Archived Blog Posts
3 Tips for Dealing With Water Damage
Provide ventilation in bathroom
Tips To Prevent Moisture Gathering In Your Home
When people imagine water damage, they tend to think of flooding after storms or damage related to putting out a house fire. However, everyday tasks can be causing damage to your home in Edmond, OK. Check out these tips for preventing too much moisture from gathering in your home to ensure your belongings are safe and dry.
1. Control the Dampness in Your House
One of the biggest causes of water damage in walls or floorboards is dampness that creates mold or mildew in these spaces. This often occurs because of too much humidity in a space, so it is important to create plenty of ventilation anywhere that could trap moisture droplets and allow them to soak into the home. Prevent leaks and provide excellent ventilation in spaces such as:
2. Fix Pipes Immediately
Broken pipes can be a major cause of damage, so it is important to have a professional look at any potential leaks as soon as possible. Of course, not all leaks are immediately noticeable. For this reason, regular inspections are also important. This way, you'll find potential problems inside walls, floors, or ceilings before they become a more serious issue.
3. Clean Up the Right Way
If despite your best efforts, your home receives damage due to moisture or high water, it is important to hire a water remediation company for water cleanup right away. Professionals have the proper knowledge, tools, and experience to dry your home out thoroughly and ensure no further damage is done. Avoid doing the work on your own, as improper drying and cleaning could cause mildew or mold that further damages your home and belongings.
Water damage can have serious consequences and be extremely costly if not handles correctly and immediately. Fortunately, knowing how to handle moisture in the walls or high water, as well as when it is preferable to call a professional, helps to ensure your home stays safe, clean, and dry.
Avoid Flooding Damage While You're on Vacation
Water damages are the second most common claim on homeowners' insurance policies in Oklahoma City, OK, and around the country, and the number of cases is rising, according to industry experts. For many homeowners, the problems involve a broken pipe or frozen spigots during the winter. However, unsuspecting homeowners may also be hit by flooding and the need for water pipe repair while they are vacationing during warmer months.
Protect Your Home During Extended Vacations
If you're planning to leave home for more than a couple of days, take the following steps to avoid coming home to a flooded basement.
• Visually inspect pipes, the water heater and other appliances, and the external structure of your home. If there are any signs of aging or wear and tear, complete repairs or replacements before you leave.
• Inspect all hoses that attach to major appliances, such as the dishwasher. Replace any old hoses and those that show evidence of cracks and other damage.
• Add insulation to any exposed pipes if you're planning to be during cold weather. Don't turn the thermostat down too far to avoid frozen pipes and hoses.
• Check-in with your insurance agent. Some companies provide tips for keeping your home safe while you're away.
• Ask a friend or neighbor to check on your home while you're gone. Show this friend where the water main and primary shut-off valve is located so the water can be shut off if water pipe repair becomes necessary.
• If you don't have anyone to keep an eye on your home, turn all of the water off. Make sure the pipes have been drained. If you plan to be gone during cold weather, flush the toilets and leave cabinet doors open to avoid frozen water damages.
Plan Ahead To Avoid Trouble
A single broken pipe can pump several of inches of water into your home in a relatively small amount of time. When you're planning to travel away from home, these steps can help you avoid serious damages. If water pipe repair does become necessary, water damage and remediation professionals can handle some of the details until you return home.
3 Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage
The difference between storm and flood damage is the source of the water that enters your building
Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage
During a storm in Oklahoma City, OK, there may be damage done to your building. While you may think that all storm damage is the same, this is not always the case. There is one very important distinction that should be made. This is that floods are considered to be a separate issue from other types of water damage that may occur during a storm. The following are a few differences between the two.
1. The Source of the Water
The first difference between storm and flood damage is the source of the water that enters your building. During a storm, leaks can occur, allowing water inside. Even if the amount is significant, this is not considered to be a flood. Flood waters are those that rise up from the ground and enter the building from below. When trying to determine the type of water damage you have, this is probably the easiest way.
2. The Category of Water
Rain is classified as category 1 water, which means that it is clean and will not cause any significant harm to you. While flood waters may have risen because of the rain, they are classified differently. Once the rainwater begins to rise and mix with other sources, such as sewer water, it becomes category 3. This water is highly contaminated and should be avoided. Flood damage will require thorough sanitization.
3. Insurance Coverage
In most cases, water damage is included in commercial insurance policies. However, most flood damage is not and, if it is, coverage will usually be limited. If there are often floods in the area, it may be a good idea to invest in a separate flood policy to make sure that your property is covered during an emergency.
If your property has been damaged by flooding or anything else during a storm, you will likely need repairs. Contact a cleanup and restoration company to get your building back to its previous condition as soon as possible.
How to Keep Your Employees Safe During Mold Removal
If you find mold in your Oklahoma City, OK, building, you should have it removed as soon as possible. In most cases, you will likely not want to close your business entirely during the mold removal process as this can result in lost profits. It is important, however, to keep the safety of your employees in mind. The following are a few ways that you can help prevent them from having to work in a contaminated environment.
1. Use Containment Methods During Removal
While mold removal is being done, the workers will likely set up containment areas to keep the mold from spreading throughout the building. This will help keep the areas where employees are still working clean.
2. Provide Protective Items
If the area has been contained but you are still concerned about the safety of your employees, you may feel better if you provide them with some protective gear. Face masks will help prevent them from breathing in any contaminated air. Investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter is an option as well. These remove black mold spores and other impurities from the air, ensuring the area will be safe to work in.
3. Have Employees Work From Home
In cases of extreme mold growth, you may not feel comfortable having your employees come into work. If this is the case, you can always have them work from home. Depending on the severity of the contamination, removal can take more than a week, so closing the business during the process is not ideal. While there may be some limitations when work is done this way, it might be better than your other options.
When you need to have mold removal done, it is best to hire a professional mold remediation specialist. They will have the necessary training and experience to clean the area without creating a more hazardous environment for your employees. They will get the job done as quickly as possible, so you can get back to work sooner.
What Is Included in Commercial Insurance Fire Damage Policies?
Roof damage after fire in Edmond, OK
Here's What Is Usually Covered By Most Insurance Policies
Fire damage is one of the most frequent insurance claims in the United States. In 2017 alone, almost 500,000 structure fires were reported, causing around $10.7 billion in damages. Not only do fires cause damage with the heat and combustion, but smoke gets everywhere and fire-fighting substances, such as water and foam, cause tremendous damage. Here’s what is usually covered by most insurance policies in Edmond, OK, although it should be noted that each company has different terms.
Depending on the policy and property ownership, your policy may cover repairs and replacements to the structure, including
- Supporting structure
- Stucco, siding and concrete
- Plumbing and heating systems
- Interior walls, framing and painting
Ask your insurance adjuster if these are covered by your policy. Even if you rent your location, some policies will cover these types of damage, often under general liability, in what’s called “damage to premises rented.” Note that your coverage should include replacing items, such as carpet and roofing tiles, if a perfect match isn’t made between the replacement items and older ones, under the “uniform and consistent appearance” clause.
Fire Damage Coverage
Most items are covered by the majority of commercial property insurance policies. However, there are exceptions, and terms of individual policies can vary widely. Some policies cover actual cash value (the original value of the item minus accumulated depreciation), while others cover replacement costs. Replacement policies cost more but can help avoid massive out-of-pocket expenses.
Your policy may cover fees charged for fire-fighting services and smoke damage. Some policies include coverage for loss of business income during the disaster and the recovery time. Mold damage may be included, but this is now often being specifically excluded, so check to make sure you have a mold endorsement.
Fire damage to your business in Edmond, OK, doesn’t have to be the end. If you are careful and read your insurance policy, most forms of fire mitigation can be covered, not only providing peace of mind but possibly avoiding a bankruptcy and closing of your business altogether.
How to Remove Odor After a Flood
If you’ve suffered water damage after sewage loss or a flood in Oklahoma City, OK, you may have noticed that your home has a lingering odor even after you’ve cleaned it. When this occurs, it might be secondary damage caused by the water. Mold grows quickly in moist environments, so it is possible that this is what is creating the odor in your house. Here are a few things you can try to remove it.
1. Wash Affected Items
Soft and porous materials, such as stuffed toys, mattresses and clothing absorb water easily, along with the contaminants that it contains. If there were mold spores in the water, these items may now be the home of mold growth. If there are affected items that you have not washed, you should do this immediately. Some belongings, such as furniture, that cannot be so easily cleaned might need to be replaced instead.
2. Clean the Walls and Floors
While they may not hold water as easily as softer materials, hard surfaces are not entirely safe from mold growth. If these areas remained wet for an extended period of time, a mold colony may have formed. Scrub down any walls, floors and surfaces that were affected by the flood.
3. Hire a Professional
If you have done everything that you can and are still unable to remove the unpleasant smell from your home, then it may be time to hire a clean up and restoration service. Not only can they locate mold growth in areas that you might have missed, but they also have the tools and experience to remove it. They can also use professional equipment to eliminate any odors in the building.
Floodwater is highly contaminated and can carry sewage, bacteria and other contaminants like mold. If your home has been cleaned but you are still experiencing the bad smell, hiring a professional may be the best choice for you.
Mold Growth in HVAC Ductwork
Mold growth in HVAC Ductwork
Unfortunately, you may have mold growth in your Oklahoma City, OK, business without even realizing it. Because the inside of ductwork is not readily visible, black mold growing in air ducts frequently goes unnoticed.
Identifying Mold Growth
Even if you do not see the mold inside the ducts, there will usually be other signs that you have a problem. These include:
- A musty smell, especially when running the air conditioning
- Black dust on vents
- Health issues, such as coughing, headaches and nausea, that are not explained by seasonal allergies or other health conditions
Treating Mold Growth
When mold is growing in air ducts, it can be especially tricky to remediate. You may wish to contact mold remediation experts to help you get the problem under control. Although every situation varies, the general process for treating mold follows a similar pattern: identify the type and extent of mold damage, take apart and clean ducts and replace surrounding insulation if necessary. In every case, it is important to identify the cause of mold growth and address it so that the mold does not come back.
Preventing Mold Growth
Black mold, like many other molds, needs moisture and organic material to thrive. Unfortunately, air ducts provide both water and dust to nourish the mold and air flow to circulate the spores. This makes it easy for mold to grow quickly. Having ductwork regularly cleaned and maintained cuts down on the amount of dust and water available to sustain a mold colony. Routinely changing the filter in your HVAC unit is generally a simple procedure and goes a long way toward reducing dust accumulation and lowering the chances of a mold infestation. Your HVAC technician can show you how to change the filter and advise you of how frequently to do so.
Black mold in the ductwork of your Oklahoma City, OK, business is an unsettling thought. However, routine maintenance can mitigate any mold growth you may have and hopefully prevent the growth altogether.
How To Prevent Space Heater Fires in Your Home
Space heater fires can happen
How To Prevent Space Heater Fires in Your Home
Space heaters can keep you warm during those long winter months. A burned space heater, however, can cause severe fire damage to your Edmond, OK, home that may require extensive smoke cleanup.
Space heater fires most commonly occur when the heater is left next to a flammable substance. You should thus avoid placing your space heater next to:
- Upholstered furniture
- Gas cans
There are several other steps you can take to avoid a space heater fire in your home. You can check for certain safety features before purchasing a heater. Once you do choose a heater, you should also make sure it is used properly.
When you are considering a space heater for your house, make sure you choose one with a strong cord. The cord should also be long enough so that it doesn’t require the use of a power strip or extension cord. An extension cord or power strip can lead to a burned space heater.
You should additionally look for a space heater with an automatic shut-off feature. This causes the heater to turn itself off when it tips over or gets too hot.
After you take your space heater home, make sure to place it on a level, non-flammable and hard surface. The floor is an ideal spot. You should similarly put it at least three feet away from flammable items. Keep your children and pets a safe distance away from the heater, as well.
Make sure to clean the space heater’s filter regularly. When you aren’t using the heater, turn it off and unplug it from the wall. You should also regularly check the cord and replace it if it appears worn or frayed.
Even if you follow the above advice, space heater fires can happen. If a burned space heater damages your home, you need to hire fire cleanup professionals. Fire damage cleanup experts can eliminate the smell and even remove soot from your carpets.
Should You Add Storm Shutters To Your Home?
Storm shutters, give them a try!
Storm Shutter Category
High winds effect homes almost all over the nation, in one form or another. To protect your home in Edmond, OK, and to help lower your insurance premium, you should consider reinforcing one of the most vulnerable parts of your structure- the windows! No matter what your needs, there is a category of shutter for you.
If you want to install something quickly while you shop for more high quality shutters, or if you have already experienced storm damage, there are some cheaper and more temporary options available. If your wallet is tight or you are located in a place where hurricanes are infrequent, you may also be looking for something along these lines. There are a few options to choose from:
- Panel shutters, $7-15 each
- Fabric storm panels, $75 per window
- 5/8 inch thick plywood, $1 per square foot
High winds don't stand a chance against high strength rolling shutters. This type uses a cranking mechanism to roll shutters down from a box housed at the top of your window along two tracks. They are attractive and sleek, made of polycarbonate or high quality metal. These shutters offer additional functionality in the form of insulation and privacy. This option usually costs between $20-30 per square foot of window area.
You may have heard of Bahama storm shutters, iconic to island style houses. These shutters hinge at the top of your window and can be lowered down into place. Having originated in the Bahamas, it comes as no surprise that they are also meant to provide shade and keep your house cool. They come in standard window sizes, usually costing between $200-$1000 each. Not to mention they can add a fun pop of color to your exterior.
In a storm with high winds, such as a hurricane, protecting your windows should be given a high priority. Depending on where you live and what type of windows you have, your shutter solution can vary. Give them a try!
How To Respond to Burns in the Workplace
Apply a sterile gauze bandage
A fire safety plan is an essential for business owners, and part of that plan must include how to response when fire damage directly affects a staff member or a customer. Are you prepared to treat burns and administer first aid? Take a look at important steps for preventing injuries and an overview of the appropriate treatment steps.
The best scenario is to avoid using the burn first kit altogether. Use the following tips to decrease the possibility of fire in your workplace. Prevention starts by recognizing the three most common workplace burns:
- Thermal (heat)
Preventing burns starts with compliance with OSHA standards and MSDS safety protocols. The next step is to train employees according to your company safety plan. Finally, consistently maintain building safety systems and reinforce safe behaviors in your employees.
Contact Emergency Services
When fire damage affects the building, one of your first steps should be to contact emergency personnel and fire remediation and reconstruction experts. The same is true when an employee or customer is injured; immediately contact emergency medical professionals. With paramedics or EMTs on the way, it's time to implement some basic burn first aid.
Treat Minor Burns
Minor burns can usually be treated simply and without medical help:
- Cool the burned area.
- Remove jewelry and other tight items before swelling sets in.
- Leave blisters alone.
- Treat the area with a moisturizing lotion or aloe vera.
- Apply a sterile gauze bandage.
Treat Major Burns
Major burns require more attention. While waiting for the medical technicians to arrive, take the following steps:
Move the burned individual away from further harm.
Check for breathing. If the person isn't breathing, begin rescue breathing as appropriate.
Remove jewelry, belts, and other tight items before the person begins swelling.
Cool the burned area with a moist cloth or bandage.
Elevate the affected body parts above heart level.
Don't submerge large burns in water.
Hopefully, your Oklahoma City, OK, business won't be affected by fire. However, it's best to take steps to reduce the possibility of fire damage and prepare for the worst with appropriate first aid training.
How To Handle Commercial Water Damage
If your commercial property suffers of water damage, call SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City for a quick response to your emergency.
Some of the most common causes in Oklahoma City, OK, of water damage in a business are a broken pipe or a sewage drain blockage, and the results can be devastating. Fortunately, there are ways to get back to normal after a pipe burst cleanup.
The First Step in Restoring Your Business
After you have gotten the source of flooding fixed, it is time to call a restoration company to get your life back to normal. Before the professionals arrive, there are a few tips you can use to ensure a minimal amount of damage.
? Make sure to gather any loose items off wet floors and air dry in a safe, ventilated area.
? Hang any damp or wet items in an area away from the flood.
? Raise furniture off wet flooring with wood blocks or aluminum foil.
? Mop any excess or standing water on floors inside the business.
? Do not turn on any electrical appliances inside the flooded area.
Once You Have Contacted Restoration Services
Before phoning professionals, you should do a quick walk-through so you know what to report to the restoration services company. How many rooms were affected, and how extensive is the damage? With this information in hand, contact a sewer cleanup company or water damage repair services. The professionals from the company you have hired to assess your business in Oklahoma City, OK, for a pipe burst cleanup can check how much damage they can clean up and how long it will take to restore any problem areas.
After the Assessment
Restoration professionals may immediately begin the cleanup process after they have assessed your business. Powerful pumps, vacuums, and dehumidifiers can remove most of the evidence of water in your business. Wall panels and flooring may need to be replaced during this process.
Once the restoration is finished, you should be able to get back to business. You will know that you did all you could to protect your livelihood. With a few hours of quick thinking and the help of a professional restoration service, a pipe burst cleanup will be a thing of the past.
Treating Burn Injuries in the Workplace
If a first-aid kit is available, use burn dressings or slightly moist sterile gauze pads to cover the burned area..
Fire damage can result in large losses to your business' material assets in Oklahoma City, OK. Along with those damages, there may be injuries to employees. Knowing how to provide burn first aid can be very beneficial in this situation. After calling the appropriate local emergency services, here are four things you can do to help.
1. Stop the Burning Process
Once the injured person has been safely evacuated from the building, take them to a safe area and have them sit or lie down so the injury can be looked at. Be sure there is nothing still burning, such as hair or clothing, that can cause further injury. If it is safe to do so, remove any restrictive clothing or jewelry before the burned area swells.
2. Asses the Injury
Just as the fire damage to your business needs to be assessed, so does the injury to an employee. Check the person to see how many areas of his or her body have been burned. Look carefully for burns to the face, as these types of injuries can cause the person to have trouble breathing, and he or she may need special attention or rescue breathing.
3. Cover the Wound
If a first-aid kit is available, use burn dressings or slightly moist sterile gauze pads to cover the burned area. A clean cloth can be used if emergency supplies are not available.
4. Treat the Injured Person for Shock
Have the injured person lie down with his or her feet and, if possible, the injured area elevated above the level of his or her heart to help prevent shock. If the person is cold, cover him or her with a blanket or similar item. Have someone remain with the person until emergency services arrive.
Handling fire damage to your business in Oklahoma City, OK, and having an injured employee is a stressful situation. A little bit of preparation and first aid learned beforehand can go a long way in keeping everyone calm and ensuring the best outcome.
3 Things Not To Do After a Flood
Many homeowners who experience flooding for the first time are unprepared.Contact SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City for your restoration process.
It’s one of many homeowner’s worst nightmares: a large storm or local disaster has flooded your neighborhood in Oklahoma City, OK. Many who experience flooding for the first time are unprepared and uninformed, not knowing what to do after floodwater has covered the streets or entered their home. To help you prepare, whether you’re facing a flooded home now or foresee its possibility in the future, here are three things not to do after a flood:
1. Remain in your home. For you and your family’s safety, if water has entered your home, it’s important to leave and not reenter until the flooding has subsided. In a flood’s immediate aftermath, the risk of rising water is still imminent due to the possibility of more rain, a compromised levy or busted dam. Find refuge outside the flood area, whether it be in a hotel, a loved one's home or a public shelter.
2. Touch the water. Flood water can be contaminated with any number of bacteria, sewage and/or chemicals that can be harmful to your skin and health. It’s also imperative to avoid standing water to minimize the risk of electric shock from electrical lines and equipment touching the water. If you must enter or be around the water for any reason, protective clothing such as rubber boots should be worn.
3. Fix it yourself. Repairing flood damage in a home can require a large number of construction materials, professional knowledge and skill to ensure the damage is fully repaired and any mold is removed. Instead of trying to take on the job yourself, it’s best to save time and additional headaches by contacting a water damage repair and restoration company.
For any homeowner, flood water is certainly an unwelcome sight. Knowing what to do, or not do, in this type of disaster is imperative to keep you and your family safe and to begin the restoration process successfully.
What Is Involved in the Fire Cleanup Process?
To remove smoke damage and other forms of fire damage call the professionals, SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City is ready for immediate response.
A fire in your home in Oklahoma City, OK can be devastating, and you are probably likely to want to start the process of cleaning your home. However, there are several steps that are helpful to take when cleaning smoke damage and other forms of damage from a fire in your home.
1. Taking Inventory
After a fire has taken place in your home, one of the first steps in the cleanup process is to take inventory of what damage has occurred. The items in your home, as well as the structure of the home itself, is examined by restoration professionals. Once you have an idea of what is damaged in your home, it is likely that you will have an estimate of how long the cleanup and restoration will take.
Once an assessment of your home has been made, the process of smoke cleaning and removing soot damage and smoke damage can begin. Many of your personal belongings, including clothes, photos and electronics can often be restored. Generally, a restoration company can help to determine the best methods to clean your belongings. If there is not a great amount of structural damage that has occurred, the process of cleaning may not take a great amount of time.
3. Removing Residual Odors
In addition to damaging items in your home, smoke can leave a lingering scent. While masking the odor with sprays or other products may be seen as a short-term solution, the smoke smell is likely to return. Methods to help remove the smell of smoke in your home can include replacing air filters, thoroughly sanitizing carpets, walls and ceilings and replacing the drywall in your home. After items in your home are clean and odors have been removed, reconstruction can begin if necessary.
Understanding the necessary steps to remove of smoke damage and other forms of fire damage can help you feel more at ease as the cleanup process begins in your home. If your home has already been damaged by a fire, it can be helpful to work with fire damage restoration experts.
Keeping Your Restrooms Clog Free
One clogged toilet in your building in Oklahoma City, OK, can cause water damage
Four Tips for Keeping Your Restroom Free of Clogs
Restroom maintenance is very important. One clogged toilet in your building in Oklahoma City, OK, can cause water damage not only in the restroom where it's installed but also in the floors below it. Follow these four tips for keeping your restrooms free of clogs and the potential damage that comes with them.
You may not think that people will read signs in the restroom, but posting expectations can actually help make them more mindful of their behavior. Remind those who use the facilities in your building of a few key community standards, such as:
- Don't overfill the toilet.
- Don't flush anything but toilet paper.
- Report any problems immediately.
Supply Thin Paper
Thinner toilet paper is a smarter choice for restrooms in commercial buildings. Not only does it tend to be less expensive but also can be instrumental in preventing toilet overflow. Even if someone uses a large wad of one-ply toilet paper, it is less likely to cause problems than thicker sheets.
Many items that shouldn't be flushed can result in a clogged toilet when there isn't an adequate number of trash receptacles in the restroom. No one wants to carry their trash with them or leave it on the floor, so they dispose of it the only way they have left, which is down the toilet. Make sure you have a trashcan in every stall as well as one or two large trashcans near the sinks.
Despite all your best efforts, sewage problems may still occur. Have your restrooms checked frequently throughout the day to make sure there is enough toilet paper and paper towels and to confirm that no mishaps have occurred. If there is a toilet overflow or a leak, call water mitigation specialists immediately to clean up the damage.
No one wants to walk into a restroom and see or smell the mess a clogged toilet leaves behind. Taking simple preventative measures can help everyone do their part to avoid the problem.
Teaming Up: How Disaster Response Companies and Insurance Agents Work in Tandem
Contact SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City right away so you’ll get the best disaster response and the fastest response from your insurance agent.
No one in Oklahoma City, OK, wants to think about dealing with flooding at home following a major storm. These disasters can cause widespread damage and may even destroy parts of your home, if not your entire house altogether. Two groups of professionals will play a vital role in easing you through the recovery process: a professional storm restoration company and your insurance provider. When these two entities work together, you can get through an otherwise awful situation.
Once you discover a flood or water damage in your home after a big storm, you need to act quickly. Delays can only make the problem worse and damage more costly. Here’s what you should after a flood:
• Safely exit your home; only take items with you that you can easily and safely carry.
• Contact a reputable, experienced storm response company to assess the damage and provide cleanup services.
• Get in touch with your insurance company to report the incident and file a claim.
What the Professionals Will Do First
A storm restoration team from SERVPRO will start off by inspecting the flooded area and making note of the damage the water caused. A technician will record what items and areas of the home suffered and will then come up with a plan of how to clean up and repair the damage. SERVPRO will communicate with your insurance agent, and the two companies will get on the same page so you’ll get proper coverage.
What Are the Advantages?
Time is of the essence when it comes to repairing flood damage. It’s also vital that your insurance company initiates the claims process so you don’t have to worry about paying for expensive repairs to the issues. Because SERVPRO is thorough in every step of its work, you can rest assured that the insurance company will have all the information it needs to do its part in a timely manner.
Don’t risk hiring the wrong storm restoration group. Get in touch with SERVPRO right away so you’ll get the best disaster response and the fastest response from your insurance agent.
Tenant and Owner Responsibilities After a Fire
Whether you are a renter or a landlord who's suffered a commercial fire, apartment fire or house fire, you will need to contact your insurance compan.
Whether you've experienced an apartment fire, commercial fire or a fire at a rented home in Oklahoma City, OK, the effects can be devastating to both the tenant and the landlord. It may not be clear who is responsible when it comes to the fire damage. Depending on the circumstances, liability can be divided up very differently. Let's look at some particulars.
Generally, the landlord is responsible for hiring the restoration company to repair structural damage after a business, house or apartment fire. Damage may include:
• Structural damage to:
o Pool Houses
• Damage to fixtures and appliances:
o Electrical wiring
o Supplied appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators
In most cases, the tenant is responsible for any damage done to his or her personal property. The tenant will have to go to his or her insurance company to recover the loss of items such as:
• Tenant-owned appliances
• Video game consoles
• Musical instruments
Sometimes, there is a question of who is liable for the damage. If the landlord is proved to be responsible (for instance, due to negligence regarding the property's electrical wiring), he can be made to pay for damage to the renters' personal belongings, wages lost, costs related to finding another place to stay, and more. Conversely, if the landlord can prove that the renter was somehow negligent, the renter may be responsible for any costs related to repairing the property. If the landlord is unable to prove this, he will be liable for any structural repair, as it's the landlord's responsibility to see to it that the property is in a livable condition.
Whether you are a renter or a landlord who's suffered a commercial fire, apartment fire or house fire, you will need to make sure that you have immediately contacted your insurance company, have made a detailed list of any property that's been damaged and taken pictures of any damage to the structure and property, as well as any evidence of negligence. That way you will be prepared for any subsequent questions from the insurance company, and ensure that you're only incurring cost for the fire damage that you're actually responsible for.
A Quick Overview of the Mold Remediation Process
Call SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City when dealing with severe mold.
If you’re new to the presence of black mold growth in your Oklahoma City, OK, commercial property, the prospect of how to handle it can seem rather perplexing. Thankfully, since mold growth is such an everyday occurrence for property owners, there’s plenty of information available to give you the answers you need. If you’re curious about how to address mold cleanup and how to go about the mold remediation process in general, here is a quick rundown of how it all works and when to call in professionals for help.
First Things First: When Dealing With Severe Mold, Always Call in Professionals
While there’s still a debate over the health effects of black mold amongst experts in the field, it’s currently still safer than not to contact a highly-experienced team of mold remediation specialists to inspect your property and properly eliminate any traces of mold. Containment of the affected area is the first step in mold cleanup, preventing the spread of growth and contamination elsewhere in the building. While professionals are installing tarps and covering windows and doorways, they’ll be wearing appropriate attire designed to keep them personally protected from the effects of direct contact with the mold.
Mold Removal Consists of Various Steps
Once the affected areas have been contained, the mold removal process will begin with tearing out any building materials that show mold growth or have been in contact with the fungus in any way that can’t be restored. This ensures that any traces of the contamination are eradicated. Meanwhile, the use of proper chemicals for rightful cleaning and maintenance of the area is carried out, leading to the ultimate step of disinfection of the space. Once the area has been treated as needed, professionals can give you the go ahead when the entire process is completed and you can safely return inside the building.
If you’re stumbling blindly into a black mold situation as a commercial property owner in OKC, hiring trained and experienced technicians is a great first step in addressing mold removal.
Water Heater Cleanup Tips for Homeowners
If your water heater is leaking, your home can quickly become flooded
A leaking water heater can cause devastating damage to homes in Edmond, OK, and many homeowners are unsure what to do when their water heater breaks. There are several useful steps homeowners can take if their water heaters fail.
Turn Off the Water Immediately
If your water heater is leaking, your home can quickly become flooded. In order to stop the flow of water into your home and decrease the likelihood of major damage, it’s often useful to turn off the main water supply to your home as quickly as possible. Knowing where your home’s shutoff valve is located before your water heater begins to leak can help you to react in a timely manner.
Shut Off Your Home’s Power
Although your first thought may not be to turn off the power in your home when you have a leaking water heater, leaving the power on with a broken water heater could be hazardous. Shutting off the power can help to minimize the risk of electrical items becoming damaged. Since wet electrical wiring can cause fires, turning off the power can also help to decrease the risk of a fire occurring in your home.
Make a Claim if Necessary and Call for Help
Depending on the amount of damage that your failed water heater has caused, you may need to make a claim to your insurance company. Once you have made a claim, it’s often also helpful to contact water damage restoration professionals. Many items in your home are susceptible to water damage, and professionals can help to mitigate the damage and can also assist in the restoration process.
Knowing how to respond to a leaking water heater can help to protect your home from major damage. Turning off the water, shutting off your home’s power and making an insurance claim and contacting professionals can make the cleanup process easier for homeowners.
Renter’s Insurance and Mold Damage: 3 Facts
Mold damage due to a leak in an Oklahoma City home
Learning the Facts of How Mold Can Affect Your Rental Space
Having rental insurance in Oklahoma City, OK, can protect your belongings against sudden damage or theft. However, there are some circumstances that may leave you without the coverage you need to recover, such as problems resulting from mold growth. Learning the facts about how fungi might affect your rented space and whether you are safeguarded against the damage it does can be important for protecting your finances and for your peace of mind while renting a property.
1. Most Internal Mold Causes Are Covered
One of the most important factors when it comes to what type of mold damage renter’s insurance covers is what caused the issue. For example, a flood caused by a burst kitchen pipe or a malfunctioning HVAC unit that in turn causes mold will likely be covered by your rental insurance. It is important to know, however, that protection against natural or sewer floods may require you to buy an additional policy to be covered completely.
2. Negligent Acts May Void Coverage
If it is found that you caused mold problems in your apartment or rented home, any coverage you might have been entitled to could be voided. This may include fridge mold, the improper cleanup of small floods that damage your belongings and poor housekeeping habits. Learning a few common causes of mold and how to prevent it can protect you from losing coverage.
3. Landlord Liability Can Be Limited
If a landlord fails to maintain your building and a leak or a flood damages your belongings, you might want to review your lease before you seek compensation, as many property owners have you sign away liability when you rent from them. Your landlord might have a mold removal and restoration service come in to resolve the issue, but depending on your lease, you might have to pay for damaged items out of pocket.
Buying rental insurance for any property you lease in Oklahoma City, OK, can protect you from a variety of different problems, including mold growth. Learning the facts about coverage may help you feel prepared in the face of flooding, fires and other events that cause fungi to grow.
How To Avoid a Cigarette Fire
Keep fire extinguisher accessible
In addition to causing health problems, 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 To Keep Excess Moisture Out of Your Building
Commercial storm damage in Oklahoma City, OK
How To Keep Excess Moisture Out of Your Building
As a business owner in Oklahoma City, OK, you want to make sure your building is safe, clean and useful. Your building's interiors are not designed to withstand a lot of extra moisture, so the key to protecting them is keeping the moisture out. You can avoid most rain damage, even in the strongest storm season, by doing everything you can to make sure your roof and exterior walls resist leaks.
How Leaks Happen
For storm damage to occur, three conditions have to exist:
- Cracks or openings in wall or roof
- Water present near the cracks
- Pressure forcing water into cracks
If you have weak spots in your roof, along the joints of your walls or near your windows, it is likely that water will get into your building and cause some damage. If it goes undetected, an initially small leak can develop into flood damage or black mold growth that has to be remediated by mold mitigation specialists.
How To Prevent Leaks
You can prevent rain damage by having a strong building envelope. Start by inspecting your building and making note of its current state of protection. Look for any openings where water could get in, such as cracks in the plaster, worn flashing or badly installed joints. It's important to identify problem areas so that you can get the necessary repairs done.
Once you know where flood cleanup is likely to be necessary should heavy rainfall occur, you know exactly where to make reinforcements. Consider adding an extra layer of protection on your roof. Check your drainage system to make sure water flows directly into it and away from your building. If possible, recess your windows.
Excess moisture can cause a lot of problems in your building, especially if it is hidden from plain sight. While a little storm cleanup may be necessary with vicious storms, you can prevent most rain damage by upgrading your building's protection.
The Top 3 Commercial Plumbing Problems
Pipes can break or leak for several reasons.
Many commercial buildings have similar plumbing problems. While dripping faucets or toilets that constantly run may only raise water bills, other issues can result in significant usage spikes or water damage. Find out more about the three most common plumbing problems and ways that building owners or managers can prevent an incident such as a clogged toilet from becoming expensive or causing extensive damage.
1. Broken or Leaky Pipes
Pipes can break or leak for several reasons. Some materials may be prone to corrode or wear out over time. Supply lines that are exposed to below-freezing temperatures can also develop frozen blockages that cause pressure to build until a pipe bursts.
2. Clogged Drains
The risk of clogs varies depending on the condition of a sewer line, the primary use of a building and the number of occupants. A sewer line that is old and penetrated by tree roots is more likely to become blocked. Restaurants where large amounts of cooking fats or grease end up in the drain are more prone to sewer backups. As the number of occupants of a building goes up, so does the likelihood that non-flushable materials will result in a clogged toilet.
3. Water Wastage
Some buildings have many bathroom facilities. This can make it harder to monitor the condition of each and every faucet and toilet. Even equipment designed to promote functionality, such as a flushometer, can end up resulting in wastage. The water wasted by dripping faucets or broken or inefficient toilets throughout a structure can add up to a significantly higher water bill.
If any of these issues are currently affecting a commercial building in Oklahoma City, OK the property owner or manager should contact a plumber. If a leak or flooding results from a broken pipe or clogged toilet, mitigation and restoration specialists can eliminate primary damage and prevent secondary damage.
6 Steps for Recovery From Mold
Black mold can start to grow in your commercial building within 24 hours of the onset of water damage.
Black mold can start to grow in your commercial building in Oklahoma City, OK within 24 hours of the onset of water damage. While you may not be able to avoid mold altogether, you can keep it from spreading by calling mold mitigation experts as soon as you suspect it's a problem. Here are the six steps they can take to rid your building of fungus growth.
Technicians start by setting up a seal around the perimeter of the infestation. This keeps spores from detaching and flowing into other areas of the building while cleanup is in process.
Another way experts keep from spreading spores while protecting themselves during mold cleanup is by wearing personal protective equipment. They cover themselves from head to toe with goggles, face masks with filtered respirators, protective suits, gloves and boots.
All material infested with black mold must be removed from the building. Because mold tends to branch down into porous surfaces, many items will need to be replaced rather than cleaned.
The surfaces that can be cleaned are disinfected. Some surfaces can be cleaned with a detergent while others may require treatments such as ultraviolet radiation.
Mold is attracted to moisture. You can't get rid of the mold spores in your building, but you can find a way to keep it from settling in one spot. Anything remaining that still holds excess moisture must be dried to keep mold growth from returning.
To return your building to its original state, everything that was torn out or thrown away during mold remediation must be replaced. Restoration experts can replace walls, ceilings and floor and make them look as good as new.
You may not catch water damage early enough to keep black mold from growing. If you catch it early, however, the process for mitigating the mold problem should be pretty straightforward.
Always Here to Help
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City is the premier choice when it comes to fire, water and mold restoration. Our team is quick to respond and help mitigate any losses you might experience. Our team takes great pride in making sure each job is completed to your expectations and well documented along the way. SERVPRO has the resources and experience to handle any size job from small to large. It is critical to make sure that you do not wait long if you have water sitting in your home or business, for it can cause secondary damage, like mold and weird odors. SERVPRO makes sure to mitigate all damages to prevent the formation of secondary damages from occurring. If you have any questions, our team is here to help 24/7, 365 days a year. We want to be your educational resource for any issues you might have. We are always here to help.
What to do if you have a water loss in Oklahoma City, OK.
If you have a water loss in Oklahoma City, it is critical to get SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City on site immediately. Our team of qualified technicians is here to help around the clock. The first step on any water job is to start emergency services. This can include extracting the water from the facility. SERVPRO uses both truck mount and portable extractors to help remove all standing water. After the water is removed, SERVPRO can begin removing damaged materials and start the drying process. The second step is to begin the drying process. This can include placing air moreover and dehumidifiers throughout the property. Each day a certified technician will monitor the drying process to make sure your home or business is progressing. The last step, once the structure is dry, is to remove all of the equipment and repair any of the damaged materials. Once the property is restored, your home will be back to preloss condition. It is important to make sure any restoration company documents each step of the process, so you have accurate and update to records for your insurance company. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our office any time day or night.
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City here to help if you suspect mold in your home or business
Suspected mold in home needing remediation by SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City.
What to do if you suspect mold in your house
Mold - the very thought can put terror into the eyes of a homeowner. After all, mold in your home can make you and your family sick. If nothing else, it looks disgusting. But it can also weaken your walls, ceilings and floor. And if you try to sell a house known to have mold, you might as well put a sign on your front lawn that reads: "Not For Sale."
So if you think you have mold, and plenty of houses do what should you do?
Test for mold. That's probably the last thing you or any homeowner wants to hear because mold testing can be expensive, and there are plenty of horror stories out there. The average cost to test for mold – not to remove, just to test – is $834, according to HomeAdvisor.com. If that price makes you ill, you could buy a mold testing home kit, which generally runs anywhere from $10 to $50. That said, molding test kits have a reputation for being unreliable.
If you do have mold. Don't panic yet. This may not be a major problem. Call SERVPRO to have it removed by licensed professionals.
A lot of keeping mold away comes down to basic maintenance. Here are some things you can do around your house:
- Caulk around the water fixtures in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Clean out the gutters. Standing water in your gutters due to clogs can lead to water leaking into the eaves, and thus in exterior walls.
- Caulk around your windows to keep out heavy rain.
- Take care of any roof leaks as soon as they are detected.
- Do you have a crawl space under the home? If you do, check under it to make sure there's no water accumulating and standing there.
For more information on mold removal call SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City today!
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City offers latest in odor fighting technology
Hydroxyl Generator working on strong odors
As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City now introduces a new tool for odor destruction. One of the most annoying things is an unpleasant odor be it at your home, office or shop. SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City understands the frustration you go through trying to get rid of the odor and thus introduces a new tool that will make sure the odor is gone for good.
With the use of a hydroxyl generator you are assured that the odor will be gone by the time we are through. In the past deodorization was done using masking agents, filters and other ineffective methods. Now with the latest technology we assure our customers perfection by using a hydroxyl generator. The generator is a new technology that beats all the other methods used in the past. The generator is able to:
- Cleans all air and all spaces in a contained room
- Produce atmospheric hydroxyls that are strong enough to neutralize bacteria and viruses
- Hydroxyls can penetrate into porous materials, fabrics and anywhere else as needed
However strong the odor is the hydroxyl generator will be able to kill it. It produces “superior hydroxyl” molecules that eliminate bacteria, mildew, mold, noxious gases, odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in indoor environments. These molecules can penetrate to the furthest edge of the house restoring its original scent.
For more information on odor removal call SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City today!
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City offers Air Duct and HVAC cleaning just in time for Spring
Why clean your Air Ducts? Because they get dirty!
In addition to the normal accumulation of dust and dirt found in all homes, there are several other factors that contribute to and increase the need for regular Air Duct and HVAC system cleaning:
- allergies or asthma
- cigarette or cigar smoke
- water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
- home renovation or remodeling projects
Some people are more sensitive to these contaminants than others. Allergy and asthma sufferers as well as young children and the elderly tend to be more susceptible to the types of poor indoor air quality that air duct cleaning can help address.
Through normal occupation in a home, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the duct work.
While dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in your home, school or workplace, they may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.
For more information on air duct cleaning call SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City today!
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City offers Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning
Spring is right around the corner which is when homeowners typically begin to make a list of spring-cleaning chores to prepare for the warmer weather ahead. This year remediation specialists at SERVPRO suggest including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) duct maintenance on your to-do list.
Air duct cleaning can help reduce costs for both heating and cooling as well as protect the health of your family members and employees. Air duct cleaning removes bacteria, dust and mold to ensure greater air quality. This prevents inhaling unwanted contaminants which can cause allergies and other respiratory illnesses, by having a professional cleaning from us.
The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:
- Helps to restore peak energy efficiency
- May help eliminate offensive odors
- Helps reduce the potential for mod growth
For more information on air duct cleaning call SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City today!
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City has you covered during flu season
Flu season is upon us, and SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City is here to make sure your schools and businesses are clean and able to stay up and running. We offer disinfecting and wipe downs of schools and businesses. SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City has all the necessary and safe materials to use to safely and effectively rid surfaces of flu and other viruses.
One product we use is called Benefect. Benefect is the only authentically botanical disinfectant available, making it a sustainable option for cleaning and disinfecting. Benefect is a plant-based cleaner that uses the powerful oil of the thyme plant. Since it is a plant-based cleaner, it ensures the safety of the product for use around children and pets.
Call SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City if the flu stops your schools or businesses in its tracks, and let us get you up and running again!
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City offers cooking safety tips
November is here and with it comes some of our favorite things. We hear at SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City love the smell of pumpkin spice, leaves changing, warm fires and lots of turkey. November brings in the start of the holiday season and with that comes lots of cooking and time spent in the kitchen. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving alone. Below are some easy steps everyone should follow to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
The NFPA recommends the following safety tips:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
- Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
- Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
- Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
- Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City responds to category 3 loss
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City crew members pose with the homeowners' prized bull.
Our team responded to a category 3 loss on a Saturday afternoon. We responded after other restoration companies had declined the work. Our competition told the homeowners to call SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City. Upon arrival, we were notified that one of the home owners has severe health complications. We acted quickly to secure them a safe place to relocate to, and began work immediately. Our team worked long hours into the early morning to get a great start on the job. It was a large job that was handled quickly and efficiently thanks to a hard working team. Our customer was so happy with our work she asked us to take a picture with her prized bull. SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City truly is "faster to any size disaster!"
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City Gives Back to Oklahoma City
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City Owner Nicholas Hickman volunteers as Cub Scouts Den Master at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City is proud to be an active member in Oklahoma City's civic community. We love working with local nonprofits and metropolitan organizations. Whenever possible we try and donate our time and/or resources to better Oklahoma City. During the past year we have volunteered and assisted with groups such as the Northwest Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America, churches, schools and neighborhood associations. In addition, SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City has donated time and resources to provide continuing education for real estate and insurance professionals. We have proudly sponsored lunches for area churches and exhibited how we be of service to their facilities. Please contact us to see how SERVPRO of North Oklahoma City can be of service to your organization.