Water Damage Do's & Don'ts
Many of us do not know the first steps to take in the event of water damage in our homes. SERVPRO has over 40 years of leadership and training in cleanup and restoration services. SERVPRO has put together a few Do’s and Don’ts to help in the event of water damage in your home.
Water Damage from Clean Water
- Shut off the source of the water as quickly as possible.
- Turn off any circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the breaker box is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping & blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Remove any documents, computers and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards are at risk.
- Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches or circuit breakers are exposed to water/
- Leave books, newspapers. Magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove excess water. This could cause electrical shock or damage the vacuum cleaner.
- Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceilings are wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Mold in Southeast Texas
It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.
If the right conditions exist, mold will grow. Those conditions include:
- Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.
- Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
- Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.
Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.
If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.
Disaster Recovery Team
Did you know that SERVPRO has a specialized storm team and large loss response network to provide the resources to your property when others can’t? In the event of a disaster, SERVPRO professionals have the resources to relocate crews with equipment to take care of all of our customer’s needs. SERVPRO strategically places mobilization teams across the country to travel when needed to support in recovery after large storm events such as hurricanes. Our job as water damage restoration professionals is to limit the amount of business interruption. We understand that fast mitigation is key to getting your business back up and running. SERVPRO provides the resources in the event of a large storm event to make sure that the right equipment, procedures and training are in place to ensure that the structure is dry the first time and saves you time and money.
Do you have questions about how SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton can help you prepare for a disaster? Contact us today at (409) 729-2800!
Ready for Whatever Happens
The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan for it NOW.
As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are “Ready for whatever happens” speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.
By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile® for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
The SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile® Advantage
- A no cost assessment of your facility.
-This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
-It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
-This can help minimize the amount of time your business in active by having an immediate plan of action.
- Established your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
-You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is close by.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
-This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
-Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
Jacey Woods is SERVPRO® of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton’s Emergency Ready Profile specialist. Call our office today to schedule your 15 minute appointment!
“Thanks to SERVPRO® our office only assumed partial water damage due to a busted pipe. Why? Because I was able to locate the shut-off valve straight from the Ready Plan app. My boss what out of reach and we didn’t panic. Thank you SERVPRO® for making us “Ready for whatever happens.” –Tracy T.
The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior 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. SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton is thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration.
Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO to focus on saving your precious items.
SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton knows that smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.
- 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
- 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.
- Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) – While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
- Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue) – Special loss situations require special care.
SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton is trained to handle even the toughest losses.
If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Do you have dirty ducts?
Improve your indoor air quality with duct cleaning
Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may not always be necessary. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.
In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases your SERVPRO Franchise Professional can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The SERVPRO duct cleaning system is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO Franchise Professional uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
- The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton today at 409-729-2800.
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water emergencies don’t have to wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture and more. SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call us 24/7—(409) 729-2800
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increases dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structure rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
Portable Fire Extinguishers
As a business owner, it is required to have portable fire extinguishers throughout your business. These are handy in the event of a small fire in your business. However, in the event a fire arises; do you know how to use one?
Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:
Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Be sure to read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure that you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility.
To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.
Different Types of Smoke Damage
Smoke damage from a protein fire.
Did you know that there are different types of smoke? Each type of smoke can cause a wide array of damages to your home in the event of a fire. The damage resulting from a fire can be complicated due to the different types of smoke.
- 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 the evaporation of material rather than from a fire): Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs): While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
- Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue): Special loss situations require special care.
SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton is trained and certified in Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration. Our knowledge helps restore your home back to preloss condition.
Tips to Minimize Water Damage
In the event that your home or business has a water loss, here are some steps to help minimize damage.
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid shock hazards.
- Don’t use your household vacuum cleaning to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage the vacuum cleaner.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.