What to Do After a Hurricane Strikes
When devastation hits SERVPRO is there.
Recently the many areas have been hit by severe hurricanes and many homes and businesses have devastating damage. If you have been a victim follow these 5 must do's provided by "Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford.
1- Photograph and Document Damage: Document the damage thoroughly with photos, as it will make the insurance claims process much easier. In addition to photos, keep a running list of all damaged items.
2-Conduct Emergency Repairs: Do only what's necessary to prevent further damage after a storm, such as covering broken windows with plastic or roofs with tarps to keep rain out. Don’t make or commission permanent repairs until an insurance adjuster reviews the damage. While it may be tempting to start cleaning up and throwing out damaged items after the storm, your insurance adjuster needs to see what happened firsthand to make you the best offer to settle your claim. 3- Secure Home Inventory: All home insurance policyholders should compile a home inventory of their possessions before a storm strikes, and keep it in a safe place. A home inventory is a list that documents the contents of your home. It should include photos, detailed descriptions, and purchase receipts when possible. Having a home inventory will make the claims process much easier. If you don’t currently keep a home inventory, start one as soon as possible. 4- File a Claim ASAP: Insurance companies sometimes work on a first-come, first-served basis; so it's in your best interest to file an insurance claim as soon as possible. When you contact your provider, let them know the extent of the damages and that you have an inventory of your possessions. An insurance adjuster will come to your property, assess the damage, and determine the size of your payout. 5- Secure Safe Lodging: If you home is uninhabitable, you’ll need to find your family a safe place to stay while your home is being repaired. The loss of use coverage in a standard homeowner insurance policy typically helps pay for your family's lodging as long as the damage is part of a covered claim. Check your policy or ask your agent to make sure you have this coverage and to determine its monetary value and time limits.
Suffering damage or loss from a hurricane can be devastating, and recovery takes time. If you are prepared and plan in advance, repairing the damage will go much smoother. Remember to be patient during the claims process. With the proper preparation, things will be back to normal soon.
Fix Mold Problems in any Home with Professionals Help
Mold growing on drywall and wall.
Fix Mold Problems in any Home with Professional Help
It is no fun to find mold within your Home.Visible mold and spores should be removed and reduced to a minimum.
Once any sign of mold is in the home spaces becomes apparent, people should always reach out to a restoration company. After all, unchecked mold growth can ruin a structure. A home can experience:
- substantial dry rot
- mold growth behind walls and other damage.
- the home may need to be vacated for significant repairs
Homeowners must act quickly against mold damage. Mold spores are very opportunistic. They drift into thin cracks and slowly become a huge challenge. Mold behind walls will grow on studs and drywall
For structural integrity, homeowners must not allow mold growth to spread behind walls. Able to grow within cracks can cause dry rot, mold often shows visible signs, but it can also exist in a home without giving obvious evidence of a water damage.
Aside from black mold spots, here are other reasons to suspect that a building has a mold problem:
- Smelly odors
- Discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings
- Water damage
- Damp areas
- Dry rot
Whether people detect just one or many of the above signs, they need to reach out to the mold mitigation professionals. Untrained hands can spread mold. Leave the job to experts.
Homemade Fabric Freshener
Can you almost smell the aroma of this picture? Seems a little more pleasant than something dank.
DANK (adjective) unpleasantly moist or humid; damp and, often chilly.If you're like most people you had a memory of something smelly come to the forefront of your brain as you read the definition of the word dank. Maybe you're dealing with something that emits that type of smell right now!? Fear not brave knights, for we at SERVPRO shall arm you with a weapon to fight against such pungent foes.
What you'll need:1/8 Cup of fabric softener2 tablespoons Baking SodaHot tap waterSpray bottle (about 27oz)Preparation:Using a funnel, pour fabric softener and baking soda into your spray bottle. Fill spray bottle with hot tap water and shake well. Now go spray every fabric surface in your house and take a nap on your very comfortable and now un-stinky couch.
How to Prepare for a BIG Summer Storm
After using common sense to prepare, follow these simple guidelines:
- Charge all mobile devices
- Make as much ice as possible or go buy some at your nearest store and have a cooler handy in case the power goes out.
- Get lots of water handy for drinking, washing, etc.
- Move plants in doors or as close to the building as possible.
- Fill you gas tanks up in your cars and any extra tanks you have.
- Get cash
- Get a light source; flashlights and batteries, candles, etc.
- Set your thermostat a little lower than usual. (If they power goes out it is going to get hot)
- Have games and things to do inside handy.
- Do the dishes and laundry so your stuff doesn’t stink before the power comes back on.
- Take a shower, if you’re A/C goes off you are going to get sweaty really fast.
- Move your car away from trees.
- Strap anything outside that might fly way down or put inside a shed. (trampolines, BBQ, tables and chairs, etc.)
- Make sure your pets are set and protected as well.
Did you know SERVPRO offers Commercial Cleaning?
If you are the owner of a commercial business you probably don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, tag us in. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning your flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your work space look, smell, and feel it’s very best.
SERVPRO of North Utah County will get the job done right and get it done quickly, because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:
- Award-winning training
- Over 40 years’ experience in the industry
- More than 100 exclusive cleaning products
We also offer these specialized services:
- Air Ducts and HVAC
- Carpet and Upholstery
- Ceilings, Floors, and Walls
- Document Restoration
- Drapes and Blinds
- Trauma and Crime Scene
Go ahead, Give us a call, Tag us in, We’ll make it "Like it never even happened."
What Now? Steps to take after a house fire
You have just had one of the worst days because your house started on fire. What do you need to do now? Take a breath and follow these guidelines to help alleviate stress and confusion.
- Depending on the severity of the fire you may have called 911 and the fire department has been there. DO NOT ENTER THE HOUSE UNTIL IT HAS BEEN INSPECTED AND YOU HAVE RECEIVED APPROVAL FROM THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. There may be structural damage and the house may not be safe. Once you have received approval you may enter your home.
- Call your insurance agent ASAP and follow their directions.
- If you are in need you may contact disaster relief or Red Cross for help with housing, food, medicine, etc.
- After approval to enter the home, take an inventory of everything that has been damaged. Do not throw anything away until you have done this. If you have insurance this list will be crucial to replace damaged items.
- The insurance company will usually suggest a disaster and restoration company; don’t feel like you have to choose the first one they suggest. Ask what others they work with and check out several of them to find the one you are the most confident and comfortable with.
- If you lost essential medical needs or medicine contact your doctor ASAP.
- If you own your home notify your mortgage lender. If you are a tenant notify the landlord.
- Contact your credit card provider, utilities companies, and any other lending institutions. They may be willing to work with you on your payments for a while.
- Take inventory of documents that may have been lost in the fire: Driver’s License; Social Security card; passport; Birth, Marriage, Death certificates; Vehicle Registration and Titles; Tax Records; Wills; Military Records; and any other important documents.
- Account for any cash that was damaged and contact the US Treasury Department. The treasury will replace your damaged currency with undamaged currency.
- Save ALL those receipts for money spent related to the fire loss. They may be needed by the insurance company and verifying losses claimed on taxes.
Most important of all, take care of yourself and your family. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for and accept help.
Repairing Scratches in Wood Furniture
Way back in the fall of 1882, in the most northeastern corner of the United States, in a Maine town by the name of Bangor, the greatest lumberjack the world has ever seen opened his eyes for the first time. This little boy would grow to be a legend known throughout the ages; the chosen one that was able to bring whole forests down with one fell swoop of his axe; a giant so gentle that he makes the BFG look like Lord Voldemort; the one and only Paul Bunyan. Let's not allow the work that Paul inspired to remain scratched and wounded. Paul would have wanted your wood furniture to be beautiful.
Take a kitchen rag and dip it in 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil solution and rub it on. Apply to the whole surface area. It really works! The scratches will be fixed!
Cleaning with Baking Soda
Who hasn’t found them self feeling like they are coughing up a lung in the middle of cleaning their house from the fumes of a chemical cleaning product? I know I have… luckily I survived and learned from my near death experience. What if you could clean your house without the fumes and near death experience? BAKING SODA! You may be thinking, “No way, I can’t clean my house with baking soda.” Actually you can and it works really well AND your house will smell better after. Baking soda is a natural odor eliminator, that’s why we stick a box in our refrigerators, right? How would you like to get that tough to clean grout looking brand new, or get all the burned on overflow from food off your stove, and even get rid of those hard to remove carpet stains? It sounds pretty tempting right?! I came across a blog that has some great tips and how-to’s for cleaning with baking soda. Check it out, pull out your baking soda, and get started.
Flood Insurance… Do I have it? Do I need it?
Have you ever wondered about what you would do if you had a house flood? Chances are if your home has never flooded or you don’t live in a flood zone you haven’t. Will you be covered by your home owners or rental insurance if you have an accidental flood? Maybe a broken pipe, too much rain, or maybe someone leaves the garden hose on and floods the basement (obviously that one isn’t from my experience J ) Lucky for you, we are here to answer that question.
Standard homeowners and rental insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program - NFIP and from a few private insurers; we will cover this in a minute.
Your home owners and rental insurance will cover some damage from rain, but if your home is filled with water as a result of rising bodies of lakes, rivers, streams, and ocean, or a lot of rain, it won't cover you. If you’re taking out a mortgage on a property that’s in a high-risk zone (also called a Special Hazard Flood Area), your lender will require you to buy a policy in order to get the loan.
If you are required to purchase Flood Coverage or if you choose to, where do you get it? You need to talk to your insurance agent and ask if they offer it through the NFIP. Most agents do, but if they don’t ask around and find one that does. You cannot get insurance directly through NFIP. The federal government offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program at an average cost of about $700 per year. But premiums vary depending on your property's flood risk. If you have questions whether Flood Coverage would be worth it for you talk to your local insurance agent for more information.
Stop, Drop, and Clean the Lint out from inside your Dryer and Vent!
We all know to clean out the lint screen of our dryers, right? Did you know if you aren’t cleaning the lint out of the INSIDE and VENT of your dryer you are putting your family in danger of a house fire? Over time lint will build up and settle in the bottom of your dryer and in your dryer vent. If you don’t clean this out the heat from the dryer can ignite a fire inside your dryer. You know what the boy scouts say, “lint is the great to start a fire”.
Here is an experience from someone who recently had a fire in her dryer and was lucky enough it didn’t start her house on fire.
Counting our blessings today… Last night we smelled something "burning" right as we were going to bed. We thought it was our renters burning food or something in their oven. We had windows open and fans going but didn't really think much of it. Well this afternoon I went to get clothes out of the dryer, they smelled horrible!!! Like a cross between camp fire smoke and cigarette smoke. So I threw them back in the washer and told my husband. When he got home we pulled the bottom portion of the dryer off just to check things out. To our amazement (we haven't had this dryer THAT long - but bought it from someone else) there was burnt/singed lint everywhere. There had been a lint fire inside the bottom of our dryer last night. Our house seriously could have caught on fire. I'm so glad it didn't. Hence - we are counting our blessings today and I am spreading the word to all that you should go clean out under your lint catcher thing so your house doesn't start on fire!
Here are a few tips from The Family Handy Man on how to clean the lint out of your dryer.