What To Do With Your Electronics After a House Fire
Do not use electrical equipment that has been exposed by heat.
After experiencing a home fire in Prescott, AZ, you might feel overwhelmed trying to figure out what in your home is still salvageable and what needs to be thrown out for good. If any of your electronics have been affected by smoke, fire, or water, you might assume they’ll be too damaged to function. However, with the help of a fire cleanup company, your electronics can potentially be cleaned and restored to working condition. For the best chances of saving your items, keep in mind the following tips.
Important Tips for Handling Electronics Right After a Fire
While a professional can potentially clean your electronics and save them from harm, it is important you handle all electronics correctly to prevent causing irreversible damage or even harming yourself.
- Never turn on or use an electrical device you feel has experienced water, fire, or smoke damage
- If possible, unplug all electronics and appliances
- Avoid handling electronics visibly burned by fire
- Locate warranty records
- Don’t attempt to clean electronics yourself
- Immediately contact a professional for assistance
The Electronics Fire Cleanup Process
The first step a restoration specialist will take when attempting to restore your electronics is to perform a surface clean of the device. They will wipe the exterior of devices to prevent more damage from occurring and will carefully clean all metal components. They’ll also use a vacuum to fully remove all ash and soot.
After assessing the amount of damage to the device, the specialist will back up data if possible. This can involve transferring data to a completely new device or storing it using a cloud storage solution. Once this is complete, they’ll make any necessary repairs to restore the device.
Your electronics may be very valuable or contain important information you don’t want to lose. With the help of a fire cleanup specialist, it is possible your electronics can be saved even after a house fire.
6 Tips for Saving Belongings Damaged by Water
Water damage in a Prescott Valley, AZ home.
How Do You Clean Belongings Damaged by Water?
If you have water in your home in Prescott Valley, AZ, chances are you'll have to deal with damage to the house itself as well as some of your belongings. Some furnishings, electronics and valuables may be salvageable if you follow the right steps.
1. Rinse: A broken pipe can release dirty water into your house. If your belongings are covered in silt, dirt and other debris, you need to rinse them off with clean water before you can start the cleanup process.
2. Clean: How you clean belongings depend on the materials they're made from. Electronics, for example, should not be submerged in water. You may need to use dry cleaning to start repairing delicate objects. Other items can be put through a washing machine.
3. Dry: Once the initial cleaning has been taken care of, you need to make sure your possessions are properly dried out. If you return a wet item back into your home, you may be reintroducing excess moisture.
4. Disinfect: Some objects may need to be cleaned again after they have been dried out. Water in the home can lead to mold growth, but you can combat this by disinfecting any affected belongings.
5. Repair: Water can cause some objects to start to degrade or break. If this is the case for your piece of art or electronic device, you may need to have a professional water remediation team help you with the repair. Most items should not be fixed until they have been cleaned and dried.
6. Replace: In some situations, your furnishings may be too far gone to repair. In this case, it may be best for you to replace the items that have sustained too much damage.
As you get rid of standing water in your home, you'll need to address structural issues and damage to your belongings. Cleaning and repairing any items you can may help save you money on your water repair project.
How To Minimize Moisture During a Storm
Proper containment cause help minimize moisture.
When storms rage in Prescott Valley, AZ, your commercial property is in danger of rain damage. Ideally, your roof can withstand a rainstorm, but it doesn't hurt to have a backup plan in case moisture sneaks past the roof. By having a strong building envelope, you can minimize the amount of moisture that seeps in during the storm, thereby limiting its damage potential.
Elements of a Solid Envelope
During a storm, water tries to get into your building in any way that it can. There are several factors that must be controlled to combat water damage from heavy rains:
- Airflow to prevent stagnation
- Evaporation that gets trapped within the building
- Insulation to resist extreme temperatures
- Proper drainage to divert water away from areas vulnerable to mold growth
Rain damage is of particular concern to property owners because if left unattended, it can lead to black mold, which requires professional remediation. By having a strong building envelope, you can lower your risk of damage.
Quality construction certainly plays a role in how your commercial property resists outside elements. For example, if mortar joints or wall flashing is not installed correctly or installation is sloppy, they are more likely to let water seep in. It's not enough, however, to build a strong envelope and then leave it. Your building needs regular inspection and maintenance to ensure that its water resistance remains strong. Inspections should be conducted to look for cracks in any of the exterior walls. Roof damage should be repaired in a timely manner. Windows should be inspected for cracks where water can get into the building.
Rain damage can lead to many problems, such as compromised structural integrity or black mold growth. To prevent these problems, you need a good building envelope. Taking the steps to make sure your property is rain resistant is an essential part of commercial property ownership.
4 Steps To Clean Up Commercial Roof Leaks
Roof damaged due to severe storm in Prescott, AZ.
4 Steps To Clean Up Commercial Roof Leaks
When there is a roof leak at a commercial location, the owner or manager of a building should pursue damage mitigation, roof repair and restoration. Here are four steps to take sooner rather than later to restrict the amount of damage caused by the leaking roof of a building located in Prescott, AZ.
1. Find the Leak
Locating the source of the leak may involve tracing dripping water up through the ceiling of a structure to the attic. A top-down approach might start with the part of the attic immediately under missing shingles. If a property owner or manager cannot find the source, damage restoration professionals may be able to identify the course water is taking.
2. Mitigate Water Damage
It may be necessary to collect water from a roof leak on one or more levels of a structure. Mitigation is a term used to describe any measures that reduce the amount of water in a structure. If roof repair cannot take place immediately, tarping over a roof keeps out additional water.
3. Fix the Leak
Mitigation measures are only temporary fixes. Restoration cannot get underway until a damaged roof is fixed. The sooner roof repair takes place, the better the outcome of water damage restoration.
4. Restore Water Damage
Once the source of water in a structure has been eliminated, disinfection and drying can take place. These measures are essential to reduce the risk of a mold infestation after a roof leak.
These four steps may be easier said than done, as it can be difficult to locate the precise source of a roof leak in a building in Prescott, AZ. Damage mitigation and restoration specialists know what to look for and may also use thermal imaging technology. Any measures that reduce the exposure of building materials and contents to leaking water will limit the severity of the damage.
Understanding Black Mold: What It Is and Why It Grows
Mold damaged floor after a flood.
Black mold, known scientifically as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a toxic form of mold that must be removed by a team of professional mold remediators. Here's a fast guide to what it is and why it may inhabit your residence in Prescott, AZ.
What It Is
Originally discovered in Prague by mold researcher August Carl Joseph Corda in 1837, this dangerous form of mold is often found:
- Around toilets
- Inside showers
- Within kitchens
- Inhabiting basements
It can also be found in drywall, under tiles, and on windows. It has a distinctive musty odor and is sometimes green in addition to black. Because it produces mycotoxins, it must be removed immediately.
Why It Grows
Although it's relatively uncommon, black mold spreads quickly. With a growth rate of one square inch per day, it can cover several feet in less than a week. When this happens, swift mold remediation becomes imperative, as even a slight delay can severely compound the problem.
Moisture is the culprit for why it appears. Pipe leaks, floods, and improper ventilation are examples of common triggers. Once it latches onto fibrous materials, such as wood, it begins to take hold. Reduce the odds of this happening by making sure vents are on and properly working when showering and cooking.
Although 70 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for growth, it can still appear during the cold winter months. Discourage the growth of toxic mold by limiting humidity levels to no greater than 50 percent.
Once the fungal nuisance starts to develop, spores can become airborne. When this happens, they attach themselves to everything, including people and pets. This facilitates spread, further compounding its advancement. Because spores are microscopic, you may be unaware that you're carrying them with you, including to your neighbor's home and anywhere you're shopping.
The moment you notice black mold in your home, contact a mold cleanup specialist to handle the matter. The faster you act, the less of a headache it will be.
Here Are the Rules of Playing With Candles
Electric candles are way safer than their traditional counterparts.
Here Are the Rules of Playing With Candles
Candles may smell and look pretty, but they also one of the leading causes of house fires. While there are safer alternatives with even better scents in the market, people still buy more of them every year. So, if you have to play with candle fire, here are the rules.
- Never leave candles unattended
- Candle placement is crucial
- Consider using flameless candles
Blow Candles When You Leave the Room
It’s surprising how many candle fire incidents happen in Prescott, AZ, despite all the sensitization efforts. Usually, these accidents occur when the victim walks out on a burning candle and gets distracted elsewhere. A curious child or pet goes to investigate and ends up tipping the wax light. The flame gets into contact with the table cloth, and a fire breaks out.
Place Candles Wisely
The safest place to leave a candle is in the middle of a stable table. It will be in front of you the whole time, so there’s little risk of a fire incident. Avoid placing wax lights near windows where the wind could blow the curtains towards the flame. Also, move any flammable items such as papers, clothes and combustible liquids. That will save you from a potential smoke cleanup or even worse.
Consider Using Flameless Candles
Electric candles are way safer than their traditional counterparts. You can leave them on for as long as you wish and still find everything as you left it. Some brands have also added popular candle scents so you can get the exact experience of using the real thing. They are an excellent candle alternative for families and pet parents.
There is no doubt candles are romantic, and they add a homey feeling to any space. Even so, a candle fire is a significant threat and should be treated as such. Use these rules to stay safe and also consider switching to safer alternatives.
Oil Furnace Puffback Damage Requires Expert Cleaning
Puffback damage in Prescott, AZ.
Many businesses in Prescott, AZ use oil for heat. While the price of oil can fluctuate, it’s been an excellent source of heat in this region. While modern furnaces are very safe, as they age, they can experience serious problems, such as puffback damage.
What Is A Puffback?
If you don’t know, congratulations! Hopefully, you’ll never find out. Here are the symptoms of a puffback and what to do about it.
A Furnace Puffback Is Always Bad
Puffbacks can happen in gas furnaces, but they’re typically associated with an oil furnace. It means something serious went wrong with your furnace, and if the puffback is large, the puffback damage itself may destroy your furnace.
The results of a puffback can be ominous:
- Widespread soot damage
- Toxic fume release
- Combustion chamber explosion
If you’re around the furnace when it happens, it can even be dangerous. But you may get some advance notice if you pay attention.
Signs of a Furnace Puffback Risk
The most common sign that your furnace may have a puffback is a knocking or booming sound when the combustion chamber ignites. It’s normally a pretty smooth sound, so if you notice it, you should have your furnace inspected immediately.
Another sign is an increasing odor of burning fuel. Rarely, you may get a slight diesel fume odor from your furnace, but if it’s happing daily, it certainly needs servicing.
After a Furnace Puffback
Soot is a horrid mess of toxic residue and oils. It sticks to everything and stubbornly resists typical smoke cleaning. A puffback in a business is a disaster and may be covered by your commercial insurance policy.
Unless the release of soot was very minimal, you’re going to need professional smoke damage experts to restore your business. They use custom cleaning agents and have been certified by the IICRC to use them safely. Cleaning agents found in hardware stores just aren’t up to the job and may cause more damage than good.
Puffback damage should always be treated seriously. Your furnace will need an immediate inspection, and you’ll have to remove heavy soot before you’ll be allowed to reopen.
5 Ways To Reduce Flood Damage To Your Commercial Building
Facility damaged by a storm.
Five Ways To Mitigate Flood
The FEMA calculator estimates that one inch of flooding can cost owners up to $25,000 in damages. Commercial owners in Prescott, AZ must also consider that as they pay for restoration, the operation may have come to a halt, waiting for the property to become functional again. To save time and money, it's best to take a proactive approach, avoiding water accumulation. The following are five ways to mitigate flood devastation.
1. Check Plumbing Lines
Owners may not realize that flood damage may occur from backups within the gutters and plumbing lines. Sewage water, for instance, may push into the premises as the water level increases outside. The Category three fluid houses a plethora of bacteria. Be sure to have experts check the backflow valve and sump pump annually.
Also, if leaves and debris clog gutters, they cannot function as they should. Rather than drawing the flow away from the structure, it could allow it to filter inside. Consistently check this area, clearing it out as needed.
2. Consider Property Placement
Most flooding impacts the lower zones before the upper regions. Think about where you store expensive or essential pieces. If a major storm hits, water buildup could ruin anything on the floor. Move it to the second floor. If that isn't possible, stack things on tables. Electronics, particularly, require a safe space.
3. Get a Professional Opinion
If you aren't sure about how your place may handle a torrential system, contact a storm and water restoration company. The specialists are certified. With their knowledge, they can point out vulnerabilities and recommend procedures that may safeguard those zones. They could install permanent flood barriers or moveable walls.
4. Move Electrical Equipment Up
Storm damage permits excessive water penetration that can reach the electrical wiring. Consider moving outlets, circuit breakers and switches to higher levels.
5. Use Waterproof Products
One of the major costs of floods is replacing harmed materials. Consider buying things that hold up well to moisture. Be sure to look for flood-resistant labels.
Flooding doesn't have to ruin your property and set you completely off schedule. Focus on how to hinder water penetration and minimize trouble.
Top 5 Mistakes When Using a Fire Extinguisher
Fire damage in Prescott, AZ.
Top 5 Mistakes When Using a Fire Extinguisher
Most homes have a fire extinguisher, but do you know how to use one properly? Do you know where it is located in your house or residential complex? The biggest mistake is to put off learning until it's too late.
1. Forgetting the Safety Pin
The pin prevents accidental use of the fire extinguisher. However, if you forget to disarm it, the tool will not be able to do its job. Locate it on the handle, and pull upward to remove.
2. Touching the Nozzle
A CO2 extinguisher causes the nozzle to be extremely cold to the touch. This can possibly harm the skin. To be safe, don't touch this part of the fire extinguisher. The CO2 kind can be identified its stiffer nozzle and absence of a pressure gauge. Regardless, it's best to keep humans away from the front end.
3. Aiming Too High
The natural instinct is to start at the top of the flames and work your way down. However, it's most effective to make a sweeping motion at the base of the fire. This way, whatever is igniting the flames will go out more quickly.
4. Getting Too Close
Furthermore, panic sets in during a fire emergency. Resist the urge to get as close to the fire as you can. This will only make you vulnerable to burns. In most small cases, like a kitchen fire, it can be put out farther away.
4. Being Overconfident
Firefighters are trained to put out fires for a reason. It's harder than it looks. Many individuals will think that they extinguished the flames, so they are done. That isn't the case. After doing the sweeping motions, wait to see if the fire reignites.
Large fires are often too difficult for an extinguisher to put out. If the flames get out of hand, evacuation is the best plan. If fire damage occurs, you will need to contact the local fire damage remediation experts in Prescott, AZ. Cleanup on your own is not safe due to possible structural damage.
How To Find Bathroom Leaks
A shower pan leak can cause severe water damage.
If you see water pooling in your bathroom in Prescott, AZ, it's important to find the water source right away. The longer the water sits, the more damage it can do. A bathtub leak is especially difficult to spot and often goes undetected until it becomes a huge problem. If you spot water damage, call a water restoration service as soon as possible. To catch the issue early, follow these tips.
How To Spot a Leaky Bathtub
Leaky bathtubs usually originate from one of two sources:
Faucet Leaks: A leaking faucet is fairly easy to fix. It's usually caused by worn rubber washers within the faucets assembly. Taking the faucet apart and replacing the washers may fix the problem. If you aren't sure what type of washers to buy, bring the old ones to your local hardware store. Sometimes replacing the washers won't fix the leak, though. In that case, you may need to replace the whole faucet assembly.
Drain Leaks: A bathtub leak can also originate in the drain. The easiest fix is when the seal around the drain becomes loose. In this situation, remove the drain and apply plumbers putty around the entire assembly. If that doesn't fix the leak, you may have an issue with the plumbing underneath the drain. A plumber can fix this problem.
How To Check the Shower Pan for Leaks
A shower pan leak can cause severe water damage. To identify such a leak, put enough duct tape over the drain to cover it completely. Make sure it is watertight. Pour enough water from a bucket into the shower pan to make at least an inch of standing water. Check for water at the base of the shower pan. Look for pooling that extends beyond the tile. If it occurs, contact a plumber to replace the pan so that it is installed properly.
A bathtub leak can become a serious problem. Make sure you address the issue right away.