Archived Blog Posts
An Explanation of Category 3 Water Damage
Overflowing toilets are considered water damage category 3
An Explanation of Category 3 Water Damage
Water damage in your home is never a good experience. Even small flooding can ruin building materials, furniture, and personal items. Some types of floods can be even more destructive and concerning than others. For example, black water is the most dangerous, and it isn't something you should ever try to clean up on your own. It is important to understand what this designation means and what you can do to restore your Arlington, LA, home if you experience this type of flooding.
When water is referred to as "black," it falls in category 3 water. Category 1 water comes from clean sources such as pipes and faucets. Category 2 water is dirtier but will not pose the same level of harm as the third category does. Here are some other explanations of this category of water and flooding:
- Comes from broken sewer lines or overflowing toilets
- Contains human waste
- Can make a person ill upon contact; can be lethal if ingested
- Can also contain other contaminants such as silt and hazardous materials
Blackwater is easy to identify, as it will have the color (it also may be brown or gray). You may also see it coming from the source: your toilet or sewage pipes. You must do everything possible to avoid contact with this water. Do not try to go into the water to retrieve personal items. Instead, evacuate your home immediately and contact your local sewage company. You should also get in touch with an experienced flood restoration team to assess the damage and clean up your home.
Let the Pros Go to Work
Professional crews have the equipment and protection to safely handle sewage cleanup. The team will first remove all water from the premises. Then, crew members will thoroughly dry and sanitize the area. The company will test your home to ensure it is safe to return.
Blackwater poses significant challenges to your safety and health. Always enlist the help of professionals for these cleanup efforts.
The Effects of Smoke Damage After a Fire
Is your business smelling like smoke after a recent fire SERVPRO offers commercial smoke odor removal service
Smoke and Soot Damage
There are various types of damage that you might be dealing with after a fire in your Baton Rouge, LA, building. Your first thoughts are likely the damage caused by the flames themselves, but smoke damage can be a big issue as well. The following are some things that can be affected by smoke and soot.
1. Hard Surfaces
When doing smoke cleaning, hard surfaces are generally the easiest to address. Because the surface cannot be penetrated, wiping down these areas or objects with a dry or wet sponge is often enough. If there is a large amount of soot, you may need to vacuum any excess beforehand.
2. Soft Materials
Because they are more absorbent, soft materials are more difficult to clean than hard surfaces. The smoke can travel inside the cloth, trapping soot and odors. Some objects will need to be dry cleaned while others can be put in a washing machine.
Even if they were not in the immediate area where the fire occurred, you should have any electronics inspected by a professional if it is possible they were affected. Smoke cleaning should be done before these devices are turned on. If there is smoke inside, the heat can cause soot to spread throughout the device, resulting in rust and permanent damage.
4. The Environment
If smoke odor is lingering in the building even after thorough cleaning has been done, there may be smoke and soot particles in the air. A fire damage remediation company can use professional equipment, such as air scrubbers, to remove anything that may leave behind an unpleasant odor.
After a fire, smoke cleaning should be done as soon as possible. While it may not seem like an urgent matter, the corrosive elements present in soot can cause more damage than you may think. It can cause rust, discoloration, and other issues if not removed. However, properly treating each area can prevent this.
3 Ways Regular Maintenance Saves You Money
Switch other fixtures to long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lights
These Three Tips Can Help You Save Money
The maintenance cost involved with keeping a large facility up and running can be substantial. However, spending the effort and money to keep a facility well maintained can save money in the long run by prolonging the life of your equipment and reducing the number of avoidable repairs.
1. Upgrade Your Lighting
According to EPA estimates, about 35% of the average commercial building's energy expenditure goes towards lighting costs. Replacing older lighting fixtures with modern, more energy-efficient versions can save you significant amounts of money on your energy bill. Upgrades to consider include upgrading older fluorescent and pressure sodium lighting to more energy-efficient fluorescent models and switching other fixtures to long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lights.
2. Keep Your Equipment Well-Maintained
Equipment that is not well-maintained may operate inefficiently, increasing your operational costs or break down, costing you money in lost productivity and repair or replacement cost. Additionally, poorly maintained buildings are prone to leaks from faulty equipment, broken pipes, and worn-out roofs, which may lead to additional costs for water mitigation services in Gardere, LA. The maintenance cost you incur now can keep small problems from becoming large, expensive problems later.
3. Consider Alternative Cooling Solutions
Most facility management professionals have caught on to the idea of utilizing automated climate controls to adjust the thermostat so that money isn't being wasted cooling buildings when nobody is in them. However, you can take this a step further by installing supplemental HVAC units in areas that are used when the rest of the facility is closed so that you do not need to run the entire system.
The maintenance cost of maintaining your facility can be a drain on your short term cash flow but will save you money in the long term. These tips can help you balance upfront costs with long-term benefits.
What To Do if You Find Mold in Your Rental Home
Black barrier mold
What To Do if You Find Mold in Your Rental Home
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 Arlington, 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.
Why Choose a Certified Drying Specialist?
Drying commercial services in Baton Rouge, LA
Why Choose a Certified Drying Specialist?
If your Baton Rouge, 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.
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:
- 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.
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.
Tips for Creating a Home Fire Escape Plan
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 an 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
- 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.
An Overview of Mold
Black mold can grow anywhere, including inside your home in Gardere, LA. Not only does it present an environmental hazard, but it can damage the materials that make up the structure of your home. In order to avoid a mold infestation, you need to understand mold, what makes it grow, and how to spot signs of mold growth.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in nearly any environment that offers moisture, whether indoors or out. Although you can't see mold spores, they are in nearly all the air you breath. Once spores enter your home and find a moist environment to inhabit, black mold can begin to spread within a couple of days.
Areas that are prone to mold growth include:
- Around the bathtub
- Between tiles
- Seals around kitchen and laundry appliances
- Damp areas, such as ceilings where the roof leaks, or carpet where water collects.
How Is Mold Removed?
If you have a moisture problem in your home, it's almost certain you have mold. The mold must be removed, but you should never attempt mold cleanup yourself. A restoration company has the expertise to safely remove the mold and restore the materials of your home to pre-mold condition.
First, the mold specialists will seal off the area that has been exposed to moisture and mold and apply remediation techniques, including opening any windows and using special equipment to clean and dry exposed surfaces. While remediation and restoration are underway, you may be advised to avoid the cleanup area until the cleanup is complete.
Knowing the facts about mold and the factors that contribute to black mold growth can help you identify when you need to take fast action to reverse a potential problem or call a specialist to remedy it. Mold is a nuisance and a danger to your home you'd be best to avoid, if possible.
Types of Contaminated Water
Category 3 water damage
Different Types Of Contaminated Water
Water damage can wreck havoc on your Baton Rouge, LA, home. That being said, not every home flood is the same. Floods are categorized by the types of contaminants present in the water. Understanding the differences among the different types of contaminated water can help you remediate the damage more effectively.
1. Clean Water Floods
Like their name implies, Category 1, or clean water floods, are categorized by an absence of contaminants. As the least dangerous types of floods, they typically originate from a supply line burst, a shower leak or some other type of clean water source. Just because these floods aren't as dangerous doesn't mean that they shouldn't still be taken seriously. A clean water flood can transform into a Category 2 flood if left untreated for too long.
2. Gray Water Floods
Gray water floods are also known as Category 2 floods. This flood contains mildly contaminated water, but nothing that could pose a biohazard risk. These floods are often caused when household appliances malfunction and flood, such as dishwashers and laundry machines. If left untreated for longer than 48 hours, a Category 2 flood will quickly become a dangerous Category 3 flood.
3. Black Water Floods
Category 3 floods, or black water floods, are the most dangerous of all. They are categorized by the presence of biohazards, such as human or animal fecal matter, raw sewage and dangerous chemicals or pesticides. You should never attempt to resolve a Category 3 flood by yourself, due to the possible health risks. Instead, you should contact damage professionals as soon as you can. These floods are usually caused by toilet overflow, sewage back flow or a a flooding riverbank.
All types of floods are capable of inflicting serious amounts of damage. That being said, it's still important for you to learn the differences between the various types of contaminated water. Make sure to contact flood remediation experts for assistance, no matter which type of flood you're currently dealing with.
4 Plans To Include Within Your Business Disaster Plan
Are you prepared?
Are You Prepared?
Are you prepared for the possible disasters that could happen to your business in Baton Rouge, 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 Save Money After an Accidental Fire Sprinkler Discharge
Having the fire sprinklers suddenly activate without provocation can be alarming
Keep These Steps In Mind While Preparing For A Potential Emergency
Having the fire sprinklers suddenly activate without provocation can be alarming. When this occurs, there is an unfortunate risk of substantial damage. Your building in Arlington, LA, can require several repairs, so it's best to take action quickly. These are a couple of tasks you should complete immediately when an accidental sprinkler discharge occurs.
Investigate the Issue
Receiving monetary help won't be a possibility if you can't pinpoint what happened. In essence, you need to be sure you're not at fault for the flooding. Therefore, a thorough investigation of the sprinkler is essential. The following are a few possible causes:
- Manufacturing issues
You should also be on the lookout for sabotage. It's not likely, but an attempt to pull a prank or get revenge may have occurred. Once you figure out what happened, take pictures of any water damage, as well as the faulty equipment. Find each piece of the sprinkler so that it can be analyzed. You should also talk to those in the building and record testimonials. These will act as evidence.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once you know what caused the issue, it's time to contact your insurance company. With any luck, the flooding will have been caused by faulty mechanisms. This will make your insurance providers more inclined to reimburse the cost of a water damage restoration company. However, if the problem was with how well you checked on and maintained the sprinklers, you may not receive help. Make sure that your providers have every piece of evidence you've collected. It's also important to provide the sprinkler's history if possible. The more information the investigators have, the stronger your case will be.
Dealing with unexpected fire sprinkler discharge can be a hassle, but it doesn't need to cause financial difficulties. Assessing the flooding and taking immediate action can save you a substantial amount of funds. Keep these steps in mind while preparing for a potential emergency.
Why Take Security Precautions After a Commercial Fire
Commercial fire damage
Taking Precautions You Can Protect Your Business
Fires are extremely dangerous even after they are put out. The loss of inventory and equipment may not end once the fire department leaves. This is why you need to take security precautions before someone gets hurt or breaks into your business. By taking precautions like putting up a security fence, you can protect your business.
Firefighters Can Cause Damage
It is unfortunate but true that firefighters cause a lot of damage, putting out the fire. This damage includes:
- Broken windows
- Holes in roofs, floors and ceilings
- Broken doors and entries
- Water damage
This damage is part of fire fighting and cannot be helped. After the fire is out and before the inspector comes, your home is open. Without a way to lock up, people can sneak in and steal the remaining inventory or equipment. Security fencing is necessary to prevent theft.
Dangerous Toxins Are Released During a Fire
Many businesses have some toxic chemicals inside them. Sometimes these toxic chemicals are on or inside the walls in the form of asbestos or lead. Sometimes these chemicals are part of the inventory or product line, which is the case for many plastics or cleaners. Either way, even after the fire is put out until a remediation company can come in, you will need some form of protection against outsiders. A security fence might be necessary to keep people from injuring themselves, making you liable for their injuries.
Burned-Out Buildings Are Dangerous
Even without the damage that fighting the fire might cause, there are other dangers inside a burned-out building. Fire can damage key supports and load bearing beams. It can also damage floors and subfloor to the point where they are a serious fall risk.
Water damage can also cause electrical shorts, and live wires could be down and laying in water. Until inspectors clear your home, no one should go in.
Despite the dangers, people might try to enter your property. To stop them, you should put up a security fence around fie damaged property for their protection and yours.
5 Actions to Avoid During a Flood
Never drive through floodwaters
Dangerous flood water can cause problems for anyone, even if you've never experienced a flood before. A huge part of flood safety is knowing the difference between which actions are safe during a flood, and which ones are dangerous. Make sure to abide by the following safety tips if your home in Gardere, LA, has recently suffered from a flood.
1. Never Enter a Moving Flood.
There are a number of reasons why wading or swimming in flood water is a terrible idea. The water could likely contain harmful biohazards or other contaminants. Likewise, it's difficult to tell how quickly the current is moving. It only takes about 6 inches of water to sweep you away.
2. Never Touch Standing Water.
Just because the flood water isn't moving doesn't mean it's safe. Standing flood water can also contain harmful biohazards. It's also possible that the water could be electrically charged, especially if it has come into contact with circuit breakers, outlets or other electronic devices.
3. Never Disobey Emergency Response Crews.
First responders, local authorities and other types emergency response crews exist to help you. Disobeying or ignoring them can put you in danger, as well as make their jobs significantly more difficult. You're better off listening to what they have to tell you and following their directions.
4. Never Drive Through a Flood.
It only takes about a foot of water to sweep your car away. Staying out of flood water to the best of your ability is the golden rule of flood safety.
5. Never Ignore Water Damage.
All types of floods can cause damage, not just severe ones. After the authorities give you permission to return home, you need to take immediate action to remediate any water damage. Leaving it untreated can cause mold growth and other types of structural damage.
Proper flood safety needs to be taken seriously at all times. Staying alert and listening to your local authorities is the best way to keep yourself and your family safe. If your home has suffered damage following a flood, you need to contact flood remediation experts.
These 3 Swamp Cooler Tips Can Prevent Mold Growth
Swamp coolers provide excellent relief when dry and hot temperatures hit Arlington, LA
How To Reduce Mold Possibilities
A leaking swamp cooler is a common source of mold inside your Arlington, LA, home. This appliance, also known as evaporative cooler, can bring some needed comfort during hot and dry weather. However, since it increases the humidity in the area, it also creates the best mold growth atmosphere. If you use this device, learn more about how you can reduce mold possibilities.
1. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Since a swamp cooler is supposed to raise your residence's moisture, there is a strong chance that mold can build up and grow where there is no supervision. Avoid this situation by inspecting and cleaning the unit. It may be slightly annoying, but it can stop any mold from developing inside the components. It also never hurts to have professionals check and maintain the unit. They might find and fix a potential problem before it escalates.
2. Fix Issues Fast
Just like any device, this type of cooler is not invulnerable to the occasional breakdown. Not only do mechanical or electrical failures stop your home's cool air, but a leaking swamp cooler also results in mold damage. If you notice a leak, a rupture or unusual noises, contact a repair technician to handle the problem immediately. If you believe the fungus is already there, bring in mold remediation specialists to safely handle the infestation.
3. Use Under Dry Conditions Only
The main purpose of an evaporative cooler is to cool a dry area by using water evaporation. Therefore, it is only intended for areas that actually need moisture. If there is enough humidity or you do not live in a dry area, you should not be operating the cooler. Using the device under these conditions greatly increases humidity to the point where mold is likely to grow. Explore other cooling options such as an air conditioner.
Swamp coolers provide excellent relief when dry and hot temperatures hit Arlington, LA. Use these devices carefully and responsibly so that boosted moisture or a leaking swamp cooler do not lead to mold growth.
3 Reasons Protecting Wood From Water Is Vital To Its Lifespan
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 which 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 is driven by moisture. Years of water absorption and expulsion weakens 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 then 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.
3 Things You Should Know About Fire Alarms
A smoke alarm is a great device for keeping your home safe
3 Things You Should Know About Fire Alarms
A fire alarm is an essential item for your Gardere, LA, home. This small device can help keep you safe and may be able to alert you in time to prevent serious damage to your property. There are a few things that you should know about these useful items.
1. What Are Your Alarm Options?
When it comes to a home fire alarm, you have a few choices. Ionization and photoelectric alarms detect smoke and flames in different ways, making each one better at alerting you of a certain type of fire. Luckily, there are alarms that come with both kinds of detection, so you can be prepared no matter which kind of fire occurs.
2. How Many Alarms Should You Have?
The number of alarms that you should have in your home depends on how big it is. To best prevent fire and smoke damage in all areas, you should have at least one alarm on each level, including attics and basements. You should also have an alarm inside each bedroom and outside of each sleeping area.
3. How Often Should You Change the Batteries?
To keep your fire alarm working properly at all times, be sure to test the batteries at least once a month. If you are using a traditional battery-operated alarm or a hardwired alarm that uses backup batteries, these should be changed at least twice a year. If your alarm uses lithium batteries, these will last the life of the device and do not need to be replaced.
When it is properly maintained, a smoke alarm is a great device for keeping your home safe. However, there are circumstances when you may still experience some fire damage to your home. If this happens, a cleanup and restoration service can help restore the building to its previous condition and salvage a wide variety of affected belongings.
How To Tell if Your Pipes Are Frozen
Frozen pipes can cause significant water damage
Look For The Four Signs Of Pipe Freeze
While many businesses experience routine water damage, the winter brings with it a different kind of threat: winter freeze. Frozen pipes are no laughing matter. When water freezes in your building's pipes, it creates an increase of pressure, which can lead to a pipe break and massive water cleanup. However, before you call in a water mitigation company in Arlington, LA, consider looking for the four signs of pipe freeze.
- Frost on the pipes
- Cold temperatures
- No water pressure
- Strange odors
Frost on the Pipes
One of the first signs of pipe freeze is the appearance of frost on the outside of the plumbing. While frost does not immediately point to a future of broken pipes, it should signal a need for corrective measures. Try to get heat to the frosted lines by turning up the furnace or wrapping them in insulation.
While a burst pipe can lead to significant water damage, not all temperatures are conducive to pipe freeze. If you operate in an area that rarely sees temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, then you likely won't have to worry about freezing. However, if the temperatures fall below 32 degrees, then freezing is more likely.
No Water Pressure
If you go to turn on a faucet and no water comes out, or if it trickles out, then you may have a portion of the pipe that is frozen. The ice buildup in the plumbing is not allowing the water to pass, which is giving the appearance of a lack of pressure.
When you turn on a faucet, or even when the tap is off, if you smell odd odors emanating from it, the lines may be frozen. Plumbing odors cannot typically pass through fluid lines, but when ice creates a blockage, the smells travel up and into the building.
Frozen pipes can cause significant water damage. If you suspect that a water line is frozen, then take corrective steps immediately and call a remediation company.
What Causes Odors After Floodwaters Are Gone?
Are you noticing a musty odor in your business?
Some of the most common natural disasters in the United States come in the form of floods, and long after the water has been removed, there may still be unpleasant evidence of the water damage. In addition to recovering from the loss of personal items and business inventory, you may be faced with lingering odors. These are often the result of mold growth, but there are other causes.
Routine Mold Prevention
You can prevent mold growth under normal circumstances by paying attention to specific problem spots throughout your property:
- Connections between your roof, doorways, windows, and the building
- Connections on pipes and faucets
- Under the sink
- Stored papers and books
- Under carpeting and behind wallpaper
At the earliest sign of moisture, thoroughly dry the area and make necessary repairs. After a flood, however, you should immediately contact water damage remediation professionals.
The Growth of Mold and Odors Due to Flooding
There are many materials throughout your Baton Rouge, LA, building (or buildings) that could become home to mold. Professionals will decide which items should be discarded, which can be cleaned and repaired, and which can simply be wiped down. Most of the time, items that have been exposed to flood water and not properly cleaned and disinfected are the source of unpleasant odors. By quickly involving cleanup and restoration professionals, you are preventing lasting damage, including bad smells.
Lasting Odors Resulting From Sewage
Mold isn't the only source of lasting smells. If any type of sewage loss was part of the flooding problem, bacteria and dangerous pathogens could have been absorbed by carpets, furnishings, and walls. In addition to completely drying and cleaning the area, cleanup technicians must also use specific cleansers and treatments to rid the property of these contaminants.
Floods are likely to happen anywhere in the country. They may be the result of natural disasters, poor maintenance, or other types of disasters. After the flooding, mold growth or sewage remains can result in lingering odors. Contact professionals as soon after flooding as possible to avoid bad smells and other secondary damage.
Mold and Safety Standard Organizations
Mold cleanup services in Gardere, LA
As a commercial property owner, you likely understand that there are different organizations and regulations you must adhere to for a business to be considered legal and safe. Do you know that the same types of institutions exist for ensuring the safety of employees around hazardous materials or substances, like black mold? While mold remediation companies in Gardere, LA, exist to restore your business, three entities provide rules for safe working environments and mold standards.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for laying out the federal guidelines for safe working environments. For a business to operate, it must remain compliant with the regulations set forth by this institution or risk fines, penalties, and potential closure.
The Environmental Protection Agency, while mainly concerned with the processes and procedures or organizations, does provide information on the proper handling of hazardous waste, including mold standards. Most of the guidelines speak to avoidance and the use of protective clothing when contact is necessary for mold clean up and removal.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a certifying body of the restoration industry and is considered the standard of excellence in the field. This organization teaches the fundamentals of mold removal for the health and wellness of both affected facilities and removal experts. If your business is affected by mold growth, then do not just trust any remediation company with the removal and cleaning process, find a business with the IICRC certification. The certification gives you confidence in remediation experts' ability to safely and effectively remove the issues.
Adhering to mold standards for removal is a delicate process, and if done improperly, the problem can spread to other areas of your facility. If you suspect you have a mold problem, contact a local remediation specialist with IICRC certification who adheres to all EPA and OSHA standards. You want to have confidence in the repair of your property.
3 Tips for Preventing Mold After a Flood
After flooding or water damage, open windows and doors of the house to aid in the drying out process
Preventing Mold After Flood
Every homeowner hopes to escape the devastating effects of a flood. Whether you live near the coast or somewhere with torrential storms, flooding is a possibility for many residents. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prepare for catastrophic events. One of the most damaging effects of a flood is mold. Here are three tips for preventing mold growth after a flood.
1. Use Caution Upon Reentry
The most important point to remember before reentering your home after a flood is safety. Try your best to enter your home during the day so that you don’t have to turn on any power. Never try to turn on the electricity if you’re standing in water. Instead, contact an electrician to turn the power on. Once you enter your home, pay attention to smells, especially gas. If you do notice a gas smell, leave your home immediately and contact the gas company. If there is no gas smell, open the windows and doors to air out your Baton Rouge, LA, home.
2. Dry Your Home
To prevent mold growth, you need to dry out your home as fast as possible. Mold can grow and spread in as little as 48 hours; thus, it’s prudent to work quickly. Once an electrician has determined that it’s safe for you to use power, use a wet-dry vacuum to get rid of standing water. Open up your windows and doors to assist in the drying process. Fans are good to help remove moisture but be sure to point them near windows or doors so that air is blowing outside your home and not inward. You don’t want to spread mold by circulating the mold spores in your home.
3. Contact Professionals
Mold can cause significant damage to your home. In order to ensure a thorough and safe clean up, it’s wise to contact mold remediation specialists. These technicians have the training, equipment, and expertise to safely and effectively remediate any mold growth in your home.
While you hope to never experience flooding in your lifetime, it’s wise to know what to do in an emergency situation. Always remember safety is paramount upon reentering your home, dry out your home as quickly as possible and contact professionals to assist with mold removal.
When Are Landlords Liable for Mold Problems?
Cleanup may involve the physical removal of black mold and air filtration or HVAC cleaning to keep spores from re-contaminating a structure.
Commercial landlords may have limited liability for mold problems. Mold caused by occupants or a problem that worsens through negligence on their part may result in tenants being held responsible for black mold cleaning and remediation costs. Residential landlords of apartment buildings, multifamily dwellings, and rental homes are held accountable to an implied warranty of habitability. Different standards apply to commercial buildings in Baton Rouge, LA.
Liability for Commercial Properties
Landlords of commercial properties tend to have limited liability for mold. A commercial tenant who can prove that a mold problem is due to a landlord’s negligence may be able to sue, particularly if proof of any of the following scenarios is present:
A landlord who refuses to remediate old mold
Mold due to systems the landlord maintains
Unremediated water damage prior to move-in
In these situations, tenants may be eligible for damages and be able to negotiate liability to clean up or remediate mold damage. The responsibility for cleanup is rarely clear cut.
The Cause of Mold
Property owners or landlords are generally responsible for the upkeep of the structural systems of rental properties. If mold occurs due to negligence in repairing pipes or cleaning air ducts, the terms of the lease will determine whether the landlord or tenant is responsible for black mold.
Commercial lease agreements determine the ground tenants have to stand on when bringing suit against landlords. Some property owners and managers assume responsibility for facility upkeep such plumbing and roof maintenance, while other contracts stipulate that tenants take on these responsibilities.
Responsibility for Mold Cleanup
The causes of mold, both in terms of primary water damage and secondary mold damage, are relevant for determining liability for mold remediation at a commercial building in Baton Rouge, LA. Cleanup may involve the physical removal of black mold and air filtration or HVAC cleaning to keep spores from re-contaminating a structure.
Business Interruption Coverage
The insurance world can be very confusion. Many times a business can have an a la carte' type of policy which gives them the ability to choose what is and is not covered.
Business interruption coverage is insurance is intended to compensate for the losses that occur as a consequence of having to close your business after your commercial property is damaged by a covered loss.
Business interruption coverage is not standard on commercial insurance policies. It usually needs to be specifically added to your commercial property policy and always has a coverage limit (for example, $30,000 per incident). However, to obtain Business Interruption insurance proceeds, your business must have sustained a physical loss that is covered under your commercial policy (like water damage or damage caused by fire, hurricane, tornado, etc.). Unfortunately, property damage covered under a flood policy does not usually include business interruption coverage. For example, standard flood insurance policies issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (which is administered by FEMA) do not provide business interruption coverage.
Always be sure to check your policy and ask your agent to be sure you know your coverages and understand your rights.
Also, if you suffer fire damage or water damage please call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge.
How the Pros Take Care of Mold Problems
Mold growth on bathroom tiles in Arlington, LA
Spotting mold in your home may worry you, scare you or anger you. Regardless, you never want to come across this fungal growth. The good news is that professional mold remediation companies can detect it, remove it, and make your home mold-free once again. From small amounts to huge infestations of black mold, professional technicians use a thorough process to get rid of this unwanted guest.
How Mold Forms and Grows
Mold finds its way into your Arlington, LA, home through openings from outside or on the backs of people and pets. Black mold and other forms of this fungus love moisture. Once spores are inside your house, they will grow and spread under the following conditions:
- High humidity
- Poor airflow and ventilation
- Water sources such as broken pipes or leaky appliances.
A mold removal team will first arrive and evaluate your needs and the extent of the damage. Technicians will note how large of a cleanup area there is and whether mold may be hiding in other areas.
Technicians will contain the fungi before starting mold cleanup. To do this, the team will eliminate any leaks and correct humidity problems. The company will seal off rooms in your home where this is widespread growth.
The crew will wear the proper protective equipment and then tear out any badly damaged materials. Using powerful chemicals, technicians will then remove all traces of mold. It can grow on walls, carpet, furniture, ceiling tiles, and most other surfaces.
Dry and Disinfect
The company will finish by thoroughly drying the affected area using high-powered fans and dehumidifiers. Mold remediation also includes sanitizing all surfaces in your home where mold grew.
You can rest easy knowing professional cleanup technicians know how to eliminate black mold from your house. The team will use a tried and true process and also give you hints on how to avoid mold in the future.
Emergency planning for your Pets
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge understands how important your pets are. They are family!
- Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.
- Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station and monitor TV, radio, and follow mobile alert and mobile warnings about severe weather in your area.
- Download the FEMA app, receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.
Make a Plan
Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today.
If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:
- Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
- Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
- Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit.
- Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
- Consider an out-of-town friend or relative
- Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
- Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
- Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
- If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
- Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
- If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!
Saving your personal belongings post-flood
Cleanup after a flood is different than any other type of cleaning. If your home has been hit by a storm, hurricane, or levy break, you know it can be a nightmare. Sifting through personal possessions soaked in filthy black water can be difficult, and while the items may be filled with memories, they can also now carry contaminants. Once content cleaning begins, it can be difficult to know what can be saved and what needs to be discarded. Here are a few simple rules for cleaning up after a deluge.
1. If an item can soak up water, think of it like a sponge filled with potential toxins. This includes clothing, bedding, carpets, and couches.
2. Nonporous surfaces can often be cleaned with a disinfectant. Special care should be taken to remove any possibility of mold or mildew growth.
3. If two surfaces touch on a nonporous item, the possibility of mold or mildew rises astronomically. Think oil paintings in frames, handles on metal cabinets, and plastic drawer bins.
4. Textiles can often be salvaged if they can be washed and dried within 48 hours. There are exceptions to fabric content cleaning, however. It is not recommended that wool, leather, and silk items be washed. Often, wool can shrink, leather may crack or lose its shape, and silk can become brittle after being in a dryer.
5. If you have access to a working bathtub immediately after a flood, you can often save nonporous objects. Soak small items of metal, plastic, or other manufactured materials in a disinfecting solution until you have time to deal with them.
6. Freeze damaged heirloom books, framed pictures, or important papers in plastic bags. This may allow more time to contemplate conservation efforts such as photocopying.
Consider contacting a flood restoration specialist team in Baton Rouge, LA, to help with content cleaning and item removal after a saturating water disaster. Knowledgeable experts can provide drying and dehumidifying equipment and bring in a workforce to assist with cleanup efforts.
3 Reasons To Choose SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge for a Storm Restoration
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge can help with any disaster recovery need your business may encounter after a storm.
When your business is in need of a disaster recovery service, you may want to consider contacting your local Baton Rouge, LA, SERVPRO restoration team. These professionals have a number of ways they can help return your business property to pre-damage conditions. Here are three things you may not have known about this service's abilities.
1. They Have Access to Large Equipment
It may be comforting to know that a professional storm response crew like SERVPRO is locally owned, meaning they know the area and can arrive on the scene quickly, while still having access to corporate resources. This access means that they can request any equipment they may need for a large job.
2. They Have an Electronic Inventory System
The restoration teaches working on your business may also have disaster recovery tools available such as an electronic inventory system. This is a database that can store documents related to your claim and restoration such as itemized lists, photographs, progress reports, and cost estimates. Your insurance agent can access this remotely making it easy for them to get the information they may need for your claim.
3. They Can Handle Content Cleaning
The contents of your office may also have suffered some storm damage. Fortunately, your restoration crew may have several methods for cleaning and repairing these items. Documentation and electronics can receive professional attention, while furniture and other non-mechanical items can be cleaned with a solution. The exact cleaning method may vary by item type.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge can help with any disaster recovery need your business may encounter after a storm. Thanks to corporate connections they can access large equipment if needed for a large scale restoration. Your repair crew may also be able to offer an electronic inventory system for the storage of the documentation that may be needed for your claim. Additionally, they may also offer content cleaning services to restore office items.
Mold Removal from you House or Business
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is the area's mold removal specialist. We specialize in working with mold inspectors to clean mold from your house or business. Mold treatment is a highly involved service which must be performed in accordance with industry standards. Your family's safety is our primary concern which is why we follow the steps for mold removal to the tee.
Working with mold inspectors is a way in which SERVPRO of Baton Rouge has a level of oversight for the work we do. Their job is to be a check and balance for us before, during and after the remediation process is complete. Also, if reconstruction is required we got you covered.
If you would like more information regarding mold removal please give us a call.
How To File a Fire Claim for Your Business
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.
Document Restoration: How Using a Single Disaster Response Team Can Simplify the Process for Everyone
Documents damaged by water
Following a flood disaster in Baton Rouge, LA, there are many concerns surrounding a business's affected property. Important physical documents can be especially vulnerable to water damage. Floodwater always poses extra concerns for document restoration and its cost to insurance companies, such as:
- Did the documents get infected with bacteria from the flooding?
- Are the materials still legible?
- Is the binding ruined beyond repair?
SERVPRO, an industry leader in disaster cleanup and restoration, has over 40 years of experience with water damage. At that time, they've honed their strategy for document restoration. With state-of-the-art facilities and careful processes, their document drying services can have flooded documents looking "Like it never even happened." Their disaster response team offers the following advantages when dealing with water-affected documents.
Transporting and Sanitizing
Flooded documents are carefully retrieved and frozen during transport to try to preserve everything possible. Documents are carefully dried, with safe and effective processes for deodorization if needed. Additionally, if sterilization is required, they have access to technology that uses gamma irradiation, to ensure no harmful bacteria remain on the documents.
Digitizing and Future Preservation
SERVPRO uses advanced digitization methods to back up affected documents; this offers an essential additional copy in case the original physical copy is beyond salvaging. Digital copies are held in an obsessively secure system, constantly under surveillance to ensure the utmost of protection. Their team of professionals is also skilled in re-jacketing documents held in book bindings and recovering many other types of documents with ruined bindings.
A Clean Solution
The all-in-one specializations make SERVPRO an easy go-to when it comes to seamless insurance claims. Their streamlined processes and reports make flooding insurance claims much simpler to file. Additionally, their franchise model and over 1,700 locations give them broad access to resources, speeding up the document restoration process.
When it comes to flooding, insurance costs over document damages and losses can get high. SERVPRO lightens the burden with their capable professionals and efficient systems, restoring documents sooner with minimal complications for everyone.
Why Does the Toilet Overflow When You Take a Shower? 3 Things You Should Know
A toilet overflow means that the fluid isn't able to pass through the pipes properly
3 Things To Know About Your Plumbing Troubles
You downed a cup of morning coffee, the caffeine perking you up, and preparing you for the day ahead. You headed into the shower, thinking the day was simple. However, with the water pouring out of the showerhead, it also started spilling out of the toilet bowl. How are the two connected? How has your morning routine suddenly created a need for sewage cleaning? You have a back up that needs attention now not later. Here are three things you should know about your plumbing troubles.
1. You Have a Clog
A toilet overflow means that the fluid isn't able to pass through the pipes properly. Therefore, when you ran the water in the shower, it couldn't escape the home. Instead, it came out from the only exit possible. You'll need to begin by finding out the source of the block.
2. Grab a Snake
Now, the task is to clean out the lines. You can work with a sewage cleaning company who can inspect the entire residence in Gardere, LA. The first location would be, to begin with, the toilet itself. Run the snake down the bowl, working your way through the drain. If you think it's cleared, run the shower again, testing it out. Be sure to place something on the ground just in case spills happen. If needed, repeat this throughout other sinks or utility lines.
3. Inspect the Outside Line
A clogged pipe could occur as a result of an external issue. Open your cap found outside in the yard. Twist it off. Be careful. This is category 3 water here. You don't want it on you or splashing out. If you notice it's filled, you'll need aid. You can try to snake it yourself; however, it's best to allow a professional crew to run a full test, determining whether you have a break in the pipe. If black water has invaded your rooms, you'll need specialized cleanup procedures.
It's a cause and effect scenario. Your sewage cleaning arises because of an obstruction. Remove it to establish proper flow.
What You Should Know About Fire and Renters Insurance
While you never want to experience a fire in your home, you need to be aware of what your renter's insurance coverage includes to be prepared.
A landlord should have property insurance to cover damages to the home structure. As a renter in Baton Rouge, LA, you need renters insurance to cover losses and damages to your belongings. You may be wondering what level of coverage is offered by your policy. It is important to know the particulars of your policy, especially when fire damage is involved. You need to understand what is covered by your particular plan in case of loss and injury as a result of a fire.
Renters Insurance Policy Coverage
The following is usually covered by most renters insurance policies:
If you lose items due to a fire, your policy covers personal property. Check to see that your plan offers the replacement value instead of the actual cash value of lost items. The cost to replace your furniture, for example, maybe more than their current cash value.
If you’re responsible for the fire, your plan covers the loss and injury that results, such as property damage or injury to a neighboring unit.
Most policies include medical payments to others with limited coverage for small injuries that result from a fire.
If your home is not livable during the fire cleanup process, your policy covers loss of use and temporary living expenses incurred.
You owe it to yourself to know what your insurance plan covers when it comes to fire damage.
Fire Restoration Guidance
While you never want to experience a fire in your home, you need to be aware of what your renter's insurance coverage includes to be prepared. Consult with a professional provider of fire restoration services. They should be fully knowledgeable on the best methods of fire damage cleanup to not only restore your home to pre-fire conditions but also to minimize the disruption to your life. If there is damage due to extinguishing the fire, these experts will also know the best processes for cleanup that will prevent further damage to your items.
Preparing Your Building for the Spring Thaw
Don’t let a spring flood ruin your commercial business.
Spring is finally on its way to Baton Rouge, LA. While the warm weather brings pretty flowers, it could also cause flooding on your property. Any lingering ice and snow will melt, which could lead to overflowing rivers and creeks. Heavy rains may result in roof leaks, as well.
Even a minor flood can force you to spend money on expensive repairs. That is why you should follow the below steps to prepare your building for a spring thaw.
1. Insulate Exterior Pipes
Weather conditions vary wildly during the spring. One day it is sunny and warm, and the next it is cold and rainy. These sudden temperature changes can cause your pipes to freeze and thaw rapidly. If left untreated, a frozen pipe can burst and flood your property. You should thus make sure your pipes are properly insulated, particularly at night when the temperature drops. To prevent flooding, make sure the insulation remains in place until the cold weather is gone for the season.
2. Inspect Your Drainage Systems
Old or malfunctioning drainage systems are common causes of floods. As spring approaches, check your gutters to ensure they are not clogged with debris. Any downspouts or flood drains should be inspected, as well. They should be carrying any excess water away from the building to reduce the flood risk. Consider hiring a professional to examine your property and address any drainage issues.
3. Check Your Sump Pump
Many buildings use sump pumps to keep their crawlspaces and basements dry. If your sump pump falters, important records and supplies could be destroyed by flooding. Flood restoration and cleanup experts can test your pump to make sure it is working properly. They can also give you additional tips for protecting your property.
Don’t let a spring flood ruin your commercial business. Make sure you are properly prepared before the warm weather arrives.
What You Need To Know About Black Water
Flooded building in Arlington, LA
Things You Need To Know About This Type of Damage
Dealing with water damage in your Arlington, LA, building can be frustrating. This is especially true when the damage involves category 3 water. This category is also referred to as black water and includes both sewage and flood water. The following are a few things that you should know about this type of damage.
1. Where Does Category 3 Water Come From?
Black water can enter your building in multiple ways. One common source is severe weather that causes flooding. As the water rises, it can begin to come through doors and windows that are not properly sealed. Another likely source is plumbing issues. If you have damaged pipes or a clog that causes a toilet overflow, the water that backs up could be category 3.
2. What Makes It Different From Other Water Damage?
The primary difference between black water and the other two categories of water is the level of contamination. While category 2, also known as gray water, is also contaminated, it is much less harmful. The high levels of bacteria, sewage, debris, and other contaminants make black water more difficult to clean and can result in a larger number of belongings and materials needing to be replaced.
3. How Should It Be Handled?
Because it is highly contaminated, you should not attempt to remove flood water or other types of category 3 water on your own. Protective gear should be used at all times when working with this type of water, and it can be difficult to thoroughly clean your building without the help of a professional.
If your building has been damaged by a sewage backup or flood water, it is best to hire a water damage restoration service. Not only will these professionals have the gear and equipment needed to safely clean your building, but they will also have the necessary training and experience. They can get the job done in a timely manner without sacrificing the quality of their work.
Mold Can Grow Anywhere, Even in Dry Climates
Mold can grow almost anywhere.
You would expect to hear of black mold growth in humid or tropical climates, but you may be surprised to learn that a commercial building in Baton Rouge, LA could also be at risk. Understanding how this is possible is the first step to awareness and taking steps to prevent or clean up the mold damage.
Causes of Mold in the Desert
For the majority of the year, the desert can be dry and unbearably hot, but the rainy season can produce wet conditions, increasing humidity. In addition to the weather, many of the same considerations are suspect as in a more naturally humid climate, and should be checked routinely.
A leaking pipe or valve in the plumbing system or beneath water heaters or sinks
Air conditioning ducts and condensation lines
Improper cleaning and drying out following a flood or leak
Lack of adequate exhaust fans in bathrooms or laundry areas
A leak or crack around flashings on the roof where rainwater can leak through, causing black mold to grow in the insulation or ceiling materials
Where Mold Grows
Because mold spores are ubiquitous, they can literally grow anywhere that moisture is present – even on ice and dirt. Desert heat may accentuate any humidity. While mold is easily spotted on sheet rock walls or ceilings, it may take closer inspection to locate when it is hidden within walls, wooden studs, insulation, beneath carpets and even growing on concrete surfaces.
Mold may be more easily cleaned from hard, non-porous surfaces, but still needs proper disinfecting. Mold cleanup and mitigation professionals in Baton Rouge, LA, should be brought in to inspect, contain, clean, and disinfect any affected areas, place a dehumidifier and any other mold remediation measures deemed necessary to prevent recurrence.
Black mold is not the stuff of dreams for a business owner, but neither does it need to be your worst nightmare. Follow a pattern of routine inspection, getting professional help, and learning how to prevent or minimize future outbreaks.
Guidelines for Cleaning a Home After a Flood
Water extraction in a Gardere,LA home
There is no way around it; a flood is a destructive event, especially if it hits your home in Gardere, LA. At the minimum, your home will likely suffer water damage that harms contents, flooring, walls, and carpeting. Your first impulse, once you know everyone is safe, is to begin the cleanup process as soon as possible. Speed is important, but so is safety and making sure the right methods are used. Working with a local storm remediation franchise ensures the highest professional standards of cleaning and restoration are followed. Trained and certified technicians will, in most cases, follow the guidelines recommended by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification agency.
Standards for Restoring a Home
The IICRC publishes brochures that cover practical standards for cleaning for restoring a home affected by a flood or any type of damage caused by water. The guidelines have been developed with the following principles in mind:
- To establish the basic principles of water restoration
- To rely on input from professional organizations
- To make use of companies with practical experience in cleaning methods
Cleaning up after a flood almost always involves the removal of contaminated or black water, which calls for specialized techniques and equipment. This water may contain pathogens, sewage, and harmful chemicals. As a threat to human health, it should be treated with caution and handled professionally.
Choosing the Right Method of Restoration
In the aftermath of a flood, it also is likely that a wide range of materials has suffered water damage. Each material calls for a different method of treatment. The techniques for treating materials such as drywall and insulation differ from the techniques for cleaning clothing and upholstery. The IICRC also publishes recommended standards for cleaning upholstery, treating heating and cooling systems, and dealing with mold containment and assessment. Professional standards have been developed to make sure your home is cleaned and restored to the highest levels.
What To Know About Smoke Damage After a Business Fire
Smoke in Baton Rouge, LA
Smoke Damage And The Damage It Can Cause
After a fire at your Baton Rouge, LA, place of business you may need to look into a smoke cleaning service as well as fire restoration. There are a few things you may want to know about Smoke and the damage it can cause, as well as how to have it removed.
1. Smoke Damage is Normal After a Fire
Some smoke damage is normal after a fire. It will usually be worse over areas where the flames burn hottest and grow less the further it is from the fire’s epicenter. You may find soot damage in these areas as well. Fortunately, a restoration service should be able to remove odors and restore any damaged areas.
2. Smoke Odors Can Be Removed
There are a number of ways to remove smoke odor and soot depending on the area where it is located and the severity of the damage. For smaller items, smoke cleaning can be done by washing the affected material with a special cleaning solution. Ozone machines may be used to remove odors from the air.
3. A Restoration Crew Can Help
If a fire does occur at your place of business it’s important to know that a local fire damage restoration service should be able to help. These professionals can not only clean up and make building repairs after a fire, but can also help clean any damaged office items, and remove smoke odor from the building as well. In some cases, they may even be able to work with your insurance company to catalog any damages and update them as repairs are made.
When your business has suffered a fire, you may find it comforting to know that your local restoration service can help with smoke cleaning as well as repairs. Remember that it’s normal for some smoke damage to occur with any fire, but with the right tools the team working on the property can both remove odors, and have the business looking “Like it never even happened."
Heavy rains in Arlington, LA
Flood damage to your Arlington, LA, business can be a major headache. Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take to minimize the damage caused by heavy rains.
Before the Flood
Long before flooding is on the horizon, it is important to make an emergency plan for your business. This plan should include the following information:
- Location of emergency supplies
- Evacuation routes
- Communication protocols
- Higher elevation sheltering locations for employees and customers
When severe weather is imminent, there are some additional steps you can take to mitigate the storm damage. Use sand bags or inflatable dams to form a barrier around your building. If possible, move important items to higher ground.
During the Flood
While the heavy rains are falling, it is important to keep yourself and your employees safe. Make sure to stay informed. If the power is still on, you can get alerts on your phone or computer, and you can watch the local news. If the power is out, listen to your battery-operated radio. Avoid driving and walking through flooded areas.
After the Flood
When the rain has stopped, it is time to begin cleaning up the flood damage. Every situation is different, so the remediation process will vary. The most important thing is your and your employees' safety, so do not begin working until you are sure it is safe. Turn off the power and gas, and wear protective clothing. Then you can begin the cleanup process. First, remove standing water using buckets or pumps. Dry out remaining water using fans and dehumidifiers. Next, begin cleaning all affected items using a disinfectant cleaner. Everything that cannot be sanitized and dried, including fiberglass insulation, should be thrown away. When everything is clean and dry, you can begin making repairs to the damaged items.
Safety should always come first during a flood or other emergency. However, after the danger has passed, you will want to begin cleaning up the flood damage as soon as possible to prevent further problems. An experienced restoration team can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.
The Role Standards Play in Mold Cleaning
Mold found in a Gardere, LA home
When you find mold in your home in Gardere, LA, you want the problem taken care of once and for all. A certified mold cleaning company is in a good position to do the job right the first time. Standards for industrial cleaning of homes and businesses are set in part by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification organization. This group works in concert with the American National Standards Institute. Together, the two organizations work to improve, elevate and discuss standards for cleaning, restoration, and inspection of properties. What does this mean for you? If you are dealing with a mold issue, it may be in your best interest to contract with a company who has mold certification specialists on the payroll.
The Insurance Connection
Insurance companies that could have to pay out claims for mold damage and water damage, want to work with a mold remediation company that follows the highest standards for cleaning. The advantage of this approach include the following benefits:
- A local company will be on the scene faster to limit damages
- An ethical company will work in the best interests of the clients
- A smart company will favor a restore versus replace mentality
- The company will follow the guidelines and standards for professional mold remediation
A certified mold technician will have access to specialized equipment to address the problem. Proven techniques result in a more effective cleanup. The best chance of getting mold growth under control is a plan with certified mold remediation.
The Certification Advantage
While standards are considered by many professionals to represent the best cleaning practices, they are mostly voluntary. In some cases, recommended codes and regulations have been adopted by municipalities and regulatory agencies. However, it is possible to encounter workers who do not follow or who are unaware of the current suggested standards. To protect your home and the health of your family, consider hiring a certified mold professional.
There Are New Ways to Stay Informed About Severe Winter Weather
Running a business is complicated enough without worrying about the weather. Yet, a winter storm is part of life around Gardere, LA, so having the latest information about what’s likely to hit – and approximately when – is key to keeping your company safe. Fortunately, there are new ways to get up-to-the-minute information about severe weather threats.
The National Weather Service Wants You to Stay Informed
The internet has become the most effective method of broadcasting important information to the widest audience. However, today’s NWS uses many popular forms of communication to spread the word, including
- Weather radio
- Television news and weather
- Social media
- Smart device apps
Of these, social media – for all its faults – offers the greatest opportunity to keep Americans informed about weather trends and severe threats.
Weather Radio Is Still an Excellent Backup Source
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, of which NWS is a part, maintains weather radio stations across the country. Except for very remote areas, they cover most of the continental United States. They are also the official source of weather forecasts and winter storm warnings from the NWS and are particularly useful when other sources aren’t available.
Twitter Is Especially Effective for Weather Information Dissemination
Social media offers a chance to use multiple media methods for a greater understanding of the weather and climate information. You can find charts showing how much snow is expected, when storms are likely to hit specific areas and the hazardous outlook for severe thunderstorms. It’s a great way to stay informed and avoid unnecessary storm damage.
Of course, weather forecasting is mostly science, but it’s still partly an art – and it isn’t perfect. A winter storm can surprise everyone with extra intensity, and no one can forecast a tornado for a specific area until minutes before it happens.
If winter weather or a surprise freeze causes a pipe break – or any other storm damage – to your business, you should immediately call a storm cleanup company to tarp and board the exposed areas. They can then work with your commercial insurance agent to start the restoration process as soon as possible. SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster!
Will Filing a Claim Raise Your Homeowners Insurance Rates?
The primary purpose of homeowners insurance is to protect homeowners against catastrophic losses
Will Filing a Claim Raise Your Homeowners Insurance Rates?
The primary purpose of homeowners insurance is to protect homeowners against catastrophic losses, however, most insurance policies also offer coverage for smaller claims. Filing an insurance claim can sometimes result in your insurance company charging you a higher rate or declining to renew your policy. For these reasons, it is important to know when a claim might cause your rates to increase.
1. You Have Filed Previous Claims on Your Current Policy
The number of claims you have filed can have a big impact on if your rates will increase and by how much. According to a CNN report, filing a single homeowner's claim can cause an average rate increase of 9%, however, that figure can increase to as much as 20% if you file a second claim too close to the first. You may want to speak with your insurance professional in Baton Rouge, LA, to find out what your insurance company's policy is.
2. You Have Filed Claims on Your Prior Policy
Filing an insurance claim too many times can cause an insurance company to decline to renew your policy. It can also cost you more money when you get insurance with someone else. Customers who file a lot of claims are considered higher risk by underwriters and if they will write your coverage at all, they might charge you a higher rate.
3. You Have Filed Previous High-Risk Claims
Certain types of claims tend to have a more dramatic effect on your rates when you file more than one. Fire, liability, theft and water damage claims tend to result in the highest rate increases.
If a home flood or other event has caused damage to your home, you may be wondering if filing an insurance claim will raise your rates. The answer depends on the policies of your insurance company, but in general, it can be best to only use your insurance to cover large losses and to handle the small stuff yourself. Whether you use your insurance or not, failing to repair water damage promptly can lead to more damage, so you may want to contact a water remediation professional.
Post Fire Cleanup: 3 Things You Should Toss
Throw away items that you usually would use on your skin
3 Things You Should Toss
After a fire is anything safe? Homeowners may not really know what poses hazards; therefore, when disaster strikes contact a fire restoration company in Gardere, LA. The experts can offer you advice and provide guidance for what may be salvaged and what needs to go. One thing to keep in mind is this: Throw away products found in the refrigerator as well as the bathroom shelves.
1. Food and Beverage
Yes, groceries and medicine cost money, but they are also vulnerable to high heat. During the blaze, the intensity may have expanded the cans, bags, and boxes, allowing smoke into the products. There is no sure way to feel good about the products. It's best to get rid of them, especially if you notice any issues with bulges or dents. Also, freezer food should be inspected, especially if it never lost power. You may be able to wrap it up and put it in another location. Avoid anything you think may have defrosted.
2. Personal Hygiene Products
Throw away items that you usually would use on your skin, especially cosmetics. The compounds may have changed during the event, perhaps making them dangerous for application. You want to feel comfortable with these materials. Remove anything questionable from the shelves.
3. Medical Supplies
As you evaluate fire damage, think about whether the flames came near your medicines. The temperatures could impact the effectiveness, so this may be something to discard. Make a list of all potential contaminated medicine. Take pictures of its location, and then speak with your pharmacist and doctor about whether you can continue to take it. It's may simply be best to get rid of it and request a new supply. Work with your insurance companies to discuss coverage.
Remember, you've been through enough. You don't need to consume or use anything that might hurt you more. Throw away anything that may pose harm.
The Facts About Black Mold
Black mold is nothing to take lightly.
Mold: It's always around you, but you probably don't think much about it until you see it in your Baton Rouge, LA, house. You may not worry much about it until you notice it growing and spreading rapidly. Black mold is one of the most common forms, and it's important to clean it up as soon as possible.
This type of mold is no stranger to residences. It will thrive when areas of the home have moisture or high levels of humidity. It will feed on areas of the home such as carpet, drywall and sub-flooring.
How and Where it Grows
Black mold loves wet and cool areas. Mold spores are always in the air, but they will only grow and spread under ideal circumstances. You will notice it in areas such as basements, behind washers and dishwashers, underneath sinks and refrigerators, and on shower walls. Typical ways it appears include:
Broken pipes under sinks and inside walls
Slow leaks in appliances
Water coming into the home and causing flooding
It's important to address mold issues quickly. If you spot this fungus growing in your house, contact a professional mold cleanup time right away. The pros have the right tools and equipment to clean up the mold. The team will also sanitize the affected areas.
Keeping it Out
As a homeowner, you can't eliminate the presence of mold from your house. However, there are steps you can take to minimize its growth and effects. You should regularly check your HVAC and plumbing systems for leaks. Also, inspect your roof and foundation for damage at least once a year. Mold remediation specialists do an excellent job of cleaning mold from your property, but if you clean up water immediately after you see it, you reduce the chances of ever seeing mold.
Black mold is nothing to take lightly. You can put your mind at rest, however, by getting the right help and keeping up with home maintenance.
When Is Your Basement Flood Covered by Insurance?
A basement flood that results from sudden and accidental discharge of water may be covered by your homeowners or dwelling policy.
Basements are a very useful addition to a home, but because of their location, they can also be prone to a basement flood. If you have a basement, it is a good idea to be familiar with your insurance coverage, so that you know whether your damage will be covered if your basement floods.
Types of Damage Usually Covered by Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners or dwelling policies typically cover water damage that results from a sudden and accidental discharge of water. These are examples of sudden and accidental water discharges:
Ruptured water heater
Overflow from a bathtub or toilet
A sudden leak from a washing machine
If you have a washing machine in your basement and the supply line suddenly bursts, that is the type of damage that would usually be covered by homeowners or dwelling insurance.
Types of Damage Usually Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners and dwelling insurance typically does not cover basement flood damage that is not the result of a sudden and accidental event, such as damage that occurs due to poor maintenance. For example, if you fail to maintain your washing machine and it develops a chronic leak that causes damage to your basement, that would not be a sudden discharge of water and probably would not be covered. Additionally, homeowners and dwelling policies typically do not cover water damage from backup from an outside sewer or drain or a basement that is flooded by rising waters, saturated ground or storms. If you need coverage for flood damage from weather-related events, you may wish to purchase a separate flood policy.
A basement flood that results from sudden and accidental discharge of water may be covered by your homeowners or dwelling policy, while water damage from poor maintenance and weather-related flooding typically will not be. Water that is left standing can cause additional damage and mold, so if you have water in your basement, it may be wise to contact a water remediation specialist in Baton Rouge, LA, to dry out your basement.
What To Know About Crawlspace Water
Start by contacting a restoration professional who can identify the source of the water.
If you have a wet crawl space in your Baton Rouge, LA, home, you may be wondering how the water got there and what to do about it. Here are a few things you may wish to know.
1. How Water Gets in the Crawlspace
Water can get into a crawlspace a number of ways. There may be storm flooding, landscaping sloped in such a way that water flows toward the house, a leaking water line, a downspout issue, or even subterranean water. Any of these issues can lead to water pooling in the crawlspace and causing issues.
2. How this Can Affect Your Home
One of the main problems caused by a continuously wet crawl space is the possibility of mold problems. When flood water or other moisture problems are left unattended it creates the humidity that mold spores need to grow. Add this to dark conditions and plenty of organic material frequently available under a home, and mold has exactly the type of environment it needs to grow. Fortunately, a restoration service can help with this problem as well as the water damage.
3. How This Problem Can Be Fixed
One of the first steps when dealing with crawlspace water is to contact a local water damage restoration service. These professionals can help identify the source of the water problem, remove the water, address any related issues such as mold, and dry the area. They may also be able to help you take mitigation steps around your home to avoid any future water issues.
It’s important to take care of a wet crawl space as quickly as possible to help avoid potential mold problems. Start by contacting a restoration professional who can identify the source of the water. Once the water source is identified it can be fixed and the area dried. If you have any questions a professional should be able to help.
Keep your home protected against floods
Water damage from floods can cause major problems. Stay educated with current information.
Keep Your Home Secure Against Flood Damage
Flooding of your Baton Rouge, LA., home can cause major problems. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your home from heavy rains.
Maintain Existing Flood Prevention Structures
Many homes have common flood prevention features, such as gutters and sump pumps, already installed. It is important to maintain this equipment. The following are some routine maintenance activities that will help keep your home secure against water damage:
- Clean and inspect gutters (fall and spring)
- Clean storm drains (at least once a year)
- Test sump pump and clean screen (every season)
- Inspect roof (every year)
When completing the above tasks, be sure to check for damage such as loose gutters or missing shingles. The suggested frequency for each task will vary depending on your specific situation. For example, if you have trees near your home, you will likely need to clean your gutters more often. If you suspect that you will be unable to do any of these jobs, you may wish to hire a professional contractor for some or all of your home's routine maintenance tasks.
Consider Home Improvement Projects
In addition to maintaining whatever flood-proofing systems your home already has, you may decide to do some home improvement projects to further protect your home from flooding. The following are some common improvements that you can make to keep your house safe in heavy rains:
- Install any of the above items (gutters, storm drain, sump pump) that you do not already have
- Grade your lawn so that it slopes away from house
- Upgrade seals around windows and doors
Employ Temporary Solutions
Even well-prepared homes may need additional protection during very heavy rains. If a severe storm is headed your way, you may want to install sandbags or other flood protection devices such as inflatable dams.
The above suggestions will help protect your home from flooding. However, even the most well-prepared homes can suffer storm damage. You may need to enlist the help of experienced restoration professionals to get your home back to normal quickly and safely.
Commercial Large Loss
Call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge if your business suffers from water damage, fire damage or needs mold remediation.
Whether your business suffers from water damage, fire damage or needs mold remediation SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge understands that disaster relief is no easy job. It takes a team of dedicated individuals willing to go the extra mile at a moments notice.
Our commercial division is a segment of our team dedicated to large loss recovery. Many times when these types of losses occur we know we will be on the job for weeks or even months and so our chain of command needs to be prepared and ready to dedicate themselves solely to the job for the duration.
This is what sets us apart from the competition, we have cultivated a workplace atmosphere and energy that inspires our team to always give their best effort. We are consistently training and learning from our experiences and passing this knowledge onto our new team members and to other recovery teams that we may work with when a large-loss is on the line.
In a large-loss nothing is more important than the client and the job at hand, we are here to lead the way to recovery.
Stop Cooking Fires Before They Happen
Fire damage this winter can ruin your holiday.
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 stove top 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.
Hoilday's with clean air quality
Dirty air ducts can result in poor air quality.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner you are probably expecting family to visit your home or business. Wouldn't it be great if your duct work was clean and devoid of airborne particulates like mold spores, dead skin cells and dust mites? Well, SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is here to help. We use state of the art duct cleaning equipment to insure that your air quality is breathable for even the youngest or oldest of your family to breath.
You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:
-There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
-Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects)-Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers. Give SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge a call today and we can get you scheduled!
Preparing your home or business for a Winter Storm
Water damage and fire damage from winter storms can be a disaster if you ignore the signs.
Part of SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge's community involvement is to educate the public on tips to prevent water damage and fire damage during this winter season. The following are best practices to insure that you do not risk damage to your property:
Weatherproof your home.
- Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
- Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
- Insulate walls and attic.
- Install storm or thermal-pane windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
- Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
Have your chimney or flue inspected each year.
If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected each year. Ask your local fire department to recommend an inspector or find one online.
Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector.
- If you’ll be using a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. Test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year.
- Keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby.
- All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside.
- Each winter season have your furnace system and vent checked by a qualified technician to ensure they are functioning properly.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
A busted pipe can cause significant water damage.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge understands the water damage that can occur when you have a busted pipe. This winter, make sure that you take the necessary steps to prevent this.
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
Winter holiday fire facts
Fire damage can ruin your holiday.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge wants your holiday experience to be safe. Please learn and follow these tips:
Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in more than two of every five (44%) home Christmas tree fires.
Two of every five (39%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room. Five percent were chimney or flue fires. One-fifth (21%) of the decoration fires started in the kitchen.Fifteen percent started in the living room, family room or den.
Almost three of every five (57%) December home decoration fires were started by candles, compared to one-third (32%) in January to November.
- See more statistics on winter holiday fires.
Here are some Tips for Holiday Entertaining
- Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
- Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
- Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
- Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
- Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.
Having an emergency plan in place is crucial to getting back to work quickly
Whether your business suffers water damage, fire damage or mold damage an Emergency Ready Plan can minimize business interruption.
An Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) is free service the SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge provides for your business in the event that you suffer water damage, fire damage or mold damage. We understand that if you suffer a disaster of this nature that business interruption have have a tremendous effect of the lives of your employees and customers.
Our free ERP will give you critical information that you need to minimize the time that you are not generating revenue. We identify where each of your shut off valves are located, who to call and the proper steps to follow so that the mitigation process can begin without delay.
We then package this information in a shareable digital app so that your decision makers (managers) can react accordingly.
Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.
Contact List following a fire
It can be overwhelming seeing the damages that fire has caused to your home and belongings but timing is essential in fire damage restoration and you need to act fast to mitigate your home.
Companies the you want to contact:
Restoration contractor: The longer you let your home sit in soot and water damage, the further the damage. This is why it is crucial to start the fire restoration process right away. After speaking to a reputable fire restoration company they will be able to develop a custom action plan to restore your home. An expert will be dispatched to your home to review the damage, get a clean up plan in place and save as much of your belongings as possible.
Insurance Company: Contact your insurance company and alert them of the situation at hand. They will be able to shed a little light on this dark situation by informing you of the next steps you need to take. With their guidance, you will be able to navigate the first initial steps of your fire damage claims. In addition, they will be able to inform you of the best practices you should take such as making a list and taking pictures of damaged items for documentation.
Utility and Lending Companies: Paying your bills and living expenses in addition to paying to having your home and belonging restored can be financially exhausting. Utility and lending companies realize this and they know the hardship a family can face in the event of disaster such as a house fire. Contact them, explain your situation, and see if they offer any hardship programs that would lower your payments or stop them completely until you get back on your feet.
Physician: Do you or a family member rely on daily medication to stay healthy? Depending on the extent of the fire damage or the origin of it, retrieving medication may not be possible. Contact your family physician and request to have your medication filled at your nearest pharmacy.
Child’s School: If you have a child in school you may want to contact the school and alert them of the situation at hand. If the fire damage deems your home unlivable you may need to stay with a family member and their home can be too far from the school. Teachers and principles are understanding of the difficulties a child and family faces in the event of a disaster and may allow them to do class work at home.
Call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge if you have any questions or concerns.
Your Home can be severely damaged by Smoke
After you have been cleared to re-enter your home or business it is important to keep an eye out for structural damage. A licensed inspector may be needed to evaluate the building to make sure that it is safe. Ceilings can collapse, causing injury or even death. Concrete can expand from the heat of a fire leading to an unsound foundation.
Make sure to take lots of pictures of the structure and of your damaged contents. Fabric, leather and wood will all have telltale signs. Check everything for charring. If it passes your inspection then give it the old smell test to check for smoke odor.
Your walls and ceilings may be discolored from the intense heat, charring and soot. If your HVAC system was running during the fire you may want to thoroughly check rooms that were seemingly not affected by the blaze. The soot could have traveled through your duct work to other rooms.
If you have any questions or concerns please call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge.
How can homeowners remove odors and restore their homes on their own?
Prep Space They should start by removing all materials from the area. Some people only recommend removing items that suffered fire damage, but a homeowner must keep in mind that total restoration starts by reducing exposure of clean items to lingering smoke. Also, if one area is burnt and another nearby one is fine, a homeowner should seal off damaged sections so that odors do not contaminate materials in untouched areas.
Purify the Air Throughout the cleaning and restoration process, a homeowner must set up one or more air purifying devices that contain activated carbon filters to absorb odors. Boxes of baking soda placed throughout the damaged area can also help. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge can provide Hydroxyl Generators, Ozone and air scrubbers with carbon filters.
Remove All Debris Cleaning up ash and soot isn't an easy task. Creosote creates difficult-to-remove oily stains. Water-based cleaning solutions make a mess that's even harder to remove, and moisture promotes bacteria and mold growth in badly deteriorated materials. A homeowner must start to remove ash and soot odors by rubbing surfaces from the ceiling down toward the floor with a dry soot eraser sponge. Afterward, they should then sweep up remaining particles with a broom and dustbin and finally a vacuum. Application of a liquid solvent with a sponge is necessary to remove stains. To remove lingering odors, a homeowner must use liquid deodorizer spray.
Restore the Home The final part of the process for smoke removal and returning a space to its former physical state is total restoration. If necessary, a homeowner must repair or replace structural materials, furniture, and appliances. Once they complete this portion of the restoration process, they merely need to replace decorative items to make the area comfortable and welcoming once again. Air purifiers should no longer be necessary unless the homeowner uses them to reduce allergy-related dust, pollen and pet dander and odors unrelated to a fire. Homeowners can't solve every smoke-based fire damage scenario on their own. If smoke odor doesn't dissipate or the fire affected a large area or caused extensive damage, they should invest in help from a professional restorer. If something does happen, call our team at SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge. We expertly and quickly handle total reconstruction jobs, including smoke removal and structural rebuilds and repairs. We're also available 24/7 for emergency restorations.
FEMA Flood Map
Flood damage, water damage or storm damage can catch you off guard. Be prepared!
Knowledge is power and when it comes to flooding you want to be very knowledgeable!
Here is the link to the FEMA Flood Map. You enter in your zip code to see whether you are in a flood plain or not.
Whether you are in a high risk zone or not, you may need flood insurance because most homeowners insurance doesn't cover flood damage. If you live in an area with low or moderate flood risk, you are 5 times more likely to experience flood than a fire in your home over the next 30 years. For many, a National Flood Insurance Program's flood insurance policy could cost less than $400 per year. Call your insurance agent today to find out more information.
Also, if you have a business that is in a flood zone and would like an emergency plan in place in case you flood please give SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge a call.
Garden District homes and their flooding problems
Water damage and flooding in south Baton Rouge
If you live in the garden district of South Baton Rouge then you are most likely no stranger to flooding. Your neighborhood has flooded 14 times in the last 5 years. While the city-parish is working towards a better drainage solution you need to have a plan in case you flood again.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge has your back. We understand that during a storm your friends and family come first. After you are safe, protecting your largest asset, you home or business, is next. We are the water damage mitigation specialist and can insure that you get the attention you need.
Give us a call if you have any questions or concerns. If you own a business and need an emergency plan we can schedule for a free consultation.
Water Damage Tips and Tricks
Busted pipe in your house or business can cause tremendous water damage
If you suffer water damage at your home or business it is important to attempt to mitigate the damage until a professional restoration company can take over. Your insurance company expects for you to be pro active while waiting on SERVPRO to arrive.
The following are some useful tips and tricks that will show your insurance company that you are working to minimize the damage.
- Turn off the water supply
- Call a plumber if necessary
- If the water is clean (not sewage) shop vac or towel up the standing water
- Place some fans out to create air flow
- Elevate your furniture out of the water
- Create a list of damaged belongings
- Take lots of photos
Just doing these steps will insure that you are trying to help.
If you have any questions or concerns please give SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge a call.
Busted pipe at a local business caused major water damage.
When you encounter water damage at your house or business make sure that you are aware of its potential to create serious problems.
Wallboard and drywall:
These porous materials act like a sponge and become fragile in a flood, and may remain contaminated even after they dry out.
This thick material may not have to be replaced but it takes a very long time to dry. If it is severely cracked or warped, it will need to be replaced.
Foam sheets of insulation just need to be hosed off and dried, but muddy fiberglass batts should be thrown out. Cellulose insulation, made of blown-in treated paper, will need to be removed and replaced.
Furniture and other solid wood items may warp and crack following a flood, but they can usually be saved when dried out completely.
Particle board and laminated wood:
These materials may separate and weaken after getting wet and usually need to be replaced.
Wood studs and framing:
These solid pillars are usually OK if they dry completely. They must be disinfected, but don’t usually have to be replaced. They are most often far from human contact, so risks of harm from any remaining contamination are low.
Most carpets and laminated coverings will have to be thrown out after a flood, especially any with soaked foam rubber backing. A professional cleaner may be able to save small rugs and valuable carpets, which should be removed from the site immediately.
Pipes and electrical wiring:
Floods can float or break pipes and strip electrical wiring. Unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing, work with a contractor if you see damage to these items.
These can be shorted out during floods and can leak harmful and explosive gases into the air. They will need to be cleaned and checked by a professional before use.
Heater and air conditioner units can become flooded, which can damage their internal electrical systems and douse pilot lights. They can also become muddy, and cleaning them will require professional cleaning. In addition, venting systems can flood and become contaminated. If that happens, they must be taken apart and hosed off piece by piece to prevent contamination from being blown through the air.
IF you have any questions or concerns please give SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge a call.
Don't get Scammed by "Storm Chasers"
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, it is easy to be tricked by a less than professional repair service. Hiring a “storm chaser” will lead to serious headaches, exorbitant costs, poor workmanship and unfinished work that can leave your home or business in worse condition.
To ensure your home or business is restored by a trustworthy and reliable company after devastating flood damage, SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge and the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has compiled a list of key characteristics to help identify “storm chasers.”
“After a flood, home and business owners are in a vulnerable state,” said Pete Duncanson, IICRC Chairman. “Unfortunately, some individuals will take advantage of people’s hardships. These tips will help you identify the warning signs of a flood restoration scam artist.” To help home owners and businesses properly restore their properties following a disaster, the IICRC identifies the following traits of a “storm chaser”:
1. Too-good-to-be-true prices. Often dubious restoration companies will offer low prices to grab your attention, but be wary of surprise costs that will hurt your wallet. Never let the price of the repairs be the sole criterion for choosing a restoration firm.
2. Requesting upfront cash payments. While it can be a regular practice to deposit up to one-third of the estimated price on the day repairs begin, avoid paying in cash or more than the expected payment. Pay by check or credit card, and pay the final amount only after the work is finished and you are happy with the quality of the repairs.
3. A lack of references. References are easy to check and can help you quickly identify if the company is legitimate and provides good service. Research the company online and check feedback on user-review sites such as Angie’s List or Yelp, or ask friends or business contacts if they have had any experience with the firm.
4. High-pressure tactics. Often, a “storm chaser” will arrive uninvited to your door peddling their services. If the contractor is using high-pressure sales tactics, it is best to turn them away politely and shut the door. Technicians should be courteous, thoroughly explain the scope of work and answer all questions. You should never feel pressure to accept their services.
5. Lack of training. Professional cleaning and restoration firms require management and employees to engage in formal training in a variety of cleaning and restoration disciplines, and these educational efforts will be ongoing. Inquire about the formal training and certifications of technicians who will be working in your home or business. Look for organizations that require their technicians to hold certifications from organizations like the IICRC to ensure the work is done correctly.
6. Inability to show credentials. Never hesitate to ask for proof. Ask to see the individual’s certification card, business license and insurance certificate. To verify a company, you can contact the IICRC which is a not-for-profit standards-setting and credentialing body for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industry. Call the IICRC at 1-844-464-4272 to confirm the certification of any company that has contacted you.
Immediately after a storm, a home or business owner should contact their insurance provider for a storm damage assessment by an adjuster. Insurance companies can often provide a list of credible restoration companies.
If you have any other questions or concerns please give SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge a call.
Air Quality after a Fire
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge can mitigate all types of fire damage in accordance with insurance standards.
After a fire the air quality in your home or business can be very difficult to mitigate. As I’m sure you are aware smoke travels everywhere and if your HVAC system is running it can spread to parts of your home or business that we’re not even affected by the actual file. SERVPRO of Baton Rouge can provide odor control in conjunction with the fire damage cleaning and restoration process. We can provide smoke damage cleaning as well as an O-Zone treatment and the placement of a Hydroxyl generator. Also we will have air scrubbers with carbon filters placed throughout your home or business to further clean the air that is already being deodorized utilizing other methods.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call us.
#fire damage cleaning
#cleaning smoke damage
South Baton Rouge's Best Sewer Water Cleanup Company
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is the areas leading sewer water cleanup company
If your home or business experiences water damage from a sewer backing up it may be the result of flooding, a clogged sewer pipe or even construction. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is a company understands the nature of contaminated sewer water and takes every precaution when mitigating the damage.
The most important thing to focus on is water removal, and while this may sound obvious, it can poorly executed if handled the wrong way.
After all of the sewer water has been removed we begin drying the structure out. Time is critical since your building is subject to secondary damage like mold or weaken structural materials.
Once the building is clear of any ongoing water damage and passes or daily monitoring checks when disinfect it. Disinfecting the salvageable structural materials if extremely important since sewer water contains any number of infectious diseases.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call.
SERVPRO of Baton Rouge: a Fire Damage Restoration Company that understands your needs
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge: fire damage cleanup, smoke and odor mitigation and reconstruction for your house or business
After your house of business has been trough a fire you need a company tha t you can trust. Of all the fire restoration companies in our community, SERVPRO of Baton Rouge is the leader in the industry.
Fire cleanup is a tough task and requires a lot of management and coordination. From the repair of a fire damage house or business to the cleaning of smoke damage we do it all.
Air quality if an issue that can easily be over looked. We make sure to clean your HVAC system including the duct work as well as apply ozone or Hydroxl throughout you house to break down the odor molecules.
Fire cleanup is no small task so make sure to call the SERVPRO of Baton Rouge.
Biohazard Cleanup Services
Bio hazard blood removal, chemical removal or any form of disinfection requires professional attention.
Bio hazard cleanup can mean many things. It can mean that your house or business has a bacterial or viral issue that needs disinfection. It can also mean that there may have been a death where bodily fluids like blood damaged the building and it needs professional bio-recovery treatment. It can also be a situation where chemicals from an accident require a level of cleanup that you are not comfortable with.
Whatever the type of job, you can trust SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge to respond with quickly. The risk of infection is a serious matter if you have immunocompromised family, friends or customers and employees inhabiting the facility.
Many times these types of bio hazard services are covered by your insurance company.
Please call us if you have any questions or concerns.
SERVPRO: "Like it never even happened."
Whether it’s fire damage or water damage SERVPRO South Baton Rouge has your best interest in mind. Our goal is to restore your home or business and our trained team of certified technicians can respond to any size loss, rain or shine. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge can respond to any size loss at your home or business 24/7. We pride ourselves on being at the cutting edge of technology and maintaining the gold standard when it comes to restoration work.
Please do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions or concerns. Our office would be happy to schedule an appointment with you and get you back to normal ASAP.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge, the best in the business!
Restoration work is problem-solving
The key to providing excellent restoration service is being an excellent problem solver. SERVPRO and South Baton Rouge leaves no stone unturned. When we are dispatched on a fire damage or water damage call at your home or business we take all of the critical steps to ensure that your claim and concurrently, the restoration work, is produced in a manner that satisfies industry standards.
This level of detail lends itself to being trained at scoping every aspect of a fire or water loss. When it comes to detail work, SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge understands that more data equals better results.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call our office. Let’s get you scheduled for an appointment at your earliest convenience.
Team work makes the dream work
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is part of a National Team designed to handle any size storm event. When a storm occurs and a region of our country is slammed with inclement weather our national support system kicks into action. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge can respond anywhere in the United States in conjunction with the large loss division at SERVPRO corporate.
We want you to get back to work immediately which is why SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge has a process. We spare no expense in mobilizing to your community. Whether your home or business is affected, is our goal to minimize the time you’re out of your home or interruption of your business operations.
Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns.
Business interruption means a loss of revenue
Business interruption means a loss of revenue, which is why SERVPRO up South Baton Rouge will respond to your fire or water loss anytime of the day 365 days of the year. We want to get you back doing what you do best, which is running your business. Our trained staff can work with your insurance company to quickly get funding approved so that the restoration work progresses smoothly and with as few hick ups as possible.
Your employees also suffer from not being operational. They have families that depend on their income for many of their needs. Making payroll is a crucial function of most businesses.
Once all is said and done if we can get you up and running sooner rather than later then we consider that a win.
Water goes everywhere
While you may not realize it, water goes everywhere. When you have experienced a busted pipe, AC leak, flood of it or any other type of water damage. The materials that make up your home or business will become saturated with water. It is SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge‘s job to remove this water. We are trained to create a moisture map that identifies everywhere that the water migrated. We use state of the art harness, and remove the water from the materials that make up your home or business. Throughout the process we will continuously monitor the moisture levels and develop a drying report that we share with your insurance company to support our results.
If you have any questions or concerns please call our office.
Timing is Everything when it comes to Water Damage
When it comes to water damage timing is everything. To adequately dry your home or business usually requires a game plan laid out in the beginning. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge understands this and strives to set reasonable expectations, with both you, the property owner, as well as your insurance company.
Typically, for most standard water losses, we lay out scope of action that will get your property dry within 3 to 5 days. This is a realistic expectation and quite doable if the surprises are kept to a minimum.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge what's you to be on the same page with us every step of the way.
Call us today if you have any questions or concerns. If you need us to come by your home or business please make sure to schedule an appointment.
Frozen Pipes Can Equal BIG bucks!
Frozen pipes can cause big bucks
South Louisiana is about to experience the colder temps of the year! When cold temperatures happen that can cause pipes to freeze. Frozen Pipes can result in costly repairs to you as a home or business owner. The good news is there are ways to prevent pipes from freezing. Here are some tips for this winter. Frozen pipes are a problem by themselves because they prevent water flow, but even worse, frozen pipes can eventually burst, causing damage and potential flooding. There are ways to protect your pipes from freezing. These include:
- Keeping your house warm - If you are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on at your property. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions. The heat doesn’t have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were home but keeping it set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit at all times is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
- Opening faucets - When temps hit the freezing level it is a good idea to allow faucets to drip. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the pipe. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. With the faucet open you avoid blockage in the pipes.
- Insulation is key - Pipes can be fitted with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves to help decrease the chances of freezing. This can be an easy solution for pipes that are exposed but can get expensive if walls, floors or ceilings have to be opened in order to properly insulate the pipe. Additional insulation can also be added to walls and ceilings to keep the pipes warm.
Great flooding statistics to keep in mind
Flooded business in Baton Rouge Louisiana
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA). "Approximately 75% of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding." NOAA lists that the most common flood hazards in the United States are:
- Flash Flooding
- River Flooding
- Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
- Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
- Ice/Debris Jams
- Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
- Dam Breaks/Levee Failure
Unfortunately, even people who do not live in areas that are prone to flooding may become flood victims at some point. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the US, and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).
Here in Baton Rouge, LA, flooding events are unfortunately common, especially during this time of year. The combination of tropical systems, clay heavy soil (slow to absorb water), and a tendency for severe storms (high amount of rainfall in a small-time frame) provides the perfect recipe for flash floods. Flood insurance is a must for most people throughout our metroplex, particularly those that are close to any creeks or rivers. Follow these flood safety tips to keep you and your family safe during a flooding event.
When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge professionals can help! We can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get your home or business back to normal as soon as possible.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge professionals are ready to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Protect you business from fires
Popular Baton Rouge restaurant
Most south Louisiana businesses spend a lot of money and time towards many safety topics to help protect the work place. You can preach electrical fire safety at your place of business in Baton Rouge, LA. And practice all you want, but accidents do happen. When an electrical fire first ignites it can start small enough that you can extinguish with a blanket and maybe a fire extinguisher. Be prepared and quick to determine if the fire you are dealing with is able to be put out quickly without risk of injury or damage. Remember that the safety of everyone in the business or dwelling always comes first. If the fire is spreading quickly it can produces dangerous amounts of smoke. Smoke damage can be just as harmful as the fire itself. It can cause deaths, as well as, damage to the business. Smoke inhalation kills more people in home fires than the actual fires do, in most cases. Fire fighters say that if you can not extinguish a fire with in five seconds, call 911 and get out of the work place immediately. Be sure to have an updated evacuation place in place for all employees to follow. After the fire is put out and everyone is accounted for and safe, you can always count on your friendly neighborhood experts at SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge to help you put your life back together.
Emergency Ready Profile for your business
Baton Rouge business post water loss
As many as 50% of Baton Rouge, LA businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
Being prepared for sewer backup in your business
Post sewer backup
When your business in Baton Rouge, LA, experiences damage from a flooded toilet or sewer backup, the sewer cleanup process is a little more intricate than just wiping everything down with disinfectant towelettes. You need to make sure everyone is safe and then call in the SERVPRO professionals. Restoration specialists can dry the area, clean it, and test it to ensure that all harmful microbes and bacteria are gone. Here is what you can expect from this process.
1. Identifying and Repairing Source of Problem
The first thing technicians will probably do is stop any ongoing issues so that the mess does not get larger. Once the flooded toilet has been unclogged or the lines cleared, sewer cleanup can begin.
2. Removing Water and Sewage
The bulk of the water must be removed before anything can be cleaned. Professionals use the proper equipment to remove the water and dispose of it properly.
3. Identifying Salvageable vs. Contaminated Items
After most of the contaminated water is gone, individual items are evaluated. Some may be able to be cleaned and saved, but others will have to be bagged and thrown away. Before discarding any items, make sure you take photos to prove the loss to the insurance adjuster who decides how much your policy covers.
4. Drying and Cleaning
Next, the technicians will finish drying the building with water extraction equipment. They may have to remove parts of the wall or any insulation that was affected by the contaminated water and replace it with clean drywall. Anything that remains must be disinfected with chemicals that have been specially formulated to combat the contaminants in the sewage.
The final step is vital for making sure that the effort from previous steps was effective. Technicians test for contaminants and hopefully declare your building safe.
Once everything has been cleaned and tested, items can be moved back into place. The completion of the sewer cleanup process means you are back in business.
Protect your home from electrical fires
Home electrical fire
Electrical fires cause millions of dollars in damages, while also claiming lives in the process. There are so many possible causes for these types of fires. One of these causes can be faulty wiring through out the house, and overloading connection for more than they were designed for. Improper use of extension cords and power strips can cause a situation. Even something as simple as small animals chewing through wiring in the wall can cause a fire.
You can prevent electrical fires in your Baton Rouge, LA home by following a few safety tips. When purchasing a used heating appliance, make sure the temperature switch will shut down the equipment if the thermostat fails. When doing duct work, make sure you use a licensed professional. Anywhere there is an electric current, there is a chance of a fire. By the time you see or smell smoke, the electrical fire may already be out of control. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge wants you to stay safe and take action immediately to repair and replace faulty wiring in your home to reduce the risk of an unwarranted situation. Know the signs before the fire even starts.
The most common causes of home fires
Home fire in Baton Rouge La
Fires contribute to millions of dollars’ worth of property damage each year in South Louisiana. Knowing the most common causes of household fires can help your family better prevent these types of damages in your home. According to the NFPA, the leading causes of fires in homes from 2010-2014 were:
- Cooking Equipment - 46% of all fires
- Heating Equipment - 16%
- Electrical Equipment - 9%
- Intentional - 8%
- Smoking Materials - 5%
Almost half of all home fires result from cooking. While that number is concerning, many cooking fires can be prevented through general awareness and by following proper procedures. This is particularly important with the holidays coming up. Here are some tips to help you prevent a fire damage from occurring in your kitchen:
- Never leave your cooking food unattended, especially if you are broiling, frying, or grilling. Use a timer to remind you when you are using a stove or an oven.
- Avoid leaving anything flammable – such as oven mitts, plastic bags, paper towels, or pot holders - close to your stove or oven. You should also not cook when you are wearing loose clothing.
- Install a fire alarm close to your kitchen, and be sure to test it each month.
- Avoid a flammable grease buildup by cleaning regularly, particularly in the oven and on the stove.
- Turn off all cooking appliances when you are not using them, and double check the kitchen prior to going to bed to make sure everything is off.
- To be prepared for any cooking related fires, buy a Class K fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.
Call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge for additional information.
Stop the spread of mold
Mold found in a Baton Rouge home
Finding mold growth in your Baton Rouge, LA, home can be an unpleasant surprise. Whether a leaking pipe or water line caused mold to grow or your home recently suffered flooding that allowed fungi to thrive, you now face the challenge of eradicating it. However, to prevent the spread of mold contamination, there are a few steps you can take before a qualified fungus removal and restoration service comes in to treat your home.
1. Avoid Touching the Mold
If you find patches of mold in your home, it is wise to avoid touching them. This can release fungi spores into the air and allow them to settle elsewhere, where they may colonize and grow anew. They may also travel to other parts of your home on your clothing once they break away from their food source, so you may want to close off the room or rooms where mold contamination is present until help arrives.
2. Turn Off Your Air Conditioner
Once you discover you have a mold problem, you may want to shut off your air conditioner. While your HVAC system can be helpful in lowering humidity levels in your home to prevent mold growth, it typically has no effect on growths already present. Turing off your air conditioner can help slow the spread of spores, which travel easily through vents and air ducts.
3. Leave Moldy Items Where They Are
If any clothing, books or furniture in your home have been affected by mold, it is wise to leave them as they are until remediation and restoration technicians arrive. These SERVPRO professionals can advise you on what can be salvaged and give you tips for how to preserve your belongings until they can be treated and cleaned properly.
Preventing mold contamination in your Baton Rouge, LA, home once you discover an infestation can be challenging. However, when you know which steps to take to reduce the spreading of fungi spores, it may be simpler for cleanup technicians to treat and destroy existing mold.
Mold facts 101
Moldy bathroom floor in Baton Rouge
Mold is the name given to over 100,000 filament filled fungi commonly found on organic materials. Fungus spoils food, clears rotting forests, and adds life to the soil in Baton Rouge, LA. Ranging in a variety of colors, including black mold, the colonies all look for food and moisture to survive; however, if moisture is unavailable, the spores can dry out and go into a survival mode that allows them to live until an available source of water appears. Then the spores begin to act like seeds as they are blown around to find a food source and create a new colony. That is why hundreds of spores are found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.
As one of the earth’s most important outdoor recyclers, the fungi are constantly looking for more food and water as they send out thousands of spores. Because the spores are always on the move, some colonies of mold occasionally find their way indoors. Normally, mold won’t find a home indoors unless the building has a moisture problem or a high level of humidity. Dark colors of green and black mold` are especially fond of damp bathroom and basement walls.
Preventing mold growth is a matter of controlling moisture and condensation indoors. Although this sounds like an easy step, keeping areas dry that are susceptible to high humidity levels can be extremely difficult. Poorly insulated windows or cold-water pipes can be a problem, as can crawl spaces and damp basements. Since warm air contains more moisture than cold air, warm humid conditions can be an open invitation to fungi growth.
If extensive mold colonies are in your building, you may want to contact a professional mold remediation and evaluation team to remove the growth. By addressing the mold cleanup, removing the moisture, and rectifying ventilation issues, the team can provide an area free from microbial fungi and black mold. Most types of fungus have a voracious appetite and can quickly continue to spread if left unchecked.
Preparing for wind storms
Wind damaged home
If you live in a place prone to windstorms or you know one is coming, then pay close attention to what it takes to prepare. If you currently have a damaged roof or any sign of a roof leak, then your home may not be sound enough to withstand a windstorm. You need to take proper precautions. This may mean repairing any weak areas or covering them so they do not get worse. Here is a list of what you should look out for:
• Broken skylights
• Cracked windows
• Damaged siding
• Missing shingles
A windstorm may cause a variety of problems to your business. On one hand, it may blow off shingles, throw debris at your home or lead to damaged siding. You need to be prepared for just about anything. Not only can the wind cause damage, but the debris the wind brings with it can also. Hard objects can knock shingles off, and large trees may break through your roofing entirely. All of this can lead to a roof leak and further damage.
Once the wind has done its damage, it’s time to pick up the pieces. For any damage done to the roof, tarps can be used to cover gaps created by the missing shingles. These tarps will help keep rain from entering your business while you work on restoration. You want to make sure that you do not have any further water damage. Additionally, you can use plywood to cover the holes on the roof. While repairing the building is one thing, you also want to make sure no other issues arise.
A windstorm can cause costly, extensive damage to your Baton Rouge, LA, business. The best course of action is to reduce the risk wind can cause. Whether you have a roof leak or something more dangerous, don’t let any problems sit until they get worse. In some cases, a professional service may be helpful.
Identifying hail damage
Hail damaged roof
There is no question hail can cause a lot of damage. While some people pay closer attention to their cars or other personal items, others remember how important it is to inspect roofs for further damage. Consider how costly any kind of damage to your roof or ceiling can be. Your business deserves a thorough check by a professional service after a hailstorm.
1. Asphalt Roof Damage
With an asphalt roof, you may find the shingles look shiny after a hailstorm. This is due to hail damage. The roof damage itself will often present as random denting. You may feel the dent is too soft to the touch or you may see a loss of granules. Additionally, the felt may be exposed.
2. Wooden Roofs
Generally, the impacts of hail damage look randomized. You will not usually find a pattern, and you may see split or cracked shingles. When it comes to shingles, they are often an orange or brown color when split. There will often be impact and dent marks over the wood. While roofs can be damaged through other types of weather, it is relatively easy to discern hail damage. Serious splits will have sharp corners and edges rather than the regular wear and tear of a shingle that was damaged over time.
3. Flood Water
Roof damage, especially during rainy seasons will often lead to water damage. Water can seep through the roof and into the attic. If you find wet insulation or mold growth in the attic itself, then you may have a compromised roof. Although it is easier to miss water damage in the attic, you should always check after a large storm.
After hail has caused damage to your South Louisiana business or home, it is important to have it taken care of quickly. This type of damage can only get worse over time. In order to work through mitigation quickly, a restoration company can assess and work through the process with you.
At SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge, we want to make certain you and your family are prepared before the next storm strikes. We urge you to review the following preparedness tips to help safeguard your loved ones in the event of a hurricane:
Design a Family Plan Devise an evacuation plan with your family and chose a designated meeting place in case of separation. It is also worthwhile to conduct practice drills to make certain all family members are familiar with the plan. Create an Emergency Supply Kit This kit should include the following: first aid items, blankets, flashlights, cash, fresh water, nonperishable food items, candles, matches, necessary medication, a radio with batteries, personal hygiene products, baby formula and diapers (if needed), and all important documents should be placed in waterproof document storage bags. Prepare Your Home In anticipation of a hurricane, it is a good idea to prepare the outside of your home from damage caused by wind and debris. Boarding up windows and other glass portions of the home is a good way to prevent breakage. It is important to know that taping windows does not prevent them from breaking. Also, remember to check around your home for hanging tree limbs and shrubs that need to be trimmed. Fill Your Gas Tank It is always a good idea to make sure your car's gas tank is full, just in case an emergency evacuation is ordered. Often times, towns that are in an emergency situation can "shut down," leaving gas stations inoperable. During or after any storm, you can count on SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge to be prepared no matter what the weather brings. Our highly trained staff and state-of-the-art equipment is ready 24/7/365 to help clean-up and restore damaged property, "Like it never even happened."®
Looking for mold in the RIGHT places
Smith Mold Project
A major water loss can be an extremely anxious time. It can take months to get your home or business back to a sense of normalcy. But being over anxious to get back in your home can cause you to miss some major problems that can extend your project drastically.
As seen in the photo, this home suffered a water loss in 2017. Most brick homes, as well as this one, has a moister barrier in the form of black felt paper. This protects the home from moister (condensation) from entering the house. But the same material that protects our homes can also be a devastating dwelling for dangerous mold to thrive in. This home was 100% repaired only to start having mold start showing up on the new walls. This home had to be completely redone.
Make sure your home is properly inspected to ensure this does not happen to you.
Pet Safety Awareness in your Home
"Fire by Feline"
To all of our Feline lovers and their families...Our little furry babies can be so enjoyable and loving. But we urge you be beware of their apatite for electrical cords at times as our customers, Derek and Anya Hudnall, can attest to. Their furry feline chewed the charger cord for a laptop which caused a kitchen fire. Luckily, the fire was extinguished quickly with prompt notification from their properly maintained smoke detectors.Tip For The Day...Regularly inspect your home for damaged cords. If any damage is present, replace immediately! And always remember, SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is always here to wander your call pertaining to any issue you may have. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. "Like it never even happened."
Facts about Mold: What is required for mold growth?
Mold can pose serious health risks
Mold requires three things to grow:
- Organic food source. (Includes most building materials such as wood, drywall, insulation, etc.)
- Water source. (e.g. flooding, leaks, condensation, etc.)
- High relative humidity (Above 60% is ripe for mold growth. Keep below 50% to be safe.).
Since organic food can be found just about anywhere, the easiest and most effective way to control mold growth is by eliminating any unwanted water sources.
Mold growth can occur in as little as 24-48 hours under the right conditions.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge for all of your restoration needs. We are an emergency service company and a licensed mold remediation company that will work closely with you and your insurance company.
Proper Mitigation After Water Heater Damage
Broken water heaters lead to money spent on resolving the issue, but neglecting to resolve all issues stemming from a leaking water heater can quickly become costly. Left unsolved, water issues can evolve into appliance repairs, wall and flooring replacement and more. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars extra for your failed water heater.
1. Drying as Top Priority
If you are facing a broken water heater in Baton Rouge, LA your priority should be to clear out the water, then dry the affected areas. Clearing a mess from a damaged water heater can be made easier by using drain pipes and renting vacuum cleaners specially designed for water removal. You may also wish to consider renting an industrial fan to speed air flow through the affected space.
2. Cleaning Is Crucial
Water coming from a leaking water heater is usually classified by insurance specialists as Category 2 water; this kind of water is not terribly dangerous, but it can still cause health issues if the area is not cleaned. Be sure to sanitize the affected areas thoroughly to ensure that mold and other undesirables are not allowed to infect your home.
3. Calling a Professional
Finally, calling a reputable water removal professional can ease your mind and mitigate any lingering concerns. These professionals have the expertise to examine everywhere the leaked water could have affected – including underneath flooring and inside walls. So much potential damage from water issues occurs in invisible places, so it’s important to have a water removal specialist on-site.
If you’re dealing with a leaking water heater, just remember three simple steps: Dry it, clean it, and call a professional. By taking quick action to remediate water issues, you can resolve the problem without breaking the bank.
If you have a water damage from a broken water heater call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge today at 225-761-9500.
Proper Maintenance Helps Prevent HVAC Water Damages
After a bitter cold January in Baton Rouge, we just experienced the warmest February on record. The warmer temperatures mean that your A/C system is working overtime.
Proper maintenance not only helps your unit run more efficiently, it also helps prevent A/C pan overflows. When working at peak efficiency, an air conditioner can collect 10 to 20 gallons of water daily. The water is suppose to drain off of the condensation coil into a collection pan and then is disposed of automatically into the sewer system. But, if the drain becomes clogged, and the unit produces more water than it can easily handle, the overflow of water can lead to damaged ceiling, walls, and floors.
Now is the time to call your HVAC company of choice to make sure that your A/C is reading for the hot summer. If you experience any water damage, we want you to make SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge Parish your mitigation company of choice. No job is too small or too big, call us today at 225-761-9500.
Emergency Water Damage Tips for the Insured
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge would like to share some tips of what you can do if you experience a water damage.
Shut off the water source if possible
Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.
Hang furs and leather good separately at room temperature
Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting.
Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water.
Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Do not leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpeting.
Please call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge at 225-761-9500 for all your water damage mitigation needs.
Emergency Fire Damage Tips for the Insured
What To Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor
If you experience fire damage to your home, call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge today at 225-761-9500.
Our new 20' trailer
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is proud to showcase our new 20' trailer. This versatile trailer will be used on large commercial jobs, as well as when we travel for storm events, around the country. This trailer will allow us to have an on-site command center. The command center, will house our drying equipment, supplies, and SERVPRO cleaning chemicals. We would like to thank in Brand Imaging Group for creating the graphics, and Geaux Signs in Gonzales, Louisiana for the installing the graphics on the trailer.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is ready for any sized disaster. From a toilet overflow, affecting one room, to a pipe break at a large commercial facility, we are ready and have the expertise to properly mitigate your water, fire, or mold damage. Call us today at 225-761-9500.
The SERVPRO difference
We hope that you never need our services, but in case of fire, water, or mold damage to your home or business, we hope that you would choose us.
Our technicians are highly trained in handling water, fire and mold. All SERVPRO employees are required to pass rigorous training, and are also required to pass a background check. You can be sure that knowledgeable and trustworthy technicians will respond to you loss, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SERVPRO promises to be on-site within 4 hours of notification of your loss. We will brief your adjuster, or other point of contact on the scope of your loss within 8 hours of being on-site. It's not about only being fast to your disaster, it's about having the knowledge to know how to properly handle your loss, so that no secondary damage occurs.
For more information about our services please visit, http://www.SERVPROsouthbatonrouge.com/
Freezing temperatures lead to frozen pipes
We are in the middle of a week long stretch of days where the lows will be in the 20's. Unless adequate preparation was made to prevent your pipes from freezing, you may have had a pipe burst, or will in the next couple of days. The damage a pipe burst can cause can be a few to several thousand dollars. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is highly experienced handling this kind of water damage. We serviced our neighbors when we experienced freezing temperatures in 2014, and we have traveled to Texas and assisted there, when they had a freezing temperatures.
If your pipes burst you need to a professional to make sure all salvageable building materials dry to goal before you re-install any drywall or insulation. If the proper steps are not taken this could cause thousands of dollars in secondary damage. Our staff is highly trained, and will make this traumatic event like it never happen. Call us today at 225-761-9500.
SERVPRO Girlfriends' Spa Day Giveaway
Susan Boudreaux, winner of SERVPRO's Spa Day Contest.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge would like to congratulate Susan Boudreaux on winning the SERVPRO's Girlfriend's Spa Day Giveaway. Susan won a manicure and pedicure for two at Zaza's Nail Boutique, as well as a gift card for lunch or dinner at Bistro Byronz. Congratulations again to Susan Boudreaux, and we hope you and your friend had a great relaxing day and an awesome meal.
If you would like an opportunity to win future contests we plan on having in 2018, please like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SERVPRO10255/
On our Facebook page you will be able to find posts about do-it-yourself projects, trending news, and helpful insights about what to do and expect if you should have a water, fire, or mold damage to your property. Also, if you are on a mobile device you can call us directly from our Facebook page by clicking on call now button.
OLOL Children's Hospital Mediathon
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge co-owner, Wilbur McDaniel at the OLOL Mediathon.
On November 17, 2017 SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge sponsored an hour, and matched some funds during Our Lady of the Lake Hospital Mediathon. Wilbur McDaniel, co-owner at SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge spoke about what Our Lake of the Lake Children's Hospital means to him and his family. He has a daughter that has special needs, and having a stand-alone hospital to serve her will help the McDaniel family tremendously. During the two-day mediathon $185,000 was raised. The hospital plans to open in 2019, however they are still 7 million short of their 50 million dollar goal.
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is honored to have played a part in making the stand-alone, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital a reality. If you would like to donate or to learn more about the project please visit: https://www.ololchildrens.org/letsbuildamazing