Checklist for Cleaning Belongings After Water Damage
There are a lot of steps you have to take when content cleaning.
When your commercial building in Stillwater, OK, gets filled with water during a bad storm, you have to take on a lot of projects. Not only will you have to fix the structural damage done to your property, but you will also have to undergo some content cleaning. Working alongside a commercial restoration professional can make this cleanup process easier. Keep this checklist in mind as you and your crew start cleaning up after standing water.
1. Remove items from the building. While you may want to save some of your furnishings, everything needs to be taken out after a flood. You can clean and dry your belongings outside of the building to make the structural repairs easier to do. Take everything out of the building, including flooring, furniture and electronics.
2. Sort your belongings. The cleanup process is not going to be the same for every piece of furniture you own. Porous materials, such as furniture, carpets and upholstered items, may need more attention than non-porous items, such as stainless steel, tile and desks. You should also create a separate pile for electronic items.
3. Start cleaning. Once your items have been properly sorted, you can start the content cleaning process. This may mean using a washing machine, strong cleansing solution or dry cleaning. Your goal should be to remove all dirt and debris from a material.
4. Consider throwing belongings away. If you cannot thoroughly clean a waterlogged item, you may have to throw it away rather than save it. Anything that has been sitting in flood waters for more than 48 hours may be too far gone to salvage.
5. Dry out materials. Once your items are completely disinfected after sitting in black water, you can start to dry them out. Everything should be dry before you put it back inside your building.
There are a lot of steps you have to take when content cleaning. Remember, some items may be too damaged for you or your professionals to save. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
Inspection and Maintenance of Bathroom Supply Lines
Supply line damage takes time and money to repair.
Supply line damage can lead to many disasters. If leaking, the pressurized tube can release a lot of water, which can ultimately lead to serious water damage. To avoid the time and expense of restoration and repair, here are a few tips concerning supply lines.
What Is a Supply Line?
A supply line is a tube that connects to a faucet, toilet, dishwasher, sink, and other fixtures. It transfers water from the pipe into the fixture. These lines are normally made from plastic or stainless-steel tubing. This tubing is flexible and is often braided to increase the strength and durability of the line.
How Does It Get Damaged?
Supply line damage isn’t rare. A few ways that they can get damaged include the following:
• High amounts of pressure. This pressure can escape through weak joints
• Sediment build up. This can block the water and cause the tube to bulge and burst.
• Corrosion can cause leaks that can easily expand.
Unlike a subtle bathroom leak that happens under the floor or within a wall, a supply line leak is easy to spot. If you find one in your bathroom, quickly shut off the water supply. This will prevent any more water from escaping the line and entering parts of your home that normally don’t get water.
When Should I Inspect my Supply Lines?
All pipes and plumbing should be inspected yearly in Stillwater, OK, to ensure the integrity of your home’s water pipe system. However, supply lines should be checked often. Check for drips, bulges, and any corrosion that you might notice. It’s also important to test the shut-off valves to see if they are working properly.
Supply line damage takes time and money to repair. Daily use of sinks, toilets, and other fixtures makes it even easier for leaks and bursts to occur. However, by taking care of your supply lines and inspecting them yearly, you can stop water damage from happening. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
Fire Extinguishers: A How-To Guide
If you've ever had a fire in your Stillwater, OK, business and had to call professionals for restoration, you understand how devastating it can be. That's why it's so important to both have a good fire extinguisher at the ready and know how to use it. Here are the steps to follow to make sure you're ready to stop a fire quickly and safely.
1. Know What You're Dealing With
Timely use of an extinguisher can prevent fire damage before it happens. But first, assess the situation. If the fire is already too large, it's a better idea to call the fire department or trigger the fire alarm and make sure you and others around you get to a safe place. If it's a fire that's small enough to be put out safely and you have ready access to a fire extinguisher, you next need to know what kind of fire it is.
2. Fire Classification
Fire experts use the following classifications for different types of fires:
• Type A Fires: plastics, rubber, wood, paper and cloth
• Type B Fires: paints, solvents, propane, gasoline and other flammable gases and liquids
• Type C Fires: plugged-in electrical equipment, including computers, wiring, fuse boxes and appliances
• Type D Fires: metals, or flakes of metal or combustible powders
• Type E Fires: fats and cooking oils, common in a kitchen fire
By looking at the side of the fire extinguisher, you can check the letter classification to make sure it's the correct type to put out the fire. Many extinguishers are rated for putting out more than one type of fire.
3. The PASS Method
Most extinguishers can be used by following the PASS method, with each letter standing for the first word of a step. The first "P" stands for "pull the pin." At the top of the extinguisher is a pin that must be removed before operation. Next comes "A" for "aim the nozzle." Aim for the bottom of the flames, where the combustible material is, not at the top. The first "S" stands for "squeeze the handle," which starts the flow of the extinguishing material, and the second "S" is for "sweep from side to side." Continue extinguishing until the fire is completely out.
Using the steps above will ensure that you're using your extinguisher correctly and can stop fire damage before it gets started. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
Top Fire Preparation Tips for Homeowners
Prepare your home in Stillwater, OK, your family and yourself for a home fire by heeding the above fire safety tips.
Being in a home fire in Stillwater, OK, is a nightmare. You wonder, what could be worse? The answer is not being prepared. In order to act quickly in any emergency, you must understand and practice what to do ahead of time. Fire preparation is no different. To prepare your home and your family, institute the following fire safety tips.
The best time for fire preparation is now. If you wait until there is a fire, it is too late.
• Install functioning smoke detectors in your home. At the minimum, this includes alarms outside the sleeping areas and on each level of your home. Maintain your detectors by changing the batteries at least once per year and checking the alarm once per month. If possible, install interconnected detectors that sound at the same time when one is triggered. Teach all family members the sound of the alarm and what it means.
• Plan an escape plan, ensuring that all family members know two ways to exit each room.
• Determine an outside meeting place and how to contact one another.
• Teach even young children how and when to call 911 in an emergency.
Repetition of fire safety skills increases the chance of acting quickly in a fire.
• Practice the predetermined family escape plan twice a year or more. Start from different rooms of the house or use a stopwatch to make it more challenging.
• Practice how to stop, drop and roll in the event a home fire spreads to clothing.
Prepare your home in Stillwater, OK, your family and yourself for a home fire by heeding the above fire safety tips. If your nightmare becomes a reality, use what you have learned and practiced during fire preparation to lead your family to safety. Once out of danger, consider the next steps to repair your home. Start by contacting a fire restoration specialist to help you through the process of cleaning and restoring your house and personal belongings. Also call your insurance agent, as fire damage is covered under most homeowner’s policies. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
Discolored Ceiling Tiles Are Often the Result of Leaks
In most cases, tile discoloration happens when moisture has broken through the tile material and caused water damage.
Discoloration of ceiling tiles in a building is usually the result of water infiltration; often, this leads to issues with tile mold. Locations like Stillwater, OK, are hardly unique in this regard, as the phenomenon is quite common. Knowing a bit about how to address this issue can help a building owner decide whether or not it is necessary to call in a professional service to remediate the damage.
Identify the Cause of the Discoloration
In most cases, tile discoloration happens when moisture has broken through the tile material and caused water damage. There are at least three common reasons why this occurs.
1. A roof leak is often the culprit of water infiltration. Heavy precipitation and wind that lifts roofing material or flashing can allow rain, sleet, snow or snowmelt inside, and gravity does the rest.
2. A failure in the HVAC system can allow moisture to collect and condense. This water can soak ceiling tiles and stain them. Tile mold can be another unwelcome outcome.
3. Interior plumbing that runs above ceilings can fail in a multitude of ways and send water or other liquids onto the ceiling tiles beneath.
Determine the Extent of the Damage
After a stain or discoloration on a ceiling tile has been noticed, it is important not to delay looking for the source. Timely remediation of the leak, whether it is a trickle or something more, can save property owners further aggravation and expense. After the repair has been made, assess how widespread the discoloration is and swap out the stained tiles with new ones.
Besides being aesthetically displeasing, stains on ceiling tiles in a building are a signal that all is not well and watertight up above. It is important to read this sign as early as possible to avoid an escalation of the problem, such as the development of tile mold. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
Flood Safety Tips for First Responders
In the aftermath of a storm, it’s important to stay safe if you plan to participate in first responder activities.
After a storm in Stillwater, OK, floodwaters may contain hazardous materials such as raw sewage or chemicals. Individuals choosing to participate in flood response actions need to be aware of the potential health risks and take proper precautions. If you are a first responder after a flood event, here are four tips to help keep you safe from injury and illness.
1. Obtain recommended immunizations before exposure. If you have not received a tetanus shot within the last 10 years, the Center for Disease Control recommends getting a booster before beginning your flood recovery efforts. Additionally, if you have the potential to be exposed to human bodily fluids while caring for victims or patients, the Hepatitis B vaccine is also strongly encouraged.
2. Wear protective gear and clothing. Gloves should be worn at all times when dealing with the aftermath of a flood. Ideally, gloves should be both cut resistant and waterproof. Eye goggles can protect the eyes from infection or injury. If floodwater is still present, wearing waterproof coveralls over your clothes can provide additional protection.
3. Follow hygiene and sanitation procedures. Frequent handwashing is essential for a first responder due to the potential exposure to toxic materials. If clean water and soap are not readily available, hand sanitizer with alcohol can be used as a substitute.
4. Remain aware of hidden dangers. After a heavy flood, the ground may become unstable due to oversaturation of water, leading to unanticipated sinkholes or slides. Additionally, some areas are higher risk due to pesticides or other chemical-related runoff. Mold can rapidly set in after a flood event, so be aware of potential mold exposure. In any case, professional restoration specialists can help mitigate the risks of mold and lingering bacterial or chemical contamination.
In the aftermath of a storm, it’s important to stay safe if you plan to participate in first responder activities. By following a few safety tips like the ones listed above, you can help make an impact on the cleanup efforts without jeopardizing your health. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
Understanding Crawl Space Water and Its Removal
A crawl space in your Stillwater, OK, home is no place for water to linger. Whether it’s mold that thrives in cold and damp places or foundation weakening from overexposure, water poses a threat in the long term. Knowing how a wet crawl space becomes flooded and what do after is pivotal.
Knowing Where the Water Came From
Water finds its way into the crawl spaces naturally and otherwise. The crawl space is susceptible to water from a few sources:
• Rain or snowmelt causing water pools that never fully evaporates
• Flood water from naturally wet climates
• Other floods above the crawl space entrance leaking through
• Leaking or broken pipes spilling water when water is used
Removing the Water
If the problem is a damaged pipe, the pipe should be fixed first. If the problem is more long-term or serious, a draining system is set up to remove and prevent the flooding from creating a wet crawl space. A trench is dug while keeping the home’s structural integrity in mind. In the trench, piping is placed and covered with drainage rocks.
After the trench and piping are complete, an electrician ensures the safe installation of an outlet and sump pump. The water is rerouted to a safe spot in the home’s exterior where it is much less dangerous. As the final step, a vapor barrier is installed to prevent any water from evaporating and damaging the home any further.
Treating Water Damage
When a sump pump solution is not pursued, the water needs to be removed by you or professionals. Contacting a professional water damage treatment company is advised since expertise is necessary to evaluate every unique situation. Even with a removal system, water damage may still be there but unnoticeable unless you know what to look for.
The treatment and prevention of a wet crawl space is quite an endeavor, but it can be accomplished with established procedures. The source and treatment are important to know to protect your residence. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
How To Troubleshoot a Commercial Irrigation System
Irrigation problems are a surprising source of water damage to commercial buildings. This is due in part to the fact that they usually run at night, so it may be hours before leaks and malfunctions are discovered. In the meantime, water has been flooding inside. After you call a water damage mitigation specialist in Stillwater, OK, to help with the cleanup, you’ll need to figure out what went wrong. Troubleshooting a commercial irrigation system can be tricky, but there are somethings you can look out for.
If some of the zones aren’t turning on or water pressure is low, there are a number of issues that could be causing it. Here is a list of clues to look out for that might help you discover the causes.
1. Check the valves. It may seem obvious, but it never hurts to make sure the valves are open to allow water to flow into a zone. Likewise, if a valve’s manual bleed has been left open, it can cause a big drop in water pressure, even when there’s a lot of water.
2. Is there a patch of tall grass? Look around the property for any small patches where the grass has sprouted up. This can point you to a cut line in the system where water is spilling out, preventing it from getting to the zone in question or sapping pressure for your irrigation system.
3. Look for a big tree. Tree roots can wrap around underground irrigation lines and choke them off. If you have a large tree on your property, there’s a fair chance the roots could be interfering with water flow to the affected zone.
5. It could be electrical. Bad connections can be fairly common in an irrigation system. When connectors get corroded, it can cause problems. Locating electrical problems usually requires specialized equipment, so you may be better off calling in an expert from Stillwater, OK, to help.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
Why a Flood Policy is a Wise Investment
Most flood policies come with a 30-day waiting period, so don't wait until the height of storm season to start shopping.
If your commercial building is located in an area prone to flooding, whether or not you should have commercial flood coverage should not even be a question. However, many people assume that commercial insurance covers damage from disasters such as floods, an assumption that could end up costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run. Most commercial building insurance policies do not cover damage caused by floods, even if that same policy covers water damage caused by a burst pipe or leaky roof. If you want to reduce the financial impact of a flood as much as possible, look into a flood policy. There are several good reasons to do so:
• Floods are the nation's most common natural disaster, and they often result in millions of dollars of damage each year.
• Your commercial building policy likely does not cover flood damage.
• More than 20 percent of flood claims come from buildings outside of high-risk flood zones.
• You may be required to carry flood insurance, regardless of where your building is located.
How To Buy Flood Insurance
If you're interested in adding flood coverage to your commercial insurance policy, talk to your Stillwater, OK, insurance agent about doing so. Bear in mind that some insurance companies do not provide flood insurance. If that is the case, reach out to FEMA for a list of agents that do offer the desired coverage.
Before investing in a policy, ask the provider about what is and is not covered by the policy. Also, talk to your local flood damage restoration team about what type of coverage in which you should invest. A professional restoration team may know more about risks and exposures than your agent.
Most flood policies come with a 30-day waiting period, so don't wait until the height of storm season to start shopping. Talk to your commercial insurance agency today about tacking on the policies you need to protect your business. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.
Quick Guide to Landlord Responsibilities After a Fire
After an apartment fire, you need to take the proper steps to ensure that everyone is safe and fully aware of the damage liabilities.
When a fire breaks out on a rental property, it can be hard to figure out who has to pay for the damages. Whether you rent out commercial or living space, the liability after a fire in Stillwater, OK, is pretty straightforward. Your tenants have to cover the damages done to their personal belongings, such as televisions, furniture and paintings. However, you are responsible for most damages done to the building itself. As a building owner, you may be responsible for the following tasks after an apartment fire:
• Communicating With Fire Fighters: These first responders can help you assess the safety of your building. You and your tenants will likely want to enter the apartments to get an idea of the damage done. However, you cannot enter the building until it is deemed safe.
• Starting Claims Process: You have to get in touch with your insurance provider to report the apartment fire. Your agent may give you a list of fire restoration professionals that they prefer you use. You may also want to make sure your renter calls his or her insurance provider to start the claims process for personal belongings.
• Documenting Fire Damage: You need to take pictures of the structure, make lists of damaged appliances and record other furnishings you owned that were damaged.
• Securing the Property: You need to secure the property for two reasons. First, you need to protect the safety of those who may want to enter the building, such as your renters. Putting up warning signs may be enough to keep people out until it is safe to enter. Second, you need to keep vandals and thieves out. You may need to board up windows and put up a security fence.
After an apartment fire, you need to take the proper steps to ensure that everyone, including yourself, is safe and fully aware of the damage liabilities. While you aren't responsible for all of the damages, you do have a lot of financial responsibility. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROstillwaterguthrie.com/.