Important Steps You Should Take if Your Basement Floods
Flooded office after a water loss in Cincinnati, OH
Wise homeowners do everything possible to keep their home safe from disasters such as flooding. However, there may be times when, despite your best efforts, water still finds its way into your basement. There are many causes of house floods, but there are also some effective ways you can get rid of water once it infiltrates your Cincinnati, OH, property.
How can a Flood Occur in Your Home?
No one wants to think about a basement flood. Unfortunately, this is a harsh reality for many people. Flooding can happen in a number of different ways.
- Broken sump pump in the basement
- Poor drainage around the house, including insufficient rain gutters
- Pipe leak, pipe break or other plumbing issues
- Heavy rain
Get Someone on the Job
A flood in your house calls for immediate action. As soon as you notice water getting into your home, contact a professional restoration company without delay. When you enlist the help of an experienced team, you can have peace of mind and confidence that these experts will bring the right skills and equipment to not only get rid of the water but clean up in a timely and effective manner.
Remove the Water
The pros will start by removing the water from your home. They will use extraction machines to suck up standing water from your floor. During this process, it’s also important to speak to a qualified professional about pipe repair or about fixing any issues that caused the flooding.
A team will also tear out carpet, hardwood, drywall or other materials that you can no longer use. This may also include furniture and personal items.
The pros will also use heavy-duty cleaning agents to sanitize the affected area. This will help reduce the risk of mold growth.
If you’ve had flooding in your home, call a qualified professional right away. The faster you do this, the faster you’ll be safe and sound at home.
Four Tips for Proper Ceiling Tile Maintenance
Even minor tile discoloration could signal trouble. A tiny leak that makes its way into your ceiling could lead to a much more expensive problem.
In any given commercial building in Cincinnati, OH, you're likely to find low-maintenance, long-lasting ceiling tiles. Unfortunately, the qualities that make them so valuable in commercial properties also leaves them open to the risk of being forgotten. The tiles may be low-maintenance, but this doesn't mean they don't need some maintenance. Take a look at tips for providing the ceiling tile care necessary for avoiding tile mold and other problems.
1. Perform Visual Inspections
It's not too hard to complete a ceiling inspection and a little bit of time at the end of the day could help you recognize water damage before it spreads. Any tile discoloration should prompt you to take action. That damage may be the result of leaking water, ultraviolet lighting, and aging. Whatever the cause of the color change, it could also affect fire ratings and acoustic values.
2. Clean Ceiling Tiles
A quick test will tell you if there's a need for this maintenance step. Use a damp cloth with a bit of cleanser to wipe off a tile. Non-absorbing tiles often hold a lot of dirt, but porous tiles hold even more. Routine cleaning can be done with a soft broom, but if you find tile mold, you'll need to use a commercial cleaner or hire a professional.
3. Replace Damaged Tiles
Any broken or discolored tiles should be replaced regularly. This will lead to improvements in the appearance of your building and could also bring you back into local compliance regulations. Some businesses rely on the performance of ceiling tiles to ensure proper acoustical effects.
4. Schedule Professional Visits
Even minor tile discoloration could signal trouble. A tiny leak that makes its way into your ceiling could lead to much larger, more expensive problems. Professional inspections should be part of building maintenance routines in Cincinnati, OH. This is especially true if you've begun to notice an increase in tile mold, damage, or discoloration. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastcentralcincinnati.com/.
How To Prepare Your Home for a Fire: 3 Quick Tips
Preparing for a fire at your Cincinnati, OH, home can give you peace of mind.
It can be difficult to know when a fire might strike your Cincinnati, OH, home, as risk factors vary from family to family. However, there are a few ways you can prepare for an emergency like this to ensure everyone in your home escapes if a fire breaks out. Fire preparation can be as simple as making a checklist and keeping a few tips in mind for practicing fire safety around the home.
1. Prepare an Evacuation Plan
One of the most effective ways to prepare for a residential fire is to have a plan of action in place. This includes creating an escape route with at least two exits, having an established safe meeting place outside the home and teaching your children the dos and don’ts of escaping a fire. Having this plan prepared beforehand can help you feel confident in the face of a house fire.
2. Make a Safety Checklist
Being ready to act during a fire can mean the difference between escape and injury. This includes being proactive about fire safety and having the tools you might need to fight or flee from a fire. As you create your checklist, include gear such as working smoke detectors in every room, rope ladders for escaping from the second floor, fire extinguishers in the kitchen and the utility room and a well-stocked first aid kit out in the garage. Ask a fire damage and restoration service to assess your home’s risk for fire and what advice the company’s technicians might have to help you create your fire preparation list.
3. Perform Fire Drills
You can test the viability of your evacuation plan by performing a fire drill every few months. Simulate a home fire and time your family’s escape. If you find that it takes too long, you can edit and tweak your evacuation plan to make it more efficient.
Preparing for a fire at your Cincinnati, OH, home can give you peace of mind. From preparing safety checklists to assessing risk, fire preparation can help you protect the lives of your loved ones. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastcentralcincinnati.com/.
Help for Homeowners Without Flood Insurance
If you live in a floodplain in Cincinnati, OH, ask your agent about flood insurance.
The bad news is that your house has flooded in Cincinnati, OH. The worse news is that you do not have flood insurance. Fortunately, there is good news. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates federal support for those involved in a disaster. Learn if you are eligible for assistance and how to take the next steps.
Homeowners or renters must fit all criteria below in order to apply for FEMA assistance. Review the following to see if you qualify:
• A major disaster is federally declared for your state and county.
• The declared disaster caused damage to your home, personal property or vehicle.
• A member of your household is a US citizen, qualified alien or non-citizen national.
• You are not applying to duplicate homeowner’s or flood insurance coverage. You must provide proof of insurance benefits.
How To Apply for Assistance
If you meet the eligibility requirements, take these next steps:
• Go to https://www.disasterassistance.gov to complete the application.
• An inspector then calls you to set an appointment to survey the damage.
• If you receive grant money, it does not have to be repaid. However, the money is supplemental in nature and not designed to cover the complete restoration of your property. Rather, it helps you repair your home to a safe, livable condition.
• In addition, to grant money, you can apply for a disaster loan that needs to be repaid. This allows you to return your home and belongings to preloss condition with the help of a restoration specialist.
If you live in a floodplain in Cincinnati, OH, ask your agent about flood insurance. However, whether or not you have this specialized insurance policy, there may be FEMA assistance available to you in the event of a major disaster. If a federal disaster is declared in your county, confirm your eligibility status and follow the above steps to repair or restore your home and personal property. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastcentralcincinnati.com/.
3 Common Causes of Basement Floods
Basement flooding can cause serious problems for your Cincinnati, OH, home.
Finding water in your Cincinnati, OH, home’s basement can be surprising. However, this type of flooding might be more common than you think, especially during spring thaws or a long spell of wet weather. If this is the first time your basement has flooded, it may be due to one or more causes you can fix to prevent further damage to your home.
1. Cracks in the Walls and Floor
If you do not visit your basement often, you may fail to notice cracks in the walls and floors that can occur over many seasons of freezing and thawing. Once the cracks become wide enough, moisture may seep in at a rapid rate during a rainstorm and cause a basement flood. Ask the technicians from a water damage and cleanup service to check your basement once they drain away flood water and see what they can advise you about how to repair cracks.
2. Poor Drainage Around Your Home
If your home’s gutters and downspouts do not work properly, there is nowhere for the collected water to go except around the perimeter of your home. Keeping drainage systems working at peak performance can draw water away from your home and prevent it from seeping into your basement. Have your gutters and downspouts inspected and ask about whether pipe repair may improve drainage efficiency.
3. A Broken Sump Pump
The risk of basement flooding can increase significantly if your home’s sump pump is not working properly. You may want to have it checked before the thawing or rainy season, as finding a repairperson once this weather hits may be difficult. The longer water sits in your basement, the more contaminated it can become, so making sure your pump is working properly can save you hundreds of dollars in water damage repair.
Basement flooding can cause serious problems for your Cincinnati, OH, home. Knowing how water can enter the lowest level and how to prevent it may allow you to prevent this troubling issue. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastcentralcincinnati.com//
Tips for Handling Damaged Electronics
After water fills your commercial space, you may be able to save some of the flooded electronics.
Water and electronics rarely go well together. If your commercial space in Cincinnati, OH, is flooded, you may have to deal with waterlogged computers, machinery, and other important electronic equipment. When you call in commercial water damage restoration professionals, they can give you advice on the best ways to deal with these flooded electronics, along with these tips:
• Avoid Power: Plugging in any water-damaged computers is not a good idea. You want to keep the power off to ensure the inner workings of the electronics are not fried more than they already are. If you add power, you may give the circuits a chance to short.
• Assess Damage: The truth is that some equipment should be salvageable and other pieces may have to be thrown away. Figuring out which is which requires a professional to assess your electronic damage.
• Dry Out: If a piece is deemed worthy of restoration, you need to make sure it is completely dried out before the fixing actually starts. The methods for drying out electronics may vary, but experts may want to take your equipment apart to allow it to dry thoroughly.
• Replace Parts: In some cases, you may need to replace certain parts of your flooded electronics. This partial replacement may help you save money and keep your saved documents.
• Restore Data: In other cases, your only option may be to restore lost data to a different device. This restoration allows you to continue your business. However, you may need to buy new equipment.
• Start Claim: Losing large portions of your company's electronic equipment can hurt your business. If flooding leads to you needing to replace most of your electronics, it can cost a lot. Thankfully, your commercial insurance may cover the cost of replacing some of the items.
After water fills your commercial space, you may be able to save some of the flooded electronics. In most cases, it is best to work with a professional familiar with electronic restoration. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastcentralcincinnati.com/.
Summer Storm Tips: 3 Ways To Keep Your Business Safe
Strong winds, a sudden rainstorm and lightning can all threaten your Cincinnati, OH, business.
When powerful summer storms move through Cincinnati, OH, you may be concerned about the impact they might have on your business. From a torrential rain storm that could cause flooding to howling winds and flying debris, there are many potential dangers these storms might produce. However, there are a few actions you can take to guard your commercial building against summer storms and protect your investment.
1. Maintain Your Landscaping
Keeping your landscaping trimmed may reduce the risk of roofing and window damage during a storm. When long branches are whipped around by high winds, they might shatter window glass and cause injury to anyone standing nearby. Contract a landscaping company to maintain your trees and shrubbery all season long to protect them and your building.
2. Teach Your Employees Storm Safety
While thunderstorms are fascinating, they can also be dangerous. Lightning and strong winds could pose a threat to your employees, so it is wise to teach them about how to stay safe during a weather event. Ask that they stay clear of windows and skylights during a thunderstorm and turn off or unplug all electronic devices in their area. Post a list of emergency phone numbers, including that of your local water department, electric company and a storm damage and restoration service at each station so employees can call for help when necessary.
3. Invest in a Lightning Rod
If your building has more than three stories, you may want to have it fitted with a lightning rod. This can protect your business from electrical surges that may occur during a direct lightning strike. Any type of rain storm is capable of producing lightning, which can cause fires as well as destroy your building’s power system. A lightning rod diverts a strike away from your building, eliminating these dangers during powerful storms.
Strong winds, a sudden rain storm and lightning can all threaten your Cincinnati, OH, business. However, when you are well prepared and know how to keep your employees and property safe, you have a better chance of weathering any storm that comes your way. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastcentralcincinnati.com/.
Removing the Odor of Smoke
If a fire has happened in your business, you are likely all too aware of the adverse effects of fire damage. Not only are there singes and burns, but smoke damage and smoke odor can affect your business and the items in your building long after restoration if they are not taken care of properly. Smoke cleaning after a fire is crucial in removing the odor of soot and smoke from your property and returning your business to preloss condition. There are many methods for the removal of smoke:
? Abrasive cleaning
? Spray and wipe cleaning
? Wet cleaning
? Dry cleaning
? Foam cleaning
All of these methods are intended for use with porous materials like fabric and should be conducted by local professionals in the Cincinnati, OH, area.
Smoke Cleaning for Nonporous Material
For cleaning smoke from nonporous materials such as electronic items, jewelry, or vinyl records, an ultrasonic cleaner is recommended. These types of cleaning devices use ultrasound and a cleaning agent to clean your contents. Electronic items should be paid particular attention, as the smoke damage can possibly contain acid that corrodes metal. Point-of-sales machines and office computers should be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent data loss.
Clearing Large Areas of Smoke Odor
After a fire, ozone machines can be used for smoke cleaning to rid your property of the odor. These machines use ozone to oxidize the smoke residue that may be lingering in hard-to-reach cracks and crevice and in porous material like carpet and upholstery as well. Thermal foggers can also be used in a similar fashion to cover large areas and to eliminate odors lingering in those isolated cracks and crevices. As a secondary measure, air-purifying machines designed specifically to eliminate smoke can assist in the process of cleaning the atmosphere inside your business by reintroducing fresh air into its rooms. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastcentralcincinnati.com/.
Steps To Clean a Moldy Washing Machine
You may need to consult a mold remediation specialist.
Considering washing machines are used to keep things clean, you may wonder how you can even end up with mold in your washer – but it’s entirely possible. When it happens it’s one of the worst things ever, when that smell can soak into your clothing and never come out. But all is not lost; not only can you salvage your mold-contaminated washing machine, but you can even save your clothing.
Don’t Throw Out Your Washer Just Yet
Before you haul your washing machine to your Cincinnati, OH, dumpster, try these steps to clean out the mold smell and remediate your mold issues:
• Scrub the machine out thoroughly. Glove up and get in there with some elbow grease and a brillo pad. Scrub the mold away until you can’t see anything but clean metal, then run an empty wash cycle to rinse the particulates away.
• Use everyday household products to both kill the mold and get rid of the smell. Run a cycle with a 1:4 mix of water and baking soda, then another cycle with vinegar put into the detergent tray. Both will help clean out any smells, and eradicate remaining mold. Just remember to run an empty wash cycle after to rinse it out and prevent your dirty clothes from smelling like vinegar.
• Bleach everything. Bleach and other chemical cleaners can be that last “burn it all to the ground” resort, but they’ll work in a pinch. If you want to try something a bit gentler, though, give an oxy-based cleaner that uses oxidizing solutions a try.
What If the Washing Machine Still Stinks?
You may need to consult a mold remediation specialist. It’s possible the washing machine is beyond saving, but if anyone can help you bring it back from the brink, a specialist can. They may recommend solutions and techniques that aren’t commonly known to the average homeowner. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastcentralcincinnati.com/.
Using a Fire Extinguisher
Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can help minimize the potential damage from a fire.
There are many scenarios people in Cincinnati, OH, can find themselves in where there is a need for a fire extinguisher in the house. No matter what the source of a fire in a home is, knowing how to use this device is an essential part of understanding and implementing fire safety and preventing fire damage.
How To Remember Directions for Use
The first thing to remember before trying to put out a fire in the home is to call the fire department. Once the fire department is made aware, a fire extinguisher can be used to attempt to control and eliminate a fire. An easy way to remember how to use an extinguisher is the acronym PASS.
• P – P is for Pull. Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher. This allows the handle to be squeezed, and also breaks the seal so the extinguisher can work.
• A – A stands for Aim. It is important to remember to aim low toward the bottom of the fire.
• S – The first S in the acronym is for Squeeze. Squeeze the handle, or the trigger.
• S – The second S is for Sweep. Sweep the nozzle from side to side across the bottom of the fire until it is extinguished. If the fire does not go out, or if it starts back up again, then repeat step two through step four.
It is extremely important to remember that evacuation is the number one priority if the fire doesn’t seem to be affected by an extinguisher!
Potential Fire Damages
There are many possible sources for fires in a residential area, including kitchen utilities, outlets, candles, wiring, and many others. Preventing fire damage is key during a residential fire, whether it is from a kitchen fire or from any other source in the house.
Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher can help minimize the potential damage from a fire. In situations where damage does occur, a local restoration company can be contacted to help with cleanup and fixing any damage left behind. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastcentralcincinnati.com/.