What To Do During A Flood
Staying Safe Indoors
- Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
- Boil tap water until water sources have been declared safe.
- Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
- Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
- Don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been flooded.
- Dispose of any food that comes into contact with flood water .
Staying Safe Outdoors
- Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
- If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
- Don't walk on beaches or riverbanks.
- Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
- Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
- Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.
Article from redcross.org
Common Issues With Gutters
When water gets into the foundation of your home, it has the potential to cause structural issues to the home. The result of a wet foundation can also be windows and doors sticking to their frames. Gutters are installed on houses and connected to downspouts precisely to avoid this problem. These systems are essential in protecting the structure and integrity of your home. But, in order for these systems to work, you will need to ensure that these systems are free from clogs, holes, and sags.
The most common problem that tends to occur with gutters are clogs caused by debris. The additional weight that is caused due to the accumulation of leaves, twigs, and standing water will cause the gutters to sag and pull away from the house. To avoid such a situation, you should clean your gutters at least once each year, twice if you have trees hanging over your gutters. Once the gutters are free of debris, you should use a hose to spray the gutters to make sure that the water is flowing as it should. Another option to consider are gutter covers. These cover the gutters from above featuring mesh screens, clip-on grates, and porous foam but still require regular maintenance.
Sagging Gutters That Pull Away from the House
If your gutters are sagging or starting to pull away from the house, the problem more than likely has to do with the hangers. The gutter hangers are the metal pieces of the system that secure the gutters to the fascia. They are easily noticeable as they stretch across the inside of the gutter. Over time, normal wear and tear may have caused these hangers to deteriorate. Other issues with the hangers may be that the fasteners may be detaching from the wood or that they are spaced too far apart so that they can no longer support the full weight of the gutters.
Damage to the Gutters
If your gutters have suffered damage, they may be leaking or have holes in them. If the issue is a leaky gutter joint, the issue can be solved by sealing the joint with caulking from the inside with gutter sealant. Likewise, any holes that are very small should be able to be sealed with gutter sealant. Big holes, however, will require a patch to be fixed.
Poorly Sloped Gutters
A common problem with gutters are that the gutters are not sloped down toward the downspouts. This means that the water cannot flow freely to the downspouts and down to the ground. To ensure that your gutters are properly sloped, you should have at least a quarter inch slope for every ten feet. If you have a rainstorm and there is standing water in your gutters following the storm without clogged gutters being an issue, your gutters are not sloped correctly. The proper course of action is to ensure that the gutters are sloped correctly to the downspout to ensure that the water can properly flow down to the ground and away from the house.
Water Draining Toward Foundation
For the downspouts to be effective, they should extend several feet away from the house. If the downspouts are located too close to the house, water can collect at the foundation. If the water drains into the foundation, serious issues to the home such as structural problems or windows and doors sticking to their frames could be caused. If your downspouts are draining too close to the foundation, consider installing gutter extensions to the bottom of the downspouts. This will ensure that the water drains away from the house far enough that it doesn’t cause any damage to the foundation of the home.
Gutters are an essential part of keeping water damage from effecting your home. When rainwater collects in the gutters or runs off the roof, the gutters drain the water into the downspouts which flow the water far away from the home and its foundation. Issues such as clogged gutters or sagging gutters could cause water to build up and damage the gutters. If the downspouts do not direct the water far enough from the home, it could infiltrate the foundation causing serious and expensive damage to the home. If you suffer from water damage in your home, call on the professionals at SERVPRO.
What To Do Until SERVPRO Arrives
If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink or tub overflows, flooding, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives.
Shut off the source of the water.
Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.
Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items
Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
Move to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors
Fire Restoration Tips
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call the SERVPRO National Call Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
The SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Hardin & Larue Counties Smoke and Soot Clean Up
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
- There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today!
Why choose us for your fire restoration?
All restoration projects are unique and require different cleaning methods and processes. These are some steps that we follow to make sure you are receiving the best quality service available for you.
Our SERVPRO professionals start the cleanup and restoration process by pretesting to determine which processes to utilize and allow the customer to preview the results.
Contents Claim Inventory Service
Utilizing Contents Claims Inventory Service technology, our SERVPRO professionals can generate comprehensive room-by-room inventories. Contents are categorized as salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable-allowing for easier contents settlement.
Cleaning and Restoration
All restorable structure and contents will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition in most cases. This service includes: walls, ceilings, floors, area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, clothing, bric-a-brac and more. Our SERVPRO professionals can even provide emergency cleaning of contents the customer will need immediately.
If relocation is necessary due to extensive damage, our SERVPRO professionals are trained to properly move out and control the inventory of contents throughout the cleaning, restorations and deodorization process.
Crews and Equipment
We keep in house the necessary equipment and supplies to clean your home to preloss condition. All of our crews are professionally trained and IICRC certified. So you can feel at ease when trusting SERVPRO with you restoration project.
So call SERVPRO for all of your fire restoration needs and feel assured that you will have a team of well trained professionals handling your most valued assets.
Maintaining Home Value After Water Damage
Your home is one of the biggest investments of your lifetime. It is where you rest, play, spend time with family, it is your own retreat away from the hustle and bustle from the busy world. Protecting your home is the first step in valuing it for the importance piece of your life that it is. Prevention and repair are key to maintaining a home that will retain its worth and continue to be a haven for you and your family. That means that if any damage occurs in your home, it is crucial to address it immediately in order to conserve the value.
As a homeowner, it is of the utmost importance that damage of any form, water, fire, mold, or storm be made a top priority. Even if it appears that there is only a small amount of damage, the reality is that damage only gets worse as time goes on. Taking action and having the area inspected as quickly as possible usually results in a much simpler and more cost friendly repair than if the damage has time to grow. Repairing damage quickly also guarantees that the cost value of your home is not negatively effective and can still remain a positive investment in your life and your wallet.
When damage occurs, the first thing to do is call SERVPRO and get in touch with a 24-7 technician. SERVPRO is available all day, every day to assure that no damage goes unrepaired. Help will be on the way as soon as your call is placed and a highly trained specialist will be on the scene ready to begin the inspection process. Everything from water removal, and carpet cleaning to television repair falls under the SERVPRO cleanup and restoration umbrella and is executed by the best in the industry.
Here are just a few reasons why calling SERVPRO to repair damage immediately is so beneficial to the overall value of your home and property:
Selling Your Home in the Future
If you plan on selling your home at any point, you definitely want to get the most out of your sale. It is not possible to sell a home for the same amount or more of the purchase price if damage of any kind has occurred and was not addressed properly.
It is required that the fact any water or fire damage occurred to the home or property be disclosed before the purchase of your home is made. So if the damage was not repaired properly, it will definitely be noticed. On top of that, homes must pass inspection before the purchase is made as well. If the repaired damage does not pass the inspection, that could mean your home may not sell for the price it is listed as.
Refinancing Your Home Down the Road
When refinancing your home, it must be inspected and reported on by an appraiser. If any damage has occurred and not dealt with, your home will lose dollar value and be considered less valuable than the original price you bought it for. The whole point of refinancing is to end up spending less money on your home and that simply is not possible if damage occurs and is noticed.
Damage Only Gets Worse if Not Treated
They say everything gets better with time, but that is not the case for homes if they are not maintained. When damage occurs, it only gets stronger with time. Call SERVPRO immediately so that the damage does not increase and end up burning a hole in your pocket. SERVPRO not only helps with damage of the actual home, but also helps care for your belongings. That means that your home can quickly be restored with attention to detail of everything within the damaged area.
When big money is spent on something so important as a home for you and your family, it is absolutely worth it to respect the large investment and maintain the quality of the purchase. Repairing water, fire, or storm damage immediately with the help of SERVPRO gives you peace of mind that your home will not lose its value and continue to be the investment of a lifetime.
Make Sure To Be Prepared. Have A Survival Kit!
Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.
At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
- Flashlight [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible) [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket [Available on the Red Cross Store]
- Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:
- N95 or surgical masks
- Rain gear
- Work gloves
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Household liquid bleach
- Entertainment items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
Click here for more information - Red Cross Survival Kit
Fire At Your Commercial Property
Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire From Your Commercial Property
When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.
While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.
These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.
If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.
The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.
This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative.
Mold does not just develop in attics for no reason. There’s no point removing mold unless you also fix whatever problems led to the growth of mold in the first place, because it will just come back. Usually mold growth is the result of some defect in the attic. Defects that commonly lead to the growth of mold in an attic include leaks, inadequate insulation and poor ventilation.
Most homeowners are aware that leaky roofs can lead to the development of mold in attics, but not all know how serious attic mold can become. Most strains of mold grow and spread rapidly and mold that begins in the attic can easily spread throughout a home. Mold damages wood and can end up causing structural damage to a home if not addressed.
Many homeowners are not aware that inadequate insulation and poor ventilation also contribute to mold growth. A well-designed attic is built to help insulate the home. The attic should remain cool in winter while heat is kept downstairs. If there is not enough insulation, though, or insulation is not installed properly, the attic may grow warm. Mold grows best in warm areas. Attics are also not meant to be airtight. They should have adequate ventilation so that warm, moist air does not become trapped inside. Homeowners are often unaware of problems with insulation or ventilation until they discover mold growing in an attic.
If you suspect mold of any kind or anywhere in your home please contact our SERVPRO team at 270-300-1544.
Article from mold-advisor.com