Steps To Take After Storm Damage
A storm can be quite scary and having to deal with its after-effects is challenging. It can leave behind a lot of damage that you will have to take care of. For this reason, you need to have all the right steps in front of you so that you can restore your home as quickly as possible. Here are 5 steps that you will have to follow after suffering from storm weather damage.
Check How Much Damage Is Done
Before you go on to figuring out the solution for the damage, you will have to assess how much damage took place. It is best to take a look at every nook and corner of your home to know where all the damage is.
Don’t miss out on anything as you want to ensure that every bit of damage is repaired properly. Observe every inch of the exterior so that you can know exactly what went wrong. Also, if there is seepage or any other time of damage as well, then make sure to take note of this as well.
Keep Yourself Safe And Avoid Injury
As you go about assessing your home of damage, you want to make sure that you avoid injury throughout. To do this, you will have to keep away from all sorts of electrical equipment and risky areas around your home.
If you see cracks on the roofs, then it is best that you avoid standing under or close to that particular area. The best thing to do is to make sure that your electricity is shut off to avoid getting damage from wires running through your home.
Get Your Insurance Company On Board
Throughout the process, you want to make sure that you are collecting adequate proof to show your insurance company. They will probably also send someone for a physical examination to verify your case. Keep them in the loop so that you can claim insurance for the damages that you face from the storm damage.
Limit Further Damage To Home
Sometimes, if you do not act quickly, there is a possibility of more damage happening to your home. You want to avoid this as much as possible. If there is an excessive wind blowing or water coming in, you might want to board your windows.
If you’re not sure how to do this, then you must reach out to a professional service for help. And, that is our final step that will help with the damage.
Get The Right Professional Cleaning Service
You want to ensure that your home is not damaged beyond repair. This is when you need to get the right people on board to help you clean up the mess after the storm weather damage. You do not want to put the entire work on yourself as you might not have the right equipment to get this done properly.
You should reach out to professionals who can help you clean your home and minimize the damage done to your home. Connect to https://www.SERVPROwashingtonwoolwich.com/ and get your home cleaned up in no time.
Why Your Home Needs A Professional Storm Cleanup Service
A storm causes a lot of destruction in its wake. The chaos it creates is too much to deal with. This is why residential owners need extra help to restore their homes after a storm.
For this, you will need the service of a professional company that deals in storm damage restoration and cleanup such as us. After all, your home is your sanctuary and it needs to be protected so you can be safe.
Here are the many reasons why your home will need a professional storm damage restoration service.
Quick Cleanup And Repair
The damage that storms can cause can be extensive. You and your family can't possibly repair it in time and you will need a few days or a week to restore it yourself. However, because of this, you may feel unsafe in your own home.
Hiring a professional storm cleanup service means that your house will be restored to its original form in no time. This is because we are experts at what we do and we can quickly and effectively repair any damage caused by the storm around the house.
As a layman, you will not know where to look for damage. You might miss out on a few things that should be repaired so your house can function well and live a long life.
Hiring a professional service will mean that they will do a full evaluation of your house first. This means that the experts will search every corner of the house to see the extent of the damage.
Apart from that, they will figure out what needs to be fixed through a detailed inspection and evaluation of your property. They will then come up with a solution to fix all the damage.
Clean And Sanitized Home For Optimal Health
Storm damage can cause contamination, infections, parasites, and diseases. These are serious issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible. If these issues exist then they will come to light when the experts do the inspection and evaluation.
As a professional cleanup service, our main priority is your health and we will do everything to ensure that it is not harmed. This is why your home will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized to get rid of any contamination and infection. You can then go back to enjoying a safe and healthy home.
Flooding Will Be Taken Care Of
Storms can cause flooding in basements and other areas. However, we will clean it up through the use of our flood pumps to get rid of all the water and to prevent it from seeping into your walls.
As a professional cleanup service, we have all the equipment and expertise to execute the restoration effectively.
Please don’t attempt to restore the house yourself after storm damage. Instead call professionals and experts such as us to effectively clean and restore your house to its original form.
For more information, feel free to get in touch with us now at (856) 241-9997.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes and What to Do to Unfreeze Them
Water bursting through frozen pipes is a common sight in homes during periods of very cold weather. You’d be surprised how many calls water damage restoration companies, such as SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich, get every winter to restore properties that are affected by frozen pipes. Check out how pipes freeze, how to prevent pipes from freezing, and how to unfreeze pipes — and avoid water damage before it’s too late:
Why do pipes freeze?
Pipes are especially vulnerable to damage caused by expanding water. Water lines that freeze are usually exposed to severe cold, such as outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, or water sprinkler lines. In addition, pipes in unheated interior areas such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, and kitchen cabinets, and those that run against exterior walls with little or no insulation are also susceptible to freezing.
Several variables contribute to frozen pipes:
- The type of building construction
- The quality and quantity of insulation
- The decline in temperature
- The direction and force of the wind
- Other weather-related conditions are all contributing factors
Furthermore, buildings that have a poor design and do not withstand severe weather sufficiently can contribute to their own damage. The type and age of the plumbing system is also a factor. Rust or corrosion weakens pipes, making leaks more likely to occur. When freeze-expansion occurs, corroded pipes will often split open. When thawing begins or when the water is turned back on, damage can occur.
During the renovation of older homes, blown-in or foam insulation is sometimes added to wall cavities between interior and exterior wall surfaces and between studs. This process may actually insulate heat away from pipes adjacent to the exterior wall surfaces, making them more susceptible to freezing.
Surprisingly, pipe freezing can be a particular problem in the warmer climates of southern states. In these areas, buildings may not be adequately constructed for cold weather conditions. Pipes often run through non-insulated or under-insulated attics, crawl spaces, or walls. If the temperature drops below freezing for even a day, these pipes may freeze and break.
Damage generally occurs when the water supply is turned back on. Since most modern plumbing lines are inside walls, homeowners usually observe a leak only after water has damaged floors, carpet, walls, or ceilings. Occasionally, an occupant hears the sound of spraying water, but by then it may be too late. The leak has already caused some degree of damage.
Pipes can also freeze during a power outage. Winter wind, snow, and ice storms frequently damage electric power lines and equipment, resulting in interruptions of electric power. Most heating systems depend on electricity, and when the power goes off, so does the heat. In severe cold weather, this can result in extensive freeze damage before power is restored.
How water pipes freeze
Water is a unique substance. As with most materials, when water cools, its density increases, and it settles to the bottom of a container. However, at 32' F, it expands and, therefore, its density decreases! This is why ice floats.
This expansion increases the volume of water by about 11% and creates tremendous pressure on its container (between 50,000 and 114,000 psi). Such containers include metal and plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a material, expanding water will cause it to break.
Frozen water pipes can result in significant to extreme water damage, and the cost to repair is often huge! The following tips can help you prevent pipes from freezing and thaw those that are already frozen.
How to prevent pipes from freezing
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions. Avoid putting antifreeze in these lines if possible (keeping in mind that antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is very dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping).
- Drain your plumbing system thoroughly. If water lines sag or bow, there may be low spots that are difficult to drain completely. To be most effective, use compressed air to blow out the lines. If not properly done, some amount of water will remain in the low points of the lines that can freeze.
- Disconnect, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Remember to keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Check in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets where water supply lines are located in unheated areas.
- Insulate both hot and cold water pipes in these areas to help prevent freezing. Use specific products for insulating water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed heat tape, heat cable, or similar materials on exposed water pipes.
- Allow a faucet in your home to drip slightly. Moving water (even a drip) will help prevent pipes from freezing.
- During cold winter weather, keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children.
When leaving home for more than a few days
If you plan to be away from home for an extended period during cold weather:
- Leave the heat on in your home. Set it to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
- Shut off the water supply and drain pipes or appliances.
- Leave all taps open once you’ve shut off the main water supply. If the home loses power, the open valves will help prevent pipes from bursting. Also, shutting off the master valve will ensure that even if there is a break, the result will be minor, compared to an open line running wild!
- Even if you do all the above, arrange for a neighbor to walk through your home once each day – just to help monitor against unforeseen events.
- Have emergency numbers handy such as a plumber, electrician, roofer, and SERVPRO of Washinton/Woolwich in case something does go wrong.
- Have your HVAC system serviced by a professional.
- Before leaving, turn off your water heater. (See owner’s manual for procedures.)
- Install storm windows and/or close shutters to keep in the heat.
- Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water drainage.
- Service your sump pump to ensure proper operation. Adding a backup power source is prudent.
- Unplug all nonessential electric appliances.
- Inform local police if you will be out of town.
How to unfreeze pipes
- Locate the Frozen Pipe – If you’re not sure which pipe is frozen, turn on all faucets in your home. Check which faucet isn’t releasing water at all or just a trickle. The pipe leading to that faucet is likely frozen. Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
- Turn on the Faucet – Once you’ve located the frozen pipe, open the faucet leading to the frozen pipe. Open both the hot and cold handles. This will allow water to flow once you start thawing the pipe.
- Start Thawing Near the Faucet – When thawing a frozen pipe, the best practice is to start closer to the faucet then work your way down to the frozen section. If you start closer to the blockage, the melting ice could get stuck behind the blockage. This creates more pressure in the pipe and increases the chances of the pipe breaking.
- Thawing Exposed Pipes – There are several ways to thaw pipes that you can access:
- Point a hairdryer at the frozen pipe, starting near the faucet. Follow proper safety precautions for the dryer and don’t come in contact with water when using the dryer.
- Wrap hot towels, which have been dipped in hot water, around the frozen pipe. This method is slower but potentially safer than the ones above.
- Apply electric heat tape directly to the pipe. This tape insulates the pipe, defrosting it. You can leave the heat tape on the pipe and turn it on/off when you need to.
- Thawing Enclosed Pipes – You can thaw pipes that you don’t have direct access to in different ways:
- Turn the heat up in your home and wait until the increased interior temperature thaws out the frozen pipe.
- Position an infrared lamp in front of the portion of the wall where the frozen pipe is located. The heat from the lamp could penetrate the wall and help the pipe defrost.
- As a last resort, cut out the section of the drywall in front of the frozen pipe to easily access it. You can then use one of the methods for thawing exposed pipes.
- Know the Risks:
- When trying to thaw a frozen pipe yourself using a heat source, you run the risk of injury and fire.
- Make sure to take proper safety measures when using electrical equipment.
- In addition, if you don’t start thawing near the faucet, the pipe could burst and cause water to flow into your home.
- Also, do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame devices!
- After pipes have thawed, turn off all water to faucets and the ice maker, and monitor the water meter for any unseen leaks.
What to do if a pipe bursts
If a pipe bursts, shut off the water at the main valve. Call a plumber (keep an emergency number nearby for quick access). Then call SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich to evaluate and remediate any water damage that occurred. Our technicians stand ready to provide water damage restoration services to your property 24/7.
Known as the “Paramedics of Property Damage®,” SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich provides fire and smoke damage remediation, water damage remediation, flood water removal, mold removal, and biohazard cleanup to commercial and residential customers. SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich technicians are thoroughly screened, insured, and trained in utilizing the latest in mitigation technology and procedures, while operating under a strict code of ethics. Each SERVPRO office is independently owned and operated. Remember, call SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich for all your restoration jobs.
What Homeowners can do Before Professional Help Arrives to Mitigate Water Damage
How You Can Help SERVPRO Handle Water Damage
Even with recent maintenance and high-quality parts, the water lines and faucets in your Minneapolis home may still be subject to damage when you least expect it. SERVPRO stays ready on a 24/7 basis to respond to local calls for help, but before we arrive, there are still a few things you can do to help control the damage and keep costs low. Try your best to get these on-the-spot actions done before we arrive for the best results from our mitigation and restoration work.
Stop the Water
The most effective way to minimize costs related to water damage in your home is to cut off the flow of water as soon as possible after you discover signs of damage. Regardless of whether the problem seems to be a slow leak or a sudden water line burst, sealing up the site of damage and cutting off water flow stops any further damage from happening to your home. Most drug stores and supermarkets sell commercially-available sealant products that can apply a temporary fix to most problems. Try to pick some up and seal up the problem yourself before our professional technicians can apply a more permanent fix.
Some of the worst consequences of a small-scale water damage incident can only happen when moisture soaks into floor materials without getting mopped up. The faster we can remove excess water from your home, the more damage we can prevent. Mops, rags, or even paper towels should be used to soak up as much water as possible before our mitigation crew arrives with high-intensity drying equipment.
Separate Soaked Materials
Some fabric objects should be separated into their parts when soaked in water. Items you should try to space out include:
- Couch cushions
- Rugs and carpets
- Books and magazines
Remove any wet items and place them separate from one another in a dry part of the house. Doing so helps to prevent colors from bleeding between items and helps to prevent mold growth caused by slowness to dry.
SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich is a locally owned and operated company with a national network of resources to provide the best possible care for your home after a damaging incident. Contact us at (952) 473-4837.
How To Keep Your Home Safe From Flooding
As the storm weather approaches, you want to ensure that your home is completely safe and flood-proof. Having to deal with flood damage, later on, can be quite taxing, both, mentally and physically. So, the best thing to do is assess what needs to be done beforehand so that you can keep yourself and your home safe from any kind of flooding. Let’s look at what you need to do to ensure this.
- Assess All The Possible Entryways For Water
The first thing that you will need to do before anything else is to assess whether there is any possibility of floodwater coming into your home. You will easily be able to tell this by taking a look at any gaps or slopes around your home.
Doing so is essential if you want to take the right steps to keep your home safe from flooding. Otherwise, at the last moment, you will be running around trying to stop water from coming into your home.
- Get The Relevant Renovations Made
If you have been through similar situations before as well, then you know how important it is to renovate your home. Once you have assessed the entryways of water, you will have to ensure that they are completely blocked so that you can keep floodwater out of your home. Don’t wait until the last moment, make sure that you get these done early so that you can be prepared.
- Clear Out Gutters
One of the main issues that come with flooding is the blockage of gutters. To keep flooding at bay, you will have to ensure that you clear out the gutters and the pipelines so that the water can run through them without any issues.
If you do not do this, then the possibility of your gutters overflowing and water coming inside becomes more likely. So, get your gutters cleaned out to lower the possibility of this happening to your home.
- Cover Any Gaps Around Your Home
One of the main reasons why water finds a way inside your home is because of the gaps all around. When you’re aware of an upcoming storm or the particular season approaching, then you should make sure to cover all these areas up.
If you’re looking for an effective way to do this, then try using sandbags to prevent water from coming in. It works great as the weight of the sand blocks the gaps and can easily be molded into the area you want to fit it in. So, try to do this as well to keep water out.
Who To Call In Case Of Flooding?
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re not able to keep the water out of your home, then you’re sure to find your home filled with water. In such a situation, you will need to reach out to professionals to help clear out all the damage from your home.
Connect to https://www.SERVPROwashingtonwoolwich.com/ to clean out your home and make sure that you limit the damage that happens to it!
What To Do if Your Home Has Been Damaged in a Storm
For many homeowners in severe storms can be a hassle. They can cause damage to your house that might take a lot of time and money to repair. In some cases, you might not know how to proceed if your house has been affected. Use the following storm tips to get your home back in top shape more quickly.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have experienced storm damage to your home, one of the first things that you should do is call your insurance agent. The claims process can be lengthy, so it’s better to get started sooner rather than later. Many policies have a cut-off for filing a claim as well, so if you wait too long, you might be denied.
2. Hire a Restoration Company
Something else that you should do quickly is to hire an emergency cleanup and restoration company to begin repairs on your home. When damage is left to sit, it can become worse. This will make it more difficult, time-consuming and costly to repair.
3. Document the Affected Areas
While you are waiting for your insurance adjuster to arrive, you can begin documenting the storm damage in your home. Check the house thoroughly and write down everything that has been damaged. You can give this list to your adjuster to help with the claims process. You should take pictures of everything since the insurance company will need evidence of the damage.
4. Prevent Damage From Worsening
One of the most important storm tips to remember is mitigation. This step is necessary to keep damage at a minimum. In some cases, if this is not done, your insurance claim can be denied. It can also increase the amount of time needed for repairs. Board up affected areas to keep water from spreading, and move items to a dry location.
After your home has been damaged, it can be difficult to keep your thoughts organized. You might have a lot of concerns and frustrations. However, keeping these storm tips in mind can help you get through the situation more calmly.
Top Cleaning Tips To Disinfecting Your Workplace
COVID-19 has brought many changes with it and the most important one is that of cleaning and disinfecting. This has become a part of our daily lives as many of us are now using disinfectants in our homes and carrying sanitizers with us 24/7.
However, as an employer, you have to keep your employees safe. This is why you should disinfect surfaces regularly and keep strict cleaning guidelines in the workplace to keep it germ-free.
You need to boost your efforts so the work environment can be healthy. Here are a few tips that will keep your workplace clean.
Get Regular Cleaning Done By A Professional
The pandemic is a serious problem and should be treated as such too. This is why you should get a deep cleaning done every week or every two weeks so that your workplace can remain bacteria-free.
A professional cleaning service will ensure that everything is disinfected and even systems such as air ducts and vents are cleaned. This will regularly ensure that everything is in top condition with no germs around.
Even though this is the first step, you need to maintain this cleanliness. This is why following the tips below with regular professional cleaning will maintain the best level of hygiene.
Wipe Everything In One Direction
If you are cleaning a surface with a disinfectant then wipe it once and don’t go back in the opposite direction. This is because it will make your wipe redundant as you will carry the germs you just cleaned back up again.
This is why all surfaces in the workplace such as desks, doorknobs, laptops, and everything else should be cleaning with a one-way wipe method.
Remind Employees To Wash And Sanitize Their Hands
These signs should be spread all around the workplace so employees can wash their hands regularly. Firstly, this will ensure that there are minimum germs around the office and secondly it will stop the spreading of germs as well.
Hands should be washed for more than 20 seconds and this is a reminder that needs to be put everywhere so workers can keep staying clean.
Don’t Mix Cleaning Cloths
Have a different cloth for every surface that you are cleaning. This means that a separate cloth for every surface. These should be marked or color-coded so the cleaning staff can remember this and clean accordingly.
Using one cloth for a variety of surfaces will contaminate all these surfaces and your cleaning efforts will remain ineffective. It is also important you wash or disinfect the cloth as well after use, or you can discard it completely.
Take care of your employees and your office through these methods and most of all make your office safe with professional cleaning services to disinfect everything 100%.
If you are opening your business again and looking for professional cleaning services then hire our services now. We have years of experience and we leave no stone unturned when it comes to disinfecting and cleaning.
For more information visit our website and contact us now!
Water Damage after a Fire
It is hard to know what to expect when walking into a commercial property after a fire. As an owner or manager, you likely expect significant equipment loss because of fire and smoke damage, but what about water? Expecting flood loss after a fire seems unusual. Ask any disaster restoration company and they will tell you water and fire damage go hand-in-hand. There are at least three causes of water damage during and after a commercial property fire.
- Suppression systems
- Pipe damage
The primary source of water loss during a fire rescue may come from a fire hose. These large-diameter, high-pressure hoses can expel hundreds of gallons of water per minute to flood and extinguish the flames. Unfortunately, the flooding of the blaze also floods your facility, and depending on the size and extent of the fire, you may have significant property loss.
Water-based suppression systems can also lead to extensive flooding. However, the extent of flooding caused by these systems depends on the type. Some systems do not use water. Other systems that use water may only release sprinklers in areas where fire damage is occurring, leaving other spaces dry.
Water damage can also occur because of damaged pipes. The temperatures in violent fires often reach the melting points of certain metals. If the fire reaches these temperatures, pipes may melt, warp or break. Since no one is in the facility, there is no way to shut off the water supply, meaning that water can flow freely from pipes until the system is shutdown.
Commercial property owners should have concerns over water and fire damage if such a disaster occurs. Knowing that one problem can lead to the other may allow you to better prepare for emergencies. Contact your local emergency services or fire restoration experts to discuss disaster planning and strategies.
Avoid Basement Blues
While many often only think of sewer line clogs or damage as reasons for sewage backing up in the basement, severe storms in southern New Jersey can also be the culprit. If foul excess water rears its ugly head, it may be time to consider if the systems protecting your home are working.
Causes of Basement Flooding
Bad weather can easily affect a sewer system. Massive amounts of rain can begin to overwhelm the system, forcing it up into your basement. Ways to assist the rain from saturating your home include:
Keep Gutters Clean: Regularly remove debris to prevent buildup. If water flow begins to happen within 15 minutes of heavy rain, they are likely clogged.
Downspout Location: They should come out at least 10 foot from the home.
Proper Sloping: Over time, concrete can settle, which may lead to water going directly toward the foundation and basement. Landscaping can also become flat, leading to the same issue.
Sealant: Cracks in any sealants, whether from age or improper insulation, can quickly create a flooded basement.
Regular cleaning and inspections of this trouble areas can reduce the chances of saturated soil aiding storm water in raising the sewage levels and flooding your basement.
To ensure proper cleanup, getting the help of a flood and storm water cleanup expert is recommended. During any part of the cleanup process, consider the following:
Wear protective clothing including a long-sleeve shirt, pants, eye protection, gloves, and face mask.
Use a shovel and buckets to remove solid matter. Any towels or porous items used during cleanup needs to be thrown away.
A wet and dry vacuum should be used for leftover standing water.
Run fans and dehumidifiers to eliminate remaining moisture to reduce the potential for mold growth.
Items saturated in sewage water should be tossed. In some cases, items can be professionally cleaned.
Regardless of the cause of the flooded basement, taking quick action is necessary to reduce damage. If sewage water is in the mix, consider getting professional to clean up and solve the problem.
Flatten the Curve
As many states begin to reopen, we all have feelings of uncertainty going into spaces we used to not think twice about. The grocery store, a coffee shop, your own work desk are all spaces that we used to frequent. At SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford we are offering our disinfectant services to places of businesses, so employees and customers feel safe in your place of business. In New Jersey, we have a responsibility to take care of our fellow neighbors.
Practicing preventative cleaning for reopening is essential. When SERVPRO of Woodbury/Deptford enters your home or business, we are able to disinfect your entire area with EPA approved products. As we look toward the reopening date, we want to ensure your business is prepared to act and your home is sanitized to guarantee safety.
We are providing disinfecting services for COVID-19 as well as general detailed cleanings for unoccupied homes collecting dust.
Our Disinfectant services include:
- Through cleaning of effected areas with disinfectants approved by the EPA
- Approved Hospital Grade disinfectant. Our cleaners are usable on any surface and is safe.
- Surface wiping of critical contact areas. Fixtures, keyboards, phones, door handles, certain contents within the affected area are hand wiped. A 5-10 minute dwell time should be allowed post wipe down. Walls up to a height of approximately 5’ throughout traffic areas.
- Technicians will always wear masks and gloves. If needed, overalls will also be worn.
Since many homes and offices have been vacant for some time, we also offer a detailed floor to ceiling deep cleaning, from base molding to crown molding including: content manipulation, carpets and upholstered furniture if needed. We will clean every square foot leaving your home or office in the highest condition.
SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich is dedicated to help flatten the curve and insure your safety so you can spend more time focusing on the important things in life. If you have any questions, feel free to call us here at SERVPRO of Washington/Woolwich, 856-241-9997.