What you need in preparation for a storm
1. Canned goods and a manual can opener
Now everyone knows in a natural disaster that canned fruits, vegetables and even things like canned beans are a great food supply. They will last a long time and offer you the nutrients you need.
However, opening a can without a can opener can be difficult and sometimes not possible. Make sure to add a can opener to your set so in a time of disaster you have access to canned goods.
2. Batteries (big and small)
One of the most important things you’re going to need in the event of al storm or hurricane is power and if you don’t have a generator, you’re going to be relying on batteries to get you through the day.
Not only are they going to be powering the flashlights you’re using to see at night, but they’re going to be powering other things as well that you’ll have to remember. For example, don’t forget to stock up on your hearing aid batteries if that’s one of the things you use.
The most important thing, and everybody pretty much knows this, is you want to have drinking water on hand but what everybody doesn’t really know is how much do you need?
The American Red Cross recommends that you have one gallon, per person, per day in the event of a natural disaster. So that means a family of four, over five days is going to need 20 gallons of water.
5. Cash is King
When the power is out, credit cards and ATMs are a no-go so cash is a must have. Always keep a handy amount ready to go in case the storm fallout lasts longer than you anticipated and you need to get more supplies or fill up your gas tank.
How to deal with a flood
After your home has suffered a water damage such as a flood it is important to get into your home and address the problem as quickly and safely as possible. SERVPRO can help you get the water damage fixed and salvage the furniture and goods that were damaged. Here are some things to look out for:
Re-entering your home
- Do not return home until authorities have advised that it is safe to do so.
- If the main power switch was not turned off prior to flooding, do not re-enter your home until a qualified electrician has determined it is safe to do so.
- Use extreme caution when returning to your home after a flood.
- The main electrical panel must be cleaned, dried, and tested by a qualified electrician to ensure that it is safe.
Ensure building safety
- Make sure the building is structurally safe.
- Look for buckled walls or floors.
- Watch for holes in the floor, broken glass and other potentially dangerous debris.
- Flood water can be heavily contaminated with sewage and other pollutants. It can cause sickness and infections.
- If through colour, odour or taste you suspect that your drinking water has been contaminated, don't drink it.
- Household items that have been flood-damaged will have to be discarded according to local regulations.
Signs of mold in your home
Here are some facts about mold and how mold affects you. If you find mold in your home finding a company to remedy it as soon as possible is key. Mold takes a toll on your health and your homes structure. Contact SERVPRO today to get your mold problem addressed the right way.
- Some types of mold are commonly known as mildew.
- Mold may live indoors or outdoors and thrives in damp, warm, and humid environments.
- Although shower stalls and basements are typical moist areas prone to the growth of molds, any moist area in the household may harbor mold.
- Allergic reactions to mold are the most common health effects and risks of mold. Mold allergy symptoms and signs include
- watery eyes,
- runny nose,
- itchy eyes,
- coughing, and
- redness of the eyes.
- The best way to prevent mold in residential areas is the control of moisture.
- There are no EPA or government standards that have been established for mold or mold spore levels in residential or commercial areas, so it is impossible to prove that a building or room is in compliance with any regulations concerning mold exposure.
What to do with mold in your windows
Most people do not even realize they have mold growing on their windows. On most homes, mold begins to grow at the bottom of the windows at the joint between the glass and window sash frame. Large amounts of mold can potentially be dangerous to you and your family’s health. While window mold does not typically feed on windows themselves, it can destroy wood window frames. Staying on top of the mold in your windowsills and home will benefit your windows and health. Especially if you live in a rainy state like Oregon. We can help you stay on top of your mold problem and remedy any damages that have occurred.
When removing mold from your windows, it is important to understand that safety comes first.
- Before you begin, always put on safety googles, gloves and a dust mask. You want to make sure you do not ingest the dangerous spores that the mold can release into the air.
- It is also very important that there is adequate ventilation in the room. Open a window or door so the mold spores can escape, instead of staying locked in your home.
- Make a mixture of one part bleach to three parts warm water. Scrub the mold off of the windowsill using a non-abrasive brush and frequently dip the brush in the bleach mixture. Use a clean rag to then wipe away the mold you loosened.
- Allow the windowsill to dry completely before you close the window. Wipe off any remaining residue.
Where mold hides
We will help you find mold that has grown in your home.
Where mold grows
Mold thrives in moist areas such as:
• around windows where moisture condenses
• near leaky sinks or pipes
• on basement walls or in a crawlspace
• on bathroom tile
• in or near shower and tub areas
• on exposed insulation facing in attics
• in washing machines
• on the refrigerator’s gasket or water dispenser drip pan
Not all molds grow in places you can see. Some hide in places you might never suspect. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the top places mold hides include:
• the backside of drywall
• behind wallpaper or paneling
• on the top side of ceiling tiles
• underneath carpets and pads
• inside walls around pipes or on wood framing (due to leaking or condensing pipes)
• the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation might form)
• inside ductwork
• in roof materials above the ceiling (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation)
How to recognize a mold problem
Sight: Conduct a visual inspection, the CDC advises. Mold can appear as a gray, white, brown, yellow, green or black discoloration on a surface.
Smell: Mold gives off a distinct smell. No doubt you’ve walked into a basement and detected a musty or earthy odor. This is a clue mold may be present.
Testing: Only a test can determine the exact type of mold you have, so if you’re concerned about black mold, have a mold sample tested. Hire a mold removal specialist or contractor to do this.
SERVPRO of Benton County can help you get the mold problem remediated in your home. We will come out and assess the damage and quote you on a repair. We look forward to helping you with your damages soon.
How to manage and get rid of mold in your home
How to get rid of mold
If you have mold, don’t delay cleaning it up. The quicker it’s removed, the less chance it has to spread and cause further damage, the EPA advises. If mold growth exceeds 10 square feet we strongly urge you to contact SERVPRO to get your mold problem resolved before you risk the health of your family.
Start by bringing the moisture under control. Fix plumbing, roof or basement leaks or any other water problems and dry the affected areas completely. Then scrub mold off hard surfaces with a simple detergent and water. You can use a commercial product or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. Do not mix bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products as this may produce toxic fumes. Wear non-porous gloves and protective eyewear, and ventilate the area by opening doors and windows. The EPA suggests buying a N95 respirator mask from a local hardware store to limit exposure to airborne mold spores.
If you don’t want to clean the mold yourself or you have a mold allergy that would make the job hazardous, hire a contractor or a mold removal specialist.
If the mold is in places you can’t get to, like behind wallpaper or inside walls, you’ll probably want to hire a professional, since tearing off wallpaper or drywall can make things worse and lead to the rapid release of mold spores.
Tips to prevent mold
To keep mold from flourishing in the first place, follow these suggestions from the EPA and CDC:
• Clean up water leaks, spills and condensation promptly. Mold will generally not grow if the wet or damp area is cleaned within 24 to 48 hours.
• Routinely clean gutters.
• Grade exterior dirt so it slopes away from your home’s foundation.
• Regularly clean air conditioning drip pans and drain lines.
• Measure the indoor humidity with a humidity meter. Keep levels between 30 and 50 percent by running a dehumidifier if needed.
• Keep kitchens and bathrooms well ventilated by opening windows or turning on exhaust fans when cooking or showering.
• Use mold-killing cleaning products in the bathroom.
• Do not carpet areas where moisture is likely, such as bathrooms and basements.
• Use a mold-inhibiting paint in areas susceptible to mold." (A mold-inhibiting paint is specially designed for high moisture areas. The paint packaging will say "mold and mildew-proof paint.")
You can’t completely eliminate mold and mold spores from your home, but by taking these steps you’ll get mold under control and help anyone under your roof who has allergies breathe easier.
Water Conservation Tips
Save water and prevent water damage.
Conservation can come in many forms. Water is a very important resource to us and we have to be sure to turn off faucets and conserve water when we are able to. Here are some tips for your family and children to follow when it comes to conserving water from SERVPRO of Linn County.
When it comes to water conservation, making the matter apparent to your children will have many benefits. It will begin to teach them the value and practices of conservation early on in their lives, a lesson that will hopefully stick for long into the future. Kids are sponges – chances are if you teach your child a way to save water in an interesting way, he or she will relay the message to classmates or friends.
Turning off the tap: minimize water use in the shower by turning off the shower head while shampooing and conditioning. Depending on where they live, this practice alone could save the average family up to $100 and 3,200 gallons of water per year (*based on a family of 3).
Sometimes you or your kids will pour more water than they wind up drinking. Instead of dumping this water down the drain, use it to water your plants, pour it into your pet’s water bowl, into your teapot or another practical use that will eliminate having to use the faucet. The same goes for ice cubes left at the end of your water glass.
Avoiding toys that require a constant stream of water as opposed to those that you fill can make a major difference when it comes to water usage. If it’s just too hot, limiting their time playing in the sprinkler can keep tabs on the situation. Also reminding your children to not play in the running water faucets and keep water use to just the needed usages.
Once you start conserving, expose your children to the struggles for clean water around the world. What they’re doing at home may translate into wanting to do more to help others.
3 Ways to Prevent Mold In Your Home
Here are 7 ways to keep your home safe from mold damages and prevent further damage. Brought to you by SERVPRO.
- Eliminate Clutter
Clutter blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from circulating air. Furniture and curtains that block supply grilles cause condensation. All this moisture creates microclimates in your home that welcome mold growth. Push furniture away from vents and grilles to keep air circulating. On humid, still days, run a couple of fans to keep air moving.
- Shut Windows and Doors When AC Is On
When you open windows and doors, you let air conditioning escape, waste money, and invite humid air into your cooler home. This causes condensation, which mold loves. So keep doors and windows shut when the AC is humming. Also, maintain your home at around 80 degrees when you’re on vacation or at work. Too often, we bump the thermostat up to 85 degrees, or turn off the AC when we’re away. This raises temperature and humidity, which creates the ideal home for mold.
- Monitor Humidity
An indoor humidity monitor will help you keep track of moisture levels that, ideally, fall between 35% and 50% relative humidity; in very humid climates, at the height of summer, you may have to live with readings closer to 55%. But if you reach 60% relative humidity, it’s time to look for the source of the added moisture; above 70% relative humidity, certain species of mold can begin growing.
Smoke Damage Restoration
Smoke damage can ruin your home. SERVPRO can restore your whole home
While some fires are a total loss not all of them are. There may be nothing or very little left to save but many fires are not as serious as a total loss. In some cases there is little structural damage to the home. Even in these cases, there is usually significant smoke and soot damage to the contents of the home. When the contents of a home such as furniture, kitchen utensils, dishes, toys, clothing, bedding and draperies or other personal items are damaged by smoke and soot mitigating the fire damage as soon as possible is important. Cleaning and restoring the contents to its preloss condition is a job for restoration professionals.
The first concern in every fire situation is safety. The fire restoration professionals at SERVPRO will take steps to make sure all workers and others entering a structure after a fire are safe. It is important to ensure the structure is sound before any evaluation work is done or before work begins.
Smoke and soot particles are Products of Incomplete Combustion (PIC). These are carcinogens that are considered to be dangerous. They can start to degrade contents of a home within just a few days, so dealing with them properly and immediately is key.
Once you have taken safety precautions the next step is to determine which items should be cleaned and where. Most soft goods such as bedding, clothing, and draperies will be taken to a dry cleaning or laundry facility for processing. Remaining items will be sorted as to whether the items are suitable for the restoration process or are to be thrown away. SERVPRO is a restoration company and so taking care of all your items and restoring what we can to make it "Like it never even happened."
Odor issues come with smoke/soot damage. The first step in getting rid of odors is to get rid of the source. Most of the time, when restoration professionals are helping they will eliminate odor issues. Once the restoration is complete, if there is still a small odor then an additional step may be added to the restoration process.
When dealing with fire/smoke damage call your local SERVPRO. We are able to help you restore your home from damages. We look forward to helping you get the damage repaired as quickly and efficiently as possible.
4 Ways to keep your pipes from freezing and breaking in the winter
How to protect from frozen pipes during the winter
Here are 4 ways to keep your pipes from freezing and breaking in the winter from SERVPRO of Benton County:
There are several simple fixes to keep water pipes from freezing when the weather turns cold during wintertime. Water damage and broken pipes can be costly. The idea is to prevent cold air from entering or to warm the area where cold air can't be stopped from entering. If pipes freeze, check for pinhole leaks or cracks (after they've thawed) that can cause serious water damage to the home. If you have a burst pipe SERVPRO can help repair any damages and get your home all clean and ready for the next season.
Here are 4 ways to keep pipes from freezing in the first place:
- Leave the cabinet doors under the kitchen sink open so that the room air can warm the pipes.
- If the crawl access is inside the home, set a fan in the opening to blow warm air from the home to the foundation. Don't use a fan when the access is in an unheated garage or outside the home.
- Have the home's exterior walls insulated. Caulk and seal around doors, windows, house faucets and outside outlets.
- With rigid foam insulation, close and seal all foundation vents that are near water pipes.
- Insulate the foundation walls and the ends of the floor joists with rigid foam insulation.
With these simple steps you can help keep your pipes warm and the freeze out.