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Flood Safety Tips for All Stages

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Car rides in heavy rain on a flooded road Never attempt to drive into a flooded street

Safety Tips at Each Stage of a Flood

While natural disasters are simply out of your control, preparing for a disaster is something you can see to. If you live in an area where floods are possible, there are some things you can do before, during and after to minimize damage. Here are some safety tips at each stage of a flood.

Before a Flood

Floods are particularly devastating because they happen with little to no notice and can cause significant damage, injuries and even death. Although you can’t prevent this unexpected event, here are some flood safety preparation tips:

  • Install non-carpet flooring
  • Prepare an updated emergency kit
  • Find out where relocation centers are located
  • Make sure you have flood insurance
  • Store important documents in a waterproof container

During a Flood

If your safety is not in jeopardy and you have time to prepare your home for a flood, you can lessen the amount of damage that occurs. First, move furniture, rugs, electronics and valuable items to higher ground. Second, make sure you have your important documents either stored in a waterproof case or bring them with you if you’ll be leaving. Other safety tips include listening to the local radio for warnings and instructions, grabbing an emergency kit with essential supplies to take with you and shutting off all utilities. If possible, empty your fridge and freezer and leave doors open to minimize damage if they float.

After a Flood

Flood safety is paramount to prevent injury and loss. Never let your children play near floodwaters and never attempt to drive into water of unidentified depth. Once it’s safe to return to your Sumner, OK, home, the best thing you can do to minimize loss or harm is to contact a water damage specialist. If you feel it’s safe to enter your home, exercise extreme caution because walls and ceilings may be compromised. Check for damage and take pictures for insurance claims.
Preparing yourself and your home is important if you live in a flood-susceptible area. Adequate flood safety knowledge can help lessen injury, damage and death.

What You Need To Know About Mold Growth After a Flood

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on flooring rugs Mold on flooring rugs in Stillwater, OK

Mold Growth After a Flood

If your building has been affected by a flood in Stillwater, OK, then you will probably have a lot of damage to deal with afterward. One type of secondary damage that you may notice is mold growth. This is a common problem that occurs after water damage, and the following information may help you handle it properly.

1. Why Does Mold Grow After a Flood?

Flood water can bring bacteria and contaminants, including mold spores, into your building which can contribute to the growth. However, mold will begin to form after any kind of water damage, including that from clean sources. This is because mold lives in most environments, but it needs moisture to grow. Once it has that, it will begin to spread.

2. How Can You Prevent It?

The best thing you can do to prevent the growth of mold is to remove as much moisture from the building as you can. If there is standing water, mold will begin to form within a day or two. Once the water has been removed, dry the building thoroughly. Keeping doors and windows open can help speed up the process. Fans and dehumidifiers are great for this as well.

3. What Do You Do if It Has Already Started Growing?

It is important to dry the building quickly even if mold growth has already formed. However, in this case, the use of items that increase air circulation can end up spreading the fungus throughout the building, so this should be avoided. Protective gear should be worn while the mold is being removed, and the area should be contained to prevent the spores from moving to other areas.
If there is mold growth in your building, you should avoid trying to remove it on your own and instead hire a professional. A cleanup and restoration service can remove the fungus safely and thoroughly without spreading it further. They can also make other necessary repairs to the building as well.

4 Things To Do Before Your Adjuster Arrives

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Coach floating in a living flooded room. Water damage in a Guthrie, OK home

4 Things To Do Before Your Adjuster Arrives

When your home floods after a storm in Guthrie, OK, your first call is probably to your insurance company. The company will send a home adjuster to evaluate your claim. Here are four things you can do to make this visit go more smoothly.

1. Call Repair Specialists

Water damage in your home requires professional remediation. By scheduling an assessment of the problem with water restoration experts before your adjuster arrives, you can gather information that substantiates your insurance claim:

  • Parts of the structure that need to be repaired or replaced
  • Extent of the damage
  • Estimated cost of the restoration

2. Document Damage

You don't want to delay the remediation process, but you still need proof of the original damage. Pictures or video taken of your home right after the flood can help your home adjuster in his or her assessment. Keep every damaged item you can so that you have physical proof as well.

3. List Replacement Costs

Every item that is ruined by flooding may need to be replaced. Start a list of these items and jot down their replacement cost. If you have receipts of major purchases to back up your list, that's even better. Gather all your documents in one place so that you are ready to present them to the adjuster upon arrival.

4. Keep a Copy for Your Records

Your adjuster isn't the only person who needs a record of your losses. Make copies of everything before you hand the documents and lists over. The remediation company will likely keep electronic records that are shareable with the insurance company. Make sure you know how to access them as well.
Dealing with a home flood may seem like a huge task, but mitigation professionals and your insurance company are there to assist you. If you complete this checklist before your home adjuster arrives, you can help the process get started smoothly.

3 Tips for Proper Fire Extinguisher Use

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher Keeping a fire extinguisher at your Perry, OK, home can be an important step for fire safety

Tips For In Home Extinguisher Use

Keeping a fire extinguisher at your Perry, OK, home can be an important step for fire safety. Many fire restoration professionals recommend following tips for in home extinguisher use.

1. Keep in At Risk Areas

It's recommended to have extinguishers kept in easy to reach locations near at risk areas. Extinguishers are most often used to put out a kitchen fire, but you may also want to have them located in spaces such as a patio where a grill may be located, and in the garage which many people also use as a workshop area. It's also a good idea to ensure that every member of your family knows where these units are located.

2. P.A.S.S

Remember to properly use the fire extinguisher to ensure that the suppressant inside is distributed evenly over the flames, as this is considered to be the most effective method. Experts have come up with the acronym P.A.S.S. help make the usage steps easy to remember. This stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. Pull the lock pin or tab, aim the nozzle at the fire, squeeze the trigger, and spray in a sweeping motion. For large fires contact emergency professionals.

3. Replace or Refill

To help prevent future fire damage it's best to have your extinguisher replaced or refilled, according to manufacturer's instructions, as soon as possible after its use. Additionally, if you have not used your unit for an extended length of time you may want to have it checked over to ensure that it is still functioning.
It's important to keep a fire extinguisher an at-risk areas such as the kitchen or garage. Doing so will allow you to have one on hand and the event an emergency should occur. If you do have to use your extinguisher it's important to remember to pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep to help ensure the fire suppressant is spread evenly over the flames. For larger fires you will want to contact the appropriate emergency services. After your extinguisher has been used, remember to refill or replace the unit according to its type.

Top Reasons Why You Can't Ignore Mold

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Torn ceiling with mold on a kitchen Mold damage on ceiling from a kitchen

Top Reasons Why You Can't Ignore Mold

Household mold can be a serious and aggravating situation to handle. No matter how much you wipe and disinfect, the black fuzz seems to come back. Any homeowner could be forgiven for hoping if they ignore it long enough, the mold will just die off. The fact is that mold will not just go away, and without proper removal, black mold can spread through your Navina, OK, dwelling. Here are a few reasons you don’t want to overlook mold in your home.

It Develops Everywhere

Mold spores are all around us in the environment and have the potential to grow just about anywhere. The key to where they take root is moisture and warmth. Warm temperatures, accompanied by a moisture problem, often occur frequently in homes, particularly in:

  • Laundry rooms
  • Attics
  • Bathrooms
  • Beneath sinks

It Won’t Go Away

Mold is a living organism, so it’s a natural thought that it will eventually run out of sustenance and die. But that’s not how black mold or any mold works. If mold has water and warmth, it will continue to thrive. What’s more, because this hardy fungus has roots that go beyond the surface, just wiping off what you can see won’t get rid of it for good.

It Destroys Your Surfaces

Mold thrives on the nutrients on surfaces and organic materials like wood, paper and even glue. That includes many of the components that comprise walls, shelves and floors. Given long enough, mold can eat through these surfaces and cause costly damage to your home.
If you have a small area of mold in your home, getting rid of it can be as simple as applying specialized solutions to kill it at the root. For larger or more extensive mold infestations, leave it to qualified, trained and experienced mold remediation personnel. Reach out to a professional mold cleanup company to banish black mold from your home for good.

How To Recognize Category 2 Water Damage

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

A woman walking in an office full of water Commercial water damage in Perry, OK

The water cleanup process includes several phases, one of which is disinfecting any contaminated areas. When water damage experts assess the problem in your building in Perry, OK, they must determine the level of the water's contamination. They do this by placing it in the appropriate category. After a water pipe repair, you may have Category 2 damage, even though the water was clean when it came out of the pipe.

Contamination Levels

There are three categories of water damage contamination that experts use to determine the scope of the cleanup process:

  • Category 1 - Clean water, usually from a broken pipe or supply line
  • Category 2 - Dirty water, usually from an appliance such as a refrigerator
  • Category 3 - Contaminated water, usually from sewer lines or storm flooding

If water pipe repair is completed and the subsequent damage is mitigated quickly, the contamination level is likely to stay at a Category 1. The longer water damage sits, however, the more likely it is to move to Category 2 damage as it becomes contaminated by the dirt and the breakdown of materials. Then you have to add a step to the cleanup process to disinfect your building.

Disinfection Process

The longer you take to call cleanup experts, the more likely your flooded building is to have Category 2 damage. When experts arrive, they can test for contamination to determine if they need to add an extra cleaning step. They start by removing materials that can't be salvaged. Then they use industrial cleaners or purification machines to remove any bacteria that have started to grow in the affected area. Only after this disinfection has been completed can your structure be restored to its former state.
Fast action is necessary with any damage to your building. If you need water pipe repair, you probably need water damage remediation. Call your local experts quickly to avoid further damage that can complicate the remediation process.

Checklist for Cleaning Belongings After Water Damage

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

Black and white image with a chair in the middle of a flooded room. There's a message in green that says flooded 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/.

How To Protect Your Building From a Storm

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Yellow house with storm shutters You can purchase special protective shutters

Hurricanes and tornadoes have grown more intense and more frequent in recent years. As a result, preventing storm damage has become a major part of residential facility management.
While you can't stop the storms themselves, you can take steps to protect your buildings. Here are some tips for limiting the destruction of your Ceres, OK, property.

Do Your Research

The best way to get your building ready for a storm is to know what you are up against. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in particular, has plenty of resources for building owners and managers. FEMA even has special software that can estimate the economic, social and physical consequences of an impending disaster.

Strengthen Your Building

Fortifying windows is an easy way to limit storm damage to property. You can purchase shatter-resistant windows or opt for special protective shutters. A safe room and steel doors are also forms of building protection. You should also pick up any trashcans or loose branches, as the wind could blow theses items into your property.

Plan Ahead

You should create and train a crisis-management team in advance. Team members should practice evacuation drills ahead of the storm. They should also help you prepare a disaster supply kit. You should additionally research emergency restoration services.

Follow the Forecast

After the building is fortified, you need to pay attention to the weather forecast so you can find out exactly when the storm will hit. While you will likely have plenty of time to prepare for a hurricane, you may only get a 15-minute warning when a tornado is heading your way. A battery-operated weather radio, however, can give you the latest updates.
You may also want to sign up for text or email weather alerts from your local television station. Once the hurricane or tornado arrives, stay safe and take solace in the fact that you have done all you can to limit storm damage.

Containment Methods for Mold Remediation

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Commercia mold in Guthrie, OK

Mold Remediation

When you have a mold problem in your commercial building in Guthrie, OK, one of the first calls you should make is to mold remediation specialists. They can take care of mold cleanup in a timely manner. They also have several techniques for containing the affected area so that the mold doesn't spread into other parts of your building.

Sealing

One method used to ensure that your mold problem doesn't grow is sealing off the contaminated section of your building. Mold spores travel through the air, so the goal of sealing is to keep air from escaping. To do so, technicians block any possible air flow through any opening to the room:

  • Air vents
  • Doors
  • Pipes

Polyethylene sheets are common choices for sealants. They are impervious to air flow and block the area off efficiently and completely. They are used to line the portion of your building that needs to be contained. Once the space is completely sealed, mold cleanup procedures can begin.

Negative Air Chambers

Because technicians will be working in the area, they don't want to completely stop air flow. Creating a negative air chamber allows air to flow into the space with mold contamination while keeping air from flowing back out. Air can be exhausted outside the building to maintain acceptable air pressure. The remediation process often stirs up spores and releases them into the air, so before it starts, the air chamber has to be tested. A smoke test is a good way to verify that the airflow is only going one direction. If no smoke escapes into the rest of the building, the chamber is working, and the remediation process can begin.
If you need mold cleanup services in your commercial building, it's good to know what to expect when the mitigation experts arrive. Consult with the company you hire to find out what containment methods it uses.

Quick Guide to Landlord Responsibilities After a Fire

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Apartment Fire in Stillwater, OK.

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.

Landlord's Responsabilities After a 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.