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Mold Safety – Kitchen Tips

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One of the worst contaminants known is the silent but dangerous growth of mold. Mold can grow indoors on wet or damp surfaces, such as wallpaper, ceiling tiles, carpets, insulation material, wood and drywall. It can start to grow within 48 hours and if left unchecked, can have serious impacts on both your quality of life and your home’s physical structure. If you see signs of mold or suspect that it has infected your home, we’re here to help remediate the problem and prevent long-term damage.

Cleaning up a life of hoarding

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Hoarding Clean Up

If you find yourself, a family member or even a friend dealing with a hoarding situation, don’t be embarrassed, it’s not due to poor organization or laziness. Compulsive hoarding is a complex anxiety disorder that makes it difficult for a person to discard or part with possessions, regardless of actual value.

Hoarders may feel the item will be useful one day or feel sentimental about it. Many have dealt with this problem their entire lives, and often only after other family members become involved is the issue addressed. In addition to excessive clutter, other serious effects of compulsive hoarding can include fire or health hazards and infestations. It also may become impossible to prepare or eat food in the home or to have appliance, electrical or plumbing repairs conducted because service technicians cannot enter the home.

ServiceMaster Restore Hoarding Services:

• Remove clutter and clean up debris

• Help locate lost jewelry, hidden money and/or other valuable items

• Coordinate recycling and shredding

• Help distribute donations

• Assist in distributing kept items to family members (local and national)

• Facilitate paperwork required by government agencies, lawyers and trusts

Helping Families Deal with Hoarding

A home affected by hoarding can be dangerous, unhealthy or both—and dramatic action is required to address the problem and help the customer get on the road to recovery. Not only does it require experts who can navigate the issues, but also people who treat each customer like a member of the family. For an understanding, professional approach to helping solve a serious problem, we are your trusted choice.

At ServiceMaster Restore, we have more than 60 years’ experience in all types of professional cleaning and disaster recovery. We’ve dealt with every kind of critical restoration situation, and our expertise, proven methods and extensive national network give us the ability to handle the toughest job. Plus, our experience working with families facing restoration challenges has taught us that we are not just restoring homes, we are restoring lives. So from the moment we walk in the door, we treat each person and their possessions with care and attention

A Proven Process

Step 1: Understanding

• Connecting with the hoarder and understanding what caused the problem

• Working with the family and appropriate support professionals

• Taking time to earn the trust of the hoarder

Step 2: Planning and Cleaning

• Develop a cleaning plan

• Sorting, organizing and cleaning with the hoarder

• Arranging for items to be cleaned, donated, recycled, stored or disposed of

• Working directly with the individual and family for a successful outcome

Step3: Follow-Up

• Encourage aftercare to ensure that cleaning and the commitment to change continues

• Short-term contact with the customer

Preparing Your Home for Summer Storms

Although hurricane season is well under way, it’s never too late to prepare your home for summertime storms. Even typical summer storms can cause damage to your home without preparation, leaving you with significant cleanup costs and a home at greater risk if another storm or hurricane does occur. Regardless of your home improvement experience and budget, there are several steps you can take to protect your home from wind, rain, hail, lighting, and other damaging weather.

Maintain Your Roof

Roof damage is one of the most common side effects of severe summer weather. A leak in your roof can also cause widespread flooding throughout your home, making your roof your top priority when it comes to preventing storm-related damage. Have your roof inspected once a year by a roofing professional and follow any recommended maintenance tasks, such as gutter cleaning, to keep your roof in good shape. As soon as you notice roof damage, such as missing shingles, loose flashing, or pooling water, schedule repairs promptly to address the issue and ensure your roof will be solid and secure when a storm does hit.

Perform an Inventory

Performing a quick inventory of your valuables serves several purposes. First, an updated inventory can help you report accurate losses to your insurance if a storm causes damage to your valuables. Second, knowing where your most expensive items are located can alert you if you need to take additional steps to protect them. Electronics should be elevated off the floor to prevent water damage, while breakables should be moved away from windows and doors in case of high winds or blowing debris. Taking an inventory of items stored in your attic, basement, or crawlspace can alert you to poor storage techniques that could also leave these items vulnerable—consider storing items in waterproof bins at the highest point of your basement or crawlspace, and move items out of your attic if you are concerned about water, mold, or wind damage.

Clear Your Yard

Most of the blowing debris generated by summertime storms comes from your own yard. Thus, clearing your yard of potential debris is the best way to protect your home from this type of damage. Make sure there is a place for all toys, bicycles, and yard equipment in your garage or an outdoor storage receptacle, such as a bin or shed. Avoid leaving these items out, even if a storm isn’t predicted. Inspect your trees and other landscaping regularly and address plants that appear in poor health to prevent fallen trees from damaging your home. Keep your landscaping trimmed, particularly near your home and around your air conditioner condenser.

Understand Your Insurance Policy

Your homeowner’s insurance policy will become important in the event of storm damage. Take some time to read through your policy and make sure you understand which types of damage are and aren’t covered. If you are concerned that you may not be covered in the event of a storm, talk to your insurance company to explore your options. Many homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flooding by default, meaning you may be left with the bill for water cleanup after a storm if you haven’t opted for additional flood insurance.

With the right preparation, you can minimize or even avoid summer storm damage due to rainstorms, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. If you need help with cleanup or insurance reconstruction after a storm, please visit our website to find out more about our services in Wilmington, NC, as well as discover more helpful storm, flood, and fire cleanup tips on our blog.