Recent Posts

Arm Yourself against Covid-19

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

Person in PPE wiping down Surfaces Stop the spread of Covid-19 by taking preventative cleaning measures.

Like you, we wish life could go back to normal. Unfortunately, the Delta variant is making that difficult. As covid-19 cases soar in Hamilton, Boone, & Kenton County SERVPRO wants to ensure your health and safety. Keeping your facilities clean is crucial to your health and the health of your employees. Here are some of the steps we will take to ensuring your health and safety.

Routine Cleaning

SERVPRO uses cleaning products that are CDC certified to disinfect the Covid-19 virus. If you are looking for preventative measures to ensure the health and safety of your employees give us a call. We offer regular cleaning services that will disinfect all surfaces so you and your employees can feel comfortable coming to the office day in and day out. Whether you are looking for weekly or monthly preventative cleaning we have the services that you need.

Cleaning After a Positive Case

If you or an employee have received a positive Covid-19 infection the CDC also recommends that any employee that could have had potentially close contact with the infected individual quarantine for 14 days. Before your employees return you’ll want to clean the facilities. Continue using certified disinfectants that kill Covid 19. Wipe down any and all surfaces especially phones, keyboards, mouses. Each employee should have their own station so that they aren’t using anyone else’s electronics. 

When vacuuming wear a mask. Most vacuum cleaners will blow air up towards your face potentially exposing you to the virus. When using cleaners be sure to wear gloves. When dealing with a positive case of Covid-19 it’s a good idea to consider wearing full PPE to protect yourself and others from the virus. And remember make sure the area is well ventilated and don’t mix chemicals like ammonia and bleach the fumes are toxic and could cause serious illness and injury. 

Above all else our office wants you to stay safe and healthy. That’s why we offer free, no contact estimates for all of your covid cleaning needs. If you need assistance sterilizing your office call us at (513) 541-3200 “we are always here to help.”

End Your Job Search Here and Join Our Team!

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

Crew Member with 6 arms Be a helping hand. Join our team!

We're Hiring! If you love helping people during tumultuous times, we've got the career for you! We have a sincere drive toward the goal of helping make fire and water damage "Like it never even happened." Our Franchise is looking for someone comfortable working hard in difficult situations, enjoys meeting new people, has strong communication skills, and can multitask effectively.

The Fire & Water Production Technician prescribes, coordinates, controls, and performs work activities on restoration projects to successfully fulfill service needs and facilitate a positive customer experience.

  • As the front-line representative of the SERVPRO® brand, the Technician demonstrates to customers and clients the company’s Here to Help® commitment.
  • The successful candidate should be well-groomed with a highly professional image
  • Valid driver’s license and a good driving record
  • Great verbal and written communication
  • leadership and organizational skills
  • knowledgeable in project estimating, and quality control
  • Previous experience in fire, water, smoke, mold mitigation/restoration is desired
  • Professional certifications from IICRC, RIA, ACAC, NADCA, and others are a plus

As a valued SERVPRO® franchise employee, you will receive a competitive pay rate, with the opportunity to learn and grow. Training and development programs are available, which can include industry certifications.

If this sounds like the career for you, please email your resume to jmckinney@hartkes.com by 10/1/2021.

5 Reasons Modern Buildings Have more Mold Issues

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in the corner of a wall This customer suffered heavy mold damage on their drywall. We made it "Like it never even happened."

Mold is an organism that appears naturally outdoors and indoors. Many property owners worry about it growing in their homes and commercial buildings. While mold can cause a significant amount of property damage, it still needs a specific type of atmosphere to grow. That’s why roof leaks, pipe leaks, or faulty window seals are so problematic. They create the perfect breeding grounds for fungi.

Here at SERVPRO we make it a point to learn something new every day. During our research, we found an interesting statistic that we'd like to share. Mold damage wasn’t as prevalent in residential and commercial buildings 100 years ago as it is today. We did more research and sussed out the top five reasons modern properties are more likely to experience mold damage than older homes and commercial buildings.   

Time

According to The Collection Plan in 2018, the average house took about 7 months from the beginning of construction to the end. These construction goals still hold true today. Shorter construction times aren’t inherently bad. Technological advancements have allowed us to finish construction projects must faster. There is also a higher demand for more houses now than there was in the 1920s. The consumer plays a role too. As a society, we expect faster build times.

The issues that cause mold damage happens when builders shorten the construction time by cutting corners. Builders may use unskilled laborers. They might use less material where more is required to get the job done right. They might not have the architect oversee the project to ensure the house is being built correctly. Keep in mind this isn’t the case for all builders. It is, however, more common now than it used to be.   

Materials

The types of materials have changed as well. Now builders use Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and particleboard. Materials like this are more porous than the timber used 100 years ago. Modern building supplies hold on to moisture longer. It leaves your house susceptible to possible mold damage if the humidity gets too high. 

HVAC system

100 years ago, central heating and air conditioning was an expensive luxury few could afford. They were also too large for residential homes. According to Energy.gov, they weren’t widely available for residential properties until the early 1930s. It wasn’t until the 70s that forced-air HVAC systems were installed on newly built properties. 

HVAC systems create condensation. Ideally, it drips into a condensation pan. However, clogs happen and, condensation pans can potentially overflow. Additionally, condensation can build up in the ducts. When left untreated ducts, and vents are the perfect breeding ground for mold. That is why cleaning your ducts is so important. It can clean out the mold and therefore improve the overall air quality.  

Architecture

Houses come in all shapes and sizes. Did you know that those shapes and sizes are usually designed for a specific climate? Flat roofs are intended for dryer climates like Arizona. Whereas Capecods and Ranch style homes are ideal for rainier parts of the world. When a property is built based on design trends instead of practicality, roofing leaks and clogged gutters are more likely to occur. If the subsequent water damage is not treated, it can cause mold.

Lower Tolerance

According to Diane Hoffmaster, a microbiologist, and writer of the blog Turning The Clock Back, American culture has a decreasing tolerance to dirt. Cleanliness is seen as a moral value. Therefore if mold is present in or on the property we fear being shunned by the community. 

The aforementioned factors may have a relatively low impact on the number of mold damages we see today. Could it just be that 100 years ago, property owners didn’t worry as much about mold damage? If only walls could talk! If you’d like to talk to us about mold damage on your property call us today at (513) 541-3200 to schedule a free estimate.

Are You the Hero We're Looking For?

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employee speaking with a homeowner Are you looking for a rewarding career where you can make a difference in the world? Then look no further!

Are you passionate about helping people during rough times? Then you've come to the right place! We're looking for individuals that have a sincere drive toward the goal of helping make fire and water damage "Like it never even happened." Our Franchise is looking for someone comfortable working hard in difficult situations, enjoys meeting new people, has strong communication skills, and can multitask effectively.

Primary Role:

  • Manage production crews and jobs according to SERVPRO procedures.
  • Assign and coordinate jobs with crews.
  • Keep General Manager/Owner updated on production.
  • Supervise job scheduling, coordinate requirements for the job, complete job files, supervise production, and monitor jobs from start to finish.
  • Resolve problems quickly as they arise.
  • Perform production work as needed.
  • Provide and communicate clear and accurate pretesting, scoping of services, and job estimates.
  • Monitor and follow-up on all assigned jobs ensuring that customer needs are met.
  • Communicate and establish rapport with commercial, insurance, and residential customers.

Results Expected:

  • Crews are effectively managed to maximize production.
  • Production processes are performed according to guidelines.
  • Documentation is completed in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Production costs are maintained at the established rate.
  • Additional sales are made to customers.
  • Both internal and external communications are timely and effective.
  • Jobs have completed either meeting or exceeding customer expectations.
  • Experience with Xactimate is a plus.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not discriminate in employment and personnel practices based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, national origin, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you'd like to join our SERVPRO family, please email your resume to jmckinney@hartkes.com. Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity! The deadline is 10/1/21.

SERVPRO Has All Of Your Post-Construction Needs

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

Hand on a towel wiping down a table next to a spray bottle. There is no post-clean too big for SERVPRO. From the new construction of large facilities to remodels, we can do it all.

Did you begin a remodeling project on your property within the past year and a half? According to JCHS, 60-80% of property owners started remodeling their businesses and homes during the pandemic. We’ve received many phone calls from customers who are surprised by the amount of work there was still left to do. The amount of drywall dust and other debris at the end of the work leaves property owners baffled. As your local commercial and residential post-construction cleaning company, SERVPRO has the solutions you need. Here’s what you can expect from our office.


Post-Construction Cleaning

Before we can start your post-construction clean our Production Managers will need to come out to your home so they can scope the area and provide you with a free estimate. Once you have approved the appraisal, we can begin work. Your scope may contain some of the following services. 

  1. Pick Up Debris:
    1. Contractors will pick up most of the leftover materials and garbage, but; sometimes things get overlooked. That's where we come in. We'll throw away the large pieces of trash like drop cloths and nails that might get left behind.
  2. Vacuuming:
    1. HEPA or, “high-efficiency particulate air,” Vacuuming:
      1. Our vacuums are HEPA certified. That means the microscopic particulates that get left behind with the average vacuum get swept up with our equipment.
      2. We will vacuum the floors and hard-to-reach places.
    2. Vacuuming Baseboards:
      1. Baseboards and cove bases tend to get missed during day-to-day cleaning. You’d be surprised by the particulates that accumulate on such a small ledge. These spots won’t be missed by our crews!
  3. Wipe Down Surfaces:
    1. Believe it or not, even your walls will collect dust and particulates. We will wipe down all surfaces. This includes but is not limited to lamps, light fixtures, walls, windows, appliances, mirrors, and countertops.
  4. Duct Cleaning:
    1. Duct cleaning is crucial after construction. Whether your HVAC system is running during construction or not, particulates will settle in your ducts. To avoid soiling your freshly cleaned property SERVPRO highly recommend including a duct cleaning after every construction project.


Whether you need post-construction cleaning for a residential or commercial property SERVPRO has you covered. We clean single rooms, whole residential properties, and large warehouses. No job is too big or too small for us. We offer a wide variety of services that best suit your needs. Call us today to schedule your free estimate.

Is Your Commercial Property Prepared For A Power Outage?

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

Squirrel on a wire 70% of commercial properties will experience power outages each year.

Squirrels, their twitchy little tails are cute, but; did you know that they account for more than 1,000 power outages per year? According to Duke Energy, storms and falling trees accounted for the majority of power outages in 2016. Because they chew on the wires squirrels, and other small animals weren’t far behind. To prevent revenue loss during a power outage due to weather or small critters, follow these steps.

What To Do During A Power Outage:

For your safety during a power outage, it’s important to have a plan of action.

  1. Make sure your employees can locate the meter and electric service room.
  2. Make sure there are emergency lights in the meter room.
  3. Have flashlights available.
  4. Turn everything off
  5. Use your cell phone to find out if the outage is limited to your building or if other locations in your area are affected.
  6. When electricity is restored, only turn on essential equipment. Then slowly start turning stuff back on after 20-30 mins.

It would behoove business owners to consider investing in backup generators. This can give your commercial property temporary power until the electric company gets it back up and running. SERVPRO will also need it to run equipment should you have a water intrusion during a storm. 

Prepare Your Urban Businesses and Homes For Stronger Thunderstorms

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Cincinnati CityScape Cincinnati is going to great lengths to reduce the Urban Heat Island impacts.

Have you ever noticed that in downtown Cincinnati or Covington, the temperature feels warmer by 2-5 degrees? It’s no coincidence. It actually is warmer! For centuries researchers have been studying this phenomenon. Scientists call it the Urban Heat Island Effect. Studies have shown that Urban areas like Cincinnati, Bellevue, and Covington have more severe storms because of this anomaly. The population in urban areas is predicted to increase in the coming years. SERVPRO wants to help you prepare your property now to decrease storm damage later.

What is an Urban Heat Island?

Urban Heat Islands, or UHI, are densely populated cities where buildings are built closely together. Generally, these areas have a large amount of surface area made from asphalt, concrete, steel, and other heat absorbent materials. It’s not just the building materials that make a UHI. Activities that create heat like driving, manufacturing, even a person walking can add heat to these tight spaces and raise the temperature. These factors mean the heat is trapped in the landscape. That is what creates the 2-5 degree difference in large cities. 

How Does This Effect Create Stronger Storms?

There is more to a UHI than the temperature differential. The climate inside these areas is actually different. Nasa explains the reason behind this difference best, “increased temperature may provide a source of unstable air. If air over a city is warmer than the air surrounding it, it wants to rise. As the city-warmed air rises, it cools and forms rain-producing clouds that soak the area downwind.” These factors potentially create more severe weather than what might occur in the neighboring suburbs and rural areas.

Meteorologynews.com quotes Climatologist Dev Niyogi of Purdue University in Indiana, who believes, “As we are becoming bigger and bigger in terms of our urban footprint, there’s a distinct probability we are going to see cities have their own weather patterns.” For Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, this means higher river levels and more frequent flooding.

Protecting Your Property From Storm Damage

The best thing you can do to protect your property from storm damage is to click here for maintenance suggestions. These tips can help prevent storm damage altogether or reduce the damage to your property. Scientists believe there is more than maintenance required to reduce property damage. Changes to how we use our urban spaces are also necessary. It is possible to reverse the effects of a UHI by taking these steps.

  • Add Greenspaces
    • Part of the problem with UHIs is the lack of plant life in downtown areas. Businesses and homeowners can help by planting gardens on their roofs. Sometimes roof gardens aren't possible. Your home or business may have a peaked roof or no roof access at all. Consider replacing lawn or concrete with a native garden bed instead. 
  • Plant Trees
    • The EPA explains, “Trees shade buildings to directly reduce cooling energy demand by blocking the sun's radiation. Indirectly, trees use solar energy to release moisture into the atmosphere in the form of water vapor, which has an additional cooling effect.”
  • Use light colors on your roof and ground cover.
    • Dark surfaces absorb and hold onto the sun’s rays at a higher rate than lighter surfaces. Painting a roof white can reflect the light and decrease the heat absorption better than a black roof.

Should a large storm hit your home or business give SERVPRO a call. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.

Drinks All Around!

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

Golf ball near hole and flagpole Join us for Drinks on 7/15/21 at the 8th annual Cincinnati Blue Goose Golf Outing.

We are so proud to be this year’s drink sponsor for the 8th annual Cincinnati Blue Goose Golf Outing. If you’re an insurance adjuster and want to support a good cause, join us on Thursday, July 15, 2021, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EDT. Click Here to preregister on 6/15/21 for an early bird special. Registration proceeds as normal on 6/16/21. We can’t wait to share a drink with you! See you soon!

We Are Proud Sponsors of Our Community

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

GCIA Logo We are proud members of our Cincinnati community.

We are so excited to be a sponsor for this year’s Greater Cincinnati Insurance Association picnic party! Join us this Wednesday 6/9/2021 at 11 AM. The picnic is free to all members and a plus one. Click here to register! There will be steaks, sides, beer, and wine. So come and have a drink. It’s on us. You won’t want to miss this incredible networking opportunity.

3 Interesting Facts About Soot

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Corner of a wall covered in soot with soot tags present. This soot is in a garage we cleaned in Loveland Ohio. The fire damage affected the Homeowner's contents, ceilings, and, walls.

After a fire, there is a toxic residue that clings to your ceilings, walls, and contents. This residue is called soot. It comes in many shapes and forms. Publichealth.lacounty.gov explains that “high-oxygen fires will result in dry dusty soot, whereas slow-burning, low-oxygen fires will result in greasy wet deposits that easily smear.” You might consider cleaning this substance yourself. SERVPRO is here to explain why that isn't a good idea.

What Is Soot Made Of?

Soot is a blanket of tiny particulates. These particulates are made of tiny molecules from the contents and materials that burned up in the fire. Sciencedirect.com further explains “all soots are... characterized by the presence of very small particles (submicrometer) and correspondingly a large ratio of surface area to mass.” After a fire, these small particles are actively searching for a place to land. The walls and ceiling have the perfect surface to attract them.

Why Is Soot Toxic

The toxicity of soot comes from the chemical makeup of the molecules we just discussed. In a house fire, the burnt contents are typically made up of synthetic materials such as plastic, metals, and wood. Usually, when they are in one solid piece, these materials are safe. However, when broken down to the molecular level, these materials can become carcinogenic. If your home was built before 1978, lead and asbestos are likely present. According to The National Cancer Institute, other carcinogenic substances in soot include but are not limited to arsenic, cadmium, and chromium.

Soot Takes Many Forms

After a fire, you may notice black cobwebs in the affected area. This is not a reflection of how clean your house was before the fire. This is a chemical reaction from the fire. The high temperature of the fire allows the molecules to stick together. Unlike water that evaporates, these molecules are not able to turn back into their gaseous forms. This creates a chainlike structure that many people confuse as cobwebs. Their actual name is a Soot Web or Soot Tag. They can get very messy if they are disturbed.

Because of the nature of a soot web, do not attempt to clean them yourself. Doing so can cause more fire damage than you would have otherwise incurred. Cleaning up soot after fire damage yourself is not recommended. Our professionally trained staff have the experience and equipment to ensure that the job gets done safely and correctly. For your family’s health and safety, please give our office a call. Our staff is ready to take your call any time of day.