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Preventing Water Damage While You're Away

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

living room underwater Don't come home to a water disaster!

Many things can go wrong in your home while you’re on vacation, most commonly leaks and water damage. Learn how to help prevent and reduce the risk of water damage when you’re away from your home:

Check for Leaks

Before you leave on vacation, be sure to check around your house for any leaks. Pipes under sinks, your water heater, anything resembling rust, cracks, or other damage. It’s important to check the seals around your windows and the exterior of your home as well. If you find any leakage, be sure to fix it right away so everything can be repaired and in good condition before you leave.

Inspect Appliances

Important appliances such as your dishwasher, washer/dryer, and refrigerator are all connected to your home by hoses. If these hoses are damaged in any way, they can cause major water damage to your home. Inspect your appliances and, if needed, replace their hoses prior to leaving on vacation.

Clean Your Gutters

Cleaning leaves and other debris out from your gutters before taking a vacation is an easy way to prevent potential blockage and build up. To learn more about the advantages of clean gutters, click here.

Turn Off the Water

Whenever you leave your home for an extended period of time, it’s important to turn off the water main and make sure the pipes are completely drained. This will stop any water from continually leaking in your home while you’re away. Simply run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water.

Have Someone Check on Your Home

Coordinate to have someone come over and check on your home while you’re away. Having a friend, neighbor, or family member keep an eye on your property can help keep it in good shape, and they can notify you immediately if something goes wrong.

With these tips, you can truly enjoy your vacation with the peace of mind that your home is safe from any potential water damage that could occur in your absence. If your home does suffer from water damage, call our SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus Team!

The Water You Don't See

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

moisture meter on hardwood floors If you find water hiding in your home, call our SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus Team today! Don't wait!

Even the smallest  water damaged areas have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly restoration in the future  is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your residential home or commercial property. SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus has the professional equipment, highly-trained staff and proven experience to detect and dry hidden water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. Our SERVPRO Team will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO to detect and find hidden moisture:

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
  • Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing us to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When presented with this information, our technicians can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and deodorized.
  • Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach.

The bottom line? SERVPRO Northeast Columbus has the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today!

Does Your Business Have a Fire Evacuation Plan?

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

fire extinguisher and fire exit in building If your commercial property has suffered a fire, call our SERVPRO experts who are faster to any size fire disaster!

Workplace fires may not seem like a common occurrence, but they are something that any business owner is wise to prepare for. Not only are commercial fires more commonplace than many people realize, but they can also be rather dangerous—especially when they occur at businesses that do not have a proper fire evacuation plan in place.

Not only is having an emergency action plan an OSHA-mandated requirement for many businesses, but it is also a smart choice for keeping you and your staff safe in the event of a fire breaking out. Fires can be a frightening occurrence, and without a clear course of action, panic can quickly derail the scenario and prohibit people from acting rationally.

Elements to Consider When Drafting Your Workplace Fire Evacuation Plan

- Consider Where a Fire is Likely to Break Out - 

  • Fires can break out for a variety of reasons—issues in the office kitchen, overloaded electrical outlets or equipment malfunctions are all common sources of commercial fires, and these all have very different origin spots. It is important to consider where a fire is likely to break out in your space and draft plans that account for all possible scenarios so everyone can escape a fire of any kind.

- Consider Your Exits -

  • Every area of your commercial space should have two exits at minimum so that people can get to safety even if one exit becomes blocked. If you are not on the ground floor, this may require purchasing safety ladders that can be routed outside of windows. Make sure that every area has at least two exits that are clear from debris and remain passable at all times.

- Consider Your Communication Plan - 

  • It is important that you communicate with staff as well as emergency officials in the event of a fire. Designate a person on your staff to be in charge of calling 911, and designate another member to be in charge of communicating with employees and relaying instructions. That way there will be no confusion, and everyone will know what their role is in the scenario.

Water Removal is an Important Part of Fire Damage Restoration Process

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

firefighters putting out fire Call SERVPRO right after the fire fighters leave for best results. Dealing with both fire and water damage requires trained professionals.

Restoring Fire Damage Undoubtedly Includes Dealing With Water Damage As Well

When you visualize the effects of fire to your Columbus residence, you often think of things like charred belongings and extensive structural damages. While fires might not always cause this kind of devastation, they can often prove challenging to extinguish through traditional firefighting efforts. The result of this could be extensive water damages from the thousands of gallons pulled from a close hydrant to suppress the flames.
 
Professional restoration services like what we offer at SERVPRO go well beyond the basic fire damage restoration needs. From the moment that we arrive at your home, our assessment of the damage begins, meticulously looking over the entire affected area and putting together the most efficient restoration plan possible.
 
Our efforts will most likely begin with boarding up windows or sealing up any holes that your home might have experienced due to the fire itself or the extinguishing efforts. The sealing prevents any further damage during the restoration process from bad weather or the elements outside. If there is water damage present, our SERVPRO technicians get to work on fixing this problem next.
 
Water damage needs to be remedied most expediently because it can continue to damage your home if it is left unattended. Moreover, the presence of water mixed with some warmer temperatures can provide ideal conditions for mold growth, which would only compound on the restoration efforts that you already need. So, extraction and drying have to be among the first steps taken when water damage exists in the house.
 
The process of extracting water is contingent on the amount that is in your house. For extreme cases, pump trucks might be brought in to pull large volumes from the floor quickly. For more moderate messes, extraction can get accomplished using portable pumps and wet-vacs. Once the area dries with air movers, a full assessment of the remaining fire damage is possible, and work can resume on this front.
 
Dealing with a fire to your home undoubtedly comes with considerable stress. Our SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus team is available anytime you need us at (614) 888-5700.

The Long Term Impact A Fire Has On Your Home

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

house on fire SERVPRO Is Ready to Restore Your Fire Damaged Property

It takes time for your family to recover from a fire. The emotional impact is severe. Children have nightmares; pets show signs of anxiety. It is equally hard on you, as you try to keep the family running along normal lines. At the same time, you are dealing with insurance companies, finding temporary accommodations, and attempting to come up with the money to replace lost clothing and furnishings.

 
The physical effect of fire damage is also long term. Fires can gut a home, leaving a charred mess in its wake. However, even a smaller fires can result in ongoing damage, often unseen, but major nonetheless. A smoky smell can linger for months if it is not treated promptly. Black soot can cover countertops and furniture. Appliances can break down.
 
Our technicians at SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus have the experience and training to handle the after effects of a fire, big or small. We are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, which sets the standards for the industry. We receive highly specialized training in how to clean up after a fire, deodorize, and clean upholstery and fabric. Our focus is always on cleaning and repair, restoring only when necessary.
 
We encounter fire damage on a daily basis, so we know what to look for when we conduct a comprehensive inspection and fire damage assessment. We can board up the house and install a roof tarp if needed. We are experts in water removal and drying.
 
When it comes to getting rid of smoke and soot residue, we combine multiple techniques to get the job done. For example, to remove bad odors, we might use a mix of chemical containment, vapor odor control, and thermal fogging. We have the cutting-edge equipment, tools and cleaning agents that get the soot and smell off all surfaces.
 
When you are faced with cleaning up after a blaze, we can help. SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus is available 24/7. Call us at (614) 888-5700!

Signs You Have A Sewer Line Issue

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

sewer drain A blocked sewer line can wreak havoc on a business and may even lead to significant business interruption.

While a blocked sewer drain is relatively common in commercial properties, legitimate concerns over sewer line functionality may be few and far between. However, when major sewer line issues occur, it is essential to remedy the problems quickly to avoid potential backups and structural damage. Be aware of these four signs, which may indicate sewer line problems.

1. Odors

While drain or toilet overflow are frequent problems in commercial properties, you should pay attention to odors surrounding these problems. For instance, if after clearing a clog you smell sewer gas, you may want to call a plumber for an inspection, as strong sewer smells can be an indicator of issues further in the line.

2. Clogged Drains

A blocked sewer will not only cause unpleasant odors to occur in your building, but the blocked pipe can also cause frequent clogging of your drains and toilets. This problem may also cause sewer backups into your facility.

3. Indentations in Landscaping

Also, while you may not have any clogging issues, it is still possible that your sewer lines have failed. Pipe breaks may cause indentations in your landscaping, like divots on the lawn. If the break is severe enough, it is possible that sewage is leaking into the grounds of your property. Eventually, this can also lead to a sewage backup in your building.

4. Deformations in Landscaping

In addition to indentations in the lawn, you may notice perpetual puddling in certain areas. You may also see that areas of your parking lot have sunken or cracked along with sidewalks. Depending on how close the break is to your building, you may even notice cracks in the foundation. These issues often require the expertise of a disaster restoration specialist in the area to resolve, which depending on your insurance policy may be covered.

You should be aware of the warning signs of such a problem so that you can resolve the issue as early as possible.

Sump Pump Back Ups In Your Residential Home

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

equipment set after sump pump back up This residential basement experienced water damage due to a sump pump back up.

Our SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus Team sees many flooded basements due to sump pump issues. If you have a sump pump, follow these steps.

First things first, check with your insurance agent to review your coverages! It is very frustrating for owners to find out they did not have any coverage or insufficient coverage.

How do you know if you need sump pump coverage or not?  Look at what you have in the basement. If you have an unfinished basement and just concrete floors, without any contents (or very few and not valuable), then you probably won't suffer much of a loss other than the cleanup effort from someone like us at SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus, who specializes in cleaning up floods and backups in homes and businesses. If you have a finished basement and contents that you would want to be replaced if ruined, then the cost of replacing and repairing everything grows very quickly, and insurance can be a good way to protect your investment (in your contents, and structure--walls, etc).

Take time today to reach out to your insurance agent for a coverage review--you may be surprised how under insured you are, not only for your home or business, but also your vehicles, health, and life. No, we are not insurance guru's, but we see their clients--YOU, and they are either very upset with the situation because of no coverage or under insured, or just a little frustrated with the situation, but feel better about it when they know it is a covered loss! 

Another precaution is to make sure you are paying attention to the weather and when we get a bunch of rain, then make sure you go downstairs to catch a problem as early as possible. Many times, property owners do not realize they have a water loss until they start to smell something and go downstairs to see. The longer the water sits, the more damage and discard items you can expect...including your carpet, pad, and drywall that was affected. 

Sump Pump Maintenance

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

sump pump Sump pump failures can cause devastating water damage to your home.

A sump pump is one of the most important parts of basement plumbing equipment. It makes sure that any accumulated water in your home and around its foundation is promptly pumped out and away from your home to a storm sewer or containment pond, so it doesn't allow your basement to flood, damaging your possessions. At least, that's what it is supposed to do. If your sump pump is not regularly and properly tested, then you can't guarantee that it will come through when you need it most.

1. Inspect the pump and its outlet pipe

Start the inspection by listening. If there is excessive groundwater around the foundation, the pump should turn itself on, pumping out the water and turning itself off again. Next, remove the cover and look inside the sump pit. If the level of water is low, there is a high chance the pump is working properly. Examine the sump pump for any signs of external damage, as well as any obstructions or debris in the surrounding pit. You will also want to see if the outlet pipe that carries water from the pump to outside your home is free of any blockage. And the check valve is working properly.

2. Check the electrical components

Your sump pump should be plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, which protects it from a potential short while it is submerged. Consider getting yourself a battery-based backup pump for your sump pump that will kick on if your primary sump pump fails.

3. Test the sump pump

Test your sump pump by pouring in five gallons of water. The pump should then turn on once the water level reaches a predetermined level below the basement floor. If the pump doesn’t turn on, it could be either clogged or damaged, and you should call a licensed plumber for help.

4. Clean and maintain your sump pump

The typical lifespan of a sump pump is 10 years but if your sump pump is running often, you should consider replacing it every 5 to 7 years. Inspect and test your sump pump at least once a year. To be safe, check your sump pump before a big storm hits your area.

If you experience a loss due to your sump pump failing, don't hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus!

How Can I Reduce The Level Of Flood Damage In My Home?

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

water damaged carpet in basement The furniture had to be removed from the affected area to be cleaned separately.

For many Columbus residents, any storm-related flooding can be a traumatic event. While there are methods to prepare for flooding like reinforcing your roof or removing expensive furniture, there is little help in an emergency's immediate aftermath. Our SERVPRO technicians can help you overcome flooding by performing vital mitigation acts quickly after a storm event.

Flood mitigation in Columbus may include actions like removing standing water from the home, drying inner rooms, or temporarily storing possessions at our warehouse. Contacting a highly qualified restoration company immediately after discussing your coverages with your insurance carrier can go a long way to reducing the losses caused by a flood after the fact.

What preventative measures are useful for storm areas?
- Taking out a flood insurance policy
- Maintaining water disposal in the home such as basement sump pumps, gutters, and drainage
- Turning off water mains access ahead of time to avoid backups

Do floodwaters permanently damage furnishings?
Furnishings are frequently victims of flood damage for residents. We understand how many items may be difficult to replace in a home, so our dedicated SERVPRO technicians are expertly trained in contents restoration. Larger items like sofas may benefit from temporary removal to a dry area where they can be thoroughly dehumidified to remove any excess moisture. Our technicians can also apply an extensive range of cleaning products and techniques to return upholstery to its preloss condition. By pre-testing on discrete areas of the fabric, we can avoid lasting damages of color fade or spot.

What restoration is available for furnishings?
- Thorough drying of the affected furniture
- Special services for leather, satin, or other unique upholstery
- Buffering and mechanical cleaning of furniture fibers

An unexpected summer storm can lead to extensive damage to both your home and its contents. Contact our SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus Team at (614) 888-5700 for assistance.

Why Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

technician in ppe doing covid clean Our technician sanitizing a commercial building in PPE

Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.

It is important at SERVPRO of Northeast Columbus that our technicians are as safe as possible while working for our wonderful customers so we can get the job done right and efficiently.  

Although it isn't the most fashionable outfit of the season, it is absolutely necessary in some situations!

Our SERVPRO Team protects ourselves so we can better serve you!