What To Do When You Discover Water Damage
Water damage in Baton Rouge, LA.
Steps To Clean Out Water Damage In a Home
Broken pipes, leaking pipes, a burst supply line, a poorly connected supply line, an aging appliance…there are countless factors in your home that may result in water damage, many of which you may not discover until after water has begun to pool in your home. Unfortunately, once you discover sitting water in your home, chances are that the issue has existed long enough to have caused extensive damage. While you cannot undo the damage that has already been done, you can act immediately to prevent further harm. Three steps you can take right away include the following:
- Shut off the water source.
- Look for safety areas and turn off circuit breakers if possible.
- Attempt to save contents.
If the damage is extensive enough, you may want to contact a Baton Rouge, LA, water cleanup team.
Turn Off the Source
It will not help you to clean up the water damage if you do not find the source and put a stop to the leak or influx of water. The source may be a leaking pipe, a poorly connected supply line or even an open window. Once you locate the source, shut off the valve or close it off somehow.
Turn Off Breakers
If you can do so safely, turn off power in all affected areas. An electrical current that comes into contact with water can create an even greater hazard and may put you and your home in danger. However, if turning off power means wading through a pool of water, leave it be and contact a professional.
Save Your Contents
If you can do so, remove items from the affected area and try to dry them out. Even if an item is not in direct contact with water, it is at risk of becoming moldy or rotted because of the excess moisture in the air. If electronics or electrical appliances sustained water damage, toss them out. Even if they look okay, using water damaged appliances is extremely dangerous and can cause a house fire.
Dealing with water damage is no fun, but it must be done. For help with more extensive problems, contact your Baton Rouge, LA, water cleanup team.
3 Tips To Prevent Mold
Keep your home free from secondary damage.
3 Mold Prevention Tips
Dealing with water damage in your home in Monticello, LA, sometimes makes it seem like a mold problem is inevitable. It may be easier to prevent mold than you think, though. You don’t have to resign yourself to recurring patches of fungus on your walls, carpet and ceiling. Follow these tips to keep these issues at bay.
1. Maintain Optimal Air Flow
Stagnant air can contribute to mold growth. If you do not have sufficient air flow in your home, mold spores are more likely to settle on surfaces. You are also more likely to have moisture problems, which exacerbate mold issues by giving it sustenance. Make sure that the areas of your home that are prone to excess moisture, such as the laundry room, kitchen and bathroom, are properly ventilated.
2. Pursue Quick Remediation
If your pipes spring a leak, a fast response is the best way to prevent secondary damage such as mold. Call mold remediation experts immediately whenever your home has water damage. It only takes a couple of days for spores to settle and multiply on surfaces in your home. The quicker you can make the environment less hospitable for fungus growth, the more likely you are to prevent the problem.
3. Keep Moisture Levels Down
Mold loves moisture, so it logically follows that minimizing moisture in your home can help with mold prevention. There are two main ways to do this. First, make sure you keep the humidity level at 45% or below. You can purchase a humidity meter at most hardware stores. Second, dry all affected items thoroughly any time you have a spill or leak. Allowing moisture to remain on surfaces in your home is an invitation to mold.
You may not be able to prevent water damage, but you don’t have to resign yourself to further issues such as mold infestation. Hire specialists who are faster to any size disaster to keep your home free from secondary damage.
Recovery After Pipe Damage
Water damage from a busted pipe.
Recovering from Pipe Damage
A leak in the plumbing system can be a serious hindrance to your business activities in Zachary, LA. Prevent the need for pipe burst cleanup and other remedial actions by performing the following maintenance.
1. Check the Supply Lines
One of the first troubleshooting activities should be an inspection for supply line leaking. A supply line is a flexible hose, usually with a woven steel casing, that connects a toilet or other device to a source of water. The connections between the supply line and either the fixture or the wall can become points of failure over time. Corrosion can damage nuts or threads and compromise the fittings that keep water flowing smoothly between different pipes. Inspect and replace these as necessary with similar components.
2. Check the Drainage
Another potential problem lies in the means through which water exits the basin of a sink, toilet, or other fixture. These pipes can also fail and create a need for costly water cleanup attention. In addition to checking drain outlets directly, sites such as joints in the u-bend or the sewer outlet can wear over time. Apply caulk or epoxy depending on the surface type if the leak is comparatively minor or is the result of a slightly loose-fitting. If the plastic or copper piping is directly cracked or broken along a flat surface, it will likely need a complete replacement to prevent more serious pipe burst cleanup.
3. Inspect Surrounding Materials
Drywall and flooring can become wet, harboring bacteria and mold. If the leak has progressed for a long time, materials such as the plywood beneath the sink or the floor padding below a bathroom may need replacing near the affected area. If the volume of water is high enough to cause standing flooding, it may be prudent to contact a qualified water damage restoration service.
A little bit of preventative maintenance during a leak can prevent major headaches in the future. Stop floods the resulting pipe burst cleanup before they begin by reviewing the above leak correction tips.
How Often Should You Replace Bathroom Supply Lines?
Bathroom supply lines are available in solid and flexible materials.
Common Causes of Supply Line Damage
Bathroom supply lines are available in solid and flexible materials. The longevity of a supply line depends on the material and installation. Find out more about different types of lines and common causes of supply line damage.
Supply Line Materials
The material and texture of a supply line will affect how long it is likely to last. Solid supply lines can last for decades, whereas flexible lines are less durable and more affordable to replace. Choose from the following materials:
- Braided stainless steel
- Chromed copper
- Flexible Copper
Solid copper lines are much more expensive than solid CPVC lines or flexible materials. In general, solid lines are desirable for long runs, and flexible lines are better suited for short runs.
Supply Line Warranties
The warranty on a supply line depends on the material and manufacturer, and can range from five years to a lifetime. This includes:
- Copper lines that can last for decades and may have lifetime warranties
- Plastic lines with 5- to 8-year warranties
- Steel braided lines with warranties from 5 years up to a lifetime
Factor in the warranty on any type of line you choose to install. This can provide protection against a premature supply line leak.
Supply Line Damage
Supply lines may break or succumb to a particular type of damage due to the line material. Several common types of damage involving lines and fittings include:
- Corroded braided metal hoses
- Separated brass barbed fittings due to stress corrosion
- Broken plastic coupling nuts
- Burst supply lines
All of these types of damage can cause a bathroom leak and Category One water damage. Replace the line and connections, and contact water damage restoration specialists.
Replace lines if you experience a pipe burst or other supply line damage. Depending on the material, a homeowner may want to complete this replacement or hire a plumber in Baker, LA.
Top 3 Reasons To Board Your Home After a Fire
Fire damage in Baton Rouge, LA.
Reasons To Board Up Your Home After a Fire
No homeowner in Baton Rouge, LA, wants to watch a house go up in smoke. Still, even if you exercise caution, you cannot completely eliminate your risk of sustaining fire damage. If your home has been through a residential fire, you must act quickly to minimize ongoing harm. Here are the top three reasons to board up your home following a fire.
1. Keep Weather Out of Your House
As you probably know, water can destroy the inside of your home. Not only does moisture affect the quality of carpeting, drywall and fixtures, but it can also promote mold growth. By relying on an emergency board-up service to make your home weather-tight, you keep water from making fire damage worse.
2. Discourage Criminal Activity
Burned homes are easy targets for thieves, vandals and other criminals. To discourage looting following a fire, board up your home. Not only does placing boards over damaged windows and doors make illegal entry more difficult, but it also blocks the view of the inside of your home. Either way, if you want to keep criminals out of your house, attaching boards is an effective strategy.
3. Prevent Animals From Nesting
Birds, raccoons, snakes, mice and other critters love to live inside abandoned properties. While you are waiting to begin repairs on your damaged home, you must encourage animals to stay away from it. By boarding up your home, you tell animal invaders they are not welcome.
Unless a fire completely ruins your home, you probably want to repair it. As such, you must do what you can to limit ongoing damage following a fire. Since broken doors and missing windows encourage damage to continue, you probably want to place boards over the access points. With the right fire restoration service, you can be certain you are protecting your home from further damage.
3 Strategies for Keeping Your Employees Safe During a Flood Cleanup
A business in Monticello, LA suffered from water damage due to rising creek water.
3 Ways to Keep Your Employees Safe During Flood Cleanup
When your Monticello, LA, business suffers a flood, the cleanup efforts can be considerable. From the removal of contaminated black water to fighting the mold growth that can occur afterward, there can be much to do. However, during this process, keeping your employees safe will likely be a priority for you, especially as you work to reopen your business. As workers return to your building, there are a few strategies you can keep in mind that might protect them from accidents or injury.
1. Have Them Avoid Touching Flood Water
If the flooding in your commercial location was caused by an overflow of an outdoor creek or river, a sewer backup, or a backed-up toilet, you may want to keep your employees clear of the water and prevent them from entering flooded areas. Category 3 flooding creates what is called black water, which may contain feces and sewer chemicals. Only professionals from flood damage and cleanup service with the equipment and knowledge to handle the water should do so.
2. Allow Them To Work From Home
Allowing some employees to work remotely can help keep them safe while flood cleanup efforts continue at your business. Data wranglers, coding technicians and social media managers might all be able to work from home and turn in their work via email or through your company’s shared data drive. This can help prevent layoffs or work stoppage for many of your employees.
3. Complete Air Filtration Before Employees Return
Air quality can be poor after flooding, especially if your flood techs must remove mold. It is wise to allow any air filtration processes to complete before inviting your employees back to work.
Keeping your employees safe from black water, poor air quality and other issues after a flood damages your Monticello, LA, commercial building can be daunting. However, when you know how to proceed once flooding occurs, you can reduce the risk of employee injuries or accidents.
The 3 Categories of Water: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Water damage due to pipe break in a Baton Rouge, LA home.
Categories of Water Damage
If your home is flooded with water, it is important that you understand where it came from before you start cleaning up the mess yourself, otherwise, you risk touching contaminated water. There are three categories of water that you should know about:
- Category 1, which is clean water
- Category 2, which is contaminated
- Category 3, which is sewage or black water
If you are unaware of where water came from, the best thing you can do is to call a Baton Rouge, LA, water cleanup specialist.
Category 1 Water
Category 1 water is water that originated directly from a sanitary source, such as a supply line. This type of water is generally safe for non-professionals to deal with on their own. However, if the water is allowed to sit and mix with soils or with components of a building, it may become category 2 water.
Category 2 Water
Category 2 water is contaminated water, and it is not recommended that individuals attempt to cleanup this type of water on their own. Also known as "gray water," this water has bacteria present but does not contain any human waste. Experts recommend contacting a professional cleanup grew to deal with gray water only because it's difficult to know what types of contaminants it contains.
Category 3 Water
Category 3 water does contain human waste and other raw sewage, which is why it is also referred to as black water. This type of water is grossly unsanitary and should not be dealt with by a non-professional.
All three types of water can cause secondary water damage, which is why it is essential that they are dealt with right away. If you fail to clean up any type of water mess, it can cause mold and other property damage. Whether you are dealing with clean water, contaminated water or water of unknown origins, contact your local Baton Rouge, LA, water remediation team right away for advice and assistance.
3 Tips for Cleaning Your Home After a Fire
Fire damage in Zachary, LA.
Cleaning Your Home After a Fire
Experiencing a home fire in Zachary, LA, can be devastating and cause tremendous stress on you and your family. After overcoming the initial shock and ensuring everyone is safe, you can shift your focus to cleaning and restoring your property. Removing the smoke odor from your home is an important first step, but don’t forget about content cleaning as many of your personal items can be saved from fire and smoke damage.
1. Dry Clean Your Clothes
Much of the smoke odor and residual soot can be removed from your clothes by dry-cleaning. Other fabrics can benefit from dry-cleaning as well, such as drapes and furniture covers. Be thorough — smoke and soot can travel thorough your whole house and are not confined to rooms directly affected by the fire.
2. Don’t Forget Surfaces
Cleaning your carpets might seem like an obvious step in the restoration process, but other non-porous areas also need to be cleaned thoroughly. Ultrasonic cleaners use a cleaning solution in conjunction with pressurized waves to effectively cleanse metal, rubber, plastic, glass and ceramics. Investigate renting one of these machines as opposed to buying, or contact a restoration specialist and have your hard surfaces professionally cleaned.
3. Store Your Belongings and Relax
If this all seems too overwhelming to accomplish by yourself, you may want to investigate content storage, a service offered by many restoration specialists. The company will pack and move all of your stuff to its own facility where its technicians can more efficiently clean and deodorize your possessions, then store them until your home is safe and spotless. This is a great option if your fire damage is extensive, as it allows the contractor in your home more room to work and takes away some of the stress of tackling a huge project like cleaning everything in your home yourself.
Fires can leave a lasting mark on you and your property. Safety is always the most important thing after a fire, and luckily, cleanup can be made easy and stress-free through a combination of dry-cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning.
Filing a Smoke or Fire Insurance Claim
Fire damage in Monticello, LA.
Filing a Claim for Smoke or Fire Insurance
A fire occurring at your place of business can put a lot of different problems on your plate at once, and at times it can be devastating. Luckily, insurance claims for smoke damaged and fire damage are often covered by many insurance carriers. Documenting the incident may not seem important right after a fire happens, but keeping a well organized list of details about the event can help smooth the process of filing a claim with your insurance company.
How You Can Help
Keeping in mind that your insurance policy likely covers damage from fire, make a list of the following to give to your adjuster:
- Date of loss
- Whether the damage was from fire and smoke, or strictly smoke damage
- Location of damage
- Other parties involved
- Condition of the property
- Any content damaged as a result of the fire and if the items can be repaired
- Related injuries
- A police and fire department report
There is usually a section in your policy that outlines a specific time frame during which you can file your claim after the date of loss. Familiarizing yourself with your policy is a great course of action in order to give yourself the necessary tools in the unfortunate event that you have fire damage, smoke damage, or soot damage. You will likely exchange many emails and phone conversations with various contractors and insurance agents during this time as well. Keeping these conversations organized and documented can save you from future headache.
A good insurance policy can lessen the sting of a fire’s aftermath. In fact, many carriers will work with you through the process of rebuilding. Generally, insurance adjusters understand reasonable requests from policyholders, such as requesting that your local Monticello, LA, contractor is IICRC-certified. If you have had a fire at your business, keeping composure and working with yotiur insurance company can help your business get back on its feet in no time.
How Can Renters Insurance Help With Fire Damage?
Own property insurance is required to secure your personal things.
How Do Renters Insurance Can Protect You From a Fire
You probably know someone who has been through a home fire in Spindale, NC. They are eager to share lessons learned the hard way. One of those lessons is that insurance can help protect your family financially if a fire should affect your home. Here are a few ways renters insurance can help protect you from fire:
1. Protect personal property. Your landlord’s insurance will cover the building and items that belong to the landlord, but your items are not included in that coverage. As a renter, you need a policy to provide replacement value of personal property loss from fire damage.
2. Prevent financial destruction from liability. Most renter's insurance policies include protection in case you accidentally start the fire. Of course, this doesn’t cover intentional or criminal conduct.
3. Provide money for accommodations. Make sure your policy includes this coverage, which provides for hotel fees or the expense of relocation. A loss of use can help pay for you to live somewhere else if your current space becomes uninhabitable from a disaster, like fire.
Renters insurance is affordable, costing around $30 per month. It provides coverage of your belongings no matter where they are damaged or stolen, and it covers a variety of different types of disasters. Be sure to remember that flood damage still requires separate coverage, but fire and other disasters, such as wind, lightning, theft and vandalism, are usually covered. Coverage may have some limits, so consider getting a rider for special items that may be very valuable.
You need insurance to protect your personal belongings. It’s up to the landlord to have adequate coverage for the building and any furnishings that are included. Fire restoration can encompass many different types of damage including water, smoke and soot. A good restoration company will be able to handle all types of damage, working with you to minimize loss and clean your belongings when it is possible to do so.