3 Standards for Mold Maintenance
Mold damage in Valrico, FL.
3 Standards for Mold Maintenance
Mold spores are a natural occurrence present just about everywhere — including your Valrico, FL, business. When exposed to moisture these microscopic neighbors can quickly grow into a burgeoning threat, leaving your business at risk for a myriad of issues. Federal organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration do not set any mold standards, but that doesn’t mean mold cleanup isn’t an aggressive process. Here are three steps to keep in mind when dealing with your sporous neighbor:
1. Be Aware of Water Damage
Mold spores become an issue when exposed to moisture and allowed to grow into colonies. Regularly check for any threat of water damage in your business, including leaking pipes or drafty windows, which may allow moisture to sneak in. Furthermore, maintain appropriate levels of humidity within the building to limit moisture levels in the air. While there is variance dependent on personal preference and outdoor conditions, the EPA sets 60 percent as the benchmark for high indoor humidity. Generally, levels should be kept between 30 and 50 percent.
2. Check Building Materials
To alleviate the uncertainty of mold standards, ensure building standards are up to code. Proper insulation installed around windows, piping and exterior walls minimizes a buildup of condensation, keeping mold at bay. Verify that your business is well-ventilated and regularly check porous materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles and wood for any signs of mold damage.
3. Contact Your Local Cleanup Company
While there may be no federal mold standards, the nonprofit Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets forth standards of care for the remediation of mold. Time is of the essence when it comes to mold infestation; an IICRC certified company will have the training and professional equipment to safely and effectively mediate the mold damage in your business in a time-sensitive manner. Furthermore, if the insidious contaminant black mold has threatened your business, a professional company is the only option for safe cleanup.
A Home Fire Escape Plan Can Help Keep Your Family Safe
Practice your fire escape plan.
You plan a party. You plan a vacation. You even plan your dinner. But do you have a plan for helping your family escape from your home in the event a fire breaks out in your home in Plant City, FL? Your family is the most precious thing in your life so give some serious thought to the importance of a fire escape plan.
What Should Your Plan Include?
A plan for escaping a home fire may vary from home to home, but some basics are universal. Sit your family down and have a serious discussion about the urgent and immediate need for action should a fire break out. Include the following items in your discussion.
Make sure each person knows two ways out of every room, if possible
Get some fire escape ladders and have family members practice using them to escape from upper floors
Teach them to check the doorknobs with the back of their hand before opening to avoid burning the more sensitive skin on the palm and to practice crawling out to reduce smoke inhalation
Designate a safe meeting place away from the house where family members can meet
Practice a full drill a few times a year including setting off the smoke alarms so they can get out even with a sense of panic
Additional Safety Measures
You should also make sure you have properly working smoke alarms installed throughout your home. Place fresh fire extinguishers in the kitchen, laundry room and other areas where they may be most needed, including any smokers bedrooms. Keep the phone number of a fire damage and restoration service in Plant City, FL, with your other emergency numbers so you can get help right away if you need it.
A family fire escape plan is an essential part of your family’s fire preparation and should frequently be rehearsed and revised as needed. With careful planning in place, you can rest easier knowing your family is well prepared be safe in a fire emergency.
Will a Broken Pipe Break the Bank?
Hardwood floor damaged by water in Valrico, FL.
Would you rather have your home in Valrico, FL, flood from heavy rainfall or a leaky pipe? How about from a frozen pipe that suddenly burst while you are out of town? You are probably thinking that none of the options sound good, and you are right. However, depending on the cause of the water damage in your home, insurance coverage may differ. Although homeowner’s insurance policies generally follow the same guidelines, talk to your agent about the specific details.
What Is Usually Covered?
When it comes to homeownership, it is a great relief when you can rely on financial help from your insurance company. Water damage is typically covered when the following occur:
By no fault of the homeowner, a burst or leaking pipe causes significant water damage. Although the insurance company considers the cost to fix the broken pipe your responsibility, the resulting damage is covered. This includes drying, cleaning, removing and replacing materials, and restoring your home. The water restoration specialist works with your insurance adjuster and provides documentation of work done in relation to the claim.
If you have flood insurance as part of your policy, damage from heavy rainfall or storm is covered. If you do not have this insurance, it likely is not, so look into this if your home is susceptible.
What Is the Homeowner’s Responsibility?
Make sure you regularly maintain your home, as negligence on your part may equal more money out of your pocket:
If you leave for vacation from a cold-weather climate and do not leave on your heat, a frozen pipe that bursts means trouble. This situation could have been prevented, which may result in a denied insurance claim.
If you have a pipe that leaks for a significant amount of time, this may also result in a denied claim, as fixing the pipe would have prevented ongoing water damage.
Regardless of the cause, a flood at your home in Valrico, FL, is not enjoyable. However, when the restoration process is covered by your insurance, it will not break the bank.
Commercial Floods: When Can Employees Go Back to Work?
The drying process in Plant City, FL.
If you have sustained black water damage at your Plant City, FL, business after a flood, you may be wondering when your employees can return to work. You will likely need to do a couple of things to return the workplace to its pre-flood condition, and the two main steps involved are demolition and disinfection, both of which can be enhanced by the use of air filtration devices.
Familiarize yourself with these different phases of restoration to understand what you need to do to restore your property. Once complete, your employees should be able to go back to work in a timely manner.
Demolition involves removing water and items that have been affected by black water. It also includes disposing of property that has sustained water damage. This is an extremely important first step when trying to restore your commercial building to a state that allows your employees to enter it. An air filtration device can help speed things up by causing enhanced drying of wet areas of the structure. This is typically a good time to bring in a commercial storm damage company to help you make sure that everything is cleaned up as thoroughly as possible.
The next step in the flood cleanup process is disinfection, which helps eradicate any existing infected areas and prevents others from being contaminated in the future. Best practices include cleaning all damaged or wet areas with products approved by the EPA. An air filtration device can help during this stage by purifying the air and reducing the risk of impure particles sticking around your property.
The best defense against black water is to be prepared in advance so that you know what you can do to reduce the risk of water damage and how you can prepare the premises so your workforce can get back to being productive. In cases where you are unfortunately already facing flooding issues, the action plan above will typically be your best bet in returning your company to its normal state in the least amount of time.
Home Care: How to Protect Your Family From a Fire
Do you need a smoke alarm in your home?
How to Protect Your Family From a Fire
In the unfortunate event of a house fire, your family has 3 – 4 minutes to get out alive. That’s because most furniture and decorative fittings are made of artificial fibers that burn hot and fast. As a result, the NFPA recommends that every home should have a fire alarm system. It is the only way to get a head start when the worst happens.
As a homeowner in NE Hillsborough County, FL you should have a functional smoke detector in these rooms:
- All bedrooms
- Outside the bedroom
- Every level of the house
How Many Alarms Do You Need?
Generally, each bedroom should have a fire alarm. One should be enough for an average size room, but you can also install several detectors if it is on the bigger side of the scale. Place another sensor outside the bedrooms and one unit at every level of the house, including the basement. That should wake you in case the fire starts from another part of the house.
How to Maintain Smoke Detectors
Smoke sensors need proper care and maintenance to remain in good working condition. The last thing you want is to go through the ordeal that comes with fire and smoke damage - it is expensive and also takes a lot of time. To avoid it, replace the smoke detector batteries regularly and install new alarms every 8 - 10 years. The average cost per unit is $5 - $20, but there are smart fire detectors that retail at $100 or more. However, that is nothing compared to the cost of fire damage.
That said, it’s clear that a fire alarm system is mandatory for every home. Just make sure you have enough of them throughout the home. A 2 story house with 3 bedrooms should have a minimum of 5 smoke alarms, but there is no upper limit. You can install as many units as possible, so long as there's none within a 10 ft radius of kitchen appliances.
3 Examples of City Flood Prevention Methods
Flooded building in Plant City, FL.
City Flood Prevention Methods
If your business is located in a geographic region that frequently experiences flooding, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with local flood prevention efforts. Many cities that are located near rivers or in coastal regions have begun to use innovative technologies to control high water.
1. Japanese Watergates
As an island nation, Japan has a considerable motivation to find effective ways to stop flooding. Catastrophic flooding in 1910 lead the country to search for better ways to protect the lowlands in the Kita section of Tokyo. The result was the Iwabuchi Floodgate, which was designed in 1924. Though it was decommissioned in 1982, it was an impressive accomplishment that inspired the current system of water-gates powered by aqua-drive motors. Because the hydraulic motors in these gates do not require electricity to operate, they can run during power outages that occur during storms.
2. The Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier
The Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier is part of the Deltaworks project that helps protect the Netherlands from high water. It was finished in 1997 and is currently one of the largest moving structures in the world. Computerized walls close whenever the water level rises, causing water to fill the tanks along the barrier. The weight of the water in the tanks pushes the walls down and keeps water from passing through.
Its iconic canals have long made Venice, Italy a favorite destination for tourists; however, they also put the city at risk for flooding. With global warming making the problem worse and leaving many property owners with flood remediation expenses to contend with, the city has been investing money in the series of 78 barriers known as the MOSE project.
Locating your business in an area that is prone to high water can be a risk. However, if the officials in Plant City, FL, have a good flood prevention strategy, that risk can be minimized.
The Cost of Mold Damage
Mold found on baseboards.
If mold is present in your home, the damages could add up depending upon several factors. If you catch the problem quickly, the cost is not likely to be too severe. On the other hand, if the problem is extensive and has been allowed to spread, the final cost could be quite significant. Because of this, mold removal efforts by a professional mold mitigation company should begin as soon a possible. Over time, mold penetrates materials such as drywall, carpeting and furniture, sometimes requiring they be replaced.
The Cost of Mold Removal
Mold mitigation in your home could cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars or as much as several thousand dollars. The factors that determine the cost include the following:
- The size of the impacted area
- The length in time of the mold infestation
- The areas of the home the mold has colonized
- The presence of secondary damage such as water damage
- The scope of structural damage
Some areas of mold growth are harder to access and more difficult to remove, necessitating the use of specialized equipment. For example, if mold spores have made it into the HVAC system, this requires the cleaning of air ducts and perhaps even the furnace. Widespread structural damage to a home is a worst-case scenario.
The Case of Black Mold Removal
Black mold is sometimes famous because it has toxic properties that could impact human health. The removal process for all types of molds is pretty similar and different types of mold are unlikely to affect the cost of cleanup. The restoration process will typically require removing water-damaged materials, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, vacuuming up spores and repairing damaged drywall and other structures. It could also entail painting and the replacement of clothes and other personal items.
No two jobs for mold removal are the same. In all cases, though, fast action can limit your expenses.
Protecting Your Investment with Fire Coverage
Fire damage in Valrico, FL.
Ways To Protect Your Investment From Fire
Losing your business property to the destructive forces of a fire can be a costly nightmare. Fortunately, if you have fire insurance, the financial aftermath does not have to fall entirely on your shoulders. The right coverage can protect your investment from restoration to replacement.
The devastating flames are not the only cause of property damage during fires. It can also happen due to:
- Extreme heat
- Water from firefighting efforts
- Foam from fire extinguishers
When serious damage has been done, it may be necessary to hire a fire restoration company to perform services such as smoke cleanup and building repairs. Fire insurance can offset the cost of restoring your building, which can help get your investment back on track sooner.
While repair costs are a more obvious expense, there are many unexpected financial setbacks that could occur after a fire. You may have fire department service fees, penalties for being underinsured, or issues with code violations. Without proper insurance, these surprise bills might come out of your pocket. The right fire coverage eliminates the potential for being underinsured, and it can help with unforeseen expenses like fees and code issues.
When a property is lost in a fire, some insurance plans pay actual cash value to the owner. However, the actual cash value might not be the full value of the property to your business operations. This means that if your whole building burns down, you could be responsible for paying a large sum of money to replace it. Fire coverage can include replacement coverage, which covers the value of the lost property or the cost to rebuild or replace it.
When it comes to protecting your Valrico, FL, business property, you should ask yourself if you have enough insurance coverage. If the unthinkable happens, fire insurance could be the first line of defense for your investment.
What To Do After Wind Damages Your Building
Missing shingles on a roof.
Secure Your Property After A Storm
One of the most important things you can do after wind damages your building in Plant City, FL, is to protect your property from further damage. Water can enter through a roof leak or broken window and cause more flooding inside. Here are ways to secure your property after the storm passes.
Use Caution When Entering
Wind and rain may have caused damage in ways you don't expect. Your best safety measure is to prepare for the unexpected. Be sure to:
- Watch your step everywhere
- Wear sturdy shoes
- Use battery-powered light sources
- Check for fire hazards like broken gas lines or flooded electrical circuits
Secure the Damaged Roof and Windows
If you have missing shingles or other roof damage, you can cover your roof with a tarp and plywood until a professional restoration company can help with cleanup. Clean away any debris or tree branches that have accumulated and inspect the roof for damage. Check attic spaces and ceilings for signs of a roof leak.
Any large holes can be covered with plywood. Choose a piece that is at least 1/2 inch thick and secure it with screws. Putting plywood over the large holes will prevent water from pooling in the area once it's covered with a tarp.
Secure any broken windows with plywood to protect your property from vandalism or further storm damage.
Apply the Tarp
You will need a tarp that extends at least 3 feet on all sides of the damaged area and enough to cover the roof peak. Covering the peak prevents water from running under the tarp. Secure the ends of the tarp with boards, wrapping the tarp around the boards and screwing them into the roof. Keep the tarp taught and snug as you work.
Securing your building and covering holes after a roof leak is the best way to prevent secondary damage after a wind storm in Plant City, FL.
How To Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Family
Create multiple escape routes in your fire escape plan.
How To Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Family
It’s not fun to think about experiencing a fire in your Valrico, FL, home, particularly one large enough to require fire damage remediation, but it’s best to be ready for any kind of emergency. Creating a fire escape plan is a great way to keep your family prepared. If you’re not sure where to start, the following steps may be helpful.
1. Locate All Exits
While you likely know all of the obvious exits in your house, there may be some that you haven’t considered. Along with doors, windows on lower floors can also be a quick way to safely get out of the building.
2. Create Multiple Escape Routes
You might be used to leaving your house in a certain way every day, but if there is a fire, your usual route might not be an option. When making your fire escape plan, figure out multiple paths from each room in the house to make it easier to find your way out during an emergency. You may find it helpful, especially for younger members of the family, to post these on walls around the house.
3. Have a Designated Meetup Spot
Because you may be separated from other members of the family while leaving the building, you should agree on a location where you will meet once you make it outside. This will make it easier to determine if everyone has made it out safely. This spot should be at a safe distance from the house and should be easy for everyone to remember.
4. Practice Regularly
It does no good to create an emergency escape plan unless you practice. In most cases, practicing once a year should be enough. If you have younger children in your family, you may want to have practice fire drills more often. Knowing exactly what to do during a fire can help make the experience less stressful if it occurs.
Having a fire escape plan and making sure your family knows what to do during a fire can help keep everyone safe. Practicing often will reduce the chances of panicking during an emergency.