Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

We are the Cleaning Experts!

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

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

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

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.

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. 

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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. 

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.