Prevent Water Damage to Your Furnace This Winter
Water Damaged Furnace
Every winter, especially if you live in a cold climate, your home is under assault from the elements. Eventually, that constant assault can cause your home’s systems to fail. One common result of these failures is water damage. And while any type of water damage is bad, there are certain types of damage that can be worse than others. That’s especially true in the winter.
Perhaps no system in your home is more important in the winter than your furnace. Without it, you’d be in big trouble. So while the impact of home water damage is bad no matter how you look at it, having your furnace damaged when the temps are freezing outside can be catastrophic. So let’s talk about things you can do to protect your furnace from water damage should the worst case scenario happen to you this winter.
Furnaces are hidden from view for a reason. They’re not exactly focal points of a home you want people’s eyes drawn towards. Whether it’s in a crawl space, basement or mechanical closet, it’s typically in a place you naturally don’t find yourself visiting very often. One way to help protect your furnace from water damage is to create an elevated platform upon which the furnace can sit. If it’s the case your furnace is found in an unfinished basement, you can simply pour a concrete block and install the furnace there. If it’s in a closet, it may make more sense to create a wooden box to hold the furnace. In either case, having the additional 18-24″ of height can typically protect against most types of home water damage. Granted, in massive flood events this isn’t going to have much effect, but then again there isn’t much you can do from a preventative stand point when mother nature decides to take charge.
Please call SERVPRO for any restoration needs that you may have. 757-431-1400
Steps To Take After Suffering Storm Damage
Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.
Take Safety Precautions
Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.
Photograph the Damage
If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.
Steps to Take After a House Fire
A house fire is traumatic event that can certainly leave you with a mix of emotions. You’ll be nervous, worried, scared, upset, wondering what to do next, and just how to do it. First things first…take a deep breath, try to relax, and know that everything will be more than fine. Ultimately you need to make sure that your family is safe and sound. Once you can confirm that, then you can tackle the recovery process of your home and belongings.
We’ve compiled a list of five things that you should do and be aware of after a fire. This way, you can approach the rebuilding of your home in a cool, calm, and collected manner!
(1) Review with the authorities and the professionals as to when it is safe to enter the home after the fire. The fire department will make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and then will go through their precautionary measures in order to deem the area ‘safe’.
(2) Know who to contact. First, contact any family members to let them know of the occurrence and the fact that you are safe. Review, and then contact your insurance company. A clean-up team, such as G.W.Savage, should also be one of the first calls made. We can efficiently and professionally get you back into your home – it will be as if nothing happened!
(3) Get the fire report. Typically coming to you from the fire department, this correspondence will review the facts of the fire – the home structure, the area of the fire, as well as the time and date. In some cities and towns, you may need to call the fire department directly in order to get a copy of this report.
(4) Make sure to secure your property. If you are not securing the property, you could potentially be making a bad situation into a terrible one – your home could be robbed of it’s remaining property, or, in some cases, another individual could be injured on the property (becoming your responsibility). You can ask the authorities and emergency services on the best methods in securing what is yours.
(5) Begin the clean-up process. Interior and exterior clean-up will most certainly be required, and more often than not there is damage that you cannot locate with the naked eye. That said, you should definitely hire a professional service like SERVPRO to do a thorough cleaning of all areas and of all soot, smoke, and odor.
Call us at 757-431-1400
Mold Behind Wall Paper
Mold behind wallpaper is a big health concern. To get rid of the mold you must remove the wallpaper. First and foremost remove the wallpaper safely by wetting it with a wetting agent and water. But first wear a good cartridge-type respirator.When removing mold behind wallpaper safely wet it first. Even if the wallpaper removes dry still wet it
A simple dust or particulate mask won't offer adequate protection. Also wear gloves and goggles, remember safety first. In a garden type sprayer add the wetting agent and water for easy application.
Using the sprayer to wet the wallpaper down will reduce the mold spores from becoming airborne. Even if the wallpaper removes dry still wet it first. Move slowly and deliberately so you don't stir up spores as you work.
Once the wallpaper is removed from the walls the next step is to wash the walls down with a water and bleach solution. This should remove the mold from the walls if it is just surface mold. If the walls are soft and spongy the mold may have penetrated deeper into the wall.
One way to tell if the walls are totally saturated with mold you can take a utility knife and cut a small square out of the wall and look at the back side of the square. If there is mold behind the wall then you should replace the walls. If you plan on wallpapering again use a Nonwoven wallpaper so you will never get mold behind wallpaper again. Nonwoven wallpapers can breath unlike vinyl wallpapers.
Commercial Restoration Services
A commercial property is always at risk of being damaged by natural elements. If your business gets hit by a disaster, you’ll need a commercial restoration company with real-world experience and the resources to return your property to its normal state. SERVPRO Restoration has over years of experience in residential and commercial restoration services. Our team of experts offers:
- Commercial water damage restoration
- Commercial fire damage restoration
- Commercial mold damage restoration
- Commercial storm damage restoration
Our professionals have the training and equipment needed to restore your business after common issues with minimal interruption to your daily operations. SERVPRO also provides disaster planning to ensure that your property fortified in case future damage strikes.
At SERVPRO, we offer 24/7 commercial restoration and reconstruction services for damage caused by water, fire, smoke, mold, storms, and other disasters.
Why SERVPRO Commercial Restoration?
What makes SERVPRO Restoration different from other commercial restoration services? We offer multiple services through one point of contact. This means you only need one number to reach our reconstruction, emergency services mitigation, contents cleaning, training, insurance claims assistance, and disaster planning teams. You can depend on us for additional commercial damage services like cost savings, streamlined catastrophe planning, and minimized disruption.
SERVPRO has a longstanding heritage dedicated to innovation, resourcefulness, empathy, and outstanding customer service. Our franchise organization is proud to provide fast, high-quality cleanup and restoration services to both commercial and residential properties. We always put your property first at SERVPRO.
Call SERVPRO ! 757-431-1400
Signs of Storm Damage
- Roof: Look for shingles that have discoloration, tearing, or even holes in them. These can all be signs that your roof has been damaged. Another sign is if there are leaks in your roof or your ceiling.
- Gutters: After a hail storm, looking for dents or dings can also give you a better picture of what the storm did to the rest of your home. Your gutters can also give you insight to whether you have roof damage. Check to see if there are granules from the asphalt shingles in your gutter.
- Windows: Look at each of the windows at your homes and note any signs of shattered or broken windows and frame damage. This is especially important after a hail storm or a strong wind storm.
- Exterior: Not only is it important to look at the siding of your home to check for damage, it is also important that you check any appliances. Inspect your AC/HCAC unit as well as items such as a barbeque grill.
After your inspection, if you notice any signs of storm damage follow up by checking the area for signs of mold, mildew, pests or other secondary damage. If damage has occurred have it repaired immediately. Call SERVPRO at 757-431-1400 for any restoration needs you may have.
6 Facts About Commercial Water Damage
Commercial Water Loss
When it comes to water damage to a residential or commercial property, there is more than meets the eye.
Here are some water facts and figures as they pertain to the restoration industry:
1. Water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances. In fact, water is known as the “universal solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.
2. A sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in a ½” of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours.
3. Mold typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment.
4. A good indication of a failing hot water heater is a puddle of water underneath it, indicating a slow leak, or rusted or corroded fittings on the top of the heater. If you don’t investigate the leak ASAP, you may quickly flood your home because water heaters are under a great deal of water pressure.
5. There are three categories of water contamination defined in the restoration industry:
- Category One – Water from a clean water source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. Examples include water from a broken water supply pipe or an overflowing bath tub.
- Category Two – Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination. Examples include water from aquariums, dishwasher or clothes washer leaks, and water entering the structure from below grade. Discharged Category One water that sits untreated more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Two.
- Category Three – Water emanating from a grossly unsanitary source or carrying disease causing agents. Examples include discharges from sewer or septic systems/pipes and flood waters. Discharged Category One water that sits more for more than 48 hours becomes Category Three. Discharged Category Two water that sits more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Three.
6. Controlling pathogenic microorganisms during a restoration project may require the use of chemical agents that act as biocides. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined three levels of biocidal activity:
- Sanitizers – Designed to reduce the number of microorganisms.
- Disinfectants – Designed to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms but not necessarily their spores.
- Sterilizer – Designed to destroy all microorganisms (fungi/molds, bacteria, viruses, etc.) and their spores.
Commercial Water Damage
Commercial Water Damage
Commercial Water Damage Restoration
Water damage can strike your business at any time. At United Water Restoration, we understand the urgency and the delicacy of the situation. Mold growth can lead to serious health issues, as well as damaged property, lawsuits, and even potential structural issues. For a business, municipal building, or similar structure, floodwaters also mean one powerful truth: your building is closed for business until the damage is remediated. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give SERVPRO a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
Water Damage Causes
Water damage can be caused by a toilet clogging or overflowing, general plumbing problems, a leaking roof or old pipes. Our experts will assess the issue by tracking down any pockets of excess moisture and remove them accordingly. The high-tech equipment used to locate these pockets include moisture meters and Thermal imaging permits the ability to measure the moisture in hidden pockets and behind tile and other materials that may not feel wet on the outside. SERVPRO finds these moisture pockets and professionally dries the equipment and area to ensure proper recovery and remove any moisture from drywall or other materials. Through our process we can speed up drying to prevent the growth of any mold or other harmful bacteria by building drying chambers.
Is it essential that water damage restoration is given proper attention in a timely matter. If left unrepaired, it will worsen which will lead to more and more problems.
Water Damage Restoration Process
We will provide care and consideration to your concerns and business needs. The steps we take are as follows:
• Secure the site and assess the water damage
• Begin water extraction procedures immediately
• Remove carpet pads if necessary
• Take steps to prevent the growth of mold and mildew
• Use our state of the art equipment, including industrial-strength blowers and dehumidifiers to completely dry carpet, floors, walls, and ceilings
• Water-damaged machinery, IT equipment, personal belongings, furniture, and other movable items are taken to our contents cleaning laboratory where they are thoroughly taken apart if necessary, dried, cleaned, and put together again in peak running order. Our goal is always to restore rather than replace
• Once cleanup, drying, and disinfection of the affected area is complete, our in-house contractors restore walls, paint, flooring (if necessary), ceilings, woodwork, and all other interior and exterior structural elements.
We get you back in business. Fast! If a disaster should strike, whether a tornado, hurricane, fire or a simple sprinkler head break, SERVPRO is here to help. We’ll guide you each step of the way! We’re at your side through each step of the restoration process. It pays to be prepared!
Facts About Fire Restoration
While it’s true that a house fire can be an extremely difficult and overwhelming experience, professional fire restoration companies are available to help you deal with the aftermath. When fire damage is the result of fire in our home—one of the scariest and most devastating events we can face—it can make us feel panicked, vulnerable, and helpless. The good news is that you don’t have to deal with it alone when you have the right fire restoration services to guide you.
What professional fire restoration companies do is a science designed to provide the most effective restoration and resolution after a fire to get your home back to its original condition and get you back to life as you know it.
Here are 3 amazing facts about fire restoration, and #3 just might surprise you:
#1: With a House Fire, Smoke Goes Everywhere
Even if you have a tiny kitchen fire with minimal damage, you will experience the smell of smoke and have the potential for smoke damage throughout other areas of your home, or maybe even throughout your entire home. Smoke travels everywhere. It’s made up of particles of the fuel that burned in the fire combined with chemicals and particulates that become airborne during the fire and then move throughout your house.
Smoke damage restoration is one of the primary concerns during fire restoration. If smoke damage is not treated properly it can cause more and more problems as it sits on surfaces throughout your home. And the odor lingers long after the fire is out and can make a home unlivable if it isn’t dealt with successfully. It takes the proper tools, equipment, products, and know-how to get rid of smoke damage.
#2: Fire Damage Is Often More Extensive (and More Dangerous) than It Looks
When the fire is out and the smoke has cleared, the danger isn’t necessarily over. Fire damage is often more extensive than it first appears. A small fire can damage not just the surface where the fire occurred but can damage the interiors of walls and ceilings and can affect the electrical and the structure of your home in unexpected ways.
When fire burns, the temperature and ferocity often depends on the fuel. In a home fire, that often includes lots of synthetic and petroleum based products like carpet and flooring, toys and furniture, and plastics and artificial laminates. This type of fire creates smoke and soot residue that is greasy and smeary and can be difficult to remove as well as toxic to handle.
When there is a fire against a wall, it can also burn the interior support structure and the floor below. This is another danger you could be facing if you choose to enter the home before it’s deemed safe by the fire department. Use caution when dealing with the interior of your home as well as the residue left behind by the fire. Call in a professional before you do anything.
#3: House Fires Lead to Water, Water Everywhere!
One of the most damaging things about a house fire isn’t necessarily the flames but the water used to extinguish them. Surprised? You’re not alone. Most homeowners expect to find fire damage after a fire, not water damage. The truth is that water can often cause more damage after the fact than the fire itself.
The water, though essential to put out the fire, is used in massive quantities and will run down through your home, pooling in the lowest areas of each floor. Not only can this cause damage to your belongings and the structure of your home, but it can cause an even more dangerous situation as it creates the perfect environment for mold growth.
Dealing with mold after a fire is more common than you might think. Mold is damaging to your home and belongings but it can also pose a huge health risk and needs to be dealt with by an experienced professional. This is why the fire restoration process generally includes water damage restoration to ensure a successful and safe repair.
Fire damage is something we all hope we never have to deal with, but if you should be faced with a fire in your home, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with and why you should put the care of your home in the hands of a restoration company.
Contact SERVPRO for any restoration needs at 757-431-1400.
Know The Facts About Business Fire Restoration
Know the Facts about Business Fires
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as many as one in four businesses that suffer some kind of major disaster do not reopen afterward. It’s true, overcoming a major loss is extremely difficult, but with the right restoration company and team on your side, working hand-in-hand with your insurance company, the chance of your Indianapolis-area company surviving is pretty high!
Depending on the size of the fire, and the amount of damage, some businesses that have come to SERVPRO for help have reopened just days after the fire happened. Thanks to innovations in smoke odor removal, fire damage restoration, and cleaning in general, it is possible for crews to start work nearly immediately after the fire department clears the scene, and have things back up and running in no time. Although, again, that all depends on the severity of the fire. But no matter the severity, recovery is possible!
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year between 2007 and 2011. Those fires resulted in about $112 million in property damage each year, and most were in business offices – and happened during business hours. However, the good news is the number of business fires was down a whopping 71 percent from 1980 to 2011.
Here are some other stats from the NFPA:
Time of Day
- Peak time of day for office fires: Noon – 2p.m. (a.k.a. lunch time!)
- 69% happened between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- The 31% that occurred between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. caused 67% of recorded property damage, because they went undetected longer. This also highlights the need for automatic detection equipment and working sprinkler systems.
- 19% of fires happened on weekends.
Cause of the Business Fires
- 29% were caused by cooking equipment. However, just 6% of these fires caused actual property damage.
- Intentionally-set fires caused the most direct property damage – 21%.
- Electrical equipment is the second leading cause of office fires.
- Just 2% of office fires start in a concealed space like an attic, in the ceiling, or in another conceals space. However, these fires accounted for 13% of the direct property damage.
Containment & Putting it Out
- 4 out of 5 fires were confined to the room of origin.
- 90% of fires were large enough to activate sprinklers, which were effective 88% of the time.
- Deaths per 1,000 stores were 62% lower in offices equipped with sprinklers compared to those without.
Industrial/Manufacturing Facility Fires
The NFPA also has statistics specific to manufacturing facilities. According to their research, there are about 37,000 fires at industrial or manufacturing facilities each year, resulting in 18 deaths, 279 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. Heating equipment and stop tools were the leading cause – sparking 28 percent of the fires. Mechanical failure or malfunction caused 24 percent of the fires.
Planning for the Worst
As part of your emergency preparation plan, be sure to have a local, reputable restoration company – like SERVPRO– on speed dial. The sooner you get the professionals in cleaning up after the disaster, the sooner you can get back to business 757-431-1400.