The Trouble With DIY Restoration
When dealing with water damage, it's often the damage that you don't see that ends up causing serious issues.
Huntsville and Madison residents take pride in their homes and properties. When disaster strikes or when you have a substantial mess to clean up, it is a common belief to roll up your sleeves and get to work to fix the problem as best as you can on your own. The trouble with DIY restoration for water incidents is that many homeowners don't get all of the problem addressed, allowing for continued damage.
While a homeowner might see a water damage situation in their Huntsville residence as little more than a reason to break out the mop and run some fans, there is much more to water damage restoration. Ensuring that the area gets thoroughly dried requires specialized equipment and detection tools. Failure to get your home below moisture standards for a house can lead to worsening conditions that pose a threat to the structure, as well as your family.
One of the reasons that you might consider professional restoration like SERVPRO provides is our ability to respond to your situation rapidly. Even in smaller scale water incidents, fast response time is critical to mitigating loss and to get to work quickly on removing the water and drying up the affected areas.
Another reason that a homeowner should think about our SERVPRO team is our industry-leading equipment, expertise, and unique training. These facts help us quickly assess the full scope of the damage that affects your home and choose the most efficient and practical approach to eliminating the moisture and preserving the construction materials that have gotten saturated by the incident.
As much as you might be among the homeowners that seek to do things for themselves when something happens to their home, situations like water damages require professionals with the right training and equipment to ensure that the job gets done adequately. Our SERVPRO of South Madison County water damage technicians are available 24/7 for any need you might have by calling (256) 533-5335.
Restoring Your Church After A Flood
Your Huntsville church serves many residents throughout the community, often several days a week. Even without being used 24/7, elements of the building are prone to wear and tear throughout the drastic weather changes from season to season.
The resulting flood damages to your Huntsville church might not get noticed immediately due to the sporadic use of the building, which can allow for widespread concerns. Water can move quickly and affect many areas of your church in a brief period. Prolonged exposure poses even greater concerns for those responsible for the upkeep and maintenance. In any flooding situation, professional restoration experts like our SERVPRO team can help you resolve the situation quickly.
Flooding can do major damage to structural components, but if you contact our technicians immediately, our rapid response team can help to mitigate some of these losses before areas of your church become irreparably damaged. Part of this practice is our pack-out process which removes items that could be at risk for further damage from the area for concentrated restoration work and safeguarding until the building gets restored to preloss conditions.
Our SERVPRO professionals can also help you overcome this situation and guarantee that the job gets done correctly. With flood cuts (where lower portions of drywall get removed throughout affected areas and later replaced), our team can utilize equipment like air movers and dehumidifiers to remove moisture from wall cavities to prevent secondary hazards like mold growth.
While you might never get prepared to face a natural disaster or accident which causes flooding in your church, having the right team of professionals ready to help can take a lot of the weight off of your shoulders. You can count on our SERVPRO of South Madison County to arrive quickly and work to limit your loss and restore your church completely. Give us a call 24/7 at (256) 533-5335.
Every Second Counts During A Fire
Fire experts agree, people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.
A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan.
Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime.
Fire Prevention Week 2018
This week is Fire Prevention Week! Here's some information from the National Fire Protection Association on this year's campaign:
This year’s FPW campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one:
Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
Also, Sparky the Fire Dog® has a new friend, Simon, who is helping teach this year’s FPW messages – He’s a smart, resourceful character who will join Sparky in spreading fire-safety messages to adults and children alike.
Mold Growth Linked To High Indoor Humidity In Alabama
Drywall is one organic material in your home that mold damage can thrive on.
Residents of Huntsville experience long, hot and humid summers. High levels of airborne moisture and warm temperatures indoors can contribute to the increased likelihood of mold growth in your home, even if you have air conditioning operating. Working with a reputable mold remediation company can help you pinpoint the reasons mold growth is an issue in your home and remediate the current growth.
Water is the fuel that accelerates mold damage in your Huntsville/Madison home. Mold spores are very opportunistic, gaining enough moisture from small amounts of dampness or small collections of condensation to begin growth. Running an air conditioner is often recommended to reduce interior humidity below 60 percent, the level where mold can find a supportive environment even without spills, leaks, or flooding.
Ironically, AC units can provide the moisture if operating inefficiently. An air conditioner too small for the area is one problem, but an overly powerful system also can fail to reduce the humidity enough to halt mold development.
Air conditioning provides a cooling feeling when it removes moisture from the air, usually by condensing the water vapor on refrigerated coils. If adjusted correctly and draining properly, the system works well and prevents the conditions conducive to mold growth. Sometimes a larger than necessary unit does not operate long enough to reduce the humidity below the “sweet spot” for mold growth. It pumps cold air into the rooms too quickly and then cycles off before the humidity reduces. Mold then grows on the damp surfaces, necessitating mold remediation by our SERVPRO crews.
Keeping AC condensers and coils clean and the drains free-flowing is also key to preventing interior mold growth during a hot summer. If the drain is plugged, it may overflow, depositing moisture on a wall or floor nearby. Mold finds wood and drywall perfect organic surfaces to call home. SERVPRO inspects for these moisture sources when we arrive to assess and plan for mold remediation. If the homeowner does not address these issues, chances are good that mold can return even after we complete a professional treatment.
SERVPRO of South Madison County is here to help community residents understand why mold finds a home attractive. We design strategies to remove current mold growth while also preventing future outbreaks. Call us at (256) 533-5335 to schedule an evaluation.
Basic Flood Safety Tips
More than half of flood-related drownings occur when someone drives into hazardous water.
Floods are intense and dangerous. While waters may look calm, don’t be fooled. A mere 6 inches of water can take down a full-grown man, sweeping him into the often unrelenting currents. If you are ever caught in a flood, you should be aware of basic flood safety, and review the five safety tips below.
The first safety tip is to listen to warnings and evacuate, if so ordered. Never assume to know better than the agencies that are warning you. Also, keep in mind that when areas are evacuated it likely means that emergency services will not be available in those areas for the time being.
2. Turn around. Don’t Drown!
If you are unable or unwilling to evacuate your home, then whatever you do avoid areas that are flooding around you and attempt to stay on dry land. The adage of “Turn around. Don’t drown!” is not to be taken lightly. To remain safe during the flood, it is essential that you avoid rising water for as long as possible.
3. Avoid Bridges
While bridges may appear to be dry and stable, if there is fast-moving water directly underneath them, it is basic flood safety to avoid them because they can be washed away with little warning.
4. Listen to Emergency Broadcasts
If you have a radio or cellular service during the flood, be sure to stay tuned into NOAA Weather Radio, EAS, or a local alert system to stay up-to-date on any further developments in your area. These stations can provide valuable information about rescue developments and any new storm surges.
5. Elevate Yourself
The most important element of surviving a flood is to elevate yourself. Try to remain above the rising water but do not allow yourself to get trapped in a room with no exits, like an attic.
While these flood safety tips cover the basics, you’ll want to check with the local emergency management office or other experts in your area to verify any other necessary safety precautions.
Mold Prevention Tips That Work
Although there are a variety of challenges that residential and commercial property owners can experience, the presence of mold is particularly problematic. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that mold can cause health problems and decrease the structural integrity of one’s property. There are ways to prevent the growth of mold, but your best course of action is hiring a professional mold remediation company. Try implementing some or all of the following mold prevention tips:
- Invest In A Dehumidification System.
One of the best ways to prevent the growth and proliferation of mold is to invest in an air conditioner that features a dehumidification system. These systems are effective in removing moisture from your property. Once the moisture is removed, the mold is deprived of one of the vital nutrients that help it grow.
- Be Cautious When Turning The AC Off.
Make sure that you are cautious when you turn off your air conditioner. In climates that are humid, a long-standing period of inactivity can enable humidity levels to become dangerously high. If the humidity level becomes extremely high, it creates the moist environment necessary for mold to grow and thrive.
- Use Insulation.
Another strategy you can use to prevent mold is the use of insulation. By installing insulation as well as vapor barriers, you can prevent condensation from accumulating on objects like plumbing fixtures, beams, and water pipes.
- Avoid Standing Water.
Stagnant water can become a breeding area for mold. Make sure that you keep your tubs, showers, sinks and all other wet regions of your property free of standing water.
Mold can be a severe problem for residential and commercial property owners to handle. However, using the prevention tips and tricks outlined above can help you keep mold from growing. In the event that mold growth does affect your Huntsville home, call a professional restoration company. SERVPRO of South Madison County has extensive experience in the mold remediation field and can assist with your mold restoration needs.
What's the Most Common Cause of Homeowner Insurance Claims?
The Northeast and the Southern states are both at high risk for wind-related damage.
You may be surprised to learn that the leading cause of homeowner insurance claims is not fire damage or water damage. It’s wind and hail damage.
According to The Insurance Information Institute, national statistics (2010 to 2014) from property & casualty insurance companies show that 3 out of 100 homeowners filed claims in the wind/hail category. The number of claims caused by wind/hail was nearly double the second most frequent reason for homeowner claims. In that second position? Water damage and freezing.
Fires Cause The Most Damage
Water damage and freezing claims were made by nearly 19 out of 1,000 homeowners. Though fire claims are much rarer—fewer than four claims per 1,000 homes—fires cause the most property damage. The average fire claim in the U.S. was for $39,791. By contrast, the average wind or hail claim totaled $8,041.
One Company Paid $2.4 Billion in 2014 Homeowner Claims
The losses covered by just one insurance company are large. Damage caused by wind and hail cost State Farm and its policyholders more than $2.4 billion in 2014, according to the insurer. Texas was the state with the most wind/hail losses, followed by Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas.
Read Our Other Blog Posts
If you’re concerned about making sure your house is well prepared for a wind, hail, fire, water, or other natural disaster, look through the many blog posts here on our website. We cover many specifics. We try to give you information that will protect your family, home, and business from natural disasters.
Visit Your Insurance Company's Website
Go to your homeowner insurance company's website. Many insurance companies publish tips on their websites on how you can avoid claims. The Travelers website talks about installing water sensors to keep small leaks from becoming big ones. At Nationwide’s website, you can learn how to make sure your home is covered for all it’s full value. State Farm and Allstate also have numerous blog posts with tips for homeowners and renters.
For Cleanup Or Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of South Madison County (256) 533-5335
What To Toss & What To Keep After A Fire
It’s impossible to accurately depict how devastating a fire can be when it affects a person’s home. If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of this tragedy, you know what a helpless feeling it can be. In the aftermath, you need to go through the cleanup process and decide what to keep and what to throw away. There are some things you can salvage, while others pose health hazards to hang onto.
You don’t automatically have to throw out all of your food following a fire. However, fire damage at your Huntsville, AL home can render some things unhealthy. Inspect your food supply carefully following a fire to determine what can say or go. You should toss the following:
• Opened containers or perishable foods.
• Food you stored in thin plastic bags or cardboard.
• Non-perishable food that was close to the heat.
High heat will wreak havoc with your medicine or cosmetics. You don’t want to risk ingesting anything that you know was either in or close to the fire. You definitely should throw away the items if they are charred or have other obvious defects or damage.
Though you hate the thought of having to replace your wardrobe, much of it may be unsalvageable. You may be able to save some items by thoroughly cleaning it. But if there are obvious burn marks, you may be out of luck. Use caution when deciding whether to keep baby clothes. SERVPRO can help you with any clothing items that were affected by smoke and could be saved by careful cleaning. This applies to dry cleaning items as well.
If a fire affected mattresses, your best bet is to discard it. You don’t want to sleep on something that was exposed to smoke damage and harmful materials.
It’s hard to throw away items, especially if they have intrinsic meaning and value. However, you’ll feel better knowing you’re providing a safer environment for your loved ones.
Yellowing And Discoloration After A Fire Damage
We specialize in fire and water damage restoration; it’s the cornerstone of our business.
Did You Know?
A house fire can be damaging even after the firefighters have distinguished the flames. Don't make matters worse!
According to the experts at IICRC, "To return your residential or commercial property to its preloss condition requires professional restoration. This is not the job for a do-it-yourself property owner."
Stated below are some timeframe constraints following a fire damage by the professionals at IICRC.
"Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow; small appliances located close to the source of combustion discolor; highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) discolor permanently.
Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms; fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow; uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow; finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow; furniture finishes may discolor.
Within Days: In time, acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently; metal corrodes, pits and rusts; wood furniture requires refinishing; vinyl flooring requires refinishing or replacement; clothing becomes soot stained; upholstery stains permanently.
Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate tremendously. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently; silver plate is corroded permanently; glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues."
We hope this information was helpful to you and remember to call the professionals at SERVPRO of South Madison County at 256-533-5335 to ensure proper restoration of your home or office following a fire damage here in Huntsville and surrounding areas.