Preparing Your Home to Survive a Wildfire
Los Angeles, California / Los Angeles County - August 31 2009: Station Fire was the largest wildfire of the 2009 California wildfire season.
Every year, wildfires burn across the U.S., and more and more people are living where wildfires are a real risk. By working together, residents can make their own property - and their neighborhood - much safer from wildfire.
Wildfire risk reduction safety tips
Before a wildfire threatens your area…
In and around your home
- Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
- Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.
- Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
- Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
- Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
- Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
- Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
- Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
- Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
- Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.
You can't predict a wildfire, but you can do your part to keep your home safe. SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello is here to help you prepare for any disaster by creating an EMERGENCY READY PROFILE for your home or business. Call now (208) 242-3819 to schedule your free profile.
Prepare For Winter
Window wells need to be cleared to make sure they drain properly.
Summer is coming to an end, which for some people in the Southeast Idaho region is a great thing. For some homeowners, it may not be that thrilling. Fall and winter storms have a way of causing damage that we don’t always see right away, but once we do notice, it’s a big mess. From ice dams to flooded window wells, there is always something that needs to be maintenance to keep your home dry during the wet months.
This fall make sure to check on the following areas of your home to prepare for the coming wet months.
- Make sure your window wells are draining properly and not full of debris. Clear the drain or make sure that the ground can absorb the moisture.
- Clear out your rain gutters to prevent water back up, which can lead to ice dams and cause water to run down the side of your home.
- Have your chimney cleaned to prevent a fire.
- Make sure windows are properly sealed.
- Have your sprinklers blown out and cover outside faucets to prevent frozen and broken pipes.
If you need help with any of these things, feel free to give SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello a call at (208) 242-3819 and we would be happy to help winterize your home.
Growing and Moving
Our new office at 7057 S. 5th Ave in Pocatello.
It's been a few months now since we've moved into our new office, and we have finally settled in. While we absolutely loved our office in Chubbuck, SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello had grown too big for our britches.
In April of this past year, we packed up and headed south of Pocatello into our new location at 7057 S. 5th Ave. It's more than three times bigger, which makes us three times better! We now have an office big enough for our staff, but we're still growing.
Last year at this time, we had six employees total. That doesn't seem like much, but we were a small and mighty powerhouse. Since then we've reached 16 employees and counting. That means that no matter what, we always have someone who can be there during your flood or fire emergency.
It's Probably Not Black Mold
Water damage causing mold growth on the interior walls of a property.
We get calls frequently from customers that claim to have black mold growing in their homes, asking us what it takes to treat it. While we are always happy to mitigate any mold issue in your home, the truth is, it's probably not Stachybotrys chartarum, which is the scientific name of black mold. There has also been significant amounts of debate on the toxicity of mold in general.
Logic can tell us that breathing in fungus is probably not good for our lungs, but it's not something that has to scare you. Studies have shown that most mold is irritating but not as dangerous as the media wants you to believe. So what does that mean for your home? It's still very important to clean up fungus in your home, because irritation and allergies can be harmful, but let's break down what you're looking at.
It’s important to figure out if you’re dealing with mold or mildew, and it's pretty easy to differentiate between the two. Mildew usually looks white or gray and dry or powdery. It always appears flat. Mold, on the other hand, usually looks slimy or fuzzy and is raised and can be green, red, blue, or black, typically the more colorful the more health effects. Mold also stains walls and furniture where mildew can be wiped off.
The major difference is that mildew can typically be cleaned with household products, but mold burrows deep into your structure and needs to be removed and properly cleaned so that it doesn't return. That's where SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello can step in. We will help you determine if you're dealing with mold or mildew, and have the testing to see what type it is. We can mitigate the problem and remove the moisture causing the growth, and we have products that not only clean and sanitize, but they also prevent it from growing back.
Call SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello at (208) 242-3819 to schedule an estimate to figure out exactly what you're dealing with.
What is Lurking in that Water Damage?
A refrigerator leak can cause significant damage if not treated quickly.
If you’ve ever had a flood in your home, you may have heard the term “category” followed by a number. For most homeowners, that doesn’t really mean a whole lot, but from a mitigation perspective, it means a whole lot.
Categories of water determine the process necessary to clean up and how careful you should be in dealing with the mess.
Three Types of Contamination
There are three categories of water that can infiltrate your home or business. The first, Category 1, is sanitary water that typically comes from a broken pipe and doesn’t come in contact with any contaminants that could mix into it. It doesn’t pose a risk to your safety if you’re exposed to it, but can still easily cause mold if not treated immediately.
This water contains significant amounts of contaminants that may cause harm to a person should they come in contact. Flooding from your washing machine into your home, or aquariums, or punctured waterbeds. This water could already harbor bacteria and shouldn't touch your skin and should quickly be taken care of to prevent further issues. After just two days, Cat 2 water damage can easily become a Category 3.
This water is heavily contaminated by sewage. If water comes in from a sewer drain in any way, or back flows from the drains in your home, it requires extreme levels of caution. Toxins and pathogens are extremely harmful to humans and pets, and should be treated with the utmost care. Professionals should be wearing protective gear to clean up those messes.
Our expert team takes these situations very seriously. We have a response time of 1 hour or less to start the water damage repair process to keep it from spreading and worsening. We’re available 24/7 to protect your home, you, and your family.
Water Loss Tips
Water damages happen quite frequently, some of the most common causes that we see are from: failed supply lines from a toilet or fridge, water coming from outside the home, or leaks in the home bathroom.
When experiencing a water damage in your Pocatello home you should first:
-Shut off the water
-Call your insurance agent
-Call SERVPRO to begin emergency services
When dealing with a water loss from a clean water source which is considered to be a Category 1 loss. Most of your building materials that are wet can be salvaged and restored to preloss conditions. We have the ability to dry and salvage important documents due to water loss.
When shopping for a Home Owners Insurance policy a thing to consider is looking into a Flood policy. There have been many times that the cause of loss has been water from an outside water source. In result the insurance policy didn’t cover the loss and the owner was responsible for the cost.
Our team understands how stressful any type of loss can be. We pride ourselves on customer service and quick response times. All our technicians are background checked, drug tested, and are certified through the IICRC.
Their certifications range from Water Restoration Technician, Applied Structural Drying, Commercial Drying Specialist, and Applied Microbial Remediation Technician. Click the IICRC link to learn more about these certifications.
Cigarette Smells In New Home
A recent nicotine cleaning to show how visible the stains can be.
With the housing market turning over homes quickly, we’re seeing many buyers close on homes sight unseen. Idaho is in the top five states people are moving to, which has shown to limit the number of houses available for sale and pushed out of state buyers to make offers and close based on pictures, realtors, and home inspections.
Here at SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello that means we’ve seen a major increase in inquiries on general cleanings. Even moreso, nicotine cleaning and removal. Cigarettes don’t just leave behind a smell, they leave a sticky film on all surfaces that holds in the smell for YEARS if not cleaned properly. It also makes painting a home extremely difficult, because even if you paint all walls and ceilings, paint is porous and will still allow the smell to permeate through the home.
So how do you get rid of the smell? That’s where SERVPRO comes in. We have a process for nicotine removal that not only cleans surfaces, but removes the smell. Using a thermal fogger, specialty chemicals, and a little elbow grease, SERVPRO employees work on removing the sticky film so you don’t have to worry about the extra step while moving in. After removal, it’s also recommended that you use a primer to seal the walls prior to painting, so any smells that are deep within the walls are sealed in.
It’s a lot of work to get rid of the odors that cigarettes leave behind, but SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello is more than happy to help you through the process
Why Work With SERVPRO When Worried About Secondary Damage
Water damage in Blackfoot, ID.
You are likely to hear a phrase as a business owner after a disaster, such as a flood: secondary damage. The term refers to the damage resulting from the initial problem. For example, while a flood can cause initial water damage, that initial problem can then cause black mold. The way to minimize the risks of secondary issues is by rectifying the initial problem as quickly as possible, often by calling in the experts at SERVPRO in Blackfoot, ID; there are at least three reasons to trust them over other remediation services.
3 Reasons to Work With SERVPRO
The teams with the SERVPRO logo are certified through the IICRC — the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC certification is and should be the industry standard for remediation services. When a company has this specific certification, you can rest assured its technicians are well-trained and capable.
Whether you are dealing with flooding and the threat of high humidity — a cocktail for black mold — or trying to patch your building up after a storm or fire, you want a remediation service that can do it all: mitigation, remediation, and restoration. The professionals in the green van are capable of it all.
With more than 1,500 franchises nationwide, you can also count on SERVPRO for the fastest response. The company has franchises in all major metropolitan locations and can promise 24/7 emergency response.
If you are concerned about response times or scheduling conflicts, SERVPRO is your remediation service. You, the customer, are the top priority.
Secondary damage, like black mold, can occur quickly after a flood. To reduce the risk of such damage, it is crucial to call a remediation service that can respond fast. SERVPRO is known for being fast to disasters and for restoring your property "Like it never even happened." If your business is recovering from a disaster, do not hesitate to call on the professionals at SERVPRO.
3 Steps To Take After a Toilet Overflow
A toilet overflow can leave additional damage.
A toilet overflow can be a messy and unpleasant experience, but it is also something that happens to almost everyone at some point. Whether the problem was caused by a clog or sewer damage, knowing what to do afterward is the key to avoiding additional damage.
3 Steps to Deal With a Toilet Overflow
1. Stop the Overflow
Before you can do anything else, you must stop your flooded toilet from continuing to overflow. If there is another person who can help you, have that person take off the lid to the toilet tank, push down on the rubber valve at the bottom of the tank and pull up on the float. This should stop the toilet from running. You can then shut off the water to the toilet using the shut-off valve that should be located next to it. If you're alone, use the valve to shut the water off as quickly as possible.
2. Dry Out the Flooded Area
If the water from your toilet is clean, you can proceed to remove it with a mop and bucket or a wet/dry vacuum. Remove any soaked mats or rugs and put them in the dryer or hang them outside. If the water has urine or feces in it, wear protective gear and consider contacting a water remediation company in Blackfoot, ID, to clean and disinfect the area.
3. Remove the Clog
Once you have the water cleaned up, you need to make sure the problem doesn't occur again. You can attempt to remove the clog by using a plunger or toilet snake. If that doesn't work, you may need a sewage company to check for sewer damage. When you think you have the clog cleared, flush the toilet, but be prepared to shut the water off again if needed.
Clogged toilets are a common problem that can usually be fixed yourself. However, if your toilet is clogging frequently, this could be a sign of sewer damage.
We are Cleaning Experts
We are Here to Help®!
SERVPRO® is Here to Help® during this time of need
During this unprecedented time, caused by the global pandemic of corona-virus. This is a reminder to our customers, that we are specialists in cleaning services, with our Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned advantage and adherence to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards in the industry.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business of Blackfoot, ID, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages the cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends the usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved, emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today –
4 Things You Should NOT Do After a Flood
A flooded home in Pocatello, ID, can be dangerous.
It isn't uncommon to feel a bit panicked when you see flood water gathering in your basement or around your yard. Unfortunately, that heightened sense of fear can lead to some steps that may put you in danger or cause damage to your Pocatello, ID, home. Protect your home and family with this list of Do Nots:
1. Do Not Go in the Water
Whether you're driving down the street or walking through your flood home, there could be danger in the water, including raw sewage, animals, insects, chemicals, and live electricity. Water on the roads or walkways can be deceptively deep and may have swift currents that put you and any potential rescuers at risk.
2. Do Not Use Any Electricity in Your Home
It only takes a tiny amount of water to carry enough electricity to give you a pretty good shock. Electrocution is a very real danger as water damage affects your home. Avoid this type of injury by staying away from the water and turning off the power at your main breaker box. Shutting off the power also decreases the risk of fire after you've been evacuated.
3. Do Not Attempt Cleanup or Repairs Without Proper Gear
Before you begin hauling out your belongings, gather together waterproof boots and gloves and consider using a mask. Remember that floodwater carries a lot of contaminants, so protective clothing helps you avoid exposure to germs.
4. Do Not Enter Your Home Without an Official Okay
There are many professionals trained to respond to disasters. When you listen to emergency responders, home inspectors, and even home cleanup and repair professionals, you're more likely to avoid injuries and further damage to the home.
It's natural to want to start cleaning up as soon as possible after floodwater damages your flooded home. However, these common mistakes lead to further harm, either by leading to injuries or secondary damage.