The term “mold” is a colloquial term for a group of filamentous fungi that are common on food or wet materials. This includes the green Penicillium species that produces penicillin, and fungi that spoil our bread, fruit, cheese and crops. Most of these are Ascomycetes that produce a lot of spores.
The majority of the molds that grow on damp building materials are found in the soil and are adapted to grow on a wide variety of materials. Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. There are thousands of species of mold and they can be any color. Different mold species are adapted to different moisture conditions ranging from very wet to just damp. Many times, mold can be detected by a musty odor. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) under the right conditions. All of us are exposed to a variety of fungal spores daily in the air we breathe, both outdoors and indoors.
Mold and fungal spores occur naturally outdoors, where fungi are the earth’s most important recyclers. Indoors, mold needs moisture to grow; it becomes a problem only where there is water damage, elevated and prolonged humidity, or dampness. Common sources of excessive indoor moisture that can lead to mold problems include:
flooding from surface waters (i.e., overflowing rivers) or from severe storms;
roof leaks from damaged or missing roofing materials, ice dams or blocked gutters;
storm-driven rain through window frames, exterior walls or door assemblies;
leaking pipes, sewer back-ups or overflows;
damp basements or crawl spaces due to a high water table or poorly managed rainwater drainage; and
condensation on cold surfaces.
Call SERVPRO of Skagit County today for a mold inspection
Water damage restoration training is one of the important skill sets that a team of professional cleaners need in order to offer comprehensive services. This is a service that involves going into a home or business after a wet disaster, such as flood, burst pipes, or snow destruction, and not just cleaning up the mess, but actually drying and repairing the substructures that high volumes of moisture will affect, such as plaster and drywall, wood, concrete, and metal. Mold is a concern, of course, but there can be many other problems related to moisture damage; crumbling drywall and plaster, weakening beams and supports, rusting metal surfaces, and more. If the moisture is left to sit long enough, it will eventually bring the house to ruin. By having professional water damage restoration training, a cleaning crew will be able to properly assess the situation and devise the best plan for repair.
According the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), which sets the standards for the cleaning industry and water damage restoration training, there are several different levels and classes involved in liquid destruction. From the IICRC’s S-500 standards, there are three categories describing the type of liquid involved.
• Category 1. This is liquid from a clean and sanitary source, such as faucets, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, etc. But, category one can quickly degrade into category two. • Category 2. This category of liquid used to be called grey water, and is described as having a level of contaminates that may cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources include dishwasher or washing machine overflows, flush from sink drains, and toilet overflow with some urine but not feces. • Category 3. This is the worst classification and is grossly unsanitary. It could cause severe illness or death if ingested. It used to be called black water, and sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth.
Next are the classes of destruction.
• Class 1. The lowest and easiest to deal with, this has a slow evaporation rate. Only part of a room or area was affected, there is little or no wet carpet, and the moisture has only affected materials with a low permeance rate, such as plywood or concrete. • Class 2. With a fast evaporation rate, this level affects an entire room, carpeting, or cushioning, the wetness has wicked up the walls at least 12”, and there is moisture remaining in structural materials. • Class 3. This class has the fastest evaporation rate, and ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and sub-floors are all saturated. The liquid may have come from overhead. • Class 4. This class is labeled as specialty drying situations, which means there has been enough liquid and time to saturate materials with very low permeance, such as hardwood, brick, or stone. The education involved in water damage restoration training teaches the technician to tell the difference between all the classes and categories and form a restoration plan based on those factors. Whether the work is done with a professional, broad-spectrum cleaning company, or if it’s a company limited strictly to moisture damage work, it’s important to make sure the technician has the right knowledge and tools for the job. Infrared probes are used to tell the extent of the destruction, as well as air movers, air scrubbers, different sizes and types of dryers and blowers, special hardwood dryers, and dryers designed specifically for drying the sub-floor and inner wall cavities. Armed with water damage restoration training and the proper tools, most situations are salvageable.
What are damaging winds?Damaging winds are often called “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage they cause from tornado damage. Strong thunderstorm winds can come from a number of different processes. Most thunderstorm winds that cause damage at the ground are a result of outflow generated by a thunderstorm downdraft. Damaging winds are classified as those exceeding 50-60 mph.Are damaging winds really a big deal?Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes. Wind speeds can reach up to 100 mph and can produce a damage path extending for hundreds of miles.Who is at risk from damaging winds?Since most thunderstorms produce some straight-line winds as a result of outflow generated by the thunderstorm downdraft, anyone living in thunderstorm-prone areas of the world is at risk for experiencing this hazard.
People living in mobile homes are especially at risk for injury and death. Even anchored mobile homes can be seriously damaged when winds gust over 80 mph.
Straight-line wind is a term used to define any thunderstorm wind that is not associated with rotation, and is used mainly to differentiate from tornadic winds.
A downdraft is a small-scale column of air that rapidly sinks toward the ground.
A downburst is a result of a strong downdraft. A downburst is a strong downdraft with horizontal dimensions larger than 4 km (2.5 mi) resulting in an outward burst of damaging winds on or near the ground. (Imagine the way water comes out of a faucet and hits the bottom of the sink.) Downburst winds may begin as a microburst and spread out over a wider area, sometimes producing damage similar to a strong tornado. Although usually associated with thunderstorms, downbursts can occur with showers too weak to produce thunder.
A microburst is a small concentrated downburst that produces an outward burst of damaging winds at the surface. Microbursts are generally small (less than 4km across) and short-lived, lasting only 5-10 minutes, with maximum windspeeds up to 168 mph. There are two kinds of microbursts: wet and dry. A wet microburst is accompanied by heavy precipitation at the surface. Dry microbursts, common in places like the high plains and the intermountain west, occur with little or no precipitation reaching the ground.
A gust front is the leading edge of rain-cooled air that clashes with warmer thunderstorm inflow. Gust fronts are characterized by a wind shift, temperature drop, and gusty winds out ahead of a thunderstorm. Sometimes the winds push up air above them, forming a shelf cloud or detached roll cloud.
A derecho is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. A typical derecho consists of numerous microbursts, downbursts, and downburst clusters. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.
Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are dedicated to responding immediately when you need help with a fire or water damage event. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.
They specialize in fire and water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have extensive training and equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals clean and restore your property using specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. Their “restore first” mentality reduces interruption and gets you back to your life.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know just how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible. Learn more about the fire damage restoration process.
Step1: Emergency Contact
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
Storms and inclement weather can bring wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding that can devastate any business in a matter of minutes. There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike, and storms don’t just strike during regular business hours; that’s why SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer 24 hour emergency service 365 days per year.
Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give our Professionals a call and they’ll be there fast with the help you need.
The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are prepared for the unpredictable. Learn more about the Disaster Recovery Team.
Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
We are available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold remediation. Learn more about our commercial restoration services:
Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on a SERVPRO Franchise Professional to get the job done right the first time. They’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best. Learn more about our Commercial Cleaning Service.
Company Prepares: The mold remediation company will park a truck as near as possible to the doorway, lay down plastic sheeting, and run hoses through the house to the mold area. If the mold area is accessible from the outside (such as a crawlspace), so much the better. A good mold remediation company will take care to keep your house clean while they do the work.
Suiting-Up Process: As with any other potentially hazardous process, such as the removal of lead-based paint or asbestos, mold remediation workers fully suit up for action: head-to-toe white suits, booties, respirators, and goggles. This does not necessarily mean that the mold remediation company will be removing toxic mold. This is the usual procedure for any job they are dealing with.
Spray Down: The first step of this two-step process is to spray the mold area with biocide. Biocide is an EPA-approved liquid which kills mold. Note that bleach is not approved by the EPA for killing mold. Typically, this first step should take less time than the second step.
Wait: After the workers leave, the biocide goes to work, killing the mold spores.
Day 2: Spray Mold Area with Encapsulant
Next day, the mold remediation company returns. Again, clear access is needed.
Encapsulation: The workers will spray the area with a type of paint or whitewash that encapsulates the remaining mold spores. The mold remediation company should spray well beyond the moldy area to ensure that no more mold grows. For example, if only a limited area of an attic exhibits mold, the company will probably still spray down the entire attic. This is more desirable, and you should confirm with the company that they will do this.