Recent Posts

Keeping your restaurant carpets CLEAN

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Your restaurant’s nightly checklist must be followed to the letter in order to keep your business in great shape and ready for the next business day. Every item must be thoroughly washed and sparkling clean daily; the kitchen flooring, stovetops and ovens, utensils, pots and coffee makers…. And then there’s the front of house - bathrooms, host stand, and bar area with all your glassware that needs attention. But you and your team have it all handled, every day.

A lot of restaurants have hardwood, which must be frequently maintained because of things like high heels, spills and scratches. That’s why some businesses choose to carpet their floors. A nightly vacuum and some spot treatment can do wonders when it comes to mold prevention and other issues, but a deep clean is also a necessity occasionally to maintain the carpets colouring and improve customers outlook on your business. Because of this, it is important to have deep cleaning on your cleaning checklist!

Here at SERVPRO of Ajax, we are equipped to handle the toughest carpet cleaning jobs. Our business is experienced with cleanups from fire and water damage in both homes and large commercial enterprises, and mold remediation is one of our specialties!

Why keeping your business clean should be a priority

Those shows about failing businesses and restaurants are often entertaining and even humorous, at least to us as viewers. But they also highlight an essential detail that businesses, and not just restaurants, sometimes overlook: a clean work area. Though it might not be your biggest priority when it comes to your business, it sends a powerful message to both staff and customers. Here is a list of some of the benefits to workplace cleanliness:

  • It reduces the need to replace supplies and equipment as often. 
  •  It can help you find and fix damages before they becomes a problem
  • It can help employees avoid illnesses and positively affect morale. 
  • It gives your business an image and reputation of trustworthiness

Call us here at SERVPRO of Ajax for help with all your commercial cleaning needs. We are experienced in cleanup after water and fire damage, and mold remediation is one of our specialties! Our phone number is: 289-560-5124.

How to prepare your house for winter and winter storms

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

The Canadian winter is a frigid and long one. Luckily most of us have dealt with it for years and know what to expect. But, being comfortable with winter sometimes mean we get lazy and don’t properly prepare our home for the winter months. We can handle the winters, but can our homes? Here are some helpful tips to brush up on for when old man winter strikes.

  1. For heat’s sake have your furnace professionally serviced. A routine maintenance check each fall will help ensure your furnace is running properly and efficiently. Also, if you have an older thermostat, consider replacing it with a programmable one to save money on heating costs.
  2. Inspect all windows and doors for leaks. To prevent heat loss, make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed. Check the weather-stripping around windows and door frames, and replace where necessary. Also check for drafts and caulk both inside and out where necessary, to keep the heat in and the cold out.
  3. Sweep the chimney. Before you use your fireplace, make sure the chimney and vents are clean and in good condition by having your chimney looked at by a professional. This will help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide from building up and finding its way into your home.
  4. Clean out your gutters. It’s important your eaves are free of any debris such as leaves, dirt and sticks. Clogged gutters prevent the draining of rain and melting snow which could result in household leaks. Also, make sure your downspouts extend away from your house by at least five feet to ensure that water runs away from your house and not towards it.
  5. Inspect the roof. While cleaning your eaves, inspect your roof for any missing, loose or damaged shingles. If your roof needs attention call a roofer to help you with the repairs or maintenance. Also ask them to look at the caulking around the chimney and air vents.
  6. Turn off any faucets outside. Water left undrained can freeze, which can cause the pipes to burst. Disconnect your garden hose and drain the remaining water.
  7. Trim your bushes and trees. Make sure any overgrown bushes or trees are trimmed back away from your house and electrical wires. This will help decrease your risk of property damage and power problems.
  8. Pad exposed pipes in unheated areas. This is an easy and inexpensive method to help prevent water damage resulting from a frozen pipe. Even the smallest of pipes can cause a lot of damage. Pipes in the basement, attic or crawl space are some examples of pipes you may want to cover.

Why Your Business Should Have an ERP

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

As Alexander Graham Bell once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” This advice can easily be applied to all aspects of life, including your business. Anything from water damage to fire damage to storm damage can completely overhaul a business. 50% of businesses are devastated so much by these disasters that they cannot reopen. The other 50% are able to jump back into action because they are ready.

An ERP (Emergency Ready Plan) Is a way to prepare for these disasters before they strike. It is carefully devised, well-rehearsed strategy that tells you and your employees exactly what to do during an emergency. Knowing exactly what to do what you can expect in advance can help save your business from costly repairs. Your ERP includes:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise profile document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
  • A guide to help you get back into your business following a disaster
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Ajax as your disaster and mitigation and restoration
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin which saves you time and gets you back into business faster
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information

Learn more at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/gettingstarted, or call us at 519-460-5124.

Water Damage Timeline

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads quickly throughout, being absorbed into walls your property, floors, upholstery, and belongings, saturating everything in its path.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets and floors.
  • Documents, photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
  • Electronics in contact with the water are damaged.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants

SERVPRO Timeline

ONE – Within one hour from the notice of loss, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for service.

FOUR – Within four hours of loss notification, a SERVPRO Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services.

EIGHT – Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.

*Exceptions may apply under certain conditions, such as a local catastrophic event or storm situation.

What to do until SERVPRO® arrives!

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

After you have experienced water damage the first thing you should do is to shut off the water source if possible.  Once the water source is stopped contact SERVPRO® of Ajax at (289) 460-5124.  The faster mitigation begins, the less damage is sustained to your home or office.  While awaiting our services there are certain steps that can be taken.

  • Locate and stop the source as soon as possible, if the water is from an internal source shut off the main water valve
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Alert a restoration company to begin work as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
  • Begin documenting damaged items and removing valuables from the affected area. Do as thorough an assessment as possible of all property that has sustained damages from the event. Look behind appliances, lift carpeting, check the crawl spaces and make sure you are using a light source that allows you to see exactly what is going on.
  • Take pictures of all your findings, no matter how small. Once things dry out, you will have no evidence of what has happened, and that might be a problem.
  • Contact your insurance company representative to file a claim.
  • Document the claim number and adjuster contact information, this information will be critical for the restoration company to work with your insurance agency.

For Clean Water:

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Remove excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture o a safe placed.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water
  • Depending on the weather outside you can open windows to allow the humid air to leave the space.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.  Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.  Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

For Contaminated Water:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.  Wash your hands thoroughly if you encounter contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/ or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated items.
  • It is highly recommended to contact professional help as soon as possible if there is flooding with contaminated water as it can be very hazardous to you and your family’s health.

We are always here to help, where the water loss is big or small, clean or contaminated water and are a phone call away at (289) 460-5124.

SERVPRO® of Ajax has got you covered when storms strike!

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Canada, especially Ontario, is known for its extreme weather. Scorching hot and rainy in the summer and unbearably cold and snowy in the winter. When you live through these conditions, you know they aren’t particularly friendly on your home’s structure. Being prepared is the first step, but if restoration is necessary SERVPRO of Ajax is the company to call for any of your home restoration needs.

SERVPRO of Ajax employs trained water and storm damage specialists, water restoration technicians and applied structural drying technicians. That means we can restore your home or business and get life back to normal. Our list of storm related services includes (but not limited to):

  1. Mold Remediation
  2. Sewage Cleanup
  3. Carpet Cleaning
  4. Odor Removal
  5. Contents Restoration
  6. Move Outs / Pack Ups
  7. Electronic Cleanup
  8. Document / Photograph Drying

So the next time the lightning strikes or the snow rolls in, have our number ready in case the worst case scenario happens! Call 289-460-5124.

How to Prepare your Employees for a Fire

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

A fire is never something you expect to happen in your building, however it is something that strikes commercial buildings daily. With that being said, it is important to make sure your employees/tenants are ready in case a fire happens to occur.

First, it is vital that you have an Emergency Action Plan in place. This plan frameworks your employees’ responsibilities during any type of emergency – including a fire. Your Emergency Action Plan should contain:

  • Escape route map: Print out a map of your building and highlight the primary and secondary exits, the routes accessible for those who might be disabled. And where to assemble once safely evacuated outside of the building. Point out where fire alarm pull stations are located, as well as fire extinguishers and any other key items that are important in any emergency.
  • Evacuation policies and procedures: This should outline evacuation routes, crowd control policies, how to assist people with disabilities and how to report fires.
  • Special Staff’ Responsibilities: Decide where to draw the line on instructing employees to use fire extinguisher (if fire is small and contained) or to evacuate immediately. Some commercial offices require designated staff to stay behind to shut down critical plant operations for example. Make sure these procedures are in place if necessary.

We must always be prepared in case fire strikes, but preventative measures are always the best to know, to help prevent a fire before it can even start.

  • Keep up with routine maintenance.
  • Make sure there is enough ventilation when utilizing any cleaning products.
  • Get rid of any card board boxes/pallets regularly as pile ups tend to happen. This is a breeding ground for fire.
  • Make sure all hallways and emergency exits are clear just in case an emergency strikes and evacuation is necessary.

In order for your employees to be well aware of fire procedures and policies, ensure they are put through the right training such as

  • Fire extinguisher training
  • Shut down procedures (may not apply to all)
  • Fire Drills

Common Types of Mold in your Home

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold comes in all shapes, sizes and colours. Learn how to identify the type of mold in your home and develop a plan of attack for treating it.

The most common types of mold include aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra (more commonly known as black mold).

Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is regularly found in foods and in-home air conditioning systems. Cladosporium is typically a black or green “pepper like” substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. While this mold is nontoxic to humans, it can trigger common allergy symptoms, such as red watery eyes, rashes and sore throat.

Mold that looks orange or red is typically found outdoors, due to its nature to thrive on decaying plants and moist wood. This type of mold, which can appear slimy, is harmless and should only be removed for aesthetic purposes.

White mold is not technically a type of mold, but the good news is that this typically indicates the mold is only in the early stages of growth and can easily be treated.

Stachybotrys atra or black mold is a toxic mold commonly found in cellulose-rich building materials from damp or water-damaged buildings. When wet, Stachybotrys can look greenish black and slimy, but can also look sooty and black. It’s been associated with several symptoms which are highly controversial. If you find stachybotrys in your home, you must seek professional assistance immediately to remove it.

SERVPRO of Ajax is here to help with any mold problems you may have, whether toxic or non-toxic. Call us at 289-460-5124 for more information.

Key Signs Your House May Have Toxic Mold

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Despite what you may think, mold isn’t always visually seen or easy to find. Here are some of the most common warning signs that may indicate there is toxic mold growing inside your home.

Some of the most common signs of mold growth are:

-           Dormant allergies or allergic reactions

-           Aggravated asthma or other lung problems

-           Discoloured walls

-           Stains

-           Black spots

-           An increase in negative health symptoms such as a fever or feeling itchy

-           Musty, moldy odor

-           Visual indicators of mold growth such as greenish black areas, slimy textured residue, and even simple mildew are all signs that a mold inspection needs to be scheduled

If your home has had any issues with moisture, condensation or other water problems, you can be certain that mold has started growing. Thus, if you had or have any water issues, you probably have mold and should hire a professional mold inspector such as SERVPRO® of Ajax make sure your home is safe.

What to do during a power outage

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

What were you doing during the Northeast blackout of 2003 in Ontario? Just recently we celebrated the 15-year anniversary of the power outage that affected a whole province. Most of us didn’t have power for 2 days, some regions took nearly a week or two for power to be restored. Most of us were left struggling to live through a power outage during our hottest month of the year. If something like this were to ever happen again (even if it’s just for a few hours) make sure you are prepared. Here are a few helpful tips.

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows
  • Do not use a gas stove to heat your home
  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges
  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices
  • If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling – your local news organizations will provide you with areas with the appropriate amenities if need be.
  • Check on your neighbours

Before the power outage

  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity
  • Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out
  • Ontario recently just programmed alerts to go out on any electronic device to warn people of extreme weather and so on. Make sure you have received a test of these updates.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
  • Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Make sure you have enough non-perishable food and water
  • Use a thermometer in the fridge so you are aware of the temperature when power is restored. If the temperature 40 degrees or higher (4 degrees Celsius), throw food out.
  • Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tank full.

During power outage

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately 4 hours. A full freezer will maintain its temperature for about 48 hrs. Use coolers with ice if you need to and monitor the temperature of your fridge/freezer using a thermometer.
  • Generators, camp stoves and charcoal grills should always be kept outside and away from windows to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t use a gas stove/oven to heat your home.
  • Check on your neighbours.
  • If safe, go to an alternate location for heat and cooling – your local news organizations will provide you with areas that have the appropriate amenities if need be.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power surges or spikes may occur and damage your items.

After the outage

  • Throw out any food that has been exposed to 40 degrees (4 degrees Celsius) or higher for two hours or more, or food that has unusual odor, colour or texture.
  • If power is out longer than a day, throw out any medications that require refrigeration unless the label says otherwise.