Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West
2018 Women Build Project
Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian organization that helps families in need realize their dream of homeownership. The homes are built with the help of donations from sponsors, profits from the Habitat Restore, and volunteers throughout the community. Women Build is one of Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West's annual projects that empower women to build homes. This year our marketing coordinator, Kayla Theriot, participated in one of the Women Build volunteer dates along with other professional women from St. Tammany Parish. We are honored to give back to our community by participating in local charitable projects.
Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West is currently building three homes in Covington.
If you or your organization would like to get involved, then please send an email to Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West's Volunteer Coordinator Katie Melucci at email@example.com.
Mold Removal with Air Scrubber
Microscopic mold spores are filtered through an air scrubber
Part of the mold remediation process includes removing mold spores from the air of the affected space. This piece of equipment can serve as either a negative air machine or a HEPA air filtration machine. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air.
During the mold remediation process, we first set up containment around the affected area to prevent further spreading of particulates. Then, we either use this machine to create negative air and pump air outside of the area or we can utilize this machine as an air filtration device. When used as an air filtration machine, or "air scrubber" as it is commonly called, air passes through a two-stage filtration system and the HEPA filter captures 99.97% of smaller particles down to 0.3 microns.
2018 National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month, recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us all to prepare ourselves, our families, and our businesses for each kind of disastrous situation we may have to endure. The overarching theme for this year is “Disasters happen. Plan now. Learn how" and each week we are encouraged to focus on specific emergency preparedness tasks.
Week 1: September 1st-8th
Make and Practice Your Plan
- To learn how to create a hurricane evacuation plan click here.
- To learn how to create a fire escape plan click here.
- To learn how to make an emergency plan for your pets click here.
- To learn how to create an emergency plan for your business click here.
Once you have created a plan specific to your needs, then remember to practice the plan with your family, employees, and pets a few times a year.
Week 2: September 9th-15th
Learn Life Saving Skills
- Check the batteries in the smoke alarm detectors in your home and business.
- Learn how to help mitigate damages after a disaster has happened.
- Learn how to turn off certain utilities, like the fire suppression system, main water supply, and gas line.
- Compile a contact list for emergency service providers such as these:
- Local fire department
- Local hospital
- Local police department
- HVAC company
- SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville
- Create emergency disaster kits to keep in your home and car. Click here to see the list of supplies you will need to assemble a kit.
Week 3: September 16th-22nd
Review Your Insurance Policy
Insurance plans can be hard to understand. Most people do not completely understand what situations they are covered for or the specific damages that may be excluded from their policy. Do you have flood insurance? Do you have mold coverage? Would your insurance company pay for the cleanup after your sewage system backed up? Did you know it takes thirty days for flood insurance to go into effect? Schedule a meeting with your insurance agent this week to discuss your coverage and to adjust your policy to better suit your needs.
- To learn more about homeowners insurance policies click here.
- To learn how to create inventory lists for your home and business click here.
- To learn more about flood insurance click here.
Week 4: September 23rd-29th
Save For an Emergency
Any size disaster can place a heavy financial burden on a homeowner or business owner. To help be better financially prepared for an emergency follow these tips:
- Create an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit. To learn how to do so please click here.
- Build up an emergency fund. To learn how to do so please click here.
- If you must evacuate, then remember to take certain financial documents with you. You can prepare ahead of time by gathering important financial documents, creating copies of them, and putting them on the cloud. To learn which documents you should make copies of please click here.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is an IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
How to Prevent Further Damages After a Water Damage Event
Water damage is the second most common insurance claim filed in the United States. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and it's fairly common for appliances and water pipes to break and cause gallons of water to leak into your home. If you notice a water leak in your home, then please follow these tips to prevent further damages:
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact professional to do so
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs to prevent discoloration
- Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature
- Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting to prevent staining
- Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water
- Do not leave books, magazine or other colored items on wet carpeting.
- Call SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville at 985-871-5375. We have water damage restoration technicians available 24/7 for emergency services.
How Do You Know If It's Mold?
Do you have visible microbial growth in your home? How can you tell if it is indeed mold or specifically which species of mold it is? There are at least twenty thousand different species of mold that have been scientifically identified. The only way to determine if the microbial growth in your home is mold or not is to have the growth tested by an Industrial Hygienist or an Indoor Environmental Professional. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville does not perform mold testing due to our ethical standards. However, we are happy to refer you to someone who is a trusted Indoor Air Quality and Mold Inspector in our community. When testing for mold the Indoor Environmental Professional will take samples of the air inside of your home or business and also a sample of the air outside to compare mold spore counts. The Indoor Environmental Professional will also swab the suspected mold growth. The samples collected will then be sent to an AIHA accredited laboratory for analysis and you can expect results in a few days. If you have any questions or would like more information about hiring a reliable Indoor Air Quality and Mold Inspector on the Northshore, then please feel free to give us a call at 985-871-5375.
Mold vs. Mildew
What's the difference between mold and mildew? This is a fairly common question our mold remediation technicians are often asked. Both mold and mildew thrive in humid, warm environments. Also, mold and mildew are equally able to grow on an array of surfaces, from food to drywall to kitchen cabinets. Mold and mildew do differ in size, texture, and color though. Mildew is a surface fungi that tends to be gray or white in color and is usually found on a moist surface. Mold is usually green or brown in color and sometimes may even seem to look fuzzy. Discovering mold growth inside of your home of business is typically the result of a much larger issue. While mold and mildew share a few similarities, their most significant difference is how they should be removed. Mildew can easily be removed by simply wiping down the affected area with store bought chemicals. Mold remediation needs the attention and expertise of trained professionals like our SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville technicians. We may need to recommend removing certain affected materials. Furthermore, we utilize antimicrobial agents specifically formulated by chemist for mold remediation. To learn more about our mold remediation process please click here. To prevent either from growing in your home or business read these tips. If you have suspect mold growth in your home or business, then please give us a call immediately at 985-871-5375.
Is Your Business Hurricane Ready?
Is your small business prepared for an emergency? How would your employees respond? How soon after a hurricane warning do you need to close your business?
Anyone who has lived in South Louisiana long enough has probably learned basic tips for preparing their homes and family members for a hurricane:
- Know your evacuation plan
- Fill up your gas tank
- Gather necessary supplies (food, water, flashlights, radio, etc.)
- Bring all important documents with you when evacuating
However, not everyone creates an emergency plan for their small business. Creating an emergency plan will help you communicate better with employees and reopen as fast as possible after a storm.
Tips for readying your business for an emergency:
- Inspect building and make any necessary repairs at the beginning of hurricane season
- Make a list of emergency contacts for employees and establish where each person plans on evacuating to in an emergency
- Create an inventory list of your business and office contents for insurance purposes
- Assemble insurance documents and financial records and bring with you when evacuating
- Relocate company vehicles to a safe area not prone to flooding
For more information on how to prepare for a hurricane please visit ready.gov.
Moisture Control is the Key to Mold Control
Mold spores can be found all around us, both indoors and outdoors. However, for mold to become a problem inside a home or business water damage must occur. Water damage can materalize in the form of an actual leak or spill, water buildup over time, or high humidity levels causing heavy condensation to accumulate inside.
Controlling Moisture by Preventing Water Damage
If you notice a water leak or spill, then you must act quickly to prevent mold growth and further damages. First, stop the source of the water intrusion. You may need to contact a plumber for help finding the root of the issue. Second, you need to extract the water and make sure to properly dry all affected materials. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is available 24/7 for emergency water damage restoration. Remember, in as little as 48 hours mold can begin to grow on wet materials.
To prevent water buildup make sure to regularly inspect your home. Clogged or broken gutters can often leave to water damage and thus, mold growth. Every couple of months clean and make any necessary repairs to your gutters. Water can also buildup around your home if the ground does not correctly slope away from the foundation. If you notice water building up around your foundation, then take measures to guide water away from your home. To learn a few ways to keep water flowing away from your home click here. Lastly, inspect your air conditioning system on occasion to ensure water is not collecting in the drip pan and the drain lines are flowing accurately.
Controlling Moisture by Controlling Humidity
Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent relative humidity. To measure the humidity level in your home you can purchase a moisture or humidity meter from a local hardware store for about ten to fifteen dollars. Utilizing your air conditioner and, if necessary, a de-humidifier will help to control the humidity in your home. Also, running the bathroom fan when showering and using the exhaust fan or opening windows when cooking will help decrease humidity levels. Lower humidity levels will help to prevent condensation from forming and potentially leading to mold growth.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in mold remediation for both residential and commercial properties. To learn mold about our mold remediation process, then please click here.
Prevent Your Pets from Starting Fires
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners' pets. Just a few months ago we helped restore a home after the homeowners' dog accidentally turned on their gas stove while they were out running errands thus resulting in a small kitchen fire. Thankfully, no one or pets were harmed because of the fire. But now the homeowner knows to remove the kitchen stove knobs to prevent another accident from happening in the future.
The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:
- Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
- Remove Stove Knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
- Invest in Flameless Candles - These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
- Secure Young Pets - keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.