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Who Pays After an Apartment Fire?

4/24/2021 (Permalink)

Apartment fire, firefighters putting out fire Apartment fire in Guthrie, OK.

Who Is Responsible In The Event Of An Apartment Fire

When you are a landlord or property owner, an apartment fire can be confusing. The last thing that you want to worry about is who pays for the damage. Fortunately, most state and federal responsibility laws are pretty clear.

Landlord / Property Owner's Responsibility
The landlord or property owner is responsible for the structure and the systems such as:

  • Electrical
  • Heat
  • Air conditioning
  • Plumbing

These systems are part of the overall building and usually inaccessible to tenants. For the most part, as an owner or landlord, you are not personally responsible. Your insurance company will pay for the damage.
This ultimately depends on what your policy says. In many cases, this insurance policy will include things like hiring a remediation company in Guthrie, OK, as well as any other fire damage repair costs.
This assumes that the damage is due to a fault with the building, fire hazard, or inclement weather. You, as a landlord, are not responsible for the tenant's personal property or belongings damaged in the fire.

Tenant Responsibility
Your tenants also have responsibilities after a fire. Tenants are responsible for their possessions and personal property in the event of an apartment fire due to a problem with the structure or a natural cause like lightning. This is why you should always require your tenants to have renters insurance. In the majority of cases, the insurance will pick up where the property insurance leaves off.
Of course, there are some exceptions. If the tenant or one of their guests starts the fire, then they will be held responsible. Fortunately, insurance companies often straighten this out for you.
If your tenant does not have insurance, things might get a bit tricky. It is always a good idea to include fire insurance or renter's insurance as a requirement in your lease. This way, it is clear who is responsible for paying for damages when the fire is your tenant's fault.
As a landlord or property owner, you should know who is responsible in the event of an apartment fire. Knowing your responsibility is a key factor in making your recovery go smoothly.

3 Tips for Handling a Company-Wide Snow Day

4/10/2021 (Permalink)

Snowstorm, snow-covered street and cars with a lonely pedestrian Snow storm season won't last forever.

Three Tips For Handling Inclement Weather

As a business owner in Perry, OK, you know a snow storm can roll in unexpectedly in a matter of hours. For your employees, commuting in harsh weather conditions can be both dangerous and inconvenient. Consider the following three tips for handling inclement weather days at your local business.

1. Create a Snow Day Plan in Advance
To get the results you desire, planning ahead of time is the best way to ensure success. Create an inclement weather plan and distribute it to all employees as soon as possible. Determine how your employees will be contacted in case of a workday delay or cancelation due to a snow storm. Designate workers who are essential on-site, and those who can work from home. If weather reports show a storm is coming, review your policies with employees to give them a heads-up.
Implementing a weather-related work delay can be beneficial:

  • Show your employees that you care about their safety
  • Lower operation costs by closing facilities for the day
  • Bolster at-home productivity for employees who can work remotely

2. Prevent Weather-Induced Emergencies
Along with severe storms can come freezing cold. If local news stations predict falling temperatures, protect your facilities from potential weather-related damage. Ensure all equipment is safely put away in weather-proof storage. Maintain temperatures above 55 degrees inside your buildings to prevent a pipe burst or freeze incident. Keep your facilities safe from winter storms, or you may need to contact an after-storm cleanup service.

3. Stick to Your Decision
Once you create a protocol for handling a storm, be consistent and follow through so your employees know they can count on you. If bad weather is looming, make the call for a snow day and stick with it.
Snow storm season won't last forever. Make sure you're prepared, so your business and employees can weather the winter with a minimum of trouble.

3 Ways To Remove Smells From Your Microwave

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Low angle view of baking soda with vinegar, natural mix for effective house cleaning Vinegar and baking can remove smoke odor from your microwave.

DIY Solutions You Can Use To Remove Odor From Your Microwave

If you're like most people, you probably use your microwave a lot. They are used by everyone, from those just learning to cook to master chefs. However, with use comes accidents that can leave a nasty smoke smell in your appliance. Fortunately, there are several DIY solutions that you can use to remove this odor from every crevice.

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda
You probably have these pantry staples in your home in Navina, OK create the toughest DIY solution for tackling a lingering smoke smell. To use this method, gather the vinegar, baking soda, and a clean sponge. Let the sponge saturate with vinegar and pour baking soda on it. Heat it inside the appliance for 20 seconds. When it is finished, use the sponge to clean the inside. Wipe this off with a soapy sponge and dry it with a towel.

2. Baking Soda
If you're fresh out of vinegar, you can use plain baking soda. Clean your appliance as normal and place an opened box of this cleaner inside. If you buy the big boxes, you may want to place a generous amount in a bowl and place inside. Let this sit overnight to fight smells.

3. Coffee
Coffee is another pantry staple that can remove your stubborn smoke smell. To use this option, put two tablespoons inside a mug and add water. Heat the solution for two minutes, stopping it if it starts to boil. Let it sit for a minute and repeat. Check the amount of water, add some if it is low, and repeat. Keep repeating the two minutes of heat and one minute of rest. When you have reached 10 minutes of heating, remove the cup. Often, this will remove the smell without any additional effort. If it doesn't, it may be time to call a fire restoration company to have them remove the odor.
This appliance is your kitchen's workhorse. To get inside the tightest spots, like the vent grill, you should use one of these DIY solutions. They can tackle even the worst smells.

3 Reasons You Might Find Water in Your Crawl Space

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

wet crawl space Wet crawl space in Ceres, OK.

Common Causes For Water Inside A Crawl Space

A wet crawl space can create more problems than you might expect. It makes water damage less visible, but it also creates the perfect conditions for mold growth. The moisture also weakens the Ceres, OK, house's structural materials, creating greater damage as a result. Learn about the most common causes for water inside the crawl space so you can prevent an incident.

1. Overwatered Plants

You can accidentally flood the crawl space by doing something as simple as overwatering plants, especially those close to the house's foundation. Whether you use too much water or leave the hose or sprinkler running beyond the necessary time, the excess will seep into the house and reach the lower sections first. You can easily turn off the water to resolve this issue. You can spot this problem if you see water pooling near the affected area.

2. Poor Sloping Grade

Another factor that can result in a wet crawl space is the lack of proper grading around your house. Ideally, you want the grading to slope away from the building and towards the outer yard or the streets. This feature ensures that any incoming water flows away from the foundation, preventing flooding. Check the grade after winter, intense rainfall or an overwatering incident. If the slope is altered or missing, build it up between six to eight inches away from home.

3. Defective Plumbing

Another reason why you might find water inside your crawl space involves defective or broken pipes. Even if the leak or burst pipe is in the house's upper floors, the water will always trickle down. If you find water in the crawl space or lower area, conduct a detailed search to find the source and fix it. Hire a plumber if you are unable to find it. 
You should deal with a wet crawl space fast before mold growth and water damage threatens your home. Identify these occurrences to avoid this situation and contact emergency remediation services if you find water in that area or anywhere else.

Here to Help After The Winter Storm

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

servpro semi trucks At SERVPRO Team Jones, we are no strangers of disaster.

The chain of events that began the week before Valentine’s Day has been a never-before-seen national disaster. The ice and snow that quickly piled up, the subzero temperatures that marched in with it, as well as the 50-60 mph winds across many states paralyzed daily life. All in all, 150 million people in 25 states, in a 2000 mile stretch from southern Texas to northern Maine were affected. Over 5 million people were without power, along with hundreds of thousands without water, sewer and natural gas including many of our own teammates.

At SERVPRO Team Jones, we are no strangers of disaster and over the last 15 years our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team has traveled coast to coast helping those in need. This time around, it was OUR backyard and OUR neighbors who needed the help. With over 30,000 calls in the last two weeks for disaster cleanup, SERVPRO has hundreds of crews from across the country that are leaving their home states to help. Many of these men and women spent months away from their families and friends recently helping our friends on the Gulf Coast.

While the heavy snow and ice did delay many of these crews from being able to hit the road, as well as most trucking services ceasing operations, reinforcements are still coming in daily to help. As neighbors, we’d like to ask for your patience and understanding as our disaster recovery crews are working 7 days a week to put our community back together one building and one family at a time. Many of these crews are working 14-16 hours a day but their relentless servant hearts won’t let them give up on you.

We’re human- we’re going to make mistakes, we’re going to drop the ball sometimes and in a disaster this widespread we won’t be able to make it to every single loss as quickly as we want to. We will keep trying, we will keep working, we will keep drying, disinfecting, cleaning and restoring. It is what we do – it’s how we’re made – it’s what makes us tick.

If you happen to see one of those bright green SERVPRO trucks from here or from out of town– give them a wave. These real-life heroes are trying their best for you. A little smile or a wave is great encouragement to all those that left their friends and families behind to answer your calls for help. Thank you for understanding, thank you for trusting in us and thank you for believing in us.

How Do I Know If I Am Handling Black Water?

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

person standing on dirty water in a hallway of a school Flood from contaminated water in a Sumner, OK school.

Ways To Identify The Type Of Water That Is Leaking Into Your Property

Not all leaks are equal in Sumner, OK. When you experience a severe leak or flood on your property, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent water damage. The water that enters a building is categorized by the following characteristics:

  • Clean water
  • Gently used water
  • Contaminated wastewater

Here are some ways to identify the type of water that is leaking into your property.

Find the Source of the Water
Knowing the source of the water entering the building is the first way to identify unsanitary water. If the water is coming from a water supply line, it is unlikely to be harmful to your health. Water that is sourced from a drainage pipe or a clogged toilet is highly toxic and should be dealt with safely. Locate the leak to determine the type of water.

Clean Water and Gray Water Sources
Clean water is water that is drinkable. A clean water leak is not toxic but should be cleaned quickly to prevent water damage to the building. Gray water is somewhat contaminated, having been gently used in sinks, showers, or washing machines. Though gray water is lightly contaminated, it is not as toxic as category 3 water.

Category 3 Water
Category 3 water, or black water, is highly toxic and, in most cases, is sourced from sewage. This type of water should be handled with extra precaution. Wear protective gear, such as gloves and bodysuits, if you will be cleaning water from sewers or drainage pipes. It is best to contact a professional water cleanup and restoration service to clean and restore your property from category 3 water damage.
Your local SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster and can properly restore your property today. If you have experienced a leak or flood from contaminated water, be sure to contact the experts preferred by most insurance companies. Acting fast will prevent severe water damages to your property.

The Top 3 Causes of Major Water Damage

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Woman walking over office flooded from water damage Commercial water damage in Stillwater, OK.

Water Damage At Commercial Building

Water damage can occur at a commercial building due to problems with the pipes and sewer lines or outdoor flooding. A supply line break calls for pipe burst cleanup, a sewer backup may require cleaning out the line and backups or floods both require disinfection of materials exposed to contaminated water. Learn more about three common causes of water damage at commercial buildings in Stillwater, OK.

1. A Broken Pipe
When a pipe breaks, hundreds of gallons of water may flow into the interior of a building. The amount of time between the start of a leak, detection and repair determine the severity of water damage. Regardless of the amount of water, clean water from a supply line is Category One water damage. Pipe burst cleanup is the most common cause of large-scale water damage.

2. A Sewer Backup
A blocked sewer line or an overflowing main may cause a backup into the lowest level of a building. Sewer water contains solid waste and is considered Category Three water damage. Cleaning and disinfection are necessary, and a building owner may want to contact a sewer cleanup company to avoid mold or other secondary damage.

3. A Flood Incident
Flooding due to heavy rain that does not drain properly or overflowing bodies of surface water is the third most common cause of major water damage. Flood water is also Category Three damage, as water becomes increasingly contaminated as it travels over surfaces toward a building and remains standing until extraction can take place.
Pipe breaks and sewer backups are the most common causes of large-scale commercial water damage in Stillwater, OK. Flooding may be less likely, but can also cause major damage to the interior and exterior of a structure. Respond to the cause of damage by arranging for pipe burst cleanup or other mitigation measures followed by a complete restoration.

How To Clean Black Mold in Commercial Air Ducts

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Air duct with mold Air ducts are a haven for black mold

Air ducts are a haven for black mold. When is the last time you had your ventilation system professionally cleaned? As a commercial business owner, you know that costly repairs can seemingly come out of thin air. This time, they're coming out of your air vents.

Signs of Mold Overgrowth in Air Ducts

Watch out for these classic signs of vent contamination:

  • Black, dusty, hard-to-remove patches around air vents
  • Musty smell upon turning on the AC

It's always possible that mold overgrowth goes undetected. For this reason, it's best to remain vigilant and keep clean ducts.

How To Clean Ducts
Cleaning an air ventilation system is not an easy task. For this reason, it's best to consult a professional right off the bat. Attempting this feat alone is not only time-consuming, but it could be harmful to you and your clients in the building. If not done properly, attempting to remove black mold may accidentally exacerbate the issue. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take instead.

Contact an expert in Guthrie, OK.
The right mold remediation professionals will verify that mold is indeed present.
Cleaning will begin, and if spread to insulation, insulation will need to be replaced.
The professional team will use the correct cleaners and tools while disinfecting your commercial air ducts.
Once done, now it's your turn: prevent mold regrowth!

How To Prevent Mold Regrowth
Step five is arguably the most important step. Taking the necessary precautions to prevent black mold from reappearing will save you and your commercial business tons of time, money, and stress. In order to stop the fungus from thriving, you need to first locate the source. What is causing the mold to prosper? Air vents are naturally a breeding ground for mold, so regular duct maintenance can mitigate this risk. Make sure the AC filters are changed out periodically. Reduce moisture and humidity in your commercial space. Use natural air circulation when possible, like opening a window. Keep the aforementioned tips in mind, and mold won't have a chance to damage your livelihood.

Avoid These 4 Things After a Home Flood

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Floodwaters enters a home Flood damage to a home in Perry, OK

When lakes, rivers, and sewers overflow into a home, the flood water brings more than moisture into a residence. The fluid harbors high levels of bacteria and microbes, making the dampness a structural hazard. Homeowners should be careful upon reentrance, taking great care to avoid certain things.

The Following are Four Things Not To Do

1. Resume Residence
Blackwater is not safe for others to be around. That means until everything is cleaned up and assessed properly, owners should reside in an alternate location. Make plans to stay with friends, neighbors or a hotel.

2. Handle Items With Bare Hands
A flooded home hosts organisms that should not come into contact with human skin. Seek professional assistance to examine the location, and if you do go inside be sure to wear protective gear such as gloves and rubber knee-high boots.
Experts are likely to wear clothing designed to safeguard them; plus, they may create a barrier among rooms that are safe versus contaminated.

3. Use Household Cleaners
Flood water absorbs quickly into porous materials. That means that carpets, drywall, and possessions could be polluted. Soap and other cleaners such as bleach do guarantee internal cleaning; therefore, it’s best to remove anything saturated from the premises.

4. Allow Premises to Dry Naturally
While water damage may seem innocent enough, it’s quite problematic. When left alone, it leads to secondary issues such as mold and mildew. Appropriate and immediate action should be taken to dry out the rooms using the right equipment. Industrial dehumidifiers extract humidity from the air and the walls. Moisture readers determine if spots are in the correct zones. Rely on these tools.
If a home is harmed by floodwater, homeowners should jump into action; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean grabbing a sponge and chemical bottle. Work with a water remediation team in Perry, OK, to handle the exposure in the right manner.

Why Water-Flooded Lights Are Dangerous and How They Should Be Handled

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Water in a light fixture If ever water in light scenario emerges inside your residence, treat the event with caution

When your home in Ceres, OK, experiences water in light fixtures, danger is always present. Mitigating the peril is imperative. Here are a few reasons why rooms containing water-flooded lights should be avoided and what you must do once they occur.

Flooded Lighting Dangers

Never stand or walk underneath damp fixtures, as:

  • Electrified drips could deliver a severe shock
  • The wiring could become compromised and a fire may start
  • Ceiling damage could cause a collapse

The wisest choice you can make is to hire a residential water restoration expert to set things right on your behalf. The possibility of electrocution and other related hazards make attempting to reverse any water in light situation on your own extremely foolish.

Flooded Lighting Protection Measures
Always take action to minimize the peril posed when water mixes with electricity. The first priority should be shutting off power. Once this has been done, test out dry appliances with a non-contact voltage tester to verify that all wattage has been definitively cut. Assuming the moisture’s origin is a leaky pipe, shut down your water supply with equal urgency. Only allow a professional plumber to fix your lines, just as a qualified electrician must be hired to correct compromised lights.
Buckets and towels underneath dripping apertures can help prevent floors from sustaining further damage. Stop wood from continually soaking up water by drying everything as quickly as possible. Open windows and doors to accelerate the aeration process. Strategically placed fans can also move evaporation forward.
Light switches should be covered with duct tape, so no one accidentally transforms an otherwise non-threatening puddle into a hazard. Prevent entry into jeopardized spaces by shutting doors and hanging warning signs on them.
If ever a water in light scenario emerges inside your residence, treat the event with caution. Respect the area as you would any hazardous locale and immediately contact reliable professionals to alleviate the risk.