6 Things to Never Do After a Flood
If you hope to be reimbursed for the water damage caused by the flood, you need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
If you're dealing with a flooded home, it's understandable that you want to act fast to minimize damage, and while that's the right mindset, your can-do attitude may cause more trouble than it prevents. Flood water cleanup must be done with great care, otherwise, you risk causing more harm to both your home and yourself. Your local flood remediation team shares a few tips for what NOT to do post-flood:
• Do NOT stay in your home.
• Do NOT wade into standing water.
• Do NOT touch the water.
• Do NOT forgo protective gear.
• Do NOT forget to call your insurer.
• Do NOT forget to call your Knoxville, TN, water damage restoration team.
It is important that you don't do any of the above, as failure to listen to the professionals could put you, your home, or your loved ones in harm's way.
Get Out of the House and Away From the Water ASAP
Depending on where the flood water came from, it could be contaminated with human feces, chemicals, or other harmful materials. For this reason, you should not go anywhere near the water, let alone touch it. Ideally, if you can, get out of your home as fast as possible and call for help.
If You Must Stay in the Home, Wear Protective Gear
While you should not attempt cleanup efforts on your own, if you plan to stay in the home, make sure you're equipped with all the right protective gear. This includes flood boots, which may protect you against electrical shocks, a full-body suit, gloves, and face mask.
Contact All the Necessary Parties
If you hope to be reimbursed for the water damage caused by the flood, you need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The company will likely need an estimate of the restoration costs, so schedule your Knoxville, TN, flood water restoration team at the same time. Your swift action in these regards could minimize damage and therefore the costs of restoration.
Protective Gear for Mold Remediation
Face masks, goggles, gloves, and other protective gears are necessary when you are cleaning up after mold in your home.
Mold is in the air all the time, but it is especially concentrated when you are in the process of remediating mold damage. While it is advisable to call in professional mold technicians when the area affected is larger than 30 square feet, you may decide to tackle smaller problems on your own. If you are cleaning mold in your home in Knoxville, TN, you can protect yourself from the extra spores in the air with face masks and other protective gear. There are four main areas that need coverage the most.
Before you begin to clean up the mold in your home, don clothing that covers most of your skin. It needs to be clothing that is washable. As soon as you are through cleaning, undress and wash what you were wearing immediately so that the spores that attach to your clothing don't multiply.
2. Nose and Mouth
Face masks cover your breathing passages, improving the quality of the air you actually take into your body. A mask with a respirator is an important piece of protective equipment that filters out the spores, trapping them before they get to you.
Goggles are necessary to protect your eyes. Eyes can be sensitive to any irritant, including dirt, hair, and mold. Keep spores away from your eyes by putting goggles on before you start cleaning.
Although your hands are going to be doing most of the work, you may not think of needing to protect them. After all, you can just wash your hands thoroughly after the cleaning is done, right? On the contrary, it is important to avoid contact with mold if you can. Gloves help protect your hands and forearms from the mold while you scrub.
Face masks, goggles, gloves, and other protective gears are necessary when you are cleaning up after mold in your home. Follow the example of remediation professionals and dress appropriately.
What You Should Do if You Think Your Building Has Mold
If your Knoxville, TN, building is has suffered mold damage, you should act quickly to make sure that it doesn't get any worse. Spores can be present everywhere, and excess moisture may cause them to proliferate. Aside from the significant damage an infestation can do to your property, stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, can pose even greater issues. If you've detected a potential problem, make sure to:
- Keep out of any affected parts of the building
- Turn off any fans, heating or air conditioning
- Call a mold remediation professional
Seek Professional Help
Mold cleanup is not something you should try to deal with on your own. It's important that you don't disturb the spores or try to dry the affected area by blowing air over it. Also, don't attempt to disinfect the damage yourself by using bleach or other cleaning products.
A professional remediation company should be able to handle the cleanup efficiently and identify whether or not black mold is present.
Prepare for the Remediation Process
Once the expert team arrives, a complete inspection can be done to determine all areas that are infested. Using advanced procedures like negative pressure chambers and air scrubbers, the mold is then isolated to contain any further spread. At this point, any sources of moisture are removed. Specialized cleaning and disinfecting agents are used to sanitize any infected surfaces. Salvageable materials, such as furniture and curtains, are removed, along with any damaged drywall and carpeting. Once this part of the process is completed, restoration of the affected areas can begin. This can range in complexity from replacing a few sections of sheetrock to reconstructing entire rooms.
Get the Job Done Right
If you suspect that you have a moisture problem, it's important to have a professional take care of it for you rather than trying to handle it on your own, especially when pathogens like black mold may be involved. By taking the steps outlined above, a remediation professional can safely and efficiently get your building back to its original condition.
What is an Ice Dam?
In the latest round of winter storms in Knoxville, TN, ice dams are forming on roofs all throughout the region, resulting in some substantial water damages. Which begs the question, just what exactly is an ice dam?
Simply put, an ice dam occurs when a ridge of ice forms at the edge of a roof, preventing any melting snow from draining as it should, in to the gutter or off of the roof. Water backs up behind the ice dam and can leak into the home, possibly damaging walls, ceilings, insulation, and other interior building materials. (See a diagram of a typical ice dam to the right.)
What are the causes of ice dams? In most cases, once the roof is covered with snow and ice, it's the result of heat and warm air released into the attic or roof space. Once enough heat and warm air builds up, it can begin melting the bottom layer of moisture on the roof. With no place to drain, water can find its way into the roof, backing up under the shingles.
Most importantly, it's critical to understand that while ice dams can cause water damage to your home, it's not advisable to ever get on a roof to try and "fix" the problem, as a wet, frozen roof is an extremely unsafe environment, even for the trained professional.
Once ice dams are present, there is little to be done that is not potentially harmful to the roof. Using tools to break the ice can result in holes in the roof and damage to shingles. There are professional companies that use steam to mitigate ice dams, but here in Knoxville, TN, it's not a common enough occurrence to warrant companies here to have that expertise.
The best way to prevent ice dams is to ensure proper ventilation and insulation within your attic. SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord has the capability to mitigate and clean up water damages from the ice dam, but not remove the ice dam itself. It's best to let all the water stop infiltrating before cleaning, as there may be additional extraction and damages that occur.
We Want to Help Our Community Stay Safe
If a fire erupts in your Knoxville,TN, business, you may end up with a lot of damage. Taking special fire preparation steps can help minimize the harm done by a fire. Use these tips to help you protect your commercial building.
1. Know Who To Call
If a disaster should occur, you need to know who to contact. Get in touch with the first responders immediately. They can help put out the fire and minimize the destruction. Depending on the amount of fire damage, you may also need to call a fire restoration team. Picking out a restoration expert prior to a disaster can help you get back to normal faster.
2. Get Familiar With Fire Codes
Following fire codes can keep flames from erupting in your commercial establishment. This fire preparation step is essential for the safety of everyone in your building. The codes you have to follow may depend on the type of business you own.
3. Install a Fire Suppression System
Emergency systems can serve two purposes. A sprinkler system, for example, helps put out flames. An alarm, however, can alert residents to potential danger. Installing a fire suppression system is an important disaster preparation step. Even if your building never has a fire issue, you may need to have this protective equipment.
4. Create an Evacuation Route
Teaching those who use your building how to exit in the case of an emergency may not diminish the damage done, but it can keep people safe. Your evacuation plan should incorporate several important elements, including the following:
- Multiple exit points
- Meet up spot
- Location of safety gear
Make sure to post a diagram with these directions in several places. When people have this information, it can make a fire less stressful.
While you never want to plan on your commercial building going up in flames, fires can happen anytime. Creating a fire preparation plan may help reduce the damage done to your space.
Water Damages in Northwest Knoxville
Water damage can occur for many different reasons. Sometimes, it happens as the result of a flood due to heavy rains. Other times, it may be due to an inside flood, such as when a pipe or a water heater bursts. Whatever the case may be, if you are dealing with water damage or water-damaged electronics, appliances, or other devices, you need to proceed with extreme caution. The best thing you can do, after water damage has occurred, is to call on Nashville professionals who are familiar with dealing with such damage, such as our skilled pros at SERVPRO of North Knoxville. In the meantime, make sure you practice some good safety tips with the water damaged devices.
First things first, before you start thinking about possible water damage restoration, you need to make sure that you are not in immediate danger and that the devices that you own are not going to cause a fire or another serious incident.
After water damage has occurred, check your home to see if you have any damaged devices plugged in. If you find that you do, shut off the electricity at the breaker level. This will keep damaged devices from being able to start a fire. You should not touch, go near, or inspect any devices that are plugged in until you are certain that the electricity is off. Following this important tip will help you to avoid electric shock.
Believe it or not, it is not only plugged in water damaged electronics that pose a risk. Any device that contains a battery can also pose a serious risk. Thus, it's best to let our pros at SERVPRO of North Knoxville handle any such devices if you think they may have been damaged. At the very least, before touching any battery operated device, ensure that it is not giving off heat or smoke, bulging, melting, or making strange sounds. All these types of things are major warning signs that something serious and potentially dangerous is wrong with the battery!
As you can see, you're not always in the clear once the water subsides! To keep safe, contact the experts at SERVPRO of North Knoxville before you do anything. At the very least, follow these simple tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
You Can Be Ruined Or You Can Be Ready
SERVPRO is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles.
Be Ready In The Event Of A Disaster
Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of a disaster.
Store Information Online
There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word Document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records and information about your pets, if necessary.
Follow The News
Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if rescue is needed through Twitter.
Mark Yourself Safe
The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish.
Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you're located in an affected area at that time.
Get In Touch
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and email for communication with your family, friends, business contacts and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.
Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.
Get an Emergency READY Profile
SERVPRO is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles for free and ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepare you, your property, or your business for an emergency.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your property or 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 property or business.
3 Ways To Keep Mold Away from Your Restaurant
Mold growth in Karns, TN.
What To Do When You Find Mold In Your Restaurant? For restaurant owners in Karns, TN, one of the last things they want to see is mold growth in their facility. There are several ways to prevent this problem. Here are some of the steps many business owners take.
1. Use Proper Ventilation. The presence of high humidity in the kitchen can not only lead to food mold but other types of mold as well. This is why it’s important to keep humidity levels low. One way to do this is to make sure the property had enough ventilation to keep air circulating and reduce the buildup of water vapor in the air. Water vapor in the kitchen can come from a variety of places including boiling liquids or dishwashing.
2. Take Care of Leaks. Mold also likes to grow in areas where water has damaged the property. Water damages can come from leaky pipes, roof leaks, the buildup in poor ventilation, and even unattended spills. To prevent mold growth in these areas, it’s best to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Mold and water damage restoration professionals may be able to help.
3. Remember Food Safety. The Department of Agriculture has released several food safety steps that may help prevent a food mold problem. These include having proper food storage areas with a humidity level under 40 percent, regularly cleaning refrigeration units, keeping food in sealed containers until ready for use, keeping all sponges and other cleaning tools fresh, and examining food items received by the restaurant to ensure they are up to your quality standards.
Using proper ventilation, fixing water damage quickly, and following food safety guidelines are all ways to prevent mold growth in a restaurant environment. If you think you may have a mold problem, it’s best to call a professional as soon as possible so that the issue can be handled safely and quickly.
2 Landscaping Tricks To Protect Your Home From Flooding
Heavier mulch will protect your home throughout the flood.
2 Landscaping Tips to Keep Your Home Flood-Proof
When outside flooding occurs in West Hills, TN, it’s never a fun time, especially when you’re running around to check every five minutes to make sure your house isn’t the first landbound Titanic. Here are two easy tricks to ensure the next rain storm doesn’t end up in your basement.
Try Heavier Mulch
Lighter mulch is easily washed away by outside flooding, and it is then difficult to clean up and can clog drains. Heavier mulches will stay in place more easily and will continue protecting your home throughout the flood. Heavy mulch options include the following:
• Hardwood: This material is long lasting and easy to spread, and it provides nutrients to the soil. It might raise the soil pH over time, which is not necessarily bad but is something to be aware of for the health of your plants.
• Stones: Pebbles, gravel, and rocks are a solid, natural solution that can be as heavy as you want. However, they can sink into the soil and require a little touching-up. Some people use landscaping fabric in these cases to prevent this from happening.
• Shredded rubber: While manmade, rubber stays in place the best and maintains its color for many years. The only drawbacks are the price and that it will not provide soil with any nutrients like mulch will.
Divert Rain Spouts
A leaky rain spout can be a home-flooding disaster waiting to happen. There are many strategies now with the rise of permaculture for creating better rain drainage away from your house. Some people connect a pipe straight from the house to the sewer, which creates nicer-looking curb appeal as the spouts are not sticking straight out into the yard.
Another solution is to hook up a rain barrel to each spout or divert the rain into basins with plants. This not only decreases runoff during a flood but can also store water for a garden to be used during a dry spell.
Outside flooding can become dangerous depending on where you live. Call your local flood experts to learn other ways you can prepare your home for the next storm.
Tips for Keeping Your Bathroom Free of Mold
A toilet leak can cause water damage and turn into a mold problem.
How Do I Stop Mold Growing In My Bathroom?
Your bathroom may be one of the cleanest rooms in your house in Knoxville, TN, but that doesn't mean that fungus can't grow there. All bathroom mildew and mold need to grow is excess moisture and a place to land. There are a few things you can do to discourage mold growth, though.
Keep Linens Dry
Anything you use to wash or dry yourself after a shower may be prone to mold. There are several types of bathroom linens that can mold easily:
- Bath towels
- Bath mat
- Hand towel
When you are finished with any of these items, don't just toss them into a pile. Hang them on a towel rack to dry thoroughly before putting dirty linens into the hamper.
One issue that makes bathrooms particularly susceptible to mold is a humidity problem. The room is relatively small and confined with very little room for air to circulate. Make sure your exhaust fan works properly and use it on a regular basis. You may even consider a small portable fan to move air around and reduce moisture and minimize the risk of bathroom mildew.
Fix Problems Quickly
If a leak from your toilet, sink, or shower causes water damage, that can quickly turn into a mold problem. As soon as you notice the leak, call your plumber and water restoration specialists. You must address both the cause and the damage to stop mold in its tracks.
Replace Moldy Grout
If the grout between the tiles on your floor or in your shower show signs of mold, you may be able to clean it with a mild detergent. If this doesn't work, however, replacing the grout completely is the only way to ensure it doesn't spread.
Bathroom mildew is a problem that is common to homeowners, but it doesn't have to be inevitable. If you take the necessary precautions and address problems early, your bathroom should remain fungus-free.