Fire Damage Tips
What To Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Rain, Rain Go Away
Flooded basements are a common catastrophe homeowner's experience due to substantial amounts of rain. It's important to mitigate the loss as soon as possible to prevent further damage and mold growth.
Here are a few tips to follow to help prevent a flooded basement:
Focus on prevention. Long before you're in a flooding situation, look around your property for ways to divert rainwater away from your home. Important considerations are extending rain gutter down spouts away from your home and making sure the grade of your yard surfaces slope away from your home.
Clean the rain gutters in the spring and after all the leaves have come down in the fall. Blocked gutters will cause all of the roof water to dump directly against your foundation, increasing the likelihood of basement flooding.
Extend the rain gutter downspouts well out and away from your home. Do not connect the downspouts to your foundation footer drain tiles or to underground dry wells. This will only cause the roof water to further saturate the ground and cause flooding in your basement.
Walk around outside in your yard during a heavy rainstorm. Watch to see if water is ponding next to your home and if surface water is being directed toward your home. If this is the case, seek a local landscaper or excavation contractor for advice on ways to regrade your yard so the surface water is directed away from your home.
Provide emergency power. Install an automatic emergency generator to provide electric service for essential circuits like your furnace or electric heat, well pump, refrigerator, septic tank pump and sump pump in the case when power is lost. Without emergency backup power, you may return home to unnecessary basement flooding, frozen water pipes and a flooded septic tank.
Install a sump pump. An automatic sump pump should help keep water leakage normal amounts of rainfall from building up in the basement. As long as the sump pump tank has an opening in the lid, the sump pump will act like a huge floor drain and keep the water from getting deep.
Install a backup sump pump. The sump pump is your first line of defense against basement flooding. However, the most reliable sump pump available in the industry is still a mechanic device and can fail. A backup sump pump system, preferably with at least a battery-operated pump, configured with a switch device to begin working if the main is out of commission, greatly reduces the chance of flood. Some systems come with additional security features such as an alarm that goes off whenever the battery operated is started
Make an emergency family plan. Plan ahead with your family so that everyone has each other cell phone and other contact numbers. If you live in an area that is prone to historic flooding, plan ahead of time where you'll be able to stay until flood waters subside. Keep in mind that all your neighbors will probably need housing too. As local hotels are usually inundated during flooding events, try to arrange ahead of time with some local family members away from the flooding area to have temporary housing if ever needed.
Have flood insurance. Add flood insurance onto your existing homeowner's policy. Flood insurance is provided by the government and is fairly inexpensive. In the USA, if your home insurance agent does not provide flood insurance, contact FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for local agencies that do.
You can trust our experienced team to take care of you and your needs. SERVPRO is here to help make it "Like it never even happened." Call us at 812-574-5744
Steps for Handling a Water Damage
Here at SERVPRO we're no strangers to water damage, but you may not know what to do, or better what SERVPRO of Madison, Lawrenceburg and Versailles can do FOR you.
Step 1: Disconnect the power, unplug any electronics, and remove electronics, furniture and movable items immediately.
Step 2:Get rid of the water. SERVPRO professionals will extract the water with our specialized equipment, not just your ordinary shop vac.
Step 3: Dry out the affected area. SERVPRO professionals will place specialized drying equipment such as dehumidifiers, air movers, and desiccants and monitor it's progress daily until it reads completely dry.
Step 4: Disinfect and Prevent Mold Growth. SERVPRO professionals will treat the affected areas with Sporicidin an anti-microbial formulated to stop the growth of any micro-organisms, including mold.
Step 5: Dispose of Damaged Items Responsibly. SERVPRO professionals will assist you in sorting your damaged items. Some things will be saved, however some will not. SERVPRO professionals know how to responsibly handle items that may be recyclable to alleviate the pressure on local landfills instead of simply throwing it all in a dumpster.
If you suffer a water damage we here at SERVPRO of Madison, Lawrenceburg and Versailles are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week to help you make it "Like it never even happened."!! Call us at 812-574-5744
Unpredictable Spring Weather
Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day. Mark Twain once said, “In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”
Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightning, tornadoes, and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer.
Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flooding. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.
Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions. You can follow many of the same steps that you would for all extreme weather events. Keep an emergency kit on hand. Some items to include are:
- A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
- An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
- A list of important personal information, including:
- telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends
- insurance and property information
- telephone numbers of utility companies
- medical information
- According to the American Red Cross a first aid kit may include:
- non-latex gloves
- assortment of adhesive bandages
- antibiotic ointment
- sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
- absorbent compress dressings
- adhesive cloth tape
- aspirin packets (81 mg each)
- first aid instruction booklet
(NOTE: Customize your first aid kit to meet your individual and family needs.)
- A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
- Personal hygiene items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- An emergency kit[1.08 MB] in your car
Prepare your family members for the possibility of severe weather. Tell them where to seek appropriate shelter as soon as they are aware of an approaching storm. Practice your emergency plan for every type of severe weather. Show family members where the emergency supplies are stored, and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity in your home.
Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it. But we do know that when spring arrives, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods are real possibilities. So why not take the surprise factor out of severe weather and prepare yourself, your family, and your home? If thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods do occur, you’ll be ready for them.
SOURCE: National Center for Environmental Health / Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Be prepared to save personal belongings from water damage.
One of the most common topics after a client suffers water damage is how and what they can save from water damage. Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer to this question. Every water damage is unique in some sense, so what can be saved is really on a case by case basis. However, here are some guidelines that you can use to make the best decision possible.
What Type of Water Damage
Determining whether the water that damaged your personal belongings is clean or contaminated will be a big factor in whether or not it can be salvaged. Obviously, if you are dealing with clean water, the chances of you being able to save some of your belongings are higher. Even though it may be possible to restore something that is damaged by contaminated water, it is more than likely not worth the health risk that it may bring.
Porous vs Non Porous Materials
Porous materials such as fabrics, wood, and paper are very good at retaining water. This also means it increases the chance of other dangers like mold growth, and damage beyond repair. This is not always the case and if handled quickly and properly, many times these items can be saved as well. On the other hand, porous materials like marble, metal, and porcelain - among others - usually have no problem being restored. Since there is really nothing for bacteria and mold to root itself in, a simple cleaning is usually no problem.
The Amount of Time the Water Saturated
Another factor that will come into the equation of determining what can and cannot be saved is how long the materials have been wet for. The longer an item sits in water, the deeper it can penetrate. As you can imagine, this makes it increasingly more difficult to bring it back to its normal state. The perfect example of this is wooden furniture. It takes quite a bit of time for it to really absorb and become completely water logged. If you get personal belongings out of the standing water and begin the drying process right away, you have a good chance of being able to save them.
Factor in the Replacement Cost
Water damage restoration of personal belongings is no different than any other type of repair. You will always want to evaluate how much it is going to cost to repair something versus simply replacing it. Is the item you want to save really worth paying a professional to do work on it? Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not.
You should also take into account that paying for restoration does not guarantee your item will be returned to its original state. If that’s the case, you’ll have to replace the item anyways.
If you are unsure about whether or not one of your items could be salvaged, it is best that you get it analyzed by a SERVPRO professional. If you call SERVPRO of Madison Lawrenceburg and Versailles to handle a dry out of your property, we will be able to assist you in assessing damage to your personal belongings as well. To speak to a professional water restoration representative at SERVPRO of Madison, Lawrenceburg and Versailles, contact us @ 812-574-5744 today. We are always here to help.
Commercial Loss?? SERVPRO has you covered!
Flooding and water damage events in southern Indiana commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. Many business owners understand that the business downtime can be more devastating to the property damage -- we understand that many times the most important thing to Madison, Lawrenceburg and Versailles businesses is to get back in business . . . fast.
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Madison, Lawrenceburg and Versailles
SERVPRO of Madison, Lawrenceburg and Versailles specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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. We can be reached at (812) 574-5744
Do you have a Tornado Warning plan of action?
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. They come from powerful thunderstorms. They appear as a funnel, or cone-shaped cloud, with winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour. They cause damage when they touch down on the ground. They can damage an area one mile wide and 50 miles long. Before tornadoes hit, the wind may die down, and the air may become very still. They may also strike quickly, with little or no warning.
Below are a few tips for what to do both DURING and AFTER you experience a tornado.
If you're INSIDE:
- Get to an inside room with no windows.
- Or get to the lowest possible room
- Do not open windows
- Protect your head
If you're OUTSIDE:
- Get to a nearby vehicle, buckle your seat belt, and lower your head below the windows.
- If you can't fine a vehicle, lay in a ditch or other area lower than the ground.
- You are SAFER in a low flat location than underneath a bridge or highway overpass.
- Wear sturdy shoes, there will be sharp debris on the ground including glass.
- NEVER go near or touch dangling power lines.
- TEXT; DON'T TALK Unless your situation is life threatening, try not to tie up emergency phone lines. Plus, texting might work even when call service is down.
Sources: Ready.gov\make a plan; Ready.gov/tornadoes
Finding flood damage in your home can create quite a bit of stress; after all, no one likes discovering that their living room has been turned into a water recreation facility. As a result, many homeowners are likely to panic and make poor choices in the hours that follow. You can avoid these mistakes by following the flood damage checklist below:
Ensure your safety
Once you see a flood of water in your basement, it may be tempting to go charging right in, but this is generally a bad idea. First, you need to ensure that you're safe. If the power is still on, you could be electrocuted. Additionally, sewage will make you ill, and the water from flood damage can conceal sharp objects to cut yourself on.
Shut off the water source
Now that you know you’re safe, next you need to ensure that the source of the water has been taken care of. Sometimes, this is as simple as turning off a water supply valve. However, more complex problems, like a flooded sewer line, could actually take a few hours. It's a good idea to call the appropriate professional, like a plumber, right away to give them time to start driving out to your flood damaged property.
Call your insurance
Sure, it's tempting to have your first call be to a flood damage clean-up professional, but there's a chance that your insurance doesn't contract out with them. Instead, it's better to have your insurance's claim number programmed into your phone. Call them, report the flood damage, and then call a professional they contract out with.
Call a clean-up crew
Most flood damage clean-up projects are just too large for you to tackle by yourself. Besides, depending on where you live, you'll likely have mold to clean up afterwards as well. Any money spent on a flood damage clean-up crew will likely be well worth it.
Take pictures and document damage
Your insurance policy will need proof of flood damage if they are going to write you a check. When you're on the phone with your insurance company and the clean-up crew, take photos of the flood damage. Make sure to get detailed photos of valuable items.
If you've planned well, you'll also have pictures of your home in an undamaged state. This lets you prove the state that your house and items were in before the disaster.
Remove what can be saved
Once you've ensured that the area is safe, you have help on the way, and you've thoroughly documented the flood damage, you can begin to remove items out of the area. A word of caution: water is extremely heavy. Any water soaked items will weigh a lot more than you expect. Please, be careful not to injure yourself.
Begin the remediation process
This is where professionals will come in handy. During the remediation process, all excess water will need to be removed, the humidity will need to be brought down to an appropriate level, mold prevention steps will need to be taken, and damaged drywall or flooring will need to be replaced. All of this is a lot of work for one person, so please get professional help.
SERVPRO of Madison, Lawrenceburg and Versailles is locally owned and operated and serves Jefferson, Switzerland, Ripley and Dearborn Counties.
The Levels of Commercial Loss
SERVPRO of Madison, Lawerenceburg and Versailles handles not only residential damage and restoration, but commercial as well.
There are three levels of commercial damage that are considered:
Level 1 is a small commercial loss typically involving 15,000 square feet or less of affected floor space. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a small commercial loss may include, but are not limited to, a stand-alone retail establishment, a small church, a daycare facility, a small shopping center, a small warehouse or manufacturing facility, or a stand-alone administrative building. A Level 1 loss can also be a small portion of a much larger structure.
Level 2 is a midsize commercial loss typically involving 15,000 to 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved are usually multi-level or greatly divided spaces. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 2 loss may include, but are not limited to, a small multi-family property, a midsize church or school, a small shopping center, a multi-tenant administration facility, or a midsize warehouse or manufacturing facility. A Level 2 loss can also be just a portion of a much larger structure.
Level 3 is a large commercial loss typically involving more than 60,000 square feet of affected floor space. The building or buildings involved will likely be large multi-level structures. If the facility was entirely affected, examples of a Level 3 loss can include, but are not limited to, a large church, hospital, school, or university; a large multi-family property; a mid- to high-rise retail or administration facility; a large industrial, manufacturing, or warehouse facility; or a large strip-style shopping center or shopping mall. This is the level at which it would be appropriate to refer to the project as a “large loss.”
Once our team determines the level of loss, the property is further assessed, and a team of appropriate size is dispatched to get the job done quickly and efficiently, and return your business to operation “Like it never even happened.”®
If you experience a commercial loss, Call SERVPRO of Madison, Lawrenceburg and Versailles today! (812) 574-5744
Keep Your Family Safe with a Fire Preparedness Plan
Would your family be prepared if a fire broke out in your home? If not, now is the best time to plan. Family fire preparedness plans save lives every year. Set aside time to gather as a household and create a plan unique to your home.
Identify two different ways to safely exit each room if a fire broke out, such as doors and windows. Teach each member of your household how to safely exit through windows, especially on non-ground level floors.
If you have members of the family who are unable to move themselves—such as babies, elderly relatives, or any individuals with disabilities—make sure to go over who can help them escape as well.
Choose a Meeting Place
Pick a spot outside of your home that’s a safe distance away to serve as your family’s emergency meeting place. Familiar locations like a mailbox, lamppost, nearby park, or a neighbor’s house are great. Walk out with your family to establish it as your official meeting place.
Make sure every family member knows that once they exit the house, they should go straight to the meeting place and not go back inside for any reason.
Teach family members to call the fire department only after they’ve safely arrived at the meeting place.
Draw it Out
Draw the layout of your home on a piece of paper. Mark the different exits and exit paths from every room. Don’t forget to include the family meeting place. Keep your plan somewhere accessible. When you have overnight guests, let them know about your safety plan.
Once everyone knows the different paths they can take to exit the home and where to go, it’s important to know how to navigate through a burning house as safely as possible.
Teach family members the following safety tips:
- Choose the escape route with the least amount of heat and smoke, but be prepared for less than ideal circumstances.
- Before opening a door, lightly touch the doorknob. If it’s hot, the fire is close, and it’s likely better to choose another exit if possible.
- If it’s necessary to travel through a room or hallway with a lot of smoke, stay low and crawl as necessary! Smoke rises.
In addition to these tips, make sure your house number is easily seen from the road. Firefighters need to be able to quickly find your home.
Plan Realistic Drills
Schedule practice drills at least two times a year. This is a great time to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms, which should be switched twice annually and tested monthly.
If you have young children, warn them about nighttime drills. The point of the drill is to prepare them, not to scare them. If the fire alarm fails to wake up members of your family, assign someone to wake them up in a real emergency.
Practice the safety tips from above as part of the drill.
Nothing is more important than your family’s safety. Things, and even homes, can be fixed or replaced, but your family is irreplaceable. Your family fire preparedness plan can save lives.
If fire or smoke damages your home, give SERVPRO® of Madison, Lawrenceburg and Versailles a call at 812-574-5744 or Contact Us Here. With our restoration knowledge and training, we can make it “Like it never even happened.”