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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Don't Add Water!

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO greater than DIY SERVPRO of Bartow County is faster to any size disaster. You can call us 24 hours a day seven days a week. We are always here to help!

Water is one of the most helpful liquids on the planet. Not just because up to 60% of the human body is made up of water and makes farmers' crops grow. Water is a basic building block of life, and mankind has harnessed its power to develop the modern world. As far back as the time of the ancient Egyptians, researchers and historians have found signs of elaborate wells, irrigation networks, and even plumbing systems that utilize water to accomplish great feats. Supporting entire cities of people in the desert can be a logistical nightmare today in modern times. Image accomplished this without the use of modern pumps and digging equipment, all the while building the Great Pyramids of Giza. Fast forward a few thousand years and we find the ancient Greeks and Romans building amazing aqueducts and plumbing systems. They were some of the first people to widely use, and educate their citizens on water purification techniques like boiling water and how to utilize primitive settling tanks, filters, and sieves. They also promoted ideas like avoiding smelly, discolored, or bad tasting water. Jump ahead to modern day in the United States and we have potable running water in almost every building and have found even more ways of harnessing water’s awe inspiring power like hydroelectric dams and hydrogen generators. Water is truly one of the most important substances on Earth, without it life would cease to exist.  

As useful as water has been to mankind throughout the ages, there are some specific occasions that water can be hazardous or harmful to people and their belongings. As water restoration professionals, SERVPRO of Bartow County drying specialists come face to face with these type events nearly every single day. Pipe bursts, leaks and toilet overflows are just a few of the types of water losses SERVPRO of Bartow County regularly mitigates and restores for our customers. The invention of modern plumbing has afforded people great comfort but can cause some major headaches when things go awry. When they do, call SERVPRO of Bartow County. We are your local SERVPRO water mitigation and restoration service provider and can make water damage “Like it never even happened.”

While soap and water are great for cleaning dishes, cars, even our own hands, soap and water can be harmful to other items and materials. In this next section we will go over some of the materials and items that should not be cleaned using water as well as some advice on how to clean said materials and items.


Electronics are probably one of the first types of items that come to mind when you think of house-hold items that can be adversely affected by cleaning with water. Water and electronics do not mix. Batteries, capacitors, and circuit boards can be permanently damaged by exposure to water due to water’s ability to conduct electricity. Not only can water damage electronics, but they can also cause electrocution and fire hazards. If you believe an electronic device might be damaged by water, do not turn the device on and remove the device’s source of power when safe to do so. For example remove batteries or unplug computers, TVs, lamps, children’s toys or similar electronic devices. You can use a soft lint-free towel or microfiber cloth to remove surface dust and dirt and use rubbing alcohol and a clean grimy or sticky residue. Never clean an electronic device while powered on or connected to a power source.


Leather can be damaged by exposure to water resulting in streaking and spots, and with extended or repeated exposure leather can even crack. Do not use DIY cleaners from food based products like high-fat oils, mayonnaise, or peanut butter to shine leather items because they often cause more problems than they solve. Leather couches, chairs, jackets and boots can all be cleaned using soft clean towels alongside a cleanser specifically formulated for leather. When cleaning leather items, it is best to start cleaning in an inconspicuous place so that if there are adverse effects they will be less noticeable.

Wood Furniture

Wood Furniture is susceptible to several different issues when it is exposed to water. Wood can swell, split and crack when saturated with water, and discoloration of the wood’s finish can occur even during brief exposure. A common example of this are rings or spots left on a coffee table from a glass of water condensing on the table top. Dusting wood furniture regularly with a soft towel or microfiber cloth and a high-quality furniture polish or lemon oil will both shine and protect wood furniture. Drink coasters are also a great way of protecting your wooden furniture from rings and spots.

Delicate Fabrics

Silk, velvet, suede, and velour are all examples of delicate fabrics that require special attention to clean. Exposure to water can result in stains, spots, streaks, shrinking and even cause the fabric fibers to separate or pill. Silk in particular can be tricky to clean. Some silk garments and other textiles are labeled as “washable”, but are still quite susceptible to water damage and great care must be taken to ensure the item(s) are not damaged. To clean silk, gently brush surface dirt away using a soft brush or clean towel and only use mild soaps or detergents when washing. Never use your house-hold dryer to dry silk. Fuzzy fabrics like velvet, suede, and velour are also very difficult to safely clean without specialized cleaners and equipment. You can use a vacuum to gently remove surface soil from these types of fabrics. If the material is heavily soiled you can use a foaming upholstery cleaner that is specially formulated for that specific type of material. Sometimes it’s best to take items made of delicate fabrics like the ones mentioned above to a professional like the pros over at SERVPRO of Bartow County.

Masonry or Hard Surfaces

Materials like brick, stucco and marble are thought of as hard surfaces but are actually somewhat porous and can be damaged by water and/or harsh chemicals. Water can wear away protective sealants, caulking, and finishes, especially when it is sprayed at high velocity from a pressure washer. It is best to use soft-bristled brushes to remove surface dirt and a soft cloth to wipe away any residue left behind on these types of surfaces. 

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors can easily warp, swell, cup, and/or crack when saturated with water. Even with polyurethane sealants, water can penetrate the surface of hardwood floors causing damage. The best way to care for hardwood floors is to regularly sweep, dust or vacuum the flooring using a microfiber mop and specially formulated hardwood floor cleaner. If you choose to mop hardwood floors, use no more water than what is absolutely necessary. A damp mop will hold plenty of moisture to clean hardwood floors and won't harm properly sealed/finished hardwood floors. Never let standing water accumulate on hardwood floors. If you notice water on hardwood floors, dry it up as quickly as possible.

Items Made of Metal

Copper, brass and silver are common types of metals used in home furnishings and building materials. While metal is almost impenetrable to water, cleaning such materials with water can cause metals to rust, corrode, and tarnish. Items made of brass, copper, and silver often have a protective varnish or sealant that prevents surface damages, but this protective coating can be worn down over time or with use. To clean or polish metal items, use a soft clean towel and specially formulated polishes that correspond to the type of metal being cleaned. 

When fire or water damage puts the things that matter most to you on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well. That’s why knowing the easiest ways to contact SERVPRO of Bartow County is so important. Just visit www.SERVPRObartowcounty.com on your computer, mobile phone, or call (770)387-7455 to get the team that’s faster to any size disaster, 24/7 even during holidays. We’re a leader in giving control back to homeowners, property managers, and even entire communities after the ravaging effects of water or fire. So whether you’re responsible for 1,000 square feet or 100,000 square feet. Be ready for the worst with the very best: Your trusted, locally owned and operated SERVPRO of Bartow County!

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