Archived Blog Posts
13 TIPS TO PREVENT STORM DAMAGE TO YOUR HOME THIS SUMMER
How to prevent storm damage to your home:
1. Clean your gutters.
Okay, gutters and downspouts are gross. We get that. There are soggy leaves and dirt in there. But the thing is that the grossness can block the water that needs to run off your roof during a storm. If the water builds up, it can settle around your roof and house, which isn’t good. That can cause water damage to your home.
So, even though this might not be your favorite chore, cleaning the gutters should definitely be on your summer home maintenance checklist.
2. Inspect the foundation of your home.
If there are any gaps or cracks in your house’s foundation, water could seep into your home during a heavy rain and cause major water damage. Water is crafty and will find entry points. Repair any cracks you find and call a professional if you need backup.
Also, don’t forget to check the sealing on your windows and doors. This is another place where water might sneak in.
3. Check your yard for dead or diseased trees.
This is a big one for preventing storm maintenance. You may want to call in a trustworthy tree expert to check your yard for dangerous trees.
How can a tree be dangerous?
Well, if the tree is dead, hollowed, or diseased, it may not be able to stand up to the strong winds and rains of a summer storm. Meaning that you may end up with a tree crashing into your house…which is not good. Fortunately, home insurance typically covers falling trees, but it’s best just to get the unsafe trees removed so they don’t put anyone in danger. Or smash your home.
4. Secure furniture that could fall.
If you’ve got heavy, tall furniture that could fall, such as bookshelves or cabinets, make sure to anchor them to the wall so they’re secure and won’t fall. Also, move furniture away from the doors or windows.
5. Have your roof inspected every year.
It’s important to have your roof inspected and maintained each year. This will help you catch any issues and correct them before they get too serious. It’s best to fortify and strengthen your roof so it’s ready to take the walloping of a summer storm. Roof maintenance can even help you save money on your home insurance rates.
6. Think about your landscaping.
Having creative landscaping designed to guide water away from your home’s foundation can help prevent flooding in your home.
It’s important that the ground slopes away from your house. There should be a slope of a quarter-inch per foot heading downhill away from your home’s foundation. If you need to, add some soil to create this grade. Take advantage of gravity to pull the water away from the house and prevent summer storm damage.
7. Pack up outdoor furniture.
Here’s the deal:
Your patio table and chairs look great. But in a storm, they can get turned into missiles if they get picked up by a strong gust of wind. And then they can get thrown right into your house. Ouch.
Anyways, be sure to pack up all your outdoor furniture and decorations to prevent that from happening. Avoid the chair-smashes-a-window scenario and spare yourself the headache of dealing with the storm damage.
8. Know how to shut off your utilities.
If the weather gets really severe, you may need to turn off your utilities. Know how to do this ahead of time so you’re not guessing and saying “umm” a lot when a storm hits.
9. Unplug electronics.
You can protect your electronics by unplugging them before a storm hits. You don’t want your TV or computer to get fried.
10. Identify safe rooms in your home.
It’s a good idea to take some time to consider what the safest rooms in your home are. Ideally, you would pick an interior room with no windows. If there’s a tornado watch or warning, you’ll want to be in an interior room in the basement or lowest level of the house.
Make sure everyone in your family knows the plan and where they should find shelter in the house.
11. Shutter your windows.
Close the shutters and secure the doors. If you don’t have shutters on your windows, close any blinds or curtains you have.
12. Create a disaster kit.
A disaster kit can really help your family if you have to weather a severe storm. Think about what to include in a disaster kit for your family, make a list, and assemble your kit.
13. Watch the weather.
Be sure to keep an eye on the weather by listening to the radio, watching TV, or getting weather alerts on your phone. Find out how your community communicates a weather emergency and heed their warnings.
A severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are perfect for a big storm. A bad storm could be imminent.
A severe thunderstorm warning means that there is a severe storm in your area and you need to seek shelter immediately.
The summer is prime time for huge storms. So, it’s probably a good idea to take some time to prepare your house so you can prevent storm damage. Your house is a major investment, and by taking a few simple steps you can protect it from storm damage. Don’t put it off – be sure to prepare your home before the summer storms hit.
Commercial Mold Removal
Why do I have mold on my premises?
Mold in a commercial property can be caused by water damage or water intrusion from various sources such as a roof, window or plumbing leaks. The humidity caused by the presence of moisture combined with the warmth and poor ventilation in a property gives mold the perfect conditions to develop, and it can spread quickly if left unchecked. This can cause damage to internal structures, damage to products in storage and is also a serious health risk for you, your customers and your staff.
Should I Clean Mold Myself?
It may be tempting to clean the mold off of surfaces yourself, however, this will only remove the surface mold. Although an area may look clean of mold, there will be spores within the surface that you will not be able to reach with household cleaning items. The spores that are left will continue to multiply and grow and the surface growth will soon be visible again. A few things you can do in the case of a mold infestation are:
- Turn off your HVAC system if you have one
- Make sure that movement in the area is limited to prevent spores from transferring elsewhere
- Do not touch or disturb the affected areas
- Make sure that you vacate the property
What Will a Mold Removal Team do?
If you have a mold infestation on your premises, you should call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe certified mold removal professionals as soon as possible. They will be able to determine the cause of the mold growth and remove all spores from the property ensuring that it is fully eliminated.
Our team will carry out a preliminary assessment of the problem to ascertain the severity of the infestation and the underlying cause. Mold isn’t always visible to the human eye so our experts will use special equipment to clean areas that are affected or that have high moisture levels that will encourage future mold growth.
Once the assessment and containment of the mold are complete, our team will then remove the mold at the source ensuring that there are no mold spores present within the premises to safeguard against further infestation. Finally, the team will remove the underlying cause of the infestation by repairing the affected area to stop the further intrusion of water.
If left untreated, mold can cause serious structural damage to your commercial property such as brickwork and drywall which could lead to more serious issues that will take longer and cost more to correct in addition to the loss of business while the premises are being treated and repaired. Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe today at 478-452-8000 for a consultation.
Make your Appliances a Priority
Flood damage, burst pipes, and storms, OH MY! It feels like, between all the crazy weather we have had in the past two years, we have enough to worry about when it comes to potential water damages affecting our businesses.
However, there is a hidden danger that lies within your business' walls that needs to be given attention. Leaking and blocked appliances may not seem like a big deal, but it does not take a lot of time for a little leak to cause a lot of damage to your business. Taking the time to pay attention and keeping your appliances up to date not only saves you money in the long run, it also ensures you are keeping your business doors open and operating. Here are some helpful tips on how to make sure you're making your appliances a priority.
Mark Your Calendar
When you purchase new appliances, make sure you write down the expiration dates and recommended replacement dates on their parts and hoses. You have enough to remember throughout your busy days, so write it down and forget about it (until the time comes to make replacements that is).
Make a Date Every Friday Afternoon
Cut out 30 minutes every Friday afternoon and walk around and check all your appliances that are hooked up to a water source. Check for blockages, the hoses, and any leaks, so that you can make sure you are not leaving them unattended for a whole weekend. A small leak over a two-day span could not only create a large amount of damage, but it could be the cause for you having to close your business's doors for a few days. Keeping up with your appliances will help keep your weekend as stress-free as possible.
Don't Put it Off
When you find the problem, fix the problem. Replace a leaky hose, or call a plumber to clear the blockage in your drains or sinks before it is too late. Finding and fixing an issue early on will save you a lot of trouble, time, and money, so don't put it off!
If you do find yourself with a water damage due to a faulty appliance, make sure you give SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe a call at 478-452-8000!
The Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Workplace Water Damage is Restored by SERVPRO
When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms.
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.
2. Damaged appliances and equipment
This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.
3. Broken pipes and plumbing
Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result.
4. Backed up sewer lines
This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings.
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe will get you back up and running again. Call us anytime 24/7 at 478-452-8000 for fast help.
7 Top Fire Damage Restoration Tips
We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire. Here are seven of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration.
Most people can put these tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring highly trained restoration specialists who will guarantee their work.
- Remove Smoke Damage
With any fire you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.
- Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps
Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (478)452-8000.
- Get Rid of Mold & Mildew
Firefighters are great. They save many a live and many a home. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. SERVPRO recommends you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s properly cleaned all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.
- Replace Carpets. Clean And Dry Your Floors
Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, SERVPRO recommends that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.
- Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing
Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry. Removing smoke odor is another issue and we’ve covered it in another blog post.
Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (478)452-8000.
- Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes
Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.
Why Immediate Fire Damage Restoration is Important
When a fire occurs in a home, the aftermath can seem overwhelming, and if fire restoration is postponed, the destruction from smoke damage can become even worse. The longer you wait to address the damage, the more repairs you'll have to fix - which means you'll most likely have a larger bill for damages when all is said and done. You can avoid costly repairs and long-term issues if you make fire damage restoration a priority and follow the steps you'll need to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.
First, and foremost - and this is the most important step - contact the professionals at SERVPRO and they can assess the damage, give you an estimate on costs and start the cleanup process. Then contact your home insurance company to make them aware of the fire. It's essential that you enlist the help of a licensed and insured fire damage restoration company to reduce the risk of further damage to your home. They are trained to handle this type of damage and many will perform some of the following steps to help get you through the initial fire cleanup:
- Smoke and fire damage restoration services will try to save as many of your home and personal belongings (such as appliances, furniture and clothing) as they can.
- SERVPRO will document everything they remove from your home by taking pictures and/or keeping written records.
- SERVPRO will return any salvageable furniture and appliances back to your home, after the fire restoration is complete.
- SERVPRO will work quickly and carefully to get you back in your home as soon as possible, and stay in contact with you to make sure the repairs were done correctly and your home isn't experiencing any other problems.
What is Fire Damage and How Restoration Works
A fire can lead to serious and significant property damage and any number of problems that will negatively impact your quality of life and cost you a lot of money until you get them repaired. Many people don’t realize the full extent or nature of fire damage or a large number of different services offered by fire damage restoration.
Here we will look at what fire damage actually does to your property and at all the different ways it can affect you. From there, we will then look at how fire damage restoration helps to address each of these resultant issues.
In the case of a fire, the first thing you are likely to notice is that your items have been burned leading to them being destroyed. This can ruin walls, cabinets, counter tops and much more leaving them looking dilapidated and not fit for purpose.
This is the most obvious type of damage that SERVPRO will help to address. They offer full renovation services and be able to help you to redecorate your home and to replace all of your furniture, fittings, and upholstery so that your rooms look actually better than they did before the fire in many cases.
When it comes to repairing the obvious and immediate damage to your property, fire damage restoration companies will prioritize damage that could lead to further damage. A good example of this might be a burned stair case that is in danger of collapsing unless it is seen to quickly. Likewise, if you have a hole burned in your roof or in your wall then this might risk wind and rain blowing into your property and could even leave you vulnerable to trespassers and thieves. Again, this will be a very early issue that SERVPRO will look at.
In some other cases, there may be fire damage that is beyond the scope of repair companies to fix. If your furniture has been badly burned for instance, then SERVPRO may recommend that you simply dispose of it. Thankfully, SERVPRO offers this service and will remove your items for you so that there is one less job for you to do.
Signs of Storm Damage
While your roof is designed to withstand the elements, some storms are more intense than others. There are signs to look for when you believe there may have been damage to your roof. Please be safe when inspecting your roof—possibly view from a window inside the house or use binoculars from the ground. SERVPRO can assist with assessing any damages that may exist.
Significant wind can cause shingles to blow off the roof deck. Missing shingles can lead to leaks and other interior damage. Other wind damage may not be easy to see, especially if the adhesive seal that provides a water-shedding surface is broken. Always be safe when checking for roof damage.
All manufacturers publish a wind warranty on their shingles; it is important to compare the wind coverage when making your shingle selection on a new roof. If the winds that caused the shingle damage were above the manufacturer’s wind coverage, you’ll need to file an insurance claim. If they were not, contact the shingle manufacturer to file a claim.
Potential signs of wind damage:
- Missing shingles.
- Thin horizontal lines where granules have been worn off about 1-2 inches beneath the shingle above; this could indicate that the shingle seal was broken and the shingle was flapping in the wind rubbing against the shingle above it. To be effective against the elements, shingles must be sealed to each other as one water tight roof deck.
Usually hail is not something that you can miss—it is typically a widespread weather event in a neighborhood and not isolated to just one house on the block. Hail can bruise a shingle causing an indentation that may be hard to see but that can crack the shingle allowing water to infiltrate over time. You may need the assistance of a professional roofing contractor to determine the scope of the damage. If you have hail damage, you will need to file an insurance claim.
If your hail event was significant in terms of widespread damage, you will have roofing contractors who specialize in “storms” knocking on your door within days of the event. As always, you should use your best judgment when selecting a contractor. SERVPRO has a network of Preferred Contractors.
Potential signs of hail damage:
- Other collateral hail damage around the house; dents on cars or other items on your house or in your yard.
- A distinct pattern of small round-shaped divots on the edges of the shingles.
- Indentations in the shingle where granules are missing.
- A large pile of granules at the end of your downspout; a small amount is normal, especially on new shingles.
During some storms tree branches or other failing debris can land on your roof. Some items are small and won’t cause an issue—other items are so large that you will naturally be concerned about damage. Use your best judgment. You may need to have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof for damage. If you have damage from debris on your roof, you will need to file an insurance claim.
Potential signs of debris damage:
- Visual identification of debris on the roof deck.
- Missing shingles.
- Cracked shingles.
- A large pile of granules at the end of your downspout; a small amount is normal, especially for new shingles.
SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team
The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is comprised of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the nation to handle any size disaster.
Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.
At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Get the professionals, call SERVPRO.
Clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include the following:
- The Hospitality Industry
- Property Managers
- The Pentagon
Should a storm or major event strike, call 1-800-SERVPRO
Catastrophic Storm and Major Event Response
The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are prepared for the unpredictable.
With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:
- 2018 Hurricane Michael
- 2017 California wildfires
- 2017 Hurricane Irma
- 2017 Hurricane Harvey
- 2016 Hurricane Matthew
- 2015 Carolina floods
- 2014 Polar Vortex
- 2012 Sandy
- 2010 Nashville floods
- 2008 Ike
- 2007 Chicago floods
- 2007 Ohio floods
- 2007 California wildfires
- 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita
What to do if you have a Water Damage
What to Do When You Have Water Damage
SERVPRO has restored countless water losses and know exactly what needs to be done to get you back to preloss condition quickly.
It’s important to act fast because any delay in responding not only can cause additional damage to occur, but many insurance policies require that you do everything you can to protect the property from additional damage.
SERVPRO will bill your insurance company directly and all necessary work will be performed with as little inconvenience and intrusion as possible. So call our 24-hour emergency line and we’ll be on our way fast.
Until we arrive, here are some things you can do to minimize additional damage and speed the process of getting you back to normal.
- If circuit breakers are safely accessible, turn off power in the affected areas.
- Turn off the source of water if safely accessible.
- Blot the water with towels or mop the wet area if possible.
- Remove wet rugs, newspapers, books and magazines. These items can cause staining.
- Remove lamps and other items from wood furniture. If surfaces are damp, wipe them dry.
- All moisture sensitive items should be removed from wet areas and propped up in a dry, safe place.
- To prevent further water damage to furniture, place foil or plywood under the legs.
- Furniture skirts should be lifted off of damp floors with clothespins.
- Wet draperies should be hung to dry at room temperature, as well as any affected furs and leather goods.
- Avoid all contact with wet areas if the water clearly came from a contaminated source.
- Wash yourself immediately if you have come into contact with contaminated water.
- Avoid spreading contaminated water from room to room.
- Do not turn on heating or air conditioning units, as contaminated air can be spread this way.
- Stay away from any room where there is a shock hazard from exposed electricity outlets or equipment.
- Do not use ceiling fixtures, fans or any other electric devices while standing on wet flooring of any type.
- Do not attempt to remove water with a standard vacuum cleaner or dry the area using household fans. These machines could get damaged or you could be injured.
4 Critical Steps in Preventing Commercial Water Damage
We’ve all been asked the question, “In a fire, what would you grab first?” For a homeowner, that’s an easy answer. Most of us would choose precious keepsakes, photos, and a few prized possessions. However, when disaster comes knocking on the door of a business, there can be dozens of critical documents, files, records, and technical equipment that are indispensable in the smooth flow of business operations. Each item has a specific function and importance. When commercial buildings undergo a natural disaster of any sort, it can be an intricate and complicated process to recover critical information. Commercial water damage is a huge blow and needs to be both prevented and prepared for. This article explores realistic and simple tips for commercial building owners to help them keep their business free from the destruction of water damage.
1. Conduct Regular Inspections
The components of a commercial building are diverse and complex. Unlike residential property, commercial buildings tend to have major external HVAC components, roofs decorated with an array of pipes and fans, and large utility rooms. This equipment can be intimidating for many. The best way to keep the harrowing weather outside is to hire a professional to conduct frequent and thorough inspections. Although the building may be in great condition four times out of five, the occasional adjustment or repair can save hundreds in water damage restoration costs.
3. Locate shut-off valves
Without peeking at an emergency plan, are team members in the building able to identify where major water shut-off valves are? If they aren’t easily accessible, does every employee know who in the building to contact in case of an unexpected water
overflow or pipe burst? In a high-stress situation, most individuals are only able to recall previously learned information rather than think on their feet. A few minutes to locate shut-off valves will ensure proper performance when it counts. SERVPRO offers a no-cost solution referred to as an Emergency Ready Profile to help aid in this measure.
4. Keep Valuable Stock Secure
Even with intensive preparation, water doesn’t pick favorites. Naturally, the last items you want to jeopardize are your business’s critical documents, paperwork, and brainstormed plans. This can be as extensive as purchasing a company safe or as simple as obtaining waterproof file cabinet that sits a few feet above the ground. If documents are damaged, SERVPRO offers a specialized document restoration process.
5. Have a Plan B
If your business undergoes extensive flooding, what temporary plans are in place? Ideally, each commercial building should have options for temporary office space and plans to inform clients of temporary changes in the case of severe water damage.
Additionally, it’d never be a poor use of time to electronically back up critical paperwork. By being prepared, businesses can quickly adapt to changes without experiencing the common hiccups associated with water damage. Commercial water damage restoration in shouldn’t be completed by a regular residential restoration company. With experience in restoring commercial buildings from the ground up, SERVPRO can be fully trusted to deliver quality results. Keep our number in your back pocket if your commercial building has undergone any degree of water damage...478-452-8000!
Storm Damage - When Mother Nature Strikes
Flooding is a major problem that comes with any type of storm. Most people only have time to board up their windows and make a quick run to the grocery store for the essentials to ride out the storm.
No one really thinks of the devastating flood damage and water soaked property that storms can leave behind. Within as little as 48 hours, water damage can set in and start the process of destroying your home, business, and valuables. Storms can be stressful enough without having to think about the after-effects of flooding.
Blizzards and Snow
Flooding can happen anywhere at any time. No one is excused from storm damage and all of the repercussions that comes with it. Northern states have to deal with snow and blizzards, which eventually melts and turns into water, which can lead to issues. Pipes can also freeze which can cause them to crack.
Hurricanes and Tornadoes
In the southern states, there are hurricanes, tornadoes, and even really intense rainstorms that cause devastating flooding that leave tons of damage in their wake. Hurricane winds can reach up to 155 miles per hour, and can push the sea water several hundred miles inland due to storm surges.
Slow Onset Floods
Even the slow acting floods are a problem. River banks can overflow causing severe flooding and mudslides, which can carry rocks and other destructive debris, causing further damage along the way. People may be aware that the water is coming, but they aren’t sure the extent of destruction it can actually cause.
With time to prepare, people may think that the water can be somewhat halted and the devastation won’t be as bad. Unfortunately, the more pressure that builds up, the faster the water can move. So not only does the flooding cause severe water damage, but the water current can be so strong that it can actually pick up and move items such as cars and houses, which can further destroy anything that is caught in its way.
No matter how large the loss, SERVPRO is always prepared to respond and return the property to its original state "Like it never even happened."
It doesn't cost a lot to be prepared!
It is no secret that many families and individuals are looking to cut back on spending. But with the frequency of disasters, both natural and manmade, can you afford not to be prepared? Preparedness doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. September is National Preparedness Month, and we are asking you to help your family and friends prepare for whatever may come. Here are a few tips on how you can protect those that matter to you without spending a fortune.
• Make a Plan. Work with you family and neighbors to make an emergency plan for the types of disasters that affect your area. Make sure everyone in your family understands where to go and what to do in case of an emergency.
• Update Contact Information. Having accurate records for family, friends and neighbors will help you stay in contact and possibly help those in need. Make sure updated contact information is posted in visible places throughout your house and workplace.
• Check Your Policy. Review your insurance policy annually and make any necessary changes – renters, too! When a disaster strikes, you want to know that your coverage will get you back on your feet.
• Make a Ready List. You may not need all of the items in ready-made preparedness kits. Choose the essentials that fit your needs and budget. Don’t forget to keep supplies at work and in your car.
• Plan Your Purchases. You can save money by thinking ahead. Don’t buy preparedness items just before a storm when they’re expensive and supplies will be in high demand. Buy items at the end of the season when you can get good deals.
• Shop Sales. Shop at sales and used goods stores. Buy preparedness items throughout the year, instead of all at once, and you won’t notice the cost as much.
• Make Sure it Keeps. Store water in safe, containers. You don’t need to buy expensive bottled water, just make sure your water containers are disinfected and airtight,
• Request a Gift. We all get things we don’t need. Suggest preparedness supplies as gifts from your friends and family. It just might save your life.
• Trade a Night Out. Trade one night out to fund your 72-hour kit. Taking a family of four to the movies can cost upwards of $80. Just one night staying in could fund your Ready kit.
• *The best tip: start now. Take small steps toward preparedness and before you know it, you will be Ready!
Causes of Water Damage
Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. Many different factors can create this excess water and thereby contribute to water damage.
When you are aware of the potential causes, you can take precautionary measures to help insure against a leak or flood. You will also be able to spot a problem as soon as it arises and nip it in the bud before it has a chance to cause any additional damage.
The more quickly you notice the problem, the less work the water extraction and water damage restoration company will have to fix.
Causes of water damage include:
- Bursting or leaking pipes
- Issues with the plumbing system
- Buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, attics and basements
- Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances
- HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues
- Natural disasters and other weather-related water problems
No matter what the issue, you can call the experts at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to make it look "Like it never even happened"!
4 Ways to Minimize the Risk of Dishwasher Leaks
4 Ways To Minimize the Risk of Dishwasher Leaks
Dishwashers are extremely convenient kitchen appliances that many busy households may use frequently. However, if not properly installed or maintained, these machines can cause significant water damage. To help minimize the risk of a leaking dishwasher and reduce the need for extensive flood cleanup and restoration, you should employ the following four strategies.
1. Ensure Proper Installation
In order to operate efficiently, a dishwasher should be level with all four legs securely planted on the floor. An unbalanced machine can result in expedited wear and tear and internal warping that may contribute to leaks.
2. Use Recommended Detergent
There are numerous brands and formulas of dishwashing detergent available on the market, but it’s essential that you consistently utilize only products formulated for these appliances. Other solutions, such as liquid dish soap, may produce excessive suds. This can increase pressure on the door gasket and damage the water-tight seal, resulting in a leak.
3. Routinely Inspect Under Unit
Because many critical components reside under the unit, you may not notice symptoms of a leaking dishwasher until significant water damage has occurred. To help prevent this problem, you should routinely remove the front kick plate while the machine is operating and inspect for drips and dampness. If you discover a broken or loose clamp, seal or hose, you should promptly repair or replace it.
4. Evaluate Door Gasket
If you notice pooled water in front of your machine, a damaged door gasket may be the culprit. Water lubricates this important component and helps prevent it from cracking. For this reason, you should use your dishwasher at least once a week. It’s also important to routinely inspect the seal for signs of deterioration and replace it as necessary.
No homeowner wants to endure a messy flood cleanup. Employing these strategies can help you prevent or detect a leaking dishwasher before extensive water damage occurs.
3 Things YOu May Want to Discard Following a Fire Damage
The loss you experience after a fire devastates your home can be painful. There is much to do and consider, especially when it comes to recovery efforts. As you start to sift through your belongings, you will likely have to decide what you must throw away. The urge to hang onto some items will probably be strong; however, there are a few that can put your health in danger once they have been exposed to the heat of a fire, and knowing which they are might protect your well-being during the recovery process.
1. Packaged or Affected Food
Food packaged in thin or porous packaging, such as cardboard, is probably not salvageable because smoke or soot may have penetrated the material and affected the food. While sealed metal cans or jars may look undamaged, the food inside them could have been heated by the fire and develop harmful bacteria. If any items like this in your pantry came into contact with high heat or flames, it is a good idea to discard them.
Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can be affected by fire. If your medicine cabinet is located close to where the flames broke out, go through them carefully and looked for any warping or charring on bottles. Heat can also change the efficacy of some medicines, so you may have to throw away those that have visible damage. Contact your pharmacist or physician about having costly prescription drugs replaced.
Makeup and other cosmetics that have suffered fire damage should be discarded because they may have taken on soot or been chemically altered by the heat. Warped containers or those covered in fire extinguisher foam are likely no longer usable. Ask your fire damage and restoration specialists about any item you are not sure about.
Knowing which items to throw away after a fire affects your home can be challenging. However, when you learn the facts about fire damage, you can protect your health as you move through the recovery process.
Tips for Preventing Wind Damage
During storm season, business owners are most likely to be concerned with hail and rain that might cause a roof leak or flooding. High winds can also impact your building, though. Wind damage is often the result of debris or larger items that are flung against the building, on top of the roof or through windows during the storm. Here are some tips for preventing some of the problems that could be caused by high winds.
The trees and shrubberies on your property should be regularly maintained to avoid a damaged roof. Many problems can result when trees are not pruned properly:
- Decay or disease in trunk
- Leaning sideways rather than growing upright
- Errant branches hanging too far down or over a structure
- Sharp, v-shaped angles in tree forks
- Crowded or crossed branches
If branches are near a power line, it is advisable to have the city or utility company remove them so that they don't fall and break the line when under duress. Responsible maintenance keeps trees healthy and well-shaped so that they are less likely to break and cause a roof leak during a storm.
Take an inventory of your outdoor property, looking at it through the lens of storm preparation. Loose shingles can become missing shingles when breezes speed up. Gravel from the driveway can break windows more easily than mulch or dirt. Decorations, trash cans, signs and potted plants can be broken or hurled through windows. You can also consult storm restoration experts to help you identify potential projectiles and advise which items to bring inside when high winds are expected as part of your storm readiness plan.
Overall, preparing for the high winds that often accompany storms is a matter of limiting the objects the wind can pick up and fling at your building. Trim trees and limit lawn debris, and you will likely limit the probability of a roof leak or other wind damage.
Tips for Homeowners Facing Fire or Smoke Damage
When disaster strikes, severe fire damage can be the most devastating thing to happen to any property. As fire becomes an increasingly prevalent threat, insurance companies are constantly trying to cut corners on fire insurance claims in an attempt to save money. After a fire, you've most likely lost some personal belongings and areas of your home are completely destroyed. The last thing you need is a homeowners' insurance company giving you a hard time regarding your claim.
First Things First, Check Your Policy
Even if you have replacement coverage for your home you actually may only have "actual cash value" for the personal items that were lost. When you call your insurance company, your agent should notify you about this and suggest buying an endorsement so that your belongings will be covered under a replacement policy.
Secure Your Property
The majority of homeowners coverage policy requires you to take reasonable steps to minimize more harm on your property. In short terms, this is known as your duty to mitigate damages. These steps are fairly small and easy to do, such as covering leaking areas with plastic wrap or turning off the water if you discover a huge pipe burst. Your insurance company will most likely pay these costs when you make your claim.
File Your Claim Immediately
Every homeowner policy will require you to report your loss as soon as possible. You will need to make a call to your agent and submit a "proof of loss claim" in which you will itemize your losses in detail and list the value of each. The longer you wait, the faller you fall down the list when it comes time for the company to send an adjuster to deal with your claim.
Always Keep Track Of Your Living Expenses
Every homeowners policy will include a loss of use clause, which entitles you to adequate reimbursement for living expenses while you're out of your home. Keep in mind, these expenses only include additional living expenses, meaning the difference between what it costs you to live on a daily basis and what it is costing you now. For example, if you ate the majority of your meals at home and your groceries cost you $400 a week and now, after a fire, you're eating out and spending $500 a week, you can claim only that additional $100.
Main Causes of Sewage Damage
Sewage damage is one of the most costly and dangerous catastrophes that could happen to a home or business. Sewage damage to a property can cause irreparable damage to the property's structure, carpeting, padding, furniture, appliances, and personal items. Raw sewage can also contain a plethora of dangerous pathogens, viruses, and bacteria that can spawn major illness in those who are exposed to the waste water.
One of the most frequently asked questions about sewage damage is, How does it happen? Sewage damage can happen for many reasons. Whether the damage is minor or severe, it is important for property owners to understand that sewage damage restoration must be handled by highly-trained, certified professionals in order to ensure the safety of the property and the people who have been exposed to the raw sewage.
Toilet or Bathtub Seepage
Wax gaskets around the base of a toilet as well as connecting hoses and pipes leading from toilets and bathtubs should be inspected regularly. Any of these vital pieces can deteriorate or break at any time. It is recommended by water damage experts to inspect these items on a semi-annual basis at least. The time invested in checking these important parts of a septic system can save property owners thousands of dollars in the long run.
Bursting, Deteriorating or Broken Pipes
While most water damages involve bursting or broken pipes, some water damage events happen over time without property owners finding out until it is too late. Deteriorating or leaky pipes can not only cause water damage and mold growth if they are not addressed immediately, but sewage damage can occur as well.
During any water damage event it is imperative for home and business owners to turn the water supply off until a water damage service professional arrives on the scene.
*Tip. Property owners can monitor invisible leaky pipes by checking their water bill. Should there ever be an unusual spike in water usage, it is possible that a broken or leaky pipe is causing damage behind the scenes. This scenario will more than likely require professional mold removal service. Consult with your water or sewage damage provider to make sure they are certified to handle mold remediation.
4 Warning Signs of a Burst Pipe
4 warning signs of a burst pipe in your home/business
It usually doesn't take long to figure out if you have a busted pipe. From atypical sounds to weird smells and visible leaks, here are a few ways you can use your senses to detect hidden plumbing problems.
1. Listen up
If you hear bubbling, whistling, or banging and clanking when you use the sink or flush the toilet, it could be a sign of a broken pipe.
2. Do a sniff test
If drains, sinks, or other areas of your house emit weird odors, there's a possibility that sewage isn't being properly transported from your house through its pipes. And if the water from your faucets has an unpleasant smell, it could be a sign of corrosion or contamination in your plumbing system.
3. Take a look around
Bulging and discoloration of your home's walls and ceiling can signal a burst pipe. If you notice damp drywall or ceiling tiles, puddles of water, or any other visible leaks, it's wise to get a professional inspection as soon as possible.
4. Other signs
If you've been using the same amount of water as usual but your water bill suddenly skyrockets, it might be an indicator of a busted pipe or other plumbing issues. The same can be said for frequent backups or clogs, as well as little to no water pressure when trying to use the dishwasher, laundry machine, or any other faucet in your house.
How to prevent burst pipes
how to prevent burst pipes
Freezing temperatures can be the most common culprit of burst pipes. Since water expands when frozen, it can cause the pressure inside the pipe to increase until it bursts. That being said, there are a few preventive measures you can take before cold weather overwhelms your plumbing system, causing a pipe to burst in your home:
- If you have a sprinkler system and/or swimming pool, drain it per the manufacturer's or installer's instructions.
- After removing and storing your garden hoses in the garage, turn off the water valves to outdoor faucets. Keep the outside valve open, however, in order to let any remaining water escape. This also allows water sitting in the pipe to freeze and expand without busting it open.
- Check for any exposed pipes in unheated areas of your house — like your basement, attic, garage, crawl space, and under bathroom and kitchen sinks. Insulate both hot and cold water pipes with pipe sleeves or heat tape, which you can find at a hardware store.
- Try to keep your garage door closed as much as possible if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- If you go on vacation during the winter months, leave your heater on, set to 55 degrees at minimum.
Put a FREEZE on Winter Fires!
According to the NFPA, heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months. The NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration are teaming up to help reduce your risk to winter fires and other hazards, including carbon monoxide and electrical fires.
Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, figuring in two of every five fires (40%). More statistics on heating fires.
Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties. More statistics on carbon monoxide incidents.
Most of the U.S. is at risk for winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths.
Portable generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards. According to a 2013 Consumer Product Safety Commission report, half of the generator-related deaths happened in the four coldest months of the year, November through February, and portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools.
December is the peak time of year for home candle fires; the top four days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. Each year between 2009 and 2013, an average of 25 home candle fires were reported each day. More statistics on candle fires.
Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Roughly half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans, and portable or stationary space heaters. More statistics on electrical fires.
Christmas tree disposal
Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasing flammable as they continue to dry out in your home. Nearly 40 percent of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur they’re much more likely to be serious. More statistics on Christmas tree fires.
Fire Hazards in the Kitchen!
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is often a relaxing and fun task that brings family and friends together, and it provides a great way to showcase your creativity and love of good food.
But cooking is also the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Being mindful while you cook, however, can go a long way to helping prevent these fires.
Cooking fires by the numbers
Based on 2011-2015 annual averages:
- Cooking equipment was the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, causing 47% of home fires that resulted in 20% of the home fire deaths and 45% of the injuries.**
- Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
- Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but clothing ignitions led to 18% of the home cooking equipment fire deaths.
- Ranges or cooktops accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking fire incidents.
- Unattended equipment was a factor in one-third (33%) of reported home cooking fires and half (43%) of the associated deaths..
- Frying dominates the cooking fire problem.
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
Source: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment" report
Source**: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires" report
Top Reason You Have Mold in Your Home
Top Reasons You Have Mold in Your Home
There is always talk about how dangerous mold is and how you should ensure you do not have it in your home, especially black mold. Doing a check of your home on a regular basis is important to spot any black mold issues and to get mold cleanup started right away. However, the key to really ensuring you do not get mold in your home is knowing why mold grows in the first place.
The main instigator for mold is moisture. In a home, there are plenty of sources that can create a moisture problem. Some common issues include:
If you have any of these issues, it is essential to address them right away and get rid of the excess moisture before black mold even has a chance to begin growing.
High humidity is typically a weather or season issue. You can take steps to reduce the humidity in your home. Using an air conditioning unit will remove excess moisture in the air and reduce your homes humidity. In areas that tend to attract moisture, such as attics or basements, you may want to run a dehumidifier.
If you have a plumbing issue, you should get it fixed asap. You also need to check for water leaks to ensure the plumbing issue did not lead to water getting in your walls, floors or ceilings. If water did leak out, then you should clean it up immediately. Never let water sit too long.
If you experience flooding in your home, you should take steps to stop it from occurring again, if possible. Anything that was damaged from the flood waters should be removed, such as bedding, drywall or furniture.
Your best bet when tackling mold is to call in professional help. You can find mold removal professionals or others who can assist you with your moisture issues and ensure mold is not growing in your home.
If you're unsure, call our office for more information on mold.
What to do if you find mold in your home
Finding mold in your home can be a stressful situation. We want to make sure you know what to do and how to handle it. First things first, call SERVPRO!
If you discover mold or any kind of microbial growth growing in your home, it is important to get a hygienist to test the substance. Once the growth is determined, the proper recommendations can be written for how to remove and treat. It is very important to make sure each step is taken into account. This way the job can be completed and not have to be redone for a second time.
Overall, if you need more insight on mold remediation, visit our website!
Fire Damage Restoration: What You Should Know
Whether it's a fire in the home or a fire in a business, fire damage can be devastating. The shock of a fire to a family or business owner can feel overwhelming, and most people don't quite know what to do. Fire damage can range in severity. From smoke damage and soot damage to serious structural deterioration, fire in a home or fire in a business is nothing to be taken lightly. Fire damage restoration is an in depth process that should be entrusted to a professional restoration company. A fire cleanup should only be carried out by skilled experts.
After a loss to fire, a restoration company should be contacted right away to determine the best course of action. Usually the first thing that will be done is to board up the damaged structure to keep curious people and animals out. Skilled experts can then begin the assessment of smoke damage, soot damage, fire damage, and water damage associated with such a loss. The severity and types of damage that have occurred will depend on the intensity of the fire and the composition of the structure. Commercial fire damage in a steel building may be limited to smoke damage, soot damage, and water damage to the interior, and require only remodeling and mitigation of the smoke smell. Fire in the home however, can often be more severe, as many homes are built of wood and filled more flammable building materials like carpets and furniture. A professional restoration company should be the only ones entrusted to assess the extent of fire damage and carry out the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration.
After the initial board up and assessment of damage the restoration company can begin the fire cleanup. This means removing any furniture or appliances damaged by the fire in the home or fire in the business. Many articles will be lost to smoke damage and soot damage, even though they have not been burned. If there was fire in a business damaged products will need to be sorted and evaluated to determine the extent of the commercial fire damage. The smoke smell will quite often never come out furniture or appliances that go through commercial fire damage or residential fires.
When all furniture and appliances have been removed the fire damage restoration process can begin. To mitigate the smoke smell the property will usually be opened up and well ventilated. Damaged drywall, carpeting, ceiling tiles and the like will be removed. Once the house or business has been properly stripped of its damaged interior, structural inspection can take place to determine what repairs are needed. The property may be left in a board up state and ventilated for a few days to diminish the smoke smell. Chemical solutions may also be used to aid the process. The fire cleanup process must be expected to take days if not weeks depending on severity, as the professionals entrusted will want to do a thorough job. Fire damage restoration is no small matter and needs to be entrusted to these skilled experts. After the property has been sufficiently cleaned the board up may be removed and the process of rebuilding and/or remodeling may begin.
What to Do After a Fire Related Loss:
-Board up the property to ensure it's inaccessible to people or animals;
-Contact your insurance company, if applicable;
-Call a professional restoration company immediately and set up a consultation;
Residential and commercial fire damage can be devastating emotionally, mentally, and financially. But home and business owners alike need to remember that they are not alone, and that there are highly skilled and trained experts ready to help them. The sooner these professionals are contacted, the sooner family life and business can get back on track. If you or someone you know has experienced a residential or commercial fire related loss, contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe!
Deodorizing following a fire damage
After a small fire in your home or business, you quickly start to assess the damages to the area. You visually inspect the furniture and walls. Even if there is no real lasting damage, there is one problematic element that tends to linger for weeks after a fire: the smell. Odor removal is an often overlooked, but significant aspect of fire restoration services.
While our SERVPRO team is well educated in restoration techniques and cleaning processes to restore areas of your home that have been damaged aesthetically by an unexpected fire, the lingering odor that remains is often something that homeowners are less concerned with initially. It becomes more and more problematic as the home is being restored, but the smoke and charring scent of the fire’s destruction remains as powerful as ever.
Fortunately, our team of technicians has state-of-the-art equipment for removing foul smells from a residence or business. Deodorizing happens through the use of dense fogging machines. The machines are capable of producing a heavy chemical fog that is sprayed throughout the entire affected area, ensuring that all of the affected structure and contents are also affected by the fog.
Though this chemical has no scent, it reacts on a molecular level with the foul-smelling odor molecules lingering in the air after the fire gets extinguished. This new chemical compound is entirely neutral, leaving behind no smell at all. The process is a far cry from traditional deodorizing techniques, which merely overpower the harsh smell with an overbearing new scent for the damaged areas. Fogging leaves the room smelling like nothing has ever happened, even if you are still in the process of restoration efforts for the damages.
Since formidable smells (like those left behind after a fire) are challenging to live with, be sure to speak with our technicians assigned to your residence about deodorizing the area as soon as possible. Fogging can happen alongside our cleaning and restoration efforts, which makes the entire process more streamlined and efficient.
Recovering from a recent fire, regardless of its size, can be a complicated process. Contact us at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe to walk you through the entire restoration process and help to bring these damages back to their preloss conditions.
Places Mold Damage May Be Hiding in Your Home
SERVPRO Technicians Focus on Remediation and Prevention of Mold in Your Home
The media is exceptionally full of stories about the rise of mold damage following storms and floods. A Central GA home that has no recent history of these disasters still can struggle with mold issues. Deterioration of building materials and personal property linked to mold growth caused by less sensational events is no less frustrating a problem. Our mold remediation services are available for microbial growth due to any source.
The common denominator for mold damage in Georgia is moisture. Where there is persistent moisture, mold follows. Educating yourself about the places mold growth hides helps you improve your interior air quality and protect your home’s structure. Since mold is not selective about where it will grow as long as it has a water source, oxygen, and food, you may also have the unpleasant surprise of finding it quietly but persistently contaminating personal property or any space in your home. Our technicians learn many strategies to clean a wide variety of items affected by mold.
A musty smell in the kitchen often signals a small leak under the sink, but other water issues can fuel a mold outbreak. The line to the refrigerator/freezer that fills the ice machine and chilled water reservoir may drip under cabinets or in the walls just enough to support a hidden colony. Steam from cooking raises the humidity in the room if not vented, and mold may grow near the stove.
The bathroom is traditionally a steamy place, encouraging mold growth. Efforts to kill the reappearing black growth ironically often make it worse, especially if the cleaning solution contains diluted bleach. Bleach even when full strength is 90 percent water. It lightens the staining but does not reach far enough into the surface where the mold is growing to kill the roots. Its high water content feeds the mold. Laundry rooms shelter mold in the bottom of baskets, clogged dryer vents, and around the seal of the front loading washer.
SERVPRO technicians offer answers to these mold problems and more. Once leaks in plumbing or appliances are located and repaired, affected areas can be remediated, the moldy materials removed and the spaces sanitized. Humidity and condensation disappear when exhaust fans are installed near stoves and showers. Professional antimicrobials penetrate to kill mold at the roots. AC and dehumidifiers keep air moisture levels below 50 percent, unappealing for most common mold strains.
Vent cleaning is a SERVPRO specialty, and we can help remove the moldy residue in the washer as well. Our crew members guide you as you review cleaning and maintenance routines to keep your working, storage, and living areas dry and free of mold damage.
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is your answer for mold hiding in any or all areas of your home. Call for efficient mold remediation and helpful advice to avoid mold damage in the future.
Mold can be anywhere!
Mold spores are microscopic and can be located everywhere. There are thousands in every home and are dormant, causing no problems, for the most part. It takes an open source of water or high levels of moisture in the air to cause these spores to expand and grow. If untreated or removed, mold can quickly destroy building material and other property, costing hundreds (even thousands) of dollars in damage.
If you are concerned there may be mold damage in your home, call a professional mold damage restoration company for assistance. SERVPRO has extensive training in handling mold and cleaning up property that has been infested by it.
We start by finding the source of the mold and determining just how far it may have already grown. Our technicians use air testers to determine the exact levels which help us plan how to neutralize and remove it. Once we find it, the next step is to isolate the affected room or area. Our response team seals off all entrances and exits using plastic sheeting and duct tape to prevent further contamination of your home. The vents and ducts of your heating and air system will be sealed off as well.
Next, technicians begin to clean the area using anti-fungal and anti-microbial sprays to destroy active spores. Every surface will be sprayed and then wiped down; if the growth is exceptionally thick in some places, we use special scrubbing tools to remove it without damaging the surface underneath. Areas difficult to reach may be cleaned by using anti-fungal foggers that get into every surface and crack mold may hide. These foggers are also used in case your heating and air system has been compromised by the mold. After the ducts have been exposed to the anti-fungal agents, technicians will use specially designed exhaust fans to blow the spores out of your home. When this is finished, we wipe down all of the vents and replace the air filters.
To prevent new mold growth, our technicians also test the air to see if the air moisture levels need to be reduced. If they do, dehumidifiers will be set up at key points to draw water from the air. Once the levels test out to under 12 percent, your home is considered to be safe against new growth. If you are worried about mold in your house, call us at 478-452-8000 today to schedule an inspection. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is here to help restore your home and put your life back together.
Getting Professional Help For Water Removal In Your Home From A Hidden Bathroom Leak
Professional Water Removal
A hidden water leak in your bathroom, if left untreated, can cost you, especially if it leads to serious damage to walls, flooring, and paint. There are subtle signs you can look for in your home to figure out whether you need a plumber to fix those leaking fixtures and pipes before things get worse. When you have a massive leak, you need a certified remediation company to help you clean up the damage.
One sign of a hidden leak and the need for professional water removal is a wall which has blistering wallpaper or paint. Most of the time, steam from hot showers in your home should not cause this to happen. When water and moisture get between the paint and the wall, they stop the bond and start to separate the two, making the paint rise from the wall and all off in bits. It is the same case with wallpaper.
A wall which is warped or stained for no apparent reason is a clear sign of a plumbing leak. Drywall becomes soft and starts to bubble when it is exposed to moisture, eventually warping and breaking up into pieces. If the leak reaches your ceiling, it will sag and could leak some of the accumulated water, causing more damage to your bathroom.
At SERVPRO, our technicians have tools like moisture meters to find any hidden moisture and leaks in your bathroom and to remove any accumulation of water from those leaks. We first figure out what is causing the leak, fix the problem, and eliminate the water with industrial pumps, fans, and dehumidifiers. Quickly drying your bathroom out is important to avoid the growth of mold. Once your bathroom is dry again, repairs are made, including replacing any damaged drywall, and the affected area is sanitized.
Sometimes your flooring can be damaged as well if the leak was bad enough, causing cracking, staining or buckling. Moisture can make your floor feel soft or spongy depending upon the material it is made of. In these cases, you often find a damp subfloor as well. If the problem is found quick enough, we can dry it out and salvage it without having to replace it, but we may need to put new subflooring in as well where the water damaged it.
Don’t hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe when you believe you have a hidden leak in your bathroom. We are available to help you at any time, day or night!
Flood Damage From Appliances in Your Home
Steps to removing water and drying your home after a failed appliance causes a flood
Most flooding problems in homes come from the inside, rather than from a rising creek or river. In many of these cases, the problem results from a failed dishwasher or a split intake hose for a clothes washer.
Appliance flood damage in a home sounds simple, but the truth is very different. A failure of either of these machines can drop over five gallons of water on the floor every hour. SERVPRO knows that if this happens in the morning after everyone leaves for work, that means an entire, three-bedroom room can be under an inch of water before the homeowner or renter walks in to find a disaster.
The only advantage to dealing with flooding from such an inside source is that it is clean water. There is no contamination to have to worry about, so there is no need for special protective gear and since cleaning the surfaces is not required, the overall time necessary for the job is far less as well.
The first step we take is to stop the flow of water. If a resident has not turned off the water main, we do it immediately after arriving on the property.
Next, we get to work removing standing water. For any amount over an inch, we start with commercial grade water pumps. These machines can empty out an average home in an afternoon, allowing us to bring in more equipment and inspect for damage to floors, carpets, and walls. If the power is out, we bring in our generators for uninterrupted electrical support.
If there is no permanent damage, we draw out remaining water trapped on carpets and floors. Technicians use extraction wands which are designed to bring out the water without harming wood surfaces or damaging the nap of the rug. This part of the job is more time-consuming and can take up to a full day or more.
With the water removed, we now lower the moisture levels in the surrounding air. To do so, we use dehumidifiers to draw moisture out of the air. Each device can remove over twenty gallons every day depending on the humidity and size of the dehumidifier we use. We perform this task to prevent the possibility of rot or mold growth in the walls and floors.
Drying out your home is not an easy process, but the right restoration company can do it quickly and safely. The experts at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has decades of experience helping our neighbors put their homes back together after a flood. If you need our help, call today!
Rapid Water Removal Mitigates Damage
SERVPRO' s Expertise Saves Homeowners Money with Fast Water Extraction
Water damage from weather, broken plumbing or improper drainage can be a crushing blow to a homeowner. At this time in winter, Georgia weather brings the constant threat of freezing temps at night. During the summer months, we are constantly hit with thunderstorms which often lead to flooding.
At SERVPRO, we understand how important water removal is to get back into your home. Depending on the amount of water and how much of your home has been flooded, this process may take only a day or two. Under severe volumes of standing water, the process may take over a week for complete drying. Our team of technicians will work to make the process as painless as possible for you.
Our locally owned offices maintain a 24-hour response team specializing in flood water removal. Damage (regardless if it is rainwater or otherwise) will begin in less than a day if any standing water is not pumped out as quickly as possible. SERVPRO owns and keeps on site, an extensive inventory of pumps and water extractors designed for private homes. Each office also maintains its generators to support our teams and equipment. Having some of the best equipment in the removal business is useless if you can't use it when the city electrical grid may be knocked out.
After the water has been removed, our technicians use a series of blowers and exhaust fans to remove any remaining, excess moisture. To remove excess humidity and hopefully prevent the growth of mold, we also use specialized dehumidifiers when needed. Drywall and floor trim are particularly vulnerable to mold infestation if they are not dried out or removed quickly. Some of the same equipment we use for removal is also useful to restore carpets and carpet padding. In addition to the fans and blowers, our teams also maintain a specialized set of vacuums, mat wet vacs and heaters to extract water from carpets and wood flooring. In just a few minutes after getting soaked, dyes and inks begin to bleed from cloth and paper. It is usually too late for those goods to be salvaged, but our highly trained technicians can recover and restore furniture to prevent it from losing paint or varnish. If water is removed quickly enough, floor staining and carpet color can be saved as well.
If you are concerned about preventing damage, you can contact us for a free assessment or if you have need of our services now, call us at 478-452-8000. As a locally owned business, SERVPRO is dedicated to restoring the homes of our neighbors.
Water Damage Issues
Issues with Water Damage
When your business has been hit by any water damage, you will want to act quickly to get a professional restoration company like our experienced team at SERVPRO to your property. The process of restoration for commercial water damage is critical, and water damage is one of the most common forms of damage seen in commercial properties. We will use industry-proven techniques for drying out your property to ensure that the most efficient commercial water damage restoration is done. We make sure to reach the moisture that is deep within the walls and floors so that your structure is properly dried out.
The key to a successful commercial water damage restoration is coordination. Our experienced project managers and crew chiefs at SERVPRO are valuable resources during your time of crisis, no matter if it is water damage from pipes that burst, hurricanes, flooding or other natural disasters. Our restoration process for water damage begins the moment you call on us. From commercial water damage to the removal of sewage, we’ll restore your building fast, cost efficiently and professionally.
We will also work alongside adjusters, building owners, property managers and risk managers to put into place a water damage restoration plan that is seamless with the primary goal of attaining limited interruption for your business. We will work with you individually to figure out the best path for your water damage restoration, including the scope of work, timeframe for recovery and your budget.
We Can Assist You Any Time You Need
We understand that time is money, and when it is your business on the line, your livelihood is as well. This is why our commercial water damage restoration professionals give you 24/7 emergency services. We always have our trucks fully stocked and ready to come out to your property, so that we can be on your site quickly in a majority of circumstances.
Why Choose Us
- We will come out quickly with our IICRC-backed and fully trained technicians, any day or time.
- We have plenty of state of the art, professional grade equipment
- We’ll give you secure and itemized content storage for all of your equipment, furniture, and appliances
- We can restore expensive equipment and appliances which some companies cannot
- We will work with your insurance company so you can concentrate on your business
When disaster strikes your commercial building, it can very much affect the ability of your business to operate effectively as usual. Our team will respond fast and complete the repairs needed to get your business up and running as soon as possible. We understand that this kind of event can be very stressful, so we will take care of your restoration needs and take care of your business.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
When your business experiences water damage, call us at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe right away so that we can restore your property and you can get back to business as usual.
Heavy Torrential Rains often Bring Flood Damage to Local Homes
Storms Call for Rapid Water Removal to Mitigate Damages
Homes in the Central Georgia area can sustain tremendous damage when rainfall cannot flow away correctly. Many reasons exist for this problem. One of the most common reasons, clogged storm drains, can prevent water from draining away after accumulating in the street. Gutters around your home, if you fail to maintain them properly or they become damaged, can allow rainwater to collect too closely to your home and cause flooding that way.
When local homeowners face flood damage, experts should perform the much-needed mitigation. SERVPRO professionals receive training and ongoing education, becoming certified by the IICRC in several types of post-disaster home restoration. This training includes the latest technological advances while covering the high-tech equipment used during the mitigation process. We invest in the purchase of top of the line pieces of equipment to serve your all your mitigation and restoration needs.
Because flooding can happen slowly or rapidly, past floods can provide you with only scant information about current conditions. Homes that have always remained dry can suddenly become swamped with water. Your home might flood for entirely unpreventable reasons. However, SERVPRO's technicians are always ready to remove the water, get your home dry again, and restore it so your family can enjoy it once more, “Like it never even happened.”
Flooding, even when localized and solely affecting your home, brings parasites and pathogens into your home. A cleaning regimen that includes sanitizing and proper treatment to eliminate living microorganisms makes it safe for your family. Other hazards like sharp objects that can cut or puncture the skin, allowing those microorganisms to cause possible health hazards. We remove these by bagging and disposing of them properly, so you never need to worry about children discovering them later.
Drying your home out thoroughly with the use of air blowers, heaters, and air scrubbers restore humidity levels to normal while also eliminating airborne microorganisms. Heated pads that also suction up moist air can dry floors out more rapidly than other devices are capable of doing. Because carpeting rarely survives a flood and acts as a sponge, removal, and disposal of carpets and pads always occur first, before drying floors can begin. This removes contaminated water from the premises and also some of the excess moisture--less drying time.
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is a locally owned and operated service, dedicated to serving our neighbors. Contact us for 24-hour service that can restore your home after any size flood damage event.
How to Prepare to Control Flood Damage
SERVPRO’s Steps to Mitigate Flood Damage
No one knows when flood damage incidents are likely to occur, and we want to be sure you are as prepared as possible. Learning what to expect can help you minimize the resulting challenges to a large extent. It all starts by knowing the different options you have at hand.
Seeking for the services of certified companies like SERVPRO is one of the top decisions you can ever make after experiencing flood damage. That is why it is so important to understand how professionals in this field work to mitigate the challenges and restore your property.
When our technicians arrive at the flood damage job site, the first thing they perform is an inspection. After that, dangerous situations such as deteriorated subfloors, falling ceilings, and any notable electrical hazards are secured. Then any standing water on your property is removed by pumping it out with the help of suitable pumps. Extra attention is given to walls and floors below the affected area to be sure no standing water is within the property.
Water extraction is another step that our SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe specialists perform during the restoration process. During this stage the extent of water penetration in the ceilings, walls, floors, and carpets is determined. A moisture meter is a device used to do all that. Then water from hard surface flooring and carpets is extracted.
Treating the surfaces is a step which should never be ignored. It begins by examining the back of the carpet for visible mold, bad seams, and delamination. Whenever the damage to the mats is beyond restoration; they offer appropriate advice. At this point, they do the removal of the problematic stains before they can dry them. IICRC certified SERVPRO experts treat the back of the carpet and floor by using appropriate antimicrobial and deodorizers.
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe urgently responds to all forms of water damage, fire damage, mold damage, and storm damage. Call us for reliable restoration services.
Flood Damage Insurance Policy For Your Dallas Area Home
Flood Damage Insurance
You carry auto insurance, life insurance, pet insurance, home insurance, and even pay for appliance warranties, yet you fail to protect your home against costly water line damage or in-home plumbing emergencies.
Pipes in the attic of your home can cause flood damage that you might not recover from easily. Clogs, leaks, or broken pipes, release hundreds of gallons of water into your home within minutes. Whether the leak is large or small, over time, it can affect unprotected building materials, insulation, and the structural stability of your home.
Do you know how old the water lines in your attic are? The average lifespan of a water pipe in your home is 20-years, with the majority of homes throughout the United States containing water lines older than 47-years. Knowing the age of your pipes can help you assess whether professional assistance from a company like SERVPRO is necessary.
However, having an expertly trained flood damage specialist from SERVPRO perform an inspection never hurts. You may have water lines from your water heater running through your attic that distributes hot water throughout your home. If even one of these lines has a problem, you can find yourself dealing with extensive flood damage. Thinking that you are safe because you purchased a new home can leave you ill-prepared for what might happen as well.
Your ventilation system also poses extreme problems when not maintained properly. The condensation lines or drain pan of your HVAC system receive damage over time, and major malfunctions in the unit can send water spewing everywhere, without warning. All it takes is a single leak to cause excessive damage; it never hurts to make preparations to deal with these types of problems.
You should look at calling SERVPRO like having a flood damage insurance policy that helps protect your home against accidents that might happen. We provide you with valuable information to maintain a safe, healthy home for your family. Giving you an opportunity to catch issues before they become major problems and access to someone who can be there for you should a disaster occur.
Contact SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe for additional information about available services or to schedule your home inspection today!
SERVPRO Flood Damage
Flood Damage and SERVPRO
Say the words flood damage and people rightly think of foot deep water in their basement or entire neighborhoods underwater. During the summer, it can be a common occurrence in some parts of Georgia.
SERVPRO is an expert in reducing the obvious flood damage to our neighboring homes. What surprises our clients are just how many ways a flood can destroy a home even after the water has been removed. Here are the most common ways your home can be dry as a bone and still be unlivable.
Odor - This may seem like a minor thing, but some folks can be allergic to just the smell. If you don't get rid of it, you won't be able to live in your home, and you certainly won't be able to sell it. The smell is also indicative of a worse problem.
Mold and Mildew - If not found and immediately treated and removed, mold and mildew will cause respiratory problems that will drive you out of the house. If the mold and mildew get into sheetrock and cannot be destroyed by industrial cleaners, then walls will have to be replaced.
Electrical System - If flooding reached high enough to reach electrical outlets, then those have to be inspected by our SERVPRO professionals and possibly be replaced before the power can be turned back on. If they have been compromised, then there is the possibility of a fire hazard when the lights are turned back on.
Plumbing and Sewage - Flooding can overwhelm and damage a home's plumbing system. If it stays under water too long, there is also the possibility that raw sewage can flow backward into your home through the toilets. Septic tanks can also be compromised in the same manner. The cleaning process now becomes much more extensive.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
Flood water in a home is a dangerous threat and needs to be removed quickly. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe understands that this is only the first step. Other hazards have to be addressed before you are safe again in your own home. To begin the process or if you want to schedule an inspection to help prevent problems in the future, call us today.
Drying Out Your Hotel After Plumbing Failure And Water Damage
Plumbing Failure And Water Damage
Almost every business owner has had to deal with minor plumbing emergencies at some point. However, when your hotel has experienced significant water damage from a more substantial plumbing issue, such as a burst pipe, you need to act fast. Once the water is shut off, you have a big mess on your hands to clean up.
Since you cannot afford downtime in the hotel business, you want to get the help of professionals for your commercial water damage. SERVPRO has the staff and tools you need who can come to your aid anytime you need. We move quickly and do our best not to disturb any of your guests who are already in the hotel in other areas.
Drying out your hotel and the contents quickly is essential. Four things determine the amount of time needed for drying which includes the amount of water that needs to be evaporated, the temperature, humidity, and air movement.
Drying happens faster when rooms are heated between seventy to ninety degrees since hot air holds more moisture. If heat is not available, we may use portable heaters. The temperature in the affected areas should ideally be between seventy and eighty degrees. Temperatures over eighty-five degrees on the first days of drying could create too much moisture in the air, causing secondary damage if there are not enough dehumidifiers.
The more water SERVPRO techs can extract or pump out of the structure, the less we need to remove with dehumidifiers. Liquids are easier and faster to remove than gas, and extraction physically is twelve hundred times as efficient than dehumidification is. We use a submersible pump if the water is two inches deep in the area affected. We spend extra time extracting, as it reduces drying time considerable.
Relative humidity is how much moisture the air currently is holding at a given temperature. For us to lower the RH to a comfortable and correct percentage, some of the water in the air has to be moved. We use dehumidifiers to do so, as it is the most efficient way of lowering relative humidity. They remove the evaporated moisture from the air.
Air movement is also crucial for drying. In a water-damaged room, air usually is humid and damp, slowing evaporation. Blowing damp air out and bringing in warm, dry air speeds up the process. We use air movers set in the proper positions to do so, and move where the air movers are as drying progresses to ensure thorough, even drying.
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe are experts at drying out water-damaged buildings and move quickly so that your hotel has as little interruption as possible. Give us a call as soon as you realize there is a problem in your business.
Restoration of Commercial Fire Damage
SERVPRO Technicians Thoroughly Restore Your Business Damage to Prevent Secondary Issues
Facing a fire damage situation can cause tremendous problems for the businesses in your area. Some fires may start relatively small, but all types of fire damage carry hidden consequences. Without the proper assistance, you may end up causing significant harm to your property. Fortunately, you have the opportunity here to contact reliable experts to assist you with getting your fire damage under control. Being knowledgeable of the steps involved in our restoration process will help you understand how to interact with the expertly trained technicians that we dispatch to your property.
Our headquarters, located in Milledgeville, specializes in commercial fire damage restorations. As a locally owned business, our expert staff works hard to provide our customers with the fast, efficient, and quality services that they deserve. The size of your fire damage event does not matter, we work with you and do our best to restore your property, "Like it never even happened." Our franchise partnerships and resources are nationwide.
Inspection and Assessment - Our SERVPRO technicians begin the restoration process by inspecting the affected area to determine the extent of damage to your property. We use this examination to draw up a plan of attack, explain the necessary procedures to our customers and answer any questions that you might have about the restoration process that we are about to perform.
Preparation - After reviewing the required services with you and agreeing on a schedule, SERVPRO's expert technicians will begin preparing the equipment to needed to complete your restoration. When work begins, we will cordon off the affected area and make all the necessary preparations to ensure proper safety during the entire process.
Removing Odors - Burn odor removal is one of the most difficult parts of any cleanup procedure. These odors may linger in the air, causing additional damage to many surface areas. SERVPRO uses advanced cleaning technology to remove these pesky odors found within the affected area and stop them from having a chance of returning.
Our specialists take their time to address every detail of your restoration, making sure that any lingering smoke, residue, and fire damaged areas are taken care of and give you suggestions for preventing any future problems that may occur.
Contact our offices at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe immediately with any questions you may have or if you would like to make an appointment today.
You Need The Best Results When Your Warehouse Experiences Commercial Water Damage
Experiencing Commercial Water Damage
We know that your main concern is getting your business operations back to normal as soon as possible after any catastrophe, but commercial water damage is much more complex than most problems experienced by businesses today. Categories of water can quickly change from non-hazardous to very dangerous quickly. Water can spread in almost any direction, including up if conditions are right, and remaining flood waters can instantaneously ruin some certain products with even minute amounts.
Commercial water damage presents unique challenges because of the environment involved. From warehouses storing agricultural products to leather processing plants, inventory protection, and worker safety is both important to any business. Different types of water can cause damage, and even the cleanest water, category 1, can turn into the worst, category 3 when contaminants are present. These can happen when clean water is mixed or combined with another source of category 3 water, even if it is not causing any damage by itself (such as sewer water) or when bags of previously dry substances such as fertilizers or pesticides become saturated, and their contents leach into the water.
The damage to your inventory can also rapidly multiply. When products at the bottom of a stack can be a conduit for water by wicking it upwards toward other product that has not been damaged, it's common sense to get those products on top removed to a safer location. We have team members who can provide this service while our technicians work in other areas, protecting your business from increased inventory loss.
Stacked bags of concrete and other dry products that are designed to be mixed with water, oil, or other liquid just prior to use may seem to be in saleable condition until they are examined on their undersides where water has accumulated. These ruined items need to be removed and accounted for on inventory loss sheets. For insurance purposes, all products need to be re-inventoried and noted as to their condition before the conclusion of our restoration work.
After you've made the initial call to us, we can begin the restoration process. Returning your business to normal operations is important, and we understand the complexities involved in keeping your employees safe while protecting your business's bottom line. Call us, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe any time, day or night, 365 days a year.
What You Need To Know About Commercial Fire Damage
Call SERVPRO for Commercial Fire Damage
Commercial fire damage is one of the most devastating experiences that a business owner can experience. In addition to doing severe damage to the structure of the building, fires can lead to excessive, standing water on the property as well as mold invasions. For these reasons and more, business leaders find it difficult to recover from a natural disaster or man-made accident. This is even the case when the business owner is an industry expert who manages the daily operations prudently. However, learning more about commercial fires and how fire damage remediation specialists can assist you is the first step towards limiting damages and preserving your equilibrium in the face of the disaster. Gather information you need regarding how to grapple with a fire by reviewing the data outlined below:
Fire Threats. There are several factors that can place a commercial property in harm's way leading to burning and fire damage. Some of the more prevalent factors include:
• lightning strike
• electrical fire
• blown fuse, overloaded circuitry
• adjoining business fire
The Importance Of Obtaining Business Fire Insurance
Unfortunately, some companies find that the losses endured due to a fire leave them unable to continue operating. Typically, companies who are not able to resume operations following the fire-damaging event did not maintain business interruption insurance. While any company impacted by a fire will have challenges with the fire damage restoration process, those that have business interruption insurance find it easier to keep their organizations functioning effectively. Because no company is invulnerable to fire and the damage it can cause, purchasing the insurance is important and advantageous. The insurance will cost roughly 10% more that the business owner's current premium. SERVPRO is well known for working with insurance and property management companies to expedite and mitigate the downtime and costs of the restoration.
Preventing Commercial Fire Damage: Strategies You Can Use
In addition to purchasing business interruption insurance, there are several strategies you can implement to decrease the impact of fire damage to your business. Some of them include:
- Avoiding the storage of flammable items on-site
- Checking your smoke alarms to ensure that they are functioning optimally, having fire extinguishers strategically placed
- Implementing a fire evacuation plan, no blocking of exit doors
- Turning off appliances and machinery when no one is present
- Ensuring that all machinery is in good condition
- Placing backup drives and important paperwork in a fireproof safe, utilizing the cloud for document backup
Call SERVPRO Today
Assessing and implementing fire damage preventative strategies are important for your Dallas business. You should also know who to call if a fire strikes your commercial property. A premier fire damage restoration company nearby is SERVPRO. Our IICRC-certified technicians offer 24/7/365 emergency services to ensure that your commercial fire damage services are addressed and resolved immediately. We're ready to assist you if the need ever arises. Our aim is to get your business back up and running.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe can respond immediately to your commercial fire damage emergency regardless of the size or scope of the damage. Call us to make it “Like it never even happened.”
What to do in a fire!
Picture this: You’re sound asleep when you’re jolted awake by smoke, flames, and blaring smoke detectors. The scariest part? You and your family have less than two minutes to get out before smoke/flames engulf the building.
With so little time to think or act in the moment, it’s vital to prepare yourself with fire safety education. While we hope this scary scenario won’t ever happen to you, it could. In fact, a home fire occurs every 86 seconds in America and fires destroy almost half a million structures every year. To protect yourself, home, and loved ones, follow the fire safety guide below, so you’re prepared for the worst.
What To Do in a Fire
1. Plan an escape route.
Emergency escape plans save lives. Do you have one for your home? First, start by drawing a map of your home including windows, doors, and hallways. Identify main emergency exits like the front and back door. Come up with a primary emergency escape route and then contingency routes to follow if one way is blocked. Remember, in an actual fire, flames and smoke can make certain passageways impassable, so it’s important you think this through when planning an escape route. For instance, if you have upper floor bedrooms, you can buy fire ladders that unravel to help people escape quickly.
Once your fire escape plan is ironed out, have a fire drill. Again, use different scenarios to achieve better preparedness. For starters, have everyone lie in their beds to simulate a night fire. Then, practice escaping from common areas like the kitchen and living room. Also, consider the fact that smoke can decrease visibility significantly. Have a fire drill in complete darkness or with everyone’s eyes closed. Practice counting doors and sensing your whereabouts by touch instead of sight. The more practice you have in more scenarios, the better prepared everyone will be in an actual emergency.
2. Extinguish the fire if you can.
If a fire starts in your home, call the fire department immediately while also assessing if you can put the blaze out yourself. This is hard to advise on because the call will be up to you. However, as long as professional help is on its way, you could attempt to use a fire extinguisher to put out small flames, so they don’t flash into 5-alarm fires. Go with your gut here though. If there’s too much smoke and a lot of heat, get yourself to safety.
3. Rescue humans and pets first, belongings second.
In an actual fire, the only non replaceable items are those that are living. Resist the urge to grab your laptop or jewelry. Instead, attend to family members and pets first. Rank them in order of who needs the most help (ie. a baby or disabled family member).
If there’s enough time, you can gather important documents like your driver’s license, birth certificate, marriage or divorce certificates, and photo albums. If there isn’t, forget about it. Preserving life is much more important than saving electronics or personal effects.
4. Stop, drop, and crawl.
Often times in fires, smoke and heat are more dangerous than the flames themselves. House fires can cause areas near the ground to reach 100 degrees or more and up to 600 degrees near ceilings. If there’s heavy smoke, drop to the floor where the air is cleaner and crawl to the nearest exit. Keep a piece of clothing or a towel over your nose to filter out the smoke and prevent yourself from passing out. Smoke rises, so more breathable air will be low to the ground.
5. Never take the elevator.
You should cover this in your fire escape plan, but let us reiterate: never take an elevator during a fire! You could become trapped or suffer a fall if the elevator fails or gives out. Always use the stairs or fire escape instead of an elevator.
6. Test doorknobs.
In an actual fire, you shouldn’t walk into any room without touching the doorknobs first. If there is heat, it’s probably not safe to enter. Opening doors can also increase airflow and accelerate the rate in which fire spreads.
7. Don’t panic.
Panicking can cloud your brain and prevent you from thinking clearly. If you’re trapped in a room during a fire, take a deep breath and remember this:
- Close the door and plug up any cracks or vents with a blanket, clothes, or a towel to keep the smoke out.
- Call 911 if you have a phone to let the authorities know where you are in the building.
- If you don’t have a phone, yell for help.
- If there’s a window, hang a piece of clothing or a cloth out the window to alert emergency crews.
Fires are undoubtedly terrifying, but keeping a clear head can keep you safer. Even if you’re not trapped, you should always take a second to calm yourself and think rationally about the proper steps to get everyone out safely.
8. Get out and stay out.
Once everyone in your family is out of your house, stay out. Don’t go back inside for anything—it’s too dangerous! The firefighters will be able to go back inside to save anything they can. That’s what they train for and they have gear to protect themselves. Also, remember to stay back 75 feet or more. Explosions are uncommon but could cause you to become injured if you’re too close.
How to prevent a fire...
Now that you know what to do in an actual fire, you should know how to prevent one from happening. Here are some top tips:
- Install fire alarms and smoke detectors. Early warning systems can help you get control of a fire before it spirals out of control. Smoke detectors can also help you get out safely. Install a smoke alarm on every level and in every room of your home, and test each alarm once a month to make sure it’s working.
- Teach children the basics of fire safety and how to prevent, prepare for, and deal with a fire.
- Always keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
- Keep flammable items at least three feet away from anything hot. (e.g., fireplaces, space heaters, and ovens).
- Only smoke outside.
- Stay in the kitchen. When you’re cooking, always stay nearby in case something catches fire.
- Turn off appliances. Remember to shut off your stove when you’re done cooking.
- Extinguish controlled fires completely. This includes fireplace fires and those in fire pits in the backyard.
- Spray down surrounding areas before having an outdoor fire. If you live in a dry climate, don’t start a fire outdoors. If you do, make sure to spray down the surrounding area in case a spark lands outside of your fire pit.
- Learn about electrical fires. Electrical fires are an entirely different beast. To learn more about them, read “How to prevent electrical fires.”
Storm Damage Restoration Process
Violent weather such as storm damage can wreak havoc on buildings as well as vegetation. Wind damage can be a hazard to the structure of a building, by loosening the shingles or tiles on the roof. This can cause moisture such as rain and snow to infiltrate into the protective surface of the roof, which will result in the wood swelling and later on disintegration and becoming moldy. This outcome will lead to a sagging ceiling and further problems. Elements such as wind, rain, hail, and lightning can result in turning people’s lives upside down, this is why having a storm damage restoration service to help this type of emergency is a good option.
Here are some of the activities you can expect from the storm restoration service professionals.
- Whether it is a business or residence, the restoration company will come to your property and their trained experts will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help them discover the level of the damage. In many cases, the restoration company will discuss the renovation plans with you and your insurance adjuster.
- When everything is agreed upon, the work begins. Depending on what type of damage is present, this will determine the type of equipment the professional will use. In the case of flooding, they will use specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas.
- Generators will be brought in to operate their dehumidifiers and air movers so mold and mildew do not have a change to make matters worse. Using customized cleaners, the specialist will then disinfect hard surfaces and shampoo salvageable carpets as well as apply deodorant to combat any odors.
If contacted in time, the restorations professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe will be able to rescue your building from greater structural issues, by inspecting the roof and replacing the dilapidated areas. After sealing and renovating the roof, they will then address the ceiling and restore to its former condition.
As you can see, when you suffer from natural disasters, the storm damage restoration process is something the experts can handle.
Summer Storms and Emergencies
Summer storms may be great for your lawn and garden or can be a perfect excuse to stay inside in pajamas while reading and napping the day away, but sometimes they can also cause damage to your house. Of course, your home is designed to withstand the ordinary storms expected in your area, but sometimes an extraordinarily heavy storm with extreme wind and hail can take a toll on your house's exterior. When such an event happens, it's important to have repairs conducted quickly and efficiently, so your house will be back in tiptop shape and ready for the next storm.
Exterior Home Damage
Hail can be a concern during a thunderstorm as it causes cosmetic damage to a roof and siding. More importantly is how it can damage the seals around exhaust vents, windows, or chimneys and allow water to enter. Worse yet are the winds associated with a heavy hail or thunderstorms which can remove a shingle or piece of siding, your home's first layer of defense against the weather. The problem with this type of damage is that once it occurs it compromises the linking systems of the shingles or siding, which means that not only can water penetrate to the interior of the house, even a minor storm is likely to exacerbate the problem by causing more damage.
Once the exterior of the home is damaged, water can and will enter the house and cause a different problem. Water damage is not a simple repair, as it penetrates through walls, floors, and all the hidden crevices inside the home. Without a professional who understands what to look for and how to efficiently conduct repairs, water will leak into places with no airflow and take forever to evaporate. Another problem caused by moisture is mold, which once formed will only get worse and never go away until properly cleaned out, which often means the expensive proposition of full replacement of drywall, framing, and insulation.
Enjoy the summer storms as they occur, but be sure to have your home inspected regularly to check for damage. When you do have damage, have it repaired immediately. In the unfortunate event that you receive minor or major home damage after a heavy storm, contact a professional specialist contractor with storm restoration experience such as SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe.
Preventing Mold with Quick Mold Mitigation
Preventing Mold with Quick Water Mitigation
Water Management and Mold
A man’s home is his castle, and while every care is taken to ensure that there will be no unlawful entry from the outside, equal attention should also be paid to the structural integrity of the home. You can have the best furniture and fittings, the latest consumer electronics that dazzle and bewitch, but poor water management is going to bring everything to ruin. Each homeowner should take the necessary precautions and steps to minimize the amount of moisture while redirecting water in order to reduce the risks of mold developing.Mold tends to become an issue due to water intrusion, and this has developed into a major thorn in the construction industry’s side. U.S. housing’s top indoor air quality problem is mold, which is why proper water damage mitigation ought to be taken before it runs into bigger and more serious issues such as compromised structural integrity,cosmetic problems and long-term durability issues. It would be highly advisable to obtain the advice and secure the services of one of many water restoration companies in order to begin the mold remediation process as soon as possible.
Mold Growth in Homes
Poor water management of a home will encourage mold growth. As mold spores are invisible to the naked eye, they tend to make their way through the home, and are always present in indoor and outdoor air. While modern homes are built in such a manner where the concentration levels are insufficient to cause issues for the home’s inhabitants, it tends to make a nuisance when it starts to grow.Mold colonies require a food source, the right temperature (above 32 degrees Fahrenheit), and plenty of moisture. These conditions are all part of a home’s make up,where plenty of organic materials abound within a temperature range that does encourage mold growth. The key to stop the spread of mold is to keep moisture levels under control, and this is where water management of a building is very important. By doing your bit to prevent water intrusion, you will be able to minimize or eliminate the possibility of mold and mildew making their presence known.
If you love all things wood, then it is all the more important to have proper water management for your home to prevent the growth of mold. Wood-based products, while adding a sense of warmth into the home’s aesthetics, require plenty of attention as wood is one material that can absorb plenty of water, resulting in a higher overall moisture content in the surrounding area. It also requires far more effort and energy to dry wood than for it to get wet. With many wood-based furniture having concealed frames that has extremely limited, if any, exposure to air, it is all the more difficult to dry out.
What is Water Management?
The thought of water management might not be on anyone’s mind when purchasing apiece of property. However, it is imperative that you get a reputable water restoration company take a look just in case there is a need for water damage mitigation works to be done. The whole idea of water management is to ensure all water will be directed away from the home. This is achieved through having a positive drainage system. It is always better that water is drained out and away from the home as fast as possible.Nothing should be left to chance, which means there should not be any part of the home that is sloped in the direction of the home’s interior.Always try to think of where the water is headed to as it moves down the exterior of the home – it should be on the outward path. Doing so makes sure that sensitive parts of the home do not remain exposed or come into contact with the water. One of the ways of doing so would be to make sure that the exterior surface of the home has water-resistant qualities, but that is just scratching the surface. It is important to bear the three basic drainage strategies in mind, that is, the drainage plane, shingling and flashing.
The drainage plane plays an important role, as it forms a barrier against any water. It ensures that the sensitive parts of the home will not end up wet and damp – which will surely lead to mold growth. Keeping this vulnerable segment of the home free from water will require materials such as felt building paper, house wrap, thin structural sheathing, and rigid foam sheathing. All of these are more than capable of offering protection at crucial joints and corners. It is advisable to keep these materials layered in a shingle fashion as and when possible.
The roof is the primary form of protection against rain, and as rainwater subjects itself to the laws of physics and gravity, it will take the path of least resistance down the exterior finish and the drainage plane. Along the way, it will come into contact with the likes of the finish roofing and wall cladding, window flanges, as well as flashing. These materials will then need to be layered in a strategic manner so that water on the outermost layers will remain a distance away from the sheathing and framing. This kind of layering method is known as shingling. Hence, all drainage planes ought to have the shingle strategy applied.
Who to call...
The list of grievances does not stop there at all if one does not go through proper water damage removal processes that are offered by water restoration companies, since it might lead to other headaches like a pest infestation. If you would like to make sure that your home is a place where happy memories are made and living in it is a joy, why not call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe and have us do a once over in your home? We have the necessary expertise and wealth of experience to be able to let you know what needs to be fixed.
Each Surface Type Warrants a Different Approach When it Comes to Mold
Finding hidden mold is our specialty. Call SERVPRO so we can investigate the damage or smell on your property.
Mold can go undetected for days, weeks or even months, depending on where it is hiding. While small amounts of mold spores are everywhere and pose no threat, a large colony can destroy building materials and pose a health threat.
Restoring property from the effects of mold damage in your home or office requires trained professionals. Every SERVPRO office maintains a crew that is trained to identify mold infestations and determines the best method available to remove or clean it off surfaces.
We determine the method used to remove mold depending on the type of surface the mold is on. It is simpler to clean nonporous materials. These surfaces include glass, metal, certain kinds of plastics, marble, and smooth stone. We remove dry mold by vacuuming the surfaces with special HEPA filters that catch even a single mold spore. Wet mold is wiped off with a cloth dampened with water. If the mold is growing in a layer of soil, our team members use a detergent solution.
Porous materials with visible mold growth often should be removed from the home and disposed of according to state regulations. These materials include carpets, carpet pads, drywall, and insulation. Technicians can clean fabrics such as upholstery, drapes, and curtains using foam, spray, or immersion techniques depending on the thickness of the mold and the colors used. Before starting with those methods, crew members vacuum the items to remove loose mold fragments. If needed, they agitate the materials to loosen more mold and then vacuum them again.
Semiporous materials require methods not usable on porous or even nonporous surfaces. The surfaces (wood and concrete) may require sanding, wire brushing, and other abrasive methods. The cleaners we use on these surfaces have abrasive agents mixed in to be certain the agent gets into and agitates cracks and grooves that non-abrasive agents miss. If exposed to mold for too long, the structural integrity of the wood might be compromised by rot.
Restoring your home after a mold infestation is a long process. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is here to help you through every step. If you need our services or simply want to schedule an assessment, call us today.
Choose the right service to overcome flood damage in your home!
SERVPRO can help you with any stage of flooding from prevention to remediation. Call right away for best results.
Professional Technicians Quickly Remove Standing Water From Your Property
Water damage in your home can be especially brutal, causing many different issues and leading to a variety of hidden damages. However, you hold all of the cards, so take the proper steps to help prevent these problems from developing into something you simply cannot afford. Help us help you get things under control quicker during an emergency.
Start by contacting your insurance company to ensure that you have the proper coverage for common issues that plague the area. You can prevent flood damage, or instances concerning fire, water, or mold in your home by contacting a quality restoration company for help. So, that is what you should do next. Make it a priority to develop a relationship with them, before an emergency occurs on your property.
A company, like SERVPRO, offers a variety of services to help prevent flooding in your home. Everything from a full inspection of your property to help identify common problems, to the installation of additional drainage, backflow valves, or submersible pumps for use during an emergency. Our technicians can help you prepare. Something as simple as providing your home with the proper grading in your yard can save you from damages that would otherwise occur on your property.
SERVPRO has done all of the research and planning for you. We have a preparedness app available online to get things started and make ourselves available 24-7, 365 days a year. Without hesitation, our technicians answer your call and respond to any emergency situation you may be facing. We even assist you with filling out any paperwork required for your insurance claim and ensure that your entire restoration process is as stress-free as possible.
SERVPRO technicians are expertly trained, have access to quality, industrial-grade equipment for water location and extraction. While also having the ability to perform quick drying services using air moving equipment and dehumidifiers to help prevent additional damages from forming, including pesky mold damages that happen rather quickly if not attended to right away.
Our team provides you with a full-service solution to problems that occur on your property. We help you handle the entire event, from start to finish and return your home to a quality preloss condition in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Often exceeding expectations of customers just like you and saving a variety of contents and personal items you thought lost.
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe stands ready to assist you, contact us today.
From Remediation to Reconstruction, We can Restore Your Home After Any Type of Storm Damage
SERVPRO Works Fast to Make It "Like it never even happened." Call For Storm Damage Rebuild!
SERVPRO Has the Experience and Expertise to Rebuild Your Damaged Property
Disasters and emergencies that affect your home can range in size and severity. Many of these situations can keep you and your family from living at home until restorations are finished. Not only can these problems create safety hazards themselves, but repairs and other types of work can make it difficult to normal family life.
We provide all of the storm damage services needed to restore your home completely, from initial cleaning and remediation to complete reconstruction. We know having one company provide all of the services your situation requires not only reduces the time involved but that doing so can also save thousands of dollars. You can put these savings to use in beneficial ways for your family.
Our SERVPRO technicians are highly skilled in all phases of damage-repair, including reconstruction. Upgrading the features in your home after damage to meet the latest code requirements or to gain additional energy savings or safety features are options we can discuss with you.
Other options that reconstruction can provide include increasing room size, altering the floor plan, widening stairways, adding windows and exterior doors, and many others that can be extremely cost-effective. We can explain more when we make our initial assessment of your home. We add creativity to our experience and skills to provide you the best in reconstructing your home.
Rebuilding a home after being damaged may seem the best option if the structural and cosmetic damages cover only a small area, but when the area damaged is much greater, reconstruction can keep a home from becoming condemned and demolished. When a home is destroyed, insurance often does not pay enough to purchase another home of similar size, and this can lower your family's standard of living significantly.
When you need more than cleaning and damage repair, call us, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe. We would love to make your home your dream home, one that is designed with your family in mind.
How A Water Restoration Technician Assists After Disaster
According to the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification...
A water restoration technician has an extremely important job when a home is affected by excess moisture or fluid.
Certified professionals in the industry can quickly reverse the extensive damage that a flood or sewage backflow can cause, and save as many items as possible in the process. And when dealing with contaminated fluids, especially when it has pooled in the home, only certified professionals should be allowed to manage the cleanup. Attempting to perform cleanup efforts without expert assistance can lead to injury or illness, both of which can be severe.
A certified water restoration technician will usually be on call around the clock, except for those times when an entire community has been affected by a major disaster. As soon as a professional is on site, they will assess the situation and determine what items need immediate rescuing. If fluid has pooled in areas around the home, then pumps will be used to remove it.
The home will be dried using a configuration of heavy duty air movers and dehumidifiers, and while it dries, the firm will move through the building and look for any evidence of mold or pathogen contamination. If pathogens or mold are present, they will be eliminated using special procedures. This will ensure the home is safe to return to, and with concerted drying efforts, the building will as good as new once professionals have completed their work.
Always Call A Water Damage Service For Repairs
A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed, it is important not to delay.
Homeowners know that moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into the building, the response should be the same. Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe as soon as possible to clean the home, dry it, and ensure there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.
If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own.
Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, they have the protective equipment to remain free from harm.
SERVPRO Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal.
These include powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.
How Are Mold Remediation Courses Online Not The Best Option?
Though it is possible to find mold remediation courses online, as well as in local classrooms, this is one time that online is not the best way to acquire knowledge.
Technicians that repair water damage work in time-sensitive environments that require knowledge as well as practical expertise. The best way to accrue this experience is with hands-on guidance from a certified expert in the industry. However, locating a certified expert for this purpose can be extremely difficult without some help.
This is where the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, comes in.
This organization is one of the most respected oversight agencies in the world when it comes to carpet treatment. Among its many certification programs, the IICRC offers mold remediation courses. While not taught online, the IICRC’s site can help a technician locate a nearby approved school. Instructors approved by the IICRC uphold the agency’s standards and are well-versed in the latest techniques and methods available in the industry.
During the class, the student will learn how to identify and assess the scope of a microbial infestation in a water-damaged home.
Both clean and contaminated water can foster microbial growth within hours of contact, so nearly every flooded and water damaged home will be compromised to some extent. The student will also learn how to isolate and contain the microbes and prevent them from spreading further. The instructor will demonstrate how to physically remove compromised material and properly dry everything so the microbial infestation won’t reappear. Where there is water there can be mold and bacteria growth, so technicians will also learn where to look for excess moisture and how to detect its presence. Water has a tendency to collect in hard to reach areas, so a professional will need to be thorough when performing the job.
You can trust that our expertly trained professionals at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe are ready to help you recover when disaster strikes.
What Is Required For Water Damage Restoration?
Companies that perform water damage restoration have to be skilled in a number of areas to stay current in their field.
Technicians in the industry have to combat a number of threats, some visible and some invisible, before their job is done. Structural weakening, chemical runoff, electrical hazards, dangerous wildlife, and deadly microbes are all common risks technicians have to contend with. Without the proper education and equipment, a technician risks grave injury and may leave health risks behind for a family to encounter. Fortunately, technicians in the industry have access to the educational resources offered by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC.
After getting certified in water damage restoration and a number of related fields, a professional in the field will be able to identify and neutralize any problems they are likely to face at a job site.
In most cases, a technician is called to a home following a flood or plumbing disaster. In either case, the initial threat a technician has to encounter is hazardous standing liquid. Floods and sewage backups are normally host to dangerous chemicals, like oil runoff, bacteria and viruses. Before any repairs can be done on the home, a technician will need to be outfitted with the proper safety wear and begin investigating where the liquid is pooling. Moisture meters can detect the level of moisture in and behind drywall, carpet, and other areas. Using minimally-invasive tools, a technician can quickly find pockets of heavy moisture in areas not readily accessible.
This is important because only thorough drying will ensure that further destruction does not occur.
Most companies use a combination of industrial air movers and dehumidifiers to extract moisture from both materials and the air. This process can take some time, but diagnostic tools like moisture meters help technicians monitor the drying process. Once all of the materials inside the home have reached safe levels, mold and other microbial growth can be halted.
The most severe threats a water damage restoration company has to deal with are molds and other pathogens.
These contaminants can remain a major hazard for years after they have taken root, and can cause insidious health problems while remaining hidden in vents or behind walls. Trained technicians are capable of neutralizing molds and other pathogens by utilizing special cleaning products and quickly removing compromised materials. Being able to identify mold growth is an important skill for a professional, and stemming the growth of a colony can be the difference between saving a home and having to condemn it. Certified firms are capable of quickly working through a property and disposing of anything that is beyond repair. Anything that is salvageable but soaked is separated, cleaned properly, and promptly dried. If the building’s structural integrity has been affected, these technicians can identify it and alert the homeowner and the insurance representative to its presence.
Without professional help, a homeowner will never know for sure that their home is safe to live in again.
This is why the help of a certified technician is so valuable. They don’t just repair homes, they restore normalcy. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is staffed with Water, Fire and Mold Remediation certified professionals who are here to tackle anything that may arise.
It's Never to late to Clean Mold!
Common Indoor Mold: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria & Aspergillus
Here in the middle Georgia area, we have the ideal climate for mold to develop and thrive. Since mold can start to develop in as little as 48 hours after water damage, it is imperative that any damage due to a fire, flood, broken water pipe, or leaky foundation be cleaned up promptly and properly.
After Spring storms and Summer showers, comes the damp, and moisture forecast, and the result of mold infestation is high. It is important to address any signs of mold immediately and correctly. Homes in our area are often affected by mold in bathrooms and basements, mold can develop anywhere in your home, especially if you have experienced any type of flooding.
Mold spores spread through the air, so even areas that were not directly affected by floodwaters can soon become home to serious mold infestations. Mold is often found in air ducts, which can cause it to spread quickly. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is always ready to help you restore your home after a water damage or in the event of mold.Time is of the essence: the longer you postpone cleanup, the longer the mold remediation process, the more expensive, and more inconvenience for you and your family.
If you are starting to see or smell mold in your home, a thorough cleaning and disinfecting is required, and the sooner the better. Mold has the potential to cause health effects, so cleanup should be conducted with proper protective clothing, masks and gloves. Bleach and water should be used to kill the mold in all affected areas. Scrub the solution into the area, rinse, and dry thoroughly. If saturated drywall and insulation was not removed after storm damage, you likely need a thorough evaluation by a professional emergency water damage restoration team.
Water damage that was not properly remedied prior to rebuilding may have caused mold to start growing behind your new walls or under your new carpeting. If the structure of your home was not properly disinfected, dehumidified, and dried, mold may be thriving. Your local SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties team see this frequently. In a rush to make properties habitable, steps are often skipped, leading to mold infestations. If you believe you have mold growth from recent floods or other water damage, call us immediately. We can quickly help you identify problem areas and start the mold remediation process.
Our mission is to help our neighbors, friends, and community members quickly recover from damage caused by natural disaster, fire, sewage backup, or other events. Regardless of the size or type of damage, we can quickly respond and start the evaluation and investigation into the cause, as well as the best way to restore your property to its original state. Call us today at (478)452-8000. we work directly with insurance companies and carriers to help relieve a portion of the burden of the rebuilding process in order to make your loss "Like it never even happened."
Every Second Counts When It Comes to Restoring Your Property
Fire damage, no matter the size, can affect every square inch of your property. It can travel through air ducts, burn through ceilings and floors, and damage countless pieces of equipment and documents.
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has access to thousands of pieces of equipment and hundreds of personnel to help mitigate even the largest fire damage. Our experienced technicians utilize industry knowledge, training, experience, high-tech equipment, and proprietary cleaning products to perform emergency services to meet our customer’s cleaning and restoration needs.
Performed immediately following a loss in order to reduce property and content damage, our emergency services reduce claims’ expense, and minimize customer disruption.
While the types of emergency services we provide vary, our emergency response includes:
- Boarding up the structure and securing the property to help prevent intrusions.
- Drying the structure and mucking out if necessary. Water is often used to extinguish a fire, so excess water or moisture must be monitored and removed.
- Deodorization of the affected areas.
- Pre-testing and initial cleaning. Initial cleaning may help prevent additional damage caused by soot residue, and pre-testing allows the technician to determine what can be restored to help eliminate needless and costly expenses.
- Conducting building inspections to evaluate the loss site for any safety or health hazards.
Call SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe for all your Fire Restoration needs!
Facts about Mold and Dampness
There is always some mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces. Molds have been on the Earth for millions of years. Mold grows where there is moisture.
Mold and Your Home
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors.
Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
You Can Control Mold
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels;
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
- Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
- Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
- If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at http://www.epa.gov/mold/mold_remediation.html.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.
MOLD PREVENTION TIPS
- Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%--all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
- Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
- Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.
- Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
- To learn more about preventing mold in your home, see the Environmental Protection Agency's publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home at http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html.
Commercial Losses-What to do when it happens to you.
A water, fire or mold damage to your commercial space is the last thing you want to deal with. Unfortunately, it does happen but if it happens to you, know that SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is "Here to help!"
Here at SERVPRO, we know that your daily business is of the utmost importance and we are ready and willing to work with you to get your business back to working order with minimal disruption to your daily routine. From the first notice of loss, to the final day of drying, we will do our best to accommodate any special requests that your business may need. Whether that means providing services after your business is closed, working within strict time frames to meet deadlines, or just maintaining open communication with you and your insurance company, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe has what it takes to make your commercial loss less of a nightmare.
The Levels of Commercial Damage
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe handles not only residential damage and restoration, but commercial as well.
There are three levels of commercial damage that are considered:
Level 1 is a small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include, but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.
Level 2 is a midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include, but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.
Level 3 is a large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include, but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.”
Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently, and return your business to operation “Like it never even happened.”®
Commercial Loss Challenges
Fire losses account for approximately $2.3 billion in commercial and industrial direct property loss each year. At times you can have large-loss fires that affect buildings such as apartments, facilities, and places people work. These types of losses affect multiple lives. It can take a lot of effort on everyone's part to provide support. Here are some tips for the property owner to consider during this time.
- Make sure everyone is safe and away from the property. Safety is the number one concern.
- Get the community involved in helping families or workers that may be affected
- Bring your adjuster in early to help manage things such as photos, mitigation, documenting anything they need to.
- Analyze your policy, including all clauses, additions, extensions, and exclusions.
- Bring in experts to check out the damages
- Communication is key. Everyone should stay in good contact to get the job done as smoothly as possible.
- Know that the process can be long and require a lot of patience.
Commercial Loss - We're here to help!
Damage doesn't just happen at residential properties- it can strike your business, too! Thankfully, we are close by and ready to respond when disaster strikes.
Your property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. When it’s impacted by fire or water damage, you need professional help. Every hour spent restoring your business is lost revenue and productivity. When you need professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, we have the training and resources to get your property back to business quickly. Learn more about our commercial services:
- Commercial Water Damage Restoration
- Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
- Commercial Mold Remediation
- Commercial Cleaning Services
- Commercial Storm and Major Events
SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe is locally owned and operated, so we’re already close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us. We make disaster "Like it never even happened." Give us a call today!
Horrific House Fire
The fire's point of origin was the attic.
A house fire can happen to anyone and what this family experienced was tragically unexpected and needless to say scary. As you can see by this picture, a fire can consume your home in seconds and leave a path of destruction. This picture shows one of many rooms consumed by this nasty fire. After speaking with the fire department, they estimated more than 14 regulation size swimming pools worth of water were used to extinguish the fire. Thankfully, SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe were called immediately and quickly sent the fleet to the rescue. Although the owners were devastated, they were humbled and thankful to have a company come help them in this unfortunate event. They've recently rebuilt a brand new house and have come back several times to thank us for all we did.
Choir room effected from ceiling caving.
Local church experienced something nobody saw coming...
Following an Easter Sunday service, someone accidentally forgot to shut off the water which filled the baptismal. When they arrived Monday morning, much to their surprise, the entire choir loft had flooded and overflowed into the choir room, leaving the hallways and classrooms devastated. Without hesitation, they immediately notified SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe and our fleet showed up to help save the day!
The Pastor of the church thanked SERVPRO for being so helpful and walking them through the process. Times like these leave you speechless and oftentimes, you don't know where to turn, but our crew knows just how to make it "Like it never even happened."
Stay Healthy: 6 Tips for Avoiding Cold and Flu
People who are exposed to cold and flu germs every day -- doctors, flight attendants, teachers -- know a thing or two about how to stay healthy when everyone around them is sick. Their suggestions can help you, too.
Get a flu shot. It's the No. 1 thing you can do to prevent the flu.
Wash your hands -- a lot. No matter what line of work you’re in, if you come in contact with people who are contagious, you have to wash your hands over and over, says Alan Pocinki, MD. Pocinki practices internal medicine at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC.
“Wash your hands as much as you can stand, and then some more -- especially after wrapping up a visit with someone who’s sick,” Pocinki says.
It sounds so simple, but soap and water are the constant companions of doctors and nurses. To completely get rid of viruses from your skin, you need to scrub hard for 20 seconds or more. A good way to time yourself is to sing "Happy Birthday" twice while scrubbing the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. It doesn't matter if the water's hot or cold -- the very act of scrubbing will physically remove the germs.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If you can’t get to soap and water, sanitizer can kill cold and flu germs.
Avoid getting close to people who are sick. For example, don't shake hands.
“Doctors tend to be very cautious about hand shaking,” says Terri Remy, MD, medical director of Medical Associates at Beauregard in Alexandria, VA. “Just explain, ‘To keep transmission of colds and flu down, I’m not shaking hands. But hello! Nice to meet you!’ They understand.”
Keep your surroundings clean. Arlington, VA, massage therapist Amanda Long asks clients to stay home if they feel bad. But to be safe, she sanitizes doorknobs and light switches between sessions. It's a practice she swears by.
Beth Geoghegan, a paramedic in South Florida, says she starts her day by cleaning her work space with virus-and-germ-killing soaps.
“It may sound like overkill, but it’s not -- it’s awareness,” she says. “It’s a matter of looking at your environment and thinking, 'What could be contaminated?' All it takes is a tiny droplet. What could have a droplet on it? And I know someone was in my ambulance for 12 hours before I got there -- both patients and other paramedics. It may already look clean, but it might not be.”
It’s also a matter of context. When Geoghegan gets home from a shift where nothing much happened, she launches into her normal activities. If it’s been a day filled with sick patients, she follows a different routine.
“If I saw 10 patients today, and eight had flu symptoms, I’m likely to take my uniform off the minute I get home, put it in the wash, and get right in the shower. Because you just never know,” she says.
Keep up a healthy lifestyle. It's important to look after your own health, says Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist in Lexington, KY.
“Do all the things we all should be doing on a daily basis anyway,” Hoven says. “Get adequate rest -- which people underestimate -- get good nutrition, don’t smoke, and keep your allergies controlled, because if they’re out of control, then your upper respiratory tree is already inflamed, which sets it up to more easily acquire a virus.”
Sewage Backup - That's no good.
Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination.
Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today –(478) 452-8000
There are three major types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe will inspect that contaminated water to determine the type of water and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.
The three types of contaminated water:
Category 1: "Clean Water"
This is water from a clean source, such as a broken clean water supply line or faucet. If left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 or 3 water depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.
- Water from a clean source like a broken water line
- If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3
Category 2: "Gray Water"
This water has a significant level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.
- May contain bacteria and viruses
- Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated
Category 3: "Black Water"
This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
24 Emergency Service
Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home or business.
Don't wait - you can get very sick. Call us immediately!
Fire - When you least expect it.
It'll never happen to me you say. In a Utopian world, yes - but in reality, it can happen to the best. It shows no favoritism towards ethnicity, religion, stature in the community or bank account balance. It can consume the multi-million dollar home as quickly as it can consume the run-down, abandoned shanty.
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home, you may have just two minutes to escape?
The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.
Fire Safety Tips
- Talk with all household members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
SERVPRO has an expertly trained workforce prepared for any disaster, any time of day. You can count on us to assist in life's greatest tragedies and make it look "Like it never even happened". Here are the steps you should take to get things moving back to normal.
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today!
Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Don't hesitate to call - we care and we're here to help.
To see or not to see, that is the question!
When it comes to dirt, it often masks itself in very inconspicuous ways, making it very hard to see when things are getting tainted. Most commercial carpets come in a blended pattern or knit making it difficult to see even the heaviest of stain. Although you're not able to see the traffic areas, they're there, screaming for you to clean them. Lying between your shoe sole and the carpet is a melting pot of germs, bacteria, mold spores, pollution and chemicals. All of these are naked to the human eye, but out of sight doesn't mean out of mind. In fact, the air you breath inside your home and office is filled with this contamination, so it's imperative to your health and the health of those around you that you have your carpets cleaned on a regular basis.
The following list is courtesy of Carlo Ruggiero, a social blogger and “green” aficionado.
“Here are the top 5 potential health issues associated with not cleaning your carpets.
1. Damp carpets can cause asthma.
The Kuopio Regional Institute of Occupational Health conducted a recent study which conclusively found that damp carpets increased the incidences of asthma in an environment where people were constantly exposed to the carpet. Organisms known as volatile organic compounds and microbial growth were found able to flourish in an unclean, damp carpet, and the results were increased cases of bronchial asthma, one of the deepest forms of the disease.
2. Dirty carpets house dust mites.
Dirty carpets are well known to be a breeding ground for dust mites, in the same way that dirty hair is a breeding ground for lice. Dust mites feed off of the same fungi, bacteria, and human skin cells that naturally filter into a carpet and stay if the carpet is not cleaned on a regular basis. Studies have also shown that most people are allergic to dust mites, and as they die, their carcasses are inhaled by humans who come into contact with the dirty carpet. Inhalation of the dead bodies has been known to cause rashes, and eye and nose irritation.
3. Dirty carpets house mould.
Mold has not been proven to link to asthmatic attacks, but this does not mean that mold does not cause humans great discomfort if left unattended. Bacteria and allergens which live on the mold can build up on uncared-for carpeting, and when ingested, can cause allergies to surface via the respiratory system. Worse problems can arise if the body succumbs to the bacteria which live on the mold spores, which it is especially prone to do if already weakened by another disease. If you are experiencing cold-like symptoms more often than normal, it is most likely time to get your carpet cleaned.
4. Athlete’s foot.
As before mentioned, dirty carpets house an incredible number of parasitic organisms which, if ingested into the respiratory system, can cause a number of health issues. The dust, fungi, and other organisms are kicked back into the air by movement on the carpet. However, another risk arises even if the movement on the carpet is not violent enough to move the organisms into the air, they can still cause athlete’s foot by entering the body through tiny cuts in the foot.
More serious health issues can arise if the body is exposed to too many mycotoxins, which dirty carpets are an attractive environment for. Buildings are a source of mycotoxins and people living or working in areas with mold increase their chances of adverse health effects. These can range from stomach infections to fatality, depending on the initial health of the exposed person, or over time, as the mycotoxins wear down the body’s defenses. For example, Stachybotrys chartarum contains a higher number of mycotoxins than other molds grown in the indoor environment and has been associated with allergies and respiratory inflammation.”
SERVPRO recommends a seasonal cleaning, and we can guarantee a cleaner, healthier environment to work and play. Our highly trained professionals use a hot water extraction thus eliminating any unwanted germs and funk that's been tracked in on your floors. We service all types of carpets and even clean hard floor surfaces as well!
If you've not scheduled a carpet cleaning lately, give us a call and let us help. Make the environment around you a healthy one!
SERVPRO partners with Rotary International
Ashley is pictured on left.
Sales and Marketing professional, Ashley Bacon, was recently inducted into our local chapter of Rotary Club International, pledging to uphold the mission of "Service Above Self". We are confident this is a great fit for her as she serves those in our territory who battle disaster from water and fire damage or just need someone to manage their commercial floor cleaning. We're proud to have her part of the team!
"Rotary International is comprised of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. Our impact starts with our members—people who work tirelessly with their clubs to solve some of our communities' toughest challenges. Their efforts are supported by Rotary International, our member association, and The Rotary Foundation, which turns generous donations into grants that fund the work of our members and partners around the world. Rotary is led by our members—responsible leaders who help to carry forward our organization's mission and values in their elected roles."