Archived Blog Posts
Landlord Responsibilities After a Commercial Apartment Fire
An apartment fire in Lafayette, LA
What To Do After A Commercial Apartment Fire
A commercial apartment fire in Lafayette, LA, affects both you and your tenants. You may be in shock and wondering exactly what to do next. You also need to determine the damages for which you are responsible.
Once you find out about a fire on your commercial property, you need to take immediate action. Your first steps should include:
- Reporting the fire to your insurance provider
- Setting up appointments with restoration companies
- Talking to your tenants about the cause of the fire
- Asking the fire officer when it is safe to enter the premises to survey the damage
In the days after the blaze, take pictures of the property and create an inventory of any structural damage. You should also cover openings and lock doors to keep out looters.
Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities
Next, you must determine which of the apartment fire repairs are your responsibility. In general, the landlord is in charge of fixing fire damage to the property itself, including the plumbing and electrical systems. Your insurance policy should help you cover the cost of these emergency restoration services.
The tenants, meanwhile, must repair or replace any items that they purchased for the commercial apartment. However, things get a bit complicated if the fire resulted from negligence by the landlord or tenants. If the tenants can prove that you were responsible for the blaze, they may be able to recoup additional money from you.
Similarly, you may not have to pay for all of the apartment repairs if it is determined that the fire was the fault of a tenant. In this scenario, your insurance company may work with the tenant or the tenant's insurance company to get compensation. You also may want to put in your lease specific language about landlord and tenant responsibilities following a fire.
Make sure that you and your tenants each understand what they need to do after a commercial apartment fire. This will expedite the restoration process.
Your Dryer Could Be a Fire Hazard
Improper cleaning of your dryer machine can cause lint fire.
As a homeowner in Lafayette, LA, you frequently rely on your home dryer. Did you know that improper cleaning and use of the machines can cause lint fire. Although useful, residents must understand how to maintain their units and mitigate potential trouble. The following are statistics about potential dryer blazes and what owners should do to safeguard their homes.
How Often Does a Dryer Fire Occur?
Yes, you use the dryer often and don't have a problem. However, the potential for flames is higher than you may believe. The National Fire Protection Agency notes that most home fires result from lint, dust and fiber, with approximately 92% of household fires involving the clothes dryer. In addition, the United States Fire Administration reports the following statistics.
Approximately 2,900 dryer fires get reported annually
Property loss claims amount to as much as $35 million a year
27.6 of dryer units ignited because of lint or material buildup
How Do the Fires Start?
Dryer fires often start because the machines develop a buildup. When clothes tumble around, they shed lint. These flammable fibers are released from your blankets, shirts and pants during the dryer's run, accumulating on trap and exit tubes. When this fluff overheats, a lint fire begins.
How Can You Minimize This Impending Threat?
Take care to install your machine correctly and have it regularly serviced, ensuring it's in proper working order. In addition, establish a routine system for clearing lines from the dryer components. Empty the trap after each cycle. Then, check the area behind the dryer at least once a month. Have a service crew fix any signs of damage immediately. Hire professionals to clean it at least once a year.
Enjoy your dry clothes and understand the importance of avoiding a lint fire. If flames occur, leave home and call for help. Have an expert fire remediation team inspect, sanitize and repair the room.
3 Ways To Prepare Your Home for a Storm
By installing shutters you prevent your windows from getting broken and letting the weather inside.
Three Steps to Storm-Proofing Your House
Whether it's a blizzard in the middle of winter or a mid to late summer hurricane, you never want to be caught unaware. When you leave your home unprotected, you leave your family's safety up to chance. Here are three ways to prepare your home for a storm and keep your family safe.
1. Clean Landscaping
Even small branches can become projectiles in a powerful storm. To best protect your home, remove all dead or dying tree limbs. Cut back any trees that hang over your home or any power lines. If a limb were to break off during a storm, it could do considerable damage to your home and cause you to lose power.
Additionally, ensure that your gutters and storm drains are clean and free from debris. A blocked storm drain could mean that your Lafayette, LA, home could quickly become overrun with flood water and turn into a flooded building.
2. Install Shutters
If even one of your windows breaks in a storm, you could find yourself in trouble. Install sturdy shutters on all of your windows to prevent them from getting broken and letting the weather inside. Steady rain coming through a broken window could cause a tremendous amount of water damage in a short period. Furthermore, if the flood water is high enough, a broken window will let the water into the house. If a flood makes its way inside, you'll need to call storm damage repair specialists to handle the clean-up.
3. Stop Flood Water From Entering
Before a big storm hits, evaluate your home and identify potential risks. Install a sump pump to control the water if you have a frequently flooded crawl space. If you have cracks or breaks in your foundation, contact a specialist to have them repaired. It can also be helpful to grade your lawn away from your home, so the floods have a more difficult time reaching the house.
Storms can be stressful, but taking the time to protect your home before one hits can help take a weight off your shoulders.
Know the Different Types of Water Damage
Laundry room washer leak.
Whether heavy rains or a leaking pipe, water damage to your Lafayette, LA, home requires swift action. The longer it sits, the more potential there is for additional damage, such as mold growth. At the first signs of water is easy to want to grab whatever is on hand to start the cleanup. Before doing that is vital to understand the type of water you are dealing with.
Flood Damage Categories
There are three categories of water damage, all of which come from different sources.
Category 1: Considered clean water, the source could be a burst pipe or sink overflowing. This water has no contaminants, making it safe for people to handle.
Category 2: Referred to as gray water, it often has chemicals, biological contaminants, or microorganisms. Sources for sustaining this damage include dishwasher overflow, water from condensation, or sump pump failure.
Category 3: This is the dreaded black water that comes from flooding and often has sewage, toxins, chemicals, and other substances that are best left untouched. Along with sewage backups, floodwaters, and rising groundwater, gray water not properly taken care of may become this type of damage.
Any water left unchecked has the potential to cause more issues, even clean water. When it is classified as the other two categories, calling a professional storm damage restoration company is often the best choice. Dealing with contaminated water requires assessing the extent of the damage, developing a plan of action, and then cleaning and repairing the damage using industrial-grade equipment and professional methods.
While any type of water damage your home sustains is a negative situation, the type of water causing the issue should also be a top concern. Verifying the source of the intrusion helps ensure the right measures are taken for proper cleanup.
6 Ways To Maintain Your Sump Pump
Make a point to check your sump pump often.
Sump Pump Maintenance
Your sump pump is something you probably don't think about often. However, you will surely remember this essential piece of equipment if a bunch of water invades your Lafayette, LA, home's lowest floor. It's vital to frequently maintain your pump to ensure it's there when you need it most.
1. Inspect the Drain Pipes for Blockages
Your drain lines must remain clear for the pump to work to its fullest potential. Check them regularly by pouring hot water down the pipe from upstairs. The water will flow fast down the line into your sewer or lawn if it is clear.
2. Look for Leaking Oil
Discovering oil on the pump can be a sign of an oil leak. A leak would mean repairing, or possibly even replacing, the pump.
3. Check for Leaks in the Basin
You also need to check the basin to check for leaks or cracks. A leaky basin can result in damage necessitating work by water damage restoration experts. Look for potential leaks by removing everything from the pit and filling it with water.
4. Test the Sump Pump Alarm and Battery Regularly
The alarm is essential, as it notifies you of issues. Ensure that you can hear it from any area of your home. In addition to testing the alarm, test the backup battery. Unplug the pump from its power outlet and fill the basin with water. The backup battery is working correctly if the pump starts instantly.
5. Test the Electrical Components for Damage
Sump pumps use a significant amount of electricity, which can sometimes trip a circuit breaker. Avoid electrical problems by inspecting the power cord and outlet to ensure they are undamaged.
6. Check the Check Valve for Issues
The check valve is one of the most essential parts to inspect during pump maintenance. It is a component that commonly fails.
Make a point to check your sump pump often. This preventative action could mean the difference between incurring extensive water damage during a flood and no loss.
3 Steps To Prepare To Use a Fire Extinguisher
The acronym PASS stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep.
Three Steps To Prepare To Use a Fire Extinguisher
Extinguishers for fire are essential safety equipment, but many people are not sure how to use these tools when the flames are rising. Here are three steps that an employee delegated fire safety responsibilities or a manager of a commercial property can take to prepare to effectively use a fire extinguisher at a building in Lafayette, LA.
1. Check the Class of Extinguisher
There are five main extinguisher classes: A, B, C, D and K. Class A extinguishers are best for combustible solid materials. Class B extinguishers are formulated for flammable liquids and gasses. Use Class C extinguishers for electrical fires, Class D extinguishers for metallic fires and Class K extinguishers for cooking fires.
2. Check the Fire Extinguisher Date
An extinguisher must be functional in order to limit the need for fire damage restoration. Check the label or cylinder body of the canister for a date. The plastic ring or boot of an extinguisher can cover the date. Based on the date, it may be necessary to refill or replace the extinguisher.
3. Memorize the PASS Method
The acronym PASS stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep. Suppress a fire by pulling the extinguisher pin, aiming the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeezing the lever and sweeping the fire suppressant spray from side to side. The spray from an extinguisher can spread a kitchen fire involving grease. Smother a grease fire with a heat-resistant pot lid or powder suppressants such as baking soda and salt.
You should always use a fire extinguisher as intended. Set yourself up for success beforehand by checking to make sure that the fire suppressants in an extinguisher are rated for efficacy at putting out the substances that are most likely to ignite in each area of a commercial building in Lafayette, LA.
3 Common Causes for a Shower Leak
Shower pans can become damaged or worn and start to leak.
Reasons Your Shower Could Be Leaking
If you regularly see standing water after a bath or shower, you'll want to address the situation immediately to ensure you don't have a bathtub leak in your Lafayette, LA, home. Here are three reasons your shower could be leaking.
1. Broken Tiles or Missing Grout
Even a tiny crack in the tile or grout of your shower can cause a sizable bathtub leak. The water from the shower seeps through the crack and can damage the sheetrock and wood behind the wall. Look closely at each tile, and the surrounding grout, in the shower and look for cracks or missing pieces. If you don't feel that you can replace or repair the damaged tiles yourself, contact a water damage restoration service to fix them and have them address any potential water damage from the leak.
2. Shower Pan Leak
Over time, shower pans can become damaged or worn and start to leak. To check for a leak, cover and plug the drain to ensure no water can get down it. Then, fill the shower pan with a couple of inches of water. If the bathroom is on the second floor, keep an eye on the ceiling underneath the bathroom. However, if the bathroom is on the main floor, look at the joists under the house. If there is a leak in your shower pan, you'll start to see water spots appear in as little as 20 minutes.
3. Damaged Caulking or Gaskets
One culprit that often causes a shower or bathtub leak is damaged caulking or missing gaskets. If you have a door on your tub or shower, turn on the shower and aim the water at the door. Look for any areas where water is obviously leaking out. Replace any missing caulking or gaskets to ensure the water stays inside the shower where it belongs.
Shower leaks can be stressful. However, knowing what to look for and relying on professionals can make a hard time lot easier to handle.
3 Essential Tips To Protect Your Business From Storm Damage
Invest in a generator.
Be Ready When Disaster Strikes
A torrential rainstorm can have major negative impacts on your business if you're not prepared. Damaging high winds, floodwaters and long-term power outages can all result in extra expenses you may not have budgeted for. Thinking ahead can help you be ready when disaster strikes. Here are three tips to help you protect your business.
1. Invest in a Generator
If a thunderstorm in Lafayette, LA, knocks out your power, a generator can help you keep your business running, or at least prevent the loss of perishable items. You'll also be able to better protect your employees by keeping lights on and heat pumping if needed. Having power helps you maintain your ability to communicate with customers and staff so you experience fewer service interruptions and can keep everyone informed of your plans.
2. Communicate With Staff
Before a rainstorm rolls in, be sure to discuss your plans and expectations with your staff. They should know what to do in the event that you lose power or major damage is done to the building. Discuss what they should do if customers are in the building to keep everyone safe. Determine appropriate exit routes and where people should take shelter if the need arises.
3. Maintain Your Building
Proper building and landscape maintenance are key to keeping your business safe in a storm. Be sure to keep branches trimmed and away from windows. Perform regular safety checks on your building's perimeter and don't wait to fix any issues you discover. Investing in building safety can pay off in the long run when you don't have to deal with major damages once the storm has passed. If you do experience harm to your building, be sure to reach out for professional commercial building restoration services.
When a rainstorm rolls in, you want to make sure your employees and your assets remain safe. Follow these tips to help you be prepared in the event that Mother Nature upsets your bottom line.
Mold: Fascinating Facts
Small moisture problems become big mold problems.
When studied from afar, mold, a type of fungus, is a fascinating organism. When experienced up close in your place of business in Lafayette, LA, black mold and other varieties are more disturbing than anything else. To start with the interesting facets of mold, it is found just about everywhere. It can even be found in desert climates. More than likely, it is in your building at all times without causing any problems. It needs water to grow and proliferate into bothersome colonies. A moisture source such as high humidity in a room, a steady water leak or standing water is often enough to foster a fungal outbreak.
Another interesting trait of black mold is that it forms roots and penetrates into porous materials. A mold outbreak brings a number of unpleasant consequences:
- An ugly, slimy appearance
- Musty odors
- Poor indoor air quality
- Extensive damage to a property
Mold can break down wood and paper materials as well as penetrate into furniture, clothing and carpeting. A mold cleanup is needed when the colonies are causing any of these negative problems. Allowing the mold to grow unchecked will result in the spread of mold throughout your building. This will significantly complicate the restoration of your property.
The removal of mold from a property cannot be done with regular cleaning methods. Special techniques and equipment are needed as well as the expertise of an experienced mold mitigation company. A SERVPRO franchise is always Here to Help. Certified technicians will use thermal imaging to locate a water source in your building. These highly-trained workers will employ containment barriers to stop the spread, and they will use vacuums to suck up mold spores killed by effective fungicides. A professional cleaning will ensure that the mold won't return again. Whether your building has black mold or another variety of mold, a proven process will rid your property of this fascinating but harmful organism.
Top Alternatives to Using Sandbags
Inflatable flood dams are interesting because they use water to prevent flooding.
When you expect a flood in Lafayette, LA, you might automatically think of using a sand bag to stop floodwaters from creeping into your business. This might not be your best solution, but there are plenty of alternatives.
Why Seek an Alternative?
Sandbags have many issues when it comes to preventing water from creeping in and the need for water damage remediation. Some of these issues are:
- Difficulty storing
- May become environmental hazards
When you use them for flood prevention, storage, setup and disposal are all cumbersome. They also are not the best way to prevent flood damage.
Transportable Flood Fence
These barriers keep the water out by encircling whatever you need to be protected. You can encircle your entire business if you need to. They are harder to prepare than the more traditional sand bag. Unfortunately, this solution is not practical if you have a small area like a doorway or your business is part of a strip complex. They also can be fairly costly.
Poly Tube Flood Barriers
These work on a similar concept as sandbags do. They consist of a long tube that can be filled with any heavy substance, including sand. You then stretch the tube across something as small as a doorway or as large as a bay door. This is a type of dam that can be lengthened or shortened to suit your needs. You just fill it as high as you need it and then put it into place. The only problem comes in when it is at full length. It can be difficult to move on your own.
Inflatable flood dams are interesting because they use water to prevent flooding. You lay it out and fill it up. Unfortunately, this type can be cost-prohibitive if you are trying to cover a large area. Still, if you have a large area that floods frequently, it might just be worth it.
Consider these solutions to protect yourself. You don't need the hassle of filling a sandbag to prevent floodwaters from entering your business.
Cleaning Up Your Company After a Fire
Commercial fire damage in Lafayette, LA.
Fire Remediation Process
A fire at your Lafayette, LA, commercial property can be an overwhelming process. It starts with panic and safety concerns and ends up leaving you wondering about the cost of cleanup. Although it’s difficult to plan for a fire, there are several steps you can take to manage the remediation process to effectively handle fire and smoke damage.
1. Contact the Insurance Company
The first step after any fire is to contact your insurance company. They will be able to answer detailed questions about exactly which items they will replace and get you immediate funding for cleanup. If there are questions about damage to employee property, your insurance agent will be able to give you direction on what to tell them.
2. Secure the Building
It’s often an overlooked step, but you need to make sure to secure the property. There could be looting or trespassers in unstable areas, and you are liable for injuries that occur. Make sure any windows, walls or roofs that were broken by firefighters are boarded up and warning signage is posted.
3. Cleanup Fire Damage
The next step is to call professional fire restoration specialists. Items not obviously damaged in the fire might have incurred smoke damage. Walls and carpets can have a gray or black tint from soot damage, and they could be harboring invisible contaminants as well. At a minimum, they will have a smell that needs professional smoke cleaning. A competent restoration company will leave your property looking “Like it never even happened."
No owners want to deal with a fire in their business. However, the cleanup process doesn’t have to be especially complicated. The first step is to contact your insurance company and then secure the premises to prevent further damage. A fire restoration company will walk you through the process to remove all smoke damage and get your facility back up and running quickly.
FAQs About Business Inventory Lists
To protect your business, you need to create an inventory list.
Creating an inventory list of everything in your business may seem daunting, but it is crucial. Every business owner should have an inventory to give to their insurance company or remediation professionals, such as SERVPRO, in the event of a disaster.
What Is an Inventory?
An inventory is documentation of everything in your business in Lafayette, LA. It is often organized by room or type of item. These lists should include the following information:
- Make, model, and serial numbers
- Purchase locations
- Purchase dates
- Replacement estimates
When Should You Make One?
Make an inventory now. Even the most basic list will help you deal with the insurance company and a disaster remediation team. This is also a helpful tool for when you are reviewing your insurance coverage.
Why Should You Make One?
Create an inventory to serve as proof of loss during an insurance claim. Without a thorough list, you can miss items and not receive enough compensation. This is because it is difficult to remember what is in your business when faced with a disaster. Having an inventory is one less thing you need to worry about.
How Do You Start One?
An easy way to get started on your list is to walk through your business and video everything you see. While a video alone is not enough to serve as proper documentation for an insurance claim, it is enough to get you started figuring out what you need more details on.
How Do You Calculate Value?
Besides providing a list of items, you will also need to have cost estimates for your insurance claim. When calculating these, consider the replacement cost. Check with your insurance company and see that you will receive full compensation for replacement costs. If you don't get these, you may want to upgrade your policy.
To protect your business, you need to create an inventory list. This will serve as proof of loss and help you provide your insurance agent with a complete list of items that were damaged.
5 Tips to Prevent Spring Flooding at Your Business
Keep your gutters clean.
Prevent Flooding at Your Business
After a long winter, it is finally time to start planning for the warmer months ahead. If you own a business in Lafayette, LA, spring can be a busy season for profits, but it also is a busy season for flooding. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent problems during the next thaw. Follow these steps to reduce the chances of needing to hire a water damage restoration professional once the weather warms up.
1. Relocate Snow
Never underestimate the water capacity in a pile of snow. For this reason, you will want to clear away from the building's foundation. Ideally, snow should be at least three to five feet away, but the further away it is, the better.
2. Clean Out Gutters
After dealing with the snow, you will need to look up. Over a long winter, gutters can collect a large amount of debris. Leaves, sticks and dirt can lead to blockages which can force water to seep into the building.
3. Make Repairs
Next, look around the property. Few things lead to flooding like a frozen pipe. Check plumbing carefully. Seal leaks and insulate exposed pipes. While making repairs, do not forget the foundation. If you see cracks, do not ignore them.
4. Optimize Landscape Drainage
How does water drain around the building? If necessary, regrade the surrounding land to allow for better drainage. You may need to move plants and soil to do this, but it can be worth it.
5. Consider a Professional Inspection
If you are still feeling unsure about how your building will hold up to this spring's thaw, scheduling an expert inspection can give you peace of mind. Sometimes, it is just better to know.
When the weather finally warms up, your business should experience spring profits, not a spring flood. By following these steps, you can reduce the chances of encountering common flooding problems.
How Pretesting Speeds Up the Claims Process After a Home Disaster
SERVPRO’s commitment to pretesting makes the restoration and insurance process more efficient.
How Pretesting Aids In The Claims Process Following A House Fire
Following a disaster in your home, you have many concerns. One of the most important elements of getting back to your normal activities is starting the insurance process and making sure your coverage takes effect and that you aren’t stuck with massive costs. When you hire the right disaster cleanup team, you can count on your claim going through in a timely manner. The best restoration teams use pretesting and other practices to give you the peace of mind you need.
What Is Pretesting?
There is no shortage of disaster relief companies you could hire to help get you back on your feet after a fire, flood or mold infestation. You want to work with someone that does pretesting. This involves the following steps:
- Evaluating the full extent of the disaster.
- Making a plan of how to move forward in the best manner possible.
- Determining what parts of the home professionals can repair and salvage and what parts they must replace altogether.
Why Pretesting Matters to Insurance Company
You should make an insurance claim as quickly after the incident as possible. Cleanup and repair can be costly, but your coverage should take care of most of these costs. However, slow response from your disaster relief company can also bog thing down on the insurance company’s end. SERVPRO’s pretesting methods gets things in motion with the claims process and helps the insurance agent to his or her part to initiate coverage and payment.
Cost Benefit for You
With pretesting, the insurance company has confidence that it has an accurate picture of the full extent of the damage at your Lafayette, LA, home. This will ensure that the team does the work it should—not handling more or less than is necessary.
As if suffering damage and loss from a fire or flood isn’t difficult enough, you don’t want to get stuck with a slow and costly claims process. SERVPRO’s commitment to pretesting makes the restoration and insurance process more efficient.
5 Tips for Preventing Your Pets from Starting a House Fire
If your home or business suffers from a fire damage event, don't wait! Give SERVPRO a call as soon as possible for your restoration and cleanup needs.
5 Ways To Keep Your Pets From Starting A Fire At The House
If you have any pets in your home in Lafayette, LA, you need to take specific steps to ensure their safety and prevent a possible fire emergency. While you might assume your pets would naturally stay away from flames or behave themselves when you’re away, animals can harm themselves due to their curiosity. Even if your pets are able to escape safely, your home will need to go through some serious home fire restoration to get back to normal! Keep your home and your pets safe with these 5 tips!
1. Put Out Flames
Never your leave your pet unsupervised with an open flame. Always make sure to put out candles, fireplaces, stove tops, and any other open flames in your home before leaving them in a room by themselves.
2. Protect Your Stove
Some cats and dogs will jump or climb on the stove when you’re away, especially if they can smell some leftover food on countertops. Remove your stove knobs or buy covers to protect them as an important pet preparation step!
3. Cover Your Fireplace
Your curious dog or cat might not understand that a lit up fireplace means danger! Ensure your pet’s safety by getting a metal or heat-tempered glass screen for the fireplace when it’s lit up.
4. Consider Candle Alternatives
Even while your home, cats and dogs can easily accidentally knock over candles while they play or move their tails. Avoid this common fire emergency by using battery power candles, diffusers, or other alternatives.
5. Hide Wires
Some pets will chew on wires that are exposed. This is especially true of young puppies. Figure out ways to hide wires or unplug them and make them inaccessible when you’re not at home.
Prevent a fire emergency caused by your pet by following these five tips! Your pet’s curiosity and lack of awareness of their surroundings can get them into trouble, so it is important you create a space that is safe.
Tips for Commercial Roof Upkeep
Keeping your gutters and storm drains clear ensures your roof drains any runoff properly.
Commercial Roof Maintenance Suggestions
You rely on your roof to protect your business, but your roof relies on you to protect it from the hazards of the elements in Lafayette, LA, with proper commercial roof upkeep, maintenance, and repair. You can spring a roof leak just from weathering over time, or from wind damage. Here are just a few tips to keep your roof watertight, intact, and ready to stand up to anything:
- Create a repair plan. Your first step in roof upkeep is to have a repair plan before the first roof leak happens. Don’t get caught off guard. Ensure you have the numbers for your insurance company and repair technicians on hand, and have any materials needed in place to implement a temporary leak stopper until professionals can repair it.
- Inspect after major weather events. Hailstorms, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and windstorms are your most likely culprits for weather damage, but even earthquakes can cause cracks or lost shingles on your roof. After events, conduct a thorough inspection of your rooftops.
- Clean your gutters and storm drains. Keeping your gutters and storm drains clear ensures your roof drains any runoff properly. Without proper drainage, standing water can easily cause long-term damage to your roof.
- Keep trees and other foliage clear. Not only can falling branches damage your roof and cause a roof leak, but branches and vines lashed in the wind can rip off sections of your roof or cause abrasive damage. Avoid this by trimming all foliage and trees to a clearance of a certain distance around your building’s roof.
- Inspect indoors for any tell-tale signs. Sometimes, leaks may not be readily apparent from an outside inspection. Dark spots and water spots on the ceiling, as well as problems with interior systems, may be your warning signs. Conduct periodic inspections to identify any issues early on.
Prevent a problem before it happens by taking proper care of your roof. You can also contract professionals to help check for wind damage and to weatherproof your roof to prevent future costly mishaps.
A Quick Guide to Commercial Storm Insurance
Severe winds can cause damage to your property.
As a business owner in Lafayette, LA, insuring your property is a no-brainer. However, not all people know specifically how storm insurance works or what it covers. Here are some brief tips to help you understand this often-misunderstood type of insurance coverage.
Categories of Coverage
Not all storms, or deductibles, are created equal. The best way to understand your specific coverage is to read your commercial insurance policy or speak with the agent. Generally, insurance policies reference these three categories:
• Windstorm – This includes any damage to the property resulting from wind or hail that does not fall into one of the other categories.
• Hurricane – The definition of a hurricane differs by state and storm insurance company. Some define it by wind speed; others consider the amount of time between the National Weather Service (NWS) announcement and the time of the damage.
• Named Storm – When a tropical storm is severe and widespread, the NWS names it. For some insurance coverage, this may fall into the hurricane category.
Differences in Deductibles
When you first buy property insurance, you consider your deductible. This is the amount of money that you, the business owner, must pay out of pocket prior to receiving insurance funds. When the damage is the result of a natural disaster, however, people are often surprised that the same deductible does not apply. Instead of a standard amount of money, coverage is a percentage of the total cost for storm restoration professionals to mitigate and repair the damage. A typical rate is between one and five percent.
Whether severe winds in Lafayette, LA, knocks a tree into your commercial building or a hurricane causes significant destruction, understanding storm insurance is critical to getting your business up and running again. When the unexpected happens, take comfort in the notion that your insurance agent and local restoration company are Here to Help.
Answers to Basic Questions About Interruption Insurance
Commercial fire damage in Lafayette, LA.
Protect Your Business With Interruption Insurance
Even if you've taken all the appropriate steps, your Lafayette, LA, business could still be affected by fire. When this happens, one of the most worrying aspects of the situation is how much money you could lose because of business interruption. Fire isn't the only emergency that could put your business in danger; other financial perils could include extreme weather, hail, windstorms, tornadoes, flooding, and other circumstances that may temporarily close your business. Protect your business with interruption insurance.
What Is Included in the Coverage?
Standard property insurance covers a lot of the physical damages and losses that fire leaves behind, but it doesn't cover everything. There are three main things that business interruption policies cover that your property insurance probably won't.
- Profits you would have earned during the time period
- Operating expenses you're still obligated to pay, such as rent
- Moving costs to your temporary location
Sometimes this type of insurance is called business income insurance.
Who Qualifies for Coverage?
Sadly, there are business owners who don't qualify for this protection. One of the primary qualifications for this type of insurance is a dedicated commercial location. If you run a small business out of your home, you probably won't qualify for the policy. However, you may be able to get a business owner's policy. Other aspects of your business that may affect your eligibility include the type of industry, your history of business interruption claims, and the location.
How Long Does the Interruption Coverage Last?
Fortunately for many business owners, interruption insurance is available for the entire period of restoration. This is defined as the length of time necessary for repairing, rebuilding, and replacing any of your property that is damaged or destroyed. It's a good idea to find out exactly what is covered before you talk to the fire restoration professionals.
As you put safety procedures in place and provide training for your employees, don't forget to research interruption insurance in Lafayette, LA. You'll want the peace of mind that comes from knowing your business won't fail when disaster strikes.
Tips for Avoiding Secondary Damages After Flooding
High-volume dehumidifiers and powerful fans are necessary tools for quickly and thoroughly drying rooms affected by flooding.
Preventing Further Damage After Flooding
When your home is affected by flooding from a winter storm or a broken pipe, secondary damage is a very real concern. As high humidity spreads throughout the residence, the chances of black mold taking hold and porous materials in your home absorbing moisture increase. Responding to flooding immediately is crucial to preventing further damage.
Whether you involve a Lafayette, LA, flood damage cleanup company or try to tackle the situation on your own, you will need to use commercial-grade drying equipment. There are several reasons for this.
- Your home's air conditioner isn't strong enough to handle the additional moisture.
- The longer it takes to thoroughly dry your home, the more at risk you are of facing black mold damages.
- You'll get back to your normal routines more quickly.
Additional damages after flooding include the growth of mold behind drywall, in the attic, below carpeting, and in hidden corners. High levels of moisture can lead to weakening in the materials used to build your home, including wood, insulation, and cabinetry. In addition to long-term negative effects, your costs and losses could be increased when water extends from the initial affected area. As water spreads under doors and through walls, it reaches areas of the home that could have been protected. Removing water and drying the area thoroughly is the best way to avoid the spread of damages.
Water Removal Technicians
High-volume dehumidifiers, specialized heaters, and powerful fans are necessary tools for quickly and thoroughly drying rooms affected by flooding. Professional flood damage restoration technicians have the training and experience to set the equipment up for quick results. Experienced workers are often willing to share tips for avoiding problems such as recurring leaks or flooding.
Remember, you need to act immediately. Powerful commercial-grade tools are essential for preventing secondary damages, such as black mold. Hiring Lafayette, LA, professionals is a great way to enjoy long-term protection for the well-being of your home and the health of your family.
Storm Preparation: Steps To Take To Protect Your Home From Storm Damage
Keep your gutters clean.
Protect Your Home From Flooding
With storm season well under way, you need to take active measures to protect your home from flooding and storm damage, if you have not already done so. Depending on where you live, preparation measures may look slightly different. That said, there are certain measures that all homeowners across the country can take to reduce their risk of excessive damage and the need for costly repairs. Those include the following:
- Clean out the gutters.
- Trim trees and overhanging branches.
- Install a sump pump.
- Install storm shutters.
- Invest in a generator.
- Invest in flood damage insurance.
- Prepare an emergency preparedness kit.
By doing each of the above, you can protect both your home and yourself in the event of a bad storm.
There Are Some Storms For Which You Just Cannot Prepare
By taking many of the above measures, such as cleaning out your gutters, trimming branches that overhang your home and installing storm shutters, you can keep the worst of wind, rain, snow and hail damage at bay. However, there are some types of damage, such as flooding, that you cannot fully protect against. Though sump pumps and other anti-flood measures help to an extent, they're not always 100 percent effective. If your home does flood, you want to act as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Some things you can do include the following:
- Elevate any furniture in the affected area.
- Turn off power to the affected area.
- Remove any valuables from the affected area.
- Take pictures of the damage and contact your insurance company.
- Reach out to your Lafayette, LA, flood damage remediation team for immediate assistance.
A restoration team can help dry out your home, clean your household items and perform mold remediation, if necessary. It is important that you contact your flooding team ASAP, as the longer you wait to remediate the damage, the worse the secondary damage, such as mold and rot, will become.
When Your Toilet Floods, Act Quickly
The key to dealing with a flooded toilet is acting quickly.
Act Quickly If Your Toilet Floods
There is nothing worse than when you need to use the bathroom only to step through the door and see that there is water pooling on the floor. Sewer damage can strike at any time, causing substantial amounts of both superficial and structural damage. The key to dealing with a flooded toilet is acting quickly and knowing the right steps to take to deal with the situation effectively. If your building in Lafayette, LA, is flooded, use the following steps as a guide.
1. Turn Off the Water
The first and most important step will be to stop the flow of water. This can be achieved in two ways. The first is to lift and secure the float inside the toilet to stop the tank from refilling and causing further flooding. The second step is to shut off the water valve, stopping the water at the source.
2. Stay Safe
Sewer damage can be classed as an emergency and should be dealt with by a sewage company, as the overflowing water can contain harmful bacteria. Take measures to avoid contact with any contaminated water; this can include wearing rubber gloves and boots. You also want to be wary of any structural damage that may have occurred. If the water has flooded through multiple floors, the structure may be unsafe. When mixed, water and electricity create another hazard, and this must be taken into account before entering the flooded area.
3. Call a Professional
When there is structural damage and potential bacteria from flooding, it is best to bring in the professionals. Commercial building restoration services can provide all the equipment and skill necessary to safely clean up contaminated water and remove and repair damaged walls and floors. Industrial fans may be used to make sure that all areas are thoroughly dried before being disinfected and ready for repairs take place.
Flooding can be a major inconvenience, but by following these steps, the hindrances caused by sewer damage can be dealt with quickly and effectively. Having the knowledge to act quickly can minimize the damages caused by a flood.
What Causes Water Heater Noises?
There are a number of ways to stop or reduce noises caused by almost any type of water heater.
What Causes Water Heater Noises?
Sediment is the most common cause of water heater noises. Find out more about this buildup, other components that can cause noises, and how to make a heater operate more quietly.
Minerals precipitate out of heated water and form scale over time. Sediment usually consists of:
- Calcite (calcium carbonate)
Buildup in the bottom of a water heater may crack or pop as water heats under a layer of sediment and forces its way up through deposits. This may result in overheating and will force a heater to work harder. Use a deliming solution or perform a water heater flush.
Water makes a distinctive noise when forced through partially closed valves. Heater valves may make several different noises, including:
Opening valves may stop the first two noises. The last two sounds are typically caused by check valves and heat traps near the top of the heater that prevent water from flowing in the wrong direction. A dialectric nipple may put a stop to these noises.
Pipes make knocking noises for several reasons. These may include:
- Sudden stoppages
Pipe vibrations can damage walls over time. Consider installing anti-hammer devices. If a pipe bursts, a homeowner should contact a water damage mitigation service.
If an electric heating element works loose, this may result in a humming noise or vibrations. Check the position of the element and tighten the connection if necessary. Tankless heaters may click when the flow switch turns on or off or make other noises due to malfunctioning parts.
There are a number of ways to stop or reduce noises caused by almost any type of water heater. A homeowner can attempt to resolve the problem or contact an appliance repair professional. A leak can result in water damage at a residence in Lafayette, LA.
4 Ways To Keep Your Pet Safe During and After a Home Fire
Ensuring pet safety during a fire requires a bit of preparation.
Protect Your Pets During a Fire Emergency
No homeowner wants to go through a home fire. While you can likely replace or repair damaged belongings, you can’t bring pets back to life. Here are four ways to protect your pets during a fire emergency.
1. Develop a Pet-Evacuation Plan
Like most pet owners, you consider your cats and dogs to be part of the family. As such, you need to include your pets in your evacuation plan. First, find out where your pets prefer to hide. Often, pets seek refuge in these places during emergency situations. Also, if you can do so safely, try to carry pets with you when you evacuate. Don’t forget to collar and leash them, though, as you may be away from the safety of an indoor space for hours.
2. Keep Pet Records in an Accessible Place
Fires can be unbelievably destructive. While you may primarily worry about vital and financial documents, you can’t forget about pet records. When you are planning for a fire emergency, store veterinary and other information in a fire-safe box. Then, locate the box in a place where you or a fire-restoration specialist can easily find it.
3. Locate a Safe Spot
As you may know, not all emergency shelters welcome pets. Therefore, your pet preparation must identify a safe spot where your furry friends can stay temporarily after a fire. If your strategy includes staying with family members or friends, confirm that no one has pet allergies.
4. Prevent Pets From Starting Fires
Pets are often responsible for starting fires in Lafayette, LA. While you must have a plan for keeping your pets safe during a fire, you can decrease your chances of having a home fire by keeping open flames away from wagging tails. Additionally, hide wires to discourage your pets from chewing through them.
Ensuring pet safety during a fire requires a bit of preparation. With some effort, though, you can be certain your pets will survive a fire emergency.
Prevent Secondary Damage After a Pipe Breaks – Here's How
Mold growth on the wall due to moisture problem.
Prevent Secondary Damage In Your Property
Secondary water damage refers to the type of damage that occurs while the initial damage sits and/or is being cleaned up. Typically, this type of damage is far more destructive than the initial damage as it usually results in mold, structural rot and other hazardous conditions. Secondary damage can also occur after the mess from, say, bursting pipes or a flood, has already been remediated. This only happens when remediation efforts are not thorough and performed by a non-professional. You can prevent secondary damage by taking the following measures after an incident involving water:
- Inspect your home for broken pipes and perform fixes where necessary.
- Make sure rooms prone to moisture have proper ventilation.
- Clean up any sitting water as soon as you discover it.
- If an incident does occur, contact a Lafayette, LA, water remediation team right away for proper cleanup assistance.
By taking these measures, you can protect your home and your wallet from the consequences of secondary damage.
Dealing With Broken or Burst Pipes
Bursting pipes are one of the most common causes of secondary water damage, especially when the damage occurs when the homeowners are away on vacation. Burst pipes spew out a lot of water and can affect areas beyond what a person can visibly see. When homeowners attempt to clean up the mess on their own, they typically only clean up the immediately affected area. Oftentimes, however, water seeps into the floorboards, the drywall and under appliances, areas that all require attention as well. If you discover a leak, fix the broken pipe. If you're going away on vacation, insulate the pipes. These simple measures can go a long way to preventing damage.
Most people assume that once the initial mess caused by bursting pipes is cleaned up, the danger is gone. That is often not the case. Unless your home was cleaned and dried out by a professional water remediation company, the risk of secondary damage remains.
4 Cost-Effective Ways To Flood-Proof Your Building
Sandbags can divert water away from your building.
Flood- Proof Your Building
Most commercial building owners in Lafayette, LA, hate seeing flood damage every time a storm passes through the area. Thankfully, you don't have to resign yourself to this type of damage. You can work with a commercial water damage team to flood-proof your building.
1. Install a pump. Putting in a sump pump can save your building from a lot of flooding. A sump pump removes water from basements by pulling water out of sump basins. This type of equipment is popular in properties that have lower levels below the ground water level.
2. Put up barriers. If enough warning is given before a storm, you can choose to set up barriers. In many areas, sand bags can be used to direct water away from a building's foundation. While this can be a good solution to ward off flood damage, it only works when you have adequate warning about a potential storm. You could also choose to put up permanent earthen barriers around your building to ensure you are always ready for the worst-case scenario.
3. Increase water tightness. Improving the seal around a building can keep storm damage to a minimum. This could include installing new windows and doors, replacing damaged siding or roofing and caulking around existing windows and doors. If water cannot get into a space, there won't be significant flooding.
4. Reorganize your space. If you know the basement of your building floods during every heavy rain, you can reorganize how you use the space to minimize the damage done by the storm. Moving important documents and expensive equipment to higher levels may be enough flood proofing for your property.
As a building owner, you want to do everything you can to keep your property in the best shape possible. Putting preventative techniques in place to stop flood damage can help you keep your business operation even after severe storms.
Fire Damage Recovery: Clarified
Fire damage in Lafayette
Clarification on Fire Damage Recovery
Fire recovery is a simple term that encompasses complex types of damage and actions needed to mitigate that damage. Fire damage is more than charred building materials. When it comes to damage cleaning, here are some things that may include for a house fire:
Recovering from a fire may also include many different stages that come down to two key categories: mitigation and restoration. Mitigation is about stopping the bleed and includes the immediate steps taken to minimize damage. Fire restoration focuses on getting your home back to the condition it was in before the fire took place. A professional fire recovery company should offer services that include mitigation and restoration. The right company in Lafayette, LA, can be one point of contact to handle all aspects of recovery, including:
* Protection from further damage. This may involve boarding up or tarping the home, or installing a temporary fence to protect people from entering an unsafe building and to keep vandals out.
* Water removal. Water may have been used in the firefight or entered from subsequent damage such as pipe breakage or a storm. Fast water removal is critical to prevent subsequent damage.
* Damaged materials removal and cleanup. This may include drying water-damaged materials, or the cleanup of soot and smoke damage. Building materials that cannot be recovered are removed.
* Cleaning personal items. An important part of fire restoration includes cleanup of your personal belongings. Various methods are utilized for this stage, depending on the materials and type of damage. Items may be cleaned on site or cataloged and removed for special cleaning methods offsite.
* Rebuilding. The final step in recovery is rebuilding; this may include things like structural materials replacement or painting a room.
Fire restoration encompasses many different needs. Know that the right company can manage that process from beginning to end, working with you and your insurance company each step of the way to ease the process for your family.
Smoke Cleaning 101
Commercial fire damage in Lafayette, LA.
No matter how serious the incident, recovering from a fire can seem to consume all of your time and energy. Determining the extent of the damage alone can prove exhausting. Whether your commercial building's contents needs dry-cleaning or a more heavy-duty procedure, the following information and tips can keep your post-fire remediation on track.
Types of Damage
Before selecting the type of content cleaning approach, you may want to closely observe what type of smoke damage occurred to your Lafayette, LA, building in the first place. There are two primary kinds:
- Dry smoke damage usually happens after a fast-burning fire.
- Wet smoke residue builds up from smoldering fires of lower temperatures.
Your choice in cleaning strategies can depend on the type of fire that took place, so you may also want to consult the opinion of fire damage experts.
This type of cleaning is for more than that nice blazer or wool sweater. In fact, it is usually the best method for getting smoke odors out of permeable materials. Think of items in the building such as curtains, rugs and upholstery. These materials likely require more than a wash cycle in a standard machine. Once the professionals have allowed reentry into the building, make sure to get these porous items out immediately for some fresh air and dry-cleaning.
Some materials may need the magic touch of ultrasonic cleaning to fully get that smoke damage out. This type of cleaning can be used on materials such as metals, plastics, and glass, and involves high-pressure waves combined with cleaning solutions to clean grime and residue from nonporous surfaces. Items that you haven't moved to content storage can get a second chance with this cleaning strategy.
It may appear as if your Lafayette, LA, building may never get back to normal after a fire. However, these content cleaning methods can properly get smoke residue out of your items, so you can get back to business.
6 Space Heater Fire Prevention Safety Tips
Fires started by a burned space heater can be common.
Safety Tips for Space Heaters
Space heaters can help keep the cold at bay during those cold winter months in Lafayette, LA, but they can also cause considerable damage if improperly used. Burns against tender skin can send people to the emergency room, and radiant heat from an overly-hot burned space heater can result in a home fire. To keep your family and possessions safe, here are six safety tips.
1. Maintain a safe distance of at least three feet from fabric-covered combustible materials. This includes beds, curtains, couches, and blankets.
2. Space heaters are designed to sit on the floor, not on a table or chest. The radiant heat from sitting upon a cluttered wooden area can not only result in a burned space heater; it can cause the surface it is sitting upon to smolder and catch fire.
3. Keep children and pets at least three feet from the heater. Serious injuries can occur when little ones or pets get too close to the space heater’s hot surface.
4. When going to bed or leaving the room for an extended period, shut the heater off. Some units cycle the heating elements on and off, but space heaters are not meant to run for extended periods of time in an unattended room.
5. If using a space heater in a garage, workshop, or storeroom, place it in the center of the room if possible. Keeping it away from flammable liquids, ignitable materials, and wooden surfaces can help prevent a fire.
6. Put the heating unit on a level surface. Although carpet may seem level and secure, a soft surface can result in a wobbly heater and a scorched carpet.
Fires started by a burned space heater can be common. If a fire does occur, smoke cleanup and fire damage repair can be very frustrating and time consuming. Consider contacting a professional fire restoration team. Space heaters can keep the cold away, but they can also cause serious damage to homes and property if not treated appropriately.
The Right Protective Gear for Mold Remediation
Mold remediation services in Lafayette, LA.
Mold Remediation Protective Equipment
In order to safely clean up a mold infestation, workers should wear the right personal protective equipment. PPE ranges from face masks and respirators to full-face and body coverage. The types of PPE that workers need depends on the type of mold and the extent of mold damage.
A respirator is one of the most important pieces of PPE when working with mold. There are several levels of respirator designs:
• Basic respirators are designed for use when working with potentially dangerous non-chemical substances
• Premium respirators protect wearers from chemical substances used in cleanup
• Full face respirators are designed for extensive infestations or toxigenic mold
Use a respirator rated P100 or better when working with mold. Most half and full face masks are typically reusable as long as you clean them after every session and replace cartridges or filters every day. Depending on the extent of the contamination, you may want to cover as much skin as possible with ordinary clothing or wear a Tyvek or similar style of full-body coverall.
• Ordinary clothing: You should at least wear long sleeves and pants with goggles, boots, and shoe covers when dealing with minor mold issues. Clothing is porous and may capture airborne spores, increasing the risk of skin exposure. Bag and dispose of clothing at the end of each work session and do not reuse clothes contaminated with mold.
• Tyvek coveralls: This style of PPE consists of a non-porous full-body suit complete with an attached hood and booties. These suits are ideal for dealing with extensive or toxigenic infestations or for working in areas with high humidity and poor ventilation.
In addition to face masks and body coverings, you should also wear either rubber or nitrile gloves when dealing with mold damage. If you would like to limit your exposure as much as possible, contact a certified mold remediation service located in Lafayette, LA.
How to Restore Damage When a Toilet Floods Two Floors
When a toilet floods in a commercial property, the resulting water damage may affect more than one floor.
When a toilet floods in a commercial property, the resulting water damage may affect more than one floor. If water works its way down through building materials, it can lead to significant sewer damage that requires restoration. There are five steps you should take to clean up the damage and restore your property to sanitary condition.
1. Clear the Clog or Backup
Depending on whether the toilet is flooding due to a clog caused by inappropriate materials being flushed or a backed-up sewer line, you may need to contact a plumber or sewage company. Until the problem is fixed, the leak may continue or become worse.
2. Remove Standing Water
Limit the severity of the leak between floors by eliminating all standing water near the flooded toilet. You will still need to determine the extent of the damage to building materials such as floors and ceilings.
3. Consult Restoration Specialists
Commercial water and sewer damage restoration experts can help you determine which materials will need to be replaced. These experts can also help with cleanup and remediation.
4. Clean and Disinfect the Area
Toilets that flood tends to lead to a leak of Category Two or Category Three water. Category Two water or gray water may contain bacteria or chemicals but does not contain solid waste. Category Three or black water contains solid waste. Either type of leak calls for thorough cleaning and disinfection.
5. Dry the Affected Area
Take measures to dry the area affected by sewage damage as quickly as possible. This can help to prevent mold and other secondary damage from starting to develop.
When you experience sewer damage in a commercial property in Lafayette, LA, rely on the skills of professional plumbers and restoration experts. These specialists can resolve the problem quickly and completely, enabling the tenants of the building to get back to business.
4 Reasons You Should Avoid Driving Through Flooded Streets
Floods are dangerous, can cause significant destruction.
A significant downpour in Lafayette, LA, can backup drainage systems and cause waterways to overflow, resulting in flash floods. Traversing a flooded street can be extremely treacherous and should be avoided, if possible, for several reasons.
1. Water Depth
It’s easy to underestimate the depth of standing water. High water levels could stall your engine, eliminating your ability to control your vehicle. Attempting to restart a stalled vehicle could also result in significant engine damage.
2. Washed Out Road
Floodwaters can also wash away roadways, removing the surface for your tires to grip. Without the grip, you will have no control over your vehicle and will be at the mercy of water currents.
3. Fast-Flowing Water
If you drive into fast-flowing water, your vehicle could be easily swept away, endangering the welfare of yourself, your passengers and the emergency personnel dispatched to rescue you.
4. Dangerous Debris
Swift-water currents can also carry large debris. If you enter a flooded street, your vehicle could be struck by floating debris. This could result in serious injuries or significant damage that could impede your ability to escape from the vehicle.
Additional Safety Tips
Avoiding flooded roads is the best course of action. However, if you are not able to find an alternate route, take extreme caution and follow these safety tips:
• Drive slowly but steadily through the water
• Try to drive in the middle of the roadway where the water may be shallower
• Avoid driving through areas with downed power lines
• If your vehicle gets washed off the road, abandon it for higher ground
A Dangerous Situation
Floods are dangerous, can cause significant destruction, and often require extensive cleanup and restoration efforts. Most travel tips advise avoiding flooded streets because navigating flooded roadways can damage your vehicle’s engine and potentially endanger the lives of everyone inside the vehicle. If you cannot find an alternative route, drive cautiously and be prepared to abandon the vehicle if it becomes trapped in high water.
How To Control Mold Growth in Your Home
Mold prevention often requires a proactive approach.
Mold thrives in moist environments. While many homeowners in Lafayette, LA, may not worry about it, certain conditions inside your home may make it more susceptible to mold growth. To minimize the risk, you should address leaking pipes, water damage, and existing moisture points quickly and efficiently.
After a Flood
If your home sustains water damage from a flood or burst pipe, you must quickly remove saturated items and dry the affected area to prevent mold growth. Use a shop vac to soak up water and open windows to increase airflow. You can also use fans and a dehumidifier to expedite the process. For additional protection, mix one cup of bleach with one gallon of water and spray the mixture on hard surfaces in the affected area.
Be sure to thoroughly assess your carpets and drywall. If your drywall is wet, water may seep through to the insulation. When wet, both materials can harbor mold, so you will need to replace them. As an additional safeguard, you may wish to install mold-resistant drywall. However, you must ensure that the area is free of moisture before completing this repair.
Quickly repairing even small water leaks is an important mold prevention strategy. To further reduce your home’s mold risk, follow these tips:
• Dry soaked materials within 24 - 48 hours
• Inspect caulking around sinks and tubs and replace if cracked or deteriorating
• Clean and repair gutters
• Direct water away from your home’s foundation
• Improve air circulation inside your home
High humidity can also expedite mold growth. One telltale sign of high humidity is condensation. If you notice condensation on windows or sills, you should apply weather stripping or a plastic film to reduce cold drafts. Increasing ventilation and using a dehumidifier can also help reduce the humidity level inside your home.
Mold prevention often requires a proactive approach. However, a flood or burst pipe can happen unexpectedly, creating significant water damage. To reduce your risk of mold under these circumstances, you may wish to consult a professional cleanup and restoration team equipped to handle a variety of situations, including mold remediation.
Lafayette Area Surprise Kitchen Fire? Just Call SERVPRO for Restoration Services
Kitchen fire damaged in Lafayette.
SERVPRO Cleans Up Dishwasher Fire Damage in Lafayette Home
You know a dishwasher can deliver gallons of water if the appliance fails, but fire damage? According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, dishwashers are the cause of around 500 home fires per year. Most often caused when fluid drips on an electrical component on the interior when it is running.
SERVPRO arrived on-site at a Lafayette home with fire damage in the kitchen. We immediately discarded the nonrestorable items such as the charred dishwasher, interior cabinet walls next to it, and cabinet doors above as they bring nothing but odors.
We extracted the water which pooled in areas on the kitchen floor from both the firefighting efforts and the dishwasher itself. Using our moisture detection equipment, we found water migrated under the other appliances in the kitchen and behind the baseboards which we removed to let additional airflow in for faster drying.
Our technicians did several passes with our portable pumps to remove the maximum amount of moisture; this hastens the drying phase so we can clean the affected surfaces with our proprietary methods and SERVPRO solutions to get the room prepared for rebuilding.
After drying the kitchen and cleaning the visible residue from the surfaces, a strong odor remained. There is no way to cover that scent up, and because it is caused by soot which can be so tiny the human eye cannot detect even when they are airborne, there is potential to spread the odor throughout the home unless professionally neutralized.
Our technicians hold many certifications in the restoration sciences, and a frequently used one is in Odor Control. In the case of fire loss, often one of the first pieces of equipment we deploy is an air scrubber. This powerful machine captures airborne particulates and removes them through its HEPA filtration. Use of the air scrubber significantly lowered odors, but to rebuild; they require neutralization. We used the Hydroxyl generator to eradicate the remaining odors with the same UV rays that work like laundry hung in the sun, leaving it fresh and clean. Once we completed our mitigation of the fire loss, we gave the homeowner a list of the necessary repairs to fully restore the kitchen.
What to Expect During a Leaking Roof Repair
Ceiling damaged by a roof leak.
What to Expect During a Leaking Roof Repair
Heavy rain and sudden torrential sudden downpours can cause a roof leak in your Lafayette, LA, business. This issue can cause damage to electrical systems and inventory. Calling a professional restoration company to repair the leak and replace any damaged parts can help you prevent other costly repairs or a prolonged closure. As the owner of your business, knowing what to expect during a roof repair process can help you avoid unexpected delays and get back to running your company as soon as possible.
The Leak Is Assessed
Before restoration specialists can fix a leaking roof, they will need to assess the area and discover what is causing the leak, such as:
- Missing shingles
- Damaged flashing
- Poor drainage
Once the issue is targeted, it can be isolated and contained to prevent any further damage. This mitigation can be helpful, especially if the leak is in an area that may damage expensive equipment.
Removal of Damaged Materials
A roof leak can cause materials to become water damaged to the point where they must be removed. Torn shingles or worn tar paper may be torn out and replaced with new materials. Your restoration specialists may recommend certain types of materials or drainage systems that can prevent further problems in the future.
Drying and Cleaning
Before new materials are brought in, restoration professionals will likely re-assess your damaged roof and use special machinery to dry and disinfect the area. This can help discourage mold growth or unpleasant musty smells from seeping into the building. Once the area is completely dry, restoration technicians can refit the damaged area with new materials, including any sections of the interior ceiling that may have been affected by the leak.
When a roof leak causes trouble in your Lafayette, LA, business, it can be troublesome for you, your employees and your customers. However, when you know what to expect when restoration experts get to work on your roof, you can make an effective plan for getting back to business.
The Common Causes of Damage to Solar Panels During a Storm
Panel damage in solar installations can lead to plenty of other issues.
The Most Common Causes of Solar Panel Damage During a Storm
It's no exaggeration to say that when a powerful storm sweeps in, your solar installation is out there like the proverbial sitting duck. To take advantage of the sun's rays, solar panels must be exposed to the elements. This means that panel damage is a real possibility. To protect against this, solar engineers work to ensure their products stand up to the following conditions:
- Extreme heat
- Bitter cold
- Heavy rains
- High humidity
- Large hailstones
To increase durability, engineers experiment with new building materials and better designs. They also engage in vigorous testing to see what the latest models will take in terms of weather punishment. To mimic the effects of hail, testers have been known to shoot large ice balls at 70 mph at materials used in solar installations.
While man is certainly clever and innovative, Mother Nature has been winning battles for centuries. Panel damage does occur, sometimes even leading to roof damage. All of this creates an opportunity for water to leak into your home. In a worst-case scenario, you might not notice a small leak for days or weeks, allowing humidity levels to soar and creating favorable conditions for mold growth. When that happens, a local storm mitigation team in Lafayette, LA, might be needed to address the situation.
The storm restoration process follows a proven pattern. Certified technicians arrive on the scene and begin an assessment and inspection of your property. They find the source of a water leak and remove the water with vacuums if necessary and drying equipment. If mold is suspected, they determine if mold colonies have taken hold and then they contain and remove the mold from your home.
Panel damage to solar installations can lead to other problems that must be addressed in a timely manner. The efforts of a professional team can restore your home "Like it never even happened."
Protect Your Home and Your Family - Act Fast To Remediate Mold Post-Flooding
Storm damage cleanup in Lafayette.
Act Fast To Remediate Mold Post-Flooding
If your home was recently involved in a flood, it is essential that you act fast when it comes to flood cleanup and mold remediation. Mold develops in as little as 24 hours post-water damage. Once mold growth affects a surface, it spreads like wildfire, as mold spores are light enough to be carried on the faintest of breezes. Mold can be structurally damaging if not caught in time, and remediation efforts can become costly. To minimize both costs and damages, keep these three tips in mind:
It's difficult to fully assess the level of damaging without first drying out the affected areas. Remove any standing water with a shop-vac or pump that is designed to suck up water. Open the windows, place dehumidifiers throughout the house and turn on fans. The goal is to increase ventilation and dry out carpet, walls and other permanent fixtures.
Next, remove furniture and belongings. If possible, place them outside to dry out. If the weather is still bad, move the wet items to a secluded area of the home where they can dry out without affecting other items throughout the home.
An immediate deep clean is necessary to combat mold growth. If the Lafayette, LA, mold remediation team has yet to arrive, start scrubbing at permanent fixtures, walls and carpet. Use hot water and a heavy-duty cleaning agent. Be sure to keep vans and dehumidifiers running, as cleaning can re-wet items and increase the risk for mold. Launder any items that can be removed and placed in a washing machine, such as bedding, draperies and clothing.
Unfortunately, you may have to discard certain items, including children's toys that came into contact with the flood water and certain pieces of furniture. There are certain items with which you don't want to risk bacteria growth.
Ideally, your flood restoration team should be at your home within hours or you calling, but depending on the extend of neighborhood damage, you may have to wait a few days. It is in these instances that you should take the above measures to prevent mold growth. Otherwise, leave the majority of the content cleaning to the experts.
Preparing a Residential Fire Escape Plan
Ensure everyone knows how to exit the home as quickly as possible if the unthinkable does happen.
Tips To Create A House Fire Escape Plan
A house fire can happen to anyone, including residents of Lafayette, LA. To ensure that you and your family are prepared in the event of such an emergency, it’s critical to develop a personal fire escape plan. If you’re unsure of how to get started, here are some tips courtesy of the American Red Cross that you’ll want to keep in mind:
• Identify multiple points of exit. Make sure that you’ve identified at least two escape routes from each room of your home. Keep in mind that doors may be inaccessible due to excessive heat.
• Stay clear of smoke. Inhaling too much smoke can be just as hazardous as the actual fire itself. Make sure that you and your family practice staying low to the ground as part of any fire escape plan.
• Know what to do if clothes catch fire. If this happens, it’s imperative not to panic. Ensure that everyone knows the proper technique to stifle the flames: stop, drop, and roll.
• Designate a meeting place outside the home. When a house fire occurs, the smoke and flames can cause things to get chaotic fast. Identify an outside location where household members can meet up to ensure everyone is safe.
• Practice, practice, practice. Drills are important for any emergency escape plan, and fires are no exception. The Red Cross reports that you may have as little as two minutes to evacuate. Once escape routes are established, enact regular, timed fire drills to ensure everyone knows how to exit the home as quickly as possible if the unthinkable does happen.
Dealing with the loss of mementos and personal items due to a house fire can be devastating, but there are professionals who can help with cleanup and restoration, and material things can be replaced. Nothing is more important than your family’s safety. Preparing and practicing a fire escape plan is one of the best ways to ensure family members are prepared for an emergency.
What Is Mold and Why Does It Smell Musty?
Mold found in a Lafayette, PA building.
You may not learn about the mold problem in your building until you hear complaints about the irritating musty odor. Some people think that the smell actually comes from tiny particles of mold in the air or from mold spores. Neither are true. Odors from molds are caused by mycotoxins, which are gases released during the digestive process of some molds.
What Is Mold?
Molds are fungi, just like mushrooms. Some scientists think the mycotoxin production from certain types of molds is actually an adaptation developed to protect the molds from animals and insects. Nobody is sure how many varieties of mold live on our planet because they are so abundant, living wherever oxygen and moisture are found, even in Lafayette, LA. Since molds exist abundantly in our environment, it's just about impossible to keep them out. Here are a few ways the spores can enter a building:
- On pets and clothing
- Through windows and doors
- Via cooling, ventilation, and heating systems
The problem is when mold spores land in a hospitable environment, one with organic material, moisture, and oxygen. That is when the mold begins to grow and form colonies. As it grows, it consumes organic material as food, producing that familiar musty smell.
How Can You Prevent Mold?
The best way to prevent molds is to make sure you are not providing a welcome environment for their growth and development. You can manage your building's environment by reducing humidity with ventilation systems and dehumidifiers, fixing leaky areas from pipes or roofing, and proper remediation of water damage.
When you do follow that musty odor to the source and discover mold in your building, at least you can count on professional mold remediation specialists to clean up the problem. During the cleaning process, professionals use HEPA air filtration equipment and containment procedures to reduce further spread of mold spores inside your building. This cleanup process will prevent mycotoxin production, making the environment more hospitable to your human-building occupants again.
What Does Secondary Damage Mean?
Water damage in Lafayette, LA.
Understanding Secondary Water Damage
When you have a flooding problem in your Lafayette, LA, home, you may hear the professionals throw around a lot of technical terms. You could hear the residential cleanup crew talk about a wide variety of topics, including the following:
- Black mold
- Dirty water
- Negative air chambers
- Secondary damage
With so much technical speak going around, it's easy to get nervous about your water cleanup. Thankfully, understanding the technical terms is as easy as asking your restoration professionals for some clarification.
When it comes to water damage, the destruction can be broken into two categories. To understand what the second category is, you need to look at both forms of problems.
When you think of flooding, you likely think of the primary damage first. If a burst pipe caused water to leak down your walls and pool in your living room, these sources of destruction are considered primary. The damage happened right when the water flooded your space. Any belongings or building materials directly affected by water are said to have been in the primary round of damage.
Secondary issues take place after the initial spurt of water is over. Perhaps you were able to turn off the water to your home, but that doesn't necessarily stop the damage. Black mold and high humidity could be sources of secondary problems, for example. The mold starts to grow if the water isn't taken care of promptly. This non-primary damage often occurs for three distinct reasons. First, slow reaction times may cause mold growth. Second, hidden leaks could cause a buildup of damage. Third, improper cleanup techniques could leave your home with high humidity even after the water is gone.
As a homeowner, you may feel baffled by a residential flood. Acting quickly can help you stop any secondary forms of damage from taking place in your home. If you take too long to address the water problem, you may end up with black mold growth, destroyed furnishings and humidity problems.
4 Items To Always Throw Away After a Fire
Fire damage in a bathroom.
Steps To Take After A Fire
Following a fire, you may be able to salvage certain items, including clothing and furniture. However, other items will not be as lucky. It is important to always know when to cut your losses and to throw away possessions that can pose harm now that they have taken on fire damage.
The high heat from the fire can wreak havoc on makeup. Additionally, soot may build up on certain products. You do not want to risk putting soot directly on your skin, so toss any makeup that was exposed to the fire.
Similarly, medicine becomes contaminated when exposed to extreme temperatures. The fire may reduce the effectiveness of the medication, and you will not reap all the same benefits you are used to. Instead, it is preferable to throw away medicine properly and to talk to your doctor about getting a new prescription.
It is better to simply toss food that may have been exposed to the fire than risk consuming anything potentially contaminated. This includes refrigerated food in addition to food left in your cabinets. You also need to be mindful if your fridge had to be unplugged for a span of time to prevent the fire from escalating.
4. Burnt Clothing
Although clothing can be salvaged if it only has soot on the fabric, you need to watch if any clothing took on actual fire damage. This is particularly necessary if the clothing is meant for children or infants.
At the end of the day, most items are replaceable. You can always attempt to salvage certain items that mean a lot to you, but ultimately, you do not want to put yourself or your family in harm’s way. FEMA lays out various other steps to take after a fire, so do not waste time trying to figure out if you should hang on to or throw away possibly damaged food. Instead, take action to make your home in City, State, livable once again.
Commercial Storm Damage Also Includes Freezing Winter Storms
Keep an eye out for a frozen pipe.
Storm damage is often associated with storms of rain or wind. However, winter storms in Lafayette, LA, pose their own unique threats. A frozen pipe can easily turn into a burst pipe. Keeping prepared by knowing how to address this danger can save your business from unnecessary damage.
Understand the Causes of Freezing Pipes
To properly keep an eye out for a frozen pipe, you must understand which pipes are most susceptible to freezing. There are several causes for freezing pipes at a business:
- Sprinkler lines that are not properly monitored or maintained
- Improperly insulated or sealed attic, partitions, walls, chases, doors or windows
- Exterior pipes with inadequate insulation
- Heating systems that do not circulate air properly
Keep Pipes Unfrozen
Before winter, it is recommended to have every external sprinkler drained. Instructions for doing this can be found in the system’s instruction manual, or the process can be contracted out to a service.
Water pipes need proper insulation to keep heat inside. All pipes indoors can be sleeved or have the area around them restructured for insulation. Outdoor pipes should be relocated if they cannot be securely kept warm with insulation’s help.
During winter, the building’s temperature should be kept the same throughout the day, even if no one is present. A burst pipe is much more expensive than running the building’s heating.
Thaw Pipes If They’re Frozen
If water flow seems extremely slow during cold weather, the pipe is likely frozen. You can unthaw a pipe by running the faucet while using a hairdryer, heated towel, or space heater on the affected pipe. Once water flows well, the pipe is safe. If there is difficulty locating or thawing the pipe, a plumber can help.
Fix Water Damage As Soon As Possible
Whether it’s standing water from thawing runoff or a burst pipe, water damage cleanup experts can help remove the frigid water and stop its damage. Winter storms don’t have to mean a burst pipe, and preventative measures from understanding winter’s hazards keep your business away from that problem.
Household Mold and How To Eliminate It
House mold is a pernicious threat feared by every homeowner. When it appears, you must apply the proper methodology for getting rid of it. Here's some information regarding mold growth and cleaning your home of dangerous spores.
Causes of Mold in the Home
There are many reasons you might have a fungal infestation in Lafayette, LA, including:
- Leaking pipes
- Poor ventilation
- Roof holes
- Broken air conditioning
Failure to correct these conditions can cause more mold growth than you are able to handle by yourself. Under such circumstances, a team of fungal removal experts will be necessary.
Cleaning Mold in the Home
If your house mold hasn't gotten out of control, you may be able to remove it independently. Should you choose to do so, observe every safety precaution. Wear plastic gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator that specifically guards against mold. Exercise added caution if the situation was caused by contaminated water.
Mold can be scrubbed off hard surfaces with water and household detergent. Place tangible chunks into plastic bags and dispose of them promptly. Recognize that any amount of mold can cause irreversible cosmetic damage to attractive surfaces.
Carpeting and ceiling tiles that become infested may need to be tossed. This is a particular possibility with materials that are porous or otherwise absorbent, as spores are able to get inside and rehabilitation becomes impossible.
Avoid painting or caulking over moldy surfaces. Although this covers up mold's unpleasant appearance, it does not remove the danger or prevent mold from spreading.
Items of sentimental value are often vulnerable. If you are uncertain whether a meaningful object, such as a framed painting or family heirloom, can be restored, consult with a specialist. Check that the professionals you obtain advice from are fully accredited and trustworthy.
Getting rid of house mold is a task that homeowners must take seriously. By following the correct procedures, you can stop the condition from worsening and causing bigger troubles.
How To Construct a Business Continuity Plan
It is important to create a business continuity plan for your company
Storm-preparedness is essential to protect your business and property in Lafayette, LA, in the event of a natural disaster. Just as you run fire drills or disaster recovery protocols, practicing a continuity plan before an emergency will not only protect your building and personnel but will also protect your business from revenue loss due to damage and downtime.
Begin With These Questions
Determine your chain of command and where you will go if you need to evacuate:
- If you are not present or reachable, who will make critical decisions?
- What are the responsibilities of your team members?
- Where will you relocate or store equipment in the event of flooding or storm damage?
- Who will report incidents and contact a damage remediation service?
- What vendors or clients need to be contacted right away?
Plan for the Worst
If you should experience a significant interruption, you will need to develop strategies to mitigate loss and recover functionality. Assess how much downtime your business can sustain without major loss of revenue, what functions are most important to get up and running first, and what services are the most expendable in an emergency. Have a plan for both short-term and long-term scenarios. Visit ready.gov to learn more about constructing the plan. The site offers resources for training (including a short, 30-minute video course) and tools to help you define objectives, create strategies, and identify risk factors.
Write It Down and Practice
Once you have all the information you need, make sure your plan is available in both physical and digital copies and is as easily accessible as your fire escape plan or first aid kit. All members of your team should be familiar with it and run regular practice drills so everyone is fully prepared to act when disaster strikes.
A continuity plan is designed to give clear, concise direction on what to do when your business is engulfed in the chaos that often comes with impending storms or sudden emergencies. Having one and adhering to it may make the difference between your business weathering the storm or succumbing to it.
3 Tips for Correctly Using Fire Extinguishers
Extinguishers can help you put out the blaze before it causes major harm.
Steps For Utilizing Extinguishers
You know how important it is to keep a fire extinguisher in your commercial building. However, this valuable piece of equipment is pointless if no one can use it correctly. Make sure that your employees or tenants understand the below steps for utilizing extinguishers.
1. Choose the Correct Extinguisher
Everyone on the premises should know where the extinguishers are. They should also be able to quickly identify which extinguisher to use in different scenarios.
A Class A extinguisher works only on fires caused by combustibles such as paper, cloth and wood. Class B extinguishers are for flammable liquids, including gasoline, oil and petroleum. Class C extinguishers should be used on electrical fires, and Class K extinguishers are for fires sparked by cooking oils, greases and fats. While Class B and Class C extinguishers should be able to suppress combustible fires, a Class A extinguisher is not effective during grease or electrical fires.
You must also make sure the fire extinguisher you pick has not expired. Ideally, you should replace all of the extinguishers on your property as needed.
2. Apply the Extinguisher
Using fire extinguishers is fairly easy. You just pull the pin, aim the nozzle at the base of the blaze, squeeze the handle and sweep the nozzle from side to side. The PASS acronym (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep) can help you remember these steps. Before you begin this process, make sure you know how to exit the room if the fire continues to burn.
3. Ensure the Fire Is Out
Do not assume that the danger is over once you have finished using the fire extinguisher. Keep watching the area to make sure the blaze does not start again. Once you are sure the flames are out, call fire damage restoration professionals to assess the premises.
A kitchen fire or other blaze in your Lafayette, LA, property can quickly destroy valuable equipment and structures. Extinguishers can help you put out the blaze before it causes major harm.
Improving Office Emergency Escapes Through Fire Drills
Schedule a fire drill with your employees.
Make Your Plan As Effective As Possible
Although it seems counterintuitive, rainstorms have the potential to cause fires. When rainwater short-circuits wiring or lighting strikes roofs, buildings can erupt in flames. Besides the immediate danger these scenarios present, your office will need to be repaired by a commercial storm renovation company. Perfecting your technique via fire drill practice is the best way to be sure your workers in Lafayette, LA, avoid harm. Here are the necessary steps for making your plan as effective as possible.
1. Improve Training
Devote a specific day to informing employees of everything they need to know, including escape techniques and how to treat those who are wounded. Stress that it is okay to cause building damage if necessary for escape and that safety remains the ultimate goal. Solicit input from workers so that your plan can be further refined.
2. Communicate Expectations
Everything regarding your fire drill needs to be stated thoroughly and clearly. Email is a fast and easy way to do this, although communication apps like Slack have become a popular alternative. While surprise drills are typical, you should schedule a few so that you can observe how diligent staff are when it comes to emergency drill preparations.
3. Institute Measurements
Certain qualities of drills are intangible, but others have concrete measurements. Keep track of how long the entire process takes to complete and whether everyone can be properly accounted for outside. Designate a specific individual to keep track of every drill's performance.
4. Apply Refinements
Once you have identified how your drill can be improved, start applying changes. Inform staff if they need to take a different escape route. Reconfirm rally points if confusion persists. Reinforce the mandate that getting out takes precedence over work-related priorities.
Bad weather can create scary office emergencies. Refining your company's emergency protocol is largely a matter of analyzing the occasional fire drill. Use the above guidelines to make yours the best it can be.
How To Remove Smoke and Soot After a Fire
Fire damage in Lafayette, LA.
How To Remove Smoke And Soot After a Fire
After a house fire in Lafayette, LA, the lingering effects of soot and smoke damage can be difficult to fully remediate. Fortunately, there are a variety of tactics available to get fire-damaged homes back to normal.
There are several methods of smoke cleaning used today. Three of the most popular are the following:
- Air scrubbing
- Ozone generation
- Thermal fogging
As the air circulates, an air scrubbing machine traps the odorous particulates. Ozone generation releases ozone into the home, and the ozone combines with the smoke particles to create a new particle that no longer smells like smoke. Both air scrubbing and ozone generation are effective odor removal techniques. However, some situations call for thermal fogging. If the smoke odor is trapped in porous surfaces, the other techniques may not be able to fully address the problem. In a fire, the heat causes some surfaces to expand. When the fire is extinguished, the surfaces cool and contract, trapping some of the smoke particles. Thermal fogging re-heats the area, causing surfaces to expand again and allowing the odor-eliminating fog to reach the smoke particles and neutralize the odor.
In addition to smoke damage, your home is likely to suffer soot damage after a fire. The type of soot that remains after a fire has burned depends on the nature of the fire and the makeup of the items being burned. The following are four types of soot often left behind after a residential fire:
- Dry soot
- Wet soot
- Protein residue
- Oily soot
Dry soot is generally the least troublesome and can often be removed by using a HEPA vacuum on the affected surface. Wet soot, protein residue and oily soot are all more difficult to remove. Improper cleaning techniques can lead to further damage. An experienced restoration service can determine the type of soot present in your home and choose the best cleaning method.
Soot and smoke damage can wreak havoc on your home. However, thorough and careful remediation can fully remove all soot and smoke from your fire-damaged home.
About the IICRC and Its Technicians
The IICRC is a global organization with certified technicians everywhere.
Why These Technicians Are A Better Option
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the industry's standard-setting organization. It is a global organization with certified technicians everywhere, even in Lafayette, LA. Its primary role is to create certifications for technicians. Additionally, it is a valuable resource for businesses who need to hire a firm or technicians with a cleaning, remediation, or mitigation certificate. This is because it keeps a locator that has thousands of technicians and firms listed. Before choosing someone to perform your restoration work, learn more about these technicians and why they are the better option.
This organization sets a standard set of values that any disaster remediation company must abide by. You can expect a certified technician to be:
These values ensure that you have quality work performed quickly and without incident. In other words, you will experience less hassle and stress while waiting for your business to reopen.
The IICRC was founded in 1972 and has since grown to be the restoration industry's primary certifying body. There are currently thousands of certified firms and technicians across the globe that are held to a higher set of standards than others who operate in this field.
The mission of the IICRC is to create and teach a set of standard practices and principles that promotes the health and safety of technicians and clients. It accomplishes this goal by creating standards for worker ethics, communication practices, and technical proficiency that all professionals must adhere to. When clients hire a certified firm by this organization, they are assured that the company will follow specific protocols to keep workers safe while efficiently performing high-quality work on any business.
When choosing a remediation company for your business, you want to ensure that the technicians performing the job are trained and the best in the industry. To guarantee that you find the right company for you, take the time to learn about the main certifying body and look for a firm endorsed by it.
4 Steps To Fix a Leaky Faucet
A fixed leak is a satisfying home repair project.
Steps To Help You Accomplish This Project
While there are some home repair projects that Lafayette, LA, homeowners should leave to professionals, there are many projects that homeowners can do on their own. One job that is easy for people to perform is replacing a leaking faucet. Here are some steps to help you successfully accomplish this project.
1. Shut Off Water
The first step is to shut off the water. Look underneath the sink to locate the pipe that has a football-shaped valve on it. You can turn the water off by turning the valve clockwise until it won’t turn anymore. Once you’ve turned off the water, turn the handles and allow any remaining water to drip out before starting the repair.
2. Prepare for Repair
Before you start taking the leaking faucet apart, place a plug into the sink hole or put a rag over the top. This will prevent loose parts from going down the drain. Tape the jaws of your wrench with some duct tape to prevent scratches to the fixture. Finally, have a soft scrubbing pad and some distilled white vinegar nearby to clean off mineral deposits on the dripping faucet parts.
3. Determine Type of Faucet
There are four types of faucets including compression, cartridge, ceramic disk and ball. The compression faucet is easiest to identify because it has separate handles for hot and cold water. The other three types of faucets can be identified as you begin taking the faucet apart: you will either see a cartridge, ceramic disk or ball bearing.
4. Perform Repair
Each type of faucet requires a few detailed steps. Fortunately, you can search the internet for detailed instructions and videos to help you perform the repair. As you’re taking apart the leaking faucet, place each part down on a designated spot in order of removal. This will help you replace each part correctly.
A fixed leak is a satisfying home repair project. If you have any issues with flooding, water damage repair specialists can help clean up your home.
5 Essential Tasks for Office Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
Proper sprinkler maintenance is a critical element of keeping your staff free from danger.
5 Essential Tasks for Office Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
Sprinkler maintenance is paramount for keeping employees safe in the event of a fire. Besides the danger, failure to douse flames, even small ones, could result in severe structural damage that needs to be fixed by a commercial fire restoration professional. Here are five actions that responsible business owners should take to assure their system is always operating properly.
1. Inspect Non-Electronic Control Valves
Fire sprinklers that do not feature digitized valves need to be open in order to distribute water. Employ a fire prevention expert to make certain yours are positioned correctly.
2. Clear Away Obstacles
Anything blocking your spray’s trajectory during a fire could be catastrophic. All file cabinets and shelving with the potential to prevent flames from being doused should be relocated.
3. Investigate Water Pressure
Fire sprinklers require adequate water pressure. Every three months, have a plumber or service representative reconfirm that yours remain in good standing. It is also a good idea to independently check whether your pressure has been weakened as a result of valves accidentally being shut off.
4. Clean Sprinkler Heads
Dirt impedes the flow of water from sprinkler heads. Therefore, a critical aspect of sprinkler maintenance is keeping them grime-free. Wash each with a non-corrosive degreaser. Pay particular attention to ones in kitchens, where grease is often present.
5. Get Sprinkler Inspections
There is no substitute for a complete fire safety infrastructure review. In-depth examinations are capable of revealing serious matters that may not be readily apparent. Besides improper calibration, difficult-to-observe parts could be corroded or pipes hidden deep within might have broken. Annual inspections help lessen the odds these matters mushroom into much greater troubles.
Proper sprinkler maintenance is a critical element of keeping your staff in Lafayette, LA, free from danger. It also assures that destruction caused by blazes is held to a minimum. Be vigilant about making sure your sprinkler system is functioning according to expectations.
Should You Sue Your Landlord for Mold?
Black mold in a rental unit in Lafayette, LA
If you believe that there is black mold in your rental unit, you may be able to sue your landlord to cover relevant expenses, such as the cost of hiring a remediation company. Here is some information to help you understand the lawsuit process and if it is right for you.
What Does Suing Your Landlord Involve?
When you have an uncooperative landlord, you may need to sue them. Depending on your mold-related losses, you may be able to settle this in the small claims court in Lafayette, LA. Generally, this is for any losses under $10,000. If your expenses are greater than this, you will need to hire an attorney and file a more formal claim. Your mold-related expenses can include:
- Medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Cleanup fees
- Pain and suffering
Is Mold Dangerous?
Black mold can cause health issues. Additionally, it can do a lot of damage to your property. This means you could be facing higher bills and have to shut down your small business due to mold.
Is It Your Landlord’s Responsibility?
Landlords must provide you with a suitable building to run your business out of. Typically, this means that landlords are responsible for ensuring the building meets regulatory codes. While minor plumbing issues may not be their responsibility, things that contribute to mold growth generally are. However, always refer to your lease agreement for final decisions. If this contract mentions that the landlord is responsible for ensuring proper ventilation and controlling moisture levels, they can be considered responsible for any black mold growth.
While it may seem harmless at first, mold can actually do a lot of damage to your rental property. If you face the costs of mold remediation, medical treatment, and shutting down your business due to mold, you could be able to sue your landlord. In the end, you should check to see if the mold growth is your landlord's responsibility before hiring an attorney.
Alternatives to Chemical Drain Cleaners
Try removing the material with mechanical or organic methods before using chemicals
Most residents in Lafayette, LA, have experienced a slow or clogged drain. Hair, dirt, and food can bind to soap on drainpipe walls, building up over time and slowing water flow. If your drain is slow or completely blocked, chemical drain products are good to use as a last resort, but other cleaning methods should be tried first.
Types of Chemical Cleaners
The three types of chemical drain cleaner products are:
Acid: muriatic and sulfuric acids
Caustic: lye and caustic potash
Oxidizing: bleach, nitrate and peroxides
These chemicals open drains by producing heat that breaks down the clog until it is flushed.
Side Effects of Chemical Drain Cleaning Products
The heat produced by chemical cleaners can warp pipes made of softer materials like plastic or older metal that has weakened over time. If chemicals are used on a completely clogged drain, they can sit on the pipes long enough to cause them to weaken or break.
If the clog contains fat, oil, or grease, the chemicals cause the material to move down the drain to another location, creating a blockage down the line. These clogs can still be cleared, but it may be necessary for you to call a professional service to remove them.
What To Try Before Using Chemicals
You can try removing the clog mechanically by using a plunger or drain snake. If those options don't open the drain, you can try an enzymatic drain cleaner. It contains live bacteria or enzymes that feed on the clog's organic materials, breaking them down. The beneficial bacteria will reproduce and populate your plumbing system.
If your drain clog has caused damage, a company specializing in water damage repair can help you with sewage cleaning or mold removal.
Next time you have drain problems, try removing the material with mechanical or organic methods before using chemicals. If you decide to use chemicals on a clogged drain, be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
Follow These 3 Tips When Dealing With Smoke-Damaged Electronics
How does smoke damage electronics
Follow These 3 Tips When Dealing With Smoke-Damaged Electronics
Computers, phones, and other electronic devices are important to any modern business operating in Lafayette, LA. The smoke from an electrical fire can severely damage this equipment and potentially affect your income. If these devices are only partially affected, you can still salvage them by cleaning them. The following tips can help you restore these items without increasing the existing damage.
1. Depower the Affected Devices
The greatest priority during the cleaning process is safety. The components inside the items can harm you and others if the damage is not cleaned carefully. The best method to ensure everyone's wellbeing is to turn off and unplug all the smoke-damaged devices. If they are turned on while they are open, electricity on the inner components can hurt others. Additionally, if you try to activate them before they are completely clean, they can get permanently damaged.
2. Remove the Memory
An electrical fire does not necessarily mean a complete loss to your business. If the devices still have their hard drives intact, the information they hold is still safe. You should locate and remove the hard drives before the computer cleanup. Once you retrieve them, transfer the memory to other computers so you can still access it until the original devices are fixed.
3. Contact the Professionals
The smoke damage can be more complex than you might anticipate. The film residue can cause the devices to overheat, while the leftover magnetic charge can short circuit them. The soot's acidic nature can also deteriorate the components. If you lack the resources to fix the problem effectively, it is best to contact fire damage remediation professionals. These employees know the appropriate methods and use the right equipment to repair damaged commercial equipment.
As a business owner, you can appreciate how important electronics are to accomplish major tasks. If the smoke and soot from an electrical fire impact your computers and appliances, follow these tips to prevent further damage before the experts arrive.
3 Reasons Flood Cuts Are Essential
Flood cuts performed in a Lafayette, LA home
Here Are Three Reasons To Take This Step
Flooding from external sources such as rivers and storms exposes the household structure to category three fluids. This liquid, fraught with waste and microscopic organisms, takes a sanitary space and turns it into a host for undesirable and hazardous spore development. To effectively eliminate the contamination, a water restoration company in Lafayette, LA should perform a flood cut, removing at least two to three feet of drywall above the flood line. While this may seem excessive, it is done with the best of intentions, putting safety first.
1. Lingering Moisture Encourages Growth
Why is tear out so important? Dampness is more than excess water. It is a catalyst for fungus and mildew growth. The water triggers the spores to reproduce quickly, multiplying within days. If the wetness persists for longer periods of time, then the contamination gets out of hand, requiring additional treatment.
2. Bleach Is Only a Surface Killer
While it's tempting to rely on household cleaners such as bleach to sanitize spaces impacted by flooding, it isn't necessarily the best practice. These solutions are effective on non-porous surfaces; they do not function on internal infestations. Spraying or washing, therefore, with a home cleaning solution creates a false sense of security. Homeowners see the external signs disappear, yet the growth is still persisting inside the object. Over time, it continues to develop, spreading to other locations.
3. Reduce Overhead and Worry
The contamination is there, lurking beneath the surface; thus, leaving exposed materials is simply allowing the place to host more growth. A flood cut is a form of reassurance, allowing residents to know that the spores' levels are reduced and mold is of the property.
When flooding is a concern, focus on things that eradicate spores. That includes allowing professional services to perform flood cuts. After all, this measure is an important tool in minimizing exposure levels and mitigating growth.
Mold Cleaning Standard: Does One Exist?
The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA has a set of guidelines called Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings
Are There Mold Standards?
Mold has a foothold in every building, regardless of whether there is visible growth or not. Businesses are just as vulnerable to the incursion of the ubiquitous fungus as any other structure. Because mold can over time degrade just about any construction material, thus posing a risk to the structural integrity of buildings, business owners who discover mold generally contract with a professional restoration and cleanup company in Lafayette, LA, to do a full mold clean. It is impossible to completely remove black mold and other molds, so how do these professionals determine if they have completed their job?
The U.S. does not currently have set federal mold standards or codes for remediation in buildings. However, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has a set of guidelines called Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. The recommendations in this are currently accepted as the standard for commercial buildings, though they are not regulations. It specifies worker protection for three action levels for clean water mold growth:
- The affected area is less than 10 square feet
- The affected area is between 10 and 100 square feet
- The affected area is greater than 100 square feet
It also provides counsel on different cleaning techniques and other relevant information.
While the EPA documents are popular, they are not the only ones used. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has a set of personal protective equipment and work practice suggestions for mold cleanup. These may also be used by industry professionals when handling commercial buildings.
The non-profit Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or the IICRC, is in charge of certification for the cleaning and restoration industry. Not all states require certification for mold remediation, but many do. The "IICRC S520 Standard for and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation" (whichever edition is most recent) is its standard for mold remediation.
Though the federal government has not released official mold standards, there are guidelines to adhere to. These guidelines are released by trusted organizations like the EPA, OSHA and the IICRC and are usually followed by professionals.
Top 4 Mold FAQs
Mold damage after flood
Top 4 Mold FAQs
Mold growth is an extremely common issue that the vast majority of homeowners do have to deal with at some point. Ensuring that you take care of the problem quickly and effectively is the best way to prevent a tiny mold problem from spiraling out of control. Read on to have some of your common questions answered, especially if you suspect that your Lafayette, LA, home is suffering from a mold issue.
1. Where is Mold Commonly Found?
Mold thrives in damp, dark places. This means that rooms, such as your kitchen, bathroom, garage and basement are all especially susceptible to unwanted mold. Any areas in your home that have recently suffered some type of water damage are also at risk.
2. How Can You Tell Whether You Have a Mold Problem?
You can usually spot mold with the naked eye. Black mold, one of the most common residential varieties, looks like a dark black or green stain that spreads across the surface of an object. A musty or dank smell is also a good indication of a mold presence.
3. How Can You Prevent Mold Growth?
Keeping your home as clean and dry as possible is the best way to prevent a mold issue. This involves cleaning spills and leaks as soon as they occur, ensuring your home doesn't suffer from high humidity levels and properly ventilating your home to prevent condensation from building up. Performing regular mold inspections can also help you catch the issues while they're still small.
4. Does Mold Go Away By Itself?
Mold is a living organism, so it's natural to assume that you'd be able to get rid of it simply by depriving it of its vital nutrients. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Cutting off the mold's access to water and organic matter could potentially halt its spread, but it won't kill the existing mold.
It's important that you address a mold issue swiftly and effectively in order to prevent the situation from becoming worse. If you discover unwanted mold growth in your home, make sure to contact mold remediation experts immediately.
4 Steps To Take After a Pipe Bursts
First, shut off the water
There Are Several Things You Can Do To Minimize Water Damage
There are a variety of reasons for a pipe to burst, including freezing, tree root invasion, corrosion, clogs and compromised structural integrity. No homeowner wants the unexpected shock of bursting pipes. Water spreads quickly and causes major damage to anything in its path. If you find your Lafayette, LA, home suddenly under water due to a bursting pipe, there are several things you can do to minimize water damage.
1. Shut Off the Water
First, shut off the water. You don’t want additional water accumulating so turn it off as soon as possible. You’ll need to locate where the water main shutoff valve is located. It’s also prudent to open a water faucet to relieve any remaining pressure in the pipes.
2. Call a Cleanup Company
Quick action is necessary to reduce damage from bursting pipes. Call a restoration company to help clean up, repair and restore your home. SERVPRO of Lafayette, LA, is Faster to Any Size Disaster and can use the right equipment and techniques to clean your home. Employing the services of professional restoration specialists can also help prevent mold and secondary damage.
3. Get Rid of Water
While you’re waiting for the restoration company to arrive, begin removing excess water. You can use a mop, buckets or shop vacuum to suck up the water. Be sure to remove any cushions and upholstery if possible. If it’s not conceivable to move heavy furniture, place wood blocks underneath to lift it off the wet carpet. Wipe off wood furniture and remove rugs, art pieces and other loose items.
4. Call a Plumber
You’ll need to fix broken pipe issues once the mess has been cleaned up. Call a plumber who has the tools and experience to correctly fix the pipe. Attempting to repair plumbing problems without experience can result in future problems.
Bursting pipes are never convenient. Fortunately, restoration companies are available 24/7 to assist with emergencies.
4 Methods To Prevent Urban Flooding
Plants are natural water absorbers, so a green roof reduces runoff
Four Methods Being Used In Urban Areas To Stop Flooding
Business owners in Lafayette, LA, know that high water entering a property from flooding is an eventual possibility. While the cleanup by a water damage and restoration company can make it “Like it never even happened,” preventing it from happening is more ideal. Keeping sandbags or having a barrier system may reduce the impact, but a largescale system is a key to reducing the high cost of a citywide event.
1. Rainwater Harvesting
Once heavy rains come, they create dirty and polluted stormwater. Instead of letting the water flow down buildings and into streets, many cities have installed systems to collect and store it. Massive tanks can hold thousands of gallons, which can then be used for flushing toilets, irrigating gardens and fighting fires.
2. Permeable Surfaces
A trending more modern flood prevention method is the use of permeable, or porous, pavement. During a storm, the rainwater runs over streets and sidewalks and heads straight for the sewer drains. Porous pavement works to absorb some of the rain, which then gets filtered through the layer of dirt and rock below it. An additional benefit is that this kind of pavement is easier to maintain.
3. Upgraded Sewer Systems
A common cause of high water is a sewer system pushed beyond its capacity. In many cities, the systems are old and have traditional piping that is prone to rust and corrosion. To deter flooding, systems are being upgraded with modern materials and methods to better separate rainwater from the sewer water.
4. Green Roofs
Water brings life, so many cities are encouraging building owners to turn dark, heat-absorbing, rain-collecting roofs into lively green spaces. Covering the roof with vegetation can decrease the overall heat of a city and foliage thrives on rainstorms. Plants are natural water absorbers, so a green roof reduces runoff.
Although high water from flooding is a common issue, new methods and materials are being used to reduce the problem and minimize the damage it can cause.
What Does Commercial Property insurance Cover?
Commercial fire damage
As a business owner, you want to be sure your business in Lafayette, LA, is adequately protected -- but navigating the world of commercial insurance options can be overwhelming. Commercial property insurance is one of the main coverage types that most businesses need.
Commercial property insurance policies cover damage to your business’s physical property caused by fire or other disasters. For example, if a fire broke out at your business, commercial property insurance would cover the costs of building repairs and fire damage restoration. You need this type of insurance if you own or rent a building for your business, including home-based businesses.
In addition to buildings, commercial property policies usually cover other physical assets, such as:
- Tools and equipment
- Parking and/or storage facilities
- Signs and fences
- Valuable documents and records
- Leased items, such as furniture, copiers, or phone systems
What’s Not Covered?
Commercial property insurance is one of the three major types of commercial insurance that most businesses need. It’s frequently bundled with commercial liability insurance, which covers damage to someone else’s property that is caused by you or by someone working for you, and business interruption insurance, which covers lost income and expenses while your business is closed for repairs due to a covered peril. Anything that would typically be covered under one of these other types of insurance is generally excluded from coverage under a commercial property policy.
Commercial property policies also frequently contain exclusions for:
- Damage due to certain perils, such as floods
- Intentional damage
- Damage which occurred while the property was controlled by a tenant
- Damage at other business locations
- Anything involving company vehicles
All insurance policies are different, so it’s important to review your commercial insurance policy documents carefully and to contact your agent with any questions about coverage. Commercial property insurance is an important part of the overall coverage you need to fully protect your business.
How To Make an Effective Flood Insurance Claim
Flood damage in Lafayette, LA
When floodwaters unexpectedly come rushing down your street in Lafayette, LA, the likelihood of your home suffering significant destruction virtually assures the need for an experienced water damage restoration service. Would you know what to look for when compiling a list of everything that requires rehabilitation as part of your flood claim?
How To Complete the Insurance Process
To become whole again, take the following steps:
1. Reach Out
Immediately contact your carrier to let them know they should expect an insurance claim.
Once your space is safe to do so, make a list of everything needing attention and photograph or film all relevant observations.
3. Work With Your Adjuster
The individual handling your claim will need to confirm everything that has been inventoried. Promptly fulfill requests for additional information and never hesitate to ask questions.
You will receive payment and can begin the recovery process once these stages have concluded and a review has been completed.
What To Include in a Flood Claim
It is impossible to receive reimbursement for anything that is undeclared, so know what needs to be assessed before recording your situation.
Intense flooding can warp wooden floors or crack foundations, so keep an eye open for these conditions. Frayed electrical wires should also be on your radar, as repairing compromised energy grids remains mandatory.
Major appliances are prone to ruin. Your air conditioning, water heater and refrigerator must be checked. You may wish to have an expert confirm your suspicion that a replacement is warranted.
Mold is another common post-flood development. When fungal invasions arise, costly removals become necessary. Follow your nose for unusual odors and seek out signs of discoloration on drywall, within basement corners and inhabiting your crawlspace.
Once you have determined what aspects of your residence require servicing, provide comprehensive documentation of your inspection to get the most from your flood claim. The greater your attention to detail, the bigger the check you are eligible to receive.
5 Culprits of Commercial Water Damage
Whether it is a broken pipe, flash flood, or another common culprit, taking fast action is key to minimizing excess water turning into severe damage.
When faced with water damage to your Lafayette, LA, business, even a small amount can lead to downtime while a water remediation and restoration company return the structure to normal. Although unexpected flooding or a broken pipe may be unavoidable, there are five common culprits that business owners should keep an eye on.
1. Mother Nature
The impact of an extreme natural disaster may be out of your hands, but being prepared for the next big storm or potential flash flooding can help minimize water issues. Simple maintenance procedures, such as cleaning gutters, installing flood barriers, or keeping sandbags on-site, can help guide the flow of water away from the building or reduce how much enters.
While it can be easy to forget about the structural component that is protecting the inside of the building, the roof is a top contender for leaks. Regular inspections are needed to ensure it is free of damage and properly draining. Any missing shingles, dips, damaged flashing or penetrable fixtures, such as skylights or drainpipes, can allow water in to easily degrade the roof.
Along with broken pipes, clogs, cracks, and backups are the main reasons a water repair is needed. That is especially true for older buildings. Regularly checking for signs of moisture, rust or leaks is vital to the system working. If frequently faced with plumping issues, a leak detection system can be installed that allows for quicker action to be taken.
From the water heater to the HVAC system and other equipment, small leaks left unchecked can turn into big problems. Check for signs of leaks and inspect parts that are frequently replaced, such as hoses, gaskets, and filters.
Business owners lucky enough to have a sprinkler system have peace of mind in case of a fire, but improper maintenance can lead to it being accidentally triggered or leaking. These systems should be checked monthly and quarterly as well as inspected by a professional once a year.
Whether it is a broken pipe, flash flood, or another common culprit, taking fast action is key to minimizing excess water turning into severe damage.
Take These 3 Key Steps When Confronting Kitchen Sink Leaks
Leaking kitchen sink
Steps To Protect Your Kitchen Sink During A Leak
Flooding can drastically impact every room inside your home, but perhaps the most debilitating target is the kitchen. This place allows inhabitants to prepare food and socialize. A great kitchen can also raise the market value compared to other houses in your Lafayette, LA, neighborhood. Prioritize the protection of your kitchen during a sink leak by following these steps.
1. Cut Off the Water Flow
The first thing you should do after discovering the leak is cut off the main water supply. The more water in home you have, the more the damage increases and becomes difficult to control. Locate the stop valves underneath the sink and turn them off. If this does not work, you will have to shut off the main water supply. Ensure it is safe to reach the valves. If there are electrical hazards, shut off power with an electrician's assistance.
2. Contact the Insurance Company
Just like with most cases of flooding and other property damage, you should contact your insurance agent to determine the next steps and file a claim. You will need to prove you are not at fault and that it is a temporary issue to receive compensation. Record and photograph the extent of the water damage as much as possible. Potential damage targets during a sink leak include floors, walls, and cabinets.
3. Bring In the Professionals
After stopping the water flow and filing the claim, it is time to call professional kitchen repair. A licensed and certified plumber can take care of the issue causing the leak in the first place. You will also need an emergency remediation company that will send experienced staff to restore the kitchen. The specialists will need to remove water, dry the location, and disinfect all affected surfaces.
Your kitchen is a valuable part of your Lafayette, LA, home. Protect it from flooding and leaks by enacting these key steps as soon as you see excess water.
Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?
Mold spores need moisture. When water is introduced a spore can grow into a colony very quickly
You found mold and did what you were supposed to do, called a remediation company in Lafayette, LA. The company sent a crew out, and they removed the contaminated surface and repaired the damage, restoring the facility to pre-disaster conditions. Unfortunately, upon later inspection, you are now finding a recurrence of mold growth.
Why Is It Coming Back?
Unresolved plumbing issue
Unresolved Plumbing Issue
In most instances of mold growth and regrowth, there is some water damage issue that has not been resolved. It is possible that the remediation crew repaired one problem and did not see or find the other leak sitting somewhere else in the wall or ceiling. To resolve the issue, you will need to call the same company back to the scene so they can reassess the problem.
It is also possible that the regrowth is new growth caused by a continued high humidity problem. The air-moisture content in your facility should not exceed 50%. If you find that humidity levels are continuously reaching above that threshold, then consider installing fans, ventilation systems and dehumidifiers in the most humid areas of the building, like kitchens and washrooms.
Mold spores are microscopic organisms, which may be hard to believe based on the size of your previous infestation. Unfortunately, due to the small size of spores, it is nearly impossible to control every spec from contaminating another surface during cleaning. The removal company will do their best by wetting down surfaces and being careful not to disturb the existing growth, but sometimes spores catch a breeze and land somewhere else. If they get the same nourishment in that new area, the spores will likely grow.
Are you currently seeing new mold growth in your facility? If so, contact a local remediation company to discuss the removal of the infestation and restoration of your facility.
How to Protect Your Business From Water Leaks
One tiny water leak can greatly impact your property
Though they often start small and look insignificant, leaks can cause extensive damage to your property and raise your water bills. If your business in Lafayette, LA has a water leak, it is important to address the situation immediately, before the problem gets out of hand and causes long-term harm to your business.
What Causes Leaks?
A water leak can occur anywhere in the office and could be the result of several different causes, including:
- Degradation of roofing materials
- Water permeation through cracks, broken joints, and holes
- Insufficient drainage
- Blocked or backed-up pipes
- Leaky air vents and ducts
- Seepage from malfunctioning sewage system
Piping runs throughout the entirety of your property, so leaks can occur in the ceiling, floors, and walls of the building. If water damage is detected in your business, it is critical to thoroughly investigate the problem to determine the source.
How Much Damage Can a Leak Cause?
Even a crack that extends only a few centimeters can cause gallons of water loss in a day. Not only can this lead to severe structural damage to a property, but small cracks can greatly increase your monthly water bill. The longer the leak is ignored, the more extensive it will become and the more water will be lost. This can lead to even greater issues, including mold damage. Though the problem may seem small initially, it is essential that you shore up any holes or cracks the moment they are noticed.
How Do You Fix a Leak?
There are professional services that can be used to identify and repair a pipe break at your company. If the break has already caused extensive damage, then it is recommended that you seek out a water restoration team for assistance. One tiny water leak can greatly impact your property, but in identifying problems the moment they arise, you can protect your company from long-lasting damage.
How To Create an Effective Business Continuity Plan
A well-crafted continuity plan is one tool that can help you cope with unexpected events
The continued success of your business in Lafayette, LA, depends on many factors. Not only must you consider market conditions and the changing habits of consumers, you also need to prepare for potential disasters such as storms and earthquakes. A well-crafted continuity plan is one tool that can help you cope with unexpected events. Depending upon the size and complexity of your company, the plan can be exceedingly detailed or more general in nature. Simply put, any plan is better than no plan. A good plan, though, can help you withstand a business interruption caused by storm damage and put you more quickly on the path to recovery.
The Elements of a Sound Continuity Plan
The building blocks of your plan begin simply enough: a discussion of your critical systems and how to mitigate consequences should they fail. Your critical systems are likely to include the following:
- Communication networks
- Power sources
- Management personnel
- Information technology
From there, you can flesh out in more detail what resources will be available to help your company function during a disaster. This might include manual workarounds, a relocation to another business or even relying on a strong insurance policy. Each situation is different, and the response to a major flooding event will necessitate different actions than the response to an extended power outage. Click here for a more detailed look at continuity plans.
The Actions for Recovery
It makes sense that your continuity plan will concentrate on recovery strategies. One valuable resource during this time will be a storm remediation company. An experienced team of technicians has the expertise to get your company back on track quickly. They will devote the necessary resources to your business and work efficiently. They understand that every day your company is down means lost revenue. A professional response will give you confidence that your company will be back in business soon.
We Have The Proper Equipment To Restore Your Lafayette Home After A Fire Disaster
Applications for Mechanical Cleaning Equipment after Fire Damage in Lafayette
Home environments are dry with many combustible materials inside. A faulty electrical appliance, or blocked up oven hood can act as an ignition switch for a house fire resulting in moderate to severe smoke damages throughout the property. First responder units can contain, or confine, flames using water or foam because fires require fuel sources. Smoke, on the other hand, can spread throughout a property moving into clean air pockets and depositing residues onto surfaces. When smoke cools, soots can drop onto floors or furnishing, but the vast majority of smoke deposits are concentrated on ceilings and walls.
Restoration services for fire damage in your Lafayette home need to be qualified smoke restoration technicians to remove residues properly. There is a risk of spreading soiling around or worse pushing smoke particles into materials which can cause staining and persistent odor problems. SERVPRO technicians tackle this issue by using mechanical cleaning methods.
Mechanical cleaning methods use equipment to agitate surfaces to remove smoke particles rapidly. Air whips can be used inside cavities to dislodge soot deposits alongside soda or sandblasting equipment to clear smoke particles without risking permanent damage. After mechanical equipment is used, negative air pressure can be applied to draw smoke particles from the surface safely.
As a homeowner it is understandable to want to help with the fire damage remediation process. SERVPRO technicians can you advise you on the best method of assisting with the cleanup operation. When smoke cools, it drops small amounts of ash onto table surfaces which can be wiped off using wet cloths and sanitizer without causing damage. Most fabrics, however, should be left to the professional restorer, as these absorbent materials require a tailored approach for the best chances of restoring them to preloss condition.
Soots and smoke residues can become permanent issues without the proper equipment to restore them. Contact SERVPRO of Lafayette at (337) 269-6332 today.
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We Have Specialized Techniques To Get Rid Of Fire Damage In Lafayette
How Hydroxyl Generators Improve Fire Effects in Lafayette Homes
Many effects can result from a fire in your Lafayette home, and very few of these effects can get resolved by the homeowner. Without the appropriate equipment and training, recovery of fire effects can often make the situation worse, requiring even costlier restoration and cleaning efforts than you would have initially incurred. With a fast response to disasters like fires in your home, our team can put our leading equipment to work on restoring harmful lingering aspects of a recent fire such as harsh odors.
While we have many machines in our broad inventory of equipment to handle fire odor damage in your Lafayette home, a common choice is our hydroxyl generators. We have many units that can all cover large square footage areas to begin addressing indoor air quality concerns right away. Our SERVPRO professionals can install these machines strategically throughout the fire-damaged home during mitigation to continually work to improve the breathable air in the home and reduce the present smoke odors.
We have many machines that can exclusively work to eliminate odors in materials and open areas after a fire or similar emergency, and we also have exclusive equipment to address contaminants, dust, and debris present in the environment. The hydroxyl generator is one of the few machines in our vast inventory that can do both, and that is what makes them a popular choice for use after fire effects have taken hold in damaged homes.
With an onboard HEPA filter, this machine can continually filter out the air in the immediate area to reduce smoke and soot particles, dust and debris from demolition, volatile compounds, and other threats that might exist. It can also work to continually reduce the volume of harsh odor molecules in the air. For stubborn smoke odors, we can also use our thermal foggers or ozone machines if the hydroxyl generators are not getting the job done as quickly as it should.
While there are many solutions to address lingering odors in your home after fire damage, our SERVPRO of Lafayette can use a variety of machines and equipment to return your home to preloss condition. To make fire effects “Like it never even happened,” give us a call anytime at (337) 269-6332.
Flood Damage Can Spell Big Trouble For Acoustic Ceiling Tiles In Your Lafayette Property
Commercial Flood Damage Experts In Lafayette Discuss Problems With Acoustic Ceiling Tiles
Most office complexes in Lafayette are built with acoustic ceiling tiles that make up the interior ceiling. If the roof ever leaks after a storm, commercial flood damage could result. Once ceiling tiles inside your office complex come into contact with water they can start to deteriorate. Once the tiles get saturated, they can lose their structural integrity and crumble and fall off from their metal tracks. If any building materials inside your office ever get wet, it is wise to call in a professional commercial flood damage restoration company such as SERVPRO.
Over time the materials that make up the roof of your office complex can weaken and start to leak in moisture after a severe thunderstorm. If the amount of water is excessive, your commercial flood damage project in Lafayette can get worse if the issues do not get treated right away. Whenever moisture comes into the building from the ceiling, it can negatively affect your walls, carpets and other materials as it follows gravity and goes from your ceiling to your floor. If moisture stays inside your ceiling cavity for more than 48 hours, mold can develop on organic substances making up your roof's structure.
In many situations when acoustic ceiling tiles get wet, our SERVPRO technicians remove the tiles to be able to dry out other materials above the tiles. Acoustic ceiling tiles can be dried out if they did not get saturated and have not started to crumble. However, tiles are often replaced when they get wet due to the fact that they are rather inexpensive to replace. Removing ceiling tiles also allows a port of entry so that our technicians can set up fans that push air into the ceiling cavity and dry it out.
In some situations, our crew also removes and replaces the metal frames the tiles sit on if they have received moisture damage. If a roof leak in your office complex ever causes your acoustic ceiling tiles to get wet or crumble, call SERVPRO of Lafayette at (337) 269-6332 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
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We Can Remove Foul Odors From Your Jewelry Shop In Abbeville After A Flood
When Commercial Flood Damage Leaves Your Jewelry Shop In Abbeville With Offensive Odors
After minor flooding in your Abbeville jewelry store happens, different problems can begin to develop. One of these involves offensive odors that no amount of air freshener spray seems to quell. Both carpets and other floor coverings can harbor microscopic substances that emit smells long after the rest of the damage appears cleared away and eliminated.
The standard encouraged by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and used by SERVPRO when mitigating businesses in Abbeville of commercial flood damage calls for the removal and disposal of affected carpeting and padding. Restoration methods used for carpeting saturated by a broken pipe simply cannot thoroughly clean a carpet after flooding happens. Additional cleaning, no matter how intense, cannot remove enough of the foreign materials.
The substances attach to carpet fibers and also find their way into the cells and pores of the padding. These can leave your floors a breeding ground for bacteria and other microbes. Wet carpeting can also keep subflooring damp. SERVPRO's specialists remove these from your jewelry store and check the flooring below for flood damage. Once they know that the structure remains sound, the specialists can address the odors that detract from your customers' shopping experience.
Odor control of flood-damaged buildings works at the molecular level. Instead of masking unwanted scents with more agreeable ones, technicians from SERVPRO use methods that eliminate the odors where they develop. Fogging helps destroy odors throughout a room, including the flooring. The chemicals used during this process infiltrate the tiniest areas and bond with unwanted substances. Now heavier, these can no longer fill your store with offensive odors. Relying on other methods, such as powerfully effective hydroxyl generators can leave a fresh and pleasant scent behind.
SERVPRO of Lafayette also serves other businesses in Rayne, Church Point, and Franklin, helping undo the harm caused by flood damage. Contact us at (337) 269-6332 to give your business a fresh start and create a better atmosphere for your customers.
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4 Main Causes of Solar Panel Damage
Solar panel damage in Lafayette, LA
Four Main Culprits That Can Result In Panel Damage
As green solutions and sustainability become more important, solar panels have gained popularity. Installing them on the roof of your Lafayette, LA, home means generating your own energy. Although a big investment, they are thoroughly tested and designed to last more than 20 years. Unfortunately, their durability doesn’t make them entirely resistant to damage. Regular inspections can help ensure they last as they should. It’s also important to know the four main culprits that can result in panel damage.
1. Falling Debris
Like normal roof damage, falling twigs and branches have the potential to create micro scratches that can decrease their output. If the branch is big enough, it could result in a break. Pollen, bird droppings and other lightweight natural phenomena could potentially create cracks, which won’t allow the sunlight to properly penetrate the solar cells.
It can be easy to forget how dirty the outdoors really are. High winds can stir up dust and dirt that start to settle on the panels, again resulting in them not working as efficiently. If not regularly cleaned, it could result in long-term issues.
Most panels are crafted with a durable, tempered glass that can withstand high winds and around 1-inch hail. If there is enough pressure, a hailstorm may still result in panel damage. Installing smaller panels is one way to avoid worrying about hail.
4. Water Leaks
The installation process involves tightly sealing the panels to ensure water doesn’t seep through. If that seal is broken or there are micro scratches, discoloration and short circuits can happen. Since they are on the roof, if the leak isn’t quickly taken care of, it could result in extensive roof damage that requires the assistance of a water damage remediation and restoration expert.
While panel damage from storms is rare, it can happen. If the panels are older, the chances for issues can arise. Being aware and taking steps to keep them in good shape can help your home create solar energy for years to come.
Abbeville House Storm Damaged? Rely on the Professionals from SERVPRO
Remediating Flood Damage In Abbeville Homes
Quick access to Highway 90 and I-10 makes Abbeville a good location for transportation and other businesses. However, the Vermilion River running through the middle of town also causes homeowners to suffer through several floods over the years.
To mediate the effects of flood damage in Abbeville homes, SERVPRO restoration technicians work quickly to remove floodwater, debris and then dry the home that returns it to its original condition whenever possible. As an example, a previous flood in a four-bedroom required each technician to use a variety of devices from our equipment inventory, as well as several cleaning agents needed specifically for the contaminated or ‘black’ water present in every flooded home.
Before pulling anything else off the service truck, team members pull on protective gear to spray a strong, anti-microbial agent. They started at every entry point into the home, covering the surface of the standing water and every item that may have been covered by the flooding before it began to recede.
With the health risk mediated, other SERVPRO technicians bring in pumps and other water extraction devices as needed. The pumps are excellent for deeper flooding at least ankle-high. Here, however, the smaller extractors were sufficient. Besides drawing off the water, they also worked well to pull water from the carpet throughout the home and helped protect the wood floor in the living room from cracking or splitting. Since this was ‘black’ water, the team disposed of all carpeting immediately after removing the water.
Next, the team set up a series of exhaust fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers to dry the structure while also cleaning affected furniture and structural property. For items like upholstered fabric, they used a milder cleaner to avoid staining the item or cause the color to run. In the bathroom and kitchen, technicians used a much stronger cleaner, including a sterilant on metal and tile. Flood cuts in the walls to remove ruined sheetrock may be in order. The length of the restoration varies from days to weeks, depending on the circumstances.
For SERVPRO of Lafayette, the result is always to return every home to its pre-flood condition. If your residence has damage from a recent storm, call our office at (337) 269-6332 today to restore your home here or in the communities of Crowley, Saint Martinville, and Ville Platte. We are here to put everything back together after any disaster.
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.
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.
Smoke Damaged Electronics: Should You DIY?
How does smoke damage electronics?
Smoke Damaged Electronics: Should You DIY?
An electrical fire can cause significant and costly damage, and while much of that damage will be to the building structure itself, you may soon discover that it extends to your electronics. Unfortunately, much of your computer and electronic equipment will not be salvageable. However, with professional computer cleanup services, you may be able to save some of it.
How Smoke Damages Electronics
Equipment that didn’t fall victim to fire damage may have fallen victim to smoke damage. Smoke can damage computer and electronic equipment in one of three ways:
Magnetic Charge: Most people do not know this, but smoke has a magnetic charge. This magnetic charge could cause certain electronics to short. Shortages due to smoke often happen with computers, televisions, and appliances.
Black Film: Following an electrical fire, the black film from smoke may seep into your electronic components and coat the interior mechanisms. This coating acts like an insulator of sorts and can cause your gadgets to overheat. Electronics that regularly overheat have a far shorter lifespan than those that don’t.
Acidity from Soot: Soot is another type of fire damage people don’t regularly think about. Soot, which is highly acidic, can seep into your electronics and lead to premature degradation.
How To Handle Fire Damaged Electronics
Some people try to conduct computer cleanup on their own, but you should strongly consider calling a professional. The best thing you can do to save yourself considerable hassle and expense is power down the device and remove any external memory or storage. This first step is important, as trying to powerup a fire damaged device before it’s cleaned can cause irreparable damage.
Once you remove any external hard drives, transfer salvageable devices over to a fire damage remediation specialist in Lafayette, LA. If you attempt to make repairs yourself, you risk making things much worse. A professional, on the other hand, can adeptly clean away damage left by the electrical fire and make sure your device is usable again.
The Best Alternatives to Sand Bags
Finding the right solution, whether a sand bag or another product can protect a company
The Best Alternatives to Sand Bags
The image of a group of people passing sand bags furiously as the rain pounds down is probably as old as television itself. It has become the standard response when high waters threaten a home or business. Is there anything that does as good or even a better job than the sand bag for turning back water? Is there a product out there that is more effective, or at least easier to use? The following products show promise in man's long effort to turn back the tides and reduce flood damage.
Water bags. These items are filled with water instead of sand. They have the advantage of being filled up right where they go, so it isn't necessary to carry them great distances. Some of the products in this category are just a bit bigger than a sand bag, while others are much larger. These products tend be reusable and faster than sand bags, making them useful for avoiding flood damage in Lafayette, LA.
A Fence Barrier. This item can protect a large area and can be set up around the perimeter of a building. It is made of high-tech materials, including stainless steel and marine-grade batlic laminate. It takes a crew of workers to install it, can be deployed fast and is reusable. It does come with a large price tag.
A Fabric Bag. This item can be purchased at a hardware store and is inexpensive. You just spray it with water and the fabric absorbs the water and grows into a small barrier and serves as flood dams. It can be left out at all times and will swell when wet and shrink when dry.
Floods are common and impact businesses nearly every day. Finding the right solution, whether a sand bag, or another product can protect a company. A storm remediation franchise can also help your company combat the effects of a flood.
Cleaning Up Your Contents After a Flood
Storm damage cleanup in Lafayette, LA
Cleaning Up Your Contents After a Flood
The waters have receded, but now you’ve got a building full of waterlogged materials. Blackwater (the wastewater that would normally be disposed of via your septic or sewer system) is a serious hazard after a flood, as it backs up into your communal spaces and impacts everything the water touches. Content cleaning after water damage in Lafayette, LA can be a long and arduous process but these tips can help you shorten it up.
Sorting the Contents of Your Property
You can save yourself some time by beginning with a sorting process. Generally, an item’s constituent materials will be the determining factor when it comes to “keep or toss.” Porous materials will generally be soaked through, and so will either have to be thoroughly dried from the inside out, or will need to be replaced. Non-porous materials can simply be dried and left in place or reinstalled for use after the flood.
The following common materials are porous and will need to be dried out if you intend to continue the use of them:
- Carpet and carpet pads
These materials are non-porous and the items made from them can be dried out and dehumidified to save you the trouble of replacement:
Drying Out Porous Items
Tidying up after water damage in Lafayette, LA is rarely as simple as letting everything dry naturally. Generally, you’ll want a restoration contractor to inspect things like the carpet and carpet pads to ensure that leaving them in place won’t damage your subfloor. They can also bring in submersible pumps to rid you of water and kick start the drying process. Once you’re free of standing water, dehumidifiers can help to pull the hidden moisture out of the porous materials in your structure.
Taking the time to sort out what can absolutely be kept before you begin the process of content cleaning after a flood is a simple step that can save you considerable time in the cleanup process.
How To Clean Plant Mildew
It is important to understand the difference between mold and plant mildew
You may have seen a white fungus growing on the flowers in your Lafayette, LA, home. This is plant mildew. Just as mold damage can be harmful to your property, mildew can weaken your plants by disrupting the photosynthesis process. Read on for more about this parasite and how to get rid of it.
What Is Mildew?
Mildew is a mold that grows on living plants. It can appear on various parts of the plant, including the:
- Live tissue
Mildew typically has a splotchy or powdery appearance. It is usually white or light gray in color.
There are two basic types of mildew. Powdery mildews are fungal pathogens that typically grow on the upper leaves of plants. As their name implies, they often look like flour.
Downy mildew, meanwhile, are fuzzy, gray spores usually found on the lower parts of plants. They are actually more closely related to algae than they are to fungi.
How Do You Get Rid of Mildew?
It is important to understand the difference between mold and plant mildew. Mold is tough to get rid of and often requires professional expertise. Mildew, thankfully, is easier to remove.
In fact, you can address mildew by pruning or washing your plants. Sunlight can also reduce mildew. You can thus try moving an indoor plant outside. There are even some potting soils available that resist mildew.
Weeds can encourage mildew growth and should be kept away from your plants. Fertilizers and mildewcides can help, as well. Look for mildewcides that contain sulfur, baking soda, neem oil or copper. Avoid using regular mold removers, as these could kill your plant.
While you can probably handle plant mildew yourself, mold damage to your home is a more severe problem. Unless your house has only a small amount of this fungus, you should leave the cleanup to mold remediation specialists.
How to Deal with Commercial Fire Damage
Commercial fire damage
How to Deal with Commercial Fire Damage
An electrical fire or a utility room fire can cause a lot of damage to a business when the situation is not brought under control as soon as possible. Apart from destroying the building, a fire can lead to massive losses by destroying your business stock.
To recover from a fire disaster, soot damage or smoke, it is advisable to seek the services of professional fire restoration company. Such companies have the necessary;
- Certification and licenses
- Restoration Experience
- Insurance Information
The initial devastation and shock resulting from commercial fire damage cannot allow one to deal with the situation on their own. Moreover, you may not have the necessary equipment such as a fire truck, fire hose, and fire sprinkler system for effective fire suppression and commercial fire damage restoration. A Certified firefighter is in a better position handle an electrical fire or a utility room fire.
Before hiring any fire restoration firm, it is important to review price quotes and references to be sure about the company's profile. A professional fire restoration company follows the procedure below when helping you to recover from fire damage, smoke damage, or soot damage:
Fire Damage Assessment
It is difficult for a restoration company to prepare an accurate price quote without a proper assessment of the level of fire damage, soot damage or smoke damage caused by an electrical fire or a utility room fire. Also, evaluation helps a restoration company to know the best strategies to apply during fire damage restoration.
The firm gets to know the type of equipment required to restore soot damage, smoke damage, and the general damage. The company is expected to arrive on the scene with all the necessary fire suppression equipment like a fire truck, fire hose, and fire sprinkler system.
Commercial fire damage may include water damage as a result of broken water pipes and water tanks. Moreover, the fire can damage doors, windows, and roofs that may need some quick fixing before cleanup. This can be done by placing a tarp on the roof and boarding up windows and doors.
Fire Suppression and Cleanup
A restoration company has to immediately embark on fire suppression in case of a utility room fire or an electrical fire. The most important equipment for use in this process includes a fire hose, a fire truck, and fire sprinkler system. There is a need for an experienced firefighter to operate the fire suppression equipment and other equipment for restoring smoke damage and soot damage.
A firefighter must have all the necessary training and certification to qualify for such assignments. Commercial fire damage requires a thorough clean-up before restoring the property to its normal condition. After putting out the fire, the next step involves general cleanup to avoid permanent damage resulting from soot damage and smoke damage. The company has to vacuum the upholstery and floors after cleaning the ceiling.
Immediate cleanup is vital as most items and walls tend to discolor as a result of soot and smoke damage. The acid that is left behind as a result of utility room fire or electrical fire can lead to permanent destruction of all the furnishings in the building. Drying and sanitization essential to prevent possible mold growth. There is a need for immediate removal of all smoky and residue orders for complete restoration.
Renovation and Redesign
As mentioned earlier, it is never an easy task to restore fire damage. An electric fire or utility room fire can completely destroy furnishings, goods, walls, carpets, floors, and ceilings. A restoration company can help in repairing some of the partially damaged items or remove and replace all the things that are beyond repair.
Renovation may also involve repainting the discolored walls. Furthermore, professionals offer business owners advice on how to deal with or avoid future fires. A firefighter in the restoration team can teach you how to use fire suppression equipment in case of small fires.
Cigarette Smoke Can Be Tough To Get Rid Of
Call SERVPRO if you need smoke odor removed.
Many people smoke cigarettes without realizing that the odor can have negative effects on their home environments. Smoking can cause odors to linger inside the home. This is because smoke and fine particulate matter becomes trapped inside soft surfaces and porous materials such as these:
- Throw rugs
Other surfaces can trap odors, too. Over time the odors can become quite overwhelming; correcting it can call for professional home deodorization. Thankfully, professionals have a range of specialized tools available to them that help them accomplish this important goal. Whether you are planning to sell your Lafayette, LA, home or simply want to give it a much-needed deep cleaning, home deodorization can be an excellent decision that can increase your family’s comfort.
Smoky Smells Can Decrease the Value of a Home
Cigarette removal should be part of the process of preparing a home for sale or viewing. Many people find the smell of old cigarette smoke objectionable, and so they are less likely to purchase a home with this feature. As a result, a home’s value can drop to a surprising degree because of detectable odors. Freshening a house from time to time is usually a good idea. This process can prevent smells from lingering too long and becoming increasingly more established within the soft and porous surfaces found throughout the house.
Ozone Does the Trick
Ozone is typically a powerful natural deodorizer run by a generator that helps capture scent-causing molecules at their very source. It is used in many professional remediation jobs, including deep home cleaning. Ozone is often the choice of professionals, and care should be taken in its application; for this reason, ozone products and technology are not usually available to the general public.
Experts Can Help
A team experienced with home deodorization can help the next time you need to remove cigarette smoke smells from your Lafayette, LA, house.
Home Safety: How to Prevent Kitchen Fires
Kitchen fire damage in Lafayette, LA
Tips For Avoiding a Kitchen Fire
According to the NFPA, cooking accidents are the leading cause of fire damage in Lafayette, LA. On average, a total of 165 000 houses go up in flames every year due to kitchen fires. However, that does mean cooking is hazardous. It only implies that people should be more careful when dealing with open flames and electrical appliances in the kitchen.
Here are some tips for avoiding a kitchen fire:
- Don’t leave cooking food unattended
- Choose your clothing wisely
- Always unplug appliances
Stay in the Kitchen
Kitchen fires usually start when no one is looking. That’s why experts advise people to stay in the kitchen until the meal is ready. For example, if you are frying something with grease and notice the oil is smoking or boiling, please put off the flame to avoid a potential grease fire. The same applies to an oven operating at high heat for long periods.
Be Careful with Clothing
Loose clothing is one of the main reasons why people sustain severe fire injuries in the kitchen or even end up burning the house. Avoid flowing sleeves and large fitting shirts while working with fires. Alternatively, wear a fitting apron over the loose clothing. In case you catch fire, follow the handy fireman’s tips - stop, drop and roll before calling for help.
Always unplug all kitchen appliances after each use. These devices continue draining power even when not in use, and that could have its toll on old wiring. It is also a bad idea to use cooking equipment with frayed wiring as you risk electric shock or even a fire. You might also want to plug all appliances directly to the wall and not through an extension.
There you have it — the top 3 tips for avoiding a nasty kitchen fire. The overall idea is to be very cautious about everything you do while cooking. It is the only way to stay safe and still enjoy a home-cooked meal.
Deducting Storm Damage on Your Taxes
If your building has been affected by storm damage act quickly to get any insurance coverage
When storm damage affects your Lafayette, LA, property, there's a chance that you may qualify for tax breaks to help you offset losses your insurance company denied. When disasters, such as blizzards, earthquakes, hurricanes, and major storms, damage your buildings and inventory, find whether you'll be reimbursed for damages through the insurance company. If your property is insured, but the damage isn't covered by your insurance, apply for a tax write-off.
Should You Deduct Losses?
Refer to the IRS, or Internal Revenue Service, for specific requirements that are up to date. As you consider your next move, however, the following information can serve as a guide:
- You need to deduct the loss during the same year the damage happened.
- Property owners in federally declared disaster areas have a slightly larger window of tie to deduct losses.
- Base your estimated loss on the value of your property before the damages, as well as decrease (specifically due to the damages) in the fair market value.
- Even if the insurance provided some coverage, you may be eligible for this tax deductible.
If you think there's any chance of getting this tax write-off after storm damage affects your property, look up Form 4684 (Casualties and Thefts) and plan to claim the deductible on Schedule A (Itemized Deductions.) Contact an experienced tax preparer or attorney to work through the process specific to commercial property owners.
When Should You Prepare?
Don't wait until hurricane season to figure out how you'll handle the damages and losses caused by storms. It's better to understand your insurance coverage and tax-deductible options well in advance of approaching storms. As you learn more about the potential for damages and how to respond, you'll be better prepared to create a comprehensive storm emergency protocol. Don't forget to include contact information for your insurance representative and cleanup and reconstruction professionals.
Why Not Wait for Trouble?
If your buildings or property have been affected by storm damage, act quickly to get any insurance coverage or tax write-offs that apply. Any delay could lead to significant losses. If you don't file, you may never know whether you qualify or how much help you could have received.
Act Fast to Avoid Secondary Water Damage
Mold growth on a Lafayette, LA home
Finding excessive water in your Lafayette, LA, home due to bursting pipes is an unwelcome sight. The primary damage will be obvious, such as wet carpet and pads, drywall absorbing moisture and floors beginning to buckle. If the water damage is taken care of immediately, that initial damage can turn into long-term secondary damage.
What Is Secondary Damage?
Often referred to as moisture damage, secondary damage is an aftereffect of initial damage not properly addressed. Even if you have removed the excess water and called a professional to fix a broken pipe, there can be hidden damage that spreads and causes big problems down the road. Signs of secondary damage include:
- Cracking or sagging drywall and plaster
- Buckling of hardwood floors
- Floor finish show signs of damage
- Vinyl flooring no longer adheres properly
- Swelling baseboards or door casings
- Stained, cracking or sagging ceiling tiles
- Musty mold odors
These signs don’t always present themselves right away. If bursting pipes led to water sitting for an extended period of time, the wet area wasn’t dried out properly or hidden water was missed during cleanup, that secondary damage can affect the integrity of your home.
To ensure long-term damage doesn’t happen, your best bet is to get the help of a water damage expert. Along with having the know-how and tools to clean up the mess, a certified professional is trained to look beyond the visible mess to find hidden areas of potential trouble. No matter the time of day, the right professional knows how important addressing water damage is and will be Faster to any size disaster. They will quickly assess, extract water, dry and dehumidify the home, clean and sanitize, and provide restoration services.
While we all hope we won’t have to deal with bursting pipes, the unexpected can happen. When it does, taking immediate action and getting the right help can ensure your home gets back to normal and stays that way.
3 Vital Components of a Fire Escape Plan
Be sure that you have a fire escape place and practice it often
Fire Escape Plan - Make Them a Priority
According to the American Red Cross, families may only have as much as two minutes to escape a home fire. That isn't much time to ensure the safety of your loved ones; therefore, homeowner's in Lafayette, LA, should take time to collaborate, considering the best methods and routes for efficient evacuation. Fire escape plan discussions are vital. Make them a priority.
1. Think About It
Don't rely on intuition to guide you when flames spark. Instead, you should have already created an emergency escape plan, known to the entire group. This should have mapped out several exit points. In fact, the American Red Cross highly recommends two exits for every room. Walk around the household, taking note of difficult spots. How could children move out of these sticky situations? Be cognizant of how to avoid stair fires and whether you'll need access to a ladder from the first floor. Once you're finished with the walk through, map it out and post it somewhere visible to everyone.
2. Establish Early Warning Systems
Fire escape plan protocol works best when you're signaled immediately. You don't want to waste a minute because you didn't smell smoke. Ensure that smoke detectors are in all rooms and working properly. Test them monthly, and change batteries regularly. Also, know where a phone is located to call 911. Let the firefighters handle the blaze. They along with a fire restoration company can take care of the property.
3. Practice Often
It's one thing to know a system. It's another to execute it. Sit with everyone, and share your concerns. Where will people meet up? Do kids know to never run back inside? Do they understand that pets may need to remain? These are difficult topics, but definitely significant. Review the emergency escape plan, and then time everyone following it. You want to have everyone escape in less than two minutes, so don't hesitate to do it a few times. In addition, teach best practices. Don't open doors right away, stay low to the ground and be alert.
Take care of those you love. Fire escape plan knowledge isn't frivolous. It's essential.
3 Reasons Basements Flood
When a basement flood occurs, understanding why it is happening can get you on the path to recovery.
Having a basement is often welcome space in your Lafayette, LA, home. Whether unfinished or a go-to area for hanging out with guests, the last thing you want to deal with is a basement flood. Some homeowners get lucky and don’t have to deal with that hassle. For many others, a number of reasons can lead to long-term water damage from flooding.
The Main Culprits
Going down the stairs, the last thing you want to see is a flooded basement. Along with the potential to ruin belongings, it can have long-term structural effects on your home. Regardless if your home is new or old, flooding can be an ongoing issue even in seemingly dry conditions. Below are three main reasons for a basement flood
1. Blocked Gutters, Downspouts and Eaves
A gutter system is designed to keep the rest of the home dry and lead the water away from the home. If any part of it is clogged with debris, it can create an overflow that runs down your house right toward the foundation. Keeping free and clear is a top way to reduce flooding. It’s also important to ensure downspouts extend at least 10 feet from the home.
2. Improper Sloping
Many homes are built on sloped terrain. While builders do their best to ensure levelness, being just a little off could result in water accumulation. Over time, as pavement settles, it can create an unevenness that leads to leaking in the basement that is a frequent problem. Along with getting any foundation issues checked, upping your landscaping can help lead water away from the home.
3. Sealant Issues
Tiles and concrete are sealed to keep water out. Over time, or if not properly sealed, cracks can form that slowly allow water in. While it may be barely noticeable at first, it can eventually turn into a costly repair and hassle.
When a basement flood occurs, understanding why it is happening can get you on the path to recovery. Along with consulting foundation experts, rely on a trusted water damage expert to get your house back to normal.