Five Steps to Avoid Mold Growth After a Flood | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
| SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
Flooding is the leading natural disaster in the U.S and flooding can wreak havoc on a home or building that lasts long after waters recede. Over the past five years, the average paid flood insurance claim was more than $35,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). From damaged personal items to the growth of mold spores that can impact the health of a home and its inhabitants, taking the proper steps to restore a property after a flood can limit the extent of the damage incurred.
To help direct home owners and businesses during cleanup efforts, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration and Certification (IICRC) and the Healthy House Institute (HHI) share the following five steps for preventing mold growth after a catastrophic flood.
Step One: Check it out!
- Once a building is flooded from a river, lake, stream, hurricane or rainstorm, inspecting and documenting damage is very important for several reasons, including insurance and tax purposes. Electrical, gas, structural and other safety hazards present must be eliminated "before" assessing physical damage to the building and contents.
- Once health and safety hazards have been eliminated, inspect the building and all contents. Generally, the rule of thumb is that everything below the water line gets thrown out. Building materials and contents above the water line should be inspected for discoloration, odor and damage.
Step Two: Get it out!
- Extract standing water with a pump or wet vacuum from slabs, basements, crawlspaces, heating systems and anywhere water could be sitting. Shovel or flush out remaining silt and sand with water.
- Next, remove all wallboard material (e.g., plaster, drywall, paneling), finished flooring (e.g., carpet, hardwood, vinyl flooring), insulation and any other wet materials that are below the water line.
- Remove contents damaged by floodwater. Keep a record of your activities before, during and after cleanup. Take photo or video recording inventory of discarded material.
Step Three: Clean it up!
- Start with vacuuming as much loose debris and soil as possible. It is preferable to use a HEPA vacuum, but a simple wet/dry vacuum can work. When using a wet/dry vacuum, attach a hose to the exhaust and vent the exhaust air to the outside. This keeps dust, spores and other fine particles from being suspended in the air and settling back on clean surfaces.
- Clean framing with a pressure washer or low-pressure flushing. Scrub framing with a mild detergent (e.g. dish soap) to remove embedded soils. Wipe all adjacent surfaces with a mild detergent. Rinse by low-pressure flushing or wiping with clean water. Vacuum all remaining moisture using a wet/dry vacuum.
- If mold is visible and remains after cleaning, additional scrubbing or multiple rounds of cleaning may be necessary. If significant mold growth is present, or if occupants have immune deficiencies, are elderly, pregnant, or if there are young children present.
- After all surfaces are clean, wipe surfaces with a sanitizer such as a solution of up to ¼ cup of bleach to one gallon of water. After 20 minutes, wipe surfaces using clean water. This step helps neutralize remaining or embedded contaminants.
- For those with chemical sensitivities, perform multiple rounds of cleaning as an alternative to using bleach.
Step Four: Dry it out – quickly!
- Mold spores are everywhere, and it is impossible to remove all spores and potential contaminants. All spores need to grow is moisture. To inhibit future mold growth, dry affected areas as quickly as possible, preferably within 24 to 48 hours from the completion of cleaning and sanitizing.
- The key is directing warm, dry air across wet surfaces. This directed airflow should be exhausted outside or collected using dehumidification equipment. Take care to not spread contaminants. Properly directing airflow may require putting up barriers or containing the affected areas to prevent the spread of contaminants to unaffected areas.
- Drying a wet building correctly is an art as well as a science. IICRC trained and certified experts know how to use state-of-the-art moisture detection and monitoring equipment that identifies hidden moisture in building materials, ventilation systems, flooring and walls. Certified restorers also understand and use the equipment necessary to dry buildings, while preventing the spread of contaminants.
- In a community-wide flood, the availability of power and rental equipment to complete structural drying can be a challenge. If drying cannot be properly initiated, contact an IICRC Certified Firm.
Step Five: Keep it dry
- The cardinal rule for preventing mold growth is to keep surfaces dry. Strive to ensure your home stays dry and you will be following industry best practices for preventing mold growth and protecting the health of others in your home. It’s also a way to protect the investment of your home, since excess mold growth and moisture will damage the structure. Try to keep indoor humidity below 50 percent using air conditioning or a dehumidifier.
- Tip: Use a water-sensing alarm (battery-operated) in moisture-prone areas such as next to the washer, hot water heater, in the basement and other possible wet zones, so you are alerted to the accumulation of excess moisture.
No one wants to experience the devastation of a flood, but by keeping mold outside where it belongs, you can limit its impact on the health of your family and home.
At SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East we are ready and able to address any and all water damage issues that you may have in your home or business. We have the resipources and the capabilities to remediate any size loss. Give us a call at 717-533-FIRE
Note: the source of the above information is http://www.healthyhouseinstitute.com/a-1328-Five-Steps-to-Prevent-Mold-Growth-after-a-Catastrophic-Flood
What To Do AFTER The Fire | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
| SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
A fire will change your life in many ways that you cannot imagine. Knowing where to begin and who can help you is important.
Put Safety First
The safety of you and your family must be the first priority.Follow the advice and directions issued by local authorities. If the authorities ask you to evacuate, do not return until they report that it is safe and secured.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The typical homeowners policy will provide reimbursement for Additional Living Expenses (ALE) such as the cost of hotels and food when a covered loss to your home makes the residence uninhabitable.
If you do not have insurance, your family and community might help you get back on your feet. Organizations that might help include:
• American Red Cross (717) 234-3101;
• Salvation Army (717) 233-6755 ;
• religious organizations;
• public agencies, such as the public health department;
• community groups;
• State or municipal emergency services office; and
• nonprofit crisis-counseling centers.
What To Expect
A fire in a home, whether you live in an apartment, a single family, or multifamily home, can cause serious damage. The building and many of the things in your home may have been badly damaged by flames, heat, smoke, and water. You will find that things the fire did not burn up are now ruined by smoke and soggy with water used to put out the flames. Anything you want to save or re-use will need to be carefully cleaned. The firefighters may have cut holes in the walls of the building to look for any hidden flames. They may even have cut holes in the roof to let out the heat and smoke. Cleanup will take time and patience.
You do not need to make a quick decision on who will perform the restoration services. You will, however need to have someone perform board-up services to secure the property. Many restoration companies - including SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara perform board-up services. You are not required to use the same company to provide mitigation and restoration services. Take you time to decide after consulting with your insurance adjustor and do some of your own research before you decide.
Restoration and Mitigation Services Include:
Restoration companies like SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara provide services that include the following:
- Documenting all items affected and items to be removed for cleaning / restoration
- Removing unsalvageable items and material
- Storing and cleaning contents and personal items
- Restoring furniture and other personal property
- Cleaning clothes, linens, etc
- Drying the structure and contents
- Deodorizing the structure and content
- Preparing the structure for rebuild
Once the structure has been miigated for the fire damage - the home owner can negotiate with contractors to rebuild. SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East can help the homeowner with the rebuild process as well.
What to do AFTER the Hurricane? The Fire | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
The Fire | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
See graphic below for what to do after the devastation of a hurricane hits your home.
Flood Watch vs Flood Warning | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
| SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
Know the difference in flood prediction terminology - especially if you love in an area that is prone or susceptible to periodic flooding.
Dont’ Try This at Home/Call a Pro
SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatra Cleaning Services:
Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are trained to safely remove biohazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.
Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.
Sewage backups and dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals remove the sewage, contaminants, and moisture, and help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO Franchise Professionals clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.
SERVPRO realizes many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.
Crime Scene and Vandalism
Crime Scene Residues
From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can clean and restore your property after a crime scene investigation.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals also provide general vandalism cleanup for graffiti and deodorization services for situations involving spoiled foods and human and animal waste.
Be Prepared For Flood Damage! | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
| SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
Many people deal with the ravages of flood damage in our region.
Our partners at the Red Cross have prepared a very helpful list of action items to follow before and after you are impacted by flood damage.
When flood damage threatens to take-over your life - we at SERVPRO of Hershey / Swatara are here to help you take back control. Our hero's are ready to help 24/7.
NO Disaster is Too Big for SERVPRO
SERVPRO logo with an animation of a water drop and fire
SERVPRO Storm Damage Cleanup & Restoration
Disaster Recovery Team
When a natural disaster strikes it can be all too easy to lose hope in light of severe damage and loss. Whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood – the SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help fast.
No Disaster Is Too Big
The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara Professionals are prepared for the unpredictable.
With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,600 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big.
Recent mobilizations of the Castastrophic Storm Response Teams include:
- 2012 Sandy
- 2010 Nashville Floods
- 2008 Ike
- 2007 Chicago floods
- 2007 Ohio floods
- 2007 California wildfires
- 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita
Should a catastrophic storm strike, call (717) 561-1404. SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara proudly serves Hershey, Harrisburg, Hummelstown, Lebanon, Camp Hill, and surrounding areas.
Even in the face of a disaster, SERVPRO of Hershey/Swatara Professionals will strive to help make it "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO truck parked in franchise lot
Have you ever had fire damage, water damage, storm damage, or mold damage at your home or business and wondered what restoration company should I use, why SERVPRO? Here are 3 reasons why you should choose SERVPRO of
Have you ever had fire damage, water damage, storm damage, or mold damage at your home or business and wondered what restoration company should I use, why SERVPRO? Here are 3 reasons why you should choose SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East
Have you ever had fire damage, water damage, storm damage, or mold damage at your home or business and wondered what restoration company should I use, why SERVPRO? Here are 3 reasons why you should choose SERVPRO of Hershy/Harrisburg East versus other local restoration companies. But, there are plenty of more reasons.
1. Proprietary Products
The SERVPRO Professional Cleaning Products, LLC., team works diligently to help Franchisees succeed with top-notch cleaning products so we can clean and restore your home or business to make it "Like it never even happened."®
SERVPRO, through SPCP, offers an extensive cleaning product and agent line to the Franchise System. We produce 89 cleaning products on-site year-round. Plus, we have 61 cleaning products from outside vendors. Combined, the SPCP team offers a total of 150 cleaning products to assist our Franchise so we can assist and best serve your residential or commercial property. We make the best products because the heroes at SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East believe you deserve the best.
Why is this important? When SERVPRO production crews are out on a job for you, they are likely using SERVPRO’s proprietary products. This allows us to own the cleaning and restoring products by offering an exclusive line available only to SERVPRO customers. The SPCP team motto is, “Supporting Franchises through research, development, testing and production of high-quality cleaning products.
2. Community & Globally Oriented
SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East is both a community-oriented and globally-oriented company. We love to give back to our community year-round. We do this through a myriad of community efforts, such as Food Pantries, partaking in local events, golf tournaments and more. Get a glimpse at some of those local events here.
We do things on a larger scale, too, such as sponsoring children in third world countries. We understand the importance and impact of giving back. Being community & globally-oriented is one of many reasons we attribute our success to.
We’re a locally owned and operated business, so we live, work, play, and worship in this community, too, just like you.
3. Capacity to Handle All Jobs
No matter the size or extent of damage you have at your commercial or residential property, SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East has the capacity to handle all jobs -- large and small. We have the resources to handle storms and disasters. When a major storm hits, it may overwhelm other local restoration companies. SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East can scale our resources by accessing the equipment and personnel of 1,800 Franchises. Additionally, we have easy access to Disaster Recovery Teams, which specialize in major storms and catastrophic events.
We have the capacity to handle any of these jobs:
• Fire damage repair & restoration• Water damage repair & restoration• Mold remediation & restoration• Biohazard• Carpet & upholstery• Ceilings, floors & walls• Odor removal• Sewage• Trauma & crime scene• Vandalism & graffiti• Commercial cleaning• Document restoration
Why SERVPRO? Here are 3 reasons why you should choose SERVPRO of Hershey/Harrisburg East for your next residential or commercial cleanup and/or restoration job: proprietary products, community & globally-oriented and capacity to handle all jobs. Remember, those are just three, but there are a number of other reasons. The next time you need the leading restoration company, simply call (717)-533-FIRE
The Smell of Your Home May Be Making You Sick | SERVPRO® of Hershey/Harrisburg East (717)-533-FIRE
Basement wall with possible mold growth and/or moisture.
Dr. Joan Wennstrom Bennett of the Plant Biology and Pathology points-out that VOCs from mold may be an important contributor to Parkinson’s disease. As noted in a recent article in Discover Magazine, Bennett's discovery could possibly explain a long-standing mystery: Every known toxin that causes Parkinson’s is man-made and relatively recent, but Parkinson’s has existed for thousands of years. Bennett says that a variety of natural neurotoxins may lead to the disease.
At SERVPRO of Hershey / Harrisburg East - we work closely with a Council-Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC) to assist us in assessing mold damage in your home or office because the full extent of the impact on the air quality can not be assessed by visual inspection only. Once the consultant has defined the extent of the damage - we get to work on remediation.
The consultant then does a post remediation assessment to confirm that mold levels in the building are normal before we say we are done.
Standard Water Loss Dry Out and Rebuild
This photo shows standard drying equipment on the basement floor where the water loss occurred.
Here we had a standard water loss, pipe break, damages a small portion of ceiling, part of a wall and 80-90% of the floor in the entire space downstairs
Carpet was saturated and found to be de-laminated (back of carpet separates making the carpet unable to be re-stretched, becomes non-salvageable and needs to be replaced), mitigation was a standard removal of necessary material (because it was CAT2 water…clean CAT1 water with a little contamination - there are domestic animals who live in the space) and then drying equipment placed.
This customer then wanted to make some upgrades so as a General Contractor we worked through that process writing a rebuild for their insurance company and then a separate rebuild of what they were looking for, helping them meet their desires within an out of pocket budget.
If this happens in your home call SERVPRO Hershey/Harrisburg East at 717-533-FIRE