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Flood Preparation Tips for Homeowners

1/20/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded House. If you live in Clearfield, UT, bear in mind these tips in case of heavy storms and floods.

A heavy storm can lead to an invasion of flood water into your home. Before this happens, it's important to plan how you are going to handle it. The following tips not only can protect your house but also keep you and your family safe from risks associated with flooding.

Important tips to consider in case of heavy storms and floods

Gather Emergency Supplies

A natural disaster can result in loss of power or clean water. If this happens, you will need a few emergency supplies. While you can adjust your supply list to your family's specific needs, there are a few essential items that should be included in every emergency stash:

  • Nonperishable food items in sealed, waterproof containers
  • Bottled water
  • First aid kit
  • Essential medications
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Personal protective equipment

Create a Flood Response Plan

Everyone in your family needs to know what to do if your home floods during a storm. Knowing when it's ok to stay and when you need to leave is crucial. Map out the best ways to get out of your home if the door is obstructed, and make sure everyone knows what is expected of them. It's easier to respond quickly to evacuation mandates if you already have a well-practiced plan in place.

Keep Drainage System Clear

Nothing leads to a flooded building faster than a deluge with no other place to go. Clean out your gutters and downspouts regularly to keep them clear of dirt, twigs and other debris. Make sure your drainage system directs flood water away from the foundation of your home rather than toward it.

Protect Important Belongings

You don't have to wait until the storm hits to protect your valuables. It's a good idea to always store important or delicate items on higher shelves or in the upper level of your home, especially important during storm season. Keep original copies of vital documents such as birth certificates, the deeds to your home and cars and other essential papers in water resistant containers. Digitize as many of your records as possible so that you don't lose the information if water restoration specialists can't salvage the paper copies.

Purchase Flood Prevention Equipment

You may not be able to completely avoid storm damage, but with the right equipment you can minimize it. A sump pump in your basement is a great line of defense against flooding. Even items as simple as sandbags can create a barrier between your home and rushing water.

Be Aware of Your Home's Flood Risk

Your flood plan is only as good as your risk awareness. If your home in Clearfield, UT is in a flood plain, you definitely need a separate flood policy as part of your insurance coverage. Even if the area where you live is not prone to flooding, a lawn that slopes toward your house rather than away from it or a lack of barriers between runoff and your foundation can cause significant problems during a storm. Knowing your risk level can help you take the necessary precautions to avoid or minimize water damage to your home.

There is a lot you can do to protect your home from damage due to flood water. Good preparation can help you weather even the strongest storm.

6 Tips for Dealing With a Water Damaged Wood Floor

1/14/2022 (Permalink)

Wet Floor. Bear in mind these 6 tips for dealing with a water damaged Wood Floor in Clearfield, UT.

Getting any kind of flooring wet is not ideal, but water damage from a pipe burst or other source can be particularly damaging to wood floors due to the porous nature of the material. These tips can help you minimize the damage to your wood flooring.

How To Save Your Wood Floor From Water Damage

Drying your wet floor quickly is the most important thing you can do to reduce the amount of damage. These are some steps you can take:

1. Remove Wet Objects From the Floor

Wet objects, such as rugs and furniture, can continue to leech moisture into the floor. They may also develop mold and mildew that can infiltrate the seams and pores of your flooring. Remove all wet items and place them in an area, such as outside, where they can dry without damaging the floor.

2. Clean Up As Much Water as Possible

If you are dealing with a small spill, you can absorb the water with mops, towels and clean rags. For larger spills, such as a pipe burst, use a wet vacuum and run it until you no longer see any new water being pulled into the canister. If you don't have a wet vacuum, you may be able to rent one in Clearfield, UT.

3. Clean the Surface of the Wood

Debris and dirt in the pores of the floor can retain water and bacteria that may damage your floors. Clean the floor with a disinfecting cleaner that does not make suds. Use a soft-bristled scrub brush. After you have cleaned the floor, run the wet vacuum another time to remove any water and then use a wood floor cleaner to remove any leftover disinfectant. Rinse the floor and dry it one more time.

4. Thoroughly Dry the Wood

Even if your floor appears to be completely dry, there may be water that has penetrated the plank that can not be removed with a wet vacuum. Put a dehumidifier in the middle of the room and run it for at least 24 hours to help dry the floor. Position fans around the room to blow air across the surface of the floor. If the damaged floor is on an upper level, place fans on the level below and aim them at the ceiling to help dry out the subfloor. If the weather is dry, you can open doors and windows to increase air circulation.

5. Check for Mold

Mold can begin to develop 24 to 48 hours after water damage. Inspect the floor for signs of mold growth. If you believe you have a mold problem, consider contacting a mold remediation company to address the mold issue before it gets worse.

6. Test for Moisture

Use a moisture testing meter to check for any moisture remaining in the wood. It may take several weeks for your floor to completely dry out. Continue to run your dehumidifier and fans until no moisture remains.

The longer you wait to dry out your flooring after a pipe burst or other water damage occurs, the more damage your floor is likely to sustain. Taking quick action can prevent unnecessary damage.

How To Restore Your Business After a Fire

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a room and staircase damaged with soot and fire. Fire Damage in Clearfield, UT.

Coping with the aftermath of a fire on your commercial property may feel overwhelming at first. Not only do you have to deal with the destruction caused by the fire itself, but there might also be smoke damage, water damage, and troublesome soot left behind. Fortunately, things are not always as bad as they seem, and restoration is often possible. Here are a few steps to getting your business up and running again after a fire.  

3 Steps to Restore Your Business After a Fire.

 1. Evaluate the Damage

The first step is to develop a plan of action for the repairs. Calling a commercial fire restoration expert is the best way to ensure that any fire damage, smoke damage, or water damage is properly attended to. Trained professionals know what to look for and how to handle many common issues that occur after a fire. In addition to crafting a cleanup plan, they will take measures to prevent future damage. This includes boarding up destroyed windows and doors, as well as covering up holes in the siding or roof.

2. Water Removal

Oftentimes fire hoses leave excess water in the building. Water removal should be done promptly in order to prevent mold growth or more severe structural degradation. Restoration specialists begin by eliminating any standing water. Next, they use a combination of fans, dehumidifiers, and air movers to fully dry out the space.

3. Clearing Smoke and Soot

Dealing with soot damage and lingering smoke is one of the most important parts of fire cleanup. Soot and smoke may penetrate into linens, carpets, furniture, and other products. They can even damage paint or drywall. Open windows to ventilate the area as well as possible, and use gloves to remove any burned debris. Smoke cleaning and soot removal are best completed with professional help. A restoration company will utilize specialized techniques and tools to remove odor and residue.

Whether you need assistance with smoke damage, water removal, or cleaning and restoration, certified fire damage specialists in Clearfield, UT, are never more than a phone call away. Time is of the essence when restoring your business after a fire, so choose the pros who are Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Fire Alarm Essentials: How Many and Where To Put Them

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Alarm Prevent residential fire in your Clearfield, UT home by following these important tips.

A house fire is among the top fears of existing homeowners. The thoughts of devastation, damage, injury, and loss are enough to set shivers down the spine of even the most prepared owner, even those who have a fire alarm in every recommended space.

These important tips will help you to prevent Residential Fire

Smoke and fire detectors are essential protective devices for the home. Unfortunately, many people either do not see the significance of the products or have fewer alarms than they should.

Talk to a restoration service in Clearfield, UT, to learn more about the number of detectors needed for your home and about proper placement. The general areas of concern include:

  • Bedrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Laundry rooms
  • Basements
  • Attics

The Fire Alarm: Quantity and Placement

Fires move at various speeds, dependent on what is feeding the fire. Fire and smoke detectors can provide homeowners with valuable insight into the movements of the fire, allowing for a quicker and safer escape. Additionally, the sooner a family receives an alert, the sooner they can call for help or use fire extinguishers to eliminate the threat, resulting in less structural and smoke damage.

However, without the adequate number and placement of alarms, your house and family are at risk of damage and injury.

Understanding how the size of your home and the number of rooms affects your decisions will help ensure your family stays safe in an emergency.

How Many Fire Alarms Do You Need?

While the primary reason for alarms is not to prevent fire damage, it can be a natural side effect of having an adequate number of devices in your home. Because families are alerted to danger quickly, fire response is sped up as well, resulting in less damage. However, for a rapid response, you need to ensure enough fire alarms in your home. How many will depend on the size of your home and the number of bedrooms and levels.

You typically want one alarm in each bedroom and one on every floor. You might also want an alarm in high-risk areas like kitchens and laundry rooms. The bare minimum recommendation is one detector per 500 square feet, with no more than 30 feet between each.

Where Should You Install Fire Alarms?

Fire alarms need to be in high traffic and low traffic areas of the home. For instance, while you might not use your basement or attic that often, fires can start in each location, leading to significant damage.

Additionally, you need the alarms to be where you can hear them. Interconnected alarms are often suggested because they alert a family to a fire's location wherever they are in the home. The best placement for alarms is anywhere fire is possible, and anywhere someone can hear it. Therefore, bedrooms, kitchens, laundry areas, basements, garages, attics, etc.

A fire alarm is a necessary safety device, and every family should have the appropriate number of alarms for their house. If you are not sure how many alarms are needed for your home or the best placement for those alarms, contact your local fire department of a fire mitigation service for help.

The 4 Stages of Keeping Your Business Running After a Flood

12/19/2021 (Permalink)

Storm damage in Clearfield, UT. The ceiling of a building damaged with water after heavy rains.

After a storm hits Clearfield, UT, your business may be flooded. Repairs with even the most efficient water damage specialists can take some time, and your business needs to keep running while they are in progress. Having a business continuity plan is essential to keeping your business going and your income flowing. Here are the four stages of constructing a plan that will help you weather storm damage to your building.

4 Stages of a Plan to Keep Your Business Running After Storm Damage

  1. Analysis

The first thing you must do is identify essential services and what you need to make them happen. Develop and distribute business impact analysis questionnaires to all personnel. Then conduct follow-up interviews to make sure your information is correct and that nothing is missing.

  1. Strategies

It is likely that your BIA will reveal discrepancies between what you would need in a flooding situation and what you are currently capable of doing should your business flood tomorrow. A recovery strategy team should be formed to come up with and implement strategies to eliminate those discrepancies.

  1. Plan

The third stage is formulating your business continuity plan. Divide the labor among recovery teams. Make decisions regarding relocation. Confirm that you have an information and document recovery system in place so that essential resources are protected. With management approval, write down the details of the plan.

  1. Practice

A plan is only as good as its execution, so it's important to test your plan. Train everyone involved, and give it a practice run. Take careful notes to document what works and what doesn't so that you can fix problems before you have to put the plan into action for real.

Once you have gathered information, omitted shortcomings, drafted a business continuity plan, and tested the plan, you can rest assured that stormy weather is unlikely to be your company's undoing. By being prepared for potential problems, you protect yourself and your employees.

How To Handle a Leaky Faucet

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Leaky faucet. Repair your leaky faucet as soon as possible to avoid water damage in your Clearfield, UT home.

A leaky faucet may seem like a minor annoyance, but it can cause a spike in the utility bill as well as significant water damage if it is allowed to persist. Knowing how to fix a leaking faucet, therefore, is a useful skill for homeowners in Clearfield, UT. Here are some simple steps to follow to ensure that you do the job correctly.

3 Steps to Handle a Leaky Faucet

1. Repair Water Damage

A dripping faucet is likely a sign of a mechanical problem, and that means the water may not just be dripping into the sink and flowing safely down the drain. Faucet repair should start with assessing the damage to the surrounding cabinet. If there is a problem, call local water restoration professionals such as SERVPRO. SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies for several reasons:

  • 24-hour emergency response
  • Certified technicians
  • Service warranties
  • Easy-to-access Claims Information Center

To fix the issue, technicians must turn the water off to the faucet. Then they tear out damaged materials and rebuild the cabinet. Once the damage is repaired, it's time to fix the faucet to prevent future problems.

2. Identify the Problem

There are many issues that can cause a leaking faucet. In a compression faucet, the seat washer may need to be replaced. A ball faucet includes various components such as O-rings, cam washers, valve seats, and springs, that could be faulty. If you have a cartridge faucet, the O-ring is the likely culprit. Once you have identified the part that is causing the problem, you simply replace it and reassemble the faucet in the reverse of the order you used to take it apart.

Sometimes, all that you need to do is tighten a part of the faucet's mechanism. Most homeowners already have the tools to do this at home. If you need a part or a tool, you can typically find it at the local hardware store.

3. Know When To Ask for Help

If you can't find the problem or the steps you take don't fix it, it is time to call the plumber. Finding a certified professional to take care of the issue does more than just restore the use of the faucet in a timely manner. It also helps you avoid further water damage that occurs due to an unresolved issue.

Filing an insurance claim for water damage can be tricky. It's even more difficult when the problem is exacerbated by poor repair decisions. If you can achieve a fixed leak, that's great. However, if your efforts don't yield the necessary results, you could set yourself up for a large out-of-pocket expense if your mistakes lead to further damage. Knowing when to admit you need help can save you a lot of time and money.

Fixing a leaking faucet is usually easier than it seems. Once you learn how all the parts fit together, reassembling the fixture with new parts is no problem. The bigger issue is often the water damage resulting from the leak. A quick call to SERVPRO, however, gets the affected area repaired and restored in no time.

Will Filing an Insurance Claim Raise My Rates?

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

An umbrella protecting a house and a car. File an insurance claim only when it is essential to avoid increased rates.

Homeowners' insurance exists to provide financial protection for homeowners against catastrophic damage to their homes. However, many homeowners fear that filing an insurance claim may cause their rates to go up. This isn't always the case.

How an Insurance Claim Affects Your Rates

Insurance premiums are primarily based on risk. For homeowners insurance, insurance companies consider both the risks associated with the policyholder and the property being insured. Several factors can affect insurance rates:

  • Value of your home
  • Your credit history
  • Age of your home
  • Location of your home
  • Materials your home is constructed from
  • Your claims history
  • Your marital status

Homes that are worth more money and cost more to replace usually cost more to insure. Insurance companies also consider location-based risk factors, such as weather conditions and proximity to water sources. Homes that are made out of materials that better withstand fires, wind and other perils may cost less to insure. Finally, the fewer claims you have filed and the less those claims cost your insurance company, the less you are likely to pay.

Why Claims History Matters

Past behavior often predicts future behavior. Policyholders who have filed claims in the past are more likely to file claims in the future. However, the type of claim, how long ago the claim was filed and the cause of the damage also has an impact on whether filing a new claim will increase your rates.

Claims That Are Likely To Increase Your Rates

Insurance companies consider some types of claims to be a greater indicator of a high risk of additional claims than others. Dog bites, water damage, personal injury claims, and mold claims fall into this category.

Claims That Are Less Likely To Cause a Rate Increase

Small homeowners' claims, such as minor water damage caused by a pipe burst, may not result in rate increases unless you make a lot of them. If the insurance company determines that you are filing a lot of small claims because you are not properly maintaining your home, they may increase your rates or refuse to renew your policy.

Typical Rate Increases

A typical claim may result in a rate increase of 20% to 40%. Your rates may remain higher for several years and then go back down if you do not file additional claims. Some insurance companies may not raise rates for a first claim or claims under a certain dollar amount.

When To File a Claim

If you have a home flood or other major disaster, you may have no other choice than to file a claim. It probably does not make financial sense to pay for large amounts of damage out of pocket when you have insurance. For smaller claims, such as the cost to hire a remediation company in Clearfield, UT, to clean up a minor mold problem, you should weigh the cost of paying for the damage out of pocket versus the potential increase in your insurance rates.

Purchasing insurance won't do you much good if you are afraid to ever file an insurance claim. However, making wise decisions about which claims to file can help keep premiums low.

Dealing With Toilet Overflow

11/12/2021 (Permalink)

Toilet Avoid toilet floods in your Clearfield, UT home.

When a toilet floods your home in Clearfield, UT, it is unlikely that you are dealing with clean water that can just be sopped up with a towel. To properly mitigate sewer damage, you will need to take certain precautions and enlist the help of certified sewer cleanup experts.

5 Steps for Dealing With Toilet Overflow

  1. Protection

Safety is the first thing you should consider. Because the water from a flooded toilet is a Category 3 contaminant, it is imperative that you keep pets and children away from the area. Do not enter it yourself unless you are wearing protective gear, such as coveralls, goggles, a face mask, and rubber boots.

  1. Air Flow

Fresh air can displace the microbes that are in the affected area’s airspace. If possible, open a window to increase ventilation. Avoid using your HVAC system to do so, however, as this simply allows the airborne germs resulting from sewer damage to spread to other parts of your home.

  1. Sewage Removal

The team from the sewage company will remove the water from the area. All items such as rugs or linens that the water touched must be removed as well.

  1. Drying

After the standing water is removed, all surfaces must be dried. If the contaminated water has seeped into the floors or wall, it will likely need to be replaced with dry, undamaged materials.

  1. Disinfection

The final step is making sure everything is clean. Mitigation professionals use special detergents and other methods to clean the remaining surfaces in the room as well as any items that can be salvaged. No item can return to your home unless it can be restored properly.

Sewer damage requires swift attention and remediation. Start with the appropriate safety measures and make sure all the appropriate steps of the cleanup process are taken. With a prompt call to certified experts, you can get your bathroom restored relatively quickly.

Avoid Lawsuits and Negative Mold Insurance Claims

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

Lawsuit. Be sure to make proper maintenance in your Clearfield, UT property to avoid lawsuits from tenants.

Property owners are responsible for providing a safe environment that is free from unreasonable risks. For example, if a client or tenant trips and is injured because of the related fall, the property owner may be held liable for the costs associated with the accident. Unfortunately, there are many types of conditions that could be considered dangerous:

  • Uneven steps
  • Slippery floors
  • Falling items
  • Lack of lighting
  • Limited security
  • Defective appliances

As the owner or manager of a commercial property, you could find yourself liable for any injuries that occur because of these conditions, as well as others. A lot of property maintenance issues are easy to spot and recognize, but some are less obvious, such as mold growth. The consequences of missing signs of mold often include mold insurance claims and lawsuits from tenants.

Potential Mold Insurance Claims and Lawsuits

The rules governing when and how a lawsuit can be filed vary from state to state, but most states maintain an implied warranty of habitability, meaning that property owners and managers are required to maintain the building and make sure it is safe, livable, and workable. If you fail to provide adequate care and maintenance for the property and mold causes damage, tenants can sue.

Non-Disclosure

If you knew that mold or related damage was present and you didn't warn disclose this to the tenant, you may face a lawsuit. It is illegal for you to keep this information quiet. If serious damage or injury occurs as a result of the mold, you could face hefty financial penalties.

Uninhabitable Situation

Once the presence of mold is obvious, professional mold remediation must take place quickly. Otherwise, the tenant can legally withhold rent or move out of the property (with or without a contract). Remember that the cost of remediation is usually easier on your budget than the costs associated with lawsuits. Reach out to your insurance provider to learn more about your mold insurance claims.

Lack of Reimbursement for Repairs

Tenants may arrange for cleanup and repairs on their own, and you may be required to reimburse them for those repairs. This is especially true if you neglected to arrange for repairs within a reasonable amount of time. If your tenant has to sue for reimbursement, you'll end up paying more than you would have for the original amount of the mold claim.

Injuries

Mold growth can cause a lot of property damage, including weakening the structural integrity of walls, floors, and ceilings. If that damage leads to a situation where a tenant or someone visiting the property is injured, you may be subjected to a lawsuit.

Proof of Neglect

Don't dismiss your tenants' concerns about the presence of mold. If tenants reach out to professionals for environmental testing or a damage assessment and you do nothing about the findings, there's a good chance that you'll face a mold growth lawsuit.

It is possible to make mistakes in your efforts to be a responsible property owner in Clearfield, UT, but what you don't know can still land you in legal trouble. Avoid the legal and financial penalties of failing to work through cleanup, remediation, and mold insurance claims by arranging prompt professional action.

Understanding the Necessity of a Flood Cut After Flooding

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded house. Flood cut after a flood in your Clearfield, UT home, it is indispensable to avoid contaminated water.

A flood cut is a necessary tool for remediation experts in Clearfield, UT. After flooding recedes, the remediation crew will make a cut at least 12 inches above the flood line. While it is called a cut, it involves the removal of drywall, insulation, and any other materials below the designated line. There are many reasons companies use flood cuts.

4 Reasons Remediation Companies Make a Flood Cut After Flooding

A flood cut is meant to help eliminate further risks of contamination. Many homeowners struggle to understand the objective of a cut because all they see is materials being removed from their homes.

While it can be challenging to watch as crews remove drywall, insulation, and other items from your home, know that there are several reasons for the apparent madness. In fact, there are at least four reasons for making a flood cut.

1. To Reduce the Risk of Mold

Remediation companies will tear out materials above a flood line to reduce the risks of mold. While a flood line shows where the water level rose, it does not show how much of that water was soaked into the insulation.

Remediation experts assert that 12 inches above is the minimum necessary cut to reach dry materials. Therefore, by removing above the flood line, you take away potential moisture sources for mold spores.

Mold can develop within one to two days after flooding. By making a flood cut, remediation crews cut down the risks of development.

2. To Dry the Area Thoroughly

A flood cut is also used to help dry an area after a flood. There is no other way to access a wall cavity than by removing sections of drywall and insulation. With the cavity exposed, remediation crews can use fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers to help dry the space thoroughly and quickly.

The speed a space is dried can also reduce the risks of other problems, like mold and structural issues. The longer water is allowed to stand, the more damage it can do to the integrity of your home.

3. To Inspect for Structural Damage

While flood cuts are necessary for avoiding extensive damages, they can also be used for inspecting the structure after a flood. By opening the walls, a restoration company can tell how much damage actually occurred. Water damage can lead to wood rot and foundational issues, making structural assessments crucial after a flood.

4. To Make Any Necessary Repairs

Floods can lead to electrical and plumbing issues. In many instances, the only way to get to the affected systems is by opening up the walls. Remediation experts will do their best to limit the amount they open walls, but again, 12 inches above the flood line is standard practice.

While flooding is a nightmare for most homeowners, it is not impossible to recover from the damage. With the right crews performing tried and tested techniques, you can have your home restored in no time. However, remember that the amount of work needed will depend on the length of time the floodwaters remained and how deep they were.