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Dealing With Black Water Damage

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Dealing With Black Water Damage Storm damage in Washington, UT

If you've been through a flood in your Washington, UT, home, the results can be overwhelming. In addition to causing water damage to the structure and to your belongings, the flooding can contain viruses and bacteria that come from sewers and other water sources like rivers and lakes. This contaminated water is known as black water. It can be smart to call a restoration professional who can take the following measures to deal with the problem.

1. Assess the Problem

Wearing special protective gear, such as waterproof coveralls, eye protection and thick boots, the restoration professionals can assess the water damage in order to determine how severe the problem is and what equipment should be brought in.

2. Remove the Contents

Next, they can clear out any items from the flooded area, including electronics, appliances or furniture. Any salvageable items can be specially dried, cleaned and sanitized.

3. Remove the Water and Contaminants

Using specialized sump pumps, trash pumps or truck-mounted extraction units, the technicians can remove any excess water from the area. Any contaminated porous materials can also be removed at this time. Special cleaning materials may be used on the affected space to make sure it is completely sanitized and no contamination spreads to other areas.

4. Drying

Once the flooded area has been sanitized, any remaining moisture can then be extracted using machinery such as dehumidifiers and air movers.

5. Restoration

At this point, any structural damage can be addressed. The restoration might involve anything from replacing some drywall and repainting to rebuilding an entire room.

Repairing water damage from a flood is a complex process, made even more complicated when contaminated water is part of the problem. If not cleaned up properly, black water can pose a real health hazard. However, with the help of a professional restoration company, you can quickly have your home back to normal.

How Can I Find Out If I Have Mold?

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How Can I Find Out If I Have Mold? Mold damage on kitchen in a St. George, UT home

Mold exists everywhere, even in the cleanest homes in St. George, UT. This is because it is naturally occurring and is very easy to track into your home. Mold spores may float into your home on the breeze or hitch a ride on your pets' paws. How can you tell when it's time to call in an indoor environmental specialist?

Signs of Mold Growth in Your Home

Once mold gets into your home, mold can take hold under the carpet, around the windows, or behind the walls. In fact, there may be mold growth in your home that you haven't noticed. Unfortunately, the key to dealing with mold is to catch it early. The good news is you can watch for signs that alert you to the problem:

  • A musty or moldy smell you can pinpoint
  • Soot- or dirt-like substance in unusual places
  • Discoloration on your walls or ceiling
  • Water stains
  • Peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper
  • Bowed or warped walls
  • Leaky pipes
  • Condensation on the windows or other glass surfaces

The Correct Course of Action

Of course, if you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to respond right away. It may be obvious that you have mold growth and, if so, contact an indoor environmental specialist right away. If your home has been affected by flooding or unusually high moisture levels, you may not want to wait until you find the signs of mold growth. Instead, you may want to contact a professional to conduct a mold test.

What Are the Results?

Once testing has been completed, you'll have valuable information, such as the extent of the growth and the source of the colonization. With those facts, you can decide whether you can safely handle cleanup yourself or you should involve an indoor environmental specialist. You'll also be able to determine what you need to do to prevent further outbreaks. Remember, mold can occur anywhere in St. George, UT, but with the right information and good control of the moisture levels in your home, you can reduce any risks of damage associated with the mold.

Effective Maintenance and Care of Your Business Fire Sprinklers

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Effective Maintenance and Care of Your Business Fire Sprinklers Fire damage in a Hurricane, UT, home

A fire sprinkler system can lessen the impact of a fire significantly at your business in Hurricane, UT. These systems secure the area until emergency services can come and extinguish it. To do their job, they need proper maintenance to ensure they can deploy without a hitch. By following an effective standard to keep the sprinklers functional, your business could be protected from an unexpected fire emergency.

Typical Problems for Sprinkler Systems

Suppression sprinklers face a number of dangers that stop them from protecting your business. There are various reasons they could malfunction depending on the circumstances:

  • Connected pipes frozen in cold weather can crack and burst
  • Overheated sprinklers can errantly deploy
  • Metal of the sprinklers can corrode and lead to failure
  • Sprinklers that are not properly seated or installed can fail to deploy
  • Employees can accidentally damage them while decorating or working on the ceiling

Preventing Sprinkler System Failure

The most effective treatment to treat defects in a sprinkler system is prevention. Inspections are highly recommended and likely required depending on protocol. You should become familiar with the local laws to understand what it recommended. An effective fire suppression system offers ample savings if a blaze strikes, so it is worth the cost of regular expert inspection.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers standards for every fire hazard a business can face. NFPA 25 is an extensive document offering a procedure for fire sprinkler inspection, testing and maintenance. It is often consulted as the standard of system care, and it is worth considering.

Treating the Aftermath of a Sprinkler Deployment

There will be a need for fire sprinkler cleanup if the sprinklers deploy normally or break. The lingering water, if left alone, can lead to unnecessary damage. The moisture is best removed with the tools and expertise offered by a professional fire and water cleanup crew.

Your proper upkeep of your fire sprinkler system will minimize the losses and leave more assets salvageable by professionals. With less to replace, your costs will be noticeably smaller and lessen the impact on your business.

The Difference Between Storm Damage and Flood Damage

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage The Difference Between Storm Damage and Flood Damage Storm caused damaged floor in a Washington, UT home

The classification of damage type when calamity strikes your business in Washington, UT, makes a difference to your business insurer. Read on for the discrete definitions of flood damage and storm damage and their respective ramifications.

Flood Damage

The federal government’s emergency management agency (FEMA) defines, for legal purposes, what constitutes flooding. Though FEMA does not offer assistance to businesses, insurance companies use this definition in processing claims. Important distinctions include:

  • Flood damage is officially defined as a temporary condition in which there exists an inundation of water or mud that covers two or more acres or properties on land that is normally dry.
  • If the inundation is the result of rising floodwaters from the ground up, the claim would be to the flood insurance policy.
  • Business, homeowners and renters insurance generally cover damage from a storm deluge or hurricane that doesn’t meet FEMA’s criteria for flooding.

Storm Damage

Coverage for storm damage is generally more broadly applicable than other types of insurance. Even so, certain conditions apply for a storm claim versus a flood claim.

  • If inundation occurs because of damage to the building’s roof or windows and wind-driven rain infiltrates, the property insurance will typically cover the damage.
  • Ice, snow and hail damage that results in water inside the building is typically covered under the property insurance policy.
  • Damage from broken pipes, a leaking roof, accidental sprinkler discharge or water from extinguishing a fire are typically covered in a business property policy as opposed to a flood policy.
  • Aside from damage as the result of water or mudflow, destruction from other natural events such as lightning, wind and wildfires can cover losses including interruptions to business or the supply chain that supports it.

Flood damage is more strictly defined than other types of losses. Understanding your exposure to loss and planning for it is an important business decision no matter the location of your enterprise.

How To Enjoy Your Vacation Without Worrying About Water Damage

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Enjoy Your Vacation Without Worrying About Water Damage Air mover in water loss in a St. George, UT home

Vacation is your time to simply relax and have fun. If you're worrying about potential water damage, that defeats the purpose of the trip. Being away while your home is subjected to heavy rain, flooding, or other potential pipe-busters can be incredibly stressful. Here’s how you can wash away your fears about water damage when you're sipping daiquiris on the beach.

Shut Off the Water

If there’s just one thing you should do before leaving to prevent water damage, it’s shutting off the main water valve. No matter where yours is located, it will always be next to your water meter with another valve on the opposite side. To make sure you've shut if off correctly, test it by running a faucet first, then shutting off the valve.

Check Individual Water Supply Valves and Lines

You should shut off individual appliances' supply lines if you need the main water valve to remain on, such as for a sprinkler system or house-sitter. Most valves will be on the supply lines right behind or beneath the appliance itself, while a refrigerator’s ice maker is typically under the sink or in the basement.

Outdoor faucets count, too. Ice forms inside of them at 28 degrees or below, increasing the risk of needing water pipe repair. Remove any attached hoses and drain any remaining water. If you don’t have indoor shutoff valves, consider installing a frost-free faucet or a removable faucet insulation kit.

Check Anything Else That Could Leak

Once you've taken care of your valves, inspect the following to make sure they're working properly.

  • All sink pipes
  • Sump pumps: Make sure you can hear the motor, then pour in water to make sure it’s working
  • Window seals
  • Gutters: They need to be clean, and water should drain at least 10 feet away from your house
  • Appliance hoses
  • Toilet tanks

Nobody wants to worry about water pipe repair while they’re on vacation. Following these steps can prevent many leaks. Not all disasters can be prevented, however. If bad luck strikes, water damage professionals in St. George, UT, can provide fast, 24/7 emergency restoration service.

Moisture, Mold, and Your Business

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

In the business world, time is money, as the saying goes, and you should spend your time growing your business in St. George, UT, not repairing water damage or removing mold from your property. Protect your business with mold prevention.


What Causes Mold?


The short answer is simply water. Did you know mold exists nearly everywhere water exists? Mold is a natural occurrence, and any type of moisture can lead to mold growth in a short period of time. Water damage is worrisome because it can unbalance natural mold levels. Your commercial building could experience water damage from various sources:

• Natural disasters
• Heavy rainfall
• Broken pipes
• Leaky plumbing

Untreated leaks, humidity, and moisture may lead to mold, which will continue to spread until the source of the moisture is repaired.


How Can I Stop Mold Growth?


You found a loose joint under the sink in your break area, and now the mold is spreading. Your local mold remediation professionals can help if you find a mold problem such as this one at your business. First, they will contain the problem area so the mold does not spread to other parts of your property. Then, they will work to return mold levels to normal. Before you know it, you’re back to business as usual.


How Can I Prevent Mold?


No one wants to experience a mold issue, so focusing on mold prevention instead of remediation is most beneficial. Here are steps you can take to prevent mold growth at your business:

• Regularly inspect naturally humid areas, such as basements, for mold.
• Frequently check for leaks, especially around plumbing and in the roof.
• Quickly repair any leaks or reduce moisture in humid areas by using a dehumidifier.
• Effectively reduce humidity by running the air conditioner and exhaust fans.

Being a business owner is a difficult and busy job. Don’t let mold put a damper on your company’s success by costing you valuable time and resources. Focus on mold prevention, inspect your property for moisture, and repair leaks quickly. If you find yourself with a mold problem, a mold remediation specialist in St. George, UT, can restore the mold to its natural levels.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROstgeorge.com.

5 Guidelines for Avoiding Cigarette Fires at Home

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Smoking poses a threat to your home in St. George, UT, when you have improper habits. Following these five guidelines will protect you from any potential cigarette fire.


1. Use an Appropriate Container.


An ashtray with a wide base or bucket full of sand should be around in areas where you typically smoke. When using an ashtray, it should be stable on a surface to prevent accidental knockdowns. Keeping it stable prevents it from spilling and starting an ashtray fire from a still smoldering cigarette.

If possible, the container should also be kept away from any building to add distance between the flame remnant and all flammable structures.


2. Completely Put Out Cigarettes.


When you are finished smoking, it’s advised to add water to the ashes and cigarette butt to completely remove the fire and its risks. If you ever have to step away or need to stop smoking, you should put out your cigarette to avoid leaving a lit one unattended.


3. Smoke Only When Fully Awake.


If you are taking medicine that makes you drowsy or are sleep deprived, it is best to avoid smoking. If you pass out while smoking, you will likely drop your cigarette. Since you are asleep, you will also have a harder time escaping or stopping any growing cigarette fire. Smoking while sleepy puts your home at risk.


4. Only Smoke Outside Your Home.


There is a sizable difference in the number of flammable objects when comparing a typical indoor and outdoor environment. Your furniture, curtains, trash bin, mattress and bedding can all be ignited by a loose cigarette. It is much safer to smoke outside and remain there until you are finished.


5. Avoid Smoking Around Oxygen Tanks.


Oxygen is very sensitive to fire. Lit cigarettes should be kept away from anyone using medical oxygen or places where it’s stored.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROstgeorge.com.

Required Cleaning After a Flood

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Though proper preparation goes a long way, you can’t predict what damage will occur to your home in St. George, UT, during a flood. After the storm, you’ll want to ensure your home is safe and habitable by doing a flood clean up. The EPA, FEMA, and CDC flood guidelines agree on these three primary cleaning requirements:


1. Dry Out. 


Floodwater can cause warping of wood and disintegration of walls, but the unknown contaminants in the water are the more sinister hazard. Assume all floodwater is unclean and should not be left to sit in your home. After standing water has been eliminated, open all doors and windows to encourage air flow with drier air outside. Mildew growth can also be mitigated by lowering the humidity in the home. Fans and dehumidifiers are often the best way to speed up drying. If the damage is too extensive, don’t hesitate to contact restoration professionals to remove all traces of water.


2. Throw Out.


All of the sources of official cleaning requirements include discarding porous materials. It’s better not to take chances with contaminated objects. Anything that retains water - mattresses, bedding, rugs, stuffed animals, wooden items (particularly toys and kitchen utensils) - needs to be let go. Sentimental or expensive objects may be worth the cost of professional cleaning, but do not underestimate the health hazards of floodwater contamination.


3. Clean Up. 


After the flood, clean everything you did not discard. Use flood disinfectant on hard surfaces and any salvageable objects. Most wooden furniture can be saved with household cleaning products, but upholstery and carpeting should be professionally cleaned. Recommended products to kill contaminators include bleach and commercial sanitizers. Do not forgo this step; just because something looks clean doesn’t mean that it is.

Though it may seem like a daunting task, you can use this short list of cleaning requirements to restore your home to a livable condition. Take things step by step and room by room. The faster you act, the more likely you’ll be able to save your belongings and reverse the damage to walls and floors.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROstgeorge.com.

Protecting Your Property Against Wind Damage

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Even in the best circumstances, storms are unpredictable. Strong gales and punishing rains can wreak all sorts of havoc, from a small roof leak to broken power lines. Making sure to protect your property from these possible hazards can seem overwhelming, but all it takes is a little preparation and knowing where to look.


Follow the Weather.


It may sound like common sense, but one of the best ways to safeguard yourself against destructive winds is to know what the weather is going to be. If you’re new to St. George, UT, ask your co-workers and neighbors when the stormy season is. Otherwise, keep your eye on local forecasts to be sure the elements aren’t a surprise. Even a brief windstorm can lead to missing shingles, which, when accompanied by rain, can lead to thousands of dollars' worth of damage.


Prepare Your Property.


Before any storm hits, take a walk through your property and keep your eyes open. Your goal is to remove or replace anything that may lead to broken windows or a damaged roof. Possible threats can come from anything that’s not secured to the ground:

? Lawn chairs and other furniture
? Metal garbage cans or recycling bins
? Potted plants
? Loose fencing
? Bicycles or bike racks

Tarps and plywood can cover windows and repel the rain. Just in case those steps fail to ward off a roof leak or water damage, make sure to find and save the phone number to your local restoration professionals.


Check Nearby Trees.


Uprooted trees and large branches can be destructive during periods of severe weather. Inspect any nearby trees for visible cracks, as well as signs of decay like a hollowed trunk or mushrooms growing out of the bark. If there are any tree limbs hanging over power lines, call your utility company and make them aware. They can send professionals to trim or remove any branches.

Storm winds can be frightening. From a roof leak to flying debris, Mother Nature’s impact can be without limit. However, by taking preparation seriously, you can prevent, if not eliminate, the potential damage.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROstgeorge.com.

Water Damage Claims Have Never Been Easier

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

One of the most common types of property damage claims in St. George, UT, is for flood and water damage. If you are prepared, an insurance claim is much easier to make.


Prepare Beforehand.


Here are a few simple steps you can take before any disaster hits:

• Make a home inventory of anything you might need to make a claim on.
• Keep your insurance and other important documents in an area safe from fire and water damage
• Be aware of what is and isn’t covered by your policy

Follow These Steps in Event of Water Damage

First of all, stay safe! Nothing is worth your life or the lives of your loved ones. If you can, turn off the water supply, identify any pipe burst, and move documents and valuables to a safe and dry place. Consider making emergency repairs to mitigate further damage.


Document Everything. 


Take photos or videos of the affected areas and items and save any broken or damaged property, especially if they were responsible for the water damage. The more evidence you have, the easier and quicker your claim will be. Try not to discard any damaged items or property until the insurance adjuster has visited and you have evidence of the loss.


Make the Insurance Claim. 


Notify your insurance company of your loss as soon as possible. This is a good time to ask questions such as what is covered, how long you have to make a claim, and what your deductible is. If the deductible exceeds your loss, you probably don’t want to make a claim.

You should receive claim forms promptly. Fill them out as soon as you can. You should then be visited by the adjuster.

List everything that was damaged and give your adjuster copies. Also share copies of receipts for damage and relocation costs. Most residential insurance policies will cover temporary relocation expenses, but only if you have appropriate proof.

Once your insurance claim has been processed, you should receive your benefits promptly. In the meantime, you can find restoration experts who will help return your home to its former condition.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROstgeorge.com.