Got Mold? Don’t Try to Handle it on Your Own
Moisture can get into your home in a variety of ways, from storm damage leaks to water pipes bursting to a slow, undetected drip from a pipe. Homeowners may want to address the situation themselves, but it is best to leave mold remediation to the experts. Should you see signs of mold in your home, contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix to take care of the situation before it gets worse.
Not all mold is visible.
One of the most important reasons to call a professional mold remediation service for mold damage to your home is that the issue can’t be fixed without professional intervention. The impacted area must be dried, cleaned, sanitized, and possibly repainted or rebuilt if the mold infestation was significant enough to cause some real damage. Even when mold appears to be gone, it’s not, and if not cleaned thoroughly and completely, mold spores can continue to grow and spread to other parts of your home causing more damage and unwanted musty odors. No one wants that!
Why cleaning mold on your own is not enough to get the job done.
Trying to eliminate mold damage yourself can be injurious to the home, rather than helpful. Even if you remove all visible signs of mold growth in your home, it’s almost impossible to get rid of airborne spores and hidden patches of growth without advanced tools that professionals use. SERVPRO uses advanced moisture detection tools to identify patches of mold behind walls and surfaces that can’t be seen on the surface, and air scrubbers to filter as many spores out of the environment as possible. Also, keep in mind that you really can’t remove mold altogether. Since microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, indoors, and outdoors, removing all mold from a home is impossible. Remediation is what keeps mold growth at bay, which in turn prevents mold damage.
Moldy smells mean there’s a problem.
After the mold has been addressed, the musty odor it causes can remain if not addressed as well. These odors won’t likely go away on their own. SERVPRO technicians use industrial-strength chemical fogging machines to defuse odor molecules, even if they are embedded deep within the walls, floors, or other materials of your home. When mold appears in your home, SERVPRO mold remediation professionals will:
- Inspect and assess mold damage.
- Suppress the mold.
- Implement air filtration.
- Remove mold and mold-infested materials, if applicable
- Clean mold-impacted contents in your home
There is more to cleaning mold than simply wiping it off surfaces, which is why mold remediation is best left to the professionals of SERVPRO versus trying to handle it on your own. SERVPRO of Central Phoenix is the leading provider of mold damage remediation services. For our expert help with mold in your home, give us a call at (602) 386-4268. We’re available 24/7 and will work with you to address your mold issues. Call the pros when you get mold!
Keep Your Sump Pump Maintained to Protect Your Basement from Water Damage
Though common in other parts of the country, Arizona doesn’t have many homes with basements. However, there are homes that offer this feature but because it’s not common, many homeowners are unfamiliar with sump pumps, how they work, and how to maintain them. It’s important to keep your sump pump maintained to protect your basement from water damage. Here are a few tips on what to look for and what to do.
Your primary sump pump is no different than any other appliance in your home; without power, it is completely worthless. As a safeguard, invest in a high-quality battery back-up sump pump to protect your basement should there be a power failure. A battery kept continually charged by the backup system operates a separate pump linked to the discharge pipe, providing you hours of protection until power is restored. Some backup pumps even monitor the condition of the battery and alert you when it needs to be replaced.
Discharge Pipe Issues
If the discharge pipe is not installed or pitched properly, water will collect and eventually cause a blockage. Arizona has very hard water and it can cause sump pumps to freeze up if the flow is impeded in any way. Be sure to check and make sure your sump pump and discharge pipe were correctly installed. If you’re unsure, call a professional to check it for you.
Stuck Pump Float Switch
There are several different types of sump float switches. Vertical and tethered floats are the most common. It’s important to know which one you have, as vertical floats seem to work the best as tethered floats are known for getting stuck on the sidewalls of the sump pit, causing a flooded basement. Take the time to find out what float switch you have to protect your basement from future water damage from a flood.
Under-Powered Sump Pump
There are a variety of sump pumps available, each appropriate for different applications. Make sure your sump pump has the correct horsepower pump, capable of keeping up with your flow of water. If you’re unsure if the existing pump you have is adequate, call in a professional to check for you.
Outdated Sump Pump
It is generally recommended that sump pumps should be replaced every five to seven years in order to be effective. If you purchase a home with an existing sump pump, be sure to find out how old the sump pump itself is, and keep the five-year mark in mind to protect your basement from flooding should the sump pump fail.
In general, sump pumps are very effective at keeping basements from flooding, but should you experience a flood in your basement, contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at 602-386-4268. We’re available 24/7 to help with your water remediation needs.
SERVPRO’s Commercial Restoration Services Can Assist Businesses in a Disaster
Homeowners all over the country are aware of the professional restoration services offered by SERVPRO, from fire damage restoration to water or flood restoration to mold remediation. Did you know that SERVPRO can assist businesses during a disaster too? We offer commercial restoration services for businesses large and small. See how we can help your business should you experience a disaster.
Commercial water damage restoration services
Floods and other water damage can really impact a business. Excessive water can cause a business to close until the property is back to normal, which can cost a business a lot of money waiting for things to be restored back to pre-flood times. SERVPRO of Central Phoenix has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. Whether your water emergency occurs in a small office building or big box store, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.
Commercial fire damage restoration services
Even the smallest of fires can cause big headaches for businesses. First, you have to get the flames extinguished. Even after the fire is out, there is a lot of damage that needs to be addressed, whether its damage causes by flames, soot or smoke, or the remains of the chemicals firefighters used to extinguish the flames. SERVPRO knows how important it is to restore businesses as quickly as possible to reduce the opportunity for more damage (like mold growth if moisture isn’t removed) as well as reduce the time a business is closed. We know that every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity, which is why we offer fast and professional commercial fire damage restoration services 24/7.
Disaster recovery team
Aside from fire, water, floods, and mold, SERVPRO offers a complete disaster recovery team for businesses. This team can service a single location or locations across the country. The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is comprised of our best of the best in restoration. Our highly trained large-loss specialists are qualified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster to help get businesses back on their feet as quickly as possible, regardless of the disaster. Every large loss is supervised to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation. Our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor makes us uniquely qualified to help businesses during disasters.
If your small business experiences any kind of disaster, contact the professionals at SERVPRO 24/7 at 602-386-4268 to get back in business quickly.
Don’t Panic If You Have Mold in Your Home; It’s More Common Than You Think
After a particularly wet storm season, or if a leaky pipe has gone unnoticed, mold can begin to grow in your home. Left unchecked, mold damage can cause significant damage to your property, and there is a need to prevent its growth or conduct remediation procedures aimed at mitigating the resulting damage. If you find that you have mold, don’t panic; you’re not alone in having mold in your home. Here’s what you need to know.
What causes mold?
The primary cause of mold damage in Phoenix is moisture. Without it, mold cannot grow, and that means the secret to controlling mildew growth lies in regulating the moisture content in your property. Our SERVPRO technicians understand that the dampness in your property can be because of indirect water intrusion, direct water intrusion, and intermittent intrusion. Keep in mind that mold spores are everywhere, inside and outside homes, so while mold can never be removed, it’s damage and growth can be mitigated.
How water impacts mold growth
Direct intrusion takes place when your roof or plumbing system leaks, your windows are poorly sealed, or water runs off from bathtubs and showers. Our SERVPRO team has the skills and resources to fix these issues, so it’s crucial to call professionals immediately to prevent further damage. Indirect water intrusion is rising damp. That can happen when moisture seeps up from underground, and your property ends up with wet concrete slabs, furniture, cabinets, or carpets.
Intermittent water intrusion may be condensation that results from inadequate ventilation, vaporizers, humidifiers, high humidity, and high steam. To lower the moisture content and improve air quality, we may set up dehumidifiers. The role of these devices is to extract that additional moisture from the air. Regardless of how the water intrusion happens, all can lead to mold growth.
How SERVPRO addresses mold remediation
The first step is to locate the water source and stop additional moisture from happening. Once we dry the wet areas and stop moisture entry, we address any materials that may have been damaged by mold. These materials can either be cleaned or need to be removed, depending on the extent of the damage. After that, we can perform deodorization. SERVPRO uses thermal foggers that emit deodorizing agents that have antimicrobial capabilities to reduce the chances of mold growth. SERVPRO is certified by IICRC to do mold remediation, and has the right tools, following state regulations when doing our work.
SERVPRO of Central Phoenix is a trusted industry leader in mold remediation, and we take pride in our highly trained technicians. If you experience mold growth in your home, know that it’s more common than you think. Don’t panic, call us at (602) 386-4268 and be offered proven mold remediation services.
Handling Ash and Soot Cleanup After a Home Fire
Whenever a homeowner experiences a house fire, cleaning ash and soot residues becomes essential to get a home back to normal. Smoke created by a fire fills the house and leaves behind residue that’s difficult to clean. Soot residues discolor and ruin contents and building materials inside your house, which is why it’s important to address ash and soot cleanup after a home fire.
Replacing vs. cleaning damaged items
Replacing materials inside your home can get expensive, so cleaning items instead can save you money. SERVPRO's fire damage technicians in Phoenix use various approaches to cleaning during the mitigation process, depending on what is damaged by soot. The purpose of cleaning smoke-related damage is to restore the materials to the conditions they were before the fire.
Depending on the items, some cleaning methods work better in certain situations than others. The type of cleaning used depends on the kind of materials that got burned and the type of materials soot damaged.
Fundamentals of cleaning soot damaged items
There are four fundamental elements required to address residues so that they get removed effectively. The first element of cleaning is temperature. Heat increases the speed of chemical reactions in products. SERVPRO's restoration technicians always select the best temperature based on which chemical gets used and the material being cleaned. The next element is agitation. When soot-damaged materials get agitated, the residues get dislodged, and chemicals get distributed across the surface. When cleaning smoke-damaged surfaces, we agitate the surface with towels, brushes, air and water pressure, and sonic vibrations from ultrasonic machines. Soot residues also get cleaned through chemical action. Most chemicals get designed to cause a reaction with the soot, therefore assisting in its removal. The reactions that take place include dissolving, emulsifying, changing pH, oxidizing, bleaching, and digesting. The last element of cleaning is time. Most chemicals need time to appropriately react to the soot and work efficiently. The amount of time needed varies based on the product, type of residue and the kind of surface affected by soot.
Call the cleaning professionals if you experience a house fire
In most scenarios, soot gets cleaned the best by using a variety of elements and principles of cleaning. For professional help with cleaning residues call SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at (602) 386-4268 any time of the day. Our technicians will endeavor to restore all your possessions to pre-fire conditions to help you recover from the disaster of a house fire.
Water Remediation Services Can Keep Businesses Open After Water Damage
Businesses large and small are all working hard to keep open during recent times, especially with the holidays right around the corner, so if water damage occurs, it can present a big problem as well as the possibility of closing while water damage is addressed. SERVPRO strives to extract water and clean up water damage while your business remains operational.
How SERVPRO professionals mitigate water damage issues in businesses
The first and most important step when water damage occurs in a business is to secure the area; safety is always a top priority. Keeping foot traffic and other personnel away from the water damage protects people and property. After the source of the water damage is addressed, whether it’s a broken pipe or flooded dishwasher, the next step taken is to extract all the water from the structure as quickly as possible. SERVPRO's commercial water removal technicians then use equipment to dry the materials and contents inside the business. The final stage of the drying process is the cleaning and deodorization.
After the building is secured and the source of the problem gets fixed, our trained technicians begin the extraction process. The goal of extraction is to vacuum up as much water inside the business as possible while keeping the business open. We can extract water in small sections at a time so that we do not impede foot traffic. Depending on the situation and extent of the flooding, various types of water removal equipment is used. In most cases, a truck-mounted extractor can address the water issue, but in other scenarios, a portable one is more efficient and less intrusive during business hours. Depending on the surfaces affected, we use either light-weight extraction wands or heavy-duty extraction tools to get the job done. Some extraction tools are heavy-duty extraction systems using the bodyweight of the machine operator to compress the carpet making it easier to vacuum up water. If there are more than two inches of standing water present, a submersible pump gets used for pulling up the water more efficiently.
Drying out the business building
Upon final water removal, we then dry out the remainder of the moisture. We complete the drying process by creating the best environment to speed up the evaporation method. When technicians dry out a structure, different types of equipment are used depending on the situation. In most cases, air movers and dehumidifiers get set up in a way that uses dry air from the dehumidifiers to circulate hot, dry air around the affected room. The drying process also sometimes gets completed a small section at a time so that only a portion of your business is blocked off. Whenever possible, our trained professionals will endeavor to address the water problem while not being intrusive on the business operations.
Cleaning and deodorization of the property
After moisture levels return to preloss conditions, the final cleaning and deodorization stage takes place. We make sure that your business remains a clean, odor-free environment to continue to attract customers. For help from the experts if you experience water damage in your business, call SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at (602) 386-4268 24/7 to get the help you need to stay open for business.
Professional Cleanup Service After a Crime in Your Home
The stress of dealing with criminal activity in your home can be traumatizing. Having to deal with the aftermath cleanup is best left to the experts. Since the substances in need of disposal are often dangerous or difficult for a layperson to manage, it is best to engage a professional service. SERVPRO offers compassionate and properly trained technicians to put your home back in order.
When the unimaginable happens
If the unthinkable happens and you experience a crime or other trauma in our home, know that there are professionals who can assist in the crime scene cleanup. Our trauma and crime scene abatement team knows and follows applicable Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and rules when cleaning and restoring your house. SERVPRO will come through on our promise to make it “Like it never even happened,” when it comes to crime scene cleanup. After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of Central Phoenix will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.
What SERVPRO can assist with
Damage from fights, debris from firearms or other weapons, bodily fluids from victims or perpetrators alike, and the whole gambit of police evidence gathering materials end up bagged and taken from your premises. Carpets cleaned, walls washed, holes filled in and touched up with paint go a long way to restoring a sense of control and peace even after disruptive or deadly force shatters your quiet enjoyment of your home. Here is a list of all the situations we can assist with to get your home back to normal after a crime occurs:
- Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals
- Tear gas and pepper spray residues
- Fire extinguisher residue
- Blood, bodily fluids, and tissue remnants
SERVPRO of Central Phoenix has the training, technicians, and equipment to set you and your family on the path to trauma recovery. Call us at 602-386-4268 for fast, professional help from our kind, compassionate, and efficient team.
How to Deal with A Sewage Backup Problem
For homeowners and business owners alike, a sewer backup is an awful situation to deal with. The foul odors and the potential for extensive property damage are just the beginning of the problem. Cleanup requires a lot of time and hard work and is absolutely about as unpleasant as it gets. If you experience a sewage backup issue, learn what to do to get it handled correctly and safely.
The first steps when you experience sewage issues
Water from sewer system backups should be considered extremely dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses. Special training and equipment are necessary to safely clean this type of contamination. Sewage water contains a lot of potentially harmful bacteria, so do the following should you experience a backup in your home or business:
- Respond to damage immediately by keeping the spread of sewage water to a minimum.
- Keep people and pets out of the affected area.
- Wear protective clothing and gear while in the area, even if you’re not directly attempting cleanup.
- Open windows or doors to provide adequate ventilation, but don't run the air conditioning system.
Whether the backup is the result of trouble in a public sewer line or a flooded toilet in your home or business, take the same precautions to control the damage. Before you do any sewer cleanup work, turn off the electrical power to the area. If the switch is anywhere near the water, wear rubber boots and gloves and use a wooden stick or spoon to flip the switch. NEVER touch any type of electrical outlet, switch, etc., if you’re standing in water! If you’re at all unsure, don’t touch!
Tips for sewage backup
There are several other actions you should follow when dealing with a sewer backup, regardless of the source:
- Don't use the water in your home or building until you've had a safety inspection. Turn off the running water for showers and toilets as well as in your kitchen or any other area with access to water faucets.
- Remove any uncontaminated belongings and furnishings from the area. If contaminated, better not to touch, but if you must, protective gear is a must.
- Alert city authorities to the backup if it appears to be a public sewer issue.
- Call water damage restoration technicians like SERVPRO of Central Phoenix who have the training and the tools to thoroughly clean and disinfect your home or building.
- Contact your insurance company and notify them of the sewage situation. Take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes before the belongings are cleaned or repaired.
How SERVPRO can help with sewage issues
Sewage cleanup can involve different types of challenges depending on the type of water flooding you experience. “Gray water” or “black water” should be handled by professionals who know how to deal with sewage cleanup and restoration. Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible to prevent damage and other issues. SERVPRO technicians are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home or business. If you experience any kind of sewage issue, contact us 24/7 at 602-386-4268.
Can Your Fire Sprinkler System Cause Water Damage?
Fire sprinkler systems in commercial buildings are a must to keep a building protected should a fire break out. However, many commercial buildings have outdated sprinkler systems that may cause more harm than good if not properly maintained and inspected. So many of the older buildings might remain in compliance with adequate sprinkler fixtures but fail to take into consideration the aging of these pipes and their ability to fail with time, causing water damage.
What happens when fire sprinkler systems age
First, it’s important to understand that not all fire sprinkler systems are the same. Some systems accommodate a force-fed water supply designed to quickly extinguish flames. That’s ideal for getting a fire out, but a rupture of the lines could cause a significant amount of damage. Some of the older sprinkler systems did not get designed to be force fed water when there was no emergency in the building. Instead, when these pipes break or rupture, you are only emptying out the current contents of these pipes instead of an endless supply from your service lines. Even with this lessened condition, the network of fire prevention plumbing can contain a great volume of water. Aging pipes weaken, and connectors can go back. These and other conditions can lead to a fire sprinkler causing water damage.
Damage beyond just water
One of the biggest concerns beyond the substantial water damage for our SERVPRO team is the liquid itself coming from the pipes. It’s typical that the standing liquid in sprinkler systems is a mixture of water and an antifreeze solution. This chemical varies in thickness and color depending on the system, posing a considerable risk to anything housed in a commercial building. Unlike plain water, this liquid can cause staining, possible damage to materials, as well as possible odor, depending on the level and acidity of the antifreeze solution. That means that even for older systems that may not release a significant amount of water should it break; it can still cause damage.
What SERVPRO can do when a fire sprinkler system bursts
Should a sprinkler system fail, our SERVPRO technicians can get to work quickly on extracting the water and assessing the damage to fabrics, textiles, and carpeting in the commercial building throughout this process. This inspection guides our professionals towards additional cleaning approaches that might be necessary following the drying of the affected areas. Our trained water remediation specialists will focus on extracting the water, assessing the damage, and proposing a remediation solution for the best possible outcome.
Unfortunately, most commercial buildings don’t think about their fire sprinklers until something goes wrong. Making sure systems are functional enough to extinguish a fire isn’t enough. Systems need to be kept in good shape to avoid water damage as well. Even with best intentions, leaks and failures of sprinkler systems may happen. Fortunately, you can trust our SERVPRO of Central Phoenix restoration specialists to help you clean up your commercial property and get back to business as quickly as possible. Give us a call anytime at (602) 386-4268 to help you with all your water damage needs.
Protect Your Home from Fire with Smoke Alarms
While many homeowners know the value of smoke alarms and even have them installed in their homes, few take the time to make sure they’re professionally installed and in working order, which can render an alarm useless. You can protect your home from fire with smoke alarms. Learn more about them and your home to stay protected.
Why have a smoke alarm?
Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury by providing early detection. It can also help minimize damage to your own by early detection of smoke and fire, allowing for faster reaction to the situation. The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Here are a few tips regarding smoke alarm installation, testing and maintenance:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm beeps, the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Are smoke alarms enough to protect you?
Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, including your family pets, to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. Need help creating a fire escape plan? Red Cross put together a helpful fire escape plan that homeowners can use. While smoke alarms obviously can’t prevent a fire, early detection can protect your family’s safety, alerting them to get out of the home in case of fire, and possibly minimizing damage to the home by addressing the fire early.
What happens if you experience a fire?
When tragedy strikes and you experience a fire in your home, the first action is to exit the home quickly. Contact the fire department to extinguish the flames and then contact a fire remediation company like SERVPRO of Central Phoenix to help address the damage done by fire, smoke and fire extinguishing materials used by the fire department. From structural concerns to worsening effects that demand efficient mitigation tactics, our SERVPRO of Central Phoenix IICRC-Certified fire and smoke restoration technicians can help. We’ll address the damage and endeavor to make your home look like it never happened, addressing property damage as well as odors to help restore your home.
If you experience a fire in your home, or have questions about fire, smoke, or soot damage, call SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at (602) 386-4268. We’re here 24/7 to help!