Recent Posts

How to Protect Yourself Against Electrical Hazards After A Disaster

9/22/2017 (Permalink)

How to Protect Yourself Against Electrical Hazards After a Disaster.  After a natural disaster, you must take extreme care to avoid electrical hazards in your home, as well as elsewhere. Here’s how to protect yourself, your family and others:
  • NEVER touch a fallen power line. Report it to the power company.
  • During cleanup and other activities, avoid contact with overhead power lines.
  • If downed power lines are in standing water, do not drive through it. Call, or ask someone else to call, the emergency services and the local utility company.
  • If electrical equipment and electrical circuits are wet, or in or near water, switch the power off at the fuse on the service panel or the main breaker. Don’t walk in standing water to access the power switch; call an electrician to do it.
  • Never switch the power on or off, or use an electrical appliance or tool, while standing in water. Don’t switch the power back on until all electrical equipment has been checked by an electrician.
  • If you see sparks or frayed wiring when power is restored, or if there’s a burning smell but no visible fire, shut off the system at the main breaker immediately.
  • Ask an electrician if it’s okay to use a power generator because, if the generator is online when service is restored, it could become a fire hazard and endanger the lives of the restoration workers.

At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby we are a team of restoration, cleaning and remodeling professionals who offer disaster repair & cleaning for residential and commercial properties. We guarantee fast emergency response and the latest technology. Please contact us for more information. 502.241.6861

Find A Certified Professional To Repair Water Damage

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

The following is provided by the IICRC. Please visit IICRC.org to learn more. 

Find A Certified Professional To Repair Water Damage:

It may be possible for a homeowner to repair minor water damage in their home, but when the problem begins to worsen or if it is widespread, professional help will be needed to fix the issue. In general, if a problem can be completely fixed without having to tear through a wall or dig out plumbing in the yard or basement, a homeowner might be able to resolve it without help. This includes small, isolated leaks. In many cases, though, it is not clear where the moisture is coming from and how extensive the problem is. Professionals certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) should be called in to deal with larger issues.

Why should a homeowner hire certified professionals to repair water damage?

The damage left behind in the wake of a flood, leaky pipes or a natural disaster can be extensive. The homeowner will likely only notice the damage to the surface, but a certified technician is trained to look beyond the surface. It doesn’t take long for a saturated area to pose a health risk, so dealing with the full extent of the issue is imperative.

How does the IICRC train technicians to repair water damage?

The IICRC has long been a leading training and certification agency for technicians in this field since the early 70s. To further this cause, the IICRC offers several classes aimed at expanding the knowledge of industry professionals.

The IICRC’s coursework will teach students how to handle a wide variety of work environments and how to avoid the most common hazards associated with the job. These risks commonly include wildlife, chemical and sewage contamination and electrical hazards. Students will learn how to use standard protective equipment and technology designed to locate the source of infiltration. Technicians will be introduced to the latest methods, cleaning solutions, disinfectants and equipment for cleaning up job sites and eliminating microbial threats.

The IICRC’s Applied Microbial Remediation Technician course (AMRT) and Applied Structural Drying technician course (ASD) will expand on these concepts. The AMRT will show students how to deal with the many strains of mold, bacteria and viruses they are likely to encounter while on the job. The ASD will demonstrate how to oversee the drying process properly, including how to accelerate it and how to adequately dry a variety of materials. Once complete, students will have the knowledge to assess and fix problems left behind by leaks, floods, plumbing problems and more.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby technicians are IICRC certified. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. 502.241.6861

HEPAs: Cleaning The Air In Your Home

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

HEPAs – Cleaning The Air In Your Home
 

I think we have all heard the word “HEPA” before,  and it is usually associated with clean air. While in simple terms that is correct, I will be going into a bit more detail of what HEPA’s are,  why they should be used in certain situations, and what you should be looking for.

Without getting too much into the science of things, HEPA is an acronym for high efficiency particulate air. Whenever you see the term HEPA being used it means that the filter has been made and certified in accordance with current HEPA filter standards.  Nowadays you can find HEPA filters in household appliances such as fans and even vacuum cleaners.

But when it comes to property restoration we are not talking about household appliances containing HEPA filters, instead we are talking about professional air filtration devices known as AFDs. You may also hear other terms for them such as air scrubbers, negative air machines, HEPA units, etc., these are all terms used to reference an AFD.

When and why should you use an AFD?

In the property restoration industry AFD’s are mostly used in work sites (your home) that have suffered a contaminated water damage loss, (Category -3)  fire and smoke damage, mold and asbestos remediations to name a few.

To put it simply AFD’s are used in situations where there are or is a chance of  contaminants or high levels of dust present within an environment. They are used to help control and maintain appropriate air quality levels within your home, while also aiding in the elimination of odours.

The  reason AFD units are so useful is because they offer multi filter protection in order to safely remove contaminants and particles from the air.

Typically speaking an AFD will have the following filters:

  • Pre Filter Stage – this is the first line of defence, it is designed to catch the larger particles that are floating around, it helps prevent the valuable HEPA filter from jamming up with these larger particles.
    The AFD unit will also have the option of using different kinds of pre filters depending on the application, including carbon filters which are designed to capture and absorb organic vapours. These are great help when dealing with smoke and fire damage jobs as well as category-3 water losses.
  • Main Filter – this slot is reserved for the HEPA filter which is able to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. To put it in simple terms it captures all the particles that cant be seen with the naked eye, and for comparison; the thickness of a human hair is about 40-50 microns.

So now we can talk about the specs of these AFD machines and why house-hold type HEPA machines (the ones you can buy at Walmart etc) are not up to snuff in a property restoration application. The main reason is their CFM (cubic feet per minute) output is generally too low, which is basically the amount of air the machine pumps out per minute.

AFDs will have higher CFM outputs usually ranging from 500 to 1000+, but why should you care about CFMs? Because the proper amount of CFMs will allow the right number of air exchanges to happen.

An air exchange means that the air within an environment in this case lets say a room, is completely changed with new filtered air. So depending on the situation and severity of a project, the air may need to be exchanged 4 -10 times per hour, if not more, and to achieve this a high CFM output is required. This continuation of air exchanges is what allows for the filtration and cleaning of the air within your home.

 I don’t want to get too technical on this but in case you do here is the formula for calculating the CFM required to achieve the number of air exchanges you desire:

Cubic feet of the space you want to treat X Air exchanges you want per hour / 60 = CFM needed

Note: The air exchanges per hour is typically determined by the severity or nature of a restoration project. For basic applications 4-6 air exchanges per hour would be fine. If you are finding 4-6 is not enough then increase it as needed.

A quick note on the CFMs required, in situations where lets say 1000 CFM or more is required,it is good practise to use several smaller CFM machines that add up to the 1000CFM than it is to use 1 machine with a rating of 1000CFM as you can distribute the machines throughout the work site and thus increasing your capture areas.

If you find yourself in a situation where air quality is a concern and  you are trying to deal high CFM AFD’s on your own then you should definitely seek help. As this could indicate that the conditions in your home are poor and in need professional restoration services.

Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Ozone. What is it and how can it help?

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Ozone

If you have ever called a company asking for help with taking care of an unpleasant smell in your home or business, you may have heard mention of the use of ozone. What is this Ozone thing they were talking about you may have wondered? How can it help? We are going to dispel this mysterious ozone and explain how and why it is used.

What is it?

Ozone is a gas that occurs both in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and at ground level. The earth’s atmosphere is 21% Ozone. Our atmospheric Ozone Layer is created by chemical reactions involving solar ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) and oxygen molecules. Our ozone layer is vitally important to life on earth. It acts as a filter for the shorter wavelength and highly hazardous ultraviolet radiation from the sun, protecting life on Earth from its potentially harmful effects.

Lightning will also produce Ozone through electrical excitation of Oxygen molecules. That sharp “fresh” smell that is often detectable during and after a thunderstorm can be attributed to Ozone.

 Ozone is an inorganic molecule with the chemical formula O3. That means that three oxygen atoms are bonded together. Ozone is created when dioxygen or O2 (which is the oxygen that we breathe) has been bonded by the action of ultraviolet light or electrical discharges. The bond between three oxygen atoms is relatively week, which means that O3 is extremely reactive. Since O2 is a much more stable molecule, Ozone’s 3rd Oxygen atom easily bonds with other molecules transforming both. This process is called oxidation. Ozone is one of the most powerful oxidants and can be readily produced for use in both air and water.

How can it help?

The oxidative properties of ozone can be very useful. Small portable ozone generators have been developed using both electric charges and ultraviolet light to produce Ozone. These generators can be moved to any location that is in need of the power of oxidation. An Ozone generator takes in oxygen from the air and transform the O2 molecules into O3.  The ozone is then release into the area.

In the restoration industry ozone is most often used to combat odor. An odor is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds. Once surface pollutants are handled, an area may still have an unpleasant smell because of airborne particles. Rather than remove the offensive airborne particles, compounds can often be transformed through oxidation. Adding ozone into a contaminated area results in volatile compounds picking up extra oxygen atoms, transforming them into entirely new compounds. The newly oxidized compounds do not produce any offensive odors. In addition, once ozone loses it’s third oxygen atom, it become safe and stable oxygen.

The amount of ozone needed to eliminate odor in an area depends on the size of the area and the concentration of contaminants. Large spaces or highly contaminated ones often require several ozone generators working around the clock for several days to produce an acceptable result. Once ozone has neutralized the space it is left with a slight chlorine smell that dissipates quickly.

However please be advised, breathing  ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and lung irritation. Ozone can only be used in a vacant property or in a sealed room. However, once an ozone treatment has been completed, a room must be aired out for only 10 minutes before it is completely safe.

So the next time you are plagued with a persistent odor issue, you may need a little help from an oxygen atom. Ozone might be able to supply it for you.

If you are struggling with a persistent odor issue in your home or business call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Spencer/Henry today. We can help. 502.241.6861

Water Damaged Carpet Cleaning

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

The unthinkable has happened and you do not know where to turn. A storm moved through your area during the night time hours and flooded your home, causing extensive water damage to your Oldham/Shelby home. You are going to need professional help in order to clean up the destruction left behind and move on with your life. It is time to take action against the worst the storm could create and call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer for help and the right cost for your budget to deal with water damage to your home.

Each person that enters your home is professionally trained to handle the problems from the water damage due to the previous nights storms. They will check your carpets to see how much destruction has happened and if your carpet can be saved. If the carpets can be saved, you will be able to avoid the cost of replacement.

They will remove all furniture and property off the carpeted area of your home and use a high quality wet vacuum to remove as much water as possible. Once all the water has been removed, your carpet with be cleaned with a solution safe for humans and animals to prevent moisture bacteria build up. The carpet will be dried with fans or fresh air.

If you live in an area where humidity is a problem, fans will be used to dry all carpets. If you live in a low humidity area, your carpets can dry naturally for a fresh, clean smell.

If your carpets cannot be salvaged from water damage, then SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby will remove the damaged carpets and clean all surfaces before new carpeting is installed. The old carpeting and pads will be removed and disposed of in a safe manner.

Do not let one flood due to a storm ruin your day. You can call the professionals to handle the problems and make life easier. Take advantage of estimates for clean up, removal and replacement cost for insurance purposes. Return your life and property to normal with just one call.

Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today. 502.241.6861
 

Do's And Don'ts after a Burst Plumbing Pipe

9/14/2017 (Permalink)

Do’s And Don’ts after a Burst Plumbing Pipe  The effects of a burst or frozen plumbing pipe can be devastating. The best solution is to enlist the help of a team of professionals who have the knowledge required to rectify the situation efficiently and promptly. But, before calling them, there are some do’s and don’ts that homeowners can follow to ensure that damage is minimized and that the cleanup operation goes as quickly as possible.

DO:

•  Turn off the source of water immediately.
•  Mop up excess water; this will prevent further damage and make the process of repairing a burst plumbing pipe a lot faster, as well as preventing secondary damage. Open all the windows to dry rooms out, and use a dehumidifier or fan to speed up the process.
•  Phone the home restoration/plumbing company – they will tell you about other things you can do before their arrival.


DON’T (under ANY circumstances):

•  Lift or remove carpeting.
•  Apply heat to affected areas as this could cause more damage.
•  Use detergent, bleach or other cleaning products on the affected areas.

At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby, we are a team of restoration, cleaning and remodeling professionals who offer disaster repair & cleaning for residential and commercial properties. We guarantee fast emergency response and the latest technology. Please contact us for more information. 

Reasons To Hire A Fire Restoration Company

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Reasons to Hire a Fire Restoration Company

 After a fire in your house, you want to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. However, with even a small fire, you may have even more damage than you realize. You need a fire restoration company to determine all the problems following the fire and to clean up your home. Professional restoration services know how to take care of every area in your house that needs work. Here are four reasons you should hire a fire restoration company: 
  1. Multiple contractors with years of experience. Contractors who can address water damage, structural damage and cosmetic damage at the same time
  2. Fire restoration companies have special equipment to deal with odors
  3. Prevent further damage from water or ash residue in your home
  4. Replace surfaces which have been damaged by the fire
 A fire might be contained in one location, but the smells can permeate multiple rooms. Water damage from the fire department can render walls, floors and other surfaces ruined if not cleaned up quickly. You don’t need to spend hours getting multiple contractors together when you call the professionals who specialize in restoration. To get a fire restoration company that can help you get your home back in order following a fire, contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer today. 502.241.6861

Finding Invisible Water Damage-Thermal Imaging

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Have you ever encountered a situation where you suspect there is something weird going on inside your wall or ceiling? Perhaps a leak within the structure or you suspect there is a cold draft coming in from somewhere but you just cant seem to pinpoint it?

Well with the use of the latest technology, we are now able to identify these problem areas and start seeing the invisible.

This is done through the use of thermal imaging, at one point this technology was very expensive and reserved only for military and government applications. However as this technology progresses it becomes more affordable to apply it to other new industries, in this case the property restoration industry.

For property restoration, some of the best uses of thermal imaging technology include:

  • Pin-point moisture intrusion such as leaks within walls and ceilings, avoiding the need to cutting costly inspection holes.
  • Identify cold and hot spots, finding areas of missing insulation which could lead to drafts and energy loss.
  • Identify maintenance issues or potential dangers such as electrical overheating of components.
  • Assess the efficiency of HVAC systems, finding any areas of air leaks.
  • Identify structural defects
  • Identify clogs in piping

Note: thermal imagining readings can be attained without damaging the property, no pins or probes are required therefore there will be no sign of damage to your property.

Also, thermal imaging will also work in areas of total darkness as it is operating on heat differentials it does not need any visible light to operate. This is specially handy when inspecting areas such as attics, crawlspaces, or there is simply no power/lighting available in the property.

When it comes down to it, having thermal imaging tools is a must for property restoration companies and it is no wonder why leading restoration companies have adopted this technology. The ability to inspect, identify, record, and report on property issues has made it a great business tool to better serve and inform clients.

Suspect Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Shelby/Henry to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today. 502.241.6861

What Determines The Completion of Your Water Damage

9/7/2017 (Permalink)

How We Know the Water Cleanup Process is Complete

The Three Keys to a Successful Water Cleanup Project

Flood damage restoration experts know that every step in the water cleanup project is critical: the analysis, setup, drying, monitoring, and reevaluation. Reevaluation is the final step in the water remediation process, when the project leader determines if the affected areas are restored to their preloss state. This important final step is where the final decision is made, and the water damage is finally eliminated.

There are three major factors or criteria for determining whether or not the area is “dry” and the water contamination is no longer present. All three of these conditions must absolutely be met before a water damage professional will consider the water cleanup effort accomplished.

Water damaged areas must be returned to a preloss state in order for the water cleanup process to be completed.

Building Materials are at their Equilibrium Moisture Content

“Equilibrium moisture content” is the point at which the building material is no longer saturated, gaining, or losing any moisture, and is a function of both temperature and the humidity of the surrounding air.

Why is this so Important?

Ensuring the building materials are at their equilibrium moisture content is essential because once this point is reached, the water damaged area will no longer support the growth of mold or mildew.

Interior Ambient Room Conditions are Considered “Normal”

Ambient room conditions must be returned to a normal, stable, preloss state in order for the water damage reevaluation process to be completed. This is the primary goal of most water cleanup projects and the hope of any client: for things to be exactly as they were before the flooding event. Ambient room conditions are also a function of temperature and relative humidity, with 50% RH to 70 degrees Fahrenheit considered normal and common for the Kentucky area.

Why is this so Important?

Without normal and stable ambient room conditions, the affected area may not fully recover from the water damage, which can lead to the growth of fungal organisms and a hazardous environment.

Affected Areas can Achieve Stability without the Further Use of Drying Equipment

Before any drying equipment can be removed, it must be determined that the water damage must no longer poses a threat because the room is stabilized and able to reach equilibrium without the further aid of the equipment. This is also considered a “preloss state,” because the interior conditions are healthy and self-regulating, just like they were before the water cleanup project began.

Why is this so Important?

If the room cannot achieve stability on its own, the equipment must remain with continued support and monitoring, meaning the water cleanup process is not complete. If the equipment is removed prematurely, the room could undergo further damage trying to reach equilibrium.

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

10 Preventative Restoration Tips You Can Do At Home

9/6/2017 (Permalink)

10 Preventative Restoration Tips You Can Do at Home

Good restoration is about a lot more than making old keepsakes sparkle or fixing up a burned building.

At Professional Restoration, we believe proper restoration begins with prevention or simple tasks everyone can do around their home or business.

Preparation is a great first line of defense. Follow these easy restoration tips at home or the office:

  • Regularly service heating systems.

In addition to central heating systems, check gas and wood-burning fireplaces. Keep dust and other debris away from ignition sources.

  • Remove lint from the dryer after every use.

A clogged lint filter or trap can reduce the efficiency of your dryer and forces lint onto the heating coils. Keep your dryer free of lint and don’t run the dryer while you’re out of the house.

  • Check electrical outlets a few times a year.

If an electrical outlet is warm to the touch it’s dangerous and should be addressed immediately by a professional. Also, check outlet extenders or power strips for damaged or frayed cords. Avoid using outlet extenders when possible.

  • Don’t store cooking oils near the stove.

Grease fires can erupt quickly and spread rapidly if not properly handled. Do not pour water over a grease fire; instead, use a lid or baking soda to smother the flames. Call emergency services immediately in the event of a fire.

  • Check your green thumb.

Some plant species have extremely invasive roots that can damage sprinkler systems, underground pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to avoid this disaster.

  • Watch the water bill.

Your monthly water bill is a great way to gauge water use. Slow increases to your bill or a sudden jump may indicate a leak somewhere out of sight.

  • Keep rain gutters clear.

A clogged rain gutter can spell big trouble for your home or business. Clean out gutters seasonally to avoid leaks or floods.

  • Disconnect outdoor hoses (especially in the winter!)

Standing water inside a hose can travel backwards and freeze inside a pipe blocking water flow. If this happens, pipes can burst and damage walls, floors, or the foundation.

  • Have a main plan.

In the event of disaster, or if you decide to leave your home or office for an extended period of time, you and family members or colleges should know where the water main is and how to shut it off.

  • Let SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby clean up the big stuff.

Prevention is only half of your restoration preparation; the other half is knowing who to call when prevention fails or natural disaster occurs.

When property damage is too big to handle on your own, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer is ready 24/7 to take your call. 502.241.6861