How a Tornado Forms
There’s no denying that tornadoes are a destructive force; but how does something that destructive form? The UCAR Center for Science Education has a good explanation for what causes tornadoes to occur. We hope that knowing how these funnels of terror form might help in some way.
The first thing to note is that a tornado won’t form unless the circumstances are just right. As noted in the post on the UCAR site, “Air rising in thunderstorms can begin to spin when it's affected by winds blowing it in different directions. It starts to rise and is pushed to the side by wind. It rises a bit more and is jostled again by wind moving in another direction. Winds moving in different speeds and directions at different altitudes cause the rising air to start spinning.” They go on to say that this is most likely to happen in massive storms called supercells. However, it is important to note that not every instance of spinning air like this will result in a tornado. It is just that if there is a tornado, these are the factors that most likely will be the cause.
It is also important to note that spinning air near the ground is also necessary for a tornado to form. What that means is that Gusts of warmer and cooler air rise and fall as they blow. The right amount of air like this is what causes air near the ground to spin. If this continues the air will pick up speed as it is drawn inward. This is the air that will begin to move across the area it is in and can be tilted vertically. When that happens, that is when the gusts can be considered a tornado.
While this is a lot of information and some of it may seem scary, it’s important to know that not all thunderstorms will produce tornadoes. If a tornado does occur, just remember to follow any safety plan you have in place and stay calm!
Cleaning Up Water Damage
Pipes Burst, Drywall Rots, and Mold Breaks In!
These are all facts you have to deal with when confronted with a water damage. Water can save your life in the desert but can be a real pain when it is gushing into your living room.
Once the source of the water damage is located and fixed you are not out of the woods yet. Actually, most consider this when the real work starts. You have to make sure the water is completely gone as soon as possible before mold sets in (which can be as quick as 48-72 hours).
SERVPRO specializes in water damage clean up in the Peoria area. We have the right equipment to handle any size job quickly and efficiently. Our trained and certified technicians are here to help you out 24/7/365 for when you might be in over your head!
The Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Mold Growth
If you’ve discovered mold growth in your home, you may have a lot of questions you want answers to, such as where did it come from, is it dangerous and how can you get rid of it? Mold is frustrating, but it is not uncommon. If you want to know more about the fungi that has invaded your home, this post contains answers to some of the most common FAQs regarding mold.
- What is mold?
- Is mold dangerous?
- Where does mold come from?
- How can you decrease and prevent mold?
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungi that grows in both indoor and outdoor areas. Mold is one of those organisms that can thrive in typically uninhabitable environments, such as in dark places with high humidity or, in more rare instances, in extremely dry environments.
Is Mold Dangerous?
Mold growth is dangerous in that it can eat away at your home’s foundation and structure and, over time, render it uninhabitable. If you do not deal with water damage and resulting mold in a timely fashion, your floorboards may become week, your ceiling may start to sag and your drywall may begin to crumble. These are all hazards that could pose a threat to your safety and well-being.
Where Does Mold Grow?
Mold typically thrives in dark, damp environments, but it has been known to flourish in dry environments as well. If you suspect that there is mold in your home, begin by checking in areas in which there is high humidity, little ventilation and little natural light.
How Can You Prevent Mold?
You can prevent mold by fixing moisture problems as soon as you notice them and by working with a mold remediation team. The best thing you can do to prevent fungus growth is to keep water damage at bay.
If you discover mold growth in your home, you may be feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. If the problem is new, however, don’t panic, as damage is probably minimal. Do call your local remediation team for cleanup and prevention assistance.
How To Decide When To Call In The Pros
How To Decide When To Call In The Pros To Clean Up Water Damage
Water damage in your home can occur from a number of different sources ranging from outdoor flood damage, roof damage that lets in precipitation to interior causes such as a burst pipe or overflowing washer causing flood damage. Obviously, the longer water sits, the more water damage it is likely to cause. In addition, damage mitigation of water that comes from a clean interior source such as a pipe or washing machine is also easier than damage mitigation from flooding or a sewer issue. In some cases, whether it is water in your home or water in your business, you absolutely want to call in professionals to deal with the issue. However, there are some types of water damage restoration - particularly if it is water in your home - you might want to tackle on your own. For water in your business, there is the additional issue of valuable electronics, which are more susceptible to water damage and require different restoration and mitigation techniques. For water in your home, however, here is brief overview of how drying and water cleanup should occur.
1. Lift furniture
Once you have cleaned and evacuated the majority of the water, your best friends in the final stages of water cleanup, restoration and drying are air and heat. For restoration and damage mitigation in floors in particular, getting the best airflow possible means getting furniture up above the surface of the floor so as not to block the airflow. In addition, you will also want to protect the legs and lower surfaces of furniture from wicking up the water and leaving stains once it dries. Drying out carpeting and flooring is also important and lifting furniture will aid in the drying process.
2. Remove baseboards and drill large holes in the bottom of drywall
Drywall is not only dry, it also acts like a sponge, which means it will wick water high up into the walls where you can't see it because it's covered by paint. The paint also acts as a protective barrier that will keep air from being able to dry out the drywall. Drilling holes in the bottom of the drywall allows air to get inside the walls and dry out the drywall from the side that is not covered by paint. Drilling the holes in the bottom of the drywall also means they will be covered up once you replace the baseboards.
3. Spray a strong disinfectant on the walls
Mold, mildew and bacteria thrive in moist environments. To make sure that you do not have long-term mildew damage, be sure and spray any carpets and walls with a strong disinfectant or anti-bacterial spray. Also keep in mind that many insurance companies will cover flood recovery, but they will not cover mold and mildew damage, since that should have been taken care of in the initial recovery. This is something to consider when deciding whether or not to call in pros to recover from flood damage.
4. Set up industrial fans, an industrial dehumidifier and crank up the heat
While regular household fans might be enough to create a cool breeze, they are not powerful enough to create a strong enough wind current to climb up high into your walls. Heat will help water evaporate, and dry air will absorb the water as it evaporates, but you have to then remove the water from the saturated air so it will absorb more moisture, which you do with the dehumidifier. You want to keep doors and windows tightly sealed during this process, so you may want to leave the house while the heat and fans do their work.
Water in your home will create damage if left standing long enough but water in your business has the potential to create even more damage due to the presence of more electronics. For water in your business, you will most likely want to call in the pros to do the water cleanup. Even in your home, however, water cleanup from flood damage can be pricey even if you do all the work yourself.
The cost of renting industrial fans and an industrial dehumidifier might be comparable to hiring professionals to do it for you and you can be sure if you hire professionals that it is done properly and does not result in even costlier mold damage.
3 Advantages of Using SERVPRO's Document Restoration Service
3 Advantages of Using SERVPRO's Document Restoration Service
One of the most devastating effects of a flood or other disaster in a commercial setting is damage to — or the loss of — valuable documents, such as client files, accounting ledgers, contracts, books, photographs, blueprints, documents with original signatures, and other important papers. SERVPRO is the industry leader in water damage remediation, including document restoration. Its acclaimed document drying process features several unique elements that stand out from the competition.
1. Specialized Restoration Facility
First, water-damaged documents are transported to a secure, specialized restoration facility where they are entered into an advanced digital inventory system. Each restoration facility is managed by specially trained technicians who have received HIPAA Master certification. These secure facilities are closely always monitored and have the capacity to accommodate even large commercial recovery needs.
2. Advanced Cleaning and Drying Techniques
At the document facility, a team of experienced restoration specialists evaluate the damage to documents and then utilize state-of-the-art document restoration methods to repair the damage. SERVPRO’s inventive vacuum free-drying technique, for example, is the same method that the U.S. Library of Congress uses to restore priceless historical documents and is the only document drying technique that has been approved by the General Services Administration and the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Technicians then employ an advanced gamma irradiation procedure to disinfect and deodorize documents.
3. Digital Archiving Service
One highly valuable but sometimes overlooked benefit of the restoration process is the digital archiving process. At the drying facility, each water-damaged document becomes a part of a computerized document inventory. The restored documents are also scanned into this inventory. The result is that all paper documents that enter the facility are converted into a high-quality digital format. These digital versions can then be uploaded and stored, safe from any future physical damage.
Wet documents can cause devastating and costly losses. Fortunately, SERVPRO’s document restoration professionals are always ready if disaster strikes.
Flood Insurance Basics
Flooding of your home or business can be a major headache. However, preparing with flood insurance coverage may help pay for repairs to the building and replacement equipment.
What Is Considered Flooding?
For insurance purposes, the definition of flooding differs from the general meaning. To be classified as a flood, the water must affect at least two acres of land or two separate properties. Additionally, the water must come from one of the following sources:
- Overflowing rivers, lakes or other bodies of water
- Accelerated accumulation of surface waters, such as excessive rainfall
If your property is damaged by flooding, you will need separate flood insurance to cover the damage. Typical commercial insurance won’t cover it.
What Does a Flood Policy Cover?
Every policy is unique, but a flood policy will generally cover damage to both the structure and its contents. Make sure the limits of your policy are high enough to replace your items. Most flood policies will not cover other expenses such as loss of use and income interruption. You can purchase excess flood coverage to insure your business beyond the limits of a standard policy. This will increase your limits and may include income interruption, temporary relocation expenses and other costs related to the flood damage.
How Do I File a Claim?
The procedure for filing a claim varies with each company. In general, these are the steps to get the process underway:
Before any damage occurs, make an inventory that lists all contents and the purchase prices.
After a flood, document the damage. Make sure to take detailed photographic or video evidence.
Contact your agent and let them know about the damage. They will arrange for an adjuster to come out.
You may wish to begin cleaning up the water before the adjuster arrives. Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours.
Dealing with a flood event at your business can cause a great deal of stress and tension. Adequate flood insurance and qualified restoration services can decrease anxiety and help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.
Should Your Business Invest in a Commercial Generator?
Making money in a busy economy depends on a few factors. One thing is certain, though: if your business does not have a steady supply of electricity, it may not be able to meet the demands of your customers. Nonetheless, storms, faulty power grids and other culprits can cause your company to lose power. Before you purchase a commercial generator for your business, you should know a bit about this piece of heavy equipment.
Generators Use Fuel To Create Electricity
When the power fails, a backup generator uses fuel to generate usable electricity to supply your business. Generators run on different types of fuel, including the following:
- Natural gas
- Liquid propane
- Gaseous propane
- Combination fuel
When your organization needs an emergency supply of electricity, you simply engage the machine’s engine. Some generators automatically start running when the power fails. As you may suspect, generators come in a variety of sizes and styles. Small ones use little fuel while delivering low amounts of electricity. Large generators can power entire factories. Which size is right for your organization likely depends on your company’s electricity requirements.
Generators Convert Energy
To create electricity, generators function as reverse motors. That is, they don’t pull electricity out of thin air. Instead, they convert either mechanical or chemical energy into electrical energy. This energy is forced into a circuit to create an electrical current.
Generators Have a Lifespan
Like any machine, a generator has a useful lifespan. How long your machine is apt to last depends on its design, construction, maintenance and other factors. Most commercial generators, though, can operate for more than 20 years. You must watch for signs of generator problems to know when to replace yours. If your machine fails, you may need to rely on a professional cleanup crew to repair damage to your company. You may also run into a work stoppage.
Need to rent a Commercial Generator, give us a call 479-452-8282
What To Do When Mold Comes Back
Unfortunately, any home could be affected by mold long before homeowners are aware that there's a problem. Situations such as a leaky roof or a weak pipe in your plumbing system could cause water to accumulate slowly, creating an ideal situation for black mold to settle in and colonize. It only takes a couple of days for mold to spread throughout your entire home.
• Mold reproduces by spreading spores.
• Spores can travel great distances.
• In the right conditions, spores develop into colonies.
• Spores produce more mold cells.
Be on the Lookout
If you've noticed mold in your home, there's a good chance you took immediate steps to counteract the problem with a thorough mold cleanup. Sadly, there's an equal possibility that the mold came back. This is because mold is a living organism. It has survival mechanisms and has adapted to withstand harsh environments. Even after you've cleaned it up once, if the right conditions still exist, new spores could settle into the area and lead to additional black mold growth.
Take Constant Prevention Steps
With the understanding that mold can never be thoroughly removed from your home, your next step is to practice prevention and ongoing maintenance. Simple DIY strategies such as cleaning with vinegar and immediately drying up water leaks can go a long way toward slowing down mold growth.
Contact a Professional Response Team
When these steps aren't enough, it is time to call in the professionals. For example, you may have consistent mold stains in your bathroom that return every time you clean them. In this case, you should hire mold remediation professionals who can get to areas behind the drywall to remove moisture or repair leaks.
Don't Give Up!
Black mold is often hard to eliminate, but it isn't impossible. When you see visible signs of mold, your first step should be to contact a professional. Before then, try to keep moisture levels low and thoroughly clean up any spilled water or leaks. Use a dehumidifier in your home, and provide plenty of ventilation. Ongoing prevention is the best protection against this home intruder.
Getting Rid of Mold After a Flood
Keep Your Home Safe From Mold
When a storm hits flooding in your home could cause some serious issues. While the water alone is a problem, mold growth can create further difficulties that may remain or return if not properly handled. Untreated water damage can be a growing source for the fungus, and musty smells can be an indication of mold already growing inside your house. Here are some steps you can take to keep your home safe from mold.
1. Act quickly. Within just a couple of days, mold growth can spread across your house. Mold is present nearly everywhere. It is distributed as small spores too tiny to be seen by the naked eye, so it can grow even where you may not see it. It’s important to work as quickly as you can to ensure the cleanup of water damage to prevent this.
2. If you find mold, avoid direct contact with it. Disturbing the mold yourself may cause further problems if you do not have the proper equipment and training. Touching it and attempting to dry it can cause it to release more spores into the air.
3. Get rid of all of the mold. What mold you may be able to find is likely only a small amount of the entire infestation, so trying to handle it all by yourself can make matters worse. Professionals with proper training and equipment should be able to safely locate all of the mold, even if it’s deep beneath layers of drywall.
4. Make sure it doesn’t come back. Mold removal is only half of the job, as this involves getting rid of the mold that has already grown. However, mold spores are almost everywhere and cannot be seen. This is when mold remediation is important. This ensures that mold doesn’t grow again from other sources of water or high humidity.
While flooding can be a harmful problem there are ways to ensure that mold growth doesn’t persist after the flood. If you are careful in handling the problem, you can ensure that you continue living in a mold-free home for many years to come.
Give us a call, we are HERE TO HELP 479-452-8282
7 Steps To Take After a Pipe Breaks
When a Pipe Breaks, Follow These 7 Steps
Whether water freezes and breaks a pipe or the pipe gets old and ruptures, bursting pipes are one of most homeowners’ worst nightmares. Not only can the water quickly destroy the items inside the house, but it can also lead to other problems such as mold, mildew and pests. To slow the impact of the pooling water, take these seven steps.
1. Close the water valve.
Prevent further water from entering your home by turning off the water valve. If you can’t find a valve, turn off the water main in the street.
2. Call in the pros.
Contacting a water mitigation specialty team can speed your home’s recovery process. Not only are they knowledgeable, but they have the tools to fix a broken pipe and quickly renew your home.
3. Open a water faucet.
By opening a faucet on the same line as the leaking pipe after the water is off, any residual pressure can be alleviated.
4. Remove standing water.
Getting the water off the floor as quickly as possible can keep it from soaking down into flooring and up into walls. Stopping the water damage can save you not only money but also weeks of home repairs.
5. Sort through items.
Damaged items should be sorted as soon as possible into discard and salvageable piles. All wet items should then be removed from the area, with discarded items going to into the trash.
6. Ventilate the area.
Bursting pipes can leave the damaged area wet and muggy. To remove the humidity and help dry the area more thoroughly, ventilate the room. Open windows and set up fans to aid in the humidity transfer.
7. Call your insurance company.
Not all water problems need to be reviewed by an insurance adjuster, but if your damage is severe, call your insurance company and request they open a file.
Bursting pipes do not need to be a life-changer when you take these seven steps. You can be in control of keeping the water damage to a minimum, and that feels good.