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How Do Hygienists Check for Mold?
Sampling Techniques Professionals Use
Hiring an environmental hygienist to perform a mold test is the most accurate method for determining whether mold is growing in a residence. Learn about the sampling techniques professionals use and how test results can increase the effectiveness of mold cleaning.
An environmental hygienist will take samples to send to a lab for analysis. Depending on the situation, a hygienist may obtain different types of samples:
- Bulk (contents or materials)
Any of these methods can yield conclusive results about the type of mold present in a house. Air testing may include analysis of microbial volatile organic compounds and spores. Bulk testing may focus primarily on the presence of spores. All of these methods allow for targeted mold remediation measures.
There are several methods of lab analysis that a hygienist or mold specialist may recommend. The amount of detail and speed of these methods vary:
- A combination of these methods
Microscopy involves visual analysis and can provide results in as little as two days. Culturing is a slower process that involves growing mold spores in a Petri dish. This process can provide more detailed results, such as the subspecies of mold, but is slower and more expensive.
A hygienist can provide test results and recommendations for mold cleaning. A homeowner may want to work with a full-service restoration company to ensure that mold remediation proceeds as efficiently as possible. Depending on the species of mold and the extent of an infestation, different cleaning or quarantining methods may be recommended.
These are the three major stages of checking for mold. An environmental hygienist can recommend the best mold cleaning methods for a particular species of fungi or type of infestation. If a homeowner is concerned about mold damage at a residence in North Prince William, VA he or she should hire a certified hygienist.
What Category & Class Is Your Water Loss?
The category and class of your water loss refers to the level of contamination in the water, considering its originated source. ALL water damages require restoration, but some cases are a little less severe.
If this happens to you whether it’s your home or commercial building - Contact SERVPRO of North Prince William County 703-368-4399.
3 Basic Categories of Water:
Category 1 – Originates from a sanitary source. It may not always remain clean after it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials.
Example: Water supply lines, toilet tank, or faucet.
Category 2 – Significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.
Example: Washing machine overflow, toilet overflow, or a dishwasher overflow. These situations can quickly escalate into a Category 3 if not properly taken care of.
Category 3 – Grossly unsanitary contaminated water. This contains human and/or animal waste, along with other contaminants that could cause severe illness or even death if ingested.
Example: Sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
4 Basic Class of Water:
Class 1 – It affects only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture.
Class 2 – The entire room or area is affected. Water has gone up less than 24 inches. There is moisture reading in structural materials like plywood, particle board, structural wood and concrete.
Class 3 – Water may have come from overhead. The ceilings, walls, carpet, insulation and subfloor are saturated in the entire area.
Class 4 – Wet materials with very low permeance like hardwood, plaster and concrete have deep pockets on saturation. They may need to be treated with low levels of humidity and often take longer drying times and more specialized methods.
Our team is ready to handle your storm damage
Storm season is approaching and our teams have stayed active in serving our communities following the aftermath of heavy winds, rain, and hail.
While the meteorologists can predict what will be the cause of storms, it’s hard to determine what the effects will look like once the winds have settled, the sirens go silent, and all that’s left is the debris and damage.
At SERVPRO of North Prince William county, we’ve witnessed firsthand the magnitude of damage these storms have caused. They wreak havoc on homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and whatever structure stands in their way.
Though we have absolutely no control over when, where, or what will be affected, we stand firm in the fact that we are “Ready for whatever happens” whenever it happens.
Our Disaster Response Team is complete with experienced project managers that travel at a moment’s notice to site locations of large-scale storm events, making us “Faster to any size disaster.” Backed by one of the largest Emergency Response Teams in the country, we are uniquely equipped and positioned to take on even the largest restoration project; whether in Central Alabama or beyond. Our fleet of cars, trucks, vans, are fully stocked with the resources needed to respond to disasters of any scale, anywhere.
Whatever this storm season looks like, it is no match for the force that is our Disaster Recovery Team.
Commercial Cleaning for businesses
One Chance to Make a Great First Impression
We had clients coming into town who had never visited our offices before. Although our furniture, floors, and carpets were only a couple of years old, they looked kind of dull and no longer smelled fresh and clean.
Our building manager referred us to SERVPRO of North Prince William county. They sent out a team that cleaned our offices from top to bottom. They cleaned the light fixtures, millwork, blinds, drapes, upholstery, carpets, floor mats, floors, bathrooms, and breakroom. By the time they completed the work, our offices looked sparkling clean and smelled wonderful.
Commercial Cleaning Services
- Carpet and Upholstery
- Drapes and Blinds
- Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
- Odor Removal and Deodorization
- Air Ducts and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC)
- Biohazard and Sewage
- Trauma and Crime Scene
We have extensive experience cleaning all kinds of business settings and buildings:
- Small Office Buildings
- Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
- Apartment Buildings
- Small Retail Stores
- Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
- High-Rise Residential
- Manufacturing and Industrial
Local businesses can rely on SERVPRO of North Prince William county to clean and renew tired and dingy-looking offices and workspaces.
What is A Commercial UV Light Sanitizer System?
Many commercial properties have recently started using commercial UV light sanitizer systems.
During the coronavirus pandemic, ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection has received a lot of coverage. The essential advantage is its ability to destroy pathogens such as viruses and bacteria.
UV (ultraviolet) light is a form of electromagnetic radiation. It is more energetic than radio waves or electrical light but less vigorous than X-rays or gamma rays. UV light may be emitted by either natural sunlight or human-made sources such as tanning beds.
The most efficient UV light for destroying COVID-19 is to use germicidal UVC light, also known as Ultraviolet Germicidal Radiation (UVGI) technology. While ultraviolet light has newly gained momentum in the national discourse as a result of the pandemic, it's been used in hospitals and water systems for years to kill viruses, bacteria, fungus, spores, as well as other pathogenic microorganisms.
While it's the direct impact on Coronavirus is still being verified, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says UVC light disinfection has been shown to destroy other types of coronaviruses.
Is a commercial UV light sanitizer worth the investment?
As with any new product, people have many questions about how UV light sanitizers work and whether they are safe before installing them on their property. So we conducted some research to assist you in determining if a commercial UV light sanitizer is worth investing in.
As mentioned, ultraviolet disinfection is the process of killing or destroying harmful microorganisms in a controlled setting. Bacteria and viruses, as well as algae and protozoa, are examples of microorganisms. UV disinfection is used in water and air purification, waste treatment, foodservice protection, and a variety of other disinfection, including sterilization requirements.
Property owners have recently installed commercial UV light sanitation equipment due to its environmentally sustainable operation, rapid action, simple installation, minimal maintenance, and cost-effectiveness.
There are understandable concerns about the efficacy of any new technology, but evidence shows that commercial UV light sanitizers successfully destroy 99 percent of germs in most situations.
When it comes to efficiency, it is critical to choose high-quality items. Any product you install should be checked and engineered to function for beneficial purposes in your commercial property.
4 Key points on UV light sanitation
1) UV light has been used to destroy germs such as bacteria and viruses. You also may have heard of its use in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the latest Coronavirus.
2) UV light comes in a variety of forms. UVC light is the most potent form of UV light for destroying germs. It can be used to clean surfaces, the air, and liquids.
3) UVC light destroys germs such as viruses and bacteria by causing damage to molecules such as nucleic acids and proteins. As a result, the germ is unable to carry out the processes required for survival.
4) UVC light is an appealing disinfection choice because it can efficiently inhibit the new Coronavirus without chemicals.
What does the CDC say about UV light sanitation?
The latest research supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports and improves on previous research supporting the usefulness of an automated UV-C-emitting system to fight pathogens.
The CDC's suggestion for ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is based on the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) stance on airborne contagious diseases.
ASHRAE recommends two types of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation techniques: installation in air handlers or ventilating ducts and irradiation of occupied spaces' upper air zones with shielding of lower occupied areas. These methods sanitize the air in a room while protecting inhabitants from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Where Can UV Light Sanitation Be Used?
UV light sanitation has multiple uses. It is most commonly used in:
- Air Disinfection
- Water Disinfection
- Wastewater Treatment
- Aquarium And Pond
- Laboratory Hygiene
- Food And Beverage Protection
- Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
- Water Treatment Systems
SERVPRO Provides Commercial Pathogen Cleaning
We hope you enjoyed learning about commercial UV light sanitation. We have provided this information to you to help keep our community safe. Whether or not you choose to install a commercial UV light sanitizer, you should consider hiring a team of properly trained professionals that offers pathogen cleaning for regular maintenance on your property.
As opposed to the traditional house or business cleaning, pathogen cleanup is a service that necessitates industry experience, specialized equipment, and the required certifications.
The professionals at SERVPRO of North Prince William county have the experience and skills to sanitize your commercial property quickly so you can get back to functioning order.
Is your business prepared for winter weather?
Prepare your business for winter weather!
-Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rai, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
-Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
-Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
-Ask your SERVPRO of North Prince William county Professional about starting an Emergency Ready Profile for your business.
What is an Emergency Ready Profile?
It is a "snapshot" of each building owned/managed by a business, that provides critical information for emergency preparation.
Spring & Summer time has become a great time of year to undertake deeper cleaning projects. Although spring cleaning is commonly associated with residential homes, it is just as much needed for commercial places as well. The cold winter months keep everyone cooped up inside and bacteria & messes start to grow. A good cleaning helps to give workers a more open and less hectic environment; additionally, a clean and welcoming place of business helps to attract customers. Here is a list of some important areas to inspect during your deep cleaning cleaning:
Windows are one of the simplest yet crucial areas to keep clean. Beyond making sure you have squeaky clean windows, check to make sure they have tight seals. Small gaps in window seals can cause cool air to seep out (and warm air in the winter months), as well as allowing water to trickle in. Checking caulking and weather stripping remains intact and up to par can save you money in the long term.
This is very important for the presentation of your business. Now the grass, flowers, weeds and other plants are starting to grow, it’s important to start grooming your landscape. Don’t wait till your plants get out of control, hire someone now or take some time yourself to pull the weeds, mow the grass, and trim any trees or bushes. Additionally, this is a great time to plant some flowers if you want to spruce up your place of business.
When converting your buildings air flow system from heating to air conditioning now is the best time to quality check your system. Test your system by running it for a while to make sure it’s working properly, check any old or out of date parts that might need replacing. Clean out the ventilation system by removing dust particles and any other debris lying inside. Ventilation systems are rarely cleaned, which is why lots of building owners tend to find pest infestation or mold problems when cleaning their vents/ducts. It’s best to take these precautions while the temperature is in a transitioning period.
Along with the re-birthed trees and plants, spring also brings back hordes of pests. Ants, spiders, termites, mosquitoes, and even bed bugs can become a problem. It’s best to take preventative measures to ward off pests instead of being forced to shut the business down for a couple weeks in order to fumigate for pests. Lastly, if you are continually having the same pest problems each year, try to identify exterior factors that might be attracting those pests and any defects in your building that might be letting them in.
Simple and effective. Even if you already dust on a regular basis now’s a good time to dust those harder to reach, and often ignored, areas.
As people come in from the rainy times and wipe their feet on your carpets, dirt begins to build up. Don’t let this grime buildup in your building; buy some strong cleaning products for your floors and a top quality vacuum for carpets. In addition to constantly maintaining floors and carpets, now is a great time to hire a professional carpet and floor cleaner to give your floors a deep clean.
Reorganizing comes in two parts. The first is the organizing of all the previous years files into a consolidated area for ease of access. Best practice is to do this at the beginning of every year so that your files are neatly organized and easy to find when needed. The second is the reorganization of the office itself. Ideally, this is a continuing process year round. If the office has gotten out of hand this can be a good time of year to tidy up and breathe some fresh air into the workplace. Depending on your type of business will help determine what type of cleaning takes priority. If you need extra help or an even deeper clean call SERVPRO of North Prince William county to help!
Increase Your Odds of Re-Opening After a Disaster
The New Year brings opportunity for new beginnings! Start 2020 off right be being READY!
Did you know up to 50% of businesses that suffer a disaster may never reopen?
Of the businesses that do survive a disaster, the overwhelming majority had an emergency preparedness plan in place.
Ready.gov has a lot of useful information on all the possible disasters and emergencies that could possibly befall you or your business. I would like to be able to narrow it all down to a simple quip or phrase and send you on your way but that wouldn't be the responsible thing to do. You really need to take the time to educate yourself, and your employees, and then come up with a plan that best suits your business. After all you and your employees are the help until the help arrives. Make your plan and know what to do before the time comes. Here is a direct link to the Business Emergency Preparedness Social Media Toolkit to help you get started.
Make your resolution one that helps protect you and your business. Call us today at (703) 368-4399 to learn about how we can help you be "Ready for whatever happens" in the New Year!
Water Damage Tips For Office Buildings
commercial water damage
Water damage is a very significant threat both to the safety of the occupants, and to the finances of the owners, not just of residential homes, but also of commercial buildings. In North Prince William County that means plenty of medical buildings, professional buildings, and the like. In times of severe flooding or plumbing failure this damage could even stop your business from daily tasks, which means you are losing money!
In this article we go over some basic preventative and responsive measures so that hopefully you can avoid being in this situation, or if you do find yourself in this situation, at least you can get your office back to normal quickly.
In the office there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of damage due to water leaks. For example, educate your office managers on water damage preparedness. This means that your managers should know how to turn off the water, electric, and gas supply. If they don’t have access, then they should know who to call in order to have these items completed. It’s also a good idea to have some basic tools in the office so that they are readily available in the event of an emergency. Lastly, it’s important to have a list of emergency contact phone numbers for all employees, as well as local fire and police numbers, so that in the worst case the loved ones of those injured can be notified, and they can get medical attention if needed.
Just as with residential structures, rapid response is critical to water damage in an office. The longer you wait before the area is restored the more of a chance you there is that you will have mold, which is another problem altogether.
The best course of action is:
- Call a plumber to fix the source of the loss;
- Call SERVPRO of North Prince William County to remediate the damage.
Of course, you can call your insurance first, but remember, we are also experts at the insurance side of damages as well, and can help you get the best coverage, so you may call us to work with your insurance as well.
At SERVPRO of North Prince William County we are the leaders of commercial water damage restoration. Contact us today to learn more!