Mold and Water Damage
Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. SERVPRO Professionals handle water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. If your property has sustained a recent water damage, it is vital to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for the following:
-The presence of visible mold
-Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present
-Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth
These conditions may require the expertise of a SERVPRO professional along with a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.
Top 10 tips to Look for Water Damage and Mold in Buildings
Mold is ubiquitous, mold spores are floating around in the air everywhere, all the time.
The total number of spores and specific species can vary wildly. While a small amount of mold is growing in all of our homes, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, this growth rarely triggers symptoms for normal occupants. Significant mold growth due to water damage is of the greatest concern. Hidden water damage can promote significant mold growth that can seriously affect occupant health.
The best way, by far, would to have any new home you are considering moving into inspected and tested by a Certified Microbial Investigator. A standard residential Mold/IAQ Inspection with air and/or surface sampling will typically identify if any significant mold growth is active in a home.
However, the cost of an inspection can be impractical if you are looking at multiple places to move to. Below are 10 tips you can use to identify water damage and mold in buildings prior to purchase or signing a long-term lease. Use these tips to narrow your search and then invest in a professional inspection when you have found the “one”.
Mold in Buildings
10) Drainage: At minimum this usually means gutters and downspouts.
Do the downspouts tie into a site drainage system?
Are the gutters clogged with leaves and other debris?
Walk around the property, is it on a hill?
Will water flow toward the building when it rains?
Are there drainage culverts, channels, and storm drains?
Are these drains clear or clogged with debris?
Is there evidence of water splashing onto the building siding?
Proper drainage is key to preventing excess moisture entering a building, a basement, or crawlspace and leading to dry rot or mold growth.
9) Building Envelope – Roof, Windows, Doors, siding, Foundation – Leaks from Exterior
Mold in Buildings
Peeling Paint on Siding
Look at the roof, is it in good condition?
Are the roof penetrations well sealed or is the sealer old and cracking?
Check the ceiling inside for signs of roof leaks, water staining, bubbling, etc.
Look carefully around siding, window and door frames?
Is the caulking cracked or smooth and in good condition?
Are the frames cracking?
Is the paint peeling?
Are there cracks or other gaps (where a chimney meets the wall may be one) that may allow water to enter the building envelope?
All are signs that water may be able to enter the building envelope.
8) Leaks – Interior – Plumbing – Fresh water and Drain Plumbing
Water and moisture don’t only come from the outside. The internal plumbing system can leak and provide moisture for mold growth.
Check under all sinks, kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room for visible leaks and musty smells.
Look around tubs and showers for signs of leaks, mold growth, and bubbling. Tiles that are coming loose are often a sign of moisture in the wall behind.
Look at drains for signs of leaks.
Mold in Buildings
What is the overall condition of the space? Run down or pristine? Likely somewhere in between, but the general condition can give you a clue how well long term maintenance has been. Shoddy maintenance can allow water damage to fester and mold growth to set in.
Single pane windows are notorious for excessive condensation.
Are window sills cracked and stained?
Are window sills dirty or show visible mold growth?
Check the back of blinds and drapes for signs of condensation and mold growth.
Older homes, prior to the 1970’s, are usually not insulated. Large pieces of furniture placed against cold, outside walls can be place for condensation and mold growth.
Check behind large dressers, bookshelves, or headboards for condensation and mold.
Closets that share an outside wall can be very problematic. The excess condensation, limited airflow in a closed closet, as well as plenty of organic material for mold to eat (cotton and wool clothes, cardboard boxes, etc) can lead to a significant mold infestation.
Bathroom without sufficient ventilation can be very problematic for condensation. If there is water staining and mold growth or mold stains on the ceiling or walls (some growth in the shower and bath is normal, but not outside of those areas) it is likely condensation may be a problem.
Does the bathroom have a good exhaust fan?
Is the fan register clean or clogged with dust and debris?
Does the bath fan have a timer?
Many older buildings only have windows for bathroom ventilation adding a fan to the window or the bathroom may be necessary to counteract excessive condensation. Kitchens also should have exhaust fans for the range stove that can exhaust excess moisture from cooking to the exterior. Some older buildings only have recirculating fans or no fans at all.
4) HVAC System
The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system is very important to maintaining both occupant comfort and good air quality. Often the HVAC system is the only way to filter the air we breath inside our homes, although not all HVAC systems have filters! Also, dust and moisture and pests (insects and rodents) can hide out in our ducts and other areas of the HVAC system.
If the system has a filter, check it! Is it dirty or clean?
Change the filter regularly and use the best quality filter the system can handle.
Check the ducts and registers with a flashlight. Are they dirty or clean? Any signs of insect or rodent infestation. Take a sniff, there should be no foul or musty odors.
Lift floor registers and look inside for dust and debris.
Some systems don’t have ducts, such as radiant floor heat or wall or space heaters.
Check wall heaters for buildup of dust and debris. The insides should be clean.
A portable air HEPA filter may be advised if the building has radiant heating.
Mold in Buildings
Visible Mold Growth on Baseboard and Wall
Does the building seem “clean”? Remember to check the hard to reach places.
Check the tops of door and window frames for dust buildup.
Check under the refrigerator. This area can build up quite a bit of debris and mold can grow on the condenser coils.
Check behind large items such as cabinets and couches.
Mold can easily grow on “Biofilms”. Household dust is considered a biofilm, as it is composed of organic material (skin cells, insect part, cotton and cellulose fibers, pet dander) that mold can use as a food source.
Does the building have carpet? Does the carpet appear clean? Is the carpet stained? Carpet can hold moisture from cleaning and spills as well as pet urination, in additional to other contaminants carpet tends to accumulate settled mold spores that come in the air from the exterior. Carpet can hold mold spores that can become active under conditions of high humidity.
2) Musty Smell
Probably the second biggest “Red Flag” for building you may occupy. A musty smell = ACTIVE MOLD GROWTH. Trust your nose and if there is a moderate to strong musty smell, RUN AWAY.
1) VISIBLE MOLD
Mold in buildings should not be visible, with the exception of small amounts around sinks, baths and showers. Sometimes a minor amount around window sills is acceptable. But if you see visible mold growth on walls, ceilings, baseboards, under sinks, etc. this is sign of a significant mold infestation.
I hope you can use the above top 10 tips to help find healthy and happy place to call home!
In the event you are looking at a home and are unsure of mold growth you can call SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook to come out and do some testing. If after testing there seems to be a significant number of mold spores present we can do the remediation as well.
Call us at 630-771-1720
Steps to Take Immediately After a Storm Damage
Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.
Take Safety Precautions
Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact a reputable property restoration company to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.
Photograph the Damage
If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.
Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance
The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.
When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. At SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage , and smoke disaster.
Storm Damage Restoration Process
Violent weather such as storm damage can wreak havoc on buildings as well as vegetation. Wind damage can be a hazard to the structure of a building, by loosening the shingles or tiles on the roof. This can cause moisture such as rain and snow to infiltrate into the protective surface of the roof, which will result in the wood swelling and later on disintegration and becoming moldy. This outcome will lead to a sagging ceiling and further problems. Elements such as wind, rain, hail, and lightning can result in turning people’s lives upside down, this is why having a storm damage restoration service to help this type of emergency is a good option.
Here are some of the activities you can expect from the storm restoration service professionals.
- Whether it is a business or residence, the restoration company will come to your property and their trained experts will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help them discover the level of the damage. In many cases, the restoration company will discuss the renovation plans with you and your insurance adjuster.
- When everything is agreed upon, the work begins. Depending on what type of damage is present, this will determine the type of equipment the professional will use. In the case of flooding, they will use specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas.
- Generators will be brought in to operate their dehumidifiers and air movers so mold and mildew do not have a change to make matters worse. Using customized cleaners, the specialist will then disinfect hard surfaces and shampoo salvageable carpets as well as apply deodorant to combat any odors.
If contacted in time, a storm damage restoration company will be able to rescue your building from greater structural issues, by inspecting the roof and replacing the dilapidated areas. After sealing and renovating the roof, they will then address the ceiling and restore to its former condition.
As you can see, when you suffer from natural disasters, the storm damage restoration process is something the experts can handle.
If you've recently suffered from storm damage and are looking for storm damage repair or water damage clean up, contact the specialists at SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook today to help reinstate your home. Call us at 630-771-1720
Faster to your Woodridge and Bolingbrook IL Water Damage Event
SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in DuPage and part of Will County!
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.
SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 630-771-1720
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook
SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
7 Emergency Supplies Your Business Should Always Have on Hand
If disaster strikes during business hours, you and your employees may become stranded at work for an undetermined amount of time. You could experience a lack of power or clean drinking water, and you may need to endure the elements outside, no matter the season. Whether you’re forced to remain at the office for hours or days, it’s always wise to ensure that you have plenty of emergency supplies at the ready for yourself and your employees.
Here is a quick list of the necessities that you should keep on hand in the event of an emergency. These items will help you take the proper measures to protect your employees from harm:
Food – Your workplace should have at least a 3-day supply of emergency food for each employee in the event of a disaster. We recommend stocking up on non-perishable items such as salt-free crackers, canned foods with high liquid content, protein bars, peanut butter, and dried fruits. Make sure that these foods don’t require refrigeration, cooking, or any other kind of preparation.
Water – Just like the non-perishable items, your office should also keep a minimum 3-day supply of emergency water per person. Ideally, this would include one gallon of water per person per day. You can do this by purchasing cases of water bottles or storing 55-gallon water storage barrels to use for drinking and sanitation purposes when necessary.
Emergency Lights – Sometimes when disasters occur, electricity may go out for minutes, hours, or even days, leaving you and your employees in the dark. Emergency lighting is essential to help you and your staff navigate through the dark, especially if there is debris. While battery-powered flashlights can work in a pinch, it’s best to have a few solar-powered or hand-cranked flashlights and candles on hand to light the way.
Radios – Radios are useful, especially when you need to receive life-saving updates and evacuation notices. We recommend keeping a few AM/FM solar-powered radios on hand. Battery-powered radios also work well, but it’s wise to conserve battery power whenever possible.
First Aid Kits – In the event that one of your employees is injured, a first aid kit can come in handy. Keep a few comprehensive emergency first aid kits in easily accessible locations. Your kits should include bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, and other useful items.
Protection Against the Elements – If your building sustains any damage that makes it unsafe to occupy, you and your staff may need to leave the premises. Be prepared with rain ponchos, thermal blankets, gloves, body warmer pads, and a canopy shelter.
Sanitation Supplies – In the event of a disaster, plumbing and running water will more than likely be unavailable. To keep things sanitary and stave off sickness, your office should have emergency sanitation supplies available. These items should include hand sanitizers, individual tissue packets, quality cleaning chemicals, and more.
We hope that this list has helped you become more aware of the issues that you and your staff may face during crises. Be sure to print this list out and keep it with your disaster preparation plan. In the meantime, make sure that you have a vetted vendor for times of emergencies.
Call SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook to see how we can serve you. 630-771-1720
Emergency Readiness Program
Disasters can strike a building at any time and quickly bring business to a halt. Whether it’s flooding, burst pipes, fires, or any number of natural or man-made disaster, you will want to reopen your doors as soon – and as discretely – as possible. That’s where SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook can help you.
SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook is skilled in locating, addressing, and minimizing damage your building may sustain quickly and discretely. Whether it’s a small emergency or an unprecedented disaster, you can count on us to mobilize quickly and respond to your emergency, no matter the day or time.
We strive to build relationships with our clients before they need us. We accomplish this through our Emergency Readiness Profile (ERP), which helps our clients be ready if and when an emergency or disaster occurs. SERVPRO can be a one-stop shop for commercial buildings, providing building maintenance and cleaning services, restoration services, and pre-disaster planning.
SERVPRO of Woodridge/Bolingbrook is dedicated to working hard so you can open your doors as quickly as possible after a disaster happens. You can count on us to handle emergencies and difficult situations with precision, expertise, and discretion. We are committed to your privacy; our services will remain completely confidential.
Schedule your FREE Emergency Readiness Profile today 630-771-1720