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Where Mold May Grow In Your Home

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

This picture shows heavy mold growth inside a closet. Mold can quickly get out control and spread.

Top Hidden Places Where Mold May Grow In Your Indiana Home

While there are common places where most people find mold, like around showers and tubs, there are many places in a home or business where mold be hidden. These hidden areas can lead to further damage from mold, which is why it’s essential to check them regularly for any signs of moisture or condensation. In no particular order, here are the top places mold can grow in a home.

Crawl Spaces

Most homeowners never look into their crawl spaces, but they might want to. Crawl spaces can easily collect moisture from water seeping through the foundation to moisture rising from the ground. A crawl space should have a vapor barrier on the ground to keep moisture from rising. A crawl space also needs adequate ventilation to allow any water that may collect to flow out. Failure to keep the moisture out from your crawl space can result in mold growth on the exposed framing of your home. The mold can eventually lead to excessive damage to all wood surfaces and make its way into the house.

 Basements

Basements are similar to crawl spaces, but they are open and exposed to the rest of the house and can spread mold quickly throughout your home via the air ducts and open doors. If your basement smells musty, then you either have mold growth already happening or a high possibility of it occurring. Since many basements are furnished and carpeted, more areas in a basement are perceptible to mold growth compared to a crawl space.

Bathrooms

A good ventilation fan is vital in a bathroom for odor and moisture issues. This is especially true with bathrooms where there are showers in them. While everybody loves a hot shower, a hot shower also creates a large amount of moisture that can lead to mold growth. Another area where mold may grow is behind toilets and under sinks with cabinets. Moisture can condensate on the toilet tank and wall, causing mold to form on the wall.

Under the Refrigerator

Some refrigerators have drip pans where water can collect. If dust or debris gets into the drip pan, mold can start to grow. Water can also leak from the water line or drip from the cooling coils. It’s a good idea to check every few months and keep it clean by sweeping and vacuuming regularly.

Around the Washing Machine

The washing machine and the dryer are both susceptible to mold growth. If the dryer vent hose does not properly vent out the steam from the drying clothes, it can accumulate in the hose or around the back of the dryer, causing mold to grow. Washing machines can also leak and drip down under the machine where dust can gather, creating the perfect home for mold growth. Just like the refrigerator, cleaning the areas and checking underneath them often is essential.

Top Ways to Reduce Mold Growth In Your Home

So now that you know where mold growth can happen, how can you reduce the likelihood of mold growing in your home? First, as stated above, cleaning your house of dust is essential by regularly sweeping and vacuuming. While dust doesn’t necessarily cause mold to grow, dust and moisture can.

The most important thing to reduce mold growth from happening in your home is to control and eliminate any moisture problems in your home. Check for leaks and condensation around sinks, appliances, and air conditioning units. If you have a musty basement, ensure that your sump pump operates correctly. You may also want to consider a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air. If you have water seeping in from the basement walls or crawl space foundation, you’ll want to look at the drainage around your home.

Mold Remediation in Indianapolis, Indiana

If you should experience mold growth and damage to your Indianapolis-area home or business, call the mold remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications to treat and remediate mold in your home or business quickly.

SERVPRO -Water Damage Professionals in Indianapolis

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

This picture shows two SERVPRO technichans ready to work stepping out of the service vehicle. SERVPRO is always ready to help. 24/7/365

Water Damage Restoration Professionals

If you are looking for professionals with the knowledge and expertise to restore your home or business after a water damage, then call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

The water damage restoration professionals of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West service businesses and homes that have suffered water damage around the Indianapolis area, including Plainfield, Greenfield, Avon, Zionsville, Carmel, Fishers, and beyond.

If you've had a pipe burst, leaky roof, toilet, or tub overflowing, call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to clean up the mess and restore your home as if nothing ever happened.

When to Call Water Damage Restoration Professionals

Water damage to an Indianapolis-area business or home can be caused in many ways. Heavy storms can reveal roof leaks and foundation cracks that let the water inside. During winter, pipes exposed to cold temperatures can freeze and burst.

Toilets, sinks, dishwashers, and clothes washers can slowly leak behind walls, under floors, and inside cabinets. Sewers can back up into basements and through the drains on lower levels of homes.

As you can see, water can get into your home and damage it in many ways. So, while one may think drinking water or rainwater isn't as damaging as sewer water or black water, that's not the case.

Will Clean Water Damage My Home?

While sewer water or blackwater, as defined, can quickly lead to mold growth in a home, clean water can also lead to dangerous mold growth. Blackwater contains lots of dirty bacteria that can quickly promote mold growth by itself.

Clean water can cause mold spores that are naturally present in the air, and dust can also lead to mold growth. The dangers in clean water leading to mold growth are that clean water can quickly go unseen in a home due to the lack of odor compared to black water.

Rainwater can leak into a home's attic, walls, or crawl spaces and linger without being spotted. This water can lead to mold spores activating and growing in these unseen areas. It's not until the mold spreads to visible parts of the home or causes a musty odor that it is finally found. Unfortunately, by that time, the damage caused by the mold can be pretty extensive.

Look for the Signs of Water Damage and Call the Experts Right Away

Whenever it rains, it's always a good idea to check around your home for any leaks. Check the external walls, ceilings, and windows. If you have a basement or crawlspace, check it for any water entering your home. Always check around sinks, tubs, showers, and washers for sitting water or even the smallest of leaks. It doesn't take much water to cause damage to a home.

The quicker you spot a leak or water in your home, the faster you can call the water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to stop the damage and restore your home.  

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the experience, expertise, and tools to properly and effectively remove the water and mold damage and restore your home "Like it never even happened." Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West today at 317-243-3149.

How to prepare for a storm or flood type event close to your home.

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage SERVPRO of Indianapolis West
  • Prepare a few emergency kits
  • Prepare a household flood plan
  • Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers
  • Check your insurance policy to see if you are covered for flood damage

If flooding is predicted, make your safety a priority and if you have time try to prepare your property:

  • Secure hazardous items
  • Roll up rugs, move furniture, electrical items and valuables to a higher level
  • Place important personal documents, valuables and vital medical supplies into a waterproof case in an accessible location
  • If you are relocating, take your pets with you if it is safe to do so. If not provide adequate food and water and move them to a safer place

If rising waters threaten your home and you decide to move to a safer location, tell the police, your nearest State Emergency Service (SES) unit or your neighbors of your plans to move.

Relocating to safer ground:

  • Monitor your local radio for warnings and advice
  • Pack warm clothing, essential medication, valuables and personal papers in waterproof bags along with your emergency kits.
  • Raise furniture, clothing and valuables onto beds, tables and into roof space place
  • Empty freezers and refrigerators, leaving doors open to avoid damage or loss if they float.
  • Turn off power, water and gas and take your mobile phone
  • Whether you leave or stay, put sandbags in the toilet bowl and over all laundry/bathroom drain holes to prevent sewage backflow
  • Lock your home and take recommended relocation routes for your area
  • Do not drive into water of unknown depth and current

Too late to leave?

  • Monitor your local radio for warnings
  • Get to higher ground
  • Switch off electricity and gas supplies to your home
  • Prepare to move vehicles, outdoor equipment, garbage, chemical and poisons to higher locations
  • Prepare for the wellbeing of pets
  • Raise furniture above likely flood levels
  • Check your emergency kits
  • Do not allow children to play in or near floodwaters
  • Avoid entering floodwaters,. if you must do so, wear solid shoes and check depth and current with a stick
  • Stay away from drains, culverts and water over knee deep.
  • Do not use gas or electrical appliances that have been in floodwater until checked for safety
  • Do not eat food that has been in floodwaters

If you need help putting any of this together or still have questions about how to prepare for a storm or flood, call us at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for additional help.

How to Prepare for Emergencies with a Plan

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Trucks Winter SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

Most commercial buildings are required to provide an emergency exit strategy for their people incase an unfortunate accident were to occur. Some buildings are also required to have a contingency plan to protect the building itself, but not all properties will have this in place.

Our team here at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West will provide this service to business owners in need of a water and fire preparedness plan. As restoration professionals, we have the experience and trained crew members required to show you necessary steps to limit potential damage that can occur from a water, fire, or storm like scenario.

Being a step ahead and knowing how to shut off a utility, fix a sprinkler issue, or set containment, can make the difference between shutting your doors and being able to open your business again. Every moment counts as disasters rarely happen during business hours.

During this process, a team member will document all necessary details as we walk your building with you. Important items to address will be the preferred initial point of contact, pinpointing your main utility shutoffs, locating any and all hazardous materials, documenting preferred parking and access for our team once we arrive, and priority or essential equipment that needs to be protected.

Our goal here is to provide you with a simple and easy to access plan for your team so they can react appropriately in these situations with little effort and a nominal amount of time. Knowing what to do and who to call can save you a considerable amount of money, prevent secondary damage and limit the amount of business time lost due to repairing and replacing damaged items within your facility.

Whether you have a team in place, or we are the ones to arrive onsite first, our technicians will be fully aware of the shut-off locations and can address this ourselves. Preparing this plan ahead of time will always provide quicker and more efficient results.

Feel free to reach out to our office for further information, do not feel this is something you need to explore on your own, our team is always here to help.

How to Prepare for Winter Storms & Frozen Pipes

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Building Damage SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

The winter season is here and snow and ice can create major issues for you and your home. As we prepare to support you, it’s best for every business and homeowner to review potentially problematic issues.

Whether it’s snow, ice, heating, thawing frozen pipes or unforeseen accidents, the combination of certain elements can destroy your property. Most people will know to be aware of frozen pipes in the house, but other issues may arise. Ice on your roof can prevent proper drainage, if heat isn’t evenly distributed, some areas may freeze, and water in frozen pipes will freeze causing secondary damage to other appliances or household systems.

Here are three preemptive ways to check in on your property.

  1. Insulate Your Roof

The best ice dam prevention solution is to properly insulate your roof. Heat escapes through ceilings and rises to the roof where it warms the wood and shingles above. To prevent this, check the depth of your insulation.

Anything less than 8 inches is usually not enough to prevent heat from escaping, and it's important to use foam or caulk to stop air leaks. This will not only stop roof issues, but it will also save you money on your energy bill.

  1. Remove the Buildup

If you notice a large amount of snow gathering on your roof, you might want to consider eliminating it. Houses that have poor ventilation can also have poor distribution of heat. By removing the snow with a push broom or shovel, you can clear any potential problem areas.

  1. Create Channels in the Ice

Ice dams can force water into your home through the attic. You can stop this by creating channels in the ice and draining the water into the gutters. Use a hose with warm water and melt the lower edge of the ridge. This solution is a temporary fix but could prevent a large amount of winter storm damage.

Winter storms will always be unpredictable and damaging in one way or another. Our only working defense is to focus on potentially preventable tactics.

You do not need to figure out how to prevent pipes from freezing or fix frozen pipes on your own. Feel free to reach out to us at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for additional information on how to protect your home, we're always here to help!

Going from Cold to Hot Temperatures

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

While it may feel like warmer temperatures relive the stress of winter issues, it isn’t necessarily the case. A spring thaw is not the time to take a step back from taking precautions needed to keep your home or business property safe.

Ice can create a lot of problems; Remember, it will be water come Spring. An abundance of ice on or around a property, with a quick increase in temperatures, can completely flood your building.

Let’s talk prep…

  1. Basement Preparation

    The basement or lowest floor of your building will be susceptible to outside water.
  • Have your foundation inspected
  • Purchase an automatic sump pump
  • Install flood sensors
  • Elevate sensitive machinery off the floor
  1. Plumbing Protection

    A frozen pipe can burst from a quick increase in temperatures. If the temperature change is too sudden, the pipes may not be able to withstand the contrast. Always keep the thermostat in your building set to at least 55 degrees to ensure your pipes are kept within an appropriate range.

    3. Roof Inspection

    Have your roof professionally inspected. Contractors can identify damage and other weak spots before additional problems are incurred. Call us if there’s any water issues detected. Our team can remediate any damage or flooding that has occurred during the winter months to limit catastrophes. A small, fixable problem can turn into a serious issue if left untreated.

    4. Drainage Clearing

    Outside debris, such as small twigs and leaves can clog the gutter and rainspouts needed to clear water from your property. These will need to be cleared out and checked for any blockage, as water will always find the path of least resistance.

Keep these tips in mind as warmer weather approaches. Feel free to reach out to our office at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West  for additional questions and information on how to keep your property safe. Always here to help.

Types of Water Damage to Look For

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

Knowing the difference between clean, gray, and black water can help a lot during the process and being able to understand what types of damage are covered under your insurance policy.

With any loss, there are ways to identify the level and severity of the damage that has occurred to your home.

What is Clean Water?

Clean water is water that comes from your faucet or showerhead that you can drink safely. It is also considered rainwater or snowmelt. Water damage from within your home can come from a broken water line, a busted toilet tank, a leaky washer or refrigerator, or rain or snowmelt entering your home. While clean water flooding your floors may not cause an immediate health risk, it can quickly evolve into the gray water after prolonged contact with building surfaces, material, and items. This can happen within 48 hours which is why it is important to call our team as soon as possible after a flood or water damage.

What is Gray Water?

Gray water is water that may contain chemicals or contaminants that may be harmful to your health. Gray water can come from the shower and sink drains, the washer drain, the dishwasher drain, and aquariums. Gray water can cause even more damage than clean water and can evolve into black water within 48 hours causing even further damage and health risks. 

What is Black Water?

Blackwater is contaminated water from floodwaters and sewage waters. It can come from a flooded river, a backed up toilet or sewage line in your home. It can cause health effects and should be avoided. 

Blackwater should be professionally removed, dried out and cleaned by professionals with the right tools and processes to ensure a thorough cleanup. 

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is always here to help. Feel free to reach out with any additional questions or concerns for future reference.

Handling your Commercial Property with SERVPRO

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Technician Demo Team SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

There are over 21 million commercial establishments in the United States, occupying 4.9 million buildings. These buildings cover over 72 billion square feet or 1.6 million acres. The U.S. adds about 1.6 billion square feet per year—nearly 110,000 buildings annually, or roughly half-a-million buildings every five years. The sheer magnitude of annual growth in commercial real estate is astounding.

How are you planning on protecting your property?

Most companies attempt to treat a commercial project like a “really big house”, which is a big mistake. Calling and hiring a restoration company without the right education or credentials can cause further damage and business interruption.

With residential homes, the primary purpose is to house a family, whereas commercial structures have a variety of uses and functions. All these factors can affect the restoration process. 

Commercial facilities, if they are greatly impacted by damage, require more time for scoping, planning, and estimating. Additional square footage affected raises the requirements of the commercial project, meaning additional management staff, labor, equipment, and supplies will be needed.

At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have a highly trained, experienced, and certified team, able to handle all your property damage needs. Our staff receives ongoing training from our corporate training facility to meet and exceed IICRC industry certifications. This ensures we provide the proper assessment and repairs.

When your property is the victim of a disaster or damage, such as water and fire damage, fire and smoke damage, or storm damage, every minute counts to minimize the effect on your building.

Every time we enter a commercial large loss project, we focus on the differences that occur in a commercial building over a residential home. We consider how our communication, planning, and even our conversations might have to be altered to provide the highest level of customer service on a commercial restoration project when speaking with either an owner or property management team.

Our cleaning and restoration team can provide support from water damage cleanup and water damage restoration to fire damage repairs and mold remediation services. As a locally owned and operated facility, we provide commercial cleaning services, residential cleaning services, biohazard cleanup, carpet cleaning, air duct cleaning, mold removal, and more.

When you have a disaster or water emergency call us at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, your trusted leader for restoration services, 24 hours, 7 days a week to restore your home or business. We are centrally located, and you will receive an immediate response. Faster to any size disaster. Make it "Like it never even happened."

Water, Health & Safety with SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

9/2/2021 (Permalink)

Technician on job site SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

Numerous potential safety hazards exist in performing water cleanup and restoration projects. In water damages, our team at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West  may be working in dark, hard-to-reach areas. Safety concerns must be taken seriously and properly addressed before proceeding with emergency services and restoration work.

Safety is our number one concern and everyone’s responsibility on a water damage work site. Water damage safety includes protecting employees as well as making sure residents and owners are not in working areas of the property.

In addition, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West  follows the IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, informing and protecting occupants from whatever safety issues may arise during a project.

A hazard is anything that may cause harm or pose a threat to life, health, property, or the environment. Water restorers must first identify all potential hazards currently within the home or business. This requires an in-depth understanding of the type of hazards commonly found in a water-damaged environment such as electrical hazards, structural hazards, and biological hazards. 

Identifying Hazards

To properly protect anyone present on a jobsite, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West  identifies hazards at the onset of each project.

We look for potential hazards within the building, as well as any processes or activities that will expose workers or bystanders to harm. Some considerations examined at this time would include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Overhead hazards, such as ceilings, filled with water that may collapse

• Electrical shock hazards due to water intruding electrical systems

• Slip, trip, and fall hazards possibly due to wet floors or deteriorated wood subfloors

• Contaminated water

• Inadequate lighting hazards

• Occupant or bystander safety during work activities and/or unauthorized entry 

Consider At-Risk Individuals

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West considers whether the occupants of a water-damaged structure are exposed to health hazards. If any occupants are either very young (under two years of age) or very old, and if any occupants have a history of respiratory disease, allergies, or have recently been ill, precautions should be taken for their health.

Mold and other microorganisms that grow in damp, humid conditions may cause health effects. Advise potentially at-risk customers that they should leave the affected work area and possibly leave adjacent areas when mold is present or the water source is contaminated.

Focus On the Differentiators

Every water damage restoration project is different. The building or structure provides variables that may change with every project, such as the electrical system, type of building materials, or hazardous materials in the building.

The water loss itself provides variables, such as the sanitation of the water, hazardous substances in the water, length of time the water has been in the structure, and presence of mold contamination. Our team here at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West makes identifying and resolving safety hazards a top priority before proceeding with any project.

Observing appropriate safety procedures will help keep employees stay safe and healthy while they work in unsafe and unhealthy environments as part of their job.

The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes uniform and comprehensive provisions to protect workers against workplace safety risks and health hazards.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West  as a team is responsible to provide a safe work environment for employees by establishing safety programs, training employees in safety procedures, and providing them with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is here to help with all your fire and water cleanup and mold remediation needs.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West Emergency Fire and Water Damage

9/2/2021 (Permalink)

Soot damaged carpet SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

Dealing with the aftermath of emergency fire damage restoration can be extremely stressful especially when soot has made its way through your house and completely covered all of your belongings.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is trained and licensed to give you an optimal experience as we care for your residential or commercial property as your SERVPRO of Indianapolis, independently owned and operated location. It should be known that soot restoration is one of the most difficult aspects of a house fire as it can be very damaging.

 According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), three of every five home fire deaths could have been prevented.

Most fatal fires happen when families are asleep giving them less than adequate time to escape. A smoke alarm stands guard around the clock, and when it first senses smoke, it sounds a shrill alarm. Smoke alarms are crucial elements in the early detection of fires.

National Fire Safety is important all year round and while the main focus is preventing residential fires, our team here at  SERVPRO of Indianapolis West would like to remind everyone this is a great time to revisit workplace fire prevention & safety.

Below are 12 tips to ensure a fire-safe workplace:

Step 1. Get Organized– Practice good workplace housekeeping. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits and emergency equipment.

Step 2. Designated Smoking Areas – Smoke only in designated areas and extinguish smoking materials safely. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.

Step 3. Fire Extinguishers – Maintaining the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers and learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

Step 4. Electrical Hazards – Report all electrical hazards. Many fires start in faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment.

Step 5. Access to Control Panels – Electrical control panels need to have free access maintained so that the electric could be shut off easily.

Step 6. Maintenance – Maintain machinery to prevent overheating and friction sparks.

Step 7. Sprinkler Systems & Smoke Detectors – Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits. Observe clearances when stacking materials. Testing of sprinkler systems and smoke detectors at least annually.

Step 8. Chemical Safety – Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances.

Step 9. Waste Control & Storage – Control the accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials and residues so that they do not contribute to a fire emergency.

Step 10. Prevent Ignition – Use all precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. Use non-sparking tools, and control static electricity as required.

Step 11. Exits – Emergency exit diagrams should be posted and emergency exits should be well lit with neon-regulation signs.

Step 12. Contact Info – Employees should have a list of emergency contact phone numbers in case of emergency. Remember that people will often panic in an intense situation; therefore basics such as the company address, phone number and floor plan should be posted.

Planning to ensure fire protection and safety is key to avoiding unwanted fire issues.

Residential and Commercial Fire Clean Up

Soot can be one of the hardest parts of fire restoration clean up and is developed through three different methods:

·      Wet soot residue—results from smoldering, low-heat fires. This residue is sticky, smeary, and has a very pungent odor.

·      Dry soot residue—results from fast-burning fires with high temperatures. This residue is typically dry, powdery, and non-smeary.

·      Protein residue—almost invisible but can discolor paints and varnishes in your home. This residue also has an extremely pungent odor.

Each type of soot is different and requires specific expertise to clean for such needs or concerns.

Our fire repair process is outlined online for your review.

Call us at  SERVPRO of Indianapolis West , your SERVPRO of Indianapolis, faster to any size disaster, for all your fire and restoration needs.