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4 Tips for Water Damage Cleanup

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

broken pipe A broken pipe can cause a lot of damage to your home in Valley Brook, OK

Tips That Can Help You With Water-Related Disaster

Every homeowner deals with a broken pipe at some point. Tucked away behind a wall, plumbing issues can cause a lot of damage but knowing these tips will help you with a water-related disaster.

1. Keep Safety in Mind
Even a small amount of flooding comes with risks. You could be dealing with contaminated water, or your electrical system may have been compromised. If the source is sewage-related, use proper protection if you must come in contact with the water. To prevent electrocution, disconnect the electricity in your home. Once the electricity is safe to turn on, avoid plugging in any electronics that were affected. Testing should be left to a qualified expert.

2. Stop the Water
Look for the source of the flooding and shut off the closest water valve. If you cannot safely reach that switch, or you cannot locate it, turn off the main valve to your home. Stopping water flow will lessen the amount of water damage.

3. Document for Insurance
While not all incidents are covered by home insurance, a sudden flood from a broken pipe most likely will be. Make the claim process easier by taking high-definition photographs and detailed notes of the damage. This includes structural damage and damage to any belongings. You should also keep track of expenses that are a result of water in the home.

4. Ask for Help
It might seem like a do-it-yourself job, but you should get a second opinion on proper cleanup. Ask a local water damage and restoration company in Valley Brook, OK, to perform an assessment. The inspection will reveal every issue, not just the easily seen ones. If extensive damage is discovered, the company can help you create a plan and execute restoration in a timely manner to get your home back to normal.
A broken pipe can cause a lot of damage but being prepared is the best tip for dealing with it.

How Fire Loss Is Calculated

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Smith Village, OK

After a commercial fire, you will probably hear something about your fire loss or your losses directly related to the disaster. Here are some key points that can help you understand what this is and how it is calculated.

The Purpose of It

One of the main reasons fire loss is calculated is that it helps understand how severe the disaster was. Knowing how much loss an area sees will give communities an idea of whether they need to increase the amount of fire protection or not.
A fire loss estimate is also good for identifying situations with high monetary losses. The fire department officials can look at the losses and determine which situations could have benefited from more force and which could have used less. This helps fire departments establish what equipment and practices they will need to use in different situations.

What Is in the Calculation
Here is a rough outline of what is included in the calculation:

  • Calculate the total monetary loss due to fire damage to structures
  • Add contents directly damaged by the fire, smoke, or extinguishers
  • The fire loss total will not include indirect costs, such as business interruption or fees for a remediation company

Documenting Fire Loss
To document fire loss, an official will estimate the total pre-incident value of your structure and contents. Then, they will document the monetary losses you incurred due to the fire. They will generally round numbers since this is a rough calculation. However, after the initial report is submitted, it can be edited if more accurate details are uncovered. Damage to adjacent properties will also be included in the report because it is based on the incident, not the property.
Getting an estimate for how much loss you incurred due to fire and smoke damage in Smith Village, OK, is something that the fire department will use to improve its operations. It will generally include the total direct monetary loss incurred on all properties involved.

3 Things You Should Not Do After a Flood

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

floodwater takes over a house Home flooded in Oklahoma City, OK

3 Things You Should Not Do After a Flood

When dealing with floodwater, many homeowners are tempted to put themselves or their families at risk in an effort to save their home or their possessions. This is usually not a good idea. These are three things you should not do after a flood.

1. Don't Stay in Your Home
There is not much you can do to prevent damage by staying in a flooded home. If you have time, you can place sandbags, move possessions to higher ground, board up windows and take other precautions, but once flooding is imminent, it is best to evacuate to a shelter. Attempting to remain in your home puts you at risk of drowning, electrocution, and contact with contaminants in the water. It also puts the emergency workers who will have to assist you if you get in trouble at risk.

2. Don't Rely on Do-It-Yourself Solutions
You may be able to repair the water damage from a minor flood yourself, but when major flooding occurs, by the time it is safe to re-enter buildings, the damage is usually too severe for most do-it-yourself attempts to be successful. Have a plan in place to deal with the floodwater. Contact your insurance company. Have the names and contact information of several contractors and flood mitigation services in Oklahoma City, OK, on hand. Don't count on being able to obtain equipment, such as generators, protective gear, and pumps, that you would need to attempt to dry out your property yourself.

3. Don't Walk or Drive Through Standing Water
Downed power lines can electrify standing water, posing an electrocution risk. As little as six inches of water can damage your car and cause traction issues, increasing the risk of accidents and drowning.
Flood water poses significant risks to homeowners attempting to salvage their property after a flood. In most cases, it is best to let your insurance company and restoration professionals take the lead and avoid putting yourself at risk.

3 Tips To Minimize Secondary Water Damage

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Hallway with standing water and drying equipment placed in the same area Water damage in Oklahoma City, OK

Steps To Prevent or Minimize Secondary Water Damage

When water floods your building, some water damage happens right away: wet, dirty furniture, soaked carpet and padding, and wet drywall, for example. However, some types of water damage occur days, weeks, or months after the flood event, such as black mold, rotten wood, and warped walls or floors. This type of damage is called secondary damage and repairing it can be expensive and time-consuming. Luckily, it’s possible to minimize or prevent secondary water damage.

1. Start Cleanup Right Away
The water in your building will begin to evaporate into the air immediately. This evaporating water will increase your building’s humidity levels. Exposure to high humidity may cause wood to warp and paint to peel. The moist air is an excellent environment for mold and bacteria growth. Extracting the excess or standing water as soon as possible will stop it from evaporating and increasing the humidity.

2. Ensure That All Surfaces Are Properly Dried
Inadequate cleanup can result in traces of moisture remaining in your building’s walls, ducts, subfloors, or other hidden locations. This creates the perfect environment for black mold to grow and spread. Remove wet carpeting, padding, and other porous floor coverings and cut away wet drywall. All framework, insulation, and other building materials must be completely dry before repairs can begin.

3. Clean and Sanitize to Combat Mold
Mold can begin to grow within hours of the flood event. Use a chemical biocide to destroy any mold that has already formed. Note that, to prevent a future mold outbreak, it’s important to also use encapsulants and/or high-powered filtration devices to trap and remove mold spores from the air in the affected area. You may need a professional water restoration company to perform this service.
Once black mold begins to grow in your Oklahoma City, OK, building, it can be nearly impossible to remove it completely. By acting quickly and ensuring that the restoration process is carried out correctly, you can avoid most secondary damage to your building.

Everything You Need To Know About Fire Extinguishers

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers isolated on white background. Various types of extinguishers. 3d illustration. Learn how to select the right fire extinguisher

Learn the Basics of Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher is not just useful at the workplace or Oklahoma City, OK, public buildings, but also at home. Keeping this device somewhere with fire hazards, such as the kitchen, can help you prevent incidents. However, you will need to know how to use it properly. Learn the basics of extinguishers so you can safely put out fires and decrease the damage.

Preparation Before a Fire
A fire can occur at any time, so plan for any potential scenario. Besides establishing emergency routes, you also need the right type of extinguisher. A type-A device can extinguish common fires originating from paper and wood, while a type-B specializes in flammables fluids like gas and oil and a type-C in electrical fires. Get the right one for fires you expect or a multi-purpose one that covers all three. The Class K extinguisher is useful when confronting a kitchen fire.

Using an Extinguisher Correctly
Using a fire extinguisher is simple, but it is important to do it correctly. You can summarize the process with these four simple steps:

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim at the fire's base
  • Squeeze the handle
  • Sweep at the base until it is gone

Resume the latter three steps if the fire returns. If you are not sure you can use the extinguisher, leave the area and let a more experienced person or the firefighters handle the situation.

Steps to Take After a Fire
Even if you take out a fire, clear the area and let the fire department assess the safety of the area. Leave the house if the extinguisher runs out or if the fire does not change or increases. Make sure you have the necessary information ready for the firefighters, the insurance agency, and the fire damage repair team. Finally, once the location is restored and it is safe to return, obtain a new, up-to-date extinguisher.
Fire hazards can be anywhere at your house, so it is imperative to be ready. Learn how to select the right fire extinguisher and how to use it to keep your home safe.

Testing Can Find Hidden Mold

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Water with black spots of mold damage Water damage led to mold growth in this Smith Village, OK building

Testing Can Find Hidden Mold

Ensuring buildings in Smith Village, OK, remain a pleasant environment is a priority for property owners and managers. Anytime a water issue pops up, it may lead to other issues that aren't always visible. If a musty odor starts rearing its ugly head but no signs of mold are found, it might be time to call an indoor environmental specialist for help.

Common Hiding Spots
Mold prefers damp locations with a food source, which could be a plethora of organic materials found in a building’s structure. That often means it will flourish in areas that aren’t frequently trafficked or behind walls. If you have any recent water damage or a persistent leak, there is a good chance that mold growth is happening behind the scenes. If the building has had previous mold or water issues that were not properly taken care of by a mold remediation and restoration specialist, the problem may have been festering for a long time. The top places to look for mold include:

  • Plumping pipes and fixtures
  • Air ducts
  • Basements, crawlspaces and attics
  • Behind furniture and appliances
  • Ceilings and floors
  • Insulation

Peace of Mind
If your inspection doesn’t produce any visible results, an indoor environmental specialist can perform a mold test to locate the problem area, as well as the source of the issue. They are trained to use moisture meters and particle counters to detect hidden issues and will conduct air, surface and bulk testing. Once located, they will take samples to determine the type of mold and the severity of the issue. After determining the extent of the problem, a cleanup and remediation plan can be developed to get rid of the problem once and for all.
Anytime there is visible mold, testing isn’t necessary. When the source of the problem can’t be found, contact an indoor environmental specialist to help you get your property back on track.

How To Locate and Identify Black Mold

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold spots Black mold on wall

How To Locate And Identify Mold

Black mold is a fungus that is unwelcome in anyone’s home in Valley Brook, OK. It can start spreading on walls within a day or two and can even cover several square feet in less than a week. It is important to know where to look for it and how to identify it if you think you have a mold problem.
How to locate and identify mold:

1. Moisture. Excess moisture is a common cause of black mold. Look in areas where water may collect and be sure to keep them free from moisture buildup. Window condensation and leaking pipes are regular culprits. If you have had any recent flooding in your home, check to make sure that the area has been properly disinfected and that mold cleanup was performed satisfactorily.

2. Humidity. Mold loves humidity. If your home has high levels of humidity or you use a humidifier, it is the perfect breeding ground for mold growth.

3. Discoloration. Mold is generally identifiable by its bold black or green color. If you have water damage in your home, you may see yellow stains from water followed by dark splotches of mold.

4. Odor. Even if you cannot see mold, you will likely be able to smell it. Mold has a distinct musty and earthy odor, and basements and attics are common areas where you will find the characteristic scent.
If you discover mold growing in your house, remove the mold immediately. Calling a professional mold remediation service is strongly recommended because they will ensure that the mold is carefully removed and the area is thoroughly cleaned, dried, and disinfected with the appropriate equipment. They also help with repairing and restoring any damage that the mold caused.
If you suspect that you have black mold in your home, the best thing you can do is act quickly. Waiting too long to call for help can lead to costly damage in the long run. Proper cleaning and removal will minimize any additional risk to your family and home.

What’s the Average Lifespan of Bathroom Supply Lines?

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Water piping tube installed externally along the bathroom wall to supply water for a heater. Bathroom supply line

What’s the Average Lifespan of Bathroom Supply Lines?

The materials out of which pipes are made determine the average lifespan of supply lines at a house in Oklahoma City, OK. Learning more about the longevity of common plumbing materials and causes of supply line damage can help homeowners make informed home improvement decisions.

Metal Lines Last Longer Than 70 Years
Supply line made out of metal can last anywhere from 70 up to 100 years depending on the material. All of the following pipe materials are used in residential plumbing:

  • Cast iron
  • Copper
  • Galvanized Steel

Cast iron pipes are very thick and capable of withstanding high levels of water pressure. Copper pipes are more costly than galvanized steel, and though pipes of this material are relatively common, corrosion and metal contamination may become a factor over time.
Galvanized steel supply lines are coated in zinc to resist corrosion, but this layer wears down over time and steel pipes then run a risk of supply line damage. Any pipes you choose should provide years of reliable service. Avoid metals such as brass, which can leach lead into water.

Plastic Lines Last 25-40 Years
The most popular type of plastic supply line currently in use is Polyvinyl Chloride. This pipe material does not last as long as metal pipes but poses no risk of corrosion that contaminates water and degrades its quality. Pipes made of PVC and cPVC are more durable than polybutylene pipes that can break down and cause a bathroom leak in just 10 to 15 years.
Connections, flow, hardware and other factors may affect the longevity of a pipe and the risk of a supply line leak or other supply line damage. A homeowner may choose to get a replacement line in the same material as other supply lines in a structure or select a plastic or metal line to meet the specific needs of a household in Oklahoma City, OK.

When is it Safe for Employees to Return to Work After a Flood?

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Storm water standing in office Storm damage in an Oklahoma City, OK office

When is it Safe for Employees to Return to Work After a Flood?

It's natural to want to return to work as soon as possible after your business suffers from a costly incident, such as a black water flood. After all, you have this big expense to pay off and you're losing money just by not being at the office. No matter how eager you are, you still have to consider your employees' personal safety. Keep the following safety considerations in mind before you send your employees back to your Oklahoma City, OK office.

1. Clear Out the Flood Water.
Both black and gray water floods pose major safety concerns for your employees. Black water is characterized by the presence of harmful biohazards, such as human/animal fecal matter, raw sewage and dangerous chemicals. You absolutely have to make sure you clear out all of the contaminated flood water and thoroughly disinfect every exposed surface before you allow your employees to return to the office.

2. Check the Air Quality.
It's very possible that the biohazards introduced with the flood water could have gotten into the air itself. Make sure to set up fans and other air filtration devices throughout your building to help eliminate harmful agents. As an additional safety measure, you may want to consider keeping these filtration devices running even after your employees come back.

3. Sweep Up Any Physical Debris.
The physical damages should be the first task you address during flood cleanup. Strong flood waters can introduce harmful objects into the office, such as stray nails, glass shards and other sharp, broken or otherwise exposed edges. Make sure to sweep the office floors thoroughly to ensure every hidden danger is taken care of.
As a business owner, your employees' personal safety should be your number one priority. Taking the time and effort to thoroughly clean and disinfect your office building following a black water flood is a non-negotiable task for you. Contact flood remediation experts for assistance during the cleanup process.

Types of Damage to Expect After a Fire

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and strong smoke covered building. Dangerous situation Fire and water damage

Common Types Of Damage After A Fire

When a fire happens on your commercial property, firefighters and sprinkler systems will do everything they can to put the fire out. While this is definitely a good thing, it does create additional considerations for you during the restoration process. In the hours and days after a fire, water cleanup is just as important as removing smoke and fire damage for maintaining the value and integrity of your property. Here are some tips for dealing with common types of damage after a fire:

1. Direct Fire Damage
Fire is an incredibly destructive force when allowed to reach high temperatures. Fire cleanup often requires property restorers to simply remove surfaces or items that have been burned. While some items are often possible to restore, electronics, roofing, and structural elements of a building may have to be replaced entirely at the expense of the insurer or property owner.

2. Water Damage
Certain items and surfaces are more vulnerable to water damage than others. During the water cleanup phase of restoration, you should dry furniture and other relatively porous possessions as quickly as possible so that mold cannot colonize them. It is also critical that restorers remove any residual water left on your flooring, as this can infiltrate surfaces and cause mold and structural damage.

3. Smoke Residue
Smoke can create residues that are both unpleasant to smell and damaging to your belongings. Smoke residue can build up in computers and other electronics, causing them to malfunction and short circuit. Electronics can often be saved through proper smoke cleanup so you should contact a restoration professional experienced in restoring the items you are worried about.
If you require a water cleanup after a fire in your Valley Brook, OK, commercial property, you may be concerned that your property will never be restored to its former glory. With the right help, however, many of your things can likely be saved and protected from secondary damage caused by mold and decay.