Commercial Smoke Damage Can Be Harmful, but Is It Covered?
Lingering Smoke Damage
If you’re building was recently in a fire, or even if the building next door caught fire, one of the lingering affects you’ll have to deal with is smoke damage. Smoke can put your property and its contents at risk for deterioration, which is why it is crucial to work with a smoke cleaning crew in Hingman, IL, that knows how to deal with the contamination and effectively rid your building of soot contaminants and odors.
How the professionals will deal with your property’s damage depends on a number of factors, including:
• The source of the fire (what burned)
• The ionization of the soot particles
• The pattern of airflow in your building
• The length of time that lapsed between the fire and your reaching out to a professional
• The temperature of the fire
• Your building’s layout
Bearing that in mind, if you want to be compensated for your losses and future expenses, you should contact your insurance agency prior to hiring a professional cleaning crew.
Is Smoke Damage Covered by Insurance?
Your commercial building policy should cover soot damage, but the only way to know for sure is to reach out to your insurance provider directly. Assuming that the damage is covered, you will need to do the following prior to filing your claim:
• Obtain a copy of the fire report
• Note the date of loss, the type of damage, the location of damage and any related injuries
• Describe, in detail, the current condition of your building
• Describe, in detail, the description of damaged contents
• Note whether temporary repairs or complete replacements are necessary
It is important that you are as thorough and accurate as possible for two reasons: 1) the insurance agency will require proof of everything you state in your claim, and 2) you won’t get compensated for the things you don’t claim.
Also, bear in mind that the fire did not have to occur directly to your structure in order to recover damages. Smoke damage is harmful enough that it is considered a disaster in and of itself, so even if your building simply sustained soot damage, reach out to your insurance agency regarding your options.
3 Tips for Eliminating Fire Hazards in Your Kitchen
Kitchen Fires Damage Statistics
Your kitchen is where you gather with your family and friends to bond at the end of the day. However, according to the American Red Cross, it’s also the space in your home that’s the most likely to see a house fire start. Every year, national fire departments report
• An average of 162,400 house fires resulting from improper cooking practices
• $1.1 billion in property damage from kitchen fires
• 430 residential fire deaths from fires started in the kitchen
By cooking smart and following a few key tips in the kitchen, you can prevent your home from becoming one of those in Weymouth, IL, affected by a grease fire this year.
1. Don’t Leave Cooking Unsupervised
One of the most crucial tips for avoiding fire damage in your kitchen is to never leave food on the stove if you’re not around to keep an eye on it. Whether you’re leaving the room for a few minutes or you’re heading out for errands, turn off the heat and remove your food from the stove.
2. Use a Timer
If you’ve got something that needs to be cooked on the stove over a long period of time, set a timer to remind yourself to check on your food regularly. Fortunately, with modern conveniences like smart phones around every corner, setting numerous alarms is a simple task and one that can save you a huge amount of hassle in the future.
3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher on Hand
If a fire does happen to spring up, you want a fire extinguisher in the kitchen to deal with the problem immediately. Having one of these appliances on hand means you can mitigate fire damage from the beginning, so working with fire cleaning professionals is a less lengthy process later on.
Don't let fear of fire keep you from cooking. These are all simple tips any homeowner can follow to make their kitchen more fire-safe all around.
Preparing Pipes for Winter
Hard Winters Cause Frozen Pipes
When winter hits, keep an eye out for snow accumulation on the downside of a higher- level roof, where blowing snow will pile up. For safe snow removal, ask a roofing contractor for a referral.
To ensure that pipes do not freeze and burst, keep the heat in your home at an acceptable level, cover exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping and open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.
Remove snow from basement stairwells, window wells and all walls to prevent water or moisture from penetrating walls. Also, keep attics well ventilated to maintain temperatures close to the outside, which will minimize the risk of ice dams forming.
If water damage does occur in your home, immediately call SERVPRO of Weymouth at (781) 337-0344 for restoration services. SERVPRO’s teams will:
- Assess damage for restorability and safety.
- Determine the extent of the moisture content in effected areas.
- Move and prop up furniture on blocks if necessary.
- Extract the water.
- Remove carpets and carpet pads if necessary.
- Spray to treat germs and bacteria in contaminated areas.
- Start the drying process with air movers and dehumidification equipment.
- Ensure rooms are completely dry and conduct a walk through with homeowners to guarantee customer satisfaction.
If water damage does occur in your home, immediately call SERVPRO of Weymouth at (781) 337-0344
Vacation Tips To Prevent Mold
Vacation Tips To Prevent Mold
Mold prevention is something that few people think about until the damage is done. Mold growth can occur in less than 48 hours, and water damage can decrease that time significantly. No one wants to come home from a vacation to find that they’ve got a problem, but there are steps you can take to avoid that.
Turn Off Your Water
Turning off the water at the main connection might seem like overkill, but it could save you a headache and a lot of money. One leaky connection or busted pipe can quickly lead to thousands of dollars of water damage, and the wet conditions are ideal for mold growth. Shutting down that possibility is a quick and easy mold prevention measure that everyone can take with just a few common tools.
Turn Down the Temperature
Warm, wet spaces are the best place for mold spores to develop into colonies. Keeping the temperature low in your space may not be entirely comfortable when you get home, but it will negate the possibility that mold will grow and spread in your absence. Turn down your air conditioning, or simply turn off your heating system, and relax in the knowledge that your space will be uncomfortable for any lingering mold spores.
If All Else Fails
Call a professional. Even if you’ve been as proactive as you could be, the unexpected can still leave you with a problem. A do-it-yourself fix might seem like a good option in the heat of the moment, but invariably a professional approach is best when it comes to isolating and mitigating mold. A qualified contractor can use specialized equipment to dehumidify your space, filter the air to remove excess spores, and restore your property to its former glory.
Mold prevention is a simple and often overlooked step when readying for vacation. Be sure you use these tips to avoid mold growth and water damage while you’re away. Visit http://www.SERVPROweymouthhingham.com for more information on mold.
Creating an Effective Fire Escape Plan for Your Family
Creating an Effective Fire Escape Plan for Your Family
It’s an unfortunate reality that home fires are a prevalent disaster – the most common in the United States, according to the American Red Cross. Even a blaze that’s quickly extinguished can result in extensive damage and require professional recovery assistance, a fact that highlights every Weymouth, MA family’s need for a good fire escape plan. Preparation should address all aspects of the home, from smoke detectors to exit routes. Review your emergency escape plan today to ensure readiness in a critical situation.
The U.S. Fire Administration advises that a nearby smoke alarm can reduce fatalities by almost 50 percent, if the device is kept in good working order. That’s why it’s crucial to install these units on each story of your home, taking care to position them close enough to sleeping areas that they’ll be heard easily in an emergency. Batteries should be tested monthly and changed annually at minimum.
Reviewing your fire escape plan is important, but so is rehearsing it. Families should practice executing their plan at least twice each year, according to Red Cross recommendations. This includes identifying multiple exit routes and establishing a safe spot where everyone will meet once outside the home.
Make sure each member of your family knows what to do in case of an actual fire in Weymouth, MA. Keep these tips in mind:
Never open a door if it or the doorknob feels warm.
Crawl and remain low to the floor to avoid exposure to smoke.
Remember to stop, drop and roll if clothing should catch fire.
No one wants to think about a major disaster striking their home, but there’s no substitute for a well-designed fire escape plan. Once you’ve got your strategy figured out, be sure to follow up: Inspect smoke alarms and review the process with your family regularly. You’ll be sure to enjoy greater peace of mind every night.
Visit http://www.SERVPROweymouthhingham.com for more information on fire damage.
Steps to prevent mold damage
Intrusion of water into your home or building can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can occur due to from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in your home or building, it is important to be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold.
- Strong musty odors which may indicate the presence of mold
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
- Excessive humidity.
To control mold growth in your home or place business, I offer you the following tips:
- Repair leaky plumbing and leaks in the foundation of your building
- Keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning drip pans clean, flowing properly and unobstructed
- Maintain indoor humidity below 50 percent
- Perform regular inspections and maintenance on buildings and heating and air conditioning equipment
- Regularly maintain roof gutters, and ensure that water does not collect near the foundation
- Insulate windows, walls, pipes, roofs, exterior, floors and other cold surfaces to reduce condensation
If you are sure or suspect that there is mold in your home or building call SERVPRO immediately at 781-337-0344. The longer you wait to call, the mold growth with continue to spread, resulting in a greater chance of unrecoverable property. SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of mold damage.
Preventative Steps to keep your home dry
Water damage can occur in homes in a variety of ways. Homeowners should check for leaks throughout their houses, inspecting pipes and connections in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. Look under and around sinks and around bathtubs for any discoloration. Do not ignore connections to dishwashers or to refrigerators with water and ice dispensers.
Make sure water is flowing properly down drains. If not, try clearing the drain with a plunger or an over the counter solution. If that does not work, call a professional for assistance.
To keep drains and pipes clear, follow some simple steps such as pouring cooking oil into a suitable container and disposing of it properly after it cools and never flushing diapers and other inappropriate items down toilets. In addition, backflow valves should be installed in sanitary and storm sewer lines.
Check the floors around water heaters for wet spots, which could indicate you have a rusted tank or other problem. If necessary, have the tank replaced as soon as possible.
A leak in the roof of your home and clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to significant water damage inside your house. As soon as you notice a leak in your roof have it inspected and repaired immediately. In addition, keep all gutters and downspouts free of leaves and other debris that could cause water to back up and leak into your house.
Owners of properties located in areas prone to flooding should give serious consideration to applying a waterproof coating or membrane to the exterior walls and installing watertight shields over doors, windows and other openings.
If flood does occur in your home, immediately call SERVPRO of Weymouth at (781) 337-0344.
Preventative steps before a big storm
At SERVPRO, we want to make certain you and your family are prepared before the next storm strikes.We urge you to review the following preparedness tips to help safeguard your loved ones in the event of a hurricane:
Design a Family Plan
Devise an evacuation plan with your family and chose a designated meeting place in case of separation. It is also worthwhile to conduct practice drills to make certain all family members are familiar with the plan.
Create an Emergency Supply Kit
This kit should include the following: first aid items, blankets, flashlights, cash, fresh water, nonperishable food items, candles, matches, necessary medication, a radio with batteries, personal hygiene products, baby formula and diapers (if needed), and all important documents should be placed in waterproof document storage bags.
Prepare Your Home
In anticipation of a hurricane, it is a good idea to prepare the outside of your home from damage caused by wind and debris. Boarding up windows and other glass portions of the home is a good way to prevent breakage. It is important to know that taping windows does not prevent them from breaking. Also, remember to check around your home for hanging tree limbs and shrubs that need to be trimmed.
Fill Your Gas Tank
It is always a good idea to make sure your car's gas tank is full, just in case an emergency evacuation is ordered. Often times, towns that are in an emergency situation can "shut down," leaving gas stations inoperable.
During or after any storm, you can count on SERVPRO to be prepared no matter what the weather brings.
Preventing Puffbacks with Winter Storms
A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout the interior of a home. It can happen all at once, covering the interior in grimy soot, or it can leak soot more gradually.
Initially, many people mistake soot for dust and simply wipe it away. However, once cleaned, this “dust” often reappears and can sometimes be accompanied by a strong, oily odor. There are several steps your clients can take to prevent damage to their home. Remind them to:
- Have the oil-burning furnace professionally checked and cleaned annually.
- Keep an eye out for traces of soot around their home.
- Install a carbon monoxide monitor. Puffbacks (and the soot they create) will increase the carbon monoxide levels in their home. A carbon monoxide monitor can help to detect the puffback in its early stages.
If soot begins accumulating on objects or walls within their home, they should turn off the heating system immediately. Contact a heating professional to service the heater and restore it to proper working order.
Fortunately, if your client does experience a puffback, SERVPRO has the knowledge and experience to complete a thorough cleaning and removal of any soot and odors. Our Fire Restoration Team will respond immediately and make it look "Like it never even happened®."
For more information on puffbacks and how they can be prevented, call SERVPRO of Weymouth at (781)337-0344.
Winter storms and saving on your heat bill
Any season is a good season to save energy costs. With winter approaching, however, it’s even more critical as prices for home heating fuel are as volatile as ever.
The U.S. Department of Energy has the following fuel saving tips for consumers:
- Look for furnaces with annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings of no less than 78 percent.
- Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and radiators.
- Bleed trapped air from hot water radiators once or twice a season or have a professional do it.
- Clean warm-air registers and baseboard heaters and make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
- Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed.
- To retain heat, turn off kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing.
- Install a programmable thermostat that can adjust the temperature according to your work schedule and sleeping habits.
- Energy Star products can cut energy bills up to 30 percent. Locate retailers online at www.energystar.gov when replacing heating systems, appliances, lighting, windows, office equipment and home electronics.
- Insulate hot water heaters and pipes.
- Make sure your furnace or heat pump is tuned up by a professional at least once a year.