Ways To Keep Water out of Your Crawl Space
Floor damaged caused by water loss in a Cookeville, TN home
When it comes to flooding at home, basements, cellars and crawl spaces are among the most common places to find water. While you may not worry too much about a little water in this tiny part of your home, if you neglect the problem, it could lead to more serious issues in your Cookeville, TN, home. Make sure you take the proper action to help ensure you don’t end up with a wet crawl space.
How it Happens
As a homeowner, you have a host of matters you must deal with to keep your home safe. A flood can frustrate you because of the cleanup and repair costs, not to mention to potential health and safety hazards. Here are some signs your crawl space may be at risk for water buildup:
- Broken underground lines
- Poorly graded property
- Broken or incorrectly installed downspouts and rain gutters
Pay Attention to Landscaping
One of the biggest culprits for a wet crawl space is when your property doesn’t have the right slope. Your lawn and other landscaping should slope away from your home so when heavy rain comes, it won’t build up on your property and find its way into your basement. Make sure water is draining away from your house.
Don’t Water too Much
If you’ve got a garden or flower bed close to your home, be careful about how much you water it. Overwatering can easily cause water to leak into your crawl space and cause flooding.
Check Your Rain Gutters
If a storm hits, you count on rain gutters and downspouts to guide water away from your home toward the street. Check these on your house to ensure they are collecting water near your foundation or window wells.
If you’re worried about a wet crawl space, get in touch with a professional to inspect your property. These technicians can also help you clean up after a flood.
3 Steps for Preparing for Mold Remediation
These steps can effectively address mold issues.
There are many misconceptions about mold, making it difficult for property owners to understand how long the process should take and how to budget for the work. For example, many people don't understand that mold exists everywhere. Spores get into buildings through open doors, ventilation systems, and on clothing. Consider the following facts about mold:
• Spores are microscopic and can't be completely removed from a building.
• Moist and mildly humid conditions promote mold growth.
• Mold removal (or remediation) begins by identifying areas of moisture and correcting those issues.
• Black mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, isn't always toxic. However, when you find any type of mold in your building, you should stay away from that area without disturbing the mold.
With these facts in mind, take the following steps when preparing for mold remediation. Many Cookeville, TN, businesses have built these steps into their maintenance protocols to avoid costly repairs in the future.
1. Learn how moisture gets into your buildings. Before you call a mold removal professional, you can begin resolving this problem by finding the source of moisture. This often requires visually inspecting your entire property. If mold has spread throughout your building, the source of the problem may be pretty far from the initial source of moisture. Professionals will also want to inspect the source of trouble to prevent future mold growth.
2. Make a record of the problem. Insurance companies in Cookeville, TN, often require proof of mold before agreeing to pay for remediation. Your written records and photos of the area could also be used by professionals when they plan their remediation efforts. Your records may also be used to determine the extent of the problem.
3. Plan for three to seven days of remediation work. The mold removal process typically includes the same steps:
• Resolving the water problem
• Isolating areas of mold contamination
• Misting contaminated areas to control dust
• Removing and disposing of damaged materials
• Thoroughly cleaning and drying infected areas
• Replacing removed materials
These steps can effectively address mold issues. After the area has been cleared by professionals, you can safely begin using that part of your property again. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.
3 Ways To Incorporate Smart Home Fire Protection
Fire safety in the home is all about preventative measures.
The National Fire Protection Association has long held the minimum standards for smoke alarm quota within the home, often requiring at least one per floor and one in every sleeping area. Yet, with the expansion of average home sizes and an increase of flammable materials within the household, the question of fire safety has become one of smarts.
The potential of the devastating effects and extensive restoration process of a house fire may prompt you to incorporate smart smoke alarm technology in your Cookeville, TN, home. Here are three options to consider:
1. Smart Batteries
These function in the same way as regular smoke detector batteries, with the added feature of Wi-Fi connectivity. This smart capability can send an alert to your phone when the smoke detector sounds and when the five-year battery is running low. Most smoke detectors have an average lifespan of ten years, making smart batteries a simple adaptation to the system you already have in place.
If you have a larger home, a listener device could save you the hassle of routinely replacing the numerous smoke detectors within your residence. These devices plug into the wall and listen for the specific frequency of smoke alarms, sending your phone a notification if the frequency is detected. One listener device can cover upwards of an entire floor, making it an excellent connectivity tool for large homes.
3. Smart Smoke Detectors
The most comprehensive option of the three, this system would replace your current devices with internet-connected versions. Many versions include app access on your phone, allowing you to silence false alarms via push notification. Furthermore, the system can alert you when batteries are running low, effectively avoiding the notorious chirping of a traditional smoke alarm.
Fire safety in the home is all about preventative measures. Utilizing smart home fire protection technology to advance the system you already have in place provides numerous benefits. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.
Flood Hazards for First Responders
A first responder is a welcome sight to flood victims and is the person who will lead the way to recovery and damage remediation.
When a flood hits Cookeville, TN, a first responder is the hero of the day as he or she works to protect lives, property and the environment. It is important for these trained professionals to look after themselves as well, and this work comes with its own set of potential risks. Rather than put yourself or others at risk, follow these simple steps to stay safe.
Flood response has its own set of hazards. Prior to heading out to help others, take time to review personal safety procedures.
• Immunizations for Hepatitis B and tetanus must be up-to-date.
• Protective clothing should include chemical-resistant outer clothing, goggles, boots and plastic or rubber gloves.
• Layer latex gloves over puncture-resistant gloves and discard them after use.
After cleaning, don’t wear contaminated clothes in your personal vehicle. Remember to shower and change into uncontaminated clothes when your shift as a first responder ends. Wear a disposable N95 mask to protect yourself from inhaling mold. Clean wet surfaces with clean water and disinfectant. Properly vent portable generators and avoid the risk of electrocution.
Be aware of your surroundings, especially when working near traffic. Watch for sinkholes and areas where the terrain has sustained damage. Seek medical care if you are exposed to raw sewage or chemicals. Frequently wash your hands in soap and clean water or with alcohol-based gel, especially before meals and after handling potentially contaminated materials.
The major cause of loss of life in floods is being trapped in a vehicle. It takes only a foot of water to float many cars and trucks, and once the wheels are off the road, rolling, flipping, or colliding with anything downstream can happen quickly.
A first responder is a welcome sight to flood victims and is the person who will lead the way to recovery and damage remediation. Though staying dry may be impossible, staying safe doesn’t have to be. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.
Why Do I Have a Wet Crawl Space?
Unfortunately, you may encounter a wet crawl space at your home in Cookeville, TN.
April showers bring May flowers. As a homeowner in Cookeville, TN, you know that April showers can also bring flooding, and sometimes a wet crawl space. Moisture under your house can wreak havoc above as well. Protect your home by understanding the following 4 causes and preventative measures:
You may not realize that improperly placed gutters and downspouts invite flood water into your home. Check your gutters often for debris and clean them out when necessary. Aim downspouts away from your house and attach a 2-foot block at the end to direct rainwater further away.
2. Landscape Gradient
Rainwater follows the laws of gravity, so pay close attention to which way your yard slopes. Does your landscaping incline as it moves away from the house? If so, water is invading the foundation and draining into the areas around the crawl space. Next time it rains inspect your yard and pay specific attention to where the water pools. If there is standing water next to your home, look into readjusting the slope of your yard.
3. Outdoor Watering
Even on a beautiful, dry spring day, there is the possibility of a wet crawl space. The danger is something you least expect: yourself. Those breathtaking flowerbeds you plant against your house may be draining into your home. Overwatering foliage and accidentally leaving a hose running create the possibility of a man-made flood.
4. Broken Pipe
Whether a pipe breaks inside or outside of your home, the water can travel downwards and find its way into your crawl space. Be aware of any suspicious wet spots in your carpet or walls that may hint at a leaky pipe so you can quickly take action to avoid further damage.
Unfortunately, you may encounter a wet crawl space at your home in Cookeville, TN. Regardless of whether a torrential downpour proves too much for your landscaping, or you leave the hose on overnight, a water restoration specialist is there to help. Acting quickly to reduce loss, the experts efficiently dry, disinfect and restore your space and belongings. Talk to your insurance agent to check if water damage is covered under your policy. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.
The Process of Drying Important Documents After a Flood
Floods can cause a great deal of devastation, but that does not mean that all is lost.
When your business in Cookeville, TN, experiences flooding, it is likely to affect more than the floors and the furniture. Many of your important documents may also be damaged. If you have wet documents as the result of a flood at your company, a document restoration company can help you salvage them. This process has four or five steps, depending on the type of documents being restored.
The first thing restoration specialists have to do is remove the excess water. Document drying can be performed with a variety of methods, but one of the most effective ways to dry important documents, books or photographs is freeze-drying. Freezing the documents halts deterioration and allows documents to maintain their basic structure by solidifying them.
Wet documents are often breeding grounds for bacteria after a flood. Many restoration companies use gamma irradiation to penetrate the fibers of documents and kill any microorganisms that are embedded within without the use of chemicals or heat.
Another benefit of gamma irradiation is that it deodorizes your important papers that have been affected by potentially smelly floodwaters. If you must keep the paper itself, you want a process that removes any trace of musty odor.
A flood often changes the way businesses keep records. One way to safeguard your documents from future flooding incidents is to digitize and back up your important data. Recovered documents can be digitized, which helps you maximize your protection and also saves storage space.
For items that cannot be fully digitized, such as books, restoration experts in Cookeville, TN, may be able to replace the book jacket. This process can help you save the book even if the cover is not salvageable.
Floods can cause a great deal of devastation, but that does not mean that all is lost. Restoration professionals may have the tools you need to recover wet documents so that you don't lose important information. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.
How Do I Plan an Emergency Escape Drill for My Business?
Trigger your fire or disaster alert system’s test or drill programs at random intervals.
Having an emergency escape plan in place for your business is a critical part of workplace safety. Not only does it protect your employees, but it protects your customers. But how do you create an effective escape drill or fire drill for your Cookeville, TN, business?
Know Your Escape Points
You should map out every safe escape point in your building. This can include:
• Exterior doors
• Employee exits
Every floor should have its own accessible escape points. Make sure your escape plan includes these access points. Educate employees on their locations and proximity to various areas, so that no matter where employees are they can reach the closest safe exit – and shepherd customers as needed. Employees should also be able to quickly remember alternative safe exit points in the event their closest exit is blocked off or dangerous.
Hold Safety Seminars
Employees need to know the routine for a fire drill or evacuation before they can practice it. Hold safety seminars teaching them the important details and safe pathways, and do multiple practice runs during these seminars. Answer any questions that may arise to help your employees understand.
Designate Evacuation Leaders
Multiple employees per shift should be designated and trained to act as evacuation leaders, guiding others in the event of a crisis. During your drills, activate your evacuation leaders to test their responses and their knowledge of safe escape routes.
Use Random Testing
Trigger your fire or disaster alert system’s test or drill programs at random intervals. You should also have planned, scheduled fire drills to help employees practice, but random drills will help them memorize exactly how they should be responding in the event of a real crisis. Make sure not to actively trigger a real alert, though, as sometimes this can initiate a response by emergency services. If you’re not sure how to conduct a test/drill run, speak with your fire and emergency system installer to gain more insight. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.
3 Steps To Prepare Your Business for a Fire
It's still possible to be impacted by a fire, even with a solid contingency plan in place.
Running a business in Cookeville, TN, is difficult enough, not to mention the potential issues you may run into that don't even involve your day-to-day business transactions. Thousands of businesses in the U.S., both small and large, have been destroyed by fires. Unfortunately, fire safety isn't a top priority for many business owners, so they're not prepared when an incident occurs. Not only can this threaten the lives of their employees, but it also increases the chances of the business becoming a complete loss. Here are a few ways you can create a contingency plan for your business to avoid a devastation like this.
1. Invest in Fire Insurance
Most businesses don't have the finances to make a comeback after a serious fire, because losses often include the building (walls, flooring, roofing, etc.), inventory, important documents and equipment. Luckily, many business insurance plans include fire coverage. Take a close look at your policy to make sure fire coverage is included. If it's not, it may be worth paying extra for it.
2. Install Fire Alarm and Sprinkler Systems
Fire damage can be significantly decreased with proper alarm systems. Find one that will immediately notify authorities of the emergency so firefighters can put out the fire before it spreads. Automatic sprinkler systems can be a good investment to help slow down a fire until help arrives.
3. Create an Employee Evacuation Plan
Without proper planning and organization, chaos can quickly ensue during an emergency, putting many people in danger. Create an evacuation plan so your employees know where to go (and where not to go) when they hear the fire alarm. Practice it twice a year and revise it as necessary.
It's still possible to be impacted by a fire, even with a solid contingency plan in place. In these cases, look for a reputable fire restoration company in your area to help get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.
What If My House Is Only a Little Moldy?
Make sure to reach out for help if you suspect you may have a mold infestation larger than what you can see with the naked eye.
If you’re only seeing the beginnings of a mold outbreak, it may be possible to contain and remediate your house mold on your own. If you’ve only got small mold deposits in your Cookeville, TN, home, here are a few pointers on how to carefully remove mold growth from your house.
Cleaning Small Amounts of Mold
To clean a small amount of mold from your home, you should:
• Always wear protective equipment. Cover your eyes, mouth, and nose. Make sure to wear gloves and clothing that can either be washed or thrown away when you’re done.
• Find and remediate the source of moisture. Before getting rid of the mold, get rid of the source or the mold will only come back. You’ll usually find some kind of water damage fueling house mold, such as leaking pipes or condensation.
• Wipe the affected area with detergent and water. A mild mix of detergent and water should serve to wipe away the mold without damaging the surface underneath it. If your house mold won’t wipe off with this mixture, you may be dealing with deeper infestation requiring professional support.
• Only use bleach sparingly. Bleach can sometimes kill mold, but it will also damage the surfaces underneath it.
• Soak affected items with baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda and vinegar are age-old solutions for killing mold. These can work on patches on the walls or floors, or on personal items that need to be cleaned. Soak these items in a solution of baking soda and vinegar; scrub the mold spots with the same solution before washing.
What You See May Not Be What You Get
Even if you only see small amounts of mold in your home, you may actually have a deeper infestation hidden behind wallpaper, drywall, floorboards, or linoleum tile. Make sure to reach out for help if you suspect you may have a mold infestation larger than what you can see with the naked eye. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.
What Happens After a Fire’s Flames Are Tamed
Not only does fire damage a property, but water from a fire hose can cause additional problems if not cleaned up immediately.
When thinking of a fire’s aftermath, charred property comes to mind. However, there’s a secondary effect: Fire damage is often accompanied by water damage from the extinguishing process. Understanding how the two damage your residence is key to knowing the appropriate process for cleanup in Cookeville, TN.
Soot Doesn’t Suit Your Home
Fire leaves behind corrosive, acidic soot. This soot discolors and disfigures furnishings and flooring within hours. That is but the beginning of the problems. If left alone for even a few days more, soot’s profound consequences can be as such:
• Rusted or corroded metals
• Wall discoloration
• Permanent furniture upholstery stains
• Flooring damage that needs refinement or replacement
• Glass and china disfigurement
• Harmful airborne chemicals from burning plastics
Where There Once Was Smoke, There’s Water
Heat, oxygen, and fuel are needed to sustain a blaze. Water removes heat from a fire when it evaporates, so it remains a staple of modern containment protocol. When the fire department uses a fire hose, hundreds of gallons of water pour into your home. This water can become even more problematic than the fire damage alone if left to fester. Dangers associated with water damage include things such as mold, flooding, odor, and damage to flooring, walls, wires, and electronics.
Time Is Vital for Revival
Every moment that passes without treatment, the damage stands to become worse. It’s essential to start the cleanup process immediately once your home is no longer burning. Thankfully, knowledge of the potential hazards informs you of what to look for and eases the process of dealing with insurance.
On top of being urgent, cleanup of the aftermath of fire damage is not simple. If you wish to do it yourself, it’s worth noting that most people do not have cheap or easy access to the industrial machines necessary to safely and completely remove water damage or soot.
Not only does fire damage a property, but water from a fire hose can cause additional problems if not cleaned up immediately. A damage recovery service deploys experts who use professional tools and established procedures to mitigate your property’s damage. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcookevillecarthagesmithvillewoodbury.com/.