Why Is Mold Attracted to Residential Homes?
Mold can happen anywhere in your home or business moisture or water is present
While mold can happen anywhere, it seems most attracted to residential buildings. Finding black mold in your home can be a nightmare of mold cleanup and remediation, but you can prevent it by understanding the common causes that lead to infestations in your Scarsdale, NY, home.
It’s All About the Water
Mold growth in your home can almost always be traced back to one source: a moisture problem. Black mold thrives on organic matter, but it requires moisture to truly grow out of control and proliferate. Common sources of moisture that lead to mold outbreaks include the following:
• Broken and leaking pipes
• Roof and window leaks
• Standing water left behind by bathtub, shower, and toilet splashing or overflow
• Water trapped beneath linoleum and tile
• Standing water left behind by floods
• Excess humidity and condensation in the air
So How Can I Fix Mold in My Home?
Avoid a mold infestation in the first place by keeping your home dry and free of leaks or other moisture sources.
• Check the integrity of your roofing and window seals and have them repaired as needed.
• If you’ve recently suffered flooding, quickly dispose of any sodden materials and dry out any remaining water, even if you may have to pull up carpeting and floorboards.
• Have a plumber in to check your pipes and keep them in good health.
• Check your appliances, particularly refrigerators and air conditioners, to ensure they aren’t leaking or having problems with condensation.
• If you live in a high-humidity environment, invest in a dehumidifier and run it as necessary to bring down the moisture levels in the air inside your home.
If you’ve already seen outbreaks of black mold, you may need to retain the services of a mold remediation specialist. These technicians can help you identify sources of mold that aren’t readily apparent on initial inspection and recommend appropriate cleanup and prevention actions.
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3 Topics To Review With Kids Before a Fire
Plan for your family on what to do in case of a fire in your home breaks out
A top priority for parents in Scarsdale, NY is kids safety. When developing emergency drills and plans, parents should remember these three often-overlooked concepts. They will especially help children be mentally and physically prepared for an emergency.
1. Visit a Firefighter in Full Gear
First, it is a terrific idea for children to visit a fire station in Scarsdale, NY, to see a firefighter in full gear before any emergency, especially a home fire. The basic uniform includes a coat, boots, pants, gloves, and a helmet. People may forget that a mask covers the firefighter’s face and his or her breathing device can sound more like Darth Vader. Children hopefully will feel less anxious if they’ve seen a firefighter’s apparatus before a true emergency.
2. Discuss Usage of the Fire Escape
The second item to discuss regarding kids safety is how children actually use a fire escape if they are above the first level of a home or apartment. Children should practice unlatching and opening windows or doors nearby. They need to understand how to physically climb down the house or building. Every bedroom higher than the primary level should have a fire ladder. All family members should know where to find the ladders, how to set them up and how to use them. This process can include pushing or kicking a screen to remove it.
3. Explain the Need To Attract Attention
In a truly desperate situation, family members should all understand it’s okay to break a window to get attention from firefighters below. If children have trouble opening a window, teach them how to break the glass in an emergency.
When it comes to fires and kids safety, drills and discussions are crucial. As children grow and mature, their understanding will expand and actions and responses will vary in any emergency situation. Hence, it’s also important to regularly review and revise your plans for what to do in case of a fire and the necessary work afterwards.
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How To Choose an Air Purifier To Remove Mold Particles From the Air
Humidifier used for Mold Remediation in Scarsdale
Battling mold in your Scarsdale, NY, home can be a challenge. Mold tends to spread quickly and reduces your home's air quality, and once it takes hold, it can cause an unpleasant odor and damage building materials. Using quality air filtration in your home can eliminate mold particles from the air; however, there are a few factors you may want to consider as you compare different brands and models to choose a system that best suits your needs.
The quality of the filter in an air purifier can make a significant difference when it comes to removing mold particles from the air. Generally, systems with HEPA filters, such as in the Oransi Max, are effective in removing not only mold spores but other impurities:
" Pet Dander
Consulting a restoration and mold remediation company before choosing a system with a high-quality HEPA filter can help you feel confident about removing damaging mold particles from the air before they can take hold inside your home.
Ease of Use
Air filtration systems that remove mold spores from the air and are designed for convenience can be a good choice if you want clean air with a push of a button. These models, such as the Oransi OV200, have a user-friendly design and can be operated with a remote control. Other features include an air quality sensor and a HEPA filter.
Working with a limited budget does not have to mean foregoing an air filtration system for your home. Some models, such as the Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier, 50250-S, cost under $200 and are designed to remove mold particles, pet dander and other irritants from the air. This model also includes a long-lasting filter for even greater savings.
The right air filtration system can help remove mold particles from the air inside your Scarsdale, NY, home. Taking the time to consider which system best suits your needs and budget before you shop can help you choose wisely.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROscarsdalemountvernon.com for more information.
You can't plan on the damage, but you can plan for it.
On the first day of spring, we are on watch for the fourth Nor'Easter in a month. A reminder that our SERVPRO of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon team has a goal to keep your property safe and functional throughout the seasons. When you think of storm damage, your mind may automatically make the leap to flood waters and lightning strikes. However, storm damage takes many forms depending on the season. The most common wintertime culprits are: frozen pipes, wind damage, snow and ice and standing water. Standing water can be a result of either a burst pipe or snow and ice melt leaking through poor-quality weather stripping on your exterior doors. In any case, standing water may contain bacteria and promotes mold growth even in chilly weather. Identifying and handling each of these winter storm threats should be at the top of your list in the colder months. While each of these issues has its own level of severity, none of them are good for business for your commercial property, and all of them should be handled by a professional. Our team looks forward to continuing to serve our community. Sincerely, Traci Burrows, SERVPRO of Scarsdale /Mount Vernon.
3 Ways Secondary Damage Can Affect Your Home After a Flood
Water Loss after a Flood in Scarsdale
The aftereffects of a flood at your Scarsdale, NY, home can be devastating. Estimating repair costs, sorting through damaged items and gathering data for a flood insurance claim are just a few things you might be dealing with. However, even as you try to handle the aftermath, water damage could be creating issues that you may not notice until days later. From black mold to warping and discoloration of your home's surfaces, secondary damage can exacerbate your flooding woes.
1. Mold growth
After a flood, the high humidity in the area can cause rapid mold growth on walls and other surfaces. Black mold is especially common after flooding, and if you encounter this issue, it is wise to call in a storm cleanup and restoration company to remove it. This can prevent the spores from spreading to other areas, where it may take hold out of sight.
Once flood waters recede, items with porous surfaces, such as wood, can retain moisture and warp. This damage may not occur right away, but over time, you may notice the effects in hardwood floors and wooden furniture. Your countertops may also suffer discoloration if they were constructed with a porous material, such as polished concrete.
3. Musty or Wet Odors
Secondary damage, such as unpleasant odors left behind from dirty water, may not be noticeable until days or weeks after a flood. These odors can linger in furniture, carpeting or even in your home's interior walls, where insulation may be wet and rotting. Restoration technicians have specialized equipment that can help them locate the source of these wet or musty odors and eliminate them.
The immediate effects of a flood in your Scarsdale, NY, home can be difficult to deal with. However, problems that may crop up days or weeks afterward, such as black mold and wood rot, can be equally hard to handle, and being aware of them may help you be more vigilant about their presence once flood waters recede.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROscarsdalemountvernon.com for more information.
Cold-Weather Storm Damage
Commercial Storm Loss
When you think of storm damage, your mind may automatically make the leap to flood waters and lightning strikes. However, storm damage takes many forms depending on the season. During winter in Scarsdale, NY, ice and snow team up to present a whole new type of damage, but with the same results: damage to your business that you’ll have to clean up. The most common wintertime culprits are:
• Frozen pipes
• A burst pipe
• Standing water
While each of these issues has its own level of severity, none of them are good for business for your commercial property, and all of them should be handled by a professional.
The average frozen pipe can be dangerous to your business’s well-being, but it can also be simple to handle if caught in time. The problem occurs when you experience freezing temperatures while your pipes have water in them. The water in the pipes freeze, obstructing liquid water from passing through. If you’re getting little or no water out of your pipes during cold weather, leave the faucet on at a trickle to help thaw the ice in your pipes.
A burst pipe is arguably the worst issue you could face when it comes to winter storm damage. If a frozen pipe is left unchecked for too long, the ice will expand and is likely to crack the surrounding pipe. This leads to a large amount of water damage in most cases and requires the assistance of both a plumber and cleanup crew to remedy.
This threat can be a result of either a burst pipe or snow and ice melt leaking through poor-quality weather stripping on your exterior doors. In any case, standing water may contain bacteria and promotes mold growth even in chilly weather, so it’s best to call in professional cleaning services if you find any puddles around your business building.
Your goal is to keep your business safe and functional throughout the seasons. Identifying and handling each of these winter storm threats should be at the top of your list in the colder months.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROscarsdalemountvernon.com for more information.
Remediation or Cleanup: How to Handle Mold in Your Business
If your business has a flood or other humidity problem, you may understandably worry about black mold. You may lookup restoration businesses and find that some call their services “mold cleanup,” while others refer to it as “mold remediation.” These are not just different terms for the same thing. To understand how they differ and which is best, you need to know a few critical facts about mold:
• It is almost everywhere all the time.
• It can be dangerous when it spreads and grows.
• Moisture and humidity cause this dangerous growth.
With these essential mold facts in mind, you can take a look at what cleanup and remediation services offer and make an educated decision.
You may notice that some services in Fleetwood, New York, promise to clean up your mold problem. What this means is that the business can wipe off any black mold they find. However, this does not solve the problem altogether. Since mold can spread even after the cleanup crew leaves, this can be insufficient.
Worse yet, the promise of mold removal is outright misleading. Remember that mold can be anywhere at any time. It’s only when there is a humidity level above 45 percent that this fungus can spread and become a problem. If a crew promises to get rid of all mold in your home, they may be deliberately misleading you, or they may not be real professionals.
If you come across a business in Fleetwood, New York, that promises to remediate your mold problem, you may have found a real professional. This process should involve bringing the humidity levels down in the building, checking for visible black mold even above the flood line, cleaning all visible mold, and more. Sometimes, your professional cleanup crew may recommend a flood cut, in which they remove that drywall at least six inches above the flood line.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofscarsdalemountvernon.com for more information on Mold Remediation.
Creating a Fire Escape Plan
A fire escape plan for your office is vital. You do not want to wait until emergency strikes before you realize the necessity. It is not only important to have an emergency escape plan but to also practice it.
• Decide what disaster you need to plan for
• Prepare basic plans for each disaster
• Assign responsibilities to specific staff members
• Train staff
Disasters and Plans
Some areas are more prone to specific disasters than others. If your business is located near the coast where hurricanes are often an issue, you should have an emergency escape plan in place. If you live in a state that is prone to earthquakes, make a plan. All businesses need to have a fire escape plan among other possible disasters.
Although there may be overlap, devise a strategy for each type of disaster. It should include at what point you send employees home and at what point it is safer to stay put. Consult a professional in Bronxville, New York, if necessary.
You should designate an evacuation route and have a specific meeting spot after the evacuation. Fire escape plans should be posted throughout the building along with any other pertinent evacuation material.
In order to make sure each stage is implemented correctly and that everyone stays safe, it is important to specifically assign responsibilities. These individuals know what they are supposed to do and you know things are taken care of.
Drills are vital. Many people need to go through the motions for a better understanding of what is expected. Regular practice drills ensure that plans are engrained in employees’ minds. If a fire does break out, the fire escape plan is implemented without a thought. Staff will learn what to do through repetition. Drills should be conducted at least once every couple of months.
Emergency evacuation plans are important. Take the time to write up strategies, assign responsibilities and practice.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofscarsdalemountvernon.com for more information on commercial fire.
Spring Cleaning Before Selling a Home
Spring Cleaning a home for sale is really smart for your sellers! We cleaned our own, but our sending our crews to homes and businesses for sale!
Homes should be in TOP SHOW CONDITION & ready for primetime, to sell more quickly in Bronxville, NY 10708 ~ in the northern suburbs.
This is just a fact: A clean and fresh smelling home sells faster. Unfortunately, not all homes are maintained in the same way. Nearly all realtors are faced with a listing that is more difficult to show, or smell quite frankly.
In restoration, we get called in for odors dating back four or more decades -- like the 1960s. They can be old cigarette smells that are buried in the walls, ceilings and duct system, in homes with central air. Duct cleaning is always a great start.
Also, we get pet odor and cleanup calls for everything from multiple cats and floor or carpet stains and smells, to squirrels and other critters removed from an attic or crawl space. Always an adventure.
Veteran realtors may encourage their clients to keep their homes in top condition for important reasons – or at least get the home ready for photographers and an Open House or two. The reasons may be:
- Increased market value
- Shortened list to sale conversion times
- Enhanced reputation for quality listings and quicker sales
Pass more Home Inspections
Your sellers may have trouble spots to address before you list or a buyer schedules a home inspection. Clients may choose to handle these issues themselves, to avoid filing an insurance claim for an old water damage. Leaks and water can lead to mold growth in days, weeks or months.
Mold growth from a leak months or years ago may not be covered by their policy and can affect the home’s CLUE report.
This is their Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) and is a database that records any reported loss and damage information.
Here’s more info to search on your browser...on CLUE: at privacyrights.org
Prior to listing a property, the following steps can be taken to reduce the potential for moisture buildup or mold growth. If a home or listing has a storm or water damage, timely response is the key to preventing further damage and problems within days of the event – act fast, within the first 24 to 48 hours.
Here are some good first steps to addressing these issues ...as your seller (hopefully) get's their house or condo/coop ready for primetime and buyers appointments:
- Correct any water leaks or standing water
- Plug in a dehumidifier in the affected area, to reduce moisture and prevent mold
- Remove standing water under cooling coils, boilers that leak, or air handling units
- Properly maintain humidifiers, if used during the winter or in baby’s room
- Replace wet or visibly “moldy” and stained insulation materials
- Steam cleaning and other methods involving moisture should not be used on any kind of duct work.
- Install a ventilation system and/or vent the basement, attic or wet area on cool, clear days for an hour or two.
At local Westchester businesses like ours, realtors can get help with and offer their sellers a number of helpful services. These may help revive your sellers’ homes and your listings -- that are found in top show condition. Some ideas to offer sellers, as needed, are: **Carpet, upholstery, drapery and window blind cleaning (we also clean windows, while most maid services no longer.
Restoration companies include the following services, so we can help you help your sellers get a buyer!
- Ceiling, wall and harwood / hard floor cleaning
- Deodorization & odor control
- Duct & HVAC Cleaning
- Mold & Mildew Mitigation & REmediation
- Asbestos Abatement & containment
- Lead Paint / repainting issues - We are NYS certified, as of January 1, 2016
Good luck rock star agents!, in what we hope is a hot Spring Realtor market in Scarsdale, Eastchester / Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Fleetwood and beyond...for you!
Is Your Restoration Company for Fire & Water Cleanup or Mold Removal an IICRC firm?
Like many qualified restoration companies, our SERVPRO of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon is an IICRC firm – that’s the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
This organization was created in New York state originally and it is the national organization that sets our standards in the restoration industry. They also provide training and certifications to restoration companies like our SERVPRO of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon, in the Fire & Water Cleanup business. Also, only IICRC Certified Firms like ours have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must:
- Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
- Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
- Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
- Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
- Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force for decades, in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field:
Manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon
SERVPRO of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon helps business and homeowners from the White Plains line through Five Corners and down to the Mount Vernon / Bronx city borders & beyond. We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage and flood event.
Our staff is background checked and are highly trained in property damage restoration, as an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from our initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certifications, you can rest assured that our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Meet our whole SERVPRO of Scarsdale team:
Here are all of our certifications and completed training data, in order to help you with your home or business.