Cleaning Your Belongings After a Fire
Kitchen fire in Hazel Park, MI.
Content Cleaning Guidelines
The fire trucks have left and the fire marshall says your home is safe again, but a strong, smoky odor remains. Will you have to get rid of everything? How much dry-cleaning, wall-scrubbing and airing out is it going to take to get your life back to normal? Here are some content cleaning guidelines to help you get started.
Dry-cleaning is often the best choice for getting smoke-damaged clothing clean, but there are alternatives. Easy-care clothes with a light smoke smell can be washed using your normal laundry detergent and a tablespoon of vanilla. Stronger smells and soot may need to be washed with a mixture of trisodium phosphate and chlorine bleach. (Note that trisodium phosphate is caustic and must be used with caution.)
Upholstery and Carpet
Removing odors and soot from upholstery and carpet may require a dry-cleaning step followed by a wet-cleaning step. Talk to a professional in Hazel Park, MI, to determine what process will work best for your situation.
Items made of metal, glass, rubber, plastic and ceramic can be cleaned effectively using ultrasonic machines. These machines use high-frequency sound waves to remove smoke particles from your possessions.
Walls and Ceilings
If your walls and ceilings are blackened from the fire, you may want to consider using temporary content storage for your moveable possessions so that you can focus on cleaning the structure itself. As with carpet and upholstery, it may take several steps to get things satisfactorily clean. These steps may include scrubbing with detergent, scrubbing with trisodium phosphate and, sometimes, applying fresh primer and paint.
Cleaning your home after a fire takes a lot of time and work, but it can be done. Tackle cleaning projects such as dry-cleaning and carpet shampooing one at a time. Get help from friends, family and restoration professionals. And rest assured that your life will indeed return to normal soon.
Can I Just Wait for Mold to Die?
Mold can be found anywhere.
Because mold is a living organism like any other, you may hope that if you wait long enough the mold will die off on its own and leave you mold-free with a clean, un-infested home. Yet mold, particularly black mold, is far more pernicious than you think, and if you want to rid your Royal Oak, MI home of mold you need to understand why the waiting game is one you’ll always lose.
Mold Is Everywhere
Just because you can’t see mold doesn’t mean it’s not there. Even if you don’t have mold growing on a single surface in your home, the air is still riddled with spores just looking for the right conditions to take root. Yet it’s likely that if you had a mold problem once, you’ll have it again, and even once your home is dry you’ll still find mold cropping up in places like:
- Dark, damp corners in bathrooms, storage rooms, and basements
- Drywall and the interiors of walls
- Underneath linoleum and vinyl flooring
- In wooden flooring, doorframes, and window frames
- In your furniture and curtains
- In and behind wallpaper
Even if it’s not prominent, you may still have mold hidden somewhere within your home. Watch for signs of black mold, including creeping, fuzzy growths.
You Won’t Fix Your Problem if You Don’t Address the Source
Mold cleanup isn’t enough if you don’t address that you likely have a moisture problem. Moisture is the root of all issues with black mold, whether it’s from flooding, from an overly humid environment, or from leaky roofs, windows, and appliances. Hiring a mold remediation specialist may help you track down the source of your moisture issue, and take steps to eliminate it and fully dry out your house. Mold remediation is primarily about prevention. Remove the conditions in which mold thrives, and remove the threat of another mold outbreak from your home.
Protect Your Home From the Flood With These Preparation Tips
Keep your gutters and drains clean.
Flood Prevention Tips
If you live in an area prone to flooding, you need to take measures to protect your home from flood damage. Though prevention measures require time and monetary investment on your part, they will be well worth it when you can spare your home from significant and costly damage. There are several flood prevention tips you can implement:
- Know your risk
- Clean your gutters and drains
- Invest in storm windows and doors
- Secure hazardous items
- Check up on your insurance policy
Preparation Is the Key to Prevention
If you live in a flood-prone area, the worst thing you can do for your home and your wallet is to enter storm season ill-prepared. If you are not sure whether you live in a flood zone, visit your local Madison Heights, MI, council and request flood records. Talk with your homeowners’ insurance provider about your risks. If your home is in an area with a high flooding risk, your insurance agent should help you select a strong policy.
Once you’ve assessed your risk, it’s time to implement preparation measures. Clean out your gutters and make sure they’re all in good condition. Check your drains to ensure they’re clear of debris. Install storm windows and doors to keep storm damage limited to the outdoors. By investing in such preparation measures, you can prevent significant damage and, as a result, negate the need for costly repairs.
Develop an Emergency Plan
While your home is important, your safety is even more so. In addition to securing hazardous items in the home, devise a plan for escape if necessary. Have a disaster bag packed and ready to go when you are, a tank full of gas, and a safe place to go in case your home becomes compromised. The safety of your home means nothing if you are not safe in it. For more tips on how to prepare for storm season and the flooding that comes with it, read the NFPA Journal.
3 Steps To Take Before Mold Remediation Specialists Arrive
By shutting off the airflow and the water supply, you can help keep the problem contained.
When your home floods, the subsequent water damage can lead to black mold growth if not remedied fairly quickly. If you notice that mold has already started to grow, the remediation specialists in Warren, MI, will need to fix not only the water damage but also the mold problem. Before they arrive for water and mold cleanup, however, there are three steps you need to take.
1. Turn Water Off
One thing your situation does not need is more water flow to the area. Unless you know specifically where the leak is coming from, you should just turn the water off for that whole section of your home. You may not be able to undo the damage that has already occurred, but you can prevent further damage by cutting water off at the source.
2. Close Doors and Windows
The first instinct of many homeowners when they have a moisture problem is to open up all the windows and doors and get airflow going through the house. If you have a black mold problem, however, this increased airflow just spreads the problem. You may start with mold in one room but it may grow into the hallway and surrounding areas.
3. Turn Off HVAC System
Likewise, your HVAC system can also contribute to the distribution of mold spores throughout the house. When mold is actually growing in a particular area, the concentration of spores in the air is higher. You want to keep that mold concentration contained as much as possible. Shut air intake vents and turn the system off to prevent an epidemic of mold growth through your entire home.
Mold cleanup is generally a job for professionals, but you can make their job easier by keeping the black mold from spreading into other areas of your home. By shutting off the airflow and the water supply, you can help keep the problem contained.
Cleaning Under Your Home After a Flood: Is It Necessary?
Let our team help you restore your home.
After a home flood, all most homeowners can think about is cleaning up and restoring the inside of their homes. Most never give a second thought to beneath their homes. Yet, some experts suggest that the failure to clean under a home after a flood could lead to mold, structural issues, and costly damage. Some areas of your home to which you should pay attention during flood cleanup include the following:
Your attention to these areas could prevent costly damage and headaches down the road.
Cleaning Your Basement
Even if your basement isn't an HGTV-worthy one, it's still a part of your home and therefore needs to be cleaned thoroughly after a home flood. If your basement is bare, it won't take your Warren, MI, restoration company very long to dry out the area, wipe down the surfaces and clean the air. However, if your basement is used as a storage area or an extension of your living space, cleanup efforts will be much more comprehensive.
Cleaning Your Crawlspace
Whether your crawlspace is indoors or out, you should check it for storm damage. If you discover wet materials, direct your restoration team to beneath your home and let them work magic. Again, depending on what your crawlspace is used for, restoration efforts could take mere hours, or it could take days.
Cleaning Your Cellar
Cellars are usually bare, but some contain canned and jarred foods and excess supplies. Unfortunately, if your cellar was contaminated by floodwater, you should dispose of all food – airtight or not. If you eat contaminated food or use contaminated supplies, you could become sick. Unfortunately, the best thing you can do for your health and the health of your loved ones is to dispose of the food and restock your collection (after you disinfect all surfaces of the cellar).
If you're dealing with a home flood, reach out to your Warren, MI, restoration company regarding tips on how to clean beneath your home. Let them help you restore your home.
How to Be Proactive about Plumbing Issues in Your Commercial Business
Plumbing problems pose a significant concern for most business owners because of the expense and potential recovery time.
A broken pipe or cracked water main can be significant plumbing problems for business owners; however, while the plumbing issues can be detrimental for a property, the level of stress and pressure on the business owner can also present risks. It is better to manage property effectively and properly to minimize the chances of one of these major catastrophes.
1. Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is one of the most important things a building owner can do to protect their property, the tenants, and employees. Preventative maintenance refers to the routine inspection of plumbing, sprinklers, pumps, and drains. While the inspection schedule for any of these items may vary, you may want to aim for at least one full-scale inspection per year.
2. Fix Minor Issues Before They Become Major Ones
While performing preventative maintenance is a wonderful prevention tool, it means nothing if issues are discovered and not addressed. The whole point in performing inspections is to find and resolve issues while they are still small, as opposed to waiting until the issue manifests into plumbing problems that can temporarily close down the business. Fixing these minor issues before they become major ones is just good business sense.
3. Find Backup You Can Count On
As being proactive about plumbing issues involves routine maintenance, it may be in your best interest to find a plumbing specialist in the Hazel Park, MI, area that you can rely on and trust. You may want to speak with several companies and individuals before deciding because, as you will likely be doing business together for years to come, you want to feel comfortable in your decision.
Plumbing problems pose a significant concern for most business owners because of the expense and potential recovery time; however, if owners can commit to performing annual inspections and fixing small issues before they become substantial issues, then they may not have to spend too much time worrying about their potential risk.
How To Protect a Commercial Roof
One way you can properly maintain your roof is to make SERVPRO observe it.
How To Keep A Commercial Roof Safe
As far as roof maintenance is concerned, a proactive approach is always smarter than a reactive one. Part of caring for your business property is to maintain it. Without proper maintenance, the building may start to fall apart, and you could end up spending more money on repairs than you would have on the upkeep. Keeping up with commercial roofs helps to avoid leaks and damage.
Remove Debris From Roof
Wind and water damage sometimes go together. One of the best tips you will find is to make sure that your roof remains clear of debris. You may not think much of the tree branch blown onto the roof during the storm or the leaves that build up in the fall. However, all debris can hold on to water. This can lead to significant water damage. Ensuring the roof is clear is an easy way to avoid roof damage and a roof leak.
Clear Gutters and Drains
Your gutters are a necessary component to your building. These are what ensure water does not build up. When water gets beneath your shingles, it can begin to seep into the structure. Not only will this cause damage to the ceiling and roof itself, but it can also cause more damage to the interior of your business.
Have a Roof Assessment
One way you can properly maintain your roof is to have a professional team observe it. You should have it assessed regularly, especially when there is a natural disaster or large storm. Make sure you take care of any sign of a roof leak right away.
The longevity of your roof depends on maintenance. When you own a commercial property, the time and money spent on repairs is much more than the general upkeep might have cost you to begin with. Taking care of your business in Royal Oak, MI, often means that you stay proactive.
The Mold Is Dried Out – Will It Go Away on Its Own?
SERVPRO can help you properly take care of black mold to help you make sure you don't have a recurring problem.
Will The Mold Go Away on Its Own Now That It's Dried Up?
A recent moisture problem in your Hazel Park, MI, home left you with unwelcome mold growth. You were quick to act and removed any standing water as quickly as possible. You also took the time to run dehumidifiers and fans to ensure your home's humidity returned to and remained at an acceptable level. With all of this work, is there really anything else you have to do? Won't the black mold simply die without the moisture it needs to thrive?
Unfortunately, this particular fungus is hardy and needs only the following to grow:
With these four staples, mold can survive almost anywhere.
Dried-Out Mold Becomes Inactive
It is true that dried-out mold stops growing actively. Spores need moisture to multiply, so removing excess moisture can help you stop the spread of mold. However, any growth you have will stay exactly where it is. It does not dry up and vanish without a trace.
Dried-Out Mold Can Become Active
Once you have managed to remove excess moisture from the black mold, your worries are not over. If any sort of water, such as high humidity or a pipe leak, makes it to the fungus, you may have a reactivated patch of mold. This means it will start producing spores again at a normal pace and potentially spread to other parts of your home.
Dried-Out Mold Needs To Be Removed
The final step in the mold cleanup process should be the physical removal of the fungus. Without this step, you run the risk of encouraging mold growth in the future. Even inactive mold may send out occasional spores. If any of those land on a wet surface, the growth will kick into overdrive. To actually remove the fungus, you must clean nonporous surfaces that were contaminated and throw away porous materials.
Just because the moisture is gone doesn't mean the mold is. A residential mold remediation team can help you properly take care of black mold to help you make sure you don't have a recurring problem.
Steps To Take Immediately After a Pipe Burst
You can call SERVPRO for cleanup assistance in water damage in your home.
What To Do If A Pipe Bursts Right Away
A majority of water damage claims stem from bursting pipes, a problem that can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t act fast. From structural damage to damage to personal property, and from bacterial infection to mold growth, a broken pipe can wreak havoc on both your home’s health and your own health. To minimize damage, there are a few steps you need to take as soon as you discover the broken pipe:
- Shut off your main water valve
- Contact your Madison Heights, MI, water restoration team
- Call a plumber to fix the broken pipe
- Reach out to your insurance agency
Call Your Water Restoration Team
First and foremost, turn off your home’s main water valve to prevent any more water from seeping into your home. Once you’ve done that, reach out to your local water damage restoration team for cleanup assistance. Not only will your local team have the tools necessary to dry out and clean up areas affected by the bursting pipes, but they can advise you on what needs to be done to prevent mold growth and bacteria buildup. If mold growth is already present, the team can provide mold remediation services in addition to flood damage control.
Bring In a Plumber
Once the area has been cleaned up, refrain from turning your home’s water back on until you’ve had a plumber fix the broken pipe. Turning the water on before repairing the pipe may result in another flood fiasco occurring all over again.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve received quotes from your Madison Heights, MI, flood restoration team and plumber, contact your insurance agency about coverage. If the damage was sudden and unforeseeable, you may be covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy. Unfortunately, however, if you had knowledge of a leak beforehand, the damage may not be covered. This is something you want to know beforehand so that you can plan accordingly.
Bursting pipes can cause significant damage, but if you act fast, you can minimize that damage and keep costs down. Take these measures to start your cleanup and restoration efforts.
5 Ways Furnace Maintenance Can Make Your Home Safer
As furnaces age, they may accumulate faults. Faulty wires and poor shut-off mechanisms can make your home more dangerous.
Make Your Home Safer Through Furnace Maintenance
As a homeowner in Warren, MI you have the worst-case scenario on your mind. After all, if a storm damages your roof or a fire burns your kitchen, you are the one who has to call in a restoration team to deal with the aftermath. Taking preventative measures can help you avoid smoke or fire cleaning. Even something like normal furnace maintenance can help make your house safer.
1. Make Sure It Works: The first thing regular maintenance does is ensure your furnace will work when you need it to. Going through the winter without a working heating device can leave you and your family stranded in a cold situation.
2. Reduce Buildup: Furnace filters help keep the air in your home clean. If these filters aren't cleaned regularly, the gunk in them could cause the furnace to overheat. An overheating furnace could lead to a fire. Regularly replacing your furnace filter can actually reduce the need for fire cleaning.
3. Fix Faults: As furnaces age, they may accumulate faults. Faulty wires and poor shut-off mechanisms can make your home more dangerous. Faulty wires can easily cause sparks that lead to smoky fires and the need for a major smoke cleaning in your house.
4. Contain Gas: If your unit uses gas to heat the home, you have to worry about the gas filling your house. However, proper maintenance looks at the gas lines to ensure everything is hooked up properly. When you have this inspection done annually, it's easy for you to be aware of a potential problem.
5. Protect Fuses: Some older furnaces may cause a circuit in your house to trip. If you have a professional look at the equipment regularly, you will know when it is no longer functioning on the electrical system.
If you don't want to hire a professional to perform smoke or fire cleaning, you need to do what you can to prevent a fire from breaking out in your house. Regular furnace maintenance is one thing you should always do to keep your home safe.