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3 Steps for Mold Remediation

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

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

Steps For Mold Remediation

When water damage to your Baker, 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 Baker, 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.

Preventing Water Damage To Your Home While on Vacation: 3 Tips

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

The pipelines in the insulation and pressure gauges flow and return pipes in the boiler room of a private house household Insulate vulnerable pipes

Steps To Take Before You Leave For A Trip

Leaving your Baton Rouge, LA, home for a much-needed vacation can be an exciting prospect, but returning to an unexpected flood and water pipe repair costs could quickly sour the experience. While flooding caused by storms and other natural disasters may be difficult to control, there are a few steps you can take before you leave for your trip that may help you prevent indoor flooding during your absence.

1. Check Your Pipes
As you make a vacation checklist, adding a leak check can help you prevent indoor flooding and major damage a broken pipe can cause. Even minor leaks may point to imminent damage, so taking care of these issues before you leave can safeguard your home and offer you peace of mind while you are out of town.

2. Insulate Vulnerable Pipes
If you are taking a winter vacation, you can prevent returning to a flooded home by insulating pipes that might freeze in cold weather and cause them to burst. Use foam spray insulation or foam rubber sleeves to protect exterior pipes and disconnect hoses from outdoor spigots. Check the extended weather forecast before you leave so you can make a plan for heating your home during your absence to ensure your pipes are protected.

3. Have Water Lines Inspected
Calling in a water damage and mitigation service to inspect your home’s water lines before you leave can prevent the need for water pipe repair later on. Ask the technicians to check your sump pump and the water lines for major appliances, such as your washing machine. You can also ask for advice regarding whether you should turn off your home’s water completely while you are gone.
Needing emergency water pipe repair for your Baton Rouge, LA, home upon return from a vacation can throw your budget into a tailspin and ruin your relaxed post-getaway mood. Preventing floods before you leave can significantly lower the risk of water damage while you are away from home.

Measures To Take If Your Company Is at High Risk for Flooding

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Car submerged in flooded water Flood damage in Baton Rouge, LA

Perhaps your company has already experienced the troubling consequences of severe flood damage. Or perhaps you have watched the seemingly endless weather events of recent years with increasing concern. If your company in Baton Rouge, LA, is at high risk of damage from a flood, it might be time to consider taking some big steps. One option is to move your facility to another location. This could be in the same city, but further away from the coast or on higher ground. If it makes sense operationally, you might even consider moving to another state where the risk of flooding is not as pronounced.

Elevate the Existing Building
Another option to reduce your company's risk of flood damage is to raise your building. This is still a big undertaking, but not quite as drastic as a complete move. You get the following benefits from raising your building:

  • Your operations are above expected flood levels
  • You experience peace of mind and sleep better
  • You could see reduced insurance premiums
  • Your company is unlikely to experience a storm damage business interruption

Unless your building is on the small size, this will be a major job. It is one way to avoid the devastating effects of flooding.

Install Flood Proofing
This is a mixture of strategies and it is labelled the most cost-effective option for urban structures according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It utilizes a series of physical barriers, seals and pumps. The goal is to make the building waterproof below flood levels. It can certainly be effective in reducing your company's risk of extensive flood damage.
If water does breach your building, the services of a storm mitigation team can also limit your costs and expenses. Highly-trained workers can be at your building in a matter of hours, working to remove water and restore your property. The longer flood waters remain in a building, the more damage they will cause.

What Goes Into a Fire Damage Estimate?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire in Baton Rouge, LA

Consider The Different Factors That Go Into A Restoration Estimate

Restarting your business in Baton Rouge, LA after fire damage can be stressful. To take some of your load off, you are going to want to know at least a little bit about what happens after a fire. Since the damage your business faces is going to be extensive, you are going to need qualified fire restoration professionals to help you with the cleanup process. The first step to choosing the right company for your project is to get an estimate. While insurance may cover some of the restoration process, you will likely have some out of pocket costs. Therefore, you need to know what factors affect the price of your cleanup.

A commercial fire is considered one of two types:

  • Simple fire
  • Complex fire

The cost of your restoration will often be based on what type of fire your business suffered. As far as price goes, simple fires are better because they only burn natural materials and produce less soot and damage.

When you have a fire in your business, you need to act fast and get everyone out as quickly as possible before calling the fire department. How quickly you react can affect your estimate by lowering the amount of damage done to your building. Once the fire is put out, an insurance agent will come and document the damage. This documentation will be used to determine how much your insurance company will pay for. It is also the time when your response procedure and fire safety will be evaluated.
After your claim has been settled, you should begin work on getting the building restored. Remember to look for a reliable company. Someone from the company you choose will come out and decide how much you need to pay to have your business reopened.
Several different factors go into a restoration estimate. How you responded and the type of fire you had are some of the most common things that can impact your pricing.

How To Maintain Your Sprinklers and Avoid Accidental Discharge

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Broken sprinklers could activate in the absence of a fire, causing excessive flooding

Reduce The Chances Of A Sprinkler Activating Accidentally

A malfunctioning fire suppression system in your Baker, LA, commercial building can be damaging. Broken sprinklers could activate in the absence of a fire, causing excessive flooding that necessitates emergency restoration services.
You thus need to make sure all of the fire sprinklers are functioning properly. Luckily, sprinkler maintenance is not that difficult. Here are some ways to ensure your sprinklers only turn on when you need them.

1. Look for Signs of Corrosion
The combination of water, oxygen and iron in sprinkler systems can easily lead to pipe corrosion. This is a particularly common problem among dry sprinklers. Over time, the corrosion will weaken the sprinkler system, leaving it more vulnerable to accidental discharge. Regular testing of the sprinklers can help you determine if any corrosion exists. That way, you can repair the pipes before they suffer additional damage.

2. Be Vigilant in Cold Weather
You have probably heard that pipes can freeze and burst in low temperatures. The same is true of sprinkler heads. You should thus must prevent the sprinklers from getting too cold.
Many of the same strategies you use to prevent frozen pipes can help you with sprinkler maintenance, as well. Seal any foundation cracks or open windows to keep out the cold air. Add insulation if necessary. Finally, make sure the indoor temperature is above freezing at all times, even when nobody is in the building.

3. Get an Inspection
Perhaps the best way to prevent accidental sprinkler discharge is to have a fire service expert inspect the system once a year. The service professional may find potential warning signs that an untrained eye would miss. You can then address those issues before they cause thousands of dollars in water damage.
By performing regular sprinkler maintenance, you can reduce the chances of the sprinklers activating accidentally. This, in turn, makes it less likely that a sprinkler-related flood will damage your property.

4 Steps to Prevent and Stop Mold Growth After a Flood

10/20/2020 (Permalink)

flood cut performed on drywall, plastic barriers Mold removal in Monticello, LA

Here Are Four Steps To Prevent And Stop Mold Growth After Home Flooding

Severe storms and floods can cause serious damage to your home in Monticello, LA. Water can have an immediate impact by destroying your furniture and belongings, but the remaining damp conditions can cause an even bigger threat, mold growth. If left untreated, mold damage can intensify quickly and cause structural damage to your property, leaving you with an even bigger mess at the end of the day.

1. Eliminate the Water
Remove any water that has flooded into your home. Standing water and water-logged furniture and materials will become a breeding ground for mold.

2. Dry and Dehumidify
After removing any standing water, thoroughly dry out and dehumidify your home. Mold thrives in damp, humid conditions, so keeping the humidity at a low level will help keep mold from spreading. Calling trained mold remediation professionals to address the situation is always recommended, as they will have the necessary equipment to handle the job efficiently and effectively.

3. Contain Any Growth
If there are any early signs of mold, contain the affected area immediately to prevent the spread of spores. A professional mold removal and remediation company will use advanced methods like negative air pressure and physical barriers to ensure the affected area is completely isolated.

4. Treat and Remove Mold and Mold-Infested Items
Treat mold with anti-fungal and antimicrobial solutions to wipe out any existing colonies. Treatment will also prevent new mold from developing. Be sure to remove and replace all mold-infested materials from your home, including furniture, carpet, and drywall.
Flood and storm damage can spiral out of control quickly if the situation is not handled properly. Taking these steps and enlisting the help of trained professionals will help prevent mold growth and stop new colonies from forming, enabling you to back to your pre-flood condition in no time.

Understanding the Value of Hiring Professional Mold Removers

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

specialist in PPE combating mold in an apartment Mold remediation in a Baker, LA house

If your home in Baker, LA, suffers a fungal infestation, rather than attempting to eliminate the headache on your own hire a registered mold removal professional. Contrary to what some might believe, utilizing a trained specialist will save time, money and hassle.

What Mold Remediation Professionals Do

Consider the burdens a mold removal expert needs to overcome:

  • Dismantling of drywall
  • Removal of all water-damaged or moldy items
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of walls and carpeting
  • Vacuuming using HEPA filtration

The entire process can take several days up to a few weeks in cases where major rebuilding is required. Beyond that, the task needs to be completed using expensive safety gear.

What Mold Remediation Professionals Cost
How much your mold removal project ultimately totals is partially determined by where the problem exists. If the source of your dilemma rests solely within your crawlspace, expect to pay between $500 and $4,000. Should your attic, ducts and walls also require comprehensive black mold removal, the price can skyrocket to a figure landing between $2,000 and $6,000. Under worse case scenarios where widespread structural damage occurs, you may face a bill that runs above $10,000.
These amounts may seem high, but consider how much more you would spend after a series of failed DIY attempts and then needing to hire a licensed mold-removal authority to eradicate the matter anyway.

When Insurance Covers Mold Remediation
Note that homeowner’s insurance may provide reimbursement. Under circumstances involving a broken pipe, for instance, you should be able to receive compensation. On the other hand, when deferred maintenance or storm waters trigger your fungal invasion, collecting may become complicated or impossible. Consult your agent to discern the particulars regarding your existing policy.
Mold removal is always an unwanted expense, but attempting to handle it by yourself will surely result in greater financial losses as well as risk to one’s safety. Make the right decision by hiring someone qualified to complete the job.

Plumbing Breaks: 3 Questions To Ask Your Insurance Representative

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall removed, wet floor, picture of hallway room Water damage from a broken pipe

Ask The Following Questions To Your Local Insurance Representative

When a flood occurs in your Zachary, LA, home due to a plumbing pipe break, it can cause a surprising amount of damage. There may be several reasons this happens, whether due to a cold snap, a joint weakness or a pipe failure. When it comes to cleanup efforts, you may wonder if your homeowners’ insurance covers the costs. Asking your local insurance representative these questions can give you peace of mind as you move forward.

1. How Much Coverage Do I Have?
While flooding insurance varies by company guidelines and individual policies, most cover sudden plumbing incidents. This includes insurance coverage for pipes that burst in cold weather despite being insulated or sudden kitchen or bathroom floods caused by a pipe failure. In this case, coverage might extend to surrounding building materials, carpeting and furniture.

2. Are There Any Coverage Exceptions?
Not all flood types are covered by insurance. For example, if you failed to fix broken pipe joints and allowed an ongoing leak to damage the plumbing, you may be held liable for putting off the repairs. Since most policies expect homeowners to maintain and repair their homes to prevent plumbing floods, you may want to have your plumbing inspected at least once a year to protect yourself from this issue.

3. Does Insurance Cover Secondary Damage?
Some homeowners’ insurance covers damage caused by flooding, such as mold growth. If you need flood cleanup and mitigation services, and the issue was not due to poor maintenance, your insurance may cover these costs for you. Reviewing your policy annually can give you increased peace of mind about what kind of protection you really have.
When a plumbing flood happens in your Zachary, LA, home, the resulting damage might rack up thousands of dollars in repair costs. Preparing a list of questions for your homeowners’ insurance representative can help you understand the extent of your flooding coverage and what you can expect as you plan the cleanup phase.

How Often Should I Change Smoke Alarm Batteries?

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Changing battery to a smoke detector If your smoke alarm starts chirping, it's time to change the batteries

There's no question that smoke alarms save lives; however, they must be working in order to do so. When the battery starts going low in a smoke alarm, it can be tempting to remove the battery and forget it. Statistics show that smoke alarms can decrease the risk of losing someone to a home fire by 50 percent. If everyone understood those odds, maybe everyone would make sure their smoke alarms were always be equipped with working batteries.

When to Change Smoke Alarm Batteries

In an older model smoke detector, it was recommended that the battery be replaced every six months. Technology has come a long way in the last decade, and newer models of smoke alarms come equipped with lithium batteries. For these models, the battery only needs to be replaced every 10 years.
If your smoke alarm starts chirping, it's time to change the batteries. It's a good idea to check your alarms every few months regardless.

Always Be Prepared
If a disaster was happening, would you know what to do? For many people, their natural instinct is to panic. However, if you had a pre-arranged plan, your focus on that plan and keeping everyone safe would lead to calmer and better decision making during the emergency.
Get your family together and develop a fire escape plan. Make sure there's a plan for the pets as well. Plan a meeting place once everyone is outside. It is important to have everyone agree that no one should re-enter the home.
Your home and your personal items can be replaced. After fire damage has occurred, it's important to let a professional restoration company enter the home first to begin the cleanup and repair. There could be dangers that they are equipped to handle.
Having a working smoke alarm in your home is critical to your family's safety. If you need to purchase a new smoke alarm, choose one of the models with the 10-year lithium battery.

3 Things You Should Know About What's Under Your Sink

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo Flexible tubing is an integral part of your home’s water system.

You use your sink every day in Baton Rouge, LA, but have you ever thought about how the water gets to the faucet? Flexible tubes connect the faucet to the fixed supply pipes in the walls of your home. These tubes make it easy to hide water connections under a cabinet, giving the bathroom plumbing a clean, uncluttered appearance. But just because these tubes are out of sight doesn’t mean you should keep them out of mind. Supply line damage is a leading cause of residential water leaks, so it’s important to check and replace them regularly. Here are three key facts to know.

1. Use Plastic Tubing for Flexibility
Plastic tubing is often used to replace rigid copper plumbing that was often used in older homes. This is a great option to use when flexibility is a priority, as the tubes can be easily looped or adjusted to accommodate the space. Plastic tubing is also inexpensive and durable, although it will need to be regularly checked for corrosion, especially if you have hard water. The lifetime of these tubes is usually 5-8 years, so check them well before the warranty period ends to avoid a bathroom leak.

2. Use Braided Steel Tubing for Corrosion Resistance
Another option is braided steel tubing, which is more resistant to corrosion than plastic. Thanks to its clean, industrial look, it’s a popular choice for areas where exposed tubing is necessary. It’s less flexible than plastic tubing but will give you a durable option to avoid supply line damage. Although it may cost more, it usually has a lifetime warranty. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s replacement policies before you make your final selection.

3. Tubing Maintenance for Damage Control
Many areas of your home contain flexible water tubing. To prevent a supply line leak, check these water connections every 3-5 years:

Bathroom sinks
Kitchen sink
Refrigerator water dispenser/ice maker
Washing machine
Water heater

Flexible tubing is an integral part of your home’s water system. Replacing it regularly can prevent expensive repairs caused by supply line damage and save you the heartache of a home water disaster cleanup.