Could Mold be Lurking in your Ventilation System?
Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO® of Springfield/East Lane County's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, your SERVPRO® of Springfield/East Lane County Professionals can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO® of Springfield/East Lane County Professionals use a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact your local SERVPRO® of Springfield/East Lane County today.
Kitchen Safety to Prevent Fire
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stovetop.
If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.
Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
Winter Weather Worries
Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:
Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.
Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.”
Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO® of Springfield/East Lane County Professionals are only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.
Commercial Water Damage - Bonanza Oregon School District
Our DISASTER RECOVERY TEAM was called in to the Bonanza, Oregon School District after a major rain storm hit their area.
On this loss, there were 10 classrooms and the gymnasium affected.
We had our DISASTER RECOVERY TEAM on the road and headed that way within an hour, and were there until this job was completed. We were able to extract and dry all areas that were affected, unless major damage was done. We needed to remove the entire gym floor due to the amount of water damage.
Once the entire facility had been dried out, or repairs had been started, we were able to clean the areas affected and get the school ready to reopen.
Even though our franchises are located in Douglas and Lane Counties, we have a DISASTER RECOVERY TEAM that can and will travel all over the United States. We are always loaded and ready to go.
Can't I Do This Myself?
Once your home has been damaged by fire, your top priority is getting your property cleaned and repaired. In many cases, this desire leads people to pursue DIY cleanup projects. If this were your planned method, you should reconsider this course of action. If the fire damage is of any consequence, many concerns need to be addressed. Can you do all of this yourself?
1. Water Removal: Standing water left behind the fire extinguishing efforts of the local fire department have several important ramifications. The resulting water damage can be furniture, electronics, clothing, drywall, ceilings, flooring, and more. Water removal must be done quickly. SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County utilizes water pumps, wet-vacs, high-velocity fans and dehumidifiers to extract the water and moisture quickly thereby mitigating the damage. Fire damage unfortunately, has collateral damage.
2. Smoke Damage: The smoke damage that results from a fire can be quite substantive. In fact, the smoke left behind can become embedded in your furniture, flooring, carpets, and walls. If left unaddressed, this smoke damage can remain in your property for years. Soot, another by-product of specific fires, needs special attention for proper clean up to avoid staining of walls and furniture. Effectively removing smoke necessitates the use of professional procedures and products that fire restoration specialists from SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County has in its arsenal.
3. Salvageable Goods: In many cases, homeowners who seek to complete the remediation process on their own will throw away items that are salvageable. Don't make this mistake. Instead, allow SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County to assist you with this aspect of the restoration process. We will assess, inspect and issue you a Contents Claim Inventory Service form--CCIS. This inventories affected household items and classifies them into non-salvageable, salvageable or questionable lists. Items can be containerized and cleaned at our facility by our trained professionals.
4. Time Efficiency: If you attempt to complete the fire restoration process without professional assistance, the project will take a lot of time and probably lack positive results. However, hiring SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County to put your home back in a healthy condition after fire damage enables you to feel confident of the restoration. Consider the effort, equipment, and training involved in successfully restoring your home to its pre-fire condition.
Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.
Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.
Many types of molds exist. All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.
Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include roof leaks, landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building, and unvented combustion appliances. Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings. Moisture problems in portable classrooms and other temporary structures have frequently been associated with mold problems.
When mold growth occurs in buildings, adverse health problems may be reported by some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems.
If you suspect that your home or office has mold, call SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County to schedule a scope. 541-345-0115
Water Damage AFTER a Fire
In some fires, damage from the actual flames ends up being the least of your concerns. Fires often trigger damage in a way homeowners do not expect: significant water damage. Whether during the efforts to put the fire out or leaks caused by the heat, fire can directly or indirectly cause your home to take on large amounts of water unexpectedly. If the fire started during a storm, rain or flood water might also deal some damage. Listed are some common ways we encounter water damage after a fire.
Water Damage from Hoses and Extinguishers:
After a fire, severe water damage can happen as a result of fire hoses and extinguishers used to smother the flames. These devices, while sometimes using foam to smother the fire, often use pure or mixed water to stop the fire in its tracks. Care is not often taken to controlling the water flow, with as much being used as necessary to stop the flames. This can lead to a heavy dousing of any surface in your home, and some mild flooding. Excess water is common after a fire, and perhaps more often than not, you'll be dealing with this type of damage. Typically, a small isolated fire in a kitchen would not inflict such heavy secondary water damage.
SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County is a locally owned and operated business which has experience with all types of water and fire damage.
What to do until SERVPRO arrives
A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County professionals arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.
Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County Professional.
Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County Professional.
Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
Commercial Fire Preparedness
Commercial business owners everywhere know they must keep their fire protection systems up to code, but what happens when they don't?
A fire can break out at any time. Faulty equipment or a careless employee, you must be prepared. Maintaining your fire suppression system, as well as planning ahead, can save your business from extended closure following a fire.
There are many cases every year in which a lack of properly installed fire safety equipment leads to extensive damage from fires. If your business isn't up-to-code on all of your sprinklers, suppression systems and alarms, your business could face disastrous consequences.
You also need to address the issue that businesses don't always prepare for - employee fire safety training. An employee who has been trained can avoid the fire hazard, and possibly even fight the fire, using an extinguisher the right way.
Next, you must prepare for the aftermath. By having a FREE Emergency Ready Profile conducted by your local SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County team, you are way ahead of the game. This profile will expedite the cleanup and restoration services provided by SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County. Contact our local office at 541-459-3987 to schedule yours today.
Mold Remediation vs. Mold Removal
Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.
SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County understands the science behind mold and mold growth. Our SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same.
- Step 1: Emergency Contact SERVPRO of Springfield/East Lane County 541-345-0115
- Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Step 3: Mold Containment
- Step 4: Air Filtration
- Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
- Step 7: Restoration
Signs of Mold? Call SERVPRO of Spriingfield/East Lane County 541-345-0115
When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.