Can Office Electronics Still Work After a Fire?
Do not use electrical equipment that has been exposed by heat.
Electronics are very sensitive to heat and smoke. After a fire at a commercial building in Morgan Township, OH, these devices are some of the most costly contents to clean or replace. The condition and electrical fire risk of an appliance, computer, or device depend on the proximity to open flame, the highest temperature reached, and whether the device was powered on during a fire and extinguishing process.
Check the Condition
An external visual inspection may be enough to determine whether electronics have been exposed to open flame, intense heat, smoke, and soot. The following factors often determine the viability of a fire-damaged device:
- Melted exterior or components
- Signs of being burnt or charred
- Indications of water exposure
Damage may be more significant if a device was powered on during a fire. A building or business owner should never attempt to turn on electronics that may have sustained fire damage. These items can cause an electrical fire.
Get an Expert Opinion
Content cleaning specialists have access to clean rooms and precision equipment for assessing the condition of electronics. Since smoke damage can corrode metal, it is important to look beyond surface issues. In a safe environment, trained experts can check the condition of circuits and internal components.
Restore or Replace Electronics
It may be more affordable to replace some electronics than to attempt computer cleanup or repair. Circuits or other components exposed to high heat or water may not be capable of reliable repair to reduce the risk of another fire. In many cases, it is safer to replace electronics affected by the fire and retrieve and transfer any data that can be salvaged from the physical memory of devices.
A building or business owner should never attempt to test electronics by turning an appliance, computer, or device on after a fire. Specialized equipment is necessary to safely determine whether electronics are likely to short-circuit and start an electrical fire.
Proper Fire Extinguisher Use
There are four main types of extinguishers
A fire in your Lemon Township, OH, home can easily lead to feeling panicked. If the flames are beyond putting out, get out and call 911. Safety should be the top concern. A smoke and fire damage restoration expert can repair the losses. If you have confidence that is a manageable small fire, the best defense is to grab the fire extinguisher. Before that situation ever happens, it is important to understand the type of extinguishers that are in your home and how to properly use them.
Types of Extinguishers
There are four main types of extinguishers typically found in a home that are used for specific causes of a fire.
Class A: Solid combustibles, such as wood, paper, and fabric
Class B: Flammable liquids, such as oil, petroleum, and gasoline
Class C: Electrical, such as faulty wiring, fuse boxes, and appliances
Class K: Cooking oils and grease, including animal and vegetable fats
Every extinguisher is clearly labeled to ensure it is used in the right situation. There are also some combination extinguishers designed for use on A, B, and C fires. For a kitchen fire caused by grease, a Class B or K should be used.
If the time comes to use a fire extinguisher, below are three important steps to take.
Before using it, determine the safest escape route, as well as a backup route, in case you are unable to put out the fire.
Keep space between you and the fire. A good rule of thumb is a minimum of six feet away.
Face the fire and prepare to follow the PASS method of use. Pull the pin. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. Squeeze lever or handle to discharge. Sweep nozzle side to side until the fire is out.
A fire extinguisher is the first line of defense for keeping a small flame from turning into a big fire. Beforehand, knowing the types you have and how they work can help you stay a little calmer in a real emergency.
Committed Teams Speed Up Claims, Restoration Processes
Flooded office in Reilly, OH
After a major storm, businesses in Reilly, OH, can’t afford extensive downtime. If there is flood damage or other extensive storm restoration that needs to be completed, businesses rely on their insurance company and a trusted storm damage restoration specialist to quickly get back to business as usual. A quick response by a company that understands the client’s needs and the insurance standards is key to making that happen.
When damage to a structure happens, especially if water is involved, time is of the essence. A fast emergency storm response helps reduce restoration costs and limit the damage from spreading. Counting on experts Faster to Any Size Disaster is essential to avoid the following potentially long-term or costly issues:
Mold: Within 24 hours of any type of water damage, mold can begin to grow. If not immediately addressed, it can spread to other areas of the business and result in extensive mold remediation and extra downtime.
Structural Damage: Less than an inch of water left sitting can begin to affect a structure. From the drywall to the beams and carpeting, it can lead to a compromised structure.
Salvageable Items: Taking immediate action after a storm can help protect vital elements of a business. Whether it is equipment, artwork, furniture, or personal belongings, they have the potential to be saved if action is taken. Letting the water absorb into them may mean irreversible damage and even more costs.
Knowing that clients need storm restoration to happen now, streamlining the process for adjusters and insurance companies is essential. Communication is a vital component in making that happen. SERVPRO has a network of dedicated professionals and national accounts division dedicated to providing the best service possible. Along with an itemized loss inventory, electronic claims information makes it simple to get real-time information to assist insurers throughout the process, including detailed estimates, photos of loss, and digital paperwork.
Storm restoration isn’t something that can wait. Count a trusted professional to act fast, reduce costs, and get businesses back to “Like it never even happened.”
Clogged Pipe, Snake It Right
Knowing the best way to use a drain snake can help keep your home flood-free
How To Snake Your Drains
In an ideal world, your pipes would never need snaking. Unfortunately, no matter how proactive you are about keeping hair and other particles out of the drains of your home in Layhigh, OH, there’s a good chance that, at some point, you’ll have to snake a clogged drain. Here are some tips to help with snaking your drains.
1. Exhaust Other Methods
There are a couple of things you’ll want to attempt before reaching for the snake. Especially if your pipes are draining slowly — as opposed to being entirely stopped — you can try using a plunger or cleaning out the trap. Sometimes the issue is as simple as a buildup of hair around the first couple inches of the drain.
2. Insert the Snake Until You Feel Resistance
Most of the time, the snake will slide easily into your pipes until it hits the clog. As you crank the snake into the pipe, be aware that you might feel some pressure as you meet the turns in the pipes. Once you pass each bend the snake should move easily until it hits the clogged section of pipe.
3. Push Through or Pull Back
If you hit the blockage and can feel the snake breaking up the foreign matter, push through until your snake starts sliding easily. If it feels like you’ve locked onto a solid object that can’t be broken, pull the snake back up and the clog should come with it.
4. Know When To Call for Help
Certain instances are hard to deal with on your own. If you think you might have a pipe break, you can call a local water cleanup and restoration service to assess the issue.
Keeping your pipes clean and free of obstructions can be difficult. If you find yourself with a clogged drain, knowing the best way to use a drain snake can help keep your home flood-free.
Avoid a Leak and Ditch Polybutylene Pipes
Checking if you have polybutylene pipes can better prepare you for upgrades that may be needed
Leaking pipes can quickly lead to water damage in your Millville, OH, business. If left unchecked, it may require extensive cleanup by water damage and mold remediation restoration specialists. While any older pipe has the potential to eventually burst or leak, if your plumbing was installed between 1978 and 1995, there is a good chance they are polybutylene pipes, which generally only have a 10-to-15 year lifespan.
Determine Piping Type
During that time frame, this kind of piping became popular because it was cost-efficient, flexible, freeze-resistant, and easy to install. Over time, it became evident that the material wasn’t the best choice. The chemicals used in water treatment caused polybutylene pipes to get brittle, resulting in cracking and breaking. If your building still has them, they are long past due on being replaced. Unfortunately, repair is not an option for this type of plumbing. To determine if your pipes are made of this material, look for the letters PB on a pipe. Locations to check include:
- Around the water heater.
- In the basement entering through a wall.
- At the main shut-off valve or water meter.
- Behind sinks and toilets.
Time for Change
Although the thought of new plumbing may be overwhelming, the potential savings in water damage is worth the consideration. If a pipe bursts, it could lead to extensive downtime, which can be detrimental to a business. Contact a trusted plumbing professional to access the situation. If you are already dealing with leaks, it’s best to just modernize the system. A professional plumber will remove existing pipes and replace them with durable pipes and fittings that adhere to building codes. The replacement process usually takes two days, as well as another few days for the restoration of walls.
At the first signs of a leak, checking if you have polybutylene pipes can better prepare you for upgrades that may be needed. Although seemingly daunting, the long-term benefits are often worth the effort.
Should You Sue Your Landlord for Mold Problems?
Black mold discovered in a Layhigh, OH building
If you discover black mold in your building in Layhigh, OH, you will need to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible. Allowing it to sit can make the problem worse. Mold can be toxic, so try limiting your exposure while you wait for it to be removed. Sometimes mold can lurk in places that are not obvious, and your landlord may not be aware that there is a problem. Consequently, suing your landlord should not be your first choice. Instead, you could try informing them of the problem in writing. If your landlord is unresponsive to your request, or if you have experienced personal or property damage, you may need to file a lawsuit.
Why Would You File a Lawsuit?
If you are filing a claim for less than $10,000, you can usually file in small claims court. There are several common claims that are made for mold damage:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Damage to property
Mold can overtake porous materials, leading to damaged items. Mold remediation experts are able to restore many types of items, including documents and photographs.
What Are the Landlord's Responsibilities?
By law, a landlord is required to keep a building in a habitable condition. That means that they must provide a reasonably safe and healthy environment that is free from major defects. Since black mold carries the risk of toxicity, it is something the landlord must remedy when it is due to something faulty within the building. They would likely be responsible for fixing leaky plumbing or ventilation and cleaning the resulting mold. However, if mold has formed due to some mistake of your own, you may be responsible for the cleanup.
Black mold is a serious issue that needs immediate attention to avoid long-term consequences. By working with your landlord and a mold remediation company, you can quickly restore your property and return to normal.
What To Know About Damage You Can Expect from a Storm
Roof damage in Ross, OH
Here Are Three Things You Should Know
After a storm at your Ross, OH, home you may find that a storm restoration is needed. There are a few things you can expect to see in that damage that occurs after a storm from flooding that leads to a tear out, to wind that harms the roof. Here are three things you should know.
1. There May Be Multiple Damage Types
It’s important to understand that multiple types of damage can occur after a storm. High winds can lead to roof damage, or pick up debris and blow them into the building. Heavy rains can lead to flooding and water damage, while cold temperatures can cause problems with freezing pipes.
2. There May Be Multiple Damage Locations
Because of the variety of damage types, a storm can bring, it’s important to note that damage can also occur simultaneously in multiple locations. This means that due to flooding you may need a tear out, or removal of damaged wall material, while at the same time the roof has some loose shingles that need to be fixed. This is why many homeowners choose to work with a restoration service when your home sustains storm damage.
3. There May Be a Need For Professional help
If you find your home has sustained storm damage, then it’s recommended that you contact a local restoration service to help with cleanup and repairs. These professionals should be well versed in the different damages that can occur, where to look for them, and how to properly fix each one. With a little time and work they can have your home looking “Like it never even happened.”
There can be a number of damage types after a storm and each may need to be repaired in a different way. But whether you need a flood tear out, or a roof restoration a professional restoration service can help.
How Restoration Companies Estimate the Cost of Fire Damage
Fire in a Trenton, OH factory
How Restoration Companies Estimate the Cost of Fire Damage
After a commercial fire, the damage can be overwhelming. It is sometimes hard to tell just how much the rebuild will cost.
That is why many restoration companies perform a fire damage assessment. They survey the building and calculate how much money you will need to spend on repairs. Each business will then give you an estimate that includes the cost of board-up services or live security. To keep out looters and prevent additional fire damage, the professionals may board up the exterior of your property. When that is not possible due to weather conditions, the restoration company will instead hire a guard to monitor the premises. Other costs included in estimates are:
- Debris removal
- Odor removal
- Moving services
- Content cleaning
- Fire and water damage restoration
Picking the Right Company
Different restoration companies may give you a wide range of estimates. However, sometimes these estimates are generic and not indicative of the true cost of the project. In particular, some companies only provide the estimate for their services without specifying that they will need to hire subcontractors to perform some of the work. These subcontractors will add more costs to your bill. Ideally, you should pick a full-service restoration company that does not require subcontractors.
Filing Your Claim
Once the estimation is complete, you can file a claim with your insurance provider. Be sure to pick a restoration company that works with the insurer to ensure the project is completed as quickly as possible. Choose cleanup professionals who understand that a sense of urgency is required.
A commercial fire can cause lots of water and smoke damage to your Trenton, OH, business. The estimation process tells you exactly how much the restoration will cost. The company that offers you the lowest estimate is not necessarily the best choice. Instead, choose a full-service contractor that stays in constant contact with your insurance provider. This will save you money and make the rebuild more efficient.
How You Can You Protect Your Roof From Hail Damage
Damaged roof created hole on a ceiling
How You Can You Protect Your Roof From Hail Damage
When you hear about impending hail, your first instinct is probably to cover any windows. Yet hail can cause other types of storm damage, including:
- Cracked or missing shingles
- Wet insulation
- Water leaks
- Roof damage
This last problem is arguably the most dangerous. After all, holes in your roof can allow water to seep into your Hanover Township, OH, property. You could then be faced with severe flood damage.
That is why you should take steps to protect your roof from hail damage. Below are some tips for securing the top of your property and preventing the need for major storm cleanup.
Use Impact-Rated Equipment
Any skylights on your roof should meet ASTM pressure test standards or have a sufficient missile impact rating. You can also pick lights that are FM-approved. If you choose to install solar panels on your roof, they should also meet the International Electrotechnical Commission's impact-resistance standards.
Protect Your Equipment
Roof damage can also affect any HVAC units on top of your building. Keep them safe with a hail shield or guard.
Inspect Your Roof Regularly
A weaker roof is more likely to get damaged during a storm. You should thus regularly check the area for problems. The drainage system should be inspected at least two times a year. If your building has a roof hatch, you should look out for any loose screws. Any roof-mounted air conditioning units should be secured properly, as well. Fixing any issues in advance should prolong the life of your roof and increase the odds of it surviving a hailstorm.
Hail can destroy your shingles and create water leaks within your property. Hail can also cause major roof damage. You can attempt to mitigate the destruction by protecting your roof in advance. Still, some hailstorms are so powerful that they can harm even well-maintained roofs. If your building does suffer a water emergency due to a damaged roof, flood cleanup specialists can help.
Maintain Your Swamp Cooler to Prevent Mold Growth
Give your leaking swamp cooler the attention needed
Your family depends on your swamp cooler to keep your home in Oxford, OH, from overheating during warm summer months. A leaking swamp cooler can be worrisome and may not operate as efficiently as it should. This is why regular maintenance on an ongoing basis is so important.
The Purpose of Swamp Cooler Maintenance
Maintenance is different than repair and for many reasons, upkeep is your first line of defense. Following are some of the main ways it can help prevent a leaking swamp cooler and keep your unit going.
- Annual system checks can alert you to any conditions that may have developed during periods of disuse, including rodent nesting or pest invasion
- Catch damage early to prevent major repairs
- Clean the unit free of dust and debris to keep air flowing freely and discourage mold from developing as spreading spores through the air
- Watch for and clean up leaks immediately to impede mold growth
- Maintenance can help the unit operate more quietly and efficiently
Maintenance Check List
The purpose of the cellulose cooling pad is to collect and evaporate residual moisture during operation. It needs to be replaced when saturated to keep black mold from growing. Encourage good ventilation by opening windows or doors, or even running ceiling fans to dehumidify the home’s interior. Otherwise you may sustain some mold damage on or around window casings.
Get Help if Needed
If you are unsure how, or unable to, perform the maintenance by yourself or deal with black mold cleanup, call in a professional mold remediation team in Oxford, OH, to take care of it for you. They can assess what the unit needs to have done and will have safe methods to remove any mold and control humidity.
Give your leaking swamp cooler the attention needed to ensure your family can be more comfortable with less worry. It will be worth the attention you give it.