Is it mold or mildew in your Midland home?
Mold will grow anywhere in the right conditions.
Many people commonly refer to various building molds as “mildew", and numerous mold cleanup products use the words “mildew” or “mildewcide” in their name and instructions. With most people, interchanging the two words isn’t a big deal. But if you regard yourself as a mold remediation expert, then you might consider be-ing more conscious of your phrasing.
Mold is a distinct species and genus within the fungi family. (Did you flashback to biology class?) It’s one of the main decomposition methods that nature utilizes. Molds or fungus feed upon dead and decaying organic matter, and so they enhance the decaying processes of nature on fallen trees, plants, dead animals, leaves, etc. Without life forms like mold, we’d be buried under piles of dead stuff. So that’s great. But problems arise because mold doesn’t know the different between dead trees in the forest and a wet wall stud in a home. And since mold spores are always floating around, they easily find what they need to grow and reproduce; food, moisture, and darkness.
Mold can also grow on many nonporous materials such as concrete and brick. And with the right temperature, moisture and food, mold will grow most anywhere. A rolling stone may gather no moss, but one sitting still sure can. Although it's more prevalent and grows more quickly on porous surfaces like drywall and wood (because there's more food), over time even a large area of concrete or brick can be covered by it. This is especially true in high humidity when the temperature between the surface and the air are slightly different.
Mildew is likewise a segment of the fungi family, but a different genus. In fact, mycologists regard it a parasite because it feeds only on living plants. They’re divided into two sub-groups:
1. Oidium-Erysiphe, familiarly named Powdery Mildew
2. Peronosporaceae, familiarly named Downy Mildew
These take the form of a white or gray powdery or splotchy deposit on plant leaves and stems, and are often caused by poor air circulation within or around the plant, and dampness or high humidity. And that’s an important distinction because most buildings will never have a mildew infestation unless they're growing a ton of plants inside. But since the majority don’t, mildew is rarely an issue with indoor contamination.
Many times, the term mildew will be used generically to refer to mold growth that has a flat growth tendency. In other words, it doesn't grow roots and thus it's non-destructive and easily scrubbed away. It, too, will grow anywhere there's enough moisture, such as bathroom sinks and showers, basement walls, or fabrics.
For these reasons, a mold expert or a home inspector should never lump mold and mildew together or say that they’ve found mildew growing in or on a building. Although the average customer wouldn't know any difference, some might, and you don’t want to end up saying anything that could damage your reputation.
How often should you clean everything?
Keeping your house clean and organized helps promote stress free living.
Here is a brief list of how often you should clean things in an around your house.
- Make beds
- Sweep floors
- Clean Dirty dishes
- Wipe down tables and countertops
- Clean Coffee maker
- Wipe down bathroom surfaces
- Sanitize sinks
- Mop Kitchen and bathroom floors
- Scrub bathroom surfaces with cleaners
- Clean mirrors
- Dust furniture
- Vacuum carpets and upholstery (twice a week if you have pets)
- Change bedding
- Toss expired food
- Wipe down appliances
- Clean inside of microwave
- Sanitize Sponges
- Vacuum vents and woodwork
- Dust and clean Light fixtures
- Dust blinds
- Clean your dishwasher, washing machine and vacuum cleaner
EVERY 3-6 MONTHS
- Wipe down inside of refrigerator
- Clean range hood
- Wash or Change shower curtain liner
- Clean under and behind furniture
- Clean patio/Deck surfaces and furnishings
- Wash pillows and comforters
- Vacuum Mattresses
- Descale coffee maker & tea kettle
- Freshen drains & Garbage disposal
- Clean inside oven
- Clean out freezer
- Clean Fireplace & Chimney
- Deep clean carpets and upholstery
- Deep clean windows
- Clean around dryer and vent
- Clean drapery's and curtains
- Clean gutters
- Clean dirt and debris from sump pump crock
- Clean out storage areas and donate or discard any items that have not been used all year.
By following this list you can keep your house neat and tidy all year long. But remember if any of these things are too large for you to handle SERVPRO of Midland & Gladwin counties will come and help out, Just give us a call (989)835-5015
Being prepared can save your life!
A snow storm can hit fast and become very dangerous if your not prepared for it.
Here are some tips from the ready.gov website on what to do before extreme cold weather and snow hit
- Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
- Make an emergency kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
- Keep space heater safety in mind: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes.
- Prepare your home:
- Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
- Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
- Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
- Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
- Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
- Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
- Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats
- Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace
- Prepare your vehicle:
- Fully winterize your vehicle: Have a mechanic check antifreeze, brakes, heater and defroster, tires, and windshield wipers to ensure they are in good shape. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
- Keep an extra emergency kit specifically created for your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.
- Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
- Sand to improve traction.
- Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.
- People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period of time.
- Plan to check on elderly/disabled relatives and neighbors.
- Plan to bring pets inside.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it in case you lose power.
- Fill a gallon container with water and place them in the freezer to help keep food cold.
- A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the National Weather Service for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
Duct cleaning is a great way to maintain the air quality of your business
If your ducts look like this they need a good cleaning.
What is duct cleaning? High-pressure air washing uses pressurized air blown through the air ducts. An industrial vacuum is attached to the furnace, and all of the air register vents in the home or business are covered. Once all the air ducts have been blown clear, another air wand is fed into the end of the hot and cold air supply lines. This agitates the dust and debris and it is then drawn backward into the vacuum.By doing this we remove the dust and allergens from the duct system to leave you breathing fresh clean air. Keeping your ducts clean is a great way to improve the air quality in your business and should be done at least once a year.
Call (989)835-5015 today to set up your appointment.
Commercial carpet cleaning will make your carpet last longer
Let our talented technicians take care of your dirty carpets.
Keeping your carpets clean will prolong it life. Business see a lot of foot traffic and with that comes dirt and debris. Here are a few things that can be done to help.
- Using mats on the outside of doors and rugs on the inside can help reduce what is tracked inside .
- Keep sidewalks areas swept free of dirt, leaves and grass clippings.
- Vacuum high traffic areas on a daily basis and all other areas as needed but at least every 2-3 days.
- Have a specific plan in place for spills or spots when they happen.
- Have traffic areas professionally cleaned at least once a month and all other areas every 3 months.
Doing these things will help you keep your carpets looking great, your business running smoothly and your clients or customers happy.
Call SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties today to set up an appointment (989)835-5015
Here are some reasons to not use Bleach to clean mold.
Mold spreads very quickly if left untreated.
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.
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 actually make your mold problem worse.
2. 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.
3. The EPA and OSHA specifically advise against using bleach for mold remediation.
4. Chlorine bleach is extremely harmful to surfaces.
For example, when you use bleach is 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.
5. 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.
7. Bleach doesn’t work as a sanitizing agent when it’s mixed with organic material.
To be a successful sanitizer, bleach has to 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. Despite the fact that 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.
8. Most bleach products are not registered with the EPA to be used as antimicrobial agents.
9. 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 actually prevent bacteria and mold from regrowing.
Finding mold in your home or commercial property can be scary. Call SERVPRO of Midland /Gladwin Counties today to set up an inspection.
SERVPRO Storm team acted quickly during the June Flooding
When Flooding hits SERVPRO Storm Team is ready!
During the recent rainstorms and flooding in Midland and Gladwin Counties SERVPRO activated the Storm team. There were franchises in town from as far away as California and Texas. Our Franchise took calls and dispatched them to our corporate offices who then in turn sent them out to franchises working in the area. This way people got service within days of the flooding instead of weeks after.
We can access the resources and personnel of 1,700 Franchises to handle major storms and disasters. We also have access to special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to respond to catastrophic storms and events. This makes us so much more capable than a small local restoration company. We can have additional equipment and resources available very quickly.
The Dangers of Snow.
Be safe out there this winter.
With winter quickly approaching SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin Counties would like to remind everyone of some of the dangers of snow.
- Accumulating snow can make driving motor vehicles very hazardous.
- Visibility is reduced by falling snow and this is further exacerbated by strong winds creating whiteout conditions.
- Heavy snowfall can immobilize a vehicle entirely, which may be deadly depending on how long it takes rescue crews to arrive. The clogging of a vehicle's tailpipe by snow may lead to carbon monoxide buildup inside the cabin
- Snow buildup can weigh down a roof and cause trusses to cave in.
- Snow piling up outside the house can block dryer vents or even some furnace exhaust vents causing dangerous fumes to enter your home.
- Ice dams forming along the roof can create a backup of water to be forced up under your shingles.
So be safe out there this winter and if any of these thing happen to your home call us at (989)835-5015 and we will send a crew right over.
Boarding up a commercial building will help protect your business.
Call SERVPRO at (989)835-5015
When the phone rings at 2 o'clock in the morning and the voice on the other end tells you the front door of your Midland,Mi business is smashed out what are you gonna do? First of all it is the middle of the night and no stores are open to buy wood to board it up. Second if you had the lumber who would come and board it up for you. It is much easier to just call SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin Counties. We can send out a crew even in the middle of the night to clean up the mess and secure the building. We can even send the bill directly to your insurance company. So remember when disaster strikes, even in the middle of the night, we are "Here to Help"
Bathrooms can be a huge source of mold
A little leak led to a big mold problem.
We go to several jobs a year that are caused by people not maintaining their shower enclosure. By allowing the caulk to shrink and crack it allows water to penetrate into the drywall behind it. Usually its such a small amount at a time you don't even notice it but once this happens mold is not far behind. The drywall wont dry up on its own and the moisture will wick throughout the whole wall creating a huge problem.
Tile showers have the same problem be sure to have any missing tiles replaced and any cracked grout repaired.
Leaking toilet or sink supply lines should be repaired immediately also. A small drip can cause a large amount of damage.
So if you think you have any of these issues call us @(989)835-5015 and we can send one of our experienced technicians over to take a look.