Homeowners May Qualify for FEMA Assistance
Homeowners Should Know Disaster Assistance Options
When a community is hit by a tornado, hurricane, tsunami or other storm and suffers from devastating flooding, the U.S. president may officially declare Raleigh, NC, a disaster area. This declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer federal assistance to those affected by the disaster.
Federal assistance is available to you when certain eligibility requirements are met: the home is in an area the president has officially declared a disaster; someone in your home is a US citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien; the damage is to your primary residence; you cannot access or live in your home in its present condition; and expenses incurred related to the disaster are not covered by insurance or other sources.
Qualified Households May Be Eligible To Receive Federal Assistance
When you meet the federal requirements, FEMA may be able to provide assistance in the following ways:
• The cost of a hotel/motel room may be covered when flood waters make it impossible for you to access your house or live in it for a short time, or rental assistance may be available for an extended period of time while repairs are made or other housing is established.
• If your home and belongings have water damage and need repair by a professional restoration service provider, financial support may be available.
• Other expenses as a result of the flood may be covered as well: medical/dental, funeral, childcare, vehicle repair/replacement, and moving expenses.
Casualty Survivors May Apply for Assistance
You may apply for federal assistance before you file an insurance claim, but don’t forget to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. After you apply for federal assistance, a home inspection may be needed to assess your property damage; an inspector should schedule an appointment with you. Inspectors, wearing official photo identification, make an assessment of the property but do not decide if you will receive assistance.
Homeowners Should Know Disaster Assistance Options
When you survive a major storm, the resulting damage may cause devastating consequences, but being well informed of your options for assistance can lessen the turmoil. FEMA assistance may be one of the options that you can depend upon. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastraleighzebulon.com/.
Reasons To Have Electronics Cleaned After a Fire
In order to ensure that electronic devices can be used safely, they must be thoroughly inspected and cleaned during the fire cleanup process.
Fire damages everything near it. If a fire breaks out in your home in Raleigh, NC, you don't just need to have the immediate charred area cleaned. Fire cleanup must occur throughout your home. Even items that look like they are fine may have taken on severe smoke damage. This is especially true of your electronic equipment. Even if there is no visible damage, there are many reasons your electronics need to be restored by certified experts.
The effects of smoke may not be apparent at first glance. Unless your electronics are inspected by a qualified technician, you have no way of knowing if they were damaged in the fire. All of your electronics must be inspected:
• Game consoles
• E-readers or tablets
• DVD players
The heat caused by the fire damages electronics. It can melt delicate components, causing the system to short or simply not work at all. It also expands the porous openings of the device, allowing smoke to enter. It can also warp devices, causing them to overheat the next time they are used. Every fire cleanup process includes taking into account the amount of heat that was present at the time of the fire to assess the potential damage it caused.
Smoke and soot are highly corrosive. The acidity levels in soot cause anything it infiltrates to degrade. The oxidation involved in the corrosion process can cause etching or pitting in the metal components of your electronics. Smoke is also electrically charged, which can cause circuitry to short and the devices to overheat when in use.
In order to ensure that electronic devices can be used safely, they must be thoroughly inspected and cleaned during the fire cleanup process. While it's possible that the fire caused too much damage to restore the machine properly, an electronics expert is your best chance of getting it to work again. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastraleighzebulon.com/.
Flushing 101: Water Heater Maintenance
Remember to perform routine flushes of your water heater to prevent the inside of the tank from corroding due to a buildup of mineral deposits.
Your home’s water heater is sometimes in an area that you normally do not frequent. Since you don’t see or operate it daily like other appliances, you may forget that it still needs to be flushed regularly for top performance. Here are five steps to perform a simple DIY water heater flush.
1. Turn It Off
If you have an electric heater, shut it off using your breaker box. For gas models, rotate the gas valve until the pilot light goes out.
2. Attach a Hose
Find the drain outlet valve, located at the bottom of the water heater, and connect a garden hose to it. Take the open end of the hose to a designated drainage site that won’t be affected by debris and hot water.
3. Drain It
Go back to the drain outlet valve and open it. After allowing the water to flow for a few minutes, go to the faucet closest to the heater and turn on the hot water. Doing this ensures the water will drain swiftly. Shut off the water supply after waiting a few more minutes. The water flow will slow down before completely stopping.
4. Restore the Water Supply
After the appliance has drained completely, turn the water supply back on and close all valves. Once the open faucet’s flow changes from sporadic to consistent and smooth, the tank is now running properly and is full.
5. Restore Power and Turn On the Heating Element
You can restore the unit’s power and turn the heating element back on after ensuring the tank is completely full. Then turn the running faucet off and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
Remember to perform routine flushes of your water heater to prevent the inside of the tank from corroding due to a buildup of mineral deposits. If you wait until it’s too late, the unit may begin leaking. If this happens, be sure to call a water damage cleanup crew in Raleigh, NC. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastraleighzebulon.com/.
5 Ways You Can Clean Up After a Building Flood
A flooded building in Raleigh, NC, can be a nightmare to deal with, but it can be fixed.
No one wants to experience a flooded company building, but it happens from time to time. In order to get back to business as soon as possible, you can do a few things before the professional cleanup crew arrives.
If you caught the flooding early, these steps can help start the cleanup process. If the water has been standing for several days, however, it is best to contact an expert to deal with possible mold or sewage contamination.
1. Power Down
If you can safely reach your breaker, shut off power to the building immediately. Please call an electrician if you have to walk through standing water to access the power switch.
2. Get Ready to Clean
Be sure to wear boots, gloves and a face mask while moving furniture and cleaning up a flooded company building. If your damage was caused by a broken pipe, you will want to be extra careful about exposure to chemicals or toxins.
3. Remove Water
Try to remove as much water as possible. Once the standing water is gone, run a dehumidifier and fan to begin the drying out process. The key here to prevent mold and mildew from growing in the moist environment.
4. Get Rid of Damaged Items
Paper products, carpeting and wall coverings usually do not hold up after being flooded. Discard or recycle anything that appears to have been damaged by water. Hard surfaces and clothing can be cleaned.
5. Wash Your Clothes
Be sure to wash any clothing that you or your employees wore during the cleanup process. They can potentially be contaminated with mold or sewage. This clothing should be washed separately from uncontaminated items.
A flooded building in Raleigh, NC, can be a nightmare to deal with, but it can be fixed. Taking the above steps and talking to a restoration expert can save you on costly downtime and damage.
Why Your Business Needs Flood Insurance
Even the most prepared business owners may be hit by a flood.
Floods are one of the most commonly declared natural disasters, but many Raleigh, NC, business owners are not prepared for the damage a flood can do to their establishment. Even just a few inches of water can damage walls, inventory and equipment. Most natural disasters are covered under commercial insurance policies, but flooding typically is not. Nobody wants to find themselves in water up to their knees and then come to find out they don’t have flood insurance.
What Is Considered a Flood
When water affects at least two properties or 2 acres of land, it is usually considered a flood. Flooding is water that inundates an area, whether it be from snow melt, heavy rain, dam breakage, overflowing rivers or other water-related issues.
How To Know If You Need Insurance
If your business is on a lower level, you are definitely at a higher risk for flooding. Knowing if you reside in or near a flood zone will also help you assess your risk of flooding.
What Is Not Covered
There are some losses a business can experience that insurance for floods will not cover:
? Income loss due to business not being fully operable
? Company vehicles
? Septic systems
How Soon Coverage Starts
There is usually a 30-day waiting period from the time you purchase coverage until the coverage goes into effect.
How Much Coverage Is Available
Commercial flood insurance can protect your business whether it be large or small. Most commercial policies provide up to $500,000 for inside contents and $500,000 for the building. Here are the most common items covered:
Your insurance company will work with flood remediation professionals to clean items, repair water damage and assess which belongings are a total loss.
What If More Coverage Is Needed
If your property is valued above the national limits, you can get additional coverage by purchasing an excess flood policy.
Even the most prepared business owners may be hit by a flood. Knowing that your business is covered with flood insurance can provide piece of mind should such a disaster happen. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastraleighzebulon.com/.
What Goes Into a Fire Damage Estimate?
A qualified company will include deodorization in your fire damage estimate and will have the tools and chemicals necessary to remove smoke odor.
After a fire on your commercial property, one of the first steps is having an insurance adjustor out to evaluate the damage and determine what you can claim on your insurance. You may also have a commercial fire professional from Raleigh, NC, out to determine exactly what you can salvage, and how. But what exactly does a fire damage estimate entail?
Evaluating What Can Be Saved, and How
While an insurance estimator is determining how much you can be reimbursed for your losses, a fire damage estimator’s job is to:
• Provide immediate emergency response to prevent secondary damage through mitigation
• Fully assess the extent of the damage and give an accurate picture of remediation efforts
• Determine what can be cleaned and restored
• Determine what should be torn out/destroyed and rebuilt/replaced from scratch
• Provide a cost breakdown for cleaning and teardown services
• Deliver an approximate timeline for completion
Will My Insurance Cover the Cost of Fire Damage Restoration?
The amount of a fire damage estimate may not match with the amount of an insurance claim, but only the fire damage professional and insurance adjustor can provide accurate information on that depending on the extent of the damage to the property. The claim may fully or partially cover the cost of fire remediation. Unless you intend to pursue further claims with your insurance company, anything not paid by the claim would come out of pocket.
Does Cleanup Include Deodorization?
If you’re working with a qualified company, yes. Smoke odor can permeate items with a lasting stench, often associated by yellowed smoke stains. If the odor is strong enough, it can last years and create an unpleasant effect on anyone in the vicinity of the smoke-damaged, contaminated items. A reputable, qualified company will include deodorization in your fire damage estimate, and will have the tools and chemicals necessary to remove smoke odor from even the most porous items without damaging them. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastraleighzebulon.com/.
How Can I Detect Mold in My Home?
Specialists can educate you on what causes mold to flourish, and how to prevent another outbreak by pinpointing the source of your infestation.
Mold can be like cockroaches; if you see even one patch it can mean a larger infestation throughout your walls or through other areas of your home. Just getting rid of that one patch may not be enough, but how can you tell if you have even more mold throughout your Raleigh, NC, home?
Find an Indoor Environmental Specialist
If you’ve never heard of indoor environmental specialists, they’re certified professionals who can:
• Test for air quality
• Test for and identify mold infestations
• Identify the type of mold and its effects
• Pinpoint the location of hard-to-find mold outbreaks
• Recommend safety and remediation activities
When an indoor environmental specialist conducts a mold test, they’re often able to pick up sensitive information that wouldn’t otherwise be detectable by the naked eye or with over-the-counter mold tests.
Can an Indoor Environmental Specialist Get Rid of My Mold For Me?
Sometimes, though you can never truly be free of mold when the spores are constantly active in the air around you. You can only minimize and control its presence. Some indoor environmental specialists are certified for mold remediation, while others may refer you to additional professionals to devise and launch an effective remediation plan to rescue your home from mold. Either will be able to tell you the first steps to take to prepare your home for mold remediation.
Can an Indoor Environmental Specialist Help Me Prevent Mold?
Absolutely. Specialists can educate you on what causes mold to flourish, and how to prevent another outbreak by pinpointing the source of your infestation. Usually the cause is water leaks and water damage, providing the fuel mold needs to thrive on organic matter. A remediation and environmental specialist can talk to you about removing these sorts of problems from your home, and steps to take to prevent excess moisture in your environment from contaminating your home with fresh mold. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastraleighzebulon.com/.
Kitchen Fires: Smart Cooking Is the Best Deterrent
Better safe than sorry is more than a cliché. When it comes to avoiding kitchen fires, it’s one of the best tips ever.
Whether you cook to survive or the kitchen is the heart of your home, it’s the most likely room for home fires to start. By following a few basic tips, you can easily prevent kitchen fires and avoid the heartbreak of fire damage to your beloved appliances and keepsakes.
Avoid a Disaster While in the Kitchen
Many people know the best way to extinguish a grease fire is by smothering it or using a fire extinguisher — never use water, which makes these fires spread and intensify. However, the best way to prevent any kitchen fires from starting in Raleigh, NC, is smart cooking:
1. Wearing flowing clothes like kaftans and robes with gull-wing sleeves while cooking may sound like fun. However, those styles increase the chance of the cook catching fire when the loose material hits a hot burner or oven element.
2. Grease buildup on stove surfaces, under burners and in the interior of the oven easily catches fire, so keep those areas clean.
3. Never walking away from a stove while broiling, grilling or frying is one of the best tips to avoid kitchen fires. The high temperatures required for all those cooking methods make them the most dangerous, and even a few seconds out of the room is enough time for food or grease to ignite.
4. Timers aren’t just for baking. It’s easy to get distracted, so set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes when you leave the room and come back for a minute to occasionally stir the sauce, taste the soup, or just make sure everything is on track.
5. Keep your stovetop and adjacent surfaces free of everything flammable, including curtains, food packaging, bags, potholders and wooden kitchen tools.
6. It’s easy to get caught up in serving, eating and cleaning up when you cook. Before leaving home or retiring for the night, take a minute to double-check that all small appliances, ovens and stovetops are switched off.
Better safe than sorry is more than a cliché. When it comes to avoiding kitchen fires, it’s one of the best tips ever. Contact your local fire department in Raleigh, NC, with questions or concerns about home fire prevention. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastraleighzebulon.com/.
Why Is Black Mold Growing in My Building?
Black mold is one of a variety of mold or fungi that are caused by moisture that doesn’t dry out quickly. It can grow anywhere in a building where there is moisture, high humidity or standing water. Here is what you should know to find problem areas and prevent mold.
Finding Moisture Problems
In commercial buildings in Raleigh, NC, there are multiple areas where a moisture problem can lead to the growth of mold. Some of the most common moisture issues in commercial buildings include the following:
• Water from leaking pipes or roof leaks
• Excessive humidity in areas such as wash rooms, boiler rooms or cafeteria kitchens
• Areas with poor ventilation such as locker rooms
• Ground water that runs into a building’s foundation or basement
• Any spills or drips that aren’t quickly mopped up or dried
• Damp insulation from internal leaks in the walls
• Poor building maintenance
Preventing Mold Growth
Generally, the best way to deal with any moisture problem that could lead to the growth of black mold is to prevent it in the first place. If you suspect a problem, do a thorough inspection of your building, looking for all the problems listed above. Talk to your building maintenance crew about ways to minimize standing water, moisture and high humidity in all areas. These may include improved ventilation systems on air conditioning and heating units, more fans and ventilation in damp areas such as locker rooms and kitchen areas, moisture-resistant insulation, frequent checks of rugs, carpets and ceilings to make sure they aren’t wet from spills or leaks.
The design and layout of a commercial building can also help minimize any problems. Tile, linoleum or other hard floor surfaces are usually better choices than carpeting, which can soak up moisture. Mold can grow underneath a wet carpet quickly. Improved venting and windows that can be opened to allow air to circulate more freely can also help prevent growth of fungi or mold.
Mold is often hard to tackle alone. If you’ve taken all the necessary precautions but still have black mold in your Raleigh, NC, building, be sure to hire an expert in mold cleanup that is familiar with the problem and knows how to eliminate it. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastraleighzebulon.com/.
3 Things To Do When Your Toilet Overflows
Nothing can ruin your day like a flooded toilet. Beyond the ick factor, you usually have to act fast to prevent serious water damage. If you’ve had a major flood in your house thanks to sewer damage in Raleigh, NC, you should call a water restoration specialist ASAP. In the meantime, here are some tips to mitigate the damage.
1. Stop the Water Flow
Any sewage company will likely tell you, in the event of a flooded toilet, step one is shutting off the water source. You can do this by turning off the valve behind the fixture. This may not solve your bathroom woes, but it can help stop the spread of water damage.
2. Clean Up Standing Water
It’s good planning to have gloves, mops, rags, paper towels and other cleaning materials on hand for an emergency. Standing water—the visible water that has flooded—should be absorbed as quickly as possible before it seeps into the flooring.
For a serious flood that affects two floors, you may have to remove the flooring and ceilings. Sewer damage that seeps into the floor can lead to the formation of mold. By removing the wet materials, you’re often able to disinfect and dry everything out to ensure that you don’t get any nasty surprises down the road.
Air out the rooms as best as you can. Open all the windows and bring in any fans you have around the house. Keeping the air moving can help dry out the area and reduce humidity before your water restoration specialist arrives.
Sewer damage from a flooded toilet is never fun, but if you act fast with these simple steps, you can have a better chance at reducing the extent of the damage to your home. Because of the bacteria inherent in toilet water, for any major amount of flooding, be sure to call a professional in Raleigh, NC, to assist in clean up. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROeastraleighzebulon.com/.