4 Mold Myths that Too Many People Believe Are True
Many people think they know everything they need to know about mold. It is true that mold can be a serious problem. But with the right information and a little common sense, you can learn to separate the myths and make smart decisions about any mold in your home.
Here are 4 mold myths that simply aren’t true:
Myth 1.) “All Mold is Dangerous and Unhealthy”
In fact, some kinds of mold make human life better. Just think of the life saving benefits of penicillin or the delicious taste of bleu cheese on a salad. These all come from mold.
While it’s true that some molds do cause health problems, the effects of mold on people can vary dramatically from person to person. Some molds produce allergens that can make life miserable for people sensitive to this allergy, and people with compromised immune systems are also often at greater risk to become sick from repeated mold exposure.
Myth 2.) “Bleach Kills All Mold Growth”
Many people when they discover mold in their homes immediately reach for the bleach and assume this will solve the problem. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Bleach may kill certain kinds of mold growth, especially on non-porous surfaces. But bleach has not been proven to be effective on all kinds of mold, and it frequently doesn’t work so well on porous materials such as wood.
In addition, the amount of bleach that may be needed to clean-up a mold problem may in turn pose its own health risks.
Myth 3.) “If There’s Just a Little Mold, You Don’t Have to Worry”
Many people believe that if they see jut a little mold, they don’t have to worry about it. Unfortunately, sometimes a little mold is a big problem.
While it is true that mild mold growth may not cause any problems, what you see may not in fact be merely mild growth. Mold can be like an iceberg where what is visible is only the tip of major growth lurking beneath the surface.
Often times, the first visible signs of mold are just a signal that you have a major mold issue that needs to be remedied.
Myth 4.) “You Can Clean-Up Mold Yourself with Home Remedies”
According to the EPA, if your mold problem is “less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself.” However, as was just discussed, many times the mold you see is just the surface of a larger underlying problem.
If you even suspect that your mold problem may be larger than 10 square feet, or you’ve been experiencing health symptoms that may be related to mold exposure, you should bring in a professional mold remediation service provider as soon as you can.
SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry has the training and equipment necessary to thoroughly inspect and address any mold issues you may encounter. We’ve helped many homes and businesses in the community with mold problems both large and small, including providing 24/7 emergency services.
Winter Storm Protection Checklist – 5 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe
This past weekend saw Winter Storm Harper, which affected some area in all 48 states. When a major winter storm is in the forecast, do you know what you can do make sure your home stays safe?
Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry we want to help homeowners keep their families and property safe when a winter storm hits, so here’s a quick checklist to help you protect your home:
Prevent Ice Dams on Your House.
Ice dams happen when heat from your home causes water to melt in the middle of your roof and then this water re-freezes at the edges, creating a dam that can cause roof leaks and damage to your walls and ceiling.
If you notice icicles forming from your roof, this may be a sign of a developing ice dam.
Keep the Outside of Your House Protected.
Check your gutters and make sure your downspouts are clear so that water can flow. Trim any branches close to the house that may freeze, snap, and damage your house or power lines. Seal up any drafty windows or doors to keep your home warm.
Don’t Let Snow Accumulate on the Roof.
Too much heavy snow piled up on your roof could cause your roof to collapse.
This can be particularly problematic on flat roofs, which are typically built over porches or housing additions. If necessary, consider getting a roof rake which will come with a long handle so you can clear some of the snow from the roof while standing on the ground.
Make Sure Your Pipes Don’t Freeze.
Some of the worst winter water damage is caused by frozen pipes that burst.
Make sure to check on the pipes in your attic, crawl space, basement, and behind cabinets, as these are most likely to freeze. Consider wrapping them in insulation or opening the cabinets so that warm air can circulate. In addition, try letting some water slowly drip from your faucets in order to keep water flowing.
Have an Emergency Kit and a Generator Ready.
Make sure you have an emergency kit with flashlights, extra batteries, a first aid kit, warm clothes, and a stock of food, water, and daily medications. You may also want to keep some extra cash on hand, just in case.
With this simple checklist, you can help make sure your home stays safe throughout the winter season. If the storm does cause damage to your property, you can call SERVPRO Hackensack / Little Ferry for help. We have the advanced skills and equipment needed to get your home back to normal ASAP. We pride ourselves on being “faster to any disaster,” and you can reach out to us anytime 24/7.
Frozen Pipe Damage is SERVPRO's Speciaty
Winter is always a time when the weather can wreak havoc on your home or business. Wind, rain, snow and single digit temperatures will affect roofs,gutters and pipes.
Leaking roofs from heavy snow and ice damns are always a possibility, burst frozen pipes can be any property owner’s worst winter nightmare.
Even a small amount of leaking water can cause significant water damage in just a short period of time.
If your home or business has been unfortunate enough to have burst frozen pipes, we’d like to tell you why we can be the best restoration service provider to fix your water damage problem.
SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry is a locally owned and operated company with some of the most highly trained and certified water restoration technicians in the country. We offer 24-hour emergency service, and we have the advanced water inspection, extraction, and drying equipment necessary to restore your property quickly.
We know that dealing with water damage requires immediate action in order to minimize the damage, so it’s best if you have a plan of action.
Know Your Water
The dictionary definition of wastewater is "any water that has been affected by human use." But did you know that there are different grades of wastewater? The longer you wait to take care of your water issue, the more damage can occur - to your home, your possessions and even your health.
Floodwater that does not pose an immediate health threat is known as clean water. Clean water floods can result from malfunctioning appliances, toilet holding tanks, and melting snow and rainwater. Clean water home floods are generally safe for you to clean up yourself, but remember--time is an important factor. Standing clean water can become greywater if left untreated.
Greywater refers to wastewater that is not contaminated with fecal matter. As far as household wastewater goes, greywater could include water from bathtubs and showers, appliances such as dishwashers, a weather event, an overflowing plumbing fixture or appliance or even a broken pipe.
When flooding occurs, it can saturate carpeting, furniture and drywall. If you experience a home flood with greywater, wear protective gear, and keep children and pets away from the flooded area. If the flood is extensive, such as several inches of water in the basement, it is advisable to hire professionals to safely clean up and decontaminate the area. Cleanup must begin as soon as possible as greywater can become blackwater if left untreated.
Blackwater is wastewater contaminated with human waste, flood water, or water contaminated with chemicals.
Blackwater floods are the most dangerous and the most destructive, and must be cleaned and mitigated immediately. Because of the unsanitary conditions of the water, items such as carpets, upholstery and drywall are often unsalvageable. Contact with blackwater can cause illness in both humans and pets.
Having water damage in your home is never a pleasant experience, and oftentimes it is destructive, and disruptive - affecting multiple rooms, floors, levels – of a home, office or multiple dwelling. Knowing whom to call and when, could mean all the difference in keeping contamination and damage to a minimum.
Remember that you can call SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry 24/7. We will be there to survey and clean up your water damage quickly and get you back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.
How To Keep Your Home Safe From Fire This Winter
Properly using and caring for your heating equipment your home is paramount in order to prevent a fire emergency from happening.
Remember these tips that can help keep you and your family safe from winter fire damage.
Check Your Alarms
Make sure you have both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed throughout your home, especially in and near the rooms where you will be using additional heating. Test to see if they are in working order. otherwise replace it right away.
Have your furnace serviced every year.
To keep your furnace burning cleanly and proficiently, it is important to have yearly maintenance performed. Not only will this insure that your furnace is performing at its maximum capacity, it may help extend the life, saving you money in the long run.
Never Leave a Fire or Heater Unattended
Keep carpets, drapes, furniture and all other combustible items away from fireplaces and space heaters while they are in use. Use a firescreen to keep small children and pets away from fireplace flames, and watch to make sure sparks are not projected toward anything that could catch on fire.
Remember to turn off space heaters when you are not in the room, and don’t leave them on while everyone in the house is asleep. If something should go wrong, you want to be present and alert.
Test the Safety of Your Fireplace
Have your fireplace flue cleaned before each season, especially if you use it a lot. You can also test your fireplace safety by lighting just a few tiny pieces of seasoned wood. If the smoke goes out into the room instead of up and out the chimney, then you know there is a problem.
Some common fireplace problems include soot build-up, chimney debris including animal nests, and dampers that are closed or even partially closed. To prevent smoke and fire damage, you want to be sure your chimney is open and ventilating properly.
Burn Only Seasoned Wood
If you’re using a fireplace or potbelly stove, you want to make sure you are using only seasoned wood as greenwood does not burn efficiently and can create problems in your fireplace or stove.
Seasoned wood is wood that has been cut and left to dry under cover for at least 6 months to a year. Hardwoods, such as maple, oak, and ash are dense and generally best for producing more heat.
Keeping your home safe is simple just by following common sense safety. However, should you ever need fire damage restoration assistance, remember that SERVPRO Hackensack / Little Ferry is always here to help!
Commercial Property Water Leaks
Water damage caused by leaky pipes can cause severe property losses for local businesses. Whether the water is slowly seeping from a loose fitting or is suddenly gushing from a burst frozen pipe, commercial property leaks can prove disastrous and disrupt business.
The good new is: many types of leaking water damage are covered by commercial property insurance policies. However, not all leaks are covered, so, it’s good to be prepared.
To help you understand how to deal with leaks at your commercial property, here’s a helpful guide explaining what kinds of water leaks are typically covered by commercial property insurance policies, and what kinds of leaks are not:
- Sudden Events
If a leak is caused by a pipe or other appliance, such as a water heater, that suddenly breaks, any damage to your commercial property will likely be covered under your insurance policy.
- Fire System Damage
While commercial property policies generally won’t cover the repair costs to most broken appliances, they often will cover the cost to replace or repair any damaged parts of a fire protective system, such as a sprinkler.
- Building Restoration
Most water pipes are hidden inside walls, ceilings, and floors, so when a leak occurs, it will often be necessary to tear out a piece of the building in order to repair the pipe. Many commercial property insurance policies will cover the costs to restore those parts of the building that had to be removed in order to repair the leak.
- Slow Leaks
Many commercial property insurance policies will not cover damage caused by water that has been leaking continuously for 2 weeks or more.
- Frozen Pipe Leaks
It’s common for many insurance policies to contain a “freezing” exclusion so that any damage caused by a frozen appliance or liquids that freeze will not be covered.
Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry, we know how important it is to keep local businesses up and running. That’s why we’re trusted by so many business owners in this community to help deal with water damage and restoration issues.
Why SERVPRO is A Community Leader in Winter Fire Prevention
During cold winter days, one of the pleasures of staying home with family is curling up in front of a warm, cozy fireplace. If your home needs extra heating, you may be pulling out space heaters, or possibly even lighting up an old-fashioned potbelly stove! While extra heating is a necessity during winter, there is also an increased fire risk. This is why winter fire prevention is so important.
Here at SERVPRO of Hackensack / Little Ferry we’re proud to be your local neighborhood experts in fire damage restoration. We’re not only a locally owned franchise, we’re also part of a nation-wide network of with specialized Disaster Recovery Teams located strategically across the country to handle large-scale fire catastrophes. However, what we hope most is that we never have to come to your home for an emergency!
We want to help everyone in this community understand how to properly use and care for the heating equipment in their homes in order to prevent a fire emergency from happening. Here’s a list of four helpful tips that can help keep you and your family safe from winter fire damage this year.
- Check Your Alarms
- Never Leave a Fire or Heater Unattended
- Test the Safety of Your Fireplace
- Burn Only Seasoned Wood
These quick and easy tips can help keep your home safe throughout the cold winter season. If something happens and you do need fire damage restoration assistance, remember that the professionals of SERVPRO Hackensack / Little Ferry are always here to help! We have the specialized training and advanced equipment necessary to handle any size fire damage restoration project.
Prepare for Severe Winter Weather
Bergen County is no stranger to severe winter weather. When the wind and snow come roaring through as a blizzard, or nor'easter,heavy snowfall and hurricane-force gusts will render roads impassable, down power lines and bring life to a standstill.
With the right precautions in place, you may be able to ride out the storm with your home and your family’s safety intact. Your best defense is a great offense.
Winterize Your Home
These following precautions can be very helpful in the run-up to any winter storm or freezing condition:
- Exposed water pipes should be wrapped with newspapers or a plastic wrap, and faucets should be turned on to allow a trickle to come through to prevent freezing and pipes bursting.
- Leaking roofs need to be patched or re-freezing precipitation could widen gaps and bring in more water and cold.
- Clogged gutters should be cleared of fallen leaves and twigs to let liquid flow and not get a chance to freeze so gutters weigh down.
Dress for the Storm
- Outside Apparel: If you must be outside, keep warm and dry. Cover yourself from scalp to sole with a hat, a scarf and a water-repellent outer layer. Use mittens instead of gloves because keeping your fingers close together helps with insulation.
- Inside apparel: Even in the comfort of your own home, you should add an extra, secondary layer—especially if and when the power goes out.
Taking proper steps and being prepared, can save you the expense and headache of broken pipes, water damage or any other storm issues. But if you DO need storm cleanup, you know you can turn to SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferry!
Tips on How to Stop Mold
ips on How to Stop Mold Before it Starts
Mold can be a problem in your home, even before it becomes a visible issue. Mold can cause serious health problems and even ruin parts of your home. Mold likes to grow in dark and damp environments, so sometimes you'll notice a damp, moldy smell in the air long before you ever see signs of a mold problem. Here are three tips to stop it before it even gets started.
Mold festers in warm temperatures, from around 70-degrees Fahrenheit and above. Warmer weather can instigate mold growth. Areas in your home that are allowed to surpass the 80-degree mark are the most susceptible. If you do not have central air conditioning, consider installing a couple window units, especially in those rooms of your home that can become damp, like bathrooms and kitchens.
In the winter, check places where condensation collects, such as windows and doors. The heat from your home reacting to the cold outside will create moisture, especially if the area is not well insulated. If you have an older home, consider adding weather strips around drafty openings.
Mold will thrive in environments where there is little or no air movement. Even if the temperatures are cooler, stagnant air allows mold to generate enough heat itself that it spreads. Once mold gets a foothold, it can be difficult to stop.
Vent fans are excellent additions to bathrooms, or other places in your home where air can become stagnate. When warmer temperatures occur, ceiling fans are excellent ways to keep air circulating. A couple strategically placed floor fans can also help curb the ability of mold to grow.
The last problem you need to be concerned about is probably the most important. Mold needs moisture to grow. Without moisture in some form, mold will dry up and turn to dust.
Leaks & Drips
Leaky faucets and dripping drains are some common problems, but they are easily spotted and usually a simple fix. The biggest problem with mold and moisture can the damp areas that you cannot see, or are not aware of. Always fix water leaks and drips immediately though.
Gutters & Eaves
Gutters that are not well maintained can become clogged. When this happens rainwater can drip back under the eaves on your home and begin to slowly seep behind your exterior walls, where mold can grow unnoticed.
A Clean Sweep
Dirt can also attract moisture as well as be a food source for mold. Vacuum at least once a week. If you have pets that shed, it would be well advised to vacuum a little more frequently.
Mold can become an expensive problem once it takes hold. Be attentive to moisture, circulate the air in your home whenever possible, and keep it clean.
Winter: Tis The Season for Ice Dams
What is an ice Dam?
They form when melting ice and snow refreeze above the eaves of your roof and subsequent melting backs up under the shingles. This causes interior leaks and water damage to interior walls and ceilings.
Proper ventilation, drainage and insulation are the ONLY ways to prevent ice dams.
- Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris
- Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic such as vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures.
- Inspect your roof and attic for proper ventilation and insulation
- Look for signs of inadequate ventilation: rust spots, rusty nails or a mildew smell are all signals that moisture has formed on the inside of your roof
- If you have soffit vents in your eaves, make sure they are not blocked and insulation surrounding them is secured so that air can flow easily
- Keep snow from accumulating on the lower three to six feet of your roof
To remove Ice Dams, consult a roofing professional. DO NOT use a snow blower, shovel or blowtorch to try to chip, break or melt ice dams.