Mold in Insulation
About a year ago, a terrible natural disaster hit. SERVPRO responded and headed down south. After SERVPRO responded to calls of storm and water damage, they addressed evidence of mold in multiple locations. Initially, one thinks that a bad storm is going to cause destruction due to heavy winds, rains and flooding. However, the average customer doesn't even think about the mold until the rain water and flooding has done it's damage.
SERVPRO responded to several jobs with mold issues after the long hours they put into storm repair.
By this time, SERVPRO had been out of state for almost three weeks helping with the aftermath. They were going to stay longer if it meant addressing more issues such as mold.
This picture shows water damage in a customer's ceiling, which has insulation. Since insulation has to be removed for the drying process, the SERVPRO team could take the steps needed to address the mold issue. No job is too big or too small for SERVPRO.
Mold In Your Home
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO specializes in mold cleanup and restoration. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely. If you are in need of mold remediation please call our office today!
Facts About Flooding
There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather-related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:
-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO. Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order.
Did you know that SERVPRO also cleans up sewage backups?
Sewer backups should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that cause serious illnesses. SERVPRO has specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.
Water damage can be classified by the three types of contaminated water. SERVPRO technicians will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.
The three types of contaminated water:
Category 1: "Clean Water"
Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.
- Water from a clean source like a broken water line
- If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3
Category 2: "Gray Water"
Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.
- May contain bacteria and viruses
- Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated
Category 3: "Black Water"
Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
- May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
- Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
24 Hour Emergency Service
Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our specialists are always here with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.
Cleaning Services: Commercial
Spending extra time and resources to clean and disinfect your office or warehouse space is something you don't always have time to do. Turn to the professionals and let us handle the everyday wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When dirt, odor, and moisture problems go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you need to call SERVPRO for prompt service.
We specialize in all commercial cleaning services, from removing an odor problem to deep cleaning flooring and carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best. SERVPRO can work around your regular business hours so there will be no disruption or downtime for your office. From general cleaning of workspaces to heavy cleaning of warehouse walls and ceilings, we have specialized training, products, and equipment to get your commercial property clean and safe. A clean office promotes employee health and safety, production and overall happiness. A clean business keeps customers coming back.
SERVPRO wants to help keep your facility clean and a place where people want to work and buy from. We have service agreements that range from weekly cleaning services, quarterly, or by the call. We'll work with you and around your schedule and cater our services around your needs.
Our commercial cleaning services include:
Biohazard and Sewage
SERVPRO is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly following OSHA and health regulations. Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous and is best left to the professionals. Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean and safe workspaces.
Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup
Accidents and crime scenes often have blood or other biohazard contaminants that may pose a severe health risk. Our highly trained service professionals will respond immediately and safely clean and disinfect any trauma or crime scene with empathy and respect.
Carpet and Upholstery
A good rule of thumb is to have your carpet and upholstery professionally cleaned every 12 months. Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery. Ceilings, walls, and floors are exposed to dirt, dust and other contaminants from inside and outside. Whether they need general maintenance cleaning, or heavy cleaning from smoke or fire damage, SERVPRO has the expertise to do the job right the first time.
Odor Removal and Deodorization
We have several different types of deodorization techniques. One of our Project Managers will discuss with you the method that will be most beneficial for your property. Masking the odors and other shortcuts are not what we do. We fully address the source of the odor so it doesn't return.
Vandalism and Graffiti
SERVPRO offers emergency services for board up due to broken windows or damaged structure. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed promptly. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, we also clean driveways, sidewalks, asphalt, metals, glass, wood, plastic and masonry.
After The Storm - Hire the Commercial Restoration Pros
When it comes to natural disasters in Indiana, we tend to think of floods, tornadoes and damaging storms. Unlike natural disasters like hurricanes, Hoosiers tend not to have any time to prepare for the natural disasters that occur in their backyard. But even though we don’t have days to board up our businesses, there are things we can do to prepare if a disaster should strike our business.
In this blog, we will cover steps you can take to prepare your business for the unexpected so that you can reduce your downtime and losses.
Protect Your Data
If you are like most businesses, you have a lot of data or information saved on your computers. You may have billing, contacts, payroll, taxes, and other documents saved on your computers. You may have CAD files or photos or other data for your clients’ projects. Needless to say, you probably would some money and perhaps lots of money if the data on your computers were destroyed.
While you may not be able to save everything that you and your staff do on your computers, you can save and recover most of it if you save your data in the cloud at an offsite server facility. There are many companies out there that provide backup and recovery services for businesses. It’s important that once you do choose a backup provider, that you use it. Many businesses learn too late that they weren’t backing up their data on a regular basis.
Plan for Loss of Power
Is your business capable of operating if you lose power? It’s not uncommon for Indiana businesses to lose power after big storms. If your business requires power to operate, you may want to have generators available to provide emergency power. You may just need them for lights or you may need them to power heaters or air conditioners in order to protect your inventory from extreme temperatures.
It’s important to create a plan of what to power in order to ensure you have enough generators and enough fuel to keep the emergency power going for a few days. You don’t want to not have enough power or run out of fuel after 6 hours.
Plan to Work Off Site
If your business is flooded or destroyed by a tornado, can it operate elsewhere? If your business works mainly online, then operating your business from laptops at home or elsewhere may not be too much of an inconvenience. If you rely on equipment or materials that are stored at your business, operating remotely may be a little more difficult. Still, it is a good idea to consider creating a contingency plan in the event that your business site is inaccessible. Are there other locations that your business could operate in an emergency? Are there jobs that can be done while your business site is closed? Having these plans planned in advance can help your business avoid any long down times.
Develop An Emergency Plan
As discussed in the previous section, having an emergency plan can save you time and money. Your emergency plan should be available and shared with all of your employees. It needs to contain phone numbers and/or a phone tree so everyone can be kept up to date. It needs to include what to do in case the office is closed. It should include what steps to take if your business is damaged. If you are a large business, you may want to delegate critical recovery roles to certain team members. An effective emergency plan should be thorough and precise and leave no one guessing what to do next.
After The Storm - Hire the Commercial Restoration Pros
One of the first steps you should take after your business has been damaged by flood waters, storms, and/or a tornado is to call the commercial restoration professionals at SERVPRO. They have the tools and expertise to handle any size disaster. Whether it is water damage, fire damage, or other storm damage, they can get to work right away so you can get back to business as usual as soon as possible. Give them a call the next time your business suffers the unexpected from a natural disaster.
Residential Fires are the Second Most Common Fire
With the recent strong storms, you may have seen stories on the local news about homes catching on fire from lightning strikes. While that is possible, lightning accounts for a very small percentage of house fires. Lightning is still dangerous and you should definitely take cover if it is near, there are other areas and parts of your home that you should keep an eye on as common culprits of Indiana house fires.
In the article below we will go over statistics on house fires as reported in the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) by the fire departments throughout the country. The stats come from the residential fire incident reports from 2013-2015.
Residential Fires are the Second Most Common Fire
Residential fires, which include single-family homes, apartments, and condos, account for 30% of all fires reported. Businesses account for 8% and vehicles account for 15%, while outside fires (forest fires, grass fires, etc.) accounted for 41% of all fires. While home fires accounted for only 30% of all fires, they resulted in the most injuries, deaths, and dollar loss from property damage.
The Leading Cause of House Fires
Have you ever left something on the stove for too long that resulted in a small confined fire? Apparently, many of us have by the stats from the U.S. Fire Administration’s report. Cooking fires accounted for an astounding 50% of all house fires that occurred between 2013-2015. Cooking fires originated in ovens, on stovetops, and in microwaves. Most of these fires were contained to the food container (skillet, pot, cooking sheet) and were extinguished before the fire had time to spread.
The second leading cause of house fires is from heating equipment. Heating equipment includes space heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, and radiators. These fires account for close to 12% of all house fires. These fires, like cooking fires, can be easily prevented by not leaving a fire in a fireplace or wood stove unattended and keeping flammable objects at least three feet away from heat sources. If you use space heaters, be sure to turn them off before leaving the room or going to sleep.
Other leading causes of house fires include appliance fires, candles, smoking, and electrical malfunctions. All of these together only account for 16% of all fires. Fires from smoking and candles are usually due to carelessness while appliance and electrical fires are due to damaged equipment or overloaded circuits. With appliances and electronics, it’s always good to check the cords for damage or frays. Also, never overload a wall outlet with an excessive amount of appliances and equipment.
The Spread of Fires in Homes
Fortunately, most fires in homes are discovered quickly and extinguished before they spread. Around 55% of all fires are contained to the object that the fire originated at. This could be a pot or an appliance or a piece of fabric like a table cover or chair. While the fire damage is usually limited to the object, the smoke damage can still be substantial. Fires that take over a whole room account for 20% of all fires while fires that take over a whole home account for 17% of all fires. These fires are the most devastating to property and to the health of the occupants.
Be Safe in Your Home with Working Smoke Alarms
One of the keys to catching a fire early and extinguishing it before it has caused extensive damage is to have properly working smoke alarms located throughout your home. According to the report, smoke alarms were only present in 43% of nonconfined house fires. Nonconfined fires are fires that spread from their original confined source i.e. cooking pot. While smoke alarms will not prevent a fire, they serve as an early warning device to alert the occupants that a fire is occurring. A smoke alarm gives them time to either extinguish the confined fire or evacuate and call the fire department if the fire is nonconfined.
It a Fire Should Occur at Your Indiana Home, Call the Fire Restoration Professionals
Even a small little kitchen fire can cause a lot of smoke damage. Whether you have experienced a small fire or an extensive fire, the fire restoration experts at SERVPRO can help clean up, repair and get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. They have the tools, equipment, and know-how to handle smoke damage, water damage, mold damage and fire damage -- all of which can occur from a house fire. Whether a fire happens during the day or in the middle of the night, you can call SERVPRO 24/7 to handle your home’s emergency.
Common Damages to Homes After a Fire
It’s usually not the actual fire that does the most damage to a home from a house fire. What causes the most damage to homes that suffered a fire is the smoke from the fire and the water from the firefighters. Below we will cover common damages that occur in a home after a fire.
Where You’ll Find Most Damage from a Fire
Obviously, you’ll find the most damage to a home at the source of the fire. In the case of a stovetop fire, this would be around the range hood, back wall, and ceiling above. In the case of a space heater igniting a curtain, the damage would be around the curtain and on the ceiling above the curtain.
While there will be flame damage right near the source, the majority of the damage will be from the smoke of the fire. If you’ve ever blown out a candle or roasted marshmallows over an open fire, you’ll know that smoke rises. When a fire occurs in your home, the smoke will also rise up and to the ceiling. If the fire is near a wall you might see discoloration up the wall with most of the discoloration right above the source of the fire on the ceiling.
As the fire continues to create more smoke, the smoke will spread across the ceiling and look for a place to escape and go higher. This could be up a stairwell or through ceiling vents. If the smoke has no place to go any higher, it will start to build up and start to come down closer to the floor like a fog. With smoke having the tendency to go up, this is why they say to get nearest to the ground when escaping a fire since there is usually less smoke.
The last area where you’ll most of the smoke damage from a fire is around windows and doors. As the smoke builds up in a house, it looks for the easiest place to escape outside. While this could be a chimney, smoke will also slip out through any cracks or drafts in windows and doors. In homes that suffer a lot of damage, you’ll usually find heavy discolorations around drafty doors and windows.
The Two Variables That Can Spread the Smoke Even Further
While we’ve discussed the typical behavior of smoke from a fire and where you’ll typically find the most damage, there are two variables that can change the behavior of the smoke and help carry it and the damage it causes even further throughout your home. The two things that can help spread the smoke even further are your ceiling fans and your central HVAC system. If your ceiling fans are on or your HVAC blower is on, then the smoke can be blown and carried throughout the house.
If your HVAC system is running then the smoke will most likely enter through the return vents and be spread throughout the duct system. This will not only carry the smoke and the smoke damage throughout the house, it will also cause smoke damage to your ducts. Your ducts might have dust throughout the system which can absorb the smoke meaning every time your air conditioner or heater turns on, you’ll smell the residual smoke for weeks and months after the fire. To remove the smoke from your ducts and HVAC system, you’ll need to have them professionally cleaned.
Battling Discoloration and Odor from Smoke
As you’ve read above, the most damaging part of a fire is usually the smoke. Smoke can discolor any surfaces it comes into contact with. This can include ceilings, walls, and floors but also furniture, clothes, toys, and other household objects. The smoke can seep through every little tiny crack and space discoloring everything in its path.
The second thing that smoke can do to many surfaces of your home is leave an odor. While surfaces that are smooth and not porous can be cleaned easily, the smoke odor can easily embed into porous surfaces like fabric furniture, clothes, curtains, carpets, sheets, electronics and non-sealed wood.
How to Clean Up Fire and Smoke Damage
Cleaning up after a fire, even a small one, isn’t as easy as cleaning up a spilled glass of liquid off the floor. Due to the chemical properties of fire and smoke, removing the discoloration can be difficult if not impossible in some situations. Removing the smoke odor can be even more difficult especially when dealing with electronics, fabric furniture, carpeting, and clothes.
The best step to take if you should regrettably experience a fire in your Indianapolis-area home is to call the fire damage repair and restoration experts at SERVPRO have the knowledge and equipment to remove all the fire and smoke damage and restore your home to how it was prior to the fire. They are a trusted leader in the restoration industry that business owners and homeowners have turned to for years restore and repair their property.
Water Damage: Commercial Basement Edition
Last week a local commercial building suffered a large water loss. In this particular instance, the SERVPRO team was called after hours to respond to the unpleasant surprise for the local building. The SERVPRO team responds day and night and is always "faster to any disaster".
In this case, the water affected a large portion of the basement in a massive building. The basement had concrete and carpet floors that were affected by the water. Unfortunately, some of the area was an office building. Luckily, the SERVPRO team responds very quickly and they were able to minimize the water seeping into the carpeted area.
The first night the SERVPRO team responded, the water level was higher than expected. But in just a few short hours SERVPRO had the water drained and were beginning to clean the area. After the water was drained, they could begin the drying process. Luckily, our team has all of the necessary equipment and we were out of there in just a few days!
SERVPRO Helps Commercial Businesses
Did you know SERVPRO is not just for disasters such as floods, water damage, or fires in the home? We also help Commercial Businesses!
SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun employees are certified to clean and sanitize: Upholstery, Carpeting, Flooring, and other hard surfaces. SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun is even certified to remove bio-hazard contaminants such as blood, urine, feces, and other things no one else wants to clean. Refresh your carpeting and office cubical- we also specialize in odor removal and deodorization! Additionally, SERVPRO is available after hours if services are needed when customers and/or clients are not present.
SERVPRO means reliable, certified professionals will show up at your door and handle any cleaning or restoration needs you may have.
Give us a call today- we will be happy to help (517)-278-5261