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An Overview of Mold

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy tiles Moldy tiles

Black mold can grow anywhere, including inside your home in Gardere, LA. Not only does it present an environmental hazard, but it can damage the materials that make up the structure of your home. In order to avoid a mold infestation, you need to understand mold, what makes it grow, and how to spot signs of mold growth.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in nearly any environment that offers moisture, whether indoors or out. Although you can't see mold spores, they are in nearly all the air you breath. Once spores enter your home and find a moist environment to inhabit, black mold can begin to spread within a couple of days.
Areas that are prone to mold growth include:

  • Around the bathtub
  • Between tiles
  • Seals around kitchen and laundry appliances
  • Damp areas, such as ceilings where the roof leaks, or carpet where water collects.

How Is Mold Removed?
If you have a moisture problem in your home, it's almost certain you have mold. The mold must be removed, but you should never attempt mold cleanup yourself. A restoration company has the expertise to safely remove the mold and restore the materials of your home to pre-mold condition.
First, the mold specialists will seal off the area that has been exposed to moisture and mold and apply remediation techniques, including opening any windows and using special equipment to clean and dry exposed surfaces. While remediation and restoration are underway, you may be advised to avoid the cleanup area until the cleanup is complete.
Knowing the facts about mold and the factors that contribute to black mold growth can help you identify when you need to take fast action to reverse a potential problem or call a specialist to remedy it. Mold is a nuisance and a danger to your home you'd be best to avoid, if possible.

Types of Contaminated Water

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

flood water invading a home Category 3 water damage

Different Types Of Contaminated Water

Water damage can wreck havoc on your Baton Rouge, LA, home. That being said, not every home flood is the same. Floods are categorized by the types of contaminants present in the water. Understanding the differences among the different types of contaminated water can help you remediate the damage more effectively.

1. Clean Water Floods
Like their name implies, Category 1, or clean water floods, are categorized by an absence of contaminants. As the least dangerous types of floods, they typically originate from a supply line burst, a shower leak or some other type of clean water source. Just because these floods aren't as dangerous doesn't mean that they shouldn't still be taken seriously. A clean water flood can transform into a Category 2 flood if left untreated for too long.

2. Gray Water Floods
Gray water floods are also known as Category 2 floods. This flood contains mildly contaminated water, but nothing that could pose a biohazard risk. These floods are often caused when household appliances malfunction and flood, such as dishwashers and laundry machines. If left untreated for longer than 48 hours, a Category 2 flood will quickly become a dangerous Category 3 flood.

3. Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods, or black water floods, are the most dangerous of all. They are categorized by the presence of biohazards, such as human or animal fecal matter, raw sewage and dangerous chemicals or pesticides. You should never attempt to resolve a Category 3 flood by yourself, due to the possible health risks. Instead, you should contact damage professionals as soon as you can. These floods are usually caused by toilet overflow, sewage back flow or a a flooding riverbank.
All types of floods are capable of inflicting serious amounts of damage. That being said, it's still important for you to learn the differences between the various types of contaminated water. Make sure to contact flood remediation experts for assistance, no matter which type of flood you're currently dealing with.

4 Plans To Include Within Your Business Disaster Plan

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Road sign with the phrase Are you ready? Are you prepared?

Are You Prepared?

Are you prepared for the possible disasters that could happen to your business in Baton Rouge, LA? Ready your facility and employees with these four plans for disaster preparedness.

1. An Involvement Plan
A key component of business preparedness is getting your employees involved. By creating a diverse planning team, you can address employee needs and have a clear plan for getting everyone to safety. The co-workers you choose should also be ready in emergency situations. They know the plan best, so they will be crucial to helping others during an emergency.

2. An Evacuation Plan
Getting everyone out of your facility safely means ensuring that your employees know your evacuation plan inside and out. To prepare them, you need to give them the information they need. Create detailed maps with evacuation routes, locations of safety equipment and assembly places. Post them in high traffic areas such as elevator corridors. Review your plans frequently to make sure they are understood. Conduct drills to give your employees confidence if a real emergency happens.

3. A Shelter-In-Place Plan
Certain emergencies might call for you to stay indoors. “Shelter-In-Place” plans need to consider how to keep your employees safe within your facility. These include tornado warning and air-quality contamination emergencies. Create a diagram of your building for each possible scenario and designate rooms for your employees to go to for each situation.

4. A Post-Disaster Plan
Disaster preparedness includes having a plan for when the emergency is over. Have a list of emergency contacts prepared. Create a communication network to check on employees and relay any important information they will need going forward. Develop a plan to continue servicing your most valued customers. This way, you can continue to work while commercial restoration services get your facility up and operating at full capacity.
Disaster preparedness is a business owner’s responsibility, but by including your employees in your preparation, you will be more prepared for an emergency.

How To Save Money After an Accidental Fire Sprinkler Discharge

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Having the fire sprinklers suddenly activate without provocation can be alarming

Keep These Steps In Mind While Preparing For A Potential Emergency

Having the fire sprinklers suddenly activate without provocation can be alarming. When this occurs, there is an unfortunate risk of substantial damage. Your building in Arlington, LA, can require several repairs, so it's best to take action quickly. These are a couple of tasks you should complete immediately when an accidental sprinkler discharge occurs.

Investigate the Issue
Receiving monetary help won't be a possibility if you can't pinpoint what happened. In essence, you need to be sure you're not at fault for the flooding. Therefore, a thorough investigation of the sprinkler is essential. The following are a few possible causes:

  • Manufacturing issues
  • Overheating
  • Corrosion
  • Freezing

You should also be on the lookout for sabotage. It's not likely, but an attempt to pull a prank or get revenge may have occurred. Once you figure out what happened, take pictures of any water damage, as well as the faulty equipment. Find each piece of the sprinkler so that it can be analyzed. You should also talk to those in the building and record testimonials. These will act as evidence.

Call Your Insurance Company
Once you know what caused the issue, it's time to contact your insurance company. With any luck, the flooding will have been caused by faulty mechanisms. This will make your insurance providers more inclined to reimburse the cost of a water damage restoration company. However, if the problem was with how well you checked on and maintained the sprinklers, you may not receive help. Make sure that your providers have every piece of evidence you've collected. It's also important to provide the sprinkler's history if possible. The more information the investigators have, the stronger your case will be.
Dealing with unexpected fire sprinkler discharge can be a hassle, but it doesn't need to cause financial difficulties. Assessing the flooding and taking immediate action can save you a substantial amount of funds. Keep these steps in mind while preparing for a potential emergency.

Why Take Security Precautions After a Commercial Fire

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage

Taking Precautions You Can Protect Your Business

Fires are extremely dangerous even after they are put out. The loss of inventory and equipment may not end once the fire department leaves. This is why you need to take security precautions before someone gets hurt or breaks into your business. By taking precautions like putting up a security fence, you can protect your business.

Firefighters Can Cause Damage
It is unfortunate but true that firefighters cause a lot of damage, putting out the fire. This damage includes:

  • Broken windows
  • Holes in roofs, floors and ceilings
  • Broken doors and entries
  • Water damage

This damage is part of fire fighting and cannot be helped. After the fire is out and before the inspector comes, your home is open. Without a way to lock up, people can sneak in and steal the remaining inventory or equipment. Security fencing is necessary to prevent theft.

Dangerous Toxins Are Released During a Fire
Many businesses have some toxic chemicals inside them. Sometimes these toxic chemicals are on or inside the walls in the form of asbestos or lead. Sometimes these chemicals are part of the inventory or product line, which is the case for many plastics or cleaners. Either way, even after the fire is put out until a remediation company can come in, you will need some form of protection against outsiders. A security fence might be necessary to keep people from injuring themselves, making you liable for their injuries.

Burned-Out Buildings Are Dangerous
Even without the damage that fighting the fire might cause, there are other dangers inside a burned-out building. Fire can damage key supports and load bearing beams. It can also damage floors and subfloor to the point where they are a serious fall risk.
Water damage can also cause electrical shorts, and live wires could be down and laying in water. Until inspectors clear your home, no one should go in.
Despite the dangers, people might try to enter your property. To stop them, you should put up a security fence around fie damaged property for their protection and yours.

5 Actions to Avoid During a Flood

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

Car rides in heavy rain on a flooded road Never drive through floodwaters

Safety Tips

Dangerous flood water can cause problems for anyone, even if you've never experienced a flood before. A huge part of flood safety is knowing the difference between which actions are safe during a flood, and which ones are dangerous. Make sure to abide by the following safety tips if your home in Gardere, LA, 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 Touch Standing Water.
Just because the flood water isn't moving doesn't mean it's safe. Standing flood water can also contain harmful biohazards. It's also possible that the water could be electrically charged, especially if it has come into contact with circuit breakers, outlets or other electronic devices.

3. 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.

4. Never Drive Through a Flood.
It only takes about a foot of water to sweep your car away. Staying out of flood water to the best of your ability is the golden rule of flood safety.

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.
Proper flood safety needs to be taken seriously at all times. 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.

These 3 Swamp Cooler Tips Can Prevent Mold Growth

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Old swamp cooler or evaporative cooler to show how bad the old units are with calcium build-up compared to new A/C Swamp coolers provide excellent relief when dry and hot temperatures hit Arlington, LA

How To Reduce Mold Possibilities

A leaking swamp cooler is a common source of mold inside your Arlington, LA, home. This appliance, also known as evaporative cooler, can bring some needed comfort during hot and dry weather. However, since it increases the humidity in the area, it also creates the best mold growth atmosphere. If you use this device, learn more about how you can reduce mold possibilities.

1. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Since a swamp cooler is supposed to raise your residence's moisture, there is a strong chance that mold can build up and grow where there is no supervision. Avoid this situation by inspecting and cleaning the unit. It may be slightly annoying, but it can stop any mold from developing inside the components. It also never hurts to have professionals check and maintain the unit. They might find and fix a potential problem before it escalates.

2. Fix Issues Fast
Just like any device, this type of cooler is not invulnerable to the occasional breakdown. Not only do mechanical or electrical failures stop your home's cool air, but a leaking swamp cooler also results in mold damage. If you notice a leak, a rupture or unusual noises, contact a repair technician to handle the problem immediately. If you believe the fungus is already there, bring in mold remediation specialists to safely handle the infestation.

3. Use Under Dry Conditions Only
The main purpose of an evaporative cooler is to cool a dry area by using water evaporation. Therefore, it is only intended for areas that actually need moisture. If there is enough humidity or you do not live in a dry area, you should not be operating the cooler. Using the device under these conditions greatly increases humidity to the point where mold is likely to grow. Explore other cooling options such as an air conditioner.
Swamp coolers provide excellent relief when dry and hot temperatures hit Arlington, LA. Use these devices carefully and responsibly so that boosted moisture or a leaking swamp cooler do not lead to mold growth.

3 Reasons Protecting Wood From Water Is Vital To Its Lifespan

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Warped wooden floor from water damage Wooden floor damaged by water

Three Reasons To Protect Wood From Water

One of the biggest threats to the longevity of wood is water. Wood continuously absorbs and expels water, a process which eventually degrades the integrity of the material to the point that it is no longer usable. Especially in humid and rainy regions, swelling wood can be a persistent problem that is of utmost importance to address to extend the life of wooden constructions.

1. Contraction and Expansion Damages Wood
Swelling and shrinkage in wood is driven by moisture. Years of water absorption and expulsion weakens the integrity of the fibrous cell walls that make the material rigid. This leads to fragility and cracking, which not only causes breakage but increases the likelihood of decay. Minimizing the amount of water absorbed is key to prolonging the life of wood, making it vital to keep it sealed with paint or finishes like urethane.

2. Variation in Swelling Wood Rates Affect the Integrity of Structures
The speed of swelling and shrinking varies in each individual piece of wood. Uneven rates of swelling or shrinking can not only cause distortion or warping in an individual chunk but can also cause joint problems in the frame of a house or a piece of furniture. Protecting wood with paint or finish thus helps slow the distortion at the joints, increasing the longevity of wooden structures.

3. Keeping It Dry Is Protection, Too
Interior wood (studs, joists, etc.), although not exposed to the elements and hence often left unprotected, still requires vigilant upkeep. Exposure to water from a ruptured supply line or a leak from a water pipe repair can lead to swelling problems if left unaddressed. The life of even this unprotected wood can be prolonged simply by ensuring that any damp parts are allowed to dry and then are kept dry.
In most cases, the effects of swelling wood can be mitigated by keeping a watchful eye on the paint or finish that protects it. Hiring the services of protection and restoration professionals is also a good way to ensure that homeowners in Baton Rouge, LA, get the most out of their wood.

3 Things You Should Know About Fire Alarms

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

smoke alarm surrounded by smoke A smoke alarm is a great device for keeping your home safe

3 Things You Should Know About Fire Alarms

A fire alarm is an essential item for your Gardere, LA, home. This small device can help keep you safe and may be able to alert you in time to prevent serious damage to your property. There are a few things that you should know about these useful items.

1. What Are Your Alarm Options?
When it comes to a home fire alarm, you have a few choices. Ionization and photoelectric alarms detect smoke and flames in different ways, making each one better at alerting you of a certain type of fire. Luckily, there are alarms that come with both kinds of detection, so you can be prepared no matter which kind of fire occurs.

2. How Many Alarms Should You Have?
The number of alarms that you should have in your home depends on how big it is. To best prevent fire and smoke damage in all areas, you should have at least one alarm on each level, including attics and basements. You should also have an alarm inside each bedroom and outside of each sleeping area.

3. How Often Should You Change the Batteries?
To keep your fire alarm working properly at all times, be sure to test the batteries at least once a month. If you are using a traditional battery-operated alarm or a hardwired alarm that uses backup batteries, these should be changed at least twice a year. If your alarm uses lithium batteries, these will last the life of the device and do not need to be replaced.
When it is properly maintained, a smoke alarm is a great device for keeping your home safe. However, there are circumstances when you may still experience some fire damage to your home. If this happens, a cleanup and restoration service can help restore the building to its previous condition and salvage a wide variety of affected belongings.

How To Tell if Your Pipes Are Frozen

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

A pipe showing freeze damage Frozen pipes can cause significant water damage

Look For The Four Signs Of Pipe Freeze

While many businesses experience routine water damage, the winter brings with it a different kind of threat: winter freeze. Frozen pipes are no laughing matter. When water freezes in your building's pipes, it creates an increase of pressure, which can lead to a pipe break and massive water cleanup. However, before you call in a water mitigation company in Arlington, LA, consider looking for the four signs of pipe freeze.

  1. Frost on the pipes
  2. Cold temperatures
  3. No water pressure
  4. Strange odors

Frost on the Pipes
One of the first signs of pipe freeze is the appearance of frost on the outside of the plumbing. While frost does not immediately point to a future of broken pipes, it should signal a need for corrective measures. Try to get heat to the frosted lines by turning up the furnace or wrapping them in insulation.

Cold Temperatures
While a burst pipe can lead to significant water damage, not all temperatures are conducive to pipe freeze. If you operate in an area that rarely sees temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, then you likely won't have to worry about freezing. However, if the temperatures fall below 32 degrees, then freezing is more likely.

No Water Pressure
If you go to turn on a faucet and no water comes out, or if it trickles out, then you may have a portion of the pipe that is frozen. The ice buildup in the plumbing is not allowing the water to pass, which is giving the appearance of a lack of pressure.

Strange Odors
When you turn on a faucet, or even when the tap is off, if you smell odd odors emanating from it, the lines may be frozen. Plumbing odors cannot typically pass through fluid lines, but when ice creates a blockage, the smells travel up and into the building.
Frozen pipes can cause significant water damage. If you suspect that a water line is frozen, then take corrective steps immediately and call a remediation company.