What To Do Until Help Arrives: Water Damage
Last night, Hurricane Michael made its way through central Virginia causing heavy rains and winds. Thousands across the area have lost power and have experienced flooded basements, crawl spaces, fallen trees on homes and businesses. Water damages like these can impact your home or business if it’s not addressed quickly.
Luckily, SERVPRO of Richmond has the tools and man-power to address everyone’s issues as quickly as possible. However, since we cannot get to everyone at the same time, we can offer tips and measures to take while you wait for help to arrive.
What To Do Until Help Arrives:
- Shut off the source of water is possible
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
- Remove to a safe, dry place any painting, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture
- Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors
- Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
SERVPRO of Richmond will do everything to get to you as fast as possible and take care of your water damage. In the meantime, take these steps to safely save your affected furniture and personal items.
Fire Prevention Week
This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one:
Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
This week is an also an opportunity for local firefighters to visit schools and teach children the importance of fire safety. They want to make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your family safe. Firefighters are also encouraging smokers to make sure they throw out butts and ashes correctly because it only takes something small to spark a fire if the conditions are dry.
For more info please visit: http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Campaigns/Fire-Prevention-Week
Did you know SERVPRO of Richmond is a proud partner with the American Red Cross? According to the Red Cross, A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down tree and utility poles - causing widespread power outages.
WATCH vs. WARNING
Watch: Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area
Warning: Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.
- Learn about your local community’s emergency warning system for severe thunderstorms
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail
- Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a severe thunderstorm
- Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
- Protect your animals by ensuring that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home
Make Preparedness Kit
- Water—one gallon per person, per day
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation & personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family & emergency contact information
- Extra cash
Call SERVPRO of Richmond at 804.740.6151 if your home or business experiences damages from a storm. We have the resources to handle any size disaster.
There's a reason they say we are "Faster to any Disaster!"
For more information, visit the Red Cross website: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/thunderstorm
Biohazard cleanup is also known as crime scene cleanup or trauma scene cleanup. SERVPRO of Richmond's biohazard professionals provides this supportive service for victim’s families. During an emotional period for the customer, SERVPRO biohazard professionals have developed a keen sense of how to interact with the customer by providing a level of service victim's families need in a difficult situation. While the police and other responders may spend limited time with the family members, SERVPRO cleaning professionals work around the family longer, by performing the cleaning and restoration of the scene. By performing the cleaning and restoration, SERVPRO helps the family make a step beyond the tragedy, to hopefully carry on with their lives. Our staff is trained in all facets of property damage restoration, from training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
No Job Too Large
SERVPRO of Richmond has just begun a large project right here in our warehouse. A company was carrying 1,200 pallets from overseas into the US when the pallets were exposed to heavy moisture and water. Needless to say, these pallets sitting in moisture for an extended period of time began to produce growth.
Our team was able to come up with a game plan to handle a job this large. The process consisted of cleaning, remediating and re-wrapping all 1,200 pallets. A 60 x 30 containment area filled with air scrubbers was constructed inside our warehouse to perform the necessary measures to get these pallets cleaned and free of mold. It was important to build a containment area to keep the air scrubbers working efficiently in a confined space.
If you has a small patch of mold in your house or 1,200 pallets covered in mold, choose the professionals at SERVPRO of Richmond to handle your job the right way.
September is National Preparedness Month
September is recognized as National Preparedness Month to remind everyone that “we must all take action, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit,” (ready.gov).
With the recent flooding in Louisiana in mind, the last thing you want to worry about is how to communicate and what to do during a disaster like this horrific event that killed hundreds and left many families without homes.
What you can do:
- Make A Family Plan – you may not be together with your family during a disaster.
- Set up emergency alerts from local officials
- Discuss family plans for disasters and plan where to go for safety.
- Collect information on paper including, phone numbers, emails, social media, medical facilities, doctors, service providers, school
- Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection and if you have pets think about animal-friendly locations
- Take Action – ensure you can go for at least 3 days without electricity, water service, access to supermarket, or other local services
- Prepare a disaster supply kit (water, food, battery-powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, local maps)
- Bookmark weather.gov to stay informed on severe weather
- Learn about wireless emergency alerts, messages that will be sent to your phone during an emergency
Consider the following disasters that can occur at any time: Learn more about hazards which can affect your community and ways you can take action to prepare.
- Earthquakes – can occur suddenly and be deadly. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
- Floods - Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere.
- Hurricanes - have the power to cause widespread devastation, and can affect both coastal and inland areas.
- Tornadoes - are one of nature’s most violent storms, and can cause death, injury, and destruction within seconds.
- Wildfires - can occur anywhere and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture.
The Truth is, It's Everywhere
Let’s face it, mold is everywhere. It can be found indoors and outdoors. It can enter your home or business through windows, vents and HVAC systems. Mold from outdoors can attach to clothing, shoes, pets and can be carried indoors. It grows anywhere, especially where there is moisture. And the worst part is, it can cause a variety of health effects. Children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems are more likely to suffer the effects mold can have.
Mold’s Best Friend:
Water. Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours
Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation
Because mold is everywhere, removing all mold from your home or business is impossible. A qualified restoration company understand the science behind mold and mold growth and knows how to remediate the problem area. So what do you do when you find mold growth in your home or business?
- Step 1: Contact SERVPRO of Richmond 804.740.6151
- Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Step 3: Mold Containment
- Step 4: Air Filtration
- Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
- Step 7: Restoration
Commercial Cleaning Services in Richmond
If you are a business owner, or run a particular business that receives a lot of visitors and foot-traffic, you know how important it is to keep your business looking clean and in good shape. A lot of times, you don't have the time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office.
When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of Richmond for prompt service. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.
SERVPRO of Richmond offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:
- Air Ducts and HVAC
- Biohazard and Sewage
- Trauma and Crime Scene
- Carpet and Upholstrey
- Drapes and Blinds
- Ceilings, Walls and Hard Floors
- Odor Removal and Deordorization
ERP for Your Commercial Building
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a free assessment of your commercial facility. It is designed to give you all the information you need in an event of an emergency. Our SERVPRO of Richmond Marketing Representatives will come to your facility and record the details and information on their iPads such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. It will also identify the line of command for authorizing work to begin as well as establishing who to call in case of an emergency. Our marketing representative will take pictures of all exits, stairwells, elevators, electrical room, alarm location, water and gas shut off locations and many other detailed information.
The ERP can be accessed through the free mobile app that can be downloaded from the app store. We will also print out a copy of the ERP, if requested, so you always have a hard copy in reach at your office. This service that we provide our clients is has proven to be very help in a fire or water disaster.
Call SERVPRO of Richmond today to inquire about an Emergency Ready Profile for your facility! This free assessment of your building will help save you time in an event of a disaster and established SERVPRO of Richmond as your fire and water mitigation and reconstruction provider!
Top 5 Most Common Causes of House Fires
Here are top 5 most common causes of house fires as identified by the National Fire Protection Association.
From 2007-2011, the NFPA says there were an average of 10,630 fires in the U.S. that were started by candles, causing 115 deaths, 903 injuries and approximately $418 million in property damage. That is an average of 29 candle fires per day.
- Never leave a candle burning near flammable items.
- Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
- Make sure candles fit securing into candle holders so they won’t tip over.
- Blow out any candles before leaving a room or going to sleep
While the number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, the NFPA found that there were still an average of 17,600 related fires per year resulting in 490 deaths and more than $516 million in property damage.
- If you smoke, consider smoking outside.
- Use wide, sturdy ashtrays to catch butts and ashes.
- Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions to make sure no lit butts have fallen someplace where they can’t be seen.
- Don’t smoke in bed, when you’re tired or around medical oxygen.
- Electrical & Lighting
According to the NFPA, in 2011 approximately 47,700 home structure fires were caused by some sort of electrical failure or malfunction. These resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage.
- Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
- Make sure you have the right cord for the job – inside cords for inside, heavy duty/outside cords for outdoor use.
- Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when not at home.
- Consider having an electrician perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.
- Dryers & Washing Machines
Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage.
- Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
- For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
- Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
- Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.
From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.
- Stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
- Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
- Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
- Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm.
You experience a fire in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Richmond at 804.740.6151