Recent Storm Damage Posts
What Do I Do If My House Floods?
When your property suffers damage from a storm, we are here to help!
Rain and flooding can be a huge pain and it's not fun to find out that your house has been flooded. It can take weeks or even several months to get it fixed. But there are things you can do immediately after a flood that will help mitigate the damage as much as possible, and they'll make the process of cleaning up easier in the long run.
Turn off the electricity.
If your house floods, turn off the electricity. If you have a generator, make sure it's not running on gasoline or propane. If it is, turn it off as well.
If there is no power in your home and water levels are rising, unplug all electrical items and appliances that can be moved. You'll also want to remove any computers or televisions as well—they don't need electricity to conduct damage!
Turn off the water supply.
If you can, turn off the water supply. If you can't find the main water valve, turn off the water supply to the house. If it's a flooding emergency, you're not thinking rationally, so don't worry about what's going to happen later when it comes time for repairs. You need to make sure that there is no running water anywhere in your home while you start working on cleaning up and drying out everything that got wet.
As soon as you realize your house has flooded, the most important thing to do is to evacuate. If you have time, grab any valuables from your home, such as important documents. If not, leave those items behind and go directly to a safe place.
Take any pets with you when evacuating. This will ensure they're cared for while also keeping them away from danger until help arrives.
When you’re dealing with a flood, you should document the damage as soon as possible. Take pictures of things that need to be replaced or repaired, then call your insurance company and make sure they know about it.
Take pictures of the damage. Take pictures of the flood. Take pictures of the water level. Take pictures of all the damage done to your property.
Be sure to include as much detail as possible in your photos, including items that have been damaged and their current condition (i.e., if they are wet or dry). Also, make sure to take multiple shots from different angles so that your insurer can see everything clearly when reviewing them later on.
It's important to let your insurance company know what happened as soon as possible so that they can begin assessing the damage and make sure you're protected.
Begin the mitigation and restoration process immediately.
The first thing you should do after your house floods is to begin the mitigation and restoration process immediately. This means removing all damaged items, cleaning up the mess, and removing any mold that may have formed in your home.
As soon as possible, dry out your house by turning on fans to circulate air throughout the structure and open windows where possible (make sure it's safe first).
Next, repair damage to your house caused by flooding—and replace any belongings or furniture that were destroyed by water damage or mold.
Lastly, restore your home back to its original condition so no one will know what happened there before it gets flooded again!
A flooded house is a big deal. It can be dangerous and a pain to fix, but with some time and hard work, there are things you can do to make it better. If your house floods, turn off the electricity and water supply immediately. Then evacuate the premises until professionals arrive to clean it up or take pictures of any damage caused by the flood. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is always here to help with all your flood damage cleanup and restoration needs!
4 Plans To Include Within Your Business Disaster Plan
Are you prepared?
Are You Prepared?
Are you prepared for the possible disasters that could happen to your business in Arlington, LA? Ready your facility and employees with these four plans for disaster preparedness.
1. An Involvement Plan
A key component of business preparedness is getting your employees involved. By creating a diverse planning team, you can address employee needs and have a clear plan for getting everyone to safety. The co-workers you choose should also be ready in emergency situations. They know the plan best, so they will be crucial to helping others during an emergency.
2. An Evacuation Plan
Getting everyone out of your facility safely means ensuring that your employees know your evacuation plan inside and out. To prepare them, you need to give them the information they need. Create detailed maps with evacuation routes, locations of safety equipment and assembly places. Post them in high traffic areas such as elevator corridors. Review your plans frequently to make sure they are understood. Conduct drills to give your employees confidence if a real emergency happens.
3. A Shelter-In-Place Plan
Certain emergencies might call for you to stay indoors. “Shelter-In-Place” plans need to consider how to keep your employees safe within your facility. These include tornado warning and air-quality contamination emergencies. Create a diagram of your building for each possible scenario and designate rooms for your employees to go to for each situation.
4. A Post-Disaster Plan
Disaster preparedness includes having a plan for when the emergency is over. Have a list of emergency contacts prepared. Create a communication network to check on employees and relay any important information they will need going forward. Develop a plan to continue servicing your most valued customers. This way, you can continue to work while commercial restoration services get your facility up and operating at full capacity.
Disaster preparedness is a business owner’s responsibility, but by including your employees in your preparation, you will be more prepared for an emergency.
3 Risks of Driving Through Flood Water
Avoid driving through a flooded street.
Driving Through Flood Water Poses Three Dangers
Many of us wouldn’t think twice about driving through a flooded street. After all, what harm can a little H2O do? Fact is, it can do much more damage than you think. Not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why driving through flood water in Baton Rouge, LA, is never a good idea.
About Flood Water
Flash floods are common in areas that are low-lying, but they can happen anywhere that rapid rainfall accumulates. If you doubt the power of flood water, understand that
- It takes just a foot of water to make your car float
- It takes just two feet of water to make the average SUV float
Car engines aren't meant to be immersed in water. If flood waters are high enough, your engine can do something called hydro locking. This happens with water penetrates the combustion chamber, stopping your vehicle from running and killing your electrical system. That means a stalled car in a flood - not a good thing.
If your engine doesn't stall out in a flooded street, your brakes just might. That's because your brake components were meant to operate under dry conditions. Water can make it difficult or impossible for brake pads to contact rotors causing you to lose control of your car.
Being Swept Away
Swift-moving water is a force to be reckoned with. It can not only float your car but pick it up and moved down the road! This could leave you colliding with debris or even other vehicles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the majority of flood-related drownings come after someone drove into a flood.
Driving through a flooded street might not seem like a big deal, but it can become one fast. Never underestimate how dangerous flooded areas can be. Keep these flood travel tips from storm cleanup experts in mind the next time you think about taking on flooded roads.
How To Prepare For a Severe Storm
Make a safety kit.
Prepare For a Severe Storm
If you are expecting a storm in Gardere, LA, there are some steps that you can take to prepare yourself, your home and your family. The following actions can help reduce water damage to the building and increase your safety.
1. Seal Doors and Windows to Keep Out Flood Water
During a storm, water can make its way inside the building through cracks around doors and windows. Make sure these are closing properly and that the seals around them are not damaged. You may want to place sandbags near entrances for additional protection.
2. Relocate Important Belongings
If you live in a house with multiple stories, move anything that you can to an upper level. This will help reduce damage from flood water. If your home is single-story, place important or valuable items on shelves or inside airtight containers to keep them safe.
3. Make a Safety Kit
It is not only important to keep your belongings safe but also for yourself and your family. The power may go out during a storm, so prepare a kit with flashlights, radios and extra batteries. Canned foods that do not need to be cooked and bottled water should be included as well.
4. Evacuate If Necessary
In some cases, it may not be safe to stay where you are. If it is likely that the area will flood, you should find shelter somewhere safe until the storm passes. If you return to a flooded building, a professional flood damage restoration company can repair your home and clean affected belongings.
Severe weather can cause a lot of trouble, from creating a dangerous environment to filling your home with flood water. Preparing ahead of time can help you get through the situation more safely. Do what you can to protect your home and belongings, and take shelter somewhere else if you need to.
4 Structural Components Prone to Moisture Problems
Black mold growth in Baton Rouge, LA.
Four Moisture-Prone Structural Components
Property owners in Baton Rouge, LA, know a big storm will happen before too long. Ensuring the property is sealed and protected against rain damage is essential to avoiding black mold growing, water losses and potentially expensive repairs. While a certified water damage and restoration company will be able to get your property back to "Like it never even happened," taking preventive measures may minimize the chances of damage happening. To do that, the building envelope—structural components that separate the interior and exterior—must be maintained.
The roof is the main structural component protecting your property. Regular maintenance and annual inspections by a professional are vital to ensuring it does what it should. If the roof is more than 20 years old, it may be time to consider a new one.
2. Doors and Windows
These parts of a building are the most prone to damage. Ensure they always working properly and make necessary repairs as soon as possible. Items to look for include missing screws, loose hinges and worn weather-stripping,
When it comes to rain damage, finding it in the lower levels of the property is common. Water easily finds its way through any tiny crack or damaged sealant as it follows its natural gravitational path. Along with repairing any damage, ensure the ground outside slopes away from the property.
4. Siding and Masonry
Any gaps, cracks or missing parts open up your property to water infiltration. Signs of siding trouble also include warping and bubbling. For structures with masonry, it may be time for a little upgrade to avoid water issues. It can be reinforced by removing ivy, replacing seals, grouting mortar joints and installing flashing.
As a property owner, you want to keep it in tip-top shape. Regularly inspecting common problem areas and making immediate repairs helps make that happen and minimizes the chances of rain damage.
Flood Water Prevention Methods
A dam can be built from sandbags to block water.
Methods of Flood Water Prevention
Engineers take considerable leaps to stop high water from flooding city streets and neighborhoods. As a business owner, you should take note of what measures Gardere, LA, has in the event of a natural disaster or flood.
These are some of the common methods:
- Levees are concrete or sand embankments to prevent water overflow.
- Dams block water completely, only allowing an area to flood when necessary.
- Locks allow ships to move from higher water areas to lower areas.
- Dikes are long walls or ditches that prevent the sea from crossing into cities.
- Gates can block water when necessary but open and close to permit traffic and water flow.
Unfortunately, none of these methods are perfect. During storm season, don't let your business be caught unawares by high water. You should be ready to reach out to a water damage remediation company as well as familiarize yourself with how your city protects itself.
Some cities have devised unique ways to keep floodwaters from entering business and agricultural districts.
The Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier in the Netherlands is designed to open and close completely. When it is open, the water flows freely. As the water rises, the walls close to stop flooding and fill the adjoining pools with excess water. When the flooding recedes, the barriers open again, returning the channel to normal flow.
The barriers on the River Eden in England are a newer solution for flood prevention. They replace traditional sandbags with hydraulic barriers that can be raised or lowered when necessary. The barriers are now computer-controlled to prevent them from accidentally lowering.
Barriers To Protect Your Business
Along with understanding what your city does to protect against a flood, you should also be prepared to protect your business yourself. A dam can be built from sandbags to block water. Retention ponds, like small versions of the Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier's retention pools, and french drains help control pooling water.
When a storm is coming, there are many things you can do to help safeguard your business from high water conditions.
3 Ways To Maintain Your Commercial Building’s Roof
Keep the gutters from your roof clean.
Keep Your Commercial Roof Robust and Functional
The roof of your Gardere, LA, commercial building is its first and best defense from the elements. However, when damage or neglect causes a major roof leak, it might cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in lost profits while repairs are made. You may be able to avoid this problem with proper maintenance, and there are a few ways to keep your roof robust and functional.
1. Be Vigilant About Leaks
Fresh water stains on the ceiling or sudden mold growth could both be indicative of a roof leak. However, ignoring these signs could cause more serious issues later on that may be dangerous as well as costly. When you find signs that might point to small roof leaks or a moisture problem, it is wise to note what you see and then contact your company’s roofing contractor to have it inspected.
2. Check Skylight Seals During Rainy Days
If a rainy day slows down business, it could be the perfect time to check your building’s skylights for signs of leakage. Sun, age, and wind damage can all affect the seal around any skylight, so watching for leaks during a rainstorm may help you target problems. If you do find a leak, call water damage and remediation service for advice about repair options that can help prevent future problems caused by leaks.
3. Clean the Roof and Gutters
Cleaning debris from your commercial building’s roof and gutters can help the roof’s coating work more efficiently by guiding rainwater away from the property. Water buildup on the roof can cause leaks and structural damage, so cleaning the roof and gutters after serious or prolonged storms may help with more efficient drainage.
Protecting your Gardere, LA, commercial building’s roof can prevent issues that may cause costly damage later on. From a roof leak to a sagging ceiling, many water problems are not inevitable and may be avoidable with the proper maintenance.
Why You Must Promptly Remove Saturated Building Materials After a Flood
Flooding often requires extensive cleanup efforts.
Flooding is a challenging dilemma for any homeowner in Gardere, LA. Once the floodwaters recede, you can begin the daunting cleanup and restoration process. Removing saturated materials is a crucial phase of this project that you must promptly complete to preserve the integrity of your home.
Saturated Building Materials
In addition to your personal belongings, your home’s carpets, drywall, and insulation may be severely saturated. All three of these materials are porous and absorb water. Quickly removing these items is important for several reasons:
• Enables affected space to properly dry
• Reduces the risk of mold contamination
• Wet insulation loses its R-value, diminishing its effectiveness
Damaged Property Risk
Flooding makes your home more susceptible to mold pollution because mold thrives in moist environments. Reducing your risk requires a timely and efficient approach. Mold can easily hide under saturated carpets and behind wet drywall. This is a primary reason why you must remove these materials during your cleanup endeavors.
Ruined Dry Wall
To efficiently tear out damaged drywall, make a cut that is 12-18 inches above the highest water level. This allows you to easily access and remove wet insulation and ensures that no water-damaged drywall remains.
Reduced Moisture Levels
Before replacing your damaged drywall, you need to ensure that the space is free of moisture. After you make the flood cut, use fans and a dehumidifier to expedite the drying process. Allow the area to dry for 24-48 hours. Then, you can verify moisture levels with a moisture meter.
For additional peace of mind, you should consider installing mold-resistant drywall. This may be particularly beneficial if your area is prone to storms or you live in a flood plain.
Restored: Your Home
Flooding often requires extensive cleanup efforts. Quickly removing saturated materials and efficiently drying the flooded area in your home is the key to preventing mold contamination. Although it may seem daunting, with time and effort, you can accomplish the cleanup process and successfully complete your home’s restoration.
Understanding Black Water and Its Effects on Your Business
Office damaged by a storm in Gardere, LA.
When flood waters occur in Gardere, LA, they can have a direct impact on your business. Vehicles, machinery and your commercial building itself can all be damaged. However, flood water is also considered black water, which differs from smaller indoor floods in several ways. Understanding this water’s dangers and how they might damage your business can be vital to how you handle the cleanup and protecting yourself, your employees and your customers.
Flood Waters and Their Dangers
Flooding that originates from rivers, streams and other large bodies of water due to hurricanes or torrential rainstorms can carry toxins into your business. Flood waters are typically categorized as Level 3 black water, which means they may contain elements such as:
- Harmful bacteria
- Human and/or animal waste
- Contagious viruses.
Even once flood waters recede, these contaminants may stay behind in your building’s walls, flooring and in the air after a flood.
Acting Quickly Is Key
Once storm damage impacts your commercial property, it’s a good idea to act quickly when it comes to starting the cleanup and restoration process. The contaminants contained in flood water can spread quickly, especially when moisture and stagnant air are present. You may want to block off all access to the building and call a professional flood cleanup company to come and assess the situation.
Why You Need Professional Flood Restoration
Because flood waters tend to carry so many different toxins, having your building restored by a professional storm cleanup company can be a wise choice for you as a business owner. Viruses and other pathogens can survive for some time if the flood-affected area is not properly treated. These companies can employ cleaning techniques that are not available commercially to ensure your business is safe for anyone who enters it after a flood.
Flood water can damage your Gardere, LA, business in many ways. However, understanding the danger of black water and the importance of having it removed professionally can help restore your business to its former glory.
Get Rid of That Mildew Odor Post Flooding: Here's How
Flooding in Arlington, LA.
Here's How to Get Rid of Mildew After Flooding
Your home is decontaminated, your contents clean and your life getting back to normal post-flooding. You are finally able to take a deep breath, but when you do, you notice that something smells off. You take a whiff just to make sure, and yes, there's that smell again—the smell of mold and mildew. Despite your cleanup efforts, your home still has that telltale sign that a flood recently invaded your home. If you're tired of dealing with the after-effects of a flood, there are a few things you should and should not do for odor removal from flooding. Here are a few things you should NOT do:
- Ignore the smell
- Think that bleach alone will kill the odor
- Cover the odor up with other scents
- Close the doors and windows.
Doing either of these things can put your home and your family at risk. Instead, do the following:
Contact a Professional
A professional flood remediation expert in Arlington, LA, is the only person who can really help you kill post-flooding odors. This is because such an expert combats the source of the odor and not just the odor itself.
Act in the Meantime
In the meantime, there are steps you can take for odor removal from flooding on your own. First and foremost, open the windows. Doing so will help air out your home and provide for better circulation.
Next, remove any furniture that smells of mold and mildew. Whether or not the furniture is salvageable can be determined at a later date. For now, your goal is to remove the odor, and any affected furniture is allowing that odor to remain in your house.
Finally, wash items that can be laundered. These include clothing, bedding and draperies.
Once your Arlington, LA, flood restoration team arrives to begin odor removal from flooding, it can begin to tackle the heart of the issue. This may include drying out and deep cleaning your carpets, performing flood cuts on affected drywall and deep cleaning furniture.
How Can You Get Rid of That Disgusting Stench in Your Business After a Flood?
Office storm damage in Baton Rouge, LA.
After a flood hits Baton Rouge, LA, it’s not unusual for the bad odors to follow quickly. Humidity trapped in an area allows for explosive black mold growth on some construction materials. Plus, floodwaters often contain raw sewage that overflows from inundated city sewers.
Sadly, damage this heavy can’t be handled with a little bleach. It takes an arsenal of specialized commercial solvents and deodorizers to fix the problem once it’s thoroughly embedded in your building.
What Is That Smell?
Flood water that covers a wide area picks up everything it touches. During heavy storms, city sewer systems can be overwhelmed, potentially allowing a sewage loss to mix into the flood. Cars may float, but underneath, the water is picking up lots of substances, including
All the toxins built up in area soils will also work their way into the water. Chemicals from commercial and industrial sources also get blended in.
Next, after the water starts receding, the organic construction materials in your building, such as drywall and wood, start feeding huge colonies of black mold growth. If left unchecked, it can create an unbearable stench that no customer or employee will tolerate.
How Do You Remove It?
Top mold and water damage restoration experts in your area have over 100 different cleaners and deodorants to use for the widest range of disinfecting and deodorizing. SERVPROXIDE is a proprietary sanitizer that is one of the safest and most effective cleaners available, so ask them if they have access to it.
Different odors and materials require different strategies, so having experienced technicians is essential. From bioblasts, leather cleaners, citrasolvents and an innovative wood crème paste, everything in your business can be completely deodorized and disinfected. You’ll be able to reopen quickly and with confidence that customers or tenants will be pleased.
Mold growth and raw sewage are part and parcel of a serious flood. That’s why so many businesses call restoration experts to return their building to its original condition after heavy flood damage.
3 Ways To Prevent Burst Pipes on a Commercial Property
A broken pipe causes damage in an Arlington, LA building.
Prevent Burst Pipes On A Commercial Property
Burst pipes can be devastating for property owners in Arlington, LA. Causes for bursting pipes range and can include:
- Increased water pressure
- Loose pipes
- Winter Storms
You can prevent your property's pipes from bursting by taking preventative measures before a winter storm and repairing damages to plumbing systems as soon as they become noticeable. Here are 3 ways to prevent burst pipes on a commercial property.
1. Insulate Your Property's Pipes
Insulation prevents the water inside of pipes from freezing. When water freezes inside a building's plumbing system, the water pressure increases causing pipes to burst under the added stress. To prevent this, contact a plumber to properly insulate the pipes. You can also take action when a storm is approaching by letting your water run at a drip and opening cabinet doors to allow warmer air around pipes. Storm damage is a common cause of leaks and pipe bursts but can be prevented with preparation.
2. Replace Old Plumbing Systems
Outdated plumbing systems do not have rust-resistant materials and are prone to tears. The materials used to make older plumbing systems include cast iron pipes, which become eroded with frequent water use and changing weather conditions. When a winter storm hits, these plumbing materials become more vulnerable to bursts. Update your plumbing system to ensure its best functionality.
3. Inspect Your Plumbing System Regularly
Be diligent with your plumbing system catching tears, worn joints and leaks before they surprise you. Keeping your system up to date will prevent leaks from worn pipes and protect your building from pipe bursts during inclement weather. Leaks and burst pipes are preventable with proper maintenance and insulation.
If you have experienced a pipe break due to a winter storm, contact a local water damage restoration service to help clean your property. A professional service will also help to dehumidify your property and restore it back to normal.
3 Ways Regular Maintenance Saves You Money
Switch other fixtures to long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lights
These Three Tips Can Help You Save Money
The maintenance cost involved with keeping a large facility up and running can be substantial. However, spending the effort and money to keep a facility well maintained can save money in the long run by prolonging the life of your equipment and reducing the number of avoidable repairs.
1. Upgrade Your Lighting
According to EPA estimates, about 35% of the average commercial building's energy expenditure goes towards lighting costs. Replacing older lighting fixtures with modern, more energy-efficient versions can save you significant amounts of money on your energy bill. Upgrades to consider include upgrading older fluorescent and pressure sodium lighting to more energy-efficient fluorescent models and switching other fixtures to long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lights.
2. Keep Your Equipment Well-Maintained
Equipment that is not well-maintained may operate inefficiently, increasing your operational costs or break down, costing you money in lost productivity and repair or replacement cost. Additionally, poorly maintained buildings are prone to leaks from faulty equipment, broken pipes, and worn-out roofs, which may lead to additional costs for water mitigation services in Gardere, LA. The maintenance cost you incur now can keep small problems from becoming large, expensive problems later.
3. Consider Alternative Cooling Solutions
Most facility management professionals have caught on to the idea of utilizing automated climate controls to adjust the thermostat so that money isn't being wasted cooling buildings when nobody is in them. However, you can take this a step further by installing supplemental HVAC units in areas that are used when the rest of the facility is closed so that you do not need to run the entire system.
The maintenance cost of maintaining your facility can be a drain on your short term cash flow but will save you money in the long term. These tips can help you balance upfront costs with long-term benefits.
5 Actions to Avoid During a Flood
Never drive through floodwaters
Dangerous flood water can cause problems for anyone, even if you've never experienced a flood before. A huge part of flood safety is knowing the difference between which actions are safe during a flood, and which ones are dangerous. Make sure to abide by the following safety tips if your home in Gardere, LA, has recently suffered from a flood.
1. Never Enter a Moving Flood.
There are a number of reasons why wading or swimming in flood water is a terrible idea. The water could likely contain harmful biohazards or other contaminants. Likewise, it's difficult to tell how quickly the current is moving. It only takes about 6 inches of water to sweep you away.
2. Never Touch Standing Water.
Just because the flood water isn't moving doesn't mean it's safe. Standing flood water can also contain harmful biohazards. It's also possible that the water could be electrically charged, especially if it has come into contact with circuit breakers, outlets or other electronic devices.
3. Never Disobey Emergency Response Crews.
First responders, local authorities and other types emergency response crews exist to help you. Disobeying or ignoring them can put you in danger, as well as make their jobs significantly more difficult. You're better off listening to what they have to tell you and following their directions.
4. Never Drive Through a Flood.
It only takes about a foot of water to sweep your car away. Staying out of flood water to the best of your ability is the golden rule of flood safety.
5. Never Ignore Water Damage.
All types of floods can cause damage, not just severe ones. After the authorities give you permission to return home, you need to take immediate action to remediate any water damage. Leaving it untreated can cause mold growth and other types of structural damage.
Proper flood safety needs to be taken seriously at all times. Staying alert and listening to your local authorities is the best way to keep yourself and your family safe. If your home has suffered damage following a flood, you need to contact flood remediation experts.
What Causes Odors After Floodwaters Are Gone?
Are you noticing a musty odor in your business?
Some of the most common natural disasters in the United States come in the form of floods, and long after the water has been removed, there may still be unpleasant evidence of the water damage. In addition to recovering from the loss of personal items and business inventory, you may be faced with lingering odors. These are often the result of mold growth, but there are other causes.
Routine Mold Prevention
You can prevent mold growth under normal circumstances by paying attention to specific problem spots throughout your property:
- Connections between your roof, doorways, windows, and the building
- Connections on pipes and faucets
- Under the sink
- Stored papers and books
- Under carpeting and behind wallpaper
At the earliest sign of moisture, thoroughly dry the area and make necessary repairs. After a flood, however, you should immediately contact water damage remediation professionals.
The Growth of Mold and Odors Due to Flooding
There are many materials throughout your Baton Rouge, LA, building (or buildings) that could become home to mold. Professionals will decide which items should be discarded, which can be cleaned and repaired, and which can simply be wiped down. Most of the time, items that have been exposed to flood water and not properly cleaned and disinfected are the source of unpleasant odors. By quickly involving cleanup and restoration professionals, you are preventing lasting damage, including bad smells.
Lasting Odors Resulting From Sewage
Mold isn't the only source of lasting smells. If any type of sewage loss was part of the flooding problem, bacteria and dangerous pathogens could have been absorbed by carpets, furnishings, and walls. In addition to completely drying and cleaning the area, cleanup technicians must also use specific cleansers and treatments to rid the property of these contaminants.
Floods are likely to happen anywhere in the country. They may be the result of natural disasters, poor maintenance, or other types of disasters. After the flooding, mold growth or sewage remains can result in lingering odors. Contact professionals as soon after flooding as possible to avoid bad smells and other secondary damage.
3 Tips for Preventing Mold After a Flood
After flooding or water damage, open windows and doors of the house to aid in the drying out process
Preventing Mold After Flood
Every homeowner hopes to escape the devastating effects of a flood. Whether you live near the coast or somewhere with torrential storms, flooding is a possibility for many residents. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prepare for catastrophic events. One of the most damaging effects of a flood is mold. Here are three tips for preventing mold growth after a flood.
1. Use Caution Upon Reentry
The most important point to remember before reentering your home after a flood is safety. Try your best to enter your home during the day so that you don’t have to turn on any power. Never try to turn on the electricity if you’re standing in water. Instead, contact an electrician to turn the power on. Once you enter your home, pay attention to smells, especially gas. If you do notice a gas smell, leave your home immediately and contact the gas company. If there is no gas smell, open the windows and doors to air out your Baton Rouge, LA, home.
2. Dry Your Home
To prevent mold growth, you need to dry out your home as fast as possible. Mold can grow and spread in as little as 48 hours; thus, it’s prudent to work quickly. Once an electrician has determined that it’s safe for you to use power, use a wet-dry vacuum to get rid of standing water. Open up your windows and doors to assist in the drying process. Fans are good to help remove moisture but be sure to point them near windows or doors so that air is blowing outside your home and not inward. You don’t want to spread mold by circulating the mold spores in your home.
3. Contact Professionals
Mold can cause significant damage to your home. In order to ensure a thorough and safe clean up, it’s wise to contact mold remediation specialists. These technicians have the training, equipment, and expertise to safely and effectively remediate any mold growth in your home.
While you hope to never experience flooding in your lifetime, it’s wise to know what to do in an emergency situation. Always remember safety is paramount upon reentering your home, dry out your home as quickly as possible and contact professionals to assist with mold removal.
Emergency planning for your Pets
SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge understands how important your pets are. They are family!
- Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.
- Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station and monitor TV, radio, and follow mobile alert and mobile warnings about severe weather in your area.
- Download the FEMA app, receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.
Make a Plan
Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today.
If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:
- Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
- Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
- Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit.
- Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
- Consider an out-of-town friend or relative
- Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
- Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
- Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
- If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
- Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
- If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!
Saving your personal belongings post-flood
Cleanup after a flood is different than any other type of cleaning. If your home has been hit by a storm, hurricane, or levy break, you know it can be a nightmare. Sifting through personal possessions soaked in filthy black water can be difficult, and while the items may be filled with memories, they can also now carry contaminants. Once content cleaning begins, it can be difficult to know what can be saved and what needs to be discarded. Here are a few simple rules for cleaning up after a deluge.
1. If an item can soak up water, think of it like a sponge filled with potential toxins. This includes clothing, bedding, carpets, and couches.
2. Nonporous surfaces can often be cleaned with a disinfectant. Special care should be taken to remove any possibility of mold or mildew growth.
3. If two surfaces touch on a nonporous item, the possibility of mold or mildew rises astronomically. Think oil paintings in frames, handles on metal cabinets, and plastic drawer bins.
4. Textiles can often be salvaged if they can be washed and dried within 48 hours. There are exceptions to fabric content cleaning, however. It is not recommended that wool, leather, and silk items be washed. Often, wool can shrink, leather may crack or lose its shape, and silk can become brittle after being in a dryer.
5. If you have access to a working bathtub immediately after a flood, you can often save nonporous objects. Soak small items of metal, plastic, or other manufactured materials in a disinfecting solution until you have time to deal with them.
6. Freeze damaged heirloom books, framed pictures, or important papers in plastic bags. This may allow more time to contemplate conservation efforts such as photocopying.
Consider contacting a flood restoration specialist team in Baton Rouge, LA, to help with content cleaning and item removal after a saturating water disaster. Knowledgeable experts can provide drying and dehumidifying equipment and bring in a workforce to assist with cleanup efforts.
Guidelines for Cleaning a Home After a Flood
Water extraction in a Gardere,LA home
There is no way around it; a flood is a destructive event, especially if it hits your home in Gardere, LA. At the minimum, your home will likely suffer water damage that harms contents, flooring, walls, and carpeting. Your first impulse, once you know everyone is safe, is to begin the cleanup process as soon as possible. Speed is important, but so is safety and making sure the right methods are used. Working with a local storm remediation franchise ensures the highest professional standards of cleaning and restoration are followed. Trained and certified technicians will, in most cases, follow the guidelines recommended by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification agency.
Standards for Restoring a Home
The IICRC publishes brochures that cover practical standards for cleaning for restoring a home affected by a flood or any type of damage caused by water. The guidelines have been developed with the following principles in mind:
- To establish the basic principles of water restoration
- To rely on input from professional organizations
- To make use of companies with practical experience in cleaning methods
Cleaning up after a flood almost always involves the removal of contaminated or black water, which calls for specialized techniques and equipment. This water may contain pathogens, sewage, and harmful chemicals. As a threat to human health, it should be treated with caution and handled professionally.
Choosing the Right Method of Restoration
In the aftermath of a flood, it also is likely that a wide range of materials has suffered water damage. Each material calls for a different method of treatment. The techniques for treating materials such as drywall and insulation differ from the techniques for cleaning clothing and upholstery. The IICRC also publishes recommended standards for cleaning upholstery, treating heating and cooling systems, and dealing with mold containment and assessment. Professional standards have been developed to make sure your home is cleaned and restored to the highest levels.
Heavy rains in Arlington, LA
Flood damage to your Arlington, LA, business can be a major headache. Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take to minimize the damage caused by heavy rains.
Before the Flood
Long before flooding is on the horizon, it is important to make an emergency plan for your business. This plan should include the following information:
- Location of emergency supplies
- Evacuation routes
- Communication protocols
- Higher elevation sheltering locations for employees and customers
When severe weather is imminent, there are some additional steps you can take to mitigate the storm damage. Use sand bags or inflatable dams to form a barrier around your building. If possible, move important items to higher ground.
During the Flood
While the heavy rains are falling, it is important to keep yourself and your employees safe. Make sure to stay informed. If the power is still on, you can get alerts on your phone or computer, and you can watch the local news. If the power is out, listen to your battery-operated radio. Avoid driving and walking through flooded areas.
After the Flood
When the rain has stopped, it is time to begin cleaning up the flood damage. Every situation is different, so the remediation process will vary. The most important thing is your and your employees' safety, so do not begin working until you are sure it is safe. Turn off the power and gas, and wear protective clothing. Then you can begin the cleanup process. First, remove standing water using buckets or pumps. Dry out remaining water using fans and dehumidifiers. Next, begin cleaning all affected items using a disinfectant cleaner. Everything that cannot be sanitized and dried, including fiberglass insulation, should be thrown away. When everything is clean and dry, you can begin making repairs to the damaged items.
Safety should always come first during a flood or other emergency. However, after the danger has passed, you will want to begin cleaning up the flood damage as soon as possible to prevent further problems. An experienced restoration team can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.