Things To Throw Away After a Fire
Fires in your home are always a traumatic and overwhelming experience. Once the fire department leaves and it’s time for cleanup to begin, it can sometimes be difficult to know what items are okay to keep or can be salvaged, and what items should be thrown away. Here are some things that should always be thrown away and replaced.
Cosmetics – Heat can alter the composition of the makeup and melt or damage the containers that they come in. In addition, soot, ash, or fire extinguishing chemicals can make their way into the cosmetics and then onto your skin if you use them.
Medicine – Similarly to cosmetics the heat can alter the composition of the medications and change their effectiveness or have potentially harmful effects. It’s also possible for the soot and ash to get inside the bottles and you don’t want to ingest these should they get on your medications.
Perishable food – All perishable foods should be thrown away. It is possible that things in your fridge or freezer are okay, but if there is any evidence that the power was lost or if the room affected was the kitchen those should be thrown away as well.
Non-Perishable food – Despite the fact that non perishables typically are in containers like aluminum cans it is still possible that they can be ruined if exposed to a fire. The heat can cause bacteria to grow or damage the cans, and soot/smoke can still penetrate the can and spoil the foods. If there are any signs that your non-perishables were exposed to heat or smoke, they should be thrown out.
Charred clothing, bedding, upholstery – Any of these items that are visually burned are unfortunately not salvageable. Despite cleaning them it may not be possible to completely remove any odors or contaminants from the items.
Furniture and mattresses – Smoke and soot can easily penetrate soft and porous items like these and they are very difficult to clean completely. It can be nearly impossible to remove smoke odors from furniture and beds, and thus it’s best to just get rid of them.
If you experience a fire in your home, our team is IICRC certified in fire damage restoration and can help walk you through your affected items to help you decide what can and cannot be salvaged. SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico is available 24/7, 365 days a year for all of your emergency fire damage needs.
SERVPRO Does Board-up Services
Storms, trees and even vandalism can lead to some serious damages to your property. In the event that you should find your business with broken windows or a damaged roof, did you know that SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico offers board-up and roof tarping services?
It is crucial that you address any of these damages as soon as possible to help prevent any further harm to your property. Broken windows and roof damage can leave the inside of your building exposed to the elements or even intruders. SERVPRO technicians will come out to your property to assess the situation and decide what needs to be done to help secure your building.
Upon arrival our team of professionals will inspect your building and be sure to identify all of the damaged areas that need to be addressed. Next, we will clean up any debris left behind due to the damage and take measurements of the areas that need covered. Then we use approved board-up techniques to help minimize further damage and secure your home or business from weather, animals, and illegal entry.
After the board-up is complete we can also do an assessment of your interior materials and personal property in order to advise next steps. SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico offers turn-key service, meaning that from the initial damage assessment to full repairs we can handle it all. You won’t need to deal with multiple companies to handle your property damage! Our team is available 24/7, 365 days a year for emergency services, so give us a call and let us know what we can do for you. We’re here to help!
What To Do If There's a Leak Under Your Sink
One of the areas of your home that are most prone to experiencing leaks is the kitchen, and water coming out from underneath your sink is something you never want to experience as a homeowner. It’s crucial that you know what to do should you find your sink to be leaking in order to help mitigate more damage from occurring. Here are the steps that you should follow in the event of a leak in your kitchen.
- Shut off the water – Leaks under your sink are usually coming from your water pipes, and if you do not shut off the water to your house or at least to just the sink, then water could continue to leak out and spread around your home. It’s best to cut the main water source off until you’ve figured out the source of the leak.
- Household Items – Once you’ve stopped the source of the leak you can start to protect your home and belongings from any further damage. Move any items that could come into contact with the water off the floor or out of the room to keep them dry.
- Excess Water – Use towels or a mop to start removing any standing water off your floors.
- Insurance – Call your insurance company to inform them about the water damage. They’ll be able to tell you what your policy covers and the next steps to take in fixing your home.
- Call a Professional Restoration Service – Water damage mitigation and restoration should be left to trained professionals. With state-of-the-art equipment and constant training, SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico technicians are able to dry out your home in the most efficient way possible. Without the use of professional equipment, it can be easy to miss hidden wet spots that if left unchecked can cause even further damage to your home.
Water damage is one of the more costly events that could happen to your home. The key to helping reduce both the damage done and the cost to fix it is in acting as quickly as possible. The faster your home is dried out the less damage the water can cause, making restoration efforts easier as well. Calling a water damage restoration company should be one of the first things that you do after discovering a leak in your home, our team is available 24/7, 365 days a year to help make your water damage “Like it never even happened.”
Warm weather is finally here and what better way to spend some time outside with friends and family than with a cookout! Grilling food is always a great time but it’s important to make sure that you take the proper safety precautions to avoid any accidents!
1) Your grill should be placed away from your house. If placed too close to your home the heat from the grill can damage your siding or worse if the flames get out of control, light your house on fire. For these same reasons you should not place your grill on your patio or deck, as well as underneath a roof or overhang.
2) Cleaning your grill regularly is an important part of grill safety. Leftover grease and food scraps on a grill can build up and become a fire hazard. If you use a wire brush to clean your grill, be sure to check that the brush isn’t damaged as you don’t want to leave any metal bristles behind to get in your food.
3) Never use a grill indoors or in an enclosed area. Grills produce carbon monoxide when lit and if used in an area without proper ventilation you can get carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s also a fire hazard.
4) Inspecting your grill should be done along with cleaning before each use. If your grill uses propane be sure that the tank is not damaged and all the lines are properly secured with no leaks.
5) When it’s time to put the grill away make sure that you give it time to cool off first. Grill covers are made of plastic and can melt or catch on fire if the grill is still too hot. In addition, if you use a charcoal grill be sure to dispose of the ashes in a metal container and store them away from your home. Ashes from a grill can still catch on fire.
Everyone loves to spend time outside and grilling food for your friends and family is a great way to do that. As long as you follow the proper safety procedures you can help to ensure that no emergencies will happen. If you do however have a fire emergency due to your grill this summer SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico is here to help! Our team of highly trained technicians are available 24/7, 365 days a year to help make your fire damage “Like it never even happened.”
The Dangers of a Storm Surge
Hurricanes can cause damage in a number of different ways. Perhaps the most damaging and dangerous of which is the storm surge, but what is a storm surge? These events are when there is a large rise of water due to a storm that is above what was predicted for high tide. These surges push water inland where it normally wouldn’t be flooding homes and businesses and causing a vast amount of damage. Often these surges of water linger and take days to subside after the storm, leaving behind mud, sewage, and other harmful contaminants wherever they touched. In addition to the extensive water damage caused by days of exposure. Millions of homes are at risk of damage from storm surges each hurricane season in almost 20 states. One of the most notable storm surge events was in hurricane Katrina. Some affected areas were left under more than 25 feet of water, which is enough to completely submerge an average sized two-story home. It’s important to recognize the dangers that these storm events pose and to make sure that you follow your local government’s instructions during them in order to keep you and your family safe.
If your home sustains water damage from a storm surge or any other storm related event, SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico is here to help. As leaders in the industry and as part of the SERVPRO Disaster Response Team we know first hand the destructive forces of large storms and work diligently to help get your lives back to normal.
How Water Can Affect Your Home
When you experience water or flood damage in your Richmond home there are many different ways that the water can cause damage. SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico knows that dealing with these losses can be incredibly stressful and we waned to share with you some common water or flood damages to look out for in your home and how the water can affect the different aspects of your home.
Appliances – Electrical appliances can short out when they get wet and gas appliances could be compromised/damaged and leak gas into your home. Be sure to have all appliances cleaned and inspected by a professional before using them again.
Flood Coverings – After severe water damage like a flood, most things like carpet, laminate, or vinyl will need to be removed and replaced. This is particularly true with any backings made of absorbent materials like foam. Small or valuable rugs and are possibly salvageable if treated immediately by a professional.
HVAC – There are multiple aspects to your HVAC. First, the actual units can be flooded with water and electrical components can be damaged. If the flooding is severe enough dirt and mud can be left behind and clog up the system. These should be looked at and thoroughly cleaned by a professional to ensure that they are properly functioning and don’t need repairs. Second, the vents and ducting in your home should be inspected. Contaminants can get into the vents and ducts, and they will need to be cleaned before these harmful materials are blown throughout the home.
Drywall – This kind of material is incredibly porous and absorbs a lot of water. Any affected areas should be removed as even if fully dry, because of how porous they are they can remain contaminated.
Insulation – Fiberglass and cellulose insulation that has gotten wet is considered to be contaminated and should be completely removed and replaced. Foam sheets may be able to get cleaned and put back.
Wood – There are many different kinds of wood in your home and their ability to be repaired or need to be replaced depends on what kind. Hard wood: Furniture and other materials made of solid wood and warp and crack when they absorb water but otherwise have the potential to be saved if dried out quickly and properly. Particleboard & Laminated Wood: Water or flood damage in particleboard and laminate can lead to separation of the pieces and weakening of the structure and will likely need replaced.
Framing and Structural Materials - These materials are made of solid wood and if dried out properly and disinfected should likely not need to be replaced as long as these issues are addressed quickly.
Pipes and Wires – Flood waters can shift pipes and break them or damage electrical sockets and disconnect wires. If these items are damaged in your home, repairs should always be left to a knowledgeable professional to avoid injury or further damage to your home.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways that water can damage your home. While you may feel like it is possible to address these issues yourself, without the proper knowledge it is easy to cause more damage and you could potentially harm yourself. If you’ve experienced water damage in your Richmond area home, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our SERVPRO team is here to help 24/7, 365 days a year.
What To Do If Your Toilet Overflows
One of the more common sources of water damage in your home is from an overflowing toilet. They can get clogged, a septic system can stop draining, a sewer line back up could occur, and other causes too. Regardless of the cause it is important to address these issues immediately.
Addressing the source – As soon as you notice that the toilet is overflowing you should shut off the water. If you know the cause of the overflow is a clogged toilet you can try to unclog it yourself with a plunger, but otherwise you should call a plumber to get the source of the unwanted water fixed. Do not try and flush your toilet again until you’re positive that the overflow is fixed.
Water Cleanup – Toilet overflows are a more difficult type of water damage to clean up as the water is often either grey or black water. This is because toilet water often contains sewage and other contaminants that can make you sick.
Special equipment and materials should be used to clean and sanitize the areas affected. These cleanups should always be handled by professionals with the proper gear to make sure that there is no additional contamination and that the cleanup efforts are done in a safe manor. Regular household cleaning materials are inadequate to fully sanitize an area that has been affected by sewage.
Damage Assessment – When it comes to figuring out the extent of the water damage that has occurred there are a lot of factors.
One of the main factors is the materials that were used to build out your bathroom. Different types of flooring are more susceptible to damage. While some floors are able to be dried out if the damage is not significant, it’s possible that the flooring will need to be completely removed and replaced. The location of the bathroom can also affect the damage caused. If the bathroom is on an upper level of the house, there could be damage in between the floors or even in the ceiling of the level below. Additionally, if the source of the damage was grey or black water, much of the items that have absorbed any of the water should be disposed of.
Dealing with water damage from a toilet can be particularly difficult. You should never try and deal wit these kinds of water damages on your own as it can pose a risk to your health. Call SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico and let our team of highly trained water damage mitigation professionals handle it.
What Happens if Water is Not Cleaned Up Properly?
When you experience water damage in your home or business it can be tempting to want to try and address it yourself to avoid the costs of paying a restoration company or dealing with your insurance, but it’s important to understand the risks in trying to DIY your water damage.
Water gets everywhere. When your refrigerator water line leaks or a bathroom tub overflows, the damage isn’t limited to just what you see. Water seeps into cracks, gets absorbed into the flooring and behind walls, belongings get wet, and essentially anything that the water touches is affected. Depending on the extent of the leak it can be nearly impossible to ensure that everything is properly dried out just from a visual inspection.
The biggest issue with this is that water will continue to damage your property until it is dried out. Left unchecked, these hidden moisture pockets can cause:
- Discoloring of your walls or floors
- Musty odors or mold issues
- Warped flooring or carpet separation
- Structural Deterioration
SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico is a leader in the restoration industry. Our team is IICRC certified in water damage mitigation and restoration services and uses the latest technology and techniques to ensure that your property is thoroughly dried out and there are no hidden areas left behind. If your home or business suffers from water damage don’t leave it up to chance, give us a call and let us know how we can help!
Portable Outdoor Heater Safety
Everyone loves to spend time outside but during the winter months as the temperatures drop it can be difficult to do. Many people will enlist the help of portable heaters and fires to keep them warm. These activities are perfectly safe to do as long as you understand that they are also fire hazards. Luckily, as long as you take the proper safety precautions these hazards can be reduced greatly:
- Follow all manufacturer’s instructions for usage of fuel and fire starters.
- Portable heaters should only be filled with the recommended fuel types
- Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids in fire pits or campfires
- Propane for heaters should always be stored properly
- Always be present
- Never leave a portable heater running unattended, if you have to step away even for a moment turn it off and turn it back on when you return
- If you have a fire, you should keep a bucket of water or a hose within reach while the fire is lit
- When you put a fire out, stir the ashes around and make sure that all of the embers are extinguished and there aren’t any buried that are still smoldering
- Be mindful of placement
- Portable heaters need to be placed on a level surface in a spot where they won’t be bumped or knocked over
- Fire pits should be at least 10 feet away from your house
- Watch children and pets and make sure they stay a safe distance from any heat sources
- If you’re having a campfire the fire should be at least 25 feet from structures or anything that can burn, and always check for overhanging branches
Following these tips will allow you and your family to enjoy being outdoors, even when it gets cold, while still remaining safe.
Why Choose IICRC Restoration Professionals
Here at SERVPRO of Richmond and SERVPRO of Henrico we know that when it comes to your home or business there’s nothing more important than the quality of work you receive. Our team studies hard to ensure that they’re up to date on the latest industry standards and techniques and are constantly working to further their restoration knowledge.
Some of our team recently took part in a weeklong IICRC training on Fire and Water restoration before taking their tests to get officially IICRC certified. When you need restoration work done on your property, you can count on SERVPRO to be there with the tools to make it happen. Our team of professionals is ready for your call 24/7, 365 days a year. Please let us know how we can help you make it “Like it never even happened.”