Recent Posts

The Mold Remediation & Restoration Process

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold removal seems like a simple process at the surface. Splash a little bleach on the visible mold spores and enjoy a lifetime of clean air…right? Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple – not by a long shot. Before you create more work for yourself later on, you may want to work with a professional mold removal company to tackle the mold in your home or office. Here is a look at why mold removal is best left to the pros.

Mold Spores Aren’t Always Visible

In most cases, mold spores are not visible on the surface. You may not think of treating your mold until you see it on the walls, ceilings, or floors, but it has probably been lurking behind the scenes for quite some time. A water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County,  can assess your property for hidden mold and treat the root of the problem. If you only treat what you can see, you will be fighting mold for years to come.

Mold Treatment Requires Special Tools

To properly treat your home for mold, you need special equipment to eliminate the spores and the moisture they feed on. Most at-home mold removal guides say to use bleach for treatment, but doing so will actually make the mold worse. The mold uses the water in the bleach to spread and contaminate your house even further. Instead of risking the chance of making the problem worse, trust SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County to take care of the mold for you. They will have the tools they need to truly get rid of the problem, not just mask it.

FACT: Speed Matters In Mold Removal!

The Environmental Protection Agency says that water removal needs to take place within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. 

Mold Prevention Is A Must

Simply removing the existing mold isn’t enough. In order to have a truly successful experience, you need to go through mold prevention as well. Ask yourself: What caused the mold in the first place? A leaky pipe? Excessive humidity? A faulty washer and dryer? A bad seal?

Let the pros inspect your home for causes of mold so they can recommend repairs you need to make. Through fast-acting water removal and proper mold prevention, you can eliminate mold problems in your property and improve your air quality at the same time.

You deserve to breathe easy – literally! Let the professionals take care of your mold problem and show you how to prevent it from happening to your home. 

Leave Mold Remediation to the Pros!

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold removal seems like a simple process at the surface. Splash a little bleach on the visible mold spores and enjoy a lifetime of clean air…right? Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple – not by a long shot. Before you create more work for yourself later on, you may want to work with a professional mold removal company to tackle the mold in your home or office. Here is a look at why mold removal is best left to the pros.

Mold Spores Aren’t Always Visible

In most cases, mold spores are not visible on the surface. You may not think of treating your mold until you see it on the walls, ceilings, or floors, but it has probably been lurking behind the scenes for quite some time. A water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County  can assess your property for hidden mold and treat the root of the problem. If you only treat what you can see, you will be fighting mold for years to come.

Mold Treatment Requires Special Tools

To properly treat your home for mold, you need special equipment to eliminate the spores and the moisture they feed on. Most at-home mold removal guides say to use bleach for treatment, but doing so will actually make the mold worse. The mold uses the water in the bleach to spread and contaminate your house even further. Instead of risking the chance of making the problem worse, trust SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County to take care of the mold for you. They will have the tools they need to truly get rid of the problem, not just mask it.

FACT: Speed Matters In Mold Removal!

The Environmental Protection Agency says that water removal needs to take place within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. 

Mold Prevention Is A Must

Simply removing the existing mold isn’t enough. In order to have a truly successful experience, you need to go through mold prevention as well. Ask yourself: What caused the mold in the first place? A leaky pipe? Excessive humidity? A faulty washer and dryer? A bad seal?

Let the pros inspect your home for causes of mold so they can recommend repairs you need to make. Through fast-acting water removal and proper mold prevention, you can eliminate mold problems in your property and improve your air quality at the same time.

You deserve to breathe easy – literally! Let the professionals take care of your mold problem and show you how to prevent it from happening to your home. 

5 Tips For Mold Prevention This Winter

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

Although seasonal outdoor conditions have little effect on mold growth inside enclosed environments of a home, airborne spores that spawn mold may infiltrate the house any time of the year. Controlling certain factors specific to the cold season can at least reduce the odds of household mold contamination. Here are 5 tips preventing mold in the winter:

1. Run ceiling fans in the reverse (clockwise) mode for winter. A ceiling fan rotating clockwise pulls warm air upwards and pushes it across the ceiling and down walls and windows. This air circulation dries out condensation, eliminating another source of mold triggering moisture. 

2. Humidify sparingly. Winter air is often dry and irritating to certain individuals. To alleviate these symptoms, humidifiers are commonly utilized to add water vapor to indoor air. Maintain indoor humidity levels at 60% or below to discourage mold.

3. Dry wet areas. Many parts of the house tend to be damp in the winter- windows, mirrors, pipes- due to condensation. By quickly removing moisture with a towel it prevents them from becoming potential for mold.

4. Check the attic. While your roof shingles may shed summer rain effectively, stationary seepage from melting snow on the roof is another matter. Roof leakage due to snow melt or ice dams on the roof is a common cause of mold growth in the attic. 

5. Upgrade your insulation. Some house have minimal or no insulation inside exterior walls. Condensation forms on and inside cold, uninsulated walls in contact with warm, moist indoor air.  

Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

Mold Testing? Yep...We Do That!

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Testing

When to have an indoor air quality test done, and how the test is done. The word mold is not as bad as everyone thinks it is. The only time it becomes a problem is when there is too much of it. Too much mold can cause health problems or damage to your property. Not every home needs testing and not all testing is the same.

What sort of things should you be on the look for to decide if you need any mold testing?

-Any general concerns about the house where something just does not seem right and you cannot put your finger on it.

-When a home has been empty with no occupants for an extended period of time

-Past water damage that was not cleaned up by a professional or you suspect was not done properly

-No home inspections have been done in a while you see or suspect there is mold somewhere

-A musty smell that is notice upon entering the home

-Anyone in the home that has repertory problems

-Mold Remediation was done and you want to ensure it was effective.

-Visually seeing anything that looks like mold

-If mold removal or clean up was done

-When a 3rd party is effecting repairs and you need to make sure they are done correctly

There are 3 main options for testing

Surface Testing

This is done to look for evidence of actual current or past mold growth. The tester will use either a swab or a tape lift to obtain their sample. These tests can tell if the growth is from actual water damage and intrusion or if it is excessively humid in the home. Dark and discolored growth is not always microbial and would mean it is not from a water damage situation. When you see visual growth it is always important to get a sample of it as well as an air quality sample to ensure spores have not been released into the air.

Indoor air quality testing

This is done by taking numerous samples from within the inside of the home as well as a base line sample of the air quality on the outside of the home. These samples will be able to tell if you have hidden moisture leaks.

Indoor Air Quality with Comprehensive moisture evaluation.

This testing is done to provide a full scope picture of what is really going on in the home. It is able to locate sources of moisture that overtime could damage the property or become a health concern. Mold and moisture damage can drastically affect the value of a home over time. So it is important to stay on top of things and help prevent any major damage. Identifying the damage early can save you in the long run.

Remember when you have any doubts or questions about mold in your home talk to a professional get your results and get it right the first time. Call SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County for all of your mold testing and mold inspection needs.

Schools Are NOT a Place for Mold!

11/9/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County's Disaster Recovery Team is ready and equipped to help with many different disasters, including clean ups due to microbial growth in schools. Microbial growth is a concern for all of us but select populations of people are more vulnerable to be affected. When children are concerned we do not feel there is a limit to precautions and safety measures to be taken. We are able to help local schools who have microbial growth in their buildings safely and correctly mediate the problem.

We work after hours and over weekends to limit exposure to any dust or particulates as well as comply with third party testing to certify that work was done correctly and completely. If you suspect there is microbial growth present call us to speak about mold solutions.

Many School Districts, School Board members and Superintendents trust the SERVPRO brand to do the job right and on budget. 

Why SERVPRO when it comes to restoring your business!

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

There's nothing quite as difficult for a commercial establishment as dealing with water damage. However, knowing what to do when disaster strikes can prevent you from experiencing unnecessary emotional upsets for yourself, your employees, and your customers and mitigate the economic strain of lost business. There are many steps you'll need to take to get your commercial property back in order following a water damaging event. Contacting a team of skilled water damage restoration experts from SERVPRO is a good first step.


Quick Water Removal Mitigates Monetary Loss 

The longer excess water remains on your commercial property, the more likely you are to suffer from costly water damage repairs to structural properties like ceiling tiles, insulation, drywall, and flooring. Then there is the concern of water damage to your capital investments: inventory, furniture, carpeting, electronic equipment and paper documents. Having a team of skilled water damage restoration experts like SERVPRO to begin immediately removing standing water can prevent you from spending unnecessary money on repairs.

Quick Remediation Prevents Secondary Water Damage.

Another benefit of a quick reaction to the pressing problem of water intrusion is that fast extraction helps prevent secondary water damage. Unfortunately, water damage creates a moist, wet environment within your business. Moisture and high humidity offer mold an opportunity to grow and spread throughout structural materials and wood furniture and fabrics. If your business deals with food distribution, high inventory loss may be a costly negative effect. For this reason, it's critically important to have standing water removed as quickly as possible. SERVPRO can arrive, usually in about one hour, with water removal equipment to meet any problem. 

Fast Restoration Helps You Get Back In Business

If the water intrusion, by way of a storm, flood, leak, or the aftermath of fire extinguishing causes severe water damage to your commercial business, you may have to relocate temporarily while water damage restoration work is being completed. Closed doors affect customer traffic, employee earnings, and your bottom line.  Insurance companies normally work hand-in-hand with SERVPRO to come to a working agreement allowing the water extraction process to commence immediately. 

Contact SERVPRO Today

If your commercial property has been subjected to water damage, getting fast, effective water damage restoration services is a must. Here at SERVPRO, we specialize in optimizing and expediting each component of the restoration process to ensure that you can get your business back in business. Moreover, each of our IICRC-Certified technicians will provide you with the personable care and excellent customer service that keeps you in the loop throughout the water damage restoration process. We can quickly reopen your doors like it never even happened.

Commercial Building Restoration Services

SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County responds quickly to a water or fire, or mold damage emergency, 24 hours a day. Whether the damage occurs in a small business building or a big box store, we have the training, experience, and equipment to handle the situation. Our national network of 1,650 Franchises gives us access to personnel and resources. Call us for assistance today!

Why SERVPRO when it comes to sewage cleanup!

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

The Dangers of DIY Sewage Cleanup

If you’re like most homeowners, when faced with a task or question you probably head to the internet for answers…that’s how you found this article! And if you’re dealing with backed-up sewage, it only takes a few seconds of searching to find hundreds of articles describing how to clean-up sewage.

It goes like this:

** Put on some rubber gloves

** Scoop out the waste

** Take some water and bleach solution and apply it to the affected areas

** Let it dry

Most articles will throw out a warning saying “if you’re not sure whether you can do it, or don’t have the proper equipment, it is best to call a professional”. That’s where you would call SERVPRO.

We’d like to throw out another warning!

Cleaning up raw sewage on your own is something you should never do! 
Here’s why:

#1 – It can be hidden. – Any SERVPRO crew member can tell you stories about customers that decided to clean-up their own feces only to call in weeks or months later complaining about smells and disfigured walls, cabinets, and floors. Sewage will find its way into any and all porous surfaces. Even things like drywall and cabinetry aren’t safe. And it’s not as simple as just spotting the sewage with your eyes. It requires state of the art equipment, which SERVPRO has, to identify areas that have been damaged by sewage. So unless you have an infrared detection system handy and know how to use it, call SERVPRO.

#2 – It can be costly. – Times are difficult for everyone and money is tight. It’s easy to justify doing it yourself instead of paying to have SERVPRO  clean and disinfect for you. But today’s shortcut is tomorrow’s nightmare! Again, you’re dealing with a toxic situation that if not handled properly can create very real health dangers for you and your family. Not only that, if not properly mitigated, you could be looking at a serious mold issue in the not so distant future on top of all of the other issues described above. And if you think sewage cleanup is costly, wait until you’re stuck with a bill for mold remediation services! At least your sewage clean-up is covered by insurance…that’s not typically the case if you’ve got mold and it’s the result of you not taking appropriate measures when dealing with the sewage issue that created the mold!


So, if you’ve stumbled upon this article due to a sewage back-up that’s spilled into your home or office, do yourself a favor and call us, SERVPRO. Our technicians are certified to perform raw sewage cleanup and can provide you with peace of mind knowing the area affected is professionally cleaned.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together.

Why SERVPRO when it comes to biohazard cleanup!

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Dissecting Biohazard Cleanup: Understanding the Process and Reducing Risk

By Tim Reifsteck

When compared to a fire or water loss, property damage resulting from a suicide, murder or unattended death poses greater risk and complexity for the adjuster, the biohazard cleanup company, and of course, the policyholder. Many cleaning and restoration companies will offer bioremediation services, but only those that specialize in this area, like SERVPRO truly understand the science and intricacies of the bioremediation and decontamination process. In order to minimize risk for the insurance carrier and ensure the safety of the policy holder, it’s important to realize the inherent challenges of bioremediation and the processes and standards that every biohazard cleanup professional must adhere to.

Am I liable for an improper biohazard cleanup?

At some point in their careers, insurance professionals may have experienced sticker shock from a bioremediation claim. How could the biohazard cleanup of a single room cost more than recovering an entirely flooded home? It might be tempting to retain a trusted property damage restoration company at a lower cost, but doing so may put the insurer at risk for a lawsuit.

Consider a recent case where a general cleaning company was hired to sanitize a home after 600 pounds of deer meat rotted in a family’s garage due to a power outage. Following the cleaning, the homeowners reported that the rotting stench still remained throughout the house and that some family members became ill. Experts who were brought in to investigate the situation determined that the enduring smell and sickness resulted from inefficiencies in the cleaning process, such as the failure to seal concrete surfaces.

Why is bioremediation so complex?

Many biohazard situations pose grave health risks to policy holders and cleanup companies because of the potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens. One out of every 24 people has Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV and these pathogens can survive in a deceased person for a considerable amount of time – up to 16 days after death, depending on the temperature and surrounding environment. Exposure to bloodborne viruses can occur due to direct contact with non-intact skin, accidental injury from biological fragments, inhalation and exposure from splashes of blood or bio fluid to the eyes, nose, or mouth. Considering the health risks, bioremediation specialists must follow stringent employee safety regulations and meticulous decontamination procedures that most cleanup crews are not accustomed to.

Separately, biohazard situations can lead to hidden dangers that an average property restoration technician might not even consider. For example, in a water damage emergency, floor boards and drywall might be removed because they are visibly warped and unsalvageable. Then the rest of the structure can be dried out. In contrast, blood can seep through grout and in-between floorboards, even through subflooring. There is no other way to clean the damage but to remove all affected materials – if new wood floors are installed over the blood spill or if tiles are simply wiped down, the remaining bio matter can spread disease, release odors and further damage the property.

How do I evaluate a bioremediation provider?

To determine whether or not a company is qualified to handle a biohazard situation, insurance professionals need a deeper understanding of proper bioremediation standards and what it takes to fully decontaminate a property. These are the key things to inquire about when choosing a vendor for a biohazard cleanup:

OSHA Compliance – These regulations are in place to protect the biohazard company employees and to prevent injury and potential liability for all involved. All supervisors and field technicians should be trained in the following OSHA programs: Bloodborne Pathogens, Personal Protective Equipment, Hazard Communication, Asbestos Awareness, Heat Illness, Fall Protection, Lift Safety, Lock Out – Tag Out, and Power Tool Safety. A common misstep among restoration companies is that they only comply with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standards, instead of all the aforementioned areas.

EPA and State Environmental Agency Compliance – The disposal of medical waste must be in accordance with federal, state and/or local regulations. Not all biohazard remediation companies are licensed to transport or store medical waste so it’s essential to understand if/how they comply with the local and national standards. The cleaning company can incur hefty fines if medical waste is not disposed of properly. Also, employees need to be trained in the proper use of cleaning agents – this can be more complicated than it seems, as many agents will become inactive if not measured and diluted properly.

Reporting/Testing – A reputable company should be able to deliver a detailed report which catalogs every step of the cleanup process. This should include photos of the entire process as well, so the policy holder and adjuster understand why some structural materials needed to be removed, what was disposed, why the employees went through a certain amount of protective equipment, etc. They should also have equipment available to check for non-visible but active biological fluids and other contaminants so that it is certain when an area is considered disinfected.

Sensitivity Training – Dealing with a flood or fire can be extremely traumatic, but it does not compare to the loss of loved one. During these traumatic situations, the family members often stay at home so it is imperative that the workers in their home are compassionate and considerate. The biohazard cleanup specialists at SERVPRO understand the need for the family to deal with only one point person in order to avoid confusion or conflicting updates. They have been trained to eliminate alarming language from their vocabulary and speak empathetically with the policyholder.

When it comes to biohazard remediation, there is no quick solution. The fact that there are no laws protecting policy holders through a biohazard cleaning process puts the responsibility on the insurance carrier to work with bioremediation specialists who follow strict safety standards and cleanup procedures. If the insurance carrier directs the cleanup process and even one of the above points is neglected, they might be held liable for any further health and property damages resulting from the improper cleanup. It is important to remember that you can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that a policy holder needs after a traumatic crime or death occurred in their home or place of business.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together. Call us today! 

Information provided by: http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2013/10/22/238753.htm

Why SERVPRO when it comes to carpet cleaning!

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

The Importance of Hiring Professional Carpet Cleaners

Professional carpet cleaners are the only people who should be trusted to do the job. Anyone with less experience or certification will likely not do the job correctly. And their carelessness could end up costing a lot more in the end. 

Carpeting is typically one of the most long-term investments in the home. Most people associate high-cost flooring with tile, marble or hardwood, but carpet can carry a high price tag as well. There are various fibers and matting to choose from, as well as the padding beneath it. When it’s all said and done, it can cost just as much if not more than some other options. Once that investment is installed, great care should be taken to keep it in the best condition possible. This will mean regular vacuuming in high-traffic areas and regular maintenance from professional carpet cleaners.


Why should someone always hire professional carpet cleaners?

Professionally trained technicians have certification in all types of fibers and construction, so they know which products and equipment to use and how to employ them properly. The technician can assess the area for any spot treatment that may be necessary and will know which tools and specialized products to use. They will also be aware of the correct methods to complete the job effectively. Technicians will also inform the customer of ways that they can prolong the life of their carpeting and how to properly treat spills and accidents should they occur.


What can happen if someone doesn't use professional carpet cleaners?

A lot of damage can occur if a certified technician or firm is not hired to do the job. They can over-saturate the fibers and promote an environment that may foster mold and other microbial growth in time. If using improper equipment, the fibers can be damaged, which would result in replacement being required much sooner. If the wrong cleansing agents are used, or they are not properly rinsed out, they may damage the fibers or make future soil adhere quicker, which will require cleaning more often than would otherwise be necessary.  


What should a customer expect when they hire professional carpet cleaners?

Upon arrival, the technician will assess the carpeting. Once that is complete, the process can begin. First they will vacuum the floor during a process called dry soil removal. This removes any loose items in the flooring. Then soil suspension and extraction will take place. The technician uses a preconditioning agent that is mixed to separate the soil from the fibers. Various methods are employed to extract the soil from the flooring. Grooming may also be done to improve the fiber piles, matting, and to equally disperse protectors or conditioning agents. Then the drying process can begin. Carpets that have been professionally cleaned should be dry in less than 24 hours. Homeowners can assist in this process by ensuring the right temperature is maintained, and there is adequate ventilation. 

When hiring a carpet cleaning technician, make sure that they have received their certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC is a globally-recognized organization that is the leader in certifying technicians and firms in the restoration, cleaning and inspection industry.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of W. St. Joseph County is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together. Call us today!


*Information provided by: http://www.IICRC.org/the-importance-hiring-professional-carpet-cleaners-a-502.html