How to Prepare For a Boise Flood
Boise River above flood stage
By: Beth Byce
Last year historic flooding cause damage to the Greenbelt, parks, bridges and Boise homes. Flooding can be unpredictable and leaves homeowners feeling like they have no control. Here is how to prepare for a flood:
- Check with City of Boise Floodplains Map to see if your home could be affected
- If you are within floodplain areas purchase flood insurance
- Have a battery operated radio with extra batteries to listen to the NOAA Weather Radio for updates
- Sand-bag doorways parallel to the direction of the flow and stagger the joints if multiple layers are needed
- Raise your furnace, electrical panel and water heater in your home to reduce potential damage
- Keep a first aid kit in your home
- Keep a three day supply of food and water (one gallon per person per day)
- Keep a seven day supply of all medical items and medication
- Take pictures of your home before and after any water damage
- Call SERVPRO of Boise if there is any water damage to your home
The Sensitive Nature of Mold
Call SERVPRO of Boise to help you through the process of remediating mold.
By: Winder Buchanan
Nobody wants to hear the word mold. Since our youth we have been taught mold is bad and harmful to your health. If you have mold on your food you throw it away. If mold is in the air you pray for rain and head to the drug store for sinuses medicine. If mold is involved there is a problem, especially if it is in your house. But, luckily for everyone mold can be remediated. People forget there are mold spores all around us outside all the time. The purpose of a house is to protect you from the outside elements like keeping mold spores in nature. Some individuals are more sensitive to allergies than others. For any concerns on symptom’s and health safety you should ask a doctor.
Most people won’t find out about having mold until an event happens to cause them to look into it. The most common way to find out is during the buy/sell of a new home. The home inspector will go in the attic, the crawlspace, and check around all plumbing areas for signs of mold and moisture. Most people do not regularly check their crawlspace to see if a pipe is leaking or the snow melt has seeped into their crawl until it is too late. As the Humidity increases and moisture evaporates to saturate the wood on the floor joist and sub floor, mold is able to grow.
Once, mold is discovered the panic starts to set in. What is it going to cost?, am I going to get sick?, and why do I have mold?. Mold Remediation is a common practice and can be done in a timely manner. Some specific steps must be taken to prevent cross-contamination (spreading mold spores to an area that originally was unaffected) to ensure it does correct. There are multiple ways to remediate mold depending on the building material, access to the area that is affected, and total square footage. Air sampling test post remediation is recommend because it is the only way to ensure the clean-up was done correctly and not just masked to come back at a later time.
Building Material Saturation in Storm Events and Natural Disasters
This photo shows removed drywall and a dehumidifier drying out the affected material
By: Christian Isaacson
Natural disasters can be one of the most unpredictable and impactful weather events that a homeowner or tenant ever face. Often times natural disasters such as hurricanes, deep freezes, and flooding can strike with little to no warning. With this in mind, we must remember that people affected by these disasters typically have little to no time to plan for these events resulting in little to no preventative measures being taken. To put this into perspective, let us use a flood as an example. In a typical, non-storm event water loss you will often have smaller amounts of water affecting different building materials in your home or business. Typically when facing these smaller scale water damages you will find lower saturation levels being retained because the excess moisture has been cleaned up using a variety of methods. This is especially important to note as one of the biggest differences in standard water losses and storm water losses is the amount of time that the water is left to dwell on the building materials.
Whether you are facing a fire damage, water damage, or both, it is important to keep in mind that building materials most homes and business’ are built of are in fact porous materials. Regardless of the difference in porosity, almost all building materials can soak up a substantial amount of water especially if they are left unattended for extended periods of time as is the case with hurricane and other natural disaster evacuations.
So you may be asking yourself, what does this extended dwell time on building materials mean to the restoration of a home after the disaster has passed? Well the short answer is that more dwell time means that more dry time will be needed to restore the moisture levels back to normal. But there is still one more major step to restoring your home or business after a natural disaster and that is the removal of all of those building materials that cannot be dried efficiently. This means that some or most of the cosmetic building materials affected such as drywall will need to be removed as the structural integrity of such materials is often compromised.
This photo shows flooring and drywall removed, prior to reconstruction
By: Eric Knepprath
Not long-ago contractors survived on referrals from insurance agents and claims adjusters to build their business. Smart contractors built strong relationships with agents and adjusters and maintained a level of trust with them that would keep those referrals coming in. The main things that would drive and protect these relationships were being prompt, fair and honest estimating, communication, and providing great customer service. The industry has changed dramatically over the past 20 years and for several reasons direct referrals have become a thing of the past. Because of this shift in the industry, if you are not a national name or a vendor for every third-party administrator out there, it's getting more difficult to find a consistent workflow than ever before.
Because of the way the national contracts work, contractors end up working with independent claims adjusters or staff adjusters that are not always local. All communication is done by email and phone and the contractor is relied upon to provide accurate information to the carrier so they can settle the claim. At SERVPRO of Boise we believe those practices that kept our referrals coming in the past are ore important than ever before. If the insurance company is going to rely on us to provide them the information they need to help our customer, we have a much larger obligation in this process than before. We have to be quick, accurate, and thorough so that customer and adjuster have the information they need to keep the process moving forward. Understanding that our clients didn't plan for this project and doing everything we can to make it a smooth process for all parties is what sets us apart from the competition.
Fire Damage Restoration
Complete fire loss due to a kitchen fire
Boise Fire Damage Restoration
A fire can be devastating to any Boise home, causing severe fire damage, affecting its look and value. The restoration process is complex and requires the services of fire remediation experts like SERVPRO of Boise.
The Fire Restoration Process
There are several techniques used to restore a home after a fire. The main goals are to remove anything that cannot be salvaged, extract all excess water, thoroughly dry everything and rebuild all damaged areas.
Water and Mold Issues
One of the effects of fire damage is the water left over after the fire is out. Furniture, drywall, floors, and carpets are soaked and provide a prime breeding ground for mold and mildew. SERVPRO utilizes large fans and powerful dehumidifiers to dry out your home in preparation for cleaning and rebuilding.
The Cooling and Heating System
The filter and coils of an HVAC system of a home are often blocked by soot and particulates from a fire. The parts must be replaced, and the cost depends on the amount of damage caused by smoke and heat. The ductwork must also be checked for soot buildup as it will cause problems if not removed.
Rebuilding the Home
A home that is left structurally unsound by fire damage will need to be reinforced and rebuilt. While this can done through independent contractors, the SERVPRO Boise remediation service team can take care of the rebuilding process, reducing stress and worry for the homeowner.
Removal of Damaged Items
Part of the fire restoration process is the removal of anything that cannot be saved. If smoke-damaged items are allowed to remain, they may contaminate the home. SERVPRO may be able to help with salvageable items or can make recommendations for their repair.
A fire is a sudden, disruptive life event and working with a professional fire remediation service like SERVPRO is the fastest way to clean and restore a home. Our experts will get things back to normal with minimal stress to the homeowner and will often cost less than hiring additional contractors. Most home insurance policies will pay for at least part of the remediation costs.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, we work and live in Boise too. We are close by and ready to respond immediately when you need cleaning or restoration services.
We're Fire and Water Damage Specialists. Call us to help you. (208) 375-0300
Water Damage From a Burst Pipe
This home had a pipe burst in the ceiling causing damage to both floors of the home.
Water Damage in Boise from a Burst Pipe Should be Promptly Addressed
A burst pipe can cause significant water damage in a home. Water leakage can also be terribly expensive, possibly causing personal schedule changes and insurance claims. Additionally, mildew and mold can become a problem long after the initial damage. Thankfully, there are experts in water damage that can help the problems from a burst pipe be much more manageable.
Pay attention to leaking pipes! Diligence can minimize the collateral damage from a burst pipe. Pay attention to where water has leaked. The water and moisture may have already caused a small amount of damage. Call a professional to determine the best course of action as soon as possible. An inexperienced homeowner attempting to fix the problem may just make it worse.
Preventing Structural Damage
The possibility of structural damage is the key reason homeowners should be extra vigilant regarding the plumbing in their homes. Structural damage may be difficult to spot. You should always contact an experienced contractor such as SERVPRO Boise to assess possible structural damage from leaky or burst pipes.
Mold is another serious problem that stems from water damage. Mold can be particularly vexing to homeowners. Because mold is living, it can grow and fill large portions of a home without the homeowner being aware. Eventually, mold can lead to structural damage. Mold can be in basements, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Mold removal can be a very difficult task once a foothold has been secured.
The above factors illustrate how complicated the ramifications of a burst pipe can be. A homeowner should not attempt to deal with any of these issues without the assistance of an expert well versed in water damage repair and mold remediation. The skills needed to deal effectively with mold, structural damage, and leaking pipes are beyond the average homeowner. Homeowners that attempt these tasks quite often worsen the existing problems. It is always best to hire an expert to inspect the damage after experiencing a burst pipe. SERVPRO Boise has the experience as a full-service water restoration company to rectify and repair all the problems related to a burst
pipe. Solving the problem of a burst pipe correctly will protect the investment of your home for years to come.
Water Damage Recovery Defined
This garage was flooded due to a water heater bursting
Water Damage Recovery Defined
It is very important to make sure water damage recovery is done properly when you are coping with the consequences of a flood or house fire. There is a lot that goes into water damage recovery, and you should understand how crucial it is do know all about the possible dangers of events that could take place when you are going through the recovery process in your house. It is important to understand that you should not be attempting to take on the process all by yourself; you should always enlist the help of a professional restoration company. This is because a professional company will have the needed expertise, experience, and equipment to go through the process in a safe and effective manner. When you are trying to figure out the ideal way to go about the water damage recovery process, it may be beneficial to be knowledgeable about what it entails.
The Water Damage Recovery Process Entails Removing Excess Water from Your House
One of the key parts of water damage recovery is that the process entails removing and cleaning up any excess water that is in your house after a flood or house fire has taken place. Within 24 hours of either of these events, mildew and mold can potentially start to grow and thrive in your home. As such, it is extremely important that you start cleaning up the excess water right away. If you do not do this, the secondary damage (mildew, mold, bacteria, etc.) that can develop can actually cause more destruction to your home than the original flood or house fire did. There are several steps involved in cleaning up water damage that is in your house, and among the most crucial of these steps is drying up the excess water, so that you stop any growth of mildew and mold. When you hire a professional company for this purpose, they will use industrial-grade dehumidifiers to cause the excess water in your house to evaporate, and then begin the repairs that are needed on your house. Make sure to remember that you should enlist the help of a professional when you are dealing with water damage. You should not enter your home after a flood or house fire without the approval of a professional, as you do not know if it is safe to do so without this.
The Water Damage Recovery Process Entails Reparation and Restoration of Your House
The SERVPRO Boise water damage recovery process involves not only the cleaning and removal of excess water, but the repairing of areas in your home and restoration of the building to how it was before the event. Your home may have structural and/or electrical damage if the water damage is severe. Before you can safely move back in, a professional restoration company will need to do the appropriate repairs, which could potentially take several weeks or several months if the damage is severe. In order to figure out which repairs need to be done, it is important to hire a professional company, who can give you an accurate assessment.
When your home needs to go through a water damage recovery process, it is important that you consult a professional restoration company, because they will have all of the resources that will enable them to take on the task. Additionally, they can have several different contractors on site at the same time to make sure that your home will be safe for you to enter. If you would like to know more about these companies, contact a professional company with any questions you may have.
Water Damage Restoration
Basement flooding or storm damage doesn't wait for regular business hours and neither do we. We respond to your residential or commercial water removal and cleanup needs. Our fast response time and advanced drying methods help prevent secondary damage and mold. Common causes of water damage are:
- Flooding caused by severe weather
- Plumbing leaks
- Sink, bathtub or toilet overflow
- Sewage backup
Space Heater Safety Tips
Workplace portable space heater
9 Do's When it Comes to Space Heaters
1) Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from combustible materials, including beds, sofas, curtains, papers, clothes, etc.
2) Make sure the heaters power cord is not damaged or frayed in any way.
3) Make sure the heater is securely plugged into the power outlet. Ensure it does not come loose or fall out.
4) Ensure your heater is on a stable and level surface with minimal risk of it getting knocked over.
5) Make sure your space heater has been certified as safe to use. You should see a safety logo on the back somewhere.
6) Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
7) Ensure your unit is turned off when you go to sleep, in a different room, or unable to keep an eye on it.
8) It is wise to teach everyone in your household how to properly operate your heater.
9) If your space heater requires fuel, make sure you refill it with the right kind... or you will most likely cause a fire.
What to do if Your Boise Home Has Mold Damage
Visible moisture reading
For the vast majority of homeowners in Boise, mold damage does appear, at some point, in or around their property. And, a little spot of mold around the bathtub or the shower screen is nothing to be too concerned about. If it can be easily wiped away and does not produce a nasty smell, it is likely to be a good problem.
However, if you have spotted creeping patches of mold, which has an unpleasant odor, and makes the room feel clammy and uncomfortable, it is time to call in the experts. It could indicate a serious problem with mold damage. If this is the case, it needs to be handled by a professional team who can make sure that the unhealthy material is completely removed.
The first thing that will happen, after you have consulted a professional SERVPRO mold damage restoration service, is a discussion about containment. This may mean a number of different things, depending on how extensive the mold is and what type of spores you have in your home. If the problem is severe, containment may have to involve you temporarily moving out of the property.
However, this is quite a rare situation. Most homeowners take action early enough for it to be avoided. Partial containment helps restoration experts limit the spread of mold damage. Our professionals will seal off the problem area so that movement cannot dislodge and carry mold spores to other parts of the home. This is where heavy duty equipment will be set up to dry, repair, and treat the affected space.
The Outcomes of Mold Remediation
The primary goal of mold remediation is to restore the property to its pre-mold damage condition. In some cases, this will not be possible. If the damage is very extensive, there may be some parts of the building which cannot be saved. This is extremely rare, however, and a skilled mold restoration team is almost always able to bring a home back to full health.
The thing to remember is that the quicker you address the issue, the better the chance of a full recovery for your property. If you ignore what appears to be chronic mold, you risk the chance of it moving into walls and floors. This is much harder (and much more expensive) to repair, so invest your money in affordable prevention, rather than a costly cure.
SERVPRO of Boise is an IICRC Certified Firm
Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification
SERVPRO of Boise is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
- Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
- Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
- Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
- Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
- Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops the Standards for The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Boise
SERVPRO of Boise specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.