Recent Posts

Put a FREEZE on Winter Fires!

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

According to the NFPA, heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months. The NFPA and the U.S. Fire Administration are teaming up to help reduce your risk to winter fires and other hazards, including carbon monoxide and electrical fires.

Heating

Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, figuring in two of every five fires (40%). More statistics on heating fires.

Carbon Monoxide

Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, etc. do not burn. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of CO. Carbon monoxide incidents are more common during the winter months, and in residential properties. More statistics on carbon monoxide incidents.

Winter storms

Most of the U.S. is at risk for winter storms, which can cause dangerous and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Blinding wind-driven snow, extreme cold, icy road conditions, downed trees and power lines can all wreak havoc on our daily schedules. Home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires, and one in every five home fire deaths.

Generators

Portable generators are useful during power outages, however, many homeowners are unaware that the improper use of portable generators can be risky. The most common dangers associated with portable generators are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution, and fire hazards. According to a 2013 Consumer Product Safety Commission report, half of the generator-related deaths happened in the four coldest months of the year, November through February, and portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools. 

Candles

December is the peak time of year for home candle fires; the top four days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. Each year between 2009 and 2013, an average of 25 home candle fires were reported each day. More statistics on candle fires.

Electrical

Electrical home fires are a leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Roughly half of all home electrical fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment, while nearly another half involved other known types of equipment like washer or dryer fans, and portable or stationary space heaters. More statistics on electrical fires.

Christmas tree disposal

Christmas trees are combustible items that become increasing flammable as they continue to dry out in your home. Nearly 40 percent of home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur they’re much more likely to be serious. More statistics on Christmas tree fires.

Fire Hazards in the Kitchen!

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is often a relaxing and fun task that brings family and friends together, and it provides a great way to showcase your creativity and love of good food.

But cooking is also the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Being mindful while you cook, however, can go a long way to helping prevent these fires. 

Cooking fires by the numbers

Based on 2011-2015 annual averages:

  • Cooking equipment was the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, causing 47% of home fires that resulted in 20% of the home fire deaths and 45% of the injuries.**
     
  • Two-thirds (66%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. 
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but clothing ignitions led to 18% of the home cooking equipment fire deaths. 
  • Ranges or cooktops accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking fire incidents. 
  • Unattended equipment was a factor in one-third (33%) of reported home cooking fires and half (43%) of the associated deaths.. 
  • Frying dominates the cooking fire problem.
     
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.

Source: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment" report
Source**: NFPA's "Home Structure Fires" report

Top Reason You Have Mold in Your Home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Top Reasons You Have Mold in Your Home

There is always talk about how dangerous mold is and how you should ensure you do not have it in your home, especially black mold. Doing a check of your home on a regular basis is important to spot any black mold issues and to get mold cleanup started right away. However, the key to really ensuring you do not get mold in your Atlanta, GA  home is knowing why mold grows in the first place. 

The main instigator for mold is moisture. In a home, there are plenty of sources that can create a moisture problem. Some common issues include:

High humidity
Broken pipes
Flooding

If you have any of these issues, it is essential to address them right away and get rid of the excess moisture before black mold even has a chance to begin growing. 

High Humidity

High humidity is typically a weather or season issue. You can take steps to reduce the humidity in your home. Using an air conditioning unit will remove excess moisture in the air and reduce your homes humidity. In areas that tend to attract moisture, such as attics or basements, you may want to run a dehumidifier.

Broken Pipes

If you have a plumbing issue, you should get it fixed asap. You also need to check for water leaks to ensure the plumbing issue did not lead to water getting in your walls, floors or ceilings. If water did leak out, then you should clean it up immediately. Never let water sit too long.

Flooding

If you experience flooding in your home, you should take steps to stop it from occurring again, if possible. Anything that was damaged from the flood waters should be removed, such as bedding, drywall or furniture. 

Your best bet when tackling mold is to call in professional help. You can find mold removal professionals or others who can assist you with your moisture issues and ensure mold is not growing in your home. 
Call 478-452-8000 for more information on mold.

What to do if you find mold in your home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Finding mold in your home can be a stressful situation. We want to make sure you know what to do and how to handle it. First if you have any questions feel free to call us at anytime at 478-452-8000

If you discover mold or any kind of microbial growth growing in your home, it is important to get a hygienist to test the substance. Once the growth is determined, the proper recommendations can be written for how to remove and treat. It is very important to make sure each step is taken into account. This way the job can be completed and not have to be redone for a second time. 

Overall if you need more insight on mold remediation, visit our website!

Fire Damage Restoration: What You Should Know

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Whether it's a fire in the home or a fire in a business, fire damage can be devastating. The shock of a fire to a family or business owner can feel overwhelming, and most people don't quite know what to do. Fire damage can range in severity. From smoke damage and soot damage to serious structural deterioration, fire in a home or fire in a business is nothing to be taken lightly. Fire damage restoration is an in depth process that should be entrusted to a professional restoration company. A fire cleanup should only be carried out by skilled experts.

After a loss to fire, a restoration company should be contacted right away to determine the best course of action. Usually the first thing that will be done is to board up the damaged structure to keep curious people and animals out. Skilled experts can then begin the assessment of smoke damage, soot damage, fire damage, and water damage associated with such a loss. The severity and types of damage that have occurred will depend on the intensity of the fire and the composition of the structure. Commercial fire damage in a steel building may be limited to smoke damage, soot damage, and water damage to the interior, and require only remodeling and mitigation of the smoke smell. Fire in the home however, can often be more severe, as many homes are built of wood and filled more flammable building materials like carpets and furniture. A professional restoration company should be the only ones entrusted to assess the extent of fire damage and carry out the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration.

After the initial board up and assessment of damage the restoration company can begin the fire cleanup. This means removing any furniture or appliances damaged by the fire in the home or fire in the business. Many articles will be lost to smoke damage and soot damage, even though they have not been burned. If there was fire in a business damaged products will need to be sorted and evaluated to determine the extent of the commercial fire damage. The smoke smell will quite often never come out furniture or appliances that go through commercial fire damage or residential fires.

When all furniture and appliances have been removed the fire damage restoration process can begin. To mitigate the smoke smell the property will usually be opened up and well ventilated. Damaged drywall, carpeting, ceiling tiles and the like will be removed. Once the house or business has been properly stripped of its damaged interior, structural inspection can take place to determine what repairs are needed. The property may be left in a board up state and ventilated for a few days to diminish the smoke smell. Chemical solutions may also be used to aid the process. The fire cleanup process must be expected to take days if not weeks depending on severity, as the professionals entrusted will want to do a thorough job. Fire damage restoration is no small matter and needs to be entrusted to these skilled experts. After the property has been sufficiently cleaned the board up may be removed and the process of rebuilding and/or remodeling may begin.

What to Do After a Fire Related Loss:
-Board up the property to ensure it's inaccessible to people or animals;
-Contact your insurance company, if applicable;
-Call a professional restoration company immediately and set up a consultation;

Residential and commercial fire damage can be devastating emotionally, mentally, and financially. But home and business owners alike need to remember that they are not alone, and that there are highly skilled and trained experts ready to help them. The sooner these professionals are contacted, the sooner family life and business can get back on track. If you or someone you know has experienced a residential or commercial fire related loss, contact SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties at 478-452-8000!

Deodorizing following a fire damage

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

After a small fire in your home or business, you quickly start to assess the damages to the area. You visually inspect the furniture and walls. Even if there is no real lasting damage, there is one problematic element that tends to linger for weeks after a fire: the smell. Odor removal is an often overlooked, but significant aspect of fire restoration services.

While our SERVPRO team is well educated in restoration techniques and cleaning processes to restore areas of your home that have been damaged aesthetically by an unexpected fire, the lingering odor that remains is often something that homeowners are less concerned with initially. It becomes more and more problematic as the home is being restored, but the smoke and charring scent of the fire’s destruction remains as powerful as ever.

Fortunately, our team of technicians has state-of-the-art equipment for removing foul smells from a residence or business. Deodorizing happens through the use of dense fogging machines. The machines are capable of producing a heavy chemical fog that is sprayed throughout the entire affected area, ensuring that all of the affected structure and contents are also affected by the fog.

Though this chemical has no scent, it reacts on a molecular level with the foul-smelling odor molecules lingering in the air after the fire gets extinguished. This new chemical compound is entirely neutral, leaving behind no smell at all. The process is a far cry from traditional deodorizing techniques, which merely overpower the harsh smell with an overbearing new scent for the damaged areas. Fogging leaves the room smelling like nothing has ever happened, even if you are still in the process of restoration efforts for the damages.

Since formidable smells (like those left behind after a fire) are challenging to live with, be sure to speak with our technicians assigned to your residence about deodorizing the area as soon as possible. Fogging can happen alongside our cleaning and restoration efforts, which makes the entire process more streamlined and efficient.

Recovering from a recent fire, regardless of its size, can be a complicated process. Contact us at SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones to walk you through the entire restoration process and help to bring these damages back to their preloss conditions. Call us anytime at 478-452-8000.

Places Mold Damage May Be Hiding in Your Home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technicians Focus on Remediation and Prevention of Mold in Your Home

The media is exceptionally full of stories about the rise of mold damage following storms and floods. A Central GA home that has no recent history of these disasters still can struggle with mold issues. Deterioration of building materials and personal property linked to mold growth caused by less sensational events is no less frustrating a problem. Our mold remediation services are available for microbial growth due to any source. 
 
The common denominator for mold damage in Georgia is moisture. Where there is persistent moisture, mold follows. Educating yourself about the places mold growth hides helps you improve your interior air quality and protect your home’s structure. Since mold is not selective about where it will grow as long as it has a water source, oxygen, and food, you may also have the unpleasant surprise of finding it quietly but persistently contaminating personal property or any space in your home. Our technicians learn many strategies to clean a wide variety of items affected by mold. 
 
A musty smell in the kitchen often signals a small leak under the sink, but other water issues can fuel a mold outbreak. The line to the refrigerator/freezer that fills the ice machine and chilled water reservoir may drip under cabinets or in the walls just enough to support a hidden colony. Steam from cooking raises the humidity in the room if not vented, and mold may grow near the stove. 
 
The bathroom is traditionally a steamy place, encouraging mold growth. Efforts to kill the reappearing black growth ironically often make it worse, especially if the cleaning solution contains diluted bleach. Bleach even when full strength is 90 percent water. It lightens the staining but does not reach far enough into the surface where the mold is growing to kill the roots. Its high water content feeds the mold. Laundry rooms shelter mold in the bottom of baskets, clogged dryer vents, and around the seal of the front loading washer. 
 
SERVPRO technicians offer answers to these mold problems and more. Once leaks in plumbing or appliances are located and repaired, affected areas can be remediated, the moldy materials removed and the spaces sanitized. Humidity and condensation disappear when exhaust fans are installed near stoves and showers. Professional antimicrobials penetrate to kill mold at the roots. AC and dehumidifiers keep air moisture levels below 50 percent, unappealing for most common mold strains. 
 
Vent cleaning is a SERVPRO specialty, and we can help remove the moldy residue in the washer as well. Our crew members guide you as you review cleaning and maintenance routines to keep your working, storage, and living areas dry and free of mold damage. 
 
SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties is your answer for mold hiding in any or all areas of your home. Call 478-452-8000 for efficient mold remediation and helpful advice to avoid mold damage in the future. 

Mold can be anywhere!

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Damage

Mold spores are microscopic and can be located everywhere. There are thousands in every home and are dormant, causing no problems, for the most part. It takes an open source of water or high levels of moisture in the air to cause these spores to expand and grow. If untreated or removed, mold can quickly destroy building material and other property, costing hundreds (even thousands) of dollars in damage.

If you are concerned there may be mold damage in your North Dallas home, call a professional mold damage restoration company for assistance. SERVPRO has extensive training in handling mold and cleaning up property that has been infested by it.

We start by finding the source of the mold and determining just how far it may have already grown. Our technicians use air testers to determine the exact levels which help us plan how to neutralize and remove it. Once we find it, the next step is to isolate the affected room or area. Our response team seals off all entrances and exits using plastic sheeting and duct tape to prevent further contamination of your home. The vents and ducts of your heating and air system will be sealed off as well.

Next, technicians begin to clean the area using anti-fungal and anti-microbial sprays to destroy active spores. Every surface will be sprayed and then wiped down; if the growth is exceptionally thick in some places, we use special scrubbing tools to remove it without damaging the surface underneath. Areas difficult to reach may be cleaned by using anti-fungal foggers that get into every surface and crack mold may hide. These foggers are also used in case your heating and air system has been compromised by the mold. After the ducts have been exposed to the anti-fungal agents, technicians will use specially designed exhaust fans to blow the spores out of your home. When this is finished, we wipe down all of the vents and replace the air filters.

To prevent new mold growth, our technicians also test the air to see if the air moisture levels need to be reduced. If they do, dehumidifiers will be set up at key points to draw water from the air. Once the levels test out to under 12 percent, your home is considered to be safe against new growth. If you are worried about mold in your house, call us at 478-452-8000 today to schedule an inspection. SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties is here to help restore your home and put your life back together.

Getting Professional Help For Water Removal In Your Home From A Hidden Bathroom Leak

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Professional Water Removal

A hidden water leak in your bathroom, if left untreated, can cost you, especially if it leads to serious damage to walls, flooring, and paint. There are subtle signs you can look for in your home to figure out whether you need a plumber to fix those leaking fixtures and pipes before things get worse. When you have a massive leak, you need a certified remediation company to help you clean up the damage.

One sign of a hidden leak and the need for professional water removal is a wall which has blistering wallpaper or paint. Most of the time, steam from hot showers in your home should not cause this to happen. When water and moisture get between the paint and the wall, they stop the bond and start to separate the two, making the paint rise from the wall and all off in bits. It is the same case with wallpaper.

A wall which is warped or stained for no apparent reason is a clear sign of a plumbing leak. Drywall becomes soft and starts to bubble when it is exposed to moisture, eventually warping and breaking up into pieces. If the leak reaches your ceiling, it will sag and could leak some of the accumulated water, causing more damage to your bathroom.

At SERVPRO, our technicians have tools like moisture meters to find any hidden moisture and leaks in your bathroom and to remove any accumulation of water from those leaks. We first figure out what is causing the leak, fix the problem, and eliminate the water with industrial pumps, fans, and dehumidifiers. Quickly drying your bathroom out is important to avoid the growth of mold. Once your bathroom is dry again, repairs are made, including replacing any damaged drywall, and the affected area is sanitized.

Sometimes your flooring can be damaged as well if the leak was bad enough, causing cracking, staining or buckling. Moisture can make your floor feel soft or spongy depending upon the material it is made of. In these cases, you often find a damp subfloor as well. If the problem is found quick enough, we can dry it out and salvage it without having to replace it, but we may need to put new subflooring in as well where the water damaged it.

Don’t hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties when you believe you have a hidden leak in your bathroom. We are available to help you at any time, day or night, in the areas of Baldwin, Putnam, Jones, Washington, Wilkinson and Hancock Counties when you dial 478-452-8000.

Flood Damage From Appliances in Your Home

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Steps to removing water and drying your home after a failed appliance causes a flood

Most flooding problems in homes come from the inside, rather than from a rising creek or river. In many of these cases, the problem results from a failed dishwasher or a split intake hose for a clothes washer.

Appliance flood damage in a home sounds simple, but the truth is very different. A failure of either of these machines can drop over five gallons of water on the floor every hour. SERVPRO knows that if this happens in the morning after everyone leaves for work, that means an entire, three-bedroom room can be under an inch of water before the homeowner or renter walks in to find a disaster.

The only advantage to dealing with flooding from such an inside source is that it is clean water. There is no contamination to have to worry about, so there is no need for special protective gear and since cleaning the surfaces is not required, the overall time necessary for the job is far less as well.

The first step we take is to stop the flow of water. If a resident has not turned off the water main, we do it immediately after arriving on the property.

Next, we get to work removing standing water. For any amount over an inch, we start with commercial grade water pumps. These machines can empty out an average home in an afternoon, allowing us to bring in more equipment and inspect for damage to floors, carpets, and walls. If the power is out, we bring in our generators for uninterrupted electrical support.

If there is no permanent damage, we draw out remaining water trapped on carpets and floors. Technicians use extraction wands which are designed to bring out the water without harming wood surfaces or damaging the nap of the rug. This part of the job is more time-consuming and can take up to a full day or more.

With the water removed, we now lower the moisture levels in the surrounding air. To do so, we use dehumidifiers to draw moisture out of the air. Each device can remove over twenty gallons every day depending on the humidity and size of the dehumidifier we use. We perform this task to prevent the possibility of rot or mold growth in the walls and floors.

Drying out your home is not an easy process, but the right restoration company can do it quickly and safely. The experts at SERVPRO of Baldwin, Putnam and Jones Counties has decades of experience helping our neighbors put their homes back together after a flood. If you need our help, call today at 478-452-8000.