Recent Posts

How to Get Rid of Nicotine Stains on Walls

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning How to Get Rid of Nicotine Stains on Walls We strive to restore your ceilings and walls without the need to repaint or refinish and to help the entire property smell fresh.

The Nicotine in Tobacco That Stains Skin and Teeth Will Also Stain Your Walls

Homes inhabited by smokers may have brown or yellow stains or streaks on the walls from years of cigarette smoke. While heavy nicotine staining may require priming and repainting the walls or applying new wallpaper, less-porous materials such as wood paneling often come clean with a good scrub. Cleansers that cut grease help cut through nicotine stains as well.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 microfiber or chamois cloths
  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery brush
  • 1-gallon bucket
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Ammonia

How to Clean Your Walls

  • Dust the walls by wiping with a microfiber cloth or damp chamois cloth. Alternatively, you can vacuum them with a hose and upholstery brush attachment to get into corners and crevices.
  • Mix 1 gallon of hot water, 3 tablespoons of dish soap, and 1/2 cup baking soda.
  • Use a sponge to clean the walls with the homemade cleaning solution.
  • Dry each section with a microfiber or chamois cloth immediately after washing to prevent the wall from absorbing too much water.
  • Mix 1 cup of undiluted white vinegar, ammonia, or lemon juice into a bowl. If using vinegar or ammonia, open the windows or turn on a fan.
  • Using a sponge with the vinegar/ammonia/lemon juice, gently scrub the walls in a circular motion.
  • Rinse the sponge in clean water, wring it out, and wipe the walls down. Dry them with a microfiber or chamois cloth.
  • Once you finish cleaning overly stained walls, use a primer that covers stains and paint over the primer once it is dry.

Ceilings and Walls

Ceiling and wall cleaning should be part of the cleaning maintenance of your home or business. You should also clean walls before painting so that the primer and paint can adhere properly. Whether you are preparing to paint or just looking for professional cleaning, SERVPRO of Upper Darby can help.

Ceilings and walls are exposed to dirt and dust, pet dander, cooking oils and grease, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants. Your heating and air conditioning system can distribute these contaminants throughout your property. Learn more about air duct and HVAC cleaning.

Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA at (610) 352-0700 for all your cleaning, water damagefire damage and mold remediation needs! 

Common Causes of Oven Fires

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Common Causes of Oven Fires As fire and water restoration specialists, we have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home or business.

Most Fires Start in the Kitchen

Household fires can be absolutely devastating, particularly if they aren’t contained or dealt with swiftly. The most common place for a blaze to begin is in the kitchen. Your stove and oven are two big potential fire sources, because they generate heat with gas or electricity.

Here are contributing factors that can trigger a kitchen fire.

Technical Malfunctions

Ovens can malfunction and start a fire, especially if they are old, poorly maintained, or damaged in some way.

Electric ovens have heating elements that can spark a blaze. Turn off your electric oven if you see sparks or if it is not working properly.

Gas ovens may develop leaks that can lead to explosions. Immediately call the utility company if you smell gas; the odor indicate a leak around your oven or stove.

Cleanliness

Oven fires often happen because of a buildup of grease and other cooking byproducts if you do not clean your oven regularly or thoroughly. Even dust can trigger an oven blaze if it gets thick enough.  Clean your oven regularly, especially if you spill something or food boils over inside of it, and use only appropriate cleaning products.

Forgetfulness

Never leave something to bake in the oven without monitoring it regularly. Many fires happen when someone turns on the appliance, leaves something to cook and leaves the room, or even the house, for an extended period. Turn off the oven if you cannot keep an eye on the item while it is baking, and finish cooking it later.

Improper Use

Ovens are meant to cook food, and using them for other purposes can lead to fires. Never use an oven as a way to heat your home if your furnace is not working, and never dry combustible materials inside it. Do not use it to store flammable items when you are not cooking, and remove other stored items, such as pots, pans, and bakeware, when using the oven. Bake only with pans and other cookware approved for use in an oven.

What You Should Do if You Notice Flames

  • Never open the oven door if you see a fire inside. Otherwise, the flames could burn you, ignite your clothing, or spread outside of the appliance.
  • Turn off the heat and see if the fire dies out on its own.
  • Use a fire extinguisher if the flames spread outside of the oven through the top, sides, or bottom.
  • Get out of the house and call the fire department if you do not have an extinguisher or cannot put out the spreading fire yourself.
  • Always have a repair person evaluate your oven after a fire, as the oven will likely need repairs or replacement.

SERVPRO of Upper Darby specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

CallSERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA at(610) 352-0700for all your cleaning,water damage,fire damageandmold remediationneeds!

The Surprising Danger In a Flood or Sewage Backup

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard The Surprising Danger In a Flood or Sewage Backup Water from flooding or sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous.

Know What You Are Messing With!

When your property experiences a flood or sewage backup, the greatest danger is not the risk of disease. Instead, it’s the risk of electrocution or explosion. Do not enter a flooded basement or light matches until the utility companies have shut off your gas and electric service.

If floodwater or sewage enters your basement, you must clean it properly to prevent you and your family from becoming sick or injured. Don’t allow children into the flooded area during cleanup.

If you experience a sewage backup, we recommend you call in a professionally trained restoration firm like SERVPRO of Upper Darby. If it is a small event and you prefer to do the work yourself, follow these tips:

Cleaning and Sanitizing

  • Remove dirt, soil, and debris from surfaces that have come in contact with floodwater.
  • Wash down all walls, floors, and surfaces that the floodwater or sewage touched with clean, warm or hot water and a low suds detergent.
  • Rinse again with warm or hot water.
    • Sanitize by rinsing walls, floors, and surfaces using one of the following mixtures:
      2½ tablespoons (tbs) of Lysol/Pine-Sol per gallon of water used, or
    • 8 tablespoons (tbs) of laundry bleach (i.e., Clorox, Roman Cleanser) per gallon of water used.
  • Air the area by opening windows or using fans.
  • Avoid tracking flood debris and sewage into clean areas.

Utilities

These guidelines should be followed when entering a flooded area with gas or electricity present:

  • Have the utility companies shut off the gas and electricity.
  • Do not touch the fuse box or any plugged-in cords or appliances until the electricity is shut off.
  • If an electrical appliance motor or its controls are submerged under water, do notstart it until consulting with the dealer or service company.

  • Do not relight appliances until checked by the gas company. Make sure all pilot lights are on before relighting burners.

  • Do not light matches until the gas is turned off. If there is a gas leak, it could cause an explosion.

Personal Belongings

Clothing, carpets, furniture, toys, and bedding should be discarded unless they are cleaned and disinfected. Movable objects may be placed outdoors to be cleaned and dried in the sunlight. Discarded clothing should be placed in a tightly closed container until pickup or disposal.

After the cleanup, wash all clothing and parts of your body that came in contact with the floodwater or sewage. Be sure to wash your hands immediately afterwards.

Anyone engaged in cleaning operations should be particularly mindful of their personal hygiene. Contaminated fingers should be kept away from the eyes, nose, and mouth. People are advised against smoking at this time because soiled fingers can carry disease germs to the cigarette and then to the mouth. After cleanup, hands should be thoroughly cleaned using a nail brush and lots of soap.

Foods

Foods that are contaminated can make you and your family sick. Follow these guidelines:

  • Destroy and discardall contaminated bottled and boxed foods.
  • Canned goods (including home canned jars) may be kept if cleaned thoroughly. To clean containers:
    • Scrub with soap and water. Use a brush around the rim of home canned jars.
    • Submerge in chlorinated water for 15 minutes (1 ounce of bleach per gallon of water).
    • Air dry to prevent rusting.
  • Food stored in a freezer will keep for two days after losing power if the freezer is full and not opened. Food stored in a half-full freezer will keep for one day.  
  • If your freezer cannot be started in a day or two, store food in someone else's freezer.
  • Meat that has ice crystals may safely be refrozen. If it is only "cool-feeling" it is best to cook it and then refreeze it.
  • Food stored in a refrigerator will keep for 4 to 6 hours after losing power, depending on how warm the room is.Do not open the refrigerator unless absolutely necessary. You may add ice to the refrigerator if you know it will be turned on soon.
  • Throw out anything with an unusual color or odor, or if a perishable food is above 45° F internally.
  • Place discarded food in a tightly closed container until pickup or disposal.

More Sewage and Flood Information   

Every month on the SERVPRO of Upper Darby  blog, we publish educational articles on how you can protect your homes and businesses from disasters and how to deal with moldfirewatersewage, and other damage. Here are a few blog posts that you might find helpful:

Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA at (610) 352-0700 for all your water damage, flood damage, sewage damage, fire damage and mold remediation needs! 

What Happens If Lightning Strikes Your Home?

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What Happens If Lightning Strikes Your Home? Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment and advanced training to quickly restore your Wayne property to pre-storm condition.

A cloud-to-ground lightning bolt's main objective is to find the path of least resistance from the cloud to deep into the ground. Your house is filled with many potential routes for lightning to follow. This includes gutters, downspouts, metal window frames, water and gas pipes, electric lines, phone lines, cable TV/internet lines—anything conductive in your house. Lightning doesn't need conductive objects to reach ground, but conductive objects make lightning’s journey even more convenient.  

Lightning passing through your home will often “branch” and use more than one path to ground at a time. It can also jump through the air from one conductive path to another in what is called a side flash. For example, lightning may first connect to electric lines in the attic of a house, then jump to better-grounded water pipes on a lower floor. Bolts have been seen jumping from wall outlets to sink faucets and even across rooms!

Three Major Hazards to Homes Hit Directly

Fire Danger

The biggest danger lightning poses to a house is fire. Wood and other flammable building materials can easily be ignited anywhere an exposed lightning channel comes in contact with (or passes through) them. It is most common for lightning to start a fire in the attic or roof of a house, as the channel usually has to pass through some of the roof’s structural material before it can reach a more conductive path such as wiring or pipes. When lightning current travels through wires, it will commonly burn them up—presenting a fire ignition hazard anywhere along the affected circuits.


 

Power Surge Damage

If lightning chooses any of the home's electrical wiring as its primary or secondary path, the explosive surge can damage even non-electronic appliances that are connected. Even if most of the lightning current takes other paths to ground, the home's electrical system will experience enough of a surge to cause potentially significant damage to anything connected to it, electronics in particular.


 

Shock Wave Damage

Another major source of damage from lightning is produced from the explosive shock wave. The shock waves that lightning creates is what produces the thunder that we hear, and at close range, these waves can be destructive. Lightning can easily fracture concrete, brick, cinderblock, and stone. Brick and stone chimneys can be damaged severely by lightning. Lightning's shock waves can blow out plaster walls, shatter glass, create trenches in soil, and crack foundations. Shrapnel is a common secondary damage effect, with objects sometimes found embedded in walls!

What to Do If Lightning Strikes Your House

If you know your house has been struck, call the fire department immediately. Ignited materials in the roof or walls may start with a slow burn before turning into a full house fire. A lightning fire is particularly dangerous for this reason, and you should always take steps to ensure the safety of your home and family.

  • Call your local fire department or 911 if you smell smoke. If a fire starts in the attic, you may not notice right away. The fire department can perform an inspection and search for issues.
  • Find an electrician to assess your wiring and make sure there are no damaged wires that may cause a fire hazard later.
  • Inspect your roofing and siding for damage from the strike itself.

How to Stay Safe in Your Home

While rare, it is possible to receive a lightning injury inside a house. Burns and electric shock injuries can occur when someone is in direct contact with one of lightning's chosen paths to the ground. The most common indoor lightning injuries involve a person talking on a corded phone or resting on/looking out of a metal-framed window. "Side flashes" (discussed above) that jump across rooms can also cause injuries. Again, they are rare.

Things to Avoid

  • Taking a shower or bath
  • Doing dishes
  • Using electronics (computers, video games, or wired phone, tools or appliances)
  • Metal-framed windows
  • Direct skin contact with earth ground. This is because lightning current can travel through soil and across wet/damp concrete. Wear shoes if walking in a basement, garage, or patio.

Highly Trained Restoration Specialists

When a lightning strike causes a fire, it can be frightening. At SERVPRO of Upper Darby, we recognize that these events are daunting, and you may not know where to turn next. Our highly trained technicians are prepared to handle fire damage of any kind, so you can feel at peace when you put your trust in us. 

There is no substitute for training and experience. As fire and water damage specialists, our business is built upon fire and water restoration expertise. We have the knowledge and specialized equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition.

Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA at (610) 352-0700 for all your cleaning, water damagefire damage and mold remediation needs! 

How Water Damage Affects Your Floors

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How Water Damage Affects Your Floors SERVPRO of Upper Darby is dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to minimize secondary damage.

Some Flooring Fares Well During Floods While Some Does Not

Flood damage is rarely a light load on a home; in most cases, flooding causes a severe, negative impact. The most damaged element is often your floors. Floors are completely submerged during floods, causing water to seep in and wreak havoc. But how exactly does water damage affect different types of flooring?


 
Wood Flooring 

 
Water damage is often most pronounced on wood flooring. Wood is vulnerable to flooding and other water damage as its materials have been intentionally dried; when wet, it can rapidly change shape, warp, stain, and lose color. Thankfully we have techniques to deal with all these problems and can replace the floors if all else fails. 


 
Carpets  
 
Carpeting is often typically hard-hit by a flood. Carpets have space in between their fibers and underneath them and are usually composed of cotton, fabric, or plastic fiber, all of which are highly susceptible to permanent water damage. These spaces can be widened, tearing the material apart. Carpets are also prone to staining and discoloration. Where a rug of a different color is on top of a carpet, its color may bleed through and cause thick discoloration. Carpets are often ripped up and replaced after a flood to prevent serious mold growth in the home. 


 
Tile and Concrete 
 
Tile, concrete, and other stone floors often fare the best in a flood. Tiles are typically immune to water, requiring only cleaning and sanitization following a flood. Be mindful, however, that some types of tile grout may be susceptible to water damage and can easily grow mold. A fresh grout layer may be required after a flood. Concrete, meanwhile, may stain and become discolored, although this is typically cleanable or easily painted over. 
 

Advanced Technology and Techniques

Our highly trained technicians are ready to respond immediately to any flood or water damage you experience. We have the expertise to restore your home or business quickly and properly. We use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to find the water and remove it as quickly as possible. Our technicians will monitor and document the drying process to ensure your property is back to normal.

Please follow our tips outlined in the Please refer to our Water Damage Tips—Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property. to protect yourself and your property.

Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA at (610) 352-0700 for all your cleaning, water damage, storm damage,  fire damage and mold remediation needs! 

Household Items That Can Survive a House Fire

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Household Items That Can Survive a House Fire SERVPRO of Upper Darby specializes in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold.

Items That Are Often Found Intact Underneath Rubble After a House Fire

Suffering a house fire is a devastating experience. When the damage is severe, countless precious belongings are lost. However, in many cases, there are a few items that withstand the inferno. The average house fire burns at about 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, which isn’t hot enough to destroy most metals and earthly-made substances. And if an item is well placed and small in size, its chances of survival increase drastically. Below is a list of items that are often found intact underneath rubble after a house fire.

Jewelry

Although they may endure superficial damage when they’re engulfed by flames, most jewelry maintains its composition amid high heat.

  • Diamonds, which are formed below the earth’s surface under intense heat and pressure, melt at about 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Gold melts at a much cooler temperature, about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. But that’s enough to survive most house fires.
  • Platinum jewelry is the priciest, so it’s a good thing that the metal’s melting point is just higher than 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sapphire and ruby stones also possess extremely high melting points.

Silver Coins

Coin collectors who own many silver coins might find them to be their most durable possessions.

  • Silver’s melting point is just below 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Filing Cabinets

Steel filing cabinets are built to last so that important documents won’t be destroyed during a fire. Their steel composition and safe placement within a home, often away from the kitchen or fireplace, give them a high survival rate.

Tools

You might not have to repurchase your tools after a fire. Steel tools are extremely durable.

  • Carbon steel’s melting point is between 2,600 and 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Stainless steel’s melting point is roughly 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.

Silverware

Most forks, knives, and spoons are composed of stainless steel, are small in size, and are placed in a confined space. These factors often enable them to take the heat.

Cookware

Cookware is built to endure extremely high temperatures. Most pots and pans are made of steel and iron, the latter of which melts at just below 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Like silverware, their placement within confined spaces helps them survive the not-so-severe fires.

Barbecue Grill

An item made for fireside cooking can outlast a fire. Most grills are composed of steel or iron, which allows them to last for decades. Most are kept in the backyard away from the worst of the inferno. But they still may have to endure falling debris.

Stone Table

The oldest rocks on this plant have survived billions of years of wear and tear, so it’s no surprise that a stone table could outlast a simple house fire. It took thousands of degrees of heat to make the rocks, and it’ll take thousands of degrees of heat to melt them.

Fire Safe

The steel composition of a fire safe allows it endure 1,700-degree infernos.

Your Belongings and Fire Damage

Fire damage, including smoke and soot, affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Upper Darby understands your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings make your house more than a structure; they make it your home.

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of Upper Darby specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, smoke, water or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your belongings to determine what items we can restore to pre-fire condition.

Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA at (610) 352-0700 for all your cleaning, water damagefire damage and mold remediation needs! 

How Does an Ozone Generator Remove Odors?

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How Does an Ozone Generator Remove Odors? As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO of Upper Darby is trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors.

What is an Ozone Generator?

An ozone generator is an industrial machine that produces ozone.

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a colorless, highly reactive, toxic gas with powerful oxidizing properties. It is comprised of three atoms of oxygen rather than the two atoms of oxygen we breathe. Ozone is naturally occurring as well as man-made. An ozone generator is a man-made way of creating ozone.

So why would we want to create ozone it’s toxic? Because ozone is very good at removing particles in the air that cause odors. It is the ultimate air purifier, which is why it is used by industrial cleanup companies like SERVPRO of Upper Darby.

How Does Ozone Remove Odors?

Smells from house firesmold, decaying organic materials, trash, cigarette smoking, and other sources are present as small molecules, particulates, and bacteria that float through the air and attach themselves to carpets, walls, ceilings, furniture, and other surfaces in your home.

Ozone removes the smell and odors by reacting and destroying the offensive smelling particulates, molecules, and bacteria. The ozone chemically reacts with them, breaking them down into molecules, particulates, and bacteria that don’t smell.

When Should Ozone Be Used?

An ozone generator is recommended for professional use only, due to the dangers of high concentrations of ozone. Ozone generators and ozone are used to remove odors that seem impossible to remove. They can be used to remove the smell of cigarette smoke from a home that has been heavily smoked in.

They can also be used to remove the smoke odors from homes and businesses that have experienced a fire as well as smoke damage. Ozone is highly effective at removing odors because it can penetrate anything that oxygen and smoke can penetrate. This can include fabric sofas and carpets.

Due to the toxicity of ozone gas, ozone generators are used only in spaces that are unoccupied and sealed. This means that if they are used in a home or business, the space usually needs to be evacuated while the ozone generator is in use. That is why it is highly recommended that you rely on professionals who are trained on how to safely operate an ozone generator.

Struggling to Get Rid of Strong Odors in Your Home or Business?

If you have strong odors that you’ve been battling for months or years to get rid of, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Upper Darby. They can determine the best actions to take, including whether an ozone generator is needed.

The experts at SERVPRO of Upper Darby have helped remediate the odors from fires, flooding, mold damage, and other sources for years. They have all the tools and experience to handle any disaster and any smell. Contact SERVPRO of Upper Darby at (610) 352-0700

Christmas Tree Mold Is Real!

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Christmas Tree Mold Is Real! Safe holidays are happy holidays!

4 Ways To Reduce Christmas Tree Mold Levels

Live Christmas trees may bring more than the fresh pine scent of the holiday season into homes.  With most trees cut in advance of the holidays and stored in a moist environment for fresh keeping, this makes them a likely mold source. 

Here are a few tips to help you cut the Christmas mold level in your home, without giving up the fresh tree:

  1. Limit The Time You Leave Your Tree Up

The longer the tree is inside of your home, the higher the mold level may be.  If those in your household are prone to mold allergies, but don’t want to give up the fresh Christmas tree, consider putting the tree up Christmas Eve and taking it down on New Year’s Day.  Try to keep a live tree in your home between 4-7 days at maximum.

  1. Wash Your Tree

Before bringing the freshly cut tree inside of your home, wash it first using the garden hose.  Set the nozzle to a hard-spray level to get into all of those little nooks and crannies of the trunk.  Then, wipe the trunk thoroughly with a solution of warm water and bleach (1 part bleach to 20 parts water).  Let it dry in the sun before bringing it inside of your home.

  1. Use an Air Purifier

Run an air purifier in the same room as the fresh tree.  Cleaner air is key during the holidays, and helps to reduce your mold exposure and lessen the effects of your tree allergies.

  1. Go Fake

The best way to avoid the mold infestation is to buy an artificial tree.  Unless you store your artificial tree inside of a sealed plastic bag, it will still need a good shaking outside when it’s brought out of storage each year to relieve it of dust.  Also, store all of your Christmas ornaments and decorations in plastic containers (instead of cardboard ones) to keep the dust off of them.

If you see signs of mold, call SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA today – (610) 352-0700.

Your Belongings and Mold Damage

Water and mold damage affect not only the structure of your home, but also your belongings.  SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA understands that your home is more than a structure.  Your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes and other belongings help to transform a house into a home.

Learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives by reviewing these mold damage tips.

Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA at (610) 352-0700 for all your cleaning, water damagefire damage and mold remediation needs! 

The Main Differences Between Mold And Mildew

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Main Differences Between Mold And Mildew If You See Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby Today – (610) 352-0700

Mold and Mildew Are Both Types of Fungi That Are Commonly Found in the Home.

They thrive in moist environments, spread easily, and live on various surfaces which makes them very difficult to get rid of. If left unattended, however, the harmful microorganisms can quickly affect large areas of your property and may even result in health problems and structural damage. While the two types of fungi share many common features, they pose different risks and respond to different treatment.

So, in order to come up with an efficient cleaning strategy and ensure the safety of your living environment, you need to understand the difference between mold and mildew.

What Is The Difference Between Mold And Mildew?

Mildew can be described as a specific type of mold. Mold is a fungus that contains multiple identical nuclei and grows in the form of black or green patches which penetrate beneath the surface of the affected material. Mildew, on the other hand, has flat growth that remains on the surface where it can be easily removed. While mold usually grows on food or inside permanent structures, such as walls and crawl spaces, mildew is to be found on damp surfaces, paper, fabrics, and various organic materials in your home.

Common Mildew Types

Primarily, mildew is a plant disease that causes great damage to crops and plants. It is classified as powdery and downy:

Powdery Mildew 

Mainly affects flowering plants and first appears as white or gray patterned splotches that gradually become yellowish brown or black as the fungus grows

Downy Mildew 

Commonly found in agricultural products, such as grapes and potatoes. Its appearance varies depending on the type of surface it grows on, but usually downy mildew starts as yellow spots that eventually turn brown.

Common Mold Types

Although the number of mold species that can live indoors exceeds 10,000, most household molds belong to one of the following five types:

Alternaria 

Grows on walls, in showers, around windows, under sinks and in various other damp places. It is often found in buildings that have suffered some kind of water damage. Alternaria mold can appear black, grey, or dark brown and has a wooly or down-like texture.

Aspergillus

The most common type of mold found indoors. It can look grey, brown, yellow, green, white, or black. Aspergillus mold usually grows on walls, insulation, paper products, and clothing.

Cladosporium

Unlike many other molds,Cladosporium can grow in cool areas. It usually appears on fabrics, such as carpets or curtains, and on wood surfaces, like cabinets and floorboards. It has a characteristic black or olive-green color and can cause a variety of respiratory problems.

Penicillium 

Can be found on various materials that have been in contact with water, including carpeting, wallpaper, insulation, and mattresses. It looks blue or green and produces strong musty odors. Penicillium spores spread very easily.

Stachybotrys Chartarum

Is often referred to as “black mold” because of its color, is the most dangerous kind of household mold – it produces toxic compounds called mycotoxins that can cause severe health problems. The toxic black mold has a characteristic musty odor and usually grows in areas that are constantly damp – around leaky pipes, inside air conditioning ducts where there is a lot of condensation, etc.

How To Tell The Difference Between Mold And Mildew?

There are several crucial differences in the appearance and properties of mold and mildew that will help you recognize the type of indoor fungi you have discovered in your home:

Differences in Appearance

Typically, mold appears black or green while mildew looks gray or white. Yet, there are some more detailed specifics in the appearance of the fungi:

Mildew

Usually grows in a flat pattern and appears either powdery or fluffy. It can be easily identified as a patch of white, gray, or yellowish fungus that is lying on the surface of a moist area. Mildew usually turns black or brown over time.

Mold 

Usually fuzzy or slimy in appearance. It appears as irregularly shaped spots that can have different colors – blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black, or white. Oftentimes, surfaces that are covered in mold begin to rot.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA Today – (610) 352-0700

Differences in the Effects

Both mold and mildew need to be taken care of in a quick and efficient manner as they can cause a lot of trouble over time:

Mildew 

Usually affects plants and crops. If it develops indoors, however, it can also pose health risks.

Mold 

Can result in considerable structural damage when left unattended for a long time. Prolonged exposure can cause a variety of health problems, depending on the strain of mold.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew

The most efficient way to prevent mold and mildew in your home is to keep all the areas dry and moisture-free. Maintain a humidity level of about 40-50% inside the house (a dehumidifier provides the most advantageous solution for ensuring appropriate indoor humidity), have your heating and cooling systems regularly inspected, keep air ducts clean and in good condition, ensure good air circulation inside the premises, fix any leaks in the bathroom, kitchen or other areas.. Remove any mildew-affected plants and weeds as soon as you notice them in order to prevent mildew infestation.

How to Clean Mold and Mildew

The safest and most efficient way to get rid of a mold and mildew problem is to call a SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA.  Our highly trained professionals will come to your home to assess the situation and determine the extent of the damage and appropriate actions.

Mildew 

A surface fungus that can be efficiently treated with a commercially available cleaner and a scrubbing brush. Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a facial mask to prevent inhaling mildew spores, as well as to avoid breathing in fumes given off by the cleaning product you use. Clean all the surrounding areas carefully as well, to ensure that all the fungi have been successfully removed.

Mold

Mold, on the other hand, attaches to the affected materials with microscopic filaments that penetrate beneath the surface. The mold spores spread very easily and can quickly affect large areas of your property and result in permanent damage. Despite its characteristic musty smell, mold is only visible to the eye when the colonies start growing, so early detection and prevention is very difficult. Mold can have a very negative impact on your health, so DIY removal attempts are not recommendable.

Mold Remediation and Restoration

If you suspect that your Upper Darby home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA can inspect, assess and remediate your property.

Learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives by reviewing these mold damage tips.

Call SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA at (610) 352-0700 for all your cleaningwater damagefire damage and mold remediation needs! 

Take Action to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Delaware County Schools

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Take Action to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Delaware County Schools For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call SERVPRO of Upper Darby today, (610) 352-0700

What Actions Can You Take to Improve Your School's Indoor Air Quality?

Nearly one-fourth of the nation’s schools have one or more buildings in need of extensive repair or replacement and nearly half have been reported to have problems related to indoor air quality (IAQ).

The health and comfort of students and teachers are among the many factors that contribute to learning and productivity in the classroom, which in turn affect performance and achievement. Providing a healthy, comfortable environment is an investment in your students and staff.

What is Good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Management?

  • Control of airborne pollutants.
  • Introduction and distribution of adequate outdoor air.
  • Maintenance of acceptable temperature and relative humidity.

Temperature and humidity cannot be overlooked because thermal comfort concerns underlie many complaints about "poor air quality." Furthermore, temperature and humidity are among the many factors that affect indoor contaminant levels.

Outdoor sources should also be considered since outdoor air enters school buildings through windows, doors and ventilation systems. Thus, transportation and grounds maintenance activities become factors that affect indoor pollutant levels as well as outdoor air quality on school grounds.

Facility Managers

Create a Healthy Indoor Environment

Facility managers in K-12 schools work hard every day to ensure a healthy, high-quality learning and teaching environment for students and staff.  The goal is to provide energy-efficient facilities that have quality lighting, comfortable temperatures, and good indoor air quality (IAQ) — all within a tight budget.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average school building is 42 years old.  After 40 years a school building begins to rapidly deteriorate if it is not properly maintained. 

Taking a proactive approach to preventing IAQ problems will save your school significant costs in the long run.  With everyone working together, you may also be able to reduce the amount of time you currently spend on IAQ issues.

Negative Impact of Poor Indoor Air Quality 

  • Accelerate deterioration and reduce efficiency of the school's physical plant and equipment
  • Affect student comfort, the learning environment and attendance
  • Increase the likelihood that schools will have to be closed temporarily (for repairs) or permanently
  • Lead to costly repairs if maintenance and proactive measures are deferred.  Preventative measures will save money over time.
  • Reduce the productivity of teachers and staff due to discomfort, sickness or absenteeism
  • Increase the potential for long-term health problems among students and staff
  • Strain the relationship between administrators and facilities staff

Improving IAQ can reduce the number of student visits to the nurse's office, reduce absenteeism due to illness, and enhance the general health and well-being of all students and staff.

Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.

If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Odors
  • Dirt and debris
  • Other contaminants

SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA offers both residential and commercial duct cleaning services.  Keeping the duct system clean can extend the life of the equipment, which in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.

  • The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:
  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call SERVPRO of Upper Darby, PA today, (610) 352-0700.