Tips for self help with water damage
With current storms you may experience water damage in homes due to long periods of standing water. This could be from a window well in your basement bursting do to it filling up and the water having no where to go but inside your basement. SERVPRO has come up with some do's and dont's tips for you, with any standing water due to storms or even an over flowing toilet or pipe bursting in your home, remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Do NOT enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Please remember safety first in any situation. The main key is if it doesn't look safe do not enter the space.
The faster water is removed, the less damage occurs. Wood flooring expands as it absorbs moisture. Typically you would notice in wood flooring that it warps or buckles. If proper drying is not done those floors may need to be removed. There are two noticeable warping effects on wood floors, cupping and crowing.
Cupping: this occurs when water is absorbed from the bottom of the wood. The edges of the wood floor will slightly raise hence the name "cup" in cupping. This is often fixed with sanding.
Crowning: this occurs when the top of the wood contains more moisture than the sides and bottom. This makes wood flooring arch in the middle. If the bottom of the wood is over-dried this will occur. You may not be able to sand this out and floors would need to be replaced at this point.
If you have an questions or concerns about your flooring and moisture contact SERVPRO of Council Bluffs/Missouri Valley for any of your water, fire, or mold needs.
Kids and Fire safety
Children at a very young age are curious about everything, and playing with new items are their way to learn. It is important to keep children educated about fire and how dangerous they are even if it is a fire as small as a candle burning. Kids playing with fire has caused 14,500 buildings to go up in flames in one year.
- Children accidentally cause fires by playing with either matches, lighters, candles, and even fireworks.
Many young children do not know how to respond to a fire. Take precautions and prevent access to the tools that can start a fire, talk to your child about how dangerous a fire is and how it can hurt them and even other family members.
- Never leave matches or lighters in a space where a child can be unsupervised
- Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove while it is on.
- Educate children. Teach them how to Stop, Drop and Roll.
Be a good example and teach a child the appropriate ways fire is used. For example: lighting candles, a camp fire, or a fire place. Do not use fire to amuse kids, they may want to imitate you.
Local fire departments may have programs designed to teach kids about the dangers and consequences of playing with fire.
Keep your home safe, and help ensure your entire family stays safe as well.
Winter weather tips for protecting your home
With the temperatures dropping and snow falling make the right decisions on keeping your home safe from fire or water damage this winter. If you live in an area with harsh winters consider the following:
- Make sure to clean your gutters every spring and fall. If your gutters aren't clean snow melting off your roof will back up in your clogged gutters and potentially cause water to back up under your roofline. The snow melting on your roof occurs when either the heat from the sun or heat from your house escapes and the attic warms the roof. Snow then melts off the roof and refreezes making an ice ridge that traps water on your roof. That water stuck in those ice ridges can leak into your home and can cause some serious damage. To prevent heat from escaping your home make sure your insulation is in a proper place and continuously ventilate the attic air.
- Plumbing...the dreaded frozen pipes! Plumbing located on exterior walls or unheated crawl spaces is most likely to be your culprit for a bursting frozen pipe. All interior pipes should be insulated and exterior pipes should have weather resistant insulation for protection. Don't forget to disconnect hoses from your outside water faucet. If you believe there is a frozen pipe somewhere in your home, shut off the water main and call a plumber to resolve the problem before more damage occurs.
- Fireplaces and other indoor heating systems with poor maintenance can cause fire, puff-backs and smoke damage. A fireplace is beautiful and keeps your home warm with low electricity bills but without proper care it can cause a house fire. Clean chimneys and flutes on your fireplaces annually. Get your furnaces checked once a year and keep your space heaters 3 feet or the recommended length away from any flammable objects. This includes window blinds/curtains, furniture, bedding, and decorative rugs.
- Take further precautions by changing your smoke alarm batteries every 6 months and don't forget to replace your smoke alarms after 10 years.
Not everything can be prevented from the works mother nature gives but take the steps to prevent as much of the damage she brings. Have a safe winter season.
Smoke and Soot
After a fire damage there is always that smoke smell. There are two different types of smoke, wet smoke and dry smoke. It sounds weird I know but a wet smoke is from your plastics and rubbers. This is a low heat, smoldering, sticky and smelly smoke typically leaving smoke webs, these are a bit more difficult to clean. A dry smoke is your paper and woods, this is a fast burning, high temperature where heat rises (aka smoke rises). Knowing the smoke type helps figure out the soot residue type left behind. There are 3 types of soot residue after a fire, fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs), protein fire residue (produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire), and other (tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue). SERVPRO professionals are trained to handle the toughest of losses.
Fire Damage Tips
In the event of a fire there will be a lot of soot left over and all over your house. The best things you can do is keep your hands clean, soot on your hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork. Also wipe soot from chrome on kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim/appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant. DO NOT attempt to was any walls or painted surfaces, or clean electrical appliances (TV's, radios, ect.) that were close to the fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair man. Just think safety first in any situation if it does not look safe it probably isn't. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Council Bluffs/Missouri Valley for any of your fire or water damage needs.
Arson and Vandalism
SERVPRO provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism. This includes graffiti, egg residue, spoiled foods and human/animal waste. In any of these situations we would suggest with our Do's and Dont's, to hose or was egg or other residue damage from the building exterior as soon as possible. Also save some of the ingredients of the product used in the vandalism in a container of your choice, and save all recordings from home security systems or any photographs you may have when possible. DO NOT attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains. If you are unsure of any situations you are always welcome to contact SERVPRO of Council Bluffs/Missouri Valley with any questions as to your situation because we "go out there and care!"
Is your business Ready? With SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) you can make your business ready. The ERP is at no cost to you, and it's a guide to help you get your business back and ready to go after any disaster. It provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It's considered a quick reference of all your building and contact information. With this plan you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action, knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is key to timely mitigation and how water or fire damage can affect your business. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order. Don't hesitate just contact to set an appointment to get your free ERP.
Water Damage Tips
In the event of a water damage weather it be from an inside source for example a pipe bursting or it be from an outside source like let's say a window well for your basement, either way we are here. One good tip for any water damage need is to turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building/home, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock. Please DO NOT use your TV or other appliances while standing on wet carpets/floors, especially wet concrete floors, or turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. Also DO NOT enter rooms where the ceiling is visibly sagging from water. The first thing to always think about is safety and if it doesn't look safe don't enter the space.
Water Damage Tips
Water damage can lead to a lot more problems if proper cleaning does not get done or done in a timely manner, removing the water and damages material as quickly as possible can save a lot in your home and your pocket. So you are going to want to remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. To save your furniture and carpet, place aluminum foil or wood blocks between the furniture legs and wet carpeting. DO NOT leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets, this may cause the color to run from the rug to the carpet and cause staining. In any case you are going to want to save your carpet to cut back on any cost of the damages.