HVAC Cleaning for your home or business
Spring is springing here in Northwest Georgia. With that comes thoughts of spring cleaning, and for some of us, indoor air quality. It seems that everything in the area has a nice yellowish tint of pollen. That, paired with the fact that I passed three air duct cleaning company vans on the way in to work, got me thinking it would be time to share the benefits of having your air duct system(s) cleaned.
A common rule of thumb used by NADCA(National Air Duct Cleaning Association) is "If your ducts LOOK dirty then they probaby ARE dirty". This seems elementary but it is usually true.
The first reason is indoor air quality. It is calculated that up to 40lbs of dust is created annually in a normal home just through everyday living. An HVAC system works like the lungs of a home and that dust we mentioned is recirculated 5 to 7 times per day building up in the duct system. This leads to potentially poorer air quality and a need for higher frequency of dusting/cleaning.
The second reason to clean air ducts is energy savings.With 25 to 40% of the energy used to heat and cool homes wasted annually dust and contaminants in the HVAC system cause increased strain on the unit and shortens the life. With a clean HVAC system the opposite is true resulting in less contaminates and longer system life.
Dealing with contaminated water
SERVPRO's Tips on Contaminated Water
These Emergency Tips will assist you in taking the proper action until SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade and West Walker Counties professionals arrive. Please follow these DO's and DON'Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.
Here are the DO's and DON'Ts for Water damage from Contaminated Water.
- Call SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, and West Walker immediately at (706) 866-5646.
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. This includes damages incurred by a sewage backup.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
- Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
- Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to contaminated areas.
Note: If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult with your local health department or physician.
About SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, and West Walker Counties
SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, and West Walker specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a sewage backup or a contaminated water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Have questions about Contaminated Water Damage and Cleanup? Call us - (706) 866-5646
Business Recovery Stats
Statistics on Business Recovery
- Almost than 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster. (FEMA)
- 75% of small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan. (Nationwide)
- 52% say it would take at least 3 months for them to recover from disaster.
- 26% of business owners believed that there was a low likelihood that they or their business would be affected by natural disaster.
The Eastern Kentucky University Department of Safety, Security, and Emergency Management (EKU) has put together a very informative graphic on the subject of business preparedness. The link to that infographic is (HERE).
Here are some statistics cited by EKU's "TOP NATURAL DISASTERS that Threaten Businesses":
- Between the years 2000-2013, natural disasters cost the global insurance industry around $37 billion
- In totality, natural disasters have cost the global economy $2.5 trillion
- 1 in 3 small business owners say they have been personally affected by a storm or extreme weather
- Small businesses, on average, lose $3,000 a day after closing due to a major storm
- 84% of small businesses do NOT have disaster insurance
- Additionally, 71% of owners do not own a backup generator in case of power outage
- On May 18-22 of 2013, Severe Weather caused $3.8 billion in economic loss adding to the total of $16 billion dollars in economic loss nationally for the year 2013.
- Every state in The Southeast is most at risk for Hurricane damage with Texas being the largest target of Natural Disasters in 2013
Tips for Creating a Successful Emergency Ready Plan
- Let the professionals help you. Work with an emergency restoration company for assistance in creating your emergency ready profile.
- Identify and label utility shut-off locations.
- Identify local utility contact information.
- Identify local emergency contact information such as fire, police, and hospital contacts.
- Establish main internal contacts for purposes of employee safety and emergency work authorization.
The SERVPRO Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile. Please contact one our Business Development Representative to setup your free Emergency Ready Profile.
Here to Help!
If you have any question, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, and West Walker Counties!
SERVPRO Disaster Response
How Our Local Community Responds to Hurricanes
SERVPROworks as a team across the country to help those that have been affected by a disaster. In years past, our local franchise has sent crews to various hurricane sites to help reach customers faster so that they can begin putting their lives back together. Local crews from SERVPRO has helped with Hurricane storms Ivan (2004), Katrina (2005), Lee (2011), Isaac (2013), and now Harvey/Irma(2017).
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Being a part of SERVPRO, we know that our job is to help customers and victims of disasters put their lives back together. It's nice to know that if a tornado, flood, ice storm, or any other disaster were to strike the heartland, that there are over 1,700 franchises in our system that can come to our aid to help you put your life back together.
Just remember that SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster.
Power Outage Tips
This year, we have seen some major power outages across the nation. Power outages can not only be dangerous to you and your family, but they can also cause immense stress if you are not properly prepared.
According to ready.gov:
Before a Power Outage:
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
- Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
- Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
- Keep your car's gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state's or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan.
During a Power Outage
- Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or restaurant that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power surges that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
- If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
- Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.
If you experience a water damage after a storm, call SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, & West Walker Counties at (706) 866-5646 to remediate your damage and restore you home to pre-storm damage condition.
Facts About smoke and Soot
That old fire smell
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke-wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, & West Walker Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke - Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke - Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue - Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today @ (706) 866-5646
Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips:
Moisture control is the key to mold control, so when water leaks or spills occur indoors, ACT QUICKLY. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried within 24 to 48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases, mold will not grow.
Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
Make sure the ground slopes away from the building's foundation so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
Keep air-conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60% relative humidity (ideally, between 30% to 50%). Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, which is a small, inexpensive instrument (from $10 to $50) that is available at many hardware stores.
If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes, ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
Mold is not quite as common as the Georgia sunshine, but it does happen to many residents. There is a common myth that mold starts due to poor housekeeping or it only happens to hoarders. It is untrue because mold is everywhere.
Mold spores only become a threat when they have the right combination of moisture, temperature, and a food source. To stop the threat; an experienced restoration company knows that we need to break one side of that triangle of resources. The easiest method is to remove the source of moisture. SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, and West Walker Counties knows that the sooner we get started, the faster we can stop the mold damage and prevent further growth in a Summerville or Trion home.
To get quickly started, we have developed a list of questions for the homeowner that help us determine where the mold source might be along with other, useful information:
1. Is there visible mold in your home? Where is it?
2. Is there a strong, musty odor?
3. Have you had any problems with mold previously?
4. Is there current water damage or have you had water damage in the past? When did any previous damage happen?
Once we have this information, our inspectors can quickly find the source of the mold infestation, areas of excess moisture and how to stop both.
What We Can Do
Technicians begin by removing any standing water. For puddles and other small areas, we use water extractor wands to get into crawlspaces and small areas. For areas we cannot physically get into, we place a chemical desiccant to draw moisture from the surrounding air or set up a dehumidifier to draw larger amounts of moisture. Some of these machines can draw out over 20 gallons of water per day.
Once the air is dry enough, the mold spores return to a dormant state. If the spores are only on a surface, we attempt to vacuum them up or use dry wiping to remove them. Vacuuming and dry wiping get the spores out of the home without adding moisture to the environment.
If the spores had time to grow into building material such as drywall, we prefer to remove the entire panel and dispose of it. Attempting to dig out the mold to prevent replacing panels is rarely ever cost-effective. It is a labor-intensive process that adds up quickly on a final bill.
Here to Help!
SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, & West Walker Counties is ready 24/7 to help local homeowners mitigate the effects of storms and weather disasters.
Call us at the first sign of trouble!
Preventing Kitchen Fires
There’s nothing better than coming home after a long, hot summer’s day ready to eat a big supper. Hungrily, you grab a pan, pour some oil, and turn the stove on. Right on schedule, a family member calls to ask about your day and you step outside of the house to talk. After a few minutes, and more than a few goodbyes, you step back inside only to see your entire kitchen is enflamed. You have officially learned the first of many tips SERVPRO would like to give you today on preventing kitchen fires.
- Never leave your kitchen unattended. An out-of-sight kitchen means that the kitchen is not within your control.
- If you have to leave your kitchen, ensure all appliances are turned to off-not just low.
- Wear your hair pulled back, be sure your sleeves aren’t loose or too long, and don’t wear easily flammable garments.
- To prevent any unfortunate spills that could result in disaster, keep your work space clear of kids, animals, and company unless given instructions on what to do.
- Clear your cooking area of any flammable material. Oven mitts, food packaging, towels, and clean your countertops of grease accumulation.
- Double Check all surfaces and appliances before you go to bed to guarantee a good night’s rest.
- Consider taking cooking classes or watching online instructional videos to ensure safe cooking practices.
SERVPRO Is Here to Help!
In some instances you are going to have problems, and preparedness is key. Give your family an escape plan with a designated safe zone outside of your home in case of fire. For when disaster strikes, we here at SERVPRO are here to help you get back into your home (and your kitchen) as soon as possible! Your local SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, & West Walker Counties is here to ensure you are taken care of quickly and your home truly looks, “Like it never even happened.”
Damage Assessment Practices
Flooding and water damage events in Trenton, Summerville, or Lafayette commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, and West Walker Counties
SERVPRO of Chattooga, Dade, and West Walker Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Have a question?
Call us today (706) 866-5646