How To Handle Water And Storm Damage Calmly
Adverse weather can cause significant storm damage to even the most well designed properties, since the powerful winds can inflict debasement while heavy rainfall can cause considerable ground flooding. Below are some tips for calmly handling it. Before checking for specific property damage, ensure your own safety by being on the lookout for power lines which have fallen and standing water which might be electrically charged.
Inspect the Plumbing
Review the pipes indoors and outdoors. Shut off your water valves for the sinks and toilets, and if you notice that sewage has backed up into the shower or beneath the commode, this means the primary sewer line could be broken or clogged. Avoid using the toilet or sink as this will make the situation worse.
Review Your Electrical Systems and Appliances
Any appliances which have been exposed to liquid must be disconnected immediately and then serviced prior to being used again. Inspect the cables for frayed wiring and look out for sparks. If you notice structural damage or wires which have been exposed, contact an electrician and do not activate the power as you might electrocute yourself. While the majority of external breaker boxes are designed to be water tight they may nevertheless be exposed during a serious storm, so do not handle them if water is present. Avoid metallic fences or surfaces in the area as they might contain an electrical charge from nearby utility wires.
Check The Roof
You’ll want to check the roof for shingles which are missing, but be careful during your ascent and descent so you don’t fall down. If you notice that shingles are absent, you’ll want to contact a roofing contractor as soon as possible since missing shingles can lead to water leakage and roofers have the skills and equipment needed to repair them.
How to Handle Flooding
Standing water needs to be removed as soon as possible, as it poses a number of hazards. Unless you have the knowledge or tools needed to do it yourself, you’ll want to contact a restoration firm, but in the meantime you’ll need to employ a pump for draining it, use wet dried vacuums and get rid of any objects which are absorbent and contaminated. Dehumidifiers and air movers can be used for drying. Throw away any perishables which have been exposed to the flood water, including canned goods, cosmetics, medication and packaged food.
Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other automobiles are readily damaged by flood water, along with falling debris or tree limbs. Any vehicle which has sustained such damage should be reported to your insurance company, and broken windows should be covered if it appears the vehicle can be salvaged. Make a list of any valuables inside that have been damaged or lost.
Only Hire Reputable Contractors
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people who will take advantage of those who have been affected by natural disasters or storms. To avoid such scams, be sure to only work with contractors that are well known or live locally, do not pay for work until the job is complete and watch for contractors that attempt to pressure you. Always get written estimates before the work begins.
Top Tips To Tackle Ceiling Cleaning Tasks
Do you remember when the last time you cleaned your ceilings was? They are often the most overlooked when it comes to the daily cleaning routine. As such, they are usually dirtier than other areas of your home. If you want to get cleaning with your ceilings, here are some tips to help you kickstart your ceiling cleaning project!
Work from Top to Bottom
You should always start the cleaning right at the ceiling and then work your way down towards the floor. That way, you’ll be able to pick up any debris or dust that has fallen loose from the ceilings.
Don’t Overextend Your Reach When Using A Ladder or Step Stool
Always make sure your ladder is properly secured; ensure you have someone around to act as a spotter, to help hold onto your ladder as you are cleaning at heights.
Clean With Daylight
Perform your cleaning during the day so that you’ll be able to properly see any dirt or dust accumulated on the ceiling. You don’t want to end up doing the same job twice if you haven’t cleaned it properly the first time.
Use The Right Tools for The Job
Since your reach could be limited, extend it by using a long duster or with a vacuum attachment. Use a clean microfiber cloth, mixed with a reliable cleaning solution to achieve the best results.
Take Care to Protect Your Furniture
Before cleaning, you should pull any furniture underneath a few feet away in case any dust or drops of water land on them. You can also cover them with a tarp or dry cloths.
Schedule Regular Cleaning of Your Ceiling in The Future
Whilst engaging in deep cleaning of your ceiling is useful to keep your house clean once in a while, you should try to clean it more frequently to keep your rooms feeling inviting and refreshing. To clean any of your light fixtures or ceiling fans, regularly clean the blades with a good reliable microfiber cloth or a duster. Remove any of the grime or dust on the light fixtures as well.
Unsightly cobwebs and dust can accumulate very quickly, especially in the corners of your ceiling. You can easily remove them by using a long extendable duster or a vacuum attachment.
If your ceiling has crown molding and trims, dust may build up in the small details and along the edges of the trims. You can wipe them using a clean cloth together with a trusted cleaning solution. If you can’t reach the finer, intricate details, you can use an unwanted toothbrush to clean them instead.
Get Reliable And Trustworthy Clean-up And Restoration Services at SERVPRO of Lower Manhattan/Financial District
We are an award-winning company with a team of highly experienced experts, equipped with the required advanced techniques to solve any of your problems. Do consider our ceiling, floor and wall cleaning services at SERVPRO of Lower Manhattan/Financial District if you face any difficulties or problems with cleaning your homes. We also perform air duct and HVAC cleaning as your heating or air conditioning systems can distribute the contaminants, that have accumulated in the ceilings or walls of your home, throughout your property.
What Are the Different Types Of Air Movers?
Air movers help to remove moisture from surfaces into the air. They are also one of the best tools when it comes to moisture damage due to their ability to provide focused and directional air circulation. Air dryers can be used in any location and help dry out areas that are high in moisture due to pipe leakages, flooding, or spills.
They are very effective and efficient in ventilation and you must choose the correct air mover for your needs. This is because different types of air movers have different components and specifics and some are better suited for certain applications compared to others. You should also consider which areas you intend to place the air movers in. Here are some of the different types of air movers.
High-pressure axial air movers are mostly used to produce significant negative or positive pressures and to move high volumes of air through air ducts. They are built for performance at maximum capacity offer high-pressure air circulation. While this brings about advantages such as greater ventilation, there are also certain downsides such as it being very noisy when operating and higher amp usage. They are best used for contained or tight areas and have the best CFM (cubic feet per minute) ventilation.
A low-pressure axial air mover uses lower amps than its high-pressure counterparts and produces much more airflow volume than carpet dryers. However, because they are low in static pressure, they are unable to be used in air ducts or enclosed areas to move mass volumes of air and redistribute them. They are ideal for circulating a constant and high amount of air on walls and floor surfaces.
Laminar air movers are commonly used in buildings and homes that require focused directional air. They have a medium CFM pressure rate and the lowest amp draw which makes them a more affordable option. They specialize in providing a focused airflow in a straight line and provide static air pressure to specific areas. They can also be attached to wall injections or TEX boxes and are perfect if you are looking for a constant ventilation solution.
Centrifugal air movers come in either low or high pressure. Low-pressure centrifugal air movers are commonly used to dry enclosed areas such as kitchens, cabinets, or to blow air into cavities. They use low amps of electricity compared to their high-pressure counterparts and when placed underneath a carpet, is strong enough to make it float in the air. The high-pressure centrifugal air movers are optimum for powering manifold systems or vents due to their high horsepower motor.
Why Choose SERVPRO of West Somerset County?
If you are looking for moisture control due to water damage or to control the mold growing in your house, then you should consider SERVPRO of West Somerset County. We use industrial-strength air movers that provide a highly focused, powerful air stream to dry carpets, walls, tiles, floors, or entire rooms. We are certified professional mold remediation and water damage restoration specialists and have the necessary experience and equipment to help you.
What Are the Most Common Residential Cleaning Services?
No matter what project a restoration service undertakes, residential cleaning services end up being an essential element. It's crucial to have a highly trained team of cleaning technicians and offer a one-stop-shop solution for a full-service restoration company to succeed. Team members must be accredited in various aspects of recovery and renewal. The team at SERVPRO has, in fact, been trained in and through the following:
- Biohazard recovery
- UFT (upholstery and fabric cleaning)
- OCT (odor control)
- CCT (carpet cleaning)
- IICRC (cleaning and restoration certification)
- Institute of Inspection
Common Types of Residential Cleaning
At SERVPRO, we've encountered just about everything! There are some residential clean-up jobs more common than others, however. A handful of these include the following:
- Biohazard and sewage clean-up – To provide you and your home with deep cleaning services, our experts are ready to be of assistance in the clean up of biohazard materials, sewage, and more.
- Odor removal – To effectively deodorize your home, sufficient knowledge may not be possessed by your average cleaning service. Fortunately, for the removal of unwanted odors, our residential cleaning services take advantage of SERVPRO’s expertise and training.
- Air duct cleaning – Though seldom thought of as crucial, your home's air ducts should be cleaned on a regular basis. Not only can proper cleaning help ensure better breathability for the air your family inhales, but your home’s cooling and heating efficiency could be improved as well.
- Upholstery and carpet cleaning – Our cleaning services for upholstery and carpet get out the dirt you see, and so much more. Deep down dirt, dust, odors, etc. will be removed through our very thorough process. To freshen up your home and brighten a room, our deep cleaning furniture and carpet services can make all the difference.
Any residential cleaning service that also deals with full-service restoration may be expected to do a number of jobs. At SERVPRO, we are capable of being of assistance where mold, fire, water, and other loss incidents are concerned. This can even include cases of vandalism.
What if, for instance, your home was damaged but is also being put up for sale soon? Our experts would inspect the damage and immediately determine its extent. Given the situation at hand, we would know expedited repairs were of the utmost importance. To replace damaged areas, repaint, repair, etc., we can work with the contractor to get the job done. Before you know it, your home will be restored to its former beauty.
Residential Cleaning and More
We are so much more than a residential cleaning service! Overall, related cleaning services offered by SERVPRO include the following:
- Commercial cleaning services
- Building services
- Graffiti and vandalism
- Crime scene and trauma
- Toilet and sewage overflow
- Odor removal
- Blinds and drapes
- Certified cleaning services
- Walls, floors, and ceilings
- Upholstery and carpet
- HVAC and air ducts
SERVPRO When You Need Residential Cleaning Services
Have you had a sewage backup? Was your home damaged due to a storm? If you need sewage clean-up, odor removal, air duct cleaning, upholstery cleaning, carpet cleaning, or some other form of residential cleaning, we want to be your one-stop-shop location.
Contact us now!
Structural Drying Processes Can Help Prevent Further Water Damage
Many restoration teams regard structural drying as being one of the best ways to alleviate water damage since it removes excess moisture which is trapped within building materials. Plue, the experts can do so in a reasonable timespan. Below is a detailed analysis of how this process works and the different phases that must be completed.
Water Extraction and Air Movement
Water extraction simply involves the elimination of excess liquid, which enhances drying efficiency. However, air movement is also a necessity, because without it the water will continue saturating the surface which will slow down the evaporation rate. This in turn can lead to the development of mold or rot. Before air movement can occur, the restoration specialist will test the surfaces for asbestos or mold, and once it has been confirmed to be safe, the movement of air can commence.
Once the water has been extracted and air movement has occurred, applying a dehumidifier is essential. The reason is that moisture is capable of trapping itself within building materials when dehumidifiers aren’t utilized to capture excess liquid vapor. Just because a surface is dry by touch doesn’t mean that it has low water content. Relative humidity might still be higher than usual, and if this is the case it will promote the growth of mold.
It is crucial to maintain a consistent temperature. This is because operating within optimal temperatures for dehumidifiers will maximize drying. Most experts recommend a temperature between seventy-five and ninety degrees which will accelerate evaporation while releasing moisture from the construction materials. You’ll want to avoid turning on air conditioners or allowing cool air into the area as it will slow the process of drying, but increasing the heat should also be avoided as it can inhibit dehumidifier effectiveness.
Additional Drying Techniques
There are a number of additional techniques that restoration specialists will use in certain situations, with two of the most popular being aggressive and disruptive drying:
This technique is usually reserved for drying within a place and is well suited to small water damage incidents. The drying equipment must be used for enhancing the rate of evaporation by spiking the airflow and temperature. The water category must be clean and free of sediment or building materials such as hydraulic fluid or asbestos. This technique is also popular because it is cost effective and minimizes downtime.
In order to perform disruptive drying, the construction materials (rather than structural materials) must be removed. This includes baseboards, pads, insulation, flood cuts, and anything which can’t be efficiently dried within a short time span. This technique is preferred for drying structural objects which are normally concealed by finishes. It is applied to category two water, which is also known as grey water, as well as black water (category three). This is a standardized technique that gives you the ability to accurately assess moisture content within studs, wall cavities, and other areas which are hidden, ensuring that the structure is completely dry.
Fire Damaged Items You Should Consider Discarding
Black, sooty, and or greasy smoke and residue can be produced by even the smallest fire. Even worse than natural fire residues are synthetic and protein fire residues. After a fire, it's important to know what you should throw away, even though you will probably want to save as much as you can. Even further than flames, soot and smoke will travel and ruin things you might not expect to be affected.
From clothing to food, and more, we are going to take a look at which fire damaged items you should throw away after a house fire and which ones can be salvaged.
Salvageable Items After a House Fire
The best way to remember what can be salvaged following a house fire is to think of nonporous, hard surfaces. If an item is melted, charred, or burned, it should be discarded.
- Hardwood floors – After a fire, you can salvage most hardwood floors, unless there are burn marks or extreme charring. Use oil soap to clean the floors, then sand them. As necessary, refinish the floor.
- Metal – Significant fire damage can usually be withstood by metals, though they may stain. Use dish soap and vinegar to clean them, sand the metal lightly, then paint it.
- Glass – There is a good amount of fire resistance to glass. With dish soap and vinegar, you can usually clean glass, even when stained. You may also prefer the baking soda and vinegar soaking method.
Items That Should Be Discarded after a House Fire
Almost anything in your home can be damaged by one of the most dangerous things that can occur – fires. Any items damaged by flames and heat, melted, or burned, should be thrown away after a house fire. Additionally, the following should be discarded after a fire:
- Fire damaged mattresses and furniture – Because they can fall apart, any mattresses or furniture burned in a fire should be thrown away. If minor to moderate soot stains and smoke occur on hardwood furniture, that would be an exception. By cleaning with oil soap, hardwood furniture might be salvaged. Sanding and refinishing could be a possibility if staining is severe.
- Burned bedding, towels, and clothing – Any bedding, towels, or clothing that was burned or charred should be thrown away. You can try washing items with dish soap for minor soot stains. Before washing, soak fabrics in vinegar to remove odors.
- Fire impacted hygiene products, cosmetics, and medicines – Any of these that were damaged by fire should be discarded. Contact your doctor immediately if prescription medication has to be discarded.
- Any food that remained at room temperature or higher – You may need to throw away the food from your freezer and refrigerator if the power went out. Without power, after as little as two or as many as six hours, refrigerator food will spoil. You might be able to wait up to 24 hours with freezer food.
- Fire exposed boxed or canned foods – Any box or canned foods that were exposed to smoke or flames should be thrown away. This is particularly applicable if they have burn marks, sweat stains, or were opened.
- Stained or melted plastics – Most plastic items can be ruined by even a small fire. Plastics will pull in the soot and smoke, due to their makeup. That's why, following a fire, you should always throw them away.
Have Your Home And Possessions Suffered Fire Damage? Let SERVPRO of West Somerset County Help
We don't just handle fire damage restoration as a sideline here at SERVPRO… it's what we do. Since fire damage and water damage frequently go together, we specialize in both. If you have water damage from any type of natural disaster, plumbing problem, sewage backup, fire and more – we are here for you with emergency service, 24/7. The same goes for any resulting fire damage. We understand that when you need fire and water restoration, you can't wait.
Feel free to contact us if you have any enquiries!
How Can IR Cameras Detect Water Damage?
If you constantly experience water leakage, there is a good chance that your water pipes and structure may be faulty. Other reasons could also be due to heavy rain and snow, condensation, and humidity levels. Moisture infiltration and accumulation are very damaging for a house or building and promote mold growth. In the past to tackle water leakage, people had to resort to intrusive methods such as hacking down walls and pipes to identify the source of the leak and how far it had spread.
This wastes much more resources and is more expensive and time costly. With modern innovations such as IR cameras, inspectors can spot areas that are not visible to the naked eye, and which do not involve invasive methods. They are thus able to use the IR cameras for water damage inspection. This greatly increases efficiency and reduces time and cost as the leak can then be isolated. Here are some ways how IR cameras can detect water damage.
IR cameras help consultants, remediators, and technicians pinpoint and eliminate mold infestations and water leakages through a technological tool known as thermography. It is a technique that produces an image of infrared lights which are not visible to the naked eye, and which are emitted by objects due to the heat or lack thereof in the objects ‘thermal condition’. IR cameras thus resemble a typical camera recorder and can provide live pictures of heat radiation. More sophisticated IR cameras can produce false-color images based on the temperatures of objects or surfaces in the picture which aids in the analysis of thermal patterns.
Because the IR cameras can produce images of heat radiation, they can provide precise temperature measurement capabilities. This is one of the reasons why moisture and mold can be detected on IR cameras before they are visible to the naked eye as moisture is much cooler than construction materials. IR cameras are also valuable and cost-effective diagnostic tools which are used in construction problems of mold growth and water problems, such as through the usage of thermal analysis. The temperature measurement incorporated by the IR cameras can allow professionals to make better judgments and analyses due to the valuable information provided.
Mold and Rot Prevention
IR cameras can detect moisture patterns in buildings and houses. This is because the temperature difference created by the presence of moisture on an inside surface of a wall differs greatly from its surroundings. Owners should be wary of leaks and mold under certain situations such as when suspected plumbing leaks have occurred from the waterline, after any water damage event such as floods, and locating wet areas in non-accessible spaces. Doing so quickly will prevent mold growth and rotting of the construction materials and wall lining. Under the right conditions, IR cameras can serve as an early warning for roofs and ceilings that tend to retain water long before water leakage. It is recommended to hire a professional as they will be able to cut core samples of walls and analyze them for traces of moisture and mold. They will also be better at interpreting the results and in fixing the cause of the problem.
How Fast Can SERVPRO Of West Somerset County Respond?
SERVPRO Of West Somerset County is a cleaning and restoration company that specializes in helping businesses and homes affected by water damage, fire damage, mold, and storm damage. We also provide 24-hour emergency services to help businesses for 7 days a week including holidays.
SERVPRO Of West Somerset County also provides commercial cleaning services to companies whose properties experience wear and tear. Here at SERVPRO Of West Somerset County, we provide comprehensive and efficient cleaning and restoration services. We work fast and well to minimize disruption in your business and help your business reopen quickly. We also remove stains, eliminate odors, clean furniture, and will tackle any of your concerns regarding your building’s looks or function. One of the things we take pride in is our fast response time to disasters. We know all too well that disasters can strike anytime and are thus prepared to manage any water, fire, storm, mold, or flood issues 24/7. This means that you can expect an immediate response time whether during the day or at night.
Time is Essential
When natural disasters strike or when your property is afflicted by fire, water, or mold damage, time is of the essence in mitigating the effects of the above damage and in preventing further structural damage. Using an example of water damage in the event of flooding, water is quickly absorbed into belongings, walls, upholstery, and floors. Books, photographs, and other paper goods will begin to swell and become deformed. Water will also quickly spread throughout the property and saturate everything. Furniture finishes may bleed and cause permanent stains on carpets and other fabric. All of this occurs within minutes of flooding.
We Act Fast
If left untreated for the next 24 hours, more serious problems will start to emerge such as the swelling and cracking of furniture, dyes and inks from paper goods will stain and spread, metal surfaces will start to tarnish, and drywall could swell and break down. This would affect the structural integrity of the property. Residents would also start to smell a musty odor. If nothing is done to resolve these issues in the next 48 hours to one week, the problem escalates and could involve the blistering of paint, the swelling and deformation of wood flooring, and the rusting and corrosion of metal. Moreover, the property would be at risk of severe biohazard contamination, and it may be dangerous to live in the property. This is because a very damp and moist environment promotes the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. There would also be a strong, sour smell due to bacteria growth and mold present.
About Our 24/7 Emergency Services
This is why we are always ready 24/7 and will work round the clock to ensure that your property is restored whilst minimizing further damage. We respond quickly to minimize financial costs and ensure that cleaning and restoration works are swiftly and efficiently done. If these problems are left untreated and persist, the time taken for reconstruction and cleaning will only grow and it would be more expensive to do so as entire structures and even the whole building may be compromised. We are well stocked with advanced equipment and recovery tools and will ensure that we respond and work immediately to make it seem as though the accident had never occurred. Your time is important, and we promise to uphold and respect it.
SERVPRO of West Somerset County Uses Infrared Technology To Detect Water Leaks
Every year, water leaks cause serious problems for residential and commercial property owners alike, especially those who live or work in buildings that were constructed before the 1950s. The hardest part has always been finding the source of the leak, but infrared technology is now being used to solve this very costly and irritating problem.
What Causes Water Leakage?
Modern plumbing is a necessity for most buildings, but they are subject to laws of entropy just like everything else. As a consequence, even the most well designed plumbing systems will breakdown as time passes, which usually comes in the form of cracks within the pipe which allows water to leak.
Water leakage might also be the result of rainwater which is entering the building through the roof. This is a common occurrence especially in aging ceilings and the same can happen to walls if they develop cracks. The most hazardous water leakage is the one you don’t quickly recognize. The circulation of water around the property will cause dampness in the surrounding air which makes it unhealthy to breath.
In extreme cases, those living or working on the premises might develop an ailment which is air-borne. If enough time passes, the leak will also begin to compromise the structural integrity of the building and the presence of any electrical conductors or equipment creates an additional danger. It is for these reasons that rapidly identifying a leak and its source are extremely important.
Why Infrared Technology is the Answer
Infrared imaging is state of the art technology which will allow you to identify leaks with ease. It is also use to inspect electric fittings, HVAC and insulation. It accomplishes this through infrared rays which look for thermal abnormalities in a given space.
Every object, whether it be plants, animals, humans or inanimate things, give off specific infrared emissivity. However, the emissivity of an object will change along with the temperature. Therefore, a special camera is used to take infrared radiation images and the various emissivity levels will be displayed as distinct colors within the camera’s display.
Water leakage will raise or reduce the temperature for the surrounding area. This in turn will affect infrared emissivity levels, which corresponds to specific colors. A professional plumber will then be able to identify wet spaces within the camera, and can also identify leaks in places where the liquid is falling within an location because of the air dampness in that particular area.
While infrared imaging is innovative, it still takes a trained eye to read the screen and identify leaks, which is why you want to hire a professional. Even if a property owner purchased one of these infrared cameras and tried using it themselves, the images wouldn’t make sense to them unless they have a deep technical knowledge of plumbing systems, roofing and heat changes.
Important Items to Replace After Home Fire Damage
After a fire accident at home, you should always assess the situation and environment when it is safe to do so. You should also rope in technicians and engineers to ensure that your house is structurally stable and safe. A fire accident damages the property and its contents. Hence you should figure out which items can be salvaged, and which should be replaced after the fire damage. This is a guide on the important items you should replace after home fire damage.
Textiles such as clothes and bedding can be salvaged after a fire if proper disinfection and cleaning are done. However, if any clothes are burnt, they should immediately be thrown away and replaced. If you have any young children at home, then you should set a stricter set of criteria for considering which clothes should be replaced and which can still be worn.
Medicine and Cosmetics
Your medicine and cosmetics contain numerous chemicals and minerals which may be affected by fire and high heat. This can alter the composition of the products such that they become more toxic and contaminating. You should inspect the products for any signs of fire extinguisher dust, soot, heat, or other damage. The potency of medication could also be altered due to the high heat, smoke, water, or the chemicals used by firefighters to fight the fire. It is recommended to throw away all cosmetics and medication and replace them.
Insulation and Electrical Appliances
After a fire, there is a high chance that your house insulation and wires may have been damaged by the heat or fire. Thus, you should always replace the insulation after a fire as burnt insulation is ineffective due to the presence of air holes. Burnt insulation is also hazardous as a hidden ember can continue to burn for hours and could re-ignite, thereby triggering another fire. Electrical appliances should also be checked for water or heat damage. Wires and appliances which have been damaged by the fire are fire hazards that may shock and ignite at any point in time. These wires and appliances could also have hidden faults that are not visible to the naked eye. If you spot any damaged or melted wires or electrical appliances, then that is a red flag and should be replaced. As a rule of precaution, all electrical appliances should be replaced and tossed away especially if you are unsure about their condition.
Non-perishable food could be compromised by the fire and food safety is a huge concern especially after a fire. Although sealed food that is not damaged or burnt may appear to be healthy for consumption, it may not be edible especially if they were close to the fire. This is because toxic fumes emitted from the fire and smoke could contaminate the food through the cans and sealed jars. High heat can also cause the food to taste unpleasant and activate bacteria which promotes food spoilage. The water and chemicals used to extinguish the fire could also contaminate both perishable and non-perishable food. You should always be rigorous and detailed when inspecting your kitchen after a fire and check for any heat, smoke, or chemical damage caused by the fire and fire extinguisher. As a rule of thumb, you should throw out any food items regardless of whether they are perishable and whether they have been sealed.