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Common Places for Mold Growth in Your Home

Mold on the wall


MOLD. This is one four-letter word you don’t want to hear or deal with if you are a homeowner or someone who has chronic allergies or asthma. However, unless you are proactive in your attempt to keep mold out of your home, then there is a good chance that you could find yourself needing to get rid of mold at one point or another in your life. This is because mold can grow almost anywhere. In fact, most types of mold only need a little bit of moisture and oxygen to grow.

Ready to take action against mold? Here are a few common places for mold growth, some tips on how to prevent mold, and how MitiServe Restoration can help you get the levels of mold in your home back to normal.

MOLD IN YOUR KITCHEN
Because kitchens often have appliances and fixtures attached to water systems, these rooms are usually one of the most common places for mold.

Under the sink - This is a popular place for mold due to the piping. All it takes is one small, slow, and steady leak to cause a problem. If you don’t use the area under the sink to store items, then you may not even notice the damage from water and potential mold growth until you have a big problem.

Around the refrigerator and dishwasher - These two appliances use water. And where there is water, there is potential for a water leak. If you notice additional water around these appliances, act fast. The worst thing you can do is put it on a list to check out later.

MOLD UP HIGH AND DOWN BELOW
In the basement - Most people assume that basements are supposed to have that musty smell. Don’t fall into this trap. If you think that your basement is a breeding ground for mold, it’s important to have the issue looked at as it poses a serious risk to everyone living in the home.

In the attic - If you have an attic, it is really important that you check it on a routine basis. Storms can cause loose shingles and rodents can claw holes. These openings give way for rainwater to come in. And without proper ventilation or being aware of what is going on, a rainy spring can wreak havoc on an attic space.

MOLD IN YOUR BATHROOM

Under the cabinets - Like the kitchen, it’s important to check the pipes under the cabinets in your bathroom for leaks.

In and on the walls - The bathroom is constantly full of water and humidity due to how it is used on a daily basis. If the bathtub overflows or the sprayer gets out of control, make sure you dry up areas as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to turn on the air vent.

If you notice something off or hear funny sounds, don’t just Google it. Call in a plumber. Don’t allow your walls and foundation to be flooded by a burst or broken pipe.

HOW TO PREVENT MOLD DAMAGE IN YOUR HOME
There are a few things you can do on a regular basis to keep mold from building up within your home.

• Keep your home properly ventilated.
• Turn on air vents when possible.
• Use a dehumidifier.
• Dry the surfaces in your home daily. (Stoves, countertops, window sills, etc.)
• Routinely check for leaks. (Under sinks, around pipes, in the ceiling, etc.)
• Keep your gutters cleaned and maintained.

In the case of a flood or accidental water damage, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals. You may think that you are able to take care of the situation by mopping up excess water and “drying” it. However, just because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Water hiding under floors and in walls can cause major damage and a lot of money in the long run.

MITISERVE RESTORATION HAS THE TEAM AND THE TOOLS

By taking measures to prevent mold growth, you lessen the chances that you may end up with severe mold damage in your home. However, there are places throughout your home that you may not be able to check or clean without the help of professionals such as your ventilation, chimney, inside walls, etc. This is where MitiServe Restoration takes command.

Our team is IICRC certified in Mold/Microbial Remediation. With a mold assessment, we can find out exactly what type of mold we are dealing with and create a plan of action to get rid of the mold and get your home back to normal in the shortest amount of time possible. Whether the mold damage is from flooding or from other types of water leakage or water damage within your home, MitiServe Restoration has the tools and the experience to locate and resolve any issues you may have with mold in your home.

In addition to our residential services, we also provide these same services to commercial clients. Don’t let your business get a bad reputation due to noticeable mold build-up and mold damage. If you have questions about our services, feel free to call us at 844-845-7314. We also have two locations, Harrison and Springdale, to help serve you better. Don’t wait. Give MitiServe Restoration a call today



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4 Top Causes of Water Damage in Your Home

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When you think of water damage to your home, there are a few causes that come to mind such as a flood, severe storm, or a broken pipe while you are on vacation. However, most water damage occurs slowly and usually without your knowledge. In fact, there are a few other causes of water damage that are a little more common than you think, and they are right under your nose. And when it comes to water damage in your home and the possibility of water damage restoration, you don’t want to wait until you have a huge disaster on your hands.

By knowing the top causes of water damage in your home, it can save you time and money in the long run. Check out these 4 causes of water damage.

AIR CONDITIONER
Most people don’t realize that your home can be affected by water damage via your home cooling system. Your cooling system pulls moisture from the air as it is cooling off your space. And if your unit is working correctly, then the excess water drains away from the home or through a special drain. However, things can happen. You could have a clogged or disconnected drain, your filters could be completely clogged, or you could have condensation buildup inside of ducting.

Water damage like this is slow and most of the time happens over a span of months or even years. By having your heating and cooling units serviced on a regular basis or just checking to make sure that the water is draining properly, you could be saving your home from major water damage restoration.

HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES
Appliances such as your dishwasher, washer, and refrigerator all use water. And if it uses water, it can produce water damage. Most newer appliances come with tight-fitting seals or special additions to keep water from leaking. However, if you have an older model that seems to be working just fine, it is very important to check to make sure that seals and fittings are still in good condition.

By simply adding the wrong soap or not shutting the door just right, your appliances could start unloading large amounts of water. Sure, you can clean it up with a towel or mop. What happens if you are at work or away on a trip?

LEAKING PIPES AND CLOGGED DRAINS
At one point in your life, you may have experienced leaking pipes or clogged drains. It’s just one of those things that happen. With leaking pipes, you reach in under the sink in your bathroom or kitchen and notice that items are all wet or that there is a pool of water. It may be an easy fix like tightening a loose pipe. However, it could mean something more. Pay attention to your water usage and your water bill. If things are not adding up, then you may have other pipe leaks around your home. This can lead to foundation and other structural issues.

Clogged drains are a different story. If you have ever had a toilet overflow, then you know that clogged drains are no joke. They can cause water to overflow in places throughout your home. And if you are dealing with raw sewage, then you are going to need more than a few towels to clean up the mess. At MitiServe, we have the resources available to not only help with water damage, but we can also provide sewage assessment and remediation through our environmental remediation services.

FLAT ROOFS AND GUTTERS
Sometimes the water damage is not caused by something on the inside. Your roof and gutters also play a huge role in how rain and moisture stay outside. When it comes to gutters, it’s important to keep them cleared from debris and pay attention to any cracks or holes. When gutters are not properly working, they allow water to run off of the side instead of away from the home. This can cause water to constantly flow to one area. Eventually, this will cause water damage and deterioration of a wall or an important part of your home’s structure.

Flat roofs are also a big cause of water damage and mold. Without a proper slope, leaves, branches, and other debris on the roof keeps water from flowing off into the gutters. It only takes a small amount of water and weight on your roof to cause problems.

MITISERVE IS AVAILABLE 24/7 FOR WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION SERVICES
At MitiServe, we have seen our fair share of the different things that can cause water damage. Whether it is caused by a flood or a random leaking pipe, MitiServe has the water damage restoration tools and the knowledge to dry out your home or business and help you get your space back to being dry and manageable. Our technicians are also IICRC water damage certified meaning that you get technicians who are expertly trained, experienced, and who have proven their knowledge via comprehensive examinations.

Whether you have water damage in Springdale, Arkansas, or you need mold removal in Harrison, Arkansas, Mitiserve has you covered. Remember, we are available 24/7 and have two locations to serve northwest Arkansas and southern Missouri. Give us a call at 844-845-7314.




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Fire Safety, Fire Damage, Fire Restoration: Part Two


This is part two of three in a series of posts. This series covers the main causes of house fires, how to best prepare and what to do after a fire occurs in your home, and what the fire restoration process consists of. If you have further questions, please contact Jeremy Grigg at Jeremy.grigg@mitiserve.com.


In the last post, we covered the top five causes of residential fires and some key ways in preventing them. A lot of times, taking the necessary steps in prevention is enough to keep fires from happening. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. This makes it critical to be adequately prepared in case you and your family become involved in a fire. Proper preparation could end up saving your life!


What does preparation consist of?


• Have fire escape plan and practice it twice each year. When creating this plan, look for two ways out of each room. Also, identify potential ignition sources and try to avoid these.
• Teach your family how to stay low to the ground while performing escape plan
• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and in each bedroom.
• Test smoke alarm batteries monthly and replace yearly
• Become trained and have appropriate rated fire extinguishers throughout home (kitchen, garage, etc.)
• Check all windows to ensure they are free from obstructions and neither nailed or painted.
• Consider safety ladders in multi-level rooms
• Check with your insurance agent to see if your structure and belongings are fully covered in case of fire damage.
• Document/inventory sentimental and high value items. This will speed up the insurance claim process if a fire were to occur.


After a fire:


• Do not reenter the home until it is safe to do so (according to the fire department) but be very aware of structural hazards and falling debris. These have the potential to cause severe bodily harm.
• If food, water, or housing is needed, contact your local Red Cross Chapter.
• Contact your insurance company and let them know of the incident.
• Contact the fire restoration contractor of YOUR choice.


A reputable fire damage restoration contractor should arrive onsite immediately after your call is placed. This is where the initial mitigation work begins. While the next blog post will cover this in more detail, there are three common remnants we often see from house fires: soot damage, smoke damage, and water damage. These can have devastating effects on your home and personal items if proper steps aren’t taken promptly and correctly. This makes it extremely important to find the right contractor with the right tools and technology.  


In the case of an unfortunate event such as a fire at your home or business, MitiServe Restoration is one phone call away. Our priority is not only to restore your home but your peace of mind. Whether it’s Northwest Arkansas, Branson Missouri, or Harrison Arkansas, put your problem in MitiServe’s hands.





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Fire Safety, Fire Damage, Fire Restoration: Part One


House fires are an occurrence each of us hopes we never have to face. Unfortunately, they are a very real threat. It is something we see rather frequently here in Northwest Arkansas and Southern Missouri. 


This is part one of three in a series of posts. In this series, I am going to touch on the following: the top causes of house fires, how to best prepare and what to do in the event of a house fire, and what the fire restoration process looks like. 


In this post, I am going to keep the discussion limited to the top 5 causes of house fires according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)


1. Cooking Equipment: This may come as a no brainer but most fires occur in the kitchen.  According to the NFPA, 45% of all house fires last year started this way.


Safety Tips
Do not leave food or the kitchen unattended while cooking
Move all flammable items away from the stove
Do not pour water on grease fires
Have an appropriate rated fire extinguisher nearby


2. Heating Equipment: This includes furnaces, portable heaters, fireplaces and chimneys.


Safety Tips
Keep the area around your furnace clean 
Maintain a safe space between portable heaters and combustible items
Avoid placing combustible items near fire place
Do not put trash items in fire place
Have chimney swept and inspected by certified professional yearly


3. Electrical and Lighting Equipment: This category is a much broader than the previous two. This can be anything from a faulty plug-in to a circuits overloading on heavy duty appliances.


Safety Tips
Avoid overloading outlets and circuits
Ensure you have the appropriate size extension cord (use indoor cords inside only)
Leave third prong (ground wire) on all plug ins
Unplug Christmas lights and unnecessary electronics when not in use


4. Smoking: Though smoking is toward the bottom of our list, it actually had the highest fatality rate over the five year period NFPA conducted the study. It also a category in steep decline.


Safety Tips
Avoid smoking in the bedroom, especially in bed
Use an ashtray that is deep enough to avoid cigarette butts from falling out
Make an attempt to smoke outside


5. Clothes Dryers and Washers: A common cause of household fires homeowners often forget about is the dryer and washer. The main cause with the dryer is the lint dust and the actual clothing. With the washing machine, it is the wiring and the machine itself. These two unsuspecting machines can wreak havoc on a home.


Safety Tips
Clean lint screen/filter before each use
Clean dryer vent periodically
Do not place combustible items in dryer
Clean behind both washer and dryer regularly 


We hope this helped you understand some of the major causes of household fires. More importantly, we hope you were able to grab some useful information on fire prevention.


If you have fire damage or water damage, call the MitiServe Restoration Emergency Response Team @ 870-743-6607 or toll free @ 844-845-7314. Whether it's Harrison, Branson, or Mountain Home, our IICRC certified technicians are standing by 24 hours a day.








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Contents Restoration

A new website and a first blog post! That puts a lot of expectations on the first topic. However, it was rather an easy choice when you have a piece of technology like the one I am about to discuss. I am talking about the ESPORTA Wash System. The Esporta is the newest tool to MitiServe Restoration's arsenal but it has revolutionized the way we look at soft contents on fire damage and water damage claims. With the Esporta, we are able to clean and restore 85% of all soft contents that were previously considered non salveagable. Unlike the traditional cleaning methods typical restoration companies will use, the Esporta uses a patented hydraulic cleaning process that allows it to clean, on average, 85% of the contents we encounter.


Being only one of a handful in the region with this technology (and one of 3 in the entire state), MitiServe offers something completely different than most restoration companies. One, we are able to clean and restore much more items than most. All of those sentimental items that suffered smoke damaged? There is a much better chance of those being salvaged with the Esporta and Mitiserve.  Two, we complete this entire restoration process in house. We do not ship your contents to an outside network, including the dry cleaners. This means your personal, sentimental items receive our attention from start to finish. They are always under our care and supervision. This also means you will receive your contents more quickly.


Thanks for reading!


Jeremy


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