Sources of External Water Damage
There are many ways that water can infiltrate your home, often when you least expect it. It will destroy everything in its path and take over your entire world. In addition to increased stress levels, unexpected water damage can cause displacement for you and your family. Only a certified and insured restoration company should be trusted to mitigate the damage to your home. SERVPRO of Douglasville is your local resource to get your home back in working order.
Water damage can occur from both interior and exterior sources. Below are some ways you can help prevent water damage inside your home that comes from outside sources.
- Ensure that shingles, flashings or tiles on your roof aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
- Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture.
- Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
- Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Clear gutters and downspouts from leaves, twigs, and other debris. Also check that they are in good condition so that water can flow freely. You can do this by installing metal screens to help prevent clogging.
- Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. This helps direct water away from the foundation. Downspout extensions can be added if needed.
Doors and Windows
- Install window well covers to help prevent water and debris from getting trapped and causing water to eventually seep into your basement.
- Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frames.
- Installing overhangs or awnings above exterior doors and windows protects them from the sun, rain, and snow.
- Check for a tight fit on closed doors and windows. Any cracks between the sash and frame Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping.
- Check for and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or another masonry, and structural sheathing.
- Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls, and avoid directing water towards the house when irrigating the garden and plants to prevent excessive water near the foundation.
- Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
- Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding causing holes and compromising structural integrity. Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation.
- Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
Following these steps can help protect your home from exterior water damage. If water does happen to sneak into your home, make sure to have SERVPRO of Douglasville on speed dial. We’ll be there to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Commercial Sewage Damage
Commercial Sewage Damage
Floods, sewage backups, and other contaminated water can cause some of the worst damage to your commercial property. Contaminated water is often filled with deadly substances including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This can be compounded by the composition of your commercial building. Organic materials such as drywall, wood, and debris found in carpet is prime breeding ground for pathogens and other bacteria and parasites to grow. The health risk to you and your employees is greatly increased when exposure to flood waters, sewage, and other types of contaminated water.
SERVPRO of Douglasville will dry the commercial building quickly and apply antimicrobial agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water to help make sure that they can eliminate any lingering contaminants. This can help ensure you and your employees that they can return to a safe working environment. If your commercial building is in need of water damage cleanup and repair, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Douglasville at 770-489-5659. We are available 24/7 to help you get your business back “Like it never even happened.”
Commercial Water Damage
Many commercial business owners in the greater Douglasville area know that moisture is often the enemy especially when it can shut your business down. With an average of 50% of businesses not reopening following a major disaster, SERVPRO of Douglasville can help make sure your business isn't one of them.
Water can penetrate into any space and take advantage of even the smallest crack, causing damage to the structure. How it enters the building is irrelevant; the response should be the same. Calling in a professional commercial water damage specialist can help ensure there are no lingering health threats to you or your employees once the water damage has been eliminated.
SERVPRO of Douglasville is your local professional for all your commercial water damage needs. Call us today – 770-489-5659.
Preparing for a Flood
Flooding can happen fast in many environments. The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding.
- Water—3+ day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food—3+ day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation/personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
If flooding ever plagues your home or business, call SERVPRO of Douglasville at 770-489-5659 to make it "Like it never even happened."
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 28, Issue 3
Did You Know...Generator Safety
If you have a generator on hand for power outages during severe weather, follow the safety tips below from the American Red Cross:
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space, or any partially enclosed area.
- To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.
- Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.
- Install CO alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
Severe Weather Safety
Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms*:
- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
- 5,000 floods or flash floods
- 1,300 tornadoes
- 2 land-falling deadly hurricanes
Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.* Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk.
The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business, and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an Example.
Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.
Contact SERVPRO® of Douglasville for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile® (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster.
SERVPRO® of Douglasville can help you be “Ready for whatever happens!”
*Facts and figures provided by noaa.gov
**Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3
When Water Damage Strikes
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO® of Douglasville will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.
SERVPRO® of Douglasville will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.
SERVPRO® of Douglasville will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.
To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, SERVPRO® of Douglasville will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.
SERVPRO® of Douglasville's team of professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walk-through of the job-site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.
EMERGENCY WATER DAMAGE TIPS
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Place aluminium foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
For more information on recovering from water damage, contact SERVPRO® of Douglasville today - 770-489-5659.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3
Do You Know What To Do When a Flood Happens
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river, or even in the desert—there is always potential for flood damage. Fema.gov reports in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000.*
According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Douglasville at 770-489-5659. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Douglasville will help you take it back.
*Facts and figures provided by fema.gov
**Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3
Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event
Flooding and water damage events at Douglasville commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Douglasville
SERVPRO of Douglasville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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.
While there is no way to completely eliminate all of the molds and mold spores in your home, there are some steps you can take to control the amount of moisture and subsequent mold growth. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, the following are several ways to accomplish moisture control.
One way is to stop any water that could creep into your home. Fixing any leaks from appliances, pipes, or supply lines; using waterproof or water-resistant materials such as tiles, deep-sealed concrete, galvanized/stainless steel hardware, etc.; using moisture barriers over exposed dirt and having proper ventilation in crawl spaces to prevent water from the ground; and making sure gutters are properly cleaned and maintained are ways to prevent unwanted water from invading your home. Keeping this water out is key to preventing microbial growth.
Another is to keep it clean. Fabrics that are not cleaned regularly and kept in well ventilated places will breed mildew. Mold and mildew thrives in soiled, damp places. Dirty duct work can cause mold spores to circulate throughout your home without you really noticing.
The next thing to remember is to keep it dry. Using dehumidifiers, fans, and opening windows, especially during hot weather, to regulate the humidity levels in your home help inhibit the ability of mold to grow. It is ideal to keep humidity levels below 40% and reduce potential for condensation on cold surfaces by insulating around them.
Disinfecting surfaces regularly can prevent microbial growth from occurring or returning. A 10% bleach solution – 1 ¼ - 1 ½ cup bleach to a gallon of water – or a commercial disinfectant is recommended by FEMA to be most effective in removing/preventing microbial growth.
If you do find yourself with mold in your home, trust a certified professional, like SERVPRO of Douglasville, to remove it properly.
*information courtesy of FEMA Mold & Mildew Guide