Author: servicemasterbyar

Some Frequently Asked Questions on Water Damage Answered

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Water Damage is not a pleasant experience for any homeowner. There can be several reasons responsible behind the occurrence of water damage. These include natural disasters, roof leaks, poor drainage systems, septic tank overflows, pipe bursts, foundation leaks etc. Knowing about the causes, consequences as well as the methods to handle water damage can help you to take care of such situations easily. Through this article, we intend to answer some of the commonly asked questions on water damage. Though you should always hire professional water damage restoration services when faced with any critical situation.

What makes water damage dangerous?

When there are floods or flood like situations, water gets into the house from outside and sewage backups. This water contains contaminants like bacteria and viruses. If you do not get rid of this water within 48 hours, it can lead to mold growth and cause structural damage to the house. The mold growth should also be curbed to prevent it from spreading further. These post flood symptoms make water damage quite dangerous.

What should be done after water leak or flood?

The first and the most important step to take after flood or water leak is to get in touch with the nearest water damage restoration services. It is better not to wait for long during such situations as it can cause irreparable damage to the walls, wood and carpets of your house. You must also shut down all the electronic utilities to keep away from the hazards. In case of structural damage, it is better not to enter the house unless it is repaired.

How do certified professionals help?

Professionals working in the field of restoration services have several years of experience in handling water damage. As a part of the procedure, they either get rid of the damaged materials or restore them. These materials can include anything right from upholstery, carpets and baseboards to fragile woods and drywall. Once these items are gotten rid of, they start drying out water from the waterlogged places and sanitize all the affected areas. Mold-infected areas are disinfected so that it doesn’t spread further. Dehumidifiers and air movers are used to implement these procedures.

Does the Homeowner Insurance cover water damage?

Homeowners insurance offers coverage when the damage is accidental. For eg, pipe bursts or water heater ruptures. Flood damage, irrespective of the source of water is not covered by standard insurance policies. Several reasons can be responsible for flooding including storms, overflowing rivers as well as sewer backup. However, you can always purchase flood insurance through National Flood Insurance Program. Water damage caused by lack of maintenance is not covered by insurance agencies.

The best way to stop water damage from happening is to take preventive measures. In case of naturally occurring floods, you must follow the guidelines laid by the government so that there is lesser harm to life and property. We hope that answers to the above questions must have given you insights on dealing with water disasters. Keep safe!

5 Rarely Known Factors Responsible for Causing a Home Fire

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When there is a fire in the house, it is often assumed that it started from the kitchen. However there are many other places and resources that can be responsible for causing fire. Through this article, we will acquaint you with these unknown stimuli and rarely known fire hazards. Here’s a brief about each one of them.

1. Laptops

There are times when you work for hours together on your laptop. And sometimes, you leave it switched on and get busy with other things. It is possible that heat from the laptop gets underneath the materials it has been put upon (Bed, pillow or couch) and starts a fire. To prevent this from happening, you should ideally mount your laptop on a stand or put a fan table below it. Also, when you are not around, switch it off or put it on a non-flammable material.

2. Dishwasher

A fire causing from dishwasher is quite a rarity. But it isn’t impossible either. If your dishwasher is faulty, water can drip into the internal wires of a machine. Make sure you maintain your dishwasher and get it serviced at regular intervals so there are no water leaks or fire hazards because of it.

3. Glassware

It may sound to you like a myth, but fish bowls, glass door knobs and jam jars have also been responsible for reflecting sun rays enough to cause a fire. So it’s not just a magnifying glass that can start a fire. When light is refracted by a glass on objects like curtains, paper or any other flammable item, fire can start over the time. Make sure you keep the glassware away from the areas where they are likely to cause a fire.

4. Dust

Dust particles under beds and furniture can be a cause of fire if they come in contact with electrical sockets, electronics and heating appliances. Such situations can occur if sparks fly towards the dust particles and spread the fire gradually. To eliminate this possibility, make sure that you vacuum under the bed and couch regularly.

5. Batteries

Inappropriate disposal of 9-volt batteries in the garage and basements has often been responsible for causing huge fire accidents. If these batteries come in contact with any kind of metal and the metal touches other flammable object like paper or dust particles, fire can start in no time. So make sure you keep these batteries away from metal objects. Information about safely disposing them can be easily found on the internet.

Although these are little known factors responsible behind a home fire, you must know about them to be able to prevent such situations from happening. However, if there is a fire and you are not able to put it off, you must get in touch with your nearest fire station. After the fire has been put off, you can avail of professional fire damage restoration services which will help you recover important objects and make sure that minimal damage is caused.

 

Ways to Extinguish Different Types of Small Fire

Ways to Extinguish Different Types of Small Fire

Fire, be it a small or huge one, can prove to be dangerous and deadly. According to National Fire Protection Association, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the United States in the year 2015 and they caused 3,280 civilian deaths. It goes without saying that you must call 911 whenever there is an accidental fire and it puts the lives of you and your loved ones at risk. After the fire has been extinguished, you can also consider hiring fire damage restoration professionals to lessen the amount of damage caused due to fire.

There are different types of fires that erupt in your surroundings and different ways to extinguish them. Let us acquaint ourselves with each one of them and know how to deal with them as and when they occur.

Cooking fires

This is the most common kind of fire that erupts in any house. Whenever there is a cooking fire, consider shutting the oven off, cover the pan with lid or use Type B extinguisher. Try not to move the pan as it can spatter oil and spread the fire further. Also, turning the exhaust fan on is the last thing you should do as it can add oxygen to the fire. If there is a fire in the oven, try to cool it off by keeping the door closed. This is because if the fire comes in contact with the air, it can grow worse. You can also sprinkle a lot of baking soda on the food.

Fire caused due to electrical equipment

As people are quite used to extinguishing fire with water, they make a huge mistake of pouring water over the fire caused by electrical equipment. This leads to further accidents as water is a good conductor of electricity. So avoid committing such mistakes any cost. During electrical fire, pull the plug out from the socket (if possible) or switch off the appliance. You can also control the fire by covering it with blanket or Type C extinguisher.

Television

You may have never imagined a Television being caught on fire. However, there is a possibility of it being on fire when the air around it doesn’t have enough space to circulate causing a lot of heat in the area around it. Even when there are other objects close to it like candles, curtains or knickknacks, the heat from the TV can ignite these objects causing a fire. When a TV catches fire, the best thing to do is to unplug the cord and try to put the flames down with a fire extinguisher. Refrain from using the blanket as it can spread the fire further.

Fireplace wood stoves

If you use fireplace stove, there might be chances of it catching fire. To avoid this, use dried wood and refrain from using flammable liquid. Once the cooking task is over, dispose the cool ashes in a metal container. Also when the cooking process is on, don’t leave the fire unattended. Don’t keep flammable materials near it and keep the glass screen closed.

These fires might start small but can turn into an unimaginable tragedy if not controlled in a right way. We hope that the above guide will be of great help in controlling small fires.

DIY Steps to Keep Water Out of Your Basement

DIY Steps to Keep Water Out of Your Basement

Be it a small crack or a huge one, water always finds its way. And there are several reasons as to why water enters your basement. Flash floods, drainage problems, and appliance failures are some of them. When water accumulates in the basement, it becomes a ground for mold and termites to grow. If you want to avoid this from happening, you can get in touch with one of the water damage restoration companies. You can also indulge into some DIY steps for preventing water getting into your basement. Here’s what you can do to keep the water out.

Seal those gaps

As mentioned above, water has a tendency to leak through cracks. If there are gaps around plumbing pipes or concrete walls, water can enter into a basement. Make use of polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement to seal those gaps. Check if the water still enters after sealing. If it still does, you might have to resolve the groundwater problem as mere sealing won’t work.

Keep downspouts away

The downspouts that help you to get rid of excess water should be kept five feet away from the house. You can do so by adding metal or plastic extensions to the downspouts. You can also install an underground drain pipe so that the gutter runoff remains far from your house.

Waterproof the basement walls

Moisture and condensation often form on the basement walls. Apply sealant on the walls to avoid this from happening. Apart from this, you can also waterproof the basement walls with silicate based concrete sealers, concrete coatings, plastic sheets or waterproofing paint. Also consider waterproofing the outside walls of the basements so that you can fill the gaps in the foundation if there are any. This process might prove too expensive as you will need to excavate around the house.

Invest in a sump pump

When you install a sump pump, it will protect your basement during floods by pumping the water out.  If the level of water in the basement goes up, the sump pump is smart enough to discharge the water outside the house. But before installing one of these for your house, conduct research on how to find the right sump pump and use it.

Get the rain gutters cleaned

When the gutters are blocked, it results into the water pouring in your home’s foundation creating the risk of basement flooding. Hence, make sure that you get rid of leaves or branches, debris etc and check if there are any loose particles from the asphalt roofing in the gutters. If there are any loose gutter straps, you must tighten them. In case of any gunk in downspouts, you can get rid of them by pouring a lot of water with the help of garden hose.
If your basement is already flooded, you must get in touch with the water restoration service provider so that you do not have to deal directly with floodwater. If not, you can take the steps mentioned above and protect your basement.

DIY Steps to Keep Water Out of Your Basement

DIY Steps to Keep Water Out of Your Basement

Be it a small crack or a huge one, water always finds its way. And there are several reasons as to why water enters your basement. Flash floods, drainage problems, and appliance failures are some of them. When water accumulates in the basement, it becomes a ground for mold and termites to grow. If you want to avoid this from happening, you can get in touch with one of the water damage restoration companies. You can also indulge into some DIY steps for preventing water getting into your basement. Here’s what you can do to keep the water out.

Seal those gaps

As mentioned above, water has a tendency to leak through cracks. If there are gaps around plumbing pipes or concrete walls, water can enter into a basement. Make use of polyurethane caulk or hydraulic cement to seal those gaps. Check if the water still enters after sealing. If it still does, you might have to resolve the groundwater problem as mere sealing won’t work.

Keep downspouts away

The downspouts that help you to get rid of excess water should be kept five feet away from the house. You can do so by adding metal or plastic extensions to the downspouts. You can also install an underground drain pipe so that the gutter runoff remains far from your house.

Waterproof the basement walls

Moisture and condensation often form on the basement walls. Apply sealant on the walls to avoid this from happening. Apart from this, you can also waterproof the basement walls with silicate based concrete sealers, concrete coatings, plastic sheets or waterproofing paint. Also consider waterproofing the outside walls of the basements so that you can fill the gaps in the foundation if there are any. This process might prove too expensive as you will need to excavate around the house.

Invest in a sump pump

When you install a sump pump, it will protect your basement during floods by pumping the water out.  If the level of water in the basement goes up, the sump pump is smart enough to discharge the water outside the house. But before installing one of these for your house, conduct research on how to find the right sump pump and use it.

Get the rain gutters cleaned

When the gutters are blocked, it results into the water pouring in your home’s foundation creating the risk of basement flooding. Hence, make sure that you get rid of leaves or branches, debris etc and check if there are any loose particles from the asphalt roofing in the gutters. If there are any loose gutter straps, you must tighten them. In case of any gunk in downspouts, you can get rid of them by pouring a lot of water with the help of garden hose.

If your basement is already flooded, you must get in touch with the water restoration service provider so that you do not have to deal directly with floodwater. If not, you can take the steps mentioned above and protect your basement.

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Summary

There are several reasons why water may enter your basement. Flash floods, drainage problems, and appliance failures are some of them. This article lists down some DYI steps to deal with such situations.

Follow These Steps to Prevent Your Basement from Catching Fire

Follow These Steps to Prevent Your Basement from Catching Fire

Basement of the house is used for multiple purposes. It’s a place where you store heaters, coolers and other utility controllers. It is okay to use basement for storage purposes, but you must have a good understanding about the placement of things around it. For eg, If you keep a flammable object near furnace, it will definitely catch fire.

You should take all precautions to prevent fire. But despite all your best efforts, basements tend to catch fire when things go wrong with pipes and wires. During such times, a fire damage restoration company can come to your rescue. There are certain steps that you can follow to prevent your basement from catching fire. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Undertake lint cleaning

It’s quite common for people to do laundry in the basement. Washing machines and dryers are set up in the basement as there is enough space and convenience. Lint filters of the dryers catch fire when they are not cleaned at regular intervals. Lint usually gets accumulated around the drum area of the dryer. Make sure you clean the lint filters after each cycle of drying to prevent accidents from happening. You can also hire professionals to ensure thorough cleaning every year.

Invest in a smoke alarm

If your basement is vulnerable to catching fire due to heat equipment, make sure you buy a smoke alarm and set it up in your basement. The smoke alarm in the basement should be connected to the central system so that you can know of mishaps even when you are not in or around the basement. Don’t forget to check and maintain the alarm from time to time and ensure that it works properly.

Declutter the flammables

Oily rags, paints, empty deodorant bottles, alcoholic beverages etc can be considered highly flammable products that can erupt fire. Declutter these things and keep them a few feet away from heating equipment. Even dry trash can catch fire easily. So refrain from storing trash including debris, papers, textiles etc in your basement.

Avoid the cord chaos

Basement is sometimes a hub of different equipment. And you also might have a situation when they are all running at once. But that pit of cords might prove to be dangerous. Make sure that you keep the wires of machines and dryers plugged into the wall sockets. Overloaded extension cords can also ignite fires due to severe heating.

Install Arc-fault Circuit Interrupters

Arc-fault Circuit Interrupters, abbreviated as AFCIs, prevent the fires that are caused by electrical switches. They usually shut off the circuits when an unintentional discharge of electricity occurs within the circuit. By installing these, your basement remains safe from fire caused due to electricity. So make sure you install these little saviors in your basement.

Keep the staircase clear

Staircase is the only route that leads you up to the house and it is your mere way to escape the fire in the basement. If you are in a habit of keeping baskets, toys, water bottle cartons etc  on the stairs, you need to let go of this habit. Such obstructions are unsafe and can stop you from making an easy escape. So avoid cluttering your staircase at all costs.

Safety comes first. And if you follow the above steps, your basement will remain fireproof. You can also get in touch with fire restoration professionals to know more about prevention techniques. Keep safe!

Flood Restoration Services: Misconceptions You Must Get Rid of!

Flood Restoration Services: Misconceptions You Must Get Rid of!

Floods are more likely to occur due to nature’s fury. But they can also occur due to manmade errors like leaving the faucet open for several hours together. The aftermath caused by floods is quite difficult to cope with. But thanks to the water restoration damage companies, your house can get back to looking like before. When it comes to flood damage restoration services, all of us have some misconceptions. Let us clarify some of them.

Restoration process will take a lot of days

This is one of the biggest myths. People think it will take days together to get their house look like before. Although this totally depends on the intensity of the damage, the sooner you call the water damage restoration company, the better. The professionals of these firms use the latest equipment and water mitigation techniques to get your house looking back like before in no time. They also place drying equipment, dehumidifiers, air movers etc in a way that your house gets dried out faster.

Mold won’t grow in the areas that are less waterlogged

It is not true. Even if the areas in your basement and rooms have had a little amount of water, mold can grow within 48 hours. Mold is more likely to grow during summers but it can grow even in the coldest of places if moisture and water are not dried up. Some people think that they can get rid of mold using bleach. But that isn’t the right way as it is likely to grow back. Flood restoration professionals have state-of-the-art cleaning equipment that deep cleans areas from within and leaves them spic and span.

Walls will have to be reconstructed

The reconstruction of walls depends on the amount of damage that has been caused by water. So this can prove to be both a misconception and truth. Water restoration companies have drying technologies that can dry out even the tightest of spaces. In that case, walls wouldn’t need to be reconstructed. Once the moisture readings are taken, it will give more idea about the intensity of water damage. If the damage caused is irreplaceable, you might have to go for reconstruction of walls.

Electronic equipments cannot be saved

There is a preconceived notion that if water gets inside electronics, they stop working forever. You might feel that you will never be able to revive the equipment back. Much to your surprise, you can. Refrain from plugging in before getting them treated and dried up by the professionals. The content restoration teams that work at these companies have an apt know how of saving electronics. Data recovery is also possible in some cases.

It is quite likely that we form misconceptions out of what we hear from people. However, it is advisable to know about these things from someone who has apt amount of knowledge about damage restoration. So stay away from myths and get in touch with the most trustworthy flood restoration firms in your area now!