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Fire Damage: Smoke Odor Lingers for Years or a Lifetime

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage: Smoke Odor Lingers for Years or a Lifetime

One of the worst complaints after a fire, even to items not damaged by flame, is the lingering smell of smoke. This odor can linger for a lifetime, even after being washed and cleaned. There is a different odor associated with smoke damage when a home has sustained fire damage than the smell that comes from smoke from a campfire, or wood fire outdoors. The combination of wire burning, paint melting and carpet smoldering makes for a downright disgusting smell that can last forever without proper remediation.

After a home has sustained fire, especially inside of the walls, most all belongings will have a lingering odor. This is a time when it’s very important to start thinking about restoration or replacement. While a professional smoke remediation expert knows how to remove most all odors, sometimes, it’s not possible.

When a fire in your home begins, it starts to consume and eat away at everything it touches, and the remnants of the fire are all in the smoke the fire produces. Insulation causes a different bad odor than wood does, and if there are other chemicals in the house that has sustained fire damage, those also blend with the odor and penetrate everything from cloth to wood.

You will experience this odor immediately. It smells like a combination of tires burning and wood smoldering. It can make you sneeze and can make you ill. Remember that this is the most common reason to replace as opposed to restore; which is our motto and mission. You must decide if it’s tolerable or if it’s not. 

Mold Knows No Boundaries when it hits Your Home

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Knows No Boundaries when it hits Your Home

Remediating mold starts with the first sight of standing water.

Here is some very basic information about mold that you may or may not know. The more educated you are now, before the damage occurs, the better you can mitigate it on your own. However, we want you to have our number so if water gets in, we can get it out and kill the mold growth.

Your best chance to keep mold from starting to grow, is to call a specialist immediately. With the right treatment, mold can be stopped before it begins to grow and mutate. Before it begins to be visible to the eye, it can be stopped in its tracks. It’s important to know that mold can grow inside of walls and surfaces and not be very visible.

All water damage carries the possibility of mold growth, so your vigilance is important to ensure that mold stays away.

Storm Damage from Torrential Rain

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage from Torrential Rain

We have seen an incredible number of storms in 2018. Some of the rain storms we have encountered during this season have not been associated with hurricanes or even thunder storms. In fact, they were simply rain makers where rain clouds just stayed around for an extended amount of time.

This type of rain damage can start at the foundation of the house and have problematic impacts on the roof structure. The weight of rain alone, puts pressure on the roof shingles, and the presence of water for an extended amount of time on the wood of the foundation, begins to erode the fibers of the wood.

You may only think of damage from rain storms as being temporary, and you may only consider storm damage as wind damage or structural damage, but too much rain and there is a problem. For example, when water penetrates the wood of a home’s foundation, it starts to eat inward.

When the water starts to saturate the inner parts of the foundation, it begins to spread. As it’s spreading inward and no longer visible on the outside, another culprit is just behind the water saturation and that is mold. From the top of a home with standard shingles, water begins to trickle into the sheetrock and eventually shows up as a water line on your roof.

As you may suspect, from the top or bottom, too much water for too long can cause very expensive damage. It is important that you contact a water and storm damage specialist in your local area, after a huge rain event if you detect that water has caused a leak in the roof, or saturation in the foundation.

Keep a dehumidifier in your home, office or structure and turn it on after the rain has stopped.

Water Damage to Tech Equipment

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage to Tech Equipment

Sometimes water damage impacts technology such as wiring and screen surfaces. This type of water damage is less noticeable but can be devastating if not noticed after water has entered a home or commercial building. Even the smallest of a drop of water can cause permanent damage to computers, cell phones, printers and wiring inside the walls.

Water near the wiring is obviously a huge problem. The wires can short out and cause a fire, thus creating a new problem with fire damage. Water on or near any computer equipment can cause pockets of air to form, and thus completely killing the equipment. So, what are some ways you can mitigate this type of damage before it becomes a bigger problem?

#1 Keep a dehumidifier in your home or office. When water enters or is near, immediately attempt to get the moisture out.

#2 Take a dry cloth and dab down any visible water on computers or electronics and do NOT attempt to use them for a day or two.

#3 Call a professional water damage remediator to ensure you are clear of further water damage in the walls or to valuable equipment.

The best way to keep water damage from occurring on any surface is to do routine maintenance to your structure to ensure there are no leaks that would cause damage caused by a storm, and that pipes are secure to avoid inside damage. The moisture from a floor can rise up into the living space without any visible signs other than a coat of wetness that you can see and feel. Be very vigilant about keeping your computer equipment dry because a broke computer or phone can mean more damage in the long run.

Know How to Stop Mold Fast by Remediation

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

Know How to Stop Mold Fast by Remediation

Remediation is the prevention of damage or the reduction in impact of damage. You may have read articles on how to protect your home from mold, and you may have wondered about the impact of mold on health. Chances are you are worried about sickness from mold spores forming in and around your home. Mold is a huge problem and one that can be prevented when recognized early enough.

Basically, when water stands on a surface for a given amount of time, the water and warmth will cause the formation of mold spores. These spores are not harmful to most people, only those with sensitivities to mold. However, its ability to grow rapidly causes unique problems when trying to save valuables rather than replace them.

Mold starts to grow when water sets on the same surface then encounters warmth. If you have ever left a carpet rug outside and watched as it turned green, then black, then you have seen mold at work. Outdoors, mold can just be dealt with by tossing out and throwing away the object collecting mold, but inside, there are special steps that must be taken to remediate mold growth and exposure.

  1. When your home has sustained water from a pipe leak or storm, the chances of mold growth are already there.
  2. When your home has not got adequate ventilation and water stands, mold can begin to grow.
  3. Keep a de-humidifier in your home just in case. It’s always a good idea to start the drying process immediately.
  4. Household chemicals only go so far in preventing massive mold growth in your home.
  5. Call a specialist as soon as water is seen.

Commercial Water Damage can be very costly.

1/5/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage can be very costly.

After 911 in 2001, many businesses started to see the necessity for back up plans to keep their document safe, and thus the “cloud” was created. Protecting equipment is a bit different. Commercial storm damage can be unseen as it damages to wiring, or very seen such as seeing the equipment slammed onto the floor.

You may have millions of dollars invested in the latest technology, but one storm could ruin it all. Printers, scanners and computer are the first pieces of equipment that can sustain damage. Even the slightest amount of water can destroy equipment. Trees falling into a building can take out an exterior wall within a matter of moments.

A professional commercial storm damage clean up crew can assist when your small or large business has been damaged by storms, but waiting too long to get help can be very costly. In 2018 we had a weak hurricane season so the occurrences of commercial storm and water damage were lower than normal. What does this mean? Perhaps that 2019 won’t be so gentle.

The hurricane that hit Panama City was terribly devastating and left commercial structures with one option – be demolished. What remained were buildings that will need to be gutted just to function again. You need a professional to help clean up the damage.

Storm Damage leads to Other Damage

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage leads to Other Damage

Recently a slew of tornadoes and El-Nino storms ripped across the country, leaving devastation and destruction in its path. Storm damage is very versatile and can happen to many spots on your home or out buildings. From shingles ripping off roofs, to trees being plunged into windows, storm damage is devastating.

Many homeowners don’t recognize the consequences of damage until well after the storms have passed. A ripped shingle may look harmless, and you may think that simply covering it up with plastic will prevent any further damage. This is most likely always NOT the truth. One stream of water for a short amount of time, can lead to mold, and erosion of wood.

When windows are blown out or knocked out by trees, more damage can occur as the result. Trees often fall onto the tops of homes, leaving a gaping hole. Be sure to assess all damage as soon as possible, when a storm passes.

Please visit http://www.SERVPROsouthernbutlercounty.com/.

Mold Remediation in the Winter

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation in the Winter

You have no doubt heard that mold grows when water sticks around too long, and when the temps are right for the growth of mold spores. You may also think that mold only grows in the summer, when temps are warm, and the air is moist. Mold also grows in the winter, because indoors, the air is just as warm and primed for mold growth.

Mold by itself, is not usually harmful, but it can cause some issues in persons who may have a mold allergy. If your home sustains water damage in the winter, and you keep your home nice and cozy inside, it is just as likely to sustain mold as a home that is exposed to water in the hot summer.

Remember, mold starts to grow when the conditions are just right, so at the first sign of water on your surfaces such as floors and counters, go ahead and call a professional. Sometimes, however, mold will grow in places you may not think to look.

For example, underneath a kitchen or bathroom sink, a drain could have leaked once, and only for a small amount of time. The small amount of moisture may have stayed their just long enough to start the mold-growing process. Underneath your home at the foundation is another prime spot for the growth of mold, especially if you only have plastic covering dirt.

One more location where mold can pop up is in your rafters. A simple roof leak can cause water to stand inside the rafter, above the sheetrock for just enough time to cause the growth of mold in the winter. The attic, remember, gets warmer than the rest of your house in the winter time.

Water Damage to Flooring

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage to Flooring

When flood waters rise, the damage starts in the floor and you may not always see it there. Recently, the hurricanes and torrential floods have yielded lots of water damage claims, but sadly, many homeowners don’t call for help in time.

Water damage can start subtly, and you may not see a thing. Thinking there is no damage, you go along with your life. Suddenly you notice a hump in the flooring that wasn’t there before. This is one of the signs that your floor is “bowing” because of swelling particle board under the surface.

It’s so important that you get a specialist out to your home as soon as water touches your flooring. There are steps that can be taken to satisfactorily save your beautiful floor, but you must be responsible and take the steps to save it.

As soon as you see water touch the floor begin to dry it with any means possible. Throw all of the household towels on the floor and take the wet ones outdoors, starting with clean ones until dry. If you have a carpet cleaning machine of your own, use it to suck up moisture, but call a professional at once.

The longer you wait, the more likely you are to encounter the other problem with water damage, mold. Mold is harder to remediate than water damage. Hopefully your home won’t suffer from water damage, but if it does, the faster you act, the sooner you can be restored.

Commercial Damage Lightning Strikes and Computer Damage

One of the most expensive debts to incur is the debt of repairing damage to corporate sites and equipment after a storm has passed through. One of the unseen damages that occurs during lightning storms is that of surges to the electronics.

Most of the time, commercial buildings have ample surge protection, but on occasion, a lightning surge can dismantle a business infrastructure in a matter of moments. Damage to wiring can cause the wires to heat up and lead to fire. Fire can start inside the walls.

It’s very important to protect the computerized equipment in a commercial setting and to be vigilant about watching for signs of wall fire, which can cause much more damage than a surge to the power. After an electrical storm, have your maintenance staff walk around the walls just to ensure there is no unusual heat coming from the walls, and have someone inspect the wiring, just to be safe.

Fire Damage is Devastating

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage is Devastating

The worse feeling in the world, is to see your home go up in flames. Even a small fire can cause tremendous damage emotionally and physically to the property. Fire doesn’t play when it gets ready to spread. So many homeowners lose everything because they have not take the proper measures to protect their home from fire.

One of the first things that happens during a house fire, is that the smoke starts to bellow and penetrates everything in its path. Even if you put out the fire, the smoke will have taken hold of everything with pours, such as pillows, carpet and clothing.

The best way to avoid the consequences of fire damage is to be prepared with smoke detectors that you keep updated, and by doing periodic wire inspections to ensure you are code ready.

Many older homes have fuse boxes rather than breaker boxes, and the fuses can circuit out causing fires. Many newer homes have weak wiring as well, leaving the spaces in the attack vulnerable to the smallest amount of heat.

To protect yourself when you home catches fire, don’t try to stay inside. Call the fire department, grab what you can, and get out of the house.

Keep a record of belongings in a steal box or offsite so, in the event of a fire, you have a record of your belongings to give to the insurance company. Remember, if you have damage to your home, and your home is not totally destroyed by fire, you can save your valuables if you get to a professional fire damage professional fast enough.