Recent Posts

Winter Heating Safety

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

The following information was provided by the National Fire Protection Association. 

There is something about the winter months and curling up with a good book by the fireplace. But did you know that heating equipment is one of
the leading causes of home fire deaths? With a few simple safety tips and precautions you can prevent most heating fires from happening.
be warm and safe this winter!

• Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet (one metre) away from heating equipment,
like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.

• Have a three-foot (one metre) “kid-free zone”
around open fires and space heaters.

• Never use your oven to heat your home.

• Have a qualified professional install stationary
space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

• Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.

• Remember to turn portable heaters off when
leaving the room or going to bed.

• Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

• Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

• Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

FACT

Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.

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 County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

Why Fire Damage Restoration is Urgent

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

A fire can cause severe damage to your home. After the fire has been extinguished, you may be left wondering what to do next. The answer is to call a fire restoration company. A team of fire restoration professionals can help to restore your home and get your life back to normal. Here’s why it is important to call a restoration team immediately after a fire.

Hidden Problems

Fire damage comes in many forms. This can include smoke stains and wall discoloration. However, ash and soot can be hidden in places that you might not be able to see. It can be hidden in places such as air conditioning vents and spaces behind walls.

A team of fire restoration experts will be able to quickly and effectively clean problem areas. If those places are not thoroughly cleaned immediately, this can cause a lingering odor. It can also cause health risks and a decrease in the quality of indoor air.

Eliminate Smells and Odors

Removing the smell of smoke is a difficult part of the fire restoration process. This is because particles of soot can get into parts of a building that are hard to access. If these areas are not properly cleaned, it can cause an odor that is hard to get rid of that can last up to several months.

Furthermore, the debris may contain dangerous substances such as carbon monoxide, benzene, and chemicals that come from burned plastics. The earlier a restoration team is able to start the restoration process, the more chances they have of completely getting rid of the particles and substances that cause odor and pose a risk.

Reduce Cost

Another reason you should call a fire restoration company immediately is because they have the ability to decrease the fire damage and other problems that could arise. Additionally, quick restoration can reduce the chance of structural damage being caused to your home.

Also, if damaged windows, walls, and roofs are not repaired quickly, it can allow thieves to enter your home. Trespassers can easily steal your personal belongings and cause more damage to your home and property. Calling a fire restoration team immediately can reduce the amount of fire damage and save you money at the same time. The more damage you are able to prevent, the less money you will have to spend.

There are many reasons why you should call a fire restoration company as soon as possible. Not only will it save you money, it will also reduce the amount of fire damage that is done to your home.

A team of experts would be able to get rid of any lingering smells caused by the build-up of ash and soot. They will also be able to get into and clean hard-to-reach places. Additionally, there may be hidden areas of your home where smoke and soot can build up. Professionals know exactly where to look for this kind of build-up and will have your home and life back to normal as soon as possible. If your house has had a fire, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today! 502.241.6861

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

Carpet Cleaning and Water Damage

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

If you experience water damage from a flood in your home, professional carpet cleaning will be an important step in the damage restoration process. The most effective method for restoring carpets after water damage is hot water extraction.

WHAT IS HOT WATER EXTRACTION?

You may have heard people use the terms “steam cleaning” and “hot water extraction” interchangeably. In reality, there is no steam involved in hot water extraction carpet cleaning. There are a few problems with steam cleaning, most notably, that steam can actually set some stains in. Further, steam cannot rinse detergent or special cleaning solutions as thoroughly from carpets as hot water can. For these reasons, hot water extraction is the most popular and most effective method for carpet cleaning.

The professional carpet cleaning process begins with a thorough vacuuming to remove any loose dirt and soil. Next, during hot water extraction, hot water and cleaning agents are injected into your carpet at high pressure and agitated with a specialized brush in order to loosen dirt and grime. A technician then removes the water, cleaning solution and dirt with a high-powered vacuum. This process may be repeated, depending on the extent of the damage. Anti-microbial treatments can also be included in the carpet cleaning process to prevent the growth and spread of mold, mildew, yeast and other allergens.

Hot water extraction carpet cleaning is not just part of a flood restoration process. Proactive annual cleanings are an important part of regular home maintenance and long-term carpet care.

WHEN IS CARPET CLEANING NOT ENOUGH?

Hot water extraction will not be effective in some flood restoration or water damage situations. In these cases, it is advisable to discard the carpet, pad, and any other porous items like upholstered furniture that have gotten wet. Cleaning methods like hot water extraction are not sufficient to remove pathogens from this type of water.

  • Exposure to raw sewage or “black water,” which is water that contains human waste
  • Damage to the subfloor, such as warped or swollen particle board or plywood
  • Structural damage below the carpet

If you’ve experienced water damage and you aren’t sure what’s salvageable and what isn’t, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, when you need service most. No matter what time of day, your call is sure to be answered by a customer service representative who will quickly send a qualified technician to assess the water damage and determine the best course of action.

Sewage Backup Should Be Cleaned Promptly

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Waste No Time with Sewage Cleanup

Is your septic tank backed up? Sewage cleanup from a septic tank backup or clogged sewer line is a dirty job that a professional will need to finish. However, it’s never a bad idea to start cleaning up until your plumber arrives. Before you do, protect yourself from bacteria-ridden sewage by wearing rubber boots, gloves, and a mask.

  • Shovel solids into a heavy plastic bag and dispose in a trash receptacle.
  • Soak up liquid with paper towels or rags, and dispose in plastic bags.
  • Use a wet/dry vacuum for small areas or to suck up any remaining puddles. Unclog the drains before disposing of the contents.
  • Tape a path of plastic sheeting to the floor to avoid soiling other parts of the house.
  • Place all affected, damaged and undamaged outside to air out.
  • Throw out carpets and rugs.
  • Thoroughly mop the area with a solution of bleach and water mixed 1:1.

Only time will get rid of the odor. Open windows and use box fans and dehumidifiers to air out the area for up to a week, possibly two. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County will do the sewage cleanup work for you, from pumping and wiping up to deodorizing and restoring carpets and floors, if possible.

Sewage 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.

   

Clogged Gutters Cause Water Damage

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

Clogged gutters cause water damage above-ground and below. Falling leaves in autumn may look poetic, however once they accumulate and obstruct roof runoff into your gutters and downspouts, a chain of events begins that could end with water infiltration into your home. Your roof sheds an enormous volume of water. A clogged, overflowing gutter in a rainstorm or during heavy snow-melt resembles a mini-Niagara Falls. The exterior walls or siding of your home are constructed to resist raindrops, not a continuous cascade from a blocked gutter overhead. Heavy runoff penetrates siding and infiltrates internal wall spaces. This may result in visible water damage to the interior of the house or covert damage inside the wall such as structural wood rot and mold growth. The deluge from an overflowing gutter also pounds the ground around the immediate perimeter of the house, saturating the soil and forming pools of water that soak deep into the earth, penetrating basement walls or seeping under the foundation.

Before clogged gutters cause water damage to your living, here are a few preventive measures:

  • Check and clean your gutters at regular intervals throughout the year, but especially during autumn when leaves are falling.
  • Consider installing gutter guards that screen out leaves and other debris while still admitting roof runoff.
  • To ensure adequate drainage and avoid overflows during heavy rains, you should have one downspout for every 40 feet of gutter length.
  • Make sure your gutters aren’t sagging. For optimum drainage into downspouts, gutters are installed with a slight pitch. Sagging disrupts proper gravity flow of water and triggers overflow.
  • Install downspout extensions that divert runoff far enough from the house to prevent penetration into the foundation or basement walls. Ideally, each downspout should discharge water at least three feet from the house. Downspouts can also be connected to an underground pipe to convey water even further away.

Water Damage as a result of clogged gutters? 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. 

Halloween Fire Safety

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Children dressed in costumes excitedly running door to door to trick-or-treat, festive decorations like glowing jack-o'-lanterns, paper ghosts, hay bales and dried cornstalks adorning front porches -- these are some of the classic hallmarks of Halloween that make the holiday special for kids and adults. Unfortunately, these Halloween symbols and activities can also present lurking fire risks that have the potential to become truly frightening.

In addition to the festive decorations listed above, costumes made with billowing or long-trailing fabric can catch fire easily. The same is true for dried flowers and crepe paper. When jack-o'-lanterns and other open-flame candle decorations come in contact with these materials, a fast-spreading fire can occur within moments. 

But don't let this statistic scare you away from celebrating Halloween to the fullest! The vast majority of these fires are easily preventable. By following some simple safety precautions, you can ensure the holiday remains festive and fun.

  • Keep decorations far away from open flames and other heat sources like lightbulbs and heaters. Remember to keep all of your home's exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Try a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o'-lanterns. If you want to use real candles, be extremely careful. In this case, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter when lighting them inside jack-o'-lanterns. If there are children around, make sure they are watched at all times when candles are lit. Place the lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn, and far away from driveways, doorsteps, walkways and yards -- anyplace where trick-or-treaters may walk.
  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters whose costumes may brush up against the lighting as they walk to from your door.
  • Choose costumes that don't require long-trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can clearly see where he is walking to prevent trips or falls near dangerous or flammable items.
  • Talk to your children and remind them to stay away from open flames, including jack-o'-lanterns with candles inside. Provide them with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting as part of their costume.

Fire 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. 

Did You Know That Rodents Can Cause Water Damage?

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

A very common question our customers ask here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby is how to prevent water damage. Most homeowner aren't aware that this can  be caused by pests and rodents chewing through plastic pipes. This is a huge problem for some homeowners, and unfortunately this question arises after the damage has already been done and they've called us to help clean up the problem. However, if you have plastic/pvc piping throughout your house, you can take precautions today to prevent rodents from chewing through the pipes and causing water damage.

PLASTIC HOSES AND PESTS: 

Finding out you have rodents or other critters living in your home can be an unsettling discovery. Mice and rats are dangerous because they can bite, bring fleas and disease into your home, along with creating a toxic environment by defecating and urinating within the walls. But they also pose another danger; an ability to chew through plastic water pipes in hard-to-reach places.

RODENTS AND WATER PIPE DAMAGE

 The damage from rodents chewing through water pipes can be substantial and can occur either over time, or as one big "flood."

When damage is slow, a small amount of water will continuously seep in spaces within the walls, causing buildup of toxic mold and rotting of wooden beams. Drip by drip, the damage can accumulate over weeks into a problem that can cost thousands of dollars to fix.

 

In other cases, mice and rats can chew through water pipes that are already weak and worn out. Because the pipe is already fragile, the rodent damage can cause the pipe to burst, with large amounts of water damage occurring quickly.

HOW TO STOP WATER DAMAGE FROM RODENTS

The good news is that by taking a few preventative measures, you can keep rodents from chewing through your water pipes.

1. Provide a Water Source: If you suspect there are rodents living in your house, a good idea is to provide an easily accessible water source for them. At first, this sounds counter-intuitive. However, by providing them an easy to find water source (such as a dog bowl) temporarily while trying to exterminate them, this will help you remove their motivation to chew through the pipes to find water.

This is especially important if you're using poison to kill the rodents, because poison dehydrates them. As they're dying, they will go to extreme measures to find a water source and the mice or rats will quickly chew even through metal water pipes to get to water, not to mention plastic pipes. By giving them an easy accessible water source, you'll significantly reduce chances of damage as the poison takes time to work.

2. Use Traps Instead of Poison: Another approach to reduce damage to plastic pipes is to use rodent traps instead of poison. Traps will catch and kill the rodent, so the animal won't go through the dehydration phase involved in poisoning. When combined with an easy to access water source, you can get rid of the pests without pushing them to work their way around the water pipe system.  3. Seal Rodent Entryways: Rodents will get into your house through even the smallest holes in the structure. And if they need to, they'll chew a hole to get in. To reduce this possibility, inspect the outside of your home and the roof for any holes that may be present. Seal off even the smallest openings, as the bones in rodents' skulls are generally not fused together, which allows them to squeeze through even the tiniest openings.

4. If you have a crawl space, inspect it as well, and seal up any holes.

DEALING WITH WATER DAMAGE FROM RODENTS

If you experience water damage from rodents chewing through plastic pipes, it's important to address the problem quickly with the help of an expert who can guide you through the proper steps. We've assisted many clients in such situations and can help you, too with our 24/7/365 emergency response team!

If you have experienced water damage due to rodents chewing water pipes, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

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

Keeping Your Basement Dry and Mold Free

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Owning a home means seasonal upkeep is a mandatory. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County suggest homeowners focus on improving drainage and preventing ground water intrusion, both runoff issues that occur this time of year. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has tips for you to stay dry and give you peace of mind.

As you might guess, preventing ground water intrusion starts outside of your home. It’s easy to think that installing a sump pump, basket or drain tile is the only way to combat water issues indoors, however outside the home is where your real maintenance should begin. The quality and placement of your gutters, as well as the grading around your home, and crawl spaces in your home have the most impact for prevention. 

Gutters and downspouts work wonders in clearing out water runoff when properly installed. Without gutters having extensions, water can concentrate in the same areas, causing damage over time. Without downspouts, water will concentrate in the same areas outside your home, eventually seeping in. After proper installation, water should end up six to ten feet from your home. If at all possible, place these downspouts where the ground slopes away from your home.

Grading around your home, in simple terms, means that you want water to flow in the opposite direction of your house and foundation. Sometimes the solution is as easy as piling and arranging your landscaping with dirt to change the direction, other times you will need to dig a trench or install an underground drain system.

Also, check your home’s crawlspace to be sure that water isn’t seeping in. Many homeowners never pay attention to their crawlspace because it is out of sight, therefore out of mind. Often it’s a good idea to install a moisture alarm in a crawlspace to alert you when moisture is present.

If you find that you have water in your basement or crawlspace, it’s important to call a professional restoration company for a comprehensive assessment. Often people only are concerned about squishy carpet, unaware that water can intrude the wall cavities and insulation inside the wall. If not properly addressed and dried, mold can grow in the wall cavity. Additionally, ground water can be contaminated with bacteria from the soil as a result of animal, bird and rodent feces. This means that water damaged materials may need to be removed and discarded, and a disinfection process should be used in clean-up. 

Water Intrusion 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. 

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. 

HOW TO BURN A CANDLE SAFELY

BEFORE LIGHTING

  • 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.

WHILE BURNING

  • 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.

WHEN EXTINGUISHING

  • 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.

Toilet

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.