How to Avoid a Moldy Basement. Pro Services of Huntsville, TX.
There are many types of mold that can be found in a home, whether the problem is caused by faulty construction, water damage, leaky plumbing, or other issues.
But what some people report is, despite no evident water damage or plumbing situations, no heavy rains, to name a few issues, they still get mold in their basements, often on the inside of their exterior block walls.
Nobody wants that. Mold can be dangerous to people who have exposure sensitivities to it.
What can you do to avoid a moldy basement problem? There are several simple steps and procedures…
Know your numbers
It’s important to understand humidity and monitor those moisture levels in your home. A simple hygrometer you can buy online or in a retail store gives you this information, as easy as a thermometer tells you the temperature.
Use a dehumidifier
Basements are known to be humid and damp, even with no evident moisture intrusion issues. A dehumidifier can remove many pints of water from the air each day. You can choose one that you have to dump the water from on a schedule, or have it drain automatically into a floor drain or sump pump. You will be amazed how much water you can remove and keep mold at bay with a dehumidifier.
Use exhaust fans
Simple fans can be installed that move moisture-laden air from the inside to the outside, like you would do with a bathroom exhaust fan. This might be a chore for the pros, so have them take a look at your home and see what options they might offer.
Inspect outside drainage
One issue that is common is moisture building up on the outside of block walls, and this moisture can seep into the interior walls of those blocks, adding too much humidity in the basement. Ensure all ground water flows away from your home and doesn’t puddle up against the walls.
This advice is for common issues. But if the worst happens, such as a broken pipe or water flooding into your home, now you are into a serious issue. Do the right thing and call your water damage restoration company today. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Cleaning Up ‘Accidents’. Pro Services of Huntsville, TX.
Our pets. We love them. No matter what.
No matter if they hack up hairballs. No matter if they barf up their breakfast. No matter if they mistake the corner of the living room for the litter box or the grass patch outside.
Dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, birds… the list goes on as to the types of pets that people have in their homes and subsequently treat like family. Or even better than family.
With owning a pet comes responsibilities. Some obligatory, such as taking them to the vet for annual checkups. Others more of a necessity, such as cleaning up after they make a mess, from turning over the food dish to the previously mentioned hacking or barfing — or other issues that create a smelly, visible mess that must be dealt with.
Pet accidents. They happen to every pet owner. And are they really “accidents” — as if the pet didn’t really mean to do it? That’s another story entirely.
Here are a few basic steps to consider when cleaning up “accidents”.
Scrape or wipe it up — all of it
No matter the mess, whether tossed up tidbits from the food bowl to a hacked-up hairball to urine or feces in the carpet, the first order of business is to clean up excess residue. There’s no point to applying cleaning product or deodorizer to substance that you can remove with a few paper towels.
Blot and blot… and blot some more
Now is the time to get as much moisture (gross!) out of the carpet or off the flooring material, or even off furniture. Using white, absorbent paper or cloth towels, push down on the affected area. Do not scrub. The idea is to absorb as much contamination as you can.
Apply product — and clean!
The final step is to clean up all remaining residues from the surface. Always pretest colors and fabrics before adding cleaning products, although most surfaces are fairly durable and can handle mild cleaning agents. Get some ideas for the best products from your local carpet cleaning company. Control the amount applied with a flip-top bottle or adding the product to a white, absorbent paper or cloth towel. Work into the area and clean away the contamination. If you remove it when fresh, there should be no residual issues.
Sounds easy, right? It’s not always this easy. When you have difficult cleaning challenges, do the right thing. Call your professional cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Categories of Mold Contamination. Pro Services of Huntsville, TX.
When things get damp, humid, musty, smelly… there could be trouble brewing, even if you can’t see the source of the issue.
When your nose senses suspicious odors, especially in areas such as dark, enclosed basements, as one example, thoughts often go to, “Do I have mold?”
It’s a concern everyone should have, because specific types of mold, depending on an individual’s sensitives, can be hazardous to health.
While this topic and potential issues aren’t meant to alarm you, being informed is important and a protection to yourself and to your family. And one way to be informed is to know the various types of mold, at least a few of the common ones found in homes.
This type of mold is common as well, and normally shows up in damp areas, such as a shower, sink, under cabinets, and dark areas that may be humid. This type of mold usually, to those sensitive to it, causes asthma attacks and other allergic reactions.
One common mold found indoors is aspergillus. It isn’t considered a substantial health threat, but it can cause issues with those who are sensitive to molds. Some severe reactions can include inflammation of the lungs, infection of the respiratory system, and other symptomatic reactions to exposure to this mold spore.
This mold grows best on wooden surfaces, such as natural wood furnishings, and also in paint and wallpaper, to name a few. It often exhibits a black/pink color. Over time, this mold can cause severe allergic reactions to sensitive individuals.
The last mold we will cover here is often caused by some type of water damage situation. It can usually be found in drywall, especially when wet from water damage or other moisture intrusion. You usually identify this type of mold by its musty or “old” odor in the home.
Often found in soil, cellulose and plant debris, in both cool and warm areas, on various surfaces such as carpet, wood floors, and fabrics. Exposure can cause breathing challenges and respiratory issues.
These are just a few types of mold common to homes. Do your research and you will find a very long list of potential mold threats; some of them sound extremely risky to be around.
Remember, if you have any questions about water damage, mold contamination, mold spores, musty odors, and potential health threats to your family and home, call your disaster restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Cleaning the Air Conditioner. Pro Services of Huntsville, TX.
It’s summertime. And if it isn’t that hot yet, it will be really soon. If hot weather isn’t in the forecast right now, give it time… it will warm up.
When hot weather strikes, most people work hard to be comfortable, and that means turning down the air in the home, using their trusty air conditioning system. For some, that means 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For others, 70. Others… like it even colder. It’s all about personal preference.
But when your air conditioner doesn’t perform adequately, or even worse, stops completely, panic strikes as the heat and humidity increases.
How can you avoid a sluggish or broken air conditioner? A few preventative maintenance steps can help tremendously.
Keep it simple — and clean!
Any part of your air conditioning unit, whether it is a portable window variety, mini-split, or central air, it’s important to keep all working parts, filters, everything clean of dust and debris.
All this means is a regular inspection, perhaps twice a month, and taking steps to clean dirty areas. If your air conditioner is portable and has a water collection tank, empty it regularly.
What comes in handy for removing dust and debris, especially from filters you can’t remove and aren’t washable, is a can of compressed air, such as you might use for your computer. But remember that when you blow dust off one surface, it will land on another.
And, if you aren’t sure about filter location or any aspect of your AC unit, ask a professional and take notes so you can refer to them in the future.
Call the pros
As with any electronic and complex piece of equipment, there are limits to what you can do yourself. Consider calling a professional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company come in annually and perform an inspection. These are usually very inexpensive and, if you ever need repair service, they will respond faster if you are a regular customer (usually).
Once in a while, an air conditioning unit malfunctions or spills over, making a big mess. If that ever happens, it’s time to call your favorite cleaning company to take care of the issue. After all, it pays to call a pro!