Recent Posts

Can Mold Grow On Your Furniture?

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

white mold found on red chairs Mold can look differently when it is on furniture and not always recognized at first. These chairs were given a deep cleaning to remove the mold.

Mold is not picky on where it grows and causes damage. In the right environment, mold can thrive on many types of furniture, including leather, wood, or fabric. Mold on furniture can be unsightly and ruin the integrity of furniture. Typically, mold is seen as white spots on wood or leather; on fabric furniture mold appears as dark brown or black spots.

It is possible to prevent mold from appearing on your valuables if the underlying cause is discovered. The first step is to inspect your furniture. What do the markings look like? Is there an odor or wetness to it? Safely answering these questions will help uncover whether you’re truly being affected by mold.

Next step is to survey the area the affected piece of furniture is in. Was the item recently in storage, like your attic? Did the storage space have any ventilation or light?

If the furniture was not pulled from a damp space, perhaps the air in the current room is too humid like moving furniture from an AC controlled room in your home to the patio or garage.

Consider the walls, ceilings and floors in the area as well. Is the room retaining moisture based on the ceiling or wall it shares with the next room? A living room ceiling may share a wall with your kitchen. This same wall may have pipes in it that run to your kitchen sink. If there is a leak or pooling present the walls are likely swelling with water, affecting the wood in it and possibly growing mold. Furniture in close proximity to a wall that has already been affected by mold can also start to see growth.

Once you’ve gone over a potential source, reflect on where you got the furniture from and its history. If you have purchased the piece second-hand, its likely it’s history is not well known and will need deep cleaning. If you do know the furniture’s history, question whether it has come into contact with a copious amount of water. Was there a recent flood or leak in your house? Did the water touch the furniture for a long period of time? Think of damp clothes you allow to sit without drying for too long. These clothes end up smelling and may become damaged. That is because they begin to grow mildew and much like mildew, mold will quickly cling to any material that is left wet. If your furniture was involved in a flood and improperly cared for, with no extensive drying process, this may be an answer to your mold growth.

The last step is to contact a professional. If you have the faintest hint that mold is indeed growing on your furniture, you will need some serious help. The items will need to be thoroughly dried and cleaned with equipment and solutions only a restoration company could possess. You will also benefit from a home inspection. This will ensure whether the issue is rooted deeper in your home.

Your furniture is what makes your home. It should be clean and mold free!

Why Your Bathroom May Be Humid

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

After a particularly hot shower your mirrors might fog, the air may feel warm and humid. With time, mirrors should defog and the bathroom should go back to feeling cool. If this is not the case for your bathroom, it may be a good idea to look into why this might be happening. 

Looking into proper ventilation is your first step. Check to make sure your exhaust fan is working and pulling moisture out of your bathroom. If so, turning the fan on every time you shower will greatly help decrease moisture and condensation.

Taking cooler showers also helps to reduce the humidity in your bathroom. If a hot shower is necessary, make sure your fan is turned on, or if possible, a window is left open. Wiping down your bathtub and floor, removing any excess water will help keep air dry.

Assess the shower pan as well as grout on your floor tiles and your shower tiles. Any signs of mold or mildew surrounding these areas may mean a leak in your shower pan or grout, possibly even both. This can cause pooling of water that may have a difficult time drying in an already humid environment.

Check any pipes by your toilet and sink for any leaks. Sink pipes are typically hidden by a cabinet, meaning leaks are not visible and less likely to catch. The cabinets make for the perfectly warm, enclosed area for mold and mildew growth.

If all efforts to mitigate the humidity of your bathroom have failed, it is best to call in the pros at this time. There may be underlying problems that only special equipment can identify. These issues can range from water damage in the walls or floors. It is important to note that if there are undetected issues, more rooms than just your bathroom can be affected. Depending on the area of your bathroom, adjacent rooms and ceilings underneath the bathroom can also experience increased humidity and water damage. Wet carpets or bubbled ceilings in relation to where your bathroom is located, are a tell-tale sign that something is amiss. Contact your local plumber as well as a professional emergency restoration company, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, to handle all of your water damage needs.

The Different Stages of Water Damage and What To Do During Each Stage

12/21/2019 (Permalink)

cutting and removing carpet with water damage When water is left to sit too long, it can affect and destroy materials like carpet. Often, carpet will need to be removed for proper drying.

When water enters your home, it can be a stressful experience. There are many things you can do yourself during each stage of a water disaster to reduce the damage and restoration your West Palm Beach home will need. Knowing the signs of each stage and their effects is the first step to restoring your home to a safe, healthy space.

Stage 1

Water enters your home, flowing freely into any openings it can find, especially through floors and walls. Depending on the source of the water and time that passes, your home can see inches of water in little time. At this stage, if possible, try to stop the source of the water and begin to dry up the areas you can.

Stage 2

Permeable materials like carpet, wood, drywall, and fabric furniture take on water. The longer the water sits, the more moisture that accumulates. Though damage is not visible, swift water extraction is crucial in salvaging any wet material, lessening the need of complete water removal.

Stage 3

At this point, water that is able to evaporate will begin to create humid air. Areas that were not previously affected are in contact with moisture present. Paint may begin to chip from walls or bubbles may form on ceilings or carpets from the trapped condensation. This leads to further destruction of building materials as there is little room for drying to begin. To combat this stage, dehumidifiers are needed to remove moisture from the area and prevent mold growth.

Stage 4

Mold spores, found naturally in the air, settle on wet material, quickly growing. When left untreated, mold can spread in as little as 1 day. Entire homes can be affected by mold if it is not contained. Recovering valuable items and building materials is less likely at this stage. Serious water damage restoration and potential mold remediation is needed.

Flooding or leaks can occur at any time and quickly move through each stage before there is a chance to take action. If caught in time, water damage can be mitigated, reducing the need for major restoration for your home and it’s contents.

Why Your Shower May Be Leaking

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

glass shower in white bathroom Without proper grouting on your tub or shower, your bathroom may experience water damage to your walls and floors.

By now most homeowners or renters have experienced the laborious task of cleaning home showers. Floor stains don’t seem to go away even with every pass of the cleaning brush. Clorox or other household cleaners are dumped to get rid of the grime and soap scum around the tub or shower. Most of the time we find the glass and acrylic base the easiest to clean; the grout, however, always seems to give us the biggest issues. It seems the more we scrub, the more grout lost and the grime remains the same. This can make this task much more aggravating than it should be. 

Why You Should Not Scrub So Hard

While the loss of grout may seem unimportant as long as the shower is clean, grout is actually what keeps water in the tub. Grout does a great job at protecting your walls and flooring, preventing water to escape behind tile. It is a difficult material to clean without the use of heavy chemicals. Over time, these chemicals eat away at the grout’s ability to stick. Without heavy chemicals, cleaning grout calls for extra elbow grease, usually resulting in a rough scrub and strips the grout away as well. Even with a decent amount gone, it is likely homeowners notice the missing grout well into the later stages of water damage.

Improperly installed grout will also have the same effects as grout that has fallen off. Aside from water moving into exposed areas, some grout brands can be made of material that is semi porous or not made for bathrooms. This also allows water to pass through and encourages mold growth, causing even more costly damage for a homeowner. Grout should always be installed by a professional with plenty of experience.

What If The Leak Is Not Grout-Related?

There may be plenty of signs and reasons as to why your shower is leaking or bathroom is flooding. If you cannot physically determine where the leak is coming from it may be best to forgo using that particular bathroom. Call out a local plumber to assess and address your shower’s problems. Once these issues have been resolved, call out a restoration company like SERVPRO. It is important to inspect your bathroom for presence of mold or water damage and determine the costs as well as next steps.

Tips to Prevent Storm Damage in West Palm Beach

12/15/2019 (Permalink)

Storms are inevitable, no matter the time of year or season. Storms are also unpredictable and there can be many types of storms. Minimizing risk of damage to your home requires work and preparation. Here are some tips on readying your home In West Palm Beach for storm season.

Clear Any Areas of Drainage

Gutters on your roof collect a lot of debris, including dirt, leaves, and branches. Over time these items can create serious blockages. While water from a small storm might pass through without any incident, major hurricanes can overload your gutter system with more water than it can hold or drain, if blockages are present.

Your home’s landscape may have areas that can block drain systems or flood easily. Consider the placement of grass, the material your driveway and sidewalks are made of, and if your home is on an incline or virtually flat. Landscaping or restoration professionals can both help assess problem areas that may affect your home in the future.

Secure Loose Items

Exterior design can be important to many homeowners, especially since many sunny Florida days are spent outside. Patio furniture is made to endure the harsh storm damage of West Palm Beach, though it is not always made to stay in one place during heavy winds. Finding a way to secure your patio furniture and other décor so they are not likely to move during a rough storm is important. Lugging furniture and décor inside your house before every storm is not ideal or realistic. Look for ways to anchor your furniture or choose quality, heavily weighted items.

Loose items also cover unstable branches, trees, or other shrubbery. Regularly trimming your trees and disposing of any branches or leaves, greatly decreases the possibility of drain blockages or even broken windows. 

Purchase Impact Windows

Hurricane proof, impact windows are becoming increasingly popular and attainable for homes. Purchasing these specialty windows are an investment for your home and safety. Some home insurers may be inclined to lower your insurance costs if your home is equipped with these windows. Impact windows negate the need to struggle with putting shutters up. These windows make it near impossible for any flying debris or items to break your window, providing extra security during a storm

Routinely Inspect Your Home

At least bi-annually your home should be inspected. This means surveying the infrastructure for any holes, leaks, or breaks. Inspections can mitigate any bigger, costly problems. Hire a company or make your own checklist and set a date. 

Keeping your home ready for anything that comes it’s way can take a lot of pressure and anxiety off of a homeowner. For more tips on preventing storm damage in West Palm Beach, call us today!

Tips to Prevent Your Christmas Tree From Catching Fire

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Christmas tree with palm trees in background Following fire safety trips for your Christmas tree is important during the holidays.

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, cooking, and decorating. Even in sunny Florida, residents purchase real Christmas trees every year to decorate their home with. Lights are strung, ornaments put on, and stars top the tree. While Christmas trees are definitely a sight to admire, they can be one of the uncommon sources of fire, posing a dangerous hazard to your home .

Every year, on average, 160 fires start with Christmas trees. Typical electrical items, lighting equipment or a heat source, like a candle, were the main causes of the fire. Fires can be very common and with chances increased during the holiday season, follow these tips on preventing a Christmas tree fire:

1. Get a New Tree

Like a brand-new car, a Christmas tree also needs that “fresh off the lot” smell. Your tree should be slightly fragrant, with needles that do not easily brush or fall off when you pass your hand through the tree. If needles fall quickly, pass on that particular tree to something fresher and newer.

2.Hydrate Your Tree

Once you have chosen the perfect tree to showcase in your living room, make sure you are watering your tree regularly. Christmas trees usually require daily watering. A drier tree, like many objects, are easily lit and spread fires much more quickly.

3. Don’t Overload Your Tree

A well-lit tree with plenty of bows and ornaments can really put someone in the holiday spirit. When decorating the tree however, be sure not to overload it. It is also suggested to check the wires on your strings to make sure there are no breaks that can cause a spark. When placing your tree and it’s decorations, be sure to stay clear of any electrical equipment, sockets, and even, for the few Floridians that have them, fire places.

4. Don’t Go Past Four Weeks of Use

Christmas trees last for a maximum of four weeks before they should be taken down. There are plenty of organizations that provide tree pickup and recycling.

If a real Christmas tree seems like too much work, artificial trees are also a great option. Plastic trees can catch fire easily just like a real tree. Choose instead a well-rated fire-retardant artificial tree. Remember to follow similar rules when decorating a plastic tree: always make sure not to over decorate and be cautious around sources of electricity and heat. Either type of Christmas tree is susceptible to house fires and should be handled with care.

Removing smoke from a home and going through the fire restoration process is not exactly the best way to spend the holidays.

Your Home Has Water Damage... Now What?

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

beige carpet with large wet spots This homeowner's bathtub overflowed onto the tile floor, also affecting the carpet in the adjoining room.

You just woke up to pieces of wet ceiling hanging and insulation littering the floor of your home. Or maybe you started running the bathtub water, became distracted and walked away for what you thought was a split second. Either way, now you have a huge mess on your hands with more water surrounding you than any mop or towel is able to soak up. Now what?

Though it is not uncommon to experience a water disaster as a homeowner, many people often are unsure of what to do when they find themselves in these situations. The restoration process can seem daunting when searching for the right answer on next steps. Follow these steps to help ease the stress of water damage to your home.

1. Leave Your Home

If your home is unsafe due to water contamination, electrical hazards or compromised infrastructure, vacating your home is necessary until it is deemed safe to remain in by a professional. 

2. Contact Your Homeowners Insurance Immediately

This is the most important step as you will need to determine whether your scenario is covered. You will get help filing a water damage claim and be directed to collect necessary details to complete your claim.

3. Contact a Repair or Restoration Company

Companies, like SERVPRO of West Palm Beach, should be the next call you make if your insurance has not already suggested you do so. Calling a professional for your water cleanup avoids you encountering any potentially hazardous situations. Water that is allowed to sit for too long, regardless of it’s source or area it has affected, can quickly gather bacteria and may eventually turn into mold in your home. SERVPRO’s crew can quickly be on the scene to assess the damage that has been done and provide an accurate estimation of what restoration needs to occur.

 4. Let the Professionals Handle the Mess

Once the extent of damage has been determined and next steps have been explained, our technicians will prepare your home for water removal and restoration. After restoration is complete, we will make sure to leave your home clean, “like it never even happened”.

If you’re still unsure what your next move should be, call our team today. SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can help walk you through filing a claim, scheduling an assessment and provide other water damage emergency tips. 

Consider Water Damage Restoration For Your Home After a Fire

12/1/2019 (Permalink)

A fire can cause extensive damage to a building’s internal and external structure. After a fire, all possible damage to your home should be accounted for and swift action should be taken.

When certain materials are burned in a home they release chemicals that can be dangerous to homeowners. Along with these chemicals, the strength of walls are compromised, valuables are singed, appliances and electronics are damaged from smoke. Odors after a fire are not only a nuisance but are evidence of lingering particles, in the air or on materials, that are in need of eradication. Soot is also the presence of burned material in need of removal and deep cleaning. Aside from worrisome soot and smoke damage, water damage should be heavily considered as well.

Water damage after a fire may seem a bit odd to worry about at first. Consider the fact that fires are extinguished through copious amounts of water, whether that is from a sprinkler or a hose. Sprinklers release 15-25 gallons of a water per minute, while fire hoses pump roughly 150 gallons per minute. To put out a fire, walls, flooring, and possessions are thoroughly wet, posing just as much of an issue as those affected by fire. 

When considering sources for help, it is important to choose a restoration company that provides both water and fire damage restoration. Smoke, soot, and odors need to be removed professionally and safely with proper equipment. Restoration companies also have the ability to asses and restore your valuables if possible. Alternatively, immediately caring for your home and valuables after a fire for water damage means mitigating any risk of further loss as well.  Water has the ability to rot structural foundation’s, making them vulnerable and weak. Mold from sitting water is also a big concern as it takes as little as 48 hours for mold to begin affecting a home.

If fire strikes your home or business and does not have an Emergency Ready Plan, call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach. Our team can walk you through the next steps and process of restoration after a disaster. With a quick response time, caring and knowledgeable team, SERVPRO of West Palm Beach can take care of all of your post-fire needs.

What Are the Brown Stains On Your Ceiling?

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

You may have noticed a brown spot on your ceiling or maybe on your walls. The spot may not be large enough for major concern yet but sizable to raise your curiosity.  Questions like what the spot is and where is it coming from, are the first thoughts that may have run through your head. Before you ponder on the spot for too long, you should consider calling out a restoration company to your home. The presence of a brown spot or water stain can have serious implications on your ceiling.

Water pooling is one big reason behind ceiling stains. This is evident by the brown or yellow discoloration of your ceilings paint. These colors are caused by the surfactants in the paint. Surfactant is usually brown in color and oily. When mixed with water, the surfactant becomes reactivated. If the water is pooling and concentrated in one area, that means the surfactant will as well. This effect can be seen in bathrooms too, where water and moisture is aplenty, and there may be brown streaks running down the walls.

Water in your ceiling can mean a leak in your roof or a burst pipe. Even if water is not pouring down from your ceilings or walls, does not mean there should not be a sense of urgency behind getting down to the root problem or source. If water is allowed to sit too long, serious and costly water damage can be inflicted on your home’s structure. Prolonged moisture and water can onset mold damage. It takes only 48 hours for mold to begin to affect your home meaning you need to act fast. As you may be aware of, mold is not exactly a welcomed guest for your home and will need professional mold remediation. Both mold and water can lead to rotting of structural building material. This can be a major, costly problem, especially if your ceiling holds a lot of support for your home.

If you notice stains on your ceiling, don’t ignore them. Allowing them to grow or worsen in condition can cause more damage than you think. Call SERVPRO of West Palm Beach today to schedule an assessment of your ceiling.

Why Commercial Mold Inspections are Important for Your Building

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial buildings are huge investments, which would make sense why finding the right building to invest in requires a lot of vetting. Along with checking square footage, the surrounding area, plumbing, wiring and the works, a mold inspection should be immediate also.

Professional mold inspections in commercial buildings are a fairly new concept. Health issues brought about by mold was not advocated for until the 90s, when a light was shed on the possible consequences of mold infestations. Now, homeowners and business owners alike are meticulous in inspecting for mold when purchasing a building, as they should be.

Mold can grow on virtually any surface, so long as it is presented with a damp enough climate to persist. Mold spores can be extremely apparent via smell or sight, or it can only be detected through specific testing. Mold survives on or “eats” away at materials, causing damage and change to the look, smell, or structure of whatever it is affecting. Structural changes can include the reliability or strength for a building. For an investor or building owner, this could raise working hazards and building safety.

Allowing employees to work within mold-ridden spaces is another costly situation. Due to mold’s potential health risk, employers and building owners should be weary of allowing employees, visitors, tenants or vendors to inhabit the building. Even if the mold is quarantined to one specific area, it still has the potential to travel through HVAC systems, affecting other areas.

If you are purchasing or currently own a commercial building, a mold inspection should be mandated. A commercial mold remediation company can perform visual assessments, sampling, and mold remediation strategies. Even if mold is not found, remediation companies can provide insight into future issues. Any situation that is a potential playground for moisture accumulation and mold growth will be addressed by a professional. This includes a leaking roof, structural characteristics that may allow water into the building, building maintenance issues or more.

Scheduling pre-move in or purchase mold inspections as well as implementing routine inspections, especially in Florida, are vital to your building and business.