3 Secrets You Didn’t Know About Mold
Commercial mold damage
Mold: Three Things You Didn't Know
Trying to deal with black mold growth during the rainy seasons in San Antonio, TX, can become quite the task. It becomes tiresome to clean up floodwater, but it’s much worse to deal with the mold damage that comes as a result. Frustrating as it seems, it’s important to understand mold in order to begin dealing with it.
1. Mold Is Found Everywhere
Even though you can’t see them, black mold spores can be found almost anywhere you look. When mold spores are in their dormant state, they will not form into the telltale black spots until they find a suitable place to start growing.
After mold has dried, the spores take on the characteristics of dandelion seeds and use their newly exposed cellular legs like a parachute in the wind to search for the next damp spot to settle down. That’s why it’s almost impossible to isolate mold if you have a moisture problem in your building.
2. Mold Eats Too
Like all organisms, mold requires not only an environment to thrive in but also a food source. Made up of billions of organisms, growing mold will devour almost anything it is growing, including wood, carpet, drywall, and any material that has been made with organic matter.
Over time, this can create weaknesses in structures and walls, which can cause them to collapse or cave in. Many building materials are built to withstand minor or temporary water buildup, but they can’t always prevent mold from taking over and creating catastrophic damage.
3. Mold Can Survive in Almost Any Environment
Although growing mold prefers warmth and moisture, it can survive almost anywhere. Mold has been found to spread even in cold or dry locations; however, the process may take longer. If for any reason the growing process stops, mold will then dry up and move on to a new location or stay dormant until the environment is suitable again.
Black mold can be a nightmare to deal with for property owners in San Antonio, TX. A skilled restoration service can help you with mold cleanup to recover from a devastating outbreak.
Why Do Fire and Water Damage Go Hand-in-Hand?
Fire cleanup is a job for an experienced and professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Stone Oak.
What's The Connection Between Fire and Water Damage?
When you walk through your Timberwood Park, TX home after a fire has been put out, you may be surprised to see the amount of damage. Common types of damage in your home in addition to fire damage may include:
The smoke and odor damage usually aren't that surprising because they are a byproduct of the flames, but why is there so much water in your space?
The Extinguishing Factor
The number one reason for excessive water damage after a fire is how the flames where dampened. Firefighters use large amounts of water to ensure the flames are fully extinguished. If they don't use water, your entire house may end up being burned to a crisp. Other extinguishing techniques, such as ventilation, cause different types of damage to your home. Fires are dangerous, and therefore need to be put out even if it means adding to the repair list.
Not only can the fire hose add water to your home, but so can the weather. If it's raining during a fire, moisture may make its way into your home through holes in the roof or walls. Shattered windows could be another weak spot for the elements.
If it takes your fire restoration team a few days to get to your house after the damage has been done, the weather over those couple of days could also affect the damage done to your home. Rain and wind may increase the need for repairs.
Depending on how quickly you can start the repair process, fire damage can start to get worse. After the flames have been extinguished, some of your plumbing may be in disrepair. This can cause flooding in your home if professionals are unable to come out right away.
When flames erupt in your home, you expect there to be fire damage. You should also know that this travesty can cause odor, smoke and water damage too.
Three Categories of Water Damage
A pipe broke in this home causing damage to flooring.
Did You Know That Water Damage Is Actually a Very Broad Term For a Water Loss?
There are actually three different categories of water losses that can occur, and with each category of damage comes a different remediation process. Not only that but a once simple water loss can be turned into a category three nightmare by waiting to remediate it before it is too late. There are a lot of different things that can go into water losses, and the categories they are classified as, but a very basic overview is below so you can know the difference between Category 1, 2, and 3 water losses.
Category 1: "Clean Water"
Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or a leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on the length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.
Water from a clean source like a broken water line
If left untreated can degrade into category 2 or 3
Category 2: "Gray Water"
Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.
It May contain bacteria and viruses
Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated
Category 3: "Black Water"
Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause health effects. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, disease-causing bacteria, and flesh-eating microbes
Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
As you can see, each job is a different one, and the circumstances for each loss can change depending on what caused the loss, how long it was sitting before being remediated, and how contaminated the water is, so the remediation process can differ depending on what is required.
A certified water restoration technician such as the ones we employ at SERVPRO of Stone Oak is trained on how to accurately classify a water loss so that remediation can be performed effectively and safely.
Don't Wait... Remediate!!
Smoke Damage, What Are The Facts?
Fire damage to a house.
Did You Know There Are Different Types of Smoke?
Not only are there different types of smoke damage, but each different kind has different ways it has to be re-mediated differently and can cause different types of damage.
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Occurs in smoldering fires that burn at a low temperature
- Typically has strong smoke odors and can be sticky
- Can smear during cleanup due to its oily texture, making cleanup difficult
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Occurs fast burning fires that burn at a high temperature
- Typically has a dry, powdery texture
- Does not smear much during cleanup
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible
- Can discolor varnishes, paints, and other finishes
- Incredibly strong smell
Even though every fire damage situation is a little different, and many different techniques could be required to properly remediate the damage caused. If you are looking for a restoration company that specializes in fire and water restoration, call (210)-858-9696 and we can help you get your home back to its preloss condition.
4 Reasons You Should Have A Business Emergency Plan
A business continuity plan can help you prepare for the worst-case scenarios.
What To Do If Your Business Was Affected By a Storm
Have you ever thought about what you would do if your business was affected by floodwaters after a storm? A business continuity plan can help you prepare for the worst-case scenarios. As a business owner in San Antonio, TX, you may want to create this type of emergency plan for a number of reasons:
1. Figure out who to call. If you never think about the possibility of storm damage hurting your property, you may not know who you should call when disaster strikes. In your business plan, you can outline which insurance provider needs to be informed of any impending claims. You can even pick a commercial storm damage cleanup expert you would want to work within this type of situation.
2. Think about how to keep business running. The continuity plan should also go over what you would do to help keep your business running. If floodwaters made your building off-limits, would you have to shut down until it is fixed or could you rent a temporary workspace?
3. Consider the financial impact of natural disasters. Flooding can also affect the finances of your company. Not only could you lose inventory and business, but you also have to pay for damages. When you create a business plan, it gives you a chance to make sure you have the best insurance policies for your commercial property.
4. Help you prepare employees. This type of plan can also help you think about evacuation methods. You can train employees on where to go in the event of flooding, fires or other emergencies. You can also outline who they should call if you are not around.
As a business owner, you want to be prepared for any type of situation. Creating a business continuity plan helps you think about the what-ifs associated with owning commercial property. You can become better prepared for any damages caused by storms.
A Grease Fire Requires Immediate Action
There’s always a small risk of a grease fire.
When you’re cooking on the stovetop with oil in Stone Oak, TX, there’s always a small risk of a grease fire. Some of these are no big deal if handled correctly. Unfortunately, many cooks panic when they experience their first one, and doing the wrong thing then can have catastrophic consequences. Being mentally prepared will make all the difference.
Water Is Your Enemy Here
Never use water on a grease fire. When water meets hot grease, it instantly flashes into steam, creating an explosion and spreading burning oil as far as 10 feet away.
So Is Oxygen
So, you can’t use water; what should you do? Try these quick steps for fast fire control:
- Immediately cover the pan with the lid or a metal baking sheet.
- Turn off the heat.
- If the fire is small, use baking soda or salt on it.
- If it’s burning beyond the pan, immediately exit and call 911.
Note that you can use baking soda but never baking powder or flour. Soda and salt may starve the fire of oxygen – as will covering it with a lid – but flour will give it more combustible material.
Prevent the Disaster
Next time you use cooking oil on the stovetop, think about what you would do if it catches fire. Think about where the lid – or an adequate metal cover – is and how quickly you can grab it.
If you’re prepared, you’re less likely to panic – and panic often involves water. YouTube has many videos of what happens with a small amount of water; it’s quite terrifying. Make sure everyone in your house who cooks knows not to use water on a grease fire!
If the fire remains in the pan and is covered quickly, chances are there won’t be any significant damage. However, even if you don’t need a fire cleanup, burning oil creates tons of smoke damage. Once it spreads into a second room (or further), you’ll need a reliable smoke and fire damage restoration company to deal with the mess. Their specialized equipment can easily whisk away the smoke odor and their account representatives can help you with insurance claims.
How To Prepare First Aid Supplies for Your Office
Prepare your office with a proper first aid kit.
First Aid Supplies
In terms of an office emergency, preparation is essential. That said, having the correct equipment on hand to manage office injuries due to fire, flooding, high winds, or other potential disasters is a must to maintain employee health and safety. If you are a business owner looking to arm your office with a proper emergency kit, follow this guide to ensure you have the supplies necessary to withstand a potential office injury.
Organize a First Aid Container
Every office in Stone Oak, TX, needs a well-stocked, up-to-date first aid kit. The materials must be easily accessible in an emergency, and you should inspect the contents annually to maintain freshness. A proper first aid kit includes:
- Gauze pads.
- Adhesive bandages.
- Medical tape.
- Latex gloves.
- Elastic Wrap
Before your employees require first aid care, be sure that you have the proper tools available in addition to the first-aid container. Tweezers are handy for applying bandages in a sanitary, hygienic manner, and scissors assist in severing hard-to-cut tape and gauze. Further, ensure your emergency kit contains resuscitation equipment, such as a mask and airway, if necessary.
Have Medicine On Hand
Bandages are only effective when they are used to cover a clean wound versus a dirty one. Therefore, ensure your emergency kit includes medicine to efficiently and safely clean cuts and other skin lacerations. Hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and antibiotic ointments are all effective topical medications to have on hand if needed.
Post Emergency Phone Numbers
Workplace injuries can often be cared for without medical intervention. Regardless, near your first aid supplies, post relevant phone numbers like those belonging to the local hospital, police station, fire station, and poison control center. Also include the contact information for commercial building restoration services in case structural damage is also present. As always, if a more severe injury occurs, contact 9-1-1 immediately.
Workplace injuries can happen anytime, anywhere. Prepare your office with a proper first aid kit to ensure your employees remain safe and protected.
3 Steps To Take After a Furnace Puffback
Puffback damage in a Timberwood Park, TX building.
3 Steps To Take After a Furnace Puffback
If you experience a furnace puffback in your Timberwood Park, TX, building, that’s usually a sign that something has gone wrong somewhere in the building’s heating system. Unless you’re in the HVAC repair business, you’re most likely not going to attempt to fix the problem on your own. What about cleaning up the dirt and soot that somehow appear to be everywhere inside the building? Like HVAC repairs, cleaning up puffback damage is a job that is best left to the professionals. After a puffback, stick to these steps to ensure that the damage is cleaned up correctly.
1. Don’t Attempt DIY Puffback Cleanup
After a puffback, soot is likely to be everywhere, even inside closed drawers and cabinets. The clouds of soot that are produced when an oil furnace releases a puffback are nothing like ordinary dirt and dust. This type of soot contains oil. It is typically black, streaky, sticky, and impervious to everyday cleaning methods. Incorrectly attempting to clean up soot could end up making the problem worse, and ultimately making the soot harder to remove. Furnace soot from a puffback is extremely difficult to expel from most surfaces without professional training and equipment.
2. Call Your Insurance Agent
Instead of attempting to clean up puffback damage on your own, walk through the building and assess the situation. Make notes and take plenty of photos. Then, contact your property insurance agent to report the puffback. Your insurance company may have preferred contractors for HVAC repair or soot cleanup that could save you money. Next, contact someone to repair the heating system.
3. Contact a Restoration Business
Finally, call a professional remediation company that has experience in cleaning up soot damage from an oil furnace puffback. A professional cleanup crew will have the right solvents and cleaning tools to remove most soot and odors from your building.
If a puffback happens in your building, leave the restoration work to the pros. Don’t make matters worse by trying to clean up the puffback damage on your own.
Can Commercial Tenants Get Flood Insurance?
Call your agent to find out if you are covered
Renter’s insurance covers the contents of a space rented by a commercial tenant. A lessee can obtain insurance coverage that specifically applies to damage caused by flooding, which is often excluded from general commercial renters policies. The availability of National Flood Insurance Program policies varies based on the location of rented property in San Antonio, TX.
Renters Policies May Exclude Flood Damage
Renters policies for commercial structures tend to cut out damage caused by flooding. Exposure to contaminated water can damage or destroy any of the following high-value contents:
- Appliances and devices
While a property owner and lessor is responsible for restoring a structure damaged by flooding, a tenant or lessee is responsible for replacing damaged contents. For this reason, it can be helpful to seek out dedicated flood coverage for commercial renters.
The NFIP Offers Renters Insurance
The NFIP is administered by FEMA. While this program does offer renter's insurance, a tenant must see whether the NFIP is available in the area in which a property is located. In general, the NFIP is more likely to be an option in designated flood zones.
Private Insurers Provide Flood Policies
If the NFIP does not offer policies that cover a rented commercial space, a business owner may want to obtain a flood policy through a private company. Check the limits and terms of any policy to ensure that it covers the costs of replacing ruined commercial contents. It may be possible to obtain a rider on a general commercial property insurance policy for rented premises or a business may have to obtain a separate policy.
Flood insurance coverage may be available through the NFIP for business owners who rent property located in a flood zone in San Antonio, TX. If an NFIP policy is not available, a private insurer may offer renter’s insurance for flooding in addition to general commercial insurance.
The Purpose of Having Business Interruption Insurance
Commercial clean-up in San Antonio, TX.
The Purpose of Having Business Interruption Insurance
It's harrowing to think that within moments, a disaster in the workplace could cause your company could go from a thriving organization to a standstill. This may sound extreme, but it's precisely what an emergency event such as a fire could do if you're not prepared. A business interruption could have severe effects on the health of your company. Fortunately, insurance plans are available to cover your loss during this time.
Possible Interruption Events
As a business leader, you do your best to prepare your organization for emergencies and accidents. Still, you may not be able to prevent all incidents. Business interruption insurance can cover the following types of disasters, among other incidents:
- Major storms, including tornadoes and
What the Coverage Does
Suffering a business fire or another type of disaster in San Antonio, TX, can put your company out of a commission for a few days, weeks or even months. This would cause you to lose a significant amount of revenue, making it difficult, if not impossible, to pay your employees and fulfill customer demands. Interruption insurance covers these losses, allowing you to meet payroll, debt, relocation and equipment purchasing needs. This coverage will end as soon as the interruption is over and your business is up and running again.
If your company is like most other organizations, you can't afford to miss many days of operations. Interruption insurance can save you from going out of business or having to lay off employees during a disaster. While professional disaster cleanup crews are taking care of fire cleaning and restoration, you can continue to meet your obligations. This insurance enables you to make a smoother transition back to normal activities once your building is fit for your return.
Business interruption insurance is an asset you don't want to be without. Speak with an agent today about purchasing this valuable coverage.