January Weather in Alexandria, Louisiana
January is just getting started and if you live in the Alexandria, Louisiana area you have already had and severe thunderstorms and almost freezing temperatures.
According to The American Red Cross, water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Water sprinkler lines, pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs and swimming pool supply lines
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
Whether it is the warm temperatures that bring on the rains that flood your home or business or the cold temperatures freezing and breaking your water pipes, remember, SERVPRO of Alexandria is always here to help. Please call us @ 318-427-7511 if you have such an emergency and our team of trained professionals will come to your home or business and restore your structure “Like it never even happened.”
A Few Leading Fire Sources
Outdoor grills can be a cause of fire in your Alexandria, LA. home
Leading Causes Of Fire Damage
Homeowners in Central Louisiana, should be aware of a number of leading causes of fire damage. Understanding these statistics can help you prevent a home fire and make more informed decisions regarding your fire insurance policy.
1. Food Preparation
Cooking fires are the largest category of fires requiring a documented fire department response. Most of these involve a stove range of some kind, with electrical ranges being somewhat more dangerous than gas ranges on average. Outdoor grills also rank fairly high on the list of fire causes. Around a third of these cooking fires are the result of unattended flames or heating surfaces. Clothing ignition does not usually directly cause kitchen fires, but a fire that spreads to clothing has a strong correlation with personal injury.
2. Heating Systems
The second-most common category of home fire, at around 15% of total reported cases, involves heating elements. Many of these fires, around two-fifths, are due to smaller portable space heater units. The typical cause of a space heater fire is the proximity to combustibles such as upholstery or certain building materials. Another prominent issue is the lack of appropriate fire cleaning around fireplaces and chimneys, where certain flammable materials can build up over time.
3. Electrical Systems
Another leading cause of fire lies in the various faults that can appear in home wiring and related electrical systems. A majority of these occur either in lighting components or locations where electrical power is transferred, such as outlets or adapters. Homeowners should take special care to schedule an inspection for any exposed wiring or non-functional appliances, as these can lead to shorts that ignite surrounding flammable materials.
Even the most cautious homeowner can never completely eliminate the risk of a home fire. However, a little familiarity with some of the most common fire problems can help prevent injury and the need for professional fire restoration.
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Four Ways to Clean Belongings After a Fire
Stuffed animal before and after.
Watching your Alexandria, Pineville or Ball home burn can leave you with an ache in your heart. Not only do you have to deal with a massive insurance claim, but there's a good chance you'll end up losing some of your treasured possessions. When you work with a residential fire damage cleanup crew, some of your smoke-damaged belongings may get saved. Content cleaning is a delicate art that can take the following shapes.
1. Dry-Cleaning: Clothes, furniture and other porous items often have to be cleaned with a dry-cleaning method. This helps remove the smoke and soot that built up during the fire. If you try to wash your clothes on a normal cycle, you may end up causing more damage. The soot has to be removed from the textiles before you can return to a typical cleaning method.
2. Wet cleaning is an effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues. For items that can’t withstand wet cleaning we can spray and wipe.
3. Foam cleaning can be used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
4. Abrasive cleaning involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
5. Odor Removal: Smoke isn't the only thing that can cling to your possessions. The odor after a fire can be a long-term reminder of what you went through. After cleaning methods have been put in place, you may want to do some sort of odor removal too. Professionals often use thermal fogging or ozone/hydroxyl treatments to rid your home of the funky smell.
After a fire, you want to get everything back to normal as soon as possible. This means you need to clean your belongings. If the cleaning process takes longer than expected, you can also use content storage to get your dirty, smelly items out of the house until they're clean.
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Making a fire Escape Plan for Your Home
Fire escape plan
You had fire drills growing up at school, (hopefully) you have the occasional fire drill at work now that you are an adult, but do you ever have fire drills at home? Coming up with and practicing family safety drills can help to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency. It is an important topic to discuss with your family, especially children.
The National Fire Protection Association has a helpful section on how to create a family fire escape plan. It includes how to draw a fire escape path for your home, how to reinforce fire safety to younger children, and tips how to stay as safe as possible during a fire.
Some of the tips include:
- Call 911 as soon as possible, even if you think you can contain the fire
- Know at least 2 ways out of each room
- Have a designated outside meeting place a safe distance from the home
- Assign “partners” for young, elderly, or family members with mobility issues
- Close Doors behind you as you leave each room to slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire
Your family’s safety is the first priority. After emergency services have done their job SERVPRO will be here to help you repair, restore, and recover your belongings.
How To Keep Your Restaurant Kitchen Mold-Free
Install a ventilation system in your Alexandria, LA. kitchen
Enjoying the fruits of your hard-earned labor through the success of your Alexandria or Pineville restaurant is always a rewarding feeling. However, coming across mold growth in your commercial kitchen can bring that contentment to a halt very quickly. Thankfully, there are various methods for keeping your restaurant kitchen clean and consistently mold-free.
Focus Your Attention On the Food Itself
Though there are many possible avenues for mold growth to occur, one of the most common causes of mold is through the food you bring into your kitchen. It can materialize easily on such foods as:
- Cheeses and other dairy products
- Bread, and more
Therefore, it’s important to inspect your produce and other items before ever integrating them into your kitchen. Look for bruises, abrasions or already-apparent growths on your fruits and vegetables before purchasing. Check the expiration dates on packaged items and keep any open containers covered or sealed until use to prevent the onset of mold.
Keep a Reliable Ventilation System
Mold tends to emerge in areas that are dark, moist and generally untouched, meaning it can be hard to pinpoint the onset of mold until it’s too late. Help yourself and your kitchen crew by installing a ventilation system that reduces the high humidity in the kitchen, preventing potential mold from finding a suitable place to take root.
Remove and Restore Any Water Damage As It Occurs
Finding water damage in your restaurant would hardly be surprising, as running water is a consistent feature in any commercial kitchen with food prep spaces, dishwashing stations and more. For this reason, it’s important to always keep an eye out for continuously damp or wet areas that are the perfect breeding ground for mold. Hiring qualified mold remediation specialists to clear the area of any damage is key to a clean and healthy food prep environment.
When it comes to keeping the commercial kitchen of your Alexandria, Louisiana restaurant clean and mold-free, following these methods can help prevent any outbreak of unwanted mold growth and clear your kitchen for healthy food prep.
Why Cleaning is Critical During Fire Damage Restoration in Alexandria
Cleaning fire damage residues on items is not as simple as spraying and wiping down. Contact SERVPRO of Alexandria so we can help.
SERVPRO Technicians Understand Effective Techniques to Clean Residues
After a fire damage incident, it is understandable for any homeowner to be stressed. Such traumatic events disrupt your professional or personal lives, and there is need to work closely with a restoration service provider as you work towards returning your Alexandria, Pineville or Central Louisiana property to its earlier state. It all starts by identifying what is restorable and performing emergency services to limit further damage.
Cleaning is one of the services that our SERVPRO team offers when attending to fire damage events in Alexandria. One of our goals is to reduce the fire damage claims. Remember, if you do not act quickly, you might end up with expensive options such as replacing restorable items and resurfacing parts of your structure. We are going to look at some of the principles of cleaning that we use when restoring your materials.
Starting from the location where the fire originated from, our SERVPRO technicians carefully inspect the site. During the inspection, we identify the various kinds of residues, and this helps us to come up with an effective cleaning method. The cleaning process we choose should remove the smoke residues efficiently and not cause any damage to the surface.
There are four essential elements we take into consideration to suspend and remove the smoke residues: temperature, agitation, time and chemical action. Our SERVPRO technicians understand that chemical reactions increase as the temperature increases and thus we are keen to select an appropriate degree of heat that corresponds well with our cleaning solution of choice. If we want to dislodge smoke particles and distribute cleaning product on areas, we can use agitation. In this process, we can use sonic vibrations, water and air pressure, brushes and towels.
Digesting, changing pH, oxidizing, dissolving, bleaching and emulsifying are some of the chemical actions we take into consideration when cleaning your property. Depending on the action we desire, we select a proper cleaning product. Time is also critical during restoration, and it is dependent on the type of cleaning solutions we use and residues at the site.
At SERVPRO of Alexandria, We're Faster To Any Size Disaster whether it is mold, storm, water and fire damage in both residential and commercial properties. Call us at (318) 427-7511 if you need more details on our industry proven services.
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Know Who to Call When Water Damage Affects Your Alexandria Store
Water damage at your business
SERVPRO of Alexandria Follows a Proven Process When Mitigating Water Damage at your Central Louisiana Store
As a business owner, you pour everything you have into helping your Alexandria retail store succeed. For you, this means long hours in the hopes that your store reaches the levels of notoriety that you had envisioned. Unfortunately, a water incident in your shop can leave you unable to serve the customers of the community, and so taking care of these situations as they happen are of the utmost importance.
While you might not always think about the professional restoration companies that exist throughout Central Louisiana, it is nice to have a plan in place in case you require fast restoration for water damages in your Alexandria store. Our SERVPRO team prides itself on rapidly responding to both commercial and residential emergencies to get the job done quickly and to prevent further damages from occurring.
When our team of professionals arrives at your retail location, we assess where the damage came from and how widespread it actually is. In some scenarios, your business might only require concentrated cleaning and drying efforts to a small portion of the building. Others require more intricate equipment and personnel to bring the affected areas of the shop back to preloss conditions.
Whatever the cause of the damage, preventing it from happening again in the immediate future is a significant step in our overall restoration efforts. This process might require our SERVPRO technicians to replace or repair breaks in the plumbing, or help you to find the appropriate contractor to rebuild damaged areas that allowed for water penetration.
As always, drying the affected areas is the essential component to restoration. This step ensures that further damage does not occur and prevents situations like mold growth from compounding on the already present problem you face.
While you might not ever fully prepare for water damages affecting your business unexpectedly, knowing whom to call in a situation like this can help you to keep your doors open to the community that you serve. You can rely on the rapid response of our SERVPRO of Alexandria water damage restoration technicians. Give us a call 24/7 at (318) 427-7511.
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At the first sign of mold contact SERVPRO to remediate the damage
SERVPRO has a varaity of tools and equipment like this air scrubber to remove mold damage from your home.
Mold is a problem in central Louisiana. The facts are that inside any home mold can grow when it has enough moisture, food, and the right temperature.
That means to stop mold damage in your Alexandria homes, SERVPRO restoration specialists have to find and remove the source of moisture. Mold spores can thrive in a range of 68 to 86 degrees, the range most homes try to maintain year-round. They also feed on nearly everything in a home, to include almost every building material except for iron, steel, and aluminum.
Most mold growths in our area begin with a simple leak. Often, there is a loose pipe connection or a rusting faucet in a wall or a laundry room that is the culprit. Even just a small amount of water can start the problem if enough spores become wet enough to expand and start to grow over the nearest surface, searching for food and more moisture to further grow the colony.
After arriving at each home, SERVPRO technicians perform a visual inspection and trace that to its source. Once they find it, our teams have two tasks: stop the leak and clean out the mold.
If the problem is a minor one, like a loose connection or hose on a washing machine, our technicians can fix that. If it is a major issue, such as an entire section of pipe rusting out, the team leader always recommends bringing in a plumber or general contractor to make the repairs.
Once they stop the source of moisture, our specialists spray the affected property with an anti-bacterial agent. It kills any active spores, and then the team members wipe down every surface or use a vacuum with a specially designed HEPA filter to capture them. If the mold had time to grow into a surface like wood paneling, the team carefully removes it for disposal. They dispose of all mold outside the home and according to Louisiana state requirements.
Removing the effects of mold in any home is not easy, but SERVPRO of Alexandria works diligently to make it as easy on a homeowner as possible. If you have or suspect this problem is in your home, call us today at (318) 427-7511 to schedule a visit and inspection. We are here for you.
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Water Damage and the different Types of Water
When water floods your home, how do you know if it is safe to clean up on your own? This is the question thousands of homeowners ask themselves every year after waters spreads its way across the floor of the property and causes water damage. To help answer the question, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has categorized contaminated water levels into three degrees of danger.
Category 1: This water is generally deemed harmless to humans and can frequently be cleaned up by the homeowner if caught before the water level gets to more than an inch or two.
Category 2: Clean water (category 1) that sits for more than 24 hours can move into category 2 because it is then considered contaminated water. Other ways this water can become contaminated include coming in contact with the following household items: Grease, Food, Bleach, Cleaning supplies. Because category two liquid is unsafe, it should be handled by a specially trained water restoration team.
Category 3: This water is classified as grossly unsafe and extreme caution should be used when encountering the liquid. This type of unclean water is often filled with fecal matter, dangerous chemicals, and toxic materials. Natural disasters, overflowing rivers, and sewage backups can flood your home with this unhealthy type of liquid.
Flood waters can be frustrating to deal with, and the uncertainty of knowing what type of water you are standing in can be frightening. With the IICRC’s list, you can feel more secure in dealing with different types of contaminated water in Alexandria, Pineville, Ball, Marksville or Natchitoches.
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Air Conditioner Water Damage
Drip pan overflow
Air conditioning units are susceptible to leaks, and because of this water damage can occur. If you provide the following maintenance tasks periodically then you should be able to prevent water damage:
- Make sure that the drain line is not clogged. One way of clearing a clogged drain line is to use a wet-dry vacuum to suck the debris out of the pipe.
- Make sure your overflow drain pan is not damaged. If there are any rust holes then you will most likely have a leak once it gets filled with water. You may be able to patch the hole with epoxy.
- Make sure that you change your air filter every 1-2 months. If it is clogged and restricts air flow then your coils could freeze, defrost and overflow your drip pan, causing water damage.
SERVPRO of Alexandria covers all of central Louisiana. Call if you need our help: 318-427-7511