The 4 Rules of Fixing a Flooded Basement
Flooded office in Quincy, MA caused by broken pipe
The soft pitter-patter of rain on the roof can be a delightful sound when the area around your home in Quincy, MA, has been dry for too long. However, when the rain pounds against your home in torrential sheets, it can be an unwelcome surprise, and it is almost a certainty your basement will turn into a swampy disaster zone of dirty water. So, how do you overcome a basement flood and get your life back? Here are the four rules of fixing a flooded basement:
Water doesn’t belong in an area filled with electrical outlets, bathrooms, and chemicals, and neither do you. Rule one is that you don’t enter the flooded area until the water has been removed. There are numerous professional services that can help you restore your basement, but if you are a do-it-yourself type of homeowner, here are the most popular water suction devices:
- Shop vacuum
- Submersible pump
The machine you should use depends on the depth of the water standing on your basement floor.
Your house can be a deadly trap if you are not careful about what utilities are active in your water-soaked basement flood zone. Rule two is that before you step on the wet floor, turn all the utilities off. Even if all the water is gone, you have no idea what electrical outlets or gas-powered units are still active. If a soaking wet item is still active, it can be a hazard.
Once an item sits in water for more than a couple of minutes, the general rule is that it should be discarded and insurance coverage requested. Rule three is that you should remove and discard electrical items, fixtures, wiring, furniture, carpets, and appliances. This is especially true of anything that has a motor.
The last thing you need is another flood. Rule four is that you do whatever you can to take steps to prevent it from ever happening again.
A basement flood is never a friend. Remove the liquid, and then take steps to prevent water from entering your home during the next deluge.
What Can You Expect From a Fire Cleanup?
Fire damage can be a loss to your belongings
In Quincy, IL, you may need to go through a fire cleanup after flames have erupted in your home. Calling a residential fire damage crew can make this process easier. However, you may still want to know what to expect before the professionals get to your house. Use this quick guide to prepare for the cleanup techniques used to mitigate fire and smoke damage.
• Assessment: You may want the cleanup to get started as quickly as possible. However, the crew will better know what to do after an initial inspection is done on your house.
• Mitigation: Soot damage isn't the only thing you have to worry about after a fire. The flames can leave your home susceptible to other types of damage. That's why many professionals will board up windows, doors and holes to ensure rain and intruders cannot affect your house. Putting tarps on the roof may also be necessary.
• Removal: The first removal that may be needed is water removal. When firefighters put out flames, they use copious amounts of water to ensure your home does not stay ablaze. Your cleanup crew may need to remove standing water and start drying out your belongings. Next, the team may remove signs of smoke damage from the surfaces in your home.
• Sanitization: An important part of smoke cleaning is the sanitizing of your belongings. Clothes, electronics and furniture may have been affected by the soot, so these items may need to get cleaned by professionals.
• Repair: Once the damaged items have been removed from your home and the other surfaces have been cleaned, the crew has to start returning things to normal. This often means repairing siding, windows, roofing, flooring and walls. Because the team wants you to feel comfortable, this may even include painting walls and installing new carpet.
Fire and smoke damage can do a lot of harm to your home. Residential cleanup crews go through a laborious process to help you get your place back to normal.
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The Difference Between Storm Damage and Water Damage
Storm Damage to garage and belongings in Quincy
Storms in Quincy, IL, can cause flooding in your home. Before you decide to tackle the problem yourself, however, you need to understand that all floods are not created equal. There is a big difference between flood damage and regular water damage, and it mainly stems from the contamination level of the water involved. Knowing the three categories of water contamination can help you determine if the flood in your home is something that you need to call in the experts to manage.
1. Category 1 – Clean Water
The first level of contamination is clean water. Any time water is coming from a leaking faucet, it is likely clean water, at least at first. Likewise, when a pipe or a supply line breaks, you most likely are dealing with clean water. Even if the resulting flood makes a mess, the water is not likely to be contaminated. If neglected, however, clean water can easily become gray water.
2. Category 2 – Gray Water
Gray water is the second category of contamination. Gray water is not safely ingestible because it is likely to contain bacteria or viruses. Flooding from a washing machine or an overflowing toilet is probably gray water. If it is not dealt with in a timely manner, it can become black water.
3. Category 3 – Black Water
There's no telling what's in black water, and that's what makes it the highest category of contamination. It often contains raw sewage, microbes and chemicals. Flood damage from storms or rivers is black water, as there is no way to keep sewage, debris and any chemical washed off the street or the top of buildings out of it.
The contamination level of storm water is the main reason you should always have damage that results from flooding from a storm remedied by professionals. They not only extract the excess moisture but clean the contaminants out of your home.
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Protect Your Restaurant From Mold in 3 Steps
Cleaning and protecting your restaurant from mold with cleaning and fixing problems as they arise
Mold is unpleasant in any business, but it can be especially unwelcome for business owners in the food industry of Quincy, IL. Not only is some food at risk of contamination, an inspection finding hidden mold growth can garner negatively publicity for your establishment. To prevent the ordeal of having to clean up mold and your restaurant’s reputation, follow these three steps to prevent and treat mold.
1. Inspect Likely Mold Locations Regularly
If a location is damp and dark, mold is likely to grow there first. As a part of routine maintenance, areas under sinks, above ceiling tiles and behind fridges should be inspected, as they are likely to hide mold.
Locations around water pipes and the utilities connected to them are also worth keeping an eye on for any fungus. While the appearance of the area where customers eat may seem a priority, it’s equally important to maintain the rest of the building.
2. Keep Yourself and Others Vigilant for Loose Water and Mold
Your staff should be informed to report any sign of water damage or mold growth immediately so it can be remedied without delay. The longer stagnant water stays untreated, the more likely mold will find its way there. Especially during seasons of high humidity or an especially damp kitchen, your employees should be watchful for any warning signs.
3. Fix Any Mold Problem by Targeting the Source
Most cleaning supplies only add water to the mold and make the problem worse. While they may clean the surface, the mold’s roots stay alive and continue to reproduce. Water and mold are best handled by the tools and expertise of a company specializing in water and mold removal. Without water for the mold to fester, the fungus will have nowhere to settle and will instead die off.
Growth of your restaurant doesn’t have to be hampered by mold growth. By keeping your building free of mold in every room, you can pass inspection and protect your investment. Your patrons deserve a welcome environment and good food; the mold doesn’t.
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Can My Carpet Be Saved?
Carpet Water Damage in Quincy
After water damage from a pipe break or a leaky roof, you may wonder if all is ruined and must be replaced. There is a chance that professional restoration specialists in Quincy, IL may be able to save your carpet. Here is a basic guide to help you know when you can save and when you must replace.
Three Categories of Water Damage
There are three classifications of water that cause damage in your home: "clean water," "gray water," and "black water." "Clean water" comes from a clean source, like a pipe break, a faucet or rain. In your home, a source of "gray water" might be the dishwasher or washing machine. "Black water" is the most contaminated, having hazardous chemicals and microbes that can cause serious health problems. An example of a "black water" source is a toilet, sewage system or an external flood.
When to Replace
Do not be tempted to keep anything damaged by "black water." A professional restoration team must be called in to help with removal to keep your family safe from the hazardous exposure. Check out this quick list of what must be replaced:
• Anything that has been contaminated by "black water"
• Flooring soaked for more than 48 hours in any category of water
• Soaked padding
• Some subfloors, such as particle board
When to Restore
Carpet damaged from a pipe break or other "clean water" source can be saved. Here are some things to keep in mind:
• The wet area should be treated within 24 hours to prevent development of fungi and mold.
• Some "gray water" damage may be mitigated by professionals using specialized techniques.
• Look for specialists that use a hot water extraction method.
Be wary of standard floor cleaning companies that may use inappropriate methods for water damage cleaning. These methods are ineffective and often make matters worse, leaving you with floors that pose serious health risks for your family. Thanks to the extensive methods of water removal, drying and moisture monitoring, a professional water remediation company can actually save carpet that has been exposed to "clean water" damage.
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Tips for Cleaning Belongings Affected by Water in Commercial Buildings
Electronics can be restored professionally after a commercial water loss if caught in a time for fast drying
If you have to deal with a flooded company building, you likely have a lot of worries racing through your head. Which commercial restoration team in Quincy, IL, should you work with? How long does the repair process take? Can your business stay open? How can you dry out the various belongings that got waterlogged during the flood? Finding a reputable cleaning company can make answering these questions much easier. Use this quick guide to learn a bit about content cleaning commercial belongings.
• Furniture: If you have couches, chairs or other upholstered furniture, you need to get them completely dry before you can start the cleaning process. You may want to use a foaming cleaner on this type of item. Some upholsteries may require dry cleaning.
• Electronics: Not all electronics will be salvageable after a flood. Your first step should be to let the item dry out completely. Next, you should take it to a professional before turning it on. This expert will be able to ensure all of the water and grime is out of the system before adding power.
• Flooring: Depending on the type of flooring you have in your flooded company, you may need to replace all of the flooring. Some tiles, concretes or other hard floors may be saved after getting dried out and cleaned.
• Files: Paper is a hard thing to clean after a broken pipe fills your space with lots of water. The paper may disintegrate. If salvageable, you can dry the paper out. It will likely have some water damage.
• Art: Water can cause paintings and other art to get stained. Some art restoration professionals can help get your piece back to its former glory.
Content cleaning requires flexibility and a wide range of equipment. When you discover a flooded company building, you need to be read to take on water removal, foam cleaning, dry cleaning and other methods of content cleaning.
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Essential Items in Any Office First Aid Kit
Essential to have a First Aid kit in your business for any emergency
As a business leader, you work hard to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone who works in your office. You hope there are never accidents, injuries or mishaps, but it’s important to be prepared in case something happens. If you don’t have a first aid kit in your Quincy, IL, building, it’s time to assemble one with the right supplies.
If someone in your office gets cut on machinery or equipment, or by any other way, you need a way to control the bleeding quickly. Gauze can do this effectively. Specifically, you need the following:
• 4-by-4-inch gauze pads
• Larger gauze pads, preferably 8 by 10 inches
• 2-inch-wide gauze roller bandage
After you’ve absorbed the bleeding, you need to cover the gauze and wound with high-quality bandages. Make sure you have an ample amount of bandages in your first aid kit and ensure that you have a wide variety of sizes.
In order to put the right amount of gauze and bandages on the person, you may need tools such as scissors and tape. It’s also a good idea to keep some tweezers in your kit in case you need to remove small debris from a cut or other wound.
Your emergency kit must also include safety measures such as a moistened wipe or ointment. As you apply these materials and as you work with wounds, make sure you and your employees wear protective gloves. You should also provide a mask in your kit.
An emergency situation could also cause breaks or sprains, so make sure you put a few splints in your kit.
If you’re not sure what to keep in your first aid kit, you should consult a trusted specialist in emergency response. If you have the right materials in place in your office, you can have peace of mind that you and your employees will receive the right care until help can arrive.
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Taking Preventative Steps to Keep Your House 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Avoid a Puffback
Puff Back in Quincy Home
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 Quincy.
Are You Prepared for Spring Flooding?
While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. During the rainy season, we are at high risk for flash flooding, which can occur rapidly within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.
As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it's important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you are located in a low risk flood zone remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.
In order to help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, I offer the following tips:
- Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
- Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your facility
- Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
- Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
- Prepare a flood evacuation plan
- Know how to safely shut-off utilities
- Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
- Have a portable radio to listen for important current information
When your facility sustains water damage from flooding, you should call SERVPRO immediately at (781) 337-0344. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of water damage.