3 Practical Flood Prevention Strategies Every Community Can Employ
No community wants to endure a costly flood cleaning project. While numerous flood prevention strategies exist, some measures are expensive, long-term projects, that may not be ideal for smaller communities with limited budgets and minimal infrastructure. However, practical techniques that do not require extensive resources exist to help every city and town, including Sunland Villages, AZ, reduce their flood risk.
1. Sustainable Drainage Systems
Paved roadways and concrete sidewalks are common fixtures in most communities. Although they provide convenient transportation avenues, these structures do not absorb water. Grass and other vegetation do, however. For this reason, it’s important for every community to maintain gardens and other green spaces such as grass fields and parks.
Low-lying land adjacent to rivers and streams is prone to flooding. Instead of utilizing these areas for development, consider maintaining them as a floodplain. This may be an efficient flood prevention strategy because a floodplain acts as a natural water retention zone that can collect a significant amount of water. Floodplains also help slow rainwater runoff. Both benefits may minimize water overflow into surrounding communities, helping to prevent potentially devastating water damage to local homes and businesses.
3. Sewer Systems Free of Debris
In most areas, rain water is diverted into the sewer system. A significant storm can quickly inundate and overwhelm the system, increasing the community’s flood risk. The situation is further complicated if storm drains and sewer lines are contaminated by trash and other debris. For this reason, every community should take proactive measures to eliminate garbage, sediment and tree roots from sewer lines and drainage channels.
Recovering from a flood can be a lengthy process, especially if the damage necessitates extensive cleanup and restoration initiatives. While no community can fully eliminate their flood risk, these practical flood prevention measures can help protect the interests of residents and business owners by reducing the likelihood of a devastating and costly flood.
Four Steps To Mitigate a Water Heater Leak
Stop the leaking of your water heater in Mesa,AZ
The water heater in your home can trigger extensive damage if it starts to leak. Follow these four steps to mitigate damage caused by a leaking water heater.
1. Identify the Problem
Figure out exactly where the water heater leak is coming from. High pressure can cause water to spray from supply pipes. Pipes may also burst or leak. The gasket that connects heating elements to an electric water heater tank can leak, as well. Check the temperature and pressure relief valve and the drain valve for drips. Condensation during cooler weather or due to an obstructed vent in a gas water heater can also seem like a leak. If corrosion has eaten through a metal tank, you must replace the failed water heater.
2. Drain the Tank
Turn off the gas and either extinguish the pilot light or flip the switch at the breaker box. Shut off the water supply to the heater, and run hot water in a sink or tub to drain the tank. Open the pressure relief valve to test its integrity and drain water more quickly. Allow water in the tank to cool before connecting a hose to the drainage spigot with the opposite end in a large bucket. Turn on the spigot to finish draining the tank.
3. Repair or Replace the Heater
You may be able to fix a leaking water heater yourself. However, a specialist can skillfully repair a broken water heater or install a replacement, reducing the likelihood that a leak will reoccur.
4. Mitigate Water Damage and Restore Damaged Items
Eliminate standing water and thoroughly dry the area to prevent mold from forming. If the water damage is extensive, restoration experts can determine which building materials to restore or replace.
Follow these steps to limit the damage caused by a leaking water heater. Stop the leak and restore the affected area with the assistance of damage restoration professionals located in Mesa, AZ.
Flood-Damaged Items Need to Be Restored or Replaced
Be sure to call the professionals if you have flooding in you home!
Dealing with damaged floors, walls and ceiling is straightforward. There is nothing to restore so the damaged materials are torn out and sent to the dumpster. When it comes to content cleaning, non-porous objects can be cleaned and used again.
Porous objects that have been through a flood pose problems.
Anything Involving Fabric Is Porous
This includes bedding, window treatments, linens and upholstered furniture. The decision to restore these items needs to be made on a case-by-case basis.
Anything Wooden Is Considered Porous
Furniture, built-in hutches, cabinets, and doors would be considered porous. The finished surfaces may seem to be waterproof, but water, bacteria, and mold can get into the joints and enter the wood through the unfinished areas that meet the floor. Restoration of these items is questionable.
Electronics Would Be Considered Porous
Content cleaning is a challenge when it comes to electronics and appliances. They would be considered porous because water has easy access to the electrical and mechanical portions of the devices. If the devices were running when the floodwater reached them, it is likely that those devices cannot be restored.
Blackwater Simplifies the Decision to Discard or Restore Items
Some floods cause sewage to be forced from the sewers back into the home. This sewage is referred to as blackwater. It is an extreme health risk to both people and pets if they are exposed to it. When black water is a part of your problem, you should consider replacing more and restoring less.
The Clean up Needs to Start Right Away
The cause of your flood in Peoria, Arizonais not important. What is important is to repair the damage as quickly as possible to prevent mold and other problems. Only you can decide what is to be replaced and what is to be restored in the content cleaning process. However, local restoration experts can deal with all the other issues and bring things to a quick conclusion.
Water Losses: What Doesn’t Your Commercial Policy Cover?
It is important as a business to know what your current policy covers so you can get additional coverage if needed.
Most commercial businesses are required to have some form of a commercial insurance policy; however, many plans do not cover all types of damage. For instance, leaking or damaged pipes or flooding may not be covered under your current policy. As many water problems can be quite expensive to remedy, you may be interested to know the most common issues that possibly require a special or additional plan to protect both you and your business.
May not be covered by current policy
As a property owner, you have a responsibility to maintain the facility as best you can, and part of that responsibility is ensuring that the temperature of the building is warm enough to prevent freezing. While there are instances of freezing that are out of your control and likely covered by your policy, most cases of freezing pipes or water lines will require special coverage, as maintenance falls under your purview.
Damaged pipes may be another area that most insurance companies feel is the responsibility of the business owner, as the maintenance of pipes and other plumbing is considered routine; therefore, when a building has been exposed to slow and persistent leaking pipes, many insurance companies will deem the expense the owner’s responsibility.
Mold growth and mold damage are also examples of routine maintenance. Most insurance companies believe that an apparent mold problem, persisting for months, should have been noticed by the owner of the property before reaching the point of extensive damage. While it is possible to recoup some of the cost of mold remediation, you will likely need in addition to your current policy.
Damaged pipes and any resulting issues are most likely considered casualties of failed routine maintenance; however, you can check with either your insurer or with another insurer located in the Peoria, Arizona area to find out more specifics.
Is My Home Covered by Mold Insurance?
Make sure you know what your insurance policy covers. You want to be prepared before a disaster comes along.
Unfortunately, most homeowners' insurance policies in Peoria, Arizona do not provide mold coverage. There are some exceptions to this, however. Your policy may cover fungus growth if it was the result of situations that are covered, such as
- Fire or lightning
- Overflow of water or steam from home systems, such as the plumbing or air conditioner
- Frozen pipes
- Vandalism or theft
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Falling objects or damage due to heavy snow or ice
Examples of Mold Coverage
When your insurance policy covers accidents, it will generally cover fungus growth that was a direct result of the accident. Check out some situations when your insurance would probably cover you:
A pipe in your home bursts while you're at work and floods the basement, soaking into carpeting, drywall, and furnishings. Mold growth begins before you call the insurance company.
Heavy snowfall leads to an ice dam in the roof gutter and this allows water to seep under your shingles. That water and ice combination continues to grow until it has soaked your attic floor and insulation. A mold colony develops.
Examples of Non-Coverage
The old roof on your aging home becomes saturated with water and gives in to the heavy weight of snow during the winter. That saturation and damage leads to mold growth.
The pipes in your basement burst at the end of the winter. You don't realize that there's a problem for a couple of weeks. Fungus growth develops because of the standing water.
Get the Facts From Your Insurance Provider
Basically, your insurance provider expects that you'll provide routine maintenance on your home, addressing small problems before they develop into much larger issues. However, you can contact your insurance provider to ask about specific mold insurance. Be aware that even in this case, there may be a mold cap. If your home has been affected by fungus or mold, work with a Peoria, Arizona mold remediation representative or your insurance adjuster for more information on how to proceed.
3 Tips To Creating a Fire Escape Plan
Your fire escape plan could save lives in case of a disaster.
You purchase insurance for your business to cover the costs of accidents and other problems, but you hope to never need it. A fire escape plan works the same way. You don’t want to think about a fire ever starting in your office building, but if it does, you’ll be relieved to have an effective plan for getting safely outside. If your company doesn’t have such a plan, or if it’s been awhile since you’ve reviewed it, consider these suggestions.
Try the Red Cross
The Red Cross is one of the world’s foremost emergency and disaster response organizations. The nonprofit has some excellent tools and resources to help companies of all sizes come up with an appropriate emergency escape plan. Why should you consult the Red Cross?
• They have extensive experience.
• They have vast educational resources.
• You can get information and materials to develop your plan at no cost.
Take it Seriously
A fire escape plan isn’t something you throw together in a few minutes. This is a critical issue, and it’s essential that you’re prepared to act in case of a fire. Spend time with the key leaders of your company discussing how you will respond to a fire at work. Assign roles to different people in the organization. Make sure everyone in your Mesa, AZ, building know how to safely exit and what’s expected of them. Fire and cleanup crews will do their job; you need to do yours.
Practice it Regularly
A one-time run-through of your plan isn’t sufficient. You should conduct an annual drill to ensure everyone knows how to get out of the building in an orderly, and timely manner. Make sure everyone knows where to meet outside. Identify weaknesses in your plan, and devise ways to improve it.
Your fire escape plan could save lives in case of a disaster. Get everyone in your organization on the same page by creating and implementing your plan today. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROmesaeast.com/.
Employee Safety: Timeline for Returning to Work
Employees can probably return even if the building is still under minor reconstruction.
When black water floods your building in Mesa, AZ, your primary concern is probably for the safety of your employees. You cannot ignore, however, the risk of taking too long for employees to return to work. Fortunately, employees don't have to stay away through the whole restoration process. Knowing what is going on in each stage of that process can help you discern whether it is a good idea for your employees to be present during it.
1. Stage 1 – Extraction
The first step of the flood cleanup process is extraction of the excess water. Technicians must remove as much of the water as possible to prevent further damage. This halts the progress of water saturation as well as mold growth.
2. Stage 2 – Demolition
The next step is removing everything that is unsalvageable. This includes walls, ceilings, floors and insulation. It is not safe for anyone other than the professionals in charge of cleanup to be present during this step.
3. Stage 3 – Disinfection
Black water contains the highest level of contaminants. It is likely that sewer bacteria and harmful microbes are present in the water. Everything the water touches must be disinfected before it is safe for people to enter. Professionals use a variety of techniques, such as air filtration devices or antimicrobial chemicals, to disinfect the affected areas.
4. Stage 4 – Restoration
After the building is clean, the process of replacing walls and making it look nice can begin. It's probably a good idea to wait until new walls and other basic structures are in place before employees return, but other aspects of the restoration process, such as painting or replacing lost items, can occur after regular workdays begin again.
Employees can probably return even if the building is still under minor reconstruction. As soon as remediation specialists rid the building of the contamination caused by black water, it is typically safe for employees to come back to work. When in doubt, always defer to the expertise of the specialists who are handling the cleanup process. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROmesaeast.com/.
How To Make a Water Damage Claim
To successfully navigate the insurance claim and cleanup process, follow these tips and don't be afraid to get a flood restoration expert involved.
No homeowner in Mesa, AZ, likes the shock of coming home to a flood caused by a major pipe burst or a water heater leak. If the damage to your home is severe, you may want to file an insurance claim. If so, you will need to contact the insurance agency immediately. Read your insurance policy to determine coverage, exclusions and whether you are responsible for preventing additional damage. When you're ready to make a claim, follow these four steps.
1. Gather Evidence
When you file a claim, you are likely to obtain a better settlement if you collect evidence using an effective plan. The steps below can help you to build a solid claim:
• Take pictures of the damage from a few different angles and pair them with a written inventory of each item's model, age and replacement cost.
• Identify whether any outside person's actions may have caused the damage and secure their contact information.
• Keep detailed and accurate records as you gather.
• Organize your evidence chronologically as you collect it.
2. Mitigate Damage
Some policies may require the homeowner to give evidence of action taken to prevent further damage as part of an insurance claim. Others may not. Either way, it will likely help your case if you clean up whatever you can safely access and salvage items that can be restored. Be sure to save this step until after you've photographed the damage, of course.
3. Keep Records
Keep detailed records and copies of every contact you make or receive from insurance representatives. Assemble your evidence and check to make sure you have not overlooked anything. You should now be in a good position to file your claim.
4. File a Claim
Inform your insurance company in writing that you are filing an official claim. The insurance company's adjuster will conduct a damage inspection at your home. After a review, the company will send you an official statement of the dollar amount your policy will cover and exclude for this claim
To successfully navigate the insurance claim and cleanup process, follow these tips and don't be afraid to get a flood restoration expert involved. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROmesaeast.com/.
In nature, mold serves a natural purpose in the ecosystem. However, mold, especially black mold, should not take up residence in your building.
In short, mold is a fungus that helps to decompose dead plants and animals by breaking down carbon material. Mold spreads through the air via spores that attach themselves to any source of food. Their spores can also grow indoors. One of the most infamous is Stachybotrys, also commonly known as “black mold.” However, this is not the only mold that can find its way into buildings. Although the exact number of species is still unknown, scientists estimate that there are thousands. Many can affect your business in Mesa, AZ. Here are some of the most common kinds and how to identify them.
Aspergillus is frequently found wherever dust accumulates. It typically has a brown or dark-green color. Different places this mold can spread are floors, wallpapers and air filters. Certain species are also found on food.
Stachybotrys earned its nickname, black mold, through its distinctive greenish-black gel-like appearance. Like many fungi, it can spread in any area with a moisture problem. That is why it is frequently found in restrooms or on walls in rooms that have experienced flooding. While some species may not pose a large threat to public safety, you can check with a reputable mold cleanup service to inspect your property in order to identify whether professional removal is necessary.
Cladosporium can also spread in areas of high moisture. Colonies can grow in bathrooms, in basements and on any wood surface. Typically, you can spot this type of mold by its green or brown color. While it is possible to remove this type of mold yourself, calling qualified mold experts can assist in its disposal.
In nature, mold serves a natural purpose in the ecosystem. However, mold, especially black mold, should not take up residence in your building. Learning how to identify mold and who to call when you face an infestation will help you safeguard your business’s future. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROmesaeast.com/.
Developing a Fire Evacuation Plan
If you prepare yourself and your family well, you can help minimize the chances of tragedy if a fire starts in your house.
As a homeowner and parent, you couldn’t bear the thought of a devastating fire threatening your kids’ safety or the security of your house and belongings. In the event of a fire, the most important thing you can do for your family is safely get everyone out. To avoid confusion and panic, it’s essential that you develop an escape plan so that if this terrible ordeal does occur, everyone will know what to do. There are some basic steps and components for evacuating if your Mesa, AZ, home is on fire.
Conduct a Thorough Walk-Through
You live in your home, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t become more familiar with the intricacies of the layout and places of exit. Take your family through your house to ensure everyone knows how to effectively take part in a fire escape.
* Inspect the windows and doors in every room.
* Make sure the windows open easily and that even younger family members can open them.
* Make sure there are at least two ways out of every room.
Pick a Gathering Place
Once everyone has safely escaped the home fire, you need a place to congregate. This should be a safe distance from the home, and it should be a place everyone is familiar with. Make sure everyone in your family knows the spot you’ve designated so there won’t be any mistake about where you should go if a fire starts.
Practice the Escape
You hope to never have to put this escape plan in motion, but if you have to, you’ll be glad you’ve done a few run-throughs. Your kids’ safety is at stake, so make sure everyone has the process down well.
There’s nothing more important to you than your kids’ safety. If you prepare yourself and your family well, you can help minimize the chances of tragedy if a fire starts in your house. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROmesaeast.com/.