Maintaining Home Value After Water Damage
Your home is one of the biggest investments of your lifetime. It is where you rest, play, spend time with family, it is your own retreat away from the hustle and bustle from the busy world. Protecting your home is the first step in valuing it for the importance piece of your life that it is. Prevention and repair are key to maintaining a home that will retain its worth and continue to be a haven for you and your family. That means that if any damage occurs in your home, it is crucial to address it immediately in order to conserve the value.
As a homeowner, it is of the utmost importance that damage of any form, water, fire, mold, or storm be made a top priority. Even if it appears that there is only a small amount of damage, the reality is that damage only gets worse as time goes on. Taking action and having the area inspected as quickly as possible usually results in a much simpler and more cost friendly repair than if the damage has time to grow. Repairing damage quickly also guarantees that the cost value of your home is not negatively effective and can still remain a positive investment in your life and your wallet.
When damage occurs, the first thing to do is call SERVPRO and get in touch with a 24-7 technician. SERVPRO is available all day, every day to assure that no damage goes unrepaired. Help will be on the way as soon as your call is placed and a highly trained specialist will be on the scene ready to begin the inspection process. Everything from water removal, and carpet cleaning to television repair falls under the SERVPRO cleanup and restoration umbrella and is executed by the best in the industry.
Here are just a few reasons why calling SERVPRO to repair damage immediately is so beneficial to the overall value of your home and property:
Selling Your Home in the Future
If you plan on selling your home at any point, you definitely want to get the most out of your sale. It is not possible to sell a home for the same amount or more of the purchase price if damage of any kind has occurred and was not addressed properly.
It is required that the fact any water or fire damage occurred to the home or property be disclosed before the purchase of your home is made. So if the damage was not repaired properly, it will definitely be noticed. On top of that, homes must pass inspection before the purchase is made as well. If the repaired damage does not pass the inspection, that could mean your home may not sell for the price it is listed as.
Refinancing Your Home Down the Road
When refinancing your home, it must be inspected and reported on by an appraiser. If any damage has occurred and not dealt with, your home will lose dollar value and be considered less valuable than the original price you bought it for. The whole point of refinancing is to end up spending less money on your home and that simply is not possible if damage occurs and is noticed.
Damage Only Gets Worse if Not Treated
They say everything gets better with time, but that is not the case for homes if they are not maintained. When damage occurs, it only gets stronger with time. Call SERVPRO immediately so that the damage does not increase and end up burning a hole in your pocket. SERVPRO not only helps with damage of the actual home, but also helps care for your belongings. That means that your home can quickly be restored with attention to detail of everything within the damaged area.
When big money is spent on something so important as a home for you and your family, it is absolutely worth it to respect the large investment and maintain the quality of the purchase. Repairing water, fire, or storm damage immediately with the help of SERVPRO gives you peace of mind that your home will not lose its value and continue to be the investment of a lifetime.
What You Should Know About Water Damage
Water damage can be a very difficult situation for any homeowner. But there are certain tips that can help save you time and money. There are also things you shouldn’t do as it can make the situation worse. Here are some tips to guide you in dealing with water damage in your home.
Do not open the windows
It may seem like instinct to immediately open up any and all windows when you first discover unexpected moisture, but that could actually make matters worse. You want to avoid any excess heat and humidity in order to not complicate the drying process. Instead, call SERVPRO immediately so that the moisture can be examined and removed right away. It is also wise to pull any wet materials or furniture away from the water so that they do not become damaged. Keeping the windows closed will allow the air system to run as it usually does and maintain a stable environment for proper drying.
Your insurance company needs to know right away
When water damage occurs, the best method of defense is calling SERVPRO immediately to schedule an inspection and begin the treatment process. It is also extremely important that the next phone call you make is to your insurance company to get more information on if and what they will cover. Your insurance agent can guide you through the process and help protect your property from further damage. This is important information that can impact the value of your property if it is not addressed immediately and correctly.
Not all water damage is covered by insurance
There are different insurance policies for flood damage and water damage, so not all water damage is created equal. These are things your insurance agent will have questions about and need as much information as possible in order to report a claim. Make sure to specify where the water came from and how much there is so that your insurance company can work with you to handle the situation the best way possible. Most policies cover things like sudden damage such as an overflowing washing machine or a storm, but situations caused by neglect or carelessness are not typically covered by insurance. It is also important to know if you have a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Policy so that your insurance company can adjust your claim appropriately.
Where the water came from matters
Not only does where the water came from matter for repairs, it matters because the water may be polluted. Water alone can be extremely damaging if it is not dealt with immediately, and if there are any chemicals or bacteria in it can speed up the damaging process and even cause illness. There is a 24 to 48 hour window from the time that water is exposed to an area and the time that mold begins to grow. Mold multiplies quickly and can be extremely dangerous to the health of anyone around it so it is vital that it does not have the opportunity to spread within the water.
Standing water breeds bacteria so that means that any contamination the water touches is spreading germs and can worsen the contamination of your property the longer it is there. The worse the contamination becomes, the more extensive the cleaning process becomes. It is important to address the situation immediately so the water does not breed any bacteria and is removed before further damage occurs.
What not to do
Beyond keeping windows shut and calling SERVPRO and your insurance company, there are several other things you should not do in the case of water damage. Do not leave wet fabrics in the standing water or they will be ruined. Also, do not leave any books or magazines on wet carpets or floors. Avoid turning on any televisions or household appliances that may have been exposed to the standing water as a safety precaution. No matter how tempting it may be, leave the water removal process to the professionals and do not use your household vacuum to remove the water yourself.
SERVPRO can remove water and prevent damage
When unwanted moisture accumulates, the highly trained technicians at SERVPRO use advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to find and remove it as quickly as possible. The water damage experts will monitor and document the drying process so that you know your property is back to normal. SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the water restoration industry and is able to take on water damage incidents of all types, including storm damage, mold remediation, sewage cleanup, and commercial water damage.
Common Issues with Gutters
When water gets into the foundation of your home, it has the potential to cause structural issues to the home. The result of a wet foundation can also be windows and doors sticking to their frames. Gutters are installed on houses and connected to downspouts precisely to avoid this problem. These systems are essential in protecting the structure and integrity of your home. But, in order for these systems to work, you will need to ensure that these systems are free from clogs, holes, and sags.
The most common problem that tends to occur with gutters are clogs caused by debris. The additional weight that is caused due to the accumulation of leaves, twigs, and standing water will cause the gutters to sag and pull away from the house. To avoid such a situation, you should clean your gutters at least once each year, twice if you have trees hanging over your gutters. Once the gutters are free of debris, you should use a hose to spray the gutters to make sure that the water is flowing as it should. Another option to consider are gutter covers. These cover the gutters from above featuring mesh screens, clip-on grates, and porous foam but still require regular maintenance.
Sagging Gutters That Pull Away from the House
If your gutters are sagging or starting to pull away from the house, the problem more than likely has to do with the hangers. The gutter hangers are the metal pieces of the system that secure the gutters to the fascia. They are easily noticeable as they stretch across the inside of the gutter. Over time, normal wear and tear may have caused these hangers to deteriorate. Other issues with the hangers may be that the fasteners may be detaching from the wood or that they are spaced too far apart so that they can no longer support the full weight of the gutters.
Damage to the Gutters
If your gutters have suffered damage, they may be leaking or have holes in them. If the issue is a leaky gutter joint, the issue can be solved by sealing the joint with caulking from the inside with gutter sealant. Likewise, any holes that are very small should be able to be sealed with gutter sealant. Big holes, however, will require a patch to be fixed.
Poorly Sloped Gutters
A common problem with gutters are that the gutters are not sloped down toward the downspouts. This means that the water cannot flow freely to the downspouts and down to the ground. To ensure that your gutters are properly sloped, you should have at least a quarter inch slope for every ten feet. If you have a rainstorm and there is standing water in your gutters following the storm without clogged gutters being an issue, your gutters are not sloped correctly. The proper course of action is to ensure that the gutters are sloped correctly to the downspout to ensure that the water can properly flow down to the ground and away from the house.
Water Draining Toward Foundation
For the downspouts to be effective, they should extend several feet away from the house. If the downspouts are located too close to the house, water can collect at the foundation. If the water drains into the foundation, serious issues to the home such as structural problems or windows and doors sticking to their frames could be caused. If your downspouts are draining too close to the foundation, consider installing gutter extensions to the bottom of the downspouts. This will ensure that the water drains away from the house far enough that it doesn’t cause any damage to the foundation of the home.
Gutters are an essential part of keeping water damage from effecting your home. When rainwater collects in the gutters or runs off the roof, the gutters drain the water into the downspouts which flow the water far away from the home and its foundation. Issues such as clogged gutters or sagging gutters could cause water to build up and damage the gutters. If the downspouts do not direct the water far enough from the home, it could infiltrate the foundation causing serious and expensive damage to the home. If you suffer from water damage in your home, call on the professionals at SERVPRO.
What to do until SERVPRO arrives!
If you have a water damage from a clean source such as water supply lines, sink or tub overflows, flooding, or appliance malfunctions, here are some things to do before SERVPRO arrives.
Shut off the source of the water.
Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if the access panel is safe from electrical shock.
Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items
Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying
Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
Move to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors
Tips To Help Prevent Mold In Your Home
1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters.
2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away.
3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area.
4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints.
5. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store.
6. Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.
7. Clean or repair roof gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
8. Improve air flow in your home. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.
9. Keep mold off household plants. They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house.
[All information is from mnn.com]
Office Spring Cleaning Tips
This Spring season is going by quickly and we want you to keep your home or business in good condition all year long! We want you to prevent mold, water leaks, and even fires!
In the meantime, here are some helpful tips about Spring-Cleaning for your OFFICE:
-Divide your workspace into zones: Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a workspace for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies and a filing area for your archives. This will provide a foundation for a more efficient use of space.
-Keep only what you need at arm's length: Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go. Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only. Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you've establishes for them.
-Create a daily paper system: Consider creating hanging files or baskets labeled "to read," "to do," and "to file." Establish set days for each, so that you don't get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.
-Sort your catch-all drawer: Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands. Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn't being used.
-Eliminate digital clutter: Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. Organize digital files and your email inbox just as you would paper files- with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders. Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor for calendar reminders.
-Disinfect regularly: Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains and fingerprints. Wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard and monitor once a week with disinfecting wipes.
Fire Restoration Tips
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call the SERVPRO National Call Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
The SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Hardin & Larue Counties Smoke and Soot Clean Up
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
- There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today!
Hardin & Larue Counties Be Ready!
Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.
At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:
- N95 or surgical masks
- Rain gear
- Work gloves
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Household liquid bleach
- Entertainment items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
Getting prepared may sound difficult or time consuming but – with a little help from the Red Cross – its actually very doable. Some of these items can be found here.
Does Hardin/Larue County Have A Mold Problem?
When there is water in your home, mold can quickly become an issue. It can cause health issues and damage to your property. SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue County has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment to handle your mold problem.
Call SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue County
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. One of our employees will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.
Different containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold, like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue County technicians use powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.
The process of mold remediation depends on the amount of mold growth and the type of surface it's on. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new ones from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary.
SERVPRO of Hardin/Larue County cleans your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings.
Depending on the level of mold damage, some building materials may have to be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs or major repairs such as reconstruction.