April Showers Bring May Flowers and More to Blue Valley...
April showers bring May flowers and more...
April showers help to bring us the most vibrant May flowers and we are so happy with this change of season. However, when April showers are more like torrential, relentless downpours we could face a flooded basement and other water damage causing costly repairs. Flooding generally occurs in the springtime as the result of heavy rains that cannot be adequately absorbed by the still thawing earth. Particularly formidable are the flash floods resulting from thunderstorms, swiftly melting snow and ice jams in creeks. Consider if more than one of these circumstances happens at the same time, you have the potential for a catastrophe with flooding waters and raging mudslides.
Homeowners you can take some simple precautions to secure your property and keep your possessions safe.
Elevate: Keep your furnace, water heater, electrical panels above predicted water levels to protect yourself from costly home replacements.
Install check valves: These valves close to prevent the backward flow of liquid and prevent water from backing up into the drains in your home.
Build barriers: Use sandbags to create flood walls to prevent or reduce flow of water into your home.
Waterproof the basement: Use a waterproofing compound to seal the walls of your basement.
Clean: Clean gutters, drains and downspouts for proper water flow.
Purchase flood insurance: Most standard homeowners' and business insurance policies unfortunately do no cover flood damage. In the event of a flood, you would be responsible for covering the full cost of repairs and replacing items damaged.
There is help close by should you experience an unfortunate event with your home or business. Contact SERVPRO of Blue Valley at 913.825.2000. We are trained storm specialists who will come in and quickly get your home or business back to a safe and healthy environment. We have the specific training and certifications to handle your restoration needs provided by an Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist, a Water Damage Restoration Technician, and an Applied Structural Drying Technician. We provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.
The top 5 most common causes of house fires
From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
- Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
- Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
- Electrical & Lighting
According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
- Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
- Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
- Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
- Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
- Dryers & Washing Machines
Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage.
- Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
- Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.
- Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.
The Mold Mitigation and Remediation Process
When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Blue Valley has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.
Call SERVPRO of Blue Valley
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Blue Valley. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Inspection & Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Blue Valley utilizes powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.
Cleaning Contents & Belongings
SERVPRO of Blue Valley cleans your furniture, decorative items, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. 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.
SERVPRO of Blue Valley understands mold and mold growth and has the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.
Home Contents Inventory - Why it’s Needed in Case of a Fire
Imagine having a total loss of your home due to a fire and having to recall every item that was damaged… could you do it? Would you trust yourself to remember each individual item that was in your home, especially the rarely used ones? Without a photographic memory most of us would find some difficulty with this task in an already stressful time.
In the event of a fire, your insurance company will expect you to provide a list of all your personal property that was damaged. By having a pre-assembled Home Contents Inventory you can have piece-of-mind knowing that all of your contents are documented and can then be properly replaced according to your insurance policy. There are several methods to complete your Home Contents Inventory whether on paper or digitally (you can contact SERVPRO of Blue Valley for a blank copy of either).
You will want to make sure to list each item, its value, and include any receipts and photographs along with it. It’s a good idea to update your Home Contents Inventory list annually to include any new items you have added to the home and remove items you no longer have. Make sure to keep a copy safe in a fireproof container or safe deposit box and you can always file a copy with your insurance agent as well.
Cleaning Up After a Flood in a Commercial Building
Dealing with the aftermath of a flood in Blue Valley can be devastating. In addition to water damage that can take a long time to repair, a flood can damage the contents of a business. When you are cleaning contents, you need to categorize each item into one of two material types to know if your belongings can be saved.
Anything in your commercial property that could possibly absorb water may have to be thrown away, particularly if your building was flooded with black water. Porous materials can include anything from carpets to upholstered furniture and drywall. Because these contents can absorb filthy water, they cannot be cleaned thoroughly enough to prevent health hazards. When you begin the process of content cleaning, know that any item made of porous material that possibly came in contact with the contaminated water will likely need to be disposed of.
Any item that will not absorb water is made of non-porous material. These contents should be safe after a flood. Items may include metal desks or cabinets, waterproof safes, or even plastic furniture. Thorough cleansing with clean water and disinfectant will likely save any belongings made of non-porous materials and keep them useful after restoration. Because these contents did not absorb the dirty water, they do not pose a significant risk if they are kept.
Losing critical business information may be one of the most devastating parts of surviving a flood. Content cleaning can be challenging because you may have to throw away many items, but if you have the right knowledge of porous and non-porous materials, you may be able to save some items. When dealing with black water, knowing which items pose a health hazard is critical to the restoration process. Separating belongings into one of these two categories can help make the cleaning process faster and easier.
Storm Damage: What Does It Look Like?
Tree limb that fell on a house after a storm
What Damage Can A STORM Cause?
- Storms deposit a large amount of rain, which, if your home isn't prepared for, can cause serious flooding.
- If your home does flood, or after the storm has passed begins to smell musty, mold may have grown because of the moisture.
- Lightning can strike a home or yard and cause heat damage, or even start a fire.
- Winds can knock down trees creating damage to homes and cars, break off chunks of housing, roof-tiles, hurl debris around, and shatter windows.
SERVPRO specializes in remediating storm-battered and damaged properties. We know that while the storm is happening, it seems like all you can do is rely on the preparation you've done, and stay as safe as possible. Focus on those crucial things, and when it's all over, let SERVPRO of Blue Valley help you put your property back "Like it never even happened."
Lightning Storm Damage
A lightning strike to the roof of the house caused this fire damage.
A lightning strike to the roof of the house caused this fire damage, this before photo shows how bad the strike was and some of the damage it caused. While this may be a very rare occurrence lighting storms are still something to be aware of, and if you are ever unlucky enough to have this happen we are here to help.
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 – (913)825.2000