Checking Your Attic for Water Damage
Your attic will be one of the main places where damage from heavy rainfall can occur, and then mold growth becomes a possible concern - that’s not anything a homeowner wants. It is one of the places in your home that you won’t visit regularly; usually, a trip up to the attic is only made when you need something you have put up for a rainy day. It’s important to check your attic area periodically for leaks and water damage, especially after winter or other damp seasons, depending on your geographic location.
Some houses have water heaters in the attic, and they are known to leak as they age. Your attic will also take the brunt of storms, right along with your roof. When the roof sustains damage such as loose or missing roofing material, you will probably see water stains in the attic, letting you know a problem is developing.
Follow these tips to help you keep on top of any water damage to your attic:
- Check your attic for damage regularly. It’s important to assess your attic space as often as you check other parts of your home. You’ll want to make sure this area isn’t holding water, which can spread to problems with your interior ceilings.
- Check your roofing after extremely damp or severe weather. It’s crucial to check all roofing after a strong storm and/or high winds to ensure it is still intact.
- Make sure a water heater located in the attic of your home is working properly. If your water heater isn’t functioning the way it should, or if it has seen better days, have it checked by a professional. A malfunctioning water heater can flood your home and cause major property damage.
Here at SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties, we are always ready to help with cleanup after water damage and fire damage and are experts in the area of mold remediation. Call us at (419) 442 1790 with questions or concerns, or to schedule an appointment if you are in the greater Seneca areas, including Bloomville, Green Springs, Greenwich, and many, many more!
The Difference Between Mold Removal and Mold Remediation
Mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere. They can be found both indoors and out, and since they are microscopic, they cannot be detected by the naked eye until an entire colony has formed. Removing all mold from a home or business is actually impossible to do, so mold remediation is the focus when it comes to mold.
Some professional restoration businesses choose to advertise mold removal, and even go so far as to guarantee total removal of all mold, but this is not really possible. A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and its growth. The SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties team has the training and expertise in remediation of the mold in your home or business; mold remediation means that the focus will be on getting mold back to its normal and natural level.
Every situation where mold damage is found is going to be totally different and therefore will require a specific solution, but in general, the mold remediation process remains the same.
If you believe that you have an unnatural mold situation, call our team at SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties to schedule an inspection and mold damage assessment. We will take steps to contain the mold and filtrate the air of the area affected, and all mold and materials will be removed, and we’ll ensure that the contents and belongings of the area will be cleaned thoroughly. We will then undertake the restoration of your property and make sure you are mold-damage free.
Here are some things home and business owners need to be aware of when it comes to mold:
- Mold spores float along in the air and can enter a home or business through windows, doors, or HVAC systems. They can even hitch a ride on your pet!
- Mold is microscopic; don’t expect to always see it with your naked eye.
- Mold growth can happen in as little as 48 hours. The spores thrive on moisture, so even a higher-than-normal humidity level indoors can encourage the growth of mold colonies.
- Mold produces a strong musty odor.
- Mold produces irritants and can be hazardous to your health.
Call us here at SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties at (419) 443 1790 to discuss mold remediation for your home or business. If you are in the Greater East Seneca area, such as in Port Clinton, Sandusky, or Huron, give us a call for any fire damage or water damage restoration needs!
Last Minute Home Cleaning Tips for Thanksgiving
The week before Thanksgiving is the time that you begin to wonder why in the world you offered to host this family event last year. How did 51 weeks pass so quickly? Now there’s the shopping to do, and the school events, and picking people up from the airport, and airing out the guest rooms….and the cleaning. It might seem difficult to see how this will all get done with your already busy schedule, but we want to share a few tips with you today that might be helpful for last-minute cleaning:
- Kitchen Tips. Gather clutter together and put it in a laundry basket in the laundry room. Crisis cleaning is all about making things look tidy and forgetting about organization right at the moment. Spray the counters with cleaner and wipe down, and then attack the appliances, the sink bowl, and the faucets. Sweep or vacuum the floor, and spot clean. Spray air freshener. Check for any visible water damage or possible mold growth.
- Bathroom Tips. Turn the fan on to remove odors and use fragrant candles before guests arrive. Put cleaner in the toilet bowl and let it sit for a while, while cleaning mirrors and polishing chrome. Wipe down the counters and clean the toilet thoroughly. Replace all the towels with ones that are freshly washed and sweep the floor; spot clean here. Spray air freshener. Like the kitchen, check for mold growth or visible water damage.
- Guest Room Tips. Get rid of clutter by moving to the laundry area or a similar area of your home that guests will not frequent. Shake out curtains and change the sheets. Fluffing pillows will give the room a fresh look. Dust the furniture and don’t neglect the head and footboard of the bed. Polish reflective surfaces. Sweep or vacuum flooring, and spray air freshener. Scent sprayed onto a cool light bulb will freshen the room when the light is used. Fragrant candles are a nice touch here as well.
- Living Room Tips. Toss the clutter into the laundry basket and remove any trash. Straighten and fluff pillows and fold blankets. Wipe away food spills and dust the furniture, polishing reflective surfaces. Make sure you remove pet hair with a damp cloth from seating and eating areas, especially. Move furniture to look neat and regular; this adds to the overall clean and neat look of the room. Vacuum or sweep the flooring, and spot clean. Spray air freshener.
- Entryway Tips. First impressions are made here, so take care that it looks great. Shake off the Welcome mat, and polish the reflective surfaces. Sweep the front step, and clan all glass. Remove shoes and clutter from this area and place out of view.
- Finishing Touch Tips. Empty all the trash bins throughout the house. Add a hospitality touch to the guest room by providing tissues, reading materials, and a water carafe with glass. For a welcoming scent when guests arrive, simmer two cups of water, two whole cloves, a cinnamon stick, and half an apple, orange, or lemon on the stove for an hour or so beforehand.
- Start Cooking!
Here at SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties, we wish you the best 2018 holiday season ever! If you live in the greater Huron area, including Gibsonburg, Attica, Bloomville, or other surrounding areas, we are here to help with all of your water damage, fire damage, or mold growth restoration needs.
Mold Removal Tips for Your Bathroom
Due to the large amounts of water used in your bathroom, it is one of the most susceptible areas of your house when it comes to water damage and mold growth. You’ll need to practice preventive measures to ensure that you don’t develop serious mold growth in the bathing areas of your home, and have some cleaning tips on hand when mold takes hold. Once mold has established itself in an area, it can come back even more quickly every time the humidity rises.
Here are some tips to preventing mold in the first place:
- Paint your bathroom with paint that is mold-resistant. Products of this type are readily accessible at your local hardware or home goods store.
- When doing any type of repair or renovation in the bathroom area, check with a professional to find any available products that contain mold-resistant ingredients, such as flooring and drywall.
- Avoid standing water in this area of the home. During floor cleaning, use less water than you might otherwise, and always dry off countertops after cleaning, paying special attention to cracks and crevasses. Another great tip is to keep your bath area well-ventilated to help further prevent long-standing water damage and mold growth.
- Keep an eye on the cabinets under the sinks and around the toilet for leaks from hoses and pipes leading to walls. Clean behind and underneath them well on a regular basis and take a good look while you are completing this task.
- There are products on the market that are great for cleaning mold, but some of the best might just be found around your home. Here are a few:
Using Hydrogen Peroxide:
- Pour 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and saturate the moldy surface completely. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Scrub the area to remove all mold and mold stains and then wipe down surfaces to remove residual mold and spores.
- Pour white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle - do not water down. Spray the solution onto moldy surfaces and let it sit for one hour. Wipe the area clean with water and allow to dry thoroughly; any odors from the vinegar should be gone within a few hours.
- Baking soda can also be used along with the vinegar to kill different mold species.
Using Baking Soda:
- Add ¼ tablespoon baking soda to a spray bottle of water and shake until dissolved. Spray the moldy area with the solution and use the scrubbing brush to remove all mold from surfaces. Rinse the area with water to remove any residual mold.
- Spray the surface a second time and let dry thoroughly; this will kill any left-over mold and prevent it from returning.
The team at SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca Counties is ready to help you with any water damage concerns or mold growth or issues in your home or business in the greater Huron and Seneca areas, including Norwalk, Clyde, Bellevue, and more! We are also available for cleanup after fire damage. Call us today at (419) 443 1790.
Storm-Proofing Your Garage
Your garage is one of the most vulnerable areas in your home when it comes to the high winds, flying debris, and large amounts of water that come with violent weather. Here are some tips to stormproof your garage:
Install a garage door with a high wind-resistance rating. Storms that bring with them extreme levels of wind will cause the most damage; when a garage is breached, the winds will batter the rest of your home. Water will start to come in, and even just an inch of water can cause unwanted, and costly, damage. If you live in a tornado-prone area, it’s recommended that you invest in a door that can withstand winds of 130 mph or higher. Doors with high impact-ratings will protect your home and belongings from flying debris, as well.
Install a bracing system. You can reinforce your garage door with strong bracing. Most garage doors are secured only by the tracks or hinges, which will be vulnerable to damage during a powerful storm. A bracing system works by anchoring the door to the walls and floors and into each hinge, giving it the extra strength and protection necessary to withstand violent weather.
Maintain your garage door. If there are any holes, cracks or breaches, these will allow storm winds through your garage door. Perform a monthly inspection, looking for any potential issues such as these, as well as problems with the weather stripping or any parts of the garage door mechanisms and functionality. Perform the needed maintenance as soon as possible to stay in storm-readiness, making sure the projects are completed before heavy weather hits your area.
Secure all windows. If you have windows in your garage, these will also be weak points during extreme weather. Ensure they are in good repair and that the weather stripping is doing its job. Having wrought-iron window protection installed can go a long way to protect your glass from flying debris, such as rocks or tree limbs, as well.
Install drainage and flood vents. Make sure that the garage of your home is properly outfitted for the drainage of large amounts of water. You can have a trench drain installed in front of this area and on the sides of your driveway to divert water, and flood vents inside the garage can drain any water coming inside quickly before levels rise and cause water damage or mold growth down the line, and thus preventing the need for mold removal!
Contact us here at SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca for help after house and business fires or if your property has sustained water damages. Mold remediation is also one of our specialties! Call us at (419) 443 1790, or visit our website for more information. We offer our services to a wide area across the greater East Seneca areas. If you are in the greater Tiffin area, including Fremont, Monroeville, and many others, we are here to assist you!
Utilizing a Dehumidifier in Your Home
Humid conditions can cause many health related issues; some can be severe. Optimal humidity levels are between 30 - 50%, with around 45% being the most desirable, and utilizing a dehumidifier can help to maintain indoor humidity at these comfortable levels, keeping the air in your indoor spaces healthy. This can both save you money and help you avoid any number of risks, such as potential mold growth.
Here are 3 ways dehumidifiers can help you at home:
- MOLD AND MILDEW. Mildew emits a strong odor, which can affect your entire home. Leaving clothing in the washer too long when humidity is high, they can become "mildewy" and will need to be re-washed, which only adds to your water and energy bills, as well as that moldy smell. Since mold growth and mildew thrive in warm, moist environments, dehumidifiers help keep them in check and will prevent the need for mold remediation and mold removal in the future.
- COMFORT. As your body temperature rises, your body releases sweat to help cool you down. When humidity is at an optimal level, your sweat evaporates into the air, leaving you cool and dry, but when air molecules that are already saturated with water have no room to absorb further water, you will feel wet, sticky, and uncomfortable. Bacteria is another organism that thrives in humid environments, and minor cuts and injuries are more susceptible to infection when that’s the case. Some minor medical issues can also be made worse by humidity, such as acne, athlete's foot and some respiratory conditions.
- HVAC SUPPORT. When air molecules are ladened with water, it makes them harder to heat or cool down. For example: a pan only half full of water will heat and cool more quickly and efficiently than a pan that is full, and the same is true of air molecules that are half filled with water, like when humidity levels are at 50% or above. A dehumidifier will help your HVAC system heat up and cool down your home faster and more efficiently by reducing the water in the air, which can significantly save you cooling and heating costs.
Contact SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca for all your cleanup projects, both large and small, and remember that we are mold remediation experts! Our phone number is (419) 443 1790. We offer our services to a wide area across the greater East Seneca areas, including Sandusky, Castalia, Milan, and more!
Five Professional Methods Used to Clean Up Smoke Damage in Your Home
Fire, smoke, and soot will affect everything in your home, from the structure itself to your appliances and personal belongings. After a fire, contacting a cleaning professional will be very helpful. The SERVPRO team of Huron and East Seneca Counties knows how to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.
SERVPRO specializes in restoring the contents of a home that have received fire damage or water damage. They will assess all your belongings carefully to determine what items can be restored to their “pre-fire” condition. Here are five steps that a professional cleaning company can use to get you back to normal after a fire:
- Foam cleaning. This method is used for upholstery since it can shrink or bleed if water is used.
- Dry cleaning. This method is used to clean light residue.
- Wet cleaning. This is a very effective cleaning method used to remove moderate to heavy residues.
- Immersion cleaning. This method is one where items are dipped into a bath of cleaning product.
- Document/photo restoration. Here at SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca Counties, we are experienced in document and photo restoration. In the event that vital records or personal heirlooms have been damaged, we can use professional methods to bring these items back to their original state.
Electronics that have been damaged by fire present a serious hazard; never attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that could possibly have been affected! Smoke residue contains acids that corrode metal and that can cause electronic failure in a device. You will want to be very careful with your computers (both PC and laptop), televisions, video game consoles, and cd/DVD players. When it comes to your smartphone, relay on a professional for help here, too.
If the damage to your home or business is such that it will need extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca Counties can organize an efficient move-out process of all affected areas. Removing your items from places that have sustained smoke damages will aid in a quicker remodeling process and will protect your property. After the restoration is complete, move-in can be coordinated easily. If you have sustained fire damage to your home, visit us on our website or call us today for assistance: (419) 443 1790. We offer our services to a wide area across the greater East Seneca areas, including Milan, Lakeside Marblehead, New London, and more!
Caring for the HVAC in Your Commercial Buildings
For the care of your HVAC systems in your commercial buildings, engaging a professional HVAC company to do maintenance on your system every spring and fall will ensure that the heating and cooling of your property is running as efficiently as possible. Inspection and cleaning of the wiring and mechanisms of all your HVAC units will be completed, which requires the kind of training these professionals have. The experience and expertise of such a company is invaluable to any business owner since the comfort of all interiors and the energy efficiency of the buildings themselves is important to residents, tenants, and the owner alike.
Here are some things you can do yourself as a commercial business owner both monthly and seasonally to maintain and prolong the life and efficiency of all your units and systems in between professional maintenance visits:
- Use high efficiency, pleated air filters. These types of filters have an electrostatic charge that works like a magnet to attract particles, such as those that carry bacteria.
- Keep HVAC units free of grass, leaves, and pollen. Make sure landscaping companies don’t allow grass to shower on top of any exterior units on the grounds.
- Clear two feet of space around all outdoor heating and cooling units.
- Inspect refrigerant lines each month.
- Replace air filter at least every 90 days.
- In summer, turn off the water to the furnace humidifier.
- In fall, replace the humidifier filter and turn on the water.
- Replace your carbon monoxide detector battery.
- Ensure outdoor AC unit is on firm and level ground.
- Clean AC condensate drain with bleach/water mixture.
Have your professional maintenance company check all your ductwork to make sure it’s sealed properly when they come to tune-up your HVAC. For more energy savings, preprogram the thermostats in your building.
Here at SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca, we care about you and your business. When it comes to caring for the HVAC system in your commercial building, we are here to help. Visit our website, or call us today at: (419) 443-1790. We offer our services to a wide area across the greater East Seneca areas, including Green Springs, Milan, Wakeman, and more!
Top Three Places to Check for Water Damage
Anywhere you use water on a regular basis in your home is a place that can sustain water damages. Doing regular inspections of areas in your home or business that are most likely to develop these damages due to leaks and spills will allow you to take care of issues before they can become serious.
Here are the top three areas to check regularly for water damage:
Your laundry room. With the large appliances that are found in your laundry room, you will also find those nooks and crannies that are not cleaned as often, since these appliances are not easy to move. A small leak behind your washing machine can go unnoticed for quite some time and create large issues down the road. Add to that little drip the humidity in the air, and you have a recipe for the establishment of a mold colony, causing the need for mold remediation. Enlist help, pull the washer and dryer out from the wall regularly, and make sure the areas behind them are clean, dry, and disinfected.
You bathroom. If you are like most people, your bathrooms are cleaned thoroughly at least once a week, and these times are great for checking for leaks and drips. Look in the least traveled spots, such as behind the toilet and under your sink. If there are any leaks in these places, they can be a danger until they are fully dry. You may want to invest in a dehumidifier, as well, to prevent mold growth.
Your kitchen. This room is often described as the most popular room in the house, where everyone tends to congregate, cooking and drinking beverages. Lots of liquids are used here! Keep an eye out for spills and clean them up immediately to ensure that they are not attracting mold spores and insects, and check under your sink regularly, to avoid damages. Underneath the sink and refrigerator are places that can be damaged by water without anyone noticing, so get out your flashlight and make sure you see every corner clearly. If you find any mold growth, you should begin mold removal treatment immediately.
In addition to these top three places, other areas that can experience water damage are basements and cellars, covered patios and decks, and closets.
The team at SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca Counties is ready to help you with any water damage concerns or issues in your home or business in the greater Huron and Seneca areas, including Norwalk, Clyde, Bellevue, and more! Large-scale cleanups after flooding and fire are our specialties, and we are mold remediation experts, too. Call us at (419) 442 1790, or visit our website.
Preparing Your Home for Winter Storms in Ohio
Here at SERVPRO of Huron & East Seneca Counties, we advise area homeowners to prepare homes and property for the coming winter storm season. Extreme weather can lead to power outages and disruption of communications, while damaging personal and business property and belongings. People even lose their lives in winter weather. Auto accidents on icy or snowbound roads and fires from improper heating methods are some of the main ways these tragedies can happen, while flooding and large snow accumulations can cause travel to become extremely dangerous and even deadly. It’s important to be prepared for many different serious situations to occur during winter here in Ohio.
Here are some essential safety tips you can observe to get ready for the coming winter season:
- Trim bushes and trees. Remove dead trees and tall bushes and all broken branches from around your home. These can cause injury and damage the roof of your house if they fall during extreme weather involving wind, ice, or heavy snow accumulation.
- Clear clogged rain gutters. When snow melts, it needs to be able to flow down your rain gutters and away from your roofing. If there is dirt and debris left in your gutters from last spring, the water will pool and begin to back up, possibly damaging even interior wall spaces in your home, and this can even lead to mold growth, causing a need for mold removal on top of the storm damage. A rain gutter that is full of dirt can become heavy and can pull away from the building, creating another set of issues.
- Check chimney and heating equipment. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned after winter and again before it comes around again, to prevent chimney fires. Your HVAC system also needs to be inspected, and all ducts clear and ready for use. Change out all your filters in the system, as well. If any space heaters are to be used, make sure they are in great shape and that everyone in the house knows the proper way to use them and when. They should never be left on if there is no one in the room.
The team at SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca Counties cares about your safety and the safety of your loved ones and your property, and we operate in the greater Tiffin and Sandusky areas, including Fremont, Willard, and many more cities in the area! We are experts in water damage restoration, as well as fire damage cleanup and restoration. You can call us any time at (419) 443 1790.