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How To Control Mold Growth in Your Home

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

Close up of black and green mold growth. Mold prevention often requires a proactive approach.

Mold thrives in moist environments. While many homeowners in Lafayette, LA, may not worry about it, certain conditions inside your home may make it more susceptible to mold growth. To minimize the risk, you should address leaking pipes, water damage, and existing moisture points quickly and efficiently.

After a Flood

If your home sustains water damage from a flood or burst pipe, you must quickly remove saturated items and dry the affected area to prevent mold growth. Use a shop vac to soak up water and open windows to increase airflow. You can also use fans and a dehumidifier to expedite the process. For additional protection, mix one cup of bleach with one gallon of water and spray the mixture on hard surfaces in the affected area.

Be sure to thoroughly assess your carpets and drywall. If your drywall is wet, water may seep through to the insulation. When wet, both materials can harbor mold, so you will need to replace them. As an additional safeguard, you may wish to install mold-resistant drywall. However, you must ensure that the area is free of moisture before completing this repair.

Additional Tips

Quickly repairing even small water leaks is an important mold prevention strategy. To further reduce your home’s mold risk, follow these tips:
• Dry soaked materials within 24 - 48 hours
• Inspect caulking around sinks and tubs and replace if cracked or deteriorating
• Clean and repair gutters
• Direct water away from your home’s foundation
• Improve air circulation inside your home

High humidity can also expedite mold growth. One telltale sign of high humidity is condensation. If you notice condensation on windows or sills, you should apply weather stripping or a plastic film to reduce cold drafts. Increasing ventilation and using a dehumidifier can also help reduce the humidity level inside your home.

Mold Remediation

Mold prevention often requires a proactive approach. However, a flood or burst pipe can happen unexpectedly, creating significant water damage. To reduce your risk of mold under these circumstances, you may wish to consult a professional cleanup and restoration team equipped to handle a variety of situations, including mold remediation.

What to Expect During a Leaking Roof Repair

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

Hole on ceiling, damaged ceiling due to roof leak Ceiling damaged by a roof leak.

What to Expect During a Leaking Roof Repair

Heavy rain and sudden torrential sudden downpours can cause a roof leak in your Lafayette, LA, business. This issue can cause damage to electrical systems and inventory. Calling a professional restoration company to repair the leak and replace any damaged parts can help you prevent other costly repairs or a prolonged closure. As the owner of your business, knowing what to expect during a roof repair process can help you avoid unexpected delays and get back to running your company as soon as possible.

The Leak Is Assessed

Before restoration specialists can fix a leaking roof, they will need to assess the area and discover what is causing the leak, such as:

  • Missing shingles
  • Damaged flashing
  • Poor drainage

Once the issue is targeted, it can be isolated and contained to prevent any further damage. This mitigation can be helpful, especially if the leak is in an area that may damage expensive equipment.

Removal of Damaged Materials

A roof leak can cause materials to become water damaged to the point where they must be removed. Torn shingles or worn tar paper may be torn out and replaced with new materials. Your restoration specialists may recommend certain types of materials or drainage systems that can prevent further problems in the future.

Drying and Cleaning

Before new materials are brought in, restoration professionals will likely re-assess your damaged roof and use special machinery to dry and disinfect the area. This can help discourage mold growth or unpleasant musty smells from seeping into the building. Once the area is completely dry, restoration technicians can refit the damaged area with new materials, including any sections of the interior ceiling that may have been affected by the leak.

When a roof leak causes trouble in your Lafayette, LA, business, it can be troublesome for you, your employees and your customers. However, when you know what to expect when restoration experts get to work on your roof, you can make an effective plan for getting back to business.

The Common Causes of Damage to Solar Panels During a Storm

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

Broken solar panel Panel damage in solar installations can lead to plenty of other issues.

The Most Common Causes of Solar Panel Damage During a Storm

It's no exaggeration to say that when a powerful storm sweeps in, your solar installation is out there like the proverbial sitting duck. To take advantage of the sun's rays, solar panels must be exposed to the elements. This means that panel damage is a real possibility. To protect against this, solar engineers work to ensure their products stand up to the following conditions:

  • Extreme heat
  • Bitter cold
  • Heavy rains
  • High humidity
  • Large hailstones

To increase durability, engineers experiment with new building materials and better designs. They also engage in vigorous testing to see what the latest models will take in terms of weather punishment. To mimic the effects of hail, testers have been known to shoot large ice balls at 70 mph at materials used in solar installations.

Damage Happens
While man is certainly clever and innovative, Mother Nature has been winning battles for centuries. Panel damage does occur, sometimes even leading to roof damage. All of this creates an opportunity for water to leak into your home. In a worst-case scenario, you might not notice a small leak for days or weeks, allowing humidity levels to soar and creating favorable conditions for mold growth. When that happens, a local storm mitigation team in Lafayette, LA, might be needed to address the situation.

Cleanup Begins
The storm restoration process follows a proven pattern. Certified technicians arrive on the scene and begin an assessment and inspection of your property. They find the source of a water leak and remove the water with vacuums if necessary and drying equipment. If mold is suspected, they determine if mold colonies have taken hold and then they contain and remove the mold from your home.

Panel damage to solar installations can lead to other problems that must be addressed in a timely manner. The efforts of a professional team can restore your home "Like it never even happened."

Protect Your Home and Your Family - Act Fast To Remediate Mold Post-Flooding

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Living room, floor has been removed due to water damage, drying equipment placed on living room Storm damage cleanup in Lafayette.

Act Fast To Remediate Mold Post-Flooding

If your home was recently involved in a flood, it is essential that you act fast when it comes to flood cleanup and mold remediation. Mold develops in as little as 24 hours post-water damage. Once mold growth affects a surface, it spreads like wildfire, as mold spores are light enough to be carried on the faintest of breezes. Mold can be structurally damaging if not caught in time, and remediation efforts can become costly. To minimize both costs and damages, keep these three tips in mind:

  • Dry
  • Remove
  • Clean
  • Discard

Dry

It's difficult to fully assess the level of damaging without first drying out the affected areas. Remove any standing water with a shop-vac or pump that is designed to suck up water. Open the windows, place dehumidifiers throughout the house and turn on fans. The goal is to increase ventilation and dry out carpet, walls and other permanent fixtures.

Remove

Next, remove furniture and belongings. If possible, place them outside to dry out. If the weather is still bad, move the wet items to a secluded area of the home where they can dry out without affecting other items throughout the home.

Clean

An immediate deep clean is necessary to combat mold growth. If the Lafayette, LA, mold remediation team has yet to arrive, start scrubbing at permanent fixtures, walls and carpet. Use hot water and a heavy-duty cleaning agent. Be sure to keep vans and dehumidifiers running, as cleaning can re-wet items and increase the risk for mold. Launder any items that can be removed and placed in a washing machine, such as bedding, draperies and clothing.

Discard

Unfortunately, you may have to discard certain items, including children's toys that came into contact with the flood water and certain pieces of furniture. There are certain items with which you don't want to risk bacteria growth.

Ideally, your flood restoration team should be at your home within hours or you calling, but depending on the extend of neighborhood damage, you may have to wait a few days. It is in these instances that you should take the above measures to prevent mold growth. Otherwise, leave the majority of the content cleaning to the experts.

Preparing a Residential Fire Escape Plan

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Burnt room Ensure everyone knows how to exit the home as quickly as possible if the unthinkable does happen.

Tips To Create A House Fire Escape Plan

A house fire can happen to anyone, including residents of Lafayette, LA. To ensure that you and your family are prepared in the event of such an emergency, it’s critical to develop a personal fire escape plan. If you’re unsure of how to get started, here are some tips courtesy of the American Red Cross that you’ll want to keep in mind:

• Identify multiple points of exit. Make sure that you’ve identified at least two escape routes from each room of your home. Keep in mind that doors may be inaccessible due to excessive heat.

• Stay clear of smoke. Inhaling too much smoke can be just as hazardous as the actual fire itself. Make sure that you and your family practice staying low to the ground as part of any fire escape plan.

• Know what to do if clothes catch fire. If this happens, it’s imperative not to panic. Ensure that everyone knows the proper technique to stifle the flames: stop, drop, and roll.

• Designate a meeting place outside the home. When a house fire occurs, the smoke and flames can cause things to get chaotic fast. Identify an outside location where household members can meet up to ensure everyone is safe.

• Practice, practice, practice. Drills are important for any emergency escape plan, and fires are no exception. The Red Cross reports that you may have as little as two minutes to evacuate. Once escape routes are established, enact regular, timed fire drills to ensure everyone knows how to exit the home as quickly as possible if the unthinkable does happen.

Dealing with the loss of mementos and personal items due to a house fire can be devastating, but there are professionals who can help with cleanup and restoration, and material things can be replaced. Nothing is more important than your family’s safety. Preparing and practicing a fire escape plan is one of the best ways to ensure family members are prepared for an emergency.

What Is Mold and Why Does It Smell Musty?

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall Mold found in a Lafayette, PA building.

You may not learn about the mold problem in your building until you hear complaints about the irritating musty odor. Some people think that the smell actually comes from tiny particles of mold in the air or from mold spores. Neither are true. Odors from molds are caused by mycotoxins, which are gases released during the digestive process of some molds.

What Is Mold?

Molds are fungi, just like mushrooms. Some scientists think the mycotoxin production from certain types of molds is actually an adaptation developed to protect the molds from animals and insects. Nobody is sure how many varieties of mold live on our planet because they are so abundant, living wherever oxygen and moisture are found, even in Lafayette, LA. Since molds exist abundantly in our environment, it's just about impossible to keep them out. Here are a few ways the spores can enter a building:

  • On pets and clothing
  • Through windows and doors
  • Via cooling, ventilation, and heating systems

The problem is when mold spores land in a hospitable environment, one with organic material, moisture, and oxygen. That is when the mold begins to grow and form colonies. As it grows, it consumes organic material as food, producing that familiar musty smell.

How Can You Prevent Mold?

The best way to prevent molds is to make sure you are not providing a welcome environment for their growth and development. You can manage your building's environment by reducing humidity with ventilation systems and dehumidifiers, fixing leaky areas from pipes or roofing, and proper remediation of water damage.

When you do follow that musty odor to the source and discover mold in your building, at least you can count on professional mold remediation specialists to clean up the problem. During the cleaning process, professionals use HEPA air filtration equipment and containment procedures to reduce further spread of mold spores inside your building. This cleanup process will prevent mycotoxin production, making the environment more hospitable to your human-building occupants again.

What Does Secondary Damage Mean?

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on a drywall, steps in a home damaged by flood waters Water damage in Lafayette, LA.

Understanding Secondary Water Damage

When you have a flooding problem in your Lafayette, LA, home, you may hear the professionals throw around a lot of technical terms. You could hear the residential cleanup crew talk about a wide variety of topics, including the following:

  • Black mold
  • Dirty water
  • Negative air chambers
  • Secondary damage

With so much technical speak going around, it's easy to get nervous about your water cleanup. Thankfully, understanding the technical terms is as easy as asking your restoration professionals for some clarification.

When it comes to water damage, the destruction can be broken into two categories. To understand what the second category is, you need to look at both forms of problems.

Primary Damage

When you think of flooding, you likely think of the primary damage first. If a burst pipe caused water to leak down your walls and pool in your living room, these sources of destruction are considered primary. The damage happened right when the water flooded your space. Any belongings or building materials directly affected by water are said to have been in the primary round of damage.

Secondary Issues

Secondary issues take place after the initial spurt of water is over. Perhaps you were able to turn off the water to your home, but that doesn't necessarily stop the damage. Black mold and high humidity could be sources of secondary problems, for example. The mold starts to grow if the water isn't taken care of promptly. This non-primary damage often occurs for three distinct reasons. First, slow reaction times may cause mold growth. Second, hidden leaks could cause a buildup of damage. Third, improper cleanup techniques could leave your home with high humidity even after the water is gone.

As a homeowner, you may feel baffled by a residential flood. Acting quickly can help you stop any secondary forms of damage from taking place in your home. If you take too long to address the water problem, you may end up with black mold growth, destroyed furnishings and humidity problems.

4 Items To Always Throw Away After a Fire

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Debris from fire in a bathroom. Fire damage in a bathroom.

Steps To Take After A Fire

Following a fire, you may be able to salvage certain items, including clothing and furniture. However, other items will not be as lucky. It is important to always know when to cut your losses and to throw away possessions that can pose harm now that they have taken on fire damage.

1. Cosmetics

The high heat from the fire can wreak havoc on makeup. Additionally, soot may build up on certain products. You do not want to risk putting soot directly on your skin, so toss any makeup that was exposed to the fire.

2. Medicine

Similarly, medicine becomes contaminated when exposed to extreme temperatures. The fire may reduce the effectiveness of the medication, and you will not reap all the same benefits you are used to. Instead, it is preferable to throw away medicine properly and to talk to your doctor about getting a new prescription.

3. Food

It is better to simply toss food that may have been exposed to the fire than risk consuming anything potentially contaminated. This includes refrigerated food in addition to food left in your cabinets. You also need to be mindful if your fridge had to be unplugged for a span of time to prevent the fire from escalating.

4. Burnt Clothing

Although clothing can be salvaged if it only has soot on the fabric, you need to watch if any clothing took on actual fire damage. This is particularly necessary if the clothing is meant for children or infants.

At the end of the day, most items are replaceable. You can always attempt to salvage certain items that mean a lot to you, but ultimately, you do not want to put yourself or your family in harm’s way. FEMA lays out various other steps to take after a fire, so do not waste time trying to figure out if you should hang on to or throw away possibly damaged food. Instead, take action to make your home in City, State, livable once again.

Commercial Storm Damage Also Includes Freezing Winter Storms

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Icicles hanging from a frozen water jets, tube, yellow pipe. aged wall background. winter time concept Keep an eye out for a frozen pipe.

Storm damage is often associated with storms of rain or wind. However, winter storms in Lafayette, LA, pose their own unique threats. A frozen pipe can easily turn into a burst pipe. Keeping prepared by knowing how to address this danger can save your business from unnecessary damage.

Understand the Causes of Freezing Pipes

To properly keep an eye out for a frozen pipe, you must understand which pipes are most susceptible to freezing. There are several causes for freezing pipes at a business:

  • Sprinkler lines that are not properly monitored or maintained
  • Improperly insulated or sealed attic, partitions, walls, chases, doors or windows
  • Exterior pipes with inadequate insulation
  • Heating systems that do not circulate air properly

Keep Pipes Unfrozen

Before winter, it is recommended to have every external sprinkler drained. Instructions for doing this can be found in the system’s instruction manual, or the process can be contracted out to a service.

Water pipes need proper insulation to keep heat inside. All pipes indoors can be sleeved or have the area around them restructured for insulation. Outdoor pipes should be relocated if they cannot be securely kept warm with insulation’s help.

During winter, the building’s temperature should be kept the same throughout the day, even if no one is present. A burst pipe is much more expensive than running the building’s heating.

Thaw Pipes If They’re Frozen

If water flow seems extremely slow during cold weather, the pipe is likely frozen. You can unthaw a pipe by running the faucet while using a hairdryer, heated towel, or space heater on the affected pipe. Once water flows well, the pipe is safe. If there is difficulty locating or thawing the pipe, a plumber can help.

Fix Water Damage As Soon As Possible

Whether it’s standing water from thawing runoff or a burst pipe, water damage cleanup experts can help remove the frigid water and stop its damage. Winter storms don’t have to mean a burst pipe, and preventative measures from understanding winter’s hazards keep your business away from that problem.

Household Mold and How To Eliminate It

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Flashlight shining towards a wall covered with mold Mold damage

House mold is a pernicious threat feared by every homeowner. When it appears, you must apply the proper methodology for getting rid of it. Here's some information regarding mold growth and cleaning your home of dangerous spores.

Causes of Mold in the Home

There are many reasons you might have a fungal infestation in Lafayette, LA, including:

  1. Leaking pipes
  2. Poor ventilation
  3. Roof holes
  4. Broken air conditioning

Failure to correct these conditions can cause more mold growth than you are able to handle by yourself. Under such circumstances, a team of fungal removal experts will be necessary.

Cleaning Mold in the Home
If your house mold hasn't gotten out of control, you may be able to remove it independently. Should you choose to do so, observe every safety precaution. Wear plastic gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator that specifically guards against mold. Exercise added caution if the situation was caused by contaminated water.
Mold can be scrubbed off hard surfaces with water and household detergent. Place tangible chunks into plastic bags and dispose of them promptly. Recognize that any amount of mold can cause irreversible cosmetic damage to attractive surfaces.
Carpeting and ceiling tiles that become infested may need to be tossed. This is a particular possibility with materials that are porous or otherwise absorbent, as spores are able to get inside and rehabilitation becomes impossible.
Avoid painting or caulking over moldy surfaces. Although this covers up mold's unpleasant appearance, it does not remove the danger or prevent mold from spreading.
Items of sentimental value are often vulnerable. If you are uncertain whether a meaningful object, such as a framed painting or family heirloom, can be restored, consult with a specialist. Check that the professionals you obtain advice from are fully accredited and trustworthy.
Getting rid of house mold is a task that homeowners must take seriously. By following the correct procedures, you can stop the condition from worsening and causing bigger troubles.