Fungal organisms can grow and multiply wherever suitable conditions of moisture and a food source exist. Common sources of indoor moisture that may lead to mold problems include flooding, leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, overflow from sinks or sewers and damp basements or crawl spaces. Warping floors and discoloration of walls and ceilings can be indications of moisture problems. Unchecked moisture problems can lead to extensive mold contamination in your home, workplace or school.
- American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA-LAP) Proficient Mold Laboratory
- Preliminary Indoor Mold and Bacterial Assessments
- Post Remediation Mold and Bacterial Assessments
- Black Water/Sewage Screen Assessments
- Cause and Origin Insurance Assessments
- Remediation Project Management/Oversight
- Remediation/Design Specifications
- Food Service Assessments
If mold spore concentrations are high, people can become sensitized and develop allergic reactions. Symptoms of mold-overexposure include respiratory problems, eye irritation and skin rashes. In addition, if mold growth is left unchecked, structural damage to the facility can occur.
Safety, Environmental Laboratories and Consulting Services, Inc. specializes in assessing mold growth and contamination. We have performed indoor air quality assessments for residences, businesses and schools throughout the United States. In addition, we can make recommendations for the remediation of your mold problem and perform turnkey project management to insure the problem is corrected.
Safety Environmental - Part Two
Resolving asbestos issues can be a difficult task for facilities of all types and sizes; however, Safety, Environmental Laboratories and Consulting Services has the experienced personnel to help you with all your asbestos concerns. Whether you need inspections, management planning, cost and schedule estimations, air monitoring or awareness training, our staff possesses a background of OSHA-compliance and environmental knowledge to provide you with a solution to even your most difficult asbestos-related problems.
We offer our clients a wide base of knowledgeable professionals with such professional certifications and accreditations as Certified Industrial Hygienists, Certified Hazardous Materials Managers, Accredited Asbestos Inspectors, Accredited Asbestos Abatement Supervisors, and Accredited Asbestos Management Planners, project managers and Designers. Whatever your asbestos-related issue, let SELC provide you with the solution.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral known for its high tensile strength, non-combustibility and high heat and electrical resistance. Asbestos has been used in the manufacture of thermal, fireproofing and acoustical insulation. Other building materials which are asbestos-containing include floor tiles and mastic, roofing felts, ceiling tiles, asbestos cement sheets and fire-resistant drywall. However, asbestos is a known carcinogen. By law, only accredited inspectors may identify and assess asbestos-containing materials. Only certain laboratories can analyze samples of suspect materials. Only accredited persons can design response action, and only certain contractors may perform the appropriate response action. Only accredited supervisors can oversee the work, and only accredited workers can perform the work. Only clearance air monitoring and a thorough visual inspection can determine if the job is completed. Safety, Environmental Laboratories and Consulting Services has all the personnel and resources to assist you with these requirements. Contact SELC for assistance with all your asbestos issues.
Asbestos Related Services
- Air Sampling and Analysis
- Bulk Building Material Analysis
- Exposure Monitoring and Assessment
- EPA/AHERA Accredited Building Inspection and Survey
- EPA/AHERA Accredited Management Plans
- EPA/AHERA Accredited Design Specifications
- Oversight/Project Management
- Cost and Schedule Estimation
Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:
Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.
Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.
Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
Prevent use of medical devices.
PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:
Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.
Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.
Check on neighbors.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS:
- Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
- Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
- Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
- Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
- Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.
Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.
Know the Difference
Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.
Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
What to do:
Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical
information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
- When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
- Because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.
Check your Insurance Coverage
Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster? Evaluate which hazards are relevant to your area and obtain the appropriate insurance for your home, business, or other property and become familiar with your coverage.
Save for an Emergency
Are you prepared financially in case of a disaster? Does your family have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses after a flood or fire? Check out FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for an in-depth document to help you identify and compile important documents and account information all in one spot. Just search “EFFAK” on fema.gov for the free PDF. Whether its flood, wildfire or extreme winter weather, we must work together as a team to help ensure our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are prepared. Contact your local SERVPRO of Birmingham North to find out how they can help make it “Like it never even happened” if disaster strikes in your life.
Join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities. Learn how to be prepared.
Make and Practice Your Plan
Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit? Make sure your family is informed and practiced in your emergency plan. Be sure to sign up for alerts and warnings for your area, and download other necessary apps to stay informed, such as the FEMA app.
Learn Life Saving Skills
Do you or someone in your family know CPR? Could you turn off your natural gas if necessary? Do you know how to take cover in an earthquake? Knowing these life saving skills could mean life or death in an emergency situation for you, your family or your neighbors.
Restaurant Water Damage
A local restaurant called SERVPRO of Birmingham North regarding a water loss where their sprinkler system burst causing damage throughout the kitchen and adjoining rooms. The water was extracted, all areas were treated and equipment was set. Luckily, this job only needed a few days of drying. The restaurant is in a very populated area with a lot of traffic so getting them back to normal needed to happen rather quickly.
We know that no one plans on this happening but we want to be top of mind if it does. SERVPRO of Birmingham North has trained professionals, who care about your business or home as if it is their own. This can be a tough time for you and your family. Give us a call if you need us, 205-664-6670
Energy Saving Tips
Clean or change your HVAC filters regularly for proper performance. Doing this can save you 5-15 percent in energy costs. Dirty air filters make your AC work harder than it should and reduces air flow. Take note of when to change your air filter along with the size, so you are ready to purchase new ones when the time comes.
Change air filters more frequently if you have pets.
Turn off ceiling fans when you leave a room to cut back unnecessary energy usage.
Set the thermostat and then forget it. If you change the temperature often during the day, you are more likely to waste energy.
Have your equipment checked by a qualified dealer each year before the heating or cooling season begins. Even the best insulated home will waste energy unless special attention is given to the efficiency of its mechanical equipment.
Get your duct system inspected and repaired if necessary.
Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils to improve efficiency.
Choose to buy new equipment instead of repairing it if it’s more than 15 years old and has had continuing major repairs. Today's energy-efficient equipment can save enough in operating costs to make up quickly for the initial expense. Consider a heat pump, the most advanced and efficient heating and cooling system available today.
Extreme Heat Part One
As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.
According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.”
Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
Extreme Heat Part Two
If you must go outside, wear loose fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).
If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter. Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.