With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are "Ready for whatever happens" in 2019.
In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP also establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 50 years experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips.
Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes - resolve to be READY. Call SERVPRO of Quincy today to establish your Emergency READY Profile, and be "Ready for whatever happens" in 2019.
Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile
A no-cost assessment of your facility
A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster
Establishes SERVPRO of Quincy as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin
Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information
Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery road and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property.
Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.
To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:
Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses
Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing
When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes
Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night
Ice dams can be a little-known, but major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof's shingles and into the structure's interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall.
Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, "check for waster stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication than an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane."
Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.
If winter weather causes water damage to you or your insured's property, SERVPRO of Quincy is only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.
While your home can get damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health is also at risk.
Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold in 2015.
It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.
Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness.
Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If somebody's body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, seek medical attention immediately.
To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible, if not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.
What Are You Doing to Prevent Water Damage in Your Quincy Home?
We here at SERVPRO of Quincy are experts when it comes to water damage. With over 10 years in the restoration industry, we’ve seen it all. Though our specialty is restoring your home to preloss conditions after you suffer water damage and making it “Like it never even happened,” we have some tips for how you can prevent any future water damage to your home.
Watch Your Water Bill
So often, homeowners don't realize there's a leak until major damage is done. If your water bill seems unusually high, there may be something going on behind the walls or beneath the floorboards. Monitor your bill closely to catch any potential leaks early.
Investigate Leaks Promptly
If there is a water leak in your home, it is imperative that you take care of it quickly. Moisture in your home that is left untreated can result in mildew or mold and even structural damage to your property. Additionally, water damage that isn't treated within 48 hours could potentially become contaminated.
Be Careful Where (And What) You Plant
Some plants, such as willows, elms, and maples, have invasive roots that could cause problems for your property. Before planting a tree, find out about its root system. Never plant a tree less than 10 ft. from your home's foundation; trees with invasive roots may need to be even further (25 to 50 ft. away) in order to ensure the roots don't damage your water and sewer lines.
Ensure Proper Drainage
Clear your gutters regularly to make room for rain water. Downspouts from your gutters should be directed at least 5 ft. away from your home. It is best to have the water flow onto a hard surface (such as a driveway) or to have a splash guard designed to spread the water and keep it from puddling on the ground.
Check Home Appliances Regularly
Oftentimes, flooding in the home is caused by a leak from a fridge or dishwasher, etc. Check and maintain your home's appliances regularly, and follow the manufacturer's directions to fix any possible leaks. It is also a good idea to regularly replace the hose for your washing machine. Leaky hoses are a common cause of residential water damage.
Of course these are just some ways to prevent water damage. Unfortunately, not all forms of water damage are preventable. Disaster can strike at any moment, no matter how prepared you may be. We hope it doesn't happen to you, but if it does, call SERVPRO of Quincy and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."
When it comes to removing mold from a basement wall, there is no one answer. There are a lot of factors that go into determining if you can remove the mold and how to do it. But before we dive into determining if mold can be removed from a wall, we first must understand what mold is and how it grows.
What is Mold?
Mold is a living organism, or more precisely, it is a fungus. It tends to grow in dark and damp environments and it feeds on cellulose. Cellulose is an organic material that can be found abundantly in drywall, cardboard boxes, carpets, wood, clothes, and curtains. You won’t usually find mold on metals and plastics since they don’t contain cellulose. A quick look around your basement and you can see that there are many places where mold can grow if the conditions are right.
Can Mold Be Removed from Walls?
Now that we know what mold is and how it grows, can it be easily removed from your basement walls? Well, it depends on what your walls are made of and whether they are painted. If the mold is growing on painted drywall or painted concrete, then you may be able to wipe the mold off. You can use a household cleaner that is made to remove mold and spray it down, scrub it off, and wipe it clean.
If the mold is found growing on unfinished drywall, then you might have a problem. Due to the porous nature of the drywall, the mold may be embedded into the drywall and won’t be able to be wiped clean. It is usually best to remove the drywall with the mold and replace it with new drywall.
With unfinished concrete walls, you obviously can’t easily remove and replace the concrete walls like you can with drywall. With concrete walls, you will want to scrub off any mold you can see and then soak the area with a mold cleaner. The cleaner should soak into the concrete and kill off any mold or mold spores that are hiding out underneath the surface.
Household Cleaners May Not Be Good Enough
If you walk down the household cleaners aisle at the grocery store or look up DIY mold cleaning solutions on the web, you’ll notice there are a lot of solutions and recipes to clean/kill/remove mold. While these may seem to do the job at first, most do not remediate the mold problem. Weeks later, the mold can return. Even the mold that has been killed can be harmful to one’s health if not removed. A quick search on the Internet shows some recommend a bleach solution while others say that it isn’t effective or healthy. So what is one to do?
Other Problems That You Need to Be Aware before Cleaning Mold
If you do try to clean or remove mold from your walls, be sure to wear ventilation to protect yourself. Inhaling mold can possibly be dangerous to your health especially when you do not know what type of mold you are dealing with.
Another problem with trying to clean mold on your own is that by scrubbing and cleaning and removing it, you may be unknowingly spreading the mold spores elsewhere. If you are scrubbing mold off a wall, the mold spores can quickly and easily become airborne and travel to other parts of your basement and home. Think of mold like a cup of fine flour. If you throw that cup of flour in the air, the tiny bits of flour can travel easily through the air and spread everywhere. Mold spores are even tinier (can’t be seen by the human eye) and can spread even easier and farther.
What’s the Best Way to Remove Mold from Basement Walls?
If you discover mold growing on a wall or walls in your basement, the best thing might be to call a professional mold remediation team like the team at SERVPRO of Quincy. The mold remediation team at SERVPRO of Quincy has the tools and equipment to inspect and assess the damage and determine the right steps to take to contain the mold, remove the mold, clean the contents, and restore your basement. They will also identify the cause of the water or moisture and either stop it or provide a solution to stopping it so that it doesn’t cause mold growth in the future.
One last piece of advice; if you discover mold in your basement, leave it alone. If you disturb the area, the mold spores can become airborne and spread elsewhere. Give SERVPRO of Quincy a call anytime 24/7 if you find mold in your basement.
How to Tell the Difference Between Mold and Mildew
It’s actually pretty common to mistake mildew for mold or mold for mildew. They both, in fact, are fungi that can be found in homes. They both thrive off of moisture and darkness which is why you usually find them present in bathrooms, basements, crawl spaces, and under sinks. So what is the difference between mold and mildew? Are they both bad for your home? Below we will cover the characteristics, dangers, and treatment of both.
What Does Mold Look Like? What Does Mildew Look Like?
Mildew is a specific type of mold that grows on the surface of things. It can appear as a flat, patchy or powdery discoloration. It’s typically white or brown that can turn yellowish or black as it grows. Due to the fact that mildew grows along the surface, it can usually be wiped off very easily. It does become a little more cumbersome to clean when the mildew grows on a porous surface like tile grout or fabrics.
Unlike mildew, mold not only grows on the surface but below the surface also. Mold is usually black, green or blue in color. It can appear either fuzzy or slimy. Since mold tends to grow underneath the surface, once it has been spotted it can usually mean there’s more mold damage beneath the surface. For instance, if you spot mold growing on your wall or ceiling of your Quincy home, there’s a good chance that it didn’t start there. It most likely started beneath the surface of the drywall from a water leak or high moisture content. In fact, it could have started somewhere else and spread to your drywall on your ceiling and/or wall.
The Smell of Mold and Mildew
Another sign of mold and mildew is a distinct odor. The smell of mildew is foul and smelly. It can smell like dirty laundry or a forest during the rain. One of the most common times people get a whiff of mildew or the start of mildew is when they forget to remove wet clothes from their washer for a few days.
Mold tends to have more of a musty, pungent smell. Most of us have gotten a little too close to mold and smelled its pungent odor when we’ve opened a food container in our fridge that hasn’t been opened in weeks, if not, months. Mold is a common occurrence on foods due to the fact that mold feeds and grows off of food and organic matter.
Can Mildew or Mold Cause Damage?
Mildew is typically not dangerous or harmful. It can usually be cleaned and removed easily. It may look unsightly but it won’t typically damage grout, tile, or surfaces. With mildewy clothes, you can simply wash them with detergent and it will remove the mildew. Mildew can, however, cause damage to crops. Mildew growing on crops out in the field can cause the crops to rot or bruise.
Mold, on the other hand, is not so kind to your home. Mold, if caught early, could be removed without having to replace any structure. This issue is that mold usually isn’t discovered until it has caused extensive damage to a home’s structure. Since mold flourishes under the surface, the damage to walls, ceilings, floors, insulation, siding, and framing has already been compromised. In many instances, the structural materials affected need to be removed and replaced.
Is It Bad or Is It Just Mildew?
If in doubt about whether you have a mildew problem or a mold problem in your home, it’s always best to call the mold remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Quincy. They have the expertise and know-how to identify the problem and take immediate action if it is property-destroying mold. It doesn’t take much for mold to thrive and grow and until it is stopped by mold remediation pros, it will continue to cause damage to your home. Call SERVPRO of Quincy for an evaluation of your home's mold problem.
With the recent storms and flooding, many homes throughout the Quincy area may have suffered from the unfortunate event of a flooded basement. There is nothing so frustrating as looking down your basement stairs and discovering that your basement is now under water along with all of the belongings that you have stored down there. So you’ve discovered a lake in your basement, now what do you do? Below we will cover things you should and shouldn’t do and how to ultimately clean and restore your flooded basement.
Be Careful - Water and Electricity Do Not Mix
If there is standing water in your basement, do not go near it. You should not assume that the power has been cut off by the home’s circuit breaker. If your home’s circuit box is located in a dry area of your home, then you should check the breaker box to see if the circuits powering the basement have been tripped and are off. If you have a hot water heater or furnace in the basement, they should be powered off also from the breaker box.
If you are unsure if all of the power is off in the basement, then wait until the water has completely resided or call an electrician or professional flood cleanup company. They will know what to check or who to contact to ensure there is no power going to the flooded basement.
You Don’t Know Where That Water Has Been
The second danger with a flooded basement is that you don’t know where the water originated. While it could be rainwater that has pooled up once the sump pump went out, it could also be from the municipal sewer system backing up. When the local sewer system floods and backs up, it heads to the lowest points first, which are basements. Some home’s main sewer pipes have check valves to prevent the sewer system from backing up into their basements, but many homes do not.
If your basement has a floor drain or bathroom, the sewer system may back up into your basement. Obviously, you don’t want to get anywhere near that water as it can be harmful to your health. Since you don’t know where the water has come from, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Wait until the water has resided and try to avoid any skin contact with the water. Even if it isn’t sewage water, it could contain other chemicals and contaminants from your basement or the flood waters outside your home.
So What Should Be Done If A Basement Floods?
As you can see, there are a lot of dangers from a basement flooding. The best thing to do if your basement has flooded is to call a water damage cleanup company, like SERVPRO of Quiincy. They have the expertise, equipment and tools to remove the water, dry the basement, remediate any mold and restore your basement.
Once the water in the basement subsides or has been pumped out, then it’s a matter of removing all the water soaked items like furniture, storage boxes, area rugs and more. If there is carpeting in the basement, it will probably need to be commercially vacuumed to extract the water. If there is drywall in the basement, then it may need to be removed or at least partially removed. Drywall can absorb the flood waters and if not removed or dried right away, it can lead to mold growth. All wood and porous surfaces must also be treated to prevent mold from growing. There are a lot of areas in a basement where the water can seep into and lead to extensive mold growth and damage.
Don’t Risk Further Damage. Contact the Water & Mold Damage Cleanup Professionals.
A flooded basement can be a huge mess that can quickly turn into an even bigger mess. That is why you should trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Quincy to clean up your flooded basement and return it back to normal. You can count on us to make it, "Like it never even happened."
Stagnant water, also known as standing water, is a body of water that does not flow or go away in a timely manner. This can be a small puddle in your backyard or a puddle in your crawl space. They both can result in problems for you and your home. The puddle in the backyard can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the puddle in your crawl space can result in damaging mold growth.
Stagnant water can come from any source. It can be clean water from a leaky water pipe or faucet. It can be from rainwater which is likely with the stagnant water in your yard. Or worse, it can be from a sewer line in your home or a sewer backup in your neighborhood. While the sewer water or black water, as it is known, can be the most dangerous to one’s health, they can all lead to mold growth, bacteria growth, and mosquito problems. The clean water can mix with debris, bacteria, and organisms and result in mold growth and other problems.
The Hidden Dangers of Stagnant Water
One of the problems with stagnant water is when it is hidden from our daily view. This could be some standing water hidden behind a woodshed that we never see or stagnant water that sits undisturbed and unseen for months in our crawlspace or basement. It is that time that can ultimately lead to extensive damage to your home.
The longer stagnant water sits in your crawl space, basement, bathroom, or garage; the more time it has to promote mold growth in your home. Once the mold has begun, it usually won’t stop growing until it is found and remediated by professionals, like those at SERVPRO of Quincy. Given a little bit of time, mold can grow quickly on the floor joists, ducts, floors, walls, insulation and other surfaces nearby. Given a few months, mold can lead to structural damage to your home and spread throughout the home through the air or ducts.
What to Do If Stagnant Water is Found
If you find stagnant water right away, you may be able to remove the water without much damage. You need to vacuum or pump out the water and completely dry the area. You also need to remove any materials that got wet including clothing, furniture, carpet, padding, insulation, and drywall. Once all of the damaged materials have been removed, you can sanitize the area to ensure that mold and bacteria don’t grow. While this may be good enough, many times it doesn’t work completely. Days or weeks later, the homeowner discovers mold or bacteria growth where they thought they had dried and cleaned everything.
The Best Thing to Do If Stagnant Found is Found
The danger of water getting into your subfloors, drywall, and structural beams is that they aren’t easy to get dry. They tend to soak up the water which can lead to mold growth in a day or two. That is why it is always best to call water damage experts to professionally remove, dry, clean and repair your home from water damage. Professionals, like those at SERVPRO of Quincy, have seen and dealt with all kinds of water damage and know exactly how to handle your situation to ensure all the damage is removed and restored completely. This can include bringing in commercial dryers, dehumidifiers, and other equipment to completely remove all the water and moisture from the area. They also have industrial cleaners and tools to check and remove all the water and remediate any materials with mold growth.
It Doesn’t Take Much Water to Do Damage
It only takes a little puddle of water to create a lot of damage in your home. It’s always a good idea to check for standing water in your crawl space, basement, garage and other areas where it may occur on a monthly basis. You also want to make it a habit of checking inside, under and around your home after huge rain showers have rolled through your area. Not only may you spot trouble areas inside your home, but you may find trouble areas around your property where the water can lead to a mosquito infestation or stream back into your foundation and into your crawl space.
If you do find stagnant water inside your home, you can try to remove it as quickly as possible or call SERVPRO of Quincy to remove it for you. Not only will we remove the water but we will be able to evaluate your property for any damage or potential damage from the standing water. We will be able to keep your small problem from turning into a much bigger problem down the road.
The Different Causes of Commercial Water Damage | SERVPRO of QUINCY
When business owners visualize water damage, they often picture a massive storm wiping out power lines, flooding offices, and shutting down businesses for days at a time. It is true that commercial water damage is often the result of floods and water that stems from weather events and storms.
However, many entrepreneurs and business space renters forget that storms and severe weather aren't the only causes of floods and water damage. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.
1. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems Some older office and retail buildings still have outdated sprinkler systems that work in conjunction with fire protection systems. While such sprinklers can come in handy during a fire emergency, they can also cause commercial flood damage if they are faulty or in need of replacement. This could easily damage inventory and business assets.
2. Damaged appliances and equipment This cause of commercial flood damage is more common in restaurants and catering facilities, as well as any business that has appliances and equipment that make use of water. If the appliance fails and sends water across your building, especially during late hours when no one is around, you may come back to work and face a water emergency.
3. Broken pipes and plumbing Just like in a residence, if the plumbing system in your workplace fails water damage could be the result.
4. Backed up sewer lines This is another cause of commercial water damage that often catches business owners by surprise. Should the sewer line to your building back up or become damaged, realize the potential dangers of contaminated Black Water which can cause health effects and ruin products and office furnishings.
If your business has suffered commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Quincy will get you back up and running again. Call us anytime 24/7 at (217)223-2993 for fast help.
Pretty lights, candles and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season - however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening.
The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.
Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
Keep anything that can catch fire - pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains - away from your stove top.
Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
SERVPRO of Quincy Franchise Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season!