3 Things To Know About Maintaining a Furnace
Knowing how to take care of your furnace is important when handling proper maintenance of your home
If you have a furnace, maintenance is key to its longevity. This is especially important if you must deal with fire cleaning or other unexpected events in Mayfield, OH. Following these three guidelines can be useful when striving to keep your furnace in working condition.
Perform Maintenance Before Winter
Before winter sets in, have your furnace looked at. This can alert you to any problems you weren’t aware of and prevent possible fire damage from happening. Your furnace has three main parts that should be examined routinely:
- Filter system
With regular inspections by trained professionals, you can prevent significant, and potentially costly, problems with these vital components.
Seek Help From a Professional When Problems Arise
If your furnace has an issue, it is better to have it fixed before the winter season starts, rather than having it break down when you need it the most. Whether you need fire cleaning or smoke cleaning after a disaster or simply someone to inspect that weird humming that started last week, a fire restoration company or furnace specialist can provide an estimate and help you save time.
Replace Filters Regularly
It is easy to forget to replace your furnace filter. If you're having furnace problems, a dirty filter may be to blame. Hold it up against the light to see if it looks clogged. If it does, it is important to replace it, regardless of how long it has been there. Filters are normally replaced every three months, or sooner if you have extenuating circumstances, such as pets. A company who performs fire damage assessment can assist you with problems related to filters.
Knowing how to take care of your furnace is important when handling proper maintenance of your home. If you’ve ever dealt with fire cleaning or if you believe there are other pressing issues, a professional can check them out before winter begins. What's more, with light maintenance of your own, such as changing filters regularly, you can help your furnace last for as long as possible.
3 Steps That Can Help Prevent Mold
Mold in bathroom
How to Protect Yourself Against Future House Mold
Mold is a fungus that has its place in nature but can be a nightmare in the home. If you suspect a mold problem, you should consider conducting a mold inspection. If, however, you haven’t found any noticeable spores, you can protect yourself against future house mold by following these three steps.
1. Identify Potential Problem Areas
Mold develops and grows in damp places. Examine areas where there might be water leaks or flooding, such as attics and basements. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, and walls that make contact with earth also provide a breeding ground for different types of mold, including black mold. Hidden mold can form inside walls, under carpets, and in areas that might not be visible. A mold inspection team might be needed to find some molds.
2. Keep Wet Areas Dry
Mold can start forming in 24 to 48 hours in a wet area. It can form on both hard and pulpy surfaces, such as clothing, carpet, dry wall, tiles, furniture, and wood paneling. Flood water, spills, and leaks should be cleaned and dried immediately. Items that can’t be dried should be removed from the area. Wet items should not be left lying around, and clothes should not be left in the washing machine. Remember, mold thrives on moisture.
3. Ensure Proper Ventilation
When doing laundry, washing dishes, taking a shower, or cooking, ensure your room has good ventilation by simply opening a window or two. Good air flow through your house can help prevent moisture from building up around doors, windows, and on walls. Fresh air can help reduce moisture. It’s recommended to keep room humidity below 60 percent to avoid condensation building up on windows, walls, and pipes.
You can’t completely mold-proof your home in Gates Mills, OH. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a professional mold remediation team perform a mold inspection regularly and after any major water leak or flooding.
Can Water-Damaged Electronics Be Restored?
Water damaged computer
Appliances and devices are among the most costly contents in commercial buildings. Water is made up of charged particles that can cause corrosion to form on metal and short-circuit electronics. Several factors determine whether flooded electronics can be restored or require replacement.
Power Status During Damage
The severity of electronic damage can be intensified if a device is powered on or plugged in while a flooding incident occurs. An appliance with current running through it during exposure to water is more likely to short-circuit and pose a greater risk of starting an electrical fire. Property owners should exercise caution when handling damaged devices:
- Do not attempt to power off a device.
- Carefully unplug or turn off circuits.
- Contact experts to handle unstable electronics.
Owners of buildings with many computers or appliances may want to contact a power company after major water damage to temporarily shut off the electricity. Even if a device was not powered on when damage took place, repair efforts may not be successful.
Extent of Exposure
It is next to impossible to accurately determine the degree of electronic damage without opening and inspecting flooded appliances and devices. Trained content cleaning and restoration experts do so in a clean, low-static environment to prevent additional damage and reduce the risk of an electrical fire due to short-circuiting throughout inspection, repair and testing.
Depending on the item, it may be more cost effective to claim a loss and replace damaged electronics rather than attempting repairs. If content cleaning methods are unlikely to fully restore functionality, restoration experts can provide information to support an insurance claim.
An all-in-one water damage mitigation and restoration company offers specialized content cleaning services. Only experts should handle flooded electronics, as these items can pose a heightened risk of fire. Contact the closest franchise that offers electronics restoration and content storage in Mayfield, OH.
Flooded With Sewage Smells: What To Do When You Have a Sewer Backup
Don't pour grease or hot oil down the kitchen sink!
When flooding strikes your home in Middlefield, OH, it can do a lot of damage. This is especially true if the flooding includes sewage loss, such as a broken pipe, a toilet backup, or sewer overflow. Not only do you have to deal with the water, you have to deal with the unpleasant sewage and odors – and possibly mold growth – that come with the water.
Causes of Sewer Backups
Flooding from sewer backups can be caused by many things:
- Tree roots
- Backflow valve malfunction
- Grease buildup from pouring grease down the drain
- Improper disposal of paper products
- Aging sewer systems
- Combined pipelines
- Sanitary main blockages
Dealing With Mold
Where there is flood water, there is the potential for mold growth. Mold can make your house smell musty. To prevent this growth, the water must be dealt with immediately by opening windows and bringing in humidifiers and fans. After professional clean up and restoration, you will want to check areas where mold is likely to grow, especially if you notice a musty smell in your home.
Combating Sewage Odors
When it comes to dealing with sewage, you should hire an expert because you are not only dealing with water but also bacteria. The affected areas need to be disinfected and deodorized. You will also need to look at your personal belongings, including rugs and curtains, to ensure that they are disinfected and deodorized properly.
Preventing Future Problems
Although you cannot control or fix every potential cause, you can do a few things to prevent another flood from sewer backups:
- Trim tree roots periodically.
- Test your backflow valve once a year.
- Properly dispose of grease and paper products.
By using these preventative measures and acting quickly when a flood does occur, you can protect your home in Middlefield, OH, from mold growth and bacteria caused by flood water. When a flood does strike, contact an expert to help you effectively restore and deodorize your home.
3 Important Things to Remember When Your Basement Floods
Flooded basement in Bainbridge, OH
Remember These 3 Important Tips When Your Basement Floods
There are few things worse than dealing with a basement flood. Quite often it is an ordeal to clean up and recover when water seeps in and damages your belongings and home. When your basement floods in Bainbridge, OH, remember these three important tips:
Secure the Area
Your safety is the first priority. Make sure that your power supply is switched off to avoid any unfortunate accidents. This includes turning off gas and electricity. It is important to steer clear of the flooded area while the power is still running. Avoid interacting with electronics such as TVs, lamps, or music systems even if the electricity has been turned off.
Stay Safe with PPE
Even if you know the source of the water and think it is clean, always use personal protective equipment when working in waterlogged areas. This can save you from waterborne diseases or infections. Pull on your boots and gloves before you get started and keep a face mask handy in case you need it.
Know When to Ask for Help
After you have salvaged your items from the basement flood, you can begin the task of removing water. This process that can be quite laborious depending on the depth of the water. If you feel overwhelmed, you can always turn to your local supplier of flood restoration and mitigation services. Allow your basement to completely dry before giving it a final cleanup with a mold and mildew remover and moving your items back in. Your insurance company is there to help if your insurance coverage includes flooding. Call them right away so they can provide the information you need to file a claim.
Knowing the proper procedures and having the right contacts can make a tiresome process easier to bear. Dealing with a basement flood is no fun at all, but you don’t have to face it alone.
How To Run Emergency Drills in the Office
An emergency action plan should include a map showing the evacuations routes and exits
If you own commercial property or manage a business in Chagrin Falls, OH, the safety of your employees should be top priority. That means putting together a comprehensive set of protocols for a wide variety of emergency situations, like a fire drill. What might such a plan include?
Developing the Plan
First of all, you need to know what you'll be doing during the drill. That means creating an emergency action plan. This plan should be easy to read and distributed throughout the office. It should include:
- A map showing the established evacuation routes and exits.
- Designated section coordinators and evacuation wardens.
- The assigned roles of employees and their contact information.
- A preferred method for reporting the emergency.
A location for regrouping after evacuation.
Putting It Into Action
In addition to a plan, you may need equipment for handling an emergency like a tornado or fire drill. Medical kits and emergency supplies, like blankets and flashlights, should be stored in a secure location and replaced as necessary. In order to increase the likelihood of a smooth execution, be sure to provide regular training to your employees in your emergency action plan and run drills. This will also get them familiar with your emergency alert system, which may consist of alarms and radio communication.
Once your evacuation is complete, you will need a plan for accounting for employees. You may also need to know how to administer basic medical care. Rescue operations could be necessary if not everyone is accounted for. A copy of your insurance policy and their contact information will be necessary once all immediate needs are taken care of, you should also designate someone to be in charge of this. It is recommended to research and choose a damage remediation service.
Emergency preparation involves a lot more than just the occasional fire drill, although that is an important element. If you are prepared for the worst, you are likely to only experience the best!
How Fire Can Lead to Water Damage in Your Business
Another way fire damage may occur is from the overflow emitted by firefighters' use of a hose
3 Ways a Commercial Fire Can Lead To Water Damage Issues
If your business in Chardon, OH, has experienced fire damage, then you may be looking at damage from water as well. In addition to excess moisture left behind by sprinkler systems and hoses, fire-damaged buildings are often left exposed to the elements. Here are three ways that a commercial fire can lead to issues with water damage.
1. Sprinkler Systems
Your fire suppression system, or sprinklers, can also lead to water damage. This is often less damage than would have occurred if the system had not been in place, but the leftover water puddles may cause some problems. Fortunately, many restoration services can take care of these additional damages in addition to any problems caused by fire or smoke.
2. Fire Hoses
Another way fire damage may occur is from the overflow emitted by firefighters' use of a hose. The output of the water hose used to fight the fire can also often leave flooded areas. If left to stand, this water can soak in and cause further damage to the property. As soon as the fire is safely out, you may want to begin getting as much water out of the property as possible. A restoration service may have a pump and dehumidifier that can help ease this process.
3. Exterior Damage
A fire may also leave damage to the exterior of your business structure. This may include holes in the walls or roof where wet weather such as rain or snow can leak in. This can lead to flooding and additional water damage. If you find these areas, it's best to tarp or board over the damaged space until repairs can occur.
When repairing your business, know that you may find water damage as well as smoke and fire damage. Whether it was from sprinkler system flooding, the powerful flow from a fire hose, or wet weather that occurred after the fire had damaged the exterior of the property, fire-related flooding should be addressed as soon as possible. Fortunately, your local fire restoration service should be able to get you back up and running.
3 Tips for Preventing Flood Damage
Your sump pump can be your biggest ally when flooding occurs
Flooding is the most frequent natural disaster in the United States. Even if your home in Highland Heights, OH, is covered by FEMA NFIP, you need to be prepared.
Here Are Three Ways To Prevent Flooding Damage
1. Take care of your sump pump. Your sump pump can be your biggest ally when flooding occurs, so it's important to keep it in good working order by performing regular maintenance:
- Your pump may vibrate during use, so confirm that it's upright and hasn't tipped over or started leaning.
- Clean both the sump pump and the pit regularly.
- Test that the pump is working properly by dumping water into the pit. The pump should start up on its own and drain the water promptly.
- Check that the discharge hose is carrying water sufficiently far away from the house.
- Make sure the ground fault circuit interrupter is plugged in and that the cord is dry and in good shape.
- Rid the check valve of debris. (Be sure to disconnect it first.)
If you live in a rural area, whether it's at high risk according to FEMA NFIP or not, you should also make sure that the pump isn't delivering water to your septic field. If it is, it could flood the drainage field.
2. Keep your most valuable items off the ground. Photo albums, home movies, yearbooks, personal records, and other important items should be stored on high shelves. Better still, make digital copies or hard copies of anything you'd have trouble replacing.
3. Avoid sewer backup. When flooding occurs, that water can overburden the sewer system, causing it to flow into your basement via your home's water line. Capping your basement's sewer openings — thinks toilets, showers, sinks, and floor drains — can stop this from happening.
If you're familiar with FEMA NFIP and know your home's flood risk, a few preventative measures can go a long way toward lessening flood damage to your home. For those messes that you can't avoid or that require a little extra manpower and expertise, it may be wise to enlist the help of water damage repair specialists.
How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Rental Property
Turn off the water
Three Simple Mold Prevention Tips
The presence of indoor mold within a rental property can create a hassle for property owners and tenants as well as cause significant structural damage to the building. Here are three simple mold prevention tips to help keep your rental home safely mold-free.
1. Turn Off the Water
Water damage is one of the leading causes of mold growth. Sometimes leaks can be difficult to detect, especially if the leaking pipes are concealed behind walls or ceilings. Look for unexpected increases in the water bill. Also check for stains or signs of warping on walls, floors and ceilings, and watch for corrosion on the pipes themselves. If you or your tenants find any evidence of leaking pipes or interior flooding, turn off the water supply immediately. Call a plumber and a water remediation expert to properly address the situation.
2. Keep the Heat On
If you are looking to save money on winter heating costs, consider lowering your heat rather than turning it off completely. Cold temperatures increase the risk of frozen pipes and ice dams. Freezing pipes can crack or burst, leading to leaks that foster the development of mold. Similarly, ice dams that do not properly drain when melting may back up into the ceiling, walls and insulation.
3. Maintain Low Humidity
Although mold prevention must still be taken into consideration during winter, summertime humidity is often a larger concern when it comes to mold growth. Consistent humidity and dampness in the air may provide enough moisture to cause mold. For the best air quality, indoor relative humidity should be kept below 50%. Consider using a dehumidifier to provide additional climate control within your rental home, as air conditioning units alone typically do not lower humidity enough to prevent mold.
Mold prevention is an important part of maintaining a rental property in Burton, OH. Whether you are seeking restoration in the aftermath of water damage or are in need of cleanup services for a current mold problem, mold remediation and water damage restoration specialists are available to provide round-the-clock assistance.
3 Things to know About Fire and Your Insurance
Fire loss in a Mayfield, OH home
3 Things to know About Fire and Your Insurance
When you live in Mayfield, OH, having renters insurance can be an important factor in maintaining your apartment. Renters coverage can be helpful in a number of ways, but one of the most common people think of is fire coverage. Here are a few things you may want to know about your policy and how it can help in the event a fire starts.
1. What Your Insurance Usually Covers
Most renters policies consider fire damage to property within the apartment as a covered peril. This means that cost of any personal items you bring into the residence damaged by a fire should be under your renters policy. Damage to the structure of the apartment may be considered the landlord’s property, and thus may be covered by their policy. Your coverage may include loss of use instead.
2. What Types of Coverage May Be Available
There are many policy types under renters insurance, and each is designed differently. For example, the term actual cost is used when referring to the value of an item while replacement cost is the cost it would take to replace that item. Most policies cover replacing damaged property. Liability coverage would apply if you were accidentally responsible for causing the fire, and loss of use may be there in the event a fire renders the apartment inhabitable.
3. What To Do if a Fire Occurs
In the event a fire does occur it’s important to contact your agent as soon as you can. This way they can begin the assessment quickly and you can contact a fire restoration service to begin any repairs. In many cases your insurance agent may even have a company they recommend to do the job.
In many cases your renters insurance can include coverage depending on where and how the fire starts. In some cases the fire may fall under the responsibility of your landlord so it’s important to know exactly what your policy contains. If a fire does occur it’s important to contact your agent, and then a restoration service in order to begin repairs as soon as you can.