What Personal Items Can Be Restored After a Flood?
During a severe flood, your home is inundated with black water. This is water that has been contaminated with feces, urine and other harmful substances. Because of the serious health risks involved with coming into contact with black water, it’s important that you hire an experienced professional to safely handle the cleanup. This includes content cleaning.
Which personal items can be restored after a flood depends on several factors, including how severe the damage is and how porous the material is. Non-porous materials that can almost always be cleaned and restored include the following:
• Plastics, including furniture, dishes and toys
• Metals, such as furniture, stands and jewelry
• Glazed pottery or ceramics
• Hard wood furniture
Porous materials may not be salvageable during content cleaning. If the damage is mild, they can usually be cleaned, dried and restored. However, if damage is severe, they may simply need to be replaced. Porous items include things like the following:
• Carpets and rugs
• Upholstered furniture
• Anything made of plywood
• Books and Documents
• Photographs, posters and prints
• Soft toys
• Leather Goods
It may be possible to restore porous items that have suffered moderate damage; however, the cost could be high. In these cases, it may be more practical to replace damaged possessions unless they have a very high sentimental value. For example, it may be worth it to you to restore a one-of-a-kind photograph, but it may make more sense to replace a favorite leather jacket than pay for an expensive restoration.
Restoration experts can often save critical information in important documents, books and photographs by digitizing them. Unless the physical object is of great sentimental value, digitizing water-damaged documents and photographs is often a more affordable way to preserve them.
Content cleaning can be an emotional and difficult stage of post-flood cleanup, but before you make a decision about which possessions to throw away, talk to a restoration specialist at SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County. Our representatives can help you figure out what is worth restoring and what isn’t.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROofcrowleysjc.com.
4 Steps to Avoid Wind Damage
High winds from thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes can turn small objects and debris into dangerous projectiles. When these items hit buildings, they can cause a roof leak and broken windows. With some planning and preparation, structural damage can be kept to a minimum.
1. Maintain the Landscaping
Trees, shrubs and decorative items such as fountains and planters can turn into missiles in high winds. Keep the greenery trimmed and secure the fountains and planters. If tying them down isn’t an option, move them inside during storm season. This can prevent them from being hurled against the building or through windows.
2. Cover the Windows and Doors
Keep a supply of plywood onsite to protect the windows from flying debris. It is strong enough to protect the glass from most large items and small debris such as gravel may embed itself in the surface, without penetrating all the way. Screws can be more effective than nails when securing the plywood to the building.
3. Reinforce Weak Areas
For buildings that have loading docks or interior parking for company vehicles, the garage doors may be susceptible to damage caused by debris. Strengthen glider wheel tracks and add braces across the back of the door to minimize damage. Plywood can be used to cover windows and bolster the braces.
4. Inspect the Roof
As materials age, they weaken. This can result in a roof leak or missing shingles during storm season. Use tarps and plywood as temporary measures to protect weak areas and prevent an already damaged roof from getting worse.
Severe storms can devastate a business in. Untrimmed trees and downed power lines can result in a damaged roof. A minor roof leak can become a gaping hole. If a severe weather event does strike, a disaster recovery team can help you keep downtime to a minimum, whether a passing thunderstorm or a significant hurricane caused the damage.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROofcrowleysjc.com.
How to Clean Up a Water Heater Leak
If you have recently experienced a water heater leak, there are several simple steps you can take to clean up the leak and minimize safety risks. Try to limit the extent of the leak as soon as you notice a leaking water heater. Contact a plumber to fix a broken water heater or replace a failed water heater, and then determine the extent of the water damage. Follow these four steps to address the leak. For complete peace of mind, especially with a larger leak, you should contact a company that provides water damage restoration in Crowley, TX.
1. Unplug electrical appliances in the affected area. You don't want to risk electrocution or other appliances being adversely affected by a leak.
2. Remove soaked carpets and moveable items from the area surrounding the leaking water heater. You may be able to dry out some items, but carpet may not be salvageable.
3. Dry the floor as soon as possible. You can use a mop, towels, or a wet-dry shop vacuum to remove excess water. You can also use a desiccant such as silica gel near soaked floors or walls.
4. Circulate air and dehumidify. This will speed the drying process and limit the extent of the water damage while making the environment less conducive to mold growth.
If you notice a leaking water heater in your home while the leak is still small, you may be able to limit the extent of the water damage by taking immediate action. If the leak is larger or has gone unnoticed for more than 24 hours, you should contact a residential restoration service in Crowley, TX. Either you or damage restoration experts will need to clean up and dry all the water to prevent mold. Make sure to also have a plumber replace a failed or broken water heater to prevent another leak.
For more information, visit us at http://www.SERVPROofcrowleysjc.com.
Why Choose SERVPRO? Because We'll Be There Fast
When disaster strikes your home or business, time becomes an especially precious commodity. When it is your home or livelihood on the line, you don't have the benefit of waiting for help-you need it right away.
SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County knows that a fast response is crucial, which is why "Responding faster to any size disaster" is more than just a slogan to us.
Why a Quick Response Matters
When it's your belongings or business on the line, time is not a luxury you have regarding disaster cleanup. This is especially true when water damage has come into play.
It takes mere minutes for water to spread throughout your property, where it will saturate everything in its path. The walls, floors, upholstery and your belongings are fast casualties of water.
The effects of water damage within the first 24 hours include:
- Drywall beginning to swell and break down
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper items spreading and staining
- The beginning of a musty odor
- Metal surfaces beginning to tarnish
- Furniture beginning to swell and crack
The damage continues to worsen as time goes on. Between 48 hours to a week later, you could begin to see:
- Swelling and warping of doors, windows and studs
- The growth and spreading of mold and mildew
- The possibility of serious biohazard contamination
- Metal beginning to rust and corrode
- Paint beginning to blister
- Wood flooring swelling and warping
Water damage that is left for over a week can lead to dramatically increased restoration time and costs and can also impact the structural safety of your home or business.
How We Will Help
SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County can provide an immediate response to any size disaster, which can help minimize the damage and help keep the cleaning and restoration costs manageable.
Our trained cleanup and restoration specialists can be dispatched to your property or business at any time, no matter what day or time it is.
Being a locally owned and operated franchise helps us be close by and ready to respond whenever the call comes. A major perk of being part of a national network of over 1,700 franchises is that we have access to more resources for the cleanup and restoration projects that may be larger or stem from major storm situations.
Remember, if you need us, we'll be there-no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained experts at SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
5 Mold Facts
1. Mold is a fungus
Like any fungus, mold sprouts from spores. Those spores are usually free-floating in your environment at all times, and only need a catalyst to grow into an active fungus infestation. That catalyst is water in any form, whether it be a puddle or humidity in the air.
2. Mold grows on organic surfaces
This can include food and plant matter, but you would be surprised what else is considered "organic." This includes the drywall of your walls and ceilings, as well as wooden floorboards and furniture upholstery.
3. Black mold doesn't always start off black
Black mold can start as gray, green, white, or yellow, before darkening through stages to brown and then black.
4. Mold is not the same as mildew
Mold and mildew are two different types of fungus. They can be differentiated by color, texture, and growth patterns. Mold is fuzzy and thick, while mildew has a soft, powdery texture.
5. Mold can often only be detected by trained professionals
Certified mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County can identify mold that isn't apparent to the naked eye. Call SERVPRO to help you develop strategies for mold prevention and cleanup.
Do You Need A Professional Mold Remediation Company?
A slow leak from a toilet supply line may go undetected until it is too late to mitigate the water damage, leading to a mold issue.
In the State of Texas there are regulations designed to protect consumers. The regulations are known as The Texas Mold Assessment and Remediation Rules. This document can be downloaded from https://dshs.texas.gov/mold/RULES-AND-REGULATIONS.doc?terms=mold
The rules serve multiple purposes in protecting consumers. One is to help prevent consumers from being exploited by unscrupulous, and sometimes unqualified, contractors who utilize fear mongering techniques to prey on unwary consumers. Another purpose is to help consumers assure their property is restored using scientifically-based processes so the air quality in their living environment is safe and healthy.
It is very important, of course, to select a restoration contractor who is properly licensed and who follows the protocol developed by a licensed mold inspector. SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County is just such a company. Our trained experts will assure your property receives the professional attention it needs and deserves.
Fire Safety Tips for Your Business
Business owners have many responsibilities--and one all-important responsibility is spending time planning and creating a fire prevention and evacuation plan. As a business owner, you will find there are plenty of safety factors to take into consideration regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors.
Some Leading Causes of Commercial Structure Fires
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has found that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007-2011 were (in order):
- Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
- Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
- Heating equipment, 11% of fires
- Intentional, 10% of fires
- Smoking materials, 9% of fires
- Exposure, 4% of fires
- Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires.
Of those causes, intentional, exposure and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities in 2007.
In looking at more recent numbers, the NFPA estimates that from 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year, which resulted in an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.
Protecting Your Business from Fire
So what are the steps a business owner can take to protect a business from the risk of fires? By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, a business owner can help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.
First, a fire hazard risk assessment must be made. In some ares, the local government may even offer a visit from a fire marshal to help identify these risks and provide guidance in creating a fire prevention plan.
It is important to ensure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.
Finally, the most important aspect to consider is the human element, namely your employees. By creating a fire plan and reviewing it with staff, a business owner ensures that everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire. Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep the fire safety protocol fresh, and take time to review evacuation plans and where the first-aid kits are.
Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Bleach May Cause More Harm than Good
Some people have been told bleach is a quick way to take care of a mold problem. It is true bleach kills mold, but it can only kill mold spores it can reach, and it is active for only a short time span. In other words it has no residual affect on mold spores to protect the material in the long term.
The application instructions for bleach specify it is effective on nonporous surfaces, such as ceramic and tile, countertops, appliances, etc. Mold can also grow on:
- Walls, ceilings or other painted surfaces
- Fabrics, like carpets, rugs and furniture
- Inside the grout between your tiles
- Along window sills
Mold spores can establish colonies of mold inside walls, under floors and behind cabinets, etc.
Mold spores are live organisms, and therefore are designed to defend themselves and to launch defense mechanisms when threatened or attacked. Another side-effect of using bleach, as opposed to an EPA registered antimicrobial disinfectant, is to exacerbate the problem by causing the mold to take its' defense mechanisms to the next level. This can accelerate the colonization of mold spores and increase the level of mold infestation.
Mold spores thrive when excess moisture is present in materials susceptible to mold growth. Bleach-based cleaners contain mostly water. After you finish your initial fungus cleanup, the damp surface encourages more mold to grow.
SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County will identify the true extent of the infestation and treat infected areas while controlling the spread of spores.
Here Are the 3 Classifications of Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County
There are three different types of water to familiarize yourself with when it comes to water damage—clean, gray and black. Understanding the differences in these types of water will also help you understand how to better handle the situation if you find yourself facing water damage.
With water damage comes cleanup and restoration, regardless of what type of water has caused the damage. The most important step to take is to remove all the moisture and damp items quickly, so that mold does not have the chance to flourish in that mold-inducing environment.
<h4to-clean-water">Introduction to Clean Water
Much like its name states, clean is considered just that, “clean,” and is not the type of water that will pose an immediate threat to your health as it is free of contaminants. Clean water is a result of:
- Broken water lines
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Toilet holding tanks
- Snow melt and rainwater
This type of water damage is the easiest type to clean up as there will be fewer microbes living in this water, but you must still follow the 48-hour rule where mold is concerned. Also, after that amount of time and if it has had contact with the surfaces of a building, clean water becomes “gray” water.
<h4to-gray-water">Introduction to Gray Water
When you find yourself in a gray water damage situation, cleanup and restoration can become a bit more involved and serious. This is water that may pose a health risk because it will contain chemical or biological contamination. While the contamination is still slight, it would need to be thoroughly treated before being safe to consume.
Gray water can come from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. The 48-hour exposure time applies here as well, as gray water becomes black water if not quickly and properly treated.
<h4to-black-water">Introduction to Black Water
When you have black water, you will find yourself in the most serious of the three classifications because this water is considered highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter.
Included in this category would be floodwaters containing soil and any sewage. Sewage is contaminated with microbes and laden with bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more, which can be harmful to humans.
Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:
- Gastroenteritis-type illnesses
Always consider floodwater black water because as it travels it will be picking up contaminants along its path.
These three types of floodwater that are involved in water damage are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification(IICRC), which is an organization that certifies and sets the standard for all the cleaning and restoration companies. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.
It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!
How Can I Secure my Home and Belongings After a Fire?
Ensure that Property is Secured
When a fire occurs, your home can become vulnerable to further loss if it is not properly secured. Here are some things you can do to make sure your home and property are safe after a fire:
- Board up any holes left by the fire. It will prevent further losses. SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County can provide board up services for you.
- Remove any property that is undamaged by the fire.
- If you will not be staying in the home during cleanup and restoration, make sure to remove valuables such as antiques, jewelry, and family heirlooms.
- Make sure to gather and remove important documents and personal identification in case they are needed.
- File a Claim Immediately. The longer you delay, the more damage will be caused by soot and smoke.
Consider the above measures to reduce the impact of fire damage. Call SERVPRO of Crowley & South Johnson County to schedule your board up and cleaning.