Archived Blog Posts
Get Rid of Unpleasant Odors in Your Home
Our equipment is designed to treat your home of unwanted odors.
Odors from smoke, pets, decomposition or mold can cause lingering odors in your home or business. A simple surface clean doesn’t necessarily get rid of these smells. With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Boise provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by smoke, mold or other sources. Our professionals do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the source of the odor. Once the source is found, we use SERVPRO’s own proprietary line of cleaning products to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies, upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more. Along with our proprietary line of cleaning products SERVPRO of Boise uses various techniques and equipment to treat odors. These techniques are capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly. Some of the tools we use include: Ozone Generator: The Ozone Generator is one of the quickest ways to eliminate odors from a home or office. We use the Ozone Generator to oxidize odor and eliminate odors from mold, mildew, pets, nicotine, smoke and more without the use of chemicals. Though the room being treated cannot be occupied while in use, the generator works quickly to clean, sanitize and remove offensive odors. Hydroxyl Generator: The Hydroxyl Generator has several benefits that the Ozone Generator does not. The main benefit is that the room being treated can be occupied during the deodorization process; though it does work slower. The Hydroxyl Generator can be used to treat fire and smoke, as well as biohazard jobs, water damage, and animal odors. Air Filtration Device: This piece of equipment, also known as an air scrubber, is used to remove airborne contaminants during water, fire, smoke, mold, and sewage restoration work. These work by pulling air through HEPA filtration to remove airborne particles from the air. This helps clean the air and remove odors. Whether you are a building manager who needs an apartment cleaned for the next tenant or a homeowner who wants to get your home ready for sale, getting rid of offensive odors is a high priority. Fire, water, mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, SERVPRO of Boise is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at (208) 375-0300
10 Things You Should be Doing to Prevent Mold
It is vital to make sure you take the proper precautions to fight off and prevent mold and mildew in your home or office.
Regardless if you’re a new homeowner or if you’ve been in the same home for forty years, it’s absolutely vital to make sure you take the proper precautions to fight off and prevent mold and mildew in your home or office. Mold is basically tiny fungi that grow in branch-like filaments called hyphae. While some mold and mildew can be scrubbed away with the right cleaning products, other types of mold can do severe damage to the structure of your home and it can be very expensive to repair. Not only is mold horrible for your home, but it’s also very dangerous. Mold can cause a number of health problems, especially for those with allergies or immune disorders.
Mold can bring on coughing, nasal congestion, throat irritation, upper respiratory tract infections, and other cold-like symptoms. For those with compromised immune systems, the effects of mold can be much more serious. Unfortunately, certain kinds of toxic mold are undetectable by the naked eye. That’s why it’s so important to follow these guidelines to make sure that you’re protecting yourself and your home from the potential risks of mold and mildew.
1. Be Aware of Air Flow
When trying to prevent mold, take note of the arrangement of furniture and other items in your home. You want to make sure you have a proper air flow throughout the house. When moisture gets trapped, you’re increasing your chances of mold. Always be aware of odd smells or odors in the home that may represent mold or mildew. Any kind of musty smells will most likely be a sign of mold growth.
2. Know Your Moisture Levels
Most people don’t really know how much moisture they have floating around their home, but it’s important to keep an eye on these levels, especially in basements. Basements should always be below 50% humidity to prevent mold. If you’re worried about how much humidity is in your home, you can purchase a hygrometer. A lot of the new thermometers for central air and heat in more modern homes will include a humidity level setting on the monitor.
3. Check All Storage
When moving into a new home, it’s easy to toss unwanted cardboard boxes and bins into the garage and then forget they were ever there. If it’s been a while since you’ve explored through the storage in your garage, basement or attic, you may want to give it a good check. Cardboard boxes in low ventilated areas are a breeding ground for mold. You also want to stay away from keeping your items in cardboard boxes or on wooden shelves.
4. Keep Moisture Rich Areas Clean
To prevent mold it’s important to consistently clean areas of the house that are exposed to moisture often, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Routinely remove all of the items on your counter-tops and use anti-mold or mildew cleaning products. If water gets trapped in areas for longer than 48-hours, then mold can become apparent.
5. Utilize Exhaust Fans
When showering or cooking, remember to always use your exhaust fans. Some people will only turn exhaust fans on after showering, but this is a big mold prevention no-no. Always be sure to have the fan on during a hot shower, as well as for some time after a shower to make sure that all of the humidity has dissipated.
6. Be Aware of Leaks
It’s important to have your house checked randomly throughout the year for leaks. A leaky pipe that goes unnoticed can create havoc in a household. Something that might be simple to fix one day, can turn into a nightmare if it goes undetected. Have a mold remediation company occasionally check your home for potential leaks to save yourself money in the long run.
7. Remove Carpet in Basements
While some carpets may feel cozy and look great in a basement, they can turn into a fuzzy hotel for fungus. Basements are infamous for holding in moisture and carpets can make these matters much worse. If you’re looking to upgrade your home in the near future, tearing out carpets in the basement not only saves you from potential mold, but it can also increase your property value.
8. Keep Roof and Gutters Clean
With heavy rain, moisture can clog up your gutters and cause cracks in your roof. It can build up near corners or crevasses in doorways. Keeping your roof and your gutters clean throughout the year can help you to prevent mold in these areas.
9. Use Mold Prevention Based Paints
If you happen to be renovating or moving into a new home, it’s the perfect time to find quality mold inhibiting paints and primers. Ask any expert at your local home improvement store which kind of paints are best for fighting off mold and mildew.
10. Change Out Air Filters
Everyone should always be aware of the air quality in their home. As mentioned above, many of the air-borne illnesses that come from mold are very difficult to detect. Changing out air filters or purchasing air purifiers can add an extra layer of protection in your home.
Having the above ten steps on your checklist will help you to prevent mold in your home. If you do suspect there is mold in your home, call the experts to inspect and remove it for you.
Commercial Restoration 101
This commercial property was damaged from a burst pipe in the ceiling.
When a business needs commercial fire or water damage restoration they should look for a company that provides 24 hour emergency services. SERVPRO of Boise is available 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Once on site, SERVPRO of Boise will begin assessing the extent of the damage. This will allow our crews to come up with a plan of action moving forward. Often the extent of the damage might be more severe than it appears on the surface – for instance if mold is accruing in another room as a result of water damage, or if smoke got into an adjoining part of the building. SERVPRO of Boise will use top of the line equipment to accurately assess the damage.
If your company is in the position of needing commercial restoration, give us a call. We can board up your building to secure the premise, tarp the roof if there is damage, seal any leaks and prevent any further damage from occurring while we take care of the major issue.
Contents may need to be removed from the building and stored at our warehouse/ cleaned depending on the size of the loss. Once the items are removed we will be able to begin removing any standing water, etc.. and cleaning/drying the affected area.
Once everything is cleaned, dried out and/or removed, we will then involve our reconstruction department. They will be able to discuss repairs with the property owner and select items to replace what was removed and could not be salvaged. This could mean replacing individual items such as cabinets or flooring.
Ultimately, commercial restoration done by SERVPRO of Boise can provide a wide variety of different services which together can help to clean and restore a property after it has been affected by a storm, flood, fire or any other type of damage. This will then allow you to return to business as quickly as possible.
When it comes to your commercial property, we mean business. You need a company that can minimize the disruption to your clients while delivering superior results. Whether you need emergency water or fire restoration services, or mold remediation, SERVPRO of Boise has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
•Small Office Buildings
•Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
•Small Retail Stores
•Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
•Manufacturing & Industrial
Who Is Responsible For Apartment Complex Water Damage?
Do you have a commercial water damage emergency? Call SERVPRO of Boise today!
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 quick 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 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.
Things to Look for in a Commercial Restoration Company
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When you come face to face with a broken pipe, a leaky faucet, or a hole in the wall, you know that those damages can be easily repaired with do-it-yourself fixes, and home tools, but if you are facing situations that are impossible to fix like flooded basements, mold infestations, and smoke infiltration, it’s time to pick up the phone and call in the professionals. However, how well do you know the restoration company you are calling? When looking for restoration contractors, you must remind yourself that you are allowing workers into your space to fix the damage. You want workers who are expertly trained professionals with years of experience, and are fully equipped with the latest cleaning instruments to solve your dilemma. You might think that, because the contractor says that the company is qualified to repair the damages, they are legitimate; however, we live in a day and age where information can be falsified through advertisements, and easy to create internet sites.
Here are a few things you can do to avoid contacting fake, or unprofessional restoration companies.
Check if Their Website is Genuine
Yes, the internet can be a place for scammers, and false people, but it is also a good place to find restoration companies in the quickest and easiest way possible. You will know if the site is from a professional company when you are presented with links to their services.
Some services for commercial restoration include:
Once you’ve clicked these links, it should lead you to pages that are informative; if the site is genuine, whatever is written in those pages must be talking about the dangers of, let’s say, water damage in your home, and give you an insight on their restoration process.
Read Client Testimonials
Most service sites have testimonial links; proof that they do their job well. By reading the client’s testament, you get an idea of how this company will handle the situation you are facing.
Call Them Up, and Quiz Them
Professional workers know what they are talking about; they know the history, and services their company provides, and they know how to solve simple restoration questions even when they are on the other line. By going through their site, you too are able to ask the right questions; making it possible for you, and your chosen restoration contractor to communicate clearly.
If the job was done by unprofessional workers, it may do more harm than good to your property. Instead of fixing the problem, they could complicate the situation with sloppy work, and mess-ups; leaving you in a difficult dilemma.
Live in the Treasure Valley and surrounding area, want to try us out? Call: (208) 375-0300, for professional restoration services and more, or visit our website for more information.
Storm Damage Preparedness
For storm, fire, mold and water damage restoration in Boise and surrounding cities, SERVPRO is the professional company you can trust!
Our team of experts will be there soon, but your health and safety are our main priorities. While you wait for help to arrive, follow these tips to keep you protected while facilitating a more rapid recovery:
- Discuss preparedness with your family
- Identify an out-of-state contact in case you are separated. Long-distance calls may work when local calls do not
- Teach children how and when to call 911 post emergency contact numbers near phones in your home
- Teach children how to use a cell phone
- Determine two escape routes from each room in your home
- Pick three places to meet - One right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, pick a location in your neighborhood if your property isn't safe and a regional meeting place if you can't return home
MAKE A PLAN
- Water will keep you alive. If you have enough water, you can live on half of your normal food intake. Make sure to store at least one gallon of water per person per day and store enough water to last two weeks.
- People in hot environments, children, people who are ill and nursing mothers should store more.
- Rotate your water supply every six months
- Other sources of water in your home: water heater, ice cubes, pipes and toilet tank (not the bowl)
Unlike water, food can be rationed. Store at least a three to five day supply of non-perishable food in a dry place where the temperature is not above 70 degrees.
Select foods that require little or no preparation, water or refrigeration. Select foods that are high in calories, nutritious, compact and lightweight. Choose foods your family will eat.
Pets are an important member of your family. Plan for them as well. Remember that emergency shelters typically do not allow animals. Only service animals are allowed in shelters.
But you should know safe places to keep your pets if you have to evacuate with them. Where are hotels and motels outside of your area that accept pets? What friends or family members could keep them for you? Which boarding facilities, veterinarians or shelters could be used?
Your water heater can be a critical source of water in an emergency, but only if it’s still standing. Go to your home improvement store of choice and buy the metal straps to secure the water heater to nearby studs.
A falling water heater can break gas lines and water lines or spill your water.
If you have natural gas coming into your home, it’s easy to turn off, but not so much for turning it back on. Only qualified people should turn gas back on.
When you should shut off your gas meter:
- You smell natural gas
- You hear gas leaking
- There is a fire (unless shutting off the gas would jeopardize your safety)
- If you need to shut off the gas, use a wrench to turn the valve a quarter turn in either direction
- Take some time to become familiar with which utilities enter your home and where they can be shut off. As you practice emergency plans, locate and map the gas, water and electricity mains. During family drills, go through the movements, but do not practice shutting off gas lines.
If you are facing the aftermath of a storm or natural disaster, call us at (208) 375-0300!
Treasure Valley Water Damage Prevention
If you need assistance with water damage restoration or flood cleanup, call SERVPRO at (208) 375-0300
It is possible to prevent and mitigate water damage by taking the proper precautions before a flood. Safeguard your home against heavy rain, natural disasters, frozen pipes, and water dams by following the suggestions below.
Water Damage and Flooding Prevention
- Make sure gutters and downspouts stay clear by checking them regularly and removing any blockages.
- Anchor any fuel tanks.
- Install back-flow valves or standpipes to prevent sewer lines from backing up.
- Elevate your washer, dryer, water heater, oil tank, furnace, and electrical wiring on concrete blocks. If you’re unable to raise an item, anchor it and protect it with a flood-wall or shield.
- Install a sump pump system if you have below-grade floors.
- Landscape with plants and vegetation that resist soil erosion.
- Store irreplaceable family items and important documents in elevated areas of your home, avoiding the basement.
- Install a flood-detection device, usually in your basement, that sounds an alarm when it senses water.
- Create a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
When water freezes, it expands. If ice forms in your water pipes, it can shatter pipe seals or the pipes themselves, sending water pouring through your home or business. If overnight temperatures outdoors drop below freezing, unprotected pipes can burst. To prevent that from happening, SERVPRO suggests the following to prevent water damage:
- Insulate pipes in basements, crawl spaces and the attic where the temperatures might drop below freezing.
- Seal any openings that allow cold air inside – like those around dryer vents, electrical wiring or pipes.
- In areas of potential freezing, have the water drip into the sink to keep the flow moving.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks and closets where pipes are located to let in the heat.
- Keep doors ajar between heated and unheated rooms.
- Disconnect all hoses from outside faucets. Cover outside faucets connected to the house.
- Know where to turn off water to the house. Show everyone in the house where it is located and how to shut it off.
- If the house will be unheated for a period of time, turn off water at the meter and open all faucets to drain pipes. Flush all toilets and add antifreeze to toilet tanks.
- If on vacation, keep heat in your home no lower than 55 degrees and have someone check in daily.
Ice Dam Prevention
During the winter, SERVPRO sees damage to homes and businesses caused by ice dams on rooftops. Ice dams occur when heavy snow buildup melts during the day and then refreezes when temperatures drop overnight. It is common for the melted water and ice to work its way under the shingles until the water eventually enters the attic, causing damage to the ceilings, walls, and furnishings.
- Make sure soffits' and attic spaces are properly insulated and vented.
- Inspect gutters and downspouts; clean them out so water can run unimpeded.
- Use electric de-icing cables on the roof to keep ice from forming.
- Install de-icing cables in gutters and downspouts.
- Call an electrical contractor for information on de-icing systems and proper installation.
Once Ice Dams have occurred, combating the destructive effects becomes more difficult. For help removing ice dams and restoring any damage they might have caused, call a water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO. In the meantime:
- Never use an ax or shovel to remove ice. You could cause damage to your roof.
- Avoid climbing on the roof to prevent accidental injury.
Hopefully you never fall victim to a flooded basement. However, it is one of the more common property damages we deal with in Idaho. Many things can lead to a flooded basement, here are a few of the most common causes:
- Rain Fall
- Snow Melt
- Leaky Pipe
- Burst Pipe
- Bathroom Leaks
- Improper Drainage or Grading
- Sump Pump Backup or Failure
For more detailed information regarding safety planning and flood safety, visit www.ready.gov/floods.
Treasure Valley Fire Prevention
If you are dealing with the aftermath of a fire, call SERVPRO day or night at (208) 375-0300
Safeguarding against potential fire hazards will significantly reduce the likelihood of a fire affecting your home and family. Make fire prevention and safety a priority in your home.
- Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it monthly.
- Prevent electrical fires by never overloading circuits or extension cords.
- Use appliances only as directed by the manufacturer. Unplug appliances when not in use.
- Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from anything combustible.
- Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually.
- Install an affordable home fire safety sprinkler system. In addition to keeping you safe, they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.
- Plan your escape. Practice your exit strategy from every room in the house.
- Take the time to educate your children about the dangers of fire.
For more detailed information regarding safety planning and fire prevention, visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website: www.usfa.fema.gov
Protect Your Property From Winter Damage
How to protect your property from snow/ice damage and other winter hazards.
"Winter storms are the third-largest cause of catastrophe losses, behind only hurricanes and tornadoes" -Insurance Information Institute, Inc.
It is a known fact that winter weather trends can be unpredictable throughout the United States. Homeowners in colder climates, including the Northeast, Midwest, and mountain areas should now be weather-proofing their properties, preparing for the potential cold-weather storms ahead.
Winter storms often bring with them an array of extreme cold, snow, high winds, and icy conditions, which can cause potential outages for days or even immobilize entire regions. Basic communication services, power and heat sources can be knocked out for days until usage is safe again. The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as "deceptive killers", as statistics highlight that most deaths around this period are indirectly related to the weather.
The past five years have highlighted how towns and cities around the country can be completely shut down by the challenges of winter weather. Snow and ice dams can be large threats to the exterior structures of properties, so it is crucial to take steps to ensure your property is structurally sound.
Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
When the weather gets colder, unprotected water pipes can often freeze, leaving you without water (and in some cases without heating, too). Without steps to protect them during the winter months, water pipes can freeze and sometimes burst. Allowing heat to circulate around your home and having sufficient insulation can help ensure the pipes remain at a constant temperature.
If you do identify a frozen pipe, you can thaw it out slowly by using a hot water bottle or towels soaked in warm water. If you have a burst water pipe, turn off the water supply immediately, by turning the valve to stop the flow of water – this will prevent any further damage until you can get it fixed.
Monitor Ice Dams on Roofs
Ice dams are formed by layers of snow and ice building up in the eaves of your roof or guttering. This build-up of snow and ice then backs up and “dams” the natural flow of water off the roof. It is this damming that causes the water to run down the interior wall surfaces.
A constant increase in the amount of snow on a roof can lead to potential structure damage, as well as leaks or water damage in your home. Sturdiness and slope are all variables and can react differently in adverse winter weather conditions. You may seek professional help if you think your roof may need modifications.
After a storm and only when safe to do so, you can use a long-handed rake to remove snow from your roof. The amount of snow that your roof and gutters can take will depend on the type, age, and condition. Ensure that downspouts and gutters are clear in an effort to prevent flooding.
One of the best long-term methods for preventing ice dams is to install a water-repellent membrane in your roof. This is installed under the shingles and acts as an extra barrier, helping to prevent water from seeping into your property.
Winterize the Interior
Making updates to your home, including using silicone foam, caulking any holes, and adding insulation to walls can have a significant impact on your home’s energy bills. Make sure that your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is regularly serviced too, as a failing system can result in wasted energy and wasted money.
Doors and window-sills are also major culprits when it comes to letting heat escape. Caulking and weather-stripping can help to reduce the likelihood of heat loss, as well as the possibility of water seeping into your home due to ice dams.
You may want to consider installing a generator for emergency outages to help when your main power sources are disturbed. This will allow you to connect lights, refrigerators, and electrical heating devices and stay warm and safe in your home.
Inspect the Exterior of Your Home and Clear any Leaves and Branches
Make sure you clear any leaves and branches from your drain pipes before the winter season arrives. Safely cut away any branches that are hanging over your house and repair any damage to your gutters and roof. These issues could pose a risk to structures, people, and vehicles. Trimming trees can be dangerous in icy weather though, so try and get this done before the cold winter period begins.
Clear Pathways and Property Entrances
After a storm, it’s vital that you remove snow and ice from walkways and parking lots if you are a business owner. Use rock salt or grit to avoid any slips or trips. Removing snow and treating icy surfaces with a safe snow melting product will allow customers safe access to your business.
By following these few basic precautions, you can ensure that the interior and exterior of your home or business is safe this winter. Remember that snow and unpredictable weather patterns can potentially threaten your property’s structure, so be sure to seek professional advice if there are signs of damage.
Fire Safety During Winter Storms
Nearly half of all space heater fires involve electric space heaters.
Winter storms can happen almost anywhere. They can cause us problems. Know what to do before and after a storm. This will help keep you and your family safe from a winter fire.
- Test all smoke alarms. Do this at least once a month. This way you will know they are working. Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Test the alarms.
- Plan two ways out of the home in case of an emergency. Clear driveway and front walk of ice and snow. This will provide easy access to your home.
- Make sure your house number can be seen from the street. If you need help, firefighters will be able to find you.
- Be ready in case the power goes out. Have flashlights on hand. Also have battery-powered lighting and fresh batteries. Never use candles.
- Stay aware of winter weather. Listen to the television or radio for updates. Watch for bulletins online.
- Check on neighbors. Check on others who may need help.
- Generators should be used outdoors. Keep them away from windows and doors. Do not run a generator inside your garage, even if the door is open.
- Stay away from downed wires. Report and downed wires to authorities.
- Be ready if the heat stops working. Use extra layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm. If you use an emergency heat source, keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room. Turn them off when you go to bed.
There are more home fires in winter than in any other season. Half of all home heating fires happen in December, January and February.
As you stay cozy and warm this winter season be fire smart!
Three Ways to Avoid Water Damage When You're Not Home
Follow these simple steps and rest easy knowing your home won't be at risk of water damage.
No matter what time of year it is, if you’re going to be away from your home for an extended amount of time – even just over night – it’s a smart idea to turn off your water until you return home. Why? Because it doesn’t take very much water to cause a whole lot of damage! If your pipes freeze and burst while you’re gone, or if a washer hose ruptures or a supply line leaks, major water damage can occur! There are a few things you can do before heading out of town to give you peace of mind when it comes to the state of your home’s water.
Shut off the Main Water Valve
Your safest bet is to turn off the main water valve. Make sure the adults in your home know where the main shutoff valve is and know how to turn it on and off. (Knowing this will also come in handy if you’re at home during an emergency, so the water can quickly be shut off!) Locate the main water valve near your water meter usually located in the basement, near the front of the house, attached to the outside of the home’s exterior, or in an underground box in the yard.
There are two types of main shutoff valves. You’ll probably find what’s called a “gate valve” if you’re in an older home. Turn the rounded handles a certain number of times to open or close the valve. The “ball valve” is more common today. Turn the lever-like handle 90 degrees in order to turn the water on or off. If this valve crosses the pipes, it’s closed; if it’s parallel to them, it’s open.
Test shutting off the valve ahead of time by locating the main shutoff valve, turning it off, and running a faucet. If no water comes out, you’ve successfully turned off your home’s water supply!
Turn off Individual Water Valves
But what if you’re leaving during the summer and you can’t turn off your entire water supply because you have automatic sprinklers? If this is the case, you can simply turn off individual water valves to the water sources with the highest damage risk. These sources include the dishwasher, washing machine, and ice-maker. Individual shutoff valves tend to be located directly on the supply lines leading to most appliances, including toilets and faucets. Usually, this will be a small rounded handle that you’ll turn clockwise. Doing this will turn off the water to that source. (Take note that the ice-maker shutoff valve may be under the sink or in the basement!)
If you’ll be shutting off individual water supplies, it’s a good idea to kill two birds with one stone and check your supply lines themselves. They can become weak over time, resulting in leaks, cracks, or bulging. If you notice these or other forms of corrosion, you may want to repair or replace them before leaving.
Turn off Water Supply to Outdoor Faucets
If you’re leaving during the colder seasons, it’s a good idea to also shut off the water to your outdoor faucets as well. Their shutoff valve will most likely be located inside your house. Shut it off before you head out the door. Once you’ve shut off the valve, turn on the exterior faucet to drain any excess water. And remember to detach the hoses, too!
If you follow these simple steps, you can rest easy knowing your home won’t be at risk of water damage while you’re away!
How SERVPRO Can Help Your Business Prepare for Large Loss Water Damage
Call the experts to help with your commercial water loss!
As a business owner, you are always thinking about the future, and you know that disasters are something you need to be prepared for. When disaster strikes, possessions are often ruined, and the structures of businesses can be negatively affected. Staff can become injured or find themselves in dangerous situations, and these are scenarios you want to be able to prevent or at least be ready for. A professional damage restoration company can be an important and welcomed resource during times like these; such companies are able to complete all necessary repairs in a timely and efficient manner as well as keep you and your workforce out of harm’s way.
While disastrous situations can rarely be foreseen, planning ahead in preparation for any possible commercial water damage will help you be prepared to handle such an event. During extreme weather, some areas of your business are going to be more apt to experience damage than others. For example, low-lying areas like basements, cellars, and parking lots are most likely to experience storm damage.
Planning ahead in these areas will help:
- Basements and cellars should be inspected ahead of wet weather since they have a number of easy entry points for water. If there is heavy rainfall during inclement weather, or if the building is near a body of water such as a lake or river, they are going to be in danger. Let the SERVPRO of Boise professionals look for cracks in the foundation, ceiling, and walls of these areas. Handling the aftermath of flooding and storm damage can be very expensive, but is an event that can be avoided if you plan ahead by enlisting the help of our team.
- A damaged roof, either from weather or fire, is susceptible to water damage, and the areas underneath it will suffer. If rain gutters have not been properly maintained, you may experience some problems stemming from standing water, as well. SERVPRO is skilled and experienced when it comes to maintaining our clients’ property, and we can help you be ready in the event of large loss water damage.
- If areas such as entryways, windows, and doors are not properly sealed against extreme wet conditions, large loss water damage is a definite danger. We can help you make sure they are free of standing water and debris, as well, if flooding occurs. Proper planning in this area can prevent injuries and costly repairs.
- Our professionals can help ensure that all areas around your buildings are kept free from flammable materials and that all plants and trees are trimmed well on a regular basis to prevent fires from spreading if they occur.
- State law requires that you post an evacuation plan in a visible place for your staff and customers. Make sure that your employees understand it and know how to carefully guide clientele to safe areas should a disaster occur. Have a phone tree established so that all employees are alerted to important information whether they are at work or at home. The SERVPRO of Boise team can help in creating a plan.
Our team here at SERVPRO of Boise is ready to help in case of disaster and large loss water damages, and the repairs your business may need in the aftermath. We are also experts in fire damage restoration, mold remediation, commercial restoration, and much more!
Classification of Water Damage in Your Home
Water damage can originate from either internal or external sources, it is important to know what category of water you are dealing with.
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 you 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.
Dealing with Fire Damage in Your Home
We have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us restore your home to preloss condition.
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
5 Insurance Resolutions for 2019
What are your New Year's Resolutions? Do they include reviewing your insurance policies?
Are you making a New Year's Resolution? Statistically, more than half of all resolutions fail... but they don't have to. We have some resolutions you can actually keep this year. Even better? You can accomplish most of these in January and be sitting pretty for the rest of the year, worry free with a simple insurance audit!
Update Home Inventory
Your home inventory is a tool that your agent can use to determine the right level of coverage for your homeowners insurance. Plus, if you have a claim, having an up-to-date inventory will benefit you and get your claim paid faster. If you haven't done an inventory on your home in a while, we have some tips on where to start. If you have completed an inventory, right after the holidays are and ideal time to update! Be sure to share the updated home inventory with your agent when you're done.
Right-Size Your Life Insurance
Life insurance is not one-size-fits-all. Your coverage needs to evolve over time. If you don't have a policy yet, now is a great time to talk to your agent about what type of policy would best suit your needs (and your budget.) We have six things you should consider when you are looking at coverage.
If you do already have life insurance, is it working hard for you? Could you get more benefit out of your policy while you are still living? Maybe. Talk to your agent about the ways you can make your existing policy work for you and your family.
Did you know that you can play a part in determining your auto insurance rates? With Driveology, you have the chance to earn discounts based on your good driving behavior. You can also monitor your vehicle health and environmental impact in the process.
If you have a teen driver in the house, you may be able to save even more with you Young Driver Safety program. With this program, drivers under the age of 25 can learn safe driving behaviors, and help you earn discounts on your auto policy premiums.
Prepare for the Unexpected
You try to be as prepared as possible, but you never know what is right around the corner. Prepare for unexpected risks with an umbrella policy. Umbrella earns its name because the coverage arches over your vehicle and homeowner's insurance to provide an extra layer of protection: it starts where vehicle and homeowner's insurance liability limits stop. You might be surprised by all the things umbrella policies cover for an affordable price.
Call Your Agent
When was the last time you evaluated your coverage's with your agent? Your agent can do an annual SuperCheck and make sure you are covered where you need it (and aren't paying for coverage's you've outgrown). Life changes fast, make sure your insurance keeps up. If you have been wondering if you could bundle your policies, need a different life insurance policy, or bought a new boat, you could use a SuperCheck. Contact your agent and schedule a brief review today.
With this new year, if you have resolved to save money, your agent may be able to help. Contact your agent today. It's an easy resolution to keep and can affect your bottom line all year. Can you say that for other resolutions?
5 Simple Steps for a Home Inventory
A home inventory is a smart move!
Five Simple Steps for an Insurance Home Inventory
You know how much you paid for that new TV; same for your computer. But what about those plastic bins of toys you keep under the stairs? Your collection of antique china? That expensive woodworking equipment? You might have already taken stock of the big things, but in an emergency, could you do a mental household inventory list and name all your valuables? That's why it's important to do a home inventory. For peace of mind, and for insurance purposes, a home inventory is just a smart move. It can help you decide how much and what type of homeowners' insurance to buy, speed up the claims process, and help verify losses for your income tax return. Where do you start? READ ON!
1. Starting a Household Inventory- Get Organized
First of all, you'll need to get organized. You'll want to document things like the insides of your tool boxes and closets; start a household inventory list. Tidy up; it's easier to see what you have if your possessions aren't in piles on the floor of your closet or crumpled up in a junk drawer.
2. Starting an Insurance Home Inventory- Method to the Madness
Before you start making your home inventory list, plan your starting point. Map your course through your household and move room to room methodically. By plotting your course in advance, you're saving yourself time and also decreasing your chances of missing important inventory items. For an insurance home inventory, remember to include your attic, garage, and even detached structures (like your shed).
3. Making a Home Inventory List- Document Everything
How you document your household inventory is important. Photography is your friend; go from room to room, taking pictures (or even video, provided you narrate!) as you go. Make special note of your most valuable items (jewelry, antiques, electronics) and where you keep them. It's also helpful to keep receipts and to note the serial numbers for your gadgets.
What type of items do you include on your household inventory list?
- Furnishings (bookcases, cabinets, couches, tables, drapes, lamps)
- Appliances (stove, washer/dryer, hair dryer, scale, vacuum)
- Electronics (Flash drives, gaming systems, tablets, chargers, computers, DVD collection)
- Lawn and Garden (patio furniture, lawn mower, snow blower, hoses, bikes)
- Antiques and Collectibles (baseball cards, dolls, signage, toys, stamps, coins, art)
What details do you include about the items on your household inventory list?
- Provide a general description of the inventory item
- List the quantity of those items
- Note the date each item was purchased
- Specify how much you paid for each item on your inventory list
4. Securing Your Insurance Home Inventory- Store It Somewhere Safe
You'll be tempted to keep the inventory list in your home, but that's definitely not the safest place. Create a private album on an online site like Flickr or on the Cloud, and label it "Home Inventory." Print your inventory and keep it in a safety deposit box. Whatever you do, don't keep your only record of your possessions on your property.
5. Maintaining Your Home Inventory List- Update it Frequently
Whenever you make a big purchase, or even just every couple of years, reevaluate. This is also a good excuse to de-clutter as you go. Remember, an out-of-date home inventory could hold up the claims process at a time when that's the last thing you need.
6 Things to Consider When Buying Life Insurance
It's important to understand the factors that affect how much life insurance you need.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all life insurance policy. You might need more, or less life insurance than your neighbor down the road, depending on multiple factors.
Of the 60 percent of Americans who have life insurance, 1 in 4 felt they needed more coverage.
Before shopping for a policy or purchasing additional life insurance protection, it's important to understand the factors that affect how much life insurance you need. So how do you determine how much life insurance you need? Here are six things to consider:
The amount on your tax return plays a significant role in your life insurance calculations. The more you earn the more coverage you need. Your agent can help you determine how much life insurance you may need.
The proceeds from a life insurance policy need to take care of all of your debts, including mortgage balances, car loans, student loans, credit card balances or other debts that would be a burden to your family and will need to be paid in full. More debt necessitates more life insurance.
Review your existing assets. If you have significant savings and investments that can be used to cover burial/estate expenses, pay off debts and provide a financial cushion for your family, you'll need less life insurance than someone with few assets.
4. Existing Coverage
Do you have life insurance coverage through an employer? One 2016 survey found 19 percent of policyholders had life insurance through work. Depending on the amount of that coverage, having your own policy may be a good idea.
5. Family Size
The more dependents you have, the more life insurance you need. In addition to thinking about the number of children depending on you for coverage, take their ages into consideration as well. You'll need more life insurance to protect young children through adulthood than you would for college graduates with their own policy.
6. Future Needs
Life insurance helps protect your family, and that means purchasing enough coverage for their future including educational expenses. When calculating your life insurance needs, determine how much it'll cost to send your children to college.
To determine how much life insurance you need, an online calculator is a good place to start. And you'll want to make an appointment with your agent for a detailed analysis of your life insurance needs.
Important Message From: Idaho Department of Health & Welfare
Testing for radon during home inspections is highly recommended!
Frequently Asked Questions About Radon
- What is radon and where does it come from?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and invisible gas.
Radon levels are measured in picocuries per liter of air or pCi/L.
- Can radon harm me and my family?
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. The risk of developing lung cancer from radon depends on the level of radon you are exposed to over a lifetime, as well as other genetic and environmental factors, such as if you are a smoker.
- How does radon cause lung cancer?
Long-term exposure to high radon levels can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. When radon gas decays, it breaks down into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. As the particles continue to decay, they release small bursts of energy that can damage lung tissue and may lead to lung cancer in some people.
- Is radon a problem in Idaho?
Yes, there are many areas throughout Idaho that have high levels of radon. For more information on radon levels where you live, call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Indoor Environment Program at 1-800-445-8647.
- How can I find what the radon levels are in my home?
Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. There are two general tests for radon: short-term and long-term. The quickest way to test is with a short-term test. These tests provide a quick radon value within a brief period (typically three to seven days) of time. Long-term tests are typically placed in the home for at least three months and may remain in the home for up to a year. Long term test kits give a better estimate of the amount of radon in your home throughout the year.
- Where can I get a radon test kit?
You can purchase radon test kits from hardware stores, home improvement centers, online or other retail outlets. Reduced price short-term radon test kits may be purchased by Idaho residents from Air Check.
- When and where should I conduct the test?
Preferably test your home for radon in the winter. Your test should be performed on the lowest floor of your home where you spend time. If you have a basement and spend time there, test in the basement. Otherwise, test on the 1st floor in a bedroom or spare room.
- I just received my test results, what do they mean?
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that your home have radon levels below 4.0 pCi/L. If your levels are above 4.0 pCi/L you can test again to confirm your test results and/or mitigate your home to lower radon levels. If you have additional questions about your results, call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Indoor Environment Program at 1-800-445-8647.
- How can I reduce the radon levels in my home?
A quality radon mitigation system is able to reduce the amount of radon in your home to usually below 2 pCi/L. Contact an experienced radon mitigation professional for more information or you may also choose to mitigate your home yourself. There are many instructional videos on YouTube that can guide you through the process.
- How much will it cost to reduce radon levels in my existing home?
Steps to reduce radon levels in your home depend on many factors. If you do it yourself, average costs for parts range from $300 to $600. The cost to have a certified radon mitigation specialist do the work in an existing home ranges from $1,500 to $2,500. Cost of installing radon-resistant features during construction runs from $300 to $500. Contact an experienced radon mitigation professionalfor more information.
- I'm building a new home, what can I do to prevent radon?
Discuss with your builder how to incorporate radon reduction techniques into the construction of your new home.
- I'm buying a house, should I have it tested for radon?
Yes, before you buy a house, you should have the home tested for radon. The most common procedure for testing during a real estate transaction is for the potential buyer to request the radon test as part of the overall home inspection. If the test is near 4.0 pCi/L, you may negotiate with the seller to have a radon mitigation system installed with the goal of bringing radon levels below 4.0 pCi/L.
- I am a renter. Does my landlord have to test for radon if I ask?
No, your landlord is not legally required to test for radon. You may conduct the test yourself or ask your landlord to conduct the test.
- I tested my rental home and the results were high. Is my landlord required to reduce the radon levels?
No, your landlord is not legally required to reduce radon levels in your rental home. However, you may notify the landlord of the results and discuss with them the need for radon reduction repairs.
- Who can I contact for more information about radon?
If you have more questions about radon, please call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Indoor Environment Program at 1-800-445-8647.
Natural Catastrophes: Protect Yourself Before and After a Disaster Strikes
As many as 34 hailstorms hit the Gem State this past year.
Ensure proper coverage before a major event; know who you are dealing with after a storm hits.
Wildfires. Earthquakes. Hailstorms.
Mother Nature can be unpredictable. When it comes to natural disasters, ensuring proper coverage beforehand, and knowing whom to deal with to handle repairs in the aftermath can help protect your property and your finances from predatory and unscrupulous contractors looking to make a quick buck.
"Unexpected events such as the hailstorms in southeastern Idaho this past spring serve as reminders of the value of catastrophe insurance. When making storm repairs, be diligent and always be sure to do business with a local, licensed contractor.
Hail can quickly wreck havoc on your home and car. For autos, comprehensive coverage will safeguard your vehicle; however, a basic liability policy will not. When it comes to your home, hail damage is covered by a standard homeowner's policy, but coverage can be affected by factors such as where you live and the type of policy you have purchased.
Amy Lambrecht, a supervisor with the Department's Consumer Affairs division, says hundreds of claims have been filed as a result of the hailstorms in southeastern Idaho. She recommends the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of insurance fraud:
- Be wary of door-to-door solicitors
- Make sure contractors are licensed
- Read all documents before signing anything
- Keep copies of all documents signed
- Be leery of contractors trying to provide "advice" about insurance coverage
Insurance industry statistics estimate hail damage to exceed $1 billion annually in the U.S., mostly to roofs and cars. Understand the risks of where you reside and the types of catastrophe coverage available.
F1rst Responder Bowl
Do you know someone who deserves this award?!
SERVPRO is proud to be the sponsor of the first-ever First Responder focused bowl game and we extend a heartfelt thank you to all the brave men and women on the front-lines. Their courage and compassion is inspiring to all. We are grateful to live in a country where individuals dedicate themselves to protecting and serving their fellow citizens. We are humbled by their bravery and thank them for putting their lives on the line in order to save those around them. We thank them for their service and sacrifice.
The game will be played on December 26th in Dallas, TX. However and broadcast on ESPN; however, we have an exciting opportunity to take part, here in Boise, at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
We are currently seeking nominees within the Treasure Valley community that are worthy of receiving the "Honor a Responder" award. To qualify, the nominee must have served in fire, police/law enforcement, EMT, National Guard, disaster relief, or military. This includes anyone who has been injured and returned to work, has saved lives during their career, entered retirement (but had served their community for many years), trained or mentored fellow First Responders, or has lost their life in the line of duty (their family members are encouraged to receive the award on their behalf). The nominee shall be someone who has accomplished something remarkable in 2018. The winner of this award, as well as their family and friends, will be given tickets to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on December 21st and will receive media recognition.
Please forward your nomination, to include the name, affiliation or department, and the reason you feel they deserve this award, via email to; marketing@SERVPROboise.com. The deadline is Monday, December 3rd. The winner will be chosen by a separate panel of first responders and business community members, not SERVPRO of Boise employees.
We are also seeking persons interested in selecting a finalist. If you are one of those people or would like additional information please contact our marketing manager, Kelly Parziale, at 208-991-6880.
Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to bestowing a local First Responder with this honor for years to come. Because when we lift up those we depend on, we strengthen our ability to serve - our ability to make the memories of Fire & Water Damage "Like it never even happened." ®
Thanksgiving Fire Safety
Consider these tips if you are already planning on how to cook your bird this year and have a safe holiday!
For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations. With that being said, keeping fire safety top of mind during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there's a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer.
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
- In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving.
- Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and deaths.
- Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove-top.
- Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
- Keep children away from the stove.
- Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids.
- Keep the floor clear so you don't have any slips, trips or falls.
- Keep knives out of the reach of children.
- Be sure electric cords are not dangling off the counter.
- Keep matches and utility lighter out of reach.
- Ensure your smoke alarms are in working condition.
Relocating to Boise?
You should move to Boise, Idaho too!
Maybe you're moving to Boise to accept a job. Maybe you're doing it to be closer to your family. Or maybe you just want to experience something new. Whatever the case may be, moving out of state can be really intimidating. It can also be a logistical nightmare if you don't make the proper preparations. Fortunately, there are some relatively simple steps you can take to make your move as smooth as possible. Take a look at these 10 tips for moving out of state.
- Do as much research on Boise as you can
- Search for a new home
- Use the move as an excuse to purge
- Pack up the things you're going to move properly
- Hire a reliable moving company
- Save all the receipts related to your move
- Forward your mail right before you move
- Let your friends and family know you're moving
- Obtain a new driver's license when you arrive
- Take time to explore your new surroundings
Boise is a fast-growing city that's teeming with culture, natural beauty and job opportunities. It encompasses a whole lot of open spaces and a little bit of big city. This city boasts almost non-existent crime, great schools, friendly people and easy access to any outdoor activity you could dream of. Who wouldn't want to move here?
SERVPRO Assists Hurricane Victims in North Carolina
This is a photo of one of our teams in North Carolina
Hurricane Florence has caused unprecedented flooding and widespread devastation in North and South Carolina. In a four day period, many areas received up to 30 inches of rain resulting in catastrophic river flooding. Many rivers in these affected areas exceeded flood levels reached during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 by 2 feet. As of October 4th, 2 out of the 4 SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Teams remain activated in response to Hurricane Florence. Team Hughes is managing response efforts in North Carolina and Team Wilson is managing response efforts in South Carolina. SERVPRO has received over 9,300 job leads and counting. There are currently 131 Franchises involved in responding to those leads, totaling 338 crews. Supporting resources have been made available to ensure a congruent message is being sent to the public so they
hear ONE voice and experience ONE Brand.
Our owner Christian Isaacson and eight of our SERVPRO of Boise crew members have been in Hampstead and New Bern, North Carolina since the second week of September. We split our crew into two teams to allow us to help as many residents and business owners as possible. “You have entire neighborhoods, people crying out front and everything they've ever owned is essentially destroyed. Their house that they have worked their whole life for. Same thing with their business is out of business so they can't make revenue to pay the bills. So it's just a very humbling environment,” Isaacson said.
SERVPRO Assists Fire Victims in Redding, California
Redding, California neighborhood completely leveled by the Carr Fire
Wildfires are a yearly, often tragic reality in the West Coast states. While we in the Treasure Valley area have been pretty fortunate in this regard, it is easy for us to empathize with those now facing loss from the historically large fires devastating parts of California. We at SERVPRO of Boise feel just as strongly about this, and we want to help.
This is why SERVPRO of Boise has sent a crew of technicians down to California to assist in the recovery and restoration effort. Our crews possess valuable skills, training, and experience related to both fire and water damage restoration that we want to put to use in areas where local resources are overwhelmed. Areas devastated by the Carr Fire are where our efforts have taken place.
The Carr Fire, located near Redding, began on July 23 from a trailer tire that went flat and started scraping the ground, causing sparks to ignite vegetation. Now four weeks old, the fire has burned 229,651 acres and is 88 percent contained. The fire has destroyed 1,079 homes and 22 commercial structures, making it the most destructive fire in Shasta County history. Eight deaths also have been linked to the fire. We at SERVPRO are confident that our team has been able to make a difference to some of the home and business owners affected by this tragedy.
SERVPRO of Boise is always standing by locally to respond if you have a water or fire emergency. Call us at (208) 375-0300 and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
Summer Water Saving Tips
Great tips to help you save water this summer!
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 shower heads, 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 rain water. Collect the water from summer rain storms 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
Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
Once the fire department has doused all of the flames, be sure to call a fire remediation expert like SERVPRO.
When a fire strikes your commercial property, it's quite likely that you feel yourself start to panic. This immediate reaction makes sense given all of the economic turmoil and property destruction that a fire can cause. However, knowing which steps to take in the face of a Treasure Valley commercial fire can help prevent you from becoming anxious, losing money, and undergoing extensive property damages. To handle a Treasure Valley commercial fire successfully and speedily, implement the following four tips:
1. Contact A Fire Remediation Expert.
Once the fire department has doused all of the flames, be sure to call a fire remediation expert. This individual will be able to equip you with a thorough assessment indicating the extent of the damages. Don't ever attempt to handle any of the cleanups, drying, or restoration processes on your own. Doing so could put you in peril of injury and illness.
2. Assemble Your Records.
In addition to contacting a fire remediation expert, make sure that you assemble your business's essential records. You'll want to have this information with you when you start working with your insurance company. To guarantee that you can have all of your files ready in a safe place, make a point to buy a fireproof safe where they can be stored.
3. Call The Insurance Company Immediately.
Be sure that you call your insurance company once the fire is put out. This step is important because your insurance agent will work with you to file a claim and determine how much coverage you'll attain for the commercial damages.
4. Get Permission To Reenter The Building.
Always ask the fire department or another local authority whether you can reenter your building. In some cases, Treasure Valley fires can weaken the structural integrity of the commercial property and make it subject to collapse. This is why you need to assure that reentry is safe for you and your employees.
Call SERVPRO For Fast, Friendly Fire Remediation Services
If your business caught on fire, don't worry. Instead, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Boise and let us start cleaning up immediately. Acting right now is the key to limiting damages and expediting the restoration process. Choosing our team of industry specialists is the secret to attaining the sophisticated services you deserve. All of our IICRC-certified technicians will work with diligence and determination to get your commercial property back in pristine condition, so call us now at (208) 375-0300 to attain your free estimate.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Boise is strategically located to respond quickly to your commercial fire emergency event. When commercial fire damage occurs we have the resources and personnel to help. Call us today! (208) 375-0300
Dealing With Storm Damage To Your Property
Storm damage can be devastating to your home and/or business, call SERVPRO to make it "LIKE IT NEVER EVEN HAPPENED!"
Dealing with repairs and insurance companies after severe weather hits your property can be difficult. Homeowners can use the following tips to help tackle the storm damage caused by hard rains, flooding, or storm-related issues.
If you and your family were away from home when the storm hit, do not return until it has been confirmed safe. Contact a storm damage expert like SERVPRO of Boise; we’ll help you determine if your home is safe to return to.
You will need to contact your homeowners’ insurance adjuster as soon as possible. If your neighborhood has sustained widespread damage, find out if any special teams of insurance agents, relief workers, or contractors are coming to the area. Check your policy to find out what actions you need to take or talk to your agent to make sure you are following the proper procedures. Not following these actions correctly could result in a reduced claim. Inspect your property and make a list of all damages; take photographs of all noted damage if at all possible.
RECORDING AND DOCUMENTING
Document your neighbor’s damages, as well; this can prevent the insurance provider from downgrading your claim by saying the damage is from your neglect of maintenance or other unrelated issues by giving them a way to compare. Keep a record of all the communication you have with your insurance provider, and don’t do any unnecessary repair work yourself. Hire a trusted storm damage restoration service provider such as SERVPRO of Boise to handle any repairs.
BE SCAM FREE
Always check the adjuster’s identification. If you are evacuated, ask for money from your claim upfront. If they agree, you will be given a check for an amount that will be deducted from your final settlement. Some providers will automatically offer a partial payment early on during the process. Review it carefully and decline it if you feel uncomfortable with any part of it. Never be afraid to ask questions and to expect an answer that makes sense or seems fair.
Dealing with a storm's aftermath is stressful, but reacting properly will be an immense help and can prevent problems down the road.
The SERVPRO of Boise team is ready to help 24/7. Call us for your fire or water damage issues at (208)375-0300, or visit our website: SERVPRO of Boise
SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile
Emergency READY Profile
An estimated 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen.
SERVPRO of Boise has worked with many businesses in the area to ensure they are prepared for any emergency.
Between 2004-2008 16,360 fires happened in retail stores and other mercantile properties such as grocery stores beauty and barbershops.
Those fires caused $648 million in property damage. Fire damage is worse after normal business hours. Fires that started between 9PM-5AM caused $75,000 dollars in damage. Fires that started between 5AM-9AM caused $24,000 dollars in fire damage.
More than 60% of U.S. small businesses do not have formal emergency response plans & do not back-up their data off site.
No Plan Means You're Less Likely to Recover
80% of companies that do not recover from a disaster within 1 month are likely to go out of business. 75% of companies without a business contingency plan fail within 3 years of a disaster.
70% of small business that experience major data loss go out of business within a year.
43% of companies that experience catastrophic data loss never reopen.
51% of companies with data loss closed within 2 years.
80% of companies that do not recover from a disaster within 1 month are likely to go out of business. 75% of companies without a business contingency plan fail within 3 years of a disaster.
Tips For Creating a Successful Emergency Ready Plan
- Let the professionals help you. Work with an emergency restoration company for assistance in creating your emergency ready profile.
- Identify and label utility shut-off locations.
- Identify local utility contact information.
- Identify local emergency contact information such as fire, police, and hospital contacts.
- Establish main internal contacts for purposes of employee safety and emergency work authorization.
The SERVPRO® Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile. Please contact one our Business Development Representative to setup your free Emergency Ready Profile. 208-375-0300
Three Common Reasons for House Fires in Your Boise Home
Educate yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention.
If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. House fires can be devastating and the road to recovery is long and hard. Educating yourself on the leading causes for house fires and prevention is a step in the right direction to ensure that your family and home are safe.
Many electrical fires in homes or businesses are caused by faulty electrical outlets, old wiring, outdated appliances or electrical cords that are frayed.
-If you live in an older home have an electrician complete an inspection. Standards and codes are constantly being revised and updated to ensure safety.
-Do not overload your circuits.
-Understand the difference between surge protectors and power strips. Both devices allow you to plug in multiple electronics, but only the surge protector will help protect your electronics from a power surge.
Carelessness in the kitchen can lead to devastating house fires. The leading cause of kitchen fires is due to unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.
-Never leave pots or pans unattended on your stove.
-Keeping your stove an oven clean will prevent buildup of food splatter and grease that could later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.
-Keep any items that could ignite away from your stove top
-Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen in case of emergency.
Dryer vents are becoming a much bigger and more common safety problem. Over time, your dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by your dryers filter. Fires can occur when the excess lint builds up in the dryer or exhaust duct.
-Clean out the dryer vent regularly.
-Clean the lint filter after EACH load of laundry that is dried.
-Clean underneath and behind your dryer to eliminate any lint that collects.
Different Types of Mold
SERVPRO crew member safely removing mold from a home.
From the Ordinary
Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Fungi produce some very useful results. Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing breads, baked goods, and other food products, including some alcoholic beverages. The unique flavor of blue cheese is a result of mold. An edible mushroom is simply a type of fungi, and lifesaving penicillin is a product of mold (Penicillin chrysogenum). Even though some forms of mold can pass value to our lives, other forms of mold can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people.
To the Unhealthy
Intrusion of water into your home or place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusion can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall, and insulation, provide a food source for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health hazard for your family and pets.
What are Plumbers Saying?
Overflowing bathroom sink caused by a clogged drain.
As a homeowner you should never underestimate the seriousness of drainage issues. Plumbers have weighed in and have given their expert opinion on what causes these issues and some tips on how to avoid them. Here are the four things to look for.
- Recurring Clogs- If a clog returns, chances are that there is a deeper clog that needs to be looked at.
- Multiple Clogged drains-If you have several clogged drains, you may have a clog in your main drain.
- Foul odor-Persistent sewer odors coming from your drain or drains can be a major sign of a drainage issue, don't ignore these smells.
- Flooding-One of the worst problems associated with clog drains is sewage backup. Getting a professional on the site as soon as you can will help you avoid a big problem.
Routine maintenance is key to keeping those drains open. Use drain catchers or less toilet paper. Remind your small children that toilets are not for playing in. Also, make sure that you run plenty of water into the garbage disposal after use. Just those few things help a lot. If you ever have water damage, call SERVPRO of Boise with your water needs. We will be there to clean up the mess those clogged drains made.
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.
Why your Business wants an IICRC Certified Restoration Company
The IICRC is a certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries
When Boise water damage impacts your commercial property, you want professionals to help get you back in business. SERVPRO of Boise works closely with insurance companies to get you back up and running in a quick manner. As business leaders know, contacting a professional water damage restoration company is typically the first step to restoring your property. However, many individuals do not know how to select the most exceptional, ethical company. If this is the case for you, it's important to know that hiring an IICRC-certified company will prove advantageous. Learn more about why this is the case by reviewing this short outline:
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a professional certification organization within the restoration, cleaning, and inspection industries.
- How Do Companies Obtain Certification?
To obtain IICRC certification, water remediation companies have to conform to specific criteria. Some of the criteria include:
- Provide consumers with accurate data
- Conduct business processes with integrity and honesty
- Ensure that a trained technician is present for all work assignments
- Ensure that a continuing education program is in place
- Maintain policies for written complaints
- Hold liability insurance
- Why Choose an IICRC-Certified Company?
There is a wide variety of forms water damage can take. Some of them include flooding, a burst pipe, sump pump overflow, and sewage backup. Irrespective of the cause; however, the end result is substantive damage. In fact, standing liquid can lead to severe property damage as well as mold infestation. For this reason, it's essential that you attain water damage restoration services from a qualified team of professionals.
Doing a Google search for the key phrase "water damage restoration" will produce over 500,000 results. To narrow your selection, it's a good idea to limit your search to companies that have obtained their certification from the IICRC. Because the IICRC is efficient in establishing reference guides and industry standards regarding water damage restoration and mold removal, companies that have been certified by the organization will likely offer you the excellent, effective services you want.
SERVPRO of Boise also offers 24/7 365 service for their customers. You can call 208-375-0300 for your commercial emergency.
Cooking up Commercial Kitchen Fire Safety
Statistics Restaurant Owners Should Know
During 2006-2010, an estimated average of 7,640 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments were reported to U.S. fire departments per year, with associated annual losses of:
- Two civilian deaths
- 115 civilian injuries
- $246 million in property damage
In eating and drinking establishments, direct property damage per fire was 75% lower when a wet pipe sprinkler system was present, compared to fires with no automatic extinguishing equipment present.
Fires are less common during the overnight hours (from Midnight to 6 a.m.) but cause more property damage.
Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments by Major Cause (2006 - 2010)
- Cooking equipment 57%
- Heating equipment 10%
- Electrical/Lighting equipment 7%
- Smoking material 7%
- Intentional 5%
- Cooking equipment 40%
- Electrical/Lighting equipment 13%
- Intentional 10%
- Heating equipment 7%
- Smoking Material 5%
Total annual property damage for eating and drinking establishments = $246 million
If your commercial kitchen is affected by a fire or in need of a deep clean call SERVPRO of Boise at 208-375-0300.
We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists
As fire and water restoration specialists, we have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home or business. We are committed to providing superior service while restoring your property back to pre-fire condition.
- Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
- Odor Control Technician
- Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
When Storms or Floods Hit Boise, SERVPRO is Ready!
Flooding in Boise
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
SERVPRO of Boise not only covers all of the Treasure Valley, but is also a part of all four national SERVPRO storm teams. As a storm team we organize and manage efforts in all 50 states if a wide-spread disaster were to strike. During these catastrophic events, storm teams will mobilize in the area bringing a large number of crews, equipment, and resources to customers affected. Each storm team is managed from one office, where the team receives customer information, organizes that information and responds to the customer quickly and professionally. We recruit crews starting with the closest to the affected area and move outward in concentric circles to ensure we are "faster to any size disaster." As a SERVPRO national response team we respond to disasters as large as Hurricane Harvey and Irma to local flooding or freeze events.
Most recently the United States has been hit with a few hurricanes including Harvey in the Houston, TX area and Irma hitting the Florida Keys. Northern California was also hit with severe wildfires. Unfortunately, a lot of people were affected by these natural disasters and these jobs are still being taken care of and will be for a long time to insure the homes are in preloss condition. We are thankful that SERVPRO of Boise could be of assistance during these difficult times.
Gratitude: A Story of Storm Life in California
Remains from a wildfire that swept through some of California's most prized wine regions.
By: Kati Sheldon
Upon arrival in Santa Rosa, California in October of 2017, my first thoughts were gratitude: gratitude for sunny skies and palm trees; tepid weather and the smell of eucalyptus. This quickly changed as I was immediately driven through what can only be described as devastation. Entire blocks and neighborhoods had been burned to the ground, leaving ash filled water in dingy swimming pools and still smoking cars in driveways. Sometimes, one home would be left unscathed, with all the surrounding houses sacrificed to the flames due to the ever changing winds. But as our wonderful team worked so diligently and humbly to help the families in the Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and Napa areas whose still standing homes were affected, my mind came back to gratitude. The families showed so much gratitude by allowing us into their homes and lives to provide top quality restoration and give them a new start amidst tragedy. Gratitude radiated from the people at the Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, who put their faith in our team to restore multiple buildings on their grounds, even in the midst of art installations, office hours, and musters of peacocks (the museum’s mascots). And I couldn’t walk away from the experience without feeling immense gratitude towards SERVPRO of Boise and SERVPRO Corporate itself. I am so grateful to work for a franchise and a company that gives so much and works so hard to help our fellow man. I am grateful to work for a company whose service, each passing day, goes above and beyond. This is why SERVPRO exists and this is why gratitude is given.
Call SERVPRO for Water Damage Repair Services in Boise
If you walk into your home looking like this, call SERVPRO to make it look "like it never even happened."
You never want to discover a water damage in your home, but the unfortunate reality is that many homeowners will have to deal with this problem at some point. How you handle the water damage is important because a fast response may minimize the chance of mold growth in your home. There are a few steps that you can take when you discover water damage in your home.
Stop the Flow of Water
In some instances, you will not be able to stop the flow of water into the property. For example, if there is a major flood related to a severe thunderstorm, floodwaters may rise all around the property, and you may not have any way to stop the flow of water. On the other hand, if the flood is related to a damaged pipe in the home, you may be able to turn off the main water valve to stop the flow of water. You can also call a plumber so that the repair work on the pipe can be completed and they can assist you in finding the source of the leak.
Dry Out the Property
If you have water damage in your home, your next step should be to remove the water and dry out the property. These steps need to be taken quickly to help prevent the possibility of mold growth in the home. SERVPRO of Boise offers professional remediation services to help you dry out the property the correct way. Our team of professionals will extract the water and place equipment to properly dry the property to it’s pre-damaged conditions.
Call for Professional Assistance
No one wants to deal with water damage in their home with moisture that can lead to mold growth. Professional water damage remediation is available to help you overcome the damage in your home quickly. SERVPRO of Boise is the company to contact when you discover water damage in your home. SERVPRO of Boise is a local company that offers an immediate response to requests for service in the community. Call us today at (208) 375-0300 for 24-hour assistance!
Water Damage in a Basement
This flooded basement was caused by a broken pipe.
Water damage can happen in any area of your home. However, the basement offers its own unique challenges when it comes to water damages. The most common type of water damage in the basement results from broken water pipes. The first step is to turn off the water at the main valve. You'll need to start cleaning up right away to prevent mold, mildew and bacteria from forming.
It is important that you remove rugs, furniture and other items that have gotten wet. Take them outdoors where they can completely dry in the sun. Use a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner that is made especially for water cleanup. A submersible pump is a good tool to use if you can rent one. Use a powerful fan to finish drying the room.
Choose a professional water restoration company like SERVPRO Boise. These types of companies have both the experience and the equipment to remove the water in basement. Call your insurance agent to see if your policy will cover water or flood damage. Water can seem behind walls and other places where major damage can occur.
Water damage in the basement can also cause structural damage. If this is the case, it will cost a lot more money than simply hiring a restoration expert. Underground water seepage can cause the surrounding ground to shift. Evidence of this type of damage is found with cracks along the walls and ceilings.
Do not hire a carpet cleaning service to restore your basement. They may not have the experience, education or skill to complete the job right. Instead, look in your local yellow pages for an actual fire and water restoration company. Pay careful attention to the contract before you sign it. Most restoration companies will guarantee their work.
Floods and water emergencies can happen to any homeowner. Be prepared for this type of emergency by choosing experts before you need them. A water emergency can occur in your utility room where your washer and dryer is found. Other common places include the dishwasher, refrigerator with ice maker and pipes underneath the house.
Know where your water main cutoff is located before an emergency. Turning off the water will prevent further damage while you wait for a professional restoration company to come to your home.
SERVPRO of Boise professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services. 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure.
What to Expect When You Call SERVPRO of Boise
Our location right in the heart of Meridian, Idaho!
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 the 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.
· Meet our Crew
· Certifications and Affiliations
SERVPRO: Your First Choice for Commercial Fire Damage Restoration in an Idaho Business
Let us help you bring your business back to life after a fire.
SERVPRO: Your First Choice for Commercial Fire Damage Restoration in an Idaho Business
Fire damage in Idaho can be very inopportune for a business owner. If a fire strikes your place of business, the result can be primary and secondary water damage, along with possible structural damage caused by the combustion. Firefighter’s efforts to douse the flames can leave large volumes of water behind. Additionally, business owners will often find that their employees feel unsafe working in the office due to health and sanitation issues. Dealing with fire damage is also challenging given that management teams may have to deal with the loss of valuable inventory, expensive equipment, and important documents. Finally, business owners will be faced with the task of contacting organizations such as the fire department and their insurance provider following the fire. To ensure that you can effectively grapple with your roles and responsibilities following a fire, you should obtain professional assistance from a trained team of fire damage restoration experts. Learn why SERVPRO is the best company to offer you these services by reviewing the following outline:
How SERVPRO Can Assist You:
The by-products of fire can be more severe and costly than the actual fire damage itself. They include water, smoke, and soot damage that results from the flames. If of any size and severity, then the professionals from SERVPRO Boise should be called in. The experts are trained to assess thoroughly the extent of the fire damage and subsequently determine the best course of action for restoration. Depending on the business, the contents that are under duress, documents, cash, and records, may be of more value than the structural damage. Our remediation experts will help you save and restore as much important material as possible. Our goal is always to minimize your expenditures and get your doors re-opened.
Our Talented Technicians
When it's time for you to find the ideal commercial fire damage restoration company, you should select a business known for employing capable technicians. And here at SERVPRO, that's precisely how we operate. Our trained technicians are IICRC-certified and known for offering exceptional customer service. The professionals at SERVPRO also specialize in many aspects of the restoration process, including upholstery restoration, fire damage restoration, and water damage restoration. This encompasses efforts of water removal, drying, cleaning, repairing and restoring whenever possible. Our team offers 24-hour emergency service. Finally, SERVPRO can and will work with the majority of insurance providers to optimize the restoration timeline and to minimize costs.
Commercial Restoration Presents Unique Challenges
SERVPRO of Boise has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial fire damage emergencies. Whether your fire emergency occurs in a restaurant, motel, or office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.
We are proud to serve our local communities:
- Ontario, OR
- Mountain Home
- Twin Falls
If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business. (208) 375-0300
Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage from a Fire
This home was damaged due to a kitchen fire, the entire home had to be packed out and cleaned.
When firefighters leave, your home or business may seem safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. That’s why you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Boise to restore your home back to normal. Our team has the experience and the manpower to perform fire damage restoration services adequately.
Once the Fire is out, your home or business needs to be restored
Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration. There can also be very disruptive, powerful odors. The professionals at SERVPRO of Boise clean fire and smoke damaged to stop this before it becomes an extensive problem. There are many companies that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The IICRC is the main oversight in this industry and requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certifications.
Start Restoration as Soon as Possible
Our professional can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to our site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issue that smoke residue can cause. After a few days ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery, wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding. Our team of experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged and will assist in the removal of non-salvageable items. All of your items will be handled with the utmost care and documented using iCat Contents Management software immediately. The entire process takes extremely thorough cleaning and attention to detail. Hiring the professionals at SERVPRO of Boise will ensure your home or business is taken care of and returned to its pre-disaster state.
Reconstruction May be Necessary
In the event of a fire, water and smoke can drastically affect the structure of your home or business. This is why it is imperative to hire a team that can take care of all of your needs in one place. SERVPRO of Boise is proud to take care of our customers from start to finish; we will clean and restore your home or business and items and can also perform all of the reconstruction repairs to your property.
If you have had a fire, call us today! (208) 375-0300
Water Leaks Can Cause Mold Damage
This mold damage was caused by a leaking drainage line from a washing machine.
Water Leaks Can Cause Mold
A leaky faucet in your home can be very annoying, but it has the potential to be much more than an annoyance. The moisture caused by leaks can make your home into the perfect environment for Spring mold growth. Mold spores may cause health effects and can grow rapidly if you fail to notice a leak shortly after it starts, especially in humid climates. Knowing the risks that mold presents and quickly fixing your water leaks can help to protect your home from mold growth.
About Mold Growth
Mold growth will begin in areas of your home that are wet. The mold spores will land on moist surfaces and then start to germinate. The materials on which mold can grow include:
• Painted surfaces
Indications of Mold Growth Due to Water Leaks
If you see black and white spots in the area of the leak, this is a sign that you have mold. Kitchens and basements are some of the areas in your home where there is a high risk of mold growth as these areas are prone to leaks. It is therefore important that you properly maintain your plumbing fixtures.
Preventing Mold Growth after Fixing Leaks
If you discover a water leak, have it fixed as soon as possible to minimize the potential for mold growth. After the leak has been fixed, use a mild detergent to wash the area and then allow it to dry completely. After it has dried, thoroughly wipe the area with bleach to kill any spores present. Boric acid also effective at killing mold spores and can be used as a substitute for bleach. Be sure to keep kids and pets out of the area while handling chemicals.
Get Professional Assistance
If there is a part of your home that is prone to water leaks, contact a plumber. If there are hidden problems that are causing leaks to recur, you may not be able to find them yourself. A licensed plumber who is experienced at finding and fixing leaks will be better able to find and fix the issues. Your plumber will also be able to advise you on how to maintain your plumbing to prevent water leaks and mold growth in the future.
Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all molds from a home or business. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
Preventing Electrical Fires with Nine Easy Tips
Tips to protect yourself and your home from electrical fires.
Preventing Electrical Fires with Nine Easy Tips
In today’s society, people are working overtime to meet the pressures of daily life. With technology and electronic accessories being an inescapable part of day-to-day activities, it means that electricity is in high-demand, and it is working around the clock in the home setting. Children need their cell phones charged at all times to keep in touch with their parents, and adults use their computers late into the night to complete work assignments. When work and school are done, dinner needs to be cooked with the appliances in the kitchen and the family likes to unwind with television, video games, music, and a multitude of various electronic devices. In addition, electricity is needed to heat and cool the home and run light fixtures. Undoubtedly, homes today are generating a tremendous amount of electricity, and the greater the electric load, the greater the risk of electrical-related fires. It should be noted that, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), Idaho electrical fires cause approximately 51,000 fires in the home that result in close to 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and approximately $1.3 billion in property damage per year. Following are nine safety measures one can adhere to in order to reduce the risk of electrical fires in one’s home:
- On a regular basis, have the home inspected for loose wires, shorts, and faulty wiring that increase the risk of potential electrical fires, as electrical wiring eventually needs to be replaced. This is especially pertinent if one lives in an older home. Signs that faulty wiring is a pressing issue can include flickering lamps, buzzing outlets, or outlets that spark when an electronic device is plugged in. If one of these indications occurs, do not delay in in hiring a certified electrician to give the home an inspection to determine if the wiring is safe or if it is in need of rewiring.
- Install a smoke detector on every level of the home and inside each bedroom. It is vital to make sure the smoke detectors are working properly by testing them every month. Test the detectors to ensure that all members of the home know the sound of the smoke detector. Also, create a plan so that the entire family knows what to do in case of an actual fire. Once a plan is in place, practice each aspect of fire-escape strategy to guarantee its success.
- Utilize safety measures with electric cords. This includes replacing cords that are loose, frayed, or contains cracks. Never place cords in areas that receive a large volume of foot traffic, such as under mats or carpeting. Avoid tacking cords to surfaces with nails or staples. If an extension cord is being used on a long-term basis, consider having outlets installed by a certified electrician nearer to your electronic devices.
- Only use the correct wattage light bulbs in all fixtures. If the wattage is higher than the requirement noted on the lamp or appliance, replace the bulbs immediately. Firmly secure light bulbs in the socket to safeguard them from overheating.
- Use a surge protector to guard appliances and other electronics in your home. ESFI says it is important that homeowners use a surge protector that is equivalent to the equipment one has while keeping in mind that they only protect the items that are directly plugged into them. Note that there are two basic types of surge protectors: the power strip accompanied by a surge protector and the wall-mount surge protector. When buying a surge protector, locate one that has the Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) mark of approval and always avoid overloading it. As with wiring, surge protectors will eventually need to be replaced, especially if the home experiences a large surge or frequent power surges.
- Store flammables away from electrical appliances. It is helpful to establish a safe, designated area for flammable chemicals in your home.
- As the average daily temperature declines, portable space heaters run a high risk of electrical fires. Other risks include lamps, blow dryers, hair straighteners, and clothing irons. Any object made of fabric, such as towels and bath mats, can quickly ignite and spread fire rapidly.
- Place a fire extinguisher in all major rooms of the home, such as kitchen, bedrooms, and laundry room. The National Fire Protection Association suggests a multi-purpose extinguishers that carry and “A, B, C,” combination classification while also carrying the label of an independent testing laboratory. Have all family members read the instructions on how to use the fire extinguisher. Extinguisher are useful in containing small fires until the fire department arrives, but the first priority should be getting one’s family out of the home safely.
- Arcs cause numerous electrical fires every year, but this can be combatted by installing an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) breaker in the home. Arcs in the home’s electrical system occur when an electrical current flows through an inadvertent path generating a sudden, high temperature in electrical wires. When this happens, the extreme temperatures can easily ignite other combustible materials surrounding it, such as wood or insulation. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association says having an AFCI breaker offers greater fire protection for homeowners than a standard circuit breaker. An AFCI monitors the circuits in your home for the presence of hazardous arcing conditions and instantly disconnects the damaged circuit before the arc has time to build enough heat to cause a fire. As of 2008, the National Electrical Code has required new homes to have AFCI protection, but the code varies from state to state, and older homes are at greater risk due to aging electrical wiring. As always, have a qualified electrician install the AFCI breaker.
Reducing the risk of electrical fires in one’s home is relatively simple, but the safety benefits are worth a great deal of peace-of-mind.
What to Do After a Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After a Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Be Careful! Without Proper Training, You Could Be Spreading Mold Throughout Your Home
Don't spread mold, contact SERVPRO to help you remove it from your property.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Boise for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Boise specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (208) 375-0300
Mold and Your Commercial Building
Don't let you customers get a bad first impression. Call a professional to asses your mold cleanup needs.
From time to time we run into some fallacies about mold when talking with commercial property and operations team members. While unintentional, many of these fallacies could raise the risk factors for those involved in the cleanup and in the affected area. Whether it’s failing to address the risk factors associated with mold, not remediating contributing factors to the initial growth, or failing to properly identify cleanup methods- mold misconceptions can greatly interfere with the clean-up process.
Myth #1- “Just spray some bleach on it”
One risk factor that we see frequently is failing to mitigate mold properly. According to the CDC, the key factors to controlling mold is monitoring humidity levels, fixing leaky roofs & pipes, thoroughly cleaning and drying affected areas, and ventilating areas prone to moisture.  Again, per the CDC, “The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.”
We all loathe intrusions into our spaces. And it would be nice if things always had a quick and easy fix. Spraying a chemical is often part of the mold mitigation process, but rarely the only part of the process. Rarely will professional restoration companies recommend bleach as a suitable treatment for mold growth.
Picture this: It doesn’t make any sense to start cleaning up your yard after a storm if the winds and rains are still ongoing, right? Similarly, the restoration process needs to address risk factors to prevent environmental problems. If water intrusion is still occurring, there will be little any restoration professional can do until the source of moisture is stopped. Often times it will be necessary to coordinate with other contractors and professionals, like plumbers and roofers, to solve an environmental problem and fix potential sources of moisture.
Myth #2- “I don’t want to remove anything”
Finally, we come to the actual cleanup process itself.
Frequently, we are asked as restoration professionals to sign off on an environment where the wet and affected materials have not yet been removed. This goes against the recommendations and standards set by organizations like the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). As long as moisture remains in an environment, mold will continue to be a problem. In addition, many materials, like insulation and drywall, may need to be removed to prevent further mold growth . The bottom line is this: as long as materials that have reached peak saturation levels remain in an environment, the risk for future mold growth remains greatly elevated.
Mold in commercial buildings presents some specific risk factors that should be addressed as quickly and thoroughly as possible. While there is no easy-fix, there is a team of professionals at SERVPRO of Boise ready to help your commercial building recover with minimal hassle and headaches. In the Treasure Valley and the surrounding Idaho area.
Risk Management Tip- Washing Machine Supply Hoses
Don't let this be you, replace your rubber hoses today.
Are you one of the many homeowners that are currently using black rubber supply hoses on your washing machine? Well then, “how lucky do you feel?”
Water damage from washing machines is one of the top five causes of claims to homeowners’ insurance companies. According to the Institute of Business and Home Safety, approximately 55% of all water damage claims caused by washing machines are as a result of water supply hoses that leaked or burst. These types of claims can be very costly with the average claim running to more than $6000.
In most homes, water will spew out of a burst hose at a rate of 6 ½ gallons per minute or hundreds of gallons in just one hour. Imagine how much water would flood your home if a burst hose is leaking while you are away from home on vacation or at work all day!
Rubber supply hoses vs. stainless steel hoses? Rubber hoses are typically rated at 800 pounds per square inch (PSI) burst strength. However, stainless steel hoses are usually rated at 1500 (PSI) burst strength. They have a much lower failure rate compared to rubber supply hoses. Stainless steel hoses are also more heat resistant than rubber hoses.
Therefore, it is strongly suggested that you replace your black rubber hoses with stainless steel hoses. Stainless steels hoses cost about $25 - $30 for a pair of them. Seems like such a small investment to help avoid having massive water damage from a burst rubber hose.
Are your washing machine hoses a disaster waiting to happen?
Why More Insurance Agents Choose SERVPRO
The SERVPRO difference!
WHY MORE INSURANCE AGENTS CHOOSE SERVPRO
SERVPRO blends customer service with accountability! SERVPRO understands your responsibility to provide results to your shareholders and clients. SERVPRO is uniquely qualified to help when disaster strikes, making you their "hero" in their times of need.
We are here to make you look good.
There are many ways to ensure success as an insurance agent. Having a strong office staff, a company who pays claims in an ethical and timely manner, advertising, being involved in your community, and maintaining a positive relationship with your clients. Our Treasure Valley team knows how critical it is that every job goes as smooth as possible, ensuring your clients trust you time and time again when they need help. Our teams are trained to reduce the lost time and mitigate the damages as quickly as possible. Whether it’s fire, water, mold or any other cleanup; we are here to help, 24 hours a day.
Our team members are available for direct cellular calls 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. You earn your client’s loyalty by providing timely solutions. You provide help in a time of need. Instead of offering a call center solution, our team members are available to take the call on their business line! We will personally call your client back, offer a listening ear, and take away some of the fear they are experiencing.
Having a relationship with SERVPRO and our team of highly trained professionals has many benefits. We will ensure help arrives quickly (following our 1-4-8 time commitment), and our production team will help your clients regain control of their lives by treating them with respect, courteousness and working hard to get the job done the right way the first time. There are no unwelcome surprises with SERVPRO. Calling direct reduces wait times. The faster SERPVRO's team can arrive onsite to perform the cleanup, the better the results.
That’s the SERVPRO difference.
Boise SERVPRO Team Heads to Wisconsin to Aid in Flooding Efforts
Wisconsin's natural beauty.
SERVPRO has been called upon to assist in a major Storm Event in Wisconsin this week.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the flooding,” Governor Walker said in an earlier statement. “I have instructed state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to help those affected by the flooding and to continue to provide resources to assist with the response and recovery efforts."
"I thank the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and all state agencies for their coordinated response to this emergency.”
SERVPRO sent 5 Boise based employees plus franchise owner Christian Isaacson on a plane late last week to respond and assist in disaster efforts. Our semi-trailer, containing large quantities of drying equipment was also on the road hours after getting the call. As always SERVPRO is Hero Ready!
What Will Your Sign on The Door Read?
Will your business have to close after an emergency? Read our best tips for minimizing downtime!
I recently had a conversation with a maintenance manager, John. His office shares space with one of the buildings he manages.
I asked, "John, what would happen to this facility if you were at one of your other locations and a emergency happened here?"
"Well, I would have to leave that site and travel here" he stated.
"But what if that building also had an emergency? Who would be able to get access to your mechanical room to get a situation under control?"
"Well, I have the keys. The managers all know to just call me."
"So you are managing a broken sprinkler line at site A and site B calls with a broken water line... What do you do" I asked.
John thought for a moment, I went on.
"John, you like to fish. You are out on the river with no cell service. How are the people who depend on that space being usable to stay productive going to manage a emergency in your absence?"
His organization had stretched him too thin and had failed to develop contingency plans to help him manage emergencies remotely. His basement office housed the only emergency plans and blueprints for the facility he was in. His office was kept locked when he was not around. And, as you can guess, he had the keys on his person.
Luckily, SERVPRO has a solution. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program (ERP). A quick cloud based collection of need-to-know information to handle building emergencies. It's not as exhaustive as a complete risk management program, but it can serve as a great starting point to begin those emergency preparedness discussions with important information that key people at every site should know.
Make sure a primary employee at every site has keys to the mechanical room and knowing where the shut off values are.
In John's case it was a relatively painless fix. Every site now has another person with a set of keys to the mechanical room and that data is fed into the ERP cloud so every business in the building can access it. It was a time investment of less than two hours that almost certainly will save both time and money in an emergency.
The best part? John now has a plan to be able to prioritize his response and emergency needs. He also feels a little less worried when goes off grid chasing Steelhead on the Snake River.
For questions or to set up your no-cost Emergency Readiness Program, call 375-0300
Is Your Business Disaster Ready?
Boise Downtown during construction in 2015
Your company is expanding, or perhaps you have already opened new locations. On any given day your sales team is firing on all cylinders, your office is bustling with activity and your operations team is running circles around itself trying to keep up.
Maybe your territory is limited to Boise, perhaps regional, or even nationwide. You know one the biggest threat to your organization is operational downtime.
That's where we can help.
SERVPRO of Boise, Meridian, Star & Eagle is a full service commercial restoration firm. We specialize in commercial drying, cleaning and decontamination needs. Our upfront approach uses a collaborative method to reduce operational risks, minimize downtime and save you money.
Consider this: 50% of businesses that suffer a major disaster will never reopen. And of those that reopened, most of them had a plan.
Do your employees know your chain-of-command?
Do your night teams know where your water shut-offs are?
Would your employees be able to direct first responders to your fire riser room?
Put simply: Is your team prepared to deal with situations like fire, water & mold damage? What about situations bigger than your Operations capacity?
Thankfully, SERVPRO of Boise is your ace-in-the-hole with our robust Emergency Readiness Program and Service Level Agreements.
With the Emergency Readiness Program SERVPRO will help you create a functional cloud based data set that can be used for things like staff emergency manuals, emergency contact information and building emergency critical information. Because disasters often happen when you are away, your team will have all of this data at their fingertips, wherever you need it, with a push of a button.
Another robust tool to consider for your facility is a Service Level Agreement, guaranteeing that you and your teams will always have the level of response you need in an emergency. Remember snowpocolypse? Jump the wait que and get the help you need right away. Another benefit of the SLA is guaranteed pricing and staff training opportunities.
To strategically align your building operations to make sure you have the help you need in an emergency, give us a call today. The consultation and Emergency Readiness Program is offered at no cost to your facility. 208-375-0300
What to do Immediately After a House Fire
Fires can devastate families. Know what to do! Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_jrowland16'>jrowland16 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
- Ask whether it is safe to enter the home. Do not enter if the fire authorities deem it unsafe. They may establish a safety zone, but never assume a room is safe, until it has been cleared to enter.
- Know who to call.
- Contact family members and let them know you are safe, and unharmed.
- Contact your insurance agent. They will be able to talk you through the necessary steps, including proper documentation and emergency lodging and living expenses (keep all of your receipts!) The insurance company may assist in securing a company to help with clean up options.
- You may request SERVPRO at this time for contents cleaning, restoration etc. Contact SERVPRO.
- Another call may be to your landlord if applicable, and to your local American Red Cross. SERVPRO is the preferred restoration partner to The American Red Cross.
- Secure the property to prevent possible looting. SERVPRO is available to assist with securing property/ Board Ups.
- If water hoses were used to exterminate the fire, drying your home is critical. It is best to call the professionals at SERVPRO to do water/ fire cleanups. Water can lead to mold damage if not dried properly. SERVPRO is an approved restoration contractor for many major insurance carriers and adheres to the highest standards in the restoration industry.
- Seek counseling if needed. Children and adults can feel a traumatic sense of loss, and may need help to avoid a lasting sense of sadness and disorientation after a house fire. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. A house fire is a traumatic event and individuals need to be treated with respect and compassion by those close to the process of rebuilding.
For more information on contents and structural drying, extinguisher residue and soot removal call SERVPRO at (208) 375-0300.
What to do if You Find Mold in Your Home
Mold, as seen here, should always be removed by professionals.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold. Dead mold spores can be just as harmful as live spores. Bleach and other cleaners will not get rid of mold, but may actually help the mold spread. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
· Stay out of affected areas.
· Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
· Contact SERVPRO for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
· Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
· Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
· Don’t attempt to dry the area.
· Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
What to do Before and After a Flood
A flood can be a devastating event for homes & businesses alike.
With flood waters rising in Blaine County, Custer County and all around the Treasure Valley, we wanted to share some tips to keep you safe! Minimize the pain of hiring the wrong company after a flood devastates your home or business.
What to do before a flood
- Create a detailed inventory of the contents of your home.
- Secure original insurance documents in a safe place – preferably a bank safe deposit box – and keep copies in your home in an accessible place that is not subject to flooding.
- Call your insurance agent to learn how to report a flood claim. Let them know you will be using SERVPRO for water removal and remediation.
- Set up an emergency contact address and phone number in the event you are unable to stay in your home – share this information with your insurance agent, your SERVPRO representative and your family.
What do to after a flood
- Call SERVPRO. Depending on the amount of flooding in your area, you want to make this call immediately to avoid a lengthy wait time. SERVPRO has national resources to handle multiple losses the right way. Contact your insurance agent and report the loss – have flood insurance policy information at the ready.
- Separate damaged and undamaged property; do all you can to protect undamaged property.
- Make a list of damages for the adjuster – if you have prepared a home inventory, this should be easy. SERVPRO can also assist with inventory.
- Take photos of all damage, including water lines on walls and cabinetry.
- Make a list of any areas of structural damage you want to point out to the adjuster.
- SERVPRO can begin to dry out the building and your personal property once the adjuster has approved the work.
- SERVPRO can provide a repair estimate for flood-damaged reconstruction.
Beware of scams after a flood
- If you do not use a restoration company like SERVPRO, you may be at risk from scammers who travel to flood zones to prey on affected homeowners.
- We recommend you obtain bids from multiple contractors, and request at least three references. We have vetted our contractors and can offer referrals when needed.
- Ask for proof of licenses, building permits, insurance, and bonding from contractors.
- If you do hire a contractor, record the contractor’s license plate number and driver’s license number; check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
- Call SERVPRO (208) 375-0300 for any and all questions. Not every company has your best interest in mind. Hire a company with staying power like SERVPRO who isn't here today for the flood, gone tomorrow.
- Contact: CONTACT US. Please note that you were referred via our blog. We'll get right back to you. Stay dry!
5 Things NOT to Store in Your Garage
Clean your garage and reclaim your space!
With the onset of Spring in the Treasure Valley, most of us try to accomplish new goals, get a new fresh start. Getting healthy, organizing our homes, bettering our lives' always seem to be at the top of the list. One space to start cleaning and organizing is the garage! That extra storage area that easily becomes a catchall for excess items. We have compiled a list of items that should not be stored in your garage. Get them out and reclaim your space.
- Paint- Because the garage is prone to extreme temperature changes, paint should not be stored in the garage. Recycle paint according to your county guidelines or donate it.
- Electronics- If you are putting electronics out in the garage, you must not be using them. Donate these items because they can’t withstand the temperature fluctuations and will easily break.
- Propane and Hazardous Chemicals- Proper ventilation is key for storage of propane and hazardous chemicals. For safety reasons, these items need to be stored outside.
- Food- Keeping food in the garage is an open invitation to rodents and insects. Although shopping in bulk can save money, storing extra food in the garage will cause problems. The moisture and humidity will spoil the food. Find room in the house for food storage.
- Cardboard boxes- Insects, mice and other rodents love cardboard. Invest in waterproof plastic bins to store your items.
Hope these tips help you gain back your garage. Happy Cleaning from SERVPRO of Boise!
Water Damage-What Happens When Left Untreated
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Boise arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (208) 375-0300
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
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.