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What To Know About IICRC Certifications

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

The IICRC, or Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, sets the industry standards for disaster remediation companies. The focus of this company is to continuously improve the standards of operation for this type of work. Although headquartered in Nevada, they shape work standards everywhere, including in Harrisonville, MO.

Standards

While the IICRC is not affiliated with the United States government, it works closely with the American National Standards Institute which monitors different industries' standards. This means that professionals who have this type of certification are highly knowledgeable about the remediation industry. This organization is responsible for establishing restoration work's terminology, technology, techniques, and safety protocols. Creating certain requirements improves the safety of businesses and customers dealing with remediation work. This is critical for ensuring public health. The areas it sets the standards for include:

  • Textile floor coverings
  • Stone restoration
  • Hard floor coverings
  • Upholstery cleaning
  • Water damage restoration
  • Crime scene cleanup
  • Mold contamination assessment
  • HVAC cleaning
  • Fire and smoke damage restoration

Certifications

The various areas that have standards set by the IICRC all have a corresponding certification. In other words, a mitigation technician will have a mitigation certificate. As a business owner, it is especially important to ask for verification that the technicians you hire have these. This ensures that your business is in good hands after a disaster. 

Maintaining Certification

After technicians complete a course and pass the exam, they are issued a certification card. To keep this certification, you must earn a certain number of continuing education credits every two years. These credits come from additional related courses that you pass the exam for. 

Becoming a professional in any field requires ensuring that you are properly trained and certified. The restoration industry is no exception. If you are a business owner looking for a qualified remediation company, ensure they have a certification from this organization. This will help you get the highest quality of work available.

How to Keep Mold and Moisture Out of Your HVAC System

6/14/2022 (Permalink)

Tips and Tricks From SERVPRO to Keeping Mold and Moisture Out Of Your HVAC System

In the warm summer heat, it's easy to build up moisture; especially when it gets sticky, muggy, and humid. When this happens, you naturally crank the A.C., reach for something cold, and kick back in your lazy chair. The problem is, when you're relaxing and enjoying the nice cold breeze, mold is spreading through your ducts, vents, and HVAC system, leaving a nasty haze of mold that you can smell all over the house. If you're running a business, your customers could smell it too- which is why you should always call our service professionals to deal with the problem as soon as possible. 

How Does Mold Get in The HVAC System? 

Mold damage is no laughing matter. Mold, fungus, and other bacteria are in their perfect environment when they're trapped in your HVAC system. It's dark, warm, moist, closed in, and humid, meaning that spores can grow practically unabated. You'll notice more and more scents as heat and humidity are generated from outside and pulled through your ducts. 

When this moist air gets into your air system, it collects within and above your HVAC units. At this point, the spores of mold and other fungi easily rise through the air, setting up colonies as your condenser forces them up through the duct system. These aren't the only cases of mold that we've seen at SERVPRO; we've seen mold stick to people's clothes or shoes, and it's all brought inside by excess humidity caused by rainfall. 

Here Are a Few Tips on How to Remove Mold From Your HVAC System 

  1. Continue to clean and maintain your HVAC system, even when you aren't using it. Check the ducts for wet spots, and regularly check and maintain your HVAC filter. 
  2. Double-check the drainage systems on your HVAC for mold. Allow for "dry-out" areas where the drainage comes out to prevent excess moisture. 
  3. Get dehumidifiers for your home. They are ideal for collecting excess humidity, and they help with the temperature inside your house, too. 
  4. Always insulate your pipes, walls, and ceilings. Use caulking for cracks to control cracks and leaks. 
  5. Contrary to common beliefs, keep your windows closed when it's hot outside. Humidity, dust, and dampness easily travel inside.

Firework Safety

6/11/2022 (Permalink)

A holiday weekend like the Fourth of July brings much fun, but can also lead to disaster if the right precautions are not taken. Here are a few quick and helpful tips to stay safe and enjoy your holiday. 

  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light fireworks indoors
  • Keep fireworks away from houses and flammable material 
  • Never point or throw fireworks toward another person
  • Only light one device at a time
  • Maintain a safe distance after lighting a firework

Although sparklers are a simple and fun firework for kids to use, they can still be quite dangerous if not handled properly. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. Sparkles are not advised to children under the age of five unless accompanied by an adult. Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers, or colored streamers for children when trying to celebrate safely this Fourth of July!

What To Do After a Flood

6/5/2022 (Permalink)

Flooding can take a huge toll on business owners as they try to deal with cleaning and restoring their buildings after a flood occurs. While the first inclination might be to start cleaning the area and salvaging whatever can be saved, there are several hazards to be aware of when entering an area affected by flood water. Before doing anything after a flood occurs, quickly take the following steps.

Determine Safety

Your first concern when addressing a flood in your business is to determine whether it is safe or not to enter the area. It is very important to consider if the water might be contaminated. If dealing with a sewage backup or water from a nearby river, the water is considered Category 3 water. Also called black water, this type of flood water contains contaminants that can potentially cause harm to people or pets nearby.

Call for Help

If a lot of storm damage or water damage has occurred, it will be nearly impossible to effectively handle the situation on your own. Quickly get in contact with a water damage cleanup company to help mitigate the damage and restore your building to its original condition. If dealing with Category 3 water or another hazardous situation, do not enter the flooded area until the specialists say it is safe to do so.

Dry the Area 

If you have determined there are no safety concerns, you can try to dry some of the water in the area while waiting for help to arrive. Depending on where the flooding is located, you can try mopping the area, moving belongings and furniture, or hanging damp fabrics,

Knowing how to act in the case of a flood can help keep everyone in your building safe and minimize the amount of damage the flood water causes. While you want to act quickly, make sure to analyze the situation first and get the help you need.

Drip, Drip, Drip: How To Tell If Your Shower Is Leaking

6/4/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage can be costly to the unsuspecting homeowner. In the fast pace of a daily routine, it can be difficult to remember to check for potential damage from something as mundane as a bathtub leak or shower pan leak. However, the earlier a leak is caught, the higher the chance that all you need is a simple repair. 

How To Look for Damage

The first thing to do when looking for damage from a leak is to visually inspect the area. If you suspect a shower or bathtub leak, look for obvious signs of water damage:

  • Look for any obvious cracks or damage to the shower tile or the bathtub itself where it looks like water could be escaping.
  • Peeling or lose trim can indicate potential damage from repeated water exposure. 
  • Check the faucet or shower head by running water for a short time and then turning the water off, observing any unusual water flow where the fixtures are attached to the wall. 
  • You may also be able to see issues with the threshold of a shower while the shower is on, such as water escaping when the shower doors are closed. 
  • Any stains in the ceiling directly underneath a bathroom are a definite red flag and need to be addressed as soon as possible.

What This Means for You

If you find any of these signs of possible leakage, it’s time to contact an emergency restoration professional. An experienced professional can not only prevent further structural damage from occurring around the bathtub but can also take steps to eliminate any mold or mildew buildup from trapped water. 

Just remember, if you find any signs of a possible shower or bathtub leak in your bathroom, you can rest assured that a restoration professional is Here to Help. Enlisting the aid of experienced professionals can help you get your home back to normal as quickly and as smoothly as possible.



Water Damage Categories and What They Mean

6/4/2022 (Permalink)

What Category of Water Causes the Flooding?

When your business suffers a broken pipe, you may need to schedule a restoration service to survey the damage and conduct a water pipe repair. The exact nature of the restoration and the steps followed may depend on what category of water caused the flooding. Here's what you may need to know.

  1. White Water

Uncontaminated water is usually called white water and often comes from a broken pipe or water main. This is water that is usually considered safe for drinking or bathing, and may easily be cleaned up without worrying about sanitation issues.

  1. Grey Water

The professional performing your water pipe repair may categorize any water that comes from an appliance or area that may have come in contact with minor contaminants, such as soap or cleaning chemicals, like grey water. This water is not safe for human consumption but is not carrying harmful contaminants such as those that might come from a sewer-related issue.

  1. Black Water

The black water category is usually used when referring to any water that carries sewer contamination such as that from a flooded toilet. This may also refer to flood waters from storms or overflowing rivers as it's difficult to tell exactly what sources such water may have come into contact with. It's highly recommended that a professional be called any time water damage is suspected to fall under the black category, as specific sanitation and safety steps need to be followed.

Flooding is often categorized into three types. The category the flood damage falls under may influence the steps necessary when conducting a water pipe repair at your place of business. It's important to understand which category the water that causes any damage and your business come from so that the appropriate restoration steps may be taken. If you have any questions it's best to talk to your water damage restoration professional.

How to Maintain Your Furnace

6/4/2022 (Permalink)

Keep You Furnace Properly Maintained

During the autumn and winter months, you will often need to heat your home. If you use a furnace, you should be sure to keep it properly maintained to reduce the risk of a house fire that could lead to lost belongings and damage that requires fire cleaning. To ensure that your unit is working it should remember to do the following.

  1. Clean or Replace Filters Regularly

When you are using a furnace to heat your home, it is important that you keep the filters clean and replace them when necessary. When they are not regularly cleaned, filters are unable to work as intended and can allow dust, dirt, and allergens to enter the air during heating. It also makes it more difficult for the furnace to operate and can cause overheating which may start a fire. While cleaning your filters may seem like a nuisance, it is a much better option than having to go through fire cleaning.

  1. Inspect the Unit Before Use

If it has been a while since your furnace has been used, you should inspect the unit before operating it for long periods of time. Make sure that all of the components are clean and working correctly. You should also check that the furnace is receiving power or, if powered by fuel, has enough oil to operate correctly. 

  1. Hire a Professional

The best way to ensure that your device is operating as intended is to call in professionals to inspect and maintain the unit for you. They will have the experience needed to locate any problems before it becomes a bigger issue. To reduce your chances of fire and the consequent need for fire and smoke cleaning, you should have your furnace serviced once or twice a year, specifically before the cooler weather in autumn begins.

While properly maintaining your furnace is a good way to reduce your chances of a fire, sometimes unexpected problems arise. If a fire occurs, a fire restoration service will be able to do fire cleaning and repairs to get your home to its previous condition.



3 Steps To Repair a Roof After Storm Damage

6/4/2022 (Permalink)

Roof Repair

When storms damage your home’s roof, the idea of a roof repair can seem overwhelming. However, understanding what repairing a roof entails may make you feel more at ease about the process.

  1. Assessment

Storms can affect various parts of a roof, and in order to know how to proceed in the repair process, it’s often necessary to assess the damaged roof. Hail and wind damage can cause shingles to crack or even blow away entirely, and the extent of the damage will determine what will happen next. In order to receive a thorough and accurate assessment, it can sometimes be helpful to employ storm damage and restoration professionals.

  1. Mitigation

Part of the roof repair process generally includes mitigating the damage. After an assessment has identified roof damage, tarps and board-up methods are often used to prevent the roof from further deteriorating. In addition to preventing the exterior of the home from sustaining more damage, it can also be useful to take measurements to protect the interior of the home. Roofs that have been affected by storms may cause water to become trapped in the home’s ceilings. Removing water from the ceiling in a timely manner can help to minimize the damage to the interior of the home.

  1. Restoration

After an assessment and mitigation, the roof is restored. Any debris that is on or around the roof is first removed. Then, individual shingles that have been cracked or that have blown away due to strong winds can be replaced. If widespread damage has occurred to your roof, however, it may be necessary to replace the roof entirely to ensure the home is properly protected.

Knowing what is involved with a roof repair can help make the repair and restoration process less stressful. The repair process often involves the assessment of the roof, mitigating the damage, and restoration.

Water Damage Restoration Tips For Your House After A Flood

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration Tips For Your House After A Flood

A few years back, homes, business properties, and personal items devastated by flood water were considered lost. Today, with innovations in technology, the losses due to flood damage can now be restored to their former state. The process is not easy, it requires extensive mopping up and drying of the property after severe water damage. 

Flood water in-home or business can damage your walls, floors, carpets, and other personal belongings too. Extracting the water is impossible without proper equipment while sun drying does not guarantee your assets' restoration to their former state before the incident. There is also an additional risk the water in the home might have damaged electrical equipment or wires. Anyone tampering with either could be in for horrible electrocution during the water cleanup and restoration. 

For these reasons, water cleanup and restoration are best handled by professionals. They have to requisite experience, state-of-the-art equipment, and techniques to do the job properly and offer mitigation against further damage. If the renovation job requires extensive work, promptness in beginning the works is paramount. The less the time frame between flood damage and refurbishment, the greater the ease of reinstating a property or item to its preloss state. There are four fundamental steps to follow with any renovation job after water damage:

  1. Removal of the Flood Water

The first important step to restoring a property after damage from water in home or business premise is removing the stagnant water. Often, a submersible pump is used to remove the water accumulation in various structures around the premises. 

  1. Moisture Mapping

It is crucial to get an idea of the extent of water damage and take the first mitigation steps against mold growth. The step uses detection equipment to obtain and appropriately map the moisture values on the property. Properly trained technicians use infrared and digital imaging to determine the damage extent.

  1. Mold Inspection and Removal

After moisture mapping, the house will need to be prepared to repel mold and mildew. Any residual stagnant water in business or homestead leads to a favorable habitat for the fungi to thrive thus mitigation against it is essential. Water cleanup professionals make use of special detergents to sterilize the area and make the surroundings unfavorable for mold growth. Some renovation firms take advantage of deodorization and ventilation during this step to remove any airborne contaminants and lingering, unpleasant odors. 

  1. Water Drying

This last step ensures the property is completely dry and humidity is brought back to its normal state after flood damage. There are various water drying techniques and the one used will depend on the situation’s severity. These techniques include:

  • Air Movers- They help dry the establishment by controlling humidity and promoting air circulation. Working in sections, the air movers remove liquids from all porous materials including carpets and wood. Any remaining water in-home or business premises is left for more sophisticated machines. 
  • Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air and help extract any remaining water in business or home environments. Broadly, professionals use either desiccant or refrigerant dehumidifiers. Desiccant dehumidifiers operate by cooling the air to make it reduce its ability to retain water. As a result, condensation occurs around the equipment’s cooling coils. Applying these machines on a large scale promptly extracts excess humidity from the air leaving no more water in businesses or households and thus no further water damage. The particular type of equipment, however, depends on the tired company and how extensive the restoration job is. 

With the right professionals, successful water cleanup is possible, and any damage from water in business or home establishments can be fixed. Each job, however, is unique and requires prompt, proper investigation. This helps come up with a plan based on the steps above to restore the property after water damage. 

The Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage

6/3/2022 (Permalink)

Work Place Water Damage is Restored by SERVPRO

When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms. 

However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.  

  1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems

Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.

  1. Damaged appliances and equipment

This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency. 

  1. Broken pipes and plumbing

Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result. 

  1. Backed up sewer lines

This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings.