Recent Posts

What Is Secondary Damage?

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded storage unit. If you are dealing with water damage in a commercial property in Baton Rouge take action immediately to limit the extent of the damage.

Secondary damage is caused by primary damage. This additional damage may happen quickly as long as the conditions that caused primary damage to persist or may develop over time. For instance, if water damage goes untreated or high humidity levels persist, black mold may develop. The water damage is the primary damage, and the mold growth is secondary. Take timely measures to restore primary damage and fix the source of the problem to prevent conditions from worsening.

What Are the Major Types of Damage?

There are several secondary types of damage that can affect your home following water damage. These include

• Additional damage to contents or building materials
• Corrosion
• Electrical damage
• Mold growth, including black mold
• Wood rot

These are just a few of the types of damage that can follow water damage.

How Can You Prevent Secondary Damage?

Resolve primary damage as soon as possible to stop secondary factors from developing. Fix the source of a leak or other water damage and remove all water. Depending on the type of water, you may also need to clean and disinfect the affected area. Category One water is clean, but Category Two or Three water may contain bacteria or solid waste. Thoroughly dry the affected area and lower high humidity levels.

When Does Primary Damage Turn Into Secondary?

Primary damage and secondary consequences can emerge at the same time, or secondary issues can develop over time. The best way to stop this damage from becoming severe is to handle the primary source, assess the secondary factors, and take preventative measures as soon as possible.

If you are dealing with water damage in a commercial property in Baton Rouge take action immediately to limit the extent of damage from primary or secondary sources. A quick response and the assistance of skilled restoration professionals can keep black mold or other secondary issues from developing.

How To Restore Your Flooded Basement

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

Flood damaged belongings standing outside after being removed during the flood cleanup process. Repairing your flood-damaged basement can be a daunting project.

No homeowner in Baton Rouge wants to face a flooded basement. However, knowing how to address flood damage and what equipment can expedite your work can help you efficiently restore the lowest level of your home.

Avoid Electric Shock

Water and electricity are a deadly combination. To eliminate the risk of electric shock, you need to ensure that the electricity is turned off before commencing your cleanup efforts.

Drain Water

The first step in the cleanup process is to drain standing water. To accomplish this, you need four pieces of equipment:
• Submersible sump pump or trash pump, if there is debris such as mud, leaves or sticks
• Extension cord
• Long hose to drain water away from the house
• Generator to power the pump

To expedite drainage, use multiple sump pumps. Once the pumps have extracted most of the water, you can also use a wet vac to suction additional moisture.

Remove Saturated Materials

Removing saturated materials is the next step. This includes both personal belongings and wet building materials, such as carpets and drywall. These items are porous and can become breeding grounds for mold.

To remove water-damaged drywall, make a flood cut 12-18 inches above the highest water level. Once you remove the saturated drywall, promptly discard any wet insulation. Because insulation loses its R-value when wet, you will not be able to salvage this material.

Dry the Area

Quickly drying your basement is another crucial step. You can use fans and a dehumidifier to expedite the process and minimize the risk of mold damage.

Completing repairs while the basement is still wet could also result in extensive mold growth. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the room is completely dry before replacing drywall, insulation, and flooring. To verify the absence of moisture, use a moisture meter.

Seek Assistance

Repairing your flood-damaged basement can be a daunting project, especially if there is significant water damage. Local cleanup and restoration specialists have equipment and expertise readily available to help you efficiently complete the process and return your basement to its original condition.

3 Steps to Clean Sewage Damage

9/10/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded room. Whether the source of sewage damage in your property is a flooded toilet or a more extensive sewer backup, it is important to quickly pursue cleanup.

If your commercial property in Baton Rouge, LA, experiences a sewer backup due to blockage or flooding in a city main or lines or a flooded toilet on-site, you should immediately arrange for plumbing work to resolve the underlying issue and sewer cleanup to restore the damage. Sewage can pose an infection risk and may quickly lead to secondary damage. There are three steps involved in cleaning up this type of damage and restoring the affected area to sanitary condition.

1. Get Rid of Water and Solid Waste

The first step toward mitigating primary damage and preventing more extensive secondary damage is to eliminate all water and solid waste. Commercial restoration professionals may pump out water or use other equipment to quickly rid the area of backed-up water and any detritus. Once the area is clear, it is ready to be completely cleaned.

2. Clean and Disinfect

Sewer cleanup involves a complete cleaning and disinfection of the affected area. This sanitization step is necessary to restore the portion of the property exposed to a sewage backup to working order.

3. Thoroughly Dry the Area

Getting rid of water and cleaning up waste is not the end of the restoration process. Experts may recommend using fans or dehumidifiers to dry out the area quickly to prevent mold from starting to form. Damaged building materials should only be replaced after completely drying.

Whether the source of sewage damage in your property is a flooded toilet or a more extensive sewer backup, it is important to quickly pursue sewer cleanup. You can follow these steps on your own, but the job may be completed more quickly and thoroughly by professionals. If you want to make sure that the affected area is safe to reopen and will not run the risk of developing mold, contact commercial sewage damage restoration professionals in Baton Rouge, LA.

Top Reasons Your Water Heater Is Making Noises

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler Noises in your water heater may give you warnings of your maintenance needs.

The Most Common Causes Of Noisy Water Heaters

Hearing funny noises from your water heater can be off-putting. Knocks, taps, rumbles, hums and crackles can leave you wondering if your unit is about to have a major issue. Some noises are more troublesome than others. Check out these top reasons you might be hearing strange sounds from your appliance.

Sediment Buildup: Sediments may pile up around the heating tubes of your water heater. When the heating elements are off, water gets trapped below the sediments. As the elements turn back on, a cracking or popping noise starts when the water is forced through the buildup. Cleaning the elements may help you fix this problem. Hiring a maintenance team may also help you eliminate this noise.

Loose Elements: Electric water heaters usually have elements installed vertically in the tank. As water flows around the part, a humming noise may be caused. Tightening the element can reduce the noise.

Temperature Change: If the water in the heater cools down, you may hear a tapping or ticking noise in the heater. This is common and shouldn't concern you.

Open Valves: Most valves to your water heater should be open. If one is not fully opened, you may hear a screeching sound. You can fix this issue by checking to make sure all of the valves at the heater and at the water lines are open all of the way.


Sediment Movement: If the sediment buildup in your unit is stirred up, it can produce a rumbling noise. A simple solution would be to do a water heater flush. If you clean the unit with a de-liming mixture, you may see even better results.

The noises you hear in your Baker, LA, water heater may give you warnings of your maintenance and replacement needs. If you hear a sound that you can't figure out, remember that many of the noises are nothing to worry about. If it makes you feel better, you can call in a professional for help.

Keeping Your Bathroom Free From Mold Growth

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

A white bathroom completely clean SERVPRO in Baton Rouge, LA, can help you deal with any existing mold problem.

How To Keep Mold At Bay In Your Bathroom

Mold loves moisture, and your bathroom inevitably has a lot of it. How, then, do you keep mold growth from occurring around your toilet, sink and tub? While water is used daily in your bathroom, you can still keep the room dry enough to avoid water damage and the subsequent mold problem by engaging in regular, preventative maintenance.

Recognizing a Mold Problem

Mold prevention is the ideal scenario, but most people discover the need for prevention as the result of an existing problem. There are many areas of a bathroom where mold can thrive:

  • Inside the cabinet under the sink
  • In bathtub grout
  • In the caulk where the baseboards meet the floor
  • Around faucets
  • Near drains

Mold grows in many textures and colors, but if you see a dark fuzzy growth or a collection of spots where there were none before, you probably have a mold problem. Mold remediation specialists in Baton Rouge, LA, have techniques to take care of the problem and the water damage that likely led to it.

Preventing a Mold Problem

Mold growth requires moisture, so the first step in mold prevention is minimizing your bathroom's humidity. Air vents help air circulate, and circulation helps keep moisture from gathering on surfaces. Drying your shower or bathtub with a towel after every use also inhibits the growth of mold. If the air in your bathroom remains humid, you can use a dehumidifier to dry it out some more. Replace anything damaged by mold, such as caulking, to stop the spread of the growth.

Mold remediation specialists in Baton Rouge, LA , can help you deal with an existing mold problem, but it's even better to prevent a problem from happening in the first place. If you fix water damage as soon as it happens and take precautionary steps to limit the humidity of the room, you can probably avoid mold problems in your bathroom.

3 Flood Preparation Strategies for Your Business

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

External drive connected to a computer Keep computer files backed up on an external hard drive or cloud.

3 Flood Preparedness Strategies for Your Company

Your Baker, LA, business is probably one of your greatest investments. However, keeping it safe from natural disasters, such as flooding, can be a challenge because it is difficult to know when they might happen. Being prepared for such an eventuality can prevent monetary and property loss and give you peace of mind as a business owner. Here are several preparatory strategies you can use, especially when it comes to floods:

1. Plan What You Can

Flood preparation means careful planning. Think about what areas of your business might be most vulnerable and how flood waters might affect them. Consider your current record storage strategies and whether you use a system that could be destroyed by a flood. Transferring paper documents to cloud or data storage can keep them safe and out of the reach of flood damage.

2. Have a Restoration Company on Retainer

Flooding can cause a great deal of damage in minutes, so time is of the essence when it comes to mitigation and water removal. Having a professional restoration and cleanup company on retainer means you can get help quickly and when you need it instead of trying to hire a service during a flood. Consider using a company that can handle black water, mold and sudden leaks so that every possible consequence of a possible flood is covered.

3. Make Your Employees Flood-Savvy

Preparing your employees for flood damage may allow them to react more effectively in case of such an emergency. Create a flood protocol so everyone can exit the building safely and so your employees know what to do in case you are not there. Keeping them prepared can prevent panic and confusion in case of a flood, which means a safer workplace.

Being prepared for flooding in your Baker, LA, makes sense as a business owner. Not only can it improve safety standards at your company, but it might also help you prevent loss that could have a profoundly negative impact on the future of your business.

Your Guide To Quickly and Effectively Cleaning Up Post-Flood

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

floor removed, air mover placed on floor. Concept of storm remediation services Storm remediation services.

A flood can wreak havoc on your home's structure, belongings, and even your home's environment, as the water can carry contaminants and mud. For this reason, it is imperative that you begin content cleaning efforts as soon as the waters recede, or as soon as the influx of water has stopped. The more time you take to begin cleanup efforts, the greater the chance that your home and belongings will experience irreversible damage.

Floods can damage everything from carpeting to furniture and from your home's ductwork to its HVAC system. If you want to minimize damage and restore your home to normal, there are particular areas to which you must pay attention:

  • Ceilings and walls
  • Electrical systems
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Appliances
  • Carpeting, vinyl and wood floors
  • Sewage systems

Content Cleaning Tips

Though the majority of flood cleanup should be left to the professionals (especially if gray or black water is involved), there are a few steps you can take before your local Baton Rouge, LA, water restoration team shows up. First, contact your insurance company. If your homeowners' insurance policy covers the damage, an adjuster will be in contact with you.

Once you've made the necessary phone calls, begin to shovel mud out of your home. If a garden hose reaches the flooded area, you can use the hose to spray mud away. Once the mud is gone, start sanitizing. Scrub surfaces with hot water and a heavy-duty cleaner. Soak belongings that can be soaked in a mixture of hot water and chlorine bleach. If the items in question are metal, such as silverware or pots and pans, simply let them sit in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Take any rugs and furniture outside to air dry and use a dehumidifier and fans to remove moisture from the air. You can also begin to toss smaller, contaminated items, such as toys, stuffed animals, and food.

Ideally, you should leave the deep content cleaning to the professionals, as professional flood restoration teams know what is salvageable and what is not. Moreover, experts have the necessary safety equipment to restore your home to a pre-flood condition.

What To Throw Out After a Fire

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Loss site at a fire caused by an electrical issue. A home in Zachary, LA suffered fire damage.

What To Throw Away After a Fire

When your home in Zachary, LA suffers fire damage, the aftermath can be devastating. Your primary concerns may be family heirlooms or expensive items. Many of these items can be restored by fire restoration specialists. It is better to throw away other items, though. Cosmetics, medicine and food are often rendered unsalvageable by a fire in your home.

Cosmetics

If cosmetics have been open or used, they probably need to be tossed in the trash. Products in this category include:

• Makeup
• Soap or body wash
• Deodorant
• Lotion
• Toothpaste
• Sunscreen

The high heat from the fire likely changed the chemical structure of the ingredients. They may not apply as well as they used to, or they may even be unsafe to use. If you have not opened the package or if the packaging is not charred or damaged in any way, the product may be safe. When in doubt, however, dump it.

Medicine

Your medicines are affected by high temperatures in much the same way that cosmetics are. Throw away any medicines when the instructions on the bottle specifically state they must be kept in a cool, dry place. Heat can alter the medicines at the molecular level, rendering it ineffective at best and possibly even unsafe to consume. Water or chemicals used to put out the fire may also have contaminated your medication.

Food

The water used to put out the fire should be considered contaminated, and so should anything the water came into contact with. You can't always tell if food has gone bad by how it looks or smells. Whether your food seems to have been spoiled by the high heat or not, it is best to throw it out. Give your pets' food the same consideration so that you don't make them sick when you feed them.

While you may be concerned with expensive items in your home, the greater expense may come from having to replace all your food, medicine and cosmetics. It is an expense worth paying to keep you and your family safe.

3 Signs Your Commercial Property Has a Mold Problem

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Scientist show molds in agar culture. If you suspect you have mold have your building tested by an indoor environmental specialist.

Mold Testing Your Building

Most people don't think about mold unless they see it or smell it. Sometimes, however, you need an indoor environmental specialist to test for mold issues. Here are the three main ways you can determine if your commercial property in Monticello, LA, has a mold problem.

1. Visual Confirmation

The most obvious sign of mold seeing it with your own eyes. Check areas that tend to be high in moisture regularly for mold growth. If, for example, there is a place in your building where condensation tends to gather, you need to keep an eye on it so that you can curtail any mold problems that arise.

2. Musty Odor

Another common indication that mold spores from the air have settled and made their home somewhere in your building is a telltale dank smell. You can often zero in on the precise location of the mold problem by noticing where the stench gets stronger. A strong odor is often the first sign that informs you about a mold issue in your air ducts or within the walls, as those areas are harder to see.

3. Mold Test

Most mold problems are detectable without the aid of an indoor environmental specialist, but testing is the best way to be sure. Professional testing is the way to go because home mold kits simply tell you that mold exists in the area, and that's not particularly helpful information. Even if you don't need testing to determine there is an issue, a test is still a helpful part of the mold remediation process. It can help specialists pinpoint the affected areas more precisely and test after the remediation has been conducted can let them know how effective the efforts were.

If you suspect that your commercial property has mold, it can be pretty easy to verify those suspicions. Check for visual and olfactory signs of mold, and just to be sure, have your building tested by an indoor environmental specialist.

The Most Common Causes of Home Fires

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

Damaged kitchen by fire Fire damage in a kitchen

Leading Causes of Home Fires

 Fires contribute to millions of dollars worth of property damage each year in South Louisiana. Knowing the most common causes of household fires can help your family better prevent these types of damages in your home. According to the NFPA, the leading causes of fires in homes from 2010-2014 were:
  • Cooking Equipment - 46% of all fires
  • Heating Equipment - 16%
  • Electrical Equipment - 9%
  • Intentional - 8%
  • Smoking Materials - 5%

Almost half of all home fires result from cooking. While that number is concerning, many cooking fires can be prevented through general awareness and by following proper procedures. This is particularly important with the holidays coming up. Here are some tips to help you prevent fire damage from occurring in your kitchen:

  • Never leave your cooking food unattended, especially if you are broiling, frying, or grilling. Use a timer to remind you when you are using a stove or an oven.
  • Avoid leaving anything flammable – such as oven mitts, plastic bags, paper towels, or pot holders - close to your stove or oven. You should also not cook when you are wearing loose clothing.
  • Install a fire alarm close to your kitchen, and be sure to test it each month.
  • Avoid a flammable grease buildup by cleaning regularly, particularly in the oven and on the stove.
  • Turn off all cooking appliances when you are not using them, and double-check the kitchen prior to going to bed to make sure everything is off.
  • To be prepared for any cooking-related fires, buy a Class K fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.

Call SERVPRO of Central East Baton Rouge Parish for additional information.