3 Differences Between Mold and Mildew
Call SERVPRO of Burlington/ Woburn to remediate or prevent any mold growth.
Mold VS. Mildew: What's The Difference
While there can be many types of fungi in Woburn, MA, there is one thing they all likely have in common: you want to get rid of them. The steps you should take depend on whether your home has mold or mildew. In order to know whether you are at risk for mold damage or simply have less harmful mildew, there are some questions to ask.
1. What Does the Fungus Look Like?
Mildew tends to be gray or white and very flat. Mold on the other hand comes in a number of colors, including blue, green, or black. Mold tends to be fuzzy or slimy.
2. Where Does It Grow?
Mildew growth is more common than that mold. It tends to be found on produce, houseplants, and natural fabrics. Mold growth, on the other hand, tends to be more invasive. It is found in many places including showers, drywall, wood, air conditioning systems, wallpaper, and ceilings. The wide array of areas it inhabits is one reason mold damage quickly becomes extensive if unaddressed.
3. How Stubborn Is It To Remove?
Mildew, because of its flat texture, can usually be removed with a household cleaning solution and a scrub brush. Mold tends to have tiny filaments that infiltrate whatever surface it is on, making it much harder to remove. Do-it-yourself cleaning is usually not the best idea with mold, because you can release mold spores into the air and spread the issue to other areas of the home. For mold, it is often helpful to call a professional to determine the extent of damage and best method for remediation.
Mold damage tends to be more severe than that of mildew. That is why it is often important to determine which type of fungus is the problem. After you have determined what type of fungus has intruded, you can take the right steps to banish it and restore a healthy environment to your home.
Flood Water Types Determine Cleanup
Storm damage in Woburn, MA.
Whatever has caused flooding in your Woburn, MA, home will determine the required cleanup methods. A pipe break or hose failure from an appliance requires a different remediation response than water damage from a storm-related flood.
Categories of Water Losses
Experts differentiate the categories of water that can infiltrate your home. Each requires its own response.
- Category One: water from a clean source that offers little to health risk
- Category Two: “gray water” that can create illness or discomfort
- Category Three: “black water” that is severely contaminated and contains pathogens or toxins
All three types of flooding require quick responses to avoid escalation of the damage. Mold begins to grow within 24 to 48 hours of inundation and must be arrested as soon as possible. The longer any type of flood damage is left unaddressed, the greater the potential for structural deterioration or health consequences.
Flood Cleanup by Category
Pipe breaks in the home are often a category one problem, and because the water is sanitary, floods can usually be safely addressed by thoroughly drying structural materials and drying and cleaning porous or semi-porous materials.
Gray water floods come from sources like dishwashers and washing machines, hydrostatic pressure leakage, and overflowing sump basins. Generally, gray water floods are remediated similarly to category one floods through thorough drying and cleaning because of the presence of microorganisms that can compromise health.
Sewage or toilet backflow floods and any rising ground water, seawater, river, stream or storm-driven water is considered category three. Porous and semi-porous materials contaminated by this type of water must be removed and replaced.
Flooding inside your home can range from a nuisance to a nightmare. The important takeaway for homeowners is that a quick response is always in order, no matter the source of water, in order to prevent the growth of mold.
Furnace Maintenance Tips for Homeowners
Clean your furnace annually and change the filters regularly at your home to keep your heating system working efficiently.
Tips For Homeowners On Furnace Maintenance
Nearly 10% of all residential fires in the United States are due to problems with heating. One of the easiest ways to prevent a fire at your home in Wilmington, MA is to practice proper furnace maintenance. Follow the tips below now to avoid the need for fire cleaning and smoke cleaning later.
How Do I Clean My Furnace?
- Before you begin, ensure that the power is off to your furnace. Turn off the power at the circuit breaker. Shut off the gas supply to the furnace.
- Remove the door to the furnace and unscrew the burner cover.
- Vacuum dust from the burners, furnace base and blower compartment. Gently use a small brush, such as a toothbrush, to clean the blower blades.
- Whether you have a furnace with a pilot light or hot surface ignitor, gently blow dust from the area using a straw to isolate the air flow. Use a cloth to lightly dust the sensor.
How Often Do I Change the Filters?
- Change or clean the furnace filter before cooler weather sets in, usually in early autumn.
- During the winter months, the furnace works continuously. Replace or clean the filter monthly throughout this time to avoid dirt and dust buildup.
- If at any point you notice that the filter is dirty, change or clean it irrespective of time that has passed. If you have home renovations involving excessive dust or are in the midst of a fire cleaning effort, check the filter often.
Clean your furnace annually and change the filters regularly at your home in Wilmington, MA to keep your heating system working efficiently. Get your HVAC system inspected annually by a professional to keep it in top working order. Sometimes, regardless of preventative measures, a fire occurs. Once the fire is out, contact your insurance agent and a fire restoration specialist. Fire restoration professionals use specialized equipment for fire cleaning, smoke cleaning and removal of water from firefighting efforts to restore your home and belongings.
Maintaining Employee Safety during Mold Remediation
Mold can grow anywhere.
Keep Your Employees Safe During Mold Removal
Mold spores are everywhere; when those spores find contact with humidity on your Winchester, MA, property, it doesn't take much for mold growth to become a problem. As an employer, it is vital you take the right steps to keep your employees safe during mold removal. You should almost immediately contact an expert to assist you in providing a safe, healthy working environment. You'll work closely with those professionals as you complete the next steps. Of course, one of your first steps should be to control growth and prevent the occurrence of black mold. You can do this by:
- Identifying trouble spots, such as leaky windows and dripping HVAC systems.
- Controlling moisture, watching for signs of condensation, wet spots, broken pipes, and leaks.
- Regularly maintaining your HVAC equipment, including inspections and repairs.
- Providing enough drainage around the foundation of your building.
The next step to take is to understand the nature of mold. For example, mold spores are easily distributed throughout buildings through air conditioning or on people's clothing. It can hang in the air or be carried from one room to another on an insect. While mold removal professionals are handling remediation efforts, it is vital that the contamination area is contained properly.
OSHA has several recommendations regarding how to keep your employees safe. The remediation professionals will probably handle some of those steps, such as misting materials to contain dust, spores, and debris; sealing affected materials in plastic bags; and ensuring proper ventilation. According to OSHA, you should ensure the following:
- No one eats, drinks, or smokes in affected areas.
- Employees don't breathe the dust.
- A work area for remediation experts is established.
- The area is kept clean and dry.
- All employees are moved away from the work area and any space directly adjacent to the work area.
Mold removal experts can guide you through this process and help you ensure the safety of your Winchester, MA, employees. Work closely with them before disturbing any areas of mold growth.
Keeping Your Pets Safe During a Fire
Remember to include your pet in your emergency plan.
Facing a fire in your Woburn, MA, home is a serious situation. Your first priority is your own safety and that of your family members. If you have pets, you’re also concerned about their welfare during a fire emergency. Fortunately, there are ways you can include them in your evacuation efforts.
Make Pets a Part of Your Plans
Every family should have an escape plan in the event of a house fire. Every member of the family should have a role and be aware of what to do the moment someone detects smoke or flames. As you run through your evacuation strategy, take your pets with you. A good plan includes:
- Determining exits in all areas of the house.
- Having a gathering place a safe distance outside of the home.
- Practicing the evacuation consistently.
Keep Pets Away From Open Flames
Pet preparation in the event of a fire is much like preparing young children. Like kids, pets will be curious around flames. This means you should be careful where you place candles. Make sure they are high so pets can’t reach them. Also, never leave a candle unattended, especially if you retire for the night. If you spot an open flame anywhere, put it out as soon as possible so the pet doesn’t spread it.
When You’re Gone
If you have to leave your pet for the day or longer, make sure you have someone you trust to keep an eye on them. If necessary, keep the pet in a crate or kennel. This is important for pet safety, especially for younger animals. Make sure there are no fire-starting hazards within the pet’s reach.
Stove and oven fires are common, and pets are not immune from starting them and creating a fire emergency. If your pet has access to the kitchen while you’re gone, remove stove and oven knobs or cover them up.
Protect yourself and your pets from a fire emergency. If you need further tips, consult a fire cleanup and restoration specialist.
Are Broken Pipes Covered by Insurance?
Pipe bursts on ceiling causing damage to ceiling.
Are Broken Pipes Covered by Insurance?
Whenever a disaster strikes your Burlington, MA, home, your mind may stray straight to the finances. After all, a flood can cost you a lot of money in repairs and restoration costs and that's a scary prospect. If a broken pipe caused your home to fill with water, will your insurance help pay for the damages? Your residential water cleanup crew may not be able to give you a straight answer because it all depends on the policies you have.
Normal Wear and Tear
Plumbing can take a beating in any home. If you have multiple people living in your house, the plumbing has to deal with even more use. Because of the normal wear and tear that affects the piping, many companies offer an insurance coverage that can help protect you against flooding caused by broken pipes. A regular homeowner's policy, however, may not cut it. You may need to add extra policies, including the following:
With one of these extra policies, you may be able to breathe a sigh of relief even if your home is filled with water from a plumbing accident. Be sure to talk with your insurance provider to find out what type of coverage you need.
Sometimes there are plenty of warnings that you need to fix a broken pipe. If you have a perpetual leak you ignore, for example, your insurance company may be able to cite this negligence as a reason for denying your claim. Other carelessness that could leave you completely liable for the damages regardless of the policies you hold includes lack of heat in cold climates or purposefully putting foreign objects in the pipes.
Every homeowner's policy may be slightly different when it comes to flood protection. Some policies may cover the subsequent damage, such as destroyed flooring, ruined walls and damaged furnishings, of a broken pipe while others may not provide this protection.
Floods Can Cause Unexpected Damage
Flooded local business in Wilmington, MA.
Floods Can Cause Unexpected Damage
Flooding in Wilmington, MA is a serious business risk. Some businesses, especially those that maintain a lot of inventory, might be more susceptible to losses than others. The fact remains that flood damage could cause a host of problems:
- Data loss
- Rendering your facility uninhabitable
Most companies have business interruption insurance. It's most popular in industries that need to keep working constantly in order to keep up with client orders to fulfill customer expectations. However, business interruption insurance is not a blank check. Providers will often want to know that their policyholders are doing everything they can to get back to normal operations, such as hiring professional recovery companies.
Keeping Information Safe
Mini companies also rely on detailed records in order to track processes and finances from year to year. This can end up piling up on office computers or in filing cabinets. Smart managers make sure that there are practices is in place, whether they are automated or manual, to maintain off-site copies of a business's most vital records. If client confidentiality is a primary concern, businesses often use flood-proof storage solutions for their information.
Avoiding a Move
Floods have the potential to make a business vacate premises temporarily. However, flooding could also lead to more serious problems, such as black water and structural degradation. There's one main difference between businesses that have to leave for a few days and those that have to move permanently: response time. Forming a partnership ahead of time with a repair company could speed up the process.
There is no way for business owners in Wilmington, MA, to predict when and where floods might happen. However, keeping cost-effective systems and practices in place to address known risks is always a good idea. While proactive measures are important, acting quickly when flooding strikes is also a key factor in a company's ability to remain in business after a disaster.
What To Do If You Suffer From a Fire Loss
Fire damage in a building.
What Can Someone Do When They Experience a Fire Loss?
Getting life back to normal when someone’s home or business has been affected by fire damage is extremely stressful. An individual may experience emotional as well as financial hardship. Loss of valuables and family keepsakes may leave a person feeling helpless. Fire in their home or a fire in their business is a terrible site for an owner to encounter.
The property owner experiencing the fire loss may find it necessary to seek help from a professional fire cleanup company. The owner may not be able to enter the property when faced with a fire in their home or a fire in their business. The strong odors from smoke damage can be harmful to their health.
What Types of Damages Can a Fire in a Home or a Fire in a Business Cause?
Coming up against a fire in the home may become an extremely difficult situation. Types of damages an owner can expect to include soot damage, smoke damage, and the air quality in the home is affected. Overall a fire loss can be an upsetting -as well as costly- experience.
Soot damage on rugs, upholstery, and curtains may be more costly to clean. In some cases, it may be easier to replace these items. Air quality may not improve until fire cleanup begins, and odors from smoke damage are removed. Fire damage to a home or business can seem like a nightmare.
Known Dangers of Commercial Fire Damage
All fires to any structure can be dangerous. A fire in a business can spread quickly to nearby areas. Commercial fire damage may involve dangerous gasses leaking and even explosives depending on the type of business in place. If not handled quickly commercial fire damage can result in a long-term loss. Certain substances, like combustible metals often in industrial locations can emit undesirable chemicals making the air quality problematic.
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire in the business property can also put a dent in the finances of an owner. Especially when they solely rely on income produced from their business.
Not only can commercial fire damage result in the destruction of items they have invested in, but also dealing with the repairs can be extremely costly. Heavy soot damage on clothing in retail shops, for instance, cannot be sold and is a complete loss to the owners.
Certain types of commercial fire damage may be compensated by an insurance company to help owners recover from a fire loss, however, it will likely not happen as quickly as they would like. The same can be said for homeowners that need to recover from the effects of a fire in their home. Beginning the fire cleanup process is imperative to prevent further destruction from fire damage.
What Does a Fire Cleanup Professional Do?
Fire cleanup professionals provide a variety of services to those that have experienced a fire loss. They have the equipment to clean areas affected by soot damage, and machines that improve air quality by eliminating pervasive odors due to smoke damage. Fire damage can go beyond what a home or business owner may see.
Visual inspection can show the soot damage around the structure, and the odors from smoke damage will affect the air quality, and the odors can linger on. An important step taken by a fire damage restoration company is to inspect behind walls and under flooring for additional fire damage. Working with a trusted company can help owners get their life back in order.
How To Prevent a Burst Pipe During a Snow Storm
To prevent a flooded building, hire a contractor to insulate your pipes.
Ways To Prevent A Burst Pipe
A snow storm can cause water damage to a commercial building in Woburn, MA from differing sources. The freezing temperatures can cause burst pipes, ice dams, and roof leaks. Of these, burst pipes are the most common cause of water damage when temperatures reach below freezing. Some causes of a burst pipe include:
- Increased water pressure
- Frozen water inside of the pipes
- Old plumbing systems
Proper maintenance will prevent your pipes from suffering under the stress of freezing temperatures. Here are a few ways you can prevent a pipe burst.
1. Insulate Your Pipes
If your pipes are not insulated, the cold air from a snow storm will cause the water inside of them to freeze. This increases the water pressure inside of the pipes, stressing them to the point of bursting. To prevent a flooded building, hire a contractor to insulate your pipes. Take care not to ignore outdoor pipes.
2. Relieve the Water Pressure
If frozen water develops inside of your pipes during a storm, you can relieve the pressure by opening your faucets to a drip. This will prevent the pressure from exceeding the recommended psi for your plumbing. If you are unable to insulate your pipes before a storm hits, you can always keep your faucets slightly open.
3. Allow Warm Air to Circulate Around Water Supply Lines
You can find water supply lines in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and any other area where there are water fixtures. These are the pipes that provide water to sinks, washers, and toilets. To prevent frozen water supply lines, allow warmer air to circulate around them. Crank up the heat in your building and open any cabinet doors concealing water supply lines.
You can prevent water damage from a snow storm by keeping your pipes safe from colder temperatures. If you have experienced water damage from a storm, contact a storm damage restoration service to help with cleanup and repairs.
Which Certifications Apply To Mold Remediation Services?
Mold damage in Burlington, MA.
There are a number of mold certification programs, but the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is highly respected among insurance companies, the restoration industry and many satisfied homeowners. Find out more about the advantages of retaining the services of an IICRC certified mold technician for a mold infestation at a residence located in Burlington, MA.
Water Damage Restoration Technician
A technician specializing in restoring water damage can reduce the likelihood that mold will develop. These specialists can recommend the best approach to the following mitigation and restoration measures:
- Extracting standing water
- Cleaning and disinfection
- Drying saturated materials
- Lowering humidity levels
If water damage is reported within 24 to 48 hours, a restoration team led by a technician trained in water damage restoration may be able to clean, disinfect and dry the affected area before mold develops. If damage is not detected and reported in a timely manner, other certifications can be useful.
Building Moisture Thermography
Some certified mold remediation services have a technician on staff who specializes in moisture thermography. This imaging technology makes it possible to detect the presence of moisture in building materials and pinpoint the source of hard-to-find leaks. In many cases, water damage has already affected building materials such as insulation that run a high risk of supporting mold and must be disposed of and replaced.
Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
If signs of mold are detected in a residence, a mold technician can recommend the best approach to remediation. These experts know how to put up containment to keep an infestation from spreading and clean up mold growth.
These are just three mold-related IICRC certificates. The leading restoration companies are associated with this certification program and many franchises have certified mold technicians. Homeowners should inquire about the mold certifications of any restoration provider to ensure that the best approach is taken to mold remediation.