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How to Prevent Moldy Appliances

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Mold growth in your home is more than merely an unpleasant sight. It is a health hazard to your family, especially to those who are sensitive to it. Learning how to prevent moldy appliances can prevent mold exposure symptoms from mild irritations to serious respiratory and other health problems.

Mold thrives in damp conditions and can grow in the tiniest places within the recesses of the major appliances in your home. It is attracted to moisture and can grow inside your refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine without you even realizing it.

While it may seem counterintuitive to clean the machines that clean other items in your home, regular inspection and thorough cleaning of those appliances can prevent the spread of dangerous mold spores.

Washing Machine

Your laundry room presents ideal conditions for mold growth if it is not properly ventilated or left unattended. Moisture and dirt create breeding grounds for mold. Dirty piles of laundry in a warm, damp environment is the perfect home for mold to grow and prosper.

Mold growth on washing machines is easy to identify. Front-loading washers may see mold forming in the door creases or the detergent dispenser, while top loading washing machines are more likely to have mold growth in the drum or interior walls.

Some commonsense ways to prevent Round Rock mold from forming in your washing machine include:

Run Loads Regularly

Dirty, damp clothes left in the laundry room, in hampers, or strewn across a teenager’s bedroom floor will provide the perfect conditions for mold to grow and give residual moisture in the washing machine a chance to create mold growth.

Dry Clothes After Washing

Wet clothes left in the washing machine can begin growing mold in no time at all. If you will not be able to get back to the washer for an extended period, it is better to wait until you return to run the load rather than let the clean clothes sit wet in the washer.

Leave Lid Open After Use

Closing the washing machine lid after running a load or series of loads will slow down the process of drying and increase the chances of mold growth appearing before the next use.

Clean Regularly

Perform monthly inspections on the door creases, drum, and detergent dispensers, and clean out the grime build-up that can be attractive to mold growth. Check the manufacturer’s manual for tips on keeping your washing machine clean.

Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is another appliance that can become a natural breeding ground for mold. Food particles left behind in warm, damp conditions will attract mildew and mold, and left unattended can create major problems for the dishwasher and your family.

Dishwashers have a lot of folds, creases, compartments, and corners where moisture and food gather to form ideal moldy areas. Some ways to prevent mold growth in your dishwasher include:

Rinse Dishes Before Loading Dishwasher

It may be tempting to simply place dirty dishes in the dishwasher and let the appliance do all the work. The problem comes when food chunks get lodged into hidden areas throughout the dishwasher. Food particles will remain in the machine and lead to mold growth over time.

Open the Door

When the cycle is complete and even after the dishes are put away, leaving the door open for a while will help dry out problem areas quicker. This will eliminate excess moisture that can result in mold growth conditions.

Heat Dry Run

Running your dishwasher on the heat-dry cycle will serve to kill bacteria growth on the inside. Leave the door open to dry out all interior areas.

Dry Removable Baskets

Take out, clean, and dry the silverware baskets and any other removable compartments that have creases and folds that hide food particles.

Refrigerator

Refrigerators generate a lot of heat in order to keep your food and beverages cold. The inside of your refrigerator may be the most dangerous and pervasive area for Round Rock mold growth in your home. Leftover food and the moisture that gathers in your fridge present ideal conditions for mold to grow and prosper.

Keeping your refrigerator clean and clearing out old food before it has a chance to become moldy are the best ways to prevent mold growth. Still, it takes more than wiping down the shelves periodically to keep your refrigerator healthy and mold-free.

Clean Up Spills Thoroughly

You should not cry over spilled milk, but you should definitely clean it up quickly and thoroughly if spilled in your fridge. Allowing spilled liquids to become hard and crusty will invite moldy conditions.

Clean Trays, Drawers

The most effective way to prevent mold growth in your fridge is to periodically remove all trays, drawers, and compartments, and give them all a thorough cleaning and scrubbing. Use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to ward off future mold growth.  

Keep It Dry

Make sure trays and shelves are kept as dry as possible. Wipe down areas of moisture before closing the fridge door.

Move Fridge Yearly

Condensation build-up underneath your refrigerator can lead to mold problems that you are not able to see. Moving out your refrigerator and cleaning underneath and behind it will work to prevent mold growth over time.

Round Rock Mold Removal Professionals

Mold growth in your home is inevitable on some level. While it is impossible to completely eliminate mold in your home, following these simple, common-sense tips will work to prevent mold from growing in the major appliances throughout your home.

There are times when mold can get out of hand despite your best efforts to contain and prevent it. Leaky pipes and moldy water lines can lead to major mold growth that can only be remediated by the professional mold removal experts at All Nation Restoration.

Get Started with All Nation Restoration

Contact All Nation Restoration today for complete information on our Round Rock mold removal and water damage services.

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10 Tips to Prevent House Fires

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A house fire is one of the most feared catastrophes that can befall a family. Home fires in the United States are fatal to people and destroy precious belongings every year. However there are some preventative measures you can take will help reduce the risks of a fire in your home.

House fires can happen at any time of the year, though the risks are increased during the colder months. The Red Cross cautions that the number of home fires increases in the fall and winter, with more in December and January than other months. House fires occur more often on the weekends and are most common in the early evening hours between 6 pm and 7 pm.

1. Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are designed as an early warning system in the event of a house fire. The batteries in the smoke alarms throughout your home should be tested monthly and replaced at least once a year. Setting up calendar reminders to check and replace the batteries will help keep your smoke alarms in working order when you need it most.

2. Heating Sources

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your home’s heating sources is an essential preventative measure to guard against house fires. If the heating system in your home is not operating properly, it can provide ideal conditions to start a house fire. Filters and ductwork collect dirt and dust that can easily spark a flame.

Portable space heaters can also present dangers during the winter months and cause more house fires every year than central heating. Any room using a space heater should be properly ventilated. The units should be kept at least three feet from furniture, drapes, and other combustible materials. Models with an automatic shut off feature will help to prevent overheating when left on too long.

3. Cooking Area

It takes little time for a small stovetop flame to spread into a dangerous fire that can envelop your kitchen and spread to the rest of the house. Never leave your stove or oven left unattended while in use. Thorough cleaning of the cooking area will remove food particles from the burner that can catch on fire when heated.

Dish towels, oven mitts, cookbooks, food packing materials, and even low hanging curtains can easily catch fire if left on or near open flames or extreme heat.

Outdoor grills and fire pits pose additional dangers. Grills need to be placed far enough from the house and away from trees, bushes, deck railings, and other areas that can catch fire from an errant spark or excessive heat.

4. Check Your Clothes Dryer

Clothes dryers are large appliances that generate a lot of heat. Regular inspection and maintenance calls will help to keep the dryer working in that most efficient and safest condition. The lint trap needs to be cleaned out before each use.

Depending on how your dryer system is set up, make sure to clean out the ductwork and filters that hold in dirt, dust, and fabric at least a few times per year. Collected dust can get dry and brittle, making it highly combustible.

5. Cord Maintenance

We are more connected to multiple devices needing power than ever before. Most modern homes have an elaborate system of power strips and extension cords that hold the cables for phones, tablets, computers, and other products of the digital age. Power strips with power surge protectors will help to reduce the risks of overloading your power supplies.

Frayed cord and cables on your home’s other appliances also pose a fire danger if left unattended. Replace faulty or frayed wires and keep all wires and cords away from furniture and other potentially combustible materials.

6. Safely Store Flammables

Any flammable liquids should be safely stored outside and in their original containers. Remember to empty the lawnmower of its fuel at the end of the season and safely dispose of it.

There are also a number of household items inside the home that need extra care and attention. Common products like hairspray and shaving cream can be combustible if exposed to an excessive heat source. Keep them stored away from space heaters in a cool, dry space.

7. Candle Caution

The winter months are ideal for lighting a candle to create a mood and give off a pleasant scent. Candles are, however, open flames, and even a brief or momentary lapse of attention can have catastrophic consequences. Keep them away from flammable materials like blankets, scarves, and other flammable materials.

Never leave candles unattended by leaving the room or going to sleep when they are still burning. If you feel yourself drifting off with lit candles in the room, forcing yourself out of your comfortable position to blow them out before falling asleep is well worth the hassle to prevent a house fire that could destroy your life and/or your belongings.

8. Fireplace Safety

There is nothing quite like curling up in front of a fireplace in the middle of winter. To maintain safety while enjoying the warmth and comfort, make sure there is a spark screen or glass protection to prevent errant sparks from getting out and causing damage. Never leave a fire unattended. Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned periodically, depending on how often it is used.

9. Fire Extinguishers

A working fire extinguisher is your best chance at containing a fire in your home before it causes serious damage. Make sure there is one in the kitchen, garage, and any other areas in your home where fire risks exist. Everyone in the home should be trained in how to use a fire extinguisher so they can spring into action if needed.

10. Smoking

Smoking remains one of the leading causes of home fire deaths and the need for fire restoration in Austin, TX and the entire United States. Keeping all smoking outside will go a long way to preventing house fires and make sure all materials are properly extinguished. Before throwing butts in the trash, douse them in water to make sure they are fully out.

Preventing House Fires Saves Lives, Personal Property

Following these common-sense tips to prevent house fires can save lives, and your belongings and property. If you have suffered damage from a house fire, contact the fire restoration Austin TX trusts to get your home and your lives back together.

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Know the Signs of Mold in Your Home

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Young Man Shocked On Seeing Mold On Wall In Kitchen

Molds have been thriving on Earth for millions of years and can grow anywhere they can find even the smallest amounts of moisture or water. Left to grow, mold spores that get into the air are a potential health hazard to you and your family and can even threaten to damage the structure of your home.

Household mold is often referred to as “black mold,” though mold does not have to be black to be dangerous. Mold will typically grow and thrive in humid conditions. While the presence of mold can look nasty, it is the invisible, undetected airborne toxins that pose the most significant dangers.

Senior citizens and those already susceptible to respiratory disease are among the highest risk groups for mold dangers. Mold causes some people to show symptoms such as watery eyes, itching, throat irritation, coughing, or runny nose. More severe consequences include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Sinus infection
  • Breathing trouble
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Decreased attention span

Mold Removal Austin Homeowners Can Trust – Signs Your Home Needs Professional Help

By the time you see or smell mold forming in your home, the problem is already to the point of posing potential health problems for you and your family. Regular inspection of your home by experts in mold remediation can head off mold issues before they become hazardous and costly problems.

The following are some of the signs to look for throughout your home.

Visible Signs

Outward visible signs of mold typically indicate a significant problem in your home. Black spores spreading on the surfaces in your home indicate a rapidly growing mold issue. Sections of uneven flooring and bubbles in the paint can also show mold growth.

Squishy floorboards on your hardwood flooring are often a sign of a developing mold problem. If you can reach the subfloor through your basement or crawlspaces, you can check for conditions that are conducive for mold growth. Even if you have to lift a board to inspect underneath, it will be worth the effort if there is a mold infestation.

Physical health conditions and reactions can also indicate a growing mold problem in your home. Persistent cold and flu symptoms and the onset of respiratory issues can be symptoms of health problems resulting from the presence of mold somewhere in your home.

Mold Smells

While you may not always be able to see or recognize mold visibly, the distinct odor it creates is unmistakable. If your home begins to smell musty, stale, or damp, the chances are good that you have mold growth somewhere in your home. People have compared mold smell to wet socks or rotten wood.

A sure sign you have mold is when you cannot get rid of the pungent odor even after proper ventilation of the area. It is, however, a smell that you can get used to. If you think that the smell is fading, go outside and take in a few deep breaths of fresh air before returning to determine if the scent is as strong as it has been.

Hidden Mold

The ideal conditions for mold growth are the darkest, warmest, and dampest recesses of your home, meaning it may be hard to locate even when you know it is there. Common hidden areas where mold is most likely to grow include:

  • Bathroom: Mold growing along the creases of your bathroom tile is the most easily identifiable area in the house. However, bathrooms are conducive to mold growth in places like around water pipes and taps, under flooring, and underneath the bathtub. Traditional shower curtains are also an ideal breeding ground for mold to grow. Improper ventilation in the bathroom is a leading cause of mold growth.
  • Kitchen: Your kitchen is filled with appliances and systems that can produce moisture and leave water residue behind. Mold will flourish around your refrigerator, freezer, ice dispensers, and any other areas where water can collect or condensation can form.
  • Laundry room: Leaky washing machine pipes can cause pooling of water and moisture that create mold growth conditions. Leaving your washing machine open between long stretches of inactivity will help dry areas inside the appliance that would be inviting for mold.
  • Bedroom: Improperly sealed windows in the bedrooms and throughout the house can provide enough moisture for mold to grow. Mattresses can also attract mold if you have not flipped them over in a while.
  • Attics, Basements, and Vents: A leaky roof or ventilation system will collect enough moisture for mold to grow and prosper, especially in low-traffic areas like the attic or basement. Regular checks of these areas will help prevent the spread of mold in these dark, moist areas of the house.

Preventing Mold Growth

The best way to deal with mold problems in your home is to take necessary steps to control the moisture and water throughout the structure. While there is no way to prevent some growths of mold in your home completely, steps can be taken to minimize the chances of a mold problem that threatens the health of your family and the structure of your home.

Following a hard rain or flooding is a prime time for mold to find the moisture needed to grow. Making sure all areas of the home are thoroughly clean and dry after a storm will help to deter the growth of mold in your home.

Some common-sense tactics to help prevent mold growth in hour home include:

  • Fix leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
  • Install eco-friendly windows and doors that provide tight seals
  • Control humidity levels in the house to reduce moisture in the air
  • Thorough regular cleaning and drying of susceptible, particularly after rains and flooding
  • Ventilate bathroom, laundry and cooking areas
  • Mold inhibitors can be added to paints
  • Utilize commercial mold-killing products when cleaning the bathrooms

Mold Remediation Austin, TX

Mold can cause a wide variety of health issues and can damage the structural integrity of your home if left to grow. When mold is found, it is essential to contact All Nation Restoration, the professionals in mold removal Austin trusts. Experienced technicians perform proven mold remediation services using the highest quality materials and equipment with the most effective processes in the industry.

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What Do When Water Damage Strikes in Austin, TX

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When water damage strikes your Austin area residential or commercial property, it can throw lives and businesses into chaos. Flooding from extreme weather conditions and plumbing problems cause severe short-term and long-lasting consequences. Personal memorabilia can be destroyed. Business materials and inventory can be lost, and possibly customers and revenue, too.

Time is of the essence when you are hit with flooding that causes water damage Austin TX homes and businesses and experience from heavy rains, or broken water pipe. The longer you wait to get rid of the water and clean the affected areas, the more you increase the risk of making things worse and more costly.

With Austin Rains – Plumbing Problems Cause Water Damage

If your toilet overflows or your basement sees minor flooding from heavy rain, there are steps you can take to clean the area of the water and health risks and prevent significant damage to your property. However, when a pipe bursts or a Texas-sized rain bring substantial flooding to the Austin area, you can wind up doing more harm than good if you try to clean up and fix the damage on your own.

One of the first things to do when your Austin home or business has experienced significant water damage is to call All Nation Restoration, a local professional water remediation company with a reputation for providing comprehensive water restoration services. There are steps you can take before and after water damage occurs to minimize damage, but only experts in water remediation techniques and processes can make sure the entire area affected is thoroughly cleaned and returned to normal without risking the safety of the property and the people in it.

What to Do First If Your Home or Business Floods

Austin, TX is a beautiful city that sees sunny skies and spectacular days throughout the year. It does not rain too often in Austin, but when it does, lookout. Thunderstorms and heavy rains that roll through central Texas brings with it the danger of significant flooding and water damage that affect homes and businesses throughout Austin.

There is no time to waste when your residential or commercial property has experienced water damage. Urgently taking necessary steps can save personal and business items, prevent further damage and eliminate personal health risks.

·    Safety First: Emergency situations involving excess water can pose a number of hazards for those in the immediate area, not the least of which is the presence of live electrical currents. Proceed cautiously making a determination which areas are safe to be in and evacuate any areas that appear unstable or hazardous.

·    Stop the Water Flow: If a water pipe bursts the constant flow of water will continue to flood in and cause damage until the main water valve is shut off. Make sure everyone in the house or business knows where it is and how to shut it off. Quickly stopping the flow of water and reduce the amount of water damage Austin homes and businesses will suffer.

·    Call a Professional: All Nation Restoration is a highly respected local company specializing in water damage Austin residents trust. Trained, experienced technicians are available for 24/7 emergency services whenever your home or business is hit with water damage.

We will survey your property, assess the damage, and perform expert, affordable processes to clean up and get the affected areas back to normal. All Nation Restoration offers the kind of professional services for water extraction Austin TX has relied on for years.

·    Turn Everything Off: Water and electricity is a dangerous combination. Once the flooded rooms are secured, shut down your main electrical breakers and unplug all appliances and electronics around the affected area. However, never step in water or unplug anything submerged in water.

Plugging up sinks, toilets, showers, and any other drain accesses will prevent sewer backup and additional flooding. Running heating or air conditioning systems can spread bacteria, mold, or other potentially harmful particulates that water damage can bring.

·    Move Valuables: Items left wet or in standing water can cause permanent damage, destroying valuable things in your home or business. When it is safe to do so, move personal items to a dry area. Furniture, electronics, artwork, clothing, and other irreplaceable personal items can be saved by getting them out of the area as soon as possible.

As tempting as it may be, do not throw any damaged items away. Anything destroyed by water damage may be needed during the flood insurance claims process.

·    Wash Everything: From the clothes you are wearing when dealing in flooded areas to washing your hands regularly, cleaning is the best way to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria associated with standing water and sewage.

·    File a Claim with Your Insurance Company: The insurance claim process for flooding and water damage can be long and complicated. The sooner you file a claim, the sooner you can get any compensation coming to you.

Relief from Water Damage Austin TX Homes and Businesses Trust

Containing and cleaning up water damage from major flooding or a water main break can be a major hassle, costing you money, valuable items, or even customers and business revenue. All Nation Restoration has years of experience in providing relief for Austin homes and businesses who experience water damage in their properties. We will partner with you to come up with the best, quickest, and most cost-efficient solutions for your unique situation.

Water damage from weather extremes or plumbing incidents can happen at any time. From a backup sink or toilet to a significant water pipe accident or a Texas-sized rainstorm, flooding can ruin property and pose serious health risks to anyone in the vicinity.

If your Austin home or business has sustained water damage in a flood or plumbing problem, the water restoration experts at All Nation Restoration will have your residential or commercial property back to normal in no time at all. Call All Nation Restoration today for a free estimate on the kind of services for water damage Austin TX residents have come to rely on.

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What Does a Water Damage Restoration Company Do?

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To understand why so many people need to contact All Nation Restoration, you need to have a basic comprehension of what water restoration companies do. This explanation will help you to get some idea of why All Nation sees so much business and why the time might come where you require their services.

The Job of the Restoration Company

Natural disasters having to do with water are relatively common. Flooding is commonplace in parts of the country where there are lakes, rivers, or other bodies of water that can become swollen by too much rainfall, and a collapsed roof is possible in virtually any part of the U.S. if the conditions are right for it.

To break things down a little further, you might regard a water restoration company as the first responder when there has been significant damage to a home. What’s important to keep in mind, though, is that water damage is only part of what the company will be there to repair. A water restoration company may need to take action in the case of fire damage, sewage backups, and other events tangential to what took place. In the case of a hurricane or a tornado, for instance, the water restoration company may possibly have a part in cleaning up the mess.

What the company is looking for is the best way to assist the tenant or property owner so that the home and its contents will sustain no further damage.

How the Process Works

No person is ever under an obligation to call All Nation Restoration or any other water damage restoration company. Rather, they do so voluntarily because they recognize that such companies have the personnel, equipment, and expertise to get the job done where no other entity is going to be as qualified.

Often, the ball gets rolling when an insurance company puts the homeowner or tenant in touch with the water damage restoration company. The restoration company will then come to the property and survey the damage, and then with the homeowner’s permission, they will get to work removing the water and any other contaminants that are present.

Usually, the claims representative or the insurance adjuster will be familiar with the water damage restoration companies in the area, and they will be on good terms with them. Though the two have no formal affiliation, they work in the same area, so it makes sense that they should know each other.

It’s vital to remember, though, that even if it’s your insurance company that makes the call to All Nation Restoration or any other restoration company, they’re working for you and they’ll do whatever you say. It’s often best to hear their assessment of the situation, though, and then to get out of the way and let them go to work. After all, they’re the experts in water damage and cleanup, and there probably won’t be any situation that they haven’t seen before.

The Cleanup

There is no telling exactly how long the cleanup is going to take or what exactly is going to be involved. Every situation will be different, and while some cleanups might take a couple of hours, others might take days or even weeks. Houses or properties that have been completely devastated by natural disasters or human-caused accidents might mean many hours of painstaking restoration.

The insurance company adjuster or claim representative might make some recommendations as to what should be done to get the property back in working order again, but ultimately it is your decision what you want the water damage restoration company to do. Once they’ve looked things over, they will give you an estimate of what their services are going to cost, and they’ll provide you with a contract.

Be sure to read the whole contract so that you have an understanding of all aspects of it. Ask any questions that you have, and then sign on the dotted line so that the company can get to work. Keep in mind that once your signature is on that contract, you are responsible for paying your water damage restoration company. However, in many cases your insurance will reimburse you for that money or at least for a large chunk of it.

In the weeks after the cleanup, be sure to check over the areas where the damage was sustained. If you hire a top-of-the-line restoration company like All Nation, then you can be sure that your residence will look like new again, but some inferior outfits might do a less than stellar job.

Some Last Things to Remember

You don’t have to use the water damage restoration business that your insurance company recommends. If for whatever reason you feel that a particular company is not suitable or you think that another one will be better based on their reputation, then by all means hire the one about which you feel the most comfortable. The restoration company is going to be working for you, and you should vet them just as you would any contractor who is going to be working on your house.

If you have any problem with the restoration company, you must resolve it with them. Your insurance company will have no responsibility to get involved.

Also, remember that not all of the cleaning and restoration services that the company provides may be covered by your insurance policy. If you are not completely sure about any aspect of what the company is doing, look at the fine print on your insurance policy or talk to a representative directly. You might get stuck paying the difference if only some of what the restoration company is doing is covered.

It’s highly likely that when you meet the representatives from a water damage restoration company like All Nation that it is going to be at a stressful time in your life. Don’t worry, though. Such companies are experts at guiding you through this challenging period and getting things back to normal for you. Just be sure that you use a company that has a proven track record and the skills and equipment required to get your home back to what it once was. 

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