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Mold and Your Business

11/28/2022 (Permalink)

mold on a warehouse ceiling after a roof leak SERVPRO of Mentor is there to handle your mold remediation needs!

Mold and Your Business

Just thinking about mold can make a lot of business owners shutter. Nobody wants to deal with the stress that comes with mold.

At SERVPRO of Mentor, we understand how stressful mold remediation can be. We want to be sure that your business is able to run properly, and that your employees are healthy. Because of this, we take on your stress, working quickly and efficiently to get you back to doing what you do best, mold free.

Should you be a business owner that shutters at the M word, be aware of the following tips to help prevent mold in your commercial property!

Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent excessive moisture in buildings. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices since the 1970s, which resulted in tightly sealed buildings with diminished ventilation, contributing to moisture vapor buildup. Other moisture problems may result from roof leaks, landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under a building, or unvented combustion appliance. Delayed or insufficient maintenance may contribute to moisture problems in buildings. Improper maintenance and design of building heating/ventilating/air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, such as insufficient cooling capacity for an air conditioning system, can result in elevated humidity levels in a building.

Mold prevention tips include:

  • Repairing plumbing leaks and leaks in the building structure as soon as possible.
  • Looking for condensation and wet spots. Fix source(s) of moisture incursion problem(s) as soon as possible.
  • Preventing moisture from condensing by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in the air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation. To reduce the moisture level in the air, repair leaks, increase ventilation (if outside air is cold and dry), or dehumidify (if outdoor air is warm and humid).
  • Keeping HVAC drip pans clean, flowing properly, and unobstructed.
  • Performing regularly scheduled building/ HVAC inspections and maintenance, including filter changes.
  • Maintaining indoor relative humidity below 70% (25 - 60%, if possible).
  • Venting moisture-generating appliances, such as dryers, to the outside where possible.
  • Venting kitchens (cooking areas) and bathrooms according to local code requirements.
  • Cleaning and drying wet or damp spots as soon as possible, but no more than 48 hours after discovery.
  • Providing adequate drainage around buildings and sloping the ground away from building foundations. Follow all local building codes.
  • Pinpointing areas where leaks have occurred, identifying the causes, and taking preventive action to ensure that they do not reoccur.

If you have Mold present call SERVPRO of Mentor today. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it "Like it never even happened."

General Cleaning Service

11/28/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee wiping down surfaces in a home SERVPRO of Mentor handles your cleaning needs, no disaster required!

Professional Clean Up Company

If you know SERVPRO of Mentor, then you know that we are the restoration pros that handle all of life's disasters. You may think that we just take care of the big stuff, or the major disasters, but we truly do it all.

SERVPRO of Mentor is available to handle your general cleans, no disaster required. We provide routine cleans on things like carpet and upholstery, drapes and blinds, HVAC and air ducts, odor removal, and viral pathogen cleans.

We are not there to handle the every day cleaning of your home or business, so don't think you can get out of your chores by calling us. But, we are there to handle those cleans that you need a bit more manpower for. With years of experience under our belts, we utilize the best technology, cleaning supplies, and people to help keep your home or business in the best shape possible.

Mold Inspection, Testing, & Removal

11/28/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Inspection

If you see signs of mold in your home, you need to have a mold inspection performed.

There are two goals of a mold inspection: 1. find any mold growing in your home and 2. find the moisture problem which caused the mold to grow.

Why You Should Have a Mold Inspection

When it comes to mold problems in the home, the earlier you can detect them the better. The longer mold is left, the more it will grow, and the harder it will be to remove. This is why it's best to have a mold inspection performed at the first sign of mold in your home.

One of the main reasons to have a mold inspection is if you smell moldy odors in your home, but you can't find any mold growth.

If you've had water problems, such as flooding or leaks, or if you notice signs of water damage, it can also be a good idea to have a mold inspection.

Even if you've already been able to find some mold growth in your home, it is often a good idea to still do a mold inspection. This is because finding mold can often mean there is more mold hiding elsewhere. For example, mold growth on a wall, floor, or ceiling can mean there is a mold colony on the other side of the material which has grown through.

Even if there are no signs of mold in your home, there can still be good reasons to have a mold inspection. If you're selling your house, for example, a thorough mold inspection could save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Hiring a Professional Mold Inspector

If at all possible, you should hire a professional mold inspector to inspect your home. Professional mold inspectors know the best places to look for mold. They can also immediately recognize subtle signs of mold growth and signs of water problems.

Professional mold inspectors are not only experienced, but they also use sophisticated equipment. This equipment is very effective at finding hidden mold with minimal impact to your home.

By hiring a professional mold inspector you can be sure that if there is any mold in your home, it will be found.

Equipment for Mold Inspection

Moisture meters are used by many professional mold inspectors. Moisture meters have a narrow probe, which can be used to test moisture levels by inserting it into, or pressing it against materials such as carpets, drywall, bricks, wood, or concrete. By finding damp areas, the mold inspector can work out places in your home where mold is most likely to be growing.

Another piece of equipment used in mold inspections is a borescope. Borescopes are useful for finding hidden mold behind walls and other surfaces. First, a small hole is drilled in the surface and then the borescope, which is a fiber optics probe, is inserted to look for mold on the other side. This way, borescopes can find hidden mold while minimizing the damage to the wall or other surface.

Mold is more likely to be growing in areas of your home with high humidity. Hygrometers can measure the humidity of the air, giving the mold inspector a better idea of where mold might be growing.

History of Water Problems

Even the most experienced mold inspector cannot perfectly spot signs of every single past water problem in your home. This is why you should think of a list of any past water problems, such as leaks and floods, including how much water was released and how long before the water was removed. You should let the mold inspector know this information before they begin the mold inspection process.

Finding and Fixing Water Problems During the Mold Inspection

If you have mold in your home, then it must have had a moisture source to grow in the first place. Make sure you've fixed any existing water problems you know about. After that, you should look for new causes of moisture problems. Look out for things like leaks, humidity problems, condensation, or floodwater.

It is important that you find and fix the water problems which caused the mold to grow in your home before you begin the mold removal process. After all, you do not want to spend time and money removing mold only to have it return because there's still a water problem.

Finding Mold

Next it's time to find the mold. If you are performing the mold inspection yourself you should begin by thoroughly searching every room in the house. Carefully look for visible signs of mold growth and remember to pay attention to any damp or moldy odors.

If you are suffering allergic symptoms, take notice of which rooms upset your allergies more. You may already have an idea of which rooms your allergies have been worse in in the past. If so, then there is a good chance that mold is lurking in these areas.

Also, look carefully in places where water flows, such as near pipes and sinks, or places which you know have had leaks or flooding in the past. Check spots where moisture accumulates such as surfaces with condensation, humid areas, or any other places where you often see moisture. Rooms where surfaces are regularly wet such as the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen are common locations for mold growth too.

You also need to look for signs of water damage. Water damaged materials usually have abnormal surfaces such as warping or bulging. Discoloration, stains, and cracked or peeling paint are also signs. Small dots of mold growth can be a clue there's a larger mold colony nearby.

If you do find mold make sure not to disturb it. Large mold colonies should not be removed without properly sealing off the room first and following the best removal methods.

Inspecting for Hidden Mold

Most people have a mold inspection because they have hidden mold in their home. The above signs can help with finding visible mold, but they also help to narrow down where hidden mold is probably growing. If you think you have worked out a location where hidden mold is probably growing, you will then have to use invasive inspection techniques to look into the area.

This is where it's a big advantage to hire a professional mold inspector since they can check for hidden mold with minimal damage to your home. You might also want to turn to mold testing to make certain you have hidden mold before you begin invasive inspection.

Invasively inspecting for hidden mold also includes lifting carpet to check for mold underneath, looking behind paneling, looking behind ceiling tiles, looking under wallpaper, looking inside air ducts, and moving furniture or insulation to check behind.

Your house could have hidden mold if you've had flooding or leaks. Leaks in pipes, which run behind walls, are an especially common cause of hidden mold.

After the Mold Inspection

After the mold inspection, you have the option of either having mold testing performed or moving on to the mold removal.

Mold Testing

There are a few reasons you might want to have mold testing done after a mold inspection. One reason is if you could not find any mold - or you found some mold, but suspect there is more. In this case, mold testing can confirm whether you have mold in your home and help you locate it.

Secondly, if you found what looks like a toxic species of mold, then you need to have it tested by an expert to identify it. Removing toxic mold is dangerous and should only be handled by professionals.

Lastly, sometimes you might not be sure if what you've found is actually mold. For example, soot or dirt can sometimes look like mold. You might want to test what you have found to be sure.

Mold Removal and Remediation

Once you have found all the mold growth in your home you can start to plan for mold removal. SERVPRO of Mentor provides a stress-free mold remediation process when you find mold in your home or business.

If you have a mold suspicion, be sure to call our pros today!

Easing Your Pets' Anxiety During a Storm

11/27/2022 (Permalink)

Storm Anxiety with Pets

It's no secret that dogs can have anxiety when it comes to loud noises. Whether it's fireworks, storms, or just a truck backing up outside, we know that your furry friend may need extra attention to ease their nerves.

Storms can cause anxiety and stress in anyone, and that stress is only intensified when you have to worry about your pet's stress on top of your own!

Clinical Signs of Stress May Vary

While clinical signs vary, the most common reported signs of pet anxiety include panting, pacing, hiding, drooling and following people through the home. Some animals, perhaps more severely affected, may be destructive to items in their environment.

Although there have been several studies on dogs in storms, far less information is available on cats.

In one study on firework anxiety, dogs exhibited more overt signs like pacing and panting, while cats hid and cowered. This difference is likely to occur during storms as well. While it is difficult to miss a 90-pound Labrador jumping on your bed during a storm at 2 a.m., it is easy to miss a hiding cat. This does not mean cats are any less afraid than their canine counterparts. Instead, owners have to be more vigilant for subtle signs of anxiety because cats are equally in need of treatment.

What about scolding or punishing my dog?

Do not punish your dog when he is scared, it only confirms to him that there is something to fear and will make him worse. In addition, if you are upset or anxious about your pet's behavior, this will also make your dog more anxious.

Can I do anything to reduce the impact of the noise and flashes from fireworks or storms?

Treatment should focus first on reducing anxiety and providing an appropriate environment during storms. Once that is accomplished, the behavior can be modified through training. Behavior modification helps change the way the pet feels when it experiences the storms. However, without reducing anxiety, most pets have a difficult time learning how to be calm during storms. There are several different avenues to pursue for decreasing anxiety, including behavior training, creating safe spaces, pheromones, pressure wraps and supplements.

Always try to ensure that your dog has access to a well-curtained or blacked-out room when a storm begins. Blacking out the room removes the additional problems of flashing lights, flares, etc.

Provide plenty of familiar toys and games that might help to distract the pet.

Try to arrange company for your dog rather than leaving him alone in the room.

Close all the windows and doors so the sound is muffled as much as possible. Try taking your pet to a room or area of the house where the stimuli will be at their mildest and the dog can be most easily distracted. Sometimes placing nested cardboard boxes or a blanket over the cage can greatly mute the sound. Be certain, however, that there is enough air circulation so that the pet does not overheat.

Provide background noise from the radio or television. The volume does not have to be loud as long as the music has a strong beat that acts as a distraction and prevents him from concentrating on the noises outside. Other background noises such as a fan running or even "white" noise devices can help to block outdoor noises.

We Dry Your Documents Following Water Damage

11/22/2022 (Permalink)

Does your home or business have important documents that are important to your well-being? In the event of water damage at your home or business, SERVPRO of Mentor offers document drying services for those important files or personal papers.


Vacuum Freeze Drying
Items containing moisture are frozen and dried using various vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation (direct conversion of a solid into gas without passage through a liquid stage – think dry ice).


Digitizing 
With the new age of technology, digitizing records and documents has become a standard practice in most industries. This eliminates the need to have massive file storage rooms and allows us to access records at the click of a button. If your file room was damaged by water and needs to be cleaned, dried, or decontaminated, digitizing might be a good choice to eliminate the need for hundreds or even thousands of documents and records in storage.


Gamma Irradiation 
Gamma irradiation is a process used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In gamma irradiation, high-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source (cobalt 60) producing ionization (electron disruptions) throughout a product. In a category 3 water loss situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only dealing with that water, but also are infected with all types of bacteria. If this is the case, decontamination is a must. In living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause the death of the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.


Certified Destruction
Unfortunately, many business and government agencies have to dispose of counterfeit, faulty, expired, or contaminated materials. All entities need to be certified that their products and materials are destroyed. The guarantee of certified destruction is to protect one’s liabilities, brand image, or proprietary information. We guarantee certified destruction to give you peace of mind that your documents are disposed of properly.

If you find yourself in need of document drying or restoration services, be sure to call SERVPRO of Mentor!

Let Us Handle the Stress of Your Commercial Disaster

11/22/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO truck in front of a commercial property SERVPRO of Mentor has the equipment and manpower to handle your commercial loss, no matter the size!

Are you dealing with water damage in your home? SERVPRO of Mentor has a crew of certified technicians ready to help 24/7. Here is how we can help your business in times of disaster:

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources needed.

Step 2 - Inspection 

We determine the scope of your damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage.

Step 3 - Mitigation Process Begins

The water removal/fire damage cleanup process begins almost immediately. We use the best technologies available to ensure that your business is being cleaned out properly.

Step 4 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean all of the restorable items and structures damaged by the water, fire, or mold. We are adept at cleaning contents using a number of techniques. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your property.

Step 5 - Restoration

Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-disaster condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in your business.

If your business falls victim to disaster, call SERVPRO of Mentor.

Basement Water Damage Restoration

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a basement We handle all of your water damage restoration needs, from your attic to your basement!

Basements in Mentor, OH are prone to flooding. SERVPRO of Mentor is there to handle your water damage restoration needs should your basement flood. Water always runs from high to low ground, and this means that under the right circumstances your basement becomes an unwanted swimming pool. But where does the water come from?

  • One common culprit behind basement flooding is rain. Excessive amounts of rain in a short period of time can overload basement waterproofing systems, saturating the earth around your basement and then pushing in through foundation cracks.
  • Even properly waterproofed basements fail because they can't handle the incoming water load, causing your basement to flood.
  • The slope of your lawn can contribute to flooding.

If you have flood insurance, call your insurance provider. If you're not sure, check your plan. Some companies deliberately omit floods and won't cover the replacement of any water-damaged items. Knowing this upfront is very important. A lot of people just assume they are covered from flood damage and are shocked when they find out they are not.

The insurance company will send out an adjuster to assess the damage, take a list of all the items, and call in a professional. Many insurance professionals in our area will tell you to call SERVPRO of Mentor!

Whether you go with insurance or not, you'll want to call an expert like SERVPRO of Mentor. We will handle the mess and get your home back to normal quickly.

Understanding the Different Types of Water

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement SERVPRO of Mentor utilizes the best technologies to help dry your home or business.

Understanding the Different Types of Water

IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration sets three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows: 


Category 1 Water - Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "Clean Water". Category 1 water may become contaminated if it mixes with soils or floor coverings, building assemblies, etc... Time and temperature can promote growth and amplification of microorganisms in water, which can cause Category 1 water to degrade.


Examples of category 1 water are: a broken water supply line (including the toilet), and tub or sink overflows. 

Category 2 Water - Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants. These contaminants can cause discomfort or sickness when exposed or consumed. This water type carries micro organisms and is nicknamed "Gray water."

Examples of category 2 water are:  toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, dishwasher water discharge, and washing machine water discharge. 

Category 3 Water - Nicknamed "Black Water" and are grossly unsanitary. These indoor water sources contain unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness.

Examples of type 3 water are: water sources from sewage, seawater, stream or river water, ground surface water or standing water. 

Category 2 Water that is not promptly removed and remained stagnant may be reclassified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back-ups that originate from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.

Knowing the classification of your water in your Mentor home may help you understand personal safety concerns and the necessary material and debris removal anticipated.

Handling Water Damage from the Different Types of Water

When your Mentor, OH home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup. When you have a water damage, don't leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Mentor. Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water:

  1. Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  2. Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  3. Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  4. Remove and pop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  5. Move any painting, art objects, computers, documents, and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  6. Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  7. Do not use your household vacuum cleaners to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  8. Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water:

  1. Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  2. Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas. 
  3. Do not turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  4. Do not use household fans to dry the structure; airflow could spread contaminants.
  5. Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

If you experience water damage no matter the category, be sure to call SERVPRO of Mentor to handle your water mitigation needs. We'll help make it "like it never even happened."

Trust SERVPRO of Mentor to Handle Your Fire Damage Restoration Needs

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Fire damage to an apartment Let SERVPRO of Mentor handle your fire damage restoration!

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

It is so important that you check your smoke alarms. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year. 

Smoke detectors also lose their efficiency after 10 years, so make sure to stay on top of replacing all your smoke detectors as well. 

Fire & Smoke Alarm Facts

  • Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working.
  • Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

It is vital to practice fire safety by installing and maintaining upkeep when it comes to your smoke alarms. If you do experience a fire, know that SERVPRO of Mentor is here to help restore your home or business!

Understanding the Fire Damage Restoration Process

A house fire in Mentor, OH can abruptly bring your entire life to a screeching halt. Fire Damage is not only devastating, but is can be incredibly dangerous. It is important for all smoke damage to be neutralized and deodorized to keep you and your family safe. 

Before fire damage restoration and repairs begin, our crews will effectively board-up your home or business to protect your contents and belongings until the process of cleaning or claiming those begins. If you face a major house fire, our fire restoration crews will help you pack out and move your salvageable contents until the fire damage repairs are complete. 

After emergency services are finished, structural cleaning is usually the first step in the restoration process. SERVPRO of Mentor can help reduce costs by cleaning areas that are only lightly affected by soot instead of completely having to replace them. Anything that cannot be cleaned to its original state will be cleaned so that it can properly be repainted. The process of structural cleaning is important because that’s where our professionals will begin the deodorization process. If odor is not handled correctly, it can not only harm your health, but linger for years to come. Our professionals utilize the right equipment specific to your fire loss.

If you find yourself with any type of fire damage, call SERVPRO of Mentor so we can begin the fire restoring process today!

Prevent Water Damage When The Snow Melts in Mentor

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trucks in the snow SERVPRO of Mentor is prepared to handle your water damage restoration needs all year round!

You may think that water damage only comes during the stormy and rainy seasons, but water damage can happen just as easily with the melting of snow and ice in Ohio.

Follow these tips to prevent water damage to your Mentor, OH home when snow starts to melt.

  • Remove the snow from around your home: You probably always shovel your porch and sidewalks but have you thought about the snow surrounding the edges of your house.
  • Check your roof and gutters: Before the first snow hits inspect your roof and gutters for any damage. Also, be sure your gutters are clear so the snow melt has a clear pathway off your roof.
  • Clear snow from drainage areas: storm drains and catch basins can often get clogged with snow and debris. If you can do it safely, clearing snow from these areas can help keep water way from your home.
  • Rearrange your storage: In case water does get into your basement, be sure to keep valuables, chemicals, or anything else you’d like to keep dry off the floor; or in water proof plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes.
  • Check your appliances: clear out space around your water heater, furnace, and other appliances. If possible, raising your washer and dryer off the floor could protect from water damage.
  • Don’t try too much: getting on the roof at anytime of the year can be risky, even more so if snow is involved. Clearing your roof and gutters is important to prevent water damage, but be sure to use a professional to handle any dangerous situations.

It's not uncommon to have water damage or mold from Ice Dams in Mentor, OH. 

Ice Dam Formation

Heat escaping into the attic can cause the roof to warm and snow to melt. External conditions may then cause melting snow to refreeze, potentially trapping water under a layer of ice. This entrapment can be problematic if water seeps into your building and causes damage.

Prevention Strategies

Although you may not be able to prevent snow and ice formation on your roof, you can take several proactive measures to help prevent an ice dam from forming:

  • Ensure adequate attic ventilation
  • Verify bathroom exhaust exists through the roof
  • Maintain clean gutters

Reducing heat seepage within your attic is an essential prevention strategy. To help accomplish this, your attic ductwork should be properly ventilated and free of leaks.

Because a clog can prevent proper water flow, obstructed gutters may cause water to pool and freeze along the edge of your roof, exacerbating your dilemma. Routinely inspecting and cleaning your gutters can help alleviate this problem.

Water and Mold Damage

Ice dams can be particularly destructive if trapped water leaks into your building and causes water damage. Because mold thrives in moist environments, a water leak can also increase the risk of black mold growth that necessitates extensive mold cleanup endeavors. For this reason, it’s essential that you inspect your building and address issues that may facilitate dam development.

A Manageable Problem

Winter can present numerous challenges, many of which you have little control over. You can, however, take proactive steps to reduce the risks of ice dam formation, water damage, and mold contamination.

If you have water damage in need of repair, our team can help! Call SERVPRO of Mentor today!