Removing Skunk Odor From Your Home
SERVPRO technicians are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors, no matter how potent.
Anyone who lives in Alabama knows that a drive down the back roads and highways during springtime can be full of beautiful scenery, especially in rural communities like the Shoals. Bradford Pear trees in bloom. Those first Buttercups. Old barns. Cows. Horses. The list goes on.
There are also some, uh, interesting smells like when the farmers have fertilized the fields off 6th Street in Leighton and the occasional, unmistakable aroma of a skunk. Everybody in Alabama knows what that smells like.
Every once in a while, one of those little skunks invades someone’s home. They can take up residence in your crawlspace or even come right into your home via the doggy door. And they leave behind their signature odor.
Funny side story - last month a guy up north decided to DIY the problem by using smoke bombs in his crawl space. Yes, he almost burned his house down in the process and no dead skunks were found in the aftermath. Don’t be like that guy! Leave the job to professionals to handle. Get a pest control company out there first to remove the animal and then call SERVPRO to get rid of the smell.
How do you get rid of it?
Masking and other shortcuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent. Our SERVPRO technicians can help get the odor out of your home. We can also handle the laundry and any other contents that may have absorbed the odor. We have served the Florence/Muscle Shoals area for 21 years and have handled many skunk odor jobs over the years.
Insulation Absorbs Water Like A Sponge
The insulation in the ceiling absorbed much of the water from a burst pipe.
After experiencing a water damage, the affected materials absorb water based on how porous they are along with other factors. This directly impacts whether an affected material is considered "salvageable," as in it can be dried in place, or "non-salvageable," as in it needs to be removed because it will negatively impact the drying of the salvageable materials. Needless to say, wall and ceiling insulation doesn't stand a chance!
It can be very difficult to dry insulation in place and, in most cases, it will impede the drying process for the surrounding materials and keep them in a dangerous place as far as moisture content. This will keep the humidity of the affected area elevated and can provide ideal circumstances for mold growth. Thus, SERVPRO of the Quad Cities will remove non-salvageable materials such as insulation to determine a feasible and responsible drying plan. The goal is to keep overall restoration costs down and keep your structure sanitary. The insulation in the picture from a water damaged home in Florence, AL as a result of a pipe leak shows how saturated the material has become - it's gotta go! But once out of the picture, the surrounding structure can dry more easily and efficiently and we can get you back to normal sooner and safer!
How Often Do You Inspect Your Crawlspace?
When was the last time you poked around in your crawlspace? Likely it was directly related to something going wrong, unless you also use this space for storage. So who is maintaining your crawlspace? Keeping an eye on things? Making sure it stays clean and dry?
If you are like most of the Shoals area home and business owners that we at SERVPRO of the Quad Cities come in contact with, you likely answered "no one" for most if not all of these questions. That is why we often get the call once some sort of issue causes you to explore your crawlspace - such as a leak - only to find that it is now full of mold!
If you find mold, mildew, or any kind of microbial growth in your crawlspace, call us! SERVPRO of the Quad Cities has the training and resources to provide a comprehensive job scope to take care of the symptoms and the cause. We will remediate the existing mold and take preventative measures to keep it from coming back; all the while explaining to you the process, the products, and everything in between, so you know what is going on and are comfortable with the process.
Frozen Sprinkler Pipes
Every winter thousands of sprinkler pipes freeze and burst because of lack heat or inadequate insulation.
We received over 100 calls from customers with frozen and busted pipes earlier this month. Several area businesses had water damage when the lines in their fire protection sprinklers frozen and burst. Our crews provided water damage restoration services for a restaurant in Sheffield, a dentist/oral surgery center in Sheffield and a nonprofit organization in Tuscumbia after the sprinkler pipes froze and burst.
When water freezes, it expands up to 10 percent in volume. Sprinkler pipes tend to freeze before other water pipes because the water is not moving. When a frozen sprinkler pipe bursts, the result is always extensive water damage. Where the pipe bursts and the time it takes to shut off the water will influence the amount of water damage to the property.
If your business has experienced water damage because of frozen sprinkler pipes, this is the first indication that you need additional freeze protection to prevent this from happening again. The following points will help reduce the risk of frozen sprinkler pipes.
- Maintain heat in all buildings and units
- Require an annual service and maintenance contract on all fire sprinkler systems
- Provide additional insulation for pipes in unheated areas such as attics
- Install water flow alarms to alert occupants that water is flowing in the sprinkler system
- Install freeze alarms to warn of potential freezing conditions before the pipes freeze
Additional information on freeze protection is available through the National Fire Protection Association (www. nfpa.org).
Ten Fire Safety Tips
With the Christmas holiday upon us, now is a good time to review some fire safety tips to help you and your family stay safe while celebrating the holiday. Some simple prevention steps can aid in helping you prevent a fire in your home.
1. Watch your cooking - Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.
2. Give space heaters space - Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.
3. Smoke outside - If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.
4. Keep matches and lighters out of reach - Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.
5. Inspect electrical cords - Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have bro- ken plugs or have loose connections.
6. Be careful when using candles - Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
7. Have a fire escape plan - Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
8. Install smoke alarms - Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.
9. Test smoke alarms - Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.
10. Install sprinklers - Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.
Minimize The Damage From A Frozen Pipe
Freezing temperatures are upon us here in the Florence/Muscle Shoals area. It is the season where we start to see a lot of water damages due to pipes that burst.
When you realize that a pipe has burst in your home, follow these steps to minimize the damage and save money.
1. Stop the Water Flow
Turn off the water main as soon as you notice something is wrong. The potential water loss from burst pipes in your house can be as much as 106 gallons; that’s two full baths an hour. Once water is off, make sure you drain the lines throughout the home.
2. Locate, Inspect, and Repair the Damage
Once the damage is inspected, you will determine if this is something that you can handle on your own or if you need to bring in a plumber.
3. Call the Professional Drying Company
Once the repair is made and there will be no further water damage, call SERVPRO for professional water restoration. Areas that have been soaked in water are susceptible to mold and mildew and that can cause your family unwanted illness.
Does Mold Grow During Winter?
Mold grows anywhere it has a damp environment. While windows keep most moisture out of the house, their sills may have dampness from condensation.
When temperatures start to drop, homeowners tend to stop worrying about mold and direct their attention toward household issues that are more commonly associated with cold weather. However, mold can develop in winter as well. While mold thrives in warm, humid environments, the primary contributor to mold growth is moisture, which can get out of hand at any time of year.
Excessive indoor moisture can be caused by a number of issues; water damage, plumbing leaks, leaky roofs, high indoor humidity, and condensation are potential concerns.
Condensation on and around windows, in particular, is normal and may seem harmless, but it is one of the biggest moisture culprits when it’s cold outside but warm inside—as is typically the case during winter.
Window condensation occurs when moisture in the warm air inside your home liquefies upon contact with glass or other surfaces that are drastically cooler due to freezing outdoor temperatures. High humidity contributes to this process because there is excess moisture in the air.
While minor condensation doesn’t usually lead to problems, it is important to dry window surfaces regularly to keep condensation from accumulating and being absorbed by the wood and drywall around the windows. Mold feeds on such organic materials and can develop in as little as 24 hours. Mold Prevent specializes in attic mold remediation.
If you are in need of mold removal services, SERVPRO of the Quad Cities can help!
Overnight Plumbing Issues
Whether a toilet or sink overflowed and flooded your school, calling SERVPRO immediately is the best option.
Once the work or school day is over, most Shoals area businesses, churches and schools lock the doors and send everyone home. It is difficult to be sure that every faucet, fountain, or toilet in a commercial building or school is shut off as the doors close. Unexpected plumbing overflows discovered the next day need professional remediation.
A burst pipe poured hundreds to thousands of gallons of water inside an elementary school, the need for commercial water damage restoration is discovered early in the morning by school staff. Water removal must proceed immediately for safety reasons and to prevent further damage to the property.
SERVPRO of the Quad Cities has been serving the Florence and Muscle Shoals area since 1997. We have performed commercial water damage services for many properties over our 20 years in business.
Water And Mold Damage From a Roof Leak
A roof leak caused water and mold damage to this home.
If you discover that your roof is leaking, it is extremely important to take prompt action to have it repaired. Not doing so may put your entire home at risk. A roof leak, even a minor one, could be an indicator of a much greater problem. Any size leak in your roof can cause a great deal of damage if it persists long enough. Make sure you do not let it continue once a leak is discovered.
Usually a roof leak will be noticed from the inside of the home when water rings or ceiling stains form on the ceiling. A leak can create an environment that can lead to ceiling instability, water intrusion through cracks or electrical receptacles, deterioration of the structure and even mold growth. Early detection and proactive maintenance can greatly reduce the damage and cost of these repairs. It may be difficult to readily identify the source of the water intrusion, which is why water rings or leaks should never be ignored.
Roofs are one of the biggest protectors of our home and over time they can become damaged due to bad weather, harsh climates and poor maintenance. The strength and longevity of a roof can also be compromised due to poor quality materials or improper installation so make sure you hire a professional company with experience who stands behind their work. When it comes to protecting your home, investing in quality materials and workmanship is always worth the cost!
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
As you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly.
Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show the holidays are a high-risk time for home fires. Christmas trees are responsible for 240 home fires each year, and other holiday decorations are the cause of another 1,170 fires.
Here are some tips to keep your home safe this holiday season:
•Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.
•Keep trees at least three feet away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, and direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process.
•Use lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, to reduce drying of the tree.
•Always inspect light sets before placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.
•Do not overload electrical circuits.
•Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.
•Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.
•Install and ensure smoke alarms work inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
If you do have a fire, please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (256) 383-4470