Dangers of Christmas Tree Fires
Fresh Christmas Tree Catches Fire.
Every year Christmas trees start fires. Prevent most of these fires by following simple rules: Choose a recently cut, healthy tree. A fresh tree holds moisture better. Although some people advocate for placing various substances in the water to preserve freshness, it is recommended that consumers simply keep the tree well-watered with pure tap water. Avoid putting compounds such as sugar, aspirin, and other chemicals into the water. These have not been proven to work and often can inhibit the tree’s intake of water and actually cause it to be more of a hazard.Use lights rated for indoor use that don't create heat (such as LED lights). And don't overload your electrical outlet. Don't use electric lights on a metal tree. Unplug tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed. Keep the tree at least 3 ft. from candles and fireplaces.
Commercial Water Loss in Marion, SC
Tear out performed at a commercial building after a water intrusion for the recent Hurricane.
After responding to as commercial water loss in Marion, SC out team of Professionals ran into a unique situation. While tearing out drywall that had been affected by the recent hurricane, our technicians found that the water was steadily coming down in between the wall cavity.
Water is very destructive and just because you can not see the damage does not mean it is not there. We can not stress enough the importance of having any water intrusion mitigated correctly.
With the high humidity in our great state of South Carolina it is even more important to address a water intrusion correctly so that there is less chance for mold growth. Not doing so can lead to added expenses and health issues. Let our trained Professionals handle the stress for you!
Mold Growth In the HVAC System
This picture shows growth coming from the vent of an HVAC system in a local business after a recent roof leak.
As we have stated many times before, Mold can hide anywhere.
In a local business we found the source of the growth to be coming from the HVAC system after the business experienced a roof leak. The water entered the HVAC ducting in the attic and while the unit was off over the weekend the spores began to grow. When they returned for the start of business on Monday and turned on the HVAC unit the spores went airborne and starting attaching themselves to surfaces of office equipment, counter tops, vent covers, trashcans, and carpeting.
It was immediately determined that the HVAC duct work would need to be cleaned and sealed but without total replacement, no guarantee can be given that growth will not reoccur.
Mold Cleaning Protocol
Katlyn preparing to take care of some growth in a residence in Sumter, SC.
There are a lot of different ways to treat and remove mold from non porous surfaces. SERVPRO of Sumter always puts safety of our technicians and homeowners first. Having the proper personal protective equipment such as disposable tyvek suits, shoe coverings, respirators, and protective eye wear for our technicians is a very important part of hazardous material remediation. We also use containment barriers to prevent the mold spores from contaminating unaffected areas.
Using an antimicrobial is another important aspect of mold remediation. Our Professional Technicians spray the affected surfaces with the antimicrobial before wiping the growth. This helps by keeping the spores from going air born. Besides antimicrobial SERVPRO also puts an air scrubber in the affected area while cleaning. This not only helps to trap the spores, but also helps with any odor the growth may be causing.
SERVPRO of Sumter gearing up for Florence
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land.
Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding,
rip currents, and tornadoes. The heavy winds of hurricanes can cause damage or destroy homes,
buildings, and roads, as well as cause power, water, and gas outages. These effects can injure or kill
people, disrupt transportation, and pollute drinking water. Hurricanes cause deaths and injuries
primarily from drowning, wind, and wind-borne debris. The impact from hurricanes can extend from
the coast to several hundred miles inland. To find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.”
Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at ready.gov/prepare.
Sign up for local alerts and
warnings. Monitor local news and
Prepare to evacuate by testing your
emergency communication plan(s),
learning evacuation routes, having a
place to stay, and packing a “go bag.”
Stock emergency supplies.
Protect your property by installing
sewer back flow valves, anchoring
fuel tanks, reviewing insurance
policies, and cataloging belongings.
Collect and safeguard critical
financial, medical, educational, and
legal documents and records.
Follow guidance from local
If advised to evacuate, grab your
“go bag” and leave immediately.
For protection from high winds,
stay away from windows and seek
shelter on the lowest level in an
Move to higher ground if there
is flooding or a flood warning.
Turn Around Don’t Drown.®
Never walk or drive on flooded
roads or through water.
Call 9-1-1 if you are in life threatening
Return to the area only after
authorities say it is safe to do so.
Do not enter damaged buildings
until they are inspected by qualified
Never walk or drive on flooded
roads or through floodwaters.
Look out for downed or unstable
trees, poles, and power lines.
Do not remove heavy debris by
yourself. Wear gloves and sturdy,
thick-soled shoes to protect your
hands and feet.
Do not drink tap water unless
authorities say it is safe.
September is National Preparedness Month
Hurricane Matthew hitting Florida in 2017
National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland Security. For the entire month of September, this initiative encourages people to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.
The devastating wildfires, hurricanes and earthquakes in 2017 and 2018 show the importance of preparing for disasters. Seeing that these disasters can strike in any shape or form at any given time, it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community. Ask your community how you can volunteer.
Business also need to be prepared. Ask us about out Emergency Ready Program. It is imperative to have all the shut off information to your water, electric, and gas handy in case of an emergency. SERVPRO of Sumter can help with all that. We even have an app you can download so all the information can be at your fingertips.
Post Construction Cleaning May Benefit You
Stormy and SERVPRO know Clean
If your house is under construction for a remodel you know how messy (and dangerous) the area can be. While some construction companies will clean up after a remodel, you will still be left with somewhat of a mess to deal with. SERVPRO Professional Techinciaans will go beyond just sweeping and vacuuming the floors. Post-Construction Cleaning Services include thoroughly cleaning every inch of the remodeled area and will safely remove debris along with the following:
- Dust walls
- Hand wash all doors
- Hand wash all trim
- Mop all flooring multiple times (if applicable)
- Dust entire house multiple times to pick up residual falling debris
- Vacuum entire house thoroughly to pick up debris and dust
- Hand wash all cabinets and closets inside and out
- All reachable lights wiped.
Also during the construction phase, a building can trap moisture. Excessive moisture could result in mold growth. You may need dehumidification and drying to ensure that the moisture is eliminated.
Hoarding Can Be a Serious Issue
Even Superheroes can have issues
Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.
Hoarding can be related to compulsive buying (such as never passing up a bargain), the compulsive acquisition of free items (such as collecting flyers), or the compulsive search for perfect or unique items (which may not appear to others as unique, such as an old container).
A lack of functional living space is common among hoarders, who may also live in unhealthy or dangerous conditions. Hoarders often live with broken appliances and without heat or other necessary comforts. They cope with malfunctioning systems rather than allow a qualified person into their home to fix a problem.
Those who hoard usually experience embarrassment about their possessions and feel uncomfortable when others see them. SERVPRO Of Sumter can help with issue and make it "Like it never even happened."
You Do Not Have To Be "Under Water" To Need Us
Flood cut in a Sumter home after a pipe busted while the family was on vacation.
Mitigation means acting quickly to stop the damage from getting worse, without necessarily fixing the damage. The key to storm mitigation is stopping water leaks and minor flooding so materials can dry within 24-48 hours. This prevents the further damage of structural weakening or wood rot, and stops the growth of mold on damp surfaces.
Even while it is still raining or an active leak is present, there are ways to mitigate the damage. The key is to not wait. Even if your home has been spared from acute flooding, what seems like "minor" water damage from leaks and other water intrusions can turn into major problems over time – and need to be addressed immediately.
Coverage is not always obvious or intuitive, so be sure to check your policy carefully and confirm coverage with your adjuster (this is not the same person who sold you the policy).
Types of Mold: Aureobasidium
Mold discovered behind wallpaper in a bathroom.
Aureobasidium is an allergenic mold that can sometimes be found growing behind wallpaper or on painted or wooden surfaces. Aureobasidium usually develops in a pink, brown or black color. As it ages, aureobasidium typically turns a darker brown color.
Aureobasidium spores are difficult to identify on spore traps because of morphologic variation. Its most distinguishing feature is the production of primary blastospores (spores produced by a budding process) arising directly from pigmented, vegetative hyphae on short denticles (protuberances in the hyphae). The spores may be hyaline or pigmented, variable in size, one-celled, ellipsoid or ovoid, and completely encased in a slimy coat. These primary spores can give rise to secondary or tertiary spores through yeast-like budding. The conidia (spores) adhere together to form slimy heads. The brown hyphae can differentiate to form chlamydospores (resting spores) or arthroconidia (asexual spores) at maturity.
When to Test?
- When visible mold is not present, but the smell of mold is, a mold inspection and mold test can reveal whether there is indeed elevated mold, and where it is located.
- n some cases a doctor or the patient has a health issue that they cannot pinpoint the cause but seems to be related to mold symptoms (coughing, sneezing, headaches, etc). Here, a mold inspection and test may help to confirm whether the doctor’s or patient’s suspicions that a mold problem exists.