Commercial Fire Damage: When smoke, soot, and water come together
When shocked owners and employees survey the mess after a fire guts their workplace, it’s tempting to immediately start looking through the house for salvageable things. It’s probably not such a good idea to go trampling through a space that has fire damage: the soot, water and char that have spread throughout the fire scene and across building contents are hazardous to life. The fire has been quenched, but threats to health and safety continue long afterward the fire has been put out. Burn residue from natural materials like wood and cotton are certainly not healthy, but the plastics, nylons, polyurethanes and computer materials found in businesses today can harm human health and the environment far more seriously. When combusted, these newer materials form chemicals like hydrogen cyanide, halogens and formaldehyde that spread across the fire scene and beyond, thanks to the heat, wind and convection of the fire process; chemical risks multiply exponentially if the location contained industrial products. Water applied to fight the flames mixes all these chemicals with the smoke and soot to create a dangerous semi liquid fluid that soaks into the structure’s remaining materials and often runs into surrounding areas.
If you have suffered a commercial fire damage DO NOT take it upon yourself to do anything call in professionals and let them do all the work. Call your local SERVPRO at (662)-287-7881 with all your commercial fire needs “We Will Make it Look Like it Never Even Happened!”
Preventing and What Causes a Commercial Water Damage
Your family depends on your business. So, do your employees, as well as your customers and community. So, the thought of commercial water damage caused by extreme weather, plumbing issue or anything else can be scary. But you don’t have to be scared. A little planning and a few precautions will help you be ready if that time of disaster comes.
Even though there are a tremendous amount of reasons that cause commercial water damage here is just a few:
1. Sprinkler system malfunction - Sprinkler systems are a must for businesses because it helps protect the building in fire emergencies, offering the first line of defense when smoke is detected. However, when the sprinkler system is outdated and showing signs of wear and tear, the sprinklers can malfunction and cause water damage to everything inside the building. Sprinkler system malfunctions can drench and ruin company equipment, inventory, and other valuable things.
Sprinkler system malfunction - Sprinkler systems are a must for businesses because it helps protect the building in fire emergencies, offering the first line of defense when smoke is detected. However, when the sprinkler system is outdated and showing signs of wear and tear, the sprinklers can malfunction and cause water damage to everything inside the building. Sprinkler system malfunctions can drench and ruin company equipment, inventory, and other valuable assets.
2. Burst pipes – There are many reasons why pipes can burst and cause water damage. One reason would be during the winter months there will be extremely cold days and that can freeze the water in the pipes and that is what will cause them to burst. Since water expands as it freezes, this expansion can crack and break the pipes that water flows through. Pipes can also burst when they are not regularly maintained.
3. Sewage System Clogged– Another possible reason for commercial water damage is toilets and sewer systems getting clogged. Toilets and sewer lines can get clogged extremely easily and when a sewer line is clogged, flooding can occur anytime someone flushes a toilet or pours anything down a sink.
4. Roof Leak– When the roof is not regularly checked and maintained, it can suffer damage from exposure from the changes of the weather. Even if you are just experiencing a rainstorm, when your roof has a leak, it can damage the inside of your building.
So, in other words you need to check and maintain your commercial space in order to keep a water damage from happening.
If you have suffered a commercial water damage call your local SERVPRO at (662)-287-7881. We are always here to help!
Commercial Mold Remediation
A mold problem can present a serious health risk for people exposed at your commercial property. Mold infestations can be caused by minor water invasion, like a leak from the roof or a plumbing issue. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity.
Commercial Mold Remediation Challenges
Mold can spread quickly through a property if not treated properly. SERVPRO can respond quickly, working to first contain the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Next, we will begin the remediation process, working safely and effectively to manage the situation. We have the trained, experienced, and equipped professionals that know how to contain the mold infestation and re-mediate it to the before loss condition.
Mold can present serious health risks if not treated immediately upon finding it everyone that comes into the commercial property will be at risk. Mold can cause different symptoms similar to a cold: itchy eyes, watery eyes, sneezing, and other serious symptoms.
If your commercial property has suffered from a mold infestation please call your local SERVPRO of Corinth/Iuka at (662)-287-7881. We will be more than welcome to help you with all your needs!
Mold Prevention in the Garage
Mold thrives in humid environments that have little ventilation and sunlight. If these conditions are met, it doesn’t take long for mold to grow on organic material like cardboard or drywall. Garages are typically havens for mold, unless homeowners take proper steps to reduce moisture. Here’s how you can keep mold from infesting your garage.
- Check your garage for leaks. Inspect the areas in your garage, such as the roof, floor, gutters, and pipes, to ensure that they are in good condition. Fix any cracks and damage you find immediately.
- Seal and insulate your garage door. To weather-proof your garage, it’s important to properly seal and insulate your garage door. Replace torn, ragged or crumbling weather stripping immediately. In addition, check the bottom seal for elasticity, shrinkage, and wear. As for insulation, a pre-insulated garage door panel has a much higher R-value (the measure of how well an object resists conductive flow of heat).
- Decrease humidity. Since garages can attract a lot of moisture due to being exposed more to the elements, it may have a high humidity (over 50%) that allows mold to grow. To control humidity levels, provide proper ventilation using vents and fans, and let sunlight in for a couple of hours daily. Also, use a dehumidifier to lower the moisture level.
- Install waterproof walls. If you’re building a new garage or remodeling an old one, choose mold- resistant drywall, as well as waterproof paint on walls and concrete. Alternatively, use pre-coated aluminum or vinyl siding for better protection against water and mold.
- Remove standing water. Pooling water in garages may come from various sources, such as outside precipitation, snow-covered tires, or even washing your car. Remove any standing water with a squeegee or mop and dry the area quickly to prevent mold growth.
- Have proper drainage. A garage floor drainage system is essential to avoiding water damage and flooding in the garage. Make sure your garage has drainage in addition to a proper floor slope that diverts water away from your garage.
- Extend gutter downspouts. Gutters and downspouts are your home and garage’s first line of defense against precipitation. To prevent moisture buildup around your garage, ensure your downspouts extend at least 10 feet away from the garage foundation. Also, keep the gutters clean and well-maintained throughout the year.
- Use waterproof containers. Water, and thus mold, is attracted to cardboard, paper, drywall, and other porous materials. To help avoid mold in your garage, use sturdy, plastic totes instead of cardboard storage boxes. Plastic provides better protection to contents and is not a source of mold food.
- Reduce plant growth around your garage. Shrubs or plants may look nice, but they collect moisture and may cause leaks in your garage. So keep them at a safe distance away from your garage walls and windows.
Mold will have a harder time growing when there’s less moisture in the garage. Follow these tips to keep mold at bay and enjoy a healthier home. For flood water damage repair and mold remediation services, contact your local SERVPRO office at (662)-287-7881
Removing Mold Stains from Clothes and Fabric
Damp clothes or fabrics can easily be infested with mold if they’re not dried in time. If you’re in this situation, there’s hope! You can still save your moldy garments if the mold has only left a few spots. Here are a few general tips to remove mold from clothes and fabric.
- Read the labels. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions about the suggested water temperature for washing and how the clothing items should be dried.
- Scrub off the mold stain. Apply a mold stain remover, such as household soap, white vinegar or bleach, and use a toothbrush to brush off the surface mold. Be gentle and try not to damage the fabric in the process.
- Pre-soak the fabric. Since mold stains are hard to remove, you should also pre-soak your stained garment before washing it. Saturate it for one hour in a commercial pre-soak product or in a bucket of water with one cup of white vinegar.
- Wash your clothes in hot water. Besides being effective at removing bacteria and allergens, hot water also kills mold spores better. Of course, don’t surpass the maximum recommended water temperature to wash your clothing. If you have materials that can’t be washed, take them to the dry cleaner.
- Use a mold killing solution in the washer:
- Vinegar – Add one or two cups of vinegar per cycle along with normal detergent to kill any moldy smells and brighten your white fabrics.
- Borax – You can also use borax in a regular washing cycle, but only with organic fabrics like cotton and linen. Dissolve half a cup of borax in hot water and add it into the machine once it has filled with water.
- Bleach – This substance can kill mold in fabrics but it can fade colors. So make sure to spot-test first and read the label. Some labels say “no chlorine bleach”. Once you know your clothes won’t be damaged, wash them with normal detergent and one cup of bleach.
- After washing your clothes, hang-dry them in the sun. Sunlight has a natural bleaching effect and also helps to kill mold spores in the fabric. Avoid using the clothes dryer as heat from this machine can make spots visible and difficult to remove.
- If mold stains persist even though you followed the above steps, repeat the whole process. Alternatively, dye your garment a darker color – this may cover the stain for good.
Mold can also grow on other textile items in your home, such as upholstery and carpet. However, dealing with mold on these items – IF they can be salvaged – is a more difficult and time-consuming job. Call SERVPRO at (662)-287-7811 to properly remove mold on upholstery, mattresses, rugs, and carpet.
Holiday Lights Safety Tips
There’s something magical about lights during the holiday season … but also something dangerous. Holiday lighting poses a real fire risk if not used safely. So before you deck the halls, be sure to check out these holiday lights safety tips:
- Use only Christmas tree lights that are rated for indoor use and tested for safety. Check for the label of an independent testing laboratory like Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL).
- If you have a metallic Christmas tree, never put electric lights on it to avoid the risk of electric shock.
- Before using lights, check each set of lights for worn or broken cords, broken or cracked sockets, and loose bulb connections. Replace damaged lights.
- Connect no more than three standard-size sets of lights into an extension cord. Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords, instead plug lights into different circuits around your home.
- Don’t fasten colored spotlights onto metallic trees. Use them above or beside your tree to prevent tree branches from becoming charged with electricity from faulty lights.
- Turn off the all Christmas lights and decorations when going to bed or leaving home.
- Keep pets safe by protecting electric cords and tree lights so that they can’t chew them and get electrocuted.
- Make sure outdoor lights are rated for exterior use by an independent testing laboratory. Exterior lights and extension cords used outdoors need to be weather-resistant.
- Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage. However, don’t attach light strings with nails or staples as these can cut through the wire insulation and start a fire. Use only UL-approved hangers.
- Take exterior lights down within 90 days to prevent hazards from weather damage or critters chewing on them.
- Store lights safely after taking them down. Tangled lights can lead to damaged cords and broken sockets. They’re also a pain to untangle! Wrap the strings around a piece of cardboard, cover them in paper or fabric, and then store in a sturdy container until next year.
- Never use real candles to decorate a tree. Use battery-operated, flameless LED candles instead.
- If you do use real candles, follow these candle fire safety guidelines:
- Use only non-flammable candle holders.
- Place candles where they can’t be knocked down or blown over.
- Keep candles away from any flammable objects like decorations or drapes.
- Never burn candles near trees or greenery.
- Always keep burning candles within your sight.
- Extinguish all candles before going to bed, leaving the room or leaving your home.
Call your local SERVPRO at (662)-287-7881.
How to Prepare Your Home for Fall and Winter Months
When cold weather arrives, you dust off your warm shoes and jackets, and turn the heat up in your home. But have you thought about getting your home ready for the cold season? Here’s a fall and winter home maintenance checklist every homeowner should follow:
- Get Your Heating System Serviced – Before cranking up the heat, hire a technician to inspect your furnace and heat pump. This ensures your heating system works at the recommended efficiency and that carbon monoxide leaks are prevented.
- Reverse Ceiling Fans – Since heat rises, turning your ceiling fans in reverse could help heat up your rooms. This might allow you to turn down your thermostat by one or two degrees and save energy.
- Clean the Gutters – Doing this task regularly prevents water from leaking on your home, causing damage. When temperatures drop below freezing point, having clean gutters also helps prevent ice dams. Ensure that gutters and downspouts aren’t worn or damaged.
- Divert Water Away from Your Home’s Foundation – While you’re checking the downspouts, make sure they divert water at least three to four feet away from the foundation. If they don’t, add extensions to downspouts.
- Prevent Ice Dams – Ice dams on your roof is a sign that your attic is not properly insulated. Your attic must be cool to prevent snow on the roof from melting, which causes ice dams. Make sure your attic has enough ventilation and there aren’t air leaks that heat up your attic.
- Inspect Your Roof – Carefully look for missing, loose or damaged shingles. Better do it now before it starts snowing to avoid leaks and water damage when snow thaws.
- Seal Windows and Doors – Moisture and cold air can get inside your walls through gaps around windows, door frames, and where pipes enter your house. Caulk up the gaps that are bigger than the width of a nickel.
- Turn off Exterior Faucets and Sprinklers – The water in outdoor pipes can freeze and cause the pipes to burst as the ice in them expands. To prevent that, disconnect garden hoses and drain all the water in exterior pipes. Alternatively, replace exterior faucets with freeze-proof faucets.
- Drain Your Sprinkler System – Buried irrigation lines can also freeze, leading to burst pipes and damage to sprinkler heads. To best drain the sprinkler system, hire an irrigation technician to blow out the systems pipes with compressed air.
- Mulch Leaves – Instead of raking the leaves on your lawn, mulch them. The resulting compost provides nourishment to your lawn. Also, when stowing your mower for the winter, add stabilizer to the fuel tank to protect the engine if the tank still contains fuel.
- Inspect Your Fireplace – To ensure your fireplace is in good repair throughout the cold season, ensure the damper opens and closes properly. Look up into the flue to make sure it’s free of obstructions. Also check your firebox for damaged or missing bricks or mortar, or hire a chimney sweep to do the job.
During the cold months, it’s also important to be aware of heating safety concerns. For professional smoke remediation or fire damage repair, contact your local SERVPRO office at (662)-287-7881
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
Christmas trees are a very popular part of celebrating the holiday season. While Christmas tree fires are uncommon, the ensuing damage can be severe. Moreover, half of the reported Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical malfunctions and heat sources. Follow these tips to prevent Christmas tree fires in your home:
- If you’re using a real Christmas tree, cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk before placing in the stand. This allows the tree to better absorb water.
- Water the tree daily to make sure it stays hydrated. If your tree is about 6 feet tall, add about 1 gallon of water to the tree stand every day.
- Keep the tree at a safe distance away from any heat source, such as radiators, fireplaces, lights or candles.
- Ensure the tree is not blocking exits or footpaths, so it won’t get knocked over.
- To decorate the tree, use only lights that are rated for indoor use. Also check for the label of an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL).
- Before using lights, ensure there are no frayed wires, broken bulbs and cords, cracked sockets or loose bulb connections.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords. Plug lights into different circuits around your home.
- Turn off the Christmas lights when going to bed or leaving home.
- Never use burning candles to decorate a tree. Use battery-operated, flameless LED candles instead.
- After Christmas, or when the real tree dries out and starts dropping needles, discard it. Dry trees are a fire hazard, so don’t keep yours in the home or garage. Find a recycling program in your community.
For increased Christmas tree safety, consider purchasing a Christmas tree safety system. These devices warn you when there is low water in the tree stand or if a fire starts. Even if you use such a safety system, always make sure your smoke alarms are working and test them monthly.
Enjoy a safe holiday season by being vigilant of fire hazards in your home. For professional emergency smoke damage repair or fire damage repair, contact your local SERVPRO office at (662)-287-7881
Preventing Water Damage During Winter Months
Water can damage your home even in winter. Uninsulated water pipes can freeze and burst, and ice dams can form on your roof. Moreover, thawed snow can enter your basement, causing water damage from flooding. But don’t worry yet – here’s what you can do to prevent winter water damage in your home:
Preventing Frozen Pipes
- Insulate water pipes in unheated areas, such as the crawl space, basement, garage, attic, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbingby opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors. Move the products stored in these cabinets up, out of the reach of children and pets.
- Let cold water drip from the faucets served by exposed pipes. Running even a trickle of water through pipes helps prevent them from freezing.
- Set the thermostat to the same temperature during the day and at night. Your heating costs may rise, but you’ll prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
- If you’re leaving home for a day or more, set the thermostat to at least 55° F. Shut off the water supply and drain pipes and appliances that use water. In addition, have someone you trust check your home once per week.
Preventing Ice Dams
- Remove the snow on your roof when it’s about six inches deep. Use a roof rake or a long-handled brush to remove the snow without a ladder.
- Make sure that downspouts are clear so that melted water can drain properly.
- More long-term solutions to prevent ice dams include:
- Insulate the attic to prevent warm air from entering. Warm air can melt the snow on the roof, which refreezes, forming ice dams.
- Ensure your attic is properly ventilated. Warm air should escape through vents near the top of the attic. Cold air should flow in through vents near the eaves.
- Install a water membrane underneath the roof shingles. It helps prevent water from seeping in.
- Install a snow shield to prevent leaks. The shield goes under the shingles starting from the low edge of the roof and extending up at least three feet inside the exterior wall of the house.
- Install gutter screens to help keep out the debris that causes build-up and damage.
Other Winter Water Damage Safety Tips
- Install water leak detectors anywhere a water problem may occur, such as on sump pumps, near water-bearing fixtures, and behind or beneath pipes.
- Check water supply lines yearly for leaks. Inspect your hot water heater, washing machine, ice machine in your refrigerator, and other appliances that can leak.
- Get sewage- backup coverage, which is usually not included in your homeowner's insurance. Heavy rains and melting snow can overload your storm water system, causing water or sewage to back up into your home.
- Disconnect outdoor hoses if you aren’t using them. This prevents water from freezing in the line, creating a blockage that can cause back-flow.
- Clear snow around your home’s foundation. Melting snow and ice can cause leaks in vulnerable areas of your foundation.
For flood water damage repair and water removal services, contact your local SERVPRO office at (662)-287-7881.
How to Stay Safe during a Tornado
Most tornadoes don’t lift houses into the air. Instead, they can do heavy damage to buildings, produce flying debris, and cause injuries or worse. Each year in the U.S., there are an average of 1,000 recorded tornadoes that cause 1,500 injuries and 80 deaths. Here’s how to prepare for a tornado and how to stay safe during and after one.
- Find out your community’s tornado risk – tornadoes are most common in the Midwest and the Southeast in the U.S.
- Create a disaster preparedness plan with your family, as well as an emergency kit. Establish where to take shelter and where to meet after a disaster. Practice a tornado drill at least once a year. Be prepared to protect your pets in an emergency, too.
- Know the signs of a tornado: rotating clouds, whirling dust or debris on the ground, and a continuous loud roar.
- Know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A watch is when the conditions are right for tornadoes to form, and a warning signals the approach of an existing tornado. Stay alert for weather reports.
- Protect your home:
- Make a list of items to bring inside when a tornado is approaching.
- Prune trees and shrubs to make them more wind-resistant.
- Reduce the amount of loose items in your yard.
- Install permanent shutters on windows.
- Reinforce garage doors.
- If you’re in a house, avoid windows and go to the lowest area like the basement. If there is no basement, go to the lowest floor in a room with no windows, such as bathroom or inner hallway.
- If you’re in an office building, hospital, or high-rise building, don’t use the elevator. Take shelter on a lower level, away from windows and glass.
- Get under some form of protection like a sturdy table. Cover yourself with thick padding, such as a blanket or mattress. Crouch as low as possible facing down and cover your head with your hands.
- If you’re in a mobile home, go to a safe building immediately. Most tornadoes can wreck even a tied-down mobile home.
- If you’re in a car or outdoors, don’t try to outrun a tornado. Get out of the car and find shelter underground or in a nearby building. Don’t go under bridges or highway overpasses. If you can’t get to a safe place, protect your head with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket.
- Listen to alerting systems like NOAA Weather Radio for up-to-date emergency information and instructions.
- Make sure the storm has passed and go to a safe place. Don’t return home until local authorities say it’s safe.
- Keep listening for updated information on the disaster. Let your loved ones know you’re safe and check your family’s safety. Help those who are injured.
- If you are trapped, avoid breathing in dust by covering your mouth with a cloth or mask. Don’t shout – send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead.
- Stay away from downed wires, damaged buildings, and dangerous debris like broken glass or sharp objects.
- Don’t use matches, lighters and candles – there may be natural gas leaks nearby. Use battery-operated flashlights.
Hurricanes are also very common natural disasters you should prepare for.For emergency flood repair or mold removal services, call your local SERVPRO office at (662)-287-7881.