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When a Property Is Impacted By Hoarding.

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning When a Property Is Impacted By Hoarding. Are you impacted by hoarding? We can help.

If you’ve had a rental or family property impacted by hoarding, you’re familiar with the piles upon piles of objects that can accumulate. But how much do you know about the dangers?

Hoarding is a serious issue that increases the risk of fires, mold, and any number of other household hazards.

So, what is hoarding? Hoarding is a obsessive disorder that causes people to hang on to possessions, ultimately accumulating them in large quantities that can take over a home.

Those affected by the condition cling to those items because they believe they will be of value at some point, but in actuality, most often the items retain little to no value.

As these objects pile up in the home, they present fire hazards and can hide pests or mold growth. All of those effects of hoarding could render a property unusable.

So if you’ve discovered that one of your properties has been used for hoarding, what should you do? Call in the professionals, who can clean up the space and ensure the area is safely rehabilitated for future use.

What’s Involved in the Clean-up Process

When you discover a property filled up with objects and trash, your first inclination might be to just toss everything out and clean up. But cleaning up after hoarding requires special consideration.

A professional team will provide a comprehensive clean-up plan to mitigate any safety hazards that have cropped up.

Removal of Dangerous Substances

Because hoarding leads to piles of clutter and other objects, it can conceal dangerous hazards, including toxic mold, insects, and rodents.

To ensure you are safely cleaning the space, partner with professionals who are educated about best practices for removal and outfitted in the appropriate safety gear.

Removal of Items

This is likely the part of clean-up that comes to mind first. During this stage, the space is cleared of all clutter, including items like newspapers and even trash.

If other items in the space have become contaminated over time, they’ll also be removed and potentially discarded.

Complete Cleaning

Once everything is removed and the space is cleared entirely, a professional team will then deep clean the property. During this phase, they’ll take steps to remove all residue and mitigate any odors.

This will help restore the property to its habitable status again.

In need of a team to help restore a space where hoarding has been an issue? Contact our team at SERVPRO® of Dorchester County, and we’ll make it like it never even happened.

Water Damage? Now what?

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage?  Now what? Water Damage in your Summerville, SC home? We can help!

When a catastrophic weather event occurs and leads to flooding, water damage can occur—with devastating effects. Because water damage impacts your home and all of its contents, it also poses unique risks to your health and wellness.

Mold growth is one of the most dangerous potential hazards following water damage. Exposure to mold growth is linked with many health conditions, including asthma and allergies, and after moisture seeps in to a space, mold can begin growing within 24 hours.

If you’re concerned about mold growth after water damage, there are steps you can take to stop it in its tracks:

Make Sure It’s Safe
  • Don’t re-enter your home or office before you are sure all water has receded and officials have declared it safe to do so.
  • Take photos and video of the damage for insurance purposes, including all damage done to furniture and walls.
Begin Drying Right Away
  • Open up all windows and doors in the home or office, if weather allows.
  • Use fans, dehumidifiers and heaters to speed up drying time.
  • Before the professional cleanup crew arrives, vacuum up what you’re able using a heavy-duty outdoor vacuum.
Sort Through Items Exposed to Water
  • Any porous material, including wood, upholstery and paper of any kind, can trap mold. These materials should be discarded.
  • On the other hand, metal, plastic and glass can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused since they are not absorbent.
  • Note that drying carpet will not necessarily remove mold spores once they begin to grow.
Call in Professionals

While mold sometimes causes a foul odor, it often lurks unnoticed. That’s why it’s important to have a team of professionals involved in the aftermath of water damage.

While carpets impacted by flooding might be able to be salvaged, experts recommend replacing the carpet pad in most situations.

While replacing the carpet pad alone is more cost-effective than re-carpeting the entire home, consult a professional to determine if that step alone will be enough in your case.

If you need help after water damage and/or mold growth, SERVPRO® of Dorchester County can help you restore your home back to normal.

Contact us 24/7 at 843.225.5433 or on our Contact Us page on the web. We are always here to help!

How many fire hazards are in your home?

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How many fire hazards are in your home? Every home has it's share of fire hazards!

The possibility of seeing your home damaged by fire is never a pleasant thought, but unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality for thousands of Americans.

One way you can help protect your home is by understanding common fire hazards and knowing how to identify them and lesser-known hazards.

Home fires caused by smoking are often fatal.

Cooking may be the leading cause of home fires, but smoking inside is the leading cause of home fire deaths. In 2014, an estimated 17,200 home structure fires were reported due to smoking materials, which includes cigarettes, cigars and pipes. The Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes reported that those fires resulted in 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in property damage.

Smokers should keep in mind that most deaths result from fires that have started in living rooms, family rooms or bedrooms. Fire-safe cigarettes are the best option, and deep, sturdy ashtrays should be used.

Put out all cigarette butts and ashes in water or sand prior to throwing them out. And remember that one out of four fatal victims of smoking-material fires is not the smoker whose cigarette started the fire.

Keep an eye on candles.

When you’re burning a candle, be sure it’s kept at least one foot away from anything that could catch on fire and is in a sturdy holder that won’t easily tip over. Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home, and always blow out all candles before leaving a room or going to sleep.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, during a five-year period from 2011 to 2015, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated 8,700 home structure fires a year that were started by candles. In total, there were 82 deaths, 800 injuries and $295 million in direct property damage.

Candles are reported to have caused 2 percent of home fires, with 3 percent resulting in death and 7 percent resulting in injuries. There were an average of 24 home candle fires reported per day, with December being the prime time of the year for home candle fires.

Of all the candle fires during this time span, 37 percent started in bedrooms and were responsible for 36 percent of the associated deaths and 51 percent of the associated injuries.

Watch for lesser-known fire hazards.

There are other lesser-known hazards that could be present in your home that could be causes of home structure fires.

Dust bunnies can pose a fire risk when collecting near electrical sockets and floor heaters. Sweeping or vacuuming your floors regularly and cleaning hard-to-reach areas like behind the entertainment system can help prevent buildup.

Also, look out for loose outlets in your home. The movement of these electrical outlets could loosen the wires connected to the outlet and create dangerous arcing.

Did you know that some kinds of glassware in your home could also be a fire risk? When sunlight passes through them, the concentrated ray may ignite flammable materials, which is why it’s smart to move glass accessories away from windows.

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to homes, and in many circumstances, can be accompanied by water damage from firefighting efforts. If your home is damaged by fire or smoke, SERVPRO® of Dorchester County is here to help restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Contact us 24/7 at 843.225.5433 or on our Contact Us page on the web. We are always here to help!

Wind... the silent threat to your home.

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Wind... the silent threat to your home. Wind can cause extensive damage to your home.

When you think of severe storms, what do you think of? There are many concerns that accompany severe storms, including damaging winds. These winds, which can come with little to no notice, can cause many long-term structural impacts.

The Basics of Damaging Wind

While some think of damaging winds as coming from a tornado or hurricane, damaging winds can happen outside of those types of storms. Damaging winds are considered those with wind speeds exceeding 50–60 mph and can be “birthed” by a strong thunderstorm.

You will often hear damaging winds referred to as “straight-line” winds to differentiate the damage from tornado damage.

Because straight-line winds can cause loose, unanchored objects to become airborne, the damage from these winds can be especially destructive. Windows and roofs can take the brunt of this damage, and if extensive enough, wind can also cause water damage to a home as the outside elements are allowed come indoors.

Anyone who lives in a thunderstorm-prone area can become a victim of damaging winds, but there are some structures that are especially at risk. Mobile homes, even those that are anchored, can sustain serious damage from wind gusts over 80 mph.

Ways to Protect Your Home

Below are some of the ways you can help protect your property from damaging winds, but keep the “Two R’s” in mind: reinforce and remove.

  • Use a professional service to have your garage door reinforced.

  • Properly store or anchor loose objects, such as trash cans, grills and outdoor furniture, on your property that could become projectiles by the wind.

  • Have large or dying trees and branches that could be blown over on your home removed by a professional.

Not all high wind circumstances come with advanced warning. But some of these action items can come in handy “just in case.”

Also, when building a new home or renovating an older home, be sure that windows, walls and doors are up to code for your area.

If your home should suffer damage from damaging winds and the resulting water damage, the highly trained specialists at SERVPRO® of Dorchester County are here to help with the cleanup and restoration of your home.

Contact us 24/7 at 843.225.5433 or on our Contact Us page on the web. We are always here to help!