Not All Water Damage Is Created Equal
How many of you remember as a kid playing in or around storm water drains or roadside ditches? It was fun, right? While you may have enjoyed splashing around in the waters, you might not realize that storm water like this may actually be contaminated with raw sewage, dangerous chemicals, or harmful bacteria and viruses capable of transmitting dangerous diseases to you.
In this same way, the harmful water that invades your home following a broken pipe, clogged toilet overflow, leaking dishwasher, overflowing washing machines, leaky roofs, or even foundation crack can be harmful.
Restoration Depends on Water Type
Specific steps must be taken to reduce property destruction, depending on the type of water damage. According to the Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), who sets the standards for the cleaning industry and water damage restoration training, there are three levels or types of water involved in damages. They include:
Category 1: Clean water
This water damage is from sanitary sources, such as an overflowing sink or tub, burst water pipes, failed supply lines to appliances, drinking fountains, or vertical falling rainwater.
Category 2: Grey water
This water is from sources that could make you uncomfortable or ill if ingested. Washing machine, dishwasher, or urine-tainted toilet overflows belong in this category.
Category 3: Black water
This is the worst classification of water and could cause severe illness if ingested. Sewer backups, flooded rivers, feces-tainted toilet overflows, or stagnant liquid that has bacterial growth are all examples of black water.
Let the Experts Save Your Home and Belongings
Seeping water damage is progressive, pervasive and can mean valuable objects or keepsakes may become permanently damaged. The professionals you find at a local SERVPRO are trained on how to handle the various types of water damage. Once they arrive on the scene at a home or business, they quickly assess the situation and start the restoration process in these three areas:
- Aggressive cleaning: Wall cavities and other surfaces are pressure washed with a detergent solution. Salvageable materials are flushed and thoroughly disinfected.
- Moisture detection: Not all water damage is visible to the naked eye. Water trapped in structural cavities may require sophisticated detection equipment to mitigate odors, prevent mold growth and minimize structural damage.
- Rapid Structural Drying: Mold begins growing on soggy surfaces within only 24 to 48 hours. Rapid drying, all the way down to the building’s substructure, is necessary to restore pre-flood conditions.
After your home floods, you may think your home and its contents are beyond hope, but many of your furnishings and belongings can be restored. With SERVPRO Of Mt.Pleasant, Clare and Houghton Lake's help, your flooded home can be cleaned up, dried out, rebuilt, and reoccupied sooner than you think.
If you find yourself dealing with water damage contact SERVPRO of Mt.Pleasant, Clare and Houghton Lake @ 989-775-5065 24/7 one of representatives are standing by.
Four Degrees of Water Damage
You may have had a small roof or plumbing leak. A bath tub overflow. A ruptured water heater. Or major storm flooding.
The amount of water is only part of the water-damage equation. The potential for deterioration and the extent of drying measures also depend on the rate of soak-in, the duration of exposure, and the rate of evaporation. And those in turn depend on the area and type of materials affected.
When moisture lingers for more than a day carpet, furniture, and building surfaces typically develop mold. Soon drywall swells and crumbles, wood swells, warps, and splits. Metals corrode. And given time even concrete weakens. So damage can range from minor discoloration all the way to structural problems. With SERVPRO the emphasis is on prevention and mitigation. Problems can become significant within 24-72 hours, so our focus is on getting things significantly dryer if not completely dry within that time frame.
IICRC Classes of Water Damage
The ANSI/IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration is the gold-standard for the cleaning and restoration industry. It presents practical guidelines and procedures based on science and extensive experience. We talked about their categories of health hazards and the needs for surface cleaning and disinfecting before. Let’s now cover the degrees of leaks, spills, and water intrusions and their potential for damage. The IICRC divides them into four “classes.” It doesn’t giving any specific amounts of water as many other variables go into determining the proper water restoration measures.
This class involves the least amount of water. It’s defined as affecting only part of a single room, with minimal wet carpet and affecting only low-permeable materials such as plywood and concrete sub-flooring. Resulting from things such a roof leak and rowdy kids in the bath tub, there’s minimal absorption and little moisture remaining after bulk water removal. So after mopping and blotting a natural slow rate of evaporation may be acceptable. Lifting carpet speeds drying and lets you determine if the sub-floor is excessively damp.
Here there’s more water, and more gets absorbed by building materials. It’s defined as affecting an entire room or resulting in large areas of wet carpet, with water wicking upwards in walls at least 1 foot (but less than 2 feet) and moisture reaching structural materials. Class 2 water intrusions require bulk water removal, surface water extraction, and dehumidification for faster evaporation.
With the most water and greatest absorption involved, Class 3 water restoration requires the fastest evaporation to head off deterioration. It’s defined as having flooring, sub-flooring, walls, and insulation saturated. With a source above the ceiling, that may be saturated as well. Advanced drying and dehumification methods via specialized equipment are critical.
This last class is a special situation, typically the result of heavy natural flooding. There’s been enough water and time to saturate materials such as stone, concrete, brick, and hardwood. Highly aggressive methods to maintain very low specific humidity for longer periods than usual are required. Or the affected rooms may be considered a total loss if the structure has been severely compromised.
Professional Water Damage Restoration
Homeowners, business owners, and commercial carpet cleaning services can often take care of cleaning and restoration for Class 1 situations. But if there’s any doubt, call in a professional water damage restoration company for an evaluation. You just might avoid the need for mold remediation, or worse.
Otherwise the risks range from odors to major structural damage. For Class 2 and beyond it’s common to discard carpet and padding, mattresses and box springs, pillows, and particle board. But wood baseboards and hardwood floors can usually be rescued.
The IICRC’s water damage restoration training emphasizes the importance of locating and removing trapped moisture hidden inside building cavities using leak and moisture detection meters to make sure nothing gets overlooked.
Technicians with various cleaning and restoration certifications carefully evaluate damp and wet materials then plan out the appropriate measures. They’re also well aware of electrical hazards, health risks, and safety hazards. Beyond visible water removal, they’ll quickly lower indoor humidity and rescue floors, walls, and ceilings with surface water extraction before moving on to further dehumidification for a complete structural dry out. That involves an arsenal of advanced equipment, including specialized air movers, HEPA air scrubbers, refrigerant dehumidifiers, and odor-neutralizing equipment. There’s also specialty drying systems for hardwood floors, sub-floors, and wall interiors.
If you find yourself in need of a Certified Restoration Service, SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake are only a phone call away. We have a Representative available 24/7 to assist you in your time of crisis. Contact us @ 989-775-5065.
Spring Time Means it's The Start of The Rainy Season.
Spring is finally here. Flowers are starting to bloom, but it also means it’s the start of the rainy season. While the spring can bring welcome relief after the long winter months, flooding is a real concern for homeowners. You don’t need to live in a flood zone to fall victim to flooding. It’s best for everyone to be prepared in case the worst happens.
While those in flood zones are more likely to experience some level of flooding, the reality is that it could occur anywhere. Changes in the area could create flood zones in areas that were deemed safe in the past and major weather storms could cause severe flooding that extends into zones that aren’t used to experiencing the flooding.
All homeowners should take the time to make sure they’re prepared just in case anything happens. It’s important for them to make sure they understand what can be done to prevent serious flood damage inside homes and to protect their belongings from these issues. Along with this, they’ll want to make sure they can prevent as much damage as possible to protect their family from safety issues that could occur if the home is flooded.
Know Your Risk Before Spring Begins
Even though a homeowner might have checked to see if they were in a flood zone when they initially bought the home and purchased homeowner’s insurance, it’s a good idea to recheck this occasionally. Flood zones can and do change. With growing cities, the arrangement of new homes and businesses could lead to a change in the areas that might be considered flood zones and could lead to more flood zones being created. Homeowners should make sure they know whether their home is now in a flood zone to ensure they can take the proper precautions if anything has changed since they bought the home.
Homeowners will also want to make sure they check the expected flood levels. This will give them a better indication of how high the flood waters could get in their home, so they can make sure anything important is above this level. Many homeowners will want to have their furnace, water heater, and other equipment inside the home placed above this level to minimize damages if flooding does occur.
Prepare with Building Supplies and Sandbags
Sandbags can often be obtained nearby when there is the potential for a flood, but the lines to obtain sandbags can be long and the amount a family can take for their home may be limited. Homeowners can keep their own sandbags on hand to use if there is a threat of flooding in their area. The sandbags should be placed where needed to help keep flood waters from getting into the home when there is a chance of flooding.
Along with purchasing and preparing sandbags, homeowners can purchase building supplies to keep on hand. It’s a good idea to secure these up and out of the way in case flooding does occur. Having a few stud boards, plywood boards, tarps, nails and more on hand can help with emergency repairs if there is the potential for flooding or help create a way to protect some of the items in the home from damage. Additionally, there could be a shortage of building supplies in the immediate aftermath of the flood, so having these supplies on hand could lead to faster repairs if anything is damaged.
Keep Important Documents and Irreplaceable Items Above Flood Levels
Homeowners who know their flood levels will want to prepare by placing any irreplaceable documents or items in boxes that can protect them. These boxes should be placed above the potential flood levels but should be easy to grab in case of an evacuation. This will help homeowners ensure identifications, passports, deeds, insurance documents, and more are both safe from the flood and easily accessible if a flood does impact the home or an evacuation is necessary.
Prepare an Emergency Plan in Case Flooding Occurs
Families should always have a plan in place to deal with potential natural disasters, and flooding is no exception. Even if the home is in an area that is not likely to flood, parents will want to speak with their children about what could happen in a flood, what they should do, and how they can stay safe. This should include how to prevent injuries or illnesses from contaminated flood water as well as what to do if an evacuation is needed and what should be grabbed from the home if they need to evacuate.
Act Fast to Minimize Damage After a Flood
If a home is impacted by a flood, the first step will be to assess the damage and remove all water from the home. This can be done by SERVPRO to ensure it’s done properly. At this point, the homeowner will want to start removing anything damaged from the home and repairing anything that needs to be repaired. Flood waters, even after the majority is removed from the home, could cause mold growth because of the water that was inside the home and that soaked into the building materials.
The faster the home is repaired, the lower the chance for mold to grow. Additionally, the damage from the water won’t have the chance to spread to more areas of the home if it’s removed as quickly as possible. The emergency building supplies purchased before the chance of flooding could help the homeowner repair their home faster and enable them to minimize the potential damage that could occur while they wait for help with larger repairs.
Spring can be the start of beautiful weather and a welcome change from the dreary winter, but it can also bring significant flooding to many areas. Homeowners can use these tips to ensure they’re prepared for flooding and know how to protect their home, belongings, and family from any potential floods. Start preparing your home today to ensure you and your family are as safe as possible in case anything happens.
If you find yourself in the need of a Water Restoration Company, SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake are here to assists you 24/7. Simply call 989-775-5065 and one of our Representatives will be glad to help.
May is Mobility Awareness Month
Since 2012, May has been recognized as National Mobility Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). Driven by the theme “Life Moving Forward,” NMEDA members and industry partners team up to organize an international campaign that works to highlight and celebrate the ways in which people living with disabilities persevere and triumph over their physical challenges while bringing attention to the many life-changing mobility solutions available to make independence more accessible.
People with disabilities constitute the second largest minority in the United States. In the United States and Canada, over 18 million people have mobility issues, six million of whom are veterans. NMEDA wishes to draw awareness to the fact that there are mobility equipment manufacturers, dealers, driver rehabilitation specialists and other professionals in every community dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Automotive mobility solutions are available for people with disabilities enabling them to enjoy active, mobile lifestyles.
Four Causes of Commercial Fires
In 2017, a whopping 100,500 Commercial Fires were reported. A large number of these fires resulted in injuries, loss of life, and huge monetary losses. Although it is commonly thought that commercial fires are caused by human error, this is not always the case. There are four major reasons that commercial or non-residential buildings go up in flames.
- Electrical Fires – Electrical systems or appliances are all too common causes of commercial fires. Businesses sometimes hire individuals that are not qualified to modify their circuits or electrical outlets. This can lead to a number of problems and code violations, putting people and property in serious danger. The electrical equipment itself has also been known to cause fires when they are overloaded or misused and lacking proper maintenance.
- Arson – As unlikely as it may seem, arson is actually one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, fire damage, and even death in commercial buildings. As it is a fire that is intentionally set to cause damage, arson may lead to a catastrophic loss of life and property. This horrible crime may be an act of vandalism, an act of revenge by unhappy clients or workers, or even instigated by the owner of the property for insurance purposes. It is important to have these situations thoroughly investigated by the proper authorities.
- Boilers, Water Heaters, and Furnaces – While we do not have to worry about furnaces and boilers here in Florida, these three appliances are not always installed according to codes for their installation, maintenance, and use. Improper installation or a lack or maintenance could trigger a fire in your building. Additionally, storing flammable or combustible materials near them could also result in a fire.
- Human Error – While arson is a big problem, not every fire set by humans is malicious – a lot of the time it is an innocent accident. A smoldering cigarette, forgotten coffee pot, or knocking liquids on electrical equipment could all result in an office fire. Those who are negligent in office safety protocol could also start a fire with acts such as stacking or covering electrical equipment or improperly storing flammable items.
Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings
As the public becomes more aware about the effects of mold exposure, concern about indoor mold has steadily increased. Here are some guidelines for the remediation/cleanup of mold and moisture problems in schools and other commercial buildings. These guidelines serve as a tool to protect the health of building occupants and remediators, and have been designed for:
- Building managers
- Others who are responsible for commercial building and school maintenance
It should serve as a reference for potential mold and moisture remediators. Using this document, individuals with little or no experience with mold remediation should be able to make a reasonable judgment as to whether the situation can be handled in-house. It will help those in charge of maintenance to evaluate an in-house remediation plan or a remediation plan submitted by an outside contractor1. Contractors and other professionals who respond to mold and moisture situations in commercial buildings and schools may also want to refer to these guidelines.
Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.
Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.
Many types of molds exist. All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.
Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include:
- Roof leaks
- Landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building
- Unvented combustion appliances
- Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings
Moisture problems in portable classrooms and other temporary structures have frequently been associated with mold problems.
When mold growth occurs in buildings, adverse health problems may be reported by some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems. Remediators should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dusts as they conduct their cleanup activities. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants.
If you believe you have a mold issue please contact SERVPRO of Mt.Pleasant, Clare and Houghton Lake 989-775-5065
COMMERCIAL BUILDING PLUMBING LEAKS THAT COULD CAUSE EXPENSIVE REPAIRS
Commercial facilities commonly use a significant amount of water, either through their business processes or simply because there are numerous people using bathroom or kitchen facilities over the course of a day. Water leaks in the plumbing system can substantially increase the company's monthly bills while wasting hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water. Some of the following types of commercial building plumbing leaks could eventually cause expensive repairs. However, if the leaks are caught and fixed early enough, the repairs could be more moderate and less water will be wasted.
Toilets in commercial facilities, especially those with public restrooms, get a substantial amount of use. Even toilets in office facilities that serve only employees will usually be used more than a comparable residential toilet. For this reason, it's vital that toilets be kept in good condition and that leaks are repaired as quickly as possible. If leaks are neglected, they could eventually lead to the need to replace the toilet.
The most common source of toilet leaks is a flapper or tank ball that doesn't seat correctly or a faulty fill valve or ballcock. If the flapper doesn't seal properly, water can leak from the toilet drain. A fill valve that doesn't shut off when the toilet tank is refilled will continue to send water into the tank. This water will be wasted down the drain. Replacing these parts is generally not too expensive, but neglecting the problem can lead to substantial long-term water loss.
Faucet Leaks are also relatively common and are usually the result of a worn or damaged component such as a sealing washer or seat assembly. Rubber washers are used to create a watertight seal in the faucet to prevent leaks. If these washers wear out, or if they are incorrectly sized, the seal will fail and the faucet will leak. Replacing washers is inexpensive, but over time the wear could increase and affect other components, requiring replacement of the entire faucet fixture.
Hidden Leaks in your commercial facility have the potential to create a nightmare scenario of unexpected flooding or long-term water damage that is only discovered after it's too late. Once hidden leaks are discovered, repair may require removing walls, floors, ceilings, equipment or other material to get access to the leak. Repairing damage caused by the leak can be expensive, as could mold remediation or other procedures to decrease long-term problems from the leak.
To help locate hidden leaks, look for signs such as:
- Unexpected or unexplainable increases in your water bills.
- Signs of water damage or water staining along walls, floorboards or other locations.
- Wet floors, carpets, walls or other structures.
Leaks in underground water supply pipes, sewer drains or other buried piping systems could lead to expensive repairs. In many cases, these types of leaks will require a visual inspection by remote cameras or other device to pinpoint the location of the leak. When the leak is found, the pipes will have to be dug up and repaired and the displaced soil will have to be replaced. In worse cases, exploratory digging will be required to locate the source of the leak.
Watch for these signs of underground plumbing leaks to help resolve this problem before it becomes a source of expensive repairs:
- Again, unexpected spikes in your water bills could indicate an underground water leak.
- Look for areas of wet soil, which could indicate an underground plumbing leak.
- Check for areas where grass or other vegetation is growing faster than the surrounding areas. This could mean an underground leak underneath the faster-growing plants.
SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to plumbing leaks. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,
Spring is here and the yard work begins.
Every spring we get called out to a fire that was started due to burning leaves and in most cases, those fires could have been avoided with some careful planning and a more thought out strategy.
1. Check the conditions.DO NOT BURN WHEN IT IS WINDY.Even a small burst of wind can move a burning leaf and cause a fire. “I didn’t think it was THAT windy,” is not a valid excuse.
2.Never leave the burn pile.You must stay outside and monitor the situation at all times. Murphy’s Law would say that the two minutes you go inside to get a drink is when a small wind will transform your small leaf burning into a full fledge garage fire. Be smart!
3. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not burn near any powerlines or low hanging trees. You need to haveat least three times the height of the pile in vertical clearance.Professionally we would suggest not burning below anything that is hanging. Why risk it?
4. Have a hose and water source nearby. As an extra precaution you can spray the ground around the fire to help keep the area wet and prevent additional spreading.
5.Do not burn everything all at once. This is obviously reliant on what you have to burn and your burn area, but it is always easier to add leaves than it is to take them away. Keep your fire small and add additional leaves as the fire burn down.
6. If using a burn barrel, make sure it is made entirely of metal, properly equipped (at least three evenly-spaced, three-inch holes, screened vent and metal top screen) and in good condition.
7. When complete, drown the ashes with water and use a shovel to carefully turn over the ashes.Drown the fire again and repeat multiple times.The goal is to prevent any sort of rekindling.
If you do decide to burn your leaves this fall, please be cautious and smart. If you have any questions, call your local fire department and ask for guidance. They would be more than happy to help you.
SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to out of control yard fires. . Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,
Warmer Weather Brings Out The Grills.
It happens every year. The weather gets warmer, more people use outdoor grills – and incidents of grill-caused fires go up. Each year, outdoor grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires. Listed below are 9 safety tip when Grilling.
1. Grill outside and away from any structures
Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, NFPA reports that more than one-quarter (27 percent) of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and 29 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill.
2. Make sure your grill is stable
Only set up your grill on a flat surface and make sure the grill can’t be tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio.
3. Keep your grill clean
Remove grease or fat buildup from both the grill and the tray below the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, allow the coals to completely cool off before disposing of them in a metal container.
4. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill
Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.
5. If the flame goes out, wait to re-light
If you are using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.
6. Take care around the grill
Never leave a lit grill unattended. Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill. Never try to move a lit or hot grill, and remember the grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use.
7. Be careful with charcoal starter fluid
If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Consider using a charcoal chimney starter, which uses newspaper to start the fire instead of starter fluid.
8. Wear the right clothing
Clothing can easily catch fire, so be sure your shirt tails, sleeves or apron strings don’t dangle over the grill.
9. Be ready to put out the fire
Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand next to the grill. Never use water to put out grease fire.
SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to a spark from your grill. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,
Summer Bring Lightning-Related Fires
- During 2011-2017, U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning. These fires caused an average of nine civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries, and $451 million in direct property damage per year. Most of these fires occurred outdoors, but most associated deaths, injuries, and property damage were associated with home fires.
- Lightning-related fires are more common in June through August and in the late afternoon and evening. Peak seasons for lightning-related fires vary by region, as do weather patterns in general.
- In addition to the fires reported to local fire departments, federal and state wildland firefighting agencies reported an average of 9,000 wildland fires started by lightning to the National Interagency Fire Center per year in 2011-2017. These fires tended to be larger than fires started by human causes. The average lightning-caused fire burned 402 acres, nine times the average of 45 acres seen in human-caused wildland fires.
- In addition to causing fires, lightning is dangerous on its own. Data from the National Weather Service show that in 2011-2017, an average of 29 people per year died as a result of lightning strikes. The most common location for these deaths was outside or in an open area. The average number of lightning flashes per square mile varies considerably by state, as does the death rate from lightning incidents.
SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due lightning. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,