What do you do when you find fire/smoke damage in your home or office?
SERVPRO of Lake Charles has you covered should you experience fire/smoke damage. We have made a list of what to do and not do while you wait for help to arrive.
- Limit movement in the building to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets. trim and appliances, them protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheese cloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Lake Charles
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Lake Charles
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may cause secondary damage.
- Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor. SERVPRO of Lake Charles has the facilities to clean your garments.
If your home or business has suffered from fire/smoke damage call SERVPRO of Lake Charles (337)478-1133
What Do You Know About Biohazards?
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants,employees,,customers and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.
SERVPRO of Lake Charles professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove bio hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and State and Local health regulations. Along with these requirements comes compassion to get through these tough situations that impact our customers. Each and every trained technician shows compassion toward our customers.
SERVPRO of Lake Charles professionals can help with the following issues:
Blood borne Pathogens
Crime Scene Residue
Black Water Intrusions
Please contact us at SERVPRO of Lake Charles for any questions concerning Biohazard Cleanups (337) 478-1133
How to Prevent Water Damage
Water can enter your home in many ways and end up damaging the foundation. To fight back against water intrusion, take preventative measures both on your home’s interior and exterior. Here are essential tips to safeguard your home’s exterior from water:
- Check your roof to ensure the shingles, flashings or tiles aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
- Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
- Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
- Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture. Leaves or twigs can also clog your gutters.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Ensure these are clean, free from debris, and in good condition so that water can flow freely.
- Install metal screens to prevent leaves, twigs, silt and other debris from clogging the gutters and drainage holes.
- Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. Install downspout extensions if needed.
Doors and Windows
- Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frame.
- Protect exterior doors and windows from the sun, rain, and snow by installing overhangs above them.
- Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Look for cracks between the sash and frame of your windows.
- Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping around windows.
- Check and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or other masonry, as well as structural sheathing.
- Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
- Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation. Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding.
- Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
- Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls.
- When irrigating the garden, avoid directing water towards the house to prevent excessive water near the foundation.
For professional water damage repair or mold removal service, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles @ 337-478-1133
Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. A power outage may:
- Disrupt communications, water, and transportation.
- Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.
- Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
- Prevent use of medical devices.
PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
- Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
- Do not use a gas stove to heat your home.
- Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
- Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
- If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.
- Check on neighbors.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS:
- Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
- Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
- Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
- Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
- Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.
Ways to Help Prevent Mold
Mold that growing in a bathroom
Keep an eye on the humidity levels. Mold grows where there's moisture, so keeping your house dry is one of the most important ways to prevent mold. Install a hygrometer in your home, as this will measure the moisture levels inside.Ideally, you want to keep the humidity level in your house below 60 percent to prevent mold growth.
Increase ventilation and air circulation. Keeping the air moving in your house and providing a source of fresh air will really help to control the humidity in your home. When the weather allows, open the windows to vent out stale air, and use ceiling fans year-round to circulate the air inside.If you don’t have ceiling fans, you can also use standing or oscillating fans to circulate air.
Run a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will remove any moisture from the air that you aren't able to prevent, and will help you control the humidity in the house. It’s particularly important to have dehumidifiers in damp areas, such as basements and crawl spaces. If you have a large home, consider setting up at least two dehumidifiers in different areas of the house.
Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles for any mold remediation needs or questions. 337-478-1133
FIRES CAUSED BY WASHERS AND DRYERS
Home Fires Caused by Dryers and Washing Machines
Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).
Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.
- Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
- Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
Source: National Fire Protection Association and http://www.propertycasualty360.com
House Fires Resulting From Lighting
Lightning During Storms and House Fires Resulting
Unlike other types of house fires, which occur more frequently in the winter months, fires in the home caused by lightning are more likely to happen in June, July and August in the late afternoon or early evening. From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes. Lightning is responsible for a number of wildfires as well.
Lightning during storms poses the greatest risk outdoors and frequently strikes the highest point on a structure.
Safety tips During Lightning Storms:
- When possible, stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm as metal plumbing is an excellent conductor of electricity.
SERVPRO of Lake Charles is faster to any disaster and cleans-up after fire and smoke damage.
Source: http://www.propertycasualty360.com and National Fire Protection Association
What secondary damage can occur after water damage to your home or commercial property
What Secondary Damage can occur after water damage in your home or commercial building?
After water leaks or flood damage, if not properly dried and treated, a home or business can develop mold from the moisture left on: wood, tile, carpeting, windows, concrete, and/or other materials/items that were affected. SERVPRO of Lake Charles strives to prevent secondary damage every time we remediate water damage. Building material and flooring are dried and treated to prevent mold and other allergens/contaminates using specialized equipment and cleaning products.
If water damage is not properly treated, the perfect environment is created for mold spores to grow in your home and to contaminate the air that is breathed.
Should you ever suffer water damage due to: a water heater leak, sink overflow, fire, refrigerator leak, excessive rain, storm damage, leaky roof, flood damage, or any other reason water has invaded your home or business, please know that SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR HURRICANE SEASON
Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The heavy winds of hurricanes can cause damage or destroy homes, buildings, and roads, as well as cause power, water, and gas outages. These effects can injure or kill people, disrupt transportation, and pollute drinking water. Hurricanes cause deaths and injuries primarily from drowning, wind, and wind-borne debris. The impact from hurricanes can extend from the coast to several hundred miles inland. To find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at ready.gov/prepare.
- Stayed informed
- Plan for evacuation
- Take action to protect your property from against wind and water damage
For more information check out www.fema.gov
HOW TO PREVENT MOLD
Mold on inside of a bathroom cabinet
Mold thrives in warm, damp, humid places like bathrooms, basements, roofs, pipes, windows and anywhere flooding has occurred. And those potted plants? Yup, they add oxygen to our air but also, you guessed it, mold. The "yuck factor" is mold can grow in all kinds of environments: wood, wood products, paper, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, drywall, cardboard, carpets, upholstery, paint, insulation and even dust! Yeah, pretty much everything in your home!
- How do you find it? Usually either smelling its musty odor or finding spots of any color can find mold. We've even seen mushrooms growing on drywall! Once mold can be identified by sight or smell, its concentration may be high enough to present a health hazard. That's when something needs to be done.
Here are a few tips to prevent mold:
Keep the humidity between 30 to 60 percent.
Provide for proper drainage away from building foundations.
Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks. Check under sinks for any leaks to prevent more serious damage.
Keep gutters and drains clear of debris or prevent damage to exterior structure.
Respond to any and all water intrusions immediately.
Inspect the roof, windows and other areas where water might enter the building and perform necessary maintenance.
Contact SERVPRO® of Lake Charles for assistance after a water damage or if you discover mold. We have the experience and the equipment to handle large or small mold jobs.