What Not To Do After a Water Damage
Shut off electrical devices and appliances
Water Damage: What NOT to Do
Flooding and water damage are some of the most frightening things that can happen to your home. The immediate aftermath of a flood or water leak can be overwhelming and confusing, but it's important to act quickly to prevent further damage. After you’ve assessed the situation and ensured your family is safe, here are some tips for what not to do after experiencing a flood:
Avoid the Affected Area
It's tempting to go back and try to clean up the mess yourself, but it isn't safe—especially if there is mold involved. You should not try to clean any water damage yourself because of the risk of electric shock or exposure to mold and other hazardous materials. If you suspect that your home has experienced a flood or significant water damage, call your local emergency management agency for assistance and advice about how best to proceed.
Shutoff Electrical Devices and Appliances
Once the water has been turned off, you should shut off the main power supply and all circuit breakers. This will prevent any electrical equipment from being damaged by water or electrocution.
Next, you should turn off the gas supply to your home if it was damaged in any way. If you have natural gas or propane in your home, be sure to turn those supplies off as well.
Toss Contaminated Food
It's important to know that your home is safe and secure before you do anything else. If it's been flooded, throw away all food in the fridge or freezer that has been in contact with flood waters. Throw away any food that has an unusual or foul odor, as this can indicate contamination by sewage, chemicals, or other contaminants from the flood. In addition to making sure any refrigerated items are safe, also dispose of non-perishable food items that have come into contact with flood waters or mud because they may have been contaminated by heavy metals from the soil (such as lead).
Call The Professionals
You’re probably feeling overwhelmed. You may be wondering if your home is still safe to live in and what the next steps should be.
You’re not alone. Water damage can cause a lot of problems: It can lead to mold growth, cause structural issues, and make it difficult for you or your family members to breathe properly. In some cases, water damage can even be deadly!
Fortunately, there are ways that you can help minimize the risk of experiencing further losses after a flood or other type of water damage occurs:
Water damage can be a challenging experience to go through, but you shouldn’t let it ruin your day or take over your life. Although there are some things that you can do on your own to help mitigate any damage, it’s important to remember that water is still dangerous even after it has been contained. Make sure that you contact experts who have the training and equipment necessary for handling these situations so they can properly clean up after themselves.
Content Cleaning and Fire Damage
Fire damage in property
Content Cleaning and Fire Damage
The smell of smoke and soot are a reminder of a terrible fire, but they're also signs that your contents need special attention. Whether you've just had a small kitchen fire or your home was damaged by flames, you'll want to take action right away to clean your belongings. The company will take an inventory of the items that need cleaning and what needs to be replaced or disposed of completely. Content cleaning removes dust, dirt, soot, and smoke remnants from your belongings. Items that can't be cleaned with water are taken off-site for ultrasonic content cleaning at specialized facilities where they can be exposed to high-pressure water jets under controlled conditions that prevent damage caused by normal washing machines (or other methods).
Smoke and Soot Damage Quickly
Smoke damage and soot damage happen almost instantly to your clothing, upholstery, and other belongings. The smoke from a fire can permeate into the fabric of your items, leaving behind an oily residue that can be difficult to remove. Soap and water are options for cleaning clothes and fabrics that have been exposed to smoke or soot.
However, soap has a tendency to leave a white residue on darker-colored fabrics such as blue jeans. To avoid this issue you may want to consider using an additional cleaner like OxyClean™ liquid laundry booster in conjunction with water when cleaning clothes that have been affected by smoke or fire damage.
So what exactly is soot? Soot is produced by incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels (such as candles or cigarettes). As the air passes over burning material it begins collecting tiny particles from the burning substance which creates black streaks on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces around where there is heat being generated from these sources--this includes areas directly above where flames are present!
Technicians Can Help
Once the technician has taken an inventory of your belongings, he or she will be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take to clean and/or repair your property. The technician will also advise you on what needs to be replaced or disposed of completely.
What is Content Cleaning?
Content cleaning is a process that uses water and detergents to clean the contents of your home. The cleaning process involves washing away soot, smoke remnants, and other debris from furniture, carpeting, and clothing. Content cleaning may be performed by professional cleaners or you can do it yourself with the proper equipment.
In order to make sure that your belongings are properly cleaned after a fire, you should hire a reputable company such as SERVPRO of Grosse Point. We provide content cleaning services for residential properties as well as commercial properties throughout Grosse Point. It is important that we use our own equipment because it ensures consistency in our operations while providing peace of mind to homeowners who are concerned about the potential damage caused by poorly maintained equipment used by other companies.
Some items go offsite for even more specialized cleaning:
- Ultrasonic cleaning is a gentler process than dry cleaning.
- It uses high-frequency sound waves to remove dirt, stains, and odors from non-porous items; items that are nonporous include clothes, leather, plastics, and rubber.
If you’re not cleaning your items right away, they can become breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and dust mites— tiny bugs that feed on skin cells and shed body parts (deerskin cells). The longer these insects have access to un-cleaned fabrics and carpets, the more likely it is that they will infest those surfaces with their eggs.
In the event of a fire, it's important to take action as quickly as possible. You can choose to have your clothes cleaned in-house or sent out for specialized content cleaning.
Content cleaning is a specialized service and involves removing the smoke odor from all of your belongings, whether they're made of fabric or not. It's best to find out what kind of damage has been done to your property before making any decisions about how much time has passed since the fire and whether it will be safe enough to handle yourself. If there are still hot spots on carpets or floorboards, then it might not be advisable for you to try doing this yourself unless you have protective equipment available (e.g., gloves).
If you're looking for a company to help with content cleaning after a fire, then contact us today! We have experienced technicians who can provide both onsite and off-site services.
3 Mold Prevention Steps for Your Bathroom
One of the best ways to reduce humidity levels in your bathroom is to provide proper ventilation
Three Steps to Prevent Mold in Your Bathroom
Even if you scrupulously clean your bathroom, there is still a possibility for mold growth. This is primarily because bathrooms are often areas of high humidity. The good news, however, is that once you recognize that humidity is the top source of bathroom mildew, you can take steps to reduce the excess moisture. (If you've already noticed mold or mildew, contact water damage cleanup and repair professionals right away.)
One of the best ways to reduce humidity levels in the bathroom for mold prevention is to provide proper ventilation. Many homes are equipped with fans in in the ceiling that carry away the moisture-heavy steam from hot showers. Make sure your ventilation fans are equipped to handle the amount of humidity in the room. For example, if there is still condensation on the surfaces of the room when the fan has been running, you know that you need more ventilation. It may be necessary to open doors and windows to compensate for the lack of other airflow.
Once you have adequate ventilation in the room, turn your attention to towels and floor mats. These surfaces are often damp and could easily become home to mold spores. You may notice that your bathroom décor smells musty or looks dusty. These are two signs of mold in the bathroom. Replace and launder towels and rugs regularly.
Ongoing maintenance is a vital component of mold prevention. This refers to replacing deteriorating caulk around the tub to replacing the wax ring under your toilet on a regular basis. The moisture from steamy showers can make its way past gaps in tile grout. Pooling water under the base of the toilet can host an entire colony of mold before you notice any water damage. The steps you take to keep your bathroom in top repair are essential to preventing mold.
Remember, water damage isn't the only source of mold in your bathroom. Prevent new growth by adding ventilation, removing sources of moisture, and focusing on appropriate maintenance. These steps can prevent a lot of expensive and trouble in your Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, home.
The Key Elements of Fire Damage Restoration
Fire damage in a Detroit, MI residence.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 30,000 home fires happen every month in the U.S. These fires range from fairly minor to major events that cause extensive damage to a home. Residential fires happen for many reasons, but one commonality in these situations is the need for fire restoration. This is the art and science of restoring a home to its original condition. It is not an easy task and usually requires the services of a professional emergency restoration company. Highly trained technicians work to minimize damage to a home in Detroit, MI, reduce costs and expenses and keep everyone as safe as possible.
Proven Methods To Reduce Costs
After a fire, a home is often open to the elements and therefore subject to additional damage from weather. A fire restoration crew will do an immediate board-up or roof tarp service to prevent water from coming into the home. Experienced technicians will also perform some or all of the following actions:
- Water removal and drying
- Mitigation of smoke damage
- Cleaning and repair
- Reconstruction of damaged structures
A team that is conscious of extra costs will practice a restore versus replace mentality. Workers will test materials such as furniture, clothing and carpeting to see if they can be successfully cleaned of soot and odors.
Advanced Training for Improved Safety
In addition to professional damage cleaning, an experienced team will focus on safety. Trained workers know that soot can penetrate all areas of the home including the HVAC system. They also know that the extreme heat of a house fire can make canned goods and other foods unsafe to eat. As part of the fire restoration process, the crew will secure the home against the dangers of falling items and unstable structures. In the aftermath of a home fire, a professional crew works to restore a home safely and efficiently.
3 Tips for Protecting Your Business From Winter Storm Damage
Back up your data to the cloud.
Protect Your Business Before Bad Weather Arrives
When cold weather descends on Harper Woods, MI, it can affect your business in a variety of ways. A winter storm can bring heavy snowfall, freezing rain and single-digit temperatures that might cause power outages, frozen water pipes and other issues that might damage your building. However, there are a few steps you can take before bad weather arrives that may help you protect your business.
1. Back Up Your Data To the Cloud
Cold weather can cause your building’s pipes to freeze. When this happens, the expanding water inside them may result in a pipe break and flooding. This can be especially common in basements, where the overall temperature is cooler to begin with. Stored files can be ruined by this type of flooding, so it is a good idea to transform paper records to electronic ones that can be stored on the cloud. This can also make searching for certain blocks of data more efficient when you need to access them.
2. Have an Employee Storm Plan in Place
Prepare a contingency plan with your employees and discuss it in detail so they know how to react in case of a winter storm. Include how they will be contacted in case of a closure, whether they can telecommute in case roads shut down and how to close the building down if the weather forces a shutdown in the middle of the day. Keeping everyone on the same page can prevent confusion and ensure the safety of your employees.
3. Have a Restoration Company on Retainer
Trying to find a storm damage and restoration company after your building has been partially destroyed by winter weather can be frustrating and cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost operating hours. To prevent this, sign on with a company before the cold weather comes. Then, if the worst should happen, you can start the recovery process with one phone call.
The fallout from a winter storm in Harper Woods, MI, can be severe and harm your business. However, when you prepare for such an event, you may be able to act with more confidence and protect your investment.
How Fire Sprinklers Work in Your Commercial Building
A well-maintained fire sprinkler system helps to protect your property.
Sprinklers are one of the most effective ways to fight a fire in your commercial building in Grosse Pointe, MI. Let's take a look at how a fire sprinkler works and how it can reduce the risk of significant damage to your property.
How Do Sprinklers Work?
For years, many people have thought that smoke activates sprinklers, but that's not the case. Heat is what triggers the system to work.
Sprinkler heads are comprised of a glass bulb that is filled with a liquid made of glycerin. During a fire, the air above it gets hot very quickly. This intense heat rises to the ceiling and spreads. When it reaches the sprinkler head, a chain reaction occurs.
As the liquid expands with the heat, it breaks the glass.
This activates the fire sprinkler head, opening up a valve to the pressurized water source.
The pressurized system allows the water to spray in an arc to cover a large area.
How Can Sprinklers Prevent Extensive Damage?
Water damage can be as devastating as fire damage. Since each sprinkler head functions as a separate entity, only those sprinklers directly above the fire will be activated. This makes fire sprinkler cleanup much easier and less intrusive because the water dispersed will be minimal.
The fire department's hose will use about six times more water than a sprinkler system, so if your sprinklers can get the job done fast, it will prevent an emergency call. Of course, if you quickly assess that the sprinklers are an inadequate method of fire suppression, call 911 right away. In addition, if you require a fire damage assessment, call a restoration service as soon as possible.
Don't forget to maintain your sprinkler system regularly to ensure that it works when you need it most.
A well-maintained fire sprinkler system helps to protect your property if a fire breaks out in your building.
Three Suggestions to Help Avoid a Building Fire
Fire extinguishers can also help to stop a blaze from spreading.
Avoid a Building Fire
A fire at a commercial building in Grosse Pointe Park, MI may wreak havoc on a business. In addition to structural damage caused by a fire, a blaze at an office could make it impossible to work in the building for an extended period. In order to avoid business interruption, it may be wise to practice fire safety and do everything possible to avoid a business fire from starting in the first place. Here are three simple suggestions to help avoid a building fire.
1. Use Caution Around Flames
It is critical to practice caution around open flames. For example, if decorative and scented candles are utilized at an office, it may be beneficial to request that employees use extreme caution around them and to not leave candles unattended. If workers smoke cigarettes, designating a smoking area outside and away from the building that contains receptacles for the safe disposal of cigarettes may be helpful. Any and all flames could pose a risk for a business fire, and it is important for individuals in the office to be very careful.
2. Regularly Inspect Electrical Systems
While a fire could be caused by an open flame, electrical issues could also cause a fire. It may be helpful for a business owner to schedule regular inspections and maintenance of the electrical system in the office to avoid a fire and subsequent business interruption. Additionally, small electronic devices – such as personal heaters for instance – may pose a threat if the device or its wires are damaged. Ensuring that all electrical systems and electrical items in the office are working properly is vital.
3. Install Fire Sprinklers and Place Extinguishers Throughout the Office
Installing overhead fire sprinklers in a building may be one of the most important ways to help extinguish a fire. Placing fire extinguishers throughout the office and showing employees where the extinguishers are located can also help to stop a blaze from spreading in the event of an emergency.
Professionals who specialize in fire cleaning and fire restoration can help if a fire does occur. However, if fire safety is practiced regularly, avoiding a business fire and business interruption may be possible.
When Is a Basement Flood Covered by a Homeowners' Policy?
A flooded basement in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI.
The basement is the lowest part of a home. It may also be prone to cracks in the walls and floors. It is thus no surprise that floods frequently occur in this location. Before your next water disaster, you should find out whether your insurance will cover a basement flood.
Your homeowners' insurance should pay for emergency cleanup and restoration services following an accidental and sudden peril. For example, insurance typically covers repairs following a pipe burst or water heater rupture.
However, not every flooded basement is covered by homeowners' insurance. Below are some exclusions of your policy.
1. Water Backup From Drains or Sewers
A homeowners' policy does not include water damage that results from fluid backing into your basement from an exterior drain or sewer. However, you can purchase separate insurance to cover this type of loss.
2. Flood Damage
Similarly, a basement flood that results from a storm or overflowing body of water is not covered by homeowners' insurance. Separate flood insurance coverage is available through the National Flood Insurance Program.
3. Damage Resulting From Poor Maintenance
If the insurer determines that the water loss resulted from your negligence, your claim will not be accepted. You thus need to perform regular maintenance checks and address leaks right away.
Your policy should cover both damages to the structure of your home and harm to personal property inside the house. However, the cost of repairing or replacing the broken pipe or appliance that caused the water loss is not included.
A basement flood caused by an outside storm or sewer backup may not be covered under your insurance policy. You can purchase additional insurance to help pay for the restoration and cleanup following these disasters.
However, the cost of repairing and replacing a damaged pipe or appliance is typically excluded from insurance policies. Any floods that result from your negligence will not be covered by insurance, either. Read over your policy or contact your agent in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, to get more information.
24 Hour Emergency Restoration
Storm damages a building in Grosse Pointe Woods, MI.
24 Hour Emergency Restoration
When disaster strikes, it is crucial to respond quickly. Storms, floods, and fire can damage commercial property that is vital to the functioning of your business, and having a plan in place can help you mitigate the damage from such events.
When considering professional restoration services in Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, availability is one of the most important factors. A restoration company with 24-hour emergency service will help you recover from any disaster in a prompt and thorough manner.
These are some of the main reasons to prioritize 24-hour service.
1. Fast Response No Matter What
If a storm damages the windows or the structures of your building in the middle of the night, the inside of the building may be exposed to water damage. To ensure that commercial property is protected from mold or further degradation, you need a professional restoration company that can respond quickly.
SERVPRO is a 24-hour company that can be reached at any time. They will respond to your call within 1 hour. A team will be on-site within 4 hours, and you will receive a verbal briefing of the situation within 8 hours. These response times are crucial to the success of the restoration process. In many cases, you cannot afford to wait until morning.
2. Comprehensive Service
In the aftermath of a disaster, you might be overwhelmed by the damage the building has suffered. You might not know how to proceed in the best way. A restoration team that can respond to your call at any time will be able to evaluate the situation and let you know what services are required. This allows you to protect any sensitive documents or equipment inside.
The kinds of events that require restoration services are often unpredictable. You never know when a storm or fire may occur. For this reason, it is vital to find a restoration company that is always open.
The Most Common Water Losses for Commercial Properties
Flooded commercial building in Harper Woods, MI.
The Most Common Types of Water Losses in Commercial Buildings
When you think of potential water damage, you probably imagine a leaking roof or runoff from a storm. You may not expect your building in Harper Woods, MI, to have a broken pipe, but that's actually one of the most common types of water loss found in commercial properties. Here are some other things you may eventually have to deal with.
Clean Water Damage
Water that damages your building doesn't always come from outside. Floods in commercial properties often come from clean water sources:
- Frozen pipes
- Broken supply lines
- Leaky sinks
One way to minimize the water loss in these situations is to turn off the water main as soon as you know you have an issue. That way, you stop the supply of water at the source. Then call a plumber to fix the broken pipe before the water is turned back on.
Fire Sprinkler Flooding
Your fire suppression system is designed to douse flames that threaten your building. It uses a lot of water to do this, though. Even when it functions like it's meant to work, the flood damage can be extensive. This may also happen if a sprinkler is broken or the system malfunctions.
It doesn't take long for a flooded toilet to make a big mess. Furthermore, the issue may not remain solely in the restroom where it starts. Certified water repair specialists not only have to clean up the damage in the space around the overflowing toilet but also must check the ceiling in the room beneath it for signs of a problem. Something as simple as an unsuccessful flush can be the start of a pretty big disaster.
Water damage in your building can be caused by anything from a broken pipe to sewer backup. Knowing the main problems to look out for can help you fix them before they get out of hand.