When Fire Strikes…How do you Find a Restoration Company You Can Trust?
Fire Damage in East Baton Rouge
When faced with recovering from a house fire it can sometimes feeling your staring up at Mount Everest. The tasks can feel daunting and the even sometime hopeless. The process of getting you and yours back to your normal life can feel like its taking a lifetime if you choose the wrong restoration company.
When looking for a good Fire Restoration company it is imperative that you find a company that wants to work with your insurance provider to get you taken care of quickly and easily. The truth of these situations is that anyone worth their salt wants to get the job done as quickly as possible because as we all know…time is money. Your insurance provider wants nothing more than to get the job done ASAP because they are interested in your needs as their provider and they don’t want to lose you as a client. A top level restoration company is also very motivated to get your house restored because they want the insurance provider happy as well and good professional service is what makes them look good to insurance adjusters.
The client is the one who is FREE to choose the Fire Restoration company of their choice. This can sometimes be difficult because maybe you got a recommendation from a friend or saw an Ad or maybe were referred by your insurance adjuster. The task of making a selection can sometimes be daunting when this is an industry that most people do not understand until its too late. If you don’t know where to turn when it comes to finding a good fire restoration company, I will give you a few easy tips and tricks.
Tip #1.) Ask your Insurance Provider for their Top 3 Fire Restoration Company recommendations. Insurance providers will sometimes give you their top company that they like to work with but that may not be the company you prefer. Ask for a top 3 and then from there you can go and do you due diligence in researching the companies that they provided for you and make a decision yourself.
Tip #2.) Ask Friends and Family for their recommendations. Unfortunately fire damage happens all too often in America and the chances are that one of your friends have been through a major loss from Fire, Water, Mold or Storm Damage. Ask around and see what companies they used and how it worked out. If you get a bad review from a friend you can cross them off but if you get a good review keep note of that company.
Tip #3.) Call the Restoration Companies themselves and ask them about their process with Fire Restoration. Fire damage is much more than removing some wallpaper and clean up a little bit of soot. Fire damage includes ridding the property of the Fire / Smoke Smell and doing inspections to see if there is any structural damage present. Another key factor is water damage, most people don’t realize but a lot of damage is done to the property by the firemen who put the fire out. That must also be cleaned and remediated as well as the fire. If two of more companies give you similar steps for restoring your property and you are happy with their options you can choose which you prefer.
I hope these tips were helpful for you if you are ever in the need for Fire Restoration in your home. If you have any questions or concerns please give us a call at SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge at (225)753-3434.
What is Fire Damage & How Does It Happen?
East Baton Rouge Fire Damage
Fire damage happens much more in America than most people realize. America averages about 1.3 Million fires, 4000 deaths, 17,000 injuries and over 15 Million in damages per year. Fire damage in America is much more common than people realize and in this blog I am going to explain some of the main causes of fires in America and hopefully this knowledge can help you prevent some of those with proper education.
What Causes Fires in America?
In America there is a Fire every 24 seconds and they sweep through homes, apartment buildings, commercial buildings and businesses with very little warning and no care for property or human life. The most common causes of fire are sometimes unknown to people but the knowledge of these things can absolutely minimize the chances of them occurring. Knowledge is power and the when it comes to fire most of them are preventable with a little planning and understanding.
Fire Accidents in the Kitchen
Most fires in America happen in the kitchen and spread from the kitchen to the rest of the house or business. The main reason that fire mostly originates in the kitchen is because the kitchen is the primary location for all heat sources in the home or business. These sources can range from many different items including Air Fryers, Ovens, Toasters, Microwaves and a variety of other kitchen appliances and apparatuses.
Electrical malfunctions are more and more prominent in America as our homes and businesses are becoming more and more filled with various electronics, computers, entertainment systems and household appliances. Faulty wiring in the home near a fuel source or faulty wiring in an appliance or piece of equipment can cause a variety of flare ups that can end in a major fire.
One major cause of fires in homes and businesses that people forget about is open flames. These can happen when people make bonfires, camping fires, yardwork/debris fires or that just flare up from a heat source in the yard. Another often misunderstood example of open flame fires is from candles or incense. You can reduce this from happening by severely limiting all open flames and using flameless candles instead.
Major heat producers in our homes that can sometimes be overlooked are fireplaces and space heaters. These items can become increasingly more dangerous if they are ever kept near rapid fuel sources in the home like kerosene, gas or lighter fluid. There are other fuel sources that are less rapid yet just as deadly like rugs, curtains or old clothing. Make sure you are checking your home regularly to limit these type of potential hazards.
While there are many smokers in America who enjoy the practice of smoking outdoors some people prefer to smoke indoors in their favorite chair or on their favorite couch. The main danger happens here when those smokers fall asleep and create a dangerous scenario. The ash from a cigarette can ignite quickly and cause a major fire before the sleeping home owners can even realize what has happened.
Many of these various forms of fire can be prevented by taking inventory of your home and understanding how important it is to remove fuel sources, check all wiring, minimize open flames, inspect heat producers and minimize indoor smoking. If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to give us a call at SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge at (225)753-3434
What are the various types of Fires?
Classifications of Fires
Fire Damage happens all over the county to various homes and businesses and causes massive damage to buildings, property and even to people. Fire damage is much more complicated than people may think because fire has many different types of classifications based on what the fuel source is and what type of fire it is. In this latest Blog we will review all of the different types of fires and some details about each.
A Class A Fire is a widespread occurrence throughout the US and is attributed to the type of fire that is started from common household items like wood, rubber, cloth or plastic. Prevent Class A fires by keeping working areas free of trash, place oily rags in covered containers, control smoking areas, limit all sources of possible ignition and keep passages and fire doors clear at all times.
Fire created from flammable liquids like gasoline, petrol, waxes, paint and oil are classified as Class B fires. Class B fires can be highly prevented if you use nonflammable substitutes for cleaners, ensure solvent tanks have fusible links on covers, keep all refuel equipment in well ventilated areas, properly store flammable liquids, ensure storage drums are properly grounded and restrict welding and cutting to authorized areas only.
Most experts in the Fire community consider fires that originate from flammable gases like natural gas, butane, propane and hydrogen are considered Class C fires. Most Class C fires originate in kitchens due to most flammable gasses generally existing in kitchen spaces. Fire specialist advise homeowners to thoroughly inspect their gas ovens, gas stoves and gas burners to ensure there are no leaks before turning their appliances on.
One of the absolute worst classification of fires is Class D fires which originate from combustible metals like sodium, magnesium, and potassium. We find class D fires often originate inside of very technical environments like labs or industrial businesses and generally require a professional commercial fire restoration representative to remediate it. To limit and control Class D fires work to control dust and turnings, follow established control procedures to minimize these type of fires from starting. Never use water or wet sand to try and extinguish these fires because the moisture releases oxygen which can be used to fuel the fire. Metal fires are the hottest burning fires and can reach temperatures of up to 5000 degrees. Class D fires can be one of the most difficult to extinguish.
The last and final classification of Fire is Class K fires which originate from fat and cooking oils in frying pans that are left unattended or become uncontrollable and ignite on their own. These fires happen regularly in restaurants, hotel and homes and are mostly focused on kitchen areas so most firefighters call these kitchen fires. These types of fires are often overlooked but actually account for most of the fire damage that consumes homes and food-based businesses. They are difficult to put out because they combine electrical elements and flammable liquids as well.
If you have any further questions or comments please feel free to contact us at SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge at (225)753-3434 for more information on Fire restoration.
The 4 Key Factors in Commercial Restoration
Commercial Restoration in Downtown Baton Rouge
Residential restoration and commercial restoration are very different types of projects. Residential is very emotional for the customer and family that resides in the home and also be very personal due to the contents within the home having very sentimental attachments. Commercial restoration can also be emotional for the clients but due to their being more stakeholders involved in the loss things can get much more complex. In commercial restoration we have business interruption, customer impact, Inventory issues and contents maintenance. For the commercial restoration process to go smoothly the 4 key factors are: safety, stability, continuity and communication.
Factor 1: Safety
Safety is the paramount concern when it comes to commercial restoration projects because nothing is more important than the people. There are a variety of safety issues when on a commercial restoration project including mold exposure, hazardous materials, structural weaknesses, utility hazards including gas and electrical and construction related safety hazards. With all of these factors together the risk is just to great for secondary damage and additional loss if safety is not at the forefront of the project. Safety must not only be the first step in commercial restoration but must also be a key factor in every stage of the project.
Factor 2: Stability
Stabilizing the loss is the first priority so that we can limit any secondary damage to the building or property. This included stopping the source of the water intrusion, putting out the fire and tarping up the roof and areas of the house that are exposed to the elements. As soon as the disaster is contained the team can begin the process of pre-cleaning, water extraction, dehumidification, salvaging contents and setting up various level of containment around the property area is all part of the emergency services phase.
Factor 3: Communication
The most important thing on any job big or small is always going to be communication. As a restoration company your communication should be on point with all of the parties involved including the client, adjusters, clerks, agents and all other POI’s. Commercial restoration can be a very fluid and moving science with scope changes, directive changes and client requests so the restoration company must have good communication. The company must be able to make split second decisions and communicate that to their crew instantly with good follow up and leadership from the technicians. Solid communication will allow everyone to prepare, plan and adapt to the changing needs of a large project.
Factor 4: Business Continuity
Buinesses need some assurances that they will be back up and running as a company very soon following a loss. As a company SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge will do everything in their power to make sure that our commercial clients are back up and running their business in some capacity as soon as possible. Clients who don’t feel that their restoration project managers are making these efforts for business continuity will replace those companies quickly. Expediting the restoration and the reconstruction needs of a commercial client ensure that they can get back to normal operations sooner rather than later
I hope this little blog has given you a little tid-bit of what the actuality of what commercial restoration can be like and its differences from residential restoration. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call us at SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge at (225)753-3434
The Post Storm Checklist for Homeowners
Louisiana Storm Damage
Severe storms can come out of nowhere and cause a lot of damage really quickly, especially if you live in South Louisiana. Whether the damage be from hail, water, tornadoes, hurricanes or flying debris it can be a real inconvenience in a home or business quickly. When it comes to Storm Damage or Roof Damage it can sometimes be a little more difficult to find and identify especially if there is no visibly leaking or water inside the home or building.....YET! To help you deal with these situations we have put together a simple checklist for homeowners and business owners alike to work through after the storm ends.
POST STORM CHECKLIST
- Safety is the #1 Priority : make sure that you and those that are living in your home or working in your business is safe and protected. Walk through all of the yard outisde the property and ensure all spaces have been checked and cleared.
- Visual Inspection of Property : Walk the building and property to inspect for any obvious signs of damage or dangerous situations outside. Take pictures of everything that you see no matter how small.
- Secure and Tarp in the Roof : makes sure that you have some tarps handy before the storm and some 1x2's as well. If you observe damage get up on the room and tarp the damaged area to prevent any secondary damage.
- Interior Inspection of the Property : Walk all of the interior rooms and hide spaces to ensure to document and report and damage or finding that are of concern. Make sure you are looking for wet spot and water stains.
- Get a Roof Inspection Scheduled ASAP : The longer you wait to do this the harder it will be to get someone out to your property after a major storm. Do this as soon as possible and make sure to walk the property and the roof with the inspector and take more pictures.
- File an Insurance Claim : Make sure that you call your Insurance Agency and let them know that you are filing a claim on your roof for damage incurred during the storm.
- Implement Repairs : After you get a roof inspection and contact your insurance company to file a claim you can get them started on the work to repair your roof.
- Schedule Regular Maintenance : Your roof should be inspected and have yearly maintenance so that you can prevent damage in the future.
I hope this checklist has helped you understand a little bit more about the process of what to do with Storm Damage to your roof after a major weather event. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge at (225)753-3434
SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge comes to the RESCUE for Hurricane IDA
SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge is quickly becoming one of the Premier Commercial Large Loss Restoration Companies in the US.
2020 was a major year for SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge
After exemplary performances in 2020 during Hurricane Laura & Hurricane Sally 2021 started off with a bang. The freeze / flood in Dallas, Houston, Shreveport areas saw SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge on major projects for many months and just shortly following the team did multiple large loss projects in Baton Rouge after some major flooding hit various areas of the city. All in all the SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge Storm team has responded to and successfully restored a number a very large commercial losses with a high quality of professionalism and efficiency.
Hurricane IDA makes Landfall August 29th
On August 29th of 2021 Hurricane IDA, a category 4 Hurricane, swept across the south central area of South Louisiana and destroyed everything in its path. Immediately after the hurricane the SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge Technicians were on the ground following up on various calls and leads and landed at Chabert Medical Hospital in Houma, LA. The hospital, which is am Oschners owned location, had sustained major damage to their roof which allowed for multiple water incursions throughout the 5 floors of the building. SERVPRO responded quickly and decisively to get all of the water extracted, the wet materials removed and the building dried out safely and quickly. The team immediately transitioned to Hammond, La to work on the severely affected Southeastern University campus along with SERVPRO of Birmingham. After remediating multiple building and drying the campus the team moved on to Delgado Community College in New Orleans, LA. Delgado offered a major challenge for our team due to the college having 8 separate and affected campuses spread through out the greater New Orleans area. The Delgado project was completed with flying colors and accolades from the staff and the other parties onsite. The team also restored NOCCA (New Orelans Center of Creative Arts) and LUMCOM (Louisiana Universities Maritime Consortium). All in all the team remediated many major projects for the State of Louisiana and for the community of Louisiana. As we look forward to the rest of year we are confident in our abilities to handle any Commercial Large Loss project with integrity, speed and professionalism. The future is bright for the SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge Commercial Large Loss Team.
How a Good Property Manager Handles Water Damage Disasters Effectively
SERVPRO using Injectidry to dry wood floors in Baton Rouge
All great property managers know that a water damage is going to happen on their properties eventually and oftens times more than once and managing the restoration process can sometimes be a nightmare. When you have tenats that get displaced or your property has a large loss of revenue those can defintely be big problems but a much bigger problem is when you have a water loss that is handled improperly and the effects of that failure cause secondary damage, structural damage or even in some cases mold and microbial growth that scares away potential clients. A good property managers main job is to maintain the value and reputation of their properties and the only way to do that efrectively is to consistently win the small battles with water intrusions, storm damage, customer expectations and busted pipes.
Handling a Water Damage when it Happens When a major water damage occurs on a commercial property, property managers are immediately thrown into a washing machine of choices, estimates, promises and expectations that can be overwhelming for anyone. Maging tenants expectations, reporting the various losses to the insurance companies, meeting with adjusters, securing a reliable restoration company and assessing and fixing the original source of the damage are some of the many tasks facing them at break neck speeds. Flooring can beone of the many difficult things for them to solve in these scenarios based upon the fact that finding new flooring can be time consuming and costly to replace with labor prices, building materials and lost revenue.
The Secret Sauce in Drying Hardwood Floors When a restoration company utlizes specialized equipment to extract the standing water from the floors of the individual apartments the job is not finished. Just becasue the floor seams dry it is not, there is still water trapped in the wood fibers of those floors and unless a professional removes that water properly those floors will bow and ruin over the next couple of day. Drying hardw2ood floors properly without causing secondary damage takes skill and patience. If the restoration process is delayed the result will be what we call crowning and cuppng of the wood floors. The floors can eventuall start warping and have a wave like appearance due to the presence of water in the fibers for too long. The opposite can happen if there is too much drying including splinting and cracking of the wood floors. How do you get it right? Call SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge at (225)753-4343. Our firm maintains tools in our arsenal like Injectidry systems that can measure exactly where the water is on the wood and remove it quickly and efficiently using the system as a "water vaccum" to remove the right amount of water from the right areas and then stopping when it is dried to the drying standard.
Why is this System the Best Thing to Use For Wood Floors? The major advantage of the Injectidry System is its portability. All of the SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge Crew Chiefs have one of these systems inside their vehicles and are ready to deploy them instantly if the need arises. The Injectidry System is designed with a variety of modular and flexible pieces so that the system can be customized to the shape of any room or any floor and dried to the exact specifications of the drying standard. The capacity for the system is unlimited when it comes to drying wood floors in residential or commercial properties. Technicians also have the ability to utilize small format dehumidifiers and various designs of Air Movers to be placed beneath subfloors if possible to create a more drying specific matrix to ensure standards over a 3-5 day drying time.
SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge helps Property Managers Save the DayProperty Managers who have worked with SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge in the past know that our teams are ready, willing and able to get the job done in a quick and professional manner by utilizing equipment that is precise and customizable for the job, even on tough to dry wood floors. If you have any questions about our services please give us a call at (225)753-3434 and we will send a Professional Technician to meet with you ASAP.
Major Storms in the area....Who you gonna call? SERVPRO of EBR!
SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge Storm Team
Any water or flood damage can be a scary event but post Hurricane restoration can be even more difficult. But you never have to worry about those kind of issues with SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge. For more than 25 years, SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge has been fighting Hurricane damage and floods to help our customers recover their home or business as quickly as possible. You can rely on our highly trained staff for help with water or fire damage, mold removal, storm damage cleanup and more 24/7. We also offer free estimates and respond immediately to your emergency. We are proud to serve East Baton Rouge, Ascension Parish and Downtown Baton Rouge areas.
After experiencing a hurricane, storm, flood or water damage, you want someone who has the experience and expertise to restore your property properly. When it comes to flood management, there is no job too big or too small for our team at SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge.The business of restoring your life after flooding, water damage or storm damage has never been more important. Our key services include: Structural Drying and Dehumidification to reduce residual moisture; Mold Control to reduce the risk of secondary mold; Odor Control using natural and synthetic based products; Removal and Disposal of Acid-Forming Materials such as: drywall, carpet and other porous building materials; and Cleaning and Sanitization to restore sanitary and aesthetic conditions. We also perform complete re-construction services including creative repair, replacement and reconstruction.
Tough, no non-sense water and flood restoration services for homes, business and local institutions. SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge offers "all in one solutions" for all damages caused by water and storms such as gutting the affected areas, drying out areas with air movers to prevent mold growth and then cleaning everything before restoration begins. If you have any questions, concerns or needs please give us a call at (225)753-3434 and we will get someone out to visit you and help you in your time of need today!
What is Category 3 water and why is is dangerous?
What is CAT 3 Water? This is a very common questions that we hear from our customers and clients especially following a major flood, storm or hurricane. The word CAT is short for category and there are 3 different types when it comes to water inside of a home, business or structure that we focus on. Category 1 water is originated from a sanitary or potable water source and does not pose a substantial risk if humans are exposed to it, otherwise known as clean water. Examples of category 1 water is water from water supply lines, melting snow or ice, rainwater, toilet tanks and toilet bowls without contaminants. In the case of a category 1 water damage a restoration company can realistically salvage and dry any of the affected materials including carpet, drywall, carpet padding, hard wood flooring and other porous building materials.
Category 2 water contains a significant amount of contamination and may actually cause illness or infection if exposed to it. Category 2 water can potentially contain unsafe levels of various bacteria, viruses or mold and nutrients for the microorganism and other contaminants, otherwise known as grey water. Examples of Category 2 water are washing machine / dishwasher overflow, aquariums, damaged water beds, urine filled toilet bowls and hydrostatic pressure seepage from foundation slabs. Most building materials that are affected by category 2 water should be removed and the open spaces should be HEPA-VAC’ed and cleaned with anti-microbial solutions to disinfect the affected materials.
Category 3 water is widely referred to as black water. The IICRC defines Category 3 water damage as water that is “grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents that can cause significant adverse reactions to humans if contacted or consumed”. Some examples of Category 3 water are sewage of any type, seawater, waste line back flows that originate beyond the trap, rising waters from river or streams and wind driven rain from hurricanes / tropical storms. All affected building materials including insulation, carpet, carpet padding, cushions, hard wood floors and laminate flooring from a category 3 water intrusion should be removed from the property due to contamination.
I hope this blog helped you understand the difference between the major categories of water and most importantly the dangers inherent in the classification of Category 3 water. Category 3 water is potentially harmful for you and your family and should only be handled and remediated by restoration professionals. If you have any questions or needs for our remediation services please contact SERVPRO of East Baton Rouge at (225)753-3434.
How to Clean and Remove Surface Mold and Mildew
Mold SERVPRO Of East Baton Rouge
If you live in South Louisiana you definitely know a thing or two about mold and mildew. The subtropical climate of south Louisiana has a very high humidity level and lots of rain, storms and hurricanes. Due to these and other factors many of our homes and businesses can be victim to various levels of water intrusion through failed roofing, flood waters, wind driven rain and a many other factors. These water intrusions create moisture and wetness inside of our homes and this can often result in different types of mold/mildew that we find in our homes. I am going to teach you how to clean light surface mold, anything other than light surface mold or mildew should be handled by a professional. There are very dangerous mold spores and those should not be handled or dealt with by anyone other than a licensed mold specialist. If you need a higher level of service for this issue please call us at SERVPRO of Ascension Parish at (225)753-3434.
We are going to discuss light surface mold that can be found in grout lines, behind cabinets or even on AC vents. If you are from South Louisiana you have seen this type of growth and discoloration many times in your life and it can be both scary and daunting to figure out how to clean and remove it. The first thing you should do when you identify these types of surface mold is turn off the HVAC system so that it doesn’t spread mold spores throughout the property. Then you should wear an N95 Mask and gloves before proceeding with the cleaning and removal process. Once you have donned you safety equipment you can create a mixture of 1 Quart of Water, ½ cup of Bleach and a small amount of detergent. When it comes to mold remediation the bleach is used to kill the mold and the detergent is used to lift the mold or mildew off of the surface so that you can clean and remove it properly from the affected areas. If the mold or mildew does not disappear after spray down and clean then reapply the solution and utilize light scrubbing / agitation to remove the mold or mildew from the affected area.
When you are finished clean up the entire area with the solution and throw away any rags or paper towels used in the cleanup process. Make sure when you throw these items away that they are placed in an individual trash bag and sealed or tied so as not to allow the affected materials to be removed from the bags. If you observe a more serious mold or a larger quantity of mold other than light surface mold/mildew please make sure that you contact a professional immediately and seal off the area until the arrive. Any large mold areas or dark mold areas should be handled by licensed professionals.
When it comes to those bigger jobs let the professionals remove mold and mildew from your home or business. At SERVPRO of Ascension Parish our industry-leading training, certifications and experience allow us to offer a guarantee for our cleanup services. We use the highest level of mold removal training to help you get back in your home - fast. Callus today at (225)753-3434 if you have any further questions.