Steps for Cleaning Your Crawlspace
Storm damage in a Red Bank, TN home
A home flood in Red Bank, TN, can affect every inch of your home. Most of the storm damage is easy to see. Some areas, however, such as your crawlspace, may be flooded without your knowledge. After a thorough inspection, if you discover flood damage in your crawlspace, here are some tips for dealing with it.
1. Remove Items
While the name indicates a certain need for openness, in most homes, a crawlspace is not just an open space. Sometimes insulation is added, particularly in colder climates. They may also house parts of your HVAC unit, plumbing or wiring. Some homeowners may even use it as storage for keepsakes or seasonal items. When it is flooded, however, the restoration company you hire to remediate the water damage will need to remove all the items to determine if they can be salvaged.
2. Remove Water
After the space is cleared of items and debris, the next step of home flood remediation is removing the standing water in the space. An industrial sump pump or trash pump is typically used to complete this process. It siphons the water out of the crawlspace into a tank in the technicians' truck. From there they can safely dispose of it in another location.
3. Dry Surfaces
Once the crawlspace is emptied, the remaining surfaces may still be wet. They cannot be left this way or the space may develop a mold problem. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours, so the faster the area can be dried, the better. Technicians may use dehumidifiers to leach the moisture out of the air. High-powered fans can be used to increase air flow across the surfaces and evaporate moisture as the air moves outside.
Once the area is dry, it still has to be disinfected, as water from storm damage often contains bacteria that you wouldn't want in your home. Drying your crawlspace is an important factor in avoiding further water damage during a home flood.
3 Reasons You Might Smell Mold in Your Home
Mold damage on a bathroom in a Chattanooga, TN home
Catching a whiff of foul odors in your Chattanooga, TN, home can be distressing. Certain odors can be caused by wet weather, old carpeting and pet accidents that were not cleaned up properly. However, one common cause is from mold growing somewhere in your home, out of sight. Black mold can give off a particularly strong odor because it can spread quickly where moisture is present. There might be several reasons that mold is growing inside your home and understanding why can help you target and destroy it.
1. A Leaky Roof
Small leaks in your roof may be difficult to detect. However, when it rains and water gets into your attic, the humidity there makes for a fine mold breeding ground. If you continuously find mold in the attic, you may want to have your roof inspected by a contractor who can find the source of the leak. The moisture problem may be something as simple as a missing shingle or damaged flashing.
2. Cracks in the Basement Walls
If you have an older home, your basement walls may be suffering from minute cracks that are letting in moisture each time it rains. This problem may be compounded by poor drainage around the perimeter of your home. The basement may be breeding black mold because instead of draining away from your home, rainwater seeps in, finds its way into the cracks, then puddles in corners where you do not notice it. You may want to call in a mold cleanup and remediation service to dry out your basement and remove the existing mold before you address the drainage issue.
3. A Dirty Washing Machine
Wet, musty smells can emanate from your washing machine over time as moisture allows mold to grow inside the drum. Run a mixture of baking soda and vinegar through a cycle to break up hidden mold.
A fresh-smelling home is probably a priority for you as a Chattanooga, TN homeowner. Black mold and other fungi can create foul odors, but when you know where they might be hiding, you can find and destroy them quickly.
How To Choose a Commercial Drying Specialist
Air mover on a water loss in Signal Mountain, TN
Unexpectedly, you discover a broken pipe at your commercial property in Signal Mountain, TN. You immediately shut off the water main to the site, call your insurance agent and go online to find a commercial drying specialist. However, there are many to choose from. How can you ascertain which company will quickly and properly complete the water clean up and restoration for your business structure and contents?
Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)
The IICRC provides certification based on industry standards for restoration companies. Look for the IICRC logo on company websites or professional vehicles. When you hire a certified restoration company, you can feel confident that the technicians will have the following skillsets:
- Possess current knowledge of the field through experience, training and examination.
- Uphold the IICRC high code of business ethics.
- Maintain current licenses and insurance.
Commercial Drying Specialist Certification
When a broken pipe occurs, you need a specialist trained specifically in water clean up, commercial drying and restoration procedures. During the accreditation process, the IICRC ensures that technicians acquire and display the following knowledge and skills:
- Demonstrate proper techniques in inspection and evaluation of commercial water damage.
- Understand project management and coordination of commercial structures.
- Recognize commercial hazards and safety considerations related to water damage.
- Establish expertise in current methods of drying structures and materials.
- Comprehend moisture mechanics, air management and the microbiology of flooding.
A broken pipe at your business in Signal Mountain, TN, is a stressful experience. Not only do you worry about damage to the building structure and contents, but you also become apprehensive about the interruption to your company. Finding a reputable commercial drying specialist for the water clean up and restoration process is critical to getting up and running again in an efficient manner. When the specialist is IICRC certified, you can trust that the technician possesses the skillset to get the job done right.
3 Ways a Restoration Company May Rectify Smoke Damage at Your Business
Fire damage in a Signal Mountain, TN building
There are many ways a fire can harm your Signal Mountain, TN, business. Extreme heat, flames and water damage are all possible, but one that you may not consider right away is how smoke can affect your property. Smoky smells can linger long after the fire is out, especially once it permeates the walls or carpeting. However, a fire restoration and cleanup service may have several smoke cleaning techniques at hand that can clear away unpleasant smoky odors from your business.
1. Ozone Treatment
Once your building is dry, fire damage and restoration service technicians can perform ozone treatments to remove smoke damage, soot and smoke odor. This process disinfects any areas affected by the fire and breaks down odor molecules in the air so the smell is destroyed instead of being masked by another odor, such as an air freshener. Ozone generators can be placed in each affected area, where the ozone will oxidize the odors so they cannot linger.
2. Air Filtration
A professional restoration company usually has several air filtration techniques to offer, so discussing each with service technicians can help you decide which is the best for your property. Ozone cleansing, air scrubbing and heavy-duty filtration machines can erase smoke odor completely, even from rooms that have been sitting for some time after a fire. Since your needs will be unique, discussing different techniques can help you feel confident about the results.
3. Thermal Fogging
During this process, a cleansing mixture is superheated and then released from a machine as a fog. The fog settles over smoke-damaged items and structures, which destroys any strong odors and leaves behind a pleasant scent instead. This type of smoke cleaning may be especially useful for office furniture and other commercial supplies.
Smoke cleaning can be beneficial after a fire affects your Signal Mountain, TN, business. These odors can be stubborn, so specialized cleaning with professional techniques may be the most efficient path to restoring your property.
Reasons To Have Commercial Flood Coverage
Storm damage in a Harrison, TN home
You may feel pretty confident about the commercial insurance package your agent has put together for your business in Harrison, TN, but it may still be lacking something. If you don't have flood insurance, you could be setting yourself up for a devastating loss, particularly if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. Here are some reasons to have proper flood coverage in addition to all the other policies in your portfolio.
Commercial Property Limitations
Your commercial property insurance is essential. A solid policy will cover most of the damages that might occur:
- Fire damage to the structure of the building
- Stolen property
- Damaged business personal property
- Repairs to building
Natural disasters are generally not covered under a standard commercial property policy. To protect against flooding from storms, you need additional flood insurance.
Flood Policy Coverage
While a flood policy does not cover damage from the storm to landscaping or others' property, it protects your building and the items in it. Good flood coverage can pay for repairs after a storm. It also covers any damage done to insured items, such as office or production machines, that need to be restored by water remediation specialists.
Finally, if you live in an area prone to flooding, a commercial insurance policy that specifically protects against the damage it can cause may be required by law. This is particularly likely if you have a federally backed mortgage or if you rent your commercial property from someone else. In the latter scenario, if the law doesn't require insurance for flooding, your landlord probably does.
Your business in Harrison, TN, needs protection from many problems that may arise. Your insurance agent can recommend the policies that are necessary for your particular business in your location. If you live in an area that floods often, make sure you get flood insurance. You will probably be glad you included it someday.
Best Ways To Handle Basement Floods
Air mover on a water damage in a Hixson, TN, home
You’d be hard-pressed to find a homeowner in Hixson, TN that hasn’t thought of the possibility of a house flood. Basements are perhaps the most common place for flooding, so it’s crucial that you understand some quick and effective ways to handle a basement flood.
Evaluate the Damage
Before you do anything, you should take a quick look around your home and determine the extent of the flooded area and what type of cleanup effort you’re looking at. Here’s how you should begin:
- Take photos of the affected areas.
- Take photos of damaged property and areas.
- Write down specific items that have been damaged (this will be crucial when dealing with insurance coverage).
- If safe, get items such as furniture, books, electronics, and clothes away from water; however, don’t touch electronics that are currently in the water.
Call a Trusted Professional
Cleaning up after a basement flood isn’t something you should handle by yourself. There are experienced, skilled companies that take care of water removal and water damage. You should get in touch with a professional as some as you’ve assessed the damage in your home.
What the Pros Will Do
The restoration company will start by getting rid of the water in your home. The technicians will use pumps and wet vacuums to ensure there is no more water on your floors. In the next step, the professional will thoroughly dry the affected area with industrial-grade dryers. The restoration team will then remove damaged drywall and flooring so these areas can be replaced and rebuilt. Lastly, the team will clean and sanitize the area. This step will help prevent mold growth.
Prevent Future Flooding
Don’t run the risk of dealing with more flooding. Once you determine the cause of the issue, take necessary steps to eliminate water damage in the future.
A professional is your best resource for handling a basement flood. There are also critical tasks you can handle on your own to mitigate damage and safety concerns.
Best Ways to Clean Your Belongings After a Flood
Watching a disaster such as a flood come through your Chattanooga, TN home is a helpless, heartbreaking feeling. In most cases, there is little you can do once the incident is in full force. Luckily, in many cases, you can salvage your most important belongings and essential parts of your house, as long as you use effective content cleaning measures.
If you’re dealing with a flood in your home, you may have to replace your carpet or flooring altogether. However, in some cases where the flooding isn’t as bad, you may be able to keep your flooring with heavy-duty cleaning.
• Use high-pressure steam cleaning to clean carpets
• A wet vacuum can suck up water from hard surfaces
• Sanitize after removing water
• Make sure you thoroughly dry the area after you clean
Books and Documents
In a flood, you’ll be concerned about important documents and books. Restoration professionals have state-of-the-art measures to not only clean these items but make them look as close to new as possible. The technician will use methods such as vacuum freeze-drying and gamma irradiation to remove water. It’s also vital that the technician dries these items thoroughly. A professional can work with items such as photographs, x-rays, paper and parchment.
Porous vs. Non-Porous
Part of content cleaning includes assessing what you can save and what you must part with. Unfortunately, not even the best methods can save everything all of the time, especially if the flooding introduced black water into your home. It’s more difficult to clean and save porous items such as wood than it is to handle non-porous materials such as glass.
When you need an expert solution to your content cleaning needs after water damages parts of your home and belongings, make sure you find a company that can use these effective measures. You can rest easy knowing not everything will be a lost cause after a flood. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthchattanooga.com for more information on flood damage.
Five Important Fire Escape Steps for Kids
A home fire is a devastating event that one wants to go through. If you have small children in your Chattanooga, TN home, it is extremely important that they know how to safely escape the home should a fire occur. Below are five kids safety steps that will help keep your most precious family members safe in the event of a fire.
1. Fire Crawls
Kids should learn two ways to crawl out of the house. The first is getting down on all fours and putting forearms flat on the ground. Keep your nose to the floor like a dog sniffing. If the heat is too strong, keep your legs down, too.
2. Bed Rolls
Heat rises, so it’s important that children roll out of their beds instead of sitting up. Kids should turn or roll until their heads are facing the ground by the side, then put their outside hands down and slide to the floor.
3. Door Checks
Opening a door quickly can cause a flashover, when a fire gets a burst of oxygen. Kids should first feel the door. If it’s warm to the touch, they should slowly open it. If fire or smoke is visible, they should close the door right away.
4. Get Out or Get Help
For kids safety, find a secondary route in the event the main way is blocked. Teach kids how to open and climb out of a window if on the first floor, or to open a window and call for help if on a second floor. Older kids can learn how to use a fire escape ladder.
5. Stay Out
After a child escapes a home fire, they shouldn’t reenter for any reason. Tell them to wait outside and that firefighters will work on rescuing anyone left inside.
Nothing is more important than kids’ safety. Once everyone is out safely, you can start the remediation process. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthchattanooga.com for more information on fire damage.
A Basic Understanding of Mold
The sensational descriptions of it in media might deter one from seeing mold as anything more than a nightmarish substance wrought with risks of danger and damage. Whether it is black mold or a more benign colony, an understanding of mold can help prevent its spread; conveniently, the most effective way to handle the funky fungus.
What Causes Mold Growth?
Microscopic mold spores are everywhere, outdoors and indoors. They can be carried in the air, transported through HVAC systems or on the backs of pets and the bottom of shoes. Inherently harmless, the spores only become a fungal nuisance when exposed to four key elements:
• Organic nutrients
• A surface to grow on
Thus, a moisture problem can quickly become a mold problem when left unattended to. The spores feed on dirt and dust remnants from the surface material, developing into a colony when exposed to increased moisture levels. Any water damage, leaking pipes, high humidity or excessive levels of condensation can be breeding ground for any mold, including the black mold strain known for its higher risk of toxins. Before mold remediation can begin, all issues of water and moisture must be addressed so that the mold doesn’t have an opportunity to return.
What Gets Rid of Mold?
Due to the near-universal presence of the spores, removal isn’t an accurate term for mold cleanup. Instead, Chattanooga, TN professionals can remediate the problem using a variety of tactics:
• Mold containment: HVAC systems and fans are turned off to limit the spread of spores.
• Air filtration: Clearing the air of spores that may have spores from the presence of mold growth.
• Removal of mold-infested materials: Porous materials such as drywall and carpet may need replacement if exposed to heavy mold or black mold.
• Cleaning: A thorough cleaning of personal belongings and air quality can remove any odor and ensure a complete mold cleanup.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthchattanooga.com for more information on mold.
How to Leave the “Ew” in Sewer
Sewer backup is a phrase no one loves to hear. Category 3, or black water, might not be as familiar of phrasing, yet these synonyms are vital knowledge to be had by any homeowner in Chattanooga, TN with a mind for a happy, healthy home. The health dangers of black water make sewer cleanup an immediate need whenever there is an overflow.
What is Black Water?
Highly contaminated and full of illness-causing bacteria, category 3 water is classified as coming from any of these sources:
• Rising river or stream
• Undealt with standing water
• Flooded toilet
• Sewage overflow
Due to the nature of these sources, the water is likely to contain large amounts of dangerous microbes, chemicals and other unfriendly contaminants to humans and animals alike. Contact or ingestion of this water can cause severe illness and must be avoided.
What is Sewer Cleanup?
The imminent health dangers of sewer backup require the cleanup to be prompt and thorough. A professional cleanup crew has the appropriate training, equipment and protective gear to handle your home’s category 3 flood in a quick and effective manner. Wearing full protective gear, workers will remove the contaminated water and sanitize the affected areas. With the appropriate machines and protective attire, a professional cleanup team can effectively work to ensure your home is clear of any contaminants left by the flooded sewer water.
Can Sewer Backup be Avoided?
There are daily choices you can make to keep your pipes clear and minimize the risk of a flooded toilet. Here is a list of common items that should not be flushed down the toilet:
• Wipes (including “flushable”)
• Paper Towels
• Feminine Products
Even excess toilet paper or facial tissue can eventually lead to a clog down the road. Being mindful of what goes down the drain can prevent a flooded toilet in the future. If the “ew” doesn’t stay in the sewer, call your local cleanup crew for immediate sewer cleanup. Visit http://www.SERVPROnorthchattanooga.com for more information.