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Hiding Spots to Check for Water Damage

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Hidden water leak on tile flooring Hidden Water seeping from under cabinets

It is true that water damage is often a result of severe weather, but it is important to note that it can occur for a variety of reasons. There are many situations that can lead to water damage, and a lot of them can occur without homeowners even being aware.

The longer water damage is unattended, the more complex it can be to address. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to not accept water damage claims, but when they do, most are over $6,500. Understanding what hiding spots to check for water damage can help homeowners address it quickly and prevent further issues from arising.

Where to Look for Water Damage
  • Below windows. Windows are sealed on their exterior, but this can weaken as the home ages. When the window is exposed to water, a faulty seal can let moisture through to the wall below.

  • Under siding. Siding panel joints and corners are not always the most secure, and can even let water in if they are not joined properly.

  • Under thresholds. The metal thresholds common on exterior doors are not weather-sealed and can let water in to the wood underneath if regularly exposed to the elements.

  • On painted surfaces. Homes that have surfaces that have been painted repeatedly, such as decks or windowsills, can often experience water damage in these areas because the layers of paint allow water to seep through.

  • In the dishwasher cutout. The nook the dishwasher sits in hides its exterior, but it can also hide water damage if a hose or seal is leaking.

  • Inside walls. Aging water pipes can begin to leak onto the walls that contain them, especially in bathrooms or around kitchens.

  • Under a toilet that wobbles. Toilets contain seals, which are notorious for leaks. This can cause water to gradually accumulate on the floor below, eventually leading to a wobbly toilet.

If your home has suffered water damage (even in a hidden place like one of these), we are happy to help! Give us a call right away, and we’ll get there quickly.

Is Your Family Ready for Severe Weather-4 Tips to Assist

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Hurricane Storm Map Storm Weather Map

Preparing for severe weather is always a good idea. Even though we may have advanced warning for some types of severe weather, there are also those occasions where severe weather can catch us off-guard.

Fortunately, there are things you can do and safety tips to follow that will ensure your family is prepared for any type of severe weather occurrences.

Have you created a family emergency plan? One of the best ways to stay ahead of the weather is to create a family emergency plan and have it available at all times.

If your family does have an emergency plan in place, be sure to discuss and practice it at the start of various weather seasons so everyone knows exactly what is expected of them and what to do.

If you’ve not yet created a family emergency plan, here are some things to take into consideration when putting one together:

1. Emergency Alerts

Warnings and alerts are always broadcast over radio and TV, but thanks to today’s technology, it is easy to receive emergency alerts and warnings on your smartphone. If you have a weather app or Google on your smartphone, emergency alerts can literally be at your fingertips, which can provide you with valuable time in severe weather situations.

2. Storm Shelter Options

In areas where tornadoes are common, you’ll want to be in the lowest part of your home, preferably a basement if you have one. If that is not possible, locate an interior room on the lowest level that is away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Tornadoes aren’t the only weather circumstance that require shelter, and you can learn about more of the situations that call for them by visiting ready.gov.

3. Evacuation Routes

You should always have multiple evacuation routes mapped out, since things such as hurricanes, flooding and fires can force you from your home in a hurry. Also, be sure to take your pets into consideration and find out if there are places to stay with your pets along the way if you have furry family members evacuating with you.

4. Communication Methods

We all rely on cell phones to keep in touch with family, but that will not always be possible in some circumstances. Cell phone towers can be damaged in storms, phones could be lost or left behind, and where no power is available, recharging them will be impossible.

Have an emergency communications plan in place for your family and also designate a safe meeting place for your family in case you become separated.

If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City at 702-564-8508 to get the cleanup and restoration process started.

Staying Safe When Lightning Is Near | SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning Strikes in Clouds Lightning Strikes anytime anywhere. Always be safe

Lightning is one of the most dramatic aspects of a thunderstorm—and also one of the most dangerous. Lightning strikes can start fires, ruin electronics and cause structural damage, in addition to all the safety hazards they pose to those who are outside during a storm.

Being aware of what lightning is and how it causes damage are important components of staying safe.

How Lightning Occurs

Thunderstorms all form an electrical charge, which is what causes thunder and lightning. In technical terms, a lightning bolt is the storm dispelling some of this energy, either into another cloud or to the ground.

When lightning does strike toward the ground, it will usually select an object to pass through, as the atmosphere is a poor conductor. Because of the power and charge behind lightning, this is what can lead to damages.

What Damages Can Lightning Cause?

As lightning travels through a home, it will mainly fuel its energy into the electrical wiring and water pipes, as those make for the best conductors. That is why there are three main types of damages associated with lightning:

1. Fires can break out. Lightning, at around 500,000 degrees, is hot enough to ignite most buildings on impact. Additionally, the damage it causes to wires within the home can lead to electrical fires either right away or later on. If your home has been struck, an electrician or the fire department will typically be able to assess the damage and make you aware of any risks.

2. Electronics may get overloaded. As lightning transfers its charge to the home’s electrical grid, it also channels that energy up any cables connected. This intense burst of power can cause a surge, ruining some electronics. Using surge protectors can prevent this from happening.

3. Shock waves can damage foundations. A shock wave in the clouds is heard as thunder, but a shock wave when lightning strikes the ground can cause serious damage. The force of these waves is strong enough to compromise masonry and shatter windows, so after the storm passes, a thorough home inspection is recommended.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

The “How To” of Preparing Your Business for a Flood | SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Offices Flooding Severe Flooding in Commercial Building

When preparing for emergencies as a business owner, it is important to recognize all likely causes of an emergency—including a flood. It has been reported that 90% of natural disasters have flooding involved, so it is important to prepare even if you are not in a known floodplain.

Flood preparedness is a wise choice for business owners to limit their liability, keep their employees safe and get them on track to reopen faster after a disaster. That is why it is important that they take the right steps in preparedness before a flood occurs.

How to Prepare in Advance

There are many resources on flood preparedness out there, but not all of them have business owners specifically in mind. For businesses, here are some musts for preparation:

  • Make use of FEMA’s Flood Map so you are able to understand any geographical risks your area might be prone to.
  • Copy important business documents and store them in a safe, secure place where they will not be affected.
  • Create an official action plan for emergency procedures to train employees with.
  • Make sure every area of the building has a clear evacuation path and host regular emergency drills.
  • Add flood insurance to your business policy if you have not already.
  • Keep stores of food, water and first-aid supplies on hand in case you must wait for help to arrive.
  • Put any electronics such as computers in an elevated area if possible.
Copying Documents to Prepare for a Flood

It is better to make copies of all the documents you could possibly need instead of discovering that you are unable to find important information after a flood. Consider including things such as:

  • A to-do list of tasks to get the business back up and running
  • Contact information of anyone essential to the operation of the business—staff, vendors, etc.
  • The contact information and policy details from your insurance company
  • Recovery instructions for locating computer files
  • Bank records, lease copies and any other financial documents that might be useful

If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help. Call us 247 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track.

Prevention Tips- Mold Damage

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Moldy Walls Severe Mold Damaged Walls

Mold is caused by moisture and grows on a food source over time. That being said reacting to water damages and high levels of moisture could help prevent mold. 

Here are just a few tips to help prevent possible mold growth.

  • Act quickly. Mold needs time to grow so the less time you give it the better.
  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly to prevent damage from getting into your home.
  • Make sure your landscaping slopes down and away from the foundation of your home.
  • Keep your air conditioning drip pans clean and your drain pipes unobstructed.
  • Keep your indoor humidity low. In Las Vegas we typically don't have a problem with this. Humidity meters are pretty inexpensive. In the valley typical levels range from 15 to 30%. 

If you have any concerns we would be happy to answer any questions by phone (702) 564-8508 or in person. 

Home Fires & How to Prevent Them

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

Garage Fire in Residential Home Residential home fire that started in garage

A home fire can cause a catastrophic amount of damage in a short time. Because of how quickly flames can spread, a simple spark can quickly get out of hand.

Though there is no way to guarantee you will never have to experience a house fire, being adamant about prevention will help make it less likely.

Home Fire Statistics

While most might assume fires are rare and odd occurrences, the reality is that a home fire occurs every 24 seconds, according to the NFPA.

The No. 1 cause of cooking fires is cooking, but there are many other reasons a fire might break out.

Home Fire Prevention Steps

Flames can spread rapidly once they get out of hand—but being vigilant about fire prevention will reduce the chances of it getting to that point. Here are some things around the house to check when practicing fire prevention:

Smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are typically outfitted with a test unit that allows you to check batteries, which is recommended to be done once per month. It is also recommended to replace the full unit every 10 years.

Dryer tray. The lint in the dryer tray might seem like a general inconvenience, but it can actually start fires as well. An overfull dryer tray can become combustible as the dryer heats up.

Open flames. Keeping an eye on open flames is always a good idea, as flames can quickly travel if conditions are right.

Cords and cables. Wires can sometimes be bent in odd or contorted ways, leading to premature fraying and tears. Check cables often and replace when they become frayed.

Aerosol cans. Aerosol cans are an everyday item that can actually be quite dangerous. Protect them from warm or sunny places to prevent them from combusting.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City a call at 702-564-8508. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

Picking the Right Restoration Company

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Van Ready to go SERVPRO Van loaded up and ready to go

Every business owner would rather not have a natural disaster occur at their commercial property, but most likely do not realize just how grave the situation can be. After disaster strikes, 40 to 60% of businesses are unable to reopen, according to a recent FEMA report.

There is a lot that goes into recovering from a disaster, but working with a restoration company to properly mitigate the damage at your business is a big component. Here are our top tips for how to pick the right restoration company:

1. Check Their Emergency Response Capabilities

If left untreated, even for a few extra hours, damage due to a disaster can become more severe. This means business owners are stuck paying more and investing more time into restoration.

Because natural disasters have no respect for schedules, we keep our service line open 247. That way we can act fast at any hour in response to your damage, and you can focus on other tasks involved with reopening the business.

2. Inquire About How They Train Their Technicians

When you trust a company to restore your business, you want the peace of mind to know you are in good hands. A company with highly trained technicians will inspire confidence so you can ensure you are getting top-notch work.

We train our technicians in accordance with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards. After the initial training, technicians are given online learning courses and certification programs to continue their education.

3. Learn About Their Equipment Standards

Technological advancements have made a big impact on the restoration industry in recent years, and you want to be sure your restoration team is using the best tools for the job.

The IICRC has official guidelines on the equipment that is best for the job, which are the standards we adhere to when choosing our own equipment. Whether we are moving gallons of water out of your business or scrubbing harmful chemicals and soot from the air, you can be assured that the highest-tech is being used.

If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today, 702-564-8508.

Staying Safe When Lightning Is Near

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

lightning strikes in dark stormy sky Storm and lighting damage require specialized restoration techniques and equipment. When a storm hits your home, you need the company with experience

Lightning is one of the most dramatic aspects of a thunderstorm—and also one of the most dangerous. Lightning strikes can start fires, ruin electronics and cause structural damage, in addition to all the safety hazards they pose to those who are outside during a storm.

Being aware of what lightning is and how it causes damage are important components of staying safe.

How Lightning Occurs

Thunderstorms all form an electrical charge, which is what causes thunder and lightning. In technical terms, a lightning bolt is the storm dispelling some of this energy, either into another cloud or to the ground.

When lightning does strike toward the ground, it will usually select an object to pass through, as the atmosphere is a poor conductor. Because of the power and charge behind lightning, this is what can lead to damages.

What Damages Can Lightning Cause?

As lightning travels through a home, it will mainly fuel its energy into the electrical wiring and water pipes, as those make for the best conductors. That is why there are three main types of damages associated with lightning:

1. Fires can break out. Lightning, at around 500,000 degrees, is hot enough to ignite most buildings on impact. Additionally, the damage it causes to wires within the home can lead to electrical fires either right away or later on. If your home has been struck, an electrician or the fire department will typically be able to assess the damage and make you aware of any risks.

2. Electronics may get overloaded. As lightning transfers its charge to the home’s electrical grid, it also channels that energy up any cables connected. This intense burst of power can cause a surge, ruining some electronics. Using surge protectors can prevent this from happening.

3. Shock waves can damage foundations. A shock wave in the clouds is heard as thunder, but a shock wave when lightning strikes the ground can cause serious damage. The force of these waves is strong enough to compromise masonry and shatter windows, so after the storm passes, a thorough home inspection is recommended.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

What You Should Know About Water Damage

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

Technician doing Monitor Readings on Water Damage Job

Without water, where would we be? It’s necessary for life. But there are situations where water can cause distress—namely when it causes damage.

There are many different causes of water damage, but some are more prevalent than others.

Why Is There Water Damage?

From 2009 to 2015, The Travelers Insurance Companies Inc. noted the top five causes of home claims were:

  • Exterior wind damage
  • Non-weather-related water damage
  • Hail
  • Weather-related water damage
  • Theft

It’s interesting that water damage appears twice on this list! Remember, however, there are non-weather-related and weather-related water damage situations.

Non-weather-related water damage comes from problems with plumbing and appliances, while weather-related damage naturally results from rain and snow.

The top five causes for water damage are plumbing issues, appliance leaks, water pipe failures, old water heaters and weather.

Ways to Protect Your Home

There are ways we would like to spend our money—and water damage is not one of them. Take care, however, and be sure that you are covered by your homeowners insurance plan. Look for these situations, which are usually covered by a standard homeowners policy:

  • Winter damage caused by snow and ice
  • Sewage and overflow of water, even by accident
  • Aging hot water heat systems
  • Frozen plumbing and pipes

Avoiding water-related issues and potential damage situations is possible if you are proactive.

Take a look at the following list of preventive fixes and routine maintenance suggestions to help you keep your home free of water incidents:

  • Applying water sensors and automatic shut-off valves
  • Getting back flow valves and standpipes put in basement drains
  • Using metal mesh connection hoses on the washer and dryer
  • Clearing the gutters and downspouts of debris
  • Taking time to flush the hot water tank every six months
  • Keeping grease out the kitchen sink and drain
  • Running the sump pump every few months and cleaning it before the rainy season

These preventive tips and solutions are just some of the actions you can take to help fight water damage in your home.

Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with, but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of Henderson/Boulder City on your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process. Call today: 702-564-8508

How Do You Know If Your House Has Mold?

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Removal in Progress

When your house has mold, there’s more than the smell you have to worry about. Not only can mold cause odor, but it can also damage the integrity of your home. The most common indication of mold is a musty damp smell. However, there are many other signs your house has begun to grow mold in different areas.

Spotting the Signs

If you’re concerned that your house has mold, here are the most obvious and common signs to look out for:

Visible signs

  • If you see black spores spreading on surfaces, it’s a sure sign of mold in your home.
  • You can smell a musty/damp odor – Mold smells, it’s one of the best ways to detect it even if you can’t see it.
  • You see uneven patches on floors or walls – If damp is finding its way into your walls or floors and causing bubbling under your paint, squishy floors, etc., then you almost certainly have mold growing there too.

What does mold smell like?

When mold is growing and spreading, it releases compounds that have a distinct, unpleasant odor.

It’s a smell that once you’ve smelled and are familiar with, there is no mistaking it. The best adjectives to describe mold are; wet, stale, and musty.

People describe the odor as being similar to damp clothes that have been sitting around way too long.

Where Can Mold Hide?

Mold flourishes in areas of the home where there is moisture, oxygen, warmth, darkness and food source. The problem is that the areas where you’re likely to find a combination of elements are not always the most visible.

Here are some of the most common places mold can hide in the home:

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are breeding grounds for mold. While it’s easy to spot black mold creeping across white tiles, there’s also plenty of places you can easily miss.

Check behind the toilet around the waste pipe, under the flooring, under your bath (you’ll have to remove the bath panel to see), around sink taps/pipes behind the basin.

Kitchens

Check behind your appliances that use or produce moisture, such as your refrigerator, freezer, ice dispenser, and so on.

Mold can also start creeping up walls that are soaking up damp from the elements outside. So, check inside cupboards, behind appliances, and so on for any external walls.

Bedrooms

The main areas of concern in bedrooms are mattresses, and window sills. If you haven’t flipped your bed in a while, do so. Also, check around your windows throughout the home as moisture can collect in window seals.

Attics and Vents

Unless you go into your attic often, you’re not going to know if mold is growing up there. All it takes is a leaky roof to fuel the mold spores, and you can have a severe problem on your hands.

It’s a good idea to check any heating vents and air conditioning units too. The constant flow of air combined with moisture are ingredients for the presence of mold.

What Should You Do If You Find Mold?

If you’ve found mold in your home, it’s important you act sooner rather than later to get rid of it, as mold is potentially very hazardous

There are two parts to ridding your home of mold. The first is to clean up and treat the area where mold is growing. The second is to take steps to fix the issue that caused the fungus to grow in the first place.

To stop mold from returning, the most effective way is to reduce the moisture in the affected areas and in your home in general.

Using dehumidifiers and air conditioners to keep the indoor humidity level below 60% will make a huge difference. You should also dry wet areas in bathrooms after use, fix any leaks, address damp structural problems, and generally wage war against damp in and around the home.

Eliminate Mold Now

Do warm, moist areas of your house continue to grow mold despite your best efforts? Do you have water damage or other mold-causing issues that need treatment? Are you unsure of the presence in your home? Contact SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City today to speak to a highly trained technician. We can restore water damaged rooms, perform water extraction, or conduct a mold inspection. Our licensed professionals work 24.7.365 to make any mold disaster "Like it never even happened." Call today: 702-564-8508