Recent Posts

How to Keep Your Basement Dry

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

Basements can become wet and humid during the warmer spring months. Unfortunately, moisture promotes mildew and mold growth. As such, it is important to keep your basement dry. Here are some ways you can avoid a musty, damp basement.

Slope the Ground Away From Your Foundation

One of the tips for helping to keep your basement dry is to make sure the ground around the exterior of your home slopes or is graded away from your foundation. If the slope is toward the basement, water can flow through the foundation and into your basement.

Place Rocks and Gravel Around Your Foundation

Another tip to help keep your basement dry is to place rocks or gravel around the base or foundation of your home. Rocks or gravel help to absorb water, preventing excess water from seeping into your basement. If you have a large amount of water, consider installing a French drain system around your home.

Install Gutters and Downspouts Around Your Home

Installing gutters and downspouts around your home can also help to keep your basement dry. Gutters help catch water flowing from the roof and guide it away from your home. This prevents water from falling off the roof and landing on the surface area directly adjacent to your foundation.

Paint Your Basement With Water Resistant Paint

A water-resistant paint can be painted on the interior walls of your basement. This helps prevent water from seeping through your walls and making its way into your basement.

Keep Humidity Down By Using a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are great appliances for keeping humidity low in a basement. A dehumidifier can effectively reduce the amount of moisture in the air, which will prevent mold and mildew growth.

Vent All Appliances Outside

Lastly, make sure all of your appliances vent outside. As appliances vent, they produce hot air. When this hot air comes into contact with cool air in your basement, condensation can form. Venting your appliances outside prevents this from happening, keeping your basement dry.

Keeping your basement dry will not only reduce mold and mildew but will also make it a safer area whether you use it for storage or as a family-gathering area. When water intrudes your property, mold can accumulate in as little as 48 hours. If your basement is already wet or you notice mold or mildew growth, you need a professional to help you with clean-up. At SERVPRO of Vigo County, we use advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help find the moisture and remove it as quickly as possible. Call us at 812-242-9611 to get started today. 

Spring Cleaning Tips

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is just around the corner. Traditionally, people feel the need to deep-clean their homes once they feel the warm air arrive and can open their windows to welcome the new season. There are many areas in your home that you will want to clean once begin tackling this spring-time chore. Here are a few tips to help you get started that you may not have considered.

Wash Your Curtains and Drapes

When you start your spring cleaning, one of the first things you should do is clean your window coverings. This includes blinds, shutters, curtains or drapes. This should be done early on in the process as dirt and dust from the coverings can fall to the floor below, so you don't want to clean your floor before the drapes.

Test Your Smoke Detectors

Another step that should be included in spring cleaning is testing your smoke detectors. Most detectors have a test button on them that allows you to ensure they are working. If they don't work, you probably just need to replace the batteries.

Replace Water and Air Filters

As part of your spring-cleaning checklist, be sure to replace water filters and air filters. Filters catch debris from water and air. When they get full, they cannot filter as effectively as they should. The filters should be routinely replaced to ensure that they can work efficiently.

Clean Your Dryer Vent

Your dryer vent can easily become filled with lint and debris. Clean the dryer vent to help improve drying time and energy efficiency and also to prevent a fire. The vent inside your dryer should be cleaned with each load, but in the spring, you should check your exterior vent as well, making sure there is nothing accumulating in the tubing from the dryer to the outside.

Clean Your Grill

Once it begins to get warmer, people start thinking about cooking and eating outside. Now is the perfect time inspect your grill, refill your tanks if it is a gas grill, and clean all the cooking surfaces so it is ready to use when you want to make delicious meals.

Check Your Windows and Doors For Leaks

As you spring clean, take the time to check your windows and doors for leaks or air drafts. If you feel outdoor air seeping in, the seals may need to be replaced.

Check Your Plumbing for Leaks

Lastly, take the time to check your plumbing for leaks. Look for leaks under your sinks and for leaking faucets. If you notice any leaks, call in a plumber to make the needed repairs.

Are you looking to get your home clean for spring but lack the time to do it all yourself? Here at SERVPRO of Vigo County, we can help you with some of your cleaning needs. We offer many services including fire and water clean-up services, mold remediation, and routine house cleaning, including duct cleaning and carpet cleaning. Give us a call at 812-242-9611 so we can get started today.

What to Do if your Dishwasher Overflows

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

If you are not paying attention, you may add more soap to your dishwasher than needed. When this happens, suds may begin to emerge from your dishwasher and can overflow into your kitchen. Both the suds and the water can cause water damage if you do not act quickly to stop the problem and clean it up. Here are the steps you should take if your dishwasher begins to overflow.

Step 1: Stop the Dishwasher

It may sound obvious, but the first thing you should do if your dishwasher is overflowing is to stop the dishwasher. Try and stop the dishwasher using your controls, rather than opening the dishwasher.

Step 2: Place Towels on the Floor

The next thing you should do is place towels on the floor. Soak up the excess moisture that is already present. Then lay a dry layer of towels down because more water will leak out once you open the dishwasher.

Step 3: Control the Soap

Once you have a dry layer of towels in place, open your dishwasher. Be ready for water and suds to stream out. You can pour salt over the foam and suds to help control them. If salt does not work, place ice cubes on the foam and let it melt. As it melts, the foam will too.

Step 4: Clean the Dishwasher

Once all the foam is gone from the dishwasher, run a quick rinse cycle. This rinses salt and excess soap residue from your dishwasher. Pay close attention to the dishwasher as it is rinsing. If an excess amount of foam begins to form and overflow from the dishwasher again, you will want to repeat step 3.

Step 5: Clean the Kitchen

As the quick rinse cycle is running, clean your kitchen. Take the time to properly dry and wipe down any surface that got wet. If there is an excess amount of water present, consider opening your windows or using a fan to dry the area thoroughly.

Unfortunately, you may not have been around when your dishwasher overflowed. Your cabinets, flooring and drywall may have sustained water damage if there is foam and water all over your kitchen. A water damage professional should be called in to remove water, prevent mold growth and repair anything that is water logged. Here at SERVPRO of Vigo County, we can help you with damage caused by your overflowing dishwasher. Call us now at (812) 242-9611 to get started.

How to Get Rid of a Smoke Smell After a Fire

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire, everything in your home may smell like smoke. Many textiles and materials absorb the odor, which can make it hard to remove. When possible, air out your home for as long as possible as quickly after the fire to allow as much of the smoke smell to dissipate on its own. After that, there are some steps to take to remove the smoke smell from specific materials.

From Clothing

The key to removing a smoky smell from your clothing is to act quickly. The quicker you act, the more successful you will be. First, soak the clothing in warm water with laundry detergent or white vinegar. Allow the clothes to sit overnight. The detergent or vinegar will work to neutralize the smell. Once the smell has been removed, wash and dry the clothing. Do not wash or dry the clothing until you are sure the scent has been removed, as it can set in the smell.

From Flooring

Flooring, including carpet, wood and tile, can all absorb smoke after a fire. The best way to properly clean your flooring is to call in a professional. A professional fire restoration company can work to restore your flooring and clean it, as can a carpet cleaner or tile cleaner. Hot water extraction is usually the best method for removing soot and scents.

From Your Walls

Unfortunately, after a fire, your walls can have a smoke scent that lingers. A professional should be called in, as removing the scent is not always easy. In some cases, the scent may actually be trapped in the insulation housed behind the wall. In other cases, the scent may be so embedded in the drywall that replacing the drywall is the best option. If the scent is faint and the drywall is in good condition, painting the drywall may help to remove the scent.

After a fire, it is well worth it to hire a fire damage specialist to come in and complete the cleanup process. Here at SERVPRO of Vigo County, we are committed to helping those who have gone through a fire get their home back. We can help with water damage cleanup, fire restoration and removal of soot and smoke smells. Call us now at (812) 242-9611 to get started.

How to Get Stains Off Walls

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Stains or marks on a painted wall can make it look dirty and worn. Unfortunately, removing stains from a wall is not always easy. Some items do not easily lift from the wall, or worse, the paint may peel or flake off as you try to remove the stains. Here are four common items that may be on your walls – and the best way to get them off.

Dirt

Dirt is the most common item to be found on a wall. If your walls are looking dull or drab, you may want to thoroughly clean them to remove dirt. Fill a bucket with warm water and a squirt of liquid dish soap and grab a soft cloth. Wipe your walls down to remove dirt. If you simply have one dirty patch on your wall, a Magic Eraser can help you wipe away that dirt smear or spot.

Crayons

Kids do not always color where they should. They may see a wall as a giant canvas. Unfortunately, the wax in crayons makes it tough to remove. Luckily, toothpaste can cut through the wax and lift the color. Grab a white paste toothpaste and rub it into the crayon marks. As you do so, the crayon should lift away.

Kitchen Grease

Grease is common on kitchen walls. The easiest way to remove kitchen grease is to fill a bowl with warm water and a squirt of a grease-fighting liquid dish soap. Grab a soft cloth and dab at the spot with the soapy water. The soap should help to cut the grease, ultimately helping to remove the stain.

Permanent Marker

Permanent marker doesn’t have to be permanent on your walls. To remove permanent marker from a wall, dampen a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and then dab at the ink spot until all of the stain has lifted. You may have to use multiple cotton balls to remove the stain.

Your walls should be routinely cleaned to remove dirt, dust, allergens and stains. But most people do not have the time to properly clean their walls. Here at SERVPRO of Vigo County, we can help you with your wall cleaning. Whether you have painted walls or wallpaper, we can properly clean your walls ensure they always look their best and are free of dirt and dust. Call us now at (812) 242-9611 to get started.

Don’t Let Your Pipes Freeze!

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

During the winter months, you need to be careful to ensure you do not get frozen pipes. Water can freeze in your pipes, causing problems that can lead to expensive repairs and costly cleanup efforts. Here is what you need to know about frozen pipes:

Why Your Pipes Freeze

When you turn on a faucet, water flows through your pipes and out the faucet. But when you shut the water off, the water that is flowing through the pipes sits there. When temperatures begin to freeze outside, it can cause the water in your pipes to also freeze.

Why You Shouldn’t Let Them Freeze

When water freezes, it expands. This can cause the pipe to crack or burst open. When the ice begins to thaw out, it turns to water which can then leak into your home, causing major water damage. Worse, if you do not know that the pipe has burst, you may turn on your water and cause flooding.

How You Can Prevent Them from Freezing

Frozen pipes can be catastrophic. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to prevent pipes from freezing in your home:

  • One of the best things that you can do is to insulate your pipes. When you insulate your pipes, it helps the pipes to stay warmer.
  • Another thing you can do is to set the temperature in your home no lower than 55 degrees. This helps to keep the pipes warm and prevents them from freezing.
  • If you are going away or out of town, you can allow the faucet to slowly drip to prevent the pipes from freezing. This ensures water is always moving, minimizing the chances of it freezing.
  • Lastly, you can apply heat tape to your pipes. If your pipes have frozen, you will want to turn on the faucets and use heat to thaw the pipes. A plumber can assist you with this.

If your pipes have burst, turn off the water right away. Then contact a professional to clean up the water as quickly as possible. The longer water sits, the more likely it is that mold problems and water damage can occur. Here at SERVPRO of Vigo County, we provide fire and water cleanup 24/7. Call us now at (812) 242-9611 to get started.

New Year, Clean Carpet

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

It’s that time of year again when the chances of getting your carpets dirty beyond the normal day-to-day pet accidents or kid spills increases with visiting guests and holiday parties. Here are some tips to clean up those unfortunate accidents before they take the joy right out of your seasonal, festive spirits.

When it comes to wine, consider serving white. Red can be particularly disastrous to light-colored carpeting. General rules for removing stains from rugs are to blot and not rub, which can ground the stain into the fibers. Here are some common household items and how they can help:

  • Hydrogen peroxide can remove blood.
  • Shaving cream is a great general stain remover.
  • Ice can remove gum.
  • Club soda is effective on beer and wine stains.
  • Grease-cutting liquid dish soap removes grease stains.
  • To remove wax from candles, place a white towel over and then heat with iron. Scrape the softened wax off with a butter knife.
  • For candy stains, remove with a knife then follow with a sponge dipped in water and mild soap.

Pet Stains

Pets are most definitely not a carpet’s best friend. Cleaning urine up before it dries will help immensely. Once it is dry, the odor will set into the carpet fibers. Place a few layers of paper towels, or a towel, on the spot to absorb the urine. Stand on the towels to remove as much as possible. Follow with a solution of 2 cups of white vinegar, 2 cups of warm water and 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Place the mixture into a clean spray bottle and spritz over the area. Let dry for about 10 minutes, then blot with a soft, dry cloth. For heavier stains, cover the stain with baking soda. Then pour a mixture of even parts vinegar and water on the spot, letting it dry for a few minutes and then blotting it up with a cloth.

The acid in pet vomit can stain quickly, so again, wipe up ASAP. Remove as much as possible with paper towels or a hand towel then blot with a clean, dry towel. Prepare a solution of 2 cups of warm water, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap and ½ cup vinegar. Dip a sponge or cloth into the mixture and apply to the soiled area. You may need to reapply and blot the solution a few times, depending on the severity of the stain. Once it is gone, remove the cleaner by placing a cloth dipped in clean water over the area and blot dry.

Odors

While family members enjoy deep, plush carpets underfoot, one of the drawbacks is they are absorbent and like to hold onto smells from spills, pet accidents and smoking. If your carpet smells bad, you may not have to replace it. A bit of extra attention and some common products most people have stocked in their households may take the offending odors away.

That wonderful cure-all that comes in the little gold box works wonders all over the house and is particularly useful for removing odors from your carpet. If a stain has left a lingering odor, try sprinkling baking soda on it and letting it sit. After a few hours, vacuum it, and hopefully, the offending aroma, right out of your rug.

Ramp up the purifying power of baking soda with some Borax, mixing them in equal amounts.

Smoke Odors

Pervasive smoking odors can be broken down by setting out separate bowls filled with ammonia and white vinegar. Do not mix the liquids because it will create a harmful gas. Allow the bowls to sit out in the room for 24 hours, then sprinkle the carpet with baking soda and let it sit overnight before vacuuming it up. Follow with a steam cleaner, filled with distilled white vinegar. Vinegar is an acidic cleaner that kills bacteria and removes tar and resin odors.

These do-it-yourself tips for removing stains from your carpets may help with some of the bothersome stains and odors that come from everyday wear-and-tear. But if they don’t, or when you are ready to get your carpets off to a fresh start for the new year, give us a call at (812) 242-9611.We can provide you with a professional, deep clean!

SERVPRO of Vigo County is a locally owned and operated leader in restoration and cleaning needs. We serve local communities in the Terre Haute, Indiana, geographical location, so we are part of this community too. We have the training, equipment and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs following disasters and accidents that occur in your home and business. We offer 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster. Call us when you need help in getting your property back in order and looking its best. We are part of SERVPRO, a trusted leader in the restoration industry with over 1,700 franchises in the United States and Canada.

Does Your Humidifier Cause Mold?

2/6/2019 (Permalink)

In many parts of the country, the cold winter months can remove moisture from the air, both outdoors and in our heated homes. This can lead to dry, and uncomfortably itchy skin as well as irritated nasal passages. Many homeowners find relief using a humidifier to add moisture back into their home air. But the use of portable humidifiers, which are prone to mold growth, always begs the question: are they helping or hurting your health?

One of the biggest concerns about indoor air quality in recent years, has linked mold, indoor humidity and chronic sinusitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, 96 percent of chronic sinusitis can be traced to a mold allergy. In previous years, it was thought humidity levels of 50 percent were ideal for sinus health, but that ratio has now been lowered to between 35 and 45 percent.

Another practice that is thankfully on the wane, is the practice of having cool-mist humidifiers in the rooms where children sleep. Increasing moisture to rooms of the very young carry the risk of generating high microbial and mold counts, which can cause several health issues, including asthma.

5 Humidifier Mistakes to Avoid

In an effort to relieve your dryness symptoms, you may cause greater health issues through the use of a humidifier. Here are some mistakes you want to avoid:

  1. Ignoring the humidity level achieved
  2. Allowing humidity to climb too high
  3. Not cleaning the humidifier properly or frequently enough
  4. Using tap water instead of recommended distilled, demineralized or purified water
  5. Letting water stand too long before changing it and cleaning machine

Breeding Grounds

Humidifiers are essentially breeding grounds for bacterial and fungi. According to the EPA, microorganisms often grow in humidifiers that are equipped with tanks of standing water. When the water becomes contaminated, it then creates a toxic mist that gets sprayed around the room. Breathing in this dirty air can cause a number of health problems, including:

  • Lung problems
  • Lung infections
  • Risk of asthma
  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies

The use of humidifiers is banned in hospitals because of the tendency to spread infections.

Mold Growth

It doesn’t take much for mold to begin growing. A home with humidity levels of 50 percent encourages mold growth. And humidifier use can quickly elevate moisture levels above that rate. Too much moisture in the air can set the perfect stage for fungus growth in your home’s carpets and walls.

SERVPRO of Vigo County is a locally owned and operated leader in restoration and cleaning needs. We serve local communities in the Terre Haute, Indiana, geographical location, so we are part of this community too. We specialize in water damage and mold-damage restoration. We offer 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster. Call us today at (812) 242-9611 when you need help getting your property back in order and looking its best. We are part of SERVPRO, a trusted leader in the restoration industry with over 1,700 franchises in the United States and Canada.

Holiday Fire Risks

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

Christmas Trees

One in every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. Be careful about the placement of the tree in your home, as well as lights and decorations that could potentially ignite. Always keep a close eye on the tree when it is lighted, and follow these safety measures:

  • Buy quality lights with a safety rating
  • Never use old lights with frayed cords
  • Use heavy-duty, safety-rated extension cords
  • Don’t overload your electrical outlets with too many plugs
  • Do not leave your tree lighted when you are sleeping or not at home
  • Place tree safely away from heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces
  • Do not let anyone smoke near the tree
  • Keep the tree hydrated with plenty of water

Candles

Sure, candles provide a certain ambience and can fill you home with wonderful aromas, but open flames can present a huge fire risk. The incidence of candle fires is four times higher during December than other months. If you use candles, never leave them unattended while lighted. Keep them far away from any curtains, bedding, kitchen items such as pot holders or dishcloths, or towels in a bathroom, to prevent a high flame from igniting nearby fabric. Also keep them away from open windows and doors to avoid the chance of a gust of wind knocking them over.

Children and Pets

Pay particular attention to young children and pets who can inadvertently topple lighted candles, ornaments and trees while playing. Keep lighted candles elevated so they do not have access. As children get a little older and curious, make sure matches and lighters are kept out of reach. Purchasing child-safety lighters is a good preventive measure. Never leave a child or pet unattended in a room with a lighted candle. Consider using flameless, battery-operated candles to be on the safe side. These can provide extra peace of mind during the busiest days of the holiday season when a lot of people are in your home, and you are busy cooking or talking with guests.

Keep the joy in your holidays by making sure you decorate, cook and entertain safely this season.

SERVPRO of Vigo County is a locally owned and operated leader in restoration and cleaning needs. We serve local communities in the Terre Haute, Indiana, area. We have the training, equipment and expertise to handle your needs following disasters and accidents in your home and business. We offer 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster. Call us today at (812) 242-9611 when you need help getting your property back in order and looking its best. We are part of SERVPRO, a trusted leader in the restoration industry with over 1,700 franchises in the United States and Canada.

Fireplace Safety

1/4/2019 (Permalink)

Nothing is better during the holidays than gathering around a warm, crackling fireplace to celebrate the season with family and friends. Just make sure your fireplace is safe and holiday-ready before lighting to decrease your risk of a house fire. Make sure your chimney has been cleaned, and that your damper is operating properly and open when lighting a fire.

Clean the firebox after each fire but retain a light layer of spent ashes to create a good based for the next fire. Remember, coals can remain hot for several days. When you remove them, immediately take them out of the house and store them in a fire-safe vessel. If you have a ceiling fan in the same room as your fireplace, run it clockwise on a low speed to redirect warm air from the ceiling into the living space.

Fireplace Safety Tips

There is an art to making a good and safe fire for your loved ones. Here are some guidelines:

  • Don’t overload the fireplace with wood
  • Use only clean, dry wood, cured for 8-12 months
  • Build the fire slowly
  • Never leave a lighted fireplace unattended
  • Make sure fire is extinguished before going to sleep
  • Remove dry spent ashes from fireplace and store outdoors in a fire-safe vessel
  • Keep any flammable materials a safe distance from the fire
  • Glass doors should be kept open when a fire is lighted
  • Keep a fire screen in front of fireplace
  • Keep children and pets a safe distance from fires with a gate
  • Place a non-flammable rug in front of the fireplace
  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working

Chimney Cleaning and Maintenance

  • When your chimney is cleaned of creosote buildup, make sure it is also checked structurally for cracks, missing mortar, loose bricks or any signs of deterioration.
  • Install a wire-mesh cap over the top of your chimney to prevent birds, squirrels and debris from entering.
  • Keep any tree limbs from growing near your chimney to avoid igniting.

SERVPRO of Vigo County is a locally owned and operated leader in restoration and cleaning needs. We serve local communities in the Terre Haute, Indiana, area. We have the training, equipment and expertise to handle your needs following disasters and accidents in your home and business. We offer 24-hour emergency service and are faster to any disaster. Call us today at (812) 242-9611 when you need help getting your property back in order and looking its best. We are part of SERVPRO, a trusted leader in the restoration industry with over 1,700 franchises in the United States and Canada.