Recent Posts

Why SERVPRO? Knowledge and Expertise-Mold vs. Mildew

11/14/2020 (Permalink)

Mold damage to your home can cause serious problems. Mildew growth, on the other hand, is generally less severe. It can be tricky to tell the difference between them, but there are a few ways to distinguish the two categories of fungi.

Similarities

The words mold and mildew are often used interchangeably. This is likely due to the fact that both are fungi, and they share some similarities, including the following:

  • Thrive in wet locations
  • Spread quickly via spores
  • Cause a musty odor
  • Can be cleaned with fungicide

Because both mold and mildew need moisture to thrive, the same prevention techniques can be used for both fungi. Dry up water from leaks, spills, etc. as quickly as possible, and keep the humidity in your home lower than 50%. If you live in a particularly humid area, you may need to use a dehumidifier to keep the air sufficiently dry. Also, an air purification system can prevent both mildew and mold damage by capturing the spores before they have a chance to attach to a surface and colonize.

Differences

Although the two categories of fungi share a few characteristics, they have many differences. Mildew is generally lighter in color and has a fluffy, powdery or downy texture. Mold is typically darker and may appear slimy or fuzzy. Mildew grows only on surfaces, but mold can grow deeper within walls and beneath surfaces. Because of this, mold tends to be more difficult to eliminate. On the other hand, homeowners can usually remove mildew easily with a cleaner and a cloth or brush. Mold growth generally requires more intensive remediation methods and possibly professional intervention.
Whether you are dealing with mold or mildew, it is important to act quickly to minimize growth and mitigate the damage. If you are dealing with severe mold damage, an experienced restoration team can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Why SERVPRO? Handling Mold Damaged Belongings

11/14/2020 (Permalink)

Mold can be a frustrating problem to deal with. It is a common problem for homeowners and, once it has started growing, it can be difficult to remove. Not only can it affect the structure of your house, but it can grow on your belongings as well. The following are some mold cleaning tips that can help you restore your home.

1. Scrub Hard Surfaces With a Cleaner

Because it cannot reach beneath the surface, mold damage on hard and non-porous materials is relatively simple to remove. These items can usually be cleaned with water and an antibacterial cleaner. More often than not, they can be easily salvaged.

2. Use a Washing Machine or Dry Cleaning Service

For objects made with porous materials, mold cleaning takes a bit more work. Some objects, such as clothing, bedding, and stuffed toys can be cleaned in a washing machine if the damage is not too severe. Dry cleaning is an option for larger belongings and materials that cannot be cleaned in the laundry.

3. Have Items Professionally Cleaned

While you may think that it is impossible to get mold damage out of your books, paintings, and paper documents, this is not always the case. Professional services can use the equipment, such as an Esporta machine, that can remove bacteria and contaminants from a variety of items.

4. Throw Out Severely Damaged Items

It may not be ideal, but in some cases, you will need to throw out some items. If mold forms beneath the surface of an object, mold cleaning can be difficult. Unless these belongings are difficult to replace or have a lot of sentimental value, it may be easier to simply discard it and purchase something new.
If you have mold growing in your house, you should contact a mold remediation company as soon as possible. They can locate any mold growth and perform cleanup and repairs. They can also help salvage your damaged belongings.

SERVPRO Tips: The importance of correct clean up after a fire

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning up a fire-damaged property is essential in restoring the preloss condition of the house by eliminating debris, soiling, and any odors left by the fire. Depending on how the fire cleanup is done, it can help reduce the number of items to replace during the restoration process.

Fire cleanup requires various inputs, ranging from clean water, detergents to specialized cleaning agents. For the best outcome, at a fair cost, there is a need to choose wisely. Our SERVPRO technicians assess the soiling prevalent in the affected area to help make the right choice. If we determine there are only hydrophilic residues, we can use plain water to clean the soiled areas. Other types of residues may require professional cleaning agents.

Agitation is a crucial aspect of fire cleanup, especially when dealing with massive or stubborn deposits. There are many ways to agitate a soiled surface, but it is crucial to choose the right one depending on the type of underlying material to avoid damaging it in the process. Our SERVPRO technicians utilize:

  • Air pressure
  • Water pressure
  • Rotating Brushes
  • Scrubbers
  • Blasting

We can also use different techniques simultaneously. For example, when cleaning carpets through hot water extraction, we utilize both air and water pressure to agitate the soiled areas. Options such as sandblasting are only feasible when eroding the material being cleaned does not damage it. Soda and sandblasting are useful when removing charring from frames and other unfinished surfaces.

Various solvents used in the cleaning process can leave permanent damages such as stains, discoloration, or fire damage to the physical qualities of the material. Our SERVPRO technicians take caution to avoid wetting surfaces, especially when cleaning porous materials. For surfaces made with specialized materials such as acoustic tiles, we use specialized cleaning techniques such as Peroxide-Active cleaning to safeguard the physical qualities of the tiles.

So give us a call at SERVPRO of South Bend today at 574-233-8377! We are faster to any disaster and we are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Tips: Why your toilet overflows when you take a shower

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Having plumbing problems in your home can be a big headache, especially when something like a toilet overflow starts happening unexpectedly and requires sewage cleaning. If one of your toilets is overflowing when you take a shower, it is likely being caused by a clog between the shower and the sewer. As the shower runs, the water is stopped by the clog and pushed into the wastewater lines and comes out the first spot it can, which in this case is your toilet.

Sewage Cleaning

When this type of problem happens, it can create a major mess in your bathroom. It can be even worse if you take a shower upstairs and the overflow is happening in a bathroom you don’t use every day, such as in the basement or in a guest bathroom. If you have a toilet overflow that has gone unnoticed for a few days, to the point where water damage and mold has begun to set in, there are many professional water damage remediation companies that can thoroughly repair and clean up the area. Proper sewage cleaning is important to ensure everything is fully decontaminated to prevent disease.
You may be able to clear out the clogged pipe yourself using an auger “snake”:

  • Through the toilet drain.
  • Directly through the floor drain after you remove the toilet (this is often easier for cleaning out the clog).
  • If this doesn't work, you can also take a snake through your drain clean-out which may be located in your basement or crawlspace. Be aware that sewage could spill out after removing the cap if it's clogged here.

Hiring a professional is often recommended to avoid spending money and time only to realize the problem is bigger than you expected or unreachable by a common snake.

Fix Your Pipes

A clogged pipe can be an easy, quick fix and may not cause much of a mess or damage if taken care of immediately. But, if the clog has been building up for many years and is far down in the sewage lines, it could require professional tools and the hand of an experienced plumber.

So call us today! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Tips: How to clean up properly after a storm

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

If a pipe bursts in your home you will likely have some flooding to handle. A flood from a storm, however, takes remediation to another level. Not only do you need to dry out your home, but you also will need to disinfect your home, both in areas that are directly affected and those that may be vulnerable to secondary damage.

The first step to remediating any water damage is to remove the excess water from the area. With a flood with Category 1 water, the process is pretty straightforward:

  • Remove standing water
  • Dry remaining surfaces
  • Repair or replace damaged materials

Floodwater from a storm, however, is considered Category 3 water. It is contaminated and may contain all sorts of bacteria, viruses and other microbes. If you have flooding from a storm, flood mitigation experts must clean your home thoroughly after getting rid of the water.


Anything that comes into contact with the floodwater must be disinfected before your home is considered habitable again. Technicians use specific detergents and industrial-strength cleaners to make sure all surfaces are sterilized. Then they test to ensure that the cleaners did the job well.

Even if part of your home doesn’t have flood damage, it may still be impacted and need attention. For example, it is a good idea to have technicians clean your HVAC unit. That much floodwater can significantly increase the humidity in your home, making all of it susceptible to mold growth. Cleaning and drying the ducts can discourage fungus from growing in hidden areas.

While there’s no such thing as a good kind of flooding, damage from clean water can be easier to clean up than issues resulting from stormwater. Getting rid of the water is not enough; you must also make sure that your home is properly disinfected before technicians are finished with the job.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and we are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Tips: Don't do this after a flood

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

If you're dealing with a flooded home, it's understandable that you want to act fast to minimize damage, and while that's the right mindset, your can-do attitude may cause more trouble than it prevents. Flood water cleanup must be done with great care, otherwise, you risk causing more harm to both your home and yourself. Your local flood remediation team shares a few tips for what NOT to do post-flood:

  • Do NOT stay in your home.
  • Do NOT wade into standing water.
  • Do NOT touch the water.
  • Do NOT forgo protective gear.
  • Do NOT forget to call your insurer.
  • Do NOT forget to call your SERVPRO restoration team.

It is important that you don't do any of the above, as failure to listen to the professionals could put you, your home, or your loved ones in harm's way.

Depending on where the flood water came from, it could be contaminated with human feces, chemicals, or other harmful materials. For this reason, you should not go anywhere near the water, let alone touch it. Ideally, if you can, get out of your home as fast as possible and call for help.


While you should not attempt cleanup efforts on your own, if you plan to stay in the home, make sure you're equipped with all the right protective gear. This includes flood boots, which may protect you against electrical shocks, full-body suits, gloves, and face masks.


If you hope to be reimbursed for the water damage caused by the flood, you need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The company will likely need an estimate of the restoration costs, so schedule your flood water restoration team at the same time. Your swift action in these regards could minimize damage and therefore the costs of restoration.

So call us today! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Tips: Storms will come, so you need to be prepared!

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Severe storms in South Bend, Indiana can cause damages to your roof leaving your home or business vulnerable to water damage. SERVPRO of South Bend has 24 hour emergency service. and is in the Michiana area to address the damages.  Our emergency service team is equipped to handle property assessment, temp. roof repair (tarping), debris clean-up, water clean-up, and structure/water dry-out. 

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

If you experience wind and storm damage to your home or business, contact SERVPRO of South Bend at (574) 233-8377 to save your home or business.

SERVPRO Tips: Why Time Matters When A Pipe Bursts In Your Business

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

If you have a pipe burst in your business, you no doubt see the damage water can do. However, you may wonder why everyone says you have to hurry to clean it up. After all, the damage has been done, right? Maybe not. You don’t want to deal with mold cleanup, too.

Here are a few ways floods can harm your building even after the water stops rising:

• Black mold
• Structural damage
• Foul odor

How does hurrying to call for professional restoration services help? These explanations may help you understand the process.

Stop Molding

When water rises in your business, it creates a uniquely humid area. This humidity helps mold spores all over the building grow. Within 24 to 48 hours, mold can become visible. However, getting started on the restoration process as soon as possible can help pull the moisture from the area and stop mold in its tracks.

Keep Structures Safe

The longer the water sits, the more it can damage your business’s walls and floors. As the water stays in place, it seeps through the walls and makes them softer. With enough time, this can make your building unsafe to be in altogether. Furthermore, the more soaked everything in the room where the pipe burst becomes, the harder it is to rid the area of mold.

Prevent the Smell

Mold is the main reason why you need to call a professional restoration crew. As you probably know, mold smells awful. Naturally, this isn’t good for business. Instead of waiting for that odor to fill the building, stop it before it starts. A restoration company can send an odor control specialist to help.

When it comes to flooding in your business, there’s no sense in waiting. A pipe burst can be a big enough problem without mold, structural problems, and a foul odor on top of it. Contact the professionals at SERVPRO of South Bend and let us come in and make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Tips: When Water Damage Hits A Commercial Property, Calling a Professional Is Important

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at South Bend commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of South Bend specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

When Storms Impact Your Business, SERVPRO of South Bend Is Here For You!

6/28/2020 (Permalink)

When you know that a storm is likely to impact your business, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, focusing on storm preparedness before a disaster occurs can help to keep yourself, your staff and your property safe.


1. Document the Building’s State Before the Storm

When a building is damaged, it’s often important for property management to provide the business’ insurance company with documentation of the destruction. However, it may also be beneficial to have photographs of your property prior to the incident. By showing an insurance adjuster what the business looked like before it sustained damage, you can help to ensure your claim is accurate.

2. Establish a Line of Communication

Storms can come on suddenly, and in the event that the property needs to be evacuated, it’s useful to know how to contact all employees in a timely manner. As part of your storm preparedness plan, you may consider asking all staff members to provide you with a way to reach them quickly before a disaster. Since you may not be present in the building when an emergency occurs, it can also be wise to create a list of tasks that the last person to exit should perform. An example might include making sure all doors and windows are closed.

3. Inspect the Property

Inspecting the structure before a storm can help you prevent damage, because leaks or malfunctioning equipment may worsen any problems that do occur. An inspection will also allow you to observe any openings in the building, which can happen when roof shingles are cracked or missing. This may let rain get inside more easily. If you see signs of a problem, you should contact emergency restoration services to prevent additional issues.

As a property manager, storm preparedness can be an important element of your job. Documenting the building before a disaster, establishing a line of communication and inspecting the structure can help you to prepare your business for any situation.

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are ready to help get things back to "Like it never even happened."