Do you have storm damage?
Storm near Athens yesterday
With the storms that moved through our area last evening, we are hoping that everyone is safe and did not suffer any damage. If you did happen to have damage to your home due to the weather, please remember that we are here to help. SERVPRO of Limestone and Lawrence Counties is equipped to handle jobs of any size.
Residential Dryer Fire
Laundry room dryer fire
It is very important that you make sure to clean the lint trap in your dryer frequently. Lint build up can cause the dryer in your home to catch fire. This fire could have been a lot worse if the homeowner was not home at the time of the fire.
Green Means Clean
Happy St. Patrick's Day
Remember on this St. Patrick's Day weekend that Green means Clean. We are here to help 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
2018 Limestone County Home and Garden Show
SERVPRO booth at the 2018 Limestone County Home and Garden show.
SERVPRO of Limestone and Lawrence Counties participated in the Limestone County Home and Garden show last month. The rain did not keep people from coming out and enjoying this great event.
2018 Hospice of Limestone County Chili Challenge
Marketing Representative Penny Stevens (right) and Marketing Manager Julie Lowery (left).
We had such a great time participating in the Hospice of Limestone County Chili Challenge again this year. It was great to help raise money for such a great cause. We went with a very "basic" Chili this year and it was a huge hit!!!
Burn Marks and Stains In Your Home
Fire Burn Marks and Stains
Even if burns are not very deep, fire can leave obvious visual blemishes across a home. Stains and burn marks can happen to any material, from wallpaper to wood to glass to laminate, and each of these materials and types of burns can require a different approach to clean up properly. This complicated burning result is why many companies fail to adequately solve the problem: they simply lack the training or equipment necessary to handle a broad array of situations. SERVPRO technicians are trained extensively and have access to a franchise supply of tools to ensure that every job gets done right the first time. We are also part of a national network for disaster mitigation.
Superficial Burn Marks
Many burns from fire damage are, aside from their visual appearance, virtually harmless for the building in question. Aside from discoloration and perhaps a layer of smoke residue, these burns have done very little to degrade the material they coat. Typically, these are easy for our technicians to deal with, requiring only a thorough cleaning with professional grade detergents, hand tools, sponges, and repainting. Another issue, for a future article, explores the problems associated with smoke odors and how to eliminate their pervasiveness.
Some types of smoke may leave stains on various materials, especially when mixed with water. Here is where SERVPRO’s flexibility comes into play: smoke can be tough to remove without damaging many materials. To name a few materials, upholstery, wood, carpet, fabric, and tile grout all require careful attention to adequately and safely clean away the smoke. Smoke and soot can dig deep into a material, sometimes requiring thorough washing or dry cleaning to remove effectively. The nature of the smoke, whether it is wet or dry, is a key factor in utilizing correct IICRC best practices for restoration. We realize the acidic nature of this combusted residue and how pitting can harm many surfaces.
When a fire has burned around an object or surface, it usually causes both visual and structural damage. Materials are often heavily degraded or deformed, and discoloration is typically pervasive. Again, different materials can require different approaches, with flammables such as wood, fabric, and upholstery requiring especially extensive restorations or perhaps replacement.
SERVPRO of Limestone and Lawrence Counties is a local fire damage restoration company with national backing and resources. Call us as soon as possible after a fire at 256 233 4033.
Electrical Fire Damage
They can begin small, but electrical fires can spread fast, especially if it is inside a socket and able to travel through the wall before you realize there is a fire. Since the way in which these fires start is unique, they also require special measures when dealing with them. Prevention is, of course, the first step, however, in case you have one in your home, you should be prepared how to react. As with any fire, if it is growing too quickly or is unsafe, evacuate you and your family and pets right away.
You should shut down the power source from the electrical panel to help deter more fire damage to your home. The simplest way to do this is to access the main. Be sure you know where your circuit box is and never obscure your path to it. Once the power is cut, spray the fire with a Class C chemical extinguisher. You can also use baking soda. Do not ever use water since it is a conductor and can electrocute you. Do not restore power until a licensed electrician checks your wiring.
SERVPRO, a licensed fire damage remediation company, can then come in to repair any damages and clean up soot and smoke left behind.
Basic steps can deter electrical shorts and sparks from leading to full blown blazes. Begin by not overloading circuits, maintaining electronics and appliances with care, and regularly inspecting your wiring. Exposed or frayed wires should be replaced to stop the risk of shorts. Plus, cut the power to your home so you can open and inspect outlets, looking for singles or frayed wiring which suggests an electrical problem.
Never leave any space heaters, stoves, or electric blankets on while you are not home, and keep a good eye on portable heating units, placing them three feet or more away from curtains and furniture. Also, put these devices on sturdy, hard surfaces to eliminate the risk of tipping over. Check your fire detectors twice a year and cut power from any appliance that begins to smell strange, smoke, or run erratically.
Our staff at SERVPRO are specially trained to handle damage after an electrical fire. We repair any damages, plus clean up soot and smoke, deodorize the affected area and dry up any water from firefighting efforts if necessary.
SERVPRO arrives at your home quickly after receiving your call for help. You can reach us anytime by dialing (256) 233 4033 so do not hesitate to call.
Prevent Grill Fires this Summer
Summer bring the peak outdoor cooking season to North America, with U.S. grill masters "reaching for their spatulas, eager to usher in the long-awaited cooking season," notes the National Fire Protection Association, which is already asking grillers to follow smart cooking safety precautions. NFPA's most recent "Home Grill Fires" report indicated three out of five households own a gas grill, and from 2009 to 2013, an annual average of 8,900 home fires involved grills, hibachis, or barbecues and almost half of all grilling injuries involved thermal burns.
Grilling fires peak in July in the United States, followed by May, June, and August as the months with the highest numbers.
All types of grills pose a risk for fires and burn injuries, NFPA reports, adding that 27 percent of home grill fires started on an exterior balcony or open porch; another 27 percent started in a courtyard, terrace, or patio; and 8 percent began in the kitchen. "As friends and families get ready for the grilling season, make sure the grill is working properly and review safety tips," said Lorraine Carli, vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA. "The leading causes of home grilling fires are failing to properly clean the grill or having a flammable object too close to the grill. It's also important to check the grill for damage before using it for the first time each year and then to check it regularly."
NFPA offers these tips for grilling safely:
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed away from the home or deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Children and pets should be at least 3 feet away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grates and trays below.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
For more information and resources, visit www.nfpa.org/grilling.
Humidity and Mold
Humidity can cause mold
Usually, something fairly obvious like a leak or a flood is the cause of a mold outbreak. You trust this to be the rule to explain mold growth, so microbial activity in non-water damaged areas of your home take you completely by surprise. SERVPRO knows microbial outbreaks do not always play by the rules, but we have confidence in our mold remediation methods.
Why would mold damage be a problem in your home if the roof is sound and all plumbing up to date? Many homes have central air conditioning or window units to minimize the discomfort of extreme heat and excessive moisture in the air. If your air conditioning system malfunctions or underperforms the air quality in your home suffers, feeling moist and sticky.
Humidity in your home of more than 60 percent supports mold growth even without any water seeping out of leaky pipes, a hole in the roof, or other water flooding situations. If you try to save on energy use by running your air conditioner infrequently or not at all when the humidity is high, do not be surprised that mold damage is an unintended consequence. When SERVPRO hears a story of mold growth absent an obvious leak we pay close attention to the level of moisture in the air of your home. We use precise measuring tools to monitor the humidity levels as we take all the steps necessary to abate the fungal damage.
Once we contain and remove the mold and disinfect the area, we turn to reducing the moisture content of the air to prevent future mold outbreaks. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers both remove dampness, and we advise continuous operation until the humidity drops. The ideal range is between 30 and 50 percent ambient moisture. Our technicians evaluate the operation of your air conditioners, checking for clogged drainage hoses or other easily repaired issues to improve their air drying capacity. We have portable dehumidifiers to decrease humidity if necessary. As a final step, we help you set up your own AC and dehumidifiers to maintain the levels we achieve with our professional equipment.
Contact SERVPRO of Limestone and Lawrence Counties whenever a musty smell or mold growth invades your home. Call 256 233 4033 for an inspection and depend on us to craft a plan to remove the mold and limit moisture to prevent more growth.
Hidden Water Damage
It is no secret that old homes are plagued by problems. The main issue, whether the house is ancient or modern, is the threat of water damage. It does not take long for it to wreak havoc on a home. One broken pipe could be enough to result in damage which requires several hours of labor and thousands of dollars for repair.
Sometimes the water damage your home sustains is very evident and can be spotted easily by the untrained eye. However, it can be a subtle problem as well, creeping up on you and making significant destruction before you realize it is there. No matter the type of water damage, you want to have a professional water damage remediation company come in to help you dry your home out and make the repairs needed. SERVPRO is always ready to assist you with this.
Some signs that you could have water damage are good to keep an eye out for, especially in your older home. Water stains are telltale signs on your wall or ceiling and are usually evident. If you see one suddenly appear, it is a good time to call up SERVPRO and get a technician to check your home to see where the water is coming from.
Buckling walls and floors are another very clear sign, and is often the mark of a severe problem. Wood or drywall absorbs water, making it swell. The result is buckling which you can feel or see when you are walking over the area. It can occur over time like with a small leak in your shower or can happen suddenly like when an appliance floods your home.
Areas which are crumbling, such as the wood around your windows, molding, or baseboards, is also a sign of water damage. Any crumbling may indicate the wood is disintegrating from water infiltration.
Trust your nose as well. The damage might be hidden from your sight, but many times you can detect it with your nose. If you smell a musty or mildew scent, there may be moisture damage behind your walls. SERVPRO can use special moisture meters to detect such moisture and fix the problem for you. A lot of old houses have a musty, old smell, but in rooms, with water damage, the smell is much stronger.
If you cannot see a leak anywhere, you can sometimes sense it, so listen closely. If you believe there is a hidden leak coming from your roof, you should try using your ears to listen. During a rainstorm, turn everything in the house off including the central air or heat. The goal here is to make the house as quiet as possible; then you can stand in different places where you suspect there is a leak and listen. Water dripping through your roof is a very different sound then water landing on your roof.
SERVPRO can find the source of the leak in your older home and fix it, dry your home and possessions out and repair any damage.