Getting Rid of Mold
Getting rid of mold is a tough job! Give SERVPRO of Natchez a call 601.304.5554
Here are some healthy tips to follow when you are dealing with mold. Some people cringe at the sound of the word mold but it may be easier to take care of then you think. Hopefully these will help ease the stress along the way.
- Take things that were wet for 2 or more days outside. Things that stay wet 2 or more days can have mold on them. Mold is not always visible by looking.
- Take out stuff made of cloth, unless you can wash them in HOT water.
- Use bleach to clean mold on hard things or surfaces (like floors, counter tops, toys, tools, and plates.)
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaners.
- wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, goggles, and a mask.
- Open windows and doors to get fresh air when you use bleach.
- Mix no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.
- Wash the item with the bleach and water mixture.
- Rinse the item with clean water.
- Dry the item or leave it out to dry.
Call us at 601.304.5554 or visit us on the web at www.SERVPROnatchez.com.
NADCA had some fantastic frequently asked questions so I had to share...
Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning?
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to collection a variety of contaminants such as mold, fungi, bacteria and very small particles of dust that have the potential to affect overall health. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality.
How can I determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective?
The best way to determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective is to perform a visual inspection of the system before and after cleaning. If any dust or debris can be seen during the visual inspection, the system should not be considered cleaned. While you can perform your own visual inspection using a flashlight and mirror, a professional cleaning contractor should be able to allow you better access to system components and perhaps the use of specialized inspection tools. In addition, following the Residential Cleaning Checklist can help to ensure a top quality
How often should residential HVAC systems be cleaned?
Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the homeowner. Some of the things that may lead a homeowner to consider more frequent cleaning include:
- smokers in the household
- pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
- water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
- residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system
- after home renovations or remodeling
- prior to occupancy of a new home.
How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?
The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ source removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.
What are antimicrobial chemicals and why would they need to be used?
Antimicrobial chemicals are applied by some companies to the interior surface of the air ducts to treat microbial contamination such as fungi (mold), viruses or bacteria. Before any antimicrobial chemicals are used, the system should be thoroughly cleaned. It is critical that any antimicrobial treatment used in your system be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifically for use in HVAC systems. The use of antimicrobial chemicals is an additional service that is not part of a typical air duct cleaning project. Review the NADCA White Paper on Chemical Applications in HVAC Systems for more information.
What criteria should I use when selecting an HVAC system cleaning contractor?
You should interview as many local contractors as possible. Ask them to come to your home and perform a system inspection and give you a quote. To narrow down your pool of potential contractors, use the following pre-qualifications:
- Make sure the company is a member in good standing of NADCA.
- See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
- Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
- Verify that the company is certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning.
- Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components.
- Avoid advertisements for “$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks.
- Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours.
- Get references from neighbors if possible.
You can also use the Residential Cleaning Checklist as part of the contractor selection process.
What is the normal price range for the air duct cleaning service?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region and level of contamination” and type of duct material. Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that make sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning, as such claims are unsubstantiated.
Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer to pay for unneeded services with and/or without their permission. (If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner, contact your local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your local, federal and state elected officials to demand legislation.)
What kind of equipment is best for cleaning - truck mounted vacuums or portable vacuums?
NADCA does not endorse one kind of equipment over another. There are two main types of vacuum collection devices: (1) those mounted on trucks and trailers, and (2) portable units. Truck/trailer mounted equipment is generally more powerful than portable equipment. However, portable equipment can often be brought directly into a facility, allowing the vacuum source to be located closer to the ductwork. Both types of equipment will clean to ACR, the NADCA standard. All vacuum units should be attached to a collection device for safe containment prior to disposal. Any vacuum collection device which exhausts indoors must be HEPA filtered. A vacuum collection device alone will not get an HVAC system clean. The use of methods and tools designed to agitate debris adhered to the surfaces within the system, in conjunction with the use of the vacuum collection device(s), is required to clean HVAC systems. (For example: brushes, air whips and “skipper balls.”)
Why should I choose a NADCA member to have my air ducts cleaned?
NADCA members have signed a Code of Ethics stating they will do everything possible to protect the consumer and follow ACR, the NADCA Standard, for cleaning to the best of their ability. Find a NADCA professional near you. Air duct cleaning companies must meet strict requirements to become a NADCA member. Among those requirements, all NADCA members must have a certified Air System Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff who has taken and passed the NADCA certification examination. Passing the exam demonstrates extensive knowledge in HVAC design and cleaning methodologies. ASCSs are also required to further their industry education by attending seminars in order to maintain their NADCA certification status. View the NADCA Code of Ethics.
Will HVAC system cleaning reduce our home energy bills?
Research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.
Courtesy of nadca.com
Smoke Damage is as Dangerous as Fire Damage
This stand up deep freezer shows the amount of damage that can be done by smoke from a kitchen fire.
In a typical house fire, more damage is caused by smoke than by the actual flames. During a fire, the materials that burn produce toxic smoke that is actually filled with microscopic particles known as soot. These tiny particles become charged from the extreme heat and migrate to cooler air found in other parts of the house. Because this smoke is often extremely hot, it can cause additional damage away from the actual source of the fire by melting plastics, scorching fabrics and textiles and spreading toxic gasses that will literally kill any living thing in its path. That’s why smoke alarms throughout your home are critical to saving lives.
The Department of Homeland Security says “In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames. Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape.”
At SERVPRO® of Natchez, our trained specialists know how to restore your belongings after a house fire. We hope you never need our services but if you do, we will help you determine what can be restored and what needs to be replaced. Restoring smoke and fire damaged items costs less than replacing them. Having your belongings restored, especially items of sentimental value, helps most families recover from the trauma of a fire more quickly than otherwise possible.
Again, we hope you never need these expert services but if you do, call us at 601.304.5554 or visit us on the web at www.SERVPROnatchez.com. We have helped hundreds of families recover from house fire damages.
House Fire Season! Not When it is your Home!
This is a kitchen grease fire.
We often hear about a particular time of the year as being the “season for house fires,” meaning house fire disasters are on the rise from that month forward. It is usually associated with colder weather when we start to use more home heating. When it comes to your home, however, there is no “season” for a fire. It can strike at any time. The sad fact is that 2,500 people will be killed in fires over the next year. 13,000 people will suffer serious injuries related to fires and the loss of property – in terms of real dollars – will be more than $7 Billion!
SERVPRO® of Natchez provides expert restoration services if you have experienced a house fire. If that is your situation now, please call 601.304.5554 so we can begin restoring your home. The residue left from a fire, known as soot, presents hidden dangers if not properly removed from your home and your possessions. Soot is acidic in nature and within hours to days, it will begin to decay or even destroy whatever surface it comes in contact with.
Our homes are a collection of different types of materials, all of which represent unique risks once they have been exposed to the heat from a fire. The structure itself is composed of wood and sheetrock. Electrical wiring is wrapped with plastics and rubber. Insulation is found in attics and behind walls. Floors are made of wooden materials that have been coated with chemicals to preserve their beauty, or covered with synthetic materials found in carpets. Each presents its own set of risks. The water used to extinguish the fire also presents a different set of problems for furniture that comes in contact with it and personal belongings left on floors.
SERVPRO® of Natchez technicians are trained to determine what can be salvaged and what needs to be discarded. Each home contains items of sentimental value like pictures and heirlooms. Until help arrives, pictures need to be removed from glass frames as quickly as possible so they can dry unless they have become stuck to the glass. Valuable items like jewelry, weapons, ammunition, financial papers and other personal items should be removed from the home for safe keeping.
Our restoration specialists treat the damaged contents of your home with the utmost respect and care. Once clean and restored, we will safely store your property until your home is ready for your return. Our job is to make your loss “Like it never even happened.”
We have helped hundreds of families recover from house fire damages. Visit our website for information on how we can restore your property at www.SERVPROnatchez.com.
Staying Safe During Flooding
Picture is of a flooded neighborhood.
Because of our location as a gulf state, Mississippi residents are especially prone to damage caused by floods. Flooding can be common during the hurricane season but unusual weather patterns can also bring unexpected flooding of the type we have witnessed in our state over the last few years.
If your home has flooded, it is important to conduct a list of safety checks before returning inside. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has produced an in-depth document outlining these safety steps. They include:
- Checking the roof for dips across the surface
- Checking external walls to determine if they are no longer plum
- Checking the foundation from the outside to see if it has been damaged
- Making sure electricity and gas have been shut off
Once inside, there can be multiple safety hazards and threats. The presence of mold is a real possibility and a valid concern for your personal safety. If you have an older home, there is also the risk of lead or asbestos contamination. Flood water contains multiple health hazards and just because the visible water is gone, it doesn’t mean the contaminants are no longer a threat.
That burning desire to check your home after major water damage is natural but even a few minutes inside could be bad for your health. At SERVPRO® of Natchez, we provide emergency water disaster services. We have given our mitigation specialists extensive training for safely entering this type of dangerous environment and for getting the remediation process started. It is our hope you never have to experience this type of natural disaster or other types of water damages but if you do, we are a phone call away at 601.304.5554 and are always ready to help.
Emergency Steps for Minimizing Water Damage at Home
Knowing where the main turn off to the water line is vital in a water leak.
If you discover a water leak in your home, the first few minutes are critical. The top priority is to avoid panic and focus on getting the source of the water stopped. The most common water leaks in a home or apartment can be traced to the kitchen or a bathroom.
All common water supplies in a home have a cut-off valve nearby and all valves can be turned off with a clockwise turn. If the source of the leak is your washing machine, the valves to turn off the flow are located behind the machine. Do not disconnect the hoses. Instead, turn off the water flow where the hoses are connected in the wall.
In the kitchen, you will find shut-off values for the faucets under the sink. This is also where you will most likely find the shut-off valve for an ice maker, if your freezer is equipped with one. The valve that controls your sink is, in most cases, the same valve that provides flow to your dishwasher. In a bathroom, cutoff valves are below the sink and may be within a sink cabinet if you have one. The supply line for the toilet is commonly located under and behind the seat.
A water tank can also be the source of your leak. If it is a gas tank, turn off the gas supply first then turn off the water. The water supply valve is usually located near or above the top of the tank.
Stopping the leak at its source as quickly as possible will minimize damage to cabinets, floors and walls. Within a single minute, several of gallons of water can flow into your home and saturate anything in its path, including adjacent rooms.
Some leaks cannot be stopped with an inside valve so the water supply to your house has to be interrupted. Lines carrying water into your home come from a main line outside that can usually be found close to the street where your water meter is located.
At SERVPRO® of Natchez, we are experts at mitigating water damages. Our emergency services include extraction, removal of damaged debris, getting your home dry and providing you with the information and services you need to make water damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 601.304.5554 or visit us on the web at www.SERVPROnatchez.com.
Why You Must Hire Professionals to Restore your Natchez Home after Fire Damage
Hidden damage and strong odors left behind by a house fire
Even after a small grease fire in your kitchen, you are going to wind up with plenty of damage afterward. You also must deal with a heavy smoky odor throughout your home, black soot on your ceiling and cabinets, burnt grease, and even melted appliances.
Many people attempt to clean up after a small fire in their Miss-Lou home themselves. However, it is best to leave the inspection and cleanup of the fire damage to the expertise of our technicians at SERVPRO. We are trained and certified to deal with situations like this and have the proper tools as well to restore your home back to its proper state thoroughly.
Kitchen fires produce a mixture of residues which must be cleaned properly. A big challenge of kitchen fires is you will most likely have more than one kind of material which burns and leaves residues. It is not an easy task for the average homeowner to understand how to clean these residues. The different kinds include natural substances such as wood, paper, or natural fabrics, protein substances like grease and burnt food, plus synthetic substances like plastics. It is best that each kind of substance is cleaned with the right method unique to that substance.
Smoke smells are tough to combat. You can keep cleaning, but the smell of smoke can linger still. Smoke particles are tiny, and each of them has an odor. These microscopic particles make their way inside your walls through air ducts, behind the wood trim, into cabinets, under carpeting, and more. Even if you are the best cleaner in the world, there are such a vast number of places you could miss, and it can take weeks for the smell to dissipate.
The fire could have also done more damage than you realize. If flames shot up an air duct, for instance, you may not know about some of the damage done. When you allow SERVPRO staff to inspect your home, we can find all the hidden damage so that your home is completely cleaned and restored, giving you a peace of mind.
SERVPRO of Natchez is a locally owned and operated company with the proper training to handle fire damage of all kinds. People who reside in the Miss-Lou area, you can reach us easily at any time by dialing 601.304.5554.
Restoring Furnishings Affected by Water Damage in the Miss-Lou area
Upholstery and Furniture Cleaning after Water Damage in Natchez Needs a Professional Service
SERVPRO Strives to Salvage Personal Belongs from Damage by Water
Fittings, furniture, and other decorative accessories such as carpets and curtains are highly prone to water damage. If the water spreads to the upholstery, it can stain or leave watermarks on the fabric. Mud and silt can also penetrate the fabric and padding if the furniture stays in the water for several hours. This buildup can lead to the growth of mildew both internally and externally. Finished wood surfaces become cloudy, while joints in the frames turn loose. If the disaster is a flood, it can also lead industrial chemicals, pesticides, and sewage into the house.
When faced with water-damaged upholstery, you should contact a professional restoration company immediately. SERVPRO, which is locally owned, has many years of experience in restoring furnishings affected by water damage in the Miss-Lou area. Our team is quick and efficient and has the necessary tools to begin the restoration process.
Water damage can affect your upholstery in several ways. Wooden framing, in particular, is susceptible to cracking and swelling. Water can also compromise glue and cause damage to your furniture. In case there are water spots on the fabrics, we may have to wet the entire piece of furniture to avoid water lines. This process can lead to stains on the floors or carpets. Our technicians apply spot removal procedures to get rid of these stains. This step is important to prevent the color bleed from causing a permanent tint. In certain cases, soft materials can be transported to our facility for washing in industrial grade Esporta Machine systems.
SERVPRO also follows IICRC guidelines to carry out mildew control procedures when restoring upholstery affected by water damage. This step involves rapid drying to eliminate the source of water. For this purpose, we use dehumidifiers and air movers to speed up the drying time.
Excessive water can leave water spots on your furniture or cause cracking, swelling, or weakening of the joints. To deal with the water spots, our specialists use specialized wood care products to clean and dry the surface. Water damaged furniture frames are slightly more expensive to repair – sometimes even more costly than replacing them. SERVPRO technicians can assess and advise accordingly.
If you decide to restore your furnishings from water damage, it is important to act fast. SERVPRO of Natchez offers 24/7 emergency service and is available when you need us. Call us today at 601.304.5554.
Flooding from a Broken Icemaker in Your Miss-Lou Area Home
Any kitchen appliance that has a water supply can cause a flood in your kitchen. Call SERVPRO if your kitchen gets flooded or for prevention tips.
Professional SERVPRO Techicians Will Root Out Every Place Where Water Has Hidden on Your Property After a Water Loss to Help Prevent Mold
One of the hardest working appliances in your home is the refrigerator, so when it breaks or suffers a leak, there can be consequences. The water supply line to the ice maker can burst, causing floods that range from slow leaks to sudden breaks. Some are made of copper, and others are plastic. Some are initially connected under the house while others are linked to a wall. A lot of them have a quick connection which is quite prone to flooding.
To prevent flood damage, non-plastic tubing like copper professionally installed with a conventional connection is recommended. Huge kitchen floods in your Garden District home can occur from broken ice maker lines in your refrigerator.
SERVPRO, a professional flood remediation company, can help you clean up the mess of flooding if your refrigerator water line has broken. You may have several inches of standing water in your home, which needs to be removed as fast as possible. We have the ability and experience to do so.
Before we get there, shut off your water if it is safe, turning it off at the main if needed. Sometimes, there is a shutoff valve behind your refrigerator near the wall. You should also cut off the electricity to the affected rooms.
Depending on how bad the flooding is, your kitchen may not be the only place affected. The water could have spread into your dining room, family room, living room, hallways, foyer, or any other room that is on the same level.
Our first step is to get rid of this standing water. Once we accomplish this, any damaged flooring is taken up so we can dry the subflooring. The drying process can then begin. We use industrial fans and dehumidifiers, placed strategically around the affected areas to dry your home as quickly as possible. Centrifugal air movers can be set up to dry underneath your kitchen cabinets. We return to your home every twenty-four hours until your home is thoroughly dry.
With SERVPRO of Natchez, you can be sure that you are treated respectfully and that your home is returned to its previous state before the flooding. Just give us a call when you need at 601.304.5554.
Should You Use Mold Resistant Paint To Help Prevent Mold Damage To Your Home?
Considering types of paint is extremely important in an environment that will be repeatedly damp and quite possibly wet. Call SERVPRO to discuss.
SERVPRO Certified Technicians Provide Many Useful Tips for Preventing Mold Damage on Your Property
Mold is a potential problem for any homeowner. Mold can live in any damp place where there is also food for it to grow – and it can use many household items like food, including damp clothes, carpets, drapes, and drywall. Therefore any steps you can take to make it harder for the fungi to take hold are a good idea.
Perhaps you have heard of mold resistant paint. You might be wondering what it is and whether you should use it to help prevent mold damage to your Montgomery home.
Mold resistant paint contains antimicrobial ingredients that discourage growth on any surface treated with the paint. Each manufacturer states on the tin how long the effect should be expected to last.
Such paint is a useful tool for any homeowner in the fight against mold. SERVPRO recommends the use of mold resistant paint in any areas that are prone to damp, such as bathrooms, basements, kitchens, laundry rooms, or some internal ceilings. It is particularly important to pay attention to corners and the areas where ceilings and walls meet, as these areas are popular with the fungi and are common areas for it to appear.
However, SERVPRO’s recommendation of this paint does come with an important caveat: For it to work properly, you need to deal with the issue at its source first. Painting helps prevent a recurrence of the problem, but only if the problem is properly dealt with in the first place.
We can assist you with mold remediation before application. Our IICRC-certified experts are trained to deal with outbreaks in any area of your home. We come equipped with a range of tools and techniques to get growth under control.
The first step is to establish containment to prevent spores spreading to other areas. Following containment, negative air machines draw the contaminated air out of the affected area and vent it outside your home. Then the work of remediation begins. Our technicians use a combination of techniques which include scrubbing, HEPA vacuuming, and damp wiping with detergents.
Depending on the total extent of the damage, some areas of drywall might need to be replaced as well.
Once the mold is under control and the area is thoroughly dried out, it is safe to apply mold resistant paint to help prevent future outbreaks.
If you have mold growing in your home, do not delay. Call SERVPRO of Natchez at 601.304.5554 for assistance.