Recent Posts

Soot and Smoke Cleaning

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Soot on the inside wall of a commercial building. Commercial Fire in Madeira, OH

Soot and smoke damage to your Madeira, OH, business can be a major hassle. Fortunately, there are a variety of options for cleaning smoke and soot.

Smoke Cleaning

Smoke can linger for long periods of time. Fortunately, there are several ways to address smoke odor, including the following:

  • Air purification
  • Ozone treatment


Thermal Fogging

It is important to actually eliminate the smoke odor particles, rather than simply covering the smell with candles or air fresheners. Purifiers with HEPA filters are especially good for trapping smoke particles. If the air purifier does not fully eliminate the odor, it may be time to try an ozone treatment or thermal fogging. Ozone treatments work by releasing ozone into the air. Due to the chemical makeup of ozone, it can attach to smoke particles and create new particles that do not emit a smoky odor. Thermal foggers heat up surfaces, causing them to expand. This allows the deodorizer to reach into crevices and other areas that normally would have been sealed off.

Soot Cleaning
In addition to smoke damage, you may also have soot damage. There are several types of soot. The following are three of the most common:

  • Wet soot
  • Dry soot
  • Protein residue

Wet soot is caused by slow-burning fires, often fueled by rubber and plastics. Dry soot is the result of fast-burning fires. When organic matter (such as food) evaporates due to high heat from a fire, the residue is known as protein residue. If not dealt with quickly and properly, soot can lead to further damage by corroding surfaces. There are different cleaners and methods for every type of soot. It is important to use the proper technique for the type of soot damage you are dealing with so as not to make the problem worse. Due to the complex nature of soot cleanup, it may be necessary to hire professional help.
Dealing with soot and smoke damage may feel overwhelming. Fortunately, a certified restoration service can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

Fire-Readiness Measures That Can Save Your Home

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

A parent and child huddling under a table Home fire drills are the most effective way to practice your fire escape plan

Fire-Readiness Measures That Can Save Your Home

It’s no fun to think about the possibility of having a fire break out in your home. Fire-safety experts know that good preparation and a fire escape plan are essential elements in reducing your home fire risk and protecting your structure. This discussion may help you round out your existing plan or design a new one.

Planning

Involving your household in an emergency escape plan will help you all work together to respond quickly and safely in the event of a fire. It is helpful to create household fire drills to practice the elements necessary to extinguish the fire or evacuate and contact emergency services. Consider these practices:

  • Walking every room with your household members to identify the viable exits you can use for your fire escape plan
  • Posting a map of your home showing the agreed-upon evacuation routes
  • Confirming that your house number can be easily identified from the road
  • Locating an escape ladder in each upper-story room
  • Finding a meeting place near your home so you can account for everyone after an evacuation

It can be helpful to keep the tone light and stay focused on your goal. If you would like some help designing your plan, your local fire department or fire remediation expert will generally visit your home and offer site-specific advice.

Testing Your Plan

Home fire drills are the most effective way to practice your fire escape plan and identify the weak links. Having quarterly drills allows each household member to become familiar with their assigned tasks and the escape routes. It’s a good idea to start with daytime drills, so you can learn the process in the light. The true test is a surprise night-time practice session. You can initiate the drill by pressing the test button on your smoke alarm.
Fire safety is a risky home-maintenance practice to neglect. An adequate emergency escape plan will help you act quickly and safely to protect your Cincinnati, OH, home and loved ones from the impact of a house fire. Practicing your plan regularly may mean the difference between a little smoke damage and serious property destruction.

Learn About the Commercial Fire Restoration Process

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Windows, doors board up of a building, SERVPRO logo on picture. Commercial restoration specialists board-up holes in windows, doors, and walls, as well as spaces where they are absent

Learn About the Commercial Fire Restoration Process

Restoration companies like SERVPRO are Here to Help your clients when disaster strikes in their Indian Hill, OH, commercial locations. Besides storm, water, and mold repair, they also offer fire restoration for any damaged business in the area. Once an emergency call has been made and the affected property has been inspected, the rebuilding services begin.

1. Building Board-Up and Roof-Tarp
It is important to stop the progression of damage, as well as potential vandalism of the vulnerable building. Commercial restoration specialists board-up holes in windows, doors, and walls, as well as spaces where they are absent. They also apply tarps on broken or missing roof sections.

2. Smoke, Soot and Water Removal
After the board-up, technicians remove hazardous residues such as smoke and soot before continuing. The use of special equipment and methods to remove the material from all surfaces. If water damage caused by fire sprinklers is present during a fire restoration case, then the water is removed first by using dehumidifiers and ventilation tactics to dry the area.

3. Cleaning and Sanitizing
The fire and potential water damage will leave behind filth, bacteria, and other elements harmful to your clients, their staff and their customers. The employees will clean and sanitize any salvageable items, as well as damaged structures and locations. They will also use products like industrial air scrubbers to remove the strong odors.

4. Building Restoration
The restoration, sometimes known as the fire rebuild, is the most important step of the process. During this part, the professionals engage in full reconstruction of entire rooms, offices, and other key places. Additionally, there are also minor repairs in areas with less damage, such as replacing carpet, painting over discolored sections, or changing the drywall. The goal is to replicate your clients' pre-fire business as closely as possible.
Fire is a very destructive force to commercial locations, but with the right assistance, it is not the end. The fire restoration process, when handled by experienced and licensed experts, can help the establishments you work with return to business quickly and efficiently.

Will a Wet Crawl Space Cause Water Damage?

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Crawlspace vent grate If you have a wet crawl space in your Terrace Park, OH home you should call an expert to inspect

If you have spotted water in your home's crawl space, you may worry that it will cause water damage to the living area. While a wet crawl space shouldn't necessarily cause alarm, it can sometimes cause a flood. Knowing what caused the water will help you determine the best course of action.

What Can Cause Crawl Space Water?

Cracks that develop in the floor, walls, or joints
Condensation or sweating of the walls
Burst or leaky pipe
Flooding of surface water
Gutter and downspout issues

When Should You Worry About a Wet Crawl Space?

The first important step is to determine whether or not there is standing water in the space. If you see a pooling of water, this could indicate a serious problem. Call a water damage restoration service right away to inspect the entire area. A professional will be able to determine the source of the water.
If there is no standing water, an excessive amount of moisture could still cause problems later on.

Inspect the walls and pipes of the crawl space for moisture. Wet walls or pipes can indicate a leak somewhere, which should be inspected as soon as possible by a professional.
Check the gutters and downspouts on the outside of the home. If you find any broken or faulty drainage tubing, have it replaced.
Check any wood in the crawl space to see if it is wet or covered with fuzz. This indicates that mold is present.
If you smell an odd or unpleasant odor, you likely have mold.

Whenever mold is suspected, you must call a professional as soon as possible. He or she will be able to pinpoint the cause and help to remediate the mold problem safely and effectively.
If you are worried about your home's wet crawl space in Terrace Park, OH, your best strategy is to have an expert inspect it right away.

How Can I Stop My Toilet From Overflowing?

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Plumber or homeowner using a plunger to unclog a toilet. Use a toilet plunger to try to break up clogs that may be in the drain

How Can I Stop My Toilet From Overflowing?

A clogged toilet is a nuisance, to say the least. You have other issues to deal with as a business owner. It’s generally a DIY job, but could easily develop into a toilet overflow if it’s a sewage system blockage. What then? Take these steps to stop it:

1. Shut Off the Water Supply
First, make sure that the main water supply line to the building is turned off. This will prevent more water from coming in.
2. Remove the Tank Lid
Next, you’ll need to access the inside of the toilet tank. Remove the tank lid and carefully set it aside.
3. Adjust the Flapper
The rubber flapper is at the bottom of the tank. Press down on the flapper valve to secure it. This will prevent more water from entering the bowl and reduce the chance of overflow.
4. Lift the Float
Next, you’ll need to stop water from filling the tank. Raise the tank fill valve float ball. Even if it’s a clogged toilet, the water in the bowl should start decreasing. When it’s back to a normal level, release the float. Watch to make sure that it doesn’t overfill.
5. Shut Off the Toilet Supply Valve
If the water level is still too high, lift up on the float again. Hold it up as you shut off the water supply at the toilet valve. This valve should be located beside or behind the toilet; turn it to the right to shut it off.
6. Use a Plunger
Use a toilet plunger to try to break up clogs that may be in the drain. Try plunging several times. Hopefully, the clog contents will come back into the toilet bowl instead of further down the line.
If only one toilet has issues, it’s probably just a clog in that toilet. However, if you find that multiple toilets have problems there’s probably a sewage system blockage. If you have damage from a toilet overflow as a result of a clogged toilet, you can count on water damage restoration experts to restore your Deer Park, OH, building to its preloss condition.

Is Mold Lurking in Your Restaurant Kitchen?

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Bread with mold Moldy food should be discarded immediately to prevent cross-contamination

Is Mold Lurking in Your Restaurant Kitchen?

Retaining high humidity in an industrial kitchen is like putting the welcome mat out for mold spores. Mold can go unnoticed for a long time; only mold’s musty odor gives its location away after it has already taken over an area. The trick is to prevent the mold in the first place. Since its main requirement is moisture, you can stifle mold growth by controlling the kitchen’s humidity. Be mindful of:

1. Hidden Areas
Floors and baseboards behind appliances can grow mold due to moisture buildup that goes unnoticed for a while. Floor mats can contribute to the growth of mold from the buildup of moisture and dirt in and under the mat. Kitchens can get steamy; moisture is everywhere at times. This can get into damaged or improperly waterproofed tiles, and air conditioning ducts are also vulnerable.
2. Food
Moldy food should be discarded immediately to prevent cross-contamination. All areas and containers in which food is stored should be checked and disinfected regularly.
3. Ventilation System
Due to all the sources of moisture in an industrial kitchen, it’s crucial to have proper ventilation. The ventilation system should be inspected regularly to prevent the production of excess moisture and the spread of air contaminants. Without proper ventilation, moisture accumulates and can remain virtually anywhere, causing mold growth, and sometimes even water damage.
4. Humidity Level
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor humidity levels should be no more than 50%, preferably around 40% to lessen the likelihood of mold.
5. Appliances and Plumbing
Restaurant kitchens have many moisture-prone areas you may not even think to inspect. Regularly check around refrigeration units and freezers for standing water and condensation. Also check in vents, under sinks, around microwaves, and in pantries.
6. Constantly-Wet Areas
Dry wet surfaces as soon as possible. Get leaks resolved quickly, and thoroughly wring out wet rags and sponges.
Are you worried that mold growth is lurking in your Terrace Park, OH, restaurant? You can count on mold cleanup professionals to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.

3 Things You Should Know About Flood Water

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

Deep Flood Water in Residential Area Flood water in a residential area in Amberly Village, OH

Three Things To Remember About Flood Water

If your Amberly Village, OH, home has experienced water damage from a storm or flooding you may be wondering how to go about cleanup and repairs. However, there are a few things you should understand about the water in your home to help ensure that the restoration process is done correctly. Here are three things to remember about flood water.

1. It’s Categorized as Black Water

It’s important to note that any storm caused flooding is categorized as black water. It’s is due to the fact that it’s impossible to know where exactly this water has been, and there’s a risk it could have come in contact with sewage material. This means that there are a number of safety standards that should be met during the restoration process to ensure that your home isn’t contaminated by bacteria.

2. A Professional Should Be Called

When dealing with damage from storm flooding it’s important to follow safety procedures to avoid contamination. For this reason, it’s highly recommended to contact a local water damage restoration service to help with clean up and repairs. These professionals can not only remove the water and restore you home but can offer a variety of cleaning services as well to help ensure that any possible bacteria carried by the flood water are removed.

3. The Affected Area Will Need To Be Cleaned

Because Flood water is potentially contaminated, the affected area will need to be properly cleaned and sanitized. This is another thing a restoration service can help you with. It’s important to remember that any items in the flooded rooms will need to be cleaned as well.

It’s important to remember that storm flooding is classified as black water. This means that and water damage should be cleaned up by a professional restoration service to help ensure that the affected area is properly cleaned and sanitized. If you have any questions these professionals should be able to help.

Installing a Security Fence and Other Steps To Take After a Commercial Fire

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Private property in the forest angle shot A security fence can keep vandals away from your Mariemount, OH, commercial building after a fire

Security Fencing For Your Building After a Fire

The aftermath of a commercial fire can seem overwhelming. You have to survey your building for possible smoke damage. You also have to start the cleanup process.
Many businesses also install a security fence following a fire or other disaster. It is easy to forget about this step. After all, you have so many other things to do to get your business back up and running.
Yet fencing is essential after an emergency. You need some form of security in place to prevent additional damage from:

  • Vandalism
  • Weather
  • Theft

Insurance

While fencing may be costly, refusing to secure your premises could be more expensive. That’s because your insurance company may not cover water damage or other harm that results from your failure to protect your building. Besides putting up a fence, you may also want to cover any holes in the walls or roof.

Additional Steps
Once your security fence is in place, you can work with the insurer to start your rebuild. Make a list of any damaged items to show to the insurance company. Be sure to include the date you purchased each asset and how much you paid for it. Do not throw anything away without taking pictures of it first.
You also need to get the insurance provider's permission before hiring a fire damage cleanup company. Otherwise, the insurer may not cover the costs of this service.
While you wait for the experts to arrive, you should open windows or turn on a fan to keep the air circulating in the building. Any wet items also need to be dried right away. Avoid touching any appliances or electronic equipment until a technician says it is safe to do so.
A security fence can keep vandals away from your Mariemount, OH, commercial building after a fire. It can also prevent thieves from stealing your assets. Installing proper fencing is thus a key part of the disaster recovery process.

Prepare Your Commercial Property For Strong Winds

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Check for missing shingles and replace as needed

Storm surges can create significant damage to your commercial building in Madeira, OH. Strong winds can loosen the roof’s shingles and cause a roof leak. Tree branches can break off and crash through a window. By employing some smart proactive tips, however, you can prep your building so that the damage can be mitigated. Creating a checklist will ensure you don’t forget to inspect a critical area.

Check the Exterior Walls and Doors

To prepare for strong winds, examine the exterior walls and doors on a routine basis.

  • Make sure windows and siding are firmly attached and are in good condition.
  • Check exterior walls for cracks and seal any weakened areas.
  • Brace overhead doors so they are secure.

Protect the Roof

A damaged roof will inevitably cause a roof leak so inspect it carefully.

  • Check for missing shingles and replace as needed.
  • Ensure that all other shingles are in good repair and fastened securely.
  • Make sure any roof sheathing is properly nailed down.
  • Check HVAC units and other machinery to ensure it is firmly attached to the roof.
  • Inspect skylights to make sure they are tightly fastened and sealed to prevent leaking.

Secure Outside Equipment and Furnishings

  • Outside storage sheds, dumpsters, and other equipment must be well anchored.
  • Trees and bushes near the building need to be trimmed regularly.
  • Outdoor furniture, grills and other equipment for employee use should be brought inside before a storm nears.
  • Ensure that all outside signage on the property is secure.
  • Alert employees to never park their car under a tree.

It would also be a good idea to check your commercial property insurance policy to make sure it covers wind damage. If it doesn’t, contact your agent right away.
While it’s impossible to avoid weather conditions that can create problems for your property, you can significantly reduce the risk of a roof leak or other damage by following these inspection tips.

3 Questions You Might Have About Mildew

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

A Man Cleaning Mold From Wall Using A Sponge Removing mildew and mold from a property in Indian Hill, OH

Fungi spores are everywhere and can grow and develop by feeding on available materials. As you report mold growth resulting from a water-based incident or high humidity to a water damage remediation company, you might think about plant mildew as well. While people often mention these organisms together, they are not interchangeable. If you are unaware of mildew, you might have the following questions about it.

What Is Mildew?

Mildew is a specific type of mold that is also known as an obligate biotrophic pathogen. This term means that it is an organism that grows and feeds exclusively on living matter such as plants and crops. Mildew resembles a white or grey powder and it can be found on the plant's dead or weakened part. This indicates that the fungus has a parasitic connection to the plant.

How Do I Get Rid of It?

If you have garden or house plants that are contaminated with plant mildew, there are some steps you must take. Wear protective clothes and gear such as gloves, googles and a face mask when handling the plant.

  • Remove the plant and place it outside
  • Carefully wash away noticeable mildew from leaves
  • Cut infected sections from the rest of the plant
  • Maintain the plant outdoors and with sunlight access

Once the plant is safe, you can prevent mildew growth from taking place again. Prevent humidity from overwhelming it, disinfect your gardening tools and use specialized fungicide to ensure the plants in your home thrive.

Is It Different from Mold?

The biggest difference between mildew and mold is that the former is a type of mold that specifically grows on plants, rather than nonliving materials or surfaces. Professional remediators in Indian Hill, OH, would use similar methods to remove both. However, if they find no difference between the two, it is a telling sign that they are not professional and employ questionable judgment.
Despite their close association, plant mildew and mold create a different impact on objects and organisms. Investigate mildew and its distinctions to prevent it from growing at home.