Recent Posts

Are You Selling a House with Mold?

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Have you spent time cleaning, painting and otherwise preparing your house for sale. What you may have overlooked though, is the presence of mold and/or moisture stains that can suggest mold is present. This would be a red flag to any buyer and could stop a sale in it's tracks, if not handled properly. 

Understanding Mold

Mold spores occur naturally almost everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. These microscopic spores float along in the air and can enter a home or business through windows and HVAC systems.

Consider these facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

Our highly trained Project Managers use state-of-the-art technology to take moisture readings that can indicate the likelihood of mold. 

Armed with that knowledge, you can then make an informed decision on next steps for the sale of your home. 

If you think you have mold, or have any other mold related questions, don't hesitate to call us. (515) 955-4009.

Bathroom Vent Fan

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

A properly installed vent fan is an essential weapon against bathroom mold.

We all know mold likes moisture. That’s why bathrooms are so vulnerable to mold. Water that gets onto the bathroom floor is an obvious concern. The greater concern is moisture in the air –moisture that can permeate wall and ceiling materials because of poor bathroom ventilation.

When the bathroom fills with a fog of moist air while taking a hot shower, thousands of moisture droplets can condense on cool wall, ceiling and window surfaces in the bathroom and also in adjacent rooms. Some of this moist air can even penetrate into unseen building cavities through cracks and gaps around electrical outlets and molding. Because damp organic material (wood, paper-faced wallboard, paint resins, paper-faced fiberglass insulation) makes ideal mold food, we have the makings of a mold invasion.

Vent fan to the rescue–or not?

The bathroom vent fan is a major weapon against bathroom mold. The fan’s job is to move moist air outside the house before it can condense and permeate into mold-prone materials. 

However, some builders mistakenly allow the fan to blow moist air into the attic, a practice that simply moves the mold problem to another part of the house. During cold weather, warm, moist air blown into a cooler attic will deposit its moisture on attic rafters and roof sheathing. Telltale black mold stains typically result from this ventilation error. Eventually, this mold can develop into wood rot.

When you find mold

Mold spreads quickly, so a minor mold infestation can quickly escalate into a major problem. SERVPRO of Fort Dodge is dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost.

We specialize in water and mold damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation.

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician

Our advanced equipment helps to detect and stop the source of water feeding the mold. We then isolate the affected area using a negative air pressure chamber.

Call Us! We Can help! (515) 955-4009

Unseen Water Damage

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality  issues  over time.

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Fort Dodge has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO of Fort Dodge will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used:

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO of Fort Dodge can calculate and create an environment most conclusive to drying.
  • When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
  • Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based produces by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles.

What is the bottom line? SERVPRO® of Fort Dodge has the training and equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Tips for Kitchen Fires

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips for Kitchen Fires Scary Stove Fire

Did you know...

A majority of fires that take place in homes begin in the kitchen.

The holiday season is approaching, which means that many of us will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen. This also means that, with every pumpkin pie and each batch of Christmas cookies you make, there is a greater risk of a fire emergency. 

Aside from calling 9-1-1, which should be one of your first moves, here are some quick tips for dealing with a fire emergency in your kitchen.

  1. Always watch your cooking; don't leave anything unattended.
  2. Set a timer so that you don't accidentally burn something or forget that an appliance is being used.
  3. If something on the stove catches on fire and it is small, cover it with a lid and turn off the burner.
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen near your cooking area where it is easily accessible.
  5. Add baking soda to a grease fire, not water.
  6. Clean your appliances regularly so that grease does not accumulate and start a fire.
  7. Clean and dust around and behind appliances, as dust accumulation can cause fires if it is close to electrical wiring.
  8. Keep flammable objects away from cooking appliances, especially those things like tea towels and potholders.
  9. Install a smoke alarm in your kitchen.
  10. Test your smoke alarms and make sure they will work when you most need them!

Keep these quick tips in mind, and prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this season!

Frozen Pipes

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Frozen Pipes Water Cascading from Broken Line in Home

When temperatures plummet, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets. In fact, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage—easily $5,000 or more, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, mainly ones outside of your house or in cold areas. It is great to be aware of the areas that pipes can burst from freezing such as; basements, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets. To prevent pipes from freezing it is good to:

  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Be sure to drain water completely from swimming pools, sprinkler lines and outside hoses.
  • Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
  • When it is extremely cold, let the water drip from the faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
  • These things are very important when winter temperatures kick in as freezing pipes can cause you time, money and become an inconvenience.

Do's and Don'ts of Water Damage

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Do's & Don'ts

Do:

    • Shut off the source of water if possible, or contact a qualified plumbing technician to stop the water source.
    • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
    • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
    • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. 
    • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
    • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
    • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
    • Pin up upholstered furniture skirting to keep off damp floors.
    • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with carpeting or floors. 
    • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

Don't:

    • Do not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
    • Do not enter effected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
    • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items that may cause staining on wet carpet or floors.
    • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damaging the vacuum cleaner.
    • Do not use TV's or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
    • Do not turn on ceiling fixture if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

How SERVPRO Removes Mold From Your Fort Dodge Home

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How SERVPRO Removes Mold From Your Fort Dodge Home Mold in a Home

How Does Mold Remediation Work in Your Fort Dodge Home?

A chief concern among Fort Dodge homeowners is how their money gets spent towards improving their houses or to restoring damages that the property has sustained. While many might consider a situation like a mold growth to be commonplace in damp areas of their home, there are potential dangers with allowing the problem to persist or attempting to remove the active colonies on your own.

Mold damage can affect your Fort Dodge home in a variety of ways, but in summation, it poses the most significant risks to the structural integrity of the affected materials it feeds upon and poses potential health effects to occupants of your home exposed to the colony. Our SERVPRO professionals can help you to remove this colony and to restore the damaged elements of your home.

From the moment that our experienced team arrives on the property, we get to work in assessing the full scope of the damage that your home has sustained, and what areas require isolation to prevent the spread of the colonies. This isolation takes place with the use of negative air chambers and air scrubbers, trapping active mold spores within the confinements of the small proximity of the work space.

Removal of the colony can happen in numerous ways, from spraying the anti-microbial solution on the materials and sanding them until the entire hypha have gotten removed or tearing out the affected materials when the damage has become irreparable. Our SERVPRO technicians have the mindset of preserving the original materials of your home before seeking to provide cause for reconstruction, so our measures begin with what solutions have the smallest overall impact on your life.

Mold is nothing that a homeowner should face on their own, especially when you understand the risks of allowing it to grow and thrive uninhibited. No matter if you are looking for peace of mind that mold has not colonized in your home, or you have growth that has spread into many areas of your property, our SERVPRO of Fort Dodge remediation specialists can help you. Call us any time at (515) 955-4009.

Prepping for a Winter Storm Before it Happenes

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Prepping for a Winter Storm Before it Happenes Winter Storm Damage

  • Make sure you have a 3 day supply of water (3 gallons per person) and easy to prepare food.  Here is my favorite 72 hour low-prep food kit.
  • Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio so you can stay aware of the situation if your other communication sources are cut off.  Make sure it is battery operated and that you have extra batteries.
  • Make sure you have a good shovel.  You may need to dig yourself out before help gets there.  Or you simply may need to dig out your car!
  • Purchase a supply of flashlights (with batteries) and candles.
  • Clean and inspect your chimney if you have one.  Make sure you have a supply of wood.
  • Make sure you have an ample supply of blankets.  If you power goes out, you will need as many as you can get!
  • Clear rain gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Have an alternate way of cooking.  A small “camp stove” works well for short-term emergencies.  You may also consider a butane stove which is safe to use indoors (with a cracked window).  Make sure that whatever you choose that you have enough fuel.  Cook in a well-ventilated garage (like with the door open) to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home.  The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increasing during winter storms as people turn to alternate heat sources.
  • Learn how to care for frostbite and hypothermia.  Make sure you click on those links and print those out NOW in case your power goes out during a storm.
  • Weatherstrip any drafty doors or windows.
  • Purchase rock salt (or something similar) to help you keep walkways safe.
  • Install good winter tires on your car and make sure the wipers work well.
  • Make sure you have fire extinguishers in your home and that everyone knows how to use them.  House fires are much more common during winter storms as people turn to alternate heat sources.
  • Consider purchasing a good supply of heat packs.
  • Consider purchasing a kerosene heater.  Make sure it is legal in your area

Is it Necessary to Clean Commercial Air Ducts

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Is it Necessary to Clean Commercial Air Ducts Air Duct Before and After

With everything that's involved in the maintenance of a commercial building, cleaning an air duct system that's not showing any obvious problems can seem like an unnecessary expenditure of time and money. While air duct cleaning isn't a job you need to do every year, it's not something you can afford to ignore entirely.

Why Air Ducts Need Cleaning

Poor indoor air quality, inefficient air filtration, and duct leaks can all result in dust entering the duct system. This dust can accumulate to the point that it starts to break off and re-enter your air. When this happens, you may notice your workspace become dusty faster.

High humidity in the building or water leaking into the ducts provides the moisture needed for mold to develop. Mold in the ducts releases tiny spores that will end up circulating through your whole building. In addition to aggravating allergies and asthma, exposure to mold spores increases risk of upper respiratory infection.

Pest infestations are another reason to have your ducts cleaned. It's not uncommon for mice, squirrels, bees, and other pests to find their way into a duct system. Once inside, they leave behind nesting material, hair, and dead insects. Particles of these are then blown out into your rooms.

If the air quality in your building is high and you use high-efficiency HVAC air filters, your ducts could stay clean for years. Even in the ideal situation, though, there's always a chance of unexpected issues. At least once every three or four years, have your duct system professionally inspected to check if it's due for a cleaning.

How Air Duct Cleaning Benefits You

Keeping your building's ducts clean protects the heating and cooling system, and the health of the building occupants.

Improved indoor air quality — When your ducts are clean, you'll have less dust, mold spores, pollen, and pest debris floating in your air. While air duct cleaning hasn't been proven to improve any health condition, cleaner air can help those with allergies and asthma.

Greater HVAC system efficiency — Debris in the ducts impairs airflow through your system, so the fan motor has to work harder to distribute conditioned air to your rooms. With the ducts clean, the air will flow freely and the motor will consume less energy moving it. Clean ducts deposit less dust on your air conditioner's evaporator coil. Even a millimeter of dust on the coil reduces its efficiency, so clean ducts really pay off in summer.

Longer HVAC component lifespan — Dust and debris blowing through your ducts can find its way into your system's fan motor and other components and cause excess wear. Keeping the ducts clean prevents this wear, helping the components last longer.

Professional Duct Cleaning Makes the Difference

Duct cleaning isn't a job to leave up to a regular building maintenance crew armed with a few vacuums. Attempting to clean the ducts without the right tools can worsen your indoor air quality because the debris dislodged will end up floating away into your rooms. You're also likely to miss a lot of the debris.

SERVPRO of Fort Dodge will bring in equipment specially designed to thoroughly clean the ducts without contaminating your air. 

MOLD: Should I Be Worried?

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation MOLD: Should I Be Worried? Call SERVPRO of Fort Dodge at (515)955-4009

Mold

Should I Be Worried

                What Is Mold? Mold is a part of the kingdom fungi and mold is a general term to describe many different types of fungi. Specifically those that grow in colonies and reproduce with spores. Some molds do not affect people and others only affect some people. To find more information about molds affecting your body you should contact a doctor or ask your physician.  So if a mold does not affect people should we still be worried about it in our homes or businesses. The short answer is yes, but then the question is why. Let’s take a look at molds role in nature. Mold is here to help decompose natural materials like wood, grass, or animals.  Take a look around at your home, what are the materials used to build it. Wood studs in the walls, paper sheets over gypsum board. Plywood, or composite wood sheeting, and baseboards. Well now you are asking why is my home not overtaken by mold already? The answer we keep our homes dry.

 Mold comes into play when there is a water intrusion either from a roof leak, a broken pipe, or over flow from a toilet, shower or sink. Don’t be scared just because you just had a little water spill on your floor that can dry up quickly and mold won’t take root. But when water floods though your home, not taking the proper steps, quickly, can cause the moisture to dry slowly, and then mold can take root in your home. Having trained professionals, Like SERVPRO of Fort Dodge, inspect your home after a water leak can let you know where the excess moisture is and they can help you come up with a plan to get the moisture out of your home so you can be safe and your home can be safe as well.

If there is water rushing through your home, or you just want to be sure all the water is dry from the loss you had a week ago give SERVPRO of Fort Dodge a call at (515)955-4009 today.