Recent Posts

4 Ways a Board Up Secures Your Home After a Fire

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Board up window Secure your home after a fire

Four Techniques for Securing Your Home After a Fire

Your home in Monticello, LA, is particularly vulnerable right after a fire. The flames have likely caused structural damage to your home, and fire fighting efforts often bust down doors, crash in windows and even blast holes into your roof. Once the fire crew has departed, you are left with a home that is exposed to the elements, leaving open the possibility of further damage. A board up might be your best option to secure your home. It protects the house from multiple dangers.


1. The weather - An emergency board up makes sure a sudden rainstorm doesn't soak your home. The boards will cover openings and prevent water from entering. In some cases, the restoration crew will put a tarp over a roof to give better weather protection.


2. Criminals - A damaged home can be seen by some people as an invitation to take a look inside. They are more likely to enter a house that has easy access. A professional board up will makes things more difficult for thieves and vandals to get into your home after a fire.


3. Animals - Animals seek out shelter in homes even in the best of times. The damage from a fire allows animals such as squirrels, bats, rats and birds to take up residence in your home. These critters can even cause additional damage to your property if you do not take appropriate action after fire damage.


4. The curious - Children and even curious adults sometimes see a vacant home after a fire as a place to explore. This could create liability issues for your property. Since a home after a fire is likely to be full of hazards, you definitely do not want people roaming around inside it.
A professional fire restoration company will be experienced in securing your home after a fire. The workers will be able to install a board up safely. This will keep your home secure until the damage is fixed and your home is restored.

Smoke Damage in Commercial Buildings Usually Requires Professional Help

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

Collage of a before and after of a store damaged by fire Smoke cleanup services in Baker, LA

Fires are by nature a destructive event. Probably worse than the fire itself is the smoke damage, which will spread much further than the burn damage. A small fire in Baker, LA, can release an incredible amount of smoke, which tends to get into every nook and cranny.
If the damage is extremely isolated and there’s no soot damage, you may be able to clean it yourself. Once a sooty residue is left behind or the damage has gone beyond a single room, you’ll certainly need the best professional smoke cleaning available.

Very Small Cleanups Are Possible In-House

A tiny fire, such as something burning on a stove that’s quickly extinguished, can be handled by your employees. There are a few cleaners that will work:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Vinegar
  • Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP)
  • Bleach

The best bet is usually TSP and water. Mix 1 tablespoon of TSP into a gallon of water and wipe off the smoke damage. You can add a cup of bleach for the best smoke cleaning, but don’t use bleach on items that aren’t colorfast, such as fabrics and drywall.

Heavy Cleaning Requires Certified Cleanup Specialists
Smoke is a really nasty substance. It’s oily and acidic and the tiny particles can get places that aren’t protected, including inside electronics and appliances. It can contain toxic elements and it’ll leave stains on many surfaces. Specialized equipment and solvents are needed for significant damage.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the national organization that certifies select local restoration experts in Baker, LA. Companies that meet the standards have technicians who must attend a smoke cleanup and restoration course and pass an exam.
Soot is very sticky and can be impossible to clean without dangerous cleaning agents restricted to those who are trained to use them. Furniture and clothing can often be saved by using IICRC approved methods to remove soot damage. The more absorbent materials are, the harder they are to clean, so expert help is essential. SERVPRO eliminates smoke damage and leaves your business “Like it never even happened.”

3 Steps for Mold Remediation

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the mold walls with a spatula. Black mold and other species of fungi can damage your Baton Rouge, LA, home

Steps For Mold Remediation

When water damage to your Baton Rouge, LA, home leads to black mold growth, you may not know where to begin when it comes to cleanup efforts. Mold may spread quickly if you choose a do-it-yourself process that fails to contain spores, which may make the problem worse later on. Calling in a professional mold removal service can help resolve this issue, and there are several steps its technicians may take to do so.

1. Inspection
When a mold cleanup crew arrives at your home, the technicians will likely assess the situation by inspecting any affected areas and gauging whether the problem has spread. The techs may also take steps to identify what kind of mold they must remove. Black mold is quite common after a flood or other types of water damage, and they may seal off the area to prevent spores from spreading.

2. Removal
Because removing mold can cause spores to break free and travel through your home’s heating and cooling system, the mold technicians may use a spray called an encapsulant to trap the mold where it grows. Once the fungi are contained, the technicians will likely use specialized techniques to remove it and treat surrounding areas as well, especially if they were affected by any moisture issues.

3. Air Cleaning
A mold remediation and removal service can do more than remove the visible mold in your home, such as cleaning the air to reduce the number of mold spores. Special vacuums and air exchange machines help them to accomplish this, which reduces the risk that airborne spores will travel to another area in your home and grow there. Because mold needs only humidity and moisture to grow, it can take hold in your bathroom, kitchen or laundry room.
Black mold and other species of fungi can damage your Baton Rouge, LA, home after a flood or other water event. Knowing when to call in a professional mold removal service and understanding the steps necessary can offer you peace of mind for the future.

The Pros and Cons of Using Drain Cleaners

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration The pros and cons of using drain cleaners.

The Pros and Cons of Using Drain Cleaners

When water begins to drain slowly, it is a sign of trouble. Without some plan of action, the problem usually gets worse until you are faced with a clogged drain. It is one of the more common plumbing issues you are likely to encounter in Monticello, LA. You have a few broad options for clearing the drain:

  • Hiring a plumbing contractor
  • Using mechanical means such as a drain snake or manually clearing the pipe
  • Pouring a drain cleaner down the drain

Depending on the problem, the first option might be overkill and could cost a bit of money. The second option requires a little bit of knowledge and a few tools, but it often works fine. The third option seems quick and easy, but is it really good for your pipes and your overall plumbing system?

The Dangers of Drain Cleaners
In some circumstances, using chemicals to clear a clogged drain might be appropriate. However, they should be used sparingly and it is a good idea to be aware of their disadvantages. In some instances, especially with fats, oils, and grease (FOG), the chemicals may clear the clog only to have it move further down the plumbing, where it could cause another blockage. Harsh chemicals can also be harmful to the environment, as they end up in lakes, rivers, and streams. Also, the use of a chemical drain cleaner poses a small risk to the user, as inhaling the vapors and getting it on your skin can cause irritation.

The Benefits of Water Damage Mitigation
If a plumbing problem causes water damage to your home, the services of a water remediation company may be beneficial. Trained technicians can handle everything from a water spill caused by a clogged drain to a large sewage backup. Sewage cleaning requires special skills and equipment that most homeowners do not have. Quickly taking care of water damage, whatever its source, prevents expensive damage to your home and removes unsanitary conditions.

How Does One File a Flood Claim Safely and Accurately?

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Filling out a form Complete your flood claim as thoroughly as possible

If your house in Zachary, LA, ever becomes flooded, you need to complete your flood claim as thoroughly as possible. Taking proper stock of the damage your home has suffered means an insurer is less likely to issue a denial.

Staying Safe

When conducting your assessment, it’s crucial that you minimize danger:

Always wear protection such as respirators, knee-high boots, and rubber gloves. You never want to risk exposing yourself to mold caused by the flooding.
Beware of potential electrical damage. Use only battery-powered sources for illumination to avert a nasty shock.
As much as possible, avoid entering floodwater. It may have become contaminated with gasoline or raw sewage.
Keep an eye out for critters. Snakes or insects might have washed into your home, so beware.

Remember that remaining out of harm’s way always comes first.

Making Your Claim
First, notify your insurer to begin the flood claim process. Next, take stock of the damage. This is the most important aspect of your insurance claim, as you need proof behind every piece of observable devastation. Maintain a detailed inventory of everything and take extensive photos. Never throw anything away, just in case you need to provide evidence.
Deploy action before an adjuster gets in touch; you can significantly speed up the claims process by handling matters ahead of time. Arrange your home so the adjuster may easily view every element of destruction. Also, post your contact information in a clearly visible spot so the adjuster can get in touch if questions arise. Once you have completed a Proof of Loss and received payment, you will then be free to reach out to a home repair expert that can return your residence to its previous state, making it look "Like it never even happened."
Inventorying a flood claim can be a challenge, but keep in mind that handling the matter properly means safety as well as proper compensation for any costs you have unfortunately incurred.

What Factors Impact the Speed of Mold Growth After Water Damage?

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity Water damage can lead to mold growth if not attended quickly.

What Elements Affect the Rate of Mold Growth After Water Damage?

If your commercial building has sustained water damage of any type in Baker, LA, it's important to act as quickly as safely possible. Mold can begin to appear within 24-48 hours after the water event occurred. Since you can't possibly tackle everything at once, the important question is: does mold grow at the same rate on every surface? Knowing what factors impact the rate of mold growth will help you to establish a plan for having the mold cleaned up. Keep in mind that with so many types of mold, it's important to leave mold clean up to a trained mold removal and remediation specialist who knows how to safely assess the extent of damage that has occurred.


1. Building Material Composition
Different types of materials are more or less susceptible to rapid mold growth depending on their composition. Natural building materials provide a nutrient source that promotes the growth and spread of mold. Porous materials such as drywall and insulation can also provide food sources for mold since they trap moisture and dust.


2. Water Activity
If you've had a flood, whether due to a natural disaster or a burst pipe, it's pretty obvious that since your space has water damage, there's a good environment for mold growth. However, even high humidity levels can cause mold to grow in your building. Mold prevention in these spaces usually involves running a dehumidifier and checking for places where water may be penetrating the building, such as around windows, under doors, and around pipes.


3. Temperature
Mold will grow the most rapidly at its ideal temperature, which is about 77 degrees Fahrenheit, though certain types can still grow at temperatures as low as 19 degrees. By maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity level, you can prevent mold-friendly environments.
There are a few factors that contribute to the speed at which mold grows even after water damage has occurred. Acting quickly can help to mitigate major problems for your business.

How to Properly Dry Important Documents After Water Damage

6/26/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents Wet documents can be salvaged with the help of water damage restoration experts.

How to Dry Important Documents Properly After Water Damage

Water damage can hit businesses hard. Not only can it require repairs to the building, but also poses issues if important documents seep in moisture. Luckily, wet documents can be salvaged with the help of water damage restoration experts. Here are a few techniques the document drying process consists of in the event your Baton Rouge, LA, business be impacted by water.

1. Freezing Wet Documents
After any flooding event, locate any wet papers of value and get them to a freezer. Taking swift action here will prevent the growth of mold and stop rapid deterioration of the paper. Once you have the document frozen, restoration experts can transport them to a facility with state-of-the-art technology that allows these items to be restored to their prior condition. A specialized vaccuum-dry freezer is used to draw out any moisture from the paper, a method which is commonly used for restoring some museum archive items.

2. Gamma Irradiation
Depending on how much moisture an item retained and the contamination level of the water it had contact with, it's a possibility that molding or bacterial growth has occurred. To alleviate this, experts rely on a process known as gamma irradiation. This entails using powerful radiation to destroy any microorganisms and sterilize the item at hand.

3. Digitize Documents
With proper freezing and radiation, most items plagued by water damage can be restored. But to provide extra peace of mind, digital copies of impacted documents are often created. This gives relief to many business owners who don't have to compromise their documentation again in the event of future water or fire damage.
While it may seem that any papers that get caught in water are a lost cause, wet documents can be dried and saved. Immediate freezing helps preserve them before undergoing gamma irradiation and digitizing to complete the restoration process.

3 Steps To Take After A Sewage Backup

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

Man using sewer inspection camera Plumbers will use a specialized camera that they place into the pipes and can locate the problem in the area.

Three Steps To Take After A Sewage Backup

Whether you have a clogged main sewage pipe or your sewer system gets overwhelmed after a severe storm with significant floods, you could face a sewage backup. When that happens to your Monticello, LA, home, you need to know what to do to keep your family safe. Here are three steps to take after a sewage backup.

1. Call a Plumber To Determine Why the Sewer Backup is Happening
When you find a sewage backup in your home, you first want to call a plumber to determine why the sewer system has backed up. The plumber will use a specialized camera that they place into the pipes and can use to locate problem areas. If you have a clog, they will clear the clog at that time. If your system was overwhelmed by heavy rainwaters, you'll need your system pumped to prevent further problems.

2. Determine if the Area is Safe to Go Into
When dealing with a sewer backup, it's essential to evaluate the situation before you attempt to start cleaning up. If your problem is limited to a simple bathtub backup, you'll be fine to handle things yourself. Ensure that you use protective equipment and a bleach-water solution to clean and sanitize your bathtub. However, if the sewage spill is more widespread, always err on the side of caution and contact a water damage restoration company to clean up for you. The longer the sewage sits, the more widespread the damage will be, so contact a company as soon as possible.

3. Stop it From Happening Again
Regular maintenance of your system is vital to help prevent a sewer backup. Have a plumber scope your pipes and remove any buildups or clogs every year. If you have a septic system, ensure that you keep your gutters clean of debris to avoid flooding your drain field, which could cause your septic system to get overwhelmed.
Dealing with a sewage backup can be a stressful situation. However, following a few simple steps and relying on the pros will help you get your house back to normal in no time.

After a Flood: The Do’s and Don’ts

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Flood water in a home level of water reaches the stairs Flood damage in a home in Zachary, LA.

The Do's and Don'ts After a Flood

After a severe storm ravages Zachary, LA, safety should also come first. While you may be eager to determine the amount of damage your home has received from flood water, wind and other issues, some key things should and shouldn’t be done.

Flooded Home Do’s
If your home has sustained significant flooding, it is best to evacuate and not re-enter until it is deemed safe by the professionals. Once you have been given the go-ahead to re-enter, below are a few steps that should be taken next:

Document the damage for your insurance company. This includes taking videos and pictures, as well as retrieving important documents.
Any food, medicine or other consumables that have been touched by flood water should be discarded.
Verify that water is safe before drinking. If you are not certain, boil it beforehand.
Open doors and windows to get enhanced airflow.
Avoid using any electrical equipment that could have sustained damage.
If possible, begin extracting water and drying out affected areas.

Water Damage Don’ts
Knowing that safety is of the essence, avoid just imping in and tackling the water issues. If there is extensive water in the home, it is best to contact a certified mold, water and storm damage restoration company for an assessment and to handle the cleanup process. Stormwater often means that there are potential toxins, contaminants, microorganisms and other substances that will require specific safety gear and industrial-grade equipment. Water may also be lurking in hidden areas. Even if you think you have cleaned up a small issue, there could be mold starting to grow out of sight. When getting your home back to preloss condition is the priority, it’s best to let the experts handle the mess.
After the flood water starts to go down, it’s easy to want to rush in and start the cleaning process. Keeping safety in mind and following the above tips helps ensure the cleanup process goes safely and smoothly.

3 Tips for Fire Hazard Mitigation While Cooking

5/30/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm Smoke detectors can alert you to the danger so you can evacuate in time.

Three Tips for Preventing Fires While Cooking

According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2014 to 2018 U.S. fire departments were called to approximately 172,900 home fires connected to cooking activities. Kitchen fires are the leading cause of residential fires in the nation and can result in serious fire damage that may require the services of a professional restoration business in Baker, LA, to deal with. It is important to take safety precautions to lower the likelihood of a devastating event like a grease fire occurring. Here are three tips for doing so.

1. Keep Flammable Items/Substances Away From the Cooking Area While Cooking
If you have your stove or oven on, combustible things like wooden utensils, oven mitts, oil-coated spatulas and food wrappers can easily go up in flames, so it is important to move them out of the danger zone. Grease splatters, puddles and buildup also easily catch fire, so it is important to keep your work area clean.

2. Install the Appropriate Equipment
There are some things your home needs in case of a fire:

  • Carbon monoxide monitors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers

Having these valuable tools can help you identify and handle such situations before they become too severe, or at least alert you to the danger so you can evacuate in time.

3. Don't Leave Fires Unattended
This is one of the most important tips. You do not ever want to walk away from cooking food. If you need to take a phone call, go to the bathroom for a prolonged period of time or leave the proximity for some other reason for longer than a couple of minutes, you should turn the range or stovetop off.
These are not the only fire safety tips you should heed. However, they are important ones. Fire, and by extension cooking, is not something to be taken lightly. Because of this, it is best not to cook while tired or distracted, particularly if you are frying something or using grease.