What to do after water damage has occurred in Iredell County
When facing a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensure proper cleanup. There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Damage from Clean Water:
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do no use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water:
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
- Do no walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminates.
- Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Iredell County.
Celebrate Summer Safely
Each year, families and friends across the country enjoy summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. In order to enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of mind to ensure you have fun in the sun. According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 5000 Americans are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires.
The following tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, will help keep you safe all summer long:
- When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbeque grills; do not add fluid after coals have been lit.
- When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight: check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
- Be sure to extinguish all smoking materials and shut down any motors and heating devices before fueling a boat. In case of a spill, wipe up fuel and check for fuel leakage and odors.
- When camping, always use a flame retardant tent and set up camp far awat from the campfire. Always extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite. To extinguish, cover with dirt and pour water over the fire.
- Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.
The summer season should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors but please keep safety in mind.
Water damage from rain
As you know Iredell County has had much rain fall over the last month, but do you know what to do if your home has water damage from weather or a leak?
Turn off the water source if possible, turn off circuit breakers for the wet areas, DO NOT use vacuum cleaners or other electronics on wet floors or while standing on a wet floor... call SERVPRO of Iredell County.
Thunderstorms and Lightning
All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning. While lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, lightning continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States.
On average in the U.S., lightning kills 51 people and injures hundreds more. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.
Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flash flooding. Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities – more than 140 annually – than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard. Dry thunderstorms that do not produce rain that reaches the ground are most prevalent in the western United States. Falling raindrops evaporate, but lightning can still reach the ground and can start wildfires.
To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:
- To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
- Postpone outdoor activities.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
- Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
- Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
A Fire Extinguisher can be a Life Saving Tool
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends individuals be properly trained in order to use and maintain an extinguisher. USFA says an extinguisher should only be used if:
- You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department.
- The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket.
- You are safe from toxic smoke produced by the fire.
- You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the escape route.
- Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.
The Science of Drying
Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying?
The knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, we are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damage.
- We inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage.
- Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
- Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.*
*A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but online if air is, indeed, drier. SERVPRO has top-of-the-line equipment to help this along.
Understanding Mold in Iredell County
SERVPRO professionals handle water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when moisture has been affecting an environment for a long period of time. If your property has sustained a recent water damage, it is vital to have water removed and the structure dried promptly. If you have experienced an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert to the following factors:
- The presence of visible mold.
- Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present.
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might indicate previous mold growth.
- Excessive humidity.
Sewage is one of the most dangerous substances to enter homes or buildings. It contains fungi, bacteria and viruses, many of which are disease causing. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the hazards that sewage presents, particularly for the very young or very old, or for those with compromised immune systems or respiratory problems.
The IICRC complied guidelines for professional sewage cleanup called the Standard for Water Damage Restoration (S500).
Here are the key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups:
- Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic – disease causing – fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.
- Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs or chemotherapy, or are AIDS victims.
- It is not safe to stay in a building that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.
- Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly. This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too. There’s simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.
- Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a “third party” indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or “clearance testing” to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.
Mooresville Emergency Water Damage Tips:
- Shut off the water source if possible.
• Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
• Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
• Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.
• Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature.
• Remove Oriental or other colored rugs from wet carpeting.
• Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water.
• Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of areas where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
• Do not leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpeting.
American Red Cross Ready Rating Program
Teaming Up to Help You Be Ready
SERVPRO is teaming up with the American Red Cross to help business and homeowners across the nation get READY for any disaster.
The American Red Cross Ready Rating program is a free web-based program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Through the Ready Rating program website, readyrating.org, property owners complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level of preparedness for weather-related or other emergencies. The Ready Rating assessment also offers tips and best practices to help improve their level of preparedness.
“Through the generosity of SERVPRO, the Red Cross will help empower workplaces to re-open more quickly after natural or man-made disasters such as water main breaks, medical emergencies, power outages, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes through the Ready Rating Program,” said Tom Heneghan, manager of Business Continuity Programs for Red Cross.
“Up to 40% of businesses never re-open their doors after such disasters; SERVPRO’s partnership will enable more businesses, schools and organizations to become better prepared. We are excited to have SERVPRO join us in community outreach efforts to educate and highlight the importance of community preparedness in neighborhoods across the country.”
“This partnership just makes perfect sense,” said Rick Isaacson, Executive Vice President of SERVPRO Industries, Inc., “and truly completes the readiness equation for businesses and other property owners. The Red Cross Ready Rating Program allows individuals to assess their readiness for a disaster, so they can take all the necessary steps before disaster strikes to protect their property from damage and loss. But, when disaster does strike, knowing what to do and who to call saves time-and fast response is key to minimizing damage and downtime. That’s where SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Program can help. Together, these two programs offer maximum peace of mind to businesses and other organization.”