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Building Containment During Mitigation After a Storm

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Building Containment During Mitigation After a Storm Only part of this room was affected, so it was sectioned off with plastic to prevent unaffected areas from becoming contaminated.

Sometimes our crews need to move through unaffected areas of a home or business to get debris from the affected area to a disposal site. When that happens, our crews build containment chambers to prevent dust from spreading to the unaffected areas. Containment chambers are also built to reduce the amount of air being dried, which can speed up drying times.

On this job, ice dams formed in multiple places which allowed water to come into the building. The affected ceiling tiles and insulation had to be removed. The crews used plastic sheeting to construct containment so that the unaffected areas would not be contaminated. Once demolition was completed, the containment helped the affected areas dry significantly faster, with less equipment for a more cost effective job.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Happy St. Patrick's Day from SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties Think green this St. Patrick's Day and choose SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties!

SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties is thrilled to be celebrating St. Patricks Day this year! Here are some fun facts about St. Patricks Day:

  • St. Patrick’s Day is an annual feast day celebrating the patron saint the day is named after on his death date, March 17th.
  • Most people, whether they are Irish or not, wear green on this day. One of the Irish traditions is to pinch anyone who is not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • St. Patrick’s Day has become a holiday all around the world and for one day out of the year anyone can be Irish and join in the celebration.
  • The leprechaun is a small Irish fairy. He is dressed like a shoemaker, with pointed shoes and a hat. He also wears a leather apron. Leprechauns are supposed to be unfriendly little men who live alone in the forest, spending all of their time making shoes and guarding their treasures. If someone catches a leprechaun, he will be forced to tell where he hides all his pots of gold. However, the leprechaun must be watched at all times. If his captor looks away, the leprechaun will vanish along with his treasure.
  • Since 1962, the Chicago River is dyed kelly green during the celebration. Forty tons of dye is dumped into the river which changes color for four to five hours.
  • The shamrock is Ireland’s national flower. It is also one of the main symbols of St. Patrick, which represents the Holy Trinity. The three-leafed plant is often used as a badge.
  • It’s a common mistake to confuse a four-leaf clover and a shamrock. The four-leaf clover is considered lucky because they’re generally hard to find.

Happy St. Patrick's Day !

Why Plumbers Refer SERVPRO

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Why Plumbers Refer SERVPRO Plumbers call SERVPRO because they know time is the most important factor in determining how much damage there is to a home after a water damage.

Most homeowners have a plumber they know and trust to fix leaky pipes, install new appliances and help maintain their home. Did you know that most plumbers have a water damage company that they prefer to recommend? Plumbers are often the first onsite when a sump pump fails or a dishwasher overflows. They can fix the problem by replacing the sump pump or repairing the dishwasher, but they do not have the tools or training to make sure the surrounding structure is dry. That is why they call SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties. They know that they can trust us to remove any standing water, provide professional advice on what can be saved and what must be replaced, work with insurance to get payment quickly and dry the remaining structure. Plumbers are at water damages all the time, so they know what can happen if they are allowed to sit. They recommend calling us right away to minimize the damage saving you money, time completing repairs and making it, "Like it never even happened."

Lake Effect Rain in Northwest Indiana

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Lake Effect Rain in Northwest Indiana This photo shows a home affected by the recent storms. Our crews had to remove the affected drywall and flooring because the ejector pump failed.

Its the beginning of the rainy season in Northwest Indiana. Don't forget to check your basement periodically to make sure that your sump pump and ejector pump are working and keeping up with the increased amount of rain. Lake effect rain can make a small storm swell into a large one and drop several extra inches of rain in a short period of time. This extra rain can quickly overwhelm your drainage system resulting in a wetter-than-desired basement. There are several steps you can take to prevent your basement from being flooded. Make sure you have a sump pump installed, along with a backup. Keep a generator on-hand in case your power goes out, so that you can keep your sump pump powered during heavy rainstorms. Keep your gutters clear and make sure downspouts are directing water away from your foundation.

If all else fails and your basement does flood, give us a call at 219-779-7577 to remove the water and dry your home so that you do end up with mold.

Pets Affected by Water Damage and Mold

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Pets Affected by Water Damage and Mold This cat surveys the recent, unplanned changes to his home from a frozen pipe.

Did your house recently have a water damage? Have you considered the affect it could have on your pets? Any time a structure has a water damage the potential for mold growth exists. Water caused the ceiling to collapse in this home after a pipe broke. The homeowner was out of town for several days before the water damage was discovered. This was long enough for microbial growth, including mold to grow on many of the home's surfaces.

This photo shows part of the home from our initial inspection. You can see the homeowner's furry friend is still not sure how to respond to the change in his home. The mold growth can reduce the air quality in the home and while this cat may not be able to say it verbally, he is affected by the mold growth just as much as his human companions.

Both the customer and his feline friend were able to breathe much easier when our crews completed water mitigation and mold remediation.

Ozone to Eliminate Fire Odors

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Ozone to Eliminate Fire Odors An ozone generator is being used to deodorize a home after a fire. Ozone is heavier than air so the generator is set on a ladder for maximum results.

Ozone is a chemical which can be used to neutralize odors. It is made out of three Oxygen atoms, which is not a very stable configuration. This makes it very reactive, because it wants to convert into Oxygen molecules, which are made out of two Oxygen atoms and are significantly more stable. Ozone works to neutralize odor molecules by reacting with them to create Oxygen atoms and other less stinky molecules.

We use Ozone generators after many fire damages to neutralize odors in homes, businesses and in our warehouse on personal property. It is a very effective process and works on most odors and materials. Care must be taken not to expose elastic and certain rubbers to ozone because it can react with them and break them down. Our SERVPRO technicians are trained to determine which deodorization method is best for each project. One of the many benefits to Ozone is that because it causes a chemical reaction, the odor is unlikely to return as long as everything has been thoroughly cleaned.

One of the caveats is that the Ozone generator creates Ozone by removing Oxygen from the environment, which makes it impossible to breathe while it is running. We only use Ozone when structures are unoccupied to avoid problems with this. Once the generator is turned off, the environment will refill with Oxygen as the Ozone reacts with odor molecules making the space safe to inhabit again. Our technicians weigh the pros and cons of each deodorization method to determine which method or combination of methods is most appropriate for each project.

Microbial Growth on Contents After Water Damage

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Microbial Growth on Contents After Water Damage The mold in this photo started growing after this end table was left in a water damaged basement for a week while the homeowner was out of town.

Microorganisms can grow very quickly in the right environment. One microorganism you might be familiar with is mold, which can grow into very large colonies on a variety of surfaces. There are hundreds of different species of mold and each has its own preferred environment. Most like warm, wet environments, but you can have microbial growth even in colder climates like your refrigerator!

Just like mold can survive in a variety of temperatures, it can also survive on a variety of surfaces. Some mold grows best on materials such as drywall and carpet, others grow best on fruits and food like bread. Most are not very picky and will make due with what they can get. The mold in this photo started growing after this end table was left in a water damaged basement for a week while the homeowner was out of town.

Temporary Power After Fire Damage

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Temporary Power After Fire Damage This generator is being used to power both temporary lighting and air scrubbers to make it safe for our technicians to work.

Last week we discussed the importance of air scrubbers when people are in a structure after a fire damage. What we didn't cover is what to do when a home has no power to run those air scrubbers. Fortunately, at SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties we have a solution. We are able to supply small generators for most fire projects that require temporary power to run air scrubbers and lights. We can also supply large generators capable of powering enough drying equipment to dry large homes and businesses. When possible, we recommend having an electrician evaluate the home or business's electrical system to see if part or all of the system can be used. When using the existing electrical is not possible, trust us to supply the power we need to complete mitigation and make it, "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties is ready to respond at all times to major storms

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties is ready to respond at all times to major storms Through Tornadoes, Hurricanes, or Winter Storms, SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties is Ready to Respond to Them All.
Through Tornadoes, Hurricanes, or Winter Storms, SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties is Ready to Respond to Them All.

SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties joined the Storm Response Program that is in place throughout the Unites States to assist in times of major disaster. The Storm Response program is four geographically based teams of franchises that is capable of managing catastrophic events from small local microbursts to massive hurricane responses that handle thousands of incidents that bring in hundreds of tons of equipment and even thousands of crews. Storm Team members are committed to being in a constant state of readiness to respond in a storm affected area.

SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton, and Southern Lake Counties is constantly reviewing prior storm events to determine how we can improve our response and capabilities. We have dedicated supplies, equipment, vehicles and a Storm Response trailer in our fleet that is stocked with supplies that are dedicated to a quick and efficient response.

The Importance of Air Scrubbers on Fire Damages

2/3/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Importance of Air Scrubbers on Fire Damages Check out this air scrubber in action on a recent fire damage.

Does the smell of a campfire bring back fond memories? The same smell can be found in a house after a fire damage, although it can vary based on what burned. Unfortunately, that smell is strongly associated with poor air quality. At SERVPRO of Benton, Jasper, Newton and Southern Lake Counties we always recommend using air scrubbers to improve the air quality after a house fire until demolition and cleaning are completed. This is done for both your safety and the safety of our workers. It is virtually impossible to know exactly what burned in every fire, and many building materials and personal property can undergo chemical reactions when they are burned resulting in unsafe particles in the air. Our HEPA-filtered air scrubbers are capable of getting almost all of these dangerous particles out of the air, resulting in a safer environment for everyone. Partnered with personal protective equipment, air scrubbers help make your home cleaner and safer.