4 Things You Should Not Do After Water Damage Strikes
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4 Things You Shouldn't Do If Water Damage Occurs
Walking into an area in your home with flooding water from a broken pipe or backed-up sewer line can be overwhelming. As you try to prioritize all the questions running through your mind, it is important to consider how to address the damage promptly. The more you know about dealing with the problem, the better chance you have of addressing the issues quickly and efficiently, even while stressed. So, here are four things you should not do after water damage strikes your home in Oklahoma City, OK.
1. Forget to call the insurance company. Your first instinct may be to call family and friends to help with the cleanup. But the standing water in home flooded areas can wait while you take pictures for the insurance company and make initial contact with your representative. The pictures are an important piece of evidence and can help prove the claim if there are questions raised by the adjustor.
2. Attempt to restore the area alone. Water that stands against walls, floors, and appliances can do unseen damage. That is why it is important to contact a professional cleanup crew to help restore the area after a broken pipe. The trained individuals know what to look for to prevent mold, water seepage, and further damage.
3. Miss the chance to inventory damaged items. Removing wet and ruined items from the flooding water and tossing them out the door may be the first thing you want to do, but don’t do it. It is critical to your insurance claim that you either photograph each item or make an inventory list.
4. Assume water is clean. All flood water is not created equally. There are three categories of water, and each has its own cleanup procedure. The categories are clean water, grey water, and black water. By contacting a team of professionals, you can be sure to address the contaminated flood water properly.
Water damage can be extremely disconcerting. When addressing a broken pipe or overflowing appliance, knowing what you should not do can be just as important as knowing what to do.
Insurance Coverage for Mold
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City is the local leader in mold removal and remediation.
Mold Insurance Coverage
The best way to protect your home from mold is to prevent fungus growth from occurring in the first place. That means keeping your home in good repair, maintaining proper ventilation and keeping indoor humidity under 60 percent. Unfortunately, mold may become an issue anyway, and if it does, you’ll need to pay a professional mold remediation service in Edmond, OK, to take care of it. Will your homeowners insurance cover it? The answer is: it depends.
As a rule, insurance policies exclude mold damage that results from:
- Structural leaks
- High humidity
- Poor drainage
- Water seepage
This covers nearly all of the most common causes of mold damage, so if you’re already dealing with a mold issue, your chances of being covered are low.
What Is Covered
Exactly what is covered will vary depending on your personal insurance policy. Many policies will cover damage resulting from a burst water pipe or a backed-up sewer, including fungus growth, but these may be the only instances in which you will be covered.
It’s also important to check your policy regularly to see if coverage has changed, as many companies are reducing their coverage for mold damage. They may put a cap on how much coverage you can receive for mold damage, which can be problematic if the mold growth is extensive. Some insurance companies explicitly deny coverage for mold no matter what the cause or may require that you pay extra for mold coverage.
What You Can Do
First, read your policy so you understand what is and is not covered by your policy. Talk to a public insurance adjuster or a mold cleanup representative about your situation to learn more about your options for getting coverage and filing a claim. If you live in Edmond, OK, where fungus growth is a common issue, it could be worthwhile to pay extra for mold insurance.
What To Do Before Allowing Employees To Return After a Flood
Commercial storm damage in Oklahoma City, OK.
What to Do Before Allowing Employees to Reenter the Workplace Following a Flood
If a flood happens in Oklahoma City, OK, it is likely that your business could receive harmful damage. Backed-up sewage lines often lead to black water damage, and leaking water can ruin machinery and important documents. Flood cleanup can take a while, but it’s important to get your business up and running as soon as possible. Here are a few things to consider before calling your employees back into work.
Before you allow anyone back into your building, be sure to inspect the stability of the structure. You’ll likely use water damage repair services, but once you can safely reenter the building, it’s important to do a thorough check-up on everything. There are a few things you might do to ensure the security of your employees:
- Examining water supplies for any contamination
- Confirming secure connections to all electrical systems
- Testing for asbestos or black water corruption
- Checking air filtration devices used during the cleanup and restoration process
Once you have thoroughly inspected your commercial building, you can consider contacting your workers.
Area-wide disasters can be scary. Be sure to take care of your workers during this challenging time, especially if some of them are dealing with their own loss of property or transportation. Consider accommodations such as flexible scheduling and on-site daycare to support your employees.
Don’t forget to keep your workers and customers informed. There are many ways to communicate, so use your resources to connect clearly and concisely. Your business should provide reassurance to your employees by sharing restoration plans and recent updates. When you are thinking about allowing your workers to return, notify them in advance so that they can prepare themselves.
Taking these steps to take care of your employees will not only provide security but will also improve their attitude towards your business. Black water damage may harm your building’s structure, but it doesn’t have to ruin your employees’ relationship with the company.
What Happens to Your Home After a Flood?
If extreme weather damages your property call SERVPRO.
After a Flood, What Happens to Your House?
Flooding: It’s every homeowner’s nightmare. It’s also something you hope to never experience. Unfortunately, residents in Edmond, OK, have to deal with this reality. While you can certainly do some things to minimize the likelihood of flooding in some cases, you can’t always hold back floods from getting into your home. If water has damaged parts of your home, you’ll need to tear out the affected areas. There are other important steps you’ll need to follow in order to get your home back to a livable state.
Get Rid of the Water
Different amounts of water find their way into your home during a flood. Even small amounts can cause water damage to your valuables and to various parts of your house. It’s vital that you remove this water as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of mold.
- Extract the water using a wet vacuum.
- Use an industrial-strength carpet cleaner to suck up water.
- Call a professional company that specializes in storm restoration to help.
Remove Damaged Items
After a flood, chances are high that your walls and flooring will have damage. These areas might even be completely destroyed or unusable. In these cases, you need to tear out ruined carpet, hardwood, tile, or drywall. This will help ensure that mold and other foreign materials don’t form.
Don’t forget to clean the affected areas once you’ve removed flooring and drywall. Getting rid of water and the damaged areas isn’t enough. You also must use a heavy-duty cleaner and sanitizer to reduce the risk of bacteria growing in your home. This process will also help eliminate unpleasant odors.
After a flood in your home, it’s vital that you remove any remaining water and that you tear out and clean affected places. You don’t have to perform these important tasks on your own. Choose the right company to get your home back to normal.
5 Steps for Extinguishing a Grease Fire
A grease fire may start small, but it can become big in a hurry.
How To Put Out A Kitchen Grease Fire
No one plans to have a grease fire in the kitchen, but when oils from cooking build up, fire is more likely to occur. What you can plan is how to put out the fire once it has started. It is also important to know your limits and when to involve emergency services. If a fire breaks out on the stove in your home in Edmond, OK here are some steps to help minimize the damage.
1. Contain the Flames.
A metal lid or cookie sheet is a great tool for suffocating a fire. The lid can be especially helpful, as it is more likely to be able to cut off more of the oxygen feeding the fire.
2. Turn off Heat.
The faster you can get the burner cool, the better. If you can safely get to the knob on the stove to turn it off, you should do so.
3. Smother the Fire.
If the fire is small, use baking soda or salt to put out the flames. Never douse a grease fire with water; it will only antagonize it!
4. Recognize Limits.
If the fire is still going strong after the first three steps, call emergency services as you are leaving the house. Don't try to fight a fire that is too big on your own, and don't stay in the house with the fire. Get to safety and call in the experts.
5. Repair Damage.
No matter how small the fire is, it likely left some damage behind. Fire restoration specialists can assess the damage and restore your kitchen and any affected surrounding area to be like new again. Let them take the lead on the fire cleanup.
A grease fire may start small, but it can become big in a hurry. If you are not able to extinguish it immediately, it is best to call professional firefighters to do the job.
5 Facts About Mold
Mold growth in an Oklahoma City, OK commercial building.
Mold Basic Information
Mold growth in your commercial building is not a problem you want to ignore. You may not know a lot about mold or the remediation process that comes after you discover that your property in Oklahoma City, OK, has an issue. Here are some mold basics that can help you make faster decisions and thus save yourself time and money.
1. There is no such thing as a mold-free environment.
Mold spores are present in the air, particularly outside. They can come into your office or warehouse on worker's clothes and shoes, or they can simply blow in with the wind. The mold in the air is not the problem. Only when it settles and grows on surfaces is there an issue.
2. Mold growth often gives off a musty smell.
Mold can hide in walls and under floorboards, making it difficult to detect. One way to pinpoint the location of a patch of mold is to follow your nose. Mold gives off a musty, unpleasant odor.
3. Water damage and the situations that cause it are breeding grounds for mold.
Mold loves moisture. It cannot grow without it. One side effect of water damage caused by flooding or leaks is the increased potential for a mold problem.
4. Mold remediation involves both mold cleanup and moisture control.
When you call mold remediation specialists to handle your mold problem, their service includes not only cleaning up the growth but also fixing the moisture problem that led to it. High humidity can also lead to mold problems, so it's good to keep the humidity level of your building to 45% or lower.
5. Timely attention is a key element in remediation.
Once you discover a mold problem on your property, call the experts at once. Mold does not just go away. It multiplies quickly, and it may keep growing until the problem is resolved.
Mold growth is not a problem to take lightly. If you call remediation experts quickly and manage to control the moisture problems that led to it in the first place, you can resolve the issue.
How To Avoid a Cigarette Fire
Keep a fire extinguisher accessible.
In addition to causing health effects, smoking may also pose a safety hazard. Failure to recognize the potential dangers of a lit cigarette can result in disastrous consequences. To safeguard their homes from a potentially destructive cigarette fire, homeowners in Edmond, OK, should abide by several important protocols.
Properly Extinguish Butts
Properly extinguishing butts is vital to preventing infernos. To accomplish this, you can utilize several strategies:
- Ensure butt is not smoldering
- Discard in an ashtray, not on the ground
- Wet butt before disposal
Throwing a smoldering cigarette on the ground may ignite nearby combustibles, such as dry vegetation. To avoid this, place used butts in a glass or ceramic ashtray.
To minimize the risk of an ashtray fire, routinely clean the container and wet your butt before placing it inside. Never throw a used cigarette into a trash receptacle until it has been properly extinguished.
Avoid Smoking in Bed
The best way to prevent a cigarette fire in your home is to refrain from smoking inside. If you choose to smoke indoors, avoid doing so while lying in bed. Falling embers can easily ignite clothing, bedding and your mattress. Because you may not be alert enough to properly extinguish a cigarette, you should also refrain from smoking inside if you are excessively drowsy.
Never Leave Cigarettes Unattended
Whether indoors or outside, leaving a lit cigarette unattended can be dangerous. The burning object can fall from its resting place and ignite surrounding combustibles. Embers can also fall into potentially hazardous areas, such as cushions, the carpet, or dry leaves.
Keep Fire Extinguisher Accessible
Any flame inside or near your residence poses a potential danger. Keeping a fire extinguisher accessible can help you smother a small blaze, minimizing damage and fire cleanup requirements.
No homeowner wants to endure a blaze and a time-consuming fire damage restoration project. Although refraining from smoking in or near your residence is the safest way to prevent a cigarette fire, employing conscientious practices can minimize the threat.
How Can You Deal With Water Issues in Your Home?
It is never fun to find water damage somewhere in your house.
What To Do After Your Home Is Affected By Water
Flooding from sewer backups, broken pipes and heavy rains can cause a lot of water damage in your Oklahoma City, OK, home. Figuring out what to do after your home is affected by this water is not always intuitive. You may feel overwhelmed and discouraged but following this quick guide can make it easier for you to get your life back to normal.
Get Some Help
You should not try to tackle a water cleanup project on your own. Not only can this lead to extra stress, but if you do anything incorrectly, you may end up needing to do more repairs than if the cleanup had been done correctly the first time. A residential water remediation team can help you with almost every aspect of the cleanup process.
- Performing the initial inspection of the damage.
- Figuring out what caused the water damage.
- Removing standing water and drying out the space.
- Cleaning salvageable belongings.
- Replacing destroyed building materials.
With a cleanup crew in your corner, you do not have to worry about finding the cause of the flood or drying out your house. Instead, you can sit back as the work is completed by professionals.
Call Your Insurance
You should also call your insurance provider. An agent may be able to help you figure out if the damages are covered by your insurance policy. The source of the water, such as broken pipes or torrential rain, often affects whether the damage is covered by a typical insurance policy. Because all coverage can be slightly different, you need to work directly with your provider to make sense of your unique situation.
It is never fun to find water damage somewhere in your house. Figuring out what to do after a pipe burst or rainwater fills your basement can take some time. However, you need to act quickly to ensure the damage does not get worse than it already is.
Characteristics of Black Water
Characteristics of Black Water
When your commercial building in Edmond, OK, floods, you may not realize that the damage can vary based on the source of the water. Flooding usually falls into one of three categories—clean, gray or black. If a pipe bursts, for example, your commercial restoration crew may not have to worry about the decontamination process as much as they would if the flood water came from rain. To better understand these differences, you need to consider the characteristics of the third category of water damage.
The source of the water may dictate whether it is considered black, gray or clean. Anything in the black category usually comes from one of the following sources:
- Sewage backup
- River overflow
- Heavy rain
Because the source plays such an important role in a flood's categorization, storm damage often falls into the black water category. In some unique circumstances, stormwater may still fit into the second, slightly cleaner grouping.
What is in the water is also important for its categorization. Blackwater is categorized as such when the liquid is combined with feces, harsh chemicals, viruses, spores or microbes. The more contaminated the water is the more likely it will fall into the black category rather than the gray.
Of course, even flood water that was once considered clean can morph into this dirty category. When floods are allowed to sit in a commercial building for long periods of time, the liquid may pick up pollen, bacteria and chemicals from the environment. Too much time between the flooding and the cleanup essentially degrades the water into the black category.
The floodwater that fills your commercial building may be considered black if it has the three aforementioned characteristics. As you start going through the cleanup process, it may be helpful for you to learn more about the three classes of standing water that can affect your property.
Tips for Preventing Mold Growth in Your Home
Residential mold damage
Mold Prevention Tips
A musty odor in your home in Edmond, OK, is a sign that you may have a mold problem. The likely culprit is residual water damage that has not been thoroughly mitigated, but there are other factors that may contribute to the issue. Here are some tips for preventing mold from growing.
Repair Leaks Quickly
Fungus needs water to thrive, so basic mold prevention always starts with regularly inspecting the areas of your home where leaks tend to occur:
- Sink pipes
- Supply lines
- Water heaters
Not all leaks are obvious with a quick glance at a room. An unexplained hike in your water usage can also indicate that there is a leak somewhere. Rely on water damage specialists to find the problem and fix it before mold starts to grow.
Control Humidity Levels
Sometimes the moisture feeding the mold growth in your home comes from the air itself. Moisture can dampen surfaces, creating the perfect environment for mold to grow. Strive for a 45-50% humidity level in your home at all times. Use a dehumidifier or increase the airflow to lower the amount of moisture in the air.
Increase Ventilation in Basement and Bathrooms
Two areas of your home that are particularly prone to fungus growth are your basement and bathrooms. In addition to making sure surfaces are dry before you leave the room, you can lower your risk of a mold problem in these spaces by increasing the ventilation. Install fans and run them frequently throughout the day to circulate air and discourage mold growth.
Preventing mold in your home takes a bit of extra time and attention, but avoiding the hassle and expense of additional cleanup is well worth it. Mitigating water damage in a timely manner, maintaining low humidity levels and ensuring proper ventilation in typically closed-off areas can help to keep mold from growing.