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What Conditions Does Mold Grow In?

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Do I Have Mold? Image of mold spores. Is Mold Growing In Your Home?

What Conditions Does Mold Grow In? | SERVPRO® of North Central Mecklenburg County If you have not considered the possibility of mold becoming a problem in your home, it would be a smart idea to think through how it could impact your household. While mold is a preventable problem, if it does break out, it can be a serious issue to tackle for homeowners, and if it is not handled properly from the beginning, it can quickly return on a repeat basis.

Fortunately, there are things that every homeowner can do to prevent mold from growing in the first place—namely, by avoiding creating conditions where it is likely to thrive. Below, we will take a look at how mold finds its way into your home as well as the conditions that it likes so you can be on the lookout for susceptible places in your home.

How Does Mold Get Into a Home?

Mold spores are airborne, and they can easily be transported from the outdoors to the inside of a home when the door is opened, when people walk inside with their shoes on or when pets and people carry the spores in on their fur or clothes.

Mold is nearly everywhere, which is normally not an issue because it needs a very specific set of conditions to begin to grow and reproduce.

The Conditions That Mold Finds Favorable

There are many different types of mold that may grow in areas, but they all have one thing in common: They cannot grow without an adequate amount of moisture.

Mold requires dampness to take hold and begin reproducing, which is why it is often found in basements, bathrooms and areas that have experienced water damage.

How Can I Discourage Mold From Growing?

One of the best things that homeowners can do to prevent mold from growing is increasing circulation and not letting areas in the home become too humid. Adding a fan to a bathroom or installing a dehumidifier in a basement can go a long way in discouraging mold from making itself at home.

Additionally, if you have any water damage to your home, it is best to get it professionally restored right away so mold does not begin to grow in the damaged area.

If you need help with mold remediation or water damage restoration, we are here to help. Get in touch with us to learn more about our services today

Can You Smell Mold? | SERVPRO® of North Central Mecklenburg County

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Can You Smell Mold Can You Smell Mold

Can You Smell Mold? | SERVPRO® of North Central Mecklenburg County

If you are concerned that you may have mold in your home or are just wanting to be extra vigilant about looking for the signs of it, it is important that you are aware of what to watch out for that might indicate that you have a mold problem on your hands.

Mold can be a tricky thing to deal with, but if you can catch it quickly, it can be far less complicated to handle.

What Is Mold?

Mold is an airborne fungus whose organisms are almost always present in the air. In natural settings, mold is responsible for the important role of breaking down decaying matter, and due to its airborne nature, it is able to travel quickly from place to place.

Most of us are likely exposed to mold every time we step outside, but in low concentrations. It is only when mold becomes concentrated in an area of the home that it can become dangerous.

When mold becomes concentrated, it can begin to infiltrate the air in your home and cause health effects. Some people have a mold allergy, which makes them extra susceptible to its effects, but even in otherwise healthy people, mold can cause health effects.

Will I Be Able to Smell Mold?

Oftentimes, a dank, musty odor is the first sign that homeowners have something amiss in regards to mold in the home. Many people are surprised to realize that mold can begin growing in as little as 24 hours, so if you catch a whiff of something odd, it is best to investigate quickly.

The smell that mold creates is pungent, and often described as “stale,” “damp” or “rotten.” Because the smell comes directly from the mold, opening the windows or increasing circulation is of no use, though it may temporarily improve the conditions.

What Should I Do if I Suspect Mold?

If you suspect that your home has a problem with mold, whether due to the smell or some other reason, it is important to act quickly. Mold remediation is the only option for dealing with a mold infestation—bleaching it or cleaning it will only be a temporary solution as more mold can continue to grow. If you think you have mold, it is important to call in an expert mold remediation team right away.

Do you think you have mold in your home? We are here to help! Contact us today to learn more about our mold remediation services for commercial and residential spaces.

Do You Know the Signs of Basement Water Damage? | SERVPRO® of North Central Mecklenburg County

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Leaking Basements Basement Water Leaks

Do You Know the Signs of Basement Water Damage? | SERVPRO® of North Central Mecklenburg County

A basement is an essential part of many homes. It can serve as a place to store boxes of collections and memories.

It can be a place for the family to huddle when storms are near. It can even be extra living space for an adult child or an in-law who need a temporary place to call home.

However, homeowners typically run into one major problem above all others as it regards basements: water damage. Because basements are dug into the ground, and because appliances such as water heaters are often stored there, a basement becomes a prime place for unaccounted-for water to end up.

It’s not a guarantee that you’ll encounter water damage in the basement, but if your home has one built in, it definitely behooves you to be aware of the risks and acquaint yourself with the common roots and signs of aquatic basement misadventures.

The Top Signs of Water Damage in a Basement

Unpleasant, musky odors. Whether it’s from outdoor moisture or indoor leakage, the water that comes into your basement will find a place to settle, soak and sour, eventually resulting in the smell that’s so often associated with basement life that some people just assume it’s issued with the house. That smell, though, should not be the norm for your underground room. It only occurs when mold and mildew are present in the environment, and your sense of smell is your first clue that you’ve got mold growing, as the odor will manifest even before mold or mildew are visible.

Flaking paint on masonry or walls. If your downstairs haven is painted, a disruption in the paint job could very well signal that you have a water issue. Even so-called waterproof paint won’t hold back a significant enough leak—it’ll just give way later, after more water has accumulated. Yes, if there’s bubbling and flaking, you’ve got water. Unless, that is, you’ve got…

Foundational cracks. Homes have been known to shift over time, but full-blown cracks in the foundation aren’t normal, and they must be acted upon immediately. Cracks can also manifest in the floor, the ceiling or in your walls, as a sign that your foundation has already cracked and the rest of the house is feeling the pressure. Don’t fret over hairline cracks, but if they grow, you need to line up repair options quick.

If you notice any of these signs in your basement, let us take a look. Our expert water restoration technicians can help you determine what is causing these issues and how to treat it properly. Contact us today to learn more.

Keep Fires at Bay in the Warmer Months | SERVPRO® of North Central Mecklenburg County

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Summer Home Fires Summer Home Fires

Looking forward to summertime is welcome event after the long cold months of winter. Spring is in full bloom, and summer is right around the corner.

It’s a time of renewal and getting outdoors. There are plenty of activities to do outdoors such as hiking, going to the lake, grilling and barbecuing with friends and family, just to name a few.

With the warmer weather families will begin to gather for reunions, graduations and the seasonal cookouts that everyone loves. That also brings with it the risk of increased fires.

Unfortunately, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year. But by being cautious, you can minimize fires at home this season.

Here are some great places to start:

The grill. By and large, the grill is one of the biggest culprits of spring fires. It presents a substantial risk due to the combination of flame, grease, heat and gas. But just taking a few precautions can greatly reduce the risk of a fire on the barbecue grill! Make sure the grill is cleaned prior to every use and that all parts are in proper working order. Replace any worn or damaged components before grilling and keep the grill at least six feet away from any flammable objects, especially the house! Lack of proper cleaning is responsible for almost 20% of grill fires!

The fire pit. While the grill get its share of blame for accidental fires, the fire pit can be dangerous as well. Gathering on a cool spring or summer evening around a fire pit can provide some of the best rest and relaxation after a long day or week. Keep these safety tips in mind: Kids should never be left alone around a fire pit. Keep a bucket of water close by. Don’t add pine needles or leaves to a fire pit as this can cause “flare-ups” and embers can be carried away by the wind. If you are cooking hot dogs or roasting marshmallows do it over the embers and not the open flame, which will help avoid the flame damage and help you get that elusive perfect roasted finish that you’re looking for.

Chimneys and dryer vents. Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once every season. Ash, soot and creosote buildup is a major cause of fires, and with proper maintenance, this risk can be reduced. The failure to clean dryer vents is a leading cause of fires that emanate from the dryer.

Our technicians are on hand 247 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.

What Factors Can Make Drying More Efficient in My Charlotte Home?

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has the tools to restore your water damaged home. Call us today!

Our SERVPRO Team has Powerful Tools and Equipment to Manage Specific Facets of the Drying Sciences to Restore Your Water-Damaged Property 

Drying your Charlotte home is often more complicated than addressing surface water alone. While many property owners consider water restoration to be little more than sopping up pooling water on the floor of your house, there are often several more steps then mopping and towel drying. With as fast as water can migrate throughout the property, structural cavities and expose materials often absorb a portion of the damage, requiring more complex and involved drying solutions.   

With experienced technicians on our roster with water restoration accreditations through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), we have professionals available to restore water damage in Charlotte's homes at any time of the day. Part of the experience of these professionals and their extensive training involves understanding the three primary elements of drying. These main branches of drying science include: 

  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • Airflow 

How Can You Regulate Humidity?  

Higher humidity levels can slow the drying process, ultimately keep customers from their homes longer and make water damage restoration cost more money. Desiccant dehumidifiers can pull moisture from the environment and replace it with a dryer exhausted air from the unit. 

What Temperature is Best for Drying?  

Warmth is always a desirable factor when it comes to drying construction materials and contents in a water damaged home. To achieve this, our professionals utilized portable electric heaters within the drying zone to increase the temperature and its evaporative properties. 

What Tools Work Best for Moving Air Through a Drying Zone?  

Airflow is an essential factor when it comes to drying out more substantial areas of the structure. After establishing a drying zone, tools like air movers can force heated air throughout this affected region to expedite evaporation. 

Give our experienced SERVPRO of North Central Mecklenburg County team a call anytime you need water restoration at (704) 596-9700. 

More about Charlotte.

How Can a Local Water Removal Company Help My Business Recover from a Water-Related Accident?

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO to mitigate all of your commercial water damage needs in Mecklenburg.

Mecklenburg County Water Removal Services by SERVPRO Generally Follow a Time-Tested Procedure for Removing Water from Your Commercial Property.

Just the other month, a Charlotte-area office building suffered the effects of a ruptured pipe in its basement.  This broken pipe rapidly filled the Mecklenburg County business’ basement maintenance rooms with feet of standing water and forced its owners to shut off the building’s electricity.  Unfortunately, this prevented the company from continuing its operations until workers effectively addressed the water issue.  The owners, without any forewarning, suddenly faced a costly problem that needed to be solved as soon as possible.  They needed to make quick decisions in order to avert an extended business closure and substantial operational losses.  In doing so, they contacted a local water removal service for assistance. SERVPRO--We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

What Procedure Does Water Removal Services Like SERVPRO Follow to Extract Water from My Mecklenburg County Business?

The key to successfully extracting water from a commercial structure is having a proven plan of action. Our team has such a plan and our skilled technicians know what to do at each stage of the process.  Once workers find and shutoff the offending water source, they generally do the following things:  

  • Remove standing water with submersible pumps and large, commercial-strength extractors
  • Determine a drying goal, based on moisture levels in unaffected areas, and calculate the right dehumidifier-to-air mover ratio for the most efficient drying
  • Quickly and effectively dry interiors using advanced refrigerant or desiccant dehumidifiers
  • Inject EPA and OSHA-approved fungicides, disinfectants, and deodorants into even the most difficult-to-reach areas, using state-of-the-art foggers

Ultimately, these tools allow SERVPRO to efficiently resolve your water issue. This time-saving service enables you to get back to work sooner, reducing your overall costs and limiting your losses. Ask us about our ERP Emergency READY Profile Plan, a mobile app, that can prevent or mitigate damage to your commercial enterprise.

Accidents happen and there is not much you can do to avoid them.  When they do inevitably occur, protect your business by calling a professional water removal company as soon as possible.  If you ever need assistance, call SERVPRO of North Central Mecklenburg County at (704) 596-9700. 

What Precautions Should I Take When Cleaning Fire Damaged Surfaces?

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Call our experts after you experience a fire disaster, we have training in fire & smoke restoration, odor control, upholstery & fabric cleaning.

Engaging SERVPRO Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians Eliminates the Headache of Making Choices during Fire Damage Restoration in Mecklenburg County

It is common for fires in Mecklenburg County to leave surfaces such as floors, walls, and ceilings covered in soils such as soot, tar, and other residues. The water or other chemicals used to quell the flames also cause some form of soiling. The most inexpensive way to deal with the soiling is by cleaning since refinishing or resurfacing is more expensive. Despite its usefulness, cleaning can cause problems if not done correctly.

Can I clean unsealed wood after fire damage incidents in Mecklenburg County?

Although unsealed wood is not likely to be a predominant material in many items or surfaces in your house, there are a few pieces somewhere within the structure such as:

  • Cabinet interiors
  • Structural supports
  • Paneling

Cleaning residues or soils from surfaces with unsealed wood can present some unique challenges. For instance, raw wood absorbs and holds most solutions, so it is easy to stain the surface permanently while trying to clean it up. If the surface is only soiled lightly, the best approach is to clean it without using solutions. For example, wiping with Dry Cleaning Sponges helps. Wet cleaning is essential in case of heavy soiling. To negate the possibility of driving residues deep into the material, our SERVPRO technicians use denatured alcohol to facilitate safe wet cleaning. 

Do plastered surfaces present any cleaning challenges?

Plaster is a common material used in walls or ceilings, which also happen to be the common areas where smoke residues collect during fires. The accumulation of residues occurs because the increase in temperatures inside the building also increases air pressure, thus forcing smoke against the surfaces where it deposits residues. 

Since there are different variations of plaster, the cleaning challenges you face might depend on what type you have on the surfaces that you intend to clean. Common types of plaster include:

  • Stipple plaster
  • Sprayed-on acoustic plaster
  • Swirled textures

Wet cleaning such areas is not a good idea since water-based cleaning products are likely to dissolve the material. Sprayed-on acoustic plaster is the most vulnerable and the slightest contact can chip it off. Our technicians use distinct approaches to clean such areas without causing unnecessary damages. For example, we can use a vacuum to remove soot from the plastered surface.  We use the nozzle attachment and hold it around one inch away from the wall when cleaning to eliminate the chances of smearing. 

How hard is it to clean masonry?

Despite your best effort, you might not manage to remove all residues from masonry surfaces. This might sound unusual considering the surfaces are resilient, thus enabling the use of many cleaning approaches and products.  

Masonry refers to many products, including:

  • Marble
  • Slate
  • Cinder block
  • Concrete

The main problem with masonry materials is their porous nature that allows residues to penetrate beyond the surface and odor retention. However, if the material has a sealer coat applied before the fire, it eliminates the challenge. Sealers are more common in floors than walls. Our SERVPRO technicians inspect the level of soiling in masonry surfaces and perform some tests to determine which method is likely to bear fruit. Some of the common methods we use include:

  • Wet cleaning with alkaline cleaners
  • Wet cleaning with a strong acid
  • Abrasion blasting
  • Dry cleaning

Why is it necessary to test before cleaning masonry surfaces?

The porous nature of masonry that allows penetration of residues also allows the absorption of cleaning solutions. Sometimes, the cleaning product reacts with the material reading to color change. Therefore, you might end up with stains, even when cleaning is successful.  Pre-testing a cleaning solution in an inconspicuous section of the soiled surface helps reveal the color changes before you clean all areas. 

When using alkaline cleaners, our SERVPRO technicians consider the level of soiling to determine the concentration levels. We apply the solution generously with a bucket or pump up sprayer to ensure the surface remains wet during dwell-time.  Agitation is also necessary, so we brush or scrub the area thoroughly before rinsing off the cleaning solution. For proper rinsing, we prefer hosing the area or using a pressure washer. With masonry, the true effects of the cleaning process are only apparent once the area dries fully. Our technicians help quicken drying by setting up air movers to improve air movements. 

Taking precautions helps improve the outcome when restoring fire damage. You can be confident you are taking the right approaches by involving an experienced teat like SERVPRO of North Central Mecklenburg County. Call us at (704) 596-9700 to help make any loss, "Like it never even happened."

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open in Mecklenburg County, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of North Central Mecklenburg County today at (704) 596-9700 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

What Can I Do After a Fire Loss in Mecklenburg County?

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

This is why it is best to call SERVPRO of North Central Mecklenburg County at (704) 596-9700 so that we can get started!

Dealing with Fire Damage is What SERVPRO Does Best – Call Us to Restore your Mecklenburg County Home!

There is a vast amount of work that goes into cleaning up your home after a fire, which why it is best to enlist the help of trained technicians to get the job done as efficiently as possible. Whether you had a small fire in one area of your home or many zones have been impacted, SERVPRO has the tools, training, and experience to make sure everything gets fully restored to pre-fire loss conditions. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster!

What Methods are Used for Cleaning Up the Mess?
Once you call us to help with the fallout of fire damage in your Mecklenburg County home, we have tried and true protocols that get results fast! Our IICRC-certified technicians assess your interior once the home is deemed safe for entry. We then formulate a plan to:

    •    Remove charred debris and unsalvageable items
    •    Perform pack-out services, which includes bringing items off-site for further cleaning and restoration
    •    Address areas where water may have traveled while extinguishing the fire
    •    Begin with drying methods as well as cleaning to remove stubborn soot and smoke particles
    •    Ensure that all areas impacted by the fire and smoke odors are treated to make your home “Like it never even happened.”

We bring a broad range of cleaning products with us to your home, including air scrubbers and hydroxyl generators, to clean up the air. In some situations, foggers are necessary to help pull up any stubborn soot particles from various surfaces. Our technicians also have access to specialized cleaning agents that produce a chemical reaction that breaks the surface bond of the soot for more efficient removal.

There is nothing quite like having peace of mind that you do not have to worry about cleaning up fire damage on your own. This is why it is best to call SERVPRO of North Central Mecklenburg County at (704) 596-9700 so that we can get started!

For more about Mecklenburg County click here.

What Should I do First After Flooding in my Mecklenburg Home?

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North Central Mecklenburg County is your ally in an emergency.

When Your Home in Mecklenburg County Floods, Calling a Professional Restoration Service Is Your Priority

Flooding can happen within a short time. You may be enjoying your home one day and find it full of water the next. As much as we prepare as homeowners, Mother Nature is a more significant force than we are. When a water event occurs, you must take the crucial step of calling a professional restoration service to assess and remediate the damage.

In Mecklenburg County, the answer to your flood damage is our team at SERVPRO. We are members of your community and understand the needs of our neighbors. Our training and job experience prepare us to handle even the most complex situations, so you can have peace of mind when you rely on our expertise. Upon arrival at your home, we ensure the safety of your family and our team by making sure all electrical and water sources are either shut down or operating safely. We also wear personal protective equipment to avoid contamination from bacteria and debris within the floodwaters.

How do I decide what to care for first after a flood?
Homeowners face difficult decisions when a flood invades your home. At the same time that you try to preserve your priceless memories and family heirlooms, you strive to protect the structural integrity of your home. When our SERVPRO team arrives, we can help guide you through the process so that you can achieve both objectives. Our team understands the steps necessary to preserve your home and its contents, and we proceed with the following:

    •    Separate unaffected areas with protective barriers to avoid cross-contamination as much as possible.
    •    Extraction of water using pumps, air movers, dehumidifiers, and air circulators to encourage evaporation.
    •    Disinfect your home using EPA approved solutions that kill microorganisms and prevent their reproduction.

As we travel through the restoration journey, we also look at any documents or priceless objects you wish to restore. Our team creates a tailored approach to restore as much of your home as possible.

SERVPRO of North Central Mecklenburg County is your ally in an emergency. Call us at (704) 596-9700 and let us leave your home, “Like it never even happened.”

For more about Mecklenburg click here.