Why Does Mold Have Such a Distinctive Odor?
Musty odor in your business?
Everybody has smelled mold; it’s literally everywhere, outside of specialized and tightly controlled environments. Normally, you can’t smell it; it takes millions of spores to become noticeable in most cases, and even then, it may not be a problem. However, once the smell becomes noticeable at a business in Mirrormount,WA, the mycotoxins that cause the scent have built up and you will need to address it.
What Are Mycotoxins?
Micro-fungi often have a complicated lifecycle, and different stages produce different byproducts. Broadly speaking, this is the substance that both creates the familiar moldy smell and can also be a problem for some individuals. Some molds actually produce “toxins” that are very helpful for humans, like penicillin. Anywhere that gets wet, especially repeat areas or places water isn’t supposed to be, can be the cause of a strong, musty odor, including
- Ceiling tiles
- HVAC units, condensers and ductwork
The odor associated with mold growth is unpleasant for most people, often being described as a rotting, fetid fragrance. Humans have a hard-wired connection between memory and smell, so customers, visitors and employees who smell it in your business may base their judgment about you on that scent.
What Can You Do About the Smell?
If normal cleaning doesn’t remove it, you may need a professional mold remediation company to perform an inspection and assess the problem. An investigation will usually find the cause – often an area that repeatedly gets wet ¬– and remove or contain the problem. They may use specialized air scrubbers, such as a commercial HEPA air filtration device, to reduce the mycotoxins and lower your spore count.
Remember: you can’t totally get rid of mold– it’s all about reducing the levels in air to a reasonable number. If the infection is severe, they may have to remove damaged items. The key is to not panic – once you call the pros in Mirrormount, WA, the problem is typically quite manageable, and even the most severe infection can usually be fixed. Once you get an inspection, you’ll have a better idea what’s causing the smell.
Professional Fire Damage Mitigation and Cleanup Services
Firefighters use water and fire suppression chemicals to put out the flames
Professional Fire Damage Mitigation and Cleanup Services
When your Fall City, WA, home is affected by fire, the amount of damage can be overwhelming and certainly puts your life on hold. One of the reasons for this is that the fire sets a chain of damages in motion.
- Flames and heat immediately affect anything in their path.
- Smoke is absorbed by porous materials.
- Firefighters use water and fire suppression chemicals to put out the flames.
- Soot and ash affect any surfaces they contact.
- Fire and smoke damage spread beyond the original reach of the fire.
The severity of destruction and the potential for further damages are two crucial reasons to contact fire restoration and cleaning professionals.
Fire damage mitigation is one of the first steps professionals take when they begin their work. They'll assess the property, address immediate concerns, such as preventing water damage, and create a fire restoration plan.
Many of the furnishings, appliances, and belongings in your home can be saved through professional content cleaning. The technicians may remove those items, cleaning them in-house or sending them to an off-site facility for thorough damage cleaning.
Fire often affects the foundational structure of the home, including the roof. This creates areas of instability and weakness in your home. Professionals will address this with tarping and board up services, in addition to necessary repairs.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Throughout the fire cleanup process, professionals will use drying, dehumidifying, disinfecting, and deodorizing agents. Many of these products come with very specific instructions. For example, an ozone machine effectively removes odors but can be harmful when not used properly. As most of the major fire damage cleanup work is completed, technicians will focus on detailed cleaning and disinfection.
Fall City, WA, fire damage and cleanup professionals handle a lot of tedious and time-consuming fire restoration tasks. While they're focused on putting your home back in order, you can focus on the safety and well-being of your family.
Protecting Your Home From Flooding After a Wildfire
Obtain flood insurance
Prepare for Potential Flood Problems
It may surprise residents of North Bend,WA to know that a post-wildfire area carries greater risks of flooding. A forest and its vegetation naturally absorb a lot of rainwater, but when the area has been decimated, the water can’t flow the same way into the ground. Homes that were previously unaffected by large rainfall can suddenly be at risk for flooding damage. The following steps will help you prepare you for potential flood problems resulting from wildfire damage in your area.
1. Obtain Flood Insurance
Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods. Therefore, you need to obtain a separate policy. A good place to start is with the National Flood Insurance Program, or FEMA NFIP, which is a government program that helps people obtain affordable insurance. The FEMA NFIP encourages everyone to get flood insurance, since many areas initially deemed “low risk” end up being impacted. Any costs incurred will be well worth it if faced with a disaster.
2. Protect Valuables
Many people don’t start packing up valuables or moving furniture to higher ground until a flood is imminent. However, by this point, it’s often too late to save the majority of your belongings. The first step is to gather any important identification documents or titles and put them in a water proof safe or offsite location. Items prone to damage, such as artwork, photographs and furniture should be moved to upper levels or another location.
3. Contact a Restoration Company
If wildfire damage or flooding damage seems likely, it’s a good idea to contact a competent restoration company in advance. You can find your local office and discuss prevention ideas. They also will be able to tell you about the best recovery plan to set your expectations.
The best way to protect you and your property from flooding damage is to stay informed and prepared. If you obtain flood insurance utilizing FEMA NFIP and take basic prevention measures, you should have peace of mind. For any actual damage incurred, a restoration company is the best way to get your home back to normal.
Estimating the Cost of a Fire
It is important to contact your insurance adjuster immediately to estimate how much damage will be covered by your policy.
Has your business in Issaquah, WA, been impacted by a fire? An immediate concern is the cost of repairs to your establishment. A professional service that specializes in commercial fire restoration can assist in coming up with an accurate estimate. When assessing the total cost, these professionals will evaluate several factors.
4 Factors for Estimating the Cost of a Fire
1. Chemical Damage
The chemicals contained in fire extinguishers, while useful in putting out a fire, can also cause additional damage to the surfaces that they interact with. These chemicals can permeate certain materials and negatively impact air quality. This type of damage typically requires the use of ozone machines.
2. Smoke and Soot Damage
Smoke and residual soot from the fire is a lasting form of damage that is characterized by a lingering smell of smoke and visible ash on surfaces. The estimate should include the cost of the odor removal process, clearing of air ducts and structural repairs.
3. Water Damage
Water from sprinklers and hoses used to extinguish the flames can lead to extensive harm to your establishment due to moisture seeping into porous surfaces. This can be difficult to extract. Prolonged exposure to wet environments can cause mold buildup and rotting of materials. Water damage is treated with a thorough drying and dehumidifying process and structural repairs.
4. Fire Damage
Lastly, the impact of the fire itself will be evaluated. Fire damage presents itself in charred items and fire ravaged parts within your business. These are addressed through repairs made directly to the structure of your building and replacement of irreparable items.
The more time that passes after a fire, the more likely it is for the cost of repairs to increase due to cumulative damage that will continue to occur until repairs are made. It is important to contact your insurance adjuster immediately to estimate how much damage will be covered by your policy. It is also advisable to seek out the services of a professional fire restoration company to guide you through the restoration process.
How to Protect Your Business From Water Damage During Construction
The best way to prevent your business from becoming flooded during construction is to plan ahead.
Doing construction on your business in Preston, WA, is exciting but can come with its own set of issues. Water damage can be one of these, but there are things you can do to help avoid water pipe repair and other causes. Follow these guidelines while construction is happening in order to reduce your chances of flooding.
The best way to prevent your business from becoming flooded during construction is to plan ahead. This is something that you should do with your contractor before the crew begins work. Locate all mechanical and electrical equipment and move them away from high risk areas. This is also a good time to check that the external walls have appropriate drainage planes. Obtaining a copy of the building plans can help with the planning stage.
Use Protective Coverings
Open areas are particularly vulnerable during construction. Using a protective tarp can help shield them from bad weather conditions. It is also a good idea to cover important documents and machines that are near the construction zone. In order to be extra cautious, you may want to consider getting waterproof containers for some of those essential items.
There should be a designated inspector to monitor the project throughout the day and go over the construction site each evening. This person is responsible for ensuring that protocol is being followed. If the weather is cold, there is a chance that you could end up with a broken pipe, so the person monitoring the site needs to make sure that they are all properly insulated, or you could end up having to do a water pipe repair.
Taking precautions goes a long way in preventing water damage, but it can still happen. If you do find yourself in this situation where you need a water pipe repair done, you should consider calling a professional mitigation company in Preston, WA to assist you. Getting the problem handled immediately can help keep the project on schedule.
Steps You Can Take to Salvage Water Damaged Belongings
Belongings damaged by water
The flooding is over and the water is gone - but what’s left is ruined belongings. Fortunately, valuables damaged by water in home floods or a broken pipe don’t have to be lost forever. Follow these steps to increase the odds of saving belongings damaged by water in your Mirrormount,WA, home.
How Water Destroys
Water is invaluable for cleaning and drinking, but if allowed to pool, it can cause inestimable damage. Some of the main ways water can damage items includes:
- Triggering mold growth
- Infiltrating electronics
- Delaminating furniture
Damage can be immediate and severe. But there are ways to fight back against water damage.
Dry, Dry, Dry
The most comprehensive drying is often done by professional remediators. But you can help by doing some superficial drying. Remove items like documents and artwork to a less-humid room and allow to air dry. Hang rugs and other textiles while they air dry as well. Most importantly, avoid putting things in sunlight as that can dry them too fast and cause new damage.
Bacteria is one of the biggest threats of water in home flooding, and disinfection is a critical part of flood cleanup. Rinse nonporous items with clean water or spray with a fine hose. If a hose is not practical, wipe items with a damp sponge. Next, reduce humidity by opening windows and turning on the air conditioning. This inhibits the growth of mold and bacteria.
Water damage can cause items to fall apart. Gather all broken pieces - from disintegrating veneer pieces to detached parts - and put them in labeled, open containers. This will help professional restorers put items back together.
Standing water in home flooding can have devastating effects on your belongings. Professional flood remediators are the best bet for dry cleaning and restoration. Use the above tips to make their job easier and ensure you can get your belongings back in top condition.
3 Alternatives to Sand Bags to Protect Your Business During a Flood
Flood damage in Preston, WA
Preparing Your Property For a Flood
For many years, sand bagging was the first line of defense against flooding. While this method may keep water out of your building for a short time, it requires some heavy labor and can also leave property owners with a big mess. A wet sand bag can hold pollutants and contaminants, which can pose hazards to humans and the environment. Fortunately, there are reliable alternatives that can be safer and more effective. If you own a business in Preston, WA, consider the following choices for preparing your property for a flood.
1. Inflatable Flood Dams
An inflatable dam is filled with water and placed as a barrier around your building. These are especially useful because they can protect against high water levels. Set up is typically very fast and convenient. Unlike a sand bag, the dams are usually reusable and can be easily stored between uses. Variations in design can make it easy to find the right style to suit your needs.
2. Portable Flood Fencing
Portable flood fences can be installed around the perimeter of your property in relatively little time and can provide significant protection from flood damage. This temporary barrier shields against debris, as well as rising water. Some options include anchors, which can be helpful in a weather event with high winds. Flood fences can be reused multiple times and will need to be cleaned and dried before storing.
3. Plastic Poly Tube Flood Barriers
Plastic poly tubes are another helpful design that can offer effective flood protection. These tubes can be as long as 50 feet, and are usually filled with dirt or sand. Once filled, these barriers can be placed exactly where you need them to prevent water from entering your building.
These sand bag alternatives can provide a quick and convenient solution to help protect your business from flooding. If your property does sustain water damage, be sure to contact an emergency restoration service right away.
3 Key Areas Where Mold Loves To Grow
Mold relies on moisture to grow
Three Key Places Where Mold Can Be Found
Mold or mildew growth in your Fall City, WA, home is always going to be an unwelcome visitor, and the removal of more extensive mold damage should be handled by professionals. However, if you’re simply trying to determine where mold would choose to set up shop, there are certain areas of your home that should be considered first. Here are three key places where mold growth can potentially be found in your residence.
1. Areas With a Lot of Moisture
Fungi relies on moisture to grow, so inspecting areas such as bathrooms or kitchens that consistently see a build-up of moisture and high humidity is a great place to start. Check around your windows and door frames for any signs of leaks after a brutal winter of heavy storms, or any spots where your plumbing might have sprung a leak, as well.
2. Areas That Have Seen Serious Water Damage
While some leaks can be stopped in time to prevent a major disaster, others can’t be. Whether a pipe burst within your home’s walls or a flood ravaged your property, mold damage can start to accrue just as quickly as water damage. Building materials such as drywall, wood, wallpaper, carpeting, ceiling tiles or even your upholstered furnishings can soak up enough moisture to lead to mold growth. If you experience such an event, it’s vital that you contact experienced mold remediation technicians to carry out a thorough and proper removal.
3. Areas That Have a Lot of Outdoor Influence
Since mold spores can be airborne, it’s hard to ever truly eliminate the possibility of an outbreak. However, covering any exposed clothing, bags or shoes worn during an outdoor activity that can track in spores is helpful in stopping their spread, as well as regularly cleaning your vents and HVAC system to impede their transportation around your home.
Taking a Stand
When you’re looking to prevent or stop the spread of mold damage in your Fall City, WA, home, turn to these key areas first and contact professionals for help with any hazardous mold removal.
The Importance of a Smoke Alarm in Your Home
Including a smoke alarm in your North Bend,WA, home can be an important fire mitigation step
Including a smoke alarm in your North Bend,WA, home can be an important fire mitigation step. Not only can they alert you to the danger of a fire, but they can also help you react in time to have the fire put out before extreme damage occurs.
There Are a Number of Things To Know About Your Detector
When choosing a smoke detector for your home there are a number of things you may want to consider. These include
- Knowing what type of sensor you want your alarm to have
- Knowing where you intend to place the alarm
- Knowing what type of batteries the alarm will take
- Knowing how many alarms are recommended for your home
It’s Advised to Check Functionality Regularly
While many models of smoke alarm are designed to last for 10 years, it's important to check the batteries at least once a year. Many people choose to do this while they're already changing the time on their clocks. You may also choose to check on a specific date every year, or when making holiday preparations. Knowing that your fire alarm is working correctly is important fire safety and mitigation tip.
Know What To Do if a Fire Occurs
In addition to deciding which fire alarm is best for your home, it's also important to consider what you should do if a fire does occur. Come up with a safety plan and make sure that every person in your home knows what it contains. You may also want to have the number of a fire damage restoration service on hand so that you can quickly contact them to take care of any restoration needs.
When ensuring that you have a smoke alarm in your home there are a number of important things to consider. Think about what type of alarm you want, where you intend to place it, what regularly scheduled time you'll check on the batteries’ functionality, and how long the alarm will last. It's also important to know what to do if a fire occurs. Have a safety plan in place and know who you can contact if you have any restoration needs.
Surprising Ways Individuals Can Prevent Flooding
People can help this effort by planting trees
When faced with a natural disaster that results in flooding, people in Issaquah, WA, often feel helpless. Once flooding is inevitable, they can get involved by sandbagging to assist in creating manmade levees. However, there are several surprising ways individuals can be active in flood prevention.
Storm damage occurs unexpectedly from a variety of events. Floods can be caused by any of the following:
- Excessive rain over a short period of time
- Levee or dams breaking
- Overflowing rivers
Regardless of the cause, flood cleaning and water damage repair cost about $2.4 billion annually in the United States. That makes it essential for each person or company to do its part to help.
Natural Water Barriers
In rural areas, water makes natural pathways to get from one area to a larger body of water. When there is an influx of rain, flash floods can form in these pathways. Nature has its own way of flash flood prevention; it has natural barriers like trees and bushes to break up the flow of water. People can help this effort by planting trees, bushes or other vegetation along water paths. Particularly in areas of low elevation, this makes a tremendous impact.
Flooding is often a result of drainage systems being blocked by vegetation or rubble. Debris can be natural or manmade, but people can help with both types. Natural debris, such as leaves or grass, can be minimized with proper disposal of yard waste. People need to be mindful of the consequences of dumping even natural waste in grassland or forest areas. Most cities have regulations and collections of yard or garden remains to prevent drainage clogs. People also have to be better about eliminating litter. Even small amounts can get clogged in drainage systems and sometimes take years to break down. Developing countries often have this problem since trash disposal isn’t as advanced.
Flood prevention is something everyone can participate in. Whether through planting trees or properly disposing of trash and vegetation, people can play a big part in helping their town.