Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Water Damage Restoration - When You Need It, You Need It Fast

The single biggest purchase you'll probably ever make is your home. And if your home is damaged by fire or water, you may be overwhelmed at the scope of the damage. While there are some similarities between the two, fire damage is usually even more extensive than water damage alone. Fire damage is often accompanied by water damage due to the efforts to put out the fire. So there are some overlaps, with different tools and procedures for each form of damage.

Water damage can come from three possible sources, each creating a different set of challenges for the cleaning professional. Category 1 is clean water, like from broken water lines. Category 2 is water from a source which may be contaminated. And category 3 is "black" water-water which may contain sewage, as from a sewer backup.

Fire damage may also be classified in three categories. The first is minor damage, small in size, with no structural involvement. Second is a larger fire, and may cause structural damage to a small area of the home. Finally category three represents significant structural damage, and will most likely require professional repair.

No matter which type of damage your home has suffered, the damage doesn't just stop after the incident. Mold and mildew can grow on damp surfaces, even behind walls where it can't be seen. This can represent a significant health hazard, especially if a family member has a history of respiratory problems.

Untreated mold or mildew can make a home uninhabitable, destroying its value.

So when your home has been damaged by fire, water, or both, time is an important factor. The quicker repairs are done, the less chance there is for growth of mildew or mold, or further aftereffects of structural weakness.

While some people elect to do their own repairs, using tactics like opening the doors and the windows and running air conditioners at full blast, water damage restoration professionals have special equipment to hasten the drying process. You may research the process of repairing water damage to learn more about do-it-yourself options. But if boots, rubber gloves and disinfectants aren't your thing or if damage is more than minor, you'll probably ve best calling a professional.

Many carpet cleaning companies advertise water damage restoration services. While very good at cleaning carpets, these companies lack the equipment and expertise to deal with the other aspects of fire and water damage: damage to personal property, furniture damage, and especially structural damage.

Still other companies advertise restoration services, but use unaccountable undertrained subcontractors with little or no equipment or training to perform the work. If the contractor doesn't show, or does a substandard job, you might not have a local contact if the company is based on the Internet hundreds of miles away.

Choosing a qualified local professional for water damage restoration may be your best bet for getting your home back to normal and protecting the value of your assets that are even more valuable than your home-your family.

Article Source:

If water damage should occur from exterior flooding, broken water pipes, sewer backups, or any other source, Servpro of Fairfield can help. The quicker mitigation services begin, the less damage occurs. That's why we strive to call you within 1 hour of your call for help, and have crews on site if needed within 2 hrs of your call (24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year). Our services include emergency water extraction and mitigation, Dry-out with "state of the art" equipment, Carpet, Vinyl, Hardwood, and other floor covering restoration or replacement, insulation, drywall, and paint repairs, mold remediation, and contents Drying and Restoration.
(707) 207-0122

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays

SERVPRO Of Fairfield Would Like To Wish You And Your Family A Very Safe And Happy Holiday!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When Is The Best Time To Have Your Carpets Cleaned By A Professional?

You won't notice it immediately, but as years pass it becomes obvious that your carpet doesn't appear as bright and fresh as it did the day you had it installed. Over time regular wear and tear, coupled with accidents and various over the counter cleaners, will affect the pile and overall appearance. When standard vacuuming won't do the trick to restore your rugs to their former glory, you may wish to look into the services of a professional cleaner to handle the job.

Is there a right time to have your carpets cleaning with professional, truckmounted water extraction? A licensed cleaner may tell you that there is never a wrong time, but if you need an occasion or situation to encourage you to make that call, there are good reasons to look into this service:

Moving: Whether you rent or own, if you intend to move it's a good idea to have a pro go over your carpets once you have the furniture removed. It may surprise you to discover how much soil and grime is embedded, and how the color in the pile returns after everything is washed and dried. You can practically leave your home as clean as the day you claimed it.

New Baby: If you have added to your family recently, or are expecting a new arrival, you may think about carpet cleaning only after the little one has made a mess or two. Actually, it's a good idea to schedule a cleaning before you bring baby home. A thorough shampoo and extraction helps remove bacteria in your home and disinfect the rooms. For a baby immune to germs, this is a good illness prevention measure.

Renovation: Redecorating? Buying new furniture? Take advantage of the moving to get your carpets cleaned. With the space available, it provides less work for a cleaner to perform, and you can start living anew after a major makeover.

New Pets: If you have welcomed a four-footed companion to your home, it's a good idea to give your carpets not only a good cleaning but protection and sealant. This helps upkeep for your rooms so when accidents happen, they won't damage your carpets too much.

Once a year or every six months, depending on traffic through your home, is a good schedule to keep for cleaning and deodorizing. Because rugs and carpets absorb much of the daily dirt coming into your house, you want to make sure they remain as clean as possible to prevent illness.

Article Source:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Be Safe And Fire Smart This Holiday Season

December is a month full of festivities, holiday parties and family get-togethers. Unfortunately, it is also a month when firefighters are especially busy, with December 24th and 25th topping the list of busiest days of the year for home fires. Did you know that according to a study done by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) every year there are almost 250 home fires that begin with Christmas trees, plus holiday lighting accounts for an additional 150 fires. This year, play it safe with these holiday fire safety tips.
1) You can skip this one if you have a fake tree because first and foremost, water your live Christmas tree! Dry trees are the number one cause of fires during the holiday season so be sure to water them daily and don't place them near a heat source.
2) Use candles with caution. Nothing creates a festive mood quite like candles, that's why it's a good thing someone invented the flameless variety.
3) Check your smoke detectors. Ensure that your smoke detectors have new batteries and are functioning properly. It may be slightly annoying if it goes off while cooking dinner, but you'll be thankful if there's a real fire emergency.
4) Stockings should be 'hung by the chimney with care.' Not only is it a Christmas story, it's also a fire safety tip. You shouldn't hang them decoratively on the mantle if you plan on having a roaring fire. Your electric fireplace may not seem that hot to you, but hang a stocking a few inches above it and you might hear that smoke alarm while your poor stocking goes up in flames.
5) Don't overload electrical circuits when plugging in festive decorations as electrical fires are neither festive nor fun. Purchase the appropriate powerbar for your decorations and their electrical needs.
6) Unplug. The holidays are a time for us to relax, unwind and 'unplug' ourselves from work. Using that same analogy, remember to unplug your Christmas tree and all of your indoor festive decorations before leaving the house or going to bed at night.
7) Practice Kitchen Safety. When baking goodies or cooking a big family dinner, be sure to set a timer. There are many distractions over the holidays, especially when entertaining friends and relatives, so make it a point not to leave any cooking unattended. In the case of a small kitchen fire, don't immediately turn on the overhead fan, as this could spread the fire and never put water on a grease fire.
8) Finally, practice your home fire safety and escape plan. Make sure everyone knows what to do, where to go and who to call in the event of an emergency. Have a predetermined family meeting spot, preferably somewhere warm this time of year.
Article Source:

Friday, December 16, 2011

How Smoke Damages Your Home

Smoke damage is both seen and unseen in the aftermath of a house fire. It is tricky to tackle in a cleanup effort, and the care that must be taken to do it correctly is a major reason why people tend to hire a fire restoration firm to get it done professionally.
The damage that you can see is from soot. Soot is actually very oily, because when the plastic that makes up household and building materials burns, there are greasy molecules released into the air. The microscopic particles travels with smoke and are deposited on everything. Soot is also composed of ash. When soot lands on fabric, such as upholstery, drapes and carpet, the inclination would be to brush it off, because it appears ashy. But the oily residue is holding the ash in place, and it will usually smear if brushed. Even the brush at the end of a vacuum hose will create a smeared mess. Professionals utilize very high velocity vacuums, which are needed because the hose must be kept a few inches off of the surface in order to prevent smearing. A home vac does not have enough of the power needed to remove soot at the distance off of the surface that is needed to avoid smears.
The damage that you cannot see, but can smell, is smoke odor. This is also a molecular problem, and must be dealt with at the molecular level. Odor molecules, following a fire, will have penetrated fabric, walls, insulation and any permeable material. The problem with smoke odor is that it cannot simply be covered up. No deodorant is powerful enough to permanently overcome the acrid, unique smell of smoke. The fact is that once smoke molecules permeate, they can't be removed. They must be disabled.
Professionals have to deoderize smoke - to take away the odor. That does not mean a deodorant, in the sense we think of some flowery-smelling cover up. They have to attack the part of the smoke molecule that holds the odor. This can be done with specially designed fogs. Some literally "kill" the odor molecule. Another technique is an ozone fog. It is very effective. The way it works is to deactivate the odor molecule. Ozone removes the molecule's innate ability to release a smell. Ozone treatments require the rooms to be sealed off. But fogs and ozone are effective tools of smoke damage professionals.
Article Source:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Role Of Professionals In Smoke Damage Cleanup

The sooner you begin the restoration process after fire or smoke damage, the better. Early assessment makes it easier for you to evaluate and act on the damage. Your chances of saving your possessions depend on the quickness of your response.
A fire can strike at will, rendering homes and businesses uninhabitable. It creates smoke, odor and soot accumulation that can destroy a building if damage mitigation measures are not taken quickly. At the time of disaster, instinct may prompt you to jump in and begin the restoration process yourself. However, there are things to consider before you start doing the work yourself - it may be in your best interest to hire a restoration company.
Professionals are better trained and equipped to prevent further damage and can return your property to a pre-loss condition faster. Thanks to their innovative processes and restoration solutions, they are often able to save property that would otherwise need to be replaced. They have the ability to provide top-notch services while keeping inconveniences to a minimum. You often need not worry about the cost, as your insurance policy (provided you have bought one) will most likely take care of it. You're main concern with hiring a restoration company is to choose one that is reliable and that you are comfortable working with.
The sooner you begin with the restoration process after fire or smoke damage, the better. Early assessment makes it easier for you to evaluate and act on the damage. Your chances of saving your possessions depend on the pace of your response. Metals tarnish and furniture yellows within hours, while flooring stains within days of the damage. Your response time can save your valuable possessions.
Fire damage isn't limited to burnt surroundings and char damage. Property is often left with wet smoke residue, dry smoke residue, fuel oil soot, residue from fire extinguishers and other chemicals that can all affect your health if it is not cleared out. Restoration services that you hire must be able to deal with any kind of challenges that fire damage presents.
Each fire causes different types of damage from the other, and different measures need to be taken for restoration. Professionals are experts in fire and smoke damage, making them capable of dealing with these situations appropriately. They will not only clean up residue, but also get rid of the smoky odor that lingers after the incident.
Fire damage can be devastating and damage may look irreversible. Smoke may seep into the duct or plumbing system, jeopardizing the quality of air as well water. Seeping into a number of hidden places, smoke causes a variety of damages that you may even not know of. Professionals will inspect the property and make an assessment, coming up with a smoke damage clean up plan based off of years of experience.
After identifying the potential risks, a trained professional will come up with a smoke damage clean up plan. He will determine the articles that can be restored or the ones that need to be replaced and which cleaning technique will be the most suitable for a specific situation. Above all, the professionals are equipped with all the necessary tools to conduct property cleanup after a fire and ensure your property is free of damage.
Reliable fire/smoke damage companies offer a 24-hour service, proven techniques and a warranty to assure their clients. They conduct regular training sessions for their personnel, making sure that they are up-to-date with the latest developments regarding smoke damage restoration. They take every step needed to restore the properties that they work with.
Article Source:

Friday, December 9, 2011

10 Key Fire Safety Tips

In 2007, the most recent year statistics are available:

1,557,500 fires were reported in the United States. These blazes caused 3,430 deaths and 17,675 civilian injuries while costing more than $14.6 billion in damage.

Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home.
  1. Watch Your Cooking-Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.
  2. Give Space Heaters Space-Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.
  3. Smoke Outside-If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.
  4. Keep Matches & Lighters Our Of Reach-Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.
  5. Inspect Electrical Cords-Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.
  6. Be Careful When Using Candles-Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
  7. Have A Fire Escape Plan-Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
  8. Install Smoke Alarms-Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.
  9. Test Smoke Alarms-Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.
  10. Install Sprinklers-Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


The holiday season is fast approaching. It's a time for celebration with family and friends. Unfortunately it is also a time when the number of preventable residential fires increases. 

A very important holiday tip that should be followed all year long is to make sure that smoke alarms are working and that there is one on every level of the house, and outside all sleeping areas.

Here are a few simple safety tips to keep your home fire-safe during the holidays:

The Christmas Tree
  • When purchasing a real tree, check for freshness by tapping it on the ground - dropping needles indicate a dry, highly flammable tree. Needles should be hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, they do not break.
  • When purchasing an artificial tree, make sure it's 'fire resistant.' Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. It should also bear the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) label.
  • Place your tree away from fireplaces, floor heaters and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry out fresh trees, so be sure to keep the stand filled with water by topping it up daily.
  • Never use lighted candles on or near the tree.
  • Dispose of a real tree within 10 to 14 days of purchase, or when the needles begin to fall off in large quantities; otherwise it can start to dry out and pose a fire hazard.
The Fireplace
  • Ensure the chimney flue is open and clean before you light a fire.
  • Remove all decorations that could be burned around the fireplace, such as stockings.
  • Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks.
  • Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result, as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
  • Never leave the fire unattended or let it smoulder.
  • Do not use Christmas trees for firewood. Only use seasoned and dried wood.
  • Choose decorations that are flame-resistant, non-combustible and non-conductive.
  • Do not use metallic ornaments on the tree. If they make contact with defective wiring they could become a shock hazard.
  • When decorating the tree, place breakable ornaments on the higher limbs. It will protect your children and pets as well as safeguard the breakables. 
  • New or old, check light strings for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Make sure you do this before putting lights up. It is much easier to replace bulbs on the ground, than on the roof.
  • Do not use electric light strings/sets on metallic trees. A faulty system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact.
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets, and never string more than three sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended, and always keep out of reach of children.
  • Keep candles in sturdy holders on a stable surface, well away from curtains, trees or any other potentially flammable objects.
  • To eliminate the risk of an open candle flame, use battery-powered candles whenever possible, especially when using candles in a decorative setting.
  • Put out all candles before leaving the room or going to sleep. 
The Kitchen
  • Never leave your cooking unattended. This is the leading cause of kitchen fires.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking.
  • Make sure items that can catch fire, such as paper towels, are kept away from the stove.
  • Use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on when roasting or baking food.
  • In case of a fire, never turn on the overhead fan - this could spread the fire.
  • If a fire starts and can't be quickly put out, leave your home and immediately call the fire department from a safe location.

Take every precaution to ensure this Holiday Season is one that is safe and happy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Storm Team

SERVPRO of Fairfield is part of a National Storm Team. When there is a disaster, SERVPRO Corporate gets a lot of the local and national franchises together to work together as a team to make a difference.

During this past summer, SERVPRO of Fairfield helped out in Minot, North Dakota and New Jersey. Currently we are helping out with the fires in Reno, Nevada.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little Wing Connections Vacaville Luncheon Is Tomorrow At Noon. Great Group. Come Join Us.

New Location!
This Thursday, December 1st, 12:00noon - 1:30pm

This is a great networking venue! Come on out and have some lunch and share your business. Meet new friends.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Water Damage Restoration - Signs of Water Damage

Water damage restoration restores your home following serious water damage. The damage could come from a flood or a natural disaster. If the damage isn't too bad, it's usually possible to restore some things. When damage is beyond repair, there's nothing you can do about it.
Thankfully, there's usually something left to salvage. In some cases, your home can look almost new again. Below you will find some common signs of water damage. If you see these signs in your home, it might be time to call for help.
1. Brown stains on the walls or ceilings. Brown stains are the biggest indicator of water damage in your home. These stains often develop in areas where water is constantly dripping and running down the wall or ceiling. There could be a leak behind a wall or in the ceiling. There could also be a spot where water stands when it rains. In any case, brown spots are bad news. You will have to get someone to check behind the walls or in the ceiling. Hopefully, they will be able to find and repair the source of the leak.
2. Sagging ceilings or warped floors. A sagging area on the ceiling usually means there's a leak somewhere inside. This is dangerous because the ceiling could eventually collapse. You might not think it's a big deal, but the structure will continue to weaken. The longer the leak remains, the more damage it does to your ceiling.
A warped floor means the floor has been misshapen because of prolonged exposure to water. If this happens in your home, it means water is somehow getting into the floorboards. It's common for this to happen following a flood. Like with the ceiling, this needs repairing to avoid further damage.
Water can also damage your rugs, and cause mold to grow in your home. You can probably replace a rug on your own. The same is true for getting rid of mold. However, you must find the source of the problem for water damage restoration to work. That's when you probably need to call in a professional service for assistance.
Article Source:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Water Damage Restoration - Take Pertinent Measures

Property damaged by flooding water requires immediate response and proper mitigation in order to prevent secondary damage that ruins the contents of the building. You should hire a professional service that deploys appropriate methods to reduce the impact and restore the property.
Whether there has been a flood, a leaking roof or a burst pipe in your property, you should have it cleaned right away. Damage caused by flood is different from the one caused by broken pipes or overflowing sinks as floodwater is contaminated. Hence, the problem requires a professional approach for drying as well as sanitizing the property. Though the process of restoration varies for each situation, you should take immediate action whether the damage is too much or not. Time is of the utmost importance when it comes to proper mitigation. You should consider all of the aspects in order to limit damage.
Hire Professional Service
A property that has been collaterally damaged due to a flood needs to be restored right away. If you think that it's just water and you can remove it, you are probably right but there are several other things that need to be taken care of. Apart from removing the water, the property and its contents need to be dried and all of it should be done within the least time possible. The longer you take, the graver the damage and more the expenses. Therefore, leaving it to a professional is a better idea than to attempt it yourself.
For the mitigation process, a professional service has technically advanced equipment like dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, wet-dry vacuum units, high powered drying fans, wood floor drying equipment and other tools. Along with the proper apparatus, they have years of experience in carrying out the mitigation process. From a thorough cleanup of water from your property to the sanitizing of the place, a professional will do it all.
Assessment Of The Damage
The first thing a water damage restoration professional does is assess the damaged area and identify the cause of flood. Whether it's a burst in the water pipe or rain water blown inside by the wind, the reason has to be identified in order to prevent it from happening in the future. When the root of damage is determined, they assess the damaged property and decide on the services that will be required for the restoration. These services also have water detection equipment that assist in identifying the wet contents of the room.
Content Manipulation And Restoration
Many home items also need proper attention. These items include furniture, electronic items, books and many other things that are commonly found inside the house. Some or probably all of these materials can be affected by the flood. Content manipulation is often referred to moving of the contents that have been damaged by water. During the process, these contents are analyzed whether they can be salvaged or not. The ones that can be restored are dried, sanitized and deodorized whereas others are discarded. Sometimes the expenses of salvaging some items are estimated to exceed their current values, so it is preferred to discard them.
Mold Remediation
Removing the water and drying the property is not enough, the place needs to be dehumidified properly. Even small traces of moisture inside rooms will lead to the growth of molds in several places. When it comes to mold remediation, professional decisions must be considered. The affected area needs to be treated with appropriate techniques and adequate tools which can only be carried out by professionals. Exposure to the mold causes health hazards to the occupants, so it should be taken care of immediately. 
Article Source:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Helpful Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays

Rachel Glaser reports: The United State Fire Administration provided fire safety tips for the home during the holidays, which if followed, will ensure a healthy and happy time for all involved.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Learn Ways To Avoid Danger While Cooking

Owen Jensen reports: Cooking fires tend to increase during the holidays, which is why party hosts may want to consider some safety tips to avoid any possible disasters. The Ohio State Fire Marshal has provided a list of tips for people to implement into their food preparation process.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mold fact of the day: Moisture is the leading cause of mold growth

Moisture is the leading cause of mold growth. That's why bathrooms and basements are common hot spots for mold! If you are having a problem with mold there are some fairly simple things you can do to reduce the moisture level in your home. Let me highlight some of those things for you. First, when you have a water leak, spill or dampness, act quickly to dry it out. If you catch the problem quickly, within 24-58 hours, in most cases mold will not grow. Second, keep the humidity in your home low, ideally between 30 and 50 percent. Most hardware stores sell inexpensive instruments for measuring humidity. Third, make sure to take care of condensation on windows, walls and pipes quickly. Remember that condensation can be a sign that the humidity is too high. Fourth, you should vent appliances that produce moisture, such as dryers and stoves. Finally, use those bathroom exhaust fans when showering, or if you don't have a fan, at least crack the window a little. In general, try to keep your home free of condensation by covering cold surfaces, like cold water pipes, with insulation, and keep the house ventilated as much as possible. By following these simple steps, you will greatly reduce the risk of allowing mold to develop in your home.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions: Water Damage Remediation

You come home and you find your floor is full of water. You identify the source and stop the leak. Then you grab your wet/dry vacuum cleaner and suck up all the excess water. There are still a few damp area and it smells kind of musty so you open the window and will nature take its course. In your mind your Do-it-Yourself attitude just saved you a ton of money. Case closed.
The Do-it-Yourself attitude is admirable and the laudable hallmark of American culture but such attitude can prove to be, as in this case, misguided and have potential long term health and financial consequences.
Issue 1: Using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to extract the water
Problem 1: This extraction usually does not extract all the moisture from the affected area
Why this matters to you1: The remaining water can promote structural decay and be a catalyst for mold.
Issue 2: Opening widow to dry naturally
Problem 2: In hot, humid regions, such as FL, the sweltering heat can actually prevent evaporation
Why this matters to you2: This prevents drying and is an IDEAL condition for accelerated mold growth.
Issue 3: Employing Do-it-Yourself to save money
Problem 3: In many cases, the honorable and honest Do-it-Yourself attempt ends up costing more money
Why this matters to you3: Losing money is bad no matter how you look at it. The potential savings can be offset by having to redo the work and the need for special equipment that is used one time.
Why should I care about Mold?
It is well established that exposure to certain types of mold are well known to have serious health effects in humans. It is certainly not in the interest of anyone to be exposed to mold.
OK, so I'll hire a carpet cleaning company to get rid of my water.
This is a logical step as the typical carpet cleaner will have access to better commercial vacuum equipment than the homeowner but this logic fails in two main areas, cost and ability. Trying to save money by hiring a carpet cleaner can have negative budgetary impact depending on the company used and time involved. While many carpet cleaners are exceptional at their trade and are, usually, worth every penny, carpet cleaners do not know how to remove water from walls, monitor and control ambient moisture, and other such concerns of a professional water damage remediation company.
So how can I get rid of this water and save money?
The best way of getting rid of water damage, preventing or eliminating exposure to mold, and saving money is by hiring a professional water damage restoration company. An independent, professional water damage restoration company is professionally trained and intra-industry certified to thoroughly and professionally handle all aspects of structural drying, odor control, mold handling and removal, and other relevant water damage restoration considerations. More importantly, in many cases, such services can be done at NO or little cost to the property owner using methods including direct insurance billing.
So why pay out of pocket and do the work yourself when the professionals can do the work for you at little to no cost? It's a no brainer.
Article Source:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What Black Mold Likes To Grow On - Your House's Trouble Spots

If you dug out some old boxes full of musty stuff from your attic, you might expect there to be a little mold on things, especially if you live in a humid environment. But, mold is probably growing somewhere in you house right now, and you don't even know it. That's why it's important to know what black mold likes to grow on. It's the first step to getting rid of it.
What mold likes to grow on is determined by what mold needs to thrive. Mold needs food, a good temperature, and water. In general, wherever there's water you can expect to find mold.
Mold isn't picky either. It doesn't just strike old, musty, dirty houses. If it has a chance, it will grow all over your nice, new, clean house. So, don't give it a chance!
Here are things mold commonly likes to grow on.
In The Kitchen
Of course, mold likes to grow on food. It's not always the dreaded black mold; it may be its less toxic cousin, the slimy green one. Either way, it's ugly and disgusting. The mold that grows on food is not so dangerous, but seal it in plastic before you throw it out just in case.
Mold also likes to grow in cabinets. You should check from time to time. Basically, any place that is dark and closed up, and might get a little water in it, is a breeding ground for mold.
Sinks, drying racks and other places that get lots of water are also favorite hang-outs of black mold.
In The Bathroom
The biggie here is shower tiles. You've probably seen black mold growing there before, or its friend orange mold. The wall material behind your tiles is delicious for black mold, so it gets carried away and starts growing around the tiles where human eyes can see it.
Just like in the kitchen, mold likes to be close to the water source in a somewhat hidden place. This means sinks, counters, cabinets and anywhere else that gets a little water.
Anywhere In The House
Mold likes hidden-away places. On the walls, mold likes to grow behind things such as pictures or mirrors. If you haven't moved your pictures for cleaning in a while, check and see if our black moldy friend is hanging out there. Wallpaper, because it is porous, is also a great place for mold to live. Keep tabs on your wallpaper so you don't have to remove it all someday because of an infestation of our little friend.
Carpets are wonderful vacations spots for mold. If you ever have any water damage, you may have to remove the carpet if it gets bad. One good way to tell if you have mold in your carpets is just to sniff.
Mold can live in dust and lint. If you keep your house well dusted, you'll reduce black mold problems.
In The Basement
You may have a tenant you don't know about, living in your basement and not paying rent. Mold loves the dark, humid basement. It especially likes the walls and ceilings, where water is often running amok. You may also have mold growing around the concrete on the floor.
In The Attic
The attic is also ideal. It's a place that doesn't get much ventilation, so it's great for black mold. Houses with wooden beams in the attic are particularly favored.
In The Hidden Places
Mold loves crawlspaces, wall cavities, and any other place it can hide. You may be suffering from black mold-related health symptoms and not even know it, because our little friend is hanging out in your house and you can't find him.
Another fave place is inside your heating and cooling ducts.
Mold can get used to the weather just about anywhere, but it especially loves warm humid environments. Florida, California and the Pacific Northwest have some of the worst mold problems in the US. Desert areas and high altitude areas also get hit hard with mold infestations after a big rain or storm.
The key to keeping mold spores out of your respiratory system is to find it before it finds you. That's why it's important to know what black mold likes to grow on.

Article Source:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Advantages of Professional Carpet Cleaning

Nowadays, many homeowners are overwhelmed by the various types of carpets available on the market. In like manner, many homeowners forget the most important thing involved in having a carpet and that is giving it the proper care. Giving it the appropriate carpet cleaning guarantees it lasts for years and maintains a nice look. Apparently, homeowners cannot do it alone which is why seeking the service of a professional carpet cleaner is the best option.
A carpet cleaning company does not only ensure keeping the carpet looking nice but also performs the proper cleaning necessary to keep the carpet looking its best. Here are some of the advantages that you can enjoy when hiring a professional carpet cleaning company.
1. Keeps the Carpet Looking Great - regular carpet cleaning does not only make the carpet looking great for a longer time. Otherwise, if you do not keep a constant cleaning schedule it will look old and faded. When you allow a professional cleaning company to do the job constantly you can ensure that you will derive pleasure from the service of the carpet for a longer time.
2. Reduction of Allergies - another benefit that you can enjoy by hiring a professional carpet cleaner is the reduction of allergies. When doing the carpet cleaning the dust and other allergens that can trigger health issues are eliminated. Many homeowners are not conscious of the dirt and dust buried deep into the carpet. That is why the professional cleaning company ensures that thorough cleaning of the carpet is performed in order to reduce the allergens inside your home.
3. Removal of Bacteria - carpet is a perfect breeding place of different bacteria that can make the environment unhealthy. Without your knowing, carpet can get damp and wet due to spills or walking on it from outside. In this way, bacteria thrive and make it a breeding place. Keep in mind that bacteria affect the health of everyone in the household and that is why you should consider consistent carpet cleaning.
The good thing about hiring a professional carpet cleaning company is that you will not have to bother with the materials to be used in the cleaning. They will be the ones to provide the cleaning materials and equipment. Most cleaning companies are using carpet cleaning technology in such a way that they use greatly improved materials as well as cleaning chemicals. During the past years many cleaning companies have focused on extraction equipment. However, due to the advancement of technology it makes the job easier.
Recently, carpet manufacturers have come up with the encapsulation technology. This cleaning process makes the job lighter because the cleaning chemicals attract the dirt and soil from the carpet and is then removed by cleaning equipment. This technology of carpet cleaning is ideal for bonnet cleaning as well as hot water extraction. In like manner, the carpet cleaning materials used in encapsulation technology are formulated with the proper balance of detergents. In this way, you can ensure that it will not damage the carpet fibers. Therefore, the encapsulation process is the most effective approach that is widely used nowadays.
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Seven Places Fires Lurk During the Holiday Season

Every year, hundreds of families start into the holiday season looking forward to good food and happy times with family only to experience the loss of a fire. Many families affected by holiday fires are not aware that fire statistics increase over the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. The US Fire Administration reports that "each year fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 Americans, injure 1,650 more, and cause over $990 million in damage."
With the increase of fire incidents over the holidays, these seven reasons are the most common culprits for fire
1. Candles. Many people enjoy the atmosphere and scent of candles around the holiday seasons. While the beauty provides a good ambiance and decoration during Thanksgiving and Christmas, flameless candles can give you safety and decoration without the hazards of open flames around children and surrounding materials.
2. Lights. Holiday lights can easily overheat and become a fire hazard during the holiday season. From Christmas trees to outside decorations, lights are popular with everyone; however, danger starts when lights are left unattended, displayed in large quantities, or attached to flammable materials.
3. Christmas Tree. Every year, people decorate Christmas trees and leave them surrounded with hot lights and paper wrapped presents on a carpeted surface. Combined with ill watering practices, Christmas trees become brittle and resemble match sticks waiting for the right spark.
4. Fireplaces. Although fireplaces provide warmth and the perfect backdrop for holiday activities, fireplaces left unattended can spew hot coals onto nearby rugs and packages. Carefully tending and extinguishing fireplaces will decrease the possibility of related fires.
5. Wall Plugs and Sockets. While connecting lights and displays, it is easy to overload wall plugs and sockets with currents struggling to support the flow of electricity. By distributing plugs and installing surge protector, home and residential fires are less likely due to electrical reasons.
6. Cooking and Baking. Conservative estimates note that cooking is the number one reason for fires during the holiday season. Without doubt, it is easy to get caught up entertaining while food is cooking. Cooking ahead of time frees everyone to socialize and slowly warm food to reduce fire hazards.
7. Fire Alarms. Managing these common pressure points for fire during the holidays are important, but even the best plans need a good backup. Nothing replaces a good fire safety system that has been properly installed and consistently tested are the key to saving lives. "After all, it is estimated that 23% of home fire deaths occurred in residences with fire alarms that did not sound," notes fire alarm and safety expert Larry Dolin, President of American Security Systems.
Some easy fire prevention precautions coupled with good sense during the holiday season, the memories will be filled with food, family, and friends.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Water Damage Restoration 101 - Why Use a Water Damage Restoration Company?

While in the midst of a recent job, the insurance adjuster came out and asked why we are continuing to dry when the floor looked dry upon the adjuster's visual inspection. An insurance adjuster, presumedly, is better qualified and has more experience in water damage restoration than a homeowner who is dealing with an emergency remediation service for the first, and hopefully final, time. The sincere question of said adjuster prompted this article as if someone who is supposed to be professionally educated and experienced in this arena does not understand what dry means, then it stands to reason that the in duress homeowner does not know and can reasonably question the time and effort we expend in doing a professional water damage remediation.
Let's face it, money is always a consideration. Any person, in a purely fiduciary and cost accounting point of view, could make the reasonable determination that removing water from a structure can be accomplished by simply using a store rented machine, a shop wet vacuum, or by any carpet cleaning service found in the phone book. This reasonable and cost controlling assumption that any of the water removal methodologies just outlined is correct as any of the aforementioned water removal methods should be able to remove the top layer of water but NONE of those water removal methods can remove the water that has penetrated the flooring, base boards, or drywall. Unfortunately, the moisture not removed by these methods is, often times, the underlying catalyst for costly structural damage and can create the optimal conditions for mold growth. While this approach to save money is understood and appreciated, this approach is unnecessary as, in many cases, a professional water damage remediation company can handle such work for little to no out-of-pocket cost to the homeowner.
In addition to the cost savings the professional water damage remediation company may afford the homeowner, a professionally trained and intra-industry certified company will know the industry established dry standard for the region they serve and will ensure that the moisture content of the affected area will be dried to the established drying standard and not to a level that looks, feels, and otherwise appears dry upon a casual inspection. The benefit of this is simple... the potential for structural damage is abated and the potential for mold growth is minimized thus saving the homeowner untold expenses in home repair and medical costs.
So what does dry mean? When is something dry? Dry does not mean a moisture content of zero as even in the desert there is moisture - if you know where to look and how to extract it. Dry, in the context of water damage remediation, refers to a point in the intra-industry drying standard at which the moisture content is stated to be dry. Each region, by virtue of its unique ecology, has its own established drying standard. The outline of each region is beyond the scope of this article but any interested party can easily find the established drying standard for their region online. It is to this point that a professional water damage remediation company will dry to, or beyond, to ensure your home indemnified to its preloss condition. Then, and only then, is your affected home / structure able to be deemed as dry.
As outlined in this article, there really is a lot that goes into a water damage remediation service... far more then is apparent at first glance. Now that you have a reasonable understanding of the time, money, and risk you can offset via the contracting a professional water damage restoration company, you now know that your fiduciary responsibility and cost saving intent is BEST served by using a professional water damage remediation company whenever water damage occurs.
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Cleaning Up After A Fire Should Be Left For Professionals

Fires can be very devastating. If you're unlucky enough to be a victim of a fire, you're faced with the reality that your home is damaged. You feel as if you're down and you can't wait to go back up. Because of this, you can't wait to clean up the damage and try to restore things back to normal. You just want to go on with your life.

So what do some people do? They try to clean up after the fire themselves. They enter their house and try to restore it. But some people don't realize that this can be very dangerous. Why should cleaning up a fire should be left for professionals? Here are some reasons:

1. Cleaning up a fire is very dangerous

This should be pretty obvious. Fires damage your house. There are damages that you can and cannot see. Sure, you can probably see the burnt wall and you can avoid it. But there are damages that you can't see. There are damages to the foundation of the house itself. One wrong step can lead to part of the house falling down. After property damage, the least thing that you need is loss of life or limb. There's also the issue of fumes and smoke that are unsafe to you and your family.

2. Risk of doing more damage

If you don't know what you're doing, you can actually do more harm than good. Cleaning up a fire should be left for professionals because they have the expertise in dealing with it. They know what they can and cannot do. If you try to do it yourself, you can damage things that could have been restored in the first place.

3. Emotional and physical instability

The devastation that fire brings can make anyone emotionally and physically unstable. This can slow you down or even put you in danger. You're emotionally and physically tired and there's a very big chance that you're not up to the job. By hiring a professional, you're assured that it will be handled accordingly. They have the training needed to restore your things to its original state.

They have the equipment that can help you restore your properties instead of throwing it away. There can also remove any smoke residue that is harmful to you and your properties. They can also help you clean and sanitize your home so that you don't have to suffer anymore with the after-effects of a fire. If you can't wait to go on with your life, hiring a professional company is the way to go. They'll do it right and that's the most important thing aside from your safety.

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