Archived Building Services Blog Posts
The Silent Killer: Reduce Carbon Monoxide Exposure
Carbon monoxide, considered "the silent killer", is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It can be created when fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood do not burn properly. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, around 150 people die every year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Often times, it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators. However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family and your employees from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
Reduce the change of carbon monoxide exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce carbon monoxide. Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity or batteries. Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.
To protect your home, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms. Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys services annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents, and any other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.
For additional carbon monoxide safety information, visit usfa.fema.gov or osha.gov
What is Lurking in your Ducts?
Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO of Savannah's service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money.
The SERVPRO proven Duct Cleaning System is cost efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO uses a Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process
The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process:
- The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape an diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor to microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO of Savannah can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
Keep Your Home/Building Safe During Thanksgiving
Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. Here are some tips for safe cooking:
- Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
- If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while the food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains - away from the stovetop.
Did you know? Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fired, with three times the average number!
What's That Smell?
Odor particles are small – they are tiny, microscopic objects measured in microns. Their small size allows easy penetration into porous surfaces. There are quite a few factors that help these particles to penetrate surfaces.
- Surface porosity - The more porous a material, the more likely it is to absorb odors.
- Heat - Heat from fire causes materials to expand, where the odor particles will then penetrate. Once the materials cool after the fire, they contract to trap the odors.
- Heavy concentrations of residues
- Long exposure time
- Humidity can also have an effect on odors:
- High humidity dissolves odors and carries vapors to the nose.
- Cleaning involves wetting surfaces – that moisture reactivates dormant odors such as pet urine.
- Odors may appear to be neutralized, but come back months later in humid weather.
SERVPRO of Savannah specializes in several areas of cleanup and restoration, and this includes sanitation and deodorization of these terrible odors!
Indoor Air Quality
Mold is found naturally in our environments. However, an overabundance inside buildings is undesirable; some people can become ill. Experts agree that if you have excessive mold, it needs to be removed.
Control Moisture and Reduce Mold
Act Within the First 24 to 48 Hours
- Correct any water leaks or standing water.
- Remove standing water under cooling coils and air handling units.
- Properly maintain humidifiers, if used.
- Replace wet or visibly moldy insulation materials.
Proper Maintenance Saves Money
The World Health Organization estimates that poor indoor air quality costs $60 billion in employee sick leave and lost production. Proper Maintenance and prompt response to situations that could lead to an illness or health concern is a responsibility owed to tenants, workers and/or students.
Dirty ducts can work to circulate odors and contaminants like mold and irritating dust throughout the building. Inspecting the ductwork is SERVPRO’s first order of business when addressing air quality.