The top 4 sources of mold growth in homes
SERVPRO Team Shaw truck in warehouse.
Mold spores are everywhere, but they can only grow and thrive in specific conditions. Being aware of the places where mold is most likely to grow in your home is key to preventing its growth. Let’s take a look at some of the most common sources of mold growth in homes.
Bathrooms are a prime location for mold growth due to their high levels of humidity. To prevent mold from growing in bathrooms, make sure there is proper ventilation. Use an exhaust fan when showering or running the bathtub, and open windows if possible. Additionally, clean surfaces regularly with a bleach solution to remove any lingering moisture that could lead to mold growth.
Similar to bathrooms, kitchens are another hotspot for mold growth due to moisture from sink drains, dishwashers, and other appliances. Make sure all kitchen appliances are installed properly and routinely check for leaking hoses or pipes that could be creating a damp environment ripe for mold growth.
Basements are prone to excess moisture since they are often located below ground level—this makes them vulnerable to flooding and water damage. Make sure your basement has proper drainage systems and inspect it regularly for signs of water damage that could lead to mold growth. On top of this, consider investing in a dehumidifier if you notice excess moisture or humidity levels in your basement.
In addition to being vulnerable to water damage due to leaks or poor insulation, attics can also suffer from ventilation issues since they are usually located at the topmost level of the home. Make sure your attic has enough insulation and check it regularly for signs of water damage or excess humidity levels that could be causing mold growth. Additionally, use a dehumidifier if necessary to reduce moisture levels in the air and prevent mold from growing in your attic space.
Mold spores can be found almost anywhere indoors—but without moisture present, they cannot grow into colonies of fungi that cause health problems like allergies and respiratory illnesses. Knowing which areas of your home are most prone to excessive moisture is key to preventing mold growth before it starts! By keeping these areas dry with good ventilation and cleaning surfaces regularly with bleach solutions—especially those prone to high humidity such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics—you can protect yourself against dangerous molds invading your home!
Steps to take after identifying ceiling water damage
Blog Summary: The steps to take after identifying ceiling water damage are shared in this article by SERVPRO® of Central & West Plano.
A ceiling is the overhead interior surface covering the rooms' upper limit. Its main purpose is to conceal the underside of the roof or the floor above. Ceilings help make an indoor space look more beautiful and neat. Also, pipes and ducts can run through the space above the ceiling and remain concealed. This space can also be used to install insulation and fireproofing material.
All homeowners are keen to prevent water damage in their homes. There is a possibility of leaking behind a ceiling that causes water damage to the ceiling, which requires the leak to be stopped and may necessitate ceiling repair. Water damage to ceilings can be dangerous if it affects the electrical wiring installed near the ceiling. It also impairs the efficiency of the insulation and causes energy loss. Preventing ceiling water damage is important. Water damage restoration must be initiated as soon as possible if ceiling water damage is noticed.
SERVPRO of Central & West Plano has over 25 years of experience in the restoration industry. The company provides water damage restoration in Hebron, TX, and neighboring areas that adhere to the highest industry standards. In this article, SERVPRO of Central & West Plano shares some useful information on ceiling water damage.
Common causes of water damage to ceilings
Roofs and ceilings can sustain damage during storms, heavy rain, hurricanes, snowfall, etc.
When gutters get blocked by debris, water can seep through the walls or roof, causing damage to the ceiling.
AC unit problems
If the AC malfunctions, it can cause condensation that affects the ceiling. There can be leaking into the ceiling if the AC has a blocked drainpipe or full drain pan.
Pipes may leak and affect the ceiling that is close to them.
Faulty sprinkler systems
Sprinklers are important in a fire accident, but if they are faulty, they can lead to water damage to the ceiling.
Signs of ceiling water damage
Discoloration or stains is a sign of water damage to ceilings that is easy to identify.
Moldy patches may be seen on ceilings that have been exposed to moisture.
Ceilings that appear dipping or bowed indicate that they have been exposed to water from leaking pipes or appliances. If the ceiling on the top floor of a building is sagging, it may be due to roof damage.
Bubbling or peeling paint on the ceiling
Bubbling or peeling paint indicates that water or moisture is accumulated above the ceiling drywall and may leak soon.
If ceiling drywall is soft to the touch or moist or mushy, the drywall is water damaged and needs replacement.
Visible leaks or water flowing down the walls or water pooling on the floor may be due to leaks from the ceiling.
What to do if there is ceiling water damage?
If any signs of ceiling water damage are seen, quick action is needed. If the ceiling is exposed to water for long, it affects the structural integrity and is also at a high risk of developing mold growth.
Identifying the source of water is important. Fixing this problem is the first step before the damage is repaired. Sometimes this is easy, like if there is roof damage due to a storm causing water damage. Otherwise, a plumber or a professional water damage restoration technician should be able to identify the cause of water damage.
To control the damage, if a ceiling leaks, the leaking water can be contained in containers lined with old towels placed to catch the water. Furniture or objects exposed to water can be moved or covered with tarps or plastic sheets to protect them. Any water on the floor may be mopped up to prevent damage to the flooring and protect it from mold growth.
Ceiling water damage can impact the structural integrity of a building if it seeps into walls or the floor. Drywall can also develop mold quickly. Professional water damage restoration is quick and thorough. SERVPRO of Central & West Plano has a team of highly trained restoration technicians who have access to the latest restoration and cleaning equipment. For any kind of water damage restoration in Hebron, TX, residents can rely on this company. Contact SERVPRO of Central & West Plano on the number (945) 348-5804 for an immediate response to water damage emergencies.
How flood damage affects homes
Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Central & West Plano describes how homes are affected by flood damage.
Floods can cause extensive damage to homes in the blink of an eye. It is the most common natural disaster in the US and may need restoration and repair, which costs a significant amount. FEMA cautions that just an inch of water can result in flood damage that costs $25,000 to a home.
A flood is defined as an overflow of water over land that is usually dry. In the US, flooding is usually due to prolonged rainfall, heavy rains in a short span of time, and ice or debris clogging a water body, causing it to overflow onto the land nearby. Dams can develop problems that cause flooding. Buildings can be flooded by overburdened or clogged sewage systems, burst pipes, or dam failures.
Flood damage includes different types of harm due to flooding, including effects on individuals, buildings, and property or belongings. Flood water is considered to be contaminated, meaning the clean-up after a flood is important but risky. Professional flood restoration services will ensure that flood damage is handled with the speed and care it demands. SERVPRO of Central & West Plano is a fire and water cleanup and restoration. They are among the 2,100 franchises of the trusted leader in the restoration industry. It has 25 years of experience in the field, which is a testimony to the high quality of its services. SERVPRO of Central & West Plano provides commercial and residential flood restoration services in Hebron, TX, and the surrounding areas. In this article, the company lists the effects of flood damage, which make flood restoration services so essential.
What are the effects of flood damage?
1. Health risks
Flood water can contain pathogens and chemical contaminants, affecting the health of persons who come into contact with it. If left standing for 24 to 48 hours, mold growth can be secondary to flood damage. Mold and its spores can affect the air quality.
2. Structural damage
Water can affect the integrity of floors, walls, ceilings, furniture, furnishing, etc. Flooding can also damage foundations which can have serious consequences. Water removal is essential, and specialized equipment makes it easier. SERVPRO of Central & West Plano follows a multi-step process, including water removal.
3. Damage to the electrical system
Flooding may cause electrical hazards that can lead to a fire, if not noticed and carelessly handled. Getting a professional to evaluate the electrical system and appliances for safety is essential before anything is switched on and operated.
If floodwater is not removed and dried meticulously, mold can grow easily. Mold thrives in moist areas and can lead to persistent unpleasant smells. Professional flood restoration services like SERVPRO of Central & West Plano use industrial-grade equipment to dry flooded homes and minimize the risk of mold growth.
5. Damage to belongings and contents of a home
Flooding can damage personal belongings like documents, clothing, electronics, etc. Some of these may have to be replaced.
What to do when affected by flood damage?
After flooding, the main priority is to ensure safety. If necessary, the place may have to be evacuated according to instructions from authorities. Homeowners must take precautions to be safe from electrical hazards. Since flood water may be contaminated, anyone coming into contact with flood water must adopt protective measures.
Professional restoration services offer the safest and fastest way of handling flood damage. SERVPRO of Central & West Plano offers 24-hour emergency flood restoration services in Hebron, TX, and nearby areas. As this is a locally owned and operated business, their teams are faster to any size disaster. For flood restoration services by an experienced, trained, and expert team of personnel, call SERVPRO of Central & West Plano at (945) 348-5804.
How to deal with smoke damage after a fire
Fire truck outside of a house fire
Fires can be incredibly devastating, and unfortunately, even after the fire is extinguished there is still work to be done. Smoke damage can linger long after the fire has been put out and must be dealt with appropriately in order to prevent further damage to your home (and your health). Let’s take a look at how to deal with smoke damage after a fire.
Clean Up Quickly
The first step in dealing with smoke damage is to clean up quickly and thoroughly. The longer you wait, the more time the smoke will have to penetrate into your walls and furniture, making it harder to clean up later on. If you are able, begin cleaning as soon as possible. If not, hire a professional smoke and fire restoration company that specializes in post-fire clean up for the best results.
Remove All Contaminated Materials
Once you’ve started cleaning up the area, you must remove all materials that have been contaminated by soot or smoke particles. This includes furniture, clothing, carpets and any other items that may have been impacted by the fire and/or smoke. It is important to note that many of these items cannot be salvaged, and they may need to be thrown away in order to prevent further contamination of your home or belongings.
That being said, smoke damage restoration companies often specialize in contents cleaning, as well. This means that they typically have access to large industrial cleaning equipment that can effectively clean smoke damaged content and remove the odor from the material. This is usually limited to clothing, rugs, blankets, and other similar items.
Use Professional Cleaning Equipment
When it comes to dealing with smoke damage it is important that you use professional-grade cleaning equipment and products. Over-the-counter cleaners may not effectively remove all of the soot residue from your walls or furniture – which would leave behind an unpleasant smell or discoloration that could prove difficult to remove later on down the line. Professionals will have access to powerful cleaning agents that can quickly break down soot residue without damaging surfaces or leaving behind any unpleasant odors.
Dealing with smoke damage after a fire can seem like an overwhelming task. However, by following our tips above – including quick clean up, removal of contaminated materials and using professional-grade cleaning equipment – you'll be well on your way towards restoring your home back to its pre-fire state in no time! Be sure to consult with a professional whenever possible for expert advice on how best to proceed when dealing with smoke damage after a fire.
How do home inspectors check for water damage?
Specialized equipment used to dry water damage on floors and baseboards
Water damage can be expensive and dangerous. As a homeowner, it’s important to take steps to prevent it and detect it early. A home inspector is trained to look for potential water damage and inspect for any existing water damage during their evaluation of the property. But how do home inspectors check for water damage? Let’s break it down.
Inspecting the Exterior of the Property
The first step in checking for water damage is to inspect the exterior of the property. To do this, home inspectors will look for signs of standing water, especially near foundations or slabs. They will also check gutters, downspouts, and other drainage systems to ensure that they are not clogged or in need of repair. This inspection includes looking at the grade around the foundation (the slope) to make sure rainwater is directed away from the house – rather than toward it.
Inspecting Inside the Home
Once inside, a home inspector will use a variety of tools to check for water damage – such as infrared cameras and moisture meters.
Infrared cameras measure differences in temperature, which can help identify areas where moisture is present behind walls or under floors. Moisture meters measure electrical resistance in surfaces like drywall. If there is excessive moisture present, then this tool will indicate that there may be an issue with water intrusion somewhere in the house (even if outwardly there are no visible signs of damage yet).
Finally, home inspectors will visually inspect all rooms and crawl spaces for any signs of current or past flooding; these include stains on walls/floors/ceilings, warped wood, moldy smells, etc.
Home Inspectors Check Appliances & Plumbing Fixtures
Furthermore, home inspectors will also investigate plumbing fixtures (such as sinks, toilets), HVAC systems (for potential condensation issues), and appliances (especially washing machines) that could potentially lead to issues with flooding or other water-related problems in your home. These inspections are critical because even small leaks – if left unchecked – can cause major damage over time!
Water damage can be costly but catching it early on can save you time and money down the road! That’s why it’s important to have your property inspected by a certified professional who knows how to look for signs of potential water damage both inside and outside your home. With their expertise in using special tools (like infrared cameras and moisture meters) along with their knowledge about plumbing fixtures, HVAC systems, and appliances, home inspectors can be an invaluable resource.
What to throw away after smoke damage?
Fire fighter in fire truck putting out a house fire
If you’ve experienced a house fire or smoke damage, it may be difficult to know where to begin. It can be overwhelming to take stock of what was damaged and to safely decide what to clean and what to toss. To help steer you in the right direction, let’s take a look at what to throw away after smoke damage and why.
Clothing and Bedding
Clothing, bedding, and any other fabrics are likely to have absorbed the smell of smoke, as well as any other toxins in the air during a fire. Even if they don’t have any visible signs of damage, you likely need to toss them out. The same goes for curtains and carpets; these will likely retain too much odor even with thorough cleaning efforts.
Keep in mind – there are professional restoration companies that specialize in content cleaning. In some cases, they can use specialized equipment to professionally clean linen, garments, and rugs/curtains. They can remove toxins and odors in the process. If you’re at all curious if some of your household items can be preserved, contact a restoration company and ask about their content cleaning services.
Any food item that has been exposed to smoke must be thrown away immediately, as it could contain dangerous toxins from the smoke itself or from flame retardants used in furniture or carpeting. This includes canned goods that were not opened before the fire occurred; their seals may have been broken by the heat of the flames or contaminated by smoke particles entering through cracks in the packaging. Open food packages should also go into the trash as they might also contain toxins from the fire.
Personal Care Items
Personal care items such as makeup, lotion, shampoo, and toothpaste will often absorb odors from smoke exposure and cannot be saved. Make sure that all personal care products are disposed of safely; never just throw them away in your regular garbage can! Many beauty products contain toxic chemicals that can contaminate water systems if not disposed of properly. Contact your local waste management department for instructions on how to dispose of hazardous waste properly.
Upholstered furniture is highly susceptible to smoke damage, especially if it is located close to where the fire occurred. Even if these items appear undamaged, they should still be discarded due to the fact that the smoke odor may not be able to be removed. Additionally, if these items were exposed to heat or water during the firefighting efforts, they should also be discarded because of potential mold growth that could occur over time.
Carpeting and Flooring
Carpet and flooring can also suffer extensive damage due to smoke exposure. Carpet fibers can trap odors, which are difficult and expensive to remove. Additionally, carpet padding absorbs water, which provides an ideal environment for mold growth. If your carpets have been exposed to water or smoke, it is best practice to have them professionally removed and replaced with new carpeting or flooring material.
It’s important to understand what types of things need to be discarded after a home has been affected by smoke damage from a fire. The more you know, the more likely it is that you can avoid further damage to your home and yourself. In most situations, contacting a fire damage restoration company is the most ideal solution. They can guide you through the process of restoring your home back to its original state.
What is smoke damage?
Fire against a dark backdrop
Smoke damage is a type of property damage that can occur when a structure has been exposed to fire or excessive smoke. This type of damage can cause long-term issues if not addressed right away, including corrosion, discoloration, and even permanent loss of items. Understanding what smoke damage is, how it occurs, and the steps to take for fixing it can help you protect your property from further harm.
What is Smoke Damage?
Smoke damage occurs when there is a fire or smoke exposure in an enclosed space. The smoke from the fire combines with the oxygen in the air and produces soot particles that settle on surfaces throughout the area. These particles contain harmful chemicals like carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and other toxic materials that can cause further damage when left untreated. The longer these particles are allowed to remain on surfaces, the more likely they are to cause corrosion or discoloration over time.
How Can You Identify Smoke Damage?
Identifying smoke damage isn't always easy because it can appear differently depending on the type of surface affected. You may be able to see dark stains or discoloration on walls and ceilings caused by soot particles settling into porous surfaces like wood or fabric. On non-porous surfaces like metal or glass, you may notice a hazy film caused by the oxidation of these materials due to contact with heat from the fire or smoke exposure. Additionally, some items may have an unpleasant smell associated with them due to contact with smoke particles that lingers even after cleaning efforts have been made.
Types of Smoke Damage
Smoke damage is typically divided into two main categories – wet smoke and dry smoke. Wet smoke comes from smoldering fires that burn at lower temperatures for longer periods of time. This type of smoke has a sticky texture that tends to adhere to surfaces more easily than dry smoke does. Dry smoke comes from high-temperature, fast-burning fires. It has a more powdery texture that disperses quickly in the air. Both types can cause significant fire damage if not properly contained and removed.
Cleaning Up Smoke Damage
The first step in cleaning up any kind of fire or smoke damage is to assess the extent of the damage and determine how much needs to be repaired or replaced. If there is significant structural or aesthetic damage, then it may be necessary to call in professional help for repairs or restoration services. Homeowners should also take steps to limit their exposure to airborne particles that are often present after fires or other incidents involving smoke.
Smoke Odor Removal
In addition to physical damage, many homeowners also have to deal with lingering odors left behind by smoke residue. These odors can linger long after the visible signs of fire have been removed, making them difficult—but not impossible—to remove completely. Professional odor removal services use powerful machines that generate ozone gas which breaks down particles in the air and neutralizes odors at their source (while leaving no residue behind on surfaces or fabrics).
Smoke damage is a type of property damage that can result from fires or excessive exposure to smoke in an enclosed space. Understanding how to identify the types of smoke damage can help you understand what’s required to repair any existing damages. Taking proper steps for removing soot particles from affected surfaces (followed by deodorizing any lingering smells) will ensure your home or business location looks as good as new after being exposed to smoke-related issues!
What causes water damage in homes?
Water damage equipment drying up excess water in a hotel
Water damage can be one of the most destructive and costly types of damage to a home. It can cause structural damage, rot, and even mold growth that can lead to long term health problems. Knowing the most common causes of water damage is essential for protecting your home from potential disasters. Let’s break down what causes water damage in homes and why.
Leaky Pipes and Fixtures
One of the most common causes of water damage in homes is leaking pipes and fixtures. Even small leaks can cause significant amounts of water to accumulate, which can lead to major repairs over time. Regularly inspecting pipes and fixtures for signs of wear and tear such as corrosion or cracking is essential for preventing water-related issues. If you suspect a leak, it’s important to contact a professional plumber right away before the problem becomes worse.
Another common cause of water damage in homes is poor drainage around the house or on the property itself. Improperly graded land or clogged gutters can cause rainwater to pool around the foundation, resulting in moisture seeping through into the basement or crawl space. This excess moisture can then lead to serious issues like mold growth, which can be difficult and expensive to fix once it takes hold. Ensuring that your gutters are clear and properly installed, as well as grading your land correctly, are key steps you should take to prevent any potential drainage problems down the road.
Finally, another major cause of water damage in homes is storm-related flooding or wind damage that allows rainwater into areas where it shouldn’t be present. Protecting your home from storms by installing window protections and waterproofing materials around your foundation can help keep out any unwanted moisture that could potentially result in costly repairs or worse—long term health hazards due to mold growth.
Water damage can have serious consequences for any homeowner if not taken care of properly and promptly. Knowing what causes water damage in homes is key for preventing any potential disasters that could otherwise occur if left unchecked. Leaky pipes, poor drainage around your property, or storm-related damages can all lead to extensive amounts of water accumulating inside your home—so make sure you’re prepared by taking proactive steps now! With regular inspections and maintenance on both interior plumbing fixtures, as well as exterior landscape features (like gutters and downspouts), you should be able to avoid costly repairs due to water-related damages down the road!
How to clean smoke damage off bricks
If you’ve ever been in a house that has had a fire, you know all too well the overpowering smell of smoke and the damage it can cause. While smoke damage is typically seen on walls, ceilings, and furniture, brick structures are also highly susceptible to smoke damage. Fortunately, there are ways to help restore brick structures back to their original condition. Let’s take a look at how to clean smoke damage off bricks.
Identifying Smoke Damage on Brick Structures
Smoke will often cling to surfaces in areas where the fire was most intense or where there were high levels of heat or humidity. You may also see a few spots of discoloration on your brick structure – depending on the type of material and heat exposure experienced during the fire. For example, after being exposed to extreme temperatures during a fire, red bricks may become duller in color while terra cotta may have an orange tint.
Cleaning Smoke Damage Off Bricks
Once you’ve identified where the smoke damage is located, it’s time to start cleaning up the mess! To do this safely and effectively, it’s important to use products specifically designed for cleaning up smoke residue. Using any other type of cleaner could potentially make matters worse (as many regular cleaners contain chemicals that could react with the soot and leave behind an even bigger mess than before).
Some examples of cleaners specifically designed for cleaning up smoke residue include Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP) and Oxalic Acid. These types of cleaners are specially formulated to break down soot without damaging the surface beneath it.
Protecting Your Brick Structure from Future Smoke Damage
Next up, it’s important to prevent future residual buildup by sealing off your walls with a sealant (such as silicone caulk or latex paint sealer). This will help protect your bricks over time by preventing further staining due to soot accumulation or dirt build-up (which is caused by moisture or dust particles settling into tiny crevices between brick layers or mortar joints).
It’s also important to note that applying sealants will not stop water from entering through cracks in your wall. But it will help repel dirt and grime, which can lead to discoloration over time due to oxidation.
Cleaning up after a fire isn't an easy task but it's possible if you know what steps to take! Removing smoke effects off bricks requires using specific products that won't react negatively with soot residues left behind by fires--products like Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP) and Oxalic Acid are great choices for this purpose.
Who to call for water damage in the wall
Water damage behind the wall of a hair salon.
Unfortunately, water damage can occur quickly and become worse over time if not addressed properly. That being said, if you’ve noticed water spots or an increased amount of dampness in your walls, it might be time to call a water restoration company.
Let’s take a look at the signs of water damage and who to call for water damage in walls.
What Causes Water Damage in Walls?
The most common causes of wall water damage are plumbing leaks and flooding due to heavy rains or storms.
Plumbing issues such as leaking pipes, broken fittings, or cracked hoses can cause significant amounts of water damage if they are not caught quickly. Heavier rains or storms can also lead to flooding, which can result in even more severe water damage if not addressed promptly.
In any case, wall water damage needs to be addressed quickly in order to minimize the amount of destruction it causes.
Signs of Water Damage in Your Walls
One of the most obvious signs that you have water damage in your walls is discoloration. If you notice any dark spots on the walls or ceilings, this could indicate moisture buildup caused by a leaky pipe or roof. If left untreated, this can lead to mold growth, as well as structural weakening of the building.
Additionally, if you have wallpaper and it begins to bubble or peel away from the wall, this could also be a sign of water damage.
Other common signs include warping along baseboards and doorways, peeling paint or wallpaper, and musty odors in certain rooms. These are all indications that there may be an underlying issue with moisture buildup in your walls that needs to be addressed before it gets any worse.
Who to Call For Water Damage in Walls
Calling a professional water restoration company is always the best option when dealing with potential water damage in your home or office building. They will be able to assess the extent of the damage and provide solutions that are tailored to your specific situation.
Additionally, they will have access to specialized equipment. This equipment can include infrared cameras, which can detect even subtle signs of moisture (such as hidden leaks behind walls or under floors that might not be visible to the naked eye).
Finally, they will also know exactly how to remove excess moisture from the affected area without causing any further damage or disruption to your property. They will know exactly which tools to use in order to quickly and effectively remove water from the area and fix the source of the leak.
Water damage inside walls is not something that should be taken lightly. If left unaddressed for too long, it can lead to significant problems down the line such as mold growth or structural instability. If you suspect there might be water damage in your walls, call a professional water restoration company as soon as possible so they can assess the situation and take appropriate action before any more serious issues arise. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your property remains safe and sound for many years to come!