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Find mold before it becomes a major mold problem

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is dangerous. It reproduces quickly, and once mold spores get into the air, they can be difficult to remove. Knowing this makes it quite disheartening when a homeowner finds a mold problem in the home they live in.

Discovering that you have mold within your home can cause you to feel a strange gamut of emotions. You might initially feel disgusted, frustrated or you may even feel a sense of being overwhelmed. Placing your home up for sale might be the first thing that pops into your mind, but that should be a last resort. Having a mold problem does not mean that you cannot get your house back.

However, it does mean that you must take immediate action. Many people actually live in a home with mold and never realize it is there. They ignore the warning signs until the problem reaches a point where the mold is taking over and affecting their health.

If you can find mold BEFORE it becomes a major problem, the remediation process will be substantially cheaper and easier to complete. SERVPRO of Douglasville County has a team of trained professionals certified to help you perform any remediation services needed. There are warning signs that can alert homeowners to a potential problem. If you notice any of these warning signs, take the necessary actions to inspect and remediate by calling SERVPRO of Douglasville.

Warning Signs of a Mold Problem:

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

It is so important to be aware of what the signs are that you may be sharing your home with more than just your family. Signs that you may have mold include (but are not limited to):

A strange odor

Mold has a pungent smell. When it is confined to one area of your home, you may notice an unpleasant odor when you are in that area. Mold can sometimes live within the walls or behind wallpaper, and so you might not immediately associate the smell with a mold problem. If you do notice an unusual persistent odor in your home, the culprit may be mold. The best way to determine if the smell is coming from a mold is to hire a certified mold inspector to come by and check it out. He will be able to run tests to determine if you have a mold problem in your home. 

The appearance of mold

In your shower stall or bathtub, it is easy to distinguish normal soap scum from mold. However, in the basement or cellar, you may have to investigate a little further to find the mold. Mold will take hold of damp areas, so if you have a wall or floor where dampness collects, mold could very well be there as well. It can hide in corners or dark areas all over your home. Virtually no area is immune.

While not all mold can be easily seen, a quick inspection of your home may alert you to visible signs that you have a mold problem. Schedule periodic visual inspections of your house – especially in susceptible areas and during susceptible times of the year. The quicker a mold problem can be identified, the better for everyone involved.

A known moisture source

If your house recently flooded, your roof recently developed a leak or you know you have a source of water ingress into your home, then you know you have a potential for a future mold problem. Even if you aren’t sure what the source of moisture is, once you discover that you have moisture, you should take this as a warning sign of a future potential mold problem. Identifying and fixing the moisture source is key to preventing or stopping the growth of mold in your home.

Health symptoms

Because mold is not always visible, it can be difficult realizing that you do indeed have a mold problem. If you feel listless, congested and experience watering eyes while in your home, these can all be signs of the presence of mold. It is not uncommon for a person who lives in a home that has mold to feel better while at work or out shopping. Their health problems begin the moment they step through their front door. Mold can often be the cause of this.

Be cognizant of your symptoms. What do you feel? When do the symptoms get worse? Are others around you feeling something similar? Can you narrow it down?

SERVPRO of Douglasville coordinates with local industrial hygienists to perform air quality tests and provide clearance letters when necessary. Let us help you and your family get back to life without fear of microbes invading your space.

What to consider when buying a home with mold.

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Everyone responds to mold differently. There is a spectrum between those people who are very sensitive to mold vs. others who are not and those in between. The highest risk populations to mold exposure include infants and children, pregnant women, the elderly, people who are already sick or have existing health conditions and those who have respirator conditions like asthma. If a mold problem is fixed properly, you can rest easy. It is not going to suddenly come back without warning in 5 years … Unless: the water problem is not fixed. In other words, the cause of all mold problems is: WATER! The presence of mold indicates a water problem. If the mold is properly removed, but the water problem remains unfixed, it is likely that the mold problem will return.

Mold Is Discovered During a Home Inspection. What Is Going To Cost To Fix?

If mold is uncovered during a real estate transaction, how much is it going to cost to fix it? The answer depends on several factors discussed below. But in some cases, believe it or not, you or someone else might be able to remove the mold yourself without seeking professional help.

Whether or not you can fix the mold problem yourself is based on several factors:

  • Size of contamination area. According to the EPA, if the mold area is less than about 10 square feet it may be manageable without professional help. This is not a hard and fast rule but just a general guideline and other factors such as the extent of the water damage overall need to be considered.
  • How handy the individual is. You should be comfortable and experienced with doing house hold repairs because even many minor mold jobs (less than 10 sq feet), usually involve using tools, taking down drywall, etc.
  • Susceptibility to mold health effects. People who are sensitive to mold or who fall into the high risk group above (Pregnant women, the elderly, etc) should not be around mold and should leave the removal to professionals.
  • Location of the mold. Confined spaces like crawl spaces and atticsoften have mold. Due to the tight space, reduced ventilation and higher risk of injury it is recommended to seek professional services for mold removal in these areas.

Buyers and Sellers, take note: Attics and crawlspaces are without a doubt the two most likely places that a home inspector is going to find mold. This discovery often catches buyers and sellers by surprise because neither probably looked in these spaces beforehand. Our advice to sellers is for you or someone else to take a quick look at your attic or crawlspace before you put your home in the market to check for mold. If mold is discovered, much better to fix it before you list your property.

If mold is discovered during a real estate transaction and the parties decide to hire a professional to fix it, how much is it going to cost? The answer: anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand or more. It just depends on the extent of the mold problem and how much work is going to be needed. But based on our experience, most mold problems in real estate transactions are usually on the smaller size and cost far less than most sellers and buyers would assume.

* Courtesy of https://moldmanusa.com/buying-selling-home-mold/

How to Buy a House With Water Damage

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

When planning to buy a house with water damage, it is important for you to be able to determine the extremity of the damage before closing the deal. This is especially true if the house is likely to experience future problems as a result of the water damage. To buy a house with water damage, you should first work with an inspector to have the water damage assessed, then work with a contractor to determine the costs for the water damage repairs. You can then submit a bid to the seller that considers the repair costs for correcting the water damage. Ask the right questions. When considering buying a house with water damage, there are some questions you should ask going in. Ask the following questions when talking to the seller about the home:

  • Is the water damage from flooding?
  • How long was the water been sitting in the home? How much damage was done, what kind, and how was it fixed?
  • Was the home stripped down or were walls simply washed or bleached?
  • Has the wiring been checked for salt infiltration? Have the wires been examined for rot?

Have the home inspected. Once you've asked preliminary questions, it's important to have the home inspected. Even if repairs were attempted, there may be underlying damage that went unnoticed.

  • Hire a reputable home inspector in the area. Have the home carefully inspected for any existing damage.
  • As water damaged homes may have a lot of issues, it might not be a bad idea to conduct more than one inspection just to be sure you've gotten the full sense of the damage.

Determine how to handle mold. While a good house inspector can assess for a lot of damage, mold is not easily detectable. You will need to have a second inspector come in and specifically check for mold.

  • Mold is a scary problem as it can be toxic to breathe. You do not want to be living in a water mold damaged home as it can seriously affect your health. Have a mold inspection conducted before making any offers on the house.[3]
  • Go for an industrial hygienist over a run-of-the-mill mold inspector. A more thorough examination will be conducted.

After purchasing the home.

Obtain flood insurance. As the home was water damaged once, it's likely in a region where it's susceptible to water damage. It's vital to get flood insurance if you’re planning on buying a water damaged home.

  • Ask the agent you're working with for a list of insurance agencies that provide flood insurance. Look at their reviews online and reach out to past clients. You can also ask for recommendations from other homeowners in the area who likely have flood insurance.[6]
  • Determine about how much insurance companies cover in the event of a flood. If coverage is minimal, the house may not be a wise investment.

Call SERVPRO of Douglasville and get an estimated cost of repairs. You need to determine how much repairs will cost. This is a major factor of whether or not you can afford a flood damaged home.

  • SERVPRO will assess the damages on the home and provide several reports. These reports will overview the various types of necessary repairs and include an estimated cost.

* Courtesy of https://www.wikihow.com/Buy-a-House-With-Water-Damage

Do You Have Dirty Ducts?

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of SERVPRO® of Douglasville's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO® of Douglasville will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO® of Douglasville can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO® of Douglasville uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

  • The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO® of Douglasville today. 

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4

Destroy Odors with Deodorization

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO® of Douglasville professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® of Douglasville professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the source of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts and more.

Ask SERVPRO® of Douglasville to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO® of Douglasville. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4

The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured’s home or business, SERVPRO® of Douglasville can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest or other potential obstacles.

For more information on proper cleaning dryer vents contact SERVPRO® of Douglasville at (770) 489-5659. 

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4

Your Belongings and Water Damage

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Douglasville understands that your home is more than a structure; your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home.

If You Have Questions or Need Help, 
Call Us Today – (770) 489-5659

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of Douglasville specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water damage. We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including the following:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned. 
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product. 

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO of Douglasville can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out will provide several benefits, including the following:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, we will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.

Electronic Cleanup

Water-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by water. We will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. We start by cleaning the exterior of electronic devices to help stop further corrosion and damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the water damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-water damage condition, SERVPRO of Douglasville can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage. 

Depending on the type of documents and the level of water damage, we have five options for the restoration of documents:

  • Air Drying
  • Dehumidification
  • Freezer Drying
  • Vacuum Freeze Drying
  • Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a water emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. We can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Preloss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most

*www.SERVPROdouglasville.com/water-cleanup

Does Your Douglasville Home Have a Mold Problem?

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 770-489-5659

Do You Suspect Mold??

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, 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 Douglasville 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 disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Douglasville 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 – 770-489-5659