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A common misconception about mold is that you can use bleach to treat it. The main uses for bleach are for disinfecting and changing the color of something, so stick to those uses next time you grab a bottle of Clorox from the grocery store. The EPA and OSHA has taken a strong stance against using bleach to treat mold, and here is why:
- Bleach does not work on porous surfaces, but mold loves porous areas. Bleach is made up of 90% water, so once the chlorine quickly evaporates, you are left with a ton of moisture that will actually help mold continue to grow. Even though it may look like bleach has killed the mold infecting your home, it is only the top layer that has been killed, and the mold’s roots within the walls will easily come back stronger than ever.
- Bleach is toxic. This one is a no brainer, but for some reason, people want to dump the chemical all over their house at the first sight of mold. Children and pets can easily get into the bleach you may have used to treat mold which could make them quite sick; even the fumes can create health problems! There are so many alternative solutions to treat mold with, there is no reason to put your family or employees at risk by using bleach.
- Bleach can weaken the surfaces you put it on. When bleach is put on a surface such as wood, it can begin to eat away at the fibers. Even a small change to an important structural piece of your home could be disastrous. Imagine having to rebuild parts of your home just because you treated some wooden beams with bleach!
When it comes to mold, it is better to leave the remediation to the professionals. Our team of experts can quickly handle any problem and make sure that your home or office is safe for everyone. We use specially formulated solutions that are sure to kill mold and keep it from returning - without causing toxic fumes. If you are in need of mold remediation, call us today at 281-342-5326.
What Is Up With Black Mold?
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If you are a fan of home improvement shows, you have almost certainly heard of “toxic black mold,” and with the insane media headlines, who wouldn’t be scared of it? The truth is, there is no such thing as “toxic black mold.” While there is such a thing toxigenic molds (they produce mycotoxins), there is no mold that is actually toxic itself.
Mold is everywhere in our environment, both inside and out, and most folks live their life without ever being troubled by it. While some people do have mold allergies that will make it more difficult for them to handle mold, there are very few reports of mold that involve the hemorrhaging, memory loss, and other extreme effects that you hear about on TV.
Stachybotrys chartarum is what is most closely associated with the term “toxic mold.” It has a greenish black appearance, and while it is not one of the most common molds found indoors, it is not exceptionally rare. As with other molds, Stachybotrys chartarum grows best in a warm humid space, so be sure to take care of any water damage you have quickly, before mold can begin to grow.
No matter what type of mold you suspect in your home or office, you should seek immediate treatment for it. Our experts can determine the type of mold, treat it, and make sure your building has a safe environment for everyone inside. Call SERVPRO® of West Fort Bend County if you have any suspicions of mold in your home or office. 281-342-5326
Fire? We've Got You!
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Fires are absolutely terrifying, even the idea of a home fire sends a shiver down my spine. They are life altering events, that will most likely be talked about for a lifetime. We know they’re scary, which is why we are here to help you every step of the way. Our teams are caring and compassionate and know just how to handle the situation at hand. We focus on restoring, not replacing, so any and all of your belongings that can be restored will be, and you can rest assured that they will be taken care of as though they are our own. We have special equipment, tools, and cleaning supplies to make sure that your life gets turned right side up, and you’re back on your way.
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Prevent House Fires
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Prevent House Fires
Check the dryer.
If you have a gas-powered clothes dryer, have it inspected once a year to make sure all connections are secure. No matter what type of dryer you have, always clean out the lint filter after a load is finished. Regularly check behind and around the dryer for pockets of lint or items of laundry that have fallen under or behind. Use a shop vacuum or hire a professional to thoroughly remove all lint and debris from the lint trap area and all external dryer vents at least once a year.
Maintain electrical cords.
Regularly check the condition of electrical cords and watch out for frayed wires. Repair or replace damaged cords immediately. Electrical cords can produce heat, so don’t trap them under a rug or between furniture and the wall. When you’re not using them, unplug any appliances that feel warm to the touch when connected to power, including phone chargers.
Use extension cords sparingly as a temporary fix, as they can deteriorate quickly with continuous use. Make sure any extension cords you use are rated for the wattage of the device they’re powering.
When it comes to power strips and surge protectors, don’t try to cut corners. Trusted name brands are best
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
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Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Install carbon monoxide alarms to alert your family to this invisible, odorless, colorless gas before it’s too late. Carbon monoxide is created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. Even a small amount of carbon monoxide can poison or kill a person if it is breathed in over a long period of time – such as overnight while sleeping.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas.
- If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area.
Home Fire Sprinkler Systems
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Home Fire Sprinkler Systems
Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home. Smoke alarms are designed to detect, not control, a fire. Home fire sprinklers complement the alarms' work, providing a way to fight flames immediately.
- Before the fire department can reach your home, sprinklers can prevent a fire from spreading and even extinguish a fire.
- A sprinkler system can decrease the chance that deadly smoke and gases will reach your family.
- In addition, sprinkler systems can put out fire when you are away from home, and if they are connected to an alarm system, may notify the fire department in your absence.
To ensure sprinkler system reliability, be sure to use a qualified installer who adheres to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards and local fire safety regulations
Why Was My Water Damage Claim Denied?
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Understanding Why a Water Damage Claim is Denied and What You Can Do About It
First, if you are being denied any claim, make sure that you ask for a full explanation. You have every right to understand exactly what part of the policy wording excludes what you are asking for compensation for and why the claim is being denied.
Understand that there are several people who represent the insurance company during a claim, so you want to know where the decision is coming from. Was it your agent who told you, the insurance adjuster, or a contractor? Each person plays a different role. Don't be afraid to request clarifications to avoid misunderstandings. When a claim is denied, you will normally receive something in writing advising you of the official decision.
If you still do not understand why something isn't covered, and you think there is a chance for a review of your situation, don't be afraid to ask your agent or representative for a review or a second opinion. In a stressful situation like a claim, it is understandable that things may not be expressed clearly on either side. You want to make sure you understand fully.
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Know the Biggest Risk in Your Home Insurance's Tornado Coverage
The biggest risk you may face if your home suffers major damage during a severe storm or tornado is being underinsured. With changing costs of construction materials and labor, home insurance reconstruction costs have increased over the years.
Although some policies do include the option for inflation adjustment, this is not sufficient to cover varying reconstruction costs. Take some time to verify the value your home is insured for. Then, be sure to inquire about what happens in a claim if your home is underinsured.
Some policies include guaranteed replacement cost or actual cash value. However, the limit may be capped. Other policies may limit you to the insured value. With so many homeowners underinsured, this is a major problem that may leave you in a situation where even with insurance, you won't have enough to rebuild.
This is one aspect of your insurance you don't want to leave unchecked. Contact your agent or broker to discuss your policy and if necessary have them verify that the current insured value is up to par. Ensure you have all the best insurance endorsements available to guarantee you are fully covered in a major loss.
Flood Control Fixes!
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Flood control fixes you can make to help manage storm water runoff and prevent flood damage to your home:
- Slope soil away from your home's foundation. Don’t forget to fill and slop soil under decks and porches.
2. Water from your roof, downspouts, and eavestroughs can find its way to your home if they are clogged, leak, or don't carry water far enough from your home. Clean out eavestroughs and downspouts in the fall and spring. You can also use downspout extensions to carry water far enough away from your foundation as an effective flood control.
3. Set up a downspout to empty into a rain barrel. Using rain barrels for rain water storage reduces the cost of watering shrubs, flowers, and vegetables.
4. Plug holes or cracks in your eavestroughs, downspouts, downspout extensions and seal these with silicon caulk. Even a trickling leak can let plenty of water into your basement to become a mold problem.
5. Look for holes or cracks in your foundation and completely fill these with vinyl concrete patching.
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If you do have a mold problem, it is likely to cause great concern and anxiety among your employees. If you or the landlord has hired experts, consider having those experts provide you with a written explanation of the steps they are taking, and how the employees are being protected. Post or provide that information to your employees. Work on the building may necessitate relocation of employees; if you are leasing the building, demand that the landlord provides clean space while the work is ongoing and keep track of your relocation costs.
Investigation, repairs, the relocation of employees, and the cleaning of furniture, fixtures, equipment and other property, not only may cost thousands of dollars, but will cause lost productivity. If you are leasing your building, keep the landlord fully advised of the situation, and ask the landlord to give you a timely and prompt action plan. Demand that the landlord reimburses you for your losses. Also give notice to your insurer.
If you own the building, take prompt steps to address the problem, but also notify your insurer and your tenants of your action plan. Be aware, however, that your insurer may not cover your losses and may not defend you from a costly mold lawsuit. Today, more and more insurers are excluding mold and mold-related damages from their commercial insurance coverage. Owners, managers and builders have been surprised to learn that their insurance policies exclude mold claims.