Understanding the Three Types of Contamination From Flood Water
The 3 categories of contaminated water
When floodwaters of any type enter your home in Fullerton, CA, there is a potential not only for water damage to the structure and belongings but also from the contaminated water itself. Bacteria and toxins can wreak havoc and could even make your home uninhabitable for a time. It is important that you understand what type of contamination you are dealing with.
The 3 Categories of Contaminated Water
Flood water can come from any source, but in order to understand what cleanup is necessary or even possible you must know the different categories. Following is an explanation that can help.
Category 1—Clean Water
Clean water is that which comes from a broken clean water pipe or a supply line. This water is clean and does carry harmful bacteria. Items flooded with clean water can usually be cleaned by normal means and salvaged. Carpets and some furnishings might also be saved if dried quickly.
Category 2—Grey Water
Grey water may come from a toilet bowl (urine only), garbage disposal, washing machines or dishwashers, and may carry a harmful level of bacteria or physical or chemical contaminants. It should not be consumed and physical exposure should be prevented without gloves or boots.
Category 3—Black Water
Black water may have all of the same contaminates as grey water, but in addition may carry toxins and fungi, and raw sewage. This can happen when a sewer line breaks, ground water rises, or a toilet breaks for instance. This filthy water is very harmful and should not be touched by a homeowner. Grey water that sits for a time without being cleaned up can become black water.
No matter the category, you will likely need help with the flood cleanup, and in the case of grey or black contaminated water, it will be essential to call trained flood water restoration specialists in Fullerton, CA to help with appropriate decontamination measures and get your home back in good shape.
5 Things To Understand About Mold
Contact a professional to understand more about mold damage and remediation
Whether you’re looking at bread mold or a spore colony under your bathroom sink in your La Habra, CA home there are a few things to understand about these organisms before you panic. Here are five things you should know about mold.
1. What Is Mold?
The first thing to know is that mold is a fungus growth. There are a wide range of species which grow in colonies both indoors and outdoors. Mold can range in color from white, grey, brown, green, and even black. It may also appear fuzzy or slimy depending on the type.
2. Why does Mold grow?
All molds grow by using organic materials as fuel. This is most obvious in fridge mold, but household molds may grow on wood, carpeting or even drywall. They also need areas of high moister and prefer dim or dark spaces.
3. How does Mold spread?
Like all other molds bread mold spreads by creating spores and forming a colony. These will usually stay close to the source, but can also be airborne or carried by other means to new locations where a new colony can form.
4. When to Remove it?
It’s best to remove mold as soon as you find it. This will help prevent it from spreading and causing further problems.
5. Who Should Remove it?
If you find mold in your home it’s best to contact a mold remediation professional to conduct the removal process. These professionals have the training and equipment necessary to identify and remove various mold types. They should also be able to advice a number of mitigation steps to help prevent future problems.
Like all molds, bread mold is a fungus. It grown in areas of humidity that can provide both moisture and organic materials to feed on. Mold spreads through spores and if you find this phenomenon in your home it’s best to contact a professional to have it removed quickly.
3 Ways To Keep Your Gas Range Clean
Keep your range clean to prevent a kitchen fire
If you have a gas range in your home in La Habra, CA, you know that it makes cooking a breeze. However, cleaning your gas stove can be a major pain. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your range clean.
1. Take Out and Soak Your Burners
Dust, grease, crumbs and more can all collect on top of and underneath your burners. However, you can easily access this area by gently lifting up the burners once your stove is off. Cleaning the top of your burners should be easy once the burners have been lifted. After you've cleaned the top of the burners, you may find it easiest to use pins or small brushes to remove anything still left underneath.
2. Avoid Grease Build-Up
With how frequently you use your stovetop, it's often easy for grease to build-up on your stovetop. Unfortunately, grease fires can cause major damage to homes, and homeowners may find it useful to contact emergency restoration services if a grease fire affects their home. Even if grease doesn't necessarily cause a fire, however, it can cause a smoke smell in your home. You can avoid the build-up of grease, however, by wiping off your gas stove after each use and using warm soapy water and a cloth to scrub off stubborn stains that won't budge.
3. Remove and Clean Your Grates
Though you likely don't focus too intently on your grates when cooking, it's important not to forget about your stovetop's grates when cleaning your range. It's often easiest to clean your grates after removing them from the stovetop first. Then, you can let your grates soak in warm soapy water. If your grates still aren't clean after soaking, you can use a brush to remove any leftover grime.
Range cleaning doesn't have to be a chore. You can keep your gas range clean by taking out and soaking the stove burners, avoiding the build-up of grease, and removing and cleaning the stove grates.
3 Tips for Protecting Your Roof from Storm Damage
If you have enough advance notice, you can take steps such as boarding or tarping over any vulnerable areas
3 Tips for Protecting Your Roof from Storm Damage
If you live in La Habra, CA, then you may be concerned about roof damage from the local weather. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help protect your home. Here are three tips many experts recommend if you experience frequent or severe storms in your area.
1. Know the Weather in Your Area
One of the first steps for protecting your home from storm damage is to know the local weather. This can help you prepare for rain, hail, snow, or even wind damage, by giving you time to take the proper mitigation steps before the storm arrives.
2. Prepare your Home Before a Storm
Preparing your home before the storm arrives is an important part of preventing potential roof damage. If you have enough advance notice, you can take steps such as boarding or tarping over any vulnerable areas, as well as clearing out your gutters to help avoid water overflow onto the roof during the course of the storm. After the weather has passed you may want to inspect your proof for any damages that may have occurred.
3. Contact a Professional for Repairs
In the event that you do find damage on your roof after storm, it's best to contact your local storm damage restoration service. These professionals can properly assess your roof for any damages before getting the repair process underway. They may also be able to take care of any other storm related to damages, such as flooding in the home.
When protecting your home from roof damage, it's important to know the weather in your area so that you can take the proper precautionary steps. Follow any recommended weather advisory guidelines for protecting your home from the storm, including tarping or boarding over any damage, and ensure that any repairs that need to be made afterwards, are started as quickly as possible.
Commercial Insurance Coverage and Natural Disaster Protections
Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms
Commercial Insurance Coverage and Natural Disaster Protections
Natural disasters can wreak havoc on your Fullerton, CA, business, especially if you don't have the right insurance coverage. Did you know that the damages caused by some natural disasters are covered, but others aren’t covered? If you don't have a flood policy, for example, your commercial insurance may not cover the damage to your building. The three most common types of natural disasters are
- Thunderstorms with wind and hail
- Tornadoes and hurricanes
Do you know if your business has a flood policy? It is always a possibility that one of these disasters could leave your business flooded.
Multiple Forms of Coverage To Consider
If you don't know whether your company is covered, ask your insurance agent about a Commercial Package Policy, a Business Owners Policy, and flood insurance through the government's National Flood Insurance Program. Remember that floods are the number one most common natural disaster and that your business probably isn't protected from flood damage through your normal commercial insurance coverage.
What Is NFIP?
The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, is provided through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency.) The cost of this protection is dependent on many factors. For example, some communities are enrolled in a voluntary rating system, providing a discount to residents. Some modifications can lower your premium, such as upgrading the crawlspace, installing flood openings, and elevating utilities or the home.
One Add-On Isn't Enough
Even with an appropriate flood policy in place, remember that some things aren't covered by insurance. Any landscaping or septic systems aren't covered. Damage to any vehicles owned by the business won't be covered until you opt for specific additions.
Fortunately, many insurance agencies prefer that you work with professional flood restoration companies when the time comes to clean up after the disaster. This work is often included in your policy. The best way to determine whether your commercial insurance policy covers you in the event of flooding is to speak directly with your agent.
Tips for Water Damage to Wood Floors
Water damage on wooden floor in La Habra, CA
Oops, a customer spilled a glass of water on the wood floor at your business in La Habra, CA. Of course, you tell him not to worry about it. You quickly wipe up the wet floor and it looks as good as new. A few weeks later, you discover that a pipe burst at your same commercial property. This time you know that wiping it up is not as easy as it sounds. What should you do next?
All Wood Is Not Created Equal
Depending on the type of wood floor that you have installed, it may or may not be salvageable:
- Real, solid wood flooring has the best chance of returning to its original state after exposure or submersion in water. However, mold growth can occur in as little as 48 hours. Act fast to begin steps to dry the floor within that time period.
- Subfloors usually remain structurally sound if dried quickly. The floor above it may be temporarily removed to allow improved air ventilation while drying.
- Porous materials, including drywall and insulation, most often cannot be saved. This same principle applies to wood composite. When exposed to a significant amount of water, this type of wood material absorbs water and swells. Usually no amount of drying returns it to its original state, therefore it must be discarded and replaced.
Water Damage and Wood Flooring
The following steps increase the likelihood of saving your wood flooring after a pipe burst:
- Take immediate action. Water restoration specialists typically arrive within hours to assess the situation and begin drying procedures.
- Until help arrives, mop or blot as much excess water from the wet floor as possible. Remove items from the floor, such as papers or other inventory.
- If there is significant flooding, evacuate employees and customers to ensure safety.
- Call your commercial insurance agent to see if water damage is covered under your policy.
Time is of the essence when the wood floor at your commercial property in La Habra, CA, is in danger from a pipe burst. With the right actions, it may be possible to save your floor.
Pipe Breaks Require Quick Action
Shut off the water supply line
Bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time, so you'll need to learn to identify it and act quickly. Even with the proper maintenance, the unexpected can happen in La Habra, CA, and rupture your water line. Every homeowner should know the proper steps.
Shut It Down
The first thing you want to do if a pipe has broken and is gushing water is to minimize the spread of water damage that will ensue. That means you need to stop the flow of water and eliminate any hazards. Some tips for doing so:
- Shut off the water supply line or main water line
- Shut off electricity if water damage is near cords or outlets
- If the burst was in the bathroom or basement, try to direct flow towards a drain
Do What You Can
After your bursting pipes have been staunched, you'll need to continue with the damage control. Remove any contents that you can, and set them to dry in another area or outside. Put foil under the legs of furniture that can't be moved, if it sitting on a wet surface. Ventilate the area by opening doors and windows. If it is safe to use electricity, consider bringing fans in to help the drying process.
Call the Professionals
To fix broken pipe and handle the water damage remediation, you will need an expert. Some companies can do both. Specialized knowledge and tools are required to dry all the different kinds of materials that have been affected. You should be prepared that some items may need to be replaced. Porous materials like carpeting and drywall absorb too much water to fully dry and can pose a mold risk if left behind.
Acting fast to stem the flow of water and calling the experts immediately afterward should be enough to keep any secondary damage from occurring. Don't put off any water related catastrophes, or you could end up with mold.
The Slithery Drain Hero: Clearing Clogged Drains With a Plumber’s Snake
Clogged toilet can hinder your daily routine in your home or business.
If your water stopped draining or slowed significantly, it is possible that your drain or the surrounding pipes are clogged. An auger, or plumber’s snake, is capable of freeing small blockages and may be the answer to your problem. Follow the steps below for proper snake usage and to possibly resolve your drainage issues.
Step 1: Guide the Snake Into the Drain, Feeling for Resistance
The first step is to slowly guide the auger into the drain, pushing with steady and even pressure to avoid coiling the snake within the drain. As you push the snake deeper into the pipes, pay attention to resistance because this may be a sign of blockages.
Step 2: Rotate Drum Handle Until Snake Moves Freely
Once you feel resistance, begin rotating the drum handle of the auger. As you rotate the handle, the snake turns, and the rotation helps the snake dig into and possibly past the clog. Slowly push the snake further into the drain, continuing to rotate, allowing the snake to break through the blockage and move freely.
Step 3: Remove Snake and Run Water
Once the snake is moving freely, slowly pull it out of the drain. It is important to take your time because moving too quickly may free the debris entangled on the auger’s head, possibly causing the pipes to remain clogged. Once the snake is clear of the drain, run the water for a few minutes to inspect the flow and drainage.
Step 4: Call for Help
If the problem persists, there may be a larger issue. Aside from more possible blockages, there may be a pipe break causing the poor drainage, and it may be time to seek out a plumbing or restoration specialists in the La Habra, CA, area.
Clogged pipes can be a hinderance to your daily routine, but a snake may be the answer. By applying the above steps for proper snake usage, you may free the flow of your water and avoid further inspection. If problems persist, then you may want to seek professional assistance and avoid the annoyance of a slow drain.
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Fire Prevention and Preparation Tips
Change the batteries in your smoke detector regularly
Fire Prevention and Preparation Tips
Fire damage to a house can be extensive. It's not just the flames and smoke that can harm a house, either. The water used to put out the fire can also cause major destruction.
A fire cleanup company can help restore your Fullerton, CA, home after an emergency. Yet the best way to avoid damage to your house is to prevent a fire from occurring. Below are some fire preparation and prevention tips:
Use Space Heaters Properly
Space heaters are a common cause of house fires. Make sure that any flammable items are kept at least three feet away from space heaters and other hot objects. You should turn off these space heaters when you are sleeping, as well.
The kitchen is another common source of home fires. You should thus stay in your kitchen while grilling, frying or broiling. You should also keep flammable items such as towels and potholders away from the stove.
Be sure to have a fire preparation strategy in case flames appear in the kitchen. If a fire does appear on a hot pan, keep the pan in place to prevent the fire from spreading. Instead, put a lid on the pan and turn off the burner.
Keep Your Home Protected
Change the batteries in your smoke detector regularly. If a home fire does occur, a smoke alarm can alert you to the blaze. Keep your house number visible from the street so firefighters can find your residence quickly.
You should also set up a fire preparation plan. Make sure that all of your family members know how to get out of each room in the event of an emergency. You should also set up a meeting place a safe distance from your home.
Teach your kids about fire safety, as well. Finally, get the contact information for your local fire damage cleanup company so you can call them as soon as the flames are out. Restoration professionals can repair any damage that does occur to your home.
4 Types of Storm Shutters for Your Home
Rolling shutters operate by a cranking mechanism or remote control
Types of Storm Shutters and Their Costs
Storms can appear in the blink of an eye. The ferocity of driving rain and hurricane-force winds can take a toll on your windows. When you live in a city like La Habra, CA, your insurance rates increase with each replacement of broken windows. Purchasing protection like storm shutters will save you money in the future. The following list details the types of shutters available and the costs associated.
1. Storm Panels
These panels come in different materials such as aluminum, steel and reinforced-PVC fabric. Usually, they are installed at the time of the storm but can be attached permanently with rolling screens or slide brackets. Panel sheets come in ready-made sizes. Prices range from $75 for the smaller sizes and continue to rise as the size of the window increases.
2. Rolling Shutters
Rolling shutters are a permanent fixture of your home and in some cases add a decorative touch. These are best for the high winds associated with hurricanes. Rolling shutters operate by a cranking mechanism or remote control. Prices range from $20 to $30 per square foot of the window.
3. Accordion Shutters
Like rolling shutters, accordion shutters are permanent. The panels are attached to tracks and lock in the middle or on either side of the window. Accordion shutters are less expensive than rolling shutters and priced between $15 and $25 per square foot of window area.
4. Colonial Shutters
Colonial shutters are the most decorative of permanent shutters while still giving your house a considerable amount of protection from high winds and torrential rain. They come in louvered, board, and batten models. Colonial shutters mount to either side of the window and latch in the middle. These storm shutters can cost anywhere between $200 to $500 per window.
High winds can wreak havoc on windows, so spending the money to purchase shutters is an excellent idea. Speaking with a storm damage restoration specialist can give you suggestions on which storm shutters are the best for your home.