National Preparedness Month: Facts About Home Fires
September is National Preparedness Month and today we're looking at some facts regarding home fires. House fires are caused by a number of things but not matter the origin, fire travels fast through a home.
- Fire is Fast! In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can grow into a major fire. In minutes, a house can be fully engulfed in flames.
- Fire is Hot! Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperature in a fire can be 100 at floor level and can rise to as much as 600 degrees at eye level.
- Fire is Dark! It starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and creates a complete blanket of darkness throughout the home.
It is important to remember to install smoke alarms on every level of a home, especially inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Testing smoke alarms should be done every month and if they're not working, replace the batteries and test again. Rehearsal of a fire escape plan with your family is also incredibly important. As mentioned earlier, fire begins light but quickly becomes dark due to smoke and rehearsing an escape route regularly will make it easier to navigate out of the property. Also, have a specific meeting place once everyone has exited the building.
For more tips about home fire safety, please visit American Red Cross and Ready.gov.
Residential Water Damage: Toilet Supply Line Failure
When building materials such as drywall and flooring are damaged beyond repair, they are removed in order to dry the materials behind or below.
Recently, the SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties Team was contacted to assist with a water mitigation project caused by a broken toilet supply line. The damage occurred in a one-story residential home, with an unfinished basement. Unfortunately, the supply line broke, began to leak, and was not discovered for multiple days. The bathroom, where the line ruptured, along with the neighboring rooms, sustained substantial water damage.
Water rain across vinyl and carpeted flooring, spread from wall to wall, and eventually wicked up the drywall to the point they were unsalvageable. Following a thorough extraction of standing water on both the main level and basement, SERVPRO technicians proceeded with demolition of affected building materials. Drywall, trim boards, carpet, carpet pad, vinyl flooring, and even the bathroom vanity were surgically removed, bagged, and discarded from the home.
Following demolition, commercial air movers and dehumidifiers were installed to dry the exposed building materials such as subfloor, wood studs, and the concrete basement floor. Once the areas were dry, they were thoroughly cleaned and deodorized.
SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties: here to help and make water damage "Like it never even happened."
Water Damage Mitigation: Office Building Project
No matter when a disaster occurs, SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties is ready to assist with fire or water damage.
In this recent commercial water mitigation project, the SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties Team was contacted by a local company who had experienced water damage due to an expired hot water heater. The water heater was located on the second level of the building. The second level was affected but a substantial amount of damage was caused to the first floor which was primarily office space.
SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties received initial notification of the damage after hours on a weekend and immediately mobilized a team of technicians to being the mitigation services. The first step was to extract the standing water which was contained to the first level. Once the water was removed, commercial drying equipment such as air movers and dehumidifiers were installed to begin the drying process. Over the course of the next few days, building materials that were determined to be unsalvageable were cut, bagged, and discarded. These materials included drywall, trim, carpeting, insulation, and sections of laminate flooring.
The areas that were affected were then dried thoroughly for an additional two days at which point the drying equipment was removed. All affected areas were dried completely and cleaned.
Not all emergencies happen Monday through Friday between the hours of 9AM and 5PM. In fact, very often they occur outside of these "normal business hours." SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties is ready for whatever happens when it happens. Making fire and water damage "Like it never even happened."
Water Mitigation: Moisture Detection
Moisture detection is a vital step in the water mitigation process.
From excessive ground water flooding your basement, to a broken pipe, an expired water heater, or a failed washing machine supply line, water damage to your property can be caused by many things. In each case, two facts are consistent across the board: it's never planned, and it's never convenient. At SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties, we do our best to make the cleanup and restoration process following water damage as painless as possible.
One of the most critical steps in the water damage mitigation process is moisture detection. Sometimes determining what areas of the property have been affected by water is obvious, but most times it may require further investigation as to where the water has traveled. SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties is equipped with a variety of devices and moisture detecting equipment to ensure all affected areas are tracked, documented, and dried thoroughly to prevent secondary damage such as rot and mold. SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties professionals use moisture detecting meters that can detect water through multiple levels of building materials such as flooring, drywall, tile, paneling, insulation, cabinetry, and more. In situations where it may be difficult to access a surface that is in question, our team uses an infrared camera which can show areas of cold temps where water has traveled. Thermo hygrometers are used to measure temperature and humidity within a space to better create a drying plan based on the environment where the water damage occurred. The hygrometer also helps in determining how well the area is drying and if we need to modify our drying strategy.
These are but a few tools the SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties Team has at its disposal for the moisture detecting phase of the water mitigation process. Determining what areas are affected is one of the most important steps in mitigating water damage in a residential or commercial property.
Storm Damage Comes in Many Forms
SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties has the necessary equipment to mitigate property-related storm damage of any size or severity.
Depending on the season, especially here in Southern Vermont, storms can come in a variety of forms. They may differ based on many kinds of precipitation, temperature, severity, and intensity.
Most common during summer months, thunderstorms can bring with them strong winds, heavy rains, lightning, rising waters and often hail. When it comes to winter, storm damage varies even more. Substantial, accumulating snowfall, freezing rain, ice buildup, ice dams, periods of sub-freezing temperature are commonplace for New England Winters. In the Springtime, the combination of warming temps, snow melt, and the occasional rainfall can create flood concerns.
Each of these types of storm damage can be damaging to your home or commercial property. SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties is equipped the proper equipment needed and trained personnel to remedy storm-related damage to your property no matter the size or severity. SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties is available 24/7 to make storm damage "Like it never even happened."
Multi-Phase Fire Restoration Project
SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties, working hard to make fire and water damage "Like it never even happened."
Recently, the SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties mitigation team was asked to assist a local property owner following a fire. The property is a multi-tenant building, and the fire originated on the second floor. The fire smoldered and caused high levels of smoke throughout the upper level. Eventually, flames began to develop and damage parts of the building's structure. The local fire department swiftly arrived and effectively extinguished the fire using their tanker trucks. When the area was cleared, the property had sustained smoke, fire, and water damage on multiple levels.
There were several phases in the mitigation project following this fire event. First, the SERVPRO team gathered and discarded of items and belongings that were deemed "unsalvageable" and beyond repair. Items that were able to be salvaged were carefully boxed and removed from the building where they were stored to be cleaned and deodorized by our trained personnel. Dehumidifiers were brought in to accelerate the drying process and other machines were installed to begin deodorizing the damaged areas.
Areas of the building that were unaffected by fire, smoke, and water were contained and blocked off with plastic to prevent cross contamination. Our team then proceeded with demolition services to damaged building materials such as drywall, insulation, flooring, doors, trim, and even some cabinetry and lighting. The deconstructed materials were carefully removed from the property and discarded.
Lastly, the exposed portions of the building that were now open following demolition were cleaned and deodorized thoroughly. The property is now dry, deodorized, cleaned and ready for repair.
This project involved many steps and phases but our SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties team was up to the task. No project to large or small. We're here to make fire and water damage "Like it never even happened."
Water Mitigation Pros: Here When You Need Us!
Big or small, unexpected water intrusion can cause substantial damage to your property.
Property damage from water intrusion takes on many different forms whether it be in a residential or commercial setting. When a pipe breaks, a roof leaks, an appliance fails, or flood waters rise, the damage can be minor, or quite substantial. In any case, SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties is prepared to take on whatever kind of water damage you may face. Our team of trained professionals carry out the following procedures to make sure your property is thoroughly dried, clean and when necessary, prepped for repair:
- Identify the type of water
- Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis
- Survey the extent of damage and inspect the premises for hidden moisture
- Perform emergency water extraction
- Move and block furniture and contents
- Inspect carpet/carpet padding and proved service
- Apply necessary treatments such as disinfectants and deodorization
- Utilize advanced drying and monitoring equipment
- Dispose of damaged debris
When contacting SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties, rest assured you've contacted the area's industry-leading team to handle your water damage emergency. Working hard to make water damage to your home or commercial property "Like it never even happened."
Flood Water: Knowing the Terms
Being prepared can make a major difference when damaging rain and flooding make their way through your town and surrounding areas.
It was almost a year ago, the local area was inundated with heavy rains, downpours, and rising water. In July of 2021, we saw record rainfall in several of our surrounding towns. Rivers swelled, the ground became overly saturated, and as a result we received an abundance of service requests for flooded properties.
The heavy rains arrived unexpectedly for many. Preparation can be helpful in minimizing property damage but more importantly, for the safety of you and your family. Here are a few terms relating to flooding and their meanings which can be helpful before the onset of heavy rainfall.
Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Listen to weather radio, commercial radio, or TV for information.
Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to weather radio, commercial radio, or TV for information.
Flood Warnings: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Flash Flood Warnings: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
Remember to take as many safety precautions as possible prior to flood causing rains. If your property becomes damaged by flooding, contact the emergency restoration team that's faster to any sized disaster: SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties.
Unwanted Moisture: Proper Treatment is Critical
When not treated properly, unwanted moisture within your home or commercial property can lead to further damage.
With the onset of summer weather comes a variety of weather conditions when, in the right set of circumstances, can be potentially harmful to your home or commercial property. Heavy downpours, rising waters, and high humidity to name a few.
SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties professionals handle water damage every day and know prompt action is required to prevent unwanted water damage leading to mold growth. If you are experiencing an ongoing moisture/water problem, you should be alert for the following:
- The presence of visible mold
- Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold is present
- Any evidence of past moisture problems
- Excessive humidity
These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.
For more information on water damage and how it correlates to potential mold growth, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties. We're here to help!
Be Prepared for Any Disaster at Your Food Service Facility
Our team understands the importance of timely response following fire or water damage at all types of food services facilities.
When it comes to your food service facility, the top priority following an untimely fire or water damage emergency is getting your business back up and operating as soon as possible. Minimizing interruption for your restaurant, food manufacturing facility, or food distribution center is of the utmost importance for your patrons, customers, or clients.
SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties understands the needed value of timely response in these situations and is available 24/7/365 to get your food service business operating again swiftly and professionally. When fire or water damage strikes, be sure to contact the mitigation team with the state-of-the-art equipment, specially formulated products, and industry leading training to assist with your emergency.
Contact SERVPRO of Windham & Windsor Counties for information regarding our Emergency Ready Program and how it can help you be better prepared when an unexpected emergency occurs. We're here to help!