Understanding the Main Causes of Basement Flooding and Sewer Backups
A flooded basement is no fun. However, understanding the common causes and preventative measures can help reduce the likelihood of the experience.
Understanding The Primary Sources Of Basement Flooding And Sewer Backups
No homeowner wants to deal with a flooded basement. Unfortunately, sometimes floods are unavoidable. Still, according to water mitigation services in North Fort Myers, FL, there are some preventative measures you can take to prevent the top four causes of basement floods and backups.
1. Sewer Overflow
A severe storm can lead to an onslaught of water rushing to public plumbing systems. Unfortunately, when these systems are overloaded, it can result in sewers backing up. You can install sump pumps and backflow valves to prevent backups from occurring.
2. Clogged Pipes
One of the leading causes of a flooded basement is a clogged drainage pipe. Depending on where the blockage is located, there are several potential causes for the clog. For instance, when inside the home, the clog might stem from wadded-up paper products, grease, or other substances. When the block is outside the house, the cause could be an infiltration of roots or a collapse. The best way to prevent such issues is through routine and professional inspection and maintenance.
3. Blocked Gutters
While you might not think gutters could somehow cause a basement flood, you would be wrong. Blocked gutters do not allow for the free transportation of water from the roof to the ground. The blockage will typically result in flooded gutters. The water overflow then clings to the house and seeps into the soil at the foundation. If there are cracks in the foundation, the water can find its way inside. The best way to prevent gutter blockages is to clean them at the change of every season.
4. Landscape or Pavement Slope
Finally, if your landscape or driveway slopes back towards the house, you will likely experience basement flooding. Unfortunately, the only way to fix the problem is to re-slope the affected zones, which can be costly.
A flooded basement is no fun. However, knowing the common causes and preventative measures can help reduce the likelihood of the experience.
How To Handle Puffback Soot
At SERVPRO, we have the professionals and the necessary equipment to help you deal with the damage caused by puffback soot in your business, call us!
How To Deal With Puffback Soot
The furnace in your building in Cape Coral, FL, is an essential part of keeping warm air moving throughout the space. When the furnace malfunctions, that warm air can carry soot with it, coating everything in its path. Don't ignore this problem. There are a few steps you need to take when you discover your building has puffback damage.
Inspect Your Whole Building for Puffback Damage
An oil furnace can produce a lot of sticky soot. It gets in every crevice it comes into contact with, and it can spread quickly. When you inspect your building, be sure you look in areas where puffback soot could be hiding:
- Inside storage closets
- Behind doors
- Inside file cabinets and drawers
- Under sinks
Call the Professionals
There are several people you need to call when you have puffback damage in your building. First, contact a certified HVAC professional who can fix the furnace and prevent further problems. Then, call fire damage restoration specialists to clean up the soot throughout your building, as this oily mess is too big a problem to leave to your regular custodial staff. Finally, make sure you alert your insurance provider, as your policy may cover the cost of cleanup.
Get an Estimate for Total Restoration
To file a proper claim for issues caused by furnace puffback, you need to get a complete estimate. Take into account all the costs associated with restoration, not just the soot cleaning. For example, if parts of a wall or closet are so damaged they need to be replaced, you should figure that into the overall expenses you report.
Any time you have puffback damage in your building, professional intervention is necessary. Technicians can clean thoroughly and get rid of soot and all the subsequent issues it may cause. Professional repair and restoration get your building back to normal as soon as possible.
3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage and Mold Growth
SERVPRO has a team certified to handle mold of all colors. We have the right equipment to clean it up, call us.
Three Things To Know About Water Damage And Mold Growth
If you have experienced water damage in your commercial building in Cape Coral, FL, then you may have additional secondary damage as well. This can come in many forms, including the growth of mold. The following are some questions you may have if you find yourself in this situation.
1. How Soon Does Mold Begin to Grow After Damage Occurs?
Unfortunately, the time between when the water damage occurs and when the mold begins to grow is not very long. This fungus can grow quickly when given the right conditions. You could have the beginning of an infestation in as little as 24 hours. After two days, the mold will begin to spread even more.
2. Can You Prevent Mold From Growing?
Depending on how severe the damage is, mold prevention can be difficult. However, even if you are unable to stop the growth completely, there are steps you can take to slow it down and limit the spread. Excess water should be removed from the building and everything should be allowed to dry thoroughly. Insulation, carpeting and other absorbent materials may need to be removed. A dehumidifier can be used to reduce moisture in the environment.
3. What Should You Do if You Find Mold?
If you do find mold growth in the building, you should contact a mold remediation company to have it removed. Attempting to clean the mold on your own could make things worse. If the area is not properly contained, mold can spread throughout the building and affect a larger area. You could also end up with a recurring mold problem if the fungus is not removed completely.
Mold is a common problem that affects many commercial buildings that have suffered water damage. While it can be a frustrating and stressful experience, acting quickly can reduce the severity of the growth. A professional service can help remove the fungus and prevent it from coming back.
What To Know About Claims Management Software
Most insurance claim management software comes with a set of standard features that helps agents perform their jobs.
Claims Management Software: What You Should Know
Providers need an efficient way to handle an insurance claim they receive. When you notify your provider about a disaster in your business in Flamingo Bay, FL, it kicks the process off. During this process, agents need a way to track costs, work with a disaster remediation company, such as SERVPRO, avoid fraud, and streamline their communication. The way they do this is with claims management software. Here is some basic information about this software.
What Are Common Features?
Most insurance claim management software comes with a set of standard features that helps agents perform their jobs. This includes:
- Claims tracking
- Electronic claims
- Data exchange
- Fraud management
- Inventory management
- Customer portals
- Customer relationship management
What To Consider When Purchasing It?
As with any software purchase, companies need to think about certain aspects of the insurance claim management software they buy. For instance, the type of software they buy is a big factor. Both on-premises and cloud-based software are available. On-premises is traditional software installed at an office location, while cloud-based is run through the internet. On-premises software tends to be used because it is more customizable. On the other hand, cloud-based systems don't cost as much. Each vendor will evaluate these factors when choosing the right software.
Additionally, insurance companies need to think about what additional features they need. Some may want incorporated accounting or business intelligence systems. Items such as these can enhance the claims management system. Therefore, these are common add ons. Furthermore, an agency will need to think about the type of insurance they offer. Then, they can choose an appropriate system for their offering. For instance, those that offer property coverage are going to have different requirements than business interruption companies.
Your insurance company uses claims management software to streamline the filing process. This makes it easier for an insurance agent and business owner to file a claim and get it processed quickly.
5 Creative Flood Control Techniques for Urban Areas
Flooding is a major event that happens almost everywhere in the world, affecting areas near waterways and wherever it rains.
5 Ingenious Flood Control Techniques For Cities
Flooding is a major event that happens almost everywhere in the world, affecting areas near waterways and wherever it rains. Cities, in particular, are vulnerable when heavy rains hit because their urban infrastructures have disrupted the natural drainage capacity of the land. This means that even in St James City, FL, communities can experience high water and flooding during heavy storms.
Experts around the world have come up with several creative and clever ways to stop flooding from shutting down businesses and daily activities:
These were seen in Japan first, and have been around for almost 100 years. Water gates are powered by hydraulic motors, powered by water pressure and not electricity, so they are very effective at minimizing flood water damage.
Modular Flood Containers
These portable crates are hollow until flood water fills them. They are simple to use and can be stacked and interlocked, so they can be placed where they are needed. When not in use, the crates stack inside each other, so they don't take up valuable storage space.
Water Inflated Property Barriers
These vinyl and polyester tubs are inflated with water to provide a barrier between the increasingly high water and businesses. The tubs are quick and convenient to inflate and don't require much room for storage.
In San Diego, groups of concrete blocks have been installed to mimic rock pools. Although this type of flood defense has been used in California coastal areas, the new blocks provide habitats for the marine life in the area.
Water barrier "socks" are one of the most popular flood damage prevention tools in North America. The bags are simply unfolded and placed to form a protective barrier around properties. When floodwater reaches the line of bags, it is absorbed. The water-filled bags now act the same as traditional sandbags would.
Maybe you've seen some of these flood prevention tools at work. What other ways have you seen high water contained? Have you learned any other techniques from flood and water damage experts?
How To Progress From Mitigation to Restoration
If you need a flood cleanup after a storm, don't try to tackle the problem yourself. calling SERVPRO is the best solution.
How To Make the Transition from Mitigation To Restoration
Mitigation is the first step to take after a storm causes damage at a commercial building in Cape Coral, FL. In addition to limiting the severity of damage, mitigation may shorten the duration of restoration. Find out when to call a service that specializes in mitigation or a flood cleanup company.
Take Damage Management Measures
The primary goal of mitigation is to lessen the severity of damage in the hours after an incident. Depending on the cause of damage, any of the following measures may be helpful:
- Boarding up structural breaches
- Removing standing water
- Tarping over roof damage
Storm damage may introduce contaminated water into a structure. Once water has been removed, a restoration company can tear out ruined materials, clean, disinfect and dry the affected area.
Tear Out Ruined Materials
Flooding or a severe leak can destroy drywall and insulation. These substances are difficult to disinfect and pose an elevated mold risk. If a building manager or owner is not sure whether to attempt to clean or dispose of any materials, it is a good idea to consult a flood cleanup company.
Clean and Dry the Affected Area
Damage restoration professionals will use EPA-rated cleaning solutions and disinfectants to reduce the risk of mold in a structure damaged by a storm. Air movers, dehumidifiers or fans may be used to accelerate drying times.
Rebuild a Damaged Structure
Once a structure is clean and dry, restoration professionals can start to rebuild damage. Whereas mitigation takes place within hours or days, this part of the recovery process may take days or weeks.
A property owner may be able to take some preliminary steps toward mitigation, but professionals can act quickly to lessen the severity of damage. A flood cleanup company can pump out standing water, which is one of the most important mitigation measures after flooding or severe weather in Cape Coral, FL.
3 Key Steps to Take After a Fire
This office space was ravaged by a fire. SERVPRO does the heavy lifting for you, removing debris and restoring the affected area!
Businesses in Cape Coral, FL suffer a wide range of consequences after a fire: lost assets and equipment, damaged buildings and environmental hazards, just to name a few. Dealing with details and the interruption to your operations can feel overwhelming, but there are a few key steps you can take. Your insurance company, along with skilled fire restoration technicians, will play key roles in the aftermath of a blaze.
1. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Once you and your employees are safely accounted for and the flames are put out, your next phone call should be to your insurance company. The commercial property portion of your business policy provides the fire insurance coverage to handle your recent loss. Try to get as many details as possible ready before you get on the phone, but keep in mind that you’ll probably be in contact with an adjuster who’ll assess the destruction.
2. Hands Off Everything
For both safety and practical reasons, you should not touch any damaged or destroyed areas of your premises after a fire. Although it might be tempting to “rescue” equipment, furniture or even filing cabinets, keep in mind that your insurance adjuster needs to document the post-blaze state of your property.
3. Contact Cleanup and Restoration Services
After the flames have been put out, your premises likely suffer from smoke and fire damage as well as flooding and water damage from fire suppression efforts. An expert fire restoration company will assess what work must be done and then perform clean up to bring it back to its former condition. Typical services include board-up services for missing walls and windows, tarp-up on impacted roofs, water removal, smoke cleaning, and final cleaning and sanitizing.
Fire’s natural properties make it a destructive force that not only consumes but leaves lasting effects behind in its wake. Thankfully, a fire restoration professional in Cape Coral, FL can help your business on the path to recovery.
Fire Protection: What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage
If the fire was caused by your negligence, you might be liable for any damages you cause to other people or to the structure itself.
What Renters Can Expect From Their Coverage When It Comes To Fire Protection
Many tenants buy renter’s insurance to cover the cost of replacing their personal belongings if they are damaged or destroyed by an accident in the building where they live. Your coverage, however, may pay for much more than just item replacement. It’s important to talk to your agent, so you know just how much you can expect your insurance company to pay if the place you are renting in Cape Coral, FL, catches fire.
Part of the fire restoration process is determining which items can be cleaned and saved and which must be thrown away. Your insurance coverage should pay for:
- Cleaning costs
- Replacement costs
Make sure your policy states that it pays replacement cost rather than the actual cash value of your items. The purpose of insurance is to make you whole again, and replacing lost belongings is a good start.
If the fire was caused by your negligence, you might be liable for any damages you cause to other people or to the structure itself. Your renter’s insurance probably has a clause that protects you from legal costs. Your policy may cover damage to your neighbor’s belongings or the property itself, as well as cover medical bills of anyone injured in the fire if you bear some responsibility for its starting.
Fire restoration experts may work quickly, but there are probably going to be some nights that you are unable to stay in your rented space. Finding a temporary place to live can be expensive. Your insurance policy is likely to cover this as well. You can include your shelter needs as part of the fallout of the fire damage to your home when you file your claim.
Your renter’s insurance does cover the loss of your belongings, but it can also cover other losses. Your insurance agent can help you build a solid policy that takes all potential expenses of the fire into consideration.
6 Steps to Flush Your Water Heater
Your water heater needs regular care just like any other appliance in your home.
How to Flush Your Water Heater In 6 Easy Steps
A regular part of maintenance on your home in Bokeelia, FL, is periodic flushing of your water heater. It's a simple process, but taking safety precautions and making sure the water and sediment have a place to go are important. Water remediation experts recommend the following steps to avoid flooding your home.
1. Turn off Power
Before you begin the water heater flush, make sure all power is off. The pilot light on gas models should go out, and the circuit that supplies an electric model should be switched off.
2. Put on Gloves
As you may expect, water from the heater will be hot, so it's important to wear protective gear over your hands. Heavy duty work gloves protect you from getting burned.
3. Set up Drain Hose
Connect the hose you are using to the drain valve on your water heater. Place the other end of the hose in the area where you want the water and sediment to deposit.
4. Drain the Heater
Opening the drain valve allows water to flow through. You can turn on the hot water faucet in your kitchen to speed up the process. Flush it a couple of times to make sure all the sludge is gone and then close the valves to prepare to refill the heater.
5. Fill the Tank
Turn the water back on to fill the tank. You know it is filled when an open faucet goes from a weak to steady stream of water and no more air is coming out of the line.
6. Turn on Power
After confirming the tank is full, you can turn the power on without damaging the heater. Turning the power on lets the water inside it begin to heat up.
Your water heater needs regular care just like any other appliance in your home. Flushing the sediment out allows it to continue working efficiently.
3 Things You May Need To Throw Away After a Home Fire
Knowing that you may need to throw away, food and medication after a fire can help make the process of sorting through your belongings easier.
After A House Fire, There Are Three Things You May Need To Throw Away.
When a fire occurs in your home in Cape Coral, FL, the process of cleaning up can be daunting. Often, people are unsure of what to throw away. There are several types of items that are often damaged in fires, and they commonly need to be thrown out.
Cosmetics, even if they are packaged, generally need to be stored in clean, cool environments to remain in good condition. Unfortunately, high heat from a fire can cause the packaging of many items, and the items themselves, to melt. As a result, smoke and soot can easily damage the cosmetics, making them unsafe to use.
After a fire, it’s often best to throw away the majority of food items in your home. Though some items may be visibly damaged, especially if the fire occurred in the kitchen, some pieces of food may appear to be unharmed. However, even if items are canned or wrapped up, smoke and soot can still affect the quality of food, and consuming food that has been harmed by soot or smoke damage can be hazardous. If you’re unsure whether or not food has been harmed, it’s generally best to discard the item.
Many medications need to be stored in relatively cool environments, and some medications may need to be stored in a refrigerator. During a fire, the temperature in a house can quickly rise. The high heat from a fire can damage the overall quality of the medication, which can ultimately make the medication ineffective and unsafe to consume. If you can document the medications that need to be replaced, you may be able to receive compensation from your insurance company.
Knowing that you may need to throw away cosmetics, food and medication after a fire can help make the process of sorting through your belongings easier. Often, homeowners whose homes have sustained damage from fires find it useful to work with fire damage restoration experts.