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House Fire

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

This picture shows someone using a cleaning sponge to remove smoke soot from a wall. Smoke soot causes the most damage to structure after a fire.

It's usually not the actual fire that does the most damage to a home. The smoke from the fire and the water from the firefighter's efforts are the two things that cause the most damage to a house after a fire. 

Some house fires are small and extinguished quickly either by the homeowner or the fire department resulting in minimal damage from the flames. These fires that are put out very quickly still cause significant damage to the home as the smoke will migrate throughout the structure. 

Even the smallest 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, reaping significant damage to everything inside the home. This process is called secondary damage. 

Secondary Damage

This is the damage created by the corrosive nature of substances released by the heat and fire. Often the secondary damages can account for the majority of damage to a home or business. To help protect the home and your belongings, we usually will need to empty the house of its contents. The term we use for this is a pack-out. 

Pack Out

We carefully inventory all contents and safely pack them for a move to our secured warehouse. The contents of your home are thoroughly cleaned and restored, then returned after the structure restoration is completed. This allows for better access to clean and restore the house and eliminates the possibility of secondary damage during the restoration process. 

Call The Pros

For contents cleaning and fire restoration, you can trust SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to get the job done right. If you should suffer from a house fire, it's crucial 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 measures to prevent any unnecessary further damage from occurring.

How Some Water Damages Occur

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

This photograph shows a room in a home with lots of water on the carpet floor. Water damages can happen many different ways. Call SERVPRO if you need help.

Busted Pipes

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.

Click here to contact us if you need assistance with water damage clean up. Even a little water can get under carpets and behind walls and lead to more problems like mold if not dealt with properly.  

Leaks Around Windows and Doors

During the winter, water can seep into cracks around your windows and doors and freeze. The freezing rain 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.

Washing Machines and Dishwashers

The washing machine is no exception to leaking, with its water intake and water drainage. Water can also leak out around the door of the washing machine from old or damaged seals. Just like your dishwasher, it's essential to regularly check around your washing machine for any signs of water leakage. Check the water hookup, water drainage, and around the door for signs of water. 


Backed up and overflowing toilets account for 78% of all water damage from toilets. Toilets failing are the second leading cause of water damage to Indianapolis homes, with pipe failures being the first. Because bathrooms occupy upper floors, the damage they can cause can be quite severe due to the water running down through the levels. On average, toilet failures cause around $5,500 in damage to homes.

Water Heaters

Water heater failures tend to occur due to the water heater rusting and corroding after years of use. These failures can start as small leaks or turn quickly into extensive water damage if there is a severe failure of the water heater tank. Just like toilets, the damage from a water heater failure is dependent on which floor it is located. Water heaters located in the basement or garage result in less damage than one that is located on the first or upper floors and fails.

We're Ready When You Need Us

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is always ready to respond when you call us. Whether it's a water loss emergency late at night, or fire and your home or business needs secured, we're just a phone call away from being there for you. Our crews are always on standby and ready to respond. Our office always has a live person to answer your call and help with your questions.

Sometimes service isn't needed immediately and can be scheduled appropriately, most often though, the faster we're notified, the quicker we can arrive and lessen the damages with our priority response. Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West day or night 24/7 for emergency service. 317-243-3149

Protect Your Home from Winter Storm Damage?

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Snow-covered road in the city during daytime. Protect Your Home from Winter Storm Damage?

With the recent snow in the Indianapolis area, we thought it was a good time to talk about how to protect your home from winter storms. The snow, ice and heavy winds of winter storms can cause substantial damage to your home if not dealt with quickly. In the following blog, we will go over common damages to your home from winter weather and what causes them. We will also cover what you can do to reduce the risk of damage occurring. If your home, or business, should, unfortunately, suffer damage from winter storms this season, you know you can trust the cleanup and restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

Water Damage from Snow & Ice Melt

After the snow falls, some or all of it eventually starts melting especially around your warm home. As the sun pokes out, the snow melts off of the roof and around the foundation of your home. All of this water will hopefully find its way down through the gutters and away from your home’s foundation. But, if there are any cracks around the windows or foundation or damage to the roof, the water can find its way into your home. You might discover water around a door or window that isn’t sealed completely. You might find a drip from your ceiling or excessive moisture in your basement. 

If you do discover a leak around your windows or doors, you will want to make sure you get any cracks or holes sealed up before the next time. If you have a roof leak, you’ll probably want to call a water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, to fix the leak and check for any water damage or mold growth that isn’t visible. If not treated and cleaned up, water damage can cause significant damage to your home’s roof, walls, insulation, structure and more. One last thing to check is to make sure that your gutters are not damaged or clogged and are carrying the melting water away from your home. 

Gutter Damage from Ice

Clogged gutters can cause water damage to your home during the warm weather months, but when the temperature drops below freezing, clogged gutters can lead to extensive damage to the gutters themselves. That is because as the water collects in the gutter and freezes, the weight of the ice can tear the gutters away from your home. 

To keep this from happening, it’s important to check your gutters to ensure they are clean before the next big snowstorm or severe winter weather hits. When checking and cleaning out your gutters, be very careful and don’t get on the roof when it is wet as you could easily slip and hurt yourself. 

Roof Damage from Heavy Snow & Ice

Not only can heavy snow and ice collect in your gutters and destroy them but snow and ice accumulation on your roof can also cause damage to your home. One of the most common damages to homes during heavy snowstorms are roof collapses. It really doesn’t take much snow to cause a roof to collapse. As little as two feet of packed, heavy snow can cause damage or the collapse of a roof. 

If the snow has accumulated on your roof beyond two feet, you may want to hire a snow removal service to remove it or you can buy a snow shovel designed to remove snow from roofs. This is a more common problem in Michigan and northern states but excessive snow accumulation on roofs can happen in the Indianapolis area. 

Roof Damage from Heavy Winds

Not only can snow and ice cause damage to your roof during the winter months, but severe winds can too. We’ve all experienced those days when the cold wind is blowing so hard that it chills us to our bones. That same wind can also rip off shingles on your home’s roof. With damaged shingles, the snow and melting water can seep into your home and cause extensive water damage. 

While you can’t prevent the wind from damaging your roof’s shingles, you can be proactive in looking for damage after severe storms in order to reduce any potential water damage. If you find torn or loose shingles on your roof, you will want to call a roofing contractor as soon as possible to repair the damage. If the damage is severe, you may want to cover it with a tarp until help can arrive to fix it. 

Trust the Winter Storm Damage Restoration Experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

If you should suffer damage to your home from winter storms, you can trust the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to quickly clean up and repair the damage. The pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have years of experience dealing with water damage, mold damage, fire damage and storm damage to homes and businesses around the Indianapolis area. They have the tools and know-how to handle any size disaster and are ready to respond quickly day or night. If your home should suffer damage from the harsh winter weather this season, give SERVPRO of Indianapolis West a call.

What to Do After Your Business Has Suffered Storm Damage?

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Rainy, dark street in city What to Do After Your Business Has Suffered Storm Damage?

Storm damage to a commercial property can be devastating to a business. Not only can storm damage from the water and wind cause extensive property damage, but it can also shut down a business until the damage can be cleaned and the property restored. The longer a business is shut down, the more money that is lost from no customers and no business. Ultimately, extensive storm damage can drive a business out of business.

In this blog, we will go over some of the steps to take to reduce the downtime and get your business back up and running after suffering storm damage. 

Damages From Commercial Storm Damage

A business can be damaged in many ways from a storm. The most common type of damage to businesses from storms is usually water damage from flooding. This can be flooding from a nearby river or stream or just flooding from improper drainage around the property. With water damage, it is imperative that you contact a commercial storm restoration company immediately to reduce the risk of further water damage and possible mold damage. 

The next most common damage that businesses suffer from is wind damage during a storm. This can be high straight-line winds that can tear off shingles or blow water into cracks. Or it can be as the result of a tornado, with a direct hit usually creating the most damage. High winds and tornadoes can tear off roofs, collapse walls, break windows, blow down power lines, and push water through breaches of the business’s exterior. Wind damage will usually lead to water damage which can lead to mold damage resulting in extensive damage that requires a lot of work to clean up and restore everything.

Assess and Confirm the Damage

Before calling the insurance company and commercial restoration company, take the time to walk around and through your business to assess the damage. If the property is unsafe, then skip this step. You want to get a good idea of how much damage and what type of damage your business has suffered, so you can give the commercial restoration company a clear picture of what they should expect. This will help the commercial restoration company deploy the right equipment and the right people to the disaster and be able to handle it much faster. 

Once on the site, the commercial restoration company will do their own assessment to determine what steps to take to clean up the damage and restore your business. These experts will know where to look for potential hidden damage from the water and wind. They will have the right tools to test for moisture in the walls and ceilings. 

Contact the Commercial Restoration Company as Soon as Possible

Once you’ve done a quick walk around and assessment, it’s important to not waste time in contacting a commercial restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. Time is not on your side in the money lost to downtime and the further damage, like mold damage, that could occur if not treated immediately. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West recognizes the importance of acting quickly when storm damage has occurred. That is why they are available 24/7 and can be at your business and cleaning up the damage as soon as possible. 

Keep Records and Photos of the Damage

It’s recommended to take plenty of photos and keep records of all the damages both to the business property and the contents of the business property. These records will help make working with your insurance company go more smoothly as you seek help from your insurance company. If you do throw out any damaged items, you may want to rent an extra dumpster and keep the thrown out items on the property until the insurance company has settled your claim. 

Trust the Commercial Damage Restoration Experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

Dealing with commercial property damage from storms and fires can be a frustrating and stressful time for business owners. Not only do you have to deal with the damage to the property but also downtime due to your workers not being able to work. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we can help make the process of getting back to work as smooth and painless as possible. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has years of experience dealing with commercial property damage of all shapes and all sizes. We understand the importance of businesses being able to get back to work quickly, which is why we’ll work our hardest to ensure you can do just that. Contact them the next time a storm or fire or water damages your business.

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.