Mold vs Mildew
The thought of finding mold in your home or business can be scary, especially when you’re unsure how to remediate it. Mildew and molds are fungi - simple microscopic organisms that thrive anywhere there is a moist environment. That makes it difficult to get rid of on your own.
Molds are a necessary part of the environment; without them, leaves would not decay and aspects of soil enrichment could not take place. It is their ability to destroy organic materials, however, that makes mold a problem for people - in our homes and in our bodies.
Mildew (mold in early stage) and molds grow on wood products, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, foods, insulation, decaying leaves and other organic materials. Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours. They reproduce by spores - tiny, lightweight “seeds”- that travel through the air.
Molds digest organic material, eventually destroying the material they grow on, and then spread to destroy adjacent organic material. In addition to the damage molds can cause in your home, they can also cause mild to severe health problems if left untreated. If you or someone you know has discovered growth in their home or business, give us a call at 727-847-3000 and let SERVPRO of West Pasco help make your home “Like it never even happened.”
Wind Damage Affects On Your Home
High winds can occur virtually anywhere, and thousands of tornadoes and hurricanes hit the U.S. every year. Severe winds are defined as exceeding 50-60 mph and are categorized as follows:
Straight-line winds: This broad category includes all winds not associated with rotation
Downdrafts: These winds are small columns of air that sink quickly toward the ground
Downbursts: These winds, which can be as bad as tornadoes, are a result of strong downbursts and are usually associated with thunderstorms
Microbursts: These small, highly concentrated downbursts can exceed 168 mph and can be wet or dry.
Gust fronts: These occur when cold air clashes with warm air from a thunderstorm
showers or thunderstorms
Tornadoes: These destructive vortexes can exceed 300 mph and travel over dry land
Cyclones and Hurricanes: In the U.S., these tropical storms rotate inward toward areas of low atmospheric pressure and are most common near the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard.
Damage from wind can be widespread and can affect not only your structure but also surrounding landscaping and asphalt. Be aware of the potential for falling trees and poles and damaged power lines and take care of these problems right away. After the storm, examine your property for structural damage to the home, including windows, siding, and roofs. If you find that your home has suffered damage, SERVPRO of West Pasco is your company to call. With over 25 years of experience, we can make your home “Like it never even happened.”
What Is A Partial Fire Loss?
This customer unfortunately had a house fire that affected not only their home but the side of their neighbors house as well.
HOW IS A PARTIAL LOSS DIFFERENT FROM A TOTAL LOSS
A partial loss indicates that a structure was not irreparably damaged. In general, this level of damage may require restoration and repairs, but not a complete rebuild. Find out how to determine the extent of fire loss at a commercial building in Wesley Chapel.
The Damage Is Limited
If a particular area of a structure has sustained fire damage while other areas are only affected by heat or smoke, the loss is likely to be partial. The following are some of the most common forms of partial loss:
- Burnt or charred building materials or contents
- Heat-damaged building materials or contents
- Smoke-damaged building materials or contents
Buildings that remain structurally sound can still suffer an extensive partial loss. An actual total loss involves a situation in which a property has burned down or sustained such extensive structural damage that a complete rebuild is necessary.
A fire loss is likely partial if a building can be cleaned and restored. This even applies to situations in which a certain portion of a structure sustains significant damage and may have to be rebuilt, but the building remains structurally sound on the whole and safe for occupation after cleaning and restoration.
Fire damage at a commercial building is likely to involve damaged contents. Getting a professional verdict on the condition of equipment can facilitate claim settlement. Any assessment should account for fire, heat and smoke damage. It is helpful to have an insurance policy that covers replacement costs rather than actual cash value with depreciation.
In the event of a partial fire loss, cleanup and restoration experts should check for hidden damage. Fire damage that appears minor may actually be more extensive. Experienced fire restoration professionals can inspect and accurately identify the extent of loss for the purpose of making a commercial property insurance claim. If your home or business suffers from fire damage, give us a call 727-847-3000.
Here at SERVPRO of West Pasco, we believe understanding how fires may start and what you can do to quickly extinguish them is important to keeping not only you and but your family safe. Take a look at these quick statistics to get a better understanding of how to avoid having fire damage in your home.
- About 44% of home fires are started by cooking accidents. Be sure you keep a fire extinguisher close at hand whenever you are working in the kitchen.
- Just above 21% of residential fires are caused by electrical malfunctions or issues with the heating system in the home. This is why it is extremely important to have your appliances checked often and keep up with their maintenance year-round.
- There are more than 209 fires in Florida homes every day.
- One of the most shocking statistics is that smoke detectors are not present or are inoperative in over 52 percent of these homes.
Being prepared plays a huge part of avoiding injury and death during a fire. Make a plan and be sure that everyone in the building is familiar with it so that if a fire breaks out, everyone knows exactly what to do.
If you have fire damage in your home, give us a call at 727-847-3000, and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Day 16: The Day We All Became Epidemiologists
The number of expert epidemiologists has risen 3,000,000% in the last 45 days. Traditionally, this is an academic career path that takes nearly a decade of studying, a keen sense for numbers and statistics, requires tremendous discipline and patience and extreme focus. Esteemed within the public health community, these professionals investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in human populations. Prior to the outbreak, I knew what an epidemiologist did in general terms but I had never talked to one, didn’t know one and had probably never used the word ‘epidemiology’ in a sentence. In the last month and half, I have met and talked to dozens of them. They have honed their craft over the last month by skipping the traditional 7 -10 years of education for 60-second sound bites and regurgitating headlines. Why read the article when you can get the gist from these great memes? I jumped on the bandwagon too and registered for a six-week online course, “Learn the Complexities of Virus Origins, Mutations and Vaccines to Cure Them." They guarantee you pass or your money back. Three easy payments of $49.99, couldn’t turn it down. I cannot even begin to count the number of mistakes I have made in my business. Once I bought an F350 for $4,000 and sold it two weeks later for $700. (Turns out you should check for oil leaks.) I paid a monthly software subscription for three years that we never used – not once. (Turns out watching money literally burn would have been a better use.) I have sent crews to Ohio for flooding in residential basements. Turns out if you live in Florida, there is no reason to go to Ohio for anything. All of this to say, the recovery and the people leading the efforts are going to be challenged, make mistakes and it will not be perfect -- but it will all be okay. The path to any outcome is generally not linear. On the bright side, Ohio is off my bucket list, and in five weeks I can give you an accredited opinion on the virus and pending vaccine.
Day 15: The Day My Zoom Reflection Made Me Reflective
The idea of the Zoom or Microsoft Teams conference video is to provide live stream with colleagues to make it feel like a real live meeting, where people are having conversations and collaborating. However, everyone appears to be staring at their own self. After a month of these calls, I am still trying to figure out why everyone else’s head looks so big on the screen but my head looks small in the picture. Does my head look big on their screen or is there something wrong with my head? Those thoughts quickly shift to thinking about the bags under my eyes accentuated by these office fluorescent lights- can we do something about this? And then I move on to, ‘Why am I wearing pants right now anyway?’ A friend warned from personal experience, if you don’t wear pants, make sure a mirror is not behind you – good tip. My early studies conclude it is not just me. The deadpan straight-ahead look is on almost everyone’s face. These studies are finding people are just trying to mask over the fact that they binged on “Ozark” Season 3 last night until 1 a.m. and they are just hoping to get through the call without having to participate. These early studies also suggest as the Pandemic Groundhog Days keep churning, blow-up dolls will soon take the place of people, just to see if anyone notices or, better yet, if anyone cares. A friend told me if you angle the camera just right, you can slide your phone under the camera, hit the mute button and complete your grocery list on Shipt all while appearing completely engaged. My studies have not confirmed this as fact. This seems like an advanced technique, more of a pro’s pro kind of move. So, if you see me driving down the road and I appear to be in a complete trance, just know it is not you nor it is personal, I am probably just on a Zoom hangover. Feel free to snap me out of it just don’t say anything about the bags under my eyes – I have already seen them in glaring light. On the bright side, the Bucs are rumored to sign Gronk. All is good in the world.
Day 13: The Day I Licked Cheetos Dust Off My Fingers
I am not sure how the idea started; it felt innocent enough when I was first approached and quickly signed off on the deal. A few days passed, I didn’t think much about it and then one day I walked in and there it was plugged in and ready for my money. The first time I walked by it, I swear I heard a whisper that said, 'Put your apple down and get a bag of Cheetos.' Our office has a vending machine. Hopes of not gaining the COVID 19 diminishes with each quarter dropped into its reservoir. A bag of Cheetos is only 50 cents and it's RIGHT there. With no one in the office to observe and judge my intake, I have had more than my far share as of late. I can even be disgusting and lick the powder cheese without anyone seeing – the definition of freedom. Turns out one vending machine is not enough, you cannot have snacks without drinks. So we have a drink machine too. All the soda and energy drinks you can imagine and it even offers Yoo-hoo. Nothing reduces stress like chocolate water sweetened with corn syrup. During this time of quarantining we are thinking about the things we could accomplish. You know, "I am going to start doing (insert here)." It is a like New Years Goal in April. With Tom Brady coming to town, I ordered the TB12 book. I figure now is a good time to start. There is not a single food item within the vending machine that meets the TB12 standards. I was doomed before I started. I did read an article that said it is okay not to do much during the crisis other than survive – I am nailing that, my kind of goal. I read this in The New York Times – so there has to be some credibility, right? On the bright side, my boys think the vending machine is the coolest thing they have ever seen. I now have three bucks in quarters at all times in my truck, so feel free to stop by to commiserate with a guilt-free Coke and a bag of Cheetos on me. Just stay your distance and don’t lick the powdered cheese off your fingers -- because no one wants to see that. -JG
Day 14: The Day I Considered Corona's Impact on N-95 Couture
In the restoration and remediation industry, we have been wearing N-95 particulate respirators for years and systematically include them in our regular supplies. The masks have always been slightly uncomfortable, hot and not flattering. Over the years, I have seen people wear them upside down, with one strap around their head instead of two, and on their forehead because it was too hot and what’s a few mold spores going do to me anyway. Hard to argue with that logic, I mean how much harm could a few microscopic particulates do to a person. This is where I insert the hand hitting the forehead emoji. I see people in their cars with windows rolled up, air conditioning cranking, radio jamming and a mask around their face. I wonder if they know something I don’t. I am excited though, maybe COVID-19 will do to the respirator industry what Uber did to the taxi-cab industry. The bland hospital white look that screams, ‘there must something wrong with that guy,’ could be replaced with something much cooler. I am not creative enough to know what that is, but I know the bar is so low it would be hard to be disappointed with any attempt. Get Nike or Yeti or someone like that involved and we have a chance for something better, I think. Anyway, in the meantime, I will keep doing my part and wearing my N-95 in public like it is Halloween. In case you see me driving around with it on, roll down the window and wave. Just know that I want to talk to you, it is not personal but it hurts my jaw too much with it on. I wonder if they make children’s sizes for the house.
Day 9: The Day I Taught My Son to Bump Elbows
Day 9 In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he can see a future where we do not shake hands anymore. I know people who, prior to the pandemic, would only fist or elbow bump to say hi. I thought it was weird but I guess they were ahead of their time. Heck, before all of this, I had no issues with a Golden Corral buffet – but now I am thinking twice. In our business, we are inside many properties; most are fairly clean and organized, but some not as much. We all have a lot of stuff, but some have more than others – I try not to judge. All of this makes me think the service industry may never be the same after COVID-19. Perhaps in the future our team will begin a project by setting containment areas around all work areas to protect everyone while we work. Meaning, by design we do not have much interaction with our client and we seal off the area we are working in regardless of the service being provided. Will air scrubbers, with the HEPA filters that can remove particulates as tiny as 0.3 microns from the air, be required in work spaces? If an employee calls out sick, for any reason, does this mean they stay home for two weeks? I guess we all have to wait and see what happens. On the bright side, if I see you at the Golden Corral, life is back to normal. This is my new barometer on normal – will I eat at the Corral? So when we dip our strawberry into the same chocolate trough, just as the previous 139 (hygienic) people before us did, just know that I want to shake your hand – but an elbow bump will have to do, you know, because our hands will be full with plates of chocolate strawberries.
Day 10: The Day
Day 10 I can verify that, despite COVID-19, every company’s A/R (accounts receivable) department is up running smoothly right now. The invoices are printed almost ahead of schedule, then mailed, emailed, faxed and texted to you. On the other hand, the A/P (accounts payable) departments appear to be having major technical difficulties – does COVID-19 affect the ability to print checks to pay bills? (Really guys, I saw it on the Internet – the virus can smear ink! JUST JOKING) Trying to get ahold of anyone in an accounts payable department at a mortgage company, for example, is like changing a diaper. You are kind of used to the process and do not think it will be that bad, only to realize this next experience is worse than you could imagine, makes you wonder how it was even possible to reach this level and you think about your life choices for a second. Once you do get through to someone, chances are they are just taking messages. This person always makes me feel confident the message is taken accurately and sent with urgency to the exact person I was seeking. So, for now, we will keep sending emails and leaving messages. On the bright side, the Bucs signed Tom Brady. Life is good. -Jeremy George