What You Should Do After a Major Flood
Flooded home in Anaheim, CA
Cleaning Up After A Home Flood
Viewing storm damage for the first time can be very intimidating, particularly when your home is flooded. You may be wondering what to with everything that has not been swept away by the water. You may also be concerned about your foundation and the water's effects on your home's health and stability. Fortunately, cleaning up after a home flood is relatively painless as long as you know what you are doing.
Take Stock of the Damage
After you make sure there is no standing water inside your home and make sure that the electricity is off, you will want to take an inventory of the damage when it is safe to do so. Be sure to make a note of:
- Watermarks on the floor, walls, or ceilings
- Damage to furniture
- Damage to electronics
- Damage to appliances
- Black or dark brown spots anywhere
You may also want to take a look under your house for crawl space damage. Once you've noted your home's damaged areas, you should find an experienced flood remediation and restoration company in Anaheim, CA.
Many times after a flood, the water will recede, but the crawl space remains damp. This can cause a lot of problems with mold later on. When you speak to the remediation company, mention that you've had your home flood and make sure they are equipped to handle foundation and crawlspace damage and drying.
Contact The Appropriate Agencies
After you note everything that is damaged, you will need to contact the appropriate agencies. This includes your insurance company, federal disaster agencies, and a remediation company. Each of these agencies can help you with the next steps and ease your mind.
Federal disaster agencies can offer financial help and advice, insurance may cover the damage, and a remediation company is necessary for clean up particularly in cases of severe or long-term flooding.
Having your home flood doesn't have to be a painful experience. Simply try to remain calm, take notes, and call the professionals who have experience repairing storm damage.
Top 5 Hidden Places to Find Mold
Protect Your Home From Hidden Mold
Mold is a pesky invader that can appear almost anywhere in your home. Checking each and every hidden corner in your home is vital when it comes to performing a thorough mold inspection; you can't just gloss over the primary spots and assume you're safe. Consider adding the following hidden spots to your next mold inspection in order to protect your home in Anaheim, CA.
1. Washing Machine
Many homeowners naturally assume that their washing machines are self-cleaning, and thus forget to check them for mold. Neglecting to properly air out and dry the excess moisture after each wash cycle only serves to attract unwanted mold.
2. House Plants
Overwatering your house plants is a great way to invite mold into your home. Prevent unwanted mold by only watering your plants at the base (not from the top) and proportioning out an appropriate amount of water.
3. Window Sills
It's likely to find mold on wood, such as your wooden window sills. This is especially likely after large amounts of rain, or if your indoor humidity levels are too high. Check for excessive condensation on your window panes that can lead to unwanted mold.
4. Walls and Wallpaper
Moldy drywall can be harder to spot, so you need to make sure you're keeping an eye out for other types of signs. Peeling, browning or otherwise aging wallpaper is a good indication that mold is growing underneath the wallpaper. Also, check for a musty odor.
5. Refrigerator and its Contents
Any food spills that go uncleaned just serve to invite mold. You also need to make sure you regularly clear out any food items that have gone bad or are otherwise spoiled.
Mold can appear anywhere moisture is present, so it's vital that you take the time to search each hidden corner in your house during every mold inspection. Contact mold remediation experts as soon as you can if you do discover mold growth in your home.
Everything You Need to Know About Secondary Damage
Water damage in Southwest Anaheim, CA
It's important to act quickly if your home in Southwest Anaheim, CA, has been affected by water damage. Failing to properly remediate water damage in a timely manner can result in various different kinds of subsequent issues, such as black mold, warped flooring, and other types of structural problems.
What is Secondary Damage?
It's not uncommon for small floods or leaks to go unnoticed for long periods of time, and subsequent damage can occur days, weeks or even months following the initial incident. Some common examples of the damage that can follow include:
- Black mold growth
- Cracking plaster and sheetrock
- Warped walls, floors and ceilings
- Water stains
Standing water eventually evaporates on its own if the damage isn't properly addressed in a timely manner. Eventually, the air becomes saturated with moisture from the standing water, resulting in dangerously high humidity levels. Once the air becomes oversaturated, the moisture is driven into the drywall, ceiling tiles, furniture and other places in your home.
How Can You Prevent Secondary Damage?
The key to preventing subsequent moisture damage is catching and reacting to the initial flood as quickly as possible. The following strategies can also help you reduce your chances of experiencing moisture damage:
- Mop up any standing puddles.
- Ventilate wet areas by opening windows, using floor fans or the AC unit.
- Open furniture drawers to allow them to air out.
- Move electronic devices and sentimental possessions to dry, elevated areas.
- Hang blankets, furniture skirts and curtains up to dry.
- Elevate furniture on aluminum foil to prevent stains.
Because water damage can go unnoticed for long periods of time, it's important that you also perform regular home inspections to check for signs of leaks or flooding.
Reacting to accidents in a timely manner is the best way to prevent secondary damage, such as black mold, cracked plaster, warped flooring and much more. If your residential property has recently experienced any type of water damage, it's vital that you contact flood remediation experts as soon as you can.
4 Tips For Creating a Fire Escape Plan
Be sure that you have a fire escape place and practice it often
Keeping These Tips In Mind Can Help
While it may not be fun to think about experiencing a fire in your Southwest Anaheim, CA, home, being prepared can help keep you and your family safe during an emergency. Creating a fire escape plan is one way to do this.
1. Locate All Doors and Windows
When you are forming an emergency escape plan, you should make sure you know where all the doors and windows are in your home. Windows on lower floors can be used to escape during a fire if you are unable to make it to the doors safely. Drawing a map of your home with clearly marked exits may be a good idea for families with children.
2. Create Multiple Exit Routes
Because you cannot know where a fire will start or how it will spread, it is possible that you won’t be able to use your preferred route to leave the home. Create at least two routes to each exit, so you have an alternative ready.
3. Designate a Meeting Area
Particularly if you have a larger family, it may be difficult to know if everyone has made it out of the home safely. Add a meeting spot to your fire escape plan, so that all members of the family know where to find each other once they have gotten outside. This will make it easier to see if someone is still inside the house.
4. Practice Regularly
The plan won’t do any good if you don’t remember it. To keep it fresh in everyone’s minds, you should have a practice fire drill at least every six months. To make these more effective, the drills should be as realistic as possible.
If you do end up needing to use your fire escape plan and your home is damaged during the emergency, you can count on a fire damage remediation company to return it to its prior state. They can perform cleanup and repairs on both the building and various affected belongings.
3 Tips for Restoring a Business After Fire Damage
Consider The Following Tips When Faced With The Aftermath of A Fire
Businesses in Anaheim, CA, may find fire cleanup frustrating and stressful. Utilizing the following tips can make the transition from disaster to recovery an easier path. Consider the following when faced with the aftermath of a crippling fire:
1. Thoroughly Inspect Internal Components
A crucial first step is to have the electricity and plumbing inspected by local professionals to verify wires and pipes are in working order. This serves two purposes. The first is to ensure safety for all entering the building. The second is to troubleshoot and repair any damages incurred from the flames. It may also be the perfect opportunity to upgrade materials that have sustained wear and tear.
2. Guard Against Trespassing
Unfortunately, some people see a building undergoing fire cleanup as an opportunity to steal or deface. Protect your interests by installing a security fence or temporary barriers. Secure building entrances to prevent theft and vandalism. Having a heightened awareness of criminal activity may stop an already bad situation from getting worse.
3. Hire Professionals To Handle Cleanup
Knowledgeable fire remediation experts are able to assist immediately after a catastrophe. Some offer tarp services to patch windows or other openings caused by a fire. It is critical to cover all gaps and holes to avoid further water damage due to rain.
In addition to covering damages on wall surfaces, specialists may also offer roof repair services. If the roof needs to be restored, be sure to check in with your insurance agent prior to repairs. Once on site, the adjuster can record accurate data and help you to receive the monetary relief you deserve. After the most significant damages are taken care of, the company you hire can also handle smoke damage to furniture and return the interior of the building to the way it was before the fire.
After a disaster, fire cleanup can be necessary. Take appropriate action to get back in business as soon as possible.
The Basics of Insurance for Mold Damage
Mold damage in Anaheim, CA
The Basics of Insurance for Mold Damage
If your business property is beset with a mold infestation, you will want to check with your insurance agent to see if you are covered for damages and expenses. In general, a commercial insurance policy provides very limited coverage for damages caused by a fungal outbreak. Complicating matters, some exclusions to this also exist, and these exclusions have only grown broader in the past twenty years. The fungus exclusion is now incorporated into most business policies and states that loss or damage caused by any fungus (defined quite broadly as mold, mildew, and its collateral effects), wet or dry rot or bacteria will not be covered. This might lead you to conclude that you have no coverage; however, an important exception to this exclusion does exist.
The Fungus Exception
When a cause of the fungus growth is part of your commercial insurance policy, the damages caused by mold and the expenses for cleanup might be covered. Some of these specific perils might include the following situations:
- Riots or civil commotion
- Sinkhole collapse
If a named peril in your policy causes mold damage, your policy could cover the cleanup and repair associated with a mold outbreak. This mold insurance is often referred to as limited fungus coverage.
The Mold Solution
If you do discover a mold problem in your building in Anaheim, CA, it is best to call in a professional mold remediation franchise as quickly as possible. Waiting only gives the mold time to spread and colonize new areas of the property. A team of highly-trained technicians will engage in identifying the problem. They will work quickly to kill the mold and clean all impacted surfaces with effective disinfectants. If the mold has caused any structural damage, the technicians will repair and restore those areas. An experienced cleanup company can also help you work with your commercial insurance carrier to determine if you have insurance coverage.
Avoiding Water Damage During Construction
Construction project in Southwest Anaheim, CA
Prepare for The What-ifs
During construction, whether a small renovation to your Southwest Anaheim, CA, property or new build, presents a scenario for potential water damage. Using a trusted general contractor is the first step ensuring a water pipe repair or lingering structural issues aren’t a worry once the work is done. To enjoy your new space instead of having to call a water damage and restoration expert means planning ahead and preparing for the what-ifs.
Construction is a complex project with many facets that involve water or preventing water. As the work is being done, some of the many causes of damage during and after may include:
Plumbing – Improper connections can easily lead to a broken pipe. If the temperatures dip, there is also the potential for them to freeze.
Weather – Severe storms can lead to a flooded site.
Materials – While some materials are weather-resistant, any porous ones needed to be properly stored and protected from rain.
Drainage – Even during the process, an improper grade slope can create unwanted pools.
Foundation – Cracks, fissures or improper sealing can lead to major isuses.
Prevent Issues by Being Prepared
While the unexpected can happen, recognizing that fact can prevent damage from happening. When working with the contractor, ensure a plan is in place to mitigate the common sources of unwanted water. Once the piping is in, a thorough inspection and run-thru should be conducted to make a water pipe repair before the walls are put in, as well as a 24-hour monitoring plan once the system is first up. A waterproofing plan is also needed to ensure unsecured openings are covered and protected from Mother Nature and that sensitive materials are properly stored or delivered only when needed.
Staying involved and open communication with contractors is vital during a project. By doing so, you can avoid water pipe repair or unexpected damage rearing its ugly head after project completion.
Alternatives to Sandbagging Your Business to Prevent Flooding
Alternatives To Sandbagging
For business owners in Anaheim, CA, it's common practice to keep a supply of sandbags handy for when possible flooding is in the forecast. Sandbags are meant to protect your property from flood damage, and they're great in a pinch. However, if you've ever had to place a sandbag you know they aren't easy to move around, especially when you need to utilize 20 or more of them. Other issues with sandbags include:
- They aren't easy to store.
- They break and leak sand.
- Disposal is difficult.
Thankfully, there are alternatives to sandbagging. Here are a few that might save you some of the hassle you face when trying to protect your business.
1. HydraBarrier and AquaDam
The HydraBarrier and AquaDam products can protect your business from up to three feet of water. Unlike a sandbag, it's easy to store and it's lightweight. Simply place the product in the area you need to protect and fill it with water. Once the threat has passed, rinse it, empty it, and pack it up for storage.
Build your own flood dams with QuickDam. This product works by absorbing water and expanding. It expands to 3.5 inches high but can be stacked. When the water is gone, it shrinks. These little dams can also be left in place year-round.
This dam comes as a PVC roll. When you place it in the area it needs to protect, it unrolls and swells as the water rises. It is also reusable and easy to store.
No system is perfect. Not even sandbags. There may be times that the flood water does breach the protective barrier and you end up with a serious cleanup job. Always remember, flood water contains contaminants and bacteria, so never try to perform cleanup yourself. There are restoration specialists who are trained for these types of cleanups.
When it comes to protecting your business during flooding, there are alternatives to sandbagging. Try one and you'll never have to deal with messy storage and cleanup again.
What To Know About Content Cleaning After a Flood
The Process Of Content Cleaning After a Flood
After a storm at your place of business in Southwest Anaheim, CA, getting the property back into working order may include the process of content cleaning. Your local storm damage restoration service may have a variety of options available for the proper restoration of any damaged items. These may include processes for cleaning
Because flood water falls under the black water category you will want to clean any furniture, such as desks or filing cabinets, that may have been touched by the flooding. These items can be washed with a cleaning solution designed for sanitation to help remove any bacteria the water may have carried. Items comprised of wood and metal respond well to this treatment. For upholstery items you may want to look at a dry cleaning method. Any items that cannot be cleaned properly may need to be replaced.
Another common issue after storm caused flooding are damaged electronics. Part of the content cleaning process includes having a professional go over these items. Electronics will need to be cleaned carefully to ensure they maintain their functionality. Any damaged parts or corroded joints will need to be replaced during this time. Fortunately, many professionals are trained to perform this process.
One thing that many people worry about losing after a flood is any documentation important to the company. Fortunately, your restoration company may have methods they can use to salvage the paperwork. Depending on the type of document and the amount of damage there are several methods from thermal drying to dehumidification. If you have document restoration needs it's best to talk to a professional.
The process of content cleaning your company items may depend on the items hype. Items such as furniture may require a wipe off with the proper solution, while electronics may need a professional cleaning. Fortunately, even damage documentation can be restored as well. If you have questions about this process it's best to talk to your restoration service.
The High Standards of a Flood Cleanup
Flood damage in Southwest Anaheim, CA
The High Standards of a Flood Cleanup
When bad times visit homeowners and renters, they often face difficult decisions. After a destructive storm, a professional cleanup is often called for. When that storm brings in floodwaters to a residential property, the cleaning requirements are especially high. That's largely because floodwaters can be contaminated with an unpleasant mix of dirt, grime, chemicals, microscopic pathogens, and sewage. Normal cleaning measures will not be enough to get the house clean again and protect those who live there. A professional storm remediation team in Southwest Anaheim, CA, will have the needed training and equipment to clean the home according to the highest industry standards.
Every flood situation is different, but even a relatively small flood that brings in an inch or so of water can cause enormous damage. A larger flood will create damage throughout the property. Here are some of the elements of a home that may need to be cleaned:
- HVAC system
- Personal items
Drywall and insulation should be removed at least a foot above the flood line. A flood cut removes these materials and replaces them with clean wood and insulation. Professional cleaning requirements demand that all impacted surfaces be scrubbed and cleaned with an approved flood disinfectant.
A quality flood clean process involves a lot of technical know-how and experience. Technicians that come into the home will wear gloves and protective eye coverings to make sure water does not harm the skin or eyes. Vacuums and air dryers will be used to suck out the water and dry out the home. If the damage is extensive, workers may have to clean electrical equipment, air ducts, and furniture. The cleaning requirements will be a little different for each job. Trained workers will also keep a close lookout for water damage that could result in mold growth. A flooded home will be restored "Like it never even happened."