Solar Panels vs. Nature: What Could Crack the Cells
Solar panel damage is rare, but when it does happen, it’s usually as a result of a hard-hitting storm. There are a few things you can do to prepare if you know a storm is on the way to Paducah, KY. The examples below of instances where panels stayed intact may give you peace of mind that yours could also stay safe.
When Nature Strikes
Solar panels are usually built to hold up even in the most extreme of circumstances. However, there are some common causes to damaged panels.
• Hail (especially when it hits the same spot repeatedly)
• High winds (uplift can happen when wind blows between your roof and panels)
• Roof damage (if your roof wasn’t built well to begin with, the panels can fly off with it)
Where Solar Panels Stayed Intact
Storms have tested panels with much success in recent years:
• Hurricane Maria: 180 mph winds didn’t even leave a scratch on a 645 kW solar array on a VA hospital in San Juan. It operated well after the storm, even though nearly all of the island was without power.
• Hurricane Sandy: panel damage was few and far between in New Jersey when this hurricane hit in 2012, days after the state installed dozens of panels.
• Severe hail in Denver: only one out of more than 3,000 panels on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory campus was damaged in this rare storm.
What To Do Before and After the Storm
Prepare for a storm the same way you would without solar panels. Don’t try to remove them, as the racks are built to handle the storm. You may want to take pictures of the system just in case. If the storm does cause an issue, you can show those pictures to your insurance agent. Most providers cover panels, but you may want to double check before it’s too late.
When you do experience panel damage, don’t try to fix it yourself. Always call a professional in Paducah, KY, first.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROpaducah.com/.
Two Reasons to Address Mold in Your Paducah Home Immediately
Mold in basement stairwell.
The presence of mold leaves behind an unmistakable musty odor. Although this fungus can develop inside a house when it is simply a little too humid, it is more likely to develop after flood water damages the premises. When that flooding is accompanied by sewage loss, the contaminants only exacerbate the problem. Homeowners in Paducah, KY should try to prevent mold growth entirely. However, if mold does develop, then you need to address it right away before a bad stench turns into something much worse.
1. Structural Damage
Mold is particularly destructive to certain materials, including gypsum board, plaster and wood. Over time, these materials may weaken and change color. You may not even see the damage if the item is painted, but the paint merely hides the mildew. The only way to ensure your home remains structurally sound is to remove all presence of mold. Certain structures may need to be replaced entirely to make sure your house is safe to live in.
2. Rapid Growth
Mold growth can get out of hand in just 24 hours. It can spread exponentially when exposed to the right conditions. Leaks, condensation and high humidity can accelerate the growth process, causing the mold to overtake entire sections of walls and flooring. Over time, this can lead to toxic black mold.
An even more dangerous aspect is that visible mold is only half the story. If you see mold, then there is a very high likelihood there is even more growing out of sight. You need someone to come out to your place immediately to ensure your house remains mold-free.
When bringing in a professional team in Paducah, KY to address mold in your home, it is vital that every sign of it is removed. This includes the mold you see on the wall as well as spores that have entered the air. Without addressing the problem comprehensively, the mold growth will simply resume, sometimes in less than a day. Visit http://www.SERVPROpaducah.com/ for more information on storm damage.
4 Important Steps You Should Take To Reduce Space Heater Fires
Space heaters can be very convenient, especially if you have one room in your home that never seems to get enough heat from your central HVAC system. Whether you use a space heater regularly or you only pull it out on the coldest winter days, here are four important steps you should always take to prevent fire damage in Paducah, KY, from a burned space heater.
1. Clean It Thoroughly
Before you use your space heater for the first time, make sure you clean all visible surfaces thoroughly. Dust and other small particles tend to build up on the heater’s surface and could potentially cause the unit to overheat or catch fire if not removed regularly.
2. Leave Plenty of Empty Space Around Your Heater
Never put your heater up against a blanket, piece of furniture or any other item. If you do, you’re likely to have a burned space heater before long. Space heaters should always have at least three feet of empty space around them, free from furniture, carpets and other items.
3. Keep Heaters Away From Kids
Don’t operate a space heater in an area where kids frequently play. To reduce the risk of fire if a child does accidentally knock over the heater, make sure you purchase one that has an emergency shut-off mechanism. You should also keep pets away from heaters whenever possible.
4. Never Leave a Heater Unattended
Never leave a space heater unattended. If you plan to leave the room for a few minutes or a few hours, turn the space heater off beforehand. You can easily turn it back on when you return.
Following these preventatives steps will minimize your chances of fire damage while warming your home. If you experience a burned space heater or fire damage even after taking these preventative steps, a fire damage restoration professional can help with your smoke cleanup and restoration needs.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROpaducah.com/.
Controlling Mold in Your Paducah, Kentucky Home or Business
Mold is a sneaky threat that can lurk in unsuspecting places, such as this attic.
You Can Control Mold
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels;
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.
Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you can not rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk. Also, good sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.
If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
- Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
- Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
- If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.
Paducah Residents: Who to Call When Your Home or Business Has Water Damage
The result of a pipe burst in this Paducah, KY home.
Your home should be your place of rest. But when water begins leaking - even small leaks in areas you can't see - your home could quickly become a source of stress. The possibility of harmful mold, rot and unseen damage may affect the value of your home and the health of loved ones.
SERVPRO of Paducah professionals understand how disruptive water damages can be for your entire family and will help ensure the water is identified, regardless of where it hides. That is why we offer 24-hour emergency response by trained, uniformed restoration professionals. With top-of-the line equipment and time-tested cleanup and restoration techniques, SERVPRO of Paducah has the expertise to help make your house feel like home again.
After all, when it comes to your home and your family, even small disasters can feel like huge problems. So if a water damage occurs in your home, just call us (270) 443-4555. We'll be there to help.
Prepare Your Paducah, Kentucky Business for Winter Weather
There are many hazards that come when winter weather arrives in the Paducah, Kentucky area. Prepare your business for winter weather!
-Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rai, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
-Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
-Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
-Ask your SERVPRO Professional about starting an Emergency Ready Profile for your business.
What is an Emergency Ready Profile?
It is a "snapshot" of each building owned/managed by a business, that provides critical information for emergency preparation.
Call SERVPRO of Paducah at (270) 433-4555 for help setting up your Emergency Ready Profile!
How to Protect Pipes from Freezing in Paducah, Kentucky
As a partner with the American Red Cross, here is some great information on freezing pipes that they have on their website! Check it out!
Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.
Pipes that freeze most frequently are:
- Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
- Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
- If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
- Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
- Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
- Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
- Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
If you have suspect a potential water damage at your home, Call SERVPRO of Paducah at (270) 443-4555!
Emergency Ready Profile
As a homeowner you always want to make sure you have emergency contacts close by in case anything unexpected happens. What if you are a homeowner but also a business owner? SERVPRO realizes that you might not think about the unexpected things that might happen to your business, but we are here to help!
At SERVPRO of Paducah, we have an Emergency Ready Program available to you! Our ERP, Emergency Ready Profile is the best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster. As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile Advatages:
- A no-cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
– It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. However, it will save you valuable time if ever needed.
– This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
– Establishes SERVPRO of Paducah as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. You will have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
Give us a call today and set up your ERP! (270) 443-4555
How To Tell Mold From Mildew: 3 Key Identifiers
Mold found lurking in two-by-fours behind drywall.
Battling mold and mildew in your Paducah, KY home can be a year-round housecleaning challenge. From preventing costly mold damage to scrubbing away mildew in the shower, fighting household fungi can take time and a considerable amount of elbow grease. However, trying to clean up mold on your own may cause the further spread of spores and increase the risk of a severe infestation. Knowing how to tell the difference between mold and mildew can help you save time, money and let you know whether you need the services of a certified mold remediation and removal company.
Although mold and mildew are both part of the fungi family, they have different textures that are usually visible to the naked eye. Mildew growth is typically thin and slimy, while mold is usually fuzzy or wooly. You can perform a quick test by adding a few drops of bleach to the suspect area, as mildew grows lighter on contact while mold retains its color.
You may be able to tell mold from mildew by the color of the growth. Mildew is usually grey or light yellow as it spreads, while mold growth comes in a variety of colors, from green to white to black. If you suspect what you see is black mold, it is a good idea to avoid touching the area and call in mold damage specialists to treat the problem instead, as this type of fungus can be aggressive and will likely need professional intervention.
3. Growth Pattern
While both mold and mildew have a few similar qualities, the way each grows and spreads can help you tell them apart. Mildew is a surface fungus that can be wiped away easily, as it develops in flat, thin patches. Mold spores, however, penetrate the surface of any material they attach to and grow into wide patches that can be difficult to remove.
It can be difficult to tell mold from mildew when you encounter either in your Paducah, KY home. However, knowing the characteristics of each can help you prevent mold damage and keep your home clean and sanitary.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROpaducah.com/.
Preventing Space Heater Fires in Paducah, Kentucky
Smoke from fires causes significant damage to homes.
Approximately 25,000 house fires every year are attributed to space heaters. User error is the primary cause, although heaters without essential safety features may malfunction and pose a fire risk. Here are five ways that you can prevent a burned space heater from starting a fire in your home.
1. Keep a minimum of three feet between space heaters and combustibles. Combustibles include bedding, curtains, and upholstered furniture. You should also only operate a space heater on a hard, level, non-flammable surface.
2. Don't operate heaters unattended around pets or kids. Children, cats, and dogs don't understand the principles of fire safety.
3. Purchase a space heater with safety features. One of the best ways to prevent a burned space heater is to purchase a model that automatically shuts off when it overheats. Check the model you are considering for a safety certification label, ground fault circuit interrupter plug, and a sturdy cord that is at least six feet long. Make sure the heater has all of the features you need to stay warm while running a very low risk of fire.
4. Turn off or unplug heaters when not in use. This can reduce the risk of a fire starting when you are elsewhere in your home or away from home.
5. Avoid plugging other electronics into the same outlet as a space heater. You should also never use an extension cord, as this equipment heightens the overheating risk.
Your heater can only work as designed if it is kept in working condition. You may need to regularly clean the filter on your space heater to prevent it from overheating. In addition to following these steps, you should also test the smoke alarms in your home and replace batteries or damaged units. If a burned space heater does cause a fire, contact a smoke cleanup service in Paducah, KY.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROpaducah.com/.