Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

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.

How To Recover Documents From a Flood

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Box with lid, office boxes and folders for storing documents and files Document restoration is possible.

If your business in Ludville, GA, experiences a flood, you may think that your documents are lost forever. Fortunately, document restoration is possible. SERVPRO can dry, sterilize and even digitize your damaged documents.

Document Types

SERVPRO, a document damage restoration service in Ludville, GA, can recover all kinds of documents:

  • Photographs
  • Papers
  • Books
  • Parchment
  • Files

Their innovative methods of restoration can accommodate nearly all paper types. No matter what types of documents were effected, you should contact a professional as quickly as possible to minimize the damage.

Flooding can damage documents in several ways:

  • Water damage
  • Chemical exposure
  • Contamination by bacteria or viruses

Document drying and sterilization can repair structural damage to the documents and remove any harmful substances.

Freeze Drying
Freeze drying is a method of document restoration that dries the item without harming it. The documents are frozen in a special vacuum convert the water straight from its solid to a gaseous state, meaning the documents don't get wet in the process. This method is a safe and effective method of document drying that can be used on many different types of items.

Flood water can contain harmful substances that can contaminate documents. These documents can be cleaned using gamma radiation. This removes chemicals and kills microorganisms without damaging the documents.

Technicians can help you digitize your documents during the restoration process. This ensures that you have backup copies of important papers that are accessible virtually. This will also help you get rid of unnecessary clutter and organize all the documents you need.
Whether you lost photos, papers, books, files, or other items, SERVPRO understands that your documents are important to you and your business. They use advanced document restoration techniques, including freeze-drying and sanitizing with gamma radiation, to help you minimize losses. They can even create digital copies of all of your documents so you never have to worry about losing them again.

Why Cleaning Up Mold Isn't As Easy As You Think

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

specialist in PPE combating mold in an apartment Mold remediation services in Cumming, GA

Reasons Why Cleaning Up Mold Isn't As Easy As You Think

After a significant water leak at your business in Cumming, GA, you want to handle the cleanup quickly and inexpensively. You know that your insurance will take care of some things, but why shell out to have an expert cleaner come when you can do the work yourself? For fungus cleanup, it's extremely important that you know exactly what you're dealing with before you begin. Mold is made up of spores that are released into the air on contact. Not only do you need to wear protective equipment, but you need to know how to kill the mold at the root. Bleach isn't going to cut it. 

1. Mold and Sewage
Mold in the bathroom that is caused by contaminated water, especially from a toilet backup, involves a complex process to cleanup mold. You aren't just dealing with mold but also with the bacteria from contaminated water. For this type of project, you need a plumber and a remediation company that can handle both water and mold damage. This is not a project to take on yourself.

2. Mold and HVAC
If you're suspicious that your HVAC unit may have a moldy filter or has been damaged, it's important to shut off the system immediately. By continuing to run it, mold spores spread all over the building, and the fungus cleanup gets to be a bigger project.

3. Mold and You
For a very small mold problem, which is defined as smaller than 10 square feet by the EPA, you can try to clean it yourself. For a hard, nonporous surface, you can scrub it with detergent and water, and then let it air dry in a well-ventilated area. For any porous surface, it's still best to consult a professional to ensure that the damage doesn't go deeper than what the eye can see.
Fungus cleanup is a much more intense job than it appears. For the long-term benefit of your company, it's best to trust the professionals to restore your building.

Common Questions About Black Mold

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold behind drywall Black mold damage in Dawsonville, GA

Read On To Have Your Most Common Questions Answered

If your home in Dawsonville, GA is experiencing unwanted fungal growth, black mold is most likely the culprit. If you're unsure which type of mold you're dealing with, then it's a good idea to have a professional mold inspection conducted, even if it only serves to confirm your suspicions. In the meantime, read on to have your most common questions answered.

1. What Does Black Mold Look Like?
Much like the name implies, this fungus appears black or dark green in color. When you find it, it looks like a dark stain spreading across the surface of the affected area. In some cases, it may even have a fuzzy or a slimy texture.

2. Where Does it Typically Grow?
This specific variety of mold needs water in order to thrive. As such, you can typically find it growing in areas of your home that come into contact with a lot of water, such as your kitchen, bathroom, basement, laundry room and garage. It's not uncommon to discover it growing in areas that have recently suffered from water damage as well.

3. How Do You Get Mold?
House mold is a result of excessive moisture. This can come in the form of especially high indoor humidity levels, excessive amounts of condensation or simply neglecting to clean spills and puddles for too long. Mold growth is also a form of secondary damage after a flood. If your home has recently suffered any type of water damage, then you should have a professional mold inspection conducted.

4. How Can You Get Rid of Mold?
The good news is that you should be able to solve the majority of mold problems by yourself, provided they haven't gone unnoticed for too long. You can use commercial mold cleaners to do the job, or create your own non-toxic cleaner using equal parts white vinegar and water.
Always make sure to call for a professional mold inspection if you're unsure of the situation. Likewise, you should contact mold remediation experts if you find that your home's mold issue is too large for you to handle by yourself.

Mold: Always There But Preventable

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

mold in the corner of the window Black mold growth on the corner of a window

What To Do If You Have A Mold Problem And It's Not Going Away

When your Cumming, GA, home is your castle, the last thing you want is a musty odor to linger. Unfortunately, even if you have addressed a black mold issue and think your home is free and clear, this pesky fungus has a way of never really going away.

A Common Problem
When it comes to mold cleanup, it can seem like a never-ending battle. No matter how old or new a home is, these spores are everywhere. To reduce the potential of mold damage, it is important to understand how it works.

This simple microorganism only needs food, moisture, and a pleasant temperature to grow. Homes are filled with tasty organic materials they can thrive on when water is present.
Since the spores are microscopic, they can easily find their way into a home through HVAC systems, vents, and open windows or doors. They can also attach to clothing and pets.
They are everywhere indoors and outdoors, so it’s never possible to completely eradicate them from a home.
Spores only need a few days to start forming a colony and begin growing.

Tips to Reduce Growth
Since black mold has the potential to grow anywhere and come back, mold remediation and prevention are the keys from it spreading. Below are a few tips to minimize the spread:

  • Keep humidity levels under 60 percent.
  • Regular dry, clean and sanitize porous materials.
  • Repair leaks as soon as they are discovered, whether it is from an appliance, old pipe or HVAC drain. Replace dilapidated old pipes.
  • Dry wet items before storing them in the home.
  • Ensure your home is well-ventilated and has good airflow.
  • At the first signs of growth, contact a professional water and mold damage restoration company to have the problem properly addressed.

Finding black mold is unpleasant, especially if it keeps turning up. Taking a few proactive measures and getting help that is Faster to Any Size Disaster can minimize the potential of spores from growing.

Does Your Commercial Insurance Policy Cover Mold Damage?

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall due to humidity Mold damage in Ludville, GA

After a flood, leak, or similar disaster, you do not just have to worry about water damage in your building. The increased moisture could also encourage the growth of mold. You may thus be wondering if your commercial insurance policy covers the cost of mold cleanup.

More About Mold

Mold is a fungus that reproduces using spores. These spores grow anywhere that has:

  • Oxygen
  • Heat
  • Food
  • Moisture

Mold can thus appear in many parts of your Ludville, GA, commercial building. It can spread on wood, paper, carpet, and drywall. It may also be in hidden locations such as the ducts. Mold becomes particularly problematic in humid or moist areas.

Mold and Insurance
To limit the spread of mold, you should thus address any moisture problems on your property right away. This is particularly important because most commercial insurance policies include fungus exclusions. In other words, they do not cover most losses that result from mold.

Limited Fungus Coverage
You may still have some mold insurance coverage, however. Many policies will help you pay for mold damage repairs if the fungus resulted from a specific loss such as a fire, sinkhole, or burst pipe.
This coverage applies to any direct damage or loss caused by the fungus. The insurance additionally covers mold remediation services. This includes the cost of tearing out and replacing walls to reach the contaminated areas. Any tests you perform to ensure the mold is gone should be covered, as well.
Keep in mind that this insurance is only available if you take all reasonable steps to limit the harm to your property. The coverage is also usually limited to $15,000 per year or occurrence.
You may be able to use your commercial insurance to pay for black mold cleanup. However, mold damage that does not result from a sudden peril may be excluded. You also may be denied coverage if you fail to take proper steps to mitigate mold growth.

3 Tips for Keeping Your Bathrooms Free of Mildew

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom fan Bathrooms with a shower should be properly ventilated to prevent mold growth due to humidity

Tips To Keep Your Bathroom Free of Mildew and Mold

Bathrooms are one of the most humid areas in your home. Between steamy showers, blow-drying, and sink usage, heat, and moisture can easily become trapped together in this small enclosed area. Bathroom mildew is a common occurrence in residential bathrooms. It can present itself in stained or decaying grout, mold in toilets and sinks, or even on walls and counter surfaces. In order to keep your bathroom looking and smelling fresh, try these three tips to keep your bathroom free of mildew and mold.

1. Prevention
One of the best methods for preventing bathroom mildew and mold is with proper ventilation. If your bathroom is equipped with a window, try cracking it after showering to release some of the moisture trapped in the air. If this is not possible, using a circulation fan regularly will help keep fresh air flowing through the space. Airflow will reduce the humidity in the room. Likewise, toweling off wet surfaces to reduce sitting water can help preserve areas where mildew is common such as in shower corners or along grout lines.

2. Treatment
If mildew or mold does occur in your bathroom, start with a simple cleansing method such as one of the following:

  • Baking soda and vinegar
  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Rubbing alcohol

If the mildew or mold has caused dark staining, try soaking the area with a cleanser for several hours before scrubbing the surface and rinsing with clean water. When the stain is removed, dry the affected area with a clean cloth to prevent mildew and mold from reoccurring.

3. Removal
In some cases, a severe humidity problem can lead to more permanent damage. If mold and mildew have had a lasting effect on bathroom fixtures or flooring a Mcdaniel, GA, mold removal company may be needed to assist you in the restoration process. Taking out disintegrated grout, tile or carpeting can help get rid of unpleasant bathroom mildew smells and stains.

3 Dangers of Sewage Backup

6/13/2020 (Permalink)

Sewage water on the floor A sewage backup is a serious problem, one that can damage your property and derail your business

3 Dangers of Sewage Backup

A sewage backup can strike at any time, but it is especially common after a hurricane or flood. Even without a natural disaster, a clogged pipe can cause massive damage to your Dahlonega, GA, business. Here are three of the biggest dangers of waiting to call a fast-response sewage cleaning service after a toilet overflow or other sewage-related event.

1. Safety Hazard
Most obviously, sewage backup represents a health risk to you and your customers. The EPA cautions that overflow can contain intestinal worms, mold, fungi, and other pathogens. Exposure to blackwater — sewage that contains human fecal matter — can lead to life-threatening illnesses such as cholera, hepatitis, and dysentery. Thorough cleaning with the right equipment is the best way to neutralize these dangers.

2. Loss of Revenue
Given the nature of these safety hazards, a sewage overflow cannot be managed properly while your business is still open. Depending on the kind of damage, your business could be closed from a couple of days to several weeks. Closing your business means losing revenue, which is why immediate, fast sewage cleaning is an essential part of any disaster response.

3. Water Damage
The amount of time it takes to clean and restore a business after a sewage backup is entirely dependent on the kind of damage the backup does. Blackwater can cause more serious damage and expose people to dangerous microorganisms, but even uncontaminated water can leave permanent and unsightly stains. Experienced, well-trained water restoration specialists from SERVPRO can mitigate this damage and complete the job quickly to get your business running again.
A sewage backup is a serious problem, one that can damage your property and derail your business. Calling a SERVPRO sewage cleaning team gives you the best chance to prevent further damage and allows you to reopen promptly with the confidence that your business is as safe and secure as possible.

Mold Removal Begins With Containment

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Once a patch of troubling mold has been found in your building in Holcombe, GA, the initial steps should focus on mold containment. If the invisible mold spores can be contained, the subsequent mold removal process will be faster. Mold is a tiny fungi that is easily moved around by fans, HVAC systems, open windows, and even the movement of people. A professional mold mitigation team employs trained technicians that work to prevent the spread of mold. At the same time, they will address the issue of excess water in your building, since mold thrives in warm, damp environments.

Curtailing Mold Growth

A number of steps may be needed to contain the spread of mold. Technicians will pay attention to the level of air movement in the building and may turn off fans and the heating and cooling system. They may use the following techniques to make sure mold is contained:

  • Physical barriers
  • Negative air chambers
  • Isolation of areas

The mold removal process is more effective once the mold is contained in certain locations. Air filtration equipment is used to suck mold spores out of the air. Powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums reduce the level of black mold and other strains of the fungi. Technicians will continuously evaluate the level of mold in the building and take the appropriate steps to remediate the problem.

Continuing the Process
Mold removal continues with a regimen of cleaning and sanitizing. This will include anti-fungal and antimicrobial cleaning agents that have proven to be effective against mold. This will eliminate mold colonies and deter mold spores from returning. Substances such as carpeting, drywall, and upholstery will need to be cleaned and replaced, depending upon the infestation level. Fogging equipment and sanitizers may be able to remove odor and restore some items. The goal is to restore your building to its pre-mold state and to prevent another outbreak.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Hand with glove spraying cleaner We can handle residential and commercial sanitization jobs

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Forsyth and Dawson Counties, (770) 887-1962