What To Do About Water in Your Crawl Space
A wet crawl space can occur even with the best prevention methods.
There are lots of ways a flood can affect your home. A crawl space is underneath your feet, making it easy to forget about. It’s meant to give you access to wiring, HVAC and plumbing, so a wet crawl space can be dangerous. Here’s how you can repair it and not let it sink your week.
Water from flooding can easily move into crawl spaces below thanks to any cracks in the foundation. A professional service can thoroughly repair cracks and ensure that the foundation remains sound. On your own, you can repair leaks and inspect gutters, drainage and grading to make sure they’re not part of the problem.
Clean Up and Take Care
Once you've established you have a wet crawl space, you should remove debris and replace wet insulation. You may also need to take some of the follow precautions to avoid future floods:
? Install a sump pump.
? Insulate cold water pipes with foam pipe insulation so condensation won’t form, as well as to prevent freezing.
? Apply a vapor barrier over the floor and up the wall; condition your crawl space to avoid heat loss, air problems, mold growth and structural and duct damage.
? If you have mold, a professional is equipped to safely and thoroughly handle those issues.
Unlike a home with a concrete slab foundation, with a crawl space, you don’t have to excavate in order to resolve a pipe leak. Being smaller than a basement makes it far easier to handle when there’s flooding.
However, improper ventilation can lead to moisture moving up into the home, rotting structures and a spurring a growth in mold and fungi. To get air moving, you should consider installing the following:
? An air vent leading from your HVAC system
? An exhaust fan to move the air outside
? A dehumidifier
A wet crawl space can occur even with the best prevention methods. A professional water cleanup and restoration service is best able to handle any mold or structural issues that you cannot resolve on your own. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com/.
Is Black Water Safe?
Water damage from a flood in Norman, OK, can wreak havoc on your business.
Imagine that you are exceptionally thirsty and someone offers you some water. This water, however, is full of bacteria and viruses. Do you drink it? Of course, you don’t. Now, imagine your business after sustaining water damage from a flood in Norman, OK. Do you let it dry and return to business as usual? Again, you don’t. Understand the dangers of dirty, black water below.
What Is Black Water?
There are three categories of water damage, including black, gray and clean water. Clean comes from a fresh water source and is not hazardous to your health. Gray is contaminated as it may contain dirt or detergent but does not typically pose a significant risk. Black, however, is the most dangerous of the three:
• Flood water or sewage are the most common sources of this highly contaminated water.
• Infested with bacteria and microorganisms, this type of water should always be avoided by humans and pets.
• Without protective equipment, it is not safe to be around.
How Is Black Water Cleaned?
If the water is so dangerous, you may wonder how your business will ever recover. Professional water restoration specialists wear protective gear including masks to guard against virus inhalation. The process may be time consuming as it needs to be thorough:
• The damaged area is contained, so the water and germs do not spread.
• Professional grade pumps and vacuums remove the excess standing water.
• Porous materials exposed to the contaminated water are removed from the property, including drywall and carpet padding.
• The area is dried, cleaned, disinfected and properly sanitized. Air filtration equipment is used to rid the air of viruses and odors.
Water damage from a flood in Norman, OK, can wreak havoc on your business. The contaminants in the black water can negatively impact your health and safety, therefore as soon as a possible, partner with a professional restoration expert to return your business to pre-disaster condition. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com/.
Dealing With Water Damage From a Commercial Fire
It's an unpleasant fact, but if you've had fire damage your place of business, you're almost always going to have to deal with water damage as well.
If you're dealing with a fire to your Norman, OK, business, chances are you've sustained significant water damage as well. Pipes or water heaters may have burst, and most likely more than one fire hose was used to subdue the blaze. Carpets and upholstery are probably saturated, and there's a looming threat of mold if the situation isn't taken care of right away. You'll need to call a professional fire restoration company as soon as possible to see to the water and fire damage. They will do the necessary emergency cleanup right away to make sure that further problems don't occur.
The restoration company will follow these steps:
• Damage inspection
• Water removal
• Drying and dehumidification
• Cleanup and sanitization
• Damage repair
Before any kind of fire damage cleanup can begin, the restoration company needs to know where exactly the damage is, and how severe it is. They will carefully inspect every part of the damaged structure before any water is removed.
To make sure that no further damage is sustained, any standing water needs to be removed as soon as possible. The restoration company will use industrial-strength pumps and vacuums to eliminate as much moisture as possible. At this point, air movers and dehumidifiers are brought in to purge any remaining moisture.
Cleanup and Sanitization
The next essential step is to make sure that no microbes or mold remain to pose a health threat. Any items that can be saved, such as furniture or office equipment, will be sanitized using a variety of specialized cleaning and disinfecting techniques.
When all the moisture is removed, and all surfaces have been cleaned and sanitized, the final phase of repair and restoration will start. The actual process can vary, from carpet replacement and drywall repair to large reconstruction jobs.
It's an unpleasant fact, but if you've had fire damage your place of business, you're almost always going to have to deal with water damage as well. But with the help of a reputable restoration company, you'll be able to quickly get your business back on track. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com/.
How To Begin Cleanup Before the Adjuster Arrives
Recovering from a flood in Norman, OK can be stressful, emotionally draining and physically demanding. Having flood insurance coverage can help to alleviate some of those burdens. However, waiting to start cleanup until after the insurance adjuster assesses your home could lead to more serious problems.
Why To Start Quickly
Here are a few reasons it is important to act fast:
• Stagnant water houses a variety of harmful bacteria.
• Mold damage begins to develop within the first 24 hours after flooding.
• Delayed cleanup could increase the risk of structural damage to your home.
What To Do
If you experience damage following a storm, there are a number of actions you should take:
• Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Explain the extent of the damage and ask if you can start work before an adjuster arrives.
• Document everything, including conversations with your insurance company. In this case, technology is your friend. Take pictures or videotape the extent of the damage before you remove anything from your home, including water. This will ensure that you get the best reimbursement from your flood insurance provider.
• Remove standing water. This can be done by purchasing a sump pump or dry vac from your local hardware store or by hiring a professional restoration specialist to do the work for you. If you decide to do the work on your own, be sure to wear appropriate protective clothing such as boots and gloves because you will be working with contaminated water.
• Remove saturated objects such as carpets, carpet padding, furniture and clothing. Since these items are made from porous materials, bacteria can remain even after the item is completely dry.
When a flood hits your home, recovering from it can be intimidating. Taking the proper steps early can help prevent more serious flood damage to your home and health risks to you and your family. Check with flood insurance providers in Norman, OK to find out what coverage is available to you.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com for more information on storm damage.
Toss it out: A Guide to Throwing Away Items After a Fire
It’s impossible to accurately depict how devastating a fire can be when it rages through a person’s home. If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of this tragedy, you know what a helpless feeling you can have. In the aftermath, you need to go through the cleanup process and decide what to keep and what to throw away. There are some things you can salvage, while others pose health hazards to hang onto.
You don’t automatically have to throw out all of your food following a fire. However, fire damage at your Norman, OK home can render some things unhealthy. Inspect your food supply carefully following a fire to determine what can say or go. You should toss the following:
• Opened containers or perishable foods.
• Food you stored in thin plastic bags or cardboard.
• Non-perishable food that was close to the heat.
High heat will wreak havoc with your medicine or cosmetics. You don’t want to risk ingesting anything that you know was either in or close to the fire. You definitely should throw away the items if they are charred or have other obvious defects or damage.
Though you hate the thought of having to replace your wardrobe, much of it may be unsalvageable. You may be able to save some items by thoroughly cleaning it. But if there are obvious burn marks, you may be out of luck. Use caution when deciding whether to keep baby clothes.
If a fire at home affected mattresses, your best bet is to discard it. You don’t want to sleep on something that was exposed to smoke damage and harmful materials.
It’s hard to throw away items, especially if they have intrinsic meaning and value. However, you’ll feel better knowing you’re providing a safer environment for your loved ones. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com for more information on fire damage.
How To Know If Your Facility Has Mold
No commercial building in Norman, OK is completely immune from developing a mold problem. Mold can occur any time there is excess dampness or condensation inside a facility. If you’re unsure whether there is mold at your commercial property, an indoor environmental specialist can perform a mold test so you can try to catch it early.
First, here are a few questions to consider:
1. Has there been any recent water damage? Moisture is the primary source of mold, so whether it’s a leaky roof or the effects of flooding, any kind of water inside your commercial facility can lead to mold growth.
2. Are the air ducts cleaned regularly? HVAC and other ventilation systems are commonly known to carry mold, so it’s important to find out when they were last cleaned.
3. Is there a strong odor in the building? Sometimes a musty smell means there is mold present. If your employees report an unpleasant odor, it could be the presence of black mold, which is often smelled before it is seen.
Mold can hide in many places indoors, such as under carpet, inside walls and paneling, and in piping and insulation. It has also been found behind wallpaper, but it’s important to be cautious about investigating it without an indoor environmental specialist present; once exposed, mold spores can spread easily. It only takes two to three days for mold to grow indoors. If you do suspect a mold outbreak at your commercial facility, stay away from suspected areas until experts can come and perform the necessary tests.
If a mold breaks out but goes undetected for a long time, the more damage it can cause. That could disrupt your operations and impact you financially. If your building has suffered any water damage, watch for mold signs. The sooner it’s discovered, the sooner an indoor environmental specialist can come in to clean it up.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com for more information on mold.
Prepare for Water Damage Before It Happens
It may feel like you only hear about bursting pipes in passing, kind of like losing 20 pounds in two months or forgetting to eat breakfast. There are just some things that feel like they could never happen to you—until they do. Water damage isn’t something you want to be unprepared for; in order to get your home restored to its previous condition, preparation is key.
What To Expect When You Aren’t Expecting
So that thing you didn’t anticipate happening to you did, and now you have to fix a broken pipe. What do you do next? The most critical action is to contact a water damage professional in your Norman, OK as soon as possible. Most cleanup takes three to five days, but if there are special circumstances, such as wood floors, it can take anywhere from seven to 10 days. Cleanup will generally involve these steps:
• An assessment of the damage
• High-powered vacuums and pumps working to reduce as much water as possible
• Specialized equipment used for drying hard-to-reach areas
• Odor removal and sanitization of items with antimicrobial solutions
• Potential minor or major restoration
As you can see, the process for getting your home back on track after a bout of bursting pipes isn’t the most convenient. That’s why it’s a good idea to reach out to professionals who value restoration of your belongings and keepsakes ahead of time.
Make Use of Time While You Wait
Instead of twiddling your thumbs waiting for the company to arrive, get a jump start in combating destruction with some below tips:
• Mop or blot to remove extra water
• Eliminate water from wood surfaces
• Move art to a safe, dry place
After you secure a trusted cleanup and restoration service, the possibility of bursting pipes won’t be so daunting. There is something to be said about preparing for the worst even when you typically hope for the best. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com for more information on water damage.
Moore Fire Damage -The Importance of Cleanup
Fire and Smoke Clean Up Is Simplified When You Use SERVPRO
If your home has recently undergone catastrophic damage in a fire, you will need to call upon the services of a professional Moore fire damage cleanup expert. The damage doesn't end when the flames are finally extinguished; the factors that caused the accident need to be examined and corrected, and your home needs to be thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and deodorized so that it can once more become a safe place to live.
After the Fire Is Put Out, What Happens Next?
After the fire at your home has been safely put out, there are a number of things that need to happen after the fire is over so that your home can quickly be restored to its original state. For example, even though the flames are out, there will still be a significant amount of noxious smoke and fumes that must be thoroughly removed before the structure is safe to enter again.
After the fumes are removed, there will still be the matter of removing harmful debris from the site so that there will not be any jagged edges to trip over. Discolored patches on the walls or ceilings or stained rugs remaining behind are an eyesore. Any excess water that may have been left behind from burst pipes or the sprinkler system will also be removed in order to prevent the growth of mold. All of the upholstery and fabrics left in the structure will receive an expert cleaning.
The Best Policy Is to Restore Rather Than Replace
When it comes to correcting Moore fire damage, the policy should always be to restore rather than replace. While it may be tempting simply to clear away the structure or its contents and start all over again from scratch, this isn't usually feasible from an economic point of view. It is far more cost effective to clear away the debris and restore the structure rather than tear it down. This is also more convenient if you have a family that depends on having a home to come back to at the end of the day.
Contact a Locally Owned and Operated Service
In the event of Moore fire damage, a locally owned and operated restoration service like the one offered by SERVPRO is your best bet for quick fire damage restoration. If you are the victim of an unforeseen disaster, you will want to receive prompt service rather than wait around for hours while your home receives further secondary damage. It's a good idea to have the number of a reliable local fire and water damage restoration service handy in the event that such a disaster does occur on your property.
When Disaster Strikes, You'll Need Expert Fire Damage Cleanup
When you need expert Moore fire damage cleanup, it's an excellent idea to call upon the services of a local expert that can respond immediately to your emergency. SERVPRO of Norman is locally owned and operated and can guarantee same-day service in most situations. We can also assist residents in Norman, Oklahoma City, Purcell, Shawnee, and other nearby areas. For more information, contact us at (405) 292-0808.
Oklahoma City Property Questions Concerning Fire Damage
Flames Can Devastate Your Home, Call SERVPRO for Help
SERVPRO Answers All Questions About Your Fire Damaged Property in Oklahoma City.
No matter how large or small the fire is in your home, the Oklahoma City smoke and fire damage create problems in ways that you may not imagine. The smoke and oily soot permeate everything and what is not entirely destroyed by the fire and smoke, is often damaged by the water and other chemicals used to put it out.
What Should I Do?
Should I go back into my house and start cleaning? Short answer: No. The explanation of this response is that it could very well be dangerous to go back in due to chemicals released from many of the furnishings, carpets and even, in some cases, the building materials.
The structure may have been weakened, enough, to be in danger of partial collapse. The first call should be to your insurance company, which sends an adjuster to assist you in this effort. The second call should go to a qualified fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO.
What are some of the things that I can keep?
Short answer: It depends on the extent of the fire damage and the amount of water, foam and other chemicals used for extinguishing the flames. A certified fire restoration company is in a much better position to answer this question after they have had an inspection and spoken with your adjuster. Fortunately, SERVPRO is listed as a top restoration provider by most insurance and property management companies.
Problems arise because smoke, soot, water and chemicals infiltrate every porous item in your home. That means removal of the carpets if they are water-logged or contaminated. Also, fabrics that are on furniture, drapes, and all of our clothes require professional cleaning. Special dry cleaning is needed to return these fabrics to pre-smoke and fire damage condition.
The structure, however, is another story.
You may have many questions about many items in your home and the experts from SERVPRO can walk you through your recovery needs. They explain if and why the removal of drywall needs to occur. They show you the fire damage done to many items in your home, so you see it the way they do.
Is it safe to help the restoration crew do their job? NO.
Again, it might be dangerous to be inside, at this point. They begin the process of evacuating the foul air from the home even as they are inspecting the damage. They remove fire-damagedproperty using safety gear. So, it is best if you let them do what they have been trained, insured and bonded to do.
Smoke damage affects everything within the structure because of air circulation that may cross-contaminate previously unaffected rooms during the fire and its aftermath. Some spaces get engulfed in flames, and others are only damaged because of the smoke that travels on the updrafts produced in this situation. HVAC units must remain off, and the duct work vacuumed, sanitized and deodorized.
Calling the best fire restoration company available is the best solution to answer your questions, and concerns and to restore your home. SERVPRO technicians possess an IICRC (the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) plus corporate eLearning to use the most advanced techniques and equipment to restore your Oklahoma City fire damagedhome back to preloss condition "Like it never even happened."
We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists
SERVPRO of Norman specializes in fire and smoke restoration. With advanced training and equipment we respond promptly to all fire related emergencies in Oklahoma CIty, Norman, and Purcell. Call 24/7 for help. (405) 292-0808
Staying in Business After an Emergency
Flooding in a commercial building.
An emergency that occurs at your business in Norman, OK doesn’t just impact the physical structure of your building. It can affect your employees, your business plan and your bottom line. Having a business continuity plan in place can help minimize the impact of a disastrous occurrence. Follow these four steps to establish your plan.
1. Business Impact Analysis
The first thing to do is recognize what processes may be affected by an emergency. How you run your business while certified specialists are restoring your building is not going to look the same as it does when your company is fully functional. Your BIA can reveal the core elements that keep your business going and the resources you need to carry them out.
2. Basic Business Function Strategies
Your emergency response plan should include a detailed list of actions and resources. Use the information discovered in your BIA to plan alternatives to your regular business procedures to keep the business running. Then list the resources you need to support these alternatives:
• Necessary space
• Equipment, furniture and office supplies
• Important records and other vital information
• Basic inventory
• Utilities and other outside services
• Human resources
Your business continuity plan is only as good as the support it has.
3. Recovery Team
Put together a team to iron out the details of your plan. The team may consider strategies such as telecommuting for some employees, relocation, contracting some work to third-party services or use of unconventional spaces. The recovery team is tasked with finding manual workarounds for key business functions that are impacted.
4. Testing and Training
You never know if something is going to work unless you try it, and you don’t want to wait until you need your emergency response plan to know if it is going to be effective. No plan is complete until it has been tested and vital personnel have been trained to put it into action.
You cannot always avoid disastrous emergencies. You can, however, make a business continuity plan to deal with their impact.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com for more information on commercial damage.