Respecting Your Outlets Can Prevent Fire Damage to Your Home
Overloading outlets can result in a fire in your home.
Fires happen all the time. When you are the one the fire is happening to, you want to figure out its cause and how to get back to the way things were before. Understanding some of the most common causes of small house fires is an excellent start to keeping yourself safer throughout the year. Overloaded power outlets provide a perfect storm for sparks or electrical arcs to catch nearby materials on fire. Stressed outlets are a primary cause of many household fires.
When your home is damaged from a fire, you need to find out why it happened. Our SERVPRO team can help you to clean up the mess and restore the damage, but also has the experience to help you determine where the fire originated from based on the severity of the damages. As common as overloaded electrical boxes are, it remains one of the leading causes of accidental house fires. You need to know how to operate your power outlets within safe parameters. This information can potentially save your house from damages, but more importantly, save your life.
People ask too much of their power outlets all the time, but this gets even worse around the holidays. When you combine indoor and outdoor lights, the tree, and other decorations in with already stressed power sources, you are brewing a recipe for disaster. To make matters worse, the spark of a fire can occur from this overloaded outlet at any time.
The sooner you respond to restoring your home after fire damages the better. Our experienced SERVPRO professionals can clean up the damages and bring the structure and contents of the room back to preloss conditions. The longer that you wait, the more likely that soot and smoke damages seat themselves into your furniture, flooring, and walls. This spells a higher insurance claim to cover the repair costs, or worse yet, more out-of-pocket expenses if you are underinsured.
If you or someone you know experiences a fire, call as soon as you can. Our professionals at SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor rapidly respond 24/7, and you can reach us at (970) 353-1388.
Behavior of Smoke
The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of SMOKE.
There are two different types of smoke:
As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.
Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber)
- Low heat
- Pungent odor
NOTE: Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood)
- High temperatures
- Heat rises, therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire)
- Virtually invisible
- Discolors paints and varnishes
- Extreme pungent odor.
Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs)
- While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue)
- These special loss situations require special care.
Additional facts you may not know about smoke:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure; and
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor
The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO® of Greeley/Windsor to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Why Preventing Water Damage Is So Important
Flooding, plumbing leaks andwater damage can happen at any time. Internal and external forces can harm valuable items, carpets, furnishings and structural components. Even in a well-maintained building, pipes can break, toilets can overflow and water can seep behind walls and under floors. Waterlines for refrigerators often create concealed leaks that go unnoticed until mold and mildew have accumulated behind the appliance. The same is true for washing machine hoses that have cracked or become clogged. Water damage can also occur after a violent storm, a flood or several days of steady rain. Basements and lower levels are especially prone to this type of damage. Water Damage Statistics Any type of leak can cause property damage and create safety and health concerns. It's easy to think that water damage or storm damage won't happen to you, but statistics say otherwise. Water damage is among the most common causes of property insurance claims. One in every 55 homes will have a water-related property damage claim this year. While you cannot stop a storm, you can follow these steps to prevent water damage.
Kitchens and Bathrooms Kitchens and bathrooms are susceptible to water damage due to the amount of plumbing in these areas. Fix leaking or dripping pipes promptly, and be aware of elevated humidity levels that could indicate an underlying plumbing problem. Maintain caulk around showers and bathtubs. Water that passes through gaps can penetrate walls and subfloors. If this sealant has cracked or separated, have it repaired. This is a task that you can probably complete yourself. Appliances Inspect waterlines for appliances at least once per year. If hoses are brittle, cracked or crimped, replace them before they fail. Turn off the water supply for all appliances before traveling out of town. Pay special attention to hoses for washing machines, refrigerators and ice makers. Since washing machines have inlet hoses and drains, they are especially prone to leaks. Protecting Pipes Protect plumbing from freezing by insulating pipes that travel along exterior walls or through unheated crawlspaces. On cold nights, open cupboard doors, and let faucets drip. Before winter, drain all watering hoses, and turn off valves for exterior faucets. If a pipe does freeze, don't thaw it too quickly. That's how pipes burst. To protect your plumbing, never set the thermostat below 55 degrees. If an emergency does occur, follow these steps. • Turn off the water supply immediately. Call your utility company if necessary. • Use mops and towels to remove as much water as possible. • Turn on fans, dehumidifiers or air conditioners to remove excess moisture. • Use wood blocks or tinfoil to elevate furniture from wet surfaces. • Remove area rugs, table lamps and colored items to prevent staining and to help dry the underlying surface. • Place wet sofa cushions and upholstered items on end for faster drying. • Never use ceiling lights, TVs or appliances in waterlogged areas. • Remove books, magazines and items that may bleed or stain. • Stay out of areas where ceilings are sagging. By taking preventive measures, you can minimize the likelihood of water damage in Edmond Oklahoma affecting your home. You can also lessen the severity of the water damage by following these tips. If you do experience water damage at your home or business, respond quickly, and call a professional to handle the situation.
SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services. . We are available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure.
Water Damage After Hours
Basement flooding or storm damage doesn't wait for regular business hours and neither do we. We respond to your residential or commercial water removal and cleanup needs 24/7. Our fast response time and advanced drying methods help prevent secondary damage and mold. Call the SERVPRO professionals at 970-353-1388 - whether it's 2:00 AM or 2:00 PM, you will speak directly to an employee, never an answering service or machine, which puts us faster onsite.
10 Tips to Avoid Water Damage
Check the Outside of Your Home
1. Disconnect Hoses Standing water in a hose may freeze back into the pipe and create an ice block that, in a best-case scenario, stops your water flow. In the worst cases, it may bust your pipes and create damage to walls, floor and foundation.
2. Clean gutters and downspouts Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage and ice dams. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof, and unmanaged overflow may create puddles that could damage your foundation. Don't forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from the home.
3. Maintain trees and vegetation Thriving shrubs can be a beautiful thing — except when their roots wrap around your pipes and break them. That's why it's important to minimize landscaping near utility pipes or, if necessary, remove trees and shrubs that have become too big.
Interior Measure to Prevent Water Damage
4. Know your water main Know the location of your water main, and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time. If no water goes in to the house, chances are no faucet drips or toilets can wreak havoc on your home while you're away
5. Check appliances Check and maintain your home appliances regularly for leaks, according to manufacturer's directions.
6. Investigate leaks right away and fix promptly If you opt to ignore moisture damage or postpone making the necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home. Keep in mind that homeowner's insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental. Damage that results from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowners insurance policy.
7. Upgrade washing machine hoses Old, brittle or leaky washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners. Replace yours regularly to avoid a mighty mess and expensive damage
8. Install water detection devices A water detector is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm when its sensor comes in contact with moisture. Its main benefit is that it detects low moisture levels or slow leaks that often go unnoticed. Install it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.
9. Check your water pressure If the water pressure to your home is set too high, pipes and hoses may fail under the pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure. Typical residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 to 70 psi. If your home’s water pressure exceeds 100 psi, install a pressure regulator (which is available at hardware stores as well.)
10. Monitor your water bill Sometimes, the only way you know that water is leaking is taking a closer look at your water bill. If your usage jumps significantly from one month to the next without explanation, put your "water detective hat" on. Is there a leak in your crawlspace? Or, is it a pipe in your front yard? Don't leave mystery leaks unattended!
Sweeping Away Years of Dust and Dirt - Helping Reduce Potential for Damage and Health Risks
?Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money.
?Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional uses a Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
?In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional can often restore the ductwork to pre-damage condition.
?A powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
?Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
?As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
Residential Fire Damage - Don't Wait
Apart from causing physical harm, fire accidents also lead to damage to your property. Smoke and soot are the major culprits when it comes to property damage. So, what happens when you experience fire damage in your home - do you buy a new home, or do you move out? Well, all these are costly alternatives, but unnecessary. All you need is to have fire damage restoration to make your home as good as new.
What Happens After a Fire Accident?
During fire, a lot of smoke and soot is produced. This is due to the items in your house that burn up. As smoke and soot linger in the air it is deposited on various surfaces in the home. Walls, carpets, appliances, and ceilings begin yellowing, which spoils them. The fire also leaves odor on these items. With prolonged exposure to these elements, it becomes harder to remove them.
Handling the aftermath of fire damage might seem a simple task to you, but it is involving and needs you to hire a professional for quick and efficient restoration.
What Does Fire Damage Restoration Involve?
The focus of the expert is to take your home back to its original state before the fire incident. The specialist undertakes the restoration in a series of steps guaranteed to leave your home free from any smoke damage or soot. Here are the steps:
The specialist inspects the structure to determine the extent of damage. Your premises are checked for smoke damage and any structural damage. The aim of inspection is to understand the extent of the damage and determine the proper cleaning method.
Protecting Unaffected Areas
Not all items in your home are affected by the fire. There are those that were not touched by the fire or were partially damaged and have to be secured. Before the procedure, the specialist separates the items that can be salvaged and covers them to prevent further losses. Protecting the items prevents any unnecessary expenses.
The Restoration Process
It is up to the specialist to determine the type of restoration to use in your home. The specialist then removes any damaged materials and debris that resulted from the fire. After removal, extensively damaged structural elements are replaced.
During the fire incident, firefighters use a lot of water to put out the fire. The specialist performs water extraction to remove any excess moisture that resulted from putting out the fire. After this, the specialist removes soot, deodorization, and ash. The process culminates in a new paint job.
The longer you wait after fire damage, the more costly it becomes for you. You need to use professionals for the process so that you get the best results.
Call the fire mitigations specialists at SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor, 970-353-1388.
What is an "Air Scrubber?"
We get this question a lot: "What is an air scrubber?"
We're happy to answer because we think they are phenomenal machines. They are simple, and they do their jobs very well.
An air scrubber is more appropriately referred to by professionals as an "air filtration device," or AFD. Simply put, it filters airborne particles out of the air, giving you cleaner air to breathe. The machines are used on many types of jobs, primarily mold remediation projects and water jobs where the use of fans can stir up dust and send particulate in the air.
"Scrubber" is a bit of a misnomer -- the machines don't really "scrub" anything. More appropriately, they trap airborne particulate in their filters, allowing filtered air to pass through the machine and re-enter the breathing environment. It's really the same concept as a water filter under your kitchen sink. A water filter removes unwanted particulate from your drinking water. An AFD does the same thing to the air we breathe.
The critical component of an air filtration device is a HEPA filter. The machine draws in air though the back side, pulls it through the HEPA filter, and the HEPA filter traps airborne particulate and returns to the breathing and varmints filtered air.
Do they work? Or are they just another way for contractors to run up a bill on a mold job or water job? AFDs absolutely work. A simple demonstration will prove it. All we would need to do is take two readings from a laser particle counter, which is a hand-held device that measures the number of particles per volume of air. We could take one measurement on the "dirty" side of the AFD (e.g. the side of the AFD in which the air is entering) to measure the number of particles in the general environment; then we could take another measurement at the "clean" side (e.g. the side where the newly filtered air is coming out of the machine). The measurements will show drastic differences in particle counts. The particle counts could be in the tens of thousands on the dirty side, and in the single digits on the clean side. Seeing this demonstration is believing that AFDs absolutely remove airborne particulate from the air you breathe.
As mentioned above, AFDs are used most frequently on mold remediation projects. The reason is simple -- we want to remove airborne mold spores from the air you are consuming. AFDs have many other uses as well. For example, they can be used on deodorization projects. Particulate in your air can produce odors. Trapping them with the HEPA-filtered AFD will remove them from the breathing environment and thereby remove the odor-producing elements from your environment.
Yes, AFDs can be expensive to employ. This is because HEPA filters are costly. HEPA filters are made of a refined product with tiny holes that are too small for particulate to pass through. These filters are "consumbables," meaning they are used and discarded. Unfortunately they cannot be recycled. This is the key cost driver to consider when using AFDs. On some occasions multiple HEPA filters may need to be used for each machine. More commonly, the HEPA filters can be used on a job without having to be changed out.
If you, or a loved one, or business associate have breathing or respiratory problems, give us a call at 970-353-1388. We will be glad to come onsite and setup an AFD -- cleaning your air (or more accurately stated, "removing particulate from your air") could go a long way to improving the way someone feels!
The Truth about 100-year Floods
The above image includes a diagram demonstrating the magnitude and frequency of water levels during a flood.
Whenever a strong hurricane or storm causes significant flooding, there is often talk of a 100-year flood.
When people hear this term they think a flood of that magnitude occurs once every hundred years, so they should be safe from harm for the next hundred years. Unfortunately, some base their decision to buy flood insurance on this false belief, putting them at risk of a catastrophic loss. The reality is much different. It involves frequency analysis and statistical probability. In order to determine the frequency of floods of a given level, scientists create a history of the area. Generally, scientists start with a minimum of 10 years of information. The longer the record the better and the more accurate predictions are. They look at the frequency of different size floods and the average number of years between them to develop the probability of a given size flood in a particular year.
The accumulation of data allows for a determination of the annual probability that a given stream or river will exceed its banks. This is known as annual exceedance probability or AEP. A 1% AEP flood has a 1 in 100 chance of occurring every year, with an average recurrence every 100 years. This is the 100-year flood. A 500-year flood has an AEP of 0.2% chance, or a one in 500 chance, of occurring in any year. It is entirely possible for there to be 100-year or 500-year floods in consecutive years.
Because of the confusion and misunderstanding, the term 100-year flood generates, the U.S. Geological Survey is encouraging the use of the AEP terminology, preferring the phrase “1% AEP flood” over “a 100-year flood.” During the span of a 30-year mortgage, there is a 26% chance of a home in a 1% AEP, or 100-year flood area, of being flooded.
Information provided by Property Casualty 360
Frozen Water Pipes
One of the worst dangers for property owners in the winter is frozen pipes. When water freezes it expands and exerts pressure on pipes that can cause them to burst. If a pipe breaks, it can lead to significant and costly water damage that can ruin property, belongings, and can be a hassle to fix. But luckily there are safety measures you can take to prevent your pipes from freezing.
As a property owner, the prevention of frozen pipes begins at the end of the Fall season. Make sure all water from swimming pools and sprinkler supply lines are completely drained. If these lines are left open in the winter, there is a drastic increase in the possibility of freeze damage and frozen pipes.
Also, make sure to drain and disconnect any outside hoses. For extra protection install a frost-proof spigot or a faucet insulator.
Having proper insulation is the best way to prevent frozen pipes in the winter. All exposed pipes in unheated areas need to be properly insulated. Attics and garages are two of the most common problem areas. If these areas aren’t already insulated, call an insulation company for installation as soon as possible.
It may also be worth adding extra insulation to the exterior walls of your home. Pipes in exterior walls are prone to bursting if there is inadequate or improperly installed insulation.
With proper insulation, your pipes should be protected, but if you live in an extremely cold area and your pipes are prone to freezing, there are still little tricks you can try:
- leave cabinets and doors open to keep warm air flowing into areas where pipes are;
- avoid lowering the thermostat at night to keep the house at a consistent temperature; and
- let cold water drip from the faucet throughout the day periodically to keep water running through the pipes.
If a frozen pipe does burst, you will need to take immediate action to avoid significant water damage. Start by turning off the main water in your house and then call in the professionals. SERVPRO Greeley/Windsor has trained specialists to remediate water damage and restore your property back to its original condition.
IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Greeley Windsor is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor
SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
The SERVPRO Greeley/Windsor Team
- AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
- OSHA - 40-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
- CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
- IICRC Certified Firm
- ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
- SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
- WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
- OCT - Odor Control Technician