How Professional Standards Strengthen Mold Cleanup
Mold damage in a Lafayette, LA home
When you discover mold in your home in Lafayette, LA, you want a mold remediation company that works to the highest professional standards. This ensures the job will be done right and your property and family will be protected. A certified mold technician understands the nature of this damaging fungus and how to remove mold colonies from your home. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is an industry leader in promoting high standards for the cleaning industry. The organization publishes standards for professional mold remediation and for the assessment for suspected mold contaminated structures. These standards are mostly voluntary but they have been developed through a rigorous process to determine the best practices for mitigating mold.
It is not mandatory for a cleaning company to be a certified mold franchise; however, many insurance companies prefer to work with a business that engages in certified mold remediation. The benefits of choosing a professional company include the following:
- Highly-trained technicians
- Fast, effective cleanup
- Safe cleaning agents and disinfectants
- Advanced equipment and techniques
- Best practices
A highly-trained company provides continuous education to its employees, allowing technicians to stay current on the latest and most effective cleaning procedures. Positions such as an applied microbial remediation specialist, water damage restoration technician, and applied structural drying technician contribute to better mold containment.
A certified mold company follows a proven process to clear your home of troublesome mold colonies. Technicians begin with an inspection and assessment of the property. They work fast because a delay allows mold to spread throughout a home, especially into areas that have high moisture content due to a water leak or roofing problem. The steps of mold containment, air filtration and the removal of mold and mold-infested materials quickly follow. The final stages of the process include the cleaning of contents and belongings and restoration of your home.
4 Crucial Steps for Business Fire Recovery
Commercial building fire in Lafayette, LA
Things To Look Into Before and After a Fire
A business fire in Lafayette, LA, is a devastating experience. Even a small fire causes a significant amount of damage and many companies never recover. With the right moves, though, your company can withstand a fire and come back strong. Here are some vital things to look into before and after a fire that can make a huge difference to the well-being of your company.
1. Business Interruption Insurance. After a fire, a company often experiences a serious decline in revenue. This coverage compensates you for lost income while your company is in recovery mode. It will allow you to pay the bills, satisfy creditors, and keep your credit rating intact during this difficult time.
2. Fire Prevention. Fire alarms and on-site fire extinguishers are two vital tools that every company should invest in. These items can keep a fire small or even snuff one out entirely. A fire sprinkler system is also money well spent, especially for a business (such as a restaurant) that is at greater risk of a fire.
3. Fire Mitigation. Just as with business interruption insurance, fire mitigation plays an important role in surviving a fire. The services of a professional fire remediation team provide a variety of benefits. A fast, professional response after a fire can reduce expenses and losses and can shorten the time a company is out of business. Furthermore, quality fire cleaning can restore your building to its original condition.
4. Commercial Insurance. You should always make sure your commercial insurance policy is current and that it adequately covers your losses and expenses in the case of a business fire. Speaking with your insurance agent on a regular basis can accomplish this. It also a good idea to consider business interruption insurance. Loss of revenue after a fire can be substantial. Sometimes having the right insurance products can make a difference between survival and going out of business.
The 7-Step Process for Fire Restoration
Burned roof in Lafayette, LA
The 7-Step Process for Fire Restoration
Even a small fire can cause significant damage to your client's commercial building in Lafayette, LA. By trusting SERVPRO with the whole fire restoration process, your client gets one team that handles everything from start to finish.
SERVPRO's Customer Care Center is ready to receive a call at any time. With around-the-clock service, your clients can expect technicians from local teams to arrive within hours of the initial contact.
When technicians arrive on the scene, they survey all the damage to the building. Within 8 hours, they can provide a comprehensive assessment of everything that is necessary for the fire rebuild.
Fire damage leaves your clients' property vulnerable to a variety of potential problems, such as weather, vandals, thieves, and animals. Board-up and tarp services protect your building from further damage.
Before fire restoration can be addressed, technicians will likely have to mitigate the water damage caused by putting out the fire. Excess water must be extracted and every remaining surface must be dried.
Fire and water can utterly destroy many parts of the building. If that is the case, materials that cannot be salvaged must be torn out before cleanup can progress.
Smoke and soot get everywhere during a fire. Fire mitigation experts use special techniques to ensure that all surfaces, cracks, crevices, and air ducts are cleaned thoroughly.
Once the remaining structure is sanitized, rebuilding services can begin. SERVPRO technicians don't just put up new drywall and install new carpeting. They match it with the surrounding area to make it look “Like it never even happened."
Cleaning up after a fire has several steps that are essential to help them get back to business as usual as soon as possible. When your clients need fire restoration in their commercial buildings, they can trust SERVPRO to handle the job from start to finish.
How To Restore a Flooded Basement
Even well-maintained homes can experience a basement flood
A basement flood in your Lafayette, LA, home can be a major problem. Fortunately, if the water has not reached the electrical outlets, you may be able to dry out the basement yourself.
Drying out a flooded basement can be dangerous. If the water is deep and has reached the electrical outlets, call a professional. If the water level is below the outlets, you may be able to handle the situation yourself. Check with an electrician to make sure it is safe to do so. You will need the following to work safely:
- rubber boots
- non-metal step stool or step ladder
- extension cord
Wear rubber boots and use the step ladder to turn off the electricity in the basement while making sure to stay out of the standing water. Use the extension cord to run a wet/dry vacuum from upstairs. Keep all cords out of the water.
Once you have addressed all safety issues, notify the provider of your insurance coverage about the basement flood. Then you can begin the restoration process. Remove all standing water with the wet/dry vacuum or a specialized pump. Then use fans or dehumidifiers to dry out the remaining water. Make sure to keep the electricity off until the basement is completely dry. Throw out everything that cannot be fully dried. You will likely need to replace all wet drywall, insulation, and carpeting. Water-damaged appliances generally need to be replaced as well. Floodwater often contains bacteria and other contaminants, so make sure to sanitize all affected surfaces. When everything is clean and dry, you can turn the electricity back on and begin repairing and replacing damaged items.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to keep your basement from flooding. Install a sump pump and keep it well-maintained. Repair cracks in your home’s foundation. Grade your lawn so that water drains away from the home. Make sure gutters are clean and securely attached to the house.
Unfortunately, even well-maintained homes can experience a basement flood. If you need help getting your basement back to normal, a certified restoration company has the experience and equipment to do so.
How a Lightning Strike Can Impact a Home
Although a lightning fire may not be common, lightning strikes are
When your Lafayette, LA, home is your castle, a thunderstorm can easily create additional worry. Along with strong winds and fallen branches damaging the structure, there is also a risk of a lightning fire. Although not a top reason for a house fire, a lightning strike can affect your home and cause hidden fires to start.
If lightning strikes your home, you could be faced with the following:
Fire: Along with potentially starting the roof or area where it hit on fire, it could lead to attic insulation or other hidden flammable items being caught on fire.
Power Surges: Bolts prefer to travel the fastest route from the sky to the ground. That often means crossing paths with the wiring and plumbing systems in a home. If a power line in the area was hit, it can also result in a surge that may damage appliances. Electronics, including any smart devices associated with the home, can also be severely damaged.
Shock Wave: The thunder in the sky can become very destructive as it gets closer. The explosive shock lightning emits can be powerful enough to break windows, crack foundations, or damage bricks and stones.
After a Strike
If your home is hit by lightning, immediately call 911. A lighting fire isn’t always visible, so it’s best to have the experts verify your home is safe. Once your home is deemed safe to enter, you can assess the damage and file an insurance claim. Along with getting the wiring in your home inspected, it is a good idea to have the structural integrity of the home checked. If there was a fire, contact a fire and smoke damage remediation and restoration specialist to get your house back to “Like it never even happened.”
Although a lightning fire may not be common, lightning strikes are. Staying aware and take swift action can help limit the damage.
Limit Roof Damage During and After a Storm
A roof leak is a hassle, but it can quickly become much more than that if gone unchecked.
High winds and severe storms in Lafayette, LA, are often the leading cause of structural damage. While prevention is key to avoiding a roof leak, sometimes nature doesn’t always care. If during or right after the story your property has an obviously damaged roof, getting it taken care of immediately is necessary to avoid extensive water damage remediation and repairs. If the storm was big enough, unfortunately, you may not get instant relief.
Temporary fixes should be made to ensure the damage doesn’t spread. These include:
Tarps – Simple, inexpensive and easy, waterproof tarps can do wonders to keep more moisture from getting inside the property. From the interior of the building, since it is unsafe to walk on a wet roof, smooth the tarp out and attach it, ensuring the entire area is covered.
Caulk or Sealant – For small leaks, a little caulk or sealant can block the water from coming in. Even though it may be small, it can easily become bigger, so be sure to not seal it and forget it.
Replace Shingles – Depending on the structure, a roof leak often is a result of missing shingles or ones that are cracked or becoming unattached. Once it safe to go on the roof, it is important to repair or replace shingles to limit the damage. Loose shingles shout be smoothed and shifted back into place before being nailed or stapled. If shingles are missing but there are no replacements available, sheet metal or wood can be used as a temporary fix.
While these fixes are designed to limit the spread of damage, they are not permanent repairs. Regardless of the size of the leak, contacting a professional to inspect and repair the roof is vital to maintaining its longevity and protecting what it covers.
A roof leak is a hassle, but it can quickly become much more than that if gone unchecked. Taking immediate action and getting it properly repaired are keys to avoiding damage to the rest of the structure.
How To Effectively Take Care of a Basement Flood
By following these steps, you can clean up after a basement flood.
Of all the places in your home, the basement may be the most common spot for water problems. Many people in Lafayette, LA, have dealt with a basement flood. Your location, poor drainage or plumbing problems could lead to flooding here. Make sure you know what to do if you face this challenge. The right response can spare you a lot of stress and grief.
Your First Steps
When you first discover a basement flood, assess the situation, and make sure everyone in your home is safe. If the water is threatening anyone's safety, evacuate the house and call 911. You should then do the following:
Find the source of the flood and stop it if you can safely do so.
Remove materials from the area and get them to higher ground.
Unplug electronics or turn off the power to your home.
Start Removing the Water
A flooded basement can come in all sizes. If the water covers a small area, you can grab a wet vacuum and extract the water yourself. You should also get some air moving by placing fans in the area.
Call the Pros
If the water is spreading throughout the basement and damaging materials, get in touch with a professional flood cleanup company. Professional technicians can get to your home within a few hours of your call. The crews will use industrial-grade machines to pump out and remove all the water from the basement. The team will then dry and disinfect the area to make sure there is no mildew or mold growth.
File a Claim
Insurance coverage is essential when it comes to cleaning up after a flood. Your policy should be effective if there was a sudden, unexpected pipe burst or appliance leak. Give details to your agent about what has happened. Provide pictures of the damage.
By following these steps, you can clean up after a basement flood. A professional company can help make this process faster and more thorough.
Taking Care of Water Damage Caused by Fire Sprinklers
Active fire sprinkler in Lafayette, LA
Taking Care of Water Damage Caused by Fire Sprinklers
Many sources of commercial water damage exist, including flooding and plumbing problems. While fire sprinklers are a smart tool for a company to use in the fight against a devastating blaze, they do sometimes malfunction. Though rare, accidental discharges are usually caused by one of the following reasons:
- A nearby heat source such as an engine or lighting
- A cold snap that freezes the water in the pipes, followed by a thaw
- A failure to inspect sprinklers for signs of corrosion
A case of vandalism or sabotage
An accidental discharge is not likely to be as damaging as other water issues, but it can still cause problems. Immediate cleanup is necessary.
Taking Care of Water Damage
If caught early, an accidental sprinkler discharge in Lafayette, LA, can be cleaned up with little more than a mop and some paper towels. The total amount of water could be only a few gallons. However, if the sprinklers are not turned off right away, the problem becomes much larger and will likely require the services of a professional water remediation company. Trained technicians have the ability to mitigate the damage from flooding, sewage backups, roof leaks, sprinkler discharges, and more. After an inspection and assessment of the property, the team will get to work on water extraction and removal using state-of-the-art equipment and proven methods.
Continuing With the Process
The next step in the cleanup process is drying and ventilating the soaked area. This protects materials that were doused with water and it also prevents the proliferation of mold throughout the building. A cleaning and sanitizing step is usually needed, especially if the water source is contaminated, such as from flooding or sewage problems. Finally, restoration of damaged materials returns the company to its original condition. This process, guided by professionals in the cleaning and restoration field, works for the full spectrum of water problems that a company could face.
5 Steps to Take if You Find Mold in Your Rental Property
Mold found in a Lafayette, LA home
5 Steps to Take if You Find Mold in Your Rental Property
Landlords have specific responsibilities to keep their rentals safe, clean, and livable. In addition to these tasks, landlords are in charge of finances and maintenance. If a tenant comes to you stating they have mold in their apartment, you should take the information seriously and investigate. Mold can spread quickly and you certainly don’t want a mold contamination problem in your apartment building. Here are five steps to take if you find mold in a rental property.
1. Contact Professionals
There are many misconceptions about mold and the average person has little expertise on how to safely remove mold. Mold cleanup involves specific training and equipment. If you’ve gone to the apartment unit and visibly see or smell mold, contact a mold remediation company to help you solve the problem correctly. This will save you time and money in the long run.
2. Investigate and Contain
Mold is naturally present in the air and it’s not until a water source causes moisture that it becomes a problem. A trained technician will locate the source and begin containment measures. They will use specific mold cleanup procedures to keep the mold from spreading in the air while cleaning the problem area.
3. Clean the Air
In addition to physically removing the mold, it’s necessary to clean the air. Using air filtration methods, a technician will capture the mold spores during the mold remediation process.
4. Remove the Mold
There are a variety of treatments, including antifungal, to effectively remove mold colonies. A professional company will be able to clean personal belongings using sanitation procedures; however, it is possible that some items may need to be replaced, such as carpet and drywall.
5.Restore the Area
The final step involves restoring any part of the area that had to be removed. Minor repairs typically include adding new drywall and painting.
Mold cleanup involves specific steps and procedures. Work with a professional restoration company to ensure that your Lafayette, LA, property is clean and inhabitable.
The Dangers Associated With a Flood
Flooded by stormwater in Lafayette, LA
Most Concerning Times During a Flood
Both during and after a flood, a number of dangers are present that can result in injuries and illnesses. To protect yourself and your family and pets, an awareness of these increased perils caused by flooding can be helpful. This list is not complete but it shows some of the most common concerns during this time:
- Physical injuries such as cuts and abrasions
- Infections due to contact with contaminated water and surfaces
- Health consequences due to exposure to harmful chemicals
- Asthma incidents due to mold exposure
- Emotional trauma and increased stress
During this time, it is important to act with special care, especially when returning to a home in Lafayette, LA, that has been flooded. Staying away from standing water and wearing protective gear can reduce your chance of injury or illness.
Water is categorized by its level of cleanliness. Clean water is considered a 1, gray water is considered a 2 because it has some impurities in it, and black water is considered a 3 and should be considered harmful to human health. All water from flooding is categorized as a level 3 and should be handled by a professional storm remediation team. Trained and certified technicians will know the best techniques for black water and they can take care of other water damage problems in your home. Swift removal of water minimizes damage and reduces the chance of mold growth later on.
Once the water has been removed, the surfaces of the home should be cleaned and sanitized. Another area of concern is the improper use of bleaches and disinfectants which lead to injury. Proper techniques and the right cleaning agents lead to fewer exposures and injuries, as does wearing gloves and face masks. Chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite should be avoided during the cleanup. Flooding is a serious threat to your home and property and should be addressed carefully.