The Challenge with Mold Sampling
Noticeable mold growth in the home.
The Challenge with Mold Testing or Sampling
Is sampling for mold needed?
In most cases, if visible mold growth is present, sampling is unnecessary. Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with federal mold standards. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.
Are there federal regulations or standards regarding mold testing?
Standards or Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for airborne concentrations of mold, or mold spores, have not been set. Currently, there are no EPA regulations or standards for airborne mold contaminants.
Please note that SERVPRO does not conduct mold testing. We are specialists in the remediation of mold and believe that separating mold detection and its remediation eliminates any potential conflict of interest. Call us today for a free consultation.
Drying hard wood floors
Water from the bathroom caused damage to this floor. Luckily it was dried and repaired instead of being removed.
Water damage to hardwood floors can be tricky. SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry has the ability and equipment to save your hardwood floors if it is addressed quickly. After our technicians have accessed the loss and determined that the hardwood floors can be saved, will set up our specialized equipment. Insurance companies and adjusters like it when we can save the floors because it is more cost-effective which in turn keeps down premiums. The floor drying mat system removes the excess water from underneath the hardwood floors. Stabilization takes between two to six days but in some cases may take longer. The goal is to remove the visible cupping and to get as close to appropriate equilibrium moisture content without overdrying. If you encounter water damage and your wood floors are affected, please call SERVPRO for a free consultation. We will respond quickly and help you with your loss and make it, “Like it never even happened.”
Commercial Carpet Cleaning
A commercial carpet beginning to show signs of wear.
Routine carpet cleaning is important to commercial buildings because carpets act as a filter, trapping dirt, dust animal hair, and basically anything you walk on outside the building. Manufactures suggest the following:
- If you have a spill attend to the stain as soon as possible because the longer the stain stands the harder it will be to remove later
- Buying a good vacuum and vacuum regularly so the soils don’t build-up
- Maintenance carpet cleaning in light soil rating = 1-2 times annually, medium soil rating = 6-12 times annually and heavy soil rating = 12-52 times annually
Clean carpets also allow for a healthier work environment, maintain the value of the property and send a message to your clients/customers that you take pride in your company and that shows them you will do the same for them. If you would like to set up a carpet cleaning maintenance schedule please call us.
A tornado toppled this NJ tree.
I don’t remember hearing tornado warnings when I was younger. Tornadoes were a phenomenon found in far-off places like Kansas. However, over the past couple of years, tornado warnings have become common and some devastating tornadoes have hit NJ in the past year. Is this the result of global warming? Like everything these days that seems to be a political question, but the fact remains that it is a new threat that NJ residents and business owners now need to consider.
IF YOU ARE UNDER A TORNADO WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY AND REMEMBER THESE TIPS:
- Go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar. If there is no basement, get to a small, interior room on the lowest level.
- Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
- If you can safely get to a sturdy building, do so immediately.
- Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.
- Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.
- Use your arms to protect your head and neck.
After the storm has passed:
- If you are trapped, cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try to send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting.
- Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.
- Do not enter damaged buildings until you are told that they are safe.
- Save your phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends.
- Be careful during clean-up. Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves.
Of course, the SERVPRO Ready Plan APP will also prove invaluable if a disaster does occur. Download it from the App Store today.
How to use a Fire Extinguisher
A close-up photo of a fire extinguisher handle.
In a prior blog, we discussed the acronym R.A.C.E. which represents the steps to take in care of a fire. Those steps are Rescue, Alarm, Contain, and Extinguish. Another acronym used in training for a fire response is P.A.S.S. which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. These are the steps for using a fire extinguisher.
First, you want to make sure you have the correct fire extinguisher. In most settings, an ABC class extinguisher is most common. An ABC extinguisher puts out most fires including:
Class A fires – common materials including wood which typically produce Ashes.
Class B fires – flammable liquids that are typically stored in a Barrel, such as gasoline.
Class C fires – electrical fires that have an electrical Current
Fires that require a more specialized type of extinguisher include class D fires which are flammable metal or class K fires which are high temperature cooking oil fires.
The steps for using a fire extinguisher are:
P: Pull the pin that prevents the extinguisher from discharging accidentally.
A: Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
S: Squeeze the handle/trigger to discharge the extinguishing agent
S: Sweep the nozzle back and forth to cover the burning material
Dry ice blasting was completed in this NJ basement.
Why SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry?
SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry is a franchise of owner John Majeski. John currently owns 3 SERVPRO franchises across NJ serving clients from New York to South Jersey. The expanding team allows us to have both redundancy and specialized resources.
Redundancy is important because disasters often happen all at once, such as a cold spell or severe storm. Our ability to move resources and personnel around the state allows us to respond quickly even when there is a large demand for services.
Specialization is also important because many pieces of equipment are extremely expensive. A single franchise would have a hard time justifying a major purchase, such as a dry ice blaster. The ability to share resources amongst the Team Majeski franchises allows us greater capability.
Finally, being part of the national SERVPRO brand allows us to call on the resources of our corporate disaster response teams in the case of a major disaster. Our teams also respond to these calls as we did last year when we sent multiple teams to Texas.
Large or small, when a disaster strikes, count on the SERVPRO franchises of Team Majeski to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Commercial Mold Prevention
SERVPRO vans outside a commercial facility in NJ on a Saturday morning.
Mold growth is NOT a new subject. In fact, many commercial structures end up closing their doors to business for months due to mold contamination. That is why in any large facility the importance of maintaining that facility to deter water leaks, moisture problems, and poor air quality should be the main focus.
Most mold growth is discovered after we get called to remediate a water issue, and we discover it growing behind removed material such as sheet rock, sink vanities, cabinetry, etc. In many instances, the mold growth has gone undetected for months, if not years.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the key to mold control is moisture control. Solve moisture problems before they become mold problems.
Mold Prevention Tips
- Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building as soon as possible.
- Watch for condensation and wet spots.
- Prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in the air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
- Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed.
- Vent moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
- Maintain low indoor humidity, below 60% relative humidity (RH), ideally 30-50%, if possible.
- Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
- Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
- Don't let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the foundation.
Potential health concerns are also an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.
Obviously staying on top of moisture issues is the key to keeping mold under control.
Should your commercial building need mold remediation, remember that SERVPRO has specially trained technicians that can handle the job. No job is too large or small, and we are available 24/7.
What to do in case of a fire
The Hackensack, NJ Fire Department in action.
What should you do if you encounter a fire in your home or business? The common acronym R.A.C.E. provides some helpful guidelines. This stands for Rescue, Alarm, Contain, and Extinguish. These are the priority actions that should be taken. Unfortunately, they are often not followed in a panic as people typically try to fight the fire themselves, which costs precious time.
Rescue – The priority is life safety. Smoke and other deadly products of combustion can incapacitate an individual with just a few breaths. The top priority is rescuing anyone who is in personal danger.
Alarm – Sound the alarm by hitting the fire button on your alarm system or calling 911. A fire doubles in size every 45 seconds so alerting the fire department to begin their response is your second priority.
Contain – Stopping the spread of the fire is even more important than trying to extinguish the fire. Closing doors is a simple and effective way of stabilizing the scene and limiting fire spread. Moving a car away from a burning shed or using a garden hose to spray the vinyl siding next to a grill fire can likewise stop the fire from spreading and causing significantly more damage. All of these actions should only be attempted if they can be done safely.
Extinguish – Only after the first three actions have been completed should you attempt to extinguish the fire. Again, only if it can be done safely. Keep in mind that different types of fires (electrical, grease, gas-fed) may require special techniques to extinguish. At a minimum, every home and business should have an ABC class fire extinguisher handy as this is the most versatile type of extinguisher.
Of course, once the fire is extinguished, call SERVPRO because a quick response and immediate action can reduce the extent of smoke, water, and other damage.
Retail Floor Remediation
A recent job was caused by sewage backup.
If your retail store suffers a water leak or flood, you must call SERVPRO as soon as possible. The faster we arrive, the more quickly we can take action to get your shop back to preloss condition so you can resume operating.
One of the essential steps in fixing water damage in your NJ business is removing water from the carpets. Some of the issues with wet carpets include:
- Causing delamination and requiring replacing.
- Preventing you from re-opening your store.
- Providing a potential breeding ground for mold
Our teams have a range of tools to help with water extraction. We have truck-mounted and freestanding pumps to deal with large puddles of water, even if your business has multiple stories. We have small, light carpet wands for vacuuming water from the carpets’ surface and getting into remote areas. We also have extraction tools that rely on the weight of our technician standing on them to press the water out of the carpet.
It is often possible to save carpets from water damage with thorough drying.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
A team of technicians from SERVPRO cleans an NJ school after a COVID-19 outbreak.
Let us help you get back to business
As our communities reopen, 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 in our uniqueness. 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.
Every New Jersey 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.
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 performs. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for the 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.
Once your New Jersey 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.