Recent Posts

What Is The Difference Between Mold Remediation and Mold Removal?

1/10/2023 (Permalink)

Person wearing protective gear while putting plastic barriers in a home (mold containment) When it comes to mold remediation, containment is the first step.

Mold remediation and mold removal are two terms that homeowners and renters may hear when there is a problem with mold in their home or apartment. While both terms refer to cleaning up an existing mold problem, these solutions differ significantly in how they are applied. It’s important to understand this difference in order to know what kind of work is required for removing the mold.

Water Damage and Mold Damage go Hand-In-Hand

Mold damage is a result of water damage. In other words, if there were no water involved in the first place, there would be nothing to worry about when it comes to mold growth.

It’s important that you know whether or not your home has been damaged by water (and by extension, mold) before you begin any remediation process on your own.

What is Mold Remediation?

Mold remediation is the process of removing mold from a building or structure. Mold remediation is not the same as mold removal, which involves ridding an area of all traces of the fungus.

Mold remediation entails ridding a space of mold-damaged materials and areas that have been affected by mold growth, while also addressing water leaks or moisture problems that may have contributed to the problem in the first place.

What is Mold Removal?

Mold Removal refers to the process of removing mold from a surface, usually a non-porous and semi-porous material. It also includes the removal of mold from an object. Mold removal does not include the removal of materials such as carpets, insulation, or drywall.  

What is the Difference Between Mold Remediation and Mold Removal?

Mold remediation and mold removal are both processes designed to get rid of mold and the materials that have been contaminated with it.

Mold removal is a cleaning process, while mold remediation involves both a cleaning process and the disposal of contaminated items.

Containment is Essential to Mold Remediation

When it comes to mold remediation, containment is the first step. Without proper containment of a mold-infested area, subsequent steps in the mold remediation process will be ineffective. In fact, failing to isolate and contain the affected area can actually make matters worse by increasing the hazard to your home or business.

Why does containment matter in mold remediation? The answer lies in how mold spreads: through microscopic spores that are released into the air when you disturb contaminated materials. Containment helps prevent these spores from spreading further into other areas of your home or office building by preventing them from getting out into other parts of your living space or workspace.

Clean and Protect Areas Not Affected by Mold

Once you've cleaned up the mold and removed it from your home, you'll need to protect areas not affected by mold. It's also important to clean and disinfect these areas. This can be done using a disinfectant spray, wipes, or solutions.

You may want to consider using an aerosol spray bottle for clean-up if it's available at your local hardware store or online retailer. Aerosol cleaners provide ease of use because they're readily available and require no mixing of ingredients before application on surfaces in order to get the job done quickly!

Mold removal is the process of cleaning up the mold from your home or business. Mold remediation, on the other hand, is a more involved process that involves removing all traces of mold growth from an area and ensuring it does not come back. By knowing what type of work needs to be done in order for your property to be safe again, you will know whether or not hiring a professional company like ours makes sense for you!

After the Fire – A Comprehensive Post-House Fire Checklist

12/29/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a house Fire damage in Baton Rouge, LA

Suffering a house fire is one of the most devastating events a homeowner can experience. The loss of personal belongings and cherished keepsakes often leaves survivors feeling completely helpless. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect your property after experiencing a house fire. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything from getting control over your insurance benefits and securing the perimeter of your home with board-up services to assessing damages and dealing with insurance claims adjusters.

Steps to Take Immediately Following a Fire

The moment your house catches on fire, you’ll be in a state of shock. You may not even know what to do first. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take right away to ensure that everyone is safe and that the damage done by the fire is minimal.

First and foremost, call 911 as soon as possible. The sooner first responders are at your location, the sooner they can assess what’s happening and get control over it—or if necessary, help evacuate everyone from the building safely. Once they arrive on scene, they will direct you through each step needed for them to extinguish the flames and make sure that no one is left inside or exposed to hazardous chemicals/emissions such as carbon monoxide poisoning (see below).

Assess the Damage

The first thing you should do after a fire is assess the damage. This can be overwhelming, but it's important that you know exactly what you're looking for so that you can make an educated decision about where to go from there.

  • Look for structural damage and stability. Structural damage refers to any changes in the physical structure of your home that occurred as a result of the fire. You'll want to inspect walls and floors, windows and doors, roofing materials, ceiling beams and supports (if possible), plumbing systems, electrical wiring/outlets/switches—everything!
  • Check for smoke or water damage. Even if no flames were visible during the fire itself (or even if they weren't even suspected), there may still have been smoke damage hidden inside walls or ceilings. This means having an expert come in with specialized equipment like thermal imaging cameras, so they can determine whether there was enough heat generated that could potentially cause structural integrity issues down the road. 

Back-Track to the Source

After the fire has been extinguished, you may be eager to see what happened and how much damage has been done. It’s important to back-track to the source of the fire so that you can prevent another one from happening.

  • Investigate the cause of the fire: If it was an electrical issue, find out if there are any other problems in your home that could lead to another fire.
  • Check for hazardous materials: If it wasn’t an electrical issue, check for any other possible causes like flammable liquids or gas leaks around your house. Also look at all of your belongings and make sure they aren’t leaking anything dangerous onto surfaces where they might ignite a new fire later on – this includes cleaning products!

Gather Valuable Documents and Information

One of the most important steps you can take after a house fire is to gather all of your valuable documents and information. This includes copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses and divorce decrees, Social Security cards (and numbers), passports and immigration papers, wills, deeds to real estate—anything that may be necessary for insurance companies or creditors to prove ownership of property.

Once you’ve begun rebuilding your life after the fire, it’s important that these documents are stored safely in case they are needed later on. Some people choose to use an online cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive; others prefer using a hard drive or flash drive. The choice is up to you!

Evaluate Your Insurance Benefits and Plan Ahead

After the fire, it’s important to collect your insurance information and determine the amount of coverage you have. In addition to making a list of what is covered and what isn't, you should also ask about any exclusions or limitations on your policy. Your insurance company may be able to help you get an estimate for repair costs.

Make a List of Damaged Items

Once the fire is out, you will have time to make a list of damaged items and the rooms they were located in. You should also note how much damage was done to each item. This will be helpful when it comes time to file an insurance claim and replace your belongings.

If firefighters were able to recover any of your possessions, it's important to check with your insurance company to see if they can help you with a claim. Your policy may cover items that were damaged but not destroyed in the fire. If so, you may be able to recover those belongings from the insurance company and donate them to a charity organization that can use them for good.

Securing Your Home with Board-Up Services

After you and your family have safely returned to your home following a devastating house fire, it is important to take steps to secure the perimeter of your home and protect yourself from intruders. If you are not able to secure the perimeter of your home, either by yourself or with help from a board-up company, you may find that strangers enter your property and steal items. This can be especially dangerous for homeowners who have lost their homes in fires because they will likely have minimal possessions left after such an event.

If you’ve been the victim of a house fire, the last thing you want to do is feel like you are alone in this difficult time. A professional fire restoration company, like SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge will be there for you every step of the way. We understand what it means to go through something like this and we want to help ease some of your stress. If at any time during the process, you have questions about getting back on your feet again or just need someone else who understands what it’s like – don’t hesitate to reach out! We will get your Baton Rouge, LA home back to normal as quickly as possible. 

How To Flush a Water Heater?

11/15/2022 (Permalink)

Hand connects the hose to a domestic water heater to perform maintenance. Flushing your water heater is a simple procedure that you can perform yourself

How Should a Water Heater Be Flushed?

If you've ever come home and found your water heater leaking, it's likely because something went wrong with the tank. Water heaters are designed to last for years, but they're not immune to problems. A clogged drain line can cause a tank to overflow or leak into your basement. If there's sediment buildup in either the tank or piping (or both), those components will eventually stop working properly due to rusting and mineral deposits that cause corrosion. How do you flush out all that crud? Follow these steps:

Turn off the water and power

Whether you're an experienced DIYer or hiring a professional, it's important to turn off the water and power to your water heater before beginning any work. If you don't know how to do this, enlisting the help of someone who does is always a good idea.

Drain the water heater

If you've never done this before, it can be a little intimidating. But it's actually pretty easy to drain the water heater. All you have to do is find the drain valve (it'll be on the bottom of your water heater) and use a hose to drain out all of that old water. 

Attach a hose to the drain valve

Once you've found the drain valve, attach a hose to it using a garden hose. Make sure that the other end of the hose goes somewhere safe: either outside or down a hole where it won't get clogged with dirt.

Open the drain valve

Flushing a water heater is much like flushing any other plumbing fixture in that you need to open the drain valve and then use some sort of hose or faucet to drain the tank. That said, some water heaters don't have a drain valve, so it's important to know how your system works ahead of time. This will effectively flush out most remaining sediment particles.

  • Use a plunger
  • Remove the fill cap and pour water into the tank until it's full again

Close the drain valve and refill the tank

Make sure to close the drain valve before turning on the power and water again. If you don't close it, your water heater will not be able to refill. Once the water is on, your heater will begin to refill with water. This process can take hours, so be patient!

How often should I flush my water heater?

Flushing your water heater is a simple procedure that you can perform yourself. It's important to flush your water heater regularly, as the buildup of rust and sediment can lead to breakdowns and prevent it from working properly.

The frequency with which you should flush your hot water tank depends on many factors, such as how much sediment is present in your water supply, what kind of filters are installed on the tank (if any), and how old/new the unit is. As a general rule: if you have hard water that hasn't been treated yet or if there are no filters installed on your hot-water tank then flushing should be done every 6 months; otherwise, flushing should be done once per year.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how to flush your water heater. If you're still unsure about what to do with your tank, contact a professional plumber. They'll know exactly how much water you need to drain and will have all the necessary tools for cleaning and flushing.

How Do I File an Insurance Claim After a Fire?

10/16/2022 (Permalink)

Interior of a diner damaged by fire Fire damage in Baton Rouge, LA.

What To Do In the Aftermath Of a Fire

Have you ever wondered what to do after a fire? Unfortunately, fires happen, and most people aren't prepared for the financial impact. Fortunately, it's not as difficult as it seems to claim damages from your insurance company. Here's how to get started with filing a claim after a fire:

Contact your insurance agent

In the wake of a fire, you’re likely to be frazzled. Your first step should be to contact your insurance agent and provide them with as much information about what has happened as possible. If you have an agent already but do not know who it is, try calling your local insurance agency or company and ask for their assistance.

The next steps will depend on how bad the damage is in each room of your Baton Rouge home. For example, if only one room is affected by smoke damage and there are no structural damages (meaning that nothing can fall or collapse), then this may be covered under basic homeowner's coverage. However, if several rooms were burned through completely or there are signs of water damage nearby due to hoses being used during cleanup efforts (which could lead to mold growth), then those kinds of claims would have to go through an additional detailed process before they can move forward with repairs

Document the Damage

  • Photographs are the most important part of this process. Make sure you take photos of all areas that were damaged by the fire, including walls, floors, and ceilings.
  • Make a list of all damaged items with their original purchase date and price. Then keep receipts for any expenses related to your claim such as temporary living arrangements or repairs. You can keep these in one folder for easy access when submitting your claim to your insurance company.
  • Keep copies of any police reports that show how much damage was caused by the fire and who was responsible for it (if applicable).

Know What's Covered

Before you file a claim, make sure you know what's covered and what isn't:

  • Check your policy. Your insurance company may only cover damage to the building or home itself, but not any other structures on the property (like fences or sheds). If you need to repair these items, check with your insurance company first to see if they're covered by your policy.
  • Check your deductible. Once again—your deductible is an amount of money that you pay before they start paying out anything at all. For example, let's say someone breaks their leg in an accident involving something that was previously insured by their house's owners association (HOA). The HOA can go after either party for damages incurred as part of their policies; if so, it will be determined later whether or not there was negligence involved on either side and how much each party would owe based on whatever had been agreed upon beforehand via contract law (or lack thereof).

Claiming damage from a fire is like other insurance claims, but you should work with a professional restoration company.

Fire damage is different from other types of damage, and the process of claiming it can be complicated. If you decide to claim on your insurance for fire damage yourself, there are many pitfalls that you should avoid. You should work with a professional restoration company so they can make sure everything is done right and you get the money that's rightfully yours. Some professional restoration companies, such as SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge, can take care of the whole insurances claims process for you. 

When a fire damages property, it's not just physical damage that needs to be repaired: There may also be smoke or water damage as well as structural issues in addition to cosmetic ones (such as smoke stains). It's important that these areas are restored correctly so they don't cause problems down the road or become more expensive than necessary. With specialized training and equipment specifically designed for this type of work, professional restoration companies have everything they need to make sure properties receive thorough care when recovering from fires—and this makes hiring them worthwhile even if their rates seem high at first glance!

In conclusion, it's important to know what your insurance covers and how much coverage you have. If you're in doubt, speak with an agent to make sure that you're covered for fire damage

Tips for Creating a Home Fire Escape Plan

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Create a fire escape plan for your home

During a home fire, you may only have minutes to escape your Gardere, LA, property. You and your loved ones will not have time to figure out a fire escape plan. That is why you need to come up with a fire preparation strategy ahead of time.

Making Your Plan

Involve every member of your household in the planning process. Each person should know the locations of the smoke alarms and the windows and doors.
Next, pick a meeting place outside of your home. This way, everyone will know where to go after leaving the house. Common meeting places include:

  • Stop signs
  • Light posts
  • Mailboxes
  • Neighbors' homes


Any security bars on your windows and doors may make it hard for family members to exit the home quickly. As you create your fire escape plan, make sure the bars have emergency release devices.
Finally, have every person in your house memorize the phone numbers for your local fire department and emergency restoration company. That way, someone will be able to contact these professionals from safely outside the home.


Practicing Your Plan
You should practice your escape plan twice each year. This will let you see if there are any faults in your strategy and give you time to correct them.
As each person exits the house during the drill, he or she should practice closing the doors behind them. This can slow the spread of a real fire. If you have an escape ladder, every member of the home should practice locating and using it.
You should also practice a scenario where you or a loved one are trapped in the home due to smoke or fire. In this scenario, you should seal yourself into a room by closing the door and covering and vents or door cracks.
A blaze in your home can be a scary situation. However, having a fire escape plan in place should help everyone keep calm during an emergency.

Why Choose a Certified Drying Specialist?

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician on his knees checking a dehumidifier Drying commercial services in Arlington, LA

Why Go with a Certified Drying Expert?

If your Arlington, LA, business has experienced flooding, leaks or other water damage, you will likely need to hire professionals for the water clean up. Choosing a certified restoration service gives you peace of mind that the job is done correctly.


Certification
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration is a global leader with almost 50 years of experience in setting standards and providing training to restoration professionals. In addition to creating standards in other restoration areas, the IICRC offers certification in commercial drying. The IICRC certification ensures that restoration teams are up-to-date on the following:

  • Technology
  • Equipment
  • Techniques
  • Project management


The IICRC standards are developed by industry leaders and rigorously tested to ensure they reflect the restoration industry's best practices. You can trust that an IICRC-certified restoration team will perform complex commercial jobs efficiently and thoroughly.


Restoration
The IICRC standards go into great detail about the water clean up process, but the general steps are the same for most restoration jobs. The source of the water is addressed as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. The damage is then documented via photo or video for the insurance company. Standing water is extracted using pumps or wet/dry vacuums, and the remaining moisture is dried using fans and dehumidifiers. Cleaning, sanitization and mold removal are done as needed. Documents, antiques, electronics and other items may be moved off site for more delicate restoration techniques. Everything that cannot be fully cleaned and dried is removed from the property. Finally, all damaged items are repaired or replaced.
Whether your commercial building has experienced a roof leak, broken pipe, flooding or other water event, beginning the water clean up process as soon as possible can prevent further structural damage and mold growth. Bringing in an IICRC-certified restoration team in ensures that the job is done is properly and professionally, so you can focus on your customers, employees and other business matters.

What To Do if You Find Mold in Your Rental Home

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Bottom of a drywall humid and with mold Black barrier mold

How to Handle Mold in a Rental Property

Mold spores are everywhere and are harmless when they're floating around, but the trouble comes when they take up residence in your apartment or rental home in  Gardere, LA. Whether it's in your bathroom or around your windows, mold can pop up wherever moisture is. As a tenant, here are some things to do when you discover mold contamination in your home.


1. Appraise the Situation
Before you do anything, take a closer look to make sure the substance you're seeing is actually mold and not dirt or mildew. If it's mildew, which looks fluffy or powdery and is usually gray, white or yellow, it is easy to clean off. If you determine that the substance is mold, try to find the source of the moisture it's feeding on. If it's around your shower or windows, that's a pretty obvious reason why it might be there, but if it's on your walls, there might be a pipe leaking, requiring some more intense water and mold cleanup.


2. Contact Your Landlord
If you've determined that there needs to be some action taken, call your landlord. Send them pictures of the mold and explain what's happening. Since mold is usually tied to a water problem, they'll want to respond quickly. When you do this, though, don't assume that they'll automatically take care of the cost of the mold cleanup. If the source is a leaky pipe that is outside of your control, it's usually their responsibility, but if you caused a flood or haven't been ventilating the bathroom properly when you shower, it's often your job to cover the expenses. If you think the mold contamination may be your fault, talk with your renter's insurance about what they'll cover and what they won't.
Mold is a common issue in homes, but it's important that you respond quickly if you think you've found some in yours. This keeps the mold cleanup process from becoming bigger and more costly than it needs to be.

3 Reasons Protecting Wood From Water Is Vital To Its Lifespan

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

wooden floor damaged by water Wooden floor damaged by water.

Three Reasons To Protect Wood From Water

One of the biggest threats to the longevity of wood is water. Wood continuously absorbs and expels water, a process that eventually degrades the integrity of the material to the point that it is no longer usable. Especially in humid and rainy regions, swelling wood can be a persistent problem that is of utmost importance to address to extend the life of wooden constructions.

1. Contraction and Expansion Damages Wood
Swelling and shrinkage in wood are driven by moisture. Years of water absorption and expulsion weaken the integrity of the fibrous cell walls that make the material rigid. This leads to fragility and cracking, which not only causes breakage but increases the likelihood of decay. Minimizing the amount of water absorbed is key to prolonging the life of wood, making it vital to keep it sealed with paint or finishes like urethane.

2. Variation in Swelling Wood Rates Affect the Integrity of Structures
The speed of swelling and shrinking varies in each individual piece of wood. Uneven rates of swelling or shrinking can not only cause distortion or warping in an individual chunk but can also cause joint problems in the frame of a house or a piece of furniture. Protecting wood with paint or finish thus helps slow the distortion at the joints, increasing the longevity of wooden structures.

3. Keeping It Dry Is Protection, Too
Interior wood (studs, joists, etc.), although not exposed to the elements and hence often left unprotected, still requires vigilant upkeep. Exposure to water from a ruptured supply line or a leak from a water pipe repair can lead to swelling problems if left unaddressed. The life of even this unprotected wood can be prolonged simply by ensuring that any damp parts are allowed to dry and are kept dry.
In most cases, the effects of swelling wood can be mitigated by keeping a watchful eye on the paint or finish that protects it. Hiring the services of protection and restoration professionals is also a good way to ensure that homeowners in Baton Rouge, LA, get the most out of their wood.

4 Plans To Include Within Your Business Disaster Plan

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Text for ARE YOU PREPARED on yellow road sign with blur blue sky background Are you prepared?

Are You Prepared?

Are you prepared for the possible disasters that could happen to your business in Arlington, LA? Ready your facility and employees with these four plans for disaster preparedness.


1. An Involvement Plan
A key component of business preparedness is getting your employees involved. By creating a diverse planning team, you can address employee needs and have a clear plan for getting everyone to safety. The co-workers you choose should also be ready in emergency situations. They know the plan best, so they will be crucial to helping others during an emergency.


2. An Evacuation Plan
Getting everyone out of your facility safely means ensuring that your employees know your evacuation plan inside and out. To prepare them, you need to give them the information they need. Create detailed maps with evacuation routes, locations of safety equipment and assembly places. Post them in high traffic areas such as elevator corridors. Review your plans frequently to make sure they are understood. Conduct drills to give your employees confidence if a real emergency happens.


3. A Shelter-In-Place Plan
Certain emergencies might call for you to stay indoors. “Shelter-In-Place” plans need to consider how to keep your employees safe within your facility. These include tornado warning and air-quality contamination emergencies. Create a diagram of your building for each possible scenario and designate rooms for your employees to go to for each situation.


4. A Post-Disaster Plan
Disaster preparedness includes having a plan for when the emergency is over. Have a list of emergency contacts prepared. Create a communication network to check on employees and relay any important information they will need going forward. Develop a plan to continue servicing your most valued customers. This way, you can continue to work while commercial restoration services get your facility up and operating at full capacity.
Disaster preparedness is a business owner’s responsibility, but by including your employees in your preparation, you will be more prepared for an emergency.

How To File a Fire Claim for Your Business

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Young handsome brunette man over isolated background making phone gesture and pointing front Contact a restoration company if you would like further clarification on the claims.

Four Steps To File a Fire Claim

A fire is about the worst thing any business owner can experience. However, the important thing after any disaster is staying calm and restoring your business. In order to get back to business as usual, you may need to hire a fire restoration company in Gardere, LA, but before you do that, you will need to file a fire claim with your insurance company, which typically involves four steps:

1. Call Your Insurer
Before getting your fire restoration underway, call your insurer and report the disaster. While you may have millions of things going through your head after the disaster, contacting your insurance agent is crucial to getting the recovery process started.

2. Mitigate Further Loss
If you want your fire claim to be approved, then make sure you take efforts to mitigate any further loss. An insurer may cover the damage caused by the fire, but if any preventable damage occurs after the fire, then you are responsible.

3. Gather Proof of Loss
You can help move the recovery process along if you document any fire damage. An insurance adjuster will want evidence of lost or damaged property, so by photographing everything and labeling it, you can help the adjuster with a proof of loss statement.

4. Collect Receipts
Receipts help your insurance company determine the value of the claim. You want to prove the financial loss. If you have receipts from equipment purchases and repairs you made, make sure that those are organized and with the rest of the claim forms for review.
A fire claim is like any other insurance claim, but the process can feel a little direr depending on the level of devastation. By organizing receipts and documenting the scene, you can help move the claims process along. You can also contact a restoration company if you would like further clarification on the claims and recovery processes.