Recent Posts

Cold Snaps can lead to Cleveland Area Flooding

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Semi trailer in snow Cold and Snow is here. So is SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South

At a faster rate than northernly areas of the country also hit with recent severe winter storms, properties in Northeast Ohio may experience the trauma of interior flooding due to frozen pipes. Other areas still cope with below zero temperatures, but their familiarity with long periods of below-freezing weather changes building practices to protect pipes. If you are caught with standing water inside your home because of cold temperatures in your southeastern home, we can help.

Plumbing rarely drains completely, and the water left in your Ohio pipes can freeze, surprising you with flood damage. As the water freezes inside the pipes it expands, and the resultant pressure causes metal or plastic conduit to split and crack and connections to fail. Unless the main is shut off, water continues to flow and pours out of the cracks. Your foundation or crawl space collects the moisture, and you need our professional crews and heavy-duty equipment to remove it and dry out your structure.

Speed is essential to a successful flood damage recovery after pipes burst. Water progressively harms building materials and contents. A quick soaking is usually endurable if the moisture is relatively clean and is dried out thoroughly. SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South crews are skilled at using pumps and extractors to remove the vast majority of flood waters, and then to switch to air movers, dehumidifiers, and sometimes heaters to reduce the moisture that remains soaked into framing, walls, ceilings, floors, and fixtures such as carpeting, wallpaper, and cabinets.

Water that stands or saturates structural components and possessions for more than 24 to 48 hours threatens to support the growth of mold. As SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South crews manage your flooding situation, we may pack out stored boxes or furnishings, providing you with an inventory and the chance to decide whether to pursue specialized drying solutions or to discard ruined items. We may offer freeze drying as a resource for wet documents and pictures and help to launder and dry clean waterlogged clothing, linens, and other items.

All our services are accomplished as swiftly as possible to give your belongings and home’s structure the best chance to become restored “Like it never even happened.” It also disrupts your and your family’s life minimally as well. We work to have the damaged pipes repaired fast, too, as failing to do so results in another flood. Throughout the restoration process, SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South is in constant contact with your insurance company to make sure your out of pocket costs are limited, as we assist you with your claims process.

SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South trains to respond successfully to flooding events, no matter what the cause of the disaster.

Contact us at (440) 237-0077, 24 Hours a day

Be Smart and Implement a Cold Weather Plan!

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Tractor tralier in snow If there is snow, SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South is prepared to go!

If your business is in an area prone to bad weather such as excessive snowfall, icy roads, flooding or other natural disasters, you need to be smart and plan for bad weather. Not only can inclement conditions be dangerous for your employees, but it can also be devastating to your building’s structure. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize damage, protect employees and keep your Cleveland area business operating as usual even in an intense snowstorm. Here are a few key steps:

Have a Plan in Place

Some winter storms have been known to last for weeks at a time, and many are so severe that they prevent individuals from driving. While you cannot ask your employees to head to the office in the middle of a blizzard, you can ask them to work from home when the roads are icy and visibility is poor. Have a business plan in place that everyone can adhere to on snow days. This plan should include who is responsible for what when out of office, how work should be submitted and how and how often data backup should be performed. 

Invest in Protection 

Your business should have storm windows, storm doors, new and working gutters, lightning rods and storm drains. You should also invest in a generator or other source of backup power so that, at the very least, your heater can continue operating in a snow storm and prevent a pipe burst.

Remove snow

Snow that is allowed to accumulate on the roof or sidewalks can be dangerous to your building, employees and customers. Hire a snow removal company to keep your roof, sidewalks and areas around your building clear. 

Watch the Weather

When a storm is in the forecast, shut the storm windows and doors, unplug appliances and electronics, back up your data and send your employees home. By planning ahead, you can prevent costly losses and unnecessary injuries. 

Make sure your business is ready for bad winter weather. With the right planning, you can continue operating in a snowstorm.

House Fires: How to prevent them and what to do if you experience one in Cuyahoga County

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

House Fires: How to prevent them and what to do if you experience one

Every day, 7 people die in house fires- most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. In less than 30 seconds a small flame can evolve into a colossal fire and become life threatening; in less than two minutes your home can be consumed by flames, producing toxic smoke and gases with temperatures hotter than your oven. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths and surprisingly, heat is more dangerous than flames- Room temperature can reach 100° at floor level and a smoldering 600° at eye level. With that being said, smoke and toxic gases are responsible for more deaths than flames and heat.

Kitchen mishaps, electrical sparks, space heaters, playing with matches are all common causes of house fires. However, they are preventable:

  • Do not leave cooking unattended- More than 60% of kitchen fires begin on the stove. Also, do not use stove range to heat your home.
  • Keep grills at least 10 feet away from siding and out from under branches and roof overhangs.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of home fires. ALWAYS smoke outdoors, never in bed, and always use an ashtray, making sure butts are completely stubbed out.
  • NEVER smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off.
  • Replace all worn, old, or damaged appliance cords immediately. Frayed wires = fires!
  • Avoid having multiple appliances plugged into the same receptable and try not to run extension cords underneath rugs.
  • Keep combustible objects at least 3 feet away from portable heating devices, such as portable heaters- Make sure they have a thermostat control mechanism and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Remove lint from dryer filter after every use.
  • Change heating and air conditioning filters regularly.
  • Avoid unattended/careless use of candles.
  • Portable generators should never be used indoors.
  • Make sure combustible and flammable liquids are kept away from any heat source.
  • Discuss at least two escape strategies with your family or housemates prior to a fire and designate a meeting spot that is a safe distance from the home.
  • A working smoke detector significantly increases chances of surviving a deadly fire. Place alarms on each floor of your house, even the basement, and if possible, in every bedroom. Test batteries monthly and replace them once a year. Replace the alarms themselves every 8-10 years.
  • *Contact your local fire department for information on obtaining alarms for people with functional needs, i.e. a vibrating or flashing alarm.
  • Have fire extinguishers on each level of the home and/or in fire-prone areas like the kitchen and near the fireplace. Check gauges often to make sure they have a proper charge.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas found in fumes from combustible fuel- it is potentially deadly as it has no odor, taste, or color. Install CO alarms in central locations on each floor of the home, especially outside sleep areas.

Although preventable, fires still occur and figuring out what to do afterward can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming process; it can be hard to decide what to do first as your mind is running around in a million directions.

  • Immediately call 9-1-1! But make sure you are out of the house before doing so.
  • Call your insurance company. You will most likely receive calls from public adjusters and contractors trying to get your business. It is recommended you speak to no one but your insurance agent.

If you do not have homeowner’s insurance, your family and community might help you get back on your feet. Some organizations that may help are:

  • American Red Cross (ARC).
  • Salvation Army.
  • Religious organizations.
  • Public agencies, such as the public health department.
  • Community Groups.
  • State or municipal emergency services office.
  • Nonprofit crisis- counseling centers.
  • A fire in your home can cause serious damage to your home and many of your belongings may be badly damaged by flames, heat, smoke, and water. In order to fight the fire, firefighters may have broken windows and cut holes on the roof- Ask your agent or adjuster to recommend restoration companies, like SERVPRO, that can help with cleaning up soot or water damage, boarding up windows, and other construction.
  • Contact your landlord or mortgage lender as well as your credit card company to report any cards lost in the fire.
  • Check with an accountant or the IRS about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.
  • Save undamaged items from any further destruction. Any items not damaged should be put in a safe place, such as a storage facility.

Handle burnt money as little as possible. If money is only partly burnt, you can take it to your regional Federal Reserve Bank to get it replaced or send it to the Treasury:

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

MCD/OFM, Room 344A

14th and C Streets SW

Washington, DC 20228

  • Fully cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation. When a fire claim is reported, it becomes top priority and in most cases the adjuster will be out to see the loss within 24 to 48 hours after receiving the claim.
  • Find somewhere to live if you home is unlivable. Most policies include “Loss of Use or Loss or Rents” coverage, which pays for shelter, food, and clothing you may need- Make sure to let local police know that the site will be vacant.
  • Do not enter your house or apartment unless the fire department says that it’s safe to do so. If utilities are unsafe, they will be turned off- Do not try to turn them on yourself.

 After a fire, your sense of security may be lost, which can significantly disrupt the regularity of daily life and it can become difficult to take care of yourself with so many other anxieties preoccupying your mind. Experiencing such a tragic loss can take an emotional toll on you so pay attention to how you and your loved ones are handling stress, whether related to the fire or not. Make sure to get plenty of rest and ask for help if needed. Watch pets as well for any changes in their behavior. Scared animals often react by biting or scratching. Keep them out of the home until after the cleanup is done to keep them safe.

It is common to experience a variety of reactions such as:

  • Feeling physically or mentally drained.
  • Having difficulty making decisions or staying focused.
  • Becoming easily frustrated more frequently.
  • Becoming more argumentative with family and friends.
  • Feeling overly tired, sad, numb, lonely, or worried.
  • Undergoing changes in appetite or sleep patterns.

Try to accept whatever reactions you experience as most of them are temporary and should go away over time.  If the above reactions hang around for two weeks or longer is it suggested that you seek help from a medical professional.

For more advice on fire prevention and what you should do after a fire, contact SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South at (440) 237-0077.

The Best Way to Dry and Restore Water Damaged Hardwood Floors Solon

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

Salvaging hardwood floors from water damage in Northeast Ohio

While most insurance policies offer coverage for replacing floors, there are many situations where homeowners can save money by drying instead, especially with solid hardwood. Other types of flooring, including engineered hardwood and laminate, are more prone to structural damage, delamination, and other issues that make replacement preferable. Solid hardwood's durability makes it more salvageable and safer to reinstall.  The durability saves you time and costs when it comes to reinstallation, staining, and refinishing.

If a sudden pipe leak causes water damage to floors in your Raleigh residence, professional disaster mitigation technicians at SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South can restore your flooring to its preloss condition. Commercial-grade equipment an eco-friendly, EPA-registered antimicrobial cleaners work in tandem to salvage floors, sub-flooring, and other structures in the home that are affected by water. Technicians always work with both homeowners and insurance adjusters to handle damages and restoration per local, state, and federal regulations.

SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South works fast not only to save flooring but also to preserve the layers of infrastructure that support it. Without proper mitigation, water damaged floors can become distorted and start cupping or buckling. These conditions can also become host to mold and wood rot that affect the safety and integrity of hardwood floors.  After dispatching a team to your home, they can use wand extractors and back-mounted pumps to collect any remaining standing water. Thermal imaging and penetrative and non-penetrative moisture measurement tools can be used to assess the extent of damage to floors and subfloors. We replace non-salvageable planks as needed.

Desiccant dehumidifiers are often necessary to tackle the remaining moisture in hardwood planks due to hardwood's low evaporation rate. These types of industrial dehumidifiers collect moisture from surrounding surfaces by passing it over desiccant materials like silica gel. Heat then evaporates the collected water into an air stream which vents outside of the home. If odors from water damage are evident, OSHA-approved cleaners and ultra low-volume (ULV) fogging deodorizers can be used to eliminate odor-causing particles.

SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South serves the community by being Faster to Any Size Disaster. Call (440) 237-0077 today.

SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South is in your backyard

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Airial Equipment Picture No matter the size of the disaster we are local and here to help!

Faster Response

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

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,750 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We can handle any size disaster and make it "Like it never even happened."

Call us at 440-237-0077

SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South stresses the importance of proper fire restoration.

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and water damaged personal property Fire and water damaged personal belongings in this Cleveland basement that needs SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South's help.

Fires are a concern for homeowners year-round, but as winter is upon us, this is a good time of year to ensure you are properly prepared. The rate of home fires peak in the wintertime, so it is important to stay vigilant.

Thankfully, there are some things you can do in advance, such as practicing a fire evacuation plan with every member of your household and determining what restoration company you would like to work with to restore your home and belongings. That way you can call right away to get the process of restoring your home started.  SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South has what is needed should disaster strike.

Over the years, we have developed a cleaning system for fire restoration that handles your home, its contents and your air quality, ensuring the cleanup is thorough and your things are fully restored to their pre-fire conditions. These are the cleanings and services we provide:

Structural Cleaning

Structural damage in a fire can affect almost every aspect of a home, including floors, walls and ceilings. By performing initial testing, we can determine the severity of the damage and what equipment we will need to utilize for restoration. We can provide full reconstruction services after the cleaning is complete.

Content Cleaning

Using wet and dry cleaning equipment, we are able to restore many of your home’s contents during the process as well. This is often more cost-effective than replacing your items and allows you to keep your belongings intact. We can fully clean and deodorize many items, such as kitchen wares, bedding, upholstery and more.

Deodorization Services

The lingering odors from a fire are not just a nuisance—they can be dangerous, too. Smoke and soot exposure are associated with negative side effects, making it vital that the air is scrubbed and purified properly following a fire. Thankfully, we have the technology and expertise to handle this for you, so you do not have to worry about the health of your family due to poor air quality in the home.

If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 247 to help you recover. Call SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South at 440-237-0077.

Slow leaking pipes can damage Cuyahoga homes

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

It is is never a great time to find water damage inside of your Southern Cuyahoga County home. However, in this situation, you would need to stop whatever it was that you were doing and immediately get help for your home. Mere minutes can make the difference when it comes to remediation.

Let's say that, for this hypothetical scenario, your Southern Cuyahoga County had water damage from a leaking pipe. The pipe in question was in your recently finished basement and soaked the drywall panel in front of it. As you went to do your laundry that morning, you saw the water-spots on the wall and knew that a leak was coming from somewhere.

In this situation, it is wise to reach out for professional help immediately. Here at SERVPRO Cuyahoga South, our experts always strive to be Faster to Any Size Disaster. When you give us a call, our excellently trained technicians can travel to your home and bring advanced equipment with them to use on the job. While you wait for our arrival, the best thing you could do is turn off the water to your home, to prevent further damage.

Once our technicians arrive at your home, we can get to work right away. The water pooled out from underneath the wall and onto your concrete floor and headed toward your washing and drying unit. SERVPRO Cuyahoga South can get to work cleaning up the excess water using wet/dry vacuums, and then check out your washer and dryer for any visible damages. After the remediation is finished, it would not hurt to call an electrician if your washer or dryer was not performing ordinarily.

From there, SERVPRO Cuyahoga South could make cuts to the drywall and remove the damaged panel, to reduce the risk of mold growth from excess moisture. We can remove any ruined insulation and then set up drying equipment. Some devices you may see include:

    •    Dehumidifiers
    •    Air Movers
    •    Heaters
    •    Ventilation Fans

Once we finished drying out the area, new insulation could be installed, and a contractor could be called to the site to repair the drywall.

If your home sustained any water damage, never hesitate to get the help you need. Speak with SERVPRO Cuyahoga South by phoning (440) 237-0077. Night or day, we're ready to help you, seven days a week.

Protect your retail business and merchandise from water damage

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South Responds Quickly When You Are Facing Water Damage at Your Business

Whether you are in the midst of seasonal shopping surge or planning clearance sales for less busy times, damage caused by water intrusion issues put a real cramp in your style. Business owners need a reputable and reliable company with which to partner when these crises become realities, and we stand ready 24/7 to help. 
 
Fall and winter are critical selling times for your retail store. Commercial water damage in Northeast,Ohio can ruin your chances of capitalizing on the fall and winter seasons, and holiday shopping. Slow leaks take you by surprise, damaging stock and the structure of your store without you even realizing you have a problem until the water damage is advanced. We specialize in restoring water damage to structure and contents of commercial buildings, returning your shop to pre-water loss condition.

Water quietly but relentlessly seeps in from cracks in plumbing, clogged or improperly installed gutter and drain systems. SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South sees this kind of damage frequently, and we train our technicians both to discover the source of the water and to remediate the damage done. With slow leaks, we may not need the industrial pumps that outfit each service vehicle, but we do use our powerful water extractors after employing high-tech moisture meters to locate the pockets of pooled water that damage your storerooms and saturate carpeting drop by drop. 
 
Moisture measurements inform our drying target determinations, and we use high-efficiency air movers, heaters, and dehumidifiers to remove water as vapor from your building’s walls, flooring, and air. Failure to dry out the structure risks secondary damage from mold or continuous deterioration of building materials like drywall that break and crumble when waterlogged. SERVPRO’s focus is on restoration, not demolition and replacement. We also realize the importance of planning our tasks so that you can try to continue operations, even on a limited scale, as we work to make your sales floor look “Like it never even happened.” 
 
Because loss of your stock is ruinous, we work quickly to inventory and then move wet products to a dry staging area, either on your premises or in an alternate space. You or your designated employees review the condition of the clothing and outdoor equipment. During the job, SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South is in constant communication with your insurance provider, developing the evidence for any claims needed, so your out of pocket loss is minimal. 
 

SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South is a good fit for the business surprised by hidden leaks that threaten stock and your business in general. We are available at 440-237-0077 year round, any time of the day or night to help solve your water damage problems. 

Fire Damage Facts

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

Fireman in front of fire truck SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South support the men and women who serve our communities to keep us safe!

Flames can cause the most visible damage to your property during a fire, smoke and soot are silent and sometimes invisible hazards that could cost lives.  Water is also a reason for damage after a fire. Even firefighters themselves may cause some damage before they can completely put out a fire. Here are 10 important things to know about fires.

1. In a fire, more people die from inhaling smoke than from the flames. Never think that if you avoid the flames you are safe. Always keep away from smoke.

2. Soot is a coating of fine, black dust created when wood, coal, or oil-based substances are burned.  These carbon particles float into the air and settle anywhere.  Inhaling soot can caused severe lung deficiencies or even death. 

3. If soot contaminates items in your home or business, a fire restoration service provider like SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South must assess the damage to see if restoration is possible.

Need Fire Restoration Advice Or Services? Call SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South (440)237-0077

4.  The worst possible effect of soot is its tendency to cause cancer and cause serious defects in  newborns. Soot produces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons are responsible for gene mutation for particular groups of genes. They can cause birth defects and increase the chances of getting cancer.


Water’s Good And Bad
5. Water’s great at putting out most fires but the water itself can cause great damage. You must make sure, after the fire is out, that your home or business is completely dried. If you don’t, mold, mildew, and other consequences will lead to further damage and loss. This is why SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South provides industrial dehumidifiers and air movers to dry saturated carpets, padding, furniture, and any other wet items.

6. Mold colonies can begin to grow just 48 hours after water damage occurs.  The combination of fire, water, and mold damage to your commercial property or home could result in a complete loss if not handled properly. See our posts about mold,  mold myths, and how to clean up mold.

7. Use caution if you decide to do some of the cleanup after a fire. Never start your cleaning process until you’re properly attired. Wear heavy-duty gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask. Carefully cover your nose and make sure your safety glasses have no place for dust or soot to get into your eyes.

Why Firefighters Break Windows And Cut Holes In Roofs
8. Firefighters are true heroes. However, they often must break windows and cut holes in the roof of buildings on fire. As a fire burns, the fire moves up and down and across, growing very fast. Firefighters break windows and cut holes in roofs to provide ventilation that slows the fire’s growth. Ventilation also helps get rid of dark smoke that makes it hard for firefighters to see where they’re going. The holes and broken windows help firefighters fight the fire more quickly. The bottom line is that breaking windows and cutting holes in roofs help save lives and property.

9. Firefighters will also cut holes in walls at times. That’s not about ventilation. It’s done so the fire department is sure that the fire is completely out. Fire departments don’t want to risk leaving a fire that’s not visible but is still active inside the walls or in other hidden places.

10. If you have a fire, get a copy of the fire report. In most areas, a fire report is a public document. Ask for it at the fire department or fire marshal’s office. The fire report will help you with information that your insurance company and other official offices may request.

For more, see After The Fire: Returning to Normal from FEMA.

Here To Help
The team at SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services and natural disaster cleanup.

Call SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South              (440) 237-0077, anytime.

We've serve the communities of Solon, Strongsville, Bedford, Independence, North Royalton, Middleburg Heights, Chagrin Falls, Parma Heights, Warrensville, Garfield, Olmsted Falls and communities beyond.

Frozen pipes is bad news for your Southern Cuyahoga home

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

This winter has been an especially cold one so far with temperatures often dropping below the freezing level. Due to this, SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South has experienced a high volume of emergency water losses caused by freezing pipes, often leaving behind major disasters in homes and businesses.

 Be Prepared:

  • It is important to know where your water shut off is located. In the case of a frozen water pipe burst, you will first want to stop the source by shutting off the water immediately.
  • Insulate exposed pipes, especially if they are in unheated rooms.
  • Leave open bathroom and kitchen sink cabinet doors during extreme cold spells to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  • During below zero weather, keep a slow trickle or constant drip of water flowing through faucets. Water is less likely to freeze if it is constantly traveling rather than sitting in the plumbing.
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
  • If you plan on being away from your property for an extended period of time, leave the heat on and set the thermostat to at least 55°F.DO NOT turn your heat off completely.

If You Discover Frozen Pipes:

  • First sign of freezing is reduced or slow moving water flow from a faucet.
  • Do not use an open flame device to try and thaw the pipes.
  • Methods you can try to unfreeze the pipes on your own include using a hair dryer, heating pad or hot towels, heat lamp or portable space heater.
  • Make sure to keep the faucet open when treating the frozen pipes.
  • Check additional pipes and faucets for freezing.

When a Frozen Pipe Bursts:

  • Shut off the water at the main valve.
  • Contact your local plumber to repair the broken pipe.

Call your local water restoration professionals, SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South.  A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. If winter weather causes water damage to your home or business, call SERVPRO of Cuyahoga South at 440-237-0077.