Protecting Wood from Water Damage
Most houses have wood integrated into their structures in some way or another. Often these wooden parts of the house are used for decks, doors, or garage doors. The problem with wood that is open to the elements is that water damage is always a possibility. Similar to issues with the foundation, if gutters are absent from the building or are defective so that water flows straight down rather than being directed away from the building, the result could be rotting, mold growth, or other problems associated with wood being affected by water.
Keep Outside of the House Clean
When rainwater flows off the roof, it brings with it the mud, sand, and other debris that may have collected on the roof. What fell from the sky as clean water is now dirty water that can leave a trail on the house. The result of this could be the staining of doors, windows, and siding which could negatively affect the look of the house and force you to clean the house more frequently. The primary purpose of gutters is to direct water away from the house so that the water doesn’t flow straight down where it can cause trouble.
By doing this, the water that would have caused these unsightly features will now be directed well away from the house leaving the home with a cleaner outside look.
Escaping a Fire
Causing more than 2,500 deaths and 12,600 injuries each year in the United States, house fires are extremely dangerous for those that are unprepared for the event. But they are preventable.
To be prepared should a fire occur in your home, it’s important to know what to do:
- Before a fire
- During a fire
- After a fire
To ensure that your family remains safe throughout the ordeal.
It takes just two minutes for a fire to become life-threatening and just five minutes for a residence to become consumed by a fire. While the flames are what most people fear, that’s not what’s most dangerous as the heat and smoke do most of the damage. This is because the inhalation of extremely hot air can sear the lungs. A fire also has the ability to produce poisonous gases that can make you disoriented and drowsy making them all the more dangerous. In fact, the leading cause of fire deaths is asphyxiation which exceeds burns by a three to one ratio.
Preparing for a Fire
To make sure you’re prepared in the event of a fire, there are certain precautionary measures that must be taken to ensure your safety. The most important step is to create an evacuation plan for your family. Every second counts when a home is filling up with smoke so you need to know the fastest way out. Creating a plan and going over it with each member of your family will ensure that everyone can get out safely.
When developing your evacuation plan, make sure that you have two routes to escape each room in case one is blocked. Once your plan is formed, you should practice the plan at least twice a year. Being prepared for a potential fire means making sure that windows aren’t locked, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be opened. You should also have your family practice feeling around in the dark with their eyes closed replicating the environment they’ll be in if there’s a fire and teach the children not to hide from firefighters who are there to help.
The most important device to making sure you can safety escape a fire is a smoke alarm. Having working smoke alarms will significantly increase your chances of surviving the fire. To make sure that your smoke alarm will alert you of a fire in the home, test the batteries monthly, replace the batteries at least once a year, and replace the smoke alarm every eight to 10 years.
How to Escape a Fire
If a fire does occur in your home, you should escape the building as quickly as possible. However, there are some things you need to remember to safety evacuate. The first step is to get to the floor and crawl to the exit as heavy, toxic smoke and poisonous gases gather initially at the ceiling. When you get to a door, feel the doorknob and door before opening it. If either the doorknob or door is hot, you should leave it closed and go to your alternate way out. You should also leave the door closed if smoke is coming from around it. If you are able to open the door, do so slowly and be ready to shut it quickly should heavy smoke or fire be on the other side.
But what happens if you can’t get out? If the event occurs where you’re trapped in a room, cover the vents and cracks around any doors with cloth or tape to keep any smoke out. Then call the fire department and tell them where you are. You can use a light colored cloth or flashlight to get the attention of the firefighters. If you catch on fire yourself, simply stop, drop, and roll with your hands over your face to put yourself out.
What to Do After a Fire
If you’ve suffered a fire in your home rendering it uninhabitable and you have nowhere to go, contact your local disaster relief service like The Red Cross. If you have fire insurance, call the insurance company for details on protecting your property. You also should contact the professionals at SERVPRO of South Brevard to remediate the situation as soon as possible. The sooner they begin the restoration process, the more of your home and possessions will be salvaged.
A house fire is a devastating event that can lead to serious injury or death if you’re not properly prepared. These tips will ensure that you’re prepared for a fire and that you and your family can escape safely.
Water Damages and Commercial Properties
Waterborne Dangers in Commercial Properties
Standing water is an ideal place for microorganisms, like bacteria, and viruses, to breed. The chances of standing water becoming a breeding ground increases when the water damage contains toxins and sewage. Even if the floodwater comes from a clean source, the microorganisms that breed.
Dampness is another risk worthy of concern. The dampness of household items, furnishings, and even the building can create an environment that encourages the growth of mold, dust mites, microorganisms, and cockroaches.
Why Cleanup After a Flood is Important
Cleaning up after a flood or water damage should be a priority. The cleanup process should also be handled with care. Any items that get cleaned must be cleaned properly. Throw away anything that cannot get cleaned or is damaged beyond repair.
Excess moisture after a flood or water damage negatively impacts indoor air quality. Because of this, flooded areas need thorough cleaning as soon as possible. Here are a few of the problems caused by moisture:
The environment becomes perfect for the reproduction and growth of microorganisms that cause health effects.
Long-term exposure to humidity is ideal for the population of dust mites.
Anyone involved with cleaning up after a flood or water damage should wear proper attire that includes masks and gloves. Coming into contact with many of these contaminants can cause illness.
The Cleanup Process
No one enjoys cleaning up after a flood or water damage, but its importance cannot be overestimated. The health of everyone who lives in the home may be affected. Depending on the severity of the water damage, the cleaning process can be an arduous task. Here are the necessary steps that need to be taken.
- Find the source of the leak and stop it.
- Figure out who could get affected
- Determine the extent of the problem
- Formulate a cleanup plan
The plan needs to involve removing water-damaged items and furniture while protecting those involved in the cleanup process. Any items that can be salvaged should be cleaned. Those that cannot be cleaned should get thrown away. Any items that sat in water for 24 to 48 hours needs to get thrown away. Once everything is clean, do a final check to assess the thoroughness of the task. Throughout the process, make sure everyone involved is wearing protective gear.
It is important to not rely solely on air purification devices to get the job done. Proper cleaning and throwing away damaged items from water damage is the only way to clean after a flood.
We are available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore your home or commercial structure caused by:
- Water Damage
- Fire Damage
- Disaster, storm, and flood damage
- Mold Damage
Fire Safety Equipment: Five Pieces You Need for Your Home
Our homes may be our sanctuaries, but they also present multiple opportunities for fire danger. An unattended stovetop can result in a kitchen fire, while electrical systems and appliances can overheat. Fireplaces, candles, flammable liquids, and outdoor grills — to name just a few — all add to the risk.
Having the correct fire safety equipment in your house is essential to keep your family safe and your home protected. This article highlights the five most important pieces of equipment needed to safeguard your home and loved ones. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re prepared is worth the time, effort, and expense involved.
This is your first line of defense. According to the Red Cross, the National Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72) requires all new homes to have inter-connected hard-wired smoke alarms with battery backup. If you don’t have an interconnected system, battery-powered alarms are easily installed. Both types of alarms need to be located on every level of the home with one inside each bedroom.
Since most home fires start in the kitchen, you’ll want to put a fire extinguisher in there, at a minimum. But it’s recommended to place them in multiple locations around the house. Since extinguishers from various makers all work differently, it’s a good idea for the adults in the household to get training from the local fire department. Extinguishers should be installed near exits, away from heat sources, and up high enough that kids can’t reach them.
While a smoke alarm will detect smoke, an automatic sprinkler system gives you a way of dealing with flames immediately. While you’re waiting on the fire department to arrive, sprinklers can help slow a fire’s progress or can even douse it completely. Moreover, a sprinkler system can prevent deadly gases and smoke from affecting your family and could also extinguish a fire that breaks out while you’re away from home.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
There’s a good reason carbon monoxide (CO) is called the “silent killer.” This deadly gas is invisible, odorless, and colorless and even a small amount can be fatal if inhaled for long enough. Install carbon monoxide alarms on each level of your home and outside bedrooms. If the alarm emits its high-pitched warning, get outside as quickly as possible or open windows and doors and take deep breaths of fresh air. CO poisoning can cause headaches, nausea, and tiredness and can be mistaken for flu.
Fire Escape Ladders
If your home has more than one floor, collapsible fire ladders should be a part of your fire-safety arsenal. Place a ladder where it’s easy to access in every upper-level room in case your evacuation route gets cut off by smoke or fire. Then, have the entire family rehearse the steps they would take to get the ladders out and attached to open windows.
No one wants to dwell on the possibility of their family being in danger or their home being consumed by flames, but this is one situation where being properly prepared could save lives and property. If you haven’t already done so, make an escape plan and go over it with your family. And check your homeowner’s insurance to make sure your policy is up to date with adequate coverage.
Keeping your Business Safe from Water Damage
As a business leader, you’ve got enough to worry about with your day-to-day operations that you don’t want to think about problems with your facility. However, it’s not uncommon for Viera, FL, companies to contend with leaking pipes or other matters that can lead to flooding and water damage. It’s important to identify the causes of these potential disasters and troubling incidents so you can prevent them and more effectively clean them up.
In some cases, something such as a toilet backup or a slow leak in a pipe will only cause minor concerns in a bathroom or break room. However, if these things go undetected, you could face significant financial consequences or even potential interruptions to your business.
Flooding could damage or ruin the carpet, drywall, ceiling tile, furniture or electronics.
Water damage could create an unsafe environment for employees.
Water damage may not be covered by your insurance.
The Gradual Issues
Leaking pipes could drip water onto floors or into the walls of your office over a long period of time without you even realizing it. Over the course of months or even years, this can rot away the drywall or subfloor. This problem could even encourage the growth of mold or other fungal development.
A Sudden Rush
If your building is aging, you may need to take a look at the plumbing system and make sure the pipes are still in good shape. A pipe break could expel large amounts of water into your facility, which could result in significant flooding. Even if you react quickly to this incident, you could still face heavy costs and loss of equipment and supplies.
A weak roof or poor foundation could be vulnerable if heavy rain hit during a thunderstorm. Leaking pipes will put water on your floor slowly, but severe weather could inundate you with too much to handle.
If any of these events occur in your building, you know where to turn. Contact a commercial water damage specialist immediately.
Three Things You Should Know if Your Building is Damaged By Flood Water
During a storm in Indialantic, FL, it is possible that your building may be damaged by flood water if the weather becomes severe. Because this is not quite the same as other water damage, you may be unsure of how to deal with it. The following is some information about this type of water that might be helpful to you.
1. Why is a Flood Different From Other Water Damage?
The reason that flood water is different from others is largely due to how it accumulates. While most water damage, such as that from leaks or broken pipes, comes from above, the water in a flood rises from the ground. As it does, it becomes category 3 water.
2. What is Category 3 Water?
When it comes to water contamination, there are three categories. Category 3 or black water, which includes water from a flood, has the highest levels of contamination. Because this water comes up from the ground, it mixes with dirt, debris and sewage. When this happens, it begins to carry waste, bacteria and harmful chemicals that can be hazardous to your health.
3. How Should You Handle It?
Because flood water is highly contaminated, it is not a good idea to try removing it on your own. Instead, you should hire a professional to thoroughly clean and sanitize the building. Any food or beverages that have been in contact with this water should be thrown away as they are no longer safe to consume. Protective gear should be worn at all times while handling category 3 water.
If your building has been affected by water or storm damage of any kind, you should have it taken care of right away to prevent it from becoming worse. If allowed to sit, moisture can contribute to mold growth and can cause materials to weaken. A professional cleanup and restoration company can sanitize the area, perform necessary repairs and salvage many affected items.
Broken pipes in your business could permanently close your doors
How To Limit the Interruption To Your Business While Dealing With Water Damage
For a commercial property owner, your worst nightmare might go something like this: an event beyond your control, like flooding, forcing your building to shut down causing your business to hemorrhage money and lose out to competitors. If such a disaster were to occur in your Brevard business, would you be prepared?
If a scenario like a broken pipe flooding your commercial building occurs, you're going to need time to restore your property. Unfortunately, this could halt or slow down your operation for a period of time. However, there are ways you can try to expedite this process:
- Turn off your water so the damage does not spread.
- Ventilate the area - open windows or use fans if electricity is safe.
- Remove as much damaged content as possible to begin drying elsewhere.
- Find a water damage remediation company that can do everything - a one-stop-shop.
When you are forced to close down your business because your premises are too damaged from flooding or water damage, you may lose out on income and opportunity. Despite this, you will probably continue to have expenses related to the building, such as utilities or maintenance staff. Luckily, you can add insurance coverage to your existing policy to compensate for these expenses and the value of the income you would have made if your business were still open. Be sure to clarify with your provider the amount of time you would be covered for - you probably want more than a few days.
Large water damage can put you out of commission for a long time. One way around this is to find somewhere else to operate while the repairs and underway. Depending on your needs and how much of your equipment is available, you could temporarily rent a space to continue as much of your correspondence and dealings as possible.
To ensure your business is up and running as soon as possible, call SERVPRO of South Brevard immediately at (321) 777-5131!
Home Electrical Fires
When a fire in a home happens we always blame it on a item we forgot to turn off. Did you know most of the time that is not the case. Here are some facts about home electrical fires.
Electrical Fire Facts
In 2014-2018, electrical distribution or lighting equipment, such as wiring, lighting, cords, and plugs, was involved in an estimated average of roughly 34,000 (10%) reported home structure fires per year. These incidents caused an average of 470 (18%) civilian deaths, 1,100 civilian injuries (10%), and $1.4 billion (19%) in direct property damage annually.
Electrical distribution or lighting equipment ranked first in direct property damage, and third among the major fire causes in the number of home fires, fourth in home fire deaths, and tied for third in home fire injuries.
Wiring and related equipment accounted for 7 percent of all home fires and nine percent of all home fire deaths.
Cords or plugs were involved in only one percent of home fires but seven percent of the deaths. Extension cords dominated the cord or plug category.
Source: NFPA's Applied Research Department
NFPA - Fire Prevention
If you had a home electrical fire call SERVPRO of South Brevard.
Our professional teams can help you feel "Like it never even happened."
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Does a flood mean new carpet?
Can my carpet be saved after water damage?
When you have a pipe break and an unexpected flood in your home, one of the biggest concerns is the damage to your floors, walls, and possessions. It behooves you to save as much as you can. It's not just economically sound, but environmentally smart, too. When your carpet gets soaked, can it be saved? The good news is that it often can be cleaned and kept. Consider the following factors:
What is the source of the flooding water?
If the water is non-contaminated or is grey water, the rug can be cleaned and used again.
Grey water includes water from washing machines, dishwashers, bathtub or shower overflow, and toilet water with urine only.
How long has the flooring been wet?
Clean water becomes grey water after 24-48 hours, and grey water becomes black water after 24-48 hours. Black water is a source of fungus, bacteria, and other pathogens. Flooring saturated with black water must be replaced.
Does the water have minimal contaminants?
Water from a pipe break, hot water heater failure, or overflow from bathroom, kitchen, and utility sinks is considered clean water. Carpets soaked with this type of water can be cleaned and dried. The pads can also undergo a full restoration.
In instances where the water is grey, approaching black, it is advisable to clean the rug but replace the pad.
Be Aware of These Contaminants
There are some contaminants that are too toxic to mess around with. If your flooring is exposed to the following, you will need a full replacement:
Water from sewage or storm drain backup
Water with fecal matter, vomit, or other biological contaminants
Water with heavy metals or chemicals
If you have a pipe break with significant flooding, let the professionals in Melbourne, FL asses your flooring damage. A restoration and cleanup crew will make your home look "Like it never even happened."
How to Prepare for Spring Storms
“Spring is the first kiss of summer.” -Anonymous
Spring has arrived and the excitement of summer, warm sun rays, and hot days are just around the corner. Although spring represents the end of winter and new beginnings, it also consists of spring showers, thunderstorms, and unpredictable weather, which can cause severe problems if not properly prepared. Since Florida weather already seems irregular, how do you prepare for unexpected spring storms, what do you do in the event of severe weather conditions, and what is needed to stay safe among hazardous conditions following a storm?
Preparing for the unknown can save lives, so we have provided these important preparation steps.
Organize an Emergency Plan
Putting a plan in place can potentially save you and your family’s lives. But one plan may not work for every type of severe weather condition, such as thunderstorms, floods, and tornadoes. For instance, your evacuation plan for a tornado should be different than if a flood occurred and the streets are two feet under water. Each emergency plan prepared needs to include a map of your home, routes to safety, and an emergency shelter or destination. Being prepared for each type of life-threatening weather condition is important in keeping your family safe before and after a disaster.
Go Inside When You Hear Thunder
According to the American Red Cross, lightning strikes are the leading killer. Every year lightning has killed more people than hurricanes or tornadoes. When you hear thunder, loud or soft, go inside! With lightening strikes following thunder, every lightening flash is a potential killer.
Protect Your Electronics
To avoid damaging your electronics during a storm, you should plug all electronics into surge protectors. By doing this, the surge protector protects your electronics from burning up due to voltage strikes. If any electronics are not safeguarded by surge protectors, unplug the devices before a storm.
Keep an Emergency Kit
Because severe weather can be unpredictable, you need to put together an emergency kit beforehand. When preparing an emergency kit you should include a first aid kit, a 3-5 day supply of water, nonperishable food, personal hygiene items, blankets or sleeping bags, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, and extra batteries. Make a list of important information to have on hand, like your insurance and utility company’s phone numbers. In case you get stuck in severe weather on the road, keep a second emergency kit in your car. Additional resources on an emergency kit can be found at: https://www.ready.gov/kit.
We at SERVPRO believe that by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.