Recent Posts

SERVPRO of Boone & Kenton County Takes Care Of Your Restaurant Cleaning Needs

11/21/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning before and after photos of a walk in freezer SERVPRO of Boone and Kenton County disposed of the contents and pressure washed the walk-in freezer of this Covington restaurant.

In 2020 Covington, decided to start focusing on cleaning up the hundreds of vacant buildings in the city. SERVPRO of Boone & Kenton County is no stranger to the effects that time can have on the structure of a commercial property. As the building falls into disrepair, expenses begin to add up. For some property owners, it becomes cheaper to let the building fall apart. To remediate this problem, The City of Covington came up with a strategy to make these issues more affordable for the building owner. This plan lowers the fees associated with abandoned buildings. That gives relief to the building owner to fix it up and place it on the market. 

SERVPRO of Boone and Kenton County is proud to serve our community by offering commercial cleaning services to these property owners. One such property owner was attempting to sell an old fast food restaurant. Structurally the building was sound. However, it needed some TLC before it could be placed on the market. 

Interior Commercial Cleaning

This restaurant had been closed for years. We began by power washing and scrubbing the front and the back of house. This included the walk-in fridge and freezer. We cleaned the building from top to bottom. Afterward, we placed air movers so the interior of the commercial building could properly dry. 

Exterior Commercial Cleaning 

If you’ve ever worked in the restaurant industry, you know how quickly dirt and debris can build up near the dumpster. It doesn't matter how diligent a property owner you are. In this instance, our methods were the same. We pressure washed the concrete housing facility for the dumpster and scrubbed it down. 

SERVPRO of Boone and Kenton County feels lucky to offer our commercial cleaning services to our community. We are committed to helping beautify our home and yours. Do you have a restaurant or other type of commercial property that needs our help? Call us today at (859) 746-3400 for your free estimate. We look forward to serving you.

Thankful for Fire Safety Tips

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving card resting against a bowl of limes. Prevent property damage by following these fire safety tips.

Did you know on Thanksgiving, more Americans cook dinner at home each year than any other day. According to USFA, it’s also the day with the highest rate of fire. To prevent fires in your home this holiday season, follow the tips listed below.

Keep Children Away From The Kitchen

If you have little ones, it’s best to keep them distracted and out of the kitchen. Children can pose a danger when they come and go from the kitchen frequently. They could leave a tripping hazard on the floor, or; their curious minds could lead them to hover too close to the stove and oven. NFPA suggests that you keep your wee ones at least 3 feet away from the stove to prevent personal injury.

Some children may like to help in the kitchen, and that’s perfectly fine. But consider giving them jobs that keep them away from open flames or hot surfaces. Peeling potatoes or mashing them is a task that makes them feel useful but can be done safely with adult supervision. They may even enjoy helping you stuff the turkey!

Keep An Eye on Your Food

Hosting Thanksgiving is a big job. It’s easy to get distracted by all of your responsibilities and leave the kitchen for long periods. This is where the fire risks get higher. Delegate tasks between members of the household so that there is at least one adult in the kitchen at any given time.  

Use Caution When Frying Your Turkey

 Deep-fried turkey can be a special treat, but; the process is risky. Property Casual 360 states, there are nearly 15 million dollars in claims made each year because of frying turkeys. Follow these tips to avoid fire and property damage this Thanksgiving.

  1. Deep-fryers should be kept away from decks, garages, trees, and structures.
  2. Before cooking, make sure the turkey is thawed completely. Mixing cold water with hot oil is a recipe for disaster.
  3. Place the fryer on a level surface. Don't move it once you’ve started cooking.
  4. To avoid overfilling the vat with oil, follow the directions.
  5. Smaller turkeys are best. Deep-frying turkeys heavier than 12 pounds is not recommended.
  6. Just like food on the stove, a frying turkey should not be left unattended. 
  7. Before lowering the turkey into the oil, turn off the heat. Turn the burner on after the turkey is submerged.
  8. Don’t stuff the turkey until after it’s done cooking.
  9. Always keep children and pets away from the fryer. 
  10. When the turkey is done cooking, remove the pot from the flame. Set it on a level surface, and cover it overnight to allow the oil to cool before discarding.

SERVPRO of Boone and Kenton County is so grateful for you. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for our amazing customers. We hope that you have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. 

The 4 Toughest Household Odors to Remove

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

Tabby cat with pee pad blurred out in the background This little cutie had an intestinal infection causing her to have accidents on the carpets of our customer’s Covington home.

If you’ve ever gone house or apartment hunting, you may have noticed the different scents that come with someone else’s home. Sometimes these can be pleasant other times, not so much. Some scents can’t be removed without professional cleaning services. The odors we'll discuss are urine, cigarette smoke, spices, and mildew. 

The difficulty of cleaning is found at the molecular level: proteins and oils. Breaking down these molecules can be difficult, but; it’s certainly not impossible. We'd like to give our readers insight into how we attack these resilient odors.

Mildew

First, we will discuss mildew. Because it doesn’t fit into either category. It is also the most common call we receive about odors. The discussion typically starts with clients describing a musty and offputting smell. Likely, what you’re smelling is mildew. 

The EPA explains that mildew is the mycelium of a fungus that grows in a flat pattern. Like all fungi, mildew must distribute its spores to reproduce. It does this by emitting gasses to disperse the spores. It’s the gas you smell when mildew is in your home. We treat mildew like we would most mold remediation. Luckily mildews like Aspergillus vs. molds like Stachybotrys has a growth pattern that doesn’t typically penetrate materials like drywall. It is often referred to as a surface mold due to its aforementioned flat growth habits. Mildew can cause staining but, it's easily cleaned with products like Sporicidin.

Proteins

Urine

Do you remember a time when your pet had an accident or two? You thought you had it cleaned up. Then, on the next rainy day, the smell comes back. You’re frustrated. You clean it over and over again still, the odor continues to return. 

The smell reappears because of a protein called uric acid. This is a molecule that doesn’t break down with soap and water. So, if you’re using just a typical household cleaner, that could be why the smell always comes back. Uric acids require a cleaner that will break down the protein molecules. 

Sometimes we use a gentle product called Benefect. Other times we need something more powerful. In this case, we use a product called Vanquish. The products we use vary based on severity and the types of materials we are cleaning. For instance, what we use on carpets may not be safe for hardwood and vice versa.   

Oils

Spices

When herbs are cooked, they release volatile oils. This is what gives the spice its flavor and smell. The oil in these spices penetrates porous objects like drywall and cupboards in the kitchen. That’s why the odor remains for months, even after the previous inhabitant has left. Whether you find the smell unpleasant or it just makes you hungry every time you walk in the room, a powerful degreaser is what we need to remove these odors. 

Cigarette Smoke

The second most common call we get regarding odors is cigarette smoke. Even if they smoke outside, the smell follows them inside and lingers in the house for a long time. The reason for that is much like spices. When tobacco is smoked, it releases the chemical nicotine. It is an oily substance that will absorb into all of your porous surfaces. 

If the previous owner was a heavy inside smoker, drastic measures are needed to remove it. Often times the carpet and pad have to be replaced. We usually use an ozone machine to battle this substance. Sealing the walls is another way to keep the odor from coming back. 

Every home is different so, we won’t know the exact methods we need to use until we see your home. If you’re ready to have your house smelling fresh, give SERVPRO of Boone & Kenton County a call today! We’ll be able to schedule your free estimate and offer that 5-star service you’ve come to know and trust!

Improve Your Health By Improving Your Air Quality

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Office Ductwork Air Duct Cleaning is pivotal to better air quality.

Allergy season is here. If you’re like many of us at SERVPRO of Boone County, you’re dealing with sniffles and sinus headaches too. Have you ever considered that part of your symptoms could be coming from your air ducts?

Your HVAC system circulates the air in your home anywhere from 5-7 times daily. Every time, it circulates microscopic allergens. Eventually, all of those tiny particulates build up and bring down your air quality. So if you’re one of the millions dealing with seasonal allergies cleaning your ducts could lessen the severity of your symptoms. 

When Should I Get My Ducts Cleaned?

It is recommended that you get your ducts cleaned at the changes of the season. More specifically, fall or spring. It is at these times that the most dramatic changes to the weather starts. Kentuckians that are allergic to Ragweed and mold may want to consider the fall. As the nights get cooler, many of us open our windows to enjoy the fresh air. Ragweed blooms in the fall. The pollen can travel for 100 miles entering our homes while the windows are open. Damp places are the favored homes of mold and mildew. Large piles of leaves are examples of those places. Duct cleaning can also keep your energy bill down over the winter. A clean system means your HVAC unit doesn’t have to work as hard to heat your home.  

The spring is also a good time because we are generally already spring cleaning our homes. We are kicking up dust by cleaning our knick-knacks, and; our houses have been closed up all season. Kick up your spring cleaning a notch by investing in duct cleaning. Our duct cleaning services will aid in removing dust, dust mites, and pet dander from your home.

It’s also advisable to have your ducts cleaned after most reconstruction projects. The dust that accumulates post-construction can be detrimental to your air quality. Duct cleaning can keep the particulates from circulating around your house. 

New homeowners should also consider getting their air ducts cleaned. This is especially true if the last time they were cleaned isn’t disclosed during the inspection. The idea of living in someone else’s dirty air does not sound appealing.  

How Often Should I Get My Air Ducts Cleaned?

A general rule of thumb is to clean your ducts at least every 4-5 years. However, certain lifestyles may require more frequent duct cleaning. For instance, animal lovers may need to have their ducts cleaned more often. This can help pet dander build up in the vents. Homeowners that smoke in their home may also want to have air ducts cleaned more regularly to battle the smell of nicotine. 

If you're questioning how often to clean your ducts, NADCA simply suggests regular inspections. This will take the guesswork out of whether or not you're due for an air duct cleaning.  

If you are ready to move forward with duct cleaning in your home SERVPRO is just a phone call away! You can breathe easy knowing that our franchise has a $500 Minimum that cleans up to 10 vents. That includes returns. Each vent after that is just 25 bucks. Call us to schedule your duct cleaning today!

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.