Recent Posts

Reducing Your Risk Of a House Fire

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

fire damaged kitchen If you experience a house fire, call our SERVPRO of South Columbus fire restoration experts.

Your home is your sanctuary. A place where your family spends time together and makes memories. That’s why it is so scary imagining your home getting damaged by an unfortunate fire. Although you can’t control everything that happens in your home, there are some necessary tips you can follow to prevent a possible house fire. Follow these tips below.

  1. Regularly test your smoke alarms. Test your smoke alarms by pressing the button located on the smoke alarm, if it produces a weak beeping noise, it is time to replace the batteries.
  1. Check your heating sources. Heating sources that aren’t working properly could potentially trigger a fire. Have them checked annually.
  1. Maintain a clean oven and stove. Food particles left behind can get to hot on the burner or in the oven causing a potential fire. Make sure nothing is left too close to the stove that could catch fire.
  1. Never leave your kitchen. Don’t leave your kitchen while cooking. It only takes a few seconds for a fire to break out. If you have to step out of the room, turn the burners off.
  1. Check your dryer. Make sure to clean out your lint trap after every load of laundry. The build up of lint can cause a fire. Have your dryer inspected by a professional yearly.
  1. Inspect your cords. Before plugging something in, inspect the cord to make sure it is not frayed or been chewed. Replace the cords as soon as possible if you notice that the wires have been damaged. Avoid running cords under a rug or between the wall and your furniture, it can get too hot causing a fire.
  1. Store flammable products properly. Store common household cleaners and cosmetic items in a cool area. If they are exposed to high heat, they can combust.
  1. Use caution with candles. Put candles out before you leave the room or go to sleep and make sure to keep them far away from blankets or any other objects that could catch fire. Place candles on an even surface to prevent them from being knocked over. Also keep them away from pets.
  1. Use caution with your fireplace. Make sure there is a door between the flames and your flooring, you don’t want any sparks to escape. Allow enough time for the ashes to cool down before throwing them away.
  1. Always have a fire extinguisher handy. When a fire breaks out, your best line of defense is a fire extinguisher. Make sure every family member knows how to use it properly in case of a fire.

Soot Webs Not Spider Webs

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

soot webs after a fire Here is an example of soot tags. You can see how closely they resemble spider webs.

As fire damage specialists, we see a lot of fire damaged residential homes and commercial properties. The damage can either be extensive or very minimal. One of the most common visible instances of fire damage are soot webs, the technical term for them are "Soot Tags". They look exactly like spider webs. Rest assured, you did not have magical "fire spiders" that created these cobwebs in your home.

Soot Tags form in areas of low circulation when petroleum/synthetic based sources burn. During a fire the heat of the fire moves into colder areas since the air seeks to create equilibrium. The soot then rides in the air with the heat particles that follow the air into those colder areas with low circulation and are able to concentrate. Since that soot is a product of combustion the particles themselves are charged which makes it quite easy for them to create long chains of soot or soot tags. So while it looks like a lot of soot got stuck on pre-existing spider webs it is actually a whole new structure. 

If you notice that you have soot tags in your home or business after a recent fire, do not try to clean it up yourself. Any time you try to clean soot without the proper chemicals, tools and experience, you’ll likely cause further damage in your home. That's why our SERVPRO of South Columbus Team is here to help, we are the fire damage restoration specialists at your service 24-7!

Does Your Insurance Policy Have You Covered?

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

insurance policy form SERVPRO of South Columbus is prepared for the unexpected! Call us today at 614-863-1392!

Bad weather can spring up without much of a warning. Most of the time when a flash flood or bad thunderstorm is threatening your area, you barely have enough time to find shelter. As a homeowner, it is important that you think about these moments before they occur.

Do you have the correct insurance policy? Is your home going to be covered in the event of a disaster? Is the amount of coverage going to be enough to restore your home? Thinking about these questions before the storm damage occurs can make your life after the storm much easier.

Before you do anything else, stop and make sure your home is covered for the following:

  • Water and Windstorm Damage
  • Debris or Tree Removal
  • Sewer Backup Due to Flooding
  • Sump Pump Failures Due to Flooding
  • Additional Living Expenses In Case A Storm Forces You Out of Your Home

Once you have the proper home insurance coverage for storm damage, you can feel safer during the event of a disaster. Seeing your home damaged after a major storm can be heartbreaking. The best thing you can do for your family and your home is to begin the storm damage recovery immediately.

Our SERVPRO of South Columbus Team is here to help after every storm. We are available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year!

Clean Store Happy Customers

9/9/2021 (Permalink)

germs on a shopping cart Our SERVPRO of South Columbus Team helps you stand up against harmful bacteria!

Every day more and more shoppers visiting grocery stores, it means more and more hands touching things you’re going to buy. Scary right? By giving more attention to germ-prone areas, store workers play a significant role in preventing the spread of viruses. 

How do you properly clean sections of a grocery store?  Read our store checklist below!

Store Cleaning Checklist

  • Shopping carts: As carts are used throughout the day, constantly wipe down the touch areas of the cart (especially the handles) with disinfectant cleaner.  Treat hand baskets the same way.  Nightly power washing serves as a proactive measure to sanitize and prepare the carts for use the next day.
  • Checkout aisles: Cashiers (and with the assistance of baggers) should frequently clean the checkout area.  The conveyor belt, rails on each side of the belt, customer counter, and the bagging area should be wiped down at pace with the number of customers passing through. 
  • Credit Card Machines: Keep credit card reading machines clean.  Cash and plastic cards are known for harboring germs.
  • Restrooms: Public restrooms in a store probably already receive several cleanings per day, but with a recent emphasis on public health, it’s wise to increase the frequency of cleaning.  Customer and employee restrooms should be sanitized throughout the day: floors, doors, stall walls/doors, all handles (including paper towel and soap dispensers), sinks, counters, baby changing sections, etc.  Once the store is empty for the day, a more comprehensive cleaning should be done from top to bottom.  You should sanitize everything.
  • Floors: Floors are high-traffic areas, and grocery store floors get even more foot traffic now that restaurant traffic is prohibited beyond carry-out.  For more efficient and thorough floor sanitization, consider using an industrial auto-scrubber.
  • Walk-in freezers and refrigerators: Because freezers and refrigeration units house more prepared food these days, it’s a best practice to keep them clean for food safety. Give extra attention to these areas where products are handled by customers.  These areas should be routinely cleaned.  At a time that works best for your store schedule, remove the items from the refrigerator or freezer and clean the surfaces with no-touch products.  This helps mitigate any contamination.

Be aware of places where hands leave behind germs and coughs/sneezes may leave behind pathogens. As always, SERVPRO is here to help!  It can be overwhelming for your team members and our cleaning teams are ready and available 24/7 to proactively clean your business.  Please call us today! 

Leaves Clogging Your Gutters Can Result In Water Damage

9/9/2021 (Permalink)

leaves in gutter of house It is critical to keep your gutters clean to prevent water from seeping into your basement and causing floods.

One of the biggest fears as a homeowner with a basement is your basement flooding whenever it rains. A valid and legitimate fear, this situation causes a myriad of repairs. All sorts of damage including ruined flooring and carpeting, rotted drywall, destroyed furniture, and the worst of all, mold growth can occur. These repairs can be time-consuming and costly, and your basement can even flood in dry weather.

Issues with your foundation drainage is a big cause for a flooded basement and flood damage in your Columbus home. However, the main reason for water in your basement is overflowing gutters. It is critical to keep your gutters clean to prevent water from seeping into your basement and causing floods. Quality gutter guards and even using an expert to clean your gutters out routinely keeps debris and leaves out of the gutters so they can function properly.

When your gutters do cause flooding in your basement, it can be quite overwhelming. You need to have professionals, such as SERVPRO, come to your home to help you get all the water out and repair the damages.

When your gutters are clogged with debris, the water has nowhere to go. It overflows over the gutters to the ground next to your house, only a couple feet from the foundation. As the ground is settling and moving, it stresses the foundation of your home which causes cracking, letting water enter your home. Hydrostatic pressure might force water in through the concrete. The main solution is to keep your gutters clean.

Flooded basements create not only a lot of possible damage but plenty of stress for you as well. At SERVPRO, we understand this, so we move quickly to get to your home after you reach out to us. We have the professional and industrial equipment to get all the standing water out of your home and use fans and dehumidifiers to finish the drying process. We have moisture meters to find any hidden water or mold growth as well.

When SERVPRO of South Columbus is finished restoring your home after your basement floods, it is "Like it never even happened." Just give us a call at (614) 863-1392 so we can get started as soon as possible.

Emergency Ready Profile

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

emergency ready logo Our team can help get your Emergency Ready Profile started to protect your building.

According to the latest industry research, as many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. The Emergency Ready Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information.

Call SERVPRO of South Columbus at 614-863-1392 to get started on your SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile today!

Preventing Kitchen Fires

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

burned kitchen Getting the right information, customers can prevent kitchen fires in their own homes, keeping their families and homes safe.

Did you know that cooking fires are one of the main causes of home fires! Even though you can’t prevent every source of a kitchen fire, you can minimize fire risks with knowing the right information. Follow these fire prevention tips to reduce your chances of a kitchen fire and keep you and your kitchen safe.

  1. Make sure your appliances are always serviced, clean, and in good repair. Wipe down the microwave. Clean the oven. Dump and clean the crumb tray in toasters and toaster ovens. Unplug appliances that start acting strange, and then have them repaired or replaced.
  1. Unplug any electric appliances that are not in use. Toasters, blenders, coffee makers, and any other appliances continue to draw electricity to them, even if they are not turned on. If the wiring is old or faulty, a fire could break out.
  1. Install a smoke detector near the kitchen. A small amount of smoke will constantly trigger the alarm if the smoke detector is directly in the kitchen. Installing the smoke detector near the kitchen will pick up the heavy smoke when needed.
  1. Use caution when lighting a burner on a gas stove. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.
  1. Don’t put metal in the microwave. Metal can cause sparks that could then turn into a fire or do heavy damage to your microwave.
  1. Don’t overfill pots and pans with oil or grease. Hot oil or grease can splatter causing a fire.
  1. Wipe up any spills and never cook on a dirty stove. Grease buildup is very flammable. Having a clean stove is a fire free stove.
  1. Roll up your sleeves and tie back your hair when cooking. Baggy clothing and long hair can easily get in the way while cooking, causing you to get hurt.
  1. Don’t take your eye off of cooking food. Always stay in the kitchen when you are cooking, especially if you are cooking grease or if the oven is at a very high temperature. If you need to leave the house, make sure to turn off the oven and any burners you had on.
  1. Keep all dishtowels, potholders, and paper towels away from the stove. If you leave a burner on, the built up heat can ignite combustible near the stove area.

If you experience unexpected fire damage in your home, call SERVPRO of South Columbus at (614) 863-1392.

Cleaning Your Personal Belongings After A Fire

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

soot covered furniture After a recent fire, soot covered every surface in this home. Our SERVPRO Team cleaned each item by hand, restoring all of the belongings.

If having a fire happen in your home isn't detrimental enough, there is still the aftermath of cleanup that has to be addressed. Fires not only affect the home but also all of the items inside your home. Here at SERVPRO of South Columbus, we understand this process can be difficult and we are dedicated to making it go as smooth and painless as possible. 

With fire comes soot and ash which in turn may engulf some or all of your personal belongings including sentimental items. We always go into each job with the mindset that we would rather restore than have you replace your beloved belongings. We have many different cleaning methods that we use to restore your most valuable of items. These methods include...

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

When special care is needed our SERVPRO Team will be there.

How Can I Reduce The Level Of Flood Damage In My Home?

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

furniture removed and equipment set on concrete Our SERVPRO technicians had to remove the furniture in this basement and take it back to our warehouse to be stored and cleaned.

For many Columbus residents, any storm-related flooding can be a traumatic event. While there are methods to prepare for flooding like reinforcing your roof or removing expensive furniture, there is little help in an emergency's immediate aftermath. Our SERVPRO technicians can help you overcome flooding by performing vital mitigation acts quickly after a storm event.

Flood mitigation in Columbus may include actions like removing standing water from the home, drying inner rooms, or temporarily storing possessions at our warehouse. Contacting a highly qualified restoration company immediately after discussing your coverages with your insurance carrier can go a long way to reducing the losses caused by a flood after the fact.

What preventative measures are useful for storm areas?
- Taking out a flood insurance policy
- Maintaining water disposal in the home such as basement sump pumps, gutters, and drainage
- Turning off water mains access ahead of time to avoid backups

Do floodwaters permanently damage furnishings?
Furnishings are frequently victims of flood damage for residents. We understand how many items may be difficult to replace in a home, so our dedicated SERVPRO technicians are expertly trained in contents restoration. Larger items like sofas may benefit from temporary removal to a dry area where they can be thoroughly dehumidified to remove any excess moisture. Our technicians can also apply an extensive range of cleaning products and techniques to return upholstery to its preloss condition. By pre-testing on discrete areas of the fabric, we can avoid lasting damages of color fade or spot.

What restoration is available for furnishings?
- Thorough drying of the affected furniture
- Special services for leather, satin, or other unique upholstery
- Buffering and mechanical cleaning of furniture fibers

An unexpected summer storm can lead to extensive damage to both your home and its contents. Contact our SERVPRO of South Columbus Team at (614) 863-1392 for assistance.

Summer Is Approaching With Possible Storm and Wind Damage

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

tree fallen on barn A tree blown over caused damage to a pole barn and truck.

With summer upon us thunderstorms can not only bring water damage to homes, it can also bring wind damage.  Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes.

Below are some steps to take if your home is damaged by wind.

Documenting Damage:

  • Call and report your damage to your insurance company.
  • From a safe location, take pictures of any damage.
  • Inventory any belongings that may have been destroyed or damaged, noting the brand, price, age, etc.
  • If you have pictures of your home before the damage, include them with your insurance claim.

Preventing Further Damage:

  • If you suspect possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
  • Cover broken windows and doors with tarps, heavy plastic or plywood to prevent further damage. Save repair receipts for reimbursement. 

Repairs and Cleanup:

  • Don’t start permanent, major repairs or renovations until your property has been inspected by an insurance representative.
  • If your roof needs to be replaced, hire a professional roofing contractor who is licensed and insured.
  • Fallen trees or large branches also are best removed by a professional tree service. This service may be covered depending on your policy coverage.

If your home suffers wind damage, please contact SERVPRO of South Columbus 614-863-1392 for any board up, tarp up, tree removal, or roof replacement services.