Preventing Mold Growth In Your Port Richey Home
Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist, but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Use the following tips to help prevent mold growth in your home.
- Identify problem areas in your home and correct them.Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters.
- Dry wet areas immediately.Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away.
- Prevent moisture with proper ventilation.Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area.
- Equip your home with mold-resistant products.Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints.
- Monitor humidity indoors.The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store.
- Direct water away from your home.If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.
- Clean or repair roof gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
- Improve air flow in your home.Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.
- Keep mold off household plants.They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants.
SERVPRO of West Pasco has the training, experience, and equipment to handle any mold issues you may find in your home. Call Us Today (727) 847-3000.
SERVPRO Convention 2018
If you happened to visit Mouseland last month, you may have seen a sea of green and orange, in addition to the usual ubiquitous mouse ear hats. This year SERVPRO owners and team members from around the country gathered in Orlando for the annual franchise convention. It’s the “go to” event of the year and for the first time I was able to attend.
As SERVPRO of West Pasco’s Social Media Specialist, my goal is to represent our brand to the best of my ability and having the opportunity to meet with other franchise teams was a learning experience I’ll never forget. Although we operate as a franchise system and each service center is independently owned and operated, we all work as a family supporting our green and orange brothers and sisters, bouncing ideas off each other, what works and what doesn’t.
What made my experience even better was getting to make the two-hour drive from our New Port Richey office to Orlando with one of the best project coordinators known to man, Shanna. In speaking with her about her time at the convention, she was thrilled to learn about upcoming changes to our systems that will make day to day operations run more efficiently. Shanna added in that the presenters themselves were enthusiastic, making the “learning” experience more than just that, it was fun!
Now that the 2018 SERVPRO convention has ended and we’ve brought back the rich information and ideas to our local office, we’d like to thank the corporate team from Gallatin, Tennessee, for their hard work and dedication for continued growth of the green and orange brand.
Hoarding: A Serious Situation
According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.
Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as hold newspapers, junk mail or packaging. In New Port Richey, we often see hoarding lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats, and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
SERVPRO of West Pasco encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often, we are called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when we arrive on-site. A SERVPRO of West Pasco professional will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by SERVPRO of West Pasco, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.
Another was we encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situation, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.
Each case is very difficult, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of West Pasco professionals are her to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties in New Port Richey, Hudson, Trinity, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of West Pasco today.
Fire Drills: Not Just For School Days
We all remember fire drill days at school, the loud and piercing alarm vibrating through the halls, students lining up single file, determined to get to their meeting spot. We won’t even outgrow fire drills once we’ve made the step into the real world and start working – fire drills follow you wherever you go and that should include your home.
It’s the middle of the night. You’re sound asleep when suddenly the smoke alarms in your house go off. It’s dark. The house is filling with smoke. Fire experts say you have about two minutes to get out safely. Would you and your family know what you should do?
Coming up with and practicing family safety drills can help to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency. It is an important topic to discuss with your family, especially children.
The National Fire Protection Association has a helpful section on how to create a family fire escape plan. It includes how to draw a fire escape path for your home, how to reinforce fire safety to younger children, and tips how to stay as safe as possible during a fire.
Some tips include:
- Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Have a designated outside meeting place a safe distance from the home
- Assign “partners” for young, elderly, or family members with mobility issues
- Close Doors behind you as you leave each room to slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire
- All members of the household should know two ways to get out of every room.
- Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
- Pick a place outside for everyone to meet and make sure everyone knows where it is.
- Practice your home fire drill until everyone in the household can do it in less than two minutes.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
Your family’s safety is the first priority. After emergency services have done their job SERVPRO of West Pasco will be here to help you repair, restore, and recover your belongings.
BIOHAZARD, CRIME SCENE, AND VANDALISM CLEANUP
Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO of West Pasco offers fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.
Your local SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.
Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.
SERVPRO of West Pasco can help with the following issues:
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Crime Scene Residues
- Arson and Vandalism
- Sewage Backups
- Black Water Intrusions
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
State and local regulations vary, and our franchise is licensed by the State of Florida to complete this work. Contact your SERVPRO of West Pasco today for 24-hour emergency service at (727)847-3000.
BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS: SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Our trained Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
METHAMPHETAMINE LABS: Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
CRIME SCENE RESIDUES: From fingerprint powder and evidence gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, we can clean and restore your property and contents.
ARSON AND VANDALISM: SERVPRO of West Pasco Professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. We also provide general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.
Flooding. Do You Know What To Do?
Floods can happen everywhere, making them one of the country's most common natural disasters. Flooding poses a greater threat in low-lying areas, near water, downstream from dams. Even the smallest streams, creek beds or drains can overflow and create flooding. During periods of heavy rain or extended periods of steady rains, be aware of the possibility of a flood. Flash floods develop quickly- anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Listen to local weather reports for flooding information.
- Check to see if you have flood insurance coverage.
- Raise your furnace, water heater, or electrical panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.
- Install "check valves" in sewer traps.
- Construct barriers, such as levees, berms, or flood walls, to stop floodwater from entering the building.
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.
- During a flood or flash flood watch, be prepared to evacuate, including fill your car's gas tank; bring in outside furniture; move valuables to high points in your home; and unplug electrical appliances and move them to high points
- During a flood warning, evacuate if you are so advised.
- During a flash flood warning, immediately seek higher ground.
- Keep your emergency supplies kit, including water, stored in an easily accessible, waterproof place.
- If time allows, call someone to let them know where you are going, and check with neighbors who may need a ride.
- Stay out of flood waters, if possible. Even water only several inches deep can be dangerous. If you have to walk through water, use a stick to check the firmness of the ground ahead of you. Avoid moving water.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If your car becomes surrounded by rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- Do not return home until local authorities say it is safe to do so.
- Do not drink or cook with your tap water until local authorities say it is safe.
- Avoid floodwaters, which could be contaminated or electrically charged.
- Watch out for areas in which the floodwaters may have receded, leaving weakened roadways.
- Be extra careful when entering buildings that may have hidden structural damage.
- Clean and disinfect everything that got wet.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewer systems are a serious health hazard.
Preparing For When A Hurricane Strikes
As Hurricane Irma made her way through the Pasco County area, many roads were closed due to flooding.
- Prepare your evacuation plan, including pets, transportation routes and destinations.
- Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed and clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Consider building a safe room.
- Stay informed! Listen to NOAA weather radio or check local forecasts and news reports regularly.
- Cover your home's windows with pre-cut plywood or hurricane shutters. Tape DOES NOT prevent windows from breaking.
- Bring in all outside furniture, decorations, garbage cans, etc.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Fill the bathtub or buckets with water to use for cleaning and flushing toilets.
- Keep your gas tank at least ¾ full at all times.
- Keep your emergency supplies kit, including water, and copies of important documents, in a waterproof, portable container, in an easily accessible location.
Evacuate under the following conditions:
- If local authorities tell you to evacuate, follow their directions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure, which are particularly hazardous no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
- If you live in an area below sea level.
- If you choose not to evacuate, stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors. Notify out-of-are contacts of your decision. Close all interior doors and secure and brace exterior doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
- Don't be fooled by a lull in the storm- it could be the eye of the storm and winds could resume.
- Be aware of flooding and tornadoes.
- Stay out of flood waters, if possible.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- If you evacuated, do not return to your home until the local authorities say it is safe.
The Three Categories of Water Loss
The IICRC’s S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration distinguishes water into three categories. Each category is defined by the levels of containment or possible containments in the source of the water.
Category 1 “Clean Water”: Water in this category originates from a clean, sanitary source and poses little to no risk to humans if contacted or ingested. Examples are broken water supply lines, sink or bathtub overflows, or water supplies to an appliance such as a water line to an ice maker.
Category 2 “Grey Water”: Water is this category comes from a source that contains significant contamination including chemical, biological, or physical materials. Grey Water has an elevated risk to cause illness and discomfort with any type of exposure. Examples are toilet bowls with urine, sump pump leaks, and discharged water from appliances like dishwasher and washing machines.
Category 3 “Black Water”: Water in this category is considered very harmful and contains unsanitary agents, dangerous bacteria and fungus, and toxic substances. This category of water has an extreme risk of causing illness and exposure should be avoided at all costs if the proper personal protective equipment is not available. Examples include sewage, seawater, and overflow from rivers or lakes.
If left unattended Clean and Grey Water can become stagnant and may be considered Black Water.
If you have concerns with water no matter the source, SERVPRO of West Pasco specializes in Water Damage Repair & Restoration and is a certified IICRC firm.
Lightning Safety Tips
Thunder and lightning storms happen all the time in Hudson. Know what to do to keep you and your family safe when the storms strike!
- If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Look for shelter inside a home, large building, or hard-topped vehicle right away.
- Do not go under trees for shelter. There is no place outside that is safe during a thunderstorm.
- Wait at least 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder before leaving your shelter.
- Stay away from windows and doors. Stay off porches.
- There is no safe place outside. Places with only a roof on sports fields, golf courses, and picnic areas are not safe during a lightning storm. Small sheds should not be used.
- If a person is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1. Get medical help right away.
- Turn off computers. Stay off corded phones, computers, and other things that put you in direct contact with electricity or plumbing. You can use a cell or cordless phone.
- Do no wash your hands, bathe, shower, do laundry, or wash dishes.
- Lightning may strike as far as 10 miles from any rain.
Document Drying and Restoration Services for Pasco Businesses
SERVPRO of West Pasco offers a variety of services from water and fire damage restoration, mold mitigation, and both commercial and residential cleaning services. But did you know that we also provide Document Drying and Restoration for our commercial clients?
Damage from a water or fire event is not limited to the building and furniture. Sometimes files such as patient records, invoices, and legal documents are impacted by water, smoke, and soot contact. SERVPRO’s document drying process is designed to stabilize damaged documents and prevent further damage quickly. The treatment facility is secured, the chain of custody follows HIPAA guidelines – or whichever specific legalities are required, and our Drying Chamber personnel is Master HIPAA certified allowing them to handle protected health information (PHI).
Our Document Restoration Facility:
- Innovative: we use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
- Secure: managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
- Digital: we use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
- Flexible capacity - we can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
- Full Service: we offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization
SERVPRO document services also include digitization services that reduce the need for large filing rooms and help make data access more accessible for businesses. Certified destruction services allow for sensitive information to be appropriately disposed of and provide peace of mind to businesses and their clients.
Types of content:
- paper documents
- books and magazines
- manuscripts and files
- photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
- blueprints and maps
For more information about document recovery provided by SERVPRO of West Pasco, based in our New Port Richey headquarters, north of Trinity, or other commercial services, visit our website or call (727) 847-3000.