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?
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
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.
How Does Smoke Damage a Home’s Interior
Cleaning Smoke Damage
While the flames of a house fire can definitely be damaging to a home and can ultimately destroy a home, it is the smoke from a house fire that leads to the most damage in most house fires.
Most house fires are usually extinguished quickly either by the homeowner or the fire department resulting in minimal damage from the flames of a fire. For example, a common house fire that occurs quite often is a kitchen fire. This is usually a result of burning food in the oven or on the stovetop. These fires are usually put out very quickly resulting in minimal damage from the flames but a lot of damage from the smoke.
So how does smoke damage a home’s interior? What are the contents of smoke? How does smoke spread? And how do you remove smoke damage and odor from a home? Below we answer all these questions to help you better understand how smoke from a house fire damages your home’s interior and how to remediate it.
What Is In Smoke?
Smoke is made up of many particulates dependent on the material that is burning. It also contains aerosols and gases. The particulates can include carbon soot, dust, and fibers. The aerosols can include hydrocarbons like oils and tars. Gases in smoke can include carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, and benzene.
When smoke comes into contact with your home’s contents, it can cause discoloration and odor. What you may not know is that the smokes ingredients can also cause further damage and degradation to your home’s contents over time. That’s why it’s important to call fire remediation professionals like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.
Smoke Travels Quickly
The other damaging effect of smoke from a house fire is that is can travel far and also permeate many of your home’s contents like electronics, drywall, ceilings, fabric furniture, clothes, and carpets. As noted previously, the contents of the smoke can discolor and cause lasting odors in many of your home’s contents.
If you experience a small fire, it’s best to try to open a nearby window to air out the smoke to reduce the potential damages to your home. If you have a ceiling fan on, air conditioner running, or heater running, you may want to turn them off so the smoke isn’t carried throughout your home.
What To Do If You Experience A Fire?
As you can see, the smoke from a house fire can be particularly damaging to your home’s interior and its contents. Due to the nature of smoke being able to penetrate many of the surfaces and contents of your home, normal cleaning materials may not be fully effective. Residual smoke and soot can lead to lingering odors, discoloration of your walls and ceilings, and degradation of the internals of your electronics. That’s why it’s important to call the fire damage experts at SERVRPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible.
If you should suffer from a house fire, even if it’s a small kitchen fire, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149. The will clean up and restore the damage as if it never happened.
Commercial Water Damage to Indianapolis Businesses
Commercial Water Damage
Water damage to your Indianapolis business can lead to lots of problems. It can ruin electronics like computers or even worse, cause a short which could lead to a fire. Water can also ruin any porous materials including fabric chairs and couches, carpets, drywall, ceilings, insulation and, wood. If not caught right away and remediated, it can also lead to mold growth that can spread quickly through the air ducts and through the air.
If you do experience water damage to your Indianapolis business, then you want to call the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible. When it comes to water damage, the faster you catch it and get it dried up and cleaned up, the better. Even the smallest leak can lead to lots of damage that may be hidden behind ceilings and walls.
Top Causes of Commercial Water Damage & How to Reduce the Risks
Below we will cover the top causes of water damage to Indianapolis businesses. We will also go over how to reduce the risk or at the very least catch the water damage quickly before it gets worse. Hopefully by understanding where water can enter into your building and cause water and mold damage, the better you will be at checking these trouble areas on a regular basis.
Faulty Appliances and Equipment
If your business has appliances and/or equipment that use water, they can develop water leaks that can start small but lead to lots of damage if not caught. These appliances could be dishwashers, sinks, ice machines, water fountains, water heaters, air conditioners, and toilets.
All of these, except for the toilet, tend to leak what is termed clean water. Clean water is water that usually contains no contaminants. While clean water can still cause significant water damage to porous materials, it doesn’t have as high of a risk of fast-growing molds occurring. The water can still mix with contaminants once it starts leaking from the source which usually results in gray water. Gray water can carry bacteria and contaminants that can promote fast mold growth.
To reduce the risk of water leaks from your appliances and equipment, it’s usually a good idea to check all piping, tubes, filters, and other areas that may cause leaking. Also, do a spot check around the appliances and under them for any standing water or water stains.
Leaky and Backed Up Pipes & Drains
Leaks from sewer pipes and backups from drains is also a common cause of water damage to a business. This could be a backed up toilet or a clogged pipes that cause water to back up and escape through the drains. Also common in flood-prone areas is sewer water backing up through floor drains from sewer lines that are at capacity and overflowing.
The water from these sources tends to be gray water or black water. Black water is sewer water that can contain all types of waste particles that may be dangerous to one’s health and can also lead to fast mold growth. This is usually where you will find dangerous black molds occurring. If you experience water damage from black water, it’s important to call the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible. Black water can also be found in severe floods.
A leaking roof is common in homes and businesses throughout Indianapolis. With many businesses, the roof is usually flat. If the drainage for the roof is blocked, water can pool up and cause a roof collapse. Even if the drainage is fine, water can still find its way inside through cracks and damage to the roof membrane, flashing, and damages to seals around pipes and vents.
To reduce the risk of leaks from your roof, it’s a good idea to check the roof every few months for any deteriorating seals or storm damage. If you experience extreme weather like hails or high winds, then you want to check the roof as soon as it is safe to ensure the weather has caused any damages to the roof that may lead to leaks.
Call the Water Damage Experts for Fast Cleanup and Restoration
Sometimes no matter how much care you take to reduce the risk of water damage to your business, it still occurs. If that should happen, it’s important to contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. Whether it’s a small leak or substantial flooding and water damage to your business, the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can make clean up and restore the damage as if it never happened. You can contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.
Fire Damage in Your Indianapolis Commercial Building
Commercial Building Fire
Nothing can be more devastating than a fire occurring in a business. Whether it’s an office building, a warehouse, an industrial facility, or a data center; a fire can lead to smoke damage, fire damage, and downtime.
If you do experience a fire to your Indianapolis business, then you want to call the fire remediation experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. They will be able to clean up the fire and smoke damage and make it like it never happened.
Top Causes of Commercial Building Fires
To reduce the risk of fire in your Indianapolis commercial workspace, it’s important to know the top causes of fires and take the appropriate steps to reduce the risk. Below we cover the top causes of fire in commercial and office spaces.
Electrical fires are common in office spaces, data centers, and server rooms where faulty electrical equipment, frayed wires, and overloaded plugs can easily cause fires. Hot running equipment like computers and heavy industrial equipment can also easily cause a fire by running too hot.
To prevent electrical fires, you can take several preventive steps. One step is not to overload electrical sockets. While an overloaded power socket could trip your breaker and cut off the power, it could also cause sparks that could catch papers or carpet or other combustible materials on fire.
If you use an extension cord, be sure to check it for any frays or damage. Never use a damaged extension cord as it can cause a short and start a fire. If you are using equipment that can get very hot, make sure they are well ventilated and that they aren’t dusty or dirty. Dust is highly combustible and can easily start a fire if a spark occurs in your equipment.
Flammable & Combustible Materials
Many Indianapolis businesses use flammable liquids and materials in their commercial spaces. It’s important to always store any flammable liquids in their proper storage containers. It’s even more important to make sure they are completely sealed as the vapors are what usually cause a fire.
If flammable liquids and materials aren’t sealed, vapors can build up in the space where they are stored. If a spark from turning on a light or from static occurs, this could not only cause a fire but an explosion.
Train your staff on how to properly store, use, and dispose of any flammable liquids and/or materials. If flammable liquids are spilled, make sure you properly clean them up as well as ventilated the space where they were spilled. Remember that it’s the vapors that are most dangerous.
We all make mistakes, unfortunately, some mistakes can cause fires. Improper use of equipment, spilled liquids on electrical equipment, forgetting to turn off heat generating equipment, and mishandling flammable liquids are just a few ways that mistakes by your staff can lead to fires.
While mistakes will be made, you can reduce common ones by training your employees on the dangers of fire in the workplace. Common practices like never leaving food cooking in the microwave or on the stove unattended. Unplugging space heaters before leaving the office. Not placing drinks where they could spill on electronics. And if a fire should occur, it’s important to educate your employees on what to do.
Negligence isn’t the same as human error. Negligence in the workplace is not following proper safety procedures. Negligence can occur throughout your Indianapolis business. Improperly storing and sealing flammable liquids can cause a fire. Storing papers and flammable materials too close to heat generating equipment can cause a fire. Blocking ventilation of electronic equipment like computers can cause them to overheat and start a fire. Not properly disposing of cigarette butts can quickly lead to a fire.
Reducing the chances of fire caused by general negligence, and an understanding of potential risks, teaching your staff to work according to safety procedures can help. If you don’t have standard operating procedures for your work, you may want to create some. Standard operating procedures can include ways to reduce the risks and how to avoid them.
The last common cause of business fires is arson. While it may seem like arson from vandals seems unpreventable, you can take steps to reduce the chance of it occurring. Make sure your business is properly lit at night to discourage vandals from approaching your business.
If you have areas of the business that are hidden by bushes or trees, you may want to consider trimming them back. Surveillance cameras in areas that have little traffic can help keep trouble at bay.
No Job is Too Big for the Commercial Restoration Experts
Understanding the common causes of fires in business can help you and your employees take steps to reduce the risks. If you should experience a fire in your business, it’s important to immediately call the fire department to extinguish the fire. Once the fire is put out, the next step you need to take is to call the business fire restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.
SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the equipment and expertise to handle any smoke, fire, and water damage that may occur from a business fire. They will be able to quickly return your business to full operation so you aren’t losing money to downtime. You can contact them online or call them at 317-243-3149.
Winter Tips to Prevent Water Damage from Frozen Pipes Bursting
With the cold weather upon us, it’s important to take some steps to ensure you don’t experience water damage from pipes freezing and bursting. Below we will cover some common areas where water pipes are prone to freeze and how to prevent that from happening.
Top Locations Where Water Pipes May Freeze
How To Prevent Pipes from Freezing & Bursting
If you have water pipes that run through an uninsulated or under-insulated area like a garage or crawlspace, you can purchase pipe insulation sleeves that slip over the exposed pipes. These black foam sleeves can easily be cut and usually have an adhesive that sticks to the pipe so they don’t slip off.
It’s OK to open your garage door to get the car out or for the kids to grab their sleds but never leave it open for extended times. Remind your kids to shut it right away after opening it. It doesn’t take long for the bitter cold to freeze an exposed water pipe in your garage.
- Open Kitchen & Bathroom Cabinets
During really cold days and nights, you might want to consider opening up the cabinet door under your kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks that are against an exterior wall. Kitchen sink water pipes are one of the most common water pipes to freeze due to the fact that kitchen sinks are usually facing an exterior wall.
- Keep Thermostat Set Above 55 Degrees
While you obviously won’t have your thermostat set that low while you’re home, many people do set their thermostats that low when away for vacations. If you want to save a little money by turning your thermostat down while you’re away for a week or even the whole winter season, be sure to at least keep it at 55 or above. This will ensure that any water pipes that may be far away from your thermostat will still be warm enough not to freeze.
- Insulate Crawl Spaces and Attics
Many attics and crawl spaces have very minimal insulation. The insulation that there is in an attic or crawl space is usually there to insulate that area from the rest of your house and not the actual attic or crawl space. If you have water pipes that run through your attic or crawl space, you can insulate the entire area or you could just insulate the water pipes in the area as described above.
- Shutoff Valves to Exterior Spigots
Many exterior spigots are frost-proof to prevent them from freezing and bursting. If your spigots aren’t frost-proof or you don’t know, you can do one of two things to prevent them and the pipes they’re connected to from freezing and bursting. You can buy a spigot insulator that is usually a piece of styrofoam that covers the spigot or you can cut off the water to the exterior spigots and drain the remaining water in the pipes by opening up your spigots.
What to Do If a Pipe Does Burst
If you happen to have a water pipe burst in your home, the first thing you want to do is turn off the water to your home or to the area where the pipe has burst. The next step is to deal with all the water and water damage. Even a little water can get under carpets and behind walls and lead to more problems like mold.
It’s important to call the water damage restoration experts of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. We will work right away to identify the steps to clean and restore your home while taking steps to prevent any unnecessary further damage from occurring.
If you should suffer water damage at your home, call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149 to start taking the appropriate steps to clean and restore your home as if nothing ever happened.
Top 8 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Fire During the Holidays
Top Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Fire During the Holidays
While the holidays are usually full of joy and happiness in homes throughout Indiana, they, unfortunately, are also at a higher risk of home fires.
Fires in homes are most common during the holidays and can quickly put on damper on the holiday mood. But there are things that you can do to reduce the risk of a fire happening in your home and causing extensive damage. This season, follow these top tips for a safe and happy holidays:
Keep Your Christmas Tree WateredWhile Christmas tree fires are rare, they can cause extensive damage when they do. If you have a real Christmas tree, be sure to keep it watered the entire time. A dry Christmas tree can be engulfed in flames in less than a minute.
Don’t Leave Candles Burning UnattendedTis the season for candles of all kinds, all sizes, all fragrances. If you love the smell of a fragrant burning candle during the holiday season, always be sure to blow it out before leaving the room or going to sleep. Most candle fires happen in the bedroom where the homeowners fall asleep with a burning candle which ignites the curtains or bed sheets or burns downs and ignites the surface it was on. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Also, make sure the candle is far enough away from anything that can catch fire.
Check Holidays Lights for Broken Bulbs and Frayed WiresWhen hanging up the holiday lights, be sure to check the entire strand of lights for broken bulbs and frayed wires before hanging and turning them on. Older lights get much hotter than the newer LED lights, especially the larger ones, so be sure to keep them away from any flammable materials like fabrics or dry Christmas trees.
Do Not Overload Electrical OutletsWith all the lights to hang, it’s easy to overload your electrical outlets. Most outside electrical outlets are ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets which will cut the power to the outlet if overloaded or there is an electrical short in the lights. If your lights are tripping the outlet, you may either have a frayed wire or a broken bulb or you are overloading the outlet with too many strands of lights. Overloading a non-GFCI outlet inside can lead to an electrical short and fire which is why it’s very important to never overload a single outlet with too many strands of lights.
Keep Pets Away from Holiday Lights and TreesIf you have cats or dogs that like to climb and chew on things, be sure to keep an eye on them around your Christmas tree and holiday lights. An animal chewing on a wire or breaking a bulb could not only electrocute and kill your beloved pet but also cause a fire. If you do find them chewing on the wires or climbing through the tree, you might want to consider locking them in a safer room or training them not to mess with the tree or lights.
Deep Fry your Turkey with Extreme CareIf you choose to deep fry your turkey this Thanksgiving or holiday season, do so with extreme care. Make sure the deep fryer is at least 10 feet away from your home and any structure. Make sure the deep fryer is on a flat surface where it won’t tip over easily. Have a fire extinguisher that is approved for grease fires nearby in case a fire does occur.
Never Leave Your Kitchen While CookingWhether you’re baking cookies and holiday treats or preparing for a huge holiday dinner, your kitchen will probably be busy this holiday season. With so much happening in the kitchen during this festive time of the year, it should come as no surprise that kitchen fires are the most common house fire during the holidays. To reduce the risk of a kitchen fire, it’s always a good idea to have someone in the kitchen at all times when baking or cooking. Also, before you start cooking your big holiday meals be sure that you have a working fire extinguisher in your kitchen. When using your stove or cooktop, be sure that any flammable materials, like towels, are not near the hot surfaces.
Test Your Smoke AlarmsLast but not least, walk test all of your smoke alarms. You want to be sure they are installed on every level of your home. It doesn’t hurt to install an extra one near your Christmas tree if one isn’t there. A smoke alarm can alert you quickly when a fire starts and can mean the difference between a little smoke damage and catastrophic damage.
If a Fire Should Occur, Call the Fire Damage Experts
While we hope this holiday season is a joyous occasion, if you should suffer a home fire or even suffer from smoke damage from a small kitchen fire, call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. The fire damage repair and restoration experts of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the expertise and equipment to quickly clean and restore your home as if nothing ever happened. You can contact them online or call them at 317-243-3149.
Top 10 Tips to Reduce the Risk of Home Fires
Top 10 Tips to Reduce the Risk of Home Fires
While October is Fire Prevention Month, there are many things you can do every month to reduce the risk of a fire happening in your Indianapolis home. We’ve compiled these top 10 home fire safety tips that you can follow now and throughout the year. If you do, however, suffer a home fire, you can call the fire damage repair and restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.
Top 10 Home Fire Safety Tips for your Indianapolis Home
1. Test Your Smoke Alarms Monthly
Hold down the test button and wait a few seconds for the alarm to activate. If it doesn’t activate, replace the batteries. Some of the newer smoke alarms have 10-year lithium batteries. These smoke alarms should be replaced completely every 10-years.
2. Install Smoke Alarms In Every Bedroom
If a fire should start in a bedroom where you are sleeping, you want a smoke alarm to go off as quickly as possible to increase the chance of escaping without harm.
3. Install Smoke Alarms at Every Level
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home, including the basement. Beyond installing one on every level and in every bedroom, you should also consider installing smoke alarms in areas that are at higher risk of fire. These higher fire risk areas include a laundry room, kitchen and furnace room.
4. Keep Bedroom Doors Closed when Sleeping
If a fire should start outside your bedroom, you want to lower the risk of smoke inhalation by keeping your door closed while sleeping. By closing your bedroom door, the smoke alarm located nearest to the fire should wake you up before smoke has had a chance to infiltrate your bedroom.
5. Create and Practice Fire Escape Plan
If a fire should start at the bottom of the stairs, how will your family escape from a fire? If a fire is blocking the door, where do you go to escape? It’s important to not only create a fire escape plan but to practice it with your family.
6. Have a Fire Extinguisher in Your Kitchen
If a fire should start on your stove top, how will you put it out? It’s important to have a working fire extinguisher located in your kitchen. It’s best to place the fire extinguisher away from the higher risk fire areas like the oven and stove top.
7. Check and Clean Out Your Dryer Vent Annually
While it may be a pain to remove the dryer vent hose and clean it out, it can greatly reduce the risk of a fire from the accumulated dryer lint in the dryer vent.
8. Make Sure Your Chimney Damper is Open Before Starting Fire
With the cold weather upon us, many homes are lighting up their fireplaces for the first time this season. Before you strike the match or turn the gas on, make sure that your chimney damper is open. Too often, people light their first fire in their fireplace only to see smoke billowing out into their home causing extensive home damage.
9. Keep Candles One Foot Away from Flammable Materials
Candles are romantic. They’re also a common culprit of house fires. If you do light candles in your home, make sure that you keep them at least one foot away from anything that can burn. Also, never leave a room where a candle is burning without extinguishing it first.
10. Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms on Every Level of Home
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can quickly kill you. By simply installing a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, you can greatly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
What to Do If a Fire Should Occur
Even the small of home fires can cause extensive damage to a home. While the flames of a small fire may not cause much damage, the resulting smoke can quickly spread throughout the house causing smoke damage to furniture, clothes, electronics, carpets, and more.
If you should suffer from a house fire, it’s important to call the fire and smoke damage restoration experts of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. We will work right away to identify the steps to clean and restore your home while taking steps to prevent any unnecessary further damage from occurring.
Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149 to start taking the appropriate steps to clean and restore your home.
How Does Mold Grow in Indiana Homes?
How Does Mold Grow in Indiana Homes?
Perhaps you are walking through your home and notice a dark spot on your ceiling. Upon closer examination, the area around the spot is soft and it looks like the dark spot is mold. How does mold get into your home and grow? How do you remove mold growth from your home? How can you prevent mold from occurring in your home again? These are just a few of the many questions Indiana homeowners ask when mold is found in their home.
Where Does Mold Growth Most Often Occur in Homes?
Mold growth can occur anywhere in a home. The most common place mold is found, along with mildew, is in the grout between shower and tub tiles. If you don’t wash and clean your shower and tub files, the moisture from the bath and shower can promote growth from mold spores. These most often happen in the grout due to the porous-nature of the grout allowing the mold spores to collect and grow with moisture.
The most common places where you might discover mold growth is around areas of your home where moisture or water may be present. This can include around toilets, sinks, dishwashers, clothes washers, and water pipes throughout your home. The water pipes can spring a small leak or water can condense on the outside of the pipe, gather and drip behind the walls. While mold can be spotted pretty quickly around bathrooms and sinks, mold can be hidden from view for a long time if it’s the result of a leak inside your walls or a small roof leak.
Mold growth that’s hidden usually doesn’t get spotted until it’s spread to a more visible area or in the scenario at the beginning where it’s on the ceiling, will only show once the mold has spread through the drywall on the ceiling causing the visible dark spot on the ceiling.
How Does Mold Get Into Your Home and Grow?
Mold occurs when mold spores mix with moisture. Mold grows best in warm, damp and humid conditions. That is why you’ll find mold most often in bathrooms and damp basements. Mold spores can be found almost anywhere, both indoors and outdoors.
Mold spores can lie dormant in dry conditions for years and years until they are exposed to moisture where they grow. Mold spores are usually harmless in their dormant condition but can cause asthma attacks and allergy problems for certain people if they are inhaled. The best way to prevent mold spores from growing is to keep the humidity down in your home. If you take a shower or bath, turn on the ceiling vent to pull the moisture out of the room. When done, leave the door open to allow the room to air out and the moisture to dissipate.
Can You Remove Mold Spores from a Home?
While a dehumidifier can help reduce humidity in basements and homes, they won’t remove or kill mold spores. Mold spores will continue to float and travel through the air in your home. To remove mold spores from the air, you will want to look at air filters that are capable of trapping or killing these tiny particles. For most people and homes, mold spores are not harmful and won’t be noticed until someone with mold allergies or asthma enters the home. The best advice is to reduce the opportunities for mold spores to cause mold growth by eliminating or reducing moisture and humidity in the home.
How Do You Remove Mold from a Home?
Small amounts of mold on hard surfaces can be normally cleaned with household mold cleaners or a bleach and water mix. This could be mold found around the tile of a shower. If you find mold growing on porous surfaces like walls, ceilings, wood floors, carpets, wood surfaces, and upholstered furniture; it’s best to call mold remediation experts like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. Mold growth on porous surfaces can easily spread and grow not only along the visible surface but below the surface. Mold growth could also be hiding a bigger problem like a roof leak, pipe leak, or condensation on pipes behind walls. A mold remediation expert will remove the damaged materials, pinpoint the origin and cause of the growth, and remove the cause of the moisture or high humidity.
If you discover mold growing in your home, call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West today at 317-243-3149 to learn how to stop it and reduce any further damage from occurring.