Recent Posts

How Restoration Experts Clean Fire-Damaged Items

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

A MAC computer charger cord caused this kitchen fire. Restoration experts use a variety of methods to salvage fire-damaged items.

What You Need to Know About Restoring Contents Cleaning 

The process for cleaning your home in Gardere, LA after a fire is pretty straightforward, but each item in your home must also be cleaned, and content storage is often necessary until it can be restored. Restoration experts use a variety of methods to salvage fire-damaged items. Some of your belongings benefit from dry-cleaning while others fare better with ultrasonic cleaning methods. The best method depends on each particular item.

Porous Items

Items such as untreated wood or cardboard and many items of furniture have tiny pockets of space where soot and smoke can really permeate the surface. Because of this, content cleaning of porous items is typically more difficult. If a couch was significantly permeated with smoke and soot, for example, it may not be salvageable. If the item cannot be cleaned, it is best to throw it out and replace it.

Textiles

When you have a home fire, your clothing and other textiles are likely to be affected by smoke and soot even if they were not in the area where the fire occurred. You home likely contains many different textiles:

• Clothing
• Sheet sets
• Comforters and pillow shams
• Draperies
• Bath linens

The good news is that, as long as the items were not actually damaged by the fire, dry-cleaning will most likely restore them completely. In addition to your wardrobe, you can also dry clean curtains and linens if necessary.

Non-Porous Items

Items made from most metals, glass, varnished wood and plastic are usually non-porous. To clean these items, they are immersed in a cleaning liquid. Then, ultrasonic vibrations are used to produce sound waves that create and burst tiny bubbles. This process is called cavitation, and it allows the cleaning action to remove soot from the items, restoring them to their previous state.

Certified restoration experts are trained to analyze each item's damage and determine whether it can be cleaned and, if so, how it should be cleaned, whether by dry-cleaning or another method. You can rely on the expertise of the professionals who handle your fire restoration.

3 Issues That Can Lead to Mold Growth

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

old carpet with mold growth, drywall removed Moisture led to mold growth in a building.

Don't Let Mold Take Hold Of Your Building

There are a lot of places in your commercial property in Gardere, LA, where black mold can hide. Anywhere you have a moisture problem the possibility exists to also have a mold problem. While mold remediation experts can address the issue, prevention is a better solution. Here are three situations to watch out for so that mold doesn't take hold of your building.

Flooding

Moisture is mold's best friend. Any time you have a moisture problem that goes unchecked, you will probably need mold cleanup in addition to your water damage restoration. Flooding can occur as the result of both indoor and outdoor issues:

  • Broken pipes
  • Cracked or detached supply lines
  • Storms
  • Groundwater seepage

If you don't notice and repair flood damage quickly, it can become a beacon for black mold. Spores can settle in moist areas and cause even more damage.

Humidity

Sometimes, the only problem is that your building is too humid. Humidity can cause a variety of air quality issues, and mold is one of them. Controlling humidity can be particularly challenging in areas where it tends to be higher in general, but it can still be done. Purchase dehumidifiers to keep the level at 45 percent or below.

Standing Water

Another common culprit in mold growth is standing water. It does not take long for mold to grow. Water spilled onto the floor that doesn't get cleaned up can start to grow mold within 48 hours. Wiping down industrial sinks after use and making sure no water is allowed to pool on the floor of the warehouse can help you prevent mold growth.

You have more power to prevent black mold in your building in Baker, LA than you probably think you do. By resolving water damage, wiping up excess water and controlling the indoor humidity, you are less likely to discover a mold problem in your building.

Stop Cooking Fires Before They Happen

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

Stovetop on flames Kitchen fire

SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is here to educate the community on ways to prevent fire damage.

The NFPA reports that fires involving cooking equipment account for about 45% of home fires. The outcome of these fires results in $1.1 billion in property damage and 430 civilian deaths every year. And as we know, fires in the winter months are scarily common. 

To prevent your building from becoming part of those statistics, remind your tenants to:

  • Never leave cooking equipment unattended - This might sound obvious, but I'm sure all of us can remember a time when we put something in the oven or were cooking on the stove and got distracted in another room. It's no surprise that leaving equipment unattended in the kitchen is the number one cause of residential fires. 

Remind tenants to turn off the oven or stovetop if they have to leave the kitchen. Even if they plan on being in the room while their food is cooking, it's always a good idea to set a timer. 

  • Clean cooking equipment regularly - Grease and food particle build-up in or on the surface of cooking equipment can catch fire. Ask tenants to keep cooking areas safe and clean by wiping down any scraps and grease. 
  • Keep flammable material away from heat sources - This includes loose-fitting clothing, plastic and paper packaging, potholders, towels, etc. 
  • Check cooking appliances before going to sleep - Remind your tenants to check that cooking appliances are shut off before they retire for the night or leaving the building.
  • Never smoke inside - Smoking inside is a great way to set off fire alarms and light the building on fire (not to mention that it disturbs other tenants and the chemicals can cling to walls and other surfaces). Kindly remind tenants that there is absolutely no smoking inside the building. Period. 

Can Valuable Items Be Saved After Water Damage?

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Baseboard removal, air mover close to baseboard Water damage in Arlington, LA.

Can Valuable Items Be Saved After Water Damage?

Your home is full of memories, heirlooms, and belongings. When you discover water in your home in Arlington, LA, you're not only worried about the home itself. Your mind may also start to wonder if the residential cleanup crew can help you save your valuable belongings.

Unfortunately, the professionals may not be able to give you an easy yes or no answer. Often, whether an item can be saved depends on the amount of water damage, the material type and many other factors. Some belongings can be saved by following certain steps.

1. Cleaning: Most water that fills a home has some level of dirt and debris in it. Even floods from a broken pipe can introduce dirt and silt to the environment of your house. The items need to be cleaned with fresh water to ensure the debris is not embedded into the object.

2. Drying: Once the initial cleaning has been done, the valuable has to be dried out. Depending on the material, you can hang dry items or use a dryer. Because the machine can cause rapid heating, it may be best to line dry most items. If the belonging is particularly fragile, you may need to use dry cleaning to remove dirt.

3. Repairing: Some items may be damaged when there is water in the home. The damage can be done during the flooding or the cleaning process. Your valuables may need to be repaired before they can officially be saved. Each piece of the item should be dried and cleaned prior to the repair job.

If you want any of your valuables to be salvaged after you found water in your home, you need to turn to the help of a professional as soon as possible. Wet items can have increased fragility, which can cause more damage when you try to handle the item. An expert will have the tools and equipment needed to carefully clean, dry and repair damaged valuables.

4 Steps of Commercial Roof Damage Restoration

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Black and white photo of a collapsed ceiling, hole on ceiling Ceiling damaged due to roof leak

Four Steps To Treat A Roof Leak

Water dripping from the ceiling of your Baton Rouge, LA, business property is not a welcome sight. You likely have a damaged roof that’s letting water infiltrate the premises. To treat the problem of a roof leak, these four steps are commonly followed.

1. Trace the Source of Water

The first step is to find out if the water is due to a roof problem such as missing shingles. It could also potentially come from a pipe leak or the building’s HVAC system, so they require inspection. Once the possibilities other than a damaged roof are eliminated, roof repairs can commence.

2. Repair the Leak and Disinfect the Area

After the leak is located, it should be patched up to prevent any further water damage to the property. With the cause of the water is under control, the area is disinfected to prevent potential water deterioration leading to a more difficult cleanup.

3. Repair Building Materials Damaged by Water

Drywall is a spongey material that soaks up water. Depending on the severity of roof leak and level of damage, lesser drywall damage may be able to be scraped off instead of replaced.

If the water damage is significant, drying using fans and dehumidifiers is the next step. This will attempt to remove the water from the materials to see if they can be saved from declining. Untreated wet drywall deforms into a different shape and will likely crumble with pressure.

4. Replace Any Unrepairable Foundation

In the most severe cases, water-damaged materials will, unfortunately, need to be torn out and replaced. If any drywall is affected, this requires additional time since it needs a new primer and coat of paint after being replaced. Once the replacements are done, the ceiling is finally restored to how it looked and operated in its undamaged state.

A roof leak and its associated water damage can be mitigated when using proper procedure, regardless if it’s done by you, your company or a professional commercial water cleanup service. Verifying that these steps are followed ensures that the process is thorough and proper.

Everything You Need To Know To Deal With Mold in Your Crawlspace

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

wet living room floor, drying equipment placed on living room. Subfloor mold issue.

What To Do When You Find Mold In Your Home

Finding mold in your home can make you panic. However, this fungus is actually a freeloader in many homes. It especially likes houses with a crawlspace that is dark and damp. Therefore, you need to know what to do when you find it. Here are some types you may encounter and how to remove them.

Dangerous Types
Mold in your crawlspace is a hazard when it comes to the structural soundness of your home. Several need to be removed by a mold remediation company immediately because they are more dangerous than others. These include:

  • Alternaria
  • Cladosporium
  • Stachybotrys

Other Types
Aside from the most dangerous species, there are several others that you can encounter in your crawlspace. Yellow and white mold are the most common culprits.

Humidity’s Impact
The humidity beneath your home is crucial. It isn't just about comfort and energy savings. It can also affect the type and amount of mold you experience. The higher the humidity, the greater your chances for growth and dangerous types.

Hire a Professional
Getting all the mold out of your home in Gardere, LA can be a long and complex process. If you are unsure about the task, have a dangerous type, or have respiratory problems, you should consider hiring a professional.

Other Removal Measures
If the mold is caused by flooding or a natural disaster that your homeowner's insurance won't cover, DIY removal could be an option. Your first step is to use baking soda and vinegar or a chemical cleaner to remove the patches you can see. Then, use a UV light to kill the remaining spores and dry out the wood.
Most people panic when they find mold in their homes. While the potential for mold damage exists, it is much better to know how to respond to the situation. Your first step when you find growth is to identify if it is a common or dangerous type. Then, you can take the proper remediation steps for your home and mold type.

Get the Right Ambience and Reduce Fire Risk with Candle Alternatives

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

wax warmer These electric warmers use a lightbulb to melt scented wax on a plate.

Candle Alternatives

For centuries, candles have provided light and been a mainstay in creating a calm and relaxing environment. They have also served as one of the top fire hazards. When you want to give your Arlington, LA, home some ambiance without having to worry about a candle fire, there are many candle alternatives available.

Other Options
Whether it’s for the light it gives off or the fragrance, people have many choices besides traditional candles. Below are some top alternatives.

Flameless: These battery-operated candles mimic the effect of candlelight without the flame. Many are programmable, which allows you to have them automatically come on at a specific time.
Warmers: Instead of a melting candle providing a gentle light and scent, these electric warmers use a lightbulb to melt scented wax on a plate. These warmers come in an array of styles, including as an outlet plug-in. Be sure to take precautions when dealing with hot wax.
Plug-in Air Fresheners: When the goal is to ensure your home has an inviting smell, these have become a popular option. They simply plug into an outlet and gently release the fragrance. They do require changing out the fragrance portion every month or so.
Heatless Options: From sprays to potpourri and oil diffusers, there are many ways to give your home a pleasant smell without any kind of heat needed.

Fire Safety
If real candles are still preferred over candle alternatives, ensure that safety precautions are taken when using them. The ambiance they give isn’t worth a fire and having to call a fire and smoke damage restoration specialist to get rid of the unpleasant smell of smoke. When burning a candle, never leave it unattended and ensure it is away from anything flammable, as well as out of reach from children and pets.
While candles can creating a pleasing environment, safety should always be considered. To avoid any fire-related issues, consider the above candle alternatives to keep your home smelling welcoming.

How Can You Get Rid of That Disgusting Stench in Your Business After a Flood?

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Wet carpet in office building, file cabinets, boxes, desk Office storm damage in Baton Rouge, LA.

After a flood hits Baton Rouge, LA, it’s not unusual for the bad odors to follow quickly. Humidity trapped in an area allows for explosive black mold growth on some construction materials. Plus, floodwaters often contain raw sewage that overflows from inundated city sewers.
Sadly, damage this heavy can’t be handled with a little bleach. It takes an arsenal of specialized commercial solvents and deodorizers to fix the problem once it’s thoroughly embedded in your building.

What Is That Smell?

Flood water that covers a wide area picks up everything it touches. During heavy storms, city sewer systems can be overwhelmed, potentially allowing a sewage loss to mix into the flood. Cars may float, but underneath, the water is picking up lots of substances, including

Gasoline
Transmission fluid
Oil

All the toxins built up in area soils will also work their way into the water. Chemicals from commercial and industrial sources also get blended in.
Next, after the water starts receding, the organic construction materials in your building, such as drywall and wood, start feeding huge colonies of black mold growth. If left unchecked, it can create an unbearable stench that no customer or employee will tolerate.

How Do You Remove It?
Top mold and water damage restoration experts in your area have over 100 different cleaners and deodorants to use for the widest range of disinfecting and deodorizing. SERVPROXIDE is a proprietary sanitizer that is one of the safest and most effective cleaners available, so ask them if they have access to it.
Different odors and materials require different strategies, so having experienced technicians is essential. From bioblasts, leather cleaners, citrasolvents and an innovative wood crème paste, everything in your business can be completely deodorized and disinfected. You’ll be able to reopen quickly and with confidence that customers or tenants will be pleased.
Mold growth and raw sewage are part and parcel of a serious flood. That’s why so many businesses call restoration experts to return their building to its original condition after heavy flood damage.

A Commercial Building Should Be Tarped After a Fire

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

A roofer uses a nail gun to apply tarp to a roof in preparations for shingling. Tarping is a normal part of the roof repair process.

Fire Cleanup Process

The roof of your commercial building is a key part of your building envelope. Once it's damaged in a fire, the elements can get inside and cause serious trouble. To prevent this, the first part of a fire cleanup should be to tarp the roof.

A Broken Envelope
The envelope is the boundary between materials on the outside of a building that are built to withstand wind and rain, and the materials inside that cant. it's important for three reasons:

  • It limits the flow of air for efficient climate control.
  • It prevents water damage from rain.
  • It reduces moisture buildup that can cause black mold.

After a significant fire, it's normal for the roof to sustain damage. It needs to be tarped before the next rain, if possible.

Tarp Services
As soon as the flames are out, you need to secure your property. Call a local expert in fire cleanup to immediately protect your commercial building. They'll inspect your property and send technicians to tarp and board the exposed areas.
Tarping a roof can be complicated. The goal is not only to protect you from damage, it's to get you reopened as quickly as possible. This means making tarps and boards as airtight as possible and as soon as possible. Every day your business is closed makes it more likely it will fail within two years, so time is not on your side.

Extracting the Water
You'll probably have water damage after the fire. This also needs to be removed as soon as possible. Many building materials are absorbent, meaning they're being damaged over time by the sitting water. Water that gets behind walls will often cause a long-term problem with excess moisture, which can cause explosive black mold growth.
Your restoration experts have large air movers and water extraction equipment to remove water as quickly as possible. This can occur during or immediately after your exterior is tarped and boarded. Once the inside has been dried, the roof repair is often the next step.
Tarping is a normal part of the roof repair process. Fire cleanup crews know all the tricks to get your commercial building open for business quickly.

3 Ways To Prevent Burst Pipes on a Commercial Property

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

The feet of a person standing at the entrance to a doorway. Wet carpet of a building A broken pipe causes damage in an Arlington, LA building.

Prevent Burst Pipes On A Commercial Property

Burst pipes can be devastating for property owners in Arlington, LA. Causes for bursting pipes range and can include:

  • Increased water pressure
  • Loose pipes
  • Winter Storms

You can prevent your property's pipes from bursting by taking preventative measures before a winter storm and repairing damages to plumbing systems as soon as they become noticeable. Here are 3 ways to prevent burst pipes on a commercial property.

1. Insulate Your Property's Pipes
Insulation prevents the water inside of pipes from freezing. When water freezes inside a building's plumbing system, the water pressure increases causing pipes to burst under the added stress. To prevent this, contact a plumber to properly insulate the pipes. You can also take action when a storm is approaching by letting your water run at a drip and opening cabinet doors to allow warmer air around pipes. Storm damage is a common cause of leaks and pipe bursts but can be prevented with preparation.

2. Replace Old Plumbing Systems
Outdated plumbing systems do not have rust-resistant materials and are prone to tears. The materials used to make older plumbing systems include cast iron pipes, which become eroded with frequent water use and changing weather conditions. When a winter storm hits, these plumbing materials become more vulnerable to bursts. Update your plumbing system to ensure its best functionality.

3. Inspect Your Plumbing System Regularly
Be diligent with your plumbing system catching tears, worn joints and leaks before they surprise you. Keeping your system up to date will prevent leaks from worn pipes and protect your building from pipe bursts during inclement weather. Leaks and burst pipes are preventable with proper maintenance and insulation.
If you have experienced a pipe break due to a winter storm, contact a local water damage restoration service to help clean your property. A professional service will also help to dehumidify your property and restore it back to normal.