Can Employees Resume Work During Restoration?
Dental office containment in Santa Fe Springs,CA
Business owners may wonder when employees can safely resume work in a commercial building that has experienced damage. The answer may be sooner rather than later. Depending on whether black water, storm damage, or a fire caused the damage, employees may be able to return as soon as cleanup is complete and work through the restoration period.
There are several types of water damage that may affect the duration of mitigation.
- Clean Category One water from a burst supply pipe should not cause a major interruption.
- Category Two gray water is considered contaminated with chemicals or microbes but does not contain solid waste. Complete disinfection prior to resuming work is often required, and interruption might not be necessary if only a portion of the property sustained damage.
- Category Three black water in flood cleanup or from a sewer backup should be extracted, and the affected area disinfected and dried.
Keep in mind that nearly all categories of water contain salts that can cause corrosion and short-circuiting in electronics. Computers, electronic devices, or servers may or may not be able to be restored, which could cause delays.
If a storm causes a roof leak or breaks windows, employers should wait until cleanup and basic mitigation is complete before calling in employees. The same guidelines for water damage apply to flood damage resulting from a storm.
Fire or smoke damage may call for more extensive restoration and air filtration. It may take longer for a work space to be considered safe for employees following this type of damage. Consult with a restoration service to set a timeline for resuming regular business.
Employees should not work in a structure that is undergoing mitigation for black water or flood cleanup. They may be able to return during restoration. For the best results, hire an experienced commercial restoration company in Santa Fe Springs,CA.
3 Strategies for Finding a Tub or Shower Leak
Mold growing in your ceiling can mean a tub or shower leak in your Pico Rivera,CA home
When water appliances in your Pico Rivera, CA, home start to leak, they can cause quite a bit of damage. A bathtub leak on an upper floor or a slow leak in a shower can weaken the floor underneath or cause hidden mold growth that may be difficult to remove later. If you suspect a problem with your tub or shower, there are a few ways to find potential leaks and prevent troublesome water damage.
1. Note the Age of the Shower Pan
A shower pan leak can have several causes, but one of the most common is advanced age. While the pans are designed to last for years, one that is over 30 may start to experience a failure. You may be able to identify a failed pan by discolored tiles near the base of the shower. If you have a crawlspace, you can inspect it for leaks, as this can be another sign of a worn-out shower pan.
2. Check the Ceiling for Old Water Stains
A bathtub leak or failed shower pan on the second floor of your home can cause a dangerous situation, especially over time. The floor could weaken and cause the ceiling to dip, or repeated leaks could cause mold to grow inside your ceiling. Stains directly below a second-floor bathroom may indicate a leak, but if you are unsure about the source, consider calling in a water damage and restoration service to inspect it and to repair the water-damaged ceiling.
3. Inspect the Shower Tiles
Your shower’s tiles can tell you a great deal about whether or not the unit is experiencing a leak. When a shower pan leak occurs, the tiles on the lower half of the shower may loosen or fall off. If the wall behind a loose tile feels damp or looks moldy, you can assume there is a leak somewhere.
Chasing down a shower or bathtub leak in your Pico Rivera, CA, home can be a challenge. However, when you know which signs to look for, the job may go easier.
Quick Guide To Category 3 Water Damage
Water damage in Santa Fe Springs, CA
Flood water at your business in Santa Fe Springs, CA, may be a minor inconvenience or a major undertaking. This depends on how much water is present, how quickly drying procedures are initiated and the category of water damage.
What Is Category 3 Water Damage?
There are three categories of water damage. Category 1 is considered fresh water from a clean source such as a broken supply line or overflowed sink. Category 2 is referred to as gray water, as it is contaminated but does not usually contain viruses or bacteria. Category 3 is the most time intensive to address:
- Category 3 is otherwise known as black water due to the high level of contamination. Black flood water contains bacteria, viruses and microorganisms.
- Touching or ingesting black water can make you very ill. Professional water restoration specialists use protective safety gear and equipment when dealing with this type of water damage to avoid contact.
- Causes include toilet overflow, sewage back up from an exterior line or storm water.
How Is Black Water Cleaned?
With all types of water damage, take immediate action. Mold grows in as little as 48 hours after flooding. Steps for water damage from contaminated sources include:
- A containment area is constructed to prevent other parts of your business from being contaminated by the black water or airborne bacteria and viruses.
- Excess water is removed with professional grade pumps and vacuums.
- Structures and contents that are porous easily soak up the black water, therefore the materials are removed from the premises and discarded.
- The impacted areas are dried and monitored for hidden moisture.
- Building structures and inventory are cleaned, disinfected and sanitized. Air is filtered.
Take immediate action when your commercial property in Santa Fe Springs, CA, experiences flood water from a toilet overflow or storm. Although the steps may be time consuming, it is necessary to properly clean and sanitize the building and materials to return your business to preloss condition.
Post-Flood Safety: What Not to Do
Water damage after storm in Pico Rivera, CA
If your house sustained water damage after a storm in Pico Rivera, CA, you may not have any idea of how you should handle all of that flood water. Staying safe should be your number one priority, but how can you do so? Here are 5 things you should NOT do when you have a flooded home.
1. Touch Pools of Water
Do everything in your power to avoid touching water on the ground of your home. In many cases, these puddles can put you at risk for electrocution. Wait for professionals to arrive that can help you safely clean up your property.
2. Skimp on Protective Gear
Not only are there dangerous wet patches to worry about; your home may also be teeming with animals and other post-storm hazards that you are not prepared for. Wear sturdy gloves and knee-high boots made of rubber to keep your body protected from the unknown before you even think about venturing indoors.
3. Wade in Standing Water
It is just as dangerous to wade in standing water as it is to touch or clean it. Again, it is better to wait for the assistance of trained technicians than to attempt do-it-yourself remediation.
4. Let Your Phone Die
Staying connected to the world after devastation is important. If you can safely do so, keep your cell phone or other vital communication tools charged in any way possible. Consider using a portable charger if you have one.
5. Downplay Mold
With flood water comes the likelihood of mold growth. If you find significant amounts of mold spores inside your house, this is yet another situation where you should seek help in eliminating the infection. Attempting to handle things yourself could result in further decimation that threatens the security of the structure.
As a proud homeowner, you are going to be understandably upset when you find that flood water is causing your investment to be at stake – but you still need to think about your and your family’s well-being during such a time. The advice above will help you to form a plan of protection if a natural disaster should hit.
The Best Way To Test for Mold
Mold damage in Pico Rivera, CA
With weather patterns changing nationwide, many regions are experiencing greater extremes in temperature and intensity and duration of major events. Those affected by increased rain and flooding may feel particularly vulnerable to mold in their homes and may want to do some mold testing. Regardless of location, taking steps to prevent the spread of mold before it becomes a problem is a good idea.
What To Look For
If you suspect you have a mold problem, there are a number of signs to be aware of:
- A moldy smell — mold has a distinctive odor.
- Visible colored patches (especially black) of growth around areas of condensation.
- Past or present issues with humidity, moisture or flooding.
If you notice any of these signs, it can be a good idea to test for mold.
Who Should Test
If a homeowner is inclined to attempt DIY mold testing and utilize a mold kit, it should be noted that, in most cases, collected samples will need to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. Further, because of the constant presence of mold spores in the environment, a home test will almost always yield a positive result. Therefore, residents of Pico Rivera, CA, would be well advised to call a professional hygiene service to address any perceived or potential issues. A certified industrial hygienist has the knowledge, experience and resources to provide the assurance that homeowners want with mold testing.
What Can Be Done
An expert can perform a variety of tests to ensure the most accurate results. One strategy is testing the air to determine what types of mold spores are present. This is particularly helpful when there are no visible signs of mold. A second regimen uses several techniques to lift samples off of household surfaces. Third, bulk testing involves removing items from the home and lab testing them. Another option is to culture living spores obtained from the previous techniques in the lab. This can be the best way to determine which mold species are present.
Using a home kit may at first seem practical and efficient. However, the most reliable way to do mold testing is to use a professional.
Questions You May Have About Flood Cuts
No one likes the hassle of having to wait for repairs to happen before business as usual can continue. If your commercial property in Pico Rivera, CA, is flooded, though, it is in your best interest to halt operations long enough to complete repairs and avoid further issues. After flooding, a flood cut is often necessary to make sure all the walls are free from water damage. When are flood cuts necessary? What does the process involve? Here are the answers to the questions you may have about flood cuts.
Flood cuts are used to mark where water damage specialists will tear out the wall to replace it with an undamaged one. There are several reasons why a flood cut may be used:
• Soaked insulation behind wall needs to be removed and replaced.
• Floodwater is contaminated.
• Musty odor indicating that there is a mold problem on or behind wall.
Cutting out the wall after flooding lets technicians dispose of damaged materials safely. Then a new wall can be installed.
When it is determined that contamination or another factor necessitates the removal of a wall, technicians will make a mark 12-18 inches above the water damage. This is a flood cut. It may seem odd to tear out over a foot of wall that seems unaffected, but when it comes to water damage, it's better to play it safe and make sure you get it all than to cut corners and miss damaged drywall. After the damaged wall has been removed, the specialists can clean and dry the area and replace the wall and, if applicable, the insulation behind it.
When flooding occurs, it's not enough to just remove the water. You often have to repair damages, too. Flood cuts are used to ensure that the water damage done to your commercial property in Pico Rivera, CA, by the most recent storm is completely remediated.
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Treating Minor Burns in the Workplace
Every injury is different, people can react differently to burns after a fire
Although it may be difficult to believe, burns are common workplace incidences. Workplace burns are not limited to injury by fire damage, and they can come in many forms. From the minor sun burn to the more extensive chemical burn, the injury can cause serious skin damage and may even result in loss of work. In fact, the American Burn Association noted that there were over 40,000 workplace burns that required hospitalization last year alone. Minor burns can be the most frequent type of workplace skin burn damage seen in Pico Rivera, CA. Here is how to treat them.
1. Identify the location of the burn and see if it affects breathing, vision, or speech. Call 911 if the burn is on the head, looks bubbly, or is bright red.
2. For burns on the remainder of the body, classify the burn as either a scald, first-degree or second-degree burn.
3. To begin first aid, remove clothing, fabric, and other coverings from the burn site before it swells and sweats.
4. If the burn is from fire damage or is covered with paper or fabric that is stuck to it, don’t attempt to remove the covering – cut around it.
5. If possible, cool the damaged skin with running water for 10 - 20 minutes. This burn first aid treatment can be repeated if necessary to remove the burn’s heat.
6. Apply a hydrogel, aloe gel, or another soothing burn gel to provide pain relief.
7. Keep the patient warm, but do not cover the burn site with fabric. If the patient is in shock, call 911.
8. Do not cover the burned area with ice, creams, or gauze.
9. If blisters have appeared, do not pop or cover. Instead, run cool water over the area as needed to soothe the patient.
As with all injuries, different people can have different reactions to burns. If the burn is a large area sunburn, look for signs of heat stroke. If the burn is from fire damage, look for signs of smoke inhalation. But above all else, remember to stay calm during treatment, and panic later.
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How To Determine if Your Flooded Basement Is Covered by Insurance
This basement flooded after a severe storm hit the Pico Rivera area
Water can do great damage to your home, including the loss of personal items, and may uncover previously unknown structural issues or deterioration. Even with prompt removal of the water, your home may incur costly damage. Will your insurance company be there in the event of a basement flood? There are several factors that determine what is and what is not covered.
1. Where did the water come from? Most homeowner's policies typically cover damage from water that originates from the top down, such as rain or melting ice. If the water comes from the bottom, such as from the overflow of a nearby river, you will likely need specific flood insurance.
2. How fast did the flooding or water damage occur? A poorly maintained faucet or toilet that slowly leaked, for example, would not qualify for insurance coverage. However, if a pipe suddenly bursts and leaves your basement flooded, this is likely to fall within your coverage limitations.
3. What type of policy or policies do you have? A basic homeowner's policy with dwelling coverage will extend to water damage as described above to your flooring, drywall, and many other structures in your home. Furniture, appliances, and other personal items will probably not be covered. Personal property insurance is likely to cover items beyond your home’s structural elements in the event that your basement becomes flooded.
4. What else do you need to remember? All insurance policies have deductibles and coverage limitations. Read the fine print and consult your insurance company to be sure your situation in Pico Rivera, CA, will be covered.
If the worst happens to your basement, be sure to consult a professional to minimize damage, regardless of the cause or your insurance coverage. Dealing with a basement flood is no picnic, but with proper cleanup and drying, damages can be reduced to limit your out-of-pocket costs and to preserve the structure and aesthetics of your home.
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Minimize the Damage: Start Flood Cleanup Today
Few scenarios are more stressful for a homeowner than the immediate aftermath of a significant flood event. If you are one of the fortunate ones with flood insurance, your first move likely will be to contact your claims adjuster. Of course, you won’t be the only one in Pico Rivera, CA making that call. With insurance companies stretched thin by the sudden demand, it could be days or even weeks before an adjuster makes an onsite visit to assess the flood damage to your home.
Don’t Wait on the Adjuster
Your flood insurance company will likely expect you to secure the property, so don’t wait on the adjuster before you begin cleaning up. At this stage of the process, every hour literally counts. Here are some early steps you should take while you are waiting for an official assessment:
• Assess the damage and call a restoration specialist in Pico Rivera, CA if needed.
• Take pictures of the damage and document the losses.
• Remove excess water from the house by mopping floors and wiping down furniture.
• Remove wet upholstery and rugs.
• Turn on air conditioning to help speed the drying process.
• Gather loose items from the floor.
• Remove damaged items from the house but do not throw away. Retain for proof of loss purposes and store outside on the property, if possible.
Stop the Mold Before It Starts
Amidst the obvious destruction caused by flood waters, the threat of possible mold damage is often an afterthought. But left unchecked, mold can take root on even slightly damp surfaces within the first 24 to 48 hours. Once mold has started, it is difficult to remove and can cause thousands of dollars of damage.
Stopping mold in its tracks is an important step in the process of repairing and renewing your home, and a speedy response after a flood is crucial. Following the steps above to clean up your property is a good beginning. Don’t wait on your flood insurance adjuster before getting started. Visit http://www.SERVPROpicoriverasantafesprings.com for more information on storm damage.
How To Create a Home Fire Escape Plan
Whether from faulty wires or a candle left burning, any Pico Rivera, CA residence is at risk for the possibility of a home fire. The National Fire Protection Association estimates two minutes to escape a building once the fire alarm sounds. Rather than wait for those crucial seconds, create a fire escape plan now to ensure everyone in your home knows what to do.
Survey Your Home
The first step to creating an effective fire escape plan is knowing when and where you can escape. Walk through your home and look for these three crucial factors:
• Fire alarms should be installed on every level, as well as within every sleeping area and connecting halls. Mark the location of each and check they are all functioning.
• Every room should have two ways out, including doors and windows. Windows should be easy to open, and any security screens or bars should be simple to release.
• There should be no blockage in front of the two routes of every room. Ensure bookshelves, storage or home decorations don’t slow down your ability to escape quickly.
Once you have established the layout of your home you can create an effective plan. Gather everyone in your household and consider drawing a floor plan, marking all fire alarms and escape routes. Select an outdoor meeting location such as a neighbor’s house, lamp post or stop sign and ensure everyone knows where to meet after leaving the house. Next, it’s time to put it to the test.
Practice the Plan
Everyone in the household should be able to successfully complete your fire escape plan, from smoke alarm going off to meeting at the preestablished outdoor location, within two minutes. Practice waking up to the sound of the smoke alarm, walking through the plan, and meeting outside.
Twenty minutes to create your home emergency escape plan now can make all the difference in the two minutes you could be faced with then. Ensure everyone in your household knows how to contact emergency services and keep the number for your local fire restoration company nearby should the need arise. Visit http://www.SERVPROpicoriverasantafesprings.com for more information on fire damage.