3 Places Mold Might Hide in Your Home
Where does mold thrive and in what type of environment? These are all important questions to know the answers to.
After a flood affects your Northeast Dallas, Texas home, there may be many issues to face in the aftermath. Water cleanup, the drying of furniture and clothing and the repair or replacement of appliances may all be required. However, one problem you may not be aware of is how mold can grow in your home once moisture has seeped in. Mold growth can occur almost anywhere, as it does not need sunlight to thrive, and there are several places it might hide inside your home to cause damage before you become aware of its presence.
Once a flood occurs inside your home, mold may seep into the walls below the water line. Moldy drywall can be especially common, as materials used to create the material contains paper. Once mold starts to grow behind a wall, it can also affect any wiring or insulation there. You may want to ask your mold damage and restoration service to perform a flood cut, which removes a section of drywall about a foot below the water line so mold technicians can seek out and destroy hidden mold.
Under Carpets and Laminate Flooring
Even minor floods, such as those that come from overflowing appliances, can cause mold growth in the material under your surface flooring. Even if you dry your carpets after a flood, the padding underneath may remain damp and encourage the development of mold. You may want to consider replacing your flooring to prevent future problems with fungi.
Inside Plumbing Cabinets
If you have wooden cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom, leaky pipes and humid conditions can help mold to thrive. Mold on wood cabinets may be hard to spot, especially in dark corners, so you might want to check these areas at least once a month to avoid hosting hidden mold.
Preventing mold growth in your Northeast Dallas, Texas home can be a challenge, especially in areas where it can hide. However, knowing where to seek it out can be an effective step in ensuring it does not take hold.
A Guide for Sump Pump Maintenance
It is crucial to know when you need to call for a professionals help and when you can handle the maintenance on your own.
When you live in Northeast Dallas, Texas you may find that owning and maintaining a sump pump on your property is a good step for mitigating potential water damage. However, simply installing a pump isn’t always enough.
Proper pump maintenance can also be important when it comes to protecting your home from water damage.
What Is a Sump Pump
The standard use of a sump pump is to keep water from accumulating in or around your home in order to help prevent costly damage that may arise from standing water. In most cases these devices are used in homes built in areas that experience frequent storms, wet climates, or frequent accumulation of water in areas such as a basement.
Some Steps for Maintenance
If you have or are considering installing a pump to combat accumulating water, it’s important to perform regular maintenance. Some steps you may want to take include:
- Inspecting your pump for clogged screens or debris in the intake
- Inspecting the discharge pipe for clogs, gravel, mud or other debris that can affect operation
- Using a GFCI plug outlet for your machine
- Inspecting the cord for wear and tear that could create problems
- When in Doubt Ask for Help
If you feel your pump isn’t working properly, or that you may have too much water for it to handle, it may be time to call a professional for help. They may be able to tell you if there’s something wrong with your pump as well as help identify any issues that may be leading to the excess water. In the event of damage to your property you may want to speak with a water damage professional as well.
When it comes to protecting your home from water damage in Northeast Dallas, Texas proper pump maintenance is just as important as having a sump pump installed. Keeping your pump maintained can help ensure it’s in operation when you need it. Remember, if you think there’s a problem with your pump or have more water than normal, it may be time to call a professional.
Secondary Water Damage: What Is it and Why Is it Treated so Seriously?
Getting water damage dried out properly is the only way to truly prevent secondary damage like mold growth.
When your building is affected by water damage, you should always retain the help of an experienced Northeast Dallas, Texas water damage restoration team. This is especially the case if dealing with secondary damage or, in the worst-case scenario, tertiary water damage.
Water damage is categorized by how dangerous it is.
Some factors that play into a water peril's categorization include the following:
- How long the water has been allowed to sit
- Where the water originated
- What contaminants might be in the water
- Whether or not initial damage was remediated in a proper manner
- Whether or not black mold is present
What Is Secondary Water Damage?
This type of water damage is damage that was not reacted to in a swift and effective manner. It may also be damage that arises from water of unknown origins. This type of water damage is categorized as such mainly because the extent of contamination and therefore potential hazardousness is unknown. Additionally, this type of damage goes beyond wet walls and wet carpet. It typically affects the structure of the building as well, and may include the following types of issues:
- Rotted drywall
- Buckling hardwood floors
- Peeling vinyl
- Black mold or mold spores
Each of these issues is the result of both the water itself and high humidity.
What Causes Secondary Water Damage?
The cause of this type of water damage is easy enough to pinpoint: poor reaction time. Any type of water damage, no matter how seemingly insignificant, needs to be dealt with immediately. Failure to react in a timely or effective fashion can result in the aforementioned issues, not to mention costly structural issues or liability concerns.
You can prevent secondary issues that arise from water perils, such as black mold, by taking action as soon as you notice a water issue. Your [City, State], water remediation team is ready and willing to help. All you have to do is place the call.
2 Sources of Water Damage During a Fire
Knowing to expect water damage when you walk through your building after a fire can alleviate some of the stress.
If your commercial property in Northeast Dallas, TX, catches fire, you probably expect a lot of fire damage. In addition to smoke cleanup, however, you also will need to hire professionals who specialize in water cleanup. Even when a fire is the cause of the problem, the building also sustains water damage from the fire being neutralized. Water damage in this situation typically comes from one of two sources or, in some cases, from both.
A fire sprinkler system can save your building. Because each sprinkler is equipped to detect extreme heat and burst into action when it does, your fire cleanup process is likely to include extra tasks:
• Water extraction
• Mold testing
• Industrial drying
In order to put out the fire as quickly as possible, a sprinkler has to release a large volume of water in a short amount of time. That's enough to cause some water damage.
Even if your building doesn't have a sprinkler system, you are still going to have to do some water cleanup after the emergency responders leave. Firefighters use a powerful water hose to target the flames and put them out as soon as possible. A fire hose can release dozens of gallons of water every few seconds, and that water doesn't magically disappear when the fire is out. It seeps into floors and walls and any crevice it can find. You may even be left with standing water in some areas of your building. Technicians have to remove the water before they can really begin cleaning your building and getting it back to its normal state.
Knowing to expect water damage when you walk through your building after a fire can alleviate some of the stress. It doesn't make the water cleanup process any easier or faster, but knowing what to expect can keep you from being broadsided by the news. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com/.
Addressing Toilet Leaks
A leaking toilet does not have to ruin your day or consume your weekend.
Home maintenance in Northeast Dallas, TX, is like home maintenance anywhere: a fact of life. A bathroom leak is not an unusual occurrence for homeowners, but addressing it quickly is important to prevent inconvenient and expensive water damage. Whether you are a DIY warrior or a person who prefers to call in the pros, knowing the cause of a leaking toilet can lead to a swift resolution.
The Usual Suspects
Toilets in the average home are not mechanically complex, and this is good news because it makes their repairs fairly predictable. Leaks are often noticed after a flush; if a puddle collects at the base, it could mean that:
• the wax seal has failed or the closet bolts need tightening.
• faulty supply tubes or shut off valves need replacing.
• the bowl could be cracked or prone to sweating.
The Appropriate Responses
Resolving a leaking toilet can range from a simple adjustment to a complete replacement or anything in between. Once you have identified the problem, the solution is likely to be one of the following:
• If tightening the closet bolts doesn’t resolve the problem, removing the toilet and replacing the wax ring could be necessary. The problem could also be a broken flange, which will become apparent when the old wax ring is removed. A broken flange will require replacement.
• If the supply tube has failed, it is wise to replace it with a flexible, stainless and mesh model. If the shut off valve has failed, consider replacing it with a new quarter turn ball valve.
• If the bowl is cracked, replacement will be necessary. If the tank or bowl sweats, installing a mixing valve is a solution many plumbers recommend.
A leaking toilet does not have to ruin your day or consume your weekend. Tackling it yourself or making an informed call to a professional can make fast work of the needed repair. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com/.
Landlord Versus Tenant Flood Responsibilities
Understand what your property or renter’s insurance covers, and what your responsibilities are in the case of a flood in Northeast Dallas, TX.
Flooding in Northeast Dallas, TX, can be stressful and confusing. Once you and your family are safe, it is time to think about repairing and restoring your home or business. Homeowners, business owners and renters alike now have to navigate the waters of insurance coverage. For homeowners, the process is likely clear. For landlords and tenants, however, it may be a bit more complicated. What does commercial property insurance cover? What does renter’s insurance cover?
The first step as a landlord is to know your insurance coverage. Flood insurance is not typically part of general property insurance. Talk to your agent about your specific policy. Landlords are responsible for the following in the case of a flood:
• Whether insurance covers flooding or not, you as the property owner are still responsible for returning the dwelling to a safe, livable situation for your tenants. This must be done in a reasonably timely manner, so contact a water restoration specialist as soon as possible to avoid secondary damage from occurring.
• Damages to the building are covered by the landlord, including all appliances that were not purchased and installed by the tenants. Flooring, drywall, electrical and other structures are under the property owner’s purview as well.
The landlord is not responsible for all damage, so as the tenant it is important to obtain renter’s insurance and know what is covered. As with landlords, flood coverage is not typically included in basic insurance, so talk to your agent about the details. Tenants should know the following information:
• As a renter, your personal belongings are covered under your insurance.
• Relocation, if the apartment or dwelling is unlivable, is usually covered by your insurance and rent does not need to be paid during that time. You may choose to discontinue the lease if the damage is severe.
Whether you are the landlord or tenant, obtain the appropriate insurance coverage. Understand what your property or renter’s insurance covers, and what your responsibilities are in the case of a flood in Northeast Dallas, TX. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com/.
First Steps for Flood Damage
When you have flood damage in Northeast Dallas, TX, it's hard to know where to start. You probably already called professionals to help with water removal, but you may be looking for storm tips on how to cleanup storm damage in your home and how to save your personal items. You can increase your chance of saving materials by starting the cleanup while you wait for help.
One of the most important storm tips is to be safe before you do any cleaning. Here is a quick list of things to watch out for when you are cleaning up in a flooded area:
• Be cautious about electrical hazards. Make sure to shut down electricity before walking in wet areas. Don't use appliances and lamps that have been wet, and don't use your vacuum to remove water.
• Use protective gear. Stay out of "gray" and "black water" as much as possible. Be sure to wear goggles, gloves, and waterproof boots to protect yourself while cleaning.
• Stay out of rooms with bulging ceilings. Don't use lights or ceiling fans on a sagging ceiling.
• Step carefully and deliberately. The excess water increases the risk for slipping and falling.
Once you have taken precautions to be safe, you can start cleaning. Here are some storm tips to prioritize the initial cleanup:
• Take the first steps to dry fabric items. Hang rugs and prop upholstery.
• Wipe wooden furniture with rags. Place blocks or aluminum foil between wooden legs and the ground.
• Paper and fabric items with colorful prints may transfer dyes to your carpet permanently if left for too long. Be sure to pick up those items from wet floors.
• Remove all smaller items from floors so professionals can start cleaning carpets as soon as they arrive.
• Help remove excess water by wiping it with rags or mopping.
• If you can safely run electricity, run your air conditioner to help start the drying process.
Professionals will use specialized equipment to complete the water removal and drying process. They are trained to determine what can be saved and how to each item appropriately based on the material and type of water exposure.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com/.
Protect Your Home From Dire Fire
Your house in Northeast Dallas, TX, is an investment worth protecting. To prevent a catastrophic loss, your residence needs your evaluation to ensure it has proper safeguards against a home fire. Fire preparation is key to prevent the chaos and costs of mishandling a fire.
Always Think Fire Safety.
By being constantly mindful of fire safety, you can stop any hazards from ever happening. A fire savvy mindset involves mindfulness of several things while around your house:
• Putting out candles when you cannot actively monitor them
• Turning off space heaters or other flame sources when not awake
• Putting out cigarettes with water and keeping them away from flammable garbage
• Moving flammable objects a few feet away from heaters, ovens or fireplaces
Install and Test Smoke Alarms.
Smoke alarms are the best first line of defense against a surprise fire. It’s recommended by the Red Cross that, at a minimum, every floor has a fire detector and an additional one outside each bedroom. If you do not have one outside every sleeping area, it is beneficial to install more.
Your next step in fire preparation is to clean and test your smoke detectors regularly. They should be occasionally dusted to allow them to work effectively. Once a month, the test button on one unit should be pressed to ensure all alarms are connected and functional so you can identify any that need unit or battery replacement.
Have a Plan.
Everyone in your home should know the procedure for a home fire. You should identify the fire escape routes and inform everyone in the home of them. Every resident should be advised to dial emergency services once safe from a major fire to get the fire department on the scene as soon as possible.
Fire safety is your home’s safety. Although your burnt home may seem lost, there are professional residential fire restoration companies that can help restore your property. Adequate fire prevention helps you act on the fire immediately so you can protect your home from more extensive damage.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com/.
The Four Usual Suspects of Tile Discoloration
When it came to (literally) building your business in Northeast Dallas, TX, you opted for the convenience, ease, and longevity of ceiling tiles. Now you've noticed some tile discoloration and you're unsure if it's due to natural aging, issues caused by surrounding lighting, proximity to exhaust fans, or tile mold. Let's take a closer look at these four common issues and how to identify them.
Nothing lasts forever, not even ceiling tiles. If the tiles were installed before your business began operation out of your building, it's difficult to ascertain their exact age. For older buildings from a pre-no-smoking era, cigarette smoke may have quickened the aging process as well.
Lights are lights, right? Wrong. Ultraviolet lights actually cause discoloration. This type of lighting is typically used in healthcare facilities like hospitals and labs in order to sterilize equipment. UV lights affect and degrade the chemical bonds in ceiling tiles, which leads to bleaching and gradual fading.
Are the tiles near your exhaust fans showing more advanced signs of discoloration than other tiles? This may be caused by a lack of insulation in the duct, allowing the moisture the fan is redirecting to slowly seep into the surrounding tiles.
4. Tile Mold.
One of the most prevalent suspects, mold, is caused by water damage through exposure to moisture due to plumbing-, HVAC system-, or roof-related issues. If the source of the problem is not found and rectified, your tiles will take on a telltale brownish hue that will make them appear darker than unaffected tiles.
Ceiling tiles may require less upkeep, but discoloration is a common issue. While simple aging, light sources, and placement of fans can be relatively easy problems to address, tile mold should be confirmed and remediated by a professional mold restoration company. After all, keeping your business – and more importantly, your employees – thriving and safe is their business.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com/.
Tips and Tools To Clear the Clog
Toilet backup and the damage it caused.
“The toilet is clogged,” shouts someone in your family. Your first thought is to call a plumber out to your home in Northeast Dallas, TX. However, that is not always needed. Easily tackle this job yourself with the right tools, knowledge and a short trip to the hardware store.
What Tools Do I Use?
There are many types of tools to quickly and inexpensively fix a stopped toilet, sink or bathtub drain. Understand the differences between them:
- A plunger is your first line of defense, as it is a cheap and fast way to clear a clog. It is a good idea to keep one in the house at all times for emergencies.
- If the plunger does not work, use a cable auger. Otherwise known as a snake, this coiled, flexible tool is available in different lengths and reaches clogs further down the pipe.
- Use a closet auger specifically for toilets. The curved and solid design of this snake lends itself to fitting into the bowl.
- For an especially tough clog, buy or rent an electric power auger. This impressive snake easily powers through blockages without relying on your strength to turn the handle.
What Steps Do I Take?
If the plunger does not work, use the drain auger in the following ways:
- For a sink, remove and check the sink trap for obstructions. Thread and turn the snake clockwise through the drain pipe in the wall. Crank until the clog is free, reattach the pipe and run the hot water.
- In a stopped up bathtub, remove the overflow plate, feed the snake through and turn clockwise until the clog is clear. Replace the plate and run hot water down the drain.
- For a clogged toilet, place the curved end of the snake into the bowl, push and twist clockwise until clear and flush the toilet.
When you invest a small amount of time and money on the correct tools, you become the expert of clogged drains at your house in Northeast Dallas, TX. However, if you notice water damage or indications of a pipe break immediately call a water restoration specialist to assess the situation.
For more information please visit us at http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com/.