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IICRC Certification: What It Is and Why It Matters for Your Restoration

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO IICRC Certification: What It Is and Why It Matters for Your Restoration The IICRC requires restoration training through a certified firm

IICRC Certification

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a nonprofit organization that has been setting the bar for restoration industry standards for years. The IICRC is a globally recognized certification and one that proves that your restoration contractor is capable of doing the job.

1. Proven Knowledge

In order to obtain a restoration and mitigation certificate, technicians must prove knowledge of standard practices and procedures. They cannot receive certification without first attending and completing approved coursework through an approved school and instructor.

2. Required Training

The IICRC also requires training in the latest restoration technologies and techniques through a certified firm. The field of mitigation and restoration is a highly specialized field, and you should make sure that everyone involved in your project is a trained and specialized technician working under a certified firm. Ensuring that everyone is qualified means that you can rest assured that your residence is in good hands under the supervision of a team that has met some of the highest standards in the industry.

3. Continuous Renewals

Becoming a certified disaster restoration specialist in the Leonard, OK, area is not a one and done kind of process. Both firms and agents must maintain their certifications through continuing education and practice. Every certificate has an expiration, and just because someone was once certified and capable does not mean that they still are. Standards of care change frequently as advances in technology and techniques evolve, and it is essential that you hire a firm that is capable of performing at the standards of today, not yesterday.

The IICRC takes great pride in their certified technicians and firms, and you should too. These individuals and companies have proven their knowledge and ability, and because of that, they have earned the respect of an industry standard setter. Therefore, the next time you are faced with a disaster and the impending work of a restoration, seek out only those professionals and companies that proudly proclaim their certification.

How do I use a fire extinguisher?

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How do I use a fire extinguisher? Three steps to follow when using an extinguisher

3 Easy Steps to Follow When Using An Extinguisher 

Here are 3 easy steps you should follow when using an extinguisher to put out a fire in your home.

  1. Identify Your Evacuation Path - The last thing you want to do is focus so much on putting out the fire that you become trapped in the blaze. Take a moment to look around you and ensure you have a safe escape route to use as needed before pulling out the extinguisher.
  2. Follow Instructions on Extinguisher - Fortunately, most extinguishers come with easy-to-read instructions printed directly on them. Follow the instructions and make sure you discharge the extinguisher within the effective range listed on the container. 
  3. Back Away From the Fire - It’s possible for a kitchen fire to flare up again even after you’ve put parts of it out, so make sure you back away from extinguished flames instead of moving toward them. 


Once the fire is safely put out with a fire extinguisher, call your local fire damage restoration company in Tulsa, OK. They can help repair and restore your home after fire damage has occurred. 

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROsouthtulsacounty.com.

What to do with mold before help arrives?

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What to do with mold before help arrives? South Tulsa County mold damage kitchen

Mold Problems in Your Home or Business

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of South Tulsa County has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of South Tulsa County for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

If you have any questions about Mold, do not hesitate to contact us directly. 

Moisture is A Common Source of Mold

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Moisture is A Common Source of Mold Mold can grow quickly after water damage

Mold Damage Tulsa

A source of mold growth can be found in wood and cotton as well as drywall, which is extremely susceptible to long-term moisture retention if not allowed to dry out.

Moisture

Moisture is the key element for mold growth. Roughly 50-55% humidity triggers mold propagation like a jump start on a car battery. Indoor humidity and moisture increases in rain season. 

Pipe leaks, drywall fissures and wall cracks and gaps all act as channels by which mold spreads.

Mold damage is the specific term for mold proliferation when it has spread to the stage its toxicity is affecting living persons and pets. Mold damage requires immediate attention and can involve structural repairs and replacement of critical areas that cannot be cleaned. Treatment involves drywall and wood replacement, moisture reduction and elimination, bleach and fungicide applications and painting.

Unchecked mold damage is responsible for toxic components called mycotoxins. 

If moisture and mold problems present themselves in your home, they need to be addressed as soon as possible. A Tulsa-based professional mold remediation outfit is fully equipped for business and residential mold abatement. 

Tips for Protecting Your Property from Flood Damage

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tips for Protecting Your Property from Flood Damage SERVPRO of Tulsa is always ready to respond to your emergency.

Flood damage can seem like a remote, theoretical risk – that is, until it’s in your face. Fact is, experts have estimated flood costs for the globe’s 136 largest coastal cities could cost $1 trillion annually by 2050. Wise property Tulsa, OK, property owners are thinking ahead by creating a flood plan. Not sure how to protect your property from storm damage and flooding? Here are a few tips.

About Floods

Federal officials define flooding as partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties. Typical causes include:

  • Overflow of inland bodies of water
  • Rapid accumulation of surface runoff
  • Mudflow

All can create damage, but even just an inch of water can result in recovery costs estimated to average $27,000. Being prepared won’t eliminate the risk, but it can help minimize the costs of recovery.

Inspect Your Property

Part of flood-proofing a building is making sure that you inspect it regularly. Look for cracks in the foundation or other structure systems that could be vulnerable in high waters. Also check:

  • Flood panels, to ensure the panels or gaskets are working
  • Drainage systems for signs of damage that could prevent the pipes from draining properly

Apply Waterproof Sealants

Invest in waterproof coatings and sealants and apply thoroughly to foundations, walls and even doorways of your property. This so-called “dry flood-proofing” measure can form a thin but sturdy barrier that can minimize flood damage effects.


Invest in Water Pumps

Foundation vents encourage water to flow through a building rather than pooling around it, reducing the pressure flood waters can put on walls. This type of “wet flood-proofing” is particularly useful in buildings with basements.
Flood damage can be devastating both physically and financially. Get ahead of the risk with these tips and by identifying a local water cleanup specialist in case the worst does happen.

Establishing a Furnace Maintenance Schedule

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Establishing a Furnace Maintenance Schedule Keep maintenance to your furnace

As the weather starts getting colder, you will probably start wanting to switch from air conditioning to the heater in your home. To ensure that you can do so safely, however, you need to perform preventative maintenance on your furnace before you use it as well as having it professionally inspected at the end of the cold season. Fire cleaning experts recommend the following steps to get your furnace ready for regular use.

Clean

The first thing you want to do is to make sure your furnace and all its components are free of dust, which can ignite a fire when the heat is turned on and leave you looking for smoke cleaning services. The three main components to clean are:

  • Filter
  • Motor
  • Blower

Check the filter to see if it is clean. If not, change it. In fact, it’s a good idea to change the filter every month when the furnace is running continuously. Inspect each component inside and remove dust with a toothbrush or some other fine-toothed cleaning apparatus.

Repair

The need for fire cleaning can be avoided if you schedule any necessary repairs before turning the heater on. For example, if the belts look brittle or torn, they need to be replaced. Both the blower and the motor have belts, and all of them need to be strong for the furnace to work properly.

Lubricate

Many furnace motors are sealed by the manufacturer with the necessary lubrication already included. Some, however, have oil ports, and these motors require the occasional addition of lubricant. It doesn’t take a lot of motor oil to keep the furnace running smoothly. Just add a couple of drops to each port, and that should do the trick. A well-oiled motor is a happy motor that keeps your furnace operating efficiently throughout the colder months.

It’s smart to check your furnace before its first use of the year and after its last use. It is easier to keep it clean and well lubricated with intact parts than it is to hire fire cleaning experts in Tulsa, OK, when dust and grime cause sparks.

Are Home Mold Testing Kits Accurate?

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Are Home Mold Testing Kits Accurate? Look for a professional tester in you Bixby, OK town.

Homeowners may consider using home mold testing kits due to the comparatively low cost of these tests relative to professional testing and analysis. There are several reasons why expert testing is more accurate and useful. Learn more about the shortcomings of DIY mold tests and why it is worth it to seek the services of a certified environmental hygienist or full-service mold restoration company in Bixby, OK .

False Positives

Home mold tests vary in sensitivity. Many tests are prone to return positive results for several reasons:

  •  Mold spores are everywhere
  •  Some kits are not properly calibrated
  •  Results may be ambiguous

A home mold testing kit may react to the presence of spores without factoring in whether microbial volatile organic compounds are present. These off-gases are released during the active growth cycle of fungi and indicate that mold is actively growing.

Inaccurate Species Identification

Most home mold tests are not precise enough to identify the species of mold. It is not possible to make a positive identification based on color. Black mold or Stachybotrys is actually dark green early in the growth cycle. As there are more than 100,000 known species of mold, lab testing is necessary to obtain an accurate identification.

No Expert Opinions

Environmental hygienists and mold specialists can offer informed opinions throughout the professional testing and remediation process. Insight into the following factors may be helpful:

  • The location of mold growth
  • Potential causes
  • Whether a species of mold is toxigenic

All of these factors will impact the type of cleaning methods and equipment necessary to remediate mold damage. Remediation may be more affordable and successful if expert knowledge is available.

A home mold kit may be affordable in Bixby, OK , but it is unlikely to be as accurate as professional testing. Homeowners should put the money they might spend on attempts at DIY mold tests toward expert mold testing and remediation that can fix the problem "Like It Never Even Happened."

Partial Losses: Making an Insurance Claim

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Partial Losses: Making an Insurance Claim Fire loss in Bixby, OK

If your business sustained a partial fire loss recently, you may be wondering what the insurance claims process will entail. Here are common questions you may have about partial losses at your commercial property.

What Qualifies as a Partial Loss?

Any damage that did not completely destroy your building but still caused destruction is considered a partial loss. Some examples include:

  • Damage that necessitates replacing unharmed items to restore uniformity
  • Smoke damage to carpets, walls and other surfaces
  • Items that did not burn but were still damaged by the fire

It can be hard to get your insurance company to take these kinds of damages seriously. Always insist on receiving the best assistance possible when talking with your agent or claims representative.

What Claims Process Should I Follow?

Here are the steps you need to take to properly file your partial fire loss claim:

1. File your claim early. Making sure to file your claim as quickly as possible after the damage occurs will help you in the long run. You will also have a better idea of what is and isn’t covered early on.

2. Record damages and expenses. Keep all receipts from repairs, snap photos of damage and keep documentation of any other steps in the restoration process. You may need them when you try to prove your financial and property damages.

3. Get professional help. A Bixby, OK, fire restoration service should be able to help you recover from smoke damage and other types of partial losses that may occur. A reliable company will take even small areas of destruction seriously and work out a cleanup plan that works for your business.

A fire loss of any size is a terrible thing to deal with, but a partial loss can present unique challenges that may prove to be frustrating for even the most level-headed business owner. Getting a great restoration team on your side and advocating for yourself with your commercial insurance provider are your best bets to receiving quality cleanup service and getting fairly compensated for your struggles.

Make Your Homeowners' Insurer Happy – Prevent Water Damage With These Simple Tips

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Make Your Homeowners' Insurer Happy – Prevent Water Damage With These Simple Tips A broken pipe upstairs caused the ceiling in this room to collapse under the weight of the water

Water damage is the number one reason for homeowners' insurance claims in the United States. The thing about water damage, however, is that, the majority of the time, it's preventable. Water in home is often the result of a broken pipe, burst pipe or leaking pipe. In the minority of instances, it is the result of flooding, which, to some extent, can also be prevented. If you want to get on. Your insurer's good side, there are measures you can take today to prevent costly water damage in your home.

  • Check your appliances.
  • Have your HVAC unit inspected.
  • Inspect pipes for condensation or erosion.

It doesn't take much to prevent water damage. Below is a brief guide of how and why you should implement the above tips.

Give Your Appliances a Once Over

Appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters and refrigerators are a common source of water in the home. Aging materials crack, connections become loose and cold weather causes pipe bursts. You can prevent all from happening by conducting routine maintenance on all appliances and wrapping pipes with insulation if you live in a colder climate.

Request an HVAC Inspection

There are countless reasons to have your HVAC unit inspected. For one, routine maintenance can prevent costly issues. Two, regular inspections can ensure that your units are clean and therefore, only push out clean air. Three, maintenance technicians can spot moisture issues and correct them before they become costly and damaging.

Inspect Your Pipes

Pipes run all throughout your home. There are pipes in your bathroom, in your kitchen and in your laundry room. They run down into your basement and possibly up to your attic. They run through your walls and beneath your floorboards. For this reason, a single leak can become a costly and damaging problem. You can prevent costly water damage in your home by inspecting your pipes on a routine basis or, at the very least, hiring someone else to do it for you.

Pipe cleanup can be costly. You can prevent it by working with a Glenpool, OK, water damage restoration team to identify issues and correct them before they become expensive problems.

What Is the Timeline For Water Damage Cleanup?

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What Is the Timeline For Water Damage Cleanup? Unnoticed leak caused the ceiling to collapsed and covered the room with water and mold

Whether water damage results from bursting pipes or flooding, it is important to eliminate standing water and residual moisture as soon as possible. The cleanup process typically takes experts between three days to a week and a half to complete. Find out what to expect during a professional cleanup at a residence in Bixby, OK.

Average Cleanup Timeframe

Most homeowners should expect cleanup to take three to five days. The length will depend on:

  • The extent of the residence exposed to water
  • The contamination level of water
  • How long water has been leaking or left standing
  • The materials saturated by water

Homeowners should fix broken pipe or address the cause of damage as soon as possible. Afterward, professionals should remove all standing water, clean, and thoroughly dry the affected area. Avoid rushing the mitigation process, as attempting to rebuild or restore an area before it is completely dry may lead to mold growth.

Extenuating Circumstances

If wood flooring or other specialized materials are exposed to flooding or water from bursting pipes, it may take anywhere from seven to 10 days to complete the cleanup process. Hardwood floors may have to undergo several stages of cleanup, including:

  • Drying the subfloor
  • Sanding
  • Scraping
  • Retrofitting

The category of water involved can also prolong the duration of cleanup. Clean Category One water can simply be removed and the affected area can be dried. Contaminated Category Two gray water or Category Three black water calls for cleaning, disinfection, and drying. Porous contents and materials exposed to black water may need to be torn out and replaced.

Homeowners should hire a professional water damage restoration service to establish a schedule for cleanup, mitigation, and restoration. It may take less time to fix damage resulting from bursting pipes than to clean up flooding. The affected area must dry completely prior to restoration to prevent mold from forming.