5 Things You Need to Know About Water Damage
5 Things You Need to Know About Water Damage
When water damage strikes, let SERVPRO of Douglasville set your mind at ease. When you call SERVPRO you can expect a timely response. It's important to get a fast start on your water problems. Depending on the water type, the damage can be much more existent than just what appears on the surface.
Here are five things that every homeowner needs to know about water damage.
- There are different insurance policies for flood damage and water damage.
You might think that water is water, whether it’s from flooding or a burst pipe, but flood damage is not covered under homeowner’s insurance. If you live in an area likely to experience flooding, you will probably already have a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP). When you report the claim to the insurance company, make sure to specify whether the claim is for water damage or for flood damage, so they can begin adjusting your claim correctly.
- Not all water damage is covered by your insurance.
It is a good idea to look over your insurance policy and familiarize yourself with any exclusion to your water damage coverage. For instance, most policies cover sudden damage, like water damage from a really bad storm or from an overflowing washing machine. On the other hand, any water damage that happens because you didn’t maintain the property may be excluded, as well as gradual leaks that caused water damage over time.
- Once water damage has happened, the clock is ticking before it gets worse.
When your property has been water damaged, you don’t have the luxury of waiting around for a convenient time to start the cleanup. Secondary damage from mold growth can present serious health effects associated with mold in the living environment.
Mold spores are everywhere, but they need moisture and a nutrient source to grow. And that is exactly what your wet carpet or drywall offers.
There is a 24 to 48 hour window from the time something gets wet until mold can begin to grow. After that time, mold will multiply rapidly. When mold growth is widespread, you may need the services of a professional mold remediation service to safely treat and remove the mold.
To prevent mold growth, you will need to get your property completely dry again within that 48-hour window. To do this, you’ll need to contact a company that specializes in water damage restoration and emergency water extraction. They will have the professional water removal equipment and drying equipment to get the job done as quickly as possible. Many have 24-hour a day emergency hotlines, so you can start recovering your property almost immediately.
- Your insurance company needs to know right away.
It’s a good idea to call your insurance company right away when you discover water damage. Your insurance agent can start the claims process immediately, as well as guide you through the first steps you will need to take to protect your property from more damage, like stopping the source of the water at the main water turnoff.
Your insurance company may also direct you to a water damage restoration company that they have worked with in the past. Keep in mind that you do not have to call the company that they recommend. You may choose any reputable restoration specialist to restore your property for the insurance claim.
- The pollution level of the water is important.
Water damage is categorized as one of three levels by how polluted the water source was that caused the damage.
Category 1: Water from a clean water source, like a fresh water line for a dishwasher. This water will not cause illness or any ill effects.
Category 2: Water that may cause illness through contact. It may have bacteria in it,
Category 3: Water that is highly contaminated. Contact can cause severe illness or death. Think sewage backup, an overflowing toilet, or storm waters.
Even though water may start out as Category 1, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Any contamination that the water touches, such as dirty carpeting or soil from the ground, can change water damage Category to 2 or even Category 3. And since standing breeds bacteria, the longer the water is around, the worse the contamination of your property.
More contamination can mean that the SERVPRO restoration team will have to use more aggressive measures to clean your structure and property, and it might mean that soft furnishings, like your carpet and the carpet pad, may have to be discarded for your safety.
Severe weather damage
Property damage caused by severe weather can be devastating to your family or business, and repairing it can be a complex undertaking. To get storm damage repair completed quickly and safely, you need a restoration service company that specializes in bringing your home back to its preloss condition. SERVPRO of Douglasville is your one stop for restoration & repairs.
Homes are built to protect you, your family, and themselves from harm caused by the elements, but every time your home weathers a bad storm certain fixes will need to be made.
Hail, Ice, and Snow
Winter storms are dangerous for a number of reasons, not least of which is power outages that can cause the house to stop using any electric-powered heating. Hail, for instance, is made up of heavy balls and chunks of ice formed in the upper atmosphere and blown by the wind. When they fall on your house, they sometimes do so with force great enough to crack roof shingles and break windows.
Snow, soft and harmless as it may seem, becomes incredibly heavy when stacked and can potentially cause structural damage with its own weight. Even the cold itself can freeze and burst your pipes.
Tornado and Winds
Tornadoes are made of wind but the damage they can do is astounding. These twisters are incredibly variable, sometimes highly visible and destructive and other times barely existent as more than a swirl of wind. However, if a tornado hits your home you may have a lot of repairs and cleaning up to do afterward.
Because of the way tornadoes forms, they are often accompanied by flying chunks of hail along with both light and heavy debris they pick up. With or without flying projectiles, tornadoes can rip off roof shingles, shatter windows, and drop large tree branches, or even whole trees, onto your home.
Hurricanes, Tropical, and Thunderstorms
Your house was built to resist normal amounts of rain and moisture, but any storm that involves an unusually large quantity of rain can put a home at risk. Heavy rains can damage not only your roof but also your foundation and any belongings left outside or in a water-exposed area. Clogged or destructed gutters can fill up and break off or fail to protect less water-resistant parts of the house while high winds and flooding can potentially damage your utilities.
Hurricanes, tropical storms, and thunder are similar in that all three can involve high winds and intense rain, so after withstanding any of these your home should be checked thoroughly for both wind and water harm.
If your property has experienced damage from a storm, call the experts at SERVPRO. We work with a variety of home insurers and can help you determine whether your damage is covered. We can also help with filing paperwork to keep your costs down. Don’t let a storm damage your property value!
A Guide to Home Fire Extinguishers | SERVPRO® of Douglasville
Having fire extinguishers in your household is not a requirement like it is for commercial buildings, but it is a smart way to practice fire safety and ensure you are doing everything you can to keep your household safe.
Knowing what type of fire extinguisher to buy, where to store it and how to use it can stop small fires in their tracks before they become much larger issues in the home.
What Type of Fire Extinguisher to Buy
Depending on the origins of the fire in question, there are different classes of fire extinguishers to meet different needs. While some will be more specific, many fire extinguishers are now made to be multipurpose and handle several different types of fires, so you can make sure you are protected regardless of the situation that arises.
Where to Store Fire Extinguishers
Commercial buildings have specific guidelines for how many fire extinguishers to have on-site and where to place them. While households do not have these requirements, the same principles can be applied. Put fire extinguishers anywhere a fire is likely to break out in the home and make sure it is easily accessible based on where a fire is likely to start. The most important places to have a fire extinguisher is in the kitchen, near fireplaces or other heat sources, and in garages or workshops, but it is also good to have at least one on every floor of the home just in case.
How to Use Fire Extinguishers
In addition to purchasing the right fire extinguisher and storing it in an easily accessible location in the home, it is also important to make sure that you and all the adults in your household know when and how to make use of one. A fire extinguisher should only be used if a fire is confined to a small area and is not growing—you should never delay evacuating from a large-scale fire to try and extinguish it. When it comes to use, remember the acronym PASS: Pull the pin, Aim toward the base of the fire, Squeeze the lever slowly, and Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
If you have experienced household fire damage, we are here for you. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our fire damage restoration process.
Types of Smoke Damage a Fire Can Cause | SERVPRO® of Douglasville
Every fire is unique and causes specific types of damage based on what the initial source was, how long it burned and what was consumed by the flames. One of the ways that fire damage can manifest itself is via smoke residue left behind throughout the house.
The severity of smoke damage depends on several factors, but identifying it quickly and calling in your restoration team to have it handled is always recommended.
The Types of Smoke Damage That May be Present After a Fire
Wet Smoke Damage. Damage from wet smoke is generally a result of fires that burn at a lower temperature. These fires do not have as many flames but will produce an excess of smoke that can thickly coat the surfaces of your home. It can often feel sticky and wet to the touch, hence the name. Because of how it adheres to surfaces and saturates the air with a strong odor, wet smoke is one of the most difficult types to eradicate from a home.
Dry Smoke Damage. A hot, high-temperature fire such as one from a flammable liquid or a large number of open flames will produce a more dry smoke. This will result in smoke residue that is dry and powdery, which can settle into minuscule crevices and impact areas relatively far away from where the flames broke out in the home.
Protein Smoke. Associated with foods or other flammable organic materials catching fire, protein smoke is a unique type that results in a buildup of soot. Soot is quite dangerous, and this type of soot is generally difficult to see because it will be light in color. The residue it leaves behind is typically easy to feel, however, and it will likely cause a lingering odor as well.
Petroleum Smoke. Any time an oil-based material is burned, it will let off petroleum smoke. It produces an extreme odor and is generally quite dark in color, which can permanently discolor upholstery or wood if left untreated.
If you are in need of restoration due to fire and smoke damage, you can count on us. Call us today to learn more.
Understanding the Classes of Fire Damage | SERVPRO® of Douglasville
If you have experienced a fire in your home, you are likely navigating through the complicated aftermath of assessing the damage, filing an insurance claim and obtaining trusted home restoration to take care of the damages.
Throughout this process, firefighters, insurance agents and restoration teams will want to discuss the damage with you, so it is important to understand exactly what they mean.
Professionals use a series of classes to evaluate fire damage in order to create an organized system. The classes of fire damage have to do with the fire’s origins, as many times, this will indicate the type of damage that is caused. The start of the fire and the combustible materials involved have a large bearing on the extent and severity of the damage, so here is a guide to common terms you may come across.
The 6 Classes of Fire Damage
Class A: Class A fire damage is a result of a fire that occurs when flammable, solid materials are ignited, such as wood, cloth, paper and plastic.
Class B: When a fire starts due to liquids that are ignited—or in some cases, flammable solids that turn to liquids—it is considered Class B damage. This is the class designated for fires related to gasoline and other flammable chemicals that might be the source of the flames.
Class C: Any flammable gas, such as propane, butane and any others, will lead to Class C fire damage.
Class D: There are combustible metals that can cause fires, and if they do, they will cause Class D fire damage. Magnesium, potassium and sodium are all examples of combustible metals that can cause fires.
Class E: Class E is actually quite similar to Class A and B, but has to involve an electrical component as well. It will still require a fire due to flammable solids or liquids, but these items will be ignited by an electrical spark to be considered Class E.
Class F: This type of fire damage is similar to Class B because it involves ignition from cooking oils and fats, but these often burn much hotter and cause much more severe damage than a Class B fire.
If you have had fire damage to your home, we can help out. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our fire restoration process and get a quick response to your home or business.
Thank you First Responders
The past month has really proven the importance of having a safe & clean work environment. This has never been truer than now, with the current pandemic the world is facing. Our first responders are at the front of the line of essential employees. That is why on April 16, 2020, the SERVPRO of Douglasville team went out to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to disinfect the interiors of their patrol cars. Our procedures and products follow the CDC recommendations. According to their website:
“The CDC recommends 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 strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.”
This cleaning goes beyond a simple car cleanout and interior detailing. We start by using a Flex-A-Lite 2600 ULV Sprayer / Mister. This machine breaks down our cleaning solution to extremely fine particles that can cover & clean a large surface without soaking it. We then do a wipe down of every surface in the vehicle & follow with one more misting. This ensures a clean & sanitized surface.
Once again, we want to say thank you to Douglas County Sheriff’s office & all of our first responders for your tireless commitment to our community & for giving us the opportunity to serve those who make it their business to serve others.
Your Belongings and Water Damage
Water damage affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Douglasville understands that your home is more than a structure; your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home.
If You Have Questions or Need Help,
Call Us Today – (770) 489-5659
SERVPRO of Douglasville specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water damage. We utilize several methods of cleaning your contents, including the following:
- Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO of Douglasville can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out will provide several benefits, including the following:
- A quicker remodeling process
- Protecting items from potential damage
- Protecting contents from further on-site damage
When restoration is completed, we will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage.
Water-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by water. We will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:
- Television sets
- DVD players
- And more
The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. We start by cleaning the exterior of electronic devices to help stop further corrosion and damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.
Document / Photograph Drying
When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the water damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-water damage condition, SERVPRO of Douglasville can save a great deal and help minimize additional damage.
Depending on the type of documents and the level of water damage, we have five options for the restoration of documents:
- Air Drying
- Freezer Drying
- Vacuum Freeze Drying
- Vacuum Thermal Drying
Contents Claim Inventory Service
When a water emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. We can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. We take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.
Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:
- Preloss list and value of contents
- Detailed and accurate report
- Better information to settle claims quicker
- Assistance with burden of proof for claims
- Peace of mind when you need it most
The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents
According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.
To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured’s home or business, SERVPRO® of Douglasville can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.
Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest or other potential obstacles.
For more information on proper cleaning dryer vents contact SERVPRO® of Douglasville at (770) 489-5659.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 4
Emergency Fire Damage Tips
These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO of Douglasville professionals arrive. Follow these DOs and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of a successful restoration.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- 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 SERVPRO of Douglasville.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of Douglasville.
- Don’t 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.
- Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. 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.
When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO of Douglasville will help you take it back.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 2
2020 Resolution: Plan Ahead
With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.
In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO® of Douglasville as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 50 years experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. The ERP is a no cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO® READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips.
Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes—resolve to be READY. Call SERVPRO® of Douglasville to establish your Emergency READY Profile®, and be “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.
Advantages of the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile®
- A no-cost assessment of your facility.
- A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Contact SERVPRO of Douglasville - (770) 489-5659 - to schedule your ERP today.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 1