Is All Flood Water Dirty?
Damaged facility by a broken pipe in Cumming, GA
If you have dealt with any sort of flooding in your Cumming, GA, home, you may have heard the water damage cleanup crew talking about dirty water. Typically, the waters that fill a home fall into one of three categories:
As a homeowner, it can be beneficial for you to have some understanding of these different types of flood water. Learning what makes contaminated water contaminated can help you better assess emergency situations in your house.
The first category of flood water is often called clean. If the flood source is a broken supply line or leaky shower head, chances are the water does not have any contaminants in it. While any water can do damage to your home, anything from a clean source is easier to cleanup if addressed quickly because it does not already contain spores and bacteria.
The second category is contaminated water. Some professionals may refer to it as gray water. Floods that fit under this description contain bacteria and viruses. Often, this flooding comes from some type of appliance overflow. The water that seeps out of your dishwasher hose, for example, may have some bacteria already in it.
The third category is called black water. This is the most contaminated flooding that can affect your home. Sewage backup and outside water often falls into this category. This type may have feces, microbes and harsh chemicals in it.
Even if your flood starts off as clean, you need to address the water buildup as quickly as possible. Even clean water can start to degrade. As the water from your supply line runs through your walls and into your basement, it may pick up bacteria that turns it into category two water.
Ways to Prevent the Spread of Mold During Cleanup
When you have mold growing indoors, spores are more abundant leading to further spread of mold in your building.
By the time you discover mold, from seeing it or smelling it, you already have a big problem. Mold spores exist in the air all around you and are never fully gone. The problem is when spore populations are excessive and when they encounter a damp environment indoors, where they take hold and grow. Mold thrives anywhere with moisture and oxygen, including in Cumming, GA. Indoors, you often find mold on materials damaged from water, such as from a leaking roof or a broken pipe. It's critical for mold cleanup to begin as quickly as possible, even in the first 24 hours, to prevent the fast growth and development of additional colonies.
Since spores are so small, they easily find their way indoors flowing in your ventilation system and even hitching a ride on your clothing. With particles dispersing that easily, how can you avoid mold contamination in other parts of your building especially during cleanup procedures? Well professional mold remediation specialists minimize further contamination through two key practices.
1. Containment. Professionals help limit mold contamination by creating a containment area. Ventilation and fans are turned off and a negative air chamber is created using basic principles of airflow, where air moves from high pressure to low pressure areas. This in conjunction with physical barriers helps prevent the escape of spores from the contaminated area during mold cleanup.
2. Air Filtration. Mold spores are tiny, microscopic particles and exist naturally in the air. To prevent additional spreading of the spores from the mold contamination area, filters knowns as high-efficiency particulate absorber (HEPA) are used with all air scrubbers and vacuums. These filters trap the tiny particles and prevent the airborne distribution to other parts of your building.
When you have mold growing indoors, spores are more abundant leading to further spread of mold in your building. The process of mold cleanup is a serious task that should be done with deliberate care and consideration. Thankfully, professional mold remediation specialists use careful containment and filtration methods during removal of mold-infested materials, minimizing the spread of mold in your building. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROforsythdawsoncounties.com/.
How To Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher: The PASS Method
Keeping these simple tips in mind will help to ensure that you are getting the most out of your fire extinguisher in an emergency.
Having a fire extinguisher in your home is never a bad idea, but it won’t be of much use if you don’t know how to properly operate it. When an emergency happens, seconds can mean the difference between a minor kitchen fire and total disaster. Thankfully, there are a few basic tips and one simple acronym that can help you and your family to easily remember the basics of using an extinguisher:
• Assess the size of the fire. Extinguishers are meant for smaller fires still in their infancy, known as the incipient stage. If the flames have grown taller than an average adult (5-6 feet), your extinguisher won’t help. Evacuate the home immediately and call 911.
• Check the available pressure. If the flames are still incipient, the next step is to check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher. A needle in the green means you’re good to go. If it falls anywhere outside of this acceptable range, abort and get your family out of the house.
• Position yourself appropriately. Learn and memorize the effective discharge range of your extinguisher ahead of time. Before you begin, position yourself as far away as possible while still ensuring that the discharge will reach the fire itself. Have an exit strategy in mind in the event that the flames are unable to be controlled.
• Utilize the proper technique by remembering the PASS method:
P – Pull the pin from the handle.
A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
S – Squeeze the trigger to initiate discharge.
S – Sweep from side to side while continuing to aim for the base until the fire is out or the extinguisher stop discharging.
Keeping these simple tips in mind will help to ensure that you are getting the most out of your fire extinguisher in an emergency. Once the flames are out, contact a professional cleanup and restoration specialist in Cumming, GA, that can help repair any fire damage and remove smoke odors from the home. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROforsythdawsoncounties.com/.
Understanding the Flood Cut: What Is it and What Is its Purpose?
A flood cut is a normal process of the post-flooding cleanup process.
The goal of hiring a Cumming, GA, flood damage restoration team is to restore your home to pre-flood condition, not make it worse. Yet, it is not uncommon for remediation experts to suggest a flood cut post-flooding. To many homeowners, a flood cut sounds like the exact opposite of what needs to be done—after all, how can tearing out a section of drywall make things better? The truth is that in many situations, a flood cut is precisely what a home needs.
If your water damage remediation team informed you that it needs to tear out a portion of your wall in order to make everything better, don't argue. There are several reasons a team might perform a flood cut, including:
• There is wet insulation behind the drywall.
• There is a high risk of contamination.
• There is a high risk of microbial growth.
What Is a Flood Cut?
A flood cut refers to the process of removing a portion of drywall post-flooding. Typically, a team will remove drywall 12 to 24 inches above the flood line, depending on the extent of damage. The goal is to prevent further water damage to the drywall, assess the scope of damage behind the drywall and replace damaged materials, which may include insulation and electrical wiring.
Why a Professional Is Necessary To Perform a Flood Cut
Many homeowners mistakenly believe that they can perform a flood cut on their own—after all, how difficult is it to tear out a section of drywall? While it might not be hard to cut a section of drywall on your own, you risk damaging wiring or other critical components in the process. Moreover, you risk injury, especially if you don’t know what is behind a section you intend to cut. You should always leave a flood cut to the professionals for these reasons.
A flood cut is a normal process of the post-flooding cleanup process. If you're worried about your Cumming, GA, water damage remediation team performing the procedure, don't hesitate to ask questions. The right team will be more than happy to address any questions or concerns that you may have. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROforsythdawsoncounties.com/.
How To Prevent Water Damage When You’re on Vacation
Taking the time to prep your house before you leave on vacation can save you from coming home to an emergency water pipe repair.
Nothing ruins a great family vacation faster than coming home to a flooded house and an emergency water pipe repair. There’s not much you can do about coastal storm surge or an overflowing river, but there are many types of flooding you can prevent. With a little bit of planning and forethought, you can reduce your chances of needing to call a water damage mitigation specialist in Cumming, GA, your first night home.
1. Have Your Plumber Do a Maintenance Check
You don’t have to wait until there’s a crisis to have a professional check your pipes and supply lines. A plumber can tell you about any potential problems so you can deal with water pipe repair and upgrades before you leave.
2. Insulate Your Pipes
If you expect freezing temperatures at home while you’re away, insulate your pipes. This prevents them from freezing and bursting while you’re gone. Focus on pipes in uninsulated parts of your home that are likely to be exposed to outside temperatures.
3. Turn Off Your Water
You can also turn off your home’s water supply at the main. Then open up all the water taps in your house and let them drain. This ensures you won’t have any plumbing-related floods while you’re gone.
4. Clean Your Gutters and Drains
Make sure to clean your gutters, drains and downspouts before you leave town. That way if there are heavy rains in your absence, the water will be directed away from your home. This makes leaks less likely.
5. Back Up Your Sump Pump
If there’s a power outage during a storm, your sump pump may not be able to handle a rising water table. By connecting your sump pump to a backup generator or getting a battery-powered pump, you can avoid coming home to your basement under water.
Taking the time to prep your house before you leave on vacation can save you from coming home to an emergency water pipe repair. While a water damage mitigation specialist in Cumming, GA, can handle the cleanup if the worst occurs, it’s better if you don’t have to call for help. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROforsythdawsoncounties.com/.
Dealing with a Pipe Break as a Team
After you assess the state of your flood, it's time to communicate what you've found to the various parties involved.
Nobody wants to be responsible for water damage in Cumming, GA. If you have bursting pipes in your place of business and the building owner or any other authority figure is not present to give direction, there are several things that you could do to stop the problem before it gets out of hand. Keep in mind that if your business has any standard rules for dealing with this type of problem, you can probably find them in a handbook or a manager could direct you to them over the phone. However if all else fails follow these simple steps.
The first thing you should do, probably before you even call for help, is stop the flow of water. This action has several benefits:
• Stops current damage and potentially allows water to drain
• Prevents future damage due to seepage
• Reduces the risk of a water damage category increase
After the water has stopped flowing, then you can start to take action by identifying the major risks involved with your incident. A good first step is to try to estimate the type of water damage you have.
Knowledge Is Power
Instead of trying to fix a broken pipe by yourself, focus on gathering information. Ask yourself a few simple questions. Where did the water come from? Bursting pipes and sewer drains pose much different risks. Does the water have any chemicals, such as cleaning supplies or cooking chemicals? These questions should help you determine the type of water you have and therefore the water cleanup measures needed to get your business back to a like-new state.
Spread the Word Carefully
After you assess the state of your flood, it's time to communicate what you've found to the various parties involved. Keep in mind that not everyone needs the same information. Responsible people, such as business owners, building managers or janitorial staff, might not need the same information as customers, fellow employees or other similar stakeholders. Dealing with bursting pipes is a team effort, so tell everyone exactly what they need to know in order to minimize professional risks and accelerate your cleanup process. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROforsythdawsoncounties.com/.
When Can Employees Safely Return To Work After a Flood?
Once the necessary cleanup is finalized, demolition has been completed, and restoration has begun, you and your employees can often safely return.
When your commercial building is damaged by flood waters in Cumming, GA, it’s only natural to be concerned for the structure, your employees, and damaged business equipment. Wondering when you can get the business open again and your employees back to work is natural, but don’t be too hasty. Restoration professionals will typically let you know when it is safe to return, but first, the team needs to make sure the building is safe by checking for black water, contaminates, and structural damage.
While flood cleanup and restoration can take days or weeks, the lost time can be about more than just business revenue. Employees are often anxious to get back to their jobs and resume their normal schedules. They may even begin pressuring you to let them return to work, but before you do consider these important facts:
• Flood black water is often filled with dangerous bacteria and unhealthy chemicals.
• Wet items such as furniture, floors, and walls can often become saturated with mold and mildew.
• Air quality may continue to decline the longer the stagnate water stands.
Rather than put your employees in harm’s way, wait until the recovery team has cleaned up the dirty water before allowing work to resume.
Flood water restoration and recovery teams can do more than help with flood cleanup by removing standing water. The professionals can use specialized fans to begin drying the building out to prevent mold growth. Then the dehumidification process begins with air movers and dehumidifiers to draw any remaining moisture out of floors and walls. Only then can the cleaning and sanitizing begin with antimicrobial treatments and odor removing air scrubbers.
Once the necessary cleanup is finalized, demolition has been completed, and restoration has begun, you and your employees can often safely return to work in Cumming, GA. Black water may be a hazard, but with a recovery team on your side to remove it quickly, you may find yourself resuming normal business operations in no time. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROforsythdawsoncounties.com/.
How To Protect Your Home From Mold
Protect your home from extra humidity and water damage.
How To Protect Your Home From Mold
Mold can enter your home in a number of ways. It gets in through drafts around windows or other cracks or crevices. It can hitch a ride from outside on your hair or clothing. You cannot fully prevent mold from entering your home in Cumming, GA, but by taking care of leaks and water damage when they occur, you are more likely to prevent mold growth. Here are four ways you can practice mold prevention.
1. Check for leaks often and fix them in a timely manner. There are many ways that water can leak into your home, and leaks set the stage for a mold problem. When it rains, check for signs of leaking from the roof. Loose or broken pipes or supply lines can cause water to pool under sinks or in walls. By preventing water damage, you can often prevent mold from growing.
2. If your home floods, have it cleaned and dried professionally. Flood restoration specialists are trained and certified to clean up thoroughly after a flood. They take care of any damage and replace the waterlogged parts of your home so that mold doesn’t have a hospitable place to land and grow.
3. Increase the air flow in your home. Mold loves a warm, wet, stagnant area. A room that is often humid, such as a bathroom or laundry room, must be ventilated well so that condensation doesn’t remain on the walls, setting you up for mold growth.
4. Lower the humidity level. The more humid your home is, the more likely it is to develop a mold problem. Use a dehumidifier in your home, particularly in wetter seasons when your home in Cumming, GA, is the most vulnerable.
Protect your home from extra humidity and water damage. If you make these four ways to prevent moisture in your home an integral part of your maintenance plan, you can lower your chances of mold growth. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROforsythdawsoncounties.com/.
What Type of Smoke Alarm Is Best for My Home?
Whether you're well-versed in the world of smoke detectors or are just getting started, expanding your knowledge on product options is never a bad ide
There are few more frightening experiences than a house fire. While this is the last event Cumming, GA, residents likely want to think about, it is nevertheless a vital consideration. Protecting your home and the lives of everyone in the household is top priority, so look to the following different types of equipment to choose the best smoke alarm for your home.
While some fire alarms pick up heat, the effectiveness of these models can pale in comparison to a smoke detector. There are three basic types of such detectors to choose between:
1. Ionization Alarms
An ionized detector is generally cheaper than other types of alarms. These alarms use miniscule amounts of radioactive material to ionize the air in a small chamber in the device, allowing the air to carry an electric charge. When smoke passes through this chamber, it causes a disruption in this electrical current, which then sets off the alarm.
2. Photoelectric Alarms
According to most smoke alarm experts, photoelectric alarms have a smaller chance of making false alarms than their ionization counterparts. This type of fire safety device uses a light beam and a photoelectric sensor to detect smoke. While ionized alarms are usually better for spotting fast fires, photoelectric alarms typically best detect smoldering fires.
3. Smart Alarms
Most smart alarms use photoelectric sensors, and some even have a split-spectrum sensor for greater accuracy. Although identical to non-smart detectors in terms of basic function, a smart detector has more customized options and can send alerts directly to phones and tablets.
If you're like most homeowners in Cumming, GA, you've probably wondered which device is best for your space. Whether you're well-versed in the world of smoke detectors or are just getting started, expanding your knowledge on product options is never a bad idea. Once you've chosen the proper spots in your home for a smoke alarm, you can install the right ones to protect your living space. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROforsythdawsoncounties.com/.
Quick Guide to Secondhand Fire Damage
You don't expect to find smoke damage in your building when you didn't have a fire.
A building next to your commercial property had a fire. The flames never touched your Cumming, GA, building, so you were surprised to find smoke damage on your walls, near your windows and around your doors. Smoke can travel to nearby buildings and cause secondhand fire damage.
How Can You Get Rid of It?
When you find this unexpected soot damage, your first concern may be that your business will always smell like smoke. Thankfully, there are a lot of smoke cleaning techniques your fire restoration team can use to rid your property of the damage and odor.
• Sprays: There are a variety of cleaning agents that can help clean walls, furnishings and belongings of smoke. Depending on what is being cleaned, you may need to soak or spray the objects.
• Wipes: Certain objects, like computers and walls, shouldn't have the cleaners applied to them. In this case, the professionals may try a dry-cleaning method. Wipes and dry cleaning may be enough to rid some objects of minor smoke damage.
• Filtration: Odor is a big part of smoke and soot. To rid your building of the unsavory aroma, you may need to rely on special equipment. Air filtration devices, thermal foggers and ozone machines can help clear out the air.
Cleaning up smoke can seem like a daunting task, but when you work with a team of experts they know exactly what to do for each object.
Does Insurance Cover It?
So, you didn't have a fire in your own building. Will your insurance help pay for the smoke cleaning you had to do anyway? This can depend on your particular coverage. However, typically secondhand damage caused by a fire in an adjacent building is still covered by insurance.
You don't expect to find smoke damage in your building when you didn't have a fire. Smoke can travel a long way, so you should be prepared for the unexpected if an adjacent business has a fire. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROforsythdawsoncounties.com/.