After a storm moves through the area, your home may suffer flood damage, wind damage, and more. The situation may leave your home or commercial building devastated. However, if you act quickly and contact the professionals right away, you can minimize the possibility of secondary damage while restoring anything that has suffered more serious problems.
Why Contact the Professionals?
Contacting the professionals at SERVPRO means you have access to experienced and skilled individuals who have restored homes and commercial buildings through the years. They have access to the advanced equipment along with cutting-edge techniques to handle any storm flood damage that may occur.
After flooding has occurred, it isn’t unusual to find interior water damage to the kitchen cabinets, clothing, furniture, floors, ceilings, walls, and other areas in the building or home. If you don’t restore the property properly, flood damage can cause mold infestation and decay. There are several services you can count on the professionals to provide. These include:
- Prompt Response: These professionals understand that when you call for help with flood or storm related damage restoration, timing is critical. This is why they respond to any emergency quickly. The restoration process can begin right away, and the best and most efficient solutions will be used.
- Help with Insurance Claims:These professionals will offer a service that involves listing anything that was ruined during the flood or storm in a detailed list. They will also take an inventory of all the contents in every room.
- Use Professional Grade Tools and Equipment:In most cases, the rental equipment you get from the hardware store may not be able to handle the job effectively. These professionals have access to commercial grade equipment that will completely dry the affected areas to ensure the growth of mold is avoided.
- Removal and Replacement:These professionals will carefully remove or replace any contaminated or unsalvageable structures, such as window trim, door, drywall, padding, and carpeting.
Don't Let Sludge Turn To Mold
Left untreated, the moisture and bacteria from a sewage loss may cause microbial growth. SERVPRO has experience with remediating a loss in which sewage was left untreated, causing mold to form on the drywall and floor. In such an instance, all flooring, drywall, doors and trim must be removed. Dehumidifiers are placed and remaining stud beams, subfloor, and stationary objects are cleaned and sanitized. A special antimicrobial solution can be painted to the affected areas to prevent mold from reforming on the treated surfaces. This is usually the most important step in the mold remediation process.
In an effort to prevent the timely remediation of mold, a sewage loss must be mitigated immediately. Our team of SERVPRO professionals are trained to extract and clean the discharge from the area before placing drying equipment to remove any remaining moisture. Faster to any disaster, SERVPRO is always ready to take on even the largest sewage losses.
Your Items After Fire Damage?
Fire not only affects the structure of your home but it also affects your belongings. SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom is here to help! SERVPRO understands your furniture, keepsakes, clothing and belongings are extremely important to you. SERVPRO understands that some of these items are essential to making a house a home.
Being overwhelmed is a totally reasonable response after a fire. We are here to make this awful situation better for you. When necessary, SERVPRO can complete move-outs and pack-outs for you! If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to the damage from the fire, we can organize an efficient move-out of contents from the affected area. Move-outs allow for a quicker rebuild/remodeling and protects contents from damage during the remodel. While the rebuild/remodel process occurs, your items can be inventoried and cleaned at our office.
Need immediate help? SERVPRO of Fair Oaks / Folsom is here to take care of you – call 916-987-0400! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Make An Escape Plan
Here is a fictional story but it could happen to almost any family. The Smith family was home one night and at about 1:00 am a fire started in the house. The alarms woke everyone up and the parents rushed to make sure the kids got out of the home. However, by the time they got to little Frank’s room he was already gone. He went out the back door and was hiding under a patio table.
Everyone (except Frank) ended up in the backyard and his father, James, checked outside everywhere and couldn’t find him in all the noise and confusion. James decided to go back in the house and find his son but fortunately, he caught a glimpse of him under the table. This scenario could have easily ended in tragedy because the family had no fire escape plan from home.
Coming Up with a Fire Escape Plan
Walk through the entire house and figure out the best evacuation route. It’s important to get all family members together so everyone gets the same information. You need to have things on paper so they can be posted on the wall for everyone to see.
Don’t forget to tell everyone to drop to the floor and crawl out of the house if it’s full of smoke or hot inside. Many people are seriously injured or killed from breathing super heated air, and the air is the coolest at floor-level.
Draw up your floor plan. You can download a home fire escape plan template by going to the Red Cross website . It's a good idea to come up with a home fire drill checklist too.
Let A Professional Handle That Fire
Homeowners don’t usually know where to start and what to do after experiencing a fire emergency for the first time. Most people never have to go through the hardship of having a fire destroy or damage their home or business. But those who do understand the difficulty and challenges a fire can bring.
Most often, even a small fire will displace the family from their home. The smoke and soot residue is dangerous and usually covers everything inside the house. The smoke moves throughout the structure and blankets all of the contents.
Even if the fire was contained and put out relatively quickly, hot smoke migrates to colder areas around the home and can affect other property levels. Smoke can travel through plumbing systems, pipes and go up several stories.
Living with family members or renting short-term is the best way to proceed after fire damage. Removing your family from the dangerous environment allows us to thoroughly clean and restore your home.
Taking care of your home and your belongings is critical. Usually, it is best to carefully pack all contents and move them to our warehouse, where they are inventoried, cleaned, and restored. We keep them safe until the home is ready, then transfer them back for you. This allows for better access to clean and restore the house and eliminates secondary damage during the restoration process.
We will remove and replace any part of the structure that was burned or damaged beyond the point of restoring. Our technicians carefully clean the walls, ceilings, and floors to remove and smoke and soot. The furnace and A/C unit will need to be cleaned thoroughly and ductwork inside the walls.
Fire has the unique ability to spread rapidly and cause an enormous amount of damage. In light of recent wildfires in the west, it is important to remember many structures can be restored with proper remediation efforts. The restoration team at SERVPRO is always ready to respond to home or business owners who have suffered a loss due to fire.
This damage resulted after a lawn mower caught on fire right outside the house. The owners were not at home at the time and the damage was extensive as the fire spread from the machine to the house very quickly. Our SERVPRO team was able to assess the site quickly and began remediation efforts immediately. Inside, the team removed sheetrock, removed affected contents, and performed smoke and soot remediation. HEPA vacuuming, deep cleaning of remaining materials and air purification were also performed after the demolition. Water from the fire department was removed via extraction and our effective drying equipment. After a building affected by fire is thoroughly cleaned, it is ready for our building services crew to repair the structure.
When The Fire Truck Leaves, What To Expect?
Once the fire trucks leave, the first step to clean up and restoration is the board-up. This is part of the emergency services provided by SERVPRO. Firefighters will often break windows and cut holes in the roof to help air out the property from all the smoke and heat. The board-up is essential to secure your property from theft and liability.
How The Smoke Travels
Even small-scale fires in a home can result in large amounts of fire and smoke damage. If your HVAC (your heater or A/C) system is on, then the smoke will most likely enter through the return vents and be spread throughout the duct system. This will not only carry the smoke and the smoke damage throughout the house but also cause smoke damage to your ducts.
Your ducts might have dust throughout the system, which can absorb the smoke, meaning every time your air conditioner or heater turns on, you'll smell the residual smoke for weeks and months after the fire.
Get The Water Out As Soon As Possible
SERVPRO responded to a fire damage call that received water damage that nearly equaled the amount of damage from the fire. Sometimes fires are put out by extinguishers, and water is not a factor in the cleanup process. When there is water damage in tandem with fire loss, the water's extraction must happen as quickly as possible.
The water removal process begins almost immediately. It is essential to remove the majority of the water as soon as possible to avoid mold growth. Our technicians use state of the art moisture detection equipment and years of experience to find the water trapped behind the walls and under floors. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Saving Your Belongings
Once our SERVPRO professionals arrive at your home or business, always in properly marked SERVPRO vehicles and uniforms, we can get to work on mitigation techniques designed to preserve your property and its contents. Processes like pack-outs remove the at-risk furniture and contents from your property to our secured warehouse.
Pack-outs provide a safe place for their storage and specialized attention until it is time to return them to your fully restored home. Separating the two gives us a better opportunity to clean and restore the structure. During their time with our Contents Department, individual items get cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized to be ready for their return to the property.
Our crews hand wrap and protect every large item, such as furniture, tables, chairs, and artwork. Smaller items are sorted and put into boxes. For inventory purposes, we photograph and label each item packed out and removed, and organize these pictures and labels in our proprietary software to keep track of your items during the entire process accurately.
What To Do When There Is Power Outages
Be prepared for a power outage by keeping necessary items centrally located in your home. Take the time to ensure that everyone in your family is aware of the "kit." Periodically check your kit to see that batteries operate properly. The following is a list of items that are suggested to keep on hand:
1. Flashlights for each family member
2. Battery-operated radio and clock
3. Extra batteries
4. Containers of bottled water
5. Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants
6. Non-electric can opener
7. List of important phone numbers
8. First-aid kit
Following a heatwave, there may be power outages that could last for several days. Stock canned foods, dry mixes and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water or special preparation. Be sure to include a manual can opener and eating utensils. The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.
•Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
•Choose foods your family will eat.
•Remember any special dietary needs.
•Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
•Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.
•Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
•Protein or fruit bars
•Dry cereal or granola
•Non-perishable pasteurized milk
•High energy foods
•Food for infants
These and many other helpful tips are available at ready.gov
Within The First 48 Hours – What Happens Afterwards From The Water Damage?
If you have ever experienced flooding in your home because of a storm, then you likely know it doesn’t take long before things go wrong. This is why it is essential to take care of problems as quickly as possible. Remember, water is an unrelenting and destructive force that can cause serious damage in a very short period of time.
One of the first things you should do is to call a professional for help with water and flood restoration services. If you try to handle this on your own, you will find it takes up to five times as long, and you will likely be less than satisfied with the results you achieve. A professional can help clean up the mess that is present and restore the building to maintain health and safety while reducing the likelihood of permanent damage.
Structural Compromise and Water Saturation Issues
If your commercial building or home is suffering from standing water because of a flood after a storm, the water is already working on the hidden wood studs, subfloor and drywall. If wood is saturated in water, it will bulk up and expand beyond its capabilities. This results in cracking, stretching, and eventually, deformities. Usually, this occurs at the bottom part of the wood where stability is essential. The sooner you have all the excess water removed; the less damage will occur.
Sanitation and Health Issues
If your home or commercial building is flooded on the lowest floor of the basement, make sure you don’t contact the water – at all. If you are wondering what may be in the water within the initial 48 hours, consider the list below:
- Paint and related substances
- Cleaning agents and chemicals
- Backed up sewage from the mainline
- Grime and dirt from the outside and that’s in the carpet and flooring
- Dirty laundry water
- Electrical or wiring components
Dealing with Insurance Issues
The initial 48 hours are the most important when dealing with your insurance agent. Before contacting your insurance agency, though, it is a good idea to contact a property restoration contractor.
A restoration and cleaning professional can help document where the water damage originated and can provide this information to you so you can present it to the insurance carrier. Once the carrier has all of the information, coverage can be determined based on your contract/policy. Your insurance adjuster is the only one who can determine coverage based on your contract/policy.
A restoration professional won’t play sides. What the Project Manager can do is to clarify that flooding, rather than pre-existing conditions, resulted in the damage. They can help you by providing professional consultations through the eyes of an experienced contractor.
Hygiene & Hand washing After A Disaster
When disaster strikes, SERVPRO of Fair Oaks and Folsom is here to help. We also pulled together some tips courtesy of the CDC:
Good basic personal hygiene and hand washing are critical to help prevent the spread of illness and disease. Clean, safe running water is essential for proper hygiene and hand washing.
Hygiene is especially important in an emergency such as a flood, hurricane, or earthquake, but finding clean, safe running water can sometimes be difficult. The following information will help to ensure good hygiene and handwashing in the event of an emergency.
Disaster Supplies Kit (Hygiene Supplies)
Before an emergency, make sure you have created a Disaster Supplies Kit.
Keeping hands clean during an emergency helps prevent the spread of germs. If your tap water is not safe to use, wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected. Follow these steps to make sure you wash your hands properly:
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
A temporary hand washing station can be created by using a large water jug that contains clean water (for example, boiled or disinfected).
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.
Hand sanitizers are not effective when hands are visibly dirty.
When to Wash HandsPhoto of cupped hands under running water.
Wash hands with soap and clean, running water (if available):
Before, during, and after preparing food
Before eating food
After using the toilet
After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
Before and after caring for someone who is sick
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After touching an animal or animal waste
After touching garbage
Before and after treating a cut or wound
Other Hand Hygiene Resources
Food and Water Safety and Hand Hygiene Resources
Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, or make ice.
Bathing after a water-related emergency should only be done with clean, safe water. Listen to local authorities for further instructions. Sometimes water that is not safe to drink can be used for bathing.
Brushing your teeth after a water-related emergency should only be done with clean, safe water. Listen to local authorities to find out if tap water is safe to use.
Visit the Safe Drinking Water for Personal Use page for more information about making your water safe for brushing your teeth.
You may visit CDC's Oral Health Web site for complete dental hygiene information.
Keeping wounds clean and covered is crucial during an emergency. If you have open cuts or sores, keep them as clean as possible by washing well with soap and clean, safe water to control infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.
When providing first aid for a wound, clean hands can help prevent infection (see Handwashing on this page). Visit Emergency Wound Care After a Natural Disaster to find complete information on caring for wounds.
Healthcare professionals should visit Emergency Wound Management for Healthcare Professionals and Management of Vibrio vulnificus Wound Infections After a Disaster.
For complete details visit: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/sanitation.html