Understanding water damage in your home
-The different categories of water.
In restoration, we see three different categories of water. The first (category 1) is what we’d call clean water. No, this does not mean you can drink it. What it means is the water came from a clean source such as a sink or toilet supply line (not the tank or bowl). Then we have category 2. The nickname for category two water is grey water. Some reasons you’d find category two losses are say the water from the upper level leaked through and damaged the lower level. If the water on the top level was category 1, passing through the multiple layers adds more possible pollutants, irritants, just overall dirt maybe, but because it’s moved through to a second level it’ll be considered category 2. Finally we have category 3 water. This water is dirty and carries any number of bacteria, waste, or so on. Anytime water comes from outside of a structure, contains feces, or is even found to be in a filthy environment we consider it category 3. Category 3 water requires us to wear full personal protective equipment and take care in our work so as to avoid contamination, injury or illness.
-Water and its ability to travel.
Water is both a necessary component to life as well as an amazing force of nature. One thing we find in many homes is water wicking up the walls. What that means is water doesn’t obey the typical laws of gravity. When looking at floods in structures we commonly find water climbing in drywall or wooden surfaces. Luckily we have a way to mitigate that. By drilling small holes behind the baseboards we are able to add airflow inside of the wall cavity in order to pull water out of the walls.
-How quickly should you respond?
In order to prevent secondary damages it’s suggested that you respond within 72 hours. Some of the secondary damages you could possibly see would be microbial growth (mold), or structural deterioration. Wood will start to swell, carpet can begin to delaminate, flooring may bow, waiting can cause a multitude of problems no building owner wants.
-Why should you use professionals to mitigate?
As mentioned before, secondary damages can occur quickly. Many people think that they can put air movement in the damaged area and use a shop vac to pull some water up. While that may “help”, remembering water will travel in any direction it wants is wise. We use high output air movers, not your standard fan, that are capable of pushing up to 3000 CFM (cubic feet per minute). It’s this volume and force combined with machines that can remove the moisture from the air, dehumidifiers, as well as some temperature control that will actually facilitate drying. At SERVPRO we’re proud to use the latest technology available to make your loss “Like it never even happened.”
Some words from recent customers
Here at SERVPRO we really strive to give our customers the absolute best service we can. Here are some thoughts from some of our recent customers.
”Great, Professional Company. We were very happy with their work and service from start to finish. Would highly recommend, if you have a remediation project.” –Spencer, ID
“We suffered extensive water damage to ceilings, fixtures, walls, and floors as a result of an overflowing shower upstairs.
Luke and his team showed up promptly and worked quickly to get the situation in hand. Over four weeks of drying, removing damaged drywall, and installing and painting new drywall, they have always been highly professional and extremely personable.
Luke was always immediately available to answer any question, and always specifically described beforehand, what needed to be done, and what the cost would be.
We were especially impressed with how they contained the construction dust and debris from migrating into the rest of the place. We are very pleased with the quality of their work, would highly recommend them to anyone with the misfortune to need professional mitigation services, and will be glad to be a personal reference.” Joseph, ID
“The crew at SERVPRO do an awesome job of taking care of my customers whenever there is a claim. They communicate great with my clients and myself so that everyone is on the same page. Great response time too.” Kendall, ID
Fire in your home
-Fire and its devastating effects
Fire is one of the most devastating disasters a family can face. It can both destroy your home as well as your belongings in two stages. The original fire and then the damage caused by smoke and soot. We at SERVPRO have the products and training to help restore as much of your loss as possible.
-secondary damages from smoke
Secondary damages from smoke can cause up to 75% of the total loss. Combustion of home building materials such as PVC can produce an acidic smoke and residue. This can cause etching of glass, deterioration of electronics and many other secondary issues. One important thing to remember is how quickly secondary damages will occur. Within hours, plastics will begin to yellow, clothes may become stained or deteriorated, and the same may happen to other soft goods like couches or rugs. It’s very important to move quickly so we can restore items first before having to replace them.
-Our cleaning process
Our highly trained and certified staff know how to respond to a fire. Some important steps would be to clean what we can inside the structure ASAP to prevent tarnishing of metals and etching of glass, pack out affected materials to be restored, isolate those materials, use an ozone machine to chemically remove odors, and use vacuums equipped with hepa filters to remove much of the soot. We use many of our own chemicals and cleaners that are made by and specifically for SERVPRO in order to clean structures efficiently.
Burst water supply line in Twin Falls
A burst supply line was the cause of a large loss in a Twin Falls home
A burst pipe can cause significant water damage in a home. Water leakage can also be terribly expensive, possibly causing personal schedule changes and insurance claims. Additionally, mildew and mold can become a problem long after the initial damage. Thankfully, there are experts in water damage that can help the problems from a burst pipe be much more manageable.
Pay attention to leaking pipes! Diligence can minimize the collateral damage from a burst pipe. Pay attention to where water has leaked. The water and moisture may have already caused a small amount of damage. Call a professional to determine the best course of action as soon as possible. Attempting to mitigate the damage by yourself will, more often than not, create more damage.
Preventing Structural Damage
The possibility of structural damage is the key reason homeowners should be extra vigilant regarding the plumbing in their homes. Structural damage may be difficult to spot. You should always contact an experienced contractor such as SERVPRO of Twin Falls & Jerome Counties to assess possible structural damage from leaky or burst pipes.
Mold is another serious problem that stems from water damage. Mold can be particularly vexing to homeowners. Because mold is living, it can grow and fill large portions of a home without the homeowner being aware. Eventually, mold can lead to structural damage. Mold can be in basements, laundry rooms, kitchens and crawlspaces. Mold removal can be a very difficult task once a foothold has been secured.
The above factors illustrate how complicated the ramifications of a burst pipe can be. A homeowner should not attempt to deal with any of these issues without the assistance of an expert well versed in water damage repair and mold remediation. The skills needed to deal effectively with mold, structural damage, and leaking pipes are beyond the average homeowner. Homeowners that attempt these tasks quite often worsen the existing problems. It is always best to hire an expert to inspect the damage after experiencing a burst pipe. SERVPRO of Twin Falls & Jerome Counties has the experience as a full-service water restoration company to rectify and repair all the problems related to a burst pipe. Solving the problem of a burst pipe correctly will protect the investment of your home for years to come.
Ways to prevent/minimize a fire damage to your property
Home fire in Burley, ID
Here are a few interesting statistics about smoke alarms brought to you by the National Fire protection Association.
- In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
- Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- No smoke alarms were present in more than one-third (38%) of the home fire deaths.
- One of every five (21%) of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound.
- In reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms.
Below are a few simple precautions you can take around your home to prevent and/or minimize a fire in your home or business.
- The single most important preventive measure a homeowner can take is installing and maintaining smoke/carbon monoxide alarms throughout the home.
- Working smoke alarms should be found in each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home.
- Change the batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide alarms changed regularly. (A good time to do so is when the time changes in the spring and fall.)
- Make sure you have an accessible fire extinguisher on each level of your home and be sure everyone in the house knows how to properly extinguish a blaze.
- Reduce the risk of fire outside of the home by removing dying or dead trees and shrubs and by also keeping drybrush and debris at least 30 feet away from the home.
- Keep gutters, roof, and eaves clear of debris?
- Be sure any candles in the home are placed away from curtains and other furniture, as well as out of reach of children and pets.
If you find yourself in need of fire damage cleanup call the professionals at SERVPRO of Twin Falls & Jerome Counties.
Fire Prevention and safety in your office
Commercial fires in the Magic Valley are often the most devastating reality that a property owner will have to oversee. Fires are not limited to burn damage and smoke invasion on your property. Fires can force you to relocate temporarily so you can maintain running your business while the restoration process is completed. However, property owners who access and implement high-quality safety practices can often avoid the devastation and destruction that results from commercial fires. Read the brief outline provided below to learn how you can protect your property:
1. Install Automatic Fire Sprinklers.
As many authorities know, having an automatic fire sprinkler on your property can reduce the risk of fire by up to 71%. Additionally, sprinklers can decrease your insurance premium. To keep your sprinkler in excellent condition, be sure that it is not blocked by dirt or paint. Also, be sure to inspect regularly your main control valve so that it is not left off.
2. Conduct Fire Emergency Training.
The training can help prevent your staff members from being victimized. Here are a few subjects that should be covered in the emergency training:
Keep all combustible chemicals and materials away from heat-generating and electrical equipment.
Inspect your power sources regularly and don't overload your extension cords and outlets.
Teach your employees how to respond when a fire breaks out. Some subjects that should be covered include how to perform an organized evacuation, operate the fire extinguisher, and set the fire alarm.
Other issues that should be involved in the training include:
• Breathing Apparatus Training
• Fire Extinguisher Training
• Confined Space Entry Training
• First Aid Training
• General Staff Emergency Awareness Training
• Evacuation Exercise
Call SERVPRO of Twin Falls & Jerome Counties Immediately
Although accessing and utilizing fire prevention measures is crucial and advantageous, there is still a chance that a fire could break out on your commercial property. If this happens, you need to know who to call for fast, efficient restoration services. The company to trust is SERVPRO of Twin Falls & Jerome Counties. We have extensive industry experience and a passion for restoring offices to their original condition. We're ready to assist you immediately, so contact us now at 208-735-1447
EMERGENCY READY PLAN
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The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW. As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. Are You Ready?
Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes your SERVPRO of Twin Falls & Jerome Counties Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
Call SERVPRO of Twin Falls & Jerome Counties today and schedule your free ERP!
Water Damage in your home, now what?
A water damage can happen in the blink of an eye. Call SERVPRO of Twin Falls and Jerome Counties for any of your restoration needs.
Water damage is the #1 reason homeowners file a file a claim with their insurance company. Water can be very intrusive to your home very quickly. Water will always follow the path of least resistance, saturating everything in its path. It is important to know what you as a homeowner can do to help to prevent further damage from occurring.
Most of the time, water damage in a home is the result of an accident within the home and not weather related. Whether it is a burst water line connected to an appliance, a bathtub overflowing, a washing machine that is malfunctioning or any of the other mishaps that can happen in a home; the most important thing to remember is to CALL A PROFESSIONAL!
At SERVPRO of Twin Falls and Jerome Counties it is always our goal to put our customers worries at ease. When you make contact with our office, you will always speak to someone local that knows this business inside and out. We will ask a variety of questions including: what type of flooring you have in your home, what the square footage is, and what areas are affected. This allows our team to arrive promptly and ready to handle whatever disaster you are facing. If you are planning on filing a claim with your homeowners insurance, we can help guide you through the process and deal with your insurance adjuster directly. At SERVPRO of Twin Falls and Jerome Counties we are a preferred vendor for many local and national insurance companies.
After calling us at SERVPRO of Twin Falls and Jerome Counties use the guide below to minimize the damage to your home and belongings.
- Shut off the source of water if at all possible or contact a qualified person to stop the water.(city water department, plumber)
- If water has affected anything electrical, turn off the power to the affected area at the breaker box if it is safe to do so.
- Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water off of wood furniture after removing table top items.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and flooring.
- Remove any paintings, documents, computers or any other materials that are valuable or sensitive and store them in an unaffected, dry area of the house.
- Hang curtains and/or draperies off of the floor.
- Take and furs and/or leather items to a separate dry space at room temperature.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches or any other electrical equipment has been exposed to water.
- Leave books, magazines, newspapers or any other colored items on wet flooring and/or furniture to prevent staining.
- Leave wet Oriental rugs or any rug, on a carpeted surface to prevent staining.
- Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water.
- Use TVs or any other appliance while sitting in wet material.
- Enter rooms or turn on light fixtures in a room where the ceiling is wet or sagging from retained water.
- Wait to call our team. The longer you wait to call, the more secondary damage is occurring.
Why us? : This humble bloggers opinion on choosing the right restoration company.
As I am sitting at my desk racking my brain, trying to figure out what readers would like to see in our company’s blog, it suddenly hit me... Why us? It seems like such a simple question but, to our potential customer it is a very important one.
When my wife and I bought our first home, I can’t express the overwhelming feeling we had. We had finally quit throwing our hard earned money out the window on rent and finally had a place to call our own! A place that we could watch our 3 boys grow into young men, a place that we could paint the walls whatever color we would like, finally being able to hang our family pictures to the wall instead of trusting the silly putty wall hangers because we couldn’t put nails in the wall and get our deposit back. Your home is your castle, whether it’s a one bedroom one bath starter home that you bought to start your journey in life, or it’s the dream home that you built after years of hard work. You see, it doesn’t matter whether it’s your first or the 100th home you’ve owned, when you pull in the driveway you can’t help but feel pride in ownership. So I find myself trying to answer this question; what would drive you as a homeowner to trust SERVPRO of Twin Falls and Jerome Counties to restore your castle after a disaster?
Here are a few reasons why I would trust our crew in my castle:
At SERVPRO of Twin Falls and Jerome Counties we believe in treating every home or business we step foot into as if it were our own. One of our company goals is to treat everyone and everything as you would if it was our family going through this loss. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small stain on the carpet or three feet of raw sewage in a basement, we will treat your loss with the utmost respect and professionalism.
At SERVPRO of Twin Falls and Jerome Counties we know that communication is key. When you experience a loss in your home, you have many questions. It is our goal to have someone available to answer your questions right away. We want you to know that as our customer, we work for you, not the other way around. We have worked hard to develop our brand in the Magic Valley as the company that works for you!
You and your insurance company will be informed every step of the way. We always work on an approval only basis. This means that we will only do the work that you as the homeowner and/or your insurance company has approved. We want to make sure this process is as smooth and painless as possible.
At SERVPRO of Twin Falls and Jerome Counties we believe in Applied Structural Drying. In simple terms, we do not want to come into your house and just start tearing things apart. We have invested a lot of time and assets into equipment, training, and tools that allow us to dry the structure with minimal disruption. If there is a way to extract and mitigate the damage without tearing out floors and/or walls, we have the equipment and knowledge to do it. By doing this, we minimize the disruption of your life and more importantly keep the overall cost of the loss down.
Highly Trained Specialists
Since first opening the doors in 1967, training has been the backbone of SERVPRO success nationwide. In Twin Falls, this is something that is very important to us as a company. We are an IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified firm. The IICRC is a certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries and is what most insurance companies base their standards on. Unlike most companies, ALL of our employees are trained to these standards.
Faster to Any Size Disaster
A fast response is crucial! An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. Our Technicians arrive fast and start the extraction right away. The faster we can extract and stabilize, the fewer things become damaged.
At SERVPRO we utilize the 1-4-8 method when responding to emergencies. Within the first hour you will receive a follow-up call from our team, letting you know our estimated arrival. Within the first 4 hours, we will arrive on-site ready to start mitigating the loss. Within the first eight hours, we will have a job scope verbally communicated to the property owner.
5 easy steps to prevent frozen pipes this winter!
Frozen pipes are one of the main sources of water damage in a home.
Summer is over, the first chill is in the air and your garden is wilting due to the early morning frost. As homeowners, there are a few easy, yet critical things we need to do to prevent pipes from freezing once that cold East wind blows through the Magic Valley.
Why you ask? When water freezes it expands, if there is water trapped in your pipes it could cause a burst- Flooding your basement, ruining drywall and costing thousands of dollars in repairs. Frozen water lines that burst are often some of the most expensive and time consuming losses we see in the Magic Valley.
Bottom line, take these precautionary measures in the fall to prevent a catastrophic failure within the plumbing of your home during our cold winter months.
Here are 5 steps everyone can take to help prevent frozen pipes this winter.
Step 1: Drain exposed/ unused lines.
The first thing every homeowner should do is get the water out! Garden hoses and sprinkler lines are one of the most common culprits of burst pipes.
Make sure all outside hoses are detached from the spigot and allow the spigot to drain. If you leave a garden hose attached to the outside water spigot, your chances of having a water damage in the spring increase dramatically. While it is true that most outside water sources are “frost free,” if a hose is connected there is no way for the water to drain and will lead to a burst.
In Idaho, our main water supply line coming into our homes is typically buried 36” or more due to our average frost line being 31”. The same can’t be said for our automatic sprinkler lines. The average depth for sprinkler lines is only six to eight inches, well above our frost line. This means that if your sprinkler lines have not been properly drained, there is an overwhelming chance that the lines will freeze.
It is best to have a professional come and blow out your automatic sprinkler lines every fall. While most of us have an air compressor at home, few of us have one with the appropriate psi to purge all of the water through the system.
Step 2: Insulate exposed piping
In an ideal situation, all of our homes plumbing would be within the structure and in a heated space. Unfortunately for us as homeowners, this is not always the case. Focus on the unheated areas of your home- attics, crawlspaces and basements. If you have any piping within these spaces, insulated them properly with sleeves wrapping or heat tape. All of these can be purchased at your favorite hardware/home improvement store.
Step 3: Open cabinet doors
When we get into the coldest months of the year, when the temperature rarely gets above the freezing mark, even our indoor plumbing can be subject to freezing. The easiest and most cost effective way to help with this is opening your cabinet doors. I know that none of us want every cabinet in the house open (especially my wife) but, during our cold snaps, the increased airflow will help keep the pipes within the wall above the freezing point.
Step 4: let it drip!
When one of our famous Idaho cold fronts move in and the temperatures plummet, let all of your faucets drip. By just allowing the water to continuously drip, the water inside the pipes is moving, relieving pressure. Therefore not allowing a freeze up to occur.
Step 5: Shut off the water completely
If you’re planning a trip during the winter months, take the extra precaution and turn off the water coming into your home. This ensures that you won’t come home to a new swimming pool where your living room used to be. When the cold water sits unused in your pipes it increases your chance of a frozen pipe. More importantly, if your home was to lose power for a few days while you’re away during sub-zero temperatures, you could come home to an absolute disaster! So, why take the risk? Take the extra precaution and turn your water off while away. The water main shut off is typically found in the basement of your home where the water line enters the structure. If you can’t find it, look in your property records to locate the shutoff valve.