August 2018 Client Newsletter

Here’s our August 2018 client newsletter.

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Deodorization After a Disaster…

How the pros do it

Whether we are dealing with property damage from water intrusion, storms or fires, odors can become a problem if not handled correctly. Unpleasant odors are sometimes an indication of a potentially infectious, hazardous or unsanitary condition. Bad odors can also cause psychological or emotional stress and even physical discomfort. Lingering odors may be an indication that there was unseen damage that must be addressed. As professionals, we have not done our job unless odors are effectively eliminated to the fullest extent possible.

Spraying deodorants and perfumes simply masks odors temporarily. Odor masking is not effective for long-term deodorizing success. Effectively eliminating odors requires an understanding of the principles of deodorization. The type of odor neutralizer and application process must be chosen based on the source of the odor, type of materials affected and the degree of odor penetration. To avoid a recurrence of the malodor, we use the following 4 step procedure:

Step 1: Find and remove the source. Odor is an effect.  Since every effect has a cause, our first challenge is to find and remove the cause. Imagine there is a carcass of a rodent inside your wall. In order to get rid of the odor, we have to find and dispose of the carcass. If the odor comes smoke, we must try to find the location of any burned or charred material and remove it. If the odor is from a water intrusion, say from a broken pipe, we must first dry the structure before we can treat any remaining odor. The same applies to odors from sewage, and mold. The source must be removed or neutralized before proceeding.

Step 2: Clean the affected area to remove any remaining odor-causing residue. We start cleaning in the source area and work outward until all residues are removed. Residues can be sticky or oily residues, crystallized materials or dust and soot. The type of residue and the material you are cleaning determines the cleaning method. For instance, removing soot from a brick wall requires different cleaning agents, tools and techniques than removing soot from silk drapes. Depending on the odor, source removal and meticulous cleaning may be all that is required. If not, we move on to the next step.

Step 3: Recreate the conditions of penetration. Recreate the conditions of penetration. This is where specialized equipment is often required. For example, if the odor is from smoke, it may have penetrated into wood, fabrics, drywall and many other porous and semi-porous materials. Any deodorizing products we use must penetrate the materials in the same manner as the smoke odor penetrated in order to neutralize the odors.

If odors have migrated into areas that are inaccessible, it may be necessary to use specialized fogging equipment, electronic oxidation, or dry vapor equipment. Generally, odors caused by mold and sewage will require the removal of porous non-structural materials such as drywall. This may be followed up by the application of a disinfectant solution to the remaining structural materials. In most cases, properly applying steps 1 through 3 will achieve the desired results. If there is still an odor, we proceed to step 4.

Step 4: Seal the affected material.  Sometimes odors penetrate into materials to the degree that it is impossible or impractical to remove them completely. In these situations, it is necessary to apply a topical sealant to encapsulate the odor causing molecules and prevent them from evaporating into the air. If the molecules can’t reach your nose, you won’t be able to smell them. The type of sealer we choose depends on the type of material, the nature of the odor source and the degree of penetration into the material.

If you have tough odor problems and need assistance, please call Professional Carpet Systems, and we will be happy to help.

July 2018 Client Newsletter

Here’s our July 2018 Client Newsletter.

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Carpet Beetles.  What are the facts?

Carpet beetles deserve to rank near the top of your list of uninvited guests. These oval- shaped ying insects can ruin your carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and clothing as well as cause irritating dermatitis in children and sensitive adults. These are unwelcome guests you really want to “show the door” as quickly as possible.

Life Cycle of a Carpet Beetle

The four life-stages of carpet beetles are egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. Female carpet beetles lay up to a hundred eggs, which hatch into larvae in approximately 35 days. This stage is the most damaging because larvae feed on carpets and clothing. The larval stage lasts 6 to 18 months, during which these voracious insects do the most damage. The nal part of the larval stage is metamorphosis, after which the adult beetle emerges. Adult carpet beetles can live up to a year.

Identifying Carpet Beetles

The larvae are very small, so it can be di cult to spot them. Larvae look like tiny, hairy worms and prefer dark, undisturbed areas such as under furniture, rugs and in closets. Adult black carpet beetles are black with brown-colored legs, and their length in inches ranges from 1/8 to 3/16.

As larvae, these pests shed skin and fecal pellets, each of which can cause allergic reactions in some people. Carpet beetles do not bite people or animals. The irritation caused by contact with carpet beetle larvae can be confused with bites from bed bugs or eas.

Property damage from carpet beetles is very similar to moth damage. Small, irregular-shaped holes in clothes and rugs are a telltale sign of either a carpet beetle or moth problem. If it is a moth problem, you will usually see moths in the area. Adult carpet beetles prefer to live outdoors and graze on pollen.

Fighting back

Maintaining cleanliness may not be enough to avoid an infestation from carpet beetles. Since these pests can enter on food packages, luggage and on shoes, they are di cult to avoid—especially if you have a pet, as larvae feed on animal fur and dander. Along with vacuuming, professional carpet, rug and upholstery cleaning are essential.

Detergent and hot water kill the larvae, so this is an important means of limiting carpet beetle populations indoors. Other recommended measures to reduce the likelihood of a carpet beetle problem are:

  • Effective sanitation including routine vacuuming and housekeeping of pantry shelves and pet feeding and sleeping areas helps reduce the breeding sites and food sources;
  • Storing items like wool clothing, leather and fur coats in sealed garment bags;
  • Checking owers, patio plants, and any second-hand items carefully before bringing indoors;
  • Dry cleaning and using a clothes dryer on high heat to kill carpet beetle larvae in clothing and drapes;
  • Ensuring that air ducts are clean and attics and crawl spaces are free of animal nests or carcasses.

Pesticides may be necessary to eliminate an existing infestation. Choose a pesticide designed
for carpet beetles and follow
label directions. Eliminating a heavy infestation is best left to a professional pest control specialist.

If you suspect that you have a carpet beetle problem or want to avoid one, call Professional Carpet Systems
so that we can clean your carpet, upholstery and drapery. That is a logical first step to eliminating these destructive invaders.

June 2018 Client Newsletter

Here’s our June 2018 Client Newsletter.

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In Case of Fire, RACE and PASS!

You think it will never happen to you, but there are over 300,000 house res in the United States every year. It makes sense
to be prepared. The most important thing you can do is to have working smoke detectors on every level of your home. An early warning is your best defense against a house re.

Taking the right steps in the event of a house re could save your home and even your life. Make sure that all adults and older children understand how to RACE and PASS if there is a re. This doesn’t mean RACE around the house in a panic and PASS your spouse on your way out the door! RACE and PASS are simply memory aids for what you should do in case of a re.

R.A.C.E.

R is for Remove. Remove all occupants from the area of the fire.

A is for Alert. Alert the authorities; call 911.

C is for Contain. Close windows and doors to contain and smother the fire.

E is for Extinguish or Evacuate. Which one? That depends on the stage of the fire.

A house re goes through 4 stages:

Stage 1: Incipient. The fire is just starting and there is a good chance of extinguishing it.

Stage 2: Growth. The fire spreads to other combustible materials. You should evacuate.

Stage 3: Developed. The hottest, most deadly stage; evacuation is your primary objective.

Stage 4: Decay. The fire is running out of fuel or oxygen but still smolders; a deadly backdraft is possible.

If the fire is beyond the incipient stage and spreading rapidly, you should evacuate and let the fire department handle it. A deadly flashover is imminent! If you are con dent that you can safely extinguish the fire, do so only after you have gotten people out of the area, sounded the alert, called 911 and contained the fire if possible. Make sure you have an escape route. Then use a portable re extinguisher to put out the fire using the PASS method.

P.A.S.S.

P is for Pull. Pull the pin out of the handle.

A is for Aim. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.

S is for Squeeze. Squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguisher.

S is for Sweep. Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire.

Remember, portable re extinguishers are designed for use during the incipient stage when the likelihood of successfully extinguishing the fire is greatest. During the growth stage of a fire, a portable extinguisher can be useful for escape.

Keep portable re extinguishers in strategic locations of your home such as the kitchen, utility areas, garage and storage rooms. Contact your local re department for recommendations about the type, size and number of re extinguishers needed in your home. Familiarize yourself with how your fire extinguishers work.

The fire is out. Now what?

This is where Professional Carpet Systems can help, so make us your first call. After a home has suffered even a small fire, proper cleanup needs to be done. There may be re extinguisher residue, charred materials and smoke residue to clean up. Water-damaged contents, floors, walls and structural materials need to be dried and cleaned. Strong, lingering odors often require a combination of techniques for successful treatment.

Professional Carpet Systems will work directly with your insurance company to make sure your house is clean, dry and odor-free. We hope you never have to make that call, but if you do, we’ll be there to help.

 

May 2018 Client Newsletter

Here’s our May 2018 client newsletter.

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Total Carpet Care

What you need to know to get the most out of your investment

There is nothing like new carpet. It smells new, feels soft and fluffy, looks beautiful and makes a perfect statement about your style and taste. Compared to other floor coverings, carpet is relatively inexpensive to buy and install. Still, your carpet represents a sizeable investment in your home or business.

In order to get the most out of your carpet, you need a total carpet care program. A total carpet care program is a “retailer to-recycling” approach to carpet care. To be effective, the program should include proper selection, professional installation, daily soil control, interim maintenance, scheduled restorative cleaning and the application of an appropriate carpet protector. The following tips can help you develop a simple carpet care program.

Carpet selection and professional installation–It may be “too late” for the carpet you already have, but carpet selection is an important part of making sure your carpets perform as expected. Some fibers are more resilient than others. Certain colors look cleaner longer because they hide soils better. Pile height, face weight or density and carpet construction all play a factor in how well your carpet will hold up. In a future issue, we will do an entire article on carpet selection and proper installation. For now, let’s focus on the carpet you already have.

Soil control: Prevent soils from getting on the carpet by using walk-off mats and keeping walkways and hard floors clean. If you remove your shoes when entering and wear clean house shoes, you will stop much of the soil from ever entering the home.

The most damaging soils are dry, gritty particulate soils that abrade and dull the surfaces of carpet fibers. This leads to an overall loss of luster in the high traffic areas. Regular use of a well-maintained vacuum cleaner is the single most important part of a total carpet care program. Remember to change vacuum cleaner bags when they are about half full.

Prompt attention to spots and spills is also highly important. Spots can eventually become permanent stains if allowed to age and oxidize on the carpet. It is best to attend to food and drink spills immediately. We will cover simple spot and spill removal techniques in a future article.

Interim maintenance: Some areas simply require more attention than others. The main entry of the home and the high traffic areas in the family room or just outside the kitchen tend to collect the greatest amount of soils. In most cases, it makes sense to clean these traffic areas between regularly scheduled cleanings. Maintenance cleaning usually goes quickly, dries fast and involves little or no furniture moving, so it is far less disruptive to your daily routine.

Scheduled professional cleaning: There comes a time when your carpet requires deep, restorative cleaning. This should be done before soil becomes visibly noticeable. By the time you see soil buildup, damage is already being done to the fibers. How often you need professional deep cleaning depends on several contributing factors including the number of occupants, presence of pets, vacuuming frequency, lifestyle and other considerations.

Protector application: Virtually every carpet manufactured in America comes with a factory–applied protector. Over time, this protector wears off and your carpet loses its ability to resist common household spots, spills and stains. It is important that this protective finish be reapplied after every professional cleaning. Your carpets will stay beautiful and last years longer.

Call Professional Carpet Systems for more information on making your carpet last longer or to schedule your next carpet cleaning. We are happy to help.

April 2018 Client Newsletter

Here’s our April 2018 Client Newsletter.

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Flood Insurance…Are YOU Covered?

Believe it or not, everyone lives in a potential flood zone. You don’t have to be near a river, lake or ocean to be flooded. Floods can be caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes, water backup due to inadequate or overloaded storm drains, as well as broken water mains.

For the purposes of insurance, the term “flood” means:

• “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least 1 of which is the policyholder’s property) from: overflow of inland or tidal waters; or unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or mudflow; or

• Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.” (source FEMA National Flood Insurance Program)

You may be surprised to find out that flood damage is not covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies. Sadly, this can lead to devastating losses, both financial and emotional.

You should consider protecting your home, business, and belongings with flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) whether your flood risk is high or low. With very few exceptions, anyone in a community that participates in the NFIP can buy building and/or contents coverage.

It is a good idea to buy even in lower risk areas because 25 to 30 percent of flood insurance claims occur in low and moderate risk areas.

Flood insurance is very affordable. The lowcost Preferred Risk Policy is ideal for homes and businesses in low-to-moderate-risk areas. Homeowners can insure buildings and contents for as little as $119 per year and renters can insure contents for as little as $39 per year.

About 90 private insurance companies nationally offer affordable flood insurance backed by the federal government. Policies are available to homeowners, renters, and Flood insurance is easy to get through private insurance companies and independent insurance agents. You can even purchase flood insurance with a credit card.

Contents coverage is separate, so renters can also insure their belongings. Up to $100,000 contents coverage is available for homeowners and renters. If you own your home or business, make sure to ask your insurance agent about contents coverage. It is not included with the building coverage.

There is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. Plan ahead so you are not caught without insurance if a flood threatens your home or business.

But doesn’t the federal government help people who have suffered a flood? Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President declares a disaster. And in many cases, the assistance is a loan that must be paid back with interest. Flood insurance pays even if a disaster is not declared. And of course, you never have to pay it back.

Unfortunately, the possibility of flooding is an unpredictable fact of life for property owners. Dealing with the aftermath of even a small flood can be overwhelming.

We hope you never have to go through flooding in your home. But if you do, call Professional Carpet Systems as quickly as possible. We will work directly with your insurance provider to help minimize the damage and restore your home.

March 2018 Client Newsletter

Here’s our March 2018 Client Newsletter!

 

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Bacteria, Fungi Spores, Oh My!

When you are in the business of cleaning, questions often arise regarding disinfecting and sanitizing. Recent Flu epidemics and the MRSA strain of bacteria have raised concerns among people regarding how to protect from possible infection. Fortunately, antimicrobials o er protection from unseen germs and bacteria on many surfaces. There are three levels of antimicrobials that kill or limit microbes and the spores that they use to reproduce.

Sterilizer
A sterilizer kills 100% of microbes and spores. In the spectrum of antimicrobial activity, a sterilizer is the strongest. Sterilization is impractical for everyday use because bacterial and fungal spores are extremely di cult to destroy. Extreme heat is one method of sterilization, but it is not practical outside of a medical environment. Chemical sterilizers are toxic, corrosive irritants that are not safe for use by the general public.

Sanitizers
To sanitize a surface means to reduce levels of harmful microbes to a safe level. Most chemicals sanitizers have little or no effect on certain bacteria like Tuberculosis, and improper use may create resistant strains of harmful bacteria.

Disinfectants
Disinfectant is an EPA regulated term that can only be used on the label of products that have been tested and proven to kill or destroy at least 99.9% of all microorganisms; this doesn’t mean they destroy spores. There are a variety of disinfectants available to consumers, including common household bleach. Caution must be exercised when using bleach or any other EPA registered disinfectant to follow label directions carefully as misuse can lead to damage to materials or health risks.

Disinfectants are named as to what kind of organisms they kill. The suffix cide, meaning “to kill” is added after the type of microorganism it targets. So a bactericide kills bacteria, fungicide kills fungi, and a virucide destroys viruses. Read the label to find out what the product is designed to do.

Making the Choice
What should you use? Since sterilizers are only needed for critical jobs like surgical instruments, we are left with disinfectants and sanitizers. As we have seen, sanitizers do not have the “kill power” that disinfectants do. So why would you choose to use a sanitizer instead of a disinfectant? You make the decision by weighing the risk presented by the microorganisms against the risks involved with the chemical itself. For example, there are chemical sanitizers that are used in commercial kitchens which are designed for treating food preparation surfaces. These products control bacteria on relatively clean surfaces but present almost no risk because of low toxicity.

In a hospital things are different with known health issues at stake. People with a variety of sicknesses create the potential for contamination of many surfaces. Also, there are people with compromised immune systems who could become seriously ill from exposure to common microbes.

When the risk from infection are greater, the necessity for a high- grade disinfectant becomes apparent.

Although these tend to have higher levels of toxicity, the potential risk warrants their use.

Your home is similar. Your kitchen counter is generally clean. Therefore keeping it clean usually means simply maintaining a sanitary condition. If you prepare raw meats on the counter you may consider using a good sanitizer/cleaner. In the bathroom, a stronger disinfectant might be appropriate. You could also use a surface disinfectant in sick rooms to kill infectious microbes.

A clean home is important. But, the most important thing to remember is that all cleaning agents, sanitizers and disinfectants should be stored and used according to the label directions. Failure to do so could cause more harm than good.

February 2018 Client Newsletter

Here’s our February 2018 client newsletter.

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What to do when you have a flood emergency

Floods happen, everywhere in the country. Water can come from a storm surge, broken pipes, poor landscaping and so much more, and you needn’t live near a dam to be in danger. How you handle a water intrusion usually has to do with the rate at which water enters a structure, the amount of water, the source of the water, and what areas are affected. Safety is of Primary Concern In short term water management, slip fall hazards, possible electric shock, biological or toxic contamination and other potential dangers must be considered before you take any action. In cases when there is a large quantity of standing water it is usually safest to turn off the electricity and gas to the structure before you begin any cleanup. Once you have determined it is safe to proceed, identify the source of the water, and stop the water intrusion, if possible. If it is from rainwater or other sources beyond your control, take steps to reduce the rate at which it is spreading. You can do this by placing towels to absorb the water, using a shop vac to extract the water, or even using a push broom or squeegee to push the water outside. If you have them, sandbags can help keep water out as well.

Cleaning Up The services of a professional cleaning and restoration company will usually be needed when the water has saturated building materials or furnishings such as carpet and pad. It is nearly impossible for a homeowner to remove water and dry a structure in a safe and efficient manner. This is because cleaning companies have the fans, heaters, other equipment and experience to dry water quickly. Often homeowner attempts at saving money end up costing thousands of dollars later on in the form of mold contamination and permanent damage to the structure. Many items that could have been saved by the quick response from a professional may have to be discarded, or undergo expensive restoration. A Plan of Action Your best course of action in the event of a substantial water intrusion is to ensure the safety of yourself and other inhabitants of the structure, determine the source of the water, try to stop or slow the entry of water, move sensitive furnishings out of the water as soon as possible, and call a professional restoration contractor to handle the extraction of water and structural drying.

Homeowners’ insurance may or may not cover damages from water intrusion, depending upon your policy and how the water entered. Many policies do not cover “rising water” or water intrusion from flood conditions unless you have specific flood coverage. Yet they will cover damage resulting from rainwater that enters the structure from above, as from a hole in the roof. You can get additional insurance to cover flood and other water hazards. Check your policy or talk to your insurance provider to see what’s covered.

No matter your policy type, most insurance companies require you to act fast and contact a professional restoration company to minimize damage and reduce the cost of the claim. That’s why if you ever have a water intrusion you should call Professional Carpet Systems immediately. Fast response and having the right equipment are both critical in getting your home back to a pre-loss condition as quickly as possible.

January 2018 Client Newsletter

Happy New Year!  Here’s our client newsletter for January 2018.

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Understanding Your Carpet and How to Solve Problems

When selecting carpet, choosing the right color is often the most difficult part of the process. Most people make relatively neutral choices, picking colors such as beige, taupe, gray and even off white because they blend well with just about any decor. Yet, carpets in bold colors like burgundy, deep, rich browns, regal blues and purples, soothing greens and even multi-colored patterns are not uncommon either. The interesting thing is that the color itself is not what protects a carpet from stains. Rather, it’s how the color is dyed that matters. When you know how your carpet was colored you can make more informed cleaning and spot treatment choices.

Extrusion and Coloration

Many carpets, such as polyester and Olefin, are created through extrusion. This is the process of melting plastic balls of certain colors, then extruding the liquid through small holes to create strands. In this way the color goes all through the thread; it’s called “solution dyeing.” This creates the most colorfast carpets, fibers which are highly resistant to fading and bleaching because the color goes all the way through. These carpets are most often found in commercial applications, but they can be in private homes as well. One such extruded fiber, Olefin, is common in Berber style carpets. Olefin fibers are not very absorbent, so they are highly stain resistant.

Fiber & Yarn Dyeing

Sometimes, the material is extruded or otherwise turned into rough fibers before color is applied. Then, various methods are used to apply dye to these fibers before they are spun into yarn. This type of dyeing provides great color penetration, but it is expensive and rarely used on carpets; it’s more common on wool and other high end fabrics. If the fiber is spun into yarn, then dyed, this is yarn dyeing, a common way that multiple colors of fibers are then woven into the carpet to make a variety of patterns, as is common in hotels and office buildings.

Print Dyeing

In print dyeing the carpet is made without color variety. Then, dyes are sprayed or painted on the carpet using stencils. This is common on novelty carpets such as playrooms, daycare centers and movie theaters.

The most common dyeing technique is the continuous dye method. After the yarns have been stitched into the backing material, the carpet passes through jets that spray hot dye into the face yarns. This is the fastest and most cost-effective way to dye carpet. Chances are, if you have a light to medium solid-color carpet, it was dyed in this way.

Keeping Carpet Looking Good

The dyeing process of a carpet determines how it resists color loss, fading and bleaching. An experienced cleaning company will know what chemicals and processes to use in order to get the best cleaning and maintenance results from a particular carpet. Using the wrong cleaning agents or processes could result in fading, loss of luster and other issues, so be sure to have your carpets cleaned at least semi-annually by Professional Carpet Systems.

December 2017 Client Newsletter

Here’s our December 2017 Client Newsletter.

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Water Intrusion! Now What?

For various reasons such as aging or defective plumbing, frozen pipes, faulty appliances or simply leaving the water running, it is estimated that 1 in 4 families will suffer property damage from indoor plumbing failures and accidents in the next 10 years. This means that you or someone you know will likely be affected in the not-too-distant future.

Regardless of where the water originates, a water intrusion can cause significant property damage, so it is important to act fast. Your first step is to call Professional Carpet Systems so that we can minimize the damage.

When we arrive to create a plan of action, there are 3 major factors that we take into account:

• Amount of damage- How much of the structure is affected?

• Level of contamination- What is the amount and type of contamination in the water?

• Depth of penetration- How deep has the water penetrated into structural materials?

Amount of damage is determined during a detailed inspection by a professional restoration technician. You cannot simply rely on looking at the damage. Water migrates to inaccessible areas within the structure, requiring specialized knowledge and equipment to find out where the water is. Failure to locate hidden pockets of moisture can lead to further structural damage and the potential for lingering odors and mold growth.

Level of contamination is based on the source of the water, how long the water sat, and what kind of contaminants it contacted. Here is a breakdown of the 3 main categories:

Category 1- Clean water comes from a source such as a broken water pipe, water heater or a sink overflow.

Category 2- Unsanitary water contains a significant amount of contamination such as soil, household chemicals, or organic material that can provide nourishment for bacteria and fungi. Sources include washing machine or dishwasher overflow, fish tanks, etc. Category 1 water can degrade to Category 2 or 3 over time.

Category 3- Grossly unsanitary water contains contamination that can cause disease or chronic illness. The most common source of Category 3 water is backflow from sewer or septic systems. Any water that passes over the ground falls into this category due to fungi, bacteria, animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers and other potential contaminants.

Depth of penetration depends on the permeance of affected materials and the length of time the water remained in contact with those materials. Permeance is the ability of water to absorb into or pass through a material. Drywall is highly permeable, absorbing water easily, while hardwood floors are low-permeance or minimally absorbent. The permeance factor, exposure time and level of contamination in the water determines what materials we can save.

For example, if drywall is saturated for a short time with clean water, it can usually be saved. However, if drywall is saturated with water from a sewage backflow, it should be removed and replaced.

There are different requirements for various materials and levels of contamination. If you consider all of the materials in your home, hardwoods, plywood, drywall, insulation, carpet, structural wood, vinyl, particle board, tile, concrete as well as your furnishings, it’s easy to see why Professional Carpet Systems should be your first call if you should ever have a water intrusion in your home.

We are experts at assessing the damage and tailoring a restoration program to your unique situation.

Our technicians are trained and certified to minimize the damage and protect the health and safety of your family. We’ll act quickly and efficiently to get your home or business dry and clean, so you can get back to normal quickly.

November 2017 Client Newsletter

Here’s our November 2017 Client Newsletter.

PCSNewsletterNovember2017web-1Click Here to see the Newsletter

Spend a little now…Save a lot later

Fall is the perfect time to do some maintenance on your home’s exterior. Warm weather and the higher humidity of summer cause materials to shift and expand, then as the weather cools and the humidity decreases the process reverses. This can leave your home with areas that water, pests and rot can penetrate. Now is the time to act.

As Winter Approaches

Paint, caulk, shingles, wood, rubber, vinyl and siding are all affected by high temperature and UV radiation from the sun. As a result, the exterior envelope of your home may not be as “tight” as it was in the spring. As weather gets cooler, materials tend to shrink and harden. Air is drier, resulting in further shrinkage as materials lose moisture. Rubber seals around doors and windows become brittle. Caulk separates from siding and trim, allowing outdoor air and damaging moisture to enter.

The wood around doors and windows can rot. High moisture levels encourage insects and termites to make your home their home. Hidden mold growth on wood, drywall and other porous surfaces causes millions of dollars in structural damage every year. Moisture is the primary cause.

You can take a few easy steps to ensure your home is in good shape as winter approaches. Following is a list of things that you can check out and another list the ambitious homeowner can do, or which you can hire an inspector to check out for you.

Easy Fall Checkpoints

As fall approaches take a slow walk around your house and check the following:

  • Visually check out all windows and doors. Look at the wood trim to ensure it is not rotted or pulling away. Check the caulk to ensure it is flexible and well-sealed. Pound in loose trim nails and re-caulk if necessary. Remove brittle, deteriorated caulk before resealing.
  • Check weather stripping to ensure pliability and good seal. If you can see daylight around the door or window then you may need to install new weather stripping.
  • Look around windows, doors, soffits and other areas for water intrusion. If you see dark stains or rotted areas you may have a leak and want to call a professional. After the leak is fixed you can replace damaged wood. Or, check out this great product called “Git Rot”, available at marine centers, for repairing rotted wood.
  • If you have a basement check it for leaks by touching the wall, especially where it meets the floor. Sometimes, minor water issues can be corrected with sealing paint. Getting Professional Help If you are a very handy homeowner then do the following checks as well. Otherwise, hire a pro to:
  • Have your gutters cleaned and checked. Ensure all downspouts are directed away from your house. If you don’t have gutters, consider having seamless gutters installed; they are actually quite inexpensive compared to other home improvements.
  • Have the roof inspected. Many roofing companies will do this for free, just be sure to pick a reputable one. Ensure they look for gaps and issues around the chimney, plumbing stacks and any other roof penetrations.
  • If you have a crawl space under your home, hire a professional to crawl under it once a year and check it out for plumbing leaks, structure issues, and animal infestation.

The old saying says that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It can save you a ton of money in the long run as well