Recent Posts

Mold Prevention Tips That Work

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

Although there are a variety of challenges that residential and commercial property owners can experience, the presence of mold is particularly problematic. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that mold can cause health problems and decrease the structural integrity of one’s property. There are ways to prevent the growth of mold, but your best course of action is hiring a professional mold remediation company. Try implementing some or all of the following mold prevention tips:

  1. Invest In A Dehumidification System.

One of the best ways to prevent the growth and proliferation of mold is to invest in an air conditioner that features a dehumidification system. These systems are effective in removing moisture from your property. Once the moisture is removed, the mold is deprived of one of the vital nutrients that help it grow.

  1. Be Cautious When Turning The AC Off.

Make sure that you are cautious when you turn off your air conditioner. In climates that are humid, a long-standing period of inactivity can enable humidity levels to become dangerously high. If the humidity level becomes extremely high, it creates the moist environment necessary for mold to grow and thrive.

  1. Use Insulation.

Another strategy you can use to prevent mold is the use of insulation. By installing insulation as well as vapor barriers, you can prevent condensation from accumulating on objects like plumbing fixtures, beams, and water pipes.

  1. Avoid Standing Water.

Stagnant water can become a breeding area for mold. Make sure that you keep your tubs, showers, sinks and all other wet regions of your property free of standing water.

Mold can be a severe problem for residential and commercial property owners to handle. However, using the prevention tips and tricks outlined above can help you keep mold from growing. In the event that mold growth does affect your Huntsville home, call a professional restoration company. SERVPRO of South Madison County has extensive experience in the mold remediation field and can assist with your mold restoration needs.

What's the Most Common Cause of Homeowner Insurance Claims?

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What's the Most Common Cause of Homeowner Insurance Claims? The Northeast and the Southern states are both at high risk for wind-related damage.

You may be surprised to learn that the leading cause of homeowner insurance claims is not fire damage or water damage. It’s wind and hail damage.

According to The Insurance Information Institute,  national statistics (2010 to 2014) from property & casualty insurance companies show that 3 out of 100 homeowners filed claims in the wind/hail category.  The number of claims caused by wind/hail was nearly double the second most frequent reason for homeowner claims. In that second position? Water damage and freezing. 

Fires Cause The Most Damage
Water damage and freezing claims were made by nearly 19 out of 1,000 homeowners. Though fire claims are much rarer—fewer than four claims per 1,000 homes—fires cause the most property damage. The average fire claim in the U.S. was for $39,791. By contrast, the average wind or hail claim totaled $8,041.

One Company Paid $2.4 Billion in 2014 Homeowner Claims
The losses covered by just one insurance company are large. Damage caused by wind and hail cost State Farm and its policyholders more than $2.4 billion in 2014, according to the insurer. Texas was the state with the most wind/hail losses, followed by Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas. 

Read Our Other Blog Posts
If you’re concerned about making sure your house is well prepared for a wind, hail, fire, water, or other natural disaster, look through the many blog posts here on our website. We cover many specifics. We try to give you information that will protect your family, home, and business from natural disasters.
 
Visit Your Insurance Company's Website

Go to your homeowner insurance company's website. Many insurance companies publish tips on their websites on how you can avoid claims. The Travelers website talks about installing water sensors to keep small leaks from becoming big ones.  At Nationwide’s website, you can learn how to make sure your home is covered for all it’s full value. State Farm and Allstate also have numerous blog posts with tips for homeowners and renters.  

For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of South Madison County (256) 533-5335

What To Toss & What To Keep After A Fire

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

It’s impossible to accurately depict how devastating a fire can be when it affects a person’s home. If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of this tragedy, you know what a helpless feeling it can be. In the aftermath, you need to go through the cleanup process and decide what to keep and what to throw away. There are some things you can salvage, while others pose health hazards to hang onto. 

Food

You don’t automatically have to throw out all of your food following a fire. However, fire damage at your Huntsville, AL home can render some things unhealthy. Inspect your food supply carefully following a fire to determine what can say or go. You should toss the following:

• Opened containers or perishable foods.
• Food you stored in thin plastic bags or cardboard.
• Non-perishable food that was close to the heat. 

Medicine

High heat will wreak havoc with your medicine or cosmetics. You don’t want to risk ingesting anything that you know was either in or close to the fire. You definitely should throw away the items if they are charred or have other obvious defects or damage. 

Burned Clothing

Though you hate the thought of having to replace your wardrobe, much of it may be unsalvageable. You may be able to save some items by thoroughly cleaning it. But if there are obvious burn marks, you may be out of luck. Use caution when deciding whether to keep baby clothes.  SERVPRO can help you with any clothing items that were affected by smoke and could be saved by careful cleaning.  This applies to dry cleaning items as well.  

Bedding

If a fire affected mattresses, your best bet is to discard it. You don’t want to sleep on something that was exposed to smoke damage and harmful materials. 

It’s hard to throw away items, especially if they have intrinsic meaning and value. However, you’ll feel better knowing you’re providing a safer environment for your loved ones.

Yellowing And Discoloration After A Fire Damage

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Yellowing And Discoloration After A Fire Damage We specialize in fire and water damage restoration; it’s the cornerstone of our business.

Did You Know?

house fire can be damaging even after the firefighters have distinguished the flames.  Don't make matters worse!  

According to the experts at IICRC, "To return your residential or commercial property to its preloss condition requires professional restoration. This is not the job for a do-it-yourself property owner."

Stated below are some timeframe constraints following a fire damage by the professionals at IICRC.

"Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow; small appliances located close to the source of combustion discolor; highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) discolor permanently.

Within HoursAcid residues stain grout in bathrooms; fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow; uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow; finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow; furniture finishes may discolor.

Within DaysIn time, acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently; metal corrodes, pits and rusts; wood furniture requires refinishing; vinyl flooring requires refinishing or replace­ment; clothing becomes soot stained; upholstery stains permanently.

Within WeeksRestoration costs escalate tremendously. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently; silver plate is corroded permanently; glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues."

We hope this information was helpful to you and remember to call the professionals at SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335 to ensure proper restoration of your home or office following a fire damage here in Huntsville and surrounding areas.

http://www.IICRC.org/consumers/care/fire-smoke-restoration/

Six Things To Know About Mold In Your Home

8/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is something most homeowners don't want to learn about. If you know a lot about the fungus, chances are you've had to deal with a mold problem. However, learning about the common household nuisance could help you better understand how to prevent and take care of the issue.

1. It Is Everywhere. Mold spores are a naturally occurring part of the environment. At any given time, you can find spores in the air both indoors and outdoors.
2. It Needs Moisture. A moisture problem could be a great indicator that you have mold in your home. Mold spores need water to really thrive, but even high humidity could do the trick.
3. It Can Spread Quickly. In the right environment, mold spores can become quite active and spread through airflow. This allows the fungus to create colonies all over your home.
4. It Is Smelly. Black mold, and other types of the fungus, often produce a musty odor. If you notice your Huntsville home has started to smell funky, it could be a sign that mold is already in your house.
5. It Is Hard To Clean. The mold cleanup process is not suitable for everyone to undertake. It requires a certain level of technical know-how, which is why you may get the best results by working with a residential mold remediation company.
6. It Can Be Prevented. Moisture control, cleanliness and an eye for detail can help prevent mold growth. If you can't completely prevent the problem, you can at least catch the issue before it spreads further in your house.

As a homeowner, you may be terrified of the thought of mold. You know it can damage your home, reduce your chances of selling and become a recurring problem. Whether you found black mold or you simply want to prevent it, learning more about the fungus can help prepare you for what's next and make the problem a little less scary.

Visit http://www.SERVPROsouthmadisoncounty.com for more information on mold. 

Selling A Home & Mold Remediation

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Selling A Home & Mold Remediation If the house you are trying to sell has mold, call SERVPRO of South Madison County for help 256-533-5335

Are you trying to sell your house in the Huntsville area this year?  We receive numerous calls this time of year from people who are trying to sell their house but need to have mold remediation done before the interested buyer will sign the contract.  SERVPRO of South Madison County is HERE TO HELP!

Here are some things you need to know when it comes to mold remediation on the house you are trying to sell:

  • Address the Source - If the mold is coming from a leaking hot water heater, no matter how many times we come out to remediate the mold, if the leaking hot water heater does not get fixed, the mold will keep returning.
  • Depending on the severity of the mold that is present, it may be necessary to have an Industrial Hygienist come in to test for the types of mold present as well as how high of a count of mold spores are present. Our general rule of thumb is if you have a span of more than 10 square feet of mold, you probably need to have mold testing done.  Having this information will allow us  to take the necessary steps to get your home back to preloss condition.  The final step is to have the Industrial Hygienist come back out and test again to ensure that we have brought the mold spore count back down to an acceptable level. 
  • We do not test for mold. As a professional mold remediation company, it would present a conflict of interest if we were also the Industrial Hygienist that came in behind ourselves to test the site and claim it as being cleared.  We want to avoid any appearance of false test results in order to clear our own work.

Taking the points listed above into consideration, please be sure to allow for enough time for each step as well as the Mold Remediation Process.  We know a quick sell is important to you and your satisfaction in our mold remediation service is important to us.  

Don't Neglect Indoor Air Quality

7/27/2018 (Permalink)

Discovering the environment of a new job is often a part of the first day. You figure out who to go to for help, how to use the copier, and what time of day is best to visit the break room to guarantee the coffee will be fresh. But another vital part of our work environments that we often neglect to evaluate is the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). As a business owner or a building manager, this element is a vital part of a thriving business and happy and healthy employees.

The sources of pollutants are sometimes hard to identify and are hard to totally eliminate from a building. They come from multiple sources and some causes, specifically building materials like insulation or paint, continuously emit pollutants. In other circumstances, pollutants that originate in an appliance or building system could be spread at regular intervals or even seasonally when things like air conditioning or the furnace turn on. And still, other pollutants are harder to predict as they are associated with human behavior, such as cleaning or re-decorating.

Thankfully, administrations like OSHA have provided guidelines to give us a baseline for treating and assessing Indoor Air Quality. OSHA suggests considering the following factors when assessing your building’s IAQ: temperature, humidity, ventilation, and the presence of mold and chemicals. Improving these factors can improve the Indoor Air Quality even when the sources of pollutants cannot be totally eliminated.

If you are concerned about the air quality in your workplace, give SERVPRO a call to find out how we can help.  

Inspecting A Commercial Facility For Mold

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Inspecting A Commercial Facility For Mold It only takes two to three days for mold to grow indoors.

No commercial building in Huntsville is completely immune from developing a mold problem. Mold can occur any time there is excess dampness or condensation inside a facility. If you’re unsure whether there is mold at your commercial property, an indoor environmental specialist can perform a mold test so you can try to catch it early. 

First, here are a few questions to consider: 

1. Has there been any recent water damage? Moisture is the primary source of mold, so whether it’s a leaky roof or the effects of flooding, any kind of water inside your commercial facility can lead to mold growth. 

2. Are the air ducts cleaned regularly? HVAC and other ventilation systems are commonly known to carry mold, so it’s important to find out when they were last cleaned. 

3. Is there a strong odor in the building? Sometimes a musty smell means there is mold present. If your employees report an unpleasant odor, it could be the presence of black mold, which is often smelled before it is seen.

Mold can hide in many places indoors, such as under carpet, inside walls and paneling, and in piping and insulation. It has also been found behind wallpaper, but it’s important to be cautious about investigating it without an indoor environmental specialist present; once exposed, mold spores can spread easily. It only takes two to three days for mold to grow indoors. If you do suspect a mold outbreak at your commercial facility, stay away from suspected areas until experts can come and perform the necessary tests. 

If mold breaks out, but goes undetected for a long time, it can cause more damage. That could disrupt your operations and impact you financially. If your building has suffered any water damage, watch for mold signs. The sooner it’s discovered, the sooner an indoor environmental specialist can come in to clean it up. 


Visit http://www.SERVPROsouthmadisoncounty.com for more information on mold. 

Common Causes of House Fires

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Common Causes of House Fires A grease fire caused this damage to a Huntsville home.

If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. House fires can be devastating and the road to recovery is long and hard. Educating yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention is a step in the right direction to ensure that your family and home are safe.

Electrical Outlets

Many electrical fires in homes or businesses are caused by faulty electrical outlets, old wiring, outdated appliances or electrical cords that are frayed.

  • If you live in an older home have an electrician complete an inspection. Standards and codes are constantly being revised and updated to ensure safety.
  • Do not overload your circuits.
  • Understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips. Both devices allow you to plug in multiple electronics, but only the surge protector will help protect your electronics from a power surge.

Kitchen Fires

Accidents in the kitchen can lead to devastating house fires. The leading cause of kitchen fires is due to unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Never leave pots or pans unattended on your stove.
  • Keeping your stove an oven clean will prevent buildup of food splatter and grease that could later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.
  • Keep any items that could ignite away from your stove top
  • Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of emergency.

Dryers

Dryer vents are becoming a much bigger and more common safety problem. Over time, your dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by your dryers filter. Fires can occur when the excess lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct.

  • Clean out the dryer vent regularly.
  • Clean the lint filter after EACH load of laundry that is dried.
  • Clean underneath and behind your dryer to eliminate any lint that collects.

Commercial Kitchen Fire Safety

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Kitchen Fire Safety Proper fire safety equipment and regular maintenance can decrease your risk of costly fire damage.

Statistics Restaurant Owners Should Know

During 2006-2010, an estimated average of 7,640 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments were reported to U.S. fire departments per year, with associated annual losses of:

  • Two civilian deaths
  • 115 civilian injuries
  • $246 million in property damage

In eating and drinking establishments, direct property damage per fire was 75% lower when a wet pipe sprinkler system was present, compared to fires with no automatic extinguishing equipment present.

Fires are less common during the overnight hours (from Midnight to 6 a.m.) but cause more property damage.

Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments by Major Cause (2006 - 2010)

Fires

  1. Cooking equipment 57%
  2. Heating equipment 10%
  3. Electrical/Lighting equipment 7%
  4. Smoking material 7%
  5. Intentional 5%

Property Damage

  1. Cooking equipment 40%
  2. Electrical/Lighting equipment 13%
  3. Intentional 10%
  4. Heating equipment 7%
  5. Smoking Material 5%

Total annual property damage for eating and drinking establishments = $246 million

If your commercial kitchen is affected by a fire, or in need of a deep clean, call SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335. 

We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists

As fire and water restoration specialists, we have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home or business. We are committed to providing superior service while restoring your property back to pre-fire condition.

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician