Floods are classified into three different categories. These categories can be easily spotted based on the various colors of the water. Floodwaters may be white/clear, gray, and black. Each category requires specific safety precautions and has different levels of mitigation and cleanout. It is crucial to understand the difference in categories to receive the proper assistance and avoid any further damage.
White/clear water is the least expensive to remedy. The source is sanitary, meaning that there is no harmful bacteria or sewage present. While this category can be a relief, it is still necessary to act quickly to remove the water and repair the damage. If the water sits for too long, it can be contaminated by other items in the area, causing an elevation in category or classification.
If the water is found to be category two, or greywater, through pretesting, then it is best that you do not go near it. This result indicates that there are organic and inorganic substances in the water and that you may become ill if it is consumed or touched.
Blackwater is the most dangerous water. The level of contamination includes sewage, chemicals, bacteria, and possible toxins. It is likely that your insurance agent and company will recommend a disaster restoration specialist who will probably seal the space as they work to remove the water safely.
Preparing for Storm Season
Preparing for Storm Season
Spring and summer are just around the corner which means storm season is upon us. It is important to be prepared before disaster strikes to minimize the damage done to your home and your finances. Rick Isaacson, Chief Executive Officer of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. encourages individuals to follow these safety precautions before disaster strikes.
- Know your alert system – Be aware of your community's severe weather warning system. Know in advance where you will take shelter if at home, in the office, etc.
- Keep an emergency kit handy – Emergency kits should include first-aid supplies, enough drinking water for three days, and food that doesn't need to be refrigerated or cooked. Also be sure to have several flashlights, a battery-powered radio, blankets, and extra batteries within reach.
- Take inventory of your personal property – Make a detailed list of your possessions and back it up with photos or video footage. Keep one copy in your home and another in a separate location.
- Protect your home – Branches can cause substantial damage if they become airborne, so make sure to keep all trees properly trimmed. Also, keep a supply of lumber and other materials on hand to use to brace windows and other openings.
Isaacson adds that extensive damage can also be caused by floods, an inevitable consequence of storm season. In the event of water or fire damage, SERVPRO offers an assortment of services to help people quickly recover and restore any damaged property. SERVPRO is a 24-hour emergency service with trained professionals on standby ready to help when needed, to make the job “Like it never even happened.”
Characteristics of a Category 3 Water Damage
Category 3 Water Damage
There are three different levels of damage when it comes to water damage. Category 3 damage is by far the worst. Experts have a way to categorize the different levels of water damage that can occur from floodwater. Category 3 isn’t something you want to ignore or even be around. Here are some traits of this type of water:
- Is contaminated with toxic or pathogenic agents
- Occurs due to backup sewers
- Carries feces, pesticides, or heavy metals
Water from this category is often called black water because of the materials found in it. This situation may not be because of a flaw in your building or home. Blackwater can come in due to sewage problems from the main city line. There are also cases where a toilet overflow could cause category 3 concerns.
If you notice black water at any time in your office or home, make sure you evacuate immediately. Identify where the water is located and how much area is affected. You should contact emergency services and your insurance company as well. Don’t go near the water, and don’t try to clean it up yourself. Instead, get in touch with a reputable commercial water damage restoration specialist. A professional crew will extract all the water with high-powered wet vacuums. Once all the water is gone, the team will dry the floor, walls, ceiling, and any other items. A technician will then, sanitize the space to ensure mold doesn’t grow and that there is no presence of harmful materials.
Category 3 flood water is nothing to take lightly. Follow these guidelines and let a seasoned professional take control.
Municipal Flood Prevention
It is nearly impossible to control natural factors that lead to high water conditions, but many communities try to take steps to reduce the risk of flooding. Various methods of flood control are regularly practiced, such as
- Levee, dam, and reservoir construction
- Floodwater diversion, including the use of floodways
Many of the modern methods used in urban and rural areas today have their roots in ancient flood prevention practices.
This method is commonly used in China and involves creating an urban environment where water can hold, clean, and then drain water naturally. This ecological approach involves using rainwater for daily living, such as irrigation gardens, flushing toilets, and recharging aquifers.
Flood Plains and Overflow Areas
Vast areas of open land around rivers play vital roles in water management and natural flood protection. Additionally, many city planners include "parks" at lower levels than the surrounding neighborhood. These overflow areas become ponds during storms or heavy rainfall and may save surrounding homes from water-filled basements.
Separate Systems for Storm and Wastewater
Many cities have taken an important step by running separate underground pipe systems for draining rainwater out of the sewer systems. This reduces the burden on wastewater treatment plans and improves the efficiency of functionality. Additionally, city workers take steps to keep sediment, debris, and other items out of the sewer system.
This refers to replacing non-permeable materials with permeable solutions. For example, a concrete walkway up to the front door won't absorb any water, concrete is non-permeable. However, a decorative stone walkway or a gravel path can absorb water. The more water is absorbed by the ground, the less risk of high water, and can help stop flooding.
Flood prevention is a continued study that involves improved efforts. If you want tips on how you can help in prevention efforts before high water situations, talk to a flood remediation professional in your area.
Fire Extinguisher Safety
An in-home fire can be devastating, especially if the fire is not quickly put out. It is critical that homeowners understand the value of having and knowing how to use a fire extinguisher.
There are numerous types of fire extinguishers and it is important to make sure you are using the correct one to prevent major damage. When deciding which kind to use, you may consider what types of fires are most likely to occur in that area. For example, to extinguish a kitchen fire caused by grease, you may want to have a Type B extinguisher. It can also be helpful to have extinguishers that can put out various types of fires.
It is appropriate to place extinguishers in areas that are prone to fires. Common locations to place a fire extinguisher can include garages, where gasoline could catch fire, in kitchens, where grease may cause a fire, and near electrical equipment that could spark a fire. Not placing it in certain locations could result in major damage that necessitates help from fire damage restoration.
It is important to act fast when extinguishing a fire. The acronym P.A.S.S. can be helpful to remember when learning how to use an extinguisher. P.A.S.S. stands for pull, aim, squeeze and sweep; when using an extinguisher, a person should pull the pin in order to break the seal, aim toward the lowest part of the fire, squeeze the extinguisher’s handle, and then sweep back and forth to fully extinguish the fire.
Knowing how to use extinguishers can help you feel more prepared to handle a fire in your home. It’s often wise to know what type of fire extinguisher to use in different situations, how many extinguishers you should have in your home, and how to use an extinguisher.
Understanding Property Damage Insurance
Business owners in Lee's Summit, MO, have a lot on their plates. From dealing with day-to-day operations, personnel, and much more, a sense of security can often be lacking. Luckily, when it comes to protecting a business from the unthinkable, investing in commercial insurance can make recuperating easier.
What Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover?
At the basic level, this type of coverage helps a business deal with issues from events such as fire damage, explosion, storms, vandalism, theft, and pipe bursts. Typically, phenomena like earthquakes and floods, as well as interruption loss, will require an additional layer of coverage. Other items often not covered include:
- Internal theft
- Vehicle damage or loss
- Stolen cash or currency
- Environmental damage
- Equipment failures
- Defective products
When personalizing coverage, it is important to take an inventory of the vital elements inside and outside of the building business is conducted to ensure full coverage of losses. The following should be assessed:
- Business structure, including leased or owned space.
- Office equipment and supplies, including computers, furniture, phones, and copiers.
- Vital documentation records, such as accounting or client data
- Inventory on-site
- Landscaping, fencing, and outdoor furniture
- Business signs, satellite dishes, security systems, and other outdoor equipment
Once you have an inventory of everything that needs to be covered, you can work with an agent to determine the type of commercial insurance coverage. Most plans reimburse loss based on the cost of replacement or the cash value of an item. It will also include costs of associated restoration services, depending on the situation. A replacement cost takes into consideration the repairs needed to rebuild without depreciation while a cash value payout provides funds to replace with a comparable item, including depreciation.
No matter the size of a business, commercial insurance is necessary to be ready for the unthinkable. Although it is an added cost, it is worth it if disaster hits.
Love What's Local
When a disaster occurs, working with a company that is local to the area can be useful for a variety of reasons. However, a small local company may only specialize in certain types of disaster responses, and also may not be able to tackle large restoration projects. Regardless of how much or what type of damage has occurred, a local restoration franchise that has been certified can appropriately respond to a disaster of any kind.
Though a corporation may have the experience necessary to respond to major damage, a company that isn’t locally owned may not understand the unique challenges that come with local landscapes. Additionally, a company that isn’t local is likely to have a slower response time, which can ultimately result in a building sustaining additional damage. However, a SERVPRO franchise that is local to a business owner’s area can mitigate the damage by responding quickly.
Often, a local franchise has a myriad of tools that other restoration companies may not have. We have partners that can quickly send the needed tools to the franchise. Additionally, your local SERVPRO is more likely to have spent time studying procedures and practices, meaning that professionals from a local franchise will have up-to-date information on how to best handle any situation.
After a disaster or contamination of any kind, it is often helpful to employ a local restoration franchise. A SERVPRO franchise can manage problems of any size, respond quickly after disasters, and can provide the necessary tools and equipment needed for restoration. Call your local SERVPRO today!
Why The Chemical Mercaptan is a Lifesaver
The gas that heats many homes and provides energy for water heaters and clothes dryers is colorless and odorless. If it leaks from pipes or hoses it creates a dangerous situation due to its extreme combustibility. To make gas more detectable, engineers have added the chemical mercaptan, making it easily identifiable by its sulfurous, rotten egg smell. It is hard to estimate how many times a gas fire has been prevented by this chemical.
When a homeowner smells mercaptan it is a sure sign that somewhere in your home there is a gas leak. When this happens, immediate steps should be taken to shut off the gas or at least get people and pets out of the home and call the fire department in South Lee, MO.
The Best Actions To Take With a Natural Gas Leak
Specific actions can reduce the likelihood of a gas fire in a home or apartment. The goal is to stop the gas leak or increase the safety of everyone in the home. Here are the most effective actions to take:
Check all the appliances that use natural gas, beginning with the stove since this is the most likely source. Many times burners do not light, or go out, allowing gas to leak into the home. If you can find the source of the leak and stop it the emergency is over.
Increase the ventilation of your home by opening windows and doors. This enables the gas to dissipate and not collect in a certain area, reducing the likelihood of a gas explosion.
Don't use electrical devices, or even turn on lights, as this could ignite the gas.
Evacuate the home and call in the fire department
The Best Way To Handle Fire Damage
Gas fire in your home is likely to cause soot and smoke damage and loss of property. Call in a fire remediation team that will respond quickly and clean up the damage in a professional manner.
5 Tips for Protecting Your Home from Water Damage
Whether you have a leaking water heater or live in a location that experiences frequent storms, protecting your Long View, MO, home from water damage can be a concern for any homeowner. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do that may help mitigate your risk.
1. Stay Aware of the Weather
It’s important to be aware of the weather in your area. Knowing ahead of time when a storm will arrive and how severe it could be may allow you to take steps ahead of time to alleviate the damage. You may want to cover at-risk areas with a tarp and ensure all windows are closed.
2. Adjust Your Landscaping
Another tip to consider is to use your landscaping to help direct water flow away from your home. Sloping your yard slightly, including drainage areas, or planting deep-rooted shrubs may all help reduce the risk of storm flooding around your home.
3. Regularly Inspect for Damage
Inspecting your home for leaks on a regular basis is essential. This may help you discover that leaking water heater or missing roof shingle before long-term damage can set in. If you do find an issue such as a broken water heater, it’s essential to begin repairs promptly.
4. Fix Leaks Quickly
If you observe a leak from a failed water heater, flooded roof gutter, cracked window, or frozen pipe, it’s crucial to contact a local water damage restoration service immediately. The sooner a leak is fixed, the less damage the water can cause.
5. Install Proper Drainage
One of the main steps you can take to protect your home is to install drainage. This may include gutters and downspouts leading away from the exterior of the home, sump pumps, or basement area.
Remember - if you have issues such as a leaking water heater, it’s critical to contact a professional and have repairs made as soon as possible. You may also want to consider steps such as regular inspections for damage and the installation of proper drainage to further protect your home.
Gain Restoration Peace Of Mind With Trained, Certified Experts
If you get sick, you go to a trained medical professional to back to optimal health. If something happens to your home or business, don’t leave restoration up to chance. Count on trusted, certified restoration experts to handle any property damage, from flooding to mold to fire. Finding the right help means finding the right help that adheres to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification standards.
What Is IICRC?
For nearly 40 decades, this nonprofit has globally become an industry leader for setting standards and certifying technicians. To achieve a mitigation certificate, technicians take specialized classes on standards and techniques and are required to pass an exam. Afterward, they maintain certification through ongoing training. Areas of certification include:
Cleaning – Subspecialties include carpeting, flooring, leather cleaning, masonry, upholstery, rugs, and general cleaning.
Inspection – Technicians are trained to inspect all types of flooring, including wood, marble, laminate, tiles, carpet, and stone.
Restoration – This training focuses on techniques for microbial remediation, structural drying, fire and smoke damage, odor, water damage, commercial drying, and health and safety.
Why Training Matters
The lingering effects of water, smoke, and fire damage can cause further problems and create unpleasant environments. When a storm happens or a fire breaks out, you want to fix it and forget it. SERVPRO prides itself on having IICRC certified professionals, as well as provides its own training to ensure every franchise has experts to handle any disaster. Along with learning the best techniques, they are also trained on using innovative equipment to ensure that mold, smoke, water, or other damage is eradicated. Our ongoing franchise training means that no matter what you are facing, we can make it “Like it never even happened.”
While some situations may seem like they can be taken care of on their own, some damage to a property can remain hidden. Instead of hoping for the best, get the best to get your property back into pristine condition without any worry.