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Friends Don't Let Friends Hoard

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

General Friends Don't Let Friends Hoard Hoarders basement

Our SERVPRO of Rochester technicians handle many complicated situations - one of which includes hoarding. Water, fire, and mold damages are much more complicated in a hoarder home - more obstacles, more damaged belongings, and more sensitive situations with homeowners. 

Here are a list of risk factors when it comes to hoarding: 

Homelessness

Homelessness can result if the local Department of Public Health must order the person out of or condemn the dwelling or if the landlord demonstrates in court that the level or type of hoarding seriously violates the lease. Shelters have also been known to bar individuals whose hoarding puts other shelter guests at risk.

Health Problems

Health problems include falls or accidents and inability of emergency personnel to enter or remove an ill person. Clutter, garbage, animal or human feces and resulting mold or infestation can also cause respiratory and other health problems. Lack of sanitation can be particularly unsafe for immune compromised individuals. Ammonia levels from accumulations of urine and feces can easily exceed maximum occupational exposure limits, and can be harmful to persons with cardiac or respiratory dysfunction.

Personal Safety

Blocked exits or heating vents can also pose a fire hazard and occasionally the nature or extent of hoarded items creates structural dangers due to excess weight. Hoarding of dangerous or flammable items poses great health and safety risks.

Animal Safety

Improper care or neglect of animals can put people at risk of committing felony-level crimes, resulting in forfeiture of animals, fines, and imprisonment.

For more information on these risks click here. 

How to Prepare for a Windstorm

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How to Prepare for a Windstorm Tree fell on home during storm.

Even a wind storm can have disastrous effects on your property. That’s why it’s important to make a plan in advance to limit storm damage. Follow these tips so you know what to do before, during, and after a wind storm.

What To Do In Advance: 

Wind damage comes from a variety of storms and each has its own ways to prepare. Be sure that everyone in your home or business knows what to do in case of the most likely storms for your area. If you operate a store, restaurant, or other business that deals with many members of the public at once, be sure your staff knows how to escort them to shelter.

  • Stock up on emergency supplies.Be sure the first aid kit is stocked and the flashlights have working batteries. A generator can power a house and costs a few hundred dollars - which may be well worth your money when you are without it for an extended amount of time. Solar panels that can charge cell phones are available online for under $50 as well.
  • Know how to turn off utilities or override electronics. Depending on any wind or flood damage, you may need to turn off the water or circuit box. If the power goes out, cars will be stuck inside a garage with an electric opener unless you know how to use the manual override.
  • Give the roof a checkup. Be sure there aren’t any loose or missing shingles that could blow away during a storm or let in rain. It’s better to make repairs during good weather than to try to get a tarp over a hole in the roof during a thunderstorm.
  • Check the perimeter. When you know a storm is on the way, do a quick check outside if there’s enough time. Put lawn furniture in the shed, pick up toys, put cars and bicycles in the garage, and fasten loose items, like patio umbrellas. Not only will these items blow away in a storm, but they can cause a great deal of damage in the process. A lawn chair can shatter a window, while a bike can put a huge dent in a car. Be sure to close any awnings too; even a mild wind storm can tear fabric from the frame.
  • Back up your computers frequently. If your electronics suffer flood damage or any kind of storm damage, you’ll be glad you took the time to back up your files. Cloud backup services are available for free from Dropbox, Google, and other providers for a set amount of data and extra amounts of storage can be purchased for a nominal fee. The advantage of a cloud backup service is that you can access them from anywhere; if your home or business is damaged, you can use a computer or smart device anywhere that has internet access.
  • Be sure you have a weather app on your smartphone and enable severe weather alerts. You won’t be near a TV or computer for every storm, so you need a way to check on the severity of storms and know when to take cover.

We do experience heavy thunderstorms in Michigan with very strong winds. so make sure you take the time to go over these precautionary steps. If you do suffer damage to your home or business call at SERVPRO or Rochester at (248) 608-2667

7 Signs You May Have Mold in Your Home

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 7 Signs You May Have Mold in Your Home Mold growth in basement.

When is it Time to Call in the Professionals? 

Since mold isn't always visible or easy to spot, it's important to know what to look out for so you can take care of any issues if you have some — you don't want your health to suffer just because your house looks clean enough. Although toxic mold can bring on the most serious health problems, all mold and mildew can cause health issues — especially for those who suffer from allergies." 

1. There's a smell.

  • One of the first signs will be a musty smell. If you smell mold, it is most likely there and that is a cause to take action. 

2. You have a chronic cough. 

  • Toxic black mold can cause respiratory-related health problems. This can lead to a chronic cough, shortness of breath or sinus congestion. 

3. You have skin rashes. 

  • Toxic mold can cause itchy and uncomfortable rashes, as many people are actually allergic to mold. 

4. You are having trouble focusing. 

  • The presence of toxic mold can affect the brain. This can lead to problems concentrating and even memory loss. 

5. You feel fatigued. 

  • Toxic mold can cause chronic fatigue and weakness. This fatigue is most likely to kick in on humid days and you may feel relief around an air conditioner or fresh air. 

6. Your walls are discolored.

  • It can be hard to determine between other causes of discoloration and potential toxic mold, but SERVPRO of Rochester professionals can come out and take a look to determine your issue and the best course of action. 

7. You see staining.  

  • Mold is not always obvious and can sometimes look like a typical stain. This is because when mold rubs off on a surface it can leave just spots or patches. Different molds have different growth patterns and some show up more than others. If you are noticing spots, call us to come check it out. 

Hoarding Plus a Water Damage? Yikes!

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hoarding Plus a Water Damage? Yikes! Basement Filled

This Farmington Hills, MI home experience flooding in their basement with contaminated water, however, this was not your typical flood. The homeowners happened to be hoarders and their basement was filled to the ceiling - there was barely any space to walk and most areas were not accessible. 

Before going into the process of mitigating this loss, let's talk a little bit about what hoarding is. 

Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. The behavior usually has deleterious effects—emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal—for a hoarder and family members.

For those who hoard, the quantity of their collected items sets them apart from other people. Commonly hoarded items may be newspapers, magazines, paper and plastic bags, cardboard boxes, photographs, household supplies, food, and clothing.

In a situation like this our SERVPRO of Rochester technicians had to begin by throwing away all the contaminated items due to the quality of the water. It was not until everything was 'trashed out' that we were actually able to mitigate the damage to the structure. 

To learn more about hoarding visit: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/hoarding-basics

CALL SERVPRO AT (248) 608-2667

The Importance of Moisture Meters

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage The Importance of Moisture Meters Meter Reading

When your home or business floods our SERVPRO of Rochester technicians have the proper tools to make sure your space is dry and returned to a preloss condition as quickly as possible. 

Shown in the picture is a very important tool we use called a moisture meter - this is how we detect where moisture is (what is wet) and how close we are to having it completely dry during our monitor appointments. 

This particular meter a non-destructive overall building inspection moisture meter which has the perfect features for our industry. It has many unique features that make moisture measurement and evaluation fast, precise and versatile.

Features

  • Wide range of readings for wood from 5% to 30%.
  • Deep signal penetration to over 1" into the materials being tested without the need to damage the surface. Signal penetration depends on material being tested and meter setting.
  • Three ranges of sensitivity: Wood & Timber / Drywall & Roofing / Plaster & Brick – making it ideal for testing moisture conditions in various building materials.
  • Detects moisture through paint, wall coatings, drywall, ceramic tiles, floor coverings, wood, roof coverings and ceiling tiles.
  • High moisture audio warning tone.

You can trust that SERVPRO of Rochester will dry out your space with the proper drying equipment. 

Have Water or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today (248) 608-2667

Church Flooding in Southfield, MI

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Church Flooding in Southfield, MI Music Room in the Church

This church in Southfield, MI flooded after a pipe in the old building burst. Three floors were affected with two flooded rooms per floor - one of the rooms being the music room pictured here. 

Getting the space mitigated, dried out and sanitized as quickly as possible was a huge priority so the community and children could get back to using a space they cherish so much. 

SERVPRO of Rochester has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. Whether your water emergency occurs in a small office building or big box store, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. 

Water Damage or Flooding? Call Us Today (248) 608-2667

Kitchen Fire in Southfield, MI Home

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Kitchen Fire in Southfield, MI  Home Burnt stove after kitchen fire.

This house fire in Southfield, MI was the result of a pan sitting on the hot stove with residual grease in it unattended. House fires like this cause a lot of smoke and a lot of soot which is an extensive cleaning process - so leave it to the professionals at SERVPRO of Rochester! 

Which appliances caused the most fires in the last year?

  • 14% washing machines (1,723)
  • 12% tumble dryers (1,456)
  • 11% dishwashers (1,324)
  • 9% cookers (1,080)
  • 7% fridges / freezers (861)
  • 5% central heating (606)
  • 4% toasters / grills (495)
  • 4% microwaves (427)
  • 3% TVs (372)
  • 2% washer dryers (225)
  • 1% irons (92)

It is extremely important to practice fire safety, especially with regards to appliances in your home. For a list of fire damage tips please click here.

Kitchen Fire in Southfield, MI Home

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Kitchen Fire in Southfield, MI  Home Burnt counter tops after fire.

This house fire in Southfield, MI was the result of a pan sitting on the hot stove with residual grease in it unattended. House fires like this cause a lot of smoke and a lot of soot which is an extensive cleaning process - so leave it to the professionals at SERVPRO of Rochester! 

Which appliances caused the most fires in the last year?

  • 14% washing machines (1,723)
  • 12% tumble dryers (1,456)
  • 11% dishwashers (1,324)
  • 9% cookers (1,080)
  • 7% fridges / freezers (861)
  • 5% central heating (606)
  • 4% toasters / grills (495)
  • 4% microwaves (427)
  • 3% TVs (372)
  • 2% washer dryers (225)
  • 1% irons (92)

It is extremely important to practice fire safety, especially with regards to appliances in your home. For a list of fire damage tips please click here.

Do You Understand the Mold Remediation Process?

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Do You Understand the Mold Remediation Process? Mold Test Area

Understanding Mold and Our Remediation Process

Microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, so removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and they may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise the mold may return.
  • Let your nose lead the way. Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher than normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

The Mold Remediation Process

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:

  1. Emergency Contact - (248) 608-2667

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.

  1. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.

  1. Mold Containment

Our professionals use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.

  1. Air Filtration

Our specialized filtration equipment allows our Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.

  1. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.

  1. Cleaning Contents and Belongings

We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

  1. Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may have been removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. The restoration step gets your home or business back to normal.

Have Mold Related Questions? Call Us Today (248) 608-2667

The Importance of HVAC When Dealing With Fire, Soot and Smoke

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Importance of HVAC When Dealing With Fire, Soot and Smoke Air Filter that caused a fire.

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, however, the biggest culprit of fires is your furnace. In fact, according to FEMA, heating appliances were the second highest cause of residential building fires in 2014- specifically furnace flame roll out. 

Flame rollout happens when flames escape and “roll” outside of the closed combustion area. 
If those open flames come into contact with insulation or nearby flammable objects, you will be dealing with a dangerous house fire.

Flame rollout happens when there isn’t enough oxygen to “feed” your furnace. Your furnace needs a mixture of oxygen and fuel to create heat, but if there’s not enough ventilation to provide oxygen, the furnace flames will “roll out” in search of oxygen elsewhere.

Tips on how to keep your furnace safe from flame rollout include:

  • Regularly check and change your air filter- A clogged air filter can cause a buildup of soot inside the flue (the tunnel where combustion gases exit outdoors). And when soot buildup blocks the flue, this also restricts your furnace’s oxygen supply.
  • Check for obstructions in your furnace flue- Your furnace flue connects to the outside, so obstructions like a bird’s nest, leaves or other debris are very likely and can prevent your furnace from getting oxygen. 
  • Install a rollout switch- These devices detect and shut off power to the furnace when the burner area exceeds normal and safe temperatures. This prevents rollout from happening in the first place.
  • Schedule annual furnace maintenance- Annual maintenance allows our techs to spot any issues early on that could lead to flame rollout. We’ll make sure everything is working properly to avoid the abnormal situations that lead to flame rollout.

SERVPRO of Rochester will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.