Different Types of Mold
From the Ordinary
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Fungi produce some very useful results. Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing breads, baked goods, and other food products, including some alcoholic beverages. The unique flavor of blue cheese is a result of mold. An edible mushroom is simply a type of fungi, and lifesaving penicillin is a product of mold (Penicillin chrysogenum). Even though some forms of mold can pass value to our lives, other forms of mold can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people.
To the Unhealthy
Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusion can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall, and insulation, provide a food source for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health hazard.
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and other belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent stains on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods begin to spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disrupted, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don't touch or disturb the mold.
- Don't blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don't attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don't spray bleach or other disinfectant on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it's a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today! (585) 393-0310
Flood Preparation Tips
Before the Flood:
- Have a qualified professional elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
- Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drain of your home or business.
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to help avoid seepage.
During the Flood:
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
- Disconnect electrical appliances.
- So not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of water can make you fall.
After the Flood:
- Listen for news reports to learn if the community's water supply is safe to drink.
- Avoid floodwaters, these waters may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.
- Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
Call SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua Today! (585) 393-0310
Water Restoration Process
Within 4 ours of loss notification, SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled properly by completing the following steps:
Inspection: SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua will inspect affected areas of your home to determine the extent of damage. We will also review the inspection with you and answer any questions you might have.
Emergency Services: Next, SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua will take immediate steps to protect your home and personal belongings from further damage by extracting excess water and preparing your home for drying.
Monitoring: To ensure your home and personal belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua will monitor the drying process. Written monitoring reports will document the drying process. The results will be consistently communicated to you throughout the drying process.
Restoration Services: SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua will repair structured materials, reinstall carpets and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walk through of the job site will be conducted with you to ensure your property was returned to preloss condition when possible.
What should I do if my home has water damage?
There are some simple steps you can take until help arrives:
- If the source of the water is still leaking, Identify the source and stop it if you can.
- If the water is coming from a burst or leaking pipe, turn off the water at its source.
- If the water is coming through the roof or broken window, try to cover them to prevent further damage.
- Move wet items or drier areas.
- Place aluminum foil coasters or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Save damaged items and any parts you may need to replace - your claim representative may want to inspect them.
- Do not use electrical equipment or appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors.
- To document the damage, make a list of the temporary repairs you make and take photographs.
- Make sure to save your receipts.
Call SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua Today!! (585) 393-0310
Be an Informed Resource
Molds are found in every environment, and mold spores reproduce rapidly when moisture is present. An Institute of Medicine study found excess dampness indoors encourages the growth of molds and other organisms, causing a public health problem. The EPA advised that the potential health concerns from molds are an important reason to prevent moisture problems leading to mold growth. It is especially important to clean up existing indoor mold growth to increase property appeal and retain its value. If a property has experienced a water intrusion, SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua can inspect the damage to see whether moisture has penetrated materials or is allowing mold growth.
Control Moisture, Reduce Mold
- Correct any water leaks or standing water.
- Remove standing water under cooling coils or air handling units.
- Properly Maintain humidifiers, if used.
- Replace wet or visibly moldy insulation materials.
- Steam cleaning and other methods involving moisture should not be used on any kind of duct work.
- Install a ventilation system.
Limited Fire Damage
Kitchen fires generally begin at the stove. However, damage caused by the fire may affect the entire kitchen, including the walls, ceiling, air ducts and appliances. Once the fire is out, you are left with smoke, soot and water damage to clean up. The damage to your home and personal belongings may be devastating. Handling the damage properly could prevent long-term effects.
After contacting SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua, the following steps can be taken to help prevent further damage:
- Limit movement to prevent further damage.
- Place clean towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent additional soiling.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances with a light coating of petroleum jelly.
SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua is trained in the line of cleanup and care of your home and personal belongings following a fire incident. Before attempting to clean up the fire damage yourself, contact SERVPRO of Victor/Canandaigua today! (585) 393-0310
Preventing Holiday Fires
Residential fires during the holiday season are more frequent, more costly, and more deadly than at any other time of the year. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports more than double the number of open-flame fires on Christmas Day than on an average day, and about twice as many on New Year’s Day. And when those fires occur, they do more damage: Property loss during a holiday fire is 34% greater than in an average fire, and the number of fatalities per thousand fires is nearly 70% higher. When the source of the fire is a highly flammable Christmas tree, the toll in property and lives is even greater.
To keep your household from becoming a holiday fire statistic, here are some safety tips to follow.
Cooking is the top cause of holiday fires, according to the USFA. The most common culprit is food that’s left unattended. It’s easy to get distracted; take a pot holder with you when you leave the kitchen as a reminder that you have something on the stove. Make sure to keep a kitchen fire extinguisher that’s rated for all types of fires, and check that smoke detectors are working.
If you’re planning to deep-fry your holiday turkey, do it outside, on a flat, level surface at least 10 feet from the house.
The incidence of candle fires is four times higher during December than during other months. According to the National Fire Protection Association, four of the five most dangerous days of the year for residential candle fires are Christmas/Christmas Eve and New Year’s/New Year’s Eve. (The fifth is Halloween.)
To reduce the danger, maintain about a foot of space between the candle and anything that can burn. Set candles on sturdy bases or cover with hurricane globes. Never leave flames unattended. Before bed, walk through each room to make sure candles are blown out. For atmosphere without worry, consider flameless LED candles.
It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to engulf a room in flames, according to the Building and Fire Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Standards and Technology. “They make turpentine out of pine trees,” notes Tom Olshanski, spokesman for the USFA. “A Christmas tree is almost explosive when it goes.”
To minimize risk, buy a fresh tree with intact needles, get a fresh cut on the trunk, and water it every day. A well-watered tree is almost impossible to ignite. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as a fireplace or radiator, and out of traffic patterns. If you’re using live garlands and other greenery, keep them at least three feet away from heating sources.
No matter how well the tree is watered, it will start to dry out after about four weeks, Olshanski says, so take it down after the holidays. Artificial trees don’t pose much of a fire hazard; just make sure yours is flame-retardant.
Inspect light strings, and throw out any with frayed or cracked wires or broken sockets. When decorating, don’t run more than three strings of lights end to end. “Stacking the plugs is much safer when you’re using a large quantity of lights,” explains Brian L. Vogt, director of education for holiday lighting firm Christmas Décor. Extension cords should be in good condition and UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use. Check outdoor receptacles to make sure the ground fault interrupters don’t trip. If they trip repeatedly, Vogt says, that’s a sign that they need to be replaced.
When hanging lights outside, avoid using nails or staples, which can damage the wiring and increase the risk of a fire. Instead, use UL-rated clips or hangers. And take lights down within 90 days, says John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety for Underwriters Laboratories. “If you leave them up all year round, squirrels chew on them and they get damaged by weather.”
Kids Playing with Matches
The number of blazes — and, tragically, the number of deaths — caused by children playing with fire goes up significantly during the holidays. From January through March, 13% of fire deaths are the result of children playing with fire, the USFA reports; in December, that percentage doubles. So keep matches and lighters out of kids’ reach. “We tend to underestimate the power of these tools,” says Meri-K Appy, president of the nonprofit Home Safety Council. “A match or lighter could be more deadly than a loaded gun in the hands of a small child.”
Soot can harden on chimney walls as flammable creosote, so before the fireplace season begins, have your chimney inspected to see if it needs cleaning. Screen the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out onto the floor or carpet, and never use flammable liquids to start a fire in the fireplace. Only burn seasoned wood — no wrapping paper.
When cleaning out the fireplace, put embers in a metal container and set them outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal.
Space Heater Safety Tips
9 Do's When it Comes to Space Heaters
1) Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from combustible materials, including beds, sofas, curtains, papers, clothes, etc.
2) Make sure the heaters power cord is not damaged or frayed in any way.
3) Make sure the heater is securely plugged into the power outlet. Ensure it does not come loose or fall out.
4) Ensure your heater is on a stable and level surface with minimal risk of it getting knocked over.
5) Make sure your space heater has been certified as safe to use. You should see a safety logo on the back somewhere.
6) Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
7) Ensure your unit is turned off when you go to sleep, in a different room, or unable to keep an eye on it.
8) It is wise to teach everyone in your household how to properly operate your heater.
9) If your space heater requires fuel, make sure you refill it with the right kind... or you will most likely cause a fire.