Is There a Standard for Cleaning Mold?
Mold found in a local Langhorne, PA home.
If you find mold in your commercial building in Langhorne/Bensalem, PA, you should call a mold remediation specialist to assess the situation. The professional you choose must be trained to properly and safely clean up the mold, following strict mold standards.
What Is ANSI/IICRC S520?
ANSI/IICRC S520 is the standard for the safe remediation of mold. When creating the mold standards, experts combined the principles of science, along with the practical knowledge of mold remediation specialists, to safely tackle the problem of mold cleanup. Experts from many fields were consulted when developing the standards, including:
- Public health professionals
- Scientists, including microbiologists
- Industrial hygienists
- Remediation professionals, including contractors and restoration service companies
- Cleaning and restoration trade associations and training schools
What Are the Three Components of ANSI/IICRC S520?
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) oversees the establishment of standards created for products, services and systems. They are a non-profit, private organization.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) develops procedures that are designed for cleaning and restoring materials safely. The institute is also non-profit and provides helpful information for consumers.
S520 is the standard, developed by the IICRC, for the safe cleaning and remediation of mold.
Why Should You Call a Professional if You Have Mold in Your Building?
Professionals who have been trained in the ANSI/IICRC S520 procedures know where to look for hidden mold and any dormant spores in your building. They have the technical equipment needed for a thorough mold clean, and they can remove black mold from areas that are hard to reach. They can also prevent future mold growth by applying special cleaning products to surfaces. If you are looking for mold cleanup in your building, make sure the people you call are trained in the proper mold standards. They will quickly and safely remove the mold so that you can keep your operations running smoothly.
What Not To Do After a Flood
A local neighborhood flooded in Langhorne, PA
When floodwater invades your Langhorne/Bensalem, PA home, it can be overwhelming. Keeping a cool head is essential to a speedy recovery for your residence. Here are four things not to do after a flood.
- Don’t Refuse To Leave
From crunchy peanut butter to your favorite football team, there are plenty of things that are worth taking a stand for. Your flooded home is not one of them. It may be a cliché, but it’s true: Things can be replaced. People can’t. When the water starts to rise — and especially if officials order you to leave — get moving. Ride things out with friends or relatives, or stay at a hotel.
- Don’t Walk on Wet Carpet
Walking on carpeting that’s wet or completely underwater only forces the water deeper down and further afield from its point of origin. In order to prevent the spread of water and mold-causing contaminants below the surface, avoid carpeted rooms altogether if you can.
- Don’t Try To Vacuum Up the Flood Water
Your vacuum may be great at sucking up spilled pretzels or pet hair, but it’s not meant for water. At best, you can ruin your vacuum. At worst, you can subject yourself to an electrical shock.
- Don’t Try to Clean Up the Water Damage Yourself
After all members of your household are safe and sound, one of the first calls you should make is to a flood damage restoration company. Its technicians will have the tools and expertise required to safely return your home to normal.
Generally speaking, you can expect the company to come to your home, perform an assessment to determine the full extent of the damage, and clean and sanitize your home. Many companies also perform repairs.
It’s easy to make rash decisions in the face of floodwater. You may be tempted to hold firm despite repeated warnings or to start cleanup with whatever you have on hand. Ultimately, however, the best — and the safest — way to begin the recovery process is to exercise caution and leave the heavy lifting to the professionals.
4 Situations To Watch for Regarding Mold in Your Building
Mold found in a kitchen in Bensalem, PA
The best outcome for your business in Langhorne/Bensalem, PA, is to prevent a mold infestation from occurring in your building in the first place. This can be done with a bit of mold prevention. These actions only require a little bit of education about how mold spreads, and a bit of vigilance on the part of all workers. Here are four situations that can prevent mold growth or catch it early.
- Watch for Water Leaks. Mold thrives in warm and moist conditions. This often is caused by a form of water damage, such as from a leak in the roof during a storm or from a plumbing problem. Excess water creates fertile conditions for mold spores to form into colonies. A swift repair of the leak, and a drying out of the area, is a standard protocol for mold prevention in a commercial building. Mold spores, almost always present in low levels, are unlikely to proliferate in a dry environment.
- Heed Musty Odors. The presence of a stale, musty odor is one of the telltale signs of mold growth. It is not unusual for mold to be hidden, but the odor can still be detected. If you can smell the mold, you likely already have a problem and it is time to call in a qualified mold remediation team.
- Watch for Discolored Patches. Mold oftentimes forms into patches or blotches on walls or ceilings. This will probably occur in moist rooms that have experienced a water leak or that have high humidity. Once these patches are found it is time to take action.
- Get Testing. A reliable mold test should be conducted by a trained technician and analyzed by a professional lab. This is the most accurate form of mold prevention and will tell you if you have a mold infestation. Catching the problem early makes mold cleanup quicker and less expensive.
Make Sure That Your Solar Panels Can Withstand Storms
A tree falls on a local home during a storm in Langhorne, PA
Solar panels are a great way to reduce energy usage in your home. Since they are installed on the outside of your house, they also take a beating from harsh hail and wind storms in Langhorne/Bensalem, PA. To reduce the risk of panel damage, keep these suggestions in mind.
How To Ensure My Panels Are Strong
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a report in which they had conducted annual surveys of panel systems that had been installed from 2009 to 2013. Of the 50,000 systems surveyed, only 0.1% had shown damage or malfunctions. Part of the success can be attributed to the extensive testing conducted by panel manufacturers. Check to make sure your manufacturer has followed these guidelines.
Hail testing - Most panels are certified to resist panel damage caused by hail of up to 1 inch in diameter at 55 mph.
Hurricane testing - Most panels are tested to ensure they can withstand winds of up to 140 mph. The glass or aluminum castings that hold the panels are also waterproof.
How To Conduct Routine Maintenance on Panels
In order to ensure your panels continue to function properly, you should conduct routine maintenance.
Keep them clean - Dirt and debris can build up over time, so you should clean your panels on a regular basis with water. Also, brush away any tree branches that can hamper their functionality. While you are up there, check for roof damage and call a professional for repairs.
Install a panel cover - Even though panels are very sturdy, some come equipped with a cover. If so, make sure it is installed correctly by a professional.
Add a monitoring system - These systems, which must be installed by an expert, can detect and diagnose any problems with the system.
Installing solar panels will ensure that you are reducing your carbon footprint. Just make sure they are installed professionally to prevent panel damage or malfunctions.
How to Properly Make a Flood Damage Claim
A flooded school in Langhorne, PA
Water can inflict massive damage on your home if you're not careful. Though you can prepare yourself against many issues, some types of flooding may occur without warning. If you need to make a flood claim, there are ways you can help the process go more smoothly. Make sure you follow the following advice so you can get the financial help you need.
To make an insurance claim, your provider will want details about how the flood began and what was damaged or lost. Before you call your agent, it's best to do the following:
- Take pictures of the extent of the damage in your home.
- Write down belongings that were damaged or destroyed as well as building materials that were affected.
- Make note of any injuries you or family members may have suffered.
Get in Touch With the Professionals
Cleaning up after a flood can be time-consuming, pain-staking work. Unless the water damage is minor and only covers a small area, you should contact a professional water restoration company. These companies have skilled technicians with experience and the right equipment to clean up the water in your home. The professionals will arrive promptly and assess the situation. Crews will extract all the water, thoroughly dry and sanitize the area and restore any damaged or ruined materials. After you make a flood claim, the insurance company and the cleanup company will coordinate their efforts and work out a payment.
Stay out of the Way One of the best things you can do after a disaster at home is to stay away from the incident area. Do not touch any damaged items or get near the water. This will keep you safe and prevent further issues with your Langhorne/Bensalem, PA home, and belongings.
Make sure you follow these steps when making a flood claim. You can get the compensation you need to restore your home and get back on your feet.
What You Need to Know About a Nor'easter
Keep safe all year by being alert and prepared for an approaching nor'easter
Anyone living on the Eastern Seaboard is familiar with a nor'easter storm. Thankfully, these storms don't hit too often, but when they do, they bring along heavy rain or snow, howling winds and stormy seas. To protect your home in Cornwells Heights, PA from flooding and other damage these storms can bring, let's take a look at some Nor'easter facts, including how the storms are formed and the trouble they can cause.
How Are These Storms Formed?
Two types of weather conditions can cause nor'easter storms, Miller Type A and Type B, as classified by J. E. Miller in 1946.
Miller Type A - These "classic" storms originate in the Gulf Coast and work their way up the coast to the Northeast. The storms are most common in the colder months of the year when cold air from the North travels down to the South where it meets much warmer air. This combination provides the perfection conditions for the storm.
Miller Type B - Much less common than the classic storms, these begin as cyclones in the Midwest that travel east. They break up somewhat in the Appalachian Mountains, then pick up steam again on the East Coast.
What Dangers Should You Be Aware Of?
In the winter months, these storms can cause heavy snow and wind. Power outages from downed trees and icy roads are common. To ensure your safety, keep abreast of weather conditions. Stock your pantry with enough food to get through the storm and stay at home when the storm approaches.
In warmer weather, strong winds and heavy rains can cause significant flooding and other damage to your home. Plan ahead by checking the weather report for any oncoming storms. Make sure your sump pump is in working order and your roof is in good shape. Keep your trees pruned to minimize the risk of downed tree branches.
Keep safe all year by being alert and prepared for an approaching nor'easter.
How to Clean Category 3 Water Damage
Drying a commercial building after water damage in Feasterville, PA
How to Clean Category 3 Water Damage
Flood water can leave your business in Feasterville, PA, inoperable. You need to get it cleaned and restored quickly to minimize lost revenue and impact on your customers. Since category 3 water is considered the most contaminated of all water sources, it is important to clean it correctly and minimize your exposure.
1. Identify the Source
Identifying where the water came from is usually a good first step in determining its potential for contaminants. Some common sources of category 3 water are a flood, a burst sewage line, and a toilet overflow.
2. Protect Yourself
This type of water can contain pathogens that may be harmful to human health such as viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, and environmental toxins. You should not make contact with the water. If you must, then you should wear protective clothing or gloves and wash with soap afterward.
3. Dry the Area
In the case of flood water, you will probably need someone with specialized equipment to extract the water. Professionals may use industrialized blowers to complete the drying process in as little time as possible.
Even after the water is gone, the area is still unsafe to enter because harmful substances can be left behind. If you are dealing with only a small area, like a bathroom floor, you could use a bleach solution to disinfect. However, larger areas will need the help of a professional with access to a variety of disinfectants and biocides.
5. Restore and Replace Damaged Items
Some materials may have sustained a considerable amount of damage and may need to be replaced. Carpet that has been submerged could need to be pulled up and replaced or new drywall might need to be installed.
Returning your business to normal after flood water damage involves more than just wiping up the water. By working with a professional restoration company, you can have your building restored as quickly and safely as possible.
Can Mold Be Identified by Odor?
Professional mold testing and lab analysis are necessary to identify mold species
With over 100,000 identified species of mold and more than 10,000 species that can thrive indoors, it is impossible to accurately identify fungi growing in a structure by sight or smell. A musty odor indicates that mold or mildew may be growing, but is not the same as mycotoxin. Find out more about the causes and characteristics of mold-related odors.
Common Mold Odors
Mold has a distinctive odor. Any of the following characteristics suggests that mold may be present in a structure:
- Earthy odors
- Fermentation odors
- Rotten odors
The musty odor that is typically associated with mold originates from compounds released during the active growth cycle. Dried spores from dormant growth do not produce as many of these compounds.
Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds
Mold in the active growth cycle releases microbial volatile organic compounds as off-gases. These byproducts of the metabolic process may include acids, alcohols, aldehydes, ethers, esters, and ketones. Different mVOCs produce unique odors. The presence of any odor that could be classified as moldy may indicate that these compounds are present and that mold could be growing in a structure.
Air Sample Analysis
Professional mold testing and lab analysis are necessary to identify mold species and determine whether a fungus produces mycotoxin. A device such as an airborne particle collector, cassette sampler, or impaction sampler may be used for this type of testing. It can take several days for the results of lab analysis to become available. Having more detailed information about mold species is helpful for determining containment requirements for mold remediation.
If a moldy odor is detectable in a building in Trevose, PA, the property owner or manager should arrange for professional testing. He or she should not attempt to locate mold hidden behind walls or over ceiling tiles. Disturbing a colony in any stage of growth could result in exposure to spores, mVOCs, and mycotoxin.
Here to Help 24/7
SERVPRO of Langhorne/Bensalem is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, even on weekends and holidays!
SERVPRO of Langhorne/Bensalem is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, even on weekends and holidays! When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is critical. Delays can greatly increase the severity of the water damage, causing increase in repair costs and extending the time it takes to repair.
We know that when you call for our services, you may be feeling overwhelmed. You need industry experts to guide you through the restoration process. SERVPRO of Langhorne/Bensalem has the certified training and industry experience to help you through this difficult time.
We are by the phone ready to respond, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week- call 215-600-1497 today! We'll make it "Like it never even happened."
Are Your Employees Ready To Handle a Fire?
Create an effective evacuation plan in your Bensalem, PA business
What Should Your Employees Do When A Fire Strikes?
Do they know how to quickly evacuate the premises? While many people believe that adults should know how to protect themselves, the reality is that during emergency situations it's not always that simple. It's best for business owners in Bensalem, PA, to develop a contingency plan, understanding the best methods for swift departure and immediate cleanup.
1. Establish Escape Routes
Working with a team, create an effective evacuation plan. You should all walk the grounds, thinking about potential areas where issues might arise. Then, brainstorm how best to get others out. Walk several routes, noting any obstacles or complications. Remember, you should have multiple paths, and each should be handicap accessible. Once your walk is over, write up the map and make sure everyone has it. Then, practice. Fire drills don't stop in elementary school.
2. Have Structured Leadership
No matter what calamity strikes, you should have a contingency plan for who takes control. Have someone level-headed to manage the chaos. Allow this person to have control over when to send out alerts as well as running the dismissal. Another staff member should gather evacuation materials from the office. Essentially, this is your emergency response manager.
3. Delegate Tasks
As people follow the evacuation plan, you'll have some who have responsibilities for the office. Who has personnel contact information? This person coordinates with others to ensure safety. Who is medically trained? This person can attend to workers who necessitate more assistance? Who has the role of working with a fire restoration company? This person discusses repairs and sanitation. Your business leader should access backed up files and begin locating a secondary place for temporary work.
With the right contingency plan, you can give staff the support they need. In addition, you can keep the company up and running from a different place.