Preventing Bathroom Mold
Call SERVPRO of Orange, Sullivan & So. Ulster Counties.
What does mold need to grow? In order for mold to grow, it needs oxygen, moisture, warmth and food. The ideal spot for mold to grow would be a warm place (somewhere between 77 and 86 degrees), with a high amount of humidity or moisture, and organic matter, like cotton, paper or wood for the mold to feed upon. This makes our bathrooms an ideal spot for mold growth. Our bathrooms tend to be warm, they contain things like towels, toilet paper, and woodwork for the mold to feed upon, and they often have high levels of relative humidity from running water and steam from hot showers. So what can you do to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom?
First make sure that your bathroom is properly ventilated. Poor ventilation is one of the most common causes of bathroom mold. Without proper ventilation, steam/moisture in the air from hot showers and running water, settles on bathroom surfaces and makes a perfect environment for mold growth. Every bathroom should have a clean and properly functioning ventilation fan permanently mounted in the ceiling and it should be turned on every time someone showers. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at most hardware and home improvement stores. A properly installed and functioning, ventilation fan in your bathroom's ceiling will help move the air out of your bathroom and clear the humidity caused by hot showers and other running water. It is important however to ensure that your ventilation fan has been properly installed and is venting the moist bathroom air outside of your home versus into your attic or some other room. If it improperly vents into another area of your home, you are simply transferring your problem from one location to another. If your bathroom does not have a ventilation fan, instead of showering with the bathroom door closed, as most of us do, an alternative until a ventilation fan can be installed, would be to leave the bathroom door open while showering. This will allow the steam/humidity to dissipate over a larger area reducing its impact. Another alternative during warm weather months, or in warm climates, would be to open a bathroom window while showering or even putting a box fan in the window with the air blowing out of the bathroom versus in. And of course, abstaining from very long, hot showers is always recommended when trying to prevent mold.
Regularly cleaning your bathroom by wiping down all surfaces at least once a week will also help keep mold in check. And when it comes to cleaning/preventing mold, wiping is always the best approach. Molds are fungi that reproduce by releasing spores into the air. Spraying bleach on mold may look like an easy fix. When you spray bleach on mold it looks like it almost instantly disappears. Unfortunately, when you spray bleach on mold, you are releasing the mold spores into the air. Think of it like a mature dandelion that you have just gently blown upon and released the seeds floating into the air on their white dried flowers. The mold spores that you have just released by spraying bleach upon them, float through the air and settle onto new surfaces, where they can begin to grow again if the conditions are right. Wiping with soap and water, or another cleaner, and then throwing away any rags that may contain beginning mold spores is your best bet.
Also when it comes to mold in bathrooms, consider that caulk and grout are there to block or keep out water and moisture. If you have missing or broken caulk or grout, water and moisture can get behind the tiles and mold can form behind the tiles where it's impossible for you to see or clean. It's important to regularly replace and/or maintain your bathroom caulk and grout.
Lastly, painting your bathroom with a mold resistant paint and/or primer will help you battle mold in your bathroom. As indicated earlier, mold needs a food source of organic matter. Drywall paper can be a source of food for mold. Using a mold-resistant paint on bathroom walls can help stop mold before it starts by sealing off access to a food source.
When Storms or Floods hits Orange County, SERVPRO is ready!
SERVPRO of Orange County provides 24 hour emergency service.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists
As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Orange County has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Applied Structural Drying Technicians
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Orange County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United
Water Damage is NOT a DIY Job
Call SERVPRO of Orange, Sullivan & So. Ulster Counties 24/7 365 days a year.
Despite the magazines, television shows, and Internet articles that may have you thinking otherwise, water damage restoration is a job that should only be performed by certified professionals. SERVPRO technicians not only have the know-how to get the job done right, but they also have the specialized tools needed to thoroughly dry your home, preventing further damage and even mold.
Additional benefits of hiring a professional water damage restoration company:
- Health Hazards: Depending on the source of the water damage, safety can become a concern. There are three varying degrees of water damage, ranging from clean water to black water, each more hazardous than the next. Black water, the most dangerous of the three, is water that has come into contact with fecal matter, a haven for harmful bacteria and disease-causing pathogens.
- Hidden Damage: Water damage is not always obvious. Sometimes it is found inside walls and under flooring. If you attempt a DIY restoration and fail to diagnose hidden damage, the resulting issues could be extreme…and expensive.
- Peace of Mind: Hiring a professional restoration company gives you the peace of mind knowing you have done everything in your power to rectify the situation.
Safety Precautions Following Residential Water Loss
When disaster strikes in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Orange County!
When disaster strikes in your home, it is essential to be safe when dealing with damaged items in your household.
The effects of water damage in a residential home can both be controlled OR worsened depending on the actions taken. Here are a few tips on how to safely control the situation before help arrives:
- Remove any undamaged items away from the contaminated area
- Prop up any upholstery items to avoid further damage
- Place aluminum foil or blocks of wood under wood furniture to prevent damage to personal items
- Stay out of rooms that have sagging and wet walls
- Attempt to remove water using personal vacuum or hepa-vac
- Leave any paper items on wet surfaces such as books or magazines
- use any electrical outlets or appliances In the affected water area
- Leave standing water alone for an extended period of time as it could cause mold to grow
Eliminating Heating Hazards This Winter
Smoke alarms save lives.
The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire.
-Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater. Have a three foot "Kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be install in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detectors requirements are met.
Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or client to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.
Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.
-Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button.
-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Fire Damage Mitigation in Orange County
Smoke can travel into many areas of the home or business leaving behind an unpleasant odor.
SERVPRO Uses Deodorization Methods to Rid Your Home or Business of Foul Odors
Sometimes after a fire ignites inside your Orange County home or business, there are more problems that get created than just burnt materials and contents. Smoke created by a blaze often travels to many areas inside the house. Smoke leaves behind soot residues and pungent, burnt odors.
After any severely burnt materials and contents get replaced, all of the soot residues inside the building get cleaned. SERVPRO’S fire damage technicians use specialized chemicals when cleaning that help eliminate foul odors. If unpleasant aromas still exist, then a final deodorization stage takes place.
When deodorizing an area, specific chemicals get used for different situations. Various odors exist based on what materials get burned during the blaze. Some deodorization techniques use chemicals that bond and react with the foul odor particles and neutralize them. Other deodorants mask unpleasant smells with more appealing odors.
To start, we apply deodorants to the air and affected surfaces. Many times deodorization gets accomplished by using hand pumps or electric powered sprayers. In more extreme cases, advanced equipment gets used during the deodorization process.
If our SERVPRO restoration experts believe that spraying chemicals does not complete the job efficiently, then other equipment gets used to create the original environment that caused the burnt odors to exist in the first place. During a fire, combustion causes smoke particles to become microscopic and penetrate many different materials. We use specialized equipment to break down chemicals so that they penetrate materials in the same way that foul odor particles did.
One way to mimic smoke behavior is with a Vaportek system. A Vaportek deodorization system consists of a compound of natural oils sealed by a membrane. The compounds then volatilize into the air and pass through the plastic membrane. Then, air currents distribute the chemicals into the air which react with and neutralize odor molecules upon contact.
Other ways to dispense deodorants into the building in the same way smoke entered, is to use fogging methods. When using a fogging system, deodorizing products get dispensed as finely divided particles in a mist. Depending on the situation we use either a wet fogging or dry fogging system to disperse deodorants into the air.
After an advanced deodorization system gets used inside your home or business, we often use powerful box fans to ventilate the area, so that dense chemicals do not exist in the air. For professional assistance with smoke deodorization call SERVPRO of Orange County any time of the day or night.
Flood Damage Affecting Orange County
Basement flooding is often difficult to work with, having massive damage within a small confined space, SERVPRO Professionals can help.
Orange County Flood Damage
Throughout history, the area in which we live has battled with a reputation of slow moving thunderstorms that cause torrential rains and difficulty with hail storms that cause constant flooding. Heavy downpours leave our drivers stranded on roadways, while several inches of golf ball sized hail cause clogged drains and become major catastrophes that interrupt our daily routines. It's a constant battle that we all face, and it spurs to mind the questions of, "Why aren't we prepared?" and "Who do we call for help?"
We have many services available to assist with restoring your property in Orange County when flood damage strikes. You can start by contacting our locally owned and operated office to assess the flood damage on your property as soon as possible. Don't let this typically serious and costly disaster that affects your lives go unattended. Whether you have a single room or an entire building affected by flooding, we can help. We have the personnel and years of experience dealing with floods of all sizes.
Any area of your home that is in direct contact with flood waters needs a damage assessment and professional inspection performed immediately. Quick and efficient services assist with preventing subsequent damage from developing. SERVPRO technicians understand that different areas of your home are more likely to be affected by flooding than others and should be prepared to defend against future damages.
Basements commonly take on several inches or even feet of water at a time and water ends up resting in this low-lying area with nowhere else to go. Basement flooding is often difficult to work with, having massive damage within a small confined space, SERVPRO Professionals can help. To prevent costly damage to your belongings stored in your basement, you should consider storing everything a few inches off the ground for protection against flooding.
SERVPRO uses extreme caution when working in a flooded basement. We have access to both portable and truck mounted water extractors that assist us in removing any remaining water, with water detection devices and air moving equipment that help dry the surrounding area as quickly as possible. Broken glass and other dangerous contaminants get caught up in the flood waters and may cause hazards that you should avoid.
Facts About Flood Damage
Flooding is important to take care of quickly.
Rivers, streams, and lakes are almost always overflowing their banks, given a couple of rainy days.
With only a few inches of water, you can have many hundreds to thousands of dollars’ worth of flood damage in your home or commercial building. A flash flood can often bring a wall of water that is 10 to 15 feet high. New construction in your neighborhood can change runoff patterns in the area and can increase our flood risks. Most insurance plans do not include flood damage, and this must be purchased separately, in most cases.
Some Other Interesting Facts About Flood Damage
The average cost of flood damage is around $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the type of damage and where the water came from, so any tips that can help prevent this has to be worth the time to try them.
- An inspection and flushing your water heater once a year, by a plumber, can contribute to preventing it bursting on you and flooding the area.
- Replacing the rubber hoses on all appliances that use water with metal braided ones can help to avoid the failing of the rubber ones as they can get hard and burst. Check all hoses; even the metal braided ones every year.
- Leaks from toilets are often indicated by a little leakage from the base. Ask everyone in the family to stand in the bathroom, after flushing and watching for any tell-tale leaks.
- Do you know where to locate the main water shut-off? If a pipe burst, inside, you need to be able to get it turned off quickly.
- If you have a sump pump, now is a good time to get it checked and think about a backup unit.
- Always be looking for signs of plumbing leaks, such as on ceilings and walls; you are looking for stains and moisture on those walls and floors.
- Leaking or even broken pipes are often gushing water, and it is not noticed because it might be hidden. Check out your water usage when no faucets are turned on; locate the water meter and take a reading, then use no water for an hour or so and read it again. Has it moved? If so, you have a leak someplace, so get a plumber to check it out.
- Always monitor your monthly water bill. If it goes up a lot one billing cycle, you might have the need for a plumber to come in and check all connections.
- Since a lot of water comes from inside your home and can damage many walls, floors, furniture and provide the moisture needed for molds to grow, doing whatever can be done to prevent leaks is a good exercise to undertake.
Protecting yourself from a thunderstorm when you are outside
Thunderstorms can strike unexpectedly. Be Prepared.
Finding yourself outside during a thunderstorm can be extremely scary. While the safest thing you could do to protect yourself from being struck by lightening is to find shelter, sometimes shelter is too far away.
Before going on any outdoor adventure, know the daily forecast and the weather patterns of the place you are going to visit. If there is a high chance of thunderstorms for the day, opt to stay inside and plan your trip for another time.
According to the National Weather Service, there are still several ways you can protect yourself if you are outside during a thunderstorm and cannot find shelter.
Avoid open fields, the top of a hill or a ridge top.
Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects. If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees.
If you are in a group, spread out to avoid the current traveling between group members.
If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine or other low area. Remember, a tent offers NO protection from lightning.
Stay away from water and wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, such as fences and poles. Water and metal do not attract electricity but they are excellent conductors of electricity. The current from a lightning flash will easily travel long distances.
Snow could cause flooding
Excessive amount of snow fall.
This winter we have not had a crazy amount of snow but there was many days of a couple inch snow falls that add up. Outside it may look clear and the grass looks dry. Underneath the ground may lie the issue of high water tables pushing water into your home or business.
Even though snow may be beautiful, it can be harmful to your home in many ways. Most times in the New York, flooding (water intrusion from the outside) is not covered under your insurance policy unless you buy flood insurance. At this point, the homeowner or business owner would be responsible for the clean up.
Now the clean up could be as simple as extracting the water from concrete and placing drying equipment. The clean up could be complex when it is a finished basement with sheetrock walls and carpeted flooring.
During the winter months when there is extensive water in the ground and the flood tables are high, check your basements regularly and be prepared for anything.
SERVPRO is always here to help with any questions you may have during the process of flood water cleanup.