Is Mold Dangerous?
What is the usual cause of mold?
Water damage is a common cause of mold formation in a home or business. Since mold spores are everywhere, mold can begin forming within 48 hours if the conditions are right. Mold only needs moisture, warmth and a porous surface in order to thrive. If a leak is found and stopped quickly enough, the mold may not have enough time to develop. In most water damage situations where the leak has been ongoing for a long period of time, the infestation of mold becomes clear: damaged drywall or carpet will be lined with dark patches that are easily visible to the naked eye.
What If Mold Goes Unseen for years?
Sometimes, the leaks are out of sight and the mold is allowed to grow and breed for months or years. This leads to people living in a home where there is mold growing inside of a wall or in their attic without knowing. Fortunately, the health hazards associated with mold are overstated.
It is generally believed that mold is extremely toxic and can cause serious illness to those exposed to it. However, mold is everywhere; depending on where someone lives, there can be dozens of different types of mold spores floating in the air. Out of the thousands if different types of classified molds, only a few dozen are actually harmful to humans. Most likely, the mold found in homes is non-toxic. As long as no one in the household has serious allergies, it is possible for people to live in a home with mold for a long time.
Despite posing no significant health hazards, mold can still cause other problems. Mold growing on drywall or wood can significantly weaken the structural integrity of a wall or beams, which can lead to much costly repairs if a wall should collapse. Slime mold is also capable of causing problems by clogging pipes if they are not cleaned and sanitized, which in turn can lead to the average water damage scenario. Typically, homeowner's insurance will not cover the damage because long-term mold damage often falls under gradual damage that is the homeowner’s responsibility to fix as part of their regular home maintenance and upkeep. While companies that offer specific mold insurance developed to cover the gaps where homeowner's insurance does not, they are often expensive. The initial upfront cost might not be less than simply hiring a remediation company.
Fortunately, with proper maintenance, mold is typically not a recurring problem. Proper maintenance and ventilation will prevent future infestations.
Flood Safety Tips
Ready is a perfect resource to assist with any weathers disaster tips.
Flooding is a temporary overflowing of water onto the land that is normally dry. Flooding may happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. There are many possible causes of floods including heavy rain or snowmelt, coastal storms and storm surge, waterway overflow from being blocked with debris or ice, or overflows of levees, dams, or waste water systems, flooding can occur slowly over many days or happen very quickly with little or no warning, called flash floods.
Basic Safety Tips:
- Avoid walking or driving through flood water.
- Do not drive over ridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
- Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
- If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
After a Flood:
- Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
- Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.
- Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charges from underground or drowned power lines.
- Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.
Did You Know Water Damage Has a Timeline!
Flooding and water emergencies don't wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights provides 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 Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights 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 SERVPRO of Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights 626-964-7700.
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.
- 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 blister.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Thank 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.
Do You Know How to Prepare For an Evacuation?
Due to the recent devastating fires, it's best to be prepared in case of an evacuation. An evacuation can require immediate action. Here are a couple of steps from the CAL FIRE Ready for Wildfire, that can help you.
How to prepare for an Evacuation:
Inside the house
- Shut all windows and doors, leaving them unlocked.
- Remove flammable window shades, curtains and close metal shutters
- Remove lightweight curtains
- Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.
- Shut off gas at the meter; turn off pilot lights.
- Leave your lights on so firefighters can see your house under smoky conditions.
- Shut off the air conditioning.
- Gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside (Patio furniture, children's toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.) or place them in your pool.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.
- Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters. Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
- Don't leave sprinklers on or water running, they can affect critical water pressure.
- Have a ladder available and place it at the corner of the house for firefighters to quickly access your roof.
- Patrol your property and monitor the fire situation. Don't wait for an evacuation order if you feel threatened.
- Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
- Prepare farm animals for transport and think about moving them to a safe location early.
Are you prepared for a Landslide?
Landslides have occurred in almost every state and can cause significant damage. Due to the recent catastrophic mudslides/ Landslides. Having some knowledge on what to do before or during can help your family greatly. The American Red Cross offers great steps you can take. Here are a few.
What should I do if I live in an area at risk from landslides?
- Learn about local emergency response and evacuation plans.
- Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a landslide occurs.
- Create and practice an evacuation plan for your family and your business.
- Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit.
- Become familiar with the land around where you live and work so that you understand your risk in different situations.
- Watch the patterns of a storm water drainage on slopes near your home, especially where runoff water converges.
What should I do if a landslide is occurring or likely to occur?
- If you suspect immediate danger, evacuate immediately. Inform affected neighbors if you can, and contact your public works, fire or police department.
- Listen for unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together.
- If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow and notice whether the water changes from clear to muddy. Such changes may mean there is debris flow activity upstream so be prepared to move quickly.
- Be especially alert when driving- watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other indications of possible debris flow.
- If you are ordered or decide to evacuate, take your animals with you.
What should I do after a landslide?
- Stay away from the slide area. There may be danger of additional slides.
- Check for injured and trapped persons near the slide, without entering the direct slide areas. Direct rescuers to their locations.
- Help a neighbor who may require special assistance-infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.
- Listen to local radio or television stations for the latest emergency information.
- Watch for flooding, which may occur after a landslide or debris flow. Floods sometimes follow landslides and debris flows because they may both be started by the same event.
- Look for and report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities. Reporting potential hazards will get the utilities turned off as quickly as possible, preventing further hazard and injury.
Be Prepared For a Fire
A homeowner should always have a list or plan for an instance of a possibility of a fire happening. Here are some great tips from the American Red Cross.
7 Ways to Prepare for a Home Fire:
- Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
- Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
- Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year. Press the smoke alarms test button or yell "Fire" to alert everyone that they must get out.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Teach household member s to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
Develop Fire Safety Habits:
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot such as space heaters.
- If you smoke, take precautions. Smoke outside or choose fire safe cigarettes. Never smoke in bed, when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen.
- Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
- Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach
Have a Safe Holiday Season
Being safe during the Holiday season especially in Christmas is important and the NSC safety tips that will help avoid any dangers.
Even Angel Hair can Hurt
- "Angel hair" made from spun glass, can irritate your eyes and skin; always wear gloves or substitute non-flammable cotton
- Spraying artificial snow can irritate your lungs if inhaled; follow directions carefully
- Decorate the tree with your kids in mind; move ornaments that are breakable or have metal hooks toward the top
- Always use the proper step ladder; don't stand on chairs or other furniture
- Lights are among the best parts of holiday decorating; make sure there are no exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets
Candles and Fireplaces
- Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle
- Keep candles out of reach of children
- Make sure candles are on stable surfaces
- Don't burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items
- Don't burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace
- Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year
NSC discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges those who prefer fried turkey to seek out professional establishments or consider a new oil-less turkey fryer. But for those don't need that advice, please follow these precautions:
- Set up the fryer more than 10 feet from the house and keep children away
- Find flat ground; the oil must be even and steady to ensure safety
- Use a thawed and dry turkey; any water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over
- Fryer lid and handle can become very hot and cause burns
- Have a fire extinguisher ready at all times
Don't Give the Gift of Food Poisoning
The U.S department of Health and Human Services provides some Holiday food Safety tips. Here are a few:
- Do not rinse raw meat and poultry before cooking
- Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
- Refrigerate food within two hours
- Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for four days in the refrigerator
- Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating
- When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly
- Wash your hands frequently when handling food
The 12 ways to Health-CDC
The CDC created this wonderful 12 days to Health Holiday song to keep people aware and safe during the holidays with a fun twist. This would be a great asset to show the family during the holidays.
1. The first way to health, said the CDC to me
Wash hands to be safe and healthy.
2. The second way to health, said the CDC to me
Bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.
3. The third way to health, said the CDC to me
Manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.
4. The fourth way to health, said the CDC to me
Don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.
5. The fifth way to health, said the CDC to me
Be smoke-free, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and health.
6. The sixth way to health, said the CDC to me
Fasten belts while driving, be smoke-free, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.
7. The seventh way to health, said the CDC to me
Get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, Be smoke-free, don't drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.
8. The eighth way to health, said the CDC to me
Get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, Be smoke-free, don’t drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.
9. The ninth way to health, said the CDC to me
Monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, Be smoke-free, don’t drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.
10. The tenth way to health, said the CDC to me
Practice fire safety, monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, Be smoke-free, don’t drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.
11. The eleventh way to health, said the CDC to me
Prepare dinner safely, practice fire safety, monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, Be smoke-free, don’t drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.
12. The twelfth way to health, said the CDC to me
Eat well and get moving, prepare dinner safely, practice fire safety, monitor the children, get your vaccinations, get exams and screenings, fasten belts while driving, Be smoke-free, don’t drink and drive, manage stress, bundle up for warmth, and wash hands to be safe and healthy.
Thanksgiving Day Safety Tips!
Happy Thanksgiving! It is always good to be safe around the holidays and The American Red Cross has some fantastic tips for the family to travel and cook safe during this wonderful holiday.
Travel Safety- If plans include driving, travelers should check the weather along their route and plan for travel around any storms that may be coming. Everyone should use their seat belts and no one should drink and drive. Drivers should be well rested, alert and give their full attention to the road. Other driving tips include:
- Follow the rules of the road- observe the speed limit.
- Use caution in work zones.
- Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers.
- Don't follow another vehicle too closely.
- Clean your headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.
- Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or if you are using your windshield wipers due to inclement weather.
Cooking Safety- Cooks should avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while preparing the holiday meal. Never leave the stove unattended-If the cook has to leave the kitchen for a short time, they should turn off the stove. More cooking safety steps are:
- Check food regularly.
- Use a timer as a reminder that the stove and oven is on.
- Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
- Keep anything that can catch fire- pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains- away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
All of us here at SERVPRO of Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!