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3 Tips for Preventing Water Damage

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

Water loss in a home SERVPRO quickly responds and begins the water damage cleanup in your home to ensure that the water damage is "Like it never even happened."

3 Water Damage Prevention Tips

One of the most significant causes of homeowner loss is water damage. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent serious damage.

1. Maintain Your Yard

If you fail to disconnect your hose during the winter, water inside the hose may freeze and expand into the pipe, creating an ice block that bursts the pipes and lead to a waterfall of melted snow gushing into the basement. It may also result in structural damage to the walls and foundation of your home. For similar reasons, keep the gutters clear and inspect them at least twice a year to be sure they are functioning effectively. Don't forget to clear away shrubs and trees that have grown to close to pipes. This includes removing tree roots that may have wrapped around pipes or grown into cracks in the line.

2. Immediately Address Leaks

Routinely inspect major appliances, such as the washing machine and refrigerator, and your plumbing system. Watch out for signs of moisture damage, mold, pools of water, moisture buildup on pipes, and old hoses. If you can catch those problems early on, you can often complete those minor repairs without sacrificing too much time or money.

3. Prevent Problems You Can't See

Many home disasters happen when owners aren't home or while they are sleeping. If you're not at home to complete water cleanup right after flooding occurs, you may be faced with very expensive water damage. Avoid this serious problem by shutting off the water main when you go away for long vacations. You can also install a water detector (many connect to your smartphone) that will send you an alarm when the sensor is exposed to water.

Your home doesn't have to be at risk for water damage. A little bit of preventative maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your Edmond, OK, home safe and intact. Otherwise, you may end up getting to know a home remediation company very well.

Getting Your Company’s Fire Drills Right Every Time

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

Fire escape plan To get the most out of your company fire drill, you must notify employees that it is going to happen.

Your Company's Fire Drills Are Always Correct

Whether you have a small business or own a large corporation, you probably know effective fire drills are part of your workplace-safety plan. When employees are hard at work, it can be tough to get them to pay attention to an emergency drill. Still, the best way to ensure workers evacuate efficiently during a fire is to ask them to practice regularly. Here are some tips for conducting a meaningful fire drill.

1. Inform Employees

To get the most out of your company fire drill, you must notify employees that it is going to happen. Be sure to provide them with information about how to effectively evacuate. Also, tell all employees that participation is mandatory. If you have customers or guests on site during the drill, don’t forget to alert them as well.

2. Monitor the Drill

You only know if your drill is effective if you pay attention to how it goes down. When you are planning your drill, designate a couple employees to act as observes. These representatives should take notes during the drill. They should also compile a post-drill report. If the observers recommend improvements, work to coach employees about new evacuation procedures.

3. Ask for Help

Many fire departments have outreach officials who will collaborate with you to conduct your preparedness drill. Some even send fire trucks and other vehicles to mimic real-world conditions. When you are scheduling your drill, reach out to local responders to ask for assistance. Also, consider asking these professionals to advise your employees on evacuation and first-aid techniques during the drill.

Fires in Oklahoma City, OK, can devastate businesses. If your organization has sustained damage during a fire, working with a qualified restoration service is likely your best bet to fully recover. You don’t have to get to that point, however. By working to pull off an effective fire drill, you boost the chances that both your business and employees are safe during a fire.

A Quick-Reference Guide to Commercial Floodwater Insurance

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. While purchasing insurance to protect your business from flooding is generally a good idea, you may have a legal obligation to purchase coverage.

A Guide To Commercial Flood Insurance in a Nutshell

Regardless of the nature of your Edmond, OK, business, it must stay dry to be successful. After all, few things can destroy a business faster than rising floodwaters. If you have been thinking about purchasing flood insurance for your company, you prbablyo have a few basic questions about this type of coverage.

Does Your Business Need Commercial Floodwater Insurance?

While purchasing insurance to protect your business from flooding is generally a good idea, you may have a legal obligation to purchase coverage. If both of the following apply to your organization, you may be required to carry a flood policy:

  • Your business is in a high-risk flood area
  • You have a federally-regulated or insured mortgage

How Do You Know If Your Business Needs Flood Protection?

While your business may not have a contractual responsibility to purchase flood insurance, you may decide your company needs it anyway. Typically, businesses located inside floodplains need flood coverage. Both federal and state governmental agencies maintain maps to help business owners decide whether their companies are susceptible to floodwaters.

Does Regular Business Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

Generally, conventional commercial insurance does not provide coverage for flood damage. While your general policy may protect your business from flooding due to broken pipes or other plumbing problems, it likely won’t cover flooding that occurs during a natural disaster, dam break or other outside flooding event. If your business sustains damage during a flood, you will likely need the assistance of a professional restoration service. The best way to pay for restoration is often with comprehensive flood coverage.

No business owner wants to watch floodwaters carry away equipment or inventory. Therefore, for many Edmond, OK, business owners, planning for floodwaters is part of the normal business process. By understanding flood insurance and finding the right policy, you can be certain your organization has the resources it needs to fully recover when waters recede.

Should I Check a Mold Remediation Company's Certifications?

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on a wall Have you discovered a mold infestation in your home? Don't hesitate and give our SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City team

Should I look At The Certifications Of A Mold Remediation Company?

When facing the prospect of hiring mold remediation specialists to mitigate mold damage to your Oklahoma City, OK home, you may see many companies advertising specialized mold certifications. But what makes a company certified for mold removal, and is there any value in hiring a company that has been certified for mold remediation?

So Who Certifies Mold Remediation Companies?

Mold remediation companies and certified mold specialists are accredited by IICRC, or the institute of Inspection Cleaning and Remediation Certification. This organization acts as the standards body that defines proper procedure and accountability for cleaning, remediation, and restoration for various services. For certified mold remediation specialists, this means:

  • Attaining in-depth expertise on mold identification
  • Certifying in safe methods for mold remediation and elimination
  • Gaining insight into safe technician handling of microbial substances
  • Understanding water damage restoration
  • Qualifying in both technician and consumer safety management

Attaining these certifications requires a great deal of training and coursework for both companies and individual technicians, as well as assessment of cleaning, remediation, and restoration protocols.

Why Does Certification Matter?

Certification means accountability and protections for you as a consumer. Certified mold remediation companies and mold remediation technicians are held to a particular standard required to maintain their certification and remain in good standing with the IICRC. This means that you as a consumer are protected by an established standard for professional, ethical mold remediation and damage treatment.

Protect Yourself

While it’s possible to hire mold remediation specialists without certification, keep in mind that certification means protections you may not find with non-certified technicians and companies. Handling mold detection, remediation, and prevention is a highly complex endeavor requiring extensive knowledge of safety procedures and proper interactions with fungal agents and microbial spores. While certified mold remediation companies may charge more, often you are paying for the assurance of a job done right. Therefore it is always wise to check the status of a remediation company’s mold certification.

To Keep or To Toss: What Must Be Replaced After a Fire

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

A kitchen destroyed by fire damage SERVPRO is a trusted leader in disaster restoration for your fire damage cleanup and restoration needs.

What to Keep And What to Throw Away After a Fire

A residential fire can be devastating. The recovery process is often long and arduous. If your home in Oklahoma City, OK, is damaged or destroyed by a fire, chances are high that many things within your home are damaged beyond repair as well. Fire restoration specialists may be able to salvage some things, but here are some items you will probably need to throw away.

Medication

If you look on the bottle or instruction sheets for most medications, you may see a warning to keep them away from high heat. Heat changes the chemical properties of substances, which can change the effects that those substances have. It is not a good idea to ingest anything that has been altered without knowing exactly how that change will affect you. To be on the safe side, dispose of any medications that were affected by the fire.

Food

The cans lined up in your pantry may seem okay, but if fire, smoke or even excessive heat came anywhere near them, it is best to toss them out. The seal that protects the food inside the cans may have been weakened by the heat. It is better to throw away questionable items than take a chance on eating something that may have gone bad.

Cosmetics

What you put on your body can be just as important as what you put in your body. High heat can destroy any of the following items:

  • Makeup
  • Facial cleanser
  • Moisturizer
  • Contact solution
  • Perfumes

Without knowing what affect the altered state of these product may have on your skin, it is safer to dispose of them.

Replacing everything may be expensive, but you can’t put a price on peace of mind. If you are unsure whether an item is safe to use, it is best to get rid of it. When you throw away items that have fallen victim to fire damage, you are protecting yourself from the potential of further complications to your overall recovery process.

Post-Fire: Getting Rid of the Smell

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

A truck from a restoration company You can trust SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City to restore your building back to its pre-damaged condition after a fire strikes.

Getting Rid Of the Odor After A Fire

After a fired has occurred in your Edmond, OK, building, a plethora of obstacles can appear ahead. Before, you were worried about the safety of the occupants and the potential of the fire spreading, and now you’re likely worried about the damage done. Yes, it can be shocking to return to a smoked-coated building interior. Discover a few facts about what smoke damage can do and what you can do to remedy it.

Smoke is Sneaky

Once you've been given the go-ahead to reenter the building, you may need the judgment of fire damage professionals to determine what items can be salvaged. Because smoke can permeate various parts of an indoor space, it's essential that you get a proper inspection. Smoke also produces small amounts of carbon in the air, ultimately creating soot, and completely removing the odor from some items can prove challenging.

There Are Different Types

In addition, be aware that there may be multiple soot damage culprits, as there are different types of smoke:

  • Dry smoke
  • Wet smoke
  • Protein fire residue

Although any kind of smoke damage is a hassle to deal with, wet smoke – involving plastic or rubber – can be sharper in odor and harder to address. Dry smoke involves wood or paper and can also be difficult to clean. Protein fire residue, which can be subtle, has a familiar, pungent odor.

Porous Materials are Vulnerable

Every surface likely needs attention after a fire, but the permeable ones are usually trickiest. Items such as curtains, rugs, and other upholsteries probably need to go to the dry cleaner. Another task on your list should involve keeping your cleaned items out of the building until a proper smoke cleaning is complete.

Addressing smoke damage in your building can be frustrating, but by doing post-fire inspection and subsequent cleaning the right way, you can avoid a lingering odor.

Building a Defense Against Wind Damage

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Billboard at the entrance of a company If your business is damaged by inclement weather, give our SERVPRO of the North Oklahoma City team a call.

Constructing A Wind Damage Defense

You already know to protect your place of business against lightning and rain during thunderstorms in Oklahoma City, OK, but like many business owners, you’ve likely overlooked the threat that wind poses during severe weather conditions. The truth is, wind can do as much damage to your commercial building as other thunderstorm threats in a shorter amount of time. It can:

  • Strip away shingles to cause a substantial roof leak
  • Damage your roof with branches or downed trees
  • Shatter windows

Fortunately, protecting yourself from this invisible threat is simple when you know the right steps to take.


Outdoor Cleanup

Your first step toward protecting your establishment from wind damage is to clean up the outside. That means replacing gravel and rock landscaping with something softer (like mulch or straw) or unmovable (like asphalt or concrete). Keep branches on trees around your building trimmed, and consider taking down any trees that are too close to the building or which already show signs of damage. Your local utility company may help out by pruning trees near power lines if you place a few calls. Furthermore, consider removing any loose outdoor furniture from courtyards, lounge areas and patios indoors when you hear a thunderstorm being forecast for your area to prevent the creation of flying debris.

Proper Inspections

Removing trees and branches sometimes isn’t enough to completely protect a roof, especially if it’s old or already has damage like missing shingles. Ensure your business is up to the next storm by investing in annual inspections by professional roofers who can identify and properly fix damaged roofs before they become a real issue, leading to a roof leak or much worse. Perform the same courtesy for your building’s windows and doors as well to prevent shattering and blow-ins during high-wind storms.

Taking these steps may not eliminate wind damage altogether; you might encounter a roof leak here and there or a crack in your window. But the right precautions help to make your business a safer place for you and your employees when strong winds blow in.

3 Ways To Deal With Water Damage

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

A room with water damage Has your home experienced a water loss? There is no need to worry. SERVPRO is ready for help!

3 Water Damage Repair Methods

It is important to care for items that have been damaged by water. No matter if a broken pipe, appliance, or backed-up toilet is the culprit, it is important to fix the source of the leak and carefully care for any vulnerable items in your home as soon as possible. If you wait a long time, these items may degrade or even begin to mold. Depending on the type of items that were exposed and the extent of the water damage, you may want to consult experts on water in the home who provide dry cleaning services in Edmond, OK.

Whether you think you can handle the water damage yourself or you want to start the cleanup process while you wait for the experts to arrive, here are three general guidelines for handling items with water damage.

1. Gently clean and rinse items that are still wet. Try not to grind debris into the surface. Be especially careful when handling delicate items such as art, paper, photographs, or other fragile materials. These should be removed from walls or any folders and containers and allowed to air dry.

2. Air dry objects indoors to avoid causing additional damage with sunlight or heat. Direct sunlight can compound the damage resulting from water in the home and lead to splitting, buckling, or even warping items and furniture.

3. Increase airflow and decrease humidity as much as possible to speed drying and prevent mold from forming.

If you are dealing with water in the home after a broken pipe or another kind of leak, you should focus on drying and airing out the affected area as quickly as possible. In most cases, it is best to lay out damp items indoors and circulate and dehumidify the air. Skilled restoration experts in Edmond, OK, may also be able to answer any of your questions if you are concerned about whether you can safely clean or dry a delicate item.

Does Mold Grow Everywhere?

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Mold damage in a home Call SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City if you suspect that your home or business in OKC has a mold problem

Is It Possible For Mold To Grow Everywhere?

Beyond the scope of grade school science class, learning about various types of mold is probably not your everyday pursuit. However, most residents in Oklahoma City, OK, will deal with fungus issues at some point down the road, and the timing is never convenient. Whether it's bread mold or a mold that's taken over the bathroom, many may wonder how it gets in these discreet places to begin with.

A Powerful Fungus

Normally, mold is associated with household issues – and with good reason. Dealing with your occasional fridge mold or discoloration along your shower wall is no fun game to play. Having inhabited the earth long before humans, mold has grown in all corners and on a multitude of surfaces. Instead of acquiring energy from the sun, mold turns to other animals and plants for food. Dampness is usually key, and most molds will cling to areas prone to water damage and leaks.

An Easy Target

Finding a blue or green spot on your loaf of whole wheat grains is simply part of life. Why bread, though? Containing the perfect ingredients on mold's menu, bread is usually stored in cabinets and pantries, which sets the perfect warm backdrop. It is also moist, which naturally invites fungus growth.

A Common Nuisance

Of course, finding that fuzzy growth on your bread can easily ruin the perfect sandwich. Tackle bread mold by only leaving out reasonable amounts. You can store the rest in the fridge or in the freezer, which you can later thaw in a plastic bag. Ensuring that bread stays tightly sealed is another trick to slowing down mold growth.

Mold is typically not a word most Oklahoma City, OK, residents would prefer to associate with food, but it can happen to anyone's delicious meal if the setting is just right. Prevent mold from having a fancy, candlelit dinner with your food items by maintaining cool and dry storing places. If that bread mold decides it wants to spread to other parts of the home, a trusted professional can help you fight the good fight.

Mold and Mildew: What's the Difference?

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on a wall Have you discovered a mold infestation in your home? Don't hesitate and call us, SERVPRO is ready for help!

What Is The Difference Between Mold And Mildew?

We've all heard of mold and mildew and how each have a way of moving into the home without welcome. Mildew and mold damage – no matter how significant – can be challenging to address. As both can sweep across homes old and new, how can one distinguish between the two? Look to the following pointers on the main similarities and differences of mold and mildew, and the ways to identify each.

Water Lovers

One aspect to know for certain is that water can set the stage for any type of mold or mildew. Any area that is warm and damp can become susceptible to mold or mildew growth. These areas can also help these fungi grow quickly. While many homes have a patch of growth here and there, ignoring this problem can create bigger issues over time.

It's a Look

When it comes to appearances, mold and mildew can differ greatly. If you see a flat, powdery, and whitish substance growing in your home, you may have a mildew visitor. Over time, mildew can turn a black or brownish color. Mold growth is usually evident when you discover a fuzzy, discolored spot on a wide range of surfaces. It can be greenish black or even yellow, but the general rule of thumb is that mold damage is the trickier of the two.

If It Smells Like Fungus…

Even though mildew may not be as aggressive as mold, both can cause damage if ignored. Signs that you're living with mold include a pungent, musty odor or rotting wood. A mold professional can also help you identify the root of the problem at hand, since fungi likes to live a quiet existence.

Regardless of which area of your house has fallen victim to mildew or mold damage, finding the issue in your Edmond, OK, home can be upsetting. By connecting with professionals who can inspect, test, and remove these frustrating fungi, mold no longer has to be in your life.