of damage to structures and even rip trees out of the ground.
If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is available 24⁄7 to help with cleanup and restoration.
Protect Your Home When Flooding Is Imminent
Flooded Kitchen Area
If your home is not in a floodplain, you may believe it to be safe from water damage. However, experts report that 90% of natural disasters involve some form of flooding—meaning you could still be at risk.
It is important for homeowners to understand the damage that floods can cause regardless of their location, so they can keep their home and family safe.How to Protect Your Home
Preventing a disaster-related flood isn’t possible, but preventing flood damage may be. With just a few steps, homeowners can do their part to lessen the damage a flood will cause:
Know your risk. A local emergency management authority and the FEMA Flood Map Tool can both provide insights on risk related to your specific geographic location.
Discuss emergency procedures. Be sure your family is knowledgeable about a disaster plan and evacuation route should the need arise. All older children and adults in the house should also be aware of the electricity and gas mains so they can turn off the power if need be.
Raise hazardous materials. To prevent dangerous substances from spilling into floodwater, elevate things such as oil, paint and cleaning supplies.
Prepare appliances. Washers and refrigerators can be elevated using bricks to protect their internal workings from getting soaked when floodwaters are rising.
Anchor propane and fuel tanks. If a fuel tank tips over due to a flood, it can lead to a dangerous spill or even a fire. Anchor fuel tanks securely so they will not tip or leak if water begins rushing around them.
Turn off electricity. It may not seem possible that the waters would reach electrical appliances or outlets, but having live electricity near floodwaters can still be dangerous. Shut off the electrical breaker to any rooms that are at-risk for a flood.
If a flood is on its way to your area, keeping your family sheltered from harm is the most important task. By having a plan in place and knowing what to do, you can protect your home and loved ones from being in harm’s way.
If you’ve experienced water damage due to a flood or other causes, SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is here to help. Our fully trained water remediation technicians will be there for you when you call. 702-564-8508
How to Avoid Fire Hazards in the Kitchen
Stove Fire in Kitchen
The kitchen can be a wonderful place for family and friends to gather, spending quality time as food is being prepared to share or perhaps just to catch up with family and friends over a cup of coffee or tea. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also the space where many home fires happen.
Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries, and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
In 2017, State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:
Safety Tips to Know
- North Carolina
- New York
Staying in the kitchen while cooking is one way to prevent fires, but it is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:
1. Be careful about the type of clothing you wear when cooking. Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.
2. Be aware of what you have close to the stovetop. Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable should be moved away from it.
3. Have a fire extinguisher easily accessible to the kitchen. Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.
4. Wait until grease is cool before disposing of it. The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.
5. Have a fire escape plan established for all to be aware of. Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared rather than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.
Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is here to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call today to learn more about our complete fire damage restoration services at 702-564-8508.
We Can Help Restore Your Property Following Disaster
Commercial Building Board Up
SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City takes pride in the fact that when disaster strikes, we can get there quickly, but there is another reason why we should be one of your first calls if you are faced with a disaster.
Our highly trained technicians have a “restore first” mentality when it comes to your property, aided by the use of specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. This mentality also helps reduce the interruptions to your life and helps get your home or business back to pre-disaster condition.
Restore First for Fire Damage
Knowing who to call first after a fire has damaged your property is stressful, but that’s why you need us. Once you contact us, our team will get started right away to service your damage needs.
Our highly trained team will develop a unique plan tailored to your needs, because every fire damage event is different. However, the general process will remain the same.
Here are the steps that are included in our process:
1. Emergency contact. You will be asked a series of questions regarding your fire damage during your initial call to us. This helps us make sure our team is dispatched with the appropriate equipment and resources.
2. Inspection and fire damage assessment. When our team arrives on the scene, they will inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of fire, smoke and soot damage. This helps us determine the right plan of action moving forward.
3. Immediate board-up and roof-tarp service. We will make sure that your property is secure and protected from further damage by boarding up missing windows and walls and placing a tarp on damaged roofs compromised by fire damage.
4. Water removal and drying (if water damage is present). Water damage from a fire is almost inevitable. We’ll begin the removal process right away and then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and finish up the drying process.
5. Removal of smoke and soot from all surfaces. We then remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces using our specialized equipment and techniques.
6. Cleaning and sanitizing. If it is possible, we clean restorable items and structures. They will not only be cleaned, but odors will be removed through the use of industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
7. Restoration. This will be our final step in getting your property back to its pre-fire condition. Restoration could include minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet, or it may involve major repairs like reconstruction of damaged areas.
Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call today 702-564-8508
Water Damage Process Steps-What to do!
Flooded Crawl Space
Water damage can be unfamiliar for a lot of people who haven't experienced it first hand. Many jobs are different bases on the kind of loss and time. This is a brief overview of what you may be able to expect if you have a water loss.
Identifying the Source and Water Type
The type of water is important in determine how to handle a loss. If the water is clean water or a category 1, to sewage water or category 3. There are different safety and clean up protocols we need to follow.
Once we know where the loss occurred we can start to identify the damage and come up with a plan of action. We moisture map the house and look at all affected materials.
Furniture and Water Removal
Next, we need to remove or block up any furniture that may be damaged due to standing water. Once furniture has been safely set aside, we can begin to extract and standing water, if there is any
Drying and Odor Treatments
This is when we bring in those big fans you may have seen or heard about. Also, adding de-humidification to the process is extremely important. The fans will pull the water out of affected materials and the dehumidifiers will remove that moisture from the air.
Material Removal and Final Cleaning
There may be some material that may be very difficult to remove water from. When this happens it may be easier to remove that material all together and get it ready to be replaced. After everything is dry or affected materials have been removed everything is cleaned and prepped for the reconstruction process.
SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City employs certified and well-trained technicians who are experienced with all kinds of water damage restoration and cleanup jobs. If you need our services for any type or volume of water damage to your home, call us at (702) 564-8508 for 24/7 emergency service.
Do's & Don'ts of Fire & Smoke Damage Safety
Fire Damaged Home
Fire damage can be a devastating experience both for home and business owners. Fire damage is difficult to overcome and repair, but there are simple things you can do to motivate the process. When you’re wondering what to do after a fire, here’s a look at things to do (and things not to do) during the fire restoration process.
Dos for Fire Damage Restoration
Your checklist for after a fire should contain certain non-negotiable tasks, including:
- DO contact a certified restoration specialist: Make sure you immediately contact a certified fire and smoke restoration professional for remediation services
- DO turn off utilities: Turn of water, electricity, gas, and any other utilities until a professional can evaluate if any of these systems were damaged during the fire.
- DO break out the vacuum: A professional should provide service, but you can enhance the professional’s chances of success by doing a first pass on your own. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment and go over your upholstered furniture. Your furniture will look better as soon as the soot is removed. Also, cover your furniture with a sheet if you need to sit on it while waiting for professional help. This will prevent the soot and ash from grinding into your upholstery.
- DO address your carpets, floors and countertops: Give similar treatment to your carpets. Vacuum them for an immediate and superficial improvement over the damaged state. It will help prevent soot from grinding deeper into the carpet’s roots. Countertops and hardwood floors should be wiped clean to prevent the soot from deeply staining and clinging to the surfaces.
- DO check your appliances: Your utilities should be off. Make sure empty your freezer and refrigerator, and leave the doors open to prevent mold and mildew. Likewise, winterize your plumbing and drain your hot water heater and boiler. In the absence of heat during the fire damage restoration process, fluids can freeze and cause burst pipes and other damage.
- DO take care of pets: Remove pets from your fire-damaged home. Lingering soot and smoke can be harmful to them.
Don'ts for Fire Damage Restoration
Your checklist should also include several things to avoid at all times, including:
- DON’T use your AC, heater or electronics: Wait until a professional arrives on the scene — same with electronics like the television, computers and DVD players. Turning on electronics can create greater damage.
- DON’T clean walls or clothing: Also, do not clean walls, ceilings and other similar surfaces, and wait to clean your clothing and similar garments. A professional should examine them first and provide advice.
- DON’T eat leftover food: Never eat anything that was in the home during the fire. It is most likely not safe to consume due to contamination from smoke, soot, or contaminants introduced to the environment when the fire was being extinguished.
- DON’T wipe away powder from extinguishers: Forgo trying to clean up any staining from the powder discharged by a fire extinguisher. It is best to let professionals guide the clean up of these areas.
These are some basic guidelines for preventing further damage and get a head start on cleanup, but they are not a substitute for professional restoration services. When in doubt, wait for the professionals. Upholstery, carpets and counters are fine to begin cleaning, but the rest is best left to the pros. And remember, never reenter a home until it has been cleared by the fire department or other local officials.
Always Call an Expert
If you’re wondering what to do after a fire, it’s always tempting to start the cleanup process immediately, and do as much as possible. The best course of action is to hire a certified professional to provide expert knowledge and service. The situation requires the training and knowledge that only a professional can provide. A trusted professional will offer an after-fire checklist that will help speed along the fire and smoke damage cleanup process. Consulting a professional will help you restore your property back to like-new condition as quickly as possible.
At SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City, we provide fire damage restoration services that follow the IICRC guidelines for Fire Damage Restoration. Want to know more about it? Call us today at 702-564-8508
Contents Restoration-Why SERVPRO to restore your contents
Fire Damage inside a Residential home
Your home contains many of your most valuable possessions and houses those you love the most. Your business is your livelihood. The team at SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City understands just how trying, disruptive and traumatic major losses - such as a fire - can be.
As part of our fire restoration service, we don't just pay attention to the structure; we'll also help take care of the contents of your home or business, as well. Our contents services include:
Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City Crew Chiefs can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time-consuming process.
Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office, and store the items in our secure climate controlled warehouse.
Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City Crew Chiefs begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate; we provide both wet or dry cleaning methods. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as preloss condition as possible; this includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding and much more.
When a fire takes control of your life, we help you take control back. Call SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City: (702)564-8508
What to do if your Crawl Space floods
Flooded Crawl Space
Even the most well-built homes may still experience crawl space flooding. This is because water in crawl space areas is a fairly common problem. Unfortunately, it can also be a very dangerous one, causing damage to the home and possibly provoking respiratory illnesses in its residents. Thankfully, if your house is prone to crawl space flooding, there are ways to remedy the situation and help prevent it from happening again.
Causes of Crawl Space Flooding
There are a number of factors that make certain homes more prone to crawl space flooding than others. Here are a few of the main ones you should keep in mind.
- Cracked Foundation
- Faulty Design
- Opening Crawl Space Designs
- Faulty Sump Pump
- Improper Drainage
- Sewage Problems
- Water Leaks
Effects of Crawl Space Flooding
Because water in the crawl space does not usually cause immediate and obvious damage, many homeowners believe it is not a big deal. As a result, when crawl spaces begin to flood, some procrastinate on fixing the issue, while others might not make any attempt to fix it at all. So, here is what happens when water remains in a crawl space for too long.
- Increased Humidity
- Mold Bacteria Growth
- Structural Property Damage
The longer these issues remain unresolved, the worse they become. And, the worse they become, the more expensive it is to fix it. So, if your house is prone to crawl space flooding for any of the aforementioned reasons, consider the following options to remedy the issue.
- Use Wet/Dry Vac
- Use a General Purpose Pump
- Remove Wet Material
- Use a Dehumidifier
- Hire a Professional Restoration Company
Here are just a few long-term or permanent solutions to prevent the flooding of crawl spaces.
- Clean Drains
Don’t wait until your pipes or drains clog up. Get your pipes tested and cleaned once every two years by professionals. In between professional cleanings, you can use hot water, vinegar, and baking soda to keep your drains clear.
- Repair Cracks
Check your home’s foundation regularly for cracks, especially after a natural disaster, and have those cracks repaired immediately by a professional as water can seep in those tiny cracks and cause a whole lot of big damage.
- Provide Proper Drainage
Proper drainage helps to keep water away from the house and its foundations. Make sure your downspouts are properly installed and that your drainage system is clear of debris. Invest in extensions and place at the bottom of downspouts to help to direct water away from the foundation.
A little landscaping could go a long way to ensure your lawn slopes away from your home. This steers water away from the foundation and prevents pooling.
Is the crawl space of your home prone to flooding? Call 702-564-8508 We offer 24/7/365 emergency water fire and mold damage services, We are always ready and #HeretoHelp.
Important Tornado Safety Tips | SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City
Spring is a beautiful time of the year, but it can also bring unpredictable weather. So it makes sense to be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that could lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado.
The highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, have historically been in April and May, which means we are currently in the height of tornado season throughout the United States. Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.Conditions That May Cause a Tornado
Severe thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells,” are responsible for roughly 1,200 tornadoes occurring in the U.S. each year.
The formation of a tornado happens when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.
Tornadoes and their signature funnel cloud are transparent at first, but they become visible when water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are picked up.
A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster tornadoes have been observed. Hail and intense winds of more than 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.
The time of day tornadoes typically occur is later in the afternoon, but it is prudent to remember that they can occur anytime and anywhere.Safety Tips
Take the time to learn the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. A watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.
If a tornado warning has been issued for your area, take action immediately to find safe shelter, especially if you are in the path of the tornado.
Shelter options include:
- Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
- The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
- If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
- If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
It’s a good idea to keep flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your tornado shelter at home in case of an power failure. Also, when you are sheltering in your home, make use of furniture items like sofa cushions, mattresses or blankets to protect your head and neck.
NEVER try to outrun a tornado if you get caught on the road during a tornado.
Tornadoes are dangerous and can be devastating. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.
If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway. Call us today: 702-564-8508