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New Orleans, House Fires and Bad Smells, and a SERVPRO Solution

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Firemen Hanging out by a Fire Truck in front of the FireHouse And the Firemen Ask: How did SERVPRO get here to this New Orleans House Fire BEFORE We Did??

Eliminating Smoky Odors After Fire Damage In Your New Orleans Home

Getting rid of odors is one of the most challenging elements of fire damage mitigation. This is because smoke seeps into upholstery, carpeting, clothing, and even wood, making it a pervasive smell. Experienced SERVPRO technicians employ a variety of cleaning methods and procedures to eliminate damaging odors.

Types of Odors
The type of odor from the fire damage in your New Orleans home determines what products or equipment is used to get rid of it. The surface that has been blackened by smoke also needs to be taken into consideration. For example, wood that has been penetrated by smoke molecules needs a solvent-based counteractant to mask the scent slowly.

Deodorant pellets absorb stubborn smells like a sponge which quickly freshen up a room. Water-based misters deodorize the air itself, using chemicals that can penetrate most surfaces to start breaking odor down at the molecular level. While the cleanup is in process, HVAC units should be turned off, and ducts closed. Eventually, after the cleaning agents break down the smells, the vents and fans in your home are turned back on to start exhausting the stench and bringing in the fresh air.

Sanitization and Cleaning
While the air and porous surfaces are being deodorized, the fire damage done to your furniture and belongings is assessed. Materials such as upholstery are uniquely affected by fire and smoke, and cannot be cleaned with water-based solutions. Dyes from the pattern may bleed in water. Related materials, such as rugs and dense fabrics, should also be kept away from water. SERVPRO specialists recommend foam cleaning agents and detergents, which not only eliminate unsavory odors but introduce pleasant ones into the room.

Any personal items or plants that are a part of the fire-damaged area need to be cleaned. Items that are ruined beyond repair are double bagged and disposed of swiftly. A combination of airing and cleaning can lift smoky smells from smaller items.

Eliminate smoke and odor before the effects of fire damage set in. Contact SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank at (504) 348-7526 for fast and efficient fire damage restoration.

The Westbank of NO is here.

Advanced Equipment and Products Our Tools of the Trade for SERVPRO Technicians to Mitigate Storm Damage in New Orleans

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO trucks with attached service trailers The SERVPRO Green Fleet Trucks Are Stocked with Equipment and Cleaning Products Ready for the New Orleans Storm A'Comin'

Flood Damage Technicians from New Orleans Point Out How Chemicals Are Used In The Industry

Ever since New Orleans suffered from the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina, the area has recently avoided most big hurricanes and tropical storms. However, that does not mean that your neighborhood is immune to flood damage caused by stormy weather. Experts say that there are still conditions present that can create more big storms in the Atlantic Ocean for the 2019 hurricane season.

Even if one of these three big storm systems heading towards the country does not strike New Orleans and cause flood damage, the side effects from the storm can still create conditions that put your property at risk. High-speed winds and excessive amounts of rainfall can both be quite catastrophic. If water builds up outside your house, it can make its way into the interior of your home. The danger of a burst levee is always on the minds of our local residents. If contents in your residence ever get wet as a result of a storm, it is sensible to call in a professional restoration company such as SERVPRO.

As soon as our technicians arrive at your residence, we assess the situation and figure out the best way to mitigate problems quickly. Our SERVPRO team has at their disposal industrially advanced equipment and proven techniques that aid us in providing prompt restoration services. As a part of the tools and equipment we use during mitigation, we also use a variety of chemical products to help us return your home to the way it was before the storm hit, "Like it never even happened."

When working towards restoring your house after it suffered from weather-related issues, we usually implement specialized chemicals to prevent health hazards and secondary damage. Any moisture coming into your structure from the outside could be contaminated. Therefore, we can use disinfectants such as phenolics, chlorines, and quaternary compounds to sanitize affected areas by killing harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites. If muddy water leaks into your home from the ground after a flooding situation, the project is treated the same as if it was a sewage leak and the entire affected area can need to get disinfected. Typically, after a flooding event, we apply another chemical--an antimicrobial--to thwart the development of mold colonies.

Luckily, you never have to wonder about what to do after your home in Belle Chase, Harvey or Westwego suffers from the wrath of a violent storm because our team of experts is here for you and We're Faster To Any Size Disaster. All you have to do is call SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank at (504) 348-7526, and we are available 24/7.

Secrets to Getting Rid of Fire Damage in Your New Orleans Home Fast

9/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damaged Kitchen Regardless of the room in which the fire occurred, calling SERVPRO will make it "Like it never even happened." Call right away.

Simple Steps to Protect Your New Orleans Home from Fire Loss

One of the statements that can be a bur in the side of New Orleans homeowners after a fire loss incident is: “If you had an emergency plan, the damage might not have been so severe.” While it might not always get worded precisely that way, the reality is that hindsight is indeed 20/20. Preparedness for disasters can help you to experience less loss overall, and get you back into your home more quickly following the incident.

Many homeowners might not know where to begin on preparing for emergencies to ultimately reduce fire damage in their New Orleans residence. This process begins with the formulation of an escape plan from your home in the event of a fire. These disasters can vary in severity, but they rarely offer extended time for property owners to scavenge through the residence for all of the keepsakes and belongings too treasured to lose. While you cannot live your life focused on your readiness for these fire loss scenarios, there are some tips that can help you when the stress of the crisis is upon you.

Make Your Phone Calls

Reaching out to first responders is what triggers the sequence of events leading to the restoration of your home. While it is a common belief that the next call should be to your insurance provider, in truth, you can benefit your home much more to reach out to our SERVPRO team before then. We can arrive following the extinguishment of the fire and get started immediately on assessments, debris removal, and other mitigation tasks while you and our management team sort through details with the insurance provider.

Have Irreparable Belongings Ready to Go

One way that you can help to reduce the loss of items that you cannot replace is to have them ready to vacate the premises when you do. By keeping photographs in a mobile storage container, for example, you can have a higher probability of getting this out with you.

Shut Off Utilities

Shutting off the utilities in your home can help in two distinct ways. One, you are preventing further catastrophe and damage by disabling circulatory appliances like the HVAC unit. Also, you can prevent damage to the components of your plumbing, electric, and natural gas services.

Fire losses can be a stressful situation, but you can take steps to reduce their impact on your home. Give our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank team a call when you are ready for our professional restoration and recovery solutions at (504) 348-7526.

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SERVPRO Offers State of the Art Methods and Equipment for Water Damaged Documents and Structures in the New Orleans Area

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Blue Book Connected to a Hanger for Drying Don't Hang Your Books and Documents for Drying in the New Orleans Area--Call SERVPRO for Professional Restoration

Document Drying in New Orleans Municipal Buildings

From the public records archives in various districts throughout the city of New Orleans to the deeds and blueprints for various structures built across the skyline, many sensitive and original documents need protection. When disasters like water damage occur, these items become at risk for deterioration and degradation, or the very least become illegible to those that might need them in the future. Our team of professionals has the experience to help.

Water damage in New Orleans municipal buildings requires a fast response from trained professionals like our SERVPRO team. We have experience through our years of service in The Westbank and our extensive training through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in both Water Restoration (WRT) and Applied Structural Drying (ASD.) If you have already worked with our team in the past, we have likely encouraged the use of our mobile Emergency READY Profile Program app that helps to delegate critical data about your ready plan during a crisis.
 
Documents that become exposed to spreading water loss incidents can instantly begin absorbing moisture from the moment of contact. Protecting these filings and other contents of the office spaces and storage areas fall to the capable hands of our SERVPRO professionals. Not only can we employ time-saving drying strategies with broader area solutions like high-velocity air movers and desiccant dehumidifiers, but we also have a division trained explicitly for recovery needs like document drying.
 
We have a mobile freeze-drying unit which combines a vacuum to flash-freezing documents. This combination of actions can remove moisture from the documents salvaged from the building and prevent further degradation, deterioration, or ink bleeding. Our SERVPRO professionals can also ensure the protection and safekeeping of this information as to return it immediately to your care upon recovery. Sounds complicated? Look up lyophilization for a broader explanation.
 
When your municipal building becomes threatened by a water loss incident, your records and files also remain at risk until the situation gets resolved. You can trust in the experience of our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank restorers to help however you need it. Give us a call at (504) 348-7526.

We Have State Of The Art Equipment To Handle Differenct Types Of Water Removal Issues In New Orleans

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

Air movers drying wet carpet We use air movers to dry flooring and content. Every water loss is different so we have trained technicians to meet your criteria. Call us right away.

Crucial Factors that Might Affect Water Removal in Your New Orleans Home

Water spills can happen any time, whether from leaking pipes or faulty appliances. When such incidents happen, removing water from the building fast is essential to prevent other pressing issues. Faster removal also means the house can be safe for habitation within a reasonable period, so you do not need to incur unwanted costs such as seeking alternative accommodation. We offer professional water removal services that can help you get the results you expect.

The Category of the Water Loss

The primary process of water removal from affected New Orleans homes is not complicated because it only takes equipment to lift the standing water followed by a drying phase to deal with moisture remnants. However, some prevailing factors during an incident can complicate the process leading to delays. The type of water involved is one such factor. Clean water is easy to deal with because it only requires extraction and drying. Other forms of water loss such as gray water may involve debris dissolved in the water preventing full utilization of extraction equipment.

The Kind of Materials Involved

The materials present in the area affected by the spill can also affect the removal process. Porous materials such as carpets absorb and hold water. Removal might take several passes with an extraction tool or even require removal of the carpet first. The situation is different on a hard floor such as concrete or tiles where the water forms pools allowing straightforward extraction. Our SERVPRO technicians have different types of equipment to handle water removal from different materials, including:

  • Squeegee wand extractors for hard surfaces
  • Water Claws for extraction from carpets
  • Injecti-dry systems for concealed areas
  • Sub-surface spot lifting tools

Level of Accessibility

While most of the spilled water may spread across rooms or other open surfaces where extraction is easy, sometimes it might reach concealed areas. Removing water from such areas is difficult and can prolong the entire process. Attics, wall cavities, and cabinets are a few examples of areas where extraction might be tricky. Our SERVPRO technicians make flood cuts, drill weep holes, or use other approaches to ease removal.

Expediting water removal prevents many problems that develop due to stagnation. Call SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank to assist. You can reach us at (504) 348-7526 any time. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

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We Are Prepared To Handle Any Size Flood Damage In New Orleans

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

Flood Cut on lower wall by red ceramic tile floor We have the techniques and state of the art equipment necessary to remove flood damage from your property.

We scope the property and take immediate action in New Orleans

Extreme weather events that cause commercial flood damage are not unusual in this part of Louisiana. We have weathered severe flooding from both Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey with numerous tropical storms and intense storms bringing flash flooding in between. When water loss happens, fast action is the key to minimizing damage. 

Commercial flood damage consumes properties in New Orleans quickly. Frequently seen issues are: 

  • Water exposure causes sheetrock to buckle and warp
  • The adhesive on floor tiles delaminates
  • Subflooring becomes saturated and may require removal
  • Contaminants in groundwater including sewage may compound cleanup efforts

When groundwater enters a business, it is unsafe to operate until the premises are dried and disinfected. We scope the property to discover all areas of water migration and get to work extracting the flood damage. We also test the water to determine the nature of any contaminants, including sewage. SERVPRO technicians remove the water doing many passes to pull all the moisture possible out of the flooring. If carpeting is present and saturated by groundwater, it will require removal as restoration is not possible through cleaning.

We dry furnishings in place whenever possible by raising them on blocks to limit the disruption to the business. When this is not an option, we also offer a pack-out service where we remove furnishings, papers, and stock for any needed restoration and secure storage at our location. We photograph and notate each item and its location, so when we move the pieces back into the property, SERVPRO technicians replace them in their original spots. 

After thoroughly drying and disinfection of the property, we inspect for any lingering water odors and treat to inhibit mold growth as needed. If we need to neutralize any scents, our technicians choose the best method for the level of odor control required.

SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank can handle any size of commercial flood damage. Our emergency response team is available 24/7 by calling (504) 348-7526, and we make the water loss in your property "Like it never even happened."

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Did Recent Storms Leave You Rattled and Your New Orleans Home Flooded?

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can cause windows to crash bringing water into your home. SERVPRO is ready 24/7 to come to your rescue and dry your home!

Contact SERVPRO When Flood Damage Impacts Your New Orleans Home  

Flood damage can run any homeowner for their money. It can hit suddenly, and floodwaters can quickly overrun your home. For this reason, you need to act fast when combating flood damage; the quicker you react, the less time the excess water has to do damage to your home.  

The storm that caused flood damage to your New Orleans home had been broadcasted about on the news. However, it wasn't supposed to reach Louisiana according to the weather experts. When it reached the Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane unexpectedly regained speed and power from warm updrafts. Strong once more, the storm raged on until it hit your city hard and fast.  

Even though one of your reinforced windows failed, and allowed water inside, minimal damage occurred because the others held up. Using quick thinking, you put a table up against the window, trying to lessen the amount of water getting inside. Finally, you called for the professional help from SERVPRO.  

Your dining room ended up flooded with a few centimeters of water, a relatively small volume compared to what it could have been. Here at SERVPRO, we understand how time-sensitive water-based damage can be, and we understand how devastating flooding can feel for you, the homeowner. For this reason, we always hurry to arrive at your home as soon as possible after the call. We know that the quicker the floodwater removal occurs from your home, the better it is for the longevity of the structure.  

Our water damage restoration technicians (WRT) are highly trained and always come to your home outfitted with advanced technology. SERVPRO can start by removing the floodwaters from your home using industry-grade wet/dry vacuums and rover-mounted extractors. Both are designed to pull water out of your home as soon as possible.  

Our technicians can remove the table you used to stop the water and send it to our facility to be adequately dried. After removing the soaked carpeting, we can focus on drying the base of the floor underneath, using tools like dehumidifiers, flood drying mats, heaters, and ventilation fans. Once the moisture levels have been brought down, we can install new carpeting and then return your dining table to you.  

If you find yourself in need of professional flood damage remediation services, don't wait. Get in touch with SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank by dialing (504) 348-7526. No matter the time or the emergency, we're here for you. 

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A Fire Can Destroy Your Home In New Orleans Within Minutes

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

If you need a second opinion or the expertise of our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank team, give us a call anytime at (504) 348-7526.

The Reality Of DIY Fire Cleanup In Your New Orleans Residence

Fire damage is never something that inexperienced or unprepared individuals should attempt to restore in compromised New Orleans homes. There is a significant push for homeowners to save money, and perceived time, by working to clean up and restore fire loss effects and other disasters on their own. The alternative being pursuing the experience and fast response of professional technicians like our SERVPRO team to help in a more traditional sense. This approach is feasible, provided that the homeowner has a good idea of the immediate risks and obstacles that must get overcome to accomplish this restoration.

Compared to the extensive inventory of advanced recovery tools and products that our SERVPRO team has, homeowners addressing fire cleanup in New Orleans properties already start at a disadvantage. Damage assessment and debris removal in your house after a fire loss incident involve entering the property at a point when many of the vulnerabilities are still unclear and unknown. You cannot rush this portion of the recovery process, as it could lead to structural failures and injuries.

Having the right personal protective equipment is the first essential consideration that DIY enthusiasts need to make before entering their home again after a fire. With the severity of specific potential conditions that could exist in the environment, it is recommended that you have more than paper masks – but instead use half or full-face respirators that take cartridges. These are available at home improvement locations.

Cleaning up after fire losses involves specialty tools and products that you can also often find at home improvement locations. Chemical sponges, for example, can help to remove thin layers of residue and soot debris without staining the surface beneath. Because of its limited use, often not exceeding 50 square feet, you must purchase multiple units for widespread conditions.

Our professionals strive to provide every client with a cost-effective and efficient approach to fire loss recovery, but also want to make sure above all that area homeowners are approaching recovery and restoration safely. If you need a second opinion or the expertise of our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank team, give us a call anytime at (504) 348-7526.

For more about New Orleans click here.

After A Disaster In Your New Orleans Home, You Need To Call The Professionals At SERVPRO!

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Contact us at (504) 348-7526, and we will make your home disaster “Like it never even happened.”

How SERVPRO Helps New Orleans Homeowners Bounce Back From Disaster Through Restoration Services

New Orleans homeowners know damage from fire, water, mold, and storms is a year-round threat. While there are appropriate measures property owners take to diminish the danger from fire and internal water loss issues such as pipe breaks and appliance failures, there is little that can be done to stop potential damage from hurricanes and flash flooding once the groundwater enters the home. None of those issues should be self-cleanup events; it is imperative to involve professional measures to ensure additional damages do not arise from foul odors or mold, requiring a further cost to mitigate.

The two most common rooms in New Orleans homes with water damage are the kitchen and bathroom. Anywhere there are supply lines, water pipes, or appliances that use water such as your washing machine or dishwasher, the potential to need water cleanup exists.

SERVPRO team members undergo extensive training to become certified as Water Restoration Technicians. This knowledge gives them the expertise to apply the correct equipment and techniques to lessen water loss for property owners. We spend extra time using our portable pumps, weighted extraction wands to remove as much excess moisture as possible from all affected areas, including within the walls and under floors. This action assists in lowering the drying time and the less time building materials and possession spend exposed to water, the higher the chance for recovery through restoration.

Wet carpeting and rugs, in many cases, have restoration potential with the assistance of our Carpet Cleaning Technicians. We have equipment such as weighted extraction wands to push water out of carpet and padding and specialized drying techniques that save the cost of replacement through our restoration services.

Using our air movers, we dry wet areas quickly. Then follow up with a thorough hand cleaning using our professional-grade disinfectant and antimicrobial solutions to eliminate the stale odors water damage sometimes leaves behind.

When fire damage happens in a New Orleans property, there are different levels of challenges for our technicians to address depending on the kind of fire. Scorching fires tend to leave a dry powdery residue that is not difficult to clean up, but the tradeoff is there is often more damage due to the high temperatures of the fire. When substances with plastic and rubber compositions burn, the temperatures are lower, and they leave behind thick residues that smear easily and require careful washing to prevent other damage such as driving in the soot into surfaces from improper cleaning.

SERVPRO Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technicians know there are cases where the best outcome that can occur from a fire is to get the property ready for reconstruction after the completion of fire cleanup efforts. Our training includes controlled demolition techniques for safely cutting away charred building materials and leaving undamaged sheetrock and wood behind for mitigation and prep for rebuilding the structure.

Once fire debris removal occurs, and we have completed any drying and air quality improvements such as running air scrubbers to capture airborne soot particles, we move on to odor control. Smoke damage is equal parts unpleasant and unhealthy to reside with and should have professional fire damage cleanup. As hot air expands during a fire, it can drive soot into porous objects that no amount of surface cleaning helps, only specialized equipment eradicates these deeply rooted odors.

Our technicians have multiple options when it comes to fire odor removal in a home. We have gel pellets that overtake bad odors and robust applications such as hydroxyl generators that utilize the power of UV rays to destroy odor-causing particles at the molecular level.

Using the term mold removal in New Orleans homes is inaccurate. Mold occurs naturally, and full removal of all airborne spores is not possible. However, the conditions that cause the spores to germinate and turn into colonies require addressing, so the infestations do not reoccur in the future. Our technicians determine the cause and give the homeowner recommendations for repairs needed to halt situations such as inadequate ventilation trapping humid air or a slow leak feeding mold colonies.

In many cases, mold odor is the first clue there is a problem in a home. Our Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians can reduce the effects of mold in a home to near-zero through our proprietary methods. We use containment techniques to stop the spread of spores during remediation and then follow up with thorough cleaning using HEPA filtration. After the removal and cleaning of the colonies, we clean surfaces with our antimicrobial solutions and apply a sealer over areas when needed to ensure the spores do not set up home again.

Storm damage is something New Orleans homeowners know comes with living in this area of Louisiana. Statistics show hurricanes make landfall in this area every 2.8 years on average. With these massive storms come flooding, high winds, and property damage.

When homeowners call SERVPRO to mitigate flood damage in a home, we arrive as quickly as possible to remove water from the house. If the home has flooded from groundwater, we ask that the residents do not come into contact with the water as you do not know what is in it until the completion of water testing for contaminants and toxins. In flooding situations, there is nowhere for the water to drain off to when the storm drains are over capacity, and when permissible, we port away water to the sewer system during flood water removal.

We have a lot of different water extraction equipment to give homeowners the best chance for saving as much of their home and contents as possible through speedy flood cleanup. Some standard equipment we use:

    •    Submersible pumps that work in deep water situations to perform water extraction quickly.
    •    Portable pumps allow multiple technicians to remove water at once.
    •    Truck-mounted units remove thousands of gallons of water from residential or commercial properties.
    •    Rovers are ride-on machines that use the weight of the technician to push water out of carpeting and other areas for fast extraction.

We tarp over damaged roofing or windows as needed during mitigation from storm or wind damage. Carpeting and furnishings may have restoration potential depending on the type of water loss they have incurred. Groundwater carries a rating as a category three biohazard, and the restoration of saturated carpeting to sanitary conditions suitable for use in a home is not possible. Other types of storm damage to the carpet and upholstered furniture may have restoration potential on a case-by-case basis. After thoroughly drying, we clean and disinfect the property, so it has hygienic levels for habitation.

Why SERVPRO? Our technicians undergo intensive training and continue their education as the restoration services industry evolves with new technology and procedures. We work with both homeowners and adjusters to make the insurance claims process less stressful and provide our Contents Claims Inventory System to document the restoration process step by step with detailed reports and photographs.

The SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank emergency response team is available to assist you 24/7 with any needed restoration services caused by damage from fire, water, mold, or storm. Contact us at (504) 348-7526, and we will make your home disaster “Like it never even happened.”

https://www.nola.gov/

Are Flood Barriers For Your Home In New Orleans Beneficial?

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Give us a call anytime at (504) 348-7526.

Do Flood Barriers Work For Your New Orleans Home?

It can be a considerable challenge to prepare for flooding in your New Orleans home. While many products and time-honored traditions have helped others in the past or claim to be the next greatest innovation, flood barriers have become a staple purchased by many area homeowners looking to reduce the impact rising floodwaters have on their property. The question becomes: do these solutions work to prevent the water from reaching the house?

Something that most property owners should recognize is the force of these natural disasters, and how flood damage affects New Orleans homes swiftly and severely on occasion. In these situations, like the breaking of a levee, there is little time to establish these barriers or even more conventional approaches like blocking off entryways with sandbags and other water diversion tactics. At SERVPRO, we know how unexpected these disasters can be, so you may not have the opportunity to see if the barriers work or not depending on the circumstances.

In other instances, property owners can have more than a day to establish the right barrier system for their home, as lower lying areas are waiting for water to crest above a certain level at nearby bodies of water. This wait is an ideal opportunity to install the thick sheeting and fence posts around your home. When the floodwaters do begin to rise to a level where you have installed these barriers, you can dramatically reduce the flow that gets through to potentially prevent any floodwater from reaching the interior of your house.

These barriers work much like the edges of a pool liner and get constructed of similar durable material. Because of the excess tucked in towards the property and held tightly in place for the full proximity of the makeshift fence, even a higher volume of water pushing against it can often still get held back from intruding floods.

While many homeowners throughout the area have already seen the benefit in barrier systems and other preventive measures for potential flooding, our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank team is here when you need us after disasters strike. Give us a call anytime at (504) 348-7526.

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