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Things You Didn’t Know About Black Mold

10/10/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on ceiling Mold damage in Fort Collins, CO.

The sight of black mold can incite dread, but how much do you know about this pervasive home pest? Also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, this mold can wreak havoc on a Fort Collins, CO, home. To help deal with it, learn more facts about this frustrating infestation and a few pointers for mold remediation.

Where There’s Water, There’s Mold

You’re more likely to find black mold infestations where you have standing or saturated water. This mold requires moisture to thrive and grow, so any places where you have a leak or other indoor moisture and condensation issue are ripe grounds for mold growth. To keep your home as mold-free as possible, keep your home as dry as possible. If you’re not certain whether you have mold, follow the source of any musty odors or try a home testing kit.

It Feeds on Organic Materials

Mold can’t replicate on inorganic materials such as stone or plastic, so why do you see it growing on stone walls or underneath linoleum tile? It’s the organic materials associated with these surfaces that provide fertile breeding grounds. Mold can feed on many materials:

  • Drywall
  • Floor and tile glue
  • Curtains
  • Upholstery
  • Paint
  • Wood

Numerous other surfaces can be vulnerable, not to mention any food or plants left exposed in an area riddled with black mold spores. Dispose of any mold-infested organic matter immediately before the spores have a chance to spread.

It’s All Around You

When you undertake mold cleanup, your first goal may be to completely eradicate the spores from your location. Unfortunately, that’s impossible. Mold spores are persistent in almost any environment and constantly surround you. The best you can do for mold remediation is to deprive these mold spores of the moisture they need to grow into a full-on mold infestation. You may need to consult a professional on mold removal and prevention, but your best bet is to always remain vigilant and remove the conditions that lead to mold growth.

FEMA Disaster Assistance

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

Hand checking off an Emergency Preparedness List. Dealing with flooding and other damages from a storm can be a stressful time.

FEMA can help individuals recover after they have been impacted by a major natural disaster. If you live in an area that has been declared a disaster zone and have expenses not covered by your insurance, then you may be able to apply for and receive Disaster Assistance. There is a limited time to apply after a storm hits, so you need to know how this program works ahead of time and what it provides.

Immediate Assistance

The Disaster Assistance program does not provide immediate relief, although there are some ways that the government can help you. For instance, FEMA can assist you in finding:

  • Medical assistance
  • Temporary shelter
  • Trusted relief partners

Primary Residence
If you have lost your home in Fort Collins, CO, due to a presidentially declared disaster, FEMA can help you. Whether you are a renter or homeowner, the Disaster Assistance program can help cover any damage that your insurance company did not pay for. This includes structural damage, essential household items, vehicles, and storm cleanup services. However, this only applies to your primary residence. This program will not pay for any damage caused to your secondary residence.

Assistance Process
After you apply for assistance, the evaluation process will begin, starting with an onsite home inspection. After you report your damage, you will promptly be contacted to schedule your inspection. This visit will simply check for flood, wind, or other types of damage. If your damaged property was insured, you will need to submit a copy of your insurance settlement or denial before you can schedule your home inspection. After your inspection, the agency will decide if you need relief. If you qualify for assistance, you will receive a check or a direct deposit and a letter explaining how you are to use the money.

Dealing with flooding and other damages from a storm can be a stressful time. Fortunately, the Disaster Assistance program can provide immediate services and financial relief for your primary residence.

Preventing Water Damage on Your Construction Site

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

Standing water in stairwell. Whether your flooding stems from a need for water pipe repair, better drainage, or sunnier weather, it can be just as expensive to remedy.

If you own a construction company, you know that there are many things that could go awry during the construction process. One of those issues is potential water damage. At any stage of construction, you may discover you need water pipe repair or a better drainage system. The weather may even play a role. Here are some common ways that water damage could happen on your construction site in Fort Collins and how to either avoid or fix them.

Poor Drainage

Water needs a place to go, and if you don't direct it to where you want it to be, you could have a bad situation on your hands. If drainage pipes get clogged or there's more water than space to move it to, you could end up with a flooded site. There are a few ways to ensure proper drainage:

• Keep the soil around the site graded
• Set up barriers, such as sandbags, around the perimeter
• Install screens on your drains to filter out debris
• Designate a specific place for water to drain

Poorly Installed Piping

A badly installed or poorly fitted pipe could lead to the inevitable need for water pipe repair. If the pipes leak, you may have a soppy mess at best and possibly water damage in the building. The site manager should inspect the pipes before water is pumped through them and sign off on their use.

Inclement Weather

A broken pipe isn't the only thing that can cause large leaks. Buildings under construction are particularly vulnerable to adverse weather conditions because they are open and exposed. You can install temporary roofs to shield the building from harm.

Material Storage

Just like the interior of your building, your materials should be protected, too. Store them in a separate, waterproof shed or inside the building on a raised platform under a tarp. This protects the materials from water that comes from above or below.

Whether your flooding stems from a need for water pipe repair, better drainage, or sunnier weather, it can be just as expensive to remedy as to a finished building. Plan ahead to protect your construction site from water damage.

3 Stages of Food Mold

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall and cleaning supplies. Battling food spoilage, from bread mold to fuzzy leftovers, can be a challenge.

Keeping your Fort Collins, CO, home clean is probably a high priority for you. The kitchen can be especially challenging, especially when it comes to keeping your refrigerated and countertop foods fresh. One problem you may face is bread mold, which can invade almost any type of yeast-based product. While it might seem that food mold grows overnight, there are actually three stages it goes through before it becomes visible.

1. Mold Spores Lie Dormant

Mold spores are present on many surfaces, even if you cannot see them. This is also true of many foods, including fruit, meat, and bakery products. These spores are harmless on their own and may be washed away or destroyed during the cooking process. Once the food sits for more than a few days, the present spores begin to take effect.

2. Germination

As food ages, the mold spores on its surface will begin to grow and germinate. Fridge mold can develop on almost any food, even if it is in an airtight container. When food sits, the mold spores start to consume its nutrients and then multiply and grow.

3. Visible Mold

Once the mold spores start to grow, they can be seen by the naked eye. They usually appear as white or light green spots. Bread mold of this type can be especially common, especially during humid weather. If the mold problem becomes severe, it can spread quickly, so you may want to consider calling in a mold damage and cleanup service to inspect your kitchen for infestation. Mold technicians may be able to offer you tips on how to avoid future fungus growth and prevent your fridge from becoming the ideal environment for mold to thrive.

Battling food spoilage, from bread mold to fuzzy leftovers, can be a challenge. However, when you know how mold grows and why, you may be able to slow or prevent the process and keep your Fort Collin, home cleaner.

How To Get Rid of Water in Your Basement

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Water coming out of pipe. It may be daunting to open the door to your basement and see several feet of water where the floor used to be.

During storm season in Fort Collins, CO, the likelihood that your basement may flood increases exponentially. Rising groundwater, however, doesn't always wait on a storm. A backed-up sewer or some other type of flood can affect your home as well. Knowing that flooding is always a possibility, you should have procedures in place for dealing with it. You may purchase the equipment yourself, have professionals on speed dial for when an emergency arises, or do both.

Protecting Your Basement

A flood can fill up your basement pretty fast. Once the water flow starts, you could have two feet of standing water down there in no time. That's why it's a good idea to have a sump pump that is ready to pump the water out into your backyard or some other area. It's not enough to have it; you must also take care of the pump:

• Charge it – Make sure it's plugged into a power source
• Clean it – Make sure there's no debris in the inlet screen
• Test it – Make sure it works by pouring water into it and seeing if it comes on

Taking care of your equipment ensures that it will kick into gear when you need it to do so.

Consulting the Experts

You probably don't want to just rely on the sump pump to take care of the flood's aftermath. Any water damage needs to be fixed by water mitigation professionals. If the standing water in your basement is filled with debris, they can also bring out a trash pump that not only removes the water but the sludge and muck hidden in it. The pump mounts right on the collection truck, making containment a simple process.

It may be daunting to open the door to your basement and see several feet of water where the floor used to be. With the right equipment and help, though, you can get the water out of your basement quickly and efficiently.

Is There a Right Way to Use Candles in Your Home?

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Three lit candles in a living room. Candles can be a relaxing commodity to have around the house. If you leave them unattended, you can end up with a raging candle fire.

Is There A Correct Way To Use Candles At Home?

Many homeowners in Fort Collins, CO like to burn candles. Candles can help make a room smell nice and give a pleasant aura. Even though these home fragrance products are popular, you need to be aware of the potential dangers of candle fire. If left unattended, you may end up having to deal with a residential fire, which means you'll need to call a home fire cleanup crew. Use these tips to make sure you use candles in as safe a manner as possible:

  • Distance: Candles should not be lit if they are too close to any combustible materials. This can include drapes, bedding or upholstery. When you set your candle down, try to keep it at least one foot from anything that can catch on fire.
  • Surface: You also have to think about the surface you put your home fragrance product on. The candle holder should be sturdy, and you should put it on a flat, uncluttered surface.
  • Location: While it may be tempting to light a candle in your bedroom, this part of the home is very susceptible to a candle fire. Falling asleep leaves the small flame unattended. You should try to avoid lighting candles in areas where you may fall asleep.
  • Children: If children live in the home, it can be even more dangerous to light candles. A child should not be left unattended in a room with a burning candle. You should also try to keep lighters and matches out of their reach to avoid the need for a smoke cleanup.
  • Time: The longer you let a candle burn, the closer the wick gets to the surface of the container. You should avoid allowing the candle to burn all the way down.

Candles can be a pleasant product to use in your home. However, if you leave them unattended or burn them too close to other objects, you may end up with a candle fire blazing in your Fort Collins, CO house.

Musty Smells and Tips on Finding Hidden Mold

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth under sink 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

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Flooring removal due to plumbing leak, air movers placed on flooring 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

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Portable Electric Heater, Halogen Light Heater 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?

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

ceiling tiles missing, collapsed ceiling 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.

Plumbing Issues

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.

Roofing Problems

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.