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How To Identify Mold on Your Commercial Property

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Worker using protective gear, has a thermal fogger on his hand, smoke is coming out of the equipment Mold cleanup is most often done by an expert cleanup crew.

The various types of mold may make it difficult to know what you are looking at when it grows on your commercial real estate in Northfield, NJ. Regardless if it’s black mold or its less notorious counterparts, the growing infestation stands to damage your property value. Understanding mold helps prevent its related problems.

What Are the Signs of Mold

There are hundreds of types of mold so there’s no universal mold descriptor. A common factor is that mold will typically grow around areas where water passes through or piping is placed. It comes in numerous colors and patterns:

  • Threaded and white
  • Peppered black spots
  • Grayish brown
  • Grayish green
  • Splotchy and black
  • Inherited color of wallpaper is if mold is growing behind it

If the mold is unseen, its smell will often alert you of its presence. If the mold is inside the HVAC system, running the air conditioner or heater in your complex may produce a musty smell.

What Are the Types of Mold

Thinking your business has a black mold problem can cause panic, but you can never be sure of exactly what type of mold it is without the assistance of an Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP). Using special equipment, an IEP can pinpoint exactly where the mold is located and what type it is. He or she will take all scientific information gathered and create a mold remediation plan for use in the cleanup.

What Is Bad Mold

All mold is a “bad mold” as a threat to your business. Any time mold can be seen, it stands to become a problem. On top of devaluing the property with its mere presence during inspections, mold often signifies a water problem that can deteriorate the foundation and cause more problems down the line.

How To Clean Up Mold

Mold cleanup is most often done by an expert cleanup crew with expertise in dealing with mold. Home remedies can be attempted, but professionals use knowledge in the field to make sure the problem is extensively dealt with. Uphold against black mold and its relatives will help your property retain value.

How To Choose a Smoke Detector For Your Home

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Ionization smoke detector Smoke detectors are critical to protect your home and family.

Selecting Smoke A Detector For Your Home

With well-chosen devices and regular maintenance, The National Fire Protection Association claims the presence of a smoke detector can double your chances of surviving a house fire. Taking special care in selecting the devices that will protect your home is crucial for giving you the time you need should that smoke alarm go off.

Consider the Size of Your Home

Unless your Linwood, NJ home could be considered a hallmark of the tiny house movement, you’re probably going to need more than one smoke alarm. The NFPA recommends a smoke detector be installed in multiple locations:

  • On every level, including basement and attic
  • In every hallway that leads to a sleeping area
  • Within every bedroom
  • At either end of a stairway


With a minimum of three detectors necessary for a two-bedroom home, it is important to consider the variety of options available for fire safety.

Choose Your Preference

What smoke alarm you choose largely depends on your personal preference, but it is important to know the pros and cons of each option:

• Ionization alarms create an electric current within the smoke detector by ionizing the air with minimal amounts of the radioactive element americium 241. If smoke particles enter the chamber, the current will be disrupted and trigger the alarm. They are highly susceptible to flaming fires, such as from paper or grease.
• Photoelectric alarms incorporate a small strobe light which when diffracted by smoke particles, will trigger a sensor that sounds the alarm. Smoldering fires, often started in bedding or clothing, are better detected by this device.
• Combination devices will have a dual-sensor to incorporate both ionization and photoelectric components. The NFPA recommends having a mix of both styles of smoke alarms within your home, making this a single choice for cohesive protection.

Other considerations to include: power source, a convenient way to regularly test, ease of maintenance and other personal needs such as visual assistance or carbon monoxide testing.

How To Deal With Mold Damaged Paintings

7/18/2021 (Permalink)

Expert restoring artwork Expert restoring artwork.

How To Deal With Mold Damaged Paintings

Many people have paintings decorating the walls of their homes, some of which might be very valuable or sentimental to the owner. If artwork experiences mold damage due to flooding or being stored in a damp area, it can be devastating to homeowners. Fortunately, there are several methods used to clean moldy paintings. While paintings with extreme fungus growth are best handled by a mold remediation expert in West Berlin, NJ, there are several steps you can take at home to try and salvage them.

Identify the Type of Painting

The first important set for mold cleaning art is to identify what type of painting it is. Whether the painting is oil, watercolor, or acrylic will determine what chemicals you should use and the best method for removing mold without damaging the artwork.

Drain the Frame of Water

Simply tilt the frame until all standing water has dripped out to allow the painting to dry. You can also take the painting from the frame and toss out any coverings to help remove any remaining moisture.

Attempt to Remove the Mold

For the best chance of saving your painting, it is best to turn to professionals since they will know the best mold cleaning method for different types of art. If the mold is dry, you can try brushing it off using a paintbrush. If you have a HEPA filtered vacuum, brush the mold into the nozzle to keep it from spreading.

Place the Painting in Sunlight

Place the painting outside or near a window to help kill mold and dry the art piece. Make sure to remove the painting after an hour if dry or after two to three days if wet to avoid damaging it.
To prevent mold damage to paintings, always make sure to store them in a dry area and place them in sunlight immediately if wet due to flooding or another cause. For especially valuable artwork, play it safe and immediately seek professional mold cleaning services from a conservator.

The 3 Categories of Contaminated Water

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle Standing water falls into three separate categories.

Water Categories

What do you think of when you imagine a family home full of contaminated water in Egg Harbor Twp, NJ? You might imagine something dark, murky, and scary. The reality is that standing water falls into three separate categories. This quick guide will help you determine which type you're dealing with.

Category 1: Clean Water

The first type of contamination is known as clean water. Clean water comes from a broken supply line, such as a faucet or pipe. Despite the term, it isn't a problem that you can allow to sit. Without taking care of the issue, it can turn into a category 2 or 3. Determining factors include:

  • How long the water stands
  • Whether there are contaminants in the surrounding area
  • The temperature of the water

Category 2: Gray Water

Gray water is the second category of contaminated water. Gray water comes from places that have mildly dirty water, such as washing machines, toilets that have urine in them, or dishwashers. They may contain viruses or bacteria that make people ill or otherwise uncomfortable and can become a category 3 contamination issue rather quickly.

Category 3: Black Water

When water is extremely contaminated, it is known as black water. Examples of this type of water include toilet bowl water with feces in it, water from a sewage line, water from rivers or streams, or standing water that has microbial growth in it. Highly contaminated water sources can cause severe illness or even death if ingested.

If you have standing water in your home, it is important not to try to clean it up yourself. Even if it is clean water, mishandling the job can cause it to become contaminated quickly. A professional water remediation company has the knowledge and tools required to perform a thorough cleanup job that ensures as little damage as possible to your home and your belongings.

Preparing Your Commercial Building for a Winter Storm

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial generator You should also have a backup generator in case of loss of power.

How Can You Prepare Ahead Of Time?

If you are expecting a winter storm in Egg Harbor Twp, NJ, and you own or manage a commercial building, there are some steps you can take to make sure it handles the weather gracefully. 

Plumbing

The big focus here is to avoid a burst pipe, so you don't have to go through disaster restoration after the storm. First, you should check for leaks or corrosion. If you have enough time in advance, you should also consider inspecting the type of pipes you have. Older pipe materials are not as sturdy and may not hold up through a harsh storm. These older materials include:

  • Galvanized iron
  • Copper or other metals
  • Polybutylene

Planning

You should also have a plan in place for during and after the winter storm. A priority is snow and ice removal- you can hire a service to have it done as soon as possible once the storm is over. You don't want to let it sit too long, as it can be a source of a lot of structural damage. You should also have a backup generator in case of loss of power. Your preparation must also include an emergency evacuation and communication plan for employees. Lastly, research a reliable storm damage restoration service just in case you need it.

Protecting

Before the extreme winter weather hits, you will need to consider what your insurance may require should storm damage occur. It is a good idea to catalogue all equipment and content, with proof of value for each- pictures are encouraged. It is also a good idea to clarify your policy with your insurance provider. If it doesn't cover storm damage you might consider adding it to your package, especially if you live somewhere with harsh winters.

A winter storm has the potential to cause a lot of damage to your business or commercial building. However, if you make the proper preparations, you have a higher chance of avoiding this.

How to Extinguish Small Fires?

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

fire extinguisher exercise with a controlled burn Extinguishing a fire.

How Would You Extinguish Small Fires?

A fire can be scary but understanding what to do when it happens can prevent a small fire from growing.

When a fire is just starting, it could be small enough to be extinguished with a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher. But if it starts to scatter fast or takes longer than five seconds to be defeated, call 911 or pull the alarm. In case of a fire, do the following;

Electrical Fires 

  • Turn appliances off or pull the plug.
  • Do not use water.

Cooking Fire

  • Shut off the stove
  • Do not use water or turn on the exhaust fan.

Grease fires

  • Keep your oven grease-free and clean up afterward.
  • Hot grease can spatter and ignite paper.

Gas fires

  • Shut off the gas supply.
  • Never light a match near a heater or a stove.
  • Do not turn on any light switches.

No matter the type of fire, we always recommend calling 911...it's better to be safe than sorry!

3 Hidden Locations for Mold Growth

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

mold behind kitchen cabinets Mold damage in a Longport, NJ home.

Three Places Mold Can Hide

Mold growth is a nightmare for homeowners. You probably keep your Longport, NJ house dry to prevent the spores from spreading in the crawl space and basement.
Unfortunately, mold does not only appear in these obvious places. Since mold feeds on organic materials, you could easily end up with moldy drywall or mold on wood in your home. The fungus could spread before you notice it, necessitating emergency restoration services.
You thus need to check other areas of your house for potential signs of mold. You can then have a professional remove the fungus before it becomes a major problem. Here are three possible hiding places for mold.

1. Refrigerator Drip Pans
Refrigerators come with drip pans that collect condensation underneath the appliance. The wetness, lack of airflow and possible food spills make this pan a potential spot for mold growth. You should thus clean the pan using vinegar and water once or twice a year.

2. Chimneys
Snow and rain can easily your chimney during storms. Organic items such as leaves can get into the chimney, as well. The leaves and wetness combined with the porous mortar and bricks create a breeding ground for mold.

3. Washing Machines
Front-loading washing machines are more efficient than their counterparts are. However, front-loaders are also notorious for moldy smells. The gasket becomes wet when the machine is running, and it does not get a chance to dry when the appliance is closed and not in use. To prevent mold odors from taking over your clean clothes, you should wipe the gasket after each cycle. Alternatively, you can leave open the washing machine when you are done using it so the gasket can dry.
Do not just check your basement and attic when searching for potential signs of mold growth in your house. Mold can appear in the above locations, as well. Finding the spores early and having them removed as soon as possible should limit the damage this fungus causes.

Storm Damage and Your Taxes

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

workers wearing protective gear while cleaning after fabric Storm damage in commercial business in Scullville, NJ

If a powerful storm hits your company in Scullville, NJ, there may be many resources that can help you cope with such things as extra expenses, a temporary business shut down and damages. If your area is declared a disaster zone due to widespread storms, you could also see some extra relief. This could come in the form of delayed deadlines for filing taxes, as well as the ability to receive zero or low-interest loans to repair storm damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency often has helpful information on its website. Your company could also get some relief during tax time.

Qualifying for a Tax Write-Off?

Any time your company faces a business loss it is a good idea to investigate what items might be tax deductible. This should always be done in consultation with a tax professional, as tax laws can be hard to interpret and they change from year to year. Storm damage is available for a tax deduction in these broad circumstances:

  • It represents a true business loss
  • It is not covered by insurance
  • It was paid for by your company

When filing taxes, it is important to subtract reimbursements from your insurance company or other sources. IRS Publication 547 provides information on calculating and applying for disaster losses.

Recovering From a Storm Disaster
While costs and expenses are an important part of any storm relief, they are not the entire picture. Your company will also likely need the services of a certified storm remediation franchise. A professional restoration company will send a team of technicians to your facility to remove water, repair structures and clean and sanitize the premises. These workers will make sure your building is in good shape again. Members of the SERVPRO franchise are always Here to Help.
Storm damage presents many challenges for your company. It is important to seek help in all available areas.

What’s Covered Under My Commercial Insurance Policy?

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

Burned creek This is the result of a fire in a golf club in Cardiff, NJ.

If you own a business in Cardiff, NJ, you probably need to have a commercial insurance policy. In fact, it’ll generally be required if you have:

  • A conventional bank loan
  • Any Investors
  • A landlord

A standard commercial policy from a major insurance company is usually all that’s required. However, different circumstances may require add-ons and riders, and it’s important to know what is and isn’t covered by your insurance portfolio.

What Is a Commercial Insurance Policy?

Commercial property insurance is designed for business properties and covers most of the common perils faced by property owners everywhere. This includes full coverage for fires, plumbing issues, natural disasters and thefts.

What Damage Does It Exclude?
Flood damage is virtually never covered by commercial property insurance. If the water is from your plumbing, that’s a covered peril, but floodwater from outside requires special flood insurance.
Vandalism and theft may be covered, but not if it’s done by or at the direction of you. The same applies to intentionally set fires – if you had knowledge of the event beforehand, you won’t be covered. If an employee causes it without authorization, that probably will be covered. Also, an act of war is often excluded from insurance coverage.

Business Revenue Loss Requires a Different Policy
Most commercial property policies won’t cover your loss of income while the business is closed. However, you can obtain business interruption insurance to help fill that gap.

What Does the Standard Policy Pay For?
Depending on the policy specifics, it should pay for the restoration of the property to its previous condition. This includes restoring what can be saved and replacing what can’t. Repaired areas must match the existing décor, or the entire area will have to be redone.
This usually requires expert restoration specialists used to a range of disasters, including wind and fire damage. They’ll tarp and board exposed areas and try to get you reopened as quickly as possible.
Maintaining commercial insurance is a great way to relieve your mind of worry so you can concentrate on growing your business. Even if it’s not actually required, you probably should still have it.

How To Prevent and Mitigate Fire Damage in Your Home

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

severe damage to the inside of a homee Residential fire damage in Somers Point, NJ.

Ways To Prevent And Mitigate Fire Damage

A home fire can quickly grow from a few flames to a massive blaze. It is thus important to practice fire safety in your Somers Point, NJ, house. You should also follow fire preparation strategies that can limit any harm caused by the heat and smoke. Here are some ways to prevent and mitigate fire damage.

Reduce Fire Risks
Wires are a common cause of home fires. Do not put wiring in high-traffic areas. You should avoid placing too many wires into one outlet or extension cord, as well. In addition, any of the below issues should be fixed immediately:

  • Exposed wires
  • Loose plugs
  • Frayed extension cords

Heating sources could be dangerous, as well. Have your furnace checked regularly and replace any rusted or cracked parts.
If you have any combustible items in your home, store them in an open place away from heat sources. Any rags that you use to apply these flammable chemicals should be stored in metal containers with tight lids.

Be Prepared
Installing smoke alarms in your home should be the first step of your fire preparation plan. Test them every month and replace the batteries at least one a year. You should also ensure everyone in your home knows the phone numbers for local first responders and fire cleanup experts.

Cook Safely
The combination of gas appliances and grease makes kitchens a common location for home fires. Keep any cooking surfaces clear of flammable items such as towels and pot holders. Make sure your pets stay away from the oven and stove, as well.
If you are grilling, broiling or frying food, stay in the kitchen so you can look for and extinguish any fires immediately. While you do not have to remain in the room when food is roasting or baking, you should not leave your home, either.
Using your wires and kitchen appliances safely can greatly reduce the chances of a fire destroying your home. Enacting fire preparation strategies, meanwhile, should lower the impact of any blazes that do occur.