ServiceMaster Restore Experts Explain Real Danger From Mold and Water in Wake of Torrential Rain, Floods

Team Shares Expert Tips to Protect Homes and Businesses

MEMPHIS, TN - (Marketwired - March 10, 2016) -  Much of the South is experiencing record-breaking rainfall and flash flooding, leaving many home and business owners to deal with costly property damage. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restore share expert tips on what to do if you experience flooding or water damage, as well as how to recognize and avoid mold damage, a dangerous threat that can quickly grow in moist conditions. 

"Safety is a huge concern with the amount of water we're seeing across the South," said Peter Duncanson, director, disaster restoration system development at ServiceMaster Restore. "The first few days are critical. Bacteria and mold can begin to grow in places you can't even see in the first 24-48 hours. It's important to follow the right steps to help prevent mold growth and limit other types of damage from exposure to water."

What to do if your home or business has sustained water damage:

  • If the outside temperature is above 80 degrees, use dehumidifiers if available.
  • Use fans to circulate the air and assist drying.
  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe furniture dry.
  • Lift draperies off carpet, loop through a coat hanger, and place the hanger on the drapery rod.
  • Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying and place small wood blocks or aluminum foil under furniture legs.
  • Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings and open furniture drawers, closet doors and luggage to enhance drying.
  • Move photographs, paintings and art objects to a safe, dry location.
  • Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
  • Remove damp books from shelves and spread out to dry.
  • If damage occurs during a cool season, leave heat on; if in summer, use an air conditioner if available.

Water damage warnings:

  • Do not use an ordinary household vacuum to remove water.
  • Do not use electrical appliances on wet carpet or wet floors.
  • In the event of a flood, be sure to turn the main switches in the circuit breaker box to the off position. Do not go into rooms with standing water if the electricity is still on.
  • Do not lift tacked-down carpet without professional help. Lifting the carpet incorrectly could promote shrinkage.
  • Call for professional help immediately. Damage from the water and bacteria growth can begin within 24-48 hours.

Even after wet items are removed, mold may remain hidden in drywall, carpeting and HVAC systems. "Removing mold requires cutting away damp drywall and sanding wood," said Duncanson. "Mold is nature's recycling agent; it eats things. The sooner a remediation expert can get to those things covered in mold, the less long-term damage."

  • Remove damp items from the home within 24 to 48 hours. Throw away any wet items you don't consider valuable. The replacement cost may be less than restoration. However, a furniture restoration company like Furniture Medic may be able to restore treasured wood furnishings and antiques.
  • Never mix bleach with other cleaning products. The combination of chemicals may create toxic fumes.
  • Avoid direct contact with affected mold areas as much as possible. Wear protective clothing while sifting through items that were beneath the flood waters or where mold has begun to spread.

ServiceMaster Restore professionals are trained, equipped and ready to restore homes and businesses affected by flooding. With a number of regionally based large-loss command and control centers, a disaster operations center to track severe weather and 1,800 franchises around the world, ServiceMaster Restore can mobilize franchises across the country to handle any size job.

For more information, visit or like the company on Facebook. For immediate assistance, call a live ServiceMaster Restore operator 24/7 at 1-800-RESPOND.

About ServiceMaster Restore

With approximately 1,800 franchised and licensed locations around the world, ServiceMaster Restore and ServiceMaster Recovery Management (SRM) serve customers through a global network of franchises available 24/7/365 to provide residential and commercial restoration services resulting from damage caused by water, fire or smoke. SRM is the large scale commercial catastrophic disaster restoration unit of ServiceMaster Restore. ServiceMaster Restore and SRM have operations and consulting experience on countless disasters, including clean-up after Hurricane Katrina and the Pentagon after September 11, 2001. ServiceMaster Restore is a business unit of the Memphis-based ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services. More information can be found at

About ServiceMaster

ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV) is a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, operating through an extensive service network of more than 8,000 company-owned locations and franchise and license agreements. The company's portfolio of well-recognized brands includes American Home Shield (home warranties), AmeriSpec (home inspections), Furniture Medic (furniture repair), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration) and Terminix (termite and pest control). We serve residential and commercial customers through an employee base of approximately 13,000 company employees and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 33,000 additional people. The company is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Go for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at

SOURCE ServiceMaster

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ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. is a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, operating through an extensive service network.


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