Common Places To Find Mold in a Commercial Building
Walls can harbor mold, both on the surface and internally.
Mold Can Be Found Almost Anywhere in a Commercial Building
Regular housekeeping and maintenance in your Orting, WA, building may include an everyday checklist of tasks - keeping bathrooms stocked, ensuring that garbage is disposed of properly, and keeping things tidy and presentable. But something that can sometimes go unnoticed are the nooks and crannies of your building where mold is common. While some spring into action and hire professionals to fix and prevent future damage after an obvious event, such as a natural disaster or a plumbing mishap, it is also important to be proactive by checking areas that aren’t as obvious for mold growth in your building.
1. Walls and Ceilings
Walls can harbor mold, both on the surface and internally. Items pressed up against walls, leaks from the ceiling, and even the absorbent nature of materials used for masonry, such as bricks, can be the perfect foundation for mold to thrive and multiply.
2. HVAC and Air Ducts
The wrong temperature circulating through the closed, dark spaces in HVAC systems and air ducts can create lots of condensation. This can fuel mold growth.
3. Roof and Ceiling
Water damage from a leaky roof can stain your ceiling. However, it can also cause mold to form in the damaged areas, both visible and hidden.
4. Equipment and Office Supplies
High humidity plus damp, enclosed spaces are some of the most likely places to find mold. Paper products are absorbent and therefore can hang on to moisture from spills, drips, condensation, or even just the moisture in the air. Factor in the areas where these supplies are typically kept (cabinets, drawers, storage tubs), and one can see how mold would favor these types of environments.
Hidden, covered surfaces, or damp, neglected rooms without adequate air circulation can be another place where mold can be found. Carpet can absorb not only moisture but other substances that encourage mold growth, such as dirt and other organic matter that are tracked in from everyday foot traffic.
Take preventative measures to prevent mold, especially if your business is in a place that has high humidity. Don’t forget to regularly check specific areas before they become a more challenging chore to tackle.
Cleaning Smoke Damage in Your Home
Smoke cleaning can be a difficult process, SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner is your fire restoration company to call.
Getting Rid Of Smoke Damage In Your House
Smoke is the product of soot, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Combined with the potentially harmful chemicals of whatever material is burning, smoke damage can affect the air quality of your home and render damage on physical structures, making cleanup a necessary and immediate need for the safety of your home and health of all dwelling inside.
Materials You Will Need
Smoke cleaning can be a difficult process and even the smallest of impacted areas will need extensive attention to remove the smoke and soot damage left behind. For an effective cleaning, you’ll need several materials:
- Dry-cleaning (chemical) sponge
- Bucket of hot water
- Rubbing alcohol
- Degreaser or commercial soot remover
- Clean rags, sponge
With tools in hand, it’s time to enthusiastically and vigorously clean.
Steps You Will Take
As quickly as a fire spreads, the process for cleanup is comparatively slow and methodic.
1. Ventilate: Turn off your HVAC system to avert the spread of smoke and soot. Circulate fresh air into the smoke damaged area by opening windows and turning on fans.
2. Protect: The irritants contained in smoke and soot can be risky to inhale or contact with bare skin. Wear protective gear and consider a respirator mask if there are significant levels of soot to be cleaned. Protect clean items by removing them from the room or covering with plastic sheets.
3. Vacuum: Remove loose soot particles by vacuuming the area with an upholstery attachment on a powerful shop-vac.
4. Wipe down: Use the dry-cleaning sponge before any soot cleaner or water touches the damaged area. This chemicals in the sponge work to remove layers of soot, and should only be used in a wiping motion, never scrubbing.
5. Clean: Using your preferred liquid cleaner, wipe every surface in the room with a wet rag. Follow with a diluted solution of two tablespoons of degreaser and one gallon of hot water, ensuring you use a clean rag and/or clean solution as soon as either appear murky from the soot deposits.
Smoke damage can be an invasive problem worthy of professional cleanup. Keep the number for your local South Hill, WA restoration company nearby for when the aforementioned materials just aren’t enough.
3 Categories of Water Contamination
There are three types of water contamination.
Learn To Distinguish The Three Categories
Water is pooling on the floor at your home in Graham, WA, as you search for the cause of the leak. Are all leaks created equal? No, in fact, some leaks are far more dangerous than others. Depending on the source, it can be clean water, contaminated water, or somewhere in between. Learn to distinguish the three categories, the sources and the necessary clean-up for each type.
Category 1: Clean Water
This type of water is the best-case scenario. Generally, it is not hazardous to your health if dealt with quickly.
• Sources of fresh water could include a broken pipe, water heater leak, fractured supply line, overflowed sink/tub, or sprinkler system.
• Water restoration specialists remove the excess water with professional vacuums and pumps. Air movers and dehumidifiers dry the area.
Category 2: Gray Water
Although considered contaminated water, gray water does not typically contain bacteria or viruses that make you sick. Rather, it may contain detergent or bits of dirt.
• This water comes from a problem with the clothes washing machine or dishwasher.
• Similar to clean water, excess water is removed and the area is dried. When dirt is involved, however, the area is cleaned and disinfected as well.
Category 3: Black Water
Black water is the most contaminated and bacteria-infested. You can become seriously ill if you ingest it.
• Sewage water is the culprit here, either from a toilet in your home or a backed-up exterior sewer line.
• In addition to steps taken with other water types, all porous contents are removed and discarded from your home. This may include items such as drywall and flooring. Disinfectants and air filtration devices are used to properly sanitize the area.
As a homeowner in Graham, WA, dealing with contaminated water in your house can be a time-consuming and stressful situation. With the help of professionals, the category of water type is identified and dealt with accordingly.
Best Steps To Take for a Leaking Roof
Cracked shingles can cause your roof to leak.
How Do You Cover a Leaking Roof?
When a storm causes major damage to your commercial building's roof, you may not know what to do next. Rather than sit on your hands as the damage from the roof leak gets worse, call in a Bonney Lake, WA, commercial storm damage expert to help you get started taking care of the problem. This team can help you figure out the pertinent next steps to take.
1. Assess the Damage
Before a cleanup plan can be initiated, you and your crew have to understand the extent of the damage. Have an inspection done on your roof to look for missing shingles, broken fascia or damaged edging. Some damage may be more obvious than others, but a professional eye can help you make sure you're aware of smaller issues too.
2. Remove Damaged Materials
A roof leak can include a wide variety of damaged materials. Not only could your shingles be cracked or missing, but the underlayment below could have water damage. Anything that has been broken or gotten wet should be torn off of your building. This includes ceiling tiles and other interior materials that were affected by the leak.
3. Prepare for Repairs
Next, your surface has to be properly prepared. This means drying out the system and cleaning up mold or debris as necessary. If you forget to dry out and disinfect the area, you may end up with more problems in the near future.
4. Restore Materials
Finally, your damaged roof has to be repaired and restored. The cleanup crew may have to redo large portions of your roofing system or they may be able to make minor fixes to stop the leaks. Not only should you have your roofing materials restored, but you should make sure wet insulation, damaged ceiling tiles and other parts of your building are fixed too.
A roof leak can cause a lot of damage in your Bonney Lake, WA, building. Taking smart actions after a storm damages this important system can help you keep the destruction done by water to a minimum.
What To Know About After Fire Content Cleaning
We can restore any fire damage you may experience.
Fire Content Cleaning Process
There are a number of content cleaning services, including Dry-cleaning, available after a fire at your Puyallup, WA home. These are designed to help restore personal items that may have been damaged by fire, smoke, soot, or suppression water. There are a few things you may want to know about this process.
1. Your Restoration Service Can Help
One of the first things to remember after a fire is that a local fire damage restoration service can help. These professionals can clean up the mess and repair the variety of damage types commonly associated with a fire. They can also work with your insurance agent to document damage and keep everyone updated on repairs. Additionally, these professionals may offer item cleaning services as well.
2. Methods May Vary
The methods used for cleaning may vary depending on damage severity and the material an item is composed of. Special dry-cleaning methods can be used for any items that cannot be submerged in cleaners. Other items may be wiped off with a solution or washed with a special soap. Paper items may be freeze-dried before the restoration process begins.
3. Many Items Can Be Cleaned
Many items can be salvaged after a fire depending on damage severity. These can include clothing, furniture, books, computers, and cabinetry. The professional working on the restoration will use the appropriate cleaning method for each piece. After an item is cleaned it will be temporarily moved to content storage until the repairs on the home are complete.
A restoration service can help with any cleaning and repair needs you home may face after a fire. This includes repairing and cleaning a variety of personal items and using the appropriate methods to do so. You may see them use special wash cleaners or dry-cleaning for more delicate items. If you have any additional questions these professionals should be able to help.
How To Stay Safe During a Flood
Let us help when you experience storm damage.
Flood Safety Tips
Storms can create unexpected circumstances in Sumner, WA. One minute your home may be fine, but the next you have rising waters in your basement. Because the situation can change so quickly, you need to know how to stay safe during a storm-caused flood. Keep these flood safety tips in mind whenever bad weather approaches.
Stay Out of the Water
Did you know that as little as six inches of moving water can cause you to lose your balance? Because it doesn't take high waters, you need to be careful whenever you have to walk through any type of flood. If you must walk through a flood, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Use a walking stick.
- Hold on to something sturdy.
- Walk quickly and cautiously.
While the waters may not be moving in your house, they can still pose a health and safety risk. However, as a homeowner, you cannot always avoid the flooded parts of your space. You also want to avoid standing water outside of your house even if you're in your car.
Avoid Electrical Equipment
Water conducts electricity, so you want to avoid electrical equipment whenever you are in standing water. If you know there is electricity running through your basement flood, you should turn off the power to your home before anyone enters the lower levels for the best flood safety. Even if you are damp and not currently in water, you should avoid electricity.
Call for Help
Storm-caused flooding can trap you in the upper levels of your home. If you need emergency help during a storm, you should call someone as soon as you can. After the danger has passed, you may need help restoring your home. Getting in touch with storm restoration services can make your cleanup process much easier.
The heavy rains of a storm may cause flooding in Sumner, WA. Knowing the best flood safety techniques can keep you and your home in one piece during a disaster.
How To Handle a Toilet Overflow
Don't handle sewage waste on your own.
How To Handle a Toilet Overflow
If your toilet backs up, flooding water over your bathroom, is this a major problem? Can you simply mop it up and move on? Believe it or not, this situation is actually far more serious than you might think. The premises have been exposed to black water, as this fluid contains high levels of microbes, fungus, and bacteria. Therefore, homeowners in Puyallup, WA should be extremely cautious of any sewer damage. Professional cleanup is needed to sanitize and safely restore the property.
1. Seek Help
As liquid starts to spill over, the contamination moves into several problematic areas: the floor, drywall, and carpet. Even tile's grout is porous, allowing the moisture to seep into it, moving throughout the room. Stop the flow quickly by immediately contacting a sewage company. This team should evaluate if a blockage or break is present and repair the source of trouble. Once this has been completed, call insurance and a water remediation company. Bleach and household cleaners won't eliminate the pollution. The specialists have the equipment to handle it.
2. Remove and Dry
If sewer damage ruins absorbent material tear out these items, discarding the contamination. This includes carpeting and rugs. Other valuables, such as furniture and photos, may be sanitized using specialized equipment that kills germs. Speak with your crew about what is available. In addition, drywall and baseboards should be tested and monitored for moisture exposure. Allowing the spillage to fester could lead to microbial or fungus growth. Prevent this by initiating drying procedures. Establish a contamination zone, and begin running industrial dehumidifiers.
3. Patch it
That flooded toilet caused quite the mess. The room is torn up; items have gone to the trash. With pollution minimized, the workers can apply antimicrobial spray and tackle the rebuild, securing replacements for what was lost.
When sewer damage takes place, contact specialists to correct the underlying issue and disinfect your space.
SERVPRO® Can Restore Your Fire Damaged Structure
Types of fire extinguishers.
For a fire department to successfully battle and control an inferno or a small fire, they are trained to identify the different types of fires. Yes, fires have classifications based on what is fueling them.
Different fires require unique solutions for cleanup and restoration. SERVPRO® of Puyallup/Sumner knows and understands how to work with fire damages, which can often be restored by our professional, IICRC certified technicians. We can handle the aftermath of residential and commercial fires. We specialize in fire and water damage cleanup. With our restoration experience, we can quickly restore your home or business to a pre-fire condition. "Like it never even happened."
- Class A: wood, paper, or trash, anything that leaves ash. Water can extinguish this fire. Type A fire extinguisher.
- Class B: oil, gas, or flammable liquids. Smothering solutions extinguish this fire. Type B fire extinguisher.
- Class C: electrical. Use carbon dioxide to extinguish this fire. Type E fire extinguisher.
- Class D: combustible metal fires. A dry powder agents will extinguish this fire. Type D fire extinguisher.
- Class K: kitchen fires. Small kitchen fires should be extinguished with powder or foam type extinguishers to prevent the splashing of hot oils and other materials.
SERVPRO® of Puyallup/Sumner is strategically located. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster. Our main purpose is to help our residents get back on their feet as quickly as possible, after a fire or any natural disaster. We will provide the personal attention you deserve. We will keep you informed and comfortable throughout the fire damage repair process. Call us today at (253) 848-0800 so that we can help restore your home or business.
FAQs About Mold Damage
Mold and moisture go hand in hand.
If a storm has caused flooding in your Puyallup, WA business, you have approximately one to two days to act if you want to prevent mold growth. Since mold can destroy your building, you want to act. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the prevention of mold after a storm.
What Steps Can You Take To Prevent Mold and Water Damage?
When dealing with standing water after a flood, there are some basic things you need to do immediately before help arrives. This includes:
- Turning off the water
- Turning off the HVAC units
- Turning off the fans
- Pick up any irreplaceable items from the floor
- Move furniture and equipment out of the wet areas
Can Business Owners Dry Water by Themselves?
While you may believe you can prevent mold growth by setting up fans and shop vacs to remove the water, you are not actually getting all of the moisture. Instead of attempting this on your own, you should hire a storm remediation company with the proper tools to dry your building.
Does Water Always Lead To Mold?
When your business has not been dried out within 24 hours of the disaster, mold growth is certain. Despite folk tales, mold grows without discrimination, no matter the season. In other words, unless you experienced minimal water intrusion, it is almost guaranteed that you will get mold after flooding.
Can You Remove Mold Yourself?
Although most people will attempt to kill mold with bleach, you will likely do more damage using this method. In other words, you should avoid removing mold yourself and hire a professional with the proper cleanup methods.
Can Mold Die When It Dries?
Mold does not die when it dries up. When there is no moisture, it simply goes dormant. Once dormant mold finds more moisture, it starts to grow. Unless you remove it, you will not remedy it by leaving it alone.
As a business owner, you want to protect your site from mold and other harmful bacteria. Therefore, you need to know more about flooding and mold.
5 Places Mold Can Hide in Your Home
Mold caused by leaking pipes
Five Hidden Places You May Find Mold
Sometimes mold growth is easy to spot, but other times, mold can hide in your Sumner, WA, home. Water or moisture sources that are out of sight, such as a leaking pipe or roof, can cause mold to grow. Here are five hiding places you may find mold.
1. Behind the Walls
Mold can grow unseen in areas such as:
Leaky pipes or poor insulation can cause moisture to collect behind walls, providing an environment for mold growth and leading to moldy drywall or paneling.
2. On the Back of Ceiling Tiles
Porous ceiling tiles can absorb water and dirt, providing the right conditions for mold to grow. Roof leaks or condensation from HVAC ducts can produce moisture. If you see water stains on your ceiling tiles, the chances are that there's mold damage present.
3. On or Behind the Furniture
Poorly insulated walls and high humidity can cause mold on wood furniture or nearby walls. The tight space between the wall and furniture can cause condensation to accumulate, and the wood provides organic material for mold.
4. In the Air Ducts
Moisture can accumulate in air ducts when the air conditioner is set to a low temperature. Warm room air meets the cold air in the ducts, forming condensation on or around the duct. An oversized air conditioning unit can also cause moisture by cooling the space too quickly before dehumidifying the air. A mold remediation specialist is equipped to inspect, clean, and repair moldy air ducts.
5. Around the Pipes
Leaky pipes are not always detected until damage begins. A dripping pipe under a sink or in a dark, undisturbed area of your house can cause moldy drywall or mold on wood areas around the line.
If you suspect mold growth in your Sumner, WA, home, check these areas to see if mold has found a hiding place there.