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Top 5 Causes of Commercial Water Damage

2/9/2023 (Permalink)

Water damage occurs frequently and can be caused by a lot of different things. Experiencing a water damage event on your commercial property can bring your business operations to a halt. If you want to reduce your risk of having a water loss on your property, it is important to take care of these top causes of commercial water damage:

Damaged, old, or leaking plumbing

Leaking pipes are a major cause of water damage in commercial buildings. These often go undetected, because they're hidden behind walls or under floors. When they burst, however, the results can be devastating—leaking pipes can cause mold growth and structural damage, which requires costly repairs.

Plumbing systems that haven't been inspected regularly are also prone to leaking when they become old or damaged over time. Leaks may occur without any visible signs until significant damage has occurred. Getting your plumbing inspected yearly is important to prevent water damage on your property.

Malfunctioning sprinkler systems

If a sprinkler system malfunctions, it can cause significant damage to the property. A faulty sprinkler system can leak water into walls and ceilings, causing mold to grow. The leaks may also drip down the walls or ceilings of your building and accumulate in puddles on the floor below.

If you suspect a faulty sprinkler system is at fault for your water damage, contact an expert immediately to inspect your property and provide mitigation and repairs.

Malfunctioning appliances

Malfunctioning appliances are a common cause of water damage at offices and commercial properties. When an appliance malfunctions, it can leak water or other fluids that can cause damage to the building’s structure and flooring.

Common culprits include:

  • Refrigerators
  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers

Foundation cracks or other structural damage

Foundation cracks or other structural damage can be caused by soil movement, improper construction, and even earthquakes. These factors create a situation where the foundation of your building is no longer level with its surroundings. The shifting of the structure itself may cause walls and floors to crack, which can lead to water leaking into your building causing considerable damage.

Natural disasters can cause water damage

Natural disasters are a common cause of water damage. Floods and hurricanes, in particular, can cause significant damage to your property and business. While the structural damages may be more obvious—and more expensive—the impact on your building’s systems is often less obvious.

Natural disasters can also result in a large amount of standing water that builds up inside your building. This standing water can damage your property and equipment by causing rusting or corrosion; it can also lead to mold growth that causes serious issues for those who work in the space.

You can reduce the likelihood of a water loss on your property

Water damage can be costly and disruptive. While you can't always prevent water from entering your building, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of it happening.

To reduce the risks of water damage on your commercial property, inspect the following regularly:

  • inspect the plumbing
  • inspect the sprinkler system
  • inspect your appliances
  • inspect the foundation
  • prepare for a natural disaster

The most important thing to remember is that if you take care of these top causes of commercial water damage, you can reduce the likelihood of a water loss on your property. If you notice any of these signs at your business, call your local SERVPRO immediately!

How To Deal With Winter Storm Damage

12/7/2022 (Permalink)

man using a snow rake on garage roof in winter Start by removing all snow and ice from your roof and gutters.

Dealing with Winter Storm Damage

Winter storms can be destructive, but they're also part of normal weather patterns. If you're hit by a winter storm, it's important to know how to deal with the damage as quickly as possible. This guide will help you assess the damage and clean up after a storm so that your home stays safe and protected from further damage.

Don’t Panic

When a storm is over, it's easy to let your emotions get the best of you and cause damage in the process. The key is knowing what steps to take as soon as possible after a storm passes so that you don't make things worse for yourself or your property. If a winter storm has left your home or business in need of repair, don't panic and use these tips for how to deal with winter damage.

Assess the damage

The first thing to do when a storm hits is to inspect your home for structural damage, like the roof being blown off or walls collapsing from high winds. If you have any doubts about the integrity of your house and its ability to withstand further weather-related damage, contact a professional contractor immediately for help assessing the situation. You can also call an insurance agent who can provide advice over the phone as well as assistance with filing claims in case of damage or injury related to winter storms (though keep in mind that most policies don't cover flooding).

The next thing to check for is water leaks. If you find that there's water leaking into your home due to pipes breaking due to freezing temperatures (which happens more often than one might think), then it's time now more than ever before we start acting as our grandparents did: put on slippers and go out there with some towels! Use those towels not only for wiping away puddles but also soaking up excess moisture so that it doesn't freeze overnight leading into tomorrow morning when classes start again after being canceled  this past weekend due to all that snowfall yesterday afternoon while everyone else was getting ready

Clean up

Once the storm has passed, you need to clean up. Start by removing all snow and ice from your roof and gutters. This will help prevent further damage to your home. Next, remove any damaged items, such as tree limbs or shingles that have been torn off by high winds. If the item is small enough, you may be able to toss it into a trash bag yourself; otherwise, call in professionals for assistance removing larger items like trees.

Clean up any broken glass that results from windows being blown out or doors being slammed open during high winds—you don't want anyone getting injured! Finally, remove excess water that has accumulated inside of your home. It's essential not only for cleanup but also to avoid mold growth.

Protect Your Property

Winter storms can be a hassle, but there are things you can do to protect your property. First, make sure the power is turned off. Then close all windows and doors, and remove any valuables from the area. If you have a generator, it's best to use it outside.

Winter storms can be extremely damaging, but the worst part is the stress they create. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important that you take action quickly. By following these steps and contacting SERVPRO of Stillwater & Guthrie immediately, you can get back to enjoying your Guthrie, OK home and life as soon as possible.

When is Carpet Replacement Required?

11/5/2022 (Permalink)

vacuum extractor, carpet being removed, wet carpet Carpet replacement in a Stillwater, OK home

When Do I Need to Replace My Carpet?

Carpet replacement is more than just a cosmetic change. It can be the difference between having a clean home and one filled with bacteria. When should you replace your carpet? The answer depends on how often it gets used, how much foot traffic it gets, and how frequently it's cleaned. Here are some other factors to consider:

Water Damage and Carpet Replacement

If you have a leaky pipe or another clean water source, the carpet can be saved. The key is to dry the area as quickly as possible. If water sits long enough, it will begin to break down and ruin the fibers of your carpet.

If your carpet has been exposed to any type of dirty or soiled water (think: mud or blood), then replacement is necessary because these types of contaminants cannot be cleaned out effectively. In addition to being stained, they also introduce bacteria that could potentially cause mold growth in your home over time.

If the water source is clean, such as a pipe burst or supply line, you may be able to save your carpet. However, if it’s been wet for more than 24 hours, your carpet may be unsalvageable.

Carpet Damage from Mold

As you know, mold is a fungus that grows in damp and dark places. This can be anywhere from your basement to inside your carpeting. When water spills onto the carpet, it will have nowhere else to go but into the padding underneath the carpet. The padding then becomes wet and gives way to mold growth.

The worst part about mold on your flooring is that it can take up to two weeks for the smell of mildew to dissipate once dry. This means that you'll need professional help if you want everything back to normal by then!

It's important to know how much water damage is acceptable and how much water damage is too much. The following sections provide information on determining whether or not your carpets are salvageable, as well as tips for determining when it's time to start shopping for new carpeting.

In general, there are three main indicators that your carpet has experienced enough damage for replacement:

  • The amount of visible mold growth or mildew on the flooring;
  • How long it takes for moisture from the damaged area to evaporate; and
  • If there are any signs that an odor remains in the room after it has been cleaned up (i.e., a lingering smell like mildew).

When should you replace your carpet? The answer to this question depends on a few factors. Age, type of water damage and amount of damage will all play into whether or not it becomes necessary for you to replace your carpets. If you have any questions about replacing your carpeting in your Stillwater, OK home or business, or if you would like more information about the process please feel free to call us at (405) 332-2122.

Water Damage Is a Result Of Fire Damage

10/13/2022 (Permalink)

severe furniture damaged by fire in a house Fire damage in a home

A Lot Goes Into Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration

The fire damage cleanup process can be overwhelming, especially if you are unfamiliar with the steps involved. Here are some helpful things to know when your Stillwater home or business catches on fire.

Water Damage Accompanies Fire Damage

The sprinklers go off and the water you see in your home is actually water that was used to put out the fire, but it’s still wet. This is why you need to have water restoration services come out to help with getting rid of the excess moisture in your home.

The main thing you need to understand about this is that it can happen anywhere: at any time, even though there may be no visible signs — like smoke or fire — present in your home or building beforehand. So don’t wait around for something bad to happen—knowing how much damage can occur if an unexpected event does occur will give you peace knowing that everything will be taken care of from start (getting rid) until the finish (getting back into shape)

Smoke Damage

Smoke damage is a result of fire damage. Smoke and soot residue can be very difficult to remove, especially if you do not catch it early enough. The longer that smoke remains on your property, the more permanent staining and damage will occur. If you want to avoid these types of issues in the future, make sure that you call us right away after any fire emergency so that we can help you clean up quickly before the problem gets worse.

Cleaning up the ash and smoke residue requires more than a mop and bucket (and a few rags). To remove ash and smoke residue, you need professional cleaning equipment. Do not use a mop and bucket. Do not use rags or bleach, ammonia, vinegar, or baking soda.

Protect Your Furniture and Linens

If your home has been damaged by fire, you will likely experience a lot of smoke and soot. This can cause permanent staining to furniture if not properly protected.

As soon as possible, cover all of your furniture with plastic wrap or tarps to prevent the soot from getting on them, then move them to a safe location where they won't be in the way. Remove any drawers or doors from your furniture before covering it as well!

If you have clothing or linens that have been damaged by water or smoke, wash them immediately in cold water on the gentle cycle. If there are stains, use a commercial stain remover before washing. Do not use bleach to clean the items; bleach can cause the colors to run and may make the odor worse over time. Once you are able to wash your items, place them in plastic bags and keep them away from heat sources like radiators or dryers until they are completely dry (this could take several days).

Turn Off the Electricity

Do not use electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and inspected. Turn off the power supply at the main circuit or fuse box. Do not use electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and inspected

Leave it to the Professionals

If you are unfortunate enough to experience a fire in your home, do not attempt to clean up the mess yourself. Professional fire cleanup is a specialized field that requires highly trained professionals and expensive equipment. It is also extremely dangerous for untrained individuals

If you have experienced a fire in your home, it’s best to contact an insurance company as soon as possible so they can begin the damage assessment process and send out an adjuster who will assess how much your damages were worth before cleaning begins 

They will also help provide guidance on whether or not you need to file an insurance claim against another party (such as another tenant) or submit additional documentation to your insurance or the police

If your home or business has caught on fire, give us a call. SERVPRO of Stillwater & Guthrie is here to help. We’ll do everything we can to help you get things back to normal as soon as possible

3 Steps To Find Out if You Have Mold

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on a wall Moisture leads to mold growth.

How To Tell If There's Mold In My House

While mold spores may be everywhere, most homeowners never want to have to run a mold test. The good news is that you can take steps to identify this fungus and have it removed before it becomes a problem.

1. Know What Mold Looks Like
Any indoor environmental specialist will tell you that mold is everywhere. That's because this tiny fungus gives off spores that float throughout the air. The problem is that these spores can grow anywhere they land and find moisture. That means any damp place in your home in Sumner, OK, is a potential home.
The good news is that you don't need to be a mold remediation professional to spot growth early. The easiest way to tell if you have mold is to know that it often starts as small black dots. You can easily identify it in your shower's grout lines, on damp walls, and outside on wood surfaces.

2. Look for Leaks
If you notice mold on an exterior wall, it isn't time to call an indoor environmental specialist yet. Instead, you need to check for an exterior leak in your house. Inspect the surrounding vents, flashing, doors, and windows. If you notice mold on interior surfaces, check the surrounding area for interior leaks. Any leaks are just going to lead to future mold problems. Therefore, you are going to need to fix these before you can truly fix the mold.

3. Know How To Remove Mold
While hiring an indoor environmental specialist is often the recommended strategy, some people prefer DIYing mold removal. If this is the case, you need to protect yourself and the rest of your home by wearing old clothes, using PPE, ventilating the area, disposing of porous materials, moistening very moldy areas before removal, turning off the HVAC unit, and keeping a shop vac handy.
Mold growth is not something a homeowner wants in their house. Therefore, you need to be ready to identify growth, remedy the source, and remove it to protect your home.

3 Ways To Remove Smells From Your Microwave

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

Low angle view of baked soda with vinegar, natural blend for effective household cleaning Vinegar and baking can remove smoke odor from your microwave.

DIY Solutions You Can Use To Remove Odor From Your Microwave

If you're like most people, you probably use your microwave a lot. They are used by everyone, from those just learning to cook to master chefs. However, with use comes accidents that can leave a nasty smoke smell in your appliance. Fortunately, there are several DIY solutions that you can use to remove this odor from every crevice.

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda
You probably have these pantry staples in your home in Guthrie, OK create the toughest DIY solution for tackling a lingering smoke smell. To use this method, gather the vinegar, baking soda, and a clean sponge. Let the sponge saturate with vinegar and pour baking soda on it. Heat it inside the appliance for 20 seconds. When it is finished, use the sponge to clean the inside. Wipe this off with a soapy sponge and dry it with a towel.

2. Baking Soda
If you're fresh out of vinegar, you can use plain baking soda. Clean your appliance as normal and place an opened box of this cleaner inside. If you buy the big boxes, you may want to place a generous amount in a bowl and place inside. Let this sit overnight to fight smells.

3. Coffee
Coffee is another pantry staple that can remove your stubborn smoke smell. To use this option, put two tablespoons inside a mug and add water. Heat the solution for two minutes, stopping it if it starts to boil. Let it sit for a minute and repeat. Check the amount of water, add some if it is low, and repeat. Keep repeating the two minutes of heat and one minute of rest. When you have reached 10 minutes of heating, remove the cup. Often, this will remove the smell without any additional effort. If it doesn't, it may be time to call a fire restoration company to have them remove the odor.
This appliance is your kitchen's workhorse. To get inside the tightest spots, like the vent grill, you should use one of these DIY solutions. They can tackle even the worst smells.

How To Clean Black Mold in Commercial Air Ducts

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Dust and black spots inside air ducts Black mold thrives in air ducts.

Air ducts are a haven for black mold. When is the last time you had your ventilation system professionally cleaned? As a commercial business owner, you know that costly repairs can seemingly come out of thin air. This time, they're coming out of your air vents.

Signs of Mold Overgrowth in Air Ducts

Watch out for these classic signs of vent contamination:

  • Black, dusty, hard-to-remove patches around air vents
  • Musty smell upon turning on the AC

It's always possible that mold overgrowth goes undetected. For this reason, it's best to remain vigilant and keep clean ducts.

How To Clean Ducts
Cleaning an air ventilation system is not an easy task. For this reason, it's best to consult a professional right off the bat. Attempting this feat alone is not only time-consuming, but it could be harmful to you and your clients in the building. If not done properly, attempting to remove black mold may accidentally exacerbate the issue. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take instead.

Contact an expert in Perry, OK.
The right mold remediation professionals will verify that mold is indeed present.
Cleaning will begin, and if spread to insulation, insulation will need to be replaced.
The professional team will use the correct cleaners and tools while disinfecting your commercial air ducts.
Once done, now it's your turn: prevent mold regrowth!

How To Prevent Mold Regrowth
Step five is arguably the most important step. Taking the necessary precautions to prevent black mold from reappearing will save you and your commercial business tons of time, money, and stress. In order to stop the fungus from thriving, you need to first locate the source. What is causing the mold to prosper? Air vents are naturally a breeding ground for mold, so regular duct maintenance can mitigate this risk. Make sure the AC filters are changed out periodically. Reduce moisture and humidity in your commercial space. Use natural air circulation when possible, like opening a window. Keep the aforementioned tips in mind, and mold won't have a chance to damage your livelihood.

Understanding Flood Water Types

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Background of clear water with the phrase ALL THREE TYPES Identify your water type and talk to a water damage specialist to schedule proper removal.

Knowledge of Flood Water Types

Water can be a priceless resource for drinking and cleaning. But dirty water can be a major danger to your home. Be it from a flood, a backed-up supply line or even an overflowing toilet, contaminated water poses a major threat if it isn’t properly cleaned up. What are the three main types of water to look out for in your Stillwater, OK home? Read on for the answers.

Different Water Sources

Of course, all H2O is chemically the same. Differences come down to where it comes from and more specifically, what materials it may have encountered. The main three categories of flood water are:

  • Clean water
  • Gray water
  • Black water

The latter two are forms of contaminated water that can be a major threat to your health.

Clean Water

When it comes to flooding, clean water is the least offensive type. This water typically comes from roof leaks, appliance malfunctions, tub overflows, or any other source that does not naturally involve human or animal waste. The main threat from this type of water is mold and mildew damage.

Gray Water

As its name suggests, this type of water falls in between good and bad. This is mildly soiled water due to its origin. It may be tainted by microorganisms, and typically comes from sump pump failures, toilets, or dishwashers. Gray water should be removed quickly to avoid progressing to the next level.

Black Water

By far the worst type of flood water to encounter, black water carries significant health hazards. Stemming largely from toilets, this water is pathogen-rich and often contains urine or feces. This water can carry hepatitis, cryptosporidiosis, gastroenteritis and more so it’s important it’s professionally removed, fast.

Understanding if contaminated water is causing your home damage is an important step in making a cleanup plan. Identify your water type and talk to a water damage specialist to schedule proper removal.

Flood Safety Tips for All Stages

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

White van driving through flooded street Never attempt to drive into a flooded street

Tips for Flood Safety

While natural disasters are simply out of your control, preparing for a disaster is something you can see to. If you live in an area where floods are possible, there are some things you can do before, during, and after to minimize damage. Here are some safety tips at each stage of a flood.

Before a Flood

Floods are particularly devastating because they happen with little to no notice and can cause significant damage, injuries and even death. Although you can’t prevent this unexpected event, here are some flood safety preparation tips:

  • Install non-carpet flooring
  • Prepare an updated emergency kit
  • Find out where relocation centers are located
  • Make sure you have flood insurance
  • Store important documents in a waterproof container

During a Flood

If your safety is not in jeopardy and you have time to prepare your home for a flood, you can lessen the amount of damage that occurs. First, move furniture, rugs, electronics, and valuable items to higher ground. Second, make sure you have your important documents either stored in a waterproof case or bring them with you if you’ll be leaving. Other safety tips include listening to the local radio for warnings and instructions, grabbing an emergency kit with essential supplies to take with you, and shutting off all utilities. If possible, empty your fridge and freezer and leave doors open to minimize damage if they float.

After a Flood

Flood safety is paramount to preventing injury and loss. Never let your children play near floodwaters and never attempt to drive into water of unidentified depth. Once it’s safe to return to your Navina, OK, home, the best thing you can do to minimize loss or harm is to contact a water damage specialist. If you feel it’s safe to enter your home, exercise extreme caution because walls and ceilings may be compromised. Check for damage and take pictures for insurance claims.
Preparing yourself and your home is important if you live in a flood-susceptible area. Adequate flood safety knowledge can help lessen injury, damage and death.

How To Handle Sewage Cleanup

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

Sewage water Sewage backup in Ceres, OK

How To Handle Sewage Cleanup

Category three water from a sewage spill poses several dilemmas for commercial owners in Ceres, OK. The fluid has not only created water damage, but it hosts hazardous microbes that need to be removed. Therefore, to create a safe work and sales environment, proprietors need to seek professional help with their sewer cleanup, hiring a water and mold remediation company. The experts can ease the process, bringing with them the resources to handle documentation, cleaning, and rebuilding.

1. Fix the Source

Before any sanitizing can begin, crews need to evaluate the trouble's origin. This means a close inspection of the pipe system, inside and out. For example, a sewer backup can happen for several reasons:

  • Obstacles blocking the flow
  • External elements harming the mainline
  • Damage to the internal system

Find the source, and make repairs. You don't want this event to repeat itself.

2. Evaluate Damages

The next step in sewer cleanup is to examine what has been ruined. Then, establish the procedures needed to get operations back up and running. Here, the company brings in specialists to examine walls, floors, and moisture levels. Specialists not only take air and drywall samples, but they'll measure the wetness in areas. This data is documented thoroughly, through writing and photos, and this information is used by trained staff to determine if something can be salvaged or must be removed.

3. Dry and Sterilize

A flooded toilet, unfortunately, means polluted floors and baseboards. Expect workers to begin tearing out materials. Then, they'll pull in industrial dehumidifiers that should run around the clock. Daily checks can be completed, and the equipment should be removed when employees deem it is dry enough to meet the company's high standards and IICRC expectations. In addition, the room is sterilized, destroying any remaining microbes.

4. Restore and Rebuild

Finally, with cleaning mostly done, the lead manager can arrange for final replacements and fixes, getting your shop back to functional operations.
With high national standards and continued training, SERVPRO completes all aspects of sewer cleanup. This one-stop-shop efficiently fixes the issue, giving owners and insurers excellent care and a sterile atmosphere.