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How Fast Will Mold Appear After Water Damage to Your Indianapolis Home?

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How Fast Will Mold Appear After Water Damage to Your Indianapolis Home? How Fast Will Mold Appear After Water Damage to Your Indianapolis Home?

While water damage to your home is bad enough, there could be more damage just waiting to happen if get rid of the water and moisture in time. It takes just a little water for mold to grow, so when your home suffers water damage from a flood, broken pipe or faulty sump pump; there are a lot of places that mold can easily grow. So how fast does mold appear after water damage to your home?

It Depends.

There’s really no definitive answer to how fast mold can appear after there has been water damage. If you ask mold remediation experts, you will most often hear 24-48 hours. Many water damage and mold remediation companies have observed this first hand going to homes that have suffered from water damage. On the other hand, these same experts have seen homes that have experienced water damage and have witnessed no mold.

It gets even more confusing when you look at research experiments that scientists have performed to determine mold growth. In a 2006 article in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene titled “Controlled Study of Mold Growth and Cleaning Procedure on Treated and Untreated Wet Gypsum Wallboard in an Indoor Environment”, researchers took drywall and immersed the bottom inch in water. The researchers observed the drywall pieces over an 8 week period for mold growth. Some of the drywall was treated with primer paint while others were left untreated and bare.

Surprisingly, the researchers didn’t discover any sign of mold growth until 2 weeks into the test. This is obviously way beyond the typical 24-48 hour window that is typically repeated and many times observed out in the field. These results only tested drywall and in one environment. The results have obviously differed in real situations of homes that have experienced water damage and observable mold growth. So what is different from these situations? To answer that, we have to understand how mold grows in the first place.

How Does Mold Grow or Happen?

Mold is microscopic in size and doesn’t really become apparent until it has grown or colonized. Mold is spread by mold spores which are carried by wind currents and are present in the air outside. About a billion mold spores can occupy a square inch of space. While there are more mold spores present in the air outside, mold spores also exist in our homes but at lower levels. Once mold spores are introduced to the right amount of moisture, humidity, temperature and food source, they begin to grow into what we dread as mold in our home. If left untreated, the mold can quickly colonize and grow out of control.

So what is a food source for mold? Mold needs a dead organic substance to feed off of and grow. If you look around your home, it is full of dead organic materials like wood, fabrics, drywall, insulation, leather, dirt and dust. With the right conditions like a flooded basement or busted pipe, mold can thrive. So how do you stop mold? Is there anything to prevent it?

Stop Mold Growth and Damage Before It Begins

The key to stopping mold growth before it begins is timing. If your home should suffer water damage, call the water damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They will remove all the water and treat any water damaged parts of your home before mold can take hold. If mold has started to appear, they can also remediate the mold as well. While you can’t remove the food source normally, you can take away the water and the moisture thus stopping mold from growing or happening.

Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West today for water damage cleanup & restoration, as well as, mold remediation. 

What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Indianapolis Home

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Indianapolis Home What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Indianapolis Home

Even the smallest of storms can cause significant damage to your Indiana home. A limb can fall and damage your roof or windows. Wind or hail can damage the shingles of your roof. A tornado or high winds can uproot trees and tear off roofs. Even calm showers that last for days can ultimately cause flooding in your home.

While there is usually very little we can do to prepare or prevent such damage, there are steps we can take to reduce the damage from getting worse once the storm has passed. Below we cover simple steps that can be taken to reduce further damage to your home from happening. While some of the steps can be taken by the homeowner, it’s best to contact a storm damage cleanup and restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. The experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the experience and tools to handle any size disaster and restore your home quickly.

#1 Wait Until the Storm Has Passed Before Taking Action

If you should suffer severe damage to your home, wait until the storm has passed until surveying the damage. If you are listening to the storm coverage on the radio or TV, wait until the reporter has given the all clear for your area. Many times, there can be multiple severe storms or tornadoes that hit one area. It’s always best to be safe when dealing with severe weather.

#2 Take Photos or Videos of the Damage

Once the severe weather has passed and you are able to leave the safety of your home to survey the damage, be sure to take photos and/or video of the damage. This can be helpful when filing a claim with your insurance company and can also be helpful for storm damage cleanup and restoration professionals to know what equipment they may need on hand.

#3 Turn Off the Electricity if There is Flooding

If you have flooding in your basement or in your home, be sure to cut off the electricity before wading through or getting near the flooded areas. If you are unable to reach the fuse box to cut off the electricity then wait until the cleanup professionals or electric company can arrive to assess the situation. You never want to get near any standing water or flooded areas in your home for risk of getting electrocuted.

#4 Get the Water Out

If there is standing water in your home, you will want to extract it as soon as possible. The longer the water sits in your home, the more damage it can do. Flood waters, in particular, can quickly promote mold growth in your home if not removed and treated quickly. To ensure the water is completely extracted from your home, it’s best to have water damage professionals like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West handle the removal of water from your home.

#5 Air out the House

Once the water is removed from your home, you will still want to air out your home. The flood waters in your home most likely raised the humidity in your home. If you don’t air out your home, the humid air could carry mold spores and cause mold damage throughout your home. You can also use fans and dehumidifiers to remove the moisture from the air.

#6 Check for Exterior Damage

If you haven’t checked the exterior of your home for your damage, you will want to do that. Be sure to check for roof damage, standing waters near your home’s foundation, siding damage, and damage around windows. All of these areas can be causes of water to enter your home.

Contact the Storm Cleanup & Restoration Professionals

If you experience storm damage to your home, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to get the damage cleaned up and your home restored. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the expertise and know-how to handle whatever mother nature may throw your home’s way. Whether it’s flooding, water damage, mold growth or even fire, SERVPRO can handle it. Contact them today for complete cleanup and restoration.

How to Get Smoke Out of Your Indianapolis House After a Fire

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Get Smoke Out of Your Indianapolis House After a Fire How to Get Smoke Out of Your Indianapolis House After a Fire

Almost everyday homes throughout the Indianapolis area experience an accidental fire inside their homes. Many times it’s a kitchen meal gone bad with a flame up on the cooktop or something that is cooked “well done” in the oven. Sometimes it’s a candle that someone forgot to blow out before leaving the room.

Luckily, most of these fires are extinguished quickly and result in little damage from the actual fire. Unfortunately, the smoke from these fires is what causes the most damage to Indianapolis homes. So what is one to do if they should experience a fire in their home that causes a lot of smoke? Below we cover what to do and what not to do.

#1 Remove the Cause of the Smoke

Only do this if it is safe. If you have burnt something in the oven, take it to the nearest door and put it outside. The item is most likely extinguished but may continue to let off smoke for a while.

Do not put the smoking item outside if it isn’t extinguished completely and don’t take it outside if you have to go through several rooms to get outside. You want to isolate the smoke rather than spread it throughout your home. If you don’t remove the burned item immediately, do it once it has cooled down.

#2 Open All Nearby Windows

Wherever the smoke has occurred, you want to immediately open any nearby windows to allow the smoke to blow out and fresh air to flow in.

You don’t want to open windows in rooms or areas where there is no smoke because this could cause the smoke to flow throughout your home and exit the opened windows. Again, you want to isolate the smoke to the area it occurred which brings us to the next important step.

#3 Turn Off Any Ceiling Fans and HVAC System

To help reduce the smoke from spreading throughout your home, you want to turn off any ceiling fans in the affected area. You also want to turn off your HVAC unit as it can funnel the smoke through your air ducts and into the rest of your home. This can result in not only having to deal with smoke cleanup in other rooms but throughout your air ducts also.

If you have box fans, you will want to put these in your open windows and turn them on to pull the smoke out of your home more quickly.

#4 Wipe Down Any Solid Non-Porous Surfaces

If you have granite countertops or dishes or glass windows, you can wipe them down with a cleaning solution to remove any soot or burnt particulates that gathered on the surface.

Be careful about scratching glass or other easily scratchable surfaces if the soot is very grainy. Even the smallest of particles can cause a scratch if you aren’t careful. If you are worried about damaging a solid surface, always err on the safe side and have a professional smoke remediation expert clean it.

#5 Do Not Wipe Down Porous Surfaces

The smoke from the fire most likely caused some discoloration on the ceiling about the fire and on the walls nearby. The smoke could have also gathered in the corners of the room causing discoloration there.

While it may seem that wiping down the ceilings and walls would be easy to do, most people actually make it worse due to the porous nature of walls and ceilings. Rather than removing the soot and smoke discolorations, wiping it down could smear the soot and embed it further into the surface creating a bigger mess.

#6 Call the Smoke Damage Repair and Restoration Experts

If you have ceilings and walls and sometimes wood floors that are discolored from the smoke and soot, it’s best to call the smoke damage repair experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools and the expertise to safely and effectively remove the smoke damage and restore it back to new.

If you should suffer extensive smoke and/or fire damage, they can most definitely help get your home cleaned up, repaired and restored as quickly as possible. They have dealt with all types of fire and smoke damage, and are ready to help you if you need them.

Leading Causes of Water Damage to Indianapolis Businesses

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Leading Causes of Water Damage to Indianapolis Businesses Leading Causes of Water Damage to Indianapolis Businesses

While there are some similarities between the leading causes of water damage to Indianapolis businesses and Indianapolis homes, there are also some distinct differences. Below we will cover the top five main causes of water damage to commercial properties. Some are unpreventable, while there are others that business owners can take steps to reduce the risk of.

Severe Weather

With the warmer weather in the springtime and summer, comes severe storms. These storms can bring with them high winds and sometimes tornadoes. With strong winds and tornadic activity; roofs, windows, and exterior walls can sustain severe damage allowing water to enter the commercial property.

If there’s just a small leak, it can sometimes take a while before the leak is detected. This could be troublesome as the delay in detection could allow mold to grow and go undetected. The good thing, if there is such a thing, is that the water from rain is usually much less dirty than water from other common causes of water damage, like sewers. The cleaner water, while still capable of promoting mold growth, usually happens more slowly due to the lack of bacteria in the water.

Broken Refrigerator and/or Dishwasher

Every office usually has a break room with a refrigerator and sometimes a dishwasher. Just like at home, these two appliances can malfunction and/or break causing water to leak or sometimes pour from them. While the water is usually clean since it usually originates from the water supply pipes, it can still cause extensive damage to a business. This is especially true if the leak happens over the weekend or at night when no one is there. It’s always a good idea to occasionally check around the dishwasher and/or fridge for any water leaks in order to catch and repair them before they have the potential to cause further damage.

Sewer Backup

Sewer backups not only cause severe water damage to Indianapolis businesses but also severe damage from mold growth. While rainwater and broken water pipes can be a mess, the dirty bacteria-infested water from sewers can quickly promote mold growth if not treated quickly. Sewer backups can be caused by severe rains and flooding of the public sewer system around the business. They can also be caused by clogged and broken pipes inside the business.

While you can’t do much to prevent the public sewer system from backing up into your business, you can reduce the risk of an internal issue like a clog or broken/leaking pipe. It’s a good idea to visually inspect any visible sewer pipes as well as the area around toilets on a regular basis. If you notice water collecting or slow draining drains, fix it before it backups completely and causes extensive damage.

Damaging Fire Sprinkler Heads

Most businesses have fire sprinkler systems installed throughout their buildings. While they are designed to put out fires, fire sprinklers can also cause water damage to commercial properties as a result of human error and/or severe cold temperatures. In areas where sprinkler heads are exposed, they can easily be broken by employees carrying ladders or tall items and accidentally hitting sprinkler heads. A broken fire sprinkler head can quickly cause a lot of water damage to a business.

The other cause of water damage from fire sprinkler systems is when the sprinkler pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures and burst. It’s important to be aware of sprinkler heads when carrying ladders or items that could hit the sprinkler heads. It’s also important to make sure that the sprinkler pipes aren’t exposed to freezing temperatures by making sure windows and doors are shut completely.

Overflowing Toilet

The last main cause of water damage to Indianapolis businesses is an overflowing toilet. This is especially common in businesses where the public can use your bathroom. While most employees would quickly try to fix an overflowing toilet if it occurred, a visitor to your business may try to sneak away feeling embarrassed or not caring that they made the toilet overflow. The water from an overflowing toilet could also be dirty like the water from a sewer backup which can quickly promote mold growth if not discovered in time.  

What to Do If You Experience Water Damage to Your Indianapolis Business

If you should suffer water damage or mold damage to your Indianapolis business, it’s important to stop the water if possible and call the Indianapolis water damage and mold remediation experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible. They’ll be able to quickly remove the water and repair the damage. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149 if your business should suffer from water damage.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West’s Community Partnership

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Community SERVPRO of Indianapolis West’s Community Partnership We're proud to give back to the community we live and work in.

SERVPRO as a corporate entity has a long tradition of giving back to the community, a tradition that began with company co-founders Ted and Doris Isaacson at the start of the company in 1967. SERVPRO today still encourages this attitude among its over 1,700 franchises across the country.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West embraces this approach, and in its over 10 years as a franchise, has a specific partner it teams with several times a year. Together, they help each other give back to the local community in more effective ways.

A Partnership to Better the Community

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has teamed with the Wayne Township Trustee’s office and Wayne Township Fire Department to help them maximize their many community outreach events at various times throughout the year. Since the local fire department is the first line of defense in preventing fire and water disasters, this partnership developed organically.

Neighborhood Cleanup Days

The Wayne Township Fire Department sets aside several days throughout the year as neighborhood cleanup days. Rick Boger, Marketing Manager of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, explained, “They meet in the morning, usually on a Saturday, serving up donuts and coffee to the volunteers. They draw about a hundred people, including me. We break into small groups and we’ll walk the streets of the neighborhood, armed with trash bags and rubber gloves, picking up garbage.” For Rick, it’s a chance to meet others in the area who care about their community. The street department coordinates with these Cleanup Days and sends a trash truck to follow the groups and collect the filled trash bags.

Safety Day

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West also participates in the Fire Department’s annual Safety Day. “It’s a way the department gets important safety information out to the public, ranging from emergency tips like “stop, drop and roll” and CPR demonstrations. There are many different fun activities for children to participate in while learning how to stay safe. “It gives our company the opportunity to pass out our safety tips and educate the public on water and fire safety, and what signs of a mold infestation might look like.” Rick also serves food to the public, free of charge during the event.

Smoke Alarm Blitz

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West and the Wayne Township Fire Department work together with their local Red Cross for one of Rick’s favorite events. “Several times a year, the Red Cross provides us with smoke alarms. We pick a random neighborhood in the community, send out notifications in advance, and visit the homes. We knock door-to-door and offer to test the smoke alarms in the house, and also make sure the house has enough alarms.” The volunteers replace any defective alarms and/or add alarms (up to two free alarms per home). “Sometimes we install alarms in homes that never had one before. We might install 10-15 smoke alarms in a day that weren’t working before, and those alarms might be the difference that saves someone’s life.”

Rick also helps with fundraising efforts for the Fire Department, such as volunteering at their golf outings where SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as a local company sponsors a hole.

Rick says SERVPRO of Indianapolis West’s community partnership with the Wayne Township Trustee’s office and Fire Department makes a lot of sense, and Rick is proud of the work they’ve accomplished together. “Firefighters are the first responders to property emergencies. Without them, we’d have nothing to restore.”

Reduce the Risk of Water & Mold Damage with these Springtime Tips

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Reduce the Risk of Water & Mold Damage with these Springtime Tips Reduce the Risk of Water & Mold Damage with these Springtime Tips

Winter is Over. Did Your Home Survive?

Springtime is upon us in Indiana. It’s time to start thinking about planting some flowers and getting your lawn mower ready to start the long mowing season. There are lots to look forward to in the Spring but there are also lots of things that need to be done to make sure your home is up for the season. Below we cover five things to check in your home to make sure it is free of water damage and mold damage - and ready for Springtime.

#1 Check Your HVAC System

As the warm weather approaches, you need to make sure your air conditioner is ready. The first thing to check and most likely replace is the air filter. The air filter catches allergens and reduces the buildup of dust in your home’s air ducts.You should also make sure that there is no standing water or dirty air coils where mold can grow and then be pushed through the air ducts.  

#2 Check Around Your Windows & Doors

During the winter, water can seep into cracks around your windows and doors and freeze. The freezing water can expand causing the tiny cracks to grow to allow more water to enter into your home. Check around the outside and inside of all your windows and doors. Look for cracked or missing caulking. If you find any cracks where water could enter your home, be sure to caulk or seal the holes.

#3 Check Your Roof for Damage

When it’s nice out and your roof is dry, climb up there and do an inspection. Check to make sure your gutters are clear. Otherwise, water could run over the gutters and cause water to enter through your foundation and into your basement. Also, check to make sure there are no missing shingles. If you have exhaust pipes or chimneys, check around them to make sure they are sealed and there are no signs of cracking.

#4 Check Attics, Basements and Crawl Spaces for Mold

As the ground thaws out from the Winter, water make find its way into your crawl spaces and/or basements. If you have any roof damage, it could seep into your attics. Make sure to check all these areas for any signs of water. This could be standing water or water stains. If your basement or crawl space smells musty, then you may want to get a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture from the area before it leads to mold growth. If you do find mold growth or water that you can’t remove, then call the professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to help remediate the mold damage.

#5 Check Exposed Water Pipes

If you have water pipes in your basement, crawl space, and/or crawl space that you can see, make sure to check them for any drips around the joints. During the Winter, these pipes could have frozen causing the pipes to expand and crack. Even a small drip can lead to extensive water damage and/or mold growth. It’s also a good idea to check any external faucets for cracks or leaks. If you find any sign of leaks, make sure to have it fixed before it leads to even worse damage.

Enjoy a Stress-Free Spring

While you can’t completely reduce the risk of water damage to your home, you can lower the risk by following the five steps mentioned above. If you should experience water damage or find mold growth when inspecting your home, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149 to help clean up the damage and restore your home.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for Water Damage Restoration Service

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Top 5 Reasons to Choose SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for Water Damage Restoration Service Top 5 Reasons to Choose SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for Water Damage Restoration Service

With the rainy Spring season upon us, many homes and businesses will be the unlikely victims of water damage. Some may experience flooding in low lying areas while others may experience leaky roofs or windows or flooded basements.

While there are many ways for water to creep into your home, there’s one sure choice when it comes to choosing someone to remove it. With one call to SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at any time and any day, they can be at your home and business removing the water and restoring any damage that it may have caused.

Why is SERVPRO of Indianapolis West the best choice in the Indianapolis area when it comes to water damage restoration? Here are the top five reasons why you should give them a call the next time you experience water damage:

#1 IICRC Certified Professionals

The IICRC is the leading, independent, non-profit, certification and standard-setting body in the cleaning, inspection, and restoration industry. When choosing a water damage, mold remediation, and/or fire and smoke restoration company, be sure to ask if they are IICRC certified.

At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, the team holds IICRC certifications in water removal technician (WRT), applied structural drying (AST), mold remediation technician, and lead paint remediation. The team also participates in ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility.

#2 Ready for Any Emergency 24/7

A disaster can strike at any time and any day which is why SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is ready to answer your call 24/7. With water damage, time is of the essence and it’s important to start the process of removing the water quickly before it can cause further damage or lead to mold growth. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West realizes that every water damage situation is an emergency which is why they are ready to help out whether it’s day or night.

#3 Known and Trusted for Over 50 Years

SERVPRO has been around for over 50 years. That’s 50 years of industry experience and know-how in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry. When you call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West you can trust that they have the skills and the expertise to handle any emergency no matter how big or how small. There are not many fire and water restoration companies that can say they’ve been around as long.

#4 Advanced Equipment, Treatments and Techniques

With that 50 years of experience comes 50 years of learning the best techniques and the right treatments to cleaning and restoring business and homes from fire and water damage. Along with the best treatments and techniques come some of the most advanced equipment in the industry. Trust and reliability and excellent results come from 50 years of experience dealing with every disaster imaginable.

#5 Experts at More Than Just Water Damage

Many times, water damage isn’t the only thing that a homeowner or business owner is experiencing. If the water damage has been happening over a period of time, there could be underlying mold damage.If a home or business experience a fire, there could be water damage from the fire department and/or sprinkler system. If the water isn’t removed completely, there could be water damage and mold growth. Luckily, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can handle all of those quickly and professionally.

Call the Experts for Water Damage Cleanup and Restoration

If you should, unfortunately, experience water damage to your business or home, call the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise, the knowledge, the equipment, and the know-how to remove the water and restore your home or business. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.

Top Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home

2/27/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Top Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home Top 10 Ways to Prevent Mold in Your Home

No one likes mold in their home. Whether it’s moldy food in the refrigerator, mold in the bathroom, or sudden mold growth from a flooded basement or leaking roof; mold is an unwelcome addition to any home.

While some mold may not be preventable, there are many times that mold in a home can be prevented. Below, we will cover the top ways to reduce the risk of mold occurring in your home.

How to Prevent Mold

Eliminate Standing Water

Standing water is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Check around your tub, shower, toilet, sinks, dishwasher, and clothes washer after you use them for any leaks or areas where the water may pool up.

Other areas where you may find standing water is around your fridge, windows after a rain, basement doors, and sump pumps.You may also find standing water in your crawl spaces which can lead to mold growth that can go undetectable for months.

To prevent standing water, you can try to seal where the water is coming from or remember to air out or dry the area where the water tends to gather.

Dehumidify Your Basement

Basements tend to be a hotbed for potential mold growth. Due to being below ground with little airflow, basements tend to be damp or high in moisture.

While the typical cool temperatures of a basement keep mold and mildew from growing quickly, the high moisture has the opposite effect.

The best way to prevent mold from growing in a basement is to remove the moisture from the air using a dehumidifier.

Keep the Air Flowing

If you have areas of your home where there isn’t much airflow, this can lead to mold growth. This can include poorly ventilated bathrooms and rooms that are shut off and aren’t used often, like storage rooms and guest rooms.

It’s a good idea to make sure that even if you don’t use certain rooms or areas of your home that you still regulate the temperature and airflow in the rooms. Don’t close air ducts and occasionally open the doors to let fresh air circulate through.

If you have a poorly ventilated bathroom, you want to be sure to open keep the door open to allow fresh air to circulate through.

Check Your Ducts and Air Conditioner

If your air conditioning ducts run through a hot attic or crawlspace, water can condensate and leak around the duct joints. You can seal the duct joints with special tape for ducts.

You also want to check your actual air conditioner and blower. You want to make sure the condensation drain pipe is clear to keep water from pooling.

You also want to make sure the cooling coils are clean of dust and debris as dirty coils can spur mold growth quickly.

Call the Experts for Mold Remediation

If you should discover mold growing in your home, it’s important to act fast and call the mold remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

They have all the tools and experience to handle any disaster including mold growth. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.

How Does an Ozone Generator Remove Odors?

2/25/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning How Does an Ozone Generator Remove Odors? How Does an Ozone Generator Remove Odors?

First off, you may be wondering, “What is an ozone generator?” An ozone generator is an industrial machine that produces ozone. So now you’re probably asking yourself, “What is ozone?” Many of us may remember learning about the ozone layer in school. The ozone layer is a layer in the Earth’s stratosphere that has trace amounts of ozone.

Up in the stratosphere, the ozone protects us by absorbing most of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth from the sun. While that might sound great, ozone in high concentrations is actually very toxic to humans.

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a colorless, highly reactive, toxic gas with powerful oxidizing properties. It is comprised of three atoms of oxygen rather than the two atoms of oxygen that we breathe. Ozone is naturally occurring as well as man-made. An ozone generator is a man-made way of creating ozone.

So why would we want to create ozone if it is toxic to humans? Because ozone is very good at removing the particles in the air that cause odors. It is the ultimate air purifier which is why it is used by industrial clean up companies like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

How Does Ozone Remove Odors?

Smells from house fires, molds, decaying organic materials, trash, cigarette smoking, and other sources are present as small molecules, particulates, and bacteria that float through the air and attach themselves to carpets, walls, ceilings, furniture, and other surfaces in a home.

Ozone removes the smell and odors by reacting and destroying the offensive smelling particulates, molecules, and bacteria. The ozone chemically reacts with them breaking them down into molecules and particulates and bacteria that don’t smell.

When Should Ozone Be Used?

An ozone generator is recommended for professional-use only, due to the dangers of high concentrations of ozone. Ozone generators and ozone are used to remove odors that seem impossible to remove. They can be used to remove the smell of cigarette smoke from a home that has been heavily smoked in.

They can also be used to remove the smoke odors from homes and businesses that have experienced a fire. Ozone is highly effective at removing odors due to the fact that it can penetrate anything that oxygen and smoke can penetrate. This can include fabric sofas and carpets in a home that has experienced smoke damage.

Due to the toxicity of the ozone gas, ozone generators are only used in spaces that are unoccupied and sealed. This means that if they are used in a home or business, they space usually needs to be evacuated while the ozone generator is in use. That is why it is highly recommended that you rely on professionals who are trained on how to safely operate an ozone generator.

Struggling to Get Rid of Strong Odors in Your Home or Business?

If you have strong odors that you have been battling for months and even years to get rid of, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to get rid of them. They’ll be able to determine the best actions to take including whether an ozone generator is needed.

The experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have helped remediate the odors from fires, flooding, mold damage and other sources for years. They have all the tools and experience to handle any disaster and any smell. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.

What To Do After a Home Fire

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What To Do After a Home Fire Indianapolis House Fire

While we all hope we never have to suffer through the experience of a house fire, it is important to know what to do if one should happen. Obviously, the first thing you should do is ensure the fire has been extinguished completely.

This can be done by someone in the home if the fire is small and can be put out easily and safely. Or by the fire department if the fire is too big and dangerous to safely extinguish by the homeowner. It’s important to note that it’s always best to call the fire department right as soon as a fire is spotted and to get everyone out of the home quickly and safely.

The Fire is Out. Now What?

While you may be anxious to start cleaning after a fire, you may be doing more damage than good. Normal household cleaners can be ineffective at removing soot and smoke -- and could even make it worse. It’s best to contact fire damage repair and restoration professionals, like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, to get advice on what needs to be done and what not to do.

Fire damage repair and restoration professionals will be able to tell you what can be cleaned, what can be repaired, and what needs to be replaced. They will be able to give you estimates on what services need to be done in order to remove all fire and smoke damage, including smoke odors, from your home.

Airing and Drying Things Out

One of the first things a fire repair company will do is get the smoke and moisture out of the air. This can be done with fans and dehumidifiers. Once the fire is out and you’re allowed to go back inside, you can open some windows near where the fire occurred to help start airing the smoke out of the house.

The other concern is water damage to your carpets and floors. This is usually a result of the fire department extinguishing the fire. If your carpets and floors are wet, it’s important to remove the water and moisture and quickly as possible. If not dried out, carpets and floors can occur further damage from mold and mildew.

Professional fire damage repair companies will usually vacuum out as much water as possible and then use fans and dehumidifiers to dry the carpets and floors out. They may also pull up the carpets to help dry out the padding underneath.

Battling Soot Before It Causes Worse Damage

Soot can be a huge menace to carpets, drapes, and upholstery. It can easily stain fabrics and cause further staining using standard cleaning materials. The soot must be removed before using fabric cleaners. It’s also important to limit traffic across carpet and floors that have soot on it. 

Dealing With Smoke Odor In Fabrics

One of the most difficult things to get out of fabrics and porous materials is the smoke odor. Smoke odor can adhere to carpets, dust in air ducts, drapes, and furniture. Normal household cleaners and detergents usually won’t remove all of the smoke odors. To remove the smoke odors many times require special counteractants that are formulated to break up the smoke molecules in the fabrics and materials.

A professional fire repair company will be able to help with that. They will be able to apply these chemical and/or additive counteractants to carpets, fabrics and other porous materials to break up the smoke molecules. Once they are broken up, then they can be professionally cleaned.

Sometimes ozone treatments are needed to break up the smoke molecules and remove the odors. This is usually done with ozone generators which be dangerous if misused. Ozone treatments are another of many tools and treatments that a fire repair company will be able to help with if needed.

Treating Discolored Walls and Ceilings

Removing soot from walls and ceilings is another difficult task that is best left up to a professional. Professional fire damage repair companies will have the right tools and treatments to remove the soot without causing further damage or stains. Many will use special sponges to remove the soot. Others will use non-water based cleaners to remove the soot. Again when dealing with smoke and soot stains on walls and ceilings it’s best to consult a professional fire damage repair company.

Call the Fire Damage Experts for Fast Cleanup and Restoration

When dealing with fire and smoke damage, it’s always best to leave it to the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to handle the cleanup and restoration. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the expertise and experience to handle home and commercial fire damage.  If you should suffer from a fire, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.