What to do when water damage strikes
Life is busy and sometimes mistakes can happen. Maybe one morning you are rushing around to get out of the house and accidentally forget to turn off the water. This the scenario for what happened to Mr. Ramsey, thankfully SERVPRO of Oak Ridge was there and ready to help.
Mr. Ramsey forgot to turn off the water in the sink of the upstairs bathroom by the time he returned from work his ceiling had collapsed into his living room. SERVPRO of Oak Ridge's highly trained professionals hopped into action to preserve the house so no further damage was done. We were able to set up dryers to ensure everything was properly dried and checked. The carpet was removed and the ceiling was restored as quick as possible.
Keeping Wind Damage in Check
When the weather turns ugly in Oak Ridge, TN, homes aren’t the only structures are risk. Business owners know they must take steps to protect their companies. While preventing a roof leak is a good strategy for protecting inventory and equipment, you can’t afford to ignore the risks of high winds. Here are four ways to protect your business from them.
1. Reinforce Garage-Style Doors
Garage-style doors often do not fare wear during inclement weather. These doors are usually large and flimsy. If your business has one, you should think about reinforcing it. Lumber or metal rods can increase the chances that your company’s garage doors will ride out the storm without damage. Moreover, if you are expecting heavy rains, you should ensure all doors are securely closed before evacuating ahead of a storm.
2. Clear Trees and Other Debris
Damage to roofing systems can cause a roof leak. If you can keep trees and other debris from crashing through your business’s roof, you are ahead of the game. Consider trimming overhanging branches and removing landscaping waste a few times each year.
3. Anchor Projectiles
Before severe weather hits, you should consider walking around the outside of your business. Pay special attention to possible projectiles. If you see anything that may fly freely through the air during a storm, you should anchor it. Moving hazards inside or using tie-down straps is often an effective approach.
4. Use Tarps and Plywood
Water damage can destroy the inside of your business. If you have a damaged roof or missing shingles after a wind storm, tarps and plywood can help control water damage. Use these until you have time to schedule a total roof repair.
If you have a roof leak or other storm damage, a reputable restoration service can likely help you return your business to its pre-storm condition. Still, with a bit of effort, you can keep wind damage in check.
How Long Does Water Damage Cleanup Take?
Water damage cleanup can take anywhere from two to 10 days. You should account for the type of building materials and source of water, such as bursting pipes, leaks, or flooding. The extent and duration of the damage may also prolong the cleanup process.
The Building Materials
Certain building materials require special consideration. Hardwood floors, in particular, can prolong the duration of cleanup when there are several factors involved:
- Water permeating the polyurethane coating
- Damaged planks
- Sanding, scraping, or retrofitting of solid hardwood
- Wet plywood subfloor
- Moist concrete under the subfloor
Hardwood flooring should be dry all the way down to the concrete prior to restoration. Other building materials must also be completely dry before being repaired or replaced.
The Type of Water Damage
The source of the water that has caused the damage can add steps to the cleanup process.
- Category One water from bursting pipes is clean and only needs to be dried.
- Category Two gray water should be dried and disinfected.
- Category Three black water requires removal of solid waste, drying, and disinfection.
Once you fix the broken pipe or the other source of damage, call a restoration service.
The Extent of the Damage
Extensive damage due to flooding will probably take longer to restore than a smaller area affected by a backup, broken pipe, or leak. Account for the square footage exposed to water when estimating the length of the restoration process.
The Duration of the Damage
The longer building materials have been exposed to water, the more extensive the restoration process. Standing water that goes unnoticed for hours or days can lead to more severe secondary damage.
Regardless of the conditions in your home in Oak Ridge, TN, you can count on the expertise and equipment of restoration professionals. Call a plumber to fix bursting pipes and hire a residential restoration company to eliminate water and mitigate secondary damage.
How To Mitigate Fire and Water Damage
Firefighters rely on hoses that are capable of dispensing between 300 to 800 gallons of water per minute or more, depending on the hydrant and fire hose. As a result, fire suppression efforts often lead to a combination of extensive fire and water damage in homes in Oak Ridge, TN. Specialized mitigation and restoration methods are necessary to prevent the primary fire damage from becoming rapidly compounded and exacerbated by water. A company that specializes in both types of damage should pursue these three measures to mitigate damage.
1. Remove Water
The water used to put out a fire starts as clean, treated Category One water. Exposure to ash, soot, and smoke quickly degrades this water to Category Three flood water. A mitigation service will start by pumping out the water used for fire suppression.
2. Replace Materials
When no standing water remains, restoration experts can determine which building materials are capable of being cleaned or repaired and which need to be replaced. They will have to assess materials damaged by fire, water, or a combination of these two factors. This process will take longer than restoring either type of damage alone, as water can rapidly intensify the staining that results from fire damage.
3. Prevent Damage
In addition to concerns about structural integrity and air quality, water damage also introduces the risk of mold growth. A service specializing in both types of damage can take measures to ensure that no rebuilding occurs until the location is clean and completely dry, which can lower the likelihood that mold will develop.
If your home has been exposed to damage from both fire and water, rely on skilled restoration professionals with the experience and equipment to address all of the factors involved. Act quickly to notify your insurance provider and contact a water and fire damage restoration service in Oak Ridge, TN.
What To Do Before Help Arrives
A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems.
Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough
professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your local SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first
contacting your SERVPRO® of Cedar Bluff
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge.
- Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
- If the ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans.
- Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set
in smoke odor.
SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH PREPARE NOW
This year for National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods but entire communities. Learn how to be prepared.
Make and Practice Your Plan
Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit?
Make sure your family is informed and practiced in your emergency plan. Be sure to sign up for alerts and warnings for your area, and download other necessary apps to stay informed, such as the FEMA app.
Learn Life Saving Skills
Do you or someone in your family know CPR? Could you turn off your natural gas if necessary? Do you know how to take cover in an earthquake? Knowing these life-saving skills could mean life or death in an emergency situation for you, your family or your neighbors.
Check your Insurance Coverage
Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster? Evaluate which hazards are relevant to your area and obtain the appropriate insurance for your home, business, or other property and become familiar with your coverage.
Save for an Emergency
Are you prepared financially in case of a disaster? Does your family have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses after a flood or fire? Check out FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for an in-depth document to help you identify and compile important documents and account information all in one spot. Just search “EFFAK” on fema.gov for the free PDF. Whether its flood, wildfire or extreme winter weather, we must work together as a team to help ensure our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are prepared. Contact your local SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge to find out how they can help make it “Like it never even happened” if disaster strikes in your life.
National Day of Service and Remembrance SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
In honor and memory of those who died on September 11, 2001, as well as the survivors and First Responders, National Day of Service and Remembrance was established in 2009 as a day of reflection. Led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, this is a day to come together as Americans did following the events of 9/11 to help neighbors in need and to honor veterans and First Responders in your community.
On this day and every day, SERVPRO® salutes those heroes who arrive in the greatest times of need and stand strong in the face of disaster. These heroes are the First Responders who keep our communities safe in trying times.
Give back and make a difference in your community this year. To find a volunteer opportunity near you, or to register your National Day of Service and Remembrance event, visit nationalservice.gov/911day
Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals
Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disasters, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through—especially if it is your property that has been damaged.
Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even
worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.
Your SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.”
Do You Have Dirty Ducts?
Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality? In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of your local SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge Professional’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help save you money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary.
In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge Professional can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect
against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning System is proven and cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge
Professional uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfer the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.
For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact your local SERVPRO® of Oak Ridge Professionals today.
Tools For Keeping You Safe
One of the best precautions you can take is to purchase a good quality weather radio. A weather radio is designed to alert you to potentially dangerous weather situations, like an approaching tornado. It allows you to be warned ahead of storms, providing you time to seek shelter. A weather radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts.
Weather radios have made any advancements over the years and are very affordable. Most basic weather radios average around $30 and can be programmed to only alert you for the weather alerts you choose.
When shopping for a weather radio look for the following key features.
• Reviewable alerts (you can scroll through alerts and turn off the siren for alerts you do not wish to hear)
• Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME)
• Alert programming (alerts when specific counties are threatened, ensuring you only receive alerts for your country)
• Ease of programming
If you need help programming your weather radio, you can always contact your local National Weather Service Office or for additional information, including county codes for your state, visit NOAA Weather Radio website at www.nws.gove/nwr