How to Protect Your Home if You Live in a Flood Zone
Devastating water damage in a flood zone
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOME IF YOU LIVE IN A FLOOD ZONE
Each year homeowners face the possibility of flooding, whether it’s from melting snow or a pipe burst. It’s important to stay prepared and to protect your home if you live in or near a flood zone. Although you can’t stop a flood, you can minimize the impact that water has on your home. Below are a few tips to help you keep water from invading or destroying your home.
Have a Plan of Action
Most flood damage occurs because homeowners are unaware of the flooding in their homes at first. The best thing you can do if you think you live in a flood zone is to have a plan of action in advance. Here is a checklist of items to consider:
- Store all important documents in a watertight secure lockbox
- Have a second lockbox for jewelry and all valuables
- Keep phone numbers for moving companies and storage units in case you have enough time to move your furniture and other possessions
- Contact SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree in advance and set up a game plan for protecting your home or getting quick service after a flood
Invest in Sandbags and Flood Barriers
Let’s face it, sometimes homes are simply susceptible to water damage. Lower flood water, however, can be contained by simply laying out sandbags and flood barriers around your doors. Even if some water manages to get in, sandbags and flood barriers can minimize the damage and save you thousands of dollars in home repairs.
Rethink Your Home’s Construction
If you are building a new home or renovating your current home, then invest in components that are waterproof or create a tighter seal around the structure. Some of these components include:
- Concrete flooring instead of wooden floor boards
- One-way valves in your plumbing to prohibit water backup in the plumbing system
- Water proofing electrical outlets
- Cement render and lime plaster
- Water resistant doors and window frames
- Flood skirts around brick homes
If your home has recently suffered from flood damage, then contact SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree. We offer complete water damage service for home and business owners in the South Shore area. You can call us at 617-774-8583.
How Long is Too Long? Dealing with Water Damage.
Flood Damage Impacting Houses on a Neighborhood
HOW LONG IS TOO LONG? DEALING WITH WATER DAMAGE
If you’ve encountered flooding, heavy rain or a busted pipe, don’t wait to contact SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree. Take care of your personal items right away but consult an expert on how to handle repairing your home from the water damage and taking the first steps.
Step One: Get Rid of Standing Water
First, you’ll need to get rid of standing water. Use buckets, towels, and mops to get rid of excess fluids. Make sure your electrical outlet areas are clear first, as exposed outlets can be a hazard. After experiencing water damage, the most important thing you can do is protect the area from mold growth, long-term carpet damage and ongoing safety issues.
Step Two: Disconnect All Electronics
After saving the electrical outlets, head for any large electronics. Lamps, televisions, gaming systems, and other large objects should be lifted. Place them on counters and tables, and make sure their cords aren’t exposed to the waters below. Water and electricity don’t mix.
Step Three: Disinfect the Area
Once you’ve cleared any standing water, you’ll need to disinfect the area. Disinfect any insulation, wood beams and drywall. Even if your sewer pipes haven’t been broken, rising floodwater can lift bacteria from the ground. Once the water is cleared, the bacteria can stick around—clinging to any exposed surfaces.
Step Four: Stop the Mold Growth
It pays off to focus on mold, directly. Once you’ve disinfected the area, apply some Concrobium across the area. This includes any walls, floors, and furniture impacted by the water. Any area susceptible to mold growth should be targeted. Once you’ve applied the layer, let it sit overnight. This material stops mold growth immediately. While it’ll wear off eventually, SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree, by then, will have taken over.
Always contact a restoration company such as SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree. One of our emergency services include mold prevention, but it’s a good idea to include mold prevention as part of your water damage restoration plan. Over time, your home will be back to its normal state. Treat the situation with care, and prep the home for SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree. Move any furniture, and make it easy to access heavily damaged areas. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree professionals are there to help, and they’re more effective when they can easily access such areas.
Fire Damage: What to Expect in the First 48 Hours
We are Faster to Any Size Disaster and will make it "Like it never even happened."
FIRE DAMAGE: WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE FIRST 48 HOURS
For any family living in South Shore, Massachusetts, a fire can be devastating. While many fires can cause mass destruction (or in some cases total destruction), other fires only cause minimal structural damage to a home. Fires do, however, fill up a house with a smoke smell and stains and fire, which can cause burn stains without contact. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree can arrive on site and begin the process of cleaning up the mess. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree can restore the inside and outside of the home by providing cosmetic cleanup services in a fraction of the time that a homeowner can perform the work. The key is to act fast and call SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree as soon as possible.
THE FIRST CALL YOU'LL MAKE: SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree
Although it's counter-intuitive to think that you'd call anyone before your insurance provider, the first phone call you'll make after a fire outside of your family is a restoration company such as SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree. We will perform an inspection for the purpose of confirming what the fire destroyed. We can also determine the scope and amount of destruction caused to the house.
When the insurance adjuster arrives to perform his or her inspection of the damage, SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree can confirm the amount of work that will be required to restore the house. Keep in mind, SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree's job is to be objective and represent the facts. By doing so, your chances of being compensated for damage is greater.
CALL SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree IMMEDIATELY:
One of the worst things you can do in the first 48 hours is to delay calling a restoration company. Fire, like water, can cause massive damage that only worsens the longer it goes without repair. Processing insurance payments and scheduling repairs can take time. So you need to act quickly in order to protect and restore your home. If a fire breaks out in the kitchen or bathroom, there can also be water damage from leaking pipes. Your ability to begin the process of restoration in a timely manner can save you more money in further damage caused by outside elements, mold, and pest invasion.
If you are looking for a property restoration company in the South Shore area or the surrounding area, then contact SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree at 617-774-8583 or message us at Elias@SERVPROmiltonbraintree.com. We offer comprehensive restoration and repair services for fire, water, storm, and mold damage.
Budget-Friendly Ways to Avoid a House Fire During the Holidays
We Have Years of Experience in Fire Damage Restoration
BUDGET-FRIENDLY WAYS TO AVOID A HOUSE FIRE DURING THE HOLIDAYS
House fires are common during the holiday months. A faulty holiday light or a burning candle could set your home ablaze and cause you to lose everything you've worked so hard to achieve. Fortunately, you can employ these budget-friendly tips to prevent a house fire that can ultimately save your home during the holidays.
USE LED CANDLES
Burning candles significantly improves your chances of experiencing a fire. You can easily knock over a candle and start a house fire. To completely reduce the chances of a home fire, don't use traditional candles. Many companies are manufacturing low-cost LED candles to prevent home fires. In addition to being safe, these candles are versatile. You can put them practically anywhere, including near electronics.
NEVER LEAVE YOUR HOLIDAY LIGHTS ON WHILE YOU'RE GONE
If you are like many homeowners, you put a lot of time and effort into decorating for the holidays. You may put lights around your home's trim, in the yard, and, of course, on your tree. Although lights look great and help set the tone for the holidays, your holiday lights could be the cause of a house fire. As such, you should never leave your home while your lights are on and never sleep with your lights on.
KEEP FIRE EXTINGUISHERS HANDY
If you don't have a fire extinguisher, now is the time to invest in one. There are many different types of fires, and, in some instances, water isn't useful to extinguish the flame. Fortunately, you can purchase different types of fire extinguishers. Armed with the right fire extinguisher, you can put out small fires that threaten your home.
WHAT TO DO FOLLOWING A FIRE
In the event of a fire, knowing what to do during the emergency can save your life and your home. If you can't extinguish the fire, contact emergency services by dialing 911 as soon as possible. After firefighters put the flames out and you are allowed to re-enter your home, you should recover everything you can, especially important papers. Make sure you have important documents, such as your home insurance policy and will.
After you've contacted your home insurance company, call our team SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree at 617-774-8583 to help you restore your home. We have years of experience in fire restoration. Our top priority is to get you back into you home, so we work diligently with your home insurance company to expedite the process. If you are in need of fire restoration, we encourage you to give us a call today.
How to Spot Water Damage in Your House
If You See This Stain Around Your Home You have Water Damage
In general, a house is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. In order to protect that investment, you should vigilantly look out for household problems and address them before they worsen.
One such dreaded homeowner issue is water damage. If left unattended, residential water damage can detrimentally impact the structure or spawn other complications, including mold that poses a health risk to inhabitants. Here are several methods for detecting water damage within your house.
1. Check the Floors
No matter what kind of flooring you have, it will manifest signs of water damage. For tile and wood, look for cracked, buckling or warped flooring. When it comes to carpet, be wary of damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.
2. Look for Stains
Water stains on the floor around the bathtub, toilet or sink, as well as stains on ceilings and walls, are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Unusual stains could indicate there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the drywall or areas that appear swollen and are soft to touch also may signify trouble. Peeling paint is another sign of loose water within wall spaces. As the drywall gets saturated, paint can lose adhesion.
3. Inspect Outside
Observe the exterior of your house. What you want to look for are pools of standing water that can indicate poor drainage in the yard, gutter spouts that aren’t transporting water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters. Any of those issues could threaten the foundation of your house. Additionally, common signs of water damage on the roof may include pools of water; cracked, curled or missing shingles; or broken flashing.
4. Watch for Rust and Mold
Inspect your water heater and check for rust on the tank or damp spots on the floor. A rusted tank could indicate a slow leak. Additionally, corrosion around pipe connections could be caused by water seepage. Visual signs of active mold growth mean moisture is contacting microscopic mold spores, often in the nooks and crannies of your home. Finally, don’t rely solely on sight. When water stagnates, mold and bacteria can grow, producing a musty, unpleasant smell.
If you're looking for water damage restoration or storm damage repair, contact the experts at SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree today for all you property restoration needs.
3 Facts About Water Damage
Standing Water on a Living Room After a Storm
Dealing with water damage is every homeowner's nightmare. Questions about what to do, what will be covered by insurance and what possessions to save first will start ‘flooding’ in. When a pipe bursts or a basement floods, life is on hold until your home is dried and secured – and that’s not always an easy task.
Here are three facts about water damage that will help you secure your home and respond properly to a potential disaster:
1. The Type of Water is Important
Generally speaking, there are three types of water that invade homes: rainwater, fresh water and sewage. Depending on the type of water in your home, you may need to approach any contact or cleanup efforts differently. Sewage can contain harmful bacteria and make you violently ill. Fortunately, telling the difference is often easy, as it will typically smell just as terrible as you would expect. If you think that you are dealing with sewage, SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree will have the proper tools and equipment needed to handle the problem safely.
2. The Trouble Doesn’t End When the Water is Gone
It may be tempting to let out a sigh of relief the moment the water is removed from your home, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t moisture still lurking in the shadows. When moisture is hidden in walls, crawlspaces and below floorboards, it can eventually lead to mold. Mold is toxic and causes damage to structural elements of a home, leading to serious consequences. Make sure you have a mold prevention expert inspect your property to ensure this dangerous substance isn’t invading your home.
3. Attics Are a Cause for Concern
The most common source of water damage is a leaky roof or malfunctioning gutters, which means your attic is at the highest risk for water damage. Make sure to have your attic inspected regularly by a water damage professional to make sure that a small leak isn’t turning into a serious problem.
If your home is flooded, or you suspect you may be dealing with water damage or mold, call SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree immediately at 617-774-8583 all forms of water damage require immediate attention to minimize further losses. We will help you stay safe and protect your assets.
Storm Damage Restoration Process
SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree's Restoration Process
Violent weather such as storm damage can wreak havoc on buildings as well as vegetation. Wind damage can be a hazard to the structure of a building, by loosening the shingles or tiles on the roof. This can cause moisture such as rain and snow to infiltrate into the protective surface of the roof, which will result in the wood swelling and later on disintegration and becoming moldy. This outcome will lead to a sagging ceiling and further problems. Elements such as wind, rain, hail, and lightning can result in turning people’s lives upside down, this is why having SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree to help this type of emergency is a good option.
Here are some of the activities you can expect from SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree service professionals.
- Whether it is a business or residence, SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree will come to your property or business and their trained experts will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help discover the level of the damage. In many cases, SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree will discuss the renovation plans with you and your insurance adjuster.
- When everything is agreed upon, the work begins. Depending on what type of damage is present, this will determine the type of equipment SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree will use. In the case of flooding, specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas will be used.
- Generators will be brought in to operate dehumidifiers and air movers so mold and mildew do not have a chance to make matters worse. Using customized cleaners, the specialist will then disinfect hard surfaces and shampoo salvageable carpets as well as apply deodorant to combat any odors.
If contacted in time, SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree will be able to rescue your building from greater structural issues, by inspecting the roof and replacing the dilapidated areas. After sealing and renovating the roof, they will then address the ceiling and restore to its former condition.
As you can see, when you suffer from natural disasters, the storm damage restoration process is something SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree can handle.
If you've recently suffered from storm damage and are looking for storm damage repair or water damage cleanup, contact the specialists at SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree today to help reinstate your home or business.
How to Handle Storm Damage Cleanup
SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree Storm Damage Cleanup Specialists Responding to a Call
After a major storm, it is important to act quickly to minimize the impact that it has on your property. Unfortunately, storms can leave you dealing with a variety of types of damage that all must be handled properly to protect your safety and belongings. At first, surveying the damage is overwhelming, but you can be proactive by following these steps for managing your storm cleanup efforts.
Focus On Health and Safety
When dealing with water damage, it is important to first make sure that all power is shut off to the house. This is because storm water may have soaked into your walls and reached the electrical wiring. You may also need to shut off the water supply to your house if you notice broken pipes and avoid using the sewage system if it appears plugged.
Document the Damage
As soon as you can safely approach your property, you will want to take photographs of the damage that you can use as proof for your insurance company. Make sure to take an inventory of both the interior and exterior of the property, and follow your insurance policy to ensure that you consult with the proper professionals for any required inspections.
Repair the Roof
Storms tend to hit the roof of homes and businesses the hardest. Once the roof is lost, water damage quickly adds up. Make sure to have your roof inspected and repaired early on in your clean up efforts so that the rest of the property is protected from future storms.
Get Help With Water Restoration
Cleaning up flooded property requires a professional technique to ensure that every inch is dry. If your property has set for any length of time, it may also be necessary to do mold remediation since it only takes a matter of hours for certain types of mold to grow. While you can do your part to help remove things that are not affected by the storm, it is best to let a professional handle things such as determining whether or not your carpet can be salvaged.
The amount of damage even a short storm can do is shocking. Yet, it is possible to get it all cleaned up and save most of your property. By keeping safety in mind and working with a professional clean-up crew, such as SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree you will have your property looking as good as new soon.
If you're looking for storm restoration services or an odor removal company, then contact the team at SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree today.
SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree vs Building Contractors
Local Fire Department fighting a commercial fire
SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree vs Building Contractor
“After a fire at my home or business, should I hire a restoration company, or can my local contractor handle the job?”
Building contractors are typically very competent at new construction. Unfortunately, before the new materials go into a home being repaired from fire damage, there are many steps to be taken which the building contractor may not be willing or trained to handle. Fire, smoke, and water affect certain parts of a home differently, and therefore each area may require different methods of sanitizing, restoring, and rebuilding.
Serrvpro of Milton/Braintree has the training, knowledge, and specialized equipment to handle each unique situation. Many times, damage occurs in areas that are not visible, i.e., behind walls, in crawl spaces of attics or basements, or has affected the structural, electrical, heating, and/or plumbing systems. As is often the case, damage occurs far from the source of the fire, due to the fact that heat, smoke, and water travel. Many building materials in modern homes become toxic when exposed to fire, smoke, and water. Additionally, smoke or smoky water – trapped inside walls, under floors, inside electrical conduit, etc. – if not found and properly cleaned, will give off an odor for years. Finding and treating these threats requires experience and training, along with specialized equipment.
Some of the specialized equipment SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree has on hand is thermal imaging equipment, air scrubbers, negative air fans, ozone machines, commercial fans and dehumidifiers, HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaners, specialized cleaning equipment, and soot and moisture measuring equipment. These specialized pieces of equipment, knowledge and training are not something a local contractor is likely to have or invest in.
In addition, before the cleaning and repairs begins, there is a total evaluation process that must take place. Most fire restoration projects are covered by insurance. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree are experts at knowing what can or cannot be salvaged, and how much it will cost to salvage and clean building contents. We will then pack out the salvageable contents, bring them to our place of business, clean, deodorize, repair/restore and store the contents until the repairs to the home are complete. Building contractors are not prepared or capable of handling this step. Most building contractors have no need to deal with insurance companies, and thus have little experience with navigating the system. This can cause huge delays in getting the project completed in a timely fashion.
SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree has people on staff who have years of experience in working with insurance companies and adjusters, and can expedite the process by weeks and even months. Additionally, building contractors are used to getting paid directly by the customer, with much of the cost of the project being paid up front. Insurance restoration funds can have multiple stages and require inspections prior to being released. Most building contractors are unable or unwilling to carry the huge lines of credit and reserves necessary to do restoration work.
SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree must also carry unique and higher limit insurance policies than builders. Fire restoration requires demolition and removal of hazardous materials. Products that may be perfectly safe under normal conditions, become dangerous after exposure to fire and heat. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree must deal with lead, asbestos, formaldehyde, plastics, glues, oils, household chemicals, propane, gasoline, ammunition, and sometimes dangerous drugs, to name a few. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree is also trained to clean up biohazards sometimes present in the aftermath of a fire, including blood, feces, urine, bacteria, viruses, toxins, and medical waste. These risks require specialized insurance policies that a building contractor would not carry.
We have noted in this piece several reasons why you should choose SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree versus a building contractor to restore your home or business after a fire.
1. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree has specialized “training and certifications” that building contractors typically don’t have for fire remediation.
2. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree has specialized “equipment” to do fire restoration work.
3. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree has trained professionals to deal with the “contents” of a home or business. These items must be evaluated, cleaned, deodorized, and stored.
4. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree must have “financial capabilities” that a building contractor may not have in place, to be able to complete the job, before being paid.
5. SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree must have specialized “insurance” coverage to deal with the type of work and special hazards in restoring a damaged building that a building contractor may not carry.
The staff at SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree has the training, knowledge, and experience to restore your home or business after any type of disaster. Our promise that from the first sign of disaster until the end of recovery, you’ll have a partner who gets the job done.
What Should I Do After My House Is Damaged by a Storm?
Storm damage can be devastating
What Should I Do After My House Is Damaged by a Storm?
The damage a storm causes to a home can leave your life suddenly upended. In the first days after a storm, you might be overwhelmed with the damage, with everything you have to do and with concerns about getting your life back together. But careful planning can help you return to normalcy as quickly as possible.
Whether your house flooded, sustained wind damage or was struck by lightning, the aftermath of a storm can pose serious dangers. Live power lines, mold and open areas of your house can all put you at risk. It's wise to leave your house until you're able to evaluate the damage. Consider going to an emergency shelter, staying with friends and family or staying at a hotel until you're able to get an inspector to your home. Take a few day's worth of clothing and supplies if possible, but prioritize safety above collecting your possessions. Your insurance company might provide someone to inspect your home for safety hazards, or you may need to hire someone, but in either case, you should have your home checked for hazards before you return.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides a variety of assistance to victims of storm damage. You can get help with temporary housing, with repairs, with meals for your family and with filing insurance claims. Contact the FEMA branch in your area. If the storm damaged many homes in your area, a FEMA representative may be traveling through your neighborhood or available at a local temporary FEMA office. So talk to your local representative for assistance.
You'll need to document the damage that has been done by the storm as soon as possible, particularly if your homeowner's insurance only covers certain types of damage. Take photos of the damage, and be sure to document any potential problems, such as mold, crumbling drywall or exposed power lines. It's a good idea to have pictures on file of the normal state of your house. So if you're concerned about a storm that hasn't hit yet, take photos both before and after the storm.
Contact your insurance company, which will assign you a claim representative. Work with the representative to have repairs done. The process sometimes takes several months, but most insurance policies will cover the damage after you've paid your deductible. Most homeowner's insurance policies won't cover flood damage, so if your home has flooded, contact your flood insurance company instead. If you don't have flood insurance, you might be stuck paying for the damage yourself. Contact SERVPRO of Milton/Braintree to come in and evaluate your home and begin the post-flood clean-up process.