Recent Water Damage Posts
Dangers of Extreme Cold
While your home can get damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health is also at risk.
Fifty-three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold in 2015.
It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.
Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy numbness.
Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95°F, seek medical attention immediately.
To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.
Hoarding: A Serious Problem
According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.
Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.
Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often, SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. One of our trained professionals will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.
Another way SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.
Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with your insureds, call SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties today at 770-253-8972.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 4
Do You Know What To Do When a Flood Happens?
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river, or even in the desert—there is always potential for flood damage. Fema.gov reports in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000.*
According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties at 770-253-8972. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties will help you take it back.
*Facts and figures provided by fema.gov
**Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3
When Water Damage Strikes
The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.
SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.
SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.
To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.
SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties's team of professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walk-through of the job-site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.
EMERGENCY WATER DAMAGE TIPS
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
For more information on recovering from water damage, contact SERVPRO® of Troup-Coweta Counties today - 770-253-8972.
*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3
Common Mistakes You're Making with Your "Small" Water Damage
When finding themselves in the midst of a water damage event, many people immediately react by jumping in and cleaning up the mess. Beginning the restoration process as soon as possible is important, but starting before you have taken the necessary steps or know exactly what you are doing could actually make things worse in the end. To help avoid these mishaps, a few of the most common mistakes in water damage clean up are listed below. The most critical mistake to not make is failing to hire a professional restoration company to do the dirty work for you. SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties is your local expert to help you navigate the “waters”.
Mistake #1- Not Having the Job Done RIGHT the First Time
Adopting the “do it yourself” approach when it comes to water damage clean-up is often the go-to mindset. However, this is usually a more difficult process than people think. It can be a long process and following the proper procedures is very important. For example, if you neglect to begin airing out your home by opening up windows and doors for ventilation and using fans to dry things out as soon as possible, the damage will eventually be worse.
Mistake #2- Not Being Completely Thorough
As mentioned above, the water damage restoration process done right requires that you be very thorough. Cutting corners and major shortcuts will not make a big difference and can actually cause more damage. It is better to have the job done right up front, but it will not happen overnight. To ensure all the water is removed and mold will not begin to grow on and in your walls, ceilings, and carpet, you will want to make sure your contractor is certified to do the work needed in an appropriate time frame.
Mistake #3- Waiting Too Long
It can be tempting to put off dealing with flooding or water damage when it’s just a small incident, especially when life is hectic. Even minor flooding can lead to major damage in the long run. The water seeps into walls and flooring over time when not dried properly and can cause structural damage and mold growth. It’s not worth the risk to procrastinate. It could save you a lot of time, heartache, and money in the long run.
Mistake #4- Not Involving a Certified Restoration Company
Trying to tackle the water damage restoration process on your own is great undertaking. Having it done right the first time requires the proper expertise, the right equipment, and enough time to be as thorough as required. Though it may seem like you have the time and resources to clean it up, you will soon realize the process is more involved than originally thought. Should you ever find yourself in a situation where your home or business has been compromised by flooding or water damage, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties.
Let SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties help you recover your property properly following a water damage event. Call us today – 770-253-8972.
Sources of Outside Water Damage
There are many ways that water can infiltrate your home, often when you least expect it. It will destroy everything in its path and take over your entire world. In addition to increased stress levels, unexpected water damage can cause displacement for you and your family. Only a certified and insured restoration company should be trusted to mitigate the damage to your home. SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties is your local resource to get your home back in working order.
Water damage can occur from both interior and exterior sources. Below are some ways you can help prevent water damage inside your home that comes from outside sources.
- Ensure that shingles, flashings or tiles on your roof aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
- Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture.
- Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
- Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Clear gutters and downspouts from leaves, twigs, and other debris. Also check that they are in good condition so that water can flow freely. You can do this by installing metal screens to help prevent clogging.
- Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. This helps direct water away from the foundation. Downspout extensions can be added if needed.
Doors and Windows
- Install window well covers to help prevent water and debris from getting trapped and causing water to eventually seep into your basement.
- Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frames.
- Installing overhangs or awnings above exterior doors and windows protects them from the sun, rain, and snow.
- Check for a tight fit on closed doors and windows. Any cracks between the sash and frame Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping.
- Check for and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or another masonry, and structural sheathing.
- Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls, and avoid directing water towards the house when irrigating the garden and plants to prevent excessive water near the foundation.
- Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
- Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding causing holes and compromising structural integrity. Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation.
- Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
Following these steps can help protect your home from exterior water damage. If water does happen to sneak into your home, make sure to have SERVPRO of Troup-Coweta Counties on speed dial. We’ll be there to make it “Like it never even happened.”