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Frequently Asked Mold Questions: Answers to Common Mold Concerns

5/14/2023 (Permalink)

Mold growing behind wallpaper. If you suspect mold growth in your home, it's important to have it inspected by a professional to determine the best course of action.

Mold is a common issue that many homeowners face, and it can be a difficult problem to deal with. Here are answers to some frequently asked mold questions that can help you better understand mold and how to address it in your home.

Q: What is mold?

A: Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp environments. It can grow on a variety of surfaces, including wood, drywall, and carpeting. Mold spores are found in the air all around us and are a natural part of the environment.

Q: How does mold grow?

A: Mold grows when moisture is present. This can be due to a leaky roof or plumbing, high humidity, or flooding. Once mold spores are exposed to moisture, they can begin to grow and spread.

Q: How can I prevent mold growth in my home?

A: The key to preventing mold growth is to control moisture levels. This can be done by fixing any leaks or water damage, using dehumidifiers in areas with high humidity, and ensuring proper ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens.

Q: How can I tell if I have mold in my home?

A: Signs of mold include a musty smell, visible mold growth on surfaces, and the presence of water damage or discoloration on walls or ceilings. If you suspect mold growth in your home, it's important to have it inspected by a professional.

Q: Is all mold dangerous?

A: No, not all mold is dangerous. While some types of mold can produce toxins that can be harmful, most mold is relatively harmless. However, any mold growth in the home should be addressed promptly to prevent it from spreading.

Q: Can I clean up mold myself?

A: It depends on the extent of the mold growth. If the mold is limited to a small area, you may be able to clean it up yourself. However, if the mold covers a larger area or is present in areas with high humidity or moisture, it's best to have it professionally removed.

Q: Will painting over mold solve the problem?

A: No, painting over mold will not solve the problem. The mold will continue to grow underneath the paint, and can eventually cause the paint to peel and flake. It's important to address the mold problem before painting.

Q: Can mold grow in the HVAC system?

A: Yes, mold can grow in the HVAC system if moisture is present. This can lead to mold spores being circulated throughout the home, which can cause health problems for occupants. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the HVAC system can help prevent mold growth.

Understanding Mold and How to Address It

In conclusion, mold is a common issue that many homeowners face, but it can be addressed with proper understanding and preventative measures. By controlling moisture levels, regularly inspecting for mold growth, and addressing any issues promptly, homeowners can prevent mold growth and ensure a healthy living environment. If you suspect mold growth in your home, it's important to have it inspected by a professional to determine the best course of action.

6 Essential Tips for Cleaning Your Gas Stove Safely and Effectively

4/15/2023 (Permalink)

Fire fighter standing by a soot covered grill after a fire. Cleaning your gas stove is an important part of maintaining its efficiency and safety.

Gas stoves are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their efficiency and ease of use. However, they do require regular cleaning to keep them functioning properly and to ensure that they are safe to use. Here are some tips on how to properly and safely clean a gas stove:

1. Turn Off the Gas

Before you begin cleaning your gas stove, turn off the gas supply. This can usually be done by turning the valve behind the stove clockwise. Once the gas is turned off, make sure that the stove burners are completely cool before you begin cleaning.

2. Remove Burner Grates and Caps

To access the burners, remove the burner grates and caps. These can usually be lifted off the stove surface. Soak them in hot, soapy water for 30 minutes to loosen any grease or grime. Use a scrub brush or sponge to scrub away any remaining dirt or debris. Rinse thoroughly and dry before replacing them on the stove.

3. Clean the Burners

To clean the burners themselves, use a stiff-bristled brush to remove any debris or buildup. You can also use a toothbrush or a wire brush to clean the small holes in the burner. For tougher stains, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the burner and let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing with a brush. Rinse thoroughly and dry before replacing them on the stove.

4. Clean the Stovetop

To clean the stovetop itself, use a soft cloth or sponge and a mild dish soap to wipe away any grease or grime. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, as these can scratch the surface of your stove. For tougher stains, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping away with a damp cloth. Rinse thoroughly and dry.

5. Clean the Control Knobs

The control knobs on your gas stove can also get dirty and greasy over time. To clean them, remove them from the stove and soak them in hot, soapy water for 30 minutes. Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub away any dirt or debris. Rinse thoroughly and dry before replacing them on the stove.

6. Check for Gas Leaks

After cleaning your gas stove, it's important to check for gas leaks before using it again. This can be done by using a solution of equal parts water and dish soap. Apply the solution to the gas connections and valves. If you see any bubbles forming, this indicates a gas leak. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off the gas supply and contact a professional immediately.

In conclusion, cleaning your gas stove is an important part of maintaining its efficiency and safety. By following these tips and using appropriate cleaning products and protective gear, you can clean your gas stove safely and effectively. Remember to always turn off the gas supply before cleaning and to check for gas leaks before using your stove again.

Why Are My Floors Buckling? 3 Common Causes

3/15/2023 (Permalink)

swelling wood floor When your flooring suffers water damage, we are here to help.

Floors are an important part of any home and can be a great investment if you choose the right one. However, when your floors start to buckle or crack, it's an indication that something is wrong. In this article, we'll discuss what causes these issues to happen so that you can learn how to avoid them in the future.

Water Damage

Water can cause buckling in wood floors. When water gets into the wood, the wood naturally expands to accommodate the moisture. This can cause damage to the flooring material.

When it comes to wood flooring, this expansion can happen quickly if there's been an excessive amount of water introduced to your flooring. If your home or business suffers from a water damage event such as a leak or flooding, your floors are at risk!

High Humidity

High humidity can cause your floors to buckle and warp. High humidity is the result of excess moisture in the air, which is caused by water vapor or other liquids that have been introduced into your home's air circulation system. Not only can high humidity cause damage to your flooring, but it can also lead to other issues on your property, such as mold damage. In any case, it is important to keep the humidity levels in check.

To reduce the risk of buckling and warping, you'll want to make sure that you're keeping your home's relative humidity at a reasonable level: between 30% and 50%.

Drastic Temperature Changes

If your floors are buckling, the problem may be due to drastic temperature changes. This is especially common when it comes to wood floors, which can expand and contract depending on their exposure to heat or cold. This change might not occur drastically but can become an issue after just a few seasons.

It's Important to Get Professional Help Right Away

If your floors are buckling, it may be due to any of these problems, so it's important to get professional help right away. Floors can buckle for many reasons, but the most common cause is moisture. When you have excessive water sitting on a surface for too long, the wood begins to expand. This causes them to warp and crack over time as well as causing other problems like mold growth inside your home or business building.

A water leak or high humidity can cause buckling floors. If you see signs of water damage in or around your home or business, call SERVPRO of Kingwood/Humble for all your water damage cleanup and restoration needs.

Furniture Water Damage

2/10/2023 (Permalink)

living room and furniture water damage After a water loss in your home, we are here to help restore you property properly back to pre loss conditions.

Water damage is never good for your furniture. If water damage goes left untreated, it can affect the structural integrity of your pieces over time and cost a lot of money to fix. When water damage is treated in a timely manner, there's a chance that your furniture will be salvageable. Here's what to do if your furniture gets damaged from water.

Remove Drawers and Cushions

Water can effect your entire piece of furniture quickly. It is important to remove and drawers or cushions to the furniture to help with the drying process. Opening the piece of furniture up with allow for adequate drying. Wood will take longer to dry than plastic or metal.


The first step in the cleaning process is to assess the level of damage and determine whether it can be repaired. Never attempt to clean a damaged piece of furniture or clothing on your own unless you know if it within your line of knowledge. If there is extensive water damage or stains on the fabric, you may have no other choice but to throw it out.

Don't use harsh chemicals or cleaners. Water damage can cause a number of different types of stains including mold and mildew growths. Using harsh chemicals or cleaners could make these problems worse by stripping the natural oils from materials like cotton or leather. Instead, try applying warm water with a soft cloth over any affected areas before moving on to another method.

The wood could have extensive water damage, you may use a wet/dry vacuum to remove water before wiping it down with a rags. Removing as much water as possible can cut back on secondary damages.

Treat Water Stains

If your furniture suffers from water stains, treat it with paint thinner, denatured alcohol or mineral spirits. These solvents are found in hardware stores and should be applied to a soft cloth with care. A small amount of solvent should be rubbed onto the stain until it disappears, don't apply too much because you can damage the wood underneath. Then let the solvent sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a clean cloth.

If your furniture needs to be re-oiled after cleaning, it is recommended that you first use an oil-based stain on the damaged area. This will help seal in moisture and prevent further damage from occurring. You can find stains designed for wood at most hardware stores or online retailers such as Amazon or Home Depot. Select one that’s appropriate for your type of finish, whether it’s polyurethane, lacquer or shellac.

Furniture damage is a common problem after a water loss. Give the professionals at SERVPRO of Kingwood/Humble a call at the first sign of water damage in your property to help restore your furniture back to pre loss conditions. 

Leaking Roofs Can Lead to Mold

1/9/2023 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to mold growth on ceiling Having a leaking roof can be a huge problem

Most roofs don’t leak every day, but when they do, it can be a big problem. Water damage from a leaky roof can cause mold to grow in your home. This is especially true if you notice water stains on the ceiling or walls of your house. If you’re not sure whether your roof needs repair, here are some signs that could indicate that it's time to contact a professional roofing company:

How to Tell If Your Roof Is Leaking

1. Look for signs of water damage. A leaky roof will cause the drywall and insulation to become damp, which can be a source of mold growth. If you see moisture stains on your walls or ceilings, or if there is condensation inside of your house, it's time to call in the pros.

2. Check your gutters. If you don't notice any dripping from them, then your gutters may be clogged with debris like leaves and twigs that are preventing water from properly draining away from the building's foundation. Once they're cleared out, look at them every few months (or more often if you live in an area where heavy rainfalls are common). You should also check for cracks in these areas where rodents could get inside; this could cause structural issues as well as make it easier for pests such as mice or rats to enter into your home through these openings when looking for shelter during cold winters months.

A leaking roof can lead to mold

When water enters your home, it can collect in places like the attic or crawlspace. If this moisture is not removed, mold can grow on the surface of the wood and insulation that cover your roof. Mold can also develop on the outside of your property if there’s standing water around it.

Mold in these areas does more than just look bad — it can cause damage to the roofing material itself. For example, black mold is often found on roofs made with asphalt shingles because these materials are porous and allow water to seep through them easily. Once black mold begins growing, it causes discoloration that may spread throughout other parts of the house as well as damage to nearby surfaces such as walls or furniture due to its corrosive nature (e.g., rotting wood).

The solution could be more costly than you think

If your roof is leaking and you don’t repair it soon, the water damage can get worse. You may need to replace insulation, drywall, and other materials in the attic. If left alone for several months without proper repairs, mold can develop on any type of surface in the home. That means that even if you can avoid a major infection while your home is being repaired after a leaky roof causes damage, there will still be plenty of work ahead of you when repairs are complete.

Having a leaking roof can be a huge problem, as it can lead to mold that will damage your home and make your family sick. If you notice water stains on your ceiling or walls, then it’s time to contact a professional roofing company. They will have the experience and knowledge needed to fix the problem quickly before it causes further damage inside or outside of your house.

When is Tornado Season?

12/9/2022 (Permalink)

Tornadoes Tornadoes can destroy homes, businesses, vehicles, and other personal property.

When Does Tornado Season Begin?

Tornado season is a much-discussed topic in the U.S., as it's a very active tornado period. The peak of the tornado season typically occurs between March and May. However, tornadoes can occur in any month of the year, so keep an eye out for any signs that one might be headed your way.

Tornado season varies across the country, but there are some commonalities.

Tornado season varies across the country, but there are some commonalities. For example, tornado season is March through May in the southern U.S., April through June in the central U.S., and June through August in the northern U.S. However, what isn’t so predictable is when a twister will strike — not even local meteorologists can answer that question with certainty.

As you might expect, tornado frequency increases during severe weather season because of increased thunderstorm activity and instability within those storms.

Despite these guidelines, tornadoes can hit any time during the year.

Although the peak activity for tornadoes typically occurs in spring and summer, tornadoes can occur at any time of year. Tornadoes have been observed during all months of the year, including during winter and fall. In some cases, they occur early or late in the day; however, most tornadoes form between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

What effects can tornado damage have on your property? 

A tornado can cause a wide range of damage to your home, business, and property. Tornadoes can destroy homes, businesses, vehicles, and other personal property. They may also disrupt electricity supply lines and cause power outages that last for several days after the storm has passed.

Tornadoes often result in flooding that causes severe damage to many properties including roads, bridges, and coastal areas. Tornadoes have been known to trigger floods by removing or damaging levees or dams that hold back floodwaters.

How to restore your home or business from tornadoes?  

To restore your home or business after a tornado, it's important to know how severe the damage is and what kind of repairs are needed. If you're not sure whether a building can be repaired, hire a restoration company or insurance adjuster to assess the structure and determine if it's worth the cost.

For instance, if structural damage is extensive and irreparable, then you may need to build a new home from scratch or move out of town entirely. On the other hand, if there are only minor cosmetic problems (damage to doors and windows), then that area could be easily fixed with some elbow grease — and perhaps some paint.  

Be always prepared for tornadoes.

That may seem like a daunting task, but you can start by making sure your family is ready at any time of year. Know the signs of a tornado and where to go if you need to evacuate and have an emergency kit ready with enough supplies to last 72 hours. If possible, have a plan in place for your pets as well. To help get you started on all these things, FEMA provides helpful tips on what to do if a tornado touches down nearby.


Tornadoes are a part of life in the United States, and it’s important to stay vigilant throughout the year. While tornadoes can hit any time, there are some commonalities among those that occur during the spring. As you prepare your Houston,TX home or business for tornado season, make sure that you have a plan in place for what to do if one strikes.

What Are Reasons To Have Noisy Pipes?

11/4/2022 (Permalink)

White plastic pipe leaking It's crucial to get a professional to come in and look at any noisy pipes you may have.

What Causes Noisy Pipes?

If you hear strange noises coming from your pipes, you're probably wondering what's going on. The good news is that most of the time, there's nothing to worry about — sometimes it can be as simple as a small amount of water that has entered the pipe or something falling into the waste line. However, if your pipes are making loud banging noises or rattling around in their fittings, then there may be more serious issues at hand, and you should consider calling an expert immediately.

How do noisy pipes happen?

There are many reasons why a pipe might develop a noise. The most common cause is water hammer, which occurs when you turn off your faucet and the air in the pipes tries to rush out of them. This can be caused by multiple factors such as high-water pressure or a broken or leaking pipe.

Another possible reason for noisy pipes is that you may have an object stuck in one of your drains and that's causing it to vibrate.

What should you do about noisy pipes?

If you hear a significant amount of noise coming from your pipes, it's best to call a professional. If it's a small leak that you can fix yourself, however, here are some tips:

  • Drill holes in the wall behind the noisy pipes and push ear plugs into them. This will help reduce the sound being heard on the other side of the wall by dampening its transmission.
  • Look for hidden sources of noise (such as an air compressor) that could be interfering with your plumbing system. 

Call a specialist to inspect any noisy pipes you may have in your home.

If you have noisy pipes in your home, it may be time to call a professional to come in and investigate. Here are some of the common causes of pipe noise:

Corrosion – The most common reason for pipe noise is corrosion. This occurs when water runs through the pipes, causing them to corrode over time. If your home has older pipes, they could be more susceptible to corrosion than newer ones would be. In this case, one solution might be simply replacing those old pipes with newer ones that don't corrode as quickly or easily (though this can be expensive).

Age – As any homeowner knows, older homes tend to have older plumbing systems—and these often aren't nearly as reliable as modern ones are! If yours is one such older model and you're experiencing frequent problems with things like clogged drains or running toilets, then consider having them replaced before they start causing more serious issues like broken water lines or burst pipes (which can cause major flooding throughout your house).

Defective construction - While most people think about flaws occurring during manufacturing processes at factories where products are made by machine operators who make mistakes in adding certain materials into their products' ingredients lists which may not belong there because they didn't know what they were doing correctly enough yet without proper training needed before being allowed access zones containing chemicals dangerous enough kill everyone present if released into atmosphere air circulation throughout kitchen area at times leading up during holidays.

If you have noisy pipes, it’s important to call a professional to come in and investigate. We can help identify what is causing the noise and fix them so your home is quiet again.

How To Prepare Your Business For a Fire

10/16/2022 (Permalink)

Finger touching button of a smoke alarm Test your smoke detectors monthly

Prepare Your Company for a Fire

A fire can cause significant damage to your business, especially if you don't have a plan in place. Fires are unpredictable and can happen at any time, so it's important to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Here are some tips to help ensure that your business is ready in case of an emergency:

Have an emergency evacuation plan and make sure your employees know it.

You should have an emergency evacuation plan in place before a fire strikes. But that's not all: your employees need to know about it and be able to follow it in a timely manner.

The first part of the process is creating a plan. The easiest way to do this from scratch is by using an online template, like online Emergency Evacuation Plan Generators. You can use this tool for free if you're just planning on using your template for personal purposes. 

Once you've created your emergency evacuation plan, it's important that everyone knows what their role is during emergencies and how they should react when one occurs. You can accomplish this by including instructions in the form of signs posted around your building or as part of any safety procedures training program provided by management or HR departments.

Have emergency contact information for everyone in the office.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to creating an emergency contact list is that it's a living document. If someone leaves your team, or if you hire someone new, make sure to update the list accordingly. Getting everyone's contact information should be easy enough: ask for a phone number and in what format they prefer (text message vs. voice call). You can also ask people how best to reach them if they're out of town—their preferred method of contact will depend on their job role and what they need for their absence not to negatively impact the business.

If you do have an emergency arise where someone needs to reach multiple people at once (like a fire), then having everyone's backup numbers handy can be crucial. But don't forget that not all communication methods are equal: some might prefer text messages while others will only respond via email or phone calls; some may have different numbers depending on whether they're working inside or outside; etcetera. The more information you collect about how each person likes getting notifications during off-work hours will help ensure more successful communication overall when disaster strikes.

Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure all your employees are trained on how to use them.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends an initial fire extinguisher be placed in each area of the business and additional extinguishers as necessary to meet specific hazards or classifications, such as flammable liquids. For example, if you have a large storage area for flammable liquids, you may want an additional extinguisher in that area.

You should also train your employees on how to use them. This doesn't have to be an extensive training session; just make sure they know how to identify what type of fire they're dealing with and how to best approach each kind of fire. 

Install a sprinkler system in your business. 

If you own a business, installing a sprinkler system is the best way to keep your building from being damaged by fire. Sprinklers can be installed in new buildings or added to existing buildings, and they’re fairly simple and inexpensive to install. The cost of installing a sprinkler system varies based on the size and layout of your building, but it’s typically between $2,000 and $5,000.

It may seem like an overwhelming task if you're unfamiliar with plumbing or electrical work, but if you hire a professional contractor who specializes in fire protection services (like us!), he'll be able to walk you through each step of the process while making sure everything is done safely.

Train your employees on what to do in case of a fire. 

  • Make sure your employees know where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them.
  • Make sure they know where the exits are and how to get out of the building.
  • If you have a plan in place, make sure they follow it.

Install smoke detectors and test them regularly. 

Smoke detectors are a good way to detect fires. To ensure that your smoke detector works properly, test it monthly using the test button on the detector or by calling the fire department to have them do so. If your detectors go off when they shouldn't (for example, while cooking), contact an electrician or fire inspector to investigate further.

If you find that your home's smoke detectors are not working properly, call an electrician who specializes in electrical wiring and repairs before attempting any troubleshooting yourself as this could be dangerous if done incorrectly

Preparing for a fire can help prevent significant damage.

Preparing your business for a fire can help to prevent significant damage. If you are in a situation where your business is threatened by fire, there is a high chance that the building and structure can sustain extensive structural damage, as well as materials that have been stored inside it. This could include products and inventory you may have on hand.

It’s also important to consider the safety of your employees and contractors if any are present currently. You don’t want them to be injured during an emergency or evacuation process because they weren’t aware of what was going on until it was too late, so make sure everyone has access to information about how they should respond in case of emergency.

Fire is a serious threat to business and property, but by taking the time to plan for emergencies and keep your employees trained on what to do in case of an emergency, you can reduce the risk of fire damage significantly. Having an evacuation plan and knowing where all the fire extinguishers are located will help everyone stay safe in case there's a fire, while installing sprinklers or smoke detectors will detect any danger before it gets out of control.

How Leaky Roofs Cause Moldy Ceilings

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to mold growth on ceiling A leaky roof cause a moldy ceiling

When your property in Atascocita, TX, suffers roof damage, you probably do not think about other problems that might spring up as a result. However, if the leak goes unchecked, you could find yourself looking at a dark spot on the ceiling and wondering if it is black mold.

Signs of a Leaky Roof

A roof leak can go unnoticed for some time, but there are signs that will tell you that you need to do a quick inspection for water damage:

  • A musty attic
  • Dark spots on ceilings and walls
  • Decaying wood in the attic
  • Damaged or missing shingles
  • A ceiling leak or skylight leak

If you notice any of these signs, you should have a commercial restoration and mold remediation expert inspect your property. It takes time for water to get through your roof, layers of insulation and into your ceiling, so the problem could be larger than you think.

How Leaks Help Mold Grow
Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, is the most well-known, but many kinds of fungus can settle into your building because of a roof leak. No matter the type, all mold needs three things: moisture, food, and a warm environment. A leaky roof can provide all three of these essentials by letting moisture into attic spaces that contain porous materials such as wood, insulation and drywall that, once wet, lack the proper ventilation to dry out.

Fixing the Problem
If you find that you have a leaky roof, the first step to preventing any further issues is to fix it. Because the damage could be more extensive than it seems, hiring professionals to handle repairs and any resulting mold issues is the safest way to go.
Dealing with any kind of mold, not just black mold, is a business owner’s nightmare, but with early detection and the right help, your building will be back to working condition in no time.

Why Mold Growth Should Be Taken Seriously by Building Owners

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold in a wall Mold damage in a commercial building

Why Building Owners Should Take Mold Growth Seriously

When you lease or rent building space to clients, you have a number of responsibilities to maintain the property according to community standards. If you fail to do this, you could leave your company open to lawsuits. Mold insurance claims cover both property damages as the result of mold growth as well as certain liability issues. The presence of mold in your building could cause harm to your clients or tenants in a variety of ways:

  • A business disruption
  • A safety issue
  • The destruction of personal items
  • Health effects

Any of these problems could lead to a mold claim against your company. Fortunately, there are effective ways to prevent and treat a mold outbreak.

Mold Prevention
As with most problems, it is always better to avoid the issue than to have to clean it up. Understanding how mold grows is the key to preventing its appearance. Excess moisture is the primary cause of a fungal outbreak. An outbreak often happens after a leak that brings water into a building is not cleaned up in a professional manner. This enables mold that is present in a building to grow into colonies that harm materials and even degrade air quality. Many mold insurance claims come about because of a water leak.

Mold Remediation
A professional mold mitigation franchise such as SERVPRO is always Here to Help. If your building has a serious mold problem, highly-trained technicians perform an assessment and inspection that quickly identifies the extent of the problem. They will use equipment such as containment barriers, HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers to get the fungus under control. They will remove mold and mold-infested materials, clean contents and belongings and restore or replace any damaged items. A professional cleanup and restoration go a long way toward minimizing any mold insurance claims. Your clients or tenants can feel confident that the problem is taken care of once and for all.