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5 Steps for Handling a Flooded Commercial Building

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling of commercial building collapsed, SERVPRO truck parked out of the building Storm damage in Oklahoma City, OK

5 Steps for Handling a Flooded Commercial Building

After a storm in Oklahoma City, OK, your building may experience a flood. It’s best to know beforehand how to manage the flood cleanup, such as what to keep and what to tear out. In the aftermath of a flood:

1. Turn Off Electricity

Before stepping into any water, you must shut off power to the flooded area. An electric current will flow through water in which electronics or appliances are sitting. Simply stepping into this water could be deadly. If you can’t safely navigate to the breaker box, call an electrician to turn the electricity off at the meter.

2. Stop the Water

If rainwater is still flowing into the building, you may be able to block it with sandbags or flood bags. More measures can be taken once the rain stops or lets up significantly.

3. Extract Standing Water

As soon as it stops entering the building, you should begin removing standing water. A wet/dry vacuum is an excellent investment to have on hand for such situations. It’ll safely and quickly extract water and small debris. If a wet/dry vacuum isn’t available mops and towels will have to do.

4. Remove Water-Damaged Material

When all the standing water is removed, you’ll want to extract all waterlogged materials as soon as possible. Water damage will continue to increase as long as saturated items remain; tear out could be substantial. Water-soaked carpet and padding will have to be disposed of. Porous items such as upholstered or wooden furniture can be kept only if it can be completely dried within 48 hours. Wet drywall will also need to be removed and discarded, as it’ll quickly start growing mold throughout the material.

5. Disinfect and Dry

Mold will begin growing within 24 hours of water exposure, so it’s important to sanitize and dry all surfaces as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. Borax is recommended as opposed to bleach for cleaning. Use fresh air, fans, heaters, and dehumidifiers to dry the area.
If your property has been affected by floodwaters, storm restoration professionals can help. From water extraction to tear out and drying, they’ll return your building to its preloss condition.

Mold Vs. Mildew

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Detail of mold and dirt on the glass of window. Toxic mildew Mold and mildew need moisture to thrive

Mold damage to your Oklahoma City, OK, home can cause serious problems. Mildew growth, on the other hand, is generally less severe. It can be tricky to tell the difference between them, but there are a few ways to distinguish the two categories of fungi.

Similarities

The words mold and mildew are often used interchangeably. This is likely due to the fact that both are fungi, and they share some similarities, including the following:

  • Thrive in wet locations
  • Spread quickly via spores
  • Cause a musty odor
  • Can be cleaned with fungicide

Because both mold and mildew need moisture to thrive, the same prevention techniques can be used for both fungi. Dry up water from leaks, spills, etc. as quickly as possible, and keep the humidity in your home lower than 50%. If you live in a particularly humid area, you may need to use a dehumidifier to keep the air sufficiently dry. Also, an air purification system can prevent both mildew and mold damage by capturing the spores before they have a chance to attach to a surface and colonize.

Differences

Although the two categories of fungi share a few characteristics, they have many differences. Mildew is generally lighter in color and has a fluffy, powdery or downy texture. Mold is typically darker and may appear slimy or fuzzy. Mildew grows only on surfaces, but mold can grow deeper within walls and beneath surfaces. Because of this, mold tends to be more difficult to eliminate. On the other hand, homeowners can usually remove mildew easily with a cleaner and a cloth or brush. Mold growth generally requires more intensive remediation methods and possibly professional intervention.
Whether you are dealing with mold or mildew, it is important to act quickly to minimize growth and mitigate the damage. If you are dealing with severe mold damage, an experienced restoration team can help you get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

3 Strategies Other Countries Use To Prevent Flooding

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

Thames Barrier, located downstream of central London at sunset The Thames Barrier of London

Learn About These Flood Solutions

Flooding is a problem that impacts not just businesses in Edmond, OK, but also populated areas around the world. Engineers from these nations have created effective strategies to mitigate high water, which prevents flooding and water damage. Business owners and residents operating in US cities near water can benefit from learning about these flood solutions.

1. The Delta Works

People in the Netherlands have always lived on land that is usually below the sea level. Therefore, they have created numerous inventive solutions to stop flooding. One of these projects is the Deltawerken, or the Delta Works. It is a system composed of structures such as dams, storm surge barriers and sluice gates. Construction started in 1950 and concluded in 1997. The most impressive part of the project is the Oosterschelde, which is composed of multiple gates that can be moved.

2. The Thames Barrier

The Thames River in England runs the risk of high water during large storms or natural disasters. However, this area is also necessary for ship transportation. First constructed in 1974, the Thames Barrier uses hydraulic beams to turn the steel water gates toward each other and create a barrier that prevents flooding. Operators usually leave the barrier open to let ships go through, but close it when flood prevention is necessary.

3. The MOSE Project

While the famous water streets of Venice, Italy impress locals and tourists alike, they can also present a dangerous flooding hazard that necessitates emergency restoration services. The government has enacted the Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico (MOSE), or Experimental Electromechanical Module, which is composed of around 78 barriers facing the Adriatic Sea that can be activated separately or together. Construction has begun in 2003 and full implementation is not yet complete.
The threat of high water is present in several cities throughout the world. The US and other countries can learn from these experiments to develop their own anti-flooding strategies.

How Often Should You Change Smoke Alarm Batteries?

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm with the words REPLACE IT Replace the batteries of your smoke alarm every ten years

How often should you change the batteries in your smoke alarm? It's a common question from Oklahoma City, OK, homeowners who are concerned with protecting their families and homes from fire damage. The standard answer is twice a year. A good way to remember is to swap out the old batteries when daylight savings begins and ends.

Is It Really Necessary To Replace Batteries Twice a Year?

Although, there isn't much power drawn from day to day, the consistent, low draw of power does affect how much juice is available when an emergency occurs. Even if the alarms haven't sounded at all, you still need fresh batteries to be confident that you'll get a robust alarm in the event of a fire. Here are some tips for getting the best batteries for your smoke detector:


Check the alarm to determine the appropriate type of batteries. Many alarms take 9-volt alkaline, but some require AA. Experts recommend avoiding rechargeable or lithium batteries for alarms; both lose their charges quickly.
Invest in brand name batteries. Off-brand products aren't always as reliable as their competition. When it comes to keeping your family safe, invest in dependability.
If you aren't sure that your batteries are fresh, buy new ones. You can run a few tests to see if batteries are old: Drained batteries are bouncy when you drop them. A multimeter or voltmeter tells you how many amps or ohms are in each battery.


When it comes to keeping your family safe, it's better to invest a little extra time and money in keeping your smoke alarm running. Compared to the costs of paying fire damage cleanup and repair professionals, it's a minimal investment.

When Should You Replace the Alarm?

In addition to changing batteries, you should also keep track of how old the alarm itself is. Modern alarms are long-lasting and only need to be replaced every ten years. A good way to remember whether it's time to replace an old alarm is to write the date of manufacture on the front where you can see it. This way, you'll see the replacement date every month when you test the smoke alarm and every six months when you replace the batteries.

What To Do and Avoid After Water Damage in Your Home

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth under carpeting and flooring. Carpet and flooring removed due to mold growth Water damage on flooring in an Edmond, OK home

If you were to arrive home and find that water had infiltrated your home, your first reaction might be to panic. While this is certainly a dire situation, there are right ways and wrong ways to handle it. A failing appliance or broken pipe can cause a big flood in your house, but with the proper steps, you can mitigate the damage and recover.

Your First Responsibilities

Where there's water in home, you don't have time to waste. You should first make sure all family members and pets are safely out of harm's way. Next, find the source of the flood and stop it, if possible. Other important steps are:

  • Turn off the electricity in your home.
  • If it's safe to do so, remove items from and around the water to higher ground.
  • Contact a professional disaster cleanup company.
  • Call your insurance provider.

Don't Turn on Electronics
Electronic devices such as computers, televisions, and stereos can suffer excessive damage where there is flooding. These devices are important to you and may hold valuable information. Still, never attempt to turn them on. This could shock or electrocute you. Let the professionals handle the water removal and cleaning of these items.

Don't Go Near Black Water
Water damage from a broken pipe shouldn't be dangerous. However, if the flood comes from a sewer backup, a broken sewer line or an overflowing toilet, black water could be in your home. This contains hazardous materials such as human waste. It could be dangerous to touch and legal if swallowed. Only a professional crew in Edmond, OK, should handle this cleanup effort.

Don't Forget to Gather Information
To file an insurance claim, your agent will want to know as much about the incident as possible. Take photos of the damage. Record what items were damaged and those that you couldn't save.
Follow these guidelines carefully. Knowing what to do and what not to do can save you a lot of headaches after a broken pipe or other problems floods your home.

Effective Ways to Dry Out Documents

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents It's common to find wet documents in the aftermath of water issues

A lot can go wrong if there's a flood in your office. Safety should be your No. 1 concern. Once you account for everyone's well-being, you'll take inventory of the damage. It's common to find wet documents in the aftermath of water issues. Many of these items may be highly sensitive and critical. Luckily, there are methods both you and the professionals can use to preserve these materials.

What You Can Do

For some flooding issues at work, you should let professional crews in Oklahoma City, OK, handle the cleanup. However, there are things you can do to protect your documents and ensure that they dry faster without ruining them.

Carefully remove any books, files, photographs, maps or other documents from water.
Set out these items in a dry place.
For damp documents, flatten them out between two absorbent pieces of paper or cloth.

Calling In the Pros

Flood restoration crews have experience with document drying, in addition to removing water surfaces. It's a good idea to get help from skilled technicians when your documents have been submerged in water. Widespread damage is also a good reason to enlist the services of professional teams.

The Method

To spare your wet documents, technicians will use freeze-drying methods. To do this, a technician will freeze the materials. The next step is to evaporate the frozen water without allowing it to return to its liquid state. With freeze-drying, you can keep dried-out paper from wrinkling and crinkling.

Sanitizing

When lying in water, your documents could come into contact with dirt, debris, and other harmful material. The technicians will disinfect the paper to ensure that it is clean and doesn't pose any danger to you and other users of the documents.
Regardless of the type of wet documents you need to dry and restore, there are ways to save these important items. Follow these guidelines so you don't have to worry about losing your papers.

6 Common Causes of Toilet Leaks

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Cracked toilet tank Just as the bowl can crack, so can the porcelain of the tank

Causes of a Leaking Toilet

A toilet isn’t a complicated piece of machinery. However, if you hear strange noises or notice water on the floor, you might find that it takes some trial and error to find the source of the leak. The problem could require a toilet repair or simply an adjustment. The first step is finding the cause of the leaking toilet. Here are a few:

1. Pipes

Water impurities can cause metal pipes to corrode and rust. Rusted pipes can eventually crack causing leaks around the toilet.

2. Bowl

Toilet bowls seem pretty durable, but an old toilet can develop cracks. A hairline crack may not be very noticeable unless you’re looking for it, but it can also leak. However, it’s important to act on it quickly because the crack can only get bigger.

3. Tank

Just as the bowl can crack, so can the porcelain of the tank. Most likely, if either develops a crack the whole toilet will need to be replaced.

4. Flapper

One of the most common causes of a leaking toilet is the flapper. The flapper is the rubber seal that opens the flush valve when the toilet handle is pressed. The flapper is responsible for keeping the water in the tank. Over time, the flapper can get worn due to mineral deposits from the water and toilet cleaners, causing it to warp. This will cause a continual leak into the bowl.

5. Flush Valve

When the toilet is flushed, the flush valve regulates the flow of the tank water into the bowl. When this assembly is faulty, it can cause an internal leak. In this case, the toilet might continuously run or you might hear dripping noises.

6. Fill Valve

The fill valve controls the flow of the water that refills the toilet tank after the flush. The fill valve can accumulate mineral deposits over time. These deposits can prevent the valve from completely shutting off.
It’s best to deal with a water leak as soon as you notice it. If your Edmond, OK, home sustains water damage from a leaking toilet, call SERVPRO Franchise Professionals for cleanup and restoration.

3 Tips for Dealing with Mold on Commercial Property

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Mold behind baseboard wall Mold damage on baseboard wall in Oklahoma City, OK

3 Tips for Dealing with Mold on Commercial Property

When you’re worried about finding mold on your Oklahoma City, OK, business property there are a few things you might consider doing to remedy the problem, even if black mold is present. Here are a few things you may want to know.

1. Call a Professional

One of the first things to remember when dealing with mold is that it’s recommended that you contact a local mold remediation professional to help with cleanup and repairs. These professionals will know how to properly section off the affected area to prevent further spreading, as well as how to locate and remove the spores. They can also help sanitize and clean the area, and make any necessary repairs.

2. Make Repairs Quickly

When dealing with a problem such as black mold it’s important to act quickly. Doing so can help prevent further spreading of the spores. If there is a moisture problem in the area it will be important to take care of that, as well to help prevent a recurrence of the mold. Staying on top of maintenance needs can help you spot problems while they are still small scale.

3. Mitigate Future Damage

Another aspect of mold cleanup is taking steps to mitigate future damage. This can mean locating the source of moisture the mold was living on, and repairing the problem. You may need to fix a leak, or take steps to mitigate flooding such as sloping landscaping so water flows downhill from the property. You may also want to check areas around the roof and windows for possible moisture pockets, and trim trees away from the building so that branches can’t fall into the property during a storm creating a place where rain could get in.
When removing a mold such as black mold from your company property it’s important to remember to call a professional. It’s also important to make repairs to water damaged areas quickly, and to take steps to mitigate future problems.

How Professionals Can Clean Up Your Office Contents After a Flood

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

Above view of laptop with water drop damage liquid wet and spill on keyboard Computer damaged by water

How Professionals Can Clean Up Your Office Contents After a Flood

Content cleaning specialists can assist companies that sustain storm damage. Some porous items in the office may have to be thrown away during this flood cleanup process. This is especially true if they have been affected by potentially toxic black water.
Still, emergency restoration experts may be able to save assets made of non-porous materials. Read on for more.

Cleaning Electronics

Your office building likely contains many important electronic devices. A storm cleanup company can help dry and restore these items, including:

  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • Televisions
  • Telephones

You and your employees should avoid turning on or using any of these devices until they are fully dry. Instead, let the professionals handle the items. They will wash off the electronics to limit additional corrosion. They will then let a qualified technician further inspect and clean the items.

Cleaning Documents

While much of society is digitized today, you probably have some important paperwork in your commercial building. These may include photographs, magazines, files, blueprints or contracts.

Content cleaning experts can use gamma irradiation or similar processes to disinfect these documents. They can then utilize a variety of techniques to remove the water, including freezer drying, air drying, vacuum freezing, vacuum thermal drying and dehumidification.

Cleaning General Office Contents

Other items in your office can be saved from flood damage, as well. Professionals will use different strategies depending on the materials involved. Those with lighter stains may just require dry cleaning. Belongings with heavier residue can be restored using a wet cleaning process.
Items that cannot withstand traditional cleaning methods may be sanitized using a spray-and-wipe technique. Meanwhile, foam cleaning works particularly well for furniture made of upholstery fabrics.
Experts may also dip damaged items into a bath made of cleaning solution, a process known as immersion cleaning. They may additionally utilize abrasive cleaning, which involves agitating dirty surfaces.
Severe flooding does not have to destroy your Edmond, OK, business. With the help of content cleaning specialists, you may be able to restore many of your assets.

Tips for Dealing With the Aftermath of a Business Fire

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores Commercial fire damage in Oklahoma City, OK

Tips for Dealing With the Aftermath of a Business Fire

A hot fire that gains momentum can leave a building in ruins with virtually nothing left to save. In many cases, though, a fire is stopped before it leaps out of control; this often results in many items that can be saved and restored. A partial fire loss leaves the business owner with a lot of decisions about what steps to take to save money, to speed up recovery and to cleanup the mess. Contacting a professional fire remediation franchise in Oklahoma City, OK, is a good first step.

An Inspection Is Critical

A thorough inspection by experienced technicians is the quickest way to know where you stand and to gauge the level of fire loss. The inspection should cover the following areas of your business:

  • The structural integrity of your roof
  • The extent of smoke damage in the building
  • The condition of the walls and flooring
  • The state of electrical and computer systems
  • The functionality of the heating and plumbing systems

For insurance purposes all of the damage should be documented. It's also important to file a timely claim and to understand your policy and your rights. Don't settle for work that is shoddy, that does not match the original and that does not address hidden damages such as soot, water and smoke damage. Do not be afraid to demand timely payment of your claim

A Good Cleanup Is Essential

A stellar fire restoration process will proceed quickly and restore items that can be cleaned of odors and grime. A reputable remediation team will have advanced equipment and a variety of cleaning techniques to get your building back in shape. The company will take the guess work out of what can be saved and what should be thrown away and bought new. In many cases, clothes and upholstery can be restored to excellent condition again. The fire loss might not be as extensive as originally thought.