4 Important Elements of Content Cleaning After a Fire
Fire damage in Cedar City, UT.
When a commercial fire strikes, your company in Cedar City, UT, will have a lot of steps to take before the recovery is complete. Not only will you need to deal with the insurance company and the restoration and cleaning of your facility, but you will also need to make sure all of the damaged contents in your building are looked at. This process involves several important elements such as deciding on replace versus restore and whether dry-cleaning will work on smoke-damaged fabrics.
4 Crucial Steps for Content Cleaning After a Business Fire
1. Restore or Replace
After a fire, it is important to make cleaning decisions based on knowledge and evidence. Not all contents can be cleaned, but some can, so how do you tell the difference? An experienced fire remediation franchise will pretest items and see if they are good candidates for cleaning. Whenever possible, restoring clothes and upholstery is more economical and it can also preserve special items that are irreplaceable. Technicians won't assume that an item can't be restored and will use rigorous testing methods to determine the viability of cleaning.
2. Content Cleaning Methods
A fire impacts all types of materials, from the glass of windows to the ceramics of bathroom tiles to the fabrics of clothes and upholstery. An experienced remediation team will match the material to the optimal cleaning method. They will use dry-cleaning for clothes and furniture, and ultrasonic options for certain nonporous items. Other effective options for cleaning damaged contents include the following methods:
- Wet cleaning
- Spray and wipe
- Foam cleaning
- Abrasive cleaning
- Immersion cleaning
3. Pack Outs and Moving
In some cases, it makes more sense to remove items from the fire-damaged area. This has dual benefits, such as making the area of cleanup less cluttered and protecting fragile items. It can also make the entire process more efficient. Content storage is a technique that is used in the aftermath of a fire, especially when you have insurance coverage for this process.
When the rest of your building is cleaned and restored, the items can then be moved back into your building. This is done on a schedule that meets the needs of your company.
4. Electrical Cleaning
Many specific requirements exist for cleaning and protecting electrical components after a fire. The fine film from soot and smoke can make computers, printers, television sets and other devices susceptible to additional damage if not treated properly. Items should not be turned on until cleaned and prompt action should be taken to stop corrosion and further damage.
In most cases, only a qualified electronics person can inspect and clean sensitive equipment. Often, due to fire fighting efforts, the devices also have water damage, further complicating the cleanup. While many devices can be restored after a fire, there are times when the damage is too extensive and items will need to be replaced.
With a variety of cleaning options available to them, technicians can restore many contents to good condition. Dry-cleaning and other methods can help restore many of the items damaged in a business fire.
4 Immediate Steps To Take for Your Flooded Company
Flooding in a commercial building.
Water damage is one of the most common and most expensive causes of concern for your business in Cedar City, UT. Unfortunately, your flooded company will experience much more damage if you hesitate to have the situation corrected right away.
Address Content Cleaning in Your Flooded Company Immediately
Mold growth, mildew, unpleasant odors, and stains are some of the biggest concerns regarding your property and your belongings. In as little as 24 hours, mold spores could begin their work of breaking down the organic materials in your building and furnishings. Secondary damage, such as shorts caused by rust on electronics and wiring, continues as long as moisture is present.
1. Establish a Safe Environment
Depending on the cause of water damage, you may need to evacuate your building and make sure that employees and customers are safely away from all potential sources of risk. You also need to shut off the source of water and turn off all electricity coming into your building. Don’t wait until an emergency strikes to become familiar with the shutoff valves and switches on your property. You must be familiar with these fixtures, maintain access to them and practice using them.
There are risks to approaching cleanup in your flooded company. These include contamination from black water, exposure to structural weakness and injuries or additional damage because of hidden dangers.
2. Contact Insurance and Cleanup Providers
It takes time for your insurance company to respond to your claim. Several professionals are involved, including an adjuster and the water damage cleanup and repair technicians. The sooner you get your case moving forward, the sooner you’ll get your property back in business. Your insurance company may recommend a cleanup agency that should arrive right away to tarp and board up any damaged doors, windows and building structures.
3. Begin the Drying Process
When it is safe for you to return to your property, work with professionals to remove water and reduce humidity throughout the building. This generally involves the installation of commercial-grade fans, increasing ventilation and removing soggy contents from the building. As you carry out equipment and furniture, be aware of the potential for damaging your belongings and for physical injuries. Make sure that you have a place to store your belongings where they can continue to dry without becoming vulnerable to more damage.
4. Clean, Repair, Restore and Replace
While technicians focus on high-priority tasks inside, you can begin sorting through your belongings. Electronics, books, sensitive paperwork, computers and similar items should be sorted according to the attention they need. Some may require a simple cleaning while others will be thrown out and replaced. Cleanup pros may provide specialized cleaning, including dry cleaning and disinfection, for some of your furnishings. Some possessions may have more value than others, and these should be cared for right away. For example, valuable artwork or hardwood furniture needs to be treated by professionals and not allowed to sit.
Whether you are responding to a broken pipe or water stains after a heavy downpour, the actions you take right after a water disaster will affect the long-term outcome on your property. Keep your flooded company safe by acting immediately.
Tips for Keeping Your Sump Pump in Top Condition
Flooding in a local home.
A basement is more prone to water accumulation simply from its lower location. As a homeowner in Cedar City, UT, you should focus on keeping this area dry and maintaining a functioning sump pump.
5 Tips for Caring for Your Home's Sump Pump
You may not enter your basement daily, but you do want to keep it dry and free from harm. Sump pumps allow you to go about your day while monitoring the water buildup. The pump often sits in a lower portion of the space. Water drains into it, and when water levels hit a particular point, the unit turns on, pulling fluid from the structure.
Get proactive, checking the pump. You don't want this device to fail. If it does, you could have a flood on your hand, requiring a water restoration company to clean up the mess. Use the following maintenance tips to verify your unit is in working order.
1. Clear Out Debris
Make it a priority to check your device for buildup. When the water flows into it, rocks, girt and small items get picked up. These items block the flow, preventing the sump pump from working its best. Therefore, examine the inlet screen every few months and after severe storms.
2. Complete a Test Run
Set aside a few times a year to ensure the pump works correctly. Grab a bucket of water, and pour it down the pump's opening. It should trigger a response, kicking it into action. Keep an eye on the flow. Ensure the water heads into the pipes and out of the house. Once outside, it should move away from the foundation. If you suspect a problem, call professionals in to make necessary repairs.
Don't wait to correct concerns. Any issues with this test indicate an improper operation which could lead to puddles and floods. Water damage occurs quickly and allows for mold growth to start.
3. Clear Out the Lines
Debris can move from the screen into the unit's lines. When you complete your pump maintenance check, keep an eye on how the water moves once in the device. If it's not leaving quickly or seems sluggish, turn off the pump and disconnect the pump tubes. Clear it out to improve the movement.
4. Examine the Float
The pump relies on a floating control system. When the water enters, it moves to the top, sensing the fluid levels. If it's obstructed at all, it could fail to react correctly. The device may run too long, overworking the system or fail to respond, allowing water buildup. See that it's moving upwards and has nothing blocking its path.
5. Verify Battery and Electric Work
The pump plugs into an electrical circuit. Double-check its functionality. Ensure the cord isn't worn or frayed. Furthermore, your unit should turn on with a battery backup if the electricity goes out. These die after a few years, so note when you put it in and change it every couple of years.
As a concerned homeowner in Cedar City, UT, recognize the significance of your sump pump. This device protects from flood damage, mitigating harm and restoration costs. Strive to check on it often, ensuring it's in good condition.
Fire Emergency Tips for Homeowners With Pets
Follow our Fire Emergency Tips and protect your Pets, Family and Property.
Your pets bring you incalculable joy and comfort, and their well-being is likely a high priority for your family. That's why they need to be part of any fire emergency plan you have for your home in Cedar City, UT.
Pet Safety Strategies To Use During a Fire
Any animal you have in your home depends on you for its safety and care. Pet preparation for a home fire boils down to rescue assistance, accident prevention and an emergency escape plan.
Make Pet Rescue as Easy as Possible
When you travel, you likely take your pets with you or leave them with a sitter. If they're home alone while you're out for the day, though, your pets still need a way to get out in the event of a fire. Most of the time, the task is going to fall to the firefighters who arrive on the scene.
Their main priorities, however, are going to be making sure that there are no people to rescue and putting the fire out so that it doesn't spread. There are a few precautions you can take ahead of time to make it easier to free your pets:
- Place a pet alert decal on a window near the front door of your home. This tells firefighters or anyone else who may need to enter that the animals are present.
- Keep pets near the front door when you leave your home for the day so that the emergency team doesn't have to look for them.
- Make sure your pets are wearing collars and that leashes are within grasp near the front door.
Prevent Animals From Starting Fires
The best way to handle a fire emergency is to keep it from happening altogether. Pets don't recognize fire hazards, so you need to take precautions on their behalf. Never leave a pet alone with an open flame. You may not think it's a big deal to leave the room with the fireplace still blazing or a lit candle sitting on the table, but it only takes a matter of seconds for a curious cat or dog to get too close and cause a problem.
Young pets are particularly prone to accidents. If you ever leave your young dog alone at home, for example, you need to puppy-proof any area it has access to. Remove the knobs from the stove so that the animal doesn't chew or brush against them and ignite the burners. Better yet, keep young pets crated or sequestered away from potential threats.
Include Pets in Evacuation Plans
Any fire escape plan you have for your family needs to include pet safety. Designate a specific member of the family to make sure the pets get out. Incorporate the animals in your family fire drills so that they are more likely to remain calm and listen to commands if an actual emergency occurs.
Certified restoration experts advise that you adequately prepare the whole family for a fire emergency. This includes any pets that live in your home. Understanding how to keep your beloved animals safe is a key component of pet ownership.
Why You Should Not Use Chemicals To Clean a Clogged Drain
To Clean a Clogged Drain will be safer by following our tips.
A clogged drain does not just slow down your plumbing system. It could cause a severe backup that floods your Cedar City, UT, home. While sewage cleaning professionals can help you in this situation, you should also take steps to prevent water damage in your house. You may be tempted to use chemicals to clear your drain. However, they often do more harm than good.
Chemical Drain Cleaner Can Damage Your Pipes
Chemical cleaners either take electrons from the organic substances clogging your drain, or they give electrons to those substances. This process creates heat that breaks up the blockage. The main types of drain cleaners include:
- Oxidizing cleaners
- Acid cleaners
- Caustic cleaners
While these cleaners sound good in theory, they often just push the oil, grease or fat in your drain further down the pipes. This creates a new clog that may be even tougher to clear.
Potential Dangers of Chemical Cleaners
Chemical cleaners are not just ineffective. They are also harmful. Once they are poured down the clogged drain, the chemicals travel through the pipes and settle in rivers and lakes. The chemicals may then poison animals and destroy plants.
These cleaners could also affect you and your loved ones. The chemicals are strong enough to burn through your skin. This could leave you with rashes or other open sores. You may develop throat or eye irritation just from breathing in the toxic fumes.
Drain Cleaning Alternatives
There are two safer options for removing drain clogs. You should first try mechanically clearing the drain with an auger or plunger. A small cup plunger is perfect for sinks. To use it, remove the stopper from the drain and cover the hole with a slightly wet rag. Then fill the sink halfway and place the rubber cup of the plunger over the whole. Apply quick pressures and see if the water starts draining.
If you do need to pour a cleaner down the drain, opt for a more natural solution. You can make an effective homemade de-clogger with just a half cup of vinegar and a half cup of baking soda. Pour the baking soda into the drain first and follow with the vinegar. Use a damp cloth to keep the drain hole closed. After a few minutes, add hot water to flush away the debris. Pour the water using a tea kettle so you do not burn yourself.
Remember that PVC pipes soften when exposed to hot temperatures. If you have these pipes in your home, do not use boiling water when clearing the drain. Instead of making your own cleaner, you could also buy a solution made of eco-friendly enzymes. Enzymes essentially eat the organic materials that often cause clogs. However, enzyme cleaners may take up to 24 hours to work.
If you notice a clogged drain in your home, you should only use chemical cleaners as a last resort. Instead, try clearing the blockage with an auger or plunger. If that does not work, try pouring a non-toxic enzyme cleaner down your drain. This should break up the clog without introducing toxic chemicals into the environment.
Is Water Damage From a Frozen Pipe Burst Covered by Insurance?
Read these Tips and learn more about Frozen Pipes and Insurance coverage.
Discovering a pipe burst in your Cedar City, UT, home can turn into a devastating experience. The best approach is to do all you can to prevent your pipes from freezing. Even a small quantity of water can result in a lot of damage in a short time, so one of the first actions you'll need to take is to file an insurance claim with your homeowner's insurance company. Most of the time, insurance will cover loss from a burst pipe.
This coverage will help cover the costs of hiring the emergency cleanup services of water damage restoration professionals. Although nothing is guaranteed, the following tips can help you significantly reduce the chances of your pipes freezing so you don't have to worry about pipe bursts.
How To Prevent Frozen Pipes
1. Leave Your Faucets Dripping
On those freezing winter nights, you should leave the indoor faucets near exterior walls dripping. Letting them run slightly will keep water constantly flowing through your pipes, preventing the water from freezing and relieving pressure in frozen pipes.
2. Keep Your Thermostat Turned Up
During the coldest months of the year, it is essential to ensure your home's thermostat stays set to at least 55 degrees. Keeping your home at this temperature probably isn't a problem unless you plan to be away from home for an extended time. If you are leaving for a while during the cold months (e.g., if this is a vacation home), make sure the indoor temperature stays warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing.
3. Insulate Your Exposed Pipes
You have several choices for safeguarding your pipes, such as heat tape and foam insulation. It's important to insulate all exposed pipes, including the lines in and near your attic and crawlspace. You must also protect the pipes in your home's exterior walls. This protection will help you get the most reimbursement from an insurance claim. Also, keep the cabinets open during freezing temperatures to give your home's warm air easier access to the pipes underneath.
4. Maintain Your Exterior Faucets
When the weather begins getting cold, you should detach water hoses from exterior faucets. A hose attached to a tap won't allow it to drain thoroughly. In freezing temperatures, the water will freeze and then expand. This interior expansion will cause the faucet to break. If possible, it's also helpful to shut the water off to the exterior faucets. You can get faucet covers at a hardware or home improvement store to keep on the taps throughout the winter.
5. Shut Off Water Supply and Drain Your Pipes
If you are leaving your home and expect to be away for more than a couple of days in the winter, turn off the water supply to your home. Then drain the pipes to make sure there is no lingering water.
It's best to be proactive to try everything possible to avoid a pipe burst. However, nothing is guaranteed, and you may have to file a homeowners insurance claim. Call your homeowner's insurance company to review your coverage to be confident you're as prepared as possible if a disaster does occur.
Emergency Ready Plan
The cover of the emergency ready plan.
SERVPRO of Cedar City/Fillmore offers several services for commercial buildings. One such service is the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program (ERP). This is a free program that is offered to Help businesses to be prepared for a disaster.
Floods or fires can cause major problems for businesses. Some of these problems cause businesses to have to close, then they also have to close for a time while repairs are being attended to, having to restock the inventory, and the amount of time that it takes to get back to the operating condition can very much hurt a business for being shut down for a lengthy period of time.
Having an ERP done for your commercial building helps gather information such as the location of gas, electrical, and water shut-offs along with information about the size of your building and possible hazardous materials that are stored in your building to be ready to jump into action when a disaster is about to strike.
Knowing these things helps us be able to respond more quickly and it can be helpful to people who work at the building as well for not being out of a job for a while.
Noisy HVAC? Here’s Why and How to Fix It
Old HVAC systems make a lot of noise.
HVAC systems tend to make strange noises, but any homeowner can usually recognize when the sound changes into something different. Diagnosing where the sound is coming from is usually the first step to diagnosing the problem, but the type of noise itself can give you a major clue about the type of problem you’re dealing with. Here are 11 of the most common HVAC noises that you may encounter and how to handle them.
11 Common HVAC Noises and What They Mean
Something is loose or broken. Typically, this is either the furnace blower or the motor. Additionally, there could be debris inside the system. Check for loose screws. If the rattling gets louder as it runs, turn it off and get professional help because something is broken or disconnected.
Popping happens when warm air goes through cold ducts, but this should only happen when you haven’t used your heater in a while. Besides first turning on your system, you might hear popping noises if fluid is leaking or freezing.
Scraping or Thwapping
Typically, these scraping sounds are not indicative of monstrous issues, but a problem with the fans. Something is obstructing the fan blades from properly moving, which damages the blades, and the motor, and can even lead to a refrigerant leak.
Humming is caused by loose parts, electrical problems, or motor issues. While humming is not a dire problem itself, it’s often a harbinger of HVAC problems.
Clicking can happen for several reasons in an AC unit. It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause without the help of a technician. If your heater is clicking, it could mean there’s a problem with the ignition system.
A boom is often preceded by clicking. Your furnace will make a booming noise when it tries to light but doesn’t work. It will continue its attempts, creating a build-up of gas that lights up all at once when it finally ignites. A technician should take a look at it, but you may also need to have the flue and chamber inspected or cleaned.
If the hissing is coming from your AC, it’s usually due to an internal refrigerant leak in the compressor. Turn off the power to the AC immediately and get it checked. If your furnace is the source of the hissing, there’s likely a leak in the furnace itself or in a connected air duct that needs to be replaced.
There are four main reasons why your HVAC is buzzing: the compressor is malfunctioning, the refrigerant may be leaking and freezing the parts, debris is blocking regular movement, or there’s a loose part that’s shaking. If the buzz comes from your AC, you might need to clean the condenser coil or change the air filter. Regardless, you’ll want to get it looked at.
Clanking or Banging
Banging or clanking is similar to rattling and usually comes from a loose part of your system. You may need to replace the compressor, realign the fan blades, or balance the indoor blower if the noise is coming from your AC. A boiler will bang if scale forms on the heat exchanger as well.
Screeching or Squealing
A loud screech is typically the fault of a bad fan belt that needs to be replaced. However, it could also be caused by a malfunctioning motor or blower. Your motor could need lubricant, but if that doesn’t help, a technician will be able to determine the problem.
Whistling or Screaming
High-pitched whistling or screams are not a good sign. When the noise comes from a boiler, the air is likely trapped in the system. If your AC is the culprit, turn it off right away. There could be a leak that’s building into a high refrigerant pressure. Don’t turn it on again until you can have a professional look at it to determine the problem.
We Hear You: Calling in the Professionals
When you have a strange noise coming from your HVAC system, don’t panic. Follow these guides and contact a professional HVAC service to help you resolve the problem and the noise behind it.
To help prevent these unsettling noises and the even more frightening issues causing them, you should get your HVAC system checked once a year. If you have a heat pump that’s doing double-duty heating and cooling, you should schedule an appointment every 6 months. Regular tune-ups and inspections can save you lots of money—and frustration—down the road.
If your HVAC system is making any of these noises, contact the technicians at SERVPRO of Cedar City/Fillmore. We’ll diagnose the problem and, even better, fix it for you so that you can rest at ease again. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services!
Common causes of home fires
Fire on the rooftop of a home in Cedar City
There are several ways that fires can start within your home. As important as house fire prevention is if we were to try to list all of the ways that a fire can start in a home the list would quickly become longer than most people would want to read or be able to remember well. With this in mind, we will cover a few different and more common causes of house fires in this post and more causes in additional posts as well.
Cooking: Overheating pots or pans, cooking with oil, using high temperatures, becoming distracted, and leaving the kitchen unattended are all contributing factors to fires that start while cooking.
Heating Systems: Ways to avoid your heating system becoming the source of a home fire start with proper maintenance such as an annual inspection of your furnace by a qualified technician, and having your chimney cleaned. It is also helpful to keep portable heaters at a safe distance from flammable material.
Smoking: The use of deep ashtrays can be helpful in avoiding a fire caused by smoking. Ensure that all cigarettes are extinguished before being tossed, keep ashtrays on non-flammable surfaces, and ensure that all cigarettes/embers that may have fallen are removed from any furniture.
As was mentioned this list of common house fire causes is not all-inclusive. While we always hope that you are not affected by a house fire we know that even when preventative measures are taken house fires still happen.
If you experience a house fire one of the best things that you can do is to call. We have extensive experience with the cleaning and remediation of fire-damaged homes. We also are well versed in working with insurance companies. Our goal is to make it "Like it never even happened."
Smoke Alarms: Life Savers
Smoke alarms installation can save lives.
Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level including the basement. In-office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshal to help ensure all codes are met.
Test smoke alarms monthly by using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit itself should be replaced every ten years.
If the alarm is sounding, it is signaling a low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Do not ever disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of all fires where smoke alarms were present did not activate and had missing or disconnected batteries.
In larger commercial facilities, hardwired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area.
if you require assistance installing, testing, or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician, or the American Red Cross.
Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills.