Recent Posts

Bathroom cleaning hacks!

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

White bathroom with glass shower doors. Keep your bathroom clean with these tips!

How to Clean: Bathroom Hacks without Chemicals

Streaks & Spots on Glass

Between the drops of water that splatter on mirrors to those on your glass shower door, the mineral deposits left by water can be annoying. With just a few spritzes of a natural cleaning solution, these streaks can usually be wiped away with a little elbow grease.

Create your own natural cleaning solution with vinegar and water. Fill your spray bottle with one part vinegar to two parts water to make the best shower cleaner. Shake the bottle to mix the two liquids well. Spray your mirror or glass surface and use a clean cloth or newspaper to wipe from top to bottom. Use firm pressure (like with a squeegee) to push all the liquid down and off the surface! If it squeaks, you’ll know it’s clean!

Porcelain and Grout

Porcelain areas of the bathroom pick up gunk over time, so they almost always need a scrub down. Here are some ideas on how to get your grout, sink, or bathtub cleaner without using anything toxic.

  • Sprinkle the tub, sink, or grout with baking soda, taking care to reach all areas of the tub. Use a spray bottle filled with vinegar to spray over the desired area and let sit for a few moments. Scrub the area clean with a brush and rinse away with water.
  • Sprinkle the area you wish to clean with baking soda and then use a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide to create a foaming natural scrub instead.
  • Heat a ½ cup of vinegar in the microwave until it’s very warm (not boiling) and pour into a spray bottle. Pour a ½ cup of your favorite natural dish soap into the same spray bottle and shake it lightly to mix well. Spray liberally over the desired area, let sit for a few minutes, then simply wipe away.

As you can see, it takes only a few ingredients to keep your bathroom sparkling clean and smelling fresh. These items are often found around the home and easy to buy in bulk if you want to keep them stocked up at home.

Ceiling tile stains are a sign that you have issues that need to be fixed.

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

A large water stain on a drop down ceiling. Call the professionals at SERVPRO to get the job done right.

Water Stain on Your Ceiling? Here’s What You Should Know.

There’s nothing worse than glancing up only to spot a yellow ring or discolored blemish on your ceiling. This is a visible mark of water damage in your home, which can not be remedied with a simple coat of paint, as doing so can facilitate the growth of mold or mildew. Water stains should instead be repaired immediately in order to avoid further damage to ceilings. But before breaking out any tools, determining the cause of your stain can help in deciding the best course of action to take.

Common Causes

Several different scenarios can result in ceiling water stains. The first of which is clogged gutters. Full or clogged gutters are the likely culprit if you’ve experienced heavy or persistent rain. The second scenario is leaky pipes. Leaky pipes could run from a bathroom, air conditioner, refrigerator, or dishwasher if one is located in the room above the stained ceiling. Another common source is a caulking issue. If the caulking that surrounds your bathtub or shower deteriorates, water can leak down into the ceiling below. Think about any recent events that could have kickstarted the leak, such as yesterday’s heavy rainstorm or the last time someone in the house took a shower, as one of those situations could have led to your ceiling’s water stain.

Taking Action vs Calling a Professional

Verifying the source of a leak can sometimes involve drilling holes in the ceiling in order to search for the source, which may be uncomfortable for some homeowners. If the idea of removing the water stain on your own generates unease, hiring a professional may be beneficial. A professional can also get the job done in a fast, efficient, and cost-effective manner, as most homeowners are not equipped with the knowledge or skills necessary in order to repair a leak.

Sewer backup is a dangerous thing! Don't try to clean it up yourself.

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Inside a house house that has a sewer backup. The sewer is all over the floor and contents. We can help you make it "Like it never even happened"!

Sewer backup is a troublesome incident that causes a lot of hassle and disruption to daily life – it may not be as destructive as a fire or a tornado, but it presents a variety of health hazards and sanitation issues and may result in considerable property damage and serious personal injury. Therefore, sewage backup has to be dealt with quickly and efficiently – in the event of a sewage spill in your home, you need to evacuate everyone, turn off the power and water supply to the building, and call a plumber and a cleanup specialist to fix the problem.

Depending on the severity of the situation, you may be able to take some steps to limit the damage, salvage your belongings, or even handle the problem yourself. Have in mind though that sewage cleanup is a laborious and dangerous job, so do not undertake the task unless the spill is small and easily manageable.

What to Do After Sewage Backup

Regardless of whether you intend to use professional sewage cleanup services or attempt DIY sewage cleaning, there are some important precautionary measures to take as soon as you notice the problem:

  • Evacuate children, seniors, and pets and do not allow them in the affected area until it is restored to a safe condition;
  • Contact the utility companies that service your area and have them shut off the electricity, gas, and water supply to your home. If the spill is small and there’s no danger to you, you can turn off the power and water supply yourself (only if the power distribution panel and main water valve are safely above water!) – just make sure you wear appropriate personal protective equipment;
  • Open windows to ventilate the area;
  • Take any dry, uncontaminated items away;
  • Add small amounts of chlorine bleach to standing water – this will ensure some disinfection and prevent bacteria from spreading;
  • Notify your insurance company that there has been a sewage backup in your home and make sure you take several pictures of the spill, as well as the water damaged items and structural materials before the cleanup begins (you will need them as proof for your insurance claim).

As already mentioned, cleaning up sewer backup is a difficult, unpleasant, and risky task. Calling professional cleaners is highly recommended. 

SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth can cleanup your sewage backup. Call us anytime 24/7.

(217) 428-2371

We know how to handle Asbestos!

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

a man removing asbestos in an old home. Don't expose yourself to asbestos.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral substance that can be pulled into a fluffy consistency. Asbestos fibers are soft and flexible yet resistant to heat, electricity and chemical corrosion. Pure asbestos is an effective insulator and c an be mixed in to cloth, paper, cement, plastic and other materials to make them strong. 

These qualities once made asbestos very viable, but unfortunately, they also make asbestos highly toxic.

Asbestos hazards may occur during manufacturing of asbestos-containing products; performing brake or clutch repairs, renovating or demolishing buildings; or cleanup from those activities. Asbestos workers have increased  changes of getting two principal types of cancer: cancer of the lung tissue and mesothelioma.

Some materials are presumed to contain asbestos if installed before 1981: thermal system insulation, roofing and siding shingles, vinyl floor tiles, plaster, cement, putties, ceiling tiles and spray coatings, industrial pipe wrapping, etc. 

Testing for asbestos also need to be perform on commercial buildings. 

SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth can help remove any Asbestos in your home or property. 

Give us a call anytime 24/7 (217) 428-2371

Keep your pipes from freezing during the winter.

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Copper water pipe with water bursting out of it. Save yourself the headache of a busted pipe by taking steps to prevent it.

Did you know that your home’s water line can leak or break due to frozen water? Below-freezing temperatures cause water to freeze mid-flow through your home’s pipes. This can lead to a burst pipe or leaking water line. Also, septic tanks are more likely to burst when the dirt is frozen and snow is on the ground.

If you live in a location with hard water, sediment buildup in the water heater tank causes rust to develop. This rust is harder to get rid of during the winter.

Because of this, your family deals with contaminated drinking, bathing, and cooking water for months. These plumbing problems are a direct cause of winter’s harsh conditions. Sudden temperature drops, snowfall, hail, and other weather-related problems leave your home’s plumbing in a tough position.  

How To Prevent Cold-Weather Plumbing Problems

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Copper line that has a hole in it from it freezing. Prevent this from happening to you!

 Use the following precautionary measures to prevent plumbing problems:

  1. Lower the temperature of the water heater. When the water heater is first installed, plumbers turn its temperature to around 170 degrees Fahrenheit just in case. Yet, many homes don’t need that much steam and pressure.

    This winter, turn down the water heater between 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This prevents a burst or leak and reduces heating costs between 6 to 10 percent. Tip: To be more eco-friendly, contact an expert during the warmer months about installing a tankless water heater or going solar.

  2. Insulate pipes. After doing this, you pay less for hot water, and it’s less likely that the pipes will freeze. During the insulation process, look in the basement, crawl spaces, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom counters. These spaces may have unheated water supply lines. Both hot and cold lines in these areas need insulation to maintain higher temperatures.

  3. Drain water from the swimming pool. If you have a swimming pool, drain the water and the sprinkler supply lines by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

  4. Open and disconnect the outdoor hose bibs and allow the water to drain completely. Once completed, close the indoor valves and keep the outdoor valve open. This allows the pipe to expand without bursting. Store the hose in the garage or backyard shed for the winter.

  5. Install pipe sleeves, heat tape, or a heat cable for prevention. To save money, use newspaper to keep the insulator dry.

  6. Keep the garage door closed as often as possible if supply lines are present in or around the area.

  7. Remove harmful household chemicals and cleaning products from under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Open those cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing underneath the counters.

  8. Let the water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes when the weather is too cold.

  9. Turn off the water supply to your home to reduce pressure in your home’s plumbing anatomy.

  10. Call a plumbing professional to move any outdoor pipes. This provides less exposure to the harsh winter elements.

SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth is here to help our local community.

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees standing in front of a SERVRPO truck. SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth

1. Donate Your Time

One of the most effective ways of giving back is volunteering your time at places like your local non-profit, school, homeless shelter, animal shelter, etc. Your time is valuable and gifting it can make a world of difference in the lives of many.

2. A Random Act of Kindness for A Neighbor  

Volunteering your time and energy can help strengthen your neighborhood with simple gestures of kindness. Lending a helping hand to a neighbor who is juggling handfuls of groceries to moving a piece of furniture is a generous act that leaves a lasting impression.

3. Participate in Fundraisers and Charity Events

Finding a cause that you are passionate about can be great motivation for assisting or even creating a fundraising event or charitable activity in your community. 

4. Help a child in need

If you want to help a child in need, you can volunteer with organizations.

5. Volunteer at your local senior living community

Volunteering at your local senior center as ways to give back to the community can help prevent the feeling of isolation and depression among certain seniors. Some of the ways you can help include aiding seniors with daily tasks, keeping them independent and in their own homes. You can also volunteer to help aging seniors by joining organizations geared toward benefiting seniors in need.

Preparing for the Winter Weather

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Snow on a drawing of a thermostat. Preparing for the winter weather is key!

Don't we all wish winter just means snow days where we get to stay home and lounge all day in our pajamas, watch movies, and play in the snow?

Too bad that's not reality.

Winter storms can bring all sorts of issues for your home or business, so we have compiled some tips to counter those issues:

Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off."
  • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.

When winter weather strikes, SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth strikes back.

Black soot on your walls can be caused by burning candles in your home.

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Purple candle with smoke all around it with a black background. Smoke damage in your home can be caused by burning candles.

Insurance and commercial property management companies have noted an increase in claims due to black spot stains on ceilings, walls, furniture, content and HVAC filters from previously unidentified sources. The problem is referred to as “black soot deposition” (BSD) and, as research indicates, it is frequently caused by a common household decorative item.

There is no evidence of a sudden or accidental source for BSD, such as malfunctioning furnaces, gas water heaters, cigarette smoke or cooking by-products. Until recently, there was little compelling evidence to assign proper blame for the source of BSD. Tests have confirmed, however, it is very possible decorative scented candles are a primary culprit.

Low-quality candles often to blame

Research indicates increased BSD is often the result of candle manufacturers adding additional fragrance oils to their products, along with improper wick trimming by customers. Many fragrance oils are not suitable for combustion and do not burn cleanly. It also appears that many amateur candle-makers have entered the expanding market to capitalize on the current popularity of candles without proper training or experience.  The outcome is an abundance of low-quality candles burning in many homes and a corresponding increase in the frequency of indoor soot deposits.

Potential dangers to structure and health

The number of aromatic candle manufacturers, professional and amateur, grows each year. A number of these introduce candles to their product line without the knowledge necessary to produce a safe and clean-burning product. Chemical testing provides conclusive evidence that emissions from some burning candles contain more than twenty volatile organic compounds, lead and a significant amount of carbon.

Burning scented candles inside homes, apartments and commercial buildings can present serious health hazards to those living and working there. It can also mean damage to ventilation systems, furnishing and content. Evidence suggests breathing even one micron of particulate soot can be hazardous. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and American Lung Association (ALA) have determined breathing particulate matter 2.5 microns or smaller is detrimental to human health. These particles are dangerous because they are inhaled deeply into the lungs, causing irritation and respiratory problems. Those at extra risk include people with heart or lung disease, children and the elderly.

Ice Dams can create problems for your property,

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

Icicles hanging from a snow covered roof top. Don't let ice dams create problems for you.

You never know when a winter storm may threaten to bring ice damage to your home or business. Ice storms are hard to predict and harder to deal with.  You’re smart to take preventive steps to reduce or eliminate the risk of ice damage.

Of course, even the best laid plans to prevent ice damage may not eliminate all damage. The following steps will help you keep your repair costs down and allow you to keep your home or business as safe as from ice damage as possible.

Avoid what others do. Other people sometimes consider ice just a minor annoyance but ice can wreak major havoc to your home or business. Even small preventive measures can make a difference. If a winter storm is coming make sure you keep your windows shut, your water taps dripping, and your cabinets open. These steps can help prevent freezing and allow you to avoid burst pipes.

No more ice dams
When water freezes, melts, and then refreezes on the edge of your roof it can create an ice dam in your gutters and on the roof. Ice dams can cause water to leak into your home and damage ceilings, walls, insulation, and other areas. To prevent ice dams consider adding insulation to your attic. Keep your gutters down spouts clear. Be sure water drains at least 10 feet away from your home’s foundation. And make sure you insulate recessed lighting fixtures so they don’t heat up your attic. After a storm, if there is a large and heavy amount of snow (8 inches or more), remove it from your roof with a roof rake. Don’t use a regular rake, because you can damage the shingles and gutters.

Prevent ice damage from becoming water damage
Left untreated, ice can lead to major water damage. Water can quickly ruin your carpets and personal items. Water damage can also cause mold and make structural damage worse. Whenever you notice water on the floor or on your walls, make sure to call SERVPRO of Decatur/Forsyth (217)428-2371. We can quickly clean up any ice or water damage and get the area dried out to prevent or lessen the damage. Waiting too long gives the water chance to cause more problems, and you might even deal with more damage if the water freezes again.