Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Three Familiar Water Damage Issues


Water Damage is not something that a home owner wants to be familiar with, and yet for many, I'm afraid that it is a dreaded reality. The basic maintenance to keep a house up and in good condition can be hard enough on your schedule and your wallet, but when you throw in something unexpected like an issue with water damage popping up out of nowhere, then your world is going to be turned completely upside down. Preparing for the unexpected can be done by becoming more knowledgeable of possible threats, so I'm going to take this opportunity to share with you what the three most familiar water damage issues are for the home owner today.

The roof can be your home's best friend or it's worst enemy, depending on whether it has holes in it or not. The problem with most major issues that stem from leaks in the roof is that they build up over a period of time and you don't realize that there is a problem until quite a bit of damage has already taken place. A fact that you need to realize is that many times you cannot tell that roof damage is present by simply looking up at the roof from outside. Just because shingles are in place and all are accounted for does not mean that water cannot get in. There are other issues to consider. Your gutters can fill up with debris such as leaves and cause rain water to seep into the side of your roof when backed up. The items on your roof that stick out are sealed by pieces of rubber that can deteriorate over time. It would be good for you to make a habit out of occasionally going into the attic when it rains and inspecting the roof from the inside to ensure that there are no water leaks present.

Another thing to pay close attention to will be the basement or crawlspace under your house. This is the part of your home that is located closest to the ground, which is where rain water is going to eventually drain to. It only makes sense that without proper preventative measures being taken, issues related with water damage will soon develop. The foundation of your home should never have water resting up against it, and this can be prevented by utilizing a good gutter system that empties by way of downspouts that are turned away from the home. The use of splash blocks are a good idea to assist in routing the water away from the home, rather than saturating the ground next to the foundation. If you have a crawlspace, be sure that the earth located directly underneath the house is completely covered with plastic. This will prevent moisture from coming out of the ground and lingering in the air. If you have a basement, you need to go along the walls and floor and ensure that there are no cracks allowing water to leak through. Your best plan of action here is to fill any cracks that are present and then use a good sealer that will not allow water to penetrate the concrete. If you have done all you can do and water still proceeds to invade your crawlspace or basement, the use of a good pump that will turn itself on when water is detected is a must. This process will remove water out of the area as it arrives to avoid the water settling and creating damage.

The last familiar issue to the world of water damage is your plumbing. This is probably the most common area that water damage comes from in most homes. Over time, everything that makes up your plumbing system from faucets to pipes and fittings is going to wear down and will require maintenance or replacement. The best way to avoid this problem is to routinely inspect the pipes and fittings for anything that has come loose and possibly even started to drip. It is also a good idea to occasionally replace the washers or other types of seals that may be present in all of your faucets. This will prevent slow drips from starting, which will help you to avoid a large problem that could stem off of a small one very quickly. Get familiar with these common problems that are related to water damage in the home so that you are better equipped to prevent them from happening in your home.


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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Addressing Mold Remediation and Mold Removal


Mold remediation, clean up, removal and prevention will likely occur within ones home or business at one time or another. Handling mold is not a job for everyone. Mold carries with it risks. There are measures to take when resolving the issues mold brings with it. It is important to find the source, minimize the mess during the clean up phase, clean and remove the mold. Prevention will be the final step in resolving a mold problem.

First and most important to fixing the mold issue is finding and fixing the moisture issue. Likely this will be in the vicinity of where the mold has been spotted. If the source of the moisture is not fixed and only the mold is cleaned it will come back. The problem is only masked at that point. In fixing the issue it is important to resolve to gain control over the moisture levels. If the levels in one given room are over fifty-five percent the best option is a dehumidifier.

If a leak or flood has occurred the problem is more clear and defined. This will be a matter of removal of the excess water using a pump to clear the area of water. From there it is important to ensure that the area is completely dry. This is possible using fans to circulate the air and a humidifier. All wet items should be removed and properly taken care of. Problems that go unattended for over forty-eight hours can lead to the most complications. Immediate care and resolution are the best options in mold remediation.

The next step after removing and finding the source of the issues is to clean and remove the mold. Before this is even started it is advisable to prevent the spores from scattering. When the mold becomes airborne it will start to reproduce on whatever it lands on given the conditions are right. To prevent these areas of mold growth from spreading each area should be blocked off and cleaned separately. You can do this by sealing the room with plastic sheeting and place tape on the edges as a seal. Air purifiers are wise to run throughout the space.

Cleaning the mold is another beast all on its own. Know going into the mold remediation process, depending on the size, quantity and type of mold present professional mold restoration services might be the better option. Professional mold restoration services are provided by trained professionals. They know exactly what they are doing and can have life back to normal before many homeowners can even have the area prepped for the cleaning and mold removal process.

The mold should not be completely dry. Dry mold has a tendency to sail through the air better than moist mold. The affected areas should be cleansed with cleaner specially designed to kill and remove mold. Many non-porous materials can be reused after being affected by mold however porous materials such as ceiling tiles, carpet, furniture etc. that are visibly affected need to be destroyed. Sometimes those items can be cleaned and reused if not badly affected however it is best to not chance anything that may be uncertain.

Mold should be removed and placed in thick construction grade plastic bags. Don't try to move the bag through the house. With mold it is best to throw the bag directly out the window eliminating the movement of mold from each room on the way out to the trash. Mold is nothing to mess with. It is unsightly, unhealthy to live with and breathe in and hard to safely take care of. If in doubt with a situation involving mold look for advice from professional mold remediation services.


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Sunday, May 22, 2016

SERVPRO® | Emergency Preparedness Checklist



When fire and water cleanup is needed, getting help is now quicker and easier using the SERVPRO® READY Plan App. The Ready Plan is an emergency preparedness tool for home and business owners, property managers, risk managers and facility management. It allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile® containing critical facility information to help speed up response time.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Fire & Water Damage Cleaning & Restoration Services For Your Home


Buying a house is one of the greatest financial investments that a person can make. However, homeowners should also keep in mind that any house is at risk from fire and water damage. Usually fire damage is more extensive and dangerous than water damage, though the methods of fire & water damage cleaning & restoration are generally similar.

Fire Damage and Water Damage may Threaten your Home and Health

Fire damage can be classified into 3 groups. The first is just minor damage that includes smoke damage on ceilings, walls and carpets. The second is minor structural damage and the third is massive structural damage. With the last type, the services of a professional fire & water damage cleaning & restoration company is needed to restore the home back to its former state.

Meanwhile, water damage is caused by three types of water, each coming with a specific set of problems. The first type is clean water that comes from broken or leaking water pipe lines. The second is dirty or contaminated water and the third is waste water or sewage that usually comes from sewage backup.

Proper Fire and Water Damage Restoration Takes your Home Back to its Best Look

It does not matter what kind of water or fire damage your experiences. What is important is that you have to plan and conduct proper fire & water damage restoration - remember, your house cannot restore by itself!

Carpets soaked in water usually become the breeding ground of mold and mildew. Damp ceilings, walls and vents also increase the possibility of fungi growth, which can pose a serious threat to a person's health. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Cause and Prevention, mold and mildew can trigger various health problems, which may even lead to respiratory illnesses, thus, they should be treated immediately as soon as detected.

Moreover, mold and mildew infestation that are not treated right away can decrease the house's value. If the task of restoring fire or water damage is too insurmountable, perhaps the smartest and most logical thing to do is to hire the services of a fire & water damage cleaning & restoration expert. This prompt action prevents the house from getting further structural damage that might decrease its worth.

Hire Professional Fire & Water Cleaning and Restoration Expert

Water and fire damage cleaning & restoration experts can take care of the damage appropriately. They are well-equipped with the latest technologies, such as thermal foggers, industrial vacuum cleaners, and dehumidifiers that can eliminate moisture, mold and mildew, as well as related odors effectively.

Try researching online for the best companies that offer cleaning and restoration services. Look for the damage restoration professionals available in the area and compare the services and rates before going for one service provider. Do not forget to check out the reviews and feedback of customers who have already tried the services of a certain company. In this way, you can decide which company can restore your home back to its former grandeur.


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Monday, May 16, 2016

Understanding the Water Damage Restoration Process


When moisture seeps into your home, a number of issues can occur. To minimize long-term problems and contamination, you need to undertake water damage restoration. Learn the steps involved in this process.

Responding to Initial Contact

When you realize that you have a significant moisture problem, your first step will involve calling a clean-up company for assistance. Many companies have 24-hour availability for emergency response. The representative you speak with on the phone will ask a few questions. These include your name, address, insurance information, type of damage, the problem cause, and whether electricity is available.

Inspecting the Situation

A professional will arrive to inspect the situation at the location. Expect the professional to look for the source of the dampness. If possible, the technician will try to stop the water source. The technician will then attempt to identify the type of water in your home. It may be white, gray, or black depending on the source of the moisture. The work performed to resolve the issue will depend on the type of water.

Removing and Extracting the Moisture

Removing the dampness is achieved with the use of submersible pumps and industrial vacuum units. These suck up excessive amounts of wetness in a short peroid. It's crucial to remove the water as quickly as possible to prevent mold from forming. Technicians will also use other types of equipment such as moisture detectors and meters that measure the amount of saturation in the home. Infrared cameras are also effective for detecting hidden dampness that could lurk behind ceilings and walls.

Drying and Dehumidifying

Dampness will linger long after the pumps and vacuums finish removing the standing water. Porous materials retain dampness for a lengthy time. This wetness will cause swelling, warping, and mold. To avoid these situations, the technicians will move on to drying and dehumidifying the area. Industrial dehumidifiers and air movers are effective for eliminating wetness in porous building materials. This equipment is also effective for drying carpeting and furniture. Moisture meters will enable technicians to monitor drying progress.

Sanitizing and Disinfecting

Once your home and furnishings are dry again, the work moves on to sanitizing and disinfecting an area. Excessive dampness usually leaves behind unpleasant odors. Fogging equipment and industrial air scrubbers are effective equipment for eliminating serious odor problems. The team may also use antibacterial and antimicrobial treatments such as abrasive, foam, or immersion cleaning to sanitize and disinfect your home. The technicians will also dispose of any unsalvageable items.

Final Restoration

Final restoration of your home involves the last steps of returning your house to the pre-moisture condition. Final water damage restoration includes reconstructing areas, installing new carpet, installing hardwood flooring, replacing drywall, and painting.

Because excessive moisture can lead to serious mold problems in a building, it's crucial to perform water damage restoration to repair issues.


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Friday, May 13, 2016

How Fire Damage Restoration Helps Preserve Your Property After a Tragedy


When your home or business has a fire, it can feel like there's no hope for your property. But even if things look grim, there is help for restoring fire-damaged buildings. Fire restoration services are designed to assist you in moments just like this: helping you dry out and clean up your property to return it to a livable condition. In fact, depending on the extent of the fire, these professionals should be able to help you return your home or commercial space to like-new condition. So don't throw in the towel: Get the fire damage restoration services you need now!

Water Damage

After the fire, the first issue you'll need to confront is actually not the fire damage itself, but rather the water damage. All the water used to put the fire out saved your property from total loss; however, if it's not dealt with efficiently and effectively, that water can start causing major problems of its own. Your fire restoration company will start by assessing the condition of the space and determining the best way to get your home or business dried out. Then using high-powered dehumidifiers, fans, and other equipment, their team will work to eliminate both standing and absorbed moisture. It's critical that the water be removed before mold has a chance to grow, further compromising your property, so keep in mind that the sooner the water damage restoration process can be started the better the outcome will be.

Fire Damage

Once the area is thoroughly dried out, it's time to address the fire damage itself. As with the water damage restoration process, the first step is to evaluate the extent of the damage and develop a comprehensive plan for erasing all traces of the fire. Your fire and water restoration team will remove and replace any compromised building materials and then use specialized soot scrubbing tools and treatments to carefully lift soot stains off of walls and even furniture. The final step is to address any lingering smoke smell with a thorough deodorization process. When they're finished with your fire restoration, you'll be hard-pressed to find any remaining signs of the fire!

When you're picking up your life and your property in the wake of a fire, you don't have to go it alone. Instead of struggling to adequately dry out your home or stressing about where to even start, bring in a professional fire/water restoration company to help. These experts have ample experience handling situations just like yours, and they not only have the specialized tools and in-depth knowledge to salvage as much as possible from the fire's aftermath, but they also have the compassionate staff to ensure you're taken care of as well as your property. Don't wait a moment longer: Call now for fire damage restoration and restore your property and your life out of the ashes.


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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Does Your Home Really Need Air Duct Cleaning?


Air duct cleaning may not be the first thing that you think about when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your home, but the potential benefits of this service mean that it perhaps should be. The services of a professional cleaning company can make a tremendous difference in the efficiency and health of your home, providing improved quality of life for all who live there. When considering whether you should have your ducts cleaned it can be easy to question whether your home would truly benefit from such services. They can help to review the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding duct cleaning.

What is the Purpose of Air Duct Cleaning?

Startling studies have indicated that the air inside a home can be as much as five times more polluted than the air outside. You may think that the air filters in your air system are enough to protect you from this pollution, but the reality is these disposable filters are only effective at removing approximately 10 percent of the pollutants and contaminants that move through it. The rest of these contaminants move into the air system, then circulate through the home and settling onto the surfaces of the floor and furniture. While these surfaces can be easily cleaned, the problem lies in the contaminants that settle into the duct system. When this happens, traces of these contaminants will be continuously reintroduced into the air and can be breathed in by those in the home.

Can Mold Grow in the Ducts?

When contaminants and debris are introduced into your duct system, they can become an ideal food source for a variety of organic contamination. The dark and often humid environment of the duct system is perfect for the growth of mold, bacteria, fungi and viruses. As new contamination including dead skin cells, pet dander and moisture are introduced into the air duct system, these can thrive. Pieces of these contaminants can then become part of the air and lead to a variety of respiratory symptoms.

How Are Ducts Cleaned?

Duct cleaning professionals will use a variety of specialized tools and techniques to thoroughly clean and protect your air duct system. It is crucial that all components of your heating and cooling unit and the ducts are thoroughly cleaned in order to prevent lingering contamination. The cleaning generally begins with a careful examination to determine the extent of the contamination and any areas of the heating cooling unit or duct system that are not in high functioning condition. The technician will then use special tools to loosen the buildup of debris and high-powered vacuums to remove this buildup. The components will then be thoroughly cleaned and potentially protected with the use of a sanitizing solution.

How Often Do Ducts Need to be Cleaned?

After your heating and cooling unit an air duct system has been thoroughly cleaned by an air duct cleaning professional, as long as you maintain it properly, you will not need to have the system cleaned again for between three and seven years. It is important that you continue to maintain the system by having it checked and repaired once or twice a year.


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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Water Damage Clean Up - Not Just From Storms


When most people think of water damage in a home or business, scenes of area wide flooding showing continuously on 24 hour news channels is likely to come to mind. But actually, a small percentage of water damage losses are related to storms or flooding.

It's true that these losses get more publicity because they happen in bunches and tend to be more severe, but it is much more likely that if you suffer a water damage loss it will be from a plumbing problem. That's the good news, because there is nothing you can do to prevent storms, and little you can do to prevent storm damage, but there are things you can do to prevent water damage from plumbing problems.

Water Damage from Plumbing Mishaps

The most severe incidents usually occur in a home or business when there is a water line break and no one is there. This is a common occurrence at businesses, where a broken water supply line can spew out water all night or all weekend before it is discovered. The culprits include: blown fittings on water heaters located above the office areas; automatic coffee machines that malfunction and continue filling and overflowing the pot all night; broken lines to a sink, toilet, or ice maker; malfunctioning fire sprinkler systems; and even water main breaks in the ceiling.

In homes, similar problems with supply lines are common, but other common occurrences in are: the hot or cold water hose to the washing machine rupturing; dishwashers and washing machines continuing to fill and overflow when the float ball malfunctions; toilets that are flushed, stop up and continue to run; and bathtubs that are being filled and are forgotten.

Preventive Measures

As you can see from all of these examples, the easiest thing you can do to limit or prevent water damage in your home or business is to turn off the main water line when you will be away for an extended time. Some of worst days for water damage losses are right after major holidays or popular vacation times when people are returning home. That's when they discover that water has been leaking for who knows how long, and when the damage is severe and the clean up and repairs extensive. How long you are willing to be gone without turning off the water to your home or business depends on how big of a risk you are willing to take.

But even simpler and smaller steps than turning off the water main to your home can be taken to avoid common water damage situations. For instance don't leave your home with the dishwasher or washing machine running, or with a toilet that hasn't stopped running. Also, if you are going to be gone for more than a day, at least turn off the hot and cold water to your washing machine. That in itself will eliminate a common cause of water damage.

And one last thing, if the water service to your home is ever interrupted, make sure to turn off every faucet and shower that was on when the water went off. Severe water damage can occur when faucets and showers are inadvertently left on and the water service is restored while the homeowner is gone. So you can see that many water damage losses, and the grief that goes with them, are very preventable if you are willing to take a few simple precautions.


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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Choosing a Mold Remediation Company


Mold can pose as a health hazard, particularly to small children, animals, and the elderly. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, it is important to get it taken care of as soon as possible, and a mold remediation company can help. Mold can aggravate allergies and asthma, create breathing difficulties and can spread quickly, causing damage to the structure of your home. Mold can also be found in carpet and in the air.

Studies suggest that as many as 50 percent of homes are at risk for developing mold. Not all molds are dangerous, but most indoor mold growth is and should be removed as soon as possible. Molds are typically cotton like or furry in appearance and are gray, white, or green. Even if you don't smell mold, keep in mind that the poisonous molds that grow in walls do not always have an odor. If you do discover mold, make sure that you choose an experienced mold remediation company.

Most experts recommend that you do not attempt to clean the mold yourself if you are going to hire a professional company to take care of it for you. Even if it appears that there is only a small amount of mold, it is still a good idea to receive an estimate from an expert, since again, the majority of household mold is usually found within the walls and cleaning a small visible area without using the proper methods may actually make the problems worse.

You should only choose certified mold remediators who perform their own inspections and remediators who have been in business for many years and have experience working in a variety of settings, both residential and commercial. When a company first visits your home, they will conduct both a visual and a physical inspection, taking swabs of mold and performing an air quality inspection. Once your home has been assessed, you should receive a proposal of services from the company.

A good remediation company should provide a detailed list of the molds present in your home and information about the health risks associated with them as well as the procedures that will be performed to fix the mold problems. Interview and receive assessments from at least three mold inspectors before deciding, and when you do choose a mold remediation company, you will be confident that you have made the right decision when it comes to protecting your home, your health, and the health of your family.


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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fire Damage Restoration Is The First Step Towards Tomorrow


When smoke and flames consume a residence, trying to pick up the pieces and return to a normal life may seem like an impossible task. Fire damage restoration is the all-important first step in the process of rebuilding the structure and making it a livable space once again. The process of remediation after this kind of loss is time-sensitive and involves a number of steps. Finding a professional organization to perform this process can lessen financial stress and help property owners return to the home that they love.

Time Is Of The Essence

Fire damage restoration is a time-sensitive process. The passage of time will increase the impact in terms of the harm to property and belongings and the cost to return them to their former state. The initial impact of the flames is obvious; charred items show the results of the event. Water and chemical agents that were used to tamp down and contain the event also leave behind traces of how they were applied. However, there are other elements, less apparent but no less critical, that can dramatically increase the level of harm that has occurred.

The residual effects following a combustible event begin within minutes of the flames being doused and the smoke being cleared. Soot, ash, and odors can combine to discolor surfaces; corrode metallic objects, such as appliances and plumbing fixtures; and permanently stain fabrics, such as clothing and upholstery. As time passes, the long-term impact can be felt both in financial and emotional terms. Beginning the recovery process as soon as possible will help reduce the cost and the time required to begin a return to normalcy.

What Is Involved

A professional fire damage restoration team follows a number of steps in achieving the goal of returning the affected property to its former state. Below are highlights of this process.

Securing The Site

After a professional team is called to a location and performs an initial assessment, the location will be secured from the elements. This may involve windows and damaged walls being boarded up. If there is damage to the roof of a structure, a roof tarp may also be installed to prevent the elements from causing additional harm. It is important to note that protective clothing is utilized during the entire operation as team members can be exposed to potentially harmful elements that resulted from the occurrence.

Initial Removal Of Flame Retardant Items

Water and chemical agents used to control the event need to be removed from the location before additional work can be performed. Drying elements, such as dehumidifiers, are brought in to expedite the process. Large fans and other air moving devices will improve ventilation and make the area both easier and safer to perform the remediation.

Removing And Cleaning

The next phase of the procedure involves removing the residual soot and smoke odors from the premises. This is one of the most comprehensive steps, as it involves a thorough cleaning of all surfaces including walls, ceilings, floors, fixtures, and appliances. During this time, additional estimates can be made as to what can be restored and what must be replaced.

Sanitizing and deep cleaning will help bring items back to the condition that they were in before being damaged in the event. This step can also result in significant cost savings both to the homeowner and the insurance company involved.

Restoration And Replacement

The final step in fire damage restoration is dealing with any structural damage. Installing new flooring, repainting, and similar activities will be undertaken at this time. If portions of the property need to be rebuilt, this can also be completed during this phase.

Items such as appliances and fixtures that are too impacted to be restored will be replaced with new functional equivalents so that the property can once again be a home to those who lived there.


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