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Know the Differences Between Mold and Mildew

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Know the Differences Between Mold and Mildew Mold damage after a pipe break on the wall in Reading, PA

If you own a home in Reading, PA, chances are you have experience with mold damage or mildew growth. You might have found some mold growth on an old rug in the basement, or some mildew on clothes or rags left in a damp area. But are mold and mildew the same?

Mold and mildew are somewhat similar, in that they both:

  • Thrive in moist areas
  • Like warm environments
  • Are fungi that spread through spores
  • Can grow on a wide variety of surfaces

But despite the similarities, mold and mildew have very distinct differences.

Mildew

Mildew is a specific form of fungus that generally forms on damp surfaces, and is powdery or fluffy in appearance. It's usually found in the home on moist surfaces, fabrics, paper, and on other organic materials. Outside of the home, mildew often causes a great deal of damage to agricultural products such as potatoes and grapes. There are two main types: downy mildew and powdery mildew. Downy mildew can vary in appearance but generally starts out with yellowish spots that turn brown after a time. Powdery mildew starts out as gray or white blotches that eventually become yellow-brown. Unlike mold, mildew can be removed fairly easily with a specialized cleaner and a scrubbing brush.

Mold

Mold is usually green or black with a fuzzy or slimy appearance. It is much more invasive than mildew, as it thrives under surfaces like the interiors of walls or under floorboards. Unlike mildew, mold damage can be far more harmful and much harder to get rid of once it's established. Also, there are a much wider variety of molds, the five most prevalent being penicillium, cladosporium, aspergillus, alternaria, and stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold. Unlike mildew, a mold problem is usually much more difficult to get rid of.

Mildew can be fully eliminated with a little effort on your part, but mold damage may require the skills of a professional mold mitigation company. Eradicating mold and mildew in your home is easy if you act promptly to get rid of it.

How To Drain Your Flooded Basement

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Drain Your Flooded Basement It’s inevitable that some of your possessions may have been damaged in the basement flood.

A flooded basement can be a homeowner’s nightmare, especially when you live in Reading, PA. Whether your home was subject to a natural disaster or there’s been a break in your water line, standing water in your basement can lead to an array of issues:

• Foundation damage
• Ruined possessions
• Water heater and HVAC system damage
Mold growth

It’s vital to battle your basement flood as quickly as possible to minimize the damage. If you’re not sure how to remove the water on your own, local restoration specialists can do that for you. Otherwise, you can use a submersible pump and sump hose combination to efficiently remove as much water as possible.

Prepare Your House for Pumping

Before you start the process of water removal, turn off your electricity. It’s also important to make sure the source of water has been stopped. If the cause was a burst pipe, make sure it’s been plugged, whereas if your basement flood is from regional flooding, wait until any outside water (in your yard or street) starts receding before pumping.

Begin Pumping Out the Water

Use an extension cord to connect the pump prior to putting it in the basement. Take all measures to keep the cord connection from getting wet; hanging it is highly recommended. Fit a hose to your pump – a garden hose can work, but a sump hose will be much more efficient due to its wider diameter. If flooding is in your insurance coverage, you may be covered for both the pump and hose rentals.

Place the end of the hose facing away from the house and, preferably, on a gradient that leads to a drain or sewer. Carefully lower the pump into the water and begin pumping. Reposition the pump to the lowest level of the basement once the water is only a couple inches high.

Take Small but Important Steps

It’s inevitable that some of your possessions may have been damaged in the basement flood. Likewise, carpet and drywall can need replacing or a very thorough cleaning. Check with restoration specialists in Reading, PA, to help repair damages and assess for further risks. You and your home will be grateful you did. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com/.

Prevent Mold Growth After Flooding

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Prevent Mold Growth After Flooding Mold growth at some level is normal in every indoor area, but too much can be a real problem.

If your Reading, PA, business should be subjected to flood conditions after a storm, mold could quickly become a problem. Without proper mitigation, mold can grow as early as 24 to 48 hours after a flood. By following these three tips, you can reduce the chances of mold growth turning into a complicated mess for you and your employees.

1. Remove Standing Flood Water

Standing water is one of the top causes of bacteria growth that leads to mold. Make sure to reduce humidity as much as possible before even considering taking care of any current or future mold issues. This includes water removal as well as keeping your building’s indoor temperature at a level that will reduce humidity.

2. Contact Mold Remediation Specialists

A professional mold remediation company can help you find sources of mold that already exist in your building. Trained technicians will know what to look for and how to eradicate it to halt the growth of mold and further damage to your building. These workers will also know how to reduce or eliminate odors caused by mold. If you even suspect that mold may be a problem, a storm cleanup crew of this kind can help you figure out what to do.

3. Understand Sources of Mold Growth

Even after your mold situation is taken care of, it is a good idea to stay aware of the different ways that mold can enter your building. The last thing you want to do is have a new mold problem on your hands after clearing up the last mess. Understanding that open windows, air conditioner units and other sources of outdoor air can lead to increased mold will help you to be armed against future nightmares.

Mold growth at some level is normal in every indoor area, but too much can be a real problem. Since growth occurs so quickly and may do real damage in only a couple of days, being prepared ahead of time will allow you to save your property sooner rather than later. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com/.

Fire Evacuation Steps You Can’t Do Without

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Evacuation Steps You Can’t Do Without Your contingency plan and fire escape strategy are essential elements of your emergency preparation.

As a business leader, you understand how important it is to be prepared in your work duties. But do you place the same priority on emergency preparation? Do you have a contingency plan if a fire starts in your Reading, PA, office and threatens everyone’s safety? Today is the perfect day to develop an escape plan. This will give you peace of mind if disaster strikes.

Time to Get Out!

If you smell smoke or see flames in your office, your first priority is quickly getting everyone out. But this shouldn’t be a free-for-all mad dash. It’s critical that your evacuation plan has order and design to it. Here are some initial steps:

• Identify nearest exits on all floors and within all parts of the building.
• Make sure your staff exists quickly but remains calm.
• Assign one or two people on each floor to sweep the area (if safe) and ensure that everyone has exited.
• Choose a designated spot near your office where everyone will gather once they exit.

Practice Makes Perfect

Telling your staff about this plan isn’t enough. You must practice it. Your company should have an annual fire drill. After the drill, it may be helpful to discuss ways you can improve. Ensure that all employees participate. You can even tell them ahead of time that you will be holding the drill.

Emergency Plan Prevention

If the fire or smoke damage makes it impossible for you to return to work for more than a few days, you need a contingency plan to keep your business running. Fire cleanup can take weeks, so make sure employees have laptops available so they can work from home. Have cloud-based backups of all data. Ensure that appropriate employees have off-site access to systems.

Your contingency plan and fire escape strategy are essential elements of your emergency preparation. Don’t find yourself in harm’s way or unable to function after disaster hits. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com/.

Mitigating Roof Damage

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

As a resident of Reading, PA, the potential for roof damage to your home from high winds, hail, or fallen tree limbs is evident. Strong storms can cover an area with more than just rainfall; they can bring disaster and chaos to homeowners living through them. If you find your home in need of roofing restoration experts but need to take action before they arrive, here are three reasons for using tarps and boards to mitigate further loss.


1. Reduce Water Damage.


Waiting for an insurance adjuster or for restoration to start might continually expose your home to one of the more damaging elements of nature. Water damage can occur both during and after heavy rainfall, creating secondary structural issues or an environment for mold growth. Tarps and boards can repel and divert water away from weak areas in the roof, taking both an offensive and defensive position against secondary damage.


2. Comprehensive Coverage. 


Should wind damage leave your roof with pockets of dislocated tiles or shingles, boards can be used to span the distance. For areas where a fallen tree or limbs created large and less-than-symmetrical patterns of roof damage, tarps provide flexibility and temporary durability. Using a combination of both adds extra support and protection.


3. Efficient and Accessible Protection.


Although leaving the restoration for the experts is preferred, homeowners have the ability to secure their roofs and homes from additional damage by using these items. Remember to keep safety as your priority, but the safety of your family and home might require the immediate response of tarping or boards. Supplies are easily found at local hardware stores, making it a quick response option.

Experiencing the aftermath of a severe storm can be emotionally and physically devastating, but you are fortunate to have skilled restoration experts on hand in Reading, PA. Should you find yourself faced with roof damage, remember to call the experts first, but quickly take the next steps to reduce further problems.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROreading.com.

House Fire Cleanup

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

A house fire in Reading, PA, or any other small town, big city or sprawling suburb, could range from a nuisance to a nightmare, depending on the severity of the blaze. A fire of any size is likely to cause smoke damage, but it is reassuring to know that professionals can work quickly to get you back to your comfortable routines more quickly than you might expect.


Remediating Smoke and Soot. 


Fires can cause many kinds of damage to a house. After seeing to everyone’s safety, the next priority is to assess the type and extent of the damage and to secure the structure, all of which can be handled at any time of day or night by professionals.

• Repairing structural damage to the house may require partial demolition.
• Water removal will usually begin quickly and progress to the use of air movers and dehumidifiers to completely dry the environment.
• Smoke damage and soot damage require the specialized equipment and techniques that professionals use to treat walls, ceilings and any other surfaces that have been compromised.
• Structures and items that are restorable will usually receive special cleaning, such as steam cleaning of carpets and upholstery and dry cleaning of other fabrics such as window treatments. Fogging equipment is highly effective in smoke cleaning and can be part of the remediation process.
• Restoration work may entail replacement of drywall and carpets or other types of flooring, depending on the extent and type of damage.
• Painting walls and ceilings can restore the beauty of your home and prepare for the return of your furnishings and treasured belongings.

A home is a sanctuary for you and your loved ones, and the thought of being displaced by fire can certainly be nerve-wracking. But with today’s technological expertise, reclaiming your home from smoke damage and soot is more easily achievable than it has ever been.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROreading.com.

Don’t Dish Up Mold in Your Restaurant

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Customers enjoy coming to your restaurant in Reading, PA, because they value your delicious, high-quality, fresh food. So how can you keep it all fresh and avoid mold growth in the kitchen? Make sure you don’t dish up something unexpected by taking a few precautions.


1. Store Food Properly.


When appropriately stored, food can remain fresh and mold-free for three to four days, allowing you to use as much of your inventory as possible. Store canned items in new, clean, covered containers and cover fresh foods with plastic wrap to keep moisture in. Keep all foods refrigerated at the proper temperature, 40 degrees or below, to prevent mold growth. You can also decrease high humidity issues in your refrigerator by not packing in too much food and allowing proper air circulation.


2. Ventilate Appliances Correctly.


Steam and warm air are the perfect environment for growing mold, and of course, that is the definition of a fast-paced restaurant kitchen. It is important to make sure that moisture-creating appliances are vented outside and that you have a high-functioning HVAC system to help circulate outside air into your work area. Maintain your HVAC system and check drip pans regularly for cracks in the bottom or overflowing liquid, as that can lead to damage and unnecessary repairs.


3. Address Leaks Quickly.


Regularly checking appliances allows you to catch any leaks quickly. However, if you find that you didn’t catch the water damage in time, there are professional remediation specialists who can prevent further damage and control existing issues. Addressing the problem in a timely manner can keep costs down.

Your highest priority is to serve the best food Reading, PA, has to offer, and these steps can help make certain that you can do that every day. Storing your food carefully, ventilating appliances correctly and quickly fixing any leaks can prevent mold growth and help keep your kitchen healthy and efficient.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROreading.com.

Who Foots the Bill for a Broken Pipe?

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

A leaky pipe beneath your kitchen sink may be a headache, but it’s nothing a trip to the hardware store and an afternoon of elbow grease won’t fix. A broken pipe, however, can quickly flood your Reading, PA, home. Whether your pipe bursts due to corrosion, freezing temperatures, or a sudden increase in pressure from the supply line, the resulting water damage can be devastating. In the blink of an eye, numerous parts of your home could be destroyed:

• Carpets
• Hardwood or vinyl flooring
• Drywall
• Appliances
• Furniture

The result is a mess you don’t want to take on by yourself. Along with a licensed plumber, your local restoration experts are your best bet when it comes to returning your home to its previous level of comfort and safety. Add these crucial services to the cost of replacing ruined items and you are easily looking at thousands of dollars in expenses. How will you pay for everything you need to get back to normal?


What Insurance Will Cover.


While the cost to fix a broken pipe itself usually falls on the homeowner, the damage to property from the resulting flood is generally included in an all perils homeowners’ insurance policy. This type of insurance coverage protects you against any unexpected hazard not specifically named in your policy as excluded. Even if your coverage is less comprehensive, check to see if water damage is listed among the things covered. Odds are it is.

It may come as a relief that water damage from a broken pipe is usually covered by insurance, but don’t take this to mean that you can slack off when it comes to taking care of your pipes. If you’ve been neglecting your plumbing system by ignoring leaks, corrosion, or inadequate insulation, then your insurance company is likely to deny your claim.


What You Can Do.


If you’re currently facing flood damage from a broken pipe, get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible. If you’re fortunate enough to have avoided this disaster so far, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage and keep up with your plumbing maintenance.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROreading.com/water-damage-restoration.

How To Restore Your HVAC System After a Flood

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

When you think of your commercial property in Reading, PA, flooding, you may assume the cause will be storm damage or the result of groundwater swelling. A broken pipe, however, can cause quite a bit of damage as well. If the pipe bursts in the basement, you could have a furnace flood on your hands. If this happens, there are many options to consider.


Furnace Maintenance.


If you are lucky, you may be able to dry out the furnace and restore it to good working condition. Certified restoration specialists are essential to this process. Even if the unit seems like it is dry on the outside, it may be harboring hidden moisture in any of its internal nooks and crannies. Leftover water can cause problems as simple as inefficiency to as large as a furnace fire. If you decide to salvage the flooded furnace, you probably need to replace several parts inside it:

• Pilot and burner
• Controls
• Filter
• Gas valves


Furnace Replacement.


Most experts recommend replacement after a furnace flood. This is the only way to know for sure that the item does not sustain hidden water damage. Even if it has been thoroughly cleaned and dried, one tiny drop of water could spell disaster later on.


Air Duct Restoration.



The last step of the HVAC restoration process concerns your ductwork. Air duct cleaning is important to avoid the growth and spread of mold. Experts will start by replacing all the wet duct insulation as it cannot be decontaminated or dried. Then, they disassemble the duct work and give it a thorough cleaning. After it is dry, they reassemble the air ducts.

A busted pipe can cause a lot of water damage. Experts can advise on whether to clean or replace your furnace as well as provide a complete cleaning of your air ducts. A furnace flood may mean expensive replacements, but the safety of the people in your building and the avoidance of further damage is worth the cost.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROreading.com.

How To Minimize Destruction From Storms

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mother Nature sometimes delivers unpleasant surprises, but there are many preemptive measures business owners can take to minimize storm damage in Reading, PA.
Preparation is crucial, though even so, the wrath of a bad winter storm may eventually require restoration with the help of professionals.


Develop a Plan.


Getting your business through a patch of rough weather requires a strategy:

1. Staying informed about potential weather threats is easy to do these days with television, radio and the internet. An app on your cell phone, tablet, or personal computer makes it easier than ever to know what’s coming your way.
2. Maintaining the business’s roof, windows, foundation and HVAC system can, to an extent, head off storm damage. Frequent inspections can alert you to the potential for water infiltration, whether from rain or melting snow.
3. Heading off a common winter storm problem, the pipe break, is a key strategy. Taking the time to install low-cost insulation around pipes can forestall the misery of interior flooding.


Anticipate a Solution.


Anticipating your response to a weather event is sound, proactive thinking. Getting to the site as soon as it is safe to travel and assessing the damage is important to prevent further destruction of the building or its contents. Knowing how to shut off water and electricity and making sure others do, too, is vital. Keeping materials and tools on hand to cover broken windows, patch the roof and pump out water will save the scramble to assemble this equipment after the damage occurs. Identifying the most competent and reliable restoration professionals in Reading, PA, before you need them will move things along more quickly in the aftermath.

It's never too early to make sure your business is ready for the cold season. The adage “hope for the best but prepare for the worst” is appropriate when considering what a winter storm can do to your building.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROreading.com.