Water Damage Tips
What you can do until help arrives
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful! What To Do After Flooding
- Have A Water Damage Emergency? Call (209)823-8877
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
- What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
Water and Mold Tips for your Business
Protecting a business from a major fire or water damage is not something that is at the forefront of any commercial property owners mind, but knowing what to do should that situation ever arise is vital. Here is some information about the various categories of structure damages, and the safety precautions surrounding them, that every business owner should know:
- Fire Classifications and Extinguishers - A fire with a stable supply of fuel, oxygen, and heat can double in size within 60 seconds; therefore, quick action is key to preventing catastrophic damage. Fires, and their extinguishers, are categorized into 5 different classes based on fuel types. An ABC fire extinguisher is typically what most people stock within their homes and businesses as it is versatile – it can extinguish 3 out of the 5 fire groups; however, fires result from Class K type situations, which require their own specific extinguisher.
- Mold, Myths, and Facts - Bleach does not kill mold, it can even make a mold problem worse. It is effective if the growth is on a hard, solid surface, such as tile or glass, but it will not work when the surface is porous. Unfortunately, many growths occur on these materials, like drywall and wood, in our homes. Bleach does not soak into porous materials, which means it can’t reach the growth spread out through the pores, it only kills the surface. The outer surface of the affected area will appear clean, as the bleach will have whitened any stains and scrubbed away the exterior mold, but the internal mold will be quick to grow back.
- Signs of a Water Damage - While it may seem like water damages should be easy to spot, many times their signs are subtle and hard to find. Water damages, particularly when they go unnoticed for a long period of time, can cause extensive damage to the structure of homes and they encourage mold growth. Early intervention can save you time and money. These signs can include stains, peeling, and a bad odor.
If you experience any damage to your commercial property due to fire, water, or even mold call SERVPRO of Manteca at 209-823-8777 to handle all of your restoration needs.
SERVPRO of Manteca is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms Must:
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Manteca
SERVPRO of Manteca specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Mold in the Central Valley
Since there is little seasonal change around Manteca, many residents and homeowners forget about routine maintenance. Some mistakenly believe that with no significant drop in temperature and the damp that goes with it, their house is safer from mold than in other parts of the country. That belief is just not accurate.
Manteca mold damage can happen as quickly here as in a dank basement in the mid-west. Mold spores grow and thrive in temperatures as warm as 85 degrees. Some species live at even higher temperatures. To stop active mold growth and prevent future expansion from starting, SERVPRO has developed a process that finds the source of the mold, isolates it, kills active spores and then removes the rest.
First, is sealing off the mold infested area. Our response team blocks hallway openings, doors, and windows using plastic sheeting to isolate the mold and prevent it from contaminated more of the home. Team members also seal the HVAC vents to prevent mold from getting into the ductwork. If we found mold already in the ducts, we seal off all vents in the house to prevent mold spreading to other rooms.
Second, we wipe down surfaces to begin cleaning mold off the personal and structural property. For nonporous surfaces like glass and metal, we use either a dry or wet cloth depending on how thick the mold is on a glass table or refrigerator for example. If the surface is porous, like a carpet or sheetrock panel, then we usually recommend disposal and replacement as that usually is more cost-effective than cleaning. After finishing, SERVPRO technicians may use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter attached. These filters are designed to trap even a single mold spore.
After cleaning, we wait for the dust to settle. Our actions disturb mold, so some of it temporarily escapes to the air. When enough time has passed, we wipe down each surface again and repeat the process until we are satisfied your home is clean.
Finally, we bring down the air moisture content of your home, also called humidity, to lower the risk of mold returning after we leave. Technicians set up space heaters to carefully warm the air while installing dehumidifiers to draw moisture out of the surrounding air and property.
Remediating mold damage is not a short or easy process. With SERVPRO of Manteca on your side, it gets done correctly to put you back into your home as quickly and safely as possible.
Call us today at (209) 823-8877 for more information or to schedule a preliminary inspection.
Ways Fire Damage Can Show Up Months Later
One thing about house fires that is true in almost all situations is that some damage is not as visible in some parts of a home as it is in others. Some damage is in the loss of utility. A door may seem undamaged, along with its frame, but after a fire, no longer open and close correctly. Windows can also be affected this way. Heat and moisture from fighting that fire can cause wood to swell. Even after remediation has been completed, small things like this can pop up.
Situations that affect a Manteca area home's level of security after fire damage has been remediated still needs to be remediated. Security needs to be restored. These types of fire damage-related issues can appear weeks or months after a fire. Having a situation such as this develop does not mean that the remediation immediately after a fire was unsuccessful. Wood that expands can become more porous, which in turn allows more moisture in the future to be retained, leading to swelling.
Restoring openings to your home that have become impossible to close and open correctly and quickly pose risks to your security. Intruders can gain easier access, and in the event of another disaster, leaving your home might be more difficult, resulting in the loss of precious seconds when they count the most.
Many locks on the market today are made of highly durable plastics. While these are suitable to keep out most burglars, the plastic components can melt during a fire. Some of these locks remain functioning for a while, but then stop working and fall apart internally. If this is the case in your situation, replacement of the lock is a simple enough process.
We can repair these conditions and restore the safety your family deserves. Working to restore homes of our neighbors, family, and friends, we know a safe and secure feeling is important to every family.
We are here to help 24/7 823-8877
Restore Your Home After a Stove Fire
Busy lives are full of missteps, some more dangerous than others. Walking away from the stovetop happens when kids call or the doorbell rings, but so then do kitchen fires. SERVPRO of Manteca experts help put your cooking areas, and other affected areas of your home, back together after fire damage.
Sorting out a disagreement between a pair of siblings took you away longer than expected from a pot of water boiling, waiting for some pasta. Instead of cooking dinner, the pot boiled dry and superheated, igniting some potholders, causing fire damage to your home. Our fire damage restoration crews are always on standby for situations such as this. We are ready to assess and begin the cleanup and restoration as soon as the fire department gives the go-ahead.
National statistics point to unattended cooking as the most common cause for the 62 percent of home fires attributed to ranges or cooktops per year. SERVPRO of Manteca team members train on a regular basis to Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards to be prepared in industry best practices. A project manager assesses the extent of the damage in the kitchen and other areas of the house and develops a plan to meet your specific needs.
If water put out the fire, SERVPRO’s first job is to remove and dispose of the moisture. Drying techniques begin if the area is very saturated. Then cleanup of soot, chemical residues from fire extinguishers, and smoky odors ensues. The coatings left by fire damage is highly acidic and corrosive. Waiting even a few hours before starting the cleaning process permanently discolors and etches plastics, glass, and metal.
High on the SERVPRO’s checklist is turning off your HVAC system if it is still running as it will spread soot and other residues throughout your home. If smoke sucked into the vents duct cleaning is on the agenda. We match building materials and the character of the sooty coatings when cleaning. Lighter dustings of ash and soot vacuum or dry sponge off well. We use HEPA filtration in our professional vacs. Stickier damage often responds to a spray and wipe technique. Items with many bevels or surfaces like cut glass dishes or window blinds need immersion or even ultrasonic cleaning, requiring a certified technician to operate.
If charring or melting is severe in the kitchen, some materials or appliances may need replacement. Otherwise, we strive to proceed with a restoration mentality, saving you time and money and minimizing disruption to your daily routine.
Leaving Lights on Can Be a Fire Hazard
The worst thing that happens when a light is left on is not necessarily a high electric bill. The heat from many kinds of light bulbs is capable of igniting draperies, bedding, and even rugs and carpeting, among other things. SERVPRO of Manteca is a resource for the homeowner recovering from a fire set by this or any method.
Although you cannot be certain exactly how it happened, fire damaged your Manteca home after a lit lamp overturned in a bedroom. Perhaps a pet knocked it down, or it was teetering on the edge of a bedside table, but the bed linens caught fire. Fortunately, a neighbor noticed smoke billowing out of an open window and called 911. You rushed home to find the fire out, but damage in the room, the attic and the roof above it.
A call to SERVPRO of Manteca immediately has our crew arriving right after the fire department authorizes reentry. Fire damage usually poses a complex set of issues, including the obvious charring and destruction to contents and structure, and also water and chemical residue damage, depending on how the first responders extinguished the fire.
Our project manager begins ordering the crew to secure the affected areas from the elements. If the fire burned through the wall or roof to the outside, this is crucial. Then an assessment of the damage ensues. SERVPRO technicians train in safely restoring fire damage, including ensuring that flooring is walkable and that no structural supports are in danger of falling. Water and chemicals make floors slippery, demanding extra care when moving through the rooms for the cleanup crew and the residents.
Items destroyed by flames are bagged for disposal by local rules. Porous articles like mattresses rarely survive unless they untouched by charring, and even then, soot and smoke damage counsel replacement in many cases. Clothing and linens clean up well through laundering or dry cleaning, a task the homeowner may take up to free SERVPRO for more technical matters.
Furniture with soot or other residue needs a dry or wet cleaning, depending on the amount and stickiness of the coating. Our staff uses the least intrusive technique that is effective. Vacuuming and dusting are good for light coverage, while spray and wipe to abrasive cleaners may be needed in other instances. SERVPRO staff checks for charred areas as they emit odors even if cleaned, and determines whether sealing or removal is the best option.
Structural charring requires replacement of key supports, and damaged ceilings and drywall replacement may be less expensive and quicker than laborious cleaning and sealing. Throughout the process of restoration, our project manager and office staff work with your insurer to limit your out of pocket expenses. We provide as much evidence, including our professional opinions, as possible to prove your fire damage claim.
We are here to help 24/7 823-8877
What to do If You Suspect Mold
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Manteca 209-823-8877
What you can do before we arrive after a flood
When storm damage hits, there is often little a homeowner can do to prevent floodwaters from entering the home. These carry immense power and can seep in through even the smallest cracks. However, when it comes to preventing damage to your home and reducing costs during the restoration process, there are a few steps you can take before a SERVPRO crew arrives. If possible, carry out these tasks before we arrive, but always be mindful of your safety and health.
Put a Barrier Between Furniture and the Floor
One of the easiest ways to mitigate harm to your furniture during storm damage in Manteca is to place a small barrier between your furniture and the floor. Prop up couches, chairs, desks, tables, and anything else you can on top of wooden blocks, bricks, or some other stable object. This effort will help to keep the furniture from coming into any more direct contact with flood water.
Lay Things Out to Dry
If floodwaters have already receded from an area, you can take fabrics and objects there and place them out to dry. This placement is essential for couches and furniture with cushions/pillows because the moisture will instead become trapped inside, causing severe and often irreversible damage. Do not, however, attempt to dry items with a hair dryer or other machine. Instead, try to find a sunny or warm area to place them.
Leave Electricity Alone
Anything electrical in your home presents a major hazard following a flood, so even if you feel that turning something on is necessary, wait until a SERVPRO representative arrives to consult them. If a room is dark and you wish to enter, there may be water damage to the lights or wiring and these may present a hazard. Similarly, avoid using outlets or anything plugged in.
Difficulty of Mold
Mold damage is incredibly difficult to treat and remove once it has taken root in a home. Resistant to heat, cold, chemicals, light, darkness, and physical abrasion, mold is near impossible to deal with without specially-designed tools and equipment like those used by SERVPRO of Manteca. So, why is mold so difficult to work with? The answer starts in its biology: mold is adapted specifically to be as hardy as possible, not relinquishing its grasp on a surface until the bitter end.
All colonies, even those causing the most extensive mold damage start from tiny, microscopic spores. Whether it is one spore or a handful, it does not often take much for a full-force infestation to spring up. These spores mature quickly, and once they have reached maturity, they produce thousands more of their kind. These children, equally tiny and hardy as their parent organism, then mostly spread around the immediate area, taking root and growing hundreds to thousands of children of their own. In this way, mold reproduces at an extraordinary exponential rate, quickly consuming the entire surface surrounding the origin of growth.
However, if this was the only way mold could spread, the fungus would not be nearly as ubiquitous as it is in modern America. The organisms also respond to physical stimuli: should an animal or object brush against the mold, millions of spores are liable to brush off and get carried to an entirely new location. SERVPRO technicians take great care to ensure this happens as little as possible, with regular self-sanitization processes and changes of clothing. Mold can also spread due to HVAC systems, as air is circulated at a rate fast enough to pick up spores and swirl them about the home, infecting multiple rooms at a time. Keeping mold under control is almost impossible for the unprepared, but luckily, we equip our technicians with a thorough retinue of instruments and equipment for keeping mold contained.