What is Aspergillus Mold?
Rain storms can lead to water leaks, leaks that go unnoticed can lead to mold. Act quickly by calling a professional to inspect and stop the issue.
Many are wondering about the dangers of Aspergillus mold after the sad news of several pediatric deadly infection cases linked to the operating rooms in the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Newsweek reported the hospital closing ten of it’s operating rooms after realizing between 2001 and 2018 fourteen patients developed Aspergillus infections, six of which turned into tragic fatalities. Piecing the puzzle together, what they initially thought were isolated incidents, turned out to all be related due to problems in the air system.
The operating rooms now closed for repairs and improvements plan to install new HEPA filtration systems which stands for high-efficiency particulate air. These filters are designed to force the air through a mesh that traps harmful particles. Typically this protects against pollen, dust mites, smoke particles, dander and other allergens… such as mold spores or to get even more specific, any air particulate above .02 microns in size. Just to give a perspective of size an average hair is measured to be 50 microns and anything smaller than 40 microns can not be seen by the human eye.
If you do a google search on Aspergillus you will find an explanation of how it is a fungus or a common mold that lives both in and outdoors. Please note: fungus itself is not poisonous or necessarily toxic, unless over time it has developed into a certain strain of mold such as stachybotrys commonly known as ‘black mold’ which produces toxic mycotoxins. And what you want to avoid is an over-saturation of mold spores indoors which could be harmful because it is an allergen for some, which could be dangerous. It can adversely affect the sensitive, young, old or anyone with a weakened immune system. For those, while still uncommon, if lung disease develops and travels into the bloodstream, it can kill after ten to fourteen days which is crazy fast and extremely serious.
Stachybotrys or ‘black mold’ can be dangerous depending on the levels present and can cause common allergy symptoms, headaches, flu-like symptoms, and with continued long term exposure, memory loss and respiratory damage.
How to prevent mold indoors?
Since California is right in the middle of it’s rainy season, we need to be concerned with staying on top of any and all property damages to prevent potential health risk dangers.
- Pay attention to act quickly regarding any sort of water leaking from anywhere
- Daily air out your home by opening up doors, windows and allowing a bit of sun to stream in
- Clean, dust, sweep and vacuum on a regular basis
- If a room or area in your home remains moist and has condensation, use a fan daily or use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels at a minimum
- Don’t procrastinate on plumbing repairs or water leaks
- Don’t delay in making regular home maintenance needs around water fixtures such as loose tiles or worn calking
- Don’t skip seasonally clearing debris from rain gutters and inspecting for possible blockages
Thinking you might have mold issues? We are here to help. We can test for mold and if spores are found, we can certainly assist with the mold removal. Call today! 626.960.9145
Happy Fall Y’all!
The stormy Fall Season brings all our comforting and favorite baked goodies to mind. This Baked Apple Dumplings Recipe is a must-try!
While hot days and summer activities are a huge part of SOCAL living, the extremely hot temperatures we have been experiencing can easily zap us of our energy. As Monday, September 23rd officially kicked off our first day of fall, we didn’t actually get to see the fall weather begin until two days later… Now that temperatures have dropped and our projected weather forecast shows exciting numbers ranging from daily highs from 70 degrees to a high of 87 degrees, we are super happy and relishing the days to come! Of course, this change in the weather has already brought in both water damage and mold inspection calls and we remain ready for a whole lot more as we move deeper into the season. Seems like for a couple of weeks now the humidity has been so high and our cars continue to get sprinkled on as we wait for storms to roll in or past us.
Besides the change of colors in the scenery, this preferred season of many brings the start of traditional family outings such as to our local apple orchard towns and villages. One of our family’s favorites is found at the base of our San Bernardino Mountain’s at the Oak Glen Apple Growers Association.
Oak Glen has been a favorite destination for as far back as we can remember because of it’s charm and is the ideal place for memories to be made. With ‘apple everything’ to be had there, from rustic-looking mile-high apple pies, to apple cake, apple danishes, apple empanadas, apple cookies, apple muffins, caramel apples, apple candies, made to order apple donuts (lines are long but so worth the wait), apple cider floats, apple variety sampling, all of which are delicious. In fact, Pink Pearl is an apple with pretty pink flesh on the inside. It can be pricy but tastes as good as it looks. Other faves are Pink Lady and Johnagold varieties.
There is a quaint little museum and fun activities are available at each orchard such as apple tree picking, raspberry picking but only if you arrive early enough in the season, fishing, panning for gold, and cold pressing your own apple cider! Depending on how sweet… you add more red apples or how tart you desire the cider, you add more green apples to the ratio of your bucket. The process is neat but the end result is even better. For those who haven’t yet tried it, freshly made cider essentially tastes like natural apple candy, YUM. Even if we don’t have the time to make our own cider, we always buy a glass gallon jug or two to enjoy because there is nothing else like it in any stores. Plus something to look forward to is the Apple Butter Festival 2019.
With all this talk of fall apples, here is a fast and easy apple dumpling recipe ideal for busy families. Cooking and baking shortcuts are always welcome in our kitchen. Simple enough to include the kids in on preparation, yet scrumptious enough for entertaining! Serve this warm with some French vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream and you’ll have quite a comfy treat.
A Taste of Home Baked Apple Dumplings
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup 7-UP or Mountain Dew soda
Preheat oven to 350°. Peel, core and cut each apple into eight wedges. Unroll both tubes of crescent dough; separate each into eight triangles. Wrap a triangle around each wedge. Place in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
In a bowl pour melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon until blended; pour on top of crescent rolls. Slowly pour soda around the sides of rolls (do not stir).
Bake, uncovered, until golden brown and apples are tender, 35-40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream and Enjoy!
** Easily switch it up by swapping apples for peaches, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries
Fire Safety in Socal
Make it your aim each Spring to ensure your safety along with your loved ones’ by regularly reviewing a few key reminders on fire safety.
Once a fire starts, you may have only minutes to escape. So in addition to tackling our spring cleaning chores, another good habit to get into is reviewing a fire safety checklist for both your home and office. One of the most important yet so simple steps is the testing and maintenance of detectors. The monthly testing, periodic cleaning, annual replacing of batteries, (unless you have the ten-year lasting kind) and full replacement every ten years of each smoke detector could save your lives. Another great recommendation is to install carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.
Bring family members up to date on evacuation and meeting locations. Keep lighters and matches out of reach of children and remember to discuss repeatedly with children about the dangers of playing with them. Never ever leave candles unattended indoors, even religious candles as we have seen the extensive damages caused by them. Be sure to clean the lint trap on your clothes dryer after each use and teach all family members to do the same. Always remain in the kitchen when any sort of cooking or heating is being done because if you forget, fall asleep or leave the home while doing so may lead to the highest of regrets… be fire safe.
Businesses experience property damages too...
This is a snapshot of inside the ceiling after the discovery of a leaking sprinkler head. Cleaning this up quick is a wise choice. #commercialcleanup
Being business owners ourselves, we are all too familiar of the day to day expenditures and how quickly they add up each month. The larger your business grows, the larger the monthly break-even point climbs. Between the insurances necessary, building lease, training, payroll and product expenses, the dollar amounts are constantly climbing. Even though we wisely plan for the unexpected, when property damages do occur not only is the disruption a challenge in the day to day function but also the related costs can get ridiculously high.
Sometimes old plumbing is to blame for leaks or sudden pipe bursts, other times the hot water heater has run its life course and other times human error is to blame and toilets may overflow. Fire sprinklers can spring pinhole leaks or suddenly burst as well. In the past, we have even seen a handyman mistaken a sprinkler for an electrical connector thinking it was the hookups for installing a ceiling fan. This line under pressure water poured out until the water turn off could be reached.
Costs for repairs can continue to rise when water is involved because if unnoticed or left untreated the bacteria levels in the water will multiply and within a short time cause mold to grow. The mold will thrive in the darkened damp area of a ceiling or wall cavity and spread to however far the water and organic materials like paper or wood keep it fed. Once we have experienced the whole water damage process we then understand the issues at hand and know better for next time, if a next time were to occur. As a business owner or property manager, part of being prepared for the next damage that may occur whether from rain or another water intrusion, is by finding a Restoration Company that you feel comfortable with, LIKE and can wholeheartedly trust.
Find out why so many of our customers are repeat customers. Meet our SERVPRO of West Covina team, they are the best! The picture posted here on this blog is just one damage that this local business has had occur. In total, they have called our SERVPRO of West Covina team out to their various properties over six different times. We are grateful for their consideration and repeat business for all of their home and business property cleanup needs.
Doing a bit of Spring cleaning?
Water stained ceiling or walls in need of cleaning or repair? Call us to help. #springcleaning #gotmold? #asbestostestneeded
We all do our best to tackle spring cleaning checklists during this time of year… some time we may have set aside for a good desk or office cleaning at work or an even larger cleaning task may be scheduled for at home where floors, garages or extra rooms may need some TLC. Spring time is the best way to prioritize for a more thorough cleaning.
Completing a home cleaning inspection will help aid you in the right direction as to where to start. Is your home needing deodorization services or a good HVAC cleaning? Have the recent or even past rain left its mark? Sometimes we have good intentions to take care of an issue but we get busy with work, family and other projects. If you find yourself feeling in over your head due to larger cleaning tasks from odor, moisture or even mold issues, it may be time to call in the professionals. Our specialty cleaning crew at SERVPRO of West Covina knows exactly what to do to help.
Your safety always comes first so one of our initial questions will be: what year was your home built? Based on the answer, our technicians can determine if an asbestos or lead test will be need before any demolition work can be performed. Prior to what years will testing be necessary? Any structure erected prior to 1985 we will want to test for asbestos and any structure erected prior to 1978 we will want to test for lead. The results of these tests will get you a proper protocol for handling whatever damage situations arise. Important to note: Keep the results of the tests for future reference in the event the test will be needed at a later time.
You are not alone in a Storm, call SERVPRO
Whenever it rains, be proactive by keeping an eye out for any new water leaks so that mold does NOT become an issue.
One of the best things about belonging to the SERVPRO family is that we are a part of a national Storm Response Program. Stationed throughout the country we have four geographically located teams ready and able to manage any catastrophic event. By responding quickly with a properly staffed and adequately equipped to handle the largest disaster, it makes SERVPRO of West Covina the one to call first and even add to your speed dial.
Each of our team members receives extensive training and are prepared to tackle any sized emergency with well-stocked vehicles for optimal efficiency. While much of the country currently is worried about freezing pipes, hail or damaging winds, California has plenty of potential storm-related hazards as well. A primary storm hazard would be flood or rainwater intrusion, which would be classified as grey water. Grey water refers to a risk of potential bacteria content or slight contaminants in the water from either the ground or roof. Knowing that a good chance of bird or animal droppings could be present in the water, having professional care for such restoration needs will likely save you money. Our aim is to keep your surrounding environment safe by preventing secondary damages like mold growth.
If you are concerned that your property may have an issue, call for details about our complimentary visual inspections so that our professional team may help out with a plan of action and follow through.
After a Fire – What To Do
Here to help with any disaster any time day or night. The BEST at Fire Damage Cleanup, Board Ups, Smoke and Soot Cleaning or Charred Odor Removal.
A home or business fire can be absolutely devastating. SERVPRO of West Covina is here any time of day or night to help. No doubt with many mixed emotions you will have to make some important decisions, some sooner than later. Here are the very first few things you will want to know and prioritize after everyone is safely evacuated and the fire is extinguished.
- Get to a safe zone and call 911
Safety of you and your family is of prime concern. Get everyone to a safe area away from the fire before calling 911. If you do not have a cell phone consider going to a neighbor to make the call. Remaining outside of fire damaged areas until the authorities give clearance for re-entry is important in preventing injury.
- Call your insurance agent ASAP
Notify your insurance agent of the damage as soon as possible. Your insurance agent has your best interest in mind. He values your patronage and will work hard to assist during this difficult time.
- Ask about reputable restoration companies
SERVPRO of West Covina works with all major insurance companies and has built solid relationships within the community to be of help when disasters arise. We care about each customer and work hard to earn your trust. SERVPRO will help to secure and stabilize the premises by boarding up doors and windows to keep the elements including possible looters out. SERVPRO will next start the cleanup process by removing the smoke, soot and the charred smell. No need to tackle this loss alone, let the professionals help, that’s exactly what we are here for.
FEMA has an after fire checklist pdf that has useful information such as reminding you to start saving all receipts for all money spent related to the fire.
Water Damage While in the Middle of Construction
Ryan Tellez our SERVPRO General Contractor. CA Lic 968875. Trustworthy and honest. Call today.
Repairs on our homes seem to be never-ending. No matter the age of the home, to do lists only grow in time. Depending on your generation, it is possible you knew of a time long ago when our appliances and furniture lasted for decades. Today that is not the norm, and within only six to eight years even in a newly constructed home, issues can arise. Everything from needing plumbing repairs, to cabinets and drawers going off track and before you know it the workload of repairs, can become overwhelming.
Then we can get to the point where updating is desperately needed and we may begin a remodel. Living there while the construction is ongoing can really test everyone’s patience because the noise, clutter, debris, and dust that covers the entire home is a lot to deal with. Plus if it is the kitchen being worked on, being forced to eat out for every meal can get old real fast. We all have high expectations for the end results and would like to see progress continue at a steady pace despite back-orders or other hiccups that commonly occur along the way. A day or two of no activity in between vendors can seem like an eternity and when the work pushes past our expected deadline and days turn into weeks or months causing our frustration levels to soar.
What if now, smack in the middle of all the construction chaos rainwater soaks through or even worse… a water line ruptures and floods all the brand-newly installed materials? What a mess! At that point, we may be at our wit's end. The key here is to remain calm, find a reputable restoration company such as SERVPRO of West Covina who specializes in water damage cleanup and understands the time-sensitive issue at hand.
Then, relax and trust their expertise to take care of the problem ASAP. The good news will be if the water source was a clean one then the SERVPRO team in with their professional equipment can use in place drying save time and money by restoring it all to preloss conditions. We had a recent customer that had his beautiful new hardwood floors flood only days after installation but we acted quickly and now, it is "Like it never even happened.”
Does Homeowners' Insurance Cover Water Damage caused by Flooding?
Water techs are standing by, serving our Socal commercial and residential properties for any flood, rain or other unexpected water damages. Call now!
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a storm as a disturbance of the atmosphere marked by wind and usually by rain, snow, hail, sleet, or thunder and lightning. While Southern California rarely experiences severe storm activity, it does occur from time to time. Being prepared for a swift change in temperatures and the seasonal Santa Ana Winds is always going to be advantages. Are you and your family California STORM READY? CA.GOV
helps us prepare individually by first knowing whether or not our property is at risk of flooding. When we purchased our home just over a decade ago, our loan docs included the disclosure of our area being considered a flood zone area. Insurance companies as well have FEMA Risk mapping indicating cities and neighborhoods at high risk for any sort of natural disaster be it earthquakes, wind storms, wildfire and of course flooding. Are you properly insured with flood insurance or earthquake insurance? Since Homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage, it is finding out and act now because water damage repairs can be costly. to Water damages due to flooding water can potentially carry contaminants in the soil such as animal droppings, pesticides, etc., IICRC standards states removal of all materials affected by the exterior waters and recommends they be removed and replaced. If you find yourself dealing with unexpected soaking wet walls or googling: how to get rid of mold after a storm, you will be eternally grateful when your insurance helps to take away the sting of the loss.
As the rest of the nation continues to storm watch severe weather, while we are enjoying sunny days we can do our part now, by preparing a checklist and ensuring that we are ready just in case…
Mold found at a Commercial property in Rancho
Look at what this Rancho property's maintenance person found behind paint and building supplies. Some mold needing to be safely removed...
Being a preferred vendor for most national insurance and local property management companies we tend to be a first responder for water leaks or damages. Usually, the first call made once an issue is discovered is to either an agent or property manager then they call us for our free inspection and estimate. Even when one of our out of state investment properties flooded full of water, our very first call was to our property manager instructing them to please call the local SERVPRO because we wanted the cleanup and reconstruction handled properly.
A recent call that we got in regarding water leaking was from a commercial property manager in Rancho Cucamonga. The water leaks were affecting multiple businesses but all in one center. One was a pizza restaurant that was dealing with a mushy ceiling from what was thought at the time to be due to recent rains and the water damage it left behind. Another was a different eatery sharing a wall that was dealing with reoccurring water intrusion that resulted in mold. It is no fun dealing with mold whether it is in a residential or business setting because potential allergy and health concerns for everyone is the main concern. Sometimes the mold may not be visible but a damp musty smell is present. Other times such as in this circumstance the mold discovered was found upon opening the room as spots were speckled across the white drywall. The source of the leak was the first to be determined so as to make the needed plumbing repairs, then the removal of mold could proceed. If you are ever wondering about a moldy, odd or weird smell, give us a call. Mold removal is one of our specialties and our mold inspections are complimentary. Call anytime!