Learn About Black Mold Growth
Black mold growth in a Mount Vernon, NY home
Here Are Some Facts About Mold That You Should Be Aware Of
A leak or flood inside your home in Mount Vernon, NY, can be upsetting to say the least. Standing water, if left untreated, can become a hazard in many ways; even clean water from a pipe burst can become contaminated if it remains too long. One of the greatest problems that may come from such a situation is black mold growth.
Black Mold Facts
Mold is a disgusting problem. You can smell it in the air, it discolors surfaces where it grows, and it can cause damage. Here are some facts about mold that you should be aware of.
Mold spores are ubiquitous, meaning they are found virtually everywhere.
Mold spores can lie dormant for years until sufficient levels of moisture or humidity are reached.
When you experience a flood in your home, you only have between 24-48 hours to get things dried out before black mold growth will begin.
Mold cannot be fully eradicated, but in most cases, it can be avoided if the area is properly cleaned and dried.
What To Do
If you find water in your home, whether it's from a leaky pipe or window, or it's from a storm, sewer or broken pipe, it is critical to get help with water extraction immediately. A professional mold and water mitigation service in Mount Vernon, NY, can completely clean and disinfect the area of bacteria and contaminants.
The next and most important step is to dry the area thoroughly. Industrial fans used by the restoration company can help facilitate the drying. It may also be necessary to employ the use of a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels down.
Keeping black mold growth at bay may be a full time job for a while following a water cleanup. Maintain a close watch on the area to make sure there are no signs of mold and that the area still looks dry and smells clean. Your efforts will be well worth it when your home is free of the effects of mold.
3 Things Homeowners Should Understand About Ultrasonic Cleaning
Ultrasonic cleaning is an effective method of cleaning that is commonly used when restoring mold-damaged items.
If your home in Tuckahoe, NY sustains mold damage, the effects on your items can be distressing, particularly if you don't know how your belongings will be restored.
1. What Is an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
An ultrasonic cleaner is a special device that uses ultrasonic sound waves to clean items that are often submerged in a mixture of water, detergent and a softener. These sound waves cause a myriad of small bubbles in the solution, which help to loosen and remove mold, dust, dirt and rust. Then, the items soak in the solution for a short period of time. This piece of equipment can clean ceramics, items made of metal and more.
2. What Are the Benefits of This Cleaner?
Ultrasonic cleaning is an incredibly thorough method of cleaning various items. Since an ultrasonic cleaner can easily access hard to reach areas that could be difficult to clean by hand, you are more likely to receive your items back in a short period of time. While traditional methods of cleaning may involve the use of chemicals that could damage or degrade certain items, ultrasonic cleaners gently sanitize items. This cleanser is also useful because it can clean a wide variety of items that have sustained mold damage, as well as items that are simply dirty.
3. How Can You Access an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
Although an ultrasonic cleaner is an excellent tool used in content cleaning, purchasing a cleaner isn't always ideal. High-quality ultrasonic cleaners can be costly and also require regular maintenance. These factors may deter some homeowners from purchasing an ultrasonic cleaner, especially if they won't need the cleaner on a regular basis. Rather than purchasing a cleaner, many people whose items have been affected by mold damage find it useful to contact mold remediation specialists who use ultrasonic cleaners.
After your belongings have been affected by mold, it's often helpful to know how they will be cleaned. Knowing that ultrasonic cleaning will effectively and gently clean many of your belongings can bring you peace of mind. Visit https://www.SERVPROscarsdalemountvernon.com/ for more information!
4 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Flood
Flood damage in Elmsmere, NY
4 Ways To Prepare Your Business for Unwanted Water
Flooding is an all-too-common occurrence in Elmsmere, NY. Here are four ways to prepare your business for unwanted water and dodge as much flood damage as possible.
1. Educate Your Employees
Knowledge is power when it comes to preventing floods and avoiding water damage. Educating your employees about what to do (and what not to do) when a flood is imminent increases the likelihood of everybody being on the same page, staying calm, and cooperating to protect your assets.
2. Back Up Company Records and Other Important Documents
At a minimum, you should keep your company's important documents in a waterproof container. Ideally, and depending on how much paper passes through your business, all of your records and other paperwork should be backed up and password-protected, not only on external drives but also to the cloud.
3. Upgrade Your Property's Flood Protection
If your building sits in a floodplain, there are a variety or updates, both big and small, you can make to your commercial property to protect against flooding:
- Equip drains and pipes with non-return valves
- Raise wiring, fuse boxes, and electrical outlets at least 18 inches off the ground
- Prevent seepage by sealing the floors
- Install shelves 18 inches or more off the ground for storing items during a flood
- Invest in flood boards for all first-floor doors
4. Retain the Services of a Water Mitigation Company
Having an experienced water mitigation company on speed dial can expedite the cleanup process in the event that water does enter the premises. Professionals will have the tools and expertise required to handle black water and other issues that may arise during remediation.
Flooding doesn't have to spell disaster for your business. With a little preparation and the help of a trusted water cleanup firm, you can minimize flood damage and quickly mitigate any water that does manage to sneak past your defenses.
Will Insurance Cover a Flooded Basement?
Drying equipment in an Eastchester, NY basement
A flooded basement is certainly an incident you hope to avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, there are events beyond your control that may result in water in your Eastchester, NY, home. Even if you can’t always prevent a basement flood, it is possible to know ahead of time what your insurance will cover.
Water problems always seem to occur at an inconvenient time. However, if you’re armed with some knowledge about your insurance policy, you may be able to breathe a bit easier knowing that there is help available.
Some insurance policies cover water damage under two categories. If the structure of your house has been damaged due to a water pipe bursting or some other water leak, your dwelling insurance coverage may help with repair costs. There are also specific risks covered under the personal property category that may assist with the replacement or repair of belongings.
Homeowners' insurance may cover water damage if it’s sudden and accidental. Talk with your insurance agent or a company representative to learn more about your policy and other alternatives you may have. By understanding your insurance coverage, you’ll know what your options are when it comes time to pay for repairs.
Insurance will not cover water damage if it’s caused by improper home maintenance. Your regular homeowners’ policy also does not cover a basement flood caused by outside sources such as the following events:
- Overflowing bodies of water
- Outside drains and sewer pipes
Another area that is generally not included is the source of the damage. For example, if your washing machine is the sudden cause of the leak, your insurance may help pay to fix the flooring; however, it will not cover the cost of a new machine.
A basement flood is stressful and costly. Fortunately, water damage specialists are available to help with repairs. Always notify your insurance company immediately to find out about assistance with renovation expenses.
Preparing an Escape Plan for Your Home
There should be an area outside of the home that every member should meet in the event of a fire
When fire breaks out in your Bronxville, NY home, you and your family likely only have a few minutes to escape safely. Extreme heat, suffocating and blinding smoke, and deadly flames can make escape nearly impossible. When children or those with limited mobility are involved, able-bodied members of the family will want to help, putting everyone in danger. One of the best ways to keep your family safe is to create a comprehensive fire escape plan.
Elements of a Comprehensive Escape Plan
Simply put, an emergency escape plan could mean the difference between life and death for members of the household. Take the time to thoroughly plan and practice your fire escape plan using the following steps:
- Inspect the home for escape routes – The entire family should work together to identify at least two ways to escape every room in the home
- Check doors and windows – Make sure every member of your home can easily open any door and window in the home, and ensure regular maintenance of any windows that are prone to getting stuck
- Draw a map – Every member of the home should memorize their copies of the emergency plan, which clearly outlines escape routes from every room
- Choose a meeting spot – There should be an area outside of the home that every member should meet in the event of a fire
- Conduct fire drills – Much like school or the workplace, regular fire drills can help ensure everyone knows what to during an emergency
Young children and those with limited mobility will likely need help escaping a fire. Assign an able-bodied adult to one of these individuals and practice helping them evacuate. Inspect your home to ensure you have fire alarms in every room in the house, plus one on every floor of the home. Finally, ensure you have emergency contact information and a plan in place to begin the fire cleanup and restoration process after the fire. By creating a strong fire escape plan, you are giving yourself and your family the best chance at surviving a fire if disaster strikes.
How to Handle Water Damage on Commercial Hardwood Floors
Commercial water damage to floor in Tuckahoe, NY
It is important to protect all aspects of your business in Tuckahoe, NY, including the floors. Hardwood is typically more expensive than carpet and should be treated with care. Although you can't always prevent damage from happening, you can take the steps necessary to protect your flooring if you have a pipe burst or other emergency.
Causes of Water Damage
Commercial buildings are particularly vulnerable to water damage due to the size of the water system in the building. Although a wet floor can be caused by something as simple as a water spill, here are a few of the main causes.
- Pipe burst
- Toilet Overflow
- Heavy rainfall
- Leaking roof
- Fire sprinkler system
How to Prevent it
While there is no way to completely prevent problems from occurring, there are some measures you can take to help protect your business. Getting your roof checked regularly can help you avoid leaks. Same goes for your pipe and fire sprinkler system. Placing signs in the restroom asking patrons to dispose of feminine hygiene products in the trash instead of the toilet can help prevent major overflows. Most importantly, make sure your insurance policy is up-to-date in case flooding does happen.
How to Clean it
Time is of the utmost importance when it comes to cleaning wet floors. Small spills or overflows should be taken care of immediately; however, larger jobs can become more challenging. You may need wet vac or pump if the building is flooded. If too much liquid is left on the wood floor for too long, the floors can rot or buckle. They may require special treatment from an experienced company.
Taking precautions is one of the best ways to help avoid having a pipe burst or a toilet overflow at your business in Tuckahoe, NY. Always cleanup spills right away, and call a professional restoration company if the job is too extensive to be handled internally. Never delay treatment if you notice damage to your floors.
The Cost of Mold Removal
Mold remediation specialists in Bronxville, NY
The Cost of Mold Removal
There are many reasons you want to avoid mold damage in your home. Obviously, you don’t want your Bronxville, NY, house and belongings covered in mold. You also don’t want to have to deal with expensive mold removal.
Mold cleanup includes three steps, each of which has its own costs. They are:
- Mold inspections
- Air sampling
If you suspect that your house has mold, you should first hire an inspector to determine the extent of the problem. An inspection from a qualified professional should cost between $200 and $600.
Visible mold does not always require air sampling. However, if the inspector can't find where the mold is, he may take an air sample and send it to a lab for testing. This step in the mold removal process can cost an additional $30 to $150 per sample.
Once the lab test determines that the mold is present, you can start the mold remediation process. You may be able to handle minor mold cleanup on your own. However, more extensive damage may require a visit from an emergency restoration services company.
The cost of black mold removal can vary based on the size and extent of the mold infestation. Removing mold from crawlspaces should cost between $500 and $4,000. Structural damage, however, may cost between $10,000 and $30,000 to repair.
What About Insurance?
Your insurer will provide financial assistance if the mold results from an emergency that is covered by your policy. Flood insurance can also help when mold grows following a storm. However, if the mold was caused by a persistent moisture problem or delayed maintenance to your home, you may have to pay for the black mold cleanup out of pocket.
Mold damage can be expensive, and it may not be covered by your insurance. To avoid spending money on mold removal, you should keep your home as dry as possible and address any leaks immediately.
How to Prevent Odor in Your Home After a Flood
Storms in Tuckahoe, NY caused flooding that unfortunately affected this residential client.
How to Prevent Odor in Your Home After a Flood
After a flood in Tuckahoe, NY, damage to your home can create several problems. One of these is a lingering odor in your house. There can be multiple reasons for this, from bacteria to mold growth. To prevent or remove a bad smell in your house after a storm, perform the following steps.
1. Remove the Water Quickly
Flood water is classified as category 3 which means that it is highly contaminated. It can bring mud, debris, bacteria and even waste into your home. If it is allowed to remain for an extended period of time, the bacteria can spread throughout the house, affecting walls, floors and furniture. For this reason, it should be removed as soon as possible.
2. Clean Everything
Because water from a flood can bring a lot of contaminants, including mold spores, into your house, it is important to clean and sanitize everything thoroughly. Otherwise, bacteria and mold growth will continue. These can contribute to a bad smell in the home, along with other potential problems. Clean all hard surfaces and any porous materials that you can. Severely damaged items may need to be replaced.
3. Inspect for Mold
If everything has been thoroughly cleaned but you are still noticing a musty odor, then you likely have a mold growth hidden somewhere in your house. Because this fungus can grow in most places, colonies do not always form in visible areas. You can hire a cleanup and restoration service to perform an inspection and remove any excessive mold that has formed.
Whether the water in your home is from a severe storm or from a sewage loss, you should be careful when dealing with it. While it is important to have it removed as soon as possible, you should avoid touching contaminated water. The best course of action is to call a professional service to have the area cleaned for you.
Understanding Water Damage Claims
The insurance adjuster visits your home to assess your claim
If bursting pipes cause water damage in your home in Scarsdale, NY, your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of damage remediation. Not every claim gets accepted, though. In order to file a successful claim, there are a few questions you should be able to answer.
Who Is Involved?
There are four main entities you will probably deal with when you have water damage in your home:
- Insurance agent
- Insurance adjuster
- Water remediation experts
A plumber is the person you call to fix broken pipe. Your insurance agent can help you understand your policy and whether or not you can expect your specific problem to be covered. The insurance adjuster visits your home to assess your claim and determine how much, if anything, the company will pay. Remediation experts can also assess the damage and provide an estimate of the cost of repairs before they start the work on your home.
What Is Covered?
Most homeowners policies cover damage caused by sudden events such as bursting pipes. They may not pay for the pipe itself to be repaired, but you can usually recoup the cost to repair the damage it caused. If you respond to the problem in a timely manner, most of your damage should be paid for after you meet the deductible.
What Isn't Covered?
Many basic property policies have exclusions for certain issues. For example, if you live in a flood plain, you will likely need to purchase a separate flood policy in the event that your home is flooded during a storm. If the adjuster can tell that the damage has been there for a long time, particularly if mold growth has sprung up, your neglect may negate your coverage. Most homeowners policies only cover the cost of mold remediation if the growth was the direct result of a covered loss.
Bursting pipes and other sudden issues can cause a lot of damage to your home, but usually those types of problems are covered by your insurance. Your agent can shed more light on how your policies protect you.
Should Your Business Have a National Flood Insurance Program Policy?
Damaged business by floods
Having insurance is a key part of managing risks for a business. However, most commercial insurance policies do not include flood and flood-related damage – something many entrepreneurs learn the hard way. Lenders may insist on a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy, but most businesses don’t have one. Normally, flood insurance in Secor Gardens, NY, must be purchased separately, and the financial assistance offered by FEMA to homeowners is not offered to businesses without a flood policy. Here is some information to help you decide if you need this additional insurance.
What Does NFIP Cover?
First, there are three things you should know about NFIP’s standard commercial insurance covering floods:
- It’s a stand-alone policy that only covers flood damage (as defined below).
- It pays for direct physical damage, up to the limits of the policy, not to exceed actual cash value.
- Personal property coverage is not included with building coverage.
Both building and personal property coverage, which must be purchased separately, are each up to $500,000, depending on your policy limits and deductibles.
What Is a Flood?
The NFIP defines a flood as “a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres (or properties) of normally dry land.” This could be from virtually any source and includes mudflow, collapse or subsidence of land if caused by water “exceeding anticipated cyclical levels.” In other words, if there’s a lot of water above and beyond what’s normally expected, it’s probably a flood to the NFIP.
Should You Get a Policy?
Can your business afford a $90,000 loss in Secor Gardens, NY? That’s the average commercial flood claim, and this damage is not covered under non-NFIP commercial insurance policies. If you are in or close to a hazard zone, you should strongly consider purchasing a policy. Flooding and storm water cleanup are best left to professional companies. While they usually have reasonable rates, having your damage and personal property covered in advance can help diffuse costs.