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Commercial Water Damage Don'ts

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

What NOT to do after commercial water damage:

  1. Do not enter a room with standing water in it until all electricity has been turned off.
    - Live wires touching water can electrify the water, making standing water in the room very dangerous. Make sure all electricity is disconnected or off prior to entering a room with standing water.
  2. Do not use a regular household vacuum to remove water.
    - Regular household vacuum’s are not meant to handle large volumes of water. Sucking up standing water with a household vacuum will definitely break it and potentially cause it to short circuit.
  3. Do not attempt to lift tacked down carpet without professional help.
    - Wet carpet is very heavy. Not only could you hurt yourself trying to remove damp carpet but carpet also contains a variety of tacks that can hurt you if you are not trained in pulling it up correctly.
  4. Do not use electrical appliances when carpet or flooring is still wet.
    - Exposure to water can cause electrical appliances to short circuit or fail. Since they are not manufactured to be “water proof”, water can easily get into vulnerable areas in the appliances and greatly increase your chance of electrocution or fire.
  5. Do not touch or disturb any visible mold.
    - Mold spreads very easily. Mold caused by water is dangerous to you and can have harmful health effects. Make sure you call a mold damage specialist to handle the cleanup and removal of mold so as to not cause harm to yourself or your employees.

Things to look for when buying a house.

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

General Things to look for when buying a house. Mold on Beam

If you would like to sort of a “pre-inspection” before calling in the professionals, here’s a list of things to look at to know if you’re possibly buying a house with mold:

  1. Does the house have wet carpet or water stains.
    Carpeting and carpet padding are great mold foods and mold growth can easily hide inside carpeting and padding.
  2. Does the home have indoor bodies of water?
    An indoor pool, jacuzzi spa or large fish aquarium continuously generates high indoor humidity to drive mold growth.
  3. Is there a built in humidifier?
    As humidifier pushes moisture and humidity throughout the house, this increases the chances of indoor mold growth. This is true for humidifiers that are built into the home’s heating/cooling equipment and free-standing, portable units.
  4. Does the refrigerator have an automatic ice maker?
    Water supply line that brings water to an automatic ice maker often goes bad. A bad water supply line causes leaking water and could promote mold growth into kitchen floors, walls, and cabinets.
  5. Does bathroom and laundry vents lead outdoors?
    Such vents often exhaust high humidity air into attics, crawl spaces, walls, ceilings, or floors, rather than directly outdoors. Be sure that these vents are leading outdoors to prevent moisture build-up.
  6. Does the air conditioning condensation pan have a leak?
    Air conditioning systems include a drip pan to catch water than condenses and drips from the air conditioning coils. Such drip pans are sometimes poorly installed or the pan drain pipe becomes blocked, thus allowing water flooding and mold growth into adjacent walls and ceilings.
  7. Does the building lot slope towards the house?
    If the house building lot slopes downward toward the house, rather than away from the house, there is going to be significant water intrusion into the basement, crawl space, concrete slab, and/or building foundation, and thus enabling the growth of mold resulting from such water intrusion.
  8. Does the house on the side or bottom of a hill?
    A residence that is located on the side of a hill or at the bottom of a hill will be a moldy house because rain fall will cause significant ground water intrusion into the same areas mentioned above.
  9. Is the roof overhang too short?
    If the roof overhang extends less than two feet beyond the walls beneath the overhang, rainfall will fall upon and run down the exterior walls to soak into the wood and masonry surfaces of such walls.
  10. Has the house ever had a leaky roof?
    If the roof surface or flashings around a chimney or furnace and plumbing vent pipes are degraded or poorly-maintained, water will enter into the home’s attic and run downward into the insides of the ceilings, floors, and walls beneath the attic to cause huge, hidden toxic mold growth therein.
  11. Has the house ever had a crawl space water intrusion?
    Most crawl space dirt floors suffer from water wicking upward from the ground water in the soil. In addition, rainfall frequently runs into crawl spaces. Crawl space water intrusion results in big toxic mold growth that can grow upward into the insides of the floors and walls above.
  12. Does the house have leaking water supply or sewage drain pipes?
    Plumbing line leaks can cause massive toxic mold growth inside and on walls, ceilings, and floors.

Tips for the home after a fire.

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

General Tips for the home after a fire. burnt bedroom

A fire in your home is a devastating experience, both for your family and all your personal belongings. You may be wondering what you can do to further protect your home, or if you should only let a professional take care of the area. Smoke and fire damage is a tricky thing to deal with, so it is very important to have a professional restoration company handle that aspect of fire damage restoration.

Before the professionals at SERVPRO of Bowling Green and West Lucas County start your fire damage restoration project, here are some things to do after a fire:

  • Limit activity and foot traffic in your home. Staying off of carpet, furniture, and upholstery is key to preventing soot, dirt, and other particles from getting trapped all around your home.
  • If you do need to get around your home quite a bit, put down clean towels or sheets on the floor and furniture.
  • If possible, change filters in your home to keep dirt and soot from circulating.
  • Don’t try to wash the walls or carpet — leave that for the professionals to avoid permanent damage. Try not to touch the walls without gloves. 
  • Don’t try to clean kitchen appliances yourself. After a fire, electrical connections and wiring may be damaged and could cause further problems if not cleaned carefully and correctly.
  • Don’t eat any food that may have been exposed to the fire and smoke. It is better to throw all contaminated food away.

With these tips and with a professional fire damage restoration services, you can minimize fire damage to your home and make the restoration process easier. At SERVPRO of Bowling Green and West Lucas County, we are the ones you can trust to take care of your home after any disaster. Contact us today, we are here to help!

AC issues

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage AC issues AC

Air conditioners can cause water damage if not properly maintained. When a unit is working at its peak efficiency it can collect anywhere between 10 to 20 gallons of water a day. Because most of the unit is typically tucked away and out of sight, many times you won’t be able to see the amount of damage until it has already accumulated into major water damage.

Common Causes of Air Conditioner Leak

Although there are a few different reasons why an air conditioner might leak, here are three of the most common causes of leaks in A/C units:

Not Installed Correctly

When putting the unit in your window you want to make sure it is put in the window at the correct angle. It can build up inside the machine or leak out onto your floor. 

Clogged Drain Line

Ideally, water will drain off the condensation coil into a collection pan, after which it is then disposed into the sewer system. But if a drain becomes clogged it can overflow and lead to damaged floors, carpeting, as well as creating unhealthy molds. If you’re ever unsure about the type of mold you have, you should always seek an expert’s opinion.

Condensation Pump Malfunction

A dirty condensation pump can cause water to leak. The excessive build-up of water can lead to the growth of mold and mildew inside the unit which can lead to further health issues if not taken care of within an appropriate amount of time. Most mold isn’t that harmful to humans or pets, but if you ever suspect black mold, you should always reach out to an expert. If you ever need help or have questions don’t ever hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO of Bowling Green and West Lucas County.

Storm Safety

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

In 2017 we had no shortage of severe weather hit around the globe. We have seen major Hurricanes such , Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria. The Atlantic alone has had 17 Named storms so far in 2017!

On top of the major named storms we have had sever thunderstorms, heavy rains and we are just barely into the winter season!

So what steps should you do after the storm is gone and you are left with damage to your home?

There are steps that you should be aware of, steps to make the process smother and less Complicated.

1. Take the proper safety precautions! If your property is heavily damaged contact a reputable restoration company such as SERVPRO of Bowling Green and West Lucas County to secure your property.

2. Contact your insurance company.

3.  Photograph damage, if it safe for you to do so. This is important to be sure you have an accurate record to give to your insurance company.

4. If the damage is from a storm such as a hurricane, look into Federal Disaster Assistance.The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.

Mold in the home

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Community Mold in the home mold types

Quite often our office receives calls from customers concerned about "black Mold". Unfortunately, due to media attention years ago many people still believe that all mold is "black mold" or "toxic black bold". The terms  "black mold" and "toxic black Mold" are not scientific terms. These terms were used by the Media , typicality to refer to Stachybotrys molds. The first thing that people need to understand is that Mold is everywhere. There are over 100,000 types of mold. All homes and building in general contain mold. Mold is everywhere, it is in the air outside, the trees and even the ground we walk on. With that being said, you may find yourself asking what should you do if you find an overgrowth of mold in a concentrated area in your home? That is where we here at SERVPRO of Bowling Green and West Lucas County can come in and help you figure that out. Our trained professionals will do a complete visual inspection and come up with a remediation plan that best suits your particular situation. Call us today!

Extinguisher Classes

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher can be a life-saving tool when used correctly. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals are properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher.

USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:
• You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
• The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
• You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire.
• You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the fire escape route.
• Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.

Classes of Fire Extinguishers:

  • Class A: Use on ordinary combustible materials, such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
  • Class B: Use on flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline and oil.
  • Class C: Use on appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.
  • Class D: Use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.
  • Class K: Use on vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. These are generally found in commercial kitchens, but are suitable for the residential market.

If you experience fire damage or smoke damage, call the trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Bowling Green and West Lucas County at 419-353-2300. Our experienced crews are always here to help.

Water Damage Do's & Don'ts

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

CLEAN Water Damage Tips

• Shut off the source of the water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
• Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
• Remove as much excess water as possible my mopping and blotting.
• Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
• Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
• Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
• Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
• Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
• Hang draperies with coated hangars to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
• Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

• Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
• Enter affected areas of electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
• Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
• Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
• Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
• Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

CONTAMINATED Water Damage Tips

• Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
• Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

• Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
• Turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
• Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
• Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

The most important thing to remember is that if you have any questions or require help; call the professionals at SERVPRO of Bowling Green and West Lucas County.

Electrical Safety Tips

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

A recent report from the U.S. Fire Administration shows home electrical fires claim the lives of 280 Americans each year and injure over 1,000 more. Overloaded circuits and extension cords cause many electrical fires in the home or workplace.

Electrical fires occur most during the winter months due to the increased time spent indoors, which also increases the use of lighting, heating and appliances.

Many electrical fires can be avoided if basic safety precautions are taken.  Review the following safety tips to reduce your risk of an electrical fire:

  • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
  • Frayed wires can cause fires.  Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
  • Replace any electrical tool or appliance if it overheats, shorts out, causes even small electric shocks, or gives off smoke or sparks.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet.  Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Use electrical extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets. 

Remember if you ever have any questions SERVPRO of Bowling Green and West Lucas County is here to help. 

 Source: U.S. Fire Administration

The Facts About Lead

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bowling Green and West Lucas County's main concern is safety of the residents of Ohio's Western Lucas Counties. Here are some things about lead paint we feel you should know. 

What you need to know

  • Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978.
  • Lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ, learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
  • Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.
  • Lead is also harmful to adults and the elderly.
  • Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed to lead. People can also get lead in their bodies from lead in soil or paint chips. Lead dust is often invisible.
  • Projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust and endanger you and your family.
  • In most cases, lead-based paint that is in good condition is not a hazard.

According to EPA requirements (40 CFR Part 745) contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures:

  • Contain the work area.  
  • Minimize dust.  
  • Clean up thoroughly.

Does Your Property Contain Lead?

Older homes, older child care facilities, schools and other buildings are more likely to contain lead-based paint. Homes may be private, government-assisted or public housing. Schools are preschools and kindergarten classrooms. They may be urban, suburban or rural.

Percentage of homes likely to contain lead:

  • Built between 1960-1978 = 24%  
  • Built between 1940-1960 = 69%  
  • Built before 1940 = 87%

What You Can Do To Protect Your Family From Lead in Pre-1978 Homes

  • If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately.
  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces. Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead.
  • Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often.
  • Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
  • Make sure children eat a healthy, nutritious diet consistent with the USDA’s dietary guidelines, which helps protect children from the effects of lead.
  • Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.