3 Ways to Protect Your Home From Water Damage | SERVPRO of Fayetteville
Suffering from home water damage is no way to live. Call SERVPRO of Fayetteville today! We are here to help.
Suffering a water disaster is overwhelming no matter how it happens. Even just a small amount of water can have a huge impact on your home. Water disasters are one of the most common home insurance claims, so it is important to know how to reduce your risk as much as possible.
Water leaks can happen anywhere, but these three locations are often where they start! Check these places often and perform routine maintenance tasks to stay as dry as possible.
Check Your Plumbing
Leaks behind your walls can be hard to spot, especially if they are occurring behind your walls. Check all pipes leading from your faucets, sinks and tubs often for drips or signs of wear and tear. Even a simple deteriorating line of caulk can invite water to sneak out of a pipe or water line, which can quickly get worse.
Water is constantly flowing to and from your home behind your walls and under your floors, so investigate any new dripping sounds or the sound of running water in any room. A single clogged drain can easily block up a pipe and lead to a watery mess somewhere in your home.
Keep Gutters Clean
Keeping your gutters clean is another reliable way of preventing significant water damage. Heavy rain can easily overwhelm a clogged gutter system, which will force the water to back up onto your roof or pour over the side of your home.
Even the smallest gap can invite water into your home, or your foundation may become overwhelmed and water will start to flow into your basement.
Grab a ladder and a buddy and get to work! Routine cleanings are important, especially after a particularly strong storm or during the fall season when all the leaves are making their way to the ground. Remove as much debris as possible and be sure your downspouts are pointed away from your home.
Check Your Roof
Another important water damage prevention task is to check your roof often for signs of damage. Obvious impact damage due to a fallen tree during a storm will be easy to spot, but oftentimes it's the damage that goes unnoticed that can cause serious problems over time.
Missing or broken shingles, gaps along your roofline or sagging of any kind can invite rain into your attic that could leak down your walls. Address any repairs yourself or have a professional come out to help you seal your attic back up again.
Suffered water damage? Call SERVPRO of Fayetteville right away.
General Building Maintenance Saves Money
Maintain Buildings Leave on a Roof
Time, use, material quality, and workmanship are determining factors in how long a material will last. Replacing worn items may reduce or eliminate additional expenses.
For example, resulting wind, sun, and inclement weather determine the useful life of shingles. Basic maintenance such as removing debris (straw, leaves, etc.) from a roof can extend shingle life. Damaged or worn shingles may allow water penetration, damaging roof components, or interior materials. A general inspection does not require walking the roof. Standing on the ground look for lifted shingles, missing shingles, or nails protruding through shingles. These are signs maintenance and/or replacement is required.
A hot water heater's useful life can be extended through maintenance. Draining a hot water heater to remove settled particles and residual minerals may prevent premature failure. Observe the outer general appearance. Are there rust stains around the tank base, are the fittings (pipe) rusting, or do they appear to be leaking?
Replacing HVAC filters routinely and annual servicing may extend the HVAC mechanical components. If visible darkening is visible around supply vents the system may require cleaning.
Observe carpeting, vinyl composite tiles, ceramic tile, and laminated vinyl flooring. Are there signs of wear or exposed raised areas creating a tripping hazard? Inspect for areas susceptible to frequent use or exposure to moisture. Moisture, wear and tear, and workmanship is factors when determining when to repair or replace. Tripping hazards are a common source of injury.
Lighting in transition areas may create a fall or tripping hazard. Are stairwells well lighted? Lighting may be installed in difficult-to-reach areas requiring a professional to replace light bulbs. Contact a professional if you are unable to safely replace.
the longer these factors continue the easier it is to overlook or not see them until it is too late. Train yourself to watch and act to prevent accidents and additional costs for maintenance and repairs.
SERVPRO of Fayetteville is here to help.
Why is there Mold in Your Home?
Mold Growing in Damp Drywall
Mold is ubiquitous, meaning it is always present and a part of the fungal ecology necessary for life. When present the goal is for it to be in balance. What does this mean? The most common comparison is outside conditions compared to inside occupied buildings. When a mold exists outside and it is either not inside or is closely aligned with interior presence it is considered normal or in balance. This does not apply when individuals are immunocompromised or business processes require better indoor air quality. Contact a company to request mold testing. SERVPRO of Fayetteville can assist you with testing services. Services include air sampling and surface sampling using specified procedures and testing supplies.
In general, mold has three requirements to reproduce. 1. Food 2. Range of temperature 3. Moisture. Of the three requirements water is the easiest to control. Mold can process a wide variety of materials (paper, wood, bio-film, food, biodegradable materials) into a food source. Mold is adaptable to a wide variety of temperatures. Especially considering the interior temperature is controlled to accommodate occupants. The remaining requirement, water, is the easiest to control. A three-legged stool is one example of a method in controlling mold growth. If each leg is one of the requirements, and one of the legs is removed the stool falls. The leg representing moisture is the one to remove.
A few tips to prevent excess moisture are to remove and dry water from floor surfaces, exhaust air from bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, observe appliances (ice maker, washing machine, and dishwasher) to detect slow leaks, and check rooms used infrequently. Rooms used infrequently allow additional time for moisture present to promote mold growth. Leave doors open to areas not in use to allow air movement.
SERVPRO of Fayetteville is trained and qualified to assist you with safe mold removal.
Storms Do Not Require a Name
Weather Affects Buildings
How many ways are weather forecast broadcast? Weather forecasters have become celebrities appearing in the midst of real, and not so real, storms defying the odds of physical harm. Radio, newsprint, television, a plethora of online outlets, smartwatches, spouses, and spouses' parents are valued weather resources.
My grandmother was before her time inventing the doppler radar concept in the early '70s. "Fortunately" we lived in an area where we centrally located between three television stations (when the antenna was aligned correctly) observing the weather forecast at varying times. By watching the weather reports back-to-back she formulated our local weather forecast. More recently forecasters present information days if not weeks in advance. Weather forecast for the East Coast often focus on hurricanes and projected rainfall, wind, and damaging effects. Bread, milk, and sugar fly off the grocery store shelves. Winter-time brings a forecast of snow, ice, and mixed precipitation. Anyone visiting or having recently moved to a southern region should be acutely aware Southerners drive very poorly during any wintertime-related weather inconsistencies, and during a hurricane are bound and determined to drive around before, during, and after the hurricane.
Frequently weather events occurring in relatively small geographical areas are not broadcasted leaving property owners and property managers to observe weather conditions and resulting effects on buildings.
A roof requiring maintenance or replacement before a storm may leak allowing water to affect the building's interior. Attic insulation, ceilings, walls, and personal contents may be affected.
Low lying buildings may experience flooding into the building or when a crawlspace is present the crawlspace may flood. A crawlspace is an area below when the building floor is elevated above ground level. Crawlspaces may be utilized for HVAC ducting and HVAC, plumbing, and electrical components. Insulation placed beneath the floor is also in the crawlspace. the materials may be affected by rising water.
Freezing temperatures may lead to burst plumbing and water damages. Remember to protect plumbing fixtures and plumbing to prevent damages.
When a building is affected by severe weather SERVPRO of Fayetteville can assist to reduce additional damages and mitigate existing damages.
What Happens After a Fire
Damage Resulting From Fire
Often after a fire, there is a noticeable odor and structure and contents appearance. The sights and smells can be overwhelming and the feeling something needs to be done can be overwhelming. This is where a thoughtful reaction can save time and money. SERVPRO of Fayetteville is trained to respond to and restore your home or business to a preloss condition.
If emergency services by fire and rescue are required SERVPRO of Fayetteville will begin services once access is permitted.
The number one priority is safety. Certain hazards may be present. Individuals entering the structure and see what has happened should be aware of the damages and how this may have affected the structure. Overhead objects (ceiling, fixtures) may be compromised as well as flooring stability. Air quality may have been affected by the fire and resulting methods to extinguish the fire. Respiratory protection may be required in the initial stages of cleaning and deodorization.
If the structure is safe to enter and cleaning and deodorization services have not begun there are a few tips to observe to prevent additional damage. SERVPRO of Fayetteville can provide a brochure with the following information in addition to other suggestions for water, vandalism, and harmful waste suggestions.
*To prevent affecting areas not affected by the loss limit movement. Soot and affected water can be tracked throughout the house. *If electricity is turned off, prop open freezer and refrigerator doors. *Turn off HVAC system. This can prevent spreading soot throughout the house. *Wear disposable gloves to prevent transferring soot to other surfaces. *Certain methods are required for washing walls. SERVPRO of Fayetteville will provide this service. *Do not consume food products as they may be contaminated. *Contact your pharmacist concerning medications before taking. *Wash clothing or send to laundry. There are specific methods for cleaning and deodorizing textiles.
SERVPRO of Fayetteville is trained and prepared to assist with any size fire loss.
What is Clean
A Clean Kitchen
The requirement for clean depends upon the end-user, or customer. A homeowner may require one type of clean and a business may require a different one. Individuals wishing to maintain a clean home or business may have different needs.
Additional information concerning cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization can be found in The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/disinfection/introduction.html.
When cleaning services are requested it is important for all parties to understand terminology to align services with the customer's request. To do so the following defines 1. Cleaning - is the removal of visible soil (organic and inorganic material) from surfaces of contents and structure. Cleaning is required before disinfecting or sterilization can occur. 2. Disinfection - This is the process to eliminate many or all pathogenic microorganisms, except bacterial spores on inanimate objects. Factors affecting disinfecting effectiveness include, but are not limited to materials affected and what is the level of pathogens affecting the materials, what is the access to the surface being cleaned (crevices, hinges, above floor level.) Removal of pathogens includes applying an EPA Registered liquid chemical and removal by mechanical methods (hand wiping with appropriate towel or extraction.) 3. Sterilization - Sterilization is a process to destroy or eliminate all forms of microbial life. Most often applicable to health-care facilities, laboratories, certain technological research and development labs. Some methods used for sterilization include pressurized steam, dry heat, hydrogen peroxide gas plasma, and liquid chemicals. Sterilization requires specific equipment and supplies designed for services requiring specific to the customer's needs.
When SERVPRO of Fayetteville is contracted to perform services for cleaning defining the customer's needs is included. Determining services, materials, supplies, and personnel is a factor for all cleaning requests. Once an agreed-upon scope of services is established services can begin.
Cleaning Contents After a Fire
Coffee Table Affected by Soot
There are several factors to consider when cleaning contents affected by residue generated by a fire. What was the source of the fire (what has burned), what times were affected (furniture, dishes, paintings, ceramics, etc.), the temperature of the fire, and the length of time (dwell time) since the fire occurred?
The number one priority is personal safety. Indoor air quality is often affected by the fire results. Consider wearing gloves, respiratory protection, and disposable outerwear to prevent carrying soot to areas outside of the loss site. If you are displaced until mitigation is complete you may carry soot to your temporary residence. Remember to protect yourself and prevent spreading soot to other areas.
Sources are often considered "wet" (petroleum-based, plastics, vegetable cooking oil, or animal-based cooking oil.) This soot is often sticky and may stain contents. "Dry" soot is often plant-based, or cellulose-based. Examples include paper, wood, certain furniture components. These are often easier to remove from surfaces, and are less likely to stain. Both "wet' and "dry" soot may have a strong odor.
The longer the soot remains on surfaces the potential for damage increases. SERVPRO of Fayetteville provides emergency services to reduce damages to contents.
Content material affects how well an item will clean, deodorize and not retain a stain. Porous materials (fabric, books, paper, unfinished drywall, paintings) are more receptive to soot and may prove more difficult to mitigate. Semi-porous materials (unfinished wood, plastics) often respond better to cleaning. Non-porous materials (glass, ceramics, metals, sealed wood) respond to mitigation with the least amount of residual effects.
Contents are often removed (packed-out) from the affected structure to an off-site facility allowing more effective cleaning processes. SERVPRO of Fayetteville does utilize pack-out processes to ensure the best results.
Cleaning agents are an important aspect for successfully mitigating affected contents. SERVPRO of Fayetteville uses specific cleaning agents designed for the services provided which are EPA Registered.
Tip: Wear gloves when handling porous items to prevent staining the item. Your natural oils on your hands will set the stain in porous materials. Sometimes these stains are permanent.
Mothball Odor Removal
Mothballs Being Poured Into Clothes Bag
Naphthalene an active ingredient in mothballs was first registered as a pesticide in the United States in 1948. Mothballs have been used for a variety of purposes including methods to deter animals from invading gardens, homes, and crawlspace. (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, https://www.fdacs.gov/content/download/33195/file/Mothballs-Brochure.pdf)
What kind of animals do mothballs keep away? According to Oregan State Department of Health, https://extension.oregonstate.edu Often, mothballs are used in these locations to control pests other than clothes moths." They include squirrels, skunks, deer, mice, rats, dogs, cats, raccoons, moles, snakes, pigeons, and a variety of other animals.
What are the reasons to use mothballs? A predominant reason for mothball use is the protection of certain clothing materials from moths. According to the Louisiana Department of Health "The labeled use of mothballs is to kill moths and other fiber inserts to protect clothing. To do so properly, place mothballs inside tightly closed containers along with the clothing or materials. The vapors will remain inside the container and kill the moths."
According to North Carolina, Poison Control website https://www.ncpoisoncontrol.org/types-of-poisons/common-poisons-at-home-and-work/mothballs#:~:text=Inhalation%20of%20mothballs%20may%20cause,nausea mothballs create the potential for poisoning occupants. Infants wearing clothes or swaddled in blankets that have been stored with mothballs can even absorb the toxins through their skin. Fumes from mothballs scattered in basements and crawl spaces can drift throughout the home through the heating and air ducts. Call North Carolina Control at (800) 222-1222 with questions. For emergencies dial 911.
SERVPRO of Fayetteville can provide mothball odor services. Products used are E.P.A. Registered and procedures utilized following established instructions. Depending upon the location of the odor and materials to be odorized additional deodorization efforts may be required. SERVPRO of Fayetteville can provide these services.
SERVPRO of Fayetteville is Here to Serve the Community
SERVPRO of Fayetteville is here to help!
SERVPRO of Fayetteville recognizes there is more to business than providing services for compensation. Looking for ways to give back to the community shows respect for the people living in the community.
One example of SERVPRO of Fayetteville giving back to the community is providing emergency supplies to those displaced from their homes when the home is damaged by fire, storm, or other sources. Emergencies are not planned and often take those affected by surprise. When a home is evacuated supplies are left behind. These emergency supplies are packaged in a backpack allowing the items to be kept together.
Items included in the backpack are (four of each) shampoo, toothbrushes, stress balls, body soap, emergency blankets. Also included are four teddy bears to provide a little comfort to those young and those young at heart.
These bags are delivered to fire departments, police departments for use when a family or individuals are affected by an emergency.
Disinfecting service vehicles for emergency response personnel (fire, rescue, police) is another contribution to the community Servrpo of Fayetteville provides. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to assist those assisting others in their time of need. SERVPRO of Fayetteville uses CDC-approved disinfectants and practices in conformance with CDC guidelines. We appreciate those who are on the front line protecting others.
SERVPRO of Fayetteville recognizes the sacrifices made by service people and their families, loved ones, and significant others. A 5% discount for services is provided to active and non-active service members. Thank you for your service! SERVPRO of Fayetteville also offers discounts to churches.
These are a few ways SERVPRO of Fayetteville works to be a contributing business in the communities we serve. There are many other ways businesses can provide to the community. We appreciate the opportunity to assist others in their time of need.
Preparing for a Storm
Focus on these eight tasks to prevent potential damage to your home and automobiles (siding, windows, roof, cars.)
1. Secure items in your yard, on your balcony and patio area to prevent items from being blown into your home. You may consider removing items for storage or securing. Examples may be outdoor furniture, trampolines or items unsecured.
2. Clean gutters, down pipes and drains to prevent blockages and resulting water from entering home or flooding in the yard and beneath home. Do not park vehicles in low lying areas.
3. Trim trees and branches to prevent falling on home or vehicles during periods of high wind. In some cases tree removal may be required. Strong winds may uproot trees damaging vehicles or home.
4. Repair any damage to roof prior to storm. Additional damage may occur during wind and rain allowing water to penetrate the roof.
5. Review your insurance policy. If you do not understand any terms or know if your coverage addresses potential damage contact your insurance agent.
6. Have an emergency plan. The plan should cover, at a minimum: what to do if all family members are not at home when the storm strikes, how to contact family members, where to meet if the home is damaged, who will be the point-of-contact (hub of communication.) Make sure everyone knows the plan.
7. Maintain an emergency kit. Day-to-day supplies may not be accessible immediately following a storm. It is easy to forget what is needed until it is missing. The kit should be kept in a safe place and stored in a water proof container. Examples are, but not limited to: prescription information, insurance policy information, water, medications, first aid kit, batteries, important documents, flash light, non-perishable food, cash, battery operated radio for weather updates and cell phone.
8. Determine a radio source for weather warnings focusing on your area. Be prepared for the storm by listening to weather updates. Once you know the frequency of updates check during these times.
Note: Some tasks listed may require a professional. Do not attempt unless your are qualified to complete the task. Contact a professional in your area for your safety.