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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Fire Sprinkler Efficiency

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Dealing with a fire in your commercial building is a scary situation, but with the help of fire sprinklers, you can reduce the damage drastically. A fire sprinkler can release 8 to 24 gallons per minute, easily quenching growing fires. It’s important to maintain your fire sprinklers so that they can quickly react to the growing heat. Here are a couple things you can do to make sure that your sprinklers can effectively put out a fire.


Correct Installation


If you are putting in a fire sprinkler, be sure to install everything correctly. Each component must be working for the sprinklers to operate. Common types of sprinkler systems include:

* Dry Pipe. Pipes are filled with pressurized air or nitrogen.
* Wet Pipe. This system has water already inside of the pipes to ensure a quick response.
* Pre-Action. When heat or smoke is detected, the valve is activated to allow water to flow in the piping.

By knowing which sprinkler system you have, you can be aware of the situation in the case of a fire.


Maintain Your System


If there are obstructions in the piping or the main valve is turned off, your fire sprinkler will not turn on. Fire suppression is essential when protecting both the lives of your employees and the assets in your building, so regular maintenance is needed. Laws and codes in Lake Charles, LA., often require frequent check-ups to help with insurance policies and public safety.

There are many reasons why keeping your sprinkler system in top shape is vital. This handy system can quench a fire even before the fire department reaches the building, thus minimizing damage. Also, fire sprinkler cleanup is much less severe than fire hose cleanup because not as many gallons of water per minute are used. By inspecting each fire sprinkler often and making sure you and your company are prepared for a disaster, you can reduce fire damage and expenses.

For more information, visit Lake Charles, LA..

Duct Cleaning

3/9/2022 (Permalink)

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but SERVPRO of Lake Charles can help change that! In most cases, HVAC systems have been operating for some time without any attention. Dirty ducts can circulate debris and dirt throughout your home, including odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust. In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Lake Charles professional’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean potentially expands the lifespan of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak conditions.

SERVPRO’s Duct Cleaning System

Our certified technicians will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork. We will recommend the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This air duct cleaning process is as follows: 

  • The duct cleaning process begins by using patented equipment, including a rotoscraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Our certified technicians will then use powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system to transfer the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97% of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • As an optional step, our certified technicians can apply a sealant, or a coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

Why SERVPRO?

Our duct cleaning system is proven and cost-efficient. SERVPRO of Lake Charles professionals use portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. Call us today to schedule an inspection. We are Here to Help!

For SERVPRO of Lake Charles: (337) 478-1133

The 3 Categories of Water Damage

3/9/2022 (Permalink)

If your commercial property has suffered damage, one of the first things professionals in Lake Charles, LA. do is assess the extent of the damage. They examine the flood water and place it in one of three categories. Read more about the safety implications of each to learn about what to expect if your business or rental residence is victim to a broken pipe, natural disaster or heavy rains.

Category 1

Water in this category doesn't pose a significant threat to humans. Some professionals call it "clean water." Sources can include broken water supply lines, tub and sink overflows or appliance malfunctions.

Category 2

Category 2 water carries a significant amount of toxins, chemicals and biological contaminants that pose a risk to health. Some people may feel sick or uncomfortable if exposed. Typically, experts will recommend you temporarily close down your property if this type of water has flooded your floors or walls.

Category 3

This is the most dangerous type of water. The number of bacteria and microorganisms is such that it may cause harmful bacteria to grow. Category three flood water includes:

• Sewer backup
• River or stream water
• Toilet water with feces
• Stagnant liquid

Also known as "black water", water restoration experts will usually take extra care in cleaning up the damage. They'll wear safety clothing and googles and use sophisticated equipment to eliminate the harm. The most important thing to remember if confronted with category 3 water is to not approach it at all, not even to salvage your possessions. If the water has a dark color or enough excessive particulates floating in it to raise suspicion, best to call the pros with the knowledge and expertise to tackle the problem.

Every year, many buildings in Sugar House, UT are subjected to flood water. Understanding the three different categories can help you anticipate what work will need to be completed to make your property safe again.

Visit SERVPRO of Lake Charles for more commercial restoration information. 

The Nature of Smoke Damage

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

The behavior of smoke can often complicate damages to your property following a fire. There are two different types of smoke: wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. SERVPRO of Lake Charles certified professionals have the experience and training in fire cleanup and restoration. Our certified technicians know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns.

Our certified technicians will survey the loss to determine the extent of the damage due to the fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. Our certified technician will test the soot on the building materials to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The following are types of smoke that can affect the restoration process.

Dry Smoke

Fast-burning, high-temperature fires caused by paper or wood are called dry smoke. Dry smoke can easily fall into the cracks or porous materials in your home or business. This smoke makes it relatively easy to clean compared to more dense smoke and soot residue.

Wet Smoke

Wet smoke damage comes from low heat and smoldering fires. Both plastic and rubber produce wet smoke when burned. These smelly blazes usually have fewer flames but much more thick, black smoke than their dry counterparts. Wet smoke residue is sticky and smeary.

Protein Residue 

Protein residue is produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire. This residue is often caused by cooking fire incidents in the kitchen. This type of smoke is virtually invisible. However, this type of smoke can permanently discolor painted, varnished, or other finished surfaces. Protein residue damage has an extremely pungent odor, and if not treated, the unpleasant smell can permeate your entire home or business if left untreated.

Fuel Oil Soot

Fuel oil residue is not often seen in home and business fires unless petroleum products are in the space. Fuel oil residue is sticky, dense, and especially difficult to clean. Its odor is strong and offensive, which can ruin upholstered pieces of furniture when not cleaned properly. Furnace puff backs can create havoc for homeowners SERVPRO of Lake Charles professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other Types

Other types of smoke include tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue. Special loss situations require special care.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles professionals handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact us at (337) 478-1133 to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Storm Shutters Help Protect Your Property from High Winds

3/1/2022 (Permalink)

Protect Your Home From High Winds

In areas prone to high winds, residents often look for ways to protect their homes from damage. If your home is located in Lake Charles, adding storm shutters to your property can not only provide protection but could also increase your property value. Below is a list of some of the shutter solutions most frequently chosen by homeowners, so you can see which option may be right for your property.

1. Storm Panels

Other than boarding up your windows with plywood, storm panels are one of the most cost-efficient ways to protect your home from high winds. These panels are removable during the hurricane off-season, but when in use, slide onto either permanent tracks or bolts installed around your windows. At a cost of only $7-$10 per square foot, aluminum storm panels can provide solid protection without breaking the bank.

2. Accordion Style

An accordion-style option has a similar look to a storm panel when in use but is folded and stored in a permanent box near the window until you need it. The cost ($15 to $20 per square foot) is about double that of a storm panel, but it is less burdensome to operate each year.

3. Bahama Style

Bahama-style storm shutters can be one of the most aesthetically pleasing choices and are sometimes used on homes for decorative purposes only. They are permanent fixtures that prop open when not in use, then lowered and secured when needed for protection. Priced around $20 to $30 per square foot, they could be a beautiful and functional option for your home.

4. Roll-Down Style

At $35 to $50 or more per square foot, roll-down-style shutters are more expensive than other options but can provide the most security and ease of use. Operated by a hand crank or sometimes with just the touch of a button, they roll up into a permanently installed box when not needed.

Restoring your home after damage from a storm will involve the help of experienced professionals, so taking extra measures to secure your home can be a worthwhile investment. Shutter options like the ones listed above can help reduce the damage to your property during high winds.

Bio-Hazard Cleanup at Your Business

2/24/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles can help your commercial property when hazmat, trauma, or crime scene cleanup services are needed. Once the police have completed their investigation of a crime scene, we will help make it "Like it never even happened." Our certified professionals will respond immediately and have the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to clean trauma and crime scenes. 

We provide cleanup and recovery services for biohazard situations. These include the following:

  • Sewage backups
  • Crime scene residues
  • Suicide/death accidents
  • Homicide cleanups
  • Blood cleanup
  • Accident cleanup
  • Hoarding scenes
  • Animal waste/remains
  • Chemical spills
  • Tear gas cleanup
  • Meth lab cleanup

Common Biohazard Scenarios

Sewage Backups: Dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits. Sewage backup damage can introduce harmful microorganisms into your home, business, or property. To help ensure that your property is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized, we remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture.

Bloodborne Pathogens: Our certified professionals can remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. We will also clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure. 

Commercial Biohazard Cleanup Services

We strive to empathize with our customers because we understand that biohazard situations can often be a traumatic and emotional experience. At the first sign of any biohazard scenario, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133. We are available at any time of day with our 24-Hour Emergency Service

How to be Prepared during a Power Outage

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

When electrical power goes out unexpectedly, it is considered a power outage. In today's society, it's hard to imagine functioning without any electricity. The tips below will help you be ready if you happen to lose access to power.

A power outage can:

  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination
  • Force retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks and other service businesses to close
  • Disrupt communication, the ability to cook, use water, and utilize transportation options

How to Protect Yourself During a Power Outage

  • Limit the amount of time you open your freezers and refrigerators. By keeping the cold air trapped inside, you food will keep from spoiling. 
  • Do not use a gas stove to heat your home as this could lead to extensive fire damage.
  • If it is safe to travel, go to an alternate location for heat and cooling.
  • Fuel may become an issue - only use generators outdoors and away from windows if you absolutely need it.

Prepare for a power outage sooner rather than later. By taking inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity, you will be able to determine what is absolutely necessary in the time of a power outage. Ensure that you have flashlights with extra batteries, a thermometer in your refrigerator to monitor temperature, electrical equipment charged, and gas tanks full.

If you experience storm damage, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133. No matter what your situation, we are always "Here to help!"

Flood Tips

2/15/2022 (Permalink)

Storm season in Lake Charles, LA., brings several possible challenges to homeowners. One of the main concerns is flood safety. You can't control the weather, but you can take some precautions.

Tips To Protect Your House.

Elevate Items for Flood Safety

Electricity and water don't mix. One of the most sensible safety tips starts with identifying the flood line. Once you know how far water is likely to rise, you can more easily safeguard the electrical items both inside and outside your home:

  • Sockets
  • Wiring
  • Circuit breakers
  • Air conditioner units
  • Generators

These and other electrical appliances should be placed a foot above the flood line if possible. It also doesn't hurt to elevate the things in your basement that are likely to become a hazard if they get wet. By keeping electrical items out of the way of potential floods, you can minimize a lot of damage.

Maintain Sewer To Prevent Blockages

Regular sewer maintenance is always important, but it's especially crucial during storm season. Excess flooding from a heavy downpour can overtax municipal drains, causing a backup. If your home already has sewer problems, this can lead to some unpleasant results in your bathroom or kitchen.

One way to protect your home from a flooded city sewer is to install valves to prevent backflow. Check or flap valves provide a one-way seal that keeps wastewater flowing outward. Manually operated gate valves provide even better protection. No matter what kind of valve you choose, you need one at every point where your plumbing connects to the sewer line.

Maximize Water Flow Away From Home

The best way to ensure flood safety is to keep the water from coming toward your house in the first place. Flood restoration specialists recommend that you upgrade your landscaping to slope away from your house so that pooling water doesn't encroach on it during a heavier storm. Keep drains, downspouts, and gutters clean so that water flows easily off your roof and away from your foundation.

Sometimes water rushes toward your house because it floods the street and simply has nowhere else to go. If this happens, contact your county department that is in charge of street maintenance to report the problem and inquire about what can be done to fix it. After all, if it affects your house, it probably is a nuisance to your neighbors as well.

Protect Your Foundation from Flooding

Floodwater will seep into cracks in your foundation any chance it gets. This is one of the reasons it's so important to inspect your foundation and repair any damage found as soon as possible. You can also install valves that direct the flow of water through designated paths through the building so that it doesn't rise and cause damage.

Placing barriers around entryways and the perimeter of your foundation is another way to flood-proof your home when a storm is on its way. Sandbags and inflatable barriers can be used to block extra water.

Knowing how to protect your home from flooding empowers you as a homeowner. Follow these flood safety tips to prevent as much damage as possible during a storm.

We can help with the Insurance Process

2/14/2022 (Permalink)

The last thing that you want to deal with after you have suffered a disaster on your property is worrying about insurance agents and contractors. For this reason, our team ensures that the claim process is as stress-free as possible. 

SERVPRO of Lake Charles will help make it "Like it never even happened." That way, you and your family or business can get back to what is important.

Smooth Out the Process

We understand that the insurance process can be difficult. Our goal is to smooth that process out for you and make sure you understand what is happening throughout the whole process.

Documentation

By creating thorough visual and written documentation of the damage to your home or business, your insurance agent will have less questions on the work that was completed.

We document the condition of each item that we remove from the property for cleaning or storage. This process will make it clear to your adjuster what items were affected by the disaster.

Direct Communication

Our technicians and job file coordinators will gather the contact information of your insurer and contact them directly. Throughout all of the communication, you will be notified of any changes that may occur.

Our job file coordinators have been trained to handle all of the paperwork. This will ensure that your claim can be processed and paid as fast as possible.

Our Team is Here for You!

We are very proud that so many insurance companies from State Farm to Farmer's Insurance recommend SERVPRO to their clients. These companies are fully aware of the benefits that come with our partnership. We do everything in our power to make the entire process as painless as possible for you.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here for you if you experience a disaster. Our technicians have specialized training and years of experience in water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, and other various restoration services. 

What to do with Your Pets During a Fire

2/11/2022 (Permalink)

Although not everyone may entirely agree... pets are family too! It is crucial for families to create a fire evacuation plan that they can quickly put into action in the event that there is an emergency. When you ensure that all members of your family understand what to do if a fire breaks out in your home, it decreases the need to take unnecessary risks and is a helpful tool to use in case of panic. Even if you do have to consider fire damage restoration in the aftermath, you will find excellent consolation knowing that you have created a plan to follow. In case of a fire emergency, the tips below will help you include every family member - even the ones with paws, wings, or scales!

Planning with Pets

Prepare an Emergency Food Kit

When a fire sparks in your home, you won't have time to think about how many cans of wet food to grab or be able to count out a sufficient amount of daily cups for your pet. By compiling these items beforehand, you will be able to grab and go, saving you precious time in a dangerous situation. Don't forget to pack water, bowls, doggy bags, potential litter. A spare collar with your animal's information wouldn't be a bad idea either!

Create a Form of Shelter

By putting your pet's emergency kit into a crate or some form of travel shelter, you won't have to think about grabbing multiple bags and forgetting the necessities. Even something as simple as a blanket will help keep your pet comfortable in a stressful situation like a fire.

Medication

Fire damage can sometimes make it impossible to return to your property until it is safe, which may take longer than you think. If you are unable to return to your home, you won't be able to access your pet's vital medication. A simple plastic bag will do the trick - just toss it in with your food and other essential materials.

Many people become extremely overwhelmed during and after a fire damage event. We know that coping with the aftermath can be confusing, scary, and just plain difficult. That's why we're always here to help Lake Charles and surrounding areas. Our team can assist you in every step of the way. 

Fire Restoration Professionals for Your Business

2/4/2022 (Permalink)

If your commercial property has smoke damage from a minor fire, you may think all you need is a quick cleanup. Smoke can cause extensive damage, and you should use professional fire damage services in Lake Charles. A fire can quickly move through a building and even put your team at risk. Good planning can help ensure that a fire does not happen, and if it does, it can be handled quickly and effectively.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles certified technicians have the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial fire damage emergencies. Our certified technicians have the training to:

  • Inspect and Assess Fire Damages
  • Remove Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

What Does The Inspection Involve?

Our certified technicians will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire damage to develop a plan of action.

What Protection Measures Does SERVPRO Provide?

To protect your property against further damage, we can board up missing windows, walls, and doors. 

How Are Smoke and Soot Removed?

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Contact SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133 for commercial fire remediation services in South West Louisiana. Whether your fire emergency occurs in a restaurant, motel, or office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through its completion.

Tips for Salvaging Your Property After a Flood

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Salvaging Your Property After a Flood

A flood is one of the worst things a homeowner can experience. In the aftermath, water damage will likely result in the loss of memorabilia and property, and in the chaos of it, homeowners may be at a loss of how to cope. The steps below offer a systematic approach to the cleanout process that may be beneficial.

1. Dry Out the Area

Whether the result of a natural flood or broken pipes, it is necessary to remove excess water and dry out your home as quickly as possible. You can rent a variety of pumps to help remove the standing water. You can also rent air movers and dehumidifiers to circulate the air and dry space quicker.

2. Tear Out Damaged Wallboard and Insulation

When the floodwater has been removed, you can assess the extent of the water damage and begin the tear out process. Find where the water line was and remove affected drywall and insulation at least 20 inches above that line, doing this will help prevent the buildup and spread of mold.

3. Discard Porous Items

Do not listen to your heart when it comes to salvaging items, especially if the flood was natural or caused by a sewer backup. Porous items, like photos, carpets and other fabrics, preserve bacteria and provide room for it to spread, allowing the contamination of other objects in your home. When cleaning up from a flood, it is better to be safe and discard porous items that contacted floodwater.

4. Consult with Professionals

Depending on the severity of a flood, it may be helpful to consult with a restoration specialist in Lake Charles, LA.. These experts will have the experience and equipment to help you wade through your belongings, and they may be your best chance at preserving and salvaging many of your personal items.

Water damage, especially when the result of a flood, can be detrimental. Between the potential loss of sentimental items and the costs of the overall repair, stress levels run high after a flood. However, if you can remove the personal element and approach the water cleanup systematically, it can be both manageable and cathartic.

Winter Storm Preparation Tips

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

Cold weather poses a difficult challenge to all property owners. Ice, snow, and sleet can cause havoc on your roof, siding, driveways, and walkways. Quick action to deal with winter storm damage is essential in protecting your precious property. If you're questioning how to handle storm damage, read the tips below for some guidance.

Types of Winter Storm Damage

Flooding - Cold snaps and freezes and damage pipes and cause them to burst. This expulsion of water can lead to severe water damage and flooded areas that will need immediate emergency water mitigation.

Roof Leaks - From ice dams to heavy snow and ice breaking through your shingles, winter storms can be harsh on your roof. With holes in your shingles or blockages in your pipes, it leaves your property exposed to moisture damage.

Fires - Whether your tree ignites or your fireplace is left unattended and gets out of hand, fires can often happen during a winter storm.

Tips For When a Winter Storm Strikes

  • Remain calm. In times of emergency, it's hard not have your blood pressure raise. It's important to make good decisions when your property is under duress so that it can be repaired and taken care of properly.
  • Take proper safety measures. If water damage has occurred, take the time to shut off the water. If a fire has gotten out of hand, use an extinguisher if possible or leave the premises immediately.
  • Document Any Losses. Be sure to take notes and photos of anything that has been affected by winter storm damage. This list will be exceptionally useful in making insurance claims, smoothing out the process in the future.
  • Contact Your Insurance Company - Call your agent to get the process of filing a claim started. Leave everything in place, except for what must be moved for safety reasons until the adjuster comes to document what happened.
  • Make A Plan Now. Knowing what to do in a water storm damage emergency is essential for swiftly and smoothly restoring your property. By creating a plan you will be able to make smart and efficient decisions when storm damage occurs.

Water Damage Insurance Claims Process

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the most common reasons homeowners file an insurance claim. To get your claim processed quickly, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the claims process before you need to make a claim.

How To File a Homeowner's Claim

Filing a homeowner's claim is a multi-step process. Proceeding through the steps in order will help you make sure you don't forget to do anything.

1. Read Your Policy

Your policy should explain what your responsibilities are and what types of damage are covered by your policy. This is particularly important for water damage claims, because most homeowner's policies cover water damage from sudden and accidental discharges, such as a pipe burst, but exclude damage from a flood.

2. Mitigate Your Damage

Most insurance policies require homeowners to mitigate their damages. This means that if there are reasonable steps you can take to prevent additional damage from occurring while you are waiting to get the initial damage repaired, you are expected to take those steps. An example is shutting off the water to your home when you have a leaking pipe. If you have to spend any money to make temporary repairs, save your receipts. Your insurance policy may cover these costs.

3. Contact Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance agent or the claims office of your insurance company as soon as possible to begin the process of filing your insurance claim. Ask any questions you have about your coverage and deductible. Find out how long it will be before repairs can begin. Ask if you need to get an estimate done or if the insurance company will be sending someone out. Drying your property out promptly is important, so you may want to inquire about hiring a water remediation company in Lake Charles, LA., to begin that process.

4. Complete Claim Forms and Other Paperwork

Your insurance company may mail your forms or allow you to complete them online. It may also ask you to submit other documentation. Return the requested materials as soon as possible. The longer you take to furnish the requested documentation, the longer it will take to process your claim.

5. Prepare for the Insurance Adjuster

In most cases, your insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to inspect your home and estimate the amount of damage. Take photographs of your damaged property and make an inventory of everything that was damaged. Gather together any receipts or other documentation that proves the value of your damaged property.

6. Keep Your Receipts for Relocation Expenses

If your home is uninhabitable because of the damage, keep your receipts for the cost of hotel rooms or rent for the period of time you are unable to live in your home. You may also be reimbursed for other additional living expenses, so keep the receipts for anything you had to spend money on because you were unable to occupy your home.

Filing an insurance claim for water damage can sometimes be confusing, but your insurance professional should be able to answer any questions that you have. Promptly and correctly filing your claim is critical for getting your home restored as quickly as possible.

Understanding Your Heating Equipment

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

House fires increase over the winter months. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half of all home fires occurred in January, February, and December. Several factors contribute to winter fires including, portable space heaters, fireplace, central heat, and water heater. It is essential to know how to use heating equipment the right way to prevent fires at home. The following are some tips for keeping safe and warm indoors.

  • Remember to keep space heaters on a stable, level surface, where they will not fall over. Never run the heater’s cord under rugs or carpeting.
  • Have a professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents for safe use. 
  • Throw away cooled chimney ashes in a tightly covered metal container. Keep the container outside at least 10 feet away from the building.
  • Keep all lit candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable.
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy. Remember that each extinguisher must be serviced annually.

Have a safety escape plan for your family and pets. To practice fire safety, experts say it is essential to:

  • Check smoke detectors every month to make sure they are working.
  • Have a meeting point away from your home after you have evacuated.
  • Practice your fire safety plan yearly.
  • Plan at least two ways to get out of any room.

Keep these quick tips in mind to help prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this winter season.

If you have recently experienced a fire in your home, business, or building, and need professional restoration to your residential or commercial property, give SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133.

Our Team is IICRC Certified

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

As SERVPRO of Lake Charles strives to bring our customers the highest quality of work, it is imperative that our staff receive their IICRC Certification.  The IICRC, or The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification, is a nonprofit that develops recognized standards in each of those areas.   Looking at a basement filled with water or a damaged wall from a pipe leak, a customer is often already concerned about the status of their homes.  We take great pride in knowing that sending in our certified technicians will give the customer peace of mind ahead of the mitigation process.  

We want your mitigation process to run smoothly so that you can return your home to normal.  SERVPRO of Lake Charles employees are highly trained in emergency response and will be with you each step of the way.

If your home has water damage, Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133 and let us make it "Like it never even happened."®

Commercial Fire Remediation

1/13/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Remediation

It is odd to consider water cleanup in association with fire remediation, but it is a common pairing. After experiencing a business fire, it can be hard enough dealing with the charred remains of your property, but to also find water damage in areas that weren’t touched by the flames is frustrating and confusing. The fact is, firefighters, take many precautions to ensure the safety of others.

1. Putting Out the Blaze

Depending on the size of the fire, firefighters may have multiple hoses aimed at your property within minutes of arrival. These hoses operate at 400 psi and douse the flames in gallons of water per second. Additionally, firefighters will break out windows surrounding the blaze to hit the fire from above and below, causing massive amounts of flooding within your building.

2. Limiting the Damage

In an effort to limit the damage of a fire, firefighters will attempt to contain the fire to the initial area. However, this means that they will likely break through windows and doors of other rooms, flooding these areas with water to prevent the fire from spreading throughout the building but simultaneously expanding the water cleanup in its aftermath.

3. Restricting the Spread

Beyond dousing unaffected rooms, firefighters will soak the exterior of your property to limit the possibility of the fire jumping to surrounding buildings. This means your entire property is being doused, but it is a good thing. The water protects you, your property and your neighbors.

4. Walking Through the Facility

Once the fire is out, emergency services will walk your property looking for embers, using fire extinguishers on any remaining sources of heat. Between the hoses and the extinguishers, the fire cleanup is a massive undertaking requiring the assistance of a disaster restoration specialist in the Lake Charles, LA., area. These professionals are also experts in smoke cleanup.

While not often considered, water cleanup after a fire can be extensive. The fire hoses alone will contribute to a significant amount of water buildup, but when coupled with extinguishes and other suppression systems, it is likely necessary to hire a remediation specialist.

Fire Damage? We Are Here To Help!

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Fires are one of the most destructive events that can happen in anyone's life. Whether a fire damage event occurs in a residential home or commercial building, we are the fire damage restoration experts that have the power to change your life!

Not All Fire Damage is Created Equal

Nuances in technique, equipment, and technology can make a drastic difference in cost and results. Read the following techniques that we use to get results in the best timeframe, in the most cost efficient manner, and to help more people who have experienced the devastating destruction of fire.

Choosing Deodorizing Tools and Products Sensibly

We take full advantage of having a full network of franchises to discuss the efficiency of tools and products to use when it comes to repairing fire damage or deodorizing the affected areas. We have access to suppliers that have products ranging from odor absorbent crystals, smoke odor counteractant and deodorants, degreasing cleaners, woodcraft cleaners, and many more options.

Caring for Contents

If your personal belongings have been affected by fire or smoke damage, we have the capabilities and mindset to restore rather than replace your precious items. Our technicians are certified through the IICRC and are experienced in removing smoke damage that can cause long-lasting health hazards for the occupants. We use activated carbon or charcoal filters for maximum results when addressing odors, making the site easier and healthier to work in.

Here at SERVPRO of Lake Charles, we're always "Here to Help!"

When fire damage ravages your property, give us a call at (337) 478-1133. Our certified team and fast disaster response will save you precious time and money.

Options Besides Candles

1/10/2022 (Permalink)

Candle Alternatives

Candles can provide great ambient lighting and allow you to choose your favorite scent for your home. Unfortunately, candle use also can result in a house fire. Fire restoration specialists recommend that you never leave a lit candle alone in a room. To keep your home in Lake Charles, safer while still reaping the benefits, consider one of these four candle alternatives.

1. Scented Wax Warmers

A great way to avoid a candle fire without sacrificing the comforting scent you love is by using an electric wax warmer. As the warmer heats up, the wax melts safely, diffusing the scent throughout the room.

2. Battery-Operated Candles

Another flameless option is a candle that operates on a battery. You still get the look and flicker of a real candle without the actual flame. You can also choose a scented option. These candles are perfect for a bathroom or other guest area where you want to have the look and smell of a candle without the danger of an unattended flame.

3. Electric Tea Lights

For dramatic lighting, consider electric tea lights as candle alternatives. This versatile option gives you the soft glow of a traditional tea light. You can place them in candle holders or vases, allowing the light to reflect and set a relaxed mood.

4. Reed Diffusers

If you just want a nice scent but don't really need the lighting that a candle provides, a reed diffuser is a smart choice. You pour scented oil in a designated glass receptacle and then place scent sticks or reeds in the oil. The fragrance is released slowly through the reeds to permeate the room.

Candles are pretty, but they may be more of a fire hazard than they are worth, especially if you are leaving them in a room where you can't watch them. Choose one of these candle alternatives to set the same mood in a safer way.

Frozen Pipes and What You Need to Know

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Sometimes cold temperatures in Lake Charles, LA., can lead to a number of problems for homeowners. One of which may include frozen pipes. A hard freeze can even lead to broken pipes or water damage in your home. Here are some things you may want to know about what to expect when your pipes freeze.

What To Do When Pipes Freeze

If you have a frozen pipe in your home there are a few things you can do

  • Call a professional for help
  • Keep your pipes open so the water has a place to go when thawed
  • Apply gentle heat, like a hot towel or blow dryer, to the frozen area of the pipe

Why Pipes Freeze

During a hard freeze, the temperature outdoors can drop so low that the cold can permeate the pipes. Any water inside will then expand. If there is not enough room inside the pipes, then the pressure can cause cracks which will lead to leaks when the water thaws. A water damage professional can help with repairs to your home if the leak causes damage.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Fortunately, there are a few prevention steps you can take to prevent the freezing of your pipes and subsequent water damage. These steps include draining the water from pipes that may freeze such as a sprinkler line, and disconnecting any hoses from your home. You may also want to close any indoor valves that supply water to outdoor lines. If the weather is especially cold you may want to let your faucets drip a little as moving water is less likely to freeze. It’s also a good idea to keep your home’s temperature above 55 degrees.

When a hard freeze occurs, the water in your pipes can freeze and cause some damage to your home. A professional can help with any repairs and cleanup you may need. If you know that the temperature is likely to get to freezing point, you may be able to take some steps to protect your pipes.

Space Heater Safety Tips

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

3 Safety Recommendations For The Use of A Space Heater

Preparing for the winter:

Freezing air outside in Lake Charles, LA. makes you long for a warm, toasty atmosphere inside of your home. Warming yourself near a space heater feels good, but is it a smart choice? A burned space heater is one of the top causes of residential fires, particularly during the winter months. Learn how to safely use a space heater by following the three tips below.


1. What Kind To Buy

Space heaters come with options for safety features, such as an automatic shutoff if the unit overheats or tips over. Look for an independent safety certification label, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Ensure the appliance has a sturdy cord that is at least 6 feet in length.

2. Where To Place It

Place the heater on a hard surface, such as the floor. Do not place it in a child’s bedroom or play area or in a garage where incendiary materials are stored. Use the 3-foot distance rule for children, pets, walls, bedding, curtains and furniture. Allow this distance from flammable fabrics to prevent a burned space heater from setting fire to your home.

3. How To Care for It

Plug the heating unit into its own outlet to avoid overheating. Never use an extension cord or place the appliance near water. When you retire to bed for the evening or leave the room, even for a few minutes, turn off the space heater. Remove it from the outlet by holding the plug, never the cord. If the cord is damaged, discontinue use. If the unit has filters, change them regularly.

Follow the above safety tips at your home in Lake Charles, LA., to avoid a burned space heater. Always remember to practice general fire safety as well. Install and maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at every level of your house, especially near the bedrooms and kitchen. Have an escape plan in case of a fire. If a fire occurs, execute your plan to get your family to safety. For soot and smoke cleanup, contact a fire restoration specialist.

Knowing that you are covered by your Insurance

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Your homeowners' policy is likely designed to take care of accidents that were unable to be foreseen. While it can secure against most of the things that can go wrong with your home in Lake Charles, LA., you may need additional insurance for certain issues. Sometimes your basement flood can be covered, and sometimes it cannot.

What Isn't Covered?

There are several things your homeowners' policy probably doesn't insure:

  • Flood damage
  • Issues resulting from negligence or improper maintenance
  • Backup of municipal sewer lines
  • Repair of the flood's source

You may have to purchase additional insurance coverage for some of these issues. The cost of some of the repairs, however, such as repairs done by restoration professionals for problems caused by poor maintenance, will probably have to be paid out of pocket.

What Is Covered?

If the accident that causes the damage is sudden and unavoidable, such as a water heater that breaks and causes a flood, your homeowners' policy will probably protect you. If your floor or a wall needs to be replaced, your dwelling insurance can take care of it. If items are ruined in the flood, the personal property clause in the policy can help you pay for their replacement after the deductible is met.

What Additional Protection Is Needed?

If you experience frequent flooding in Lake Charles, LA., it is a good idea to purchase flood insurance. Water backup coverage can help you when your basement is flooded by a backed-up sewer line or a clogged pipe outside your home. Talk to your insurance agent about other options that may be helpful for you to have to protect your home.

If a sudden accident causes a basement flood, a lot of the damage is probably insured by your homeowners' policy. Some special circumstances might require further coverage, though. It is important to make sure you understand your policy and have the right one in place before a problem occurs.

Our Best Qualities for Large Loss Restoration

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

What Qualities To Look For In A Large Restoration Company

Disasters happen. When they do, they can ruin everything in your business in Lake Charles, LA.. They can also force you to shut down until repairs are finished. The result is a serious interruption that you want to be remedied as soon as possible. That's why you need to know what qualities to look for in a large loss restoration company. Knowing what to look for can help you choose the best company. That will help you recover from any disaster, whether you face flooding or blizzards. This can get your company back to normal quickly.

Experience With Numerous Loss Sources
You want to look for a company that has experience with several types of loss sources. For instance, you should look for a company that has dealt with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, and broken sprinkler systems.

Offer Comprehensive Services
When recovering from a catastrophic loss, you need a disaster restoration company that handles it all. Find one that offers a comprehensive list of services, including:

  • Damage assessment
  • Structural drying
  • Anti-microbial treatments
  • Sewage remediation
  • Demolition
  • Power setup
  • Picture documentation
  • Daily updates

Cares About Your Business
You want a company that is going to be reliable. You also want them to do great work. Plus, you want them to communicate well. You may even be looking for someone who cares enough to focus on getting your business back open. That is the ideal catastrophic loss company. They should care about your business enough to get the job done right and work with you.

Place Value First
Obviously, you want the job done quickly. However, you also want your catastrophic loss team to prioritize value over speed. Therefore, you should look for a company that is responsive, caring, dependable, top-quality, good communicators, experts, and trustworthy.
Storm damage and other disasters can happen to any business. If you want to find restoration professionals that can help you get your company back open as quickly as possible, you need to know what qualities to look for.

First Responders Bowl

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

The First Responders Bowl is a college football bowl game that is in appreciation of our police, firefighters and emergency responders. They are among those responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide assistance. Their dedication is a merit to our communities and we cherish their commitment to excellence. 

During the 2020 NCAA football post season the University of Louisiana in Lafayette has captured the SERVPRO First Responder trophy and currently have it on their campus. They beat University of Texas in San Antonio 31-24. What a great achievement for our state and ULL. The Ragin Cajuns honor us with their victory over UTSA.

It is great to have this trophy in Louisiana! 

Lets keep the pressure on and Geaux Cajuns!

Preparing for Hurricane Season

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Here Are Some Preparation Tips

As a property manager, you have a lot of responsibilities. One of them is storm preparedness. Hurricanes in Lake Charles, La. can be particularly dangerous, so you need to make sure your building is ready for excessive rain and winds. 

Contact Information
You should have an emergency contact list for everyone on your property. The list should include:

  • Names
  • Individuals with special needs
  • Email addresses
  • Cell and home phone numbers

Documentation
Once the hurricane is over, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. The insurer can often help you with storm-related expenses, including remediation and cleanup services.
To expedite the claims process, you should take time-stamped videos or photos of your property prior to the storm. The pictures should document the exterior of the premises and any common areas. Store the images off-site or back them up digitally so you can show them to the claims adjuster.

Maintenance
Cleaning the exterior of your property is important for storm preparedness. Before the storm arrives, you should empty the dumpster and secure any large outdoor items. Be sure to trim trees close to the building, as well.

Staff Delegation
As the hurricane approaches, make sure all of your staff members know their responsibilities. Front-desk workers, managers and engineers should remain on-site for as long as possible so they can assist everyone in the building. Once the winds increase, essential employees should work together to mitigate damage to HVAC systems, water pumps and other important equipment.
If a mandatory evacuation is put into place, none of your staff should stay on the premises. Before your employees leave, give them a phone number or email address that they can contact to find out about returning to work. As the property manager, you should be the last person to evacuate the property.
Storm preparedness is a necessary part of property management. The above tips should help you secure your building and keep everyone safe.

Prep for Hurricane Season

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Here Are Some Preparation Tips

As a property manager, you have a lot of responsibilities. One of them is storm preparedness. Hurricanes in Lake Charles, LA., can be dangerous, so you need to make sure your building is ready for excessive rain and winds. 

Contact Information
You should have an emergency contact list for everyone on your property. The list should include:

  • Names
  • Individuals with special needs
  • Email addresses
  • Cell and home phone numbers

Documentation
Once the hurricane is over, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. The insurer can often help you with storm-related expenses, including remediation and cleanup services.
To expedite the claims process, you should take time-stamped videos or photos of your property prior to the storm. The pictures should document the exterior of the premises and any common areas. Store the images off-site or back them up digitally so you can show them to the claims adjuster.

Maintenance
Cleaning the exterior of your property is important for storm preparedness. Before the storm arrives, you should empty the dumpster and secure any large outdoor items. Be sure to trim trees close to the building, as well.

Staff Delegation
As the hurricane approaches, make sure all of your staff members know their responsibilities. Front-desk workers, managers and engineers should remain on-site for as long as possible so they can assist everyone in the building. Once the winds increase, essential employees should work together to mitigate damage to HVAC systems, water pumps and other important equipment.
If a mandatory evacuation is put into place, none of your staff should stay on the premises. Before your employees leave, give them a phone number or email address that they can contact to find out about returning to work. As the property manager, you should be the last person to evacuate the property.
Storm preparedness is a necessary part of property management. The above tips should help you secure your building and keep everyone safe.

For more information on recovering from water damage, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Charles by giving us a jingle at (337) 478-1133 today.

Managing the damage caused by water intrusion

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Once a water damage event occurs on your property, the first 24 hours are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. SERVPRO of Lake Charles is on-call 24/7 and has the capabilities to get to your property within the first hour of the phone call. Our technicians will be on-site to help ensure that your water damage is handled properly.

Inspection

The expert technicians at SERVPRO of Lake Charles will first inspect the property and damages. This will help determine the extent of the water damage and will allow them to create a plan to review with you. Our customers rave about how informative and helpful our professionals are when it comes to their concerns.

Emergency Services

Once the plan has been created, our expert technicians will place our industrial-grade equipment in precise locations so that the drying process is done properly and efficiently. If any questions come up during the process, the experts will have no problem explaining the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.

Monitoring

To ensure that the process is going smoothly, a professional from SERVPRO of Lake Charles will monitor the drying process daily. If there are any changes or updates, our experts will be consistently communicating with you.

Emergency Water Damage Tips

  1. If you know where it is, shut off the water source so that the damage does not get worse.
  2. Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution is unsafe from electrical shock.
  3. Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. Do not enter rooms where the ceiling has begun to sag from retained water.

For more information on recovering from water damage, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Charles by giving us a jingle at (337) 478-1133 today.

Because we are Fire Restoration Professionals

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is always ready and well-equipped to handle any disaster. If your home or commercial property suffers any fire, smoke, or secondary water damage, we are here for you. Our highly qualified team is dedicated to responding immediately to your fire damage emergency, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And remember, the quicker our response time is, the less chance there is for additional damage to be done to your property.

Our team is trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), along with Employee Certification Training, SERVPRO Corporate Training, e-Learnings, and Continuing Education Classes to ensure that you are receiving the best care for your property damage.

We have a “Restore vs. Replace” mentality at SERVPRO. We would rather restore your damaged areas rather than replace them, if possible, because it is less costly for you. Our goal is to get your property back to its pre-fire damaged condition as quick as possible.  Although every fire damage situation is unique, here is our “typical” fire damage restoration process:

            -Emergency Contact

            -Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

            -Immediate Board-Up

            -Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

            -Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

            -Cleaning and Repair

            -Restoration

For more information on recovering from water damage, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Charles by giving us a jingle at (337) 478-1133 today.

Fire Odors and Your Business

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO keeps your Lake Charles business smelling fresh

Any business owner who has suffered a fire in their store knows that dealing with leftover smells is one of the most challenging parts of remediation. Smoke smells can linger for a long time after the blaze is extinguished.

SERVPRO understands that fire damage smells in your Lake Charles business are not welcoming for customers or staff. That is why we take care of deodorization as part of our remediation process.

Many factors affect the intensity of odors, such as the fire's temperature, the type of material burned in it, and damaged surfaces' porosity. The steps for proper deodorization include:

  • Removing the source of the odor, such as removing charred materials from your premises.
  • Cleaning smoke-damaged surfaces by wiping and scrubbing away soot.
  • Using deodorizing equipment such as foggers, air scrubbers, spot cleaning spray, and odor removing pellets to trap bad smells.
  • Sealing surfaces if necessary.

We aim to leave your store smelling as fresh, so the fire will be "Like it never even happened."

For help with fire damage, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133.

Flooding and How We Can Help

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

We are here for flood water removal.

Lake Charles is no stranger to floods. In 2020, hurricane Laura wreaked havoc across Southwest Louisiana, causing lasting damage to both business and residential property.

Our trained technicians know that every flood water removal project must begin with:

  • An assessment of the situation.
  • Thorough water extraction to remove as much flood water as possible.
  • Securing your home to mitigate any structural damage risks.

If necessary, we can arrange for your belongings to be stored at our facility while we clean and dry your home – this process is known as a “pack-out.” We log all items and pack them carefully to ensure they arrive back at your home safely when the time comes.

If you need flood water removal in your home, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133.

Our Staff is the Difference

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

When it comes to disaster recovery, we may not be the only game in town, but there’s a reason why so many homeowners and businesses choose SERVPRO to recover from water, fire, mold, or flood damage. The difference is our people!

We invest in our employees

SERVPRO invests in having the best employees in the business. We have always put a high priority on educating our team. That need is more important than ever today. SERVPRO is an IICRC certified firm with certified technicians, which means customers can expect the very highest in standards and protocol to be used in their home or business when disaster strikes.

IICRC training and certification

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries and those standards are high. Our SERVPRO professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses so they are well-prepared to handle any disaster in any situation and know how to approach the restoration process quickly and effectively.

Employee certification training

The Employee Certification Training by SERVPRO is a voluntary, self-paced program designed for SERVPRO franchise employees to further their knowledge and training. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules for training include:

  • Crew Training
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Advanced Structural Drying

Ongoing, comprehensive training for our crew

Our training program doesn’t stop at just IICRC and Employee Certification Training. We also offer:

  • Initial Franchise Training
  • e-Learnings
  • Continuing Education Classes

From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. If your property suffers water, flood, storm, fire, or mold damage, know that you’re in great hands with the professional SERVPRO team. Our employees make the difference! Contact us 24/7 for restoration assistance at (337) 478-1133.

Before You Attempt Mold Remediation at Your Business Consider Hiring a Professional

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

Rely on SERVPRO’s EPA Protocol for Lake Charles Mold Abatement

As a successful Lake Charles businessperson, you offer services or products to individuals and other businesses daily. The expertise you developed in your field makes your offerings valuable and a good investment for your customers. Choosing to outsource mold remediation for a microbial outbreak follows the same rationale.

Why Is SERVPRO a Leader in Mold Damage Recovery?

Handling mold remediation in Lake Charles commercial buildings might seem like a simple task, doable by your cleaning crew. On the contrary, inhibiting mold growth and harm require specialized training and equipment and a firm grasp of moisture management strategies. Our IICRC-certified Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians (AMRT) must also hold Water Restoration Technician (WRT) certification. We use the EPA-developed Mold Remediation Protocol:

  • Locate and contain the mold, using barriers and negative pressure air scrubbers to isolate the moldy area
  • Remove mold by brushing, scraping, or utilizing gentle but effective soda or dry ice blasting
  • Bagging moldy materials for lawful disposal
  • Wipe down with EPA-registered cleaners and antimicrobials
  • Vacuuming with HEPA-filtered equipment
  • Elimination of leaks and other moisture sources to prevent recurrence

Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133 to schedule an evaluation and plan to remediate mold damage in your business.

Lake Charles Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

The bustling downtown Lake Charles scene represents an excellent opportunity for your business. Whether you are a tax preparer, a hairdresser, or a clothing boutique, the foot traffic potential is attractive for many entrepreneurs. As you put your business plan on paper, you need to account for unexpected events that might derail your projections. Most people are sure to include expenses associated with weather events, but many fail to consider mechanic or human missteps in their contingency plan.

Whether your business in Lake Charles faces fire damage or an emergency brought on by mother nature, a professional restoration service should always have a spot in your emergency preparedness plans. SERVPRO is ready to help whenever you face adversity, and we come to you as soon as we can. By directly calling our round-the-clock emergency line, you access a wealth of knowledge and expertise willing to work for you and reduce your loss.

Take, for example, a small electrical fire that escalates and burns a section of your office. Although the visible trace of the flames appears small, there may be a residue that is not obvious to the naked eye. Our SERVPRO crew arrives with specialized equipment designed to identify those hidden threats. Very often, the sprinklers that ultimately save your workspace wreak havoc as well, leaving your work area a mix of smoke, soot, and extinguishing chemicals that help control the fire. It is our job to understand the behavior of each of these remnants and tackle them individually.

One of the most frustrating aspects of fire damage can be the smell it leaves behind. Well, beyond the cleanup and disinfecting process, business owners are constantly reminded of the event just by breathing in its foul smell. At SERVPRO, we seek to understand the nature of the smell and make an informed decision as to its removal. In some instances, odor counteracting pellets are sufficient to mask the odors; in others, air scrubbers are to neutralize the smell, and in more extreme cases, we may have to resort to an ozone generator to eradicate the odor. Whatever your situation, our team has the resources to identify your needs and develop a plan to meet them.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is at your side when your business needs it. Call us at (337) 478-1133 whenever you face an emergency and allow us to help you get back to work. Together, we can leave your offices “Like it never even happened.”

For more about Lake Charles click here.

Commercial Building Flood Damage?

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding can cause terrible and sometimes irreparable damage to residential homes. However, flooding can also inflict unfathomable amounts of damage to commercial buildings. What happens when your commercial building is soaked in water and you find all of the paneling peeling off due to water damage? You need a professional repair service to come out and start making things right.

What to Do When Your Commercial Building Has Flood Damage

So what exactly happens when a commercial building that you own experiences flooding? For one thing, the flooding is going to decimate your wood paneling, wallpaper, and other similar materials throughout the structure. That means that you’re going to need to call in a restoration service to remove and replace all of that material.

Any time that a commercial building that you own has flood damage, one of the first things that you’re going to have to do is close it down for repairs. The second thing that you’ll need to do is call SERVPRO of Lake Charles.

The Challenges of Restoring Commercial Property Affected by Flooding

One of the most challenging aspects of handling commercial flood damage is the paperwork. By the unfortunate virtue of being a commercial building, there will be a substantial amount of paperwork involved when trying to provide the appropriate repair and restoration efforts.

Completing the kind of paperwork that’s involved in restoring a commercial building that’s been damaged by flooding can be much more complicated than one might think.

Professional commercial cleaning and restoration services like SERVPRO of Lake Charles know how to handle the paperwork and speed things along so that you’re not stuck waiting a ridiculous amount of time before your building is restored.

The Importance of Expedience When Repairing Flood Damage

After your commercial building has been ravaged by flooding, you might find that you feel sorry for yourself and don’t want to deal with it. That would be a big mistake. As bad as things are, you still need to take care of the building and take responsibility. Although the damage caused by flooding is extensive, you’ll need to pull yourself together and put a plan into action.

Remember, the longer you wait to address it, the more expensive your problem will be. The best thing to do is to get serious and get on it fast! When you call a company like SERVPRO of Lake Charles, you’ll get expedient service at an affordable price. This means you’ll be able to open up the business in a timely manner.

Most businesses can’t afford to stay closed due to complications from flooding or anything else. The longer you stay closed for repairs the more money you’ll lose. This is why it’s so important to call a 24/7 service like SERVPRO of Lake Charles to get the job done.

Eradicate Commercial Flood Damage By Calling SERVPRO of Lake Charles

Commercial flood damage can grind your business to a screeching halt. Don’t stay down. Get back on your feet by calling the flooding restoration experts at SERVPRO of Lake Charles. We know how to deal with flooding, and our expertly trained teams have a wealth of experience in restoring commercial buildings that have been damaged by flooding.

Don’t let flood damage keep you down, get on the phone with the restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Charles today!

Take These Steps if Your Commercial Building Has Mold

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Mold is never a welcome sight. It’s also not something you should tend to on your own. This is a job for professionals. There is more to taking care of mold than just cleaning it up. You want to make sure it doesn’t come back.

Unfortunately, mold can start to grow in any number of places, and not always obvious ones. If there is excess moisture it can start growing on carpets, behind appliances, in the ceiling, insulation, paper, wood, and even in your ventilation system.

If you discover mold or even suspect you may have it, you should take steps right away to get rid of it. It will spread very quickly and not only pose health effects but can cause damage to the property.

What to Do When You Discover Mold

It is important that you act quickly when mold is discovered. 

  1. Alert People

Let people living or working in the building know that there has been mold discovered and move them to a different area. People can experience health effects to the spores let out by growing mold. 

  1. Ventilate The Area

Do your best to get air moving through the space. Open doors, windows, or use fans to start getting the moisture down and the air flowing. Once the cleanup starts, the mold spores can get disturbed. 

  1. Remove Water

Clean up the water or the leak that is causing the mold to grow. If you are not clear where it is coming from, call your maintenance team or your plumber to check it out.

Clean up all the water that may be pooling in the area. If it is a lot, get professionals to do it for you. The water needs to be removed and the source needs to be stopped.

  1. Discard Moldy Items

Remove carpet, books, cloth, boxes, anything that has come in contact with the mold. Anything that can’t be cleaned completely should be bagged up and discarded. Always wear protective gear, like a face mask, gloves, or anything you have available.

  1. Call The Professionals

You really need to call professionals in to clean up the mold and affected area. They know what to look for, how to identify different types of molds, have the proper cleaning supplies, and the proper clothing protection need.

  1. Education and Prevention

Once your building has been given the all-clear, people can return to those areas. It is important that people are aware of the causes and signs of mold or even potential mold.

Everyone should be made aware of the signs to look for and where mold is most likely to appear. Basements, laundry room, breakrooms, washrooms, and mop closets.

Look behind appliances, in corners, on the ceiling, and anywhere there may be damp spots, leaks, or water pooling.

Repair all leaking taps, pipes, or appliances that use water.

Have the HVAC system checked regularly, twice a year is recommended. Spring and fall work best.

Have regular cleaning maintenance on floors, walls, common areas, and basements.

Avoid Tobacco Fires by using these 3 Suggestions

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Consider The Following Tips

If you or one of the residents in your home currently smokes, it's important to be informed on how to prevent a cigarette fire. After first checking with your local fire department in Lake Charles, LA, for any pointers they might have, consider other tips, as well.

1. Don't Smoke Indoors
There are a surprising number of flammable materials in your home. Any type of fabric will burn easily, so, if an ashtray gets knocked over, a stray cinder could easily start an ashtray fire and severely damage your home. In addition to the risk of fires, smoke from cigarettes can also damage the fabrics in your home and cause them to smell bad. This smell is difficult to remove with conventional laundry detergent.

2. Wear Removeable Clothing
If you or a family member smokes, make sure to wear clothing that can be removed easily after smoking and before entering the home. A jacket or a hoodie would be a good choice. This way, any odors are likely to soak into the removable item, rather than being tracked in and soaking into your furniture or drapes. It's also wise to wash this removable clothing often, as the odor will build up in these garments.

3. Consider Professional Odor Removal
If someone has smoked in your home for a while, or if there has been a cigarette fire, it's time to consider calling in odor removal and fire damage specialist. Hiring a professional will ensure that your home is cleaned from top to bottom with the best equipment suited for the job. This thorough home cleaning can include your carpet, drapes, air ducts, upholstery, and more. There is equipment meant for every job, whether you need full fire cleanup or an odor removal detail.
With a conscientious mind and some knowledge, it is possible to prevent a cigarette fire before it happens.

Knowing if Your Liability Insurance Covers Mold Remediation

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Understanding What It Covers

As a business owner in Lake Charles, LA., you keep all of your insurance policies up-to-date. Even still, there are those unusual situations that give you pause: does my insurance actually cover that? You know that your general liability insurance covers slips and falls and property damage at a client's home, among other things, but what about mold exposure? Mold insurance claims can be tricky because mold is usually associated with water damage or a construction problem and therefore often falls under various exclusions in your coverage. It's unnerving if you don't know exactly what's covered versus what you might be responsible for. Here's what to look for in your general liability insurance policy to understand what it covers.

Exclusions

Common exclusions in your insurance policy include pollution exclusions and "business risk" exclusions. A mold claim doesn't have a guaranteed outcome because mold hasn't been consistently classified as a pollutant. There's a lot of variation between states when it comes to deciding whether mold falls under the pollution exclusion. Coverage is consistently denied to contractors if the claim is a result of defective workmanship unless the damage done by defective work has been incorporated into an existing building. How confusing!

Endorsements

Due to a lack of consistency surrounding mold insurance claims, many insurance companies have added endorsements to general liability policies that definitely exclude mold claims or at least limit coverage. One endorsement excludes mold remediation under all circumstances. However, since most mold is a direct result of water damage, which is covered, it's still not entirely clear how this endorsement impacts a mold claim.

Additional Policies

You can buy an additional policy that does cover mold; the challenge is that these policies are still fairly limited unless you're willing to pay a high premium.


The bottom line is that mold insurance claims are tricky because there is so little consistency surrounding coverage. Each time you renew, be on the lookout for changes to your policy to protect you and your business.

Water Damage After Heavy Rain

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

While water damage is typically associated with events like flooding or plumbing malfunctions, heavy rain can also cause its own set of issues regarding water damage around the house.

While any level of moisture can cause damage, heavy rain is considered rainfall at rates over 0.3 inches per hour and can work its way into much smaller vulnerabilities in your home. To help you better prepare and avoid water damage, we have put together a list of how these rapid rainfall rates can cause issues.

How Heavy Rains Cause Household Water Damage

Backup of clogged gutters

Clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your home after heavy rains. If there is debris in the gutters, it will be difficult for water to drain away, which can then result in leaks from puddles as the water is left standing against the roofline.

Leaks around windows and doors

Windows and doors are supposed to be sealed against the elements, but as their weatherproofing ages, it can deteriorate as well. When heavy rains roll through, water can find its way into minuscule cracks and cause damages.

Poor drainage around the foundation

If your home is at the bottom of a hill or does not have adequate drainage around the foundation, heavy rains can build up against the base of your home and lead to leaks in your basement or crawl spaces.

Leaks in and around the roof

Roof leaks are one of the leading consequences of heavy rains, and they can sneak up suddenly. All it takes is for a shingle to be scraped away or a weak spot to form and rainwater can begin seeping in as it falls.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system

For homes with sump pumps, doing regular maintenance and checking for issues is key—otherwise, the pump system can get overwhelmed and will not be able to effectively move water away from the home.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights

Houses with chimneys and skylights tend to be more vulnerable to heavy rains than homes without them. While they are nice features to have, the seals where they meet with the roof can grow vulnerable over time and become overwhelmed when rainfall is heavy.

Remember to stay safe and get excess water cleaned up professionally to minimize the chance of mold growth. Our Team at SERVPRO of Lake Charles is ready to assist at a moment's notice with any of your water mitigation emergencies. Give our team a call at (337) 478-1133

Fire Mitigation to Reconstruction

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

The term “mitigation” is used by fire damage restoration professionals to refer to stopgap measures to keep conditions from worsening until cleanup takes place at a building in Lake Charles, LA.. For the best outcome, a commercial property owner should rely on a one-stop-shop to mitigate, clean, and restore commercial fire damage.

Mitigation Limits Damage

Mitigation measures limit the severity of secondary damage resulting from primary fire damage. Based on the severity of a fire and the suppression methods used, mitigation may involve any of the following measures:

  • Boarding up holes in walls or windows
  • Extracting standing water from fire hoses
  • Tarping over holes in roofing materials

The goal of mitigation is not to eliminate the effects of fire damage. Instead, these measures are helpful for managing moisture levels and keeping out debris and trespassers.

Cleanup Eliminates Damage
The shift from mitigation to fire damage restoration involves a change in priority from preventing damage from getting worse to taking measures to improve the condition of a structure with fire damage. Ash and soot may be removed by sweeping or vacuuming the affected area. Restoration professionals recommend disposing burned, singed, or melted materials and contents. Surfaces and items that have only sustained smoke or soot damage may be cleaned.

Restoration Continues Until Completion
Rebuilding a damaged location and finishing measures such as smoke cleanup are restoration tasks. Professionals who specialize in restoring fire damage can recommend treatments for stained surfaces or items to keep signs of damage from resurfacing over time.
Managers and owners of commercial properties should rely on fire damage restoration professionals located near Lake Charles, LA. It is a good idea to seek out a company that provides mitigation, cleanup, and restoration services. Estimates and schedules that are issued by a single service are more likely to be accurate than assessments by more than one mitigation, cleanup, and restoration companies.

Steps to Restoring Your Lake Charles Property After Flood Damage

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

We will walk you through every step for your Lake Charles flood damage.

Flash flooding is common in urban areas, and it usually occurs after heavy rain. In Lake Charles, about 490 addresses are situated in FEMA’s 100-year floodplain. This means that there is a one percent chance of flooding taking place in the properties built in the floodplain in any given year.

Flooding creates a frustrating situation for property owners. Fortunately, by taking the right steps, it is not hard to restore your Lake Charles property after flood damage. If it is safe to enter your home, you can start the flood cleanup process by doing the following things: 

  • Wear protective attire like watertight boots, rubber gloves, and safety glasses or goggles.
  • Discard porous materials such as foam rubber and padded furniture.
  • Throw out exposed food, medicine, and drinks.
  • Document the damage by taking photos or videos.
  • Wipe down wooden items.
  • Clean hard surfaces with a solution of hot water and soap.

Cleaning up and drying a flood-damaged property is challenging. You may need special tools like air movers and dehumidifiers to dry the affected surfaces. Some parts of your home may also need to be rebuilt, or soaked materials like carpeting and drywall may need to be removed, discarded and replaced. The other items you may need to replace include drapery, clothing, and ductwork. Therefore, it is advisable to hire a flood damage restoration company like SERVPRO to assist you with the remediation process.

When we get to your residence, we can conduct a detailed inspection using devices like moisture meters, infrared cameras, and moisture sensors. These devices enable us to track moisture within a building. After assessing the destruction, we can come up with the appropriate restoration plan. Floodwater can bring all kinds of solids in your property. We can use a self-priming trash pump to extract the water mixed with solids. We can also use power washers to remove muck or mud on the exterior parts of your home.

After extracting the water, your walls and floors may look dry, but they are still wet. Porous building materials can hold moisture that can make them swell or warp. Our SERVPRO technicians can manipulate temperature and humidity using dehumidifiers and air movers so that drying occurs much faster.

Cleaning floors, walls, and other affected surfaces is also essential. During a flood, sewer lines can leak wastes that may end up in your property, threatening your health. Our team can clean your home using disinfectants that destroy 99 percent of microorganisms.

When you need flood cleanup services in Southwest Louisiana, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles for help. Our 24-hour emergency helpline is (337) 478-1133. We can make the loss appear “Like it never even happened.”

To see more about Lake Charles, click here.

Fires: Staying Safe

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

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.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to handle all of your fire damage restoration needs.

Safety tips:

  • 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.

What to do after a Fire

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

Residential and commercial fires are unpredictable and can be devastating.

Hopefully you have given thought to fire prevention for your home. In addition to taking these steps, you have also developed an escape plan with your family. In the unfortunate case of a serious fire, would you know where to turn after the fire crews leave?


SERVPRO of Lake Charles, (337) 478-1133, is the simple, effective solution. We'll respond quickly and get to work restoring your property.


One of the first steps in our fire damage restoration process is the inspection.

Without proper and careful inspection, we cannot be sure of risk factors in the environment, the extent of damage, critical utility locations, and numerous other important factors. Inspection can sometimes be a lengthy process, as SERVPRO inspectors have to look for and catalog many different factors.

Here are some of the things that we look for in homes that have taken fire damage.
 
Structural Instability
 
One of the most important considerations when inspecting fire damage is structural stability. Fires, as they burn through supports and other structural components, can create unstable conditions and high potential for collapse. Our technicians look for signs of structural weakening to ensure the safety of both you and SERVPRO technicians, such as warped walls, burned columns, caved-in ceilings, buckled door frames, and scraping between doors, windows, and their upper frames. Any of these may be an indicator of a weakened structure, so knowing of them before any work begins has the potential to save lives.
 
Spots for Tarping and Boarding
 
Immediately following inspection, our crews move in with tarps and boards to seal up any windows, doors, or holes in the home that leave it open to the elements. Inspectors look for these openings and compose plans to seal them most effectively.
 
Damage Inspection
 
Of course, the central part of any fire damage inspection is what has been hurt, and how much. Inspectors will catalog items, surfaces, and areas which have taken damage, describing in detail for our other teams how bad the situation is and what factors caused it. From there, our technicians can work to apply appropriate cleanup processes and measures. If you have used our ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) system, this process may be greatly accelerated as our inspectors will have access to plans and inventory lists beforehand.
 
SERVPRO of Lake Charles works with you to get fire damage cleaned up quickly, cheaply, and with the minimal safety concern. Call us at all hours at (337) 478-1133

Busted Pipes? Here's what to do:

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

Three Steps to Take When You Discover a Broken Pipe

A broken pipe can cause extensive damage within a matter of minutes. Bursting pipes can swiftly flood a commercial property in Lake Charles, LA.. This damage may be significant even if someone is on site when a pipe breaks. Severe flooding can take place if a pipe break occurs while a building is unoccupied. A property owner, manager or any occupant who discovers a broken pipe can take three steps to minimize damage.

  1. Contact a Plumber

Plumbers have the tools and expertise necessary to fix broken pipe. It may take some time for a plumber to arrive. In the meantime, there are several measures that can limit the extent of damage caused by a pipe break.

  1. Shut Off the Water Supply

Bursting pipes tend to be supply lines. It is possible to slow and eventually stop the flow of water by turning off the main water valve. This valve is typically located on the water pipe where piping enters the structure. A valve is often located near the water meter. Building owners and managers are likely to be aware of this location. It is a good idea to inform occupants who may be in the building at other times about the location of this valve. Relieve remaining pressure in pipes by turning on a faucet.

  1. Try To Limit Damage

Collecting water in containers can limit the extent of damage to building materials. Try to use garbage bins or other containers with wheels that will be easier to move than heavy containers which require lifting. It is also a good idea to start removing water with any equipment available on site, such as towels, mops or a wet vac.

After bursting pipes have been fixed, a property owner or manager should immediately arrange for mitigation and restoration. Contact a company that specializes in commercial water damage in Lake Charles, LA.

A Couple of Ways to Extinguish a Grease Fire

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Grease fire in kitchen Fire damage restoration is a service that SERVPRO of Lake Charles specializes in.

One of the most common types of kitchen fires is the grease fire. As oil and grease collect on your stovetop or inside your oven, it presents an increasing risk. When you're heating food or preheating your appliance, the oils get closer and closer to their flashpoint. This is the temperature that it takes for the oil to burst into flame.

What To Do and What To Avoid

One of the most crucial things you need to know about putting out a grease fire in your home is to NEVER put water on that fire. Water doesn’t mix with oil; instead, the water will sink below the oil, and as it evaporates, the moisture sends burning oil throughout your kitchen. Instead of using water, use one of the following techniques:

  • Cover the flames with a metal lid. The seal between the dish containing the burning oil and the metal lid must be tight enough to prevent oxygen from reaching the flames.
  • Pour baking soda or salt over the fire. Baking soda puts out the flames because it contains carbon dioxide, cutting off the oxygen supply. You'll need a lot of baking soda. Keep a #10 can or one of the big boxes from the laundry aisle. Salt absorbs heat, and you'll only need about one cup to put out the fire.
  • You can avoid a lot of trouble and damage when you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. It's important to have the right type of extinguisher, however. You could choose a multipurpose extinguisher; just be sure there is a B or K in the label.


There are several things you may have in the kitchen that can make matters worse. For example, do not use flour, baking powder, or sugar. The chemical reaction between these ingredients and the grease will make the fire worse instead of better. Some people suggest draping a damp cloth over the flames. However, if any water from the cloth drips or splashes onto the flames, the fire may explode in your face.

Get Help When You Need It

As soon as you feel that the grease fire is out of your control, call 911, and make sure that members of your household safely leave the home. If your home suffers any damage, contact fire cleanup professionals to handle repairs.

24/7 Emergency Response

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

When a client in Lake Charles, LA., files an insurance claim, insurers know they need to rely on storm, fire, or water damage restoration specialists that are faster to any size disaster. Waiting for help to arrive can quickly lead to additional damage and rising costs. Instead of hoping to hear back from a company, have confidence in immediate assistance by relying on a trusted company that is Here to Help any time of the day.

Local Franchises

SERVPRO has more than 1,700 franchises, which allows its team of professionals to jump into action the minute they get the call. No matter where the disaster happens, commercial services available include:

  • Water damage restoration
  • Fire damage restoration
  • Mold remediation
  • Cleaning services
  • Storm and major events
  • Disaster recovery

Knowing that your emergency response team means working with professionals from the community also provides additional peace of mind. Being local means they care and are dedicated to ensuring everyone is satisfied with the restoration results. In addition to the local benefits, there is an additional bonus of each franchise being backed by a nationwide network. SERVPRO of Lake Charles works closely with national and local insurance companies, which boosts communication and makes the claim process easier for everyone involved.

Dedicated Professionals
Along with being faster to any size disaster thanks to a 24/7 emergency service, the people arriving at the disaster scene are certified professionals trained in property damage restoration. Along with employee certification training, technicians are required to be certified through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Training and certification are ongoing to ensure no matter where help is needed, the team answering the call has the latest skills to get a business back to “Like it never even happened.”


When clients need help, it is vital to get assistance from a trusted company that is faster to any size disaster to avoid downtime, rising repair costs, and further damage.

How to Avoid Water Damage

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

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:

       Roof

  • 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.

   Walls

  • 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

Unanticipated Water Damage

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it is the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call us, we will ask questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring. This includes how many trained SERVPRO professionals we may need.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here for you 24/7 all 365 days of the year. Call us at (337) 478-1133.

Safety Precautions when dealing with Black Water

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets standards for professional members of the cleanup and restoration industry. According to the IICRC standards, black water damage cleanup must involve specialized equipment, supplies, and techniques. Why is this so important?

Compare "black" to other categories.

  • White water is clean and safe to consume. It is fresh from the tap.
  • Gray water may contain soap, fats, oils, hair, and bits of human skin. It is what's leftover after cooking, washing, and bathing.
  • Black water often contains hazardous chemicals, pathogens, human waste, and animal feces. Flood water is almost always considered black.


Once you know what's in the water, it's easy to understand why flood cleanup and mitigation professionals would take extra precautions. What do professionals do to keep your family and themselves safe while cleaning up the watery mess?


Assessment

Before any work begins, water damage cleanup and restoration professionals will inspect and assess the damages. This is a necessary step that helps technicians prepare the most appropriate supplies and equipment, as well as providing you with an idea of how long the job may take.

Containment

One of the next steps will be making sure that contaminants and other hazards from the water aren't spread throughout the rest of your home. This may involve laying down plastic sheeting, and the situation may also require some testing of your plumbing system to be sure your drinking water isn't contaminated.

Protection

Technicians may don personal protective equipment, including gloves, protective goggles, boots, and other clothing that prevents contact between the technician and contaminants in the water. It's important that you recognize the precautions that technicians take. Keep your family safe by staying out of contaminated areas of the home until it is safe to return.

When your Lake Charles, LA., home is affected by flooding, make sure you take necessary steps to avoid coming into contact with black water. Contact professionals right away to clean up water damage and provide any necessary reconstruction services.

Protect your Business this Winter

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

winter storm graphic Frozen pipes are a real concern. Please call Lake Charles' number one water restoration company if your business is affected by water damage.

Here Are Some Tips

Increasingly, extreme weather causes business owners in Lake Charles, LA, to think about the seasonal threat of more than one major winter storm and the heightened chances of storm damage to their operations. They worry, too, about business interruptions from power outages or snowbound streets. They're sensitive to the fact that at least 25 percent of businesses affected by a weather or other disaster close for good. They know that small businesses are especially at risk.
Savvy business people understand that careful preparation can ensure their business' viability in the face of even the most dangerous winter storm.  

Prepare Your Employees
People are the DNA of your organization, no matter whether they work onsite or remotely. Like you, your employees need peace of mind in knowing that they and their families are well prepared for an extended winter emergency. Urge them to:

  • Sign up for weather text alerts and weather apps.
  • Keep important family documents in a safe location.
  • Store an ample quantity of pantry and pet staples.
  • Assemble an emergency medical supply kit.
  • Create a family communications plan.
  • As a family, discuss winter weather safety.

Prepare Your Business
Good planning helps ensure your operations are up and running at the earliest post-storm opportunity.

-Maintain roof, windows, foundation and exterior walls in good repair.
-Know your winter-related insurance coverage and agent's contact information.
-Ensure cold weather supplies are stocked and equipment is in good working order (snow blowers, emergency generators).
-Take steps to protect sensitive equipment.
-Slightly open water faucets to allow water to drip out from pipes vulnerable to freezing.
-Prepare a multi-contact list of employees, suppliers, clients, etc.
-Ready a contact register of your heating contractor, plumber and fire department.
-Arrange for snow removal (parking lot, driveway, sidewalk).

With major weather disruptions becoming more common, it's not if, but when a winter storm may cause a business closure or even property damage requiring professional disaster restoration services. When it comes to challenging weather, remember: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Business Fire? Here's what to do.

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged computer Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles if your business is in need of fire damage restoration services.

Here's A List Of To-Do Items

Your levelheaded actions in the chaotic aftermath of a fire often determine how quickly you can reopen your business. If you have a fire contingency plan with up-to-date records stored off site, you're way ahead in the recovery timeline. Business blueprints, insurance policies, licenses, inventories, accounting statements, employee records, etc., are critical documents that can help speed your insurance claim.
Good documentation is imperative post-fire, too. As you organize your business' rebound in Lake Charles, LA., record your fire restoration purchases, keep receipts and document all communications. 

1. Immediately contact your insurance company. Check your fire insurance coverage and advise your agent.

2. Don't touch any damage. Wait for the insurance inspection.

3. Secure the premises. Avoid vandalism by asking for extra police patrols or arranging private security. If there's exterior damage, contact fire restoration professionals to tarp the roof and board up breaches to avoid secondary damage before your building is inspected.

4. Turn off all utilities. Don't resume service until your property's cleared by the utility company.

5. As soon as you can officially reenter your building, retrieve important paperwork. If not stored off site, recover all key documents, cash and valuables.

6. Keep all business-related parties up to date. Provide your contact information to employees, customers, vendors, suppliers as well as banks, utilities, the post office, etc. Inform them of fire restoration progress and the estimated timeframe for reopening your business.

7. Consider the help of a public adjuster. If you feel more objectivity is needed to settle your insurance claim fairly, request a review by an impartial public adjuster licensed by the state to negotiate disputed settlement issues.
Fire restoration goes beyond smoke cleaning and water damage remediation services. It's a common-sense, many-faceted process that furthers your chances of fully recovering from a disastrous fire and getting your company back to the business of business.

How to deal with a disaster after the first 24 hours:

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

restoration equipment SERVPRO of Lake Charles is southwest Louisiana's premiere fire and water restoration company.

When your home is on fire or starts filling with floodwater, you don't want to wait long for trained technicians to arrive. As you know, a fast response is the best way to prevent further damages. The first 24 hour period after experiencing damages is vital to the well-being of your home. Take a look at what you can expect:

  • Within one hour
  • Within four hours
  • Within eight hours


Lake Charles, LA., restoration professionals can accomplish a lot during the first hours after a disaster.

What You Can Expect From Restoration Professionals


The First Hour


A representative from the restoration company will call you within an hour after your first request for emergency help. During that phone call, you'll cover a lot of vital information that helps professionals determine which equipment and supplies to have available. You may discuss safety concerns or how to maintain communication with each other.
If the situation requires, technicians will arrive to cover holes with tarps or board up broken windows and doors. This emergency response team focuses on preventing further damages with temporary solutions. Even if repairs don't require a lot of work within the first 24 hour period, technicians will be on-site to verify whether an immediate response is necessary.


On-Site in Four Hours


Depending on the type of damage and safety concerns, clean up and restoration technicians will arrive at your home ready to thoroughly inspect your home. During these assessments, technicians can provide estimates regarding the type of repairs necessary and how long the job will take. They may talk to you about your insurance coverage and direct you to the next steps you should take. The restoration company is always open and committed to arriving Faster to Any Size Disaster; they'll load up the appropriate equipment and search out the best route to your home.


Eight Hours After Damages


Within those first hours, after gathering information and making assessments, a restoration representative will communicate with you, to share the information they've gathered, and to go over the plan for getting your home back in shape.

Within the first 24 hour period, you and technicians from the restoration company will share a lot of information, go through an onsite home inspection, and put together a plan for restoring your home so that it looks "Like it never even happened."

Office Escape Procedures

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

fire escape sign SERVPRO of Lake Charles is Southwest Louisiana's premiere Fire and Water Restoration Company!

How To Create a Fire Escape Plan for Your Building

Fires can be destructive and deadly. The speed at which a fire takes a facility varies based on the materials and causes of the blaze. Every emergency and fire restoration service in Lake Charles, LA., likely understands and encourages every commercial property owner to create a fire escape plan. Unfortunately, too many people do not know what that entails. Escape plans need not be complicated and should require at least three components.

Two exit minimum
Clear pathways
Implementation and practice

Two Exit Minimum
The basic emergency escape plan requires a two exit minimum out of every room in your facility. While plans can have more options, two is the minimum because it improves the odds of survival. If a room only has one exit, then people may become trapped if the fire overtakes that exit. Most offices will have a window and a door, these can stand as your exit points, but make sure that there is a feasible way to get to safety from those points.

Clear Pathways
The key to an effective fire escape plan is clear pathways. Make sure that hallways are free of clutter and that exit points are not blocked by shelving. While warehouses and packaging facilities can become overwhelmed with boxes and random items, it is crucial to have processes in effect to maintain order and cleanliness.

Implementation and Practice
It is not enough to create exit strategies. The only way to test the effectiveness of a plan is to implement it and put it into action. Routine practices should take place throughout the year to ensure that every employee makes it safely outside without incident. These scheduled run-throughs will help you tweak the escape strategy if you find there are hiccups.
A fire escape plan is not necessarily complicated to create, but the practice is vital to avoid complacency. If you need help creating a plan for your building, then contact the fire department or a restoration expert for help.

Secondary water damage and how you can minimize it:

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

To avoid future restoration needs, be sure to consider every water problem as a true threat to your property. Even small water damages have the possibility to cause serious structural issues over time. A small amount of water has the potential to ruin flooring, paint jobs, wallpaper, plaster, or drywall.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help. We have the equipment, training and experience to find unseen water and help minimize any potential secondary damages occur.  We respond quickly, inspect the area to assess the extent of the damage, and use the appropriate equipment to ensure the structural materials are restored to normal moisture levels.  These skills that we provide make a difference in reducing the immediate and secondary damage that a flood may cause.

There are also some immediate steps that YOU can take to help contain water damage:

-Dehumidify the area as well as possible. 

-Remove as much water as possible by mopping

-Move wet contents to a dry area, such as outdoors, to protect surfaces from the affected contents.

When every minute matters, call us at 337-478-1133 and SERVPRO of Lake Charles will respond to your call quickly, efficiently, and prepared with knowledge to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Another case of Why SERVPRO?

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

boat and service van SERVPRO of Lake Charles, south west Louisiana's premiere restoration company!

Why SERVPRO you might ask. Well, we do it all! Whether you have flood damage, water damage, fire damage, mold damage, covid-19 contamination, pet odor, dirty ducts, odor issues, reconstruction, restoration, fire damaged contents, soiled or stained carpets and rugs or you just need some advice on how best to proceed WE GOT YOUR BACK!

Recently, we responded to boat that had a fishy situation. Their carpet has had years of salt water and aquatic soiling that, ultimately, led to a serious mal-odor. 

Thankfully, we were able to get in there and get their carpets steamed cleaned, thus eliminating the terrible smell.

Ultimately, the customer was happy and we delivered on our promise! 

If you have any questions or concerns and would like to schedule an appointment please give us a call.

Summer Storm Safety Tips

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Every year, hail and thunderstorms result in billions of dollars in property damages, especially in spring and summer months. Here are 10 quick tips to ensure that your home is prepared for the storm season ahead.

1. Keep an emergency kit in an accessible location in your home with the following items: a flashlight, extra batteries, extra chargers, non-perishable foods, bottles of water, first aid kits, blankets, sturdy/waterproof boots, a whistle, and important paper documents.

2. Get routine maintenance on your home, including your roof and the foundation of the house.

3. Become more familiar with your insurance policy. Know what is covered and what is not.

4. Invest in storm windows.

5. Bring all patio furniture and outdoor appliances indoors before a storm hits.

6. Keep all important or expensive belongings away from the floor in case of flooding.

7. Before a storm hits, park your car in the garage to prevent car damage.

8. Identify spots in your house away from windows and house siding to go to during a severe storm.

9. Cut down any trees or branches that could fall on your house or cars during a storm.

10. Take storm watches and warnings seriously. They can be the difference between life and death of you or a loved one.

Flood Tips and Tricks

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Proceeding water damage, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and “slip and fall” hazards are a prevalent concern.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform with the damage.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful lifting them!

Have A Water Damage Emergency? 

  • What To DO After A Flood
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal or lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying if damage is in the summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from water damage.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from the floors.
  • What NOT To Do After Flooding
  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in damaged areas. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don’t use television or other household appliances.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.
  • Stay out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

The Right Approach to Handling Water Damage

6/22/2020 (Permalink)

people with rubber boots Water damage restoration must be handled professionally and quickly.

Steps To Mitigate the Damage

There are a lot of things you never want to experience as a homeowner in Lake Charles, LA.. Major water damage is definitely one of them. Without a prompt, effective response, the results of the flooding could be catastrophic. You could lose precious belongings and possibly your entire home. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the damage.

Call a Professional Company
Cleaning up after water damage could be overwhelming. It may seem like a hopeless task. Your best move is to call a trusted water removal company to minimize the damage in your house. The pros offer the following advantages:

  • Experience cleaning up after residential floods.
  • The right equipment and tools to thoroughly restore your home.
  • Proven techniques and expertise to tackle even the biggest jobs.
  • Timely arrival and completion of the cleanup.

Get Your Valuables out of the Way
If a sewer backup sends black water into your house, get out immediately and do not get near it. However, if the flood starts from broken pipes, it is clean water, so you can feel safe around it. In this case, you should get affected materials out of the way so they can start to dry. If there are items such as furniture, clothing or electronics near the water, move them to higher ground. It will also help to pull up any wet carpet.

Reduce the Risk of Mold
By itself, water can ruin materials in your home. After the water cleanup and restoration, you'll want to dry the area as well. This will minimize the chances of mold growing in your house, as fungal growth occurs in moist, humid places. After drying the affected spots in your house, disinfect all surfaces where the water touched.
Nobody wants to cope with water damage, but there are things you can do to prevent problems from getting more severe. As long as you're proactive and involve the pros, you can overcome these troubling issues.

Water Damage Restoration in Lake Charles, Louisiana

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged floor Lake Charles' premiere restoration specialist

At SERVPRO of Lake Charles we specialize in water damage and fire damage restoration. Our goal is to mitigate these types of damages in your home or business. There is no job too small! 

Our trained crews and office staff work closely with your insurance company to insure that your house or business gets the attention in needs most in your time of trouble. 

Whether it is a busted pipe, flood and storm damage, roof leak or sewage back up you can count on us to restore your property in accordance with industry standards. 

There are right ways and wrong ways to mitigate property damage and we strive to operate at the highest levels of excellence.

If you need a quote or just want to ask questions please do not hesitate to call!

Coronavirus: Sanitation standards at SERVPRO of Lake Charles

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Coronavirus, COVID-19 SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help disinfect Coronavirus in your home or business.

SERVPRO® professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. SERVPRO® franchise professionals offer cleaning services including the removal of biohazard contaminants.

They have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business.

About Coronavirus The CDC is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has spread to 60 locations internationally (as of this publication), including cases in the United States. The virus known as “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”) is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Coronavirus: Scope of Cleanup Protocol

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Coronavirus, COVID-19 Let SERVPRO of Lake Charles help you disinfect the coronavirus at your home or business.

SERVPRO professionals can perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection where the customer states that there is no active known threat of COVID-19 contamination or exposure. The customer will be required to acknowledge that cleaning and disinfecting will only apply to the current state of the structure and contents. The structure would not be protected from future COVID-19 contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building.

Cleanup Scope of Work and Planning:

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces as well, including: • Kitchen/Food Areas • Bathrooms • Schools/Classrooms • Offices • Retail Spaces • Water Fountains • Shelving and Racks • Sales Counters • Carpets and rugs • Stair Handrails • Elevator Cars • Playground Equipment • Fitness

Equipment Cleanup and Disinfecting Procedures:

Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of waste. The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar type organisms to COVID-19. SERVPROXIDE™, SERVPRO’s proprietary disinfectant, is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. In addition, SERVPROXIDE™ currently has dozens of EPA-approved claims including Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, Swine flu (H1N1) and more. Porous surfaces that are not water-sensitive, such as carpet and other fabric material, cannot be disinfected but can be sanitized using SERVPROXIDE™.

Understanding Storm Warnings

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

With the help of technology, there are now several ways to receive storm warning alerts. The television, your cell phone, the internet, and radio are some of these sources where you can discover this information. The real question is if we truly understand what these warnings mean? You will find that knowing these definitions will be very useful knowledge in preparation for a storm:

  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning – There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning.
  • Flash Flood Watch – Flash floods are likely to occur soon. Be aware that water levels could rise at any point in time. Anticipate moving to a higher ground level.
  • Flash Flood Warning – Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur soon. If this happens, get to a high ground level immediately, and stay away from vehicles. It only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car of truck away.
  • High Wind Advisory – Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This can make for unsafe driving conditions. Especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. In addition, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
  • High Wind Warning – Very strong winds are expected or already occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating, or any outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • Tornado Watch – Conditions are suitable for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
  • Tornado Warning – A tornado has been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado warning is issued where you live, then proceed to the middle of the lowest floor of a strong building immediately.

Understanding Damage to your Commercial Property

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

We do not want your business to have any type of damage. The bottom line is damage that has the potential to impact a residential property can also impact a commercial building.

Types of Damages

Storm: Damage caused by strong winds and heavy rain can remove roof tiles, break windows, plus more. Storm damages can be devastating and can cause delay in business.

Water: Water damage is typically due to burst pipes, floods, or rain. In any case, this can result in contaminated water affecting surfaces and furniture, but also mold growing and eroded belongings. Electricity and water damage quickly become volatile when combined.

Fire: Fire damage can result from a gas stove, faulty outlet, or candles and cigarettes that are not properly put out. This can also cause severe destruction to your property, which requires cleaning and restoration services.

Mold: As a highly unhygienic and unappealing, mold spreads quickly around properties as air-borne spores and remediation is very important to prevent it from rapid growth. Mold grows in any moist environment. Even that small leak under your office’s bathroom sink can eventually attract mold to grow.   

If you have any questions of a problem you may be having, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at 337-478-1133.

Water Damage Tips for your Business

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

Tips for Lake Charles Business Owners to Avoid Commercial Water Cleanup Situations

Commercial water damage hit a business in multiple ways. The company usually needs to close for repairs, lack of revenue, and the loss from items directly damaged by the water.

There are actions business owners can take to protect their Lake Charles property from commercial water damage. It is far easier to dedicate a small amount of time towards proactive measures that assist in avoiding a loss to the property and contents. SERVPRO recommends doing the following:

Regular Inspections
Here in Louisiana, flash floods, as well as plumbing issues, are the reasons for water loss in commercial properties. Make a list of areas to check and look over those places once a month. In this way, small leaks, damage to the roofing, or pooling water from poor drainage does not have a chance to become a problem.

Winterize
The winters in the state can be cold, and a little winterization goes a long way. Drafts can freeze pipes with poor insulation, which in turn causes the pipes to burst. Overnight and on weekends, make sure the heat in the building runs at sufficient temperatures, never lower than 50-degrees Fahrenheit, to prevent freezing pipes. If the thermostat has a battery backup, make sure to replace the batteries regularly.

Talk to Your Security Company About Environmental Monitoring
Environmental monitors can send out an alert when there is an elevation in temperature or moisture. Many different monitoring agencies offer this type of service.  Having an early warning system in place has the potential to save your property from damage from both fire and water.

Establish an Emergency Plan
If water damage happened on-site, what should you do? Establish a list of where the water shut-off valve location and numbers to contact, such as SERVPRO for quick cleanup of the property. The technicians can remove water, restore furnishings, and handle proactive treatments against mold and odors.

We suggest contacting our office regarding a pro-active program we offer called the ERP--Emergency READY Profile Program. A Sales and Marketing Rep SMR can schedule a visit to your company and demonstrate the advantages of this effective measure to keep your business viable. No cost to you, and it can save your business from closure.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133 is ready to assist local businesses with commercial water cleanup of any size. They arrive quickly and restore the property to its preloss condition, "Like it never even happened."

Always Be Prepared: Emergency Ready Profile (ERP)

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles wants your business to be ready for any emergency.  Whether it’s a water leak, fire damage or a flooded area in your building, SERVPRO can help you be prepared. Below are a few of our most frequently asked ERP questions and answers.

Q: What exactly is an ERP?

A: An ERP is an Emergency Ready Profile. This profile is created with the assistance of one of our trained professionals.  Our professionals will meet with your business to document an organized plan of action should an emergency arise. The plan will consist of emergency contacts and phone numbers, facility details, chain of command for authorizing work, and other necessary information for your business.  The ERP also establishes your local SERVPRO of Lake Charles as your preferred mitigation and restoration provider.

Q: How much does this cost?

A: There is no cost for this assessment! It is a service SERVPRO is proud to offer at no charge to your company.

Q: How does this benefit my business?

A: No one expects an emergency or a disaster. The key is to have a plan of action already in place prior to an event occurring. The SERVPRO ERP can assist your company develop a response plan to help you get back to business ASAP.

Q: How do I get the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile?

A: That’s the easiest part! Just call us at 337-478-1133 and tell us that you would like to meet with our ERP professional, we will be more than happy to set up an appointment with your business.

SERVPRO. “Like it never even happened.®”

Three Pro-Tips for Preparing Your Business During a Flood Event

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

flooded restaurant Flood damage, water damage and mold can hurt your business. Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles so we can help.

When flooding affects your business may be at risk. If flood waters are powerful enough, they can force their way into your building and cause damage to floors, walls and your inventory. However, if you know that a flood is imminent, there are a few ways you can protect your business and minimize the destruction that a natural disaster like this might cause.

1. Make Backup Copies of Important Data

If you know your building might suffer storm damage, it is important to make data backup a high priority. Shipping records, customer data and inventory records may not be retrievable if your computer system is damaged by water, so having multiple files of this information can save you time and money in the aftermath of the flood. Consider cloud storage for real-time data retrieval. 

2. Rent a Sump Pump 

If your building sits on low ground and your basement or crawl space is prone to flooding, then you may want to invest in a sump pump. This machine, which is often used by flood damage and restoration service technicians, drains away excess water from the area where it located. Portable and underwater pumps can reduce the amount of standing you might encounter after the flood. 

3. Do Not Hesitate To Act 

Flood damage can happen quickly, especially in the case of flash floods. If you suspect this might happen, evacuate your business quickly and ensure that customers and employees are safe. Heavy rains can cause this type of flood, so it is wise to be vigilant and watch your local weather to be aware of any watches or warnings. If you realize a flood is imminent, shut down vital systems and try to seal off doors and windows after the building is empty. 

When flooding impacts, you may be concerned about the best way to protect your business. However, knowing how to take action and prepare yourself for a flood can reduce the damage and give you peace of mind both before and after the event. 

Protect Your Home Against Flooding

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

flooded home with water damage Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles for more information on how to deal with flooding in your home or business.

Keep Your Home Secure Against Flood Damage

Flooding of your Lake Charles, LA., home can cause major problems. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your home from heavy rains.
Maintain Existing Flood Prevention Structures
Many homes have common flood prevention features, such as gutters and sump pumps, already installed. It is important to maintain this equipment. The following are some routine maintenance activities that will help keep your home secure against flood damage:

  • Clean and inspect gutters (fall and spring)
  • Clean storm drains (at least once a year)
  • Test sump pump and clean screen (every season)
  • Inspect roof (every year)

When completing the above tasks, be sure to check for damage such as loose gutters or missing shingles. The suggested frequency for each task will vary depending on your specific situation. For example, if you have trees near your home, you will likely need to clean your gutters more often. If you suspect that you will be unable to do any of these jobs, you may wish to hire a professional contractor for some or all of your home's routine maintenance tasks.

Consider Home Improvement Projects

In addition to maintaining whatever flood-proofing systems your home already has, you may decide to do some home improvement projects to further protect your home from flooding. The following are some common improvements that you can make to keep your house safe in heavy rains:

  • Install any of the above items (gutters, storm drain, sump pump) that you do not already have
  • Grade your lawn so that it slopes away from house
  • Upgrade seals around windows and doors

Employ Temporary Solutions

Even well-prepared homes may need additional protection during very heavy rains. If a severe storm is headed your way, you may want to install sandbags or other flood protection devices such as inflatable dams.
The above suggestions will help protect your home from flooding. However, even the most well-prepared homes can suffer storm damage. You may need to enlist the help of experienced restoration professionals to get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

Mold Damage? Knowing who to hire can be the key to your health.

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damage on building studs Water damage can cause mold to grow in your home or business.

Understanding Mold

Mold is considered a kind of fungus, which can grow anywhere under the right conditions. Spores can be found both outside and inside the home, in the air.

Mold only needs three common ingredients to grow:

  1. Average temperatures
  2. Moisture
  3. Nutrients.

It can grow inside the home on surfaces and furnishings. With a bit of mitigation, future issues can be avoided. 

Microbial growth may be harder to detect. Mold and mildew can usually be seen easily, and may be gotten rid of easily as well, so home and business owners may not be aware that any fungus is growing. In order to save money, home and business owners may want to do a mold cleanup themselves, but it may be better to call in an environmental hygienist and mold cleanup team to help.

How can a Professional help

When the problem is addressed, an environmental hygienist can make sure that a home or business stays free from these types of problems, even microbial growth. An environmental hygienist or industrial hygienist is a qualified individual who can make sure that a home or business keeps up an acceptable level of air quality, water quality, clean and safe garbage disposal, and food protection, causing mitigation for further issues. Environmental hygienists can show a business or home owner what to do, mitigating a re-occurrence of issues. Environmental hygienists can make business owners and home owners aware of risks if they choose to do the mold cleanup themselves, as well as what symptoms to watch out for.

When removing fungus, mildew, and microbial growth from a building, safety is key. Always wear protective equipment: rubber gloves, outer clothing, goggles, and an N95 or N100 respirator when removing mold. Remove all furnishings and items that are mold-free from the room that is being cleaned. Block off the work area being cleaned with plastic sheeting, to avoid having the mold spread, and cover air supply and return vents as well. Owners should rent an air scrubber to use in the area to be cleaned, mitigating the problem, and help in mold cleanup.

Materials that are wet should be dry first to prevent the spread of further growth and mildew. It will take approximately 24 to 48 hours, after using wet/dry vacuums, fans, and dehumidifiers. Porous materials with should be bagged and thrown away, while non-porous materials can be cleaned but only if they are sound, structurally in mold cleanup. Non-porous surfaces can be cleaned with a brush, hot water, and cleaning products, even diluted bleach. Cleaning material needs to be collected once the owner is through, and areas are to be rinsed with clean water, and dried completely to prevent further growth of mold, mildew, fungus, and microbial growth, causing further mold cleanup. Learning what the causes are of these issues are, further issues can be avoided.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles, LA. has Highly Trained Mold Remediation Technicians and the equipment necessary to Treat Mold Damage in your homes and businesses. 

Secondary Damage after your Home Floods

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

mold damage in home Water damage can lead to secondary damage, like mold growth. Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles to mitigate the damage before it gets worse.

Flooding in the home is a scary enough prospect in itself, but many fail to realize that simply removing the water is only half the battle. Floodwaters are capable of producing secondary damage such as black mold, a potential health hazard and a definite threat to any residence in Lake Charles, LA.. That’s why it’s vital to take immediate action when this type of disaster occurs. Quick removal of water diminishes the threat of extended high humidity, the condition which allows harmful mold to take shape.

Quick Removal Diminishes the Threat


Lasting Effects

While it’s certainly important to eliminate standing water when flooding occurs, it’s only the first step in a complete recovery process. Professional restoration is frequently requested for this purpose, as commercial technology allows both for rapid water removal and proper analysis of the situation afterward. The next recommendations will go toward preventing secondary threats such as:

• Rotted wooden building materials
• Growth of harmful black mold
• Warped or swollen flooring

Remember, floodwaters need not make direct contact with a surface in order to affect it, and not all signs of moisture remain visible to the naked eye.

Tools of the Trade

Any number of solutions may be employed to inhibit mold formation and other moisture-related issues. Many restoration teams utilize tools such as industrial air movers and high-strength dehumidifiers to ensure that the environment is totally free of unwanted moisture after a flood. Microbial growth begins quickly and is usually very difficult to address once a problem has begun, so make moves quickly should disaster strike.

Protect Your Investment

No one wants to pay for unnecessary services, but when it comes to your home, the investment’s worth it. Black mold resulting from high humidity often ends up costing homeowners much more than handling the problem correctly from the start, so don’t fall victim to secondary damage. If flooding should affect your home, consider calling in the pros—it may just be a case of paying a little now instead of paying a lot later.

Fire Tips for your Children

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage bathroom Fire damage can be an ongoing problem if you do not mitigate it properly.

Teaching kids safety is an important factor when making an emergency fire plan for your Lake Charles, LA., home. One way you can help protect them is by instructing them in what to do if a fire does occur. Many firemen and fire damage restoration professionals agree that learning the following tips can help.

5 Lessons About Fire Safety


1. What Fire Hazards Are

One step toward preventing a home fire is to tell your children what a fire hazard is. This way they will know what items not to play with, and to tell you immediately if they see something amiss.

2. How To Stay Low

During a fire smoke and heat rise, meaning the cooler air is closer to the floor. Teaching your child to stay low can help them avoid the smoke and find fresher air.

3. How To Check a Door

One important step for kids safety during a fire is to know how to check a door before opening it. They should know to use the back of their hand to test the door’s surface for heat, and to open it only if it doesn’t seem hot.

4. What Safe Routes Are

Safe exit routes are an important part of a fire escape plan. Explain to your child where the closest exits are and how to use them safely.

5. Where to Meet Up

Instruct your child to go to a pre-selected location to meet up with you once they’re safely out of the house. This should be an easily identifiable location such as a neighbor’s porch or a fire hydrant.

In the event of a fire, kids safety is important, and by teaching your child these things, you can feel more secure knowing they understand what to do in a fire. Telling them what a fire hazard is can help prevent a fire before it starts. They should also learn to stay low, check doors before they enter a room, follow safe routes out of the house, and where to meet up with everyone else.

Finding Good Storm Coverage for your Business

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

lightning and a street sign SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help your business during a storm or flood event.

If your commercial property in Lake Charles, LA., is frequently beset by storms, your property insurance coverage is probably not sufficient to pay the costs of the flood restoration services you will likely need at some point. You need storm insurance. Even with the extra coverage, however, it is important to make sure that you pay close attention to the exclusions listed in your policies. Only by filling in all the gaps that other policies leave do you get the best coverage possible.

Are you sufficiently covered by insurance?



Flood Damage

Most floods caused by natural disaster or other extreme circumstances aren't covered by general commercial property policies. You will need flood insurance to protect yourself from having to pay out-of-pocket expenses like the following:

• Water mitigation services
• Restoration costs
• Building inspection fees

After you pay your deductible, your storm insurance is likely to cover the bulk of your recovery expenses. Having a policy in place before storm season arrives is essential.

Hail Damage

If your storm coverage focuses on flooding, it may include exclusions for other damage that your building could sustain during a storm. Hail damage often accompanies violent thunderstorms, but some insurance policies don't cover the damage that a hail storm can cause. In this instance, you will need additional coverage to fill in the gap left by the exclusion.

Lightning Damage

When lightning strikes your building, it can cause quite a few problems. Other than raising the risk of fire, it may also short out your electrical system, leaving you without power regardless of how reliable your backup generator may be. If other systems, such as your building's plumbing or HVAC system, relies on the power, then you can see how expensive a lightning strike could become. Many policies exclude lightning damage for this reason. Your insurance company may offer rider policies to compensate, however.

When you are shopping for the best commercial insurance package, don't forget comprehensive storm insurance. One storm can cause extensive damage. It can give you peace of mind to know that you are protected.

Steps Toward Fire Damage Recovery In Your Southwest Louisiana Home

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Steps Toward Fire Damage Recovery For Lake Charles Residents

Waking up to the sound of your fire alarm, then having to quickly evacuate the property while calling the fire department is every homeowner's worst nightmare. It is after the fire has been contained that anxieties over your possessions, valuable documents, and financial costs arise. There are measures you can do to make the process of getting your home back to its preloss condition runs smoothly after the initial shock.

The first thing is to contact a restoration service to carry out repairs on the fire damage in your Lake Charles home. SERVPRO operates an emergency line day and night for homeowners in need of assistance and reassurance. You might want to contact your insurance company to get a better picture of the task at hand as well as any utilities or lending companies. Fire situations are recognized as a debilitating situation, and many companies can put in place holds on bills or payments in exceptional circumstances, while you prioritize the restoration of your home.

A fire marshall can inspect the property after the fire and clear you for entry. Now's a good time to gather any necessary documents:

    •        Passport
    •        Driver's License
    •        Certificates
    •        Social Security
    •        Financial Documents
    •        Tax Records
    •        School Records
    •        Vehicle Registration

Some or all of these documents may show signs of damage from soots or smokes as well as water damage from firefighting procedure. Do not discard documents. SERVPRO operates specialized document recovery that can mitigate losses through a vacuum or freeze-drying procedure for waterlogged documents. Although we cannot reverse existing damages, there is a strong chance we can restore documents to a usable condition using these special procedures.

While you wait for a SERVPRO fire and smoke damage restoration technician (FRST) you can begin mitigating losses by covering floors and furnishings with sheets or tarpaulin which can prevent falling soots from causing further harm. Open the windows to allow air circulation throughout the property, which aids drying and replaces polluted air with cleaner outdoor air. For now, it is essential to leave walls, ceilings, appliances, and electrics until a qualified technician arrives.

SERVPRO trains technicians to the highest standards. On arrival, they can direct the restoration effort, as well as conducting crucial tests on materials, soot deposits, and smoke residues. These tests keep procedures efficient and ensure soots are not spread around, causing further issues to unaffected areas. Where necessary, our team can bring in odor control technicians to restore your indoor air quality.

We have extensive experience in handling fire restorations from start to finish. Using a combination of testing, cleaning, deodorizing, and drying, we can help you to get your property back to its preloss condition. Contact SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133.

For more about Lake Charles click here.

Flood Damage In Lake Charles

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

phone and clock graphic Contamination can pose a serious health risk, contact SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133 for emergency assistance.

Emergency services, like our rapid response units, cover properties that without immediate attention, are at risk of permanent harm. Common scenarios that are covered by our emergency services include the flooding of your home, which might be the result of internal or external issues. Road overflow from heavy rainfall could result in significant quantities of contaminated water entering the ground levels of your property. We offer experienced technicians, on-call, to assist you and your property in an emergency.

Our call-lines are operated round the clock to assist you with flood damage in Lake Charles. Since contaminated materials are involved, our technicians may require you to evacuate affected areas of the home, or even the whole property itself, while work is carried out. SERVPRO technicians are trained to spot the presence of contaminants in water and may need to cordon off certain zones as well as designate clean rooms on-site for decontamination.

Containment of the emergency is essential to avoiding cross-contamination. Cross-contamination is hard to stop and can be spread on clothing, footwear, or through airborne particles. SERVPRO deploy plastic barriers to cordon off the affected area and can apply negative air pressure when necessary. After establishing a quarantine zone, entering the affected area can only be permitted wearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE.) This is to ensure that potentially harmful pathogens do not come into contact with you or the restorer.

In a blackwater situation, there are significantly more items that need disposal than in a clean water emergency. Pathogens can remain harmful and odorous even in microscopic quantities. Porous structural materials like insulation, sheetrock, or some woods must be removed for demolition from at least 2 inches above the standing water level. These items must be sealed into disposal bags and be dealt with in line with state and federal guidelines. Once the area is thoroughly disinfected, the disposed of materials can be replaced.

Contamination can pose a serious health risk, contact SERVPRO of Lake Charles at (337) 478-1133 for emergency assistance.

Water Damage Types and Classes

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

person in rubber boots Water damage has several classes.

In the spirit of educating the south western Louisiana communities, SERVPRO of Lake Charles wants to make sure that you know what class of water you may encounter. 

The Classes of Water Damage Losses are determined by the rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected by water damage to your property. Determining the Class of Water is an important first step and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to restore your business. Here are four IICRC water damage classifications:

Class 1 - Slow Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or losses with lower permeance/porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, vinyl composition tile or VCT, concrete). Little or no wet carpet or cushion is present. Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, releasing moisture slowly.

Class 2 - Fast Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect an entire room or carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up walls 12" - 24". There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, concrete).

Class 3 - Fastest Evaporation Rate
Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor in the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations
These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, and crawlspace). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which requires very low specific humidity.

Holiday Fire Preparedness Tips

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

stove fire Fire damage occurs most often during the winter months.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to educate the Lake Charles community of proper ways to protect your home or business against fire damage.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
  • Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
  • Make sure that light strings 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 home 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 on 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 home to make sure that all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
  • Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more information on how to keep your home fire safe during the holidays.

5 Winter Safety Measures to Prevent Your Commercial Property from Freezing Pipes

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

frozen pipe image Water damage from frozen pipes can cause a major problem for your business.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles understands the importance of winterizing your business. The following steps are critical in avoiding water damage this winter.

1. Insulate all water pipes that run along the exterior of the building or those that are located in unheated interior spaces.
2. Inspect water pipes on a regular basis – look for any signs of small leaks or fatigue that could cause them to fail in a big way when the temperatures drop significantly.
3. Run water at a slow drip to relieve the pressure that can burst a pipe if you think it’s about to freeze.
4. Check all shutoff valves and levers to make sure they are in excellent working order.
5. Keep utilities on in vacant units. The cost of maintaining utilities in that unit will offset the cost of loss that could result from the lack of heat or water movement.

While these 5 winter safety measures can help avoiding a catastrophic pipe burst, the best thing you can do to minimize water damage is simply be prepared for the worst. What to do once you notice the frozen pipes? First, turn off the main water supply. If this is not possible, contact a plumber and explain that it is an emergency.

Same goes for water seeping from the ceiling and/or walls. Your emergency/safety measures should include the following: Shut down the power supply at the meter box and call an electrician immediately. Make every effort to protect documents, electronics and computers. Open doors and windows in the water damaged area to allow for drying and contact an emergency clean up service immediately. The sooner you have a professional disaster clean up team on site, the quicker and less expensive the cost to repair and prevent hazardous mold growth.

Facts About Winter Storms

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Van covered in ice Water damage and fire damage from winter storms can cause major issues to your home or business.

Winter storms can be a disaster for your home or business. To help avoid water damage or fire damage SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to educate the community of best practices.

A major winter storm can be lethal. Preparing for cold weather conditions and responding to them effectively can reduce the dangers caused by winter storms.

BEFORE

Be familiar with winter storm warning messages.
(See Winter Storm Watches and Warnings.)

Service snow removal equipment and have rock salt on hand to melt ice on walkways and kitty litter to generate temporary traction.

Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.

Winterize your home.
  • Insulate walls and attic
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows 
  • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
Have safe emergency heating equipment available.
  • Fireplace with ample supply of wood 
  • Small, well-vented, wood, coal, or camp stove with fuel
  • Portable space heaters or kerosene heaters (See Kerosene Heaters.)
Install and check smoke detectors.

Contact your Parish Emergency Management Office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on winter storms.

Keep pipes from freezing.
  • Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers
  • Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture
  • Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing
  • Know how to shut off water valves.
Have disaster supplies on hand, in case the power goes out.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries 
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries. 
  • First aid kit 
  • One-week supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration or cooking in case the power is shut off) 
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • One-week supply of essential prescription medications
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags 
  • Fire extinguisher (A-B-C type) 
Develop an emergency communication plan.
In case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a severe winter storm.
Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

Kerosene Heaters:
Check with your local fire department on the legality of using kerosene heaters in your community. Use only the correct fuel for your unit and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Refuel outdoors only, and only when cool. Keep your kerosene heater at least 3 feet away from furniture and other flammable objects.

Tips to help prevent pipes from freezing

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

frozen pipe rupture Water damage can ruin you home or business this holiday season. Be proactive and learn the facts.

If you have suffered a water loss from a busted pipe then you know how difficult it can be. SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help prevent this type of water damage.

The three central causes of frozen pipes are quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats set too low. You can prepare your home during the warmer months.

  • Insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic, even if you live in a climate where freezing is uncommon. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember, the more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.
  • Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers' installation and operation instructions.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Before winter hits, disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
  • A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you're asleep, but further drops in the temperature - more common overnight - could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

Thanksgiving fire safety tips

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

fire safety image Fire damage can ruin your holiday cheer.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles wants you to a safe holiday experience.

Top 10 safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Thanksgiving fire facts
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving.
  • In 2016, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,570 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.  

ERP: Emergency Ready Plan

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency ready plan graphic Whether you experience water damage, fire damage or mold damage an Emergency Ready plan can get you back to work quickly.

If you own a commercial property then you should be aware that having a good plan in place when a disaster strikes is crucial to getting up and running as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Lake Charles offers a free service called and Emergency Ready Plan (ERP). 

An ERP can provide important information pertaining to the systems that are necessary to run a business. This means knowing where your water shut off valves are or where your gas shut off valves are. Who to call if you experience water damage or fire damage. If your server room gets affected by a sudden and catastrophic loss who the IT company is that can respond quickly is valuable. 

Click here to learn more about our free assessment.

Fire Damage: Duct cleaning and odor control

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

duct cleaning results Duct cleaning can help with odor issues after you have experienced a fire in your home or business.

If you have experienced a fire in your home or business then you are well aware that odor issues can be quite persistent afterwards if it's not treated correctly. SERVPRO of Lake Charles understands this as well, which is why we make sure to find out if your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system was running during the fire.

If it was then you may qualify for a duct cleaning as part of the insurance claim that you will inevitably file. SERVPRO of Lake Charles uses state of the art duct cleaning equipment to dislodge and remove any particulates from within your duct runs. This includes carbon buildup that may have been the result of the fire damage. We also can use either ozone or hydroxyl systems to remove any lingering odors and finally deodorize the duct system with something to your liking.

If you need our help please do not hesitate to call.

Why SERVPRO? Because we use the best equipment!

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles employee using a hepa filtered vacuum on a commercial grade air filter to aid in duct cleaning. SERVPRO of Lake Charles employee using a hepa filtered vacuum on a commercial grade air filter to aid in the duct cleaning process.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles does a lot of commercial duct cleaning and in doing such, are expected to bring the best equipment. From rotary duct brushes to vacuums with hepa filters we understand that great results are generated from great operation combined with great equipment.

In this photo we see SERVPRO of Lake Charles cleaning a hospital air filter. Using a hepa filtered back pack vacuum we are able to suck up all loss particulates up to .3 microns (very small). This process is a necessary component of duct cleaning since it insures that the commercial grade filters last longer.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help. As a leader in our community we take great pride in making sure that your trust in us is not misplaced.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles Policy

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

An alarm clock that says 24/7. SERVPRO of Lake Charles is available 24/7/365.

Keep Calm...

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is always here for you in your time of need. We have the training and experience needed to get you through any size disaster. We know that when the unexpected happens, you need someone you can rely on and trust for help. An immediate response is a crucial part in getting things back to, Like it never even happened.

Our Service Policy ensures that we:

  • Contact you within 1 hour from the first notice of loss, to arrange for service.
  • Are on-site to begin mitigation services within 4 hours of notification.
  • Provide verbal and possibly written briefing of services needed within 8 hours of on-site arrival.

Call SERVPRO...

If a disaster occurs, we are always here for you! Call us 24/7/365 at (337) 478-1133.

Please note: Exceptions to our service response times may apply if a storm event occurs.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles: an adjusters best friend!

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles has worked with many insurance agents and claim adjusters. We understand your situation. As an agent or adjuster, you have a responsibility to keep claim costs down while providing the best services possible for your clients. Here are a few reasons we’re trusted by so many insurance agents and adjusters:

Fast Emergency Response
Restoring commercial or residential property is the first priority at SERVPRO of Lake Charles. Your insurance client will appreciate our immediate response and you will know we’re doing everything we can to limit the damage and the costs.

Pretesting Reduces Claims Expense
Like insurance agents and claim adjusters, we know restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. Our goal is always to restore whenever possible and replace only when necessary. That’s why SERVPRO of Lake Charles performs pretesting on every loss so we can determine if it can be restored.

Claims Inventory Service
SERVPRO of Lake Charles can provide insurance agents and claim adjusters with an itemized loss inventory. We give you an Excel formatted report and pictures of important items. Your work is made simpler and clearer because we provide you with a complete and accurate picture of the incident.

Electronic Claims Information
Our corporate Claims Information Center provides the fast, accurate information you need to make sound decisions, including:
•    A complete electronic job file (by email or on paper)
o    First notice of loss
o    Detailed estimate
o    Digital loss photos
o    Scanned forms and paperwork
•    Informative reports (including job cost data) to improve results 
•    Performance comparison to industry standard

Superior, Time-Tested Training
Effective training is the best way to help ensure your clients receive the service they deserve. All SERVPRO of Lake Charles crews are trained to IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards in fire and water cleanup and restoration. We also conduct continuing education classes.  

Vendor Qualification Compliance and Professionalism
If you call SERVPRO of Lake Charles, we will use only qualified vendors to service your clients. Our commitment means you receive:
•    Access to the SERVPRO National Call Center to achieve prompt handling of your claims
•    Assurance that our crew uses industry best practices
•    Efficiencies through our insurance and file documentation requirements
•    The benefits of our quality assurance program

Serving Adjusters and Your Clients
A SERVPRO of Lake Charles professional's job is to reassure your clients, perform quality service, and report to you quickly. We know your job is to interpret the policy and adjust the claim. We don’t want you to have to deal with problems from vendors. Working with you, we strive to save you time so you can focus on priority files, while having complete control of every loss you’re assigned. We offer you 24-hour emergency response, damage mitigation, loss assessment, and an electronic file within hours. SERVPRO of Lake Charles documented, measured performance increases value for you, your agency, your managers, and your clients.

Hard-earned results have made SERVPRO leaders in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry. The SERVPRO System is geared to achieve customer satisfaction and mitigation results, adding to your competitive advantage.


Here To Help 
The team at SERVPRO of Lake Charles has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, natural disaster cleanup, and natural disaster restoration. Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles (337) 478-1133 anytime, 24/7.

Flooding can happen fast

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

In Lake Charles, we can experience storms that can rain 8 inches in 3 hours. Consequently, our drainage systems will be tested. In this type of event it is important to be prepared. If you do not have flood insurance you may want to look into it for your home or business. The price can vary depending on where you live. Hopefully you will never need it but in the event that you do the cost is absolutely worth it. 

Raising furniture up off of your floors and placing sandbags at every entrance or threshold of your home or business can help avoid disaster. Another good idea is to have a restoration company in mind. When a storm happens we can slammed with phone calls. Calling sooner rather than later will ensure that you get attention quickly. 

Please give us a call if you have any questions!

Duct Cleaning after Fire Damage

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

After you experience a fire in your home or business it is important to follow the necessary steps in order to properly restore the duct work in your building. After you have contacted a restoration company make sure to get in touch with your insurance company. If your HVAC system was running during the fire it is important that all parties are aware. This is a very important component to your home or business and needs to be considered when the restoration process begins.

Make sure to go in every room to observe whether or not soot traveled throughout via the duct runs. Take lots of pictures and tell you restoration contractor. 

SERVPRO of Lake Charles uses the latest duct cleaning equipment to insure that not only are your ducts free of soot but that they no longer retain the odor from the fire.

Call us if you have any questions!

Hurricane Preparedness

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage, flood damage or just a busted pipe, SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here for you.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles understands flooding. Make sure you do as well. When a Hurricane is 36 hours out here what you do:

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
  • If you have NFIP flood insurance, your policy may cover up to $1000 in loss avoidance measures, like sandbags and water pumps, to protect your insured property. You should keep copies of all receipts and a record of the time spent performing the work. They should be submitted to your insurance adjuster when you file a claim to be reimbursed. Visit www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/137860 to learn more.

If you have any questions or concerns please call us immediately.

Constant Updates: Making fire and water damage restoration go smoother

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

moisture meter Daily monitoring of moisture levels after you experience water damage in your home or business is critical.

How annoying is it when you have a contractor that is doing work but not keeping you informed of their progress? Quick answer: it's very annoying!

When something as catastrophic as fire damage or water damage occurs in your home or business SERVPRO of Lake Charles understands that your level of anxiety is being pushed to the limit. We want to assuage your fears and put you at ease. 

Staying in constant contact with you throughout the process is important to the success of the job. Our trained technicians will give you updates regularly and answer any questions that may arise. 

Call us today to schedule an appointment, or if you have any questions and need advice we would love to help. SERVPRO of Lake Charles, a trusted leader in the community.

Water Damage: if you skip the steps you're not drying

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Like many things in our life drying out your water damaged home or business is a process that has specific steps that must be executed in a certain order. If you skip any of these steps you are likely to prolong the process and risk creating secondary damage like mold growth or weaken structural materials.

The very first step is making sure that the source of the water has been shut off (stop the bleeding). This may require you calling a plumber or if you have the where-with-all to do it, taking a T-Square out to the shut off valve and turning it off your self.

The next step is to call SERVPRO of Lake Charles. Our highly trained staff will carefully explain the process and its order of operations to you and your insurance company. Once everyone is on the same page we begin the mitigation effort utilizing specially calibrated drying equipment.

Give us a call if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment.

When a Storm Event hits call us Immediately

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes, resources, like time and materials, become limited. This is why it is imperative to call SERVPRO of Lake Charles immediately. We will get inundated with calls from people that are getting on our list for response. 

Our staff of highly trained technicians will respond and get started asap. In order to facilitate such a service we must first get you scheduled. 

Also, depending on the size of the storm, we may decide to invite SERVPRO's from Texas and other neighboring states into the area to aid in disaster recovery. 

This is why it is important to contact us as soon as you can.

Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles if you have any questions or concerns or if you need a quick response to your mitigation issues.

Are your air ducts dirty?

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles can improve air quality by cleaning your ductwork.

Sweeping Away Years of Dust and Dirt-Helping Reduce Potential for Damage and Health Risks

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of SERVPRO of Lake Charles' service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money.

The SERVPRO Proven Duct Cleaning System is Cost Efficient

Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO of Lake Charles uses a Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process

 * The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the ducts shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.

* Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.

* Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.

* As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.

* Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call us today, (337) 478-1133.

Inspect Your Commercial Building and Keep It Weatherproof

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Lake Charles are ready to come to your aid.

Inspect Your Commercial Building and Keep It Weatherproof

Is your Lake Charles, LA,, business in a building that is comfortable, dry and weatherproof? If so, thank the heroes responsible for exterior maintenance. It is their job to keep your building maintained. Proper maintenance ensures that the weather stays outside where it belongs. 

Damage to the exterior lets in the weather. Some, like broken windows, is obvious and demands immediate attention. Other damage starts tiny and grows into serious maintenance problems.

Examples of minor damage are:

  • Small holes in siding
  • Loose or cracked windows
  • Gaps around vents, pipes and other exterior features
  • Damaged masonry

Routine Inspections Are the Key to Preventive Maintenance

Every building has problems that are easy to overlook. They don’t interfere with the business operation, so they go unreported. The first step in fixing them is finding them. The best way to identify them is through a complete building inspection. Think of this as a close inspection of the building with the help of a checklist. Here are some of the tasks that an exterior maintenance inspection might include:

1. Inspect the roof. Look for areas where the roofing material needs repair. Check the vents, air conditioner and other features attached to the roof to make sure they won’t leak. Check the gutters and downspouts. Make sure that rain water will flow down and away from the building. 
2. Inspect the walls. Look for openings that might let water in. A structural engineer can help you determine if there is water damage.
3. Inspect the masonry. Areas that are failing might provide a path for water to get inside. Bring in a professional to check the situation.
4. Inspect the doors and windows. Make sure that they stop the flow of air and water.
Some exterior maintenance problems can’t wait.

One of these is water damage. There are local water damage restoration specialists ready to come to your aid. They are just a phone call away. 

Business Claims: Making a Disaster Claim

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage in Lake Charles, LA.

Fire Claim Process

While a blaze burning through your facility and your inventory is devastating enough, the fire damage can leave your property and your business boarded up for months. This is why it is essential to start the fire claim process immediately so that you can minimize the extent of the business interruption and get back to work quickly.

1. Call Your Insurer

While the first calls you make are to emergency services and family, the third call you should make after a fire is to your insurer. You want to make this call immediately after a fire to ensure that the claims process is initiated at the earliest possible moment. The longer you wait to make a claim, the longer it will take to get your business up and running.

2. Mitigate Further Damage and Loss

After you initiate the fire claim, you will want to get a fire restoration specialist from the Lake Charles, LA, area on the scene to board up and tarp your facility, mitigating further damage and loss. If you already have a plan in place with a restoration expert, then call them and get the process started. Keep in mind that your insurer may require you to mitigate further loss, meaning that if you don’t, then your coverage may not kick in. 

3. Keep Receipts

As you begin the cleanup, be sure to track all of your expenses by saving and tallying all receipts. When the adjuster arrives, they will want a full record of the damages incurred and the mitigation efforts made to reduce further property loss and damage.

4. Make a Record of Loss

Additionally, you should walk your property, photographing all damages to show your insurance adjuster. This record of loss will be used when evaluating your claim. You should also include any relevant receipts for the damaged property so your insurer can create an accurate valuation of the overall loss.

A fire claim may seem like a confusing process, but as with every bureaucratic process, there are appropriate steps to take. After a fire, just make sure to call your insurer, mitigate further damage, keep receipts and make a record of loss.

Avoid these 3 Things When Flooding Occurs

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded Home

Avoid These Three Things

What you don't do after a flood can be as critical for your safety as the actions you take. It is important to remove flood water to limit water damage, but you should also avoid doing these three things after a flood.

  1. Risk Exposure to Tainted Water

    Standing water resulting from a flood is considered Category 3, or black water. It may contain contaminants such as chemicals, heavy metals, microbes, or solid waste. Keep unprotected skin from making contact with this infected water, and do not allow humans or animals to drink it.

    If you attempt to mitigate damage in a flooded home, be sure to wear personal protective equipment, such as waterproof boots, hip waders, and heavy work gloves. If mold may be present, you should also wear a respirator.

    2. Turn the Electricity Off or On

    You may risk electrocution if you attempt to cross flood water to shut off a circuit breaker. There is no guarantee that water-damaged electrical components will function normally. Furthermore, neighbors may be running a generator improperly and back-feeding electricity into the grid. 

    A utility company technician or a licensed electrician can disconnect the electrical meter to ensure that there is no electrocution risk. You should also exercise caution when dealing with flood-damaged electronics, which are likely to short-circuit.

    3. Delay Cleanup

    The longer water is left standing or moisture lingers, the more likely mold growth will appear. Mold can begin to grow in a flooded home in 24 to 72 hours.

    Avoid unprotected exposure to flood water, the risk of electrocution, and the dangers of secondary damage. The best way to handle flood damage is to hire water damage mitigation specialists to clean, disinfect, and to dry the flooded portion of your residence 
  • Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles @ 337-478-1133.

SERVPRO Does Save Homes in Lake Charles from Extensive Storm Damage

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Stands Ready to Help Lake Charles Properties After Flooding

We Can Reduce Flood Damage in Your Lake Charles Home

You were not expecting your Lake Charles home to flood from last night’s thunderstorm, but it did, and water is everywhere. Flood waters contain contaminants like chemicals, raw sewage, and dead animals, which is why you should never hesitate to call in the professionals. Our techs set goals to make your home clean and safe after storm waters enter your house. Whenever it is possible, our crews can restore your home to its pre-storm condition. Plus, they strive to preserve many of the contents inside your home. 
 
SERVPRO flood damage teams in Lake Charles are highly trained and come ready to get to work when they arrive. The first step the team takes on is stopping the flow of water from entering your home. Hopefully, that has already occurred. Next, they start extracting the water with various pieces of equipment such as a truck-mounted or portable extractor, wands and pumps that can remove water from the structure fast. The type of machinery we employ depends on the amount of water inside affected areas. 
 
Many flooding situations may require the need for our teams to remove items from the house. When we do remove contents, our technicians keep an inventory of every item during the pack-out stage. Typically, clothing, furniture, and paper documents are sitting in several inches of contaminated water. Our crew can remove and clean all salvageable items with industrial cleaning products. Plus, they can use EPA-registered antimicrobial sprays to sanitize your items before bringing back inside your home. Ultrasonic cleaning can also restore possessions that our customers believed were lost.
 
Drying the area is also an essential process during restoration. Our team can use air scrubbers to clean the air. Plus, they can utilize air movers and axial fans to enhance drying. In all cases, we use dehumidifiers to absorb water vapor. Heaters may also be put in place to target specific areas. 
 
SERVPRO of Lake Charles flood damage restoration services are fast and ready to help. We are available 24/7 to assist you in your time of need. If a flood ever occurs in your home, call us at (337) 478-1133 right away.

Effective Mitigation for Fire-Damaged Lake Charles Homes

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Fires pose significant immediate threats and even many lingering hazardous conditions for Lake Charles homes. Whenever a fire first breaks out in a residence, homeowners often attempt to take whatever they can carry out with them to try and protect things that cannot get replaced. While this might work for some items, many get left behind. Our professionals can help to restore these items, and further protect them from harm, with our effective mitigation practices we implement following fire effects in local properties.

After fire damage many Lake Charles homeowners fixate most on structural damages and how these situations get resolved, and in doing this, forget momentarily about all of the items and belongings still inside the house that could get affected by the lingering damages from the recent disaster. Our SERVPRO professionals arrive quickly to provide thorough assessments of the fire damage and what must happen to restore the home entirely. This process is also where our highly-trained technicians catalog damage to individual items and determine which must get removed and focused cleaning efforts to restore.

Our Contents department is vital to our pack-out efforts, as they make determinations on which items can get salvaged with our advanced technology and which things cannot. Once we have tagged contents for removal, they get taken to a nearby facility of ours for evaluation and restoration. We can clean these items of soot and smoke residue, we can deodorize them, and we can store them safely until it is best to return them to the restored home.

Part of effective mitigation for your property is responding quickly to the emergency when it happens. Our SERVPRO professionals are available 24/7 to offer the full measure of our expertise and extensive training at any time that you might need them.

While you cannot account for when a fire can occur in your home, you can help to protect the items inside and hire a wise choice to restore your property fast. Give our SERVPRO of Lake Charles team a call anytime at (337) 478-1133

Come out and experience the excitement of Lake Charles, click here for more information.

Why SERVPRO of Lake Charles

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles services Lake Charles and much of Southwest Louisiana. We provide cleanup and restoration services to commercial and residential facilities. Our services include water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, storm damage restoration, duct cleaning, carpet and hard surface floor cleaning.

When it comes to water damage there are several reasons why you should call us. Here are our top  reasons to call SERVPRO of Lake Charles @ 337-478-1133 when you have water damage:

  • We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • We Bill Your Insurance Directly
  • Confidence & Peace of Mind

We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

A fast response will help to reduce the amount of damage caused to your home or business.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is a local business right in the community, and not only are we close by, we provide restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including all holidays. Call us day or night – we respond immediately.

We Bill Your Insurance Directly

Property damage is often a distressing event, that’s why we want to make the restoration process easy. We work with you and your insurance company directly for a stress free claims process.

Confidence & Peace of Mind

Locally owned with national resources, our customers get the best of both worlds.

At SERVPRO of Lake Charles, we are proud to provide the amazing SERVPRO service to our community and surrounding area.

When the job is done our technician provides validation and documentation that your property is dry and the job is complete so you can feel confident, safe and comfortable. SERVPRO is a nationally known company across the U.S. and Canada.

More Reasons to choose SERVPRO of Lake Charles

These are just our top 3 reasons. Truthfully, there are many more reasons why you should choose SERVPRO Lake Charles including that we are straightforward, we are professional, we help restore your property, we answer all questions and concerns, we help manage insurance paperwork, and much more.

If you experience water damage call us at 337-478-1133

Fireplace Safety Tips

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

  • Fireplaces should not be used as furnaces. Use a fireplace for a short-duration fire — no longer than five hours.
  • Keep the glass open to allow air to be drawn up to cool the chimney, but keep the screen closed to prevent sparks from jumping onto the carpeting.
  • Never leave a fire unattended when children are in the house. Adults, even if near, should not allow children to play near or with fire tools and equipment.
  • Open a window when using the fireplace to prevent the room from becoming smoky. The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.
  • Before making a fire, open the glass doors, pull aside the screen curtains, and place the kindling, newspaper and logs inside. Next, open the damper and a window. The window needs to be open only a few inches. You can check to make sure the smoke will go up the chimney properly by lighting a match, quickly blowing it out and watching the smoke to see whether it's going up and out.
  • Keep a nonflammable rug (available at fireplace-supply stores) in front of the fireplace so that sparks won't melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.
  • Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.
  • Use a chimney cap to prevent water damage, to keep animals from nesting and to keep debris from blocking the chimney and causing carbon monoxide to flow into the house. Use a spark arrester to help prevent sparks from flying out, which could start a fire on the roof or lawn.
  • Glass doors may develop tough stains from flames and heat. To clean them, make sure the glass doors are cool, then scrape off any thick gunk deposits with a razor blade. Add a squirt of liquid dishwashing detergent to a bucket of warm water, or add a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. Spray or sponge the cleaner on, and then wipe it away with newspaper (which is lint-free). Another option is to buy glass cleaner at a fireplace store.
  • Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes. Be sure to wear a dust mask and open a window in the same room as the fireplace to prevent negative air pressure. Use a shovel to scoop the ashes into a metal container. Store the container far from combustible materials and surfaces and wood floors.
  • Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes.
  • Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney when necessary. Have him show you how to check it yourself, too. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after about 80 fires.
  • Shine brass fireplace utensils with Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush.
  • Clean the firebox (the area where the logs burn) at least once a week during the months you use it, when ash builds up. Leave about an inch of ash because it acts as insulation, allowing the coals to heat faster and retain the heat easier. Keep the firebox completely clean during the months when the fireplace is not in use.
  • To clean an exterior slate hearth, wash, dry and coat it with lemon oil every six weeks to make it shine. For cleaning exterior brick hearths, buy a brick cleaner at a fireplace shop.

 via HGTV.com 

Let us help with the Dirty Work

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

If your commercial property is struck by a disaster such as, flood or fire it is best to call in a team of trained professionals. Think before you act and never re-enter a building without knowing it is safe to do so.  SERVPRO of Lake Charles cares about your business and we care about your safety.

After a flood or fire in your commercial building, there are several things to consider.  Is there live electricity, is the structure safe from falling, is the water clean?  These are all things that the technicians at SERVPRO of Lake Charles are trained to look for and when necessary contact the appropriate professionals to assist. 

Our technicians wear protective clothing, gloves and masks when cleaning hazardous chemicals or contaminated water. So, it is in your best interest to leave the dirty work to a mitigation or restoration company.

Dial the number (337) 478-1133 to reach out to and speak with SERVPRO of Lake Charles. No matter the time or the day of the week, our technicians are ready to assist you.

Click here for more about Lake Charles.

Got Flood Damage In Your Lake Charles Business?

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

A Severe Thunderstorm Can Cause Flood Damage To Your Lake Charles Business

When it comes to any city that is situated by a river, bayou or body of water, an excess volume of rain can end up causing flood damage to the buildings around it. Your business, may have suffered this exact problem. As the water levels rose, they began to overtake buildings close by throughout the night. Upon arriving at your establishment in the morning, you entered the space to find a few inches of water scattered across the flooring.

It is vital for you to call professional services when your Lake Charles business experiences flood damage. Leaving the water for an extended period can only cause more problems, such as the water absorbing into your wooden flooring. Additionally, flood water usually is not clean water, unlike the liquid that would come from a burst pipe inside of your shop. Because of the nature of floods, the water can bring sewage, chemicals, and bacteria into your business. Getting professionals to the scene allows you to avoid the unsanitary water and gives us the chance to remove it safely.

When SERVPRO receives your call, we always strive to arrive at your property swiftly. We understand how essential it's for your business to be open during the day so you can make your revenue. We work on your clock and arrive at the scene of the damage swiftly after your initial call.

After a brief investigation, planning, and spray of an antimicrobial agent, SERVPRO can begin to remediate the flood damage through the use of wet/dry vacuums. Getting the standing water out of the front of your cafe is our first task, so it cannot continue to spread contaminants and cause water damage to the structure of the space.

SERVPRO can then sanitize and remove the contents (tables, chairs, etc...) from your business. From there, we can focus on removing any excess moisture from the floors, after thoroughly cleaning the area with an antibacterial solution to ensure that contaminants are gone. SERVPRO can set up devices like dehumidifiers, drying mats, and air movers to draw the moisture out of the wooden flooring. When the moisture levels of your business have been appropriately lowered, SERVPRO can return the contents to their rightful places and then leave your cafe feeling “Like it never even happened.”

When a thunderstorm causes flood damage to your establishment, never delay when trying to get help. Dial the number (337) 478-1133 to reach out to and speak with SERVPRO of Lake Charles. No matter the time or the day of the week, our technicians are ready to assist you.

Click here for more about Lake Charles.

Expectations from Your Insurance Company after Residential Water Damage

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Insurance companies have lots of rules and regulations. One very important requirement is that you attempt to mitigate damage after you experience a loss in your home or business.

Let's say that you leave for work one morning and sometime during the day the water supply line to your ice maker ruptures and floods several rooms in your house. When you return from work the water damage will be so extensive that you will most likely feel overwhelmed. It is important to remain calm and not to panic.

You will address the obvious things like turning off the water at the curb, soaking up water with towels and calling your insurance company to file your claim. Once these steps are complete it is recommended that you hire a water restoration company like SERVPRO of Lake Charles to begin the mitigation process.

What many people do not realize is that SERVPRO does more than just dry your home out. They gather a detailed drying report that your insurance company uses to determine whether you immediately attacked the problem or let it exacerbate.

Please don't hesitate to call us: (337) 214-4962

For more information on Lake Charles click here.

For more information on Sulphur click here.

For more information on Westlake click here.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles will restore your commercial property after water damage

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Losses

Flooding and water damage events on commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether you are dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we will be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Lake Charles

SERVPRO of Lake Charles specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

In the event of water damage, it should be in your best interest to hire a professional company as soon as possible. Water damage problems can become very serious if left untreated.  Our phone 337-478-1133 is monitored 24/7/365.  We will call you back within an hour and be on site within four hours for emergency services.

What Should I Do After A Fire

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles has you covered when you have a fire or smoke damage in your home or office.Here is a list of what to do and not do while you wait for help to arrive.

DO:

  • 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.

Do NOT:

  • 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.

SERVPRO of Lake Charles provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Lake Charles and surrounding areas. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

If your home or business has suffered from fire/smoke damage call SERVPRO of Lake Charles (337)478-1133. 

What do you do when you find fire/smoke damage in your home or office?

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

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.

DO:

  • 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.

Do NOT:

  • 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?

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

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

Arson

Vandalism

Sewage Backups

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

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

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:

       Roof

  • 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.

   Walls

  • 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

POWER OUTAGES

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Power Outages

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: 

Prepare NOW

  • 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.

https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

Ways to Help Prevent Mold

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Safety tips:

  • 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

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

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

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

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.  

Best DIY Pet Stain Removal Solution

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles for removing pet stains in your carpet

Even when you have a well-trained furry friend, accidents can still happen.  If the stain they left behind is not properly cleaned right away, it may take the right carpet cleaning professional to get your floor looking and smelling like new again.

When you think of SERVPRO of Lake Charles you probably know we are the industry’s leading experts when it comes to fire and water restoration, but did you also know we can also help you tackle the less disastrous messes, like the ones your favorite pet might occasionally leave behind?

 That’s right, if you live in the Lake Charles area, SERVPRO of Lake Charles will help you with your carpet cleaning and odor elimination by using our state of the art equipment. Our experienced technicians are experts at deodorizing and eliminating the source of the odor. For good! Because almost nothing is worse than walking into a home that smells like pet urine! Even if you can’t see the stain, many times it will have saturated the carpet padding underneath, causing a foul smell you won’t be able to get rid without the help of a trained professional.

However, for the smaller pet stain problems you might encounter, here are a couple of inexpensive and easy solutions our experts recommend to help solve your pet stain and odor problems. 

The sooner the better when it comes to cleaning urine stains.  If you can blot the stain with paper towels when it is still wet you will decrease your chances of having a permanent stain. Once all the excess liquid has been absorbed mix the following simple solution together, put it into a spray bottle, and then spray directly on the stain.  Let it sit for at least 10 minutes then use more paper towels to let it dry.

Pet Stain Remover

2 cups vinegar

2 cups warm water

4 tlbs of baking soda

You can also use the baking soda/vinegar method for older stains that have settled into the carpet.  However instead of lightly spraying, pour the vinegar directly on to the soiled spot, followed by a couple tablespoons of baking soda over the top of the vinegar. Let it sit and dry for 24 hours, before sweeping and vacuuming up the remaining amount of baking soda.

For cleaning and deodorizing problems that will take more than vinegar and baking soda to get rid of, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles at 337-478-1133

Dealing with Fire Damage

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

When you need help with fire damage clean up for your home call SERVPRO of Lake Charles (337) 478-1133

SERVPRO of Lake Charles is here to help!

Life has enough interruptions and bumps along the way without the unwanted disaster of a house fire. The aftermath is almost as bad but much longer-lasting. Even small fires can use the assistance of a professional cleanup/restoration company. Cooking fires that spread beyond the stove, barbecue grills that go up in smoke, and even small appliances that catch fire can cause damage to surrounding areas. 

Small Fires can Pose High Risks 

While you should never pour water on a grease fire, nor on an electrical one, many times that is a person's first reaction anywhere. This can cause even more damage. Cooking fires and electrical shorts are common causes of fire damage.  It can also create physical risks to people standing nearby. With grease fires, baking soda should be poured into the pan and any grease or oil that has caught fire outside of the cooking pan or skillet instead of water. 

With electrical fires the appliance should be unplugged if it can be safely done, but not by pulling on the cord. This can cause the cord to snap, leaving the plug, without the cord, still in the outlet. The power to the area where this is happening should be shut off at the fuse box as quickly as possible to eliminate the hazard. 

After the Fire is Out, It's Time to Repair the Damage 

When there's been a localized fire, you should have someone assess the damages for you. This can often help with insurance documentation.

Damage can range from blackened walls and countertops to heavily burned surfaces, electrical wires being damaged and requiring replacement, to floors suffering damage so severe they must be replaced to be safe again. Having experts conduct the repairs needed can expedite insurance claims being resolved, as well. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

At SERRVPRO of Lake Charles, we have highly trained and skilled professionals who are experienced in all sizes of fire damage clean up and restoration. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help clean up and repair fire damage, no matter how large or small. Call us at (337) 478-1133 so you can go back to your daily routine. 

Mold ad Mildew Stains

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Be very careful dealing with mold on your carpet, its best to get the opinion of a certified mold expert.

Dealing with nasty mold and mildew are common cleaning issues that can arise within your home or business.  Unfortunately, our Louisiana climate can give mold and mildew the perfect conditions to grow and thrive in, and can be found anywhere from damp clothing to upholstered furniture and carpets. 

When you find mold and mildew on your furniture and carpets, and need professional help to get rid of it properly, our expert service professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Charles will use our state of the art equipment to help you take care of your mold issue quickly and safely. 

However, if your mold and mildew problems are less catastrophic here are a few simple tips to help you remove mold and mildew from…  

...white-cotton clothing

Apply a solution of one part bleach to three parts water to the stain and allow the solution to sit for 5-10 minutes, then wash as directed.

...non-bleachable clothing

If the article of clothing cannot be bleached, try removing the mold with lemon juice or white vinegar. Soak a cotton pad in lemon juice or vinegar and place it on the stain. Allow the solution to soak for several minutes. Then, remove the cotton pad, and sprinkle the area with some salt to further boost the effect of the acid. If possible, place the item in a sunny spot to dry. The sun rays will also bleach stains. Repeat as needed, then wash the garment as usual.

If the mildew stain persists, bring the article to a professional dry cleaner.

...grout and walls

To clean mildew and mold effectively from walls and grout, mix a solution of one part bleach to three parts water. Dampen (don’t soak) a sponge with the solution and apply it to the moldy areas. As the mildew disappears, dry the area using an old towel.

...upholstery

If your upholstered furniture has water damage and a substantial amount of mold growth, it should be replaced.

However, if there's only a small mold stain, you can try using a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Blot it on the mold and allow it to work for a minute or so. Rinse solution from the area by alternately dabbing it with a damp cloth or sponge and a dry cotton cloth. This probably will not remove the mold, but it may help lessen the stain.

Consult the professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Charles if the stain persists or reappears.

Duct Cleaning

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Before and after duct cleaning

In most places in the United States we have our AC or Heating on most of the day. Duct cleaning is the only way to maintain those air conduits that spout out hot or cold air in to our homes.

Just imagine not cleaning your carpet for 20 years… not a pretty sight is it?!  Its the same with your air ducts, just that its not your feet getting dirty, its your lungs. Build up in air ducts could contain some very nasty pathogens like mold, bacteria, dust mites and more. So one of the clear advantages of duct cleaning is controlling the air quality in your home.

Some other advantages of duct cleaning include:

  • Clearing any blockages in your HVAC system
  • Improving indoor air quality
  • Reducing allergies
  • Extending the life of your AC system
  • Reducing household dust
  • Preventing mold problems

Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles for duct cleaning services and have a peace of mind about the air quality in your home.

For Immediate Service in Lake Charles. Call SERVPRO of Lake Charles

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Lake Charles provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Lake Charles and surrounding areas. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us  – SERVPRO of Lake Charles 337-478-1133

Residential Services

Whether your home needs emergency flood damage or your ducts cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Duct Cleaning
  • Upholstery Cleaning
  • Hard Surface Floor Cleaning

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your home or business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our services @ www.SERVPROlakecharles.com

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Carpet Cleaning
  • Commercial Duct Cleaning

Does Your Home Have a Mold Problem

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today 337-478-1133

Reasons to Have Water Damage Professionally Dried

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

If you’ve recently had a severe water intrusion due to leaking pipes, flood or other causes, you might be thinking that you can handle it on your own. Keep in mind, though, that cleaning up water damage goes beyond wiping away the residue and letting everything dry. While we understand that you want to save money and maybe you’re a DIY type of person.  But water damage can cause serious health problems if not cleaned properly. Can you see beyond the baseboards and carpet to know what you’re missing?

The following are some of the advantages of hiring SERVPRO of Lake Charles

Safety

A lot of people fail to realize how dangerous standing water can be. Depending on the source it could contain bacteria and pathogens, causing you to get sick just by touching it. You could potentially contaminate unaffected areas of your home or business by walking through contaminated water damaged areas.

Hiring SERVPRO of Lake Charles is a smart choice since we have been trained to know what needs to be done and how to do it safely by IICRC standards. In addition to that, we have the necessary equipment and experience to get the job done right. Getting it done right is important because getting it done wrong or incomplete could cost more money down the road.

Mold prevention

Hiring the professional services of SERVPRO of Lake Charles is beneficial, as you can be sure that the cleanup will be done properly. This gives you an assurance that you will not face any issues later on.

Mold growth is one of the biggest problems with water damage. Any dampness left in porous materials can create an environment that is susceptible to mold growth. Protect your home from the development of mold by hiring professionals, and having it dried properly.

We use hydrosensors, moisture meters, and infrared cameras to assure we find all the wet materials created by a water damage event. Routinely check common areas that could potentially leak water, such as around the water heater, under sinks, and around toilets. Especially for areas that are not used routinely. Notify a professional if you find areas of concern.

Fast service

Clean up should be done immediately, preferably within the first 24 hours. Be aware that mold can start to grow within 48-72 hours after porous material are water damaged. Your home can even be a breeding ground for bacteria, mildew and other contaminants if surfaces stay wet for over 48 hours.

In the event of water damage, it should be in your best interest to hire a professional company as soon as possible. Water damage problems can become very serious if left untreated.  Our phone 337-478-1133 is monitored 24/7/365.  We will call you back within an hour and be on site within four hours for emergency services.

Protect your belongings

Water from leaks, pipe bursts or floods can easily destroy your belongings, furnishings and even your home. While some of your things may be destroyed by water almost immediately, hiring SERVPRO of Lake Charles increases your chance of saving more of your belongings. We know that some things insurance money could not replace.

What to do after a fire

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

After the smoke clears and the soot settles in your home, you’re left with some critical questions. To help you overcome the devastation of a fire, here are the answers to some common questions about fire damage restoration:

  • What is the first thing I should do after a fire? Call your insurance agent and submit your claim. He or she will provide you with information on securing your home.
  • Can I inspect my house after the fire? Legally, only a licensed inspector like a structural engineer or industrial hygienist can determine the safety of a building. Besides, the risk of checking the fire damage yourself is too great. Call a professional.
  • Do I really need professional clean-up if the fire was small? In most losses, cleaning the soot and smoke is the toughest part. Moreover, even small fires can cause major damage within minutes and leave lingering odors if not cleaned up properly. If you don’t act within a day or two of the fire, soot and smoke can leave permanent damage. Professionals have the tools and know-how to restore your home as fast as possible and mitigate the loss.
  • What should I do with all the water that was used to put out the fire? Water can lead to more damage such as mold growth. Reputable restoration companies also extract the water from the damaged area as part of the fire restoration job.
  • Can I stay in my home during the fire damage restoration process? This depends on the degree of the damage, your home’s layout, and your comfort level. As an alternate plan, talk with your insurance agent about off-site housing and staying at a hotel – these might be covered by your policy.
  • How long will the restoration process take? The length of time varies on the extent of the damage. Additionally, local authorities and your insurance agent will also want to investigate the damage before the restoration company can start the clean-up.
  • Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Lake Charles 337-478-1133

How do you know if you have a mold problem

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Mold in a closet

How Do You Know if You Have a Mold Problem?

If you see mold growing in your home, then obviously you have a mold problem. However, mold often grows in places where it’s not easily spotted, like inside walls, under floors, in attics, and inside heating and air conditioning ducts. If you smell a musty odor in your home, you probably have mold growing somewhere. If your home has been flooded or had extensive water damage of any kind, you almost certainly have some mold, even if you don’t see any. Even a small water leak can cause mold to grow. If you, a family member, or a pet have any of the symptoms described above and you’re not sure of the cause, it’s also possible you have a mold problem.

To find out if you have mold in your home, we recommend hiring a professional mold tester. You can purchase mold tests to conduct yourself, but a professional has been trained to perform the tests correctly in order to get the most accurate results, and also knows where to test for mold in order to make sure all the mold in the home is discovered. They will also return after you’ve had the mold cleaned up by a mold remediation company to test your home again to make sure no mold was missed.

Preventing Water Damage

8/14/2017 (Permalink)

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:

       Roof

  • 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.

   Walls

  • 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

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