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Best Practices for Cleaning After a Flood

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers placed on wet area after storm damage in a room Storm cleanup in Lynnville, TN

The myriad effects of a flood are not pretty. Whether you experience a powerful storm surge or the rising of a nearby body of water, a flood can leave mud, contaminated water and debris in various parts of your home. It can soak carpeting and upholstery and personal belongings and coat them with a stubborn layer of filth. The cleaning requirements after a flood are very specific and go beyond normal cleaning. A professional flood mitigation franchise in Lynnville, TN, understands the need for quality standards when cleaning flood waters. All elements and materials in a home are subject to damage.

Affected Areas of the Home

In addition to the normal suspects, a home faces damage in many areas after a flood. These unexpected areas include the following items, systems, and places:

  • Electrical components
  • Heating and cooling systems and ducts
  • Appliances
  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Mattresses

Due to the nature of a flood, special cleaning requirements such as a tear-out may be called for. This involves the cutting out of portions of drywall and insulation and replacing them with new materials. A powerful yet safe flood disinfectant will need to be used on any surfaces that the floodwaters came in contact with. Technicians will take their cue from leaders in the cleaning and restoration industry that establish high standards.

Additional Problems To Address
To get a house flood clean, trained technicians use the latest technology to locate high humidity and areas of mold growth. Some personal belongings and other household items will need to be thrown out. Odors often linger until the house is spotless. Tiny organisms can survive long after an area looks clean, so experienced technicians always follow the latest cleaning requirements. The use of approved antifungal and antimicrobial ensure bacteria and viruses are wiped out. Cleaning the damage and filth caused by a flood requires knowledge and special equipment.

Eliminate the Mold From Your Washing Machine

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Low angle view of baking soda with vinegar, natural mix for effective house cleaning Baking soda and vinegar clean safely and effectively

Because soap is frequently added to your washing machine, you may think it's the cleanest appliance in your home in Mount Pleasant, TN. Unfortunately, the warm and humid environment provides the perfect conditions for mold to grow.

Front-loading Machines Invite Mold

A front-loading washer is highly efficient. Because its drum rotates from an axis that is horizontal, it requires much less water to operate than a top-loading machine. Problems can occur, however, when improper detergents are used in the machine. Because less water is used, the machine can't properly rinse away all of the soap found in traditional softeners and detergents. The drum gets coated with a filmy layer of soap. When you factor in the heat and dampness inside the washer, it compounds the problem. A front-loading washing machine also comes equipped with a rubber gasket in the door to prevent leaking, which is an invitation for soap scum to build up.
If you own a front-loading machine, always purchase high efficiency detergent (marked with the "he" symbol), and stop using fabric softeners. Even if you use the correct soaps, mold can still grow to some extent, so it's important to clean the machine routinely.

Proper Ingredients Clean Safely and Effectively
The best cleaning ingredients don't contain harsh chemicals.

Baking soda - A quarter of a cup works well. Mix this with the same amount of water and add to the machine's detergent dispenser.
White vinegar - Pour 2 cups of vinegar into the drum of the unit.

Run the machine on the normal cycle with high heat, but without dirty laundry. Once the cycle is complete, clean any residue with a rough kitchen sponge that has been soaked in equal parts of vinegar and water. You should follow this routine about once a month if you detect a mold smell. If mold persists, call a mold remediation specialist right away.
Keep your washing machine free of mold and odors by following these simple steps.

Removing Smoke Damage and Odor

7/9/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone cleaning is one of the most effective methods of removing smoke odor

Removing Smoke Damage and Odor

Restoring a business after a fire doesn't just involve repairing structural damage and replacing lost items. The lingering effects of smoke odor and smoke-related damage can be an additional, unwelcome hindrance to getting your business up and running. While an inexperienced individual can successfully remove evidence of smoke from a building, contacting a professional smoke cleaning service is always advisable. Specialists are experienced in addressing individual problems that might arise and will know how to avoid further damage to your property.

1. Assessing the Damage
Because smoke interacts chemically with many substances, it is essential that you act as quickly as possible to remove smoke residue from all affected surfaces. Inevitably, some items will be beyond repair, so identifying and removing these will significantly speed up the restoration process. Certain complex objects, such as air conditioning units can be restored, but require deep cleaning that may take time and know-how to disassemble.

2. Removing Physical Residues
Manually removing smoke residues is a necessary step for removing smoke odor from surfaces or items. It is important that you understand which smoke cleaning method should be used for which surfaces. Upholstery fabrics, for example, are likely to suffer damage from wet cleaning. Porous materials, on the other hand, are most easily cleared with a wet sponge.

3. Using Proven Chemical Cleaning Methods
Ozone cleaning and thermal fogging are two of the most effective methods of removing smoke odor. When used together, these usually eliminate all evidence of smoke damage from clean interiors. A complete exposure of all rooms will ensure that the job does not need to be repeated in the future.
Your Pulaski, TN fire has probably created significant strain on your business. With the proper smoke cleaning techniques, you can get back to work. Smoke removal is covered by many insurance plans, so don't skimp on the restoration process. When in doubt, talk to a professional.

How to Care for Waterlogged Items

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

Water In Buckets From Ceiling Water leaking from ceiling in a home

How to Care for Waterlogged Items

Is there a way for owners in Spring Hill, TN, to assist in salvaging their favorite belonging even after those items have been drenched? Is a towel enough, or do they need to do more? Residents can feel rest assured that aid is possible, especially when working with content cleaning specialists such as SERVPRO; these crews have the knowledge and high tech equipment to only sanitize but save valuables. If you want to protect your assets, consider the following three steps.

1. Find Ways Reduce Moisture
Begin with using dry cleaning methods. If the electricity has been cleared as functioning, run fans, and the air conditioner. Furthermore, dehumidifiers can also help extract humidity from walls and flooring. Next, carefully take out rugs, furniture, and fixtures. Place them in open aired areas, preferably where the sun exposure can help. If they cannot be taken from the space, then place foil squares underneath, preventing staining on the floor. In addition, use care when picking up paintings and other papers. If they begin to fall apart, place them in a plastic container, with the lid off, and set them aside. In fact, you may wish to speak with a company like SERVPRO that specializes in cleaning services. Their high tech equipment may be able rescue some of your more delicate possessions.

2. Rinse Materials
Water in home furnishings and fixtures needs attention. Anything that is still covered with the contaminated water should be washed off with clean fluid. Using a hose or a wet rag, carefully wipe away any debris or grime.

3. Disinfect Items and Structures
Look around the broken pipe or flood entrance. Notice if anything has small discolorations which are indicators of fungus growth. If you suspect any trouble, apply a commercial disinfectant spray, working to reduce the infestation.
Don't allow water in-home possessions to sit as it could make it harder to recover them. Instead, concentrate on extricating water and sanitizing.

3 Tips for Dealing With Crawl Space Water

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing When you have a wet crawl space it’s best to conduct a cleanup as quickly as possible

Here Are Three Tips That Might Help

If your Lynnville, TN, home has a wet crawl space you may be worried about water damage from the flooding. One of the best ways to deal with this is to clean up the space as quickly as possible. Here are three tips that may help.

1. Call a Professional

One of the first steps to follow with any water problems is to contact a water damage restoration service. These professionals have the tools and training needed to remove the water from your crawlspace, clean the area, and make any necessary repairs. Many restoration professionals also have the ability to work with your insurance in case a claim needs to be documented.

2. Remove the Water

A wet crawl space can experience a number of additional problems such as mold or the warping of wood, so it’s important to remove any excess water from space as quickly as possible. A restoration service will often have pumps or water-rated vacuum to pull large amounts of water out of the area. You can also make use of absorbent rags. Once the water is gone the area can then be dried.

3. Dry the Space

It's important after the floodwater is removed to thoroughly dry the area. If Possible a dehumidifier can be used to help pull moisture from the air. After the area is dry it will be easier to make any necessary repairs and set up mitigation measures against future flooding. Drying the space can help prevent possible problems like mold or warped wood as well.

When you have a wet crawl space it’s best to conduct a cleanup as quickly as possible. A restoration service should be able to help. Start by removing the water and thoroughly drying the area. After these repairs can begin and mitigation steps against future problems can be made. If you have any questions a professional can help.

The Main Stages of Fire Restoration

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage Fire damage in Columbia, TN

The Main Stages of Fire Restoration

The intense heat of a blaze scorches walls, leaving behind charred remnants of your home in Columbia, TN. The pictures are damaged. Curtains appear ruined. Holes and blackness encompass the entire building. The ash and soot can be hard to face, but, in time, fire restoration can clear it away, getting you back to a better place. The process takes time, so be prepared. Understand the measures taken to ensure your property gets back to the normal you desire.

1. Assess and Protect
The smoke damage could cause issues to your home. Therefore, before patching and washing take place, a remediation team usually arrives to survey the premises, determining the extent of the trouble. Allow the professionals to review the following areas:

  • Exposure to elements
  • Structural integrity
  • Security complications
  • Electrical hazards
  • Soot damage
  • Water saturation

Some of these problems are not visibly evident. After investigating, the crew spends time securing the premises, preventing additional environmental exposures as well as safeguarding the property. This allows for time until the full mitigation begins.

2. Scrub and Clean
The fire restoration company starts by drying everything up. The hoses used to quench the flames flooded wall and floors. Left alone, this could produce mold. Therefore, it's important to air out the space. Dehumidifiers pull up the excess moisture. Then, the workers focus on content cleaning and sanitizing. Some items may need removal, depending on the amount of contamination, so the staff may take out portions of carpeting or the drywall. Using high tech equipment, they can then wash the grey residue, attempting to salvage personal assets.

3. Rebuild and Rest
With damage cleaning underway, the employees tackle construction projects. This includes activities such as mending holes and repainting. They may also replace discarded or ruined goods.
Over time, what seemed lost looks a lot more familiar. The fire restoration experts evaluate the destruction, prepare for rehabilitation, and reconstruct.

Call Our Certified Technicians To Handle Your Columbia Fire Damage Restoration

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Your Columbia Home Smells like Smoke Thanks to Fire Damage!

Most homeowners experience accidents in their home at some point or another. These disruptions of daily life are usually the result of smaller things, like a grease fire that starts in the kitchen and suddenly there are flames to put out and a need to call the fire department. Regardless of its source, the smoke and fire damage resulting from that small event can leave you at a loss when returning your home to normal.

When your home in Columbia falls victim to fire damage, it is best to reach out to an expert team such as SERVPRO. Our technicians are IICRC-certified and receive continuous instruction on the latest techniques and equipment available for the restoration of homes such as yours. Most importantly, our team is available 24/7 to respond to your call and begin the time-sensitive task of removing any remains of the fire, including the subsequent damage firefighting agents may have caused.

Based on our training and field experience, our SERVPRO team can observe the path of the smoke and soot to assess each surface and determine the best cleaning agent for it. Most importantly, our team can determine where the foul smoke smell resides and work accordingly to eliminate it from your home. If your air vents and ducts are spreading the smell throughout your home, we can install specialized filters and air purifying equipment to improve the air quality and return it to normal.

Many times, homeowners attempt to restore their furniture and belongings themselves using store-bought solutions. Although these can be helpful for some things, you also risk worsening the damage if it is not the right solution for the surface you are treating. A professional team such as SERVPRO can make an educated decision for each affected area to optimize its cleaning efforts and minimize your damages.

Even if a fire to your home appears to be of little consequence, reach out to SERVPRO of Maury/Giles Counties at (931) 388-4248 and let us leave your home “Like it never even happened.”

Click here to discover what your parks can offer you.

Should I Replace My Polybutylene Pipes?

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

The plumber connects parts of the plastic water pipe using fittings, hands close-up. From around 1970 until the 1990s, polybutylene pipes were installed in millions of commercial buildings

If your building in Pulaski, TN is more than 20 years old, you need to have the plumbing inspected. From around 1970 until the 1990s, polybutylene pipes were installed in millions of commercial buildings. This type of plumbing was fairly inexpensive and installation was quick and easy, so it was an attractive choice for many business owners. Unfortunately, these pipes have proven to be inadequate and new plumbing must be installed.

What Are the Problems With Poly Pipes?

Water treatments, including anti-bacterial and chlorine, negatively react with the polybutylene, causing the pipes to become brittle and crack over time. Because the deterioration takes place inside the pipes, it is hard to detect until a serious problem occurs. The resulting water damage is much more expensive than the cost of replacing the pipes.
Other situations that have contributed to the poor quality of the pipes over the years include:

  • Inadequate plumbing installation
  • Equipment used during installation wasn’t calibrated correctly
  • Pipe fittings degenerate quickly

The poor condition of the pipes not only increases the risk of flooding, but it also affects the quality of the water that flows through the pipes. This can pose a health risk to your employees. For these reasons, the building codes in the United States and Canada don’t recognize these pipes any longer. It may be nearly impossible for insurance to cover water damage caused by faulty pipes as well.

How Can You Tell if You Have Poly Pipes?
If your building was constructed in the 1970s through the 1990s, chances are high that you have these inadequate pipes. You should call a professional to inspect the plumbing as soon as possible. He or she will be able to give you the best advice to remedy the situation.
Installing new plumbing may seem too expensive, but the price of not replacing the polybutylene pipes will eventually be much more costly.

4 Things You Can Do To Handle Mold Damage

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Door of a cabinet opened, black mold growth on a white wall Yes, you may have black mold, but you can get rid of it

Four Tips To Keep In Mind

You really thought it wouldn't happen. How could black mold really have bred in your establishment? As a business owner in Mount Pleasant, TN, you have taken great pride in maintaining a safe and secure building. Sometimes, though, despite the best efforts problems form. Fungus is one of those unfortunate and, often, unexpected things. If you're facing this travesty, here are four tips to keep in mind.

1. Disconnect Water Sources
Liquids act as a catalyst for spore development; therefore, during your mold cleanup, you should shut off the water flowing into the area. This essentially cuts off the food supply, reducing reproduction and the possibility for further destruction. This includes turning off the valves to sinks, showers, and toilets. If you can't pinpoint a section, then turn off the mainline. Then, work with a plumber to repair any leaks, breaks, or overflows.
2. Establish a Boundary
Your focus should be containment. Avoid spreading black mold to other rooms of the establishment. Thus, you want to prevent people from entering into space. Put up signs and, if possible, cut off the air supply and entrance to the zone. Microbes travel through the air, so the vent circulation can allow travel. Turning off the unit may make it hot, but it mitigates the reproduction.
3. Dry the Area
Reduce the amount of fluid, wiping up any puddles or dampness. Then, bring in dehumidifiers to run for days, soaking up the excess humidity. In addition, add absorbent products into corners or smaller surfaces, drawing out as much as possible.
4. Remove Heavily Affected Materials
It's tempting to spray on chemical cleaners, hoping that your trouble will go away. However, the moisture problem allowed fungus to dip deep into porous items. Your walls and carpeting could be much worse than you imagine. You'll want to have a water restoration company inspect the zone, determining the extent of contamination. With that information, you can then begin removing polluted belongings.
Yes, you may have black mold, but you can get rid of it. Prevent additional moisture from accumulating, and then gut the impacted matter.

4 Ways To Use Landscaping To Protect Your Home

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Mulch Mulch is a great way to keep the soil cool and damp, keep weeds at bay, and keep your foundation dry

Four Ways To Use Landscaping

A wet basement can do more than ruin your weekend plans in Spring Hill, TN; it can lead to soggy heirlooms, unexpected repairs, and a date with your water damage mitigation company. Here are four ways to use landscaping to keep outside flooding where it belongs.

1. Rain Gardens
A garden is a beautiful way to soak up a rainstorm and keep water away from your foundation. Stick to native plants for the lowest maintenance garden project, and be sure to plant the thirstiest plants in its center. That’s where the most water will accumulate, so flora that requires less water should be placed along the outer edges to avoid oversaturation.
2. Swales
A swale is essentially a valley on your property that’s used to direct rain drainage to a more desirable location than your rec room. This lowland doesn’t stop outside flooding, however, so it’s critical to make sure your swale moves that flood water toward an area that can make use of it, such as the rain garden described above.
3. Heavy Mulch
Mulch is a great way to keep the soil cool and damp, keep weeds at bay, and keep your foundation dry. If your mulch material is too light, however, flood water will simply carry it away. This not only means an increase in flood potential, but also more raking for you. Opt for heavier mulch materials, such as stones or hardwood chips, and be sure to keep it at least six inches away from your siding to prevent moisture wicking.
4. Grass
Large, empty patches of dirt in your yard aren’t just an eyesore; they’re a liability. Your lawn needs grass — more specifically its roots — to drink up water and prevent flooding. For superior protection, don’t cut your grass too short, either, as it can weaken those thirsty roots.
Landscaping is one of your home’s best lines of defense against outside flooding. Use the contours of your yard and clever planting and planning to prevent water from entering your home.