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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

SERVPRO Helps Restore Your Akron Home After a Fire

11/21/2022 (Permalink)

Before and after photos of an apartment fire We're there every step of the way to handle all of your fire damage restoration needs!

Cleaning Your Akron Area Home Following a Fire

Cleaning up after a fire loss incident in Akron is one of the considerable challenges to making these disasters “Like it never even happened.” Without adequate and thorough cleaning and restoration practices implemented at the right times, surfaces and contents could suffer irreparable damages. Trust our SERVPRO professionals to get to work quickly on the recovery steps required.

Effective cleaning and restoration after fire damages your home begins with a fast and confident response. Because our technicians stay prepared to answer the call 24/7, we can often reach damaged addresses while there is still time and opportunity to protect many of the surfaces and exposed contents. Entrusting your home to responding technicians can often make the return to preloss conditions more efficient and cost-effective.

What is Debris Removal?

Among the first steps in cleaning and restoring your fire-damaged home is debris removal. This process is one of the emergency services that our professionals offer, and it can help our technicians to gain control of an increasingly difficult situation. Shoveling out piles of ash and charred remnants of materials can help in many ways. Some advantages of beginning debris removal or muck-out for your home include:
    •    Reduces the concentration of soot
    •    Makes odors less intense
    •    Allows our professionals to inspect the property better

Is Soot Dangerous to Be Around?

Soot can be one of the most challenging obstacles for responding technicians, as this residue can react differently with each of the materials that it becomes exposed to after a fire. Also, the presence of soot can present health effects for those in direct contact, which requires our professionals to always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. The primary concerns about soot include:

    •    Acidic Nature – Because soot has an acidic base to its composition, its presence in a layer resting on organic surfaces can have a destructive effect. When residue goes prolonged periods without getting removed, it can mar or stain surfaces underneath it.
    •    Microscopic Particles – the size of soot particles is also an alarming concern because these microscopic particulates can get easily inhaled and travel deep into the lungs.
    •    High Concentrations – Circulating soot in the environment can present hazards like unclean breathing air and more substantial concentrations of soot residues on exposed surfaces.

How Can Residues Like Soot Get Cleaned?

Removing Soot and Smoke residues from the house requires several approaches and potent cleaning products. The best approach and technique to remove soot damage in the house gets determined often during the initial assessment and evaluation of the property following a fire loss. Our project manager can walk through the damaged building to begin cataloging loss and noting wherever soot removal techniques are necessary. These might include:

    •    Chemical Solvents – Emulsification can be an excellent method for removing oily soils from surfaces, and many of our chemical solvents can also have a positive effect on present soot damage. Pretesting is a way to determine what potent products are the best choice for the affected material.
    •    Soda/Media Blasting – Using a high-pressure output, soda, and media blasting equipment can help to restore the surface of a damaged structural element by eliminating soot without destroying the construction material beneath it.
    •    Controlled Demolition – There are some situations where material removal might be the only suitable solution. If soot has stained or marred a surface or item, our in-house contractors can remove only the damaged portions to make build back and reconstruction as efficient as possible.

What If Contents in My House Get Soot-Damaged?

Your belongings are just as susceptible and sensitive to soot exposure and damage as the construction materials used in your home. While you might not have the time to relocate everything of value or significance, our SERVPRO professionals can work on content management beginning as soon as we arrive. From on-site cleaning and relocation efforts, to more intricate cleaning practices that can happen in our nearby facility and warehouse, we can improve the look and feel of damaged items efficiently.

Fires can be highly destructive to your home, especially surfaces battling the presence of soot and other residues. Addressing these concerns can involve multiple strategies, including surface cleaning, media blasting, and controlled demolition. No matter what your home needs, you can count on our SERVPRO of SE Summit County/Lake Township to help by calling (330) 786-0505.

After Storm Care Tips

11/19/2022 (Permalink)

Fallen debris on a road Make smart choices when it comes to driving and after care following a big storm; choose SERVPRO!

Handling the Aftermath of a Storm

Your family has taken the necessary precautions during a storm, but what do you do to deal with the aftermath? There is a chance that something happened to your home, whether it be flooding, backed up sewage, or damage from fallen debris. If there’s any major damage to your home, it’s best to call the experts at SERVPRO of Southeast Summit/Lake Township and let the professionals clean up. But, there are still some things you can do yourself if you feel up to it.  

  • Clean up tree debris from your property. Picking up sticks and leaves is by far the easiest step, and is something even your kids and pets can get involved in. These materials can be discarded, or saved for firewood or composting. If a branch or tree has fallen against your house and caused damage, make sure you call SERVPRO of SE Summit/Lake Townshipto have it quickly, and expertly repaired.  
  • Dry out your house as soon as possible. Water that has entered your home, typically in a basement or attic, can lead to mold if left untreated. Mold can lead to severe property and health detriments, so it is important to get these areas dried as quickly as possible. If some time has passed and you suspect mold may already be growing, a bleach-based household cleaning solution can kill the mold and prevent further damage.  
  • If you see any damage involving sewage, live wires, or possible gas leaks, do not attempt to fix these things yourself. Leave these types of cleanups to the professionals at SERVPRO

If you feel unqualified or just need a helping hand, be sure to call in professionals to handle your after storm clean up.

What to do if Lightning Strikes

It’s one of those things that you hear about on a rare occasion, but you never think about it happening to you. The chances of your house or business being struck by lightning are basically zero, so why would you need to worry about it? Surprisingly, from 2017-2020, the Insurance Information Institute reported just over 311,000 claims for lightning, with an average cost of $28,885 per claim. Makes you want to worry about it a bit more, right? So, what do you need to do if lightning strikes your home or business?

  • First, make sure that no one in your home or business was hurt. It’s a bad idea to do things like wash dishes or shower during a lightning storm, so try to avoid these practices when you know a storm is approaching. This could save you from injuries.
  • Next, check for damage or a fire. As you do this, make sure to check everywhere from the attic to the basement looking for things like smoke, charred electrical outlets, sorted appliances, damaged roof shingles, or fried wiring.
  • If you find any storm damage and need storm damage repair, then it’s best to contact the experts at SERVPRO of Southeast Summit/Lake Townshipto mitigate your lightning or storm damage. We’ll take care of everything, so you don’t have to worry.

Driving After a Storm

After a bad storm, driving may be the furthest thing from some people’s minds. But, if you were stuck at work during the storm, or just have somewhere to be, driving may be inevitable after a storm. It is important to understand the best tactics when driving post storm, especially if the streets are flooded. Here are a few things to remember if you find yourself driving on flooded streets.

Avoid Standing Water

When you have somewhere to be, driving through a flooded street may not seem like a big deal. “That’s the quickest route, I’ll be fine.” But, there can be dangers below the surface of flooded streets, such as:

  • Branches or other debris
  • Potholes or washed out pavement
  • Moving water

It is hard to tell just how dangerous a flooded street may be, so don’t take the risk. Even a few inches can stall your vehicle or even move it off the road. Flood damage experts recommend that you find an alternate route or just wait until the water has a chance to drain. A few extra minutes on your trip is better than damage to your car.

Slow Down

A flooded street is not a racetrack. Even if the water is shallow enough to navigate, you still need to reduce your speed so that you don’t stall your vehicle or hydroplane. If your tires cause water to fan out to the side, you are probably going too fast to be safe.

Don’t Use Others as a Gauge

Just because other drivers make it through flooded roads, that doesn’t mean you should try it. Flood conditions change rapidly. The car in front of you could have inadvertently knocked some debris into your path that will tear up your vehicle. Their car may be able to withstand more than yours as well. It is important to use your best judgment and focus on your own driving, rather than someone else’s.

flooded street is not meant to be a challenge. It’s better to turn around and find an alternate route, or wait until the water drains rather than risking your car or your own safety. Wherever you need to be would want you there later safely than not there at all due to flood damage.

If you experience storm damage and are in need of restoration following the next big storm, call SERVPRO of SE Summit County/Lake Township today: 330-786-0505

Know the Common Causes of Water Damage

11/14/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO equipment drying out a building We have the best technology to handle your water damage needs!

Be Rain Ready

Living in Northern Ohio comes with the consequence of dealing with some of the most unpredictable weather patterns possible. We’ve all experienced the weeks where the weather is beautiful on Monday, pouring rain on Tuesday, then a blizzard on Wednesday. It’s important to be prepared for anything, especially the risk of water damage.

Being rain ready means that you should do things like check your roof for leaks, clearing your gutters of leaves and other debris so water can flow through them properly, and most importantly, making sure you’re ready to call SERVPRO of SE Summit County/Lake Township if anything goes wrong!

Causes of Water Damage

Water damage can happen whenever any amount of excess water collects in an area where it shouldn't. Many different factors can cause a collection of excess water and contribute to water damage.

If you are aware of the potential causes, you will be able to prepare and avoid leaks and floods. You will also be able to spot a problem as soon as it happens, and stop it before it causes additional damages.

The more quickly you notice the problem, the less work the water extraction and water damage restoration company will have to fix.

Causes of water damage include:

  • Bursting or leaking pipes
  • Issues with the plumbing system
  • Hot water tanks
  • Buildup in water-prone areas such as basement, attics, or other crawl spaces
  • Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances
  • HVAC issues
  • Natural disasters and other weather-related water problems

No matter what the issue, you can call the experts at SERVPRO of Southeast Summit County and Lake Township to make it look "Like it never even happened."

How to Handle Leaky Pipes

It’s no secret that water damage is bad, not only can it cost a lot of money to fix if left unmitigated, but it can also lead to the growth of molds that can cause health effects. Mold needs water to grow, and it can grow quickly if things like leaks and water damage aren’t fixed quickly. That’s why it’s important to check for leaky pipes, and if you find one, it’s important to know how to fix it.

  1. The first thing you can do when fixing a leaky pipe is see where the water is coming from. If it’s coming from a loose coupling nut (the thing that holds pipes together), then it’s pretty easy to grab a wrench and tighten the nut, fixing your leak.
  2. If the leak is caused by a crack in the pipe itself, you will need to use either plumber’s tape, self-fusing silicone tape, or epoxy putty to fix it. These are easy to apply, just make sure the water is turned off then wrap the pipe if you’re using tape, or just apply putty to the pipe and give it some time to dry.

After fixing the pipe, make sure to clean up any standing water, and check back every day, or every few days to make sure there is no more water or leaking.

If you’ve experienced water damage or mold growth, call SERVPRO of SE Summit/Lake Township and our professionals with take care of everything.

Kitchen Water Damage Causes

No area of the home is completely immune to water damage; it can occur anywhere. The kitchen is particularly at risk for water damage due to the amount of water required for everyday tasks, such as washing dishes and preparing meals. Because water damage can have devastating consequences, it is beneficial to understand which areas of the kitchen are at the greatest risk for leaks.

  • The Refrigerator and Ice Maker

During the summer, a cold, refreshing glass of water makes all the difference on a hot day. The refrigerator and ice maker make this possible by producing ice, but ice makers seem to frequently generate leaks. From improper installation to parts becoming damaged or worn-out, ice makers can leak for a handful of reasons. Puddles of water on the floor beneath the fridge and ice maker are usually good indicators that there is a leak. To prevent water damage, be on the lookout for water on the floor and make sure that the refrigerator and ice maker undergo regular maintenance and inspection.

  • The Dishwasher

We load and unload our dishwashers in order to clean silverware, plates, and cups on a daily basis, sometimes even multiple times a day. The amount of water required to carry out this task is tremendous and combined with the fact that the dishwasher is used so frequently, dishwashers pose a significant threat to the kitchen. Dishwashers can create water damage by leaking or flooding as a result of using the wrong type of detergent, a bent or broken dishwasher door latch, or the dishwasher overfilling with water. Watch out for puddles of water underneath the dishwasher, as it may be the sign of a leak.

  • The Sink

The sink is probably the first kitchen appliance that comes to mind when you think of water usage. We use the kitchen sink to fill up a cup of water, wash our hands, and wash dishes, among many other tasks. Water damage can occur when parts of the sink become corroded or when the drain or faucet leaks. About every 6 months, it is beneficial to take a look at the pipes beneath the sink and check for leaks as well as damaged sink parts in order to prevent water damage coming from the sink.

Because of the often costly and devastating effects of water damage, such as structural damage and mold and mildew growth, it is important to do everything in your power to avoid water damage. However, if you do experience water damage in your kitchen, don’t worry. Call SERVPRO of Southeast Summit/Lake Township today at 330-578-7617.  For more information about our water damage services, click here.

Preventative Measures: House Fires

11/14/2022 (Permalink)

burnt out apartment No matter the size, we handle all of your fire damage restoration needs!

Cooking with Caution

Cooking is a great way to bring family and friends together, provide an outlet for creativity, and can be relaxing. But it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Below are some safety tips to help prevent fires and keep everyone safe.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or oven.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains — away from your stovetop.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

If you have a grease fire, here are some tips to stop it.

  • On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

Preventing an Outlet Fire

Home electrical fires cause around 51,000 fires each year, with 5,300 of those being directly caused by electrical outlets. It is important to understand the risks that come with something as common as a household outlet, and how to avoid disaster from them:

  • Watch out for extension cords and multiple wires that are hidden behind carpets and curtains
    • Overloading Circuits is a common mistake especially for families who possess multiple electronics because they do not split the devices and run a different circuit.
  • Install an operating fire extinguisher and smoke detector
  • Prepare a plan for emergencies
    • Having a plan prepared can prevent injuries and accelerating the process of leading everyone back to safety.

Fire and smoke damage should not be taken lightly due to the dangers it may cause; action should be taken immediately to prevent further destruction. Smoke can spread throughout an entire structure under a couple of minutes.

If any damages occur after a fire, SERVPRO of Southeast Summit County/Lake Township specializes in residential or commercial services, back to “Like it never even happened.”

 Avoiding Furnace Fires

Like many homeowners, you may wonder what you can do to keep your furnace well-maintained and when you should perform such maintenance. After all, a functioning furnace reduces the chance of a fire and related fire cleaning in your Southeast Summit home.

  1. Keep It Clean

Dirt is a troublesome yet common nuisance that can lead to furnace-related fires. The blower, motor, and system itself all need regular cleaning to remove troublesome dirt and debris. Research how to clean your particular unit, or get help from a local professional. Leaving dirt to sit can cause your unit to malfunction and cause a fire-related issue.

2. Replace Filters

Your furnace filters should be replaced regularly. A good rule of thumb is to change them once before cold weather hits, and then once a month during the times that the furnace is in heavy use. Dirty filters can lead to situations that require fire cleaning, much like with other furnace components, and will also not function properly when you are relying on them to keep you and your family warm.

3. Perform Maintenance Early

One of the most important things to remember is that any repairs or other maintenance tasks need to be completed before the cold comes. Otherwise, you will risk using the furnace while it is not in top shape, possibly causing a fire and leading to smoke cleaning. You also will likely have an under-performing furnace that does not quite do its job.

Furnace maintenance is not exactly fun, but neither is a fire. You owe it to yourself and your wallet to take precautions against having a furnace malfunction at home. You will not only avoid fire cleaning in the future - you will also have better peace-of-mind knowing your furnace is ready to keep you heated.

General Fire Preparation

While you take the necessary steps to prevent fires in your Southeast Summit/Lake Township home, sometimes things happen that are out of our control. In those instances, you need to already have a plan in place. Here are five things you can do to be ready should there be a fire in your home.  

  1. Maintain Your Smoke Alarms Properly

This includes making sure your smoke alarms are in the proper places, have fresh batteries, and are tested at least once a month to make sure they are ready to alert you in case of danger.  

  1. Ensure You Have an Exit Plan

Develop an exit strategy with your family. Keep in mind that you should have at least two exit options so that if a fire is blocking one, there is another option for everyone to use. Make sure everyone in your household knows these exits like the backs of their hands.  

  1. Have Emergency Contacts

Picking an emergency contact is vital to ensure the safety of your entire family, especially if a family member were to get separated. Make sure that your kids especially memorize the phone number of a neighbor, or a family member who lives close to ensure that they have a safe place to go.  

  1. Practice

Practice makes perfect when it comes to fire safety. During a real fire, emotions or panic can make it difficult to think. You should run drills every four to six months, so that, in the event of a fire, everyone knows what to do like second nature, despite the emotions and panic.

  1. Calling 911

Make sure everyone in the family knows to call 911 and can recite their address so the first responders can get there as soon as possible.

If you find yourself in need of fire damage restoration, call our pros at SERVPRO of SE Summit/Lake Township today!

Emergency Ready Profile for your Akron Business

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Profile Logi Get an ERP to help protect your Akron Business!

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster in the Akron Area is to Plan For it NOW.

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. 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.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Are You Ready?

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. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?”

The SERVPRO 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. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage

A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.

A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.

A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.

Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.

Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time and allows our crews to get to work as soon as possible.

Call SERVPRO of SE Summit/Lake Township today to establish your ERP!

Summit/Stark County Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

6/6/2016 (Permalink)

Ceiling fan and ceiling covered in mold Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home!

If you smell something musty in your home in Summit County, you may have a mold problem, even if it is not immediately visible. Mold damage can occur on almost any surface, particularly if it is porous. All it needs to thrive is moisture and something organic to feed on. Here are some places to look for mold and tips on how to keep these places fungus-free.

Where Is Mold hiding?

Mold or mildew growth may happen anywhere there is too much moisture. Common places in your home where mold could grow include:

  • Drywall
  • Carpet
  • Furniture
  • Insulation
  • Draperies

An excessive amount of dust can also lead to mold growth. A surface covered in a layer of dust is like a hotel stay for airborne mold spores. This dust layer gives these spores a place to attach and grow. Regular dusting can help keep fungus growth at bay.

How Is It Prevented?

Mold is everywhere. It gets inside your home by attaching to clothing, hair, pets and shoes. Once the spores are in this confined space, they start to look for a place to land and grow.

The most effective way to prevent mold growth is by getting rid of the excess moisture in your home. Try to keep humidity levels between 40-50%. You can measure the humidity in your home with a device from your local hardware store. Make sure rooms that are prone to higher humidity, such as bathrooms and the kitchen, are properly ventilated for good air flow. When you notice a leak, call water remediation specialists immediately to dry and restore the area. Controlling moisture is vital to controlling the spread of mold.

As the homeowner, you play a key role in avoiding mold damage . Rid your home of excess moisture, and when you cannot, inspect all the surfaces where mold can grow to catch it at its beginning stages. By being vigilant about prevention, you can protect the air quality in your home.  If you have concerns call SERVPRO of SE Summit County and Lake Township to have one of their experts give you a professional evaluation.


How to Handle Mold

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores, which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of SE Summit County/Lake Township for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of SE Summit County/Lake Township specializes in mold cleanup and restoration. In fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 330-249-7741