Recent Biohazard Posts

Skip the Stink—Call Us Instead | SERVPRO of Reno Southwest

3/15/2024 (Permalink)

sewage water pooling on a kitchen floor after a leak SERVPRO of Reno Southwest is always ready to respond to your call when biohazard incidents strike.

If you had to list the top homeowner disasters that you want to avoid at all costs, we would bet that suffering a sewage leak would make that list in some capacity. We totally get it, we wouldn’t want that to happen in our own homes either.

Unfortunately, sewage leaks are a common occurrence for homeowners regardless of the age of their houses, so it might very well happen to you at some point in your life. We explain a few simple steps to follow below to help you stay in control and recover faster from the stinky mess.

Addressing the Leak

If you suffer a sewage leak or backup, chances are that you will notice almost instantly due to the smell. Follow your nose to track down the source. Check your sinks, tubs and toilets for a sewage backup or follow any wastewater lines to check for leaks along the seams.

Once you discover the source, do your best to stay out of the water. Sewage is considered toxic and falls into the most dangerous category of water called black water. It could be harboring dangerous or even deadly viruses, bacteria or microbes, which means you should avoid contact with it entirely.

If you are able to access the water shutoff valve without getting messy, do so right away to stop the flow of water. After the water has stopped pouring into your room, open up some windows and turn on a fan to help the smell fumes escape. Block off the area and call up your SERVPRO® professionals!

A Safer Cleanup

No matter how small or large your sewage leak is, having a professional team handle your cleanup is essential for your safety. Our team has the proper tools, safety gear and cleaning equipment to make sure your space is completely clean and safe to return to.

We will respond quickly and will be on our way to you as soon as possible, so while you wait, take a few photos of the situation. While these images most likely won’t be on the front page of a scrapbook any time soon, they are necessary to help your insurance claim go more smoothly.

Once we arrive, we will address the source of the leak and start on any repairs to make sure the situation doesn’t happen again. At the same time, our cleaning team will start removing the toxic water with specialized equipment. You can bet that we will all be dressed up in the best PPE on the market!

A sewage cleanup includes a deep-clean of the space, a total sanitization to remove any dangerous substances and a deodorization to remove even the most stubborn stinky smells. Once your space is clean, we can address any necessary repairs. Water in any form can cause your floors to warp or your drywall to swell, so we can reverse this damage as well.

Don’t deal with a stinky sewage leak on your own! Contact us day or night so we can take care of the mess for you.

Sewage leaks should always be cleaned up by professionals. Call SERVPRO, and we will take care of you.

Bio Hazard Cleaning

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Of Reno Southwest  offers bio cleaning services that include homicide, suicide, natural deaths, and unattended deaths.

Not only will a thorough and effective decontamination process occur, but any odor associated with death can be removed in the bio hazard cleaning process.

We understand this is a difficult times for family and friends of the deceased and we will do our best to deal with these issues with compassion, privacy, and care. We can even recover items in the house for you when if it is unsafe to enter or re-enter the property.

Biohazard remediation is regulated by the federal government and requires very careful consideration to rules and regulations set forth by agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Failure to adhere to these laws can result in severe fines and potential imprisonment.

SERVPRO of Reno Southwest will properly establish the contaminated area/s, prevent cross-contamination, remove existing bio matter, decontaminate, and deodorize if necessary.  

SERVPRO of Reno Southwest only practices the most thorough decontamination procedures because we know how important it is that your home, business, or vehicle is safe.   

Drug Lab Cleaning & Restoration - A sad truth.... Do you know how to rectify it?

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

How to Clean Meth in 9 Steps: 

1. Surveying the Area

Inspecting the property and the surrounding area is arguably one of the most important steps. It gives the cleaning crew an idea of the level of contamination and sets the course of the entire cleaning process. When surveying the area, our technicians are equipped with the latest personal protective equipment, as any exposure to toxic substances can be hazardous. This includes special protective glasses, gloves, steel toe boots, and protective suits.

2. Ventilating the Building

Allowing clean and fresh air to enter the contaminated building is crucial. Using blowers and negative air scrubber machines is also necessary to completely replace the air inside. If there is a functional HVAC system in the building, it should be shut down to avoid spreading toxic particles into the air.

3. Developing a Cleanup Plan

After assessing the property, conducting tests, and performing the initial decontamination phase, it’s time to define the scope of work and develop a plan. This comprehensive plan should cover a variety of scenarios and outline what kind of cleanup methods are required in order to restore the property successfully.

The plan should cover things like:

  • The levels of contamination in each room of the building.
  • What kind of protective equipment is necessary
  • What type of cleaning machines are required
  • Security concerns and structural integrity
  • Cleaning and waste disposal methods
  • Cost estimates

A well-laid-out plan can streamline the cleaning process, making it less time-intensive and more cost-effective.

4. Removing Contaminated Objects

Once a plan is in place, we can commence the cleaning process by removing every affected object, including all carpets. Some of the items will be discarded entirely as they are too contaminated to be cleaned. After removing everything affected, we will once again ventilate the area for at least 24 hours.

5. Vacuuming the floors

We use commercial-grade vacuums equipped with special HEPA filters that are ideal for all floor types as well as above-ground areas such as walls. Vacuuming walls will remove any particles and is necessary before washing them.

6. First Stage of Washing

Once we’re done with vacuuming the area, it’s time to commence the first stage of washing hard surfaces. We make sure to reach all the nooks and crannies, especially those that are not visible at first. Using our previous experience and comprehensive test kits, we make sure the entire property is thoroughly washed. We do not use bleach as it can react with the toxic chemicals associated with Meth, producing a toxic gas as a result. Instead, we opt for detergent water solutions.

7. Addressing the HVAC System

The HVAC system needs to be completely shut down prior to and during the remediation process. It also needs to be thoroughly tested using special test kits in order to determine the level of meth residue found in the system, as well as the spread of contamination. Disinfecting air ducts is a challenging task that can compromise the remediation process at any time. Luckily, SERVPRO of Reno Southwest’s professional technicians have the necessary equipment and experience to handle this daunting task.

8. Second Stage of Washing

The second stage of washing involves using an effective cleaning agent that does not react with common chemicals used in the production of Methamphetamine. We clean from top to bottom, meaning we start from the ceilings and finish with the floors to prevent spreading contamination onto the lower sections. Each wash is followed by a thorough rinse using clean water. Exhaust vents, lighting fixtures, and hard surfaces such as counters and shelves are cleaned several times.

9. Clearance testing

After the job is completed, we will make sure to determine if the clearance levels are satisfactory and that they meet the standard set by state and local laws. If the re-occupancy clearance levels are not met, the site should be cleaned once more. Encapsulating the walls and the ceiling with primers is also advisable in this case.

If you’re dealing with a property that’s been deemed an ex-drug lab, call SERVPRO of Reno Southwst today.


10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Please take a moment to pray for the families who suffered a loss one year ago at the hands of pure evil. Here is the link for the story.

The City of Reno will join the statewide #VegasStronger movement by going dark Monday, October 1, 2018 from 10:01 to 10:04 p.m.

To demonstrate its commitment to remembering last year’s 1 October shooting victims, the City will turn off power to the following for three minutes starting at 10:01 p.m.:

-The iconic Reno Arch on Virginia Street
-The Space Whale art sculpture on City Plaza
-The Reno City Hall roof signs, including the normally lit “RENO”

The Atlantis Casino resort will also go dark Monday night at 10:01 p.m.

In southern Nevada- all marquees on the Las Vegas Strip and the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign will go dark at 10:01 p.m. for three minutes of remembrance and quiet reflection.

A nice visitor eating your food

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a story about a bear breaking into a home in South Lake Tahoe home.

A South Lake Tahoe family got this surprise on June 13, 2018, after a bear broke into their home and it has happened more than once.


More than 20 years of living in South Lake Tahoe, Lane Sykes and Carole Scofield consider themselves lucky.

"It's a discomforting feeling to think, oh dear, do I dare leave the house," said Carole Scofield, Homeowner.

That discomforting feeling lingered from what took place this Wednesday evening.

"I still couldn't understand how a seven foot bear, 300 pound could fit through that (window)," said Lane Sykes.

But that's exactly what happened, Lane, Carole and their friends left the house for more than an hour. But what happened next, shocked them. 
A bear managed to get inside the house through a small window and helped itself to a free dinner.

"The doors were locked. We left the back window open, which is a small window; I have never thought a bear could get in that window,” said Sykes.

The bear made several food trips while the residents were gone. When they returned home, a friend saw the bear in the kitchen.

"I thought she was kidding and then I said, ‘oh no, it's Tahoe,’ it could be because she looked frightened and very scared," said Scofield.

Carole says this was the second time this bear has broken into their house. Last year, it broke down the front door. Over a 15 years ago, the family says they have had six incidents with bears.

Even though the Lane and Carole laugh about the incident now, they hope others can learned from their experience and close all entry points, no matter how small.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife says bears usually get their food from garbage cans, but now have expanded their food search further.

"Some point in the bear's life gained type of food reward by breaking in a cabin or a home, so they remember that, so the behavior is likely to be repeated," said Lesa Johnston, California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Johnston suggests residents living in bear country, never leave food out people should call 911, if a bear breaks in.

Lane and Carole are glad it was only clean up required this time around.

"We are very lucky. Both major break ins we were very lucky. I know a lot of people have not been. It has been very costly," said Scofield.

The couple are talking with the State Game and Fish regarding the incident to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Johnston says if a bear breaks in, make sure you do not block the exits, so the bear can get out to a safe location.