3 Storm Preparation Tips
Severe storms can leave severe damage
Severe storms, such as hurricanes, often come with a risk of hail, lightning, high winds and flood water. These three storm preparation tips can help you minimize the amount of storm damage that occurs to your home.
3 Ways to Prepare for a Storm
1. Make an Evacuation Plan
Whether it is a large hurricane or flash flooding, rising waters may prompt authorities to order evacuations. You need to have a plan in place in case you need to escape a flooded building or leave your home on short notice. Select a meeting place in Pocatello, ID, so that if members of your household are separated you can reconnect. If you have pets, research pet-friendly storm shelters in your area or make alternative plans for them.
2. Secure Property Outside Your home
If you are expecting high winds or flood water, secure property outside your home to avoid damage from items that could get blown around or may wash away. Trim any large trees and shrubs to reduce the chance of damage from falling limbs. Bring property such as potted plants, patio furniture, toys and bikes inside. Consider protecting outdoor property that can not be moved with burlap or blankets secured with rope.
3. Store Important Documents Off-Site
A restoration company may be able to save some documents that have water damage, but it is best to avoid the damage in the first place by storing documents, such as financial papers, insurance policies, birth certificates, marriage licenses and legal papers, in a safe location off-site, such as a safety deposit box. Consider also moving high-value items, such as jewelry, to a safety deposit box or another secure storage area.
Once flood water arrives, you may not have much time to safely evacuate your home. Having a plan in place ahead of time can help your family stay safe and reduce the amount of damage that occurs to your property.
Should You DIY Water Pipe Repair?
Water pipe repair requires experience
Any type of water damage can be frustrating, but some types of damage are more serious than others. For example, the risks, damage, and cost of repairs for a leaky dishwasher are not the same as those related to major flooding. Water pipe repair may require the work of an afternoon or a professional response over several weeks.
Contact a Professional for Water Pipe Repair
What Are the Water Categories?
Water is often categorized to indicate levels of contamination and safety or risk. Water from any of the categories can damage your property, and categories 2 and 3 pose additional problems:
- Category 1 water is often known as "clean water" and doesn't pose a risk to people and animals. It may come from an overflowing sink or a faucet that doesn't stop dripping.
- Category 2 water starts out clean but picks up contaminants as it passes through other materials or sits too long. For example, if clean water leaks through the floor and drips into the basement, it may not carry dirt, chemicals, and other debris.
- Category 3 water, or black water, is not safe and may carry hazardous chemicals, refuse, and biological contaminants. Only trained water cleanup professionals should handle damage from black water.
Water pipe repair can be a category 1, 2, or 3 issue, so it's important to assess the risk before diving into the cleanup and repair situation.
Can You Afford Further Damage?
When you first discover a broken pipe and after you've shut off the water supply, you must make several quick decisions. Deciding whether to hire a professional to handle the flooded space and the pipe repairs is one of the most important. It is possible to do further damage if cleanup and repairs aren't handled correctly. Contamination from categories 2 and 3 can affect air quality and lead to secondary damage.
Water pipe repair requires experience and an understanding of the risks involved. Put your Blackfoot, ID, commercial property in the hands of professionals when dealing with water damage.
3 Tips for Safer Cooking at Home
Cooking fires can be dangerous.
People often refer to the kitchen as the heart of the home because it is where you tend to gather, cook, and share meals. Unfortunately, the kitchen is often the location of many residential fires. While you can call the local fire department or a fire restoration service in Blackfoot, ID, there are a few essential tips you can follow to reduce your risk of a house fire due to cooking.
Reduce Cooking Fire
1. Stay In the Kitchen
One of the leading causes of fire damage from a kitchen fire is neglect. People tend to walk away from ovens and stovetops. You should not leave the kitchen unattended when cooking anything. There is no telling what can happen when you are away. If you know you will not be able to stay and watch the stove, turn it off. You can always return to cooking later. You might also choose to postpone your meal plans until the cooking process can have your full attention.
2. Maintain a Clean Area
Outside of the numerous other tips people might suggest, maintaining a clean area is among the most important. It is too easy to place boxes or containers on a stove while you are cooking. You do not want flammable items near the heating surface. Instead, focus on preparing for recipes before beginning to cook. Measure out all substances beforehand and place them in heat-resistant cookware or containers.
3. Install Fire Extinguishers
Stove and oven fires often result in a grease fire. You cannot use just anything to put out a grease fire. To ensure your safety, install a class B fire extinguisher in your kitchen near the cooktop. Class B extinguishers are designed to combat oil and grease fires.
While these tips are not extensive, they do provide a decent overview of fundamental safety precautions to take while cooking. For more information, you can speak to a local fire department representative.
Toilet Overflow and Cleanup
Sewer damage can lead to toilet overflow.
The sanitation system of your home is crucial to your daily routine and hygiene. Unfortunately, sometimes sewer damage can lead to backups and toilet overflows, leading to the need for a water mitigation service in Pocatello, ID. Because of the potential contamination level of the water, there are three rules to dealing with toilet overflow and cleanup.
3 Rules to Dealing With a Toilet Overflow And Cleanup
1. Maintain a Safe Distance
Unless you have worked for a sewage company and understand the regulations of sewage cleanup and removal, you should maintain a safe distance from the backup. Sewage is category three or black water. It is highly contaminated and poses a significant risk to your health. Do not walk through it or attempt to clean it up without adequate protection and knowledge.
2. Contact a Professional
When a backup occurs, it is likely the result of sewer damage and clogs. While many homeowners do have augers and plungers, the typical household tools are not strong enough to clear or dislodge a sewer blockage. It is also worth noting that the backup might be caused by a collapse in the waste line. To ensure that your bathroom problems are resolved correctly, contact a water damage specialist or plumbing professional for help.
3. Block Affected Area
Because of the potential health and safety risks of a backup or flooded toilet, it is necessary to keep people out or away from the affected area. If the problem area is in a bathroom on the main floor, close the door. If it is in a basement, prevent access. The best way to keep everyone safe is to stay away from the contaminated water and its source.
Sewer damage or blockages are the most likely causes of a toilet backup. While a backup might not seem that problematic at first, remember the water is category three and not safe for human contact or consumption.
Grill fires can be avoided.
Grill fires can happen when your grill hasn’t been cleaned properly or frequently enough. All fires need three types of sources: heat, fuel, and oxygen. Just removing one of those elements a fire cannot exist.
6 Ways to avoid Grill Fires:
- Clean the fire box area around the burners
- Keep a distance from covered places, porch, patio, or balcony.
- Keep the grill outside the house.
- Always watch your grill and don’t abandon it.
- Inspect the propane tank for tiny holes or loosened hoses that might cause a gas leak.
- Delay cleaning up and give the grill time to cool down.
Steps in case of a grease fire:
- Turn off gas
- Leave lid open
- NEVER use water
- Use a fire extinguisher
- Call 911 if fire is still not out
About SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello
SERVPRO™ of Blackfoot/Pocatello specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property
4 Steps to Protecting Your Home After Water Damage
Contact professionals for water damage in your home.
There are many possible causes for water in home, including flooding from outside and water damage from a broken pipe or other damage along your pipes. Whatever the original cause, as water spreads through your home, some of your most precious belongings can suffer damage. The steps you take right after the water recedes could mean either successful recovery or lasting damage:
4 Steps To Follow After Water Damage
1. Contact Professionals
The sooner cleaning and restoration professionals get to your Blackfoot, ID, home, the better your reconstruction efforts. It doesn't take long for water damage to spread; within just a day or two, mold may begin to set in. Additionally, floodwater isn't clean, and without the right cleaning techniques, your home may suffer from insect infestations, other pests, and lasting odors. In addition to cleaning pros, you should reach out to your insurance provider.
2. Remove Water and Dry Your Home
Once you've pumped or mopped out as much water as possible, begin drying off your furniture and other belongings. You may need to move some furnishings to a dry spot outside. Delicate fabrics and clothing may require dry cleaning or other professional efforts. Be aware that hardwoods, subflooring, and other parts of your home don't dry quickly. It may take days of effort before all water in home has been removed.
3. Separate Items for Cleaning and Disposal
Before you throw out cherished memorabilia, ask professionals about cleaning and repair steps. There are many techniques that can be used to save rugs, documents, artwork, and other valuable belongings.
4. Disinfect Your Home
After your home has been dried and your possessions fully cleaned, everything must be disinfected to prevent bacteria from infecting your belongings and the structure of the home. Trust professionals to appropriately apply disinfectants, so you can avoid damaging wood, fabric, and other textiles.
You can't always prevent water in home from spreading to your belongings, but you can take quick action to correct the situation. Remember that even a minor delay could lead to further, lasting damage.
4 Types of Hail Damage
A hail storm can cause severe roof damage.
Hail, which is caused when ice forms in storm clouds, is one of the most damaging elements of severe storms. Large hail can cause roof damage in addition to damage to other structures and types of property. These are four of the most common types of hail damage.
Common Types of Hail Damage
1. Windows and Siding
Hail can sometimes fall at angles or be blown by wind causing damage to windows and siding. Hail that is large or blown by high winds can crack or break windows. It may also cause holes, chips or cracks in siding.
Roof damage is the most common type of damage because the location of the roof makes it the first part of a building most hail will come in contact with. Some hail damage is difficult to see, which can lead to leaks that may result in water damage inside your building that requires remediation. For this reason, it is a good idea to contact a roofing professional in Pocatello, ID, to check your roof for damage after a hail storm. Have any damage to the roof of your building repaired promptly to avoid future problems.
Skylights are also vulnerable to damage because of their location and because the material is not as durable as most roofing materials. If your building has a skylight, check for cracks in the glass and damage to the seals after storms.
Commercial vehicles are often parked in uncovered lots which makes them susceptible to cracked or broken glass, dents and chipped paint from hail. Cosmetic damage to the body of the vehicle may not need to be repaired, but damage to windshields, mirrors and windows can be a safety hazard.
Because hail can cause roof damage and other types of damage that can lead to additional damage if not repaired, it is important to inspect your property after a hail storm. Pay particular attention to these four common types of hail damage.
All About Sewage Damage and Cleanup
Call professionals to help with sewage remediation.
Sewer cleanup can be a daunting process. Dealing with the smell, water damage and various piping issues alone can make many homeowners run for cover. Fortunately, you are not alone, and you can prevent a large cleanup project by knowing what causes sewer damage and how it is corrected.
Facts About Sewer Damage and Cleanup
Causes of Sewer Damage
There are a few main things that cause damage to your sewer system. Some of these are:
- Flushing solid objects such as garbage, diapers, wet wipes and toys down the toilet
- Roots growing into the sewer lines
- Age cracking and breaking
- Defects such as collapsing lines and misaligned piping
- Septic or city sewer backup
These apply to both septic systems and city systems, so watch out no matter where you are. Most of these things are preventable with regular sewer maintenance and a bit of knowledge. Snaking your sewer lines, not planting trees over pipes and not putting anything but toilet paper in your lines are tasks you can do independently.
When things go wrong with your sewer lines, proper sewer cleanup is important. Raw sewage is extremely dangerous. It has bacteria in it that can hurt you if you attempt to clean the sewage yourself without proper precautions. This means using the proper suits, gloves and masks and disposing of the contaminated materials properly.
Sewage cleaning is more than simply dealing with a blocked sink or flooded toilet. You need to wear a protective suit, gloves, masks and eye protection. Sewage contains harmful bacteria and other contaminants that can make you sick. You also have to check the laws to make sure you are following the proper guidelines for disposal.
Calling in Help
With any major sewer issue, you are much better off calling in sewage remediation specialists in Blackfoot, ID. They will know the local laws, what to do and how to clean up the sewage properly.
Sewer cleanup is a long and difficult process if you don't know what you are doing. It is better to prevent damage than have to deal with the aftermath of a sewer line break.
How To Get Rid of Mold Odors
You might have to call in a professional to get rid of old quickly and completely.
When mold grows, it creates a compound known as mycotoxin. This toxin can produce some pretty strange odors. Fortunately, you can get rid of it using the proper methods.
Steps to Get Rid of Mold Odors
Find the Odor
To find the odor, you first have to recognize the odors. Unfortunately, there are many types of odors associated with mold and mildew. Sometimes it smells like cat urine, and other times it is just a musty odor or like something rotten. Since mold is designed to breakdown substances, people tend to associate the smells with rot.
Walk around your home and sniff, yes, it sounds strange, but if you can locate the odor's source, you can locate the mold. Be sure to check from floor to ceiling.
Check for Damp Spots
Once you've located where the odor is coming from, you need to look for damp spots. Sometimes they appear as brown or grey spots. Other times they don't appear at all. When you can't see anything, you can use a dampness meter to see if there is a damp area.
If you don't find anything and there is still an odor, you might have a leak behind your wall. In this case, you might have to call in a professional to cut a hole to check. Mycotoxin can be dangerous, so it is important to determine if the source of the odor is mold.
Fix Any Leaks and Dry the Area
If you do find a leak or moist spot from condensation, fix it as soon as possible. Leaks are a major source of mold and mildew and can cause high dollar damage very quickly.
Call in a Professional
A professional mold remediation company in Pocatello, ID, is your best bet for getting rid of mold quickly and completely. Some molds are very toxic and can be hard to remove. Mold is a very adaptive form of fungi, so over-the-counter cleaners might not be effective.
Once the mold is gone, your smell should disappear. Mycotoxin can cause various smells, so any odd or rotting smell should be investigated and dealt with promptly.
Do's and Don'ts when you find Mold.
Do not disturb visible mold.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. By disturbing mold, you can easily spread the mold spores throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, it can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO® of Blackfoot/Pocatello for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
SERVPRO® of Blackfoot/Pocatello specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
About SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello
SERVPRO™ of Blackfoot/Pocatello specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.