Recent Posts

How Aid is Assessed After a Flood

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded livingroom. When your home is flooded as the result of a natural disaster, FEMA can probably help.

When a natural disaster causes widespread destruction, the Federal Emergency Management Agency often steps in to provide assistance and aid to those displaced by the aftermath of the storm. If your home in Yavapai County is damaged by flooding, FEMA may send a housing inspector to assess your property. What follows is a thorough walkthrough that can result in receiving federal assistance for putting your home back together.

Initial Assessment

When inspectors arrive at your home, they document everything that needs to be repaired or replaced. If there is a lot of damage, this could take a while. They make a detailed list of problems, such as:

• Soaked carpet
• Ruined walls
• Damaged cabinets
• Destroyed items, such as furniture

They take pictures of your home and write down the extent of the problem. For example, if is completely soaked through, they include how many square feet of carpet was affected. The more details they can report, the better FEMA is able to assess your need.

Documentation Requirements

One thing that the inspector will need from you is proof that you own the home. This can be problematic if your deed was destroyed by the storm and you don't have a copy on hand. Getting the paperwork from the appropriate office will have to happen before you are eligible to receive any of the aid that the inspector says you qualify for.

Inspector Advice

The government inspector is not the only person who needs to assess your property. Your insurance company will likely send an adjuster, and if there are repairs to be done, you should call a flood remediation company so that repairs can begin as soon as possible.

When your home is flooded as the result of a natural disaster, FEMA can probably help. All that is needed is a thorough inspection and proof that you own the home for the inspector to determine whether or not you qualify for aid.

How To Save Your Plants From Mildew

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Few things bring life to your home in Yavapai County the way houseplants do. Plants clean the air and brighten up the room. Sometimes, plants get sick, though. The white powdery substance you find on the leaves is plant mildew. As long as your plant is not already dead, however, there is still hope to save it. Unlike mold remediation, you can probably remedy the problem yourself with some extra care. Here are six tips to help prevent or save your plants from mildew.

1. Move the plant outside. The air inside your home tends to be more stagnant than the fresh air outside. Increasing air flow can help control the moisture that led to the mildew growth.

2. Remove infected areas and debris. Some parts of the plant may not be able to be salvaged, so you can prune those parts off. Remove any leaves or debris that are crowding the plant.

3. Spray plant with mildewcide. There are products that are specifically formulated to combat plant mildew. Avoid harsher chemicals, especially if the plant is meant to be edible.

4. Water the plant at the roots. One of the causes of mildew on plants is excess moisture on the leaves. The effects of rain are often counteracted by the rays of the sun, but indoor conditions cannot compensate for frequent watering from above.

5. Introduce it to the sun. Sunshine has a natural drying effect on the leaves of a plant. It also infuses important nutrients that support overall health into the plant's cells.

6. Disinfect tools. If you used your gardening tools on your infected plant, chances are that some of the mildew escaped onto the tools. To be safe, disinfect your tools with mildewcide before using them again.

If you want to prevent plant mildew, monitor the moisture and air flow around the plant. If your plant already has mildew, taking these steps can save its life.

4 Tips for Maintaining Fire Sprinklers at Your Business

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

To remain helpful and protective of a business, fire sprinklers need proper care. Without it, these systems can instead become detrimental. For example, it could potentially go off without a fire and lead to water damage. Active sprinkler maintenance for your Yavapai County, AZ, business can be accomplished by following four tips.

1. Keep Sprinkler Heads Clean and Unhampered

If you have painting done on the ceiling, be sure to keep the sprinklers protected from the paint until the process is done. The coating can dry and restrict the unit from allowing water to escape. This can lead to flooding in the ceiling when you need water spread around the room.

Sprinklers become dirty if not regularly cleaned, especially in areas where the air is often inhabited by chemicals or grease. If you are not comfortable doing this using a nondamaging degreasing solution, you can have them cleaned by a professional.

2. Complete an Extensive Inspection of the System

Central to sprinkler maintenance, a yearly inspection by a professional can catch problems that may otherwise be invisible. These inspections are thorough and can identify pipe leaks, improperly fitted components or damaged sensors that could lead to a failure to deploy or accidental discharge.

3. Keep the Sprinklers Clear of Obstructions

Blocked fire sprinklers are a danger and safety code violation. Ceilings should be kept clear a few feet around the sprinkler so it can function properly. Unobstructed flow also prevents water buildup inside that leads to unnecessary damage to the sprinkler system.

4. Ensure Valves Are Open and Have Pressure

Water valves need to be regularly checked that they are open. Without water flow, sprinkler systems obviously cannot work. A professional can ensure sprinklers are open and receiving appropriate water pressure.

Maintain Your Business in All Circumstances

Regardless if it’s fire or water damage, a professional damage restoration crew can stop sprinkler damage from irreparably harming your business property. Proper sprinkler maintenance incurs expenses early on to prevent even costlier cleanup in the future. Water and fire damage can be mitigated with proper action.

Bathroom Supply Lines: What They Are and How Often To Replace Them

8/14/2021 (Permalink)

A drainage system under sink A little prevention may go a long way to keeping water where it belongs:

What Are Bathroom Supply Lines And How Often Should They Be Replaced?

From the municipal water supply in Prescott Valley, AZ, to a home’s plumbing system and out through the faucet, water passes through a lot of pipes, hoses, and tubes to make its way into your hands. One of these is a supply line that brings the water from your home’s plumbing and into individual appliances and fixtures that use water, such as a bathroom sink or toilet. Supply lines are located in so many places in a home that supply line damage can be a big deal.

What Is a Supply Line?

Supply lines are made of an inner polymer lining, covered in a braided stainless-steel sleeve. The rubber or plastic tube keeps the water contained, while the steel sleeve maintains the strength the polymer lining needs to withstand water pressure. Even with good manufacturing and materials, supply line damage can still occur, leading to an event like a bathroom leak. Damage can be caused by the following:

  • Corrosion caused by chlorine
  • Corrosion from household cleaners
  • Age

How Do Supply Lines Fail?

The most common way a supply line fails is when the steel sleeve corrodes, the metal strands breaking one by one until there is enough of a gap for the lining to poke through and balloon outwards. The polymer lining can’t withstand the water pressure, and this causes it to burst, leaking water. Depending on where this supply line leak occurs, the damage could be merely an annoyance or an outright disaster.

What Should You Look For?

One of the best ways to prevent a leak like this is to keep an eye out for damage and replace supply lines about every three years. Signs of a possible problem would be the appearance of crimps or kinks in the line, pitting or corrosion on the braided steel, or a bubble in the hose. Catching a potential problem before it becomes a problem is often the most surefire way to avoid damages.

Suffering the effects of supply line damage can be costly. However, a little prevention may go a long way to keeping water where it belongs: inside the pipes.

The Difference Between Mold Removal and Mold Remediation

8/14/2021 (Permalink)

A technician checking with a device the moisture of a home. SERVPRO offers services to prevent and remediate mold attacking at home.

Mold Removal vs. Mold Remediation: What's the Difference?

Experts claim there are more than 100 types of mold bacteria inside the average home in Yava, AZ. Colonies can include yellow, orange, green, and black mold. How is that possible? Many common fungus spores are found in cars, homes, offices, and outdoors because the fungi are constantly floating about in the air. The microscopic bacteria can enter any building through doors and windows, but the spores can also find a way inside homes on pet fur, shoes, and clothing. Once the spore plants itself onto a potential life source, it begins growing into a colony and eventually becomes large enough to be seen and destroyed.

Mold Removal

Mold cleanup, removal, and remediation are often terms used synonymously, but they are not the same. Completely removing mold is considered an impossible task because the spores float in the air and land almost everywhere. For this reason, a mold removal team can only clean existing mold from items within your home. Moments later, the bacterial spores, including black mold, often return.

Mold Remediation

Companies specializing in mold cleanup and remediation tend to offer more than removal services. With specialized training and equipment, the mold remediation team can locate the mold, assess the problem, and contain the area. The professionals often employ large air movers, HEPA air scrubbers, and dehumidifiers to remove any water that is contributing to the mold problem. Once the moisture is gone, existing mold colonies can be eradicated by getting rid of moldy materials. Items often include carpets, drywall, and wood.

Mold Prevention

The affected area may need an application of disinfectant or fungicide to eliminate any remaining microscopic spores and prevent future mold. The need to disinfect is especially true with materials that can be salvaged but have been near mold-infested items. Since black mold can be a concern, disinfecting the whole room may also be an option. Mold remediation specialists can also answer questions on how to prevent mold from attacking in the future.

Flood Safety for First Responders

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Civil protection men with high visibility clothing during an exercise to prevent flooding in the city Have proper flood gear.

Flood Protection for First Responders

As a first responder in Cottonwood, AZ, flooding is one of the most challenging situations you may encounter. It’s crucial to be prepared beforehand, so familiarize yourself with these tips:

  • Ensure you have the necessary vaccinations.
  • Have proper flood gear.
  • Prepare for safety risks.
  • Know post-flood protocol.

Immunizations

There are two CDC-required vaccinations for first responders. A tetanus booster is required unless you have received one in the last decade. If you’re at risk of contact with biohazards, a hepatitis B vaccine is also necessary.

Flood Response Gear

Appropriate gear is crucial for a first responder. Tall rubber boots, gloves, safety goggles, floatation devices and masks are usual essentials, but your state’s health department may have more recommendations.

Know the Risks

There are various safety hazards to watch out for after a flood.

• Although drowning is an obvious hazard, the risk factors may not be as apparent. It only takes a few inches of water to impair a vehicle’s ability to drive or carry you away on foot.

• Electricity poses a serious risk. The flood water itself may be charged due to power line damage. Electrical equipment may also be wet, so be cautious of touching it.

• Flood water may be contaminated by chemicals or waterborne diseases. Make sure your gear can protect you from these risks, and wash your hands often.

• Wild animals, particularly snakes or rodents, may take refuge in buildings. Any animal bite requires immediate medical attention.

• Flooded areas are prime conditions for mold and mildew to develop. Dispose of mold-contaminated material according to local protocol. You may also consider consulting a team of mold experts.

Post-Flood Protocol

After your work is done, always shower and disinfect your gear to prevent further contamination.
Also consider a medical screening once your flood response work has been completed, especially if you’ve been exposed to contaminants or develop new symptoms.

While your duty as a first responder is to aid flood victims, it’s equally important to take precautions for yourself. Following protocols and knowing the hazards you may encounter will ensure not only your own safety but will enable you to continue the brave task of helping others.

What To Do With Your Electronics After a House Fire

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

Fire flame coming out of a keyboard of a computer 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

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in the hallway of a Prescott Valley, AZ home. 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

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Containment set up to stop the spread of mold in Prescott Valley, AZ. 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.

Building Maintenance

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

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial roof collapsed due to storm in Prescott, AZ. 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.