Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

What You Need To Know About Black Mold

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling tiles with mold Mold damaged ceiling in Albertville, MN

What Causes Black Mold to Grow?

Even though mold is a natural organism, it can be worrying to see it inside your Albertville, MN, home, especially since it could be a danger to its soundness and hygiene. Something that may appear more intimidating is black mold, mostly due to its darker color. Read on to learn more about this specific mold, what causes its growth and mold cleanup and repair options.

What Is It?

This type of mold is also known as stachybotrys chartarum. Despite the name, it is not always black, as it sometimes takes a dark green color instead. The spores for this mold are found in both indoor and outdoor locations. While you may find it in the soil or in the grain, most of the time, it can make its way inside someone’s home or building through doors, vents or other entrances.

Why Does It Grow in Your Home?

Stachybotrys chartarum may thrive inside people’s homes due to the high number of cellulose sources found there:

  • Fiber
  • Paper and paper-derived materials
  • Wood and wood-derived materials
  • Carboard
  • Ceiling tiles

Drywall, paint and carpet also can attract black mold. It usually grows in very moist places, such as those caused by leaks, floods, condensation or humidity. The specific combination of high cellulose and low nitrogen in these environments can encourage the mold’s growth.

How Can You Get Rid of It?

You may treat this type of mold as any other kind. It can have the same effects on your property, such as structural damage and a strong, unpleasant odor. As such, you might need to remove it from the affected area as soon as possible. Mold remediation specialists can help you eliminate the mold and restore the area to its previous state.

Despite the darker hue, black mold essentially has the same behavior and weaknesses as regular mold. You may stop its destructive impact on your home in Albertville, MN, with proper cleanup and repair services.

Identifying the Odor of Mold

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

mold ceiling damage Mold damage on ceiling panels in a Howard Lake, MN building

When mold is hidden beneath your flooring, inside your walls or within your ductwork it can be difficult to spot signs of mold growth. However, a signature musty odor typically accompanies mold, particularly mold with dangerous mycotoxin. Keep your Howard Lake, MN, business safe with these helpful tips.

Why Does Mold Have a Musty Odor?

Mold can produce a range of unusual smells. Here are just a few unusual smells that could be affecting the air quality of your commercial property:

  • Musty
  • Pungent
  • Moist

Some smells are very faint, while others are quite strong and can affect your entire commercial building. Musty odors can detract from your professional environment and concern your customers and employees. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to can restore your building, prevent further mold growth and remove the dangers that can be associated with mold.

However, a musty odor isn’t the best sign of dangerous mold. Many of the dangers that come from mold in a commercial building come from mycotoxin, which is released by mold spores. The unusual odors that are coming from your office building or storefront are signs that mold is growing, but just because it has stopped smelling doesn’t mean that it’s no longer dangerous.

Effective Mold Remediation

Don’t simply try to remove the smell from your commercial building. Effective mold remediation not only removes the unusual odors, but also the potentially dangerous mold spores that are in the air and covering surfaces. Removing spores is the best way to restore your building and improve your air quality.

The best way to prevent mycotoxin spreading throughout your commercial property is by contacting a mold remediation specialist. A specialist has access to the HEPA filtration systems to clear the air and any surfaces that are damaged by mold. With prompt and professional cleaning, both the smell and the danger will be removed, “Like it never even happened.”

3 Ways to Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Shower

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

mold tile damage Black mold in shower

Tips to Prevent the Growth of Shower Mold

For many homeowners in Albertville, MN, mold can be a persistent problem. This sneaky fungus grows quickly, so you can find yourself with an infestation overnight. One area that can be particularly troublesome is the bathroom. Use the following tips to prevent the growth of shower mold.

1. Dry the Shower Thoroughly After Use

Because black mold spreads rapidly in moist environments, keeping everything dry is one of the easiest ways to prevent it from becoming a problem. Instead of leaving the shower to air dry, it can help if you dry it completely after you’ve used it. A towel can get the job done, but if you have a squeegee, it may help speed up the process.

2. Clean the Shower Regularly

Mold spores cannot be seen by the naked eye, so even if your shower looks clean, there may be a colony of shower mold lurking there out of sight. For this reason, it is important to make sure you are cleaning the area often. If you wait to clean until you see a growth, then the problem may be more difficult to get rid of.

3. Open a Window or Use a Fan to Reduce Humidity

When you use the shower, moisture gathers in the bathroom, coating the surfaces of plumbing fixtures as well as the walls and floors. While this may not seem like a big deal, just this small amount of moisture is enough to allow a mold growth. To prevent the room from becoming moldy, you should turn on your bathroom fan or open a window to let out moisture.

If you find that you are unable to get rid of shower mold on your own, there are professional services that can help. A mold remediation specialist will have the experience and tools needed to remove the excessive growth from your home. Keep in mind, however, that because mold is present in most environments, it is impossible to remove it completely. You will need to maintain the area to keep the problem from returning.

The Process Of Professional Water Damage Restoration

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

If you have water in home or water in business, it is imperative to act fast and get things under control. Many people are unaware of the appropriate steps to take when a flood damage occurs in their property.

An influx of water into your property can happen at any time and for any number of reasons. Water damage can occur due to a toilet overflow, a washing machine malfunction or a burst pipe. Regardless of the cause of the situation, excess water in home or water in business can have devastating impacts and result in costly damage very quickly.

A flood or water in home or water in business can destroy furniture, cause wood floors to rot, and damage belongings. In addition, flood or excess water or moisture can compromise or weaken the structural stability of your building. If the situation is not handled properly, a water or flood problem can quickly create a hazardous environment.

When water or flood damage occurs in your residential or commercial property, it is essential that you contact a qualified professional restoration service to handle the various aspects promptly and efficiently.

Benefits of hiring professional water cleanup service include:

Quick Response

A water damage is an urgent situation, and professionals understand that. Water cleanup experts respond quickly, in order to prevent further damage to the property and your belongings. They know how to handle emergency water or flood situations and can start restoration services right away.

They understand how chaotic the clean up and restoration process can be, and they strive to minimize your stress throughout the process. A water cleanup professional will give tips or recommendations on what you need to do while waiting for their arrival.

Inspection

There are a number of steps professionals usually take to get the affected area under control. First, they conduct an initial assessment of the affected area and determine the best approach to take. They will take thorough documentation to help you with your insurance claim process and can guide you in completing and sending the necessary documents and information to your insurance company.

Water Extraction

After inspection of the area, mitigation professionals will immediately begin the extraction process. They will use their advanced techniques to extract any standing water, moisture or sewage debris. They will move wet furniture and other belongings to a safe, dry area.

Cleaning And Drying

Water cleanup specialists have sophisticated testing equipment and infrared moisture detection cameras, which enable them to perform this task efficiently and effectively. They test the moisture level and look for appearance of mold or other dangerous microorganisms. Once the sanitization and disinfection of the area is completed and the area is fully prepped, they then start the drying process using powerful drying and dehumidification equipment.

State Of The Art Equipment

Water damage professional teams are fully equipped with high-tech equipment and tools for extracting water and doing flood damage control for homes and businesses. They have moisture detection equipment, large fans for drying, and the latest structural drying equipment.

These tools and equipment enable them to perform the task properly, removing water in home or water in business. Their use of powerful equipment helps bring a flooded home or commercial environment back to normal condition.

To learn more about water mitigation or flood damage restorations and the process involved in getting things back to normal in your home or business, you should contact a reliable and reputable restoration company or professional.

Click here for more information on water damage.

3 Reasons Insurers Trust Preferred Vendors

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Wright County

Insurers Trust Preferred Vendors

Insurance companies tend to work with mitigation and restoration services that have a track record of successfully completing jobs. An insurance agent will be more likely to approve a claim supported by an accurate estimate and easy access to important information. Here are three reasons why insurers trust Preferred Vendors.

1. Rigorous Operational Standards

In order to obtain referrals for insurance claims, a SERVPRO franchise must meet internal corporate standards. The Participation Agreement sets forth 21 guidelines for franchises. Locations in the vendor program must perform background checks, maintain insurance and meet other requirements necessary for achieving the highest service standards.

2. Accurate and Reasonable Estimates

Preferred Vendors also tend to provide more accurate estimates. Increased accuracy may be possible through pretesting or a careful on-site inspection. A franchise uploads information to an internal database. An insurance agent or adjuster can then sign onto an electronic claims service to access estimates and other information at any time. The accuracy and availability of this information sets the best mitigation and restoration firms apart.

3. Ability To Meet or Exceed Expectations

Leading vendors tend to have a history of successful jobs. Even if a franchise location is new, the owner and employees should have IICRC certification and training that enables them to effectively perform mitigation and restoration procedures. Agents and adjusters can assess the performance of any location with information available on the Claims Information Center. In addition to estimates and details on individual claims, this service also makes it easy to compare factors such as job file costs and response times.

All of these factors distinguish Preferred Vendors from other options in Buffalo, MN. An insurance agent or client should make sure that a local SERVPRO franchise participates in the vendor program. These credentials make it more likely than an insurance claim will be processed and settled in a timely manner.

IICRC Sets a High Standard for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage. 

IICRC Sets A High Standard For Inspection, Cleaning And Restoration

Nearly everyone respects certification. It gives businesses and trained professionals credibility in the marketplace. It gives customers confidence in the qualifications of those holding the certification. IICRC is the gold standard for certification in the inspection, cleaning and restoration industry. The Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is more than just another credential. People and businesses earn and keep this certification through:

  • Education
  • Initial certification
  • Continuing education
  • Membership

Comprehensive Certification Offers Clients Peace of Mind

Comprehensive certification is not a single certificate. There are at least thirty different categories of inspection, cleaning and restoration certificates available. The institute provides training and testing for each one. It awards students a mitigation certificate upon successful completion of each category.

An IICRC certified provider employs professionals with one or more mitigation certificate. Each inspection, cleaning or restoration job requires a combination of certified skills. The business assembles a team with the appropriate skills and dispatches them to the job. The mix of professionals on the job changes as the list of required skills changes.

Happy Clients Are the Foundation of a Certified Provider

A provider may survive with an occasional unhappy customer. A provider cannot survive without its certification. A certified provider holds itself and its employees to a high standard. This high standard is what certification is all about. Failing to meet this standard jeopardizes the value of the certification for others. This failure can lead to discipline and, eventually, revocation of the certificate. Without that, the provider is out of business.

The same level of standards applies to individuals and their certifications. Revocation is a real possibility if there are problems. It makes attaining employment in the inspection, cleaning and restoration industry difficult.

Certification Is a Key to Provider Selection

Find an inspection, cleaning and restoration provider with an IICRC, and you are off to a good start. Next, you want one located nearby in the Buffalo, MN area. Confidence in the provider will give you confidence in the quality of the job once it is complete.

Say Goodbye to Mildew in 3 Easy Steps

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Mold on floor joists in Monticello,MN

Preventing Bathroom Mold 

Given a choice, would your tenants prefer restrooms with mildew or clean conditions? Answering the question is simple, but preventing bathroom mold at your property in Monticello, MN, may not be as easy. Here are three easy steps to keep your washrooms sanitary, sparkling and mildew-free.

1. Prevent

Once mold takes hold, it spreads swiftly, especially in humid environments. Take precautions in bathrooms to stop it before it starts:

  • Use mildew-resistant shower curtain liners.
  • Encourage occupants to wipe down the interior of showers after use.
  • Install an exhaust fan to increase ventilation.
  • Mount an air conditioning or dehumidifying unit.
  • Paint with a brand that contains mildewcide.

2. Replace

Sometimes bathroom mold is not entirely preventable. If renters report a musty smell or unsightly black spots, do not ignore the problem. Transform unpleasant mildew to clean surroundings by replacing the following:

  • Shower curtains, especially when not washable
  • Black, peeling or rotting caulk around the tub
  • Grout between tiles in shower walls or floors

3. Repair

Mold loves standing water. A leaking toilet, overflowing tub or breaking pipe all have the potential to cause water damage. After the primary water source is fixed, work with a mold remediation specialist to identify and remediate secondary visible and hidden mold. Act fast because mold growth starts in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Common hiding places include:

  • In or behind drywall
  • On top of and under flooring, including floorboards
  • On ceilings, especially above showers and under leaky areas
  • Behind wallpaper
  • On wood or particle board vanities

Unfortunately, it is possible to grow mildew in clean conditions, especially in rooms with high levels of humidity. Bathroom mold is fairly common, but fortunately, there are steps you can take to avert it. When prevention at your commercial property in Monticello, MN, is not enough, say goodbye to mildew by replacing impacted areas or working with professionals to repair the damage.

After a Commercial Fire - The Road To Recovery

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot damage from fire in Buffalo,MN

Feeling overwhelmed is an understatement in the aftermath of a commercial property fire in Buffalo, MN. As you walk through your building, you see fire, water and smoke damage. Decrease your anxiety by understanding the process of returning your property to pre-fire condition.

Before Cleanup Begins

There are several steps that take place before the restoration process starts. As a business owner, remember to keep documentation and remain in the loop. If you do not understand something, ask questions and seek clarification.

  • Typically, a fire restoration company first inspects your property to understand the magnitude of the fire, water and soot damage.
  • To prevent secondary damage and theft, professionals may board up windows or tarp the roof.
  • Check with your commercial property insurance agent to verify coverage. Oftentimes, insurance companies partner directly with restoration professionals.

The Cleanup Process

There are a multitude of steps when mitigating a fire disaster. Depending on the damage, this may include drying, cleaning, disinfecting, repairing or replacing materials.

  • Often, the first area targeted is water damage left from firefighting efforts or sprinkler systems. This type of damage spreads fast and can result in mold growth in as little as 24-48 hours. Water removal and drying is completed with professional-grade equipment such as air movers and dehumidifiers.
  • Smoke cleaning is a crucial component after a fire, as smoke damage and soot damage are usually present on most exposed surfaces. There are different techniques to clean and disinfect walls, ceilings, furniture and the air itself.
  • Once structures and contents are dry and clean, technicians use a variety of specialized methods to restore the building and your inventory to preloss condition.

A fire at your commercial property in Buffalo, MN, is very stressful. Fire, water and smoke damage likely permeate your every thought. Understand the restoration process ahead of you to reduce the fear of the unknown and put yourself on the road to recovery.

Roof Readiness: Protecting Your Roof Against Impending Winter Storms

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Trim your trees in your Albertville,MN area

Steps To Help Ensure Maintain Your Roof

While the inclement and frigid weather of Albertville, MN, is predictable and leads many homeowners to have emergency restoration services on speed dial, a home doesn’t have to be a victim to any looming winter storm. There are at least four practical steps homeowners can take to help ensure they quite literally maintain the roof over their heads.

1. Clear and Maintain Your Gutters

Cleaning out your gutters is not just a springtime gig. Maintaining clean gutters year-round helps to ensure that your roof remains structurally sound. In the winter, clogged gutters can lead to ice buildup, which eventually accumulates under your shingles and can lead to roof rot.

2. Trim Your Trees

The last thing you want to experience during a winter storm is the thunderous boom of a maple plummeting through your living room ceiling. Maintaining and trimming your trees at the change of every season can help you avoid the chaos and property loss from loose branches or rotted out trunks.

3. Replace Missing or Damaged Flashing

An essential aspect of roof health is to keep water out. Missing or damaged flashing can allow the ice and snow of a blizzard to seep into your attic space. Once moisture enters in, it can lead to the development and spread of mold, mildew and rot. Before the winter settles in, you may want to perform a visual inspection of your roofline to ensure everything is hunky-dory.

4. Repair and Inspect Your Chimney

In addition to inspecting your roof for cosmetic damage, like missing shingles, you should also examine your chimney. A leaning chimney or a chimney with old and cracking mortar can cause significant roof damage if not dealt with before the cold sets in. Frigid temperatures and exposure to ice can cause old or already cracking mortar to separate and fail. Additionally, if your chimney is already leaning, then the added weight of snow and ice can cause it to collapse.

Before any winter storm has time to pummel your roof, take the time to inspect it and the surrounding area. Stay safe and keep your roof over your head.