Recent Posts

Is Their Mold Growing Under My Carpet?

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

Looking down at feet with socks on carpet. Is Their Mold Growing Under My Carpet?

Usually, when homeowners discover mold growth in their home, it is on the ceilings or walls or tiles. Typical places where mold is found most often are in bathrooms, basements, and kitchens. There is however one place that many people overlook and that is under carpets. Below we will go over signs that may indicate mold growth under your carpets, what causes it, and how to get rid of it.

Signs That There May Be Mold Under Your Carpet

While mold growth can be hidden from view under your carpet, there are some noticeable signs that it may be there. The first sign to look for, or in this instance smell for, is musty odors. As mold grows, it releases spores and musty odors into the air Some areas where musty odors are most commonly found are in basements, crawl spaces, and bathrooms. If you smell musty odors, then there is a good chance the there may be mold growth nearby. The musty odor will also get stronger the closer you are to the mold. So, if you smell musty odors around your carpet, you may be able to find where the mold is by where the smell is strongest.

Another sign of possible mold growth is an increase in allergy symptoms. Mold tends to exacerbate common allergy symptoms like coughing, watery eyes, and soar throat. If you are suffering from persistent allergy symptoms, you may want to check your home for mold and/or musty odors.

Another sign that there may be mold growth under your carpets is if the carpet is persistently damp or wet. This could be the result of a leak, excessive moisture, or carpet near a high traffic area like the front door. A carpet that stays damp or wet for more than a day can be susceptible to mold growth. It’s important to dry out any carpet quickly to prevent mold from occurring. 

The last and most obvious sign of mold growth is the changing of colors of your carpet. Mold in the carpet can grow and make your carpet look black, green, blue and a rainbow of other colors The mold growth can eventually eat away and destroy the natural fibers of the carpet.

What Causes Mold to Grow in Carpets

In order for mold to grow, it needs three things. The three things are moisture, spores, and a food source. As stated above, the natural fibers and materials of carpets are a great source of food for mold. Just add moisture and with spores almost always present in our environment, you have the perfect home for mold to grow. The other factor that helps mold grow is darkness which is why many times mold will start to grow under the carpet.

What to Do If You Find or Suspect Mold Growing in Your Home

If you find mold growing in or under your carpet or anywhere in your home, it’s important to call a mold remediation company as soon as possible. A mold remediation company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, has the expertise and tools to stop mold in its place and take steps so it won’t happen again. They will also examine the rooms and areas around the mold to ensure it hasn’t spread. Without proper care and remediation, mold can continue to grow and destroy your carpet and home. If you find mold or suspect mold is growing in your Indiana home, give SERVPRO of Indianapolis West a call. They are available 24/7 and will take care of your mold problem before it gets worse. 

Steps to Winterize Your Property

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

This photo shows a house in wintertime with the words, How to Winterize your Home Regular home maintenance can save you time and money.

1. Clean Out Your Gutters

Clearing out your gutters and downspouts should usually be done a few times a year, depending on how many trees you have. But emptying them before the freezing temperatures set in is an essential first step to winterizing your home. If your gutters seem to fill up with debris quickly, try installing leaf guards to keep them cleaner longer.

2. Inspect Your Roof

Roof maintenance is best done before the cold sets in, and it’s a crucial part of preparing your home for winter. The best way to determine your roof’s integrity is to do a visual inspection. You will want to look for sections of the roof where the shingles are cracking, bending, or just plain missing. Loose nails and missing flashing should also be investigated to see if there are some potential leaks. A comprehensive roof inspection is best done by a roofing specialist and is something you may need to call a professional for.  

3. Protect Your Wood Deck

Sweep your deck clean of fallen leaves and other dirt and debris. If you didn’t apply a fresh coat of sealer in the spring, now may be the time to do that before the snow starts falling. You can lay a large tarp down to protect your wood or make sure to be diligent about using a plastic shovel for snow removal. Focusing on maintaining your wood deck year-round can help preserve its lifespan.

4. Flush Your Sprinklers

As you winterproof your home, pay special attention to outdoor water sources. If your lawn has a sprinkler system, it’s important to shut the water off before the ground freezes. You will also want to flush the existing water out of the pipes. To do that, open up the manual valve and flip on the system or use a compressor to blow the remaining water out of the system.

5. Check Your Snow blower

Don’t wait for the first snowfall to get your snow removal equipment in order. If you haven’t run your snow blower in a while, you’ll probably want to change the motor oil, spark plug, and air filter before firing it up. Once that basic maintenance is out of the way, turn it on to ensure that everything is running smoothly. You should also lubricate the chute, levers, and linkages throughout the machine so that everything turns easily once you’re removing snow.

6. Bring in Outdoor Plants, Furniture and Grill

Before the freezing weather hits, take inventory of all your outdoor accessories and plants. Debug and bring in your plants before the first frost hits, as this can cause them to drop their leaves. Clean all of your outdoor furniture and store it in your garage or shed.

Any yard equipment you used during the summer should be cleaned up and stored in a dry place when preparing for winter. For your garden hose, disconnect it from your faucet and put it away. For mowers, you’ll want to scrape off any grass that is caked onto the blades. This can be done with a putty knife or wire brush. You should also take this time to change the oil, air filter, and spark plug so you’re prepared for when spring rolls around.

7. Seal Gaps Around Your Doors and Windows

An essential goal of winterizing your home is to keep your heating bills down and make sure your home is blocking out the cold air effectively. A great way to do this is to add weather stripping to your doors and caulk any window gaps. To prevent a draft from sneaking in, make sure all your windows stay locked. It may be time to replace your windows if your sashes aren’t meeting, and your inner lock isn’t working.

8. Protect Your Pipes

Unheated interior spaces like your garage, attic, or basement are most at risk for frozen pipes. Use pipe insulation liberally on any of your exposed pipes in the vulnerable areas of your house. Other ways to protect your pipes from freezing are to keep your garage closed as much as possible, and even when you aren’t home, and don’t let the temperature of your house fall under 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Clean Your Chimney and Check Fireplace Flue

After giving it the summer off, having your chimney inspected and cleaned is essential for fire safety. Hire a local professional for a certified fireplace and chimney inspection and cleaning before the winter hits. An inspection will determine if there has been any buildup through the off-seasons and test your flue for a tight seal when closed.

10. Test-Run Your Heating System and Replace Filter

Furnace filters should be changed regularly at least every three months, though some experts recommend replacing them as frequently as once a month. The best thing for your furnace is to call an HVAC professional to come out and inspect it for you to make sure everything is operational. During their inspection, they’ll clean the furnace and change the filter for you. It’s also worth paying a little more to have them clean out your ducts as well.

11. Cover Your Water Heater

To stop your water heater from losing heat as quickly, you can purchase a water heater insulation blanket. These will only run you about $20-$25 from your local home improvement store and save you some cash on your heating bill.

12. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Using a smart or programmable thermostat can save the average consumer more than 8% of their heating and cooling energy, amounting to around $50 annually. These new thermostats will also allow you to customize the temperature of your home based on your personal preferences. Many brands have an app for your phone, so you can control your thermostat remotely or without ever leaving your bed.

13. Change Batteries and Test Smoke Detectors

Winter is the perfect time to crank the heat, light a fire and make some soup on the stove – but all these things also make this the peak season for home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to make sure they are working correctly.

Water Damage on Ceiling and Walls - Is it Old or New?

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Dark water stains on a drop down ceiling tile. Water Damage on Ceiling and Walls - Is it Old or New?

Have you found a water spot on your wall or ceiling? Water spots on ceilings and walls are usually caused by a leaky pipe or condensation. They can also be caused by a leaky roof or leaks around a window or door. If you find a water spot on your ceiling or wall, there is a good chance that the water damage has been occurring for some time as it takes time for the water to permeate through the drywall of the ceiling or wall. But how bad is the water damage and how long has it been happening? In this blog, we will go over how to evaluate a water spot and determine how old it is and how much water damage may have happened already.

How Old Is the House?

A water spot on the ceiling or wall may be an old water spot that hasn’t seen any recent water damage in a while. This can be the result of an old roof being repaired many years ago or a bathroom renovation where an old leak was repaired. Even if the water spot is old, there can still be water damage that you will want to have checked out by a professional. Behind that old water spot could be damage to the structure or mold growth.

Touch the Water Spot

One easy way to determine if a water spot is new or old is to touch it. If the water spot is wet and the drywall is still solid, then the water spot is most likely new. If the water spot is wet and the drywall is soggy, then the water damage has been most likely occurring for some time. If the water spot is dry and the drywall is soft and crumbly, then the water damage is probably no longer occurring but the damage could still be quite extensive. If the water spot is dry and the drywall is still solid, then the water damage is probably no longer occurring and the damage may not be so extensive. Of course, there really is no telling how much water damage has occurred until you remove the water damaged drywall and examine the structure and insulation behind it.

Examine the Color of the Water Spot

A new water spot will be a solid color. The color can be light or dark, as long as it is one solid color. An older water spot will have rings of different colors around the water spot. It is kind of like a tree trunk - the more rings, the older the tree or water spot. The rings happen as a result of the water spot getting wet, drying out, getting wet again, drying out again, and repeating these steps over and over. 

Examine the Building Materials 

Even a small water spot can be hiding extensive water damage due to the ceiling’s materials and paint. Thick paint can hide or prevent water from seeping through and causing a water spot. Also, ceiling tiles can keep the water from seeping through the ceiling. Sometimes in these cases, the water can seep to other areas like ceiling joists, corners of ceilings, and/or walls. If the area above the water spot has insulation, the water could have been absorbed by the insulation. Depending on the materials, the water damage could have been occurring for a long time and is just becoming visible due to materials holding the water back.

Check for Mold 

Check the water spot and the surrounding area for any signs of mold. It only takes a couple of days for mold spores to take hold and grow in a moist area. If there is mold growth around the water spot, then there is a chance that the mold growth is also happening behind the water spot. Unlike water damage which can take time to cause extensive damage, mold growth can quickly spread and cause extensive damage to a home in no time. Mold can spread quickly from the drywall to the insulation to the structure. If you spot mold, you will definitely want to act fast and have a professional mold remediation company analyze the damage and start the remediation process before it spreads further.

How Bad is the Water Damage from the Water Spot? Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to Find Out!

If you find a water spot on your ceiling or wall, it’s important to have a water damage professional examine it and determine if there is more damage behind the water spot. Even if the water spot is old, it’s still important to remove the damage and examine the area behind it as there could be structural damage or mold growth. Call the water damage and mold remediation pros of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to examine and restore any water damage or mold growth that may have occurred. They have the knowledge, expertise, tools, and equipment to handle all types and sizes of damage. They’re available 24/7, so don’t hesitate to call them the next time disaster strikes your home or business.

How to Clean Up Smoke Damage After a Fire

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage from fire on ceiling and wall. How to Clean Up Smoke Damage After a Fire

The worst part of most house fires isn’t necessarily the damage from the actual fire but the damage caused by the smoke and soot of the fire. Most house fires that are contained and put out quickly leave little to no damage. If the fire is in the oven or on the cooktop, the flames may cause damage to the oven, hood, and back wall. If replacing the oven or cleaning up the oven was the only thing needed, that wouldn’t be so bad. Unfortunately, it’s the smoke from the fire that can quickly spread that can leave lasting damage if not cleaned up properly. 

In this blog, we will go over some tips to clean up “minor” smoke damage after a fire. We use the word “minor” because smoke damage can quickly turn into a much bigger problem as it spreads quickly. The other problem is that the homeowner may exacerbate the smoke damage by using the wrong cleaning supplies and chemicals. This leads us to the first tip.

Assess the Smoke Damage Before Cleaning

Once the fire has been safely put out, check the area for smoke damage. If you see that the smoke has gone up the walls and to the ceiling, it is usually best to call a professional to clean up. The reason is that it can be difficult to remove smoke from porous ceilings and walls. Also, if the smoke is visible on the ceiling and walls, there’s a good chance that it has been carried elsewhere. Fire damage restoration professionals will know where to look and how to clean the smoke damage. Also, smoke can easily slip behind appliances, through cracks, and other hard to reach areas which if not cleaned could leave that the smell of smoke lingering behind. 

Air Out the Room

If you experienced a small kitchen fire, open the nearest window and/or door to let fresh air in. This will allow any airborne soot or smoke to hopefully blow out of the house. It’s also a good idea to turn off your central air or heat so the smoke isn’t sucked up into your air ducts. Once the smoke has dissipated and you’ve gotten plenty of fresh air circulating through the area, you can turn back on your central air or heat. It is, however, a good idea to check your air filter on your furnace and change it out if you smell any smoke from it. Another good idea is to use box fans to push the air out through your open windows and/or doors.

Clean Up the Fire Extinguisher Residue

If you use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, you most likely used the common ABC dry powder fire extinguisher. It’s important to clean up the dry powder from any appliances or metals as the powder can be corrosive over time. A simple wet rag can remove the powder from any surfaces like an oven, sink, or refrigerator. Also with small kitchen fires, the powder probably spread further than the actual smoke damage, so you want to be thorough in examining all of the surfaces and areas around where the fire occurred.

Vacuum Up Any Fire and Soot Debris First

Before using towels and cleansers to wipe the surfaces, you will want to use a vacuum to remove any loose debris or soot from the damaged area. The debris could scratch surfaces like cooktops if using a towel to wipe the surface. Use the brush attachment of your vacuum to lightly dislodge any debris so the vacuum can suck it up. You make also want to use a broom to sweep up any debris but be careful not to use too much force as you could scratch the surfaces or make the stains worse. 

Don’t Use Liquid Cleaners Just Yet

This is where most people would tend to grab a towel and a liquid cleaner to remove the smoke from the walls, ceiling, and other surfaces. Doing this usually makes the damage worse and harder to clean up. Using liquid cleaners and a towel at this stage can sometimes smear the smoke stains or push them deeper into the surfaces especially walls and ceilings. To get most of the soot and smoke off of surfaces, you need to use a dry chemical sponge. This is a special type of sponge that is impregnated with chemicals that are designed to remove soot and smoke. By gentling wiping the surface, the sponge absorbs and/or picks up the soot and smoke from the surface. If the smoke damage is minimal, this can be an easy task but if there is extensive smoke damage, this can be an enormous project that is usually best left to the professionals. 

Next, Wash the Surfaces with Professional Cleansers

Once you’ve removed most of the smoke and soot from the surfaces with the dry chemical sponge, you’ll then want to use professional cleansers and a towel to wipe down the surfaces. Some of the different cleaners that people use are commercial soot/smoke cleaner, white vinegar, dish soap, and trisodium phosphate (TSP). A professional smoke damage restoration company will know better what cleaners to use and when. Some cleaners may remove the smoke and soot stains but leave the smell behind. Some may kill the smell with natural, biologically-activated enzymes but not remove the stains.  

The Best Step to Take is Call the Professionals

Removing the stains and smells from smoke and soot is not a simple and easy process. We just went over some steps that may work for smooth surfaces but what if the smoke gets into fabrics or furniture? That is why it is usually best to call the professionals to handle the cleanup and restoration of fire and smoke damage. Fire damage restoration experts, like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, have the knowledge, expertise, tools, cleaning agents, and equipment to effectively remove all the stains and odors and damage from a home fire. Contact them 24/7 when the next time disaster strikes at your home or business. 

Common Causes For Water Damage

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

hand holding a water supply line to the toilet. Changing out an old water supply line could save your home from water damage.

Pressurized water supply lines are one of the leading reasons that a home may suffer a flood. Take time to inspect your supply lines and replace them if they appear cracked or show signs of deterioration. You could be saving yourself time and money, and your home from damage. 

You can help prevent a flooding disaster by checking these key areas: refrigerator lines, washing machine hoses, and toilet water supply lines. These supply lines usually are easily accessible and can be changed with pliers or an adjustable wrench. If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself, or if you need assistance, a family member or local handyman could help you. 

Let's focus on the toilet in your bathroom as a potential cause for water damage. Here are some of the most common reasons you may experience loss from a faulty toilet: 

1-Leaking supply line is the line that connects the plumbing coming out of the floor to the toilet tank. This line is under continuous pressure, which means that if the hose begins to leak, it will continue to leak until the water line is turned off.

 2-Old worn-out mechanical parts inside the tank can cause the toilet to run continuously and even overflow onto the floor, resulting in severe water damage to the floor, walls, and everything beneath. 

3-The old worn-out wax ring that is at the base of the toilet where it connects to the floor. This wax ring can deteriorate out over time, causing water to leak at the base of the toilet. 

4-Tank-to base washer is worn-out or pinched. If the tank is not seated correctly to the base, the washer could fail. Or, if the washer has aged too much, water can leak when flowing down to the bowl. 

The water supply lines in a typical home or business are under and have continuous pressure, and if there's a leak or break, water will run out until it's shut off or fixed at the main water shut-off. Leaks inside walls are notorious for causing a lot of damage. These leaks are often unseen, slow, and gradual, so damage builds up and compounds itself over a period of time. To no fault of their own, home-owners don't see the problem until it's too late, and much damage has occurred. 

We are water damage restoration specialist and are ready to restore your Indianapolis home or business to pre-water damage conditions. We quickly extract the water and then dry your property using state-of-the-art equipment. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West uses moisture monitoring equipment to effectively measure and document the drying process to ensure your property is dry. 

Call us 24/7 for emergency water extraction and dry out your property and make it "Like it never even happened."

How to Prevent Wind Damage to Your Home in Indiana

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Fallen tree in the middle of the road. How to Reduce Wind Damage to Your Home

Living in central Indiana, we all are familiar with damaging winds. Due to the lack of hills, mountains, and forests; the wind can be brutal throughout the year. Most of the damaging winds come from thunderstorms and blizzards that blow across our state. Damaging winds are defined as winds that exceed 50mph and are a common occurrence in the Indianapolis area. Another form of damaging winds is tornadoes which are also a common occurrence in Indiana. In the blog below, we will show you how to prepare your home and property for damaging winds. By following these tips, you will hopefully be able to limit the damage that damaging winds can have on your home. 

Check Your Garage Door for Weaknesses and Damage

The part of your home that can be most susceptible to damaging winds is your garage door. The best garage door to have is a heavy one. Some of them are even rated for hurricanes. With a heavy garage door, the high winds are less apt to blow or tear it off your home. You can also have your lightweight garage door reinforced by a garage door installer. Whether you have a heavy garage door or a lightweight one, the next important part of the door is how it is secured to your home. You want to check to make sure that the garage door rails are securely attached to the wall and ceiling of your home. If it is not solidly attached, high winds could possibly separate the rails from the home and blow the garage door down. The last part you want to check is the seal at the bottom of the door. Not only will a properly sealed door prevent water from blowing in but it will also keep the wind from shaking the garage door and damaging it. 

Check the Integrity of Your Roof

You want to make sure that your roof shingles are not missing or damaged as this can lead to water seeping into your home and causing damage. Make sure that all of the shingles are properly secured and not loose. A loose shingle can be easily blown off the roof damaging and exposing other shingles to wind damage. If you have a satellite dish or air conditioning unit or any other type of equipment secured to the roof, you will want to check that they are solidly affixed to the roof. A satellite dish that blows off a roof can become a dangerous projectile that can damage windows, cars, and other homes. You will also want to make sure that the screws and bolts that are used to attach the equipment to the roof have some type of sealant around them to prevent water from leaking through your roof.

Check Your Windows and Doors

A common source of water damage from high winds and storms is through cracks and broken seals in windows and doors. You not only want to make sure that your windows and doors can close completely and lock but you also want to check the outside frames and edges for any cracks or broken seals. With windows, water can seep in around the wooden frames between the siding and the window. You can easily seal any cracks up with window & door caulking. You also want to check the door jamb for spaces or tears in the weather seal. Many doors have seals that can be replaced easily once they become torn and brittle. You can also buy similar seals for the bottoms of your windows to keep water from blowing under and into your home. 

Check the Perimeter of Your Home for Loose Objects

With damaging winds, loose items in your yard, patio, deck, and gardens can quickly become flying objects that can break windows, rip apart siding, dent cars, tear up roofs, and cause all types of damage to you and your neighbors' properties. If you know a severe storm is coming, you want to make sure any table or chairs is secured to the ground and/or moved inside your garage. If you have a grill, move it into your garage or secure it to a deck railing or large tree. If you have any large trees, you will want to cut down any dead branches on a regular basis. Dead branches can easily break during a storm and cause damage to your home. To protect your cars during a severe storm, either move them into your garage or away from any large trees that could fall on them. 

If Your Home Should Suffer Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

If your home or property should suffer damage from severe storms, winds, and/or tornadoes, call the damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the knowledge, expertise, tools, and equipment to handle all types and sizes of damage. They’re available 24/7, so don’t hesitate to call them the next time disaster strikes your home or business. 

Top Tips to Reduce Winter Water Damage for Businesses

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Icicles hanging off of roof of home. Top Tips to Reduce Winter Water Damage for Businesses

While the fall season just began, winter weather and freezing temperatures are not too far away. In this blog, we will go over the most common types of water damage to businesses in the winter and what to do right now to prevent winter damage to your business.

Top Causes of Water Damage to Businesses in Winter

Winter weather can be harsh and damaging to businesses. The strong winds and moisture in the form of snow, hail, and/or rain can lead to all types of problems. Strong winds can cause roof and siding damage to businesses. When the strong winds are accompanied by snow or rain, water can find ways into your business causing water damage. 

The strong winds and freezing temperatures can also lead to burst pipes in your business. If there is a draft or crack in the roof or walls, the extreme temperatures and winds can quickly freeze your water and drain pipes leading to burst pipes and frozen clogs. The extreme temperatures can also cause the saturated ground to freeze which can cause melting snow to seep in or flood your business

The last culprit that can cause extensive water damage to your business is an accumulation of snow on your roof and around the foundation of your business. Snow can quickly accumulate and pile up on your roof leading to a roof collapse or minor damage that can allow snowmelt to enter into your business causing major damage.

How to Prevent Winter Water Damage at Your Business

While the weather is still nice outside, it’s important to take some quick and easy steps to reduce the risk of water damage to your business when winter comes around. The first thing that you want to do is to check the roof of your business. You want to make sure there is no damage to the shingles or roofing where water and/or cold temperatures could get in. Check any caulking and seals for cracks or damage. If you have a gutter system for the water to drain off the roof, check to make sure the drainpipes and gutter system are not obstructed.

You also want to check the perimeter of your business for cracks in the foundation. If you do find cracks or broken seals, you will want to make sure you get them caulked and sealed before winter strikes. You also want to check the gutters downspouts to ensure that they are facing away from your business and allowing water to flow away from the foundation. 

The last area you want to check is inside your business. If you can examine the roof from inside, you can check for any damage or previous signs of water damage. You want to make sure the roof is solid and supported in case there is a large accumulation of snow or ice on it. If you find signs of water leaks and damage, you will want to make sure that they have been fixed. 

You also want to check the insulation of the roof and building to make sure the entire building is properly insulated to prevent cold air from entering and freezing the pipes. If you have pipes that may be exposed to lower temperatures, you will want to make sure they are properly wrapped and insulated. If you find any drafts where the wind or outside elements can enter, you will want to not only seal the draft off but also insulate around it. 

If Your Business Suffers Water Damage, Call the Pros 

Even after following all of the above tips, there is still a chance that your business could suffer water damage from severe winter weather. The harsh winds could damage your roof allowing melted snow to leak into your building causing water damage, mold damage, and possibly worse. If that should happen, you can trust the pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to clean up and repair the damage quickly. They have the knowledge and equipment to handle any type and any size of damage to your business. Give them a call anytime 24/7 if your business should suffer damage this winter. 

Preparation Is Key To Safety

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

colorful background of a severe storm with the words September is National Preparedness Month, are you ready? Take time to prepare and stay safe.

September is National Preparedness Month, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security encourages Hoosier families and businesses to review your safety plans in the event of a disaster. 

Here in central Indiana, the most common occurrences are tornadoes, fire, flooding, and winter storms. Become aware of disasters that could occur in your area and learn what to do to stay safe. 

Disasters happen everywhere, take time to prepare.

Everywhere in the United States is at some risk for a natural disaster, whether it be from flooding, fire, or storms. It is essential that you understand the risk in your area and develop preparedness and mitigation plans, and take action. 

As a business owner or human resource coordinator, taking action will not only increase the safety of employees and customers, but it will help you remain in business after disasters.

Maintaining business continuity is crucial for you, and when you can continue operations after a disaster, you will improve your community's ability to recover as well. 

Employee  Awareness Campaign

Conduct an employee awareness campaign to educate staff on the safest response before, during, and after a disaster. These campaigns can include drills or exercises that can be incorporated into the program and evacuation routes. 

Address shelter-in-place procedures and emergency communications plans. Also, discuss how to evacuate and where to go to stay safe. Your training can be incorporated into established campaigns such as National Preparedness Month and should focus on disaster preparedness and safety. 

Hold a preparedness discussion with your staff. Discuss what you have done to prepare for disasters, review your SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program and your Business Continuity Plan, review your Crisis Communications Plan, and share awareness campaign key messages.  

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Include basic first aid and CPR training and situational awareness in the event of a disaster. Describe evacuation routes in the event you need to leave your building, and designate a safe place for people to go once they're out.

Having monthly or quarterly walk-through drills are essential for group safety. Conduct your evacuation drill, but before you begin, contact your local fire department and emergency manager for additional ideas and to offer them a way to participate.

Crawl Space Water Damage - The Hidden Danger to Your Home

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

A crawl space underneath a house. Crawl Space Water Damage - The Hidden Danger to Your Home

There could be a lingering danger hiding out in your crawl space. This danger could already be destroying your home and you may not even know it. The danger is water damage in your crawl space. There are many sources where the water may come from and there are many ways it can wreak havoc and damage your home. In this blog, we will explore the many sources of water getting into your crawl space, what damage it can cause, and how you can reduce the possible damage.

What Causes Water Damage in a Crawl Space

  • Poor Grading Around Home

If water pools up around your foundation during rain storms, the water can saturate the ground and seep under your house and into the crawl space. You want the ground around your home to slope away from the home so water will flow away from the foundation.

  • Flooding from Nearby Stream or River

If you live near a river or stream that floods often, the rising water may not get into your home but it can get under your home and into your crawl space. 

  • Sewer Drain Leak

Usually, in crawl spaces, you will have lots of drain lines coming from your sinks, toilets, showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and tubs. Any of these drain lines can easily leak water into your crawl space.

  • High Groundwater Table

If you live in a low lying area, you may not be that far from the groundwater table. The groundwater table or water table is the surface underground that is permanently saturated with water. In low lying areas with high water tables, your yard and your crawl space may be constantly moist and soft.

  • High Humidity

The water damage may not always be apparent when looking under your crawl space. In some instances, you may not find water but you’ll find humidity. The humidity, just like water, can lead to damage to your home under your crawl space.

  • Water Line Leak

Just as we explained that there are lots of drain lines that could be running under your crawl space, there could also be lots of water lines. These water lines could be running to all the same places that have a drain line. Water lines can develop small leaks that you may not discover until you inspect your crawl space. Water lines can also freeze and burst if your crawl space gets too cold in the winter. 

  • Gutter & Downspout Issues

The last source of water damage to your crawl space can come from a malfunctioning gutter and/or downspout. Your gutters and downspout are there to direct rainwater away from your house and it’s foundation during a rainstorm. If the gutter or downspout is damaged, it could allow water to pool up and saturate the soil around your foundation and flow into your crawl space.

What Damage Can Water Cause In Your Crawl Space?

Water and humidity in your crawl space can cause lots of damage to your entire home. Water can soak structural beams and framing of your home leading to rot and potential collapse of flooring and walls. The water can cause the humidity to rise leading to mold growth on the wood framing and subfloor. If you have HVAC ducts in your crawl space, the mold can make its way into the ductwork and spread throughout your home. If a sewer drain is leaking, the wastewater can not only cause mold to grow throughout the crawl space but also lead to awful odors emanating from the crawl space and carried by the HVAC ducts. It doesn’t take a pool of water in your crawl space for mold to start growing either. Moisture in the air and the darkness of your crawlspace are the perfect recipe for mold growth. 

How to Reduce Possible Water Damage and Mold from Occurring in Your Crawl Space

While not every cause of water damage can be prevented, like a flood from a nearby stream, a lot of the causes can be. The first step to reducing any potential damage is to regularly check your crawl space for signs of water and moisture. It’s a good idea to check your crawl space at least every three months throughout the year. You want to look for any signs of pooling water, odors, mold growth, and high humidity. If you spot a leak or pooling water, you will want to find the source and fix the issue. 

If you notice water pooling around the perimeter of your home, you will want to make sure that your gutters are not clogged and that your downspouts are directing water away from your home. You also want to check that the ground is sloping away from your home to reduce the pooling of water. 

You also want to check the vents around your crawl space to make sure that they are not clogged or closed. The vents allow air to circulate in your crawl space to reduce moisture build-up. Ultimately, you may need to invest in a vapor barrier for your crawl space. This prevents water from seeping up into your crawl space from the ground. 

If Your Crawl Space Shows Water or Mold Damage, Call the Pros

If you should find water damage or mold growth in your crawl space, call the damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the knowledge, expertise, tools, and equipment to handle water and mold damage. They will be able to quickly clean up, dry up, and get your crawl space and home back to normal. They’re available 24/7, so don’t hesitate to call them the next time disaster strikes your home or business. 

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is an IICRC Certified Firm

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO restoration professionals cleaning smoke from the ceiling. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is proud to be an IICRC Certified Firm. So what is IICRC and what does “Certified Firm” mean? Read below to find out why it’s so important and why you should call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for your cleanup and restoration from fire, water, and storm damage.

What is the IICRC

The IICRC is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification It is a non-profit organization dedicated to the cleaning and restoration industry. Its mission is to establish and advance globally recognized standards and certifications for the inspection, cleaning, restoration and installation industries. 

The IICRC Standards are ANSI accredited industry developed procedures in the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. The Standards are developed by volunteer consensus bodies and are the most utilized technical information in the industry. They are also recognized by some local, state and federal authorities. 

To follow the Standards and be recognized as an expert in the Standards, the IICRC offers certifications to technicians. There are over 25 certifications that technicians can get including Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT), Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD), and Mold Removal Specialist (MRS). 

To be recognized as an IICRC Certified Firm, your business must have at least one technician with an IICRC certification. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West that isn’t a problem. In fact, every technician and the owner hold multiple IICRC certifications. IICRC Certified Firms must also follow a code of ethics. 

IICRC Certified Firms agree to:

  • Present a professional image
  • Maintain awareness and knowledge about IICRC published standards
  • Continue to seek education and training to enhance proficiency
  • Have an IICRC Certified Technician be present on all job sites
  • Conduct business with honesty, integrity, and fairness
  • Provide service that results in elevated levels of customer satisfaction
  • Comply with rules, policies, and procedures of the IICRC

Trust SERVPRO of Indianapolis West - An IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West specializes in the cleanup and restoration of Indianapolis residential and commercial property from fire, water, and storm damage. Our team of highly trained and IICRC Certified technicians are equipped with the knowledge and the equipment to handle any size disaster. As an IICRC Certified Firm, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has been trusted by hundreds of businesses and homes throughout Indiana for cleanup and restoration of fire, water, and storm damage. Give them a call 24/7 if your home or business should suffer from damage.