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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Coronavirus COVID-19 Cleaning & Disinfecting of Facilities

3/15/2020 (Permalink)

Coronavirus COVID-19 Cleaning & Disinfecting of Facilities After Exposure

With the rise of people contracting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), facilities, where people with the virus have been present, are now faced with cleaning and disinfecting of their properties. For those in the Indianapolis area, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the expertise and the tools to effectively clean and disinfect your property after exposure to COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. 

Why Is Cleaning & Disinfecting Important?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 is thought to spread from person-to-person. This can be through personal contact or through inhaling droplets in the air from someone who sneezes or coughs. It is also thought that it can spread by touching a surface or item that has the virus on it, which is why cleaning and disinfecting are so important. The CDC has stated that since this is a new (novel) version of the virus, there is more to learn about it and how it spreads. For the latest updates on the virus, you can visit the CDC website for updated info and guidance. 

To prevent the spread of infection, it is important to have any areas that a person who has tested positive has been, professionally cleaned and disinfected. Clean up guidelines may be superseded by state and local law enforcement. It is important to contact your local law enforcement and health department if a person with the virus has visited your business or facility. They, along with SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, will know the protocol to follow in cleaning and disinfecting your facility. Due to how easily this virus can spread, it is important that all businesses be pro-active in isolating the contaminated area and seeking immediate cleanup and disinfection. 

The Cleaning Process for COVID-19 

There are three levels of cleaning that can be done. The three levels of cleaning are general surface cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.  It is important to note though, that not all surfaces can be cleaned to all three levels. While every surface can be surface cleaned, not all can be sanitized or disinfected.

With general surface cleaning, dirt, bacteria, fungi, and viruses are scrubbed and removed from the surface. The goal is to physically remove the virus microbes. As noted above, all surfaces can be cleaned. By cleaning the surface, not only are you removing the possible virus microbes but you are also removing the nutrients and moisture that helps the virus survive and multiply. 

The next level of cleaning is sanitizing. Santizing a surface helps reduce the amount of bacteria on a surface. Though, sanitizers do not claim to clean or remove fungi or viruses. In order to be classified as a sanitizer, the product must kill 99.9% of all bacteria tested on non-food contact surfaces. Examples of these types of non-food sanitizers are air sanitizers, carpet sanitizers, toilet sanitizers, and laundry sanitizers.

The last level of cleaning is disinfecting. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to neutralize germs on surfaces. Disinfectants will not remove dirt or germs, but it will inactivate the germs. The number of microbes inactivated is determined by the disinfecting chemical and how it is used. 

What Is Cleaned After COVID-19 Contamination

According to the CDC, all high touch surfaces are encouraged to be cleaned. These surfaces include doors, countertops, tables, desks, toilets, sinks, phones, elevator buttons, keyboards, and railings at a minimum. As every facility and property is different, each location will most likely have added areas that need to be cleaned. 

For the area where a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, enhanced cleaning is required. Enhanced cleaning includes cleaning and disinfecting of all non-porous surfaces in the area and cleaning and sanitizing of all porous surfaces in the area. This includes, as an example for office spaces, the walls, carpeting, cubicles, chairs, shared office equipment, and more. Obviously, the scope of work can change depending on the space. In a commercial kitchen, cleaning and disinfecting could be a simpler process compared to a retail clothing shop, where you are dealing with a lot of porous materials that could be contaminated. 

What Can You Do To Reduce Infection and the Spread?

As you can see, the novel coronavirus can easily be spread from person to person. To reduce the risk of infection and the spread of the coronavirus, it is important that you and your staff are diligent in handwashing and cleaning. Clean your hands often and thoroughly, avoid touching your nose, mouth, and face. Avoid close contact with people. Try to stay at least 3-feet apart and avoid handshakes. It is also a good idea to increase the cleaning routine of your facilities to reduce the chance of the infection spreading from high touch surfaces.

Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for Cleanup and Decontamination

If your Indianapolis business, facility or home has been populated by a person testing positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for cleanup and decontamination services. Or if you want to be proactive in keeping your business or home clean and sanitized, we can help with that too. We have the expertise and equipment to quickly and effectively clean, sanitize, and disinfect your property. We are available 24/7 to handle any size cleanup. Contact us today for service or questions you may have about the COVID-19 outbreak. 

How to Prevent House Fires

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

How to Prevent House Fires in Indianapolis

One of the most damaging disasters that can happen to a home is a house fire. A house fire can cause extensive damage from the fire, the smoke, and the water to put it out. After a fire, you could be dealing with fire damage, water damage, and possible mold damage. If you should suffer from a house fire, call the restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to quickly and effectively repair and restore your damaged home.

In today’s post, we will cover how to prevent house fires from happening in the first place. We will also go over how to prepare your home and your family in the event a fire should happen. There many things a homeowner can do to reduce the risk of a fire from happening in the first place. 

Install Smoke Alarms and Test Them Monthly

The NFPA recommends that smoke alarms be installed on every floor and inside every bedroom. To reduce false smoke alarms, you will want to make sure the smoke alarm in the kitchen area is 10 feet away from the stove and cooking appliances, like a toaster. It’s important to test all of your smoke alarms once a month to make sure they are in operating condition. 

Keep Your Dryer Vents Clean and Clear

Fires can happen very quickly from clogged or obstructed dryer vents. It’s important to clean out the lint trap after each use of the dryer. The lint from a dryer is highly combustible when exposed to the high heat of an operating dryer. You also want to check for lint or clothes that have fallen behind or beside the dryer as they can increase the risk of fire. It’s also a good practice to vacuum underneath the dryer and inside the dryer vents and ducts at least once a year. 

Create a Fire Escape Plan With Your Family and Practice It

If a fire should happen, does your family know what to do? Due to the materials a home is constructed of and the materials of the furnishings, house fires can spread much more faster than they did just a decade ago. The smoke from the fire is also much worse which is why it is important to have an escape plan and practice it on a regular basis. Ideally, you want to be able to get out of your home safely within 30-seconds. 

Keep Your Oven and Stove Top Clean 

To reduce the risk of fires, it’s important to keep your oven and cooking surfaces clean. If you have food particles at the bottom of your oven, they can at the very least cause a lot of excess smoke to trip your smoke alarms and at the very worst, they can catch on fire and risk spreading outside the oven. Clean out the bottom of your oven on a weekly basis with a vacuum and clean the entire oven every 6-months to reduce the risk of fire. The cooking top can also be susceptible to fires due to a build-up of grease and oil from cooking. You should clean the cooking surface every time you use it to keep flare-ups from occurring. You also want to make sure that you keep any flammable items away from the stovetop. This can include curtains, cooking oil, napkins, wooden cooking utensils, and dish rags to name a few. 

Ensure Family Knows Two Ways Out of Every Room

When practicing your fire escape plan, you should also make sure that every member of your household knows two ways out of every room if possible. In most instances, this would be the door and a window. If the windows are on the second floor, you could look into getting a ladder or rope to get down to the ground. Make sure everyone in your family knows to feel for heat before opening a door during a fire. If the door is really hot, then you will want to escape from the second way out if possible. 

Contact the Fire Restoration Experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

You can’t completely prevent house fires from occurring. If a house fire should happen at your Indianapolis home, it’s important to get out and ensure everyone is safe at first. Once the fire is out, the cleanup process begins. For fire, smoke, water and mold damage, trust the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They are available 24/7 to respond quickly to any emergency. They have the knowledge and tools to quickly clean up and repair the fire damage to your home. If your home should suffer fire, smoke, water and/or mold damage, give SERVPRO of Indianapolis West a call.

Indianapolis Water Damage Repair Steps and Tips

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage Repair Steps and Tips

Dealing with water damage in your Indianapolis home can be quite stressful and overwhelming. Whether it’s from floodwaters or a busted pipe or leaking appliance inside the home, water can quickly soak through and damage your ceilings, walls, and floors. If it’s not caught in time, you also have to deal with potential mildew and mold growth. Just a little bit of water can result in extensive damage.

In the post below, we will go over the typical steps one would take to clean up and repair any water damage. While minor water damage may be easy to clean up for DIY homeowners, many instances of water damage in homes can be difficult to completely clean up and repair by homeowners. If not completely cleaned up, it can result in further damage to your home over time. In these instances, it’s best to call a professional water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

1. Know the Type of Water

When dealing with water clean up, there are three types of water. The first is “clean” water which is water from faucets and water lines. This can also be water from a leaky water supply pipe. This type of water is usually easy to clean up and not harmful. If the “clean” water mixes with a dirty carpet or floor, then it is considered “gray” water. Gray water can also come from a leaking dishwasher or washing machine or an empty toilet. It’s considered gray water because it can contain cleaning chemicals, dust, dirt, food debris, and other mild contaminants. Gray water can be potentially dangerous and harmful which is why it’s important to wear protective gloves when cleaning up gray water. Gray water can also speed up mildew and mold growth due to the contaminants in the water. The last type of water is called “black” water which would be from a flood or a sewer backup. This water can be very harmful and should only be cleaned up by professionals who have the tools and protective equipment to safely remove it.

2. Assess the Severity of the Damage

The first step you want to take is to ensure the water source (if any) is turned off and the power is turned off. You can then assess the damage that the water has caused. If the water has damaged the ceilings, floors, or walls, there may be further damage behind them. If the damage is on an upper floor, you will want to look for damage in the areas below the damaged floor. Water can make its way along your home’s structure and damage ceilings and walls on floors below the main damaged floor. Without professional tools and expertise, it can be difficult to pinpoint all of the water damage, especially when it is hidden behind walls and floors.

3. Check for Mold Growth

While you may not think that “clean” water can lead to mold growth, it can along with the other water types. Mildew and mold just need moisture and a dark area to grow. If your ceilings or walls are water damaged, you will probably have to remove the damaged area in order to completely dry out the water damaged areas and to know whether there is water damage to underlying materials like wooden studs or insulation. If your carpet is water damaged, you will probably have to pull the carpet to dry it and the carpet pad underneath it. The water can also soak into the wood base floors under the carpet. If your basement was flooded, then the wet drywall may have to be removed along the entire basement before mold starts to grow. If you spot mold growth, then you will want to have it cleaned up before it spreads.

4. Remove Damaged Drywall

As mentioned in the previous tip, any wet drywall will most likely need to be removed and replaced. Removing the drywall will also let one see if there is more water damage behind the walls and ceilings. Drywall acts like a sponge and will soak up the water. Removing the damaged drywall is one of the first steps a professional will take in order to stop the water from soaking up and damaging more drywall.

5. Dry EVERYTHING Out

Once the damaged drywall and ceilings have been removed, it’s now a race against time to dry everything out. If not dried out quickly, the water damage can result in mold growth and further damage. Mold can grow under carpets, on fabrics, on wood framing, and every other porous surface if not dried up quickly. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, they have industrial drying fans and dehumidifiers to quickly remove all the moisture and water from the damaged areas.

6. Disinfect Damaged Surfaces

To combat any mold growth, it’s important to disinfect the damaged area with a cleaner. Many homeowners use a water and bleach solution to disinfect water damaged areas. Just be careful to not accidentally bleach your carpet or floor from the cleaner. Unlike most homeowners, water damage restoration professionals will have commercial cleaners and disinfectants that are specifically formulated to treat water damage and mold damage.

7. Replace Walls, Ceilings and Floor

Now that everything has been dried out and completely cleaned, the next step is to repair any walls, ceilings, floors, or structures that have been removed. This can be a simple job or a huge job depending on how much water damage occurred. This is also a job that is not an easy task for most homeowners and even DIYers. Replacing ceilings without the right tools can result in an afternoon of frustration. It’s usually best to leave it to the pros.

8. Paint and Seal New Surfaces

The last step to take is to paint and seal all the new surfaces. Most surfaces, like walls and ceilings, may only require a couple coats of paint. If you replace or worked around any tile, you will want to caulk and seal the edges to prevent water from seeping behind your walls and causing water damage. You’ll also want to caulk around any toilets and sinks.

Trust the Water Damage Restoration Experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

If you should suffer water damage to your Indianapolis, you can trust the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to quickly clean up and repair any water and mold damage. The pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have years of experience dealing with water damage to businesses and homes 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 water damage, give SERVPRO of Indianapolis West a call.

Top 6 Causes of Commercial Water Damage

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Top 6 Causes of Commercial Water Damage

If you manage or own a commercial building, you have probably dealt with water leaks and damage in the building before. While we tend to worry most about water damage during strong rainstorms and snowstorms, water damage can occur at any time. In this blog, we will go over the top causes of commercial water damage. By knowing the causes and sources of water damage, you’ll know where to look for water leaks on a regular basis and catch them before too much water damage has occurred.

Damaged Pipes

While many have heard of water pipes bursting from freezing, there are other ways water and sewer pipes can leak over time. Water and, especially sewer and drain pipes, can pit and rust over time eventually leading to small pinhole leaks. Pipes can also become loose or damaged around the connections leading to small leaks. While these leaks can hide behind walls and ceilings for a long time before seeping through and becoming visible, you can still regularly check the areas where the pipes are visible. When checking pipes and drains for leaks, look for a puddle or drips on the floor below the pipes. Look for condensation on the pipes which could be a sign of a leak or the need to insulate the pipes. 

Sprinkler System Leaks

Most commercial buildings have fire sprinkler systems. If the sprinkler heads are exposed, there is a risk of them being knocked and broken resulting in a shower of water raining down inside your business. But there are other ways that a fire sprinkler system can lead to leaks and commercial water damage. The fire sprinkler system usually consists of a large pipe that then feeds into smaller pipes which lead to the sprinkler heads. All of these pipes running throughout your business can be prone to damage over time due to the elements and the water inside the pipes. If you notice a pinhole leak from one ofo the sprinkler pipes, you will want to get that fixed before the hole gets bigger and the water damage gets worse. You also want to be aware of the temperature inside your building during the cold, winter months. These pipes can easily freeze and burst if a door or window is left open. It’s always a good idea to check all the doors and windows before leaving the building for the night. 

Clogged Sewers

Another common source of commercial water damage are clogged or flooded sewer lines around the business property. When the sewer lines flood or fill up due to a clog, the water seeks a way out of the sewer. This can be manhole sewer covers in streets or floor drains in a business. The water can also back up through the toilets in a business creating extensive water damage especially if it happens after hours. While you can’t necessarily stop a sewer from backing up, you can respond more quickly to flooding by installing flood alarm detectors in your business. When the detectors get wet, they will notify you that there is flooding in your business. If the storms are occurring during the day, you can have your employees keep an eye on the floor drains and toilets for any sign of a sewer backup. 

Roof Leaks

We’ve all experienced roof leaks. During heavy rains, is usually when we discover water dripping through the ceiling or down the walls from the roof. Rainwater can find it’s way inside through damage to the rooftop, cracked sealants around the external ductwork on the roof, and cracks between the roof and exterior walls. To reduce the chance of roof leaks, it’s always a good idea to check the entire roof before the snow season and the rain season. You want to look around the areas that have sealant and caulking to ensure there are no cracks where water can get in. You also want to look for any damage to the shingles or rooftop. By fixing any cracks or roof damage, you can greatly reduce the risk that you will experience any roof leaks during the snow and storm seasons. 

Melting Ice/Snow

Speaking of snow season, melting ice and snow is another source of water leaks. Melting ice and snow can cause leaks in three main ways. The first is when the melting water finds it’s way through cracks and roof damage like mentioned above. The second way snow and ice can cause roof damage and thus water damage is by the water from the snow and ice refreezing and causing small cracks to become bigger cracks and holes in your roof where water can easily flow through and damage your business. The last way is from snow and ice accumulating and causing a roof to partially collapse or fully collapse from the weight. 

Surface Water Flooding

The last most common source of commercial water damage is flooding from nearby creeks and rivers and low lying lands. As this water rises it can find its way to your business. At the very least, these floodwaters can work their way through doorways and garage doors around your business. If you have time, you can prepare for the rising waters by piling sandbags around your doors. The next step to take would be to buy a submersible water pump that can pump any water that gets through the sandbags back outside. If you don’t have time to use sandbags, you can try sealing any vulnerable doors with duct tape. The other thing you can do is to unplug any electronics and make sure they are on top of desks or shelves where they may be safe from the floodwaters that get into your business. 

Trust the Commercial Water Damage Restoration Experts

If you should suffer water damage to your commercial property, you can trust the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to quickly clean up and repair any damage to your business. The pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have years of experience dealing with water damage to businesses and homes 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 business should suffer water damage, give SERVPRO of Indianapolis West a call.

House Fire

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

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)

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. 

Toilets

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

How to Reduce Wind Damage to Your Home

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

Check Your Garage Door for Weaknesses and Damage

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

Check the Integrity of Your Roof

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

Check Your Windows and Doors

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

Check the Perimeter of Your Home for Loose Objects

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

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

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

Top Tips to Reduce Winter Water Damage for Businesses

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Top Tips to Reduce Winter Water Damage for Businesses

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

Top Causes of Water Damage to Businesses in Winter

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

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

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

How to Prevent Winter Water Damage at Your Business

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

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

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

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

If Your Business Suffers Water Damage, Call the Pros 

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













Preparation Is Key To Safety

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Take time to prepare and stay safe.

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

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

Disasters happen everywhere, take time to prepare.

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

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

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

Employee  Awareness Campaign

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

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

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

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

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

Crawl Space Water Damage - The Hidden Danger to Your Home

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Crawl Space Water Damage - The Hidden Danger to Your Home

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

What Causes Water Damage in a Crawl Space

  • Poor Grading Around Home

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

  • Flooding from Nearby Stream or River

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

  • Sewer Drain Leak

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

  • High Groundwater Table

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

  • High Humidity

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

  • Water Line Leak

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

  • Gutter & Downspout Issues

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

What Damage Can Water Cause In Your Crawl Space?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is an IICRC Certified Firm

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO 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

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

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. 

Exterior Windowsills

 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

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

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

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

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

7/28/2019 (Permalink)

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?

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

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?

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

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.


Small Water Leaks in Bathroom that Could Result in Lots of Damage

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Small Water Leaks in Bathroom that Could Result in Lots of Damage

What You Don’t See Will Probably Hurt Your Home

If there is one room/s in your home that has the highest risk of causing water damage to your home, it is your bathroom/s. Even a simple half bathroom with a sink and toilet have the potential of causing water damage. Add a bathtub or shower or both to a bathroom and you have a lot of sources that could leak water resulting in extensive water damage. The worst part of water damage in your bathroom is that many times the initial water leak and the damage is hidden behind walls and under floors where the water leaks won’t be discovered until it’s much worse. While there is little you can do with hidden leaks, there are signs to look for and other areas to check for leaks that may help you uncover the hidden leaks before the water damage has escalated. Below we will cover the major culprits of water leaks in a bathroom and where and how to check for leaks.

Toilet Leaks

There are a few areas around a toilet that can leak. The water leaking can be grey water from the tank or even more harmful black water from around the toilet flange where the toilet base connects to the waste pipe. To check for leaks around the tank, take a flashlight and look for any water or condensation around the water supply connections and the flush valve. The water supply hose usually connects to the water supply valve and the tank connection. Use your hand to check for any water or moisture around these two areas. If there is leaking, you can usually stop it by tightening the connections. You may have to turn off the water supply and reseat the connections with plumbers tape if the leaking doesn’t stop.  

The second source and prone to cause the most water damage is a leak around the toilet flange. The toilet flange is where the toilet base connects to the waste pipe in the floor of the bathroom. To seal the connection between the toilet flange and waste pipe, there is usually a wax ring that seals the connection. This wax ring can become damaged during the installation or break down over time allowing water to seep out after every flush. The problem with this type of leak is that you might not see it until it’s caused substantial damage due to the fact that the flange and waste pipe are hidden behind the porcelain base of the toilet. If the area between the floor and the base of the toilet is not sealed with caulk, you may notice water seeping out which is a sign that there is a leak around the flange and wax ring. If your toilet is located on an upper floor, you may find water stains on the wall and ceiling of the lower floor below the toilet. If you do find any signs of water leaks or damage, it’s important to stop using that toilet immediately and call a water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. 

Leaking Sink Hoses and Pipes

Just like the toilet, water can leak from the water source and the drain. To check the water supply hoses, you will either have to look inside the cabinet below the sink or behind the pedestal, if it’s a pedestal sink. Unlike the toilet, there will usually be two water supply hoses - a hot water supply and a cold water supply. You can use your hand to feel for any water or moisture around the hose connections. You also want to check the valve for any leaks around it. If there is some water, you can use pliers to tighten the connection. You may also need to remove the hose and reseat the threads with plumbers tape to make a watertight connection. 

The other area where you will typically find water leaks is around the drain pipe underneath the sink. Pipes can leak over time as a result of getting bumped or damaged. They can also start leaking as a result of a slow or clogged drain due to the fact that the water backs up inside the drain and finds the easiest way out which can be a small leak around one of the drain pipe connections. With a fast flowing open drain, you may not have known there was a loose connection because the water flowed freely down the drain. The other area where you may find a leak is between the sink drain and the drain pipe connection. These leaks can usually be fixed by clearing out the drain so water doesn’t back up and tightening the connections between the drain pipes.  

Shower and Tub Leaks

WIth showers and tubs, you are dealing with a lot more water than sinks and toilets. With all that water, you’re also facing a lot more potential areas where water can leak and cause damage. We’ll start with the bath/shower faucet handles. The faucet handles usually connect to a cartridge valve that can adjust the amount of hot or cold water that flows through the tub faucet or shower head. If these cartridges aren’t tightened completely or loosen over time, they can start to leak behind the shower/tub wall. Signs that this is happening can be water stains on the drywall nearby or a shower/tub wall that feels soft or has some give to it. 

The other way water can leak and cause damage behind the shower or tub wall is through cracks in the tile grout. You also want to check the caulking between the shower/tub wall and the base. Another area is water can seep around the faucet handles if they haven’t been caulked and sealed properly.

The other area where water can leak and cause a lot of hidden damage is leaks around the drain of the shower/tub. You may find water seeping out from under the edges of the tub or shower but most times, you don't know water is leaking until the floor becomes so damaged that it collapses or sinks underneath the bath/tub.

The last area to check for and one that can easily be fixed is leaking around the bottom of the shower/tub door. After taking a shower, you can quickly check to see if the water is making its way through the space between the door and base and onto the bathroom floor. If you find leaks around the base of the shower door, you can quickly caulk and seal the area. Over time, water seeping out onto the bathroom floor can cause damage to the floor and promote mold and mildew growth.

Check Your Bathrooms For Leaks and Water Damage 

It’s always a good idea to check for leaks and water damage on a monthly basis especially for bathrooms that are used a lot. It doesn’t take long for a little water to cause big problems in a bathroom. If you do discover extensive water damage or mold problems, contact the water damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the equipment and expertise to handle all levels of water and mold damage to your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, basement or any other room in your home. 

4th of July Home Fireworks Safety Tips

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

4th of July Home Fireworks Safety Tips

Top Fireworks Safety Tips at Home

It’s that time of year again. Time to compete with your neighbors to see who has the biggest and best fireworks display According to the  National Fire Protection Association, more house fires are reported on the 4th of July than any other day with more than half caused by fireworks. So while you pull out your bottle rockets, mortars, roman candles, sparklers, and other highly explosive munitions to light up the night for your friends and family, it’s important to follow all safety rules and tips to keep yourself, your friends and family, and your home safe this 4th of July in the Indianapolis area. Below we’ve listed some of the top safety tips to follow to ensure you have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Keep Children Away. Designate a Fireworks Lighter.

There really isn’t any safe fireworks for kids. While many kids are given sparklers, they can reach temperatures up to 1,000 degrees and easily burn a child or cause their clothing to catch fire. Make sure that all children are kept a safe distance away from any fireworks that are being ignited. It’s a good idea to have adults supervising the kids while a designated adult is chosen to light the fireworks. With one designated fireworks lighter, you are less at risk of severe injuries and explosions as a result of too many people lighting fireworks off at the same time. 

Keep Water and a Fire Extinguisher On Hand.

Even if you are following all of the fireworks safety tips, there is still a risk of accidents happening. This can be the result of faulty fireworks igniting prematurely. This can be the result of fireworks falling over and firing at property or people. A single firework can explode near the stored fireworks setting off an explosive chain reaction of destruction. This is why it is important to have buckets of water and fire extinguishers on hand in the event that a fire is started in your grass, in a tree, or on your home. It’s also a good practice to dispose of any spent fireworks in a bucket of water to reduce the risk of re-ignition or a secondary fire or explosion.

Close Your Garage Door. Be Aware of Your Surroundings.

If you are shooting off fireworks near homes like in a driveway or the middle of a cul-de-sac, make sure that garage doors, windows, and doors are closed. Not only do you not want smoke and debris from the fireworks to blow into homes, but you also want to reduce the risk of fireworks shooting through an open window or garage and exploding. It’s especially important to make sure you shut your garage doors before lighting off fireworks as there may be flammable liquids like gas and solvents stored in the garage that could potentially explode from an errant bottle rocket firing into your garage.

It’s also important to be aware of any cars, sheds, bushes, dry fields, trees, and other objects that could be at risk of catching on fire or exploding. If it has been especially dry, you need to be careful as to not shoot off fireworks around trees, forests, and fields that could catch on fire. This probably isn’t the case with the central Indiana area this year due to all of the rain but is still important to be aware of. 

Douse Spent Fireworks with Water Before Putting in Trash

A small ember inside a large firework can slowly burn for hours without anyone noticing. If you throw that large firework in the trash and go to bed, you could wake up to a literal dumpster fire. If you store your trash cans inside your garage, the damage from a trash fire could be much worse. While you are shooting off fireworks, be sure to place all the spent fireworks in a single pile on the ground or in a metal container that won’t catch fire. Some people even throw them all in a bucket of water after they have been shot off. Before you clean up and dump all the spent fireworks in your trash, it is important to wet them down. You can spray them on the ground with a hose or soak them in a bucket of water to ensure they are completely soaked with water and there isn’t a chance they could re-ignite. Even the smallest of fireworks and debris could be hot enough to ignite something in your garbage. 

Be Safe and Have a Great 4th of July. 

Follow the steps above and be extra careful around fireworks and you and your family should have a safe and happy 4th of July. If a fire should start, whether it’s in your yard or your home, don’t try to be a hero. Have a cell phone handy and ready to call 911 if things get out of hand. If a fire should occur, you can trust the fire damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to help clean up the damage and restore your home. From all of us at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we wish you a Happy 4th of July? Have fun and be safe. 

What to Do If a Tree Falls on Your House?

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

What to Do If a Tree Falls on Your House?

Storm Toppled Trees and Branches

With the recent bout of tornadoes and strong storms throughout Central Indiana, downed trees and branches are an all but common occurrence. Hopefully, though, the down trees and debris have not hit your home or car but have just caused damage to your lawn or landscaping. If a tree limb or whole tree has hit your home, there are some steps you should take to ensure there isn’t further damage and to speed up any recovery efforts. Below we will cover top tips to follow after a tree, limbs, or debris have hit your home after a heavy storm or tornado.

Call the Electric Company if Power Lines Are Down

If you are without power or notice that the tree has hit power lines, stay away from the tree and power lines and call the electric company immediately. They will be able to safely turn off the power to the lines and start working on getting the lines back up.

Evacuate Any Damaged Structures

If a tree has caused significant damage to your home or garage, you will want to vacate the damaged area of the home or structure. The damaged roof or walls of the structure could make the entire structure unstable and at risk of collapsing. If the damage is to a majority of the home, it is best to evacuate the home and seek shelter at a neighbor or in your car away from the fallen tree and damaged home.

Smell Gas, Evacuate the Area

If a tree has fallen and damaged your roof or exterior wall/s, there is a chance that it has also ruptured a gas line in your wall or attic. There is also the possibility of an uprooted tree breaking the gas line under the ground. If you smell gas in or around your home, you should immediately leave the area and call 911. The police will contact the gas company to shut off the gas line in your area.

Water Damage from Damaged Roof, Walls, or Windows

If you notice water leaking into your home from the damage caused by the downed tree or branches, you will want to call a water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, immediately to cover the damaged area and clean up any water damage inside your home. This will keep any further rain from entering into your home and dry up any water that has already entered. The faster this is done, the less damage your home will incur from water and mold.

Does Home Insurance Cover Damage from Fallen Trees?

A common question many people have is whether their home insurance will cover damage caused by a fallen tree or branches. If the fallen tree damaged your home, garage, or detached structures like a barn or shed, more likely than not, your home insurance will cover the damage. If the fallen tree just causes damage to your lawn or landscaping, it’s unlikely your home insurance will cover the damage. It really all depends on your home insurance company and policy. You should contact your insurance agent for clarification on what is covered and what isn’t.

How to Prevent It from Happening Again

While you could remove all the trees from around your property to greatly reduce potential damage from a fallen tree to your home, this is an unlikely and unpopular scenario amongst most people who appreciate having shade trees and ornamental trees around their homes. One tip you could follow to reduce any fallen branches or downed trees from damaging your home is to practice some routine clean up and maintenance on your trees each year. Once a year, Spring is usually the best time, it’s a good idea to cut down any dead branches, leaning branches, or damaged branches that may break or fall during a storm. If you find any dead trees or unhealthy trees, you may consider hiring an arborist to determine if the tree can be revived or cut down. By keeping your trees in healthy condition, you can reduce the risk of one toppling or breaking as a result of strong winds and heavy rains.

Prevent Further Water Damage. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

If you should experience water damage to your home or property from a downed tree or branches, call the water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the equipment and the expertise to stop any further damage from happening and quickly clean up and restore the water damage that has already occurred. They can also help with any mold damage or fire damage if needed. They’re available 24/7 for any size disaster. Give them a call if disaster strikes and damages your home.






After the Flood - The Do’s and Don'ts

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

After the Flood - The Do’s and Don'ts

Floods can be devastating to Indianapolis homes and businesses. Not only can the initial flood waters cause extensive damage but so can the potential mold growth afterward. Before returning to your flood-damaged home, there are things you should do and not do after the flooding.

Wait Until the All Clear

Flood water can be deceiving. While it may seem that the waters have stopped rising or have receded, they can quickly rise as the rivers and streams bring more water from upstream. The best thing to do before even attempting to return to your home is to confirm with the emergency services that it is safe to do so. If there are fire or police in the area, you can also ask them if it is safe to enter your home.

Inspect the Exterior for Damage

Before entering your home, walk around the perimeter of your home to check for any damage to the exterior, downed power lines, or ruptured gas lines. If you smell gas or see a downed power line, leave immediately and contact the authorities. They will contact the utility companies to ensure the power is off and/or the gas line is shut. Do not go back until you have confirmed that there is no danger of electrocution or gas explosion. You also want to check for any structural damage to your home. If the roof is collapsed or sagging or the walls are buckled or heavily damaged, you shouldn’t enter your home as it could be unstable and at risk of collapsing.

Do Not Enter Flooded Floors

If your basement, lower level, or first floor are flooded, do not enter the floors. The water could be hiding hidden dangers like sharp objects, snakes, chemicals, and dangerous bacteria. If the water is flooded in the lower levels of your home, you will want to pump out the water first. Once the water has been cleared out, then comes the messy cleanup. Flood water can be a toxic stew of things that can harm your health. That’s why it’s a good idea to wear rubber boots and gloves to protect yourself from any chemical or waste residues.

Get Rid of Water Damaged Goods

If any of your food has gotten wet from the flood waters, you should throw it away. If your refrigerator has gone without power for a while, you’ll also want to empty it before mold takes hold and makes a bigger mess of your fridge. It’s advisable to remove as many water-logged materials like papers, clothes, storage boxes, fabric furniture, drywall, curtains, and carpets. As you can see this can be a huge and overwhelming job. That’s why it’s usually a better idea to have a professional flood restoration company do this all for you.

Don’t Risk Further Damage. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

Flood damage can be devastating especially if you don’t act fast and don’t remove all of the damage. To ensure all of the flood waters and water damage are removed, it’s best to call the storm damage and clean up professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise and equipment to handle all types of damage from flood waters, sewage overflows, busted water pipes, and mold growth. They’re available 24/7 for any size disaster. Give them a call if disaster strikes your home.






Tornado Safety Tips for Indianapolis Businesses

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Tornado Safety Tips for Indianapolis Businesses

With the recent tornadoes that have struck central Indiana, the importance of knowing what to do in the event of a tornado at work has become a harsh reality for some. Tornadoes can pop up out of nowhere and quickly do a lot of damage to homes and businesses. In this blog post, we will focus on what to do if a tornado is barrelling toward your workplace. While somewhat similar to tornado safety tips for homes, there are some distinct differences when trying to stay safe from a tornado in many businesses.

More Windows. More Flying Glass.

Many of today’s modern offices are covered in glass windows. While floor to ceiling glass windows provide great views from your office, they’re also a huge risk to your life if a tornado should hit your building. Due to the plentitude of glass windows in most offices, it’s important to have an emergency plan of where to seek cover is there is a tornado warning in your area. Safe areas to seek cover may include fire escape stairwells, internal offices, lower level floors, closets, and/or basements. It’s important to read your office’s emergency plan and know exactly where to go to seek cover.

Stay Alert. Listen to Warnings and Watches.

You can listen to the severe weather reports on your computer, your smartphone, your radio, or a television. While all of these may work, it’s always best to have a backup weather radio with batteries. The reason is that the cable could go out, the power could go out, and/or cell coverage could drop during severe storms and tornadoes. It’s also important to know the difference between a warning and a watch. A tornado watch means that a tornado is possible and to stay alert and tuned in to weather updates. A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted in person or by radar. If the tornado warning is near your office, you and your coworkers need to seek shelter immediately.

Plan Ahead If Disaster Strikes.

Not only is it a good idea to have a battery-powered weather radio, but it’s also a good idea to store other items in a preparedness kit. Items should include flashlights if the power should go out, first aid kit in case anyone is injured from flying debris, and finally, water and some snack bars or food in the event that you may be trapped or isolated for a while. If you work in a large business where there are several areas to seek shelter, you want to make sure each area has the preparedness kits.

After the Tornado Hits.

Traversing your workplace after a tornado hits can be the most dangerous time if you aren’t aware of your surroundings. If a tornado strikes your workplace, a lot of damage can occur and a lot of dangers can appear from that damage. The first step is to not leave the shelter until you can confirm that the tornado and damaging winds have passed. Sometimes it is just better to wait in place until fire and rescue have arrived. If you do leave the shelter, do not walk through any flooded areas as you could be electrocuted from damaged electrical lines and equipment. Be careful about stepping on broken glass and debris. Broken glass and debris with nails could easily puncture many office shoes. If you smell gas from a broken gas line, it’s important to quickly and safely evacuate the vicinity.

Account for Every Employee and Visitor

Once everyone has been given the all clear and can leave the safety of the shelters, it’s important to have a checklist of all employees and guests that were in the building prior to the tornado occurring. A designated person or persons should ensure that everyone is accounted for and safe. If someone is missing, you need to inform the fire and rescue teams of missing coworkers and guests. It’s also a good idea to inform your work staff to not leave the area until they have been accounted for.

If Your Business Should Suffer Tornado or Storm Damage, Contact the Professionals

Tornadoes can cause minor to extreme damage to businesses Some tornadoes can tear off roofs while others can knock down walls and even buildings. That is why it is so important to be prepared with the right emergency plans, the right tools, and the right steps for you and your work staff to follow. If a tornado or storm should hit your business, call the commercial storm restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools and the know-how to clean up any size disaster and help you get back to business quickly. Whether it’s the middle of the night or the weekend or anytime in between, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for your Indianapolis commercial storm clean up and disaster recovery.

Spring Storm Restoration Service In Indianapolis

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

We can help when water invades your property.

Springtime Rain Can Be A Pain

With all this rain recently in Indianapolis and more on its way, sump pumps are being overworked and overwhelmed. Some pumps seem to be working correctly but still allow water to back up in the basement or crawlspace. If you have standing water (flooding) in your basement, disconnect the main electrical switch, call a professional or your local fire department to help you. If you are in doubt about the electrical safety of your basement, it's best to stay out of it! Remember, "SAFETY FIRST!" 

Certified Training To Get The Job Done Right

Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West and our Certified Water Restoration Technicians will make it "Like it never even happened." The water removal and water cleanup process are completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process, and this validates that your property was dried thoroughly and accurately. We're routinely called to homes and business all across Indianapolis to clean up after a flood has occurred. We feel like we've seen just about everything and can handle any Fire or Water Restoration job that comes our way. When Indianapolis experiences heavy rains and strong storms, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the training and experience to return your home or business to its preloss condition. Our highly trained crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job, large or small, residential and commercial. 

One Call Away To Save The Day

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. Our office is strategically located in Indianapolis, and that gives us the ability to act fast and arrive "Faster to Any Size Disaster."

Call us, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we always have a live SERVPRO representative to help answer your questions and dispatch a crew 24/7 for emergency services. 317-243-3149

Commercial Fire Prevention Tips for Your Indianapolis Workplace Part 1

4/28/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Prevention Tips for Your Indianapolis Workplace Part 1

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 72% of all structure fires occurred in home structures in 2017. While home fires are the most common, fire in commercial structures are still prevalent. In 2017, there were 120,000 non-residential structure fires with 18,000 occurring in stores and offices. With this many fires occurring in workplaces, it’s important to take some steps to keep your business safe. Below we cover some of the top things you can do to keep your office and your staff safe from fire.

#1 Keep Electrical Power Panels Accessible

In the event of a fire, you may need to cut the power to prevent further damage and risk of an electrical shock especially if it is an electrical fire. Does your staff know where the power control panel is? Is it easy to reach or is it hidden behind boxes in a storage closet? If it isn’t easy to reach, move boxes and obstructions out of the way so it can be quickly accessed.

#2 Keep Exits and Stairways Clear

Stairways seem like the perfect place to store mop buckets, equipment,  and boxes that you don’t need anytime soon. Stairways also happen to be the worst place to store anything. In the event of a fire, your staff needs to be able to freely and quickly exit out of your building through the use of stairways, exit doors, and exit pathways. If boxes are blocking them or they trip over a mop bucket, this could spell disaster. Keep these areas clear and make sure your staff does the same.

#3 Keep the Office Clutter-Free

In the previous tip, we talked about the clutter in the exits and stairways, but clutter anywhere in an office can be a bad thing. If a fire should start in your office, it needs fuel to grow. One of the most common materials in an office, paper, is the perfect fuel. Try keeping your desks and storage rooms clear of non-essential documents. If you do have papers that you need to keep, store them in metal desk drawers or file cabinets as these will help reduce the risk of them fueling a fire. Paper file boxes stacked to the ceiling in an office closet or storage room is the perfect fuel that can turn a small fire into a major disaster in an office.

#4 Proper Disposal of Oily Rags and Materials

This fire risk is more common in industrial and mechanical businesses where the staff is using rags to wipe away oil and residue from machines and themselves. If you are working around flammable chemicals and oils and using rags to wipe off the residues, make sure that you have proper metal containers to collect the rags and dispose of them in a safe manner on a regular basis. It’s also important to have a fire extinguisher nearby in case a fire occurs in the waste receptacle.

#5 Keep All Electrical Equipment Maintained and Clean

Have you ever taken a look at the back of your television or computer and have seen all the dust? That dust can easily combust if the television or computer overheats. Dust doesn’t just occur in your home, it occurs in your office too. That is why it’s important to regularly clean and remove any excess dust on your computers, monitors, machines, appliances, and other electrical equipment. In some businesses where there is excessive dust, you may have to clean the electrical equipment more often. You can help reduce the dust by having your air ducts cleaned and changing out the air filters on a more regular basis.

#6 Keep the Mechanical Rooms Clear

If your office has a mechanical room where the HVAC system, furnace, generator, sprinkler valves, fire pumps, and/or other building mechanical systems are located, do not use it as a storage room. The mechanical room should be clean and clear of any debris or items that are not part of the mechanical systems. These systems do have a high risk of overheating and sparking a fire. Don’t help by storing paper boxes and garbage or flammable chemicals in the mechanical room.

If You Should Suffer a Fire, Contact the Professionals

The above tips are just a few of many that you should follow and be aware of to reduce the risk of a fire happening in your office. Even if a fire should occur, following these tips can help to reduce the overall damage that could occur by limiting fire hazards. You can’t prevent fires from occurring completely but you can make the risk much lower. If you should suffer from a fire at your office, store, shop, or other commercial space; give the fire damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West a call. You can also contact them for any water or mold damage also. They have the knowledge and equipment to handle any size disaster. They’re available any time and any day when fire, water and storm disasters strike.

Commercial Fire Prevention Tips for Your Indianapolis Workplace Part 2

4/28/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Prevention Tips for Your Indianapolis Workplace Part 2

In the previous blog, we covered 6 tips that you could follow to prevent a fire from occurring at your Indianapolis business. In this blog, we will continue with more tips that you can follow that may help to prevent a fire or reduce the fire damage that could occur at your business. Below we will continue with further tips you can follow to help reduce the risk of a fire occurring in your business.

#1 Safely Store Flammable Chemicals

If you are working with flammable liquids and chemicals, it’s important to always read the Material Safety Data Sheet to understand flammability and fire hazards of the liquid. When storing flammable liquids, you need to be sure that the area and/or room where they are stored has adequate ventilation. In many situations, the vapors of the chemicals can be more dangerous and flammable than the actual liquid. You may also want to look into flammable chemical storage cabinets to keep them away from any fire that may occur. It’s also important to provide proper handling equipment for your staff who will be using the flammable liquids.

#2 Properly Outfit Smoking Areas

If your company allows smoking on the grounds, it’s important to provide proper smoking receptacles for discarded cigarettes. Discarded cigarette butts are one of the leading causes of fires outside a business. Not only should proper receptacle be used but they should be emptied on a regular basis. You also want to instruct your employees on ensuring that they fully extinguish their cigarette butts before disposing to reduce any fires in the receptacle.

#3 Practice Evacuation Drills

When was the last time your company practiced a fire drill? Or has your business ever practiced a fire drill? It’s recommended for businesses to have at least two fire drills a year. While most adults know what to do if a fire occurs, it’s still important to practice and teach your staff so they what to do, how to exit, and where to go during a fire. Part of practicing fire and emergency evacuation drills is also knowing what numbers to call and when the fire alarm pull stations need to be pulled.

#4 Keep Your Fire Extinguishers Maintained

If the fire is small, it may be able to be extinguished with a fire extinguisher. To combat these small fires, you obviously need fire extinguishers that are easy to get to and are ready to be used. It’s also a good idea to train your employees on the locations of the fire extinguishers, how to use them, and when they should use them and when they shouldn’t. It’s also important and the law to have the extinguishers regularly checked and maintained.

#5 Comply With All Fire Codes

Your local fire marshal should be able to help you understand the local fire codes. They’ll also be able to tell you what you need to do to stay compliant. Following the fire codes are probably the best tip you can follow to prevent fires from occurring in your business. Fire codes ensure that your office building has the right fire protection equipment in place to keep your business and your employees safe. Fiire codes can also change over the years which is why it’s important to stay on top of them through your fire marshal.

#6 Educate Your Employees

Following all these tips won’t help prevent fires at your company if your employees don’t follow them. It’s important to take the time to educate and teach your employees about how they can do their part to reduce fire risks and improve the safety of the workplace. They need to know what to do, what not to do, what increases the risk of fire, and ultimately what to do if a fire occurs. By properly educating yourself and your staff on these fire prevention tips, you can greatly reduce the risk of fire and/or the damage a fire can cause.

If You Should Suffer a Fire, Contact the Professionals

You can’t completely eliminate the risk of a fire occurring in your office but you can take steps to greatly reduce the risk. If you should, unfortunately, experience a fire at your business, there is one last tip that you can follow to help clean up and restore all the damage the fire occurred. That tip is to call the fire damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise and know-how to handle fire, water, mold, and storm damage to businesses of all sizes. Whether you need help during the day or during the night, on a weekday or a weekend, they are ready to help with the cleanup and restoration.

5 Reasons To Call SERVPRO This Spring

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Our Hero's will make Springtime floods "Like it never even happened."

With the rainy Spring season upon us, many homes and businesses will be the unlikely victims of water damage. Some may experience flooding in low lying areas while others may experience leaky roofs or windows or flooded basements. While there are many ways for water to creep into your home, there’s one sure choice when it comes to choosing someone to remove it. With one call to SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at any time and any day, we can be at your home and business Faster To Any Size Disaster removing the water and restoring any damage that it may have caused. Why is SERVPRO of Indianapolis West the best choice in the Indianapolis area when it comes to water damage restoration? Here are the top five reasons why you should give them a call the next time you experience water damage: 

#1 IICRC Certified Professionals

 The IICRC is the leading, independent, non-profit, certification and standard-setting body in the cleaning, inspection, and restoration industry. When choosing water damage, mold remediation, and fire and smoke restoration company, be sure to ask if they are IICRC certified.At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, Our Team holds IICRC certifications in water removal technician (WRT), applied structural drying (AST), mold remediation technician, and lead paint remediation. The team also participates in ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility. 

#2 Ready for Any Emergency 24/7

 A disaster can strike at any time and any day which is why SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is ready to answer your call 24/7. With water damage, time is of the essence, and it’s important to start the process of removing the water quickly before it can cause further damage or lead to mold growth. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West realizes that every water damage situation is an emergency which is why they are ready to help out whether it’s day or night. 

#3 Known and Trusted for Over 50 Years

 SERVPRO has been around for over 50 years. That’s 50 years of industry experience and know-how in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry. When you call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, you can trust that they have the skills and the expertise to handle any emergency no matter how big or how small. There are not many fire and water restoration companies that can say they’ve been around as long. 

#4 Advanced Equipment

 Treatments and TechniquesWith that 50 years of experience comes 50 years of learning the best techniques and the right treatments to cleaning and restoring business and homes from fire and water damage.
Along with the best treatments and techniques come some of the most advanced equipment in the industry. Trust and reliability and excellent results come from 50 years of experience dealing with every disaster imaginable. 

#5 Experts at More Than Just Water Damage

 Many times, water damage isn’t the only thing that a homeowner or business owner is experiencing. If the water damage has been happening over some time, there could be underlying mold damage. If a home or business experience a fire, there could be water damage from the fire department and sprinkler system. If the water isn’t removed completely, there could be water damage and mold growth. Luckily, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can handle all of those quickly and professionally. Call the Experts for Water Damage Cleanup and Restoration
If you should, unfortunately, experience water damage to your business or home, call the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise, the knowledge, the equipment, and the know-how to remove the water and restore your home or business. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.

Springtime Check List

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." -Benjamin Franklin

Springtime is upon us in Indiana. It’s time to start thinking about planting some flowers and getting your lawn mower ready to start the long mowing season. There are lots to look forward to in the Springtime, but there are also lots of things that need to be done to make sure your home is up for the season. Below we cover five things to check in your home to make sure it is free of water damage and mold damage - and ready for Springtime. 

#1 Check Your HVAC System

 As the warm weather approaches, you need to make sure your air conditioner is ready. The first thing to check and most likely replace is the air filter. The air filter catches allergens and reduces the buildup of dust in your home’s air ducts. It would help if you also made sure that there is no standing water or dirty air coils where mold can grow and then be pushed through the air ducts.  

#2 Check Around Your Windows & Doors

 During the winter, water can seep into cracks around your windows and doors and freeze. The frozen water will expand causing 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. 

#3 Check Your Roof for Damage

 When it’s nice out and your roof is dry, if you're comfortable climb up there and do an inspection, or call a qualified specialist to help you. Check to make sure your gutters are clear. Otherwise, water could run over the gutters and cause water to enter through your foundation and into your basement. Also, check to make sure there are no missing shingles. If you have exhaust pipes or chimneys, check around them to make sure they are sealed and there are no signs of cracking. 

#4 Check Attics, Basements and Crawl Spaces for Mold

 As the ground thaws out from the Winter, water will find its way into your crawl spaces and basements. If you have any roof damage, it could seep into your attics. Make sure to check all these areas for any signs of water. This could be standing water or water stains. If your basement or crawl space smells musty, then you may want to get a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture from the area before it leads to mold growth. If you do find mold growth or water that you can’t remove, then call the professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to help remediate the mold damage. 

#5 Check Exposed Water Pipes

 If you have water pipes in your basement or crawl space that you can see, make sure to check them for any drips around the joints and connections. During the Winter, these pipes could have frozen causing the plumbing to expand and crack. Even a small drip can lead to extensive water damage and mold growth. It’s also a good idea to check any external faucets for cracks or leaks. If you find any sign of leaks, make sure to have it fixed before it leads to even worse damage. 

Enjoy a Stress-Free Spring

 While you can’t ultimately reduce the risk of water damage to your home, you can lower the risk by following the five steps mentioned above. If you should experience water damage or find mold growth when inspecting your home, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149 to help clean up the damage and restore your home.

Faster to Any Indiana Disaster

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Faster to Any Indiana Disaster

When you’ve experienced water, fire, and/or mold damage to your home or business, you need to act quickly to stop the damage from getting worse. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, they get this which is why when you call them, they’ll be there as quickly as possible.

Water Damage Gets Worse in No Time

If you should experience a flooded basement or other water damage, it’s important to call the water cleanup and restoration pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. Water, especially dirty water, can quickly lead to mold growth if not treated quickly. Don’t wait for the water to subside or until the next morning, call SERVPRO anytime 24/7 365 to get immediate help. They have the equipment and expertise to quickly remove the water, dry out the affected area, and treat any areas that may be susceptible to mold growth.

Once they’ve tackled the excess water, they’ll walk you and your insurer through the steps that they will take to remove any damaged items or structure and restore the area back to new. In many situations, the drywall and insulation that has gotten soaked may need to be removed and replaced. With carpeting and carpet pads, they may be able to extract the water and dry out the carpet and pad. It all depends on how much water is present, what type of water, and how long the water has been there. Again, timing is of utmost importance when a home or business has experienced water damage.

Fire and Smoke Damage Can Spread If Not Treated Quickly

If you should suffer a fire, you will most likely be dealing with fire and smoke damage. If there is a lot of smoke, you will probably see smoke and soot stains on the ceiling and walls near the fire. You could also have smoke and soot throughout your house if you’re HVAC was running or you have ceiling fans spreading the smoke. The first thing you should do after the fire has been extinguished is to turn off your HVAC and ceiling fans. You’ll want to open the windows and doors nearest to the fire to allow the smoke to dissipate and blow outside. You could also use a box fan in a nearby door or window to pull the smoke out of the house.

The fire restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can also help air out your home with their specialized equipment and knowledge. Once the smoke has left, the next step is to clean up the smoke and soot stains. Not only do they have the equipment and tools to do this quickly, but they also have equipment and supplies to remove the smell of the smoke if needed. Again, it’s important to call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible after a fire so they can get to work cleaning the air and home and restoring any damage from the fire or smoke.

Mold Grows Quickly with Moisture

Sometimes mold isn’t discovered until it has gotten really bad. One example is mold growth in a crawl space under a home. That isn’t discovered until months down the road when the homeowner smells the mildew and mold smell or a plumber or HVAC person is in the crawlspace trying to repair a pipe or duct. Mold and mildew can also grow and get worse in damp basements. Many people just assume every basement smells musty until they discover mold growing on their walls or on their furniture.

If you should find mold growing in your home, you may be looking at just the tip of the iceberg. If you spot mold growth on a ceiling or wall, there is a good chance that it originated behind the ceiling or wall and is much worse than what you are looking at. Rather than cleaning the surface or painting over the spot on the ceiling, it always best to have a mold remediation company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, come to inspect and examine the mold. The mold remediation pros at SERVPRO have the knowledge and expertise to identify the mold damage and determine what steps need to be taken to remediate it from the area.

Contact the Damage Restoration Pros Who Are Faster to Any Disaster

The pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West are here to help make it “Like it never even happened” if one of those disasters comes your way. They’re only a call away! Faster to any size disaster. This is not just another tag line for SERVPRO—it is a commitment to be there when you need them most. If you should suffer fire, water, storm, or mold damage, give SERVPRO of Indianapolis West a call for a fast response to any and every disaster.

Why SERVPRO

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

A Nations leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration.

If you live anywhere in Central Indiana and your home or business has experienced flood, fire or storm damage, here are several great reasons that SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is your best and only option when it comes to property restoration. 

Our Centralized Location

Our office is located near I-465 and 10th Street on the west side of Indianapolis, with instant access to the interstate system, we can be anywhere in the entire city and surrounding area quickly. We’re just minutes from downtown Indy. If your property is anywhere in Central Indiana, we will react immediately to your call and arrive on the scene fast.

Locally Owned and Operated

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is independently owned and operated by Indianapolis native Chad Baker. Most of our team of restoration professionals reside right here in the same community we work and serve. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is a Hoosier business through and through. We take pride in being a part of the Indianapolis, IN community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be. 

Corporate Resources

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West will respond immediately to any fire, water or storm event affecting your residential or commercial property, regardless of the size or scope of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters. No job is too big for SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. Our team has over 70 years of combined experience and training in the restoration industry.  Our technicians are highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our team is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. 

Stress-Free Claims Process

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is a preferred service provider with most insurance companies in Central Indiana. This gives us the knowledge and understanding to help you process your insurance claim quickly and easily. For a stress-free claims process, SERVPRO works with your insurance to help manage the insurance process and paperwork.  If you should need cleanup and restoration services to your home or business, call the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. We have the expertise, knowledge, and advanced equipment, restore your home or business and make it "Like it never even happened." Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis online or call us at 317-243-3149.

Giving Back

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

A little extra time and effort goes a long way.

Giving back to the community is about much more than just writing a check. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we try to take a more hands-on approach and partake in different activities that involve the betterment of the community. Here are a few more of the ways we have proudly helped: 

Wayne Township Trustee’s Office

 It seemed like just another day until the Wayne Township Trustee called us out of the blue. He’d received word that a local business wanted to donate over $17,000 in new school clothes. They wanted to see those clothes go to help low-income students in need--if only they could find a way to transport the gifts to where they were needed! We have a van that transports equipment with plenty of room to spare. We frequently move furniture and other large objects off the site of a fire or flood to our restoration facility. Bottom line: we had plenty of room to take the clothes to their destination, so we started up the van and made it happen. 

Indy Fire Rescue House

 Being in the fire restoration field, we learned very quickly about how a local fire department had set up a Fire Rescue House as a temporary shelter to help families coping with extreme and total losses. In some cases, those people had nowhere to go or needed shelter and time to make better arrangements. The Department saw the need and made it happen. The Fire Rescue House serves as a temporary refuge the Fire Department offers on a case by case basis.Supplies, such as toiletries and food, needed to be restocked regularly. Between occupants, the house needed attention: vacuuming and dusting, sheets requiring washing and replacing. Firefighters were volunteering their own time to see to the housekeeping, so we offered to be a part of it. Taking the burden off these brave men and women was a no-brainer for us. Our team has stocked the pantry several times, washed many sheets, and cleaned the furniture, probably more often than our own homes.      

Church Dinners

 When it comes to the community, the local church operates at ground zero. Churches act to provide shelter, comfort, and in some cases, medical care to people who are most in need. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has sponsored fundraising dinners thrown by community churches to support a variety of good causes. We have provided food, beverages, plastic ware, to help churches help others.Community service and giving back is an integral part of what we do at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. We're a business within the local area that relies on the people within it, and feel as if it's not only the right thing to do but our obligation to help better the community we live and work in.

What’s the Importance of 1,4, and 8? It’s What Make Us so Great.

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

What’s the Importance of 1,4, and 8? It’s What Make Us so Great.

The numbers 1,4, and 8 mean a lot to us at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They are numbers that we live by. They are numbers that mean when you have suffered damage to your home or business from fire, water, mold, or storms; you can count on us to respond quickly and act quickly to restore your home or business.

The numbers 1,4, and 8 are part of SERVPRO’s nationally recognized 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines. So what do the numbers mean? Take a look below.

1 - Within one hour from the notice of the loss from your Insurance Carrier or our Call Center, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for services to be done. We will discuss with you what damages and losses you’ve experienced so we know exactly what equipment and supplies to pack on our trucks to take care of the damages.

4 - Within four hours from the notice of the loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site ready to start mitigation services when mitigation is necessary. EVEN AFTER HOURS! We will do a quick walk through to examine the damages and then discuss with you what steps need to be taken to stop the damages from getting worse and clean up the damages. This could include removing water from a flooded basement and setting up blowers and dehumidifiers to get the area dry.

8 - Within eight hours from arriving on-site, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact your Insurance Carrier or property manager to give a verbal briefing of what the job entails and what the plans are moving forward. At this time, we will discuss the full timeline and process of not only cleaning up the damages but also restoring the damaged areas back to normal. *Service Response Guidelines—Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation.

Contact the Fast, Responsive Fire, Water, and Storm Damage Restorations Professionals

With this commitment, our customers know that SERVPRO of Indianapolis West will be there fast to get the job done no matter what day or time disaster strikes. We know when it comes to fire, smoke, water, and mold damage that time can make the damages worse which is why we are committed to the 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines.

You can count on SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to be on-site quickly to clean up the mess, fix the damage, and restore your home or business back to normal. If you should suffer a loss or damage from storms, flooding, fire, or other causes, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West 24/7 365, and we will be there in no time.

No Fire, Water, or Mold Damage Job Is Too Big or Too Small!

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

No Fire, Water, or Mold Damage Job Is Too Big or Too Small!

Disasters can come in many shapes and sizes. Whether it’s minor flood damage from a leaking washing machine or catastrophic damage from a tornado, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can handle it all.

Not all damage restoration companies can handle such a wide array of business sizes and damage types like us. Some don’t have the equipment or capabilities to handle major damages to large properties. Other restoration companies feel small jobs, like minor water damage to a home, are not worth their time to fix. That’s not the case at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. We are committed to cleaning up and restoring homes and businesses of every shape and size no matter how big or small the damage is.

We Can Handle Any Type of Disaster

At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, not only can we handle any size disaster, but we can also handle almost any type of disaster. Our highly trained crews and fully equipped warehouse of equipment and materials are ready 24/7 365 to respond to your disaster. If you’ve just experienced a fire in your home, we can help you. If your business just suffered from massive flooding, we’ve got the tool and experience to help. If your basement flooded and your suffering from water and mold damage, we can help. We can handle fire damage, smoke damage, mold damage, water damage, storm damage, and more.

We’ve Helped Homes and Businesses of All Sizes in Indianapolis

When it comes to fire, water, and mold damage, no home or business is immune to these damages. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we’ve helped hundreds of homes and businesses all over Indianapolis clean up and get back to normal after suffering damages and losses. On any given day, we could be cleaning up a home from a kitchen fire, drying out a basement after flooding, and doing mold remediation in a crawl space under a home. We have the crew, the equipment, and the expertise to handle whatever size job happens to come next.

Give the Residential and Commercial Restoration and Cleaning Pros a Call

If your home or business should suffer from mold damage, water damage, or fire damage, give the restoration and cleaning pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West a call. Whether it’s in the middle of the night, a holiday, or on the weekend, we are willing and ready to assist you in your damage cleanup and restoration. No job is too small and no job is too big. We can handle it all at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

Community Involvement

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Indianapolis gives back to the community we live and work in.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is locally owned and operated, and that's important to us because it means we live in or near the local community we serve. We regard our business as part of the local community and feel very comfortable here. That means when it comes to community, you can trust that we'll be there for you.  Many not-for-profit organizations host events to make our community better and promote principles that we at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West share. Over the years, we’ve worked with these groups because that’s how we believe a community-minded business best helps its community. Here are a few organizations we’ve partnered with that do the hard work to create meaningful events that help others and make Indianapolis an awesome place: 

Westside Indianapolis Smoke Alarm Blitz


SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has partnered with the Wayne Township Fire Department for many years to help the American Red Cross distribute and install over 100,000 free smoke alarms to neighborhood homes. Teams go door to door to find homes with inoperative or neglected smoke alarms and replace them with new ones warranted for ten years. If the time ever comes that you experience a house fire, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can help restore your property and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Saints in the Streets (SITS) Indy

 SITS organizes an annual Indianapolis Beautification Event in which hundreds of volunteers clean streets, gutters, alleys, and parks, including segments of Indianapolis West that need it. If many hands make light work, we’re glad to lend a few hands to lighten the load for these saints with their excellent work. Community Safety Day held by the Wayne Township Fire Department, the Community Safety Day is a free family event of fun activities and games. Community Safety Day provides a platform for the local Fire Department, various police divisions, and other safety support services like those offered by SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, to present essential fire safety tips to children and adults.

Henryville Tornado Relief Fund

 On March 2, 2012, the largest tornado on record for the region tore through Southern Indiana, reshaping much of the geography and carrying debris miles away, including into neighboring states Kentucky and Ohio. The area is still feeling the effects of the devastating event. Restoring communities is something we do on a house by house, client by client basis, so we’re honored to partner with and to have donated to a group that has taken on that work on such a full scale.

Electrical Safety Tips to Help Prevent House Fires

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Electrical Safety Tips to Help Prevent House Fires

According to data from the NFPA, fire departments responded to an average of 45,000 home fires caused by electrical failure or malfunction every year between 2010-2014. In fact, home electrical fires are the most common fire in a home accounting for nearly 60% of all fires.

While you can’t prevent all electrical fires from occurring, there are a lot of things you can do to reduce the risk of an electrical fire happening at your Indianapolis home. Below we will cover some electrical safety tips you can follow that may help prevent an electrical fire from happening to you.

Protect Children from Exposed Outlets

If you have young children in your home, it’s important that you use child-proof outlet covers on unused receptacles. You can find outlet covers and tamper resistant outlets at your local hardware store. If you replace your standard outlets with tamper resistant outlets, be sure to hire a professional electrician to install them. Another tip to keep young kids away from outlets is to block access to the outlets using furniture like a couch or table or shelving.

Don’t Overload Outlets

Do you have an outlet that is powering a couple power strips and a dozen electronics? This can be dangerous. Don’t overload your outlets with too many powered electronics or appliances. Try to move some to another outlet. If you aren’t using an electrical appliance, like a blender or toaster, unplug it when you don’t need it. Overloading an outlet can trip the circuit or worse, it can lead to a fire.

Turn Off Appliances Before Turning Circuit Back On

If you do experience a tripped circuit from overloading an outlet or a power surge, be sure to turn off any appliances that the circuit is powering. Also, unplug anything that is powered by the circuit. Once you have flipped the circuit back on, you can then turn on the appliances or the electronics that the circuit is powering.

Check Cords and Plugs

Over time cords can kink, tear and fray. A small fray in a cord can cause sparks which can lead to a fire pretty quickly. Make it a habit of always taking a look at any cords or power outlets that you are near. Not only make sure that the cords are in good condition but that the plugs are plugged into the outlets all the way. A loose plug on an outlet can also cause sparks or a short which can cause an electrical fire.

Light Bulb Safety

Light bulbs are the most commonly used electrical item in a home. With light bulbs located in every room of your home, it’s important to follow a few tips to ensure they don’t become a fire hazard. Always use the recommended wattage of bulb for each fixture. Using a higher wattage bulb can cause the fixture to overheat. Be careful with light bulbs near curtains or other fabric. The fabric can be blown on top of the bulb which can quickly lead to a fire.

If You Should Suffer a Fire, Contact the Professionals

Following the above tips should help reduce the risk of a house fire, but it can’t eliminate the risk. If you should suffer from a house fire, call the fire damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the knowledge, expertise, and equipment to handle any size disaster. From fire damage to water damage to mold damage and more, they have the skills and expertise to clean up the mess, fix the damage, and return your home back to normal. Give them a call any time and any day for your fire, water and mold damage problems.

What to Do If Your Home Has Water Damage

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

What to Do If Your Home Has Water Damage

The first half of the year tends to be some of the wettest in Indiana. From the frozen, saturated ground of late winter to the constant rain storms of spring, dealing with the water and trying to keep it out of your house can be a constant battle. So what do you do if your home should be the unfortunate victim of water damage this time of year? Below we will go over the steps you should take to lessen the water damage and get your home restored quickly.

Shut Off the Water

If the water is coming from a broken pipe, then you will want to shut off the water immediately. If the water is flooding into your home from the outside, then there may not be much you can do.

Move Valuables to Higher Ground

If you are experiencing flooding, you will want to move any valuable furniture and household goods to a second floor or up onto a countertop or table. You especially want to move any photo albums, books, and clothes to an area that is less prone to be flooded like a second story floor.

Take Pictures of the Damage

It’s important to take pictures of the water damage before trying to clean things up or remove the water. If you have a flooded basement or flooded first floor, be sure to take pictures of all the water damage. This can be important and helpful when filing an insurance claim. If the water damage came from a burst pipe, be sure to take a picture of the pipe.

Don’t Use Electricity in Water Damaged Areas

If you should suffer extensive water damage, you may want to cut off the power to the whole house. However, if your circuit box is in an affected area, like a basement, do not touch or attempt to check the circuit box. If your circuit breaker is in a dry area, then you may want to make sure the circuits to the water damaged area have been tripped. If they haven’t, you may want to flip them off to reduce any risk of electrical shock.

Start Removing the Water

If you can get the water out of your house, start doing it as quickly as possible. While a water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, will remove all of the water; you can reduce the severity of the damage by starting to remove the water. The longer the water sits in your home, the more time it has to damage your home. Standing water can soak further into your drywall, insulation and wood framing leading to more damage from the water which can quickly lead to mold growth and damage.

Get the Air Circulating

To help reduce the risk of mold damage, it’s important to get the air circulating. If the weather is nice, you can open your windows and doors to allow the outside air to blow through the home. You can also employ fans and blowers to get fresh air circulating around the water damage. If you are in a basement or an area that is particularly damp, you can also use dehumidifiers to draw the moisture out of the air. This can all help to reduce any further water or mold damage to your home.

Call the Water Damage Restoration Professionals

The last step is the most important step to take to get your home back to normal quickly. Don’t just trust anyone to restore your damaged home, trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the knowledge, expertise, and equipment to handle any size disaster. From water damage to mold damage to fire damage and more, they have the skills and expertise to clean up the mess, fix the damage, and return your home back to normal. Give them a call any time and any day for your fire, water and mold damage problems.

Winter Tips to Keep Your Indiana Business Warm & Dry

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial generators are critical to your business's contingency plan.

With the cold winter upon us, your business is increasingly vulnerable to water and storm damage. This damage can come in many forms and shapes from frozen pipes, collapsed roofs, condensation, foot traffic, snow, and ice-covered sidewalks, and power outages. While you can’t stop a blizzard from coming or keep the temperatures from dropping below zero, you can take some preventative steps to reduce the risks of winter weather damaging your business and hurting your employees.

  • Get a Backup Generator

With strong winter storms, ice and wind can wreak havoc on trees and power lines. As ice accumulates on tree branches, they eventually break and fall knocking down power lines and killing the power to your business. If the power is out for an extended amount of time and the temperatures are below freezing, the temperature inside your business can drop causing the water pipes to freeze and burst resulting in extensive water damage.

To reduce the risk of a power outage happening, you can invest in a backup power generator that will kick on if your business should lose power. Hopefully, the generator has enough fuel to keep your business heated until the power is able to be restored. It’s important to know how long your generator can run and to be sure to refuel it if the power is out for an extended time.  

  • Keep Your Sidewalk and Parking Lot Clear

Keeping your sidewalk and parking clear of snow and ice will not only help reduce the risk of slip and falls by your employees and customers, but it will also help reduce them from tracking it into your business and soiling your floors. While you can hire a service company to shovel your parking lot and sidewalk, many of them won’t be able to keep them clear if the snow continues. That is why it’s important to have a few people at the office in charge of keeping, at least, your sidewalk clear. Salt on your sidewalk and parking lot can help melt any snow and ice and provide a grip for employees and customers walking into your business.

  • Keep Floors Dry

Employees and customers coming in and out of your business during the cold, wet winters will undoubtedly be tracking in water and dirt throughout the day. It’s important to check the floors and doormats on a regular basis to ensure they stay as clean and dry as possible. Not only will this help eliminate any slip and falls but it will also keep the water and dirt from causing further damage. Wet floors can lead to water and mold damage to your business. For busy entrances, you may want to switch out floor mats with new ones throughout the day to keep the water and dirt at bay.

  • Leave Sinks Dripping During Extreme Cold Temperatures

If you have any bathrooms or sinks located near exterior walls or colder areas, like a warehouse or garage, you will want to take a couple extra steps during extremely cold temperatures. If you know that the temperatures will be dropping to near or below zero, you will want to make sure your sinks are dripping water. The dripping water ensures that the water in the pipes leading to the sink are moving and don’t have time to freeze and burst the pipes. This is also a good tip to do at home also.

  • Check Pipes to Ensure They’re Insulated

If you have exposed water pipes in areas of your business that aren’t as well heated, you may want to insulate the pipes to ensure they don’t freeze. Many burst pipes in businesses are found in warehouses, garages, and near entrances that are constantly being opened. Insulating these pipes can also be beneficial during the hot summers as the insulation can prevent condensation on the pipes which can also lead to water damage.

  • Seal or Close Up Any Drafts

It doesn’t take much of a crack for the cold air and winds to find their way into your business. While that doesn’t seem troubling, if that crack is near a pipe, it could be big trouble. During a cold day, take a walk around your business and check for drafts. You can either check by feel using your hand or use a temperature gun to find any cool spots. If you’ve done any renovations or upgrades, like running cables from the outside into your business, you want to check for any holes or penetrations in the exterior walls that may not have been sealed up completely.

  • Remove Excess Snow and Ice from Roofs and Awnings

During heavy ice and snow storms, you will want to make sure the snow and ice don’t collect too much on your roofs, overhangs, and awnings. The weight of the snow and ice can cause collapses which can lead to extensive damage to your business. If you have a flat roof, you will want to check the roof after the storms to ensure the snow and ice are melting and that the water is running off and away from your business. Not only can the weight of the snow collapse your roof, but the melting snow can also pool up and leak down through cracks or holes in your roof and/or exterior.

  • Keep Interior Temps Above 60 Degrees

The last tip is to help reduce any risks of your pipes freezing and bursting. It is advisable to keep the interior temperature at or above 60 degrees in your business. While this shouldn’t be a problem in areas where your employees or customers are usually present, this could be a problem in garages, attics, basements, exterior buildings, storage areas, and warehouses. You may need to add insulation, more ducts to carry the heated air, or additional heaters to keep these areas sufficiently heated. It is usually these ignored or less trafficked areas of your business that will lead to frozen and burst pipes. And because these areas aren’t used or seen, the water damage can be quite substantial.

Keep Your Business Protected from the Cold Indiana Weather

By following the tips above and keeping an eye on the temps in your business, you can greatly reduce the risk of water and mold damage from a burst pipe this winter. But if you should experience water damage to your business, it’s important to act quickly to reduce any further damage and call the water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise and know-how to fix the damage and takes steps to prevent it from happening again. Give them a call any time and any day for your fire, water and mold damage problems.

Tips to Prevent Winter Moisture Problems

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Tips to Prevent Winter Moisture Problems

During the cold winter months in Indiana, we tend to keep our homes sealed up tight from the elements. As a result, Indiana homes can suffer from moisture build-up and/or dry air. Both of these symptoms can cause problems and damage to your home. In this article, we will focus on the more damaging effects of moisture in the home during the winter months. We will point out areas that are prone to moisture build up and what to do to fix these problems.

Is Your Home Too Humid?

How do you know if there is too much humidity in your home? There are signs that you can look for and smell for. The first sign of excessive moisture is condensation on the exterior doors and windows. Another sign is a musty smell in the home. Does your house smell like a musty basement or crawl space? Are your bathrooms, laundry room, or kitchen smell musty? If you smell a musty odor, there is a good chance you have an excessive moisture problem. That last sign of excessive moisture is mildew and mold growth. Common areas where you might find mildew and/or mold are around windows, in bathrooms, near water pipes, in dark areas of your home, and in your basement.

How to Reduce Moisture & Fix Problem Areas

Seal or Replace Your Windows

If you have condensation around your windows or doors, first make sure that they are closed completely. If you haven’t closed your windows fully, cold air can seep in and condense around the leak. If your windows are badly insulated or leaky, you can replace them or try taping up any drafts. On really bad windows, some people use plastic sheeting to seal the windows during the winter as a temporary fix.

Use a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is a popular choice for many Indiana basements. A dehumidifier will pull the excess moisture out of the air to keep mold and mildew at bay. You can also use a dehumidifier in bathrooms, laundry rooms and other areas where there is excessive moisture. You obviously want to monitor your dehumidifier and adjust it if the air gets too dry. Dry air can also cause damage to your home. The better dehumidifiers have humidistats that you can set to regulate the humidity level.

Improve Airflow

While you can’t open your windows to get fresh air in during the cold winter months, you can keep your ceiling fans on to push and pull the air through the rooms. You can also set your HVAC fan to be always on to help push the air throughout your home. Airflow can help lower the moisture in high-risk areas like basements and bathrooms by blowing the air throughout the home. You can also keep your interior doors open to allow air to move in and out. This is especially important for bathrooms. While bathroom exhaust fans can pull the moisture out of the room when taking showers and baths, leaving the door open can allow any moisture build-up to dissipate into the rest of your home.

Keep Rugs and Floors Dry

With snow and rain, water can be tracked into the home fairly easily. It’s important to make sure you keep doormats and rugs dry and clean. If they get too wet, they can cause mold and mildew to grow under them. Also, if you take off your shoes at the door, make sure you clean up any melted snow each day. It’s best to either throw any wet snow pants, jackets, glove and hats in the dryer when you or your kids come inside.  

Stay Warm and Stay Dry This Winter

Moisture problems are common during the cold, wet, winter months in Indiana. By following the steps above and keeping the floors dry and clean, you can greatly reduce any risks of moisture and water damage. If you should experience water damage or mold damage to your home this winter, it’s important to act quickly to reduce further damage and call the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise and equipment to fix the damage and takes steps to prevent it from happening again. Give them a call any time and any day for your fire, water and mold damage problems.

How Winter Storms Can Damage Your Indiana Home

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Ice can be particularly damaging to your Indianapolis home or business.

When we think about damaging storms, we tend to think of warm weather storms during Spring, Summer, and Fall. We don’t tend to think of winter storms as being extremely dangerous and damaging to homes. You might be surprised to learn that winter storms are the most damaging type of storm behind hurricanes and tornadoes.

While summer storms can bring high winds, flooding, and lightning; winter storms can bring some of the same and more like ice and snow. Below we will cover the damaging aspects of a winter storm and what steps you can take to reduce the risk of damage to your Indiana home.

Ice Damage

The first thing we think about when discussing the dangers of ice are slip and falls. Slip and falls along your sidewalk, driveway, deck, and patio are common and can result in broken bones. But ice can also cause damage to your home. Falling ice from trees and power lines can damage your roof. Ice accumulation in your gutters can cause them to break away from your home. Ice build up on your roof can cause the most damage as the weight of the ice can eventually cause your roof to collapse. Even if ice on your roof doesn’t cause it to collapse or bow, it can also cause water to seep under your shingles and cause water damage in your attic.

Some steps you can take to prevent this is to check to make sure your gutters aren’t clogged. It’s usually best and safest to clean your gutters out once all of the leaves have fallen from the trees around your home. Usually, the temperatures are still bearable and you can find a day where the roof is dry. Once you start having snow accumulations, you need to check your roof on a regular basis to make sure the snow isn’t piling up. As the snow piles up, it can melt and refreeze causing ice dams on your roof. These ice dams can keep the snow melt from flowing off your roof. Instead, the ice can build up and lead to leaks or collapses. A long handle broom or rake can help know off the snow or break up the ice dams.

Wind Damage

Winter storms can bring bitterly cold, high-speed winds which can wreak havoc on a home. These winds can blow snow, ice, and water under shingles, into foundation cracks, in cracks around your windows and doors, and through an attic and crawl space vents. They can also blow tree limbs and ice into your siding and windows causing damage and breaks.

While you can take some steps to reduce the risk of ice damage, there’s not much you can do to keep the high winds at bay. The best thing is to check around your home for any signs of damage after a winter storm. Look for damages to your siding, shingles, and windows. If the wind has blown snow up against your home, you will want to shovel it away. Snow buildup can cause water damage to your siding and foundation as it melts and refreezes.

Flooding After the Snow

During the really big snowstorms that usually only happen every few years in Indiana, the melting snow can be as dangerous and damaging as the snow itself. The snow itself can lead to roof collapses if the snow is wet and heavy and deep. But if the temperatures all of a sudden swing above freezing temperatures, the melting snow can cause flooding. Since the ground in Indiana is usually saturated during the winter months, the melting snow can quickly cause flooding in low and high areas.

To keep the flood waters from damaging your home, you want to make sure to shovel as much snow as possible away from your home’s exterior. If you have storms drains near your home, you want to check them regularly to make sure they don’t get clogged from the snow melts. If the snow builds up against your exterior and it starts to melt, the water can seep through your windows and doors that the snow has covered. This is why it’s important to shovel away the excess snow before it has time to melt.

Winter Storms Can Be Messy


Winter storms can be messy in Indiana. Not only do they make driving and walking even more dangerous, but they can also wreak havoc on your home. If you should experience water damage, mold damage, and/or fire damage from a winter storm, contact the cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools, equipment, and know-how to clean up and repair the damage caused to your home. Give them call any time and any day for your winter storm damage emergency.

Space Heater Safety Tips

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

Unfortunately, each year many homes in Indianapolis catch fire causing death and serious injury to people. Some of these home fires are caused by space heaters and alternative heating methods. Often, these fires can be avoided with better preparedness and using greater caution.

One main reason space heaters produce fires, is that they're placed too close to flammable objects in the home, such as furniture, bedding, mattresses, and clothing. Wiring and insufficient maintenance is another top reason for heater malfunctions. 

Dangerous & Convenient

Many people use space heaters to heat their homes or to warm areas that lack sufficient heat, like a bathroom or spare bedroom. Electric space heaters can help warm a room quickly. However, they can be as dangerous as convenient if used improperly. 

Think Safety First

Caution should be used no matter what system or device is used to heat your home. Not all homes are equipped with a central HVAC system and alternative heating methods are sometimes needed, such as space heaters, wood-burning stoves, and fireplaces. 

Things to Avoid When Using Space Heaters

Never use an extension cord or power strip with space heaters. Always plug them directly into a wall outlet. Space heaters pull a lot of power and can quickly overheat a power strip or extension cord which can result in a home fire.

Home Heating Safety Tips

1. NEVER use an oven or stove to heat your home.
2. Keep heaters away from where children and pets could play with them.
3. Space heaters and candles should NEVER be left unattended or used overnight. 
4. If possible, only use space heaters that shut off automatically if tipped.
5. Place all heaters on a level, hard surface with a minimum of three to four feet clearance of any combustible materials.
6. Never place heaters in a doorway or in high-traffic areas where they can be tripped over or knocked down.
7. Test the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
8. Develop a fire escape plan and practice it with everyone who lives in the home.
9. Designate a safe place for everyone to meet away from the house if a fire was to occur.

Is Your Home Ready for the Harsh Indiana Winters?

12/13/2018 (Permalink)

Is Your Home Ready for the Harsh Indiana Winters?

This winter is supposed to be really bad in Indiana with lots of snow and extremely cold temperatures. With Christmas just around the corner and lots of us taking a day or two off from work, now might be a good time to make sure your home is prepped and ready for the harsh Indiana winter weather. In this blog, we will go over steps and tips to take to reduce the risk of water and mold damage to your Indiana home.

Clean the Gutters and Roof

Now that all the leaves have fallen off the trees, you will want to check your gutters to make sure they are clean. If they full or clogged, they could become damaged over the winter as water pools and freezes in the gutters putting excessive weight on them. You’ll also want to make sure any dead branches are removed off the roof and make sure that the water from the gutters is flowing away from your home and its foundation. It’s best to choose a day that is dry to clean out your gutters as roofs can be slippery and dangerous when wet.

You also may want to trim back any branches, especially dead ones, to keep them from breaking and falling on your roof over the winter. While you are on the roof, you’ll also want to check the flashing around the chimney and the seals around the exhaust pipes on your roof to make sure no water finds its way into your home.

Check Seals Around Windows and Doors

Once you're done with cleaning out the gutters and checking the roof, you’ll want to walk around the house and check all of your windows and doors for broken seals, cracks, or other areas where the cold air and water can get into your home.

You also want to check around your foundation for standing water and cracks in the foundation. Cracks in the foundation can get worse in the winter as water seeps into the cracks and freeze causing expansion and further damage to your foundation. If you find cracks, you will want to seal them before they get worse. If you find standing water you may want to make sure your gutters are directing the water away from your home and grading the ground to slope away from your home’s foundation.

Check for Leaks and Water in Your Basement and Crawl Space

Indiana winters tend to be very wet keeping the ground around your home saturated. With so much water and moisture outside, it’s important to check your crawl space and basement for water leaks and high moisture. You want to seal any cracks or leaks and possibly use a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture out of the air. If the moisture is too high, it can lead to mold growth in your crawl space and/or basement. You also want to test your sump pump to make sure it is working properly.

Insulate Pipes and Turn Off Faucets

While you are in the basement and crawl space, you will want to cut off the water to your outside faucets to reduce the risk of them freezing and bursting. You also may want to insulate and exposed water pipes in your crawl space and/or basement. This is an especially important step to take in a crawl space as crawl spaces tend not to be insulated or heated and can get extremely cold in the winter. Under the most extreme cold temperatures, water pipes could freeze and burst.

Change Out Air and Furnace Filters

Changing out your furnace filter will not only reduce the wear and tear on your furnace, but it will also reduce the risk of fire. With a dirty furnace filter, dust can quickly build up and your heater will be operating more often to keep your home warm. The excess dust and the heater working overtime can increase the risk of fire as the dust can be combustible. It’s also not good for the air quality or your utility bill.

If you have other air filters, make sure to check them out and replace them if needed also. Another risk from the excess dust is mold growth. If the humidity is too high in the air, it can increase the chance of mold growing on the dust in your air ducts.

Get Prepared for Indiana Winters

By taking the steps mentioned above, you can greatly reduce the chance of water, mold and/or fire damage to your home. If you should experience water, fire or mold damage to your home this winter, it’s important to act quickly to reduce further damage and call the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise and equipment to handle any Indiana winter home and business emergency. Even a small leak can result in extensive water and mold damage if not dealt with quickly. Give them a call any time and any day for your fire, water and mold damage problems.

Top Things to Know About Mold

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Top Things to Know About Mold

We’ve all have seen mold before. Whether it’s in a bathroom, on an exterior wall, in the fridge on some food, or other damp areas; we’ve all experienced mold before. While many people are quite familiar with mold and battling it in their Indianapolis home, most may not know everything about this nuisance. In this blog, we go over some of the top things most people may not know about mold in their Indiana businesses and homes.


Mold Is Practically Everywhere


Mold at it’s smallest form travels as microscopic spores through the air we breathe. It is in the air outside our home and inside our home. There is no simple way to remove all traces of mold from your home. It is naturally occurring and exists everywhere. While there is very little you can do to keep mold spores from entering your home, you can take steps to keep those spores from colonizing and growing into a bigger and more visible mold growth problem. Keep the air circulating throughout your home and eliminate any moisture problems.


Mold Can Grow In Many Places


The key to mold growth is moisture and organic material. In the home, organic material can include carpeting, wood framing materials, drywall, cardboard boxes, clothes, wallpaper, and furniture. In the forest, mold grows or feeds off of dead organic matter like dead trees and fallen leaves. Mold can also grow from the dust on a concrete floor or in your air ducts. If there is organic material and moisture present, mold will find a way to grow.


Moisture is Mold’s Best Friend

While you can’t eliminate organic material from your home, you can take away the fuel that causes mold growth -- moisture and standing water. The reason why you will often find mold in basements, bathrooms, and crawl spaces is because that is where you also tend to find moisture in the air. Since mold spores and organic material are present in most environments, including homes and businesses, it is just a matter of introducing moisture to cause mold to grow.

In basements, you can reduce the moisture with a dehumidifier, In a crawl space, you can line the bare ground with a moisture barrier lock i.e. plastic sheeting. With bathrooms, you can make sure to keep the exhaust fan on when showering and leave the bathroom door open afterward to allow the moisture to dissipate.

If you should have a basement flood or a roof leak or a broken water pipe, it’s important to get the water and the moisture out quickly to inhibit mold growth. Since water can get into areas that may not be so easy to dry, most homeowners and businesses contact a water damage restoration and mold remediation company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the equipment and the expertise to remove all of the water and all of the moisture and treat the areas to prevent mold from taking hold. If mold growth has occurred, they can also remediate the mold and eliminate the moisture problem.

Mold Has a Distinct Smell


Mold can’t always be spotted with the naked eye. Sometimes it is hidden underneath or deep within carpets. Sometimes it starts inside walls or in air ducts or in other hidden and unseen areas of your home. If you don’t see the mold occurring, the other tell-tale sign of the presence of mold in your home is the smell of mold. Mold has a distinct musty smell that many may acquaint with a basement or crawl space or wet forest. The smell is the result of the mold eating and metabolizing the organic material it is feeding off of. The material can include most organic matter like wood, carpeting, clothes, cardboard boxes, drywall, and furniture. In the forest, mold feeds off dead organic matter like fallen trees and dead leaves.


Molds Produce Allergens and Irritants


According to the EPA, mold commonly causes allergic reactions in people. These molds tend to be found outdoors and are usually seasonal. Fall allergies tend to be the result of mold from the falling and dying leaves. As they fall to the ground and pile up, the dead leaves hold moisture which can boost the presence of mold in the air. Reactions from mold can include a runny nose, sneezing, red eyes, skin rashes, and sore throat. These symptoms are the typical ones people experience but do not include all reactions that people may experience when exposed to mold.

Call the Mold Remediation Professionals

If the mold should get out of hand or you discover mold growth in your basement or crawlspace, call the mold remediation experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise and equipment to safely remove and remediate your mold problem. If your home should suffer flooding or water damage, it’s important to quickly remove the water and moisture to reduce or eliminate potential mold growth. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can also help homeowners and business owners out with water damage restoration. Give them a call any time and any day for your water damage and mold problems.

Does Your Indiana Business Have a Business Continuity Plan?

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Does Your Indiana Business Have a Business Continuity Plan?

In a previous blog, we discussed steps a business can take to prepare should a natural disaster impact their Indiana business. We discussed the importance of protecting your data, planning to work off-site, and/or working with loss of power. Many of those steps should be part of a business continuity plan.

A business continuity plan is an extensive document that a business develops to ensure the business can stay operational in the event of a natural disaster occurring. In this article, we will delve deeper into what a business continuity plan is and the steps to take to create a thorough and effective one for your business.

The Process of Developing a Business Continuity Plan

In order to create a business continuity plan, a business must take several steps in identifying the impact of a natural disaster to your business,  document strategies to recover critical business processes, develop plans and teams to implement for the continuation, and conduct training to ensure the strategies and plans are complete.

STEP 1: Business Impact Analysis

The first step in developing a business continuity plan is to conduct a business impact analysis (BIA). A BIA identifies potential loss scenarios that may occur to your business. A natural disaster could impact your business in one scenario but it could also impact one of your business partners in another scenario. Business operations could be affected by delays from a supplier or from delays in a shipper, or both. It’s important during the BIA to identify and consider every scenario that could impact your business.

During the BIA, every department lead should participate in order to identify every impact your business may have due to a natural disaster occurring. Impacts can be financial and/or operational. Once all department leads have provided their reports on potential impacts to their areas of the business and steps to take to recover and restore operations, the next step is to prioritize the steps. The BIA should identify the business departments and processes that could suffer the greatest operational and financial impacts to the business and prioritize them for the business continuity plan.

STEP 2: Continuity Strategies

Now that your business has identified the operational and financial impacts from the BIA, the next step to take is to identify and document recovery requirements and develop strategies to implement in the business continuity plan. By identifying and documenting the steps needed to take, you can then determine if you have the appropriate resources to implement the steps. You may find you do not have the personnel or the capabilities to carry out certain continuity strategies.

It is during this step, that you can explore options to carry out all the strategies. You may also find that you have choices to make in strategies for particular impacts. By working with all department leaders, the strategies that work best for the whole company can be chosen and implemented. Now that you have the strategies to help your business quickly recover from a natural disaster, you can move to the next step of developing the business continuity plan that includes the team, strategy plans, and procedures to take.

STEP 3: Continuity Plan Development

So, you’ve identified the impacts a natural disaster can have on your business and you’ve developed the strategies to take to recover from these impacts, now you need to put it into a plan. The business continuity plan is the documentation that you can provide to every person in your business that shows in detail every step and process to take to manage a business disruption.

The plan should begin with the business continuity teams and leaders. Teams can be key departments or more general business stages like production, shipping, IT, and support. Each team will have a designated leader that will be in charge of implementing and managing the continuity plan. The plan can include checklists that team leaders can easily follow. The checklists can include recovery strategies, locations of supplies and equipment, contact info of team members, emergency personnel and disaster recovery contacts, and manual workarounds for each strategy.

The business continuity plan should be extensive but easy to follow for every leader and team member involved. It also needs to ensure that every team is communicating and working together to ensure the recovery is smooth.

STEP 4: Continuity Plan Training

Once the business continuity plan has been developed and approved, you can’t just file it away and hope you never have to use it. It is important to educate and train every team leader and team member on the plan. Not only should the plan be discussed on a regular basis, but it also must be tested and evaluated.

It is during this critical time of conducting testing of the plan, that many businesses find gaps in the plan that need to be addressed. As you can suspect, it’s better to find these problems and correct them during plan exercises than during an actual disaster where lives and property are at risk. If gaps or problems are identified, you will want to update your business continuity plan as soon as possible to correct them.

When testing your business continuity plan, you want to test scenarios with varying degrees of difficulty and impacts to your business. You also want to reevaluate your plan on an annual basis or when large changes have occurred at your business. These changes could be staff turnover or business growth and expansion. In either case, your business continuity plan may have gaps in it.

An Important Part of Your Business Continuity Plan

If your business should suffer from a natural disaster or an event that impacts the operation of it, it’s important to have a commercial restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, as part of your business continuity plan. Whether your business has been damaged by storms, floods, and/or fire, SERVPRO if Indianapolis West can help your business get back to work by repairing any damage your business property may have.

They have the tools and the expertise to handle almost every type of damage your business may sustain. Put them in your business continuity plan and give them a call if your business should ever suffer damage from a natural disaster or unforeseen event.

Indianapolis Home Water Damage Facts & Statistics

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Indianapolis Home Water Damage Facts & Statistics

Did you know that water damage and freezing are the second most common damage to a home just behind wind and hail damage? According to the Insurance Infomation Institute, a single family home over 100 years will file 2.38 claims for wind and hail damage and 1.99 claims for water damage and freezing on average.

In this blog, we will dive through the facts and statistics on water damage to Indianapolis-area homes. While some things are unpreventable, there are some statistics that might help you prevent or reduce the risk of water damage to your home.

Average Water Damage Costs

Revisiting the Insurance Information Institute’s data, on average a home suffers around $9,633 of damage from water and/or freezing. Compared to a fire which causes on average around $50,000 of damage, it is not much but it is still significant which is why it’s important to have home insurance. Damages from water and freezing tend to be to the drywall, carpeting, flooring, fabric goods, and furniture.

The other important thing regarding water damage is how quickly the homeowner reacts to cleaning it up. The longer the water sits, the more damage it can cause. Standing water in a basement or water damaged drywall can quickly lead to mold growth and more damage and problems. If you should suffer water damage to your home, it’s important to contact a water cleanup and restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, a soon as possible.

Leading Causes of Water Damage

In another study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, the top causes of water damage to homes were gathered. According to the study, the five most common causes of water damage to a home were caused by:

  • Plumbing Pipe Failure

Plumbing pipe failures are caused by pipes freezing and bursting or pipes leaking. Freezing pipes can occur when water pipes are exposed to extreme temperatures as a result of the home heating system failing or pipes in crawl spaces or exterior walls are exposed to severe winds and cold temperatures. Water damage from pipe failures results in an average of $5,000 according to the study.

  • Plumbing Drain Failure

Plumbing or sewer drain failures are a result of sewer backups or leaking from material failure. If you don’t own a basement then you are in luck as 68% of all sewer backups occurred in basements. While disgusting and potentially unhealthy, the average cost of damage from a sewer backup is $4,400.

  • Toilet Failure

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. Due to the fact that toilets occupy upper floors, the damage they can cause can be quite severe due to the water running down through the floors. On average, toilet failures cause around $5,500 in damage to homes.

  • Water Heater Failure

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 expansive 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 on. 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.

  • Washing Machine Failure

Washing machine failures tend to be due to clogged drains resulting in the machine overflowing. They can also be caused by bad water supply hoses that crack, break or become disconnected. On average, washing machine failures result in over $5,000 in damage.

Most Water Damage is Preventable

In another study by the American Insurance Association, they found that 93% of all water damage to homes could have been prevented. In looking at the common causes of water damage above, you can quickly start to see that many times the water damage occurs due to materials that have failed due to age.

Some ways that you can reduce the risk of water damage to your Indiana home is to check your toilets, washing machine, and water heater on a regular basis for signs of deterioration or material damage. For example, if you notice that your toilet sometimes runs constantly, you may want to check the flanges inside the tank and replace or fix them. With washing machines and water heaters, it’s good to check for any signs of water dripping or pooling around the appliances. If you do spot some water, you will want to find and fix the problem before it becomes a bigger one. With pipes, it’s important to take steps to reduce the risk of freezing during extreme cold weather. If you have a sink that is on an exterior wall, you may want to turn the water on just slightly to reduce the chance of the water freezing in the pipes and bursting.

What to Do If Your Home Suffers from Water Damage

If you should suffer water damage from a burst water pipe, appliance failure or sewer backup, it’s important to act quickly to ensure the water is removed and the home cleaned. After a day or two, water can lead to mold growth which can cause further damage to your home. Whether it’s in the middle of the night, on the weekend, or during the holidays, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is always available to handle any water damage emergency. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can help clean up the water damage and return your home back to normal. Give them a call if your Indianapolis-area home should suffer water damage.

Indianapolis Home Fire Safety Tips for Fire Prevention Month

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Indianapolis Home Fire Safety Tips for Fire Prevention Month

October is officially Fire Prevention Month and to recognize this month at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we’d like to offer these fire safety tips for your Indianapolis home.

Check Your Smoke Alarms

Your smoke alarms should be checked on a monthly basis, so if you’ve missed a few months then now is a great time to check them. Most smoke alarms have a button that you press and hold until they go off. If they do not go off, then replace the battery with a new one and test again. If it still doesn’t work, then purchase a new smoke alarm. Smoke alarms should be placed at every level of your home, in every bedroom, and outside every bedroom.

Practice a Fire Escape Drill with Your Family

It’s important to not only have a fire escape plan for your family but to practice it on a regular basis. Practice what to do if a fire should occur on every level of your home. You and your family need more than one escape plan. This could be running out through doors or climbing out through windows. When planning and practicing a fire escape plan, you also need to designate a meeting place outside the home where everyone will meet.

Clean Out Dryer Vent

While you should be cleaning the lint trap every time you run your dryer, you need to clean out the dryer vent tubing at least once a year. Your dryer vent is the tubing that runs from your dryer to the exterior wall where it exits out of your home. Over time, lint and dust can build up inside the tubing and eventually clog. Dryer lint is extremely flammable and if it is allowed to build up, the heat from your dryer can ignite it causing a fire. To clean out the dryer vent tube, you will most likely have to pull out the dryer and remove the tube. While this may take a little time, reducing the risk of a fire happening is worth it in the end.

Check Your Furnace Filter

With the cold season upon us, it’s important to check your furnace filter and replace it if it is dirty and clogged. With a clogged filter, your furnace will have to work overtime to heat your home during the cold season. This not only will increase your heating bill and put undue stress on your furnace, but it could also increase the risk of a fire occurring from the excess dust in the filter. When checking your filter, be sure to make sure your furnace and blower are turned off. Replacing the furnace filter is an easy and quick task that can save you money and reduce the risks of fire.

Check Your Electrical Outlets

If you have computers, televisions, and other electronics throughout your home; it’s a good idea to check all the plugs, wires and outlets for any potential problems. Problems that could lead to a potential fire include frayed wires, loose plugs, and overloaded outlets. These problems can cause sparks or overheating which can quickly cause a house fire. It’s also a good idea to dust off or vacuum up any dust and/or dirt around the outlets. While it’s not always ideal, you don’t want any fabrics or boxes covering up your outlets. Ideally, outlets should be clear of any potentially flammable materials like couches, curtains, storage boxes, stuffed animals, and mattresses.

Use Space Heaters Responsibly

With the cold weather upon us in Indiana, many of you may be pulling out the space heaters from storage and running them. Before you plug the space heater in, you want to check the cord, plug, and heater for any damages. If there are frays in the cord or broken parts on the heater, it’s best to toss it and get another one. Also, be sure to blow or vacuum out any dust in the coils and intake before starting it. Once you start the heater, you will want to observe it while it heats up to make sure it is operating properly. As far as placing your space heater in your room, you want to make sure there is plenty of space between the heater and any furniture, walls, and objects. When you leave the room, it’s always best to turn off the space heater to reduce the risk of a fire occurring. A blanket or drape blown onto the space heater can heat up very quickly and easily ignite within minutes.

When Fires Do Happen

Even with taking all the proper steps to prevent a fire from happening at your home, fires can happen. When they do happen, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can help clean up the fire and smoke damage and return your home back to normal. Whether it’s the middle of the night or during a holiday, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is available 24/7 for any home emergency fire cleanup and restoration. Hopefully, you’ve read and followed all the fire prevention tips above. These tips will not only help reduce the risk of a fire happening at your Indianapolis home, but they will also prepare you and your family on what to do if one should occur.       

How to Remove Mold from Basement Walls

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

How to Remove Mold from Basement Walls

When it comes to removing mold from a basement wall, there is no one answer. There are a lot of factors that go into determining if you can remove the mold and how to do it. But before we dive into determining if mold can be removed from a wall, we first must understand what mold is and how it grows.

What is Mold?

Mold is a living organism, or more precisely, it is a fungus. It tends to grow in dark and damp environments and it feeds on cellulose. Cellulose is an organic material that can be found abundantly in drywall, cardboard boxes, carpets, wood, clothes, and curtains. You won’t usually find mold on metals and plastics since they don’t contain cellulose. A quick look around your basement and you can see that there are many places where mold can grow if the conditions are right.

Can Mold Be Removed from Walls?

Now that we know what mold is and how it grows, can it be easily removed from your basement walls? Well, it depends on what your walls are made of and whether they are painted. If the mold is growing on painted drywall or painted concrete, then you may be able to wipe the mold off. You can use a household cleaner that is made to remove mold and spray it down, scrub it off, and wipe it clean.

If the mold is found growing on unfinished drywall, then you might have a problem. Due to the porous nature of the drywall, the mold may be embedded into the drywall and won’t be able to be wiped clean. It is usually best to remove the drywall with the mold and replace it with new drywall.

With unfinished concrete walls, you obviously can’t easily remove and replace the concrete walls like you can with drywall. With concrete walls, you will want to scrub off any mold you can see and then soak the area with a mold cleaner. The cleaner should soak into the concrete and kill off any mold or mold spores that are hiding out underneath the surface.

Household Cleaners May Not Be Good Enough

If you walk down the household cleaners aisle at the grocery store or look up DIY mold cleaning solutions on the web, you’ll notice there are a lot of solutions and recipes to clean/kill/remove mold. While these may seem to do the job at first, most do not remediate the mold problem. Weeks later, the mold can return. Even the mold that has been killed can be harmful to one’s health if not removed. A quick search on the Internet shows some recommend a bleach solution while others say that it isn’t effective or healthy. So what is one to do?

Other Problems That You Need to Be Aware before Cleaning Mold

If you do try to clean or remove mold from your walls, be sure to wear ventilation to protect yourself. Inhaling mold can possibly be dangerous to your health especially when you do not know what type of mold you are dealing with.

Another problem with trying to clean mold on your own is that by scrubbing and cleaning and removing it, you may be unknowingly spreading the mold spores elsewhere. If you are scrubbing mold off a wall, the mold spores can quickly and easily become airborne and travel to other parts of your basement and home. Think of mold like a cup of fine flour. If you throw that cup of flour in the air, the tiny bits of flour can travel easily through the air and spread everywhere. Mold spores are even tinier (can’t be seen by the human eye) and can spread even easier and farther.

What’s the Best Way to Remove Mold from Basement Walls?

If you discover mold growing on a wall or walls in your basement, the best thing might be to call a professional mold remediation team like the team at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. The mold remediation team at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the tools and equipment to inspect and assess the damage and determine the right steps to take to contain the mold, remove the mold, clean the contents, and restore your basement. They will also identify the cause of the water or moisture and either stop it or provide a solution to stopping it so that it doesn’t cause mold growth in the future.  

One last piece of advice if you discover mold in your basement, is to leave it alone. If you disturb the area, the mold spores can become airborne and spread elsewhere. Give SERVPRO of Indianapolis West a call anytime 24/7 if you find mold in your basement.

How to Clean Up from a Flooded Basement

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

How to Clean Up from a Flooded Basement

With the recent storms and flooding, many homes throughout central Indiana may have suffered from the unfortunate event of a flooded basement. There is nothing so frustrating as looking down your basement stairs and discovering that your basement is now under water along with all the belongings that you have stored down there. So you’ve discovered a lake in your basement, now what do you do? Below we will cover things you should do and shouldn’t do and how ultimately to clean and restore your flooded basement.

Be Careful - Water and Electricity Do Not Mix

If there is standing water in your basement, do not go near it. You should not assume that the power has been cut off by the home’s circuit breaker. If your home’s circuit box is located in a dry area of your home, then you should check the breaker box to see if the circuits powering the basement have been tripped and are off. If you have a hot water heater or furnace in the basement, they should be powered off also from the breaker box.

If you are unsure that all of the power is off in the basement, then wait until the water has completely resided or call an electrician or professional flood cleanup company. They will know what to check or who to contact to ensure there is no power going to the flooded basement.

You Don’t Know Where That Water Has Been

The second danger with a flooded basement is that you don’t know where the water originated. While it could be rainwater that has pooled up once the sump pump went out, it could also be from the municipal sewer system backing up. When the local sewer system floods and backs up, it heads to the lowest points first, which are basements. Some home’s main sewer pipes have check valves to prevent the sewer system from backing up into their basements but many homes do not.

If your basement has a floor drain or bathroom, the sewer system may back up into your basement. Obviously, you don’t want to get anywhere near that water as it can be harmful to your health. Since you don’t know where the water has come from, it always better to be safe than sorry. Wait until the water has resided and try to avoid any skin contact with the water. Even it is isn’t sewage water, it could contain other chemicals and contaminants from your basement or the flood waters outside your home.  

So What Should Be Done If A Basement Floods?

As you can see, there are a lot of dangers from a basement flooding. The best thing to do if your basement has flooded is to call a water damage cleanup company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise, equipment, and tools to remove the water, dry the basement, remediate any mold or potential mold, and restore your basement.

Once the water in the basement subsides or has been pumped out, then it’s a matter of removing all the water soaked items like furniture, storage boxes, area rugs, and more. If there is carpeting in the basement, it will probably need to be commercially vacuumed to extract the water If there is drywall in the basement, then it may need to be removed or at least partially removed. Drywall can absorb the flood waters and if not removed, it can lead to mold growth. All wood and porous surfaces must also be treated to prevent mold from growing. There are a lot of areas in a basement where the water can seep into and lead to extensive mold growth and damage.

Don’t Risk Further Damage. Contact the Water & Mold Damage Cleanup Professionals.

A flooded basement can be a huge mess that can quickly turn into an even bigger mess. That is why you should trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to clean up your flooded basement and return it back to normal. They deal with flooded basements, homes, and businesses on a regular basis and know just what to do to clean and restore all the damage. Whether it is on the weekends or in the middle of the night, you can call them anytime to show up and get right at work to restore your flooded basements.

Commercial Cleaning Services

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can help clean and protect your investment.

Spending extra time and resources to clean and disinfect your office or warehouse space is something you don't always have time to do. Turn to the professionals and let us handle the everyday wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When dirt, odor, and moisture problems go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you need to call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for prompt service.

We specialize in all commercial cleaning services, from removing an odor problem to deep cleaning flooring and carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can work around your regular business hours so there will be no disruption or downtime for your office. From general cleaning of workspaces to heavy cleaning of warehouse walls and ceilings, we have specialized training, products, and equipment to get your commercial property clean and safe. A clean office promotes employee health and safety, production and overall happiness. A clean business keeps customers coming back.  

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West wants to help keep your facility clean and a place where people want to work and buy from. We have service agreements that range from weekly cleaning services, quarterly, or by the call. We'll work with you and around your schedule and cater our services around your needs. 

Our commercial cleaning services include:

Biohazard and Sewage

SERVPRO is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly following OSHA and health regulations. Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous and is best left to the professionals. Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean and safe workspaces.
 

Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

Accidents and crime scenes often have blood or other biohazard contaminants that may pose a severe health risk. Our highly trained service professionals will respond immediately and safely clean and disinfect any trauma or crime scene with empathy and respect.

Carpet and Upholstery

 A good rule of thumb is to have your carpet and upholstery professionally cleaned every 12 months. Protect your investment by calling us to clean and maintain your carpet and upholstery. Ceilings, walls, and floors are exposed to dirt, dust and other contaminants from inside and outside. Whether they need general maintenance cleaning, or heavy cleaning from smoke or fire damage, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the expertise to do the job right the first time. 

Odor Removal and Deodorization

 We have several different types of deodorization techniques. One of our Project Managers will discuss with you the method that will be most beneficial for your property. Masking the odors and other shortcuts are not what we do. We fully address the source of the odor so it doesn't return. 

Vandalism and Graffiti

 SERVPRO offers emergency services for board up due to broken windows or damaged structure. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed promptly. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, we also clean driveways, sidewalks, asphalt, metals, glass, wood, plastic and masonry.

The Facts About Indiana House Fires

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

The Facts About Indiana House Fires

With the recent strong storms, you may have seen stories on the local news about homes catching on fire from lightning strikes. While that is possible, lightning accounts for a very small percentage of house fires. Lightning is still dangerous and you should definitely take cover if it is near, there are other areas and parts of your home that you should keep an eye on as common culprits of Indiana house fires.

In the article below we will go over statistics on house fires as reported in the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) by the fire departments throughout the country. The stats come from the residential fire incident reports from 2013-2015.

Residential Fires are the Second Most Common Fire

Residential fires, which include single-family homes, apartments, and condos, account for 30% of all fires reported. Businesses account for 8% and vehicles account for 15%, while outside fires (forest fires, grass fires, etc.) accounted for 41% of all fires. While home fires accounted for only 30% of all fires, they resulted in the most injuries, deaths, and dollar loss from property damage.

The Leading Cause of House Fires

Have you ever left something on the stove for too long that resulted in a small confined fire? Apparently, many of us have by the stats from the U.S. Fire Administration’s report. Cooking fires accounted for an astounding 50% of all house fires that occurred between 2013-2015. Cooking fires originated in ovens, on stovetops, and in microwaves. Most of these fires were contained to the food container (skillet, pot, cooking sheet) and were extinguished before the fire had time to spread.

The second leading cause of house fires is from heating equipment. Heating equipment includes space heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, and radiators. These fires account for close to 12% of all house fires. These fires, like cooking fires, can be easily prevented by not leaving a fire in a fireplace or wood stove unattended and keeping flammable objects at least three feet away from heat sources. If you use space heaters, be sure to turn them off before leaving the room or going to sleep.

Other leading causes of house fires include appliance fires, candles, smoking, and electrical malfunctions. All of these together only account for 16% of all fires. Fires from smoking and candles are usually due to carelessness while appliance and electrical fires are due to damaged equipment or overloaded circuits. With appliances and electronics, it’s always good to check the cords for damage or frays. Also, never overload a wall outlet with an excessive amount of appliances and equipment.

The Spread of Fires in Homes

Fortunately, most fires in homes are discovered quickly and extinguished before they spread. Around 55% of all fires are contained to the object that the fire originated at. This could be a pot or an appliance or a piece of fabric like a table cover or chair. While the fire damage is usually limited to the object, the smoke damage can still be substantial. Fires that take over a whole room account for 20% of all fires while fires that take over a whole home account for 17% of all fires. These fires are the most devastating to property and to the health of the occupants.

Be Safe in Your Home with Working Smoke Alarms

One of the keys to catching a fire early and extinguishing it before it has caused extensive damage is to have properly working smoke alarms located throughout your home. According to the report, smoke alarms were only present in 43% of nonconfined house fires. Nonconfined fires are fires that spread from their original confined source i.e. cooking pot. While smoke alarms will not prevent a fire, they serve as an early warning device to alert the occupants that a fire is occurring. A smoke alarm gives them time to either extinguish the confined fire or evacuate and call the fire department if the fire is nonconfined.

It a Fire Should Occur at Your Indiana Home, Call the Fire Restoration Professionals

Even a small little kitchen fire can cause a lot of smoke damage. Whether you have experienced a small fire or an extensive fire, the fire restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can help clean up, repair and get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. They have the tools, equipment, and know-how to handle smoke damage, water damage, mold damage and fire damage -- all of which can occur from a house fire. Whether a fire happens during the day or in the middle of the night, you can call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West 24/7 to handle your home’s emergency.

The Dangers of Stagnant Water & What to Do If Found

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

The Dangers of Stagnant Water & What to Do If Found

Stagnant water, also known as standing water, is a body of water that does not flow or go away in a timely manner. This can be a small puddle in your backyard or a puddle in your crawl space. They both can result in problems for you and your home. The puddle in the backyard can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the puddle in your crawl space can result in damaging mold growth.

Stagnant water can come from any source. It can be clean water from a leaky water pipe or faucet. It can be from rainwater which is likely with the stagnant water in your yard. Or worse, it can be from a sewer line in your home or a sewer backup in your neighborhood. While the sewer water or black water, as it is known, can be the most dangerous to one’s health, they can all lead to mold growth, bacteria growth, and mosquito problems. The clean water can mix with debris, bacteria, and organisms and result in mold growth and other problems.

The Hidden Dangers of Stagnant Water

One of the problems with stagnant water is when it is hidden from our daily view. This could be some standing water hidden behind a woodshed that we never see or stagnant water that sits undisturbed and unseen for months in our crawlspace or basement. It is that time that can ultimately lead to extensive damage to your home.

The longer stagnant water sits in your crawl space, basement, bathroom, or garage; the more time it has to promote mold growth in your home. Once the mold has begun, it usually won’t stop growing until it is found and remediated by professionals, like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. Given a little bit of time, mold can grow quickly on the floor joists, ducts, floors, walls, insulation and other surfaces nearby. Given a few months, mold can lead to structural damage to your home and spread throughout the home through the air or ducts.

What to Do If Stagnant Water is Found

If you find stagnant water right away, you may be able to remove the water without much damage. You need to vacuum or pump out the water and completely dry the area. You also need to remove any materials that got wet including clothing, furniture, carpet, padding, insulation, and drywall. Once all the damaged materials have been removed, you can sanitize the area to ensure the mold and bacteria don’t grow. While this may be good enough, many times it doesn’t work completely. Days or weeks later, the homeowner discovers mold or bacteria growth where they thought they had dried and cleaned everything.

The Best Thing to Do If Stagnant Found is Found

The danger of water getting into your subfloors, drywall, and structural beams is that they aren’t easy to get dry. They tend to soak up the water which can lead to mold growth in a day or two. That is why it is always best to call water damage experts to professionally remove, dry, clean and repair your home from water damage. Professionals, like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, have seen and dealt with all kinds of water damage and know exactly how to handle your situation to ensure all the damage is removed and restored completely. This can include bringing in commercial dryers, dehumidifiers, and other equipment to completely remove all the water and moisture from the area. They also have industrial cleaners and tools to check and remove all the water and remediate any materials with mold growth.

It Doesn’t Take Much Water to Do Damage

It only takes a little puddle of water to create a lot of damage in your home. It’s always a good idea to check for standing water in your crawl space, basement, garage and other areas where it may occur on a monthly basis. You also want to make it a habit of checking inside, under and around your home after huge rain showers have rolled through your area. Not only may you spot trouble areas inside your home, but you may find trouble areas around your property where the water can lead to a mosquito infestation or stream back into your foundation and into your crawl space.

If you do find stagnant water inside your home, you can try to remove it as quickly as possible but you should definitely call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. Not only will they remove the water but they’ll be able to evaluate your property for any damage or potential damage from the standing water. They’ll be able to keep your small problem from turning into a much bigger problem down the road.

Preparing for the Unexpected: How to Protect Your Business from Natural Disasters

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Preparing for the Unexpected: How to Protect Your Business from Natural Disasters

When it comes to natural disasters in Indiana, we tend to think of floods, tornadoes and damaging storms. Unlike natural disasters like hurricanes, Hoosiers tend not to have any time to prepare for the natural disasters that occur in their backyard. But even though we don’t have days to board up our businesses, there are things we can do to prepare if a disaster should strike our business.

In this blog, we will cover steps you can take to prepare your business for the unexpected so that you can reduce your downtime and losses.

Protect Your Data

If you are like most businesses, you have a lot of data or information saved on your computers. You may have billing, contacts, payroll, taxes, and other documents saved on your computers. You may have CAD files or photos or other data for your clients’ projects. Needless to say, you probably would some money and perhaps lots of money if the data on your computers were destroyed.

While you may not be able to save everything that you and your staff do on your computers, you can save and recover most of it if you save your data in the cloud at an offsite server facility. There are many companies out there that provide backup and recovery services for businesses. It’s important that once you do choose a backup provider, that you use it. Many businesses learn too late that they weren’t backing up their data on a regular basis.

Plan for Loss of Power

Is your business capable of operating if you lose power? It’s not uncommon for Indiana businesses to lose power after big storms. If your business requires power to operate, you may want to have generators available to provide emergency power. You may just need them for lights or you may need them to power heaters or air conditioners in order to protect your inventory from extreme temperatures.

It’s important to create a plan of what to power in order to ensure you have enough generators and enough fuel to keep the emergency power going for a few days. You don’t want to not have enough power or run out of fuel after 6 hours.

Plan to Work Off Site

If your business is flooded or destroyed by a tornado, can it operate elsewhere? If your business works mainly online, then operating your business from laptops at home or elsewhere may not be too much of an inconvenience. If you rely on equipment or materials that are stored at your business, operating remotely may be a little more difficult. Still, it is a good idea to consider creating a contingency plan in the event that your business site is inaccessible. Are there other locations that your business could operate in an emergency? Are there jobs that can be done while your business site is closed? Having these plans planned in advance can help your business avoid any long down times.

Develop An Emergency Plan

As discussed in the previous section, having an emergency plan can save you time and money. Your emergency plan should be available and shared with all of your employees. It needs to contain phone numbers and/or a phone tree so everyone can be kept up to date. It needs to include what to do in case the office is closed. It should include what steps to take if your business is damaged. If you are a large business, you may want to delegate critical recovery roles to certain team members. An effective emergency plan should be thorough and precise and leave no one guessing what to do next.

After The Storm - Hire the Commercial Restoration Pros

One of the first steps you should take after your business has been damaged by flood waters, storms, and/or a tornado is to call the commercial restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools and expertise to handle any size disaster. Whether it is water damage, fire damage, or other storm damage, they can get to work right away so you can get back to business as usual as soon as possible. Give them a call the next time your business suffers the unexpected from a natural disaster.

Water Damage Categories

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

Three water damage categories.

SERVPRO uses three different categories to define a water damage. Below, I’ll cover each category and examples of them.

We categorize water damages for a couple of different reasons. First, is to know and understand what level of precaution our water damage restoration technicians must use to stay safe while working in the environment. Second, we need to understand what materials the water has come in contact with to determine the proper cleaning process and also the restorability of building materials and contents.

Once we’ve determined the category of the water damage, we can then proceed with restoration catering to each category. For instance, building materials and contents in a Category 1 environment have a high chance of being fully restored, while materials and contents in a Category 3 environment have little to no chance of being restored.

Category 1 Water

Refers to a source of water that does not pose a substantial threat to humans. This water is classified as “clean water.” Examples are broken water supply lines, tub and sink overflows and appliance malfunctions that involve water supply loss.

Category 2 Water

Refers to a source that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or exposed to. This water is classified as “grey water.” Examples are sump pump failure, some toilet overflows from the water trap up, and discharged water from dishwashers or washing machines.

Category 3 Water

Refers to water that contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. This is classified as “black water” and is grossly unsanitary. Examples are sewage backups, flood waters and water from rising rivers and streams. Category 2, grey water that is not promptly removed, or has remained stagnant, may be re classified as Category 3.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to the rescue.

Every water disaster is different, from the amount of water to the level of contamination of the water. Each scenario requires a unique solution. You can rest assured that SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the expertise and training to properly mitigate any type or category of water damage, whether residential or commercial. Our Highly Trained Technicians will respond immediately when you call us. We’re always open for emergency water damage service, even nights and weekends.

How to Tell the Difference Between Mold and Mildew

8/12/2018 (Permalink)

How to Tell the Difference Between Mold and Mildew

It’s actually pretty common to mistake mildew for mold or mold for mildew. They both, in fact, are fungi that can be found in homes. They both thrive off of moisture and darkness which is why you usually find them present in bathrooms, basements, crawl spaces, and under sinks. So what is the difference between mold and mildew? Are they both bad for your home? Below we will cover the characteristics, dangers, and treatment of both.

What Does Mold Look Like? What Does Mildew Look Like?

Mildew is a specific type of mold that grows on the surface of things. It can appear as a flat, patchy or powdery discoloration. It’s typically white, brown that can turn yellowish or black as it grows Due to the fact that mildew grows along the surface, it can usually be wiped off very easily. It does become a little more cumbersome to clean when the mildew grows on a porous surface like tile grout or fabrics.

Unlike mildew, mold not only grows on the surface but below the surface also. Mold is usually black, green or blue in color. It can appear either fuzzy or slimy. Since mold tends to grow underneath the surface, once it has been spotted it can usually mean there’s more mold damage beneath the surface. For instance, if you spot mold growing on your wall or ceiling of your Indianapolis home, there’s a good chance that it didn’t start there. It most likely started beneath the surface of the drywall from a water leak or high moisture content. In fact, it could have started somewhere else and spread to your drywall on your ceiling and/or wall.

The Smell of Mold and Mildew

Another sign of mold and mildew is a distinct odor. The smell of mildew is foul and smelly. It can smell like dirty laundry or a forest during the rain. One of the most common times people get a whiff of mildew or the start of mildew is when they forget to remove wet clothes from their washer for a few days.

Mold tends to have more of a musty, pungent smell. Most of us have gotten a little too close to mold and smelled its pungent odor when we’ve opened a food container in our fridge that hasn’t been opened in weeks, if not, months. Mold is a common occurrence on foods due to the fact that mold feeds and grows off of food and organic matter.

Can Mildew or Mold Cause Damage?

Mildew is typically not dangerous or harmful. It can usually be cleaned and removed easily. It may look unsightly but it won’t typically won’t damage grout, tiles, or surfaces. With mildewy clothes, you can simply wash them with detergent and it will remove the mildew.  Mildew can, however, cause damage to crops. Mildew growing on crops out in the field can cause the crops to rot or bruise.

Mold, on the other hand, is not so kind to your home. Mold, if caught early, could be removed without having to replace any structure. This issue is that mold usually isn’t discovered until it has caused extensive damage to a home’s structure. Since mold flourishes under the surface, the damage to walls, ceilings, floors, insulation, siding, and framing has already been compromised. In many instances, the structure materials affected needs to be removed and replaced.

Is It Bad or Is It Just Mildew?

If in doubt about whether you have a mildew problem or a mold problem in your home, it’s always best to call the mold remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise and know-how to identify the problem and take immediate action if it is property destroying mold. It doesn’t take much for mold to thrive and grow and until it is stopped by mold remediation pros, it will continue to cause damage to your home. Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for an evaluation of your home’s mold problem.

Flash Floods Can Be Dangerous

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Flash floods can happen just about anywhere at anytime.

By definition, a “flash flood” is a sudden local flood, usually due to extreme heavy rainfall from thunderstorms. Flash floods come quickly and sometimes with little to no warning. Flash flooding can happen so quickly that people are caught off guard. If you encounter high or fast-moving water while traveling, stop, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”

Don’t take a chance you may regret.

It’s sometimes easy to underestimate the power and force of moving water. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep away a vehicle. People can be caught in their cars and swept downstream causing serious injuries and even death. Many of these drowning deaths each year are due to careless drivers and can be prevented, but too many people continue to ignore and drive around barriers that warn them of flooded roadways. Even driving through standing water can be dangerous. If the water isn’t moving, or cannot sweep your car away, it can stall your engine leaving you stranded and causing long-term damage to it.

Am I safe from flooding if I live Downtown?

A lot of people live in downtown Indianapolis and should be aware of possible flash floods. Flooding can happen almost anywhere, even in urban areas because of the impenetrable ground. The rain water cannot soak into the ground due to the impervious nature of concrete and the lack of open soil in urban environments. Massive amounts of water run-off can then overwhelm the sewer systems. Sewers can quickly become clogged by debris resulting in the water to backup and then flood. If you’re caught in a flash flood, stay safe and in your car if possible, and use your emergency kit.

Some items your emergency kit may include:

  • Water- one gallon per person for at least three days.
  • Food- at least a three day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio
  • Flashlight.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Candles.
  • Phone chargers.
  • Road flares.
  • Rain ponchos.
  • Tarp.
  • Wet wipes.
  • A whistle to signal for help.

So while I write this blog as content for our website, I also hope that by reading this you will think twice next time you see a flooded roadway and turn around. It’s best if you take a few extra minutes and find an alternate route to your destination. So remember to "Turn Around, Don’t Drown," someone out there will be glad you did.

Where to Check for Mold Growth In Your Home

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Where to Check for Mold Growth In Your Home

While water can certainly damage the inside of a home, it’s usually the mold that can occur after the water damage that can be much more damaging to a home’s interior. The other danger of mold growth is that it can go days even months undetected due to the fact that it tends to happen in areas we don’t normally look at. But starting today, you can change that. Below we will cover the common areas where mold can grow and that you should check on a regular basis especially if you suffer from water damage.

Check Around and In the Washing Machine

With a washing machine, there are several areas where water can leak and lead to mold growth. The first place to check often is the water connection in the back of the washing machine. Over time, the connection may come loose or be damaged from the washing machine shaking during operation. The other place to check often is the drain of the washing machine. With a front loading washing machine, the drain can usually be found below the washing drum. A lot of times, there is a catch area that can become clogged with fabric and particles. This needs to be checked and cleaned every few months to ensure the water drain out correctly.

The last area to check is around the seal of a front loading washing machine. You’ll sometimes find lost socks and particles inside the seal. If you don’t check and clear this on a regular basis, mold can start to grow on the particles and fabrics that hide inside the seal. If your washing machine smells mildewy, you may want to check around the seal or around the drain. You can also run the washing machine without any close and add some bleach to help kill any spores or mold in the drum, around the seal, and down through the drain.

Check for Water Around the Dishwasher

This should be an easy appliance to check. Every time you unload the dishwasher, check around the bottom for any signs of water. The one difficult area to check for leaks or mold growth is where the water drains out of the dishwasher. The drain is usually located under the dishwasher and runs to the kitchen sink pipes where it drains out. Water can leak from the dishwasher drain connection or the kitchen sink drain connection. The only way to check the dishwasher drain connection is to remove the bottom panel if possible. If this can be done, it wouldn’t hurt to check once a year or so for any signs of water leaks or mold growth.

Similar to the washing machine, mold can grow around the seals. It’s always a good idea to spray and clean the seals around the door with a 10% bleach solution to kill off any spores or mold before it gets worse and starts to smell.

Clean the Shower and Bathtub Regularly

The shower and bathtub are perfect environments for mold and mildew. Due to the fact that they both see a lot of water on a daily basis, there is ample opportunity for mold to grow around them. To keep the mold and mildew at bay, it’s always good to clean them with a bleach solution on a regular basis. Also, make sure that water isn’t spilling out of the shower or bathtub as that can lead to mold growth on baseboards and walls and behind wallpaper.

Another key to keeping mold at bay in the bathroom is to make sure your exhaust fan is functioning properly and to use it whenever you take a bath or shower. The exhaust fan will help remove the moisture in the air and prevent mold from occurring in the bathroom. It’s also a good idea to open the door after and leave the exhaust fan running for a little while to ensure all the moisture has dissipated.

Around the Toilet and Under the Bathroom Sink

Just like the shower and bathtub, water is a daily occurrence and part of the toilet and bathroom sink’s operation. Again, with regular cleaning, you can keep mold from growing. But unlike the shower and bathtub, there are areas that are common to leaks in a sink and toilet. With a toilet, the leak that can be the most dangerous is around the toilet drain wax seal. The danger in this is the water is usually contaminated and the leak can go undetected leading to mold growth and water damage to the floor, ceiling underneath, and walls.

With the bathroom sink, water can leak from the drain or the water connections which can be hidden under the bathroom sink in the cabinet. This area can usually be checked very easily. After you’ve run the sink, check the drains and water lines for any leaks with a dry hand. If you find a leak, you’ll want to fix it before it leads to water damage and mold growth.

Leaky Pipes in the Attic, Crawlspace, and Basement

Not only can leaky water pipes lead to water and mold damage but so can pipes that have condensation. While you can’t check your water pipes in your walls, you can check the exposed ones in your basement, crawlspace, and attic. If the pipes are leaking, you’ll usually find this around the connections. The other thing that can cause mold growth and possibly water damage is condensation on the pipes. This can usually be prevented by insulating the pipes. You can also run a dehumidifier in the basement to reduce any moisture in the air.

Under the Kitchen Sink

The next time you’re washing the dishes in the kitchen sink, check under the sink for any signs of water leaks. The kitchen sink is one of the most used sinks in a home and over time can develop leaks. Also, since many sinks have a garbage disposal, they also have another area where water leaks can develop. Water can drip over time, damaging the floor of the cabinet and the floor of the home. Because it’s a dark area, mold can quickly develop where the water leak has occurred. It doesn’t hurt to occasionally check under there and fix any leaks before further damage can occur.

Check Around the Windows

A common area where you’ll often find mold growth is around the outside of windows. If the water from rain can’t drain, it can stagnate and cause mold to grow which over time can damage the windows and framing. The caulking and sealing around windows can also crack and cause the water to seep inside the home cause further damage and mold growth. During a heavy rain, walk around your home and check all your windows for any signs of water leaks. Perhaps the windows are closed enough, the seals are cracked or broken, or there’s other damage to the window that is causing water to enter the home. The other thing to check is around the outside of the windows for any signs of dampness or mold growth. Sometimes this can be due to a clogged or broken gutter or water not draining away from the window.

Spilled Drinks on Fabric Furniture

Remember that glass of juice that you spilled on the sofa a month ago. While you may have thought you cleaned it all up, there may have been a spot that you didn’t get that resulted in mold growth. Moisture and fabric furniture are a bad combination that can more likely than not, lead to some mold growth. If you should accidentally spill something onto your fabric furniture, it’s always a good idea to not only clean it but dry it. You may find certain cleaners can disinfect and kill any spores to reduce the chance of mold. If you don’t catch it in time, mold growth in fabrics can be very damaging and difficult, if not impossible, to clean up and remove.

The Reason Why Carpeting in Bathrooms is a Bad Idea

Another thing that doesn’t mix is moisture and carpeting. Water or spills can not only soak down into the carpeting but also the padding and sometimes the wooden subfloor. All three of these areas can be perfect homes for mold growth if the water and moisture are not removed. This is why it’s not a good idea to have carpeting in a bathroom or even a kitchen due to all the water and occasional spills. It’s also why you should hang your bath mat up to dry out after using it to prevent any mold or mildew from happening. If you should suffer a lot of water damage to your carpets, you might want to call water damage restoration professionals like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They can remove the water and dry out the carpeting, padding, and subfloor if needed.

Why Insulation Shouldn’t Get Wet

The last area where mold can commonly occur in a home is in the insulation. If you a leak in your roof or siding, it can get the insulation wet and promote mold growth over time. You usually won’t discover this until you do some renovation work on your home. Although, you may find it if there is exposed insulation in your attic, crawl space, or basement. If your crawlspace or basement smells musty, then the insulation is one area to check as well as the wood framing.

Contact the Mold Remediation Professionals

If you should find mold damage in your home, then you’ll want to call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible. They have the tools and expertise to remediate the mold damage and get your home back in better shape. It’s also important to get any water damage cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent mold from occurring in the first place. The pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can help with that too.

What to Do After a Fire at Your Indianapolis Business

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

What to Do After a Fire at Your Indianapolis Business

Suffering a fire at your business fire at your business can be a difficult experience. Many times a fire in a business can shut down the business for a while depending on the damage. While a fire can cause substantial damage to your business, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. Below we will cover the steps to take after a fire to your business. These steps will help to ensure there is no more damage to your business and to get it back up and running as quickly as possible.

Turn Off Power, Gas, and Water

It’s always a good idea to play it safe and turn off your electricity, gas, and water after a fire. None of those mix well with fire and it’s always best to shut them all off at the meters if possible. Once your property has been inspected for any damages to electrical, gas and water lines and they are intact, you can turn them back on. If there is damage to any of them, you’ll want to get them repaired before turning back on the utilities.

Contact Your Insurance Company

An obvious but still important step is to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They can get any claims started so there are no delays. They’ll probably request lots of paperwork and receipts of inventory. They’ll also most likely need documentation of repairs and any other costs from the fire. It’s a good idea to keep track of all contacts, receipts, paperwork and other documentation going forward in case your insurance company or other parties request any documentation.

Secure Your Business & Property

Fire damaged properties are attractive to vandals and burglars as they are usually unsecured and easy to access. It’s important to make sure any windows or doors or openings are boarded up and secured. You also want to notify your local police after a fire, so they can keep an eye on your property during the repair and restoration repair and restoration process. In some cases, you may need to hire a security company to guard your property 24/7 during the restoration process depending on the extent of the damage.

Call the Fire Damage Restoration Pros

Businesses that suffer major fires will also usually suffer from water damage also. This can be from the firefighters or from the fire sprinkler system. It’s important to have water damage and fire damage restoration pros, like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West,  at your business as soon as possible. Once the fire is out and your business is safe to enter, the pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can be on the scene and remove the water, drying the floors and walls, and treat the damage quickly to ensure more damage does not happen. If you wait, the water damage can lead to even more damage from mold. It can also permeate further into the walls and floors leading to further water damage in your business. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is ready 24/7 to handle whatever emergency comes its way. Contact them immediately if your business or home should suffer a fire.





Mold in a Commercial Environment

7/27/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is a nations leader in mold cleanup and mitigation.

Mold is natural and can be found just about anywhere and can grow on virtually anything. As long as moisture and oxygen are present, mold can propagate and become a problem. Mold can grow on paper, wood, carpet, food and even on the insulation inside of walls. With the presence of excessive moisture in buildings or on building materials, mold growth is likely to happen. Mold can spread and quickly become an issue if a moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed.

How Do Mold Spores Enter Your Building?

Mold spores move and spread naturally through open doors and windows. We can carry them into a building on our clothes, shoes and hands. The spores cycle between indoors and outdoors naturally and continuously without us even knowing it. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they begin to grow and digest whatever they are on in order to survive.

Outdoors,

Mold plays an important role in nature by breaking down organic matter like old trees, fallen leaves, and even deceased animals. We can thank mold for the life saving antibiotic penicillin and some foods like cheese. Who doesn’t love a good ole grilled cheese sandwich now and then?

Indoors, 

Mold growth should certainly be avoided. Problems will arise when mold begins to spread and eat away materials and affecting the structural integrity of a wood framed building. Mold growth can weaken floors and walls as it feeds on the moist organic materials it’s made of. If you suspect there’s mold damage problem to your property, you should call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for mold remediation.

Mold Growth can Be Hazardous to Your Health.

Potential health concerns to employees and other workers are an important reason to remediate and clean up any existing indoor mold growth. Uncontrolled mold has the potential to cause negative health effects and produce allergic reactions and even asthma attacks.

What to do If You Have Mold in Your Building.

Mold can spread quickly throughout a commercial environment if left untreated. Our expert mold remediation specialist will respond quickly when you call us. Our first step will be to contain the mold infestation and help prevent it from spreading to other parts of the building. Next, we will start the mitigation process, working safely and efficiently to manage the situation.

Why is There Mold in My Building?

It is very important to prevent or correct moisture problems in buildings because mold needs water to prosper. High levels of moisture can be caused many different things, uncontrolled humidity levels, poor ventilation, water leaks from the roof or plumbing and even delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance to prior water damages.

Some moisture problems in commercial buildings have been traced back to certain construction practices during the 1970s through 2000. Some of these practices have resulted with buildings that are tightly sealed but lack adequate ventilation.

If you suspect a mold problem may exist, look around your environment and ask these questions:

  1. Are building materials or contents visibly wet?
  2. Have building materials or contents been wet for longer that 24 hours?
  3. Is there an existing moisture problem in this building?
  4. Has there been a water damage recently? If so, was it professional managed and in a timely fashion?
  5. Is anyone reporting moldy or mildew like smells?
  6. Is anyone reporting health concerns that they believe may be related to mold?
  7. Has the building been recently remodeled or the maintenance plan been altered?

If you answer YES to any of these questions you may have a mold problem that needs addressed. Don’t try to clean it up or manage the problem alone, every hour spent on cleanup is an hour lost in revenue and productivity. Call in the professionals of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West and we will respond quickly to manage the situation.

Terms You May Hear After A Fire

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for fire and water cleanup and restoration.

Industry Terms For Fire Damage

If you experience a fire, whether as a homeowner or in the commercial environment, you may hear many different terms you’re not familiar with. We’d like to familiarize you with some of the terms we use in the restoration industry, so that you can better understand what’s being said and what’s happening.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West thrives on transparency and open communication for the Property Owner to better understand the restoration process. We will always communicate with you throughout the process, so that you feel comfortable with each and every step.  

Fire Damage: This is a general term meaning that fire was the source of the loss.

IICRC Training and Certification: The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is an IICRC certified firm.

Stabilizing the Structure: This is typically done by the Fire Department after fighting the fire. We need to be sure the structure is safe for our technicians to begin the cleanup and remediation process.

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 strong 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.  

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.

Pre-Loss Condition: This means to return the property to its original state before the fire or water damage occurred. “Like it never even happened.”

Demo or Demolition: When material has experienced permanent damage and cannot be cleaned or restored, it is then removed and disposed of but ONLY with the owners permission.

Air Scrubber: A portable filtration system that removes particles, gases and /or chemicals from the air within a given space.

HEPA Filter: HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Absorber. An air cleansing machine.

Structural Damage: This is the damage that affects the core-integrity of your home or business. These areas consist of your roof, framing and load-bearing walls.

Contents: Imagine turning your house upside down and taking off the roof, anything that would fall out is considered contents. Furniture, clothing, and personal items.


Pack-out: When necessary our crews carefully remove all contents and move them to our warehouse where they are inventoried, cleaned and restored. This allows for better access to clean and restore the home and eliminates the possibility of secondary damage during the restoration process.

Tornado Preparedness

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Be as prepared as possible, talk to your family about tornado safety.

Summer is in full swing and that means thunderstorms and severe weather can occur at any time. We watch the news channels whenever strong storms are predicted so that we can be prepared and help keep our families safe. When strong storms are in your area, or the potential for strong storms, the National Weather Service may issue tornado watches and warnings.

Tornado Watch vs. Warning

What's the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?

A “watch” is issued when conditions are favorable for storms and tornadoes to be produced. This doesn’t necessarily mean there is a storm in your area, but that there is a high potential for one to be produced. A “warning” means that severe weather is imminent and a storm or tornado has been spotted in your area and you should seek shelter immediately.

Where to go and what to do:

Here are a few things we can do to stay safe and help protect ourselves if a storm is near. Get all family members and pets to an interior room, hallway or stairwell, the more walls between you and the storm the better. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture and protect your head. Move away from windows, and be sure to keep them closed, as high winds and dangerous debris can enter if they’re left open. Other safe places during a tornado can be a cellar, storm shelter or the basement of your home, any interior rooms without windows such as bathrooms and closets.

If your caught outside during a tornado seek shelter immediately. If that’s not an option, lie flat face-down on low ground, protecting your head with your arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as you can, they can be blown onto you in a tornado. Seeking shelter under an overpass is more dangerous than standing in an open field while a tornado is approaching. When a tornado passes over an overpass, the wind is funneled under the bridge, this actually increases its velocity. Additionally, overpasses are often where debris tends collect. So you’re better off finding a low area of the ground and laying as flat as you can. Be aware of flash flooding in these low areas.






Preparedness is so important.

It’s a good idea to talk with your family and plan out what to do and where to go in the event of a tornado. Preparation is very important and something we should all take time for. Select an area of the home to go to in the event of a storm and talk about it with the family. Also, keeping an emergency supply kit in that room is a very good idea. Items for a home emergency supply kit can include: water, food, a battery powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit and a whistle to signal for help.


What is a tornado?

A tornado is a violent rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris. Tornadoes are the most violent of all atmospheric storms. The most violent tornadoes are capable of winds up to 300 mph and can create tremendous damage. They can destroy large buildings, uproot trees and hurl cars and trucks hundreds of yards.

Where do Tornadoes most often occur?

Tornadoes are most common in the central part of the United States, also known as the Great Plains. This area is suited to bring all of the ingredients together to form tornadoes. More than 500 tornadoes typically occur in this area every year and is why it is commonly known as “Tornado Alley.

Warning signs that a tornado might be near. 

There are several atmospheric changes that might be warning signs of a tornado’s arrival. A dark greenish sky, wall clouds or an approaching cloud of debris and large hail in the absence or rain may indicate a tornado is near. Also, before a tornado strikes, the wind may calm down and the air become very still, the “calm before the storm.”

What to Check After a Hail Storm

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

What to Check After a Hail Storm

While hail is a pretty cool phenomenon when seen on TV or from afar, it’s a scary and many times dangerous situation when experienced first hand. These frozen balls of ice falling from the sky can cause a lot of damage to cars, businesses, and homes. So if you should experience a hail storm, the first step is to take immediate cover. Once the storm has passed, it’s then a good time to check your property for damage. Below we will cover common areas to check around your home and business for damage from hail.

The Damage Hail Can Cause

When it comes to hail damage, the first thing many people think of is cars. We’ve all seen the news stories where cars are pelted with hail during a storm creating little dents in the car hoods and roofs. But what most people don’t think about is that if hail can cause that damage to metal, imagine what it can do to a home or business?

Check the Roof

One of the most common damages from hail is damage to a roof. The hail can tear up the shingles of a home resulting in roof leaks. Even if there are no signs of leaks from the roof damage, you may still want to check for any dings or pot marks in the shingles. If there is enough damage, many times the insurance company will cover the damages due to the hail storm.

Check the Siding

Another common area of homes that hail can damage is the siding. This is particularly true with old, brittle siding. If the hail storm brings with it high winds, the hail can be blown into the siding of homes rather than dropping straight down. The hail can tear apart the shingles causing water to seep into the exterior walls resulting in water damage to the insulation, the wood framing, and eventually into the drywall.

Check the Windows

Again, if the hail storm has severe winds, the hail can be blown into windows and doors causing glass cracks or breaks. Even if the windows and doors are broken, the hail can also cause damage to the seals around the windows and glass which can lead to water seeping into the home. It’s always a good idea to do a thorough check of all the windows and doors that were hit by hail for any damages.

Check the Air Conditioner

Luckily there’s only one major appliance that is found on the outside of the home. That is the air conditioner. While air conditioners are usually built to withstand the brutal Indiana seasonal weather, large and damaging hail storms is one thing that air conditioners may not be able to stand. The hail can damage the cooling coils of the air conditioner. The coils are usually protected by a wire cage to can block objects from hitting the coils directly, hail is usually small enough that it can pass by the cage and cause direct damage to the coils. In severe hail storms, hail can also damage any wires or power supplies to the air conditioner. Again, it’s always a good idea to check the air conditioner and make sure nothing has been blown into it during the storm or been damaged from the hail.

Check the Gutters

Not only can hail dent and ding the gutter system, it can also cause further damage from the weight of the hail piling up into the gutter system. It’s not uncommon to see a gutter system pulled or torn away from a home due to the excessive weight of the hail piling up in the gutters. If you are up on the roof to check for damage to the shingles, you can also check the gutters for damage too. Look for dents in the gutter systems and areas where the gutter is drooping or even pulled away from the house.

Call the Hail & Storm Damage Cleanup Experts

If you should suffer hail and storm damage to your home, call the cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the knowledge and expertise to handle any type of storm damage. With their extensive training and state-of-the-art equipment, the pros at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can handle water and mold damage that can result from heavy hail storms, wind damage, and flooding.

Common Damages to Indianapolis Homes After a Fire

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Common Damages to Indianapolis Homes After a Fire

It’s usually not the actual fire that does the most damage to a home from a house fire. What causes the most damage to homes that suffered a fire is the smoke from the fire and the water from the firefighters. Below we will cover common damages that occur in a home after a fire.

Where You’ll Find Most Damage from a Fire

Obviously, you’ll find the most damage to a home at the source of the fire. In the case of a stovetop fire, this would be around the range hood, back wall, and ceiling above. In the case of a space heater igniting a curtain, the damage would be around the curtain and on the ceiling above the curtain.

While there will be flame damage right near the source, the majority of the damage will be from the smoke of the fire. If you’ve ever blown out a candle or roasted marshmallows over an open fire, you’ll know that smoke rises. When a fire occurs in your home, the smoke will also rise up and to the ceiling. If the fire is near a wall you might see discoloration up the wall with most of the discoloration right above the source of the fire on the ceiling.

As the fire continues to create more smoke, the smoke will spread across the ceiling and look for a place to escape and go higher. This could be up a stairwell or through ceiling vents. If the smoke has no place to go any higher, it will start to build up and start to come down closer to the floor like a fog. With smoke having the tendency to go up, this is why they say to get nearest to the ground when escaping a fire since there is usually less smoke.

The last area where you’ll most of the smoke damage from a fire is around windows and doors. As the smoke builds up in a house, it looks for the easiest place to escape outside. While this could be a chimney, smoke will also slip out through any cracks or drafts in windows and doors. In homes that suffer a lot of damage, you’ll usually find heavy discolorations around drafty doors and windows.

The Two Variables That Can Spread the Smoke Even Further

While we’ve discussed the typical behavior of smoke from a fire and where you’ll typically find the most damage, there are two variables that can change the behavior of the smoke and help carry it and the damage it causes even further throughout your home. The two things that can help spread the smoke even further are your ceiling fans and your central HVAC system. If your ceiling fans are on or your HVAC blower is on, then the smoke can be blown and carried throughout the house.

If your HVAC system is running then the smoke will most likely enter through the return vents and be spread throughout the duct system. This will not only carry the smoke and the smoke damage throughout the house, it will also cause smoke damage to your ducts. Your ducts might have dust throughout the system which can absorb the smoke meaning every time your air conditioner or heater turns on, you’ll smell the residual smoke for weeks and months after the fire. To remove the smoke from your ducts and HVAC system, you’ll need to have them professionally cleaned.

Battling Discoloration and Odor from Smoke

As you’ve read above, the most damaging part of a fire is usually the smoke. Smoke can discolor any surfaces it comes into contact with. This can include ceilings, walls, and floors but also furniture, clothes, toys, and other household objects. The smoke can seep through every little tiny crack and space discoloring everything in its path.

The second thing that smoke can do to many surfaces of your home is leave an odor. While surfaces that are smooth and not porous can be cleaned easily, the smoke odor can easily embed into porous surfaces like fabric furniture, clothes, curtains, carpets, sheets, electronics and non-sealed wood.

How to Clean Up Fire and Smoke Damage

Cleaning up after a fire, even a small one, isn’t as easy as cleaning up a spilled glass of liquid off the floor. Due to the chemical properties of fire and smoke, removing the discoloration can be difficult if not impossible in some situations. Removing the smoke odor can be even more difficult especially when dealing with electronics, fabric furniture, carpeting, and clothes.

The best step to take if you should regrettably experience a fire in your Indianapolis-area home is to call the fire damage repair and restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the knowledge and equipment to remove all the fire and smoke damage and restore your home to how it was prior to the fire. They are a trusted leader in the restoration industry that business owners and homeowners have turned to for years restore and repair their property.

What to Do if You Have to Wait for Service After a Storm in Indianapolis

7/22/2018 (Permalink)

Heavy storms can leave your Indianapolis home or business flooded.

When a major storm event occurs, widespread flooding will likely accompany it. Whether it's a deep freeze in the winter causing broken pipes or torrential spring and summertime rain overwhelming sump pumps, these devastating storms can leave hundreds or thousands of homes and businesses damaged and flooded.

Beware of the door-to-door salesman

Watch out for door-to-door sales companies wanting to service your home. Always make sure you hire a reputable restoration company recognized in the industry. Do not pay in advance for any service to these door-to-door companies. They’re usually not prepared or able to handle your claim.

Patience is a Virtue

Many so-called contractors out there look to make a quick buck and take advantage of homeowners at their most vulnerable time. Honest and reputable companies will have well-marked service vehicles and uniformed crews that and can provide business insurance and customer testimonials. They should also give you straightforward and easy to understand answers and be able to explain the restoration process fully.

Immediately after major storm events, restoration companies are inundated with emergency service calls to cleanup and dry out homes and business. These extreme storms are rare, and when they happen, you may have to wait for your property to be serviced. We wish we could get to everyone all at once, but unfortunately, that’s just not possible. Our emergency service crews work 24 hours a day after these storms to restore your home or business. While you may have to wait for service, there are some things you can do until help arrives. Always think “Safety First” and use extreme caution after storm and flooding damage.

What You Can Do Until Help Arrives:

Be extremely careful and make sure it’s safe to enter a wet area.

Avoid going into rooms with wet and sagging ceilings.

Avoid using any appliances or electronics that may be wet.

Remove excess water by mopping and blotting, Do not use your house vacuum.

Remove or elevate small items from the floor that can be damaged by standing water.

If possible, remove excess water from wood furniture with a soft towel.

Remove couch and chair cushions and place them in a dry space.

Use aluminum foil or small wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. This will help prevent the stain in furniture legs from transferring to the carpet.

If possible, turn on the air conditioning; this helps remove moisture from the air and promotes drying.

Pickup rugs from the floor or carpeting and put them in a dry room.

Remove paintings and artwork to a safe, dry place.

Gather loose items from floors. This will make a more safe environment and help keep them dry.

Reasons to use SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to restore your property:

SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is locally owned and operated and part of the Indianapolis community.

We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 SERVPRO franchises, which enables us to respond quicker and with more resources.

When major storm events occur, we can call on our special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the Midwest.

We have agreements with most insurance companies in central Indiana and will help you process your insurance claim.

We will explain our process up front so that you know our every step and what needs to be done to ensure your property is fully restored.

We monitor and document the drying process to ensure your home is completely ready.

Our restoration technicians are certified and have continuing education in the industry.

You will have only one point of contact throughout the process. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West will manage all phases of the project from beginning to end.

You can always contact us 24/7 for emergency service . We are always available to answer any questions you may have.

Top Culprits of Water Damage in Indianapolis Homes

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

Top Culprits of Water Damage in Indianapolis Homes

By knowing what the top causes of water damage to Indianapolis homes, you can be proactive and check these common culprits on a regular basis to reduce the chance of water damage occurring to your Indianapolis home. Below are the top causes of water damage to your home outside of a natural disaster like flooding.

Refrigerator

If you notice water pooling below your kitchen refrigerator, you most likely either have a water line that is leaking or a freezer that is not cold enough. Check the bottom of your freezer to see if there is standing water or ice forming. As the water or ice forms, it can melt and leak every time you open the freezer. If you don’t find ice or water forming at the bottom of your freezer, you may have a water line that is loose or leaking.

The water line is used to make ice and sometimes provide water in the refrigerator door. The line is usually located in the back of the refrigerator and can be knocked causing a slow leak. It’s a good idea to occasionally check around your refrigerator for standing water and fix the problem before the water gets worse or causes damage to your floors.

Dishwasher

Much like your refrigerator, a dishwasher can leak water for a while until it is discovered. The water line and/or the drain to the dishwasher is usually connected at the back of the dishwasher and any leaks could take weeks or months to appear. While you can’t do anything about hidden leaks, the other commonplace that a dishwasher leaks is around the door. If the seals around the door have been cracked or compromised, water can leak out while it is running and pool below the dishwasher.

It’s always a good idea to check on a regular basis around the bottom of your dishwasher for any standing water or signs of water. If you do find any signs, you can then further investigate to determine if it’s around the door or if it’s coming from the water or drainage line hidden behind your dishwasher.

Washing Machine

You can probably start to see a pattern here. While water can come through a damaged roof or windows or under doors, it’s common appliances and household items that are hooked up to water that tend to cause most water damage in homes.

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 important 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.

Toilet

The water leaking from a toilet can be particularly bad. If the water is leaking from the back tank, then the water is most likely clean and while it is still bad, it’s not as bad of a situation if the water leaking is coming from around the toilet drain. Toilets usually drain the content of their bowl down underneath the toilet where it connects with the sewer drain. To prevent leaking and odors, the toilet drain is seated with a wax ring into the sewer drain. If your toilet is not completely bolted down or becomes loose over time, the wiggling can break the wax seal causing dirty, contaminated water to seep out below the toilet. If not discovered, this water can seep into the floor and cause serious water damage and most likely mold damage.

If you notice your toilet wiggles, check for any signs of water leakage and tighten down your toilet. If you do find water, then you may have to buy a new wax ring and reseat your toilet although you might want to have a water damage professionals check for any water or mold damage before tightening back the toilet.

Air Conditioner

The last common source of water damage in homes is the air conditioner. Whether you have a central air conditioner or window ac units, they both can cause water to leak and damage your home. In both systems, the air conditioner typically creates a lot of condensation when running in the hot summer. This condensation is usually gathered in a pan where it then drains outside or into a drain. If the drain becomes clogged, the water in the pan can overflow and drip inside your home or into other parts of the air conditioner where it can promote mold growth.

If you notice your vents are blowing air that smells moldy or like a damp basement, then you need to check for standing water or mold growth around the blower, filter, and cooling coils of the unit. You might also find water dripping or pooling around the unit. Again, just like your other appliances, it’s a good idea to regularly check your air conditioner as well as maintain it.

If You Do Have Water Damage, Call the Pros

If you do discover water damage from any of the above culprits or from other places like a leaky roof or burst pipe, it’s important to call water damage restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible. Water damage can quickly get much worse if not treated immediately. Water can seep and soak further into the floors and walls causing more damage and it can also promote mold growth if not removed and treated quickly. Hopefully, you don’t have any water damage and catch it in time by regularly checking the culprits above.

Tips to Prevent Smoke & Fire Damage to Your Indianapolis Business

7/15/2018 (Permalink)

Tips to Prevent Smoke & Fire Damage to Your Indianapolis Business

Reduce Clutter in Your Office

Do you have a stack of papers lying in the corner of your office that is growing bigger every day? Clutter like papers, magazines, boxes, and other paper products in your office is fuel for a potential fire. Clutter not only provides fuel for a fire but it can also hide potential fire hazards. Try keeping your desk and office clean and free of clutter to reduce the risks of fire. Use file cabinets and drawers to store papers and documents. Store boxes in closets and storage areas rather in the corner of your office or blocking stairwells.

Safely Store Flammable Liquids and Chemicals

If you’re working with flammable liquids, chemicals, and/or solvents, make sure you store them in the proper area. Some flammable materials and chemicals may need to be stored in specialized cabinets according to local rules and regulations. For flammable liquids and materials that don’t require specialized storage, you still should ensure that they are stored away from any heat source. You also need to make sure that if the liquids or materials off-gas creating flammable vapors that you have proper ventilation. If you don’t have proper ventilation, the vapors can build up and ignite from a small spark like a light switch being flipped on or a plug being inserted into an outlet.

Designate a Smoking Area

If you have employees who smoke, designate an area where smoking is only allowed. It’s preferable that the area is located outside to reduce smoke odors in the business and fire risks from cigarettes that weren’t fully extinguished. You also need to make sure that you have a proper receptacle for employees to discard their extinguished cigarette butts. Also, make sure that the designated smoking area is away from flammable liquids and materials, as well as, landscaping that could fuel a fire like dried grasses, mulch, and dead leaves.

Report Electrical Problems

It’s important to let your employees know to report any electrical problems immediately before they result in a potential fire. This could be exposed wiring, frayed cords, faulty wiring, electrical equipment and sockets near water sources, etc. If you notice an electrical problem in your business, call an electrician to fix it if needed. Don’t try to fix any wiring issues yourself as this can also lead to an increased risk of fire due to inexperience and mistakes. It’s also important to keep access to electrical boxes clear so you can quickly cut the power to an area if there is a risk of fire.

Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets

One of the most common causes of fire in a business is an overloaded electrical outlet. An overloaded outlet can cause an increase of heat to the outlet, plugs, and wires. The heat can melt the insulation around the wires causing them to touch and cause sparks. The best scenario is that the circuit breaker flips before the wires short and cause sparks. If the circuit doesn’t flip off, then the heat and the sparks can quickly lead to an electrical fire. If you’re always tripping a circuit or notice your desktop lights dimming, then you might be overloading the outlet. To reduce the load, move some electronics to other outlets.

Be Smart & Be Safe

These are just a few tips that you can follow to reduce the risks of smoke and fire damage to your business. The best advice to keep your business safe from fire is to be smart and be aware. Use common sense when at your business. For instance, while some businesses allow scented candles to be burned by employees, it might be smart to not permit this. The same goes for space heaters. While you don’t want to be a mean business owner by prohibiting things like candles and space heaters, you also don’t want to increase the risk of fire occurring at your business. I think most workers will understand that safety is more important than convenience and comfort in these situations.

Contact the Fire & Smoke Damage Professionals if a Fire Does Occur

Hopefully, your business will never experience a fire. Not only can a fire cause a lot of property damage, it can also lead to a lot of downtime and loss of revenue. If you should, unfortunately, experience a fire at your Indianapolis business, contact the fire and smoke damage experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They’ll be able to quickly clean up and restore any damage that has occurred to your business from fire. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the resources and expertise to handle any size disaster. Contact them today for fire damage restoration.   




Reduce the Risk of Injury and Fire with These Fireworks Safety Tips

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Reduce the Risk of Injury and Fire with These Fireworks Safety Tips

It’s that time of year again when the warm summer night air is filled with the sounds of crickets, locusts, bird chirps, and Boom!..fireworks. While the 4th of July is only one day and one night, the lighting of fireworks seems to be a Summer long ritual. And with the lighting of fireworks comes the dangers of fireworks. From personal injuries to roofs on fire, there are a lot of risks when it comes to lighting and enjoying fireworks in the Summer.

In the article below, we will cover the dangers and associated risks of fireworks and how to reduce those risks. Every year, thousands of people injured and property is damaged due to fires.  So whether you’re enjoying the fireworks or lighting them, be careful and be safe this 4th of July and beyond.

Fireworks are Fire Starters

According to the NFPA, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fire each year resulting in $43 million dollars in property damage. Many of these fires are preventable. When setting off fireworks, keep a safe distance from any structure like a home or building. Make sure you always have some water or an extinguisher on hand in case a fire happens. Many home and structure fires are a result of airborne fireworks, like Roman Candles, landing on roofs and structures where they can spark a fire.

Fireworks can also cause grass, brush and forest fires. If you live in an area that has been suffering a drought, it’s usually best not to light fireworks off as brush fires can start very easily. If you are lighting fireworks off the ground, do it on concrete or dirt rather than dry grass or fields. Brush fires can quickly get out of hand and lead to even further damage as the fires reach homes and vehicles.

Vehicle fires are another common risk when fireworks are being set off. Never shoot fireworks at a car or vehicle. Also, be sure that all vehicles are a safe distance from where the fireworks are being set off to reduce the risk of a stray firework or ember hitting a car. It’s also advisable to keep your car window and doors shut to prevent any stray ember from floating into your car and starting a blaze.

Fireworks Can Hurt You

While fireworks can be loud and beautiful and amazing, they can also be very painful and even deadly. In 2015, emergency rooms treated 11,900 people for injuries from fireworks. Many of these injuries were to arms and legs that resulted in third-degree burns but in the worst cases, people suffered lost fingers and severe damage to limbs.

When lighting fireworks, always make sure kids and adults are a safe distance away from the area where the fireworks are being set off. While kids love sparklers, the sparklers can very quickly burn kids and ignite clothing. The firework that is the most misused if the bottle rocket. Teens and even adults have been known to have bottle rocket wars where they aim the bottle rockets at each other. Over the years, this has resulted in a multitude of injuries including severe head and eye injuries.

The other common injury that hospitals see year after year is from people holding Roman Candles in their hands. Often the Roman Candles do not work as intended and instead blow up in the person’s hand resulting in severe injuries. If you do set off fireworks, always follow the directions and do not misuse them. Also, be sure that they are set off away from any people and aimed towards the sky. With a little common sense, you can have a safe and happy evening setting off and watching fireworks.

Some Final Tips for a Safe 4th of July

It takes just one firework and one mistake to ruin a night and someone's property or even life. Here are some quick tips to follow to ensure that you and your family have a safe and wonderful 4th of July:

  • Always light fireworks away from people, buildings, and cars.
  • Never set off fireworks inside.
  • Keep some water or an extinguisher nearby.
  • Never let kids play with fireworks.
  • Use fireworks as intended.
  • Never try to relight a bad or “dud” firework.
  • Don’t launch fireworks towards people or structures.
  • Don’t set off fireworks while impaired.

From all of us at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, have a happy and safe 4th of July. While we are experts at fire damage cleanup and restoration, we hope we don’t have to use our expertise to restore a home or building because of someone misusing fireworks. Be safe and have a great Summer.   

Preparing Your Indianapolis Home or Business for Floods and Storms

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Preparing Your Indianapolis Home or Business for Floods

While the Summers in Indiana can bring lots of heat and drought, they can also bring lots of thunder, lightning, and flooding. Before the weather outside starts looking dark and gloomy, make sure that your Indianapolis home and/or business is prepared. Below, we will cover what you need to do in the event of heavy storms and flooding in order to reduce any potential damages to your property.

Batten Down the Hatches

Before the storms come, there are some steps you can take to minimize any potential damages from strong storms and potential flooding. If you know a heavy storm is coming and you have time, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure all your windows are shut and closed.
  2. Bring in or tie down any outside furniture.
  3. Make sure your gutters are clean to allow water to flow away from your home.
  4. Test your sump pump in your basement if you have one.
  5. Cut down any dead branches or limbs around your home.
  6. Seal any water leaks on your roof if possible.

Prepare for No Power

Strong storms can bring heavy winds which can cause power outages. Even a few hours of no power can be difficult to handle especially with young children. Follow these steps to make any power outages more tolerable:

  1. Have flashlights and plenty of batteries easily available.
  2. Make sure your cell phones are fully charged.
  3. Know where your first aid kit is.
  4. Have bottled water and snacks on hand.
  5. Have a battery-powered radio available in case there is no cell service.

When Flooding and Water Damage Occur

If your home should suffer flooding and water damage, it’s important to remain calm and not panic. Follow these simple rules if your home should suffer flooding or water damage:

  1. Stay away from the flood waters in your home.
  2. Don’t touch or use electrical appliances around floodwater.
  3. Wait until the storm has passed before trying to leave your home.
  4. Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible.

When your home is flooded or sustains water damage, it’s important to contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as the storms have passed. The faster our water damage restoration experts can arrive, the less damage the storm waters may cause to your home. If left over 48 hours, water in your home can cause mold and bacteria and waterborne illnesses to thrive and further damage your home.

Contact the Professionals to Help You Recover from Heavy Storm and Flood Damage

At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have the knowledge and experience to quickly remove, clean, and restore your Indianapolis home from water and mold damage. We’re available 24/7 to help you quickly recover from any the most extensive storm damage. Contact us anytime for any water, mold or fire damage to your home.

How Fast Will Mold Appear After Water Damage to Your Indianapolis Home?

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

How Fast Will Mold Appear After Water Damage to Your Indianapolis Home?

While water damage to your home is bad enough, there could be more damage just waiting to happen if get rid of the water and moisture in time. It takes just a little water for mold to grow, so when your home suffers water damage from a flood, broken pipe or faulty sump pump; there are a lot of places that mold can easily grow. So how fast does mold appear after water damage to your home?

It Depends.

There’s really no definitive answer to how fast mold can appear after there has been water damage. If you ask mold remediation experts, you will most often hear 24-48 hours. Many water damage and mold remediation companies have observed this first hand going to homes that have suffered from water damage. On the other hand, these same experts have seen homes that have experienced water damage and have witnessed no mold.

It gets even more confusing when you look at research experiments that scientists have performed to determine mold growth. In a 2006 article in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene titled “Controlled Study of Mold Growth and Cleaning Procedure on Treated and Untreated Wet Gypsum Wallboard in an Indoor Environment”, researchers took drywall and immersed the bottom inch in water. The researchers observed the drywall pieces over an 8 week period for mold growth. Some of the drywall was treated with primer paint while others were left untreated and bare.

Surprisingly, the researchers didn’t discover any sign of mold growth until 2 weeks into the test. This is obviously way beyond the typical 24-48 hour window that is typically repeated and many times observed out in the field. These results only tested drywall and in one environment. The results have obviously differed in real situations of homes that have experienced water damage and observable mold growth. So what is different from these situations? To answer that, we have to understand how mold grows in the first place.

How Does Mold Grow or Happen?

Mold is microscopic in size and doesn’t really become apparent until it has grown or colonized. Mold is spread by mold spores which are carried by wind currents and are present in the air outside. About a billion mold spores can occupy a square inch of space. While there are more mold spores present in the air outside, mold spores also exist in our homes but at lower levels. Once mold spores are introduced to the right amount of moisture, humidity, temperature and food source, they begin to grow into what we dread as mold in our home. If left untreated, the mold can quickly colonize and grow out of control.

So what is a food source for mold? Mold needs a dead organic substance to feed off of and grow. If you look around your home, it is full of dead organic materials like wood, fabrics, drywall, insulation, leather, dirt and dust. With the right conditions like a flooded basement or busted pipe, mold can thrive. So how do you stop mold? Is there anything to prevent it?

Stop Mold Growth and Damage Before It Begins

The key to stopping mold growth before it begins is timing. If your home should suffer water damage, call the water damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They will remove all the water and treat any water damaged parts of your home before mold can take hold. If mold has started to appear, they can also remediate the mold as well. While you can’t remove the food source normally, you can take away the water and the moisture thus stopping mold from growing or happening.

Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West today for water damage cleanup & restoration, as well as, mold remediation. 

What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Indianapolis Home

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Indianapolis Home

Even the smallest of storms can cause significant damage to your Indiana home. A limb can fall and damage your roof or windows. Wind or hail can damage the shingles of your roof. A tornado or high winds can uproot trees and tear off roofs. Even calm showers that last for days can ultimately cause flooding in your home.

While there is usually very little we can do to prepare or prevent such damage, there are steps we can take to reduce the damage from getting worse once the storm has passed. Below we cover simple steps that can be taken to reduce further damage to your home from happening. While some of the steps can be taken by the homeowner, it’s best to contact a storm damage cleanup and restoration company, like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. The experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the experience and tools to handle any size disaster and restore your home quickly.

#1 Wait Until the Storm Has Passed Before Taking Action

If you should suffer severe damage to your home, wait until the storm has passed until surveying the damage. If you are listening to the storm coverage on the radio or TV, wait until the reporter has given the all clear for your area. Many times, there can be multiple severe storms or tornadoes that hit one area. It’s always best to be safe when dealing with severe weather.

#2 Take Photos or Videos of the Damage

Once the severe weather has passed and you are able to leave the safety of your home to survey the damage, be sure to take photos and/or video of the damage. This can be helpful when filing a claim with your insurance company and can also be helpful for storm damage cleanup and restoration professionals to know what equipment they may need on hand.

#3 Turn Off the Electricity if There is Flooding

If you have flooding in your basement or in your home, be sure to cut off the electricity before wading through or getting near the flooded areas. If you are unable to reach the fuse box to cut off the electricity then wait until the cleanup professionals or electric company can arrive to assess the situation. You never want to get near any standing water or flooded areas in your home for risk of getting electrocuted.

#4 Get the Water Out

If there is standing water in your home, you will want to extract it as soon as possible. The longer the water sits in your home, the more damage it can do. Flood waters, in particular, can quickly promote mold growth in your home if not removed and treated quickly. To ensure the water is completely extracted from your home, it’s best to have water damage professionals like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West handle the removal of water from your home.

#5 Air out the House

Once the water is removed from your home, you will still want to air out your home. The flood waters in your home most likely raised the humidity in your home. If you don’t air out your home, the humid air could carry mold spores and cause mold damage throughout your home. You can also use fans and dehumidifiers to remove the moisture from the air.

#6 Check for Exterior Damage

If you haven’t checked the exterior of your home for your damage, you will want to do that. Be sure to check for roof damage, standing waters near your home’s foundation, siding damage, and damage around windows. All of these areas can be causes of water to enter your home.

Contact the Storm Cleanup & Restoration Professionals

If you experience storm damage to your home, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to get the damage cleaned up and your home restored. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the expertise and know-how to handle whatever mother nature may throw your home’s way. Whether it’s flooding, water damage, mold growth or even fire, SERVPRO can handle it. Contact them today for complete cleanup and restoration.



How to Get Smoke Out of Your Indianapolis House After a Fire

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

How to Get Smoke Out of Your Indianapolis House After a Fire

Almost everyday homes throughout the Indianapolis area experience an accidental fire inside their homes. Many times it’s a kitchen meal gone bad with a flame up on the cooktop or something that is cooked “well done” in the oven. Sometimes it’s a candle that someone forgot to blow out before leaving the room.

Luckily, most of these fires are extinguished quickly and result in little damage from the actual fire. Unfortunately, the smoke from these fires is what causes the most damage to Indianapolis homes. So what is one to do if they should experience a fire in their home that causes a lot of smoke? Below we cover what to do and what not to do.

#1 Remove the Cause of the Smoke

Only do this if it is safe. If you have burnt something in the oven, take it to the nearest door and put it outside. The item is most likely extinguished but may continue to let off smoke for a while.

Do not put the smoking item outside if it isn’t extinguished completely and don’t take it outside if you have to go through several rooms to get outside. You want to isolate the smoke rather than spread it throughout your home. If you don’t remove the burned item immediately, do it once it has cooled down.

#2 Open All Nearby Windows

Wherever the smoke has occurred, you want to immediately open any nearby windows to allow the smoke to blow out and fresh air to flow in.

You don’t want to open windows in rooms or areas where there is no smoke because this could cause the smoke to flow throughout your home and exit the opened windows. Again, you want to isolate the smoke to the area it occurred which brings us to the next important step.

#3 Turn Off Any Ceiling Fans and HVAC System

To help reduce the smoke from spreading throughout your home, you want to turn off any ceiling fans in the affected area. You also want to turn off your HVAC unit as it can funnel the smoke through your air ducts and into the rest of your home. This can result in not only having to deal with smoke cleanup in other rooms but throughout your air ducts also.

If you have box fans, you will want to put these in your open windows and turn them on to pull the smoke out of your home more quickly.

#4 Wipe Down Any Solid Non-Porous Surfaces

If you have granite countertops or dishes or glass windows, you can wipe them down with a cleaning solution to remove any soot or burnt particulates that gathered on the surface.

Be careful about scratching glass or other easily scratchable surfaces if the soot is very grainy. Even the smallest of particles can cause a scratch if you aren’t careful. If you are worried about damaging a solid surface, always err on the safe side and have a professional smoke remediation expert clean it.

#5 Do Not Wipe Down Porous Surfaces

The smoke from the fire most likely caused some discoloration on the ceiling about the fire and on the walls nearby. The smoke could have also gathered in the corners of the room causing discoloration there.

While it may seem that wiping down the ceilings and walls would be easy to do, most people actually make it worse due to the porous nature of walls and ceilings. Rather than removing the soot and smoke discolorations, wiping it down could smear the soot and embed it further into the surface creating a bigger mess.

#6 Call the Smoke Damage Repair and Restoration Experts

If you have ceilings and walls and sometimes wood floors that are discolored from the smoke and soot, it’s best to call the smoke damage repair experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools and the expertise to safely and effectively remove the smoke damage and restore it back to new.

If you should suffer extensive smoke and/or fire damage, they can most definitely help get your home cleaned up, repaired and restored as quickly as possible. They have dealt with all types of fire and smoke damage, and are ready to help you if you need them.



Leading Causes of Water Damage to Indianapolis Businesses

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Leading Causes of Water Damage to Indianapolis Businesses

While there are some similarities between the leading causes of water damage to Indianapolis businesses and Indianapolis homes, there are also some distinct differences. Below we will cover the top five main causes of water damage to commercial properties. Some are unpreventable, while there are others that business owners can take steps to reduce the risk of.

Severe Weather

With the warmer weather in the springtime and summer, comes severe storms. These storms can bring with them high winds and sometimes tornadoes. With strong winds and tornadic activity; roofs, windows, and exterior walls can sustain severe damage allowing water to enter the commercial property.

If there’s just a small leak, it can sometimes take a while before the leak is detected. This could be troublesome as the delay in detection could allow mold to grow and go undetected. The good thing, if there is such a thing, is that the water from rain is usually much less dirty than water from other common causes of water damage, like sewers. The cleaner water, while still capable of promoting mold growth, usually happens more slowly due to the lack of bacteria in the water.

Broken Refrigerator and/or Dishwasher

Every office usually has a break room with a refrigerator and sometimes a dishwasher. Just like at home, these two appliances can malfunction and/or break causing water to leak or sometimes pour from them. While the water is usually clean since it usually originates from the water supply pipes, it can still cause extensive damage to a business. This is especially true if the leak happens over the weekend or at night when no one is there. It’s always a good idea to occasionally check around the dishwasher and/or fridge for any water leaks in order to catch and repair them before they have the potential to cause further damage.

Sewer Backup

Sewer backups not only cause severe water damage to Indianapolis businesses but also severe damage from mold growth. While rainwater and broken water pipes can be a mess, the dirty bacteria-infested water from sewers can quickly promote mold growth if not treated quickly. Sewer backups can be caused by severe rains and flooding of the public sewer system around the business. They can also be caused by clogged and broken pipes inside the business.

While you can’t do much to prevent the public sewer system from backing up into your business, you can reduce the risk of an internal issue like a clog or broken/leaking pipe. It’s a good idea to visually inspect any visible sewer pipes as well as the area around toilets on a regular basis. If you notice water collecting or slow draining drains, fix it before it backups completely and causes extensive damage.

Damaging Fire Sprinkler Heads

Most businesses have fire sprinkler systems installed throughout their buildings. While they are designed to put out fires, fire sprinklers can also cause water damage to commercial properties as a result of human error and/or severe cold temperatures. In areas where sprinkler heads are exposed, they can easily be broken by employees carrying ladders or tall items and accidentally hitting sprinkler heads. A broken fire sprinkler head can quickly cause a lot of water damage to a business.

The other cause of water damage from fire sprinkler systems is when the sprinkler pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures and burst. It’s important to be aware of sprinkler heads when carrying ladders or items that could hit the sprinkler heads. It’s also important to make sure that the sprinkler pipes aren’t exposed to freezing temperatures by making sure windows and doors are shut completely.

Overflowing Toilet

The last main cause of water damage to Indianapolis businesses is an overflowing toilet. This is especially common in businesses where the public can use your bathroom. While most employees would quickly try to fix an overflowing toilet if it occurred, a visitor to your business may try to sneak away feeling embarrassed or not caring that they made the toilet overflow. The water from an overflowing toilet could also be dirty like the water from a sewer backup which can quickly promote mold growth if not discovered in time.  

What to Do If You Experience Water Damage to Your Indianapolis Business

If you should suffer water damage or mold damage to your Indianapolis business, it’s important to stop the water if possible and call the Indianapolis water damage and mold remediation experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible. They’ll be able to quickly remove the water and repair the damage. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149 if your business should suffer from water damage.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West’s Community Partnership

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

We're proud to give back to the community we live and work in.

SERVPRO as a corporate entity has a long tradition of giving back to the community, a tradition that began with company co-founders Ted and Doris Isaacson at the start of the company in 1967. SERVPRO today still encourages this attitude among its over 1,700 franchises across the country.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West embraces this approach, and in its over 10 years as a franchise, has a specific partner it teams with several times a year. Together, they help each other give back to the local community in more effective ways.

A Partnership to Better the Community

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has teamed with the Wayne Township Trustee’s office and Wayne Township Fire Department to help them maximize their many community outreach events at various times throughout the year. Since the local fire department is the first line of defense in preventing fire and water disasters, this partnership developed organically.

Neighborhood Cleanup Days

The Wayne Township Fire Department sets aside several days throughout the year as neighborhood cleanup days. Rick Boger, Marketing Manager of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, explained, “They meet in the morning, usually on a Saturday, serving up donuts and coffee to the volunteers. They draw about a hundred people, including me. We break into small groups and we’ll walk the streets of the neighborhood, armed with trash bags and rubber gloves, picking up garbage.” For Rick, it’s a chance to meet others in the area who care about their community. The street department coordinates with these Cleanup Days and sends a trash truck to follow the groups and collect the filled trash bags.

Safety Day

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West also participates in the Fire Department’s annual Safety Day. “It’s a way the department gets important safety information out to the public, ranging from emergency tips like “stop, drop and roll” and CPR demonstrations. There are many different fun activities for children to participate in while learning how to stay safe. “It gives our company the opportunity to pass out our safety tips and educate the public on water and fire safety, and what signs of a mold infestation might look like.” Rick also serves food to the public, free of charge during the event.

Smoke Alarm Blitz

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West and the Wayne Township Fire Department work together with their local Red Cross for one of Rick’s favorite events. “Several times a year, the Red Cross provides us with smoke alarms. We pick a random neighborhood in the community, send out notifications in advance, and visit the homes. We knock door-to-door and offer to test the smoke alarms in the house, and also make sure the house has enough alarms.” The volunteers replace any defective alarms and/or add alarms (up to two free alarms per home). “Sometimes we install alarms in homes that never had one before. We might install 10-15 smoke alarms in a day that weren’t working before, and those alarms might be the difference that saves someone’s life.”

Rick also helps with fundraising efforts for the Fire Department, such as volunteering at their golf outings where SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as a local company sponsors a hole.

Rick says SERVPRO of Indianapolis West’s community partnership with the Wayne Township Trustee’s office and Fire Department makes a lot of sense, and Rick is proud of the work they’ve accomplished together. “Firefighters are the first responders to property emergencies. Without them, we’d have nothing to restore.”

Reduce the Risk of Water & Mold Damage with these Springtime Tips

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

Reduce the Risk of Water & Mold Damage with these Springtime Tips

Winter is Over. Did Your Home Survive?

Springtime is upon us in Indiana. It’s time to start thinking about planting some flowers and getting your lawn mower ready to start the long mowing season. There are lots to look forward to in the Spring but there are also lots of things that need to be done to make sure your home is up for the season. Below we cover five things to check in your home to make sure it is free of water damage and mold damage - and ready for Springtime.

#1 Check Your HVAC System

As the warm weather approaches, you need to make sure your air conditioner is ready. The first thing to check and most likely replace is the air filter. The air filter catches allergens and reduces the buildup of dust in your home’s air ducts.You should also make sure that there is no standing water or dirty air coils where mold can grow and then be pushed through the air ducts.  

#2 Check Around Your Windows & Doors

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

#3 Check Your Roof for Damage

When it’s nice out and your roof is dry, climb up there and do an inspection. Check to make sure your gutters are clear. Otherwise, water could run over the gutters and cause water to enter through your foundation and into your basement. Also, check to make sure there are no missing shingles. If you have exhaust pipes or chimneys, check around them to make sure they are sealed and there are no signs of cracking.

#4 Check Attics, Basements and Crawl Spaces for Mold

As the ground thaws out from the Winter, water make find its way into your crawl spaces and/or basements. If you have any roof damage, it could seep into your attics. Make sure to check all these areas for any signs of water. This could be standing water or water stains. If your basement or crawl space smells musty, then you may want to get a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture from the area before it leads to mold growth. If you do find mold growth or water that you can’t remove, then call the professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to help remediate the mold damage.

#5 Check Exposed Water Pipes

If you have water pipes in your basement, crawl space, and/or crawl space that you can see, make sure to check them for any drips around the joints. During the Winter, these pipes could have frozen causing the pipes to expand and crack. Even a small drip can lead to extensive water damage and/or mold growth. It’s also a good idea to check any external faucets for cracks or leaks. If you find any sign of leaks, make sure to have it fixed before it leads to even worse damage.

Enjoy a Stress-Free Spring

While you can’t completely reduce the risk of water damage to your home, you can lower the risk by following the five steps mentioned above. If you should experience water damage or find mold growth when inspecting your home, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149 to help clean up the damage and restore your home.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for Water Damage Restoration Service

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Top 5 Reasons to Choose SERVPRO of Indianapolis West for Water Damage Restoration Service

With the rainy Spring season upon us, many homes and businesses will be the unlikely victims of water damage. Some may experience flooding in low lying areas while others may experience leaky roofs or windows or flooded basements.

While there are many ways for water to creep into your home, there’s one sure choice when it comes to choosing someone to remove it. With one call to SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at any time and any day, they can be at your home and business removing the water and restoring any damage that it may have caused.

Why is SERVPRO of Indianapolis West the best choice in the Indianapolis area when it comes to water damage restoration? Here are the top five reasons why you should give them a call the next time you experience water damage:

#1 IICRC Certified Professionals

The IICRC is the leading, independent, non-profit, certification and standard-setting body in the cleaning, inspection, and restoration industry. When choosing a water damage, mold remediation, and/or fire and smoke restoration company, be sure to ask if they are IICRC certified.

At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, the team holds IICRC certifications in water removal technician (WRT), applied structural drying (AST), mold remediation technician, and lead paint remediation. The team also participates in ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility.

#2 Ready for Any Emergency 24/7

A disaster can strike at any time and any day which is why SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is ready to answer your call 24/7. With water damage, time is of the essence and it’s important to start the process of removing the water quickly before it can cause further damage or lead to mold growth. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West realizes that every water damage situation is an emergency which is why they are ready to help out whether it’s day or night.

#3 Known and Trusted for Over 50 Years

SERVPRO has been around for over 50 years. That’s 50 years of industry experience and know-how in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry. When you call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West you can trust that they have the skills and the expertise to handle any emergency no matter how big or how small. There are not many fire and water restoration companies that can say they’ve been around as long.

#4 Advanced Equipment, Treatments and Techniques

With that 50 years of experience comes 50 years of learning the best techniques and the right treatments to cleaning and restoring business and homes from fire and water damage. Along with the best treatments and techniques come some of the most advanced equipment in the industry. Trust and reliability and excellent results come from 50 years of experience dealing with every disaster imaginable.

#5 Experts at More Than Just Water Damage

Many times, water damage isn’t the only thing that a homeowner or business owner is experiencing. If the water damage has been happening over a period of time, there could be underlying mold damage.If a home or business experience a fire, there could be water damage from the fire department and/or sprinkler system. If the water isn’t removed completely, there could be water damage and mold growth. Luckily, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can handle all of those quickly and professionally.

Call the Experts for Water Damage Cleanup and Restoration

If you should, unfortunately, experience water damage to your business or home, call the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the expertise, the knowledge, the equipment, and the know-how to remove the water and restore your home or business. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.

Top Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home

2/27/2018 (Permalink)

Top 10 Ways to Prevent Mold in Your Home

No one likes mold in their home. Whether it’s moldy food in the refrigerator, mold in the bathroom, or sudden mold growth from a flooded basement or leaking roof; mold is an unwelcome addition to any home.

While some mold may not be preventable, there are many times that mold in a home can be prevented. Below, we will cover the top ways to reduce the risk of mold occurring in your home.

How to Prevent Mold

Eliminate Standing Water

Standing water is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Check around your tub, shower, toilet, sinks, dishwasher, and clothes washer after you use them for any leaks or areas where the water may pool up.

Other areas where you may find standing water is around your fridge, windows after a rain, basement doors, and sump pumps.You may also find standing water in your crawl spaces which can lead to mold growth that can go undetectable for months.

To prevent standing water, you can try to seal where the water is coming from or remember to air out or dry the area where the water tends to gather.

Dehumidify Your Basement

Basements tend to be a hotbed for potential mold growth. Due to being below ground with little airflow, basements tend to be damp or high in moisture.

While the typical cool temperatures of a basement keep mold and mildew from growing quickly, the high moisture has the opposite effect.

The best way to prevent mold from growing in a basement is to remove the moisture from the air using a dehumidifier.

Keep the Air Flowing

If you have areas of your home where there isn’t much airflow, this can lead to mold growth. This can include poorly ventilated bathrooms and rooms that are shut off and aren’t used often, like storage rooms and guest rooms.

It’s a good idea to make sure that even if you don’t use certain rooms or areas of your home that you still regulate the temperature and airflow in the rooms. Don’t close air ducts and occasionally open the doors to let fresh air circulate through.

If you have a poorly ventilated bathroom, you want to be sure to open keep the door open to allow fresh air to circulate through.

Check Your Ducts and Air Conditioner

If your air conditioning ducts run through a hot attic or crawlspace, water can condensate and leak around the duct joints. You can seal the duct joints with special tape for ducts.

You also want to check your actual air conditioner and blower. You want to make sure the condensation drain pipe is clear to keep water from pooling.

You also want to make sure the cooling coils are clean of dust and debris as dirty coils can spur mold growth quickly.

Call the Experts for Mold Remediation

If you should discover mold growing in your home, it’s important to act fast and call the mold remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

They have all the tools and experience to handle any disaster including mold growth. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.

How Does an Ozone Generator Remove Odors?

2/25/2018 (Permalink)

How Does an Ozone Generator Remove Odors?

First off, you may be wondering, “What is an ozone generator?” An ozone generator is an industrial machine that produces ozone. So now you’re probably asking yourself, “What is ozone?” Many of us may remember learning about the ozone layer in school. The ozone layer is a layer in the Earth’s stratosphere that has trace amounts of ozone.

Up in the stratosphere, the ozone protects us by absorbing most of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth from the sun. While that might sound great, ozone in high concentrations is actually very toxic to humans.

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a colorless, highly reactive, toxic gas with powerful oxidizing properties. It is comprised of three atoms of oxygen rather than the two atoms of oxygen that we breathe. Ozone is naturally occurring as well as man-made. An ozone generator is a man-made way of creating ozone.

So why would we want to create ozone if it is toxic to humans? Because ozone is very good at removing the particles in the air that cause odors. It is the ultimate air purifier which is why it is used by industrial clean up companies like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

How Does Ozone Remove Odors?

Smells from house fires, molds, decaying organic materials, trash, cigarette smoking, and other sources are present as small molecules, particulates, and bacteria that float through the air and attach themselves to carpets, walls, ceilings, furniture, and other surfaces in a home.

Ozone removes the smell and odors by reacting and destroying the offensive smelling particulates, molecules, and bacteria. The ozone chemically reacts with them breaking them down into molecules and particulates and bacteria that don’t smell.

When Should Ozone Be Used?

An ozone generator is recommended for professional-use only, due to the dangers of high concentrations of ozone. Ozone generators and ozone are used to remove odors that seem impossible to remove. They can be used to remove the smell of cigarette smoke from a home that has been heavily smoked in.

They can also be used to remove the smoke odors from homes and businesses that have experienced a fire. Ozone is highly effective at removing odors due to the fact that it can penetrate anything that oxygen and smoke can penetrate. This can include fabric sofas and carpets in a home that has experienced smoke damage.

Due to the toxicity of the ozone gas, ozone generators are only used in spaces that are unoccupied and sealed. This means that if they are used in a home or business, they space usually needs to be evacuated while the ozone generator is in use. That is why it is highly recommended that you rely on professionals who are trained on how to safely operate an ozone generator.

Struggling to Get Rid of Strong Odors in Your Home or Business?

If you have strong odors that you have been battling for months and even years to get rid of, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to get rid of them. They’ll be able to determine the best actions to take including whether an ozone generator is needed.

The experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have helped remediate the odors from fires, flooding, mold damage and other sources for years. They have all the tools and experience to handle any disaster and any smell. Contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.

What To Do After a Home Fire

1/22/2018 (Permalink)

Indianapolis House Fire

While we all hope we never have to suffer through the experience of a house fire, it is important to know what to do if one should happen. Obviously, the first thing you should do is ensure the fire has been extinguished completely.

This can be done by someone in the home if the fire is small and can be put out easily and safely. Or by the fire department if the fire is too big and dangerous to safely extinguish by the homeowner. It’s important to note that it’s always best to call the fire department right as soon as a fire is spotted and to get everyone out of the home quickly and safely.

The Fire is Out. Now What?

While you may be anxious to start cleaning after a fire, you may be doing more damage than good. Normal household cleaners can be ineffective at removing soot and smoke -- and could even make it worse. It’s best to contact fire damage repair and restoration professionals, like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, to get advice on what needs to be done and what not to do.

Fire damage repair and restoration professionals will be able to tell you what can be cleaned, what can be repaired, and what needs to be replaced. They will be able to give you estimates on what services need to be done in order to remove all fire and smoke damage, including smoke odors, from your home.

Airing and Drying Things Out

One of the first things a fire repair company will do is get the smoke and moisture out of the air. This can be done with fans and dehumidifiers. Once the fire is out and you’re allowed to go back inside, you can open some windows near where the fire occurred to help start airing the smoke out of the house.

The other concern is water damage to your carpets and floors. This is usually a result of the fire department extinguishing the fire. If your carpets and floors are wet, it’s important to remove the water and moisture and quickly as possible. If not dried out, carpets and floors can occur further damage from mold and mildew.

Professional fire damage repair companies will usually vacuum out as much water as possible and then use fans and dehumidifiers to dry the carpets and floors out. They may also pull up the carpets to help dry out the padding underneath.

Battling Soot Before It Causes Worse Damage

Soot can be a huge menace to carpets, drapes, and upholstery. It can easily stain fabrics and cause further staining using standard cleaning materials. The soot must be removed before using fabric cleaners. It’s also important to limit traffic across carpet and floors that have soot on it. 

Dealing With Smoke Odor In Fabrics

One of the most difficult things to get out of fabrics and porous materials is the smoke odor. Smoke odor can adhere to carpets, dust in air ducts, drapes, and furniture. Normal household cleaners and detergents usually won’t remove all of the smoke odors. To remove the smoke odors many times require special counteractants that are formulated to break up the smoke molecules in the fabrics and materials.

A professional fire repair company will be able to help with that. They will be able to apply these chemical and/or additive counteractants to carpets, fabrics and other porous materials to break up the smoke molecules. Once they are broken up, then they can be professionally cleaned.

Sometimes ozone treatments are needed to break up the smoke molecules and remove the odors. This is usually done with ozone generators which be dangerous if misused. Ozone treatments are another of many tools and treatments that a fire repair company will be able to help with if needed.

Treating Discolored Walls and Ceilings

Removing soot from walls and ceilings is another difficult task that is best left up to a professional. Professional fire damage repair companies will have the right tools and treatments to remove the soot without causing further damage or stains. Many will use special sponges to remove the soot. Others will use non-water based cleaners to remove the soot. Again when dealing with smoke and soot stains on walls and ceilings it’s best to consult a professional fire damage repair company.

Call the Fire Damage Experts for Fast Cleanup and Restoration

When dealing with fire and smoke damage, it’s always best to leave it to the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to handle the cleanup and restoration. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the expertise and experience to handle home and commercial fire damage.  If you should suffer from a fire, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.

How Does Smoke Damage a Home’s Interior

1/21/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Smoke Damage

While the flames of a house fire can definitely be damaging to a home and can ultimately destroy a home, it is the smoke from a house fire that leads to the most damage in most house fires.

Most house fires are usually extinguished quickly either by the homeowner or the fire department resulting in minimal damage from the flames of a fire. For example, a common house fire that occurs quite often is a kitchen fire. This is usually a result of burning food in the oven or on the stovetop. These fires are usually put out very quickly resulting in minimal damage from the flames but a lot of damage from the smoke.

So how does smoke damage a home’s interior? What are the contents of smoke? How does smoke spread? And how do you remove smoke damage and odor from a home? Below we answer all these questions to help you better understand how smoke from a house fire damages your home’s interior and how to remediate it.

What Is In Smoke?

Smoke is made up of many particulates dependent on the material that is burning. It also contains aerosols and gases. The particulates can include carbon soot, dust, and fibers. The aerosols can include hydrocarbons like oils and tars. Gases in smoke can include carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, and benzene.

When smoke comes into contact with your home’s contents, it can cause discoloration and odor. What you may not know is that the smokes ingredients can also cause further damage and degradation to your home’s contents over time. That’s why it’s important to call fire remediation professionals like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

Smoke Travels Quickly

The other damaging effect of smoke from a house fire is that is can travel far and also permeate many of your home’s contents like electronics, drywall, ceilings, fabric furniture, clothes, and carpets. As noted previously, the contents of the smoke can discolor and cause lasting odors in many of your home’s contents.

If you experience a small fire, it’s best to try to open a nearby window to air out the smoke to reduce the potential damages to your home. If you have a ceiling fan on, air conditioner running, or heater running, you may want to turn them off so the smoke isn’t carried throughout your home.

What To Do If You Experience A Fire?

As you can see, the smoke from a house fire can be particularly damaging to your home’s interior and its contents. Due to the nature of smoke being able to penetrate many of the surfaces and contents of your home, normal cleaning materials may not be fully effective. Residual smoke and soot can lead to lingering odors, discoloration of your walls and ceilings, and degradation of the internals of your electronics. That’s why it’s important to call the fire damage experts at SERVRPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible.

If you should suffer from a house fire, even if it’s a small kitchen fire, contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149. The will clean up and restore the damage as if it never happened.

Commercial Water Damage to Indianapolis Businesses

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage

Water damage to your Indianapolis business can lead to lots of problems. It can ruin electronics like computers or even worse, cause a short which could lead to a fire. Water can also ruin any porous materials including fabric chairs and couches, carpets, drywall, ceilings, insulation and, wood. If not caught right away and remediated, it can also lead to mold growth that can spread quickly through the air ducts and through the air.

If you do experience water damage to your Indianapolis business, then you want to call the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible. When it comes to water damage, the faster you catch it and get it dried up and cleaned up, the better. Even the smallest leak can lead to lots of damage that may be hidden behind ceilings and walls.

Top Causes of Commercial Water Damage & How to Reduce the Risks

Below we will cover the top causes of water damage to Indianapolis businesses. We will also go over how to reduce the risk or at the very least catch the water damage quickly before it gets worse. Hopefully by understanding where water can enter into your building and cause water and mold damage, the better you will be at checking these trouble areas on a regular basis.

Faulty Appliances and Equipment

If your business has appliances and/or equipment that use water, they can develop water leaks that can start small but lead to lots of damage if not caught. These appliances could be dishwashers, sinks, ice machines, water fountains, water heaters, air conditioners, and toilets.

All of these, except for the toilet, tend to leak what is termed clean water. Clean water is water that usually contains no contaminants. While clean water can still cause significant water damage to porous materials, it doesn’t have as high of a risk of fast-growing molds occurring. The water can still mix with contaminants once it starts leaking from the source which usually results in gray water. Gray water can carry bacteria and contaminants that can promote fast mold growth.

To reduce the risk of water leaks from your appliances and equipment, it’s usually a good idea to check all piping, tubes, filters, and other areas that may cause leaking. Also, do a spot check around the appliances and under them for any standing water or water stains.

Leaky and Backed Up Pipes & Drains

Leaks from sewer pipes and backups from drains is also a common cause of water damage to a business. This could be a backed up toilet or a clogged pipes that cause water to back up and escape through the drains. Also common in flood-prone areas is sewer water backing up through floor drains from sewer lines that are at capacity and overflowing.

The water from these sources tends to be gray water or black water. Black water is sewer water that can contain all types of waste particles that may be dangerous to one’s health and can also lead to fast mold growth. This is usually where you will find dangerous black molds occurring. If you experience water damage from black water, it’s important to call the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West as soon as possible. Black water can also be found in severe floods. 

Roof Leaks

A leaking roof is common in homes and businesses throughout Indianapolis. With many businesses, the roof is usually flat. If the drainage for the roof is blocked, water can pool up and cause a roof collapse. Even if the drainage is fine, water can still find its way inside through cracks and damage to the roof membrane, flashing, and damages to seals around pipes and vents.

To reduce the risk of leaks from your roof, it’s a good idea to check the roof every few months for any deteriorating seals or storm damage. If you experience extreme weather like hails or high winds, then you want to check the roof as soon as it is safe to ensure the weather has caused any damages to the roof that may lead to leaks.

Call the Water Damage Experts for Fast Cleanup and Restoration

Sometimes no matter how much care you take to reduce the risk of water damage to your business, it still occurs. If that should happen, it’s important to contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. Whether it’s a small leak or substantial flooding and water damage to your business, the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can make clean up and restore the damage as if it never happened. You can contact SERVPRO of Indianapolis West online or call them at 317-243-3149.

Fire Damage in Your Indianapolis Commercial Building

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Building Fire

Nothing can be more devastating than a fire occurring in a business. Whether it’s an office building, a warehouse, an industrial facility, or a data center; a fire can lead to smoke damage, fire damage, and downtime.

If you do experience a fire to your Indianapolis business, then you want to call the fire remediation experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. They will be able to clean up the fire and smoke damage and make it like it never happened.

Top Causes of Commercial Building Fires

To reduce the risk of fire in your Indianapolis commercial workspace, it’s important to know the top causes of fires and take the appropriate steps to reduce the risk. Below we cover the top causes of fire in commercial and office spaces.

Electrical Fires

Electrical fires are common in office spaces, data centers, and server rooms where faulty electrical equipment, frayed wires, and overloaded plugs can easily cause fires. Hot running equipment like computers and heavy industrial equipment can also easily cause a fire by running too hot.

To prevent electrical fires, you can take several preventive steps. One step is not to overload electrical sockets. While an overloaded power socket could trip your breaker and cut off the power, it could also cause sparks that could catch papers or carpet or other combustible materials on fire.

If you use an extension cord, be sure to check it for any frays or damage. Never use a damaged extension cord as it can cause a short and start a fire. If you are using equipment that can get very hot, make sure they are well ventilated and that they aren’t dusty or dirty. Dust is highly combustible and can easily start a fire if a spark occurs in your equipment.

Flammable & Combustible Materials

Many Indianapolis businesses use flammable liquids and materials in their commercial spaces. It’s important to always store any flammable liquids in their proper storage containers. It’s even more important to make sure they are completely sealed as the vapors are what usually cause a fire.

If flammable liquids and materials aren’t sealed, vapors can build up in the space where they are stored. If a spark from turning on a light or from static occurs, this could not only cause a fire but an explosion.

Train your staff on how to properly store, use, and dispose of any flammable liquids and/or materials. If flammable liquids are spilled, make sure you properly clean them up as well as ventilated the space where they were spilled. Remember that it’s the vapors that are most dangerous.

Human Error

We all make mistakes, unfortunately, some mistakes can cause fires. Improper use of equipment, spilled liquids on electrical equipment, forgetting to turn off heat generating equipment, and mishandling flammable liquids are just a few ways that mistakes by your staff can lead to fires.

While mistakes will be made, you can reduce common ones by training your employees on the dangers of fire in the workplace. Common practices like never leaving food cooking in the microwave or on the stove unattended. Unplugging space heaters before leaving the office. Not placing drinks where they could spill on electronics. And if a fire should occur, it’s important to educate your employees on what to do.

General Negligence

Negligence isn’t the same as human error. Negligence in the workplace is not following proper safety procedures. Negligence can occur throughout your Indianapolis business. Improperly storing and sealing flammable liquids can cause a fire. Storing papers and flammable materials too close to heat generating equipment can cause a fire. Blocking ventilation of electronic equipment like computers can cause them to overheat and start a fire. Not properly disposing of cigarette butts can quickly lead to a fire.

Reducing the chances of fire caused by general negligence, and an understanding of potential risks, teaching your staff to work according to safety procedures can help. If you don’t have standard operating procedures for your work, you may want to create some. Standard operating procedures can include ways to reduce the risks and how to avoid them.

Arson

The last common cause of business fires is arson. While it may seem like arson from vandals seems unpreventable, you can take steps to reduce the chance of it occurring. Make sure your business is properly lit at night to discourage vandals from approaching your business.

If you have areas of the business that are hidden by bushes or trees, you may want to consider trimming them back. Surveillance cameras in areas that have little traffic can help keep trouble at bay.

No Job is Too Big for the Commercial Restoration Experts

Understanding the common causes of fires in business can help you and your employees take steps to reduce the risks. If you should experience a fire in your business, it’s important to immediately call the fire department to extinguish the fire. Once the fire is put out, the next step you need to take is to call the business fire restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the equipment and expertise to handle any smoke, fire, and water damage that may occur from a business fire. They will be able to quickly return your business to full operation so you aren’t losing money to downtime. You can contact them online or call them at 317-243-3149.

Winter Tips to Prevent Water Damage from Frozen Pipes Bursting

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes

With the cold weather upon us, it’s important to take some steps to ensure you don’t experience water damage from pipes freezing and bursting. Below we will cover some common areas where water pipes are prone to freeze and how to prevent that from happening.

Top Locations Where Water Pipes May Freeze

  • Crawlspace
  • Exterior Walls
  • Under Kitchen Sinks
  • Attics
  • Garages
  • Exterior Spigots

How To Prevent Pipes from Freezing & Bursting

  • Insulate Water Pipes

If you have water pipes that run through an uninsulated or under-insulated area like a garage or crawlspace, you can purchase pipe insulation sleeves that slip over the exposed pipes. These black foam sleeves can easily be cut and usually have an adhesive that sticks to the pipe so they don’t slip off.

  • Keep Garage Door Closed

It’s OK to open your garage door to get the car out or for the kids to grab their sleds but never leave it open for extended times. Remind your kids to shut it right away after opening it. It doesn’t take long for the bitter cold to freeze an exposed water pipe in your garage.

  • Open Kitchen & Bathroom Cabinets

During really cold days and nights, you might want to consider opening up the cabinet door under your kitchen sinks and bathroom sinks that are against an exterior wall. Kitchen sink water pipes are one of the most common water pipes to freeze due to the fact that kitchen sinks are usually facing an exterior wall.

  • Keep Thermostat Set Above 55 Degrees

While you obviously won’t have your thermostat set that low while you’re home, many people do set their thermostats that low when away for vacations. If you want to save a little money by turning your thermostat down while you’re away for a week or even the whole winter season, be sure to at least keep it at 55 or above. This will ensure that any water pipes that may be far away from your thermostat will still be warm enough not to freeze.

  • Insulate Crawl Spaces and Attics

Many attics and crawl spaces have very minimal insulation. The insulation that there is in an attic or crawl space is usually there to insulate that area from the rest of your house and not the actual attic or crawl space. If you have water pipes that run through your attic or crawl space, you can insulate the entire area or you could just insulate the water pipes in the area as described above.

  • Shutoff Valves to Exterior Spigots

Many exterior spigots are frost-proof to prevent them from freezing and bursting. If your spigots aren’t frost-proof or you don’t know, you can do one of two things to prevent them and the pipes they’re connected to from freezing and bursting. You can buy a spigot insulator that is usually a piece of styrofoam that covers the spigot or you can cut off the water to the exterior spigots and drain the remaining water in the pipes by opening up your spigots.

What to Do If a Pipe Does Burst

If you happen to have a water pipe burst in your home, the first thing you want to do is turn off the water to your home or to the area where the pipe has burst. The next step is to deal with all the water and water damage. Even a little water can get under carpets and behind walls and lead to more problems like mold.

It’s important to call the water damage restoration experts of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. We will work right away to identify the steps to clean and restore your home while taking steps to prevent any unnecessary further damage from occurring.

If you should suffer water damage at your home, call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149 to start taking the appropriate steps to clean and restore your home as if nothing ever happened.

Top 8 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Fire During the Holidays

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Top Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Fire During the Holidays

While the holidays are usually full of joy and happiness in homes throughout Indiana, they, unfortunately, are also at a higher risk of home fires.

Fires in homes are most common during the holidays and can quickly put on damper on the holiday mood. But there are things that you can do to reduce the risk of a fire happening in your home and causing extensive damage. This season, follow these top tips for a safe and happy holidays:

  1. Keep Your Christmas Tree Watered

    While Christmas tree fires are rare, they can cause extensive damage when they do. If you have a real Christmas tree, be sure to keep it watered the entire time. A dry Christmas tree can be engulfed in flames in less than a minute.
  2. Don’t Leave Candles Burning Unattended

    Tis the season for candles of all kinds, all sizes, all fragrances. If you love the smell of a fragrant burning candle during the holiday season, always be sure to blow it out before leaving the room or going to sleep. Most candle fires happen in the bedroom where the homeowners fall asleep with a burning candle which ignites the curtains or bed sheets or burns downs and ignites the surface it was on. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Also, make sure the candle is far enough away from anything that can catch fire.
  3. Check Holidays Lights for Broken Bulbs and Frayed Wires

    When hanging up the holiday lights, be sure to check the entire strand of lights for broken bulbs and frayed wires before hanging and turning them on. Older lights get much hotter than the newer LED lights, especially the larger ones, so be sure to keep them away from any flammable materials like fabrics or dry Christmas trees.
  4. Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets

    With all the lights to hang, it’s easy to overload your electrical outlets. Most outside electrical outlets are ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets which will cut the power to the outlet if overloaded or there is an electrical short in the lights. If your lights are tripping the outlet, you may either have a frayed wire or a broken bulb or you are overloading the outlet with too many strands of lights. Overloading a non-GFCI outlet inside can lead to an electrical short and fire which is why it’s very important to never overload a single outlet with too many strands of lights.
  5. Keep Pets Away from Holiday Lights and Trees

    If you have cats or dogs that like to climb and chew on things, be sure to keep an eye on them around your Christmas tree and holiday lights. An animal chewing on a wire or breaking a bulb could not only electrocute and kill your beloved pet but also cause a fire. If you do find them chewing on the wires or climbing through the tree, you might want to consider locking them in a safer room or training them not to mess with the tree or lights.
  6. Deep Fry your Turkey with Extreme Care

    If you choose to deep fry your turkey this Thanksgiving or holiday season, do so with extreme care. Make sure the deep fryer is at least 10 feet away from your home and any structure. Make sure the deep fryer is on a flat surface where it won’t tip over easily. Have a fire extinguisher that is approved for grease fires nearby in case a fire does occur.
  7. Never Leave Your Kitchen While Cooking

    Whether you’re baking cookies and holiday treats or preparing for a huge holiday dinner, your kitchen will probably be busy this holiday season. With so much happening in the kitchen during this festive time of the year, it should come as no surprise that kitchen fires are the most common house fire during the holidays. To reduce the risk of a kitchen fire, it’s always a good idea to have someone in the kitchen at all times when baking or cooking. Also, before you start cooking your big holiday meals be sure that you have a working fire extinguisher in your kitchen. When using your stove or cooktop, be sure that any flammable materials, like towels, are not near the hot surfaces.
  8. Test Your Smoke Alarms

    Last but not least, walk test all of your smoke alarms. You want to be sure they are installed on every level of your home. It doesn’t hurt to install an extra one near your Christmas tree if one isn’t there. A smoke alarm can alert you quickly when a fire starts and can mean the difference between a little smoke damage and catastrophic damage.

If a Fire Should Occur, Call the Fire Damage Experts

While we hope this holiday season is a joyous occasion, if you should suffer a home fire or even suffer from smoke damage from a small kitchen fire, call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. The fire damage repair and restoration experts of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the expertise and equipment to quickly clean and restore your home as if nothing ever happened. You can contact them online or call them at 317-243-3149.

Top 10 Tips to Reduce the Risk of Home Fires

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Top 10 Tips to Reduce the Risk of Home Fires

While October is Fire Prevention Month, there are many things you can do every month to reduce the risk of a fire happening in your Indianapolis home. We’ve compiled these top 10 home fire safety tips that you can follow now and throughout the year. If you do, however, suffer a home fire, you can call the fire damage repair and restoration experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

Top 10 Home Fire Safety Tips for your Indianapolis Home

1. Test Your Smoke Alarms Monthly

Hold down the test button and wait a few seconds for the alarm to activate. If it doesn’t activate, replace the batteries. Some of the newer smoke alarms have 10-year lithium batteries. These smoke alarms should be replaced completely every 10-years.

2. Install Smoke Alarms In Every Bedroom

If a fire should start in a bedroom where you are sleeping, you want a smoke alarm to go off as quickly as possible to increase the chance of escaping without harm.

3. Install Smoke Alarms at Every Level

Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home, including the basement. Beyond installing one on every level and in every bedroom, you should also consider installing smoke alarms in areas that are at higher risk of fire. These higher fire risk areas include a laundry room, kitchen and furnace room.  

4. Keep Bedroom Doors Closed when Sleeping

If a fire should start outside your bedroom, you want to lower the risk of smoke inhalation by keeping your door closed while sleeping. By closing your bedroom door, the smoke alarm located nearest to the fire should wake you up before smoke has had a chance to infiltrate your bedroom.

5. Create and Practice Fire Escape Plan

If a fire should start at the bottom of the stairs, how will your family escape from a fire? If a fire is blocking the door, where do you go to escape? It’s important to not only create a fire escape plan but to practice it with your family.

6. Have a Fire Extinguisher in Your Kitchen

If a fire should start on your stove top, how will you put it out? It’s important to have a working fire extinguisher located in your kitchen. It’s best to place the fire extinguisher away from the higher risk fire areas like the oven and stove top.

7. Check and Clean Out Your Dryer Vent Annually

While it may be a pain to remove the dryer vent hose and clean it out, it can greatly reduce the risk of a fire from the accumulated dryer lint in the dryer vent.

8. Make Sure Your Chimney Damper is Open Before Starting Fire

With the cold weather upon us, many homes are lighting up their fireplaces for the first time this season. Before you strike the match or turn the gas on, make sure that your chimney damper is open. Too often, people light their first fire in their fireplace only to see smoke billowing out into their home causing extensive home damage.

9. Keep Candles One Foot Away from Flammable Materials

Candles are romantic. They’re also a common culprit of house fires. If you do light candles in your home, make sure that you keep them at least one foot away from anything that can burn. Also, never leave a room where a candle is burning without extinguishing it first.

10. Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms on Every Level of Home

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can quickly kill you. By simply installing a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, you can greatly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

What to Do If a Fire Should Occur

Even the small of home fires can cause extensive damage to a home. While the flames of a small fire may not cause much damage, the resulting smoke can quickly spread throughout the house causing smoke damage to furniture, clothes, electronics, carpets, and more.

If you should suffer from a house fire, it’s important to call the fire and smoke damage restoration experts of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. We will work right away to identify the steps to clean and restore your home while taking steps to prevent any unnecessary further damage from occurring.

Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149 to start taking the appropriate steps to clean and restore your home.

How Does Mold Grow in Indiana Homes?

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

How Does Mold Grow in Indiana Homes?

Perhaps you are walking through your home and notice a dark spot on your ceiling. Upon closer examination, the area around the spot is soft and it looks like the dark spot is mold. How does mold get into your home and grow? How do you remove mold growth from your home? How can you prevent mold from occurring in your home again? These are just a few of the many questions Indiana homeowners ask when mold is found in their home.

Where Does Mold Growth Most Often Occur in Homes?

Mold growth can occur anywhere in a home. The most common place mold is found, along with mildew, is in the grout between shower and tub tiles. If you don’t wash and clean your shower and tub files, the moisture from the bath and shower can promote growth from mold spores. These most often happen in the grout due to the porous-nature of the grout allowing the mold spores to collect and grow with moisture.

The most common places where you might discover mold growth is around areas of your home where moisture or water may be present. This can include around toilets, sinks, dishwashers, clothes washers, and water pipes throughout your home. The water pipes can spring a small leak or water can condense on the outside of the pipe, gather and drip behind the walls. While mold can be spotted pretty quickly around bathrooms and sinks, mold can be hidden from view for a long time if it’s the result of a leak inside your walls or a small roof leak.

Mold growth that’s hidden usually doesn’t get spotted until it’s spread to a more visible area or in the scenario at the beginning where it’s on the ceiling, will only show once the mold has spread through the drywall on the ceiling causing the visible dark spot on the ceiling.

How Does Mold Get Into Your Home and Grow?

Mold occurs when mold spores mix with moisture. Mold grows best in warm, damp and humid conditions. That is why you’ll find mold most often in bathrooms and damp basements. Mold spores can be found almost anywhere, both indoors and outdoors.

Mold spores can lie dormant in dry conditions for years and years until they are exposed to moisture where they grow. Mold spores are usually harmless in their dormant condition but can cause asthma attacks and allergy problems for certain people if they are inhaled. The best way to prevent mold spores from growing is to keep the humidity down in your home. If you take a shower or bath, turn on the ceiling vent to pull the moisture out of the room. When done, leave the door open to allow the room to air out and the moisture to dissipate.

Can You Remove Mold Spores from a Home?

While a dehumidifier can help reduce humidity in basements and homes, they won’t remove or kill mold spores. Mold spores will continue to float and travel through the air in your home. To remove mold spores from the air, you will want to look at air filters that are capable of trapping or killing these tiny particles. For most people and homes, mold spores are not harmful and won’t be noticed until someone with mold allergies or asthma enters the home. The best advice is to reduce the opportunities for mold spores to cause mold growth by eliminating or reducing moisture and humidity in the home.

How Do You Remove Mold from a Home?

Small amounts of mold on hard surfaces can be normally cleaned with household mold cleaners or a bleach and water mix. This could be mold found around the tile of a shower. If you find mold growing on porous surfaces like walls, ceilings, wood floors, carpets, wood surfaces, and upholstered furniture; it’s best to call mold remediation experts like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. Mold growth on porous surfaces can easily spread and grow not only along the visible surface but below the surface. Mold growth could also be hiding a bigger problem like a roof leak, pipe leak, or condensation on pipes behind walls. A mold remediation expert will remove the damaged materials, pinpoint the origin and cause of the growth, and remove the cause of the moisture or high humidity.

If you discover mold growing in your home, call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West today at 317-243-3149 to learn how to stop it and reduce any further damage from occurring.

Water Damage Restoration Service Professionals in Indianapolis

9/23/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration Professionals

If you are looking for professionals who have the knowledge and expertise to restore your home and property after it has suffered water damage, then you 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 or a leaky roof or a toilet or tub that has overflowed, 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 the winter months, 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, there are many ways water can get into your home and damage it. While one may think that drinking water or rainwater isn’t as damaging as sewer water or black water, that’s not really the case.

Will Clean Water Damage My Home?

While sewer water or blackwater as is it 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 air and dust can also lead to mold growth. The dangers in clean water leading to mold growth are that clean water can easily go unseen in a home due to the lack of odor when compared to black water.

Clean water or gray water which is rainwater, can leak into a home’s attic or walls or crawl spaces and linger without being spotted. This water can then 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. By that time, the damage caused by the mold can be quite 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, the ceilings and around windows. If you have a basement or crawlspace, check it for any water entering into 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 quicker you can call water damage restoration experts like those 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 as if nothing ever happened. Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West today at 317-243-3149 to learn how we can help with fire, smoke, water and mold damage.

How to Clean Smoke Damage on Walls and Ceilings from Your Indianapolis Home

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

How to Clean Smoke Damage on Walls and Ceilings from Your Indianapolis Home

Cleaning smoke stains off walls and ceilings can be a difficult task. Even if the fire was minor like a cooking fire, the smoke can quickly discolor your ceilings and walls. Since smoke rises, the smoke usually damages your ceilings first as the smoke spreads across the ceiling leaving smoke residue. While smoke can usually be cleaned easily off metal and smooth surfaces like counters and ovens, ceilings and walls are not so easy to clean.

The Difficulty of Cleaning Smoke from Walls and Ceilings

The problem with smoke damage on walls and ceilings is that they are not completely smooth and usually quite porous. This means that smoke can penetrate the walls and ceiling making the removal and cleanup very difficult with standard cleaning supplies. With ceilings, many homes have textured ceilings like popcorn ceilings which make the cleaning even more difficult. Even if your ceilings are completely smooth and painted with glossy paint, cleaning them can be awkward leaving you with sore arms and a sore back before you’re halfway through cleaning them.

Smoke Spreads Quickly Through a Home

Even with a little great fire on your stove top, the smoke from the fire can spread quickly throughout your home beyond the kitchen walls and ceiling. If your central air conditioner or heat is running, the smoke can spread through the vents causing smoke damage in other rooms. The smoke residue can stick to the air ducts constantly reminding you of the fire every time your air conditioner or heater turns on.

The worst outcome is when smoke spreads to your furniture, drapes, clothes, carpets and other cloth items in your home. Getting smoke out of cloth fabrics can sometimes be as easy as washing them but most often require further commercial grade cleaning and deodorizing. Smoke can also penetrate electronics and appliances. With electronics, you can’t use any household cleaners or sponges as they will further damage the electronics. So what is one to do if you suffer smoke damage in your Indianapolis home?

How to Clean and Remove Smoke Damage from Your Home

Whether your home suffered extensive fire and smoke damage or just minor, the best thing to do is call professional fire damage restoration experts like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. Using household cleaners won’t usually work and sometimes can make the damage and stains even worse. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, they have the experience, expertise, commercial grade cleaners and tools to properly and effectively remove any fire or smoke damage and restore your home as if nothing ever happened. Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West today at 317-243-3149 to learn how we can help with fire, smoke, water and mold damage.

Who To Call After a Disaster Strikes Your Indianapolis Commercial Facility

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

"Time is money” is especially true when confronted with the reality that your business is under assault and being destroyed by storm damage.

When a storm or water disaster strikes a commercial facility in Indianapolis, the concerns of the business owner are very different from that of a home owner. The old saying “time is money” is especially true when confronted with the reality that your business is under assault and being destroyed by storm damage. Fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, or broken water mains can cause serious damage to your Indianapolis commercial facility. The reality that your business is slipping away can be overwhelming. When your livelihood is directly threatened by a storm disaster, call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

When Water Damage Happens To Your Business...

Fortunately, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is the only name you need to know when water disasters happen. Our experts will use their years of experience to create a fast and comprehensive plan to help you get back to business as soon as possible.

We create a full estimate for all mitigation and repairs then keep you involved with timely updates throughout the restoration process. SERVPRO is a preferred service provider with most insurance companies in Central Indiana and we can work directly with them from start to finish. We understand that saving your property and reopening your business as quickly and safely as possible is especially important when you have a business to run and your employees count on you for their livelihood.  

Help Is Just a Call Away When a Storm Disaster Occurs In Indianapolis

When facing a storm disaster, action must be taken now; call SERVPRO’s Disaster Response Team immediately, no matter what time of day or night. We have a live person to answer your call 24/7. Our emergency response dispatch will send highly trained and Certified Restoration Technicians to save the day. Just make one phone call to start the process of getting back into business.

SERVPRO of Indianapolis West 317-243-3149.

Time Is Money... Secure Your Structure From Secondary Damage

The longer a facility sits with water or fire damage, the more time and money it takes to be fully restored. One critical action to help minimize secondary damage is to make sure that the structure is properly secured from top to bottom. If needed, we can set up temporary fencing and board up exterior walls, entry-doors and tarp rooftops for full security to prevent further damage from the outside elements.  

No Disaster Job In Indianapolis is Too Big For Us

For extreme disasters that require more manpower and equipment, we have a nationwide network of SERVPRO franchises to call on. We’ll be the first to arrive onsite and we can call our Disaster Recovery Teams to ramp up to fit any size disaster. We’ll get you reopened as fast and as safely as possible with the peace of mind that saving your business is our only business.

There's never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises with your Indianapolis business, give us a call and we'll be there fast with the help you need.

Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we’re faster to any size disaster.  

317-243-3149 or email us directly at SERVPRO9518@ATT.NET .

How to Clean Water Stains From Ceiling?

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

How to Remove Water Stains from a Ceiling

Have you noticed water spots appearing on your ceiling? Perhaps you were laying down on the couch and noticed a small discolored spot on the ceiling above you. Maybe you were trying to grab that dish off the top of your cabinets and suddenly noticed a water spot. Or maybe you’re checking the ceiling above you right now and notice some discoloration. So now that you see it, how do you get rid of it?

You Can’t Paint Over A Bigger Problem

You could paint over the spot and hope it doesn’t show through and perhaps you already have. The problem is you’re only covering up a bigger problem that lurks beneath the ugly water spot on your ceiling. If water has penetrated your ceiling to create a water spot, then the water most likely has also penetrated the insulation, the roof, and any framing around the water spot. Even if you stop the leak from outside your home and cover the water spot on your ceiling, you still have to deal with the water damage between those two spots in your home.

Why Can’t I Just Fix The Leak And Paint Over the Water Stain?

Water that leaks in from your roof isn’t clean water. While it may not be black water like you see from a sewer, it can contain organic materials that can easily promote mold growth. Even if it was clean water, mold could still result as mold spores only need moisture to grow. By stopping the leak and painting over the water spot on your ceiling, you still have the risk of mold growing above the ceiling in the insulation, framing, and roofing. This mold can then spread throughout your attic and get into your air ducts and rooms causing damage to your home and health.

What To Do If You Find A Water Stain on Your Ceiling


A water stain or spot on your ceiling could mean you have a leak on your roof. It could also be caused by a leaky pipe or condensation dripping from a pipe above your ceiling. If you find a water stain or worse, black mold, on your ceiling, call the water damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149. From fire to flooding to water damage to storm damage and everything in between, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the experience, equipment, and expertise to make it "Like it never even happened."

Top Hidden Places Where Mold May Grow In Your Indiana Home

7/27/2017 (Permalink)

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. It’s these hidden areas that can lead to further damage from mold which is why it’s important to check them on a regular basis for any signs of moisture or condensation. In no particular order, here are the top places where mold can grow in a home:

  1. 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 up. A crawl space also need adequate ventilation to allow any moisture 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 home.

  1. Basements

Basements are similar to crawl spaces but the fact that they are open and exposed to the rest of the house, can result in mold spreading 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 the high possibility of it occurring. Due to the fact that many basements are furnished and carpeted, there are more areas in a basement that are perceptible to mold growth when compared to a crawl space.

  1. Bathrooms

A good ventilation fan is important in a bathroom not for the odor issues but the 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.

  1. Under the Refrigerator

Some refrigerators have drip pans where water can collect. If dust or debris get 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 as well as keep it clean by sweeping and vacuuming on a regular basis.

  1. 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, it’s important to keep the areas clean and check underneath them often.



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. As stated above, it’s important to keep your home clean of dust by sweeping and vacuuming on a regular basis. While dust doesn’t necessarily cause mold to grow, dust along with 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 problems around sinks, appliances, and air conditioning units. If you have a musty basement, ensure that your sump pump is operating properly. You may also want to consider a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air. If you have water that is 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 mold 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 quickly treat and remediate mold in your home or business.

SERVPRO Storm Restoration Services in Indianapolis

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

Storms are relentlessly destructive to houses, property, and the contents within!

Indianapolis has a reputation for its ”mild” climate, but those of us who live here know better! We Hoosiers know the pollen count is insanely high, and if it’s not hot, sticky, and muggy, then the Tornado Warning sirens are blaring. If we’re not seeking shelter from the twisters, we’re dodging hail rocks. And then there are the extra wet days, a few times every summer, when the hard, steady rain pours down like it will never stop.

Hail, tornado, and rain, mixed with our “Hoosier humidity,” means storms are relentlessly destructive to houses, property, and the contents within! Summer storms in Indianapolis can be devastating, and assessing the aftermath may leave you feeling helpless.

Fortunately, our experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West are focused on restoring and repairing your property and contents rather than just replacing them. We understand the importance of personal belongings and can restore damaged items some would write off as ruined. SERVPRO can work with you and your insurance company to return your home to its preloss condition, and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Water damage from storms / sump pump failure / roof and window leaks.

Our industry-leading water restoration techniques are second-to-none. Whether it’s a flooding emergency from a failed sump pump or a leaking roof or window, our crews can track the source of water and dry your home. We document the drying process using moisture detection equipment to ensure your property is completely dried. Sometimes water problems are in areas hidden from view, like in a crawlspace or attic. SERVPRO’s storm damage experts can find these water problems before they cause serious damage.

Mold mitigation.

Strong summertime storms here in Central Indiana usher in heavy rains that may enter your home. If left untreated you can experience secondary damage, such as mold. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West follows strict guidelines and industry protocol when mitigating mold. We isolate the affected area using physical barriers and a negative air pressure chamber for proper remediation. Mold must be taken very seriously; it poses health risks, especially to those with asthma and low immune systems. It’s important to address any flooding issues as quickly as possible, because mold can begin to grow within 48-72 hours.

Restoration of heirloom / memorabilia / sentimental pieces.

Using advanced drying techniques, we can restore your home and help save your precious possessions such as: important papers, photo collections, books, certificates, electronics, and other fragile / delicate valuables.

Property damage / power lines and who to call.

ALWAYS stay away from power lines. Call your local utility company or 911 if you see any downed power lines. If you receive heavy storm damage from high winds or a tornado, your home may not be safe. Always remember, SAFETY FIRST, and let the authorities clear your property of any potential hazards before going back inside.

So when storm damage strikes, don’t despair! Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at their emergency 24/7 phone # at 317-243-3149 where a live person is always there to take your call and schedule a FREE in-home consultation. We’re a preferred vendor with most Central Indiana insurance companies. And our 1-4-8 Emergency Service guarantees: 1) within one hour of contact, we're on the phone to arrange services. 4) within four hours, we're on site to begin mitigation services. 8) within eight hours, we'll have a prepared statement and a plan of action outlined for you and your insurance company. You can also email us directly at SERVPRO9518@ATT.NET .

Don’t leave your storm repair to just anyone. Trust the nationwide leader in storm cleanup at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

Need Flood Cleanup & Water Damage Restoration Services In Indianapolis Area?

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Need Flood Cleanup & Water Damage Restoration Services In Indianapolis Area?

With the recent rash of heavy rains and violent storms throughout Indiana, many homes have suffered from flood and/or water damage. Not only are the rivers, like the White River flowing through central Indiana, rising and breaching their banks but the extensive rain has saturated the grounds. As a result, homes where flooding is usually not a problem, are experiencing flooded basements and water damage.

Fortunately, the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can help dry out, clean and restore your water damaged home or business. SERVPRO has the equipment and the experience to restore water damage of all sizes. Whether you have water seeping in from your basement walls or river water rising and flowing through your home, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West can help remove the water, dry out the damaged areas, and restore the damage as if nothing ever happened.

What You Should Do If You Experience Flooding in Your Home or Business

If the nearby river or stream is rising and threatening to flood your home or business, call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. They will be able to assist in reducing the damage caused by the flood waters. If you wait until the flood waters have had time to flow through and saturate the interior of your home, you could be facing, even more, damage from mold. Mold can grow within 24 hours after gray water or black water from flooding has entered your home or business. By reacting quickly and calling SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately, the mold can be prevented or at the very least minimized before it has caused too much damage.

Flood Damage Cleanup and Restoration in Indianapolis, Indiana

If you should experience flood damage or storm damage to your Indianapolis-area home or business, call the water damage cleanup and restoration 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 quickly cleanup, repair, and remediate damage from fire, water, mold,  and storms to home and businesses around central Indiana.




Top Ways Severe Storms Damage Indiana Homes & Businesses

6/25/2017 (Permalink)

Severe Storms Can Easily Damage Indiana Homes and Businesses in Many Ways

Severe storms are as common as corn in Indiana, especially during the spring and summer time. While they are usually short lived and tend to blow through rather quickly, storms can leave a path of destruction for businesses and homes in Indiana. The worst part about severe storms is they have many ways to cause storm damage in Indiana with very little ways to prevent it.

Damage from Heavy Winds

The summer time seems to be the most popular for storms with heavy winds. They usually run in a vertical line and rip across the state from the west to the east. While they blow through quickly, their winds can reach up to 70+ mph. These damaging winds can tear shingles off roofs, rip trees out of the ground, pull siding off of homes, and blow large debris through windows. Once they tear or blast a hole into a home or business, the rains can come inside and cause further damage.

Damage from Large Hail

Golf ball-sized, baseball-size, softball-sized...there are many ways to describe the size of the hale and unfortunately, they are all quite destructive. Hailstorms tend to cause the most damage to cars and roofs. It’s not surprising to see dozens of roofing companies out installing new shingles after a large hailstorm. Hail usually doesn’t cause further damage besides dents in cars and damaged shingles but the larger hailstorms can break glass windows and doors and tear up roofs enough to cause water to leak inside.

Damage from Lightning Strikes

Lightning strikes can be very scary and deadly. While you should be safe if you are inside when there is a lightning storm, the lightning can damage your home in a couple different ways. The main damage lightning causes homes and businesses are starting fires. Lightning can cause an electrical fire by striking and running through all of your home's wires. It can also ignite wood whether it be a tree beside your home or the home itself. Lightning can also hit large trees and cause them to fall. Trees falling on homes and tearing holes through roofs and sometimes destroying an entire side of a home are where lightning can cause the most damage.

Damage from Heavy Rains

As the storms roll through your area, they can release a lot of water in a quick amount of time. This quick accumulation of rain can cause flash flooding and overwhelm sump pumps. Flooded basements or water seeping through the basement walls is a common occurrence that we have all either experienced or known someone that has experienced this terrible event. With storms causing water damage inside homes and businesses, it’s important to act quickly to get the water removed and the affected areas dried out. It only takes a day before storm water can cause even more damage by promoting mold to grow in the damp areas. Mold can grow in the carpets, drywall, wood framing, furniture, and insulation. It can turn a bad situation into a much worse situation requiring mold remediation.

Damage from Tornadoes

When it comes to storm damage in Indiana, tornadoes can be the most destructive. A direct hit from a tornado can tear off roofs, blow out windows, hurl large debris through exterior walls, and at their worse, they can completely level a home or business. With an indirect hit, businesses and home can experience broken windows and damage to roofs. All of this damage from a tornado can lead to more damage from rains entering the home or building which can then lead to mold growth.

Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration in Indianapolis, Indiana

If you should experience storm damage to your Indianapolis-area home or business, contact the storm damage cleanup and restoration 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 quickly cleanup, repair, and remediate damage from fire, water, mold,  and storms to home and businesses around central Indiana.

No Job Is Too Big - Commercial Restoration, Remediation & Cleaning Services

6/18/2017 (Permalink)

No job is too big for SERVPRO of Indianapolis West.

Whether your business is a small retail store or a multi-building campus of buildings, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the expertise and the equipment to handle any fire, water, or mold emergency in central Indiana.

Commercial Water Damage

Water damage can happen in many ways. In apartment complexes, there could be an overflowing bathtub or toilet that causes damage in the complex. A frozen pipe in a warehouse could burst and cause extensive damage. A burst pipe or a leaking roof in a manufacturing plant can shut down the production line causing huge losses. When any of these events happens, it’s important to call water damage professionals immediately in order to alleviate the damage. When hiring a water damage cleanup company, it’s important to make sure they have the expertise and equipment to such a large job.

Commercial Fire Damage

Even the smallest of fires can result in extensive damage to a building. While the fire itself can be isolated and extinguished quickly, the culprit of most damage after a fire is the smoke. Smoke can get into the duct work and quickly spread throughout the building. With fire and smoke damage, it’s important to hire fire restoration professionals that can quickly restore your business, your warehouse, your facility, or your residential complex.

Commercial Mold Remediation

Mold is the result of a moisture problem that has usually been neglected. This can be the result of a leaky pipe that is hidden behind a wall or in a ceiling. Mold can also grow quickly when there has been water damage from the contaminated water like a broken sewer pipe or flooding from a nearby river or stream. Contaminated water, also known as gray water or black water, can quickly promote mold growth in less than 24 hours. If not treated, it can quickly grow and cause not only property damage but potential health risks among inhabitants.

Commercial Storm Damage Cleanup

Storms can cause all types of damage to a building. They can cause flooding from rising rivers. They cause water leaks from damaged roofs. They can cause fires from lightning strikes. Tornadoes and high winds can break windows, tear down walls, rip off roofs, and in the worst cases they can level the entire building. A professional fire and water restoration company has the equipment, experience, and knowledge to handle any type of storm damage.

Damage to a business can come in many forms. From fire to flooding to water damage to storm damage and everything in between, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the experience, equipment, and expertise to make it like it never happened. Whether you have a small store or a multi-building complex, call the commercial restoration, remediation, and cleaning experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149.

Can Mold Grow In Air Ducts? Can It Make You Sick?

6/17/2017 (Permalink)

Can mold grow in your heating and cooling ducts?

Air ducts can hide mold and dust that can make you and your family sick. If you’ve never had your air ducts cleaned, then you may want to have them cleaned. If you are changing the furnace filter often due to the filters getting dirty and clogged, then you will probably want to get the air ducts cleaned professionally. If your ducts have a musty odor smell to them, then you may have mold growth that you will want to get treated right away.

The EPA actually recommends that you check the air ducts prior to the heating season for excessive dust to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. Another symptom of dirty air ducts is household allergies or unexplained illnesses. In the end, if you have lived in your home for many years, the air ducts have probably accumulated dust and debris over time. The furnace filters will only be able to collect so much of the dust.

Once you have a  professional clean your air ducts, you should follow some simple steps to keep the ducts cleaner over time. You should use the highest efficiency filters to collect the most dust and debris. You should also change the air filters on a regular basis to keep them from getting clogged and inefficient.

If you have construction going on in your home where there is a lot of dust, seal off any return registers near the area to keep the ducts from getting contaminated and dirty. Also, cleaning and vacuuming your home on a regular basis can help keep the dust out of the air and out of your air ducts.

If the air ducts in your home are dirty, smell musty, or are causing allergies in your household, call the mold and cleaning experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications that allow us to remediate any mold that may be growing in your air ducts.

How To Get Smoke Odor Out of Fabric

5/17/2017 (Permalink)

How to get smoke out of fabric.

If you suffered a fire in your home, then there’s a good chance that some of your fabric furniture smells like smoke. With harder, nonporous surfaces, you can usually remove the smoke odors with cleaning solutions. You’ll find removing smoke odors much more difficult when dealing with more porous surfaces like fabric couches, clothes, and rugs. So how does one remove smoke odors from porous surfaces like fabric furniture?

The Baking Soda Method

Using baking soda to eliminate smoke odors seems to be a popular method. The idea is to sprinkle baking soda onto the surface and the baking soda will absorb the odors. While this may work with surface odors, this doesn’t work well to get deep-seated smoke odors out of the foam cushions of sofas and the carpet pads under carpets.

Airing It Out

Another popular remedy to get the smoke out is to set the furniture or rug out in the fresh air. While this may work for a rug or thin fabric, it most likely won’t help with sofas and fabric furniture. Also due to the chemical nature of smoke, airing it out won’t cause the smoke particles to break down and the smoke odor to go away.

The Best Way to Remove Smoke Odor

If you are looking for the best and only way to remove smoke odor from fabrics and porous surfaces, then you will want to call a professional fire and mold remediation company like SERVPRO Indianapolis West. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have a machine called an ozone generator. An ozone generator creates ozone which is able to permeate porous surfaces and oxidize the substances that are causing the odor. An ozone generator creates a high level of ozone which is dangerous to humans which are why they are only used by professionals in unoccupied spaces like a sealed room or an empty house.

If you should suffer a house fire or have smoke or cigarette odors that you want to remove from your furniture or home, call the fire cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149 for 24-hour emergency service. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to its pre-fire condition.

Heavy rains in Indianapolis brings many flooded basements.

5/4/2017 (Permalink)

Way too much water in my house.

With all this rain recently in Indianapolis, sump pumps are being overworked and overwhelmed. Some pumps seem to be working properly, but still allows water to backup in the basement or crawlspace.

If you have standing water (flooding) in your basement, disconnect the main electrical switch or call your local fire department to do it for you! If you are in doubt about the electrical safety of your basement, it's best to stay out of it! Remember safety first!

Call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West and our certified Water Restoration Technicians will make it "Like it never even happened."

The water removal and water cleanup process is completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process. This validates that your property has been dried properly and thoroughly.

We're routinely called to homes and business all across Indianapolis to cleanup after a flood has happened. We feel like we've seen just about everything and can handle any Fire-Water Restoration job that comes our way. That's why when Indianapolis experiences heavy rains like we're currently having, we have the training to return your home to it's preloss condition.

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.

Finding Mold In Your Indiana Home

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Moisture problems can lead to mold problems.

With all the rain lately, you may have discovered mold growing in or around your home. Mold is a sign of a moisture problem that needs to be addressed to prevent mold from growing in the future. The mold itself can be especially dangerous to your health and should be removed and treated by mold remediation professionals.

Moisture Is Molds Friend

Mold happens as a result of excessive moisture. While mold out in the woods is perfectly fine, mold in your home is not a good thing. Moisture in your home can happen as a result of a leaky pipe, cracks in the foundation, cracks around your door or windows, poorly ventilated bathroom, and a damp basement or crawlspace to name a few. Due to all the rain in Spring is when most homeowners discover moisture problems. It’s important to address the moisture problems quickly, otherwise, mold can start to grow causing even further damage to your home.

Address the Moisture Problem

If your bathroom or basement or crawl space smell musty, then you probably have a moisture problem. While a dehumidifier may remove some moisture from a basement, you really want to identify what is causing the excessive moisture and fix the root of the problem. Moisture in a basement and crawl space can be caused by poor drainage from your home’s perimeter. It can also be caused by cracks in your foundation, leaky pipes, or condensation from poorly insulated pipes.

Moisture in a bathroom is usually caused by poor ventilation. After taking a shower, it is recommended to open the bathroom door to allow the excessive moisture to escape and air out of the bathroom. You may also want to make sure the exhaust fan is working properly and running when taking a shower.

By addressing the moisture problem and preventing it, you can greatly reduce the risk of mold from growing in your home in the future. Even if you don’t spot any mold around a moisture problem, it is still a good idea to have mold remediation professionals, like SERVPRO, examine your home for mold spores.

Mold Remediation

If you spot mold in your home, it is highly recommended to call SERVPRO of Indianapolis West mold experts. Our professionals will inspect, assess, and remediate your mold problem. The first step in mold remediation is fixing the moisture problem as mentioned earlier. The next step is to contain the mold and keep it from growing further. Once the mold is contained, it is removed along with the mold-infested materials like drywall and insulation.

It’s important to note that mold spores are microscopic and naturally occurring inside and outside a home. Mold spores are not dangerous and cannot be removed completely.  However, when mold spores are exposed to moisture they can quickly grow into mold colonies which can cause lots of health problems. When this happens, you should call mold remediation pros like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to remediate the mold problem.


If you should spot mold in your home, call the mold remediation experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149 for 24-hour emergency service. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to its pre-mold condition.

How to Clean Up After A Fire

4/16/2017 (Permalink)

House Fire in Indianapolis

Unlike a broken pipe or a flooded basement, a fire in a home presents a unique and challenging situation when faced with restoring a home to its preloss condition. When a fire happens in a home, not only do you have the fire causing damage but there's also smoke and often times water damage from the fire department. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have a proven fire damage restoration process that we follow to ensure every fire no matter its size, is handled quickly and professionally in order to return things at home back to normal as fast as possible.

Time is of the Utmost Importance

Once the fire has been put out, it’s important 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. We are ready to take your call and take action no matter the time of day or night. Sometimes the fire department needs 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 you we can properly secure the structure even in the middle of the night. Call us at 317-243-3149 and we'll help you and your family get back the life you had before the flames took over.

A Close Examination of the Fire

Examining the damage a fire has caused to a home requires experience and discipline. With a fire, you have smoke and soot that can easily move from the source of the fire to the rest of the home. It can travel through doorways, stairwells, and the duct work. It can also get into every little crack and crevice in your home from outlets, sockets, lights, and behind, under and on top of every piece of furniture and appliance.

When our fire restoration experts first arrive at your home, they will start from the source of the fire and examine every inch of your home as they fan out away from the source. If the air conditioner or heater were running during the fire, this can quickly cause the smoke and soot to be carried throughout the home. Our experts will know what to look for from years of experience in order to layout a plan of action to ensure every piece of evidence that a fire has occurred is completely gone.

Protect Against the Elements

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.

The Water Has Got to Go

If the fire department was called to the fire and they had to use their trucks or hydrants to put out the fire, then you will be dealing with a lot of water damage. To keep the water from stagnating and causing mold in your home, our experts will extract the water from your home, treat any damp areas to prevent mold from growing, and employ industrial drying fans and dehumidifiers to remove all the moisture from inside your home. This step is crucial as black mold can quickly grow in situations like this causing even further damage to your home as well as being a health hazard.

Getting the Smoke and Soot Out

The next step that is taken is to clean up all the surface areas of the home that have smoke and soot damage. At SERVPRO Indianapolis West, we use special equipment and solutions to remove even the most stubborn of smoke and soot. We are highly trained to recognize smoke migration patterns and identifying the proper cleaning process to best fit each and every individual case. The smoke and soot damage can easily spread along the ceiling and through the duct work. You don’t realize how much surface area there is in your home until you have to clean every inch of it due to smoke and soot damage.

Cleaning Up the Small Stuff

Take a look around the room you are in now. Every single item that you see would most likely have to been professionally cleaned and sanitized to remove any signs that a fire happened nearby. With upholstery and fabrics, the smoke odor can sometimes be removed with special equipment that creates a gas that is able to break down the smoke molecules and remove the odors. This usually requires us taking the furniture to our facility where we can safely do this. For other items like wood furniture and other solid surfaces, we can usually scrub these down and sanitize them. For electronics, due to the many circuit boards and wires inside them, they are very sensitive to high heat and soot residue and can sometimes be difficult to fully restore.

Finishing Touches

If the fire caused any damage to floors, ceilings or walls that we couldn’t clean up or restore then our experts will replace them. This can be anything from drywall to carpets to cabinets to new flooring or ceilings. Our mission is to restore your home as if nothing ever even happened. A home fire is something we hope no one ever has to experience but if they do, then we will make it "Like it never even happened."

If you should suffer a house fire, call the fire cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149 for 24-hour emergency service. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to its preloss condition.

Spring Showers Bring Potential Water Damage

4/1/2017 (Permalink)

Spring Showers Bring Storm Damage and Water Damage to Homes

While many of us look forward to the changing season of Spring with the warmer weather and the trees and flowers starting to bloom, there is one part that isn’t so great. Springtime always seems to bring plenty of rain and plenty of rain always brings a higher risk of water damage to your home.

Roof Leaks

With the increased showers as well as high winds, roof damage can happen or be revealed as water seeps through your roof and damages your ceilings and walls. To reduce the risk of roof leaks, you should inspect your roof for any damages from the winter and inspect it after every major storm.

The most common cause of roof leaks is a damaged or missing shingle from storms or fallen branches. If you do experience water damage inside your home from the ceiling or wall, you will want to contact a professional from SERVPRO to inspect the damage, remove the water, an remediate the damage. 

Window & Door Leaks

Another common source of water damage is from old or damaged windows. Water especially from a huge storm can blow into cracks and crevices around your window causing water damage that may not be discovered quickly allowing mold to develop and cause further damage.

Make sure to inspect around your windows and doors for cracks or old caulking that has peeled or cracked off. You can usually caulk any small cracks or crevices to ensure water doesn’t seep into your home causing damage.

Broken Sump Pump

If you have a basement, you understand the importance of a sump pump. Without one water can seep into your basement and cause lots of damage. One of the most common causes of a flooded basement is a sump pump that stopped working.

To prevent this from happening, you can do three things. You can get a backup battery for your sump in case the power goes out. You can get a backup sump pump that is usually set to come on if the water rises above the normal level for your working sump pump. So if your working sump pump either stops working or can’t pump the water out fast enough, you backup will kick in.

The last thing you can do is install a water sensor alarm on the floor near the sump pump. While you may still have some water damage, at least you will be able to catch it fast and have a SERVPRO professional come out to pump out the water and dry out your basement.

Foundation Cracks

If the foundation around the base of your home and the basement walls cracks, water can seep into the basement or crawl space. A sump pump won’t help you since the water is seeping through the walls as opposed to being channeled to the sump pump.

Usually people discover foundation cracks after a big storm or when a gutter is clogged and the water is falling right by your house. Repairing foundation cracks can be a very expensive job depending on the situation but without the repair, there is no way to prevent the water leaking into your basement or crawlspace.

It never hurts to walk around the perimeter of your home checking for any potential foundation cracks as well as checking any bare walls in your basement and/or crawlspace.




Call the Pros of SERVPRO for Water Damage This Spring

If you should suffer water damage whether from Spring weather or a cracked pipe or an overflowing bathtub or toilet, call the water damage cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149 for 24-hour emergency service. You can also click here to contact us online.

At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to its pre-water damage condition.

Tips to Reduce Risk of Fire in Your Indianapolis Home

10/16/2016 (Permalink)

Reduce Risk of Fire In Your Indianapolis Home

October is recognized as Fire Prevention Month. As part of Fire Prevention Month, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West would like to offer helpful tips to reduce fire risk at your home.

Home Fire Statistics

According to fire experts, families has as little as 2 minutes to escape a house fire while most families mistakenly believe that have at least 5 minutes or more to escape a house fire. That is why it is so important to exit the house quickly once a fire has been realized.

Only 69% of parents believe their children know what to do or how to escape if a house fire occurs. Less than half of all parents with young children have talked to their families about fire safety and over 70% have not identified a safe place to meet outside the home in case of a fire. Over 80% of families have never practiced home fire drills.

As you can see, the statistics are alarming but by taking a little time this month, more families can be prepared in case of a house fire. By talking with your kids about fire safety, where to meet in case of a fire, and how to escape when a fire occurs; you can greatly increase the chances of surviving a fire.

Home Fire Safety Checklist

1. Create an Escape Plan & Practice


Work with your family to create an escape plan in case of a fire. Practice your escape plan with your children. Also, plan alternative escape plans in case the fire is blocking an escape. Be sure to practice a fire drill with your family and check your escape time.

2. Check Smoke Alarms


Take a few minutes to test all of your fire alarms. Make sure they all are properly working and have batteries. Most smoke alarms have a test button that you can depress to test if it works properly. Also, if you have carbon monoxide detectors, be sure to check them too. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms every year unless they are a long-life battery. It's also a good idea to test the alarms once a month.

3. Check Fireplaces, Space Heaters, and Baseboard Heaters

With the colder months approaching, you'll most likely be using your fireplace or heaters to warm your home. If you use space heaters, make sure to place them away from anything that could be flammable like curtains, blankets or furniture. This goes for fireplaces and baseboard heaters too. Experts say that a heat source should be at least 3 feet away from the heat source.

4. Be Safe in the Kitchen

Kitchen fires are one of the most common fires in homes. To reduce the risk of fire, never leave anything cooking or baking unsupervised. When frying, grilling or cooking on an open flame, keep dish rags and other flammable materials away from the burners. If you are cooking with oil, be careful not to splash or spill the oil near the burners as it can quickly flame up. It's also advisable to have a working fire extinguisher located in your kitchen in case of a small fire.

5. Be Smart and Be Prepared

By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of fire in your family's home. If a fire does occur, you can greatly increase the risk that your whole family escapes safely by planning an escape and practicing fire drills on a regular basis. This October during Fire Prevention Month, ensure your home and family are safe and are prepared in case of a house fire.


If you should suffer a house fire, call the fire cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West at 317-243-3149 for 24-hour emergency service. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to its pre-fire condition.

Sometimes Water Damage Can't Be Prevented

9/11/2016 (Permalink)

Water damage to Indianapolis homes can happen anytime.

The new iPhone 7 may be waterproof but just like a home, water can find a way into it. With flooding, cracked pipes, a leaky roof, or a broken sump pump; water can find a way into your home and damage it. And hopefully just as you have insurance for your mobile phone, you also have insurance for your home.

If your home does happen to suffer from water damage, you can trust the experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to clean up the damage before more has occurred. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have the knowledge and experience to handle all types of water damage. Whether it is from a flood, a backed up sewer, a roof leak, or a frozen pipe that has burst; we have the specialized equipment and professional-grade products to quickly remove the water from your home. Once the water is removed, we'll then focus on completely drying out any remaining water and moisture in the damaged areas. We'll also remove and treat any areas that may promote mold growth.

The Hidden Danger of Water Damage

While unwanted water in a home can certainly cause damage to drywall, wood floors, furniture, clothes, and other porous materials; it's the mold growth that the water promotes that can cause the most damage. Not only can mold cause substantial damage to one's home but also to one's health. That is why it is imperative to seek water and mold remediation professionals immediately after water damage has occurred. Water and mold remediation professionals, like those at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, will work quickly to remove all water and moisture from the affected area. They will then clean and treat the area to prevent mold growth from occurring. Once the area has been completely dried and has been inspected to make sure there are no mold spores or signs of mold growth, then the damaged area can be repaired. This can include replacing the drywall, carpeting, wood floors, and sometimes subfloor depending on how long the water damage has existed.

Call The Water & Mold Damage Experts

Hopefully, you have caught the water damage early and it can be quickly remedied. But if you do have long-term water damage from a leaky pipe or roof, we have the expertise and the tools at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to make it "Like it never even happened." The moment you experience or spot water damage in your home, call us anytime at 317-243-3149. Our highly trained technicians will respond immediately to your residential or commercial emergency. Whether you're in Indianapolis or the surrounding communities, we'll be there faster to your disaster than any other.

Top Causes of Indianapolis House Fires

8/24/2016 (Permalink)

Cooking is the number one cause of house fires.

Below you will find some of the top causes of house fires in the Indianapolis area. Many of these causes can greatly be reduced by following a few common sense tips that we point out below.

1. Arson and Intentional Fires

According to the NFPA, around 282,600 intentional fires occurred between 2007-2011. Homes and other structures accounted for 18% of these fires. According to the data, most home arson fires occur between 3PM and midnight. Bedrooms are where most of the fires originated.

2. Candle Fires

Candles accounted for 9,300 home fires between 2009-2013 or 3% of all house fires. These fires resulted in 86 deaths, 827 injuries and over $374 million in damage. Candle fires occur most often on Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. To reduce the risk of a fire from candles:

  • Don't use candles in bedrooms or areas where you may fall asleep.
  • Never leave a candle burning unattended.
  • Keep candles at least a foot away from anything that can catch fire.

3. Cooking Fires

Cooking is the number one cause of house fires and injuries. Most fires resulted from the cook leaving or being distracted from what they are cooking. Over 66% of cooking fires started with the food and cooking ingredients. This could be cooking oil catching fire or cookies or other food igniting from being overcooked. Frying foods with oil was the biggest cause of cooking fires. The number one day that cooking fires occurred was Thanksgiving. To reduce the risk of cooking fires, never leave any cooking unattended. Be careful when using oils not to splash or spill them onto the cooking surface. If a fire does occur, have a working extinguisher in the kitchen to quickly put out any small cooking fires.

4. Electrical Fires

Between 2007 and 2011, 47,820 home fires were the result of an electrical failure or malfunction. Electrical fires resulted in 455 deaths, 1,518 injuries, and $1.5 billion in damage. Bedrooms, attics, and kitchens were the leading areas of a home where the fires started. While lightning accounted for almost half of all electrical home fires, appliances like washers and dryers were the other major cause of electrical fires. To reduce the risk of electrical fires:

  • Replace any damaged electrical cords.
  • Don't run extension cords under carpet or in high traffic areas.
  • Make sure your outlets have tamper-resistant covers if you have small children.

5. Heating Fires

There were 56,000 home heating equipment fires between 2009 and 2013. Half of them occurred during the months of December, January, and February. These fires resulted in 470 deaths, 1,490 injuries, and over $1 billion in damage. To reduce the risk of home heating equipment fires, keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from fireplaces, space heaters, wood stoves, furnaces and other home heating sources. Never leave a space heater unattended as they account for the majority of all home heating equipment fires. If you use a fireplace to heat your home, make sure you clean the chimney regularly to prevent build up of creosote.

Reduce the Risks


As you can see, there are many causes of house fires. While the risk of arson can't necessarily be reduced, the other factors can. The most important factor in reducing household fires is to always be aware of potential causes of fires. If you are cooking, pay attention and never leave the kitchen unattended. If you use candles, blow them out when you leave the room. If you use a space heater, don't leave it running unattended and keep any combustibles away from it. Simply being aware of fire risks can go a great way to reducing the potential for a house fire.

Hidden Dangers of Water Damage

6/27/2016 (Permalink)

What may seem harmless can turn into severe damage.

Do you have a small roof leak or a water spot on the floor where bathwater splashes? While those little leaks and water stains may seem inconsequential, huge damage and potential health risks could be hidden underneath the surface. So what are the signs you should be looking for of further water damage to your Indianapolis home? 

If you have a small water stain on your ceiling, you first want to determine where the water came from. If you have access, above the ceiling like an attic, you can get up there and look for signs of a water leak from the roof or a leaking pipe. Even condensation from a pipe can cause  water to drip and stain a ceiling over time. The source of the water leak is not always right above the water stain. Water from a leak can travel down the wood framing, across wires, along pipes and other structural pieces behind your home's ceilings and walls. 

If you are unable to look behind the wall or ceiling, you may want to call water damage restoration experts like us at SERVPRO Indianapolis West. We have the expertise and tools to examine the full extent of the water damage and determining the best steps to take to repair the water damage and stop any further damage from happening. 

Another sign beside a water stain of water damage is a soft spot on your home's walls, ceilings or floors. This happens a lot around bathtubs, kitchen sinks, windows and external walls. While there might not always be a water stain or obvious sign of a water leak, a spot where you can push in on the floor or wall or ceiling can be a sign of water damage that is hidden below the surface. This could be an easy restoration or a potentially difficult one where there could be mold damage and extensive damage to the house's structure. 

In any case, the sooner you call us, the faster the damage can be stopped and repaired. When we come to a home with potential water damage, we work quickly to identify the source of the water damage, the areas of the home that have been affected, and the steps to take immediately to stop the water leak and restore the water damaged areas as if nothing ever happened.

While a simple roof leak or water stain can be covered up, the unseen damage that mopping up the water or painting over the water stain can't fix could be even worse and getting worse as time goes by. Don't risk damaging your home from water by ignoring or  covering up the problem. Call us immediately so we can find and stop any further damage from happening to your home and to your health.

Reducing Fire Risks in Your Indianapolis Home

6/11/2016 (Permalink)

Candles are one of the leading causes of house fires.

Fire can do substantial damage to your home. While the actual fire can be the most destructive, the smoke and the water can also cause lots of damage. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we're experts at fire damage cleanup, repair, and restoration. We have restored countless Indianapolis homes that have suffered from fires. And many of those fires could have been easily prevented by avoiding these common causes:

1. The Beauty and Danger of Candles

Candles are one of the leading causes of house fires. Most happen as a result of forgetting to extinguish the candle when leaving the room it is in. If you do light candles in your home, never leave one unattended. Even leaving for a minute to answer the door or go to the bathroom is enough time for a candle to ignite a material nearby. Be sure to keep candles away from curtains, papers, and other flammables. Also, don't place them where kids or pets can knock them down. The best advice is not to light candles in your home, but if you do, take the necessary precautions. 

2. Something is Burning in the Kitchen

We've all burnt dinners and food in our kitchens. But there are some steps to take to make sure a burnt dinner doesn't turn into a burnt kitchen. When cooking on the stovetop, make sure towels, window curtains, and other flammables are not near the heat source. When cooking with oil be extra careful not to spill any near the heat source. Oil and grease fires are the most common in the kitchen. Never use water to put out an oil or grease fire. Always have a working extinguisher in your kitchen in the case of small fires. It's a good idea to check your extinguisher ever 6-months to make sure it is still in working condition. When using a fire extinguisher on a grease or oil fire, stand far enough away from the fire so that the extinguisher doesn't blow the oil or grease further spreading the fire. Never leave the kitchen when cooking with any heat source including the microwave. Many kitchen fires could have been prevented if the person had not left the kitchen.

3. Space Heaters Turn Into Space Fire Starters

Space heaters are one of the most common causes of house fires in the winter. While many space heaters have built in safety features, they can still be dangerous. If you have a space heater, never leave it turned on when you are away from your home. When using a space heater, keep it away from flammable items like couches, beds, curtains and carpets. Also, place them away from high traffic areas where they may get bumped or knocked down. It's not a good idea to have a space heater running while you are asleep. An extra blanket is a much better and safer choice over a space heater. 

4. Smoking is Bad for Your House's Health

Cigarettes and cigars that aren't completely extinguished are a major cause of house fires. If someone smokes in your house, make sure there is a large ashtray to ash and/or put out the cigarette or cigar. Also, make sure it's cleaned on a regular basis to reduce the risk of catch old butts or cigars on fire in the ashtray. Try not to smoke where a cinder or dropped cigarette could cause a fire like on a bed or couch. 

5. Check Your Fire & Carbon Dioxide Detectors

Walk around your home today and test every fire and carbon dioxide detector. Make sure there is a detector in every major room and area of your home. While you can take steps to reduce the risk of fire, you can't reduce them all. Which is why it's important to have properly installed and working fire and carbon dioxide detectors in your home. If there is a fire, a detector can save your life and reduce the fire damage to your home. 

Have fire, smoke or water damage? Call us at 317-243-3149 for 24-hour emergency service. At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have specialized equipment, professional training, and certiications that allow us to restore your home to its pre-fire condition. 

What's the difference between clean water, gray water, and black water?

5/17/2016 (Permalink)

Clean, gray or black water?

What's the difference between clean water, gray water, and black water? And why are they all bad when it comes to flooding and water damage to an Indianapolis home or business? 

What is Clean Water?

Clean water is water that comes from your faucet or shower head that you can drink safely. It is also considered rain water or snow melt. In regards to water damage to your home, it can come from a broken water line, a busted toilet tank, a leaky washer or refrigerator, or rain or snow melt entering into your home or basement. While clean water flooding your basement or floors may not cause an immediate health risk, it can quickly evolve into 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 SERVPRO of Indianapolis West 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?

Black water is contaminated water from floodwaters and sewage waters. Black water can come from a flooded river or a backed up toilet or a backed up sewage line in your home. Black water can contain all types of harmful contaminants like bacteria, mold, and viruses that can be extremely harmful to humans. Black water can cause diseases and illnesses like cholera, hepatitis, and NoraVirus. Black water can be very dangerous to ones' health and it is imperative to call a professional cleanup team like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West immediately. If the water damage from black water isn't professionally removed, dried out and cleaned, infections and illnesses can occur from microbes in the air and dust. That is why it is crucial that you hire professionals that have the right tools and processes to ensure a thorough cleanup. 

Time is Not On Your Side

If your home or business suffers water or flooding damage, you need to take immediate steps to dry out the property as quickly as possible. With black water, it is imperative that you call us immediately and not try to clean up the water yourself as this can be very dangerous to your health. Even with gray water, if you are unsure what contaminants may be in the water, it is usually best to rely on professionals, like us, who can test the water, extract the water, and take the appropriate steps to clean the property and ensure there are no health risks from contaminants. Even with clean water, if you do not completely dry the areas that were damaged, the clean water can quickly turn into gray water which can turn into black water just as quickly. 

At SERVPRO of Indianapolis West, we have extensive experience with water and flood damage in homes and businesses in the Indianapolis area. We have the professional equipment, tools, cleaning solutions and expertise to properly extract the water, dry the property, clean the property and repair the property as if the water damage never occurred. 

Choosing a Flood Cleanup Service in Indianapolis

5/12/2016 (Permalink)

Choose the company that's faster to any size disaster. SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

With the never-ending rains and storms of Spring time, we get a lot of calls for flood damage cleanup and restoration in the Indianapolis area. While we do see homes flooded from rising rivers, most of the water damaged homes we see and clean up are from flooded basements. In either case, it’s usually a good idea to let the professionals extract the water, clean up and restore your flood damaged home. 

Timing is Important. Call Us Immediately.

It’s always best to clean up the flood and water damage as quickly as possible. Fortunately, at SERVPRO Indianapolis West, we are available 24/7 and will take care of your flood and water damage before it has time to get even worse. Timing is important when cleaning up water damage. If the water and moisture aren't removed quickly, you could be facing further damage from mold and mildew, which we can also help remediate if it does occur. 

Why DIY Flood Cleanup May Not Be a Good Idea

The danger in DIY flood cleanup is that water from flooding tends not to be the cleanest water and can easily seep into every crack and porous surface in your basement and home. It can seep under your floors, into your air ducts, through the drywall and insulation, and into the wood framing of your home. A simple mop and some box fans won’t be enough to extract all the water and dry everything that is water damaged. Which is why you should rely on SERVPRO of Indianapolis West to professionally extract all the water, repair all the damage, prevent and/or remediate any mold growth, and restore your Indianapolis home as if it never had any flood and water damage.  We have advanced water inspection, extraction, and drying equipment as well as years of experience to handle any and every type of water damage. From floods to broken pipes to sewage backup and to flooded basements, we have seen it all and we have cleaned it all. 

Stree-Free Insurance Claims Process

If your insurance policy covers your water damage, we can work with you and your insurance company to quickly clean up and restore your home from flood and water damage. We can help manage the insurance paperwork for a stress-free claims process. So if you have a flooded basement, a leaking roof, a sewage backup, a broken pipe, or a rising river that is damaging your home or business in the Indianapolis area, then call us at 317-243-3149 for immediate emergency response to reduce the chance of further damage from mold and standing water. 

Finding Mold In Your Indianapolis Home

4/26/2016 (Permalink)

Mold mitigation in Indianapolis, IN

We’ve all seen and experienced mold in our lives. We’ve seen it grow on bread and old food that’s been in the fridge far past its prime. We’ve seen mold and mildew stains in the tile grout in our bathrooms. It’s these types of mold that are easy to spot and somewhat easy to clean and remove. But there are areas of the home that may be hiding mold that you may not spot right away. So how do you spot it before it gets out of hand and potentially causes health problems? 

Smelling Mold

Mold has a distinct smell that is not natural inside of a home. It smells like a damp forest or a musty smell of dirt. You may have smelled it in an old basement that isn’t properly waterproofed. If you smell that musty odor in your Indianapolis home, then you most likely have mold growing somewhere nearby. Outside of the basement, you may smell the odor of mold near bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior walls. If the smell it throughout the house, you may have mold growing in your air ducts. Other areas where mold may grow that you may not be able to see easily is in crawl spaces, in attics and inside the walls.

Spotting Mold

You’ve probably seen mold, also known as mildew, around your bathtub. It’s usually black spots or splotches that usually grows in the tile grout since the grout is porous and allows the mold spores to thrive until you clean them. You can also find mildew on outside wood decks that don’t get much sun. If you smell mold in the basement, take a flashlight and check all the walls, near the sump pump, behind the water heater, and other areas that may be damp for signs of mold. In a crawlspace, you may find signs of mold on the exposed wood floor joists of the floor above. In walls, mold will grow on the wood, insulation and drywall. 

Feeling Sick from Mold

Sometimes you won’t see the mold or smell it. Instead, you may be feeling a mold infestation in the form of a health problem. A hidden mold problem in a home can cause congestion, watering eyes, listless, breathing problems and other allergy-type symptoms.  Prolonged exposure to mold, especially more toxic molds, can cause severe health problems. If you are experiencing symptoms that can’t be diagnosed, you may inquire about having a mold inspection of your home. 

Preventing Mold

Mold loves damp areas outside and inside your home. To reduce the chance of mold growing in your home, you should keep the humidity in your home below 60%. Also, check and fix all exposed water pipes and drain pipes for leaks or condensation.  Check your roof for signs of a roof leak like a water stain on a ceiling, damp insulation, and water stains in the attic. If your basement is too damp, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier to reduce the chances of mold growing down there. And lastly, make sure your gutters are working properly and directing water away from your home. This can reduce the chance of water seeping into the crawlspace or basement. 

Cleaning Up Mold

If you find mold in your home or suspect there might be mold hidden in your home, call SERVPRO Indianapolis West as soon as possible before the mold spreads. Our mold remediation professionals have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle even the worst mold problem. We can inspect and test for all types of mold.  If mold is spotted, we will use advanced mold remediation techniques to remediate the mold in your Indianapolis home.  

Our mold remediation experts have treated homes and businesses for mold around the Indianapolis area for years including Plainfield, Avon, and Brownsburg. You can trust us for all your mold remediation as well as water and fire damage repair and restoration services. 

How to Get Soot & Smoke Odor Out of Indianapolis House after Fire

4/14/2016 (Permalink)

Indianapolis Kitchen Fire & Smoke Repair

Even the smallest of kitchen or house fires can be destructive. While the actual fire damage may be easy to fix, the smoke damage can be very difficult to remove. While there are some DIY and home remedies that might work, the best choice is to always call the professionals at SERVPRO Indianapolis West. We have dealt with hundreds of house and commercial fires in the Indianapolis area and know all the tricks, treatments, and tools to remove the most stubborn soot, smoke odor, and fire damage from your home.

But what if you were hanging out at a campfire or in a smoky restaurant or your kitchen walls behind your oven are a little dingy from too many burnt meals; there are a couple home remedies that we've found scouring the internet that may work.

The Power of Vinegar

It seems like vinegar is a solution for many problems in the home. It works great to unclog a coffee maker. It's also mentioned often to remove odors like smoke from fabrics. Most people recommend diluting vinegar with water and using a soft cloth to wipe any surfaces that can't be washed like leather jackets. For clothes, it seems that adding a little vinegar to the wash will help remove the odors. Vinegar and water will supposedly also help remove odors like mildew or smoke from books although that seems to have mixed results.

The Power of Baking Soda 

Another popular product in the kitchen that seems to have hundreds of uses is baking soda. Baking soda does a good job of absorbing odors and can be used on carpets and furniture. It can also be used in stinky shoes, closets, hampers, litter boxes and wherever else smelly odors may linger. It won't get rid of smoke from most house fires, but it may help make your teenage son's room more tolerable. 

The Power of SERVPRO of Indianapolis West

The most important step to remove soot and smoke odor from a home after a fire is to thoroughly clean or replace all the belongings and parts of the home that came into contact with the smoke. While the fire may have been minimal, the smoke and soot can easily travel throughout your home and throughout the ductwork of the home. And if you don't get every wall, every ceiling, every nook and cranny professionally cleaned the smoke odor can linger and possibly continue to spread over time. One professional tool that we use to break down and eliminate smoke odor is a commercial grade ozone machine. The ozone machine creates ozone that travels through the air and breaks up the smoke molecules. 

If you have experienced a house fire or are just having odor issues in your home or office , give SERVPRO Indianapolis West a call and we will thoroughly clean and deodorize it. For more information about our fire damage repair and restoration services you can visit our Fire Damage Repair & Restoration page or to get help online visit our Contact Us page.

Cleaning Up from Fire Damage in Indianapolis

3/22/2016 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can be devastating for an Indianapolis home or business. A little grease fire in the kitchen can produce smoke and soot that spreads throughout the house sticking to everything in its path. The fire damage can be overwhelming but as long as everyone got out safely, your home or business and all your possessions can usually be replaced or cleaned. So once the smoke has cleared and the fire has been extinguished, what should you do?

The first thing you need to do is call your insurance agent to start your claim for the fire and smoke damage. You should work with your agent in hiring a professional Indianapolis cleaning and restoration company like SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. 

We specialize in fire and smoke restoration and can quickly access the damage and stop any further damage from happening. For instance, ash and smoke not only leave a strong odor behind but can also cause corrosion and etching that needs to be stopped before it becomes an even bigger problem. 

We will work with you and your agent to create a fire and smoke restoration plan that will quickly restore your Indianapolis home or business. When it comes to fire and smoke damage, timing is of utmost importance. So call your insurance agent and then call us if you live in the Indianapolis area including Avon, Plainfield and Brownsburg.

Now that you know what to do, here are a few things you shouldn't do right after a fire. 

  • First and foremost, make sure you have permission from the fire department to enter into your home after the fire is extinguished. 
  • If you have any electronics that were exposed to the fire or smoke, do not try turning them on. Not only could you be electrocuted or cause a new fire, the smoke and ash could cause further damage to the internals. We can examine your electronics and determine whether they can be professionally cleaned and restored. 
  • Do not take or use clothes that have smoke odors from the fire. The odors can be transferred to your car's upholstery or to the home or place where you take them. 
  • Don't try cleaning any walls, surfaces, fabrics, carpets or furniture as you could cause further damage. Smoke and ash require specialized cleaning solutions, tools and processes to remove.  It's best to leave everything untouched and wait for us to arrive to assess what can be cleaned and what needs to be replaced.

If you have questions about certain possessions or cleaning processes, we will be happy to answer them for you. We know a fire can be devastating and our highly trained restoration specialists will work hard to get your home or business and your life back to normal as quickly as possible. 

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Water Damage to Indianapolis Homes and Businesses

3/9/2016 (Permalink)

Indianapolis Rains causing Storm, Flooding and Water Damage.

April showers bring May flowers and water damage to Indianapolis homes and businesses. With Spring upon us, we at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West receive many emergency calls of Indianapolis businesses and homeowners seeking water damage cleanup and restoration. Water damage can happen for many reasons. In the winter times, we often see burst pipes causing water damage to drywalls, floors, basements and more. In the warmer months, especially during the rainy Spring months, a majority of the water damage we see to businesses and homes are caused by flood waters, sewer backups, sump pumps failing, and leaky roofs & structures. While you can’t stop the rain, you can take some steps to reduce the risk of water damage to your home or business.

Check your Sump Pump

If you have a sump pump in your Indianapolis basement or lower level, you should check that it works properly. If you can access the pump area, you can fill up the holding area to check that the sump pump turns on and quickly removes the water. If you are unable to test your sump pump this way, you can wait until it is raining and check to make sure the sump pump turns on and operates correctly. If your sump pump has a battery backup, then you should unplug your sump pump and test it to make sure the battery backup works. Even by following these preventative steps, your sump pump can still fail and the results could be a very wet basement. If this happens, it’s important to call us immediately in order to reduce any further damage that standing water can cause like mold and mildew. We can quickly remove the water from your basement and sanitize the area to keep any mold or mildew from growing. One last piece of advice is to invest in a flood alarm. This affordable alarm detects rising waters in your basement or lower level and will sound an alarm so you can take immediate action before things get much worse. You can find these alarms at most hardware, home and big-box stores in the Indianapolis area.  

Check for Roof and Window Leaks

The next thing you can do to reduce the risk of water damage to your Indianapolis home or business is to check for signs of water leaks from your roof, windows, doors and walls. Walk around your home and/or business and check the ceilings, walls and floors for water stains. If you find a water stain, check to see how soft the area is by pushing on it with a pen or your finger. If the area is soft, it’s usually a sign that the water leak causing the water stain is not new and is a leak that is happening on a regular basis either from rain water coming in or a water pipe that is leaking. If the damage isn’t bad, you can usually find the cause of the leak and seal it up. If the ceiling or wall is soft or the stain is significant, you should call us to inspect the damage and to find out if there is further damage that is hiding behind the walls or ceilings. Much like a wet basement, a wet ceiling or wall can cause mold and mildew to proliferate and cause further damage. The other area to check for leaks is around your windows and doors. You can usually use a spray hose and spray your windows and doors to check for any tiny leaks that may cause water from a storm to enter your home or business. If there are any areas that are allowing water to enter around your doors or windows, sometimes a little caulk or a new door seal can stop the leak and sometimes you may need something more significant, like a new door or window. 

When Water Damage Happens

Even if all the preventative steps you can take, you can never reduce completely the risk of water damage to your Indianapolis home and/or business. Sump pumps will still fail, flood waters will always rise and storm waters will always find a way into homes and businesses. So if this happens to you and you live in Plainfield, Avon, Speedway, Brownsburg, or the surrounding Indianapolis areas, just give us a call at 317-243-3149 and we will be there quickly to handle your water damage cleaning and restoration needs. 

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