By: Ryan M.
Traveling away from home and your family is not easy; especially when it's directly into the site of a natural disaster. Here at SERVPRO we never hesitate to set aside our personal lives to help others. We are a team of individuals that thrive under times of pressure and love helping people. We are supported by families who have our backs and understand the sacrifice is for the good of humanity. Helping others get back to normal and returning their homes or businesses to a state of "Like it never even happened," is what we do and pride ourselves on.
Once onsite after a hurricane or natural disaster has struck we are searching out for those who need our help most. We have a huge number of individuals from the corporate level down at all positions taking calls and scheduling inspections. We have teams onsite sometimes the same day at the disaster site ready to respond. Vehicles and crews are mobilizing at the first word of a storm and preparing to stock the area with the needed consumables, PPE, and equipment to help restore your home or business. Different states with different teams of SERVPRO superheroes are ready to lend a hand or help coordinate efforts to have the most effective and efficient response possible. We work as one big team, (ONE TEAM) to meet the need for our service and assistance. No matter what that is we will find a way to take care of our customers and those in need.
How To Protect Your Home And Love Ones In A Wild Fire!
By: Beth B.
A wildfire is unexpected, unwanted, and can be damaging to communities. While wildfires are out of the control a home or business owner there are things that can be done to remain safe and minimize damage. The first action to take is to evacuate if there is danger. Pay attention to fire warnings and local evacuation orders. It is important to leave early with your family and pets. Come up with an emergency plan before disaster strikes. While coming up with the plan consider how you will communicate, what emergency items will be needed and where you could evacuate to. To protect your home or business remove items that can burn easily from outside the premises. Keep all windows and doors in your home or business closed to prevent smoke and soot damage in your home. Move all flammable items inside to the middle of the building. While natural disasters are unplanned your reactions to them do not have to- stay informed and stay safe!
Classification of Water Damage in Your Home
In this post, we will be explaining some of the basics of water damage and how it can affect your home and health. Water damage is the leading culprit when it comes to property damage and restoration service needs.
Now, this actually surprises a lot of folks, when they hear water damage they usually imagine a flood from a nearby river, a natural disaster, etc. While events as such do occur, there are more common ways for water damage to affect your home, including:
- appliance leaks from your fridge, ice machine, washing machines, etc.
- toilet overflows
- sinks and bath/shower overflows or left running without attendance
- broken/leaky water pipes within walls and ceilings
- drainage issues around the property
- roof leaks and compromised exterior
- rain/wind storms
As you can see, water damage can originate from either internal or external sources and once it gets into your home it is important to know what kind of water you are dealing with.
What do we mean by what kind of water? Well in the restoration industry we recognize water in THREE different categories:
- CATEGORY 1 – Also referred to as “Clean Water”, this means that the water originated from a sanitary source and does not generally pose a risk to our health.
- CATEGORY 2 – This could also be referred to as “Grey Water”, meaning it contains some contamination and would not be sanitary enough for human consumption, posing a health risk if ingested.
- CATEGORY 3 – Commonly known as “Black Water”, this is water that is grossly contaminated and could contain disease-causing organisms, pathogens, and other harmful materials.
Now you know the 3 different categories of water and how it can enter into your home. Each of these different categories of water damage comes with their own do's and don'ts on how to deal with them. Restoration professionals like SERVPRO of Boise have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience to handle any water damage emergency
Who Is Responsible For Apartment Complex Water Damage?
Unfortunately, water damage is a common issue both homeowners and renters can face. The aftermath can be devastating making the property unlivable and permanent damage may occur to personal belongings. When water damage occurs in an apartment, who is responsible for the damage cost? The property owner or renter?
Water damage can be unpredictable and it is important to understand your renter rights and understand who is responsible for what in such an event. In general, a landlord is responsible for maintaining the property ensuring that the apartment is livable and functioning up to code. The landlord may refuse repairs, or fail to address them quickly enough – causing further damage such as mold. In the United States, basic principles in tenant rights are in place and outline the party liable for damages. Depending on the state, rent details can vary so check with your local housing authority.
Review Your Lease
It’s important to know what your lease states regarding property damage. Most properties have property insurance and will list what type of damage that is covered and what is not. The lease may specify actions that may be in place depending on the severity of the water damage. If the damage is severe and the apartment is unlivable is the tenant still required to pay the rent? Can the landlord evict the tenant or can the tenant cancel their lease without penalty? In general, if the damage is minor, the tenant will not be able to cancel the lease agreement. If the terms regarding property damage are not listed in the lease, speak to your landlord about who is responsible in the event when water damage strikes.
Accidents happen which is why it is essential to have renters insurance. Most places require you have it before allowing you to move into an apartment. Depending on the plan you select, coverage can vary from damages to the building, personal content and may even cover the cost of lodging while repairs are being completed.
The landlord is responsible for maintaining a functional apartment and ensuring that it is livable. The upkeep of basic plumbing such as sinks, toilets, and tubs fall on the shoulders of the landlord. Failure to maintain or repair these functions may lead to property damage and the landlord is liable due to negligence.
Damage to Property and Personal Belongings
Water damages caused to the building itself such as flooring, walls, and utilities should be covered under the landlord’s property insurance. Personal property damages fall to the responsibility of the party at fault for damages, which can be the tenant. For example, if the tenant leaves a faucet on and falls asleep causing water damage.
How We Can Help
Water damage requires a rapid response in order to minimize loss to both the property itself and belongings inside. SERVPRO technicians are experts at water damage cleanup in apartments and buildings of all sizes no matter the severity of the damage. Our team of experts will assess the damage and develop an appropriate plan to restore and recover your property and contents. Contact us by calling 208-375-0300 to learn more about our water damage clean-up services.
What to Expect When You Call SERVPRO of Boise
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call SERVPRO of Boise Today
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Boise has specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information including your phone number and email address
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
- Is there standing water (if applicable)?
- What year was the home or business built?
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. 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.
When Storms or Floods Hit Boise, SERVPRO is Ready!
SERVPRO of Boise specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists
As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Boise has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring, and documentation.
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Applied Structural Drying Technicians
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Boise, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 208-375-0300
Dealing with a house fire in your home
The process involved will definitely differ depending on the severity and size of the fire and damage caused, as you can see in the image to your right this is quite severe fire damage. However, the principles of fire damage restoration will for the most part be the same.
Like in most restoration projects the main goal you are trying to reach is preloss condition, that is you want your property to be restored back to how it was before the damages occurred; you want it to be safe, clean, free of smokey odors, and of course, looking "Like it never even happened."
Now at this point, we are going to assume that the fire has been put out, everybody is safe, and you are now looking at the damage caused and are wondering what to do next.
Before you start any work ensure that:
- the property is structurally sound and is safe to re-enter
- you have identified any safety hazards that may be present
As you re-enter the property you will want to get rid it of any lingering smoke and gasses that may still be present. You can do this by opening windows and doors and releasing them outside. In situations where there is a lot of smoke still lingering inside the property and you have neighbors close by then you will want to exhaust the air through an air filtration device (AFD). An AFD unit will process the air through a series of filters reducing its potency and potentially harmful contents.
Once you have taken care of these initial steps and are ready to assess what work needs to be done. You should be taking note of the two main types of possible damage; the obvious burnt and charred materials and the less obvious smoke and soot damage.
Now, you will need to make a decision whether to repair or replace the affected items or property. Any items or property that got burnt and charred will be easier to spot and will likely need replacement if you are not sure on what to do with a certain item you should get it out of the property until your decision is made. As once we start the cleaning process we will want all burnt and charred materials out of the property.
Once all the burnt materials are out of the home you can start looking at what got damaged indirectly. It becomes trickier to decide whether to repair or to replace an item that has been affected by smoke and soot as the process can be difficult and costly.
Okay, so now you know the first few steps on how to get started on a fire damage restoration project. If your property has suffered a fire damage incident that is of a large scale or simply outside your comfort zone to handle yourself give SERVPRO of Boise a call at (208) 375-0300
Summer Water Saving Tips!
Every state is experiencing the effects of drought, and saving water is on everyone’s mind these days. We waste a lot of water; our showers are too long, and we are often obsessed with an emerald green lawn. We need to change the way we handle and view water and leave behind the outdated and inefficient water management systems of the past.
Here are some tips that will help you save water this summer. Your water bill will be reduced, and you can save yourself some time into the bargain as well as doing some good for the Earth.
- Water your yard in the cool parts of the day. Water evaporates more quickly when it’s hot, so run your irrigation system while it’s most likely to stay with your lawn. Make sure you are not watering your sidewalk or your driveway, too. A drip system works quite well in this respect. Replacing your thirsty lawn with a drought-tolerant garden would be a great way to save water, and it won’t have to be mowed every week!
- Check for leaky toilets. Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl, your tank is leaking, and could be wasting up to 100 gallons of water a day!
- Take shorter showers. Trimming just two minutes off of your showers can save up to 1700 gallons of water a year. One way to do this is to turn off the shower while you shave or soap up. Install water-efficient showerheads, toilets, and faucets for a savings of thousands of gallons per year as well.
- Cover the pool. Make sure the water in your pool stays there by covering it when you are not using it. This will prevent water loss by evaporation.
- Use a car wash. Washing your car by hand can easily use 100 gallons of water, and takes a lot of time and effort, as well. Commercial car washes average 40 gallons or less!
- Trap rainwater. Collect the water from summer rainstorms by getting a water barrel. You can reuse this water for your garden. Green roofs, rain gardens, and other water-saving techniques are called green infrastructure and go a long way towards saving this most precious resource. More and more landowners and city governments are choosing to invest in these and other innovative strategies as ways to save water, reduce pollution, and save millions, and even billions, in costs for new water tanks, tunnels, and other traditional water infrastructures.
SERVPRO of Boise is here to help you with all your home and business needs. Call us today at (208) 375-0300, or visit our website: SERVPRO of Boise
How do molds affect people?
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf icon[PDF – 2.65 MB]external icon Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
There is no blood test for mold. Some physicians can do allergy testing for possible allergies to mold, but no clinically proven tests can pinpoint when or where a particular mold exposure took place.
Who is most at risk for health problems associated with exposure to mold?
People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, asthma) may experience difficulty breathing. Individuals with immunosuppression are at increased risk for infection from molds. If you or your family members have these conditions, a qualified medical clinician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.
How do you keep mold out of buildings and homes?
Inspect buildings for evidence of water damage and visible mold as part of routine building maintenance. Correct conditions causing mold growth (e.g., water leaks, condensation, infiltration, or flooding) to prevent mold growth by contacting SERVPRO of Boise/Meridian.
Inside your home, you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels;
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
- Keep humidity levels as low as you can—between 30% and 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
- Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
- Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
- Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms for basements that may have a lot of moisture.
How to recover from mold growth.
Moisture and high humidity can attract mold spores into your Treasure Valley home, where they can grow across a variety of surfaces. While mold commonly grows on building surfaces like drywall and carpeting, it can also affect your belongings such as clothing and furniture. Mold cleaning can be difficult; however, before you throw items away, you may want to learn about which could be saved by different types of professional cleaning processes used by SERVPRO of Boise/Meridian and which cannot.
1. Throw Away Porous Items
Most porous surfaces can absorb water and encourage further mold growth. As such, some items like mattresses, thick rugs and stuffed toys that already show signs of mold damage are usually not salvageable. If your child has a favorite stuffed toy that you want to attempt to save, ask our SERVPRO remediation technicians if they have any mold cleaning processes that may help. You may want to remember, however, that porous items affected by black mold are usually considered unsalvageable because this type of fungus is particularly hard to eradicate.
2. Freeze Documents and Books
If you have important documents and books that developed mold, place them in sealable plastic bags and store them in your freezer. Freezing these items can inhibit further mold growth and protect them until they can be inspected by our SERVPRO expert mold remediation and restoration technicians This can salvage items like original birth certificates, wedding albums, and baby books.
3. Set Aside Moldy Clothing
If you have favorite items of clothing that have been affected by mold, ask our remediation technicians about what type of options you have for salvaging them. Wet, dry and immersion cleaning may all be possible, especially for leather jackets and shoes. SERVPRO of Boise/Meridian uses an Esporta Machine, which cleans soft contents by removing tough odors, dirt, and molds in a way that even commercial-grade units cannot.
Mold can have a devastating effect on your home’s contents. However, professional mold cleaning processes may be able to salvage your treasured possessions, even if you believe they are beyond repair.
Let us try to help you with this problem, call SERVPRO of Boise at 208-375-0300.