Making Your San Gabriel Valley Home Mold Resistant
There is no such thing as a mold-proof home. Mold spores exist in the air inside our homes, but we can cohabit peacefully as long as those spores don’t find moisture and start growing. If they do, it’s only a matter of time before mold spreads, and once that happens, it can be difficult to eradicate. While you cannot eliminate mold, you can discourage its growth.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold growth can exist practically anywhere. All mold needs to thrive is moisture, a food source, and warmth. The “food source” can be any number of household items or materials such as bedding and draperies, shower walls and windowsills, wallpaper and ceiling tiles. Here are some steps you can take to help make your home mold resistant:
- Prevent Moisture- Be sure to reduce moisture in your home whenever you can. For example, keep humidity below 50% in basements, improve outside grading and drainage by keeping gutter clean and soil sloping away from your home, and cover dirt crawl space floors with plastic to reduce moisture
- Ventilate- Poor or missing ventilation fans in damp spaces like baths and kitchens can leave enough moisture behind to sustain a mold problem. Make sure all baths and kitchens are vented by properly sized fans that take moisture outside.
- Store Safely- Keep all storage at least several inches up off concrete floors and away from foundations where dampness can easily seep in.
- Heat Finished Basements- Below grade spaces like finished basements are more likely to become infested and should always be heated to at least 60 degrees, even when not being used.
- Reduce Humidity- Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity to 30%- 50% and fans to increase airflow in your home, especially if you live in a hot, humid climate.
- Insulate Ducts- Duct systems that carry heated or cooled air throughout your house must be insulated whenever they pass through unheated or uncooled spaces like attics or basements. If not, condensation can form inside the ducts and when combined with dust in the air, can allow mold to grow in the ducts.
- Clean Carefully- Use mold-inhibiting cleaners in the bathrooms and kitchens. Portable air conditioning units should be taken apart and cleaned at the start of every season.
- Fix Floods Fast- If you do have a major leak or flood, quick action can stop mold before it starts. Thoroughly dry soaked carpets and padding, and remove any wet upholstery.
By taking these steps to make your home mold resistant, you’ll avoid the headaches of remediation and repair, as well as the potential health problems mold can cause. If you do suspect mold growth in your home, SERVPRO of Glendora/San Dimas can inspect, assess and remediate your property. CALL TODAY 626.852.9922
Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage
There’s nothing quite like water damage to put a damper on your business. Not only can you lose out on days or weeks of productivity, but you could also find yourself repairing or replacing valuable equipment like electronics, tools, and inventory. In order to determine how to prevent water damage in your business, you have to first determine what the causes of water damage are. The following are common causes of commercial water damage:
Appliances & Equipment:
If your facility has equipment that utilizes water, leakage is an ever-present danger. Air conditioners, water heaters, or anything that uses tubes, pipes, gaskets or filters to operate has the potential to leak.
The best thing to do is to regularly look over and maintain your equipment. If you notice anything that concerns you-- like rust, cracks, bulges or signs of moisture-- take preventative measures.
Many commercial buildings are equipped with sprinkler systems which are ideal for minimizing fire damage, but are not ideal for water damage when they malfunction. Always check your sprinkler system for signs of damage or rust, and replace them regularly to make sure they are functioning properly.
Make sure you are checking your roof regularly. If you have water gathering on the roof, your drainage isn’t working effectively. Over time, this can cause strain and lead to leaks.
Mother nature can be unpredictable, and she can also do untold damage to your business. In Southern California, we experience natural disasters like severe thunderstorms and flash flooding. We cannot control the weather, but we can control how ready we are for it.
To keep the damage minimal, you should keep the gutters clear, installing barriers and storing important files and electronics at a higher level. You may also want to consider getting a risk assessment and adding flood insurance if you’re in an area where your risk is higher.
Pipes & Drains
Your plumbing system is susceptible to stoppages, clogs, and damage. You should keep an eye out for outward signs of moisture, blue stains, rusting, cracking and bulging. If you’re having plumbing work done or you have a cut pipe for any reason, check for scale buildup.
Ultimately, there is no way to completely eliminate all risk of water damage to your facility, but knowing common culprits, practicing good maintenance and taking preventative measures will reduce your risks and help you respond better if something does occur. If your Los Angeles business experiences water damage do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Glendora/ San Dimas.
Tips to Preparing Your Southern California Business For Disaster
Storm Damage to a Business
In California alone there are over 3 million small businesses. According to an NFIB National Small Business Poll, only 38% of these businesses have an emergency/disaster preparedness plan. Many people think that a disaster would never affect them, but natural disasters have impacted more than 30% of small businesses.
You never know when a disaster might strike your small business and once it does, it’ll be too late to develop a plan. How quickly you get back on your feet after a disaster hits depends greatly upon the amount of advanced planning you do for your business. If you haven’t already put a disaster plan in place for your business, now is the best time to start.
Here are seven steps to help prepare your business:
Risk Assessment: Identify what kinds of emergencies are most likely to affect your company then evaluate your preparedness level. Questions you can ask yourself include: Do we have emergency equipment on site? Do I have any employees trained to help in a medical emergency? Do we have our data backed up and stored someplace safe?
Review Your Insurance Coverage: Based on your risk assessment, talk with your insurance agent to make sure your business is covered should a disaster strike. Many times business owners think they have plenty of coverage, only to find out later that their policy didn’t cover a particular disaster situation.
Create a Contingency Plan: Review all your business operations and identify those areas most critical for your business survival. Establish a procedure for managing those functions in the event of a disaster. It may also be helpful to determine an alternate business location that you and your employees can continue to run business.
Create a Communications Plan: Establish a calling tree or create a password protected area where employees can report in. Deciding how communications will be managed in advance will minimize panic and the relay of misinformation.
Backup Your Data : Be sure to backup all of your data and keep it stored in a safe location off-site. Important documents such as contracts, business licenses, and corporate records should be kept in a fireproof box or bank lock- box.
Build an Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency kit on-site at all times. It should include items such as water, batteries, flashlights, a fire extinguisher, non-perishable food, water, a whistle, and first-aid items.
Review and Rehearse Your Plan: After making a plan, be sure to review and rehearse it with your team throughout the year, so when disaster strikes they will know what to do. You should also provide a copy of the plan to each employee as well.
Creating a disaster plan is simple, but crucial for your business. If you have trouble deciding how to prepare your Southern California business for disaster, call SERVPRO of Glendora/San Dimas and we can help you develop a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile. Let us help you prepare your business for disaster!! Call Today 626.852.9922
Furniture Mold Removal
Severe Mold Damage
Water and mold can not only affect the structure of your home, but also your belongings. If your home has suffered damage from a leak or flood, it’s important to check all indoor furnishings and fixtures for signs of mold damage.
SERVPRO of Glendora/ San Dimas understands that your home is more than a structure; your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water and mold damage.
We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including:
- Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
SERVPRO of Glendora / San Dimas specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. If you suspect mold growth in your home, call today for a free estimate. -(626) 852-9922
The Importance of Gutters
Gutters are a very important part of roofs for commercial and residential buildings as they are responsible for transporting water and debris off of roofs. Especially in stormy seasons, it is important to ensure gutters are functioning to their highest ability.
Removal of water and debris in gutters lightens the load on the roof, preventing the possibility of roof leaks and caving under stress from weather. It is important gutters are maintained in optimal working condition to prevent damage to the entire commercial or residential structure.
Gutters should be inspected twice yearly and cleared of debris that could prevent flow of water and materials from roof. Also, check for standing water in gutters as it could indicate inadequate flow of water. Water should be moving down off the roof toward storm drainage areas. Keeping trees trimmed near the roof will alleviate stress on gutters because the branches will not slow water flow or contribute more debris to gutters.
Ensure water is being funneled away from the building once off the roof, as flooding can sometimes occur due to runoff not having proper.
Water stains on the internal ceiling can indicate a roof leak.
In the case of water damage, roof leaks, and storm damage, SERVPRO of Glendora/San Dimas provides “24 Hour Emergency Services.”
Is Your Los Angeles Business Prepared for the Next Big Earthquake?
The San Andreas Fault
If you are a California native, you know that the Golden State is known for being an earthquake hot zone. California is a highly seismically active area and has more than 300 fault lines that span across the state. One of the highest risk areas, the southern part of the San Andreas fault, is as close as some of our backyards.
Many believe that the San Andreas fault is due for an earthquake because a lot of pressure has built up along the fault line, as there hasn’t been an earthquake since a magnitude 7.9 in 1857. Preparing your commercial business for a major earthquake is important to ensure that your business continues running in the event that one strikes Southern California.
Here are 7 steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business:
1. Identify Potential Hazards
You should recognize potential problems and analyze how they may interrupt your business. First, identify critical assets that would cause a disruption to your business. Then, identify the level of impact these assets could have if lost. Begin to address these hazards now that they have been prioritized.
2. Create a Disaster Plan
Once you’ve identified the potential hazards that an earthquake could have on your Los Angeles business, you will need to create an emergency plan. SERVPRO of Glendora/San Dimas can assist in developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile plan that will help guide you in the event of an emergency. Ensure that all employees know and understand the plan and conduct annual training and regular drills so that the plan will be second nature by the time disaster strikes.
3. Prepare Disaster Supplies Kits
Your commercial business should also take basic measures to be self-sufficient during the early phases after disaster. Not only should there be a first aid kit, but also disaster supplies such as food, water, and flashlights. Ensure that all emergency supplies are easily accessible and in protected locations.
4. Identify your Building’s Potential Weaknesses and Begin to Fix Them
Address any structural hazards that could interrupt your business, especially high impact and high cost hazards. Strengthen weaknesses and replace elements that may injure people or keep you from reopening.
5. Protect Yourself and Employees During Earthquake
Drop, Cover, and Hold Up. When at work and an earthquake hits, the critical initial step for safety is to: Drop underneath a sturdy table, Cover your head and neck, and Hold On to the furniture as it moves and stay until the shaking stops. Stay clear of objects that may fall, windows, or anything that may harm you.
6. After the Earthquake, Check for Injuries and Damage
Once the earthquake has stopped, check for people injured, then look for serious damage and decide if it is safe to stay. Once life safety is stabilized, focus on the building and any potential structural hazards.
7. When Safe Continue to Follow Your Disaster Plan
Begin recovery activities to resume your business operations. Create a more detailed assessment of operational issues, prioritize your findings, then create an action plan to address them.
Preparing for an earthquake is critical for your Los Angeles business, will your business be open or closed after the next big earthquake?
Protecting Your Los Angeles County Business From Fire
All of the time, money, and effort that you invest in your business has the potential of disappearing in just one fire. The most common and costliest types of commercial property damage is fire, so it it crucial to take all the precautions needed to protect your business from a fire hazard.
The following are way to protect your business from a serious fire:
1. Remove Clutter that Could Potentially Fuel a Fire
Keep work areas clear of paper, trash, and anything that could potentially kindle a fire. You should perform a close inspection of all work spaces to remove anything that could create sparks or fuel a fire. Also, ensure that there are no obstacles blocking access to emergency exits.
2. Watch Appliances and Machinery
Old, faulty, or misused appliances have the potential to cause fires. Get rid of broken appliances, check for recalls, and make sure employees turn off appliances when they are not in use. Do not overload power outlets or exceed voltage limits.
3. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two crucial, potentially life-saving devices. Be sure to replace batteries periodically and test all devices regularly to make sure they’re functioning properly.
4. Make Sure Fire Extinguishers Are in Working Order
Ensure that your business has the proper type of extinguisher for your facilities and regularly check that everything is in working order. You should also provide your employees with training on how to use these extinguishers.
5. Train Employees
Make sure employees are properly trained in the correct use of all equipment and in the storage and disposal of fire hazards. All employees should know what to do if a fire occurs, including the location and operation of fire extinguishers, the emergency number to call, and the exits to use.
6. Have an Evacuation Plan
You should also be ready for the unexpected. Make sure all exit signs are visible and adequately lit by a reliable power source at all times. Conduct regular fire drills so that your employees know how to respond in the event of a fire emergency. You can also contact SERVPRO of Glendora/San Dimas to help develop a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile plan for your business to help guide you in the event of an emergency.
Practice good fire safety prevention now to prevent heartache and financial loss later. In the event that your San Gabriel Valley business does suffer from fire damage, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Glendora/San Dimas to assist in the remediation and restoration process.
Is Your San Gabriel Valley Business Ready for Disaster?
Did you know? As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster.
Of these businesses that survive, a majority of them had an emergency preparedness plan in place.
By Developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. Being “Ready for whatever happens” speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.
Contact SERVPRO of Glendora/San Dimas to help develop an emergency ready Profile for your San Gabriel Valley business. Some benefits of the plan include:
- No cost assessment of your facility
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- Establishment of SERVPRO Glendora/San Dimas as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- Establishing the line of contact for authorizing work to begin.
- Facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
Ready to get started? Contact SERVPRO of Glendora/San Dimas at 626.852.9922 TODAY!
9 Tips to Prevent Mold In Your San Gabriel Valley Home
While mold is necessary for the decomposition of organic matter in nature and in the making of brie and penicillin, it can be very dangerous when found in your home or business.
Mold spores can spread easily and cannot be completely eradicated. It can grow in places such as your carpet, clothing, food, paper, and even in places you cannot see such as the backside of the drywall and above ceiling tiles. The presence of mold in your home can also produce allergens and irritants that could compromise your health.
The best approach to mold is preventing it before it becomes a problem. The key to mold prevention is moisture control.
Here are 9 ways to prevent moisture indoors:
1. Identify Problem Areas and Correct Them
Do an audit of your home and decide where the problem areas are. Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters.
2. Dry Wet Areas Immediately
Mold cannot grow without moisture so take care of wet areas right away. If you’ve experienced a water loss, remove items that cannot be dried such as bedding, carpets, and furniture. Also, be mindful of everyday occurrences such as wet clothes in the washing machine and wet shower walls.
3. Prevent Moisture with Proper Ventilation
Vent appliances that produce moisture and use AC units and dehumidifiers. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn’t invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high moisture areas.
4. Equip Your Home with Mold Resistant Products
If you are building a new home or renovating an old one, be sure to use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. Traditional drywall is more susceptible to mold and removal and replacement can be expensive.
5. Monitor Humidity Indoors
The moisture levels in your home should be anywhere in between 35% and 50%. If you reach 60% relative humidity it is best to look for the source of the added moisture and at 70% certain species of mold can be growing.
6. Direct Water Away From Your Home
Slope the ground around your home or business away from the foundation to prevent water from collecting and seeping into the crawlspace or basement.
7. Clean or Repair Roof Gutters
Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
8. Improve Air Flow In Your Home
Without good airflow in your home, excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows, and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder that the rooms they are in.
9. Call a Professional
If you aren’t sure how to correct a problem you find, call SERVPRO of Glendora/San Dimas. We provide free inspections to our customers and can help with all of your mold remediation needs.
Mold Vs. Mildew: What's The Difference?
Mold and mildew are both types of fungi that are commonly found in homes. They thrive in moist environments, spread easily, and can live on many surfaces which makes them very difficult to get rid of and clean. If they are not taken care of properly, harmful microorganisms can quickly affect your property, which could result in structural damage.
While mold and mildew are similar it is important to know their different characteristics to help with the cleaning and prevention of these household fungi.
What is Mildew?
Mildew is a specific type of mold. It is usually a thin dusting of a black, grey, or white growth appearing on fabric, upholstery and occasionally walls. The most commonly encountered kind of growth in homes is a grey-black powdery mildew and is easily recognizable. It is most commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. To identify mildew growth, check for a musty smell, change in color, and any areas that mildew might have eaten away.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that contains multiple identical nuclei and grows in the form of black or green patches which penetrate beneath the surface of the affected material. It is often the result of a much larger infestation and can appear almost “fuzzy” or even slimy in nature. Mold growth requires moisture which could come from washing, cooking, condensation, or leaks from plumbing. Mold also releases small "spores" into the air.
The key to treating mold and mildew is to remove it from your home immediately. If you find mold or mildew in your home be sure to call SERVPRO of Glendora/San Dimas for all of your mold remediation needs.