Tips for Handling Water Damage
Knowing how to handle a leak will minimize the water damage in your Clearfield, UT home.
A broken pipe can cause a huge water loss in a short amount of time. What you do right after it happens can determine how much damage it ends up causing.
How to minimize leak damage
Don't Ignore Signs of Water Damage
One of the problems with a pipe break or any water loss that happens behind a wall or inside a cabinet is that you may not discover it until damage has already been done. Watch for common signs that you have a leak:
- Dark spots on walls or ceilings
- Bulging drywall
- Swollen floorboards
- Excessive humidity levels
- Unusual spraying or dripping sounds
Do Turn off Water
If you see a spot on the wall suddenly darken and spread, or you hear something inside the wall that spells trouble, the best thing you can do is turn off the water main. While inconvenient, temporarily turning off the flow for the whole house minimizes the amount of water in your home in Clearfield, UT. Once a plumber has repaired the pipe, the water can be turned back on.
Don't Wade Through Standing Water
A large water loss will often result in standing water. Fight the urge to wade into it to retrieve items, particularly if you cannot see below the surface or you don't have the proper personal protective equipment to do so. Sharp objects or tripping hazards may be present. More importantly, if the water has come into contact with electrical items, it may also be charged.
Do Contain the Flow
When a broken pipe floods your home enough to cause pooling, there are still steps you can take to keep it from spreading. Try to seal off the area as well as possible by using barriers such as rolled towels, sandbags, or tarps. You may not be able to prevent damage to the main flood area but you can block the path of the water into other spaces.
Don't Clean Contaminated Areas Yourself
A backed-up sewer or flooding from a storm can leave a big, smelly mess behind. When this happens, it can be tempting to grab the disinfectant and clean everything immediately. Unless you know the full extent of the damage, though, this may make the problem worse and affect the preliminary tests on the area when the mitigation team arrives.
Do Call Professionals Immediately
The best thing you can do when you have a flooded home is to call flood damage remediation experts as soon as you are aware of the problem. Within hours, they can come to your home, inspect it and give you an overview of what the cleanup process entails. They have the equipment and the expertise it takes to address the issues caused by the water loss and to prevent further damage.
Fast mitigation is the key to dealing with damage left by a broken pipe. The sooner you call certified professionals to repair the damage and restore the structure, the better. Start the cleanup process quickly, and your home can get back to normal in no time.
7 Mold Prevention Tips
Controlling water damage will prevent mold growth in your Clearfield, UT building.
Mold occurs naturally in the environment and can grow almost anywhere. Water damage can accelerate mold growth because mold tends to thrive in moist environments. These seven tips can help you avoid mold in your buildings.
How to avoid mold
1. Identify Problems and Correct Them
Inspect your buildings and look for conditions that could promote mold growth, such as areas that tend to flood, leaking pipes, condensation, leaks in the roof, or other sources of moisture. Remove and discard any wet carpeting, drywall, or ceiling tiles. Repair leaking pipes and equipment. Take steps to reduce flooding, such as installing sump pumps or regrading outdoor areas to direct water away from your buildings. Have your HVAC system inspected and repaired if condensation is a problem.
2. Remove Excess Moisture Promptly
Most mold growth results from excess moisture in the environment. If you have had water damage in your building, contact a remediation company in Clearfield, UT, to quickly dry out your property. Aim to completely dry your property within 24 to 48 hours. Remove wet furniture, carpets, and other difficult-to-dry items from the building. Some items may be able to be dried and restored. Others will need to be discarded.
3. Install Proper Ventilation
If your business engages in activities that produce moisture, a key part of mold prevention is ensuring proper ventilation. Any bathrooms, kitchen areas, laundry facilities, and other high moisture areas should have ventilation systems to remove excess moisture to the outside. You can also reduce moisture by using dehumidifiers. Energy-efficient buildings can sometimes trap moisture inside, so it may be useful to occasionally open windows or doors.
4. Monitor Indoor Humidity
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends humidity levels be kept between 30% and 60%. Excessive humidity can cause condensation on pipes, walls, and windows. Purchase a humidity monitor and take steps to adjust the humidity levels in your buildings as needed. Humidity levels change throughout the day, so take multiple readings at different times. You can use air conditioners and dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels.
5. Use Mold-Resistant Materials
If you need to construct a new building or remodel an existing one, use mold-resistant materials. Mold-resistant drywall and sheetrock are available for interior walls and you can cover these materials with mold-resistant paint.
6. Use HEPA Filters and Ultraviolet Lights
If your buildings have carpeting, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter when you clean to remove mold spores from carpets and flooring. You can also use these vacuums to clean air vents. Installing ultraviolet lights in mold-prone areas, such as HVAC systems, can also help.
7. Don't Store Materials in Damp Areas
Cardboard boxes and other items made from paper or fabric are particularly susceptible to mold. Avoid storing these items in damp areas. Throw out anything that has mold on it that can not be restored.
Because mold needs water to thrive, controlling water damage is the key to avoiding mold problems. However, it is not always possible to completely avoid mold, so if you do encounter it, take steps to remove it before it can spread to other areas of your building.
Don't Wait for an Insurance Adjuster To Take Action After Storm Damage
You can minimize the damage after a storm by taking simple steps to protect your insurance coverage.
Storms can wreak havoc on residential properties; wind and flood damage can lead to significant primary and secondary damage. Even if you have flood insurance, it is crucial you do everything in your power to minimize damage and protect your claim, especially since insurance adjusters will likely be delayed following significant storm surges.
Water and storm mitigation experts in Clearfield, UT, recommend taking a pre-emptive approach to storm cleanup. Instead of waiting for an adjuster, reach out to a remediation specialist to start the restoration process, including:
Prevent Further Damage With Mitigation Protocols
If you want to protect your insurance coverage, you will need to take action after a storm. Most insurance companies require policyholders to mitigate further loss and damage in order to receive the total value of their coverage.
If you fail to clean up excess water or take action to minimize the risk of further damage, like mold damage, an adjuster can deny your claim altogether. Thankfully taking action does not have to be challenging. You can contact a mitigation company for assistance. The business will send out a team to assess the damage and take any necessary mitigation measures.
These services commonly work with insurance companies, so it is not unusual for them to understand what is needed to protect your policy and ensure you’re covered. You might want to contact your insurer to explain that you are calling a service, just in case there are any requirements in your policy you need to know about.
Mitigation Services Can Help With Cleanup While Keeping a Record of Loss
Most flood insurance companies will require a loss statement, including pictures and receipts of items damaged in the flooding. While homeowners can be hesitant to clean up after a disaster, worrying the cleanup will undermine the valuation, a mitigation and restoration service will document everything and help you establish a thorough report.
Restoration service will also create an itemized list of the services rendered or recommended, providing you with justification for any and all expenses. Ultimately, using a service helps ensure there is a record of every detail of a disaster for the adjuster when they arrive.
Rebuilding After Storm Damage
Once the adjuster has time to assess your property and claim, the restoration company should have a projection of the total cost of restoration. Your adjuster will be able to review all of the recommendations and determine whether the quote is fair and feasible.
The adjuster can then determine the amount you are covered for and provide approval for the continuation of work. Obviously, as the homeowner, you have a say in which company completes the restoration, but your insurer might have suggestions.
While flood insurance is helpful, especially after a storm surge, the homeowner needs to understand that response times after a flood can be slow. You do not have time to wait for an adjuster. You will need to take action to protect your policy and claim. After a flood or storm damage, make sure to take mitigative steps to protect against secondary damage.
Home Fire Safety Tips
If you can't control the fire with a fire extinguisher in your home in Clearfield, UT, call professionals to avoid further damages.
Every homeowner likes to believe that his or her house is safe from fires. A fire in your home in Clearfield, UT, can break out much more easily and quickly than you think, though. The smallest error, such as leaving a candle burning too long or forgetting a burner on the stove is on, can ignite a larger flame in no time. When this happens, you should have the security of knowing that every family member knows the proper procedure for handling it. This starts by teaching everyone how to use a fire extinguisher.
The PASS Method
The moment an emergency happens is an unfortunate time to discover that you don't know how to address it. It doesn't do you any good to have a fire extinguisher near your kitchen if you don't know how to use it. Fortunately, all it takes is following an easy four-step process:
Pull - Take the pinout of the top of the extinguisher to unlock it and ready it for use.
Aim - Point the nozzle at the base of the fire.
Squeeze - Apply pressure on the handle to release the agent inside the extinguisher.
Sweep - Slowly but steadily move the stream from the nozzle back and forth along the base of the fire.
If done correctly, the PASS method should put out most small fires that occur in your home. If the flames still persist after you have emptied the canister of the fire extinguisher, don't reach for another one to try again. It's time to let the professionals take over. Call 911 and evacuate the house.
The Right Extinguisher
Not all fires are the same, so it makes sense that different extinguishers would need to hold different types of agents. When you are choosing the right fire safety equipment for your home, look at the ratings. An "A" rating means it is most useful for trash, paper, and wood fires. A "B" rating means that it contains an agent that works best on flammable liquids. A "C" rating is what you need for areas where electrical fires are possible. According to fire damage mitigation experts, the best extinguisher to fight a kitchen fire will have at least a "B-C" rating, if not all three.
The Best Prevention
One of the goals of fire safety is to prevent as much fire damage to your home as possible. Of course, the best prevention is to avoid circumstances that cause the fire in the first place. Since the kitchen is one of the most common places where home fires occur, it's imperative that everyone who uses the kitchen understands basic safety measures. For example, remember to turn the oven and stove off when you're not using them. Don't keep items on top of the stove that are likely to ignite. Clean up oil and grease messes as soon as they occur.
Having a fire extinguisher handy in every area of your home is an essential part of any solid fire safety plan. If you can't prevent a fire altogether, knowing how to handle it quickly and efficiently is the next best option.
What Is Category 1 Water Damage?
Category 1 water damage in a Clearfield, UT, building.
When you have water damage in your building, it is important to clean it up and dry your property out as quickly as possible to avoid additional damage. The type of restoration that needs to be done can vary depending on whether the damage is from clean water, grey water, or black water. Different types of water damage are classified according to category.
What Category 1 Water Damage Is
Category 1 water damage is usually the easiest type of water damage to deal with because it is water from a clean source. There are multiple examples of sources of category 1 damage:
- Broken pipe
- Broken supply line
- Overflow from a clean sink or tub
- Some appliance leaks
The distinguishing feature of this type of water damage is that it doesn't contain harmful bacteria or chemicals that require protective gear when cleaning it up.
What To Do When You Have Category 1 Water Damage
The first thing to do is shut off the source of the clean water. If the water is coming from a broken pipe, shut off the water to your house. If it is an overflowing sink or tub, turning off the tap should work. If you have an appliance that is leaking, unplug it, shut off the water and disconnect the supply line. You may need to place towels around the base to soak up any water that is still coming out.
Once you have shut off the source of the water, clean up the water damage as soon as possible. You can use a mop and bucket, sponges, or a wet/dry vacuum. Wet carpeting can be difficult to fully dry and may need to be replaced. If there is a lot of water damage, you may want to contact a water restoration company in Clearfield, UT. Some types of water damage may be covered by your insurance company. Contact your insurance professional to find out if you should file a claim.
Why It is Important To Dry Your Property Quickly
Mold and mildew thrive in wet conditions and can begin growing in 24 to 48 hours after water damage. The faster you can dry out your property, the less likely you are to experience mold growth. This may also help you avoid other problems, such as warping and rot. Additionally, standing water that sits for too long can become contaminated and may require professional cleaning services to be safely removed.
How You Can Avoid Future Problems
Avoid overflows by not letting sinks and tubs run while unsupervised. Have your appliances regularly maintained. Check for signs of a water leak, such as musty odors, unusual sounds, water pressure issues, stains, discolored water, or unexplained increases in your water bill. Fix or replace leaking pipes promptly. Insulate your pipes in cold weather to avoid potential damage caused by freezing temperatures. Drain your pipes if your building will not be in use for extended periods.
Water damage from clean water is the easiest type of water damage to deal with. However, it still requires prompt attention to avoid unnecessary additional damage to your property.
How To Minimize Water Damage After a Burst Pipe
A broken pipe can make appear moisture and mold problems.
Discovering a broken pipe in your Clearfield, UT, commercial building can be an anxiety-provoking event. Seeing standing water inside might have you in a panic, wondering what to do next. You probably won't be able to prevent water damage after a pipe burst, but there are steps for keeping it to a minimum.
1. Shut Off the Building's Main Water Supply
First, you need to shut off the building's water supply at the main valve to stop the influx. This action will minimize the flooding and standing water as much as possible.
2. Examine the Area for Damage
After you've stopped the water flow, it's essential to examine the area thoroughly. Be sure to locate all the affected areas and materials.
3. Extract the Water
Next, the standing water inside needs to be removed as quickly as possible. Every minute counts when it comes to a moisture problem, whatever the size. Typically, the most efficient way of extracting standing water is by using a wet/dry vacuum. It can safely and quickly remove the liquid and smaller floating debris.
4. Dry the Area
You must dry the area thoroughly after water pipe cleanup. The more prolonged moisture lingers in the area, the more damage will occur from water and mold growth. Mold can begin growing within 24 hours of water contact, so it's essential to dry it as quickly as possible. Use dehumidifiers, fans, heat, and open windows and doors.
5. Contact Professionals
After a pipe burst of any size, it's most beneficial to call professionals, such as plumbers and flood damage restoration professionals. They'll thoroughly inspect the area and repair any damage, from the broken pipe itself to mold remediation.
Flowing water inside your building is never a good thing if it's due to a broken pipe. You can't always prevent these occurrences, but knowing what to do beforehand helps minimize the loss.
Can Wet Materials Be Salvaged?
Avoid your Clearfield, UT, home get damaged by a leaking pipe.
Routine home maintenance is a good way to identify a water loss. If a sudden loss occurs in your clients' home in Clearfield, UT, however, it can cause a lot of damage such as swelling wood in a short amount of time. The water restoration experts you recommend to your clients can lower the cost of their claim by identifying materials that can be dried rather than replaced.
Identifying Contamination Level
One factor that determines whether materials must be torn out is the level of bacteria present in the water. There are three main levels of contamination that can occur in homes:
- Category 1 - clean water from a pipe or supply line
- Category 2 - dirty water from an appliance leak
- Category 3 - contaminated water from sewage or storm flooding
The cleaner the water, the more likely it is that affected materials will be able to be saved. For example, wet drywall can usually be dried thoroughly. If, however, the wall is also laden with bacteria, it may need to be torn out and replaced, which will likely result in a higher claim cost.
Determining Saturation Level
Hardwood floors are particularly susceptible to water damage. Swelling wood or buckling floorboards are both telltale signs that the flooding has damaged the floor beyond repair. In addition to quick water pipe repair, early detection is the key to minimizing the risk of this happening. The longer standing water sits on the floor, the more damage it causes. When you make SERVPRO a preferred vendor, you can rest assured that the technicians will arrive in a timely manner so that they can catch water damage before it goes too far.
Your clients may not be able to avoid replacing swelling wood or contaminated materials, but a lot of water damage can be repaired if they catch it early enough. Referring them to reliable mitigation experts reduces their claim and thus your payout.
How To Stay Safe After a Flood Invades Your Home
Street flooded in Clearfield, Utah
Flooding is a disaster that can happen in virtually any area, given the right set of circumstances. Whether from a hurricane that affects hundreds of miles of land or heavy rain that rushes into your basement, it can have devastating effects on the property, causing safety issues for you and your family. Familiarize yourself with the steps for flood safety before your home in Clearfield, Utah, is in a flood.
1. Investigate for Property Damage
Investigate your property for damage, such as downed power lines and structural harm, such as foundation cracks.
2. Check the Water Supply
You must check your water supply before you use it to make sure it's not contaminated. To be safest, check with your water supplier to make sure it's safe for drinking. Flood safety experts will advise that until you know for sure, you can boil water when you need clean water for drinking, washing, making ice, or preparing food.
3. Wear PPE for Cleanup
Before you begin cleaning, it's vital to wear personal protective equipment to keep you safe and avoid cross-contamination to unaffected areas. Safety glasses, a respirator, latex gloves are the minimum PPE you should wear.
4. Dispose of the Unsalvageable
Unfortunately, there could be a lot of unsalvageable property, and it's crucial to remove them from the area as soon as possible. This action will make more room for flood damage restoration professionals to operate. Food, medications, and cosmetics that have come in contact with the water must be thrown away. Soaked carpet and sections of drywall must be removed. Also, any saturated porous objects, such as wooden or upholstered furniture that can't be cleaned and thoroughly dried within 48 hours will need to be thrown away.
Being aware of flood safety methods can keep you safe and minimize property loss. Prepare for the possibility of the unthinkable by remembering these essential safety tips.
5 Places To Check for Mold Growth in Your Home
Mold hides and growth easily in Clearfield, UT homes.
Mold spores exist virtually everywhere, so it's no surprise that it's regularly found growing in various areas indoors. Sometimes you can tell when there's mold in the area due to its musty odor. However, it's very good at hiding so that you may not find it until it's out of control. Here are five places where mold damage commonly hides in homes:
Many basement areas are prone to mold growth; basements tend to have more humidity and moisture than other areas. Look for signs of mold or mildew growth around foundation cracks, windows, vents, around a sump pump, and around pipes and ductwork. Ideally, water damage restoration professionals will inspect the area; leaks and condensation can quickly cause mold to grow.
There are several places to look for mold in bathrooms. Pipes, cabinets, shower curtains, and doors, bathtubs, showers, sinks, toilets, counters, tiles, flooring, and even bathroom rugs are the perfect havens for mold. In addition, storage caddies and sponges can also harbor mold.
Attics often contain a big part of your home's ventilation system, so having mold in the attic can lead to a huge problem. This is because mold spores can spread through the rest of the house through the ventilation system. Look for mold damage around the roof, especially in the case of leaks (e.g., from the water heater, furnace, or vents).
4. Laundry Rooms
Water connections to the washing machine can grow mold. Leaving damp clothes in the washer or dryer can also begin growing mold quickly. Even dryer lint buildup can increase your chance of mold and mildew growth.
5. Behind Walls
Mold can begin growing behind walls without you knowing it exists. Always look out for leaks or excess moisture on walls. Mold can grow on and through the drywall.
The key to avoiding mold damage in your Clearfield, Utah, home is to keep moisture and humidity down. Make sure you're free of leaks, adequately insulated and ventilated. If you find that your relative humidity is high in your home, consider using a dehumidifier.
Why You Should Only Trust IICRC Certified Technicians
A certified and expert work team provides the best experience and the assurance that your home is in the hands of professionals.
You shouldn’t let just anybody into your home to clean up after a water disaster. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a recognized certification for the cleaning and restoration industry. The non-profit presents the gold standard in mitigation and cleaning techniques. If you want a technician who promises the best disaster recovery possible, find a business that is IICRC certified in Clearfield, Utah, because these businesses promise a few things above other non-licensed or certified companies.
1. A Correctly Trained Crew
A company with a mitigation certificate is more than a brand with a logo; it is a business with highly skilled employees. Certification is only obtained by those businesses that ensure the training and continued education of their technicians. The training includes:
- Fire restoration
- Water restoration
- Mold mitigation
- Carpet and upholstery cleaning
- Crew training
- Applied structural drying
- Restorative drying for loss control
2. Professional Connections and Management
Certified franchises and technicians only work with the best. The company will have a list of other approved technicians and services they work with, allowing customers to feel comfortable in the project. Additionally, franchises, such as SERVPRO, work with national account managers, helping homeowners, technicians, and insurance companies coordinate throughout the project.
3. Peace of Mind
Aside from dealing with a trained crew, working with certified and licensed experts provides peace of mind. You know the work being done on your home is guaranteed. If a problem arises related to the original issue after the cleanup and restoration, the company will stand by their work, ensuring you worry-free nights.
An IICRC certificate is more than a piece of paper or symbol on a business card. It is a promise that the professionals with the credentials understand the cleaning, mitigation, and restoration process. Your home is not a place to allow just any repair technicians; only the best should be given the privilege to work where you sleep.