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Top 6 Ways to Protect Your Home From Wind Damage

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Top 6 Ways to Protect Your Home from Wind Damage in the Midwest

Wind storms can be very damaging to your home or property if you are not prepared.  Unfortunately, we rarely get much warning before a large wind storm so it is critical to prepare your home ahead of time. Routinely checking, fixing or updating areas around your home can make the difference between a hundred dollars and thousands of dollars in damages.  

Here are six ways to prepare your home before the next storm hits the Midwest:

  1. Is your roof in good shape?
    1. Your shingles should be nailed down properly and all secured together.
    2. Replace any missing shingles immediately.
  2. Make sure your garage door is secure.
    1. Sometimes this means hiring a company to inspect your garage door to ensure it is properly secured and functioning well.
  3. Secure all outdoor items.
    1. Grills, patio furniture, trampolines, etc. These items can cause a lot of damage if the wind is strong enough to pick them up.
  4. Ensure your gutters are properly secured and clean them out regularly.
    1. Clogged cutters can create water damage to your house. They are also more likely to break in a high wind storm if they are weakened by heavy debris.
  5. Are your windows storm proof?
    1. Installing storm proof windows can make a big difference in protecting your home from high winds and hail from a storm.
    2. If you don’t have storm proof windows, consider installing steel or aluminum shutters on your windows or sliding doors to protect them from flying debris.
  6. Remove or trim/maintain trees around your home.
    1. Trimming your trees of dead wood can help prevent large branches falling during a wind storm.

Be sure to routinely check and maintain your home so you are ready before the next storm hits the Midwest. However, if you do find yourself in need of help after a storm, call SERVPRO of Fort Dodge. We specialize in restoration and water damage repair.  Call us after a storm and let us take the stress off of your family! We will make sure it's like it never even happened! 

EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT and EMERGENCY READY PROFILE

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. In Midwest Iowa we are particularly prone to experiencing severe weather throughout every season. 

Approximately 98% of all disasters declared emergent by the president are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Preparing an emergency supply kit can help keep you and your family safe if you're ever caught in an severe storm situation. 

Build an Emergency Supply Kit

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Contact SERVPRO of Fort Dodge for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster. Contact SERVPRO of Fort Dodge at (515) 955-4009 and we can get you set you up with an emergency disaster plan that will help you get back in business sooner.

Fire Classifications and Extinguishers

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

Every family should have a fire escape plan, working smoke alarms, and at least one fire extinguisher on each level of their home. A fire with a stable supply of fuel, oxygen, and heat can double in size within 60 seconds; therefore, quick action is the key to preventing catastrophic damage. Fires, and their extinguishers, are categorized into 5 different classes based on fuel types. An ABC fire extinguisher is typically what most people stock within their homes as it is versatile – it can extinguish 3 out of the 5 fire groups; however, many household fires result from Class K type situations, which require their own specific extinguisher. Read the following information to learn more about these fire groups and the methods to extinguish them.

Fire Classes

Class A - Typical sources of these fires include trash, fabric, paper, wood, and plastics. Class A fires are the most common, and they will burn as long as heat, oxygen, and fuel are available. Water is a good extinguisher for these fires because it reduces heat. Water based and foam extinguishers can also be used.

Class B - Fires with fuel bases of flammable gases or liquids, not including those used/produced in the kitchen (see Class K). Some examples of Class B fuels include gasoline, propane, butane, kerosene, alcohol, solvents, and paints. These fires are typically difficult to extinguish, and they produce thick smoke. Water can spread a liquid fuel source, so it is best to extinguish these fires by smothering the flames with a foam extinguisher.

Class C - Fires that originate from electrical equipment. More common in industries that use large electrically sourced machinery, but can occur in homes with faulty wiring, overloaded outlets, etc. The first step to extinguishing these types is to turn off the electricity source. Water should not be used to control electrical fires, neither should foam extinguishers, instead use carbon dioxide and dry powder extinguishers (ABC).

Class D – Fuels for combustible metal fires include titanium, aluminum, magnesium, and potassium. They typically occur in laboratory settings, but can sometimes happen in various business industries. The intensity of a metal fire may be increased using water or foam; so many times fire fighters will allow these fires to burn themselves out.

Class K – Two out of five household fires begin in the kitchen. Their fuel types include vegetable and animal fats, grease, and cooking oil. They can be extremely difficult to extinguish because of the high temperatures in which they burn at. Water will not extinguish these fires, it may even increase their severity by spreading the flames. Class K fires require their own personal extinguisher (K) that contains a wet chemical formula to cool off high temperatures and prevent re-ignition.

Use Caution with Extinguishers

During a fire the immediate concern should be for yourself and your family members. Before you attempt to extinguish a fire make sure the fire department is being called and that everyone in your home is aware of the situation. Only use an extinguisher while a fire is small and manageable. Never try to extinguish a fire if you are unsure on how to use an extinguisher correctly, there will be no time for reading instructions. If you have any amount of doubt regarding extinguishing a fire, don’t do it. Leave it to the fire fighters and get yourself to safety.

If you experience a fire in your home, SERVPRO of Fort Dodge is here to help. Our professionals will quickly assess the impact of the flames, smoke, and moisture to create a personalized restoration plan for your home. If you have fire damage, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Fort Dodge for 24-hour emergency services at (515) 955-4009.

3 Reasons To Begin Cleanup Efforts Quickly After a Flood

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

No matter the cause of flooding, water damage can have a detrimental effect on your Fort Dodge, Ia, commercial building. Whether a pipe burst in a bathroom overnight or floodwaters from torrential rains caused your building’s basement to flood, you may believe that since the damage is already done, there is no rush to have the water drained. However, floodwater can cause damage quicker than you might think, and there are several benefits to having it removed as soon as possible. 

1. Mold Can Form Rapidly After a Flood 

The environment indoors changes quickly after a flood. Water might be absorbed by carpeting and drywall, which can increase a room’s humidity. In fact, humid conditions can contribute to mold growth and cause this fungus to grow as soon as 24 hours after a flood. Having a professional water damage and mold remediation company come in right away to drain away flood waters and perform mold cleanup may reduce overall repair costs. 

2. Humidity May Warp Wood 

After a flood, the humidity that builds indoors can cause any wooden building materials to warp if mitigation does not take place within at least a day or two. If standing water is not removed, it can increase the amount of water vapor in the air and cause considerable damage to wooden furniture, molding or flooring. It is wise to remove furniture as soon as it is safe to do so and store it in a cool, dry room, away from sunlight, until affected rooms are repaired and restored. 

3. Clean Water Floods Can Cause Damage 

If flooding in your building was caused by a plumbing mishap; the results can be just as detrimental. For example, if a pipe burst in the break room, the water can affect electrical systems and equipment or short them out, which can increase the risk of fire. Draining away standing water can reduce these potential hazards. 

Flooding in your Fort Dodge,Ia, commercial building can create a variety of problems for you as a business owner. However, whether the flooding was caused by a pipe burst or by a storm, acting quickly can prevent the worst of the damage and lower repair costs. For more information, visit www.SERVPROfortdodge.com

Mold Remediation Steps

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

When there's a water intrusion, like a roof leak or a broken water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Fort Dodge professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a "typical" mold removal process. 

Step 1 - Call SERVPRO of Fort Dodge

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us, SERVPRO of Fort Dodge, at (515) 955-4009. One of our representatives will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources and personnel needed.

Step 2 - Inspection & Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold grows best in dark, moist areas with a food source (drywall, wood, etc.), so the areas that promote growth in homes are often out of sight. 

Step 3 - Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Step 4 - Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Fort Dodge technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Step 5 - Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth. 

Step 6 - Cleaning Contents & Belongings

SERVPRO of Fort Dodge cleans your furniture, decorative items, curtains and any other items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. We are also able to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment. 

Step 7 - Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. 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. 

SERVPRO of Fort Dodge Professionals understands mold growth, and has the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business. Call us now if you suspect mold growth in your home at (515)955-4009

Tornado Need to Know

7/15/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are known to cause widespread damage throughout the United States, especially in the Southern Plains, SouthEast, and MidWest. But how much do we truly know about these destructive entities that tear through our homes and businesses?

Here are a couple of quick facts about tornadoes:

The average tornado travels Southwest to Northeast but have been known to move in any direction.

Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm but can occur at any time.

Dr. T. Theodore Fujita devised the F0-F5 Scale for tornadoes in 1971.

In 2006 the National Weather Service unveiled the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).

A tornado normally appears transparent until it picks dust and mud from the ground.

The USA averages around 1,200 tornadoes every year, more than any other country.

In the southern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a clockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a counterclockwise direction.

Signs of Danger

Dark, green tinted sky

Large hail

Low-lying rotating cloud

Loud roar similar to a freight train

We are in the peak of tornado season here in Iowa and encourage everyone to be weather aware. Have a family plan in the event of a tornado warning. Know where your safe areas are wherever you are.

For more information about tornadoes and tornado safety visit https://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/

Smoke Webs

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know?

Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!

Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:

Protect your people: Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol.
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs.
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

Visit www.SERVPROfortdodge.com for more information on fire damage.

What to do AFTER water damage

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

Understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical. 

Clean water is water from a broken pipe or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. Gray water is slightly contaminated water; clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, and chemicals. Black water is usually caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by a trained professional.

Make sure you...

-Shut off the water source if possible or contact someone to do it

-Turn off circuit breakers if safe from potential electrical shock. DO NOT enter rooms with standing water.

-Remove excess water by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing tabletop items. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

-Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions.

-Move any paintings, art, computers, documents, and other items of value to a safe place.

-Do not leave any books, newspapers, or magazines on wet carpet.

-Do not use your household vacuum cleaner since there is potential for electrical shock. 

-Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and do not enter the room if the ceiling is sagging.

How to Come Back After a Flood

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

How to Come Back After a Flood

As the storm settles, the battle to restore homes and businesses begins. After a flood, the damage can be extensive and beginning the cleanup can be daunting.

Where do you start? Property owners in Fort Dodge, IA struggle with this question every year, but by removing water, throwing away ruined items, and content cleaning, your business will soon be back to normal.

1. Eliminating Standing Water

Before you can determine what can be cleaned, there can’t be any water left in the building. If the standing water doesn’t flow out naturally, then it may need to be professionally removed. Given the bacteria and mold that is often found after major flooding, it’s important that you don’t come in contact with the water itself. It can make you and your employees incredibly sick. In addition, it’s easier for you do a full cleanup if there isn’t any water to contend with.

2. Removing Loose Items

Unfortunately, not all items can be saved. This is especially true for porous surfaces. Porous materials include certain types of tile, laminate and granite. These permeable materials don’t have a smooth surface and because of this, content cleaning is more difficult and complex. Certain pieces of furniture or appliances may have to be removed from the property entirely to properly disinfect the building. If you’re ever confused about what to keep or throw out, a professional can help.

3. Cleaning Content

For hard surfaces, it is recommended that you use a mixture of water and detergent. While most non-porous surfaces are safe to clean, if the mold has spread over 10 square feet, then professional help is strongly encouraged. Keep in mind that black water is the best breeding ground for dangerous molds, so if you suspect or know there was waste water involved, be sure to get expert help.

It may seem like a long road to restoration, but it’s easier to consider if you break it up into simple stages. Clearing out the water, removing the items, and proper content cleaning should have your business back on track in no time.  Visit www.SERVPROfortdodge.com for more information on flood damage.

Homeowner Briefing: Broken Pipes and Insurance

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

General Homeowner Briefing: Broken Pipes and Insurance Call SERVPRO if you experience water damage.

Having a homeowner's insurance policy is necessary to protect your investment, but it takes some work on your side to know what is included or not. Most people know that rising waters types of floods are not covered by traditional policies, but what about water damage from a broken pipe? Would that be covered by your plan?

Insurance Coverage for Unexpected Breaks

Each policy should be read carefully for details, but water damage from a pipe that breaks suddenly and without neglect should be covered most insurance policies. Damage can be mitigated by immediately responding to the flood with the use of a professional restoration company. Services such as water removal, drying and restoration may also be included in your insurance coverage.

Denied for Negligence

Homeowners have a lot of responsibility for routine maintenance around the home, including maintenance for plumbing. Make sure you keep up with maintenance of your pipes so that you don't end up with damage from negligence, which may be denied by your insurer. Here are common examples for denials:

• A homeowner ignored a chronic leak and failed to fix broken pipe, which resulted in a full break and damage to home.

• Homeowners were not maintaining a warm enough temperature in the home to keep the pipes from freezing during the winter.

Be Your Own Maintenance Manager

A flood is the last thing you want in your home in Fort Dodge, Ia. You don't have to be a plumber in order to take care of your plumbing system. You can keep your home reliable and safe by educating yourself about care and routine maintenance for your pipes. Most importantly, never shut off your heat during the winter months, even if you go on vacation, and inspect your system of pipes regularly. These actions will help with prevent breaks and all complications of water damage in your home. Visit http://www.SERVPROfortdodge.com for more information on water damage.