Sunday, February 28, 2016

How to Prevent Fire and Water, Mold Damages


Fire and water have always been man's best friends while simultaneously being man's worst enemies. Coming to terms with this enigma of good versus bad is what we humans must learn to do.
Home owners, condo owners, renters and landlords all face the risks of fire losses, as well as water and mold damages. This article purposes to briefly outline important measures to take to avoid becoming a victim to the three most forceful elements of home (or business) destruction.

Fire Prevention

The experts reveal a highly disturbing fact when examining leading causes of residential or business fires. Incredibly, general liability triggers involve carelessness, forgetfulness, smoking, recklessness and absentmindedness when smoking, cooking or using lit candles.

Follow these guidelines and help prevent horrific fire losses and damages that statistically include tragic loss of life.

• Lit candles should always be positioned within inflammable receptacle and never left unattended

• Put matches, cigarette lighters and any alternate lighting mechanism away from children's reach

• Have a fire extinguisher within handy reach

• Install working smoke detectors in key spots on each floor of your home and never disconnect them

• Never leave stove top's cooking unattended

• Never attach a transportable heater to an extension cord

• Make sure your transportable heater is not near any fabric or flammable object

• Inspect your home or business for fire risks

• Design a fire escape plan and conduct family and worker fire drills often

Water Damage

It's every homeowner or resident's nightmare - a burst water pipe! Notorious for causing thousands upon thousands of dollars in house damage, a burst water pipe's full potential for destruction can be avoided by following these essential rules:

• Identify the location of the main water turnoff tap so that, if needed, you can shut off the water supply

• Instruct family members or home occupants how to shut off water supply at the first sight of a water leak

• Keep a record of water leaks and follow up with necessary repairs

Mold Damage

Closely related to water damage is, of course, mold damage. Once it develops, it is very difficult to remove. The following steps will help you prevent the heartache and headache of massive home harm.

• Inspect bathrooms and places where water seepage can occur - particularly in bathrooms where resulting mold spore development can occur

• If you detect any mold development, prevent spreading by immediately removing affected material

• Attempt to clean affected area with mold prevention formulas or homemade mixture of bleach and water

• Thoroughly dry mold-affected area and surrounding areas, including concealed spots. Make use of a dehumidifier to remove mold-causing moisture from air and objects.

Prevention works only as humanly possible. For this reason, it is the smart property owner or resident that purchases tailored insurance coverage for invaluable peace of mind and solid protection in the event losses and damages occur.


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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tips to Prevent Fire in the Home - Keep the Family Safe and Sound


Any area of the home is prone to fires, but especially the kitchen. Many don't know that cooking fires are the most common causes of fire and injury within the home. From pans left unattended while hot on the stove to not having a fire extinguisher inspection along with a variety of less obvious causes, there is plenty for homeowners to be concerned with. Because house fires are extremely dangerous for your family, it's important to be educated on the most common causes. Thankfully there are some tips and preventative measures every homeowner should take, and they will ensure less of a chance of fire.

According to the NFPA, or National Fire Protection Association, kitchen fires are not only the top cause of home fires, the majority of injuries in the kitchen happen because victims try to fight the fire on their own. Completely avoiding them is the smartest option.

Don't Leave the Kitchen

Leaving food on the stove is the most common cause of a kitchen fire. Never leave while something is on the cooking, it's much smarter to turn off the stove or move the pan from the heat for a moment until returned. The same goes for food in the oven under the broiler; with such high heat it doesn't take long for foods to ignite. Always keep the oven door cracked when broiling.

It's also important to always take note of things on or around the stovetop. Items like oven mitts, kitchen towels, curtains and appliance cords can easily ignite when close to the burners. Always move flammable products away from the stove top. If using a towel to remove hot pans from the stove, make sure it's not hanging down where it could touch the burner and catch fire.

The Right Attire

Any clothing item with flowing, long parts such as loose-fitting shirts and even aprons depending on how they are constructed can catch fire. Stick with fitted tops and short sleeves. Otherwise, a fitted apron can keep clothing tied back or tucked away so it won't get in the way. Also, any long hair should be tied back.

Invest in Fire Safety Equipment

Always have a fire extinguisher in or close to the kitchen, and make sure fire extinguisher inspections are performed at least yearly. It's been proven that in the case of a fire, the fire extinguisher usually makes the difference between a minor disaster and the complete loss of a kitchen or home. However, don't just buy the extinguisher, mount it and forget about it. Make sure that the usage label is read, or take a class at a local provider so using it will be second nature.

It's also important to regularly change out the batteries in any smoke detectors. Most homes have a smoke detector in the kitchen or a nearby room which is great, but having an inoperable detector is pointless! Check or change the battery about every six months to be safe. There are actually companies that can be contracted to come out and perform detector and fire extinguisher inspections for a small fee, which is great because there's less chance of forgetting.

Dispose of Cooking Oils Correctly

When it comes to cooking with oil, it's smart to know the smoke points of various oils. Smoke points are the temperature where oil breaks down and becomes a fire hazard. When this knowledge is gained one can avoid subjecting oil with low smoke points to high heat on the stove top. This can easily cause a fire.

Never throw hot grease into the trash, even if it's not aflame. Something in the trash can catch fire. The best method is to cool the grease then pour it into an old coffee can. Also, be sure upon fire extinguisher inspection that it's the correct type for grease and oil fires, or for in the kitchen atmosphere.

By following these tips one can ensure their kitchen is safe, and never forget to schedule fire extinguisher inspection!


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Monday, February 22, 2016

Top 5 Water Damage Dangers


If you've experienced water damage in your home, it's imperative that you address the problem as soon as possible. Water damage that isn't dealt with promptly can damage your home's structure and contribute to health problems for you and your family.

1. Mold and mildew. Left unchecked, water damage can contribute to the growth of mold and mildew in your home. This can lead to breathing and other health problems for you and your family, especially for people with allergies, or asthma and other respiratory diseases. Mold can begin growing in as little as 48 hours after water damage has occurred. To avoid a mold problem, hire a commercial cleaning service to clean up your home as soon as possible after you experience water damage.

2. Structural problems. Severe water damage can undermine your home's structural stability. Depending on the extent of the damage and where it occurred, it may cause problems with your roof, floors, walls, or even the home's foundation. To avoid permanent damage to a home's structure, it is important to remove all water as quickly as possible. If you're concerned about a building's stability because of water damage, don't enter it; instead call a building inspector, who can let you know if it's safe to be in the home.

3. Electrical problems. Water can easily damage your home's wiring. In worst-case scenarios, this can contribute to fires or cause electrocutions. In other cases, you may need to replace electrical appliances or have your home's wiring professionally repaired. Always call a licensed electrician to deal with any electrical problems in your home after water damage. Also, make sure that you know how to shut off all the electricity to your home, so that you can prevent injuries and accidents if your home is flooded.

4. Bacteria, germs, and parasites. Depending on the source of the water in your home, it could harbor bacteria, germs, and parasites. If your home has been flooded with waste material (perhaps from a sewage backup); you will definitely need to hire a commercial cleaning service to deal with the problem. Failing to clean up properly after this kind of damage could make your family sick with illnesses like hepatitis, or diminish the value of your property because of a lingering noxious smell.

5. Chemicals. Depending on the source of the water in your home, it might be contaminated with hazardous chemicals. This may be the case if the water came from outside the home, or if household chemicals intermingled with the floodwaters. In any case, it's always best to hire a home cleaning expert to deal with situations where there is a possible chemical contamination. They'll know how to take proper precautionary measures when cleaning and make sure your home is safe for you and your family.


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Friday, February 19, 2016

Disaster Cleanup Services


Every year millions of households are affected by disasters, natural and otherwise causing billions of dollars in damages. It is vital to understand all of the types of disasters that can occur to a residence and the dangers associated with each. Furthermore it is extremely important to the homeowners and their families that these damages be properly restored before occupation of the residence continues. This article will outline some common household disasters and health risks associated with the damages from those disasters. Finally this piece will explain how to choose the best damage restoration specialist for homeowners and their families to ensure health risks are eliminated and the structural integrity of the home is maintained.

Sewage backup is unfortunately fairly common and is also one of the most dangerous disasters which can occur within a home. Sewage, by definition, is any material originating beyond the trap. Any liquid or material backing up from this region should be considered hazardous whether it comes up through a floor drain or other locations in the house such as a toilet. Sewage contains both organic and inorganic contaminants such as wastes breeding Salmonella, E. Coli, toxic basic and acidic drain cleaners and other chemicals which can cause serious heath issues and life threatening illness. Aside from the solid contaminants sewage can produce methane or hydrogen sulfide gases which can be a fire hazard as well as ammonia and other potentially toxic gases. Due to the health risks involved it is important that when a substantial backup is discovered that a professional be called to assess the situation because often times the backup can travel under the home and go unnoticed. Sewage backup if untreated can potentially damage a structure, rotting out the foundation and in serious cases can put the structure at risk of collapse. Failure to properly restore sewage damage, among other health risks can lead to another dangerous household disaster, mold.

There are a variety of mold species that can come to colonize a home which introduce a wide range health risks to the occupants. Some toxic strains include Alternaria, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Mucor and several others. These toxic molds have been linked to a variety of short term effects such as hives, trouble breathing, headaches, general fatigue and others. Long term effects of mold exposure can be much more severe. Long term mold exposure has been linked to respiratory infections, some cancers, heart problems, nervous system problems and other serious risks. There are many disasters that can strike a household which make it more vulnerable to toxic mold growth such as flooding and foundation cracks and leaks caused by earthquakes, frost wedging or other forms of erosion. There are other factors which can lead to mold growth such as high humidity and poor air circulation. Is is important to call an expert as soon as mold growth is discovered because lab tests are necessary to determine if there is a serious threat present and the person called to restore a house can make all the difference in this situation.

There are a few ways to tell if the contractor called is knowledgeable and skilled enough to eliminate the health risks brought on by mold growth, flooding or sewage backup. Researching a business' history is one way to determine if those called upon are up to the job. Is is important that the person or associated company be experienced in the specific field disaster restoration. Inexperience can lead to improper restoration which can potentially lead to illness or if some damages go unnoticed much greater future costs for a proper restoration. Possibly the best way to verify that the technician is an authority on restoration and mold remediation is look for certification. There are many national certifications which ensure that technicians are trained to deal with all of the risks involved in restorations such as The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the very stringent Antimicrobial Mold Remediation Technician (AMRT) Certification. Disasters are most always unexpected and so are health issues or structural collapses that can result from improper damage restoration. Homeowners can prevent the latter two scenarios by calling on certified restoration technicians to protect their homes and families.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fire Restoration Services - Should You Hire Professional Fire Restoration Services After a Fire?


Has your home been damaged by a fire? Does your furniture and belongings smell like smoke? Are your walls, floors and carpets suffering from water damage? If so, you should consider hiring a professional fire restoration company to help get your home back to normal.

The first few weeks after a fire are a traumatic time for you and your family; you are talking with insurance agents and adjusters, you are taking inventory of everything that has been damaged, you are searching for receipts and you are still likely reeling from shock. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to find another place to live until all restoration has been completed. You don't need the added stress of trying to restore your home on your own; nor should you, as you can actually cause more damage.

By hiring a fire restoration company, you can rest assured that your home and your belongings will be treated with care and respect, and all smoke, fire and water damage will be rectified. You don't have to worry about which cleaner to use for which item, you won't have to worry about how to get the carpets dried or the smoke out of the walls; you can leave it to the professionals - they know what to do, and how important your home is to you.

Your insurance company should be able to refer you to a fire restoration company; but if not, you can find one yourself by looking in the yellow pages, or on the internet. Whatever company you choose, make sure they have a reputable background and ask for references.

If you absolutely feel that you must do something before the fire restoration company arrives, there are a few things you can do: discard all your food, beverages and medicines that has been exposed to fire or smoke; change your furnace filter daily to get rid of soot; wash your clothes and hang them out to dry; turn on fans or de-humidifiers to dry up your carpets or lay them outside in the sun.

You should not, however, attempt to clean any of your furniture or belongings. This is best left to the professionals. Smoke damage requires different cleaning techniques than fire damage for example, and if you try this on your own, you may end up causing more damage than you started with.

You owe it to yourself to get the best possible care for your belongings and your home after a fire. You have enough on your mind without doing all the work yourself.


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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Water Damage Restoration 1 or 2 - Servpro Of Fairfield



Tom with Servpro Of Fairfield shows the process of water extraction in typically home setting. See more at www.servprooffairfield.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Few Frequently Asked Questions About Water Damage


If I've suffered water damage in my home or business or home, how should I expect experts to clean and dry the water from my property?

With a combination of humidifiers, heat drying equipment and high speed fans.

Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air, while high-speed fans speed up the evaporation process. This equipment, if used properly, speeds up the drying out process.

How long should I expect it to take for my home or business to dry out?

Though all cases are different, usually it takes a good 3-4 days for water completely to dry. This includes removing all standing water before bringing in the dehumidifiers, high-speed fans and heat drying equipment.

A couple of factors that affect drying out time are the length of time before your water restoration experts are called onto the scene and the extent of your water damage.

So, the water restoration pros have come and gone... how do I know that property is well dried out?

First of all, make sure that you call on water restoration professionals of good reputation. They should be doing regular progress checks to monitor the drying process with moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras to make sure that all of the affected areas are thoroughly dried to industry standards.

How often does home owner's insurance cover the cost of water damage?

This depends on both your insurance carrier and the type policy that you have. Most do cover costs that come from damage resulting from sudden problems like pipes or hoses bursting in your home or business.

Always contact a professional immediately to reduce further damage and related costs.

If our carpets get wet, should we replace them?

It depends on the extent of the damage and the source of the water.

~ If the water that gets on your carpet comes from a clean source like a water supply line then your carpets can typically be restored.

~ If there is a mild amount of contamination in the water, like from you AC system, then this has to be judged on a case by case basis.

~ If the water is badly contaminated, like sewer water, then your carpets and any other porous materials in your home or business should be replaced.

If, after water damage has occurred, should I expect mold to grow on structural materials and become a health hazard?

If you use the services of experienced restoration professionals, and if they properly eliminate the moisture from structural materials, the chance of mold growth and the resulting health hazards are greatly reduced.

After water damage has occurred to my property, how long will it take for mold to begin growing?

Mold begins growing within 2-3 days of an occurrence of water penetration. Therefore, it is imperative that you call in your local damage restoration experts immediately so that they can get the clean up and drying process started ASAP!

How much will all this water cleanup and drying process cost me?

It's not at all possible to estimate the costs associated with cleaning up and properly drying your property after the damage has occurred without a full inspection of the damage.

Be sure and call a reputable restoration expert in your area so that you can be comfortable that they know what they are doing and that they will treat you fairly when it comes to their fees.


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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Fire Restoration Company: Keep Your Home From the Dangers of Fire


Fire restoration is never an easy task and handling it all by yourself may prove disastrous. Knowing that this job is delicate, it is best to delegate this to a professional fire restoration company who will not only do the cleaning and salvaging of your belongings but will also see to it that expert attention is given to rebuild and restore your home back to its former grandeur.

Furthermore, hiring a restoration company firm may very well usher in a lot of benefits beyond what you could think of. In this article, let us explore this enticing benefits that will surely make you say yes when asked whether to hire a fire restoration company.

Fire restoration companies will send you a lot of helping hands - LITERALLY!

Most fire restoration companies hire contractors to make the job faster and more efficient. Most contractors will work simultaneously on the different areas of your home that need to be restored. Since there are a lot of work and repairs to be made, it is practical to have a group who will take care and address structural issues, soot, and other restoration work as well as prevent additional water damage. Contractors who work in group can solve these problems in the nick of time and since they have years of experience and necessary exposure needed to get the work done correctly, you can sleep well at night knowing that your house will get the quality restoration it needs to make it the home that you have been dreaming of.

Restoration Firms Use Special Fire Restoration Equipment

Most firms use specialized equipment that is either expensive to rent, own or useless after the job. An ozonation machine gas, for example, is one of these machines. It is used to produce ozone, a dangerous gas that saturates the walls, ceiling, floor, and other surfaces in your home, eventually eliminating the dangerous effects of smoke odor. Since this machine is expensive and dangerous, it is best to hire a professional who knows how to properly use this machine for the benefit of your home.

Before you hire a fire restoration company, don't forget to seek the advice of your insurance company.

This will give you the nod that your insurance provider approves of the services that restoration company provides as well as the hint that your insurance firm and fire restoration company are at good terms with one another, giving you the guarantee that you will get the best services for your home restoration.

This also saves you time since you do not have to waste any of it looking for a reputable restoration company in your place. Remember that restoration work should begin 24 hours after the incident. Asking for a referral from your insurance company is a great relief for your part since you won't have enough time to look for a restoration company once the fire department or insurance adjuster sends out an order telling you to clear out your home before starting any restoration work.


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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Choosing a Mold Remediation Company


Mold can pose as a health hazard, particularly to small children, animals, and the elderly. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, it is important to get it taken care of as soon as possible, and a mold remediation company can help. Mold can aggravate allergies and asthma, create breathing difficulties and can spread quickly, causing damage to the structure of your home. Mold can also be found in carpet and in the air.

Studies suggest that as many as 50 percent of homes are at risk for developing mold. Not all molds are dangerous, but most indoor mold growth is and should be removed as soon as possible. Molds are typically cotton like or furry in appearance and are gray, white, or green. Even if you don't smell mold, keep in mind that the poisonous molds that grow in walls do not always have an odor. If you do discover mold, make sure that you choose an experienced mold remediation company.

Most experts recommend that you do not attempt to clean the mold yourself if you are going to hire a professional company to take care of it for you. Even if it appears that there is only a small amount of mold, it is still a good idea to receive an estimate from an expert, since again, the majority of household mold is usually found within the walls and cleaning a small visible area without using the proper methods may actually make the problems worse.

You should only choose certified mold remediators who perform their own inspections and remediators who have been in business for many years and have experience working in a variety of settings, both residential and commercial. When a company first visits your home, they will conduct both a visual and a physical inspection, taking swabs of mold and performing an air quality inspection. Once your home has been assessed, you should receive a proposal of services from the company.

A good remediation company should provide a detailed list of the molds present in your home and information about the health risks associated with them as well as the procedures that will be performed to fix the mold problems. Interview and receive assessments from at least three mold inspectors before deciding, and when you do choose a mold remediation company, you will be confident that you have made the right decision when it comes to protecting your home, your health, and the health of your family.


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Monday, February 1, 2016

Something to Know About Water Damage

 
Water damage is one of the major causes of damage and loss of property. The term 'water damage' broadly describes a wide range of probable losses caused by the presence of water in a material or system where it can contribute to destructive processes like de-lamination and rotting of wood and wooden components, rusting of steel and other material etc.

Water causes damage by minor but steady degradation such as water spots or seepage that can mar surfaces or by catastrophic situations such as breaches and flooding.

Some of the common water damage irritants in a home can be:

• Bad weather
• Broken pipes or hoses from home appliances or drainage
• Clogged toilets
• Cracks in the foundation
• Leaking roofs
• Moisture trapped in between wall surfaces
• Plumbing leaks

As far as insurance coverage is concerned, most damage caused by bad weather is considered flood damage and normally is not covered under homeowners insurance. Coverage for bad weather would usually require flood insurance.

Categories of Water Damage

• Category 1 involves "clean water" or a source or leak that does not pose any safety or health hazard to human - e.g. home appliance malfunctions, broken water lines, tub overflows etc.

• Category 2 involves "grey water" or a source of water that carries harmful biological contaminants like bacteria or chemical components like effluents etc - e.g. unclean or clogged toilet water closets, seepage from septic tanks etc.

• Category 3 involves "black water" and is the most dangerous of all because of its highly unsanitary nature. This results from water sources affecting home and indoor environments - e.g. sewage backflow, contaminated standing or ground surface water, overflowing water from rivers or breached lakes, seawater etc.

Category 3 also includes 'grey water' that is not immediately sucked out or removed from the sources of the leak.

Classes of Water Damage

This is determined by the 'probable evaporation rate' based on the affected surface and the material. As a first step to ascertain restoration, the class of damage has to be ascertained.

1. Class 1 - 'slow rate of evaporation' - when material absorb minimum amounts of moisture and only a small area is affected.

2. Class 2 - 'fast rate of evaporation' - when water has affected the indoor area of a home - e.g. floor flooding drenching carpets, cushions etc.

3. Class 3 - 'fastest rate of evaporation' - when water drips or falls from above affecting ceiling, carpet, cushions, home insulation, walls etc.

4. Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations - when drying surfaces like concrete floors, hardwood floors, plastering etc. with specific low humidity to accomplish drying.

Insurance From Water Damage

In the case of homes, many home insurance policies do not provide coverage for water damage and water damage restoration. Usually this is an addendum incorporated in the policy incurring extra premium payout.

Where individuals and businesses are affected by flooding, the Individual Assistance Program allows them the option to apply for FEMA grants and government loans. On a still larger scale of utter destruction of life and property by flooding, the FEMA Public Assistance Program provides funding assistance.


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