Protect Your Property While You're Away: Vacation Preparedness Tips
Air scrubber on a water damage due to broken pipe in a Dover,NJ home
According to a study of insurance claims, the second most common type of homeowners' insurance claim is due to water damage in the home. Leaking pipes, burst supply lines, storm damage and freezing conditions cause millions of dollars' worth of damage each year. If a pipe freezes and bursts or even just slowly leaks while you're away, a simple water pipe repair won't fix the damage. The damage will be so extensive as to require remediation efforts by your local Dover,NJ, water damage remediation team. That said, there are steps you can take to prevent such damage while you're away on vacation:
- Check for leaks before you leave.
- Repair a broken pipe if you locate one.
- Clear your rain gutters and downspouts.
- Make sure there aren't any kinks or leaks in the hoses connecting major appliances to the water source.
- Make sure your sump pump is working to prevent a flooded basement or ground floor.
- Insulate pipes to prevent them from freezing.
- Turn off the water main to prevent water flow through your pipes, and therefore to prevent freezing.
If you take these steps before leaving for a holiday, your pipes should remain intact.
What To Do When the Pipes Burst
If your pipes do end up bursting or water damage does happen, shut off the main valve right away and perform a quick water pipe repair. If the damage is extensive, contact your water remediation team to assess the extent of it and see what needs to be done to get your home to like new condition. If you're lucky, the secondary damage isn't too bad, and a minor repair and dry-out efforts will suffice. However, if the water was allowed to sit, you may be dealing with more extensive damage, such as mold damage, rot or worse.
Simple measures such as a water pipe prepare and wrapping your pipes may be all you need to do to prevent water damage while you're away on vacation. However, if damage does happen, contact a water remediation team right away for swift cleanup assistance.
3 Strategies for Keeping Your Employees Safe During a Flood Cleanup
Avoid touching flooded water in your Jefferson, NJ building
When your Jefferson,NJ, business suffers a flood, the cleanup efforts can be considerable. From the removal of contaminated black water to fighting the mold growth that can occur afterward, there can be much to do. However, during this process, keeping your employees safe will likely be a priority for you, especially as you work to reopen your business. As workers return to your building, there are a few strategies you can keep in mind that might protect them from accidents or injury.
1. Have Them Avoid Touching Flood Water
If the flooding in your commercial location was caused by an overflow of an outdoor creek or river, a sewer backup or a backed-up toilet, you may want to keep your employees clear of the water and prevent them from entering flooded areas. Category 3 flooding creates what is called black water, which may contain feces and sewer chemicals. Only professionals from a flood damage and cleanup service with the equipment and knowledge to handle the water should do so.
2. Allow Them To Work From Home
Allowing some employees to work remotely can help keep them safe while flood cleanup efforts continue at your business. Data wranglers, coding technicians and social media managers might all be able to work from home and turn in their work via email or through your company’s shared data drive. This can help prevent layoffs or work stoppage for many of your employees.
3. Complete Air Filtration Before Employees Return
Air quality can be poor after flooding, especially if your flood techs must remove mold. It is wise to allow any air filtration processes to complete before inviting your employees back to work.
Keeping your employees safe from black water, poor air quality and other issues after a flood damages your Jefferson,NJ, commercial building can be daunting. However, when you know how to proceed once flooding occurs, you can reduce the risk of employee injuries or accidents.
How To Get Rid of Water in Your Basement
Using the right equipment to Remove water from the Basement
During storm season in Dover, NJ, the likelihood that your basement may flood increases exponentially. Rising groundwater, however, doesn't always wait on a storm. A backed-up sewer or some other type of flood can affect your home as well. Knowing that flooding is always a possibility, you should have procedures in place for dealing with it. You may purchase equipment yourself, have professionals on speed dial for when an emergency arises or do both.
Protecting Your Basement
A flood can fill up your basement pretty fast. Once the water flow starts, you could have two feet of standing water down there in no time. That's why it's a good idea to have a sump pump that is ready to pump the water out into your backyard or some other area. It's not enough to have it; you must also take care of the pump:
• Charge it – Make sure it's plugged in to a power source
• Clean it – Make sure there's no debris in the inlet screen
• Test it – Make sure it works by pouring water into it and seeing if it comes on
Taking care of your equipment ensures that it will kick into gear when you need it to do so.
Consulting the Experts
You probably don't want to just rely on the sump pump to take care of the flood's aftermath. Any water damage needs to be fixed by water mitigation professionals. If the standing water in your basement is filled with debris, they can also bring out a trash pump that not only removes the water but the sludge and muck hidden in it. The pump mounts right on the collection truck, making containment a simple process.
It may be daunting to open the door to your basement and see several feet of water where the floor used to be. With the right equipment and help, though, you can get the water out of your basement quickly and efficiently.
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Mold Vs. Mildew: 3 Tips for Spotting the Difference
Identifying the difference between mold and mildew from a professional
Keeping up with the household chores at your Dover, NJ, residence can be a challenge. From washing dishes to cleaning carpets and scrubbing out your bathtub, there is much to maintain. One particularly challenging chore can be targeting and eradicating mold and mildew in your home. Because mold damage can happen fast if it is not handled properly, knowing how to spot the difference between the two can help you resolve the issue before it gets out of hand.
Mildew is typically white or yellow and may have a powdery surface appearance. It may also turn darker as it ages. Like mold, mildew growth will likely spread if it is not treated.
You may find mildew in your bathroom or any other room with a high humidity level. While most strains of mold also thrive in this environment, mildew is more likely to grow on flat surfaces, such as shower tiles, windowsills and shower curtains. Mold is more likely to hide under your bathroom sink cabinet or around the base of a leaky toilet, where consistent dampness allows it to grow.
3. Cleanup Effort
One of the surest ways to tell mold from mildew is how easily it cleans up. Mildew usually grows on the surface of what it occupies and can usually be wiped away with a household cleanser and sponge. Mold is typically tougher to clean up and may require the services of a mold damage and remediation company. Once mold growth takes hold on a surface, it usually cannot be resolved with bleach or other cleansers and may even thrive if you introduce water-based cleaning products. Overall, mold removal is best left to experts.
It can be difficult to tell mold from mildew. However, since mold damage can be costly to reverse, it can benefit you as a Dover, NJ, homeowner to be able to spot the differences.
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A Timeline for Fixing Busted Pipes
Pipe Break in Dover
You may inspect your commercial property on a regular basis, but sometimes bursting pipes still occur. If you experience water damage in Dover, NJ, as the result of a damaged pipe, time is of the essence. You want to get it fixed quickly so that you can avoid as much damage as possible. Here is a timeline of how that may go.
As soon as you notice there is a problem, you may want to call water mitigation experts to fix the broken pipe. The representative who answers the phone will likely ask you a few questions to determine what kind of problem you have.
• Where is the pipe located?
• How big is the damaged area?
• How long has it been leaking?
• How fast is it leaking?
• Have you turned off the water and power to the area?
Bursting pipes are as critical as they sound. Water is likely spewing in all directions, soaking everything in its path. Once the technicians arrive, they will assess the damage this has caused and be able to devise a plan.
If your preliminary report over the phone was accurate, it will likely match the professional assessment pretty closely. This means the technicians can get right to the water extraction. They pump the water out to halt its potential to cause secondary damage.
It's not enough to just remove the standing water. Everything has to be dried, or your building is likely to develop a mold problem. This is particularly probable if the leak has significantly raised the humidity of the area.
All of these things ideally happen within the first 24 hours. Mold can start to grow in as little as a day, so you are probably rushing the clock to get everything dry again. The sooner you call the problem with your bursting pipes in and get the repair process started, the better chance you have of avoiding secondary damage.
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How To Efficiently Address Water Damage After a Fire
If your business ever endures a fire, your building will likely sustain multiple forms of damage. In addition to direct fire destruction, your office space may be saturated with water, requiring extensive water cleanup efforts.
Why Water Damage Is Likely
Any existing water damage will originate from two sources. As fire burns, it creates smoke, which can activate the building’s sprinkler system. To fully extinguish the blaze, firefighters will spray it with water, further saturating your work area.
The Cleanup Process
Depending on the severity of the fire, the entire fire cleanup process can take some time to complete. The water cleanup phase is an important aspect of the process and involves several steps.
1. Dry Out the Space
Drying out the affected part of your building is an important first step. You can increase ventilation by opening windows. You can also use fans and a dehumidifier to expedite the process.
2. Remove Wet Materials
Carpet, drywall and insulation are three materials that you will need to promptly evaluate and remove if saturated. These items can become breeding grounds for mold and mildew and usually need to be replaced.
3. Dry Out Office Equipment
In addition to walls and flooring, your office furniture and equipment will probably also show signs of water damage. You need to dry and individually assess each item for salvageability. To prevent short-circuiting printers, computers and other electrical devices, unplug them and consider having a professional restoration team assess their viability.
4. Prevent Mold Growth
Part of the smoke cleanup process involves cleaning intact walls and surfaces with a dry chemical sponge or a mild detergent. Once these areas are clean, you may want to spray with them a water and bleach mixture to prevent mold and mildew.
5. Verify the Space Is Dry
Allowing your office space to completely dry before finalizing repairs is important to help prevent future mold growth. Before replacing insulation, drywall and carpets, verify the absence of moisture.
With time and effort, a business in Dover, NJ, can successfully recover from a fire. Although tedious, the water cleanup phase is an essential part of the process that must be completed before your building can be properly restored.
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What Is Black Water?
Black Water damage to Dover Commercial property
Flood water and sewage overflow are two types of black water, also known as Category 3 water. This type of water poses the highest sanitation risks. If flooding has occurred in Dover, NJ, or a storm has caused sewers to back up, property owners may experience Category 3 flooding or water damage. This water may contain a variety of contents that call for immediate cleanup with protective gear, such as
Category 3 Water Risks
The Category 3 classification covers water from both flooding and sewage. This water is not potable and may pose serious risks upon skin exposure or if inhaled or ingested. Restoration professionals wear personal protective equipment when taking the steps necessary to rid buildings of the presence of contaminated water and limit the extent of the water damage resulting from a backup or flooding situation. These steps include
• Assessing damage
• Removing water and solid waste
• Eliminating or specially cleaning contaminated porous contents
• Cleaning and disinfecting contaminated nonporous contents and surfaces
• Drying the affected area
These methods help to reduce the risk of infection and restrict the amount of secondary damage, such as mold, that can result from the prolonged presence of black water in the wake of flooding or a sewer backup. Porous contents may need to be cleaned with specialized methods or removed and disposed of to eliminate all traces of contamination. Nonporous contents and surfaces can be cleaned by being sprayed or wiped down and disinfected before being thoroughly dried and restored.
How To Get Rid of Category 3 Water
If you are dealing with water damage in a commercial property located in Dover, NJ, damage restoration experts can help you quickly and safely clean the affected area and resume business as usual. Reaching out sooner rather than later can keep the worst effects of this type of flooding from undermining your business.
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Your Guide to Water Damage on Building Materials
Water Damaged Lumber
When your home has been affected by flooding from a clean water source, such as burst pipes or a broken supply line, you'll quickly notice damage to building materials. For example, you may see swelling wood, transfer stains, discoloration on furnishings, and warped or swollen paper goods. Within just a few hours, you may see
• Lamination peeling from furniture
• Drywall becoming soggy
• Musty odors emanating from areas of standing water
• Tarnishing on metal surfaces
• Clean water becoming contaminated
Repairs Transition to Replacements
If you don't take quick action after flooding, you'll probably notice severe issues within a couple of days, such as
• Growing mold
• Swelling wood on pianos and other wood home furnishings
• Disintegrating drywall
• Rusting on metal surfaces
• Swelling door and window casings
• Malfunctioning electronic components
As soon as you discover leaks or flooding, it's crucial to stop the flow of water and arrange the necessary water pipe repair. With this completed, discuss the differences between clean water, gray water, and black water with a flooding restoration professional. The actions you take to recover will be determined, in part, by the potential for contamination and other risks.
Unfortunately, you'll probably only see a small part of the actual damage your home has experienced. A lot of moisture damage happens within the walls. As you begin to replace swollen wood from cabinets and subflooring, you may find deeper damage. Drywall and other wood components can often be saved if you respond quickly enough, but make sure the structural integrity of the home hasn't been compromised.
Working closely with your restoration professional, be sure to thoroughly investigate the extent of all damages. This may require the use of specialized tools, such as moisture meters, and may involve inspections into unseen areas of the home. For example, discovering whether you have insulation behind walls will help determine the best method for drying and remediation.
Water damage is a scary situation, but with help from professionals in Dover, NJ, you can recover. The wet building materials, swelling wood, and saturated carpets can be repaired or replaced, and you can get your home life back on track.
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Tips for HVAC Mold Cleanup
You can head mold problems off at the pass if you conduct a regular inspection of your building.
Getting mold in the air ducts of your office building or warehouse in Dover, NJ, is not hard to do. Mold attaches to the dust particles in the air and can land in the dark, moist areas of the air ducts and grow. Once mold grows on filters or insulation in the ducts, the porous materials have to be completely replaced. Here are four tips for HVAC cleaning when you suspect you have a mold problem.
1. Arrange for Remediation
Mold is not a problem you want to handle on your own. If you don't contain the problem completely, it could spread to other areas of the building. If you miss any of the mold growth, it is just going to come back later. You need remediation experts who can complete the job and test the area to make sure the whole mold issue has been resolved.
2. Turn off HVAC System
The last thing you want when you have mold in your air ducts is for it to spread even further. Until the technicians are through cleaning vents and replacing damaged parts, your whole HVAC system should be off. Do not turn on the system until the HVAC cleaning is complete.
3. Remove Excess Water
If a mold problem exists in your ducts, it is likely that a moisture problem lives there, too. It may be from condensation or from high humidity levels in air. Whatever the culprit, the fact remains that the water must be extracted. Otherwise, it doesn't do much good to solve a problem if you don't also take care of underlying causes.
4. Inspect Regularly
You can head mold problems off at the pass if you conduct a regular inspection of your building. Check for condensation, and make sure the drip pans are draining the way they should. If you detect any moisture during your inspection, take care of it before mold can develop.
While most of the mold remediation should be left up to the professionals, there are several small things you can do to help out or prevent the problem from occurring again. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROdoverstillwater.com/.
3 Electronic Items That Can Be Damaged by Smoke
Fire cleanup in your Dover, NJ, home can help you restore some of your most precious possessions.
After a fire, many items inside your Dover, NJ, home may be damaged in ways you cannot see. Among the most vulnerable are your electronic devices, especially those that perform a variety of functions. A fire cleanup service may be able to advise you on how to have these items restored, and understanding how smoke might affect the functionality of your electronic items can help you decide which might need replacing and which can be repaired.
1. Interactive Televisions
Many flat-panel televisions have interactive features that allow you to access streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Pandora. After a fire, these televisions may have internal smoke damage that you cannot see. Metal wiring might be most at risk, as smoke can eat away at delicate components once it finds its way inside the unit. You may want to avoid operating your interactive television until it can be examined by a professional repair service.
Because laptop computers have so many intricate parts, it is wise to ask a fire cleanup service about how to restore them after a fire. Smoke can enter the unit through its USB ports or fan, which can cause serious damage to the metal in the processing core. Using any laptop that has been exposed to smoke from a house fire can be dangerous, so you may want to shut yours down until it can be cleaned properly.
3. Tablets and Cell Phones
Many of today’s tablets and smartphones can perform almost as many functions as a computer, which means they be just as vulnerable to smoke as a laptop. If these items were in the same room as where the fire broke out, the resulting smoke could corrode their internal parts and cause dangerous malfunctions. Ask your smoke cleanup service about the best way to restore these delicate items.
Fire cleanup in your Dover, NJ, home can help you restore some of your most precious possessions. Electronics can be especially vulnerable to smoke damage, and working with a cleanup service can help you make an informed decision about how to go about restoring these items. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROdoverstillwater.com/.