Fire Alarm Tips
According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of four in home fire deaths occur in homes without a working smoke alarm. This is usually because the batteries have been removed or have died. With that being said it is good to know that you will be prepared and alerted if a fire ever happens in your home.
Types of smoke alarms
- Ionization Technology- More Sensitive than photoelectric technology at detecting small particles. Also respond faster to smoke produced by flaming fires.
- Photoelectric Technology- More sensitive than ionization technology at detecting large particles. Are also better at detecting smoldering fires.
Tips for testing and maintaining smoke alarms
- Test your smoke alarms once a month
- Change the battery once a year
- Replace smoke alarm every 10 years
- Listen for low battery chirps
How to Prevent Moisture in Your Home
Most people think of water damage they usually think of flooding after storms. That isn’t always the case though, somethings you wouldn’t expect what may be causing moisture to build up in certain spaces in your home. Follow some of the tips below to help prevent moisture build-up in your home.
Humidity and Indoor Moisture
When warm air comes in contact with a cool surface it creates moisture. Things like showering, dishwashing, and cooking add moisture to the air. Cold water pipes that are uninsulated can also cause water droplets to accumulate in the summer. When condensation and water droplets occur, they can run down walls and into corners of your home. Once this happens, things can start to rot, paint can peel, and provide a good environment for mold to grow.
Ways to reduce moisture
- Use a dehumidifier
- Run fans in the house
- Run the A/C
- Clean A/C filters
- Take colder/ shorter shower
- Cover pots while cooling
- Cover aquariums
How to Prevent a House Fire
A house fire to your property can be life changing. You may think it may never happen to you, but they are more common than you may think. The National Fire Protection Association states that the U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 355,400 home structure fires per year during 2012-2016. These fires caused an annual average of 2,560 civilian fire deaths, 11,670 civilian fire injuries, and $6.5 billion in direct property damage. House fires do happen but there are ways to prevent a fire from starting in your home. Listed below are some things that can cause house fires. It is important to keep your eye on these items as they are common for starting house fires.
- Appliance cords
- Heating units
- Faulty wiring
Common Commercial Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues can be devastating to a business. It can cause leaks that turn into a water loss that could affect productivity in your business. With plumbing issues, it can happen with little to no warning, sometimes it starts with a small leak and other times it can happen suddenly. It is important to fix these issues before they become big problems with big expenses. Some problems include leaking seals and drain clogs.
Seals can go bad at any moment, so it is important to inspect for small leaks around these areas, if you wait it could turn into a major water loss. Leaks can occur wherever two plumbing components meet. This means sometimes they aren’t always noticeable. Not only can this turn into a bigger leak but if the seal completely breaks off when you aren’t present you could cause thousands of dollars in water damage to your property.
Drain clogs aren’t usually an issue in homes however in commercial buildings they seem to be more common. The reason for this is people are more cautious of what they put down their own drain or toilet vs public restrooms. This causes debris to get stuck in the pipes clogging up the system and slowing down the release of water. It may not cause any immediate issues but could contribute to a major backup down the road.
Preparing Your Home for a Hailstorm
Hail storms are common in summer months and they don’t provide much warning. During these months it is good to have a game plan in place if hail decides to show up to your home. Hail can cause damage to your windows, gutters, siding, roof, and outdoor items. Follow these tips below to help plan and prevent damage to your home.
Hail has the ability to break or shatter windows in a major hail storm. One way to protect your windows is to include permanent shutters that can be closed when a storm is approaching. If that isn’t an option and your windows do break be sure to close your blinds to prevent wind blowing glass into your home.
It is always important to keep your gutters clean during the storm season. If hail does arrive when your gutters are filled, they will not be able to drain properly. Without proper drainage, melting hail can cause water damage.
Some hail storms can damage the siding to your home. With that being said there isn’t much you can do to prevent it. On the positive side, homeowners insurance does cover it if you do get into this situation.
Before or during a storm there is almost nothing you can do to protect your roof to prevent it from damage, although after a storm you should inspect for any damage done by the hail. If nothing is done and it is damaged, you can cause serious problems for your home. Damaged shingles can cause leaks and other major problems down the road.
Anything left outdoors during a hail storms will most likely be damaged. It is important to plan accordingly for the storms and bring anything inside that could get damaged. This includes outdoor furniture and tables.
Protect Your Home from Storm Damage
Storms can bring all types of different weather and it is important for you to plan for it before a storm does hit. Sometimes storms can bring heavy winds, heavy rains, or even hails that can damage your home or business. Heavy storm rain and high winds can loosen building material including portions the roof and siding allowing water to come in. If this isn’t fixed in a timely manner the water soaks into the framing, foundation, adjoining walls, and flooring causing severe damage and mold. The steps you take to prepare you home before this happens can save in time and costly repairs.
How to reduce the chance for storm damage:
- Inspect your home and repair before the storm season hits
- Prepare in advance for a big storm or flood by placing sand bags to divert water from entering structure.
- Use tarps or boards to protect areas where structure is damaged
- Repair between storms
- Inspect after storm for damage
- Keep gutters clear
- Trim trees that could potentially fall on your home
- Make sure water can flow away from your home
SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile
Call Us Today To Get Started! 402-800-2134
As many as 50% of businesses many never recover following a disaster. A fire to a business is devastating and can cause it to completely to shut down. It is said as many as one in four business that suffer is some kind of major disaster do not reopen afterward. However, the ones that do survive usually have a preparedness plan in place. One-way SERVPRO helps business be prepared is with the ERP profile. Not only will this minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action, but it will help you plan in advance in the case a disaster does strike. Having this will ultimately affect how fast the cleanup process will be.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage
- A no cost assessment of your facility.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
- Identification of the lone of command for authorizing work to begin.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Flood vs. Rain Damage
The difference between water and flood damage
At first glimpse, water and flood damage might seem to be the same thing but how water is getting into your home can be very different. A roof or window that is leaking can cause rain to intrude. Gutter and downspouts can also be a large contributor to rain damage. Flood damage however is caused by rising water. Improper grading, failing drainage, or rising rivers are all examples of how flood damage can occur. Both involve large amounts of water entering your home or business and can cause damage. Unfortunately, one of these types of damages is not included in a regular insurance policy.
Water Damage Insurance Claims
Water damage is usually covered by the insurance company under a standard policy. Water damage includes:
- Water damage cause by burst pipes
- Gradual water seepage due to cracks in the foundations of your home, business or other structures
- Mold or rot
Flood Damage Insurance Claims
Most of the time flood damage isn’t considered a type of water damage to the insurance company. For this reason, most businesses or homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage unless you had purchased a separate policy. If you live in an area where flooding is common it might be worth investing in some type of flood insurance.
Some Common Causes of Water Damage
Listed below are some of the main causes of water damage in a home:
Some appliances that regularly malfunction include washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers. All three of these common household machines use water and leak on occasions, so it is good to be on the lookout to make sure they aren’t leaking. To prevent water damage from these appliances, inspect the area around these machines at least every month and be sure to keep up the maintenance of all household machines.
Leaky pipes/ plumbing valves-
When a pipe starts to leak or break you may not always notice it right away. Sometimes a break results in a slow leak that eventually causes extensive water damage to your property and belongings. This problem may not seem very serious at first but can lead to major issues down the road. When you suspect something is wrong pay attention to these 7 signs. Changes in water pressure, changes of water color, sewage smell, puddles under sinks, hearing constant water, pipes making noises, and spikes in the water bill.
Water damage from roof leaks can cause all sorts of problems if you don’t spot the issue soon enough. Some problems include mold, rotted framing, destroyed insulation and damaged ceilings. Some signs to look for are changes to flooring, walls, or ceiling.
Summer Storms and Flooding
Missouri River Flooding 2019
It is good to know how to be prepared for storms in order to prevent damage to your home or property. Some factors that can cause flooding include heavy rains, overflowing rivers, and melting snow and ice. In previous months, snowmelt and rapid rainfall have caused catastrophic flooding across the Missouri River and other areas. These types of water related issues can potentially cause severe damage to homes and properties. With that being said, it is beneficial to know how to properly prepare for these types of situations.
When flooding does happen, it usually has to do with heavy rains in most cases. Our home structures are designed to move water away from our homes. In some situations that isn't always the case. Sometimes those systems are overwhelmed and that water does not drain nearly as quickly as needed. In short, the drainage systems back up, and the water rises, sometimes into homes. This typically happens only in cases of sustained heavy rains over a long period.
In some cases, it doesn't even need to rain in your area to cause a river to overflow. For example, if you live along a river and another town experiences heavy rains upstream it can cause a river to overflow. This causes damage to structures, crops, and communities. Larger rivers include a series of dams to help manage large amounts of rainfall. These river systems are managed by government authorities. However, those authorities have to make tough decisions about how to operate dams. They often can manage the water and prevent flooding altogether, but not always.
Melting Snow and Ice
In March, Omaha and surrounding areas had experienced rapid snowmelt. This was caused by warmer temperatures and rain. It not only contributed to a lot of water runoff, but it caused homes and basement to fill with water. House residents in areas susceptible to winter flooding need to prepare in advance for flood conditions.
How to Be Prepared
- Purchase a flood insurance policy if they do not already have one.
- Review their current insurance policy and become familiar with what is and is not
- Make a flood plan, plan evacuation routes and keep important papers in a safe, waterproof place
- Itemize and take pictures of possessions