Recent Cleaning Posts

Odor and Bio-Hazard Remediation - Our Process

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Hallway Pre-Remediation Hallway in Gurley, AL. Residence Pre-Remediation

Odor and Bio-Hazard Remediation - Our Process

 Have you inherited or purchased a home recently that is heavily affected with odors or contamination from animal and insect waste or general filth? SERVPRO of North Huntsville provides remediation services for situations like this.

 What is our remediation process?

Inspection and Estimate: An experienced technician will come to the home or commercial building to inspect the space and the conditions. We will put together a line-by-line estimate showing what we believe needs to be done in order to effectively remove contaminants and odors, as well as what the cost will be. This process is an excellent starting point for a property owner that is just not sure where to begin or exactly what kind of situation they are dealing with.

PPE: When our crew arrives on site to begin the remediation, the first thing they will do is suit up in full PPE (personal protective equipment). This will most likely include a Tyvek suit, gloves, shoe covers, and respirators. The purpose is to protect each technician from breathing in or coming into direct contact with contaminants.

Containment: If applicable, containment will be set up to limit the possibility of cross-contamination between areas that are affected and areas that are un-affected. The location and type of containment will be specific to the situation and could include simply putting a sheet of plastic over a doorway, or something as extensive as setting up a negative-air containment system.

Setting Equipment: SERVPRO prides itself in the knowledge of our technicians and the thorough processes they follow to ensure our work is reliable. In a remediation for odor or filth, we work to reduce contaminants on all surface materials, as well as contaminants that are in the air. Therefore, we often place air scrubbers at the residence, which take in air through commercial grade HEPA filters to remove particulates.

Removal of affected structural materials: A critical step in certain remediations will be the removal of affected structural materials. This may be flooring and subfloor that is saturated with animal urine, or drywall and insulation that has been chewed through and inhabited by rodents. Every remediation is different, and the necessity of structural material removal will be evaluated for each situation. Sometimes, a thorough cleaning is all that is necessary.

HEPA Vacuuming: Have you ever noticed that some older models of vacuum cleaners tend to stir up more dust and dander than they remove? This is because they lack the filtration system that most modern vacuums have. An important step our crew will take in each remediation is HEPA Vacuuming to remove fur, particles, and debris from surfaces such as the ceiling, walls, and flooring without sending particles airborne. This step is far more important than it sounds because it helps to ensure the complete removal of contaminants from crevices or surfaces that would otherwise be very hard to clean (example: popcorn ceilings). It also expedites the next step, hand cleaning.

Hand Cleaning: The next step is cleaning surfaces by hand either with an anti-microbial solution or by the dry-sponge process, dependent on the needs of the item or surface. This process is performed from top-to-bottom, starting with light fixtures and moving on to crown molding, ceilings, doors, trim, windows, walls, baseboards, and flooring.

Duct Cleaning: In many situations, a full duct and HVAC system cleaning is necessary. For an explanation on this, check out our blog post titled ‘HVAC System Duct Cleaning’. Oftentimes when customers call saying they cannot remove an odor from their home, this is the one step that was overlooked.

Deodorization Thermal Fogging: Thermal Fogging dispenses solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles. It is usually the last step performed at the end of a remediation and can make a significant difference in the satisfaction of the homeowner.

SERVPRO of North Huntsville can also include other services in your estimate, such as removing and cleaning contents, rug cleaning, and laundry. We take time to address each of your needs and expectations and will work with you specific to your situation.

Call our office at (256) 534-1177 to ask questions about our services or to schedule your inspection.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Changing your HVAC filter will improve air quality in your home.

Well, it's that time of year again where we're all stuck indoors either staring at each other, or our smartphones, all day long because Mother Nature refuses to cooperate with any outside plans. Which brings me to my question: When's the last time you changed your HVAC air filter for your house? Hmm? I can’t remember when I did …and if that's the case, it's time to change it, trust me! You see, your air filter is like the lint trap in your dryer, and NEEDS to be changed at least every two months, if not every month. In the wintertime it's suggested to change every month and upgrade your filter since we're all stuck indoors a lot more than usual, and so the collection of particulates in the air is greater. By changing your filter it will increase your air quality. It will also help increase the functionality of your HVAC system to run more efficiently as well. A dirty air filter is one of the main causes for system breakdowns. When your air filter is maxed out with dust and such, your system has to work harder to do its job. This will reflect on your utility bill & can also cause your unit to overheat and cost you more money!

Check your filter’s condition and change it once a month if:

  • You run your unit six months a year to year-round.
  • You have pets.  Pet dander can become airborne and circulate through the home’s ventilation system just as typical household dust does.
  • You smoke indoors.
  • You or someone in your household suffers from allergies or a respiratory condition.
  • You have a fireplace that you occasionally use.
  • You live on a working farm or ranch.  Dust and dirt that gets kicked up by outdoor work activity and/or large animals can be pulled into the home’s ventilation system, especially through open windows.
  • There is construction taking place around or near the home.  You may be installing a new roof or a pool, or perhaps a neighbor is building a home or addition. 

Change the filter immediately if:

  • The filter is damaged.  Whether it happened inside the packaging or while being installed, a damaged filter that has bent fins, collapsed cells or holes will not work as well as an undamaged filter, especially if it allows system air to bypass the filter at any point. 
  • The filter is damp.  A filter affected by moisture intrusion, system condensation, or even high indoor humidity can quickly become moldy and spread airborne mold spores throughout the home via the ventilation system. 
  • There is evidence of microbial growth or mold on the filter. 

Also having your HVAC duct system cleaned can improve the air quality in your home. 

 How often should you have your residential HVAC systems be cleaned?


Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the homeowner. Some of the things that may lead a homeowner to consider more frequent cleaning include:

  • smokers in the household
  • pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
  • water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system
  • after home renovations or remodeling
  • prior to occupancy of a new home.

Call SERVPRO of North Huntsville with any questions concerning indoor air quality, HVAC duct cleaning or mold  (256) 534-1177