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Why Quick Action Is Essential After a Storm

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Wet carpet floor in an office Wet carpet floor due to storm damage in Monticello, LA

How To Keep Your Building And Employees Safe After A Storm

If your building envelope is breached from a storm, it's time to spring into action. A delay in responding to leaks can cost your company thousands of dollars. Mold growth can begin to form on surfaces within 24-48 hours after water has saturated portions of your building. Even small leaks create an environment in which mold spores can spread throughout a building. Given a little bit of a head start, the fungus can grow into unsightly and damaging colonies and even enter the heating and cooling system. By calling in a local storm remediation team in Monticello, LA, your company can limit damage and keep your building safe for employees.

Additional Hazards
The presence of standing water in your facility creates a number of dangers to personnel and property in addition to mold growth. These perils also pose a danger to the well-being of your company:

  • Increased risk of electrical hazards
  • Heightened possibility of trips and falls
  • Elevated risk of harmful bacteria
  • Greater chance of structural collapse

Water from flooding can also bring in vermin and other wild animals. For this reason, the water should be removed as quickly as possible. This creates a safer environment for all. It also limits the amount of damage water can do to walls, insulation, and carpeting.

Further Concerns
The cleanup and eradication of mold growth involves a professional process that begins with the removal of excess water. The next step is to contain the mold to make certain it does not spread into other areas of the building. From there, the mold colonies can be killed by powerful yet safe cleaning agents designed to treat mold. Afterward, all impacted surfaces will be wiped down and cleaned according to the highest industry standards. The final step will be the repair and restoration of any damage to the structure of the building. In the end, your company will look "Like it never even happened."

Top 5 Residential Mold Causes

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a Baker, LA, home. Knowing the factors that cause black mold is half the battle.

There are many reasons why you might find black mold growing in your home. At the end of the day, the key factor contributing to unwanted mold growth is excessive moisture. Read on to see whether the moisture problem plaguing your home in Baker, LA, is caused by any of the following issues.

1. Flooding
Water damage caused by flooding is almost always accompanied by some form of secondary damage. The vast majority of the time, this secondary damage is unwanted mold growth. Floods can dampen your home for days or even weeks after the initial incident. Take into account the fact that it only takes about 24 hours of continuous moisture for mold to form, and that's the source of your problem.

2. Humidity
Monitoring your home's indoor humidity levels is super important when it comes to preventing black mold. Continuous rainy weather, poor ventilation, and indoor humidifiers are all contributing factors. Prevent mold growth by keeping your indoor humidity levels below 55%.

3. Condensation
Condensation and humidity seem to go hand-in-hand. When the indoor humidity levels are too high, you're likely to find condensation forming on your window panes. This can lead to unwanted mold growth on your window sills.

4. Poor Ventilation
Ventilation issues are most common in residential bathrooms. Hot showers can cause a lot of steam and condensation to build up. Add poor ventilation into the mix and this excessive moisture has no choice but to stick around and invite mold. Shower with the window cracked or the ventilation fan on to help moisture escape.

5. Leaky Pipes
Leaky pipes are a huge issue, especially since they can often go unnoticed for long periods of time. Make sure to regularly check exposed water pipes in your basement and underneath each sink so you can catch leaks early.

Knowing the factors that cause black mold is half the battle. Even if you take every necessary precaution, it's still possible to find mold growing in your home. If this is the case, make sure to contact remediation experts to assist in your mold cleanup efforts.

Tips To Protect Your Business From Water Damage

8/22/2020 (Permalink)

Insulation covers with the words COVER UP THE PIPES Insulate any exposed pipes to avoid pipes bursting due to ice

Are You Covered?

As a small business owner, you understand the value of having insurance policies to cover various types of scenarios that result in losses and damages. For example, if a company vehicle was stolen or totaled in an accident, you’d be glad for having an auto policy in place to cover your losses. Similarly, you would want to have coverage for your property and its contents in the event of water damage.
Many commercial property insurance policies might cover damage due to a pipe break, but they may not cover flooding from an extreme rainfall event or a backed-up sewer. If you experience flooding or major water or freezing damage in Zachary, LA, are you covered?

Avoiding a Business Claim
While it’s great to have coverage for unforeseeable events, you should take steps to reduce the likelihood of having to file an insurance claim. Consider following these tips:

  • Insulate any exposed pipes to avoid pipes bursting due to ice. Insulation material to wrap accessible plumbing is available at most hardware stores.
  • Keep the building temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
  • Make sure gutters, downspouts, and water collection areas are always clear.
  • Develop a plan for removing ice and snow from roofs.
  • Know where the building’s water supply valve is located and how to turn it off.
  • Seal gaps and cracks in your building’s foundation and exterior.
  • Keep non-waterproof contents out of the reach of floodwaters.

As you review your existing policies to see what kind of business claim you can make, being prepared beforehand can save you trouble, expense, and interruption to your business.

Understanding the Water Damage Cleanup Process
If you do experience water damage in your company, you should work with trained water restoration professionals to restore your property to pre-disaster conditions. Water and/or freezing issues often include structural damage, mold, corrosion, warping of walls and/or floors as well as other ruined contents. A professional cleanup service can work according to the specifics of your business claim for a speedy, full restoration.

Mold Prevention of Commercial Facilities

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Purifier next to a damaged wall from severe mold and toxic fungus growth causing the paint to peel Consider installing dehumidifiers and keeping the moisture level around 50% or less

Mold Prevention Tips

One of the major concerns for a facility manager is to keep the property clean and free of hazardous threats, like mold growth. Unfortunately, depending on the industry and the region, controlling mold can be a challenging job. However, while you can call a mold remediation company in Zachary, LA, for a property assessment, there are at least four mold prevention tips you can follow.

1. Annual inspections 2. Plumbing repairs 3. Humidity control 4. Routine maintenance

Annual Inspections
Mold requires damp spaces, so it is necessary to perform annual checks on systems and areas that are more susceptible to moisture. Make sure to assess your property's roof every change of season and after every severe storm. Also, contact a plumber to inspect the entire system, making sure all is in working order. Finally, inspect appliances to ensure that there are no leaks or issues.

Plumbing Repairs
While it can be challenging maintaining a large facility, and some things inevitably get pushed aside for more pertinent issues, do not wait on plumbing repairs, especially if you are concerned about mold prevention. A small drip from a faucet may seem like nothing today, but it may lead to a burst line later. Plumbing problems and water damage are the main contributing factors to mold growth. Make sure to repair issues as they arise, regardless of finances and schedules.

Humidity Control
If plumbing is not a problem in your building, then is humidity? Restaurants, laundrymats, and any other businesses that work in humid environments need to focus on controlling the level of moisture in the air. If you work in a humid climate, consider installing dehumidifiers and keeping the moisture level around 50% or less.

Routine Maintenance
Deferred maintenance can also lead to moisture problems and mold growth. If you have been neglecting the facility gutters or eaves, it may be time to clean them out.
Mold can be an expensive problem to recover from. Contact a local remediation company for more advice on mold prevention.

Does Your Business Need Commercial Storm Insurance?

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. Ask an insurance agent about endorsements or riders or research additional policies for more complete insurance coverage.

Commercial storm insurance can provide peace of mind to business and commercial property owners in Baker, LA. A general commercial property insurance property offsets the costs of cleaning and restoring damage caused by perils that the policy covers. Insurers may exclude some damage caused by storms, such as flooding and secondary mold damage. Find out what types of storm-related damage are covered under standard policies and learn about ways to extend coverage.

Commercial Property Policies
Property insurance for commercial structures covers most damage caused by minor or severe storms as long as a property is well-maintained. Coverage may be available for any of the following types of damage:

High winds
Structural damage

The availability of coverage for interior water damage depends entirely on the source of the water in the structure. Flooding is excluded from general property policies, as are sewer backups that occur when municipal mains flood.

Endorsements and Riders
Additional storm insurance coverage is helpful to offset the expense of cleaning and restoring any damage excluded from a primary commercial property policy. Restoring mold coverage may be helpful for a structure prone to storm or water damage. The costs of inspection, remediation and testing are excluded from most property policies.

Flood Insurance Policies
Storms can introduce water from coastal storm surges or surface water overflow to structures situated in flood zones. Obtaining flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer can significantly reduce expenses associated with cleaning and restoring storm damage.

General property insurance is necessary for any commercial building located in Baker, LA. Carefully review the terms of this policy to make sure that storm insurance is sufficient to clean and fully restore a property after a disaster and determine whether to get additional coverage. Ask an insurance agent about endorsements or riders or research additional policies for more complete insurance coverage.

How Does One File a Flood Claim Safely and Accurately?

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

registering claim for flood claim Complete your flood claim as thoroughly as possible

If your house in Baker, 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 receive 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.

Smart Ways To Control Mold Growth at Home

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Close up shot of mold. Water damage can be costly and stressful for any homeowner.

As hard as you may try, mold can show up in just about any home. When conditions are right, mold can thrive and even take over large areas of your house. This unpleasant situation can cause a lot of anxiety and frustration. There are some effective ways you can increase your protection against this fungal growth. Much of these concerns avoiding water damage and being aware of plumbing issues at home.

Regular Inspections
Older homes in Baton Rouge, LA, may be prone to water damage and other related concerns, but even newer houses aren't immune. At least once a year, you should carefully examine the following areas:

Inspect the roof for missing shingles or weak spots.
Check the rain gutters and downspouts for drainage problems.
Look for pipe leaks.
Examine appliances for leaks or other water problems.

Tune-up the Ventilation System
Mold growth occurs in areas of the home where there is high humidity. Bathrooms, the basement, the attic, and the cellar are common areas where you'll find such conditions. Good airflow is critical in these spots. Make sure the ventilation is good here. Check vents to ensure they are not clogged. Maintain the HVAC system so air is moving consistently.

Make the Necessary Repairs Promptly
If you find standing water or leaks anywhere, you should clean it up immediately. Also, contact a plumber or a professional water cleanup company to help you repair the issue causing the flooding. You can have successful mold prevention by your diligence in the maintenance and upkeep of your systems and appliances. Putting off any repairs can lead to the rapid spread of mold. Some growth occurs because of weeks, months, or even years of undetected water leaks.

Water damage can be costly and stressful for any homeowner. Not only can it ruin belongings and building materials, but you can also find mold. Following these tips can help you prevent this.

What To Do When Your Wood Floor Gets Wet

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water on floor. If you follow these simple steps and enlist professional help, your wood floor should be back to normal in no time.

In the event of a pipe burst, it is always important to clean up right away in order to prevent mold growth and other water damage complications, but this is especially critical if your commercial building has a wood floor.

Why Do You Need To Clean It Right Away?
Water is one of wood's worst enemies. It can cause issues such as:

Discoloration or staining
"Cupping," where the boards bend in random directions, creating an uneven, wavy appearance

The longer the water is allowed to sit on the wet floor, the deeper it seeps into the cracks and pores of the wood, and the harder the drying process and repairs will be.

Step 1: Fix The Pipe Burst
There's no use sopping up the water if more is still pouring down. That's why the first step is to stop the water at its source. Lucky for you, SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Turn off your water supply, and then call your local Baton Rouge, LA, water damage remediation professionals right away.

Step 2: Sop Up the Water
Once the water flow is under control, don't wait to clean it up. Start with rags or a mop to get the bulk of the water off the sensitive wood floor, or even better, use a wet vacuum. Keep using the wet vacuum even after it looks like the water is gone, because chances are that there's a lot of more water soaked into the cracks and underside of the boards. After that, crank up your AC or heat and set up a powerful dehumidifier.

Step 3: Keep It Clean
Wet wood is highly susceptible to mold growth, so once you've removed the surface water, it's a good idea to give the whole area a scrub with a disinfectant product mixed with a mild detergent and clean water. Be careful not to get more liquid on your wet floor than is necessary.

If you follow these simple steps and enlist professional help, your wood floor should be back to normal in no time.

5 Facts About Mold Growth Every Homeowner Should Know

7/26/2020 (Permalink)

Mold discovered behind a plastic bind in a wall Mold growth on a wall in a Baton Rouge, LA home

In nature, mold growth is an essential part of recycling nutrients. Inside your home, it’s unwelcome. It can have several negative impacts, including:

  • Causing unsightly stains that are impossible to clean.
  • Filling an area with an unpleasant musty odor.
  • Weakening walls and support studs.

Armed with an understanding of what mold is and how you can deal with it, a homeowner in Baton Rouge, LA, will know when they need a professional mold technician and when they won’t. Here are some facts to help you make an informed decision.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that has more than one cell. It can rapidly colonize an area under the right conditions. Mold growth inside a house – especially black mold – is a problem.

What Causes Mold to Grow Inside a Home?

Anywhere there’s been water damage is a likely candidate for mold or mildew. Areas of frequent high humidity are also likely to eventually see mold. Mildew can often be wiped away, but black mold – which can also be green or yellow – gets embedded in the materials that favor growth, such as drywall and wood.

How Can You Prevent Mold?

Keep your building envelope tightly sealed against water. Roof leaks are frequent precursors to fungus growth. If a pipe leaks, make sure it’s turned off and the excess water removed immediately.

How Will You Know if You Have Mold?

If you smell a musty odor more than once in an area, you likely have mold growing. Mildew can have an aroma, but it tends to be much more limited. If you see mold, of course, you obviously have it. You can also have a professional mold inspection.

What if You Have Mold Growth Now?

If you suspect your home has mold, call a certified mold inspection and restoration company. You should also get inspected after receiving significant water damage.
The mold experts will find all the hidden mold and determine the best way to attack it. Once all the damage has been repaired or replaced, the mold should be gone for good – or until the next disaster, anyway.

Why SERVPRO? Because we are the most trusted in the business.

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

TRUST: it is a reality in our lives that cannot be overlooked. It is a special bond that instills a working relationship.

It is not bragging when you simply state the facts. SERVPRO is the best and most trusted fire and water restoration service in the industry. This notion is reflected in the fact that we are State Farm's premiere service provider nationally and locally. 

SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish is very protective of this standard. We work hard to maintain a level of professionalism that raises the bar for all mitigation contractors. 

We appreciate the trust and look to prove our friends in the industry right all while proving our detractors wrong. 

Don't take my word for it though. Call us today to schedule an appointment and find out for yourself.