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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Locating Mold in your Commercial Building

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Locating the sources of moisture—and then removing them—can put an end to your facility’s mold problems once and for all.

Mold is part of our natural environment, which means it can find a home on any surface or in any nook of your commercial space. When mold starts eating away at materials, and affecting the look, smell or even the structural integrity of a building (particularly with wood-framed structures), the problem can quickly become a major issue.

Mold can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture or water, oxygen and an organic source is present. Molds reproduce by creating tiny spores (viable seeds) that usually require magnification in order to be seen by the naked eye, and its spores continually float through the indoor and outdoor air.

How mold impacts your building

When mold spores land on a damp spot and begin growing, they digest whatever they land on in order to survive. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, food and insulation, while other molds feast on the everyday dust and dirt that gather in the moist regions of a building.

Mold begins to multiply whenever excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, and can run rampant if the moisture problem itself remains uncorrected. While it is virtually impossible to eliminate eradicate all molds and mold spores controlling the moisture in the air can control indoor mold growth.

The good news is that by finding and eliminating that source of moisture, you can reduce the chances of ever getting mold in the first place. 

Mold in your commercial space? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

Fire Prevention- Gas Furnace Tips

4/22/2021 (Permalink)

A gas furnace provides comfort when homeowners need it most, however heat can quickly turn into havoc when a furnace breaks down. While many people worry about losing heat in the event of a furnace malfunction, there are other risks to consider such as a fire or carbon monoxide leak. It’s crucial to take safety precautions to prevent these issues and to truly feel comfortable with the furnace in your home.

Despite the risks, proper maintenance ensures that a gas furnace will work properly even when outdoor temperatures plummet. If you haven’t checked on the status of your furnace in  some time, late winter is a great time to do some inspecting. You can prepare yourself for late season cold snaps and go into spring knowing your furnace is in good condition. Read on to see our top five gas furnace safety tips that will make your gas furnace safer.

1. CLEAR CLUTTER

As a general rule, the minimum clear space around a furnace should be about two feet, and more for anything flammable. This includes lint, dust, papers, clothes, paint, rags and much more. You can clear lint and dust with a vacuum cleaner — doing so once a month will help prevent dangerous buildup. Additionally, look for flammable liquids in the same room as your furnace and ensure that they are sealed in an airtight container to prevent accidental ignition. Furnace fire safety starts with a watchful eye, so always look for the hidden dangers that could be sitting right next to your furnace.

2. CHANGE FILTERS

It’s easy to ignore the need to change your furnace filters, but also dangerous. Not only does a furnace have to work harder to push air through a dirty filter (increasing energy costs) but it also reduces the quality of air in your home. To avoid breathing in dust particles on a daily basis, be certain to change your furnace’s filter every 1 to 3 months. During the winter months, you may want to increase this frequency to avoid the risk of a breakdown that could leave your home feeling frigid.

3. DETECT SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE

Heat is a great thing during winter — except when it’s the result of a furnace fire. To protect your family from the risks of a fire, ensure that a smoke detector is present in the same room as your furnace and replace its batteries on a yearly basis. In the same vein, a malfunctioning furnace can release dangerous carbon monoxide into the air, so it’s crucial to have a fully-charged detector nearby. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas, so never rely on your sense of smell to detect problems near the furnace.

4. ENHANCE AIRFLOW

When winter weather moves in snow piles up, this can cause your gas furnace to shut down. That’s because the snow can obstruct two of the most important components of your home comfort system — the exterior air intake and exhaust from a natural gas furnace. The only way to keep air flowing smoothly throughout your home is to complete a visual inspection of these areas after a significant snowfall to look for any blockages. Clearing out these areas when your furnace stalls will lead to less strain on the system and a longer service life.

5. GET REGULAR MAINTENANCE

It’s more cost-effective to take a proactive approach to furnace maintenance than a reactive one. When something goes wrong and a furnace breaks down, a repair or replacement isn’t a choice — it’s a costly necessity. What’s more, annual furnace maintenance ensures that your heating runs as efficiently as possible, saving you even more money in the long run. Nobody expects to have furnace issues, but without maintenance, the risks of experiencing problems are much higher. 

PRIORITIZE FURNACE SAFETY

Even if you’ve never experienced gas furnace issues in the past, it only takes one to change the way you think about furnace safety. Don’t learn the hard way — understand that a gas furnace is a mechanical device that can break and cause real harm without the right precautions.

Fire damage in your home due to malfunctioning furnace? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO today to speak to a Remediation Specialist. 502.241.6861

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

What to do Following a Residential Fire

4/22/2021 (Permalink)

Fires don’t just burn things, they can also create all many hazards. So if your home was recently damaged by a fire, and you don’t know how to start repairs, the following information will show you what you need to do. 

What Should You Do After a Fire?

The first thing that you should do after a fire is to look for a place to stay while you figure out what you should do next. You should also contact your relatives about your situation, and let them know that you’re safe. 

Once that’s done, you should contact your insurance company and talk to them about the fire, and if they have any advice or recommendations that will assist you with your claim.

While processing your claim, you should also contact a local restoration company. The closer they are to your home, the better. Fire restoration often requires a lot of equipment and spare materials, and it helps if your chosen restoration company can reach your home in less than an hour. 

The fire restoration process usually lasts between a few days to more than a week, depending on the amount of damage your home has sustained.

During this time, the restoration team will not only repair the damages to your home, but they will also make sure that all of the hazards within are removed, including toxic materials, electrical wires, combustible items and more.

Once they are finished, you can move back into your fully repaired and restored home. 

Tips for Fireplace Safety

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Tips for Fireplace Safety

Fall is approaching and the time when a crackling fire in your fireplace sounds like the perfect cozy addition to a chilly day. But before you spark some kindling and throw on another log, it is important you make sure your fireplace is in working order. 

Familiarize yourself with the following fireplace safety and maintenance tips so you can relax and enjoy your fireplace throughout the rest of the cold season:

Sweep your chimney

Ideally, you should to sweep your chimney of soot and debris every year before winter arrives. Fortunately, you can easily hire a trained professional to do it for you. 

Don’t skip the chimney cap

Chimney caps are made from wire mesh and fit over the top of the chimney. The function of the chimney cap is to keep out rain, birds, other small animals, and debris. If you don’t have one, get one. And if your chimney cap is damaged, replace or repair it.

Look for damage and deterioration

Noticing loose bricks or mortar, or cracks in the chimney structures, means that your chimney needs some attention and should be repaired immediately. Your chimney sweep can also help with finding any areas that need to be repaired.

Build your fire correctly

Place the wood you’ll be burning at the back of the fireplace and use kindling, not flammable liquid to get the fire going.

Burn the proper wood

Hardwoods that are dense and properly dried, such as oak, are the way to go. More dangerous woods to burn are green or resinous softwoods, such as pine, as they produce more creosote, which is a flammable by-product that will build up inside the chimney.

No bonfires please

Roaring, overloaded fires are far more dangerous, as the intense heat can crack the chimney. A large fire also produces more smoke, which produces more flammable creosote. So please, keep your fire on the small side.

Maintain the ash level

You don’t actually have to remove all of the ash out of your fireplace before building another, but if it is deeper than an inch, you should take some out. Leaving about an inch of ash helps to build a new fire and protects the firebox floor. Also, make sure that the ash isn’t touching the fire grate, as the heat can burn the grate out. You can remove all of the ash at the end of the winter.

Use a spark guard or grate

Prevent sparks from leaping out of the fire and into your home with a spark guard. These can be made from mesh, glass, screens, or ceramic. And as with any ‘appliance’ that generates heat or flame, if you leave the room for a time, it’s especially important to guard the fire.

If the worst happens, and you experience fire or smoke damage this winter, let SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County help you get back to normal. To be the most proactive, you can always schedule an inspection to find any potential problems before they create larger ones.

Call 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.

How to spot water damage

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

A house is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. In order to protect that investment, you should vigilantly look out for household problems and address them before they worsen.

One such dreaded homeowner issue is water damage. If left unattended, water damage can detrimentally impact the structure or spawn other complications, including mold that poses a risk to inhabitants. Below is several methods for detecting water damage within your house.

1. Check the Floors

No matter what kind of flooring you have, it will manifest signs of water damage. For tile and wood, look for cracked, buckling or warped flooring. When it comes to carpet, be aware of damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.

2. Look for Stains

Water stains on the floor around the bathtub, toilet or sink, as well as stains on ceilings and walls, are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Unusual stains could indicate there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the drywall or areas that appear swollen and are soft to touch also may signify trouble. Peeling paint is an additional sign of loose water within wall spaces. As the drywall gets saturated, paint can lose adhesion.

3. Inspect Outside

Observe the exterior of your house. What you want to look for are pools of standing water that can indicate poor drainage in the yard, gutter spouts that aren’t transporting water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters. Any of those issues could threaten the foundation of your house. Additionally, common signs of water damage on the roof may include pools of water; cracked, curled or missing shingles; or broken flashing.

4. Watch for Rust and Mold

Inspect your water heater and check for rust on the tank or damp spots on the floor. A rusted tank could indicate a slow leak. Additionally, corrosion around pipe connections could be caused by water seepage. Visual signs of active mold growth mean moisture is contacting microscopic mold spores, often in the nooks and crannies of your home. Finally, don’t rely solely on sight. When water stagnates, mold and bacteria can grow, producing a musty, unpleasant smell.

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

Storms and Water Damage

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

IT'S MORE THAN JUST WATER

You'd think that having a home flooded was enough, however it isn't. Water damage goes far beyond the time that the water is flowing. Rain damage has a long term effect on a home if not properly  treated, professionally and quickly. The water damage you see right after the rain (or even during) is only the beginning.

Within hours, your home will absorb some of the water. Water damaged carpets, floors, walls, drywall, stairs, furniture and any electricity wires or electrical appliances standing in the water's way.

If left untreated for more than a day, things get even worse. What was once only water damage, requiring water extraction and some fixing, now becomes an even larger problem. Mold will start growing thanks to humidity and supporting conditions. The wetness spreads deeper in to the places it can, causing mold growth in those hidden places as well. Standing water becomes stagnant water, now acting as a health hazard for all residents.

BASEMENT FLOODED? FLOOR DESTROYED? NOT ALL IS LOST

If your home has been affected by rain damage, the roof leaked or your basement was flooded, not all is lost. Although the results of water damage can be really bad, you can reverse the effects in no time if you just handle it fast enough. The sooner you get restoration professionals to help you get rid of the water and other water damage results, the better off you will be.

If you just found you have water damage, give us a call. We'll be there by the end of the day, assisting you with water damage restoration - we'll extract the water, assess the situation, and repair everything that needs to be.  

Above all else, we'll make sure you feel safe and sound. We're experienced in numerous types of water damage, we have professional technicians with vast knowledge, the best equipment the industry has to offer. When we take care of your home, you'll know you're in good hands.


Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation specialist. 502.241.6861

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

Water Damage in your Commercial Space

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage In Your Commercial Space

There are numerous situations in which a commercial property might suffer extensive water damage. For example, a flood from a storm or overflowing river bank might deposit massive amounts of dirty water throughout the first floor of a structure. Or, a burst/leaky pipe might cause water to collect in the spaces between the walls or floors in the structure, leading to mold growth and other issues in these hidden areas.

Whether it’s flood water damage or another form of moisture intrusion, what should you do when the commercial property you’re inspecting has water damage?

Confirming the Extent of the Damage

One of the first things you’ll want to do when you discover signs of water damage is verify the extent of the damage. However, a simple visual check probably won’t be enough to reliably establish the full scope of the problem.

Water can soak into many building materials far from the source of the moisture intrusion without creating obvious signs of damage for a long time. So, to accurately establish how far the water has spread, you need a specialized tool for measuring moisture in building materials—such as a moisture meter for building inspection.

Using a moisture meter, you can measure the moisture content (%MC) of the materials near where you noticed the water damage. By continuing to make checks progressively farther from the site of the damage, you can establish how widespread the damage is as well as the severity of the moisture intrusion.

With this information, you’ll be able to determine whether you need to focus on drying out the affected materials, or simply tear them out so they can be replaced with undamaged materials.

Contacting a Water Damage Restoration Expert

If you’re inspecting your own property and do not have experience in water cleanup/restoration work, it may be a good idea to contact a water damage restoration expert to handle the task of dry-out/tear-out for you. This is because water damage remediation work can be too delicate or dangerous for someone without specialized experience or training to risk.

For example, a professional in water damage restoration is likely to have the right tools and experience to minimize their risks from hazards such as mold spores, exposure to fiberglass insulation, and weakened floors that may collapse—all of which are common hazards in water cleanup and restoration work. Additionally, an expert is more likely to be able to successfully complete dry-out tasks in a way that minimizes the overall damage and risk of future problems.

Trying to handle dry-out and tear-out work without the requisite training and experience can lead to problems.

Drying Out the Affected Area

If you’re determined to handle the dry-out work personally, or the extent of the damage is especially minor, then it may be possible to remove the moisture causing the damage yourself.

However, you’ll need a few specialized tools to make sure you can completely dry out the area, including:

  • Wet vacuums (to remove standing water quickly)
  • Air movers and/or dehumidifiers (to extract humid air)
  • A thermo-hygrometer (to track the humidity in a room)
  • Pin and/or pinless moisture meters (to track the moisture content of building materials)

If the structure has a climate control system, then turning up the temperature slightly can help to keep water from condensing—allowing dry-out work to proceed just a bit faster.

When drying out a room in a building with flood damage, it’s important to keep the building as sealed against exposure to outside air as possible. Otherwise, mold spores and other contaminants can make their way inside and, with the help of the excess moisture in the structure, begin to proliferate. Any air movers attached to an opening should be sealed in place in such a way that they constantly force air out and prevent outside air from getting inside.

Any moisture-compromised furniture should be removed and assessed. If it is too water-damaged, it will need to be thrown out and replaced. The same goes for any building materials in the affected area.

Document Everything!

While you’re busy inspecting and trying to repair the damage to your commercial property, be sure to document as much as possible about the damage, its cause, and the steps needed to fix it.

It’s good to do this because you may need to file an insurance claim for the cost of the repairs, and doing so without documentation could result in the claim being denied.

Having a moisture meter that can store readings with a date and time stamp, then transfer the stored data into an easily-presentable report on your computer can be immensely useful. This provides documentation about the extent of the water damage and when it was first inspected—making it a bit easier to prove an insurance claim.

Additionally, taking photographs of the damage can help to further establish proof of the water damage.

If materials or furniture pieces have to be thrown out, keep track of what is being disposed of as well. This may prove useful for determining the extent of your losses for the insurance claim. A water damage restoration expert will likely recommend that you collect thorough documentation as well, since it helps them get paid by the insurance company.

This, of course, assumes that you have an insurance policy on the commercial property that covers the costs of water damage. If your property doesn’t have such insurance, then the costs will have to come out of your pocket.

These are just some of the basic actions to take if your commercial property suffers water damage.

While contacting a water damage restoration specialist is probably the best thing to do, following these simple steps should help you mitigate the damage somewhat. As a basic rule of thumb, if the damage is severe enough to warrant filing an insurance claim, then you should probably hire an expert in water damage cleanup.

Water Damage in your Commercial Property? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a mitigation specialists. 502.241.6861

Flooding as a Result of a Burst Pipe

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding As A Result Of A Busted Pipe

Flooding can occur from a slow leak that suddenly builds over time, bursting a pipe. That stealthy leak can cause much damage over time, but the shear volume of water from a burst pipe can wreak havoc, compromising the structural integrity of your house as well as ruining your furniture, carpeting and various other belongings. There are a few more dangers you may not be aware of: the growth of mold, possible electrical fires due to circuits exposed to excess water—all affecting your family’s safety.

It’s important to contact a water damage restoration company to locate all of the leaks and take care of the damage itself, but there are things that you can do while you are awaiting their arrival. These measures will help to minimize damage to your property and make the eventual restoration process less costly to you. First and foremost, if the water level is rising, you should immediately shut off your water supply. You should also carefully relocate any electronic devices to a dry area, if possible. Check to see if water levels have reached electric wall sockets—you don't want to electrocute yourself!

Once you’ve gotten the water level under control, it’s imperative to remove as much excess water as possible. If you have time, you can rent a sump pump to drain the water. As you’re doing this, you should also set up fans to evaporate the water, as well as dry surfaces and carpeting. Just be sure to plug any of those devices in a wall socket that has not been compromised by water or moisture.

Next, you’ll want to remove furniture and other items to a dry area—even if it’s to your driveway. Remember that fabric can hold moisture for a long time, which means those items can become breeding grounds for mold. If the water invasion is extensive, you may even want to completely relocate yourself and your family to temporary housing. Until you know the extent of the damage to your home, you and your family may be in danger of falling materials like plaster, wood and insulation. And don’t forget that water conducts electricity!

Once you’ve performed the above measures and everything appears to be dried out, and there seems to be minimal damage, you may think that water damage professionals are no longer needed. For piece of mind, you should definitely contact the professionals. They have all of the necessary equipment and experience to locate any and all possible leaks. They also have mold remediation experience and can search for all instances of mold growth, both removing it and taking preventative measures. Be sure to do your research in selecting reputable water damage restoration companies via reviews, references and certifications.

Another benefit from having professionals take care of your water damage problem? Insurance. You’ll likely have to file a claim with your insurance company. The water damage restoration company can provide all of the necessary reports to submit to your insurance company so that your claim will be processed quickly.

So, when you experience that sudden invasion of water, don’t wait to begin dealing with problem. The longer you wait, the worse the damage. And don’t wait to contact the professionals—when you’re dealing with ongoing water damage, time is of the essence! Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County! 502.241.6861

Water and Frozen Pipes

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

As snow continues to fall and winter temperatures fluctuate below freezing, it's possible for your pipes to freeze. Not only do freezing pipes cause a great inconvenience, they also cause major property damage leaving you with extensive repairs.

What Causes Freezing Pipes:

Exterior freezing temperatures cause the water to freeze and expand, creating a blockage. This blockage will cause an increase in pressure and strain your plumbing system. If the pressure gets too great it will cause the pipe to burst. 

Pipes located along the exterior walls of your property may not have the adequate amount of insulation in protecting them from the exterior freezing temperatures. Pipes located in the attic or basement may not be as warm as other areas of the house which can cause a greater tendency to freeze. Lack of use can cause freezing pipes. Leaving for an extended period of time and/ or lowing your interior temperature while you're away, can cause remaining water in your piping system to freeze when exterior temperatures drop below freezing. 

Signs of Frozen Pipes

One of the first signs for the potential of frozen pipes is when exterior temperatures drop below freezing. You can take precautions like adding insulation to prevent vulnerable pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can show an accumulation of frost on the exterior of the pipe, this warning sign can indicate the pipe is frozen before you even turn on the faucet and there is a lack of running water, this can indicate that the pipe may be frozen. 

If you experience a Water Damage as a result of frozen pipes in your business call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861 

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

Tips for Preventing Storm Damage

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Storms are unpredictable and tend to target neighborhoods rather than entire counties. If you are unfortunate enough to be in the path, your business is vulnerable to fallen trees, hail damage, fire from lightning, wind damage, losing all or part of your roof, flooding, and power outage. Minutes later, the storm passes, and you are shocked by the extent of the damage.

Why is Storm Damage Preparedness Important? 

As a business owner or facility manager, you’ll need to prepare and react to keep people working safely and stay productive. Here are 4 summer storm damage prevention tips to help your business survive the sudden summer storm and reduce downtime from storm damage commercial property loss.

 #1 Preventative Maintenance 

It’s easy to let maintenance items slip as the seasons quickly change from spring to summer. Be prudent and proactive by scheduling an exterior building inspection on your calendar. Here’s a simple checklist to get you started.

  • Check the condition of the paint and walls.

  • Check for broken windows and doors.

  • Check the condition of all railings.

  • Check for plants growing on the building or its foundation.

  • Clean the roof. Use care when working in high places; employ adequate fall protection.

  • Clean roof drains and gutters. Test drains and downspouts by flushing them with water.

  • Inspect the condition of the roof.

  • Inspect gutters for adequate anchoring and tighten, if necessary.

  • Inspect the stack and all roof penetrations.

  • Remove any plant life growing on the roof.

  • Clean up any debris found.

#2 Update Your Commercial Storm Damage Insurance Coverage 

It’s devastating to discover that your commercial insurance policy doesn’t have adequate commercial storm damage coverage after a property loss. Along with your preventative maintenance and inspection, schedule an annual policy review with your insurance agent. Be sure to discuss coverage and exclusions and be certain that you understand them. This step removes the disappointment and unhappy surprise from a non-covered loss.

#3 Photograph and Document the Condition of Your Commercial Property

A photographic inventory of your business equipment, interior, and exterior of the business property is a tremendous help when navigating a commercial storm damage insurance claim. Your timestamped photographs accelerate the process when working with your insurance adjuster after storm damage has occurred and provides proof of adequate maintenance of the commercial property.

#4 Initiate Emergency Response Planning with SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County

It’s vital to the health of your business to have an emergency plan in place and to update it annually. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has a Emergency Response Plan (ERP) program that ensures you and your employees know how to prepare and react to  storm commercial property damage. Should you need water damage mitigation, fire damage restoration, or emergency repairs as a result of commercial storm damage, your ERP with SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County will give you peace of mind that you have a strategic partner at the ready to respond to your need 24/7/365. Ask a Marketing Representative to schedule your ERP appointment today. 

Don't let storm damage be disastrous to your commercial property. You worked hard to build your company and deserve the most efficient and experienced response. For the best storm damage restoration from fire, water, or wind damage, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

The Proper Way to Handle a Basement Water Damage

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Let’s face it– most basements aren’t welcoming even on a good day, so when a basement flood occurs, you probably don’t want to be down there. Listen to that little voice because it is trying to tell you the best way to handle a basement flood is to call for help.

Depending on how you utilize your basement, there could be plenty of dangers hiding in those inches of water. If you have electrical items, such as a washer, dryer, water heater or even outlets, it is possible you could be electrocuted if you step into that water. It is well and good to say to shut off the circuit breaker first, but what if that is also located in the basement? Rather than debate on the best course of action, call for help.

If you haven’t dealt with a basement flood before, your first instinct is going to be to do an online search, call friends, or otherwise try to educate yourself on the best way to proceed. Meanwhile, the water damage could be getting even worse. Don’t delay the start of the basement flood restoration — call for help.

On the chance that electricity wasn’t a problem and you’re feeling confident you can jump right in to deal with the basement flood, think about what you plan to do with your soggy belongings. If you don’t know how to salvage things, consider that a professional can save things you might not think possible and would have thrown out. So, one more paragraph ends the same – call for help.

When you’ve reached the realization that calling for help is the best piece of advice in this article, turn to us at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. We can take care of your basement flood safely and minimize losses. We can fully restore your basement, including taking care of drywall repair and painting, so that your basement can be useful again.

Water Damage in your basement? Call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

How to Avoid Fire Hazards During the Holiday Season

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Enjoy the Holidays and Avoid Fire Hazards

Fall and winter holidays are exciting times to gather with family and friends, enjoy traditional decorations and eat special foods. Unfortunately, these holiday festivities can also bring about unique fire hazards. Most residential fires happen during the colder months of the year, and are primarily caused by cooking, heating, and electrical malfunctions. A house fire will certainly take the joy out of celebrating the holidays, so take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of your home and your guests. No matter what holidays you celebrate, consider these important steps for staying safe and preventing fires. 

1. Cook With Care

Although cooking with care is always important, it can be easy to neglect caution during the chaotic holiday preparations. More cooking in the kitchen can increase the risk of a fire. Be sure to stay in the kitchen when you have something cooking on the stove top or in the oven. The NFPA recommends keeping pan lids close by so that if a fire starts you can quickly cover it with the lid and remove the pan from the burner. When food preparation is finished, turn off the burners and remove the pans, as the stove top can remain hot. 

2. Pay Attention to Indoor Decorations

When decorating indoors, test all lights and cords and replace any faulty products before use. Hang indoor lights with clips rather than nails to avoid damaging cords and never use decorations intended for outdoor use only inside your home. If you burn candles indoors, keep them away from children and always extinguish them before you leave the room or go to sleep. Place Christmas trees or seasonal plants at least three feet away from any heat source and turn off any decorative lights prior to leaving your home or going to sleep. Never use real candles to light a tree and water a live tree every day to prevent it from becoming dry and brittle. When the holiday ends or the tree becomes dry, get rid of it. Do not leave a live, dried out tree in the garage or near your house, as they are highly combustible. 

3. Use Outdoor Light Displays Responsibly

Many people show their holiday spirit with outdoor light displays. If you decorate outside, use only electrical decorations and extension cords manufactured for outdoor use. Keep the cords and lights away from snow or standing water and avoid damage to the cord's insulation by ensuring it is not pinched in doors or windows or placed under furniture. Also when installing outdoor lights, use a ladder made of wood or fiberglass, as metal ladders can conduct electricity. 

4. Don't Forget Lighters and Matches

An open flame can pose serious risks if handled improperly. Always keep lighters, matches, and other fire-starting materials away from children. Make sure holiday guests who smoke do so outside and properly dispose of cigarette butts and ashes – by dampening cigarette butts before throwing them in the trash, for example. Exercise caution if using a fireplace or an outdoor fire pit. Gathering family and friends around a fire can be a cozy, enjoyable way to experience the colder weather but make sure you place the fire pit at least 10 feet away from your home or other structures and don't use it in windy weather, as the fire can quickly spread outside the intended area. Have your chimney inspected prior to using a wood-burning fireplace and only burn dry firewood that has been out of the rain for several months. Green or damp wood, when burned, can create additional dangers as it sizzles and smokes. Also avoid a common holiday decorating mistake by never hanging stockings or other dangling decorations in front of a working fireplace. 

5. Use Fireworks Appropriately

Ringing in the New Year with fireworks has become an American tradition, but fireworks present dangers when used inappropriately. Before celebrating with fireworks, check local laws regarding their use and follow all regulations. If your area allows the use of fireworks at home, never allow children to use them unsupervised. Use fireworks outside only, away from buildings and trees, and never relight a firework that fails to explode.  By understanding the potential fire risks associated with this time of year and taking simple precautions, you can keep your home and family safe, while enjoying the holiday season. 
  

Fire Damage: The Next Steps

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage can be a scary thing. Especially, if it involves your home or business. Follow the following steps to ensure that the damage is handled properly. 

  1. Don’t touch anything.
    Never enter your premises without the express consent of firefighters. Fire damage can result in an array of hidden, unsafe conditions. In addition, touching or removing items could void your insurance coverage - or lessen the amount that you receive for damage reimbursement. Commercial fires are a serious situation. When in doubt, call for professional help.
  2. Turn all utilities off.
    Turn off water at the valve, and gas and electricity at the meter.
  3. Immediately contact your insurance company.
    They can start the claims process rolling by sending out an insurance adjuster to assess damages and discuss the situation. They will also advise you of what you should or should not do to protect your insurance coverage. If you rent or lease space, contact the property owner’s insurance agent as well.
  4. After the “all-clear,” remove necessary items.
    These include business licenses and permits, inventory and accounting records, employee documents, insurance information, cash, credit cards, and checkbooks, and other valuables. NOTE: Do not open fire safes until they have cooled as contents may ignite or the safe explode!
  5. Notify local law enforcement – and everyone else.
    Alerting local law enforcement can help prevent further vandalism, theft, and liability issues. Employees, customers, suppliers and vendors should be notified of the situation, as well as the post office and your utility and credit card companies. Be sure to provide updated contact information.
  6. Call a pro.
    Contact your local Rainbow International professional to schedule emergency board up and tarp over services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This will protect your business against additional intruder and weather related damage. In addition, schedule a remediation assessment with a professional in order to supply a rebuilding estimate and get the ball rolling with your insurance company.
  7. Keep extensive records.
    Carefully collect and document receipts and expenses, and keep extensive records of all phone calls and rebuilding related discussions. Get written estimates before work is begun. Take care to read all items thoroughly before signature or approval.
  8. Need help?
    The Red Cross may be able to offer assistance.
  9. Consider a loss assessor.
    If things aren’t going your way with the insurance company and you feel the funds you’ve been allotted aren’t a fair reflection of the damage incurred, consider the help of a loss assessor or public adjuster. Unlike the loss adjuster, who works for the insurance company, a public adjuster is licensed by the state to negotiate declined claims and disputed settlement issues between your business and the insurance company on your behalf.
  10. Don’t expect a quick fix.
    Though fire damage happens in a flash, understand it will take time to get insurance coverage, clean the site, secure necessary permits, rebuild, alert vendors, suppliers, employees and clientele, and reopen. Be driven, but realistic, about the time and effort involved in rebuilding.

Has your business suffered a fire damage? Don’t wait. Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. We have the knowledge, tools, and technology to restore your business to its pre-fire condition quickly! 502.241.6861

Preventing Frozen Pipes

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

During the winter, homeowners must take extra precaution against the freezing temperatures. If not, frozen pipes are in your future. Then, due to increased pressure, frozen pipes burst and can deposit hundreds of gallons of water each day into your home. The water damage is often immeasurable. But, you have an opportunity to prepare each year by winterizing your plumbing system.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Before freezing temperatures hit home, protect your pipes by following these useful tips:

  • Outside, drain any remaining water from your swimming pool or sprinkler supply lines by following the manufacturer’s directions. Never put antifreeze in the lines unless directly told to do so by the manufacturer.
  • Remove any outdoor hoses from the faucet, and close inside vales supply the hose. Ensure you drain the hose completely before storing it somewhere dry and indoors. Ensure the outside valve is open to allow any water inside the pipe to expand without bursting the pipe itself.
  • Add adequate insulation in the attic, basement, and crawlspaces. Insulation helps retain heat more efficiently.
  • Check throughout your home for water supply lines in unheated rooms. Be sure to insulate any pipes you locate, especially in the garage or underneath cabinets.

General Tips

Here are a few more general tips for preventing frozen pipes throughout your home:

  • Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm inside and circulating around the plumbing. Remove household cleaners or harmful chemicals to prevent children or pets from accessing them.
  • At night, when temperatures are at their lowest, allow cold water to drip from any faucet with an exposed pipe. Even a trickle of water will prevent the pipes from freezing over.
  • Ensure the thermostat is at the same temperature both at night and during the day.
  • If you are leaving for vacation, set your thermostat to a minimum of 55-degrees Fahrenheit.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

There are times when, despite your best efforts, the pipes may freeze over anyway. In that case, here is how to thaw frozen pipes:

  • Open the faucet. As you work to thaw any frozen pipes, the water will flow through the frozen portion, to the open faucet, and help melt the ice on the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the frozen pipe with an electric heating paid, hair dryer, space heater, or by wrapping towels soaked in hot water. Never use an open flame device, blowtorch, or propane heater, though.
  • Check all the faucets in your home. If one has frozen over, then chances are quite high that others have also frozen.
  • Call for frozen pipes services immediately. The longer you wait, the more potential damage you risk in your home. Avoid water damage with the right team.

If you have frozen pipes in your home, pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. We provide frozen pipe and water damage restoration services when unexpected damage occurs. Give us a call at 502.241.6861

Water Damage Restoration

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes in your home, it can be so overwhelming to figure out how to get the damage cleaned up, so that you can put the disaster behind you and start living safely in your home again. Whether you have had a flood or fire, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can as help you get your home cleaned up and put back together, so that you can live in your home safely.

Flooding can cause major damage to your home.  A lot of people think that they can simply clean up the water and throw a few fans on the carpet to dry it out.  This is simply not enough to get the damage safely cleaned up.  If you have a significant flood it is important that you have a professional come out and look at your home to make sure everything has been cleaned up properly.  It is important to have an emergency damage restoration professional come out as soon as possible because they know how to get the mess cleaned up safely and how to check for damage that is not visible.  Water damage can weaken areas in your home.  It can also cause mold to grow.  

Fire damage should also be handled by an emergency damage restoration professional. It is not only important to get the soot and scorch marks cleaned up, but also to clean up the fire-retardant chemicals that were used to put out the fire.  Fire and smoke can also cause significant damage and can cause your home to be unsafe to live in.  A professional will know exactly how to clean up the damage, and they will know what can be salvaged and what needs to be replaced.  They will also be able to get out the smoky smell from your home.

Call us at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today for emergency damage restoration today. Our experienced professionals will have your home cleaned up and safe to live in in no time. We will handle all the cleanup, so that you don’t have to.

Water or Fire Damage in your home? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a mitigation specialist. 

502.241.6861

Water Damage Restoration Prevents Mold

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Water can cause a lot of damage to your home or business. When flooding or water leaks occur it can cause a lot of destruction, and it can be so hard to cleanup. It is also difficult to know what can be dried out and salvaged or what is totally ruined and needs to be replaced. When things need to be replaced it is hard to know how to safely and effectively fix the damage. Hiring a water damage restoration professional will take all the guesswork out of cleaning up flood damage for you. They will take care of everything for you, so that you can have your home or business restored to its former glory without doing all the work yourself.

Water damage restoration can be tricky if you do not know what you are doing. A professional is trained and has experience dealing with water damage restoration. They will know how to effectively remove all the water and will have all the right tools for the job. They will know what can be dried out and will have industrial grade fans that will be able to dry everything out much faster than a box fan would be able to. They will also be able to tell what needs to be replaced and what can be salvaged.

A big concern when you have a flood is mold growth. Mold can grow in as little as 24 hours. It is important to have the water damaged area thoroughly inspected for mold growth. To protect all the people that will be in your home or business, it is important to have all mold cleaned up properly. A professional will have access to chemicals that can safely prevent mold and also chemicals that will remove mold for good.

If you are looking for an honest and experienced water damage restoration company, call us at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. Don’t wait until you have a big mold problem. We can remove all water and restore all areas affected by water damage.

Why you need a professional fire restoration company

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

Was your home recently damaged in a fire? You may be searching for DIY fire restoration tips to save a little money in the recovery process, however the simple fact is this: fire and smoke damage restoration is not a job for amateurs. Here are four reasons why trying to clean up the mess yourself could be problematic.

You Might be Exposed to Hidden Health Hazards

Unfortunately, the dangers of a fire don’t end once the flames go out. The smoke and soot left behind are more than just dirty little reminders of the disaster that took place. Exposure to fire-damaged objects and lingering residue could be hazardous.


Soot forms after a fire because plastic, foam, textiles, wood, and other household materials doesn't burn cleanly. The soot then contains toxic materials that either didn’t burn completely or were produced as a chemical reaction in the fire’s high heat.


Invisible soot particles floating through the air may contain asbestos fibers, ammonia, tar, formaldehyde, and much more.

Exposure to soot in a fire-damaged home is obviously at its highest during the cleanup process. However, unless thorough, adequate cleaning is performed, the effects of smoke could linger for years. This is why you should leave fire restoration to professionals who can employ deep-cleaning techniques to truly restore your home to its pre-fire condition.

You Need Special Equipment

A bottle of degreaser and a dust mask are not nearly enough to adequately clean up fire and smoke damage. After all, you can’t simply wipe soot away. You must deep clean all surfaces to eliminate lingering health threats and remove residual odors. Professional tools – not to mention knowledge of proper cleaning techniques – are at the heart of a thorough, safe fire restoration.


Also, be aware that laundering smoke-damaged clothing in your washer could deepen the damage and leave undesired odors in the washing machine. You must pursue special dry-cleaning techniques if you hope to salvage clothing damaged in a fire.

You Could Mistakenly Throw Away Salvageable Goods

It’s easy for the untrained eye to sift through damaged belongings and deem many of them a lost cause. However, with advanced recovery techniques, a fire restoration contractor can help minimize your loss. Then, for contaminated items that truly are unrecoverable, proper disposal prevents unnecessary hazards.

The Recovery Process Could Take Much Longer

Restoring your home back to its pre-fire condition is not a straightforward task. You have belongings to salvage, cleanup to do, and the home’s structure to repair. Then, there are the insurance claims to minimize the fire’s financial impact. The entire process is a headache to attempt yourself.


In fact, your efforts to save money with DIY fire restoration could easily backfire if you throw out salvageable belongings and don’t complete insurance claims correctly. The time it takes to perform the cleanup without help could also be detrimental. Relying on a fire restoration contractor who’s familiar with every aspect of the disaster recovery process is a much better option.

Schedule Professional Fire Restoration Services

The team at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby is here to deliver affordable, convenient fire and smoke damage restoration services. We make the recovery process as quick and painless as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our fire restoration services. 502.241.6861

Fire Damage Restoration Process

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

Step One: Emergency Contact

The best fire damage restoration companies offer emergency services meaning that they are able to come out quickly when contacted and provide immediate relief for your property. This is a very important feature and you should always look for companies that offer this when trying to find fire damage restoration.

Why do you need immediate service before you start the fire damage restoration process? Of course, it’s actually the job of the emergency services and fire department to put out the fires. However, you may still need fire damage restoration services promptly in order to prevent damage from spreading through your property.

For instance, let's say a fire burns a hole in your roof. This could then lead to a situation where you have rain coming in through your ceiling and ruining your property further – the longer you leave this the more the damage is going to increase and thus needing immediate emergency services whenever possible rather than waiting for the problem to grow more severe.

Step Two: Assessment

The next thing that a fire damage restoration company will do in the fire damage restoration process is to assess the extent of the damage in your property. This will usually involve looking at how far the fire, the smoke, and the soot have traveled as well as seeing how badly affected your walls and furniture are.

This is an important first step as it is only by understanding the extent of the damage that the company will be able to come up with a plan of action and to give you an accurate estimate for how much it should cost and a time frame of completion.

Step Three: Tarp and Sealing Services

Once the fire damage restoration begins in earnest, the main priority will always be to prevent damage from getting worse. For instance then, if you have a leak thanks to a hole burned in your roof or due to a hole in your wall, then your fire damage restoration company will start by addressing that.

Likewise, the fire damage restoration can also often go hand in hand with water damage restoration. This can be necessary for instance if the fire has led to a burst pipe or water tank. In these cases, fire damage restoration services will act quickly to stop the source of the water before it spreads through more of your building and causes further damage.

Step Four: Clean Up

Next, the restoration service will begin the clean-up portion of the fire damage restoration process whereby they will clean away smoke, dust, and soot from your surfaces. After a fire often you will find that your property looks dark, stained and charred. The first job of your fire damage restoration company will be to clean up all this part of the damage and get your property at least looking as normal as possible.

This is also when water damage restoration will begin properly. Here any standing pools of water will be removed using submersible pumps and the areas will then be dried and sanitized. Water damage can also cause health problems as a result of contamination in the water, so sanitation is particularly important here.

During this fire damage restoration process, companies will also ensure to remove any odors that can linger after the smoke has been in the room. This might involve carpet cleaning as well and will often need to address adjacent rooms as well as those directly affected by fire damage.

Finally, the clean-up part of the fire damage restoration process will also involve the removal and disposal of items that are too badly damaged to be repaired. If you have furniture for instance that has absorbed a lot of contaminated water, or if you have carpet that has been badly burned… in these cases often the best case scenario is just to throw these things out and to replace them with new items. Fire damage restoration companies handle this for you so that you don’t have to.

Step Five: Repair and Renovation

The next stage is to begin actually restoring furniture and repairing the damage caused by fire. For instance, if cabinets have been destroyed by fire, then the restoration service will involve either repairing those cabinets or replacing them with new ones. Carpets can likewise be installed a new and walls can be repainted and wallpaper can be put back up.

The idea of this stage is to get your property looking as good as new so that you can go back to normal. However, the very best fire damage restoration companies will go one step further than this. That’s because they will not only offer restoration but also renovation. These companies can then repair your property and actually leave it looking better than it did at the start. This can be something of a silver lining – if you’re stressed and upset because your furniture has been ruined, then the fire damage restoration service can turn this into an opportunity to renovate your property and to enjoy having a completely new redesign.

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. 

What to do when your hot water heater is leaking?

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

The dreaded Hot Water Heater leak. Unfortunately, over time with wear and tear this is an absolute possibility. Should you find yourself in this situation follow the steps below to either solve or prevent the issue. 

1: Checking the Heater

The first thing you must do is check on the water heater regularly. In some homes the water heater is in an inconvenient spot however, it could be the difference between thousands in repairs and a couple hundred dollars to fix a leak.

It is highly recommend that you inspect to see if there are wet spots on or around the tank. Condensation forms on the tank as a result of the temperature. This drips onto your flooring.

2: What to do if there is a leak.

To begin, turn off the water valve to ensure that you don’t have a leak. When the water valve is turned off, the leak will persist because the water inside the tank has nowhere else to go. Next, wipe off the tank with a cloth to make sure it is dry. When the tank is dry, inspect for more water. Again, leaks will drip on the floor, but condensation will appear at random and bead on the tank.

#3: Turning Off The Power

You can shut off the power to your water heater to perform the process above, but you must remember to wipe off the tank. When the tank is dry, you can shut off the power and check for further condensation or leaks. It's best to do the process once a week just to ensure the heater works properly.

#4: Where Is The Leak Coming From?

To decipher exactly what is going on it's best to call a professional plumber as soon as the leak is discovered.  In the meantime, it is imperative to shut off the water valve to avoid excessive water damage and hang tight.

Should you have a Water Damage as a result give the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County a call today to speak with a Mitigation specialist. 502.241.6861

Preventing Water Damage- Sprinkler System Maintenance

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Don’t you love a full, bright green lawn under your bare feet? Proper watering is important for a healthy-looking lawn, however when you don't have a sprinkler system, it can be a hassle to get the lawn of your dreams. When a sprinkler system is installed, it not only eliminates the hassle of hand-watering; but also saves time, money and energy. A sprinkler system allows your lawn to be watered uniformly and regularly, keeping it in good shape.

Many homes now have sprinkler systems that operate on timers, which is so helpful; however sometimes leaks occur, and these can be difficult to pinpoint.

Knowing how to avoid leaks in your sprinkler system as well as knowing what to look for when you suspect a leak will help you resolve the issue quickly and minimize potential damage.

Preventing Sprinkler System Leaks

To keep your sprinkler system in good working order, it is important to do some post-season and pre-season maintenance. “Winterizing” your sprinkler will help you avoid costly repairs or substantial damage:

Insulate: 

To insulate, you need to shut off the water supply to your irrigation system and then add a protective covering over the main valve to prevent freezing. Any piping that is above ground should be insulated as well .

Be in control: 

If your system is automated then you must shut down the controller or the timer. To fully shut off the signal to the valves, either choose “off” or “rain-mode.” If you select rain-mode then the programming information will continue and you will not lose any of your settings.

However, for security purposes, you may still want to write down the information in case you have to reprogram it.

Drain the pipes: 

Keeping the water in the pipes during winter is leads to spring leaks. Standing water can freeze, expand, and break the pipe. Remove the water through either a manual or automatic, drain valve or compressed air blowout method.

Protect valves and backflow preventers: If backflow preventers and valves are above ground, then be sure to insulate them. Just be sure you do not block the air vents and drain outlets when insulating the backflow preventers.

Signs of a Leaking Sprinkler System

Soggy Grass

A sprinkler system works to keep your lawn watered evenly, but if you notice soggy or squishy grass under your feet, and it has not rained recently, then this could indicate a leak. The sogginess may be more noticeable in certain spots where a sprinkler valve or connection is buried. Make sure it is not a drainage issue or simply a sunken area where water will naturally settle. If the grass is not soggy after rainfall, but only after using the sprinklers, then you probably have a leak.

Unexplained Water on Concrete

If you ever notice a large wet spot or a small stream of water on your concrete, walkway or patio, and you know it is not due to rain or a recent sprinkler watering, this could also be a sign of a leak. Excess pooling or streaming water will eventually damage these surfaces, so it is best to get the necessary repairs done quickly to protect against further damage.

Sprinkler Head Damage

Sprinkler heads and pipes can become susceptible to damage when exposed, so regularly inspecting any areas that are accessible is important. If you suspect animals have been burrowing or feeding on or near your lawn, or you suspect a shoe or bike wheel ran over a sprinkler head, be sure to test it for damage. Sprinkler heads can become cracked or chipped, altering its performance.

Furthermore, sprinkler heads that pop-up can shift out of position and cause puddles in areas you do not want water. Keep in mind the heads can also accumulate debris and become clogged, which causes water to spray off target and leaves thirsty grass to die.

Water Pressure

How is the water pressure of your irrigation system? If the sprinkler coverage does not overlap water streams due to low pressure, there may be a leak or a clog. Anytime you notice bubbling, gurgling or hissing you probably have a leak.

However, if you notice a regular fluctuation in water pressure, the problem may be coming from the irrigation pipes which are susceptible to invasive tree roots and shifting ground.

Fungus Growth

Mushrooms are a fungus, and fungi love moisture. They do not naturally grow in a suburban or landscaped environment, so if you are seeing mushrooms, this could indicate a leak. Excessive and constant water flow around plants can kill root tissue which can result in a dying lawn. If grass and plants are not able to absorb the nutrients they need to thrive due to excessive watering, they will be more vulnerable to fungi growth.

Spike in Water Bill

Late Spring, Summer, and early Fall are the times your water bill will be higher. However, if you notice a spike in your irrigation bill beyond its normal use, you may have either a sprinkler leak or a plumbing problem. If your plumbing, toilet, dishwasher and washing machine all seem normal, but your water meter is constantly, it is time to investigate your sprinkler system.

A sprinkler system is a great way to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful. Taking precautions to protect your system from leaks, and knowing the signs of a leak will help you keep your lawn in good health and give you peace of mind about keeping water damage to a minimum.

Water Damage In Your Home or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.232.5213

Detecting Commercial Leaks

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

How to Detect Leaks in a Commercial Building

To prevent such problems, protect your investment, reduce repair along with remediation expenses, while decreasing the chance of hidden, long-lasting consequences. 

The recent advancements in water leak sensing and shut-off technology make it easy to catch a leak at its source and fix the problem before it is too late. Installing a leak detection system in a commercial building is extremely beneficial, as it allows for the early detection of water leaks and the prevention of water damage.

An integrated automatic water leak system will alert the building management to the precise location of a leak, within minutes of detection (water sensors are working 24/7 to detect water leaks and send an alert as soon as they sense water):

  • ⋅ Wireless water leak detectors – The building is retrofitted with wireless sensors that respond with a local alarm and deliver notifications by phone, text and email to the building managers when a leak occurs;
  • ⋅ Cloud-based sensors – Cloud-based sensors are placed at sites of potential leaks – sinks, toilets, basements, plumbing chases, etc. – and can combine data from all units into a single portal that is monitored by the building operators;
  • ⋅ Automated sensors – These advanced water leak sensors automatically shut off water in certain applications when a leak is detected.

Well-designed water leak detection equipment is easy to install, very affordable, and highly efficient. It ensures business continuity and helps avoid costly repairs.

What to Do When You Find a Leak in Your Commercial Building

It is imperative to seek immediate professional solutions at the first sign of water leakage in your commercial building – the experts will take quick and efficient measures to fix the problem and will prevent water damage to your property and large scale, expensive repairs.

If you find a leak in your commercial space contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

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

Why Fire Restoration is Urgent

10/7/2020 (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. 

Top Causes of Commercial Water Damage

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage is serious, and if you're not prepared when it happens to you, your business could be shut down for an unnecessary amount of time.

Top 5 causes of commercial water damage

Extreme weather

Unfortunately, flooding can happen very quickly. What starts out as a small storm can suddenly turn into something larger, and cause a lot more damage than anyone anticipated. If your commercial property isn’t in pristine condition, there is a chance that water damage will occur.

For example, a small leak on the roof can turn into a large downpour of water that floods an entire section of the property.

Damaged appliances 

Pretty much every office building has a kitchen or a break room. And typically these rooms have a refrigerator and possibly a dishwasher. When these appliances fail, they can leak a significant amount of water, flooding the entire room or more.

Backed up sewer lines

Bathrooms are another source of possible problems. It is not uncommon for the sewer lines to  back up, releasing contaminated water into the building.

This type of water damage is extremely dangerous because the water is filled with hazardous waste and other contaminants.

Malfunctioning sprinklers

By law, all commercial properties must be equipped with an overhead sprinkler system. This system works in conjunction with the fire alarm, and is typically activated when the fire alarm goes off. This can cause water damage in two ways.

Any time there is a fire and the sprinklers activate, there will be water damage. Secondly, the sprinkler system can malfunction and activate on its own. When this happens, significant water damage can occur because of the fact that the sprinkler system covers the entire building.

Broken pipes 

Broken or cracked pipes are very common in commercial buildings, especially as they age. When these pipes burst open, water rushes out of them, spraying throughout the building. This can cause damage to the ceiling, walls, and flooring, not to mention any furniture or electronics that get in the water’s way.

Obviously you want to keep an eye on the list above. Ongoing maintenance to your commercial property is key to not having water related issues. But if water damage does happen anywhere on your property, you need to take immediate action. After calling your insurance provider, you need to contact a reliable a water damage restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. Once onsite , the following process is what you can expect.

First the property will be throughly inspected. This is to determine what caused the damage and make sure that the water has stopped flowing. It should be determined whether the water is contaminated or not. During this stage it is expected to remove all furniture that has been affected, while trying to salvage as much as possible.

Next begins the water extraction process. Pumps and other extracting tools are used to remove all water from the property.

Once all the water is removed, then begins the drying process. If everything is not dried properly, problems occur that result in longer recovery and escalating restoration costs. The restoration company will then set up and monitor the drying process through every phase to ensure that proper drying occurs. Then the tech will document moisture levels, provide moisture maps, and photograph drying for the insurance provider.

When the property has been thoroughly dried, the sanitation process begins. Everything will be cleaned and sanitized because of the mold and other contaminates that form due to standing water.

And finally the rebuild happens. If the water damage destroyed ceilings, walls, or flooring, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby can rebuild it. 

Water damage isn’t something that you want to happen on your commercial property. However, when it does, you want to hire the right company to clean up the damage and get your business back to normal as quickly as possible. 

Water Damage In Your Commercial Property? 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. 

Flood Clean up

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

You might assume that the worst of the danger is over once a flood ceases, however, flood cleanup can be just as dangerous as the actual flood itself. Contaminated water, electrocution, or fire are very real risks when you have a large scale flood in your home. Here are some things to look out for and be wary of when you have a flood in your house.

Be Cautious Of Downed Electric Lines

There are several types of flooding that you could experience, and only a portion of these floods are caused by natural disasters.

However, if the flood in your home is caused by a natural disaster, then you might need to be aware of electric lines being down. If you have standing water in your home and around it, and power lines are down, there is a risk of electrocution. Though this instance is rare, it is still a very real threat to be aware of. Try to get to safety and call the utility company in your area immediately.

Be Aware Of The Water Category

There are three water categories: clear, grey, and black. Clear water is tap water that is basically clean but is leaking out of your pipes.

This kind of flood water in your home is not dangerous other than it causing water damage.

Grey water is when there could be chemical, biological, or physical contaminants in the water. This proposes a risk if you come into contact with it. This could be water discharge from toilet bowls, dishwashers, or washing machines.

Black water is the most dangerous and has a high level of contaminants. This is usually from sewage or rising waters from a storm. Black water is not sanitary and should be avoided at all costs. This category of water damage should be handled by a professional restoration company.

Shut Off Utilities

When you have a flood in your home from a water leak, you don’t just have to worry about shutting the water off. However, it is important that you shut off your gas lines and electricity as well during these emergencies. If your not sure how to do that, then contact your utility company to help you figure it out or come out and do it for you. Gas and electricity can cause fires when they come in contact with flood water.

Flood cleanup alone can be very risky  and should be carried out by a professional crew. Make sure you and your family stay safe by evacuating the area in cases of a widespread flood. 

Flood 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

What to Do During and After a Commercial Fire

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

What to Do During and After a Commercial Fire:

Preparing for a home fire is a wise investment, however how many of us prepare for a fire at work?

Below, the fire damage experts from SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County explain what to do during and after a commercial fire.

Safety Steps for Employers & Employees

Contrary to popular belief, fire alarm and a fire sprinkler system are not directly connected. This means that when the fire alarm goes off, the sprinkler system will not necessarily activate at the same time. Moreover, some buildings simply don’t have a fire sprinkler system.

The fire alarm is your primary warning to evacuate the building.

Don’t assume that because the sprinklers aren’t activated that no fire exists. Because commercial buildings lack the compartmented features of a house, the fire has the potential to grow much larger, much faster.

Once the alarm sounds, help inform others that may not hear the alarm. If you’re not working on the ground floor, do not attempt to use an elevator.

Look for the closest stairwell exit. Hold your hand to the door knob (don’t touch it), to check for heat.

If the doorknob feels warm, there may be fire on the other side. If possible, find another exit.

Once outside, do not attempt to go back inside the building. If someone is missing, wait for emergency responders to arrive.

Some commercial fire alarm systems will contact emergency services automatically. Once it’s safe to do so, call 9-1-1 to ensure that help is on the way. Inform first responders of anyone who might still be inside.

How to Handle Fire Cleanup

Burned or damaged buildings are vulnerable to break-ins and other offenses. Once the building has been cleared for re-entry, it’s critical that anything valuable is removed. This includes the personal belongings of employees as well as expensive business property.

Once the valuables have been removed, damaged and destroyed property must be carefully documented. You’ll also need to contact your insurance company.

Business owners who want to be sure they’re getting the most out of their insurance policy trust SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to document and negotiate with the insurance companies.

In addition, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can repair damage, clean, and sanitize a fire-damaged work space as well as restore it to like-new condition—this includes expensive property contents like furniture, electronics, paper documents and more.

Avoid the impulse to clean up the property before a thorough investigation has been completed. Insurance companies will want documentation of everything in your claim. If you clean up evidence, you could lose money in the claims process.

Stay Informed; Be Prepared

Every minute counts when it comes to your business. One of the best ways to avoid further damage after a commercial fire is to stay informed and be prepared.

In addition to coordinating a fire safety plan with employees, knowing who to call and when can save you time and money on commercial cleaning and restoration.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is available 24 hours day, 7 days a week . We’ll be there when you need us, so you can get back to work faster after an unexpected disaster.

Call us today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.232.5213

Things to look for in an Emergency Restoration Company

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

When your commercial property suffers damage due to disaster, it’s vital to initiate comprehensive disaster management services to get your business back in working order as fast as possible.

Fires, floods, and severe storms can seriously damage your commercial property. Following a disaster, prompt professional restoration services can reduce the compounding problems that are sure to arise when moisture isn’t dealt with fast.

  • Fire incidents—produce soot and damage due to smoke as well as moisture from firefighting
  • Storms and floods—leave behind moisture and can create mold infestation

Here are some things to look for in a commercial emergency restoration management program:

1. 24-Hour Emergency Response Team

Time is a factor when prompt emergency response is needed. The sooner your commercial property’s restoration begins, the better. Look for a company accessible to you seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Rapid response and mobilization of restoration services help you get back to business even after disaster strikes. Faster restoration services lead to decreased impact on your property.

2. Comprehensive Services

Disaster remediation has several types of services necessary to restore commercial properties. Here are some vital ingredients to look for when it comes to disaster remediation:

  • Remediation of the disaster incident
  • Debris and residue clean up
  • Decontamination and deodorization
  • If necessary, relocation of property contents to a facility where they can be professionally restored

3. Coordinate with Your Insurance

Look for an emergency restoration company that communicates efficiently and effectively with your insurance adjuster and/or agent. Insurance claims can be a hassle, yet they are vital to disaster insurance coverage. Find a company that will coordinate with your efforts so you can file your claim accurately and promptly. This includes providing you with detailed documentation of the problems and solutions required to get your property back to normal.

4. Digital File Storage and Project Updates

Look for a company that can save photos digitally and record the progress of you job online. This keeps you informed through the cleanup and reconstruction process so you stay in control of the restoration of your business’ property.

5. Equipment

Look for a reputable company with the up-to-date equipment needed to provide you with disaster remediation and reconstruction with excellence.

6. Safe and reliable

Hire a company who follows safety regulations during emergency restoration, and swiftly performs the services you need to get back to work.

7. Experience & Expertise

Find a company with multiple years of experience in restoring businesses after disaster strikes. They should have certifications such as from the IICRC to assure you they can scale up and know how to handle even the worst disaster scenarios.

8. Priority service

Look for a company that will give your commercial property priority service.

9. Costs

Look for a company who can keep costs of restoration fair, with a quick response and an established plan for restoration.

Water Damage in your Commercial Space? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

How to choose a Restoration Company for Biohazard clean up

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

A crime or traumatic event is one of the hardest things to imagine ever happening to you or someone you know. So, when something tragic does happen, it’s an emotionally and mentally draining experience. And if the event has occurred in your commercial property, that’s even more challenging because of the cleanup involved in restoring your property back to normal and ensuring it is safe and sanitary for use again.

Whether you’re facing such an event now that has you stressed, or just considering ways to prepare yourself ahead of time for the challenges of being a property owner, there is no time like the present to learn what’s involved in the cleanup of your business should a crime or trauma occur there. These facts can help you be prepared for the worst and be knowledgeable about how to choose a reputable, compassionate crime scene and trauma cleanup-company so you can make the right decisions for your property and get back to normal life as soon as possible.

Is the company certified for crime scene and trauma cleanup?

Unlike the more common cleanup problems that a property can face, cleaning up after a crime or other trauma has occurred involves a very specific, regulated approach. For example, blood and other biohazard contaminants can pose a serious health risk if not removed and discarded of properly. And there may be other hazards in need of removal, all of which may be regulated by local, state, and federal laws to ensure public safety.

Because this type of property restoration is so specialized and demanding, it’s important to select a crime scene and trauma cleanup company that is appropriately certified by the appropriate municipal authorities. A reputable company will be able to provide you with evidence of current certification and assurances of how they remove and discard materials that may be a health hazard.

Is the company well trained, experienced, and properly equipped?

Restoring property after damage due to a crime or trauma often requires the use of specialized equipment and cleaning materials that aren’t necessarily available at your nearest store. A professional crime scene and trauma cleanup company will have everything they need to do the job right. This includes special cleaning agents to handle hard-to-remove stains, as well as ridding the residue that may be left behind from products such as fingerprint powder, evidence-gathering chemicals, pepper spray, and tear gas.

At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County, our professional technicians have years of combined experience and training in the use of state-of-the-art equipment to help ensure that your property is properly, thoroughly cleaned so you can rest assured in a job well done.

Does the company assist you with documentation for financial assistance and file insurance claims?

You might not realize it, but property insurance policies often offer coverage for a variety of emergency cleanup scenarios, including crime and trauma-related events. And many municipalities and government agencies offer financial assistance and victim relief funds for disaster cleanup because it’s a public health issue. This can include not just floods and other natural disasters, but crime, suicide, and violence related issues as well.

A good crime scene and trauma cleanup company can help point you in the right direction as you locate the various types of financial assistance that may be available to you in your situation. And they should be willing and able to promptly provide you with any documentation you need to file financial assistance, insurance claims, and related paperwork.

Need Help Fast?

When you’re facing an emergency such as a crime or trauma on your property, you need swift assistance in getting things cleaned up and back to normal quickly, so you can go about your life and business again with peace of mind. The professional, experienced, caring team at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is here to assist you in doing just that.

Contact us today. 502.241.6861

Preventing Basement Flooding with Landscaping

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Landscaping can add some serious curb appeal to your home, whether you enjoy shrubs and flowers or a more zero scape look, each home is unique. Landscaping gives each homeowner a chance to create the look they desire and show off their creativity. The downside to some landscaping choices is that they can contribute to water entering your home, usually into the basement. In fact, some flooding problems may be directly related to the landscaping around your house. Here are a few things you can do to your landscaping to prevent flooding.

Grade Your Lawn the Right Direction

Landscaping that grades towards your house instead of away from it may lead to flooding in your basement. You want to make sure that you are directing the water away from your home when it rains. One way you, as a homeowner, can prevent this is to install a dry creek bed in your yard that can provide a path for water to flow away from your house.

Determine How Water is Entering the House

If you notice that you have water in your basement after a rainstorm, investigate where that water is coming in. A possible culprit could be your sump pump. If the sump pump is not dispelling water far enough away from your home, you could be experiencing water intrusion. Also, foundation cracks can be the cause of water entering your basement.

Direct Downspouts Away from the Home

Downspouts should properly direct water away from your house. If your downspout is too short, it can cause water to pool near your foundation which can lead to water intrusion. During a rainstorm, you can go outside to ensure that the water coming from the downspout is flowing away from your home. If needed, you can extend the downspout, given you have the space.

Leave a Gap Between Mulch and Siding

Mulch can be a great option for landscaping however, if you choose this material, you may want to consider leaving a gap between the mulch and your siding. Mulch soaks up moisture so when that rests on the siding of your home, it can cause that siding to rot over time. Leaving as little as a 6-inch gap can help prevent this.

Next time it rains, step outside and do a walk around the perimeter of your home. Check the landscaping you have around your house and see if you notice any areas of pooling water or perhaps a downspout that you can tell is not leading the water where it should be.

Checking the surroundings of your home as a preventative measure, before you have a flood, can save you and your home in the long run. If your home has already experienced basement flooding, contact the Mitigation experts here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today.

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

Hail Damage: Steps to Follow After A Storm

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Depending on your roof material, it isn't always easy to determine whether it has sustained hail damage after a storm. For example, if your building has asphalt shingles or a metal roof, you may be able to see obvious dents. However, on a built-up (tar and gravel) roof, you may be no visible signs of damage. 

Why is Determining the Extent of Roof Hail Damage Important?
Whether or not hail damage is visible, roof repair costs add up fast, as do the costs from water damage that could impact your building if the roof is not repaired properly. Bear in mind that it can take several years for hail damage to lead to water incursion issues, and most hail damage insurance policies only give you one year from the date of a loss to file a claim.

This is why it’s so important to know what to consider after a hail storm—even when you don’t see obvious signs of damage. Before we discuss a few of the items to survey and consider after a hail storm, let’s quickly look at the interplay between hail and a few common roofing types.

Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles include a fiberglass membrane that needs to stay structurally sound for the shingles to protect the roof from the elements. The issue is not simply cosmetic when hail damages the membrane; over the course of several years the shingles will begin to disintegrate, which can actually lead to significant water damage. Given the slow-to-appear nature of the damage, and the high costs of replacing a roof on your own dime, it’s important take a close look at asphalt shingles after a storm (you can very rarely determine the extent of the damage from the ground).

Flat Roofs
Flat roofs are constructed using a variety of materials that often look perfectly fine after a hail storm, but may be damaged. For example, TPO or PVC roofs may not show any visible damage, but large hail could break the fiberglass mesh underneath the shell, which will cause the roof to wear out faster than normal. Often times, there is a recovery board or insulation layer under TPO or PVC roofs that can be compromised, impacting the fire rating of the substrate to these types of roofs.

Built-up roofing systems (tar and gravel) can also be difficult to assess because there are often no clear visual indicators of hail damage. Built-up roofing is put together using several crisscrossing layers of black tar paper or felt, each of which gets saturated with tar. While the top layer (which is often covered in a thin layer of gravel) may look completely unchanged after a big hail storm, the felt membranes may in fact be dented and damaged. Over time, the expansion and contracting of the tar can lead to water incursion in the damaged areas. Fortunately there is a method to assess damage to built-up roofing, which involves shipping a small cutout portion of the roof to a lab that can dissolve the tar to assess the felt membranes.

Metal Roofing
Metal roofing systems are often pieced together using two to three-foot-wide strips. In some cases, hail may only cause visual damage to the metal in the form of dents. But in many cases, hail could also damage the seams and joints of the metal strips across the roof, which could lead to water leaks and associated damage.

When Do You Need Professional Help? Three Helpful Indicators:
Hail comes in many sizes and densities, so it can be difficult to know when you actually need to be concerned about damage. Whether you’re staring at piles of pea-sized hail on the ground after a 20-minute storm or there were only a couple of minutes of golf-ball size hail, here are some signs that indicate it would be a good idea to at least talk to a professional:

  • Damaged vehicles—If the roofs of nearby cars were dented, then there’s a good chance your building also sustained hail damage (especially if you have a roof type that won’t show visible damage). 
  • Damaged siding, downspouts or windows—If you are unable to safely inspect your roof, hail damage to other parts of your building, such as dented downspouts or siding, can be a good indicator you may need to take action.
  • Work on neighboring properties—If a neighboring building sustained hail damage and is being repaired, it’s a sign you should more closely inspect your roof and building. This can be especially helpful if you have a difficult-to-evaluate roof type and your initial survey of the area doesn’t indicate any trouble. 

With any storm that creates roof damage it is always a wise decision to seek the help of a roof contractor. 

Leaky Windows and Water Damage

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

If you suspect or witness a window leak, there are a few things you can do to assist your home repair professional with diagnosing and solving the problem. During the next rain event or storm, ask yourself the following questions and note your observations:

  1. Does the window always leak when it rains? Or only in a heavy downpour
  2. Does the window leak when the rain is being driven by wind from a particular direction?
  3. Approximately long has the window been leaking? Can you identify any particular event associated with the first time you noticed the window leak? (i.e. significant storm, icing out, high winds, etc.)
  4. Has the window leak worsened? Or remained consistent over time?
  5. Have you attempted to stop the leak? If so, what has been done to prevent it? Has that helped?
  6. If you can obtain this information, find out who built your home and when it was constructed.

Providing this key information can make the handyman’s job easier and his repair more effective. It can also help determine correct parts and materials needed, more importantly, if your leak is still covered by a warranty.

Spotting Window Leaks

A window leak may look different from how you might imagine. The most obvious, of course, is water and visible moisture on the window or around it. 

 

The good news is you don’t have to panic. A talented home repair expert can decipher what is going on to isolate, and solve the problem.

The bad news is that the longer something like wood rot and mold growth goes unattended, the worse things will get, not just for your home but for your budget too.

What many homeowners don’t realize is that window leaks during rain are often the result of improper home construction or poorly installed windows. Solutions such as caulk may keep some water out but they leave the real problem unaddressed, possibly leading to expensive structural repairs down the road.

Bigger Problems Than Just Window Leaks

A window leak can be the cause of a lot of things, and one cause many homeowners overlook is the box gutter. If you’ve ever had box gutter issues in the past and suffer from unexplained window leaks, your box gutter may be to blame.

Water Damage as a result of a window leak. Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Repairing Your Basement Water Damage

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage in the basement is a common issue for many homeowners, and it is imperative that you know how to repair basement water damage. There are many potential ways for water to come into the home, including seepage through cracks in the foundation, broken pipes in the plumbing system, sump pump failures or malfunctions, leaks around windows, and improper grading that allows water to pool up around the foundation. It’s possible to recognize and address some of those problems before the basement is harmed, but situations such as clogs in the municipal sewer system or heavy rainstorms and flooding cannot always be avoided.

During the First 48 Hours:

What steps should you take to avoid serious damages while you wait for professionals to arrive? There are several steps you should take immediately. Putting off the work for an hour or two could have long-lasting consequences. The first 48 hours is a crucial point. Take action within this time frame to prevent lasting damage to your basement materials as well as your homes contents. This is also your chance to avoid a potential mold problem.

1: Turn Off Gas and Electricity

Before you go near the water, be sure to turn off the electricity and natural gas. Never enter a flooded area until the electricity and gas have been turned off and/or disconnected. The combination of electricity and water presents electrocution hazards. Floodwaters often damage appliances, increasing the risk of harm from the gas or electricity.

2: Contact Your Insurance Company and Restoration Professionals

Find out whether your insurance policy covers any of the damages. There’s a wide variety of differences in policies, but most companies require you to purchase a special insurance to cover flooding. Sometimes, however, damages from the plumbing system or a leaking water heater may be covered. Call your insurance company to get accurate information and tell them you plan on contacting United Water Restoration Group for your water remediation professionals. Sometimes your insurance company will offer you other companies but ultimately, it is up to the homeowner to decide which company they would like to use.

3: Remove Water Quickly

Begin by removing as much water as you can, as quickly as possible. You could use buckets, mops, towels, sponges, and a wet-dry vacuum. It’s a good idea to open windows and doors, so water moves through the basement, carrying out moisture-filled air.

4: Move Your Belongings to a Dry Area

With drying underway, your next step is to remove your belongings to a dry area. Be aware that as furnishings absorb water, they become very heavy. If you’re not prepared to safely lift and handle the additional weight, you could injure your back or legs. Slips and falls create other hazards when there’s standing water because surfaces become slick and it’s hard to see submerged items. Take precautions to safely transport couches, carpeting, appliances, and other belongings from the basement. Move them to a dry, well-ventilated area.

5: Discard Damaged Possessions

Unfortunately, some of your belongings may not be salvageable. If you’ve acted within 48 hours of the flooding, there’s a chance to save porous or organic items. However, you must have these items completely dry before the 48 hours have passed. However, take extra care with the following materials:

  • Carpeting
  • Drywall
  • Fabrics
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Paper
  • Upholstered furnishings
  • Wood

If these items aren’t thoroughly dried, mold could develop inside the belongings and cause more damage in the future.

Beware of the Risk of Mold

If the water in your basement has been there for more than a day, there may be mold present. Professionals can address this problem as part of their work. However, it is too easy to transfer mold from the basement to other areas of the home. Spores travel on moving air and through ventilation systems. Spores may also travel on shoes and clothing. Take steps to prevent the transfer of mold from the flooded area to the clean part of the home.

Although you may know how to repair basement water damage, it can be dangerous to address mold without the assistance of a professional. If the flooding resulted in gray or black water, don’t attempt to do any cleanup work on your own. These contaminated waters can harbor pollutants, chemicals, and waste that cause serious health problems.

Protect Your Home From Future Flooding

Focus part of your recovery efforts on flood-proofing your home against future trouble. Take this opportunity to upgrade pipes and appliances. Replace the sump pump or learn how to properly maintain your water heater. Replace basement materials with products that won’t suffer if flooding happens again.

As always if you have Water Damage in your basement contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Causes of Standing Water In Your Yard

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water is caused by many things: soil that doesn't absorb water, grading issues, etc. Try these drainage steps to keep your yard above water.

Keeping your lawn green is a matter of pride. So it can be upsetting to find large puddles of standing water in your yard. Not only is stagnant water unsightly, it can also kill your grass, damage ornamental plants, compromise your home’s foundation, become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and be symptom of larger problems.

What causes water to accumulate on your lawn? What are the best methods of eliminating standing water? Here’s what homeowners need to know.

Causes of Standing Water

When stagnant water forms on your property, it can be a sign of easily correctable habits or more fundamental design flaws.

Be cautious of over watering your lawn. If your home is equipped with an automatic sprinkler or irrigation system, you may need to make certain adjustments to address a problem with standing water. Try watering your lawn less frequently and/or for shorter periods of time.

If altering your gardening and maintenance habits doesn’t correct the issue, further investigation may be necessary. The following are common culprits in cases of standing water.

Grading. Lawns should be graded  or leveled to ensure proper drainage. The slope should trend away from the house and direct run-off down towards the street, alleyway or storm sewer. If your landscaping doesn’t take the proper angle, water may collect on your lawn faster that it can drain. Improper drainage can also cause natural low spots in your yard to accumulate more and more water with each rainfall.

ThatchProper drainage also depends on your lawn’s permeability. A permeable lawn allows water to seep into the earth instead of collecting on the surface. If grass clippings or leaf litter clog on your lawn, they can prevent the soil from absorbing water as it would under normal conditions. 

SoilsHard, compact soils and heavy, sticky clay soils are also less absorbent and prevent surface water from seeping into the ground.

Hard subsoil. Hardpan is a thick layer of impervious subsoil. Hardpan can be naturally occurring, or it can be the result of construction equipment densely compacting yards and lawns which are then topped with a layer of topsoil, disguising the issue. Once water percolates down to the hardpan, it has nowhere else to go and begins pooling.

High water table. As rain seeps into the earth, it becomes groundwater. This groundwater forms a water table, a completely saturated level of subsurface soil and rock. In some instances, however, the water table can rise very close to the surface, creating waterlogged conditions. 

Ways To Get Rid of Standing Water

Fortunately, you don’t have to live with standing water. Depending on the ultimate cause of your standing water problem, you can take immediate action to boost your lawn’s ability to shed water.

Re-grade. Consult with a professional landscaper on re-grading the terrain around your home. Be sure to request that the landscaper provide a survey of your lawn’s low-lying points, natural channels and drainage outlets.

De-thatch. You can remove heavy thatch using a dethatcher, vertical mower, or even a simple lawn rake. Once you’ve removed the plant debris, pierce the turf with a garden fork or a lawn aerator. The small holes you make should be at least 4 inches deep and spaced 2 inches apart. Aerated soil is not only soil that drains properly — it’s also healthier soil.

Break it up. In order to make your lawn more amenable to water absorption, work organic matter into your soil. Garden compost, leaf mold and manure will all open the soil up and create more minute channels through which water can escape.

DigFor hardpan problems, a shovel may be the best solution. If the hardpan is less than 2 feet thick, wait for a dry spell and then dig up as much as you can. If you can’t break up the hardpan yourself, consult with a professional contractor who specializes in drilling through densely packed subsoil.

Make accommodations. A high water table is a much more difficult issue to address. Instead, it’s a fact of life that you will likely have to work around. However, you can still improve drainage by increasing the depth of your lawn borders. You can also add layers of soil to create raised beds. Finally, you can landscape using more shallow-rooted plants capable of surviving wet conditions.

Install a French drain. A french drain (also known as a curtain drain) is actually a comprehensive drainage system made from rather simple materials. A graded trench directs the flow of water away from the home. The trench is then filled in with gravel, which lets gravity do the work of channeling the water into a perforated pipe that sits at the trench’s base.

Don’t let standing water keep you and your family from enjoying the outdoor areas around your home. By identifying the cause of your drainage problem and relying on good common sense, you can ensure that gray clouds don’t linger even after the storms have passed.

Water Damage to your home as a result of standing water? Call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

Humidity and Your Home

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Humidity can be beneficial for many things, from keeping your skin moisturized to minimizing the spread of airborne viruses. However, coming home to a humid space can be a real damper. If you’ve ever come home to muggy air, you may have at some point, simply wondered…why?

CAUSES OF HOME HUMIDITY

High home humidity ultimately boils down to an accumulation of excess moisture. This moisture can accumulate when you:

  1. Have a leak in your home
  2. Improper ventilation
  3. Shower, cook, and/or clean in a room without windows or fans

But how do you know for sure that your home is too humid?

INDICATIONS OF A HUMID HOME

There’s a great chance that the humidity level in your home has gotten relatively high if:

  • Your windows have moisture on them
  • The air feels still or stale
  • There are water stains on your walls and ceilings
  • You can smell a musty odor

If you not sure that your home is too moist, you can measure your home’s humidity levels with a relatively inexpensive humidity monitor. The ideal home humidity levels will fall somewhere between 40% and 60%. That being said, the indoor humidity may change based on seasonality—it’ll likely trend more towards the higher end of the range during summer and towards the lower end of range during the winter months.

HOW TO REDUCE YOUR HOMES HUMIDITY LEVELS

There a number of ways to clear the air in your home when it starts to weigh you down. Here are a few of the most effective ones.

  • Ventilate

    Use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom to get rid of excess moisture. If you don’t have access to exhaust fans, be sure to crack a window open to get rid of the stale air. Covering pots and pans while cooking can also suppress additional moisture levels in your home. Turn on any ceiling or box fans to increase air circulation. Be sure that your clothes dryer vents outside.

  • Turn on your Air Conditioner.

    While you may be saving on your electric bill by not running your air conditioner, you are actually contributing to that muggy feeling in your home. Instead of turning your your A/C completely off, set your thermostat to a higher than normal temperature. Or open the windows and turn on fans to keep cool.

  • Use a Dehumidifier.

    Dehumidifiers do exactly what you need them to: pull excess moisture out of the air. They also get rid of musty odors, protect furniture, reduce pests, and prevent mold in the process. 

EFFECTS OF HAVING A HUMID HOME.

  • Mold grows and thrives in humid spaces. Constant exposure to mold can lead to  health problems for those allergic to it.
  • Heat exhaustion can be a result of living in a too-humid home. Once you’ve started sweating, the excess moisture trapped in a humid home keeps the sweat on your skin instead of letting it naturally evaporate. You may become dehydrated as you lose moisture through your skin. If you experience this issue, be sure to drink lots of water and avoid physical exertion until your body adjusts to the higher temperature or you dehumidify your home.
  • Indoor air pollutants are exacerbated by high humidity levels. Dust mites, in particular, thrive in humid environments. Using an air purifier and changing your A/C filter once per month will help mitigate these effects. However, it’s best to just reduce your home humidity levels to squash the issue.
  • Higher cooling costs go hand-in-hand with humid homes. The high humidity levels make the home feel hotter, so you’ll probably run the air conditioner more to feel cooler and potentially end up with heat exhaustion as we discussed earlier.

Keep in mind, you won’t have to deal with these effects the sooner you get your home humidity levels back in that ideal range of 40% to 60%. Dehumidifying your home is definitely worth your effort. 

How to Prepare for Summer Storms

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

With tornado season approaching it's time to start thinking about your summer storm preparedness plans as well as supplies needed. Even if you don't live in Tornado Alley or on the Gulf or Atlantic coasts, a severe thunderstorm can happen anywhere and have devastating effects.

In this the kind of weather you hunker down and ride it out, however, you'll need some supplies on hand to make you more comfortable. Here are some of the goodies you'll want to have on hand before the next batch of bad weather hits and knocks your electricity out.

Communications

You won’t exactly know what’s going on in your area unless you have some means of listening to the news and or weather reports. A small battery-operated radio can become one of your most valuable possessions. Be sure to purchase one that broadcasts the NOAA weather bands (which are very informative in bad weather) and is rechargeable as well. There are models that are solar powered,  which can be charged with a hand crank, or take a charge via USB, and some that feature all three options. If a weather radio is not an option, use any radio you’ve got in order to stay informed, even the one in your car will work providing it's safe to be in your vehicle.

 Water

If you live in an urban or suburban area and a storm knocks out your power, the water may soon follow. If you draw water from your own well, then your supply will be gone as soon as the power is out. Store ample amounts of drinking water for you and your family in a place that is cool and dark. Gallon jugs are easy to carry and their size can help with water rationing. Set aside 3 gallons per family member to last through the average storm emergency. Should you run out, it's wise to have disinfection options to resupply from other water sources.

Food and Cooking

Stock up on foods that you know your family will like, and pay special attention to foods that are ready to eat. MRE's (meals ready to eat) are good, but they are expensive and would possibly be rejected by picky eaters. Easy-to-cook foods can be manageable, if you are prepared and have a cooking source. Sterno cans, alcohol stoves, and MRE heaters will warm up some foods for you, without any home ventilation issues. Other types of camping stoves can serve your needs given you have proper ventilation. Cooking outside after the weather has cleared is another option. You can grill those rapidly defrosting steaks you had in the suddenly useless freezer. If none of these are an option for you, eat cold foods. Peanut butter and crackers, canned meats and crackers, cold sandwiches, and all kinds of snacks can be eaten without the bother or dangers of cooking. Don't forget to have extra food for your family pets as well.


 

First Aid Supplies

Emergencies and injuries seem to coincide. This makes first aid gear an important part of your self-reliance strategies. If you currently don't have a first aid kit, buy a pre-stocked one from the store and beef it up by adding your most commonly used medications and additional supplies for wound management, such as extra gauze, dressings, and antibiotic ointments. Their are plenty of examples of what your kit should contain on the internet.

Lighting
While a room full of candles might sound like a cozy place, it can be a  serious fire hazard. The last thing you need during a severe storm is your for your house to catch fire and the firefighters unable to reach you through the blinding wind and rain. Buy several different items that provide battery-powered light for your home, and keep the candles to a minimum. Choose LED lights, as they're typically very bright and a very long battery life. Keep extra batteries on hand, in case you get caught in the dark longer than expected.

Following these simple steps will better prepare your family for approaching summer storms. 

How A House Fire Affects Your Homes Contents

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Fires can destroy your property and definitely cause irreversible damage. The flames move from item to item burning everything to a crisp. The heat produced by the flames will radiate causing surrounding items to melt, crack and sometimes even shatter. After the fire has been put out, you are then left with smoke damage. Smoke damage left unaddressed can devastate your home as well as its contents, and the actual fire doesn't necessarily have to occur in the same room. For example, in the case of wildfires, homes and businesses have been completely ruined just from smoke while the buildings remained untouched by flames.

Even the smallest fire that has been put out relatively quickly can still cause smoke damage to your possessions. Not only that, it can even affect the very structure of your home. This precisely why cleaning up smoke and soot soon after a fire is so imperative. Smoke can act like an acid, and will eat away at different materials if left for too long. It’s best to say that if a fire happens in your home, or if you live near an area where a wildfires has occurred, it’s crucial to act immediately to reduce damages. A professional  restoration specialist can assess the damage and create a custom mitigation plan to ensure your home is completely clear of any fire related damages.

What can be saved? 

Depending on the extent of the damage and material of the items, it may not be salvageable. Cost is a factor that should also be taken into consideration as some items will cost significantly more to salvage as it is to replace it. A restoration specialist can determine what items should be cleaned, discarded or replaced.

How Does Smoke Affect Your Home?

Smoke affects various materials in different ways. Not only that, but the temperature and type of  fire will cause different variations of smoke damage throughout your home. One of the worst ways that smoke can causes damage is by seeping into small cracks and crevices, since the particles are so fine. They can often go undetected for a longer periods of time, leaving a lingering odor of smoke that can last for months. The only way to get the smell out of your home is to remove or clean affected items and the building materials with agents designed to deodorize the smell.

How to Clean Smoke Damage

After a fire, your home needs to be properly and thoroughly ventilated. This will allow some smoke particles to leave your home and prevent them from settling onto other items. Remove as much debris as you can, and clean every area where the damage occurred. Odor neutralizing products can help rid the building of the smell, and remove the very particles that causes it.  Getting this done as quickly as possible reduces the chances of cross-contamination.

Upholstery Items and Curtains

There are special tools and techniques that are designed to remove smoke particles from upholstery such as curtains and furniture materials. A professional can best decide which tools will be most effective in cleaning this portion of your. Using a regular home vacuum can actually cause more damage by pushing the smoke particles and soot even deeper into the material itself.

Bedding and Clothing

Clothing and bedding can come into contact with smoke even when inside a closed drawer or closet. Simply washing them may be enough to remove the smell but commercial cleaning detergents may be needed depending on how strong the odor is. It's actually best to have these items laundered by a professional dry cleaner.

Wood Furniture

Cleaning wood furniture can be tricky. If you use  the wrong cleaning agent you can end up stripping the stain and varnish. Certain cleaning products can also rust metal frames, so it is important to use the right cleaning agent for each material. A professional restoration specialist will have access and knowledge on the right products to use on your wood furniture.

Hardwood Floors

Unfortunately, hardwood floors are porous, meaning that smoke particles can easily get nestled into the wood itself. In some cases, it may be necessary to refinish the floor, or even replace it entirely depending on how extensive the damage is. In the best case scenario, a simple mopping and deodorizing should do the trick.

How Quickly Should You Act?

Time is always of the essence when it comes to smoke damage. The sooner you act, the more likely you are to prevent permanent damage. For example, some materials, such as synthetic fibers and porous items, need intervention within minutes to be effectively saved. The components of your house, such as painted walls and flooring, need to be addressed in no more than a day or two, and in some cases hours. In addition, painted walls and wood furniture can become permanently stained if not addressed quickly. Metal surfaces can rust and corrode when smoke and soot particles are left sitting too long. The longer you leave your smoke damaged home untreated, the more extensive the damage will become and the cost to mitigate will continue to rise. 

Steps to Avoid HVAC Water Damage

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Summer is vastly approaching and there is no doubt you're air conditioner cranking 24/7. Oh, the sweet, sweet relief of an air-conditioned environment in 90 degree temps!

However, summer doesn’t just bring the heat, it also can bring an excessive amount rain. On hot days, this rain sometimes just makes it even nastier outside by increasing the humidity level. Did you know all this moisture can lead to serious damage to your ac unit?

An air conditioner works in part by removing moisture and heat vapors from the air to help cool off your home. This moisture and vapor are turned into condensation that is dripped into a pan and then out of your unit into the sewer system. Excess moisture from rain or extremely humid days can greatly increase the amount of condensation from your unit. Thus, creating a large puddle of water.

If left unattended, high water levels can result in clogs which turns into leaks that can cause damage to your unit and home or the growth of mold in your home.

There are simple measures you can take to help ensure you won’t have to be confronted by expensive water damage in your home and even possible repairs to your air conditioner. Here’s how to prevent this from happening.

Regular Maintenance

Like many common trouble areas that can come up with your air conditioner, one of the key  prevention methods is regular maintenance. Ensure that your HVAC system is inspected by an air conditioner repair professional at least once a year.

One of the main reasons for these clogged drain lines are algae that can build up over the years. Your technician can spot and address algae before the build-up becomes too great.

Remember: leave these inspections and repairs to the professionals.

Clean Your Air Filter

As your air conditioner cools the air it also cleans it. Over time, your air conditioner’s air filter can become cruddy and full of dirt, human and pet hair, lint and more. As it gets clogged up, it is harder for air to pass through and moisture can build up on the dirt, where mold begins to grow.

Thankfully, an expert HVAC service technician is not needed to change an air filter. Be sure to change your air filter every month. This keeps your air clean and help prevent build-up that can lead to moisture and mold inside your unit.

A clogged system also has to work much harder, which can wear it out sooner and lead to costly repairs.

Clear Away Outside Blockages

It is important to make sure anything that could block air flow is cleared from your HVAC unit. Like a dirty air filter, any blockages like bushes, trees, fallen leaves or anything else that could get in its way can cause your system to work harder.

These obstacles may also cause or produce additional airborne blockages that will clog up your filter.

Following the steps above should ensure that your unit is in tip top shape. Call an HVAC professional to schedule a yearly inspection today.

Water Damage as a result of clogged HVAC? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to speak to a Mitigation specialist. 502.241.6861

 

Preventing Roof Damage

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Summer is definitely a beautiful time of year. The long days and warm weather are a nice reprieve from the harsh winters.

But summer also brings about thunderstorms, and those storms can lead to hail, As a result roof hail damage can occur, creating a headache for many homeowners.

Large pieces of hail produce cracks and other roof damage, which cause leaks and drafts. These cracks will also threaten the integrity of your roof. 

Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to protect your roof against hail damage. Let’s take a closer look.

PREVENTION IS KEY

The average residential roof lasts around 20 years. However, factors like roof hail damage can lead to a need to repair the roof before that time.

Roof repairs can be extremely costly. And, if you make a claim on your homeowner’s insurance to pay for the repairs, your rates could rise. That’s why it is always preferable to take steps to protect your roof, rather than fixing the damage.

LIMIT ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS

Direct damage to the roof isn’t the only way that hail can damage your home. For instance, a powerful hail storm could also knock branches onto your roof. To protect your home from these effects, make sure to trim all trees especially branches that hang over your roof.

Also, be sure to regularly clean leaves and branches from your roof. This added weight adds strain to your roof, which can make it more vulnerable to hail damage.

RELY ON PROFESSIONALS FOR INSTALLATION AND INSPECTION

Getting work done on your house is expensive. For this reason, it can be tempting to save money by completing some of the work yourself.

But a poorly done, amateur roof job can end up costing you more in the long run. A professional will also be able to ensure that the completed work is done to code.

Also, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected every few years. Most get their home inspected when they purchase it, but usually don’t think to have one after they own it. Having regular inspections is a good way to catch damage before it becomes serious.

CHOOSE MATERIALS THAT ARE RESISTANT TO ROOF HAIL DAMAGE

Not all roofing material is created equal. It’s important to choose a high-quality roofing material that will stand up to weather damage.

Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing materials. This is because they are lightweight, durable and affordable. For the best protection, choose class 3 or 4 resistance.

Metal roofs are also a sturdy option. Keep in mind, however, that these often receive cosmetic damage during hail storms.

One of the highest quality roofing materials you can get is slate. The natural stone look also has great aesthetic appeal.

Taking these necessary steps will help prevent your roof from ever being damaged.

Water Damage as a result of a roof leak? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Summer Grilling Safety TIps

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Grilling safety tips

Fire in the grill is a welcome sight at the family cookout. However, fire anywhere else can make your summer barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons.

General Safety Tips:

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, they pose both a serious fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.
  • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and any foot traffic.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area: declare a three-foot “safe zone” around the grill. As this could cause serious harm.
  • Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames when flipping burgers.
  • Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it can't be ignited by a hot grill.

Charcoal Grills

  • Purchase the proper starter fluid and store the can out of reach of children, and away from heat sources.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals are kindling or have already been ignited, and NEVER use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.

Charcoal produces carbon monoxide (CO) when it is burned. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can accumulate to toxic levels in closed environments. Each year about 30 people die and 100 are injured as a result of CO fumes from charcoal grills and hibachis used inside.

To reduce these CO poisonings follow these safety tips:

  • Never burn charcoal inside of your home, vehicles, tents, or campers. Charcoal should never be used indoors, even if ventilation is provided.
  • Since charcoal produces CO fumes until the charcoal is completely extinguished, do not store the grill indoors with freshly used coals.

Propane Grills

Liquid petroleum (LP) gas or propane, used in gas grills, is highly flammable. Every year people are injured as a result of gas grill fires and explosions. Most of these fires and explosions occur when consumers first use a grill that has been left idle for a period of time or just after refilling and reattaching the grill’s gas container. To reduce the risk of fire or explosion, consumers should routinely perform the following safety checks:

  • Check the tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage from insects, spiders,  food grease or debris. Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear blockage and push it through to the main part of the burner.
  • Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks. Checking to be sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
  • Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease. If you can’t move the hoses, install a heat shield to protect them.
  • Replace scratched or nicked connectors, which can eventually leak gas.
  • Keep lighted cigarettes, matches, or open flames away from a leaking grill.
  • Never use a grill indoors. Use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building. Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that can catch fire.
  • Do not attempt to repair the tank valve or the appliance yourself. See an LP gas dealer or a qualified appliance repair person.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions that accompany the grill.
  • Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles. If you determine your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • Use only equipment with the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions on how to set up the grill and maintain it.

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

Intercepting Garage Water Damage

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

The interior of a your home is not the only place that is vulnerable to water damage. Garages, for example, often sustain just as much, if not more damage than a homeowner’s basement, living room, or kitchen. In fact, many homeowners use their garages for storing boxes of personal items as well as family heirlooms that would be difficult, if not impossible to replace. To ensure that your home, including your garage, sustains as little damage as possible in the event of a flood or leak, please contact an experienced water damage repair and restoration contractor who will mitigate the damage and immediately begin the restoration process.

Preventive Tips

Spring storms and flooding are not unheard of, so it is in a homeowner’s best interest to take certain steps to avoid water damage to their home and property. For instance, to prevent your garage from flooding, you should consider:

  • Placing weatherstripping, such as self-adhesive tape or rubber stripping, around your garage door to maintain the temperature in your garage and prevent water from pooling under the door. Weatherstripping needs to be replaced regularly, so make sure to check yours for cracks or other signs of deterioration.
  • Checking for foundational cracks or other evidence of damage. Even minor cracks can allow water to seep into a garage as well as from the garage into the home itself. If you find any cracks, be sure to seal them with a vinyl concrete patch or waterproof paint. Large problems will should to be fixed by a professional.
  • Improving drainage in the area around your home by installing drains in front of your garage or along the driveway. This can be instrumental in transporting water away from the foundation.
  • Placing sandbags and other flood barriers around your property. These barriers expand when they come into contact with water and can help low-level flooding from spreading into your garage and home.

In some cases, no amount of preventive measures can save a garage from being flooded. In these cases, it may be in your best interest to install a flood vent, which would allow flood-water to flow through the garage itself. While this will help protect the interior of your home, it will also allow the garage to flood, which can result in a significant amount of damage. If you want to take this route, be sure to remove any important and valuable items from your garage and contact a professional who can assess and repair the damage.

Call an Experienced Repair and Restoration Emergency Services Contractor

Water damage can have devastating consequences for homeowners who may have to replace all of their possessions. However, the earlier a person addresses a flood by seeking professional aid, the less damage his or her property is likely to suffer. To speak with a member of our dedicated restoration team, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County at 502.241.6861. We realize that disasters can occur at any time and for that reason we make ourselves available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Preparing Yourself for Future Homeowner Claims

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Before and After – Proper Planning Now Will Help Future Insurance Claims

Water Damage can be disruptive and expensive. When your home suffers damage, proper records will help smooth the way. Whether you are filing for insurance, seeking assistance, or claiming a casualty tax deduction, you will defintely need proof of your losses. We at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County highly recommend that you  take some action now,  because you will want good records both prior to and after any disaster.

Plan Ahead – Keep a Household Inventory

An up-to-date household inventory is a valuable resource. Before a disaster, the inventory will also help you determine whether or not you have enough insurance to cover the contents of your home.  Capture a description of each item, any model and serial numbers, the cost and where purchased. Organize photos or make videos to accompany your inventory.

Be thorough; remember the lawn furniture and tools in the garage. Keep the process simple so that you will inventory up to date. Look for online guides, relevant forms and even apps for conducting a household inventory. 

Now secure this inventory as well as your valuable paperwork in a waterproof, fireproof container outside your home. This could be either in a safe deposit box, in the care of a lawyer, or remain with trusted family members residing in another home. Include property records, automobile titles, contracts, wills, powers of attorney, promissory notes, and paper certificates for stocks and bonds. Also include your original documents for identification: Social Security cards, passports, birth certificates as well as death certificates.

Alternatively, some documents are better stored at home in a locked box. This includes those documents that need to be readily available after a disaster when you otherwise may not be able to reach copies that are located in your other safe location. 

List your emergency contacts: doctors, vets, financial advisers, and family members. Include:

  • Copies of insurance policies
  • Loan payment books
  • Employee benefits
  • Bank account, loan, credit card, investment account numbers
  • Health records such as copies of immunization records and insurance cards

After A Disaster- Support Your Insurance Claim

If you DO have an emergency at your home, having your household inventory and records will make it easier to make an insurance claim when you carefully document your losses. Using the original document as a starting point it is imperative to make a detailed list of lost or damaged property. Videotape or photograph damaged property before beginning any repairs.

Do not dispose of damaged property without your adjuster’s approval. 

Now for the paperwork tips AFTER a disaster:

  • Organize cleaning and repair bills: supplies, restoration services, materials, cost of rental equipment, and depreciation of purchased equipment.
  • A list of any additional living expenses you may incur if your home is so severely damaged that you have to find other accommodations while repairs are being made: motel receipts, restaurant bills, home rental, or car rental.
  • Don’t be in a hurry to settle your claim. Although you may want to be over as quickly as possible, sometimes it takes time to discover all the damage. Damages overlooked in an early estimate may become apparent later. If you are dissatisfied with the settlement offer, talk things over with your agent and adjuster.

Partner with SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County

Every minute counts after home water damage; contact us to get the immediate help that you need. No matter the size, scope, or source of the water loss, the team is trained, certified, and ready to help. 502.241.6861 

After the damage has been mitigated, repairs may be necessary. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is a full-service contractor and can make any repairs for you, leaving your home in excellent condition when we leave. From drywall, flooring, cabinets, and even painting, we are here to help every step of the way.

What You Should Know About Flooding

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Heavy Rains And Flooding

Sometimes the weather gets a little bit crazy and the rain pours down from the sky in full force. These types of rains don’t happen all the time, however when they do, they can cause major indoor water damage to homes and businesses. Water pounds down on roofs and can cause leaks in the ceilings, it can puddle up outside of the homes and businesses and seep in through windows or cracks, it can even come down so hard that it causes inches of rain to flood the streets, parking lots and driveways and eventually make its way into your home or business. When heavy rains cause damage to your property, don’t wait to call in professional water damage cleanup crews that can extract the water and dry the water damaged areas quickly to reduce the amount of damage that comes along with heavy flooding.

Water damage from rain that floods the inside of your property is not the highest quality of water. Flooding rainwater is often contaminated with dirt and other debris that is unhealthy to be around.

If the heavy rain has caused rivers to overflow or sewage to back up and get into your property, then the water is extremely hazardous and should not be touched or stepped in. Contaminated water can easily cause health issues if not handled properly. Do not risk anyone’s health by getting in the water or asking anyone else to get in the water. Call a professional company that has been trained to properly clean up, decontaminate, and restore areas affected by contaminated water.

Even if the source of the water is clean, or seems to be, you do not want to try to clean up the water and handle the restoration process all on your own. Professionals have industry sized equipment to extract standing water and dry the affected areas quickly. If water is not completely removed and dried, it can easily turn into a mold problem that will be more extensive and costly to repair. Mold can start growing in as little as 24 hours, so time is of the essence, contact a professional water damage cleanup company such as SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County.

If you have water damage from previous flooding and can see, or suspect, mold growth, don’t worry. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is a qualified mold remediation company with a team of experts that can clean up and repair any area that has been destroyed by mold. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is a one-stop-shop when it comes to water and fire damage cleanup, as well as mold removal. 

If you have experienced any type of flooding remember these three key things

  1. Do not wait to get help. If you wait too long, you are going to end up with a bigger problem that will definitely take longer to repair and cost more.
  2. Do not try to do it on your own. If you do, you are likely to cause a bigger problem. Let the specialists take care of it so that the job can be done the right way, the first time.
  3. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is  local and are available 24 hours, 7days a week. No matter what time the damage happens, we have a team on call and ready to help!

Call us today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Damage Caused By Small Leaks

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

When serious flooding occurs, the catastrophic images of cars floating down the street dominate the local news cycle. Dramatic rains cause tens of millions of dollars in repair costs to homes and businesses alike. However, a simple leak can also unfortunately, lead to substantial damage and costly reconstruction or repairs to your home.

Water Damage is progressive; the longer that small water leak is left to drip, the more damage it can cause to your home. Here are just a few of the consequences of even a simple water leak:

Damage In The Structure

Waters weakens wood as well as corrodes metals. The most home construction relies on both materials along plus concrete.  A compromised structure can also lead to buckling floors and collapsing walls and or ceilings.

Sheetrock walls are also vulnerable to slow water leaks. Again, the gypsum base, faced by paper, creates a sponge that pulls water deeper into the core of your home. The walls will not only become weak but also harbor mold.

When water has long sustained contact with unsealed bricks or concrete, cracks and erosion is a result. If the moisture freezes and unfreezes, the damage is exponential. Cracks in the foundation can lead to expensive and complicated repairs to the destabilized foundation.

Damage To Floors And Fixtures

Water also weakens the backings of your carpets and rugs, making them more susceptible to wear and tear.  Carpet is durable but not designed to stay damp; this invites rot, decay, mold and insects.

Leaks can also cause damage to metal fixtures like sink taps and shower heads. Rubber gaskets decay and become debris in the line, reducing water pressure.

In the bathroom, a slow leak may loosen tiles near the tub or shower. In your kitchen, damage may progress to warped or discolored floorboards near the dishwasher, sink, and refrigerator.

Bugs, Fungus, And Mold

Standing water attracts insects and insects bring germs (and more insects!) A vicious reoccurring  Once a moist environment develops inside your home, airborne mold spores can flourish. These colonies release mold spores into the air and can cause skin and respiratory irritations (as well as unpleasant odors).  

Water Damage To Your Wallet

Any degree of water damage will become an issue when you sell your home. Avoiding repairs now will create expenses in the future. For example,  the home inspector will spot and document water damage not properly handled. Potential buyers will make a ‘low ball’ offer for less money or worse, infer that the home too much trouble to take on.

Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today!

Get friendly, high-quality assistance from our certified staff. These experts go through extensive water damage training and have years of experience under their belts. Armed with top-notch equipment and proven techniques, they will systematically repair and restore the damage resulting from a leak in your home.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County provides 24 hour emergency service to help commercial and residential property. By working closely with you and your insurance company, claims can be settled quickly so that repairs can begin.  Call today for help recovering from any residual water damage. 502.241.6861

Protecting Your Home From Water Damage

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

To build something solid, something that lasts – a home, a career – you need a solid foundation. Beyond that you need to keep it strong and steady, as even the soundest structures can be ruined if the foundation fails.

Everything that lasts is built upon a strong foundation.

While this applies to all aspects of life, it is especially true in reference to a building or home. If the foundation is compromised, the entire house may crumble and fall or, at least, sustain a significant amount of damage. The necessary repairs will cause a lot of hassle and inconveniences and will cost dearly, so you need to do everything possible to prevent foundation problems in the first place.

While a house foundation can be damaged by various factors – earthquakes, extreme temperatures, tree roots, etc. – moisture is the number one culprit that compromises the home’s base. When water collects around your house from rain, snow, or burst pipes, the saturated soil around the foundation expands and shifts. The pressure on the foundation walls increases and results in cracks and leaks that will allow water to penetrate the foundation and cause electrical hazards, mold growth, and structural damage to the house.

To prevent such problems, you should try to find a way to protect your home’s foundation from water.

Keep Water Away from House Foundation

To prevent water damage to your home’s foundation, you need to keep water away from it.

Ensure Good Drainage

The best way to keep water away from your home’s foundation and avoid the need for expensive water damage restoration is to ensure proper drainage.

  • Make sure the ground around your house is graded away from the foundation – The soil around your house should slope at least 6 inches within 10 feet of the foundation. If this is not the case, you need to add dense soil (preferably clay soil) to the area to create proper grading and prevent moisture from accumulating under the foundation;Proper drainage is the best way to keep water away from your home’s foundation.

  • Install a French drain system around the house foundation – Dig a trench around the foundation, line it with gravel, and place a drain with perforations in it to pull the excess water away. Cover the drain with gravel and add soil over it. Make sure the trench has a 3-5 percent down slope, so that the water flows away from the foundation;
  • Make sure your basement has a functioning exterior drain system – a footer drain, weeping tile, etc. – to carry excess water away from the house (it would be best if the drain runs to a sump pump).

Keep the Gutters and Downspouts Working Properly

Make sure the gutters drain water effectively and direct it away from the house:

  • Keep the gutters clear of leaves and debris so that the water can move freely through them. If they’re blocked, a heavy rain will send cascades of water down the side of the house and straight into the ground around the foundation. It is a good idea to have the gutters screened to help prevent leaves from clogging the drainage;
  • Make sure the downspouts are draining at least 10 feet from your home. If necessary, extend the downspouts to ensure that they are effectively routing the water away from the foundation, not pouring it right next to your home. If you find downspout extensions unsightly (as you need to add pipes or other fixtures at several points around your home) or inconvenient (the pipes are a tripping hazard and make it more difficult to mow the area around the house), consider recessed downspout extensions or extensions that can be buried – they will keep water from the downspouts away from the foundation without interfering with the beauty or accessibility of your outdoor area.

Keep Your Property in Good Repair

To protect your home and its foundation, in particular, from water damage, you need to leak proof the entire home or building and maintain it in excellent condition:

Inspect the walls of your home (pay special attention to the foundation walls) for cracks and deteriorating mortar joints. If you find any, take quick and efficient measures to fix the problem – restore the mortar, seal small cracks with caulk designed to repair masonry, and fix larger gaps with the help of hydraulic cement;

Spare no efforts to keep your home safe and sound.

  1. Check the roof to make sure water isn’t trickling from the top down. Be sure to replace any broken tiles and fix loose or misplaced ones as soon as you notice them;
  2. Ensure that your eavestrough system is in good working order – inspect the gutters and downspouts for cracks, holes, or gaps every time you’re cleaning them and replace damaged or rusty drainpipes without delay;
  3. Inspect the plumbing system on a regular basis and keep it in good condition – replace or repair damaged or rusty pipes and valves and protect them well against the winter cold;
  4. Check for leaks under sinks, around toilets and bathtubs, behind appliances, etc. Look for dark spots where pipes might be dripping on floors, ceilings or walls and immediately repair any leaks you find;
  5. Check for water pooling near the foundation. If you find standing puddles close to the house after rain, remove the water and fill those areas with dirt to prevent pools from forming near the foundation in the future.

Do Not Let the Soil around Your House Completely Dry Out

During a drought, the soil of your foundation may dry out and shrink. When the next big rain soaks the earth, it will expand dramatically and exert great pressure on the foundation walls.

To prevent this from happening, you’re strongly advised to water the soil around your home’s foundation periodically during a dry season and keep it moist enough to thwart shrinking.

It is also a good idea to refrain from planting trees close to the house as they can soak up all the moisture from the soil and cause the foundation to crack.

Invest in a Quality Sump Pump

A properly functioning sump pump will effectively drain water away from your home’s foundation.

A quality sump pump installed in the basement floor can help prevent basement floods and water damage to your home’s foundation.

For best results, make sure your home has a sump basin that gathers water from rain or groundwater seepage. When the water reaches a certain level, the sump pump will turn on and drain the water away – into sewage lines, storm drains or dry wells, depending on the municipality. It is best, however, that the water be pumped out, not in the sewer system which can back up and send sewer water back into your basement.

You’re advised to perform several tests a year (especially during heavy storm seasons) to check if your sump pump is working properly. To test your sump pump, you need to fill its basin with water and watch to make certain that the buoy rises, the pump turns on, and the water level lowers.

A properly functioning sump pump ensures the best possible protection against flood damage.

Knowing how to drain water away from your home’s foundation effectively will save you plenty of troubles and all the money necessary for water damage cleanup and restoration. So, make sure you protect your home’s foundation well and keep it safe and strong at all times!

 Water Damage as a result of a foundation leak? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Apartment Flooding

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding from any source in an apartment is a concern for both the tenant as well as the property owner. Even though you may be only renting, an apartment’s still your home and the place where your personal possessions are kept. To minimize water damage to your valuables as well as the building’s structure—and ensure you receive any compensation you are entitled—here are some suggestions in the event of a flooded apartment.

  • Report any incident of water damage and/or flooding to the apartment management or property owner as soon as it happens.
  • If a ruptured pipe, toilet overflow or other ongoing event is flooding the apartment and you are unable to immediately get a response from maintenance personnel or the property owner, call a plumber yourself and request emergency service to stop the water. Keep records, you will have good grounds to deduct the expense from your rent.
  • Make sure the premise is safe to enter. A flooded or wet indoor environment can pose electricity hazards if power is still on. Ask management or the property owner to have an electrician verify that power is disconnected at the meter.
  • Take as many photos of each affected room as well as all damaged possessions as soon as you enter the premise. Don’t wait until after clean-up begins.
  • If you have renter’s insurance, contact your insurance agent to determine whether coverage will  apply. Generally, renter’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding from external natural events such as overflowing rivers or severe storms. However, if the indoor flood was caused by a ruptured plumbing pipe or other defect, this may be covered.
  • Mold growth is a possible after-effect following flooding or other water damage. If you intend to continue to inhabit the property, ask the property owner to verify that professional mold remediation is included as part of the water damage recovery process.
  • Always report any conditions, no matter how minor, which might lead to flooding or water damage to the apartment management or property owner as soon as they are discovered. This would include dripping plumbing pipes, roof leakage during rain, unexplained wet spots on ceiling or walls, as well as sewage issues.

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

Do You Know Where Your Water Shut Offs Are Located?

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

You know how to shut off your water, right? Many homeowners are unaware of the specific location. Knowing how can prevent extensive damage to your home and certainly come in handy. Especially if you need to repair a leak. You’ll also need to shut off your water before changing a faucet or installing a new sink. Every home’s plumbing is a little different, but there are three main stages you can control your water supply at:

  1. The wall, which stops water from flowing to individual fixtures
  2. Your main valve, which prevents water from following into your home
  3. The street, which shut's off all water flow to your entire property.

For most repairs, you should only need to turn off your indoor water supply. Most homes include shutoff valves for individual fixtures in addition to a main shutoff valve. All of these valves must be in working order to pass a home inspection. If you need to turn off your water at the street level, contact your water company first. Cities have different types of street valves, so you should ask your water provider which type to look for and where it is located. Consult your cities water company to learn more about how to control the water supply to your property.

The Shutoff Valve to the Water Supply for an Individual Plumbing Fixture

To stop the flow of water to a specific appliance such as a sink, inspect the pipes for the nearest valve; it will likely be made of chrome and located directly below the fixture. Many showers and sinks have two valves for hot and cold water respectively, so be sure to turn them both off. Appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and refrigerators sometimes have switches, rather than valves, on the hoses connecting them to the wall. Water heater valves are usually located on the pipes above.

When it comes to which way you should turn the valve, keep in mind the old saying “righty tighty, lefty loosy.” In other words, turning a valve clockwise, or to the right, will restrict the flow of water while turning it counterclockwise, or to the left, will allow water to flow. If you have trouble turning the valve, wear a work glove to get a better grip, or use a wrench. Once you turn all of the valves clockwise as far as they will go, the water supply should be successfully shut off.

Before you start making repairs, have a bucket nearby so that you can drain any water that was left over in the pipes. After you finish the job, turn the valves counterclockwise as far as they will go to restore the water flow.

The Shutoff Valve for the Main Water Supply to Your Home

The first step is locating your main shutoff valve. You probably have a brass valve with a round handle near the area where water enters your home. It could be located in your kitchen, a utility closet, a downstairs bathroom or even on an outside wall. Turning the valve clockwise as far as it can go should shut off all of the water fixtures in your home; however, you’ll need to turn on all faucets to empty any water left remaining in the pipes. Let your sinks and showers run until all water flow ceases, and then turn all faucets to the off position. After finishing your repairs or installations, turn the main valve back counterclockwise.

The Shutoff Valve for the Water Supply to Your Entire Property

Before you do anything, call your water company and ask for permission to access your street shutoff valve. If you home’s main water valve fails or needs replacing, you must turn off the water supply to your whole property before attempting repairs. You would also need to do this before trying to fix a leak in the pipes connecting your home to the street valve. The shutoff valve for the property is usually located in the same metal box that contains the water meter. Remove the box cover and look for a handle; you might need a long wrench to reach it.

Different cities have different types of a street valves. Ball valves have long, thin handles while gate valves have more rounded handles. A ball valve handle will usually be aligned with the pipe while open; turn it 90 degrees to the right to turn it off. Gate valve handles should be turned clockwise as far as possible to stop the water flow.

Some ball valves have a metal flange, in which case you’d need to use a pipe wrench to make it turn. Valves that haven’t been turned in a long time may lock up. If you’re having trouble turning the handle, don’t force it; instead, call a professional plumber or your local public works to turn it for you. Remember that your pipes will still be full of water after you cut off the supply, so turn on all of your faucets to drain what’s left before you start making repairs.

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

Water Heater Leaks

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

Causes and Prevention of Water Heater Leaks and Overflows

 

There is no doubt that hot water heater leaks or overflows will cause extensive damage to your home, however even a water heater pipe dripping or leaking slowly will cause major water damage over time. As the water becomes absorbed into the particle board and swells, it causes the floor to rot and decay. Moreover, the seemingly small water heater overflow leak could lead to water heater flooding causing water damage to your flooring, walls and possibly your homes contents. Beyond that, if not treated properly could eventually cause mold in the surrounding areas.

Causes of Leaks

The life span of most water heaters is about 8 - 15 years. So, water heater leaks and overflows are just a matter of time for most people. There are different causes for water heater damage and flooding, so the best and simplest solution is to try and avert extensive water damage in the first place. Proper maintenance of your water heater pipes, water heater overflow pan, and water heater overflow valves  is extremely important, given the capacity of water heater tank overflow to cause so much water damage. Regular preventative maintenance may ward off water heater leaks and the resulting extensive, expensive repairs.

All water heater pipes and valves must be checked for leaks and drips regularly. Also, make sure to check under the water heater, in case corrosion and rust have eaten away at the bottom of the tank. Continuous water heater leaking into the water heater overflow pan can be caused by corrosion and sediment build up inside the tank. Periodically pouring out some water from the spout at the bottom of the water heater should take care of the sediment and minimize any corrosion. Prior to performing this procedure, you should turn off your gas or electric power and wait for your water to cool a little. Also, turn off the valve for incoming water and drain water into a bucket or toward the outside of the house.

The temperature/pressure valve on your water heater is a safety feature to release water if the temperature and pressure in the water tank get to be too high. If the valve is not functioning properly, the water heater tank may explode. Since water heater valves may be defective or old and may leak, a regular check could expose any such problem before it gets out of hand and causes water heater overflow valve leaking. As you check the valve, keep in mind that the water in the tank is hot and can cause serious burns. When you pull up or push down on the valve and hot water comes out from the overflow pipe, the valve works as intended.

Prevention

Once you establish a good maintenance schedule for your water heater and regularly check for water heater overflow pipe leaks, you should be able to prevent most water heater leaks and floods. Still, you may want to be proactive and go a step further.

Make sure you have a water heater overflow pan under your tank. They are inexpensive and are a good investment in case of water heater overflows and leaking pipes. The water heater pan should capture water and prevent moisture problems by draining water away.

Another step you may choose to take if you have particleboard under and around your water heater, would be to remove it and install plywood instead. Particleboard can be easily damaged with water, but plywood is more resistant. You may also want to use a water sealant on the floor under the water heater tank to protect the area from any possible water damage in case of a water heater pipe bursting, dripping or leaking. If you choose to take this step, please make sure to turn off your gas or electric power to prevent a fire hazard.

What to do when you spot a water heater overflow

Sometimes, you’ll be able to spot a water heater overflow at its early stages. If this happens, you can take immediate action and contain the damage before calling for help. These are the basic steps:

  1. Put on protective clothing – Make sure to wear rubber boots, gloves and goggles. If water is pouring out from the heater, wear a vest or a raincoat for an extra layer of safety.
  2. Survey the area carefully – Make sure that the water on your floor isn’t hot enough to scald you. A room full of steam is a red flag. Make sure there’s good visibility and check carefully for power outlets or electrical wires that may have been submerged to avoid the possibility of getting shocked.
  3. Shut off the water supply – Look for the cold water pipe that feeds water to the heater. It should be the pipe that comes from the main water line and goes to the top of the heating chamber. Look for the valve that controls water flow and turn it clockwise until it won’t twist anymore. Normally, the water supply shuts itself off when the tank is full, but since a leak results in a tank that never fills up, the water will keep on running until it’s manually shut off.
  4. Turn off the heating ASAP – If the water overflow is caused by a malfunctioning thermostat, the water isn’t the only thing you should be concerned about. The heating element will not shut itself down, making it waste energy or even worse possibly start a fire. As the homeowner, you should know what powers your heater: electricity or natural gas. If your heater runs on electricity, go to your breaker box and flip the switch that feeds power to the heater. If you use gas, shut off the gas line that supplies the heater. If you smell the scent of gas, make sure to get everyone out of the house . Lastly, BE SURE TO CALL THE GAS COMPANY AND FIRE DEPARTMENT. DO NOT GO BACK IN THE HOME UNTIL INSPECTED. 
  5. Document the incident – Take photos of parts of your home and its furnishings that may have been damaged by water. Take notes on what happened as you recall the events. This will be instrumental in filing a successful insurance claim.
  6. Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist.  Water damage can be a nightmare to contend with after a water heater overflow. If done incorrectly, it leaves behind a musty smell and it can permanently damage your home’s structure and the items in it. Bacteria and fungi can also fester and pose a hazard to your home’s inhabitants.

Managing Water Damage In Your Home

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Even just a few inches of water can do serious damage to your home. Here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County we specialize in water restoration. Below we will discuss helpful DIY advice on how to deal with a water emergency and protect your home for the future.

Water Damage is the second most filed insurance claim in the United States with billions of dollars in property losses spent each year.

Follow these 3 simple steps immediately prior to troubleshooting:

  1. Turn off the water supply in your home

  2. Turn off all power

  3. Call a Water Restoration Company as soon as possible

WHY A WATER LEAK IS AN IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY:

  • A 1/8 inch crack in a pipe can cause as much as 250 gallons of water released per day!

  • Mold can grow in an untreated, damp environment within the first 24 to 48 hours

From burst pipes, to clogged toilets, sewer backups and water heater failures, water emergencies can happen at any time. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County helpful infographic is designed to walk you through simple troubleshooting to address your water emergency as soon as possible.

Whether it is your water, mold or fire damage  SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County professionals are here to help you with all of your residential restoration needs.  

WATER DAMAGE CAN BE PUT INTO THREE CATEGORIES:

  • Category 1- Uncontaminated, clean water that doesn't pose a threat (water from a kitchen sink or tub being an example).

  • Category 2- Grey water from sump pump pit water or discharge from a dishwasher could contain contaminants and exposure could result in illness.

  • Category 3- Black water from sewer backups or floodwater can cause serious risk from exposure.

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE - DO IT YOURSELF

Keeping your home safe and dry can be an easy process if you follow these simple steps:

  1. Frequently inspect your water lines and seals on washing machines, water heaters, dishwashers and ice-makers.  Replace them if needed.

  2. Drain water heaters every six months to prevent sediment buildup.

  3. Prevent frozen pipes by maintaining the heat in your home.

  4. Inspect your water shut-off valves regularly and replace if needed.

     5.Test your sump-pump at least once a year

As always if you have a Water Intrusion give the experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County a call to speak to a Mitigation specialist today. 502.241.6861

House Fires: Cause & Fire Prevention

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Where House Fires Originate

House fires have a pattern—they start in some places more than others. Here are the most common places fires begin:

#1: Kitchen

Half of all house fires start in the kitchen. This comes at no surprise since it’s where you do the most cooking and house many appliances. This is an easy place to prevent fires since they are typically man-made. Just keep an eye on the oven, combustible items away from the stove, and you’ll already be safer.

#2: Bedroom

A small portion of all house fires start in the bedroom. The amount of plush objects in bedrooms has something to do with it. Mattresses for one, can be very flammable unless they’re new. If you have a mattress that was made before 2007, it probably doesn’t abide by the Federal Mattress Flammability Standard. All mattresses made after 2007 are flame retardant and held to a higher safety standard. Do yourself a favor and purchase one.

#3: Chimney

Like everything else, chimneys need to be cleaned. We suspect 6 percent of all house fires happen in chimneys because people neglect to have them serviced. Each time you have a fire, sap and ash from whatever you’re burning coats the inside of your chimney. Determine if your chimney needs to be cleaned by doing a srcape test. Open the flue, put on protective glasses, and get a flashlight. Then, shine a light up the chimney and scrape the inside with something sharp. If the residue is 1/8 inches thick, schedule a cleaning. If residue is closer to 1/4 inch, don’t build another fire until your chimney is professionally cleaned.

#4: Living Room

Living rooms or family rooms often contain candles, fireplaces, electronics, and heating equipment. They also contain couches and other flammable items. Since 4 percent of house fires start in living rooms, we can assume these factors have a little something to do with it.

#5: Laundry Room

Laundry rooms are where 3 percent of all house fires begin. Dryer lint is a main cause of laundry room fire. If you do not clean vents and filters regularly, the heat could cause lint to catch fire. Try not to run the washer or dryer when you’re not home in case something gets overheated and you need to act immediately.

#6: Outside

House fires start outside 3% of the time. This is where people keep grills, smoke, have bonfires, and light off fireworks. Just know that if you have a fire outside, it could catch spread to your home if you’re not careful.

#7: Attic

Attics aren’t always accessible, so you may not know what’s going on up there. Whether it’s a crawl space or a walk-up, make sure to hire someone or check it out yourself. Not everything in homes are done to code (if people choose the DIY route), so you may find dangerous wiring that needs fixing.

Top Causes of Fire

Now that you know where fires most commonly start,  we will move on to finding out what causes them.

#1: Cooking

House fires happen most often during dinner hours—between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. That’s because people are cooking. If you’re preparing dinner, here’s what you should remember:

  • For grease fires, only use a fire extinguisher (class B) or baking soda. Do not use water! It will spread the oil/grease and make your fire worse.
  • Never leave your food unattended. Fires only need 30 seconds to go from a small flame to an out-of-control blaze, so even going to the bathroom could endanger your home.
  • Turn off the stove and all appliances once you’re done cooking.
  • Keep everything off hot surfaces. For instance, don’t throw a dish towel on top of the stove, because it could still be hot!
  • Don’t wear baggy clothing. It could catch fire accidentally.
  • Keep the grill at least 10 feet from vegetation and the house.

#2: Heating Equipment

Almost 13% of all residential fires are caused by heating equipment. You can prevent heating equipment from catching fire by inspecting and cleaning wood stoves and chimneys, using a fireplace screen, and having your hot water heater and furnace serviced regularly. Space heaters can also cause fires if left too close to walls, drapes, and bedding and clothing. If you have a space heater, give it some room.

# 3: Electrical Equipment

Electrical equipment causes over 6 percent of house fires. Look for frayed wires, surge marks in wire, and damaged cords. If you see any exposed wires, unplug the electronic and replace it immediately. Also, keep all cords away from furniture and rugs. Running cords under rugs is definitely dangerous.

#4: Carelessness

Mistakes happen. For house fires, negligence causes 5.8 percent of blazes. Carelessness includes not putting our cigarettes, leaving candles burning, putting heating equipment near combustible items, and more. Fire is dangerous. Never treat anything hot or on fire with anything but the utmost care.

#5: Open flame

Candles, fires in the fireplace, and outdoor bonfires are enjoyable when controlled, but disastrous when they’re not. About 4 percent of all house fires start from an open flame. You can prevent fires by always putting out flames completely, never having a bonfire on a windy day, and keeping flames away from flammable objects.

#6: Appliances

Appliances cause about 4 percent of house fires. You can decrease the chances of something malfunctioning and catching on fire by making sure it’s approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). The UL has high safety standards, so you’ll know the appliance is well made.

Another way to keep appliances functioning properly is to never plug them into an extension cord or two-slot outlet. You should unplug everything when you’re away on vacation as well, just in case.

#7: Intentional

Arson is a felony and can result in up to 20 years (unless deemed a misdemeanor). Alas, people still do it. Out of all house fires, 4.2 percent are intentionally set.

#8: Smoking

About 2 percent of fires are caused by cigarettes. One way you can prevent fires from cigarettes is to stop smoking them! Another is to do so outdoors and put your spent cigarette butts into water.

#9: Natural

Wildfires and those caused by lightning are unavoidable. Don’t worry though. Natural causes only account for 1.6 percent of all house fires.

Other Potential Fire Hazards

Aside from top fire starters, here are some others to consider:

  • Christmas Trees
    Most Christmas tree fires start because of faulty lights or proximity to a heat source. Christmas tree fires are normally pretty serious too. On average, one out of 31 Christmas tree fires kills someone. Prevent this from happening by putting new lights on your Christmas tree, inspecting older lights, and keeping them away from heat sources.
  • Kids  Keep matches away from kids, teach them about fire safety, and never leave them unattended with flammable objects.
  • Hoverboards
    You probably have read about it in the news, but hover boards are no longer welcome on flights or in most homes. The batteries overheat and have caused severe burns and devastating house and car fires. 
  • Beauty Tools
    Hair straighteners and curling irons get hot. If you forget to unplug them, they could start a fire. Always unplug your beauty products and leave them on a hard surface (like a marble counter top) and away from flammable objects.
  • Grills
    Don’t ever leave a grill unattended. Fat dripping from oil or meat could cause a flare-up that can quickly grow out of control. Also, remember to keep grills away from brush, your home, and overhanging branches—10 feet or more is typically a safe distance.
  • Vents
    Don’t’ forget to clean your vents and filters! They can get gunked up with lint, hair, dust, and other flammable residue that can catch fire.

House fires claim a life every seven seconds. To protect yourself, home, and family, be aware of where fires are most common. After cooking, turn off all appliances. Blow out candles and completely extinguish bonfires before going to bed. Have your chimney cleaned often. Equipping yourself with smoke detectors and fire extinguishers  can help control blazes. Having a fire escape plan can also save lives. If you follow these rules and keep fire safety top-of-mind, you’ll have better chances of preventing fire.

How To Hire A Reputable Restoration Company

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

How to Hire a Reputable Emergency Restoration Company 

When standing in a flooded basement or after experiencing the devastation of a house or office fire, hiring the first restoration company you find could prove to be disastrous. In an unregulated industry like damage restoration, you must do your homework before hiring a contractor. For example, there are many carpet cleaning companies who claim to be a restoration company when, in fact, they're really just a carpet cleaning company. Owning a wet/vac does not make you a restoration company. Construction companies think they can perform restoration work but do not have the training and expertise it takes to be a restoration company. Restoration means to “bring something back to an earlier and better condition”, not “rip out and replace” as most construction companies like to do.

When hiring a restoration company, first be certain they are I.I.C.R.C. (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified technicians in water damage and/or fire damage. The restoration professional should be able to present an identification card listing their certifications. Ask for their rating on Angie’s List and/or with the Better Business Bureau. Forgetting these simple questions could make a bad situation MUCH worse.

What to Look for in a Reputable Emergency Restoration Company?

First of all, a reputable emergency restoration company should offer 24/7/365 emergency service. Reliable restoration companies answer their phones live 24 hours a day, every day, so they can quickly connect you with an I.I.C.R.C. certified technician to immediately begin the remediation of your loss. Most reputable Emergency Restoration Companies should be able to have a qualified I.I.C.R.C. certified technician at your doorstep within a couple of hours – day or night. A certified technician will properly assess your emergency and take the appropriate first steps to contain the problem and begin remediation.

Not taking immediate steps after water damage or fire damage can and will make the situation much worse. Most insurance companies require the homeowner to take immediate steps to prevent further loss from occurring or they could deny the claim.

I.I.C.R.C. Certification

A quality restoration company will have I.I.C.R.C. Certified Technicians. By using a certified technician or certified firm, you know you are hiring a company that has invested the time, effort and money to have their personnel trained in properly remediating your loss. Ask to see a restoration professional’s I.I.C.R.C. card. The I.I.C.R.C. organization writes the restoration industry standards on proper procedures needed to clean up and repair water damages, fire/smoke losses, mold clean-up, sewage clean-up, carpet cleaning and much more.
Upon successful completion of the course and written exams, the technician will be issued a card to carry with him indicating he is I.I.C.R.C. certified. To maintain these certifications, employees must attend continuing education programs to keep them up-to-date on the newest technological advances in the industry. See the I.I.C.R.C. website at www.llCRC.org.

All Work is Guaranteed

Reputable Emergency Restoration Companies stand behind their work as well as guarantee it.
Ask what kind of warranty the company offers.

Most Important – Timeliness

The most important thing to do is to get reputable, I.I.C.R.C. certified professionals to your loss as quickly as possible. Any delay causes your loss to become more extensive.

It’s your home and you have the right to hire any restoration company you choose. It is your decision, so do your homework, choose a qualified contractor that is in fact I.I.C.R.C. certified and has a good Angie ‘s List review or a good Better Business Bureau rating.

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

Post Fire Cleanup

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Post Fire Cleaning 

An estimated 358,500 home fires occur every year; about half of them are caused by cooking. After the danger has passed, you have a difficult project ahead. Cleaning up after a fire is a much different process than a regular weekend ‘tidy up.’ You will need professional help. Here is the typical fire damage cleanup process:

Safety First, Then Assess

As soon as our techs arrive at your home, the safety of your family and home are the top priority. The absolute first step of a remediation professional is ensuring that the property is safe to enter. The team will search for signs of structural damage and thoroughly inspect the property from the outside before opening the door.

Next, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County will assess the extent of the damage by exploring how far the fire, the smoke, and airborne soot has traveled. In order to create a precise plan of action and an accurate quote, our techs will document the damage to your walls, furniture and possessions. At every step of the way, the technician will wear proper gear– to protect themselves and your possessions. 

Focus On Soot And Debris

Post-fire rooms are a mess. It is imperative not to contaminate non-damaged rooms. Before any water or fire damage restoration processes can begin, all debris and soot must be removed from the home. The soot can cause extensive damage the longer it remains on a surface; it is abrasive and caustic. Any debris will be in the way during the restoration process our team will haul off trash to keep worksite tidy.  Removing the soot and debris will also improve the air quality and reduces airborne odors. 

 Soot can stain metals, plastics, grout, carpeting, textiles and wood when it adheres to surfaces. Rust and corrosion is a risk whenever water touches metal. Components and conductors in electronics can corrode, and the risk of electrical shock is increased. This may however affect workflow to ensure everyone's safety.

Sometimes it is necessary for removal of  items that don’t appear to be damaged in order to prevent cross-contamination. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County will help determine the best course of action in each situation. Often the professionals can clean these items offsite and return them once the home is restored. 

Mold and mildew are always a concern. Fire extinguishing processes using water may provide opportunities for spores to flourish. Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24-48 hours. Taking aggressive steps now can minimize future damage.

Now Deodorize And Clean

Professionals use specific cleaning products, equipment and techniques on the various materials in your home.  Carpets, curtains and other fragile fabrics require special attention, not all can be shampooed and washed with plain water.

During this fire damage restoration process, companies will also ensure to remove any and all odors that can linger after the smoke has been in the room. Commercial air scrubbers, ionizers and dehumidifiers may be used to control humidity as well as clean the air. Perhaps your home would benefit from an ozone generator to destroy the smoke molecules that are left behind and are causing the odor.  

Restore What Is Necessary

After all the dirty, burnt items are removed, odds are that your home will need some repairs. This restoration stage is both 1) repairing furnishings and 2) repairing the home.  To return your home to its best, the full-service fire damage restoration team might repair wooden cabinets, replace baseboards, and restore floors. 

For Fire Damage Restoration 

After you have suffered from fire damage, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County for professional help. The team provides 24-hour emergency services to help both commercial and residential properties in the area. By working closely with you and your insurance company, ensuring that claims can be settled quickly. 

The Dangers of Letting Smoke Damage Go Uncleaned

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage can wreak havoc on your personal property and structures. A quick reaction can help you minimize the impact of the destruction as some of your household goods can be salvaged if treated immediately. You should, therefore, hasten the process of hiring a professional to help you manage the damage in a correct manner. Conversely, if left untreated, smoke and fire damage can be more devastating in the following ways:

The restoration cost increases

When the treatment process is extended, the damages begin to worsen and are more difficult to deal with. If smoke goes untreated for long, the odors become more persistent and extremely difficult to neutralize. These challenges make the treatment process harder and more time consuming and ultimately more expensive.

Extensive damage

Smoke and ash can mix with water to produce a highly corrosive element. If not cleaned quickly, this corrosive substance begins to slowly corrode away walls, floors, ceilings and any other surfaces in your home. Cleaning up quickly with soap and water is simply not enough. The substance requires proper cleaning with appropriate chemicals to remove it completely in order to contain the damages.

Soot deposits

Neutralizing of soot residual and deposits is an effective first clean up step. If left for long, soot can easily travel and penetrate into other rooms that weren't recently affected by the fire, staining the wall paint, carpet, furniture, drapes, clothing and any other household items.

Permanent damage

Your property can suffer permanent damage if not treated in a timely manner. Damage begins to set in within hours and prolonged exposure could cause permanent harm to your walls which turns yellow, metal surfaces begins to corrode, clothes stain permanently and wooden furniture which may need refinishing. It also damages the floor which may need replacing.

Following a fire, it is necessary to seek smoke treatment immediately to save yourself from the effects of prolonged exposure to smoke as well as to make it easier for you to restore your home. In the case you suspect smoke damage in your residence and need smoke or water damage cleanup contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

Common Causes of Water Damage

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

By educating yourself, you can do much in the way of preventing water damage emergencies. In addition to this, if they do happen, you’ll be more ready to tackle them quickly and efficiently to minimize your loss.

Here are a few of the top causes of water damage, and things you can do in an effort to prevent them in your own home:

  1. Appliances and equipment. It is logical that the countless appliances in your home that use water would be susceptible to water damage. Washing machines, air conditioners, dishwashers, and water heaters are typical culprits. The best thing you can do to prevent water damage from these sources is to be aware of the state of your equipment. Familiarize yourself with the pipes and tubes especially, and replace anything that looks brittle, rusty, or has bulging or signs of moisture. These replacements are investments for the future. In addition, try to be present in the home while running the washing machine or dishwasher.
  2. Roofing. This is a huge culprit. Make sure you are checking your roof routinely. Standing water is a bad sign that often indicates a drainage problem.
  3. Rain and storms. These are sometimes harder to predict and protect against, but there are still precautions you can take to protect against water damage from rain water. Keep your gutters clear. Monitor window wells to the basement level of your home and ensure that standing water does not collect.
  4. Pipes. 50% of flooding incidents are a result of burst water supply lines! Insulate pipes that may be exposed to colder temperatures to help prevent freezing and bursting. Another helpful tip is to monitor your water bill. Don’t just pay it- pay attention to it, as well! Significant or sudden increases can indicate leaks that should be investigated.
  5. Clogged drains. These are a perfect environment for nasty bacteria to grow and fester. When they get out of hand, they can cause sewage backups or overflowing, and water that comes from these sources is likely contaminated.

Being aware of the dangers of water damage is half the battle and is an excellent way to prevent water damage before it happens. If it’s too late for prevention, use it as a learning experience. Do research, ask questions, and call a professional at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to help you promptly and effectively clean up the mess. 502.241.6861 With the right response, you can come out of this inconvenient experience feeling confident that you know how to give yourself the best shot at avoiding future disasters.

How To Unclog a Toilet Without A Plunger

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

“Help! The toilet’s clogged!”

“Use the plunger…”

“There isn't one!”

“Uh…oh…”

Does this sound at all familiar? Don’t panic, YES there is a simple solution to unclogging your toilet without a plunger.

Toilet Science

You probably are not aware however, there’s a science to toilets. They work on gravity pressure from liquid weight forcing solid waste around a restrictive bend. 

Ninety-nine percent of the time, friction is the culprit behind a clogged toilet. Between solid waste and wasted paper, there’s simply too much mass in the bottom of the bowl for the weight from the toilet tank’s water to overcome. The bowl fills however, friction’s restriction overcomes gravitational force and the mess just stays.

A toilet plunger works by replacing gravity with a mechanical push that forces the messy mass around the bend and down towards its slide to the sewer. Without a plunger to amplify gravity, the simple solution is to reduce friction. That’s where common household items ride to the rescue and replace the pushy plunger.

Items Needed

What you need is three things:

  • A bucket
  • Dish detergent
  • Hot water

Your bucket accomplishes two tasks. First, make sure the tank has refilled and you’ve shut off the toilet tap. Then use the bucket to bail most of the liquid from the toilet bowl to an adjacent sink. Don’t worry about removing the solid matter. This’ll get broken down by the next steps. Now keep the bucket handy to transport hot water from the kitchen to the toilet.

Next, squirt an ample amount of dish detergent into the clogged toilet bowl and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes while science does its trick. The grease-cutting agents in detergent break down the solid human waste as well as the excess paper, reducing their specific gravity and loosening them into smaller particles.

Finally, heat water in a kettle to just under the boiling point and carry a bucketful back to the bath and dump the steaming solution straight into the soapy toilet. The hot water will cause the soap to suds and foam, possibly down the sides and onto the floor.

Give the hot water about 5 minutes to react with the detergent and the dissolving waste. Science is again at work as the heat effect on the soap creates a surfactant that severely reduces what friction forces are left in the porcelain prison. The clog no longer has the mass nor the grasp to hang onto the sides. It’s turned into little, lubricated lumps that slide right down with a flush from the tank.

Finally, turn the tap and refill the tank. It’s unlikely you’ll need to repeat the process as this time-tested toilet treatment works every time. Even without a plunger or plumber.

Water Damage as a result of a toilet overflow? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

7 Causes of Sump Pump Failure

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

7 Causes of Sump Pump Failures

While there are many ways a sump pump can fail, here are the most common situations in which severe water damage occurs as a result.

1. Overworked Pump

Whether the sump pump is old or the water is just coming in too fast, the mechanism alone cannot handle the amount of water filling into the foundation. This will usually occur during flash floods and other heavy rains. Whether the sump pump is good quality or not can also make a big difference, so a weak plastic model would never stand a chance against a severe thunderstorm.

What to do. Either buy a bigger sump pump or buy another model of the same quality to have twice the amount of water flowing away from the foundation. This way you won’t have to worry about a water damage problem every time it rains.

2. Sump Pump Working But No Water

If there isn’t any water in the sump pump, this means that the model wasn’t installed correctly or it’s not hooked up to drainage system.

Importance of a drainage system. This is just as important as the model itself. It’s best to have a drain tile installed within or outside the sump pump or along the lining of the basement. As long as it collects water and drains it to the pit, using gravity to push it, there shouldn’t be any problem. But if the drain-tile is damaged, not even the sump pump would be helpful.

What to do. Allow a licensed plumber to inspect, fix, or replace the drainage system. You might deal with a hefty bill, but your future self will be thanking you during the next rainstorm.

3. Clogged Sump Pump

There are a number of ways the sump pump can become clogged and back up, leading to a water damage disaster. All of the following are common occurrences:

5. The Sump Pump Loses Power

If you were on vacation and the power is cut off from the sump pump, the entire basement faces the risk of flooding. Common causes of power failures include knocked down power lines, the pump is unplugged, or if the circuit breaker trips.

What to do. While some factors you will be able to control, like the circuit breaker, others involving power outages that can keep you worrying in the dark about whether or not there’s water in the basement. But what you can do is install a battery-powered backup that will add some peace of mind while lighting the candles upstairs.

6. Sump Pump is Running Non-Stop

If you notice the sump pump running when there’s obviously no water, you know you have a problem. But it also needs to be addressed right away before the model burns out. Here are some common causes:

  • Wrong sump pump or liner size. In many cases, the sump pump is too small to handle the amount of water coming in from outside. The pit can also be too small, causing the water to fill up too quickly that puts the pump into overdrive.
  • Missing or broken check valve. The check valve allows the water to flow in only one direction, one that flows away from the pit. But it it’s missing or broken, water will easily flow right back into the pit, overwhelming the pump and eventually overflowing into the basement.
  • Float switches in cheap sump pumps can easily become tangled and clogged.

What to do. Allow a licensed plumber to inspect the pump before each heavy rainstorm to ensure that everything is working properly.

7. Defective Product

While nobody likes to get excited or relieved about buying something and only find out that it doesn’t work, it happens all the time. And sump pumps are no exception.

What to do. Always make sure that the model works properly by testing it and filling the pit up with water.

Water Damage Emergencies


While learning about these common causes and what to do in each situation can certainly help to prevent failures in the future, they are never a guarantee. In any case that you have a basement flood, or any other type of water damage in your home or building call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

Commercial Fire Prevention Tasks

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

You’ve heard all of the preventative steps, you’ve prepped your employees, and your commercial space is up to code. However, the easiest prevention methods are typically the most overlooked. Some of the biggest ways to avoid needing fire damage restoration services are usually some of the quickest to check. Inspect these things today and be sure to set reminders accordingly:

  • Smoke Detectors. You should check these at least once a month and replace the batteries once a year, or as needed.
  • Fire Extinguishers. See the directions on your fire extinguisher to determine when it expires and who you can call to replace them. Extinguishers can last anywhere from five to fifteen years. Also, depending on your fire marshal’s standards, you may have to have your extinguisher certified.
  • Fire Exits and Exit Signs. Can guests clearly see exit signs? Can they easily get to them? Consider having a fire drill to ensure guests and employees can easily get out of the building in the event of an emergency. Practice regularly.
  • See any State or Local Guidelines. There are some local and state guidelines that businesses have to follow to stay up to code. Take a minute to read up on these laws or talk to your local fire marshal to learn about the guidelines.

Keeping your business, employees, and guests safe is important. Just by taking the time to make sure the basics of fire safety are taken care of, you can protect your investment.

Fire in your Commercial Space? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Fire Mitigation specialist. 502.241.6861

Water Damage In Your Basement

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

Basement Water Damage 

Water follows the path of least resistance, finding cracks and holes through basement walls. Flooding can often be associated with insufficient drainage around basement walls, heavy rains, a faulty sump pump, or a combination of these factors. There are many ways you can incur basement water damage, so here are some things you can do to help prevent and tackle basement water damage.

12 Tips For Flooded Basement

  • Move all electrical outlets or plugs to higher levels in the basement.
  • Do not store valuable items in a basement with potential flooding issues.
  • The ground next to your foundation should slope away from the home.
  • Point gutters and downspouts to discharge water at least 5 feet away from the home.
  • Plant plants and borders at least 12 inches away from the foundation.
  • Seal all windows and vents.
  • Unclog gutters and downspouts.
  • Waterproof the walls inside your basement with a roll-on concrete waterproofing product.
  • Consider installing a sump-pump to pump out unwanted standing water.
  • Address poorly-draining soil around the home by installing a French drain.
  • Call a foundation contractor to address ongoing and outstanding issues with your foundation.
  • Call a restoration company for emergency water damage extraction.

What are the long-term issues with  flood-damaged basements?

Basements that experience regular flooding will expose homeowners to mold and mildew.  Regular water damage to the foundation of your home can contribute to structural weakness. There are obvious costs to dealing with a flooded basement and no homeowner wants to clean up a flood multiple times. The overall value of your home can also be negatively affected by a flood. 

Emergency Basement Water Damage Extraction

If you need basement water damage extraction, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has certified water damage cleanup technicians on call 24/7. Give us a call to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today. 502.241.6861

Water Damaged Ceilings

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling Water Damage

Do you have ceiling water damage in your home? Does one of your ceilings have discoloration or dampness? It could be from a roof leak, a pipe between floors or a leak from your HVAC if your HVAC is in the attic. Typically homeowners don't  notice a leak in their home until there are visual signs of it. In many cases like the ceiling, it is an ongoing issue but needs to be fixed as soon as noticed.

What To Do When You Find Ceiling Water Damage

Once you notice you either have discoloration, dampness or an odor possibly from water damage on your ceiling, the first thing to do is access  where the water is coming from. This might require you to get into your attic. If no signs of leaking or clogging are evident from your HVAC, the next logical location to check is your roof. If you find this to be the case, it’s best to call a roofing professional and have them inspect your roof and determine the correct course of action to repair the issue that is causing water to get into your home.

Repairing Ceiling Water Damage

Once the roof or cause of origin has been fixed, you can focus your attention on the damaged portion of your ceiling. The best option for repairing the ceiling would be to remove the damaged ceiling and replace it with new drywall. One of the things to consider when repairing the ceiling is the size of the damaged area. You may want to hire a restoration contractor who would have the necessary tools and PPE. Many times, if the water has been an ongoing issue, there is mold on the surface or backside of the drywall and that makes the removal process more dangerous. If this is the case, you should hire a restoration professional who can properly handle the mold removal process without cross contaminating the rest of your home.

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

Signs of Active Water Damage

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage is one of the more serious disasters that can happen in your home. Water in places that should remain dry can lead to severe home damage.  Also, water damage is also a likely sign of a water leak, which is not only costly in terms of repairing damages, but also in terms of your water bill. The sooner you can spot signs of water damage, the sooner you’ll be able to put a stop to any leaks and protect yourself, your home, and your wallet. Take a look at some of the signs that you might have water damage and how to spot them.  

Use Your Ears

One of the first signs of a water problem isn’t necessarily visible, but instead, it’s audible. Water makes a sound, whether it’s a slow drip or a gush. It’s never a good idea to ignore the sounds of water inside your house when there shouldn’t be sounds of water.  Listen for the sound of water running when there’s no reason for it – when the washing machine and dishwasher are off, when there’s no one taking a shower, and when no sinks are in use. If you hear the sounds of dripping or running water, follow your ears. You may track the sound down to a leaky sink or a toilet that needs a new stopper. But if the sound seems to be coming from behind the walls, under the floor, or from the ceiling, you might have a larger problem. You’ll need to examine the area where you hear the water coming from and track down its source so you can determine whether you have a leaky pipe, a leaky roof, or some other problem that may have caused water damage to your home.

Follow Your Nose

Your hearing isn’t the only one of your senses that can alert you to a water problem. Water Damage often comes with a smell – namely, the scent of mold or mildew. If you smell a musty, damp odor anywhere in your house, that’s a sign that you not only have a water problem but that you also already have some water damage.  It’s important to track down the scent of mold as soon as you notice it. Mold grows quickly, and can soon become a much bigger problem if you ignore it. It can also be a health hazard.   Another scent that sometimes arises in a house with a water problem is the smell of sewage. You might smell this coming from plumbing fixtures in your bathroom. Needless to say, the smell of sewage in the house is not a good sign, and you’ll want to have that looked at right away.  

Know The Visible Signs of Water Damage

If you spot a puddle or actual wet spot in some place where you know no water should be, that’s a pretty sure sign that you have some type of leak and you should look closer for further signs of damage. But the visible signs of water damage aren’t always so obvious.  One thing to look for is an area where your paint is blistering, bubbling, or peeling. For example, if you notice the paint on the ceiling bubbling, it could mean that the roof is leaking, or, if you’re seeing it on a downstairs ceiling in a two-story house, it could mean that a toilet, sink, or bathtub located upstairs is leaking.  You might also notice discolorations on your walls or wallpaper. You probably don’t think of water as something that causes stains, but water that leaks down the walls and isn’t cleaned up properly can damage the paint or wallpaper, leaving discolorations behind.  It’s worth noting that even if you happen not to smell mold, you may see evidence of it. Look for black or green spots on walls and ceilings.  Other signs of water damage include buckling or warping in wood floor planks or laminate flooring, loose tiles, deteriorating caulk, and cracks in cement. You might also notice that wooden door and window frames look swollen or warped, and that doors and windows stick in place and refuse to open or close smoothly. These are all signs that you should call a water damage restoration specialist to check out the problem and get your home on the road to recovery.

Check Your Checkbook

Even if you don’t see any other signs, if you’re losing more and more money every month to your water company, you’ve almost certainly got a problem somewhere. It’s possible for leaky pipes and water fixtures to dump water in a place where you won’t notice it or where it doesn’t cause damage – a leaky toilet, for example, won’t necessarily cause water damage if the leak is inside the toilet system. But it will cost you money. A toilet that’s leaking internally may not damage your floor, but it can drain hundreds of gallons unnecessarily, bringing your water bill higher and higher. And it’s a good idea to get a handle on that kind of leak as soon as possible, because a leak anywhere can lead water damage eventually, even if it’s not currently causing damage, and that only compounds the expense.  However, sometimes leaks that don’t appear to be causing damage actually are. If you haven’t been in your basement for a while, you might not see the water on the floor or hear it leaking down there, but it’s definitely still causing damage. And a leak that dumps water outside could be slowly damaging your home’s foundation. So if your water bill is showing signs of a leak, take it seriously and investigate, even if you haven’t noticed anything before.  Water Damage is a serious thing, and mitigating it isn’t always something that can be done on a do-it-yourself basis. If you’ve located a water leak in your  home, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can help. Contact us right away so we can help you treat your home. 502.241.6861 

Emergency Water Restoration

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Anyone who has experienced the need for water damage restoration or water removal has seen what water can do to the interior of a home or building.

A flooded basement or flooding from natural disasters often bring debris and silt with it. A sewer b backup can be even worse, requiring sewage cleanup of liquid and solid waste along with water in a toxic and staining mess. Plumbing and appliance failures can bring their own unexpected headaches, ranging from overflowing washing machines, failed sump pumps, or broken water lines.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County Water Damage Restoration

Your emergency is our emergency. Immediate response is important to limit damage and begin water damage repair. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year, with the people, equipment, and know how to resolve any water removal problem. Our expertly trained flood and water damage restoration technicians will go the extra mile to remove water and moisture, and to repair water damage. Using the latest technology and techniques for water removal, we will clean up and restore your property to its previous condition. We'll also suggest ways to keep preventable flooding from happening again.

Our water damage restoration and water removal process includes:

  • The Call: You call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County and we guide you through some questions that will help us respond to your emergency more efficiently and effectively.
  • The Inspection: We inspect and assess the damage and create a restoration plan.
  • Water Extraction: Emergency extraction of water to prevent further damage.
  • Item Protection: Protecting personal belongings from water damage.
  • Drying: Thorough drying of building materials to prevent mold growth and save you unnecessary expense later.
  • Cleanup and Sanitization: Cleaning and sanitizing your building and its contents from the after-effects of contaminated water.
  • Restoring Like New: And finally the restoration step, getting your home or business back to how it was before water damage.

Each step of this process varies depending on the severity of the damage, how long the water has been present, and how much of your home or business has been affected, but we'll talk to you through each step of the process so you know exactly what to expect at any moment.

Sewer Backup and Flooding

Sewage backup damage can add an additional layer to the water damage restoration. This contaminated water can come in three varying levels of contamination

  • Clean Water: water from a clean source, such as a broken water line, leaky faucet, etc. If left untreated, this could quickly degrade into either of the categories below.
  • Gray Water: water that is contaminated and could cause illness or discomfort, such as toilet overflow without feces, dishwasher or washing machine overflow.
  • Black Water: water that is majorly contaminated and  contact should be strictly avoided. Examples of these include overflowing toilet with feces, water from beyond the toilet trap, and flooding from outside water sources.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has experience quickly and effectively dealing with all forms of contaminated water, and can get your home or business back in tip-top condition.

Call us today at 502.241.6861

How to spot water damage when buying a home

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

In general, a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. In order to protect that investment, you should vigilantly look out for household problems and address them before they worsen.

One such dreaded homeowner issue is water damage. If left unattended, residential water damage can detrimentally impact the structure or spawn other complications, including mold that poses a health risk to inhabitants. Here are several methods for detecting water damage within your house.

1. Check the Floors
No matter what type of flooring you have, it will manifest signs of water damage. For tile and wood, look for cracked, buckling or warped flooring. When it comes to carpet, be wary of damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.

2. Look for Stains
Water stains on the floor around the bathtub, toilet or sink, as well as stains on ceilings and walls, are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Unusual stains could indicate there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the drywall or areas that appear swollen and are soft to touch also may signify trouble. Peeling paint is another sign of loose water within wall spaces. As the drywall gets saturated, paint can lose adhesion.

3. Inspect Outside
Observe the exterior of your house. What you want to look for are pools of standing water that can indicate poor drainage in the yard, gutter spouts that aren’t transporting water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters. Any of those issues could threaten the foundation of your house. Additionally, common signs of water damage on the roof may include pools of water; cracked, curled or missing shingles; or broken flashing.

4. Watch for Rust and Mold
Inspect your water heater and check for rust on the tank or damp spots on the floor. A rusted tank could indicate a slow leak. Additionally, corrosion around pipe connections could be caused by water seepage. Visual signs of active mold growth mean moisture is contacting microscopic mold spores, often in the nooks and crannies of your home. Finally, don’t rely solely on sight. When water stagnates, mold and bacteria can grow, producing a musty, unpleasant smell.

If you're looking for water damage restoration or storm damage repari, contact the experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today for all you property restoration needs. 502.241.6861

Water Damaged Ceilings

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damaged ceilings are a massive safety risk, as there is a possibility that they could cave in without much warning. Along with this, they also encourage the growth of mold and bacteria, and can often attract pests, like mice and rats. With this in mind, repairing water damaged ceilings in your home should be at the top of your list of priorities. However, actually finding out the reason why they have been damaged in the first place is an important step, too! These are the main causes behind water damaged ceilings to keep a look-out for:

Damaged Roof Gutters 

If your roof gutters have been cracked and are leaking, they will inevitably cause water damage to your ceilings. If they haven’t been cleaned in a while, they may also be overflowing, which can be the reason for the water damage. In short, it may be time to call on an expert to assist with getting them back into good condition!

Leaking Roof 

If there are weak spots on your roof, or a few of your roofing tiles have chipped or broken as a result of weather damage, the roof itself might start to leak. Often, this is a gradual process that can go on for a while before any significant water damage is visible (unless the area experiences a lot of rain for an extended period of time). The good news is that repairing a leaking roof is rather simple and cost-effective to do.

Burst Pipes 

If there is a bathroom on the second floor of the house, the water damaged ceilings might have been caused by burst pipes or cracks in the floorboards. If a burst pipe is the culprit, it is imperative that you call on a plumber as soon as you can – the problem can get very bad, very quickly!

Water Damage In Your Home give us a call today. 502.241.6861

Fire Safety Tips for Halloween

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

Halloween Fires

For Halloween in particular, decorations usually consist of candles as well as dried cornstalks and hay bales, costumes with trailing fabric, and other paper decorations that can easily catch fire if they come into contact with the flame from a candle or jack-o’-lantern.  Many of the fires recorded by the National Fire Protection Association during these years were caused by flammable decorations that were too close to a candle or another heat source.

Halloween Fire Safety Tips

While these statistics may be frightening, they should not discourage you from celebrating Halloween with your favorite costumes and decorations.  Like most causes of house fires, many of the holiday decoration related fires are easily prevented.  The following fire safety tips will help you prevent fires from decorations so that you and your family can have a festive and enjoyable Halloween.

  • Make sure all potentially flammable decorations are far away from open flames, fireplaces or candles as well as other heat sources such as space heaters and light bulbs. Every exit in your home should be clear in case a fire does occur.
  • Using a battery operated candle or glow stick for jack-o’-lanterns is a safe alternative but if you choose to use real candles, light them carefully with long fireplace matches or a utility lighter to avoid tipping the pumpkin. If there are children present around lit candles, they should be closely supervised.  Jack-o’-lanterns with real candles should be away from other potentially flammable materials and away from walkways used by trick-or-treaters.
  • Avoid using candles or torch lights to decorate your yard or sidewalk and instead use flashlights. Decorations with an open flame can be hazardous as trick-or-treaters may brush against the flame with their costumes.
  • Try and avoid costumes that include long trailing or billowing fabric. If your child’s costume includes a mask, cut the eye holes big enough so that your child can see where he is walking to avoid falls or brushing against a candle or open flame.
  • Make sure your children understand the fire risks of candles and open flames and that they must avoid contact with these objects. It is a good idea to give them flashlights or glow sticks to use for lighting as they are trick-or-treating.

Halloween is a popular, festive holiday with many time honored traditions but the most common Halloween decorations have the potential to cause house fires.  With these simple fire safety tips, you can help prevent fires caused by Halloween decorations for a safe holiday.

If your home is damaged by fire due to a mishap with your Halloween decorations, make sure that everyone around is safe to begin with. Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak with a Mitigation specialists. 502.241.6861

Tips for Preventing Storm Damage

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Storms are unpredictable and tend to target neighborhoods rather than entire counties. If you are unfortunate enough to be in the path, your business is vulnerable to fallen trees, hail damage, fire from lightning, wind damage, losing all or part of your roof, flooding, and power outage. Minutes later, the storm passes, and you are shocked by the extent of the damage.

Why is Storm Damage Preparedness Important? 

As a business owner or facility manager, you’ll need to prepare and react to keep people working safely and stay productive. Here are 4 summer storm damage prevention tips to help your business survive the sudden summer storm and reduce downtime from storm damage commercial property loss.

 #1 Preventative Maintenance 

It’s easy to let maintenance items slip as the seasons quickly change from spring to summer. Be prudent and proactive by scheduling an exterior building inspection on your calendar. Here’s a simple checklist to get you started.

  • Check the condition of the paint and walls.

  • Check for broken windows and doors.

  • Check the condition of all railings.

  • Check for plants growing on the building or its foundation.

  • Clean the roof. Use care when working in high places; employ adequate fall protection.

  • Clean roof drains and gutters. Test drains and downspouts by flushing them with water.

  • Inspect the condition of the roof.

  • Inspect gutters for adequate anchoring and tighten, if necessary.

  • Inspect the stack and all roof penetrations.

  • Remove any plant life growing on the roof.

  • Clean up any debris found.

#2 Update Your Commercial Storm Damage Insurance Coverage 

It’s devastating to discover that your commercial insurance policy doesn’t have adequate commercial storm damage coverage after a property loss. Along with your preventative maintenance and inspection, schedule an annual policy review with your insurance agent. Be sure to discuss coverage and exclusions and be certain that you understand them. This step removes the disappointment and unhappy surprise from a non-covered loss.

#3 Photograph and Document the Condition of Your Commercial Property

A photographic inventory of your business equipment, interior, and exterior of the business property is a tremendous help when navigating a commercial storm damage insurance claim. Your timestamped photographs accelerate the process when working with your insurance adjuster after storm damage has occurred and provides proof of adequate maintenance of the commercial property.

#4 Initiate Emergency Response Planning with SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County

It’s vital to the health of your business to have an emergency plan in place and to update it annually. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has a Emergency Response Plan (ERP) program that ensures you and your employees know how to prepare and react to  storm commercial property damage. Should you need water damage mitigation, fire damage restoration, or emergency repairs as a result of commercial storm damage, your ERP with SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County will give you peace of mind that you have a strategic partner at the ready to respond to your need 24/7/365. Ask a Marketing Representative to schedule your ERP appointment today. 

Don't let storm damage be disastrous to your commercial property. You worked hard to build your company and deserve the most efficient and experienced response. For the best storm damage restoration from fire, water, or wind damage, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

Heat Lightning

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning always seeks a quick path to the ground. When it strikes your home, it flows along your plumbing and electrical wiring on its way to the earth. The damage to your wiring, appliances and electrical equipment can be substantial.

When you're jolted from the couch by the boom of lightning striking your house, you may wonder what you should do. Knowing the following steps in advance will help you prepare for when nature strikes.

CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT DUE TO THE RISK OF ELECTRICAL FIRE

Getting your family out of the house is the primary concern after a lightning strike. Fire is a real danger, and you may not have much time to gather your kids and pets and head for the door. Once you're safely away from the house, call 911 and report the incident.

Don't assume that you're safe from the fire because one doesn't break out right away. When lightning travels along electrical wires and burns through walls, it heats them up tremendously. They may burst into flames right away, or the intense heat may smolder and develop into a slow burn.

Do not enter your home until the fire department gives permission. Firefighters use thermal equipment to check for hot spots of intense heat between the walls and in your attic that could start to burn later. The fire department may also turn off the power to your house until you can have the wiring inspected by an electrician.

Chances are your power will be out anyway after a lightning strike. Once the initial emergency is over, call your insurance agent. Your homeowner's policy may cover damage from lightning. You should be aware of the details before you hire contractors to repair damage to your home. These damages may include roof damage, attic damage, electrical and plumbing damage, and smoke or water cleanup.

CALL AN ELECTRICIAN TO ASSESS THE DAMAGE

The first step in restoring your home is to have an electrical inspection. During this the electrician will locate melted or destroyed wires that needs to be replaced. There might also be outlets blown out of the wall that need to be repaired, and your circuit panel outside may be destroyed.

Severe damages will be obvious to the eye. However, subtle damage may not be as noticeable. Your electrician will perform various tests with specialized tools and equipment to show whether your wiring and electrical system are working as they should, even if nothing appears to be damaged.

Lightning has an amazing amount of electrical energy. It is many times more powerful than your home is designed to handle. However, it is unpredictable as well. Your oven may be destroyed, but the refrigerator next to it spared.

When there is a direct hit of lightning to your home, it's possible that many of the appliances and electronics in your home will be destroyed. This can happen even when you have them plugged into surge protectors since a direct hit of lightning is so strong.

PREVENT FUTURE PROBLEMS BY PROTECTING YOUR CIRCUIT PANEL

Now that you know what lightning can do and who you should contact when your house is hit, you probably want to know how to protect your home and belongings. If you're home, unplug electronic equipment such as televisions and computers when a storm approaches.

Remember that lightning will travel along any line that comes in your home, whether it is for electricity, the phone, or cable. Talk to an electrician about installing a whole-house surge protector to stop a powerful surge before it flows through your lines. It is attached to your circuit panel and offers better protection than individual surge protectors, although you may want to use those in conjunction with the whole house unit.

While protecting your wiring, electronics, and appliances is important, the safety of you and your family is paramount. Stay away from electrical equipment during a storm. Don't use your computer, and don't use water, since lightning travels through plumbing pipes too.

Water or Fire Damage as a result of a Lightning strike? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

Join Our Team

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

We are a Restoration Company looking for an individual for our Estimator /Sales departments. This is an entry level position, experience not necessary. However, Construction background helpful. We will provide all training needed. Base Salary plus commission. An estimator will be trained to use our software to provide prices for our restoration services. They will also learn to estimate prices for different types of jobs, depending on the situation. They will also double as a Sales Representative mostly concerned with commercial sales. Must be able to lift 50 lbs. Must have a valid drivers license and be able to pass a background check.

Water Damage In Apartment- Who's Responsible

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Unfortunately, water damage is a common issue that renters can face. The aftermath can be devastating making the property unlivable and permanent damage may occur to personal belongings. When water damage occurs in an apartment, who is responsible for the damage cost? The property owner or renter?

Renter rights

Water Damage can be unpredictable and it is vital to understand your renter rights and understand whom is responsible for what in the event. In general, a landlord is responsible for maintaining the property along with ensuring that the apartment is livable and functioning up to code. The landlord may refuse repairs, or fail to address them quick in enough – causing further damage such as mold. In the United States, basic principles in tenant rights are in place and outline the party liable for damages.  Depending on the state, rent details can vary so check with your local housing authority.

Review your lease

It’s imperative to know what your lease states regarding property damage. Most properties have property insurance and will list what type of damage that is covered and what is not. The lease may specify actions that may be in place depending on the severity of the water damage. If the damage is severe and the apartment is unlivable is the tenant still required to pay the rent? Can the landlord evict the tenant or can the tenant cancel their lease without penalty? In general, if the damage is minor, the tenant will not be able to cancel the lease agreement. If the terms regarding property damage are not listed in the lease, speak to your landlord about who is responsible in the event when water damage strikes.

Renters insurance

Accidents happen which is why it is essential to have renters insurance. Most places require you have it before allowing you to move in an apartment. Depending on the plan you select, coverage can vary from damages to the building, personal content and may even cover the cost of lodging while repairs are being completed.

Landlord Responsibilities

The landlord is responsible for maintaining a functional apartment ensure that it is livable. The upkeep of basic plumbing such as sinks, toilets and tubs fall on the shoulders of the landlord. Failure to maintain or repair these functions may lead to property damage and the landlord is liable due to negligence.

Damage to property and personal belongings

Water damages caused to the building itself such as flooring, walls and utilities should be covered under the landlord’s property insurance. Personal property damages fall to the responsibility of the party at fault for damages, which can be the tenant. For example, if the tenant leaves a faucet on and falls asleep causing water damages.

How we can help

Water damage requires a rapid response in order to minimize loss to both the property itself and belongings inside.  SERVPRO technicians are experts at water damage cleanup in apartments and building of all sizes no matter severity of the damage. Our team of experts will assess the damage and develop an appropriate plan to restore and recover your property and contents. Contact us by calling 502.241.6861 to learn more about our water damage clean-up services.

Understanding Mold

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Moisture and mold go hand in hand. To clear mold from a structure, the moisture problem at the source must be addressed.

Timing is crucial to the drying of a structure to prevent the growth of destructive mold and mildew.

Some species of mold and mildew can cause serious complications, and therefore it is important to have a specialist perform proper removal of contaminated areas.

In today’s litigious environment it is important to call a professional firm to handle mold related issues.

Our team at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County are certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and are trained in the use of the latest technology to properly eliminate harmful microbiological contamination.

Understanding Mold

Mold spores are microscopic – and they exist in almost all places! That includes indoors and outdoors – and makes it very difficult to remove completely. If you think you have a mold problem, understanding the facts about mold will make the process of removal easier.

  • Mold is present indoors and outdoors
  • Mold often produces a musty odor – giving you clues to the source of the affected areas
  • Mold spores are microscopic and travel in the air
  • Mold can enter your home through windows, doors, heating and cooling systems or even through your pets or clothing
  • Mold spores thrive in moist areas and can quickly spread and grow when exposed to water
  • Before mold remediation can begin, the problem sources of water should be addressed or the mold may comeback
  • Humidity that is higher than 65% facilitates mold growth.

Mold in your home or business? Leave it to the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. Call today to speak to a Remediation specialist. 502.241.6861

Tips To Prevent Spring Storm Damage

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

No matter where you live, inclement weather can affect you with little warning. High winds, heavy rain, hail storms, tornadoes, and flooding can wreak havoc on your home, leaving you with costly repairs.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can prevent potential weather damage and prepare for severe weather before disaster strikes. Read the following emergency preparedness suggestions to lessen the effects that spring storms may have on your home.

Steps to take before a spring storm strikes

1. Clean out gutters and downspouts

Clogged gutters, drains, and downspouts can lead to roof damage during a storm. Dirt and debris can cause water to be unable to flow away from the roof, adding weight which can potentially cause a roof collapse.

Before the spring storms strike, check your downspouts and gutters to ensure that winter storms haven’t created any blockages. While you’re up there, make sure that all connections are secure and that no repairs are necessary.

2. Seal your windows, doors, and roof

Check the seals around your doors and windows. Look for loose screws and cracked caulking. If you live in an area that’s prone to heavy storms, consider investing in impact-resistant windows to protect your home.

When you inspect your doors, check that there are three hinges on each to provide additional support. Then, make sure your threshold is screwed directly into your home, as opposed to only your door frame.

Next, inspect your roof. If you find any missing or damaged shingles, an area of sagging, or other damage, have your roof professionally inspected before a storm hits. Repairs can keep your home from experiencing severe damage due to a leaky roof.

3. Search for cracks in the foundation

Even small cracks in your foundation or basement can put your home at risk of major damage during a spring storm. If water seeps in through the cracks, your home could be in danger of flooding. Furthermore, high winds can make existing cracks prone to widening, causing significant structural damage throughout the home. If you find or suspect any cracks in your foundation or basement, call a professional to seal them to help you prepare for a flood.

4. Install a backflow valve in your basement to prevent sewage backup

Heavy rain can cause municipal sewers systems to become overtaxed, creating the possibility for excess water to flow backward through your home’s sewer lines.

Plumbing fixtures situated at the lowest points in your home may be particularly prone to sewer backup. Consider installing a sewer backflow valve to divert unexpected water away from your sewer lines and back to your city’s sewage system.

What to do if you experience spring storm damage:

If a major storm causes damage to your home, take the necessary steps toward recovery as quickly as possible. Before you begin cleaning up, contact your insurance agency immediately to report the damage. Then, contact a professional weather damage restoration company, like the experts at SERVPRO of the Oldham/Shelby County at 502.241.6861. Our team is available 24/7/365 to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.

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

Post Construction Cleanup

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Renovations are usually a messy affair. No one wants to find construction dust on a high shelf weeks after the fact. Not only is it unpleasant, it may also be harmful to you, as well as any pets and/or tiny humans you have walking around. In this article we will explain how to clean up after any renovation. 

Unless you explicitly build it into your contract, extensive cleaning is usually not part of your contractor’s job. The industry standard is “broom-swept,” which usually involves vacuuming up larger bits of debris and then running a Swiffer across surfaces.

Some contractors may also wipe things down with wet rags. Anything beyond this (including cleaning up common spaces such as hallways and elevators) will need to be specifically arranged, and will most likely incur additional costs that you’ll bear as the homeowner.

Clean-up Services

Whether you moved out or stayed put in your home during the renovation process, you’ll need to arrange for a deep post-construction clean up once that last drawer pull is attached and the final coat of paint applied.

Homeowners can undertake the deep clean themselves or outsource it to one of the many companies that focus on this service. Should you as the homeowner decide to do the cleanup yourself follow the steps below to ensure that your home or business is spotless. 

Clean-up Steps

Usually, a post-construction clean up will include the following:

  • sweep and vacuum all surfaces, including ceilings, walls
  • sweep, mop, and disinfect floors
  • vacuum all upholstery
  • wipe down doors, knobs, baseboards, moldings, and hardware
  • thorough wipe-down and sanitation of bathrooms and kitchens (including appliances, cabinets, and counters)
  • dust, vacuum, and wipe-down of all window interiors including sills and frames
  •  dust all ducts, grates, vents, blinds, ceiling fans, and lighting fixtures
  • clean all hardware such as hinges and handles
    clean inside and outside of shelves and cabinets
  • clean inside all closets
  • removal of all remaining trash and debris (although your contractor should have removed most of this as part of the contract)

If you’re trying to decide whether to do it yourself or to outsource it to the experts, ask the following questions:

  • Do you have the energy and time?
  • How long will it take you?
  • Do you have any money left in the renovation budget you could put toward the clean? (Or better yet, build it in now if you haven’t started!).

Different circumstances will determine who gets the job, but a thorough clean is crucial. All kinds of particles are released into the air during renovations, including various toxins, mold spores, silicates, and ultrafine dust which can be harmful. Freshly applied paints, lacquers, and primers also give off fumes. Given the possible dangers to your health, the hefty price tag for a proper clean may well be worth it!

Need post construction cleanup in your home or business? Call the experts here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a cleaning specialist. 502.241.6861

The Dehumidification Process

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Dehumidification is the process in which excess moisture is removed from your property. The process often takes place following a deep cleaning or when water has to be cleared out following a flood. 

So what happens during dehumidification?

  1. The dehumidifier must be sized based on the area you need to have treated. The size is based on the number of pints of water a unit can remove in a 24-hour period. Use a humidifier with a capacity of 10 pints for every 500 square feet.
  2. A fan will start working in the dehumidifier. This will take in air from the area, particularly air with high moisture content.
  3. The air that is collected will come in contact with cooling coils. Those coils will remove moisture as the temperature is lowered.
  4. The treated air is released back into the room. The air should be dry at this point.
  5. The key is to get the relative humidity in a room to around 30 to 50 percent. This is a natural level of moisture that does not cause surfaces to become wet but still ensures the surfaces will not wear out.

Water Damage In Your Home? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Protect Your Home From Storms

3/11/2019 (Permalink)

Harsh weather and the elements can cause unexpected problems along with damage to your home when you least expect it. It may seem like there is little you can do to protect your home from huge storms with lots of rain, snow, or strong winds, although often, a small amount of effort and upkeep on your home can make a big difference during a storm.

The important thing to keep in mind when preparing your home to resist major storm damage is making sure loose or damaged shingles or siding are repaired. Loose spots or small areas that are already damaged make it much easier for strong winds and other elements  to create further damage from a weak spot on your home. This doesn’t necessarily mean the entire roof or siding on your home needs to be replaced, however small repairs now can help prevent further storm damage.

Another important way to keep your home protected from storms is by making sure water can be directed away from your home. Keeping your gutters and other drains clear is critical for the free movement of water. If the water is being taken away from the sides, windows, and doors of your home, you are much less likely to experience flooding and other water damage. In addition, proper sealing around doors or windows is key to keeping rain, snow, and hail outside of your home. Any small opening or crack provides a way for wind to get in and possibly damage windows and doors.

Taking these small steps before a storm hits can help save your home from expensive, destructive storm damage and repairs afterward. If you have any questions about storm damage and how to prevent or repair it, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

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

Preventing Basement Floods

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Basement Flood Prevention: Basements are no longer ignored spaces where people store things they don’t need or use. Some build an extra room or a guest-bedroom in it; others design a media room or a game room in their basement. Regardless of what they chose to do with it, basements are seeing regular use these days.

Needless to say, flooding is a major concern to people who’re actively using their basements. If you are storing expensive media equipment, nice furniture and spending so a decent amount of  money in designing the rooms, you want to ensure they don’t get damaged.

The causes of a basement flood

Basements can be flooded due to several problems. There might be a massive leak in some pipeline in your home or someone left the tap open in one bathroom. However, the most common causes of basement floods are listed here:

  1. Basements can flood when surface water during rainfall or storms that run down the foundation walls and into the basement
  2. Sometimes, the ground water comes in contact with soil that’s already soggy. Hydrostatic pressure would demand that water find an outlet and that would be the basement
  3. There are times when the municipal storm drains are overwhelmed and excess water is pushed into residential outline foundation drains, causing some water to leak into the basement
  4. An obstruction in your home’s sewer line or the municipal sewer line can cause sewer water to rise through the sink or floor drains. This would flood the lower levels of your house.

Ways to prevent a basement flood

There are ways to prevent your basement from flooding to begin with:

  1. Gutters need to be cleaned and maintained regularly. They can get clogged or even damaged without you even noticing. If the gutters are kept clean and in good condition, there would be proper drainage of water during rains
  2. After rainfall or storms, ensure that the gutters aren’t overflowing
  3. Check the downspout for any sort of clogging or damage regularly. If you find a damaged downspout, repair or replace it as soon as possible
  4. Ensure that your pavement is sloped in such a manner that water flows away from the house and not towards it

These and some other precautions can lessen the likelihood of flooding in the basement. There are times when flooding can’t be helped. In such cases, you need to hire a professional to help you.

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

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

 

Preventing Frozen Pipes and Water Damage

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

PREVENTING WATER DAMAGE FROM FROZEN PIPES

Freezing temperatures can result in frozen pipes. When water freezes it expands, creating pressure on its container. As a direct result, unprotected and uninsulated plastic or metal pipes can burst and potentially cause extensive water damage. It’s been reported that a 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water per day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the potential for mold growth. There are 4 things that you can do to prevent frozen pipes and 4 things you can do to minimize damage in the event that you already have frozen pipes.

4 Things You Can Do to Help Prevent Frozen Pipes

  1. Locate water supply lines that are susceptible to freezing, including those in a basement, crawl space, attic, garage, or under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Insulate both hot and cold water pipes in these areas.  Water that is not flowing in a hot water supply line can freeze as easily as a cold water supply line.  One option is to allow water to trickle through the pipe so it won’t freeze.
  2. Install insulation that is designed to surround exposed pipes. Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can also be used to wrap pipes. You should only use products that are approved and designed for this purpose. Closely follow all manufacturers’ installation and operation instructions.
  3. Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. This will help prevent the freezing of water in the hose and hose bib that can result in pressure on the fitting. If you have inside valves that supply the outdoor hose bibs shut them off and open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  4. If you are leaving the property for an extended period of time during cold weather, you might consider the following:
    1. Be sure that the HVAC system is working properly
    2. Do not set your thermostat lower than 55°F,
    3. Open doors to cabinets where the plumbing is located to allow heat to get to the water supply lines and drain, or
    4. Shut off and drain the water system. However, if you have a fire suppression system in your house, it may be deactivated when you shut off the water.

4 Things You Can Do to Minimize Damage from Frozen Pipes
If your pipes are frozen:

  • Turn on your faucet and if nothing comes out, leave the faucet turned on and call a plumber.
  • If your pipes are insulated, remove the insulation to allow the room heat to get to the pipe(s).
  • Don’t try to thaw a pipe with a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device. Water damage is preferable to fire damage!
  • You can use a hair dryer to thaw a frozen pipe starting as close to the faucet as possible, working back toward the fitting at the wall.

If pipes burst:

  • Turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house.
  • Do not operate electrical tools or appliances in standing water.
  • Leave the water faucets turned on.
  • call a qualified Restoration Company and a plumber.

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 also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties.

Fire Damage Cleaning And Your Property

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

The first and most important thing to look for when choosing a fire damage restoration company is a swift emergency response. What this essentially means is that the company should be available 24 hours a day and ready to come out in a hurry to help you repair and restore your home.

 It’s very important that you find fire damage cleaning companies that offer to come out quickly because it’s only that way that you can avoid further damage being caused to your premises. If you have a hole in your roof for instance, in your wall or even in a pipe, this can lead to water damage that will build up until addressed.

While it is the job of the fire department to help  put out fires in your building, it is the fire damage restoration company that will help secure your home with emergency board up if necessary.

Assessment

Once the company has seen your property and helped to prevent further damage, their next job will be to assess the extent of the damage and develop a of plan of action. This is an important step as it will be what enables them to give you some kind of timeline for the reparations as well as an expected price quote.

The key thing to remember here is that not all the damage to your property will be visible damage. Smoke can cause odor problems and damage in adjacent rooms and other areas that were directly affected by the fire and Restoration companies should identify the extent of this damage and then decide how involved the repair is going to be.

Removal and Disposal

Fire damage restoration companies will often offer removal and disposal services and this is one of the things they will do first when they start addressing the damage to your premises. Here, the intention is to remove your items that might be ‘beyond saving’. If something has been completely engulfed in smoke or if the fire has burned it to a cinder, then it will need to be disposed of. In these cases, it’s always useful to have the help of a fire damage restoration company when it comes to dragging your items out and disposing of them in an eco-friendly manner. This may also involve the removal of furniture, cabinets, countertops and other fittings.

Drying

You might wonder why a restorationcompany would ever need to dry anything. In fact, though, this is necessary due to the fact that fires can lead to burst pipes, tanks, and water mains as well as leaving your property exposed to the elements.

In some cases, you might have large amounts of standing water and in those cases, these companies will need to pump the water away with submersible pumps – often while attached to trucks.

Next up, the surfaces will be thoroughly dried and moisture may be removed from the air using dehumidifiers.

Cleaning

Next up, your fire damage restoration company will begin to clean your premises. This will involve removing any stains from smoke, soot or dust that results from the fire. As well, areas that came into contact with potentially contaminated water will also need to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. This process also needs to carefully remove any odors that can otherwise linger following a fire.

Restoration and Remodeling

Once everything is clean, dry and sanitized, your fire damage restoration company can then begin actually making repairs and restoring your premises. The very best fire damage cleaning companies will actually be capable of offering the full range of remodeling services, thus meaning that they can repaint your walls, install new carpets, fix cabinets where possible, replace dry wall and more.

All this will help you to get your home looking not just as good as new but potentially even better.

 

How Quickly Water Damage Escalates

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

When water damage occurs in your home or business, the problem doesn't go away with time. Secondary destruction takes place as more time passes, causing an even greater damage.

Overwhelmed gutters, leaking pipes, backed-up toilets and natural disasters are a few common causes of water damage. Water pools into corners, damaging every material it absorbs into as the clock turns. Here’s how quickly water damage escalates.

How Water Damages the Home Within Minutes

Did you know that water can damage your home within minutes? Here’s what to look for:

• Furniture finishes, sensitive to moisture, start to turn white.

• Carpets quickly absorb water, and furniture left standing on these saturated surfaces stain the carpeting.

• Water contamination increasingly spreads, accelerating claim costs.

How Water Damages the Home Within Hours

Minutes turn into hours, and as those hours tick by, water damage becomes much more visible.

• Furniture in contact with the spreading water swells and delaminates.

• Increased humidity amplifies everyday smells. The risk for mold development grows. Leaking toilets and food left out increases risks, as these hazards interact.

• Non-colorfast fabrics dyes bleed.

How Water Damages the Home Within Days

Where moisture lingers, mold and fungi begin to appear, as wood warps and structures break down.

• Mold spores appear within 24 hours, and fungi grow — signaled by their distinct musty odors.

• Severe wood cupping and warping becomes apparent. After days, water damage to wood floors may mean replacing flooring in entire rooms.

• Wallpaper peels away as the adhesives release. Painted walls form blisters.

• Wood structures swell, split and warp.

At this point, if you act quickly to contact water damage restoration professionals, your home or business may be restored closer to its original condition before the loss occurred.

How Water Damages the Home Within Weeks

As the weeks pass, greater risks due to water damage threaten to your home and health.

• Mold roots itself into organic materials, destroying their integrity.

• Weeks worth of water damage may require the residence or business being completely gutted to its bare bones. Occupants become displaced for long periods and claims shoot up astronomically.

Minimizing Water Damage

Basements are the primary culprits for water damage and mold growth, due to humidity, dampness and poor air circulation. The humidity and water in a bathroom can also generate moist, stagnant air, and this air makes for a perfect breeding ground for mold. Attics, laundry rooms and wall cavities are also prone to water damage.

Where there is moisture or condensation, water damage and mold growth can occur. Getting ventilation into the structure and removing furniture away from saturated surfaces helps reduce water damage. But you can only do so much within minutes and hours on your own. 

Do not take any chances. Be safe and get help cleaning up water damage before it accelerates. Water damage can lead to expensive and extensive repairs.

Microbial and mold growth can occur within 24 hours, compromising health for all inhabitants, even pets. Prevent additional damage to your home to save meaningful and important items as well as the structure itself.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County professionals are certified water damage experts. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, a quick response time reduces the risk of extensive damage and repair costs. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County professionals are with you every step of the way, as a reputable restoration company should be, documenting the damage before restoration and walking the claims adjuster through the property before and after services are rendered. Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to schedule an appointment. 

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

Commercial Water Damage Tips

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

The most stressful thing you face during a commercial flood is damage to your electronics and computers holding important information. Along with worrying about the repair costs, you are also concerned about the revenue loss that can go on longer, depending on the damage the building has faced. Eventually, you might have to close the business until such further notice when the building is safe from any electrical shock and fire hazard.

THE FIRST STEP

When talking about damage control, the first step is to survey and assess the property. Depending on what type of water damage you are dealing with such as a burst pipe, over flooded toilet, broken running sink, etc, the building itself becomes a huge hazard. Since you are surrounded with electronics, you might get electrocuted fast and hard.

So, the first thing you need to do is turn off the main power supply switch from the circuit board. This will prevent those electronics from being damaged, where the water hasn’t reached yet.

3 ITEMS THAT NEED TO BE SAVED ASAP

Computers, shelf documents and printer, these are the three items that need to saved immediately in any kind of commercial water damage. While the servers hold all the data, you can easily extract the said data from the computer and call it a day.

As a backup, paper documents are the best way to build your data back up again and methodically store it in the new computers, when the business re-opens.

Finally, commercial grade printers store a copy of every print that you have made since you bought it, which means this electronic is also a data mine that can help you build your data back up again.

CALL WATER DAMAGE PROFESSIONALS

Once you have saved all the electronics and computers that were soaked with water and humidity, the next step is to call a restoration company. These people have the right tools to preserve your electronics at least long enough, so that you can extract data from them.

They use dehumidifiers and blast warm air into the damaged areas, which lowers the level of humidity and decreases microbial growth.

However, the water damage is just half the battle. Even if you think an electronic is beyond saving, set it aside for inspection. Leave no stone unturned because there are various ways to save electronics and restore the data.

No matter how severe the water damage, don't attempt to step foot in deep water where the electronics are placed, that is until you have cut off the main power supply. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is a cleaning and restoration service that helps with commercial water damage. These professionals are equipped to handle any kind of situation and will save your electronics and computers in no time. Call us today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Why It's Important To Act Quickly After Water Damage

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

When your home or business sustains water damage, it’s imperative that you contact an emergency restoration company quickly – as standing water can affect carpets and furnishings, warp or rot building materials and structures, damage electrical systems, ruin insulation, raise indoor humidity levels and create conditions conducive to mold and mildew.

Containing, removing and drying the water quickly is imperative, as is taking emergency measures to stop the flow of water. The longer your home or business’s furnishings and belongings remain in contact with water, the more likely they will be to warp, swell and sustain long-term damage. Additionally, the longer your items are exposed to moisture, the higher the risk for dangerous mold growth.

Water damage takes many forms – ranging from water intrusions and overflows to storm surges, accumulated water condensation, and seepage. The nature and cause of the water damage will often dictate the appropriate response. As a local, reputable, full-service water damage restoration company, we can handle all forms of water damage.

It is crucial that you contact your insurance company and our certified specialists right away. Reaching out to these two companies before doing anything else will ensure you have two separate evaluations to compare and contrast against each other, giving you the bargaining power you need to make sure the solution to this already difficult situation is as cost-effective as possible.

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

Signs That You Have An Active Water Damage

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Detecting water damage can be a difficult task as often water damage losses don’t become evident right away. In fact, most of them exist over a prolonged period before being identified and restored. By that time, the underlying problem causing the water damage becomes really severe and managing it becomes extremely difficult. For avoiding any such situation and ensuring that you contact the water restoration company before the problem turns bigger, you must get acquainted with the preliminary warning signs.The section below would introduce you to the most common indicators of water damage.  Sound- If you think that all the signs of water damage are meant to be seen, you are wrong. There are some signs that can be heard. If you are hearing sounds of dripping water, rushing water, or creaking floorboards, it seems that your home might have already become a victim of water damage. It’s true that such sounds might also occur in spite of having a healthy plumbing system; however, still, you must get your home checked for water damage if you hear the sounds constantly.  Smell- You must also keep your nose alert for detecting moisture or water damage in your home. Dampness boasts a distinct odor; it might resemble the pungent smell we usually associate with mold. So, when checking your home for water damage, you should look for smell besides other obvious indicators.  Puddles- If there’s a leak in your home’s plumbing system or if something in the system is dripping, you might soon see pools of water develop along the problematic area. Whenever you find any unusual puddle, do monitor it and find out whether it returns after being cleaned up. A puddle that comes back even after being cleaned up might be a sign of a seepage or leak.  Mold- Mold typically occurs only when there’s water damage. You might not need to hire a water damage restoration service provider if condensation in the bathroom has resulted in mold formation. However, you will have to treat mold as a sign of excessive moisture formation in certain parts of your house and do the needful for getting those affected areas dried as quickly as possible. Getting rid of mold is also necessary for health reasons; that’s because exposure to mold might make you and your family members suffer from allergy, headaches, and nausea.  Coolness- Are you finding it hard to heat up your home? If yes, treat the problem as a sign of dampness in your walls. Accumulated moisture will tend to draw out heat of the walls so that it can get evaporated. This makes the walls and the entire home much colder.  Discoloration- Here, it must be noted that discoloration can occur due to a number of reasons; so, it’s important to make sure that the discoloration in your home is actually a result of water damage. If the discoloration has been caused by water “streaks” running down along an end of your house, it’s definitely a sign of water damage. In most cases, those streaks occur due to an overfull gutter. Water Damage in your home or business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

Reduce The Risk of Chimney Fires

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

There is nothing quite like the warmth and glow of a wood burning fire. Fire is one of humanities oldest tools. It has the power to heat our bodies, cook our foods, refine our metals and light the darkness. We are connected to fire at a primal level and deep down we are all mystified when we see the flames dancing between logs. Nowadays we may be lucky enough to bring that joy inside but the comfort of a cozy indoor fire brings with it, plenty of danger, especially if the fireplace and chimney are not properly inspected and maintained. Here are a few tips to keep your house and family safe from the danger of an indoor fire:

  1. Inspection

    According to The National Fire Protection Association, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” An inspector will come and make sure your fireplace is safe to use and let you know if there are any repairs necessary. If you haven’t used your fireplace in a long time, birds or other creatures may have built nests that could clog your flue or chimney chamber. Winter freeze cycles, inclement weather, and moisture combine to take an annual toll on masonry and liner materials. Year in and year out these elements can cause deterioration that will eventually require attention. Seasonal wear and tear that is left unchecked will affect the performance of your system and the longer the defects go without being addressed, the more expensive the repairs are likely to be. That is why staying on top of your systems is not only the smartest and safest choice but the most cost-effective too.

  2. Chimney cleaning

    The best practice is to keep things simple and safe. Make sure to clean the fireplace regularly and know if it’s well built. It is also a good idea to have a professional initially inspect the fireplace and chimney even if you plan to clean and maintain it yourself. The Chimney Safety Institute recommends cleaning the chimney when creosote is 1/4 inch or thicker on the chimney walls or there is visible build up in the system. A chimney sweeping company will take their time to make sure they clean everything and keep your house soot free while doing it. The best time to schedule a cleaning is at the end of the indoor fire season as acids in the creosote, or humidity combined with creosote, can both damage the fireplace mortar. After an initial professional cleaning you should, with the right knowledge, be able to clean and maintain it yourself. Of interest… after cleaning your own fireplace, you could dispose of the ashes and creosote by sprinkling them on flowerbeds. They are a great source of calcium and other nutrients.

  3. Chimney cap

    These are a small but important piece of your chimney. Having a chimney cap installed can prevent objects, rain, and snow from falling into your chimney reducing downdrafts which lower the performance of your fireplace. These caps have side vents so smoke escapes and the mesh around the cap sides acts as a spark arrester. Chimney caps also prevent animals and other unwanted guests from making their home in your chimney during the spring and summer months. Another tip is to trim trees back that surrounds the chimney and make sure there is no debris building up on our around it. All in all, even though a chimney cap is a small and generally inexpensive piece of equipment, it can prevent numerous issues from happening. It might also save you thousands of dollars in chimney repairs or damage expense.

Experiencing fire or smoke damage can be an incredibly stressful event so be sure to take the appropriate measures in cleaning and maintaining your fireplace and chimney. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County specializes in water restoration as well as fire and/or smoke damage and we will do our best to get you and your family back on the couch for a cozy, crackling fire on that cold winter evening.

Water Damage Restoration Process

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

You may be wondering, what if. What if my dishwasher started leaking and water was everywhere? What if the hose on my washing machine was faulty and water started spewing leaving standing water all in my laundry room? What if a pipe burst or my toilet overflowed and leaked through the ceiling into the next room? What if. No one wants to deal with such a miserable circumstance within your home. No one wants water damaged furniture or walls but there are unfortunate circumstances that happen and knowing that there is a process that can help get your home back to its original state and in good health can put a person’s mind at ease.

Flooding in a home is not always the result of bad, heavy rain, weather; rather flooding and water damage can occur through multiple avenues. Emergencies that cause water damage may include a clogged toilet, pipes bursting, home appliances leaking, a water heater leak, sewer backup and sump pump failure. The results of these major mishaps consist of the beginning stages of water damage. It doesn’t take long for standing water to cause major problems. Water in your home tends to ruin whatever is in its wake such as furniture, flooring, and drywall. When moisture gets in dark crevices of your home it becomes the perfect breeding ground for mold.

Therefore, water restoration is more than just dabbing the water with towels or big industrialized fans to dry the surface, it is a process that goes beyond what the eye may see thoroughly restoring what the water may have touched regardless of what layer of the home it may be resting in.

Inspection

The process always begins with a thorough inspection of the water-damaged area. The inspection allows us to determine what level of damage there may be and what will need to take place to bring the affected area to full restoration.

As we examine the water damage we take note to what may be affected whether it’s only a little bit of moisture to water being absorbed into walls and the area is saturated. We also determine what type of house material was affected such as hardwood, carpeting, stone, and concrete. Once the damage is determined then what type of water that was involved in doing the damage is noted.

This type of water may include water from a clean water source such as a toilet tank or broken pipes. It may consist of “grey water” which is water that contains something like detergent or urine from a toilet overflow. The water may be completely unsanitary and may have come from sewage, river flooding or standing water that may have bacteria. Precautions and observations are all taken into account during the inspection process.

Water removal and drying

It is imperative when there is excess water and moisture, for it to be removed and beginning to dry in a quick and expedited manner. In order to remove all water, pumps and vacuums are brought in to your home to quickly get ahead of and prevent any mold and bacteria growth. Once the standing and excess water is thoroughly soaked up the drying begins. We will bring in a dehumidifier to clear all moisture from the room as well as industrialized fans to stir up the air causing the affected area to dry quicker. The drying process may take several days to thoroughly complete the job.

Cleaning and restoring

To prevent mold and bacteria growth it is important to have all personal belongings clean and sanitized. An antimicrobial treatment is given to anything affected such as carpeting, clothing, and drapery. The room, as well as the air in the affected area, is all treated and thoroughly cleaned to be sure any unwanted particles are all removed. Once the water damage is dried and cleaned then the restoration can begin. This process consists of replacing any materials that were affected such as drywall and insulation. This process may be simple or more extensive depending on how much damage occurred. We may only be restoring a few panels of drywall or they may need to replace an entire wall.

When SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County come on the scene of your water mishap we are equipped with knowledge and equipment to get the job done well. We have devices that will test and measure the humidity in the room that confirms when the water is thoroughly dried and back to an approved standard. The water restoration process may take longer than a homeowner may intend but water damage crisis is never a time to cut corners because when it is left unattended water damage can affect the health of a home’s foundation as well as those who are living inside. During the water restoration process, rest assured we will always take into consideration the health and wellness of the home and occupants.

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

Top Causes of Water Damage

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

We find ease in knowing all you need to do to wash your dishes is turn the faucet on hot, and without thinking, you know your water heater will do its job and warm water will begin to fall. Our lives are made simple when we find a pile stacked high of dirty laundry and all we need to do is throw them into the washing machine, knowing it will thoroughly do the job well. Or on a hot day, we relax comfortably in an air-conditioned home not even realizing the potential harm it could cause. Whether it is realized or not, your property is filled with a piping system that is allowing water flow to enter and exit your home regularly and it is our job to take precautionary action to maintain the positive flow it allows. More than 90% of water damage cases are preventable. Being proactive and keeping a watch out for leaks and plumbing issues will help prevent your home from getting destroyed. Here are five of the top causes of water damage that may occur within the home:

  1. Leaking or broken pipes

    Pipes can break due to water pressure changes or a faulty setup. Pipes bursting can cause flooding within your home causing immense water damage. However, leaky pipes are signs that trouble may be on its way. A loose fitting pipe in either the kitchen or bathroom that is creating a pool of water is a cry for help and in need of professional attention. Broken pipes that have caused hidden floods are the perfect environments for mold to grow. Depending on the type of environment you are in, take precautions and insulate hot and cold water pipes. It’s always a good idea to do all you can to prevent frozen pipes that could burst.

  2. Clogging

    When a drain is experiencing a clog then the disrupted flow will back up and seep into the path of least resistance, which is most likely your home. A minor clog can be a warning sign that it is in need of inspection before water damage occurs. When multiple fixtures: such as the toilet, shower or bathroom sink are getting clogged then it’s time for professional help because it is dangerous to have contaminated water back up and overflow into your home. When a kitchen sink is clogged kitchen flooring and cabinetry can become water damaged.

  3. Water heaters

    A water heater is created in such a way to continuously fill itself so that when you are in need of warm water while showering or doing dishes it’s available to you. When there is a leak in the water heater it can cause a terrible disaster and major water damage to your home. Water heaters can cause great damage even if the leak is small because of the constant refilling of the water flow. It’s important to regularly check your water heater for any build up or moisture, mold or corrosion.

  4. Washing machine hose

    A washing machine is a very helpful piece of equipment in a household. However, a problem may occur when a washing machine’s hose is faulty. The hose that connects to our washing machine is meant to bring water into the machine. If there is a leak in the intake hose then over time the problem can worsen causing potential flooding in your home. It is important to have regular inspections all around the machine to ensure there aren’t any leaks on any part of the unit. If the hose has been damaged or doesn’t connect properly and water pours out you could potentially have 600 gallons of water within an hour doing quite a bit of water damage. To help prevent such catastrophe replace your supply hose once every five years.

  5. Air conditioner

    It is important to get an annual checkup on your air conditioner because at times it may seem like it’s working properly but may still have some sort of malfunction inside. Air conditioners pull moisture out of the air, which can lead to a buildup of water inside of the machine. When the accumulated moisture isn’t properly drained then the water could leak and cause water damage to your home. It could cause damage to your flooring or drywall leaving a place for mold to grow. The draining system tends to stop working in the way it was intended when there is damage to the pan or there is a clog in the line.

It is easy to find yourself taking advantage of having water flowing to and from your home without consciously thinking about the luxury we are given; when all of a sudden you hear a loud burst of water gushing out under your home.

Appropriately your ease turns into panic as you rush to turn off the water flow to your house. This is a scenario no one wants to endure. Regularly monitoring your pipes and the machines that are connected to your water pipes is always the best preventive measure that should be taken. And if you do find yourself with a flooding emergency, call on SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to return your home to its pre-flood state.

Why Shouldn't I Clean Up Water Damage On My Own

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

Flood water is contaminated

Professionals check the level of toxicity in the floodwater. Depending on the levels, it will determine the kind of procedure that needs to be done to take full precaution measures. If you try to do the cleaning without a professional and don’t properly clean even a piece of furniture in the correct way you could potentially cause a family member to get sick. The procedure also includes a thorough evaluation of your possessions that may have been affected. They will know best as to what is acceptable to keep and to discard.

Gravity pulls water

Water travels, and when there is standing water it is easy to see and remove it. However, it is the unseen water that gravity pulled down into the cracks of your home that the water damage is left unaddressed. It is when you can’t fully determine all and where the water has landed in a quick and timely manner that black mold will enter the premises. The professional will have adequate equipment to detect all moisture within the home, giving you a fighting chance in preventing a mold outbreak.

Beware of mold

Once all water has been located mold inhibitors are placed in all wet areas to slow down the growth of mold allowing a few days for the drying process to take place without the fear of it growing deep within your home. All surfaces must be dried to a very specific moisture level to be considered safe from mold and there is really only a limited time window. Professionals have fans and air movers that work quicker and more effectively than just a regular home fan. Cleaning a flood situation in a precise manner fully depends on how quickly you are able to get all the water up. If it takes you several hours to even remove the water thoroughly, mold has already set in.

Equipment is essential

A professional has the right equipment to fully get the job done quickly and effectively. They have equipment that measures the moisture in the room and a dehumidifier that prevents the onset of mold growth. They are equipped with fancy shop vacuums that rotate around a room sucking up all excess water within the home. A professional has the ability to fully dry the affected area with different types of air movers that creates a good airflow throughout the room. They even know the right pattern and best way to place these pieces of machinery to get the job done well. For hardwood floors, they have special floor mats that draw water up and out. This equipment is specifically designed to clean effectively and in a timely manner, it truly expedites the process. When the work is completed by a professional you can have complete peace of mind knowing your home is fully restored.

It is the professional’s responsibility to make sure that your home is back to its original state as best as possible. They are trained to clean, dry and disinfect your home in a way that leaves it free from contamination and mold. So, rewind! When you walk into your home and head down to your basement and come across standing water you will not attempt the job on your own. In fact, you will not let another moment go by without calling a professional to get the job done right. You may attempt to soak up some of the water but it is after you have alerted the professionals and they are on their way to rescuing your home from water damage and a major outbreak of mold. Protect your home, protect your family and if you come across the horror of floodwaters invading your home, make the choice to call.

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

Preventing Winter Water Damage

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

The changing temperatures can wreak havoc on the pipes in your home or business. The freezing, expanding and contracting can cause pipes to crack or burst which then results in flooding. There are a number of simple preventative measures you should take to protect your home or business from a leak, some short-term and some long-term.

1. Insulation

Put adequate insulation around pipes that are vulnerable to cold air. If pipes are near an exterior wall, additional insulation or heat tape may be needed more so than pipes that are farther into the interior of your home or business.

2. Water Movement

Keep water dripping or trickling from faucets farthest from where the water main enters your home or business. This can help keep water moving through your plumbing and can help prevent frozen pipes.

3. Room Temperature

If you plan to be away for a few days or more, keep the heat in your home or business on. It's not necessarily to run your heater at full blast but enough to help prevent the freezing of pipes. It is best to maintain a regular temperature no lower 55 degrees.

4. Weather Stripping

Apply weather stripping to all doors and windows that may let in a draft. Foam strips with adhesive backing on one side can be used to fill dead air space between the door and the frame. It's best to apply these products in relatively warmer temperatures as the adhesive can have a harder time sticking in the cold.

Hopefully, these measures can help prevent the freezing of pipes in your home or business. If you do have a flood in your home due to a burst pipe, contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. The sooner this problem is found, the sooner we can help address this issue before the flooding water causes massive damage. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with crews on standby to be to your location as quickly as possible.

What To Do During And After A Commercial Fire

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Preparing for a home fire is a wise time investment, but how many of us prepare for a fire at work?

Below, the fire damage repair experts from SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County explains what to do during and after a commercial fire.

Safety Steps for Employers & Employees

Contrary to popular belief, fire alarm and fire sprinkler system are not directly connected. This means that when the fire alarm goes off, the sprinkler system won't necessarily activate at the same time. Moreover, some buildings don’t have a fire sprinkler system.

The fire alarm is your primary warning to evacuate the building. Don’t assume that because the sprinklers aren’t activated that there isn't an actual fire. Because commercial buildings lack the compartment features of a house, a fire has the potential to grow much larger, much faster.

Once the alarm sounds, help inform others who may not hear the alarm. If you’re not working on the ground floor, do not attempt to use an elevator.

Look for the closest stairwell exit. Hold your hand to the door knob (don’t touch it), and check for heat. If the doorknob feels warm, there may be fire on the other side. If possible, find another exit.

Once outside, do not attempt to go back inside the building. If someone is missing, wait for emergency responders to arrive.

Some commercial fire alarm systems will contact emergency services automatically. Once it’s safe to do so, call 9-1-1 to ensure help is on the way. Inform first responders of anyone who might still be inside.

How to Handle Fire Cleanup

Burned or damaged buildings are vulnerable to break-ins and other offenses. Once the building has been cleared for re-entry, it’s critical that anything valuable is removed. This includes the personal belongings of employees as well as expensive business property.

Once valuables have been removed, damaged and destroyed property must be carefully documented. You’ll also need to contact your insurance company.

Business owners who want to be sure they’re getting the most out of their insurance policy trust SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to document and negotiate with insurance companies.

Plus, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can repair damage, clean, and sanitize a fire-damaged workspace and restore it to like-new condition—this includes expensive property contents like furniture, electronics, paper documents and more.

Avoid the impulse to clean up the property before a thorough investigation has been completed. Insurance companies will want documentation of everything in your claim. If you clean up evidence, you could lose money in the claims process.

Stay Informed; Be Prepared

Every minute counts when it comes to your business. One of the best ways to avoid further damage after a commercial fire is to stay informed and be prepared.

In addition to coordinating a fire safety plan with employees, contact us to learn about our free Emergency Ready Plan.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is available 24 hours day, 7 days a week. We’ll be there when you need us, so you can get back to work faster after an unexpected disaster.

Importance of Keeping Rain Gutters Clear of Leaves

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fall is a beautiful season. The cooler weather gives relief from the summer heat and the leaves beautifully update the outdoor color pallet from green to red, orange, yellow and of course, many hues in between. Fall is the beginning of the holidays and creates a family atmosphere of warmth and all things pumpkin spice. And while fall can certainly be a favorite season, with the aesthetics of the outdoors often comes rain and wind. The combination of rain and leaves can wreak havoc on your gutters.  Although a huge necessity for the protection of your home a Gutters main purpose is to control the flow of rainwater protecting against potential damage to your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape.

Gutters are essential and maintenance is imperative. If your gutters are neglected you may find yourself dealing with some harsh water damage or flooding. Here are some of the issues that can be caused by neglected, clogged gutters and drains:

  1. Roof Damage

    Fall has its fair share of storms, high winds, and rain. Therefore the trees lose their leaves at an increased rate causing them to often land directly in or on your gutters. This results in clogging, meaning if you clear the leaves allowing the water to drain properly then the water has no place to go. Standing water anywhere is never a good thing and when it’s in your gutters it can actually cause soggy roof edges. The edge of your roof then becomes at risk and its underlying materials can become damaged. Eventually, the constant contact with the water will weaken materials, requiring costly replacements. When your roof is affected by water damage then it’s only a matter of time until it reaches your ceilings and eventually your walls. Simply setting up a ladder and pulling out loose leaves, could prevent a costly repair.

  2. Exterior Damage

    As mentioned before gutters are meant to pull water away from the home, but when there is an obstacle in the way of it doing its job rainwater will often spill over. The water spilling causes seepage into places that can’t withstand its effects. The overflowing water will begin to damage the exterior walls, windows, doors, and other, connected, structural aspects of your home. These areas of your house are not meant to come in contact with excessive water as rotting, warping, and structural weakening may happen.

  3. Damaged Foundation

    Having a strong foundation is vital for a structurally sound home. However, neglecting your gutters can easily shake your homes’ foundation. When there is an overabundance of water and it’s not directed away from your house then the foundation of your home is at risk to leakage issues, shifting, cracking and in extreme cases… sinkage. Your gutters lead the water toward your downspouts which are meant to bring water to a safe place where it is absorbed into the ground or directed into a drainage system. Homes with a  basement can be affected as the excessive water causes immense pressure against basement walls which could push inward and crack.

  4. Damage Causing Slippery Surfaces

    Fall may bring the rain and wetter weather, but winter comes shortly after so if you’ve neglected your gutters during the rainy season, winter may be unusually and exceedingly slippery. Water overflowing from gutters can fall onto walkways and driveways. When entryways are slippery it makes carrying in a handful of groceries a bit tricky. We are pretty sure no one wants their friends falling before even knocking on the door. Gutters left unattended can truly wreak havoc on a home and likely, a tailbone!

Maintaining Healthy Gutters

Now that you are aware of what neglected gutters can do to your home it’s best to clean debris from gutters at least twice a year, preferably after leaves have fallen and again in the spring. The best way to clean your gutters is to either call a professional or do it yourself by hand. It simply takes an extendable ladder, a small plastic scoop, a plastic tarp to protect your lawn, and a garden hose to flush out gutters and downspouts.

Fall may mean beautiful colors but it should also serve as a reminder to give your gutters
a little love and attention.

Water Damage In Your Home? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.232.5213

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

Mold Behind Your Walls

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold behind your walls may be a part of nature, however, it’s one natural thing that you never want to see in your home. Even the most minor examples of mold can be visually unappealing and potentially cause issues.

Never Leave Black Mold Unchecked!

Some types of mold, specifically black mold, can be dangerous if left unchecked. In some cases, mold can be easy to identify and take care of, but in many cases, it’s the mold that you can’t see that is the biggest problem.

This is especially the case in flood/water damage scenarios, where water and moisture tend to infiltrate all different parts of a home or building, creating a idea environment for mold to grow.

One common issue people with water damage have to deal with is mold behind their walls. Here are some signs that there may be some mold growing out of sight in your home. 

First Off!

For one thing, even if you can’t actually see the mold behind your walls, there are still some tangible indicators that it cold be present. Some people tend to have allergic reactions to even non-toxic mold.  If you start noticing these symptoms out of the blue, it could be a potential clue, especially if there was recent flooding or heavy rains. In addition, mold, even behind the walls, still leaves a trademark odor.

If you can smell it, but can’t see it, there’s a chance that it may be growing behind the walls!

Have The Eye For Visual Signs

In some cases, there may even be visual signs on the walls itself, if not of the mold, there are clues that you’re at potential risk of mold.

For example, water stains on drywall aren’t 100% indicator that you have mold, but there’s clearly water coming in from some sort of source. With this in mind, chances are that you’re going to get mold in time if you don’t find and address the source. This is part of the reason why many experts recommend doing home examinations during periods of the year where there’s a lot of humidity or rain.

The Screwdriver Test

Other visual indicators of moisture include peeling wallpaper or condensation on the wall or ceiling. Be careful if you think there’s mold under your wallpaper, though. Peeling it off yourself to see may end up exposing you to a cloud of spores.

If you’re willing to do a more intensive test, consider trying to probe the wall in question with a screwdriver. If things are soft or crumbling, you may already have rot taking hold from mold.

How Can You Curb Mold’s Growth?

If you find that there’s mold behind the walls or have a suspicion that this is the case, there are a few things you can do right away to try to at least curb it's growth.

One example of this is using any means necessary to try and tune down the humidity in your home. In general, you want to try to shoot for indoor humidity at 55% or less. There are detectors you can buy to chart this, but if you live in a naturally humid area, you may need to buy dehumidifiers to try and keep the air dry.

Something else worth looking at is potential areas where excess moisture may get into your home. Cracks in the foundation or leaky gutters are common sources for extra moisture that could make the mold behind your walls grow faster.

When you initially discover that there’s mold behind your walls, some of the things we just mentioned are good ways to minimize the initial spread.

These Are More Of A Stopgap Solution Rather Than A Final Fix

Because of the potential danger that unchecked mold can cause, if you see evidence of it behind your walls or anywhere else in your home, make sure you reach out to professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

 Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Oldham/Shelby area, but we’re also IICRC-certified.

This means we use the best cleaning and restoration tactics to help target mold and other remnants of water damage, and fix them so you can come back to your home or business with peace of mind.

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

Reasons You Should Clean Your Carpet

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

“I’ll clean it next time” is something most of us say when it comes to the bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom. Maybe you are in a hurry and can’t get to the whole house, so you say you’ll clean that part of the house “next time.” When in reality, next time comes and goes and we sometimes forget imperative parts of the house while we clean.

This can be said about the rug cleaning in your home. Even though we may skip it in our cleaning, we shouldn’t. It is very important to have your carpet cleaned on a consistent basis.

There are plenty of reasons why you should do this, and here are a few:

  1. Prolongs the life of your carpet

First and foremost, it’s important to take care of your investment that is your home and the carpet inside. You can keep the life of your carpet much longer than you think by simply keeping it clean. Keeping the resale value high on your home will make the selling process much easier, whenever that time comes.

  1. Air Quality

Is the air quality in your home bad? Or are your allergies seem to flare up a lot? Your carpet could be the cause of this. All the allergens hide in the carpet and if not cleaned regularly, tend to build up. Not only is it disgusting, but it’s also will affect your health!

  1. Allergy Relief

Similar to the air quality, if you are somebody that suffers from allergies, your carpet may be the direct cause of the flare ups. It’s important to clean your carpet, but even more important for sufferers from allergy.

  1. Aesthetically Pleasing

Of course, maybe the most obvious reason to clean the carpet is to make it look better! You know when you walk into somebody’s home, you notice if the carpet is really disgusting. Don’t have your guests notice this, and make sure your carpet is nice and fresh.

  1. Mold Inspection

During the cleaning, you or our experts can look for mold while they do it. Mold comes with many more problems on top of dirty carpets. Cleaning your carpet works as a preventative measure to keep mold out of your carpet, or find some pesky mold.

These are just four of the core reasons why you should be cleaning your carpet on the regular. Even if you can’t get to it, restoration companies like ours can do it for you. Simply call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to make an appointment for your cleaning. 

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

Tips to Avoid Water Damage In Your Home

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Tips to Avoid Water Damage in Your Home

  • Examine your rain gutters and clear them of any debris or leaves. Make certain they are draining properly and have no place where water would build up inside.
  • Maintain the trees and vegetation outside your home. Inspect any landscaping near your utility pipes. You don’t want their roots to wrap around piping and break them. Remove shrubs and trees that have grown too big.
  • Inspect your roof and be certain that it is in good condition. If you find any cracked, curled or missing shingles then replace promptly.
  • Look through all your sink supply lines in your kitchen and bathrooms including showers and tubs. Tighten or fix all leaking drain pipes.
  • Check out your appliances every few weeks to be sure they have no leaks and function according to specified directions.
  • Upgrade the hoses of your washing machine. Brittle, leaky or old washing machine hoses are a common cause of water loss. Replace them regularly to avoid a big mess and costly damage.
  • Inspect the water pressure coming into your home. If it is set too high, your hoses and pipes could fail under the pressure. Purchase a water pressure gauge at a hardware store and attach it to an outside faucet. Then turn the faucet on all the way. You will get a reading from the gauge of your home’s water pressure. Average residential water systems are meant for 40 to 70 psi of water pressure. If it exceeds 100 psi, you should install a pressure regulator.
  • Set up water detection devices where a flood or leak is most likely to happen . This is a small electronic device that will sound an alarm when the sensor comes in contact with moisture. Install them near washing machines, toilets, water heaters, sump pumps and dishwashers.
  • Keep an eye on your water bill. If you see the usage of your water increases from one month to another without knowing why, you might have a leak somewhere. Don’t leave any mystery leads unchecked.

Water Damage in your home? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. We are available 24/7 to assist you with the process. 502.241.6861

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

Preventing Mold In Your Carpets

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can grow in virtually every area of a home and on any surface, if given the right environment. That includes your beautiful carpets that you spend so much energy trying to keep clean and looking beautiful. While there can be many common causes for mold in a home, when it comes to moldy carpets there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances you ever have to deal with it.

Steps to prevent mold damage to your carpets

Mold Damage can be expensive to remediate. Not to mention the health effects it can bring upon inhabitants of the dwelling. As with many aspects of home maintenance, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Not only can moldy carpets be unsightly and need to be replaced, they can be the tip of the iceberg in terms of more substantial damage to your property. So consider taking these steps to keep black mold from growing on your carpets!

Control the humidity and temperature in your home

Mold grows best with a certain amount of moisture in the air as well as certain temperature ranges. One way to help prevent mold growth on any surface in your home, including your carpets, is to ensure your humidity levels never reach 60%. And while it’s unlikely you like living in this warm of a house, make sure you don’t set the thermometer to 80 degrees.

Consider a different floor covering in areas prone to moisture

Some areas of a home are just more prone to humidity and moisture. Like your bathroom, for instance. Every design aspect of your home should be done with appearance and functionality in mind, and that includes making sure you’re making smart decisions about the type of floor coverings to have in certain areas based on the area’s usage along with environmental aspects. When it comes to bathroom floors, and to a lesser extent basement floors, usually the smartest plan is to avoid carpets altogether.

Use carpet padding that is anti-microbial

There are a few different types of carpet pad most commonly used in residential homes. While some are more budget friendly than others, if you’re considering carpet in areas that may be prone to moisture issues, consider installing rubber-slab carpet padding. It’s much more resistant to mold growth than traditional carpet pads.

If you do get standing water on your carpets, get it out fast!

This goes for any surface type in your home, and it’s especially true with carpets. With the right humidity levels and temperatures, mold growth can accelerate quickly when food and water are present. Getting the water and excess moisture out immediately can be the difference between a close call and health problems for your family.

Clean your carpets regularly

Vacuuming your carpets regularly, along with having them professionally steam cleaned, can go along way in preventing mold growth. One of the components of rapid mold growth is food, and mold loves dirt, grime, food, and any other organic substance that can be found in your carpet fibers. Regularly cleaning your carpets is a great way to help reduce the likelihood of dealing with mold in the future!

Do you suspect you have mold growth in your carpets?

Typically if you have black mold on your carpets a visual inspection is all that is necessary. But in other instances, you may notice a musty smell or perhaps you’ve also been experiencing some troubling issues that you think may be attributed to high levels of mold. In most states, mold remediation companies must be different than mold testing companies. The way it works is that the mold testing company will come take environmental samples from your home and have them sent off to a lab to be evaluated. If it’s determined through the testing that your home has a toxic black mold problem, it’s at that point that you’ll want to hire a mold removal and restoration company like us. Call us today to speak to a Remediation Specialist. 502.241.6861

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

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. 

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. 

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)

Dehumidification

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

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)

WHAT CAUSES DRYER FIRES?

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.

WARNING SIGNS THAT YOU MAY BE DUE FOR A CLEANING

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.

HOW TO PREVENT DRYER FIRES

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

WHY ISN’T CLEANING OUT THE LINT TRAP ENOUGH?

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. 

Preparing Your Property For Rental

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

When owning a rental property, it is your responsibility to keep it in good condition at all times. As a renter leaves, it is best to have the home cleaned from top to bottom before renting to a new tenant. Use the guide that follows for a few tips on things to have cleaned before your new tenant moves in.

Have Everything Removed From the Property

If the old tenant has left anything behind, hire a cleaning and restoration crew to come into the home and remove everything from the property. If tenants were evicted from the property or had to leave in a hurry, they probably left things behind. Hiring professionals to remove the items will ensure that you or a loved one are not injured trying to remove the items yourself.

To make the removal process go as easy as it can, take the time to label the items according to whether you would like to toss them in the trash, donate them to charity or sell them. The crew can then remove the items from the home and separate them according to the labels in the yard. If the items are not being hauled to the dump, you will be responsible for donating or selling them.

Have Miniblinds, Window Frames, Baseboards, and Fans Cleaned

Dust often collects in areas of a home that are overlooked. Have the cleaning crew dust your mini blinds, baseboards, the window frames and the fans in the home. This will cut down on the dust and dander in the house and ensure that everything looks as clean as it can.

Have the Carpets Cleaned and Deodorized

When you have tenants leave the property, the carpets will need to be thoroughly cleaned. This allows them to be sanitized and look as great as they can. Having them deodorized ensures that they do not smell when the new tenants move into the house. You will need to have both carpets and area rugs cleaned.

Have the Ducts Cleaned

Before the heating or air conditioning is used in the home, have the ducts cleaned. Debris, dust and even small rodents can block the ducts and prevent them from working properly. Having the ducts cleaned out before anyone moves into the house will ensure that the HVAC unit is able to work as well as possible and that nothing is blocking air from flowing throughout the house.

If animals such as mice or rats are found in the ducts, it is important to determine how they got into them. You need to be sure to have the entrance that the animals used blocked off so that they cannot get into the ducts again.

Have the Bathrooms Decontaminated

The bathrooms in the house need to be decontaminated. Have any limescale removed, toilet rings cleaned and rust buildup eliminated. A professional cleaning company will have the experience and cleaning supplies needed to decontaminate the bathroom quickly and efficiently.

Have Any Mold Remediated

You do not want to rent out a home that has mold growing anywhere inside it. The presence of mold could lead to health issues for the tenant, and this, in turn, could lead to a lawsuit for you in the future.

Have any mold remediated right away so that the house is safe for a tenant to live in. The mold must be remediated in a specific way in order for it to be done safely, and thus should be left to professionals.

Before you rent your home to another tenant, hire SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to clean it for you. Their team of restoration experts can handle every aspect of the cleaning to ensure that your next tenant moves into a home that is as clean and safe as it can be.

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

Where to Look For Mold

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Where to Check For Mold

Mold Remediation is vital for a home and a business because it keeps the building looking new, neat and promotes safety. If mold is left untreated, it can pose a serious issue. For some DIY inspection, here are some tips on where to look for mold.

Areas With Moisture – Mold forms most often in areas that have a lot of moisture. For homes, rooms that have a lot of humidity usually produce moisture, which will result in mold.
Ceilings & Walls – These areas are popular for mold because they are areas where moisture can be trapped. In addition, the piping for the houses tend to drip and may leak. Once mold starts in these areas, they will spread and eventually become visible. It is important to catch the mold early on so there is less contamination.
Shower Tile & Shower Curtains – The most common place for mold to grow in a household is in the shower. This is because it is the place with the most moisture, coming from the heat of the shower along with the water. In addition, the dirt and grime from your body combines with shampoo which will latch onto the curtains. Unless you wipe down your curtains, excess moisture can cause mold to form.

Mold 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 Soencer, Trimble and Henry Counties.

Fire Damage And Your Property

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Almost nothing can be as frightening as the news that there’s a fire on property you own or manage. Once you’re assured that your occupants are safe and that the flames are out, you will need to focus on the property to return it to a livable condition. Even if the structure itself is still sound, smoke and ash residue have contaminated surfaces and contents, and odors linger even in units that weren’t directly fire damaged. The property may even appear inhabitable, but particles in the air can be dangerous to your tenants’ health.

This isn’t a do-it-yourself cleaning job. It takes professionals experienced in fire restoration damage with the equipment and know-how it requires to safely restore your property to its original condition.

What Fire Leaves Behind

Apart from any structural damage and personal property it has destroyed when it’s active, what fire leaves behind can also be destructive.

Ash and smoke can cause corrosion, etching of glass, and discoloration of walls and surfaces and the items on them. Clothing, linens, mattresses, carpets, and upholstery can discolor and be suffused with lasting odors. Some of the aftermath depends on the cause of the fire:

  • Protein fires caused by food that has burned on the stove or in the oven leave a strong odor and smoke residue on surfaces and contents.
  • Complex fires that burn multiple natural and synthetic items cause noxious odors and black smoke residue on contents and surfaces that need to be mitigated for corrosion control.
  • Natural fires that burn trees and other outdoor landscaping cause smoke and ash to filter into the structure through openings around doors, windows, and attic vents leaving residue and strong odors.
  • Malfunctioning heating appliances such as oil-fired furnaces cause smoke to be distributed throughout the property.

Fire can also cause electrical hazards by burning wires and connections. And ducts and insulation may be affected within the walls and attic or crawl spaces.

Why Rapid Clean-Up is so Important

The first thing that ash does is discolor most surfaces, and because it is acidic, the longer it remains, the more damage it will do. Plastic will discolor within minutes. Within hours fiberglass and the finishes on appliances will start to yellow, and metals will begin to tarnish. After just a few days, ash will cause permanent discoloration of walls and everything made of fabric.

After a few weeks, metal will start corroding, windows and other items made of glass will become permanently etched, and wood and vinyl surfaces may deteriorate to the point where they need to be replaced. Over time, ash builds up in layers and may eventually form a lacquer-like finish that’s impossible to remove.

Why Call in Professionals

Smoke and fire damage needs to be cleaned with extreme thoroughness as well as care. Ash residue can be spread with the least disturbance and contaminate the whole property. Experts will identify what can and cannot be saved, and they have the products and equipment required for comprehensive treatment of surfaces and neutralization of odors. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the primary oversight agency in the industry, with registrants certified to have extensive training in mitigation of fire damage.

Professional restoration companies will also coordinate directly with your insurance adjuster to make the process as easy as possible for you, and will generally be able to bill your insurer directly.

How Your Tenants Will be Affected

Assuming your tenants do not have to vacate because of damage to the structure, whether they remain in residence during smoke and ash mitigation is ultimately up to you and them. Things to consider are general safety concerns, odors, noise from equipment, and convenience. 

You also need to have a good understanding of your state’s laws about a landlord’s requirement to uphold an implied warranty of habitability to your tenants.

Items such as clothing and linens may have to be sent to offsite facilities for cleaning, and items of significant value, such as artwork and heirlooms will need to be sent for specialized care by a qualified restorer.

Depending upon the source, nature, and extent of the fire, it may be recommended to remove all contents to a secure facility for cleaning and storage so that your property can be thoroughly restored. This is an especially expedient approach if the restoration will require additional work by contractors who will be performing work such as drywall and painting, electrical, plumbing, flooring or carpeting, replacement of windows, or other extensive repairs.

If your tenants do vacate during the restoration process, they should take with them all valuables, important documents, and irreplaceable personal possessions.

A landlord insurance policy will help mitigate the repair cost from fire damage, while your tenants’ renter insurance policy will cover damaged personal property.

Renters, investors, landlords, and property managers in affected areas are advised to seek licensed legal assistance in their area for more advice on their state’s rental laws regarding fire damage to rental properties.

FIRE 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.

Tips to Prevent Commercial Mold

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

The key to controlling mold growth in commercial buildings, office buildings, manufacturing areas and schools is to prevent moisture problems before they begin. Here are some tips to reduce water and moisture and keep your place free from contamination.

– Fix any plumbing leaks as soon as possible. Standing water is a prime cause of mold growth. Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.

– Watch for condensation and wet spots around your building foundation, roofs or ceilings. Fix any sources of moisture as soon as possible to prevent water and structural damage.

– Keep any heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) drip pans clean and flowing properly. Be sure that regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance are scheduled and performed.

– Condensation forms on cold surfaces when water vapor in the air cools and becomes liquid. You’ll often see condensation on metal pipes, concrete walls, water tanks and windows. You can prevent moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or by reducing the moisture level in the air. Insulation and/or increase air circulation can help do this.

– Dehumidifers can help indoor humidity. It should be below 60% relative humidity or 30-50%, if possible.

– Keep your foundations dry! There should be proper drainage and the ground should away from the building foundation. If rainwater continues to enter your basement from the outside, mold growth can occur. Make sure your gutters and drainage pipes are free of debris, and pointed away from the house.

The first step in commercial mold removal is to test and identify the source of any water or moisture in the building. Once the water source is identified and repaired, then the mold can be removed safely and effectively.

In many cases, the inspections and mold removal work can be performed during a business or school’s off-hours in order to limit any disruptions.

Mold In Your Commercial Property? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

Definitive Signs That Your Sprinkler System Is Leaking

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

Your sprinkler system was installed to help you save time, money, as well as energy. So what happens if it begins to leak? How would you even notice since the main components of the system are buried under the lawn?

A leak can cost you a ton of money. Not only can it increase your water bill, but it may also cause damage to your lawn, landscaping, or concrete. To keep an eye out, it’s important to understand the signs that indicate a leak has occurred. Here are the top signs that your sprinkler has sprung a leak and what you can do about it.

The grass is unusually wet.

When you walk through your lawn on a non-rainy day, do you feel squishing under your feet? If so, this isn’t normal and probably indicates a leak. You might notice more around the sprinkler valves or areas where important connections are buried. This could  manifest as wet grass, but you may also see bubbling from the ground.

The concrete is wet. 

If it hasn’t rained and you see a wet spot on your concrete walkways or patio, it very well could indicate a leak from your sprinklers. If it can’t be explained rationally, it might be time to contact a professional to get a better understanding of what’s going on underground. Excess water can damage concrete over time, so getting it repaired quickly will save you a huge headache in the end. If you think this might just be a case of over watering, you might also want to look into getting a smart sprinkler controller.

Erosion near your sprinkler heads. 

Something you might not spot right away is erosion near the sprinkler heads. If it looks like the ground is caving in or something has been digging around the sprinklers, it probably isn’t squirrels or a neighborhood dog. Check for a leak and contact a professional to take a closer look.

Unexplainable fungus growth. 

Another indicator of too much moisture due to a leak is fungus. Are there mushrooms around your system? Or growing on the base of trees that might be near buried lines? Mushrooms aren’t natural in a suburban or landscaped environment and are a sure sign that something isn’t quite right with your system.

Your water bill has spiked. 

Of course, your primary indication may not be physical at all. If you noticed that your water bill has increased significantly, you’ll need to look at a number of factors. Providing your daily use hasn’t spiked for an explainable reason, it could be your sprinkler. Rule out any issues within the home, such as a leak in your plumbing, toilet, dishwasher, or washing machine. If those seem normal, check out your sprinkler system for the culprit.

Is Rain Water Damage Covered For In Your Commercial Property?

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Do you know if your Commercial insurance policy covers rain-related water damage? If not, there’s no time like the present to find out, even if you’re not in a flood plain. 

Several areas throughout the U.S. have seen above-average rainfall over the last year. And with summer still going strong, more severe weather may continue to make headlines across parts of the country in upcoming months.

 The fact is that most types of insurance policies do not cover common rain-related damage that can leave your business with hefty cleanup bills.
 

What is “flooding”?

When you think of flooding, you probably think of a stream, river or lake overflowing its bounds and causing damage to surrounding areas and buildings.

For insurance companies, however, it’s not that simplistic. The majority of insurance companies consider any type of surface water—including rainwater that has hit the ground—as flooding.

Most insurance policies also include a flood damage exclusion. That means you will likely have to foot the bill, if water from rain gets into your business location.

Tips to limit damages

If you’re concerned about the potential costs of a rain-related cleanup, flood insurance is certainly an option however, most likely too expensive to justify unless you’re in a flood plain. So what can you do? First, it’s a good idea to check with your insurance broker to verify whether or not your policy has flood exclusions so that you are aware of what to expect, if you do face damages. On top of that, here are three things you can do to prepare your building:

1) Address potential incursion areas—Flooding typically happens fast, and so there’s a good chance you won’t be able to take quick defensive measures once the water starts flowing. That’s why it’s important to think ahead about where flooding is likely to occur.

For example, businesses commonly keep important documents, servers and other important equipment in basements. Consider the contents in an area and what would happen if they were damaged, and then either move anything important to a new area or take steps to protect it.

2) Check your drains—Make sure the drains around your building are kept free and clear of debris so they don’t clog and lead to pools and flooding when heavy rain comes.

3) Consider a sump pump—If you know you have problem areas that will end up under water, keep a sump pump on hand and make sure it stays in working order.

Remember to be safe

Many people don’t understand that flooding from rainwater may be contaminated with any number of toxic substances. Once rain hits the ground and starts flowing over and through ground cover, streets, sidewalks and building contents, however, it can pick up chemicals and organic matter that are best avoided. That’s why it’s important to keep people safe and out of flooded areas until they are properly cleaned up. And if you are unsure about what might be in the water or you don’t have the resources to quickly clean and dry the area, then it’s a good idea to pull in professional help.

Water Damage To Your Commercial Property? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today?

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

How Commercial Fire Sprinklers Function

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Sprinkler Systems are among the most useful tools in your firefighting arsenal. Today’s systems have been shown to reduce deaths and property loss by more than 65 percent.

For this reason, fire sprinklers are certainly something you want in your commercial property! But how do fire sprinklers work? We answer how commercial fire sprinklers save your company from significant damage.

Step 1: Fire Sprinklers Detect Heat

Contrary to popular belief, fire sprinklers are not triggerd by smoke. It’s an easy mistake to make, since heat is carried upward with smoke from a fire. However, if smoke was the trigger, simply burning your toast in the office kitchen could be enough to drench the kitchen with water from an overhead fire sprinkler head.

Fire sprinklers work because high heat triggers the sprinkler system. When a blaze ignites, the air directly above it heats rapidly. This hot air rises and spreads along the ceiling. When the air is hot enough and reaches a sprinkler head, it triggers a chain reaction.

Most sprinkler heads feature a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based liquid. This liquid expands when it comes in contact with air heated to between 135 and 165 degrees. When the liquid expands, it shatters its glass confines and the sprinkler head activates.

Step 2: Fire Sprinklers Douse the Fire

Each sprinkler head is attached to a pipe that connects to a reliable water source outside the building. When heat activates a sprinkler head, a valve opens, allowing pressurized water from the pipe system to flow out.

It’s important for water in a fire sprinkler system to be pressurized. This allows the water to spray outward in an arc to more thoroughly douse the fire and prevent it from reigniting.

Step 3: Fire Sprinklers Minimize Water Damage

In movies, sprinkler systems operate in a misleading way, leading many people to believe a fallacy that all the sprinklers in a system are tied together and when one is triggered by heat, they all activate.

If this was the case, putting out a fire would simply be trading fire damage for water damage, and it’s not how fire sprinklers work.

Fortunately, sprinkler heads function individually. Most of the time, fires can be completely extinguished after just one or two sprinklers activate. This allows water damage to be confined to the small area where the fire started. Plus, since fire sprinklers douse fires with about six times less water than a fire hose, their quick action is actually less damaging to your property than a visit from the fire department.

Fire Damage In Your Commercial Facility? 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.

The Most Water Resistant Flooring

7/27/2018 (Permalink)

Whether it’s your child, a pet, or a leaky ice maker line, when a spill happens, many of us instantly think about whether or not water damage will ensue. Quality water-resistant flooring will go a long way in easing some of those fears and giving you some peace of mind. When flooring isn’t water-resistant you could find yourself navigating the perils of warping, mildew, mold and wood rot.

Here are 5 top Flooring choices that are not only water-resistant but add the benefit of beauty to your home.

  1. Vinyl Flooring

    The big trend right now for home interiors is the traditional hardwood throughout the house. One of the best vinyl flooring options available is the WPC. WPC stands for Wood Plastic Composite, this specific type of vinyl offers a beautifully rich and expensive wood look. WPC vinyl flooring is high quality, extremely durable, and has a range of textures and colors. The extreme durability of this type of flooring comes from the four layers it is comprised of: The backing layer; the WPC core – which is where the waterproofing comes in as this layer is solid and will not ripple, swell or peel; the printed vinyl layer is the piece that brings the beauty, the available images can give an identical look of natural wood, stone and much more. This is the layer fools many into believing it’s the real thing. The last layer, the Wear Layer, is the protector, it keeps your floors free from dents and scratches etc. The thicker the wear layer the better protected your floor will be.

    Vinyl flooring is like a superhero that protects your home from unwanted wet shoes as your children run in after a rainy day or from the gallon of milk that was accidentally spilled when pouring a cup. This vinyl flooring is 100% waterproof, realistic looking, resilient and offers low maintenance. High-quality vinyl is not only waterproof features mold and mildew inhibitors as well. Vinyl is a great water protection option for your home. Prices certainly vary and the higher quality you go, the higher the price can climb.

  2. Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Flooring

    Ceramic and porcelain tile flooring is a beautiful option and mostly found in bathrooms. This type of flooring is often used in bathrooms because its surface is comprised of a durable glaze that keeps all liquids out. It leaves no room for water to seep through. Therefore, this flooring is 100% waterproof. This type of flooring is an oldie but a goodie and does its job well. It is very easy to clean which is nice if you have children or animals in the home. Tile may be one of the oldest flooring options out there, but it stands strong against its younger opponents, as it can look equally attractive and appealing to the eye. It can come in mosaic and decorative styles or it can come in more natural looking options which mimic wood and stone. Ceramic and porcelain tiles durable, with low to no maintenance and a home that is worry-free from water damage. One downfall is that this type of flooring can be cold underfoot because it doesn’t retain heat as well, therefore it may be best for homes with warmer environments.

  3. Laminate Flooring

    Laminate is commonly confused with vinyl but what you must know, is that vinyl is naturally resistant to water and laminate can be susceptible to moisture. However, with that said, manufacturers are creating waterproof counterparts based on consumer demand. Laminate, regardless of the original, maintains a good reputation because it is popular when looking for a faux wood flooring option without the sticker shock or real wood. Laminate can be so convincing that often times people can’t tell the difference. Waterproof laminate is high quality and offers a great resale value to a home. Laminate is not only an easy installation but requires very little maintenance as it’s easy to clean and keep looking nice. A few downfalls to this specific waterproof flooring lie in its late arrival to the waterproof arena, it tends to be on the pricier side and there aren’t as many options to choose from.

  4. Engineered Wood

    Engineered wood is beautiful and truly looks like the real thing because the top layer is real wood. If you desire natural wood in a bathroom or other high moisture area, engineered wood is certainly the way to go. This type of flooring has a plywood base that helps stand against moisture. Engineered wood works well in high moisture areas because of its dimensional stability. This flooring material, unfortunately, won’t stand against intense water but it will do its job when a spill occurs.

  5. Concrete or Stone Flooring

    Concrete, when it is sealed properly, is amazing at fighting against water. It is popular for basements and garages, however, it can be a beautiful alternative for a bathroom or kitchen. Concrete is very hard and strong, it stands strong against water, scratches, and dents. This amazing type of material can have added dyes and etching that truly allows your home to make a unique statement. However concrete, even with its low maintenance, can be hard underfoot and may be uncomfortable for sensitive feet. Cracking can also be a possibility over time.

    Natural stone is another beautiful look that brings durability and is truly pleasing to the eye. In fact, stone flooring tends to have a great resale value. Stone can be a bit slippery but texturing it with sandblasting can mitigate that issue, however, this type of flooring material does tend to be on the more expensive side.

Choosing the right type of flooring for your home is about more than beauty, it’s about peace of mind, ease of maintenance, and the right cost/benefit equation. Take some time to make the right choice for your home and save yourself the instant worry when those inevitable accidents happen.

Water Damage In Your Home? 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. 

Are Ozone Treatments Bad For Your Belongings?

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Ozone treatments are one of the best tools for removing odor caused by smoke damage. One question we get asked frequently is whether ozone treatments are bad for furniture and other possessions. This article will explain the process in depth.

What is an Ozone Generator?

An ozone generator is a machine that generates the molecule ozone (O3), a highly reactive molecule that reacts chemically with the particles it comes into contact with. Professional restoration companies and some drycleaners utilize industrial ozone generators to remove the smoke odor from furniture, clothes and other belongings following a fire.

How Does it Work?

Ozone works to remove odors by chemically changing the structure of the molecules in the smoke that are creating the smell. The extra oxygen atom attaches itself to the other molecules to create a new molecule that is non-offensive—and non-smelly—in a process called oxidation. As a gas, ozone can clean anywhere air is allowed to flow. That’s one of the features that makes it so effective in removing odors that other cleaning techniques just can’t remove.

The more smoke damage that has been done, the more ozone is needed to eliminate the smell. There need to be enough ozone molecules to react with all of the offending molecules in order for the treatment to be a success.

So, is it Bad For My Belongings?

Ozone is the most effective way to remove odor caused by smoke damage. Professional restoration contractors can control the temperature, humidity, and treatment time carefully for maximum positive effects. In short—no, ozone is not bad for your belongings, as long as it is being controlled by a professional. The reason this is important is because professional restorers know and understand the power of ozone. They also know that there are certain materials that don’t do well when exposed to ozone—namely certain textiles, leather, rubber, and certain plastics.

Many people think that they can clean their clothes after a fire by washing them multiple times. This however will not remove the smoke odor. Ozone is also cleaner than other methods because it does not leave any byproducts or residue that need to be cleaned later.

As a form of oxygen, ozone itself is not dangerous. However, if overexposure occurs it can be harmful. This is another reason to allow a professional to perform the ozone treatment.

They have the right equipment in place to protect themselves during the process, and once your items are returned to you, they are safe to be in your home.

Fire 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. 

Definitive Signs of Mold In Your Home

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Discovering mold in your home can be incredibly stressful. Once mold has began growing, it can spread aggressively. Because mold grows so quickly, you need to be incredibly observant of what’s happening in your home to address an issue right away. If mold is growing in your home, it can also have highly negative health effects.

Some telling signs that you may need mold removal services include the following:

  • If you smell a wet or unpleasant odor in your home, it may be attributed to mold.
  • Moisture is the contributing factor to making an environment more conducive to mold growth. High levels of humidity in your home is likely causing mold to grow somewhere– possibly the attic, the basement, or anywhere that water may be leaking.
  • Mold removal may be necessary if your family is experiencing allergy symptoms.
  • Actually seeing mold growth is always a telling sign that you need mold remediation services; however, it may be hard to spot sometimes, so it’s important to know what your looking for.
  • If your home has recently had flooding caused by a broken pipe, appliance, or excessive rain, there is a chance of mold growth. This is especially true if you did not have professional services come to clean up the flooding.

Pay closse attention so that you’ll notice these telling signs of mold growth as early as possible. This will help you to avoid serious mold issues.

Mold 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, Trimble and Henry Counties. 

Flooding

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding is an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods can occur during heavy rains, when snow melts too fast, or when rivers overflow. Flooding could happen with only a few inches of water, or it may cover a house to the rooftop. Floods are the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters.

How Does Rain Water Enter a Home?

Rainwater can seep into your home from cracks in your foundation – large or small, windows that are not sealed correctly and landscaping that is sloped toward the home.

Make sure all your concrete – driveways, sidewalks, patios and walkways slope either away from the house or into a drain. Check to make sure that rain gutters are clean and functioning properly to carry rainwater away from your home. It is imperative that downspouts drain at least 10 feet from the foundation of your house. Clogged gutters can also lead to water spilling over the top and that water can end up directly on the foundation of your house.

Keeping an eye on your home inside and out can be beneficial to noticing potential issues and could save you thousands in water damage remediation.

Flood Damage Can Be Fixed

It is important to recognize the signs of flooding so that the water can be extracted and any further damage can be prevented. Rainwater flooding that is not taken care of quickly and efficiently can cause black mold (this can form within two days after flooding occurs), furniture damage (moisture seeps into the furniture, which provides an ideal habitat for mildew, mold and fungi), and damage to the ceiling tiles, drywall, and flooring.

If you notice any of the signs of rainwater flooding in your home, instead of dealing with the trouble on your own, call the professional team at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to assist you. 502.241.6861

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

    

Odor Removal and Deodorization

7/6/2018 (Permalink)

As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. These odors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside a structure.

SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.

Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional has the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which it contacts any surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace.

The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be a tricky thing, so give SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County  a call, and leave the restoration to us. 502.241.6861

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

Fire Prevention

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

5 Ways to Prevent House Fires

The absolute key to preventing house fires is the basic knowledge of fire safety and prevention. It’s always better to prepare for the event of a fire because it comes with dangerous and deadly consequences that may affect you and your loved ones. If you don’t already, examine your smoke detectors regularly, get a professional to service your heating system, and check out these five things that are the leading causes of house fires in America that you could easily prevent.

1. Wires and outlets

Defective wiring and outlets are one of the top causes of house fires. Try to avoid power strips and only use them for temporary solutions. Outlets and power strips should never be overloaded with multiples devices or appliances because they can spike a circuit. Take the time to examine electrical cords throughout your home and check for old, frayed, or damaged cords for immediate replacement. Keep away any hazardous items from outlets in use.

2. Inspect your kitchen

Make it a habit to check your stove and oven before leaving the house. It’s better safe than sorry if someone should leave a gas or electric appliance running without supervision. Always attend to pots and pans whenever in use for cooking and baking. Keep cooking oil away from the stove and remember to always clean up around the stove for leftover food or grease that could potentially ignite a fire. It’s always best to keep a fire extinguisher readily available in the kitchen at all times.

3. Check your dryer

Remove all lint from your dryer filter after each load. A clogged filter reduces the airflow needed to work efficiently and heat builds up in the vents and forces lint onto the heating coils. Remember to check around your washer and dryer for lint or dust accumulation near power outlets.

4. Alternative heating sources

Space heaters, wood or pellet stoves, and dirty chimneys are common fire hazards that need extra precaution when in use. Never place personal heaters near fabric materials such as curtains, bedding, furniture or other objects that could easily catch fire. You should also inspect your fireplace annually and get it professionally cleaned of any ashes or dirt that could ignite a fire. You should never burn cardboard, paper, trash or plants in your fireplace either.

5. Keep debris away from your home

Try keeping trash, firewood, pile of leaves or other debris away from your home. If a grass or accidental fire sparks, these items could easily ignite and spread quickly around or in your home. You should never dump hot ashes inside or near your home. Instead, keep them in a metal container away from your house.

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.

  

Kitchen Fire Do's and Don'ts

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Knowledge of stop, drop, and roll is one thing, however, do you know what to do if a grease fire flares up in your home?

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County reminds you to NEVER use water on grease fires, below you will read about the dos and don’ts for this type of dangerous fire.

PREVENTING A GREASE FIRE

Of course, the best safety measure that SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can recommend is preventing the fire in the first place. The smoking point for vegetable oil is about 450°F, while animal fats start to go at 375°F.

Certainly, do NOT leave your range unattended when cooking with these grease bases, and consider using a cooking thermometer to keep track of the temperature. Remove your heavy cookware from heat immediately if it starts to smoke or smell as though it’s burning.

IF FIRE BREAKS OUT

If a kitchen fire does break out, you need to handle it carefully. Here’s our best advice.

DO

  • Turn off your heat source. Trying to remove the pot or pan from heat will risk splashing burning oil onto yourself or anybody else around, so hold off.
  • If the flames are small, baking soda can extinguish them if you pour it on liberally. Covering your cookware with a metal lid might also help, as the fire will die out once the oxygen is blocked.
  • Spray the base of the flames with a class B dry chemical fire extinguisher, if things are still out of hand. Your kitchen will be contaminated by the spray, but that can be dealt with easier than the room being reduced to ashes.
  • Leave the house and call 911 if you lose control of the fire. Wait to deal with the fire damage once everyone is safe.

DON’T

  • Again, do not try to put the grease fire out with water. It’s more likely to cause the burning oil to splash, spreading your grease fire. Rapidly vaporizing water might also feed the fire.
  • Don’t move the pot or pan, as burning fat or oil can splash about your home. The impulse to move your problem from the range to the sink or out the front door might be high, but you’re risking severe burns and plenty of damage to your home.
  • Don’t try to substitute baking powder. Flour will add to the fire, as will most baking products. Baking soda is the only common kitchen substance that will give you an extinguishing reaction.

IF YOU DO EXPERIENCE A KITCHEN FIRE

When cooking takes a bad turn and flames do break out, follow the advice above to deal with the danger. Once you have the grease fire under control, contact 911 if anyone has experienced a heavy burn from the oil or fire.

Once everyone is 100% safe, you’ll want to address your kitchen.

Fire damage is an unpleasant burden in any circumstance, however SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is here to restore normalcy. Whether damaged by fire or smoke, in a residential or commercial kitchen, we know how to make the best of a bad situation.

Call us today to speak to a Restoration Specialist. 502.241.6861

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

Commercial Water Damage

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Has your business recently experienced flooding or water damage? One thing is for sure, water damage is not good for business. Not only can it damage your building and belongings, but it can also disrupts your profit. Whether you own a shop and have damaged items or your office building can’t house your employees because of damage you are missing out. Luckily, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has a commercial water damage process in place to help. Beyond that our Marketing Representatives can schedule and complete and Emergency Ready Profile to ensure your business is taken care of quickly. Below you will find our step by step water restoration process.

Assessment

The first step in our process is an assessment. We want to know exactly what we are dealing with. We assess the entire property to determine the extent of the damage and find the source. From this, we also find out what kind of water is present and document the damage. It's imperative to know if your water was exposed to contamination and how much so that we can best take care of the issue. The documentation helps develop a plan for restoration as well.

Extraction

Once we understand the type of water and the extent of the damage we can start the extraction process. We have state of the art equipment that efficiently extracts the water from your property straight into our trucks. This ensures the water cannot contaminate anything else on your property. We also have equipment that can detect moisture to ensure the complete removal of water from your property. Once we remove all the water from your property, we can focus on the building itself and its contents. We will remove all of the of damaged contents to restore and prepare the area for restoration.

Restoration

At this stage, we can restore your building to its original state before the water damage, including walls, floors, and structures. We ensure that the structure is sound and then begin preparing the inside to get back into working order. Our equipment includes professional air movers that ensure the place is dry and mold free. We also will work to restore all of the items that were damaged by the water. We have a cleaning and storing facility to make sure your things are properly cared for. Once the building and belongings are all restored, we will move everything back in so that you can get back to business.

Here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County, we understand that time is money. We work quickly and efficiently to ensure that you are back in business and soon as possible. Water damage is not your friend, but we can be. We are available 24/7 so that when you need us, we can be there to help. Our process is thorough, and our equipment is top of the line so that you can rely on us. If your business has recently experienced water damage give us a call today. 502.241.6861

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

Can Laminate or Engineered Flooring Be Restored After Water Damage?

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

The answer for the most part is, NO (depending on how much water has affected the floor of course)

If enough water has spilled on your floor it will begin to soak through the joints as well as the edges of the walls, thus getting underneath the flooring. If water has seeped underneath the flooring then it will most likely not be restorable.

The reason for this is the lack of air-flow or drying that can be applied under the floor which makes it not able to dry fast enough on its own. The water beneath will soak into the flooring material and you will start to see surface damage such as cupping. 

Engineered and laminate flooring is commonly installed with a vapor barrier or cushion underneath. This vapor barrier is a plastic sheeting that makes it very difficult for water to evaporate and it ends up just getting trapped. There is little even a professional restorer can do to restore these flooring types, mainly due to the vapor barrier beneath the flooring, as no drying method would be effective enough.

Of course this will depend on the severity of your water damage situation. If the damage is just a small puddle or spillage then there is no need to start ripping up the flooring. However if water is squishing out of the edges of the floor when you walk on it then it is more than likely you will be needing a floor replacement.

When it comes to wet hardwood flooring (solid, true hardwood) the answer is YES, the flooring can be restored after being water damaged.

Solid hardwood flooring as you may have guessed is made of solid hardwood throughout and is made with a special set of grooves underneath it, called flutes. These grooves allow for the wood to naturally expand and contract. This enables airflow movement underneath the flooring, which allows for the professional restorer to dry the floor properly.

Through the use of specialty drying equipment such as the “dri-ease mat drying system” a property restoration company can save and restore your expensive hardwood flooring.

Once the moisture levels in the hardwood has been restored back to acceptable levels you can begin to repair or refinish any surface damages that may have occurred during the flooding.

So there you have it, now you know what to expect when you find yourself with water damaged flooring. The trick is always to act immediately and clean up any water mess as soon as possible so that it doesn’t soak in and spread further than it has to.

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. 

Sewer Backups

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

There are a number of ways where your sewer system could end up compromised and set off a major overflow of unsanitary conditions.  For example, if your area received a large influx of heavy rain in a short period of time, it can cause the runoff to overwhelm the sewer lines and begin to moving back out.

Common Contributors to Sewer Backups

If you have parents who will yell at you for pouring grease down the sink, then you should thank them.  This is one of the most common ways to clog your drains and cause the sewer line to backup.  On the other end of common plumbing problems is the toilet and bathroom sink. Naturally, it can be easy to assume that it would take a lot of toilet paper alone to clog a toilet and cause sewer blockage, but it’s all a matter of timing, where the pipe bends is where most clogging happens.  Paper towels and baby wipes can cause a clog all on their own as well.

This is why sometimes a simple plunger won’t work and you use a pipe snaking tool.  Liquid drainage solutions are highly discouraged as they are very toxic products that destroy our water table and all wildlife that comes into contact due to runoff.

One other common, but less obvious cause of sewer backup especially is pipe breakage from trees and shrubs that extend their roots across their paths. This can catch owners off-guard and result in a devastating situation if they don't have a sewer backup insurance plan.

Getting Proactive on Sewage Backup

One way to prevent having to deal with any exposure to sewage water in the event of a sewer backup is to install a backflow valve.  This can give you the extra time needed to call a emergency plumber to fix the cause of the problem without discovering a flooded basement and having no time to react.

Being aware of how old your pipes are in your home and around your property can also prevent the aforementioned plant root encroachment.  It’s probably a good idea to replace any old lead pipes with PVC for both health and safety reasons.

Better Safe than Sorry

Lastly, having a good drainage plan in-place can cover many different sewage backup scenarios.  Survey your downspouts to make sure that it is properly directing water out, not just finding a wedge for water to escape.  The same goes for making sure your elevation around the home is not just allowing heavy rains to collect along the perimeter of your property.

If you do ever experience a sewer back and/or basement flooding, never try to go in and fix the problem yourself, especially if you don’t know exactly how it happened. Risking your health to try to save money on the clean-up is not worth it.  Sewage water is carrying more than your typical flora of bacteria and viruses as found on the surfaces of your bathroom or kitchen counters.

Sewage Backup 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.  

Common Causes of Commercial Fires

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

Most common causes of commercial fires and how to prevent them:

1. Cooking

Cooking is the most common cause of both residential and commercial fires. In the commercial arena, we usually associate cooking fires with restaurants, but the issue extends to office kitchens as well. Treat all kitchens the same, wherever you may be. A kitchen should have a smoke detector, a well-conditioned fire extinguisher and strict safety protocols, including no unmanned appliances.

2. Electrical

When it comes to electrical fires, the problem is twofold: user error and electrical system malfunctions. In the realm of user error, the big issues are frayed power cords, misused extension cords and overloaded and daisy-chained surge protectors. When it comes to a system malfunction, the biggest issue is faulty wiring, which is why it’s essential that all commercial buildings have their electrical systems maintained on a regular basis by a professional.

3. Heating

Fires caused by heating are similar to those caused by electrical factors in that they’re caused by both user error and system malfunction. The most common form of user error is misuse of space heaters. Commercial spaces often have cold spots, and space heaters are a great way to alleviate that. Space heaters are also quite dangerous if users don’t respect a three-foot or greater safety zone around the unit. As for system malfunctions, fires often occur due to dust buildup and ventilation blockage, so be sure to have your heating system checked rountinely.

4. Arson

Arson is much more common than you may think. Although it often occurs in abandoned commercial structures, arson fires that occur at occupied buildings can be devastating. In addition to monitored fire detection and fire suppression measures, security cameras are an essential defense.

5. Smoking

Smoking was once a leading cause of commercial fires. This has been alleviated greatly through better security systems for business use and stricter protocols. Even in smoke-free buildings, however, cigarettes can and do lead to fire. Prevention starts with commercial alarm monitoring, but it also requires proper receptacles and fire-retardant furniture.

6. Combustibles

Most commercial buildings, including basic offices, have combustible materials on hand. The real danger with such materials comes when they’re stored improperly, and this is a common occurrence because the materials are often being managed by people who aren’t trained in proper use. Therefore, it’s crucial to have safe storage space for such materials, but it’s also essential that the business trains employees in the use of such materials and continues to refresh that education.

Commercial Safety

When it comes to fire and other risks to a commercial enterprise, it’s best to be proactive. Contact a security company that specializes in commercial security systems. They can help you identify risk factors in your place of business and make recommendations to help protect your enterprise against fire-related catastrophes.

Fire In Your Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

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

Malfunctioning Appliances and Water Damage

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

It always seems to be the nightmare of homeowners, the dreaded leaking appliance.  The problem with appliances is there can be a leak in the back or bottom that isn't visible and results in serious water damage. You may think your washing machine, refrigerator, dishwasher, and garbage disposals are your friend but they can also betray you if you’re not careful. Here are a few tips to keep water damage at bay.

Maintenance

The lifespan of appliances can really come down to the care that you give them. If you are hard on your appliances they will malfunction sooner than later. Once a machine wears out, it is ripe for leaks and water damage. Maintenance can look like a lot of different things. Ensuring you don’t overload your washing machine will help it last longer. Making sure your refrigerator doors stay closed as much as possible in the summer will make it easier for it to stay at a low temperature. This also means having your machines repaired by a professional when you notice it is having difficulty functioning.

Update

No matter how good you are to your appliances, they all have a lifespan. Once that lifespan is coming to an end your appliances can quickly produce more complex problems than simply deciding on a new model. Old machines can become invisible sprinklers. Once the waterworks begin, the cost of replacing the machine quickly becomes more expensive. It goes from the cost of a machine to the cost of repairing water damage plus purchasing a new machine. To avoid this unpleasant situation know how old your appliances are and the average lifespan for that make and model. When it hits that mark and starts acting its age, immediately begin the search for a new appliance.

Be Aware

Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you maintain your appliances and they are still fairly new. Machines break down. That is why it is so important to be aware and keep a watchful eye on your appliances. By watching how your appliances are performing, you can catch a problem before it becomes a big problem. Notice when your appliances make new noises, are having trouble cleaning things or staying cold, or begins dripping. Watching and noticing can mean the difference between a little and a lot of water damage. 

Appliances are in our houses to make our life easier. They wash our clothes and dishes for us and keep our food at the right temperature. When they are working well, they are our friends, but it is a fragile relationship. If they start leaking and produce water damage, they have changed from helpful to harmful. You can’t avoid water damage forever. For the times when you can’t avoid water damage SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is available 24/7. So when an appliance has changed relationship status, give us a call, (502) 241.6861.

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

Grilling and Fire Safety

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Grilling and Fire Safety

Fire is one of the fastest, most destructive elements on this planet – keep that in mind when you’re using your gas grill this summer to cook up some delicious masterpiece! Here are a few helpful tips for you to consider:

  • Always keep your grill away from your home.
  • Never leave your grill unattended after the fire is lit.
  • Keep a close eye on the color of the brass valve on the tank itself.
  • Keep your fire extinguisher (working!), sand, or your garden hose close for any incidents that should occur
  • Don’t use a tank that’s been dented or damaged, or rusty for that matter.
  • Never store your propane tank in an enclosed area.

Not only should you be aware of the fire damage hazards, but you should be mindful that food safety is very important, as well. Cooking over an open flame is different than in a controlled, electric environment. Please, if you have any questions about your grill and how you should properly use it, call the manufacturer!

Fire Damage In Your Home? 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. 

 

Upholstery Cleaning

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Here are a few home solutions for cleaning your upholstery at home. When cleaning any kind of furniture, it helps to know what kind of upholstery you are working with. The upholstery information for your furniture can often be found on the tag. If not, some quick google searching should help you find the information you need. Below, we list home solution ingredients and treatment methods for three of the most common kinds of upholstery that often see.

If you have fabric upholstery, use this solution: Mix 3/4 cup warm water with 1/4 vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Put this solution in a spray bottle, and mist the stained area. After you have misted the area, scrub it with a soft cloth or towel to lift the stain. Get a second cloth or towel moist with clean water to remove any leftover soap, and try with a towel.

If you have leather upholstery, use this solution: Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup olive oil, and put it into a spray bottle. After you have misted the surface of the furniture, buff it with a soft cloth.

If you have synthetic upholstery, use this solution: Mix 1 cup warm water with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 a tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Put this solution in a spray bottle, and mist the stained area. After you mist the stained area, scrub it with a cloth or towel until the stain lifts.

As always, if your stained or soiled furniture is too much for you to clean, or if you just don’t have the time to do it yourself, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County at (502) 241-6861 for a free estimate. 

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 502.241.6861

5 Plumbing Issues To Promptly Address

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

As a homeowner, you probably have a seemingly endless list of projects you want to complete when you finally have the time. Surely some projects, like re-painting a hallway or updating your cabinet hardware, can be put on the "one day" list with few consequences.

However, many homeowners place seemingly small plumbing issues on the back burner because they assume that these problems are not a big deal. Unfortunately, this mistake can be an expensive one.

Plumbing problems — even the small ones — always deserve your prompt attention. Here are five often-ignored plumbing problems that you should address as soon as possible before they become much worse.

LEAKS

While you might figure a few drops of water from a tiny leak are not pressing, the problems that the water causes are actually what is dangerous. A tiny plumbing leak often leads to a consistently moist surface, whether it be a wall or a floor, and consistent moisture encourages mold growth.

As soon as you notice a leak of any size, call your plumber to come repair the pipe in question. Otherwise, you may end up having to replace a lot of moldy, water-damaged building materials, as well.

TOILETS THAT CONSISTANTLY RUNNING

A running toilet doesn't make a mess and isn't dangerous. Therefore, many homeowners consider a running toilet easy to ignore. However, a leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day, or 6,000 gallons of water per month.

This water waste is not good for your wallet or for the environment. In regards to this, fixing a leaky toilet is usually as simple as replacing a component or two within the tank.

PIPES THAT FREEZE OCCASIONALLY

A pipe freezing and thawing occasionally may present a minor inconvenience if it keeps you from using a certain tap for a few days here and there in the winter. However, when a pipe freezes, you need to do more than just wait for the pipe to thaw. You need to take immediate action to keep the pipe from freezing again because the next time it freezes could be the time it bursts and floods your home.

Adding insulation to exposed water pipes is often the best way to prevent them from continuing to freeze. You can also leave the tap in question on, just slightly, during very cold periods to prevent the associated pipes from freezing.

WATER HEATERS MAKING NOISES

Is your water heater making a rumbling or chattering noise every time you turn it on? If the water is still coming out hot, you may be tempted to just ignore the noise. However, rattling noises usually mean that sediment has accumulated in the bottom of your hot water tank.

This sediment increases your energy bills and can cause your water heater to fail prematurely. You can have your plumber come backwash the water tank to remove sediment and prevent future issues.

MINERAL BUILDUP ON FAUCETS

Mineral buildup can easily be removed from faucets with limescale remover or even white vinegar, but removing the deposits from faucets is really just treating the symptoms and not the true problem.

Mineral deposits occur when you have hard water — water with a high concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium. If minerals are depositing on your fixtures, they are probably forming deposits inside your pipes too.

Pipes clogged by mineral deposits eventually need to be replaced as they lead to low water pressure. Purchasing a water softener is a smart decision. This is a device that removes minerals from your water. This will prevent future mineral deposits on your faucets and within your pipes.

Water or Mold 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. 502.241.6861

Where to Find Concealed Damage After A Fire

6/8/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in your home is a terrible situation to go through. Even a small fire that doesn't cause much structural damage can ruin a home with smoke, and if not properly cleaned up, remnants and reminders of the damage will continue to turn up in the strangest of places for years to come. Boxes of books or clothes in storage may not be something the homeowner would think to check, only years later find the items were in fact damaged by smoke. There are a few well-known places where smoke causes hidden damage which must be cleaned and repaired immediately.

Attic Space

Smoke rises and will cause damage in the attic. Even if you don't have steps or easy access to use the attic for storage the soot needs to be cleaned out. Otherwise, it can affect the quality of air in your home for years, just a little bit at a time, so the people who live there won't notice it until they have breathing problems after years of exposure. Guests may not recognize a distinct smell of smoke, but will likely find the house to have an unpleasant odor when they visit.

Ventilation

The heating and air conditioning duct work and ventilation systems are even more important to be properly cleaned after a fire. Again, the odor of the fire will never leave if soot is blowing through your vents every time you turn the unit on. In return the homes inhabitants are breathing this very same air.

Electric and Plumbing

It goes without saying that electric and plumbing systems need to be inspected for damage after a fire. If smoke gets in the walls, this provides a place for soot to accumulate and will have to either be replaced or cleaned. If the fire was caused by an old electric line, it's probably a good time to consider replacing them all before another failure occurs since they're either old or simply weren't installed properly.

Fire or Smoke Damage In Your Home? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 502.241.6861

Flood Damage

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Most people normally value their homes. However, accidents normally happen when you least expect. Your home can be flooded at any time. This mostly happens to those people who live in areas that are normally affected by storms and so forth. Floods are a common phenomenon in such places. Flood damage happens when water damage occurs from a water intrusion from outside your homes structure. If your insurance policy covers flood damage, you can easily get compensated.
You will note that most policies normally exclude flood coverage because they are costly to purchase. Flood waters are normally considered contaminated waters because they can cause damage that is more expensive to fix than just regular water that comes from a kitchen pipe in your house. There are several steps that you should follow in the event of flood damage. These include:

1. Make an insurance claim
This is one of the first steps that you should take after you've experienced flood damage in your home. You should make a claim with your insurance company. You will realize that they will require a general description of the damage to the property. Depending on the level of destruction, your insurance company will get back in touch within a few days.

2. Hire an insurance adjuster to look at the damage.
It is important that an adjuster visits the property to evaluate the damage. He or she will determine if the problems were caused by wind or water. This decision will greatly affect what the agency will cover. 

3. Ensure that you document all the damages.
You should document all the damages caused as a result of flood damage before making any repairs. This can include the destruction of things such as: furniture walls, ceilings and so forth. If water rose significantly, your electrical system may require to be checked. You can also take photographs and videos of any structural destruction as well as any contents that were affected.

4. Take measures to mitigate further problems.
Once you have made an insurance claim, you should make temporary repairs to your home in order to prevent additional issues. If your windows had been broken, you should cover them with plywood. If your roof had been damaged, you can hire a professional to repair it. This can prevent your property from becoming damaged. However, you should save the receipts for this work so as to recoup the costs. It is important that you keep the undamaged windows and doors open so that your house can dry out. This can go a long way in preventing the growth of mold.


5. Schedule permanent repairs.
Once everything has been evaluated you should begin to schedule the repair work. In this case, you can get a reputable contractor to help you out.
Flood damage can be detrimental to your home. You should follow the above-mentioned steps in the event of flood damage in your home.

Flood 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. 

Preventing Water Damage In Your Kitchen

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage in the kitchen gets expensive quickly, so we’re diving into ways homeowners can avoid serious damage. With a few preventative steps and a plan in place just in case, you can avoid major water damage in the kitchen.

Prevention is Key

When taking preventative measures to avoid water damage in your kitchen or home, use this preventative checklist to ensure plumbing, fixtures, and appliances are well maintained throughout the year:

  • Inspect all water hose connections to ensure they’re snug.
  • Look for wet spots; this may be a sign of a soon-to-burst pipe, or loose connection.
  • Check dishwasher hoses for leaks.
  • Clean and check the refrigerator drip pan and ice maker connections.
  • Make sure the dishwasher’s float switch is clean and not corroded. This mechanism tells the dishwasher when to stop filling with water. A broken switch can lead to major flooding.
  • Inspect traps and drains under the sink. If you notice any discolored or warped flooring materials or damaged cabinets, look for leaks around the base of the sink.
  • If you’ve noticed that your sink is clogged and water isn’t draining properly, you may have a blocked drain which needs to be cleaned. Drains should be kept clear at all times.
  • In addition to large appliances, the garbage disposal, extra freezers, etc., should also be examined to ensure optimal use and safety.

While minor leaks and mechanical failures are often fixed without a professional, don’t hesitate to get a second opinion. Contact a professional repair company to ensure small problems don’t become major issues.

Have a Plan

Every minute counts when you’re faced with a flood or water leak in the kitchen, so having a plan is critical.

In a worst-case scenario, homeowners will need to shut off the main water supply to the home before addressing the broken appliance or busted pipe directly.

There are two types of valves: the main valve, which stops water flow to the entire home; and supply valves that connect to specific appliances. Look for the main water valve and turn it off clockwise to stop the flow. (Note: if the valve is a lever, turn the handle perpendicular to the water line.)

Some homes have a supply valve located near the water line of the appliance. If this is easier to get to at first, turn it off; however, the main line should still be turned off.

Homeowners should make sure they know where these water supply lines are and how to properly turn them off. Homeowners should also be sure to educate family members about where these valves are located.

If there’s been a flood in the kitchen, avoid walking through the flood water. The kitchen is full of electrical outlets and equipment that could become dangerous when exposed to water or excessive moisture.

Moreover, depending on where the flood sprang from, the water could be dirty or contaminated. Homeowners should get pets and people out of the house immediately.

Once the main water value is off and everyone is accounted for, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County at 502.241.6861. For disaster management, you can count on SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Oldham/Shelby Counties

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

This flooded basement was caused by a recent storm.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby Co. specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Oldham or Shelby Co, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 502-241-6861

Flood Water and Black Water Procedures

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

The after affects of floodwater during a recent flooding event.

Floodwater/black water contains multiple contaminants and viruses that present serious risks of illness.  This past year, flooding has been a major risk in many locations throughout the U.S.  Several factors contribute to flooding, including snow thaw, storms and hurricanes, all of which can cause sewage backflows, as well as rising water from rivers, streams and seawater.  With a tropical storm already hitting the gulf coast and bringing with it lots of rain before hurricane season officially starts, it's important to discuss the appropriate actions to take when dealing with flooding/black water.

Remediating black water contamination in a building requires careful planning and utilization of specialized equipment. A licensed contractor will know how to assess the damages, sanitize and dry the affected areas. Steps to follow in the event of black water damage:

  1. Ensure the safety of all building occupants and workers. Employees must wear protective equipment, such as gloves, boots, eye protection, waterproof coveralls and respirators.
  2. The hired contractor conducts a thorough inspection of the affected areas to determine the severity of the damage. The restoration process depends on this assessment.
  3. Excess water is rapidly removed to prevent further damages. Contaminated porous items, sewage and other wastes are also removed. Special tools such as air scrubbers or negative air machines may be used to prevent contamination in unaffected areas. Affected surfaces are cleaned and sanitized with EPA-approved disinfectants.
  4. When sanitization is complete, the contractor establishes a balanced drying system to restore the damaged areas to their preloss condition. This final step involves the usage of specialized procedures, products and equipment, such as professional dehumidifiers and high capacity air movers.

For all property damage situations, including black water contamination, contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby. Our professionals will mitigate the loss and provide the latest industry standard services to restore your property from water, fire, smoke, mold and other damages.

Common Causes of Residential Fires

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Cooking: You never think that it will happen to you. You’re cooking dinner and turn around for one second to check on the kids in the other room and you come back to find a fire in the kitchen. Cooking-related fires are very common, accounting for about 40 percent of all house fires.

To prevent this from happening to you, never leave a stovetop unattended while you are cooking and be certain to double check that you have turned off all burners after dinner is done. It’s not a bad idea to get in the habit of checking the stove over one last time before going to bed or leaving the house as well.

Keep potholders, hot pads, dishrags, food packaging and paper or plastic bags away from your oven and stove. These items can be extremely flammable. Also, don’t wear loose or dangling clothes while cooking. Hovering over a simmering sauce while wearing dangling sleeves could lead to a disaster.

Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and make sure that you have a smoke alarm installed near the cooking area that you test each month.

Candles: Candles are great for setting a cozy mood, celebrating birthdays and acting as a light source in case of a power outage, but they can also be dangerous.  However, you don’t have to nix candles for good, but you should be extra cautious.

If you have pets or kids, make sure candles aren’t within little-hand grabbing—or tail-wagging—proximity. Also, keep candles at least a foot away from all flammables.

If you want to take an even safer route, candles warmers are a nice alternative to burning an actual candle. You can find ones that match your décor and some even have a light bulb built in to mimic the warm glow of a candle. You can also buy flameless candles, which have a flickering light bulb that looks just like the real thing—some even have a scent.

Smoking: Even if you smoke outside, you might not be doing everything you can to protect your home from fire. Always be sure to submerge your cigarette butts in water before throwing them away in the garbage can or dumpster. Also, you should never smoke in bed or after taking medication that makes you drowsy. Mattresses can be engulfed in flames in a matter of moments and if you are sleepy, you might not be able to escape.

Also, electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are known to explode. So be sure to keep a close eye on this if you use one, and never leave an e-cig in the heat or left charging near flammable materials.

Electrical Fires: If your home is older, be sure to get the wiring inspected by a professional to make sure it is all up to code. Older homes may not have the wiring capacity to keep up with all the new electronics we use today. Overloading the electricity in an older home could lead to an electrical fire.

It’s also important to be careful about your use of extension cords and overuse of outlets. If you overwhelm the outlet, you are risking shorting it out, or worse, starting a fire. Extension cords shouldn’t be used as a permanent solution. You should plug things directly into an outlet whenever possible.

Also, never try to cover or hide cords under rugs. Although they might not be pleasant to look at, hiding a cord under a rug could lead to the cord being damaged over time. Any time a cord starts to fray or is damaged in any way, you should replace it.

Kids: It’s important to teach kids that playing with fire is never okay. You should set a good example for them by not playing with lighters, matches or lit candles yourself.

While you’re at it, make sure you talk to your kids about what to do if a fire happens in your home. Make sure they know what they smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if they hear it go off. Once you have a plan in place, be sure to practice it with the whole family periodically.

Forest Fires: One way to protect your home from forest fires is by building with non-combustible or fire-resistant materials.

It’s also important to keep the area around your home as free of flammable materials as possible. Pine needles, leaves and stray twigs can accumulate on your roof and in gutters, so be sure to sweep these out regularly—at least once a year. You should also keep tree branches trimmed so they don’t hang over your roof or near your chimney and you shouldn’t connect a wooden fence directly to your home. These things could all lead a fire near your property directly to your home.

Dryers: It is important to clean out your lint trap each time you put in a load of laundry, but keep in mind that the lint trap doesn’t catch every bit of lint your dryer produces. Lint buildup can be found under, behind and inside your dryer, even on the dryers heating element—and it is extremely flammable. That is why it’s so important to keep your dryer as lint free as possible.

You should vacuum behind and underneath your dryer periodically and have your dryer taken apart and cleaned by a service technician every few years, depending on how much of a workout you give your machine. Not only will these tips lower your risk of a dryer fire, but your machine will work better and more efficiently, too.

Last, but not least, never operate your dryer when you aren’t home or when you are asleep. If a fire starts and you aren’t around to notice, you could be in for a major surprise.

Being aware of these common causes of house fires, along with making sure you have working smoke detectors installed throughout your home, can help you avoid a disaster. If your home is damaged by smoke or fire, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is here to help with all of your water and fire damage restoration needs. Give us a call today at 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble. 502.241.6861

Water Leaks Behind A Wall

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

There are many potential causes of water damage in your home.  Some sources of water damage, such as floods, burst pipes, and sewage backups, are obvious and homeowners notice them right away.  However, there are some sources of water damage that are much more difficult to detect such as water leaks behind walls.  Homeowners typically do not notice hidden leaks until they have already caused a considerable amount of damage.

Regardless of the source, it is imperative to react to water damage immediately.  The damage caused by excess water or moisture will continue to spread and become worse until the source of the water is repaired and the affected materials are dried and restored.  Hidden water leaks behind walls can be especially dangerous because the water will be absorbed into flooring, drywall, and ceilings, as well as wooden support beams and sheetrock.  Given enough time, a slow leak can result in very serious structural damage that will make the restoration process longer and more expensive.  Mold is also a very serious issue that results from extensive water damage.

While water leaks behind walls happen out of view, there are often several signs that can help you detect these water leaks.  The following are common signs of water leakage behind your walls.

Musty Odors

Excess water or moisture can create a musty smell when it gets absorbed into building materials such as sheetrock, wood or drywall.  Wall cavities affected by water damage are vulnerable to mold growth which also has a pungent musty odor.  If there is a strong musty smell near a certain area of your wall, there could be a water leak or mold growth behind it.

Mold On Walls And Baseboards

Mold growth normally appears in areas with excess moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.  If mold appears on your walls, ceilings, or baseboards, it is very likely that there is a source of moisture behind the walls.

Visible Stains

Water from a leak within the walls will be absorbed in the drywall and sheetrock which will cause a noticeable stain.  If the stains on your wall continue to get bigger, this is usually a great indication that there is a hidden plumbing leak.

Paint Or Wallpaper Peeling

Too much moisture behind the walls can eventually cause paint and wallpaper to start peeling.  This normally happens when the sheetrock behind the wall has absorbed too much water.  Check for separation in the wallpaper along the seams or flaking paint to help locate a hidden water leak.

Warping Walls

When the sheetrock behind a wall absorbs too much water, it will bend and curve which causes the wall to warp.  If there is warping on your walls, this is a clear indication of a water leak.

Stained Or Buckled Ceilings And Floors

If the sheetrock has absorbed too much water or moisture, it can affect the connected ceilings and floors.  Check your floors and ceilings for signs of stains and buckling and if you notice a problem, check the nearby walls for signs of water damage.

Testing For Hidden Water Leaks

The signs discussed above are normally indicative of a hidden water leak, but it can be difficult to know for sure if you have a hidden leak from these signs alone.  If you find some of the signs of a hidden leak in your home and you want to know for sure, follow these tips to test for a hidden water leak by using your water meter.

  • Turn off all faucets in your home as well as appliances that use water.
  • Check the water meter and record the usage number.
  • Leave the water off for approximately 3 hours inside and outside the home.
  • Look at the water meter again to see the usage numbers.
  • If the water usage has gone up, then there is a hidden water leak.

What To Do When You Find A Water Leak

A water leak behind a wall is an issue that requires immediate attention, and it is usually better left to professionals.  Addressing a hidden water leak yourself involves removing the wet drywall or sheetrock and either drying out the affected materials, or replacing them.  You also must find and fix the source of the water which may be difficult to do.  By contacting a water damage restoration professional, you can trust that the job will be done effectively and that the technicians will handle all necessary repairs and mold removal.  Make sure to check your home regularly for signs of a hidden water leak so you can react before it causes serious damage.

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. 

 

Summer Storms and Sump Pump Failure

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

If a storm knocks out your power or if for any other reason, your sump pump stops working, there is no defense against the water rising in your basement from the sump pump flooding.

As a result, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is available to clean up the mess and restore your basement to its original condition. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be at your home typically within one hour to evaluate your needs and begin the clean-up process. Let SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County give back your peace of mind.

Sump Pump Over Flow flooded basement Cleanup

Furthermore, basement flooding from sump pump failure is a common problem and is occurring all too often. Also in areas prone to excess groundwater. Results are costly for complicated clean-up projects. 

The trend in recent decades towards finished basements has raised stakes considerably.  Basement flooding can now destroy expensive entertainment rooms, office equipment, and flooring. Also, Homeowners with active sump pits often feel like they are being held ransom by their sump pumps. People are unable to enjoy vacations or travel without worrying that their sump pump will fail.

Because this concern is valid, the causes of sump pump failure make a seemingly endless list.

Typical Causes of Sump Pump Failure

  • The pump motor could burn out from overuse.
  • A clog could occur. Mud or debris can jam the pump. In addition, the water intake screen can be blocked.
  • Critical components, like the impeller, drive shaft, or float switch can break, disabling the pump.
  • A disconnected or stuck float switch.
  • Clogged waste water discharge pipe, impairing the pump’s ability to remove sump water.
  • Seemingly trivial things can also stop the pump from working. Unplugged by accident or rendered inoperable by a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse.

Power outages are an extremely common cause of sump pump failure. Sump Pumps failures can create unusually extensive water damage. Because power outages tend to occur in conjunction with a storm, there is the threat of the sump pump malfunctioning. Thus, rainwater filling your basement causing Water Damage.

Sump Pump Failure In Your Home?

Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

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

Removing Smoke Odor From Your Home

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Need help dealing with smoke odor in your home? Perhaps you had a small fire in your kitchen and you are now left with a smokey smell inside your home.  In this blog we will address the main points you need to know in effectively dealing with and eliminating smoke odor.

To begin every situation will be different depending on the severity of the fire damage incident, the bigger and hotter the fire the more difficult it will be in removing smoke odor as higher temperatures cause the pores of materials to open up more and thus absorbing more of the smoke odor. However, proper smoke odor removal will entail a combination of tactics including cleaning, deodorizing, and sealing of materials.

The 4 steps to removing smoke odor in your home are:


Step 1 – Remove any and all burnt materials from your home (or area you are trying to rid smoke smell from). As long as the source of the smell (in this case burnt materials) is present, you will have a difficult time removing the smokey odor. If burnt areas or items can't be removed  (such as structural materials) then you may need to apply a sealant to the area which  will lock in the odor.

Step 2 – Install an AFD (Air Filtration Device) unit with carbon activated filters. An AFD unit with a HEPA filter is not enough, and will not be efficient at removing smoke odors. Make sure you are equipping the AFD unit with carbon filters as these are what  will absorb and trap the gases and odor.

Step 3- Clean all affected areas. This means all areas near and around the fire incident, including the actual area the fire took place in (do not use any water or wet cleaning in this step). In this process you want to get rid of all surface soot and dusts, depending on the type you could vacuum some of it away. After you have tried vacuuming the larger particles you should then do some dry-chem sponge cleaning (you should be able to pick up these up at your local Home-Depot). The sponge will absorb remaining soot and smoke (working as an eraser) as opposed to smearing them, which is what wet cleaning would do.

Step 4 – Spray Deodorizers to all smoke affected areas.  In this step the aim is to re penetrate the surface pores of affected areas with a deodorizing agent. You should use a deodorizing agent geared towards smoke damage. Next, follow the instructions on how to mix the chemical. Using a spray bottle to deodorize all surfaces including walls and carpets (obviously do not spray it on water sensitive areas like electronics etc.) Let the solution sit and soak while it does its job. As the chemical dries you should be able to assess the situation and see if the smell is gone or if it needs another  application. If this is not working effectively then it is likely because the fire was of a larger size and or higher heat, which may require a thermal fogging treatment. Thermal fogging replicates the heat like attributes of the fire which opens up the pores of building materials even more, however this should be reserved for the professionals.

There you have it, the 4 steps in dealing with smoke odors in your home. These steps should work well in a situation where the severity of the smoke smell is low-medium. Again, for severe jobs you should be contracting a local fire restoration company to take over the job and restore your home to its preloss condition.

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

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

Common Causes of Residential Water Damage

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

There are a few different water damage causes you should know about, so that you can avoid them as best as possible. If you’re curious about this, then this information should give you some insight on what to look for. 

One cause of water damage would be from natural sources such as weather. Severe weather could very well damage a home, no matter what precautions you’ve tried to take. One major weak spot in a home that is at least a few years old, is the roof. Serious weather can cause leaks and soft spots. One good storm could turn a slow dripping roof into a big opening for water. The same logic can be applied to your walls and foundation. To prevent water damage as much as possible, it’s important to check for leaks during any kind of storm that involves rain. This is a good preventative measure, but if the storm is big enough, water damage may not be avoidable.

Another one of the causes of water damage is from faulty plumbing. This can create quite the disaster, especially if there is a back flow of sewage. There are actually 3 categories of water that could damage a building. Category 1 is “clean” water, category 2 is labeled as “grey” water, and category 3 is the worst possible. This water may be contaminated with harmful elements simply isn't safe to be around. For this Category of water damage it will need to be extracted and cleaned by a water restoration professional. In most cases, carpeting and furniture that has been left in category 3 damage should be discarded. This is because bacteria, mold, mildew, and other pathogens breed in this environment.

You’re now in the know about water damage causes. This is the first step in being able to avoid it at all costs. This can be an expensive problem to deal with, so be careful. If you do run into any damage like this, do not hesitate to call a professional immediately.

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 also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

What Causes Mold?

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Common causes of mold

Humidity

  • Mold grows when the weather is humid as well as when it has been raining for several days. A recurring problem of mold growth happens when live in places where humidity is naturally high.
  • Humidity indoors also increases when moisture inside the house evaporates. Much more if the house is not well ventilated. This causes the humidity to be high.
  • An Indoor humidity problem can happen when homeowners dry their clothes inside.
  • HVAC systems can cause humidity while it is heating and cooling the inside of the home.

Condensation

Condensation can also promote mold growth. Cold surfaces at home like concrete enables condensation thus promoting mold growth.

Poor Ventilation

Poor ventilation can create pockets of stagnant moist air where mold can grow. When a room is not well ventilated wet surfaces will not dry out quickly.           

Wet Clothes

Drying clothes in a room that is not well ventilated can create a buildup of moisture causing mold growth. Wet as well as damp clothes provides a perfect spot for mold to thrive.

Flooding

Having mold growth after a flood is inevitable. Flood water removal can only begin after the water starts to recede. However, if the water recedes after 2 days, mold may begin to thrive on wet surfaces.

Having mold indoors will lead to a plethora of unexpected and expensive damages. Don’t wait for mold to grow and spread. Though it may sound expensive to hire a competent water damage restoration company to restore your home it will save you money in the long run.

Mold In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today. 502.241.6861

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

Sprinkler System Water Damage

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

If you live in a newer home or apartment, you’ve probably stared at the ceiling and wondered what would happen if the sprinkler system was set off. Those likely spiky, circular things protruding from the ceiling serve a very serious purpose.

Sprinkler systems are becoming more prominent in private homes as the technology to control them advances, however many people worry if they’re compound one problem with another by adding water damage to the list of repairs after a fire. The truth is, if you’re lucky there will always be water damage after a fire, and a sprinkler system may help lower the amount of damage, nevertheless there will still be damage. Here’s an overview of the different types of sprinkler systems and why you’re going to need a disaster restoration company should your’s ever disperse.

Sprinkler System Designs

  • Wet Pipe System: More commonly found in commercial buildings, a wet pipe system is always full of water so it is ready to go the moment there’s a sign of fire. The advantage to this type of system is that it is quick and effective, but there is a downside. Since the pipes are constantly full of water there is a higher chance for freezing or leaking, which can lead to water damage.
  • Dry Pipe System: As the name suggests, a dry pipe system is not constantly full of water, but pressurized air instead. When the system is activated the air has to be pushed out before water fills the pipes and can put out the fire, resulting in response times of up to a full minute. In order to combat the long response time, a high water pressure is used.

An Unfortunate Series of Events

The hard truth is that no matter what, there’s going to be damage to your home. Whether it's smoke and fire or water damage, there’s going to be some restoration necessary. While a sprinkler system is great for containing fire damage, and the water damage done by a sprinkler system is less than what would happen from a visit by the local fire department, your home isn’t going to be the same after an event like this. The right disaster restoration company will know how to handle both types of damage. Call them, and then call your insurance company.

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

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

How To Create A Home Inventory List

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

If you lost your belongings in a fire or burglary, would you know where to begin putting your life back together? A home inventory is a foolproof way to ensure you’re protected when disaster strikes.

Why You Should Create a Home Inventory?

If your belongings were lost in a fire or stolen, a home inventory can help you figure out immediately what to replace. Most importantly, it can help you obtain the funds you need to replace those items via your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Typically, after a disaster, insurance companies ask for a list of everything that was lost. This can be hard to produce during an emotional and difficult recovery time. A home inventory makes this process a lot easier, saving you time and ensuring a smoother recovery process.

How to Create a Home Inventory?

A home inventory is simply a list of everything in your home, how much each item costs and when you bought it. What’s the best way to create a home inventory?

  • Compile a photo or video inventory.
    Take photos or video footage of every room from different angles, opening cabinets and closet doors to ensure thorough coverage. 
  • Make a list.
    In addition to your photo/video footage, write down all of your valuables, room by room. What’s the easiest way to create a home inventory list? There are apps designed to help you do this, or you can use a spreadsheet or a pad of paper. Just be sure to make extra copies, storing one off-site.

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, Trimble and Henry Counties. 

Benefits of Cleaning Your Ducts

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Having your air ducts cleaned is not something that most people give much thought to, until they are piled with dust. Below you will find the benefits to having them cleaned.

1. Improve indoor air quality: In a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually through everyday living. 

2. Energy savings: according to the U.S. Department of Energy, "25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted". When your air ducts are piled with 40 pounds of dust, your AC system has to work  harder to keep your home cool. With clean air ducts you could be saving 25 to 40 percent on your power bill.

3. Increased life of your HVAC unit: cleaning your air ducts will reduce the stress on your system. Instead of it having to work harder to keep your home cool, it will increase efficiency, thereby increasing the life of the system. 

Finally, with all the above referenced benefits, now is the time to have your air ducts cleaned. Saving money, and increasing the indoor air quality in your home are great reasons to have it done.

Duct cleaning in your home or business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to schedule an appointment. 502.241.6861

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

Leaky Pipes And Water Damage Restoration

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Your residential or commercial property’s water system is one of the things that you should routinely check for damage. Leaks and pipe bursts can result in abnormally high water bills and water damage to your building or home. If you suspect plumbing leaks contact a professional to assess the damage.

Water pipes may look durable, airtight and watertight on the surface however they can be damaged by excessive pressure and shock. Construction-related activities can damage water lines, resulting in hard-to-control gushes that can flood your property in a hurry.

Changes in water chemistry can also corrode the insides of pipes. When this happens, pinhole leaks can develop, wasting away water and creating damp spaces in areas of your home or building where water shouldn’t intrude. This can inflict  water damage to walls, floors and ceilings for months on end before you finally notice the problem and do something about it. Leaks can also pave the way for the contamination of your water supply, dropping its quality and making it a risk for your structure’s occupants.

Water Damage from Plumbing Leaks

While the prospect of water intruding your property seems more like a nuisance than a crisis, it’s actually a very serious matter that requires immediate and decisive action. Water damage is a progressive problem: the more you wait, the worse it gets. Here are some of the issues you’re looking at when you let water have its way on your property:

  • Destruction of the Structure’s Permanent Parts – Water can corrode metals and weaken wood. Most homes rely heavily on these two principal materials along with concrete. When water damage sets in, you could be looking at costly reconstruction work soon.
  • Mold growth – Moisture and organic matter are the only prerequisites for mold to grow. When water intrusion happens, mold can thrive undetected indoors until it forms colonies. The colonies then release new spores to the air. In some bad cases, mold can turn black and toxic. 
  • Air quality issues – Hidden pockets of water can make the air in your home or workplace musty and unpleasant. 
  • Fire hazard creation – When water from leaking water lines seep into areas where electrical wiring runs, watch out. Any openings in the wire’s insulation can make contact with water, creating sparks and possibly causing a fire.
  • Damage to carpets and rugs – Water from pipes that are leaking under your floors can surface up, but stay concealed if you have rugs and carpets covering your crawl areas. Water weakens the backings of these floor coverings, making them more susceptible to wear and tear. It can also make your carpets a perfect breeding ground for germs, fungi and dust mites.

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. 

Water In Your Crawlspace

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water in crawl spaces can be a bigger problem than you might think. Even though a crawl space is a relatively remote area of the home, water that pools there can cause issues on every floor if mold forms. The two things mold needs to survive are moisture and darkness, both of which can be prevalent in crawl space that has a leak. Mold can spread through the ventilation system, causing problems and can grow on piers and joists causing structural issues.

 

Keep reading to learn how water enters your crawl space and the things you can do to prevent it.

It cannot be stressed enough how important a slope away from the home is in preventing foundation damage. Essentially, properly sloped grading around your crawl space can help prevent water from entering your home.

 

The remedy of a poor sloping grade is to build it up. Make sure you have a slope of at least 6-8 inches away from the foundation walls, extending for the first 6-8 feet. This grade should be checked every spring once the ground begins to thaw to see if the winter has washed away or caused any shifting of the structure.

One of the most devastating things about water in your crawl space isn't the damage caused, the lack of access, or even the impending  problems – it's the fact that the whole ordeal could have likely easily been prevented. This is because the biggest cause of crawl space leaks in a house is improper downspout aiming or not cleaning out gutters.

Downspouts should be pointed away from the home's foundation and also be accompanied by a 2-foot splash block at the bottom that guides water away. When a home doesn't have a downspout, or has one that is pointed towards  the house, the storms will eventually wash away the grade of your soil and direct water on a bypass into the basement.

Sometimes water in your crawl space is caused by human error, specifically when a hose is left running near the side of the house or when somebody over-waters their shrubs. Not only can excessive watering cause plants to die, it also creates a water source that many homes aren't equipped to deal with. Make sure your flowerbed is equipped with the proper base layers to prevent water from skipping right past the roots and into the crawl space.

Crawl space leaks can also originate from inside the home. The thing about water is that it will always trickle down, so even if a pipe has burst somewhere near an upstairs bathroom, it may find a final resting spot in the crawl space.

The easiest way to detect a broken pipe is by taking a visual inventory of the home, looking for obvious wet spots. If you suspect you have a broken pipe but can’t locate the leak call in a plumber to help you pinpoint the exact spot of the ruptured or loose pipe connection.

  

Of course sometimes a crawl space leak comes from outside the home, either from a broken city line or water that comes from underground. City municipalities will have to come on site to fix any line problems on their end and there could be a number of things causing subterranean water to form such as:

    Underground drains that are designed to carry water away from the home have become damaged, plugged, or have insufficient slope.
  • A torrential storm creates just too much water for your drainage system to handle and causes pools of water that eventually seep deep into the soil. 

Water Damage In Your Home's Crawlspace? 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. 

 

What to Expect When Your Basement

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

Basement leak are nothing new. Structural cracks, poor lot grading and drainage,burst pipes, sewer backups, and even over-full gutters and downspouts can be quick to show you trouble travels downhill. How should you handle these events and prevent unnecessary damage? Let’s take a closer look…

How to Stop Water from Leaking Into Your Basement

  • Put a Stopper in It
    Filling cracks in the structure and gaps around windows with an epoxy sealer outside, and a masonry sealer indoors, finishing the repaired area with the appropriate water proofing paint. If damage looks serious, schedule a professional repair assessment.
  • Go with the Flow
    If your basement leaks when it rains, the first thing you need to do is clear your gutters and downspouts, and check to see if they’re draining in the optimal direction and at least six and a half feet away from your basement to prevent leaks and flooding. If problems persist, professional landscaping or waterproofing help may be necessary to add a crown or sloping trench to address grading issues.
  • Think Thirsty
    Water thirsty plants, shrubs, and flowers, as well as porous pavers and concrete options improve absorption and prevent buildup and runoff. Avoid large trees as roots could penetrate the basement structure and create additional leakage issues.
  • Bail Out
    Located in the lowest part of your basement, installing a sump pump can help prevent your basement from turning into an indoor swimming pool in the event of a major leak. Routinely checked and cleaned to ensure flow, and can quickly and efficiently redirect water outdoors, preventing damage.
  • Fight FOG
    Fat, oil and grease can cause drain blockages in your home’s plumbing system that could result in water backups to your basement. Wipe or scrape as much of these substances into the trash as possible. The same goes for flushing the wrong objects down the toilet.  The only thing septic and sewer line safe? Toilet paper and human waste.

How Much Does it Cost to Waterproof Your Basement?

Basement waterproofing varies widely in cost, and is largely dependent repair issues. Those with minor repairs could spend as little as $750. However those with in need of more comprehensive repairs like addressing foundation cracks and adding drainage and gutters could spend in excess of $9,000. Left unaddressed, however, these costs could pile up to far more. Excess basement moisture can quickly lead to mold and moisture damage in other areas of your home.

Water Damage In Your Basement? 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. 

Your Home and Mold

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

After a flood or other major water damage, mold can become a very real problem. It’s always safer to have mold removed from your home or business quickly, even if it is not particularly dangerous. Not taking care of mold damage in a timely manner can cause issues for your family or customers. One of the best ways to keep your home or business safe and clean is by trusting a professional to handle any mold damage repair you need.

Even if you can’t see all of the mold, it is possible that it has spread into the structure of your home. When this is the case and the damages are deeper than the surface level, mold growth can also lead to structural and safety issues.

Taking care of mold damage can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what to expect or don’t have experience getting rid of mold. It is often better to trust a professional with mold damage repair because they have the skills and knowledge needed to remedy the problem completely. This is critical if your mold problem has affected many areas of your home. Trusting a professional with your mold damage repair will ensure the problem is completely and safely taken care of, and you will be much less likely to experience more mold in the future.

Mold 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. 

Structural Damage

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Structural Damage

Structural damage is probably the most serious risk of water damage. It can occur in many different ways. Flooding can affect the structure of your home. It can move structure points in the foundation and/or cracks. And there is also the risk of mold inflicting damage on the structure if flooding hasn’t. A space that hasn’t been dried out properly is the perfect place for mold to grow. And if it penetrates, the structure will weaken from the inside. Both of these can go unseen and can be very dangerous.

Water damage is a serious matter. It can affect your home in myriad ways and definitely leave its mark. If you have found water damage in your home, you have to address the matter promptly . The best approach is to call for expert advice. Restoration professionals will have more experience and know how to handle your unique water damage situation. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby will be there to help make your home safe and water damage free. 

Water Damage In Your Home or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

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

Water Damaged Drywall

4/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water & Mold Damage On Drywall

Short-term damage to drywall is caused by water, whereas long-term damage is usually the result of mold growth:

Drywall Exposed To Water

When drywall is exposed to moisture it will show water stains. After a prolonged period of time, it can also be completely destroyed and reduced to mush. The paper coatings will separate from the gypsum, and the core will lose its structural integrity.

Even if the damage is not immediately apparent, drywall that's lost structural integrity can begin to slowly sag over a period of time and will need to be replaced.

Mold & Drywall

With its paper backing, wet drywall can also be an ideal habitat for mold. Mold feeds by secreting digestive chemicals into the environment, which then reabsorbs along with digestive materials to use as food. This process is not possible unless the materials are wet. Mold can begin to grow on drywall in as little as 24-48 hours; drying the walls as quickly as possible is key to an effective solution.

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. 

When Ground Water Enters Your Home?

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

There are three main ways that ground water can enter your home, Basement seepage, water intrusion and sub pump failure. Excess ground water flooding is usually caused by abnormally large amounts of water not properly draining, which causes the groundwater to spread and enter your home.

Basement Seepage- Groundwater can commonly find its way into your basement by going through the cellar doors, improperly sealed windows, or cracks in the foundation. It is a smart idea to check your basement for cracks, holes, improper sealants, or areas where it looks like water can get through.

Water Intrusion- Ground water can find its way into a home that is not properly sealed, or has cracks.

Sump Pump Failure- It is common to find a sump pump in homes that are located in high water table areas. Sump pumps are meant to keep the area under a home dry and to prevent it from flooding.

The sump pump usually sits in a specially constructed pit where groundwater flows in through drains or naturally, and the sump pump will pump the groundwater out and away from the home.

Occasionally, a sump pump does fail. Whether improper insulation, maintenance, defects, clogs, or a power failure, if a sump pump fails, groundwater could end up overflowing through the sump pump and flooding your basement.

If groundwater is coming in, make sure to try to stop the water coming in the best you can and wait until the water level has stopped rising to call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. If you call a professional in while the water is still coming in very heavily, there would be a lot more charges associated with the job as they would have to repeat the extraction process until the water recedes.

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.  

How To Spot Previous Water Damage When Buying A Home

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

There are few things better in life than buying your own home. There’s a reason why it’s a popular dream to be a home owner. A new house means freedom, space…and liabilities for anything that goes wrong inside your home. Unfortunately, those problems are more common than you think; and with them, all those home-buying joys can quickly turn into a nightmare scenario.

One of the biggest headaches is water damage. Not every sign of water damage is visible and its impact on your wallet can be severe. That’s why it’s imperative to search for any and all signs of water damage during your inspection of the home before buying. Because if you are unfortunate enough to miss the signs of damage prior to signing the contract, you will be left struggling to take care of an issue that you are now completely liable for.

Luckily, you don't have to be an expert to spot the potential signs of water damage. By paying close attention and looking out for any of these possible signs, you should be able to avoid the expense and embarrassment that comes with buying a money pit.

Use your sense of smell

A lot of times you don’t visibly see water damage. You smell it.

Water damage often leads to the growth of mold and unless the previous owner hired a professional mold restoration company, it is highly likely that this mold will leave behind obvious signs. The most obvious sign is a musty, humid smell. If your prospective home smells like something’s off, it probably is. You'll definitely want to make sure you have it inspected for mold and water damage prior to signing the contract.

Be on the lookout for cracks

Cracks can form in walls – both inside and outside the home – the foundation, or ceilings. They can all be signs that the building suffered from previous water damage. This could also include traceable lines on the surfaces, along with peeling or flaky paint. The biggest problem with these sorts of cracks is that they allow even more water into a home going forward; for that reason, be thorough when looking for cracks.

Do you see any grainy substances? These are mineral deposits

You'll also want to carefully examine the walls, ceilings and floors for any signs of mineral deposits. These deposits can be nearly transparent and difficult to spot; you might want to run your hand along the walls and feel for any sandiness. Mineral deposits may have a whitish tint and are usually left behind after standing water or water-logged materials dry out.

Does anything feel…soft?

Most houses these days have a wooden foundation – at least on the interior. Wood is susceptible to rotting when exposed to moisture for a prolonged time. Use your hand to feel along walls, door frames and other places where you might suspect damage. Wood shouldn’t yield to you too easily.

As for the floors, a squeaky or moving subfloor could signify water damage from a leak that has bowed the board. Make sure to walk the house thoroughly.

Inspect doors, windows and any other openings

The doors, windows and other openings are an easy way for water to get into your home. For this reason, it is essential that you fully inspect these openings to make sure that they are completely sealed and watertight. In addition, you'll want to look at the surrounding areas to ensure the materials around the openings don't look decayed.

Natural openings to a home are usually one of the first signs of water damage. If you catch it up front, you can save yourself a migraine later.

Check around for sump pumps and other water cleanup equipment

A sump pump or other water removal equipment is usually a pretty obvious sign that the owner has experienced water issues in the past. With that said, isn’t it much better to have that sort of equipment on hand? A sump pump can help prevent any future issues; as long as the water damage in a home is not extensive, having that sump pump up front can really help.

Water damage is no joke. If caught early, it’s a minor headache for your family. If you let it linger however, you might be looking at some extremely costly repair bills for such a simple issue. Water has the potential to cause all sorts of serious problems for a home: mold, foundation rot, damage to insulation, dry walling, floors and subfloors – the list goes on. A home with a history of water damage could even dramatically lose its value.

Even if you don't currently have water problems, it's never a bad idea to invest in a sump pump. Having a sump pump lying around is a great preventative measure that immediately prepares you for any future water issues. Furthermore, even if your new home doesn't currently have water damage, you'll still want to pay close attention to all the factors above to ensure the problem doesn't rear its ugly head.

Water Damage Or Mold In Your Home or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby to speak with a mitigation specialist today. 502.241.6861

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

What To Do If Water Damage Occurs

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

What to Do if Water Damage Occurs

Immediately shut off the water to your home if damage is being incurred from a plumbing malfunction to prevent further flooding.

Move all possessions to dry ground such as valuables, documents, and electronics.

Do not use electricity if your home has water damage as the wiring can be impacted.

Have your home inspected by a plumbing professional.

File a claim with your insurance company so that your home can be repaired.

Contact a restoration services company to remove and extract moisture as well as water from your home.

Mold is able to grow within 24 hours of a flood, so immediately taking action against damage is importance.

Lastly, document the damage with pictures to ensure proof is obtained.

  Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact 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.   

HVAC Fire Prevention

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system, more commonly known as an HVAC system, is a wonderful piece of technology that helps ensure your comfortable regardless of the weather outside. Like any electrical device, it can pose a fire hazard if not maintained properly. Most HVAC fire hazards are preventable with proper care and attention.

The Top HVAC Fire Hazards

HVAC systems are usually in a back room of the basement, outside behind the house, or in the attic – three places that are easy for homeowners to forget about.

Regardless of the season, HVAC fire hazards are present at any time of the year. Fortunately, many of these risks are preventable.

The Top HVAC Fire Hazards:

  • HVAC parts are old, corroded, or broken: This problem often stems from an HVAC unit that is not regularly serviced. Problems with essential parts can lead to decreased efficiency and also potential fire hazards.
  • Items are stored too close to the HVAC unit:The HVAC unit itself produces a considerable amount of heat. Storing combustible items such as boxes, paper, motor oil, and chemicals too close to the unit itself creates a high-risk environment for a fire.
  • Problems with connections or gas pressure:Problems with connections in a gas furnace can allow toxic gas to be released into the home, leading to both health and fire hazards.
  • The HVAC unit has an electrical problem: Whether the unit has a loose cord connection, a frayed cord, an old cord that overheats, or another issue, electrical problems with HVAC units can easily spark furnace fires.
  • A fuel line is leaking: This can be a harder problem to spot since many fuel lines are located inside or behind the unit. Yearly inspections can help catch old, at-risk fuel lines before they start leaking and posing a major fire hazard.
  • Improper installation: When an HVAC unit is installed improperly, it can lead to many problems such as reduced air flow and efficiency, along with increased costs. Improper installation can also cause serious problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards.

If you notice the smell of gas in the basement, evacuate the home and call your service technician immediately.

What You Can Do to Prevent HVAC Fires

Taking steps to prevent HVAC fires is the best way to avoid an emergency situation. In addition, these steps can save you a lot of long-term hassle and cost.

Tips for Preventing HVAC Fires:

  1. Schedule HVAC maintenance at least once a year. Not only is a yearly inspection a good way to ensure that every part is in serviceable condition, you can maintain optimal efficiency for energy savings.
  2. Don’t attempt DIY HVAC maintenance. Always hire a professional, certified technician to perform any repairs or tune-ups on your HVAC unit. DIY repairs can lead to accidental problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning or increased risk of fire hazards.
  3. Ensure that the area is properly ventilated. HVAC systems produce carbon monoxide, a toxic, invisible, odorless gas. Without proper ventilation, gas can collect in the home and become extremely hazardous to occupants.
  4. Be aware of what you store near your HVAC unit. It is advised to keep all items at least 3 feet away from the unit. Much like portable heaters and other appliances, HVAC units can get extremely hot and cause flammable items to combust. Storing items too close to heating equipment is one of the primary causes of home fires.
  5. Replace the filters on your HVAC at least twice a year, if applicable. Set a routine that is easy to remember, such as once during the spring and again during the fall. Not only will a filter improve the air quality in your home, it will help ensure proper airflow and reduce overheating.
  6. If you have an outdoor HVAC unit and keep it covered during certain seasons, make sure to remove the cover prior to the first use of the season. An obstructed airflow can cause overheating and pose a fire hazard.
  7. Install a carbon monoxide detector near the HVAC unit. Evacuate the home and call your HVAC technician if the alarm goes off.

Now that you know the top HVAC fire hazards and how to prevent them, you can take steps to keep your family safe year-round.

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

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

Why Can't I Clean Water Damage Up On My Own?

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

When water damages your property, cleanup must start immediately. There is a 24 to 48 hour window from the time something gets wet to the time that mold begins to grow. After that time frame mold will multiply rapidly. When mold growth is widespread, you need the help of a professional mold remediation service to safely remove and treat the water and mold.

Get your property completely dry with a company that specializes in water damage restoration and emergency water extraction. At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County we use professional water removal and drying equipment to complete the job as quickly as possible. 

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. 

What You Need To Know Before Calling A Plumber

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

Plumbing is an important part of the home. Your pipes and other plumbing systems must be well-built, developed and maintained. However, problems may still occur even if you take good care of your plumbing. You may not be prepared for such emergency situations. If problems like this arise, what automatically comes to mind is to call a local plumber. But before you do that, you must make sure first that you really need a plumber or another specialist.

So here are five things you need to know and consider before calling a plumber.

  1. Check if the plumber is licensed and reliable. A license alone is not enough. You also need to look into the experience and reputation of the plumber. You can do this by reading reviews. However, don’t base your decision on the reviews alone. Just use this to have a quick background regarding the plumber’s reputation and skills.
  2. Get free estimates. This will give you an idea of how much money you would be spending. However, you must keep in mind that affordability does not mean bad quality. Don’t equate quality with the price of the plumbing work. But don’t expect that the best plumber will be the cheapest.
  3. The plumber must not only be experienced and skilled; he or she must also be trustworthy. See to it that you entrust your home to a professional that you can trust and count on. Let your instinct dictate this. And again, read some reviews.
  4. Check if the plumber offers workmanship warranty. Is he willing to fix any wrongs in case something comes up due to his performance? Is he reputable when it comes to installation work? Make a list of questions to ask as a reference when calling the company.
  5. This is the most important. Ask yourself if you really need a plumber. Is the work needed fit for a plumber or would another specialist be more appropriate? Remember that there are things that plumbers can’t do. Assess the situation before you call. Chances are, you might not need a plumber after all, but a restoration specialist.

These are the kinds of things a restoration specialist can do:

A water damage restoration team will assess the damage to your home. They will investigate to see if there is serious water damage due to flooding, burst pipes or other issues. So if the supposed “plumbing” problems have made your carpets, furniture and other valuables a mess, you don’t need a plumber, but a restoration specialist. Keeping in mind however, if the water source is still running you should contact a plumber first and foremost.

A restoration specialist will remove the excess water as well as set equipment to dry the structure. Depending on the water source some personal items may be salvageable as well.

The next time you encounter a “plumbing” issue, ask yourself first the five things mentioned in the article before calling a plumber. Remember what plumbers can’t do that restoration specialists can handle.

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to speak to a restoration specialist today. 502.241.6861

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

BBQ Fire Prevention TIps

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

With summer fast approaching most everyone is looking forward to spending time with family and friends grilling their favorite foods. 

Whether you are grilling at home or at a campsite, it’s important to keep Grilling Fire Safety in mind. Check out the safety tips listed below to keep you and your family safe from fire injuries or damage to your home! In the event you do experience a fire remember SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is a wise choice to turn to in your time of need!

• Charcoal and Propane BBQ grills should only be used outdoors and never inside the home.
• Place your grill far away from the home, deck railings and overhanging branches.
• Clean your grill regularly by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in the trays below.
• Never leave your grill unattended and keep children and pets away from grill area.

Never go to bed or leave your house until you are sure that the fire is completely out. Wind can be a dangerous factor in contributing to the spread of fire. Keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher handy in the event that your grill does catch on fire. Fire is one of the most devastating events that can occur to a homeowner. The effects can be costly and dangerous to the occupants of the home.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby are experts in cleaning contents or homes that have experienced fire and smoke damage. Call us today to speak to a Restoration Specialist. 502.241.6861

Why Should I Have My Ducts Cleaned?

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

1. Energy Efficiency Increase

When you have contaminated air ducts, your cooling and heating system will work harder, and this will reduce the lifespan of your system. When your air ducts are clean, it will increase your system’s efficiency, thus helping lower your utility bill.

2. Mold and Mildew Help

You could have a soggy, flooded or wet basement or crawlspace and this could have caused mold and mildew to grow. This could have penetrated your duct system. So having them cleaned and sprayed with an Anti-Microbial agent will resolve this issue.

3. Relief from Allergens

Allergens such as fungi, bacteria and mold can breed in your duct system. 

Pollutants come into your home and infiltrate your HVAC system, which can contaminate your air. The duct system also has the perfect place to harbor fungi, molds, bacteria, dust mites and other types of allergens. Clean ducts improve your home’s air quality.

4. Dust Reduction

As much as 40 pounds worth of dust is able to accumulate in a house with six rooms each year. Cleaning your air ducts is going to remove the dust that’s accumulated as the years go by so that it's not continually filtering back into your home.

5. New Furnace

You had a brand-new furnace installed. This procedure often is really messy and releases pollutants and dust into the system and your home . These will disperse into the air once the heat is turned on.

6. You’re a Pet Owner

If you have one or more pets, chances are that your ducts need a good cleaning. Pet fur often will go into your air vents and release germs, allergens, molds and fungus.

7. Fire or Water Restoration

If you recently had a problem with damage due to a fire or water loss, like slow leak, backup of sewage, ground water, or a bust pipe, it’s a good idea to have your ducts cleaned. Anytime you have abnormal levels of moisture, even though they might seem small, have the ability to potentially lead to significant pollution in the air due to things like mold spores.

8. You Bought a New Home

If you bought your home recently, having your air ducts cleaned is a good idea especially if the old owners were pet owners. Another reason is that they may never have had them cleaned. It’s a good idea to have it done before you move in.

9. You’re Renovating Your Home

Home renovations and remodeling often stirs up a lot of dust and releases dust from drywall into your home’s air. Debris and dust from the construction goes into your HVAC and starts to recirculate. To stop this from happening, have the ducts cleaned right after your renovation’s done.

10. You’re a Smoker

Your home’s ducts are your home’s respiratory system. When you’re smoking inside, your home’s ducts are going to become dirty and clogged and reduce their efficiency. If you’re a smoker, it’s better to stay outside so that your ducts aren’t negatively impacted.

11. Insects

Are you noticing that you have a lot of spiders and insects in it, it could be they’re living in your system’s ducts. It’s recommended that you do duct cleaning in the spring because a lot of insects love hiding in ducts so they’re able to avoid cold weather. When you are cleaning your ducts, it’s going to remove any dead insects and stop their life cycles so you don’t have another infestation.

12. Rodents and Vermin

If you’re noticing odors coming from the ducts  you may have dead animals like rats and mice in the duct work. So you want to have your ducts cleaned to get rid of anything that’s residing in the system itself.

These are reasons to consider having your air ducts cleaned. Not only will it help you save money but it also will make your home’s air a lot cleaner for everyone.

Dirty Air Ducts In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to schedule a cleaning today. 502.241.6841

Is There An Issue With My Sewer Line?

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

A sewer line problem is not one you want to have in your home. However, how do you know if your system is progressing towards a problem or already has one? There are many signs of sewer line problems. Here are a few of the signs that you can be looking out for. As always, it is better to be watchful and catch the problem before it gets too out of hand. 

Sewage Backups and Blockages

If your toilets, sinks, and other drains regularly backup that is a sign that the system is not working correctly. The water and debris should be able to move through the line smoothly. If there is a build up in the system backups and blockages will occur. This is an easy way to spot signs of a bigger issue, and one that shouldn’t be ignored.

Sewer Gas Smell

Being able to smell sewer in and around your house is a sure sign that there is a problem. Sewer systems are built to be airtight and to move downhill, so if you’re able to smell sewage that is a problem. There is most likely a crack somewhere in your sewer system if you can smell sewage. Not only is the smell unpleasant enough  you don’t want the crack to get bigger!

Extra Green Grass Patches

You may be wondering why certain patches of your grass are suddenly greener and lusher. Sewage is a great fertilizer. Sewage leaks under your yard can create extra lush and green grass on the surface. Though the extra fertilization may be welcome to the appearance of the lawn the leaking sewage won’t be if it starts building up or pooling. So if you haven’t been fertilizing or water your lawn extra but it continues to get greener and lusher take that as a sign something else is fertilizing it.

Slow Drainage

This is a complaint many people with long hair have. However, if the sinks, drains, and toilets continue to drain slowly after multiple attempts to clean the line there could be a bigger problem. A blockage could be forming somewhere in the line. Issues such as root growth, channeling, and cracks can lead to slow draining lines. If your drains consistently drain slower it is time to look into further problems as this is only a symptom.

The signs of a problem in your sewer line are definitely noticeable. The key is to not ignore them once you start to see them. If one or more of these symptoms is happening regularly it is time to take action and call in a professional before it gets worse. 

Sewage or Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Avoiding Spring Rain Water Damage

3/23/2018 (Permalink)

April showers bring May flowers, but spring rain can also lead to water damage. Basement flooding due to foundation problems and roof leaks can become an expensive problem when a big storm hits. The good news is by taking proper precautions, you can prevent spring rains from damaging your home.

Inspect Your Roof

While flooding often comes first to mind when discussing rain damage, it’s not the only hazard brought in by the storms. A roof in need of repair can lead to water leaking in and causing huge problems up above. Typically roofs should be replaced every 15 to 20 years, and regular maintenance is key to getting the longest life from your overhead cover.

  • Bring in a roofing professional to inspect your roof and repair any cracks, missing shingles, and general wear and tear.
  • Keep in mind that even a loose nail can allow water to leak in.
  • Be on the lookout for water damage from within your home. Sags in the ceiling or discoloration is an obvious sign that outside water has found its way in.
  • If a heavy storm has already hit, look for signs of damage caused by wind, hail, or falling trees and branches. Contact your insurance company if you believe your roof needs repair.

Gutters

The gutter system on your home helps to channel water off the roof and away from the foundation of your home. If your gutters are clogged or not hanging straight, the water can lead to mold, landscape damage, wood rot, and foundation cracks.

  • Clean gutters of debris in the fall and spring, the times of year when gutters can easily be filled with fallen leaves or dropped blooms from trees.
  • Redirect downspouts away from your foundation, installing extenders to allow the water to completely steer away from your home.
  • Consider installing gutter guards to prevent debris from getting in while allowing water to flow freely.
  • If you’ve got a green thumb, think about installing rain barrels to keep water from pooling near your foundation. The bonus is that when it comes time to water your flowers and grass, you can use the rain collected instead of paying for what comes out of the tap.

Protecting Your Basement

Melting snow and spring rains can lead to pooling water in your home. Addressing outside issues is a must for keeping a home dry, but there are also inside steps to take to avoid standing in ankle-deep water.

  1. Cracks in the foundation–even minor ones–make easy entry for water. Heavy-duty caulk can solve some small problems, but for bigger repairs, bring in a foundation specialist.
  2. Install a sump pump to remove water in your home, and inspect it regularly to make sure it’s working properly.
  3. Place outdoor clear plastic covers over below-grade basement windows to let light in but keep water out.
  4. If your home has a septic tank, be sure to check and clean it regularly to avoid problems during future rains.     

Water Damage In Your Home Due to Spring Rain? 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. 502.241.6861

How To Effectively Remove Smoke Odor Following A Fire

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

After a fire, a noticeable odor remains in textiles including upholstered furniture, carpeting, window treatments, and clothing. It may even remain in the structure of the home itself as it penetrated walls and other surfaces. Even if a small fire happens on a single floor, you must take into consideration the possibility that the smoke traveled through duct work to other levels of the home and still remains in the ducts. 
     
Professional fire restoration companies such as SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County are educated and experienced in treating odors caused by smoke damage. The odor is caused by lingering smoke molecules that need to be broken up or neutralized to be eliminated. We can accomplish this with our thermal fogging and ozone treatments.


Ozone Generator

Using ozone generators is an extremely successful method of neutralizing smoke odor. Using oxygen (O2), these systems electronically produce ozone (O3). These ozone molecules are introduced to other reactive molecules (odor/smoke molecules) and break them down in the oxidization process. They work without chemicals and on minimal electricity. It is important to use safety precautions while operating an ozone generator because inhaling ozone is no healthier than inhaling smoke. Your SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County will advise you of the precautions prior to the process. 

Thermal Fogging

Thermal fogger's are used to easily distribute solutions to effectively treat many conditions including smoke odor. These units are portable aerosol generators allowing us to treat hard-to-reach areas as well as larger scale jobs. The fog it produces is comprised of various sizes of droplets for best coverage, and to visibility monitor the coverage.  This equipment can also be used distribute antimicrobial solutions for sanitizing.

Thermal foggers produce a fog by using heat without degrading the active ingredients of the solution it is distributing. Heat is attracted to cold as hot smoke would be attracted to an exterior wall. The fog will travel the similar pathways that the smoke did, treating the odors as it moves.  

Fire Damage In Your Home? Our experienced technicians can perform Thermal Fogging, Ozoning and properly clean the Duct System in your home. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can also fully restore your home as well. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a Restoration Specialist. 502.241.6861

Carpet Cleaning- Advantages of Mount over Portable

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

Advantages of Mount over Portable

There are some big differences in the performance and ability of rental "shampooers" and hot water extraction units that professionals use. The major differences are in suction power, water temperature, spray jet power, and mobility. Additionally, professional carpet cleaning companies use high quality cleaning chemicals.

Suction Power

Rental machines are powered by electric vacuum motors. These motors are stronger than the motors on your vacuum. They are designed to extract liquid. Truck mount carpet cleaning machines are powered by a gasoline engine. The engine turns a piston at around 3,000 RPMs and creates suction for up to several hundred feet of hose. A gasoline motor has far superior power for suction. Better suction correlates to extracting more dirt.

Water Temperature

It is a widely accepted fact that water is better cleaning solution when it is hotter. Science has proven this to be true. Now, when you rent a machine you can only get the water as hot as the tap will allow. Rental machines do not have the power to heat water. By the time you extract, the water has actually been cooled down. A truck mount machine heats has the capability to heat water to up to over 200 degrees. The offers much better cleaning capability.

Spray Jet Power

Rental machines spray pumps are also electric powered, they offer around 250 PSI. This is the power at which they spray the carpet with water and cleaning chemicals. The more powerful your pump is, the deeper you can attack the dirt . The dirtier the carpet, the deeper down you want to spray and the more powerful of a pump you will need. With truck mount machines the pump is also powered by gasoline motor, allowing for up to 1200 PSI. The truck mount machine has the power to blast the carpet fibers with cleaning chemical and the suction power to suck it all up.

Mobility

Rental machines are big boxes on wheels that are rolled around. They carry the clean water and the dirty water adding more weight to them. If you have a 2 story house you have to drag the heavy machines up the stairs. Then you have to unload the water before you bring it back down the stairs. Truck mount machines stay in the work truck; hose is run from the machine to wherever the carpet is. A light weight wand is the extraction tool that is taken into the home, allowing for very easy movement.

Rental machines just do not have the power that professional machines offer. They can clean the surface of the carpet, but are no substitute for professional cleaning. They can be used for small problem areas, but will never be as effective as a professional machine. 

Need a Carpet Cleaning In Your Home or Business? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

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

Your Rental Property And Mold

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold prevention tips are very relevant to today’s landlords. Contamination of a rental property almost always requires professional mold remediation services to make the home habitable for tenants again. Also, in recent years, owners of rental properties have been held liable for mold in Civil cases. Tenants also bear some responsibility for eliminating indoor conditions that foster mold growth. For owners and onsite landlords, however, here are four mold prevention tips to help you fulfill your obligation to keep the property mold-free.

  • Maintain the building envelope. Moisture is the primary ingredient that triggers active toxic mold growth. Moisture affecting the indoor environment most often originates outdoors. Whether it’s rain dripping into the attic through roof leaks, or cracks and gaps in the structure that allow excess outdoor humidity to infiltrate indoors, regular roof maintenance as well as proper air-sealing of the walls, doors and windows, helps keep the living environment mold-free.
  • Stay on top of plumbing issues. Inside the house, no plumbing leaks—even inconspicuous pinholes or drippy faucets—should be considered “normal” and allowed to continue. Minor leaks you can actually see in aging water supply lines are also often happening in areas you cannot see—such as the attic or crawl space, prime locations for hidden mold growth.
  • Exhaust humid rooms. Bathrooms and kitchens often harbor excess humidity from steamy showers and cooking. Exhaust fans ducted all the way to the outdoors remove humid air that feeds mold growth. Invest in energy-efficient fans with timer switches to run for a limited time, then will shut off automatically.
  • Maintain the HVAC system. The air conditioner, in particular, can either be an ally in preventing mold contamination—or another cause of it. A properly functioning A/C helps keep indoor humidity low, discouraging the growth of mold. Make sure the system gets an annual check-up, including inspecting the indoor evaporator coil and air handler drip pan for mold growth. Mold contamination in these components is frequently dispersed through the ductwork into all living spaces in the house. Finally, having the duct system cleaned and sprayed with an antimicrobial agent will inhibit mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your rental home or business contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby to confirm and begin Remediation Services. 502.241.6861

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

How To Detect A Slab Leak

3/9/2018 (Permalink)


Slab Leak refers to a leak that actually occurs beneath the foundation of your house. In the case of most homes, there are copper water lines below the cement or concrete that serves as the base of your home. There is not much awareness of slab leaks, but they are actually a huge issue, and can easily be mistaken for a simple basement leak. However, there are some signs that can help you tell when you have a slab leak as opposed to a basement leak.

WATER BILLS

You probably want to spend as little time as possible thinking about your water bill, but it can actually be a great resource to help you detect slab leaks. If your water bill is unusually high, a slab leak could be the cause. A leak in these pipes can come in many different sizes, but regardless of what size some quantity of water will be flowing through it. This means that you are losing water 24/7, an issue that is bound to show up on your bill. If there is no other reason for the spike in cost, it is probably time to call a local plumber.

Watch and Listen for leaks

A strong sign that you have a leak in your pipes is the constant sound of running water. This may be a subtle noise, especially since you are accustomed to it, but try to take notice if the sound is constant. If there is water running and you are not using any water-based appliances, this can be a strong indicator of a leak.

If you think that you hear water running when everything is turned off in the house, check your water meter. There should be an indicator that spins when water is running. If it is spinning, then water is flowing somewhere, and it could be a slab leak.

WATER ON THE FLOOR

This one may seem obvious, but it is still worthwhile. If there is water seeping through your floor, you obviously have some kind of leak. However, it can be difficult to tell if it is a traditional basement leak or a slab leak. Here are a few indicators to watch out for.

  • If the leak seems to be growing from the middle of the floor, rather than one of the edges or walls, it is more likely to be a slab leak. Basement leaks tend to result from cracks in the foundation, which tend to form at the edges rather than the center of the floor. A slab leak, in contrast, can occur anywhere along the pipe.
  • If the water from the leak is warm, this can be an indicator of a slab leak. Often times, both cold and hot water pipes are running under your home. If the leak is in one of the hot water pipes, then the wet spot on the floor will be noticeably warmer. Naturally, this only indicates a leak in a hot water pipe, so if the water is cold it does not mean that it is not a slab leak. It could simply be a leak in a cold water pipe.

A noticeable leak combined with one of the other indicators can strengthen your case for a slab leak. For instance, if your water bill is high, go check your basement to see if there are any water spots on the floor.

If you suspect a slab leak contact a plumbing professional right away!! 

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact a 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. 

Restoring Your Damaged Important Documents

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

When your business or organization is dealing with important wet documents or books and the potential related process or legal costs, or historical losses—paper drying suddenly becomes very interesting. So understanding how your documents can be salvaged may save you from a lot of fingernail biting while you wait for the process to play out.

This blog post provides an overview of the document freeze-drying process. And gives you some critical things to consider before you ever need help.


The Magic of Freeze-drying

When your documents and books arrive at a facility, your restoration provider will typically use freeze-drying (the scientific term of lyophilization) to remove water before completing any other necessary restoration steps.

The freeze-drying process uses a combination of low temperatures and low pressure to transform water from a solid to a gas. Condensing coils in the freeze drying chambers attract the gas and remove water from the chambers.

Most freeze-drying chambers can complete a job in 14 – 28 days, but newer technology has reduced the average drying time to just 5 – 7 days.

It’s important to understand that freeze-drying can be taken too far, in which case it may result in dry or brittle paper. So limits should be applied to prevent this from happening.
 
Three Things to Consider

Your document restoration needs can be time-sensitive and involve confidential or even priceless fragile materials. Damaged or lost documents can also set off a chain reaction of process or legal-related scenarios that can quickly grow very expensive. That’s why we recommend planning ahead whenever possible. If your organization has important documents or books that it could not afford to lose, be sure to:

-Consider how fast you would need them back, if something happened

-Evaluate your document restoration vendor options ahead of time

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

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

Water Damage- Where Is The Source?

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

The more quickly you can identify a water problem the less costly any associated damage will become.

When you begin noticing erroneous water collections around the confines of your home, water damage could be paying you an unpleasant visit. Becoming aware of these lingering water collection points is an important step in circumventing the entire problem. However if you can pinpoint the cause of your homes’ water leakage than your bank account will look a little fatter long term.

Common causes of Water Damage:

Bursting or leaking pipes

Backed up drains and toilets may result in untimely piping bursts due to unwarranted pressure on your home’s pipes. Faulty garbage disposals can lead to leaky pipes along with roots growing in the home’s front and/or back yards.

Crawl Space, Basement and Attic Concerns

These sections are more prone to the mishaps of water damage than any other area of the home. Lower level water damage jeopardizes the structure integrity of a home, and can lead to dangerous mold damage. These occurrences should be dealt with as soon as they become known.

HVACs (heating, ventilating and air conditioning units)

When air conditioning units are not routinely inspected, moisture may begin to buildup, thereby interacting with mold spores inside air ducts encouraging the mold to proliferate and cause damage.

Malfunctioning Household Appliances and Weather Related Natural Disasters

As appliances age, their performance and dependability contract. Also, natural disasters are difficult to predict and typically result in excessive damage.

If your Water Damage Source is still a mystery contact a plumber to diagnose the problem.

Water 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 also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties.

How To Prevent Water Damage- Clogged Drains

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

All plumbing systems develop clogs. There’s no way to avoid it. What to do? As the old saying goes… the best solution is prevention. You can easily avoid clogged drains in a kitchen sink, bathtub, toilet, and floor drain by not abusing your drain line and using caution when dumping things down the drain. Avoid pouring fats, oils, and greases (like bacon grease) down the drain as they have a tendency to clump together or solidify (congeal) and block your plumbing pipes.

Don’t ignore a slow drain. Take action at the first sign of a problem to prevent a complete clog or backup from happening. Start simple, then work your way up to fixes that require specialty tools, or a substantial investment of time and effort. Remove the excess hair and gunk that has built up at the surface of the drain. Cleaning strainers and pop-up stoppers frequently can easily clear a common bathroom clog.

If the blockage isn’t too far into the pipes, a plunger can likely clear a clog. Plungers are sold at any hardware store or home center. Those with larger rubber bells deliver more thrust. Be sure it has a sturdy handle so you can apply plenty of force. A plunger that has a cup with a flat bottom works well for sinks, tubs, and showers. Plunging can be quick and easy or it could quickly become a wet mess — be sure to have a bucket, rags, and a sponge close at hand.

Another way to prevent clogs, if you have a septic tank, is to have a professional inspect it every two to three years to ensure it is functioning properly. These regular maintenance inspections will help identify any potential issues early on and save you headaches down the road.

Water Damage as a result of a clogged drain 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. 

What You Should Know About Category 3 Water Damage

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

The following information is intended for use as general guidelines for Category 3 water loss cleanup. No two water losses are alike, and each situation must be treated based on the unique needs of the environment. Before tackling any water loss it is recommended that professionals attend an IICRC WRT Class, an IICRC ASD Class, and be familiar with the industry's standards of care (IICRC S500 and S520). 

Category 3 water loss involves water that is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents. Such water may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances. 

Examples include, but are not limited to: sewage, toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap regardless of visible content or color, all forms of flooding from seawater, ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams, and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms, or other weather-related events.

Category 3 Water Loss 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. 

How Unattended Water Damage Leads To Structural Damage

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

How Unattended Water Damage Will Lead to Structural Damage

Most people who have lived in a residential building have had problems with water damage at some point. Maybe the rain leaks through the roof and falls onto the floor. Sometimes a flood can rush into the home from the outside. Other times pipes from the refrigerator or washing machine become disconnected and flood the home. Some people think that cleaning up the water isn't all that is necessary; however, the damage that results can also cause structural damage. A few of the ways that water damage can lead to structural damage are discussed below.

Water Damage Warps the Wood

Many people have heard about wood warping and the problems that this can cause. For those that don't understand, wood warping refers to a change in the shape of the wood due to the damage from water. While some people think that wood warping is merely an aesthetic issue, remember that wood is used in walls and roofs as well. If the wood warps, it is no longer straight and the alignment that was used to keep the walls and roof strong has been moved out of place. This can lead to support problems for the structure of the home.

Water Damage Can Degrade Metal

Water damage can cause the metallic fabrication in the home to rust. People depend on metal to carry air conditioning fluids, heat, and clean water through the plumbing system. Many people have also reinforced parts of their home with metal. Water reacts with the metal and can cause the metal to rust over. This damages the integrity of the surface and can contaminate drinking water or decrease the efficiency of a heating system. People should have water damage treated to preserve the integrity of their piping and fabrication.

These are only a few ways that unattended water damage can have important impacts on the structure of a home. Treat water damage to prevent them from happening.

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. 

How To Avoid Electrical Hazards After A Flood

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

Much has been made of protecting your appliances from flooding, either by elevating them on crates or pallets, or better yet, moving them to a higher floor in your home or business.

Unfortunately, this is either not possible to do or is a step that is overlooked. Appliances are damaged by the thousands every year in flood related events. So what is the proper course of action after your home has been flooded and your appliances have been submerged in water?

The single best answer is that all flood damaged plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical appliances should be replaced, not repaired. It is the single best option with a almost zero risk factor. If work must be performed on these systems, then it should be done by a qualified, licensed contractor, rather than the homeowner.

If this sound like a rather strict approach, it is only because of the numerous accidents and injuries reported as a result of improper do it yourself repairs. 

Unit controls that have been damaged by floodwater are extremely dangerous, and any attempt to use them after they have suffered water or flood damage may result in fires or even explosions. Electrical appliances may produce serious electrical shock. Other devices that are at risk include water heaters, furnaces, boilers, room heaters, and air conditioners.

The repair of electrical units damaged by flooding and other related systems is by no means a job for the do it yourself artist. Even the most handy men among us should stay away from these types of problems and allow the professionals to conduct the work. This is especially true when it comes to control valves, as they are manufactured with very close tolerances, and should be replaced whenever they have been submerged in flood waters. 

In some cases, controls may appear to be operative even after the damage has occurred, but it is still unwise to engage the unit. It may work for a period of days or even weeks, but it still may fail, and any component that has been underwater poses a serious risk. 

Due to the serious nature of this sort of damage, and because so many things can and often do go wrong, it is in many cases cheaper and always safer to simply have the unit or units replaced.

While valves or controls may be repaired, the damage in other areas may go unnoticed. Acquiring a new unit is the single most effective way to make sure that your are getting a product that poses no safety threats to you or your family. 

Flood Damage To Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

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

Common Causes of Sump Pump Failure

2/26/2018 (Permalink)

A sump pump may only become obvious at the worst possible time—when flooding strikes. Because sump pumps sit idle most of the time, silently safeguarding your basement against water inundation, failure in the pump system doesn’t necessarily become evident until it’s actually needed to remove water. At that point, it’s too late. You’ll need the services of a professional water damage restoration specialist to minimize damage and perform the clean-up.  

Be forewarned about these possible causes of sump pump failure, before it happens:

  • No electricity – The same extreme weather conditions that cause flooding frequently cause power outages. Also, a circuit breaker that tripped without notice might deprive the pump of electricity. A sump pump with battery backup option offers extra protection.
  • Pump inlet clogged – Debris in the basin sucked up against the pump inlet screen may obstruct water from entering the pump.
  • Stuck float switch – The float switch energizes the pump as the sump basin fills with water. A stuck switch prevents pump actuation and basement flooding occurs. A frequent cause of a binding float switch is a pump that has gradually shifted position in the basin due to vibration.
  • Undersized pump – The pump’s rated output and the discharge pipe diameter must be appropriately sized to remove the worst-case volume of water. If either is undersized, the pump won’t be able to remove water fast enough to prevent property damage.
  • Obstructed discharge pipe – The pump discharge pipe may be blocked or buried by debris outdoors. If the line isn’t properly routed downslope on the property, residual water accumulating in the pipe may freeze and block discharge.

For more details on the causes of sump pump failure, contact the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

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

Flooding In Your Home Or Business

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

Despite the persistent cold winter we've experienced here in Kentucky, spring is quickly approaching us once more. With spring coming heavy rains are imminent. However, flooding can be caused by a number of other factors, some poised to wreak havoc when you least expect it.

Although heavy rains are a factor, the vast majority of flooding scenarios are going to be caused by infrastructure problems, such as plumbing, slab leaks, and so forth. There are quite a few ways that an emergency flood situation can crop up: a pipe can burst unexpectedly in the middle of the night, wreaking havoc until someone notices in the morning. With this scenario, calling a Water Restoration Company out as quickly as possible will help mitigate further problems and potentially avoid mold growth and other related repairs that would be required should the water damage become more substantial. Drywall, flooring, carpeting... all of these can become potential problems when flooding happens.

Slab leaks are another potential issue, but these are far less obvious than pipe bursts. These are small, barely-noticeable cracks or holes in pipes that cause small amounts of water to leak into the underlying structure of a property over time.

Since they can go for weeks or even months undetected, the damage caused by these can be rather severe. At the base level, water bills will be much higher when a slab leak is present, and the presence of water can cause musty or moldy odor to build up. This is also a precursor to mold growth if a slab leak occurs near drywall, and can also lead to floor or even foundation damage that may require substantial reconstruction work.

As always, it's the little things that we may not see or the things we least expect that can cause the biggest problems. When the weather gets warm and you think that you're high and dry, never forget that water can still pose a threat and that you should always be prepared for it. For the best water restoration service, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County for 24 hour emergency assistance.  502.241.6861

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

Checklist for Flood Damage

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

There are many things in life that are frustrating and stressful, but many of them can be less so if you develop a course of action to follow. This is true after experiencing a flood. With the following flood damage remediation checklist, you may find the process a bit easier to manage.

Step #1: Call for help! You should never try to tackle the cleanup from a flood on your own. At the very least, you need a professional to assess the situation and determine any major and immediate dangers.

Step #2: If the entire area has been flooded, there is a good chance the authorities have already turned off the gas and electric service to the area. If you can safely do so, shut off the main controls to your home, as well. Neither of these should be turned back on until the flood damage has been resolved and everything in your home has been dried.

Step #3: Contact your insurance company to file a claim. You should take photographs if you can do so safely. You can call for water removal services before the adjuster comes out as long as there are photographs to substantiate your claim. It is advisable to get the water removed as quickly as possible to avoid added damages and reduce the chance for mold. It isn’t a good idea to wait if it takes a while for the adjuster to show up.

Step #4: Work with a professional water damage restoration company to salvage what is possible and begin repairs to the property. Most companies will work with your insurance company during this process.

Our staff at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County understands that it may feel like you’ve lost everything, but we can help get you back in your home after flood damage has made it uninhabitable. We can begin the emergency response and continue with the  rebuilding process.

Flood Damage In Your Home Or Business?

Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a remediation specialist. 502.241.6861

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

Fire Sprinkler Damage

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

While fire sprinklers are valuable tools for stopping fires and saving lives, they can occasionally malfunction. When this happens, you will want to call in the experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. With our fast response and advanced equipment, we can save your business and belongings from fire sprinkler water damage and get your life back to normal quickly.

Time is of the essence with water damage. Call us anytime and we will quickly respond with a team of water damage cleanup and restoration experts. We provide the following fire sprinkler water damage services:

• Rapid response time
• Water extraction
• Drying and dehumidification services
• Mold growth prevention and remediation 
• IICRC certified water damage experts
• Licensed, bonded, and insured
• Competitive rates
• Great customer service

Understanding Water Damage from Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers release 8 to 24 gallons of water per minute. The good news is that usually only one fire sprinkler will discharge and not all of the sprinklers. Because fire sprinkler water comes from above, it will saturate flooring, walls, and any furniture or objects in its path. The level of saturation can make it a challenge to dry the water, which is why it is so important for the job to be tackled by experienced professionals with the right equipment.

Damage from malfunctioning fire sprinklers is usually considered Category 2 water damage because it may contain chemicals which could harm your health. If the water damage is not taken care of quickly though, the moisture can cause mold and bacteria growth, causing the problem to evolve into Category 3 water damage.

Water damage is also classified by how difficult it is to remove the water. Because of how thoroughly water sprinklers can saturate structures, it is often considered Class 3 or Class 4 water damage, which are the worst classifications.

What to Do if Your Fire Sprinkler Accidentally Discharges

Fire sprinkler systems are generally very reliable. When they do accidentally discharge, it is usually because their parts have overheated, frozen, or become corroded. If a fire sprinkler gets hit or bumped, it could also cause an accidental discharge. Quick response fire sprinklers are known for being more sensitive than their counterparts and could get damaged during transport or installation.

If your fire sprinkler system accidentally discharges, your first step will be to stop the water. You can do this by turning off the water main. Then make sure that the site is safe. If electronics or outlets have gotten wet, then turn off the electric breaker for the area or the main as well.

Next, you will want to get on the phone and make two calls: one to a professional water damage cleanup service and another call to the fire sprinkler manufacturer to report the accidental discharge.

In cases of accidental discharge, the fire sprinkler manufacturer may be responsible for paying for damages. You will need to take documentation of damage done by the fire sprinklers. If the damage is extensive, then you may need this documentation for an insurance claim.

What to Expect
We understand that dealing with water damage from fire sprinklers can be stressful, which is why we strive to make the process as easy as possible for you. Our technicians will carefully explain the cleanup process and how long it will be expected to take. We will also outline any concerns, such as saving hardwood floors or preventing mold growth.

Fire Sprinkler Damage In Your Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 

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

Can You Dry Hardwood Floors After A Water Damage?

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Can You Dry A Hardwood Floor After A Water Damage? 

A very common question we receive at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is, “Can I dry hardwood floor after water damage?” The amount of homes with hardwood floors is steadily increasing for many reasons, the most prominent being that hardwood floors not only tend to sell homes faster, but they also increase the price. The only downfall is that in the event of a flood or water overflow, hardwood floors cannot be easily taken out and dried like carpet can. This brings us to our question – Can you dry hardwood floors in place, or does everything need to be ripped out and replaced?

First, you need to recognize the many different factors that play into properly achieving a dry hardwood floor. Water damage can increase drastically if not taken care of properly, professionally, and in a timely manner. Here are some of the main considerations you should make when considering calling a water damage restoration company to dry hardwood floor.

Response Time

Water damage can be greatly decreased depending on the response time to the problem. According to the EPA, mold can grow in as little as 48-72 hours on almost all household material if they have a moisture level of 16% or higher. Time is of the essence when it comes to hardwood floor water damage – the moisture, temperature, and dust layer beneath a wet wood floor can provide an ideal environment for mold and many other problems.

Type Of Wood

Before you can determine how to properly dry hardwood floor, you need to determine what type of wood flooring you have. The main types of hardwood floors are:

  • Strip Wood Flooring
  • Plank Wood Flooring
  • Engineered Wood Flooring
  • Laminate Wood Flooring: Laminate wood flooring has become very common these days. Please note that laminate floors are NOT considered wood or hardwood flooring. This type of flooring is most often replaced in the event of a flood and is hard to salvage because they have a low tolerance for moisture.

Amount Of Moisture

Moisture affects all floor types differently. “Normal” moisture content for wood floor can fluctuate between 6% and 12%. A flooded hardwood floor can have up to 40% moisture content and can retain well above the normal amount of moisture for weeks if left to dry on it’s own. Nails may begin to lift, glue may release causing separation between floor pieces, and tongue and groove floors often cup or buckle when moisture has been absorbed.

Degree Of Water Damage Already Present

After severe water damage, it is likely that wood floors will have to be replaced. Wood is specifically susceptible to mold growth, so it is important that you ensure that the floor and the sub-floor are completely dry. If floors have cupped, popped, or cracked, it may be an indication that the sub-floor has experienced water damage as well. If this has occurred, it will also need to be replaced before installing new dry hardwood floor.

If you decide to dry hardwood floors in place SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has sophisticated drying equipment that forces airflow beneath the surface of the floor, allowing moisture to be released. Keep in mind that this can be a slow process and take up to seven days.

A restoration specialist can thoroughly inspect damage to determine the right plan of action for your home. They will work with you and your insurance company to decide the best option – drying or replacing the floor. The experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County have saved hundreds of hardwood floors by using advanced drying equipment and over 25 years experience. We’re here to help, so give as a call. 502.241.6861

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

What to Do In The Event Of Frozen Pipes

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

Water bursting through frozen pipes is a common sight in homes during periods of very cold weather. You’d be surprised how many calls water damage restoration companies, such as SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County, get every winter to restore properties that are affected by frozen pipes. The remediation process requires expertise, but here’s what you can do to thaw frozen pipes and prevent water damage before it’s too late:

  • Locate the Frozen Pipe – If you’re not sure which pipe is frozen, turn on all faucets in your home. Check which faucet isn’t releasing water at all or just a trickle. The pipe leading to that faucet is likely frozen.   
  • Turn on the Faucet – Once you’ve located the frozen pipe, open the faucet leading to the frozen pipe. Open both the hot and cold handles. This will allow water to flow once you start thawing the pipe.
  • Start Thawing Near the Faucet – When thawing a frozen pipe, the best practice is to start closer to the faucet then work your way down to the frozen section. If you start closer to the blockage, the melting ice could get stuck behind the blockage. This creates more pressure in the pipe and increases the chances of the pipe breaking.
  • Thawing Exposed Pipes – There are several ways to thaw pipes that you can access:
    • Point a hair dryer at the frozen pipe, starting near the faucet. Follow proper safety precautions for the dryer and don’t come in contact with water when using the dryer.
    • Wrap hot towels, which have been dipped in hot water, around the frozen pipe. This method is slower, but potentially safer than the ones above.
    • Apply electric heat tape directly to the pipe. This tape insulates the pipe, defrosting it. You can leave the heat tape on the pipe and turn it on/off when you need to.  
  • Thawing Enclosed Pipes – You can thaw pipes that you don’t have direct access to in different ways:
    • Turn the heat up in your home and wait until the increased interior temperature thaws out the frozen pipe.
    • Position an infrared lamp in front of the portion of the wall where the frozen pipe is located. The heat from the lamp could penetrate the wall and help the pipe defrost.
    • As a last resort, cut out the section of the drywall in front of the frozen pipe to easily access it. You can then use one of the methods for thawing exposed pipes.
  • Know the Risks – When trying to thaw a frozen pipe yourself using a heat source, you run the risk of injury and fire. Make sure to take proper safety measures when using electrical equipment. In addition, if you don’t start thawing near the faucet, the pipe could burst and cause water to flow into your home.

Water Damage in your Home as a result of a frozen pipe? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

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

Water- A Breeding Ground For Mold

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

What can be done to avoid mold growth in kitchens, bathrooms, and other moisture-prone areas?

The experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County recommends proper ventilation, identifying problematic areas, and maintaining low humidity level. Cleaning surfaces regularly with soap and water, or a solution of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water regularly will also help to keep mold at bay. An important word of caution: never mix bleach with other cleaning products! This can result in the release of potentially toxic fumes.

If mold is already present, it can spread rapidly. Mold removal and restoration may require the professional expertise that SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County offers. When disasters strike in the form of heavy rains, floods, or even when a pipe bursts and mold begins to grow, time is of the essence. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby professionals provide rapid damage assessment, and the skilled knowledge of how to get the job done properly, thoroughly, and safely.

Removing wet carpet, dry wall, any affected materials, and stopping the damaging effect of mold is vital to securing the safety of your home and business. Maintaining a safe and healthy environment for you and those who those who are most important to you is why the experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County prides themselves in their work.

Mold Or 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. 

Top Causes of Water Damage In Your Basement

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Basements can flood just about any time of the year, and you might be surprised that it can even happen during the winter. The reality is that winter can present the most risk and only some of these are preventable. It is never a bad idea to have a water damage restoration company as part of your home maintenance list of providers, so you can respond quickly if you experience a problem.

The main causes of water damage basement flooding are ice floes, frozen concrete, blocked drains, and faulty plumbing. If you live near a river you could find that an ice floe has blocked water flow and caused flooding in your neighborhood. This is not a common occurrence, but can happen. The other causes are more common.

The most common is a pipe break due to faulty plumbing or not having proper precautions in place to avoid pipes freezing. When water freezes, it expands and can cause a burst pipe. This is more common when pipes are weakened but can happen even with newer plumbing. Freezing water can also cause a problem in your home’s concrete foundation. Additionally, concrete expands and contracts during seasonal temperature changes, which can result in cracks that let water seep in, sometimes rapidly.

A blocked or slow drain is a problem any time of the year, but it can be a real problem during warmer periods during the winter when snow is melting and needing a place to drain.

During warmer months, you should take the time to check your property for good drainage and any cracks you might notice in your home’s foundation. Check your basement and plumbing throughout the year to reduce the chances of water damage from the causes you can control.

If you should encounter water damage, give SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County a call. 502.241.6861  Any time of the year, we are here to restore your home, whether the water damage is a plumbing issue or winter woe . We can also work with your insurance company.

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

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire

2/8/2018 (Permalink)

The following is provided by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire

A fire can cause extreme and permanent destruction, and can still cause problems once it is put out, so trained, certified professionals should be hired to clean smoke damage and deal with the ash residue that is left behind by the inferno. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) provides oversight for the industry, and certifies technicians who have had the proper training in this area. The standards set by the IICRC will allow the technician to learn the proper techniques of this detailed task so they can do the job effectively. Because fire restoration is an involved process, only trained certified professionals should be hired for the job.

Ash residue gathers as soon as the fire starts, and within hours, it will discolor plastic, appliances, fiberglass, and even tarnish metals. Within days, it will permanently yellow walls, and permanently discolor clothing and upholstery. It will also begin corroding metal and will cause enough damage to wood and vinyl to require replacement or refinishing. If several weeks pass before professionals are allowed to clean the smoke damage, metals may corrode to uselessness, carpet will discolor permanently and glass may be too etched to be salvaged.

Once the experts are on the scene, they can halt the progression of destruction in the home. They will identify what needs to be disposed of and what can be restored, and will begin working to remove all ash from the home and clean any smoke damage. This is an involved process, and will require several people to accomplish promptly. Once this is done, the professionals will locate any source of odor, and treat it with detergents designed to counteract the smell. They will then seal off the material to keep it from emitting any further odors in the future. This is an intricate process and should only be done by a professional with plenty of experience.

Fire or Smoke Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the restoration specialists here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

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

Top 3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can be a huge hassle if not handled correctly. A surprise flood or leak can cause major issues with your walls, flooring, and furniture. When you are faced with excess water in your home, here are three things to keep in mind when facing water damage:

  1. Don’t wait to get help. It is important to get help as quickly as possible from a professional service to prevent major water damage in your home. The sooner you call a reliable team experienced in water damage restoration, the better. Getting the situation taken care of as soon as possible will prevent mold growth and other serious problems in your home.
  2. Start drying the area right away. The more you can dry the affected areas, the better. Mopping up extra water with towels and rags will help the area dry faster. When drying the area, don’t use a vacuum to remove water or use other fans or electrical appliances as they can be potentially dangerous.
  3. The damage can spread deeper than the surface. Even if you clean up all the standing water, it is likely that more water seeped through the floor and baseboards. If this extra water underneath your floor is not taken care of, it can quickly become a bigger problem, leading to mold and damage to the structure of your home.

If you are faced with unexpected flooding or leaks and are worried about water damage, give us a call at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County.  502.241.6861

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

What Is Required For Water Damage Restoration

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

The following is provided by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

What Is Required For Water Damage Restoration?

Companies that perform water damage restoration have to be skilled in a number of areas to stay current in their field. Technicians in the industry have to combat a number of threats, some visible and some invisible, before their job is done. Structural weakening, chemical runoff, electrical hazards, dangerous wildlife, and deadly microbes are all common risks technicians have to contend with. Without the proper education and equipment, a technician risks grave injury and may leave health risks behind for a family to encounter. Fortunately, technicians in the industry have access to the educational resources offered by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC.

After getting certified in water damage restoration and a number of related fields, a professional in the field will be able to identify and neutralize any problems they are likely to face at a job site. In most cases, a technician is called to a home following a flood or plumbing disaster. In either case, the initial threat a technician has to encounter is hazardous standing liquid. Floods and sewage backups are normally host to dangerous chemicals, like oil runoff, bacteria and viruses. Before any repairs can be done on the home, a technician will need to be outfitted with the proper safety wear and begin investigating where the liquid is pooling. Moisture meters can detect the level of moisture in and behind drywall, carpet, and other areas. Using minimally-invasive tools, a technician can quickly find pockets of heavy moisture in areas not readily accessible.

This is important because only thorough drying will ensure that further destruction does not occur. Most companies use a combination of industrial  air movers and dehumidifiers to extract moisture from both materials and the air. This process can take some time, but diagnostic tools like moisture meters help technicians monitor the drying process. Once all of the materials inside the home have reached safe levels, mold and other microbial growth can be halted.

The most severe threats a water damage restoration company has to deal with are molds and other pathogens. These  contaminants can remain a major hazard for years after they have taken root, and can cause insidious health problems while remaining hidden in vents or behind walls. Trained technicians are capable of neutralizing molds and other pathogens by utilizing special  cleaning products and quickly removing compromised materials. Being able to identify mold growth is an important skill for a professional, and stemming the growth of a colony can be the difference between saving a home and having to condemn it. Certified firms are capable of quickly working through a property and disposing of anything that is beyond repair. Anything that is salvageable but soaked is separated, cleaned properly, and promptly dried. If the building’s structural integrity has been affected, these technicians can identify it and alert the homeowner and the insurance representative to its presence.

Without professional help, a homeowner will never know for sure that their home is safe to live in again. This is why the help of a certified technician is so valuable. They don’t just repair homes, they restore normalcy.

Questions about this article? 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 Trimble, Henry, and Spencer Counties. 

How To Repair Water Damaged Ceilings?

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

It starts with a small stain, then quickly turns into a huge unsightly bubble. If left untreated, that patch of water damaged ceiling will turn into a bigger mess.

Water damaged ceilings can weaken your house’s foundation and can even be a threat to your health because of mold growth.

But don’t worry! You can prevent that from happening by repairing the damaged part as soon as possible. Here’s how to get it done:

Look for the source

The first thing that you should do is to find the source of the leak. How do you that? By looking for certain clues. The weather, for one, will clue you in regarding the location of leak.

For example, if the leak happens only when it’s raining or snowing, the source could either be a clogged gutter, cracked shingles, or an ice dam build up.

A water damaged ceiling that continues to worsen even during dry months is most probably due to a busted pipe.

Either way, it’ll be useless to fix a water damaged ceiling without patching up the source of the leak first. You’ll just end up shelling out more money in the long run.

Remove the damaged ceiling

Once the source has been fixed, the next step is to prep the area for repair. Make sure that you have your safety goggles, gloves, and mask on.

Protect the area directly below the water damaged ceiling by placing a plastic tarp and a bucket above the plastic tarp if you need to drain a bowed ceiling.

If the area has bulged out, it means that there’s water pooling above it. Carefully poke it with a screwdriver.

If the damaged part has bowed between the ceiling’s joists due to too much water, then it would be wise to just remove it. Do this by using a wrecking bar.

Dry the area

Make sure the entire area is completely dry and that any mold growth has been treated before you start the repair.

Use fans to speed up the process. Leave the windows and doors open for better air circulation as well.

Fix it up

For spot treatments, start by scraping off the paint on the affected area. After that, spray the area with a primer. Allow it to dry before putting a fresh coat of paint.

For bigger damages, you need to saw off the area, and then use a fine grit sandpaper to remove all signs of sharp edges and bumps before patching it up. You can use the existing lath to key the patch into. As for the finishing coat, a regular joint compound will do.

For complete replacement, place a new sheet of wallboard over the area that has been prepped. If you’re having a hard time propping it up, secure it with temporary furring strips before putting the ceiling screws.

Cover the seams with a drywall tape before applying a joint compound. Once the joint compound is completely dry, smoothen it out with sandpaper. Apply a primer and let it dry, and then cover it with the same paint color as the rest.

Keep in mind that not all affected areas need to be removed. However, this should be examined by a professional first. Some of the factors that will be considered for this are the following:

  • The water is not contaminated
  • There’s no evidence of mold growth
  • The damaged area is structurally sound

The key here is to act quickly before the problem worsens. Remember that it’s always cheaper to treat water damaged ceilings when the problem has just started.

Water 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. 502.241.6861

What To Do When A Pipe Burst In Your Home

1/19/2018 (Permalink)

No homeowner can go for long without plumbing problems occurring: a stopped up toilet, various leaks from kitchen appliances and more. The most damaging plumbing problem occurs when a pipe bursts, sometimes flooding your home before you even know what’s happened. That’s a lot of water damage going on at once, and you’ll need to deal with it as soon as possible. Besides damaging materials like drywall and flooring, the long term effects of so much excess moisture translates to mold growth. Mold spores can travel throughout your ventilation system wreaking havoc on everyone’s health.

If the flood happened in a small area, perhaps in only one room, you should be able to perform most of the clean up yourself. However, if a major water leak has occurred affecting multiple rooms, even traveling from an upper section to a lower level of your home, or the leaking has gone unnoticed for more than 8 hours, you should contact a professional water mitigation company since very specialized drying equipment will likely be necessary.

Here’s what you need to do in order to handle a minimal amount of water damage:

Avoid electric shock!
When dealing with water invasion, your first task should be to shut the electrical power to your home if the leak has occurred near electrical appliances and outlets. This way you can focus on your clean up efforts and not have to worry about an electric shock.

Salvage what you can
It’s a given that you’re going to have soaked carpets and furniture and much of it may be ruined beyond repair. This is the time for some item-sorting triage. Move anything that is salvageable to a dry area, assuming these items have not absorbed a major amount of water. Your carpet will likely have to be replaced, but you should remove the water-soaked sections quickly.

It’s time to mop the floors
If there’s still considerable water on the floors use towels and a mop to dry the flooring. A wet-dry Shop-Vac can be used to effectively remove excess water. If you don’t have your own you can usually rent a unit at your local hardware and home improvement store.

Use fresh, dry air
Assuming it’s not raining outside, you should open doors and windows in order to bring fresh, dry air into your home. Also, if you have fans (any size will do) set them up near the flooded area and turn them on to their highest setting.

The last two steps utilize advanced methods for removing all of that excess water. You may not feel particularly confident in performing these tasks, and that’s understandable. But don’t fret, just call SERVPRO of Oldham Shelby and we will handle your water damage problem expertly. 502.241.6861

Use a dehumidifier
You likely won’t have a portable dehumidifier on hand, but these units can be purchased or rented—or maybe you might have a friend or neighbor who has one and can borrow it. Dehumidifiers remove moisture directly from the air and can dry items more quickly than simple fans. However, you will have to monitor the unit and periodically empty any water collected by it. The reservoir is usually located at the back of the unit, so check often to see if it is full.

Use desiccant products
When you purchase garments or shoes you’ll notice that small packets of silica gel are often included in the packaging. That’s because silica gel is very good at absorbing moisture. So, besides using dehumidifiers and fans, you should visit your hardware and home improvement store to buy desiccant products. There are different versions, but the most common types are available in tubs or sachets of silica gel. Place the silica gel (in whatever form) near walls or flooring that have absorbed moisture.

The bottom line…
Remember, if you notice that water has seeped into the sub floor or the drywall, the most prudent course to take is to simply contact a professional restoration company immediately. These specialists possess all of the equipment, knowledge and experience to handle any sort of water damage. Additionally, they can remove and restore items and materials that have the potential to develop mold. Also, be aware that the longer porous materials are exposed to water saturation increases the deterioration of those materials, causing possible structural instability over time. Much of these materials will not be salvageable, particularly carpet backing, insulation and adhesives.

Professional restoration companies will employ thermal imaging technology, moisture readers and professional-grade drying equipment during the clean up process. This will go a long way in preventing any secondary damages and will also aid in safe-guarding your health and the overall stability of your home.

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 To Do After A Water Damage?

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

What’s the first thing that you are supposed to do after a major storm passes through your property? Apart from a storm, there are other factors that can cause flooding in your building, including burst pipes, appliance breakdowns, sewer back-up, faulty sump-pump and more. This can be a difficult time for you, but there are steps that you can take to feel in control of the situation. Here is what SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County water damage restoration recommends:

Safety First

If the water damage was serious enough for you to leave your house to stay elsewhere, you should make sure that your flooded house is safe before you return. As a necessary safety precaution, check for any noticeable structural damage, such as loosened foundation elements, cracked walls, holes, and warping before entering your home. If there are any damages to sewer lines, electric devices, gas and water pipes, contact your utility companies immediately. Also, remember to switch off the fuse box and the main power source for your house because water and electricity don’t mix.

Take Pictures

Before you think about doing anything regarding the damage caused by water, make sure that you take clear photos or video for your insurer. Soft copies are useful because they can be copied and stored electronically. If you choose to dry out your property and make repairs before documenting the damage, you could significantly reduce your expected compensation.

Be Concerned About Your Health

The water in your flooded house may be clear, but there’s a chance it could be contaminated by household chemicals or even sewage. In light of this, you are advised to wear rubber gloves, high water-resistant boots or waders when you enter your home. Any food that may have been affected by the water should be discarded. Also, use only boiled water until the water entering your house is declared to be safe for consumption.

Contact Your Insurance Company

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County advises that you contact your insurance provider immediately. Homeowners insurance varies depending on the type of coverage that you have. Your provider will send someone (an insurance adjuster) to evaluate the damage and determine if it’s covered by your policy. This is why it’s essential to document every detail before cleaning out your home and making repairs. The photos and videos that you took may be used by the insurance company to assess the damage correctly. If there are any repairs that you want to be done immediately, you should talk to the insurance company about them. 

Cleanup

You should start the cleanup process after your insurance company has assessed the damage and advise you to go ahead. Anything that’s not safe for use should be thrown away. You may also be advised to remove the drywall, insulation, and flooring to prevent mildew and mold from spreading in your house. Also, furniture should be dried out, cleaned thoroughly or thrown away if the damaged caused is beyond repair. 

Mold starts to emerge 24-hours after a flood, and if left to grow, it can be very frustrating to eliminate them from your flooded house. In this light, you are advised to remove your belongings from water and dry them as soon as possible. However, you should seek the help of an expert to assess the damage before doing anything. 

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

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

Winter Storm- Preparedness Checklist

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Winter Storms can be devastating if we are unprepared!

2017 has taught us all too somberly that preparation is critical and emergency preparedness is prudent. With all the breaking news of recent disasters, we have been reminded that, though there is much we cannot control, there are steps we can take to be equipped.

At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County, we want to encourage all business owners, property managers, and chief engineers at property sites of all types to be prepared for the storm season. Here are a few key things to have on hand:

Supplies:

  • Portable phone chargers
  • Sandbags
  • Plywood
  • Flashlights
  • Safety glasses
  • Emergency generators
  • Fuel

Many of these suggestions are only starting points for your check list. Each business has varying needs depending on location and operations. Know your team’s unique context and construct your supply list accordingly.

In addition to collecting and storing items in an accessible spot, it’s also important to make contact information for each service partner readily available. Cue these professionals to be on alert in the event your site needs help. If your business doesn’t have existing relationships with certain service providers, initiate connections now. Establish relationships with a reliable contractor, tree trimmer, electrician, restoration company, and others.

Another important storm preparation step to consider is insurance education. Know your policy, especially specifics on exclusions. Have clear knowledge about your business’ insurance coverage and authorize a team person to interact with insurance as well as manage payment, reimbursement and claims related to the clean up work performed.

Most importantly, do a walk through of the property to assess vulnerable spots before the storm. Know the areas that are already weak and mitigate them in advance of the storm. Pay close attention to gutters and tree branches, reinforce or trim when necessary.

Finally, for your business, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can create an Emergency READY Profile.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. 

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

There many more steps to the preparedness process and more checklist items depending on your specific needs, but these highlights are a good start.  We at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County want you to be equipped and confident in your storm preparedness.

Water Damage in your Home or Business? Need to schedule an Emergency READY Profile? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

The Top Reasons Why You Should Never Handle Mold On Your Home

1/11/2018 (Permalink)

The Reasons Why You Should Never Tackle Mold on Your Own

There are many reasons why taking care of mold on your own can be a bad idea. The first reason for this is that when you try and eliminate mold on your own, it is possible that you may not adequately remove all of the mold. Another reason for this is that it’s very difficult for an amateur to control all of the environmental conditions that promote mold growth on their own. Finally, the mold may grow because of improper maintenance of your household appliances. However, with some information, you can now how to tackle mold instead.

The cleaners used weren’t effective:

When it comes to the kind of cleaners that are recommended by usual DIYs, not all of them are effective against mold growth. The most commonly recommended cleaner is chlorine, which as it turns out, is not going to do much to destroy the mold growth on its own. This is because mold itself is a fungus and has deep-seated roots. These roots can go very deep and embed the roots inside porous surfaces. The chlorine itself can only take care of the mold growing on the surface of the material, but the roots will stay alive and grow again.

The thing with Chlorine is that it doesn’t seep inside materials in the way that most cleaners can do. So chlorine will only destroy the mold growth on the surface, but the mold growth underneath will still thrive. When it comes to a solution of bleach and water, the cleaner isn’t as effective because the bleach itself can evaporate. This would leave the water behind, meaning that the mold will have access to more water that will allow it to grow.

The environmental conditions can’t be controlled:

Mold doesn’t just grow rapidly, it also sends off spores through the home to help it move from room to room. These spores are tiny and can get everywhere inside your home, such as your furniture, walls, pets, and even you and your family. If the levels of this get very high, the mold can be dangerous to everyone exposed to the spores. 

There are certain environmental conditions you can control, such as the level of humidity inside the home. This should be kept in a minimum and that can be done using equipment such as a dehumidifier to reduce the levels of moisture in the air. You can also reduce the mold growth levels by reducing the temperature to slow down their rate of growth. So, based on all of that, the best way to reduce mold growth is to keep the environment at reduced humidity and temperature. 

The appliances weren’t maintained:

You can do things later when it comes to cleaning up the mold, but when you’re dealing with prevention, you will need to maintain the appliances inside the home. This means having them regularly checked and making sure that there were no leaks that need fixing.

Mold In Your Home Or Business? Leave it to the remediation specialist here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

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

Obvious Signs Of Water Damage

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Detecting water damage can be a difficult task as often water damage losses don’t become evident right away. In fact, most of them exist over a prolonged period before being identified and restored. By that time, the underlying problem causing the water damage becomes severe and managing it becomes extremely difficult. For avoiding any such situation and ensuring that you contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County before the problem turns bigger, you must get acquainted with the preliminary warning signs. The section below would introduce you to the most common indicators of water damage.  

Sound- If you think that all the signs of water damage are meant to be seen, you are wrong. There are some signs that can be heard. If you are hearing sounds of dripping water, rushing water, or creaking floorboards, it seems that your home might have already become a victim of water damage. It’s true that such sounds might also occur in spite of having a healthy plumbing system; however, still, you must get your home checked for water damage if you hear the sounds constantly.  

Smell- You must also keep your nose alert for detecting moisture or water damage in your home. Dampness boasts a distinct odor; it might resemble the pungent smell we usually associate with mold. So, when checking your home for water damage, you should look for smell besides other obvious indicators. 

 Puddles- If there’s a leak in your home’s plumbing system or if something in the system is dripping, you might soon see pools of water develop along the problematic area. Whenever you find any unusual puddle, do monitor it and find out whether it returns after being cleaned up. A puddle that comes back even after being cleaned up might be a sign of a seepage or leak.  

Mold- Mold typically occurs only when there’s water damage. You might not need to hire a  restoration service provider if condensation in the bathroom has resulted in mold formation. However, you will have to treat mold as a sign of excessive moisture formation in certain parts of your house and do the needful for getting those affected areas dried as quickly as possible. Getting rid of mold is also necessary for health reasons.  

Coolness- Are you finding it hard to heat up your home? If yes, treat the problem as a sign of dampness in your walls. Accumulated moisture tends to draw out heat of the walls so that it can get evaporated. This makes the walls and the entire home much colder.  Discoloration- Here, it must be noted that discoloration can occur due to a number of reasons; so, it’s important to make sure that the discoloration in your home is actually a result of water damage. If the discoloration has been caused by water “streaks” running down along an end of your house, it’s definitely a sign of water damage. In most cases, those streaks occur due to an overfull gutter. 

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact 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. 

Common Areas to Look For Mold When Purchasing A Home

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold in homes starts to grow when you least expect it. Not only is it unsightly, it’s potentially dangerous, and simply cleaning it up without remedying the source will only result in the mold re-growing.

Mold in homes has many causes, including undetected water leaks in your walls, leaks from your roof, plumbing problems, and even from outside environmental sources, such as bringing in plants with mold issues, or tracking in spores on shoes. Unsurprisingly, mold is more likely to grow in homes after floods or severe water damage, and in humid climates. However home mold is most often caused by leaks in plumbing, leaky foundations, and roof leaks.

 Mold can impact the value or sale of your home, sometimes even for the long-term. Depending on the extent of mold damage, the value of your home can be significantly lost. Just as you would not want to buy a home with mold damage, understandably buyers on the market are also weary.

If you’re buying a house or inspecting your own, know what to look for. As you inspect, take note of areas where the accumulation of moisture is probable. Pay special attention to signs of water damage in areas where water intrusion is likely. In our experience, these are the top 5 of the most common areas to find mold in a home:

A damaged gutter that is leaking and diverting water near the home foundation.

  1. Near gutter downspouts that are not properly diverted away from the foundation or damaged gutters that are not carrying water and snow melt to a downspout and away from the foundation.

Mold growth on framing that is revealed by removing batt insulation.

2. Behind insulation along rim joists in crawl spaces. These spots are prone to mold as moist air can get behind the insulation and then condensate on the cool joist surface. The insulation should be discarded and replaced with a spray foam product to prevent future mold growth.

Improper venting has resulted in significant mold growth.

3. In attics near improperly vented exhaust fans. Don’t look only at bathroom fans, kitchen exhaust hoods can be culprits as well. Also, another common attic issue is related to insulation being blown into the eaves without installation of baffles, a home inspector can check for this.

Long term leaks under this sink have resulted in major problems.

4. Under sinks inside vanities and cabinets. Because these areas are often out-of-sight, out-of-mind, they are often neglected. Leaking shut-off valves and drain lines that have bad gaskets or seals can result in slow leaks that cause long-term problems.

Moisture from vents and leaking plumbing has resulted in a big problem.

5. Behind washing machines and dryer appliances where either pipes have leaked, or are not properly connected. Again, this area is often out of sight and can be neglected, but the moisture sources, if leaking, can ultimately result in mold growth.

If you have concerns about one of these areas as you inspect, be sure to bring it to the attention of the company that you hire for your home inspection prior to purchasing the home. A qualified and experienced home inspector is a very important decision when it comes to your home purchase. A good home inspector will have the experience to identify other problems beyond these common issues that you may need to be aware of.

If you suspect more serious problems, feel free to call one of our experts who can help you with further identification and clean-up solutions. If a home has mold issues, they can typically be resolved and cleaned prior to taking possession of the home.

Contact our remediation professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

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

Winter Storms - Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Freezing pipes are a problem where they often run through un-insulated or under-insulated attics or crawl spaces. It is definitely necessary to protect exposed water pipes. Leaving pipes unprotected can cause them to burst, which can result in a tremendous amount of damage to the home and the contents inside.

You can drastically reduce your chance of property damage by preparing your water pipes before a hard freeze. The following suggestions can help you accomplish this task.

What Kind of Water Pipes Freeze and When?

- Water pipes have the potential to freeze and burst when the outside temperature reaches 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

- Pipes that are most vulnerable to freeze are usually exposed to severe cold, such as:

- Outdoor hose bibs,

- Swimming pool supply lines,

- Water sprinkler lines

- Water pipes in basements,

- Water pipes in crawl spaces,

- Water pipes in attics,

- Water pipes in garages, and

- Water pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

Preparing Your Home For The Freeze

Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located and are in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can freeze if the water is not running through the pipe and the water temperature in the pipe is cold.

Consider installing products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Many products are available at your local building supplies retailer. Newspaper can also provide some protection to exposed pipes as long as the cold temperatures are not frequent or prolonged.

Take Action during Cold Weather

- Keep the garage door closed if there are water supply lines located inside.

- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing.

- Keep the heating thermostat set at a consistent temperature both day and night

- If going out of town during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home. Set the thermostat to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and open cabinet doors where there is plumbing.

- If you are going out of town and have a heat pump system, and if the temperature is forecast to be extremely low, you may need to switch the setting to emergency heat and reduce the thermostat setting to 55 degrees F.

Thawing Frozen Pipes after the Storm

- If you suspect that the pipe is frozen; keep the faucet open. Water will begin to flow as you treat the frozen area, which will help to melt more ice in the pipe.

- Make sure you know where the main water valve is located outside of your home. The frozen pipe may already be broken, and it will leak when the water is thawed. If this is the case, you'll need to turn off the main water valve to your home until the leak is repaired.

- Apply heat to the frozen portion of the pipe. This can be accomplished by using the following sources of heat: a heating pad, electric hair dryer, a portable space heater, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Make sure that electrical cords do not come into contact with water. Do not attempt to use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame devices; they present a serious fire hazard as well as release lethal carbon monoxide fumes into the air.

- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. Call a licensed plumber if you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not within reach, or if you can't get the pipe to thaw.

- Inspect all other faucets in your home to find out if additional pipes are frozen. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze also.

Frozen Pipe Burst Causing Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties.

Mold Prevention

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Moisture control is the key to mold control. When water leaks or spills occur indoors - act promptly Any initial water infiltration should be stopped and cleaned promptly. A prompt response (within 24-48 hours) and thorough clean-up, drying, and/ or removal of water damaged materials will prevent or limit mold growth.

Mold prevention tips include:

Repairing plumbing leaks and leaks in the building structure as soon as possible.

Looking for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture incursion problem(s) as soon as possible.

Preventing moisture from condensing by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in the air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in the air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).

Keeping HVAC drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.

Performing regularly scheduled building/ HVAC inspections and maintenance, including filter changes.

Maintaining indoor relative humidity below 60% (25 - 50%, if possible).

Venting moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.

Venting kitchens (cooking areas) and bathrooms according to local code requirements.

Cleaning and drying wet or damp spots as soon as possible, but no more than 48 hours after discovery.

Providing adequate drainage around buildings and sloping the ground away from building foundations. Follow all local building codes.

Pinpointing areas where leaks have occurred, identifying the causes, and taking preventive action to ensure that they do not reoccur.

Mold 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. 

Top Causes of Basement Flooding During The Winter Season

1/2/2018 (Permalink)

Basements can flood just about any time of the year, and you might be surprised that it can even happen during the winter. The reality is that winter can present the most risk and only some of these are preventable. It is never a bad idea to have a water damage restoration company as part of your home maintenance list of providers, so you can respond quickly if you experience a problem.

The main causes of water damage basement flooding are ice floes, frozen concrete, blocked drains, and faulty plumbing. If you live near a river, you could find that an ice floe has blocked water flow and caused flooding in your neighborhood. This is not a common occurrence, but can happen. The other causes are more common.

The most common is a pipe break due to faulty plumbing or not having proper precautions in place to avoid pipes freezing. When water freezes, it expands and can cause a burst pipe. This is more common when pipes are weakened but can happen even with newer plumbing. Freezing water can also cause a problem in your home’s concrete foundation. Additionally, concrete expands and contracts during seasonal temperature changes, which can result in cracks that let water seep in, sometimes rapidly.

A blocked or slow drain is a problem any time of the year, but it can be a real problem during warmer periods during the winter when snow is melting and needing a place to drain.

During warmer months, you should take the time to inspect your property for good drainage and any cracks you might notice in your home’s foundation. Check your basement and plumbing throughout the year to reduce the chances of water damage from the causes you can control.

If you should encounter water damage, give us a call at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861. Any time of the year, we are here to restore your home, whether the water damage is a plumbing issue, winter woes or from putting out a fire in your home. We can also work with your insurance company.

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

Ways to Tackle Ceiling Water Damage

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

When you glance up at your ceiling and begin to see stains spreading (in several shades of brown and copper) you should know that such conditions are not normal. This is a sure sign that you have water damage wreaking havoc with your ceiling.

Ignoring those stains can also lead to seeing paint chip and crack on your ceiling – and walls. You’ll eventually notice the paint or wallpaper on your walls “bubble up.” Even so, all is not lost if you take action quickly. The key word is “quickly”. If you’ve already noticed this issue and it’s not dealt with immediately, further damage from water invasion will occur, weakening your plaster or drywall in the process.

Step 1: Find the source of the damage

You see the damage to your ceiling, now you must locate the source. Once you find out how the water is getting in, you’ve got to take steps to stop that source and fix it so that it won’t cause more damage. After you’ve judged the severity of the problem, you’ll have to decide on how to approach fixing the situation. Unless you have a lot of experience dealing with water damage and possess all of the necessary equipment you might consider doing the repairs yourself. But most of us don’t have that sort of expertise, and really, attempting such repairs as a novice can cause even more damage—and it might even be dangerous! The best course to take is to contact the experts: a company that handles water damage repairs on a daily basis.

Identify the signs of water damage:
Besides the most obvious—stains—look for these signs of water damage to your ceiling:
•    Odors (e.g. musty and/or earthy smells)
•    Discolored growths (a sure sign of mold)
•    Peeling wall surfaces (e.g. paint, wallpaper)
•    Ceilings that sag or cave

Most water damage noted above often occur with basement ceilings or garage. A leaking shower drain PVC pipe’s U-bend, for instance. Despite this, your initial task is to search for and hopefully discover where the water is coming from.

Step 2: Assessment of the time and cost of correcting the problem

You’ve discovered the culprit and found the source of the water invasion. Now it’s time to figure out a plan of action—and how much it’s all going to cost. You must prioritize your repairs. You may want to replace your pipes first rather than attempt fixing/replacing your ceiling. Dealing with the pipes first will ensure that no further damage will happen to your ceiling in case a domino effect happens. Once you’ve tackled the pipe situation successfully it should be safe to fix the ceiling. Doing repairs in the wrong order can end up very costly!

In fact, before you begin repair on your ceiling you should check for mold damage. If the water has been soaking into the material long enough you might have a severe mold encroachment building up. Mold spores can adversely affect the health of everyone in your household. As for detecting mold, you shouldn’t rely on your sight and sense of smell. You should hire a mold remediation specialist to detect and eliminate your mold situation.

Step 3: Remove sections of the damaged ceiling

Drying a damaged ceiling can result in chunks and pieces of the ceiling landing on your floor and furniture. So it’s important to cover the floor and furniture with a tarp or heavy canvas for protection. Once there is longer any water dripping or soaking your ceiling, it’s also time to begin drying the ceiling material. This can be accomplished by simply applying towels, cloths, or any other absorbent material to the ceiling itself, as well as using a fan to blow the ceiling dry. If there are portions of the ceiling hanging after this process you should use a knife or other cutting object to carefully remove damaged parts.

Next, be sure to smooth any ridges between the affected and clean areas. If you end up with large holes in the ceiling you’ll definitely need to use new sheets of drywall or plaster to fix those areas. Primer and paint will be required to cover the leftover stains on your ceilings.

Leaky toilets are often the primary culprits of water damage to ceilings in apartment buildings and condominiums. In fact, some toilets can waste as much as 200 gallons of water per day. It’s the responsibility of both landlords and tenants to identify and deal with such issues. These problems will eventually trickle down to the tenants below you and that’s not a good thing!

Natural disasters can cause major ceiling damage in the form of severe rain storms,  and tornadoes. After each such disaster it’s important to check your home for cracks. Check every room in your home with a flashlight and search for cracks and other breaches. Even the tiniest crack can cause major damage over time, so be thorough. While cracks found along the edge of the ceiling can be normal, long and wide cracks in the middle of the ceiling can mean future damage.

If you take the above steps immediately after any suspected water damage, you’ll be sure to minimize the cost and the amount of time you’ll spend inconvenienced as your ceiling is repaired.

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

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

Water Damage: Consequences

12/25/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage: Consequences

Water damage can cause a great deal of destruction and can be caused by a number of things. Several different factors come into play; a leaky pipe, clogged drain, and flooding from a storm.

Water damage can cause a variety of serious problems if the issue is not addressed immediately. Restoration is critical when water damage threaten your home or business. Mitigation must be initiated immediately following water damage. Water damage restoration can involve removing excess water as well as applying special disinfectants and cleaners to take care of any residue that was left behind.

If excess water is not removed properly it can cause a pungent odor. In addition, excess water can cause bacteria to develop which can cause serious issues. Excess water can also cause floor boards and walls to decay.  The water following a flood can be removed by using a truck mount and wand to extract. Once the water is removed the cleaning solution can be applied over the entire area. Normally the disinfectants used contains a pleasant and fresh odor.

Water damage restoration may also involve having to tear up and throw away carpeting and padding. Depending on the degree of water damage will determine whether or not carpeting can be saved and restored. If carpeting can be salvaged it must first be dried during the truck mount extraction process. 

Water damage can be quite destructive and unexpected. However, if you are prepared for a flood emergency you will know exactly what steps you need to take in order to recover.

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 serves Spencer, Henry and Trimble Counties. 

4 Common Causes of Commercial Fires

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

While it may seem like these commercial fires are always ruled human error, it is not always the case. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of commercial fires.

Arson

Arson is one of the leading causes of fire damage, death, and workplace injuries in commercial buildings. But arson doesn’t just affect business owners or the company. It can injure or kill workers and fire fighters, result in loss of a job for workers, and easily spread to other buildings and public utilities nearby. Arson might be instigated by the owner for insurance purposes, unhappy workers or clients, vandalism, to hide bigger crimes, or by mentally unstable individuals.

Human Errors

Not every fire caused by a human is meant maliciously. A smoldering cigarette or forgotten coffee pot could be the reason behind a human error fire. The risk of fire increases as more people enter the building and use the equipment. The equipment itself is not usually the cause of the fire, but instead the misuse of the equipment.

Water Heaters, Boilers, and Furnaces

While there are strict codes regulating the installation, use, and maintenance of this equipment, sadly it is not always followed. Improper installation and lack of maintenance can trigger a fire in your building. Combustible materials like chemicals, paper and trash should never be stored in the same area as this equipment.

Electrical Fires

Electrical appliances or systems can start a commercial fire, but sadly people are often at the root of this fire as well. When businesses hire unqualified individuals to modify electrical outlets or circuitry, it can lead to problems. Electrical code violations are often committed by unreliable builders or workers. These code violations can lead to fires in your building. Another cause of electrical fires is the electrical equipment itself. Equipment that is misused or overloaded can often cause fires as well as a lack of proper maintenance.

Fire or Smoke Loss In Your Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

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

What Can Be Saved From A Water Damage

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

When your home has been affected by water damage, you may be tempted to want to throw everything in the trash and start over. Water damage can have devastating effects and can be difficult to clean and restore a property to its original state. Fortunately, at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County, we are experts at restoration from water damage and can help guide you when it comes to restoring your home after an accident.

The good news is, plenty of things can be saved and restored after being affected by water. However, a lot of this depends on quick action on the part of the property owner. The longer a home goes without being treated, the worse the damage becomes. Mold begins to grow in the damp environment and can be irreversibly damaging. Mold spores can begin to spread throughout the home and linger in the air, where it can be inhaled and cause negative effects to the inhabitants. The sooner you act to rid your home of water damage, the better. At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County, we offer 24-hour emergency service, so we can begin the cleanup process right away.

Some things should not be kept after having been subjected to extreme water damage. Things like mattresses, box springs, pillows, particle board and other similar items tend to harbor moisture and foster the growth of microbes. We recommend replacing items like this to prevent illness and the spread of microbes in the future. If you are unsure of whether you should toss something or not, we are happy to consult with you.

Water damage in your home is a frustrating experience to live through, but if you work with us at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County, you can be sure that your home will be restored to its original beauty.

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

What Causes Attic Mold?

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

If you’re like most of us, you rarely if ever venture into your home’s attic. Why would you? It’s not usually a place you care to venture and for the most part if you do it’s because something isn’t going well.  In this blog post, we’ll talk through what we typically see when homes have considerable amounts of attic black mold and help you understand ways you can make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Why black mold grows in attics

Black mold damage in your attic space occurs for the same reasons it occurs anywhere else in a dwelling. It’s a combination of a few things:

The Right Temperature – mold spores like warmer, ambient temps. In fact, it likes about the same temp range as we do, between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Food – no, not crumbs from discarded food a home service technicians may have left while doing some work up in your attic long ago. Black mold eats anything that is high in cellulose. Unfortunately for homeowners, that’s pretty much anything in your attic, like plywood, wood joists, roof decking, etc.

 Elevated moisture – many homeowners don’t realize that moisture is found in every surface of their home, as it should be. If those surfaces were completely devoid of moisture they wouldn’t perform their duties properly. But if a surface gets too much moisture in it, that’s the trigger black mold needs to start growing.

Another thing most homeowners don’t realize is that black mold spores are present in most environments, and certainly in every home or other type of dwelling. It exists naturally and in low levels and is completely harmless to humans and pets. But with the right conditions, it can grow quickly and spread, causing wide spread damage to your home and have potentially serious consequences for the home’s inhabitants.

As you can see from the list above, 2 of those things are normal. It’s the 3rd thing, elevated moisture, that is not normal and creates the right environment for a serious mold problem. So now let’s talk through how moisture gets into attics and what you can do to make sure it doesn’t get into yours.

Causes of attic black mold growth

When we are called to a home and discover toxic black mold in the attic, the culprits are usually pretty easy to spot. There are only so many ways moisture finds its way into an attic. Here’s what we usually see:

Venting directly into the attic

Many bathrooms are equipped with vents that take the warm, wet air released when a shower is running and remove it from the bathroom. Unfortunately, sometimes a misguided homeowner or shoddy handyman will simply install the vent fan such that the air is pushed into the attic where it has nowhere to escape. If you have an older home that is equipped with one or multiple of these types of exhaust fans, it’s probably worth you taking a look in the attic space to make sure it’s vented properly.

Condensation from an AC unit in an attic

In some areas of the country, HVAC companies will install AC units in attics. These units produce condensation that must be vented and drained properly or else it can allow moisture to find its way into your attic. Manufacturers recommend you inspect your AC unit before you turn it on for the summer as well as at the end of the hot months to make sure it’s running properly and so that you discover any potential moisture problems before the get too bad.

A leaky roof

By far the biggest culprit we find when inspecting an attic with black mold is a leaky roof. Just one damaged or misplaced tile can allow rain water to slowly seep into your attic. While most people picture a deluge of water coming through their ceiling, more often than not a rook leak will just allow a slow amount of rain water to enter the attic, usually soaking the roof deck and eventually dripping down onto the attic floor and/or your exterior walls.

We always recommend that you (safely) inspect your roof’s exterior each spring and it’s also a good idea to just crawl up into your attic and peer at the interior decking of the roof. If you start to see staining, it’s a sign you have some moisture intrusion that needs to be addressed!

If you discover Mold in your home or business call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

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

Why is Fire And Water Restoration Necessary?

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

The following is provided by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Why Is Fire And Water Restoration Necessary?  

 The process of fire and water restoration is very involved when it is performed properly. The only way to have the most up to date techniques and approaches applied to the problem is to hire a certified professional. Only someone with experience and training will have access to the equipment and skills that are requisite for a proper restoration. 

With quick reaction time and the appropriate skill set, a technician can help to prevent further damage and repair that which has already been done. Smoke is a pernicious force when it is ignored. The speed with which smoke can have an effect is incredibly rapid. Damage levels that are reached in the span of a few weeks may be expensive and difficult to repair. Glass, carpet, wood and metals, each has their own reaction, each with varying permanence.

The process and equipment used during fire and water restoration will vary from case to case, since different materials require their own unique care. The circumstances of each incident are accounted for when deciding the course of action. The process generally spans a few days for both an evaluation of the damage and assessment of what has been lost is performed. Then, for water, the source of the damage is detected during an inspection of the impacted areas. The type of damage is classified from 1 (least) to 4 (most), and the contamination of the liquid is categorized. Knowledge gained from a class like Applied Structural Drying will be used. Technicians will sanitize the area and deodorize, rather than merely covering up unpleasant scents. An ozone generator, air scrubber, dehumidifier, or air mover may be employed.

For fire damage, general cleaning is done to remove ash and soot from ceiling to floor. Later, when almost all other aspects of the remediation are complete, thorough carpet cleaning takes place. Thermal fogging or chemical scrubs may be utilized to combat the dirt, smoke, and soot that are caught in the recesses of the homes hard surfaces, including ceiling, walls and flooring. Reconstruction may have to be performed to parts of the building that cannot be returned to their former condition with mere cleaning.

The quick remediation of the problem is important for more than repairs, it is also a health consideration. Allowing the moisture or smoke residue to remain can decrease air quality. Having a professional come to assist with drying and dehumidifying after water damage is a large part of mold prevention.

Choose a company for fire and water restoration with the appropriate licenses and proof that they have the proper insurance. Their safety and health certifications should be up to date, as well as their specialized training. Look for technicians that have been trained formally in schools approved by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. 

Whether the work to be done is in a commercial or residential location, the damage recovery should be performed by technicians with experience and certification. Attempting to reverse the damage is not a project that can be efficiently handled by a homeowner or person that is inexperienced. The highest satisfaction with results is gained from hiring certified, professionally equipped technicians. Certifications are earned through class time, application and documentation of skills and written exams. Courses cover basic skills and also have combinations of classes to create certification tracks in specialized areas. The courses are maintained by the IICRC, which regulate and approve course material and information. Available nationwide, there are a variety of classes that are designed to allow technicians to approach any problem and mitigate the damage, while also understanding the science behind the solutions.

Fire or Water Damage In Your Home or Business? Contact our IICRC Certified Professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6141

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

Help! I have Mold In My House! What Next?

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Help! I Have Mold In My House! What Next? After sustaining water damage, homes frequently suffer from mold damage, as well. Mold can begin to grow on damp surfaces within 24 hours of getting saturated with moisture, so mold damage repair is an important job to tackle soon after a flooding incident.

Mold growth in a home can present adverse health effects from inhaling mold spores. Mold growth can eat away at the home’s structure and cause weakness in the materials it is growing on.

Mold damage can also occur in moist, warm environments where there isn’t air circulation, so even if your home hasn’t had any flooding, you could have mold growth. It’s important to monitor areas in your home that are high risk.

When you do notice you have mold damage, you can call us at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County for complete mold damage repair and restoration. 502.241.6861 

Our technicians are highly trained at dealing with mold removal and will be able to clean the area thoroughly. We recommend shutting of any air circulation while we work to prevent mold spores from traveling throughout the home. Along with that, our crews will set up containment to assist with this process.  When the mold has been removed, we will thoroughly disinfect the area to prevent further mold growth.

To prevent mold damage in the future, we recommend reducing the moisture content in your home. Most air conditioning units are efficient at removing moisture from the air and keeping the moisture content low enough to discourage mold growth. However, it is important to be sure that the air circulation reaches all area of the home.

If you have mold damage, you can feel confident that our team at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby county can get rid of it and restore your home to its original state. Call us today to learn more about our mold damage repair services.

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

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Water Damage

12/12/2017 (Permalink)

5 Frequently Asked Questions about Water Damage

Water damage can be a traumatic experience for homeowners. Being informed about the causes, consequences, and ways to handle water damage can help you overcome the problem more efficiently. Here are five frequently asked questions and answers about water damage:

1. What causes water damage?

  1. Water damage can occur after natural disasters, such as thunderstorms or hurricanes that cause flooding, from pipe bursts, appliance malfunctions, roof leaks, foundation leaks, septic tank overflows, poor drainage, and more. Flash flooding, pipe bursts, and sewage backups are especially dangerous as they can produce several inches of water in less than a day.

2. Why is water damage dangerous?

  1. Floodwater that comes from outside and from sewage backups contains dangerous contaminants like viruses and bacteria. If the water isn’t drained within 24-48 hours, structural damage and mold growth can ensue. Even water leaks that infiltrate your home slowly can cause damage to the building and lead to mold growth. Mold left unchecked will spread quickly through the home.

3. What should I do after a flood, or sewage or water leak?

  1. Firstly, contact a water damage restoration company as soon as possible. Don’t wait as water can cause mold and irremediable damage to the wood, walls, and carpet in your home. Afterwards, contact your insurance company to start the claim process. If safe, shut off the utilities in your home to avoid further damage. Don’t enter your home if it has suffered structural damage. Don’t walk through floodwater if electricity hasn’t been turned off and to avoid contaminants.

4. How do certified technicians typically handle water damage?

The first thing professionals do is remove damaged materials that will either be restored or discarded. Materials include baseboards, insulation, furniture, carpeting, upholstery, carpet padding, fragile woods, drywall, and more. After the damaged items are removed, the technicians begin drying out the water and disinfecting the areas. Specialized tools like air movers and dehumidifiers are typically involved in the drying process. Professionals will also handle mold damage in the restoration process. Mold-infected surfaces will be disinfected and restored as quickly as possible to prevent it from spreading.

5. Will my homeowners insurance cover water damage?

Homeowners insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental (such as water heater ruptures or pipe bursts). However, flood damage, no matter the source of the water, is NOT covered by standard homeowners policies. Flooding can occur from storms, sewer backup, and overflowing rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans.

However, you can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Note that water damage that results from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowners insurance policy.

The best way to avoid water damage in your home is to take steps to prevent it. For flood water damage repair and mold remediation service, contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861 

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

Carbon Monoxide Detector Tips

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Carbon Monoxide Detector Safety Tips

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that can be safely detected in your home only by CO detectors. This is why it’s extremely important to properly install and maintain your CO alarms, and know what to do when one sounds.

Installation Tips                        

  • Purchase CO alarms from a trusted retailer. Choose alarms that are battery-operated or have batteries as backup.
  • Make sure CO alarms bear the label of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory.
  • Install CO detectors on every level in your home. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.
  • Make sure objects like furniture parts or drapery don’t cover the alarm. You can also use portable carbon monoxide alarms when you’re travelling.
  • Interconnect CO alarms to provide the best protection. When one sounds, they all do.
  • Install both CO alarms and smoke alarms in your home. You can also find combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Maintenance Tips

  • Test CO alarms once a month by pressing the test button to ensure they work properly. Tell everyone in your household that you will be performing a smoke alarm test.
  • Replace CO alarm batteries at least once a year. A good time to change the batteries is when Daylight Savings Time ends (in the fall). Also replace batteries if the audible trouble signal sounds to indicate low batteries.
  • Replace your CO alarms once every 10 years but make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions first. Each CO alarm has a different lifespan.

If a CO Alarm Sounds:

  • Alert others in the home and make sure everyone gets out safely.
  • Once outside, call 911 immediately. Do not go back inside until emergency services personnel give you the all-clear.
  • Seek immediate medical help if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseous.

Preventing CO in Your Home

  • Have your gas, oil or coal-burning appliances serviced by a technician every year.
  • Buy only gas equipment carrying the seal of a national testing laboratory.
  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year. Chimneys can be clogged by debris that can cause CO to build up in your home.
  • Do not operate gasoline-powered tools like portable generators in or near your house, garage or other enclosed space.
  • Never use a gas range, oven or charcoal grill for heating indoors.
  • Never run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.

For professional fire restoration services or smoke odor removal, contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

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

Preventing Water Damage From The Outside

12/6/2017 (Permalink)

Preventing Water Damage from the Outside

Water has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, destroying everything in its path, and completely taking over parts of your home. This can cause an immense amount of stress and take a lot of work to get back to normal. It usually takes the work of a certified and insured professional water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to repair the damage. However, there is a way to prevent water from coming into your home from outside before it is too late. Here are essential tips to safeguard your home’s exterior from water:

Roof

  • Check your roof to ensure the shingles, flashings or tiles aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
  • Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
  • Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
  • Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture. Leaves or twigs can also clog your gutters.

Gutters and Downspouts

  • Ensure these are clean, free from debris, and in good condition so that water can flow freely.
  • Install metal screens to prevent leaves, twigs, silt and other debris from clogging the gutters and drainage holes.
  • Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. Install downspout extensions if needed.

Doors and Windows

  • Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frames.
  • Protect exterior doors and windows from the sun, rain, and snow by installing overhangs above them.
  • Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Look for cracks between the sash and frame of your windows.
  • Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping around windows.
  • Install window well covers if you don’t already have them. This will prevent water and debris from getting trapped in your window well, causing water to eventually seep into your basement.

Walls

  • Check and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or another masonry, as well as structural sheathing.
  • Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
  • Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation. Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding.
  • Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
  • Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls.
  • When irrigating the garden, avoid directing water towards the house to prevent excessive water near the foundation.

When it comes to water damage, you can never be too safe and protected. If you follow these steps, you can protect your home from exterior water damage. If water does sneak up on you and wreaks havoc in your home, be sure to give SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County a call. 502.241.6861  We have the proper training, tools, and equipment to get your home back to normal in no time.

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

Preventing Water Damage To Your Furnace

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

Every winter, especially if you live in a cold climate, your home is under assault from the elements. Eventually, that constant assault can cause your home’s systems to fail. One common result of these failures is water damage. And while any type of water damage is bad, there are certain types of damage that can be worse than others. That’s especially true in the winter.

Perhaps no system in your home is more important in the winter than your furnace. Without it, you’d be in big trouble. So while the impact of home water damage is bad no matter how you look at it, having your furnace damaged when the temps are freezing outside can be catastrophic. So let’s talk about things you can do to protect your furnace from water damage should the worst case scenario happen to you this winter.

Elevate your furnace

Furnaces are hidden from view for a reason. They’re not exactly focal points of a home you want people’s eyes drawn towards. Whether it’s in a crawl space, basement or mechanical closet, it’s typically in a place you naturally don’t find yourself visiting very often. One way to help protect your furnace from water damage is to create an elevated platform upon which the furnace can sit. If it’s the case your furnace is found in an unfinished basement, you can simply pour a concrete block and install the furnace there. If it’s in a closet, it may make more sense to create a wooden box to hold the furnace. In either case, having the additional 18-24″ of height can typically protect against most types of home water damage.  Granted, in massive flood events this isn’t going to have much effect, but then again there isn’t much you can do from a preventative stand point when mother nature decides to take charge.

Install water sensors near your furnace

Another way to help prevent massive damage to your furnace is to install a water sensor near the unit. We’ve blogged about these systems before at length, but they work by sensing water intrusions and alerting you, either by a loud alarm sound or by notifying you via your cell phone. Some even work by shutting off the main water valve to your home so that in the event the water damage is caused by your home’s water supply, that supply will be shut off to prevent additional damage.

Call us if you get water damage this winter!

While we’ve tried to help you limit damage to your home’s furnace in the event a flood happens this winter, what we haven’t discussed is the damage that probably has occurred.  We sincerely hope that you won’t try the cleanup and drying process on your own. We’ve seen so many homeowners try this before, only to call us month’s later once it’s clear they’ve got major problems. Perhaps the biggest problem is that because they waited so long to have professional diagnose and fix the problems, the house has even more damage to it and their insurance company probably won’t honor any claim filed for the loss because it happened so long ago. Don’t let that happen to you! Make sure you act immediately in the event of a water loss!

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

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

Water Damage In Your Home- The Necessary Steps

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

One of the most damaging and devastating things any homeowner can experience is water damage. The term ‘water damage’ entails a wide range of possible losses caused by sudden presence of water in your home, where it can lead to destructive processes like rusting of steel, rotting of wooden components, etc.

Water damage can be caused due to different reasons such as burst pipes or catastrophic events like storm or flood.

When your home suffers from water damage, you will suddenly panic, worrying about what you can do now and what will happen to your stuff. The most important question you’ll ask yourself is:

Will the damage be covered by homeowner’s insurance? There is no doubt that water damage can be troublesome and the more you know about it, the better you can handle it. Here are some important things you must know about water damage.

1. Insurance Policies 

You may think that whether water damage is caused by flood or a burst pipe, it is the same. However, it is not the case. Flood damage is not covered under standard home insurance policies. If you live in an area where there is a possibility of flood, then you will probably have a policy through the National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP).

You need to specify the claim you are making, whether it is water damage or flood damage, so that it can be addressed accordingly.

2. Bummer! Insurance does not cover all Water Damage 

It is important that you review your insurance coverage and find out about any exclusion related to water damage. Most policies provide insurance coverage on sudden damage, for example, if there was a bad storm then the water damage will be covered under insurance.

However, if water damage is caused due to improper maintenance on your part or gradual leaks over time, then insurance will not cover such claims.

3. Emergency Mitigation 

Once water damage has occurred, you must begin emergency mitigation to protect your home from further damage. How you handle water damage in the first 24 hours is critical for your property damage claims.

There can be serious safety risks if water is not completely dried. It is best to contact water damage restoration companies to get the job done. They will have the right water removal and drying equipment to dry out your home and prevent further damage.

4. Contacting the Insurance Company

If your home has suffered water damage, then insurance companies should be contacted right away to make the claim. An adjuster will be sent by the insurance company to assess the damage and determine if it is covered by insurance. If your loss is covered by insurance, the sooner you contact the insurance company, the sooner they’ll pay out.

The insurance company may not send the adjuster right away so it is best to gather evidence for the claim. Take photos of the damage, the water, before, during and after clean up.

If your home ever suffers from water damage, keep these simple things in mind to prevent further damage and make the insurance claim to compensate for your loss.

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

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

Where there is moisture, there will be mold

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

What can be done to avoid mold growth in kitchens, bathrooms, and other moisture-prone areas?

The experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County recommend proper ventilation, identifying problematic areas, and maintaining low humidity level. Cleaning surfaces regularly with soap and water, or a solution of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water regularly will also help to keep mold at bay. An important word of caution: never mix bleach with other cleaning products! This can result in the release of potentially toxic fumes.

If mold is already present, it can spread rapidly. Mold removal and restoration may require the professional expertise that SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County offers. When disasters strike in the form of heavy rains, floods, or even when a pipe bursts and mold begins to grow, time is of the essence. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County professionals provide rapid damage assessment, and the skilled knowledge of how to get the job done properly, thoroughly, and safely.

Removing wet carpet, dry wall, any affected materials, and stopping the damaging effect of mold is vital to securing the safety of your home and business. Maintaining a safe environment for you and those who are most important to you is why the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby pride themselves in their work. 

Concerned with Mold In Your Home or Business? Contact the experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

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

Holiday Light Tips

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

There’s something magical about lights during the holiday season … but also something dangerous. Holiday lighting poses a real fire risk if not used safely. So before you deck the halls, be sure to check out these holiday lights safety tips:

Christmas Trees

  • Use only Christmas tree lights that are rated for indoor use and tested for safety. Check for the label of an independent testing laboratory like Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL).
  • If you have a metallic Christmas tree, never put electric lights on it to avoid the risk of electric shock.
  • Before using lights, check each set of lights for worn or broken cords, broken or cracked sockets, and loose bulb connections. Replace damaged lights.
  • Connect no more than three standard-size sets of lights into an extension cord. Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords, instead plug lights into different circuits around your home.
  • Don’t fasten colored spotlights onto metallic trees. Use them above or beside your tree to prevent tree branches from becoming charged with electricity from faulty lights.
  • Turn off the all Christmas lights and decorations when going to bed or leaving home.
  • Keep pets safe by protecting electric cords and tree lights so that they can’t chew them and get electrocuted.

Outdoor Lights

  • Make sure outdoor lights are rated for exterior use by an independent testing laboratory. Exterior lights and extension cords used outdoors need to be weather-resistant.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage. However, don't attach light strings with nails or staples as these can cut through the wire insulation and start a fire. Use only UL-approved hangers.
  • Take exterior lights down within 90 days to prevent hazards from weather damage or critters chewing on them.
  • Store lights safely after taking them down. Tangled lights can lead to damaged cords and broken sockets. They’re also a pain to untangle! Wrap the strings around a piece of cardboard, cover them in paper or fabric, and then store in a sturdy container until next year.

Candles

  • Never use real candles to decorate a tree. Use battery-operated, flameless LED candles instead.
  • If you do use real candles, follow these candle fire safety guidelines:
    • Use only non-flammable candle holders.
    • Place candles where they can’t be knocked down or blown over.
    • Keep candles away from any flammable objects like decorations or drapes.
    • Never burn candles near trees or greenery.
    • Always keep burning candles within your sight.
    • Extinguish all candles before going to bed, leaving the room or leaving your home.

For professional fire & water restoration services or smoke odor removal, contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. 502.241.6861

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

Why Water Damage Should Be Addressed Fast

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can be caused by a variety of factors including flooding, a burst pipe or an overflowing washing machine. No matter what the cause of the water damage, it is critical that it is repaired as quickly as possible to avoid serious financial and health consequences.

If water damage is left untreated, you run the risk of the structural integrity of your home deteriorating. Water damage can lead to floors bowing, ceilings caving in, and walls becoming weak. Repairs for this sort of damage can run very high and put you in a difficult spot financially. In addition to the financial cost, if the structural integrity deteriorates enough you may not be able to stay in your home as repairs are being made due to safety concerns.

Mold is also a significant concern when dealing with water damage. There is a 48-hour window to dry out the home before the mold can grow. Once mold starts to grow, it is costly to remediate in addition to the various health risks it poses to you and your family. Due to the short window of time to dry the water damaged area, it is recommended you bring in an experienced professional who has the right equipment to get the job done.

Once the area has been completed dried, it is essential to get the affected areas cleaned as soon as possible. The water especially if it is flood water is filled with bacteria and has often been contaminated by the sewer water. It is essential to use professional grade cleaner and focus on all of the areas the water seeped into including all the wall surfaces.

If your home has been affected by severe water damage, it is an extremely stressful time especially if you have lost your personal belongings. Bringing in a professional restoration company will make sure the job is done correctly and quickly, allowing you to start feeling better.

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

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

How To Correct And Prevent Moisture In Walls

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

When you have a water leak or moisture that reaches your walls or ceiling a lot of problems are going to occur. The longer that you let the problem persist, the worst the damage will be. To avoid mold and structural damage, it is best to prevent and at least correct moisture issues.

Usually doing do requires the aid of a professional. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is a provider of water damage and mold remediation. Call us today for assistance at 502.241.6861

IDENTIFYING MOISTURE IN WALLS

Damp patches, blotches or streaks are usually the first noticeable signs of moisture in walls. Their color, which can range from brown to dark yellow, can dictate the cause of the moisture. Other indications may include peeling paint, crumbling, discoloration, cracking, and hanging of drywall tape.

To correct the moisture problem in walls, the first thing to do it to determine the extent of the damage by visual inspection. For precise results, a moisture meter can be used.

The next step is to pinpoint the cause of the water damage and start appropriate repairs to prevent the spread of the damage.

Here are different cases of moisture damage and how to address each.

Damp Patches in Lower Walls

When the damage occurs on the lower parts of the wall, the problem is identified as rising dump. It is caused by a defective damp proof course. The problem can sometimes be attributed to poor site drainage or bad subfloor ventilation.

Fixing the problem involves improving the drainage of the site by directing water away from the building. To prevent the formation of moisture in the soil below, adequate space must be left between the soil and the floor boards.

Condensation Issues

This occurs due to poor ventilation and over-efficient drought proofing, which results in a buildup of moist air in the building.

The problem can be rectified by setting up vents or extractor fans in the moisture-prone parts of the building.

Damp Patches All Over Walls

Damp patches all over the walls are caused by the penetration of moisture from outside into the brickwork. This occurs through cracks and other gaps.

Preventing this involves maintaining external walls including the paintwork in top-notch condition, and sealing any gaps around door and window frames.

Roof Issues

Poor flashing or leaking gutters and drainpipes may be blamed for moisture in the top parts of the wall. These culprits are all located outside the structure which makes spotting and correcting them easy.

If any of these issues are present at your home or business, don't delay in contacting the professionals here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today. We also proudly serve the counties of Henry, Trimble and Spencer. 

Winter Fires: Safety Tips For The Home

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Follow these safety tips for fire prevention in your home. 

FURNACE HEATING It’s important that you have your furnace inspected to ensure that it is in good working condition.

• Be sure all furnace controls and emergency shutoffs are in proper working condition.

• Leave furnace repairs to qualified specialists. Do not attempt repairs yourself unless you are qualified.

• Inspect the walls and ceiling near the furnace and along the chimney line. If the wall is hot or discolored, additional pipe insulation or clearance may be required.

• Check the flue pipe and pipe seams. Are they well supported, free of holes, and cracks? Soot along or around seams may be an indicator of a leak.

• Is the chimney solid, with cracks or loose bricks? All unused flue openings should be sealed with solid masonry.

• Keep trash and other combustibles away from the heating system. OTHER FIRE SAFETY TIPS

• Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a metal container outside and well away from the house.

• Never use a range or an oven as a supplemental heating device. Not only is it a safety hazard, it can be a source of potentially toxic fumes.

• If you use an electric heater, be sure not to overload the circuit. Only use extension cords which have the necessary rating to carry the amp load. TIP: Choose an extension cord the same size or larger than the appliance electrical cord.

•Avoid using electrical space heaters in bathrooms, or other areas where they may come in contact with water.

•Frozen water pipes? Never try to thaw them with a blow torch or other open flame, (otherwise the pipe could conduct the heat and ignite the wall structure inside the wall space). Use hot water or a UL labeled device such as a hand held dryer for thawing.

•If windows are used as emergency exits in your home, practice using them in the event fire should strike. Be sure that all the windows open easily. Home escape ladders are recommended.

•If there is a fire hydrant near your home you can assist the fire department by keeping the hydrant clear of snow so in the event it is needed, it can be located. FINALLY . . .

•Be sure every level of your home has a working smoke alarm, and be sure to check and clean it on a monthly basis.

•Plan and practice a home escape plan with your family.

•Contact your local fire department for advice if you have a question on Home Fire Safety. 

Fire Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County also proudly serves the following counties Spencer, and Trimble.

Identifying Toilet Backup And How To Solve It

11/22/2017 (Permalink)

One of the worst problems that you may encounter as a homeowner is a backed-up toilet. And unfortunately, there is no one single quick fix for this problem, as this problem has many different causes. Hence, we have listed down the most common causes and how you can fix it, if possible.

Drain blockages.

Too much toilet paper that went down the drain? Have mischievous kids that flushed down small toys or objects into the throne? Then these may be blocking the drain leading from your toilet to the sewage line. Because of this blockage, waste from the toilet go back up instead of down.

Deal with this issue the old-school way, by getting a plunger to remove the object blocking the drain. Alternatively, pressing a plunger down repeatedly while pouring several buckets of water down the bowl can help break down toilet paper blockages.

Tree root blockage.

Yes, the root cause may be a root itself. Since tree roots seek organic material to draw minerals from, there is a tendency for them to grow towards and into sewer lines. It is best to call a plumber to locate the tree roots causing the blockage, then have them cut. In this case, the sewer line may also need repair as well.

Faulty vents.

First, the plumbing vent may also be blocked, as evidenced by a gurgling sound from a nearby sink or shower drain. This blockage may be preventing air from getting into the drainage system, creating a vacuum that stops the flow of water. Second, if you are dealing with a toilet inside an older building, the toilet itself may not have its own plumbing vent.

Septic tank issues.

The fix may lie in the destination. Sometimes, issues with the septic system—such as the tank needing pumping, a failed leach field, or broken ejection pump—can lead to problems with the toilet. So if you are also smelling foul odors or unbelievably water-soaked grass, this may be the cause. As suggested above, it is best to call a plumber for repairs when it comes to this issue.

For the aforementioned problem, it is also good to have a remediation company manage it. After all, it’s not just the mechanical aspects of the septic tank that need to be fixed. There is also  toxic materials in the tank that have to be dealt with.

Water Damage Due To Toilet Overflow? Contact the professionals 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. 

Structural Drying Techniques That Can Totally Eliminate Water Damage

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

Structural Drying Techniques that Can Totally Eliminate Water Damage

Flooding is a type of disaster one cannot control. Be it from the excessive downpour of rain or a broken pipe, we know that floods can generate numerous damages in your residential and commercial places. When water enters a building, it immediately soaks up anything it comes in contact with. Materials made out of paper, electrical wiring, and even the durability of your walls and floors are at stake when it comes to the destructive consequences left by flooding; and the majority of the time, these items and structures do find themselves under the mercy of the waves. 

Dealing with the aftermath of a flood can range from being very simple to really complicated situations. Floods that do not even touch your ankles can be easily addressed with equipment that can be found in your home. Mops and rags will soak up and also dry the water that has entered in the room; if you want the drying process to be quicker, you can use a floor or a ceiling fan to get the job done.

For floods that have left a bigger catastrophe, however, mops and electric fans might be too small to get the job done. When you are facing this situation, the best solution is to contact the professionals immediately so they can perform what is called structural drying.

What is Structural Drying?

In its simplest terms, structural drying is the process wherein restoration companies utilize a strategy which saves time, money, and resources when it comes to drying a given space. Before structural drying, most afflicted areas were stripped off from floor to ceiling in order to remove the excess liquid that was left during the flooding. It is time consuming because it takes time to remove all the damaged areas of your home and replace them with a more durable material.

Why is it important to remove excess water, you ask? Water that has not been thoroughly removed from your floors, walls, and contents can further damage them. It promotes wood rotting, weakens the structural integrity of your space, and creates perfect places for mold to manifest.

Given the importance of removing the liquid from your home, it is in your best interest that restoration companies do what they must to protect your home from secondary water damages. With structural drying, the process of drying your home will be faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

What Happens During Structural Drying?

Restoration companies follow a set of principles when they are facing a structural drying project:

  • They must actively extract the water with special tools
  • Use air movers to evaporate moisture
  • Dehumidify the air to prevent secondary damages from showing (e.g. wood rotting and mold)
  • Maintain the ideal temperature for evaporation and dehumidification

Because of today’s technology, restoration companies can now eliminate water without the need to remove your walls or your floors. We use hi-tech equipment like dehumidifiers and air movers to dry the space, use scientifically proven methods that help quicken the drying process, and utilize techniques that uses less manipulation of contents.

With structural drying, you and your home will immediately receive the relief you need when clearing out the aftermath of flooding.

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

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

Furnace And Dryer Vent Warning

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Now that winter is upon us, it is very important to service your furnace and lint traps on your dryer. This year alone, more than half of the fires to which we have responded have been caused by homeowners falling to change their furnace filters to keep combustible materials too near the ignition pilot components of their furnace. 

It is also important to check the flex hose or lint traps on your dryer for lint clogs. These simple maintenance procedures can prevent a devastating fire event that could be easily avoided. 

* Use Metal Dryer Ducts, either solid or flexible

* Clean the duct regularly- if there is a film on the screen, you can wash it with soapy water and a brush. 

* Clean all around the dryer (outside and in ( where lint can potentially build up.

* Use caution drying clothes stained with chemicals such as gasoline, finishing oils..etc Line drying might be better. 

Water, Fire or Smoke loss in your home or business? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Restoration specialist. 502.241.6861

Watch out for Winter Fires!

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that the peak season for home and commercial fires is during the months of December through March? According to the United States Fire Administration, 905 people die from winter home fires each year and over two billion dollars worth of property is lost due to these fires. It is vitally important to be ever more vigilant in fire safety during the winter months than any other time of the year. So what is it that makes fires increase so much during the winter? Here are a few of them and what you can do to avoid these from terrorizing your home.

Heating Units and Fire

There’s nothing better than curling up next to a big space heater when the weather outside is frigid. While space heaters provide a lot of comforts they can also pose a great threat. Because of the heat, they generate if any flammable cloth or material lays by one too close for too long it will likely catch fire. If you use a space heater just take care that nothing flammable is ever near them. It really doesn’t take much for something to get hot enough to catch fire and begin to spread throughout the house.

Christmas Trees and Fire

A brightly decorated Christmas tree brings a great festive and Christmas spirit along with it. The concern, however, is that the tree is a tinder box for fires. Use great caution with the Christmas lights you use. Ensure they are reliable and won’t get too hot or spark. Also, don’t leave the lights on for extended periods of time, especially when you are sleeping or out of the house.

Cooking and Fire

Cooking is one of the biggest causes of winter home fires. With all the holiday goodies being baked, food in and out of the oven, and out of the fryer it’s no surprise so many fires are caused by this. In fact, most winter home fires begin during the hours of 5-8 PM, dinnertime. The prevention to this is simple, just keep a close eye on the food. If cooking a big meal with lots of family and friends, always have people in the kitchen looking for the food. Be vigilant and you won’t need to worry about your meal and your holidays going up in flames.

The principles for preventing home fires are always the same no matter what time of the year, it’s just that in the wintertime there are more potential threats out there. You’re following those principles by simply paying close attention and looking for anything that may be at risk for malfunctioning and causing a fire will bring you great protection in most cases. However, if tragedy does strike and you find yourself affected by a home fire, don’t hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County we have teams of trained professionals experienced in fire damage restoration to help you restore your home back to normal in the event a winter fire affects you.

Handling Smoke Damage Effectively

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke is very pervasive!  It spread s quickly and long after it is gone, it’s smell lingers.  In cases of home fires, one of the main problems with cleanup and restoration is smoke damage.  Why?  Smoke spreads fast and its remnants settle into places that hard to reach and clean.  If you have experienced a fire in your home and need to have the effects of smoke damage removed, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today (502-241-6861).  The fast you act the easier it will be to remove traces of smoke in your home.  After you call, here are some things that you can do to help speed up the process.

Ventilate the Area

Immediately after a fire is extinguished (and it is safe to be in your home), try to ventilate your home.  Doing so will allow much of the smoke to escape from your home and invite fresh air in.  This will help to minimize smoke damage.  Open your all doors and windows, but turn off your HVAC system because it will only transfer smoke throughout your home.  If you have central heating and air conditioning, close the vents in each room so that smoke does not enter into your vents.  Use fans near windows and doors to help ventilation.  Try using a vacuum cleaning nozzle/brush where any collections of soot have accumulated. Be careful not to press the nozzle down to firmly on the soot, instead hold it just above it to avoid staining.

Existing or extensive smoke damage requires the use of specialized equipment and techniques to remove.  Therefore, it is best to allow a trained professional to tackled a large amount of smoke damage.  SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is certified and has trained technicians to help with this. Our team stays abreast of the latest methods and standards for restorations of all types including smoke and fire damage.  Call us today for assistance! 502.241.6861

Washing Machine Water Damages: Causes, Solutions and more

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Washing machines are one of the most common sources of water damage in the home, and the damage can be costly. After paying the deductible, the national average claim for water damage caused by washing machines is over $5,000.

Since each washing machine has multiple ways of causing water damage, many homeowners do not fully understand the risks, prevention options, or cleanup options. Knowing just a little about how your washing machine can cause water damage can help you save thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches.

Supply Hose Leaks Cause Most Washing Machine Water Damage

More than 50% of all washing machine water damage claims can be traced back to a supply hose failure. This can be caused by:

  • Pinching the hose while installing or replacing a washing machine, causing a hairline break
  • A poor connection to either the washing machine or wall
  • The hose’s own aging, which can lead to brittleness

Washing machine intake hoses are high-flow lines and can output over 600 gallons of water in an hour.

If your washing machine’s supply hose is more than 5 years old or isn’t steel braided, replace them as soon as possible. It may sound a little excessive until you realize that a new pair of hoses can cost under $30 and can easily be installed without a plumber.

You may also want to consider high-durability washing machine supply hoses.

The good news is that intake line water damage is category 1, which means it contains relatively few biological contaminants.

Washing Machine Drainage Issues Can Cause Flooding

If your sewer backs up, if there’s a clog in the drainage pipe, or if your drain pipe simply isn’t lined up right, your washing machine’s drainage system is going to cause at least some water damage.

The most crucial issue is to avoid a sewer line clog. If your sewer backs up, you could be faced with category 3 water damage, which is filled with contaminants that can pose serious health risks. Be extremely careful when running your washing machine if your home’s sewer line has a history of backing up, or if you’ve recently experienced a storm.

Internal Leaks are Also a Common Cause of Washing Machine Water Damage

A washing machine doesn’t have to be old, poorly installed, or poorly built to cause internal leakage. Simply overloading your washing machine on a regular basis can be all it takes to cause cracks and loosen valves, bushings, and gaskets. It may take a little more time and water to run more, smaller loads, but it’s worth it to keep your washing machine from shaking itself apart.

Washing machine internal leaks are considered category 2 water damage, since exposure to water that contacts detergent and machine parts could cause health complications.

When Does Your Washing Machine Leak?

If the leak is constant, you almost certainly have a supply hose issue. If the leak happens during the wash cycle but before the spin cycle, it’s most likely an internal leak. If you see water on the floor during the spin cycle, or immediately after the machine shuts off, then it’s most likely a drainage issue.

Preventing Water Damage from your Washing Machine

The most effective ways of preventing damage from your washing machine are to:

  • Replace the washing machine intake hose every 5 years
  • Check your sewer line after a storm, before running your washing machine
  • Don’t overload your washing machine
  • Have your machine professionally installed to avoid water line pinches and drainage issues
  • Shut off the intake valve behind your machine at the first sign of trouble
  • If you can’t access the intake valve, know how to shut off your home’s water main

Is Washing Machine Water Damage Covered by Insurance?

The good news is that your average homeowner’s insurance policy will absolutely cover water damage caused by your washing machine. The bad news is that the damage to your appliance will most likely not be covered, which is why it’s best to purchase a washing machine from a manufacturer with a long parts and labor warranty. While shopping around, keep in mind that almost 80% of all washing machine related water damage claims involved units less than 11 years old.

Can SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County Repair Water Damage Caused by my Washing Machine?

Absolutely. Our restoration team can cover any kind of water, including all category 1, 2, and 3 water damage from washing machines.

Call us today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

5 Things You Need To Know Before Calling A Plumber

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Plumbing is an important part of the home. Your pipes and other plumbing systems must be well-built, developed and maintained. However, problems may still arise even if you take good care of your plumbing. You may not be prepared for such emergency situations. If problems like this arise, what automatically comes to mind is to call a local plumber. But before you do that, you must make sure first if you really need a plumber or another specialist.

So here are five things you need to know and consider before calling a plumber.

  1. Check if the plumber is licensed and reliable. A license alone is not enough. You also need to look into the experience and reputation of the plumber. You can do this by taking some time to read reviews. But don’t base your decision on the reviews alone. Just use this to have a quick background regarding the plumber’s reputation and skills.
  2. Get free estimates. This will help you get an idea of how much money you should prepare. However, you must keep in mind that affordability does not mean bad quality. Don’t equate quality with the price of the plumbing work. But don’t expect that the best plumber will be the cheapest.
  3. The plumber must not only be experienced and skilled; he or she must also be trustworthy. See to it that you entrust your home to a professional whom you can trust and count on. Let your instinct dictate you on this. And again, read some reviews.
  4. Check if the plumber offers workmanship warranty. Is he willing to fix any wrongs in case something comes up due to his performance? Is he reputable when it comes to installation work? Ask yourself questions so you can ask the potential plumber too.
  5. This is the most important. Ask yourself if you really need a plumber. Is the work needed fit for a plumber or would another specialist be more appropriate? Remember that there are things that plumbers can’t do. Assess the situation before you call a plumber. Chances are, you might not need a plumber after all, but a restoration specialist.

These are the kinds of things a restoration specialist can do:

There is a water damage restoration team who will assess the damage to your home. They will check if there is serious water damage due to flooding, burst pipes or other issues. So if the supposed “plumbing” problems have made your carpets, furniture and other valuables a mess, you don’t need a plumber, but a restoration specialist.

The restoration team will remove the water from your home and dry all your things to try and salvage your possessions. This means that they can solve both your plumbing and drying issues. Restoration specialists understand the many types of water damage. They can solve your plumbing and drying situations.

The next time you encounter a “plumbing” issue, ask yourself first the five things mentioned in the article before calling a plumber. Remember what plumbers can’t do that restoration specialists can handle. If you decide to call a restoration team, don’t hesitate to contact us here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. We also proudly serve the counties of Henry/Trimble and Spencer. 502.241.6861

Tis The Season For Frozen Pipes

11/9/2017 (Permalink)

Tis The Season For Frozen Pipes!

Along with the beauty that winter brings, our homes and buildings can suffer immensely from the icy impact it was on water lines. Frozen pipes turn into broken pipes and broken pipes turn into floods. All around, winter is a heavy season for water damage emergencies and the best thing you can do to help protect your home is take preventative measures that will minimize the amount of water damage that could happen. You are going to want to start by winterizing outside faucets, hoses, and other water fixtures.  Don’t lose out on the fun of the holiday season by having to spend a ton of money and time on water damage repairs – take these 4 simple steps and enjoy the season:

  • REMOVE CONNECTIONS – Just because it is sunny during the day does not mean that the area is not going to freeze overnight. Connections to hose bibs can trap water and cause different types of fixtures to freeze and break. Make sure hoses and splitters are removed from the spigot. Many water damage occurrences come from broken and frozen pipes. Take this one easy step and you could save your home from major flooding.  
  • INSPECT EVERYTHING – Don’t assume that because there were no major water emergencies during the last few months that there isn’t any leaks or drips now. You will want to do a thorough inspection for leaks in all of the hose bibs and other water fixtures. Even slow drips can cause blockage and a freeze in pipes and fixtures when temperatures drop. Frozen pipes may not become apparent until next season, but you can definitely limit the risk of experiencing frozen and broken pipes by taking precaution now. ?If you find any leaks or drips, contact a professional that can help you repair the problem before it turns into a bigger problem.
  • ELIMINATE STANDING WATER – Draining your pipes and hoses is a VERY important part of preventing water damage from frozen pipes and seasonal broken pipes. Even though there are hose bibs that are freeze-proof, it’s not a bad idea to still shut off the water line (if you can) and draining the water out. Not everyone will have the option of cutting the water supply to the hose bib, then you will want to use extra insulation. 
  • COVER AND PROTECT – These steps have been easy enough so far. The next thing you want to do is to protect your outdoor faucets by covering them with insulation. There are hose bib covers that you can install on each fixture. Be sure to cover your frost free hose bibs for extra protection. Even though frost-free hose bibs are resistant to freezing, they are not completely resistant to frosting over during  winter. They are convenient and easy to install, fitting right over the top of your faucets. The insulation is thick and great at reducing the temperatures that can affect the valves.     

In the unfortunate event of a water damage, SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County highly trained team is available for you 24 Hours a day and 7 days a week! We are passionate about what we do and helping people during a time of need and easing the stress of the situation is important to us… no matter the time of day! 

Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to speak to a Mitigation specialist today. 502.241.6861

How To Spot Mold, Fire and Water Damage In A New Home

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

The housing market is competitive and home buyers must take special care to evaluate properties thoroughly. This includes identifying mold and mildew, water and fire damage.

While it’s a good idea to call the experts, home buyers don’t have to rely solely on inspectors to spot warnings while house hunting.

Here’s how to spot problem areas such as mold, water and fire damage when looking for a new home.

Finding Mold and Mildew

There are more than 100,000 types and species of mold, but only a handful can be found around residential properties. Nevertheless, mold can cause mild to severe problems.

Mold thrives in damp conditions but can live just about anywhere. Winter provide ample opportunity for mold to thrive in areas of the home including basements, crawl spaces, flooring, around leaky pipes, window seals, and more. Even new construction homes can develop mold when they’re tightly sealed and lack ventilation.

What Does Mold Look Like?

Household molds are typically green, white, black, and sometimes, a light pink or orange. While not all molds are toxic, inside a home is no place for fungi and it will require careful cleaning and abatement to ensure the health and safety of every home occupant.

Where to Look for Mold

The first thing you should do when inspecting a home for mold is use your senses. Inhale and try to detect damp, musty smells or mildew. An unpleasant odor may indicate mold or other problems. 

Next, inspect all exposed pipework, under sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as other pipework like hookups to the washer, etc.

Check basements for mold in corners and around window seals. If there’s no basement, check the crawl space near pipework and ventilation systems.

Always ask the homeowner about previous water-related problems or mold. As a last resort, you can also hire a mold detecting company to ensure your home is free and clear of any harmful contaminants.

Finding Water Damage

Like mold, water damage can be obvious or well hidden. And because mold thrives in damp environments, it’s very possible signs of mold could point to previous water damage or vice versa.

Water damage is a result of flooding, leaky or busted pipes, or extreme outdoor conditions. While water damage isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, it’s important to understand the risks and potential damages that may be lurking beyond what’s seen.

But don’t worry, water damage can be fixed with professional repair and restoration—the trick is finding the source and learning about the problem.

What Does Water Damage Look Like?

There are four basic signs of water damage: water accumulation, discoloration, changes in texture and odor.

Standing water is a sure sign that water damage is inevitable; other signs often reveal themselves in different ways and to various degrees.

Discoloration, for example, will be plain to see on a ceiling but not easily detected under floorboards or behind cabinetry. Changes in material texture (warping, buckling, sagging, or expanding) can signal water damage not easily seen.

Finally, damp odors or mildew can seep through drywall or from other interior spaces to signal water damage that may have to be inspected by a professional.

Where to Look for Water Damage

Water Damage can happen just about anywhere in a home. Here are a few areas that are most at risk :

  • Ceilings – water damage on a ceiling can indicate a few problems, namely a leaky roof or attic (if the ceiling is on the top floor of a home), or faulty pipework somewhere on the floor above (usually a bathroom or laundry area).
  • Walls – discoloration and texture changes are easily detected on walls (and ceilings). Be sure to check around door and window frames for areas that may need attention. A stain on a wall may indicate problems behind or above the wall and may require expert attention.
  • Floors – several things can cause water damage to flooring including overflowing sinks, bathtubs, appliances and busted pipes. Replacing or restoring damaged flooring is the best way to remedy the problem.
  • Basements – since water flows to the lowest point, basements are usually the most vulnerable to water damage. Be sure to check the sump pump, any frames around doors or windows, as well as any exposed plumbing, washer/dryer or hot water hookups.
  • Appliances – check behind all major appliances like refrigerators, hot water heaters, washer/dryers, toilets, sinks, and showers. A cracked pipe or hose could signal problems.

Finding Fire Damage

A fire damaged home can be a diamond in the ruff for renovators or a total nightmare for first time buyers. Knowing what to ask a homeowner will help spur preliminary investigations, but a certified home inspector is the best way to ensure a property investment doesn’t turn into a lemon.

In particular, fire damage can be patched quickly and not to code, which can result in a multitude of problems for a new homeowner. A fire can damage electrical wiring between burned walls or materials, and toxic soot not properly cleaned and abated can pose serious concerns.

What to Ask Homeowners

Depending on when the fire happened, the damage may or may not be visible. Even without visible signs of fire, all home buyers should consider these questions:

  • When (if at all) did a fire occur?
  • Was it a localized fire (in a single location), or did it spread to multiple rooms?
  • What steps were taken to repair the damage?
  • Did the fire cause structural damage? If so was this repaired? How?
  • Has the electrical wiring in the home been inspected for damage?

These questions will point your investigation in the right direction, but you’ll need to follow up with a professional inspection to ensure what the homeowners say is true.

Where to Find Fire Damage

According to the American Red Cross, the overwhelming majority of disasters they respond to are fire related. On average, residential fires total more than $7 billion in property damage throughout the U.S.

Most residential fires start in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean fires don’t start elsewhere, like in bedrooms from forgotten lit candles, or in garages where flammable materials are commonly found.

You’ll know fire damage when you see or smell it: black soot and smoky odors typically indicate a fire-related incident. Any sign of fire damage should signal further investigation, either with the owners of the home or through careful examination by property damage professionals.

Homes that have suffered property damage are still viable options for new homeowners and renovators alike. Knowing what to look for, where to look, and what to ask homeowners is the best way to prepare for buying a home.

And if you’re still not sure about potential property damage, you can always call the experts at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County to assist you. We proudly serve the counties of Henry, Spencer, and Trimble as well. Our teams are available 24/7/365.

Got damage you’d like us to look at? Call 502.241.6861 to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today.

10 Signs Your Home Has A Slab Leak

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

A slab leak is one of the biggest headaches any homeowner can experience. Not only are they costly and inconvenient to repair, they can be dangerous if left unresolved. By keeping your eye out for these 10 signs of a slab leak, you can catch this issue before it escalates into a major problem.

What is a Slab Leak?

Every house is built on top of a foundation, which is usually made of concrete and steel. This foundation, also called a ‘slab’, bears the weight of the house and provides the entire structure stability. Water pipes which provide water to the home are usually located below the slab.

A slab leak occurs when one or more of the pipes below the foundation leak. This is a serious plumbing emergency that leads to short and long-term problems.

Common causes of slab leaks include:

  • Shifting ground: Houses naturally settle over time. In some case, the weight of the house can lead to changes in how the ground is situated, leading to pipe leaks. 
  • Improperly wrapped pipes:Pipes beneath the foundation are wrapped in order to prevent friction between the metal of the pipes and the concrete slab. Sometimes, pipes are not wrapped well, slowly leading to worn spots and leaks.
  • Electrolysis: Water pipes that are made of copper can be vulnerable to electrolysis, a natural chemical reaction that occurs when copper reacts with minerals in certain types of soil.

10 Signs of a Slab Leak

Now that you know why slab leaks are significant and how they’re caused, let’s look at the top 10 signs of a slab leak.

  1. Cracks in the walls have formed.
  2. Cracks in the floors have formed.
  3. You have noticed a significant increase to the water bill even though you haven’t changed your habits
  4. The carpet on the bottommost floor is wet to the touch. In basements, you may notice a wet spot on concrete or warped flooring.
  5. Tubs, toilets, showers, or sinks have experienced a stoppage or blockage.
  6. You notice hot spots on the floor or in the yard. These are, as the name suggests, areas on the ground which are warm to the touch and indicate a leaking hot water pipe.
  7. Mold and mildew forms on the walls without an apparent cause.
  8. A strange odor that cannot be traced is present.
  9. You’ve noticed a significant decrease in normal water pressure.
  10. Your water meter dial is moving even after you have made sure that no sources of water, such as sinks, washing machines, toilets, or showers, are running.

Why are Slab Leaks Dangerous?

Slab leaks are dangerous for several reasons. Getting the leak repaired as soon as possible can help avoid long-term issues.

  • Water leaks lead to mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew doesn’t usually stay relegated to one area; spores spread and take hold in other parts of the house. 
  • Water erosion can lead to a weakened foundation, which in turn can cause structural problems in the home.
  • Water erosion can also lead to the foundation itself shifting. This is a very serious problem that can lead to collapse.

Slab leaks can cause damage to a home significant enough to make a home unsafe and unlivable until the issues have been repaired.

What to Do if You Have a Slab Leak

A slab leak is a plumbing emergency, so it’s important to act quickly if you notice any of the 10 signs of a slab leak as listed above.

First, shut off the water to your home. This will help prevent further damage to the home’s foundation. Then, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. 502.241.6861

Water causes damage within minutes of exposure. That’s why our emergency line is open 24/7 so we can answer your call for those unexpected late-night leaks. Don’t let a slab leak ruin your home. Call us!

Your Home Appliances That Can Lead To Water Damage

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Even new appliances can leak or cause flooding, learn how, and how to prevent it.

We all rely on our appliances to help with the daily routine.  More often than not, those convenient appliances run water through them, which means they have the potential to cause a water extraction emergency if they fail.  If your Seattle property has flooding, our water damage restoration technicians are standing by to help you 24/7 if your appliance fails.  Here are the top 5 appliances that can cause flood damage.

1. Refrigerators

Refrigerators produce a lot of excess moisture, particularly when they’re cooling items in warm environments. Every time the refrigerator door is opened, warm air passes over the condenser coil creating condensation. This condensation often pools as water on the bottom of your refrigerator.

Most refrigerators are outfitted with drain lines to siphon off this excess fluid. Drain lines become blocked with food, which prevents them from draining water effectively. Drain lines need to be cleaned regularly with chlorine bleach in order to keep them unplugged.

Another common culprit from refrigerators that can leak is the water supply line that feeds your ice machine.  Should this come unattached, you could be looking at a massive amount of standing water when you get home!  Its always a good idea to periodically pull the fridge away from the wall to check beneath.  There is a chance there could be some flood, wall, or hardwood floor damage that you haven't noticed.

2. Dishwashers

When a dishwasher overflows, often the cause is simply that someone put too much detergent, or the wrong type of detergent, into the dispenser.

In other instances, the malfunction may be due to a faulty float switch assembly or a strainer clogged with food and detergent debris. Float switches are relatively easy to replace, and strainers can be removed and washed in your kitchen sink with a mild detergent and a stiff bristle brush.  If you know for a fact that the leak and resulting flood damage is not related to the float switch or the strainer, then the likely culprit is one of the appliance’s many plumbing connections. The leak could be in the metal pipe fittings that connect the dishwasher to the main water supply, or in the flexible hosing that discharges used water into a drain underneath the sink.

3. Washing Machines

Washing machine leaks can be dramatic. Fortunately, they are easy to fix in most cases. Before you take out your screwdriver, however, make sure that the water on the floor isn’t due to a clogged floor drain.

The six most common sites for washer leaks are the inlet connections, the hose connections, the center post gaskets, the outer tub sea, the air dome seal and the pump. Refer to your owner’s manual for the exact location of these things on your model. Unplug your washing machine, turn off the water main and start troubleshooting these fixtures one at a time.

4. Water Heaters

When water accumulates around the base of a gas water heater, the leak is usually due either to a malfunctioning temperature and pressure relief valve, a leaky plumbing connection, or corrosion in the water tank itself.

Test the T&P valve by flushing water through it to clear any accumulated residue or debris. If the water tank is the culprit, then the entire water heater will need to be replaced.  Like any household appliance, the key to preventing a malfunction is proper, timely maintenance.  With water heaters, it’s best to have them maintained annually by a licensed and certified plumber!

5. Toilets

Overflowing toilets are due either to a clogged drain or a malfunctioning float that allows too much water into the tank. If plunging doesn’t clear the drainage pipe, then the blockage may lay in the pipes outside the house. Time to call in a professional plumber!

If you experience flood damage and need water damage restoration and water extraction services, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County 502.241.6861

Smelly Carpets Could Mean Your Need More Than A Carpet Cleaning

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

ou know how some places just smell musty and old? Like they haven't been cleaned in a while? What if you enter your home one day and notice that smell? Could it be your carpets went bad in a day, because that smell wasn't there yesterday? That's probably not the case. If you had a leak or water flood in on your carpets, you may have moldy carpets.

WHEN WATER DAMAGE STRIKES

One of the most important things about water damage is to treat it quickly. Whether you had water damage due to leaky pipes, or something more serious, if the water damage reached your carpets and was not treated professionally, you still have damage happening right beneath your feet. Mold is growing in your carpets, and you need to take care of it. ASAP.

Mold takes 24 to 48 hours to grow in the right environment and conditions. Your home offers a constant food supply to the mold spores. Mold spores feed on wood, drywall, insulation, paper and anything it can get attached on. After a day or more, the mold starts colonizing, creating those big black stains we all know from photos (or from our home, if luck wasn't on our side).

MOLD IS DANGEROUS, EVEN WHEN HIDDEN

In most cases, mold will be discovered after it colonizes, and by then its growth is pretty rapid. If you suspect you have mold, you should call a mold expert to check it out. Whether it's a water damage certified technician, a home inspector or mold testing company. The mold usually grows where water damage hit, or where high humidity is found. If water leaked on your carpet - that's where the mold will start growing.

To protect your carpets from mold after they're flooded by water, you should follow the steps below. If it already happened, and you missed one of the steps, you should check your carpets for dark stains or moldy smell. You don't want mold growing under your carpets, in your floors and all around your home.

STEPS TO PREVENT MOLD AFTER WATER DAMAGE:

  • Stop the water source - first thing first. Stop the water from flowing in and get them out of your home. If it's a leaky pipe or a broken appliance, close the water main. If it's the roof, try and see if you can get a roofing company to come for an emergency service and close the gap. Once you've stopped the water from coming, you need to get it out.
  • Extract the water - to prevent further damage and minimize long term effects, it's important to get the water out. If it's a small amount, you can blot it out or use a mop to absorb it (if on the floor and not carpets). If it's a large amount, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County  to help you with it.
  • Dry it up. Fast! - If you need some help with drying your home, we'd be glad to help as well. Call us and let us know what you need. It's important to have the property dried as fast as you can to avoid mold growth, as well as the water being absorbed in carpets, floors, rugs or other items. 
  • Steam clean everything you can - carpets, rugs, flooring, furniture - if it had water get to it you want it professionally cleaned right now, before the mold gets comfortable and colonizes. Call us to set up an appointment today. Once the mold sets in, that item is probably lost and will need to be replaced.
  • Sanitize the affected area - Use water and soap, and also use a solution of chlorine and water (read instructions, and use protective gear, please, for your own safety). This is part of our restoration process. 

We'll Make Sure The Mold Is Gone

If you still feel like your cleanup wasn't enough, or you feel there is mold hiding somewhere - contact us at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. We'd be more than happy to pay you a visit and provide a professional opinion on the matter.

Remember, it's very dangerous to have mold in your home  Get your mold remediated as soon as you can. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby can help you through this process as well. Our techs are professionally trained in Mold Remediation. 

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County 502.241.6861

Should Your Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Generally speaking, if your air ducts look dirty, they probably are, and they should be cleaned professionally. Cleaning dirty air ducts on a regular basis reduces indoor pollution (that can cause health problems), reduces energy use and may prevent unexpected disasters and costly repairs.

The main reasons to have your air ducts cleaned:

  • Reduce indoor pollution 
    • Each year, up to 40 pounds of contaminants (dust, chemicals, dander, etc.) are created in a typical 6-room home through everyday living. These contaminants are pulled into the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and recirculated 5 to 7 times a day, on average. As a result, a build-up of contaminants in the ductwork is created over time.
    • Having a clean and properly functioning HVAC system is important for maintaining a good level of air quality in your home.
  • Save energy
    • If the ducts in your home are clogged with dirt and other contaminants, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling is wasted, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
    • Although filters block some of the pollutants that would otherwise get into the ducts, the ones that do enter will cause your heating and cooling system to work harder and consume more energy. If the HVAC system is clean, it works more efficiently and consumes less electricity.
  • Other reasons
    • Duct cleaning is necessary when there is a substantial amount of mold inside the ducts. Mold spores may be released into the home.
    • If vermin, such as rodents or insects, live in the air ducts, you should immediately call a pest control company.
    • Have the air ducts cleaned after a home renovation, when a significant amount of debris, dust and other particles (especially asbestos and lead paint) have migrated into the air ducts.
    • It is advised to have your heating system (fuel burning furnace, stove or fireplace) and ducts checked and serviced before the heating season. This helps prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home.
  • Don’t forget the dryer vents
    • When using a clothes dryer, lint accumulates in dryer vents over time, restricting the airflow. This is a fire hazard. The lint buildup can also contribute to excess household humidity and dust.
    • A clean dryer vent also allows the dryer to operate more efficiently, using less energy in the long run.

Dirty Ducts? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to schedule a cleaning. 502.241.6861

Winter Holiday Fire Safety

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

According to the American Red Cross, winter holiday fires claim more than 500 lives each year and cause approximately $554 million in property damage. We put together some essential winter holiday fire safety tips to help reduce those numbers. Follow these suggestions to keep your family, home, pets and belongings safe this holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Winter Fire Causes

During the winter and all through the holidays, there are several seasonal factors that can increase the risk of fire in your home. These factors range from increased fireplace and candle usage to Christmas tree fire hazards. As beautiful as these light touches may be, it's important to keep certain holiday fire safety tips in mind. General holiday fire safety includes:

  • Never leave a room when a candle is burning. Candle fires are four times more likely to occur during the holidays.
  • Never burn wrapping paper, garbage or other debris in your fireplace.
  • Always supervise children around fireplaces, wood burning stoves and any open flames, even candles.
  • Check your space heater before using it. If it's not operating correctly or the cord is damaged in any way, don't use it.
  • Test every smoke detector in the house and make sure all of them have charged batteries.

Holiday Fire Safety Tips

The winter holidays can be the busiest time of year for many households. There are family activities, community events and parties to attend, and you may even be hosting a gathering or two in your own home. Kids are excited, the days are short and there seems to be a never-ending list of things to get done. However, now is not the time to ignore or forget about basic holiday fire safety, which includes Christmas tree fire safety.

Christmas Tree Fire Safety:

  • Live trees need to be fresh and stay fresh until removed from your home. Look for a tree with needles that pull back easily from the branches but don't break. Tap your tree on the ground. If it sheds a ton of needles, it's not fresh.
  • Keep a freshly cut tree watered so it doesn't dry out and become a fire hazard. Or, use a potted live tree and plant a memory from this Christmas season to grow for years to come.
  • Never place your Christmas tree near a fireplace, wood burning stove or other open flame.
  • Never place real, burning candles on your Christmas tree as decorations.
  • Christmas trees should not block doorways or exit routes, in case of a fire.
  • Only buy fire-resistant artificial trees.
  • Inspect all strands of Christmas lights before placing them on your tree. Look for fraying wires and other damage.
  • Never use more than three sets of light strands per one extension cord.
  • Check all extension cords for damage or fraying; don't overload a single electrical outlet.
  • If you're going to be away from home, turn off the Christmas tree lights and consider unplugging all non-essential electronics and appliances.
  • Keep lit candle displays at least three feet away from the tree.
  • Only decorate a tree with non-combustible or flame-resistant decorations.

Outdoor Decoration Fire Safety

Just because your decorations are outside doesn't mean you can ignore specific holiday fire safety precautions. Be sure that any extension cords you use outside are labeled for outdoor use. Look on the label and packaging to determine whether your cord is made for the outdoors. All outdoor lights need to be fastened securely to your home's porch, columns, gutters, surrounding trees or other supports that will stay secure, even in blustery conditions. Always plug outdoor lights and electric decorations into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet or use a surge protector for safety. 

Fire Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today at 502.241.6861

Refrigerators and Water Damage

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage is a scary thing, especially since often times we don’t even know that there is water damage happening until long after the fact. Take, for example, water damage caused by a leaky refrigerator. Because the fridge blocks your view of the wall and floor behind the unit, you won’t notice water damage is occurring unless the leak creates a visible puddle.

What can we do about refrigerator water damage? We’ll walk you through what to expect when facing water damage caused by your fridge, how to repair it, and whether or not insurance will cover the costs.

How Long Before My Fridge Causes Water Damage?

Refrigerator water damage doesn’t always happen suddenly. Often times what ends up happening is the plastic water line behind the refrigerator will crack or weaken, causing a slow leak. Over the years, this leak drips water down to the floor and wall beneath the fridge, causing slow but progressive refrigerator water damage.

Other common causes of fridge water damage are ice maker leaks and condensation. Unfortunately, even just a little bit of added moisture from condensation buildup can spell disaster for your walls and floors. That’s the scary thing about water damage – it’s silent and happens over long periods of time.

How to Repair Water Damage from a Refrigerator

The repairs will depend highly on the extent of the water damages. If the water has only recently been there, chances are that you can mop it up and air out the surfaces. Once dry, flooring should return to normal. You’ll want to make sure that the walls are adequately dried as well, since this will prevent mold growth.

If your fridge has caused water damages over a long period of time, however, you’ll likely need to have the flooring and drywall completely ripped out and replaced. This is where things get costly.Because mold is also a serious possibility, we recommend that you leave the job of assessing and repairing the damages to a professional. 

Preventing Fridge Water Damage

One clear way to prevent fridge water damage is to regularly check and maintain your fridge. First, try to clear away any dust and debris from behind the unit, then check for hard water buildup in the water line. You might even want to consider upgrading the plastic water lines to a braided steel supply line.

We also recommend purchasing a battery operated water alarm. This water alarm can be placed behind the refrigerator, out of sight. While you’re at it, you can place one beneath your kitchen sink and behind the dishwasher, too. If the alarm comes into contact with water, it will let off an alarm. This will help prevent water from sitting unseen for too long, which causes permanent water damages.

Will Insurance Cover Refrigerator Water Damage?

Unfortunately, slow leaks (like ones caused by a toilet, ice maker, freezer, or fridge) are NOT covered by a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. Your insurance will usually cover things like damage caused by a “sudden and accidental” leak or other malfunctions, and not water damages that are determined to be due to negligence. For instance, water damages caused by a burst pipe would likely be covered – but repairing the pipe itself would not be. Your best bet when it comes to refrigerator water damage is to use the preventative tips above, and to regularly check and maintain your fridge.

Water Damage due to a leaky Fridge? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. We also proudly serve the counties of Henry, Spencer, and Trimble. 

502.241.6861

Winterize Your Investment Property In Just A Few Steps

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Here are a few simple steps homeowners can take to ensure effective Winterization:

1. Clean the gutters.

Clean gutters before each winter to ensure they’re properly secured and functional. This includes ensuring drain spouts are directing runoff away from the foundation of the home.

2. Check and replace furnace filters.

Furnaces will be working overtime in winter, so it’s a good idea to check the filters once a month. Clogged filters restrict circulation and increase energy demand.

3. Run ceiling fans in reverse.

While a counterclockwise rotation generates a cooling breeze, some fans can be set in reverse to circulate warmer air.

4. Seal any air leaks.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air leaks and drafts waste as much as 30 percent of total energy use. There are several ways to seal air leaks including:

  • replace door bottoms or thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets
  • upgrade single-pane windows with double-pane or other energy efficient windows
  • keep the fireplace flue damper closed when not in use
  • and seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys and furnaces with fire-resistant materials

5. Adjust the thermostat.

Turn down the heat when you leave home to save energy. A programmable thermostat makes this easy to do.

For Snow Birds and Part-Time Residents

Winterizing a home is critical for those who own an investment property and regularly leave the property in the winter. This is also true for people that own vacation homes or rental properties.

To keep a property safe, homeowners should perform a number of tasks that will ensure energy isn’t wasted and common hazards are mitigated.

1. Shut off the main water valve to the property.

The last thing you want to come home to in the Spring is a flooded basement, mold, or mildew. Once turned off, turn faucets to the on position to prevent pressure build up and a burst pipe as temperatures fall.

2. Unplug all appliances.

There’s no reason to keep appliances plugged in throughout the winter if no one is living in the home. You’ll save a bit of energy, and there’s no risk of appliances breaking or shorting out and starting a fire.

3. Turn off the gas line.

Just like shutting off the main water valve, turning off the gas will prevent gas leaks and other related incidents.

4. Clean out the refrigerator and pantry.

Perishable foods are especially vulnerable to unwanted pests and should be discarded from the home before homeowners leave. Non-perishable foods can be stored in air-tight containers for use upon return.

 5. Tell the neighbors when you leave.

Nearby neighbors can be an extra line of defense for a winterized property. Let neighbors know when you leave, when you plan to return, and how they can reach you in case they see anything suspicious.

Bonus: Get an Energy Audit Energy

An energy audit is an easy way to determine what improvements should be made to an investment property to ensure the most energy savings during cold winter months.

In addition to saving money, an energy audit can help pin-point problem areas that could be dangerous or damaging to a property.

This type of audit is performed by a professional who can help you identify where a property is losing energy. He or she will also provide tips on what can be done to upgrade the property in order to make it more energy efficient. Contact a service provider to learn more.

Dealing with Damage

Take the time to winterize your property to prevent costly property damage. If it’s too late to prevent the problem, our team can be on the scene in no time.

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

From fire to flood, and all damage in-between, the team at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County is equipped and ready to assist you whenever disaster strikes. We offer emergency services to provide 24-hour coverage to your investment property. We also service Spencer/Henry/and Trimble Counties. 

Prevent Mold On Carpets With These 5 Tips

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Mold is one of those pesky problems nobody wants to have in their homes. No matter how hard you try to avoid it though, you may still see a few patches of mold now and then. Besides walls and wooden items, the carpet is also a common target for mold growth as it easily attracts moisture and dirt. Keep your carpet mold-free with these five key tips:

1. Control the indoor humidity. Mold doesn’t only need standing water to grow – an area with increased humidity and heat is enough. As mold spores reproduce in excessively humid conditions, keep your indoor humidity under 60%. If you live in a humid area, install a dehumidifier that’s suited for your room size. Also keep the temperature in your home below 80 degrees F.

2. Remove carpet from humidity-prone areas. Don’t install carpet in areas that are more likely to experience humidity or water leaks, such as the basement and bathroom. These areas are also more prone to flooding caused by storms, river or ocean overflows, washing machine failures, and more.

3. Choose antimicrobial carpet padding. When you’re installing new carpet in your home, choose rubber-slab carpet padding, which is less prone to developing mold and bacteria. Although it’s a bit more expensive than normal padding, it’ll help keep mold at bay, especially if your home isn’t naturally low in humidity.

4. Remove standing water as fast as possible. Mold needs only a small amount of water and time (24-48 hours) to grow. So, if you have water damage, always remove the water and dry the carpet even if the damage was minor, such as a small spill or leak. Make sure there’s no moisture hiding underneath the carpet as well. In case of flooding, you may need to replace your carpet, depending on the floodwater (tap water, grey water or sewage). Learn more about saving your carpet after a flood. 

5. Keep carpets clean. Dirt and dust are mold “food” which you should get rid of regularly from your carpet. Vacuum your carpet with a good-quality vacuum cleaner on a weekly basis. When the carpet needs to be cleaned, use a dry form of cleaning to minimize the amount of moisture your carpet absorbs.

Since mold can grow in most areas of a house, check out what causes mold to grow in homes. If you suspect that your home harbors mold, learn how to detect mold in homes. For mold remediation service and flood water damage repair, contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County. We also service Henry, Trimble and Spencer Counties. 502.241.6861

5 Benefits of A Backup Generator

10/20/2017 (Permalink)

Backup (or standby) electrical generators provide power to a home during a power outage. When the utility power is cut off, a backup generator can immediately supply power to your home, either automatically or manually, depending on the device. While backup generators are costly, they can save you thousands or more dollars’ worth of damages and give you peace of mind. Here are five main benefits of backup generators:

  1. 1. Food Preservation – If the power is out for less than four hours, the food in your fridge should be safe. However, if it’s longer than that, foods like meat and eggs get spoiled. A backup generator provides power to your fridge and prevents food from spoiling.
  2. 2. HVAC system – Severe storms can cause lasting power surges in your area, compromising your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. A backup generator can prevent uncomfortable temperatures in your home.
  3. 3. Sump pump – When flooding or other disasters hit your home, your main defense against the water is your sump pump. But if there’s no electricity powering it, your home and your bank account will suffer the consequences. Install a standby generator to avoid tremendous losses due to water damage.
  4. 4. Frozen pipes – During a power outage in winter, there won’t be enough heat to warm up the plumbing system in your home. Pipes can thus freeze and burst, causing substantial water damage and costly repairs.
  5. 5. Hotel stays and looting – Power outages can force you to check into a hotel for several days. In addition to hotel costs, your home might be an easy target for looters who try to take advantage of the power outage.

Portable electrical generators are similar to standby generators, but can also be useful during power outages. However, they are not as safe, efficient, and reliable. If you want a whole-house backup power source, choose a standby generator, but expect to pay a lot more for the device and installation.

For water damage repair, mold cleaning, and fire remediation services, contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby at 502.241.6861

Preventing Water Damage In Your Garage

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

The interior of a person’s home is not the only place that is vulnerable to water damage. Garages, for example, often sustain just as much, if not more damage than a homeowner’s basement, living room, or kitchen. In fact, many homeowners use their garages for storing boxes of personal items and family heirlooms that would be difficult, if not impossible to replace. To ensure that your home, including your garage, sustains as little damage as possible in the event of a flood or leak, please contact an experienced water damage repair restoration contractor who can mitigate the damage and immediately begin the restoration process.

Preventive Tips

It is in a homeowner’s best interest to take certain steps to avoid water damage to their home and property. For instance, to prevent your garage from flooding, you may want to consider:

  • Placing weatherstripping, such as self-adhesive tape or rubber stripping, around your garage door to help maintain the temperature in your garage and prevent water from seeping under the door. Weatherstripping needs to be replaced regularly, so make sure to check yours for cracks or other signs of deterioration.
  • Checking for foundational cracks or other evidence of damage. Even minor cracks can allow water to seep into a garage and from the garage into the home itself. If you find any cracks, be sure to seal them with a vinyl concrete patch or waterproof paint. Large problems will need to be fixed by a professional.
  • Improving drainage in the area around your home by installing drains in front of your garage or along the driveway. This can be instrumental in transporting water away from your foundation.
  • Placing sandbags and other flood barriers around your property. These barriers expand when they come into contact with water and can help low-level flooding from spreading into your garage and home.

In some cases, no amount of preventive measures can save a garage from being flooded. In these cases, it may be in your best interest to install a flood vent, which will allow flood-water to flow through the garage itself. While this will help protect the interior of your home, it will also allow the garage to flood, which can result in a significant amount of damage. If you want to take this route, be sure to remove any important and valuable items from your garage and contact a professional who can assess and repair the damage.

Water damage can have devastating consequences for homeowners who may have to replace all of their possessions. However, the earlier a person addresses a flood by seeking professional aid, the less damage his or her property is likely to suffer. To speak with a member of our dedicated restoration team, please contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby at 502.241.6861. You can also reach us by sending us your contact information and a brief message. We realize that disasters can occur at any time and so make ourselves available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Avoiding Plumbing Nightmares In Your Kentucky Business

10/18/2017 (Permalink)

Avoiding Plumbing Nightmares in Your Oldham/Shelby County Business

Stuff happens, right? Just like we have plumbing and water-related mishaps at home, they can happen at work. And, with the volume of people inside our businesses every day – be it, employees or customers – it’s probably even more likely to suffer a mishap at the office than at home. The truth is, most people tend to be more cautious about things at home than at work. For example, if a toilet stops flushing at work, sometimes people feel embarrassed and leave it – not telling anyone until it’s overflowing and water is rushing into the hallway.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County has seen first hand how a little maintenance can go a long way.

  1. Overall Building Maintenance

Maintaining your building seems like a no-brainer, but when business is bustling, it sometimes drops down on the priority list. If you see potential signs of a problem – like a roof leak or cracked window seal, don’t wait to have them addressed. The longer you wait to have a water leak problem fixed, the more damage the water will cause. So keep a close eye on your building as a whole, and take notes of any problems you see. If you aren’t sure there is a problem, give us a call and we can use the latest technology to “see” inside walls and hidden spaces to see if there may be a problem within!

  1. Bathroom Maintenance

This may seem simple, but if you have a business with a lot of employees – or a bathroom used by many, many customers, it is very important to check those bathrooms often! This will help you catch a problem before it gets too out of hand – like a clogged and overflowing toilet, for example. Better to catch it while it’s still contained within the bathroom than discover it once it’s seeped its way into the hallway carpet.

Along these lines, do basic routine checks of bathroom fixtures too. This includes looking into the toilet tank to make sure the flapper is working properly, checking that toilets flush correctly, and looking for any signs of leaks around faucets. It is also wise to periodically make sure the wax ring at the bottom of the tank is intact, as well as the caulk seal around the base of the toilet.

  1. Kitchen Maintenance

Isn’t this a cause of grief for many companies? There’s always that one co-worker who leaves their dirty dishes in the sink, rotting food in the fridge, and dirty coffee cup on the counter after refusing to brew a new pot. Don’t you wonder what their house must look like?

Anyway, we digress. Just like keeping the bathroom clean and tidy will help prevent a water issue there, so will keeping the kitchen in tip-top shape.

For starters, make sure the appliances are working properly – especially the fridge and ice maker. Also, don’t let the pipes beneath the sink become too crowded out by other things! Make sure plumbing is in good working order, with zero leaks no matter how slow.

If there is a washing machine, be sure to check the hoses for any signs of deterioration, and replace as needed.

And one last note here. Yes, this probably seems like common sense.. however, if something does go awry, make sure you know where the main water shutoff is to your business so you can kill the problem at the source as quickly as possible. 

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby County can create an Emergency Ready Profile for your business. Our expert team will meet with you to gather vital information in the event of an emergency. We will locate your shut off's and tag so that each employee can locate them quickly. This profile is FREE to your business and only takes a small amount of time to complete. We proudly service the following counties: Oldham, Shelby, Henry, Trimble, Spencer.  Protect your investment , call to set up your Emergency Ready Profile today. 502.241.6861

7 Safety Tips You Should Keep In Mind During This Thanksgiving Holiday

10/17/2017 (Permalink)

7 Safety Tips You Should Keep In Mind During This Thanksgiving Day!

According to the United States Fire Administration, there are more than 4,000 fires in homes across the country each year on Thanksgiving Day, and cooking fires are the main cause!

Follow these Thanksgiving safety tips to ensure your and your family’s safety during this season:

  1. Never wear loose fitting clothing when cooking. Those can easily could ignite and catch fire.
  2. Don’t leave your food or fire unattended.
  3. Keep children out of the cooking zone.
  4. If deep-frying the turkey, do it outside of the house
  5. Never put water on a grease fire.
  6. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency, and teach your family how to use it.
  7. In case of any emergency, call 911!

In the event of a Fire or Water Damage call the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer at 502.241.6861

 

Water Damage From Dishwashers: How, Why and What's Next?

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Are you one of the unfortunate homeowners dealing with dishwasher water damage? It’s a scene that has played out in countless movies, usually in a comedic fashion. Kid puts regular soap in dishwasher, dishwasher explodes with bubbles, and we all have a good laugh at their expense. But when you’re actually dealing with water leaks from your dishwasher, you need to know how quickly water damages can occur, why they happen, and what to do about them.

How long before dishwasher water damage occurs?

Dishwasher water damage can occur within just a couple of hours. You get home, turn on the dishwasher, walk away and watch tv for awhile, or run a few errands, only to come home and find a pool of water on the kitchen floor. The first reaction should be to soak up as much of the water as you can, because the longer it sits there, the more likely it will cause permanent damage.

Some flooring materials are more susceptible to dishwasher water damage than others, such as wood or bamboo. Wood will absorb water quickly, causing your flooring to warp and crack. Make sure to effectively dry out the area ASAP so you can avoid as much damage as possible.

Dishwasher water damage and what to expect

If you’ve never experienced dishwasher leaks or water damage before, you might not even know what you’re in for. Here’s what to expect when you’re dealing with water damage from dishwashers, including the common causes of leaks as well as what elements of your kitchen are most vulnerable after a leak.

Common causes of dishwasher leaks include:

  • Worn gaskets
  • Dishwasher not level
  • Wrong dishwashing soap used
  • Broken door
  • Defective dishwasher tub

Your dishwasher leak can cause water damage in a variety of ways to a variety of different elements of your kitchen. The below are all susceptible to damage after a dishwasher leak:

  • Tile
  • Wood
  • Laminate
  • Electrical wiring
  • Drywall
  • Wallpaper
  • Paint

Is it covered by insurance?

The answer to this question depends on whether or not your insurer deems the cause of the dishwasher leak to be  from neglect or sudden malfunction. If the dishwasher is new, has shown no previous signs of wear and tear, and you report the leak and damage in a timely manner, your insurer could very well cover the damages caused by the leak.

If your dishwasher is old, shows signs of neglect, and has caused you problems in the past, your insurer will likely rule that the water damage is due to negligence on your part, in which case none of the dishwasher water damage will be covered.

Make sure to also read your dishwasher’s warranty and see whether or not a newer dishwasher is covered (and the resulting damages caused by the dishwasher leak)

How to repair dishwasher water damages

The moment you notice your dishwasher is or has leaked, make sure to first turn off the dishwasher. Grab a towel or mop and soak up any visible water on your floor. This might mean pulling the unit out from under the counter so you can get any water that has pooled beneath the dishwasher itself.

Next, you need to identify the cause of the leak. Was the door slightly ajar? Does the latch not always work? Are the gaskets wearing out? Some problems you can fix yourself, but if you want to be extra confident in the repairs, call a specialist to come out and inspect and repair the unit.

Water Damage as a result of a Dishwasher leak?

Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Spencer/Henry today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Roof Maintenance Checklist For Fall

10/12/2017 (Permalink)

To prolong the life of your roof and ensure water doesn’t leak through, your home’s roof should be inspected twice a year. Once in late spring, and once during the fall. So don’t prepare for Halloween just yet – make sure you do the following roof maintenance tasks first:

  • Trim the trees. Dead tree limbs can fall on your roof and cause damage, especially when it’s raining or snowing. Trees that are leaning towards your house could also fall on your roof or allow squirrels and raccoons to pay your roof a visit. Twigs, leaves, and other debris can cause rotting, gutter blockage, termite invasion, and roof damage. If you want to avoid these problems, remove overhanging branches and ensure that trees aren’t leaning towards your home.
  • Check and clean the gutters. One of the best ways to prepare for the cold season is to clean your gutters and ensure they’re well-anchored. This allows rainwater and thawed snow to flow properly off your roofline, avoiding leaks and water damage to your home. So remove leaves and other debris from the gutters regularly throughout the fall. In addition to this, install gutter guards – these ward off any debris that would invade your gutters.
  • Inspect the roof for damage: 
    • Check the roof flashings – these cover gaps near vents and chimneys, and can be dislocated during a storm. Replace faulty flashing pieces.
    • If you have an asphalt roof, replace shingles that have bare spots, are warping, or are curling at the edges.
    • If you own a wooden shake roof, look for signs of warping. If at least 25 percent of your wood shingles are damaged, replace the roofing material.
    • If you have a metal roof, look for signs of pitting, corrosion or gapping seams as these can lead to leaks or underlay damage.
    • Get a professional roof inspection if you feel you’re not up to the task yourself. Your roof might need adjustment and repairs. Do them now, don’t wait another winter!

Water Damage from a Roof Leak? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861 

Five Common Causes of Electrical Fires

10/11/2017 (Permalink)

The months with the most electrical fires are December and January due to increased use of heating appliances and lights. Most electrical fires start in the bedroom, but the highest number of fatalities occur with fires located in the living room, family room and den.

Here are the 5 most common causes of electrical fires.

1. Faulty outlets, appliances
Most electrical fires are caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances. Other fires are started by faults in appliance cords, receptacles and switches. Never use an appliance with a worn or frayed cord which can send heat onto combustible surfaces like floors, curtains, and rugs that can start a fire.

Running cords under rugs is another cause of electrical fires. Removing the grounding plug from a cord so it can be used in a two-prong electrical outlet can also cause a fire. The reason appliances have the extra prong is so they can be only used in outlets that can handle the extra amount of electricity that these appliances draw.

2. Light fixtures
Light fixtures, lamps and light bulbs are another common reason for electrical fires. Installing a bulb with a wattage that is too high for the lamps and light fixtures is a leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the maximum recommended bulb wattage on any lighting fixture or lamp and never go over the recommended amount.

Another cause of fire is placing materials like cloth or paper over a lampshade. The material heats up and ignites, causing a fire. Faulty lamps and light fixtures also frequently result in fires.

3. Extension cords 
Misuse of extension cords is another electrical fire cause. Appliances should be plugged directly into outlet and not plugged into an extension cord for any length of time. Only use extension cords as a temporary measure. If you do not have the appropriate type of outlets for your appliances, hire an electrician to install new ones.

4. Space heaters 
Because these types of heaters are portable, many times people put them too close to combustible surfaces such as curtains, beds, clothing, chairs, couches and rugs. Coil space heaters are especially dangerous in this regard because the coils become so hot they will almost instantaneously ignite any nearby flammable surface.

If you do use space heaters, use the radiator-type that diffuse heat over the entire surface of the appliance. These are less likely to ignite flammable items, but should still be kept away from them.

5. Wiring
Outdated wiring often causes electrical fires. If a home is over 20 years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances in today’s average home, such as computers, wide-screen televisions, video and gaming players, microwaves and air conditioners.

Breakers should be triggered when circuits get overloaded by too much electricity, but outdated breaker boxes often have worn connectors that do not work, causing the system to overload and start an electrical fire. If your home is over 20 years old it may be best to have your wiring inspected. 

Fire Damage In Your Home or Business?  Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today. 502.241.6861

Fire Prevention Week- Every Second Counts

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

The following is provided by The National Fire Protection Association. 


 In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here’s this year’s key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home by using our grid in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF) with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

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

Steps To Take Immediately After A Storm Damage

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety hazards , so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact a reputable property restoration company to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance

The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.

When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage, and smoke disaster.

Your Home's Saffety: The Top Causes Of Indoor Floods

10/6/2017 (Permalink)

YOUR HOME’S SAFETY: THE TOP CAUSES OF INDOOR FLOODS As a homeowner, one of the most beneficial things you can do is learn about the causes of the different disasters that could possibly impact you. While scary to think about, the benefit of doing so is the fact that you could potentially prevent damage in the event of a disaster. Floods, in particular, are important to work to avoid, as they can be devastating to your home’s interior, exterior, and the belongings you own.

To educate yourself, take a look at the top causes of indoor floods below. 

1. Unsecured or Damaged Roofing If your roof isn’t strong and healthy, a bad storm or even light wind could take it down. This could quickly lead to excess water being trapped in just about every room of your home. Even if bad weather isn’t imminent, having your roof repaired or even replaced is a great way to enhance security and prevent flooding. 

2. Broken Pipes When a pipe ruptures from old age or extreme temperatures, it can release thousands of gallons of water into your home. It’s for this reason that it’s so important to have your pipes regularly inspected by a professional. 

3. Improper Installation While installing your own dishwasher, fridge, washer, or any other appliance that uses water may seem easy, it’s not always easy to do it properly. Improper installation of pipes can mean a flood in your home that ruins the floors and walls. 

4. Extreme Weather Although making sure your home is in good shape is a great way to help minimize damage from extreme weather, it’s not always 100% foolproof. If there’s bad damage on the way and your home is impacted by flood damage, have restoration work done as soon as possible. By preparing to restore the damage right away, you may be able to prevent the damage from getting worse. 

5. Water Buildup For those who have basements or crawl spaces in their KY homes, the risk of water buildup is increased. To prevent this, take time to have an inspection done at least a couple of times per year. What Should You Do If a Flood Occurs? Indoor flooding is never 100% preventable with the unpredictability of weather and chance of bad luck.

For these reasons, it’s crucial to know who to call in the event that something like this happens. In most situations, contacting Water Damage and Flood professionals such as ours at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry is key. We know that timing is everything, which is why we rush to you right away.

Equipped with experience and the right tools, we can work to restore your home so you can recover from the flood quickly and effectively Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/ Trimble/Spencer/Henry today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

10 Signs Of A Slab Leak

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

10 Signs Of A Slab Leak

A slab leak is one of the biggest headaches any homeowner can experience. Not only are they costly and inconvenient to repair, they can be dangerous if left unresolved. By keeping your eye out for these 10 signs of a slab leak, you can catch this issue before it escalates into a major problem.

What is a Slab Leak?

Every house is built on top of a foundation, which is usually made of concrete and steel. This foundation, also called a ‘slab’, bears the weight of the house and provides the entire structure stability. Water pipes which provide water to the home are usually located below the slab.

A slab leak occurs when one or more of the pipes below the foundation leak. This is a serious plumbing emergency that leads to short and long-term problems.

Common causes of slab leaks include:

  • Shifting ground: Houses naturally settle over time. In some case, the weight of the house can lead to changes in how the ground is situated, leading to pipe leaks. 
  • Improperly wrapped pipes:Pipes beneath the foundation are wrapped in order to prevent friction between the metal of the pipes and the concrete slab. Sometimes, pipes are not wrapped well, slowly leading to worn spots and leaks.
  • Electrolysis: Water pipes that are made of copper can be vulnerable to electrolysis, a natural chemical reaction that occurs when copper reacts with minerals in certain types of soil.

10 Signs of a Slab Leak

Now that you know why slab leaks are significant and how they’re caused, let’s look at the top 10 signs of a slab leak.

  1. Cracks in the walls have formed.
  2. Cracks in the floors have formed.
  3. You have noticed a significant increase to the water bill even though you haven’t changed your habits
  4. The carpet on the bottom floor is wet to the touch. In basements, you may notice a wet spot on concrete or warped flooring.
  5. Tubs, toilets, showers, or sinks have experienced a stoppage or blockage.
  6. You notice hot spots on the floor or in the yard. These are, as the name suggests, areas on the ground which are warm to the touch and indicate a leaking hot water pipe.
  7. Mold and mildew forms on the walls without an apparent cause.
  8. A strange odor that cannot be traced is present.
  9. You’ve noticed a significant decrease in normal water pressure.
  10. Your water meter dial is moving even after you have made sure that no sources of water, such as sinks, washing machines, toilets, or showers, are running.

Why are Slab Leaks Dangerous?

Slab leaks are dangerous for several reasons. Getting the leak repaired as soon as possible can help avoid long-term issues.

  • Water leaks lead to mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew doesn’t usually stay relegated to one area; spores spread and take hold in other parts of the house. 
  • Water erosion can lead to a weakened foundation, which in turn can cause structural problems in the home.
  • Water erosion can also lead to the foundation itself shifting. This is a very serious problem that can lead to collapse.

Slab leaks can cause damage to a home significant enough to make a home unsafe and unlivable until the issues have been repaired.

What to Do if You Have a Slab Leak

A slab leak is a plumbing emergency, so it’s important to act quickly if you notice any of the 10 signs of a slab leak as listed above.

First, shut off the water to your home. This will help prevent further damage to the home’s foundation. 

Water causes damage within minutes of exposure. Don’t let a slab leak ruin your home. Call SERVPRO today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

 

Emergency Board Up

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Emergency Board Up Services

If your home or business incurs storm or fire damage resulting in an opening in your building you may be in need of emergency board up services. Any openings in the structure needs to be properly boarded up to protect the building from weather and illegal entry. Your insurance policy also requires you to be proactive on protecting your home or business after any type of damage has occurred, otherwise the insurance company could account any further/secondary damage to the structure as negligence.

Not every situation requires the most extensive board up that the U.S Fire Administration have in their board up procedure manual, such as after a fire where the entire home is destroyed  and is considered a complete loss. While each emergency board up is different, let’s take a look at how to properly board up a structure after damage has caused an opening in the building.

Determining How Much Protection Is Needed

  1. Openings in the basement, first floor doors, windows and any point of entry accessible from a porch, fire escape or other potential climbing point require additional security measures. These openings should be barricaded with plywood, 2x4s, bolts and nails.
  2. Openings that are at least 10′ from ground level which are not accessible from a porch, fire escape, roof, or other climbing point can be secured with nails in each brace, and every 12″ around the perimeter. For these openings the plywood should be fitted so that it rests snugly against the exterior frame, butting up to the siding on wood frame buildings and up to the brickwork on brick buildings. It may be necessary to remove the staff bead so this fit can be flush and tight.

Boarding Up

  1. Cut plywood to fit over the window and door openings, flush with outside of the molding. Note: For buildings with metal door and window frames the alternative is to cut the plywood and 2x4s to fit the inside of the door frame buffed up against the band molding.
  2. Cut the 2x4s to fit the horizontal dimension of the plywood. You will need two 2×4 exterior and two interior braces for each window and three sets for each door. Note: For buildings with metal doors and window frames the 2x4s for the outside will be cut to the dimensions of the plywood, fitting inside the door frame, against the band molding. For the inside the 2x4s will be cut to the outside dimension of the door or window frame.
  3. Pre drill 3/8th inch holes in the plywood and the braces.
  4. The holes will be placed approximately 1/3 of the length of the brace from each outside edge of the door and window jam.
  5. The two window braces will be placed 1/3 of the distance from the top and the bottom of the window.
  6. The three door braces will be placed; one in the center of the doorway, and one half the distance from the center to the top and to the bottom of the doorway.
  7. Place the plywood over the exterior opening and nail to the frame. Note: For metal frames place the plywood and braces inside the frame against the band molding.
  8. Place the 2×4 braces over the interior and exterior of the door or window.
  9. Place the large washer over the carriage bolt and place the bolt through the holes.
  10. Place washer and nut inside and tighten securely. Torque the nut so that it slightly compresses the interior 2×4.

Need Emergency Board Up Services? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry today to schedule an appointment. 502.241.6861

   

Safety First With Your Fireplace

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

SAFETY COMES FIRST WITH YOUR FIREPLACE

Follow these fireplace safety tips to prevent home fire damage.

Fall has officially started, and before you know it, you will have to light up the fireplace to combat the cold, windy temperatures of the outdoors.  But before your whole family sits in front of the fire, it is crucial you make sure it is safe and secure.  With the luxury and warmth your fireplace brings, also comes the danger of fire and smoke damage to your home.  There are a few steps you can follow to ensure your wood or gas burning fireplace is safe to use.

Start With The Cap

To start your safety inspection of your fireplace, you have to go outside of your home to your chimney.  Make sure the cap that is on top of your chimney is in good condition, and there is nothing around it such as a bird’s nest or debris.  The cap is an essential piece to your chimney because it prevents rain, snow, or wildlife from getting into your home.  It also keeps hot embers emitting from your fireplace from getting onto your roofing.  Your cap needs to be clear so smoke can escape properly from your home.

Check The Damper

After checking the chimney from the outside, go inside your home and inspect your the bottom of your chimney connected to your fireplace.  With a flashlight, check if the damper in your chimney opens, closes, and seals properly.  It is critical that your damper seals well because if not, you will a lose a great amount of heat from your home when your fireplace isn’t in use.  While your damper is open, check the flue for any combustible objects such as animal nests.  The flue needs to be completely clear, so smoke doesn’t come back into your home and cause unnecessary damage.  

Don’t Ignore Your Gas-Burning Fireplace

Although gas fireplaces are low-maintenance, you still need to check some elements occasionally.  Inspect the glass doors for any cracks or latch issues and test the igniter for any malfunctions.  

Smoke or Fire Damage In Your Home? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

So You Woke Up To A Wet Basement?

10/2/2017 (Permalink)

Surprise! You Have a Wet Basement.

 It is very possible to move into a home and not realize that it has a wet basement. The signs of Water Damage are often subtle and some home sellers purposely hide the evidence of a damp or wet basement. Even home inspectors have been known to miss the signs of a leaky basement, especially during times of drought or sporadic rainfall. 

In a February 2017 survey of U.S. homeowners and renters, 55% said they’ve lived in a home with a wet basement — of that group, 71% were not aware they were moving into a home with a wet basement.

Way Too Much Water

As the global temperature continues to rise, more and more cases of sudden downpours and extreme rainfall are expected. Reports of severe weather outbreaks are becoming much more common across the United States.

Heavy rainfalls and sudden downpours often overwhelm sump pumps. Cracks in the walls or foundation allow the water to seep in. But even a seemingly “watertight” home can have problems when the water that has seeped into the ground in the area surrounding the home becomes saturated. The pressure of this water on the concrete walls and floors of the basement become too much, and the water begins to seep into the basement through these barriers.

In addition, water that gets into the basement or any area of a home can often be traced back to clogged gutters.

Once water gets in, it’s a problem. If not properly addressed, it becomes a much bigger and much more expensive problem.

A Little Water Goes a Long Way

 A flooded basement, wet, squishy carpeting, and water marks on walls and ceilings are hard to overlook. But water has a way of discreetly finding its way into the tiniest cracks and oftentimes, goes completely unnoticed. Small leaks also tend to be inconspicuous. These small but steady water intrusions can cause serious damage. Homeowners should be on the lookout for signs of water seepage and slow leaks:

  • Musty odor in certain areas of your home
  • Peeling paint or discoloration
  • Wood floors that are cupping
  • Spike in your water bill

What’s the Big Deal?

 So there are a few areas of damp carpet. And some sections of drywall are dark with water marks. They’ll dry, right? Not likely. In fact, even with the help of fans and a dehumidifier, carpets, furniture, walls…anything that’s been exposed to water is not going to dry quickly and efficiently enough to prevent the scourge of mold.

The EPA advises that homeowners who choose to hire a contractor to remove evidence of mold should “make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold.”

Water Damage or Mold In Your Home Or Business? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer today to speak to a Mitigation or Remediation specialists. 502.241.6861

Mold In The Shower: Prevention Tips and Tricks

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

It’s a given that water and moisture will always exist in your shower; unfortunately this constant becomes the perfect breeding ground for mold formation. But you don’t have to resign yourself to tolerating mold odor when showering. There are easy steps to take to keep mold from taking up residence in your shower or bathtub.

An investment in a small humidifier can reduce humidity levels in the bathroom to 30-50%, helping to prevent mold growth in your shower, tub, and sink. Also, remember to leave the bathroom door and any windows open before you take a hot shower. If you don’t have a ceiling fan or a built-in fan in your bathroom, you can use a small fan to blow steam away. By employing these techniques, you will help to prevent mold from taking root in tile grout, caulk, and drains.

Be sure to always keep the shower and tub area clean and free of any standing water. Periodically check to clean the areas where you keep shampoo bottles, body wash bottles and soap bar, making sure they are not sitting in standing water. If you keep a shower mat on the bottom of your shower or tub be sure to clean it on a regular basis – especially underneath, keeping the suction cups clean. Those suction cups are mold breeding grounds!

Know that soap scum is your enemy. A combination of soap, body oils, hair and other organic materials get trapped between the bath mat and shower/tub floor every time you bathe. Every color of mold will call that area home if you don’t clean it. You’ll have to both scour and sanitize the bath mat on a weekly basis – and it might be a good idea to eventually replace it entirely. Remember to allow the mat to completely dry before returning it to the shower or tub floor. Cleaning this one particular item regularly will go a long way towards keeping your bathroom mold-free.

Also, regularly mist a 50/50 solution mix of vinegar and water to your shower curtain, glass doors, tile grout and inside shower walls. If you can tolerate the smell, you might want to use straight white diluted vinegar instead. Be sure to spray the caulked corners, as well as all cracks and crevices around spigot, spout, drain, and shower nozzle. Do not rinse right away, allowing all treated areas to dry completely. Fortunately, the vinegar solution has only a slight odor and will dissipate fairly quickly after application. The vinegar solution will help with deodorizing as the acids in the vinegar continue to consume and kill any remaining mold spores. This process will help to prohibit future mold growth.

Mold prevention in the bathroom is easiest when you keep to a sound prevention plan. Also useful are applications of tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide, as well as trusty white distilled vinegar. Employing these methodical steps regularly will keep mold from setting up camp in your bathroom.

Mold In Your Home? Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Spencer/Trimble/Henry today to speak to a Mold Remediation Specialist. 502.241.6861

 

Removing Leaves From Gutters Reduces Your Chances Of Water Damage

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

Removing leaves reduces your chances of water damage

 If you’re lucky enough to live on a lot that is covered with trees, you’re probably like me and in awe of the beauty of nature every Autumn. What an amazing time it is to see the leaves turn colors. But then something not so amazing happens. They die and fall. All over your lawn, on your roof and anywhere else in the not so immediate area. What a disaster! It’s so easy to just turn a blind eye to their unsightliness and mentally prepare for winter weather. But ignoring the leaves isn’t going to make them go away, and not removing them is going to greatly increase your chances of suffering water damage. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the 2 ways fallen leaves can lead to home water damage!

Leaves clog gutters

If we had a dollar for every time we’ve mentioned this on our blog, we’d…have a lot of dollars. Your gutters play an incredibly crucial role in keeping your home dry. If they can’t do their job, the odds of water getting into your home spike dramatically. And there’s pretty much nothing worse for gutters than leaves. If you’ve ever climbed a ladder and seen the inside of your gutters, you’ll notice the hole leading down to the downspout in your gutter is quite small. Maybe 2-3 inches in diameter. It doesn’t take many leaves to completely clog that small hole. And when that happens, the water collected by your gutter will have nowhere to go and eventually overflow. If you’ve ever looked outside your window during a rain storm and have seen a waterfall pouring down, that’s what is happening. Why is that bad? Because the water is going to fall right next to your home’s foundation and pool up there. Why is that bad? Whether you have a pier and beam home, a slab foundation, or a basement, water next to your home is going to find its way through the concrete and into your property.

If you do nothing else this fall, please go out and clear your gutters. Or don’t, and tempt fate and end up with potentially very costly water damage. It’s the simplest and most effective way you can prevent home water damage. And sadly, it’s one of the most overlooked maintenance tasks for homeowners every year. That’s great for our business but really bad for homeowners that end up having to pay costly insurance deductibles for work that should have never been necessary.

Leaves prevent evaporation

 When rain or snow falls, a large amount of moisture is introduced to your property. While some of it will run off the lawn and into the street and the on to a storm drain, a lot of it will soak into your yard. That is called groundwater, which in our business is called ‘an enemy’. While every environment has some ground water, certain types of soil and clay are more prone to collecting ground water. One thing that helps reduce the level of ground water in your lawn (and thus reduce the chances that ground water ends up soaking through your concrete foundation and into your home) is its ability to evaporate. And that’s where fallen leaves come into play. If your entire property has a layer of leaves covering it, any water that falls and seeps into your soil can’t evaporate. It gets trapped, allowing it to exert constant pressure on your home’s foundation. Over time, water wins. And that means you lose.

So do yourself a huge favor! Before the snow starts falling (or the rain if you live in the south), take a weekend and spend it getting leaves away from your home and out of your gutters. By just doing this, you’ve put yourself in so much better of a position to weather the winter and come out safe and dry!

 If this knowledge comes too late, please don’t freak out. We can help, and we can make the process of fixing water damage in your home a lot easier and stress-free than you might think. Any time you call us our first step will be to come out and see what’s going on. As part of that step, we’ll do a full moisture diagnostic and determine how much water damage you have and what steps will need to be taken to fix the problem. While we are there, we will provide you with an estimate using industry-standard pricing. If you are happy with the estimate and trust our competency, we can begin work immediately and then work with your insurance adjuster to make sure your claim is dealt with appropriately (and in a timely manner).

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

Protecting Your Important Documents From Water Or Fire

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Protecting Your Important Records From Home Disasters 

There are many different types of natural disasters that can damage your personal documents and important files. You should be sure to take special measures to keep home records safe from any type of disaster, including natural disasters. Disasters that are able to destroy home records that are not properly protected include fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods.

Why Is It So Important To Keep Personal Documents Safe?

Storing personal documents in a safe place not only protects homeowners from disasters but it also helps keep your identity protected. Disasters like floods and fires can strike at any time. Personal documents such as tax materials or bank statements are important to keep private.

Identities are stolen everyday, and if these documents are left lying around after a quick evacuation it makes it that much easier for the documents to slip into the wrong hands.

Other documents such as medical records and insurance policies are important for reference reasons. Keeping all personal documents safe either on the home’s property in a fire and waterproof safe, or in a safe deposit box at a bank, gives you peace of mind knowing that your documents are safely stored in case of a disaster.

There are several different types of personal records that should be stored in a safe place. Personal record items that should be stored safely include: tax records, bank statements, insurance policies, birth certificates, medical documents, and social security cards. Any types of records that are kept electronically should have a back up copy on a different device such as a CD or an external hard drive that is stored in an alternate place.

Understand Different Methods Of Safe Keeping

Safe keeping methods for personal documents come in many different forms. If you have personal documents in electronic form, make sure you have a back up of the documents on a CD or an external hard drive that is ideally kept in a different location. If you have old-fashioned hard copy files, there are a couple of different options for safe keeping. One of the most popular options for safe keeping of paper personal documents is a safe deposit box. Safe deposit boxes are located on an alternate property than the residence that helps ensure safety, especially in times of natural disaster.

Another option of safe keeping for personal documents that can be located at the home is a fire box. Fire boxes are boxes that can withstand heat up to a certain point that help keep documents safe during fires, but these boxes also lock. Documents can be locked away in the box and placed in a closet or under a bed in the home.

Understanding what documents to keep safe and the different methods available for safe storage are the right steps toward having what you need if your home is ever damaged by a flood, fire, severe storm or any other disaster.

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

Tips for Drying Books or Paper Collections Damaged by Water

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Tips for Drying Books or Paper Collections Damaged by Water. This article will provide tips for mitigating damage by water to maps, documents, posters, letters, stamps and other paper collections. Following these tips won’t guarantee recovery of all items, but will should help you minimize the damage. Obviously the sooner you can begin the drying process the better. 

Note: Safety First!

Remember the importance of wearing the proper coverings for your eyes, arms and hands, especially when dealing with damaged items due to flooding where waters could have been contaminated. Always be sure the environment you are working in is safe before trying to dry your collection. If there is any question about this be sure to call a certified damage restoration expert. If the collection has been removed from the environment, you may still be dealing with mold (see tips for handling mold below).

Some precautions you may want to consider are:

  • Safety glasses.
  • Disposable gloves.
  • Shirts with extended sleeves.
  • Masks (optional)

CAUTION: Mold can be extremely dangerous, depending on the type and extent of the growth. If dealing with mold, follow these recommendations carefully:

  • Use a respirator to protect the lungs.
  • Use a vacuum to suck dry mold spores away from you.
  • When finished, wash hands and dispose of gloves properly.
  • See a doctor if you feel any health effects from the handling of mold.
 Using a Respirator
If dealing with mold, keep in mind that some species of mold are toxic and should only be dealt with while wearing a respirator. You may want to consider an N-95 respirator. These can be purchased at many home improvement centers.  

Drying Methods to Employ for documents and other paper items:

  • Fans: Circulate the air with the use of fans. Avoid pointing the fan(s) in the same direction as the item(s) you’re trying to dry. You simply want to keep the air moving at a good rate in order to maximize the drying process.
  • Blotting: When removing excess water from your paper documents, remember to blot. Never attempt to wipe it dry. Do not blot over ink that has been hand written or if the paper is too delicate. When blotting, use a new sponge that is clean, paper (not newspaper) or very absorbent towels.
  • Screens: Window screen material can be found at any hardware store. You can also use the screens from your own windows if they’re clean and not rusty. Simply stack them in layers, using wooden blocks, pieces of board, cinder blocks or bricks to separate each section of screen. This will allow the air to circulate through, reaching the surface of both sides of the paper or item.
  • Absorbent Material: If you don’t have access to screens, you can dry your items on a hard surface, but first cover the surface with materials that absorb moisture. You will need to replace the absorbing material frequently as to ensure the best drying environment.
  • Paper Handling: CAUTION: Handle damp paper with great care as it will be heavy and weak, subject to tearing easily. It is important that it is supported by the work surface.

Drying Method to Employ for items in a frame:

  • First, flip the frame over, placing the glass down.
  • Second, pull off the backing and remove everything in the frame, except the item you’re trying to save. Then carefully lift the item out of the frame and place it where it can be air-dried.
  • CAUTION: Do not remove the item if it is stuck to the glass. This may cause irreversible damage. The item will have to be dried, lying on top of the glass. Once dried, if still adhering to the surface of the glass, it can be carefully and slowly lifted using a flat tool such as a plastic putty knife.

Drying Methods to Employ for Books:

  • Set books on their tops or bottoms and open them up like a fan. Avoid standing opened books on the side edges.
  • Choose the driest side to set the book on first, then as it dries, rotate it every couple of hours or so.
  • Wax paper works wonderfully well when placed in between the covers of the book and the pages next to them. Make sure the wax paper is slightly larger than the size of the cover itself. Replace often to ensure a more speedy drying of the book.
  • As the book dries, it will get to a point where it still feels cool, but is no longer damp. At this point, close the book, place it on a surface that’s solid and add a small weight to the top to keep the pages as flat as possible. Remember to check often, so mold doesn’t begin to grow between the book’s pages.

Dealing with Mold Growth on Your Collection

It is important to understand the difference between active mold and dormant mold when and how to handle each. Active mold appears slimy and often fuzzy as though hair is growing out of it. Dormant mold is no longer producing spores or spreading and is characterized by a dry powdery appearance.

  • If your item has active mold growing on it, do not try to wipe it clean or get rid of the mold in any way. Exposing the mold to sunlight and fresh air should speed up the drying process of the mold, making it safer to remove. CAUTION: This may lead to some damage from the sun, so only leave it exposed for short periods of time to avoid fading. If the item looks as though it will easily fade, find a place to dry the mold away from direct sunlight.
  • It’s always helpful to control the humidity inside the room where you’re attempting to dry your items. Try to keep it humidity levels below 50%. You may need to use a dehumidifier to bring it down to a safe percentage. Lowering your room temperature into the mid 60 degree range should help as well.
  • When the mold has changed from active to dormant, then you can safely remove the mold by placing the hose of a vacuum cleaner nearby as you brush the mold off with a soft brush. Remove the vacuum bag and dispose of it immediately and make sure you leave the brushes clean of the mold as well.
  • Most importantly, remember to follow the proper rules of safety discussed above when dealing with mold. Mold spores can cause a great deal of damage.

Should You Hire a Professional Conservator?

It’s extremely important that you weigh the importance of the items that have been damaged by water. Depending on the historic, sentimental or monetary value of your damaged items you may want to consider employing a professional conservator, who will have experience dealing with the restoration of water damaged collections. With a trained eye they will be able to assess what actions are best with each item as well as be expert in mitigating any mold issues.

Water Damage in Your Home or Business?

Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Spencer/Henry today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist today. 502.241.6867

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

6 Facts About Protein Fires

9/5/2017 (Permalink)

Protein fires create an especially unique restoration challenge. Fire damage caused by burnt food can also create odor issues which are difficult to mitigate. Here are some important facts regarding this type of fire.

  1. Protein fires generally leave little visible residue, often confusing the untrained observer
  2. They create a significantly more repugnant smell than most other fires
  3. The nature of the burn causes the odor to permeate structure and furniture even more completely than other fires
  4. Require extremely thorough cleaning to remove the odor
  5. Sometimes require a sealing agent or even repainting to completely eradicate the odor
  6. May require multiple attempts and methods to achieve customer satisfaction

It is also important to recognize that perception of odor is highly individual.  There are no tools available to “measure” smell, and as a result, a homeowner may perceive odors that technicians or even neighbors cannot.  Often times, because of the strong link between smell and memory, a homeowner may experience “phantom odors” where the memory of the event causes reproduction of the odor even after thorough cleaning.

Fire Damage In Your Home Or Business? Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Emergency Water Removal: A Checklist For Quick Action

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Emergency Water Removal: A Checklist for Quick ActionWhen water damage strikes, it’s important to act fast and to contact a professional company to help with restoration and repairs. At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer, we are experienced with emergency Water Removal and want to help you recover fast.

Water Damage Emergency Checklist

When facing a water damage emergency, use this handy checklist to stay calm and take quick action until help arrives.

  • Determine if it is safe to stay where you are: in water emergency situations, there can be a number of hazards including electricity.
  • Contact Water Damage Restoration of Austin so that we can send a team right away.
  • Watch out for slippery areas that could cause you to fall.
  • Begin mopping up excess water where possible.
  • Pick up wet books, newspapers, magazines, etc.
  • Pick up wet fabrics and start hanging them. Beware, wet fabric items are much heavier when wet!
  • Rescue easy to reach artwork, valuables, and personal items and put them in a safe, dry space.
  • Gather any loose items from the floor, so that they can dry and not add additional tripping hazards.
  • Do NOT use any electrical items while the house is still wet.
  • Do NOT attempt to use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water.
  • Stay calm, and wait for our technicians to arrive and help you with your water removal, inspection, and restoration plan.

Our team has years of experience helping homeowners recover after a flood. We know exactly how to proceed in order to ensure that you get the best possible results. Our goal is to remove water, save your property, and help you make repairs after the damages. We also want to ensure that you are left with a clean space free of lingering mold issues.

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

Carpet Cleaning Tips: Getting Popsicle's and Kool-Aid Out Of Carpets

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

CARPET CLEANING TIPS: GETTING POPSICLES AND KOOL-AID OUT OF CARPETS

The warm, sunny weather goes together with the classics: popsicles and Kool-Aid.  Unfortunately, these two delicious treats tend to make a mess when spilled indoors and if not cleaned correctly, could lead to mold remediation down the road. Remember these tips for your summertime spills:

  • Pick up the dropped chunks of popsicle.
  • Blot up the excess beverage, and never rub the affected area—this will cause the fibers to absorb the liquid and possibly spread.
  • You will need a few drops of liquid dish detergent (without bleach), white towels, warm water, and an iron.
  • Test a small inconspicuous area for colorfastness of carpet. This may not work on all carpet fibers. Contact your carpet manufacturer first before applying any chemicals/soaps to your carpet for cleaning.
  • Mix a few drops of the dish liquid with warm water. Wet one towel with the mix and place it over the affected area. Put the dry towel on top of the wet one and gently use the hot iron on it. You will see the color pull into the wet towel. (repeat if necessary)

Need a Professional Carpet Cleaning? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer today to schedule an appointment. 502.241.6861

Ductwork Mold: How does it get there?

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

DUCTWORK MOLD: HOW DOES IT GET THERE?

Here is how it happens…water condenses on the AC coils, and if dust or dirt is on the coils, mold grows. So, if your AC coils are dusty and dirty, it’s pretty much a given.

Also by using cheap fiberglass filters that let dust pass through onto the AC coils, having an air intake in a moldy basement, an over-sized unit, or an in-line humidifier (which is a whole house humidification solution).

By the way, sometimes there is lots of debris in the duct work from the time of construction…sawdust, trash, etc.

Some helpful tips to keep mold from re-growing.

You’ll want to disconnect and remove any attached humidifier.

Install a pleated media filter to protect the newly cleaned (or replaced) AC coils from dust and dirt, this filter looks like an accordion pleat. Change the filter in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. This is the easier route to keep the coils clean. If coils are clean, then even if they get wet, mold won’t grow.Cheap fiberglass filters are really not the way to go, they are pretty useless. Electrostatic or electronic filters can work fine up until they are coated with dust which could be 3 months or 3 hours.

Always make sure it’s the correct filter for your unit and that it fits well. There should be no air by-pass around the filter.

Not sure if your Ductwork contains mold?  SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby professionals are IICRC trained in Mold Remediation. Call us today for an appointment. 502.241.6861  

Top Down Water Damage Clean Up

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

Top Down Water Damage Clean up

The Easy Method for Simple Flood Damage Restoration

Top down or “in-place” water damage clean up is a method of drying your carpet in a quick and effective manner that will save you time and money. When the flood damage or water intrusion is not severe, we can dry your carpet without the use of the highly advanced techniques that are utilized for more work-intensive projects. In order to use our top down drying method, a few project criteria must be met.

  • The water damage must be caused by “clean” category 1 water. If the damage is caused by grey (non-potable) or black (toxic raw sewage) water, the top down method cannot be used.

  • The flood damage must be addressed within 24 hours of intrusion.

There are several other variables that must be factored into the final decision to use this in-place clean up method such as the subfloor, the type of carpeting, and the condition of the carpet pad. Here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Spencer, our technicians will be able to analyze the project conditions to determine if we can perform top down drying.

  

Top down or “in-place” water damage clean up can only be performed on flooring contaminated by category 1 “clean” water within 24 hours of intrusion.

  

The Benefits of Top Down Drying

To many homeowners, the most important advantage of in-place water damage clean up is cost reduction. Because we don’t have to use complicated techniques or advanced equipment, this project will be less expensive. In addition to the lowered cost, this process takes less time, and we can get your home back to working order quickly. Finally, since the water damage was identified in under 24 hours and we can complete the project in a shorter amount of time, there is a greater chance that the carpet and padding won’t have to be replaced.

The Process of In-Place Water Damage Clean up

  • Locate and eliminate the source of water intrusion

  • Extract at least 97% of the water in the carpet and padding with the use of drying equipment

  • Use anti-microbials and disinfectants when appropriate

  • Inspect where water possibly travelled beyond the affected area and dry where necessary

  • Properly install evaporation equipment and begin the monitoring process

  • Use a dehumidifier to lower the increased humidity caused by evaporation equipment

  • Clean all carpeting and return the home to its preloss state
Water Damage In Your Home Or Business? Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer at 502.241.6861

How Untreated Water Damage Will Lead To Structural Damage

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

How Untreated Water Damage Will Lead to Structural Damage

Water Damage Warps the Wood

Many people have heard about wood warping and the problems that this can cause. For those that don't understand, wood warping refers to a change in the shape of the wood due to the damage from water. While some people think that wood warping is merely an aesthetic issue, remember that wood is used in walls and roofs as well. If the wood warps, it is no longer straight and the alignment that was used to keep the walls and roof strong has been moved out of place. This can lead to support problems for the structure of the home.

Water Damage Can Degrade Metal

Water damage can cause the metallic fabrication in the home to rust. People depend on metal to carry air conditioning fluids, heat, and clean water through the plumbing system. Many people have also reinforced parts of their home with metal. Water reacts with the metal and can cause the metal to rust over. This damages the integrity of the surface and can contaminate drinking water or decrease the efficiency of a heating system. People should have water damage treated to preserve the integrity of their piping and fabrication.

These are only a couple of the ways that untreated water damage can have important impacts on the structure of a home. Treat water damage to prevent them from happening.

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

Black Lines On The Edge Of Your Carpet

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

 Black Lines on the Edge of Your Carpet 

What are the Black Edges?

Are you wondering what those dirty, black lines that show up around the edge of your carpet are?  It’s called Carpet Filtration Soiling. Carpet Filtration Soiling can be found along walls, under doors, and around the edge of HVAC registers- really anywhere there is air flow being forced through the carpet.

What Causes the Black Lines?

When air pressure and currents encounter a restriction, the air will pass through the carpet. The carpet acts as a filter trapping whatever small particulates, oil and other pollutants are in the air.

The lighter the carpet- the more visible this will be. The filtration soil may include: candle soot, particles from incomplete combustion due to a maladjusted furnace, cooking oils, vehicle exhaust and particles from a myriad of many other sources.

These are very small particles and are difficult to remove with agitation only. Using a cleaning solution and the help of a truck mount with hot steam extraction can help to remove these stains. Since filtration soil varies from home to home, the ability to remove the stains also varies.

If you have ugly lines…Our carpet cleaning solutions can help! Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer today to schedule an appointment. 502.241.6861

When is time to Call A Plumber?

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

WHEN IS IT TIME TO CALL A PLUMBER? Whether you consider yourself a total do-it-yourself person or a complete rookie when it comes to home repairs, it’s important to know when it’s time to leave something to the professionals.

All too often, homeowners try to cut costs by trying to repair water issues themselves and end up causing more damage that can be twice as costly to repair in the end.

A good rule of thumb to work from is that if you can’t properly diagnose the source of the issue, it’s best not to try to fix it yourself, and to call a plumber instead.

Here are seven situations that should alert you that it’s time to call a plumber:

1. Bathtub, Sink, or Toilet That Won’t Drain

Most clogs will only worsen if they’re not dealt with immediately. Now there are ways that you can unclog a toilet without a plumber, but if over-the-counter drain cleaners, plungers, or drain snakes aren’t working, call a plumber immediately before the clog gets worse. Trying to repair the clog yourself, you may end up scratching the porcelain or damaging the pipes.

2. Dripping Faucet

While in most cases you may be able to easily tighten a leaky faucet, not all faucets are quick fixes. A small leak may not seem like a big deal, but a leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drop per second can waste up to 3,000 gallons in one year—the equivalent of 174 showers. It’ll likely cost you much more to let the faucet leak than it would to call a plumber.

3. Poor/Inconsistent Water Pressure

Whether it’s poor water pressure from a single faucet, or a common issue across your entire home, it’s best to call a plumber if you’re having water pressure issues. While it may be as simple as cleaning out a single fixture or unclogging a pipe, there may be bigger issues with your water supply that need to be resolved.

4. Frozen Pipes

Trying to thaw frozen pipes on your own could result in cracked pipes or even worse, full bursts. To save yourself from a huge mess, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer.

5. Water Heater Issues

If your water isn’t getting hot enough or water temperature is inconsistent, it’s likely you have water heater issues that need to be looked at by a professional. If your water heater isn’t getting hot enough, it can become a cesspool for bacteria. And nobody likes sudden bursts of scalding water in the shower. Tinkering with a flammable, pressurized water heater on your own can be dangerous so leave it to the pros.

6. Home Renovation Projects

If you’re doing home renovations that involve plumbing in any way, it’s best to seek out the services of a plumber. They can ensure that all proper permits have been acquired and that all work is up to code.

7. Visible Leaks or Water Damage

If there are any signs of water damage in your home, including water stains or mold, call a plumber and a water restoration specialist immediately. Water damage in your home can cause mold, which can be hazardous.

For consultation about any water damage in your home, contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer today. 

 502.241.6861

Is Your Hot Water Heater Leaking?

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Hot Water Heater Leak In Your Basement?
aking up is hard to do. You need to get out of your cozy bed, go wash up, get dressed and get some coffee in you before you start your day. Now think of getting out of bed, as hard as that is, walking slowly to the shower, opening the hot water, and waiting for it to run so you can hop in, and... nothing happens.

The Water stays cold as ice, you realize you can't hit the shower this morning, and you try to figure out what just happened. Could you have forgotten to turn on the water heater? Could it be broken? Time to check it out.

As you walk downstairs you hear a low trickling noise as if a faucet is open somewhere. You keep going, and as you approach the basement, you hear it louder - there is water running somewhere over there. The question is - where? As you reach the last step, you put your foot down and immediately realize you haven't even opened your eyes properly. You're standing in a big pond, which was once your basement. No hot shower today. What now then?

WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE WATER IN YOUR BASEMENT?

First - close down the water source. Whether it's the water heater, a pipe or a water leaking in from a window, make sure no more water can get in. Close the water mains, shut down any valve leading to the affected area, and close the window if that was the source of the water.

 Second -  Take care of all that water. Water spreads fast and has the power to cause lots and lots of trouble over time. If you don't have a water drain in the basement, it's time to get emergency water extraction services provided by a professional water damage restoration company such as SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer.

THE MORE YOU WAIT, THE BIGGER THE DAMAGE

Water leaks and floods should be taken care of as fast as possible. The reason is that most homes aren't waterproof on the inside. Standing water will ruin your carpets, floors, furniture, and even get into drywall if given the opportunity. Moreover, the standing water becomes a  hazard after a while, even if they came from a clean source (also called Category 1 water damage). Another reason for you to hurry is mold and how fast mold starts to grow after your basement suffered a water damage.

SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer offers a 24/7 response to all your water damage restoration needs, providing you a quick and thorough solution to your problem. We'll get your life back to normal in no time.

And the water heater story? That's one of our customers. Within 12 hours, the basement was water free. Within 48 hours, the basement was dry and tested for mold growth. Within 72 hours the basement was restored to its original state, including the carpets, the furniture, and a brand new water heater. Our customer enjoyed a hot shower the next morning!

So what caused the water heater to break? We may never know. We're not water heater experts, but that customer was very lucky to suffer only small damage from it, especially with electricity running.

Water Damage In Your Home or Business? Let the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer come to your aide. 502.241.6861

Top 5 Ways To Know You Have Water Damage

8/21/2017 (Permalink)

Top 5 Ways To Know If You Have Water Damage

Water damage is the product of an in-home flood or a leak. Fortunately, there are easy ways to determine if you have water damage.

You Have Mold

Mold loves water. If you see mold anywhere around your home, then it’s likely you have water damage. If you notice mold on your wall, in a crevice in your basement, or on your vinyl siding, then you should contact a professional immediately.

You Smell Mildew

Mildew is the musky smell that’s associated with mold. It’s a stench that’s undeniable. Unfortunately, if you smell mildew in parts of your home, it could be due to the fact that you have water damage.

You See Warped Wood

If you are like many homeowners who choose to install hardwood flooring, then warped wood may be a sign that you have water damage. In fact, if your wood warps, then you may have significant water damage in your home. Water and wood simply don't mix. Over time, water can make the panels in your flooring split and warp.

You See Water Stains on Your Ceiling

Another telltale sign you have water damage is brown, circular stains on your ceiling. These stains may be the result of water leaking into your home due to a roof leak. If you notice these stains, you must take action immediately. Without fixing your roof, you could make matters worse.

You Have Sagging Paint On Your Wall

Finally, if you notice that you have sagging paint or wallpaper on your wall, then it’s possible you have water damage. Sagging paint and wallpaper is common when you have water damage due to pipes leaking in your wall. When you notice this, your best option is to contact a local plumber immediately.

If you notice any of these signs, remember, hope isn’t lost. Your best resource to help you maintain your home is your local plumber.

If you have water damage and need repairs, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Spencer/Henry. 502.241.6861

The Importance of Prompt Restoration After A Fire

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

The Importance of Prompt Restoration After A Fire

If you are a victim of a fire, damage restoration is probably one of the last things on your mind, but it is paramount to your home’s recovery.  The longer you delay the cleaning, deodorizing, and restoration of your home and belongings, the more chance there is that the damage from smoke, water, and fire will intensify.  Cleaning up after a fire is a tough job.  Smoke, ash, and soot are hard to clean, and the smells require deep deodorizing.

The wisest course of action is to contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby to aid you. Fire restoration must be put into effect as soon as possible after your fire.  Prolonged exposure to the ravages of fire can take its toll on more than soft materials like cloth.  Even metallic objects can become pitted and corroded after only a few days exposure to fire and ash.  If you are unclear as to how to find a reputable service, your insurance agent should be able to refer a certified and experienced company in your area.

Because of their specialized training unique certification, and access to the right equipment and supplies, professional companies can often restore a home to near perfect pre-fire beauty. 

The restoration process is a rigorous one and focuses on the cleaning, sanitizing, and repair of the structure as well as any materials in the structure that have been damaged by fire, smoke, or water.  Your home needs to be aired out for as long possible before undergoing a deep cleaning.  This will diminish the effects of smoke and help deter the growth of mold and mildew. 

Your technicians might employ the use of dehumidifiers, fans, and shop-vacs for this stage of the remediation.  They will start at the sub floors and work up.  Sub-floors are inspected for damage and either cleaned or replaced.

Rugs and Carpets (if possible) are cleaned and deodorized using a chemical process to remove stains and odors (most often carpets and padding are discarded).  All drywall and paneling is checked for moisture retention, and the possibility of mold/mildew growth.  This will determine if it can be cleaned or must be torn out and replaced. 

Upholstery and curtains also undergo a rigorous cleaning cycle involving deep cleaning, sanitizing, and an odor removal process.  Your Furniture is most often taken to a shop to be restored to its pre-fire condition.  Throughout the process, the emphasis will be on deodorizing and sanitizing.

The mutual goal of the restoration team, and the homeowner, is a home that is beautifully restored and safe to live in once again.  While it is possible for you to undertake this daunting task on your own, it is not advisable.  Not only are you still undergoing the stress of having been through a fire, you may not realize the extent of damage to your home, or improperly clean.  Either of these things could be a health or safety risk for your family.

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

Attics and Water Damage

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

Attics and Water Damage

Attics and water damages go hand-in-hand. Your attic is one of the main places where water damages and mold will occur. Your attic is one of the places you do not visit often. You go up to your attic when you need something. It is important to check your attic regularly for leaks.

Some houses have water heaters in their attics. Water heaters are known to leak. Attics are also what takes the brunt of storms, along with your roof. If you see water stains on your ceiling, it is highly likely you have a leak in your attic.

Disaster Cleanup Services has some information to help you keep your attic water free. 

  • Check Your Attic Regularly

It is important to check your attic as often as your check the rest of your home. Your attic could be holding water, which will cause your ceiling to leak, as well as cause mold damages.  

  • Check your Roofing After Severe Weather

After a severe storm or heavy winds, it is crucial to check your roofing and ensure it is still intact. A missing shingle could cause water damages to your attic, which will eventually cause mold and major water damages. 

  • Check for Leaks in your Attic

When in your attic, give it a once-over to make sure it doesn’t have any leaks or small holes that could allow water inside. 

  • Make Sure Your Water Heater is Working Properly

If your water heater is old or isn’t functioning as well as it should, you should have it checked by a professional. If your water heater leaks, you will end up with a flooded home, and possible major water damages. 

Above are a few simple ways to protect your home from water damages and mold. If you do have water damages or mold, give a SERVPRO of  Oldham/Shelby a call immediately. The longer you wait, the more the water will damage.

502.241.6861

Is It Time To Clean Your Air Ducts

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

IS IT TIME TO HAVE YOUR AIR DUCTS CLEANED?

Your home's heating and cooling system uses air ducts to deliver air to the interior spaces of your home. With time, dust, debris, and other allergens can build up inside your air ducts. These contaminants can compromise the efficiency of your climate control system. To restore the quality of your indoor air, you may want to schedule an air duct cleaning service. Regular air duct cleanings will keep your home's air clean and fresh for you to breathe. Let's take a look at some signs that it is time to schedule an air duct cleaning.

Visible Mold or Dirt

When you notice mold or dirt forming around your heating vents, this is a sure sign that you are in need of an air duct cleaning service. At the first sign of dirty ducts, you may want to consult with a professional air duct cleaning company.

Poor Efficiency

It may be time to have your air ducts cleaned if you have noticed a decline in the efficiency of your climate control system. As dirt and debris builds up in your air ducts, your HVAC system may have a harder time delivering air to every room in your home. With an air duct cleaning service, you can restore your system to peak efficiency.

Need Your Residential or Commercial Ducts Cleaned? Call the Professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to schedule an estimate. 502.241.6861

Heavy Rains, Water Damage and Your Home

8/15/2017 (Permalink)

Heavy Rains, Water Damage and Your Property
As our climate changes, occasions of violent storm and intense rain that causes flash floods seem to be increasing.  Rain water that drenches your property should flow away from your home.  However, if it does not, the damage to your home could be quite extensive.

Hence, getting a proper understanding of your how water drains from your property will help you to protect your home.

The Dangers of Improper Drainage

Good home drainage redirects water away from the foundation.  If this drainage is blocked, damage, or inadequate, storm waters can collect near your home.  This first result usually is extensive bacteria and mold growth.  In time, water can damage the concrete of the home’s foundation, crack sidewalks, deteriorate driveways, erode soil, and rotten wooden structures.

Addressing Areas of Poor Drainage

After a rain storm is the best time to walk your property to identify areas of poor drainage.  These areas will tend to have either pools of water or remain wet longer than other areas.  If you have found any, you can address them in multiple ways.  

Add New Drain Pipes

Low spots in your yard or net to your home’s foundation can benefit from underground drainage pipes that capture water and directs it elsewhere.  When installed well, drainage pipes can save a property from slow erosion and costly water damage repairs.

Plant a Xero-scape Garden

A xero-scape garden features minimalists designs with plants that can handle the rough conditions of dry conditions.  Yet, these plants still soak up water very well which could be quite beneficial if you have areas that collect water during storms.

Improve or Repair Gutters

You may be surprise at how many homes are damaged by the very items that should protect them—gutters.  Damaged or blocked gutters can result in storm water being directed to the home.  We’ve seen where years of sun damage has compromised gutters and rendered them useless.

Of course, if you have experienced water damage from a storm, you should call a professional water damage restoration company.  SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer is a full-scale restoration service provider specializing in water damage restoration. (502) 241.6861

Tips for Preventing Water Damage To Home Exteriors

8/14/2017 (Permalink)

Water can enter your home in many ways and end up damaging the foundation. To fight back against water intrusion, take preventative measures both on your home’s interior and exterior. Here are essential tips to safeguard your home’s exterior from water:

Roof

  • Check your roof to ensure the shingles, flashings or tiles aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
  • Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
  • Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
  • Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture. Leaves or twigs can also clog your gutters.  

Gutters and Downspouts

  • Ensure these are clean, free from debris, and in good condition so that water can flow freely.
  • Install metal screens to prevent leaves, twigs, silt and other debris from clogging the gutters and drainage holes.
  • Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. Install downspout extensions if needed.

Doors and Windows

  • Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen fram.
  • Protect exterior doors and windows from the sun, rain, and snow by installing overhangs above them.
  • Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Look for cracks between the sash and frame of your windows.
  • Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping around windows.

Walls

  • Check and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or other masonry, as well as structural sheathing.
  • Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
  • Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation. Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding.
  • Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
  • Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls.
  • When irrigating the garden, avoid directing water towards the house to prevent excessive water near the foundation.

Keeping your home safe from water damage from the inside is also critical. For professional water damage repair or mold removal service, contact your local SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby office. 502.241.6861

Why Is Your Carpet Flooded?

8/11/2017 (Permalink)

Why is Your Carpet Flooded?

In some cases, the cause of a flooded carpet is obvious, such as a house flood or water dripping from the ceiling. In other situations, it can be a challenge to determine the water’s source. Some of the most common unseen causes of a carpet flooding include broken or leaking kitchen or air conditioning equipment, damaged attic insulation, and water leaks inside the walls.

If you have a flooded carpet, dealing with the moisture as quickly as possible is the key to mitigating the water damage to your home. The longer you leave the water, the more time it has to seep into your wallboards, walls, and flooring. As moisture spreads, it can become more difficult to manage and lead to mold growth and increased property damage.

Professional water damage mitigation companies have the experience and equipment necessary for drying your carpets thoroughly and efficiently.

Flooded Carpet In Oldham, Shelby, Trimble, Henry or Spencer Counties? Call the Professionals at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak with a Mitigation Specialist. 

502.241.6861

Top 5 Myths About Water Damage

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

TOP 5 MYTHS ABOUT WATER DAMAGE AND FACTS TO BACK IT UP

 Water damage is a common problem. Most homes will have water damage at some point. There are a lot of myths about water damage.

Myth: Insurance Will not pay for Water Damage

Fact: In most cases, home insurance and renters insurance will pay for water damage. However, every company is different. Make sure that you ask your insurance provider if they will pay for water damage.

Myth: You can Take Care of Water Damage Yourself

Fact: You should always call a professional if your home has water damage. If water damage is not handled properly, then mold can develop. You may also end up spending more money in the long run if you do not get water damage repaired by a professional.

Myth: Water Removal can Wait

Fact: You do not want to wait. The longer you wait, the more likely your home is to develop mold. The water may also damage your floor and possessions.

Myth: Water Damage is not There if you Cannot see It

Fact: You may not be able to see the water damage. The water may in the ceiling or walls. A professional will be able to find the hidden water.

Myth: Water Removal is the Only Thing That is Necessary

Fact: Water removal is the first step. However, there are several other things that need to be done after all of the water is removed. The professional will have to sanitize and disinfect the area. They will also have to apply an anti-fungicide to the area in order to prevent mold from growing.

Water Damage In Your Home? Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today at 502.241.6861

   

Commercial Air Duct Cleaning: 7 Reasons Why It's Worth It

8/9/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Air Duct Cleaning: 7 Reasons Why It’s Worth It.

You know your investment in commercial property upkeep always pays off with a dependable ROI. You solve problems while they’re still small, head off repair costs and maintain warranties on expensive equipment. It’s a smart way to spend tight budget dollars.

Building owners and managers often overlook the potential returns from investing in this kind of service. The benefits of air duct cleaning at your Oldham/Shelby County property add up in both dollars saved and business benefits banked.

7 Smart Ways Commercial Air Duct Cleaning Pays Off

Here at SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby, we’re sometimes asked, “How often should ducts be cleaned?” The answer depends on several factors including your building’s age, size and usage. However, most commercial properties share a common problem: air-tight construction.

This design holds down heating and cooling costs, but it ups the number of potential indoor air quality problems. An investment in commercial air duct cleaning counters many of these issues and pays off with smart benefits.

1. Consistent, Comfortable Temperatures

 Commercial air ducts and vents don’t affect indoor temperatures by themselves, but their performance impacts interior comfot throughout your building. Employees can’t do their best in areas that stay too warm. Customers aren’t inspired to conduct business in chilly draft zones.

Ductwork assessment and commercial vent cleaning keep HVAC networks in top condition. Equipment holds up to temperature and humidity changes, and that helps provide consistent comfort year-round.

2. Better Indoor Air Quality

HVAC systems generate a humid environment inside ductwork that creates a breeding ground for mold. Left untreated, the fungal growth reproduces by releasing airborne spores. As contaminants circulate through ducts and vents, they fill every room in your building with unpleasant odors.

Stale, musty smells aren’t good for employee morale, and poor indoor air quality makes a bad impression on your customers. With regular vent and duct cleaning, interiors always greet everyone with fresh air that doesn’t require opening the nearest window.

3. Indoor Environment

Mold, mildew and pest contaminants are obvious, but your property’s ductwork also houses a wide range of invisible pollutants. Microbial Contamination can range from insect- and rodent-generated bacteria to threatening pathogens and allergens.

Certified technicians use special equipment to clear and treat ductwork so that you’re assured of a cleaner indoor environment throughout the building.

4. Less Organic Contamination

Your HVAC’s ductwork serves as a highway system for insects and rodents scurrying behind walls and above ceilings. Our technicians often encounter multiple layers of debris inside ducts and vents. The organic contamination includes residue from mites, cockroaches, spiders and nematodes.

Exterminators control pest problems, but they can’t address the result of pest invasions inside vents and ducts. It takes professional cleaning by highly trained specialists to safely remove and dispose of organic contamination.

5. A Cleaner Workplace

Anytime you make a job easier instead of harder, you’re getting ahead in business. Apply that attitude to keeping the workplace clean, and then think about how dirty ductwork comes into play. If you notice that a good dusting doesn’t last, the culprits are probably right overhead.

Dirty vents and ducts distribute airborne particulates that settle on sales counters, office desks and computer equipment. Clean ductwork moves fresh air through your building without contributing to housekeeping duties. That saves time and money whether you clean with an all-employee crew or use a professional service.

6. Longer HVAC Life Expectancy

Picture heating and cooling components generating and moving countless cubic feet of air 24/7. Imagine how difficult it is to push that kind of load through a network compromised by material failures. Dirty ductwork is prone to the kind of wear that puts a strain on HVAC equipment.

Without proper maintenance, duct material degrades quickly. Tears and holes lead to leaks, and that makes the entire system work harder. Keeping ducts and vents clean extends your HVAC equipment’s mechanical life.

7. Improved System Performance

Clean vents and ducts allow motors, blowers and exchangers do their jobs efficiently. Your entire HVAC system runs more smoothly minimizing equipment wear-and-tear. Everything operates at peak efficiency, and that helps hold down heating and cooling costs.

Commercial duct cleaning doesn’t solve all mechanical issues, but it does improve overall system performance. Fewer problems mean fewer breakdowns, repairs and expensive replacements. An investment in duct and vent cleaning reduces both energy consumption and HVAC maintenance costs.

Call SERVPRO Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer today to schedule a Duct Cleaning Estimate for your Business!

502.241.6861 

Commercial Fire Damage

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage

When a fire damages your commercial property, every day that your doors are closed costs you money. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby understands that time is money. Our certified technicians work quickly and efficiently to restore your property so you can get back to business.

Where There Is Fire There Is Smoke

When the contents of your business are effected by fire the damage is visually noticeable. On the other hand, smoke and soot harder to detect. Smoke can find its way into hidden places causing damage you are unable to see. Our professionals will make sure all smoke and soot damage is removed from your property.

Trust the Professionals at SERVPRO Oldham/Shelby

Even the smallest fire can cause extensive damage. Large or small, our professionals will remove all signs of fire damage from your commercial property. Our trained and experienced professionals will work around the clock so that you and your employees can get back to work as soon as possible.

Our professionals know how to take care of fire damage and what decisions need to be made to minimize your loss. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby will save you time, money and the headache when it comes to dealing with fire damage.

Don’t let fire damage get the best of you and your business! Our professionals are available 24 hours a day so you can relax and regain peace of mind knowing that your business is in the best of hands.

Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today! We guarantee that you will be satisfied with our fire damage cleanup and repair work.

502.241.6861

What NOT to do after a Commercial Water Damage

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

Here's what NOT to do after commercial water damage:

  1. Do not enter a room with standing water in it until all electricity has been turned off.
    • Live wires touching water can electrify the water, making standing water in the room very dangerous. Make sure all electricity is disconnected or off prior to entering a room with standing water.
  2. Do not use a regular household vacuum to remove water.
    • Regular household vacuum's are not meant to handle large volumes of water. Sucking up standing water with a household vacuum will definitely break it and potentially cause it to short circuit.
  3. Do not attempt to lift tacked down carpet without professional help.
    • Wet carpet is very heavy. Not only could you hurt yourself trying to remove damp carpet but carpet also contains a variety of tacks that can hurt you if you are not trained in pulling it up correctly.
  4. Do not use electrical appliances when carpet or flooring is still wet.
    • Exposure to water can cause electrical appliances to short circuit or fail. Since they are not manufactured to be "water proof", water can easily get into vunerable areas in the appliances and greatly increase your chance of electrocution or fire.
  5. Do not touch or disturb any visible mold.
    • Mold spreads very easily. Make sure you call a mold damage specialist to handle the cleanup and removal of mold so as to not cause harm to yourself or your employees.

While most of the water has dried out from recent flooding, we want you to keep these points in mind so you can be water damage smart the next time heavy rains come around! 

Commercial Water Damage? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby at 502.241.6861

Protect Yourself From Commercial Water Damage

8/3/2017 (Permalink)

Protect Your Business From Commercial Water Damage

Your family depends on your business. So do your employees, as well as your customers and community. So the thought of commercial water damage caused by extreme weather or plumbing failure is scary. A little planning and a few precautions will help you breathe a little easier.

Commercial Water Damage Tip: Think it Through

Start by asking yourself, “What if?”

That’s a powerful question when it comes to reducing commercial water damage risk. For instance, what if a water main bursts and floods your office? This always leads to more questions, such as how will you ensure the safety of your employees and customers? Or how will you prevent or eliminate business disruptions that might result in cash flow problems? How will you communicate with employees during emergencies or periods of disruption (say, when a pipe bursts and requires the main power to be shut off during repairs)? Make notes of your answers to all your questions, because organizing this information is the basis for the next key step in preventing and minimizing commercial water damage: making a plan. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby can help you do just that.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile 

 As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby/Trimble/Henry/Spencer today to set up an appointment for your READY profile. 502.241.6861

What Causes Mold In Your Home

8/2/2017 (Permalink)

Mold is an important part of nature, helping with the decomposition of organic matter and the recycling of nutrients in ecosystems. While outdoor mold is essential, mold growing indoors presents health hazards and can cause property damage. Molds reproduce by means of tiny airborne spores that travel virtually anywhere, even in our homes.

Even though there are traces of mold spores indoors, they need the right “ingredients” to produce mold. Unfortunately, the conditions for mold growth are found in most homes: a food source (such as drywall, carpet, and wood), warmth, darkness, enough time to grow, and most importantly, moisture. Since moisture is an essential factor in mold growth, here are the common culprits that cause elevated moisture in homes:

  • Flooding can bring in a huge amount of water into your home, causing severe water damage and possibly mold growth within 24-48 hours. Calling a professional restoration company immediately after the disaster is your best chance of mitigating water damage and preventing mold growth.
  • Increased humidity can occur in homes in many ways — humid weather, continuous rain, cooking, showering, etc. To help prevent mold growth in your home, make sure your house is well-ventilated and keep the humidity below 55 percent.
  • Insufficient ventilation leads to increased humidity, and thus, to mold growth and other problems like indoor pollution. Make sure to open doors and/or windows when practical and to use fans as needed.
  • Leaking pipes are a common problem in homes and must be fixed immediately. Oftentimes, leaks are hidden from view, such as inside walls, so make sure to inspect walls for water stains regularly.
  • Roof leaks are also a way for water to seep into your home and cause mold. If you see water stains on the ceiling, check for water damage in the attic and have your roof inspected and fixed as soon as possible.
  • Condensation occurs when warm moisture-laden air comes in contact with cold surfaces. Condensation can be visible on walls, windows, concrete floors or metal pipes. Reduce condensation by adjusting the humidity in your home.
  • Basements provide excellent conditions for mold growth due to poor ventilation, cooler temperatures (that promote condensation), and frequent water leaks and flooding. 

Mold can also grow in various unexpected areas in the home, which can make mold removal more difficult.  

Mold Damage In Your Home Or Business? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby also serving Trimble, Henry, Spencer. 502.241.6861

Water Damage And Your Oldham/Shelby Property

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

WATER DAMAGE AND YOUR OLDHAM/SHELBY COUNTY RENTAL PROPERTY

One of the quickest ways for you to start losing money on your Oldham/Shelby County rental property is water damage that has previously occurred or water damage that will occur. Both scenarios can get expensive and out of your control before you know it. There are some really good tips to prevent future water damage and some good tips on addressing and fixing damage that may already be in your property.

One of the best things you can do to proactively avoid future water damage to a rental property of yours is by routinely checking the water valves around the toilet and sink areas. Our local water is “hard” on pipes and valves. Over time that water can start causing corrosion and calcium build up around supply lines to our toilets and sinks and left unchecked those pipes can get bad enough to where they eventually burst potentially flooding out the entire property. If routinely checked and replaced when they start looking questionable that can save you thousands of dollars in future damages.

There are times when the pipe hasn’t necessarily burst yet but it has been leaking and that can be just as expensive if left alone. Some signs of water damage can be laminate flooring that has started to buckle, or slabs in your cabinets around your kitchen sink that have begun to sag or even mold growth or discoloration around the drywall of the toilet. If you are seeing any of these signs of water damage it will be in your best interest to call a professional restoration company that you trust such as SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby to come out and properly address the damages and remediate them before the integrity of your property is in question or even worse, before you risk the health of your trusted and faithful tenants.

Water Damage In Your Oldham/Shelby rental property? Call us today to speak to a Mitigation specialist. 502.241.6861

HVAC Fire Hazards and Prevention

8/1/2017 (Permalink)

The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system, more commonly known as an HVAC system, is a wonderful piece of technology that helps you stay comfortable regardless of the weather outside. Like any electrical device, it can pose a fire hazard if not maintained properly. Most HVAC fire hazards are preventable with proper care and attention.

The Top HVAC Fire Hazards

HVAC systems are usually in a back room of the basement, outside behind the house, or in the attic – three places that are easy for homeowners to forget about.

Regardless of the season, HVAC fire hazards are present at any time of the year. Fortunately, many of these risks are preventable.

The Top HVAC Fire Hazards:

  • HVAC parts are old, corroded, or broken: This problem often stems from an HVAC unit that is not regularly serviced. Problems with essential parts can lead to decreased efficiency and also lead to potential fire hazards.
  • Items are stored too close to the HVAC unit: The HVAC unit itself produces a considerable amount of heat. Storing combustible items such as boxes, paper, motor oil, and chemicals too close to the unit creates a high-risk environment for a fire.
  • Problems with connections or gas pressure: Problems with connections in a gas furnace can lead to toxic gas being released into the home, leading to both health and fire hazards.
  • The HVAC unit has an electrical problem: Whether the unit has a loose cord connection, a frayed cord, an old cord that overheats, or another issue, electrical problems with HVAC units can easily spark furnace fires.
  • A fuel line is leaking: This can be a harder problem to spot since many fuel lines are located inside or behind the unit. Yearly inspections can help catch old, at-risk fuel lines before they start leaking and posing a major fire hazard.
  • Improper installation: When an HVAC unit is installed improperly, it can lead to many problems such as reduced air flow and efficiently, and increased costs. Improper installation can also cause serious problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards.

If you notice the smell of gas in the basement, evacuate the home and call your service technician immediately.

What You Can Do to Prevent HVAC Fires

Taking steps to prevent HVAC fires is the best way to avoid an emergency situation. In addition, these steps can save you a lot of long-term hassle and cost.

Tips for Preventing HVAC Fires:

  1. Schedule HVAC maintenance at least once a year. Not only is a yearly inspection a good way to ensure that every part is in serviceable condition, you can maintain optimal efficiency for energy savings.
  2. Don’t attempt DIY HVAC maintenance.Always hire a professional, certified technician to perform any repairs or tune-ups on your HVAC unit. DIY repairs can lead to accidental problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning or increased risk of fire hazards.
  3. Ensure that the area is properly ventilated. HVAC systems produce carbon monoxide, a toxic, invisible, odorless gas. Without proper ventilation, this gas can collect in the home and become extremely hazardous to occupants.
  4. Be aware of what you store near your HVAC unit. It is advised to keep all items at least 3 feet away from the unit. Much like portable heaters and other appliances, HVAC units can get extremely hot and cause flammable items to combust. Storing items too close to heating equipment is one of the primary causes of home fires.
  5. Replace the filters on your HVAC at least twice a year, if applicable. Set a routine that is easy to remember, such as once during the spring and again during the fall. Not only will a filter improve the air quality in your home, it will help ensure proper airflow and reduce overheating.
  6. If you have an outdoor HVAC unit and keep it covered during certain seasons, make sure to remove the cover prior to the first use of the season.An obstructed airflow can cause overheating and pose a fire hazard.
  7. Install a carbon monoxide detector near the HVAC unit. Evacuate the home and call your HVAC technician if the alarm goes off.

Now that you know the top HVAC fire hazards and how to prevent them, you can take steps to keep your family safe year-round.

Fire Damage In Your Home? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Contents Cleaning For Companies

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Disasters can happen every day. As prepared as you might be for a natural or man made disaster, the effects of fire, smoke, and flooding can severely damage a building and its contents. The damage caused to your furniture, electronics, and artwork will typically require a professional grade cleaning and disinfection process. That’s why we are proud to provide contents cleaning services. These services will help restore any of your building’s contents that may have been affected by natural disaster, including your electronics, furniture, artwork, and more. Our services will help you minimize downtime so you can reopen your doors and get back to business quickly. 

Our staff is specially trained and committed in handling these situations quickly, effectively, and with great precision. We will treat your building’s contents with great care and concern as if they were our own. You can count on SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby to get the job done discreetly and as quickly as possible, helping you to get back to what you do best as soon as possible.  Call us today to speak to Contents Cleaning Professional. 502.241.6861

How DoesThe Hot Water Extraction Process Work

7/27/2017 (Permalink)

How Does The Hot Water Extraction Process Work

There are several techniques and methods to clean water damaged carpets. To ensure that a carpet is cleaned correctly, the process must be thorough and can take up to a couple of days, including the drying time. Although it may seem counter intuitive, sometimes the best way to clean water damage is to use more water. One of the most common methods to clean water damaged carpets is hot water extraction.

What is Hot Water Extraction?

Carpet fibers are usually densely woven, providing a comfortable walking surface when dry. These same fibers absorb a considerable amount of water when wet. Water damaged carpets need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried, otherwise residual moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, structural damage, and lingering odors.

Hot water extraction is one of the most effective methods to clean water damaged carpets and restore them back to their original condition. This process utilizes extremely hot water, detergent, and a specialized brush and vacuum system to simultaneously deep clean and extract impurities from the carpet.

Hot water extraction can usually be done in a day, depending on the extent of the damage and whether a second treatment is needed.

The hot water extraction process:

  1. Carpet preconditioning: A high alkaline detergent is applied to the carpet surface.
  2. Agitation: A brush or other specialized equipment is used to help the detergent penetrate the carpet surface for thorough cleaning.
  3. Dwell time: The detergent must be given time to work for optimal cleaning; the duration varies depending on the type of detergent used.
  4. Cleaning: A specialized machine performs two actions at nearly the same time. First, a hot water and brush combination scrubs the carpet to loosen ground-in dirt and soil. The hot water sanitizes the carpet while the brush extracts deep stains and dirt. Then, a vacuum removes stains, moisture, dirt, and detergent. This step may be repeated several times depending on how dirty the carpet is.
  5. Drying: Despite how powerful the hot water extraction vacuums are, not all moisture can be removed from the carpet. Floor dryers, dehumidifiers, and standing fans are used to circulate the air and accelerate the drying process.

You may have heard of the term ‘steam cleaning’ before. In fact, ‘steam cleaning’ is a misnomer, and refers to the hot water extraction process. The terms are often used interchangeably.

Whether you call it steam cleaning or hot water extraction, the hot water extraction takes some time and patience, but can be very effective in cleaning and restoring water damaged carpets.

When Carpets Can’t Be Saved

Although the hot water extraction process is useful for most carpets, some carpets simply cannot be saved and must be discarded following water damage. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Exposure to raw sewage
  • Exposure to black water
  • Damage to the subfloor
  • Structural damage below the carpet

Carpets which have been heavily soiled or exposed to sewage must be replaced, since bacteria and other pathogens may be present. 

Can you DIY Clean Water Damaged Carpets?

If you are DIY enthusiast, you may be wondering if you can steam clean carpets yourself. The answer is that it depends.

DIY carpet cleaning can often be used to solve minor water damage to carpets. Rental steam cleaners are less powerful than commercial units. In addition, many of these machines do not have internal heating elements. Some may call for you to add separately heated water.

Professional carpet cleaners usually have truck-mounted hot water extraction units. These units are very powerful and heat water throughout the process. Professional carpet cleaning is recommended for severe and extensive water damage.

If not dealt with as quickly as possible, carpet water damage can lead to expensive problems such as structural damage, mold and mildew growth throughout the building, and more. It only takes a few hours before water damage begins to have long-term effects.

If you have a water damaged carpet following a leak or a flood, call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby. Our technicians are on-call 24/7 to respond to late-night emergencies. 502.241.6861

Should I Install A Home Fire Sprinkler System?

7/24/2017 (Permalink)

Should I Install A Home Fire Sprinkler System?

A home fire sprinkler system is not required in most residential builds, nor are they very common even though they can save lives and minimize fire damage to a property. It is a personal decision whether or not you install one in your own home. Here, we look at the benefits of installing a home fire sprinkler system, as well as dispel some fire sprinkler myths.

Why Install a Home Fire Sprinkler System?

A home fire sprinkler system is the first line of defense against home fires. Their sole purpose is to contain and extinguish a fire before it spreads and gets out of fire. Installing a sprinkler system in your home is one of the best ways to protect your family and your property from unexpected blazes.

All fire sprinklers trigger based on heat. Once the sensor built in to the sprinkler head reaches a certain temperature, it triggers and showers the area with water.

Home Value, Insurance, and Taxes

Fire sprinklers are so common in offices and public spaces that you may not even think about it. Many new apartments even have fire sprinkler systems. This raises the question: why aren’t fire sprinklers common in homes?

Cost is a big factor in most cases. A home fire sprinkler system is a long-term investment. In addition to the initial installation, there are several other financial impacts to take into consideration.

  • Home fire sprinkler systems may affect insurance premiums, depending on your carrier. Check with your insurance company to find out their policies and rates before you set an installation date.
  • Your home taxes may change, depending on where you live. Check with your local government to learn how much your taxes could change.
  • Your home value may change. If you are considering installing a home fire sprinkler system, or if you are in the market for a home which already comes installed with one, speak with your realtor for the most up-to-date market advice.

If you’re only planning to be in a house for a few years, then it may not be the right choice for you. But if you intend to keep your home for many years, the added level of safety may be worthwhile.

Aren’t Smoke Alarms Enough?

Smoke alarms are a great first alert system – as long as batteries are installed and kept up-to-date. However, they only alert you to the presence of a fire. They do not stop fires before they have spread, or do anything to put the fire out before you or your family are in danger.

Depending on how quickly the fire spreads, you may or may not have time to evacuate the home. It is important for you to have a home evacuation plan which accounts for blocked exits and upper floor rooms.

Aren’t Home Sprinklers a Giant Accident Waiting to Happen?

Although fire sprinklers are great for preventing home fires from harming your family or your property, you may be worried that the same system could lead to water damage in your home.

Your home is full of water pipes, and the pipes used in home sprinklers are no different. In fact, they are usually installed in the same areas that the rest of your pipes are contained. This means that during the winter, you’re already going to be keeping an eye on any problem areas to prevent frozen pipes, and won’t have to do any additional work.

Fire sprinkler water pipes are held to the same build standards as the rest of your home plumbing system. That said, they will need added inspections throughout the year to monitor aging pipes, weak spots, and prevent ruptures and leaks.

You may also be worried that a sprinkler head might trigger accidentally, or worse, without a reason at all. Sprinkler head failures are incredibly rare, with instances of 1 in 1000.

Won’t Fire Sprinklers Ruin My Home When Triggered?

Unlike what you see in Hollywood, a fire in one room does not trigger all of the fire sprinklers in the house. Fire sprinklers are designed to respond only in the area the fire is located. This design minimizes damage to the home by using water only on the affected area. You don’t have to worry about a flood of water throughout the house!

In fact, fire sprinklers are very efficient. They use considerably fewer gallons of water per minute than fire hoses, averaging at 13 – 18 gallons per minute versus 250 gallons per minute.

The Bottom Line

In the end, whether or not a home fire sprinkler system is right for you is a personal choice, and you’ll need to weigh all factors during consideration. If your home experiences fire or water damage, remember that SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby is here and ready to help restore your home back to its original condition.

How To Prevent Mold Crawlspace Mold

7/21/2017 (Permalink)

How to Prevent Crawl Space Mold

Crawl spaces are prone to mold growth due to the high levels of moisture and humidity in these areas. Some of the most common causes of increased levels of humidity in the crawl space include water leaks, damaged insulation, and inadequate ventilation. To get rid of a mold problem in the crawl space, you have to control the moisture and humidity levels. Here are some tips to help you do so:
  • Check for water leaks in the foundation walls and crawl space ceiling — make sure there are no cracks that allow water to leak inside the crawl space. While checking for cracks, be sure to also inspect the HVAC ducts and plumbing components for leaks.
  • Ensure that the gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation. Water that flows toward your house could enter your crawl space and basement.
  • Make sure your crawl space is properly ventilated — for every 150 square feet of crawl space area, there should be 1 square foot of ventilation. However, consult a professional to determine if you should keep the crawl space vents closed and, if so, find other ways to control the humidity in the crawl space.
  • Use plastic sheeting covers to insulate/encapsulate the crawl space floor and foundation walls. Vapor barriers like plastic sheeting covers trap the moisture that is evaporating from the soil and walls.
  • If your crawl space is already insulated, inspect the insulation once or twice a year. Make sure the insulation is not missing or sagging, which indicates that there could be a water problem.
  • Make sure dryer vents always discharge to the outside and not into the crawl space, attic or other area of the house. If they don’t, this can lead to a major increase in humidity.

Follow the above tips and the relative humidity in your crawl space should reach the desired level of 30 to 50 percent. Mold will easily grow if the humidity is above 70 percent.  For Mold Remediation and Water Damage repair, contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby.

 

Here's Why You Should Clean Your Dryer Vents

7/20/2017 (Permalink)

HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD CLEAN YOUR COMMERCIAL DRYER VENTS!

   

When it comes to commercial dryer vent cleaning, fire safety should be your most important concern. Commercial dryers are routinely over-taxed to support extensive washing, and plugged vents (with highly flammable lint) in commercial, industrial and institutional facilities are extremely vulnerable to fires.

There is a substantial number of property damages, injuries, and deaths annually that are the direct result of dryer vent fires. There are approximately 15,000 structure fires, hundreds of injuries, and more than a dozen deaths reported each year due to dryer vent fires.  Amazingly, half of all commercial dryer vent fires start from within the lint trap.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states there are an average of 3,700 structure fires at hotel or motel properties annually, causing $127 million in damage. Of those fires, 9% are clothes dryer and washer related. And, the statistical percentages grow in industrial and manufacturing properties along with other commercial environments.

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), clothes dryer fires account for over $100 million in losses annually. Further, dryer fires involving commercial dryer vents have a 78% higher injury rate than residential dryer fires.

Highly flammable lint getting caught in the dryer duct and becoming heated to the point of ignition, cause the majority of commercial dryer vent fires.  Commercial dryers come with lint traps or filters, designed to capture the lint, yet only 70% of the lint is typically collected. The remainder sticks to the duct work and piping. Lint and other debris builds up over time so it is not ever safe to assume that emptying the filter regularly is enough to protect your property from a dryer vent fire.

Commercial Dryer Vent Cleaning:

  • allows laundered items dry more quickly and evenly.
  • can save your company money on monthly energy costs.
  • enables the dryer to perform properly.
  • creates peace of mind by eliminating a potential fire hazard.
  • limits mold, mildew and other bacteria in your dryer vent ductwork.

Some signs you need commercial dryer vent cleaning:

  • there’s an accumulation of lint or debris on the external vent
  • the dryer is hot to the touch indicating it is overheating
  • it takes more than one drying cycle to dry one load
  • the laundered items smell “musty” after being in the dryer

Be aware of these import facts:

A clogged commercial dryer causes reduced airflow, and then they are forced to work harder. This causes the air travelling through the ductwork and vents to get hotter and doesn’t dry effectively, leading to:

  • Higher energy consumption
  • Reduction in the lifespan of your appliance
  • Accelerated thermostat and internal sensor failure
  • Potential for lint to ignite as the heated air moves slower and temperature intensifies

Fire Damage In Your Commercial Or Residential Property? Contact SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby today to speak to a Mitigation Specialist. 502.241.6861

Tobacco Smoke: Helpful Hints On Mitigating Damage

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

Does your home reek of tobacco smoke? Here are tips on how to remove the odor

It’s one thing to bring home smoke odor on your clothes and in your hair after a night of partying, but when that smell invades your home thanks to inconsiderate guests and their furtive smoking breaks, you must act quickly once they’re gone. Unfortunately, that smoky odor will permeate the fabrics in your home and will hold onto that odor, leaving you to smell it for days and weeks later.

You may not be able to easily remove all of the fabric from your home – particularly furniture, like a large sofa – but it’s very important to move all fabric items to an area unaffected by smoke, no matter how inconvenient. These items can include any decorative pillows, bedding, blankets, and especially curtains and drapes. If you have a washing machine that can handle large loads you should be able to run all of these items through a cold wash cycle with two (2) cups of vinegar added to the load.

Be sure to not use high heat to dry these items. The heat appears to reactivate the smoky smell, setting it permanently into the fabric. Instead, use a low heat or fluff cycle; if you can, line dry the items in the sun, which will be even more effective in removing the odor. And any light breeze along with the sunshine will be a bonus.

If you have a large, bulky item like a comforter, you may need to take it to your local dry cleaner. Put all of the smelly items into a trash bag and bring them to the cleaners; be sure to inform them that you require help in removing smoke odor. They can then use all of the professional techniques in their arsenal to banish the smoky smell. You may also want to include delicate items like curtains and window treatments. Window treatments can be expensive, so you don’t want to risk ruining them in your washing machine.

Once all of the items are washed and rid of the smoke odor, you don’t want to start the process all over again by returning them to a smoky home. Instead, put all of those clean items into fresh trash bags and store them in your garage or other area unaffected by smoky odor. You can return these items to their rightful locations once you have removed the odor from the home itself.

Remember that time is of the essence and these steps must be completed rather quickly. If you do one step without doing the others, the odor will simply redistribute itself around the home. If multiple rooms are affected, you’ll have to work on one room at a time. Once a room has been cleared of smoke, be sure to seal off the clean room as best you can. You don’t want smoky odor traveling to other areas – particularly an area you’ve just cleaned.

If you ever need help removing tobacco odors from the home, or need help mitigating a fire damage be sure to contact us as soon as possible. Dealing with carcinogens is never something that should be shrugged off as not a big deal. SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby prides itself on being a qualified and honest home restoration company.

 

Water Damage Starts Working Immediately to Destroy Your Home

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Starts Working Immediately to Destroy Your Home What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you arrive home and are shocked to find a flood? If you imagine yourself calling your mother, your insurance agent and maybe the neighbor to find out whether she has damage, we’d like to re-align your priorities. “Water damage grows exponentially worse” Water damage grows exponentially worse, the longer you wait to call SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby.  Within a matter of hours, the damage spreads its muggy little tentacles.Mold & mildew get a foothold in your carpets, furnishings and inside the wall water damage  Mold removalStanding water breeds microorganisms that cause rot odor grows more noxious and permanentdrywall is soaked, warped and rendered uselesswood swells and becomes malformedmetal tarnishes and rusts. At this point, insurance claims start to rise astronomically and the chances of recouping full value drop dramatically. And that’s just the beginning of this horror story. Water damage is real!, within a day or two, fungi appears, showing up as green or black mold or some especially creative-shaped mushrooms. Adhesives lose their grip on your ceramic tile. Wallpaper peels. Wooden door casings swell up. Floors buckle. Fabrics are stained beyond preservation. Papers must be discarded. Paint peels. Electronic components fail. The occupants are at risk from air-borne and water-borne contaminants. At SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby, we have seen this timeline unfold time and time again and have made a profession out of mediating water damages to homes. That’s why we feel a sense of urgency when a homeowner calls to report a water-damaged home or business. For most people, this is their first go-round with the horror. They are confused and don’t know where to turn. Should you call your brother and ask if he’s ever seen such a mess? Call your friend who owns a swimming pool service? We are perfectly sincere when we say, No! SERVPRO of Oldham/Shelby should be your first call. Even if the water entering your home was clean (from a broken water intake pipe, for instance), it quickly turns into a cesspool. Stagnant water is a prime breeding site for organisms that cause disease and damage. Water-soaked material