Kill mold before it kills you!

Kill Mold before it Kills you!

Kill mold before it kills you! Top 3 things you must do.

Kill mold before it kills you! Mold, Just the very word makes people shutter. No one wants to think about it. Most people know about the harmful effects of mold that grows inside our home maybe even that Mold can kill you! How many of us are aware of the mold that grows around the outside of your home? I am sure that most of us are not even aware of where it is and what it can do to us or our loved ones.

Mold is everywhere. It is a part of our daily lives, that we probably want to forget or not even think about. Mold grows on the outside of your home, around windows and doors, on your roof, on your driveway, patios, decks, and pools. It’s everywhere we live and everywhere our lives work and play. So, what can be done about it? Let’s learn about it first.

My name is Jim, owner/operator of curb appeal home services here in Naples Florida, and for nearly twenty-five years I have operated and managed teams of indoor and outdoor maintenance businesses here in Naples Florida. I have forgotten more than most of society will ever know about mold and the devastation it can wreak on your family and property. You need to know and understand what you’re dealing with in order to properly kill it before it kills you.

Mold or fungus, need food to survive, just like you and I. Just like human diets are varied, so too are the diets of mold. So, what do they eat? Dusts, ultra-fine sugars from aerosols from trees and bushes, tree sap, minerals, organic debris, etc. These are all food sources for mold and fungus growing on your home and decks.

There is one missing ingredient that combines all these food sources, and just like humans, that is water. If you could keep your home and deck completely dry, every day and night, 24 hrs. a day, you wouldn’t have a mold problem. Scratching your head thinking to yourself, what? Sprinklers, rain, even early morning moisture is enough to sustain these green and black organisms of death! Mold is tenacious as well. Just a little water, and they can make it their life’s purpose to cost you money, your health, and that of your loved ones as well!

This green and black organism can be harmful as well. I’m sure you’re aware of the harmful effects of mold growing inside your home, but are you aware of the harmful effects of mold growing on the outside of your home?  Just like indoor effects, sneezing, coughing, scratchy throat, and respiratory problems, there are added effects to mold growing outdoors. Areas around your home make your pets, children, and grandchildren vulnerable when they are around these areas, as well as areas that remain wet attract rats, snakes, and bugs as well as other rodents and animals. Leaving this mold to grow and feed will also reduce the effectiveness of paint, drainage areas, and leaves your home looking unsightly, and even smelling bad. So, what do I do?

There are many products in the market today that can be helpful for handling surface mold. Some of these are products that you spray on the affected area, and walk away. These can be easy to use, but make sure that you read the directions carefully. If you live in an area that receives heavy or dally rainfall, they will not be effective, as they are designed to soak in, and then be activated with the wind and rain. Regula rains will wash them away before they become effective. This could be costly. There are many effective methods you can find on the internet, and they will all be effective to a degree. Ultimately, the will all require you to wash or soak the area, and then take a thick bristled brush and vigorously brush the affected area, and then rinse off, letting it completely dry.  Power washing is also an effective method to removing the unsightly mold, although I highly recommend hiring a professional as they will not harm the surface, or surrounding vegetation.

Of all the methods available, taking notice of your surroundings of what may be causing this growth will be the most effective. These other methods are effective, yet they are time consuming, and the work to keep up is difficult when we have busy lives. A simple walk around your property, and knowing what you are looking for can save you time and money, as well as help you feel healthier in your environment.  Here are the top 3 things to look for and why you should look for them:

 

  1. Standing Water: Standing water can be anywhere. Small variations in pool decks, yards, and drainage areas can affect where water will go. Make sure that pavers or concrete isn’t sinking. Check drainage around your home to make sure it is sloping away from your home. These areas that stay wet longer add to the problem, and become the cause for more major issues later.
  2. Tree Limbs: Check for lower tree limbs that may be hanging down lower. These limbs hang low, and block out much needed sun onto decks, or even drainage areas. Sunshine is a very effective tool in helping combat water. Sunshine allows the water to be drawn out and dried. Think about the areas around your home where the sun shines all the time, do you see the mold?
  3. Shrubs & Bushes: Check the shrubs and bushes around your home to make sure that they are being trimmed back away from your home. Leaving sufficient space between shrubs and bushes allows sun and air to circulate through, and dry any water that may get on your home or be standing around the bushes.

If you notice, these are not complicated, nor do they take a lot of effort, as well as enjoying a nice walk around your property. If you notice these items, and you think they could be affecting your mold issues, have a talk with your landscaper to get these items completed. These simple things may not completely rid you of the problem, but they will greatly reduce growth, and get back to enjoying your home. If you’re not sure about what could be affecting this issue in your home, you can always contact me at info@homeservicesnaples.com. Myself and my crack team of mold mutilators will gladly assess the issues and provide you with the best advice, or you can set up a time for us to come to your home and give you a free consultation. Don’t end up like so many victims of the Mold Monsters!! Kill the mold before it kills you.

Check out the video below regarding what black mold can do.

 

Hurricane Preparedness in Naples Florida

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS by Curb Appeal Home Services Naples

 

Hurricanes are a common threat in Florida. The facts are that it’s not a matter of if, but when. Whether you are new to Florida or you have been here a long time, Curb Appeal Home Services of Naples knows that just hearing the forecast for a Hurricane creates stress. Many questions go through your mind when you here of the threat of a hurricane. Where is it going to make landfall? Do I have batteries? Do I have gas? Do I need a generator? Should I stay? These are just a few of the more common questions that get asked. Yet, there are certain questions that get asked too late, and they should be asked long before Hurricane season is upon us. Additional questions like; Where is the flashlight, do we have protection for the windows and doors, where are we putting the loose items outside, what happens if there is damage, what happens if we cannot get out, all too often these questions get asked when it’s too late.

hurricane preparedness

This is why people living in Florida should have a plan of action, or a Hurricane Preparedness plan. A plan of action for both pre-hurricane season, and a plan of action for when a hurricane is going to make landfall. Being prepared can be the difference in the health and safety of not just your home, but also your family. Not hesitating, makes the difference. Here are some items and reasons to help you prepare, as well as why, so you can be prepared.

 

  • Flashlight: First item on the list. First, if you have one, find it. Make sure to put it in a location where everyone in the family knows where it is. If you only have one, make sure to get a backup.
  • Batteries: Make sure that you have the proper size for your flashlights. Also, if there are any battery-operated items in your home, make sure that you have those size batteries as well. Clocks are a good example, or smoke detectors. The best time to buy your batteries would be at the beginning of hurricane season. You will be able to put fresh batteries in all your devices, and you will have fresh batteries just in case of emergency. Remember, the average shelf life for a lithium battery is about 5 years if kept in ideal conditions. This is why it’s best to make sure to buy your batteries before the hurricane season.
  • Food & Water: During hurricane season, if one does make landfall in your area, having a steady supply of food and water is essential. It is typical for the power to be off for an average of 3-7 days, depending on how quickly your electrical provider can disperse trucks, and how close you live to a grid that is deemed “priority”, such as a Fire Station, or Hospital. Ideally, you will want to store non-perishable foods with a long shelf life. NOW, is the best time to remember to fill your propane tanks for your BBQ Grill. Make sure you have a spare, as this could be your only source to cook food. Water, can also be stored for a long period of time but there are some important factors to remember about water:
    • Water for drinking. This is important for your health.
    • Water for flushing toilets. This can become an issue, and finding water for this is not as easy. Preparing ahead of time can make a difference. Empty buckets in the garage or on lanai’s can solve this problem.
    • Water for washing: Again, showering may not be a possibility. Having water on hand can make the difference when the power goes out, and there isn’t any AC.
    • DO NOT USE STANDING WATER FROM RAIN: This can be harmful to your health and home.
  • Window & Door Protection: Many of the newer homes in Florida are now required to have shutters. These can be roll down shutters mounted to the exterior of the home, or, panels provided for homeowners to install over their windows & doors. Either way, this is something that should be prepared for. Make sure that you regularly test your roll down shutters so that they work properly. This will insure that your windows and doors are protected when its needed. As far as shutter panels, it should be a routine plan to install them, the same as having a fire evacuation plan. Make sure that everyone knows where they go and how they are installed. Do you have all the bolts and nuts that go with the panels? Are the panels labeled on the inside so everyone knows which location they go to? Are the anchors that are provided around the window or door clean? Do they have plastic caps on them to protect them from the weather? These items are important for the safety and protection of your home and family.
  • NO SHUTTERS: Many homes are not provided with hurricane shutters. Wind during these storms can turn flying debris into missiles. If debris breaks the glass or worse goes through the glass, the pressure that can build up inside a home can be catastrophic. So, what does a person do if they do not have shutters? Below, is a list of items that can help to protect your home. Hiring a handyman service is another way for many who are older relieve some of the stress of trying to do this themselves.
    • 5/8” plywood or better. A full sheet is 5/8”x4’x8’. Usually, this is installed 4-6 inches bigger than the window or door that it is protecting. The minimum should be 5/8”.
    • 1-3/4” Concrete Anchors. These anchors are installed by drilling a hole with a concrete bit, and then installing the anchor. When installing these anchors, make sure they are tight, and they should be installed no more than 6” apart.
    • DO NOT try to use any type of tape or film on your windows or doors. It does not work. Winds can get extreme, and your home and the safety of your family is not worth it.
  • Outdoor Items: For many, the Florida lifestyle includes having a home with a pool, pool deck, and pool furniture, so that they can sit outside and enjoy the weather. When that weather gets extreme, outdoor patio furniture can become dangerous. When hearing that a potential hurricane could make landfall, it is best practice to move the furniture either indoors, or into the garage for safety reasons. This will include small potted plants, cushions, and any pictures or items that may be for decoration. Also, do not forget your BBQ Grill. This may become your only source of cooking if the power goes out as mentioned earlier. Some other items to take notice of:
    • Outdoor signs. Such as Security company signs.
    • Bird Houses that are hanging from tree limbs
    • Flags
    • Hanging Lights: Chandeliers at front entry ways for example.
  • Generators: Due to major hurricanes in the past, many homeowners are installing all home generators. If your home has one of these, or, if you are renting or purchasing a small generator, there are some important things to remember, and some helpful tips to make this a little less stressful:
    • Safety: Whole Home Generators are equipped to come on automatically when the power goes out. Small generators must be started when the power goes out. There are two main safety factors that must be watched for: make sure the generator has adequate ventilation; make sure any gas cans are stored away from the generator or heat sources. These two main factors will help protect your family.
    • No Gas: Having the generator running makes an uncomfortable situation a little less uncomfortable. But what happens when you run out of gas? Trying to find gas, or worse, there are gas rations, what do you do to save gas? The following is a guide to help make your gas last, your generator not run all the time, and still help with preserving the items in your home:
      • Before the storm while you still have power, turn your Air Conditioner and Refrigerator to a colder setting.
      • Once power has gone out, wait till the storm passes before turning on your generator. (At this point, you should have your flashlight, and do not open the doors of the refrigerator)
      • If your generator is a whole home generator, before the storm hits and power goes out, go to the electrical panel. Turn off any unnecessary items that you will not need. For example: Stove, Microwave, DW, Washing, Dryer. Keep on only the lighting you will absolutely need at nighttime, and all other circuits can be turned off. Now, turn on your generator.
      • If you are using a generator to plug into, go ahead and make sure the generator is outside, and the exhaust port is pointing away from the home. Start your generator and then plug in what is needed.
      • After several hrs, usually 4-5 hrs of running time, turn off your generator. This is called “cycling down”. The reason for this is two-fold. One, it protects the generator from running all the time, and saves the use of gas. Also, once your refrigerator has been cold, it takes less time to keep it cold. Items can be taken out, the door closed, and the door can remain closed to preserve the cold inside. The same will go for the AC on a whole home generator.
    • Personal information: Many times, damage will happen. Sometimes it is unavoidable. If you survived, then everything else can be replaced. In order to do that, you have to have your personal information. Insurance, License, and a whole list of items. Before the storm, it is usually a good idea to have all important documents scanned and installed on a Zip drive, or disc, that is available to you. If something should happen, and you need to either evacuate, or you’re rescued from the damage, it will be important to have those papers available. By having the Zip drive, you will be able to access all of those important papers from any computer, and you will know that they will be safe. Here is a small list of important documents that you can add to yourself:
      • Drivers License
      • Homeowners Insurance Policy
      • Car Insurance Policy
      • Picture of License Plate
      • Pet Papers
      • Dr’s Phone Numbers
      • Prescriptions
      • Birth Certificates
      • Passports
      • Social Security Cards
      • Phone Numbers of Family
    • Pets: Pets are part of our family, and we want them protected also. Remember, the wind howling, thunder and lightening can scare them, just like it can scare us. Make sure you have plenty of food and water for them as well. Have a place for them to sleep near you during the storm. Keep them close to you at all times. Many times, they like to hide under beds or tables and it can be hard to get them. Ensure that they are taken care of as well.
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