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Fire Safety and Candles

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

There’s a special beauty and tranquility to candles, but a lit candle is also an open flame, and a potential fire hazard if not carefully monitored. 



  • Before burning,always trim the wick to ¼ inch. You can use a wick trimmer, nail clippers, or scissors. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
  • When lighting a candle, use long matches or a long-reach lighter. Keep  hair and loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. It needs to be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
  • Place the candleholder on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This will also help prevent possible heat damage to counters and table surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
  • Avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on burn time and proper use. In general, it is recommended that candles do not burn for longer than four hours and cool for at least two hours before relighting.


  • Never touch or move a burning candle. Never move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquefied.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2 inch if in a container).
  • Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This is to make sure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts that will cause the candles to burn improperly.
  • Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly. Let the candle cool, trim the wick, and check for unwanted drafts before re-lighting.
  • Always keep the candle within your sight. If you are going to leave the room, be sure to first blow out all candles.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
  • Never use a candle as a night light.
  • Be very careful if using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer sources of light during a power failure. Never use a candle during a power outage to look for things in a closet, or when fueling equipment – such as a lantern or kerosene heater.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.


  • Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax from splattering.
  • Never use water to extinguish a candle. Water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might break a glass container.
  • Make sure the candle is completely out and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
  • Don’t touch or move the candle until it has completely cooled.
  • Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. It might scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.

Fire Damage in your home or business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Water Damage and Appliance Failure

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Certain home appliances are known for failures that will eventually lead to property damage. Common appliances such as water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers require regular maintenance but rarely receive the attention they need to avoid busted pipes, leaks, and other problems that result in water damage.

Avoid major property repairs by knowing what to look for and how to protect your home. Here’s how to respond quickly to appliance failures in your home.

Turn Off Main Water Supply

Before addressing the appliance directly, you’ll have to shut off the main water supply to your home. There are two types of valves: the main or master valve, which stops the flow to the entire home, and individual or supply valves that connect to specific appliances or fixtures. Look for the main water valve and turn it off.

If the valve has a round handle, turn it clockwise to stop the flow. If the valve is a lever, turn the handle perpendicular to the actual water line.

Some appliances have a supply valve located near the water line going to the unit. If this is easier to get to first, turn it off; however, you’ll still want to find the main water supply and shut it off, too.

Memorize where these important water valves are and how to turn them on and off. This will reduce the amount of damage if something goes unexpectedly wrong.

Dishwashers and Refrigerators

There are two appliances in the kitchen that can cause water damage: dishwashers and refrigerators.

Dishwashers have a hot water line that’s more prone to leaks near or at the connection, a door gasket that should remain tight, and a drain that must remain clear.

Also, keep an eye on the float switch. This important mechanism tells the dishwasher to stop filling with water. A broken switch can quickly lead to water damage.

Look for specific manufacture information behind the dishwasher’s toe plate or behind the front panel. Always review the safety information before working with home appliances.

To avoid property damage:

  • Periodically check for leaks under the sink where hoses connect to the water supply.
  • Annually look around the base of each appliance for leaks, discoloration, warped flooring materials, or water damage to nearby cabinets.
  • If your refrigerator has an ice maker, make sure the hose connection is securely attached to the water supply line.

Washing Machine

Washing machine failures are common when regular maintenance falls to the wayside. The hot and cold-water hoses, for example, need to be replaced every four to five years, even if they look like they are in good shape. These hoses are subject to damage if a washing machine vibrates violently or moves during a wash cycle.

If you’re dealing with a washer malfunction, locate the supply value and turn the water flow off. If you can’t find the supply valve, locate the main water valve and shut that off.

When caught early, a washing machine failure doesn’t have to be a major disaster. But if you’re not at home when disaster strikes, overflow can cause serious damage, especially if the washer is located on a second or third floor.

If there’s more water than towels or a Wet Vac can handle, call the experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County for immediate relief.

Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County at 502-241-6861 for water damage relief 24/7.

Clothes Dryer

Cleaning out a dryer’s lint trap after each load is not enough to keep the ductwork completely clean and clear. Clogged air vents and ductwork can lead to dryer inefficiency and could also start a fire.

Again, second-floor appliances pose other risks: longer duct-work can trap lint rather than appropriately venting it out of the home, which can increase the chances of accidental ignition.

To avoid property damage:

  • Once a month, use your vacuum’s smallest attachment to suction the lint slot.
  • Once a year, unplug the dryer, disconnect the vent tube and vacuum it out.
  • If your dryer doesn’t vent directly outside, consider hiring a professional duct cleaner.

Water Heater

Short of fire, nothing causes more damage to a property than a busted water heater. Water heaters hold and continuously transfer water from the time of instillation to replacement or failure. This results in normal sediment buildup in pipes, fixtures, and the tank itself, which can lead to massive failure if not maintained.

Water heaters should be drained once a year to eliminate sediment build up on the bottom of the tank. Follow your owner’s manual for best instruction on how to perform this maintenance.

Check the area around the bottom of the tank periodically. When a water heater’s bottom becomes corroded, the whole tank may give out causing a deluge of continuously running water.

If you notice a leak, call for service or replacement immediately. A small leak can turn into a sudden flood without warning.


Toilets commonly cause water damage if the wax seal on the bottom wears out or the inlet hose develops a leak. The hoses used for the cold-water inlet are normally strong, but you should check the connecting ends for leakage at least once a year.

Toilets don’t normally flood a home; however, a leak can still cause serious damage. By checking the seal and water connection regularly, home owners can reduce the chances of a leak significantly.

Appliance Failure

Don’t let appliance failures cause additional stress. Keep up on regular maintenance and fix issues early and often.

As with all water damage, mitigating the problem quickly will help prevent costly repairs and possibly mold or wood rot. Unfortunately, time isn’t always on your side when disaster strikes, and you’ll need to call professionals to fix the problem.

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Why Tenants Should Have Renter's Insurance

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Many lease agreements for renters merely suggest their tenants procure renter’s insurance when moving into a new apartment or condo. For management’s good, this suggestion should be made a requirement for all renters. This might seem a bit harsh or strict, but it actually makes a total sense – here’s why:

It’s Not Expensive

First and foremost, renter’s insurance is surprisingly affordable. The argument that it is too expensive is not valid. For just a couple hundred dollars a year, a renter gets the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their belongings are protected. A typical policy priced as low as $150 – $200 annually can cover as much as $15,000 in property damage and $100,000 for liability coverage! Some people may even have renter’s insurance included in their auto coverage without knowing it. If not, encourage tenants to do so by informing them that they may get a discount for bundling the extra coverage into their existing policy. As a leasing manager, you can also work out a corporate program with an insurance company where the residents in your building get a special discount for purchasing renter’s insurance with them. In short, incentive is a great persuader.

It will Reduce Late Payments and/or Evictions

If a renter is not insured and valuable items are damaged, it may hinder their ability  to pay rent on time which affects your bottom line. What’s worse, let’s say the tenant works from home and a flood or firedestroys the equipment they use for work. The damages may adversely affect their livelihood long term. If they are unable to pay rent at all, you, as the leasing property manager, may be forced to begin the eviction process. Needless to say, the legal fees, back rent and headaches make evictions a costly and dreaded experience. Don’t let this happen to you. Make renter’s insurance mandatory.

Helps Condo Associations Too

It is quite common that condo owners rent out their units to generate income or sublet their condos when they travel. If a Water or Fire Damage occurs when the owner is renting out their condo, their property insurance will not cover the renter’s possessions. This leaves the tenant unprotected and likely to point fingers and come after the owner or association for compensation. For these reasons, reducing the amount of angry tenants in the management office is always a priority. How can you, as the leasing property manager, do this so that you can focus your energy on running things? Make proof of renter’s insurance apart of the application process when screening any prospective tenants. If there ever is a loss, the insured tenant would simply file a claim with their own insurance and live happily ever after. It would reduce foreseeable tensions between management, unit owners and their tenant or sublessor.

Mandating your tenants to carry renter’s insurance is really a win-win situation; it’s a low cost solution that eliminates headaches. Leasing property managers should establish policies that makes all the moving parts run smoothly. Requiring renter’s insurance, whether you’re a leasing property or an association, can make a significant difference should an emergency occur.

Water Or Fire Damage In Your Property contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Hot Water Extraction

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

The hot water extraction process is a chemistry term referring to a method of which hot water (50-120 degrees Celsius) is used to extract impurities from a surrounding area. The most common practical application of chemical hot water extraction processes is for cleaning carpets, which is often called steam cleaning. Read further to find out more about how hot water extraction processes can help you keep your carpets clean.

The way hot water extraction works is by first covering the surface in an alkaline, or basic, solution of at least 7 or above pH rating. Following this, the surface is brushed to agitate the alkaline solution and let it do its work. Finally, the fabric is exposed to heated water to start the hot water extraction process.

Though the process is often called steam cleaning in casual language, this is not fully accurate. While the water can present as steam after the cleaning if the water used is hot enough, the actual hot water extraction is done by liquid water anywhere from 50 to 120 degrees Celsius applied directly to the surface. The heated water thoroughly rinses the carpet, extracting impurities and rinsing away the alkaline used in the previous step.

Finally, after the carpet has been thoroughly treated by hot water, an acidic solution is added to balance the pH level to normal, and the carpet is clean. This process is very effective for removing impurities which would be otherwise impossible to get out of the carpet by hand, such as juice or wine stains, pet urine, deeply buried dirt and grime, and other things that can negatively affect the look or function of a carpet.

The benefits of using hot water extraction processes to clean your carpet. The carpet is the foundation of the home, whereas a dirty carpet can affect the way an entire room feels. You might be surprised what a difference a clean carpet makes in the quality of air; your carpet may smell bad without you even knowing! A dingy carpet can also take on a darker color, which absorbs light and makes a room feel dark and dreary.

Hot water extraction processes is a great way to use chemistry to fight carpet stains and odors. If your carpet is suffering from stubborn grime that won’t come out, try using a hot water extraction process technique to restore them to their original state.

Carpets in your home or business in need of a cleaning? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a professional. 502.232.5213

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Avoiding Water Damage By Keeping Your Drains Clear

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

One of the more common and recurring household issues is clogged drains. Everyone has experienced one, from the pool of water in the shower to the floating dishes in the sink; a clogged drain can be a definite nuisance. Luckily, keeping your drains cleared is easy to do and today we'll explain how. The key to keeping your drains clear is being mindful of what goes down them. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for your homes sinks and showers.

The Sink

Make sure to run water while using the garbage disposal. This will help food maneuver through the blades without getting hung up. If you don’t have a garbage disposal, make sure to use a strainer to catch large food items that can cause clogged drains. Never pour grease, fat or cooking oil down the drain. In cold temperatures, grease, fat and cooking oil can expand and cause a pipe to bust. A sink strainer is a simple and inexpensive way to stop drain clogs

The Shower

No matter how hard you may try, avoiding the dreaded hair clog is almost impossible. Using a strainer similar to what is used in a sink can help stop hair clogs from forming in your shower drain. Another culprit of the clog is small, used bars of soap. A small sliver of soap can turn a minor hair clog into a serious one. What’s the solution? Open a new bar of soap earlier and make sure to throw out the old one.

The Toilet

Many people, especially the young ones, treat the toilet like a trash can. That’s a surefire way to end up with the most dreaded of all clogs, the backed up toilet. Make sure to only flush bathroom tissue down the toilet. Things like facial tissues, paper towels and feminine products can cause serious clogs. Nothing should go in the toilet but toilet paper. Make sure your little ones know!

Tools to Keep on Hand

Drains are simple problems and usually require a simple solution. Most of the times a product like Draino will make short work of a even the most stubborn hair clogs. A plunger is usually all you’ll need for a simple toilet clog and they are very easy to use. However, you may need more than a plunger, depending on what’s down there. Always keep a plunger on hand in case a clog comes up.

Keeping your drains clear is easily done when you follow a few simple rules. Repairing a clogged drain is simple enough but can be a bit more involved. In those situations, you’ll need the help of a professional.

Water Damage as a result of a clogged drain? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties.

How Do Dehumidifiers Work?

9/4/2018 (Permalink)


Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. The ability of the air to carry water vapor increases with the increase in air temperature. In water damage restoration, we are most concerned with the relative humidity. The relative humidity will help determine how quickly materials dry. It relates to how much more water the air can hold at a given temperature. Warm air will holds more moisture than cold air. If we take a column of air that has a relative humidity of 50%, and raise the temperature 10 degrees, the relative humidity will decrease.

More than any other factor, the relative humidity helps control the rate of evaporation. Because relative humidity increases as the air temperature decreases, a low temperature will result in less evaporation. In a cold environment, evaporation will be low.

A flooded room with 100% relative humidity will never dry, no matter how many dryers you have running. When the air is at 100% humidity, the same amount of water that evaporates from the carpet will fall back into the carpet. In order to dry materials in this environment, we have to reduce the relative humidity.

There are several methods to remove the water vapor from the air. If you live in an area where the humidity is extremely low, you would open all the windows. Since humidity always seeks to balance itself, it will leave the building. If you don’t live in a low humidity environment, use a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is a machine that removes moisture from the air. As it reduces the humidity, the walls, floors, carpet and pad dry at a much faster rate. In basements or natural flood situations, it is a must, for without one, the dryers merely circulate warm, moist air, and little or no drying takes place.

Dehumidifiers remove high humidity from the room, and the dry air will pull moisture from floors, pad, walls, and carpet.


Dehumidifiers work by passing moist air over cold coils. When the saturated air passes by the coils, the air temperature is reduced to the saturation point. The moisture then condenses on the coils and runs into a collector bucket. It is a very simple process and acts just the same as when you have a cold drink and the water condenses on the glass. A portable, high capacity refrigerant dehumidifier can remove about 5 gallons in 24 hours and reduce the humidity to 40% at 80 degrees F.

Principles of Drying

Given any drying situation, there are three factors that can be managed for fast successful drying: temperature, air movement and humidity control.

AIRFLOW CIRCULATION – Turbo Dryers are designed to deliver a high volume laminar airflow over or under wet surfaces for speed drying. Airflow speeds the rate of evaporation, helps prevent mold growth, and reduces the risk of secondary damage. Circulating air speeds evaporation by moving the “boundary layer” of saturated air that hangs near wet surfaces. The moist air is whisked away and replaced with dryer air.

MOISTURE CONDITION -The moisture condition of carpet, cushion, flooring and walls along with other structural materials and contents.

HUMIDITY CONTROL – Using Turbo Dryers to speed the rate of evaporation in an enclosed area can cause humidity to escalate. As humidity elevates, air movers become less effective and the rate of drying slows. It is vital that Turbo Dryers be used with adequate dehumidification. For safety, indoor humidity should not exceed 60% Rh. For maximum drying porous materials, indoor humidity should be maintained below 45% Rh. This may require the use of Dehumidifiers. Even lower humidity between 25-40% Rh is helpful for drying saturated, dense materials such as walls and floors.

Drying Procedures

It is possible to dry both the stretched in carpet and synthetic cushion at the same time on many flood jobs. Turbo Dryers are used to force air under the carpet so that a cushion of air floats the carpet off the floor. Along with humidity control, the high volume airflow will usually dry most carpet, cushion, and flooring.

When hardwood flooring is present under wet carpet, strong consideration should be given to removing carpet for drying. Consideration should also be given to removing water damaged carpet cushion when it has a non-porous plastic “skin”, when it shows signs of severe wear or in contaminated situations.

Drying Out Your Home

Floodwaters affect a house in 3 ways:

  • The water damages materials. Wallboard will disintegrate if it stays wet for too long; wood can swell, warp, or rot; electrical parts can short out, malfunction, and cause fires or shock.
  • Mud, silt, and unknown contaminants in the water not only get everything dirty; they are also unhealthy.
  • Dampness promotes the growth of mildew, a mold or fungus that can grow on everything.

Dry the Ceilings, Walls & Floors

Flood-soaked wallboard should be removed and thrown away. Plaster and paneling can often be saved, but you still need to get air circulating in the wall cavities to dry the studs and sills. Different approaches are used for different materials.

WALLBOARD – If dirty floodwaters soaked the wallboard at least 4 feet above the floor, take down all the wallboard and replace it. If the water was less than 4 feet deep, remove the lower 4 feet of wallboard. You can fill the gap with new 4ft x 8ft wallboard sheets installed sideways. If you have Styrofoam insulation-or no insulation-and the wallboard was soaked with clean rainwater, you can dry the walls without removing the wallboard b using the technique explained below for plaster walls. But you will need to remove wet insulation if it is not Styrofoam.

PLASTER WALLS – If the plaster or wallboard is clean and in good shape, you can drill or cut ventilating holes in each wall cavity. Place holes low enough so they will be covered by the baseboard after the wall dries out. Open up the wall on both sides of interior walls. For exterior walls, drill or cut holes only on the inside of the house. However, if there is wet insulation, you will have to remove the plaster or wallboard in order to take out all the insulation.

CONCRETE BLOCK – The cavities in a concrete block wall will drain on their own. The water will not damage the concrete like it will wood or wallboard.

WALL COVERING – Vinyl wall covering seals the wall and keeps it from drying out. Wallpaper paste is also a favorite home for mold and mildew. For these reasons, you should remove all wall covering that got wet and throw it out. (If vinyl wall covering is loose on the bottom, you may be able to save it by pulling it off the wall up to the flood level. Clean and reapply it after everything dries.)

PANELING – Carefully pry the bottom of each panel away from the wall. Use something to hold the bottom away from the sill so the cavities can drain and dry out. You can nail them back into shape after they and the studs dry out. However, if there is wet insulation, you will have to remove the paneling in order to take out all the insulation.

FLOOR – Air needs to move around flooded floors so they can dry out. This usually means that you must remove the floor covering.

Because floodwaters contain mud and dirt, most soaked floor coverings should be thrown away. Keep a piece of all discarded floor covering so the adjuster can tell its value.

Air needs to circulate below the floor to dry it out. If the crawlspace of your house is flooded, pump it out. Remove any plastic sheets, vapor barriers, or insulation from underneath the floor. (Be sure to replace them when the floor and foundation are completely dry.)

If a house with a basement was flooded over the first floor, remove finished basement ceilings, or cut or drill homes between the joists to allow circulation. Don’t cut or drill near electric lines or pipes

Cleaning Floor Coverings

  • Small throw rugs can be saved and cleaned in a washing machine. Indoor/Outdoor carpeting can be hosed off and hung up to dry.
  • Large area rugs and any rug with foam backing should be cleaned professionally with a high power extraction machine before mildew has a chance to set in.
  • A wall-to-wall carpet that was soaked should be cleaned professionally with a high power extraction machine before mildew has a chance to set in.
  • Remove tile, vinyl, or linoleum flooring if it is warped, loose, or has a foam-runner pad (which should be thrown away).

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

What Causes A Dryer Fire ?

8/31/2018 (Permalink)


The single most common cause of a dryer fire is the lack of dryer vent cleaning. Lint is extremely flammable! Heat can build up in a dryer vent if the airflow is in any way restricted which in turn can cause the lint to ignite.

A clothes dryer works by forcing hot air through a turning drum, and wet clothes placed in the drum are then dried by moving hot air. Lint is created from the clothes as they tumble ; and while a lot of the lint is trapped by the dryer's lint trap, some lint is also carried through the vent system along with the moist, hot air. Because of this lint is a highly combustible material that builds up in both the dryer and the dryer vent, reducing the dryer's airflow, it makes the perfect kindling for a dryer fire.

Additionally, dryer exhaust vent blockage can also happen as a result from birds' nests or other animals, or from damage to the vent itself - the result of which is an overheated dryer leading to a fire.


Although regular cleaning or at least inspection of your dryer vents is recommended, there are some indications that your vents should be cleaned but always consult a professional dryer vent cleaner if you are not sure if your vents need to be cleaned.

The following are indications that lint may be restricting your dryer vent and you could be at risk of a fire:

  • Clothes are taking longer than normal to dry
  • Clothes seem hotter than usual at the end of a drying cycle
  • The flapper on your exterior dryer vent doesn't open when the dryer is on

When airflow is restricted your dryer has to work harder and may take more than one cycle to dry clothes which uses more energy. The tumbling action of dryers is hard on clothes and if your dryer has to run longer to dry your clothes they are experiencing unnecessary wear and tear.


To help keep your family safe from a dryer fire, clean the lint screen prior or after drying each load of clothes. Failure to clean the dust, fiber, and lint from dryers is the leading contributing factor to the ignition of dryer fires.

Here are a few actions you can take to prevent dryer fires in your home:

  • Clean out the dryer lint trap after every load of laundry
  • Have your dryer vent cleaned at least once a year (Your venting system should be cleaned out from the inside of the dryer to the outside vent cap by a professional dryer vent cleaning company)
  • White vinyl venting should be replaced immediately with aluminum (White vinyl no longer meets national fire code standards in the U.S. and is considered highly flammable)
  • Keep the area around your dryer clean and free of clutter
  • Make sure to not leave dried clothes in the dryer


Most people clean their lint trap after every load of laundry. However, lint also accumulates in the ductwork and vents between your dryer and where the hose vents to the outside. The vent, hose and ductwork should be cleaned or at least inspected annually. To properly clean the ductwork and hose the dryer needs to be disconnected from the hose and moved away from the wall so lint can be removed from the hose and any ductwork which is within the walls, attic or basement of a home.

Contact a certified professional for dryer vent cleaning.The cost of a certified dryer vent cleaning depends on the length of the vent and how accessible it is. The main thing to remember is investing in routine dryer vent cleanings will outweigh the energy costs of running the dryer multiple times per load, the safety risk, and the cost of property damage in the event of a fire.

Fire or Smoke Damage in your home or business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Fire Damage: What To Do Before We Arrive

8/29/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in your home or business is incredibly devastating. Even if the fire is controlled early on, there are  many different ways that damage can be caused. Fire damage can be a result of actual flames, heat from flames, or there can be residual damage from smoke. Likewise, water used to stop the flames can lead to warping, mold growth, and structural damage to your home or property. Water can also ruin any material possessions it touches.  Soot and ashes are incredibly dirty, and if not handled carefully, they can become deeply ingrained in furniture, drywall, clothing, etc.

Because fire damage is so extensive, here is a list of basic tips for handling it before professionals arrive.

  • If the fire department was involved, obtain a copy of their report of the incident.
  • Document the damage by writing out a list and taking pictures to send with your insurance claim.
  • Avoid cleaning up the ashes and soot on your own, especially on walls and furniture.
  • Change the filter in your air conditioning and heating unit.
  • Cover the surfaces of furniture and carpet with bed sheets to protect them from further damage.

Fire damage needs to be handled professionally. There are very specific methods and materials for properly cleaning up after a fire, and you want to make sure you don’t complicate that process. You will need to get clearance from the fire department before entering your home or property. If the fire damage is too extensive, it may be unsafe to even go inside. The safety of you, your family, and any pets is more important than anything else.

Fire Damage In Your Home Or Property? Call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Tips To Prevent HVAC Water Damage

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage is never fun to deal with. It can go unnoticed for weeks, or even months before you even realize it’s time to do something. Also, your home’s air conditioning unit has the potential to cause water damage to your home. The good news is preventing HVAC water damage is relatively easy. With proper maintenance, everything is a breeze. Here are ways to prevent HVAC water damage from happening.

1. Change your HVAC filter regularly

Do this at least once a month to help prevent the unit from overworking. This way, you can avoid freezing and defrosting on the evaporator coils that lead to water damage. Choose high-efficiency particulate air filters, but you should also check the instructions manual to know what type is best for your unit.

2. Maintain the condensation drain line

Check the condensation line opening when your AC unit is running and make sure you can see water flowing down the drain. Flush the drain with an algae inhibitor and if it is already clogged, attach a wet/dry vacuum to the drain line to suck the clog out. The emergency drain line should be properly connected and installed. Lastly, ensure the pipe is oriented correctly.

3. Install a condensation pump

A condensation pump will help excess water flow into the proper disposal drain. You may also install a safety float switch to automatically shut down the power to the AC unit whenever condensation builds up, and there is a risk of water overflow.

4. Have your HVAC system inspected professionally

Homeowners may find it difficult to inspect and maintain HVAC so hiring a professional would be your best bet to get the best out of your unit.

Water Damage In Your Home or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

The Dangers Of Soot

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

After a house fire, the danger unfortunately does not stop once the flames have been put out. Soot may have spread to your entire home, posing a threat to your health and the building. Learn more about soot, how dangerous it is, and how to restore the damage below.

What is soot?

Soot is made of tiny carbon particles created by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels (wood, oil, coal, and more). Soot contains lots of acids, as well as chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. These particles leave an ugly sight and a foul smell.

During a fire, soot spreads to the whole house, attaching to surfaces. Thus, the acidic properties of soot can further damage your home and indoor air quality if the soot is'nt removed immediately.

Soot can inhabit your home even if there wasn’t a fire. Excessive use of candles can lead to soot buildup, so make sure to use them sparingly (they are also pose a fire risk). Fireplaces can release soot as well if they are not ventilated enough. Furnaces are also a source of soot contamination when they produce a puff back.

Outdoors, soot is released into the environment when fossil fuels are burned for industrial purposes. The chemical compounds of soot hurts the ecosystem considerably. Soot in your home acts similar, damaging the indoor air quality in addition to leaving behind bad odors and stains.

What are the dangers of soot exposure?

Statistics show that particle exposure leads to around 20,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.  Moreover, soot exposure causes 300,000 asthma attacks and two million lost workdays annually due to respiratory problems.

Soot can enter your body through inhalation, ingestion or via the skin and eyes. These toxic particles can cause breathing issues. Infants, the elderly, and those who already have breathing problems are the most affected.

To avoid the health risks of soot exposure after a home fire, make sure that all soot-affected areas are properly cleaned and sanitized.

How to clean up soot

Your house likely holds many chemicals, such as plastics, foams, carpets, wood products, and synthetic fabrics. Soot derived from these materials leads to health hazards that make fire restoration a dangerous and difficult task. Even if the fire was small, soot particles can invade your whole property through the HVAC system.

When cleaning soot, wearing safety equipment to protect the lungs, skin, and eyes is essential in reducing soot exposure dangers. Specialized techniques such as air scrubbing and thermal fogging are also needed to restore indoor air quality after a fire.

A dust mask and a household cleaner are not enough to clean up soot! Removing soot thoroughly requires professional tools, knowledge, and expertise. Experts can properly clean soot and odors from your entire home to ensure it is safe to inhabit.

Smoke Damage in your home or business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby also proudly serves Spencer, Trimble and Henry Counties.