How To Clean Up After Smoke Damage
After a fire, contacting a cleaning professional may be the best decision you can make, since fire will affect everything in your home or business, through the flames, heat, soot, and smoke. Your structure can even be adversely affected. You’ll need the assistance of professionals who have the expertise and equipment that is needed to get your work or personal space back to normal as soon as possible.
Unsafe Conditions. Inhaling smoke can have an immediate negative effect on you, even if it’s only for a short time, so avoiding a smoky situation is really important. With that in mind, you won’t want to enter your home or business until all the smoke is cleared from your premises. Hiring a professional fire and smoke damage restoration contractor will ensure that your property is free from the after-effects of a fire quickly and thoroughly.
Cleaning Methods. SERVPRO specializes in restoring the contents of a home or business that has suffered from fire damage or water damage. The team will assess all your belongings carefully to determine which items can be restored to their “pre-fire” condition and will use several cleaning methods to restore your property to its original condition. These can include:
- Foam. This is used for upholstery since upholstery can shrink or the colors may bleed if water is used.
- Dry. This method is used to get rid of light residue.
- Wet. This is a very effective cleaning method, used to remove moderate to heavy residues.
- Immersion. In this method, items are dipped into a bath of cleaning products for a thorough cleaning that removes heavy residues and overwhelming odors.
Electronics. Electronics that have been damaged by fire and the accompanying smoke often present a serious hazard, so never turn your electronics on after they have been damaged by fire, just to be safe. Smoke residue contains acids that corrode metal and that can cause electronic failure in a device. Computers, televisions, and CD/DVD players should be assessed and cleaned by a professional before they are used again.
If the smoke and fire damage to your home or business is such that it will need extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO can organize your move-out process if that is necessary. Removing your items from the area will help any remodeling process go a lot faster, as well as l protect your items from any further potential damage. Once that is complete we can then coordinate and organize your move back into your premises so you can get back to normal.
If your home or business has suffered damage from fire, water, or mold, here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville we handle fire and water damage projects of all sizes, and we are mold prevention and remediation experts, too.
How To Replace Your Carpet After Water Damage
Carpets make any room cozy, and they can help reduce noise, too. However, heavy foot traffic, dirt, spills and more can diminish the quality of your carpet, and if you experience a water damage event, such as flooding from a burst pipe or a weather-related disaster, you may end up having to deep clean it or even replace it if the damage is especially bad. Replacing your carpet could be a project for you to handle if you enjoy doing things yourself, but it is certainly one for more experienced do-it-yourself-ers. If a DIY project of this size is not something you want to tackle, contact a flooring professional for help.
Here are the materials you will need to complete your carpet installation project: Tackless Strips, Carpeting of Choice, Carpet Scissors, Hammer, Staple Gun, Knee Kicker, Utility Knife, Dust Mask, and Gloves.
Before you begin making any permanent changes, you’ll need to decide how much carpet you’ll be replacing and what kind you’ll choose. Measure the area and write down all your measurements, including small areas by windows, closets or hallways. Keep in mind, you’ll want to allow for a little extra to make room for error.
Out With The Old.
Once you’ve purchased the amount of carpeting you’ll need, the next step is to remove the existing carpet and carpet padding. Make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands, and a dust mask as well. Starting in a corner of the room, detach the existing carpet from the tack strip. Fold back and cut, about every 3’ or so, into sections you can handle easily. After you’ve removed the carpet, remove the padding in the same way you removed the carpet - and also remove any glue or staples that are stuck to the floor before proceeding to the next step. If your tackless strip is not damaged, you can keep it and use it to install your new carpeting.
Clean The Floor.
You want to be sure that you’re starting with a clean floor to work on, especially if the floor replacement was due to water damage. Sweep and vacuum the floor to start, then smooth out any areas that may have excess material. Make sure the flooring underneath is completely and thoroughly dry, and mold-free. If you discover a mold issue, call us here at SERVPRO for mold remediation measures.
If there was no damage to the old tackless strips you might be able to use them. Size to the wall and nail them a half-inch away, avoiding doorways.
Next, it’s time for the carpet pad; you will want to be sure the padding is an exact fit, as you don’t want it to overlap. Staple it to the inside of the tackless strip, and stretch and staple any seams of the padding as well. Cut any excess padding and secure any joins with tape.
Lay The Carpet.
Lay the carpeting over the carpet pad, leaving a few inches of excess. Make sure the carpet pile is going in the appropriate direction, especially if you are matching other carpets. Using the knee kicker, attach the carpeting to the tackless strips; place the kicker against the carpet and hit to stretch the carpet into the strips. Trim the carpet with your utility knife and create a clean look by tucking in the edges between the wall and the strip using a metal edge.
Clean Up and Conclude.
Clean and vacuum the area to finish, trimming any excess threads.
Replacing and installing your own carpet is not easy work, but when it’s done you can be proud of your accomplishment!
Always keep in mind that whenever your property suffers from water damage, fire damage, or a mold invasion, our team here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is always here to help!
Managing Flood Damage In Your Nashville Business
During storm season here in Middle Tennessee, your business may experience some damage from flooding. Here are some tips you can follow to manage flood damage in your Nashville business:
- Do not enter the building until a professional has cleared it if you believe that it has been structurally damaged or if there is flood risk remains.
- Do not go anywhere near downed power lines or any standing water or metal objects near these downed wires. Stay away from damaged trees, and do not wade into floodwaters.
- Avoid using open flames, especially indoors. Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Once the worst has passed, assess any and all damage that the building has received. Inspect every part of the property for possible destruction, including machinery, making sure to avoid standing water or using electricity.
- Do not climb onto your roof unless the building has been deemed structurally sound, and practice precaution when climbing and working on ladders.
- If using a chainsaw to cut fallen or damaged trees or branches, take precautions to ensure they do not cause any more damage when they fall.
- Remove any wet material, such as rugs or carpets, and properly dry them out to prevent mold from establishing itself. Dry your premises by opening windows and doors; it can be helpful to have fans running if it can be done safely.
- You are at risk for mold within the first 24-48 hours following a flood, so it is vital to remove the water as soon as possible and start remediation. Flooding poses a risk to drywall, support beams, and foundations, as well, and floodwater can also contain dangerous contaminants and sewage so it must be avoided.
- Keep track of everything that was destroyed or damaged in the storm by documenting it through photos or videos along with putting together a list of broken items. You will need this list for insurance purposes.
If your business has experienced a flooding event, contact SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville as soon as possible. Here at SERVPRO, our focus is your safety and we are here to offer our professional help for water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation. We have years of experience in these areas and we are happy to help!
How Quickly Can Mold Spread After Water Damage?
If you have experienced a water damage event, one of the first concerns you may have is whether you may suffer from a mold infestation. How quickly can mold spread after water damage?
If the damage happened suddenly you can get the issue cleaned up quickly - within a few days or so - you may not have a mold growth problem, but this is only probably if the area is dried thoroughly and quickly. If you undergo a plumbing flood or a water leak that has gone undetected for a while, chances are good that mold is going to be present.
You will want to contact a mold remediation specialist if this is the case. They know that mold spores are everywhere, and under the right conditions, they will move right in and begin to grow within 24-48 hours of a flooding situation. They may not be visible right away, either. Within just a few hours, the spores can spread throughout your premises, ready to settle.
One way to find out for sure if you have hidden plumbing leaks is a moisture meter that measures moisture in common residential construction materials. Anything over 15% tells you that you need a water cleanup crew from a qualified restoration company.
This is why all water damage restoration companies will tell you that the faster water damage is taken care of, the less likely it will be that you have to deal with mold. One of the main concerns the experts take into consideration is making sure the damaged area is dried completely to reduce the risk that mold can take hold at all.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we maintain the specialized training and equipment needed to remediate a mold infestation wherever it occurs. Once mold establishes a colony it can never be totally removed, so the very best practice is going to be to ensure that the conditions mold enjoys are not present. If you need help in the prevention of mold, or if you now need remediation services, we are here to help.
How To Fix A Leaky Faucet
Faucet leaks can spring up with no warning and catch you unaware. Determining where the water is coming from and then taking care of the leak before it damages parts of your home are going to be important steps to take to avoid as much damage as possible.
Here are the steps involved in fixing a leaky faucet:
- Before beginning work on your fixture, make sure your water supply is turned off, from the handles over the sink to the knobs underneath that control the water coming in from the main line.
- Remove any decorative parts of the handle knobs using a flat-head screwdriver. Underneath each knob, there will be a screw that mounts the handle to the stem. Unscrew, then gently remove the handle with your flat-head. Using penetrating oil can assist in loosening it, allowing you to take the faucet handle off the stem.
- Use your wrench to loosen the packing nut; from there you should notice the stem - remove that as well. Depending on the faucet, some stems pop right off, while others twist off from the valve. Check the removed parts for any damage.
- Inspect the O-ring and washer inside the valve seat—they could be the reason for your leak. Remove the washer and put a replacement inside the seat. It's crucial to make sure your replacement washers and O-rings are an exact fit. Make sure to check the seat to see if the sides fit a cone-shaped or flat washer, and purchase the appropriate type. You may want to take the old O-ring to your local hardware store to verify the correct size. You can also buy a package including many different sizes of O-rings—sometimes it's worth the extra cost.
- Carefully reassemble all the parts (in this order: washer/O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw, and handle). Slowly and gently turn the knob to test the running water and check to see if you have fixed your leaky faucet.
Once you have determined that your faucet is correctly repaired, take precautions by inspecting your drywall and flooring for water damage, looking for buckling, discoloration, and unhealthy odors - which could mean mold has established itself in the damp area.
In the event that you experience a large water event and the damage is beyond your ability to fix or if a mold colony has been established, don’t hesitate to call us here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville We have the skills and experience needed to take care of the water damage from a leak, large or small. We are also mold prevention and remediation experts!
What To Do If Your Business Floods
Taking steps beforehand to prevent or reduce flood damages to your business is a wise business move and can go a long way towards alleviating distress and flood-related costs to your enterprise, but sometimes even the best-laid protection plans don’t stop the damage from occurring.
Here are some things to consider if your business floods:
RESPONSE. A rapid response to flood-related damages is going to be crucial in reducing secondary damages and restoration costs. Contacting a professional restoration team and getting them on the scene right away will help you stay open for business or get you back on your feet quickly.
SERVICES. If your property has experienced downed telephone poles or utilities have been affected, contact local authorities right away and let them know what has happened. If it is due to a weather event in the area, they will be recording affected properties and areas to schedule service, so this will help them to plan.
WORKFORCE. Make sure you have connected with your workforce to see if everyone is safe. At this point, you can establish methods of completing work from home if possible so that no time is lost.
INFORMED. Keep a close watch on the weather so that you are as well-informed as possible. If there are new storms coming or if any dam-releases are scheduled, for example, you will be able to plan ahead.
DOCUMENTATION. You should be storing your business-related documentation in the cloud as well as in hard copy form. If floodwaters damage or destroy these items, you always have your cloud copies to pull from.
When you are working on your disaster-preparedness plan, SERVPRO of Belle Meade/ West Nashville can help. Floods can occur when you least expect them, and we are here for you no matter the time of day or night. We are mold prevention and remediation experts, too.
Best Places To Check For Mold In Your Home
Mold is odorous, unsightly, can be even dangerous to our health, and it can show up very quickly. Knowing where to look and what areas are most vulnerable can help keep you a step ahead of a mold infestation. If you do find an issue, you’ll want to contact a professional remediation company right away to ensure that your home and your loved ones stay safe.
Here are the best to check regularly for mold growth in your home:
BATHROOM. Most bathrooms are cleaned thoroughly at least once a week. This is the perfect time to check for mold. Look in the least traveled areas, such as corners of the linen or storage closet, behind the toilet, under the sink. If there have been any leaks in these places in the past, these areas will be in danger until they are fully dry. If you detect a brand new leak or drip, have it corrected immediately. You may want to invest in a dehumidifier for your bathroom, as well, which can be a great tool in the fight against mold.
KITCHEN. This room is known as the heart of the home, and in addition to the traffic, water is used almost constantly throughout the day. Keep an eye out for spills and leaks and clean them up immediately to ensure that they are not attracting mold spores, which are always in our air and cannot be removed.
LAUNDRY. This room in your home has nooks and crannies that are not cleaned as often since no one ever sees them. Add to that the humidity in the air and possible unseen leaks or drips, and you have elements present that will encourage the possible establishment of a mold colony. Enlist help to pull the washer and dryer out from the wall regularly and make sure the areas behind them are clean, dry, and disinfected.
Other areas to keep an eye on: hall closets, garages, storage units, warehouses, and basement areas.
SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville is always here to help you with any issues related to mold and its remediation. Large-scale cleanups after flooding and fire are our specialties, as well.
Candle Safety At Home
Candles have been used as a method of home lighting throughout human history, and even though electric light bulbs have now overtaken candles as the main lighting source in our homes, millions of decorative candles are still sold every year. There’s just something about the glow and scent of candles that ensures they are a part of our lives.
Unfortunately, candle use is also the cause of many preventable home fires. It is estimated that candles cause more than 15,000 home fires every year, many of which result in injury or even death. More than half of these fires start because the candles are too close to combustible materials, which is something that is easily preventable.
Here are a few tips that can help you practice candle safety at home:
- Burning candles should never be left unattended, and be sure to keep candles away from anything flammable.
- If your candle is in a candle holder, it should be sturdy enough to avoid being easily knocked over. Candles should be placed where children and pets can’t reach them.
- Candle wicks should be trimmed to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long wicks can cause uneven burning and dripping. Keep the pool of wax in the candle clear of debris such as wick trimmings.
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for candle use. Most candles should be burned for only a couple of hours at a time.
- Extinguish candles with a candle snuffer rather than blowing them out, as hot wax can splatter.
Flameless candles are a safe alternative to lit candles and produce a similar soft, glowing effect. Lit candles are not recommended for use during power outages, so use battery-powered flashlights, lanterns and even flameless candles instead.
Finally, any talk of candle safety is incomplete without a reminder to check all smoke alarms in your home. Working smoke alarms in your home will greatly increase your chances of surviving a home fire, so check them every month to ensure they are working properly.
Here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville, we care about your safety. Call us if you experience fire damage, water damage, or issues from a mold infestation.
Preventing Electrical Fires In Your Business
Over 25,000 electrical fires happen right here in the United States every year, and fire damage can often be extremely damaging to a business. Damage can be sustained both from the actual event and the water that is used for the firefighting efforts, as well. As a smart business owner, we know you want to prevent this kind of disaster from occurring to your organization, so today we want to share some simple steps with you that you can take to prevent these electrical fires from happening in your business:
Inspection. One of the most important steps you can take is to have your business inspected for any hazardous situations that could cause a fire. A licensed electrician can help to keep you, your employees, and your property safe by letting you know what needs to be done after a thorough assessment. One example is to replace wiring in an older building; wiring is not made to last forever.
Cords and Plugs. A very common cause of electrical fires is an electrical cord, plug, or outlet damage. If these items are found to be tattered or frayed, worn out or showing burn signs, they should be replaced immediately. Cords in poor condition can overheat or cause a spark, which can lead to a full-blown fire. Replacing damaged cords is a simple and relatively inexpensive safeguard against electrical fires and can even be purchased for appliances separately if any are in poor condition.
Outlets. Take steps to avoid overloading your outlets. Overburdened sockets are another risk factor for an electrical fire. The United States Fire Administration recommends that you buy power strips equipped with internal overload protection; this feature will ensure that a strip shuts off its power supply as soon as it becomes overloaded, helping prevent fire damage.
Space heaters. Any appliance that plugs in can be dangerous if not used carefully. Flammable materials such as paper, cardboard, coats, and rugs, need to be watched and kept away from any equipment that produces heat or can overheat.
Wiring. Faulty wiring is yet another hazard, and if a flickering lamp or sparking outlet is something you are experiencing, contact a licensed electrician your area to make the necessary repairs. If anything that conducts electricity feels warm to the touch, have your electrician check it out to see if it needs to be replaced.
Just a few minutes of time, a few preventive measures, and a few dollars to replace items that could be dangerous can save lives and property, as well as save you from expensive fire damage clean up. If your business suffers from water or fire damage, remember that the SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville team is ready to help any hour of the day or night.
Spring Storms In Middle Tennessee
Spring storms in Middle Tennessee can be unpredictable, with temperatures swinging from balmy to frosty in one 24-hour period. A sunny week can be followed by a week of storms, and we know you will want to be prepared for all these situations.
Some things to think about when it comes to preparedness:
You’ll want to do an assessment of your property before heavy rains, checking drainage, roofing, and windows and doors. Make arrangements as soon as possible for repairs to be done before the rainy season begins.
Lightning, flooding, and other types of activity will often be a part of your Middle Tennessee Spring weather experience, when warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air. Planning ahead for thunderstorms makes sense so that your property and the people you care about can avoid injury and damages.
Here are some things to have on hand for storms:
- A battery-operated flashlight, with extra batteries.
- A battery-operated, NOAA Weather Radio.
- An emergency evacuation plan. Have a map of your home complete with an escape route in case of a flood. Make sure everyone knows where to go in the event of a disaster.
- Make sure everyone has a list of important contact information, such as:
- Telephone numbers of police and fire departments
- Telephone numbers of family, neighbors, and friends
- Medical information for members of your household
- A First Aid Kit, which should include:
- Antibiotic ointments
- Sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
- Adhesive bandages
- Non-latex gloves
- Scissors and tweezers
- Instruction booklet
- Adhesive cloth tape and absorbent compress dressings
- Any medications necessary for additional needs
- 3-5-day supply of clean water and non-perishable food
- Blankets, sleeping bags, etc.
Planning ahead before wet weather hits is always a good idea! Contact us here at SERVPRO of Belle Meade/West Nashville if your property sustains water damage or fire damage, and keep in mind that we are also here for you if you need help with mold prevention or remediation.