Hurricane Season is Here
It may seem early, but hurricane season is currently underway. For the Atlantic, the season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season began in mid-May and also ends November 30.
Hurricanes can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds, and tornadoes. While the primary threat is in coastal areas, many inland areas can also be affected by these hazards, as well as by secondary events such as power outages as a result of high winds and landslides due to rainfall.
Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Plan an evacuation route and your emergency plan, take inventory of your property, and take steps to protect your home or business. For more information and preparation tips, visit the Ready campaign website at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 6
When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.
Call the Team in Green
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Inspection and Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents and Belongings
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties understands mold and mold growth and has the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 6
Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup
Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties also offers fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup* and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.
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 Paulding/Polk Counties professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.
Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties helps turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties can help with the following issues:
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Methamphetamine Labs
- Crime Scene Residues
- Sewage Backups
- Black Water Intrusions
- Mold Mitigation and Remediation
State and local regulations vary. Contact SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties today at 770-505-0555 for 24-hour emergency service.
*Services vary by location
**Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 6
A Salute to First Responders
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” This famous Mr. Rogers quote comes to mind when we celebrate first responders: those who arrive first on the scene of any disaster or emergency.
In the event of a disaster or emergency, there are many different agencies and people in your community who are ready to respond. Whether it’s a house fire or a hurricane, we are thankful every day for these first responders.
Firefighters, EMTs, and Police
Local fire and police departments, as well as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), are often first on the scene of an emergency. In the U.S., there are more than 29,700 fire departments with 1,160,450 total firefighters, according to the National Fire Protection Association’s 2015 U.S. Fire Department Profile.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are almost 245,000 EMTs and paramedics in the U.S. In the U.S. there are about 18,000 federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies, employing more than 750,000 fulltime sworn officers, according to the Uniformed Crime Reporting Program collected by the FBI.
When events such as natural disasters strike, different branches of the military are often a first line of response. The Army National Guard and Air National Guard, with over 342,000 soldiers, respond domestically when deployed by their state Governor, often during states of emergency from weather-related events. They can also be called upon during terrorist attacks or civil unrest, or called overseas by the President of the United States.
Active duty soldiers can also be called upon for certain domestic events as well.
FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
As a part of FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), these volunteers are trained to be prepared for any disasters that may affect your local area in an effort to support professional responders. CERT volunteers are trained in “basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations,” according to FEMA.
With more than 2,700 CERT programs, over 600,000 individuals have been trained nationwide. Teams are managed locally, but supported nationally by FEMA.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties recognizes these and the countless other first responders in our communities for keeping our communities safe.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 4
Hoarding: A Serious Problem
According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.
Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.
Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. One of our trained professionals will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.
Another way SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.
Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties today at 770-505-0555.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 4
Did You Know...Generator Safety
If you have a generator on hand for power outages during severe weather, follow the safety tips below from the American Red Cross:
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.
- To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.
- Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.
- Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
Do You Know What To Do When a Flood Happens?
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river, or even in the desert—there is always potential for flood damage. Fema.gov reports in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000.*
According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties at 770-505-0555. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties will help you take it back.
*Facts and figures provided by fema.gov
**Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3
When Water Damage Strikes
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.
To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties's team of professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walk-through of the job-site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.
EMERGENCY WATER DAMAGE TIPS
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
For more information on recovering from water damage, contact SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties today - 770-505-0555.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3
Severe Weather Safety
Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms*:
- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
- 5,000 floods or flash floods
- 1,300 tornadoes
- 2 land-falling deadly hurricanes
Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.* Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk.
The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business, and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an Example.
Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.
Contact SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile® (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster.
SERVPRO® of Paulding/Polk Counties can help you be “Ready for whatever happens!”
*Facts and figures provided by noaa.gov
**Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3
Common Mistakes You're Making with Your "Small" Water Damage
When finding themselves in the midst of a water damage event, many people immediately react by jumping in and cleaning up the mess. Beginning the restoration process as soon as possible is important, but starting before you have taken the necessary steps or know exactly what you are doing could actually make things worse in the end. To help avoid these mishaps, a few of the most common mistakes in water damage clean up are listed below. The most critical mistake to not make is failing to hire a professional restoration company to do the dirty work for you. SERVPRO of Paulding/Polk Counties is your local expert to help you navigate the “waters”.
Mistake #1- Not Having the Job Done RIGHT the First Time
Adopting the “do it yourself” approach when it comes to water damage clean-up is often the go-to mindset. However, this is usually a more difficult process than people think. It can be a long process and following the proper procedures is very important. For example, if you neglect to begin airing out your home by opening up windows and doors for ventilation and using fans to dry things out as soon as possible, the damage will eventually be worse.
Mistake #2- Not Being Completely Thorough
As mentioned above, the water damage restoration process done right requires that you be very thorough. Cutting corners and major shortcuts will not make a big difference and can actually cause more damage. It is better to have the job done right up front, but it will not happen overnight. To ensure all the water is removed and mold will not begin to grow on and in your walls, ceilings, and carpet, you will want to make sure your contractor is certified to do the work needed in an appropriate time frame.
Mistake #3- Waiting Too Long
It can be tempting to put off dealing with flooding or water damage when it’s just a small incident, especially when life is hectic. Even minor flooding can lead to major damage in the long run. The water seeps into walls and flooring over time when not dried properly and can cause structural damage and mold growth. It’s not worth the risk to procrastinate. It could save you a lot of time, heartache, and money in the long run.
Mistake #4- Not Involving a Certified Restoration Company
Trying to tackle the water damage restoration process on your own is great undertaking. Having it done right the first time requires the proper expertise, the right equipment, and enough time to be as thorough as required. Though it may seem like you have the time and resources to clean it up, you will soon realize the process is more involved than originally thought. Should you ever find yourself in a situation where your home or business has been compromised by flooding or water damage, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Paulding/Polk Counties.
Let SERVPRO of Paulding/Polk Counties help you recover your property properly following a water damage event. Call us today – 770-505-0555.