Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold?
customers home affected by microbial growth after a slow leak occurred.
Homeowners insurance does not usually cover mold damages. Although, there are instances when mold is covered. These instances are generally when the cause of mold is due to an incident that homeowners insurance does cover. For example, if mold has grown due to accidental and sudden pipe burst or if a recent fire has caused mold, your homeowners insurance will likely cover the mold damages. On the contrary, if mold has grown due to improper maintenance practices, such as on-going humidity exposure or a continuous leak, homeowners insurance will not likely cover the damages.
If you believe you may have a mold issue give us a call today to have one of our experienced technicians come out and access your concerns!! (972)335-9900
Lightning Safety Tips
1. Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. Lightning can travel 5-10 miles away from the thunderstorm and strike the ground with blue sky overhead. The storm doesn’t have to be overhead in order for you to be struck.
2. Move to a sturdy shelter or vehicle. Do not take shelter in a small shed, under isolated trees, or in a convertible-top vehicle. Stay away from tall objects such as trees or towers or poles.
3. If in your vehicle when lightning strikes – don’t touch a metal surface. You are safer in a vehicle than being outdoors.
4. Remember that utility lines or pipes can carry the electrical current underground or through a building. Avoid electrical appliances, and use telephones or computers only in an emergency.
5. If you feel your hair standing on end – get down into a baseball catcher’s position and plug your ears with your finger tips so if lightning does hit it will not blow your ear drums out. Do not lie flat!
6. 30/30 rule – if the time between lighting and thunder is 30 seconds or less, go to a safe shelter. Stay there until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder
Fire Extinguisher Safety
Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out.
In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:
Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
It is always a good idea to show EVERYONE in your household how to use a fire extinguisher in case of fire. You never know when or where the fire will start and having more than one person know how to use an extinguisher could save you from excessive damage to your home or save a life.
Spring Cleaning for Businesses
Spring time has become a staple time of year to undertake deeper cleaning projects. Although this is commonly associated with residential homes, it is just as much needed for workplaces as well as homes. The cold winter months keep everyone cooped up inside and messes start to grow. A good cleaning helps to give workers a more open and less hectic environment; additionally, a clean and welcoming place of business helps to attract customers.
Unless you’re an archetypal Danny Tanner or Monica Geller, chances are cleaning isn’t near the top of your to-do-list. Lucky for you, we are here to help make that part just a tad bit easier with a list of some important areas to inspect during your spring cleaning.
Windows are one of the simplest yet crucial areas to clean. Beyond making sure you have squeaky clean windows, check to make sure they have tight seals. Small gaps in window seals can cause cool air to seep out (and warm air in the winter months), as well as allowing water to trickle in. Checking caulking and weather stripping remains intact and up to par can save you money in the long term.
This is very important for the presentation of your business. Now the grass, flowers, weeds and other plants are starting to grow, it’s important to start grooming your landscape. Don’t wait till your plants get out of control, hire someone now or take some time yourself to pull the weeds, mow the grass, and trim any trees or bushes. Additionally, this is a great time to plant some flowers if you want to spruce up your place of business.
When converting your buildings air flow system from heating to air conditioning now is the best time to quality check your system. Test your system by running it for a while to make sure it’s working properly, check any old or out of date parts that might need replacing. Clean out the ventilation system by removing dust particles and any other debris lying inside. Ventilation systems are rarely cleaned, which is why lots of building owners tend to find pest infestation or mold problems when cleaning their vents/ducts. It’s best to take these precautions while the temperature is in a transitioning period.
Along with the rebirthed trees and plants, spring also brings back hordes of pests. Ants, spiders, termites, mosquitoes, and even bed bugs can become a problem. It’s best to take preventative measures to ward off pests instead of being forced to shut the business down for a couple weeks in order to fumigate for pests. Keep in mind your locale because different areas attract different pests, this will help inform you what to spray for. If you’re located near a ditch you’ll have more mosquitoes, among other pests, than a more urbanized area. Lastly, if you are continually having the same pest problems year after year, try to identify exterior factors that might be attracting those pests and any defects in your building that might be letting them in.
Simple and effective. Even if you already dust on a regular basis now’s a good time to dust those harder to reach, and often ignored, areas.
As people come in from the rainy times and wipe their feet on your carpets, dirt begins to build up. Don’t let this grime buildup in your building; buy some strong cleaning products for your floors and a top quality vacuum for carpets. In addition to constantly maintaining floors and carpets, now is a great time to hire a professional carpet and floor cleaner to give your floors a deep clean.
Reorganizing comes in two parts. The first is the organizing of all the previous years files into a consolidated area for ease of access. Best practice is to do this at the beginning of every year so that your files are neatly organized and easy to find when needed. The second is the reorganization of the office itself. This is more to keep a clean and presentable workplace. Ideally this is a continuing process year round. If the office has gotten out of hand this can be a good time of year to tidy up the office and breathe some fresh air into the workplace.
Depending on your type of business will help determine what type of spring cleaning takes priority. For example, if you are in a retail business many of these basic cleanings, such as windows and organization, might already be factored into your weekly/monthly workflow. Although it never hurts to go over all areas to make sure everything is getting done properly and efficiently. Additionally, there will be some other more industry specific actions that require priority over window cleaning. Remember, it’s most importantly to consider your specific business and the area in which you are doing business when prioritizing your spring cleaning.
Always Call An Expert
A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed, it is important not to delay. Homeowners know that moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into the building, the response should be the same. Bring in SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony as soon as possible to clean the home, dry it, and ensure there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.
If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own. Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service like SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, we have the protective equipment to remain free from harm.
Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal. These include powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.
SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony utilizes advanced equipment and technology to quicken the restoration time and to minimize cost. We proudly serve our community and surrounding areas with 24/7 emergency availability. Give us a call today! (972) 335-9900
How To Eliminate Mold Odor
Air Scrubber used to remove odor from home
While many people think of mold as having a musty odor, the truth is mold can release a wide variety of unpleasant odors, depending on the type mycotoxin it releases. If you notice a strange smell you can’t seem to get rid of, you may be dealing with mold.
What Causes the Smell?
Mold releases small molecules called mycotoxin that cause bad smells. Different species of mold have different odors. Some of the most common mold odors smell like:
• Cat urine
• Car exhaust
• Old cheese
If you smell mold in your home, it means you have a mold problem, even if you can’t see it. You’ll need to eliminate the mold in your house in order to get rid of the smell.
Get Rid of the Source
Perform a visual inspection of the room or area where the smell is strongest. Check in the back of closets, behind furniture and under carpets. If you can’t locate any mold, you may need to call in mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO of South frisco/The Colony. They will know how to locate moist areas in your home and check inside walls to locate the mold.
Killing mold is not enough to get rid of odors. It must be removed completely, either by scrubbing it off building materials with a biocide or by removing affected materials and replacing them.
If you notice the odor returns, chances are good the mold has also returned. It’s critical to discover the cause of excess moisture in your home and eliminate it to prevent mold regrowth. Check for leaks and broken water pipes to discover where the moisture is coming from. Your mold remediation specialist at SERVPRO of South Frisco/The colony can help you do this.
You can also install a high-efficiency particulate air filter, or HEPA air filtration device, to help speed the process of musty odor elimination. These air filters are designed to remove very small molecules from the air, including mycotoxin. Just remember that an air filter can’t solve your mold problem. You still have to eliminate the mold to eliminate the odor.
Build An Emergency Kit
Be prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you
have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to
include in your kit:
- 3-day supply of nonperishable foods
- Water (one+ gallon per person per day)
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medication
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Fire extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- Extra batteries
- Cell phone charger
- Change of clothes
- Matches in waterproof container
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
- Infant formula and diapers
- Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container
You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive list,
check out Ready.gov.
Dangers Of Extreme Cold
According to the National Weather Service, $2.84 million dollars in property damage was caused by extreme cold in 2015. Even scarier? Fifty three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold the same year.
It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm and/or numbness.
Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95 F, Seek medical attention immediately. To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Yeast is a great example of how some molds and fungi enrich our lives. Yeast is used to make bread. Yeast helped create those refreshing Kombuchas you have sampled at Farmer’s market. Yeast is also present in the fine wine and bleu cheese you are enjoying on your patio this summer!
Sadly, there is also a dark side to fungi and mold. Some molds are harmful to your health. An intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks (that small leak under the sink) and poor humidity control (tenants/family members not turning on the fan while showering). If water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Health concerns may arise when excessive mold grows indoors.
If there is an ongoing moisture problem in your building, be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold.
- Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold is present.
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
- Excessive humidity
If any of these signs are present let SERVPRO know. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals care about proper restoration of your structure and, in most water damage situations, can safely restore your building to preloss condition.
Dont fear, call SERVPRO of South Frisco/The Colony at (972) 335-9900
Questions About Mold
Many customers call SERVPRO inquiring about the potential health effects of known or suspected mold growth. The only way to truly determine the extent of mold spore migration is through lab testing. SERVPRO does not conduct air quality inspections, however we do have trusted vendors and subcontractors that provide these services.
Air or surface sampling can be helpful in determining the scope, or extent of a mold infestation. Air samples are taken by drawing a predetermined volume of air through a sterile media, which is then sent to laboratory for analysis. Lab analysis is able to determine type of spores found, as well as extrapolate estimated quantities of the spores identified. Upon request most labs will include a report detailing any issues regarding the indoor air quality. Most Indoor Environmental Professionals will complement the lab report with a recommended remediation plan.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of this type of report for your home or business, call SERVPRO! We have the experienced and trained technicians coupled with the proper equipment to execute mold remediation on any scale