Recent Posts

Skip The Mold Test--Here's Why:

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

You've heard all about the fear surrounding mold, and maybe you're considering a home mold test to find out if there is something harmful about the blue or green fuzz growing in your home.

SERVPRO of Reno NW / Truckee / Tahoe Vista says you can skip the test. Why?

Because the CDC states that “generally, it is not necessary to identify the species of mold growing in a residence, and [the] CDC does not recommend routine sampling for molds.”

Testing, to be accurate, should be done by an Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) or an Industrial Hygienist (IH). These professionals have the ability to test in a manner that gives an accurate representation of the environment inside the structure. Clearance testing after mitigation should also be a part of the protocol to confirm the effectiveness of the mitigation.  

Why Doesn't SERVPRO Test For Mold?

Testing not performed by the mitigation company handling the work adds a level of accountability to the project, avoids a conflict of interest, and insures the building owner of properly mitigated mold damage.

SERVPRO of Reno NW / Truckee / Tahoe Vista is committed to properly remediating any mold damage in your home, making it, “Like it never even happened.”

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Crawlspaces: What Are They, Why Do They Matter?

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Crawlspaces: What Are They, Why Do They Matter? Maintaining your crawlspace is essential to responsible homeownership!

Crawl Spaces in the Truckee / Tahoe Area

The vast majority of homes in the Sierra Nevada are built on crawlspaces.  The unique topography of these mountains can create issues for our homes.  Snow load, water runoff, and rising water tables need to be dealt with to maintain your property.

If maintained properly, crawlspaces have advantages over other types of construction.

  • It gets the house above the ground, an important point in damp areas.
  • It is less expensive than a basement, and comparable to the price of a slab foundation.
  • Duct work, plumbing, and electrical can run in the crawl space, which makes them easier to service, and move if necessary.

Proper crawl space maintenance begins outside your home

  • Adequate drainage on your property, keeps water away from your foundation.
    • Re-evaluate your landscaping to keep heavy snows from forcing water under your home
    • Rising water tables could necessitate a sump pump system to divert water from your crawlspace.
  • Building codes typically require a minimum of 6” fall in ground level; over a distance of 10 feet from the perimeter of the building. Depending on the topography of your property in this area, this may not be adequate.
    • In addition, inspect for the following:
      • Depressions that collect ground water near the house.
      • Off-site surface water that flows onto the property.
      • Inadequate building offset from adjacent steep slopes, which generate increased surface water run-off.
      • Malfunctioning downspouts or improper downspout installation.

Crawlspaces can be either ventilated or unventilated

  • Ventilated crawlspaces should have:
    • A minimum of 1 square foot of venting for every 150 square feet of crawlspace area.
    • Plastic sheeting covering the entire crawlspace, with proper overlap, for effectively controlling ground moisture.
  • Unventilated crawlspaces require:
    • Seals to prevent air leakage between outdoor air and the crawlspace.
    • Damp-proofed and insulated perimeter walls.
    • Plastic sheeting covering the entire crawlspace, with proper overlap, for effectively controlling ground moisture.

Periodic inspections of your crawlspace are recommended. 

Items to inspect for are:

  • Standing water on top of vapor barrier.
  • Condensation or leaks on water pipes or ductwork.
  • Muddy soil.
  • Staining on walls from water or efflorescence.
  • Sagging or missing insulation.
  • Plumbing leaks.
  • Musty/moldy or foul odors.
  • Deteriorated vapor barrier.

If problems are found in your crawlspace, call SERVPRO of Reno NW / Truckee / Tahoe Vista at 775-827-9944.  We have the technology and training to make any damage to your home, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO Featured in CATT Magazine: Mold Expert Talks Household Mold

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation SERVPRO Featured in CATT Magazine: Mold Expert Talks Household Mold The published article from CATT.

The following article appeared in the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe's Building and Remodeling Guide of 2018-2019. The article was written by Rick Malone and edited by Andi Figueroa. It appears below and in its magazine-published form as the accompanying image. 

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In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, sensationalized stories brought mold into public consciousness.  Several unsubstantiated claims caused an upheaval of panicked health discussions. Now, even though the dust of that time has subsided, misunderstandings about mold are still present.

To demystify the fears surrounding both mold and what conditions mold needs to grow, Rick Malone, who holds advanced certifications from the IICRC and is a MICRO Certified Mold Inspector, gave the following interview as a trusted professional at SERVPRO of Reno Northwest / Truckee / Tahoe Vista.

“Mold is part of the environment”, Rick says, “it plays an important role in our ecosystem. Without it, biological matter would not decay.  For example, if mold did not help break down fallen trees and leaves, their nutrients would not readily return to the soil.”

Active mold growth in the home is a different matter.  While homes are built to reduce the chance of mold infestations, totally eliminating mold spores in the home is not always feasible. According to the IICRC’s Standard For Professional Mold Remediation Handbook1, normal fungal ecology is considered “...an indoor environment that may have settled spores.”1  However, active mold growth in your home or business is not considered “normal fungal ecology”, Rick says.  

Given the right environment, mold can grow and colonize.  “One factor that attributes to active mold growth is the presence of water,” Rick explained, “In essence: if you have a mold problem, you have a water problem.”  Water intrusion supplies settled mold spores the moisture they need to grow and thrive in your home. “It doesn’t matter if the water comes from internal sources such as plumbing”, he said, “or external sources like groundwater or roof leaks”.  When mold is discovered, the first step to take is to identify and remove the cause, then, properly remediate the mold in a way that does not contaminate the entire structure.

Health hazards are almost always a concern when SERVPRO is contacted to conduct mold inspections and remediation. Rick explained that the CDC’s page2 on mold (cdc.gov/mold) is the best authority to answer those health concerns: “The CDC has well-researched information to help homeowners gain a realistic understanding of the threats of mold.”

Top indicators of active mold growth to look for include: musty odors; “if you smell mold, chances are you have active mold growth” he says, and signs of water intrusion; “such as condensation, leaks, or water staining on walls and ceilings”.  If you are concerned about mold in your home or business, call SERVPRO at 775-827-9944 or request help online at www.SERVPROrenonwtruckeetahoevista.com/fnol.

SERVPRO Industries, Inc., DOES NOT purport to provide expert guidance or direction concerning mold. Our objective is to share current information and guidelines for mold remediation to help you better understand the issues and challenges related to mold.

SOURCES:

1: ANSI/IICRC S520 Standard for Professional Mold Remediation. 3rd ed., vol. s520, Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, 2015.

2: “Mold.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 Nov. 2017, www.cdc.gov/mold/default.htm.

TAHOE VISTA: Commercial Building Restoration

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

Tahoe living has its own unique challenges when it comes to flooding and fire damage. We talk a lot about how Reno is prone to flooding because of the snowmelt, but during the change of the seasons, the snow melts into the Tahoe and Truckee areas first before it can get to Reno in the first place! Employees track in water and mud from outside, wind ushers in dead leaves and debris, and the carpets absorb all the detritus you can’t see.

“Having a clean and respectable workplace will not only enhance your professional reputation amongst visitors, but it will also build your morale from within, which will then ensure that your employees feel valued and cared for.” - Chris Valentine, Odd Culture

Many of our clients in the Tahoe area have taken steps with SERVPRO of Reno NW Truckee / Tahoe Vista to stop the growth of mold in their office spaces; we do remediate mold as well, but drying out the area BEFORE mold can start growing is essential for the health of the office, and the financials of it. Places like Eagle Peak Herbals, WP Property Management, Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative, and Realty World Lassen are taking advantage of our being “Faster to any size disaster” promise, and are enjoying the benefits of clean offices and working spaces.

We are firm believers that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; don’t wait until you see or smell mold. Instead, call the professionals at SERVPRO when mold-growing conditions like humidity and water damage infiltrate your workplace.

Getting Your Commercial Building or Office Space Cleaned: Is it Worth it?

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

INC.com says that you shouldn’t “leave it up to the night cleaning crew to take care of your office. They will probably empty your trash and vacuum, but I assure you that detailed cleaning is not going to happen.” They later go on to say that the way to go about cleaning your office starts with you. So...

What’s Wrong With an Unclean Office Space?

  1. Clients and customers’ first impressions impact reviews and their willingness to use a company’s products or services again in the future. If it's messy, stained, damaged, or smells off, you are not getting the best impression possible.

  2. Healthy employees mean productive employees! In general, people prefer where they work to be clean and free of distracting messes, “When your employees are satisfied, engagement levels rise, and your corporate culture is positively impacted,” according to Action Clean Up.

  3. Maintenance: after a storm or unusual amount of rain, humidity rises indoors as well. Office equipment like copiers, fax machines, computers and other electronics run the risk of damage if humidity or water comes into contact with their working parts.

  4. Also from Action Clean Up: “Other important assets like floor tiles, carpets, and furnishings should be cleaned regularly to maintain their beauty and extend their useful life. Hard surface floors should have an even gloss, free of scuffs and black marks. Carpets need to be vacuumed frequently and should be free of spots and stains.”

While SERVPRO thinks regular office space cleaning is a basic responsibility of all movers and shakers, you’ve got a business to run, and spending time on deep cleanup is a waste! Let SERVPRO of Reno NW / Truckee / Tahoe Vista handle the deep cleaning of your workspace, so you can get back to business.

Bottom Line?

Getting cleaned up and ready to rock the business world is absolutely worth it. It makes you and your business look like the professionals you are, keeps employees and customers happy, and prolongs the life of business assets (be they electronic or not) after weather events. Give SERVPRO a call; you'll be glad you did. 

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO10274

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HELP WANTED: Job File Coordinator

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO OF RENO NW / TRUCKEE / TAHOE VISTA IS SEEKING: someone who has insurance, construction, and/or restoration experience. Must be great on the phone, have excellent analytical skills, be detail-oriented, and a serious multi-tasker.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Maintain job files - WIPs
  • Monitor and ensure insurance requirements are followed
  • Prepare job file reports
  • Complete and review job file documentation for uploads and the audit process
  • Complete job file audit process
  • Review and validate initial field documentation
  • Create preliminary estimates
  • Perform job close-out

Position Requirements:

  • 2+ year(s) of insurance, administrative mitigation or construction experience preferred
  • Experience with writing estimates, job file processes, and quality assurance a plus
  • Polite, confident, and excellent customer service skills, including listening and questioning skills
  • Ability to remain calm and professional during tense or stressful situations
  • Excellent organizational skills and strong attention to detail
  • Capability to work in a fast-paced, team-oriented office environment
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (i.e., Outlook, Word, Excel)
  • Ability to learn new software, including Xactimate® and proprietary software
  • Minimum of HSD/GED preferred

Hours:

  • 40 hours/week, flexible to work overtime when required
  • 8am - 5pm Monday - Friday

Wage:

  • Dependent on experience

Job Type:

  • Full-time

Required experience:

  • Construction, Mitigation or Insurance expe: 1 year

Required education:

  • High school or equivalent

Job Location:

  • Reno, NV

JOB ON INDEED

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO10274

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Can’t Get Over The Pass: What To Do in Truckee/Tahoe

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

It is that time of year when there just isn’t enough powder to ski and snowboard, but just too much to make driving back into town unsafe. Take it from the people who routinely take work in the Truckee / Tahoe Vista area; there are tons of things to do until road conditions get better!

  • Movies in Tahoe: Tahoe is an amazing hub of constant creativity and art. Diamond Peak shows local flicks for those days where you’re stuck in Tahoe because of road conditions.

  • According to Reno.com: “Even if the snow isn’t falling, temperatures can still be conducive to keeping things icy. Heavenly Village and the Village at Northstar both feature ice-skating rinks that provide a winter wonderland feel, even without the powder.”

  • Rest + Recover: If you’re feeling a little unwell for the altitude, there is a spa specifically for your ailments inside the Hyatt.

For more information and to keep up with our tips, follow SERVPRO on Twitter: @SERVPRO10274

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LOOKING FOR SKILLED HANDS: SERVPRO of Reno NW/Truckee/Tahoe Vista

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Are you looking for a no-nonsense job in the restoration industry? Join the team at SERVPRO. We’re looking for top-of-the-line, experienced people to fill the role of Sales and Marketing Project Manager.

JOB SUMMARY

SERVPRO of Reno NW/Truckee/Tahoe Vista is seeking someone who is comfortable meeting new people, who has excellent communication skills, and who is a serious multi-tasker. Are you self-motivated with superb interpersonal skills? You’ll thrive in this work environment. Our idea of the ultimate candidate is one who is proactive, experienced, and truly enjoys providing superior service. If you can stand back after a job well done and think “how can I do even better next time?” you’re our perfect fit.

SMPM’s are responsible for sales activity that result in restoration projects, daily oversight of those projects, and on-call duties one week per month which include first responding to emergency service jobs. You’ll be responsible for overseeing skilled crews, writing estimates, and decision making on how to best proceed with restoring commercial and residential properties to SERVPRO specifications and industry standards. 


POSITION REQUIREMENTS

The role of SMPM requires effective written and oral communication skills, experience in cleaning and restoration, the ability to travel locally and out of state when necessary and physical strength to regularly lift 50 lbs minimum.

A minimum two years of progressively responsible business-to-business sales experience
Experience with sales and marketing within the service sector
Experience in the restoration industry
A knowledge of estimating
Leadership skills
Superb sales, customer service, administrative, verbal, and written communication skills
Strong business and financial background and process-and-results-driven attitude
Experience in the commercial cleaning and restoration or insurance industry is desired
Working knowledge of current business software technologies is required
Bachelor’s degree in marketing or business or equivalent experience
IICRC certifications preferred
Ability to successfully complete a background check subject to applicable law

Pay Rate
Competitive base salary plus commission.

975 Terminal Way

Is It Black Mold?

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Is It Black Mold? #MoldRemediation starts by treating all molds exactly the same.

"Black Mold"-- the term conjures up images of hazardous material suits, apocalypse, and hospital beds. But what do we really have to be afraid of?

Black mold is a loose term, usually referring to the strain of mold called Stachybotrys chartarum, which--like many molds--produces mycotoxins, which can cause allergic reactions.

The Center for Disease Control says that "the common health concerns from molds include hay fever-like allergic symptoms. Certain individuals with chronic respiratory disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma) may experience difficulty breathing." 

I see mold that is black in my home or office--is it Stachybotrys chartarum?

Without a mold test, it is impossible to tell. What you should know, however, is that a mold's color is dependent on a host of things, including the food source. Additionally, the colors vary by region. In the Amazon, mold is mostly orange. In the United States mold can be blue, green, white, soft yellow, et cetera. Mold's colors protect it from damage and offers a shield from the sun, other species of mold, and more as well. 

So not all mold that is black is Stachybotrys Chartarum, but all mold should be removed. Which means that it really doesn't matter what kind of mold you have.



What do you mean it doesn't matter what kind of mold I have?

Well, all mold should be treated with care and personal protective equipment should be used when removing it.

Additionally, the Center for Disease Control states that "hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins [like Stachybotrys Chartarum] should be considered the same as other common molds which can grow in your house," and goes on to say that "It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal."

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Humidifiers: The Downside

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Winters are so dry in the Silver State, and in Northern California! Many of us turn to humidifiers to deal with dry sinuses, cold and flu season, or to avoid dry skin and related problems. Unfortunately, any time we write about water at SERVPRO, it means there’s about to be damage involved.

Too much humidity can cause mold to grow near a humidifier, or in a particularly humid room. That’s why we suggest turning on the bathroom fan when you take a shower, and using the fans over the stove (if you have a hood in your kitchen) while cooking.

Too little, and furniture, wood, and flooring can crack as they become robbed of moisture. You also get robbed of moisture, as dry air makes your body feel colder-- meaning you probably think of reaching for the thermostat or a space heater to keep warm. Not only are space heaters and turning up the thermostat expensive, but space heaters are one of the leading reasons for house fires, especially if you’re leaving them running for extended periods of time.

Managing the humidity in your home can save you from having to remediate mold, fire damage, and property destruction.

When it is ten to twenty degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, your home’s humidity should not exceed 35%. For every ten degree drop in temperature, subtract 5%; so, if it is zero to 10 degrees outside, 30% humidity is the highest you should have in your home.

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