How to remove black mold
lack mold can be an insidious problem for homeowners, potentially leading to a costly removal process and even a host of health problems. But by learning how to get rid of black mold safely and effectively, you can protect the health of your family and the value of your home, without breaking the bank.
Mold Can Be Unhealthy and Dangerous SEE ALL PHOTOS
Removing black mold is a step-by-step process that requires patience, an investment in protective gear and black mold removal products, and, of course, the courage to brave dark, cramped spaces inhabited by toxic fungus.
First, you must remove the source of any moisture from the affected area. If any leaks or persistent condensation aren't alleviated, the mold will likely reappear after removal.
Next, seal any doorways or other openings leading to other areas of the home, place heavy plastic over them, then seal the plastic in place with duct tape. If there are outdoor openings in the room, place an exhaust fan near them to help remove mold spores from the room.
Wear a respirator or a facemask rated for black mold spore protection, and cover arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores. Use soap and a sponge to remove visible mold. If the moldy area is dry, lightly spray with water, as this will reduce the incidence of airborne mold spores during cleaning. Next, use commercial black mold removal products, which can be found in most hardware or home repair stores, to disinfect the moldy areas, in addition to any adjacent areas. If you use bleach, make sure it won't discolor the material or surface. Place all sponges, equipment and other materials used in cleaning in a heavy duty garbage bag, and if possible, remove the bag through an nearby exit as opposed to the main house, to avoid distributing mold spores.
Mold Remediation and Restoration:
Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours, and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.
If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.
Please refer to our Mold Damage Tips to learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives.
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Post-Construction Cleanup Ensures a Spic-and-Span Environment for Your New Building
Your new building or remodeling is finally complete, after months and months of planning and construction. So you’re all ready to move in, right?
Not so fast! Good contractors clean up their supplies and tools, dispose of the trash and remnants of their materials and get your new space to a point where it’s considered “move-in ready.” But that doesn’t mean it’s ready for people to sit down and work. You need one last thing before opening the doors: a post-construction cleanup.
When a construction team leaves a site they also leave behind things not always noticeable (but sometimes very noticeable), like dust, grit, wood particles, window film and other dirt that needs to be cleaned before you invite employees into the space.
Giving your new area a thorough once-over will not only make everything clean, but it will make employees feel even better about their new digs. When Jack’s Maintenance performs a post-construction cleanup, we take care of these and other areas, some of which you might not expect to gather dust and grime (but that certainly do!):
Inside cabinets and desks. Much of the drywall dust and sawdust will end up in these spots, so we vacuum or wipe until it’s gone
Ceiling tiles, vent covers and exposed pipes. Another spot where dust lands and recirculates through the air – not ideal, especially for people with allergies or respiratory problems
Furniture surfaces, frames and padding. New or old, your furniture will attract and hold dust and grime, particularly the padding. We wipe and/or vacuum ‘til it shines! Some of these items will have adhesive labels affixed to them, and a good post-construction cleanup will involve using the right products to remove them safely
Light fixtures. Ceiling fixtures and desk lamps both attract dust, which can reduce the efficiency of the bulbs. We use the right techniques to remove anything left behind by the contractor
Carpet and flooring. This is usually the last spot we clean when we do post-construction cleanups because it’s the dirtiest by far! All the traffic, dust and dirt lands here, so we take special care to get them in top shape
Stairwells. Railings and steps tend to get lots of use even during construction, so we get every nook and cranny prior to you occupying the building
Elevators, interior and exterior. This over over-looked spot gets plenty of foot traffic and fingerprints, so we wipe it all down until it’s sparkling clean
Walls. Believe it or not, walls hold on to dust, and certain wall textures hold on to it better than others. We’ll wipe or dust the walls to remove any drywall dust that’s hanging on
Windows. Windows grab on to particles in the air and will eventually look filmy. We focus on the window itself and the sills and tracks, where the “real” dirt is
Post-construction cleaning leaves a place smelling fresh, looking “shiny new,” and prevents all of that dust and grime from dulling the finishes and eroding the appearance of your new space. If you’re in the process of remodeling or building a new facility, don’t forget the critical last step of getting it cleaned and ready for work!
Commercial Cleaning on a Budget
Whether you are a large company or a one-man business Commercial Cleaning is something you cannot ignore. For big business not having a clean environment for your staff to work in is one of the worst economies you can make. A dirty work area is bad for moral, wastes valuable work time and can be detrimental to the health of your staff.
As a worker if you work in a dirty environment there is only so much you can take, so after a while you have to stop your paid work to clean up. Emptying bins, washing cups or just generally dusting machinery and work surfaces, has to be done sometimes. No one enjoys picking up a dirty phone or dialling on a grease covered keypad. These are the sort of things that build up when proper cleaning services are not used. As a worker it distracts you from what you are paid to do and as a boss, why are you paying trained or qualified staff to empty bins? If you are the boss cleaning your own work space, then this is an unproductive waste of your time.
When you are on a tight budget as everyone is nowadays, cleaning may seem to be a big outlay for no return, but the actual return you gain is more productivity from your staff, more focussed work and direct action. Everyone needs to drink liquids through the day, so eventually the cups have to be washed and someone has to do it. So what you need to consider is exactly what you need cleaners to do. This may seem obvious but when you start to look at cleaning companies in the area you start to realise not every corporate cleaning company is the same.
First what needs doing to keep your offices clean and tidy? Do the bins need emptying daily or twice weekly? Do you need the carpet hoovering and the floor moped in the kitchens or dining areas, and how often? Who washes the mugs, or do you use vending machine cups and if so does this cause a need for more bins to be emptied. Do your kitchens stay fairly clean or do people leave them in a mess? If they are in a mess they can definitely be a health hazard if not cleaned daily. The toilets are another area that really need cleaning daily in a big company. This is an area that should not be left to chance and if you are a really big company or in the food business then more than once a day may be necessary.
How the right Commercial Cleaning Company Can Increase your Sales
As studies show that a clean workplace can improve moral and increase productivity of the workers, it is important to know that your workplace is as effective as it can be in this regard. An office can seem to be busing along at full efficiency on the surface, people are sat nose to the grindstone working hard and “getting on with it”, but is that actually what is going on or is this image just what is expected?
If people are not happy in their workplace they often hunker down and look very busy, but the truth may be totally different. If the person who is hunkered down is suffering from low morale, feeling unappreciated and does not want to be there, how would you tell and would it really matter if they are getting on with their job? Well actually yes it does matter, it matters a lot.
You see someone who is feeling like that is working hard but they are not being as productive as they could be. Their mind is distracted. They would rather be somewhere else, anywhere else but here, and that is ticking along in the back of their mind. They are robotically carrying out procedures and completing tasks but there is no flair, no imagination and most importantly no incentive. To be honest they do not really care whether what they do is constructive or not. You see people who have to work in a dirty environment feel that the bosses do not care. They feel like numbers not people and as such they have no real loyalty to the business or drive to excel.
If this was true of your sales office you would not be making many sales. Sales people need to have energy and drive, they need to have a desire to pull in the customers and to seal that deal. They can only do this in a clean fresh environment. Even if they come in first thing in the morning all rearing to go, a dirty environment will gradually bring them down. Not even consciously, but by mid-morning or lunch time they will be feeling deflated as they look for things behind and around yesterday’s dirty mugs, or paper cups that will not fit in the recycling bin.
So it is very important that your employees have a clean workplace, clean toilets and clean rest areas and kitchens. This will not only improve their moral, lift their energy and make them feel pleased to work here, it will also keep germs at bay so that people are working in a much healthier environment and this will show by less absenteeism.
Having seen the detriment, it can do to a business to not have a clean and healthy workplace. Then it makes so much sense to have a good cleaning regime. If you think your cleaning regime is not doing the job, then we are happy to talk to you about what could be done to improve the working environment of your staff.
How to Eliminate Mold from Your Bathroom
Bathroom mold is ugly, disgusting, and unhealthy. And, unfortunately, it often seems an ever-present nuisance that even the most fastidious home owners must deal with. However, mold doesn't have to greet you every morning as you step into the shower. These preventative measures and cleaning tips will help you get rid of the mold and mildew that collects in showers, baths and sinks.
Do Your Drains Drain?
First, make sure that you have good drainage in your sink, tub or shower. If the water does not drain as quickly as you run water, you have a present (or building) problem. When water doesn't drain properly, it stands, creating an environment that is moist for longer periods of time. These types of environments are those in which mold thrives. Use a bleach solution, a chemical specially formulated to unclog drains, or call a plumber if the drain stoppage is particularly bad. It will be impossible to maintain a clean bathroom without properly working drains.
When you go to clean your bathroom, make sure that you remove all products first. Use a quality cleaning product and spray or wipe on all stained, soiled, damp, and moldy areas with a sponge - brushes can scratch surfaces, reducing their life and appearance. Use an old toothbrush to clean around faucets, drains, and in crevices. For moldy showers, it's possible to use a mild solution of bleach to kill mold and prevent its immediate regrowth. However, never mix bleach with any other cleaning solution, as this could produce toxic fumes.
Before putting the products back, wipe them with a moistened cloth that contains some of the same cleaning solution. This will deter mold by removing any already present around the bases of bottles and jars, kill germs, and prevent the already sanitized surface from being re-contaminated with mold and bacteria.
Commercial Building Automation Market - Global Industry, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016 - 2024
One of the major factors driving the market for commercial building automation is increasing demand from key end user such as retail, healthcare, offices and hospitality sector among others. According to UNEP (United Nations Environment Program), buildings contribute to about one third of the total greenhouse gas emissions, mainly due to the usage of fossil fuels. In addition, a slow but gradual evolution of IoT sensors based technology has resulted in the emergence of solutions which are significantly more intelligent and have the ability to analyze granular aspects of buildings such as space utilization, gauging occupant's comfort levels and similar derive business intelligence.
Global Commercial Building Automation Market: Segmentation
Power supply, interfacing components, room automation, HVAC systems, security & surveillance, illumination & light sensors and others sectors are the various product types of the commercial building automation market. The power supply market is further segmented into UPS, battery modules and others. The interfacing components is further sub segmented into router, couplers and others. The room automation is further being sub segmented into I/O module, actuators & actuators module, controllers and others. Based on the various product types of commercial building automation, the HVAC systems segment constituted the biggest market share, followed by the security and surveillance segment, in 2015. Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) System is a technology used in building automation for vehicular and indoor environmental comfort. The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) are largely served in offices, healthcare, retail and hospitality sector among others, therefore, it holds the largest market among all the segments in the commercial building automation market.
By type of material, the market is divided into lighting control and regulation, interfacing and inter-working with other building systems, blind and shutter control , temperature control and regulation, energy and load management, security and fault monitoring, visualization & remote control and monitoring, reporting, display. In 2015, based on material types, the temperature control and regulation segment held the largest market share followed by the lighting control and regulation segment.
The commercial building automation market has been segmented on the basis of end use into offices, retail, hospitality sector, healthcare and others. The retail segment constituted the largest market share, followed by the offices segment, in 2015. The major reason for this growth is attributed to the ability of commercial building automation to raise profit by reducing energy and operating costs in retail shops. In addition, adoption of building automation in retail stores makes life easier. It not only smoothens the management of the retail store regulating system, such as temperature and light, but also provides a host of other services such as video surveillance, HVAC services, easier energy management, and efficient security system.
Moreover, the use of building automation in retail shops represented the largest market share in the global commercial building automation market in 2015. This is primarily due to an increase in the use of building automation in enclosed malls and individual shops. Commercial building automation in retail stores has a number of uses, such as providing security to the owner of parked cars, to conserve energy and offering a great ambience.
By geography, the commercial building automation market has been broken down into four regions namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW). Presently, North America held the major share of the market, followed by Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW).
Global Commercial Building Automation Market: Key Trends
Government initiatives for constructing green buildings and rise in green building construction by several different companies are the major factors driving the market for commercial building automation market during the forecast period of 2016 – 2024. Green buildings are constructed using recycled waste resources from construction sites. Increased demand for green building materials has been observed in the residential buildings and office & commercial buildings segments. The other factors driving the market for commercial building automation market is increasing awareness about the advantages of green building which in turn boosting the commercial building automation market during the forecast period of 2016 – 2024.
Global Commercial Building Automation Market: Key players mentioned in the report
Key players profiled in this report include ABB Ltd. (Switzerland), Cisco Systems Inc. (United States), Honeywell International Inc. (United States), Hubbell Inc. (United States), Ingersoll Rand Plc. (Ireland), Johnson Controls International plc. (United States), Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany), Schneider Electric SE (France), United Technologies Corp. (United States) and Siemens AG (Germany).
The segments covered in the Commercial building automation market are as follows:
Global Commercial Building Automation Market: By Product Type
Actuators & Actuators Module
Security and Surveillance
Illumination and Light Sensors
Global Commercial Building Automation Market: By Material Type
Lighting Control and Regulation
Interfacing and Inter-working with other Building Systems
Blind and Shutter Control
Temperature Control and Regulation
Energy and Load Management
Security and Fault Monitoring
Visualization and Remote Control
Monitoring, Reporting, Display
Global Commercial Building Automation Market: By End Use Type
Global Commercial Building Automation Market: By Geography
Rest of Europe
Rest of Asia Pacific
Rest of the World (RoW)
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How to spot water damage
In general, a house is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. In order to protect that investment, you should vigilantly look out for household problems and address them before they worsen.
One such dreaded homeowner issue is water damage. If left unattended, residential water damage can detrimentally impact the structure or spawn other complications, including mold that poses a health risk to inhabitants. Here are several methods for detecting water damage within your house.
1. Check the Floors
No matter what kind of flooring you have, it will manifest signs of water damage. For tile and wood, look for cracked, buckling or warped flooring. When it comes to carpet, be wary of damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.
2. Look for Stains
Water stains on the floor around the bathtub, toilet or sink, as well as stains on ceilings and walls, are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Unusual stains could indicate there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the drywall or areas that appear swollen and are soft to touch also may signify trouble. Peeling paint is another sign of loose water within wall spaces. As the drywall gets saturated, paint can lose adhesion.
3. Inspect Outside
Observe the exterior of your house. What you want to look for are pools of standing water that can indicate poor drainage in the yard, gutter spouts that aren’t transporting water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters. Any of those issues could threaten the foundation of your house. Additionally, common signs of water damage on the roof may include pools of water; cracked, curled or missing shingles; or broken flashing.
4. Watch for Rust and Mold
Inspect your water heater and check for rust on the tank or damp spots on the floor. A rusted tank could indicate a slow leak. Additionally, corrosion around pipe connections could be caused by water seepage. Visual signs of active mold growth mean moisture is contacting microscopic mold spores, often in the nooks and crannies of your home. Finally, don’t rely solely on sight. When water stagnates, mold and bacteria can grow, producing a musty, unpleasant smell.
Mold & Bacteria Growth in the Duct System
Since your ductwork is essentially the “lungs” of your home, you need to make sure it is kept clean of as many airborne hazards and pollutants as possible. Any kind of harmful pollutant in your ductwork will inevitably get carried throughout the air in your home. This includes mold contamination within the ductwork of your home. Exposure to mold from your within your ductwork can create some very unhealthy conditions for you and your family. If you believe there might be a mold problem in your air ducts, it is very important to have the ductwork checked out and have any contaminants removed.
Why is there mold in my ductwork?
Molds and fungi can be found virtually anywhere where excessive moisture accumulates indoors. This problem can be even worse when there is excessive moisture in the home over an extended period of time. When a surface or material in your home is holding moisture and mold spores from anywhere land on it, the mold begins to grow. As long as the source of moisture is present the mold will continue to grow on the surface, whether it’s in your drywall, wood beams, or even in your duct system. The problem will continue to expand until the source of moisture is eliminated and the mold is properly remediated.
Why is mold in my ductwork dangerous?
Your ductwork is the system in the home which distributes fresh air throughout the home to keep it comfortable year-round. When mold begins to grow and has contaminated the ductwork, vents, or registers, the mold spores begin to quickly be spread throughout the home.
The spreading of the mold spores throughout the air in your home can cause the infiltration of mold to show up in other places where there is moisture present and can cause respiratory allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to mold. The reaction that many people experience from a mold allergy can be similar to seasonal allergies.
Stop the mold contamination in your ductwork!
Professional Duct Coating and Duct CleaningIf you have mold in the duct system in your home it is important to have the air ducts thoroughly cleaned and remediated by a professional duct cleaning company. They will use a HEPA Vac and a HEPA Air Sweeper to properly clean your ductwork of all major contaminants.
After the ductwork is cleaned your duct cleaning company may offer you a duct coating service to prevent future spreading of mold. The ducts can be coated with an anti-microbial coating which protects the spread of mold and odor causing bacteria on the interior surface of your HVAC duct system.
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Emergency situations can arise due to causes such as natural disasters, floods, earthquakes, fires, workplace violence, terrorism or crime. Planning for an emergency has a number of benefits. Staff and volunteers know what to do in the event of an emergency. They can assist clients and visitors in evacuating the building and they can be of assistance to emergency personnel when they arrive on the scene. At the very least, they should know to evacuate the building and stay outside until the ?all clear? is signaled.
Emergency Evacuation Planning
Emergency action plans are required to describe the routes to use and procedures to be followed by employees. Also procedures for accounting for all evacuated employees must be part of the plan. The written plan must be available for employee review. Where needed, special procedures for helping physically impaired employees (and service recipients must be addressed in the plan; also, the plan must include procedures for those employees who must remain behind temporarily to shut down critical plant equipment before they evacuate.
The preferred means of alerting employees to a fire emergency must be part of the plan and an employee alarm system must be available throughout the workplace complex and must be used for emergency alerting for evacuation. The alarm system may be voice communication or sound signals such as bells, whistles or horns. Employees must recognize and respond to the evacuation signal.
Should evacuation be necessary, staff members should know to go to the nearest exit or stairway and proceed to an area of refuge outside the building. Most stairways are fire resistant and present barriers to smoke if the doors are kept closed.
Do not use elevators.
Should the fire involve the control panel of the elevator or the electrical system of the building, power in the building may be cut and you could be trapped between floors. Also, the elevator shaft can become a flue, lending itself to the passage and accumulation of hot gases and smoke generated by the fire.
Training of all employees in what is to be done in an emergency is required. Supervisors must review the plan with newly assigned employees so they know correct actions in an emergency and with all employees when the plan is changed.
Shut down computer.
Turn off lights.
Assist clients and other staff, as needed or assigned.
Close doors behind you as you leave (do not lock).
Follow escape route.
Meet at predetermined assembly point. Have an alternate location identified if for some reason the primary assembly point is either unavailable or unsafe.
Make certain everyone is accounted for (those on vacation, at meetings outside the building, at home, ill and present).
Do NOT go back into the building.
DO report where any unaccounted for person routinely would have been when the alarm rang to a person with authority, who will tell the firefighter.
Where required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), organizations with more than 10 employees must have a written emergency action plan; smaller organizations may communicate their plans orally. (See 29 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Part 1910.38(a) for further information.) Essential to an effective emergency action plan are top management support and commitment and the involvement of all employees.
Management should review plans with employees initially and whenever the plan itself, or employees responsibilities under it, change. Plans should be re-evaluated and updated periodically.
Emergency procedures, including the handling of any toxic chemicals, should include:
Escape procedures and escape route assignments.
Special procedures for employees who perform or shut down critical plant operations.
A system to account for all employees after evacuation.
Rescue and medical duties for employees who perform them.
Means for reporting fires and other emergencies.
Contacts for information about the plan.
Emergency Response Teams
Members of emergency response teams should be thoroughly trained for potential emergencies and physically capable of carrying out their duties; know about toxic hazards in the workplace and be able to judge when to evacuate personnel or depend on outside help (e.g. when a fire is too large for them to handle). One or more teams must be trained in:
Use of various types of fire extinguishers.
First aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The requirements of the OSHA bloodborne pathogens standard.
A system should be established for accounting for personnel once workers have been evacuated with a person in the control center responsible for notifying police or emergency response team members of persons believed missing.
Effective security procedures, such as cordoned off areas, can prevent unauthorized access and protect vital records and equipment. Duplicate records for essential accounting files, legal documents and lists of employees? relatives to be notified in case of emergency can be kept in off-site locations.
Every employee needs to know details of the emergency action plan, including evacuation plans, alarm systems, reporting procedures for personnel, shutdown procedures, and types of potential emergencies. Drills should be held at random intervals, at least annually, and include, if possible, outside police and fire authorities.
Training must be conducted initially, when new employees are hired, and at least annually. Additional training is needed when new equipment, materials, or processes are introduced, when procedures have been updated or revised, or when exercises show that employee performance is inadequate.
It is essential that first aid supplies are available to the trained medical personnel, that emergency phone numbers are placed in conspicuous places near or on telephones, and prearranged ambulance services for any emergency are available.
How do hurricanes form?
Hurricanes begin when areas of low atmospheric pressure move off Africa and into the Atlantic, where they grow and intensify in the moisture-laden air above the warm tropical ocean. Air moves toward these atmospheric lows from all directions and curves to the right under the influence of the Coriolis effect, thereby initiating rotation in the converging windfields. When these hot, moist air masses meet, they rise up into the atmosphere above the low pressure area, potentially establishing a self-reinforcing feedback system that produces weather systems known to meteorologists as tropical disturbances, tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
Fortunately, fewer than 10 percent of disturbances grow into hurricanes. Development of a full-fledged hurricane requires a rare combination of atmospheric events. First, the tropical disturbance must produce converging air masses. Second, the converging air must rise — but not in an area where there are either strong winds or descending air masses aloft. Hurricane development requires both an organized pattern of convection that is destroyed by upper atmosphere winds, as well as unstable air masses in the upper atmosphere that can carry rising surface air away from the upper end of the developing storm.
If these three phenomena occur together, a self-sustaining circulation develops in which moist surface air rises and its moisture condenses, releasing latent heat that warms the upper atmosphere. The heated atmosphere creates lift that extends the low pressure area upward and further reduces its already low pressure. As winds in the upper atmosphere carry moist air away from this growing cylinder of low pressure, dry warm air from above can enter the center of the cylinder, ultimately reaching the sea surface and forming the cloud-free area known as the eye of the hurricane.
A system of this type will continue to intensify as long as the upper-level outflow of air exceeds low-level inflow. The relationship between inflow and outflow is controlled by the heat content of the ocean water and the latent heat contained in the moisture in the rising air. In other words, once formed, hurricane circulation will continue as long as the storm is over warm water, has access to moist air, and doesn’t drift into areas where upper-level winds can tear it apart.