How to Prevent Further Damage After a Disaster
Disasters can happen at any time, and they can cause a lot of damage to your home or business. If you're unfortunate enough to experience a disaster, it's important to act quickly to prevent further damage.
Here are some tips on how to prevent further damage after a disaster:
- Turn off the utilities. This will help to prevent further damage from water, gas, or electricity.
- Secure your property. This includes boarding up windows and doors, and removing any loose debris.
- Remove any standing water. This will help to prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Ventilate the area. This will help to remove moisture and prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Clean and disinfect any affected areas. This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria and other contaminants.
- Contact a professional restoration company. If the damage is extensive, you may need to hire a professional restoration company to help you get your home or business back to normal.
SERVPRO of Port Huron is a trusted leader in damage restoration. We have over 20 years of experience and a proven track record of success. We're committed to providing our customers with the best possible service, and we'll do everything we can to get your property back to normal as quickly as possible.
If you've experienced a disaster, don't wait. Call SERVPRO of Port Huron today at 810-966-7900 to get started with the prevention process. We'll be there quickly to help you keep your property safe and prevent further damage.
Here are some additional tips for preventing further damage after a disaster:
- Take pictures of the damage before you start cleaning up. This will help you document the damage and file an insurance claim.
- Keep receipts for all of your expenses related to the disaster. This will help you get reimbursed by your insurance company.
- Be patient. It may take some time to get your property back to normal.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent further damage after a disaster and get your home or business back to normal as quickly as possible.
Contact SERVPRO of Port Huron today at 810-966-7900 to learn more about our prevention services.
Top Three Causes of Fires
Did you know that the top three causes of residential fires include cooking, heating and electric systems/equipment. Let’s discuss each cause in more depth so you are able to determine how each can be avoided.
- Cooking: Causing nearly half of home fires, cooking-related fires are also, unfortunately, the second leading cause for residential fire deaths. These fires peak during the holidays, first Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas. Unattended cooking plays a large role in how fires begin. Other factors include grease and oil. Heating oil too quickly can cause fires. Leaving grease on the stovetop can also create fires. Leaving common kitchen items such as over mitts and food wrappers on or near the stove can also start fires.
- Heating: Spiking during the cold winter months of December, January and February, heating fires typically stem from space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves. While it may be tempting to keep your portable heater right near you on the chilliest of days, fires can easily be created if furnishing or personal belongings, such as mattresses and blankets, are within 3 feet of the space heater. Fires also start when heating sources such as space heaters or fireplaces are left unattended.
- Electric: Wiring, cords (including extension cords), lighting, and plugs all fall under the umbrella of electric distribution. Malfunction and damage, such as fraying, are a couple reasons as to why fires begin from electric distribution. Faulty electrical outlets cause fires, as do worn out sockets. Using an unqualified electrician to install or update wiring, lighting, etc. is another reason why fires may begin in your home. Additionally, the exposure of water to electricity can create fire.
Be sure to be mindful if you smoke, light candles, use a grill, or have children and/or pets, as these are a few other leading causes of residential fires. Taking caution and remaining vigilant can greatly help keep you, your family and home safe!
If you suffer fire damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Port Huron is Here to Help! Call us 24/7 at 810-966-7900.
5 Things to Do After Basement Flooding
Few things are more stressful and disgusting than basement flooding. Whether it’s one inch or one foot of water, the effects can be detrimental to your home. And while damage to things like carpet, drywall, and furniture are immediately noticeable, something more serious could be lurking underneath your floors.
Five Things to Do After Basement Flooding
Whether it’s just a couple of inches of water or a few feet, you must respond quickly to basement flooding. Here are a few things you’ll need to do:
- Kill the Power
If there’s standing water in your basement, then you shouldn’t attempt to walk or wade through until you’ve shut off the power and made sure that open circuits aren’t covered by water. This can obviously be an electrocution hazard and isn’t something you want to mess with.
If you’re unsure of whether the electricity is cut off, can’t get to the circuit board, or simply don’t feel comfortable with the situation, then don’t attempt to go anywhere near the water.
- Get Rid of the Standing Water
The next order of business is to get rid of the water. The longer the water sits in your basement, the more damage it will cause. Make sure you put on a pair of sturdy shoes or boots and pants that cover your legs. You never know what’s lurking underneath the water and don’t want to risk hurting yourself.
If the standing water is high, your first step is to get a bucket and start manually removing the water (be sure to dump far away from the home’s foundation). Once you extract most of the water, you can use a wet vacuum to suck up the moisture from the floor.
- Call in the Professionals - Like SERVPRO of Port Huron
Once the standing water is removed, you should call in the professionals to take a look. Depending on the extent of the damage and how meticulous you want to be, this may include calls to an electrician, a flood cleanup crew, and a general contractor. Fortunately, a single call to our office at 810-966-7900 can handle all of those repairs
Any carpeting or absorbent materials that were affected will need to be ripped up or replaced. If appliances spent any time sitting in the water, they should be looked at by a professional before being used.
- Call Your Insurance Provider
Once all of the time-sensitive issues have been handled, take a few minutes to call your insurance provider to let them know about the problem. If the flooding happened as a result of one of your home’s plumbing systems, then your home insurance policy may cover some or all of the damage. However, if the flooding was the result of a natural disaster, then you’ll most likely need flood insurance. Regardless, place a couple of phone calls to see what can be done.
- Protect Your Home
As soon as everything gets repaired and restored, you should begin taking proactive steps to protect your home from similar issues in the future. The ground next to your basement and foundation should slope away from the home. Gutters and downspouts should slope away too while discharging water a minimum of five feet away from the home. All windows and vents should be sealed and your basement walls should be waterproofed with an appropriate product. If flooding is common, consider installing special French drains or even a sump-pump.
One Call to SERVPRO For Complete Restoration
SERVPRO Construction Services
One Call Covers All Phases of Your Restoration Project
At SERVPRO of Port Huron the backbone of our company is fire, water & smoke cleanup, and restoration. But what compliments our cleanup and restoration services is we can seamlessly facilitate every aspect of the reconstruction process of your damaged property!
Our In-House construction division specializes in reconstruction, new residential and retail construction, financial institutions, healthcare facilities, educational facilities, government properties, warehouses, and shipping facilities. SERVPRO® has experts in the field with putting your home or business back to its original condition which includes complete builds from a total loss. Our construction division can provide everything that a normal contractor can provide you after you are hit with a catastrophe. That is why SERVPRO is so unique in southeast Michigan, we can handle the entire process so there is no need for multiple companies and services to juggle!
One call to SERVPRO of Port Huron handles everything from start to finish. For work not completed in-house, we have an extensive list of qualified contractors (HVAC, Plumbers, drywall finishing, roofing, electricians, and many other specialized services) just to name a few.
We can fast track your project and offer cost-saving solutions to meet your budget goals because you are dealing with just one company!
Call at (810) 966-7900 for all your construction needs because we are not just a restoration company, we are a full-service restoration contractor!
4 Home Owners Insurance Terms You Need to Know
Owning your own home can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be expensive. Not only do you have to constantly maintain your home, but there are risks you can't control, such as flooding and fire. For this reason, if you own a home, you need homeowners insurance, which will cover some or all costs of covered disasters. To better protect your home, check out these four insurance terms you need to know.
A peril is anything that could risk damage to your home, and it's one of the main reasons to have homeowners insurance because the insurance company may pay some or all repairmen/replacement costs. Not all perils are included in most homeowners insurance policies. In general, however, they cover the most common types of perils, such as theft or fire.
If you live in an area with frequent flooding, you may be able to purchase additional insurance to protect against flood damage. Most general policies exclude flood damage unless the damage was sudden and unexpected, such as a new washing machine that fails and floods your laundry room.
Flood insurance is actually a type of catastrophe insurance. A catastrophe is a disaster (man-made or natural) that causes significant damage. It can be one major event or a handful of events that devastate your property. Catastrophes are not usually covered under your standard insurance policy, but they may be necessary if you live in an area with lots of earthquakes, flooding, tornadoes or hurricanes.
Catastrophe insurance comes in many forms. If you really want to protect everything you own from flooding or terrorist attacks, you can get a policy that will cover the property and everything inside. For a cheaper premium, however, you can also choose a policy that only covers the house and nothing inside.
3) Actual Cash Value
When your insurance carrier reimburses you, they may give you the actual cash value (sometimes referred to as market value). This will provide money to repair or replace the damage after considering depreciation. For example, if your deck is destroyed, but it was getting old anyway, the insurance carrier will take the age into account. In other words, they may not give you enough to actually cover the total replacement.
If the deck was brand new, however, there is less depreciation, so you may not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses. In this case, the insurance carrier would give you the replacement value. Regardless of what type of coverage you have, however, they will only provide money for similar materials and quality. You can't have the insurance carrier replace your damaged asphalt roof with a tile shingle roof.
Every insurance policy has exclusions. Exclusions are disasters and instances when the insurance carrier will not reimburse you. Exclusions usually include any damage that was related to maintenance issues or damage that was easy to control. Even if you take great care of your home, parts need to be replaced. Insurance will not cover these routine repairs.
In most cases, the policy will have an actual section detailing all the exclusions (all-risk policies), so you can immediacy know what is and what is not covered. A peril-specific policy, which only covers a handful of disasters, will list what is covered. Anything else is considered an exclusion.
Don't gamble with your property by neglecting to purchase or have enough homeowners insurance. It can be the difference between losing your home and repairing it after a disaster.
Long Term Effects of Storm Damage
What You Need to Know About the Long-Term Effects of Storm Damage
Do you think that post-storm water damage dries without help? If you do not treat this potentially serious issue immediately, take a look at what you need to know about the long-term effects of water damage.
Water that seeps into your home and floods your flooring can sink through carpets and padding. The result is a damp rug that is slow to dry. But what happens if the rug feels dry to the touch?
In some cases, you can dry and restore storm-damaged or flooded carpeting. This does not mean you should attempt to save your carpets without help. Failure to properly dry the carpets or the padding underneath can cause additional problems for what lies underneath.
Your regular home vacuum can't pull water from under the carpet's surface. Likewise, a fan or other type of similar drier will not reach beneath into the padding. This means what may feel like a completely dry carpet can hide a wet, moldy, or dirty pad. If you have wood flooring under your carpets, a damp pad could cause serious damage over time.
The longer the moisture sits on the wood floor, the more likely the cellulose fibers in the material will soak up excess water. This can warp the wood and cause permanent damage. While other types of flooring, such as tile, may not warp, the constant presence of water can still cause problems.
To prevent warping and other related issues, contract a professional storm damage restoration company as soon as possible. If you do wait, the professional may still have ways to treat the area and restore your home's flooring.
Your flooring is not the only part of your home that is subject to the long-term effects of storm-related water damage. If water sits on your furniture, it can also cause permanent damage. The type of damage your furniture sustains after a flood or storm depends on what it is made from.
Hard, non-porous plastic surfaces are relatively easy to clean and dry. Provided no evidence of mold growth or bacterial contamination exists, you can wipe the item with your choice of household cleaner and dry it with a towel. But if the furniture in question is made of wood or is upholstered, you will need a professional restoration expert's help.
What happens if you wait to call this professional? Like with carpeting, the water could soak through upholstered items and into the padding underneath. This can result in internal mold growth or damage wooden support frames. This destroys the integrity of the item and can cause complete failure.
Again, like with wood floors, wooden furniture can soak up water and warp. Water can also cause spotting on the surface or swelling. Even though the initial water damage may have happened days or weeks ago, a storm damage professional may still have the ability to restore these items.
Water damage can extend from the floors and furniture to the walls of your home. Like with other types of water damage, the longer moisture sits on your walls, the higher the likelihood that your home will have permanent problems such as mold growth, warping, or other similar issues.
Like with flooring, a dry wall surface does not always mean everything underneath is free from moisture too. Long-term water exposure can result in seepage through drywall or plaster. The underlying wood and other building materials can warp or rot. This can cause serious or extensive structural issues. A restoration professional can evaluate the situation and create a treatment plan.
What is The Difference Between a CAT I, II, and III Loss?
A category I loss is when the water is coming from a clean water source and will not cause harm if inhaled or ingested. Examples of this would be a broken supply line or a tub overflow.
A category II loss is when the water poses a minimum threat. For example, a toilet overflow with only urine or a dishwasher overflow.
A category III loss involves water that is highly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents. For example, water containing silt, pesticides, toxic organic substances, or metals, are all CAT III losses.
SERVPRO Professionals are highly trained for any category of water loss you may have. Our team is ready and available day or night, 24/7.
SERVPRO technicians have been developing and cleaning with the most advance products around. For over 50 years SERVPRO has been at the forefront of extreme fire and water disaster clean ups and restoration. In addition to offering our Certified SERVPRO Cleaned program, where our franchises perform a professional pathogen cleaning on your site, we are now proud to offer SERVPRO's certified disinfectant, SERVPROXIDE. This single product kills most viruses and bacteria and has an extremely low EPA toxicity rating, making it safe for everyday use.
SERVPROXIDE vs COMPETITION
-kills 99.999% of bacteria
-Requires no dilution
-Non bleach formulated
-No harsh chemicals or fumes
-NSF certified (safe around food)
-Lowest toxicity rating by EPA.
- Kills 99.999% of bacteria
The facts speak for themselves. Add this to your daily cleaning protocol today!
Small Appliance Fires
There are a myriad of things that can cause house fires. It can seem impossible to prevent all the fire hazards in your home. Smaller appliances such as toasters, space heaters and dehumidifiers can pose great risks if not properly used, maintained and monitored.
-Be sure to check the appliance regularly. Any irregularity in the unit or the power cord could be a potential fire hazard.
-Be sure that the wall outlets you are plugging your appliance into are working properly. If you notice any flickering lights or sparks shut the power off and contact an electrician.
-Unplug the appliance when not in use. An unused toaster sitting on the counter can easily be accidentally turned on.
-Make sure the appliance is far away from any potential fire hazard such as blankets, papers or even water which can cause the unit to spark.
Many appliances have safety features on them that are supposed to shut the unit off when they tip over or malfunction in some way but this is not fool proof. Never leave them running unattended.
How We Handle Mold
Mold remediation is a process in which we take very seriously. Here is a look at our step-by-step process that we take.
- It begins with initial contact from a customer requiring emergency services.
- An assessment of damage and inspection is required.
- Next, we take control of the mold so it doesn't spread.
- Then air scrubbers are used to further stop the spread.
- Removal of mold and infested materials is a priority.
- We clean any belongings affected by the mold.
- And lastly, we restore anything that has been damaged from the mold infestation.
Mold is not something you should just set aside and deal with later. If you think you have mold in your home or business call SERVPRO of Port Huron today.