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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Why SERVPRO Blog Posts

Top 3 Air Purifiers for Removing Mold Spores From Your Home

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold on the floor of a home After a water damage event in your Olympia home, it won't take long for mold to begin to grow. SERVPRO can help you remediate any mold problem.

Top 3 Air Purifiers For Mold Removal In the Home

Mold can invade your Olympia, WA, home for a variety of reasons but is especially common after flooding. Once mold spores in the air find moisture and a food source, they latch on and can spread quickly. However, using an air filtration system once a flood cleanup and storm remediation company treats your home can trap these spores before they take hold, and knowing which are the most effective can help you make an informed decision about which is best suited to your home's needs.

1. The Oransi Max

This air purifier uses a certified HEPA filter to capture mold spores as well as pollen, dust and pet dander. This unit may be a good choice for your home if you live in an area with humid summers, as mold tends to thrive in high humidity. The Oransi Max also includes an air quality sensor so you can adjust the air flow as needed.

2. IQAir New Edition HealthPro

The IQAir New Edition HeathPro air filtration system is a top-rated unit that captures mold particles and other impurities in your home's air. It is especially useful for filtering out fine particles that other systems may not catch. Other features include multiple fan speeds, a programmable timer and a filter monitor. This may be a good choice if you want a unit that saves energy and does not require a lot of manual adjusting.

3. The QuietPure Home+ Smoke Air Purifier

If you want a purifier that removes unpleasant smells from the air and captures mold, this unit may be a good choice. It is also known for its quiet run cycles and its ability to remove bacteria and airborne viruses from the air. One convenient feature you may enjoy is a smart sensor, which adjusts the fan speed depending on the room's air quality.

A quality air filtration unit can help keep mold in your Olympia, WA, home at bay. Comparing the capabilities of each can assist you in making the best choice possible for your air purification needs and your budget.

Slime Mold: What Is It and Is It Dangerous?

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on one wall SERVPRO can respond to any size mold remediation in your home.

What Is Slime Mold And Is It Dangerous?

If you’ve discovered a growth that looks like ooze, or maybe something from another planet, in your yard, your first instinct may be to panic. Your next is to take to Google and research the slimy patches, which is when you realize that you’re not dealing with something from another planet—rather, you’re dealing with lawn slime.

Outdoor mold is actually a very common problem, but one that humans largely ignore. It is not dangerous, but it is unsightly and more than a bit off-putting. If you want to know more about slime mold and how you can get rid of it, use this post as your guide.

A Few Things You Need To Know About Slime Mold

If you want to know how you can get rid of lawn mold, you need to first understand how, why and where it thrives. Here are some facts you need to know:

  • This type of mold is a soil-dwelling amoeba and a brainless organism; it is neither plant nor animal.
  • Lawn mold thrives off of dead organic matter, such as brush.
  • Lawn mold thrives in moist, shaded areas.
  • Slime mold works like regular mold—when you get rid of its food and water source, it will go away.
  • Lawn mold is not dangerous.

Getting Rid of Lawn Slime

Though outdoor mold is not dangerous, it is unsightly to look at and unpleasant to touch. You can get rid of lawn mold fairly easily by taking the following actions:

  • Dethatching your yard
  • Reducing the frequency with which you water your lawn (at least in shady areas and until the mold has receded)
  • Mowing your lawn to remove mold spores
  • Manually removing mold patches and placing them in plastic bags
  • Raking the areas where the mold is present and sprinkling them with baking soda, garlic or cornmeal

Lawn slime may be gross to deal with, but it’s not dangerous, and it’s easy to get rid of. If you don’t want to deal with the patches on your own, reach out to your Olympia, WA, mold remediation team to do the job for you.

Do You Have To Throw Away Contents That Have Been Mold Damaged?

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in wall in Yelm, WA Mold damage in Yelm, WA.

Every year in the U.S., floods cause around $8 billion in damages. Houses that flood not only have the floodwater disaster to deal with, it’s also normal to experience an explosion of black mold growth afterward. Mold cleaning in Yelm, WA, should be an expected part of the restoration process.
When it comes to contents, it’s often cheaper to throw away items with significant mold damage. However, if the items are valuable or sentimental, they’ll need to be cleaned by the experts – a complicated process requiring the right equipment and techniques.

Why Do Floods Cause Black Mold?

Mold is a natural substance that helps eat dead plants and animal matter. In the outdoors, it’s strongly controlled by good airflow and UV rays in sunlight. Indoors, it not only finds shade and restricted airflow, but it also has plenty of substances to feed on, such as

Some fabrics

All it takes is a source of moisture. The leftover humidity after a flood is more than sufficient to require extensive mold cleaning throughout your house.

Can Mold Remediation Save Contents?

In many cases, yes. However, the process isn’t easy or cheap, especially with paperwork and photographs. The mold literally eats away at these materials as it grows. You need to call top mold remediation experts to respond immediately to your home.
The process starts by removing all the floodwater and excess humidity from your home as quickly as possible. Damaged paperwork should be put in the freezer until it can be processed. All food should be discarded and anything to be saved that has mold growing on it should be isolated.

What Else Can Be Saved?

A special device called an Esporta Machine can save paper, textiles, cardboard and even stuffed animals in many (but not all) cases. Items that are special enough to save rather than replace can be restored through modern mold remediation methods. In some cases, insurance will even pay for it.
Mold cleaning is an intense process that can save many items. However, time is working against you, so call the experts quickly if you want to save both items and money!

SERVPRO Provides The Expertise To Help Manage Your Insurance Claim

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damaged inside of a building You may need to file an insurance claim for damages.

When a fire, flood, or another disaster leads to property damage or loss at your business in Olympia, WA, you may need to file an insurance claim for damages. SERVPRO disaster management professionals will handle the cleanup and gather and organize details to support your claim.

Documenting Your Claim

An insurance agent representing your insurance provider will require specific information to evaluate your claim. During the aftermath of a disaster, remembering to gather various details can be challenging. Fortunately, our field teams have experience gathering everything necessary to support your claim, including:

  • First Notice of Loss
  • Loss Photos
  • Loss Estimates
  • Restoration Estimates
  • Replacement Estimates

We inventory each of your items into an Excel spreadsheet, which we send to every claimant and their insurance agent.

Tracking Your Claim Through Electronic Records
Working with our experienced claims facilitators means that you and your insurance representative will always know your business's restoration status. Our Claims Information Center compiles electronic files for every job we undertake and updates them every step of the way. We include estimated completion dates and descriptions for additional services necessary to achieve the best possible results.

Accessing Your Claim Online
SERVPRO provides insurance adjusters and their clients with online access to every claim file. Adjusters can also get timely answers to their questions and compare our methods and costs to our competitors' to ensure we provide the best value.

Unparalleled Support
Our teams' full-service response to any disaster helps us stand as a leader in the restoration services industry. Our standards of excellence include using state-of-the-art technology to salvage and mitigate property damage. When necessary, our Resource Center recruits and vets industry partners who offer competitive pricing while maintaining our standards of excellence.
When you and your insurance agent need a trustworthy restoration service that goes the extra mile to manage and facilitate your insurance claim in  Olympia, WA, turn to SERVPRO.

Reducing Exposure During Mold Remediation

12/12/2020 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Removal of black fungus in the apartment and house. Personal protective equipment or PPE is crucial to protect workers

There are many regulations in place to protect mold removal professionals. This includes wearing PPE. If you have a mold removal scheduled for your business in Olympia, WA, you should expect to see many safety procedures in place. However, the amount that is used is dependent on the amount of affected area. Here are the standard safety practices for each project size.

Standard PPE

Personal protective equipment or PPE is crucial to protect workers. The general PPE used during remediation includes:

  • Hard hat
  • Safety goggles
  • Disposable gloves
  • Shoe covers
  • Respirator

Small Isolated Areas
For this type of project, workers need not use more than the standard PPE to protect themselves from spores. Aside from this, workers should clear the area of customers or employees and suppress any dust.

Mid-Sized Areas
Like for small projects, mid-sized areas only require the standard PPE. Workers will also want to clear the area of customers or employees and suppress any dust.

Large Projects
For large mold remediation projects, workers will need the standard PPE. However, this will require more safety measures than small and mid-sized projects. To start, they will develop a remediation plan based on their evaluation and consultant opinions. Then, they will clear the affected area and neighboring areas of employees and customers. Once the area has been cleared, a professional remediation company will use plastic to contain the spores. This includes sealing vents, doors, and any other openings. As with the small and mid-sized projects, they will take measures to suppress any potential dust.

Extensive Projects
When most of a building is affected, the standard procedures for a large project will be used. In addition to these practices, the crew will likely keep the building under negative pressure. They will also turn off the HVAC system.
When the remediation crew comes for your mold growth, you can expect there to be plenty of safety procedures in place. There is a set of PPE that will always be worn during the remediation process, although other safety procedures may change based on the project's size.

3 Ways to Control a Mold Problem in Your Home

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on kitchen wall Mold on kitchen wall

Here Are A Few Tips For Controlling A Mold Problem In Your Home

Your Lacey, WA, home is your most valuable investment. This is why it is crucial that you keep water damage and consequent mold damage out of your home at all costs. While preventing mold from growing is easy, dealing with an existing infestation can prove much more difficult.

1. Check for Leaks
Mold depends on moisture to grow. Although some mold is present in all environments, places with high levels of moisture are much more likely to host large mold colonies. Common sources of moisture in homes are leaking faucets, windowsills, shower areas, and leaking pipes. Routinely check these areas and any others that you suspect may be prone to mold growth.

2. Dehumidify
In many places, the air itself is a significant source of moisture. in humid environments, water will not evaporate quickly, so homes with a high indoor humidity are at risk for water damage. Purchase a good dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air in areas of concern in your home. This small investment can pay off in the future by protecting your home from expensive damage.

3. Contact an Expert
When mold prevention is no longer an option, you must deal with your mold problem directly. Mold restoration can be tricky and often requires equipment and experience to carry out properly. Contact a mold remediation expert who will know exactly how to handle your problem. Remember that an improper restoration can actually lead to a bigger problem, since spores can easily become dislodged, resulting in new colonies.
Having an infestation can be frustrating since it is often difficult for homeowners to understand the extent of their problem. By contacting a professional, you will better understand your problem. You may also be provided with a few preventative measures to take in the future. Controlling water damage is always the first step.

Bread: The Food of (Mold) Life

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy food Bread: The food of life

Bread: The Food of (Mold) Life

Bread is sometimes called the "food of life." It's also a food favorite of mold because of bread's nutrient-rich ingredients and moist texture, which feeds mold's growth. In the humidity and moisture of a kitchen, it doesn't take long for bread mold to appear, often in just a few days. Although mold thrives in warm, dark places, fridge mold can also develop in colder temperatures. How does this happen? Here's a quick overview.

Finding a Home
Mold spores—microscopic plants or the "seeds" of mature mold—float everywhere, both outside and inside our homes. The kitchen is an ideal environment to advance their growth thanks to its mild temperatures and high-energy food sources. Bread is especially tempting because of its high starch and sugar content. Here are some bread facts:

  • Packaged bread bags limit air circulation and spur mold growth.
  • Damp, dark spaces, like a pantry, refrigerator, or breadbox, are mold-friendly.
  • Preservative-free fresh bread attracts mold faster.
  • Freezer-stored bread avoids molding because mold can't survive in intense cold or heat.

Establishing a Colony
When mold spores come across bread, they literally take steps to establish a mold colony.

Spores sink their tiny "feet" (hyphae) deep into bread's porous spaces.
Spread rapidly as they burrow in across the bread's surface.
Sprout upward to form mold casings we see as bread mold—fuzzy gray- or green-colored patches.
Mold cases break open and allow its microscopic spores to go airborne.
The entire process repeats itself.

Kitchens in Yelm, WA, have the optimal conditions for fungus growth. Bread mold is a common nuisance that's responsible for trillions of dollars in global food spoilage each year. However, it's good to remember that millions of mold spores float all around us. Inspect regularly for mold that has found its "home" in your home and, if needed, bring in mold remediation experts to assess the problem and stave off the property and structural damage.

Answers for Your Mold Questions

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Corner of a wall affected by mold Mold damage in Tenino, WA

There is a lot of information floating around the Internet about black mold and other types of fungal home invaders. You likely visited this page because you're worried that your home in Tenino, WA, may have fallen victim to a mold problem. Well have no worry, here is all you need to know about this pesky fungus.

Where Does Mold Grow?

Mold is a type of fungus that can thrive wherever an adequate amount of moisture exists. If your home has experienced recent flooding or water damage, then you're at a particularly high risk of discovering mold growth. Here are a few other common places you might be able to find black mold:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms, showers and bathtubs
  • Carpets
  • Ceiling tiles
  • House plants
  • Window sills
  • Laundry rooms
  • Spoiled food
  • Basements and attics

What Does Mold Look Like?
Mold spreads across the surface of an object, almost like a stain. The most common species of mold are black, blue, brown, or green. The fungus may also have a slimy or fuzzy texture.

How Can You Prevent Mold?
Any type of moisture problem can attract mold, so the easiest way to prevent it from invading your home is to keep your property dry. Clean spills and repair leaks as soon as you find them. Maintain proper ventilation and indoor humidity levels to prevent condensation from building up.
Vigilance is key when it comes to keeping mold away. It's important to perform regular home inspections, and take care to spend extra time inspecting the potential problem areas listed above.

What if You Find Mold?
If you do find mold, don't panic. You aren't in any immediate danger, but you should still take action as soon as possible. Do not attempt to address the mold cleanup project yourself. Instead, you should call professional help in order to ensure the job is performed correctly the first time.
While preventative measures can certainly lower your chances of having to deal with black mold, the issue is never entirely preventable. If you do come across mold in your home, you should contact mold remediation specialists right away.

How To Keep Mold out of the Bathroom

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth behind a wall Mold behind a wall

Mold can find its way inside your house and grow in various areas. The bathroom is among the most common places where you may see it. Water damage is one of the leading causes of this fungus, but there are other factors as well. Be aware of why mold grows in your bathroom and what you can do to avoid this unsightly fungus in the future.

What Fuels the Growth of Mold?

You don't realize it, but mold spores are all around you outside. This fungus can make its way inside your Olympia, WA, house and begin to grow and spread under the right conditions. The following situations lead to mold growth, especially in the bathroom:

  • Leaking pipes
  • Bursting pipes and appliances
  • High humidity

Not Taking Care of Leaks
The bathroom is a common area for water damage. Whether from an overflowing toilet, a poorly sealed shower door, or deteriorating pipes, water can get onto your bathroom floor. If you don't clean it up right away and dry the area, mold can show up within a couple of days. If you notice a leaky faucet or pipe, take care of it immediately.

Poor Seals
Water can get from your shower or bathtub onto the walls or floors unless there is a good seal in the tub or shower door. Caulking these areas will help with mold prevention.

Airflow Issues
Humid rooms encourage mold to grow, and bathrooms are as humid as any place in your home. If you have working vents, you shouldn't have to worry about airflow problems. However, if you spot mold on shower walls or in other spots in the bathroom, check the vents. You may need to replace it or install a new one altogether.
A professional mold removal company is your best bet to take care of water damage and the appearance of mold. However, you can avoid the sight of mold as you understand why it grows in the bathroom.

The 4 Main Benefits of a Claims Inventory System

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Tablet and cell phone. The SERVPRO claims inventory system is one of the reasons the franchise is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies

SERVPRO Claims Inventory System

When a disaster strikes, it can be difficult to remain calm. One of the advantages of dealing with a professional emergency response team is that trained technicians exert a sense of calm over the situation. A measured, methodical approach often works best. In the same way, the organization for an insurance claim helps everything get processed more efficiently. The SERVPRO claims inventory system is one of the reasons the franchise is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies. The system brings calm and organization to a hectic time in numerous ways.

1. Organization. An itemized loss inventory report includes an Excel-formatted sheet with expenses and damages backed up with photos. The full report is available to the insurance agent in hard copy and through an electronic format.

2. Thoroughness. A full report for an insurance claim is always provided. This includes first notice of loss, detailed estimates, digital photos, pending jobs, and completed jobs. The report also includes information to improve performance through job cost data.

3. Clarity. A disaster in Tenino, WA, demands clarity when it comes to settling an insurance claim. This can be achieved with the help of an established claims inventory system that serves insurance adjusters and their clients. A customer care center is available to answer questions at any time during the process.

4. Speed. A fast response is the hallmark of any restoration company. The handling of the paperwork for insurance is just as important. This speeds up the entire process and helps a claim get settled and paid quickly.
The processing of an insurance claim can be delayed if the information is missing or it fails to get to the right people. The purpose of a claims inventory system is to make certain things run smoothly during this part of the restoration process. Attention to detail and an understanding of the process through years of experience reduces frustration and errors.