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So, You Want to Kill Mold?

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee wearing PPE wipes away mold spores from white wall corner Let the trained professionals of SERVPRO of ECGLH tackle your newly discovered mold the right way

So, you want to kill mold? Don’t use bleach!

Usually, when most homeowners notice mold, they get out the bottle of bleach thinking a few sprays will solve the problem.

It’s no wonder.

Some of the most popular blogs continue to perpetuate the myth that spraying bleach will take care of your mold problem.

Even information on The Center For Disease Control (CDC) website still suggests using bleach to kill mold.

The truth is, using chlorine bleach to kill mold is probably one of the worst things you can do.

As a matter of fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), stopped recommending the use of bleach for dealing with mold problems. And, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated their guide as well, removing the suggestion to use bleach to kill mold.

The problem is, it’s true that bleach can kill some mold in some places some of the time.  But, bleach only works to remove mold on hard, impermeable surfaces like bathtub and shower surrounds or tiles. However, on porous surfaces like drywall or hardwood floors, it won’t work to kill mold or keep it from coming back.

Why?

Because mold spreads its roots (called mycelia and hyphae) deep into porous surfaces.

Simply spraying a bleach solution on the surface won’t kill mold spores at their roots.

So, here are 9 Reasons Why you should NOT to Use Bleach to Kill Mold

  1. First, bleach encourages toxic mold growth on porous surfaces because it provides excess moisture.

Bleach contains about 90% water. When you apply bleach to a surface, the chlorine quickly evaporates leaving behind a lot of water. Then, when the water soaks into porous surfaces like wood, it encourages mold growth. So, bleach can make your mold problem worse.

  1. Bleach only removes the color from mold.

After you spray bleach, only the surface appears clean. But the problem is, the mold’s roots, or hyphae, continue to grow.

  1. The EPA and OSHA specifically advise against using bleach for mold remediation.
  2. Chlorine bleach is extremely harmful to surfaces.

For example, when you use bleach on wood, it starts to weaken it by breaking the fibers. When you spray bleach on metal, it starts to corrode it almost immediately. Thus, using bleach to kill mold creates problems with the structural integrity of a home.

  1. Bleach is extremely corrosive.

When you spray bleach and it evaporates, it releases chlorine gas. It irritates and eventually causes damage to the skin, lungs, and eyes.

  1. The corrosive nature of bleach is even worse when it’s mixed.

Bleach should never be mixed with acids, because it causes dangerous fumes.

Remember: Mixing cleaning compounds containing ammonia with bleach produces deadly gasses that can kill with just a few breaths.

  1. Bleach doesn’t work as a sanitizing agent when it’s mixed with organic material.

To be a successful sanitizer, bleach must be used on clean materials and surfaces. That’s why bleach products get used in the laundry after the wash cycle. Light and heat compromise the sanitizing properties of bleach. Even though the chlorine odor lingers for a while after you use it, bleach loses strength so quickly it doesn’t have a residual effect. That is, it doesn’t prevent future bacterial or fungal growth.

  1. Most bleach products are not registered with the EPA to be used as antimicrobial agents.
  2. And last, but not least, you don’t want to use bleach to kill mold because there are many antimicrobial alternatives readily available.

These antimicrobial agents are registered with the EPA specifically for killing mold. Some are formulated to be friendly to the environment, your family and your pets. In addition, they are cost effective, easy to use, and, they have a true residual effect. That means they prevent bacteria and mold from regrowing.

Finding mold in your home or commercial property can be scary. Call SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt for an inspection and clean-up quote
(517) 541-1170

3 Threats Associated With Standing Floodwaters | SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Man in boots walking through standing water in the streets from flood If you experience any storm damage, contact SERVPRO of ECGLH. Our goal is to help make it "Like it never even happened."

3 Surprising Threats Associated With Standing Floodwaters

A flood can be one of the most devastating natural disasters you will experience during your lifetime. Floodwaters have the potential to completely devastate any area they pass through. At their worst, floods can lift homes off their foundations and crash through walls. Even a small flood can cause damage to your home by saturating your flooring and wall materials with water.

All homeowners need to be aware of the dangers that floodwaters pose so that they can take action to protect themselves in the aftermath of a flood. Standing floodwaters come with a variety of damages and threats. Learn about three surprising threats you should be mindful of as you assess the damage to your home following a flood.

  1. Electrocution

One of the deadliest risks associated with floodwaters is electrocution. Water is a powerful electrical conductor. When floodwaters come into contact with any electrical outlets or wires inside your home, the water has the potential to become electrically charged.

If you step into a pool of this standing floodwater or any exposed part of your body comes into contact with the water, the electrical charge stored in the water could pass through your body and cause serious harm.

Utility companies will typically shut down the electrical grid in any areas affected by a flood, but you should never assume that there is no electrical power to your home. Only a restoration professional with advanced training should enter your home to verify that the power is off at the breaker box and no electricity is circulating through your home.

  1. Explosions         

If your home is equipped with any appliances that rely on natural gas as a power source, the risk of explosion is present after a flood. Floodwaters can dislodge the pipes that feed natural gas into your home. This creates gas leaks that can trap a buildup of gas inside your residence.

The smallest spark could cause the gas to explode, causing further damage to your home and putting the life of anyone inside the residence at risk. Experienced restoration professionals can detect gas leaks before they begin working to clean up the mess left behind by a flood.

You can take the necessary precautions to address the gas leak, allowing you to maximize your safety after floodwaters recede. Never enter your flooded home if the possibility of a gas leak is present.

  1. Disease

Another serious risk associated with floodwaters is disease. The transmission of many communicable diseases can be facilitated by standing floodwaters. Some of these diseases include cholera, typhoid fever, malaria, and West Nile virus.

The water that floods your home during a natural disaster can also become contaminated with raw sewage. Bacteria and other pathogens thrive in the standing water, which makes your flooded home a serious health hazard.

Because of these potential diseases, it's important that you don't come into contact with floodwaters without the proper safety gear. A company that specializes in restoring residential properties following a flood will have the experience and products needed to eliminate the threat of flood-related disease from your home.

A restoration specialist can use powerful chemicals that will disinfect and sanitize all of the surfaces within your home once the flood water has been removed. These same chemicals can also prevent mold growth in your home.

Floods are inherently dangerous, but the dangers don't stop once the active flooding subsides. Standing floodwater in your home can increase the risk of electrocution, explosions, and disease transmission following a flood.

Contact SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot counties, Lansing & Holt to handle your restoration needs after a flood so that you can avoid any associated dangers created by standing floodwaters.

What to Expect During Water Damage Restoration | SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

All white bathroom with standing water covering tile floor tiles A water disaster can create issues that you may not be aware of. If you experience water damage of any kind, give SERVPRO ECGLH a call (517)541-1170

What to Expect During Water Damage Restoration 

Whether you have a leak in the basement, water in the attic, or a burst pipe in your wall, water can lead to one of the more stressful types of damages you will have to deal with as a homeowner. You can alleviate some of the stress by knowing what to expect during the water damage repair process so you can prepare accordingly.

Address the Cause

It does little good to repair damages if they will simply occur again. Generally, a broken pipe or leaking foundation will lead to water in the basement, whereas water in the attic is generally from roof damage or poor ventilation. Water elsewhere in the home is most likely from a plumbing leak. HVAC systems can also develop condensation along the ducts, which can lead to water damage in the ceiling.

Once you know the cause, you can contact a plumber, roofer, or another suitable contractor to fix the leak and stop the flow of water.

Pro Tip:

If you can't find the leak and you aren't sure who to call, contact a water damage restoration company. They may offer leak detection services or be able to refer you to one of these professionals.

Assess the Damage

Water damage can go much further than just what you see. Even after the surface moisture dries, wet conditions can persist out of sight. Mold may also have taken hold in hidden areas. Stains, warped materials, and damage to carpets and furniture can also be present. The restoration technician has a variety of tools at their disposal to accurately assess the extent of the damage.

Pro Tip:

Don't attempt to do any sort of assessment or cleanup on your own if you suspect that the water is contaminated. Leaks from exterior flooding or a broken septic line are the most likely sources of contamination.

Dry Out the Home

Before restoration can progress, all of the moisture has to be removed. The technicians will pump out any standing water that is still present, and then they will use water extractors and large industrial fans to speed up the drying process. If the relative humidity is high, portable dehumidifiers may also be used.

Pro Tip:

Don't delay drying out the home. Mold can begin growing in as little as 48 hours, so call the water damage service immediately so that the drying process can commence.

Clean Up the Damage

Cleanup techniques depend on the type and extent of the damage. Technicians will remove wet objects, including furniture, personal effects, and carpeting, to a dry location. Things that can't be repaired, such as sodden wallboards, will be removed and disposed of. The technicians may also take apart some items, such as baseboards, so that they can be dried thoroughly.

The cleanup stage is also when deeper cleaning is addressed, such as mold removal and hazardous waste sanitation. Often, this is the most time-consuming restoration stage.

Pro Tip:

If you can safely enter the wet area, you might be able to rescue papers, books, and photographs in advance of the restoration crew. Place these items in sealed plastic bags and store them in a frost-free freezer. The freezer prevents mold and deterioration until the damage techs can dry out the paper.

Repair and Restore

The final stage is the repair stage. Wallboards are patched or replaced, ceilings are repaired and repainted, and the carpeting is either thoroughly cleaned or replaced entirely. Woodwork may require sanding and refinishing if a replacement isn't necessary.

Restoration also applies to your personal belongings, including furniture. The technicians will focus on repairing everything that they can so that there will be minimal replacements necessary.

Pro Tip:

If you are on the fence about keeping your carpet, then consider these basic rules. If the carpet was exposed to contaminated water, have it replaced. Further, if it took longer than 48 hours to find and address the water damage, consider replacement of the pad and a professional biocide treatment of the carpeting. 

Contact SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt to discuss your water damage restoration needs today.

Norovirus in your Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt Business

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Green Norovirus microscopic image While Noroviruses are around all year long, winter is the most common season for outbreaks.

The Norovirus is highly contagious and can tear through classrooms, cruise ships, nursing homes, and other crowded spaces, leaving vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps in its wake.

Norovirus spreads easily through food and drink and can have a big impact on people's health. The CDC estimates that noroviruses are responsible for more than half of all food-borne disease outbreaks each year.

Noroviruses thrive in close quarters, such as restaurants, day-care centers, and nursing homes, because they are hardy and highly contagious. They can survive temperature extremes in water and on surfaces.

How to Prevent Norovirus Infection
Good hygiene is the key to preventing a norovirus infection, especially when you are close to a lot of other people.

* Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or changing a baby's diaper, and before you prepare or eat food. Alcohol-based cleansers are not as effective as soap and water.
* Carefully throw away any contaminated items (such as dirty diapers).
* Wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Cook oysters and other shellfish before eating them.
* Call SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt to thoroughly and effectively clean contaminated surfaces.

If your workplace or commercial property has experienced a norovirus outbreak, SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt can come clean and disinfect the common areas to prevent further illness due to Noroviruses.
Call our professionals today at (517) 541-1170

Smoke & Soot Damaged Contents

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Small wooden house on fire If you have smoke or soot damage after a house fire, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot County, Lansing & Holt

A house fire is never planned for, or expected. Many of our favorite and most treasured items are the once that are irreplaceable. Some examples are pictures, handmade items and antiques. Good thing for our customers, SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt specializes in cleaning all types of contents.

Many times some of the things, like photos, that get wet and stick together and seem like they are a loss, can actually be saved. SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt has the knowledge, expertise and training to clean and restore all of your property after a house fire.

Generally fire affected contents will be wet as well from the fire department putting out the fire. This can cause extra issues as well but these items can usually be still be saved. We make it our priority to clean and restore your contents as if they were our own.

Call SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt to clean your smoke or fire damaged contents at 517-541-1170

Fire Damage in Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

room sectioned off to dry Fire Damage can stop production at your commercial property

Fires in Commercial buildings can devastate operation and severely impact your bottom line. To say nothing about threatening the safety of your employees and customers. While fire damage in any form can be stressful and overwhelming, we strive to make the clean up process run as smoothly and quickly as possible.

While we all are very diligent in our fire prevention preparations, accidents and surprises do happen. A quick call to SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt can make all the difference. The faster you make that call, the faster we can be onsite to help. We can pack out the affected contents for cleaning, clean and repair the structure and we even offer emergency board up services for security. No job is too big or too small!

Please contact SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt for your commercial fire damage restoration (517)541-1170

Attic and Basement Mold

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Mold problems can spread via spores that float in the air, which is one reason experts recommend immediate mold remediation as soon as possible. Still, it may seem like an odd coincidence if mold shows up in both your attic and your basement.

Whether the two mold problems are simultaneous or consecutive, you should know that they could be related in one of several different ways. Here are four ways that mold in your attic and mold in your basement could be related.

Both Mold Problems Could Result From Gutter Issues
Did you know that problems with your rain gutters can cause erosion, mold, rot, leaks, and even foundation damage? Gutters can cause moisture problems in your basement if they spill water down your walls or allow it to waterfall over the gutter's edge to the ground rather than carrying it away down the downspout.

If the gutter is too small for the amount of rain, it could leak quite a bit of water down towards your foundation with every heavy rain. Other gutter problems that can cause this include a gutter that can't catch the rain because it's misaligned and a gutter that's bent or deformed, allowing water to escape.

But rain gutters can also cause moisture problems in your attic. For instance, if the gutters are clogged with leaves, the wet debris holds moisture in place so the air pulled in by your roof's soffit vents may be very high in humidity, allowing condensation to build up on the roof deck until mold appears.

Basement Air and Humidity Could Rise to the Attic
Another way basement mold problems can relate to attic mold problems is through sharing air. Air, which may carry mold spores and extra moisture, can transfer between the basement and the attic. Stairwells, wall cavities, and other open spots may allow air to travel upwards through your home in a stack effect.

Roof Leaks Could Trickle Down
You'd expect that a roof leak could cause moisture problems in the attic, since that's the first stop for anything that leaks through the roof. However, a leak could potentially affect the basement as well.

Some roof leaks, instead of dripping down into your living space, sneak down along the supporting beams of your home, and gravity pulls the water downwards all the way to the basement. Moisture problems can develop wherever the leak ends up, meaning you could have mold growing not only in the attic and basement but inside your walls as well.

Pests Could Be Involved in Both Areas
Pests can be either a cause or an effect of moisture problems. For example, damp wood termites love to infest wood that's already wet and rotting, so they could show up throughout your home after moisture problems develop. On the other hand, pests such as bats and raccoons can sometimes be the cause of a moisture problem in your home.

One way pests can cause moisture problems is simply by living in your attic or basement. Their waste products could increase humidity and allow mold to develop. But large pests such as raccoons, or pests with powerful teeth such as rats, can also let the elements in while trying to access these areas of your home.

To keep mold problems from deteriorating the structural integrity of your home, you'll need to not only remove the mold but also eliminate the conditions that caused the mold to grow. A professional mold restoration service can help you with both of these objectives.

Call SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt today to discuss the mold remediation services we offer. We can help you salvage damaged materials, clean off mold, and remove excess moisture from the air. We can also help you get to the bottom of why the damage occurred in the first place so you can resist the damage next time.

Restoring your Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt Commercial Property After Water Damage

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Beauty store shelf with water on the floor Let us take care of your commercial water damage

It is the nature of this industry that Fire and Water damage situations are a surprise and always come when you least expect it. No matter how much you prepare and plan ahead, an emergency loss can stop production and prevent your company from moving forward. That is where SERVPRO comes in.

SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt has serving commercial properties just like yours for 14 years and counting. It is our goal to help you return to full functionality as soon as possible. No matter how large or how small your loss may be, we can help!

From massive pipe breaks to a small amount of smoke smell, we will handle your loss with professionalism and understand.

Call SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt for your commercial loss today at 517-541-1170

Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt Smoke & Soot Cleanup

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees using dry sponge on ceiling Soot isn't just dirty, it can leave behind odors if not thoroughly cleaned

Smoke and soot are very invasive, and can penetrate various cavities within your home. This causes hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and soot facts:
Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt (517) 541-1170

When Storms Hit, SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt are Ready

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Eaton County, Clinton and Gratiot Counties, Lansing & Holt we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 517-541-1170
Photo Caption: Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Eaton County