Using and Maintaining a Sump Pump in Your Home
Overtime, your sump pump may require some low-key maintenance
Sump Pump Maintenance
As a homeowner, you know how much work it is to remove storm water from your home after heavy rain or snowfall. If interior flooding from ground water or storm runoff is a common problem in your Santa Maria, CA home, you may want to consider using a sump pump. This helpful tool not only redirects water away from your house, it can also prevent the costly water damage you deal with and pay for season after season. Learn more about pump maintenance to determine if this device is right for your home.
Plug-In the System
Once you get your new pump, you want to start by plugging it in. If the pump is not attached to a reliable power source it won't do any good when water reaches your house. Because power outages are often associated with large storms, some homeowners attach a backup power source such as a battery or generator to operate the pump if power fails.
Overtime, your sump pump may require some low-key maintenance. Small particles and debris may begin to create blockages within the pump that need to be cleaned out. Neglecting regular inspection for obstructions may result in the following:
- The pump works harder than necessary
- Debris may cause permanent damage
- Blockages may result in water overflow
Test the System
Regular testing of your pump will help you rest assured that your home is not unprotected. To test your pump, pour a bucket of water into the floor opening. Listen for the pump to switch-on and watch for it to quickly and efficiently pull the water out and reduce the water level back to zero. Slow water extraction may be a sign of pump blockages or debris.
Swap Out the Backup Battery
Finally, keep an eye on your backup power source. If you use a battery as your alternative energy connection, charge or replace it every two to three years to make sure it is reliable. With these simple tips for sump pump operation and maintenance, you may be able to save the time and money on dealing with home storm damage.
What To Do About Smoke-Damaged Commercial Property
Ozone machines work by releasing O3, ozone molecules, into the air
Ways to Remove Smoke Odor from Your Place of Business
If your Santa Maria, CA, business is ever affected by fire, you will certainly be worried about the visible damage, such as charring, water damage and soot. However, after all that is cleared away, you may still be left with smoke damage. The odor can linger long after the fire is extinguished if not treated properly. That's where smoke cleaning comes in. There are several ways to remove smoke odor from your place of business so that you and your customers can breathe easy.
1. Ozone Machines
Ozone machines work by releasing O3, ozone molecules, into the air. The O3 then binds to the other molecules in the area through a process known as oxidation. This creates new oxygen molecules that do not emit a smoke odor.
2. Air Filtration Devices
Commercial air filtration devices used for smoke cleaning and removal work the same way as smaller residential air purifiers. They suck in the dirty air in the area, trap the smoke particles and other pollutants and irritants in a filter (or multiple filters), and return the cleaned air to the room.
3. Thermal Fogging
Thermal fogging recreates one crucial element of fire — heat — to thoroughly deodorize all affected areas. Heat causes most materials to expand. Because of this, smoke may get into areas during a fire that are not easily accessible after the area has cooled. Thermal fogging works by releasing a heated deodorizing fog into the area. The heat causes the surrounding material to expand, allowing the deodorizing agent to get into all of the places the smoke penetrated during the fire.
Which smoke cleanup method to use depends both on the type of smoke and the object or materials being cleaned. A professional restoration company can select the best method of smoke cleaning for your Santa Maria, CA, business and make sure the job is done thoroughly, safely and quickly, so you can get back to business.
Water Is Out To Get Your Business
Here Are a Few Water Problems That Can Ruin Your Workday
When water behaves, it is a thing of beauty. We drink it. It helps keep things clean. It flushes away waste. It makes life comfortable. It’s important to remember this the next time you have a broken pipe at your business in Santa Maria, CA.
In a commercial setting, water is exceptionally good at misbehaving. Its behavior can range from simply annoying to catastrophic. Here are a few water problems that can ruin your workday.
Bathroom Sink and Kitchen Area Leaks
Consider yourself lucky if these are your biggest water issues. The list includes leaky faucets, shutoffs, pipes and drains. Your maintenance crew can handle them. The impact to your operation should be minimal.
This problem is a bit more serious if the leak occurs during the flush. This contaminated water from the toilet bowl may damage the subflooring and the floor below. The impact is usually minimal.
Broken Pipe on the Water Supply
The good news is that the water is clean. The bad news is that there is probably a lot of it. If shutting off the water main is the only way to handle this problem, the impact on your business may be severe. The water repair must happen quickly.
If one of your sprinkler heads put out a fire, you are happy. If it flooded your business for no good reason, that’s a different story. The area beneath the sprinkler probably experienced severe flooding. No work will take place there for the foreseeable future.
Toilet Overflows and Sewage Backups
These two problems have one thing in common. They both involve significant amounts of contaminated water. The sewage backup is worse because it may also contain large quantities of raw sewage. Decontamination will be a large part of the cleanup process. The health risks associated with the sewage could require your business to partially or completely shut down.
If your business experiences a broken pipe or other water problem, help is nearby. There are moisture and contamination removal experts ready to come in and clean up. They are Here to Help.
Residential Water_126_How To Restore Water Damaged Building Materials
Swelling wood floor in a Santa Maria,CA home
How To Restore Water Damaged Building Materials
When your home in Santa Maria, CA, sustains flood damage, one of your top priorities will be preserving the building materials that form your home's foundation. Swelling wood is often one of the biggest issues that arise after a catastrophic water incident, and you may be wondering if it's worth the effort to repair your wood materials as opposed to simply replacing them. By keeping some basic guidelines in mind, you can minimize the damage to your home if the worst happens.
1. Determine which materials are worth salvaging.
Sentimental or valuable items such as heirloom furniture may be worth the time and expense of restoration. Building materials that substantially add to the value of your home, such as finished hardwood floors, may be cheaper to restore rather than fully replace.
2. Allow adequate time to restore materials.
Swelling wood can easily crack, warp, and shrink if it's dried out too quickly after a water event, so plan on allowing two to three weeks for wooden furniture, cabinets, and flooring to dry properly. More porous materials such as drywall can be aired out much faster, usually around three days on average.
3. Take preventative measures to avoid damaged materials.
A simple water pipe repair to a leaking plumbing system can prevent a major flood, so take time to maintain your home's pipework. You should also familiarize yourself with the location of your water supply line in case an immediate shut off is needed. And it's a good idea to keep the contact information for a reputable water damage remediation specialist on hand who can help you assess building material restoration cost in the event of a flood.
While water damage in your home is stressful enough, trying to restore your home's valuable building materials, furniture, and heirlooms can add an extra challenge. By implementing the proper procedures for preserving swelling wood and other materials that have been affected by water, you can keep your home looking beautiful after a flood event.
Three Signs That Mold May Be Present in the Household
Mildew is visible
Three Signs That There May be Mold in a Residence
Recognizing the signs of mold contamination in a residence in Santa Maria, CA is very important. If mildew is indeed found at a home, it is important for a homeowner to contact professionals who conduct mold remediation. Here are three signs that may suggest that there may be mold in a residence.
1. The Mildew Is Visible
One of the most obvious indications of mold and mildew is that it is clearly visible. Therefore, it’s a good idea to constantly keep an eye out for any signs of mold and mildew around the house. While mold spores may grow on many surfaces and in numerous areas of a household, the bathroom is often a place where mold and mildew are regularly found. This is because mold thrives in damp, wet environments, and the bathroom is typically a prime area for this sort of setting. Be sure to check to see if the shower or the sink area (including under the sink) have any signs of mold contamination and consider calling professionals to aid in removing the mold if it is found. (Don’t forget to check in other areas where water or sinks are in the home, such as the kitchen, for example!).
2. There Is a Stuffy Smell
Mold may have an odor associated with it that can smell musty or stuffy. While there may be other reasons for odors in the household that are not related to mildew, it may be a good idea to have a professional rule out any mold that could be the cause of the smell.
3. The Environment in the House Feels Very Humid
As mentioned above, mold and mildew grow in damp and humid areas. If areas inside a residence feel very damp, it is a possibility that mold may be growing there. It may be a good idea to rule out any mold contamination in a residence that feels particularly humid. A thorough search for mold by experts may help identify and locate any issues with mold in the home.
Flood Damage Preparation Tips for Business Owners
Have sandbags on hand to place on the door of your building
Despite your best efforts, you can’t always prevent disasters from happening. In the workplace, you’re concerned about the safety and well-being of your employees, not to mention the functionality of equipment and the integrity of the structure. To minimize flooding damage and to save time, money and a lot of headaches, practices some effective strategies in your Santa Maria, CA, office building.
Typical Causes of Floods
Flood damage has many sinister faces. Water can creep into your office from a number of sources. The better you can identify these, the more prepared you can feel when an emergency hits.
- Broken pipes or other plumbing problems
- Insufficient draining from rain gutters and downspouts
- Sewage backups in the main line
- Massive storms such as hurricanes
Protect the Windows and Doors
If water begins to come into your office, windows and doors are common entry points. Have sandbags on hand to place in these areas to block the flow of water and to send it elsewhere. Storm damage can often allow water to rush inside and ruin the structure of the building as well as your belongings.
Move Items to Higher Ground
In many situations, top floors will be a safer place to be during flooding. If you notice water leaking in the lower floors, it’s smart to relocate electronics, documents and furniture to the higher level.
Have a Plan
Surely, your company has a method to respond to fires. You need a similar response for a flood. Know how and where to leave the building if major floods occur. Also, inspect your roof, plumbing and foundation regularly to guard against water problems. In addition, find a quality water cleanup company to call in case of an emergency. The best professionals have the knowledge, experience and tools to respond to even the most devastating floods.
When you put these guidelines into practice, you can salvage your most important assets during flooding. Don’t fall prey to the terrible damages that can occur.
3 Things Not To Do When Extinguishing a Fire
Commercial and residential fire damage services
Three Things to Avoid Doing When Attempting to Extinguish a Fire
A fire extinguisher is not difficult to use. Fire safety experts generally recommend the P.A.S.S. technique. Pull the pin and break the tamper seal before aiming the dispenser at the base of a fire. Squeeze the handle and sweep the spray from side to side. There are also three things to avoid doing when attempting to extinguish a fire.
1. Allow the Fire To Block Your Exit
You must be able to get away from a fire if an extinguishing effort is not successful. Monitor the movement of the flames and do not allow them to spread between you and the nearest exterior door. If this occurs, you should pursue a secondary escape route.
2. Spray Suppressant Directly at a Grease Fire
Fire extinguishers contain pressurized suppressants. If you aim an extinguisher hose, horn or nozzle directly at flaming grease, the fat or oil may spatter and carry flames. Using a fire extinguisher may actually spread a grease fire. You may have better results by dousing a kitchen fire with baking soda and salt before smothering the flames with a metal baking sheet, lid or another pan.
3. Neglect a Recently Extinguished Fire
A fire may seem to be out and then suddenly reignite or a hidden fire may be present. It is important to monitor the area of a fire, even if you step outside for a moment. It may be a good idea to contact the fire department to make sure that the fire is out.
You may be able to extinguish a small to moderately-sized fire by using proper fire extinguisher technique. If a fire is too large, try to close doors and seal off the affected area before evacuating the premises and calling the fire department. Any structural damage can be handled by a company that specializes in fire damage mitigation and restoration in Santa Maria, CA.
Preparing for Flood Damage
Flooding can be devastating to a commercial building, leaving damage that takes a significant amount of time and expense to undo.
How To Prepare for Flood Damage
Flooding can happen throughout the year and can be devastating to a commercial building, leaving damage that takes a significant amount of time and expense to undo. There are several steps you can take to prepare your Santa Maria, California building to survive and recover from storm damage. Preventative measures can reduce the amount of flood damage and make it easier to restore your building to operational use as soon as possible.
1. Clean the Gutters
Flooding doesn’t always mean there are several feet of water in a building. Even a few inches of water inside a commercial building can cause substantial damage. Floodwaters can build slowly over several days or may rise extremely quickly in the event of a flash flood.
No matter how much rain is falling, well-maintained gutter systems have a much better chance of diverting that water to proper drainage areas. If the gutters are clogged with leaves, dirt, and other debris, the water can overflow the sides and saturate the ground around the foundation, increasing the risk for damage. Make sure to check and clean the gutters on a regular schedule to ensure they work properly during a flood.
2. Maintain the Storm Drains
Like gutters, storm drains are designed to move water away from streets and buildings. While the local government or county is usually responsible for storm drain maintenance, you may be required to report issues with the drains on or near your property. If you see something amiss with a storm drain, report it to the authorities immediately.
3. Have a Response Plan
Make sure you’re ready to react quickly in the event of flooding. During a flood watch or warning, follow basic safety guidelines:
Listen to the TV or radio for weather updates
Gather an emergency preparedness kit
Move to higher ground
Avoid walking or driving through flood waters
Keep the number for restoration professionals handy so you can call them if your building sustains storm damage. You will want to do this as soon as possible to begin cleanup and repairs. Responding quickly to flood damage can help get your building back to normal operations. Visit http://www.SERVPROsantamaria.com for more information on flood damage.
When a Storm Hits, SERVPRO is Ready!
SERVPRO responds immediately with highly trained technicians and specialized equipment to restore your home or business after any size disaster.
SERVPRO of Santa Maria 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.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Santa Maria, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams https://www.SERVPRO.com/disaster-recovery that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 805-922-5457
What To Do After Flooding If You Don’t Have Flood Insurance
If you obtain flood insurance, you should seek an estimate from storm and water damage restoration experts and make a claim.
No Flood Insurance?
Homeowners insurance policies typically exclude damage caused by flooding. Residents of flood-prone areas should obtain a separate flood insurance policy, otherwise they will have to pay for damage restoration out of pocket or obtain relief through a federal program. Here are four types of assistance that may be available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
1. Transitional Sheltering and Temporary Housing
After the president declares a federal disaster area, Transitional Sheltering Assistance can lower the cost of staying in a hotel during the days or weeks immediately following a disaster. Homeowners can also seek Temporary Housing Assistance for a period of one month up to 18 months.
2. Grants for Cleanup and Restoration
A homeowner may want to apply for a grant to fund the restoration of a residence located on a flood plane. Grants can be used for repairing structural damage or replacing other losses.
3. Repair and Replacement Assistance
If the location of your home is declared a federal disaster area, you may be eligible for a one-time payment for Repair and Replacement Assistance. This option will not cover the costs of flood damage, and is intended to supplement a flood insurance policy.
4. Low-Interest Loans
It may be possible to obtain loans that have low-interest rates to finance residential flood damage repairs. These loans are usually capped at $200,000 for a primary residence and $40,000 for property including renters' losses. Annual interest rates may be as low as 1.75 percent for a 30-year period.
After a federal declaration of emergency, homeowners may benefit from these and other services administered by FEMA. If you obtain flood insurance, you should seek an estimate from storm and water damage restoration experts and make a claim. Professional cleanup and rebuilding services can reduce the likelihood that secondary damage will result from primary flood damage at a residence in Santa Maria, CA.