Using a Dehumidifier in Your Home
High humidity can cause many health-related issues, and some can be very severe. Optimal humidity levels are between 30- 50%, with around 45% being the most desirable. Dehumidifiers help to maintain indoor humidity at these comfortable levels, keeping the air in your indoor spaces healthy. This can both save you money and help you avoid any number of health risks.
Here are 3 ways dehumidifiers can help you at home:
Mildew emits a strong scent, which can affect an entire home. If you leave your clothes in the washer too long when humidity is high, they can become "mildewy" and will need to be re-washed, which only add to your water and energy bills. Since mold and mildew thrive in warm, moist environments, dehumidifiers help keep them in check.
As your body temperature rises, your body releases sweat to help cool you off. When humidity is at an optimal level, your sweat evaporates into the air, leaving you cool and dry. However, air molecules that are already saturated with water have no room to absorb further water, which means you run around wet and sticky. Everyone knows how uncomfortable that can be! Bacteria is another organism that thrives in humid environments, and minor cuts and injuries are more susceptible to infection in such a situation. Some minor medical issues can also be made worse by humidity, such as acne and athlete's foot.
When air molecules are ladened with water, it makes them harder to heat or cool down. For example: a pan only half full of water will heat and cool more quickly and efficiently than a pan that is full, and the same is true of air molecules that are half filled with water, like when humidity levels are at 50% or above. A dehumidifier will help your HVAC system heat up and cool down your home faster and more efficiently by reducing the water in the air, which can significantly save you cooling and heating costs.
Call SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County for all your cleanup projects, both large and small, and remember that we are mold remediation experts! Our phone number is (419) 621-7766, or you can visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County
A Cleaning Checklist for Your Business
It can be hard to juggle all of the daily requirements of a successful business, and the owner of such a business is sure to have checklists and to-dos for every area.
Keeping your business clean and your work environment pleasant and healthy will require a checklist, as well. Here’s a sample of what a cleaning checklist for your business could look like:
- Clean and disinfect all bathrooms including mirror, countertop, sinks, and both the inside and outer area of toilets, paying close attention to the flooring around the base, and the base itself.
- Clean and disinfect doors, door handles, and light switches, particularly during flu season.
- Sweep and mop floors using a disinfectant liquid. Make sure the mop head gets cleaned and/or replaced regularly to keep mold from taking hold.
- Clean cigarette trash from provided receptacles.
- Clean and polish drinking fountain, if you have one.
- Clean and disinfect kitchen area, including the sinks and countertops.
- Clean all glass, especially entrance doors.
- Wipe down and disinfect work desks and machinery such as phones, keyboards, printers, and filing cabinets.
- Sweep and vacuum all offices.
- Dust accessible window sills and baseboards.
- Dust artwork, framed certifications and news articles, etc. You want your image to shine!
- Clean out the refrigerator and wash/disinfect microwave.
- Sweep exterior entrances, both front and back.
- Make sure break areas are clean and presentable.
- Remove trash and debris from parking areas.
- Inspect roofing, exterior doors and windows, and parking areas for potential problems and maintenance needs.
- Trim back large bushes and tree limbs on your property before wet/windy weather.
- Do a quick inspection of fencing and entrance gates.
- Schedule periodic maintenance of all HVAC systems and ductwork.
Here at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County, we are prepared to help you handle all your cleaning and maintenance projects, both large and small. Call us at (419) 621-7766 for cleanup assistance after water or fire damage. We are also experienced in mold remediation. Visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County
Dealing with Water Damage in Your Business this Summer
Most of the time, disasters are unexpected. If you aren’t prepared beforehand for what can happen, your business may suffer more than it needs to.
The volume of water from a summer storm can present problems. Take a good look around your place of business; is the weatherstripping in doors and windows in good repair for damp conditions? Do exterior doors fit tightly and close as they should? The roof of your office or warehouse needs to be completely watertight, as well, to protect machinery, product, and furniture from water damages.
The parking lot of your business needs to have a well-planned drainage system so that clients and employees can get to and from their vehicles safely. If people have to wade into your business, your floors will suffer, and a slip-and-fall accident due to wet floors can be a disaster for everyone. Make sure you keep an eye on potholes as well; even a small amount of water can dig a pretty deep hole in a very short period of time!
- KEEPING AN EYE OUT FOR THE WEATHER
Rain gutters and spouts need to be checked periodically; if a rain gutter becomes clogged with debris like dead leaves or small branches, it won’t be able to drain away rain water. As water backs up, it will leak back into the walls of your building, sometimes without you knowing it, and you can find yourself with a mold problem.
Large trees on your property can become unstable if a large amount of water lands in the area. Do you need to take them out or cut them back so that they are not a risk factor? That’s something to consider.
Power lines and telephone poles near your place of business can be a possible issue. Contact your utilities companies and have them come take a look prior to wet weather to make sure you, your business, and your employees will be safe.
For your records, take pictures of your business, such as tools and machinery, furniture, and premises, so that you have proof of their prior condition for insurance purposes in case of storm damages. Save these types of photos to a CD, a flash drive, and/or the cloud for future access. Paper records will be lost if exposed to water; make sure that your hard copies are kept in a manner that will preserve them in case of any water damage. Scanning them and saving to your computer system is always a good idea, and backing up those computer records will keep your business in working order, no matter what comes!
Call the team at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County for all your large clean up jobs! We are experts when it comes to fire and water damage. Our phone number is: (419) 621-7766, or you can visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County
Preparing for Summer Storm Damage
In some areas of the country, rain is almost a daily occurrence during summertime, and summer storm damages are something to be prepared for. Flooding can be a summer storm hazard, and that can be inconvenient and even dangerous. Possessions can be ruined, and the structures of homes and businesses can be negatively affected. A professional water damage restoration company can be a vital resource during such times; such companies are able to complete all necessary repairs in a timely and efficient manner.
While storms can’t be predicted much of the time, educating yourself on the most common areas vulnerable to storm damages will help you be prepared to handle such an event. Some areas of your home or business are going to be more apt to experience damage than others during storms, such as low-lying areas like basements and cellars which can be flooded.
Here is a list of the three most common areas that suffer from summer storm damages:
Basements and cellars, the lowest parts of a house or building, need to be watched during wet weather since they have a number of easy entry points for water. If there is heavy rainfall during inclement weather, or if the building is near a body of water such as a lake or river, they are going to be in danger. Keep an eye open for cracks in the foundation, ceiling, and walls of these areas!
- ATTICS, ROOFS, AND GUTTERS
A damaged roof, either from weather or fire, is susceptible to water damage, and the areas underneath it will suffer. A small leak can turn into a big problem before you know it. If rain gutters have not been properly maintained, you may experience some problems stemming from standing water - even indoors.
- WINDOWS, DOORS, AND ENTRYWAYS
Keep an eye on your doors and windows. If they are not properly sealed against wet conditions, you will know it right away. Entryways are also a potential problem area; make sure they are free of standing water and debris so that people don’t get hurt.
Our team of professionals here at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County are experienced in repairs and cleanup from damages caused by water and fire. You can call us at (419) 621-7766, or visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County to learn more. We’re also mold remediation experts!
Tips to Keep Mold Out of Your Bathroom
There’s no room in your house that is more prone to mold growth, and it is no wonder: most of the time, there is water everywhere in the bathroom! You need to practice preventive measures to ensure that your bath area doesn’t develop serious mold growth in one of the most-used rooms in your home.
Your bathroom has higher humidity levels than most of the other rooms in your house, of course, and surfaces can become moldy quickly if not kept dry. Once mold has established a hold on an area, it can come back even more quickly every time humidity rises.
Here are some tips to prevent mold from the start:
- Use mold-resistant paints. Products of this type are readily available at your local hardware or home goods store. This is a great idea for your kitchen as well or for any other area that sustains a high level of humidity year round.
- Call a professional. When doing any type of repair or renovation in the bathroom area, check with a professional to learn about products that contain mold-resistant ingredients, such as mold-resistant flooring and drywall.
- Keep dry! Avoid leaving standing water in this area of the home, or in any other room for that matter. During floor cleaning, use less water than you might otherwise, and always dry off countertops after cleaning, paying special attention to cracks and crevasses.
- Stay current on repairs and maintenance. Ensure that all window and door frames and weather stripping are in good condition prior to wetter and more humid weather.
- Look for leaks. Keep an eye on the cabinets under the sinks and around the toilet for leaks from hoses and pipes leading to walls. Clean behind and underneath them well on a regular basis, and take a good look while you are completing this task.
- Ventilation is essential. Ensure your bathroom area is well-ventilated; you can always use a dehumidifier if you feel it is necessary.
Keeping mold out of your bathroom will contribute to a pleasant overall experience in your bathing area; after all, this room might just be the busiest in the whole house!
Here at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County, we have the experience, knowledge, and expertise necessary to help you with any mold remediatIon. We are also available for cleanup when you have experienced fire and water damage. Call us today at (419) 621-7766, or visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County
Carpet Cleaning Tips for Your East Ottawa/ Erie County Business
Most carpet is designed to camouflage dirt, especially carpet intended for commercial areas. But these same carpets see a lot of traffic, from human feet to dolly wheels, and they can get pretty dingy and rough-looking over time. A poorly maintained carpet can actually hurt your business, so you will want to put this on your to-do list!
- A carpet that isn’t well cared-for will need to be replaced sooner than one that receives regular cleanings and maintenance, costing you a lot more money in the long run!
- If you own a commercial building space, keeping your carpets in good repair can cut down on customer complaints and liability from any trips and falls.
- Clean carpeting and flooring are part of the good image of your business: clients will be more comfortable with you, and your employees will feel more positive about their work environment. A happy worker is much more productive!
- Clean carpets reduce loose particles, which protects your business’ indoor air quality. It has even been proven to reduce exposure to cancer-causing substances that can collect in carpet fibers! A clean carpet also reduces illness-causing biological contaminants such as bacteria, mold and viruses that can negatively affect your clients and work staff. This will be especially important during cold and flu season.
Having your commercial carpets cleaned regularly should be part of your business maintenance program.
Consider these points when deciding what an appropriate cleaning schedule should be:
- Color, nap and pile, type, and density of your carpet: a higher-quality carpet will probably be able to go longer without cleaning, for example, and hold up better over time.
- Foot traffic in your place of business: this aspect is going to change based on seasons and weather. A busy workplace is great, but it comes with its own set of challenges.
- The type of your commercial space: if you own a business that uses heavy machinery, you will need to have a much heavier cleaning schedule.
- The type of business you conduct: a veterinary office, daycare or restaurant is going to need more attention than an attorney’s office, for example. If you are a business related to the medical field, your needs may be very specific based on the area of medicine you are associated with.
The team at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County stands ready to help with all your commercial cleaning needs. We are experienced in large cleanup projects, such as those needed after water and fire damage, and mold remediation is one of our specialities. Call us today at (419) 621-7766 or visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County
Storm proofing Your Garage
Make storm-proofing your attached garage a priority when planning to protect your home from storms. As one of the largest sections in any home, your garage is also the most vulnerable place when it comes to high winds. Here are some tips to storm-proof your garage, which will also protect the rest of your home:
- Buy a garage door with a higher wind-resistance rating. Storms with extreme levels of wind will cause the most damage; when a garage is breached, the winds will batter the rest of your home more easily. Water will start to come in, and even just an inch of water can cause expensive and unwanted damage! If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, it’s recommended that you invest in a door that can withstand winds of 130 mph or higher. Doors with high impact-ratings will be a good idea, as that can protect your home and belongings from flying debris.
- Install a bracing system. You can reinforce your garage door with proper bracing. Most garage doors are secured only by the tracks or hinges, which will be no help during a powerful storm. A bracing system works by anchoring the door to the walls and floors and into each hinge.
- Keep your garage door well-maintained. If there are any holes or cracks or any breaches, that will allow storm winds through your garage door. Perform a monthly inspection and look for these issues, as well as problems with the weather stripping or any parts of the garage door mechanisms and functionality. Perform any repairs as soon as possible.
- Secure all windows. If you have windows in your attached garage, there will be weak points during extreme weather. Ensure they are in good repair and the weather stripping is in great shape at all times. Having wrought-iron window protection installed can go a long way to protect your glass from flying debris.
- Install drainage and flood vents. Make sure that this vulnerable area of your home is properly outfitted for the drainage of large amounts of water. You can have a trench drain installed in front of this area and on the sides of your driveway to divert water, and flood vents inside the garage can drain any water coming inside quickly before levels rise and cause damage.
Here at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County, we are always ready to help you in case of water damage, and we also handle clean up after house and business fires. Mold remediation is one of our specialities. Call us at (419) 621-7766, or visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County
Cleaning Mold Growth From Your Kitchen
Mold in any kitchen looks bad and smells worse, but there are other reasons why it should be remediated as soon as possible: if the mold is “black mold”, that can be a serious health issue! Mold also eats away at wood flooring, and it can wreak havoc on wooden kitchen window frames. It makes sense to get rid of serious mold growth as soon as possible. Here are a few tips you might find useful:
- Bleach and water. Before using this mixture, it’s important to put on gloves and goggles to protect your hands and face. Mix a cupful of bleach per every gallon of hot water in a non-metal container and use a funnel to pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Spray. Be sure to protect any furniture or other objects from damage by covering them with a tarp or newspaper before you begin to spray those places with mold infestation. Take care to keep windows and doors open to prevent inhaling fumes and run a fan if necessary.
- Allow mixture to penetrate. It’s necessary to allow at least 5 minutes to elapse so that the water/bleach mixture can penetrate the mold. Then, using a brush with stiff bristles, scrub the area and remove the mold.
- Clean the surface. Using cold water, rinse the surface and allow to dry. If the mold is not completely removed, you will have to repeat these steps until all traces of the mold are gone. If you still believe you have a problem after this, contact a professional to come and inspect the situation.
- An ounce of prevention. It is always best to prevent mold infestations in the first place, which can be achieved by keeping the humidity down in your kitchen area. Use a dehumidifier or keep windows open during better weather, allowing wet air to escape. A water and vinegar solution is helpful as a daily cleaning agent to keep surfaces disinfected and to fight mold. Keep in mind that if mold starts to grow under your kitchen flooring, you should call a professional right away.
Here at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County, we are always available to help you with your mold remediation. We also handle large clean up jobs, such as those necessary after fire or water damage. Call us at (419) 621-7766, or visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County
Cleaning Up Smoke Damage in Your Home or Business
Fire, smoke, and soot will affect everything in your home or business, from the structure to your equipment and belongings. After a fire, contacting a cleaning professional may be the best decision you can make. The SERVPRO team of East Ottawa/ Erie County knows how to get your work or personal space back to normal as soon as possible.
SERVPRO specializes in restoring contents of a home or business that have received fire damage or water damage. They will assess all your belongings carefully to determine what items can be restored to their “pre-fire” condition. Professional cleaning companies use several methods to get you back to normal after a fire:
- Foam cleaning: This method is used for upholstery since it can shrink or bleed if water is used.
- Dry cleaning: This method is used to clean light residue.
- Wet cleaning: This is a very effective cleaning method used to remove moderate to heavy residues.
- Immersion cleaning: This method is one where items are dipped into a bath of cleaning product.
Electronics that have been damaged by fire present a serious hazard; never attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that could possibly have been affected! Smoke residue contains acids that corrode metal and that can cause electronic failure in a device. Items that you should be careful of are:
- CD and DVD Players
SERVPRO of East Ottawa/ Erie County technicians are experienced in document and photograph restoration and can help in the event that your important records or personal keepsakes have been damaged during a fire.
If the damage to your home or business is such that it will need extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO of East Ottawa/ Erie County can organize an efficient move-out process of the affected areas. Removing your items from the area will aid in a quicker remodelling process and will protect your items from any further potential damage. After the restoration is complete, move-in can be coordinated easily.
If your home or business has suffered damage from fire, water, or mold, give the SERVPRO team a call today at (419) 621 7766 of East Ottawa today! You can also visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa
Finding Water Damage in Your Attic
Your home or business’ attic is one of the main places where damage from heavy rainfall can occur, and then mold growth becomes a concern. Your attic is a place that you probably won’t visit regularly; usually, a trip up to the attic is only made when you need something you have put up for a rainy day. However, it is important to check your attic area periodically for leaks and water damage, especially after winter or other rainy seasons or if you live or work in an area where heavy rain or snow is a regular occurrence.
Some homes and workplaces have water heaters in the attic, and these are known to leak as they age. Your attic and roofing will also take the brunt of any stormy weather; when the roof sustains damage such as loose or missing roofing material, you will probably see water stains in the attic, and that will always let you know a problem is developing.
You can follow these tips to help you keep on top of any damage to your attic:
- Check your attic for damage regularly. It is important to assess your attic space as often as you check other parts of your home or workplace. You’ll want to make sure this area isn’t holding water, which can, in turn, create problems with your interior ceilings.
- It’s crucial to thoroughly inspect all roofing after a strong storm and/or high winds to ensure it is still intact.
- Make sure your water heater is working properly. If your water heater isn’t functioning properly or if it has seen better days, have it checked by a professional and perhaps replace it. A malfunctioning water heater can flood your home and cause major property damage. There are now continuous water heaters on the market; this might be a good choice if your connection is in the attic area.
Here at SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County, we are experienced and always ready to help with cleanup after water and fire damage and are experts in the area of mold remediation. Call us at (419) 621-7766, or visit our website: SERVPRO of East Ottawa/Erie County