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.
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.
Taking Care of Business: Five Ways To Prepare for a Storm
Business owners of Norman, OK may experience fear and anxiety upon becoming aware of an impending storm. Receiving notification beforehand (via radio stations, TV news channels, and smartphone apps) can allow time to get prepared. Here are five precautions to take to keep your commercial property safe during severe conditions.
1. Prepare Your Office Building
Ensure that your office building is well insulated and that all air leaks are sealed with weather stripping. Water heaters and HVAC systems should be up to date on maintenance and inspection. Have a backup source of energy in the event of a power outage.
2. Create a Plan
It is essential that everyone has a hard copy of a disaster and emergency plan. Have an evacuation route with a designated meeting area. List locations of emergency generators, fire extinguishers, and emergency kits.
3. Have an Inclement Weather Policy in Place
Some companies have a hotline for employees to call to get up-to-date instructions on what to do during inclement weather, which can inform employees to either come in later after the weather clears or to not report to work. Often, employers often allow employees to work from home during a storm.
4. Know Who To Contact if Damage Occurs
If any cleaning and/or repair is needed after the storm, contact your local damage restoration specialists. Bringing in a skilled team with the right equipment and know-how can ensure that the property will be restored to mint condition.
Weather can temporarily close down a business. Have a plan in place – and a restoration company on call – to deal with any problems that may arise, such as a pipe burst or loss of power. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com for more information on storm damage.
Emergency Sewage Damage Tips
A sewage pipe break in Norman, OK
Here are some tips to take into consideration if you have a sewage damage in your home.
- Shut off the water source if possible.
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.
- Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature.
- Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
- Do not leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpeting.
After suffering from a damage from sewage give SERVPRO of Norman a call and we can clean your home or business. You do not have to worry about sewage damage alone. Call the experts.
How to Protect a Business from Fire and Other Disasters
Give SERVPRO a call after commercial fire damage.
This is a common question, but it has a disappointing answer. Try as you might, you cannot protect a business from a major disaster. This would include major fires, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters. This is not to say that you cannot be prepared. Disaster preparation falls into two categories.
Keep Small Problems Small
Fire preparation is a perfect example of this. The business should have professionally installed smoke, fire detectors and alarms connected to the nearest fire station. These should be on battery backup along with emergency lighting to help with evacuation. It should have sprinkler systems in common areas where paper, plastic and other combustible materials could catch fire. It should have special fire suppression systems in computer rooms and anyplace where there are motors, generators, air conditioners or any other heavy electrical equipment. Implementing all these prevention measures will minimize fire damage and hopefully allow the business to continue operating after an incident.
Have a Recovery Plan
Every business should do disaster planning. If a business decides that it will cease to exist after a major disaster, then that’s the plan. You will find that most businesses do not have a comprehensive plan. Many have looked at setting one up with the best of intentions, but the costs are prohibitive. They finally decide on backing up the computer systems nightly, sending one copy off site weekly and figure the rest out if the disaster happens. Fortunately, the fire preparation measures above are usually enough to minimize the most common form of disaster, fire.
The end of the disaster marks the beginning of the recovery. If the disaster was a fire, then this is when you get to see how well the fire preparation measures worked. Regardless of what type of disaster the business experienced, much of the recovery is the same. A qualified specialist from Norman, OK will need to be brought in for the cleanup and restoration. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
Can I Save My Plants From Mildew?
Once you find mildew on your plants, you may despair of ever saving them; plants are often delicate creatures, and the slightest blight can completely destroy them. Yet with a little love, care, and judicious oversight, you can save your plants from the unsightly, murderous blotches of plant mildew. All you need is a little extra time, care, and a sunny spot in your Norman, OK home.
Getting Rid of Plant Mildew the Safe Way
You can recognize plant mildew as a powdery white substance growing on the leaves and stalks of your plants; the effect mildew has of obscuring the plant’s leaves can interfere with photosynthesis, weakening your plants when they can’t absorb enough light. Some mildews are plant-specific, while others can cross species. Here are a few things to do with your mildew plants:
1. Don’t use harsh mildew cleaners. These might work for inorganic surfaces, but they’re brutal on your plants.
2. Immediately separate your plants. Keeping your plants separated can prevent the mildew from hopping from one plant to the next, and can stop an infected plant from re-infecting a recently cured plant.
3. Move your infected plants to a sunny spot. Making sure they get more sunlight can help your plants survive while mildew growth is eradicated.
4. Cut away the infected portions. If you can fully cut off the leaves and stalks blighted with plant mildew without killing the plant, do so. Cut away as much as possible to eliminate any areas for regrowth.
5. Move the plant outside if the weather is not too wet, and use fungicides or mildewcides that are safe for plants. Make sure you check before buying; many will list which plants they can help and which they can harm, or the types of plant-specific mildews they treat. Professionals may also be able to consult on this.
6. Water plants from the roots. This way you won’t add more moisture to feed the plant mildew on leaf surfaces.
7. Weed and clean around your plants. Dead leaves and weeds can contribute to mold. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com for more information on mold.
What Are Safe Alternatives for Candles?
Candles are a common but dangerous household item. According to Alder Home Security, candles are the fourth leading cause of house fires. The National Fire Protection Association reported that there is a report of a candle fire 24 times per day, with about one-third of them beginning in bedrooms. And, around the December holidays, be especially aware if a candle is lit - fires caused by candles spike during the winter season. To safely scent your home in Norman, OK check out the following three candle alternatives.
1. Flameless Candles
Battery-operated flameless candles are a great option for areas of your home that are often vacant, such as hallways, guest rooms and bathrooms. They are often made with scented wax to smell like an authentic candle and flicker as if they were lit with a real flame. Leaving candles unattended or forgetting to blow them out are two of the reasons for 85 percent of fires, according to the National Candle Association, and flame-free candles can be a preventative measure.
If you’re looking for an option that looks different than a traditional candle, picking up a flameless luminary is a way to go. It’s made up of a decorated shade, and some brands allow you to choose between different scents. As an added bonus, some types shut off after four hours so you don’t have to remember to turn them off.
3. Candle Warmers
For those who enjoy the look and smell of an authentic candle, candle warmers make great lit candle alternatives. The lamp heats the wax from the candle by warming the top to release its scent. The lamps come in multiple designs and can hold most 22-ounce candles. You may be able to purchase scented candles with or without a wick, or you can heat your own.
Candle alternatives are excellent additions to homes to prevent candle-related fires. These options can still provide the look, smell and cozy atmospheres in Norman, OK that traditional candles provide – without the risk. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com for more information on fire damage.
3 Facts About Mold Cleaning Standards for Commercial Buildings
Water damage, leaks and other issues can cause the development of mold in your Norman, OK, commercial building, where it can take hold before you realize it. While cleanup and eradication of mold is possible in this situation, it is important to learn mold standards that have been established by agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Being aware of these standards can ensure that you have your building cleaned properly and avoid actions that may result in fines or the closure of your business.
1. EPA Guidelines Stress Careful Planning for Remediation
The EPA’s standards include an emphasis on extensive planning when it comes to mold removal for commercial buildings. Constructing a plan that includes contacting a qualified mold remediation and restoration company can ensure that the proper steps are performed with efficiency. You may want to work closely with your landlord and remediation technicians when it comes to formulating a mold clean plan.
2. Mold Spore Containment Lacks Guidelines
OSHA notes that there are currently no federal mold standards when it comes to the containment of mold spores. However, there are several actions you can take to reduce their presence. Ask your mold techs about treating the air with filtration systems and using cleaning machines with HEPA filters designed to capture mold spores. While it is impossible to destroy all mold spores present indoors, reducing their number may lower the risk of fungi growth.
3. Certified Mold Technicians Are Available
Because dealing with black mold and other fungi can be difficult, it is wise to hire certified mold technicians for their removal. Those who are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification have completed training and education created by the organization and have specified knowledge that they can apply to the cleaning of your building.
When mold affects your Norman, OK, commercial building, it can be difficult to know how to proceed. However, learning about federal mold standards and guidelines can help you move ahead with confidence. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com/.
What To Do When a Toilet Overflows
Most buildings have bathrooms available for both workers and customers. However, there is a chance that the toilets in these bathrooms can overflow and cause a lot of water damage. Toilet overflow can happen when the fixture is clogged or mechanically damaged, but it can be quickly stopped before things get drastic. Here are a few tips that can help you know how to stop a toilet from overflowing and what to do about the water that has already spilled.
How To Stop the Overflow
If the tank won’t stop releasing water into the bowl, locate the toilet’s water valve and shut the water off. The valve is usually directly behind the fixture. After that, try doing the following things:
• Clean up as much water as you can with towels or a wet vacuum.
• Remove any items that were exposed to the water.
• Open the windows to help dry out the area.
You can reduce water damage by acting immediately and efficiently.
Inspect the Damage
After cleaning up as much as you can, try to figure out what happened. It might have been a clog, or maybe a pipe is damaged. If you are inexperienced with plumbing, call the professionals in Norman, OK, to help you out. If the toilet flood was especially bad, call a water damage company to help you prevent mold and further damage.
Be Careful Around Sewage
If the toilet overflow involves sewage, use protective clothing such as gloves or watertight boots to clean up the water. Sewage is potentially harmful and should not come into direct contact with your skin. Be sure to properly disinfect the entire area once the water is removed.
With these tips in mind, you can handle this situation with control. Prevent future toilet overflow problems by cleaning your building’s bathrooms often and by doing frequent plumbing inspections. It doesn’t hurt to have a plunger nearby, too. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorman.com/.