Recovering From A Water Damage
When it comes to water damage in the U.S., almost 40% of homes have incurred losses due to this type of occurrence. Most of these problems are caused by a neglected or damaged roofs, old or faulty plumbing, broken washers and water heaters. Natural disasters such a flood events or hurricanes also ruin homes and businesses with their destructive forces.
During a water damage disaster, many homeowners and businesses feel hopeless, especially if most of the structure is still under water. The situation may appear bleak, but in most cases, there is a great chance of recovering your home or business from water damage quickly. The first step is not to panic. Keep calm and figure out where to begin. This is where an Emergency Plan should be considered before an event like this strikes.
The number one priority should be the safety of you and your family. If there is standing water, begin by switching off electrical power to the entire house or the flooded area. Live electricity and water are a lethal combination. Secondly, shut off the main water inlet valve to prevent any possibility of contaminating the water system. In a large flood, you may also need to cut off the gas supply also. Identify and dispose of any damaged food; this will prevent food poisoning by accidental consumption. Don’t wade through a flooded floor without proper protection, especially in murky water. Sharp objects may be lurking at the bottom of the water. Wear sturdy waterproof boots when walking in a flooded area.
Remove The Moisture
The next step is to get rid of the moisture. In a heavy flooding situation, wait till the floods dissipate before you can start drying out your house. if environment is safe to do so, use electric, gas or hand trash pumps to remove water. Locate the lowest part of the flooded floor and place the pumps there. Be careful with electric-powered pumps to avoid electric shock. You could dump the excess water into the sewage system, a tanker truck, or the backyard where it won’t cause any harm. After all the water is out, circulate dry air within the house. Open up windows and doors to let in the fresh air. If it’s safe to use the mains system, install electric fans to blow air to specific areas. Even better, if the heating system is still usable, power it up to warm the house and drive moisture away. Drying out the house can reduce mold from growing.
Pick Up Debris
Clear out any debris brought in by the water. Flood water is especially messy; there may be sediments, leaves, tree branches and even garbage. Identify anything that can be salvaged. This could be your precious heirlooms, rugs, furniture or drapes. Any salvageable belongings should be kept in a separate dry room if possible, or away from the house altogether. Anything that is severely damaged should be disposed of and documented for insurance purposes. Clear out as much debris as possible to reveal the extent of the water damage.
Assess Water Damage
With everything out of the way and visible, you can now assess the level of damage sustained. You may need to call in an inspector with an eye for details to examine the property in its entirety. Check for damage or mold on the floor, walls and plumbing system. Get a clear picture of the extent of damage, what needs to be done to repair the damages. This may be the time to call SERVPRO of Lincoln to put together a restoration protocol to put your Lincoln home back to its prelists condition.
Call Your Insurance Carrier
After a detailed assessment of the damage, call your insurance agent or carrier to find out how much of the damage they will cover. Your insurer will probably send a claims adjuster who will document all the steps you have taken so far and the valuation of damages. According to your insurance policy, the insurer could chip in a large part of the repair and restoration costs. Contact other insurers covering assets like your car or other valuables damaged along with the house.
Repairing Your Property
Now its time to begin repairs on your home. If only some rooms of the house are damaged, your family could still live in the safe parts of the house. However, if the house needs extensive repairs, you may have to find a temporal shelter. SERVPRO of Lincoln can carry out all the necessary repairs to your home or business from emergency mitigation and building stabilization to complete reconstruction of your property. Most water damage repairs include floor, walls and doors repairs or replacements. Check with the authorities whether certain repairs are allowed or require a city permit, SERVPRO can provide this for you also. The restoration period depends on the extent of the damage. Floor work usually takes a lot of time, so make sure you are prepared for that. After the repairs, make a few touch ups like paint jobs and restoring any peripheral systems such as plumbing and electrical systems in case they were damaged as well. Again, SERVPRO can provide all these different services to you since we are a "Full Service" contractor.
Ready To Move Back
After all the repairs are done, the house is finally back to its preloss condition, its now time to move back in. Bring in your furniture and belongings and prepare for things to go back to normal "Like it never even happened."
If you have had the misfortune of water damage striking, relax and follow a these steps for a speedy recovery.
Cleaning Contents After a Fire
Fire Damaged Contents and building
- Make Sure It's Safe To Start
Your first concern in every fire damage restoration disaster is safety. SERVPRO of Lincoln takes steps to make sure all workers entering your home or business after a fire are safe. It is important that the structure is safe before the evaluation and restoration process begins.
Also, keep in mind that, after a fire, indoor air contains floating smoke and soot particles. Smoke/soot particles are Products of Incomplete Combustion (PIC). These are carcinogens and are dangerous. When cleaning up smoke/soot, it is important to wear a respirator, such as an N-95 or N-100. Using gloves and other protective clothing will also protect against soot exposure. Ventilation is key to letting the contaminants in the air outside.
- Evaluating Damaged Contents
The next step is to determine which items should be cleaned and where, as well as which items to discard. Cost and antique value are key consideration factors. SERVPRO inspects the affected items as quickly as possible, as soot can produce further damage or corrode contents and appliances in a matter of hours or days, depending on the material.
In many cases, contents that have been damaged directly by the fire or by excessive heat should not be discarded until inspected. SERVPRO knows how to clean smoke damage from salvageable items.
Most textile goods like draperies and bedding will be taken to our laundry division or dry-cleaning facility. Other contents that can be restored, such as furniture, may be cleaned within the home or sent to our facility.
Food items must be treated with caution. Any open items should be thrown away. Unopened items in original packaging that were away from the heat can be considered safe. If there is any doubt, throw the items away.
Keep in mind that melted or discolored plastic items can’t be restored, only cleaned.
- Inventory Of Your Contents
If a “pack out” (removing contents out of the structure where damage occurred) is necessary, our SERVPRO technicians will keep careful records for items taken, location of the items, and condition of the items when removed. In other cases, we may determine that conditions allow for cleaning and storing the contents within the home, or perhaps a garage if property has one. An inventory of all discarded items is essential to receiving monetary reimbursement when filing an insurance claim.
SERVPRO will perform testing to determine the appropriate product to clean your contents. Today’s restoration professionals will use environmentally friendly products for all cleaning and restoration processes. This is an important consideration when choosing a restoration company.
SERVPRO begins to remove soot from each restorable item — either in the home or at our facility. The cleaning method depends on the item, such as furniture, kitchen utensils, dishes, toys, clothing, bedding, draperies, and more.
Pungent odors come with smoke/soot damage. After the cleaning process, most of the smoke odor will be eliminated. Yet, if there is still a small odor, we may add an additional step to the restoration process. This could include ozone or hydroxyl deodorizing.
- For Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration, Call SERVPRO of Lincoln at 402.466.4004
When the contents of a home or business are damaged by smoke/soot, mitigating the fire damage, cleaning, and restoring the contents to its preloss condition is a job for restoration professionals. SERVPRO of Lincoln technicians know how to clean smoke damage from contents quickly, ethically and professionally. When you call us, we’ll mitigate the loss and restore your property using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques.
Winter Storm Hazards
Give us a call, we will assess the situation like it never happened.
Winter Storms can bring many hazards
Many destructive impacts can come out of a single winter storm. Are you prepared for the coming winter? The array of hazards that can come from a winter storm are sometimes countless.
- Ice: Accumulations of a half inch or more, because of it's weight can cause widespread destruction and power outages and can have a crippling impact.
- Wet Snow: Much like ice accumulation, wet snow adds extra weight and stress, increasing the chance of damage. Moist snow sticks easily to trees and power lines.
- Snow on Roofs: Several feet from one or multiple storms accumulating on a roof can add stress, causing them to collapse.
- Flooding After the Snow: A rapid warm-up or rain following a winter storm with an expansive snow pack can set the stage for major flooding.
Melting snow and ice after a storm can also cause damage to the inside of your home or business. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Lincoln to assess the situation and put you to Pre-Winter condition, "Like it never even happened."
Call us 402.466.4004
Frozen Pipes: A Winter Water Damage Emergency
Low Temperatures can freeze pipes, make sure you are keeping an eye on your home during winter.
We can’t control the weather frigid winter temperatures are here in the Midwest, the lower temperatures cause a new set of seasonal Nebraska property disasters including frozen pipes, ice dams and other frozen water damage concerns.
Every winter our SERVPRO of Lincoln professionals help countless homes with the restoration, cleanup and repair of their property following a frozen water property disaster.
Why is a Frozen Pipe a Concern?
- When water begins to freeze, it expands. This can cause both plastic and metal pipes to burst, possibly leading to significant water damage to your home or business.
- Since water expands when it freezes, it puts unwanted pressure on pipes.
- As water freezes, the force exerted from the expansion can cause a pipe to burst, regardless of the strength of the material.
- You may not know you have a burst pipe as the water has turned to ice. Once the temperature starts to warm and thawing begins, leaking and flooding can occur.
FROZEN PIPE WATER DAMAGE TREATMENT AND RESTORATION
The key to avoiding costly secondary damage is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property with proper mitigation. Our SERVPRO of Lincoln team has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. We begin removing the standing water from your property with extraction methods, and rapidly dry your structure and contents with dehumidifiers that lower the indoor humidity levels, so your building dries out quickly. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO of Lincoln professionals will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment.
FROZEN PIPE PREVENTION
Short- and Long-term solutions for low temperature plumbing problems include:
- Locate and seal cracks and openings in the walls, attic, basement or crawlspace.
- Weather strip and caulk around crawlspace doors and basement windows.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. Pay special attention to areas where pipes are located.
- Insulate unprotected pipes and don't leave gaps. Pipe sleeves simplify the process. Keep the pieces tight against each other and seal the slits and joints with duct tape.
- Install storm windows over basement windows or replace the old windows with energy-efficient alternatives.
- Find your main water shutoff so you can turn off the water quickly if needed. Locations vary — look in the crawlspace or basement where the water supply enters the house, inside a water meter box directly outside the house or near the water heater.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to let warm air flow around the supply lines. Move any cleaners or other chemicals out of the reach of children.
- Keep your thermostat at the daytime setting during the night. If you'll be away for several days during subfreezing weather, keep it set above 55° F.
Insurance Agents Choose SERVPRO
One stop shop for all your needs!
SERVPRO of Lincoln has worked with many insurance agents and claim adjusters. We understand your situation. As an agent or adjuster, you have a responsibility to keep claim costs down while providing the best services possible for your clients.
Call SERVPRO of Lincoln today at 402.466.4004
Can Your Belongings Recover From Mold Growth?
How To Recover From Mold Growth?
Moisture and high humidity can attract mold spores into your home, where they can grow across a variety of surfaces. While mold commonly grows on building surfaces like drywall and carpeting, it can also affect your belongings, such as clothing and furniture. Mold cleaning can be difficult; however, before you throw items away, you may want to learn about which could be saved by different types of professional cleansing processes and which cannot.
1. Throw Away Porous Items
Most porous surfaces can absorb water and encourage further mold growth. As such, some items like mattresses, thick rugs and stuffed toys that already show signs of mold damage are usually not salvageable. If your child has a favorite stuffed toy that you want to attempt to save, ask your remediation technicians if they have any mold cleaning processes that may help. You may want to remember, however, that porous items affected by black mold are usually considered unsalvageable because this type of fungus is particularly hard to eradicate.
2. Freeze Documents and Books
If you have important documents and books that developed mold, place them in sealable plastic bags and store them in your freezer. Freezing these items can inhibit further mold growth and protect them until they can be inspected by an expert mold remediation and restoration company. This can salvage items like original birth certificates, wedding albums and baby books.
3. Set Aside Moldy Clothing
If you have favorite items of clothing that have been affected by mold, ask your remediation technicians about what type of options you have for salvaging them. Wet, dry and immersion cleaning may all be possible, especially for leather jackets and shoes. Some companies have access to an Esporta Machine, which cleans soft contents by removing tough odors, dirt and mold in a way that even commercial-grade units cannot.
Mold can have a devastating effect on your home’s contents. However, professional mold cleaning processes may be able to salvage your treasured possessions, even if you believe they are beyond repair.
Tips on extinguishing a Grease Fire
Be careful while cooking
Cooking is the number one cause in home fires and injuries. Annually, there are 160,000 cooking fires caused by ignition of food or cooking materials.
Knowing how to smother a grease fire can help keep you, your family, and friends from getting hurt or having a severe house fire.
If A Grease Fire Starts:
- Cover the flames with a metal lid or cookie sheet. Leave the cover on until it has cooled.
- Turn off the heat source.
- If it’s small and manageable, pour baking soda or salt on it to smother the fire.
- As a last resort, spray the fire with a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher.
- Do not try to extinguish the fire with water.
- Do not attempt to move the pot or pan outside.
DO NOT use flour, baking powder, or other cooking powders that resemble baking soda or salt. They act differently, and could make the fire worse.
If You Are Unable To Extinguish The Grease Fire:
- GET OUT!! You need to leave as soon as possible to prevent injury or loss of life
- When you leave, close the door behind you. This will help contain the fire inside.
- When you get to a safe distance from the fire, call 911 right away.
- Don’t re-enter your home until it has the “all clear” from the fire department.
Tips To Prevent Grease Fires:
- Stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking. One of the leading causes of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
- Don’t cook if you’re exhausted or inebriated.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire away from your stovetop.
- Remove as much moisture from the food, and don’t add frozen foods to hot oil.
- Keep an eye on the temperature of your oil. If you see smoke or smell oil that means your oil is too hot. Turn off the burner and let it cool down.
- Heat the oil slowly.
- Add food gently, so there is no splashing.
- Keep a lid in arms reach in case of a fire.
- Always keep children and pets away from the stove while cooking.
Autumn storms are right around the corner. The effect of these storms can be good or bad. As much as we love the sound of thunder, the jolt of lightning going through the sky and the smell of rain, there are bad things that can come along with it. Power outages are often a risk associated with storms. It’s good to know what to do in case you lose power, because you never know how long it could be out. It could be out for a matter of seconds, or for several hours. Here are some tips on what how to be prepared, and what to do during a power outage.
- Keep flashlights available around your house. Avoid using candles when possible.
- Keep the opening of freezers and refrigerators to a minimum. When kept closed, refrigerators can stay cool up to 4hours, and freezers can stay frozen up to 48 hours. If need be, you can put ice in a cooler to keep your food cold.
- Watch out for carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are running a generator, it should be used outside and at least 20 feet away from a window or door. Never use a gas stovetop, oven, camp stove, or charcoal grill to heat your home.
- If it’s cold in your home, add more layers of clothes and blankets. Don’t use the oven or a grill as a heating source. If it becomes too cold, try to make arrangements to go to another location where heat is available.
- Turn off and disconnect any appliances and electronics. The power may surge or spike when it is restored, and that may cause damage to the items.
- If you have a sump pump, keep an eye on it so you don’t end up with a flooded basement.
If a storm occurs, the safety of you and your family is of the utmost importance. Be safe out there!
SERVPRO of Lincoln specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We can handle any size disaster!
Call us at (402) 466-4004
How to Maintain Your Fireplace
Maintaining your fireplace is important!
How to Maintain your Fireplace
When your home has a fireplace, there is a lot of responsibility in maintaining it. Before you use it, make sure it is in good working order, and cleaned out properly. If it’s not maintained regularly, it could cause a structure fire, smoke could puff back in the house, or it could cause carbon monoxide poisoning. We’ll provide a few easy steps to take to make sure your fireplace is safe.
- Your chimney should be swept inside at least once a year, and it should be at the beginning of the year. By sweeping the chimney, it will help remove soot and debris. When you’re sweeping you should look for any animals that may have crawled in and died.
- Before you start the fire, check the structure of your chimney. You want to make sure there are no cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar. Also look for any deterioration. Cracks and spalling are signs of deterioration.
- Use a wire-mesh cap on top of the chimney to keep the birds, squirrels, rain and other debris from entering.
- Check the damper; the damper is a movable plate that sits above the fireplace before the flue. Make sure the damper is working properly. There should be no debris preventing it from opening and closing.
- When cleaning the chimney, you want to keep an eye out for creosote buildup. Creosote is a chemical mass of carbon formed when wood, tar or fossil fuels are burned. Even though you can’t see it from the outside doesn’t mean that the buildup is not on the inside. When it’s not properly removed, it can build up in the flue and chimney, potentially causing a chimney fire.
- Make sure there isn’t anything hanging over the chimney, such as tree limbs, flags, etc. They could be a fire hazard, and it could interfere with proper draft airflow.
- Clean out ashes regularly. You should clean out the ashes from the last time you ran your fireplace. You can simply sweep or vacuum the cold ashes and dispose of them. Be aware that there could be hot coals in the mix. Hot coals can stay hot for up to 3 days.
If you don’t have experience in cleaning or maintaining your fireplace or know what to look for, call a local professional. They have the tools and resources to make sure that your chimney is up and running safely for the winter time.
SERVPRO of Lincoln specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We can handle any size disaster!
Call us at (402) 466-4004
Try & Save Your Hardwood Floors!
There’s a misconception that when hardwood flooring gets wet, it must be removed because it’s ruined. Frequently, that’s not the case. SERVPRO has the tools and training to evaluate and dry out hardwood flooring. We use specialized drying mat systems and balanced dehumidification to dry hardwood quickly, saving you the time and expense of flooring replacement. When evaluating water-damaged hardwood flooring, the length of time it has been wet is a critical factor. If the flooring is allowed to dwell in water for too long, it is possible for the boards to cup, warp, and possibly break. Rapid response is critical to success in saving hardwood.
When we respond to a water damage with affected hardwood flooring, we perform a preliminary inspection. What areas are wet? How long have they been wet? And specifically how wet is it? We use a combination of flooring extraction mats, and a powerful truck-mounted extraction unit to pull as much free water out of the flooring system as possible. After that’s done, we set up our drying equipment, and start the drying process. We return to the site daily to monitor the progress of the drying, using meters specially-designed for hardwood. Once the moisture level in the wood reaches an acceptable level, the hardwood flooring can be inspected by a flooring contractor.