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Equip Your Home with Mold-Resistant Products

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Equip Your Home with Mold-Resistant Products

Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. Traditional drywall is composed of a gypsum plaster core pressed between plies of paper. Mold-resistant drywall is paperless — the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass, making the surface highly water-resistant. Moisture-resistant drywall is especially valuable in areas prone to wetness, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens. Not only is traditional drywall more susceptible to mold than the paperless kind, but it is also difficult to rid of mold, and removal and replacement can be expensive. Mold-resistant gypsum board is also available; the core of the drywall is developed in such a way to prevent moisture absorption, and thus prevent mold growth.

https://www.treehugger.com/how-to-prevent-mold-tips-4864317

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

What to do if your house floods

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

What to do if your house floods

Pump out the water

The first step in the cleaning process: Eliminating any remaining standing water by pumping, mopping, and/or opening clogged drains.

When pumping out a flooded basement, do it in stages. You also want to wait until there’s no standing water left in the yard around your home. Pumping too early or too fast could cause structural damage to your home.

When you pump water out all at once, pressure from water-saturated soil on the outside of your home may cause your basement walls to collapse. The Red Cross recommends pumping about one-third of the water per day.

https://www.inquirer.com/news/flash-floods-in-philadelphia-what-to-do-20200709.html

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year waiting to serve you in all of your restoration needs.

Identify Problem Areas in Your Home and Correct Them

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Identify Problem Areas in Your Home and Correct Them 

You can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of your home: where are the problem areas? Does the basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Or it may be a matter of major excavation and waterproofing. Whatever the case, address the problem now. It might cost some money up front, but it will surely be more costly down the road if mold continues to grow unchecked.

https://www.treehugger.com/how-to-prevent-mold-tips-4864317

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Clean or Repair Roof Gutters

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Clean or Repair Roof Gutters

A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

Improve air flow in your home

According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

https://www.treehugger.com/how-to-prevent-mold-tips-4864317

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Smoke and ash damage from a wildfire

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and ash damage from a wildfire

  • Your insurer may bring in outside vendors to do testing and prepare reports on your home’s condition, or do the actual cleaning/restoration.  If you have reason to believe your insurer or a vendor has not conducted a proper inspection, or done necessary testing, we recommend that you:  Speak UP and get them to do so, find a qualified expert you trust.  If your insurer refuses to cover their fee, you have two choices:  Complain to your state insurance regulator and keep pushing until the insurer changes their mind, or pay the fee yourself. Document damage that you observe.  Take pictures of all visible damage.  If you or a household member are experiencing health problems, report that to your doctor.
     
  • Cooperate with your insurer’s attempts to inspect your home.  Inspections and estimates will be necessary before your insurer will approve payment for cleaning and/or repairs. Take notes during inspections and conversations with insurance adjusters and others related to your home and claim. If you have no choice but to move back into your home before you feel 100% sure it's safe, at a minimum, purchase a certified air cleaner. 

https://www.uphelp.org/pubs/smoke-and-ash-damage-wildfire

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs

Pay for professional cleaning

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

Pay for professional cleaning

After documenting any smoke damages from a fire and speaking with your insurance agency, you should pay for professional cleaners or remediation experts to enter your home. Most insurance policies will cover professional cleaning costs (check to make sure).

It’s unsafe for you to clean your home after a fire. Soot and ash can have lifelong effects on your health. Professional cleaners and remediation teams have specialized equipment and personal protection devices to safeguard them against smoke damage in your home.

They can immediately get to work with industrial vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners to clean up the smoke damage.
Many homeowners will try to clean up smoke damage themselves, only to realize that water-based cleaners only make the stains worse.

In more extreme cases, you may also have to pay to deodorize the house or replace insulation in the walls or attic. However, professional cleaning or remediation is a good start.

https://claimsmate.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-smoke-damage-insurance-claims/

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs

Prevent Home Fire

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Prevent Home Fires

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.

More Prevention Tips

  • Never use a stove range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.

https://www.ready.gov/home-fires

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

If a Windstorm Occurs

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

If a Windstorm Occurs

When you’re indoors

  • Bring all family members together into a safe location such as a basement and take cover under a heavy piece of furniture. If your home does not have a basement, take cover in the bathroom.
  • Do not stand near doors or windows.
  • Do not use the elevator if you live in a Highrise.
  • Do not remain in a mobile home because it can overturn in the wind.

When you’re outdoors

  • Take cover in a secure building with a sturdy roof that can withstand the force of wind and weight of snow.
  • If you are in an open area and no shelter is available, take cover under a highway overpass, in a ditch or a hollow in the ground. Lay face down on the ground and protect your head with your hands.

https://www.securitepublique.gouv.qc.ca/en/civil-protection/preparing-for-disasters/disasters/windstorm.html

 SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

Check for structural damage

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

  • Check the outside of your home before you enter. Look for loose power lines, broken or damaged gas lines, foundation cracks, missing support beams or other damage. Damage on the outside can indicate a serious problem inside. Ask a building inspector or contractor to check the structure before you enter.
  • If the door is jammed, don’t force it open – it may be providing support to the rest of your home. Find another way to get inside.
  • Damaged locks should be taken apart and wiped with oil. If locks can’t be removed, squirt machine oil through a bolt opening or keyhole, and work the knob to distribute the oil. Hinges should also be thoroughly cleaned and oiled.
  • Sniff for gas. If you detect natural or propane gas, or hear a hissing noise, leave the property immediately and get well away from it. Call the fire department after you reach safety.
  • If you have a propane tank system, turn off all valves and contact a propane supplier to check the system out before you use it again.
  • Check for smoke and embers throughout the home, including the attic.
  • Beware of animals, such as rodents, snakes, spiders and insects, that may have entered your home. As you inspect your home, tap loudly and often on the floor with a stick to give notice that you are there.
  • Damaged objects, such as furniture or stairs, may be unstable. Be very cautious when moving near them. Avoid holding, pushing or leaning against damaged building parts.

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/checking-home-after-fire.html

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.

How to clean up Smoke and Soot from a fire

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

How to clean up Smoke and Soot from a fire

Smoke and soot can travel and penetrate into other rooms affecting paint, carpet, upholstery, drapes, clothing and any other belongings. Ventilation of the fire scene or debris removal is an effective first step to clean up after fire. Thorough cleaning and neutralizing of both the deposits and odors are required prior to any redecoration.

Different types of fire require different cleaning techniques. Typically, high-oxygen fires will result in dry dusty soot, whereas slow-burning, low-oxygen fires will result in greasy wet deposits that easily smear. The cleaning regimen must take into account these variations. Here are some clean-up recommendations and guidelines: · Wear gloves such as household dish washing gloves, long sleeved shirts and pants to avoid skin contact. If you get any ash on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible. · Wear personal protective gear, such as a dust mask, to avoid breathing in ash and other airborne particles. · Ventilate the area (open windows, etc.) to remove soot and odor. · Remove burned debris to reduce odors. · Install dehumidifiers to control moisture in the air (relative humidity), especially where water was used to extinguish the fire. · Wipe all metallic finishes with cooking oil to prevent rust and staining. · Clean plastic or surfaces such as PVC windows and white painted surfaces using a mild alkali detergent to remove possible acidic soot which may activate with moisture in the air (humidity) and cause permanent staining. · Undertake triage assessments to clean or remove all contents as quickly as possible and in order of value. · Deodorants should not be used as they mask odors, which is a significant indicator of health concerns. · Where surface staining cannot be removed, consider the use of specialist paint to obliterate the stain and anti-bleed characteristics. Typically, these paints are lacquers or oil-based

http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/docs/emergunit/cleanFireDamage.pdf

SERVPRO of South Arlington is here for all of your restoration needs.