How to Deal with Dishwater Water Damage
Most people have dishwashers in their homes and most use them pretty frequently without ever having to deal with a leak coming from them. However, if you happen to find yourself unlucky enough to experience a leak in your dishwasher, you’ll find that it can quickly cover your entire kitchen floor with water and cause damage all over the kitchen from the floors to the cabinets and walls, as the water gets absorbed by all of the porous materials. To prevent these things from happening it’s important to address dishwasher leaks as soon as possible. We’re going to go over the things that you should to in order to help take care of the problem should your washer flood your kitchen.
1) Whenever there’s water damage to your home your first step should be to ensure that there is no water damage near anything electrical. If it does look like there is water near appliances or outlets, or if you aren’t sure, you should cut off the electricity to the area until you’re sure it is safe.
2) Next, you should begin to clean up as much of the water as possible as quickly as possible. Less water on the ground means less of a chance that it seeps into the subflooring and potentially causes more damage or hidden mold growth in your floors. Use towels, mops, and wet vacuums if available to remove any visible water. If possible, pull out the dishwasher and other surrounding appliances to be sure there is no water puddled underneath them.
3) After you’ve gotten up as much of the water as you can, you should inspect your home for any damages caused by the water. Check for signs of moisture in cabinets, under appliances that are on the floor and at the baseboards and walls where water was. Bubbling, discoloration, or warping are all signs that the water has caused more damage than what was possible to clean up, this means that you’ll need to take further steps to get rid of the water damage.
4) Once you’ve done everything you can to clean the water up your next move should be to call us here at SERVPRO of Chesapeake South. We have special tools and extensive training in how to find hidden areas of moisture to help ensure that there is no water left behind from the leak. This could mean pulling up flooring to ensure the subfloors are properly dried or even making flood cuts in the walls to replace soggy insulation.
We hope that you’ll not have to experience dealing with a flooded kitchen due to your dishwasher; however, we want to help make sure that if you do have to take care of something like this you understand the proper steps to take!
Emergency Shut Offs
In a commercial building there can be a multitude of different reasons why you’d need to shut off the gas, water, or electricity during an emergency scenario. Often, building owners will rely on the fire department or utility company to come in and shut off these services which can cost a lot of time in an emergency. For example, if your sprinkler system is malfunctioning, the time it takes for the fire department to show up and turn the water off can be the difference in hundreds of gallons of water saturating your property’s structure and belongings.
If your building has utilities running to it, it will also have these main emergency shutoff valves and switches. It’s important to know where they are and to make sure that anyone who is part of the emergency responses in your building also knows where they are.
SERVPRO of Chesapeake South offers a free service to businesses called the Emergency Ready Program (ERP) to help with this. We will send out a representative to come out and walk your property with you to take pictures, and document where all of these shut offs are as well as other pertinent information required in an emergency scenario. Once our walkthrough is complete, we’ll compile an ERP binder for you that includes all of this information including contact information for all of your emergency services. We can walk through this binder with you and explain everything to make sure you fully understand it. That way you’ll be able to go to your staff and be comfortable knowing that everyone is knowledgeable in the proper responses to any given emergency scenario at your place of business.
Emergencies are not always avoidable, but a prompt and effective response can be key in reducing the amount of time and costs involved in getting your business back to operations as usual after the fact. If you’d like to speak with one of our representatives about an ERP for your business please do not hesitate to reach out!
Home Deodorization Step by Step Guide
Deodorizing your home after a fire, dealing with mold or other events that cause unpleasant smells is a multistep process. Here we’ll go into the different steps required in fully removing odors from your home or business so that you can better understand everything that goes into your property’s deodorization.
The first step in getting rid of odors is removing the source. Debris or other items covered in odor causing residues will continue to release them into the air until they are removed or taken care of, so removing the source is first in a permanent odor solution.
Once the odor causing items are removed, we’ll thoroughly clean the surfaces of the affected area. Without a proper and thorough cleaning particles and residues can be left behind to continue to generate odors.
The third step in deodorization is to “recreate” the conditions that caused the odor penetration. This means that depending on how the original odor was dispersed about the property we will use various techniques to recreate that with a deodorization agent. For example, if the smell is caused by smoke damage, then we will use a fogger to “recreate” smoke to distribute it. We do this because the best way to efficiently reach everywhere that the odor has penetrated is by doing the same thing with the odor removing agents, allowing them to effectively target the sources of the odors.
In some cases, the odor issues may be severe enough to require sealing. This can be used in cases where the odor removal may be too expensive or otherwise impractical. We’ll use a sealant on the surfaces of the affected materials to help lock in these particles and prevent them from being released into the air further.
While some odors may go away on their own, depending on the scenario odor generating particles can penetrate deep into the structure of your property. Handling these odors and effectively removing them requires a professional company trained in the science of deodorization. If your home or business is suffering from an unpleasant smell that just won’t go away give SERVPRO of Chesapeake South a call and let our highly trained technicians take care of it. We’re here to help 24/7, 365 days a year!
SERVPRO handles Restoration and Reconstruction
When your home or business experiences water or fire damage typically there’s still work that needs to be done once the actual mess is cleaned up. Often, there is damage to the property that will need to be repaired or rebuilt. Our team at SERVPRO of Chesapeake South understands that it can be frustrating trying to juggle multiple contractors and various professionals to accomplish all of the tasks required in addressing your loss. Which is why we provide turn-key service to our customers. From emergency services when you first notice the damage all the way to getting your property back to preloss conditions our team is there every step of the way. We pride ourselves on being able to handle all kinds of disasters and everything that comes along with them.
As leaders in the restoration industry, we are all positioned to provide you with the service required to deliver on all aspects of your home’s restoration AND reconstruction. We even boast a great reputation with our local insurance agents and will work directly with them to help further alleviate your stress during these already trying times. We do it all, so you don’t have to. Don’t take any chances and give us a call to find out how we can help!
Common Causes of Water Damage
While home water damage is typically associated with floods or heavy storms, a significant portion of water damage in homes is cause by malfunctioning or damaged home appliances. It is important to regularly check these items to help ensure that you do not become victim to a surprise water damage event in your home.
Dishwashers – This is one of those appliances that typically doesn’t get moved around at all. People often only notice that a water damage as occurred when the damage finally reaches out past the underside of the washer or behind it.
AC Unit – When HVAC systems run, they create a lot of condensation. While there are things in place like the drain pan and condensate drain line to help keep this water from going places it shouldn’t, it’s possible for the line to become clogged or start leaking, leaving the water to drain elsewhere in your home
Refrigerator – Most commonly, refrigerators with ice makers are the biggest culprit of home water damage, when the water line to the ice maker becomes damaged and starts to leak. This is also one of those home items that doesn’t typically get moved a lot, so it is easy to miss potential early damage signs behind and underneath them.
Hot Water Heater – These are easily one of the biggest culprits of water damage in your home. Most are designed to last a good while (ten years or more), depending on factors like materials and installation, leaks can begin earlier than that. Regular inspections can help to mitigate any damage that make come from a leaky hot water heater by addressing the problem before it gets too bad.
We hope these tips can help you watch out for and prevent water damage from occurring in your home, but if you find that maybe your floors under your dishwasher are softer than they should be, or there’s a puddle around your HVAC unit, or any other water damage that could happen. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call and find out how we can help to make your water damage “Like it never even happened.”
“Is that mold?” No one wants to ever hear that question. Especially so when it’s being asked in regard to your business. Mold growth can be detrimental to a business and the costs to deal with it after the fact are often pretty high, but luckily you have some preventative measures that you can take for your business to lessen the likelihood of that happening to you.
Proper ventilation and airflow – It’s important to keep the air in a business from getting stagnant. For comfort of course, but also proper ventilation allows your HVAC to do its job of removing moisture from the air. This is especially important in places like kitchens and laundry rooms where humidity levels are typically higher than usual
Walk throughs – You should regularly walk your entire property to check for any signs of leaks in pipes or other water sources and make sure that if you find any they are fixed promptly, cutting off water to that area until then if necessary.
Look out for signs of water damage – Similarly to inspecting your water sources for leaks you should also be on the lookout for signs of water damage like water spots or walls/floors that are warped. It’s important to address these issues as soon as possible because even if they seem like they’re dry already, if not dried properly there could still be moisture hidden inside that can lead to mold growth in a matter of days.
You can’t always prevent mold from growing but following these tips can definitely lessen the likelihood of you having to deal with these issues. If you do find yourself battling against mold in your business, give us a call and our team of skilled technicians will be there!
Hurricane Categories Explained
Hurricanes are one of the most destructive and terrifying forces of nature that we can experience. Wind and rain can cause devastating damage over huge areas of land and multiple days. Today we wanted to outline for you the different levels of storm categories and the kinds of damage they can cause so that you can be more informed. You’ve likely heard of these categories before but may not necessarily know the criteria for each one. Hurricanes start as a tropical storm and then based off of their wind speed fall under a total of five different categories. Keep in mind that these are JUST wind speed and there are many other damaging factors to hurricanes.
Category One (74-95 mph) - Once a tropical storm reaches wind speeds of over 73mph it is officially considered a hurricane. Homes may experience roof damage, siding damage and might lose their gutters. Tree branches may be snapped and potentially take out powerlines resulting in power outages.
Category Two (96-110 mph) – Category two storms can cause extensive damage. Major roof and siding damage is expected. Many smaller trees will be uprooted or snapped and block roadways. Near total power loss to the affected area is typically expected.
Category Three (111-129 mph) – Cat Three storms are the beginning of what’s considered “major hurricanes.” Homes may experience serious major roof damage or removal of roof decking exposing the inside of your home directly to the elements. Many trees will be snapped and blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for days to weeks after the storm.
Category Four (130-156 mph) – The damage from these storms is catastrophic. Homes can experience complete roof removal and potentially walls as well. MOST trees will be snapped or uprooted and travel on roadways will be near impossible due to the obstructions. Areas affected by storms of this magnitude will likely be uninhabitable for weeks.
Category Five (157 mph and up) – Category five storms are the worst it can get. Homes are likely completely destroyed and collapsed. Fallen trees and powerlines will make residential areas near impossible to get to. Power outages will last for weeks if not months and water will be unavailable for just as long. These areas will be likely uninhabitable for months as the entire infrastructure will need to be rebuilt.
As you can see, just the winds alone from these storms are truly terrifying. Once you consider the other damaging factors of these storms you can start to paint a picture of the magnitude of damage that hurricanes leave in their wake.
Be sure to follow all local and national weather service recommendations if you live in an area where a hurricane is headed towards. It likely will not serve any benefit to you to stay during an evacuation order and just put yourself and your family at risk, as well as make first responders’ jobs more difficult.
What To Do - Water Damage to Your Home
No matter the size, water damage has the potential to cause some pretty big issues structurally to your home or business. You must work quickly to make sure that the damage does not continue to worsen because as long as the moisture is present damage can continue to occur.
While we will always recommend using a professional water damage restoration company to help ensure that your property is thoroughly dry and there’s no lingering moisture hidden in the structural materials there are a few things that you can do to help mitigate any more damage from occurring before we arrive on scene:
- Shut off the source – If the source is a leaky pipe or appliance, you’ll need to shut off the water supply to that leak, if you don’t know how to shut the water off in your home you should learn as soon as possible as you never know when you may need to.
- Electricity – If accessible without going through the water, shut off the electricity to the affected area as soon as possible. Water conducts electricity very well and this poses a serious safety risk. Not only that but an electrical hazard is also a big fire hazard and the last thing you need is another form of damage to be added on top of the water damage. If you can’t shut off the electricity from the breaker safely you may need to leave and shut it off from the outside so that you’ll be able to move about the area without worrying about getting shocked.
- Additionally, you should never try and turn on any lights if the ceiling is wet.
- Excess water – Use mops, towels, etc. to soak up as much water as possible. Water damage increases by the minute. The more water you can soak up while waiting for us to arrive the less damage is likely to occur and it will allow us to start drying out your property faster.
How To Protect Your Business From Flooding
When a nasty storm is on the way you’ll get an alert for it from your local weather services, but what does that mean for your business? Here are a few tips that we’d like to share with you to help manage your business’s plans during a serious storm and protect it from flooding.
1) People First - Before a storm hits your place of business should have an evacuation plan in place, and more importantly, if you do get an evacuation notice, to actually evacuate in a timely manner. Make sure to clearly present this plan to your employees so in the event of an emergency everyone knows what to do.
2) Protect Your Property – If you’re in an area that’s prone to flooding during storms it’s important to take extra considerations with your things. Valuable equipment should be kept on higher levels of the building if possible and at least kept off the floor on risers or platforms if not. Consider investing in waterproof containers for important documents, and if possible, back up your data to the cloud or an offsite location.
3) Don’t Delay – If your business does suffer from storm damage or flooding the most important step is that you begin damage mitigation as fast as safely possible. This is where we come in! Our teams are always ready to respond to any disasters. Every second counts when it comes to water damage on your property and the faster you contact us to get it dried out the less damage is likely to happen.
Hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to never have to experience flooding or storm damage to your business but if you do, we hope that these tips help! Don’t forget to call us as soon as you can, we’re here to help!
How To Clean Up Smoke Damage
Unfortunately, charred walls and belongings are not the only thing you have to worry about when your Chesapeake home or business suffers from a fire. Soot and smoke can cover much of the affected area with a sticky and difficult to clean mess. The particles and odors left behind can be harmful to breath and their acidic nature can further damage the surfaces they settle on if not cleaned properly. Continue reading for some best practices in getting rid of smoke and soot damage in your home.
The first thing you should do is protect your safety. Wear protective clothing with long sleeves, pants and gloves to protect exposed skin, goggles should also be worn, as well as a respirator to prevent any particles that get knocked into the air from getting into your lungs.
Once properly protected here are the steps you should take to begin cleaning your home:
1) Perhaps the easiest part of dealing with the damage is ventilation. Open as many windows and doors as possible to let in fresh air and use fans to help push out any air that may have contaminants. It is also important to note that you should NOT turn on your HVAC at all. This can pull smoke and soot particles into your ducting and spread it to other areas of the home or leave deposits inside the ducts making for more work when cleaning.
2) Use a vacuum to remove any loose soot particles. The vacuum should have a HEPA filter as to not redistribute the particles back into the air. Be careful when vacuuming to not let the vacuum touch the items you are cleaning. Soot particles are typically oily and can smear if rubbed around on materials.
3) Dry cleaning. For now, you should not be using any water or wet methods of cleaning. As mentioned above soot smears easily and especially so when wet. Use a dry-cleaning sponge to clean as much of the soot off of surfaces and walls as possible.
4) Once you’ve done everything you can with dry-cleaning you can begin using commercial soot removers to breakdown what is left on surfaces and remove lingering contaminants.
5) Dry! After you’ve used your wet methods of cleaning you need to make sure that everything is dried out properly. Using clean rags and fans be sure to not leave any moisture anywhere as to not foster bacterial growth in those areas.
Should you use a professional service to clean your home after suffering from a fire? The answer is almost always yes. While it is possible to rid your home of smoke and soot yourself it is a difficult task and easy to mess up. Additionally, odor causing particles are some of the most difficult to clean and you may find that despite your best efforts there is still a lingering smell of smoke in your home. When you call our team of professionals here at SERVPRO of Chesapeake South we have the ability to use specialized equipment like air scrubbers to help pull these smelly particles out of the air and our own set of commercial cleaners specifically designed to get smoke and soot out of surfaces and properly disinfect them. Carpets, upholstery, and furniture should always be left for a professional as they require expertise to ensure they don’t get damaged during cleaning. Remember that the longer the smoke damage lingers in your home the harder it will be to fix the issues and the more damage it can cause.