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Fire Damage on Your Commercial Property

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire From Your Commercial Property

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the building is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house
. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks
. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative
.

If you have fire damage on your commercial property, call SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties 502-904-0710.

Refrigerator Water Damage

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage is a scary thing, especially since often times we don't even know that there is water damage happening until long after the fact. Take, for example, water damage caused by a leaky refrigerator. Because the fridge blocks your view of the wall and floor behind the unit, you won't notice water damage is occurring unless the leak creates a visible puddle.

What can we do about refrigerator water damage? We will walk you through what to expect when facing water damage caused by your fridge, how to repair it, and whether or not insurance will cover the costs.

How Long Before My Fridge Causes Water Damage?

Refrigerator water damage doesn't always happen suddenly. Often times what ends up happening is the plastic water line behind the refrigerator will crack or weaken, causing a slow leak. Over the years, this leak drips water down to the floor and wall beneath the fridge, causing slow but progressive refrigerator water damage.

Other common causes of fridge water damage are ice maker leaks and condensation. Unfortunately, even just a little bit of added moisture from condensation buildup can spell disaster for your walls and floors. That's the scary thing about water damage it is silent and happens over long periods of time.

How to Repair Water Damage from a Refrigerator

The repairs will depend highly on the extent of the water damages. If the water has only recently been there, chances are that you can mop it up and air out the surfaces. Once dry, flooring should return to normal. You will want to make sure that the walls are adequately dried as well, since this will prevent mold growth.

If your fridge has caused water damages over a long period of time, however, you will likely need to have the flooring and drywall completely ripped out and replaced. This is where things get costly. Because mold is also a serious possibility, we recommend that you leave the job of assessing and repairing the damages to a professional.

Preventing Fridge Water Damage

One clear way to prevent fridge water damage is to regularly check and maintain your fridge. First, try to clear away any dust and debris from behind the unit, then check for hard water buildup in the water line. You might even want to consider upgrading the plastic water lines to a braided steel supply line.

We also recommend purchasing a battery operated water alarm. This water alarm can be placed behind the refrigerator, out of sight. While you're at it, you can place one beneath your kitchen sink and behind the dishwasher, too. If the alarm comes into contact with water, it will let off an alarm. This will help prevent water from sitting unseen for too long, which causes permanent water damages.

Will Insurance Cover Refrigerator Water Damage?

Unfortunately, slow leaks (like ones caused by a toilet, ice maker, freezer, or fridge) are NOT covered by a typical homeowner's insurance policy. Your insurance will usually cover things like damage caused by a sudden accidental leak or other malfunctions, and not water damages that are determined to be due to negligence. For instance, water damages caused by a burst pipe would likely be covered but repairing the pipe itself would not be. Your best bet when it comes to refrigerator water damage is to use the preventative tips above, and to regularly check and maintain your fridge.

Water Damage due to a leaky Fridge? Contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 

502-904-0710

Preventing Water Damage in Garage

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

The interior of a person’s home is not the only place that is vulnerable to water damage. Garages, for example, often sustain just as much, if not more damage than a homeowner’s basement, living room, or kitchen. In fact, many homeowners use their garages for storing boxes of personal items and family heirlooms that would be difficult, if not impossible to replace. To ensure that your home, including your garage, sustains as little damage as possible in the event of a flood or leak, please contact an experienced water damage repair restoration contractor who can mitigate the damage and immediately begin the restoration process.

Preventive Tips

It is in a homeowner’s best interest to take certain steps to avoid water damage to their home and property. For instance, to prevent your garage from flooding, you may want to consider:

  • Placing weatherstripping, such as self-adhesive tape or rubber stripping, around your garage door to help maintain the temperature in your garage and prevent water from seeping under the door. Weatherstripping needs to be replaced regularly, so make sure to check yours for cracks or other signs of deterioration.
  • Checking for foundational cracks or other evidence of damage. Even minor cracks can allow water to seep into a garage and from the garage into the home itself. If you find any cracks, be sure to seal them with a vinyl concrete patch or waterproof paint. Large problems will need to be fixed by a professional.
  • Improving drainage in the area around your home by installing drains in front of your garage or along the driveway. This can be instrumental in transporting water away from your foundation.
  • Placing sandbags and other flood barriers around your property. These barriers expand when they come into contact with water and can help low-level flooding from spreading into your garage and home.

In some cases, no amount of preventive measures can save a garage from being flooded. In these cases, it may be in your best interest to install a flood vent, which will allow flood-water to flow through the garage itself. While this will help protect the interior of your home, it will also allow the garage to flood, which can result in a significant amount of damage. If you want to take this route, be sure to remove any important and valuable items from your garage and contact a professional who can assess and repair the damage.

Water damage can have devastating consequences for homeowners who may have to replace all of their possessions. However, the earlier a person addresses a flood by seeking professional aid, the less damage his or her property is likely to suffer. To speak with a member of our dedicated restoration team, please contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties. 502-904-0710

Fire: Every Second Counts

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

The following is provided by The National Fire Protection Association. 


 In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here’s this year’s key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home by using our grid in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF) with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties today to speak to a Fire Restoration Specialist. 502-904-0710

Fire Place Safety

10/6/2017 (Permalink)

SAFETY COMES FIRST WITH YOUR FIREPLACE

Follow these fireplace safety tips to prevent home fire damage.

Fall has officially started, and before you know it, you will have to light up the fireplace to combat the cold, windy temperatures of the outdoors.  But before your whole family sits in front of the fire, it is crucial you make sure it is safe and secure.  With the luxury and warmth your fireplace brings, also comes the danger of fire and smoke damage to your home.  There are a few steps you can follow to ensure your wood or gas burning fireplace is safe to use.

Start With The Cap

To start your safety inspection of your fireplace, you have to go outside of your home to your chimney.  Make sure the cap that is on top of your chimney is in good condition, and there is nothing around it such as a bird’s nest or debris.  The cap is an essential piece to your chimney because it prevents rain, snow, or wildlife from getting into your home.  It also keeps hot embers emitting from your fireplace from getting onto your roofing.  Your cap needs to be clear so smoke can escape properly from your home.

Check The Damper

After checking the chimney from the outside, go inside your home and inspect your the bottom of your chimney connected to your fireplace.  With a flashlight, check if the damper in your chimney opens, closes, and seals properly.  It is critical that your damper seals well because if not, you will a lose a great amount of heat from your home when your fireplace isn’t in use.  While your damper is open, check the flue for any combustible objects such as animal nests.  The flue needs to be completely clear, so smoke doesn’t come back into your home and cause unnecessary damage.  

Don’t Ignore Your Gas-Burning Fireplace

Although gas fireplaces are low-maintenance, you still need to check some elements occasionally.  Inspect the glass doors for any cracks or latch issues and test the igniter for any malfunctions.  

Smoke or Fire Damage In Your Home? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502-904-0710

10 Signs of a Slab Leak

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

10 Signs Of A Slab Leak

A slab leak is one of the biggest headaches any homeowner can experience. Not only are they costly and inconvenient to repair, they can be dangerous if left unresolved. By keeping your eye out for these 10 signs of a slab leak, you can catch this issue before it escalates into a major problem.

What is a Slab Leak?

Every house is built on top of a foundation, which is usually made of concrete and steel. This foundation, also called a ‘slab’, bears the weight of the house and provides the entire structure stability. Water pipes which provide water to the home are usually located below the slab.

A slab leak occurs when one or more of the pipes below the foundation leak. This is a serious plumbing emergency that leads to short and long-term problems.

Common causes of slab leaks include:

  • Shifting ground: Houses naturally settle over time. In some case, the weight of the house can lead to changes in how the ground is situated, leading to pipe leaks. 
  • Improperly wrapped pipes: Pipes beneath the foundation are wrapped in order to prevent friction between the metal of the pipes and the concrete slab. Sometimes, pipes are not wrapped well, slowly leading to worn spots and leaks.
  • Electrolysis: Water pipes that are made of copper can be vulnerable to electrolysis, a natural chemical reaction that occurs when copper reacts with minerals in certain types of soil.

10 Signs of a Slab Leak

Now that you know why slab leaks are significant and how they’re caused, let’s look at the top 10 signs of a slab leak.

  1. Cracks in the walls have formed.
  2. Cracks in the floors have formed.
  3. You have noticed a significant increase to the water bill even though you haven’t changed your habits
  4. The carpet on the bottom floor is wet to the touch. In basements, you may notice a wet spot on concrete or warped flooring.
  5. Tubs, toilets, showers, or sinks have experienced a stoppage or blockage.
  6. You notice hot spots on the floor or in the yard. These are, as the name suggests, areas on the ground which are warm to the touch and indicate a leaking hot water pipe.
  7. Mold and mildew forms on the walls without an apparent cause.
  8. A strange odor that cannot be traced is present.
  9. You’ve noticed a significant decrease in normal water pressure.
  10. Your water meter dial is moving even after you have made sure that no sources of water, such as sinks, washing machines, toilets, or showers, are running.

Why are Slab Leaks Dangerous?

Slab leaks are dangerous for several reasons. Getting the leak repaired as soon as possible can help avoid long-term issues.

  • Water leaks lead to mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew doesn’t usually stay relegated to one area; spores spread and take hold in other parts of the house. 
  • Water erosion can lead to a weakened foundation, which in turn can cause structural problems in the home.
  • Water erosion can also lead to the foundation itself shifting. This is a very serious problem that can lead to collapse.

Slab leaks can cause damage to a home significant enough to make a home unsafe and unlivable until the issues have been repaired.

What to Do if You Have a Slab Leak

A slab leak is a plumbing emergency, so it’s important to act quickly if you notice any of the 10 signs of a slab leak as listed above.

First, shut off the water to your home. This will help prevent further damage to the home’s foundation. 

Water causes damage within minutes of exposure. Don’t let a slab leak ruin your home. Call SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502-904-0710

How to Protect Yourself Against Electrical Hazards After a Disaster

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

After a natural disaster, you must take extreme care to avoid electrical hazards in your home, as well as elsewhere. Here’s how to protect yourself, your family and others:

  • NEVER touch a fallen power line. Report it to the power company.
  • During cleanup and other activities, avoid contact with overhead power lines.
  • If downed power lines are in standing water, do not drive through it. Call, or ask someone else to call, the emergency services and the local utility company.
  • If electrical equipment and electrical circuits are wet, or in or near water, switch the power off at the fuse on the service panel or the main breaker. Don’t walk in standing water to access the power switch; call an electrician to do it.
  • Never switch the power on or off, or use an electrical appliance or tool, while standing in water. Don’t switch the power back on until all electrical equipment has been checked by an electrician.
  • If you see sparks or frayed wiring when power is restored, or if there’s a burning smell but no visible fire, shut off the system at the main breaker immediately.
  • Ask an electrician if it’s okay to use a power generator because, if the generator is online when service is restored, it could become a fire hazard and endanger the lives of the restoration workers.

At SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties, we are a team of restoration, cleaning and remodeling professionals who offer disaster repair & cleaning for residential and commercial properties. We guarantee fast emergency response and the latest technology. Please contact us for more information.502-904-0710

Quick! Emergency Water Removal Checklist

9/13/2017 (Permalink)

Emergency Water Removal: A Checklist for Quick ActionWhen water damage strikes, it’s important to act fast and to contact a professional company to help with restoration and repairs. At SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties, we are experienced with emergency Water Removal and want to help you recover fast.

Water Damage Emergency Checklist

When facing a water damage emergency, use this handy checklist to stay calm and take quick action until help arrives.

  • Determine if it is safe to stay where you are: in water emergency situations, there can be a number of hazards including electricity.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties so that we can send a team right away.
  • Watch out for slippery areas that could cause you to fall.
  • Begin mopping up excess water where possible.
  • Pick up wet books, newspapers, magazines, etc.
  • Pick up wet fabrics and start hanging them. Beware, wet fabric items are much heavier when wet!
  • Rescue easy to reach artwork, valuables, and personal items and put them in a safe, dry space.
  • Gather any loose items from the floor, so that they can dry and not add additional tripping hazards.
  • Do NOT use any electrical items while the house is still wet.
  • Do NOT attempt to use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water.
  • Stay calm, and wait for our technicians to arrive and help you with your water removal, inspection, and restoration plan.

Our team has years of experience helping homeowners recover after a flood. We know exactly how to proceed in order to ensure that you get the best possible results. Our goal is to remove water, save your property, and help you make repairs after the damages. We also want to ensure that you are left with a clean space free of lingering mold issues.

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502-904-0710

The Science Behind the Cleanup Process

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

How We Know the Water Cleanup Process is Complete

The Three Keys to a Successful Water Cleanup Project

Flood damage restoration experts know that every step in the water cleanup project is critical: the analysis, setup, drying, monitoring, and reevaluation. Reevaluation is the final step in the water remediation process, when the project leader determines if the affected areas are restored to their preloss state. This important final step is where the final decision is made, and the water damage is finally eliminated.

There are three major factors or criteria for determining whether or not the area is “dry” and the water contamination is no longer present. All three of these conditions must absolutely be met before a water damage professional will consider the water cleanup effort accomplished.

Water damaged areas must be returned to a preloss state in order for the water cleanup process to be completed.

Building Materials are at their Equilibrium Moisture Content

“Equilibrium moisture content” is the point at which the building material is no longer saturated, gaining, or losing any moisture, and is a function of both temperature and the humidity of the surrounding air.

Why is this so Important?

Ensuring the building materials are at their equilibrium moisture content is essential because once this point is reached, the water damaged area will no longer support the growth of mold or mildew.

Interior Ambient Room Conditions are Considered “Normal”

Ambient room conditions must be returned to a normal, stable, preloss state in order for the water damage reevaluation process to be completed. This is the primary goal of most water cleanup projects and the hope of any client: for things to be exactly as they were before the flooding event. Ambient room conditions are also a function of temperature and relative humidity, with 50% RH to 70 degrees Fahrenheit considered normal and common for the Kentucky area.

Why is this so Important?

Without normal and stable ambient room conditions, the affected area may not fully recover from the water damage, which can lead to the growth of fungal organisms and a hazardous environment.

Affected Areas can Achieve Stability without the Further Use of Drying Equipment

Before any drying equipment can be removed, it must be determined that the water damage must no longer poses a threat because the room is stabilized and able to reach equilibrium without the further aid of the equipment. This is also considered a “preloss state,” because the interior conditions are healthy and self-regulating, just like they were before the water cleanup project began.

Why is this so Important?

If the room cannot achieve stability on its own, the equipment must remain with continued support and monitoring, meaning the water cleanup process is not complete. If the equipment is removed prematurely, the room could undergo further damage trying to reach equilibrium.

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502-904-0710

Water Damage - Thermal Imaging

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Have you ever encountered a situation where you suspect there is something weird going on inside your wall or ceiling? Perhaps a leak within the structure or you suspect there is a cold draft coming in from somewhere but you just cant seem to pinpoint it?

Well with the use of the latest technology, we are now able to identify these problem areas and start seeing the invisible.

This is done through the use of thermal imaging, at one point this technology was very expensive and reserved only for military and government applications. However as this technology progresses it becomes more affordable to apply it to other new industries, in this case the property restoration industry.

For property restoration, some of the best uses of thermal imaging technology include:

  • Pin-point moisture intrusion such as leaks within walls and ceilings, avoiding the need to cutting costly inspection holes.
  • Identify cold and hot spots, finding areas of missing insulation which could lead to drafts and energy loss.
  • Identify maintenance issues or potential dangers such as electrical overheating of components.
  • Assess the efficiency of HVAC systems, finding any areas of air leaks.
  • Identify structural defects
  • Identify clogs in piping

Note: thermal imagining readings can be attained without damaging the property, no pins or probes are required therefore there will be no sign of damage to your property.

Also, thermal imaging will also work in areas of total darkness as it is operating on heat differentials it does not need any visible light to operate. This is specially handy when inspecting areas such as attics, crawlspaces, or there is simply no power/lighting available in the property.

When it comes down to it, having thermal imaging tools is a must for property restoration companies and it is no wonder why leading restoration companies have adopted this technology. The ability to inspect, identify, record, and report on property issues has made it a great business tool to better serve and inform clients.

Suspect Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today. 502-904-0710