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The Speed of a House Fire | SERVPRO® of West Hamilton/Oxford

5/19/2023 (Permalink)

 img src =”fire” alt = " the remains of a building after a fire with broken windows, missing shingles and siding ” > Fires spread fast. When disaster strikes, call SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Ohio to help so you can focus on what matters most.

Experiencing a house fire is one of the more overwhelming and frankly terrifying things a homeowner can go through. Any time a fire breaks out in a place that it shouldn’t, it can spread quickly and cause widespread damage in a short amount of time. Some fires can’t even be contained, leading to a total loss of home or property.

If a fire starts in your home, getting out safely should always be your top priority. Understanding the progression of a house fire and how to get out quickly is crucial to ensure everyone in your family remains safe.

Fire Spreads Fast

All it takes is a single spark from an unattended candle or a kitchen towel too close to a stove burner for a fire to start. Once something flammable is ignited, it only takes about 30 seconds for the small flame to become a large fire.

From there, it is only a matter of minutes before that fire has created enough black smoke to fill a room or the entire house.

Once that smoke is in the air, it can become virtually impossible to see. That black smoke is thick and can throw an entire room into darkness. In under two minutes, the fire and smoke can become life-threatening and in under five minutes, your entire home could be engulfed in flames.

How You Should React

If a fire starts while you are home, your first priority should be to get out of the house as quickly as you can and call 911.

The fire will quickly start to produce black smoke, so stay low to the ground as you find your exit. The toxic smoke and gasses that fire produces can make you disoriented and drowsy, so crouch or crawl towards your exit if you have to.

Once you are outside, head to your pre-discussed meeting location and ensure that all of your family members have made it out safely. By this time, the fire department should be arriving soon and will take over to extinguish the flames and control the situation.

What to Do After

Standing in the aftermath of a house fire can be a really isolating and overwhelming experience. If the fire was widespread, you could be dealing with a full reconstruction as well as coming to terms with the loss of your possessions and keepsakes.

Our SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford team understands the sensitive and stressful nature of experiencing a house fire, and we will help guide you through the restoration process one step at a time.

We will work together to create a restoration plan, and we will do our best to save as many of your possessions as possible. We are here 24/7 to respond to your call for fire damage restoration.

We can help you recover from any sort of fire disaster. Contact us at SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford.

How Leaky Faucets and Mold Growth Go Hand-In-Hand

1/24/2023 (Permalink)

Dripping faucet. A leaking faucet can be a small inconvenience or a big problem, depending on where the leak occurs.

If you have a leaking faucet, it is important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Fixing a leaking faucet could be a simple fix or could require extensive repairs. In this article, we will discuss tips and tricks for dealing with a leaky faucet.

Timing is Everything

A leaky faucet can be a small inconvenience or a big problem, depending on where the leak occurs. A slow drip from your bathroom sink may seem like no big deal, but if it's been going on for months and you haven't done anything about it, you could have an expensive problem on your hands.

When leaks are left alone for long periods of time, mold has been known to grow in the area around the source of the leak. The longer a leak goes unrepaired, the worse the mold buildup will become — and since mold tends to go undetected until its effects become visible (such as when it discolors walls or causes ceilings to cave in), its presence can lead to further damage throughout your home.

If you find yourself with a leaky faucet, it's important to clean up the water within 24-48 hours of its onset. This is the ideal time frame for mold growth prevention. If you're not able to clean it up in this window, call a professional. The longer the water sits and drips, the more mold will grow in your home and on surfaces such as floors and walls.

Fixing the Problem

What should you do if your faucet starts leaking? First of all, turn off the water supply while working on fixing it so that there is no extra water coming out of it while working on it. If there's not enough space under your sink for you to work comfortably, then move things around so that there is more room for yourself underneath the sink.

Small Leak Can Cause Major Problems

While it's true that a small leak from a faucet can cause major problems if left unchecked for too long, it does not necessarily mean that you will develop mold in your home. Mold can grow anywhere there is a water source, but mold still needs time to grow.

Mold spores are microscopic and float throughout our environment. The spores need something damp to feed on in order to grow into colonies of mold. If this dampness is present in your home, then you may have an issue with mold development on your property. 

A leaking faucet can be a small inconvenience or a big problem, depending on where the leak occurs. If you have a leaking faucet, it is important to get it fixed as soon as possible. When you have a leaky faucet that leads to a mold problem, SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford is here to help you get your Oxford home back to normal as quickly as possible. Give us a call at the first sign of mold.

How To Clean Up Water Damage After a Water Leak

12/5/2022 (Permalink)

seven air movers (fans) placed on carpet floor Water damage in Hamilton, OH.

Tips for Cleaning Up a Water Leak

Water damage is one of the most common reasons for a home insurance claim, and it can happen in a variety of ways. You might experience a burst pipe, see signs of water damage after a storm, or even notice water seeping from your walls. Regardless of what caused the leak or how much water got into your home in Hamilton, OH, SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford is here to help! We offer mold remediation services along with our water mitigation services so you can get back on your feet quickly.

Shut off the water

Shut off the main water valve. This is typically located in your basement or garage, and it will look like a big red knob on a pipe with a blue handle. If you don't know where this is, call a professional to help you turn the water off right away.

If that's not an option, call a professional anyway! You can wait until another day to find out where it is or how to turn it off—but by then there might already be damage done! 

Contact your insurance company

If you have an insurance policy, you should contact your agent or company immediately to file a claim. The sooner you call them after a leak has occurred, the less time there will be for mold to grow.

Mold can easily spread throughout your home if left alone for even short periods of time—but it can also be removed with some effort and patience. To prevent mold from growing back in its place, it is important to have a trained restoration professional on-site as quickly as possible to take care of the mold remediation.

Make sure the area is safe. 

Once you have the wet area secured, it's time to move on to the next step: making sure everything is safe. Make sure that all appliances and heating vents are turned off and do not turn them back on until they've been inspected by a professional who can be sure they are safe. Also check your electrical system for any signs of damage or fire hazards before touching anything else.

Call SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford immediately

When you have water damage in your home or business, it's important to act fast and call SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford immediately. We can help with everything from the initial response that prevents further damage to professional drying, cleaning and restoration services. The faster we get into the affected area, the better our chances are of saving your home and personal possessions from water damage.

The sooner we begin working on your project, the more likely it is that we'll be able to minimize structural issues as well as prevent mold growth. If you wait too long after a leak occurs before calling us for help, then we may not be able to perform services like removing drywall or carpeting because these materials would have already been damaged by mold growth. Call us first so that one of our trained technicians can start treating your property right away!

Water damage is something that no homeowner wants to deal with. And when it happens, it’s important to act quickly. If you do find yourself with water damage after a leak or flood in your home, contact SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford immediately so we can help you get back on track as soon as possible.

Preventing Your Pipes From Freezing

11/21/2022 (Permalink)

Isolation ducts and pressure gauges flow and return pipes in the boiler room of a private house Insulate any exposed pipes that are vulnerable to freezing

Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

If you live in a colder climate, the danger of frozen pipes is real. If your home's water supply freezes, it can cause serious damage to home appliances and fixtures. The good news is that there are steps you can take before and after the coldest days of winter strike to prevent frozen pipes from occurring in your home.

When Temperatures Drop Below Freezing, Beware of Freezing Pipes.

When temperatures drop below freezing, it is time to worry about water pipes in your home freezing. Frozen pipes can burst and cause flooding, they can cause damage to your Hamilton, OH home's foundation or structure, and they can also cause water to leak into your home. If the water is not contained within a frozen pipe, it will start seeping through cracks in the wall or flooring. This can lead to mold and mildew growth.

There are several ways that you can prevent freezing pipes:

  • Insulate your water supply lines with foam insulation tape if possible
  • If you cannot access these lines directly then use an insulation blanket around them instead 
  • Be sure any windows that do not have storm shutters on them are covered properly with clear plastic sheets so cold air does not enter through them
  • Keep all vents closed off from areas that could be exposed due to drafts causing cold air currents

How to Avoid Pipe Freezing

Use heat tape. If you have an electric water heater, consider running a small space heater near it. You can also use heat tape to insulate valves and pipes in your basement or crawlspace, but keep in mind that it's a fire hazard if used improperly.

Use insulation. Insulate any exposed pipes that are vulnerable to freezing by wrapping them with foam or cloth pipe sleeves or other types of insulation. Before wrapping them up though make sure there are no leaks first!

Check for leaks and turn off the water supply when you leave your house, so you don't come back to frozen pipes.

How To Thaw Frozen Pipes

There are several ways to thaw frozen pipes. The best way to thaw them is by using hot water, but not just any old hot water -- you need to ensure that the temperature is high enough so that it will be able to melt the ice without damaging your pipes.

If you want to use hot water, here are some options:

Use a hair dryer set on "high" and directed at the pipe. This will take longer than other methods but won't damage your plumbing.

If there's an outlet nearby where you can plug in a space heater or blow dryer, turn those appliances on low and point them at the affected area for ten minutes or so until everything melts away. You can also try putting towels soaked in very hot water against frozen pipes; they'll help transfer heat into them faster than if they were left alone in the cold air around them!

Alternatives to Permanent Pipe Freezing Protection

While protecting your pipes from freezing is important, there are other options that can help you save money on heating costs.

Insulate the spaces around your pipes. If you have an attic or basement, it's a good idea to insulate any areas where cold air or water might be able to get inside and freeze the pipes. You can also insulate crawl spaces or basements if they're exposed to outside temperatures all year round. This will help keep the temperature inside these areas warmer than outside, preventing freezing in those places as well.

Replace outdoor faucets with frost-proof models or reroute pipe runs so that they don't run through unheated areas such as garages or porches during winter months of low humidity (this is what I did for my outdoor spigot).

Place space heaters near pipes that may be prone to freezing during cold weather periods when regular heating systems aren't working properly.

The best way to prevent pipe freezing is to keep your home warm by using space heaters or blankets. If you cannot afford these options, then you can use a blow dryer on low and place it near the pipe that has frozen. Another option would be to wrap the frozen pipe in towels soaked in hot water as soon as possible; this should thaw out any pipes that have been damaged due to cold temperatures outside your home.

Basic First Aid for Burns

10/10/2022 (Permalink)

First Aid Training - Burn injury. First aid course. Burns can be painful and dangerous.

Steps to Minimize the Impact on Minor Burns

Burns are painful, but they can be prevented and treated if you know what to do. If you or a friend or family member has experienced a major burn, the first thing to do is to call 911. However, for more minor burns, there are a few easy steps to help minimize the impact of the burn.

Remove all jewelry and clothing from the burn area.

While it's important to keep the burn area clean, you should also remove all jewelry and clothing from it. This will allow for easier cleaning and evaluation of the area. If the burn is on your face, remove any glasses or contact lenses that might be affected by water. If you have an injury on your hands or feet, take off any rings or watches.

Flush the burned area under running water for at least 20 minutes.

The best way to clean a burn is to flush it with water. The water should be as hot as possible without causing further damage. Do not apply ice or cold water, as this will only worsen the injury by causing pain and swelling. If you can do so, run the tap at full force for 20 minutes or longer if necessary.

If the burn blisters, leave it alone.

One of the worst things you can do is pop a burn blister. The fluid inside the blister is filled with white blood cells and they help your skin heal faster. If you pop it, those white blood cells leak out, making your skin take longer to heal and making it more likely that scarring will occur.

If the burn area has blisters, don't rub them or apply any ointments or creams. This can increase swelling around the burns and make them more painful. You should also avoid using ice or cold water on burns because it could damage tissue underneath the burned area by chilling it too quickly (this will make healing take longer). Finally, if there are blisters present on your burn: don't try covering them with a bandage because this increases friction between the bandage and injured body parts.

If any signs of infection develop, seek medical attention immediately.

If any signs of infection develop, seek medical attention immediately. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, pain or tenderness at the burn site and pus-like drainage. Infection can lead to sepsis (blood poisoning) if left untreated and should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.

Burns result in a lot of pain and can easily become worse, so it's important to know what to do in case of an accident.

Burns can be painful and dangerous, so it's important to know what to do in case of an accident.

A burn is caused by the contact with heat or fire and results in a lot of pain. It can also become worse over time because burns can easily become infected, lead to scarring, or cause shock.

Burns are one of the most common injuries, and they can be very serious if left untreated. If you ever have a burn, make sure to follow these guidelines to minimize the damage and improve your chances of full recovery.

5 Tips to Prevent Spring Flooding at Your Business

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Dirty gutter Gutters can collect a large amount of debris.

Prevent Spring Flooding at Your Business

After a long winter, it is finally time to start planning for the warmer months ahead. If you own a business in Ross, OH, spring can be a busy season for profits, but it also is a busy season for flooding. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent problems during the next thaw. Follow these steps to reduce the chances of needing to hire a water damage restoration professional once the weather warms up.

1. Relocate Snow
Never underestimate the water capacity in a pile of snow. For this reason, you will want to clear any away from the building's foundation. Ideally, snow should be at least three to five feet away, but the further away it is, the better.

2. Clean Out Gutters
After dealing with the snow, you will need to lookup. Over a long winter, gutters can collect a large amount of debris. Leaves, sticks, and dirt can lead to blockages which can force water to seep into the building.

3. Make Repairs
Next, look around the property. Few things lead to flooding like a frozen pipe. Check plumbing carefully. Seal leaks and insulate exposed pipes. While making repairs, do not forget the foundation. If you see cracks, do not ignore them.

4. Optimize Landscape Drainage
How does water drain around the building? If necessary, regrade the surrounding land to allow for better drainage. You may need to move plants and soil to do this, but it can be worth it.

5. Consider a Professional Inspection
If you are still feeling unsure about how your building will hold up to this spring's thaw, scheduling an expert inspection can give you a peace of mind. Sometimes, it is just better to know.
When the weather finally warms up, your business should experience spring profits, not a spring flood. By following these steps, you can reduce the chances of encountering common flooding problems.

How To Conduct an Emergency Drill in a Commercial Building

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

People escaping through an exit door People evacuating a building in Trenton, OH.

Steps To Run a Drill

A fire drill does not only prepare you and your employees for potential blazes in your commercial property. It can also help everyone learn how to evacuate the premises during major storms that damage the building.
Drills alert you to potential issues so you can correct them before an actual emergency occurs. Ideally, you should hold storm drills for your Trenton, OH, building at least twice annually. Here are some tips for making the most out of these drills.

1. Make an Evacuation Plan
Before you hold your next drill, ensure everyone in the office knows and understands the evacuation strategy. Map routes to the nearest exits and highlights the locations of the alarms. You should also create a communication system that keeps each employee informed about the status of the storm.

2. Set Goals
Judge your fire drill based on how long it takes everyone to evacuate the building and shut down the equipment. Set a realistic time frame for the completion of the drill and try to meet or beat that goal.

3. Rehearse
Start by doing a walkthrough of the drill with members of the emergency response team. Then hold the drill with as many of your employees as possible.
Once everyone has mastered the basic evacuation strategy, try adding some obstacles such as broken elevators and blocked stairwells. To make the drill even more realistic, have a designated employee practice calling 911 and/or cleanup and restoration professionals.

4. Observe
Have a few members of your team observe the drill in its entirety. They should specifically look for behaviors or problems that could be dangerous during a real storm. These individuals can then hold a debriefing after the drill to discuss anything that went wrong.
The above steps should help you run an efficient and effective fire drill. This way, if a severe storm forces you and your employees to evacuate, everyone will understand what to do.

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.

5 Ways To Lower Your Company's Water Consumption

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Touch free faucets Install touch-free faucets
Of all the water issues worth discussing, one of the most relevant is conservation. In addition to being good for the environment, lowering your building’s consumption also reduces your water bill.

Here Are Five Measures You Can Take To Enhance Your Status As A Responsible Corporate Citizen

1. Install Touch-Free Faucets
Because executives carry their phones everywhere, they often become distracted before leaving the restroom. This sometimes results in running faucets. Touch-free sensors eliminate this trouble entirely. As an added bonus, the spread of germs is greatly limited. While they can be expensive, these water upgrades come highly recommended and are extremely popular.

2. Submeter Irrigation
Faulty irrigation systems have the potential to create seriously destructive water issues. If your business floods, the resulting water damage may necessitate a commercial restoration service provider to repair. Submetering irrigation alerts building managers and landscapers when too much water is being used, possibly indicating a faulty system. The ability to address issues early on could prevent an inconvenient disaster.

3. Add Flush Valves
Toilets installed before 1992 use between three and five gallons per flush. Introducing flush valves dwindles this by up to 40%. Unlike replacing old toilets with low-flush alternatives, you can keep your original commodes and the cost will be minimal.

4. Trade Plants
Interior designers sometimes attempt to counteract the industrial feel of office buildings with trees and other leafy offerings. Some vegetation needs to be watered more than others. Try less thirsty options, such as sago palms, spider plants, or orchids.

5. Change Urinals
Although they require different cleaning methods than traditional urinals, consider ones that are water-free. With one training session, your cleaning crews will have no trouble understanding how to handle them.
Addressing these common water issues will work wonders in lessening the amount your office in Hamilton, OH, uses. For the sake of the future, implement as many solutions as possible.