Recent Posts

BEHAVIORS OF SMOKE

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

The damage that is done to your property following a fire loss can be complicated due to the unique behaviors of smoke.

There area few different types of smoke. Here is a guide on how to differentiate between what kind of damage you have and what the cause was.

1.There is fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs)

While these "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of College Park/ Hyattsville can, in most cases restore the contents and structure quickly.

2. Protein fire Residue which is formed by evaporation of material rather than from a fire. Virtually invisible it discolors paints and varnishes, and carried an extreme pungent odor.

3. Dry Smoke (paper and wood) Fast-burning in high temperature setting. Heat rises causing the smoke to do the same.

4. Wet Smoke (pastic and rubber)  Low heat setting, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky and more difficult to clean behind.

Why Trusting A Professional After a Fire is Important

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

Because of the convection pattern that flames typically form during ignition, smoky residue saturates every opening. The soot constructs up in layers that may end up being solidified and tough to eliminate which is another reason to leave the cleaning to a specialist. When the cleaning teams do arrive, they promptly different salvageable items from charred debris, taking the things creating the strongest odors out for cleaning.

Following a fire, wall surface areas can be harmed by soot. Non-water based cleaners need to be used to remove soot from walls. These kinds of chemicals should be handled by a specialist due to the fumes and toxicity. Water-based cleaning items can cause spots to bleed into plaster walls which is why a trained specialist should be left to deal with these chemicals.  

Most importantly, a restoration effort reduces the after-effects a blaze can have on the health of those who return in. If a homeowner does not have the property restored by a professional, the results can be found later on down the line. To an untrained eye they might believe the issue has been fixed, they experience the remaining impacts of indoor air pollution for numerous months later on in the form of increased respiratory discomfort.  

Companies like SERVPRO are leading experts in fire restoration. They are trained to help remove your belongings as well as cleaning and storing them until your property has been restored to its original condition.

Flooding

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Storms and heavy rains can cause heavy flooding in such a short period of time. A perfect example of this is in Lousiana currently. They had 2 feet of rain that fell consistently for 3 days, and within a 72-hour time span the streets were flooded. The National Weather Service is warning that rivers will stay in flood stage for days

Flooding means that not only will a homeowner have to think about the current situation of being displaced from their home and losing some of their personal belongings, but the results after the water is gone. Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Once the water has subsisded the presence of dirt, grime, bacteria and mold will be present. The level of these things depends on how long the standing water is left unattended. In a case like Louisiana there is no telling when the water can be extracted from the towns let alone peoples houses.

After the waters have subsided and before you immediately enter your home refer to this checklist.

1. Watch out for wild animals, poisonous snakes that may have entered the home, check thru the debris.

2. Watch out for plaster, loose ceiling structures and document everything for yourself and for insurance purposes.

3. Throw away any food, anything that may have come in contact with the flood waters, anything in the fridge.

4. Check electrical systems, gas leaks, sewage and water lines all for damage.

Water : Clean Vs Contaminated

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville. Consider the following steps to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water:

 ·         Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.

·         Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock.

·         Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

·         Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

·         Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

·         Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

Damage from Contaminated Water:

·         Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.

·        Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.

·         Do not turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.

·         Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.

·         Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

Note: If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.

Fire Safety Week 2017

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that 3 out of 5 home fire deaths are due to non- working smoke alarms? Have you checked yours? It is as simple as looking on the back of the smoke alarm for the date of manufacture.

It is recommended that you try and change smoke alarms every 10 years if not sooner to avoid problems.

To find out more information on fire safety week visit the website of Fema:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

Areas in your house that mold can hide from you

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

9/6/2016

Mold can occur anywhere in a home but mainly is concentrated to areas where moisture is present. These moisture areas are common to the bathroom and basements. Mold can cause respiratory problems and should be removed if found as soon as possible. Most restoration companies only do mold inspections if the mold is visible, an industrial hygienist would come in and search for traces of mold that are not visible.

One of the first places mold can collect and you may not think to check is under the refrigerator. Under the fridge tends to collect moisture and dirt which can cause a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Another place is the AC unit. AC units are known to collect debris, dust and moisture from the air, which can lead to mold spores.

Mold can even grow in or around a washing machine or its parts. Moisture and lint can cause a presence of mold spores.

Other area in the house include anywhere moisture and dirt may form such as window corners.

Tips For Cleaning Your Home

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

5/12/2016

Divide Your Workspace Into Zones:

Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a workspace for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies and a filing area for your archives. This will provide a foundation for a more efficient use of space.

Keep Only What You Need at Arm’s Length:

Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go. Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only. Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you’ve established for them.

Sort Your Catch-All Drawer:

Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands. Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn’t being used.

Eliminate Digital Clutter:

Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. Organize digital files and your e-mail inbox just as you would paper files – with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders. Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor of calendar reminders.

Create A Daily Paper System:

Consider creating hanging files or baskets labeled “To Read,” “To Do,” and “To File.” Establish set days for each, so that you don’t get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.

Disinfect Regularly:

Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains and fingerprints. Wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard, and monitor once a week with disinfecting wipes.

Tips provided by Forbes, The Dangers of a Messy Desk.

Evacuation Plan

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Water (one gallon per person per day)

· Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)

· Manual can opener

· Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio

· Flashlight and extra batteries

· First aid kit

· Whistle to signal for help

· Clothing

· Dust masks or bandanas

· Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape

· Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

· Hygiene items

· Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information

· Cash

· Fire extinguisher

· Matches in a waterproof container

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

Lightning Strikes

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk for being struck. Here are a few lightning safety tips.

Be aware. Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is available.

Go indoors. Remember the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.

Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete. Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.

Avoid water. Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.

Avoid electronic equipment. Do not use computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves, or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, radio, and television reception systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. Equip homes and offices with whole-house surge protectors to protect appliances.

Tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control; cdc.gov.

Kitchen Safety

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Recipe For Kitchen Safety:

·        Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.

·        Stay in the home when cooking food and check on it frequently.

·        Watch children closely. It is a good rule of thumb to keep children three feet away from the cooking area.

·        Clean cooking surfaces to prevent food and grease build-up.

·        Keep curtains, towels and pot holders away from hot surfaces and store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources. Never keep gasoline in the house.

·        Turn pan handles inward to prevent food spills.

·        Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

·        Make sure your smoke alarms are working by testing them prior to beginning food preparation.

Tips and statistics reproduced from NFPA’s Web site, nfpa.org