What To Do After a Big Storm
Aftermath of a Storm can leave your home or business with damage needing professional assistance
When large storms sweep through St. Charles, IL, many homeowners are left with some type of storm damage. Whether you have to deal with roof disrepair or flood damage, you likely want to get the problem looked at as soon as possible. If you're struggling to know what to do first, you can use this handy guide.
1. Consider your insurance policy. Does your home have flood insurance or another policy that could help cover some of the repair costs? You may want to call your insurance company to start the claims process. However, many storm adjusters are very busy right after a large storm. While it's a great idea to give them a call, you may not want to wait until they can arrive at your house before moving forward. If you do wait, the damage done by the storm may get worse.
2. Have the damage inspected. You don't have to wait for a flood insurance adjuster to start taking care of the damage. Instead, you can call in a team of storm remediation professionals. These specialists may record the damage done to your home and help you make a repair plan.
3. Get the water removed. If your home was affected by flood waters, you want to make sure to address the problem as quickly as possible. If you let the waters linger, your flood damage could transform into mold damage. Make sure to take plenty of pictures of your home before any repair steps are taken.
After a big storm, you may need to have an adjuster come to your home to figure out how your flood insurance policy will affect the repair budget. However, because of an adjuster's crazy schedule after a storm, it may not be wise to wait for him or her to come to your house before starting the repair process. You need to address the damage done to your home as soon as you can.
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Storm Damage Prevention
Tree Damage in Commercial Building
St. Charles Home Care: What Every Homeowner Must Know to Reduce Storm Damage
Water damage from severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, ice, and hail is an all too familiar occurrence in St. Charles and surrounding areas. Because our area is prone to severe weather, it is vital to know what you can do to protect your home. This simple checklist can help you prepare your home and minimize the damage caused by a destructive storm.
Check Your Roof and Ceiling
At least quarterly, do a quick visual inspection of the ceilings in your home. Any cracks or discolorations should be further inspected. Discoloration could be a sign of water damage and possible mold growth. If you are unsure, call an expert like St. Charles SERVPRO, for a full evaluation and assessment. After walking through the inside of your home, walk around the exterior paying attention to the roof. The older the roof on your home is, the more frequently you should do a quick (from the ground) inspection. In addition, you should walk around your home after every major storm to note any new damage. If you notice any lifting or missing roof tiles, contact a licensed roofing company in your area for a thorough inspection.
Review Gutters and Downspouts
If you have trees close to your home, gutters and downspouts need to be inspected regularly. Leaves, sticks, other debris, and even critters can collect in gutters resulting in poor drainage during severe weather events. Clogged downspouts can be difficult to notice during a storm. The best test is to put your garden hose in the gutter, and turn on the water fully. This can help you assess whether it the gutters and downspouts are clear. Just as important is ensuring that the landscaping and downspouts are directing the water away from the foundation of the home.
Mold Won’t Go Away on Its Own – You Need To Give It a Helping Hand
Mold Ceiling Damage in Geneva Home
Black mold has staying power, and even after you’ve dried out the problem area and removed any visible signs of mold growth, you still have a problem. Mold cleanup entails much more than drying out the mold; it also involves these tasks:
• Removing spores
• Replacing affected materials with new ones
• Implementing preventative measures
If you recently discovered mold in your home, the problem may be much more extensive than you initially thought. Once you have dealt with the initial source of the problem, reach out to your [City, State], mold remediation team for help eradicating the problem for good.
Professional Mold Remediation Is Key
If the moisture problem that caused the mold growth was allowed to continue for more than 24 to 48 hours (which is often the case with roof leaks, leaking pipes, and sump pump failures), chances are that the black mold spores have already spread beyond the original site. If this is the case, it would be in your best interests to reach out to a professional mold cleanup team.
The professionals have the technology necessary to identify affected areas without busting down walls, and the equipment on hand to remediate mold in an as uninvasive way as possible. Many homeowners fail to remove all present mold spores because they limit cleanup efforts the site of the moisture problem. The professionals, however, perform remediation efforts at all sites where their detection meters indicate growth.
Professional remediation often includes the following efforts:
• Containing the problem area so that further contamination is not possible
• Drying out and airing out the contained area
• Inspecting and cleaning out HVAC systems
• Removing mold and mold infested contents
• Cleaning materials and belongings
• Restoring your home to pre-mold condition
If you discover black mold in your home, it’s important to note that DIY cleanup efforts rarely work. If you want to eliminate the problem for good and ensure it doesn’t return, you need to work with a professional Geneva, IL, mold cleanup team.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information.
Understanding What Happens to Building Materials When They Get Wet
Home suffering from Water Loss
Water damage from any type of water deluge can be devastating to a home’s structure and not just to the contents within it. From swelling wood to supply line damage, the damage that an influx of water has the potential to cause can be costly and extensive. If you want to know what to expect from a burst pipe, flood or any other type of water issue, keep reading. Some common issues that stem result from sitting water include:
• Weak drywall
• Swollen wood
• Ineffective insulation
• Bad electrical
• Contaminated furniture and flooring
Common Structural Issues From Water Damage
Though a burst pipe is unlikely to cause the foundational damage a flood can cause, it can still wreak havoc on your home. If your home has been subject to several water deluges in the past, you may notice a few subtle signs.
For one, your drywall may become weak and begin to crumble, get soft or grow mold. If this happens, your drywall needs to be replaced and the structure of your home dried out, otherwise the swelling wood will continue to swell and cause additional damage. If your walls are plaster, you may be able to get away with simply drying the material.
Another sign you may notice is that your home doesn’t retain heat or cool air as well as it once did. Water damaged insulation is no longer effective and should be replaced when the drywall is replaced.
Depending on how extensive the damage was, you may notice that some outlets or switches don’t work as well. If there are electrical lines behind the damaged areas of drywall, the water surge may be the cause.
Finally, you may notice that your furniture and flooring take on a musty, moldy smell. If this happens, chances are because your furniture and carpet are contaminated, in which case, you would be better off replacing those items.
From swelling wood to bad electrical, a burst pipe can wreak havoc. If you’ve recently experienced a water surge, contact your St. Charles, IL, water restoration team for immediate and effective water pipe repair and restoration efforts.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information.
A Quick Guide to Black Water and How To Handle It
Commercial Water Loss
Whether because of a big storm in St. Charles, IL, or a backed-up toilet, water damage on your business property means shutting the door to take care of cleanup, and shut doors mean lost business. The key to restoring your property to working order as quickly as possible is knowing what black water is and how to deal with it.
What Is Black Water?
Simply put, black water is wastewater that is full of sewage or other biological materials that are dangerous to humans. The water is highly contaminated and should be avoided as much as possible. This water can enter your business property in several ways.
- Backed-up toilet
- Backed-up sink or shower drains
- Burst pipes
- Flood waters after a storm
What Do You Do if You Find Contaminated Water in Your Building?
If you find sewage water inside your property, don't try to remove it by yourself. The water may be dangerous. Instead, hire a professional company that is experienced in removing toxic sewage water from buildings. The company will have the proper equipment, knowledge and experience to remove the water and help you start the process of drying your business out.
What Are Some Things To Keep in Mind?
When dealing with contaminated flood water, you must keep some things in mind. While you don't need to throw out everything, many items will need to be replaced. Toss anything that is wooden, cardboard, paper or porous plastic. These items can absorb the water and the bacteria and pose a hazard. This is especially important if you own a food service company or a similar type of business. Metal and glass items might be salvageable but will require a thorough sanitation process first.
You shouldn't deal with water damage from contaminated water alone. Calling professionals ensures you get back on track and reopen your company's doors as soon as possible.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information.
3 Ways to Prevent Mold From Taking Over Your Rental
Owning a rental home in Geneva, IL is a great source of side income, but it requires the same amount of maintenance and care as the home you live in yourself. This ownership means taking precautions with mold prevention, learning what to do in the event of mold growth and how to properly handle any water damage that may arise from moisture problems or environmental hazards. Read on to learn three ways to prevent mold from taking over your rental property.
1. Keep the heating system low, but try not to completely turn it off. Large heating bills aside, leaving your heating system on, even at a lower temperature, can help ward off the possibility of mold reproduction. If water leaks or excessive moisture are present in the home, high heat can increase the humidity in these areas, which is the perfect environment for mold to grow in. However, turning off the system completely can also bring about temperature fluctuations, which would produce condensation or invite added dampness to the infested space. Overall, leaving the heat on but at a lower temperature is the happy medium you want for mold prevention.
2. If mold is apparent due to a moisture issue, turn off the water immediately. Growing mold relies on water as one of its main sources of survival. Shutting off the water supply inhibits mold from spreading and keeps greater damage from occurring in the home due to leaky windows or plumbing.
3. Ensure the home has proper ventilation. Make sure that areas of high humidity like the kitchens and bathrooms have exhaust fans. Check to see that any laundry facilities also vent outdoors properly and keep dehumidifiers in the home if moisture is a continuous problem.
When your rental home in Geneva, IL experiences any type of mold growth or water damage, call professionals for further advice on how to proceed with remediation. Once the cleanup is addressed and completed, follow these three methods for mold prevention to avoid any moisture problems in the future. Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on mold.
If Your Building Catches Fire, Will You Be Prepared?
Whether you own a multi-million-dollar corporation that operates out of a large commercial building or run a small, family-owned business that works out of a one-room retail store, it is important that you have a fire contingency plan in place. Your emergency plan should be well thought out; otherwise, you risk disorganization, chaos, confusion and injury in the event of a real emergency. To minimize damages and increase emergency response time, your evacuation plan should include the following:
• Minimum requirements
• An evacuation route
• A safe zone
• Emergency contacts
Your contingency plan should, at the very least, include an action plan that is specific to your industry and worksite. An insurance agency can help you assess your risks, and the local fire department or a Geneva, IL fire damage control team can help you draft a plan that addresses both those exposures and any obstacles posed by your building itself (e.g., layout, structural features, etc.).
Plan an Evacuation Route
Your evacuation plan should include a map of the best evacuation routes for each area of the building. In addition to showing occupants how to safely exit the building, your plan should also give clear directions to the nearest safety zone.
Establish a Safe Zone
Once all of your building’s occupants have made it out safely, they’ll need somewhere to go. Pick one location per emergency route where all occupants can gather. You will want to get a headcount and assess damages, which can be difficult to do if everyone is scattered across town.
Include Emergency Contacts
Your evacuation plan should include a list of emergency contacts, such as the local fire department, the Geneva, IL fire restoration team, local medical centers, a burn unit and an organization that deals in chemicals and hazardous waste.
Every business’s contingency plan is going to be different, but every business should have one. For more tips on what makes a strong evacuation plan, visit the United States Department of Labor. Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Restoring Your Home After a Fire
Having your home and belongings damaged by a fire can be devastating for everyone involved. However, by getting content cleaning and fire restoration services on the job right away and investing in a few things like dry-cleaning and content storage, you can help to bring your home back to its former glory. There are a few steps you should follow to get everything on track for recovery:
• Getting in touch with your insurance company
• Locating a reliable fire and smoke cleanup crew
• Finding a storage space for undamaged belongings
After dealing with emergency services, your insurance company should be the first call you make. Your insurance professionals can help estimate how much your repairs will cost and direct you to fire cleaning professionals in St. Charles, IL who are covered by your homeowners insurance. This can help you get the financial support you need during the recovery process.
Choosing Your Crew
While your insurance company will likely suggest and endorse a number of cleanup crews, it’s ultimately up to you to decide who you want to trust with your home content cleaning. Do your research and find a company that has a reputation for getting the job done right and for following up on their results after you’re settled back into your home.
Finding Storage Solutions
During your cleanup process, crews are likely to use machines and chemicals that rid your home of smoke smells. It’s always a good idea to move undamaged belongings into a storage unit until your home is completely repaired to protect them from dust, debris, and even water from damaged roofing or pipes. Dry-cleaning may be appropriate for some minimally damaged belongings.
Between dry-cleaning, working with insurance agents and all of the other steps of content cleaning after a fire, the home recovery process can be a long one. However, it’s well worth it to feel safe and secure in your own home again.
Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on fire damage.
How to Keep Pipes Safe During a Freeze
Winter can be a beautiful and festive time of year. However, if you don’t adequately prepare your home, the freezing temperatures of winter can cause frozen pipes that burst and flood your house. If that happens, you could end up needing professional restoration services and water line repair. Here are some of the most vulnerable pipes:
• Outdoor pipes for pools and sprinklers
• Units in basements
• Pipes in attics and garages
• Units under kitchen and bathroom cabinets
Avoid frozen pipes in these areas with a few steps.
Drain Outdoor Lines
If you have a swimming pool or a sprinkler system, follow the manufacturer’s directions for draining the supply lines before a freeze comes to St. Charles, IL. You may be tempted to use antifreeze in these outdoor areas, but such chemicals can be harmful to the environment, your yard, your animals, and children.
Insulate Indoor Areas
Pipes in basements, attics, garages, and crawl spaces freeze because these areas aren’t always well insulated. While the rest of your house may be comfortable when the weather is cold, these areas can see below freezing temperatures. Adding insulation in these parts of your home can keep the temperatures safer for pipes.
The pipes in your kitchen and bathroom cabinets can get too cold because your heater doesn’t affect the air around them. You can use heat tape or a similar product to keep these pipes safe from freezing temperatures. You may also consider a pipe sleeve. If a sudden freeze is coming and you don’t have these products, you can wrap the pipes in a newspaper and keep the cabinets open.
If you do end up with frozen pipes that burst, be sure to turn off the water supply to the pipe and secure the area. Then, you can call a professional restoration company to fix the damage. Doing so can help keep mold and other damage at bay. Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on water damage.
Getting Rid of Bad Odors After a Flood
Flooding in St. Charles, IL can have a lot of consequences for your home, not the least of which is the bad odor left behind even after the water is gone. Prevent your property from being flooded with unpleasant smells, or, if they are already there, get rid of them by taking a few simple restoration measures.
Odors after flooding can be the result of mold growth. Mold can easily grow during and after flooding because of the moist conditions created by the water. Mold usually creates a stale or musty odor that can be quite unpleasant. One of the best ways to prevent this can be to stop mold from ever growing in the first place. Since fungus grows fast, as quickly as during the first 24 hours after flooding, you’ll need to act fast to keep it away. A restoration service can help you accomplish this by doing the following:
• Tearing out damaged drywall and other wet materials
• Dehumidifying the home
• Using bleach or other products to kill any remaining mold spores
While you may not be thrilled at the thought of replacing carpets and other materials, it can be worth it in the long run to avoid bad smells and worsening damage.
If your home already suffers from nasty odors, one way to fix it can be to disinfect the areas where you believe the smell is coming from. Even if mold growth is not immediately visible in these areas, microorganisms left behind from the flood water may still be present.
Restoration services can be useful in these situations as well and can help you make sure the disinfection process is completed safely and thoroughly. Again, while some items can be deodorized and salvaged, others, especially porous materials, may have to be replaced.
By preventing mold growth, you can avoid the unpleasant odors left behind after flooding. Stop smells before they happen by replacing damaged materials and drying out wet areas as quickly as possible.
Visit http://www.SERVPROstcharlesgenevabatavia.com for more information on storm damage.