4 Ways To Prevent Mold From Spreading in Your Home
Mold containment in a Downtown Riverside, CA home
Mold Outbreak In A Home
The fungal growth known as mold exists just about everywhere on the planet. It only becomes a problem when it grows into unsightly and damaging colonies in your home in Downtown Riverside, CA. When this happens, one of your first concerns is not spreading mold throughout the home. The more mold in your home, the bigger the problem. Here are some important principles to keep in mind when containing a mold outbreak.
1. Understand mold. This organism spreads and reproduces through tiny spores. They can be as small as four microns or as large as 20 microns (which is still very small). Because of their tiny size, spreading mold is incredibly easy.
2. Limit airflow. These tiny spores can be moved around by the gentlest of air currents. Therefore, fans and air conditioning units should be turned off or limited. Even breezes from windows can contribute to mold spores being carried from one room to another.
3. Clean carefully. Whether you have a form of black mold or some other type, it is important to resist disturbing the mold. This can allow the mold to drift into other areas of the home. Even if you carry mold spores on your clothing, it could spread. Before you begin any work yourself, make sure you understand the process.
4. Hire professionals. A significant mold outbreak calls for the services of an experienced mold cleanup company. Trained technicians understand exactly how mold spreads and they will employ physical barriers and air filtration devices to contain any spread. They will remove mold spores with the use of HEPA vacuums as part of the mold remediation process. The restoration process includes repairing and replacing any damaged items in the home, as well as cleaning and sanitizing the home.
Eradicating mold from a home is a complex process partly because spreading mold is so easy to do. A professional approach is often your best option.
Part Four: Casted Shadows and Resting in the Shade
Jeff & Pat Padgett.
Rightfully so, Pat Padgett cast a long shadow, in a similar way any patriarch of a family does. And, it’s the responsibility of young men to stand in that shadow for a time and then eventually “venture off.”
By 1991 I had built something meaningful. But that year was a fork in the road. It was a year to build something larger, or a year to play it safe, stay in the right lane, and only merge when the road requires it. But a 25-year-old Jeffrey Padgett wasn’t looking to play it safe, he was hungry and ready to prove himself, ready to test the boundaries of that shadow and to set off on his own journey.
In hand I had a business consultant, Mack Clark, I had a management book, Small Business Management by H.N. Broom, popular at the time but has since faded into obscurity, and ambition. These were together a dangerous combination: a coach, resources, hunger.
From Mack, I had caught the vision of expansion. Up to this point, I had grown a business, I had managed a business, but I had yet to expand a business; this moment was a real test for me. H.N. Broom’s book was helpful because it filled in the details.
Early on Mack helped remove the blinders. In many ways, I was like that carriage horse with his periphery cut off. I saw what was in front of me, but I wasn’t able to see the edges. As the blinders were removed I learned that there were more opportunities out there, in related fields that would, if I allowed it, expand the business.
The opportunity was emergency restoration work.
The first step to expansion was research. I had to do a market study. I had to answer basic questions about my neighborhood: Who is my customer? Does this business make sense for them? Is there enough potential work to support a new business in town?
As I asked these questions and did my own research the answers I found were encouraging. The customers did exist because they were the same people I was already servicing. My target customer-owned a home that they valued and put their blood, sweat, and lives into — a highly motivated group of people.
But could they pay for the services?
This is always the hanging question. By this time H.N. Broom’s words were seared in my mind. I had spent countless hours scouring these pages, his book was an old friend, dog-eared and worn edges. Broom’s reminder was ominous and I took heed of his warning, “customers who have unsatisfied needs but who lack the money and/or credit are poor markets because they have nothing to offer in exchange for a product or service.”
Broom was trying to protect me from heartache, in plain speech, “people may have needs, but if they do not have the capacity to fund these needs, the business fails.”
But this herculean hurdle was different for me. Because I did have customers with needs, but these customers also had insurance policies on their homes. And there it was: need plus funding capacity, both these answers were now a yes.
I was on to something and I was committed to plowing forward. And I did. In 1993 I ended the chapter of Jeffrey Padgett the Carpet Cleaner and opened Padgetts’ Cleaning & Restoration, Inc. then eventually in 2015, SERVPRO Team Jeffrey Padgett.
As I think back, I wonder what was going through the mind of Pat Padgett the Carpet Cleaner as he saw his son running and working. I know he was approving and I know he was proud. He didn’t always say so, I didn’t always receive the attaboy, but that’s how his generation was. Pat Padgett’s generation is remembered as the Greatest Generation, so-called because they experienced the turmoil of the 20th century, the poverty of the Great Depression, the faint memory of the Great War, the turmoil of a second World War, and then came out on the other side in one piece and went to work. He was a man who fought and worked not for fame or recognition, but just simply because it was the right thing to do for his family.
As time progresses I test the edges of Pat Padgett’s shadow, at times thinking I’ve ventured off, only to realize in my more cognizant moments, that I do not need to venture from the shadow, only embrace it and realize the shadow is fine enough for me.
Filing an Insurance Claim After a Home Fire
Vacant home fire in Calimesa, CA
A home fire can be a very upsetting ordeal. Fortunately, homeowners' insurance will cover many fire losses.
What Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover
There are a few instances where most homeowners insurance will not cover fire damage, including the following:
- Vacant home fire
In addition to the above exclusions, insurance policies have coverage limits. This means that they will not pay for damages above a certain amount. It is important to talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate homeowners' coverage and determine whether you need an additional policy, such as vacant home insurance.
How To File a Claim
After the home fire has been extinguished and all family members are safe, it is time to call the insurance company. The agent will let you know what information you will need to submit. Take a detailed photo or video evidence, and make a list of all items that will need to be repaired or replaced. If you have original receipts or a record of how much the items cost, include this information. Additionally, keep detailed records of all the expenses you incur, including those for repairs and temporary housing. Finally, do not let the insurance company close out the claim until you are sure all the damage has been discovered and documented. Often, homeowners find damage later on that they were unaware of when initially filing the claim. The insurance company is not obligated to cover damage discovered after the claim has been closed.
After you have filed an insurance claim, it is time to begin repairing your property. It is important to act quickly because water from the extinguishing efforts can begin to grow mold, and smoke and soot can cause permanent damage if left for too long. You may wish to hire an experienced restoration team to help you get your Calimesa, CA, property back to normal after a home fire.
Options for Maintaining Power During an Outage
Battery backups are placed between your computers or other electronics.
Options for Maintaining Power During an Outage
A power outage at the wrong moment could cost your Riverside, CA, business money, and time. You may lose unsaved data on your computer network or a call could get cut off during a critical juncture. Having the right power backup in place could prove invaluable.
If your operation is small or there are specific systems that need their own dedicated fail-safe, a battery backup may work. Battery backups are placed between your computers or other electronics and the walls into which you’re plugging them. They may only have enough reserve to keep your devices on for a few minutes, but at least you and your employees would have time to save your work and power your electronics off normally, avoiding loss of either your files or devices.
If you need a broader solution for a power outage, perhaps because you have a larger operation, a generator is a must. Solar generators are capable of maintaining a reserve from available sunlight, topping themselves off automatically each day. Solar has improved drastically over the years, now more efficiently absorbing light even on slightly cloudy days.
A solar generator can be more expensive initially than gas but may lead to significant savings in the long run if it has to be relied upon very often. Additionally, unlike gas, a solar portable generator is silent to operate and doesn’t produce fumes.
If you feel you just don’t get enough sunshine in your neighborhood of Riverside, CA, to keep a solar generator charged, gas is still an option. Like with solar, portable is possible; however, because of gas generators’ exhaust, they must be operated outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Additionally, gasoline has an expiration, so periodically replacing any unused gas you have on-hand for emergencies is advisable to ensure your backup solution works when it’s needed.
Storms can be bad news for business, causing your facility to sustain damage that requires cleanup and restoration. During any average storm, though, when your biggest worry is a power outage, you can arm yourself with a solution that will leave you ready to compensate.
Leveraging Consultants and Pursuing Growth
I remember early conversations with Pat Padgett. As my Dad, he carried this regular burden for my success and he would tell me so. He wanted my life to be different and better than his life and the way he saw to accomplish that was college.
But these conversations also confused me. I would look at my Dad’s life and see happiness and success. I didn’t see a struggling man, I saw someone who knew what they wanted and knew how to run after it. And, as a young man at the starting line of life, I was biting at the chomps to also “run after it.”
But, Pat Padgett was a man who knew things and as my Dad a man whose opinion I respected immensely. And so, after my Tennessee Nashville Mission, I set my sights on college. The school to go to at that time was Brigham Young University, prestigious, known, and respected. But, my lack of interest in school caught up with me and I was denied entrance. I instead enrolled at Ricks College with the aim to work hard, prove myself and continue applying to Brigham Young (the comedy of the whole thing is that Ricks College would eventually be absorbed into the Brigham Young University system, becoming BYU Idaho).
I followed that plan and it worked, I became a BYU student and then… well, then opportunity. I began working for a movie studio, eventually moved to Salt Lake City to pursue an opportunity at a petroleum company. Those opportunities eventually ran their course and I found myself at a dead end.
Around this time Pat Padgett began throwing around the idea to sell his business. This was my opportunity. I approached my Dad again, he balked, but I expected that. I laid into him and began laying out the reasons that made sense: having my hands at work in the business would be a big help, eventually I could buy the business, I suggested ideas and opportunities for growth.
He bit, finally.
I worked, hard. I did see the business grow. By 1989 — in the midst of a slump in the trades industry — I recruited my brother and we doubled the size of the company. We were hungry and we progressed forward by pure grit and determination.
One year we decided to invest in a carpet cleaner’s convention in Oakland. There we met Mack Clark, a business consultant. Mack intrigued me because he understood the carpet cleaning industry, but he also understood business in ways I did not.
I found him after one of the sessions and interrogated him the way only a Padgett could. That turned into a profound moment. That relationship decided my future. Mack talked a language I was yet to speak. He talked about sales goals, future planning, business plans, projected expenses, and an opportunity to leverage insurance damage claims.
I was hooked.
For a fee and a percentage of our work, he would guide me. In a journal I wrote around that time I said this about him, “in return (from the fees I paid him) I would get a consultant who was never wrong because he got paid too much money to ever be wrong.”
That year my brother and I met with Mack Clark was a huge year for me as a business owner. I went from grinding to working smarter. I learned things that are in some ways the basics of business but are only obvious once they’re said. And, having never seen a business at work at this level I put in the work and reaped the benefits. I learned the five functions of management: planning, staffing, organizing, directing, and controlling.
I learned time quality management. I learned to live by goals. I learned to work hard and value education.
I left Brigham Young University in 1989 to work in the family business. I thought when I left Brigham Young I was leaving education. But I wasn’t. When I began working with Mack I found myself in another school. This school didn’t finish with a diploma, it wouldn’t go on any resume, but it was the best education I could receive.
Pat Padgett labored for me to go to school, he eventually relented, but the lesson took root. Jeffrey Padgett made it to school, maybe not in the way Pat envisioned, but in a way that was meaningful and worked.
Building on a Foundation: Learning from Pat Padgett
Pat Padgett standing next to his work vehicle.
Building on a Foundation: Learning from Pat Padgett On a typical Friday afternoon, I sit down at my desk, I return phone calls and emails that are pending since the morning. When the clock strikes 3:00 a notification flashes on my screen, “Time planning for next week.” I then transition whatever I’m doing at that moment and begin working to outline next week’s priorities and projects. At this point in my life I’ve been a business owner for years. I’m not “green” like I once was and I’m confident in what I do. But, I didn’t get here overnight. I realize I stand on the shoulders of giants, or rather, at least for the purposes of this series of blog posts, I stand on the shoulder of one particular giant, Pat Padgett. PAT PADGETT THE CARPET CLEANERPat Padgett is my Dad, he’s a local legend. He ran a neighborhood carpet and upholstery cleaning business most appropriately named, Pat Padgett the Carpet Cleaner. Those were of course simpler times and I look back at my father’s business with great love and fond memories. My Dad was proud of his work, his reputation, and his customers. My Dad built his business the old-fashioned way, he was true to his word, he woke early, stayed out late, and won people over with kindness and generosity. When Pat Padgett gave his word, that meant something. When he said he would do something, he did that thing. A YOUNG BUCK When I was at the starting line of my own life, recently married and hungry to do something and change the world I approached my Dad three times about taking over the business and carrying on the legacy of “Pat Padgett the Carpet Cleaner.” But to my own surprise and disappointment, each time my Dad said no. Pat Padgett was a man who looked ahead. He wasn’t concerned with short-term fixes and Band-Aids, he was able to see the larger picture and he knew, 22 year old Jeffery Padgett still needed to grow and learn. My Dad wanted me to have a college education. There was this underlying reality, Jeffrey is going to have the rest of his life to work, for now, he should spend his time learning. That was a massive lesson for a young Jeffery to learn. At the time, this lesson was of course missed by me, but I understood the wisdom and the logic later. I find life works this way. At times our most important lessons for life are only understood later — this was definitely true for me. Young bucks have energy, but they need direction, Pat Padgett gave me direction.
How To Tackle a Clogged or Slow Drain
A clogged drain can lead to all kinds of problems.
A clogged drain can lead to all kinds of problems for your business in Yucaipa, CA. As soon as you discover a slow drain, it is necessary to intervene and prevent costly consequences.
What Can Cause a Clog?
Sinks and toilets at your business that drain slowly indicate that something is stuck somewhere in the plumbing system:
- Food falling down the sink drain after washing dishes
- Hair collecting in a sink drain
- Paper towels, personal care items and other objects getting flushed down a toilet
- Soap scum building up in drains
Ultimately, anything except water can contribute to a clog and other plumbing problems, but there are various ways to deal with something trapped in a drainpipe.
What Are the Best Ways To Troubleshoot a Clogged Drain?
Plumbing clogs at your business are inevitable, but you can troubleshoot them to determine their severity. For sinks, you can start by removing the drain stopper. Debris that becomes entangled on the stopper can interrupt the water flow, but removing the litter often helps. If this does not work, the clog may be deeper within the drainpipe and require a plunger to access it.
Toilet clogs can be frustrating because they usually involve exposure to waste. Flushing anything other than quickly dissolvable waste and toilet tissue can plug a toilet. Plunging helps use the water in the bowl to wash over the clog and release anything that becomes stuck.
When Should You Call a Plumber?
If you cannot eliminate a clog quickly, you may need a plumber to diagnose and repair the problem. Sometimes treating a clog or slow drain is as simple as using the appropriate tools and techniques, but you may discover that you have a more intricate issue.
If a clogged drain causes a flood at your business in Yucaipa, CA, or a fire or other calamity strikes your commercial property, a local disaster restoration service can handle the clean-up and help get your business running smoothly again.
Advice on How To Handle an Insurance Claim
Water cleanup in North Riverside, CA.
How To Handle an Insurance Claim
There are many reasons why you might be leery of dealing with an insurance claim. After all, most people, aside from obtaining insurance in the first place, rarely have experience filling out the necessary paperwork for a claim. To many, it can seem as frightening as the bursting pipes that caused the water damage. However, the process probably isn't as problematic as you might think. As soon as possible, you should contact your insurance agent and let him or her know that your home has experienced water damage. A few other steps can make the experience of working with your insurance company more enjoyable.
The Choice of a Restoration Company
When you are dealing with bursting pipes in your home in North Riverside, CA, it is smart to call in professional help. A water restoration franchise has experience dealing with almost every type of water disaster possible. Experts there can also help you handle an insurance claim with assistance in the following areas:
- Reduction of claims costs
- Inventory of losses and expenses
- Documentation of costs
- Coordination of claims
- Communication between clients
All of these services make the insurance process go more smoothly. This can be the difference between a delayed or disputed claim or a quick and accurate check sent to you when you need it the most.
The Value of a Comprehensive Cleanup
Whether you need someone to fix a broken pipe or remove standing water from your home, capable assistance is eminently desirable. A SERVPRO crew is always Here to Help. Certified technicians will work quickly, using the latest methods and equipment to clean your home to the highest industry standards. You can feel confident that any excess moisture has been removed and that you won't need to worry about future mold growth. After the problem with bursting pipes has been resolved, you can also expect professional assistance with completing your insurance claim.
2 Key Features To Look for in a Smoke Detector
Board up after a fire in Moreno Valley, CA.
2 Key Features To Look for in a Smoke Detector
If you're buying an older home or updating your current one in Moreno Valley, CA, it's very important to make sure you have the right safety features in place to protect you and your family. For instance, there should be a smoke alarm on each level, including the basement, in the halls outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom.
Every year, more than 350,000 house fires occur — one every 87 seconds — and smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death and injury by fire. In addition to knowing where to place your alarms, you should know what features to look for when shopping for replacements.
1. Power Supply
When choosing a smoke detector, go for a wired-in model if you can. These detectors are connected directly to your home's electrical system, so they are less likely to malfunction and require less maintenance than battery-powered ones. If that isn't an option for you, a battery-powered model is extremely effective and easy to maintain, as long as you are vigilant about replacing the batteries regularly.
2. Ionization vs. Photoelectric
Many people may not realize that there are two methods a smoke alarm can use to detect smoke. The ionization method uses the ionization of air to create a current that runs between two metal plates. When smoke gets into the detector, it disrupts the current and sets off the alarm. This type of detector works best for aggressive fires with open flames.
The photoelectric method uses light to detect smoke; the smoke particles block the light as it enters and trips the alarm as the light goes off. Photoelectric detectors work best for smoldering fires with more fumes than flames. Homes that are best-equipped for fire safety include both types of detectors in their floor plans.
Though you can't protect your home or your loved ones from everything, you can protect them from death, injury, and damage from fire by installing a smoke alarm in each recommended area of the home. If the unfortunate happens and you need smoke and fire remediation, contact professionals in your local community for help.
Understanding Commercial Storm Insurance
Drywall removal in a Banning, CA building.
Bad weather isn't unheard of in Banning, CA. You can't often anticipate a major storm, but there are ways you can be prepared. High winds, heavy rains and other effects can damage your building and contents inside. Storm insurance should be an essential piece of your business, as it can protect you and your investment. It's important to know how it works and what it covers.
What General Property Insurance Covers
You are no doubt familiar with property insurance and have a policy for your business property. However, this plan will not cover all types of damage you'd encounter from a storm. It will help repair damage from the following:
- Damage from hail and wind
- Damage from tornadoes
- Water damage from broken pipes or a leaky roof
Covering the Rest
You may wonder what happens with other types of flooding if your normal insurance policy won't cover cleanup and repair costs. Storm insurance is supplemental and takes care of water damage that results from overflowing waterways, sewer backups or broken sewer lines. This coverage will also come in handy if torrential rainfall causes water to gather near the foundation of the building that then finds its way inside.
Filing a Claim
It's always best to file a claim as soon after the incident as possible. Insurance coverage is there to give you peace of mind and help you to rebuild. But the longer you wait to make a claim, the more difficult it will be to go through the process. Call your agent and describe what happened and what was damaged. It's best to include pictures of the affected area and a list of items that were lost.
Once you file a storm insurance claim, your agent will coordinate with professional cleanup crews to assess the situation and begin cleanup and rebuilding efforts. If you don't supplemental flood coverage, purchase a policy today.