Musty Smells and Tips on Finding Hidden Mold
Mold growth under bathroom sink.
Tips On Finding Hidden Mold
Mold is so abundant in the environment that most people know that musty, mold smell anywhere. Not all molds have that mildew smell, but those that do are actually producing that signature scent as a result of their digestive process. Depending on the type of mold and its food source, gases known as mycotoxins are released.
Mold grows anywhere with a good supply of moisture and oxygen, and an organic food source, so mold spores are regularly flowing in the air. Those spores find ways indoors, sometimes hitchhiking on people or just flowing in your ventilation system. The spores are going to exist no matter what, but when those spores land in a damp environment, they can start to grow pretty quickly. If the water source continues to exist or the humidity remains too high, the mold eats and reproduces and you notice that fungus smell.
When you notice that mold smell, you know that there is mold in your building in Fort Collins, CO. Knowing that mold needs a water source, you can focus your search for leaks, water damage and humid areas. Here are some tips on finding hidden mold:
- Kitchens and bathrooms get a lot of use and small leaks may occur without your notice, check under sinks and around toilets
- Examine areas where pipes run to look and feel for wet areas from leaks
- Look up at ceiling tiles and high on walls for stains
- Check individual rooms for those with inadequate ventilation that leads to high humidity
Sometimes you only notice the mold smell and you just can't see the problem area with your own eyes. Mold remediation professionals use special detection equipment, like thermal cameras, to find water problem areas that can't be seen with standard vision. Infrared imaging not only helps you find the problem, but it is also a reliable source of support that can be used when handling a claim with your insurance company. These detection methods are a way to cover large areas fast, so you can solve the problem more quickly. Mold remediation should begin as soon as the problem is found, as colonies can reproduce quickly and spread out in your building.
Steps To Take After a Pipe Break
Drying up process on a home that has suffered from water damage.
Bursting pipes at your home in Fort Collins, CO, requires quick action. Every homeowner knows that something should be done, but many are not sure of what exactly that entails. When putting down towels and placing buckets around the house is not enough, what should you do next? How long is too long to wait until taking further steps?
Following Homeowner First Steps
A pipe has broken in your house. Try as you may, you cannot slow down water from the bursting pipes. Take the following actions immediately:
• If it is safe to enter your home, turn off the main water shutoff valve until you can fix the broken pipe. Use caution when electricity is involved. If you are unsure of your safety, wait until the professionals arrive.
• Water restoration specialists are typically on call 24 hours a day for these types of emergencies. As soon as possible, have a reputable company come to your home and assess the situation.
• After the source of the problem is addressed and the inspection is complete, the company can begin the process of water removal, dehumidification and restoration.
• Touch base with your homeowner’s insurance agent to inquire if water damage is covered in your specific policy.
Waiting Too Long
When you discover flooding in your home and do not act immediately, you run the risk of secondary water damage and further problems:
• There is no acceptable amount of time for standing water to remain in your home. Every minute that passes could mean further damage. Mold takes hold in as little as 24-48 hours and spreads fast.
• Quick action keeps the damage contained. Standing water causes further complications, such as leaking through floors into ceilings below.
To avoid secondary water damage, do not delay if you find bursting pipes at your home in Fort Collins, CO. Fix the broken pipe, contact a water restoration specialist, and begin the process of restoration as soon as possible.
4 Important Steps You Should Take To Reduce Space Heater Fires
Never leave a space heater unattended.
How Do You Stop A Space Heater Fire?
Space heaters can be very convenient, especially if you have one room in your home that never seems to get enough heat from your central HVAC system. Whether you use a space heater regularly or you only pull it out on the coldest winter days, here are four important steps you should always take to prevent fire damage in Fort Collins, CO, from a burned space heater.
1. Clean It Thoroughly
Before you use your space heater for the first time, make sure you clean all visible surfaces thoroughly. Dust and other small particles tend to build up on the heater’s surface and could potentially cause the unit to overheat or catch fire if not removed regularly.
2. Leave Plenty of Empty Space Around Your Heater
Never put your heater up against a blanket, piece of furniture or any other item. If you do, you’re likely to have a burned space heater before long. Space heaters should always have at least three feet of empty space around them, free from furniture, carpets and other items.
3. Keep Heaters Away From Kids
Don’t operate a space heater in an area where kids frequently play. To reduce the risk of fire if a child does accidentally knock over the heater, make sure you purchase one that has an emergency shut-off mechanism. You should also keep pets away from heaters whenever possible.
4. Never Leave a Heater Unattended
Never leave a space heater unattended. If you plan to leave the room for a few minutes or a few hours, turn the space heater off beforehand. You can easily turn it back on when you return.
Following these preventatives steps will minimize your chances of fire damage while warming your home. If you experience a burned space heater or fire damage even after taking these preventative steps, a fire damage restoration professional can help with your smoke cleanup and restoration needs.
What Type of Damage Can Cold-Weather Storms Cause?
The ceiling roof collapsed.
What Kind Of Damage Can A Winter Storm Do?
Cold-weather storms can cause just as much damage to your Fort Collins, CO, building as thunderstorms or tornadoes. While a blizzard may not cause rain flooding, it can introduce other issues for your property:
- Burst pipe
- Collapsed roof
- Ice buildup
Your storm damage restoration professional may be able to go over other types of damage common in the winter months.
When the temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes may be at risk for freezing up. This is especially true for any plumbing in exterior walls. If you don't heat your entire building, you may have an even higher risk of getting a frozen pipe somewhere on your property. When the liquid within the piping freezes, it expands. This can cause cracks to form, which can lead to leaks and floods.
Winter storms are often associated with high winds that can cause roof damage. If parts of your roofing system are torn off, it can expose the plumbing in your attic to the cold weather. This can lead to a burst pipe, but a damaged roof can invite other moisture into your space as well. For example, the weight of the snow on your roof can cause a collapse, which sends lots of snow into your building.
Ice buildup is another common roofing problem caused by winter storms. The snow accumulates on your roof. As the weather warms up, the snow at the peaks starts to melt first. Once the melt reaches the edges of the roof, it may start to freeze again. This cycle causes the formation of ice dams, which can lead to standing water in your commercial building.
Winter storms can be unkind to your commercial building in Fort Collins, CO. Knowing that you may have to deal with a burst pipe or another source of flooding during the winter can help you prepare for the worst eventuality.
Protect Your Business With a Flood Policy
Storm damage to a Fort Collins commercial building.
Three Things To Know About a Commercial Flood Policy
If your business in Fort Collins, CO, becomes damaged in a flood, you could be out thousands of dollars unless you have commercial insurance to cover such losses. Most regular insurance does not cover flooding due to storms. Flood insurance can be purchased separately through The National Flood Insurance Program, which consists of around 60 providers and is managed by FEMA.
1. The Building Is Protected
Floodwater can seep in and cause all kinds of damage to different types of materials including walls, carpeting, appliances, plumbing, and electrical equipment. Luckily, commercial flood insurance usually covers all of these items and more. Coverage generally includes the main building, as well as any detached garages or other facilities.
2. The Contents Inside the Building Are Covered
In addition to the main components of the building, commercial insurance may cover less-permanent structures too. Rugs, curtains, furniture, and other valuable materials that are not part of the building may also be protected. It is a good idea to take pictures of any items before a disaster has a chance to strike. A professional restoration company can often deal with damage to important paperwork and electronics.
3. Not Everything Is Covered
A commercial flood policy does not cover items that are unrelated to the physical structure of your business. For example, cars, other vehicles, or losses incurred during a business outage are not typically covered under these policies. Most deal with flooding due to storms or broken levies but may not apply to problems of flooding originating inside the building. If you have flooding from a broken pipe or sump pump, you may need a different type of insurance for that damage.
Because just 1 inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage, it is important to have flood insurance for your business. Read your paperwork carefully to see exactly what is covered by your commercial insurance policy.
Important Facts To Know About Thunderstorms and Company Safety
Lightning is one of the most destructive forces during a storm.
A rain storm unleashes powerful energy into the environment. Not only does it have the potential to bring down torrents of rain and cause flooding, but it also is frequently accompanied by strong winds, thunder and lightning. If you are not prepared, this can be bad news for your company in Fort Collins, CO. When compared with hurricanes and tornadoes, a thunderstorm usually impacts a much smaller area; however, these storms still pack a wallop and should never be underestimated. One particular storm in Texas in 1995 caused over $2 billion in damages, mostly as the result of hail.
The Role of Lightning in a Rain Storm
Nearly every powerful storm has its share of lightning. These bolts of superheated air can damage property as well as pose a risk to people and animals. A few interesting facts about lightning show its awesome power:
- It can be four times as hot as the sun's surface
- It comes in colors of purple, blue, yellow and white
- It strikes the Earth about 8 million times a day
- It can be up to 90 miles long
Along with high winds and hail, lightning is one of the most destructive forces during a storm. It can even cause structures to ignite.
The Role of Storm Preparation
Your company can limit your exposure to damage by following a few basic guidelines. First, you should always make sure you hold adequate storm insurance for your buildings and other assets. Second, you should develop a plan to prepare for and minimize the impact of storms. This could include such things as strengthening your roof or landscaping your property to divert high waters. Third, you should contact a storm mitigation company in the event of storm damage. Highly-trained professionals will work to restore your company and reduce costs. A rain storm has the potential to create significant damage to your company if not taken seriously.
3 Issues To Be Aware of With Partial Fire Losses
Smoke and soot damage to a building in Fort Collins, CO.
Three Issues To Be Aware Of When Dealing With a Partial Loss
When a building is destroyed by fire it is considered a total loss and is usually torn down and rebuilt. However, many smaller fires damage parts of a structure but leave other parts undamaged or in repairable condition. This type of fire loss is considered a partial loss.
1. Water Damage
Most buildings that have been damaged by fire have water damage from sprinkler systems or other efforts to put out the fire. Property with water damage should be completely dried out as part of the fire restoration process. Otherwise, the excess moisture can lead to buckling and warping of materials and promote mold and mildew growth.
2. Electrical System Damage
High heat conditions caused by a fire loss can melt wiring and destroy electrical panels. Water used in the fire fighting effort can cause electrical shorts. Replace damaged wiring, panels and fixtures and have the electrical system thoroughly inspected for safety issues.
3. Smoke and Soot Damage
Smoke damage can be particularly difficult to deal with because odors can linger for months or even years if all of the smoke particles are not removed. Additionally, smoke residue can have an acidic effect on some surfaces, causing additional damage if not removed promptly. Because fine particles can become trapped in porous surfaces and then be released when those surfaces are exposed to high heat conditions, it is a good idea to contact a professional smoke cleaning company in Fort Collins, CO, to ensure that smoke, soot and other residues are completely eradicated.
A partial fire loss is usually not as expensive to repair as a total loss. However, the process can be more complicated than simply tearing down a building and putting up a new one. It is important to be aware of potential issues and stay in contact with your insurance professional to ensure they are adequately addressed.
Helpful Facts Regarding Bread Mold
Discovering bread mold is particularly nauseating. It might also be a sign of a greater fungal issue that requires treatment from a team of mold remediation professionals. Here is some helpful information about moldy bread and how you should react to its development in Fort Collins, CO.
Proper Reaction to Finding Moldy Bread
If you uncover moldy bread:
- Refrain from smelling it
- Dispose of it in a covered trash receptacle that kids and animals cannot access
- Search the area where it was kept for other signs of fungus growth
- Clean surfaces touched by it
While eliminating bread mold from your kitchen, take a few moments to look for other signs of fungal attackers. If you keep your bread in the refrigerator, it can cause fridge mold. Search for its existence and get rid of any as quickly as possible.
General Facts About Moldy Bread
Bread mold can be identified by its various colors, including green, black and blue. Because mold uses other plants and animals as its food source unlike plants that get their energy from sunlight, bread offers the perfect conditions for mold growth. Loaves are most often kept in dark spaces and made of ingredients that mold loves.
Mold spores are invisible to the eye, so it is impossible to tell without testing equipment whether it is floating through the air. Once particles settle within exposed slices, mold begins to spread. Certain forms of mold reproduce rapidly, even doubling in size within an hour.
Although accidentally eating moldy bread can make you experience health effects, you are unlikely to experience anything more. Mold can burrow deep inside loaves where it can't be seen, so resist the temptation to salvage the healthy-looking portion. If you have a half-eaten sandwich, get rid of it instead of saving the unconsumed portion for later.
Bread mold isn't a situation that should trigger panic. It can, however, be a sign of larger mold problems within your home. Contact a fungus removal specialist if you detect the presence of a more complicated situation.
3 Candle Alternatives
Battery-powered candles may be one of the best alternatives for you.
Find Something That Fits Your Needs And Lifestyle
If you have kids or pets in your home in Fort Collins, CO, a candle fire is a real possibility. To save yourself the hassle of hiring a fire restoration company and recovering from the disaster, you may want to find another way to spice up your living area. The alternatives can easily be made to fit your lifestyle, even if you love traditional candles. The number of options available means you are bound to find something you like. Here are some candle alternatives that you can try to reduce your chances of fire.
1. Essential Oil Diffuser
For those of you looking for something with multiple functions, an essential oil diffuser is an option. This fills your space with humidity and your favorite essential oil blends. Smaller diffusers are available for people with tight spaces. They come in a variety of colors and can be made to fit any theme. You can also find larger ones that run for longer times if you forget to fill them often. Once you get your machine, all you need to do is add water and essential oils to imitate a scented candle.
2. Room Spray
Room sprays are quick and easy candle alternatives. Plus, you can find most of your favorite candle aromas as room sprays. These can be found at the same stores you would purchase candles.
3. Imitation Candles
If you don't like scents but want the cozy vibes of a real candle, imitation candles may be one of the best candle alternatives for you. These are battery-operated candles that give off a real candle's low-light without the flame, fragrance, or heat. You can find budget-friendly options at almost any store. You can also spring for some longer-lasting, high-end options.
Whether you go with a flameless candle or diffuser, finding an alternative to traditional candles can lower your risk of fire. With so many options available, you can easily find something that fits your needs and lifestyle.
The Scourge of Contaminated Water in a Home
Water backup from a storm in Fort Collins, CO.
The Scourge of Contaminated Water in a Home
A water leak into your home in Fort Collins, CO, is bad enough, but when you have to deal with contaminated water the problem becomes that much larger. In this type of water spill, you must cope with unsafe conditions, bad smells and rapid damage to your home. Professionals use specific terminology to describe different categories of water. Category 1 water is the cleanest and is considered sanitary; it originates from the clean water faucets in your home. Category 2 water is something you would not want to drink and comes from water that has been used in dishwashers, washing machines and toilets with urine but not feces. Finally, category 3 water comes from sewer lines, septic tanks and floods.
The Challenges of a Contaminated Water Cleanup
All water spills in your home should be considered a serious situation and require fast action; however, a spill that contains unsanitary water, sometimes known as black water, is different from a clean water cleanup in several ways:
- The cleanup crew should wear PPE
- The potential for damage is greater
- The risk to human health is elevated
- The demand for speed is more urgent
- The techniques for cleaning are more advanced
For these reasons, a professional water remediation franchise is often necessary for this situation. A crew consisting of trained technicians will arrive quickly and begin to remove the dirty water at once.
The Advantages of Expertise
Experienced technicians will understand your home's plumbing system and be able to identify a clean water supply line from a line that contains dirty water. They can quickly assess the severity of the situation and take appropriate steps to mitigate the damage to your home. Using the best practices of the cleaning industry, trained workers will use powerful yet safe cleaning agents to disinfect the dangerous substances from a sewage spill. While dealing with a contaminated water spill is always a challenge, professional workers can successfully restore your home.