The mold remediation process
First and foremost, the moisture source of the mold growth must be eliminated or fixed before cleaning can begin.
Mold remediation can simplified into three steps:
- Control Environment-Set up containment, air filtration equipment and negative air flow to control environment and prevent further contamination.
- Remove and Clean- Remove and properly dispose of all porous materials contaminated with mold. Clean all nonporous materials contaminated with mold, HEPA vacuum, and apply anti-microbial agent.
- Dry Structure- Dry structure to reduce moisture levels below that which enables growth. Obtain final clearance testing from Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP).
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in mold remediation for both commercial and residential buildings. If you notice mold growing in your home or business, please give us a call today at 985-871-5375.
Fire Restoration Process
The fire restoration process is very detailed and time consuming. However, the process can be simply broken down into three main steps:
- Assess Situation- We identify what can or can not be salvaged. With the approval of insurance adjuster and client, we discard of certain materials. We test for smoke damage on structure and contents.
- Pretest and Clean-Utilizing professional products and tools we pretest and clean both contents and structure, removing soot damage. Air ducts will be cleaned of soot damage as well.
- Deodorize-After structure has been cleaned properly, we deodorize the property using a thermal fogger.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in fire and soot damage restoration for both commercial and residential properties. If your home or business has incurred fire or soot damage, please give us a call today at 985-871-5375.
How to thaw frozen pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
Frozen pipes can be easily prevented by taking the necessary precautions. If your pipes freeze, then try to thaw them following the tips above and call a professional plumber when necessary. If your pipes break immediately turn off the main water supply to your home or business to prevent further damages.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is available 24/7 for emergency water damage restoration.
How to create a fire escape plan for your family
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 1,342,000 fires in the United States in 2016, of which 475,500 were structure fires. One home structure fire was reported every ninety seconds. Most businesses have fire escape plans to help saves lives during an emergency. Creating a fire escape plan for the home should be just as common, especially for families with young children or with special needs family members. Being prepared saves lives during an emergency.
Thankfully, NFPA has created an easy how to guide for creating a home fire escape plan:
- Draw a map of your home. Show all windows and doors.
- Visit each room and recognize two ways out.
- All windows and doors should open easily. You should be able to use them to get outside.
- Make sure your home has smoke alarms. Test your alarms regularly.
- Pick a meeting place for when you must evacuate. The meeting place should be in front of the home.
- Make sure your house or building number can be seen from the street.
- Talk about the plan with everyone in your home.
- Learn the emergency phone number for your local fire department.
Most importantly, practice the plan with everyone in your home. This can be a fun exercise for children. Have them draw a map of your home and color all the possible escape routes. Once or twice a year go over the plan with everyone in the home again.
To learn more about fire safety in the home please click here.
Interactive Mold House Tour
The United State Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) website is a great resource for learning about mold and mold cleanup. For the most part, mold growth in your home or business is easily preventable. Moisture control is the number one key to stopping microbial growth in a property. Keeping the humidity level low, fixing any water damaged materials, and responding quickly to pipe leaks can save you a lot of time and money in dealing with mold damages. The EPA has created an interactive mold house tour to highlight how mold can become a problem in certain areas of your home and what you can do to prevent this from happening. To view the interactive mold house tour please click here.
If you suspect mold growing in your home or business please give us a call today at 985-871-5375.
Sewage Backup Tips
The most common causes for a sewage system backup are clogs, tree roots, and broken or collapsed sewer lines. Clogs can be easily prevented with regular maintenance and proper use of your system. Do not flush anything besides toilet paper in your toilet. Do not overuse your garbage disposal. Also, do not pour grease down the drain. Grease and fat will harden in your pipes and create a backup issue. Tree roots can compromise and break sewer pipes by growing into the pipes or wrapping around them. Unfortunately, you may not be able to prevent this issue so easily. Sometimes tree roots from a neighbors property can grow around your sewer pipes. Also, sometimes sewer pipes break simply because of time. Older systems were built using cast iron and clay piping which slowly weaken over time. If you have an older home this may present an issue for you in the future. To prevent your sewer system from backing up, we suggest you have a professional plumber check on the current condition of your sewer system and address any issues they find. Regular home maintenance is the key to preventing water damages to your home.
Please note raw sewage contains harmful bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses. It is extremely dangerous for those with compromised or weak immune systems. Only the most trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work.
If your sewer system has backed up and caused raw sewage to flow into your home or business, please give us a call today at 985-871-5375.
Business Owners: Start This New Year Right
A broken pipe caused water to leak into several rooms of this office building.
In times of a disaster, like a broken water supply line or suspected microbial growth, are you equipped to respond quickly and appropriately as a business owner? Creating a plan and familiarizing yourself with certain utility shut off valves for your property can help save you time and money when an accident occurs. Knowing how to shut off the main water supply line to the building can minimize the water damage if a pipe were to break. Likewise, knowing how to turn off the sprinkler system can be helpful if the sprinkler system malfunctions or is broken. We have encountered many business owners just this year who did not know any of this and unfortunately had to learn the hard way when something went awry. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can help all local business owners in the Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Lacombe, and Ramsey areas better prepare for an emergency by creating an Emergency Ready Profile for their business. This profile is free of charge and takes about an hour to complete. Our Marketing Coordinator will teach you, the business owner, how to respond to water, fire, and mold damage in your building and how to educated your employees on such situations. Knowing your risks and how to mitigate your losses can make or break a company after a disaster. If you are interested in learning more about creating an Emergency Ready Profile for your business, please call our office today at 985-871-5375.
How to prepare for a winter storm in Mandeville
This winter has brought record low temperatures to both Northshore and Southshore residents. We were grateful to experience our first snow in nearly a decade, but many homeowners and business owners had the misfortune of dealing with water damage caused by frozen pipes.
To protect the pipes in your home or business from freezing in cold temperatures follow these tips from the American Red Cross:
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
What business owners should know in case of an emergency
We all know accidents happen, especially when you least expect them to. Being prepared to respond quickly can help you mitigate the damages and save yourself time and money. For example, imagine the sprinkler system in your building malfunctioned or was initiated accidentally. What would you do? Do you know how to turn off the sprinkler system? What if you were not there? Do any of your employees know how to turn off the sprinkler system? Not responding to this accident in a timely manner can result in excessive water damage to your property. This scenario happened to a client of ours earlier this year. Only one employee was present when a sprinkler head was broken and starting spewing water at an impressively fast pace. For the next thirty minutes said employee ran around the building searching for the shut off valve for the sprinkler system. In that time about 100 gallons of water were released into the building. Luckily, after the water was shut off the general manager called us to swiftly extract the water and start the drying process.
Being prepared as a business owner or property manager means having a general understanding of your building. You should know how to turn off the main water supply, sprinkler system, and the gas line. You should also know who to call in case of an emergency. Do you have a vendor list prepared for your building? Again, if you were not present and your employee could not reach you, then who would they call for help if something like a pipe were to break or the sewage system backs up? We receive phone calls all the time from business owners who are on vacation and learn an emergency has happened to their property. Trying to facilitate the clean up and restoration while unprepared and out of state or country is no easy task for a business owner.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can help you be prepared for an emergency by creating an Emergency Ready Profile for your business. This is a free service we offer to all local business owners in St. Tammany Parish. Our marketing coordinator, Kayla Theriot, will help you create a plan for your business in case of an emergency. This process takes less than an hour and can help save you time, money, and the stress of not knowing what to do when something goes wrong. If you are interested in learning more about an Emergency Ready Profile, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com.
Fire Safety Tips For The Holidays
Tis' the season to bask in holiday cheer and enjoy visiting with your family and friends. This time of year we love to decorate our homes and offices to brighten our lives. However, some of these decorations present major fire hazards. According to NFPA, the National Fire Protection Association, "between 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 210 home fires that started with Christmas trees each year" and between 2009-2013 Christmas decorations started an average of 860 home structure fire each year. You can prevent fires of this nature by being a little more mindful around your home. Please take note of these simple tips to help keep you, your family and your friends safe this holiday season.
Be mindful in the kitchen
Most holiday season home fires start in the kitchen. You should never leave food cooking on the stove unattended. Ask someone to watch over the food if you need to leave the kitchen for a moment or take a pot holder with you to remind you to head back to the kitchen soon.
Check that your smoke detectors are working properly and make sure you have a fire extinguisher near the kitchen.
Be mindful of your Christmas trees
A well watered Christmas tree is almost impossible to ignite. You should check the water level every day.
Keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from any source of heat, like fire places, space heaters, heat vents, or candles.
Be mindful of your Christmas lights
Before decorating your tree with lights, inspect the lights. If you notice any cracked or frayed wires, then throw them away.
Avoid using nails or staples when hanging lights outside. You should use clips or hangers to prevent damaging the wiring.
You should also read the manufacturer's instructions for the allowed number of light strands to connect.
Be mindful of your candles
The top four days for fires caused by candles are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day.
Keep candles at least one foot away from anything that can burn and make sure to put them out before leaving the house or going to bed.
Also, do not let children play with matches or attempt to light candles themselves.
Be mindful of your fireplace
Have your fireplace cleaned, if needed, before starting any fires this year.
Always screen the fireplace to prevent embers from popping out.
To learn more about fire safety tips click here.