Do You Know Who To Call First After Severe Storm Damage?
A severe storm can cause a lot of damage. Trees can fall, debris can wreak havoc and the ground can become saturated quickly. If your home floods as the result of a storm, having flood insurance can help cover the cost of storm restoration services. The following tips can help you file a flood claim with your insurance company so that you don't have to pay remediation expenses out of pocket.
Make Important Calls
The first thing you need to do is to call everyone who may need to be involved in resolving the flooding problem:
- Government office in charge of city sewer system
- Insurance company
- Certified flood cleanup professionals
When a large portion of your area floods, it can affect the city's sewer lines, and officials need to know if you are experiencing any problems. Notifying your insurance carrier prompts an adjuster to visit your home and analyze the damage listed on your insurance claim. Arranging for technicians to arrive as soon as possible helps you prevent further water damage to your home.
To file a successful flood claim, you need proof of all the damage the flooding causes. Don't wait until your adjuster to arrives to document it. Take pictures and video so that you have evidence of the initial state of your home after the flood. After cleanup technicians arrive and pump the excess water out of your home, take more pictures of the water damage and make an itemized list of all the items that must be restored or replaced. Having information ready when the adjuster arrives can help you make a more detailed claim.
If the area where your home is located floods, you may not be able to avoid water damage. Knowing whom to call and the immediate steps to take can help you file a successful flood claim.
So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help make things "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO Is Faster To Your Water Damage Event
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski and Fulton Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
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Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
SERVPRO of specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Three Ways To Use Landscaping To Protect Your Home From Water Damage
Heavy rains or extreme storms can drop thousands of gallons of water on your yard over the course of a winter season, potentially leaving behind outside flooding or overflowing drainage in their wake. Therefore, it’s important to prepare for any intense rainstorm by finding ways to properly divert rain drainage away from your property. Here are three ways to use your outdoor landscaping to protect your home from the brunt of oncoming excess water and keep it outside where it belongs.
1. Be creative with your mulch. If you’ve created any garden or plant beds around the exterior of your home, there are preventative measures you can take to effectively ward off flooding issues. Use heavier mulch that absorbs more of the water within itself as opposed to allowing it to run toward the walls of the house. Furthermore, it’s best to leave a 6-inch gap between your mulch and siding so that any excess water doesn’t wick up and into the exterior siding of your home.
2. Direct rainwater spouts away from the house. In the event of a rainstorm, your drainage spouts work to keep water flowing freely off of your roof and away from your exterior paneling. However, it’s important to extend these downspouts as much as possible to keep any outside flooding from building right next to your home.
3. Use grass or rock formations as barriers. If your family has experienced countless flooding problems in your basement, cellar or even surrounding your doorways, it helps to create a landscaping barrier in areas that are prone to excess water buildup. Incorporate added grass to help absorb and block, or enhance the space with a decorative rock path to break up the runoff and keep it from collecting.
While outside flooding isn’t always preventable, there are certainly ways to help prevent excess water from building around the exterior of your home. These three methods can be useful in safeguarding your property without taking away from the beauty of your landscape. For more information give us a call! (574) 936-5849.
What You Can Do If You Have A Home Fire (Part 1 of 2)
While we all hope we never have to suffer through the experience of a house fire, it is important to know what to do if one should happen. Obviously, the first thing you should do is ensure the fire has been extinguished completely.
This can be done by someone in the home if the fire is small and can be put out easily and safely. Or by the fire department if the fire is too big and dangerous to safely extinguish by the homeowner. It’s important to note that it’s always best to call the fire department right as soon as a fire is spotted and to get everyone out of the home quickly and safely.
The Fire is Out. Now What?
While you may be anxious to start cleaning after a fire, you may be doing more damage than good. Normal household cleaners can be ineffective at removing soot and smoke -- and could even make it worse. It’s best to contact fire damage repair and restoration professionals, like those at SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski and Fulton counties, to get advice on what needs to be done and what not to do.
Fire damage repair and restoration professionals will be able to tell you what can be cleaned, what can be repaired, and what needs to be replaced. They will be able to give you estimates on what services need to be done in order to remove all fire and smoke damage, including smoke odors, from your home.
Airing and Drying Things Out
One of the first things a fire repair company will do is get the smoke and moisture out of the air. This can be done with fans and dehumidifiers. Once the fire is out and you’re allowed to go back inside, you can open some windows near where the fire occurred to help start airing the smoke out of the house.
The other concern is water damage to your carpets and floors. This is usually a result of the fire department extinguishing the fire. If your carpets and floors are wet, it’s important to remove the water and moisture and quickly as possible. If not dried out, carpets and floors can occur further damage from mold and mildew.
Professional fire damage repair companies will usually vacuum out as much water as possible and then use fans and dehumidifiers to dry the carpets and floors out. They may also pull up the carpets to help dry out the padding underneath.
Battling Soot Before It Causes Worse Damage
Soot can be a huge menace to carpets, drapes, and upholstery. It can easily stain fabrics and cause further staining using standard cleaning materials. The soot must be removed before using fabric cleaners. It’s also important to limit traffic across carpet and floors that have soot on it.
What You Can Do If You Have A Home Fire (Part 2 of 2)
Dealing With Smoke Odor In Fabrics
One of the most difficult things to get out of fabrics and porous materials is the smoke odor. Smoke odor can adhere to carpets, dust in air ducts, drapes, and furniture. Normal household cleaners and detergents usually won’t remove all of the smoke odors. To remove the smoke odors many times require special counteractants that are formulated to break up the smoke molecules in the fabrics and materials.
A professional fire repair company will be able to help with that. They will be able to apply these chemical and/or additive counteractants to carpets, fabrics and other porous materials to break up the smoke molecules. Once they are broken up, then they can be professionally cleaned.
Sometimes ozone treatments are needed to break up the smoke molecules and remove the odors. This is usually done with ozone generators which be dangerous if misused. Ozone treatments are another of many tools and treatments that a fire repair company will be able to help with if needed.
Treating Discolored Walls and Ceilings
Removing soot from walls and ceilings is another difficult task that is best left up to a professional. Professional fire damage repair companies will have the right tools and treatments to remove the soot without causing further damage or stains. Many will use special sponges to remove the soot. Others will use non-water based cleaners to remove the soot. Again when dealing with smoke and soot stains on walls and ceilings it’s best to consult a professional fire damage repair company.
Call the Fire Damage Experts for Fast Cleanup and Restoration
When dealing with fire and smoke damage, it’s always best to leave it to the experts at SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski and Fulton counties to handle the cleanup and restoration. The professionals at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West have the expertise and experience to handle home and commercial fire damage. If you should suffer from a fire, contact SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski and Fulton counties online or call them at 574-936-5849.
SERVPRO Specializes In Flooded Basement Cleanup
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
What To Do When Water Damage Effects Your Business
When you’re running a business, flood water is the last thing you want to deal with,. However, sometimes it’s unavoidable when bad weather or faulty plumbing strikes. The key to combating flooding is understanding exactly what you’re dealing with before disaster strikes. These are the most important points to remember when it comes to flooding:
• Flood water is considered black water, or a category 3 issue.
• Black water contains a number of threats.
• You require professional help to clean up black water correctly.
Flood waters are rated on a scale depending on the source of the flooding. Clean water comes from burst water lines and other clean sources, gray water results from broken showers and other potentially chemical-carrying sources, and black water results from storm damage and other, potentially more dangerous sources. Understanding which type you’re dealing with is vital when it comes to keeping yourself and your employees safe during floods.
Out of the three categories, black water is the most dangerous by far. Floods resulting from storm damage are considered as a category 3 issue because they tend to carry sewage, chemicals, diseases and bacteria that they pick up from outdoor spaces. Avoiding direct contact with this water is imperative to avoid the transmission of illnesses and other serious issues.
While there are a few steps you can take to reduce the immediate damage of black water in your business, you should never attempt to handle the issue alone and without professional equipment. Allowing a professional cleanup crew to take care of your flooding issue is the best way to promote a safe work environment while getting the results you need to get your business operations back on track.
In the business world, informing yourself about an issue is always important when it comes to making smart decisions. This applies to dealing with emergencies such as flooding in the workplace. Prepare to deal with black water the right way, and never let yourself or your employees be caught off-guard.
Contact SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski and Fulton counties today!
Ask The Experts: What Causes Long Term Order After A Fire?
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski & Fulton County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Water Damage To Your Commercial Business Can Lead To Lots Of Problems
Water damage to your Indianapolis business can lead to lots of problems. It can ruin electronics like computers or even worse, cause a short which could lead to a fire. Water can also ruin any porous materials including fabric chairs and couches, carpets, drywall, ceilings, insulation and, wood. If not caught right away and remediated, it can also lead to mold growth that can spread quickly through the air ducts and through the air.
If you do experience water damage to your business, then you want to call the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski and Fulton counties as soon as possible. When it comes to water damage, the faster you catch it and get it dried up and cleaned up, the better. Even the smallest leak can lead to lots of damage that may be hidden behind ceilings and walls.
Top Causes of Commercial Water Damage & How to Reduce the Risks
Below we will cover the top causes of water damage to businesses. We will also go over how to reduce the risk or at the very least catch the water damage quickly before it gets worse. Hopefully by understanding where water can enter into your building and cause water and mold damage, the better you will be at checking these trouble areas on a regular basis.
Faulty Appliances and Equipment
If your business has appliances and/or equipment that use water, they can develop water leaks that can start small but lead to lots of damage if not caught. These appliances could be dishwashers, sinks, ice machines, water fountains, water heaters, air conditioners, and toilets.
All of these, except for the toilet, tend to leak what is termed clean water. Clean water is water that usually contains no contaminants. While clean water can still cause significant water damage to porous materials, it doesn’t have as high of a risk of fast-growing molds occurring. The water can still mix with contaminants once it starts leaking from the source which usually results in gray water. Gray water can carry bacteria and contaminants that can promote fast mold growth.
To reduce the risk of water leaks from your appliances and equipment, it’s usually a good idea to check all piping, tubes, filters, and other areas that may cause leaking. Also, do a spot check around the appliances and under them for any standing water or water stains.
Leaky and Backed Up Pipes & Drains
Leaks from sewer pipes and backups from drains is also a common cause of water damage to a business. This could be a backed up toilet or a clogged pipes that cause water to back up and escape through the drains. Also common in flood-prone areas is sewer water backing up through floor drains from sewer lines that are at capacity and overflowing.
The water from these sources tends to be gray water or black water. Black water is sewer water that can contain all types of waste particles that may be dangerous to one’s health and can also lead to fast mold growth. This is usually where you will find dangerous black molds occurring. If you experience water damage from black water, it’s important to call the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski and Fulton counties as soon as possible. Black water can also be found in severe floods.
A leaking roof is common in homes and businesses throughout Indiana. With many businesses, the roof is usually flat. If the drainage for the roof is blocked, water can pool up and cause a roof collapse. Even if the drainage is fine, water can still find its way inside through cracks and damage to the roof membrane, flashing, and damages to seals around pipes and vents.
To reduce the risk of leaks from your roof, it’s a good idea to check the roof every few months for any deteriorating seals or storm damage. If you experience extreme weather like hails or high winds, then you want to check the roof as soon as it is safe to ensure the weather has caused any damages to the roof that may lead to leaks.
Call the Water Damage Experts for Fast Cleanup and Restoration
Sometimes no matter how much care you take to reduce the risk of water damage to your business, it still occurs. If that should happen, it’s important to contact SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski and Fulton counties immediately. Whether it’s a small leak or substantial flooding and water damage to your business, the experts at SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski and Fulton counties can make clean up and restore the damage as if it never happened. You can contact SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski and Fulton counties online or call them at 574-936-5849.
Things You Need To DO If Fire Damage Hits Your Home
A fire in your home can be devastating. Avoid the risk of injury, smoke and property damage by knowing the most common causes of electrical fires:
1. Old Wiring - Did you know that the lifespan of electrical systems in homes is 30-40 years but more than 30% of the nation's homes are more than 50 years old? Signs that your home's wiring may need to be updated include an over-reliance on extension cords and circuit breakers that blow or fuses that need to be replaced constantly. Consult with a reputable electrician to find out what updates your home needs to be safe.
2. Space Heaters - These portable heaters are not designed for long-term use. Portable heating devices should never be placed near combustible surfaces such as clothing, curtains, rugs, bedding or furniture. If you choose to utilize a space heater, look for a model that stays cool to the touch and has a built in automatic shut-off feature in case it is accidentally covered or left on.
3. Old, Outdated Appliances - Never use an appliance that has a worn or frayed cord. Never remove the grounding plug from a cord so that it can be used in a 2 prong outlet. That extra prong is designed to only be used with an outlet that can accommodate the extra electricity that this appliance draws.
Even when taking precautions, electrical fires can occur and have devastating consequences in your home or workplace. If you experience fire or smoke damage, call SERVPRO of Marshall, Starke, Pulaski & Fulton counties at 574-936-5849 day or night to speak with an experienced restoration specialist.