Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

What Type of Mold Is Growing in Your House?

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

Man wearing protective gear while looking at ceiling with mold If you suspect mold growth in your home, consider talking with SERVPRO.

In Your Home, What Kind Of Mold Is Growing?

There are many different types of mold that can grow in your house in Hanover Township, OH Mold growth is much more common than you may think, especially in areas of high humidity where water damage may have occurred. In all cases, the mold should be remediated. Here are some common types of mold typically found in the household.

1. Cladosporium

Usually green in color, Cladosporium can be found hiding under upholstery or floorboards. This mold can grow inside or outside in hot or cold climates and tends to grow on wood and fabric.

2. Aspergillus

Aspergillus is a very common mold and can be found anywhere where there are high levels of dampness. It can grow into thick layers quickly if not dealt with in time. Aspergillus can appear in a variety of colors as there are many species of this type of mold growth.

3. Penicillium

Penicillium will appear blue or green in color and is often found in areas of high water damage, typically in areas such as carpet and wallpaper. This fungus usually will have a fuzzy appearance to it.

4. Alternaria

Alternaria is a fast-growing mold that is extremely common. It usually appears as dark brown or black in color and fuzzy in texture. Under sinks, in window frames, or in showers are some of the frequent areas this mold is found.

5. Stachybotrys

Stachybotrys, frequently referred to as “black mold,” is typically black, slimy, and smelly. Black mold usually grows on wood, paper, or cardboard in areas that have experienced prolonged periods of water damage.

Mold can be difficult to locate and even harder to remove. If you suspect mold growth may be an issue in your home, consider talking to a professional to locate and remove the problem. Professional removers have specific training and equipment for the remediation of mold to ensure that it is taken care of for good. Always stay on top of it—mold grows fast and can spread to places you may not think of.

What To Do If You Smell Mold But Don't See It

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on a wall Commercial mold growth

Mold growth is a common problem, so it is no surprise to find the fungus growing in commercial buildings in Oxford, OH. Unfortunately, in some cases, you may have an infestation long before it becomes noticeable. When this happens, the first sign will likely be a mold smell. If your building begins to smell musty, there might already be a significant amount of growth.

Why You Might Smell Mold But Not See It

When you have a mold smell in the building but don’t see anything out of the ordinary, the most likely reason is that the mold is growing in a hidden area. This can include the following:

  • Inside walls
  • Beneath flooring or carpeting
  • Inside drains and other plumbing fixtures
  • Inside upholstered furniture or other fabric items

Although mold will sometimes appear as discoloration on surfaces, if it grows in areas such as these, you may only become aware of the growth because of the fungus smell. For this reason, you should not ignore any unpleasant odors that you notice in your commercial building.

How You Should Handle It
If you notice a mold or mildew smell, particularly if there are no visible signs of growth, one of the first steps you should take is to hire a mold remediation company to perform an inspection. Because these professionals have the necessary experience and equipment, they will be able to locate any growth much more quickly and easily than if you were to take on the task yourself. If mold is found, they can then perform removal and cleanup to remove the odor from the building. Once the growth has been removed, you will need to take certain precautions, such as cleaning regularly and reducing moisture, to prevent the mold from returning.
Even if you cannot see any problems, a mold smell in your building will more than likely indicate some kind of fungal growth. It is best not to ignore any musty odors, as mold can spread quickly when not removed right away. Maintaining your building once the mold is removed will help prevent future infestations.

3 Steps To Take After Roof Damage

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

Man on top of a house roof, drilling ceiling. Roof repair in Ross, OH.

Three Steps For Repairing Your Roof

When a storm rolls through Ross, OH, it can leave an array of destruction and debris in its wake. If recent weather events find you in need of roof repair, here are the three steps to take first.

1. Contact a Roof Damage Mitigation Company
Before you can remedy any rain, hail or wind damage, you need to put a stop to the damage. Just because a storm subsides doesn't mean the issue is under control. Prompt mitigation of storm damage is the best way to prevent larger and more expensive problems from developing the next time it rains.
Given the location of the damage and the scope of the mitigation effort itself, it's a job best left to professionals. Before you do anything else, contact your local storm damage restoration company to schedule a prompt inspection of your roof and any other affected areas.

2. Remove Wet Belongings
If water entered your home during the storm, remove any wet items and take them outside to dry. Proceed with caution, though: Storms that require roof repair can also cause structural damage that may lead to falling debris or collapse. When in doubt, wait it out.

3. Begin Airing Out the Affected Area
A wet attic needs to be dried promptly — not only the items stored inside but also your home's building materials. If your attic or crawl space has windows you can open, open them. Do you have central air? Turn on the fan so it runs constantly. Dust off any box fans or other portable blowers and enlist their help, too. If the area is difficult to reach or you suspect structural damage, don't be a hero: Sit tight and stay dry until the professionals arrive.
No one's weekend plans ever include roof repair. If your roof suffers damage, acting quickly and intelligently can expedite the process and minimize your stress.

Keep These 4 Things in Mind When Your Toilet Overflows

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

sewage backup in a toilet Sewer damage in a home in Trenton, OH.

Toilet Overflow

When you have sewer damage in your Trenton, OH, residence from a tree root or a blockage, the water in your toilet backs up. You have a stinky mess that turns your house into a miserable sewage dump. Fortunately, with a little knowledge and help, you can restore your dwelling. Keep these things in mind when your toilet overflows.

1. Use a Sewage Company for Clean Up
When sewage overflows from a flooded toilet, that mess can soak into the walls and flooring leaving a smell that can't be masked by deodorizers. Seek the services of odor removal specialists who don't mask the stench, but completely remove its source, restoring your home to its preflood condition.
In the meantime, you need to stop the flood from that sewer damage.

2. Close the Toilet's Flapper
Inside every toilet at its base is a flapper that stops the flow of water from the tank into the bowl. Push the flapper down to stop the flooding.

3. Raise the Toilet's Float
A bulb attached to a rod, also known as the float, controls the amount of water coming into the tank. When it raises to a certain level, the water will stop, so raise the float to shut off the flood and prevent further sewer damage.

4. Cut Off the Toilet's Water
At the base of your toilet is a valve that you can use to either turn the water on or off. Once you've stopped water from going from the tank into the bowl, make sure no more water goes into the tank by turning off the valve. Do this last, as the valve is sometimes hard to turn.
Plunge your toilet to force some of the water down and keep it from splashing out of the bowl. With help from professionals, your bathroom will be good as new.

3 Steps To Clean Up a Commercial Fire

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Burned wooded structure Structure experienced fire damage in Oxford, OH.

Three Steps to Clean and Restore a Building

A fire can destroy the contents and structure of a commercial property in Oxford, OH. Owners should hire restoration professionals who have extensive experience cleaning and restoring fire and smoke damage. These specialists will follow three general steps to clean and restore a building.

1. Remove Damaged Items

It is necessary to remove contents from a structure that has suffered fire and soot damage. Start by sorting these items based on whether cleaning is practical or possible. Structural mitigation can only start after contents have been disposed of or moved off-site to be cleaned and stored until restoration is complete.

2. Clean Up Ash and Soot

Fire damage mitigation experts rely on a variety of specialized methods during the cleaning process. Surfaces and contents may undergo dry-cleaning, wet cleaning, foam treatment, immersion, ultrasonic waves, or abrasion.

Smoke damage calls for eliminating residues on walls and ceilings and allowing these surfaces to dry prior to repainting. Depending on the amount of damage caused by the fire suppression method, it may also be necessary to tear out and replace porous building materials, such as drywall.

3. Repair and Restore

During the final phase of restoration, cleanup experts may rely on professional air filtration equipment such as an HVAC air scrubber or clean ducts and vents. Odor elimination equipment such as an ozone or hydroxyl generator, a vapor modification system, or a thermal fogger may also be used. This step involves rebuilding, repainting, and restoring contents that have been cleaned or replaced.

A fire restoration and smoke cleaning service will proceed through these three broad steps to clean and restore a damaged building in Oxford, OH. The length of this process may vary depending on the severity of the fire and smoke damage. Property owners should request a schedule during the initial consultation and check in to see when the work will be finished.

What Does It Mean for a Company To Be Certified in Mold Cleanup?

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on wall Mold growth in a Hanover Township, OH home.

What Does It Mean for a Company to Be Mold Cleanup Certified?

When you have a mold problem in your Hanover Township, OH, home, you need to act quickly. If you don't already have a residential mold remediation team, you need to find a reliable company. As you search for a professional, you may find that some companies are certified mold cleaners while others aren't. Is this certification simply a justification for a company to charge you more money? Actually, working with a certified mold remediation crew can be a big benefit for you.

Expert Knowledge

A mold certification from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Cleaning means the professionals have proven knowledge of mold remediation and cleanup. The crew would have passed a test proving they understand mold cleanup, which encompasses the following:

  • How to contain a colony
  • How to meet legal requirements
  • How to use safety gear to reduce contamination
  • How to find hidden mold growth

When you work with a certified team, you can feel confident that they will know how to get the job done correctly.

Insurance-Provider Approved

Not only can you feel confident working with a company that has certified mold knowledge, but your insurance provider may also feel better about the situation. Depending on your policy, some of the mold damage remediation may be covered by your insurance. This means you need to follow the stringent guidelines set up by the provider to ensure the work can be reimbursed. Insurance providers prefer working with companies that are certified in mold cleanup because they know the right steps are being taken to address the fungus growth.

State Approved

Some companies in this industry may work without a proper state license. This may allow them to charge less money for the remediation, but it also means you may be legally and financially liable should anything go wrong. In order to become certified, a company has to be properly licensed.

Going through the cleanup process after discovering fungus growth can be hard. When you work with a certified mold expert, however, you can feel confident that you're getting sound advice and service.

Why You Should Choose a Certified Mold Remediation Expert

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. Mold remediation can be a costly expense.

Cleaning extensive mold growth can be a nightmare for any homeowner in Hamilton, OH. A professional cleanup and restoration crew can help you address mold damage and restore your home. If you live in an area with multiple service providers, deciding which one to hire can be a challenge. However, at the end of the day, your goal is to ensure that your home is thoroughly cleansed and eliminated from mold. For this reason, a certified mold remediation expert is your best option.

What Certification Means

Widespread mold can significantly damage your home. A certified mold specialist will know how to efficiently address the problem, offering peace of mind to affected homeowners. To receive a mold certification, specialists must accomplish the following:
• Commit to a code of ethics
• Abide by standards of practice
• Complete testing and on-the-job training
• Renew certification regularly to verify accuracy of knowledge and techniques

Because of extensive training, certified mold experts possess the technical proficiency to thoroughly eliminate mold inside your home. This includes efficiently removing mold that has infiltrated building materials as well as preventing recontamination. Completing mandatory recertification also ensures that the contractor is up-to-date on the latest methods and technologies that benefit remediation efforts.

Insurance Company’s Preference

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration conducts research and sets industry standards. In addition, it’s one of the leading certification authorities. Like homeowners, insurance companies want assurance that mold remediation will be thoroughly and professionally completed. For this reason, insurance companies typically prefer experts possessing mold certification.

A Wise Choice

Mold remediation can be a costly expense. However, attempting to reduce costs by choosing an uncertified technician can create extra expenses in the long run. A certified mold technician is a worthwhile investment because their technical proficiency and dedication to best practices will ensure that the problem is adequately addressed from the beginning, helping to preserve your home’s internal integrity and reduce the likelihood of future mold growth.

3 Benefits of Working With Certified Mold Services

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on corner of a wall If you have mold damage in your home, it's time to call the professionals.

Three Benefits Of Choosing Services That Are Certified

If you have mold in your home, it's time to call the professionals. Dealing with mold can be troublesome, but working with mold remediation services can make the process easier. How do you know which company to choose? There are many benefits of choosing certified mold professionals

1. Insurance Companies Prefer Mold Certification
According to IICRC standards, companies must do a lot to become certified. Insurance companies may prefer certified mold remediation companies to ensure better quality. If you are working with insurance to fix your mold problems, this may be a requirement.

2. Services Are Ready and Prepared To Fix Mold Problems
Services that become certified have all the qualifications to ensure a job well done. They also have all the tools necessary to fix any kind of mold issue in the home. If you choose a company that is not certified, they may not remove mold in the best possible way due to a lack of tools or resources. Certification ensures a level of trust that other companies may not be able to give without proof of mold remediation expertise.

3. Results Are Expected To Be High-Quality
As mentioned above, certified mold services must meet certain standards and therefore can do a great job at helping you fix your mold growth problem. By choosing a certified company, you ensure the best quality of remediation. This is necessary to prevent future mold problems from occurring, and you can be reassured that they will use the best practices and methods to remove mold for good.
Mold growth is never wanted inside the home. A certified mold service may be the best professional option. Your insurance company may prefer certification anyway, as it proves the expertise of the services you work with. When choosing a service, be sure to find out if they are certified.

Q2 2021 Franchise Teammate One Team MVP Finalist Dylan Riddle

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

a man We are beyond proud to have Dylan as part of our SERVPRO family.

Dylan Riddle has been the job file coordinator with SERVPRO of East Central Cincinnati and West Hamilton/Oxford for more than three years. There he has taken his work ethic, knowledge, and positive attitude to help improve his franchise's job cycle times and audit scores. While he rarely works in the field, customers often compliment the customer service when working with Dylan. His help was even on display during the recent Winter Storm in Texas and Oklahoma as he provided help managing the influx of work during the event.

Dylan has been absolutely critical in the turnaround of our franchise. Approx. three years ago we realized we were one of the worst franchises in regard to upload scores and job cycle times. After spending the majority of the year in a "red light" status, we had to take action to correct these deficiencies. We made a significant amount of internal changes, however, we still struggled with our audit scores. Despite our efforts, we could not seem to grasp the process. Fortunately, Dylan came along and was able to quickly help us turn things around and surpass the very lofty goals I had set.

In June of 2019, he informed me we had reduced our office cycle time from 8+ days to 1.5 days, which surpassed our previously set goal of 2 days, all while raising our average audit score into the 90% range. On that same phone call, I had informed Dylan that our new goal was to get our office cycle times down to a point where it started with a decimal point (example .75 days). Without reservation he accepted this challenge and simply replied with, "yes sir, I will have some ideas emailed to you by tomorrow morning with some ways we can make it happen." He followed through with his commitment, and for 2020 our current office cycle times are .12 days with a 100% job audit score. I could honestly go on and on and name scenario after scenario where Dylan has met/exceeded established goals time after time. Dylan is a true team player and I could not think of anyone more deserving of the MVP award.

Do the right thing: Dylan seems to be intolerant of shortcuts or anything short of his best effort. It is reflected in his audit scores, as well as the positive feedback we receive from customers on a regular basis, which is impressive considering he rarely steps foot on many of our mitigation projects.  

Serve others: I have personally made some pretty insane requests at all hours and I have never heard any hesitation on his behalf. He is a true team player who is all about providing the best experience for the customer and taking actions to improve those around him.  

Stay positive: Anyone who spends five minutes on the phone with Dylan would immediately identify how incredibly positive he is. When Dylan first started with us, I reviewed all of his job files to ensure they were to our franchise's new standard. This is something we do with all employees, and usually after a week, each requested revision is usually met with some form of hesitation/frustration. However, I never experienced that with Dylan. This is very atypical, so when I asked him about it he responded with, "Boss I figured you were just trying to push me out of my comfort zone, so I have just turned it into a game to see if I can write an Xactimate where you can't find anything to add, and if I can't do that, I will at least make you work really hard to find something."

Hustle/Grind: Since Dylan is part of the administrative team, he is not expected to regularly perform his duties after hours or on the weekends, but that has not stopped him from working countless hours outside of his "normal hours." When we really started gaining traction and seeing the fruits of our focus on cycle times, we challenged Dylan to get our office time down to a metric that started with a decimal point, and that the goal was to get the number so low that when people read our numbers, they were equal parts confused and suspicious. Dylan took that request to heart, and to this day, if the production staff pulls equipment on a Saturday, he is in the office placing the finishing touches on the job file and submitting for billing. 

Collaborate: Dylan is a true believer of the ONE TEAM mentality and has helped or provided pointers to quite a few other franchises. During the most recent freeze event in Texas and Oklahoma, Dylan became a resource for Storm Team Wilson during the weekly admin webinars. He noticed the high volume of questions that seemed to be heading towards the unmanageable levels and quickly jumped to action and started fielding questions so that the members of Storm Team Wilson could address the more complex or dynamic questions.  

– Brandon Johnson, general manager, SERVPRO of East Central Cincinnati

FAQs About Business Inventory Lists

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

Female hands with pen writing on Inventory count form paper with table list. To protect your business, you need to create an inventory list.

Creating an inventory list of everything in your business may seem daunting, but it is crucial. Every business owner should have an inventory to give to their insurance company or remediation professionals, such as SERVPRO, in the event of a disaster.

What Is an Inventory?

An inventory is documentation of everything in your business in Layhigh, OH. It is often organized by room or type of item. These lists should include the following information:

  • Descriptions
  • Make, model, and serial numbers
  • Costs
  • Purchase locations
  • Purchase dates
  • Receipts
  • Replacement estimates

When Should You Make One?
Make an inventory now. Even the most basic list will help you deal with the insurance company and a disaster remediation team. This is also a helpful tool for when you are reviewing your insurance coverage.

Why Should You Make One?
Create an inventory to serve as proof of loss during an insurance claim. Without a thorough list, you can miss items and not receive enough compensation. This is because it is difficult to remember what is in your business when faced with a disaster. Having an inventory is one less thing you need to worry about.

How Do You Start One?
An easy way to get started on your list is to walk through your business and video everything you see. While a video alone is not enough to serve as proper documentation for an insurance claim, it is enough to get you started figuring out what you need more details on.

How Do You Calculate Value?
Besides providing a list of items, you will also need to have cost estimates for your insurance claim. When calculating these, consider the replacement cost. Check with your insurance company and see that you will receive full compensation for replacement costs. If you don't get these, you may want to upgrade your policy.
To protect your business, you need to create an inventory list. This will serve as proof of loss and help you provide your insurance agent with a complete list of items that were damaged.

What’s the Real Scoop on Mold?

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy food Bread mold is a common form because of the nutrients, warmth and moisture levels

Here's What You Should Know About It With Respect To Your Home

You’ve probably heard of mold in the context of a structure or building that experienced mold damage. You’ve also probably heard of it associated with old food such as bread mold or fridge mold. Have you wondered about a connection between what’s found on food items vs the type that requires professional remediation and cleanup? As a resident in Oxford, OH, the black, blue or green fuzzy growth on your food is often a nuisance when it shows up on things you were planning to eat. It often has an odor and an unappetizing appearance and taste. Here’s what you should know about it with respect to your home.

Understanding Mold
Mold is a type of fungus and like other types of fungi it thrives on plants and animals as food source. It exists in the form of microscopic spores that are found everywhere, including the air. When these spores settle on certain surfaces such as food, mold forms. Fungus growth is impacted by the following factors:

Moisture levels: Mold loves water.
Temperature: Warmer environments spur growth.
Aeration: Sealed packaging inhibits mold formation.
Light levels: Different types of fungi respond differently to available light.
Nutrients: Some fungi thrive on sugars, whereas others feed on salt.
pH levels: Most varieties survive in environments that are more acidic than alkaline.

Bread mold is a common form because of the nutrients, warmth and moisture levels typically associated with its storage. The mold that forms on most food surfaces does not usually pose a threat to a building structure or its contents.

Dealing with Mold
Maintaining a clean environment requires discarding of items that contain bread mold. If you have mold damage in your home, especially as a result of water damage, call a provider of professional mold remediation services who is trained and equipped to safely clean your house, restoring it to pre-damage conditions as quickly as possible.

Top 5 Places to Look for Mold

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

Looking down, corner view on nasty Mold and Mildew on bathtub or Shower Tile Wall and grout with White Soap Scum Mold damage in a Layhigh, OH bathroom

Common Places That You May Find Mold

Mold growth is an extremely common issue that the majority of homeowners must face at some point. If left unchecked, mold damage can wreck havoc on your home in Layhigh, OH. Because it can be so difficult to deal with, your best bet is to take preventative measures and catch any unwanted fungal growth early. Here are some of the most common places you can find residential mold.

1. Your Bathroom
Mold thrives in damp, dark, moist environments, making your bathroom the perfect fungal breeding ground. Check for mold and mildew growth in your shower, bathtub, sinks, and other fixtures.

2. Your Kitchen
Your kitchen also comes into frequent contact with water, especially while cooking and washing dishes. Check underneath your kitchen sink for mold growing in the cabinets. You also need to make sure that you're cleaning your refrigerator pantry out regularly, as mold often grows on outdated food items.

3. Your Living Room
Any liquid spills that occur in your living room leave your carpeting at risk for mold damage. All spills must be cleaned up immediately and thoroughly in order to protect your carpeting. Mold can also appear in your household plants if you tend to overwater them.

4. Your Basement/Attic/Garage
Any unfinished storage areas in your house are also at risk for mold growth. Check any exposed water piping for signs of mold or mildew, especially after leaks or other types of water damage. Mold can also grow in the insulation in your attic.

5. Your Laundry Room
Thoroughly check your washing machine for signs of mold. It's natural to assume that these machines would be self-cleaning, but the built-up moisture that they leave behind is extremely inviting to fungal growth.
As a general rule of thumb, mold damage can occur in any area of your house that comes into frequent contact with moisture. If you suspect that your home is experiencing unwanted mold growth, you need to contact mold remediation experts as soon as possible.

When Not to Use Bleach for Cleaning Mold

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

Bottles of Clorox Bleach on store shelves Never use bleach to clean mold from porous elements

In the event your office becomes infested with mold, you will want to begin a fungus cleanup right away. When starting, take care with your selection of disinfectant, as the wrong choice may exacerbate the problem.

Porous Materials and Mold

While bleach is a perfect answer for glass, metal, and hard plastic, never use it to clean mold from porous elements. Here’s why:

  • Mold’s roots dig into surfaces such as wood, plaster, and drywall. Bleach works only upon the surface and the water may actually help mold grow from underneath.
  • Chlorine spreads harmful pollutants called dioxins and washing with chemicals can actually damage what you are cleaning.
  • Over time, bleach evaporates, meaning its effectiveness degrades over time. It’s impossible to tell how compromised your fungus cleanup agent has become merely through visual inspection.

Effective alternatives can be concocted using tree seed oil or grapefruit seed extract without any of the above drawbacks.

Cleaning Mold off Porous Materials
The most common homemade solution for removing mold is by spraying white vinegar then hydrogen peroxide onto the desired area. Be sure, however, to use protective gloves and facemasks no matter what solvent you choose and always saturate the affected items in a well-ventilated space. Depending upon what you are purifying, surfaces may be left to dry naturally. Otherwise, wait 10 to 15 minutes then get scrubbing. Fans and dehumidifiers can aid you in speeding up the drying process. Failure to comprehensively clean up mold may result in its return, so make doubly sure all spores have been eradicated with an air-filtered vacuum cleaner. Once you have handled these tasks to the best of your ability, employ a mold removal specialist to be positive everything has been eliminated.
Only use appropriate solvents on porous items during your fungus cleanup in Hanover Township, OH. For confirmation that the mold has completely disappeared, seek assistance from a reputable mold rehabilitation service.

4 Keys To Understanding Residential Fungus Growth

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed in a drywall, mold found behind walls. Mold damage behind walls in a Hamilton, OH home

Ways to Deal With Mold Or Mildew

When you find an ugly patch of fuzzy or slimy growth on the walls of your home in Hamilton, OH, it can be a depressing moment. A number of questions are likely to swirl through your mind. More than likely, you have heard frightening stories of mold damage to homes. A better understanding of fungal growth can offer some reassurance. Here are some of the most important things to know about dealing with an infestation of mold or mildew. 

1. Pervasiveness. Microscopic mold spores exist nearly everywhere, both inside homes and in the outdoors. In fact, a test of your home even in the best of conditions is likely to reveal the presence of fungal spores. It is only when the spores form into significant colonies that mold damage is apt to occur.

2. Growth. A fungus grows best under certain conditions. It can expand rapidly when your home has humidity above 45 percent or when a water problem such as a plumbing leak or a failing roof is present. A mold remediation company will seek to eliminate the source of excess moisture. Once this issue is addressed, the fungal growth can be removed.

3. Identification. Mold growth is serious because it can be hard to eradicate and can cause damage to a home. It tends to penetrate deeply into porous surfaces such as paper, cellulose, wood, and fabrics. Mildew growth is less invasive and more easily cleaned from a home.

4. Restoration. Any serious infestation of mold in your home requires a professional effort to get the situation under control. Certified technicians use advanced techniques and sophisticated equipment to contain the outbreak. Professional cleaning methods prevent the mold from returning. Structural repairs to walls and ceilings are sometimes needed to fix mold damage, while in other cases a fresh coat of paint is enough to restore your home to good condition again.

Committed Teams Speed Up Claims, Restoration Processes

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

Office space flooded Flooded office in Reilly, OH

After a major storm, businesses in Reilly, OH, can’t afford extensive downtime. If there is flood damage or other extensive storm restoration that needs to be completed, businesses rely on their insurance company and a trusted storm damage restoration specialist to quickly get back to business as usual. A quick response by a company that understands the client’s needs and the insurance standards is key to making that happen.

Quick Response

When damage to a structure happens, especially if water is involved, time is of the essence. A fast emergency storm response helps reduce restoration costs and limit the damage from spreading. Counting on experts Faster to Any Size Disaster is essential to avoid the following potentially long-term or costly issues:

Mold: Within 24 hours of any type of water damage, mold can begin to grow. If not immediately addressed, it can spread to other areas of the business and result in extensive mold remediation and extra downtime.
Structural Damage: Less than an inch of water left sitting can begin to affect a structure. From the drywall to the beams and carpeting, it can lead to a compromised structure.
Salvageable Items: Taking immediate action after a storm can help protect vital elements of a business. Whether it is equipment, artwork, furniture, or personal belongings, they have the potential to be saved if action is taken. Letting the water absorb into them may mean irreversible damage and even more costs.

Smooth Process
Knowing that clients need storm restoration to happen now, streamlining the process for adjusters and insurance companies is essential. Communication is a vital component in making that happen. SERVPRO has a network of dedicated professionals and national accounts division dedicated to providing the best service possible. Along with an itemized loss inventory, electronic claims information makes it simple to get real-time information to assist insurers throughout the process, including detailed estimates, photos of loss, and digital paperwork.
Storm restoration isn’t something that can wait. Count a trusted professional to act fast, reduce costs, and get businesses back to “Like it never even happened.”

Should You Sue Your Landlord for Mold Problems?

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

girl found mold in the corner of your bathroom, in your residential building after renovation Black mold discovered in a Layhigh, OH building

If you discover black mold in your building in Layhigh, OH, you will need to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible. Allowing it to sit can make the problem worse. Mold can be toxic, so try limiting your exposure while you wait for it to be removed. Sometimes mold can lurk in places that are not obvious, and your landlord may not be aware that there is a problem. Consequently, suing your landlord should not be your first choice. Instead, you could try informing them of the problem in writing. If your landlord is unresponsive to your request, or if you have experienced personal or property damage, you may need to file a lawsuit.

Why Would You File a Lawsuit?

If you are filing a claim for less than $10,000, you can usually file in small claims court. There are several common claims that are made for mold damage:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Damage to property

Mold can overtake porous materials, leading to damaged items. Mold remediation experts are able to restore many types of items, including documents and photographs.

What Are the Landlord's Responsibilities?
By law, a landlord is required to keep a building in a habitable condition. That means that they must provide a reasonably safe and healthy environment that is free from major defects. Since black mold carries the risk of toxicity, it is something the landlord must remedy when it is due to something faulty within the building. They would likely be responsible for fixing leaky plumbing or ventilation and cleaning the resulting mold. However, if mold has formed due to some mistake of your own, you may be responsible for the cleanup.
Black mold is a serious issue that needs immediate attention to avoid long-term consequences. By working with your landlord and a mold remediation company, you can quickly restore your property and return to normal.

Maintain Your Swamp Cooler to Prevent Mold Growth

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Old swamp cooler Give your leaking swamp cooler the attention needed

Your family depends on your swamp cooler to keep your home in Oxford, OH, from overheating during warm summer months. A leaking swamp cooler can be worrisome and may not operate as efficiently as it should. This is why regular maintenance on an ongoing basis is so important.

The Purpose of Swamp Cooler Maintenance

Maintenance is different than repair and for many reasons, upkeep is your first line of defense. Following are some of the main ways it can help prevent a leaking swamp cooler and keep your unit going.

  • Annual system checks can alert you to any conditions that may have developed during periods of disuse, including rodent nesting or pest invasion
  • Catch damage early to prevent major repairs
  • Clean the unit free of dust and debris to keep air flowing freely and discourage mold from developing as spreading spores through the air
  • Watch for and clean up leaks immediately to impede mold growth
  • Maintenance can help the unit operate more quietly and efficiently

Maintenance Check List

The purpose of the cellulose cooling pad is to collect and evaporate residual moisture during operation. It needs to be replaced when saturated to keep black mold from growing. Encourage good ventilation by opening windows or doors, or even running ceiling fans to dehumidify the home’s interior. Otherwise you may sustain some mold damage on or around window casings.

Get Help if Needed

If you are unsure how, or unable to, perform the maintenance by yourself or deal with black mold cleanup, call in a professional mold remediation team in Oxford, OH, to take care of it for you. They can assess what the unit needs to have done and will have safe methods to remove any mold and control humidity.
Give your leaking swamp cooler the attention needed to ensure your family can be more comfortable with less worry. It will be worth the attention you give it.

Proactive Cleaning for Your Commercial Space

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

a graphic that says highly trained technicians SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford is here to help 24/7, 365!

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford is here to help around the clock.

A Big Name for Certifications in the Restoration Business

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Company inspection for business concept in modern line modern style SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage

In just about every endeavor, someone needs to take a lead role, otherwise chaos can be the result. That's true for a disaster remediation team responding to flooding or a fire, and that's true for establishing cleanup standards in the restoration industry. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets the standards for the cleaning, inspection and restoration industries. The IICRC sets these standards to deliver the highest quality in cleanup efforts in Lemon Township, OH, and throughout the nation. SERVPRO franchises honor these standards and work closely with all groups looking to strengthen restoration efforts.

The Role of the IICRC

This non-profit organization is a certification source for the restoration industry. It was founded in 1972 and has since evolved into an organization with a global reach which has trained thousands of technicians. Its core mission is to advance standards and certifications in the restoration fields. Its values include the following:

  • Respect for every person they encounter
  • Responsibility for meeting obligations in a timely manner
  • Integrity for standards of conduct
  • Excellence in leadership and service

A mitigation certificate awarded by the organization is a respected badge for technicians in the field. It means they have reached a degree of knowledge and expertise in their area of work. SERVPRO franchises work closely with the organization and are considered partners in many efforts.

The Role of Training and Education

Training and education are key aspects of competence. Any new SERVPRO franchise receives extensive training in the areas of fire restoration, water restoration, carpeting and upholstery cleaning and mold remediation. Continual training is provided through e-training that includes modules, videos and testing. SERVPRO is also an approved IICRC training school for many areas of restoration as well as advanced concepts such as applied structural drying. They also provide courses that teach the emergency mitigation field. These courses can be taken by property managers, insurance agents and adjusters, real estate professionals and other interested parties.

Four Ways To Protect Your Business After a Fire

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

Board up windows and doors of a building Board up the openings of your building to prevent further damage

4 Ways to Secure Your Property After a Business Fire

A fire can leave your Millville, OH, commercial property vulnerable to bad weather, criminals and wildlife. Fortunately, a security fence and other safety measures can protect your business from secondary damage. Additionally, insurance companies want to know that you took adequate precautions to prevent further harm to the property. If they discover you were negligent, they may deny your claim on the secondary damage. The following are four ways you can secure your property after a business fire:

Cover the roof. Depending on how severe the fire was, the emergency workers may have cut holes in the roof for fire and smoke to escape. However, these openings can also let in bad weather and industrious animals. A tarpaulin is an easy and inexpensive covering that you can quickly install over the roof until you can make permanent repairs.

Board up windows and doors. The fire and firefighting efforts may have also damaged your windows and doors. You will want to board up these openings to prevent further damage. Plywood is fairly inexpensive and easy to install.

Install a security fence. Although you have already secured the building itself, it is a good idea to put up a fence to further deter would-be looters. The fence will also prevent people from accidentally wandering onto the property and getting injured. Even if the person was on the property without permission, he or she can still file a lawsuit against your company if they are injured. A fence can protect you from litigation.

Keep an eye on the property. Check in with the property frequently to make sure new problems have not arisen and to discourage trespassers. For some properties, you may even decide to hire a security guard until the restoration is complete.

Although securing your building with tarps, plywood and a security fence can prevent many cases of secondary damage, you may still need help cleaning up the primary damage. Fortunately, an experienced restoration company can help you with all stages of the fire cleanup process.

How To Prevent Mold Growth in a Bathroom Without a Fan

11/28/2019 (Permalink)

Tile grouting by applying an homemade grout cleaner If your bathroom has tile, it’s important to grout it periodically

Follow These Tips to Prevent Bathroom Mildew

If you have an older bathroom in your Oxford, OH, home, it may not contain a fan or vent. A lack of proper ventilation can unfortunately cause mold to appear in your bathroom if you aren’t careful. However, by remembering to take proper care of your bathroom during and after a shower, you can keep the room sufficiently dry. Follow these tips to prevent bathroom mildew from invading your living space.

Open the Door and Window

Because showering tends to create the most moisture in a bathroom, it’s important to be vigilant about this before you begin your cleansing routine. Always keep the bathroom door and window open while you shower to reduce the amount of condensation in the room. By minimizing as much steam as possible, you can stop paint from peeling and keep mildew at bay.

Use a Dehumidifier

If you don’t have a fan in your bathroom, it’s a good idea to spring for a dehumidifier. This device can help keep the room dry enough to discourage the growth of bathroom mildew. When using a dehumidifier, be sure to do the following:

  • Turn it on right before showering
  • Leave it on for at least twenty minutes after your shower
  • Empty it every couple of days

These steps can ensure that your bathroom dries completely after you take a shower. Emptying out the device on a regular basis also helps it solve your humidity problem efficiently.

Grout the Tile

If your bathroom has tile, it’s important to grout it periodically. Grouting helps to prevent mold from entering the cracks and crevices of your bathroom tile. In addition to grouting, make sure you inspect your tile every now and then to confirm that it’s in good shape.
Bathroom mildew may appear in your home at any time. If you encounter signs of mold damage, call mold remediation experts as soon as possible.

Keeping Mold Out of the Bathroom

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold spots on bathroom tile Black mold damage in Ross, OH

Simple Ways of Getting Rid of Mildew in Your Bathroom

If you are finding dark spotting in the grout of your tiling in Ross, OH, you most likely have bathroom mildew. Don't panic, there a lots of ways to send it packing, all you need to do is choose what sounds best to you.

Natural Methods

Ingredients easily found in the home can be combined to make an effective mold cleaning solution, especially for tiles and grout. These following three ingredients can be used in multiple ways:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice

One method is to sprinkle baking soda on the area, then pour white vinegar over it. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to let the reaction loosen the particles or mold, then rinse thoroughly with warm water. You can also combine all three ingredients into a paste- use equal parts vinegar and lemon juice, then add baking soda until the desired consistency is reached. Spread this paste over the affected area and then scrub with a brush, then rinse. This method is better for vertical surfaces, as it does not drip.

Commercial Methods

It's possible to buy bathroom mildew removal products at most grocery and hardware stores. They require a similar process: spray it on, let it sit and scrub it off. They usually contain ingredients like ammonia, bleach or alcohol, so be sure to ventilate the room well when using them. If you are wary of such harsh chemicals, you can use milder powder detergents that are marketed for more general use.


Mildew takes months to develop into a stain that you can see. So, if you regularly clean your bathroom before you can see mildew, it won't have a chance to grow. It's also a lot easier to clean often, than to scrub away at mildew for hours. Mold likes damp environments, so adding more ventilation to the room can solve a humidity problem before it occurs.
Bathroom mildew can seem like a big problem, but there are lots of simple ways you can get rid of it yourself with a little sweat equity. You probably won't even need to call a mold remediation specialist.

The 4 Main Steps of the Mold Remediation Process

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

a moisture meter Mold test may be necessary

Step by Step Mold Cleanup Process

When people in Ross, OH, hear the term mold remediation for the first time, they often believe it is synonymous with mold removal. Unfortunately, it’s not. Mold and its spores are almost everywhere, which is natural. Special factors make them latch on to problem areas and grow in concentrated form. Because of this, remediation focuses on remedying the problem spots as opposed to claiming to remove spores for good. Here is the step-by-step mold cleanup process.

1. Check for Mold

When you call mold remediation specialists, the first thing they will do is check for mold. If you can already see black mold, then mold is definitely present. However, the specialist may need to identify the type of mold, as well as seek out other affected areas. If there is a moldy smell but you have not identified where it is, then a mold test may be necessary.

2. Seal the Area

Black mold spores can spread and lead to cross contamination, so once the problem areas are discovered, professionals may seal this off. It is best to schedule cleaning when the business is closed so as not to disrupt operations.

3. Clean Up the Mold

How professionals clean the area will depend on how bad the mold is and the type of mold. The type of surface will also need to be taken into consideration. For example, tiles can be wiped down with a biocide. However, drywall or wallpaper may need to be removed and replaced.

4. Use a HEPA Vacuum

HEPA vacuums help to clean up any additional spores that professionals may have missed. Remember that not all mold is visible, as these are microscopic organisms. Thus, the vacuum helps to ensure even the mold that cannot be seen with the naked eye is cleaned up from that area.

If the area is routinely damp and dark, then you may also want to consider using a dehumidifier and HEPA filter. These help to make the area less favorable for the growth of black mold.

3 Ways Electronic Records Can Assist With the Claims Process

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Our team is on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to respond to your emergency.

When your home is damaged, whether it be by a flood, fire or accident, you will likely need to file an insurance claim to cover the cost of repairing the damage and restoring your house. Hiring certified restoration specialists who utilize an electronic claims service can help you file your claim faster and better. The faster you file, the sooner you can be compensated, so this service can save you a lot of worry.

3 ways the Claims Information Center at SERVPRO in Hamilton, OH, can benefit you.

1. Error Reduction

When you have to copy information from one source to another, there is always the chance that you can make an error. One small discrepancy between your claim and the information provided by the repair company can cause your claim to be delayed or even denied. When a preferred vendor such as SERVPRO makes their electronic records available to you and your insurance agent, you don't have to worry about something being written down incorrectly. The fewer hands information has to go through to get to your insurance company, the fewer the mistakes that are likely to be made.

2. Record Retention

Files can easily become disorganized. When records are stored electronically, finding the file needed for an insurance claim is a simpler process. Anyone who can access the records can search for the needed information and find it relatively quickly.

3. Delivery Efficiency

When your home has been damaged, a quick turnaround for getting repairs done and paid for is preferred. Paper-based claim filing can take quite a long time. You wait to get the records from your repair specialists, and then you must wait for those records to reach your insurance company. Electronic records, however, can be accessed and sent immediately, making the time it takes to file your claim shorter.

Getting the money you need from your insurance company is important. When you need to file an insurance claim, SERVPRO of West Hamilton/ Oxford is Here to Help.

The Importance of Quick Storm Services After a Disaster

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

If disaster strikes your home or business, SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford is Here to Help. Our team is on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365

A storm in Hamilton, OH can be devastating to a home, and working with a company that is experienced in restoring homes affected by storms is important, though some companies work more quickly than others.

Starting the storm restoration process quickly is often wise for a variety of reasons.

1. Quicken the Claims Process

After a storm occurs, one of the first steps homeowners need to take is to begin making a claim to their insurance. After a claim has been filed, homeowners will be able to begin the restoration process. However, the longer it takes to file a claim, the longer the process of restoring the home will likely take. When a restoration company is able to respond in a timely manner, this can help to speed up both the claims and restoration process.

2. Mitigating the Damage

Storms with heavy winds and rain can affect the overall structure of a home. Often, ceilings, roofs, drywall and even the foundation of a home may need to be replaced or restored, and the longer these areas are left alone, the more likely it becomes that the areas will need major fixes. However, if storm restoration begins quickly, this can decrease the likelihood of major structural damage occurring.

3. Restoring Items

While storms are capable of damaging the overall structure of a home, flood damage can also impact personal belongings within a home. When items are left in wet or damp environments, mold growth often occurs, and it’s not always possible to restore items that have mold growth. However, if there is a quick response to a storm, items within the home are more likely to have sustained less damage, therefore making it more likely that they can be restored.

When storm restoration occurs quickly, the claims process is likely to be fast, damage can be prevented and items will more likely be able to be restored. When homeowners need a reliable storm response, contacting storm damage and restoration professionals is often helpful.

Storm Services: How Can They Assist Insurance Agents During Times of Disaster?

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Professional flood technicians can create one comprehensive damage report for each company to make filing claims simpler.

Storm Services: How Can They Assist Insurance Agents During Times Of Disaster? 

When powerful storms strike Oxford, OH they can affect a variety of businesses and create an influx of work for insurance agents and claims adjusters. These professionals must inspect each property, help the owner file a claim and ensure it is processed properly. Having a storm restoration company on hand can give these agents the support they need, especially in a large city or after a serious natural disaster.

Assessment of Damages

Storms that contain heavy rains and high winds can cause an array of damages to businesses. Properties may require significant repair and might include the following:

  • Broken windows
  • Damaged roofing material
  • Flooded drywall and carpeting

When storm response teams work in tandem with insurance agents and adjustors, they can streamline the assessment process by reporting which damages will need to be repaired right away. They also help determine the type of restoration service that is needed and the cost of associated with it.

Faster Claims Processing

When multiple businesses in the same area suffer damage due to flooding or high winds, insurance agents may have a difficult time processing claims at a rate that helps owners recover quickly. This can be especially true in the case of flood damage, where the claims process can be extensive. Agents that work with a restoration service may be able to offer a faster turnaround. Professional flood technicians can create one comprehensive damage report for each company to make filing claims simpler.

Less Confusion

Insurance agents that collaborate with a storm restoration service may be able to work with multiple customers in the same area with more efficiency, even when the damage to each property is similar. Detailed reports and repair estimates may help agents avoid confusion in the aftermath of major flooding.

The storm restoration process can be daunting for business owners in Oxford, OH. However, when their insurance agents are supported by knowledgeable storm repair experts, the claims process may not be as difficult for them.

The Claims Information Center: Helping Streamline the Insurance Process

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

While the insurance claim process in the Hanover Township, OH, area is no cakewalk for homeowners, insurance agents don’t necessarily have it any easier. The job of an agent or an adjuster is to verify the information provided on a claim and to ensure that all information is reliable and accurate. Thankfully, a disaster restoration expert has created a solution for all your claim woes. SERVPRO has created a claims system that will likely reduce research and approval time.

1. What Is the CIC?

The CIC stands for the Claims Information Center, and it is a culmination of claims organized by type, cause and response times. Additionally, the system provides an insurance agent with insight into the performance of the company against other national performers.

2. How Is It Useful?

The CIC allows agents to research a similar insurance claim to the one they are working on and to track its progress. This tool essentially operates as both an encyclopedia and a project manager, allowing insurers both accuracy and dependability.

3. What Is ReportER?

ReportER is SERVPRO’s corporate database and is, through the Management Dashboard, essentially the access point to the CIC. This is the area where agents can research and check on any current projects. The database is routinely updated, providing insurers with accurate and timely information regarding their current outstanding claims.

It is true that the insurance claim process is no cakewalk, and that insurance agents take on the brunt of the work. However, the CIC system allows an agent to research and verify information in a more accurate and reliable way. Through an innovative dashboard design, they are able to access information in the ReportER database and answer questions about project completion and corporate efficiency. Agents can now understand the whole picture by visiting one comprehensive and straightforward site. The Claims Information Center has truly streamlined the insurance process.

Flood Cuts and Their Importance to Water Damage Restoration

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Flood cut in a Township,OH home due to a water loss

When flooding impacts your Township, OH, home, the list of repairs can be considerable. From draining away standing water to salvaging furniture and other belongings, there will likely be much to do when it comes to restoration. Repair technicians might recommend performing a flood cut to ensure your home’s interior walls are not damaged, which can prevent costly repairs in the future.

What Is a Flood Cut?

Flood cuts are typically performed when contaminated water enters a room and rises beyond floor level. When flooding affects your home’s walls, it can cause a variety of problems that include:

  • Rotted insulation
  • Mold growth
  • Drywall and wood rot

To prevent these issues, flood technicians cut into the drywall of a flooded room, approximately 12 inches above the flood line. This allows them to inspect the interior wall, drain out water that may have seeped in and remove any wet insulation.

Why Is a Flood Cut Important?

Outdoor flood waters often contain contamination that can include human and animal feces, sewer chemicals and other hazards. A drywall tear out can help flood damage and restoration company workers gauge the severity of the flood and whether components behind the wall will need to be replaced due to the presence of dirty water. In some cases, electrical wiring may have to be removed and replaced, and this type of damage can be difficult to detect without a flood cut.

Is a Cut Necessary for All Floods?

While minor floods may appear harmless, they can still affect your interior walls. Even water that comes from sanitary sources can soak drywall and damage insulation, which must be replaced once it becomes soaked. Ask your flood technicians about whether a flood cut is necessary, no matter the source of the water.

When flooding affects your Township, OH, home, the list of repairs will likely be substantial. Understanding the importance of a flood cut can help you feel more confident about the restoration process and the future condition of your property.