Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Why Should You Choose SERVPRO?

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Why should I choose a professional restoration company for water intrusion/ damage?

  • Homeowners should not risk doing the work themselves as there may hidden water or moisture that may go undetected to the untrained eye. Taking into account that mold growth can occur in as little as 24-48 hours in the presence of moisture, undetected water damage can pose long term problems if not properly handled.
  • Due to the potential hazards associated with water-related damage, moisture and water should be handled by properly trained and equipped professionals to ensure complete and necessary drying to prevent future harm, extensive structural damage and possible contamination.
  • Improper cleanup could hinder property resale value.
  • Professional restoration companies have essential tools and techniques to measure moisture in the area to ensure proper and complete drying in a timely manner.
  • Water technicians should be fully aware of water or moisture-related characteristics to locate leaks or water damaged areas that may otherwise go unnoticed.
  • Homes and other properties are large and often expensive assets. Why run the risks associated with improper drying, deodorizing and disinfecting which can lead to potential secondary structural damage? Help protect your property’s value by calling upon a Professional.
  • According to a “Residential Water Claims” article on the International Risk Management Institute website, restoration companies and contractors are often an asset in a water claim situation. The article states, “a major concern in today’s insurance climate is the problem of mold and mildew. When most restoration companies deal with water claims, every effort is made to prevent any problem with mold and mildew”. Restoration companies are in the business of salvaging rather than replacing, which could serve as a benefit to the insurance company.

Why should I choose SERVPRO for water cleanup and restoration?

  • SERVPRO recognizes the necessity for prompt and accurate response and offer 1-4-8 Response Guidelines to help minimize additional, secondary or permanent damage and contamination. In addition, SERVPRO is available for emergency response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Knowledge and training are key elements in effective water removal and moisture damage. SERVPRO applies their industry knowledge, training and understanding of how relative humidity, temperature, vapor pressure and air movement influence drying conditions.
  • Powerful and professional equipment is essential for proper mitigation and efficient restoration of water damaged areas. SERVPRO is outfitted with state-of-the-art industrial grade equipment and products to measure the extent of moisture saturation and offer proper drying, deodorizing and disinfecting of water damaged areas.
  • SERVPRO offers content restoration to restore water damaged contents and personal belongings. Often when water damage occurs, personal possessions are also damaged by water or moisture. SERVPRO technicians work diligently to try and return personal contents to preloss conditions.
  • SERVPRO works with insurance, real estate, contracting and property management companies to offer complete file management, estimates and detailed explanations of work, including status updates, changes and feedback to keep companies fully aware of a property’s drying, cleaning and restoration status. At SERVPRO we know you want quality information and proof of results. SERVPRO technology is designed to support your efforts!
  • Timely mitigation is key to the restoration process. Restoring property is the SERVPRO Professional’s first priority. You will appreciate the immediate response, and you will know everything possible is being done to limit the damage. Even if a loss is below the deductible amount, fast action helps assure the event will stay small!

Should You Invest in Crawlspace Encapsulation?

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Crawlspaces are a common occurrence in homes. If you have a crawlspace, keep in mind that it is more than just a place to store your holiday decorations. The crawlspace is the portion of the foundation that supports the entire structure. That is why it is important to keep the crawlspace in good health. If excess moisture is allowed to collect in the crawlspace, it can cause mold growth and may also lead to wood rot or rust formation, weakening the supporting structures in your crawlspace. That is why it is important to protect your crawlspace with crawlspace encapsulation with a vapor barrier (a kind of plastic or foil sheeting designed to keep moisture out).

The main question is, is crawlspace encapsulation really worth the cost? 

Both having your crawlspace encapsulated with a vapor barrier and sealing off crawlspace vents will work in different ways to keep moisture out. While it may be more expensive, crawlspace encapsulation is the more effective of the two options.

Vapor Barrier Encapsulation Vs. Crawlspace Sealing

The most common method used to seal a crawlspace without the installation of a vapor barrier is simply to close the vents and have them sealed shut. One might also physically remove the vents and patch and seal the area where they were. Normally, this option is not very expensive. Other options to seal the crawlspace without vapor barriers include vapor retardant paint. This can be applied to the crawlspace interior rather affordably. However, vapor retardant paint is not nearly as effective as an actual vapor barrier. In addition, if the paint becomes damaged in any way, its ability to resist moisture seepage is compromised.

Closed crawlspaces offer a lot of advantages to open crawlspaces. They do not allow humid air to enter the crawlspace, they are more resistant to insect and pest infestations, and they save on heating and cooling costs for your home.

However, when it comes to whether or not merely sealing off your crawlspace is as good as installing a vapor barrier, the answer is no. While sealing your crawlspace reduces moisture entry, sealed crawlspaces still allow moisture to seep into them through the walls. This is because the walls and floor of crawlspaces are made of porous material. Water can seep through this porous concrete and end up inside your crawlspace. Vapor retardant paint reduces this occurrence, but will not eliminate it as well as a crawlspace vapor barrier. If you want to maximize the results of a closed crawlspace, you should invest in a dehumidifier as well, since this will help remove some of the moisture that seeps into the home. The effects will likely not be as effective as total crawlspace encapsulation, but they may be improved by a dehumidifier. 

Why Have a Vapor Barrier Installed?

There are a few drawbacks when considering whether or not to install a vapor barrier in your crawlspace. One drawback is the cost. Vapor barrier installation costs vary, depending on the condition of the crawlspace (preparatory work may need to be completed beforehand) and the size of your crawlspace. Another disadvantage is that vapor barriers are not a do-it-yourself job. In order to ensure that your vapor barrier works correctly have it installed by a professional. 

Despite these downfalls, there are several advantages to installing a vapor barrier in your crawlspace. Some of these advantages include:

  • Increased Energy Efficiency: Vapor barriers can act as a sort of insulation for your crawlspace, helping to regulate temperatures and lowering heating and cooling costs in your home and reduce your energy bill up to 20%.
  • Improved Air Quality: Because vapor barriers keep moisture out, they reduce the chances of mold growth in your home. This will keep mold spores from circulating through the air in your crawlspace to the rest of your home, improving the overall air quality.
  • Eliminated Condensation: Because vapor barriers are highly effective at preventing moisture seepage through the porous concrete that makes up your crawlspace walls, they can greatly reduce humidity levels in your crawlspace. This keeps condensation from forming on pipes in the crawlspace.
  • Keeps Floor Temperatures Constant: Not only does increased energy efficiency in the crawlspace lead to lower energy bills, but it can also help to keep the above floors warmer during the cold months.
  • Increase Home Value: Encapsulating your crawlspace will also improve the value of your home since it reduces moisture issues such as wood rot and mold in your crawlspace. This is a plus if you would ever need to consider selling your home.

While there are some drawbacks to investing in crawlspace encapsulation, they are far outweighed by the benefits. If you have a damp or moldy crawlspace, call SERVPRO today. We can clean your crawlspace and install a vapor barrier to keep moisture out. 

Make your Appliances a Priority

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

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

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

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

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

It doesn't cost a lot to be prepared!

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

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!