First Steps After Disaster Strikes Your Business
What would happen if you pulled into work this morning only to find that you can't get into your building due to some type of disaster? Fire, Water, Crime Scene. How do you let your employees know about the situation? How do you take care of your customers? Who do you call? What do you do?
Did you know that 50% of all businesses that do not have a Emergency Ready Program in place, NEVER reopen after a disaster? Does your business have one? Are you prepared?
Luckily, SERVPRO of North Madison County offers this service to businesses in Huntsville, Madison, and surrounding communities. The best part, is it is absolutely FREE of charge, and there are NO obligations to ever use SERVPRO of North Madison County! The Emergency Ready Program or ERP, takes very little time to complete.
We capture the vital data needed in time of crisis and disaster, and put it all together for you. No matter where you are in the world, you can rest assured if your business has a disaster, you are prepared!
Contact us today for more information!
Puffback: Causes and Prevention Tips
A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. It can happen all at once, covering the interior in grimy soot, or it can leak soot more gradually.
Initially, many people mistake soot for dust and simply wipe it away. However, once cleaned, this “dust” often reappears and can sometimes be accompanied by a strong, oily odor. There are several steps your clients can take to prevent damage to their home. Remind them to:
- Have the oil-burning furnace professionally checked and cleaned annually.
- Keep an eye out for traces of soot around their home.
- Install a carbon monoxide monitor. Puffbacks (and the soot they create) will increase the carbon monoxide levels in their home. A carbon monoxide monitor can help to detect the puffback in its early stages.
If soot begins accumulating on objects or walls within their home, they should turn off the heating system immediately. Contact a heating professional to service the heater and restore it to proper working order.
Fortunately, if your client does experience a puffback, SERVPRO has the knowledge and experience to complete a thorough cleaning and removal of any soot and odors.
What To Expect During Mold Remediation
There are several phases in the mold remediation process. The following list does not include mold testing, which is the precursor to mold remediation. If testing reveals the presence of any type of mold in your home, including black mold, you should retain the services of a certified remediation company.
1. Containment: The first step to handling mold is to determine how much mold is present and contain the problem to avoid mold from spreading during cleanup. Mold should be removed by experts who adhere to industry best practices.
2. Personal Protection: The next step to handling a mold problem is determining whether the remediation process will pose a threat to any residents in the household with weak or compromised immune systems including very young children or elderly people.
3. Tear Out: Only experts trained in industry best practices are qualified to safely tear out mold infested building materials such as drywall or insulation. This is particularly the case when black mold is involved.
4. Cleaning and Disinfection: Once the worst of the mold has been removed, remediation experts will clean and disinfect the affected area of a home.
5. Drying and Restoration: The most critical phase in remediation is preventing a mold problem from returning. It is important to keep affected areas dry and even run a dehumidifier to prevent moisture from collecting. Once the moisture problem has been handled, the area is ready to be restored to pre-damage condition.
If you discover mold in your home or suspect that non-visible mold is present, you should contact remediation specialists based in Huntsville or Madison to schedule mold testing. Once you determine whether you are dealing with black mold or another type of mold and the extent of the growth, you will be better prepared to make the best choices to eliminate the presence of mold in your home.
Tips for Fire Safety
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, an early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!
Top Tips for Fire Safety
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- Have a designated outside meeting place.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
And after you’ve done all you can, executed your fire safety plan and the fire is put out, remember that SERVPRO is dedicated to responding immediately, day or night, to your home or business. A faster response helps to prevent secondary damage and to reduce cost.
For more tips from the American Red Cross, visit <http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire>
Cleaning Up Water Damage After A Commercial Fire
Two popular downtown Huntsville businesses sustained heavy water damage after a fire. They turned to SERVPRO of North Madison County for help.
If you're dealing with a fire to your Huntsville business, chances are you've sustained significant water damage as well. Pipes or water heaters may have burst, and most likely more than one fire hose was used to extinguish the blaze. Carpets and upholstery are probably saturated, and there's a looming threat of mold if the situation isn't taken care of right away. You'll need to call a professional fire restoration company as soon as possible to see to the water and fire damage. They will do the necessary emergency cleanup right away to make sure that further problems don't occur.
The restoration company will follow these steps:
• Damage inspection
• Water removal
• Drying and dehumidification
• Cleanup and sanitization
• Damage repair
Before any kind of fire damage cleanup can begin, the restoration company needs to know where exactly the damage is and how severe it is. They will carefully inspect every part of the damaged structure before any water is removed.
To make sure that no further damage is sustained, any standing water needs to be removed as soon as possible. The restoration company will use industrial-strength pumps and vacuums to eliminate as much moisture as possible. At this point, air movers and dehumidifiers are brought in to purge any remaining moisture.
Cleanup and Sanitization
The next essential step is to make sure that no microbes or mold remain to pose a health threat. Any items that can be saved, such as furniture or office equipment, will be sanitized using a variety of specialized cleaning and disinfecting techniques.
When all the moisture is removed, and all surfaces have been cleaned and sanitized, the final phase of repair and restoration will start. The actual process can vary, from carpet replacement and drywall repair to large reconstruction jobs.
It's an unpleasant fact, but if you've had fire damage your place of business, you're almost always going to have to deal with water damage as well. But with the help of a reputable restoration company, you'll be able to quickly get your business back on track.
When Fire Damage to Your Home Needs Reconstruction
SERVPRO responded to this emergency fire and handled the demolition, mitigation, and construction needs for this customer from start to finish!
Our SERVPRO Team Works Hard to Make the Fire Damage Cleanup Process as Easy as Possible for You and Your Family!
There is no easy way to contend with a fire to your Huntsville home. For many people who have experienced this disaster, the effect on the structure of your home can be overwhelming to see. When it comes to restoring the damages to your home and to reconstruct the weakened portions of your residence following the fire, professional restoration services are more than just highly recommended.
Your home might show its fire damage in several different ways, but the most pressing of any of these issues are the ones that threaten the structural integrity of your home. These issues must be resolved before any of the other problems from the fire, as these make your home unsafe to live in. Fortunately, our SERVPRO technicians get trained in all aspects of fire restoration for houses, including preparation techniques for reconstruction.
The entire process begins with a thorough inspection completed by our experienced SERVPRO professionals. This inspection determines the farthest reaches of the damage from the fire, our approach to restoring the damage from the fire that trouble you and your family, and lastly to assess what areas of your home must get reconstructed or rebuilt to have the structural integrity it once had.
While no one wants to hear that parts of their home must get rebuilt to be safe to live in, our technicians work to make this process as fast and simple as possible for you. Our team utilizes our training in controlled demolition to remove the highly damaged portions of your home and ready these areas for new materials.
It is never an easy thing to deal with the effects of a fire, especially when reconstruction is a requirement, but SERVPRO of North Madison County can make this process as easy as it can be. We can restore all of the damage to your home and reconstruct the areas with the worst damage. Our emergency response team is available anytime you need us by calling (256) 261-3266.
Click here for information on the Florence Fire Department.
How You Can Help Hurricane Florence Victims
Hurricane Florence is likely to cause significant flooding and wind destruction in the Carolinas and Virginia. There is also high risk of inland flooding in NC, SC and VA due to Hurricane Florence slowly moving through the weekend. Over 3 feet of rain is possible in some locations.
In addition to the 90 local Franchises in the Hurricane Florence affected areas, SERVPRO also has a national network of over 1,700 Franchises across the country. Franchises like ours are preparing to send crews to help with cleanup efforts.
Here are some facts that show the power of this monster of a hurricane:
- The tropical storm-force winds stretch more than 335 miles, which is far enough to reach from New York to nearly Toronto.
- The hurricane-force winds extend 80 miles from the center of the storm and cover more than 15,000 square miles, an area larger than Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
- The size of the hurricane-force winds has doubled over the past 48 hours despite the top wind speed weakening from 130 mph to 105 mph.
- Rainfall could reach 40 inches in isolated locations of coastal North Carolina. For comparison, Washington, D.C., averages 40 inches of rain in an entire year.
- Wilmington, North Carolina, has already had its rainiest year to date and could get eight months' worth of rain in the next three days. The rainfall would shatter all-time records for the region.
As the rest of the country watches the East Coast prep for Hurricane Florence, you may be wondering if there's anything you can do to help.
You Can Help By Making a Donation Today!
The American Red Cross is working around the clock along the East Coast to help the thousands of people whose lives have been affected by Hurricane Florence.
Click HERE to make a donation.
How to Help Hurricane Victims
SERVPRO of North Madison County is joining SERVPRO franchises around the country to help Hurricane Florence victims cleanup after the storm.
When disaster strikes, people come together to help. To make the most of your contributions, consider these tips from FEMA for donating and volunteering responsibly:
How to Donate Successfully:
1. Provide a financial contribution to a voluntary organization involved in disaster activities.
2. Find out what services state government is providing via Website or state donations hotline.
3. Do not begin collecting, packing or shipping until or unless you have a known recipient to accept it.
How to Volunteer Successfully:
1. Get training before the next disaster.
2. Connect and affiliate with a voluntary organization.
3. Consider volunteering for the long-term community recovery.
4. Check with your local Volunteer Center for volunteer opportunities in your own community ( 1-800-Volunteer).
5. Plan to be as self-sufficient as possible (go to www.ready.gov for assistance in developing your plan).
For more information, click here.
Are You (Accidentally) Helping Mold Grow in Your Home?
Inspect your windows for mold if you typically have condensation.
Mold is truly one of the villains of homeownership. However, it rarely appears for no reason, and can sometimes be the result of human error. There are even some bad habits or common mistakes which can contribute to the growth of mold in homes. If you want to know what mistakes to avoid to help protect your home from mold, read on.
Forgetting To Ventilate Bathrooms
Many people favor hot showers and luxuriate in a bathroom full of steam. While this is enjoyable, constantly trapping that amount of moisture in your bathroom can be contributing to the growth of mold. An unventilated bathroom causes humidity to build up, which over time leads to mold. In order to relieve some of this humidity, open a window or a door. You can also install a ventilation fan to keep the steam from causing problems.
Forgetting To Use Exhaust Fans In The Kitchen
When you run the dishwasher or cook a meal, smoke and moisture can accumulate in your home’s air. When you forget to use the exhaust fan entirely or use an improperly working one, you are creating an environment where mold can feed and thrive off of kitchen moisture.
Repeatedly Turning Off The Heat During The Winter
While many thrifty homeowners turn off the heat while they are away to keep their heating bill as low as possible, this can actually cause unforeseen problems, such as mold growth. Leaving the heater off while you are away can actually cause condensation to form inside of your walls. This can lead to mold growing inside your home’s insulation. It is critical to keep your heat on a low temperature while you are away and on an automated setting so it can curb mold growth.
Ignoring Window Condensation Year Round
During the spring and winter, if you notice condensation building up on the windows of your home, it is important not to ignore it. While many people do, this is a telltale sign that the moisture in your home is too high, and could lead to problems including mold. When you notice this sign, purchase a dehumidifier to eliminate moisture.
Protect Your Madison Home from Rain Water Damage
Want to prevent moisture and mold from damaging your home? One way to help prevent water damage is to inspect your rain gutters.
Make sure the gutters on your home are in good order and will flow water efficiently. Clear them of debris when needed and check them twice a year if you have nearby trees.
Divert rain water at least 10 feet from the foundation of your home. Buried piping can work very well and doesn't look out of place even on the most manicured yard.
Don't be afraid to put on your raincoat and inspect your downspouts and the flow of your gutters in the rain! Leaks or poorly implemented systems should show leaking water pretty quickly during a soaking rain.