Preparation Is Key To Safety
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The Cleanup Process Begins with Identifying the Type of Smoke & Soot
The Cleanup Process Begins with Identifying the Type of Smoke & Soot
Not all smoke is created equal. Smoke and soot are the byproducts or residue of a fire. The type of smoke damage depends entirely on what burned in your home or business. In the blog below, we will cover the main types of smoke damage and how the smoke and soot residue is different.
Types of Smoke Damage
Wet smoke is one of the hardest to clean up and can easily make a mess. This type of smoke results from smoldering fires with a low temperature. The smoke is thick and sticky and smears easily if touched. It easily clings and builds up on walls, furniture, ceilings, and other surfaces. It is very difficult to clean up and it is always a good idea to contact a fire damage professional to clean it up. It also leaves a strong lingering odor if not properly cleaned up.
Dry smoke is usually much easier to clean up. It comes from much higher temperature fires like paper, wood, or synthetic materials. The smoke is usually less black and more powdery from paper and wood. With dry smoke, you have to worry about it penetrating small cracks and grooves in everything it comes into contact with. This can include wood, wallpaper, fabrics, carpets, wood floors, tile grout, and electronics. While it is easy to clean off of flat surfaces, if you don’t get it out of all the crevices and spaces, it will leave behind a stinky odor.
Protein smoke usually occurs in the kitchen as a result of food catching on fire in the oven or on the stovetop. Protein smoke also naturally occurs just from cooking and can build up on surfaces over time. The smoke is usually light in color and tends to discolor surfaces surrounding the cooking appliances like the ceiling, walls, and counters. The smell of protein smoke can be very strong and stinky especially from a large food fire in a kitchen. The smoke residue is also very greasy which makes it really difficult to clean. Cleaning up this residue requires professional cleaning materials that are made for protein-based smoke residue.
Petroleum smoke is usually the result of a fire from cooking oils or fuel oils. Petroleum smoke is very dark and thick. Due to the flammability of the oils, the smoke is usually pretty significant and can quickly fill up a room or home. It can easily discolor any surface it comes into contact with including ceilings, walls, and floors. It can also ruin any porous materials like furniture, flooring, and drapes if not treated quickly. Due to the amount of smoke residue it can cause and the difficulty in cleaning it, it is highly recommended that you contact a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.
Contact the Fire Damage Restoration Experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West
If you should suffer fire and smoke damage to your Indianapolis home or business, contact the fire damage restoration pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the equipment, knowledge, and experience to clean up and restore fire and smoke damage. Day or night, 24/7, they’re ready to answer your call and quickly clean up and restore fire and smoke damage to your home or business.
Places Water Damage May Be Hiding In Your Indianapolis Home
It's the water you don't see that can cause the most damage.
Water can be hiding around your house, and you not even know it. Heavy wind-driven rain from a storm, or even just the normal day-to-day activities can lead to water damages. Building materials and water don't mix. Insulation, wood studs, plywood sheathing, and subflooring can all degrade, rot, or develop mold when they're repeatedly saturated with water.
Making the situation even worse, this water damage is often hidden from sight, tucked away between walls or under floors. As a result, significant structural damage can occur before it's discovered. Here are some places around the house that are particularly vulnerable to getting wet, and staying wet.
Behind The Drywall After Flooding
Any time flood waters rise above floor level, whether it's from high rains or a burst water supply pipe, all drywall along the lower portion of the wall must be inspected and likely replaced. Even if the water subsides quickly and the wall looks fine, mold can be quickly develop behind the wall. Keep in mind that the electrical wiring may also have been damaged.
Under The Sink
A slow drip from a water line or the drain line beneath a kitchen or bathroom sink will often go unnoticed until a musty smell alerts you that something's not right. Because the area under a sink is dark, it's a prime place for mold to develop when moisture is present. It's a good idea to check regularly under sinks with a flashlight to ensure that a slow drip isn't causing any moisture problems.
Beneath The Dishwasher
Dishwashers are sealed to keep the water inside the tub, but leaks can develop in the joints of the water supply line that runs to the dishwasher or in the drain line beneath. Because you can't see under the dishwasher, over time a slow leak can do severe damage to the subfloor. The damage may not be discovered until you remove the dishwasher to replace it with a new one and realize, to your annoyance, that you'll have to replace a section of the floor as well.
Inside Walls Beneath The Windows
Windows are a prime spot for water leaks. Rain can seep in between the window sash and the jamb and trickle down to the framing studs in the wall without your ever knowing it's happening. Over time, repeated leaks can rot wall studs and other wood framing members, which can lead to expensive repairs.
Under The Siding
Common locations for water leaks in siding are at the corners of the house, anywhere two siding panels meet, and around the windows where the siding meets the trim. Unsealed gaps in these spots allow water to trickle beneath the siding and eventually rot the plywood sheathing that lies beneath. The damage may remain hidden until the siding is replaced.
Exterior Door Threshold
The wood beneath the metal threshold of an exterior door is subject to saturation every time it rains. While treated wood is commonly for this application, even treated wood will eventually swell and become spongy when continually exposed to moisture. Damage may not be noticed until the metal threshold starts to work loose when the wood beneath has begun to rot and can no longer support it.
This is a common spot for water damage in older homes with windows that have been painted numerous times over the years. Just a tiny trickle of water through cracks in the paint can slowly rot away the wood without your noticing. To check for problems, take a screwdriver and press firmly along a sill. If there's hidden damage, the screwdriver tip will sink into the soft, damaged wood.
Next To The Tub Or Shower
Wherever water lines run within walls, there's a chance for leaks to develop. While modern plumbing techniques have reduced the risk, plumbing connections (where pipes attach to other pipes) still have the potential to spring a leak. You won't have a clue that this is happening unless water begins to pool beside a fixture or the floor near it becomes spongy because the subfloor is rotting.
Under A Wobbly Toilet
To help seal the connection, a wax ring fits between the base of a toilet and the toilet flange that connects to the drainpipe beneath. The wax is soft and pliable, which makes it well suited for this job, but also means that it can leak over time. If there's a problem with the wax ring, you may notice a little bit of water around the base of the toilet, but it's more likely that you won't see any water at all—although it will be soaking into the subfloor all the same. In fact, the first indication that you have a problem may be a toilet that starts to wobble because the floor supporting it is rotting away.
Behind A Shower Surround
Unless your bathtub is a single, molded unit, there a good chance the caulk between the tub and the surround will one day fail, allowing water to leak in and damage the wood studs and framing materials. Keep an eye on the condition of the caulk, and if it's starting to discolor or pull away, remove it and replace it with fresh new caulk.
Around A Chimney
Roof penetrations, such as for chimneys, vents, and exhaust fans, extend through the shingles and roof deck. If they aren't properly sealed, water can seep in and damage the roof deck without anyone noticing. Having the roof professionally inspected annually will help pinpoint problems around penetrations so they can be repaired before you're on the hook for a complete roof replacement.
Inside An HVAC Unit
The indoor part of an HVAC unit features a shallow pan that collects condensed water that forms on its evaporator coils when the air conditioning is running. From there, the water is directed to a floor drain via a small line. If this line becomes clogged—unfortunately, not a rare occurrence—the water accumulates in the drip pan or even overflows, creating the perfect environment for mold to develop inside the HVAC unit.
Behind An Exterior Faucet
Exterior faucets are hot spots for hidden leaks because the faucet connects to a water pipe just beneath the siding—a place where it's difficult to make a secure connection. If a leak develops here, the water often runs down the inside of the wall, where it can do major damage to sheathing and framing members before it's discovered.
Behind The Washing Machine
The hot and cold water hoses from the machine attached to valves already installed in the wall. These couplings are similar to those on garden hoses, and if they're not attached snugly, or if the rubber washer in a coupling fails, they're prone to leaking. Once the washing machine is in place, the valves are typically hidden behind the machine, and a slow leak can saturate the drywall unnoticed, destroying it and allowing mold to develop.
Below A Window Air Conditioner
Air conditioners remove moisture from the air as they cool it. The moisture, or condensation, is then directed through a tube to the outside of the house. As a window air conditioner ages, the tube can become clogged, or come loose entirely, causing the condensation to spill out of the unit and drain into the wall space below, rotting wood studs and sheathing without anyone knowing what's going on.
Preserving Your Property After A Fire
Securing Your Home or Business After A Fire
Two Terms You'll Hear After The Fire
Roof Tarping: The Fire Department will often vent the roof of a structure fire to help in their efforts to control and extinguish the blaze. To vent the roof, they use an ax or saw to cut a hole in the roof. We use a thick, weatherproof tarp to cover any holes in the roof to minimize secondary damage from precipitation or animals.
Board-Up: We use durable plywood to cover any broken windows or doors that cannot be locked, this is done to preserve the structure and to keep the home safe from possible break-ins and exposure to the outside environment.
SERVPRO, Faster To Any Disaster
Once the fire has been put out, it's essential to call us, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible. Even if it's in the middle of the night, we're available 24/7 to help to help. We are ready to take your call and take action no matter the time of day or night. Sometimes the fire department may need to break windows and cut holes in the roof to vent the house so that they can fight the fire properly. If that happens to your property, we can fully secure the structure even in the middle of the night. Call us at 317-243-3149, or click here, and we'll help you and your family get back the life you had before the flames took over.
Fast Action to Help Save Your Property
In many home fire situations, there may be damage to the exterior of the home that would cause the outside elements, like rain, to get inside. If windows have been broken, doors kicked in, roofs damaged or exterior walls damaged from the fire, we will first board up any windows or doors and cover any roof or wall damage with tarps to keep the elements from causing further damage to your home.
Protecting What's Inside Your Home
It's crucial to secure the structure shortly after the fire is extinguished. There are security and safety issues to keep in mind. The contents and personal effects of the homeowners need to be protected. By covering any broken windows or holes, we can keep out any weather elements or curious critters looking for a place to nest. After we complete the emergency board-up services, you can count on the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to fully restore your Indianapolis home or business.
The Dangers of Lightning to Your Indiana Home
The Dangers of Lightning to Your Indiana Home
Lightning occurs millions of times each day around the world. From spring through fall, it is also a common occurrence in Indiana. Lightning is a discharge of static electricity between the positively charged particles on the ground and the negatively charged particles in the clouds. As air moves around and moisture builds up, as in a storm, the opposite charges connect forming lightning. It’s kind of like the static shock you sometimes get while wearing socks on a carpeted surface and touching a metal doorknob, only on a bigger scale.
When lightning connects with the ground, it tends to take the shortest and most attractive path. It tends to connect with conductive materials like a metal antenna on a tall building, a power line, a cell tower, a gutter on the house, a telephone line running to the house, or the metal framing around a window or door. Once the lightning connects with a conductive material, like a TV antenna on the roof of a house, it then travels down through conductive materials until it reaches the ground. These conductive materials could be the electrical wiring in your house, the copper water pipes in your walls, or the TV and internet cables running through your house.
The danger in lightning is two-fold. The first is the high voltage of the lightning. Lightning can easily injure or kill someone if it comes into contact with them. Being struck by lightning is more of a risk when someone is outdoors but can also happen inside if the person is talking on a land phone line or standing in a metal door frame or touching a metal faucet when the lightning strikes. This voltage can also destroy most appliances if the lightning travels through them.
The other big danger of lightning is the amount of heat that it produces. The heat that lightning generates is around 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is this heat that results in house fires from lightning strikes. The heat can easily spark a fire as the lightning travels through or makes contact with flammable materials like wooden framing, insulation, electronics, and gas piping. With gas piping, the lightning can damage a valve which can cause a gas leak which can lead to an explosion.
The power surge and the heat from the lightning can also cause the wiring and connected devices in your home to explode and spark fires. The wiring itself can overheat and melt the protective sleeve causing fires within the walls, in your attic, and other hidden areas.
There is one more big danger of lightning that most people don’t think about. That is shock wave damages. While you may not be familiar with shock waves from lightning, you may know it as a different name - thunder. When lightning strikes, it creates a shockwave or thunder that you can hear from miles away. When lightning strikes nearby, you can sometimes feel the shock waves in the air and through the ground. If you can feel the thunder that far away, imagine what thunder can do to a home from a direct hit? Thunder or shock waves from the lightning can be violent enough that they can shake a brick chimney into a pile of rubble. Lightning can crack cinder blocks, bricks, and foundations on a home. The shockwaves from lightning can blow out windows in a home, which is one of the reasons why you should stay away from windows during a lightning storm.
How to Stay Safe from Lightning in Your Home
When lightning is occurring, you want to stay inside your home until the storm has passed. You also want to stay away from windows as they could carry the lightning as it travels to the ground and/or they could also explode or shatter from the shockwaves. Since lightning seeks conductive materials, you want to avoid touching any electronic devices that are plugged in. You also want to avoid washing your hands, doing laundry, or taking a shower or bath, as lightning can travel through the water pipes and hit you. If you are in a basement with a concrete floor, you will want to wear shoes as the concrete can conduct electricity if it has moisture in it. You can use your cellphone or wireless devices (remote control, wireless telephone, laptop) as long as they aren’t connected to any power source or other powered devices.
What If Lightning Strikes Your Indianapolis Home?
If lightning should strike your home, you will want to do a thorough check of your house. Don’t go outside if the lightning storm has not passed. You can, however, check all the rooms for fire or the smell of smoke. You also want to check your garage and attic if possible. The next step is to call the fire department. Even if you did not spot any fires, a small fire could be smoldering inside your walls or attic, and you won’t know until hours later when it has spread. The fire department will be able to do a more thorough check of your property.
If your home has been damaged by lightning, either as a result of fire or shockwaves, you will want to call the storm restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools, equipment, and expertise to handle all types of damage from storms. Whether it is water damage, fire damage, or structural damage from lightning; they can help clean up the damage and get your home back to normal. Give them a call for all of your water, mold, fire, and storm damage.
First Sign of Fire or Water Damage, Call the Restoration Experts
First Sign of Fire or Water Damage, Call the Restoration Experts
At the first sign of water and fire damage to your home or business, call the restoration experts of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. We're locally owned and operated, and take great pride in working in the Indianapolis area. Our crews are always ready and prepared to take action immediately when you call for emergency services.
We Work When Disasters Happen
Water and Fire damage doesn't always happen during regular business hours; they often occur at night or on weekends. We have crews on-call ready to go at any given time. One call to our office phone number (317-243-3149) gets the restoration process started. We're open for emergency service every day, even holidays. We'll dispatch restoration technicians to you immediately because we know every minute counts when it's your home or business that is affected.
No Time To Waste
The water removal and water cleanup process starts immediately when we arrive at your home or business. We use powerful vacuums and pumps to extract standing water. Water spreads quickly throughout your property and is absorbed into floors, walls, and furniture. It's critically important to remove water from all surfaces as quickly as possible to begin the mitigation process.
The term "mitigate" means to lessen the severity, and that's what SERVPRO of Indianapolis does with our fast-action response. Once the initial mitigation services are complete, we then strategically set drying equipment to provide the best possible dry out for the structure. The drying process can be quick or may take a few days to complete.
How Do I Know My House Is Dry?
Our experience and scientific approach to water restoration gives us an advantage when drying your home or business. We use specialized equipment and advanced technology to ensure your property is completely dry. SERVPRO Technicians return each day to follow up and conduct moisture readings of the drying process. We collect individual room measurements like relative humidity and temperature. This information helps us to determine the optimal number of dehumidifiers and air movers to complete the drying process.
These moisture readings taken with our equipment are then compared to the initial readings from the water loss. We're looking to see the moisture levels fall each day as the room is going through its drying process. We electronically document this process into our computer system; this process of documentation helps validates that your home or business has been dried thoroughly and adequately.
No Job Is Too Big
We're routinely called to homes and businesses all across Central Indiana to clean up after a flood has happened. With our office strategically located on the west side of Indianapolis, minutes from I70 and interstate 465, we can be anywhere in or around the city within minutes. Fast action is critical after water and fire damage to help save property and protect your precious heirlooms. We feel like we've seen just about everything and can handle any fire and water restoration job that comes our way. From a broken ice maker line in the kitchen to a high-rise apartment building with water on every level, SERVPRO of Indianapolis is your only clear choice for restoration services.
Immediate Response 24/7
Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West and our certified Water Restoration Technicians will make it "Like it never even happened." When water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. Day or night, Indianapolis residents and business owners can expect us to respond immediately to your water emergency. Call us, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West 24/7 for emergency services 317-243-3149.
How to Get Rid of Carpet Odor from Water Damage?
How to Get Rid of Carpet Odor from Water Damage?
Step inside most homes, and you will find carpeted floors. Sometimes there will be carpets only in the bedrooms, and sometimes you'll find carpets in main living spaces including basements. And in some homes, you'll actually find carpets in bathrooms. The last isn't recommended as it can quickly lead to the problems we will discuss in this blog - carpet odors.
Just a little bit of water can turn your once pristine, somewhat odor-less carpets into a musty smell reminiscent of a laundry basket full of sweaty clothes or a high school locker room. Below we will go over what causes the odor and how to get rid of it.
It Doesn't Take a Flood for Carpet Odor to Happen
If you've ever experienced water damage, you know how important it is to contact water damage restoration professionals, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, immediately. With their expertise and equipment, they can quickly get rid of the water, remove moisture from the air, and start drying any carpets that may have gotten soaked. After 24-48 hours, the water damage can become worse as mold begins to grow and destroy the drywall, carpets, framing, furniture, clothes, and much more. This type of mold damage is the worst-case scenario and usually results in the carpeting needing to be replaced.
In the scenarios where your carpeting has a musty type of odor, there may be a chance of getting rid of the smell and saving your carpets from further damage. Unlike the scene above where the carpeting is completely flooded and soaked, in most situations with carpet odor, there isn't any visible water damage. There isn't water dripping down a wall or a wet carpet or a drip from the ceiling pooling on your carpet. Sometimes the carpet odor can be caused by someone spilling a cup of water or moisture from the basement floor underneath the rug. Even forgetting to hang up your bath mat after taking a bath can lead to a musty carpet odor from the bath mat.
My Carpet Smells, What is Causing It
If you're paying attention, you may have noticed a constant in each of the scenarios we've discussed above. The constant is water whether it's from a dripping towel, a spilled cup, or condensation dripping off a water pipe. If your carpets get wet and are not dried quickly, they can start to smell. Going back to the bathroom, think about a damp towel. If you throw the damp towel into a pile on the ground, it may become musty after a day or two. But if you hang it up to dry, then it will usually be fine the next time you use it.
The same goes for your carpet. If the water and moisture in the carpet are not able to evaporate quickly and dry out, then it can become musty and smelly. The musty smell from your carpet is a strong indicator that mold or mildew is growing within it. If it is not treated, it can lead to premature decay and deterioration of your carpet and subfloor.
How Do I Get Rid of the Odor and the Causes of It?
If you smell an odor coming from a carpet, you can take a few steps that may get rid of the odor. The first step is to absorb any excess water with a cloth or paper towel. Then open the windows or doors around the carpet to get fresh air circulating. You can then take some baking soda and apply it to the smelly area. The baking soda absorbs odors and is usually harmless to carpets. Vacuum up the baking soda after letting it sit for a day.
If the odor persists, you can try a mixture of water and vinegar to try to eliminate the odor. Start with a mixture of one part distilled white vinegar to two parts water. You don't need to saturate the smelly area; you simply need to spray a fine mist over it and let it dry. This technique also works for fabrics like sofas and drapes.
If the Odor Persists, Call the Professionals
Ultimately, the best way to get rid of carpet odors from water and mold damage is to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools and equipment to extract the water, dehumidify the air, and remove the odors from your carpet, carpet pads, subfloors, drywall, and framing. If you've tried everything to get rid of the odors and they keep coming back or are getting worse, you can trust SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They will not only get rid of the odor, but they'll find and address the source so that it doesn't happen again. Give them a call for all of your water, mold, and fire damage.
Who is Responsible for Water Damage in Your Condo?
Who is Responsible for Water Damage in Your Condo?
Let’s say you come home to your Indianapolis condo after a long at work and find that water is flowing down the stairs that go to your condo. You walk into your condo and find your carpets are soaking wet and there is water flowing down your wall. You might be wondering who is responsible for all this damage to your condo, the hallway, the stairs, and as you learn later, the water damage in the condo below yours? Well, there is no one answer. It may be you, it may be the condo owner above you, or it may be the HOA or landlord. In this blog, we will help determine who is responsible for water damage and who to call to get it all cleaned up.
Ask to See Your Condo’s Master Insurance Policy
Before any disaster happens, you will want to be familiar with your condo’s master insurance policy. This policy should be available from your condo board, condo HOA, and/or landlord. This insurance policy is what protects the areas outside of your actual residence. These could include the roof, the common hallways & stairways, and the exterior walls of the actual building. It’s important to note where your responsibility begins, and their’s ends.
With walls between residences, the actual line may be the middle of the wall. Even with exterior walls and roofs, the line between your responsibility and the condo board could be in the middle. The reason why it’s essential to know the exact area that you are responsible for is to ensure that your home insurance policy covers that exact area. Having this info is important because if your policy falls short of the area that you are responsible for - you could end up owing lots of money.
So Who is Responsible for Water Damage to Your Condo
Now that you know the areas that the condo’s master insurance policy covers and the areas that your insurance policy covers, you can then determine who is responsible. But first, you need to know where the water that is causing the damage began. If the water is coming from rain waters that are dripping through a hole in the roof, then the condo is most likely responsible. If the water is coming from a leaking pipe behind your bathroom wall, then it depends on whether the master insurance policy clearly states who is responsible for that area.
In instances, where the pipe is in the middle of a wall, and the policy divides responsibility in the middle of the wall, you may find yourself and the condo board pointing fingers at each other. This gray area is where it could become quite frustrating if you have a condo board or landlord who isn’t cooperating.
In another instance, if the water is originating from another residence, then that residence’s insurance policy is most likely responsible for all the damage that has occurred. However, your insurance company might also need to be involved and seek reimbursement from the other residence’ insurance company.
You may also find yourself using your policy to repair water damage in your apartment, while the condo HOA uses its policy to repair the leaking roof. A situation where your policy and the condo’s master insurance policy won’t cover any water damage is when it is a result of flooding. If you are in a flood-prone area, you will usually need a flood insurance policy to cover any costs that may occur as a result of a flood.
If Water Damage Occurs, Act Quickly
If your Indianapolis condo should experience water damage, it’s essential to act fast as mold can start to grow within 48 hours of the water damage. If the water originated from outside your residence, contact your condo management immediately. If the water came from another apartment, try to get in touch with them to work with their insurance company. Ultimately, you want to contact a water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, as soon as possible and worry about the responsible insurance party later. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West are ready to respond 24/7. They can act quickly to get the water damage cleaned up, and your condo dry before further damage has had time to occur. If there is mold damage or other damages to your condo, they have the equipment and tools to help with it all.