How to Prevent Crawl Space Mold
How to Prevent Crawl Space Mold
Crawl spaces are prone to mold growth due to the high levels of moisture and humidity in these areas. Some of the most common causes of increased levels of humidity in the crawl space include water leaks, damaged insulation, and inadequate ventilation. To get rid of a mold problem in the crawl space, you have to control the moisture and humidity levels. Here are some tips to help you do so:
- Check for water leaks in the foundation walls and crawl space ceiling — make sure there are no cracks that allow water to leak inside the crawl space. While checking for cracks, be sure to also inspect the HVAC ducts and plumbing components for leaks.
- Ensure that the gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation. Water that flows toward your house could enter your crawl space and basement.
- Make sure your crawl space is properly ventilated — for every 150 square feet of crawl space area, there should be 1 square foot of ventilation. However, consult a professional to determine if you should keep the crawl space vents closed and, if so, find other ways to control the humidity in the crawl space.
- Use plastic sheeting covers to insulate/encapsulate the crawl space floor and foundation walls. Vapor barriers like plastic sheeting covers trap the moisture that is evaporating from the soil and walls.
- If your crawl space is already insulated, inspect the insulation once or twice a year. Make sure the insulation is not missing or sagging, which indicates that there could be a water problem.
- Make sure dryer vents always discharge to the outside and not into the crawl space, attic or other area of the house. If they don’t, this can lead to a major increase in humidity.
Follow the above tips and the relative humidity in your crawl space should reach the desired level of 30 to 50 percent. Mold will easily grow if the humidity is above 70 percent. For Mold Remediation and Water Damage repair, contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties. 502-904-0710
Close Door to Prevent Fire Deaths
Close Your Door to Prevent Fire Deaths
One simple action, closing your bedroom door, could save your life.
Tests by UL’s Firefighter Safety Research Institute found that in the event of a fire rooms with an open door showed temperatures over 1,000°F, while a room with a closed door had temperatures at only 100°F. Research also showed that a closed door kept room conditions survivable longer than an open door.
“If you can get out of a burning structure, get out,” explains Steve Kerber, FSRI’s Research Director. “If you can’t, put a closed door between you and the fire to buy yourself valuable time.”
UL states that four decades ago, victims had an average of 17 minutes to escape a burning home after the activation of a smoke alarm. Today, that time has dropped to 3 minutes or less. Homes incorporating more open layouts and lightweight construction materials, and new materials in furnishings, allow fires to spread much quicker.
A closed door gives a layer of protection between you and a fire, which is especially important at night when the household is sleeping. A closed door also helps limit oxygen flow, which may help prevent a fire from growing. When escaping a burning structure, closing the door behind you can help limit property damage.
A reminder from Prevention 1st: In addition to closing your door, make sure you also install and test smoke alarms. Having a working smoke alarm cuts your risk of dying in a fire in half.
Wood Floor is Flooded?
What Should Homeowners Consider After a Wood Floor is Flooded?
In the event of a flooded hardwood floor, you should immediately drain the excess water, assess and document the damages, clear the flooded area, clean the dirt and dry the floor using air blowing equipment and dehumidifiers. At the end of this process, if the floor shows signs of cupping and crowning, consult SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties to help you get the floor back in shape.
Successful restoration of flooded hardwood depends on factors such as response time, type of wood, amount of moisture and the degree of water damage already present. In any case, consider hiring a professional disaster restoration company that can adapt to the situation and provide specialized equipment for efficient drying. While waiting for the SERVPRO technicians to arrive at your home, here’s what you can do:
- Stop the flow of water if the flooding occurred due to a burst pipe, washing machine failure or water heater failure.
- Turn off the power to the affected room until the water has been removed.
- Assess the damages before you begin the restoration in order to determine whether to clean up or replace the floor. Take photos, list damaged items and show them to your insurance company.
- Remove any items (carpet, furniture, etc.) from the floor and take them to a dry area. Wear protective gear such as gloves, rubber boots and a mask.
- Open windows and doors and to allow moisture to evaporate more quickly.
- Start removing the excess water with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner or with mops and old cloth. If the water level is deep, use a pump to drain the water. Ask someone to help, since the longer the water stays on the floor, the higher the chances are for mold to grow and the bigger the damages will be.
- Use dehumidifiers, heaters and fans to speed up the drying process. Place them on top of an elevated surface in the flooded area and close the windows. Direct the fans towards the floor’s surface.
- Clean any debris and mud from the floor with non-abrasive brush and detergent while the heaters, fans and dehumidifiers are running. Rinse the floor with clean water and continue to dry the floor.
In conclusion, when dealing with a flooded hardwood floor, act quickly and contact a professional flood remediation company such as SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties 502-904-0710.
Professional Content Cleaning
Professional Content Cleaning After A Disaster
Water and fire disasters come in many different experiences and there is nothing more devastating to a homeowner in Bardstown than to see their home damaged. Anger, fear, disbelief, and shock are just a few of the emotions that you and your family will go through after a disaster. More often than not, these disasters can cause severe damage to your property and personal belongings. That is where professional content and restoration companies come into play.
What is content cleaning?
Content cleaning is the detailed cleaning, drying, sanitizing, deodorization, and resurfacing of most household items that have been affected by a disaster. The content cleaning process helps to return your personal items back to their original condition. Content cleaning can help salvage family mementos, valuable art items such as painting, jewelry, and treasured pictures.
After any disaster, it is important to secure your property to minimize any further damage. Inspect personal property only if it is safe to do so. Take inventory so you can determine what can be saved and what must be replaced. This process can be overwhelming and it would be more than beneficial to contact a professional content cleaning company to do this for you. The professionals have an eye for what can be restored to pre-damaged condition. There may be more of your belongings that can be salvaged than you expect.
There may be some situations that require that your personal belongings be removed and relocated for immediate and thorough cleaning, restoration, and decontamination. If your home has suffered from extensive water or fire damage it is often easier, safer, and more cost-efficient to have your belongings taken to a secure facility to start the cleaning and restoration process.
Most content cleaning companies will provide what is called a pack-out service. This is where they will inventory and record your belongings, safely package and transport your belongings to their secure facility where the cleaning and restoration process will take place. Reputable companies will require meticulous documentation of your belongings to ensure that nothing is misplaced. In some cases, if your belongings cannot be returned home immediately after the cleaning and restoration process, the professionals will safely package and store your belongings in their facility until they can be delivered to your home.
- Artwork and Antiques
- Documents and Books
- VHS and DVD media
Here are just a few of the ways that professionals clean salvageable items.
Methods of content cleaning.
- Dry cleaning is used for removing light to medium non-grease soils, or per-treating to remove excess soil before wet or immersion cleaning.
- Wet cleaning, an aggressive method of removing medium to heavy soiling on items that can be cleaned with chemicals.
- Spray and wipe, a method used when items may be damaged by chemical cleaning products.
- Abrasive cleaning consists of agitation of the surfaces before being cleaned.
- Immersion cleaning, effective for items that can be submerged in the cleaning chemicals.
For immediate help after a water damage disaster, contact a certified and insured restoration company like SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties. 502-904-0710.
Your Home's Weak Point From Rain
Your Home's Weak Points From Rain
Now that summer is in full effect, we’re seeing more and more flood losses due to heavy rains. And while these flood damages can look very different, there are some common areas of the home that are more prone to attack from rain water when the clouds break. So let’s look at some of those areas of weakness, discuss what happens to cause problems, and what you can do to prevent (well, at least help reduce the risk of flooding happening…there is no surefire step(s) to take that will ensure your home is impervious to heavy rains).
Where does rain water attack a home?
Any section of your home can become a victim of rain water intrusion, but the reality is there are certain sections that are much more prone to attack than others.
Let’s discuss the most obvious entry point first: the system that takes the biggest beating when heavy rains come down. Your roofing system protects you from the elements and is designed to shed water away from your house (in concert with your gutter system). But even the smallest problem with your roof can cause big problems when a heavy rain occurs. Just one damaged or missing shingle can allow hundreds of gallons of rain into your attic and walls should a sustained period of rain hit your area.
We've written about it before, but it’s extremely important that you inspect your roof at the end of winter and before the spring rains hit so that you can identify and fix any problem areas before they’re asked to stand up to the pressures of spring rains. Assuming you can safely do so, replacing a damaged shingle is not that difficult and can end up saving you a ton of money should it prevent a flooding situation.
How long ago were your windows installed? A lot of times the window unit itself can stand up to the constant attack of rain, but the sealant used to install the window can erode over time. It’s always a good idea to check your windows’ seals pre-Spring to make sure they aren’t cracked or beginning to peel away from the home.
Main plumbing drain
This is the most overlooked problem, and sadly one of the more common types of flooding damages we see in a home. Basically what can happen is when it rains a lot (if your city is serviced by what is known as a combined sewer system), the main pipe in the street can become overloaded with rain water. As an escape from the flooded pipe, the water goes wherever it can. The easiest place for it to go is any pipes that tie into the line it’s in. That’s your home’s main drain pipe. So the water shoots back up your pipe and into your home, bringing with it raw sewage and a host of dangerous pathogens.
The most effective way to prevent such a scenario from taking place is having a licensed plumber come to your home to install a backflow valve. These are installed as the first fitting outside your home (where the pipe exiting your home ties into the pipe running below your lawn is) and are designed to detect when water is coming backup the pipe and release a valve that will then act as a barrier to stop the water from entering your home. While it isn’t foolproof, it can greatly diminish the threat of a backup issue when heavy rains come.
Basement walls and floors
You see this type of flooding damage most often when an area is hit with sustained rain storms over the course of multiple days, or when back to back storms batter an area. What happens is the water table (meaning the water that has seeped into the ground in the area around the home) becomes fully saturated. The pressure of this water on the concrete walls and floors of the basement become too much, and the water begins to seep into the basement through these barriers. Yes, concrete is porous and as such will allow water to pass through it!
How can you protect your basement against this type of attack? There are a couple of options. One is to install interior drainage tiles that will collect this groundwater and transport it through corrugated piping and release it a safe distance from the home. The other method is to have a sump pump installed in the lowest area of your basement. The catch basin will collect any intruding water and the pump itself will pump the water away from the home. If you have a nice finished basement and live in an area prone to flooding, we strongly suggest you have a basement water proofer come out and perform an assessment to discuss the best methods for waterproofing your finished basement in the event of rain storms.
Do you have flood damages from recent rains?
If so, we would be grateful for the opportunity to survey the damages and offer our recommendations for how to most cost-effectively repair them. Call SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties today and we’ll send out the closest on-call crew to fully assess the damages and provide you with an estimate. And best of all, we use industry-standard pricing and back all of our flood damage cleanup services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee! Just give SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties a call and we’ll be on our way! 502-904-0710
Choosing a Sump Pump That Lasts
Choosing a Sump Pump that Lasts - FAQ
A sump pump is one of your home’s best defenses against flooding. These devices pump out water that has accumulated in the sump basin, which is commonly found in basements, saving you thousands of dollars in flood damage. When choosing a sump pump for your home or property, keep in mind the following information:
1. What types of sump pumps are there and what are their Pros and Cons?
There are two primary types of sump pumps: Submersible and Column (Pedestal). Submersible sump pumps require a larger sump pit and, because they are below water, the motor will be cooled off faster and the noise level is reduced when the pump is operating. Pedestal sump pumps are useful when the sump pit is narrow or shallow. They typically last longer because the motor is mounted above the sump. In addition, they consume less power. The only trade-off is that it pumps less water during a flood.
2. What type of float switch do I need?
You have three main options: tethered, vertical and electronic float switches. A tethered switch is good for deeper sump pits with a large diameter. This switch extends the period of time between pump cycles, allowing the motor to cool off more efficiently. Vertical switches are better for narrow and shallow sump pits and will kick off the pump more often. Electronic switches are more compact and require a small sump pit. However, don’t use an electronic switch if the pump receives water from a wash sink or your laundry machine, to prevent soap scum from making contact with the switch.
3. How much horsepower should my sump pump have?
More horsepower means that the water is pumped faster, but it also means more power consumption. If you have frequent water problems and your sump pit fills rapidly, choose a sump pump with more horsepower. Also, consider increasing the size of your sump pit to prevent the pump from running too frequently.
4. What material should my sump pump be made of: cast iron or thermoplastic?
Cast iron sump pumps are generally stronger than thermoplastic, but both are designed for long life. Besides the stronger material, the advantage of cast iron pumps is that they distribute heat from the motor better, maximizing the cooling ability of the sump pump. Plastic sump pumps, on the other hand, are less expensive.
5. Do I need a check valve?
A check valve is a good addition to your sump pump system. It prevents water in the discharge pipe to fall back into the sump pit, which would be re-pumped if weren’t for the check valve. Consider purchasing a check valve to save on electricity and prolong the life of your sump pump.
6. Do I need a battery-operated backup pump?
In addition to your main sump pump, you can install a backup pump that uses batteries to make sure water is pumped out during a power outage or when the main pump malfunctions. If you live in a flood prone area, a backup pump adds extra flooding protection to your basement or crawl space.
In order to ensure your sump pump works properly throughout the year, test and maintain it periodically. For professional fire, water, and mold restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties 502-903-0710.
4th of July Fire Safety Tips
Fourth of July BBQ and Fireworks Safety Tips
June 21st officially kicked off the beginning of summer. With summer already in full swing and many areas throughout the US being in extreme drought conditions and too dry, extra fire safety precautions for this Fourth of July weekend are a MUST! SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties offers these Fire Safety Tips.
• Never use gasoline to start BBQ grills
• Never dump hot coals in dumpsters
• If you are camping, be sure to check the regulations on fires. Many areas may be closed to all fires (including charcoal grills) due to extreme dry conditions
• Never leave a fire unattended and always be sure it is dead out when you leave
• When boating, always wear a Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device, and always have children closely supervised anytime they are around water
• If you want to include fireworks in your holiday celebration, check where professional displays will be held. Attending a professional fireworks display is the only legal way to celebrate the 4th of July,
Another great resource for Fireworks safety is The National Council on Fireworks Safety. Their article, "Be Fireworks Smart Before, During and After Your Consumer Fireworks Display" also offers helpful safety tips for firework safety. Remember to check your city or town's laws regarding fire safety and see if they have any rules regarding BBQ’s, cookouts and fireworks during this Fourth of July!
As always, Contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties for all your Mitigation needs. 502-904-0710
How to Avoid Fires in Bedrooms
Did you know that half of all home fire deaths occur in bedrooms? That’s also where most electrical fires start too. However, you can easily prevent bedroom fires by following these essential safety tips:
- Don’t run electric cords under the bed or carpeting. Don’t trap cords against a wall where heat can build up. Keep cords untangled to allow heat to dissipate. Never overload an extension cord.
- Always supervise space heaters. Turn them off when leaving the bedroom or going to sleep.
- Install arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) to prevent fires in electrical switches. They shut off the circuit when an unintentional discharge of electricity occurs in the circuit.
- Install tamper resistant receptacles (TRRs) in all rooms if you have children. These devices prevent them from inserting foreign objects like hairpins into the outlet.
- Never put devices that are charging under bedding. Leaving a laptop on the bed can also cause a fire.
- Only use laboratory-approved electric blankets and warmers. Don’t fold them as it may damage the wiring. Never sleep with an electric blanket turned on and regularly check it for overheating.
- Keep flammable objects at least three feet away from heat sources, such as space heaters, candles, and electronics.
- Keep lit candles away from combustible objects like bedding, curtains, and paper. Consider replacing burning candles with battery-operated flameless candles.
- Use only mattresses that meet the 2007 Federal Mattress Standards.
- Don’t smoke in bed — you might fall asleep with a lit cigarette in your hand and it could catch fire. Use fire-safe cigarettes as they extinguish more quickly.
- Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom. Test Smoke Alarms monthly and replace them every 10 years. Replace batteries once a year.
- Create a fire escape plans. Make sure each room has two exits. Practice your home fire drill with everyone in the home at night and during the day twice a year.
For professional fire damage repair or smoke remediation services, contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson today at 502-904-0710
Know the Facts about Business Fires in Bardstown
Know the Facts about Business Fires
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as many as one in four businesses that suffer some kind of major disaster do not reopen afterward. It’s true, overcoming a major loss is extremely difficult, but with the right restoration company and team on your side, working hand-in-hand with your insurance company, the chance of your Indianapolis-area company surviving is pretty high!
Depending on the size of the fire, and the amount of damage, some businesses that have come to Total Restoration for help have reopened just days after the fire happened. Thanks to innovations in smoke odor removal, fire damage restoration, and cleaning in general, it is possible for crews to start work nearly immediately after the fire department clears the scene, and have things back up and running in no time. Although, again, that all depends on the severity of the fire. But no matter the severity, recovery is possible!
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year between 2007 and 2011. Those fires resulted in about $112 million in property damage each year, and most were in business offices – and happened during business hours. However, the good news is the number of business fires was down a whopping 71 percent from 1980 to 2011.
Here are some other stats from the NFPA:
Time of Day
- Peak time of day for office fires: Noon – 2p.m. (a.k.a. lunch time!)
- 69% happened between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- The 31% that occurred between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. caused 67% of recorded property damage, because they went undetected longer. This also highlights the need for automatic detection equipment and working sprinkler systems.
- 19% of fires happened on weekends.
Cause of the Business Fires
- 29% were caused by cooking equipment. However, just 6% of these fires caused actual property damage.
- Intentionally-set fires caused the most direct property damage – 21%.
- Electrical equipment is the second leading cause of office fires.
- Just 2% of office fires start in a concealed space like an attic, in the ceiling, or in another conceals space. However, these fires accounted for 13% of the direct property damage.
Containment & Putting it Out
- 4 out of 5 fires were confined to the room of origin.
- 90% of fires were large enough to activate sprinklers, which were effective 88% of the time.
- Deaths per 1,000 stores were 62% lower in offices equipped with sprinklers compared to those without.
Industrial/Manufacturing Facility Fires
The NFPA also has statistics specific to manufacturing facilities. According to their research, there are about 37,000 fires at industrial or manufacturing facilities each year, resulting in 18 deaths, 279 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. Heating equipment and stop tools were the leading cause – sparking 28 percent of the fires. Mechanical failure or malfunction caused 24 percent of the fires.
The Best Way to Reduce a Business Interruption Following a Disaster to Your Business is to Plan Ahead for One
As many as 50% of businesses never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties can help you plan ahead for a disaster to minimize business interruption by developing an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business before one strikes. An ERP provides important contact and building information needed to begin a timely mitigation to help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. Benefits of an ERP include:
-A no cost assessment of your facility which means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
-A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
-A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
-Establishes SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson County as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by, when needed.
-Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
-Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
Contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties to schedule your FREE Emergency Ready Profile today. 502-904-0710
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.
There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:
-Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
-If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
-Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties. Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order. Call us at 502-904-0710