Let's Talk about Sewage Water
It's definitely not the most pleasant problem to talk about, but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.
Earlier we discussed how to tell if the water flooding in your property is clean or contaminated. It's probably the most important to know that sewage water should be assumed to be contaminated and hazardous at all times (until one of our professionals determines otherwise). Sewage water is typically referred to as category 3 black water. This classification is due to the dangerous contaminants in it. It's important to note that sewage water has the ability to appear clean. This is an instance of top water. If sewage runoff looks clean, it's usually because the waste and contaminants have sunk to the bottom. This water is still categorized as black water; not for the color, but for the risk it carries with it. In most cases of any standing water in your home, it's crucial to understand that just because you can't particularly see the contaminants or just because the water looks clear...doesn't mean that it is safe to try to mitigate yourself.
Our SERVPRO of Washington County crews are specifically trained to deal with hazardous water and how to clean any harmful remnants once the water is drained. Without that training, your knowledge is your most powerful tool to keep you from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.
If you experience sewage backup or sewage related flooding, let us be your first call. We make it, "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO of Washington County
"The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power"...(David Bailey)
It always makes sense to be a lifetime learner. SERVPRO of Washington County couldn't agree more.
Our crews are always learning. Learning new equipment, new techniques etc. Our crew members have to always keep their credentials up to date every year and have to keep adding to their expertise.
SERVPRO of Washington County is so proud of the men and women that are called in to help people on some of their worst days. We are able to keep them informed every step of the way. Our crews are able to help them understand the methods they are using, the chemicals they are using and why. The more they know the more "super" powers they have ;). Next time you see one of our crew members don't be afraid to ask them about their credentials etc.
We are here to help.
Being Proactive Cleaners
As disastrous possibilities become realities, you can lean on on us at SERVPRO. SERVPRO is helping to contain the coronavirus and mitigate the impact on our neighbors.
It is important to note that the cleaning methods need to be more sophisticated and effective with this level of Bioremediation than just wiping hard surfaces with disinfectant. Health comes first and with the use of PPE and protective masks, our teams adhere to OSHA and CDC guidelines.
SERVPRO of Washington County will use the fogging methods to more deeply disinfect. SERVPROxide, the hospital-grade disinfectant, is released from the fogger, and its particles adhere strongly to surfaces and objects. The procedure must ensure that all surfaces including walls, doors, floors, and ceilings are uniformly coated. Instead, we follow our initial fogging with a wiping of all surfaces followed by a further fogging round. It is an extreme and comprehensive disinfection process, which should be the norm when dealing with this magnitude of a virus hazard.
Our team is ready to assist with preventive or post-contamination.
In describing "Proactive," we would say that means as cleaning when no person is suspected of being exposed to COVID-19. It would be a smaller area of study since no verified case has been identified.
If there was exposure to anyone suspected of either testing positively for COVID-19 or being subjected to someone displaying symptoms in your facility, we call this "post-contamination" cleaning. In this situation, the scope of work and the required safety measures will increase.
Call SERVPRO of Washington County with any questions. (301) 797-0677
Possible Water Issue Sources
If you are like a lot of people you might think of water damage to your home being caused by weather; maybe a hurricane or heavy rains.
In reality most water damage comes for non-weather conditions. This might mean a plumbing issue such as pipes, drains and valves failing. It could also be many times from an appliance. This is something that most people don't think about.
Appliances do not always offer warning signs until the damage has already occurred. That is why it is important to check them regularly.
First, know where the main water supply is located in case of emergency.
If you will be away from home for an extended period, shut off the water supply and drain the pipes.
Exceptions might be if your home is heated with steam system or your fire sprinkler system so consult with a professional if you can turn this supply off when leaving.
Consider having your air conditioning system inspected regularly by a professional. Check the drain lines annually and clean them if they are clogged.
Inspect water heaters, showers, tubs, toilets, sinks and dishwashers annually, and have them repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, install water heaters in areas with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.
Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases, and make repairs as needed.
If your refrigerator has an ice machine or water dispenser, the hose between the wall and the refrigerator should be made of braided copper.
Check pipes for cracks and leaks. Have pipe damage fixed immediately to prevent more costly repairs in the future.
Check appliance hoses and plumbing fittings for breakage, crimping or bending.
You can't always prevent water damage from happening in your home but many times prevention is your best friend in avoiding water damage from happening.
In recent years it seems like there are more wildfires than ever. Many times we have no control if we are going to lose our home to a wildfire but there are things we can do to prepare and hopefully at times save our home.
So be prepared. Create a defensible space around your home. Keep at least 30 feet between your home and your potential sources. Clean and remove all dead and dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof and rain gutters. Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that would catch fire. These could be things like patio furniture, wood piles, swing sets, etc.
Stay aware of the latest news and updates from your local media and fire department. Get your family, home and pets ready to evacuate. Place an emergency supply kit and other valuables in your vehicle. Be sure to also close and protect your home’s openings, these could be the attic and basement doors and vents, windows, garage doors and pet doors to prevent embers from penetrating your home. Connect garden hoses and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water. Leave as early as possible, before you’re told to evacuate.
SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help. Please be safe! (301) 797-0677
Sick Building Syndrome
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a common worldwide health concern, where people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness or become infected with chronic disease from the building in which they work or reside. The outbreaks may or may not be a direct result of inadequate cleaning or inappropriate cleaning methods. Certain symptoms tend to increase in severity with the time people spend in the building; often improving over time or even disappearing when people are away from the building. Exposure to toxic black mold might cause health effects. Sick building causes are frequently pinned down to flaws in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Other causes have been attributed to contaminants produced by out gassing of some types of building materials, volatile organic compounds, molds, improper exhaust ventilation of ozone, light industrial chemicals used within, or lack of adequate fresh-air intake/air filtration. SERVPRO of Washington County is dedicated to cleaning any source of SBS and restoring the area back to its original condition so you and your employees or coworkers can feel safe and healthy going into the office!
Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen!
Everyone loves to gather in the kitchen and the cook is often the popular one in the house but did you know that cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries in the U.S. ?
Cooking fires often result from unattended cooking and human error. Although it is important to make sure your appliances are functioning properly and kept up to date, it is equally important to cook with caution and never get too comfortable in the kitchen.
Although accidents happen, it is important to be prepared and alert in order to minimize these chances before they occur. Here are a few simple safety precautions to take to decrease the possibility of a fire.
Some tips to remember:
Stay in the kitchen. Never leave cooking unattended.
Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.
Make sure you the batteries are always changed in the smoke detector.
Never throw hot grease in the garbage can. This can easily start a fire.
Beware of things around the stove. Do not keep towels , oven mitts, or anything flammable near the fire.
Also, take notice of what you are wearing. Do not wear clothing that is flowing and could catch on fire.
Be safe while cooking and keep it the heart of the home.
If anything happens though, know that SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help .
Flooding is Always a Risk
Unfortunately, just because you don't reside in a flood zone doesn't means that you won't get flooding.
Even the driest areas can experience what are known as flash floods. Rivers, streams, and lakes are almost always overflowing their banks, given a couple of rainy days. New construction in your neighborhood can even change runoff patterns in the area and can increase our flood risks.
The cost of flood damage is expensive. This cost can vary depending on the type of damage and where the water came from. Any tips that can help prevent this has to be worth the time to try them. You can't stop a flood from damaging your home from the above situations but you can do some things to keep a flood from happening inside your home.
Here are some things to try:
• An inspection and flushing your water heater once a year, by a plumber, can contribute to preventing it bursting on you and flooding the area.
• Replacing the rubber hoses on all appliances that use water with metal braided ones can help to avoid the failing of the rubber ones as they can get hard and burst. Check all hoses; even the metal braided ones every year.
• Leaks from toilets are often indicated by a little leakage from the base.
• Do you know where to locate the main water shut-off? If a pipe burst, inside, you need to be able to get it turned off quickly.
• If you have a sump pump, now is a good time to get it checked and think about a backup unit.
• Always be looking for signs of plumbing leaks, such as on ceilings and walls; you are looking for stains and moisture on those walls and floors.
• Leaking or even broken pipes are often gushing water, and it is not noticed because it might be hidden. Check out your water usage when no faucets are turned on; locate the water meter and take a reading, then use no water for an hour or so and read it again. Has it moved? If so, you have a leak someplace, so get a plumber to check it out.
• Always monitor your monthly water bill. If it goes up a lot one billing cycle, you might have the need for a plumber to come in and check all connections.
• Since a lot of water comes from inside your home and can damage many walls, floors, furniture and provide the moisture needed for molds to grow, doing whatever can be done to prevent leaks is a good exercise to undertake.
Water and Mold in Your Home
Rain is great for your yard but not to get inside your home.
Many people wake up from a rain storm to a wet basement. It may be from the foundation or could be a pipe leakage, sub pump failure. Many things could have happened and you will want to determine how it happened to get the right person out to repair.
In all the cases though you are going to want to call an expert in helping you to dry out your basement. That expert would be SERVPRO of Washington County.
We can get right to work in getting the water up, drying the structure etc. SERVPRO has the knowledge as to what can be dried and saved and what is better off being throw away.
Did you know that organic materials like paper, fabric, wood, leather can start to grow mold in as little as a day? Let SERVPRO help you save as much as possible of your things.
SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Keeping your Business in Business
When your business has a situation that calls for SERVPRO's help, SERVPRO is there to work for you. SERVPRO understands that if possible you will want your business to still operate during clean up, even if at sub capacity.
SERVPRO will put containment walls up around the work area. If possible, SERVPRO will work during non-traditional business hours to get the if that is what is requested.
SERVPRO will be discrete when it's needed for any sensitive clean ups. SERVPRO takes pride in our staff and their sensitivity to the fact that your business is the priority. We want to make sure your business is up to full capacity as soon as possible.
SERVPRO understands that an unexpected period of lost productivity and revenue can be devastating to any business large or small.
SERVPRO has the training and resources to get your business up and running in the fastest time possible.