Black Mold in Your Rental
If the mold problem arose due to your landlord's failure to uphold their responsibilities, you may be able to sue them for compensation.
If you have recently had mold removal professionals come into your business, they likely found damage to your unit. One way to get compensation for damage caused by black mold in your rental is to sue your landlord. Read on to learn more about the danger you face, your rights, and how to take action.
The Effects of Black Mold
Black mold is officially known as Stachybotrys chartarum. It can cause damage to your property. Since it thrives in dark and poorly ventilated areas, it is often unnoticed until it has already caused a lot of damage.
Your Landlord’s Responsibilities
Landlords are required by law to provide their tenets with a place that is free of safety hazards. Their specific standards are set by your local jurisdiction's building codes. Fortunately, black mold is almost always considered a safety hazard. Since your landlord's responsibilities are defined in your lease agreement, it is important to note who is responsible for addressing things that could cause mold growth if you are considering suing for damage. For instance, if your landlord is responsible for fixing leaky plumbing, but a small pipe leak leads to mold in your building, this could be considered a breach of contract.
Your First Steps After Discovering Mold
Your first reaction to mold should not be to sue your landlord. Instead, you should take the following steps:
- Contact your landlord immediately in writing
- Document any damages
- Get the mold inspected and tested
These steps will leave a paper trail showing that you took the proper channels. Your landlord is legally required to remove the mold. If they do not and you have taken the appropriate steps, you will set yourself up for a solid case in a small claims court.
While you may think it is harmless, mold can cause serious damage to your building in Glendale, AZ. If your recent mold remediation turned up toxic mold, you may face a lot of damage that you will have to pay for. However, if the mold problem arose due to your landlord's failure to uphold their responsibilities, you may be able to sue them for compensation.
Never Be up That Creek Without a Paddle: What Causes Sewage Backups in the Basement?
A flooded basement is never fun but being aware of the causes can help you plan preventative steps to limit the likelihood that it'll happen again.
A flooded basement can be a nightmare, but when you add the concern for contamination and possible infection from sewage that nightmare reaches new cataclysmic heights. There are several causes of sewage backups, and, while many of them are preventable with routine maintenance, the top four are as follows:
1. Roots Obstructing the Line
Trees and shrubs are the leading cause of blockages in sewer lines because, as they seek moisture, the roots invade the pipes through compromised areas. It is this buildup of roots as well as the breakdown of older clay pipes that combine to create blockages, which leads to flooding and backups.
2. Improperly Flushed Items
A flooded basement can also be the result of improperly disposed of or flushed items. Grease, like cooking oil, and paper products, like paper towels, diapers, and feminine products, form blockages in waste lines, preventing the free flow of water and causing it to back up into the nearest open drain.
3. Intentional Vandalism
For world travelers, or anyone with a toddler, vandalism, whether intentional or not, can lead to floods and sewer issues. Rebellious teens or vagrants may find a way of crashing a vacant house and purposely cause damage by clogging the drains. Your toddler, on the other hand, may only be curious to see if his/her binky can survive a good flushing
4. Municipal Sanitary Main
While there are many preventative steps you can take against possible floodings, like updating your old clay pipes to prevent root infestation, properly disposing of items, or updating security, some things aren’t under your control. The city sewer main is one of those things. While this is rare, storms, flash floods, or mechanical errors can cause disruptions of the free flow of water, resulting in your floor drains backing up.
A flooded basement is never fun but being aware of the causes can help you plan preventative steps to limit the likelihood that you’ll ever have to experience such a disaster. However, despite the best planning, if you experience flooding in the Glendale, AZ, area there are several restoration specialists who can help you figure out your next steps.
Avoiding Insurance Claims: Protecting Your Pipes
When you own property, it is in your best interest to avoid having to file a business claim by taking steps to prevent water damage to your building.
When you are considering what type of coverage you need in your commercial insurance package, you need to consider all the issues that could occur and how well the policies you've chosen cover those issues. Filing a business claim for your property in Peoria, AZ, is not a pleasant task, but it can be a relief to discover that your insurance company has your back. Some things are not covered by your basic property insurance, though, and it's important to know what those things are.
Commercial property insurance is designed to cover the costs of things that happen to your building, such as a pipe break, fire, or theft. There are some instances when this policy probably doesn't pay:
• Flooding from storms or other natural disasters
• Extensive mold growth
• Damage that occurs due to neglect or improper preparation
• Problems that result from code violations
Pay close attention to the exclusions in your policy before you need to file a business claim. The bill from water damage specialists may not be covered if the damage was simply a consequence of poor maintenance.
The best course of action is to avoid the damage in the first place. You can protect your pipes and thus your building by taking a few precautionary measures. Make sure your pipes are insulated, especially if they are close to an exterior wall. Protect your building from leaks by having a strong building envelope and keeping drainage systems clear of debris. In the winter, don't turn off the heater over the weekend; your building should still remain at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher at all times to avoid frozen pipes. Finally, if a pipe does burst, know your building well enough that you can shut off the water at the source to stop the gushing.
When you own property, it is in your best interest to avoid having to file a business claim by taking steps to prevent water damage to your building. Preparation is the best way to protect your investment.
The Hidden Cost of Leaks
Protect your business from high bills and water damage by conducting regular inspections and having leaks fixed before they become a big problem.
You get your water bill for your commercial property in Peoria, AZ, and you can't believe the number you see. Large spikes in utility bills are often the first signs property owners notice that they have a water leak in their building. Whether the leak comes from inside or outside the property, it will need to be fixed, or over time you may lose thousands of dollars due to heftier water bills.
Inside the Building
With miles of pipe running through your building, it is likely that at some point a leak is going to happen. Some of the most common interior leaks include:
• Leaky toilet caused by a faulty flapper in the tank
• Leaky faucet caused by a faulty washer or loose handle
• Pipe break in the walls
• Loose or broken supply line
If you have a water leak inside your building, it not only drives up your water bill, it can also cause significant water damage or even a mold problem if it goes undetected. Then you will have the added cost of water remediation services to add to the list.
Outside the Building
You may have even less control over what goes on outside your building. If your irrigation system is leaking, you may not know it until you get that high bill if you are not conducting routine checks. If the lateral line to your meter is cracked, it can affect the area around your foundation. Look for unusually wet places on the lawn or near your meter or suspicious pooling of water anywhere on your property. If you find such space during your inspections, contact professional remediation experts to find and fix the leak.
A water leak can cost you a lot of money if it goes undetected. Protect your business from high bills and water damage by conducting regular inspections and having leaks fixed before they become a big problem.
Timely Intervention: The Key to Mold Prevention
Cleaning your air ducts and carpets should be part of your normal building maintenance schedule.
If your commercial building in Weedville, AZ, is prone to mold problems, it is likely that you need to adjust your prevention measures. Early detection of the problem and remediation by certified specialists is key to taking care of it. If you want to prevent the problem in the first place, however, engaging in regular maintenance such as carpet cleaning, air purifying and HVAC servicing is helpful.
Water leaks can occur anywhere there is a source, even if you think the source is secure. A building may have cracks, allowing water to seep in from outside. Well-sealed buildings can also experience mold growth, though, as poor ventilation can cause condensation to form when moisture in the air cannot escape. There are several other ways water damage that lead to mold issues can occur:
- Frozen or broken pipes
- Loose supply lines
- Ice dams causing roof leaks
- Poorly planned landscaping or gutter systems
- Overflowing toilets or sinks
No matter what causes the issue, it must be resolved so that mold doesn't grow. If mold spores find a moisture source, you will likely experience a problem.
Regular maintenance of your commercial property can help prevent mold problems Routine carpet cleaning, particularly in high traffic areas where excess moisture may occur, is necessary. Set up a regular schedule for HVAC testing and cleaning to make sure that your air ducts don't have mold growth. Consider using HEPA air purifiers with activated carbon filters that draw mold spores out of the air to destroy them. Finally, something as simple as placing door mats at each entrance so that employees can leave the spores from outside that have hitched a ride indoors on their shoes at the door.
Air duct and carpet cleaning should be a part of your regular building maintenance plan. By keeping on top of your maintenance schedule and taking care of water leaks when they occur, you are more likely to prevent mold issues.
Can Lightning Start a House Fire?
Lightning occurs when regions of excess positive and negative charge develop within the cloud.
What Happens When Lightning Strikes Your House
Lightning is the cause of a number of house fires every year. A lightning fire typically occurs when a hot flash strikes a combustible object or travels through conductive metal objects and then ignites combustibles. It is important to recognize the risks of a direct strike and a phenomenon called side flash in order to safely respond to a strike on or around your home. It is almost always a good idea to call the fire department if your home has been struck.
1. Direct strike: A direct hot strike can cause a fire, particularly if it makes contact with combustible material in or around your home. As soon as your home is struck, check for any signs of fire and contact the fire department from a cellular phone as soon as possible. Avoid using a landline in case current is traveling through the wiring. You can rest easy once you are sure that your residence is not running an elevated risk for lightning fire.
2. Side flash: This phenomenon occurs when a strike travels through conductive metal features such as downspouts, gutters, gas lines, water pipes, window frames, or wiring and then ignites combustible building materials such as insulation. Lightning does not require conductive objects to travel down to the ground, but if a side flash occurs, it may lead to hidden fires within the attic or walls of a house.
Whether a direct hot strike starts a fire or the transmission of current through materials in your home in the event of a side strike ends up igniting combustible materials, only the fire department can ensure that your home is safe. A hidden house fire can put homeowners at risk and cause extensive damage prior to being detected. If your home sustains damage from a lightning fire, contact a company that provides fire restoration services in Glendale, AZ.
Timeline for Water Damage Restoration
Leaking pipes can cause damage to your home in West Glenn Estates, AZ.
Water Damage Restoration
After bursting pipes flood your home in West Glenn Estates, AZ you respond immediately by calling water restoration experts. Now that you have that step out of the way, how long does the rest of the process take?
It is critical to fix the broken pipe as soon as you notice it, as water damage continues to occur until the source is repaired or replaced. The process of cleaning, drying and restoring then begins:
• Water restoration companies have emergency service hours of operation, typically staffed 24 hours a day. As soon as possible, contact the company to arrange for someone to come out to your home. In addition, check with your insurance company to inquire about coverage.
• Within four hours, the professionals arrive to evaluate the extent of the water damage. They also assess the situation for safety, including whether electricity poses a risk. The type of water is identified, as the procedure for clean versus contaminated water varies in complexity and impacts the treatment and timeline.
• Excess water removal begins quickly to minimize any further damage, using professional grade pumps and vacuums.
The Next Few Days
During the next three to five days, expect the following actions to take place:
• Once the excess water from the bursting pipes is gone, your home is inspected for hidden moisture with specialized equipment. Carpets and drywall may be removed.
• Industrial strength dryers and dehumidifiers thoroughly dry the area.
• Depending on the level of contamination, antibacterial and odor removal steps may be taken to properly sanitize your home.
• In some instances, the process may take a little longer. For example, drying wood floors may take up to ten days. Excessive contamination caused by sewage may take longer for disinfection and safety reasons. The restoration process of returning your home to preloss condition depends of the extent of the damage.
Take immediate action if bursting pipes threaten your home in West Glenn Estates, AZ. With fast and proper action, you can achieve a dry home typically within five days or less with the help of a water restoration specialist.
Top Ways to Mitigate Wind Damage
Missing shingles on a roof.
Protect Your Building After a Storm
Wind damage done to your commercial roof in Glendale, AZ, can lead to other problems, such as a roof leak or structural damage. Because you want to stop the destruction from spreading, you may need to hire a commercial storm restoration specialist to help you start the mitigation process as quickly as possible. Mitigation does not resolve the issue but simply protects the scarred area from further damage. Consider implementing these three techniques to help you protect your building as soon as possible after a storm.
1. Cover up the damage. When you have a damaged roof from a high-wind storm, you need to make sure other weather elements will leave your space untouched. This could mean using a tarp and plywood to cover up any holes created by the bad weather.
2. Remove damaged items. Broken fences, weakened tree limbs and crooked chimneys are liabilities. These damaged items could get flung around your property by small gusts of wind. To make sure the fence doesn't smash into your building, the branch doesn't crash onto your roof and the chimney doesn't plummet to the sidewalk, you need to remove the damage. This can help you avoid a roof leak caused by secondary damage.
3. Have an inspection. While you may be able to spot a lot of the problems on your own, other issues may be hidden to your untrained eye. A couple of missing shingles may go unnoticed because you're too busy worrying about the gaping hole in your roofing system. Hiring a professional to inspect your property after a storm can help you locate and mitigate any damage caused by the high winds.
Mitigation is a key part of a storm cleanup. If you try to jump straight into the restoration, you may end up dealing with a roof leak because the destroyed materials were not properly protected from the elements during the repair process.
How To Prepare a Home Fire Escape Plan
Having a fire escape plan is a home safety must.
Basic Steps To Prepare Your Plan
You never know when catastrophe might strike in Peoria, AZ. The chances of experiencing a home fire may be fairly low, but if it happens, being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. Making a fire escape plan for your family in case of a home fire ensures that if the worst-case scenario comes true, you’re prepared. Follow these basic steps to prepare your plan.
1. You should know two ways to exit every room in your home. That way, if one exit route is blocked by fire, you have an alternative route. Make sure windows are easy to open and provide enough room for someone to get through them. Everyone in your house, including children, should know how to open windows and be able to do it themselves.
2. Draw an actual map of your escape routes. Map out the floorplan of your house on graph paper and draw in how to escape from each room. The Red Cross offers a handy printout to help you. Hang your fire escape plan somewhere obvious and make sure every member of the family is familiar with it.
3. Choose an outside meeting point. It can be easy to lose track of family members during the chaos of a disaster. Chose a landmark where family members should meet after escaping, such as a tree. It should be far enough away from your burning home to be safe.
4. Perform family fire drills and time your escape. At least twice a year you should hold a fire drill so your family has a chance to practice your emergency escape plan. Fires can escalate very quickly, so everyone should try to get outside in under 2 minutes.
5. Make sure everyone in your family knows fire safety procedures. Practice crawling to avoid smoke inhalation and know how to stop, drop and roll if clothes catch fire.
Having a fire escape plan is a home safety must. Although you may never need to use it, if you’re faced with a catastrophic home fire in Peoria, AZ, knowing exactly what to do and where to go can save lives.
Where To Look for Mold
When water damage leads to mold damage
Where To Look for Mold
Getting rid of mold in your home in Grand Manor, AZ is not always as easy as it seems. One of the most difficult things about remediation is that the mold growth you see on the surface is usually only a small part of the overall problem. There are many places additional mold can hide.
If your toilet leaks or overflows, it can release a lot of water in a very short amount of time. You can mop up the standing water on the floor, but there is probably more water hidden out of sight that you can't reach. Your bathroom may have water damage in other areas:
- Under floor tiles
- Behind baseboards
- Inside the wall
- In ceiling tiles of lower level
If the water issue is not addressed, saturated materials can lead to moldy drywall and other secondary damage. It's best to call certified remediation specialists before such an extensive problem occurs.
If a pipe breaks, the damage is usually obvious pretty quickly. A slow leak behind a wall or under a sink, however, can trigger mold growth before you ever know it's there. Keep an eye on your water meter so that you can notice unusual spikes in usage. This is often indicative of a water loss somewhere in your home. It may take an hour or two to find it, but then you can get it repaired before mold starts to grow.
Sometimes the instigating incident isn't one isolated problem. It may just be too humid in your home. Excess moisture in the air can cause mold on wood, textiles or other surfaces. Strive to keep a 45-50% humidity level in your house at all times to prevent spores from gathering and growing.
If you see mold growth on a surface in your home, chances are pretty good that there are some problems underneath it as well. Mold damage experts can identify all the affected areas and mitigate the issue thoroughly.