What Does Black Mold Look Like? A Comprehensive Guide
If you suspect black mold in your home, give SERVPRO a call to prevent further growth.
Mold is a common issue in many households. Among the various types of mold that can grow in homes, black mold is often considered the most concerning due to its potential toxicity. But what exactly does black mold look like? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the appearance of black mold, its characteristics, and what you should do if you suspect it in your home.
Identification of Black Mold
Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a type of fungus that can grow indoors under certain conditions. It typically thrives in damp and humid environments, such as bathrooms, basements, and areas with water damage. Identifying black mold can be challenging, as its appearance can vary depending on the stage of growth and the surface it is growing on. Here are some common characteristics of black mold:
Despite its name, black mold may not always appear completely black. It can range in color from dark green to grayish-black or even slimy brownish-black. The color may also appear patchy or streaky.
Black mold can have a slimy or fuzzy texture. When it is in the early stages of growth, it may appear as small, black specks that gradually grow into a larger patch.
Black mold can have a variety of shapes. It can appear as irregular spots or patches, or it can grow in a powdery or velvety texture. It may also have a distinctively slimy appearance.
Black mold is often found in areas with moisture or water damage, such as walls, ceilings, carpets, and other porous materials. It may also grow on wood, paper, and other organic materials.
Black mold has a strong, musty odor. If you notice a persistent musty smell in a certain area of your home, it may indicate the presence of black mold.
What to Do If You Suspect Black Mold in Your Home
If you suspect black mold in your home, it's crucial to take action to address the issue as soon as possible. Avoid touching or disturbing the mold. Black mold can release spores when disturbed, which can increase the risk of inhalation. Avoid touching or disturbing the mold, and do not attempt to clean it without proper protective gear.
Assess the extent of the mold growth
If you notice a small patch of mold, you may be able to clean it yourself using appropriate precautions. However, if the mold growth is extensive, covering a large area or has been present for a long time, it's best to seek professional help from a qualified mold remediation specialist. They have the expertise and equipment to safely handle and remove mold.
Properly clean and remove the mold
If you decide to clean the mold yourself, it's important to use appropriate cleaning methods. Avoid using bleach or other harsh chemicals, as they may not effectively kill mold spores and can release harmful fumes. Instead, use mild detergent and water, or specialized mold cleaning products. It's also important to properly dispose of any materials contaminated with mold, such as carpets or drywall, following local regulations.
Prevent future mold growth
Once the mold has been removed, take steps to prevent future mold growth. Keep your home well-ventilated, fix any leaks promptly, and maintain appropriate humidity levels. Regularly inspect areas prone to mold growth, such as bathrooms, basements, and crawl spaces, and address any issues promptly.
If you suspect the presence of black mold in your home, it's essential to take appropriate precautions, assess the extent of the mold growth, and seek professional help if needed. Proper identification, remediation, and prevention of mold growth can help ensure a healthy and safe living environment for you and your family.
Fire Prevention in the Kitchen: Essential Cooking Tips to Reduce Hazards
One of the most common causes of kitchen fires is leaving cooking unattended.
Cooking is an everyday activity that most of us engage in without thinking about the potential hazards. However, it is essential to be aware of the risks involved, especially when it comes to fire. A grease fire is a common kitchen hazard that can quickly escalate into a full-blown fire if not handled correctly. In this article, we will discuss some essential cooking tips to reduce the risk of fire in your kitchen.
Keep the cooking area clean
A clean kitchen is the first line of defense against fires. Grease buildup on surfaces and appliances can ignite and cause a fire. Therefore, it is important to clean your cooking area before and after each use. Make sure to wipe down the stove and oven, countertops, and any other surfaces that may have come into contact with grease or oil.
Never leave cooking unattended
One of the most common causes of kitchen fires is leaving cooking unattended. It is essential to keep a close eye on the food you are cooking and to never leave it unattended, especially if you are frying food. If you must leave the kitchen for any reason, turn off the stove or oven, or ask someone to keep an eye on the food for you.
Keep flammable objects away from the stove
Flammable objects such as kitchen towels, curtains, and even loose clothing should be kept away from the stove. If these objects come into contact with a hot surface or an open flame, they can quickly catch fire.
Don't overheat oil
Overheating oil is a common mistake that can lead to a grease fire. When oil reaches its smoke point, it can catch fire. Therefore, it is important to never overheat oil when cooking. If you notice the oil smoking, turn down the heat or remove the pan from the heat source.
Use the right type of oil
Different oils have different smoke points, which is the temperature at which they begin to smoke and can catch fire. When cooking, it is essential to use the right type of oil for the job. For high-heat cooking such as frying, it is best to use oils with a high smoke point, such as peanut or canola oil.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
Despite your best efforts to prevent fires, accidents can still happen. It is essential to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and to know how to use it. Make sure the extinguisher is rated for kitchen fires, and that everyone in the household knows where it is located.
In conclusion, cooking is an essential part of our daily lives, but it is important to take precautions to prevent fires. By following these essential cooking tips, you can reduce the risk of fire in your kitchen and keep your home and family safe. Remember, a little bit of prevention can go a long way in avoiding disaster.
What do I do if my basement floods?
Flooded basement can leave you feeling hopeless, give SERVPRO a call today!
The last thing you want is to wake up one morning and find your home flooded. Rain-driven water can do massive amounts of damage, not only to your basement but also throughout the structure. That's why it's important to know what steps to take if this happens to you. Here is what you need to know about dealing with flooding.
If your basement has been flooded, your insurer will cover the cost of repair or replacement as well as any other damage that occurred because of flooding.
In order to make sure you're covered in case of a flood, talk to your insurance agent about adding a rider to your policy. A rider is something added onto an existing contract and can vary depending on how much coverage you want or need.
You can also lower your premium by making a few simple changes to your policy. For example, adding flood and wind coverage to your current homeowner's insurance policy could bring down the cost of your monthly premiums or even make them go away entirely. Another way to save money is by installing flood sensors in areas where flooding is likely, like basements and garages and then informing your insurance company about them so they know how much water damage has been prevented.
If you're willing to make some investments in preparation for disasters, there are additional discounts available for things like backup generators or batteries which can keep power flowing after an outage. Elevated pump systems help prevent basement flooding, and other mitigation measures such as sandbags or sump pumps that can help protect against rising floodwaters.
If you are willing to invest in these mitigation measures, some insurers offer discounts on premiums if you are willing to install an elevated pump system or other mitigation measures like backup generators and batteries. Avoiding this type of loss is important because it can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements.
Prevent Basement flooding
The first step to avoiding water damage is to make sure that your basement is properly sealed. If you have a cracked foundation, then you should have it repaired immediately by a contractor who specializes in repairing foundations.
It is also important to keep an eye on the outside of your home for signs of water infiltration, such as muddy footprints around doors or windowsills. If you see any evidence of this at all, call an expert immediately!
If your basement has been flooded, your insurer will cover the cost of repair or replacement as well as any other damage that occurred because of flooding. Call the professionals at SERVPRO for your basement water damage. We are available anytime day or night.
What To Do If My Roof Leaks
It can be scary to think about a leaky roof, but it’s important to stay calm and know that there are steps you can take to fix the problem.
If your roof is leaking, you need to act fast. Not only will leaks damage your home and belongings, but they can also cause mold and mildew. It is important to call a professional cleanup and restoration company as quickly as possible after noticing a roof leak. Until the crew arrives, here are some things you can do.
Turn off electricity
If you have a leak, it's best to turn off your electricity. Turning off the electricity is important because electricity could cause an electric shock when trying to clean up water. Turning off the electricity will also prevent further damage until you can call a highly trained and experienced water cleanup professional.
Locate the source of the leak
It's important to determine where the water is coming from before you can fix it. To find sources of water in your home:
- Look for stains on ceilings or walls where there shouldn't be any (this could indicate a leak somewhere above)
- Feel around along cracks in ceilings and walls; if they feel slimy or wet, there might be moisture trapped in them (this could also indicate mold growth)
Contain the leaking water
If water is leaking through your roof, you'll need to act quickly. If the leak is minor, you might be able to contain it with a bucket or other container that can hold the amount of water coming down. This will help keep damage limited and prevent mold from developing on nearby surfaces like walls and floors.
If the leak is severe, however—or if it's too late to save your belongings—you'll want to call a professional as soon as possible. They have experience in fixing leaks and will know how best to approach this situation while protecting your home at all costs.
Remove any valuables
It's not just a matter of fixing the leak, you may also have to get rid of any valuables that may be damaged due to water. This is especially true if your valuables are not water resistant or waterproof or watertight, which means they can't handle being exposed to water for long periods of time. To prevent irreversible damage to your belongings, it is important to move your valuables to a safe location as quickly as possible after noticing a leak.
File an insurance claim
You should file an insurance claim with your insurance company. Documenting the damage is important, especially if there are multiple leaks or the damage is significant. Some restoration companies that you hire, such as SERVPRO, will also deal with the claims process for you.
Get it fixed right away
It can be scary to think about a leaky roof, but it’s important to stay calm and know that there are steps you can take to fix the problem. If your roof is leaking, make sure you get it fixed right away! Don't wait until the roof leaks again and don't try to fix it yourself. Disaster restoration companies, such as SERVPRO of Englewood/East Littleton are trained to handle the cleanup and restoration following a roof leak.
FAQ: Frozen Pipes and Insurance
If you experience a burst pipe in your home or business, give SERVPRO of Englewood/East Littleton.
Winter can be a tough time for homeowners, especially if you have frozen pipes. There are a few ways to prevent burst pipes from happening, but sometimes they still happen. If your pipe bursts and causes damage inside your home, does the homeowner's insurance cover the cost of repairs? The answer is: it depends.
How do you prevent pipe-bursts?
The best way to prevent frozen pipes is by making sure that the temperature in your home doesn't drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times throughout the winter. You also need to consider how much water flows through each pipe and make sure you have enough insulation if it's exposed or above ground level.
Why do pipes burst?
When pipes burst from freezing temperatures, it's because they are unable to handle the pressure of expanding water. When water freezes, it expands. It doesn't have enough room to expand inside the pipe and will instead push on its walls until something gives way.
If your pipes burst in an unheated area of your home (like a basement), this causes a lot of damage as well: firstly because there's no insulation outside the walls or ceiling; secondly, because cold air tends to fall downwards and so if you're unlucky enough for your burst pipe to be in an unheated part of your house, it can cause serious damage underneath floors or other parts of your home.
When are frozen pipes covered?
Insurance companies will generally cover any damage from frozen pipes as long as it's considered "sudden and accidental." If a problem with your heating system causes a pipe to burst in your house while you’re away, it's likely covered by insurance.
If it is clear that the policyholder/property owner has neglected to protect their plumbing or other parts of their property, the insurance company might deny coverage.
What if I don't have insurance?
If you have no insurance and your home is damaged by a burst pipe, the cost of repairs can be significant. In this case, you may have to pay for repairs out of pocket.
If you have a frozen pipe, it's important to know that your homeowner's or renter's insurance might cover the damage. The key is to contact your insurer quickly after the pipe has burst, so they can assess the situation and determine if they'll help pay for repairs. If you're unsure about what type of policy you have with this company, ask them directly before making any decisions.
If you experience a burst pipe in your home or business, give SERVPRO of Englewood/East Littleton a call, and we will get your Englewood home back to normal as quickly as possible!
Top Three Signs Your Roof Has Hail Damage
If you notice that your roof has hail damage, don't try to fix it yourself.
Top 3 Signs of Roof Damage
If you live in the Englewood, CO area, you are probably familiar with hail. You need to be aware of the top three signs that your roof has been damaged by hail. The first sign is obvious: if there are chunks taken out of the shingles or siding on your house. But what about those soft spots and curled or buckled shingles? Those might not be as obvious to homeowners who aren't trained in construction or maintenance. That's why it's important to know what these signs look like so you can spot them right away if they happen around your home.
What Does Roof Hail Damage Look Like?
Hail damage is difficult to spot, especially if it's on the roof. Hailstones can be up to two inches in diameter, and they are made of ice that can range from softball size to baseball size. When these stones hit your home or car, they can cause significant damage.
As a homeowner, you want to be aware of this damage so that you know when it's time for repairs. Knowing what hail damage looks like can help you identify if your roof needs repairs or not.
#1: Granules Missing from Your Shingles
As you can see, the most obvious sign that your roof has hail damage is if you notice granules missing from your shingles. If these granules are gone, it means the shingle has been hit with such force that its integrity was compromised—a serious problem that could lead to leaky roofs or even water damage in your home.
#2: A Soft Spot On Your Roof
Soft spots on the surface of your roof can be caused by either water damage or impact from hail stones. Both of these conditions can lead to leaks and more serious damage, so it's important to get any soft spots identified as soon as possible.
How do I find soft spots? The first step in identifying whether there is a problem with your home's shingles is to inspect the outside of your house thoroughly. Look for areas where the shingles may have been damaged, such as cracks in areas surrounding nails or staples that hold down the shingles or missing pieces altogether (especially near vents). You should also check along eaves and overhangs since this is where rainwater tends to collect after storms—and where it may cause problems if not addressed quickly enough!
#3: Curled or Buckled Shingles.
The third and final sign of roof hail damage is curled or buckled shingles. Hail can cause your shingles to curl or buckle, which could lead to water seepage between the shingle layers. If you suspect that your roof has been damaged by hail, call a professional for help!
If your roof has been damaged call a professional for help.
If you notice that your roof has hail damage, don't try to fix it yourself. You'll only make things worse. Instead, hire a professional roofing contractor who can assess the damage and recommend the best course of action for repairing or replacing your roof. The sooner you get help from a professional company, the better off you will be in the long run because fixing issues like this before they become too big of an issue will save money in the long run.
If you notice any of these signs on your roof, call a professional to inspect and repair it. The last thing you want is for your roof to collapse during a storm! If you do find yourself catching the roof damage a little too late, with a house full of water, give SERVPRO of Englewood/East Littleton a call!
How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
Keep cabinet doors open to allow heat to circulate throughout your home
Keeping Pipes from Freezing: How to Avoid It
Winter is harsh and unforgiving. It's cold, it's wet, and if you're not careful, it can freeze your pipes. If you haven't already experienced this horror firsthand, chances are someone you know has!
Prepare For The Cold
To prevent pipes from freezing, you must prepare for the cold weather. In the winter months, you should turn down your thermostat to make sure it doesn't get too cold inside your home. Also, keep cabinet doors open to allow heat to circulate throughout your home and leave windows open when possible. It is also a good idea to leave a trickle of water running in the faucet so that it will never completely freeze over.
If you do have frozen pipes, there are several ways to thaw them. One way is to wrap the pipe with a towel or blanket and then turn on a hot water tap in your home. This will slowly warm up the frozen area, which can then be used for water again. The other method involves using a heat gun or hair dryer to warm up the area of your home where your pipes are located.
Let The Faucets Drip
You can prevent pipes from freezing by letting the water drip slowly. If your home has a faucet with a single-lever handle, turn it all the way open and let the water run into a bucket or another container. If your home has two shutoff valves (one for hot and one for cold), switch both levers to their off positions first, then take them off and allow any remaining water to drain out of each pipe before reconnecting them.
Once you've switched off your main valve, open cabinet doors under sinks so that if ice does indeed form inside a pipe, it is more likely to melt due to heat generated by running water at other locations within your house.
Leave Cabinet Doors Open
Leaving cabinet doors open allows you to keep the pipes from freezing. Make sure they are in a room that stays warm and not prone to moisture. If your crawl space has ventilation, make sure it’s clear of snow or ice so air can circulate.
If you have a crawl space that’s prone to moisture or flooding, it may be time to consider getting some help from a professional. They can install drainage systems, ventilation fans and other improvements that will keep your crawl space from becoming a dangerous place.
These Tips Will Help Prevent Frozen Pipes
Freezing pipes is a common problem in homes across the country. To keep it from happening to you, follow these tips:
- Make sure there’s a heat source in your home. If possible, have both an electrical heater (space heater) and a gas-powered one available to use during cold weather. Turn on the heater whenever you leave the house or go to bed at night, so it can warm up while you sleep.
- Use a humidifier that runs on electricity only during times when pipes may freeze up if they’re exposed to low humidity levels too long while they're turned off; this is especially important if your home doesn't have central heating or A/C systems installed yet (or if your home doesn't have any heating system at all).
So, there you have it—five tips to help your pipes from freezing during the winter. While these methods won’t always work, they will reduce the risk of your faucet or toilet freezing in extreme temperatures. If you take care of your home now, before frosty weather hits, then you’ll be prepared when temperatures drop and pipes freeze.
What Should I Do If My Roof Is Damage In a Fire?
Roof damaged by fire.
What Do I Do If a Fire Damages My Roof?
A fire can be devastating to a home or business. It can cause damage to your property and belongings, as well as create a danger for people in the area. If you've had a fire at your home or business, here's what you should do:
Contacting the Professionals
- Contact SERVPRO of Englewood/East Littleton to assess your fire damage. Call (303) 777-6498.
- If you don’t have insurance, contact the Colorado Division of Insurance for assistance in finding a professional contractor to repair your damaged roof. You can reach them at (303) 777-6498.
- Take care not to damage any electrical wiring or other systems during repairs – consult an electrician before attempting any work on these systems yourself!
1) Contact the Fire Department
If your house catches fire, the first thing you should do is call the fire department. The fire department will assess the damage and determine if evacuation is necessary. If so, the fire department will help with evacuation and cleanup.
2) Contact Your Insurance Company
After you’re sure that your family and home are safe, the next step is to contact your insurance company. Call your agent or the claims department of the insurance company. Your insurance provider should have a 24/7 emergency hotline number available in case of emergencies like this one.
3) Contact SERVPRO of Englewood/East Littleton
SERVPRO of Englewood/East Littleton is a full-service restoration company that can provide 24/7 emergency water removal and fire cleanup services. If you have questions about your property, please don't hesitate to give us a call at (303) 777-6498 or fill out our online contact form.
4) Start Removal of Debris
Once you've determined that your roof is damaged from a fire, it's time to start removing debris. This can be done in several ways, depending on the severity of the damage.
- Remove any fallen and dangling portions of the roof that may pose an immediate threat to people or property.
- Remove any smoldering wood, which is still hot enough to catch fire again if ignited by embers or sparks from other sources.
- If there is evidence of water damage due to sprinkler systems or hoses used during extinguishment efforts, check for mold growth with a moisture meter before proceeding further with repairs.
Placing a tarp on a roof after a fire can keep out the elements and prevent further damage to your home or business.
A tarp can be used to help protect your home or business from further damage. After a fire, it's important to have roof repair done as soon as possible. A tarp can prevent further water damage and keep out the elements while you're waiting for repairs.
We hope this article has given you an idea of what to do after a fire. If you have any questions, or if you would like to speak to one of our restoration specialists about your own situation, please contact us at (303) 777-6498.
How Often Should You Clean Out Your Dryer Vent?
Vacuum out the vent carefully, going as far into the vent as you can
To avoid a lint fire in your clothes dryer, you must clean the lint filter after each use. The dryer vent should also be cleaned at least once a year to significantly reduce the risk of a dryer fire in your Greenwood Village, CO home.
Steps To Follow When Cleaning the Dryer Vent
It's important to mention that if you don't have a lot of mechanical ability or physical strength, you should have a professional do the job to avoid costly fire damage repairs.
- Unplug the dryer and carefully pull it away from the wall.
- There is a tube connecting your dryer with the dryer vent in the wall. Carefully disconnect the tube using a screwdriver. Different dryer models require different types of screwdrivers.
- Using your vacuum's nozzle attachment, vacuum out the vent carefully, going as far into the vent as you can. Thoroughly vacuum out the tube as well.
- Reattach all of the components and push the dryer back into place. Plug the dryer back into the wall socket.
Ways To Keep the Dryer Vent Clean
In addition to cleaning out the dryer vent each year, you can reduce the amount of dirt and lint that works its way into the vent by following a simple routine. This will also reduce the risk of a lint fire.
Keep the floor that surrounds the dryer clean. Sweep up lint and debris after each use.
Dryer sheets can coat the dryer vent, causing lint to build up more easily. You don't need to totally eliminate the use of dryer sheets, but try to limit using them on clothes that create the most static, such as wool socks and polyester materials.
Dry your clothes in the least amount of time needed to get them dry. Cycles of 30 to 40 minutes will allow for better air circulation than longer cycles.
Avoid a costly lint fire in your dryer by following these simple steps.
3 Steps To Categorize Water Damage
Commercial water damage in Littleton, CO
3 Steps To Categorize Water Damage
Categorizing water damage is an important step toward evaluating the severity of damage and determining restoration requirements. Building owners and managers can get a clearer sense of the severity of water or sewer damage by considering three aspects of damage to a commercial building in Littleton, CO.
1. The Source of Water
Water damage from broken or leaking supply lines tends to be clean, Category One water damage. This water has often undergone treatment to reduce contaminants and pathogens.
Category Two water damage originates from an overflowing shower, appliance or toilet, but does not contain solid waste. Category Three water from a sewer backup or external flood is the most contaminated type of water damage.
2. Where Water Leaks Flow
Water flowing down between levels of a structure degrades in condition. Clean water from a pipe leak becomes Category Two damage on a lower floor. Water from a sewage company: flooded toilets can also degrade further.
Like sewer damage, leaks between floors call for disinfection. Tearing out porous materials such as ceilings, carpets, and drywall may be necessary to discourage mold.
3. How Long Water Is Left Sitting
Within 24 to 48 hours, Category One damage can turn into contaminated Category Two damage that requires disinfection and may necessitate tearing out porous building materials.
Mold may also multiply in the same span of time after damage. Visible growth may become detectable as soon as 48 to 72 hours after the damage takes place.
The source and flow of water are important for determining the severity of recent water damage. Ongoing or past damage may result in secondary damage, such as mold. Property owners and managers may be able to do more accurate preliminary assessments based on these three factors, but the opinion of a restoration company can be helpful for restoring water or sewer damage at a building in Littleton, CO.