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Mold 101

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to mold growth on ceiling Mold should not take up residence in your building.

Types of Molds and How To Identify Them

In short, mold is a fungus that helps to decompose dead plants and animals by breaking down carbon material. Mold spreads through the air via spores that attach themselves to any source of food. Their spores can also grow indoors. One of the most infamous is Stachybotrys, also commonly known as “black mold.” However, this is not the only mold that can find its way into buildings. Although the exact number of species is still unknown, scientists estimate that there are thousands. Many can affect your business in Talking Rock, GA. Here are some of the most common kinds and how to identify them.

1. Aspergillus

Aspergillus is frequently found wherever dust accumulates. It typically has a brown or dark-green color. Different places this mold can spread are floors, wallpapers and air filters. Certain species are also found on food.

2. Stachybotrys

Stachybotrys earned its nickname, black mold, through its distinctive greenish-black gel-like appearance. Like many fungi, it can spread in any area with a moisture problem. That is why it is frequently found in restrooms or on walls in rooms that have experienced flooding. While some species may not pose a large threat to public safety, you can check with a reputable mold cleanup service to inspect your property in order to identify whether professional removal is necessary.

3. Cladosporium

Cladosporium can also spread in areas of high moisture. Colonies can grow in bathrooms, in basements and on any wood surface. Typically, you can spot this type of mold by its green or brown color. While it is possible to remove this type of mold yourself, calling qualified mold experts can assist in its disposal.

In nature, mold serves a natural purpose in the ecosystem. However, mold, especially black mold, should not take up residence in your building. Learning how to identify mold and who to call when you face an infestation will help you safeguard your business’s future.

Choosing the Right Smoke Alarm in 3 Steps

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Ionization smoke detector Testing the smoke detector should be done once a month.

3 Steps To Choosing The Best Smoke Alarm

Alerting your residence of a fire in Cumming, GA requires the appropriate type of protection. To make sure your home stays safe, here are three steps to choose a smoke alarm that’s perfect for your needs.

1. Understand the 3 Types of Residential Fire Alarms

Ionization alarms use an electric current to quickly pick up fast flame fires such as kitchen fires or burning light furniture. They are, however, prone to nuisance tripping from shower steam or burnt food.

Alarms that use a strobe light for better detection of smoldering fires are photoelectric. They are less prone to going off from minor fires and are better at alerting to dangerous slow burning fires of heavy furniture and building materials.

Combing the two, dual-sensor alarms offer detection of both fast flame and smoldering blazes. While they may false alarm because of the ionization component, they are the most comprehensive coverage.

2. Decide Which Type Fits Based on Your Home Design

The number of detectors necessary for fire safety depends on the size of your home. A centralized system is recommended since noise may not carry throughout the home from a single unit to appropriately alert everyone.

A smoke alarm should be put in every room and outside each door to establish coverage of the entire premise. To prevent nuisance tripping, it’s worth considering using a photoelectric alarm around the kitchen or outside of bathrooms.

3. Evaluate the Unit Before Buying

Reading through any relevant information, you should familiarize yourself with proper maintenance of the unit before buying to make sure it’s reasonable to maintain.

Testing the smoke detector is a monthly procedure, so consideration should be made towards features that simplify the process to ensure it gets done. Additionally, you should learn how to silence the device without disabling it to always have continuous protection.

A smoke alarm can only do so much. A fire damage restoration company reverses damage and repairs burnt parts of your home. Choosing the right alarm types for your home allows you to act sooner to prevent more damage while increasing the likelihood of successful restoration.

Is All Flood Water Dirty?

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

Floodwaters inside a building Floods can happen quickly.

Why Are Floodwaters Dirty?

If you have dealt with any sort of flooding in your Dawsonville, GA, home, you may have heard the water damage cleanup crew talking about dirty water. Typically, the waters that fill a home fall into one of three categories:

  • Clean
  • Contaminated
  • Black

As a homeowner, it can be beneficial for you to have some understanding of these different types of floodwater. Learning what makes contaminated water contaminated can help you better assess emergency situations in your house.

Category One

The first category of floodwater is often called clean. If the flood source is a broken supply line or leaky shower head, chances are the water does not have any contaminants in it. While any water can do damage to your home, anything from a clean source is easier to clean up if addressed quickly because it does not already contain spores and bacteria.

Category Two

The second category is contaminated water. Some professionals may refer to it as gray water. Floods that fit under this description contain bacteria and viruses. Often, this flooding comes from some type of appliance overflow. The water that seeps out of your dishwasher hose, for example, may have some bacteria already in it.

Category Three

The third category is called black water. This is the most contaminated flooding that can affect your home. Sewage backup and outside water often fall into this category. This type may have feces, microbes and harsh chemicals in it.


Even if your flood starts off as clean, you need to address the water buildup as quickly as possible. Even clean water can start to degrade. As the water from your supply line runs through your walls and into your basement, it may pick up bacteria that turns it into category two water.

3 Ways To Reduce the Likelihood of a Cigarette Fire in Your Home

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

A man smoking outside of his home Smoke outdoors.

What Will Reduce The Chance Of A Fire From Smoking?

In the US alone, the average cigarette fire is responsible for over 1,000 deaths and 3,000 injuries each year, making up around 20 percent of total fire deaths annually. Therefore, if you’re a smoker in Dahlonega, GA, you may want to consider taking a few precautions while you indulge your habit. These are some of the most effective yet simple changes you could make:

  • Going outdoors to smoke
  • Keeping ashtrays away from the house
  • Considering smokeless alternatives

1. Take It Outside

Cigarette fires typically gain their momentum when hot cinders come into contact with dry, flammable materials such as carpets, upholsteries and other household fabrics. The best way to avoid the fire cleanup efforts these can lead to is to smoke outdoors. It may not be as comfortable as an experience, but it certainly leads to fewer fires overall.

2. Position Ashtrays Properly

Not every cigarette fire starts as a carelessly discarded cinder. In fact, many start in ashtrays. When you flick your ashes into the tray, it’s important to remember that not all of them are dead. If a blaze comes back to life and it’s too near your home or other belongings, an ashtray fire could lead to a serious fire in a matter of minutes. Keep ashtrays away from your home’s siding while outdoors.

3. Try E-Cigs and Vapes

You can also combat the issue by using a number of cigarette alternatives, such as e-cigarettes and vapes. These are designed to give smokers the nicotine fix they crave while cutting out the harmful effects and odors of smoke and the risks that fire offers.

Don't put your home at risk. Taking any or all of these precautions can help to drastically reduce the chances of a cigarette fire occurring on your property, so you can enjoy your habit without worry.

Responsibilities of a Commercial Tenant During a Rental Flood

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded warehouse Flood damage in a Jasper, GA warehouse.

Responsibilities of a Commercial Tenant During a Rental Flood

When a flood hits your rented business property in Jasper, GA, you may be wondering who is liable for the damage. It may depend on the circumstances of local law and lease agreements, but it’s often like a residential lease. Knowing what coverage is offered to a tenant by renting and what’s covered by renter’s insurance teaches you your legal responsibilities if a flood happens.

Lease, Law, and Understanding

In a traditional lease, the process of addressing damage is often by a standard procedure:

  • A tenant pays lower amounts to occupy a property while the owner handles any damages to the property that is explicitly not the tenant’s fault.
  • If there is an unsafe condition or damaged part of the property caused by a flood or other event, the tenant has an obligation to write the landlord about it.
  • The landlord has an obligation to repair any reported problems in a timely manner.

Depending on state law and the language of a commercial lease, all repairs may fall on the tenant. It is advised to consult the original lease to see any specified conditionals on flooding and other damage. Some states have laws or court rulings that establish the landlord’s responsibility regardless.

For Everything Not Covered, There’s Other Coverage

The landlord has no obligation to cover property inside the building. It is up to the commercial property’s occupant to obtain renter’s insurance to protect assets inside. As a standard, this insurance coverage offers protection against unintentional damage alongside vandalism and theft. Sometimes, flood damage is not included and offered as an additional service, but it is advised in regions prone to flooding.

Restoring the Building Once Coverage Is Figured Out

Renter’s insurance is used to restore and replace damaged business assets or the building. Restoration is typically accomplished by using a commercial damage restoration company. Working out the coverage with the property owner will speed the damage restoration process up to get your business’ location restored and functional quickly.

Yes, A Flood Cut Is Essential: Here Is What You Need To Know

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removal from flooding in Cumming, GA. A flood cut is a tear-out within the drywall, at least 12 inches above the waterline.

Are damp walls a serious concern? What impact does flooding have on your facility? Is cutting out the walls really needed? Commercial owners in Cumming, GA are likely to question the gravity of saturation, wondering about its hazardous nature and extensive cleanup procedures. Understand that floodwaters severely harm the structure; therefore, it's vital to perform drying methods and flood cuts.

What Is a Flood Cut?

Moisture quickly permeates porous materials; thus, as water pours into your building, drywall, flooring and objects readily absorb it. The soaked structure acts as a catalyst for harboring organisms, particularly fungus and bacteria. Within 24 hours, outbreaks can occur, spreading to the other rooms. To stop this act from happening, it's critical to eliminate the wetness.
A flood cut is a tear-out within the drywall, at least 12 inches above the waterline. Experts from a flood restoration company use moisture meters to determine the extent of the dampness. Often, more is drenched than the eye can see; therefore, technicians take excess to secure the premises. This tactic removes the water, cutting off the contaminant's catalyst.

Why Is It Effective?

Because flooding kicks off secondary damage, specialists should tend to the fluid buildup as efficiently as possible, mitigating further trouble. The flood cut opens up the wall space, permitting more air circulation and faster drying, particularly with studs and sills, which are hard to reach with industrial dehumidifiers alone. It's imperative to dry out the internal wall just as much as the outer zones.

How Soon Should It Be Completed?

Contamination occurs quickly, so this method works best when used within the first day or two. Delays only allow for more spread and require additional action.
If your establishment is impacted by flooding, seek professional help immediately. Expert care is essential to ensure that the area is dried completed. Flood cuts are a crucial tool for successful remediation.

Do You Have To Use a Certified Hygienist To Check Your Home for Mold?

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Mold remediation specialist inspects walls with a moisture meter Mold inspection in Coal Mountain, GA.

If black mold is growing in your home, you need to know as soon as possible. It can cause all kinds of problems, not the least of which includes damaging construction materials, ruining carpets and destroying fabrics. Mold cleaning is also a complicated subject, requiring a broad knowledge of possible causes and effective solutions.
Fortunately, the process has been standardized by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. They not only certify inspectors but also provide rigorous examinations and require training before they issue certificates in testing and mold remediation. This ensures a high degree of professionalism and is your way to be sure you’ll get your mold problem identified and corrected.

What Is the ABIH?

Since 1960, they’ve been providing training and examinations for certified industrial hygienists. This includes:

  • Maintaining certification
  • Ongoing education
  • Adhering to high ethical standards

They require a huge breadth of knowledge, including toxicology, biology and specialized equipment use. They also must demonstrate knowledge about the most modern mold remediation methods.

Is Certification Required?

It depends on your circumstances. Coal Mountain has building codes and if mold is causing structural damage, it certainly will need to be corrected. However, different strains of mold react quite differently to the various methods, so effective mold cleaning means having detailed knowledge about what works best.
If insurance is paying for the mold cleanup, they’ll probably require you to use a certified mold damage restoration expert for testing and remediation. Mold testing can easily give false positives as well as negatives, and the insurers want to be sure the mold is really a problem before paying for the cleaning.

What if Your Mold Test Is Positive?

If your mold testing company is certified, they can also complete the entire mold restoration process as well. This includes finding the source of the excess moisture that’s needed for mold growth as well as returning the area to its previous condition.
Mold cleaning is easy when left to the professionals. If you use a certified mold testing company, you can be sure about the results and get the cleanup done quickly and at a reasonable cost.

3 Ways To Save Your Belongings After a Fire

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

room with two black chairs inside, debris all over the floor, ceiling has collapsed due to fire event Fire damage in Cumming, GA.

How To Proceed In The Wake Of A Fire

Experiencing a structural fire is undoubtedly a nightmare realized. Not only is the affected building potentially destroyed, but your belongings inside appear to be beyond restoration. If your personal possessions are affected by smoke damage, there is hope for recovery. 

1. Determine What Is Restorable
Ideally, restore the majority of your possessions harmed in the fire versus replacing them. Family heirlooms and irreplaceable keepsakes specifically should be carefully treated to avoid total ruin. Several techniques exist to combat smoke damage and smoke odor:

  • Dry and Wet Cleaning
  • Spray and Wipe
  • Foam Cleaning
  • Abrasive and Immersion Cleaning

Depending on the damage, many or all of these smoke cleaning methods can assist in the restoration process.

2. Prepare To Move Out
Often, a structure in Cumming, GA, remains unlivable until the extent of necessary smoke cleaning is complete. In this case, companies exist to assist you in a temporary relocation during your home's refurbishment.
Not only is it unsafe to live in a house laden with smoke odor, but it is much easier for the professionals to complete the fire restoration process without working around other individuals and their schedules.
Once the cleaning is complete, the same company can help you move back into your clean, safe home. This assistance provides comfort and ease in a time of crisis and trauma.

3. Beware Of Electronics
Fire presents a host of dangers where your electronics are concerned. As such, never attempt to plug in or operate any of your appliances following a fire. Always contact an electrician to inspect your wiring, outlets, and electronics before activating them post-fire. If necessary, a professional can accurately and safely clean any remaining smoke residue, allowing you safe use of your personal devices.
While damaging and frightful, fires do not always cause ruin beyond repair. By following the correct smoke cleaning steps, your belongings can survive even the most dangerous of blazes.

How To Get That Weird Smell Out of Your Microwave

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech in PPE cleaning up after fire damage in Coal Mountain, GA Microwave maintenance is an important element of fire safety.

Smoke Removal From Your Microwave

You know how it goes: There was that one time you popped popcorn, got a little distracted, left it running a little too long... and now your microwave has that distinct burnt popcorn smell that loves to linger. It's time to give it a good deep clean. If you want to know how to get that smoke smell or any other weird smell out of your microwave, follow these three steps.

1. Interior

Start with the interior using the vinegar method: Essentially, you want to mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar with 2 cups of warm water in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high until boiling, and then let it sit for a few minutes so that the steam can loosen up any grime inside. This will make it much easier to then wipe out the entire inside of the unit.

2. Exterior

You can also use a vinegar-and-water mixture to wipe down the door and exterior parts of the unit. Tackle the gaskets and little pieces along with the door as well. Use an old toothbrush to help you get into the nooks and crannies. Try to remove all food splatters that could be retaining that smoke smell.

3. Vent and Filters

Don't forget about the vent grill, where oil and buildup can stay trapped, keeping that smoke smell in with it. With some styles, you can remove the vent in order to better clean it. Use a degreaser to loosen stuck-on oil so that it wipes off easily. Check for filters as well. These can be soaked in hot, soapy water or, depending on manufacturer specifications, run through the dishwasher.

Maintaining your microwave won't just help it smell better; it is an important element of fire safety too. Tackling the weird smells is a whole lot easier than handling fire cleanup in Coal Mountain, GA for which you'd definitely want professional help. It's worth it to put in a little elbow grease now.

Flooding Versus Storm Damage: 3 Differences

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Flood waters surrounding a building Flooded building in Cumming, GA.

How Do Storm And Flooding Impact My Business

When you own a Cumming, GA business, the risk of storm and flooding damage may be high on your list of worries, especially when certain times of the year are known for violent weather. Storms may produce flooding, high winds and power outages; however, there are several differences between flood damage and other types of issues that result from storms, and understanding each may help you recover more quickly afterward.

1. Floods Contain Black Water

When flooding occurs at your business due to storms, the resulting influx of water is likely to come from a contaminated source, such as an overflowing creek or sewer. As a result, the porous building materials inside your business, such as drywall, may absorb this dirty water and cause stains and an unpleasant odor. You may have to replace such items.

2. Storm Damage Is More Varied

When storm damage occurs, it may be more varied and extended than flooding. High winds can break windows, tear away building materials and cause damage to your property's roof. When these types of problems occur, your storm repair and restoration service may have to spend more time ensuring all types of damage are repaired before you can reopen your business.

3. Insurance Differences

Some insurance companies define flood damage differently than that caused by storms, especially when the flooding came from an internal source, such as a broken pipe. Flooding caused by heavy rains may be covered under your policy; however, it is best to contact your local insurance representative and send photos of the damage before attempting to open a claim. You can protect damaged areas of your building by blocking broken windows with wood planks and using tarps to prevent rainwater from entering a damaged roof.

Flood damage and storms can severely affect your business in a variety of ways. Understanding how each might impact your bottom line may help you put you on the path to reopening more quickly and reducing downtime for your employees.