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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Commercial Air Duct Cleaning Benefits

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Importance of Air Duct Cleaning Importance of Air Duct Cleaning

Why is Cleaning your Commercial Air Ducts Important?

The air ducts in your commercial building serve an important function, bringing heating and cooling throughout your facility as well as circulating the air through a filter, which cleans out some of the dust particles before reaching the rooms in which air is breathed by you and your employees.

Business owners are busy, countless daily tasks and emergency situations make paying attention to routine maintenance difficult at times.

Turning your attention annually to your commercial HVAC system and air duct system including performing scheduled inspections, maintenance and cleaning services is crucial to keeping your operations running efficiently.

There are many benefits to having our SERVPRO of Ajax commercial cleaning professionals perform an air duct, vent and register cleaning for you.

Commercial Air Duct Cleaning Benefits:

  • Reduce energy costs for your business
  • Reduce the potential for mold growth
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Increase air circulation and flow
  • Increase your commercial system performance
  • Extend HVAC equipment life

Whether your focus is eliminating contaminants, dust, debris, and other harmful pollutants to improve your buildings indoor air quality, or you want to extend the life and efficiency of your HVAC and air duct system; SERVPRO could benefit your business. 

Factors that decrease air flow in your commercial air duct system:

  • Obstructed condenser unit
  • Blocked vents and registers
  • Clogged filters
  • Blocked or leaky ducts

Our SERVPRO technicians have advanced training to help resolve potential air flow concerns and accurately clean and remove the buildup of dust/debris, contaminants, mold spores, and particulates circulating throughout your commercial air duct system.

Our crews use a variety of specialized equipment to overcome years of buildup and pollutants within your air duct system. Our goal is to provide a thorough commercial cleaning and remove built-up sediment and pollutants from your system, improving overall efficiency and indoor air quality.

Air Duct Cleaning Improves the Quality of Indoor Air

By routinely having your air ducts cleaned you can significantly decrease the number of airborne molecules in your office, all while avoiding weighty fees for other air purifying solutions. Air ducts, like everything else in our office, collect dirt and debris. While filters may catch a lot of streaming debris, there is still a considerable amount of dust that settles within the ducts.

Air Duct Cleaning Conserves Energy

Air duct cleaning provides a beginning in optimizing your duct function, a properly and thoroughly cleaned HVAC system, can reduce the costs associated with running your HVAC system and increase the useful life of your air conditioner and furnace. Performing routine commercial air duct cleanings removes obstructions and improves airflow, helping your systems to work better, faster, and more efficiently, all while using less energy!

Contact SERVPRO of Ajax to schedule an inspection and estimate for your commercial cleaning solution. Our crews have experience, training and advanced equipment to restore your HVAC system to optimal performance. Our SERVPRO commercial cleaning specialists are familiar with all types of commercial and industrial HVAC/air duct systems, give us a call so we can get to work, and you can start experiencing the benefits a commercial air duct cleaning service can bring to your business!

Tel: 289-460-5124

Fire Prevention for Homeowners

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Fire Safety

Fire Prevention for Homeowners

Fires affect thousands of Canadians every year, from accidents at the workplace to forest fires, and the impact of these incidences can be devastating. 


While we’re all aware that the flames and heat from a fire are dangerous and can cause severe burns, fires are also a mixture of fumes and toxic gases. I.E Carbon monoxide, a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas.

Basic fire safety begins at home, where a little bit of planning can go a long way towards protecting your loved ones and preventing damage to your property. 


The common causes:

  • Cooking
  • Smoking
  • Appliances
  • Candles 

Cooking


Cooking is one of the leading causes of house fires, as well as injuries from fire.  Adopting good habits in the kitchen is necessary for fire prevention: 

  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing while cooking - sleeves can easily get caught on pot handles.
  • Turn pot and pan handles inwards and towards the back of the stove.
  • Keep flammable objects such as paper towels, pot holders, and tea cloths at a safe distance from the stove and oven. 
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking, and use a timer as a reminder when roasting or baking foods.
  • When you finish cooking, turn off the stove burners, appliances, and oven promptly. 
  • Keep heat-proof oven mitts handy and use them when moving hot pots or pans.
  • Regularly clean the burners and stovetop - built-up grease can easily catch fire.


Smoking

Smoking-related fires often occur in the home through careless smoking: lit cigarettes left near combustible materials, a smoker falling asleep with a cigarette in hand, or improperly extinguished cigarette butts. Follow these tips:

  • Smoke outside.
  • Used butts should be stubbed in a can filled with sand. If possible, douse cigarettes and ashes with water before discarding.
  • Double-check that cigarettes and ashes are out completely before walking away.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used. Oxygen is an explosive substance, and can make fires burn faster and hotter.

Appliance Safety


Home appliances are another potential source of house fires, particularly old and damaged goods. Some simple steps to avoid electrical fires include:

  • Check appliances (like hair dryers and lamps) frequently for worn or frayed cords. Damaged cords should be replaced and discarded.
  • Don’t overload extension cords and wall sockets.
  • Don’t run cords under rugs or carpeting.
  • Use extra caution when using portable space heaters - turn them off when you’re away from home or plan to go to bed.
  • Inspect your furnace regularly.

Candles


Candles, when used carefully, help to create a cozy and welcoming environment and are especially festive decorations during the holidays. Just keep the following tips in mind the next time you light a candle:

  • Never leave a lit candle unattended, and children should not be left alone with a burning candle.
  • Store lighters and matches out of sight and out of reach. 
  • Teach children that if he or she finds matches or a lighter to tell an adult immediately.
  • Keep flammable items away from a lit candle.
  • A burning candle should be stored on a stable surface.

Smoke Alarms


As part of your home fire safety plan, set up smoke alarms around your home which will alert you and your family in the presence of a fire. The general rule of thumb is that there should be at least one smoke alarm for each level in your home, and where possible, smoke alarms should be installed inside and outside sleeping areas (such as in a hallway, the living room, and in the bedroom).

Other tips to keep in mind:

  • Install an automatic fire sprinkler system.
  • Sleep with your door closed as an additional barrier to a fire’s path.
  • Set up a home inspection.
  • Get adequate home insurance.
  • Educate children about the importance of fire safety - fire is a tool, not a toy
  • Create a Fire Escape Plan

With awareness and planning, home fires are largely preventable. It pays to learn home fire safety. Call SERVPRO of Ajax, 24/7 we are here when you need us! Quick to the site, quality service, highly trained team! Tel: 289-460-5124

Your Commitment to Clean is Clear!

3/2/2021 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

SERVPRO of Ajax is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

SERVPRO - Specialized Products

The Government of Canada recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectants with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products available to SERVPRO carry this approved emerging pathogens claim. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the Federal Government and provincial/local authorities.

SERVPRO - Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to guidelines set forth by the Federal Government. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces in all public spaces. Examples would include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces likely to fall under the PHAC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

• Kitchen/Food Areas
• Bathrooms
• Schools/Classrooms
• Offices
• Retail Spaces
• Water Fountains
• Shelving/Racks
• Sales Counters
• Carpets and Rugs
• Stair Handrails
• Elevator Cars
• Playground Equipment
• Fitness Equipment

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today - SERVPRO of Ajax at (289) 460-5124

SERVPRO of Ajax: 8 Tips To Boost Your Immune System

2/25/2021 (Permalink)

8 Health & Wellness Tips

Your immune system protects your body from harmful things such as bacteria and/or viruses that may cause illnesses. SERVPRO of Ajax wants to share 8 tips to help boost your immune system this winter!

To boost your immune system and try to stay healthy year-round commit to adding each of these lifestyle tips below into your daily routine! 

  1. Eat whole foods.
  2. Get plenty of sleep. 
  3. Move your body. 
  4. Stay connected to yourself.
  5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
  6. Manage stress.
  7. Speak to your doctor about supplements and/or vitamins.
  8. Avoid smoking and alcohol. 

Because we care... 

SERVPRO of Ajax

Tel: 289-460-5124

Everything You Need To Know About: Smoke Alarms

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke Detector Smoke Detector installed in a home.

Smoke Alarms - The Importance

Smoke alarms save lives everyday when properly installed and maintained.

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. For office and commercial environments, check your province requirements or contact your local Fire Department for more information. 

Smoke Alarms - Routine Testing

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every 10 years.

If the alarm chirps signalling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the battery immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Do not ignore the chirp of an alarm battery. That noise is an indication that the battery is low. 

Smoke Alarms - Commercial Buildings

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area.

Did You Know?

  • Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries
  • 7 people die every day from a residential fire
  • 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day
  • 7 billion dollars in property damage occurs every year

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department.

Be sure your home and/or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, please contact SERVPRO Ajax today. Tel: 289-460-5124

Top 4 Types of Storm Damage

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Lightning Image Are you prepared? Call SERVPRO Ajax today 289-460-5124

4 Types of Storm Damage

After a disaster, such as flooding, you will need to have a remediation company come and assess the damage. However, it is still good to know what types of damage to expect from different storms. Keep reading to find out the 4 Most Common Types of Storms.


High Winds


High winds are often associated with tornadoes and hurricanes. Severe winds can fall into the following categories:

  • Straight-line winds
  • Downdrafts
  • Downbursts
  • Microbursts
  • Gust fronts
  • Derechos
  • Bow echoes
  • Tornadoes
  • Cyclones

Damage from high winds can occur on your home, landscaping, and asphalt. Fallen trees and poles can damage your home. Additionally, winds can tear away window screens, siding, and roofing. 


Winter Storms


Winter storms include snow, ice, and freezing rain. Blizzards and heavy snow can cause damage to your structure, roof, siding, and gutters. Additionally, they can be associated with high winds. Ice and freezing rains can lead to water damage in homes.

Hail


Hail can happen anywhere. Hail damage is not always noticeable at first. It is often including cracked shingles, bent vents, and damaged gutters.

Additionally, siding can be damaged. The worst part about this type of storm is that the impact can damage structural materials. Hail damage requires an immediate evaluation. Otherwise, you could end up with water flooding into your home.


Lightning


Lightning storms happen everywhere and often bring fire damage. Even homes with a lightning rod could see damage to appliances, wiring, satellite dishes, antennas, communication lines, and steel structures. Unless your home is on fire, stay indoors during a lightning storm to avoid getting struck.


Storm and flood damage must be repaired quickly. Therefore, it helps if you know what types of damage are associated with different types of storms. Be on the lookout for flooding after any storm. 

If you want to be prepared for the next storm or need damage repaired now call SERVPRO Ajax today Tel: 289-460-5124. Let us do the dirty work for you and ensure it's done the right way!

 

Have You Prepared Your Storm Plan?

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Disaster Recovery Truck Disaster Recovery SERVPRO Truck

What Is Your Storm Plan?

Be Prepared If You Lose Power

If you or anyone in your household depends on medical devices that are powered by electricity, this is a first priority. Talk to your medical equipment company to find out what will happen to your equipment during a power outage.


Make sure you have extra compatible batteries for your flashlights, radios or any device that can run on battery power. Each person should have at least a three day supply of food and water, and more if possible.


Set your freezer and refrigerator to the highest temperature so that it can stay cooler longer if you lose power.

Have An Emergency Supply Bag

Food, water, medication and batteries are just some of the basic emergency supplies you’ll want to have ready in a nag that you can grab quickly before evacuating.

Take time now to make a list of the things you would need or want to take with you if you had to leave your home quickly.

Know Your Community’s Evacuation Plans

Many communities have designated “evacuation routes” and some even have evacuation zones. You will want to be familiar with these so if your local authorities issue an evacuation order, you’ll know exactly where to go.

Make Provisions For Your Pets

Arrange a place for them to stay if possible. If you are taking them with you locate hotels that are pet friendly and bring their food along.

SERVPRO of Ajax is here to help after a storm passes to begin the clean-up of your home or commercial building in order to get your home or business back up and running as soon as possible. For more information call us at 289-460-5124.

 

Do I Have A Roof Leak?

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Damaged Roof Photo of a damaged roof.

Roof Leak? What Do I Do Now?

When you see a leak coming from your roof, your first reaction might be to panic. However, there’s no need to do that, as there are many ways to clean up and repair the issue.

A roof leak can be hard to spot and handle, however, so you will want to reach out to repair professionals who can help you even with the trickiest of leaks. Beloware some steps you can take to address your roof leak.


Step 1:

Check for missing shingles. A missing shingle could be nothing, but if your roof is already leaking, it’s possible the felt paper that is installed under the shingles has been worn away. Unlike your roof shingles, the felt isn’t waterproof. However, this layer can ensure you have enough time to repair your damaged roof before the leak worsens.


Step 2:

Find the leak. When water drips on the floor of your building, it’s easy to think that it’s coming from straight above. Roofs, however, have several layers. Water has to go through all of these before landing on your office or warehouse floor, which means the drip is not likely to have originated right below the leak. If you want to find the source, go up to the top floor during the day and carefully check for moisture or water marks.


Step 3:

Call the professionals. Roofing work can be both difficult and dangerous. A roof leak can become a bigger deal than you expected it to be. Qualified professionals like your team at SERVPRO Ajax can help you tear et materials out to ensure that there are no other leaks, and then they can dry and disinfect the affected area.

If you’re dealing with roof problems in Durham Region/ the GTA remember that your damaged roof CAN be fixed, repaired and restored.

You don’t have to do it all yourself, but the most important thing to do is address the issue before it progresses into something more difficult and costly to repair.


For more information call SERVPRO Ajax today 289-460-5124!

 

The Canadian Winters...

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipe Photo of a Frozen Pipe.

Winter Storm.
Do You Know What To Do?

Winter Storms can include freezing rain, dangerously cold temperatures and fast, cold winds. Make sure to take precautions in protecting exposed pipes in freezing weather to reduce the chances of frozen or busted pipes.

Keep Warm To Fight The Cold

If you are looking for alternative ways to warm up your home, try these methods to brave the wintery weather!

  • Fireplaces
  • Electric Space Heaters
  • Wood Stoves
  • Using generators to restore temporary electricity

Have You Experienced Frozen Pipe Damage?

Nothing can ruin your day faster than finding out that frozen pipes have burst and caused water damage to your home or business.

Many people travel during the winter and return home to find that their pipes have frozen, and let go during the thawing process. With extreme weather conditions, it is not uncommon to hear of pipes freezing and thawing in short order. Pipes freeze when they run along the exterior of homes - often older homes - and become exposed to ongoing cold weather.

The temperature starts to affect your water pipes around 20 degrees below Fahrenheit. If left untreated, damaged water pipes can flood bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and even entire homes.

As winter clean up experts in Durham Region, we can help you repair or replace broken pipes and the mess created by those pipes.

How To Avoid Frozen Pipes?

If you have an older home, it is important to check for exposed pipes along the exterior or your home, and along the interior walls of your home. If they are left exposed, they are likely to become frozen during colder weather. With constant freezing and thawing, pipes can become weak, so that even when a pipe thaws, it could still break and cause flooding. 

Contact our office Tel: 289-460-5124 to have your water pipes inspected and adequately insulated to avoid any flooding in the future.

What Kind Of Pipes Freeze?

Homeowners may not be aware of all of the pipes hidden in their walls, behind panels, or even outside.

Bathroom and kitchen water pipes are usually top of mind because you see those water fixtures every day.

Swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and even outdoor hoses are often forgotten about during the cold weather because those items are not in use. Unless they are properly drained and stored, they can freeze and thaw creating damage, and they could even lead to flooding.

Indoors, homeowners often forget about hot water tank links, garage water supplies, and pipes that might be running through crawl spaces or in dark areas of their basement. While water lines are not supposed to run through attics, some homeowners install air conditioning units in attics, which could also freeze if installed incorrectly.

We'll inspect your home to make sure your pipes are properly insulated and stored so that they last for years to come. SERVPRO of Ajax wants to protect you from the effects of water damage, if your pipes freeze or burst, call us any time, any day and we will be there to help.

SERVPRO Ajax specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after damaging event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

We want our team to be part of your team! Call us at 289-460-5124 or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

 

SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan App

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Ready App SERVPRO Ready App

About SERVPRO®

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation.

SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Plan App

SERVPRO knows the time to create a disaster readiness plan is before you need it, they have developed the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for their facility, at no charge.

Evacuation plans and emergency supply kits help you survive a disaster, a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan helps you recover from a disaster. A quick and effective response helps minimize repairs and downtime, helping both businesses and families get back on track in less time, with less stress.

SERVPRO offers tools for both commercial and residential property owners to help them minimize damage and recover quickly from emergencies. The SERVPRO READY app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes.

Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO Ajax as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no-cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile and storing that profile in the READY app.

Even in the confusion and panic that often surround a disaster, a property owner or manager using the SERVPRO READY app can reach out for expert help right from the scene, using your cell phone.

SERVPRO Ajax specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers.

Call SERVPRO Ajax today for more information and assistance on the SERVPRO Ready App!

Tel: 289-460-5124

Your Local Cleaning Experts

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Here To Help - SERVPRO logo and closeup of virus Call SERVPRO Ajax for all your specialty cleaning needs today! Tel: 289-460-5124

SERVPRO Ajax - Here To Help

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of Coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centres or Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO Ajax!

Tel: 289-460-5124

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Everything You Need To Know About: Smoke Damage

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke Photo Smoke Damage? Call SERVPRO Ajax today!

SERVPRO Techs Have the Professional Equipment and Specialized Cleaning Agents to Help Homes After a Fire Loss

Smoke damage can be a very frustrating challenge to clean up on your own. The internet has a large number of DIY methods, but the truth is, if the incorrect cleaning method gets used on smoke residues, it can make the problem worse or cause the item getting cleaned to become un restorable. This type of cleanup is best to outsource to a professional restoration services company.

Is It True Fire Damage Can Leave Behind Different Types of Smoke Damage?

The ability to successfully clean up fire damage in homes hinges on the ability also to remove the smoke residues left behind. Some of the vital steps to smoke damage removal include:

  • The testing of the residue to determine the type
  • Use of specific cleaning methods and tools for dry smoke
  • Implementation of cleaning agents with solvents for wet smoke

What to Expect During the Fire Loss Mitigation Process

When the SERVPRO techs arrive on site, they get to work immediately to clean up the property. One of the first actions is containment around the loss area. This is necessary to prevent the spread of soot throughout the home. Then charred items without restoration potential get removed. 

Cleaning Techniques for Walls and Ceilings

Smoke residues left on walls and ceilings can get categorized into three groups, and each type has its own unique needs for cleaning.

  • Smoke webs appear in the upper corners of a room and look like black cobwebs
  • Dry smoke is light and looks like a fine, black powder on surfaces
  • Wet smoke is the most difficult to remove and has the appearance of an oily or greasy black substance that smears when wiped

Choosing the correct solution type is crucial. SERVPRO technicians perform testing on the smoke residues as well as the surfaces they are cleaning to ensure the selected cleaning agent does not mar the surface. The removal of smoke damage is often a multi-layered process.

For example, dry smoke residues should not come into contact with wet cleaning solutions as they can get driven deeper into surfaces and cause more loss.

In conclusion, fire and smoke damage can be a tedious job and must be done correctly. If you are struggling with this in your home or commercial property get it done the right way.

Call SERVPRO Ajax at (289) 460-5124 when you need assistance with the restoration of your property from any size smoke and fire damage. 

  End Proctoring

Does your business need to be cleaned?

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Commercial Cleaning - image of carpet Call 289-460-5124 for more information on SERVPRO Ajax' Commercial Cleaning services today!

Commercial Cleaning Services

As some businesses prepare to reopen after the most recent stay at home order, you tend to be welcomed by dust, cobwebs, germs, insects, and the likes. Many businesses are closed currently due to local pandemic guidelines as well. For sanitizing and disinfecting, and for grime, odour, and moisture challenges that are beyond the scope of your regular janitor, SERVPRO Ajax will make sure your commercial properties are cleaned thoroughly and left sparkling.

With our defensive pathogen cleaning program, we’ll make sure your business environment is disinfected and sanitized.

Our expert staff is trained at best to work with modern cleaning equipment to return your workspace to its very best.

Our Commercial Cleaning Services Include:

• Air Ducts and HVAC
• Biohazard and Sewage
• Trauma and Crime Scene
• Carpet and Upholstery
• Drapes and Blinds
• Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
• Odour Removal and Deodorization
• Vandalism
• Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
• Commercial Restoration
• Commercial Water Restoration
• Commercial Fire Restoration
• Commercial Mold Remediation
• Commercial Storm and Major Events
• Disaster Recovery Team
• Commercial Cleaning
• Building Services
• Specialty Cleaning Services

Get in touch with SERVPRO Ajax today to reopen your business to your customers in a safe, sparkling and refreshing surrounding.

Our team is only a call away.

Tel: 289-460-5124

Post House Fire? What To Do Now?

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fire Photo: Post Kitchen Fire

Simple Steps to take after a House Fire

When a house fire hits your home, severe damage can take place at a rapid rate. With so much sudden and shocking devastation, homeowners often feel at a loss for where to begin in the process of fire restoration.

After the fire is put out and the smoke has cleared, the following three steps should be taken to ensure quick and safe restoration takes place.


Call Your Insurance Provider


Once a house fire is contained and homeowners are free to go back to the property, the first thing that should happen is a call to the fire insurance company. Homeowners should immediately report the incident to their insurer to make sure proper action can take place in a timely manner. The insurance company will likely send an adjuster to the property to take photographs and document the damage that has occurred.


Steer Clear of Damage


A fire ravaged home can play host to many dangerous situations. Most homes suffer far more than just fire damage. After firefighters put out a fire, it is not uncommon for your home to have one or more of the following impairments:


- Ashes and debris
- Smokey air
- Water damage
- Unstable walls and floorboards

As tempting as it may be to scavenge your property for salvageable goods, it is best to wait for damaged property to be cleared. A home fire restoration service can clean and filter out dangerous fire remains before you set foot back in the home.

Hire a Service to Board-Up the Property


If your insurance company needs time to gather resources before starting the restoration process, you may wish to protect your vacant home. SERVPRO Ajax fire damage restoration team can board up windows and tarp roof damage right away to prevent further harm from occurring. Boarding services keep your home safe from outside elements and theft until debris and smoke cleaning can be completed.

Here at SERVPRO Ajax we are always ready to help in your time of need. Tel: 289-460-5124

SERVPRO of Ajax Technicians use science in water restoration projects

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

What is the science behind drying a wet home?

Flooding in your Greater Toronto home can quickly lead to full or partial submersion of your belongings and structure. While these traumatic events can wreck a property, professional water restoration technicians (WRT) can often leverage psychrometry to quickly dry out your home. Psychrometry is a science that relates to the balance of air, humidity, or temperature and how these elements affect materials in the house. Large quantities of water in an indoor environment can unbalance the natural psychrometry of your home. Using water restoration equipment, we can leverage this science to ensure your home dries quickly and that materials return to a preloss condition. Creating a dry indoor air through dehumidification can help draw water out of soaking materials and belongings. 

How does water intrusion affect materials in the home?

There are two main ways that water damage  affect your home. The first is direct liquid contact, while the second can be from water vapor- or water in the air. Liquid moisture is most likely to cause damages to the floors and lower walls of your home. In some instances, such as natural disasters, the soil around wall joints can loosen, which could affect the structural integrity of your home. Water vapor can also cause harm to ceilings and wall cavities through transfusion and condensation. Drying a property with the minimum amount of losses involves pumping out liquid water, evaporating residual moisture, and controlling water vapors from evaporated moisture. Balancing these psychrometric elements is essential to assure an efficient and correct flood restoration.

How does temperature affect water vapor?

  • Air can hold more water when it is hot and less water when it is cold. But using temperature can increase the relative humidity in the home.
  • When the air becomes saturated with moisture, it can no longer take any more water vapor, slowing down the speed of evaporation for wet materials.
  • The relative humidity is a percentage that tells technicians how saturated the air is with moisture in a flooded property and is read with a Thermo hygrometer

Why is relative humidity important to drying times?

Drying wet materials or belongings in your home relies on evaporating moisture. When relative humidity reaches 100%, the indoor air can no longer absorb water, which, in turn, slows down the evaporation process. Increasing the temperature by deploying portable furnaces or heaters in the affected area can reduce the relative humidity and ensure more water evaporates. Temperatures of up to 90 degrees can contain over 200 grains of moisture per pound (GPP.) Most of our drying equipment utilizes temperature to increase the efficiency of drying your home. Air-movers and water extractors both employ a heating element. Simultaneously, technicians can also create smaller drying chambers to make sure air is as warm as possible and evaporate floodwaters from the property quickly. Our technicians regularly monitor humidity to make sure that drying your home is as efficient as possible.

What is the difference between relative and specific humidity?

  • Relative humidity works out a ratio for how much moisture is in the air. However, these ratios are dependent on the temperature, which can vary.
  • Specific humidity is a reading of the actual grains of moisture per pound written as GPP.
  • Specific humidity is a useful measurement for how quickly the structure of materials in your home is drying and the effectiveness of dehumidification.

How does specific humidity relate to fast-drying?

When a flood occurs in your property, massive amounts of water begin to soak into materials and often penetrate below the surface level- especially for porous materials. Incomplete or partial drying of your home can lead to further issues such as microbial growth or long-term water damage. To dry a house completely, our technicians need to know the specific humidity. By taking regular measurements, we can understand the effectiveness of our drying strategy. In practice, SERVPRO technicians take readings from an indoor environment and the exhausts of our dehumidifiers. The readings from the exhausted air of a dehumidifier should be much lower than those in the indoor environment. We can use the readings to either deploy more or fewer dehumidifiers in the property and assure your home can return to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.

How do psychrometric readings allow technicians to predict drying times?

  • Having two measurements allows technicians to use a psychrometric chart to determine all other measures. 
  • Using a chart, we can control the dew point and vapor pressure in a flooded property to allow mitigation of loss.
  • Combining our measurements with material permeance can help us provide homeowners with accurate predictions on the drying time-frame.

Drying a flooded property is an exact science that can be practically applied to prevent further losses in your home. Contact SERVPRO of Ajax at 289-460-5124

You Need Trained Mold Removal Companies for Proper Remediation – Call SERVPRO to Address Suspected Mold Growth

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Bacteria, microbes, mold, mildew – these are words that no business or property owner wants to hear. However, there could be one or more areas of your Exeter building that are beginning to show signs of colonization. Whether you had a hidden leak or the inability to regulate relative humidity inside your commercial property, you need skilled technicians on the job to handle remediation. SERVPRO wants you to know that we have all of the training, specialized equipment, and protective gear to take care of your project from start to finish.

What Should I Know About Mold?

As a business or industrial space, it is vital that you know some of the inside information that mold removal companies already understand. When you feel as though you have a mold issue at your business, you should know the following:

  • There might be relatively strong, musty odors telling you that mold is colonizing under carpets or behind walls.
  • The onset of mold can become much worse in as little as 48 to 72 hours.
  • When mold is present, it brings with it the potential for health effects. 

Should you suspect a mold outbreak in your retail store, office, warehouse, or any other commercial location, it is crucial that you:

  • Keep people out of the affected areas.
  • Make sure that any fans or your HVAC system remain off.
  • Contact SERVPRO to send out a mold remediation team as soon as possible.
  • Never attempt to disturb or clean the mold on your own.
  • Never spray anything on the mold spores or blow air over the surfaces, as this can cause spreading as the spores become airborne.

When you call SERVPRO of Ajax, you can count on our crew to be your number one choice of mold removal companies in the area. Call (289) 460-5124, and we can dispatch a remediation crew to your property with the latest tools and Health Canada products to begin the job.

Homeowners Can See Expenses Spiral when Water Damage Strikes. SERVPRO is a Qualified Restoration Service that Can Mitigate Costs and Repair your home

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Why do wet properties deteriorate?
Water problems can degrade over time, causing extensive harm to your home. When dry materials are exposed to moisture, it can affect their structural integrity and promote harmful microbial activity. The combination of water exposure and microbial growth can lead to long-term problems affecting building materials, drywall, and fabrics in the home. If you discover water intrusion, it is vital that you contact your insurer right away. The first three days of a water emergency are central to the overall cost of restoration. SERVPRO technicians can enter the property, assess potential damages, mitigate losses, and begin repairing your home. A standard water restoration from start to finish typically takes between two and five days to recover with professional help.

Is rising humidity harmful to a property?
One of the causes of water damage in your home may be rising humidity levels. When large bodies of water enter an enclosed environment, it begins to evaporate. Evaporation leads to higher levels of humidity within an indoor environment. When this humid air comes into contact with cold, dry surfaces, it condensates. This condensation effect can quickly lead to ceiling, wall cavity, or upper floor damage. The more moisture in the air- relative humidity- can slow down the evaporation process overall, leading to more water exposure and a more extended restoration project. SERVPRO technicians typically bring in humidity controls at the first opportunity to mitigate further losses in a wet property.

What effect does condensation have on the property?
- Damp spots which can quickly become hotbeds for microbial activity, including fungi, virus, or bacteria
- Inner wall cavity damage which can stagnate, causing unpleasant odors and cracking paintwork
- Damage to drywall, insulation, or paintwork which is often discernible through discoloration

How does water restoration begin?
The first question that a professional water restoration technician asks is what is wet. We usually start at the source of water intrusion, which is generally identifiable as a slow leak, faulty appliance, or cracks leading to rainwater intrusion. From here, our technicians can work outwards to understand the extent of water migration. Sometimes it is necessary to use advanced measuring equipment to understand the scope of water migration truly. These may include the use of thermal imaging cameras or boroscopes. If a technician suspects that migration has reached wall cavities, we may need to perform a demolition to expose the hole and assess its insulation. Wet materials like insulation or drywall are typically inexpensive to replace and can be reinstalled by a qualified SERVPRO technician.

What equipment can be used to fix water migration issues?
- Structural cavity drying equipment like Injectidry systems can help to dry a property without requiring demolition
- Drying mats cover a large surface area and are useful for drying floors made from vinyl, laminate, or masonry
- Adaptations to dehumidification or air-moving equipment to allow hot, dry air to circulate into the home's hidden recesses

How do technicians know when a property is dry?
The drying of a property is an exact science. SERVPRO technicians use thermal hygrometers to measure the humidity of the affected area. We can then compare that to unaffected rooms as well as outdoor air. The readings taken from an unchanged room become the dry goal. SERVPRO can then use air-movers and other drying equipment to match an unaffected area's dryness with the affected area. It is equally essential for technicians to monitor the effectiveness of a drying system. Different properties have different shapes and architectures, which can all affect drying. By returning daily to monitor drying outcomes, crew chiefs can adapt the drying set up in your home for maximum efficiency. Tailoring our approach this way helps to ensure that you suffer minimum inconvenience following water restoration.

When is a water restoration project finished?
- When the dry goal of the affected area is met
- Once a SERVPRO technician conducts a walkthrough with you to explain outcomes and services
- After equipment is removed and any damaged materials are either cleaned, restored, or replaced

Can restoration services help with insurance?
Generally, a restoration crew chief works closely with an insurance adjuster. SERVPRO is a transparent, professional company that records any work carried out in a digital inventory. These works ensure that there is access to accounts in real-time. At the end of a service, our technicians can pass the details of restoration onto your insurance provider to complete a 'stress-free claim.

A wet home can continue to sustain damages after the source of moisture is contained. Contact SERVPRO of Ajax at 289-460-5124

Is my wood floor ruined after a Flood?

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Restores Flooring in Properties

Floodwater impacts virtually everything in its path, and unfortunately, your home may be in the track of an oncoming flood. The added element of contamination makes the cleanup process more challenging because of the additional protocols relating to floodwater. After technicians remove the black water with extraction equipment, it is time to examine your flooring to determine the level of damage. Our trained project manager or team leader scope the damage to your home before creating a complete restoration plan.

What Can SERVPRO Do to Save My Floors?

Technicians Use Equipment and Techniques to Dry Flooring

SERVPRO Uses specialized equipment after water damage in your home. SERVPRO technicians focus on mitigating further damage, such as preventing buckling, cupping, or permanent warping of materials. Hardwood floors require a moisture stabilization rate of about 12% before technicians can refinish them. The level and flat surface of the planks may require light sanding. If the floors are over-dried, they can splinter and become permanently damaged, and under-dried can cause moisture to sit and foster mold growth and the wood to rot. An effective extraction method for wood flooring is through the use of drying mat systems.

How Does the Injectidry System Operate?

This system is one method of using specialized advanced equipment for water extraction.

  • Injectidry or Dri-Eaz systems consist of a hardwood floor drying mat, which acts as a "tent" to create a closed area to increase the effectiveness of suction, and an extractor.
  • A single mat or multiple connected mats lay on top of the flooring, connected to the truck-mounted or portable extractor with a vacuum hose for excess moisture removal.
  • Technicians periodically check under the mats to physically wipe excess water and to ensure they extract the appropriate amount of water from the flooring and monitor the mats for moving them to optimize the extraction.

What Other Things Can We Do to Protect Your Floors from Further Damage?

  • Manage humidity in your home through the use of dehumidifiers and air movers.
  • Remove baseboards for adequate access to flooring.
  • Properly ventilate the impacted area by drilling small holes in the baseboard area and using tubing with the injecti-dry system for either positive or negative airflow.

For assistance after a flood, contact SERVPRO of Ajax at 289-460-5124. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Commercial Mold Damages

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

If your commercial building recently experienced water damages, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage, and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold.

  1. Get Rid of Moisture - This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.
  2. Protect Yourself  - You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, protect yourself by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask.
  3. Hire a Professional - The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds are properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money, and headaches in the future. 

SERVPRO of Ajax is ready to help you ensure your commercial property is cleaned and ready to support your business. Give our team a call at 289-460-5124

Why Realtors should choose SERVPRO of Ajax?

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Currently, we are in a time where the real estate market is hot. Houses are selling faster than they can be listed. We are seeing interest rates drop to an all-time low and what a better time to have an edge with a reputation for having quality listings whether it be a commercial or a residential listing. SERVPRO of Ajax understands that you want to move a sale through quickly to get your commission. How your listing looks is everything to a potential buyer and we can assist in making that happen. It doesn’t matter what shape or situation your listing is in, the SERVPRO of Ajax team can assist you in many different ways to make this sale is quick and the most profitable for you!  Our team can assist you in inspecting a crawl space/attic area for mold, water, or biohazard damage and fix this damage efficiently.  Our team can even assist in estate sales in the case of hoarder cleanouts with optional inventory itemization and cleaning services.   A SERVPRO of Ajax professional would be happy to attend your next sales meeting to discuss how to recognize the potential for mold and what to do in case of a fire or water emergency.

Commercial Damage Levels

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

One of the areas SERVPRO of Ajax has the capability to handle is commercial damage.

There are so many factors that can contribute to commercial damage occurring such as fires due to unforeseen circumstances, facility usage which puts wear and tear on your property, down to the most basic water damage. No matter the source of the damage, this downtime can be costly both to your business and your customers.  When damage at your commercial property happens, how do you know to what level and extent? Below we have a grading system we use to determine the level of which your property is assessed and categorized to begin mitigation.  

Level 1

Small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.

Level 2

Midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.

Level 3

Large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.” Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently. If you have damage at your Commercial property. Give SERVPRO of Ajax a call at 289.460.5124

Have you noticed this logo before and wondered what it stands for?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

IICRC logo logo IICRC

The IICRC, which stands for The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, is a not-for-profit organization that offers a certification program and set of standards for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries to adhere to.  These standards exist not only to protect consumers, but also the professionals who work in these various industries.  Because many customers look for the certifications that the IICRC provides, it was crucial for us at SERVPRO of Ajax to be a certified IICRC firm.  As one of their certified firms, we have the right to display their logo and you can find us on their Global Locator here.

24/7 365 days

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO of Ajax is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year for any water emergency (disastrous or minor) that you might experience?  In dealing with water damage, time is of the essence!  Even a delay of just a few hours can allow the damage to increase exponentially!  

We Answer and are Ready to Help

289-460-5124

When you call, know that we will do our best to help you as fast as possible, understanding that you are likely upset and stressed!  Be rest-assured that we will guide you through the crisis.  SERVPRO of Ajax has specific water damage training, experience and ultimately, expertise to help you as you navigate - you might even say that water damage restoration is in fact the cornerstone of our business!

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO pros may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Flooding

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water from floods and even smaller puddles in your Greater Toronto area home can become a source of disease and possible electrocution.  All kinds of things can be found in standing water such as animal waste, rotted plants, downed power lines, household waste, sewage and even wild animals.  If the water damage is inside your home, immediately turn off the electricity to your home and watch for any sources that might be contributing to accumulating debris, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.

To help reduce your risk to certain hazards associated with floods, SERVPRO of AJAX suggests:

  • Don’t drive in flooded areas
  • Stay out of floodwater to prevent yourself from getting sick.
  • If you come into contact with floodwater,
  • Wash the area with soap and water as soon as you can
  • Use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer
  • Wash clothes in hot water and detergent
  • If you must enter floodwater, try to protect yourself by wearing rubber boots and gloves
  • Be wary of sharp objects in floodwater.  
  • If you are wounded, see a medical professional to determine whether or not you might need a tetanus booster
  • Do not eat or drink anything contaminated by floodwater
  • Do not let children play in floodwater

If you find yourself dealing with any type of water damage, contact SERVPRO of Ajax right away at (289)460-5124.  We will be there and make your disaster “Like it never even happened.”

Choose SERVPRO of Ajax for your fire damages

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Too often in life, those things we think won’t happen...well, sometimes they do just that, they happen. The fires in our local area have been nothing less than devastating. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of you who have been affected. Please know that we are here and we care. Let us help ease the burden of recovery; we'll bring the bags, the rags, the vacuums, the masks, and the paint…we'll help you get back. We offer exterior power washing slurry cleaning, interior smoke and odor air quality control, negative air machine rentals, carpet cleaning, ozone and hydroxyl treatments, contents cleaning, fire damage restoration/reconstruction and more!

If the unimaginable happens, we will be there to help. SERVPRO of Ajax will send technicians who are experts in fire restoration. Soot and smoke damage are things we understand. Please be safe!

Call us at 289-460-5124 and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Asbestos Awareness

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

Many buildings contain asbestos, which was used in spray-applied fire retardant, Boiler pipe insulation, and in a variety of other materials. Structural components like asbestos panels were also used. Abestos ceased to be used in construction material after 1986. The only way to be sure is to remove a sample and have it tested by a competent laboratory.

Types of Asbestos

Amphibole and serpentine.

Amphibole Asbestos

Amphibole asbestos fibers have a straight, jagged shape. There are five recognized types:

  • Crocidolite
  • Amosite
  • Anthophyllite
  • Tremolite
  • Actinolite

Serpentine Asbestos

Serpentine asbestos fibers are curly. There is only one kind: Chrysotile, which is also known as “white asbestos.”

  • Chrysotile

SERVPRO provides abestos remediation type 1, 2, 3. We can safely remove the Asbestos and ensure safe removal compliant with provincial regulation for remove and proper disposal. 

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 289-460-5124.

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.

How to use a Fire Extinguisher

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

It may seem like a simple thing, but, when you are under the pressure of a situation which requires the use of a fire extinguisher it may be harder then you think. Read these simple instructions so that you know how to use a fire extinguisher and can respond quickly in case of a fire.

Always remember PASS

Pull the pin in the handle

Aim at the base of the fire

Squeeze the lever slowly

Sweep side to side

Know the different types of fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers come in different types, and each of these types are used for putting out different types of fires.

Class A - Ordinary solid combustibles like wood, cloth and paper products. 

Class B – Flammable liquids and gasses

Class C – Electrical fires (Do not use water to put out these fires as there is a risk of electrocution)

Class D – Flammable metals

Class K – Oils and grease fires

If the time comes to use a fire extinguisher, follow these guidelines:

  • Only use a fire extinguisher if you are taller then the fire. Extinguishers are meant for the early stages of a fire, if the fire is taller then you the extinguisher won’t be enough, get out of the house and call 911.
  • Make sure the extinguisher you have is for the right type of fire. And ABC extinguisher will work on kitchen grease fires, but an A extinguisher could make the problem worse as it is essentially only pressurized water.
  • Make sure the fire extinguisher is still pressurized. Check the gauge, if the needle is in the green you are good, but if not, you won’t have enough pressure to put out the fire, so get out and call 911.
  • Position yourself with your back to an unobstructed exit so that you can get out quickly if you need to. Make sure you know your fire extinguishers range before hand, and position yourself accordingly, you want to be far enough that you aren’t in danger of being burned, but close enough that the discharge will be effective.
  • Use PASS (see above)
  • Never turn your back on the fire even after it’s been extinguished. There may be hot spots of hidden flames that could ignite again at any moment.

How to Prevent Water Damage to your Commercial Business

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

As demonstrated by the recent flooding in Toronto and surrounding areas, water can seriously damage property. The cost to fix water damage can be very expensive and in some cases not covered by your insurer. That is why it is always best to take the preventative measures to protect your business property from any sort of water damage. Here are three helpful tips on how to go about protecting your business.

  1. Research information

-           Your municipality’s website might have info on flood and sewer back-up prevention programs whose costs may be tax-deductible.

  1. Sewer back-up prevention

-           Disconnect weeping tiles and install a backwater valve and sump pump

-           Make sure there’s a secondary energy source (battery or generator) for your sump pump in case of power failure

-           Detach the foundation drain from the sanitary sewer

-           Disconnect the eaves troughs and foundation drains from the sewer system

  1. Waterproof building structures

-           Regularly inspect your roof and eaves troughs

-           Regularly inspect walls and windows

-           Check basements for mold, water staining, cracks in the walls and make sure drainage systems are working properly

-           Check plumbing regularly to make sure theres no leaking fixtures/joints, and irrigation systems aren’t spraying water on foundation walls

-           Make sure the fixtures attached to exterior walls are waterproofed, and drain any standing water on the exterior

-           Make sure any inventory is kept off the ground in water/air proof containers whenever possible

Roof Leaks and Mold

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Knowing how to care for your roof can protect you against multiple things: water damage, mold, critters and so on. An aged roof may contain worn or broken shingles, which can lead to leaks inside your home. If you don’t check on your roof regularly, leaks can go unnoticed for a significant period and can not only cause water damage, but also mold growth. Intermittently checking up on your roof and attic can help you catch small problems before they turn into big ones.

How long does a roof last?

Obviously replacing your entire roof is a major expense, and because of this, most homeowners want to prolong their roof’s life for as long as possible. If water infiltration starts to become a problem, you may be wondering whether it’s time to replace your shingles. A lot of roofs wear unevenly due to sun damage, exposure to natural elements like wind and improper installation. In these instances, you might need to replace part of your roof before its lifespan is complete. Climate is also a big factor when it comes to lifespan. The average asphalt shingle roofs last approximately 20 years. Replacing your entire roof ranges around $7000-$10,000.

How to care for and maintain your roof

Because of the dangers of working at heights, roof maintenance should only be done by professionals. With that being said, as a homeowner you should keep thorough records of maintenance, warranty information and roof inspection record. If shingles or fallen debris end up in your yard, keep them to show your contractor. Typically, a roof inspection includes: a visual inspection of the roof, a check on seals around areas where water could potentially come through and identifying damaged or worn out shingles. As a homeowner you should: clean out your gutters, trim back or remove any trees that are at risk of hitting your home, and properly seal roof openings such as skylights, chimneys and vents.

Signs of a roof leak

 Often, signs of your roof leaking can appear out of no where. There’s a chance you may notice the first trickle during heavy rain, or a damp spot on the ceiling. A roof leak can also be detected when yellow or brown stains appear on your drywall/ceiling. Leaking through the fireplace is also a good detection of a leak, as well as warped woodwork. If you sense a musty odor, that is an indication that mold may be present – which ultimately was probably caused by a leak.

What to do if your roof leaks

If your roof is leaking, you should first take immediate action to prevent damage to the interior of your home. If water is dripping, place a bucket under the leak to preserve your fabrics and wood. After you do this, speak with SERVPRO® of Ajax to determine where the leak is coming from. All roof inspections and repairs should be done by a professional because of safety concerns. Your consultant at SERVPRO® of Ajax will recommend the best course of action to repair your home and prevent any future water damage or mold invasion. 

If you suspect mold

Dampness leads to mold. That is why it is important to treat a leak as soon as you find it. Mold can cause damage to your home and cause health issues for those living in your home.  In addition to drywall damage, the insulation behind the walls may be wet or moldy. Mold may also damage the wood underneath your roof shingles. Left untreated, indoor dampness and sitting water associated with roof leaks can lead to problems with mold and should be taken care of as soon as possible. If you’re unsure whether you have a mold problem, you can schedule a free home inspection with SERVPRO® of Ajax. If we find mold, we will let you know what’s involved in removing it and give a price quote. We work with insurance companies to leave you feeling at ease.

Use a Professional Water Restoration Company!

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Imagine, you come home from work, running errands or even from vacation, only to find your basement is flooded! Your initial response may be to try and fix the issue yourself, but before you do, check our “Three types of contaminated water” article. If you have grey or black water, it is highly recommended you contact a professional ASAP, and remember, clean water can turn into greywater in less then 24 hours.

So, do you call your general contractor or a disaster restoration company? There are a few important differences between contractors and professional Water Restoration Companies. As a professional Restoration Company, we try to restore, rather than replace, whenever possible.

 Most contractors are not certified in drying and cleaning water damage to industry standards, so they tend to replace everything that is affected. This will often will include all flooring, walls, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO® of Ajax technicians are certified in drying and cleaning water damage to industry standards. We will not remove materials unless it is necessary. The average time to dry is 3 days, this prevents further interruption to your daily life and saves you money. We try to mitigate the water damage and restore when possible. Restoring your home is more cost efficient than replacing materials in your home.

 Call SERVPRO® of Ajax! We are available 24/7 for emergency water losses!

Homeowners insurance and storm damage: what is covered?

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

You should always be aware of your homeowner’s insurance and what it covers exactly. A lot of homeowners find themselves dealing with a storm in which their home was affected, and only realizing after the fact that their insurance does not cover it. It’s always a good idea to add extra coverage if your insurance doesn’t cover certain things, especially if you live in an area prone to extreme weather conditions. Just to give you an idea, here is what a leading insurance covers in terms of storm coverage for general home owners insurance.

Water and Ice Damage

  • Whether it is a summer thunderstorm, or a roof covered in ice, water can damage a home. While ice and hail damage are typically covered by homeowner’s insurance – up to certain limits which are stated in your policy – coverage for water damage varies depending on the cause. Do some research on what your limits are and how much coverage you get in all scenarios possible.

Lightning strikes and power surges

  • If lightning strikes your home or other structure under your policy, the resulting damage (usually fire or smoke damage) is typically covered by home owner’s insurance. Certain policies also provide coverage for power surges and outages (which are a result of a lightning storm), such as damaged electronics or appliances. Some even cover spoiled food during a power surge. Limits apply as with any coverage so make sure you keep track of what is and what isn’t covered.

Wind, Hail and Fallen Trees

  • If a massive storm floats through your area, you may find your siding damaged by hail or shingles damaged or ripped off your home. Homeowners insurance typically covers wind damage. It also usually covers damage from hail, wind-driven rain or snow that finds its way into your home from damaged roof or wall by wind. Most policies also offer coverage for fallen trees that damage your home.

Earthquakes

  • Damage caused by earthquakes is typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance. It is usually covered through a separate policy is you wanted to add it to your current coverage. Though we are not prone to earthquakes in Ontario, it doesn’t hurt to investigate adding it into your policy.

Flood

  • Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage whether due to rain or an overflowing river. After seeing how much flooding we have dealt with this summer in Toronto, flood insurance may be something you would want to add into your coverage.

Getting to know what is covered under your homeowner’s insurance and what you potentially need to add on, will potentially save you thousands of dollars in restoration fees if you happen to be affected by storm damage that is not covered. The more research you do, the better prepared you are for nature’s not so pleasant side.

How to build a safe campfire

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

Summers in Ontario call for cottage and campfires. In any weather, dry and wet, campfires can lead to hazardous situations. That is why it is a good idea to brush up on safety tips to know exactly how to go about creating and maintaining a campfire. The following are some safety tips created by the Ontario government.

  1. Choose a site

-              Pick a site close to a water source and sheltered from the wind

-              Build your fire on a rock surface or bare dirt

-              Build your fire at least 3 metres away from logs, stumps, trees and overhanging branches

-              Build your fire 15 metres away from buildings or tents

  1. Prepare the site

-              Clear a space (about 2 metres wide) for the fire

-              Remove pine needles, grass, leaves and twigs

-              Scrape the area right down to the soil

-              Ensure you have a pail of water and a shovel to control the fire

  1. Build your campfire

-              Keep your fire small – it shouldn’t be bigger than one metre high and one metre wide

-              Small fires are safer, easier to control, and easier to put out

-              A small fire will also keep cooking tools from blackening and let you get close enough to cook

  1. Stay nearby

-              Never leave a campfire unattended

-              If you start a campfire, you are responsible for tending it, ensuring it is kept under control, and putting it out

  1. Put the fire out

-              Pour lots of water on the campfire

-              Stir the ashes with a stick

-              Pour more water over top of it

-              Repeat the 3 steps until the ashes don’t hiss, everything looks wet and there’s no more smoke coming from the ashes

How to Prevent Mold in a Commercial Building

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

When owning a commercial property, mold isn’t a top priority when it comes to all the other stuff that goes into it. However, when ignored for so long, mold can become one of your major problems without you knowing it. That’s why you should brush up on preventative measures, to ensure you don’t run into the costly problem of mold.

  1. Stay vigilant: Mold can be sneaky, growing in places you may never have thought. Create a routine inspection plan, specifically searching for signs of mold or where mold might grow: damp surfaces, high moisture areas, spotty or fuzzy stains on walls, floors, and carpeting, and musty smells. If you employ janitorial staff or contract this work out, request to be notified of any moldy areas or areas where mold could grow.
  2. Make repairs: Cracked foundations, leaky roofs, and unsealed windows and door frames are all problems ready to cause mold to grow. Repair building issues as soon as they occur, and always try to catch leaks and water damage before the wetness can lead to a moldy disaster.
  3. Decrease moisture: The climate or geographic location in which your commercial building resides may mean humidity is always at a high. Since damp air makes it easy for mold to grow, consider installing dehumidifiers, or running smaller units in basements, attics, and such to help keep things dry.
  4. Clean at the core: Your building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) can increase the blowing around of mold spores. While it may not be 100 percent stoppable, you can reduce the transfer of spores by making sure the HVAC system and ducts are regularly cleaned and maintenance.
  5. Bring in a pro: Every commercial building’s needs are different, so sometimes to effectively prevent mold from growing, you need a mold remediation specialist, such as SERVPRO® of Ajax to custom tailor a plan to fit your structure. Working with a mold remediation specialist can help ensure that any existing problems are responded to quickly and that moving ahead, you’ll stay free and clear of mold-related damage and health concerns.

How to prevent mold in your home

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Mold. Yuck. It’s not a pretty topic.

Yes, mold can be good and is necessary for the decomposition of organic matter in nature — but it can also be very, very bad, especially when it grows undetected in your home.

Mold spores spread easily and cannot be completely eradicated. And, it can grow anywhere, which is kind of scary. Not only is a mold problem difficult and costly to fix, but mold can also produce allergens and irritants that may compromise your health.

The best way to approach mold is to prevent, before having to restore and the key to this is moisture control.

Here are nine ways to avoid moisture indoors, and the mold that prospers in it.

  1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them.

-           There’s no way to mold-PROOF your home, but you can make it mold-RESISTANT. Check the problem areas in your home. Any water stains on your ceiling? Wetness in your basement? Frequent condensation on your bedroom window? Preventing a mold build-up can be as simple as ripping up a carpet in a damp basement or replacing a window. It can also be more of a major excavation. Addressing the problem now will save you a large amount of money down the line.

  1. Dry wet areas immediately.

-           Moisture is mold’s best friend, so confront wet areas immediately. Whether the moisture is caused by floods or even just leaving wet clothes in the laundry, mold does not pick and choose it’s battles. Dry any wet areas right away, even if it’s just a spill. Hang them to dry or put them in the dryer straightaway. Mold is preventable if moisture is tackled properly.

  1. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation.

-           Your everyday routine could be what encourages mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn’t invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture – clothes, dryers, stoves – to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers. Open windows while cooking, washing dishes or showering, or run a fan.

  1. Equip your home with mold-resistant products.

-           Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock and mold inhibitors for paints. Of course, these are solutions that coincide more with building a new home or renovating an old one, but if you are doing so – these preventative measures work wonders.

  1. Monitor Humidity indoors.

-           The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity using a moisture meter which can be bought at any local hardware store. You can also detect humidity by keeping an eye out for potential problem areas in your home. A good way to tell is seeking condensation on windows, pipes and walls. If you notice this, dry the surface immediately and address the source.

  1. Direct water away from your home.

-           If the ground around your home isn’t sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.

  1. Clean or repair roof gutters.

-           A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking due to full or damaged gutters. Regularly clean and inspect your roof gutters. Keep an eye out for water stains after storms.

  1. Improve air flow in your home.

-           According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air can hold less moisture. Excess moisture can appear on your walls, windows and floor if there is bad air flow in your home. To increase circulation, and open door between rooms, move furniture away from walls. Fresh air is a great way to reduce moisture.

  1. Keep mold off household plants.

-           Mold loves plants. The moist soil in indoor plants is a breeding ground for mold. You don’t have to get rid of these beautiful plants that keep your air clean, just add Teheebo tea to the water you give to the plants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rain forests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.

The Three Types of Contaminated Water

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Category 1: "Clean Water"

Category 1 water is from a clean source and does not post and immediate health threat. Clean water home floods are generally safe for you to clean up yourself but remember--time is an important factor. Standing clean water can become greywater in as little as 48 hours depending on the temperature and surrounding contaminants. Another thing to keep in mind is mol growth, although clean water can be mopped/wiped up, it’s best to contact a professional to dry out the area the prevent mold growth and attempt to restore any damaged items.

Clean water flood sources:

  • Broken water line
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Melting snow and rainwater
  • Broken or leaking pipe
  • Sink overflow
  • Ice maker supply line

Category 2"Grey Water"

Category 2 water refers to wastewater that is not contaminated with fecal matter yet is still contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. If you experience a home flood with greywater, be cautious when beginning the cleaning process and begin immediately as greywater can become blackwater in as little as 48 hours. Wear protective gear such as rubber boots and gloves, and keep children, pets and individuals with a compromised immune system away from the flooded are. It is advisable to hire a professional to safely clean and decontaminate when there is greywater, as it may contain harmful bacteria and viruses.

Grey water flood sources:

  • Sink back up
  • Sump pump
  • Roof leak
  • Leaking air conditioner
  • Washing machines, dishwasher, water heaters
  • Toilet with urine but no feces

 Category 3"Black Water"

Category 3 water refers to wastewater contaminated with human waste or other fecal matter, and could cause severe illness or death if ingested; any contact should be avoided. Blackwater is a haven for dangerous bacteria and pathogens. It can also be contaminated with dissolved chemicals and particulates, making contact even more dangerous. Blackwater floods are the most dangerous and the most destructive. Because of the grossly unsanitary conditions of the water, porous and absorbent items such as carpets, upholstery and drywall are often unsalvageable. Contact with blackwater via ingestion or skin contact can cause illness in both humans and pets.

It is highly advisable to contact a water restoration expert if you suspect blackwater before you begin attempting to remedy it yourself.

 Black water flood sources:

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup
  • Flooding
  • Foundation problem
  • Gutter problems
  • Toilet Bowl overflow
  • Sewer back-up
  • Water damage that sat over 3 days
  • Standing Water that has begun to support microbial growth

Sewage cleanup must not be taken lightly. Serious long-term health issues to adults, children and even pets may occur due to bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Don't delay. Take immediate action. Call SERVPRO® of Ajax at (289) 460-5124 today for a free estimate.

How to prepare for a flood

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Luckily, the GTA doesn’t see floods so detrimental we need to evacuate the area very often. But with the recent floods in Toronto and surrounding areas, it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It is always a good idea to read up on how to prepare for a disaster in any case. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared. You never know, it could end up saving your life. Here are 10 ways to prepare for a large-scale flood.

  1. Get a weather radio and learn to understand emergency notifications
  • One of the first things you can do is buy a weather radio that can broadcast weather bulletins from the closest National Weather Service Office. These stations broadcast a variety of emergency notificationsincluding flood watches and warnings, flash flood watches and warnings, and evacuation notices.
  1. Research your flood risk
  • Learn in advance whether your area is susceptible to flooding.
  1. Prepare emergency supply kits for your home, work and car
  • gov is an excellent governmental resource for information on how to prepare for inclement weather and other disasters. Here’s a great checklist of what to pack in your emergency kits, which should be standardized for your home, workplace and car they can be easily accesses in the event of an emergency.
  1. Establish your evacuation route
  • Knowing your way in and out of your immediate geographic vicinity and how to navigate your community when it’s flooded could save your life. You will need to stick to higher ground when evacuating. Make sure all family members know where they are supposed to meet.
  1. Have a plan for communicating with family members
  • As mentioned, having a place to meet if flooding does occur should be established prior. During an emergency, texts are easier and faster than phone calls. All family members also need to have a family contact that is out of the immediate geographic area, in the event information needs to be passed through a third party.
  1. Raise up appliances, other items to protect them from damage
  • Flooding can cause substantial damage not only to your home, but also to your property including costly and essential appliances. Raising up major appliances and electrical outlets can help protect them from flooding.
  1. Save your important documents
  • Copy, save or upload to the cloud important papers and documents such as insurance policies, photographs, and other important documents such as birth certificate and leases.
  1. Protect your drains from increasing the damage
  • A house’s water and sewage systems are particularly prone to flood damage, creating an even bigger mess that’s extremely hard to clean up. Installing a sump pump can help with this risk. You can also use backflow valves in toilets, drains, and sinks to prevent floodwaters from backing up.
  1. Stockpile emergency supplies
  • In addition to having your emergency kit handy so you can get to it quickly if you must evacuate, you can take other steps to help prepare for flooding. Storing valuables, medication, and chemicals (separately) in a higher place is a good first step.
  1. Manage your financial risk
  • The best way to manage your financial risk and protect your home is to buy flood insurance. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t typically cover flood damage, so this insurance must be purchased separately, and any claims filed separately from homeowner’s insurance.

How to Prepare Your Home for High Wind Threats

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

In recent months, wind storms in Ontario have become increasingly common. Most home owners when preparing their homes for any storms, don’t think about wind as a threat, though it causes billions of dollars in property damage every year. With that being said, it’s a good idea to know some tips and tricks on how to prepare your household for a wind storm.

  1. Pick up around your yard

-           Most people don’t take into consideration that anything lying around in your backyard can become a flying weapon, which can do significant damage to your home in high winds, let alone is dangerous in it of itself. If you see a wind advisory for your area, it is best to pick up any loose outdoor belongings like lawn furniture, garden tools, grills, sports equipment, bicycles, fallen tree branches etc.

  1. Check out the trees on your property

-           The last thing you want is a branch crashing through your kitchen window or roof during a wind storm. That’s why it’s extremely important to inspect the trees on your property for loose or damaged branches. It’s also important to get rid of any dangerous or dead trees taken care of as soon as possible especially during a wind storm.

  1. Inspect your roof for weaknesses

-           High winds can completely tear up your roof and lead to bigger problems like water damage to your homes structural properties and belongings. It is imperative that you routinely inspect your roof for things like loose or damaged shingles, debris, bare spots etc.

  1. Check weather stripping on doors and windows

-           Weather stripping is designed to keep the elements from coming indoors, so make sure yours is in good condition on both your doors and windows. Weather stripping that is in good condition will help keep windy drafts from coming into your home and will also ensure cold/warm air doesn’t escape.

  1. Reinforce windows, doors and garage door

-           Home safety features such as storm shutters will not only keep your home and belongings safer, but will also help you earn homeowners insurance discounts.

  1. Make sure your emergency supply kit is up to date

-           You never know how damaging or drastic a wind storm can be, so it is always a good idea to prepare a supply kit just in case.

The following items are a great start to your kit:

o          3 days worth of water and non-perishables for each member of your family

o          a manual can opener

o          A hand-crank or battery-powered radio so you can stay up to date on advisories

o          Cash, flashlights, and extra batteries

o          Food, water, and toys for your pets

o          Infant formula and diapers, if necessary

o          Entertainment such as books, magazines, and battery-power electronics

o          Medications, a first-aid kit, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and trash bags

o          Solar chargers for cell phones and other electronics

o          Copies of important documents, like insurance policies, emergency contact info, and IDs

o          A warm blanket or sleeping bag for everyone in the family

o          At least one change of clothing

o          A fire extinguisher

  1. Double check your home inventory

-           Maintaining a thorough, up-to-date home inventory can be a real lifesaver if high winds cause major damage to your home and its contents. Document and keep receipts for high-value items like furniture, electronics, appliances, and clothing, as well as any upgrades or renovations you've made to your house. Be sure to update your home inventory list with any new purchases, upgrades, or changes you make to your place. If you ever need to file a claim after high winds (or any other covered incident) damage your home or belongings, a well-maintained inventory can significantly speed along the claims process and help you get your house feeling like home again.

  1. Turn down the temp on your fridge and freezer

-           If your area is expecting high winds, there’s a chance your power may go out. Turning down the temperature of your fridge and freezer can save you time and help prevent food from spoiling as quickly.

  1. Look at your homeowners’ insurance

-           Before storm season hits, look at your homeowner’s coverages and limits to ensure they're enough to fully protect you in the event of catastrophe.

Family Fire Plan

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to the safety of your family, it is never a bad idea to be prepared for the worst possible scenarios. When a fire occurs, for example, there is no time to waste. That is why it is essential that you and your family are prepared and have a step-by-step plan for escaping a fire.

Drawing out a floor plan of your home will help your family understand exactly what to do in case of fire. Mark two ways out of every room – especially sleeping areas. Make sure every member of your household knows these escape routes. Set a meeting place outside your home to meet at when you have safely evacuated. Practice this plan at least twice a year to refresh all household members. Have a fire drill. Remember, a fire drill is not a race. It is good to be quick, but while doing this safely and carefully. It is also a good idea to make these drills realistic – block some exits like they are blocked by fire.

If you live in a two-storey house and it is necessary to escape from the second floor, assure there is a safe way to get down. A good way to do this is to supply all closets with roped ladders and assure all members know how to use them accurately and safely. If you live in an apartment building use the stairways, not the elevators.

Test doors before opening them. Touch the door, the knob and the space between the door and the frame with the back of your hand. If it is hot, use another escape route. If not, open it using caution.

If you find yourself trapped, close all doors between you and the fire. Stuff the cracks around the door with towels/blankets to prevent smoke from getting in. Wait at a window and signal for help. Call 911 if you have access to a phone and let them know your exact location.

When leaving, do not stop for anything. Though it’s tough, do not attempt to rescue possessions or pets. Go directly to your meeting place and then call the fire department. Crawl low under smoke, and if possible wet a towel and put it over your head to prevent smoke inhalation.

Once you are safely out of your home, do not go back for any reason. If people are trapped, firefighters have the best ability to rescue them.

Make sure all fire alarms are working. Replace the batteries at least once a year. If your fire alarm is more than 10 years old, replace it. The more fire alarms you have, the better chance you have of being alerted early and safely exiting so install smoke alarms outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home.

Fire is deadly but knowing the proper precautions to take will likely save your life if a fire does occur.

Fireplace Safety

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

  1. Before lighting a fire always open the damper, and don’t close it until the ashes have cooled completely. Once ashes are cooled keep the damper closed so that indoor air doesn’t escape, this will help your heating and air conditioning bill.
  2. Wait until ashes are completely cool always place them in a metal bucket; never place the ashes in a plastic or cardboard container. There could still be embers remaining that could catch the bucket on fire, even a day later.
  3. Position logs near the back of the fireplace to prevent fire and ashes from finding a way out of the hearth and into your home.
  4. Store paper, wood and other flammable materials well away from the fireplace. Make sure furniture and Christmas trees are placed far enough away that if sparks escape they won’t catch fire. Clear mantels of decorative items such as Christmas cards and garlands.
  5. Use a screen to keep embers contained. Glass doors are meant to keep drafts out and should be opened during a fire as they can get to hot and shatter.
  6. Only use small amounts of dry, well-seasoned wood. Resist the temptation to overload your fireplace. Burning too much wood at once can cause tar and creosote to build up in your chimney or stove pipes, which creates a fire hazard.  
  7.  Never use starter fluids, gasoline or other fuel. Log starters are fine for getting your wood fireplace going, but they burn very hot; only use one at a time.
  8. Never burn crates, lumber, construction scraps, wrapping paper, painted wood, or other treated wood as it can release chemicals into your home, compromising air quality.
  9. Have chimneys professionally cleaned and serviced every year to prevent tar and creosote buildup. Chimneys may require more frequent servicing in instances of high use. Gas fireplaces should also be serviced annually by a qualified service technician.
  10. Have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed and functioning properly before starting a fire in your woodstove or fireplace. Place them near your wood fireplace as well as in bedroom areas.
  11. Avoid running your fireplace at the same time as other appliances that vent to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide buildup. This includes clothes dryers or central vacuum systems, or when you have your kitchen range hood or bathroom vents switched on. Running all these appliances at once overtaxes the venting system so that some carbon monoxide stays trapped in the home.
  12. Keep a fire extinguisher near the fireplace, and make sure you know how to use it- just in case. It’s also a good idea to have a fire escape plan for your house and regularly review it with your family.

SERVPRO of Ajax’s Commercial Resources

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

When looking for cleanup for your business, we at SERVPRO of Ajax can help with our commercial resources. Whether it is cleanup after a disaster or mold remediation, we help GTA businesses get back to conducting business as usual, as fast as possible. Nobody likes a disaster of any kind, and we are here to help you through it.

Lost time in cleanup for water or fire damage is better spent in your doing productive work for increased business opportunities. As professionals in the GTA, we are nearby and ready to help with disaster cleanup. Our expertise can help you through our extensive commercial resources:

Water Damage Restoration

Flooding and water damage seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. We know that and can help you get back to work with our:

  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Highly trained water damage specialists
  • Restoration know-how

No matter the location of the water damage, whether in a small office building or big box store, SERVPRO of Ajax will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion to ensure your business is up and running again as quickly as possible. Our technicians have the training and certifications they need to handle your restoration needs, no matter the size.

Fire Damage Restoration

Lost productivity is the biggest result of fire and smoke damage. With firefighting systems, water damage may also occur from water used. As a trusted leader in fire and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Ajax knows the ins and outs of fire damage and the extra damage that can come with it and are well-equipped to handle it, including:

  • Fire and Smoke Restoration
  • Odor Control
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning
  • Water Damage Restoration

Mold Remediation

Because mold, whether from a leak or plumbing, can cause serious problems and health risks to those who enter your business, give us a call at SERVPRO of Ajax to discuss how we can manage it as we work fast to address the mold. We work fast to contain the mold growth and prevent it from spreading further. Our technicians are well-trained, including:

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialists
  • Water Damage Restoration Technicians
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians

Cleaning Service

We address everyday soil and grime that are beyond the scope of your janitorial staff.

Storm and Major Events

Whether you need our elite large-loss specialists who work with the hospitality industry, universities and property managers, or you have damage from a storm, wind and rain, we can help. With our 24-hour emergency service, we will be there quickly to assess and fix the damage. Moreover, we work with your insurance to make the process as seamless as possible.

Here at SERVPRO of Ajax, we have the experience, knowledge, and expertise necessary to help you with any mold damage or preventive practices. We are also available for cleanup after fire and water damage.

How to prepare your home for a storm

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Any storms, whether it be a typical thunder storm and a hurricane, are typically a surprise and don’t leave much time for you to prepare for it. That’s why it’s best to make sure you are always ready for a storm to hit, to prevent the maximum damage the storm can cause to your home. SERVPRO of Ajax is always here to help if there are damages, but it’s best you take the preventative measures to reduce change of damage to your home during a storm. Here 4 great tips hindered to storm prone areas on how to prepare yourself and your home for a storm.

  1. General home maintenance

-           Check your roof regularly to make sure it’s in good condition

-           Keep gutters, downpipes and drains clear

-           Remove tree branches that are close to your house

-           Fix any corrosion, loose fittings and rotting or termite-affected timber

-           Secure loose items around your property

  1. General home safety preparations

-           Ensure your home, contents and car insurance is adequate and current

-           Identify the safest room in which to shelter during a storm

-           Learn how to safely turn off your power, water and gas

-           Keep water containers, a camping stove and fuel safely on-hand

  1. If you live in a flood-prone area

-           Store poisons and garden chemicals well above ground level

-           Identify indoor items you’ll need to raise or empty if flood threatens

-           Relocate power points well above previous flood levels

  1. If you live in a storm or cyclone-prone area

-           Get a professional builder to assess the structural integrity of your house

-           Fit shutters or metal screens to your windows for added protection

3 Ways to Prepare your Commercial Property for a Storm

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

When strong storms sweep into the General Toronto Area, they can wreak havoc on your commercial property. This can be distressing, as high winds, heavy rain and flood water could cause thousands of dollars in damage to your building and its inventory. However, if you know a storm is inevitable, there are a few strategies you can use to prepare and possibly minimize the damage.

  1. Back Up All Your Data

Your company’s data can be destroyed in a flash if it is stored in the basement of a flooded building. Paper archives can be especially vulnerable, so you may want to take time to move boxes or file cabinets to a safe location where the information can be transformed into electronic data and stored in the cloud. Avoid archiving information in company computers, especially those on the ground floor and vulnerable to flood water. In fact, you might be better off moving any company computers to a higher floor, if possible.

  1. Remove Items from the Floor

Inventory, machinery and valuable company tools that sit at ground level can be susceptible to water damage. You may want to remove these items from the building or put them up on high, stable shelving. Heavier machinery can be lifted onto stacked wooden pallets, which may keep them dry and unharmed during flooding.

  1. Have a Restoration Plan in Place

It can be difficult to gauge how much damage your business may suffer before a flood, so it is wise to have a restoration plan in place before a disaster happens. Contact your local flood damage and mitigation service to discuss what the company’s technicians can do for you if your building takes on damage. Discuss possible services like odor cleanup and mold mitigation.

Flood water and high winds in the GTA, can damage your commercial building and put you in serious debt. However, careful planning and having a mitigation and restoration strategy in place may help you come through a flood with the least possible amount of damage.

Putting out a grease fire

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

A kitchen grease fire is pretty much the worst-case scenario in a kitchen environment, it’s caused when cooking oil, animal or vegetable, becomes to hot and catches fire. It only takes minutes for oil to catch fire, so never leave it unattended. A grease fire isn't like a regular fire and trying to put it out the same way can make it worse. In short, if a grease fire suddenly erupts, turn off your stove right away and put a tight-fitting lid or cookie sheet over the fire, only use a fire extinguisher as a last resort, and NEVER throw water on a grease fire. Be sure to read the following steps for more details of putting out and preventing grease fires. And remember, if the fire gets out of hand, get you and your family out of the house as fast as possible and call 911. No kitchen is worth your life.

Putting out a grease fire

Evaluate – If the fire is small and contained, it is safe to try and extinguish by yourself, but if it’s spreading, put yourself and your family first and get everyone out, then dial 911.

Turn off the heat - This is the first priority, turning off the heat source will make the following recommendation more likely to succeed, an may even put the fire out.

Cover the flames with a metal lid – Fire needs oxygen to thrive, so cutting off the air supply with a metal lid will smother the flame, a cookie sheet will also work for this. Place either on top of the fire, and leave for at least 10 minutes, but preferably until the pot is not to hot to touch. Do not use glass lids as this may shatter when they are to hot, which can be dangerous and create an even bigger mess.

Dump baking soda or salt on small flames – Both baking soda and salt will work well on small grease fires, though are less effective on larger fires because people often don’t have enough on hand. It takes a lot to get the job done so make sure you grab the whole box and dump it generously on the flames. Make sure not to use baking powder, flour, or any other kitchen ingredients as it could make the situation worse.

Chemical fire extinguisher – The use of a chemical fire extinguisher should be the last resort. Only class B or K fire extinguishers can put out grease fires, so ensure that is the one kept in your kitchen. Extinguishers will contaminate your kitchen and make for a huge mess, but if it’s a choice between a tough cleanup job and your house burning down, go for it! 

Make sure to avoid the following:

  • Putting water on a grease fire – This can cause the fire to spread
  • Swatting at the fire with a towel or oven mitt -This will fan the flames, which could cause the fire to spread, it could also catch the fabric on fire.
  • Do not move the pot - The risk of the oil spilling out onto yourself or the rest of your home is to great.

Grease Fire Prevention Tips

  • Never leave a stove unattended when cooking with oil
  • Heat oil in a heavy pot with a metal lid
  • Keep baking soda, salt and a cookie sheet nearby
  • Clip a thermometer on the side of the pan to monitor oil temperature, find out the smoking point of the oil you are using and turn off the heat if it gets to close
  • Watch for smoke and beware of acid smells, these are warning signs before a fire

How to prevent a house fire

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

House fires kill and injure thousands yearly and cost many more their valued possessions and memories. After a fire SERVPRO® of Ajax can get your home back in shape in no time, but it’s best to take the preventative measures to ensure a house fire doesn’t happen in the first place. Here are 10 simple steps to follow to protect yourself from a house fire.

  1. Test your smoke alarms
  • Properly maintain your smoke alarms by testing the batteries once a month. If they’re not working, replace them immediately.
  1. Inspect heating sources
  • Regardless of what kind of primary heating you have in your home, an annual inspection will reduce risk of fire.
  • Change filters regularly to avoid build-up of dust and lint that can easily catch fire.
  • If you use space heaters, carefully inspect them before and after every use and place them at least 3 feet away from anything combustible
  1. Keep the stove and oven clear
  • Don’t leave anything flammable near the stove or oven. Make sure curtains don’t hang over the stove, and never rest towels or things such as a cookbook on the stove, even when it’s not in use.
  1. Stay in the kitchen
  • Don’t leave a hot cooking surface unattended. Whether it’s a pot on the stove or an electric griddle, you need to be close by.
  1. Check the dryers
  • If you have a gas-powered dryer, have it inspected once a year to make sure all connections are secure. It’s also important to get into the habit of cleaning out the lint trap after a load is finished, no matter what kind of dryer you have. Regularly check behind and around the dryer for lint or items of laundry that may have fullen under or behind.
  1. Maintain cords
  • Regularly check the condition of cords and watch out for frayed wires. If they are frayed, replace immediately. Electric cords produce heat, so don’t keep them under a rug or between furniture and the wall.
  1. Store flammable products properly
  • Many household products and cosmetic products are flammable. Keep flammable products away from heat, including exposure to sunlight.
  1. Be careful with candles
  • Never leave candles unattended and always keep them away from flammable things like curtains or blankets. Place candles in secure, tip-proof holders and blow them out before leaving or going to sleep.
  1. Use the fireplace responsibly
  • To ensure sparks do not escape, install a durable metal fire screen in front of your fireplace. Don’t leave a fire unattended and give ashes ample time to cool down before disposing of them.
  1. Keep fire extinguishers handy
  • Stock key areas of your home with fire extinguishers. At the very least, keep one in the kitchen and others near high-risk areas like a fireplace. Regularly review the instructions and make sure all members of the home know how to properly use the extinguisher.

What’s the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

9/5/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to home repairs, few things are worse than mold. Mold and mildew, a specific type of mold, are similar in many ways. They smell awful, don’t look the prettiest and can create long-term damage to your home and health. If you come across mold or mildew in your home, you should take immediate action to rid yourself of it and take preventative measures to stop it from returning.

There are several differences between mildew and mold. Knowing these differences can help you identify the type you may have in your house, and how to treat that specific fungi.

Visual

Mildew comes in two forms. Powdery mildew and downy mildew. Powdery mildew, is of course, powdery, resting typically on top of a given object. Downy mildew, on the other hand, will look like a stain, normally yellow in colour. Comparative to mold, mildew grows in a flat pattern making it easier to predict which direction it will grow.

Mold comes in one of two forms, either fuzzy or slimy. It lays on a spectrum of colours: blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black and white. Mold will attach to anything that it touches and spreads from place to place making it difficult to remove.

Problems caused

Mildew typically causes damage to plants and crops, but that does not mean it cannot damage wood, fabric and other materials. It can cause breathing complications and headaches, but the smell is what most people say bothers them the most.

Mold can cause a spectrum of problems depending on the type of mold. Health problems like respiratory diseases, allergies, headaches, joint pain and fatigue, are all common when mold is existent in your household. Mold is also a threat to the structure of your house due its ability to spread. Because mold doesn’t grow in flat patterns like mildew, it can grow in all directions. Because of this, it is more damaging than mildew.

Both mold and mildew thrive in moist conditions, with little air circulation. Ventilation and proper air treatment are the best ways to prevent mold and mildew.

Removal

Mold and mildew take similar steps when it comes to removal.

First, turn off the air conditioning or heater and seal off the vents in the area with mold.

Second, put on a respirator and turn on a small fan to create circulation.

Third, use a cleaner meant for fungus and scrub the affected area. Make sure to scrub beyond the affected area to get any spores that have spread but haven’t grown to the point of visibility. Wear gloves and clothes you can throw away.

 It should be noted, this cleaning process is not 100% effective, and typically only a process taken by homeowners who spot mold/mildew in the early stages. If you spot any mold at all in your home, but specifically a larger area, it’s best to call a professional like SERVPRO® of Ajax, to ensure all mold is taken care of.

Water Damage Prevention Checklist

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Some things are out of your control, but there are a lot of small things you can do to minimize your risk. We have put together this water damage prevention checklist to help you protect and preserve your property.

 - Create a list of emergency contacts, including names and phone numbers for when disasters are discovered. SERVPRO® of Ajax is available 7 days a week 24 hours a day, we can advise you on what to do in the moment, and then come to access the situation asap. Remember mold growth can start within 24-48 hours of water damage. The faster you have help with the clean-up, the less damage there will be to your things and the faster you will be able to get back to a normal life.

- Make sure everyone in the household knows where the main water shutoff valve is. Make sure you know where the other shut off valves in your home are as well, such as your sinks, toilets, hot water tank and washing machine. As soon as a leak is noticed shut off the valve and leave it off until repairs are done. It is also a good idea to shut this off while out of the house for an extended period, such as while you are on vacation. This will help minimize the risk of coming home to unexpected flooding, and mold.

- Make sure all valuables are always stored up off the floor. This is especially important for things like important documents and electronics. Basements are notorious for flooding, so if you are storing items on the floor, use plastic bins; otherwise invest in some simple shelving to keep everything off the ground.

- Clean your gutters (eavestroughs) annually, and ensure downspouts are directed away from the home. Gutters are prone to clogging with leaves and debris, which can lead to water leaking into your home. Consider adding and extension to your downspouts, especially if your yard doesn’t have strong slope away from your home.

- Check your windows and shingles. It’s a good idea to annually check all your windows, ensure the caulking is still in good condition, and re-caulk if necessary. This is a bonus as it may save you money on your utility bills. The same goes for shingles, roofs tend to serve as a significant point of entry for water intrusion into your home, especially since damage on the roof may go unnoticed if it isn’t checked. 

- Check basement drainage systems and verify sump pump operation. Make sure to keep your basement flood drains clear. Get a professional to install sump pumps and backwater valves and get them inspected annually.

- Check for signs of leakage and rust. Pay close attention to your hot water tank, toilets, sinks, dish washer, washing machine and refrigerator. Repair at the first signs, don’t wait until it’s to late!

SERVPRO of Ajax 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Ajax is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 1(289)460-5124

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Ajax has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Ajax

SERVPRO of Ajax specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Home

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Ajax is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Ajax

SERVPRO of Ajax specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Restoring Your Ajax Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Ajax commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Ajax

SERVPRO of Ajax specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Ajax Smoke and Soot Cleanup

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Ajax will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 1(289)460-5124

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