3 Steps for Restoring Your Home to Its Pre-Fire Condition
This South Weber,UT home suffered fire damage.
No homeowner wants to watch his or her South Weber, UT, home go up in flames. Whether your house has survived a minor, moderate or severe fire, you likely want to begin cleanup as soon as possible. As part of a complete cleaning process, restoring your home involves dealing with fire, soot and smoke damage.
3 Steps to restore your home from Fire Damage
1. Overall Structure
Fires often weaken studs and floor joists. They may also ruin drywall and tile. The first step in any fire-cleanup process is to evaluate the safety and habitability of the home. Once a professional deems the house is safe to occupy, cleanup can begin. Technicians have the skill, equipment and knowledge to remove fire marks and other remnants from surfaces throughout the home.
- Accumulated Soot
Soot can be as bad or worse than fire or smoke damage. Not only does accumulated suit discolor walls and carpeting, but it can also ruin furniture and personal keepsakes. Unfortunately, you may have to throw away uncleanable items. Some, however, are probably salvageable. Since you are not an expert, you likely can’t know which items to preserve and which ones to toss. As part of the cleaning process, restoration technicians do the analysis for you.
- Smoke Infiltration
As you probably know, smoke can work its way into small places throughout your home. Even if you haven’t sustained much fire damage, you may have a tremendous amount of smoke infiltration. To effectively remove smoke, professional restorers use a variety of smoke-cleaning techniques. In addition to replacing HVAC filters and scrubbing walls, technicians often rely on ozone machines to remove smoke odors.
Fire damage, soot damage and smoke damage can destroy the comfort, value and appearance of any home in South Weber, UT. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with the negative effects of fires. By working with the right restoration service, you can likely return your home to its pre-value condition.
4 Steps to Preventing Water Damage in Your Home While on Vacation
Mold found due to water damage from a pipe break in Layton, UT.
One of the worst ways to end your vacation is returning to your home in Layton, Utah, and finding that it’s flooded due to a broken pipe. There are some precautions you can take to prevent unexpected water damage. If you are planning on being away from home more than a couple of days, it’s recommended you keep a checklist to follow, so you can avoid costly water pipe repair.
Flood and Broken Pipe Checklist
1. Clear Away Exterior Debris
It’s good practice to routinely check points around your home where leaves and other debris collect, such as gutters. Inspecting your home’s exterior before leaving will provide you with an added sense of security.
2. Keep Pipes and Spigots Insulated
If you live in a northern climate and plan to vacation during the winter months, one practical way to protect pipes is to cover them with an insulation sleeve. Covers are also available for spigots. Disconnect any hoses that aren’t in use, such as garden hoses.
3. Inspect Your Home for Leaks
Simply taking the time to inspect your home for leaks, or the potential thereof, could prevent water pipe repair down the road. The most obvious places to check are all sinks, toilets, and tubs. Look them over thoroughly for any signs of seepage, dripping, dampness, or rust. Don’t forget some of the less obvious places, such as the water heater.
Water can also leak in through broken window seals and the roof. While you’re surveying your home in Layton, Utah, you might as well check for missing or broken shingles and weak areas. Your goal is to keep from returning to a flooded mess.
4. Shut the Water Off
Even if you’re planning on asking someone you trust to stop by and check on your home periodically, it’s recommended to turn off the main water line. Remembering to let all of the water drain from the faucets and toilet tanks will alleviate pressure buildup and help prevent the possibility of a broken pipe.
Taking a few simple precautions before you leave on vacation allows you to better relax and enjoy your time away. It also goes a long way toward preventing water pipe repair.
Situations That Warrant Protection Against Flood Damage
Water damage and clean up in commercial building in Layton, UT.
You take good care of your commercial property in Layton, Utah, so that weather and other problems don't damage your building. You properly insulate your pipes and you make sure that gutters are clean and your roof is in good condition. Certain events, however, can flood your building despite even the best preparations. When these situations occur, you may need to have flood insurance to cover the cost of recovery.
If a prolonged storm hits your area, it doesn't really matter whether your gutters are clean. The storm and the continual rainfall that probably follows may cause certain problems for your property:
• Standing, contaminated water, especially on lower levels
• Damaged equipment and furniture
• Weakened walls, floors or ceilings
Your building may flood and sustain water damage when storms arise. If you have flood insurance, you have a way to pay for remediation services, even if the damage turns out to be extensive.
Some storms don't cause damage at the time they occur but rather after their effects start to dissipate. When heavy snows start to melt, the runoff has to go somewhere. If there is too much of it or if it melts too quickly, it can flood your building. Your commercial insurance portfolio should contain policies that take this possibility into account.
Some disasters have little to do with the weather and more to do with the weakening of structures made by humans. Levees and dams are built to control the flow of water and keep it from overtaking an area. When such a structure breaks, the water it releases goes everywhere, including your commercial building. Documenting the event as well as the damage it causes can help your insurance adjuster determine how much your policy should cover.
If you live in an area that floods regularly, regional law may require you to have flood insurance. Even if you don't, however, it's a good idea to have extra coverage just in case you need it.
Tenant and Owner Responsibilities After a Fire
Local University sufferes fire damage in Layton, UT.
Whether you've experienced an apartment fire, a commercial fire or a fire at a rented home in Layton, Utah, the effects can be devastating to both the tenant and the landlord. It may not be clear who is responsible when it comes to the fire damage. Depending on the circumstances, liability can be divided up very differently.
What are the Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities?
Generally, the landlord is responsible for hiring the restoration company to repair structural damage after a business, house or apartment fire. Damage may include:
Structural damage to:
o Pool Houses
Damage to fixtures and appliances:
o Electrical wiring
o Supplied appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators
In most cases, the tenant is responsible for any damage done to his or her personal property. The tenant will have to go to his or her insurance company to recover the loss of items such as:
• Tenant-owned appliances
• Video game consoles
• Musical instruments
Sometimes, there is a question of who is liable for the damage. If the landlord is proved to be responsible (for instance, due to negligence regarding the property's electrical wiring), he can be made to pay for damage to the renters' personal belongings, wages lost, costs related to finding another place to stay, and more. Conversely, if the landlord can prove that the renter was somehow negligent, the renter may be responsible for any costs related to repairing the property. If the landlord is unable to prove this, he will be liable for any structural repair, as it's the landlord's responsibility to see to it that the property is in a livable condition.
Whether you are a renter or a landlord who's suffered a commercial fire, apartment fire or house fire, you will need to make sure that you have immediately contacted your insurance company, have made a detailed list of any property that's been damaged, and taken pictures of any damage to the structure and property, as well as any evidence of negligence. That way you will be prepared for any subsequent questions from the insurance company, and ensure that you're only incurring cost for the fire damage that you're actually responsible for
When Storms or Floods hit Davis County, SERVPRO is ready!
Hail can cause roof damage and lead to flooding in Layton, UT.
SERVPRO of Layton/Kaysville specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Davis County, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 801-298-4272
How To Restore Your Flooded Basement
Water damage caused by storm in a Layton, UT home.
No homeowner in Layton, UT, wants to face a flooded basement. However, knowing how to address flood damage and what equipment can expediate your work can help you efficiently restore the lowest level of your home.
Avoid Electric Shock
Water and electricity are a deadly combination. To eliminate the risk of electric shock, you need to ensure that the electricity is turned off before commencing your cleanup efforts.
The first step in the cleanup process is to drain standing water. To accomplish this, you need four pieces of equipment:
- Submersible sump pump or trash pump, if there is debris such as mud, leaves or sticks
- Extension cord
- Long hose to drain water away from the house
- Generator to power the pump
To expediate drainage, use multiple sump pumps. Once the pumps have extracted most of the water, you can also use a wet vac to suction additional moisture.
Remove Saturated Materials
Removing saturated materials is the next step. This includes both personal belongings and wet building materials, such as carpets and drywall. These items are porous and can become breeding grounds for mold.
To remove water-damaged drywall, make a flood cut 12-18 inches above the highest water level. Once you remove the saturated drywall, promptly discard any wet insulation. Because insulation loses its R-value when wet, you will not be able to salvage this material.
Dry the Area
Quickly drying your basement is another crucial step. You can use fans and a dehumidifier to expediate the process and minimize the risk of mold damage.
Completing repairs while the basement is still wet could also result in extensive mold growth. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the room is completely dry before replacing drywall, insulation and flooring. To verify the absence of moisture, use a moisture meter.
Repairing your flood-damaged basement can be a dauting project, especially if there is significant water damage. Local cleanup and restoration specialists have equipment and expertise readily available to help you efficiently complete the process and return your basement to its original condition.
Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and soot damage can cause pervasive odor in your Layton, UT home.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Layton/Kaysville will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Methods for Preserving Personal Belongings After a Fire
Fire damage in local Layton, UT home.
In-home fires can be devastating, and not only can they cause heat damage to a home’s structural integrity, but the smoke and soot that results from a fire can easily affect personal belongings in the home’s interior as well.
Fire Restoration Methods
While unfortunately not everything can be saved from the aftermath of a fire, these methods are available for content cleaning after a fire has occurred:
• Dry-cleaning can be attempted before wet-cleaning to eliminate light residue. While there are many ways to clean damaged items, this is the preferred method for smoke or soot-damaged clothing.
• Foam cleaning should be considered for fabrics that are not colorfast or those that may shrink if wet-cleaned.
• Immersion Cleaning requires dipping contents into a cleaning agent.
• Wet-cleaning can then be used for heavier or moderate residue removal.
Restoring Items Constructed From Non-Porous Materials
Not all methods can be used for cleaning all materials. Dry-cleaning should not be used for some items. For example, non-porous materials should be cleaned by using an ultrasonic cleaner. An ultrasonic cleaner uses ultrasound and a cleaning agent to clean damaged items. Cleaning with ultrasound can be useful for preserving an abundance of objects such as jewelry, electronic equipment, and vinyl records.
Cleaning Electronic Items
In the event that personal belongings are moved to content storage during post-fire home renovation, it is wise to keep in mind that time is of the essence when cleaning electronics. After smoke or soot has invaded electrical items, acid that is contained in the smoke residue can begin to corrode metal surfaces. While dry-cleaning clothing may be more of a priority after an in-home fire, electronic items will be hazardous to operate prior to a thorough internal and external cleaning. Local Layton, UT, professionals may be able to assist in the smoke and soot removal from electronic devices.
An in-home fire is something no one wants to contend with. However, items can be saved afterward if proper content cleaning methods are employed.
5 Reasons Rain May Lead to Mold Growth
Mold containment used in Layton home for the mold remediation process.
Black mold can show up in your Layton, UT, house seemingly overnight. Have you noticed a connection between rainy days and mold growth? There are a few instances when rain can lead to mold popping up in your home.
Likely Places to Find Mold in Your Home
1. Faulty Roof: If your roof is missing shingles, it may not be able to keep water out of your home like it should. This can lead to water buildup in your attic or drips down your walls, which invites mold spores to make a home.
2. Bad Foundation: Cracks in your foundation could be another way excess moisture makes it into your home. During the rain, the falling water goes into the ground and starts to travel. If your foundation isn't properly sealed, the water can find its way into your home.
3. Poor Attic Ventilation: When the attic does not have proper ventilation, condensation can start to build up in the space. Even condensation is enough of a moisture problem to allow black mold to make a home.
4. Worn-Out Weather Strips: Weather stripping around windows and doors can become cracked and faded over time. When it rains, the water may seep its way into these crevices. Mold may start to build up around your windows and doors because of the trapped moisture.
5. Too Much Water: Heavy rains can lead to too much water for an environment. When this happens, floods can fill your basement or garage. Flooding is a common cause of mold growth.
No matter what issue has caused your moisture problem, you need to get to the heart of the issue. Wiping away the surface mold won't help you rid your home of the fungus. Instead, you need to call in a professional mold cleanup crew.
Rain sometimes exacerbates issues with your home. If you notice black mold pop up after every downpour, it could be tied to a bigger issue with your house.
Basic First Aid for Burn Care
This University suffered severe fire damage in Layton, UT,
When your Layton, UT business suffers a fire, fire damage isn’t your only concern. People may be injured, and you may have to contend with first aid on the spot while waiting for help. But what kind of aid can you provide for burns, and how can you tell a minor burn from a major burn?
The difference between minor and major burns.
Minor burns may look no worse than a sunburn. They’re usually mildly reddened, with some blistering and pain. To qualify as a minor burn, the burn should be no more than 3 inches in diameter. While it’s best to seek professional medical care, initial emergency burn first aid for minor burns involves:
• Using a cold wet compress or cool water to reduce the temperature of the burned area
• Quickly getting rid of any clothing or tight jewelry that may compress or abrade the area
• Using lotion to soothe, preferably something water-based with aloe
• Covering the wound with a bandage; keep it loose and use sterile gauze
• Being careful not to apply enough pressure to break blisters
• Providing pain relief with over-the-counter meds as needed
Major burns cause deep traumatic harm, and usually make the skin crisped or leathery. Some patches may appear black, brown, or white char. Major burns are larger than 3 inches, and can be fatal. Steps you should take include:
• Immediately calling 911
• Moving the victim away from the source of the burn or fire damage
• Checking for steady respiration; use CPR/rescue breathing if needed
• Cutting or pulling clothing and restrictive accessories away from burned areas
• Gently covering the burn area with a cool, damp cloth or bandage
• Elevating the burn area above heart level
• Monitoring for shock
Things Not to Do
Be careful that investigating fire damage doesn’t lead to personal injury for yourself. For burn victims, do not submerge major burns in water as this can lead to hypothermia. Never use anything grease-based to cover the burn; grease can seal the heat of the burn against the skin.