Recent Posts

Acting Faster After A Fire Is Of Key Importance!

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

 

With one of the Great Lakes and a couple of major cities close by, Valparaiso is a centrally located community great for raising families, enjoying water recreation, and more. Like any town its size, there are still issues to deal with like the house fires that plague residences everywhere.

Most Valparaiso fire damage is considered minor to medium thanks to good fire department response times, residential sprinklers, and having a fire extinguisher nearby. Because of this, much of what SERVPRO technicians do after a fire is cleaning off residues left by the smoke as it moved through the home. Unless the property is physically damaged, our teams can restore affected items using one of these methods.

Dry wiping takes care of most surfaces. Technicians use sponges, cloths, and even feather dusters to remove powdery residues left by a hot, quick-burning fire. It is very effective on light-to-moderate, non-greasy residues like from burned paper or wood.

Wet wiping then usually removes the thicker layers dry wiping cannot. SERVPRO technicians apply water or a mild cleaner to sponges and cloths to remove these moderate-to-heavy residues.

Spray and Wipe is needed to prevent color bleeding or fading fade in drapes and covered furniture after fire damage. Team members utilize spray bottles to use as little cleaning agent as possible.

Foam Cleaning uses even less detergent and water. Technicians use a pump-up or powered sprayer to create a foam and then work it into the affected item with a sponge or brush. The method is very effective on sofas and other upholstered items to prevent shrinking the fabric.

Abrasive Cleaning is our method for rough surfaces. Since surfaces such as rock and marble are not affected by most cleaners, technicians can use stronger chemicals with a thick-bristle or wire brush to remove every bit of the residues left by the fire.

Immersion Cleaning is the last effort possible for many items and is only appropriate for those not affected by soaking them completely. Technicians remove the item to our offices and place it in a holding tank filled with a cleaning agent. They next generate sound waves that force bubbles through or across the surface. The method is effective but costly and time-consuming.

Remediating fire damage and returning every home to its owners in its original or better condition is our goal here at SERVPRO of Porter County. To learn more about what our response teams can do for your home here or in Portage, Chesterton, and Kouts, call us today at (219) 476-1883. We are here for you.

Chesterton Property Owners Save Money By Calling SERVPRO for Water Damage Mitigation

4/10/2022 (Permalink)

 

Common Water Damage Misconceptions in Chesterton Homes

Your home can suffer the effects of a water loss incident at any time. With so many potential causes for a disaster like this from equipment malfunctions to leaking fixtures, it is likely that many homeowners inevitably experience the effects from a water loss incident during the life of their homes. Knowing what to do to recover the damage can be vital to protecting the investment that you have made in your property, but also to saving you money by allowing the work to happen more quickly.

There are many misconceptions that Chesterton homeowners believe when faced with water damages. While it is common for homeowners and property owners to educate themselves on what their home needs after an emergency, it is also misleading many in the area with bad information. Our SERVPRO professionals have advanced tools to help put your mind at ease after a water loss incident and work quickly to restore the property from the effects of water damage to structural elements and contents.

A common misconception that homeowners believe about water loss incidents is that once surface water gets cleaned up that the crisis is behind them. Unfortunately, water penetrates materials quickly and begins to saturate into structural elements, carpeting, drywall, and other exposed surfaces on contact. It is possible not even to know water damage persists in your home in affected materials until degradation continues or signs of rust or mold growth appear.

Another misconception about water loss events is that professional restoration is not necessary to overcome the effects. Our SERVPRO team can address the full scope of the damages, even offering thermal imagery to determine lingering moisture pockets, all to ensure that the cleanup and drying is thorough and efficient for our customers. DIY restoration cannot guarantee the elimination of saturation and moisture pockets.

While you might find yourself tempted by the possibility of saving money by avoiding professional restoration, keep in mind that allowing moisture to continue often leads to the production of mold colonies, which are a risk to your home and its occupants. Give our SERVPRO of Porter County rapid response team a call today at (219) 476-1883.

SERVPRO Fire Damage Cleanup Is Here To Help!

4/10/2022 (Permalink)

 

Cleaning Soot and Smoke Damage from Your Portage Art Gallery

As a hub of culture and artistic expression for the Portage area, your gallery showcases national creations as well as local talent throughout the year for ongoing viewing and special events. When disaster strikes your business, it is not just the building that stands at risk of devastating damages. Fires, even indirect ones, can substantially damage artwork in your gallery. That is where you need professional cleaning and fire restoration technicians like ours to help.

While your Portage art gallery might show the effects of fire damage in multiple ways throughout the building, any savvy business owner knows that protecting the pieces in the gallery has to come before any other restorative act. Our SERVPRO professionals can help with immediate mitigation techniques beginning the moment we arrive to ensure that any painting or other artwork can get removed to a safe location and protected from the lingering effects of soot and smoke damages. Here is an important caveat. For expensive, one of a kind, or significant pieces of art, we do recommend an art curator be employed by you for cleaning and restoring the items. We can still work on the interior of the structure to prevent secondary damages from occurring.

Our contents department can remove these one-of-a-kind creations to a nearby SERVPRO facility for close evaluation and assessment. We can carefully and gently clean soot and smoke residue from paintings and sculptures using non-acidic cleansers. We can also work to deodorize these pieces in a safe manner, such as our thermal foggers or even placing them into the ozone chamber for several hours. Once they have gotten cleaned and deodorized, these works of art get stored safely in a temperature-controlled climate until it is safe to return them to your restored building.

With the sensitive nature and inability to replicate artwork you display and sell from your gallery, reaching out to our rapid response team is vital to protect these items from irreparable damage from smoke and soot effects. Our technicians are available 24/7 to offer every potential customer skilled expertise and industry-leading equipment any time that they need it.

While a fire in your art gallery could prove disastrous, you can count on the professionals of our SERVPRO of Porter County team to work to protect and preserve unique artwork you display. Give us a call anytime you need us at (219) 476-1883.

Here is the service index for our local residents.

SERVPRO Can & Will Remove Unpleasant Aromas In Your Portage Home

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

 

Fire Smoke Cleanup Technicians In Portage Talk About Deodorizing Agents

Any time something burns inside your building in Portage, smoke damage can become a significant issue. Soot removal is often a large part of any fire smoke cleanup project. Soots and soils can get left behind on the surfaces of your building materials and contents when smoke comes into contact with these cooler substances. Some soot damage can be easily wiped off with a wet rag or a dry sponge, while other types of soils must be removed with specialized techniques and chemicals. Even the smallest burns can cause damage that will make it vital that you call in a professional fire smoke cleanup company such as SERVPRO.

Whenever partially combusted particles circulate throughout your home, burnt smells can develop. During any fire damage cleanup project in Portage, our SERVPRO team knows that removing all of the soot can eliminate many of these unpleasant aromas. However, in some cases, the smoke deeply penetrates porous materials and causes foul odors to linger. If the bad smells still exist after all soot and soils are removed, then we often conduct other deodorization techniques. Any deodorization methods though will only work for a limited time if the source of the aromas is not found and removed.

For general deodorization purposes after fire damage, we can use masking or time release gels, solid blocks with perfumes, and oil saturated with chemicals. Using these items we can generate strong pleasant odors that can cover up malodor particles. We often use masking agents in the re-odorization of the airspace and HVAC systems.

Pairing agents are chemicals that are designed to combine with a malodor to form a new odorless compound. This method is an example of odor modification where the deodorant changes the chemical structure of the malodor substance. Pairing agents can be added to general cleaning products, put into a thermal fogger, or sprayed onto primary sources of foul odors. If you ever need help eliminating burnt aromas that linger in your home after something burns, call SERVPRO of Porter County at (219) 476-1883 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Storms Often Damage Roofs Resulting In Water Entering The Homes

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Fire and water are not the only types of problems we assist homeowners in mitigating. Storm damage from wind can also lead to issues in a home that require both cleanup and restoration.  

Storm damage from high winds affected the roof of a Valparaiso home and let rainwater enter an attic. The homeowner called SERVPRO late at night, and our emergency response team arrived a short time later. 

The technicians scoped the attic and determined the water entered the attic through damaged roofing. They immediately tarped over the compromised area of the roof to prohibit any further water from entering.  

The sheetrock wicked much of the incoming water and required removal as it was too saturated to save through drying. The mitigation of fiberglass insulation happens on a case-by-case basis. If it has absorbed too much water, it is removed and discarded. In this case, the fiberglass insulation was slightly wet. Fortunately, it could be removed using our large insulation vacuum and bagged for drying in another area for reinstallation after completion on the attic mitigation.  

The removal of sheetrock and insulation often causes dust to travel, to limit the chances of this occurring; the SERVPRO technicians contained the entryway to the attic with heavy plastic. Because of the limited space in the attic, portable pumps were the choice to extract the remaining rainwater after removal of the damaged sheetrock and wet insulation.  

Moisture detection confirmed because of fast action by the homeowner calling SERVPRO, the water affected only the attic, and the ceiling below received no damage. Once we located the remaining areas of moisture, the drying phase of restoration began.  

Many people make the mistake of setting up fans to dry a wet attic. This method is a setup for more significant issues as it dries the surface, not anything below. SERVPRO uses air movers which are small, powerful machines that blow high-velocity air over surfaces and cause the moisture deeply embedded in building materials and objects to rise. It is then captured using dehumidifiers and ported out of the area.  

Once the technicians confirmed the moisture readings met drying goals in the attic, they cleaned and disinfected the area. Our location offers building services and to make the restoration process seamless without delay. Technicians offered suggestions on roof repairs we could perform with approval of the adjuster and homeowner to return the home to its pre-water loss condition. 

SERVPRO of Porter County is available 24-hours at (219) 476-1883 to assist with storm damage in your home. We arrive quickly and perform cleanup and restoration services to make your water loss "Like it never even happened."

Did You Know? SERVPRO Is The Leader In Water Damage Restoration In Portage

3/31/2022 (Permalink)

 

SERVPRO Explains Why Fast Water Cleanup Can Save Losses to Portage Properties

Water can wind up in places it was never meant to be in your home in a lot of different ways. Plumbings failures, appliance leaks and storms can deliver flash floods that have the potential to bring both water and contaminants into the home. The faster water cleanup begins, the more chance to mitigate losses to your home.

When we get the emergency call to come to your Portage home for water damage, our technicians are highly trained to access the type of water damage in the house and the most proactive restoration methods to save as many affected building structures and possessions as possible. Why SERVPRO? You can be assured of 24-hour response to your water loss emergency from our technicians who will be on the job within hours after your call.

We have numerous resources to remove the water during the extraction phase. Techs use pumps, wet vacuums, and for large jobs, we have truck mounted extractors that can handle thousands of gallons of water. Weighted extraction wands push water trapped in carpet padding so a drenched carpet does not automatically mean the carpeting cannot dry in place.

After water extraction, the premises can be dried. SERVPRO techs choose the best set-up for each unique situation. Our resources include air movers, high-velocity axial fans and dehumidifiers. Industrial heaters are used when necessary as another tool in our arsenal to rapidly decrease moisture levels and dry items inside the structure quickly and thoroughly.

Mold and bacteria are always a concern after any water event, and SERVPRO technicians use powerful antifungal and antibacterial cleaning solutions to inhibit mold growth on the surfaces and objects affected by moisture. Our goal is always to restore rather than replace, and we employ numerous restoration techniques to achieve this result whenever possible.

Our SERVPRO of Porter County water cleanup team serves the local area with our emergency services. Call (219) 476-1883 any time day or night and we can go to work for you to get your home back to preloss conditions.

Sunset Hill Farm Park is one of the many parks you can enjoy on a pretty day, click here for a list of all the parks so you can plan your next visit.

Signs of Possible Imminent Water Damage in Your Westville Home

3/31/2022 (Permalink)

Scaling in Plumbing Can Cause Water Damage to Westville Homes 

While many homeowners do not consider the condition of the indoor plumbing in their Westville home until there is a problem, understanding its status and integrity can help you to determine when servicing is a wise decision. Often homeowners learn too late that their plumbing has degraded to the point of failure. Worse still, some problems can occur to your pipes that you cannot see with the naked eye like scaling and buildup.
 
Knowing what can happen within the pipes of your home can help you to prevent unnecessary water damage in Westville, or at least prepare to act quickly if it does occur. The supply of water into your property comes with minerals that either could not get removed during treatment and cleaning or were determined beneficial to leave in the supply. Iron, manganese, and calcium are examples of minerals that can deposit themselves on the lining of the plumbing and begin to build up to the point of obstruction.
 
You can often tell that certain substances are in the water coming into your home by buildup on fixtures or staining in sinks and bathtubs. While this does not necessarily indicate that buildup is throttling the water through the pipes, it can let you know that the possibility exists. Inspections of the pipes by our SERVPRO contractors can help to note specific problem areas.
 
The risk with scaling and buildup is an increase in the pressure within the line as water struggles to move through a shrinking space. This pressure difference can cause damage to the lines, permitting leaks, separations, and other concerns. Our SERVPRO rapid response team can identify the source of the break quickly, even within wall cavities, with the use of our leak detection equipment. Our professionals can dry out the damaged elements quickly to preserve construction materials and prevent unnecessary reconstruction when possible.
 
Buildup on the inside of your indoor plumbing might be challenging to diagnose, but knowing how to restore the damage to the property can help to protect your investment in your home. Give our SERVPRO of Porter County rapid response team a call anytime at (219) 476-1883.
 
Click here for more about Westville.

SERVPRO Is The Industry Experts!

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

Do you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association, it is estimated that some 370,000 home fires occur each year, costing close to $7 billion in total property damage? 

In many of these fires, however, the fire starts and is contained in a certain area of a home or business.  Even though containment eliminates the necessity for complete demolition and reconstruction, it is still necessary for proper cleaning of soot and smoke.  Smoke and soot have a way of getting into places that do not seem possible.  Proper cleaning and deodorization are vital in order to restore your business or home to preloss conditions.  

Fires are extremely dangerous, leaving you with nothing.  Always remember to check your smoke alarms to make sure they are working properly.  In business, you need to make sure you check all the outlets and make sure you do not have too much into one outlet. 

There are so many different ways to avoid a fire, but so many ways that can go unnoticed by the average eye.  Make sure you have a Fire Marshall check your commercial building often.  

In the instance of any type of emergency in your business or home please call SERVPRO of Porter County! We are faster to any disaster and are here to make things "Like it never even happened."

It's Important To Know What To Do & To Know How To Put It Into Action

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

 

Knowing what to do in a crisis is very different from putting this information into action for a damaged Portage property. Flooding is something that many homes throughout Porter County have contended with as long as our team has been serving the area, and it is the homeowners that know how to reduce the pressing severity of the situation that can modify both the time spent restoring the property and its ultimate cost when this project completes.

With multiple facets to flood damage in Portage residences, any step you can take to lessen these effects can improve efficiency for cleanup and restoration efforts. Homeowners can take preliminary steps, but only in waiting for professionals like our SERVPRO team to arrive. Our technicians have the experience to contend with widespread loss incidents, and arrive with specialized equipment for rapid extraction, drying, cleaning, and disinfection. There are ways you can help before and during the earliest stages of disaster to protect your property and its contents:

Pay Attention to Changing Weather Conditions
Homeowners often have brief warnings before flooding, and other natural disasters occur. In this time, you can work to gather sentimental items and the occupants of your home together to get to safety.

Ensure Spouts for Sump Pumps Stay Clear
Over time, drainage for sump pumps inside the property can get covered. This blockage can go unnoticed until the next potential flooding scenario. To reduce the presence of floodwater in the lower levels, you can ensure that this sump pump runs optimally before our SERVPRO team arrives.

Shut Off Utilities Before Leaving
You might know the safest place for you is not at home during a flood, but many forget to stop their utilities that remain at risk for damages or compromising failures when exposed to floodwater and debris.

There are ways that you can improve the efficiency of restoration and recovery when it begins on your home. Whenever flood loss incidents arise, regardless of their severity, you can count on our SERVPRO of Porter County team to make it “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call anytime that you need us at (219) 476-1883.

For more about Portage click here.

How to Remediate a Flood Damaged

3/29/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Can Assist With Flood Damage Mitigation In Your Bar!

Your bar needs to be sanitary and inviting to your customers. Storms can bring flash flooding that can catch businesses in Portage by surprise. Flood water consists of Cat 3 Black Water, which can severely contaminate buildings and potentially cause health risks for customers, forcing companies to shut down. We know that it's crucial for you to get back on your feet as soon as possible, which is why we can rapidly address damage you may have suffered from flooding.

Our professionals are Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certified and can provide commercial flood damage restoration services to your Portage bar. We can arrive at times most convenient for your company to begin the water removal process. After assessing the damage, our technicians can begin removing standing water with the assistance of industrial grade wet vacs and pumps. Additionally, they can remove debris and irreparably damaged materials such as stools, tables, and contaminated carpeting.

Unfortunately, flood water can contaminate and damage walls in your business. Our techs can drill ventilation holes to draw out and capture moisture trapped in walls with the use of air movers and dehumidifiers. Because your walls can wick flood water upwards, partial demolition of the lower section of affected walls can be done to prevent further damage. If necessary, we perform this service during lulls in your business or during off hours when your customers will be least disturbed.

To ensure that your bar remains sanitary and safe for customers, we can spray down your bar with disinfectant sprays designed to kill off any contaminants or bacteria potentially contained in Cat 3 flood water. 

Flood water can severely disrupt or even completely shut down your bar, which is why it is vital to select professionals who can quickly address all your flood-related problems. So if you have experienced flood damage, call SERVPRO of Porter County at (219) 476-1883 because we can make you feel "Like it never even happened."

Read more about Portage here.