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Making a Family Disaster Plan

A disaster can strike your household at any given time. Many families will have an emergency plan in case of a house fire, but most do not think about what to do in case of a flood or significant water damage from an appliance or another source. All household emergency plans should be kept simple and easy to remember. Everyone in the household should understand what to do, where to go, and what to take in the event of a disaster.

Each household member will have a role to play during an emergency. Making a family disaster plan is important to share ideas, responsibilities and learn to work as a team. Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen in your area. Explain what to do in each case whether it’s flood or fire. Here are some of the first pieces of information your family should discuss during disaster planning:

  • Two designated places to meet, one outside your home in case of sudden emergencies like a fire, and one outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return to your home.
  • Know your family contacts. Pick an out-of-town or state friend to call and let know you are safe.
  • Discuss what to do in an evacuation and plan what to do with pets.

Assemble a Disaster Kit

Have enough water to last you 10 to 30 days. During an emergency, your home may lose access to water. During a flood, you may be surrounded by water, but that water will be unsanitary. You also may not have access to drinking water. Plan to have one gallon per person per day. This includes drinking, food preparation, and sanitation water.

At least three days worth of non-perishable food and potable water should be stored for disasters. A basic first-aid kit should also be kept with emergency kits. Keep a smaller kit in the trunk of your car. Your kit should also include:

  • Medical consent and history forms for each family member
  • A small, waterproof flashlight with extra batteries and matches
  • A pay-as-you-go phone or cell phone solar charger
  • Sunscreen and insect repellant
  • Whistle and a 12-hour light stick/glow stick
  • A thermal blanket/space blanket

At Restoration Experts, our goal is to keep you and your family safe during any disaster. In our line of work, we see many fires, floods, and water damage disasters. We hope these tips can help your family make a sturdy plan for escape. Call us anytime with questions or concerns at 1-877-502-8782.

Tips for Living Arrangements if a Disaster Strikes Your Home

If a disaster such as a flood, fire, or water damage of any kind strikes your home, it may be necessary to make new living arrangements during the restoration process. The most common reason you cannot occupy your home after a disaster is that it is unsafe due to poor air quality from smoke or mold growth. Even after extinguishing a fire, corrosive soot particles and chemicals still contaminate the air. Moreover, residual water and moisture also cause rapid mold growth that creates an array of respiratory health issues when breathed.

If you are forced to leave your home after a disaster, there are some things you should take into consideration. Below are some tips on finding new living arrangements, as well as keeping your belongings secure and managing your expenses during this traumatic time.

Find New Living Arrangements:

  • Find a new living arrangement that is close to work, school and home. You want to keep your daily routine as normal as possible.
  • Make sure where you choose to live for the time will be comfortable for the length of time it takes to complete the home repairs. When selecting a location, your insurance company should take into consideration your previous living requirements, so that you and your family are as comfortable as possible.
  • We recommend extended stay hotel suites or month-by-month apartment rentals. However, you should always ask your insurance if your policy covers the cost.
  • Living with friends or relatives is a suitable choice if both parties are agreeable.
  • Take with you as many everyday possessions as you can to make you and your family feel more at home.

Secure Your Property and Belongings:

  • Remove all valuable possessions and personal belongings from your home. Do not leave any documents behind that contain financial, banking, or medical information.
  • Make sure all electrical appliances remaining in the home are unplugged.
  • Have your mail forwarded to your new living location, or have the Post Office hold it for you.
  • Make sure your damaged home is properly locked, secured, or boarded up to prevent intrusion by people or natural elements.
  • Contact your local police department to let them know your home will be vacant and ask them to check it periodically to help prevent theft or vandalism.

Manage Your Expenses and Documentation:

  • Track your restoration expenses by opening a separate checking account.
  • Save the receipts from any living expenses you incur during your stay away from home. Your insurance company may reimburse you for most expenses.
  • Keep all your insurance claim documentation and receipts in a folder and store it in a safe location.

Sometimes the aftereffects from putting out a fire result in more damage than the fire itself. Fortunately, our experts at Restoration Experts can help you with furniture removal and disaster cleanup. Our fire cleanup process takes care of everything, with safe, thorough, and proper cleaning and restoration. Our goal is to get you back into your home as quickly as possible. When the unthinkable happens, call GET RESTORATION EXPERTS at 1-877-503-8782. We’re local and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and will be onsite in one hour or less.

Ten Ways to Protect Your Home from Water Damage

Home insurance rates are on the rise, and one of the reasons is the increasing amount of water damage and floods that homes are enduring. There are many ways to protect your home from water damage. Below are ten solutions that cover a variety of sources that cause water damage, whether it is sump pump breakdowns, plumbing, or floods.

Check Your Appliances

The hoses on your dishwasher, washing machine, and your refrigerator can easily become loose. Inspect them for cracks or leaks and replace them at least every seven years. Consider investing in water leak sensors that alert you when they detect possible problems in the home.

Water Heater Maintenance

Water heaters should be partially drained every six months. This will prevent erosion and rust from building in the bottom of the tank. Draining the tank will also allow you to check the pipes for cracks and leaks. If possible, have a professional elevate the water tank so that it isn’t sitting directly on the floor.

Check Floor Drains and Sump Pumps

Keep all floor drains clear of obstructions. If you have a sump-pit and sump pump, inspect them, and ensure the pump works. Check the pump’s discharge pipe for blockages and aim it away from your home. It should be draining towards your lawn or garden. Installing a battery-driven backup for the sump pump is an investment for being flood prepared.

Check Humidity in Your Home

If you notice condensation on windows, wet stains on the walls, or musty smells the humidity level in your home may be too high. To help prevent dampness and mildew, always use exhaust fans following hot showers. When you’re leaving the house for more than three days, turn the temperature on the air conditioning up, not off.

Properly Seal Cracks

Rain and wind only need a small opening to cause a lot of damage. Give them an inch under a shingle or a window, and they will take the entire home. If you notice any air flowing through window or door deals, any cracks in the floors, or lose shingles, buy sealant as soon as possible. Also, check the bathroom walls and tiling for cracked or missing caulk and grout. Water can sneak behind the tiles and leak down into the floors or create mold behind the walls.

Get Organized

If water damage or a flood were to happen inside your home, you want to avoid losing valuable items. Consider installing shelves in the basement to keep items off the floor. Sturdy plastic containers are best for storage of smaller items. You need to protect unused furnishings or appliances with sealed plastic bags. Since water damage in the basement rises to an inch or more, keep all electrical wiring one inch above the floor. This action helps prevent electrical accidents and expensive repairs. It is also smart to label the shut-off valves for the water supply lines. As a result, it helps if you should find any leaks in pipes or if one happens to burst.

Reconsider Flooring

Carpet may seem like a better choice in some rooms, especially a basement for a family-friendly environment. However, with water damage and floods being prominent in basement areas, it may be time to reconsider your options. Using large area rugs, accents, or carpeting remnants can be just as nice, plus can save a lot of grief should damage occur.

Keep the Drains Clear

An obvious way to clog a pipe is to pour fats, oil, and grease down your drains. Most people don’t realize the issues that arise from this action. These elements solidify in your drains and cause build-up that leads to water damage.

Investigate the Outside of the Home

Over the years, sidewalks, driveways, patios, and decks may shift and cause water to pool. Repair any damages you can to get water away from your home. Ensure the proper grading of your lot so that water can drain away from your foundation. Landscaping your yard with plants and vegetation will also help minimize soil erosion.

Give the Gutters a Look

Regularly cleaning and maintaining your gutters will help keep blockages away. Even if gutters are free of debris, there are still chances of leaks and overflow with heavy rains and snows. Use a rain barrel to help catch runoff and make sure the downspouts extend three to six feet away from your home.

Water damage to your home is never a good thing. However, you can prevent some damage. Nearly 40 percent of homeowners have experienced water damage in their home at some point. These tips will help prevent problems, but if unexpected water damage or a flood occurs in your home, call DeShano Restoration immediately at 1-800-234-0800.

The Facts about Faulty Appliances and Water Damage

Water damage is part of life, even if you live in a desert. The appliances we rely on for daily chores break down and flood rooms, no matter how old or new they are. Even minor water damage poses a tremendous risk to your home and your health. Here are the facts about appliances and water damage.

Industry and Thrift Have Consequences Too

People don’t make appliances like they used to. Today, washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and other devices feature more plastic and less metal than they did ten or twenty years ago. Surprisingly, appliances purchased in the eighties often work as well or better than replacements bought four or five years ago. However, new and old machines eventually break down, usually when it’s most inconvenient.

A consequence of continuing to use an old appliance is the ever-growing risk that you will come into the room and find a lake. There’s certainly nothing wrong with being thrifty, of course. Repairing a reliable machine may be better than searching for a new one. That said, it’s best to have a water damage specialist on call in case your washing machine tries to wash the floor of your laundry room, too. You can keep the old and reliable device with confidence that when an accident happens, you’ll be prepared to clean up the mess with the best help available.

Water Damage Doesn’t End After a Flood

Of all the terrible accidents that can ruin your home, water damage is one of the worst. While most people keep their appliances that use water in rooms with tiled, laminated, or concrete flooring, it’s important to remember that water is very good at finding gaps and crevices. Since dishwashers usually fit against unfinished sections of a wall and often over unfinished flooring, they are especially likely to cause severe damage during even minor accidents.

Just mopping up the visible pool of water won’t stop ongoing water damage. By the time you notice a leak, it has more than likely found its way beneath flooring or into walls. A single washing machine flood can lead to mold, mildew, and even rot. Many families get a surprise when they move their dishwasher in preparation for a move or renovations. Small, frequent leaks can cause the most damage. For example, a leaky dishwasher can literally cause the floor below the appliance to fall apart, especially if the flooring consists of softer materials like plywood.

To prevent this kind of damage, you need professional water damage restoration services. These experts have the skills to do far more than rip out damaged elements and add new drywall. They understand how water works, where it will go, and the best way to stop the worst damage before it happens.

No one wants or deserves to find a rotten, moldy floor under their appliance. Whether you prefer the latest machines or reliable classics, leaks and breaks are inevitable. To protect your home, keep the number of your local water damage restoration expert on hand.

Four Reasons Business Owners Should Never Clean Water Damage Themselves

Photo by Nicolas Brown https://unsplash.com/photos/Bi65LFoCYLU

Photo by Nicolas Brown https://unsplash.com/photos/Bi65LFoCYLU

Business water damage is a cause for great concern. Supply line breaks, broken pipes, and water fixture problems lead to expensive and potentially hazardous concerns for your business. Not only is business water damage stressful to those involved, it also requires taking various factors into consideration when it happens.

The best way to handle a problem that involves water damage is to contact a certified and professional water restoration company. They will respond to your problem quickly and efficiently, saving you time and money. Moreover, they have the resources needed for complete flood damage restoration, inspection, and cleanup. Although you might visit the idea of cleaning up business water damage yourself, here are four reasons why you should leave it to the professionals:

Proper Procedure

Water restoration professionals are trained in following a step by step procedure. They know all the ins and outs of dealing with this type of damage. From locating the problem to contacting your insurance company, they will help you prevent further damage and reduce the financial damage involved with this unfortunate problem.

Once they locate the problem, your water restoration team will fix it and devise a mitigation plan. They will follow steps and precautions that are imperative when business water damage involves electrical systems or sewage. Because they deal with insurance companies as part of their daily operations, they will prepare a report to determine your coverage options. Once you understand the process, work will begin immediately so your business can get back to normal operations as quickly as possible.

Professional Equipment

Water restoration companies use industrial-grade, professional equipment to tackle the job. Their professional equipment helps with water extraction, cleanup, mitigation, and drying. Most of the equipment they use is not available to the average consumer because it requires special training to operate.

The equipment used for your business water damage allows for a more thorough cleanup. And, it is more efficient than trying to tackle the damage yourself. They will remove all standing water and any moisture that might be invisible to the naked eye. Your water restoration team will focus on a goal that gets the job done right and allows you to proceed quickly with normal business operations.

Detail-Oriented

When you hire a professional, they will cover every square inch of your business that may be affected by water damage. After they remove any visible water, they will address areas under floors and behind walls that can soak in moisture. They will not only remove the water, they will repair and clean up all the walls and floors that have been affected.

With business water damage, areas that lock in moisture can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Professionals in water restoration know how to inspect for these hazards. Their special fans and dehumidifiers remove moisture that you can’t see. This will ensure that your business is completely dry when the job is done.

Eliminate Health Risks

When you fail to hire a water restoration professional, who is properly trained and certified, you might be putting your employees and clientele at risk. Failure to completely dry water damage can create hazardous bacteria, microorganisms, and contaminants that have dangerous health effects. Extreme caution needs to be taken when dealing with flood and sewage water. Your restoration team has the protective equipment necessary for this type of cleanup.

If your business water damage causes illness to someone in your building, you are liable for any effects that may have. Professionals in water restoration will disinfect your business with advanced cleaning products and sanitize all materials, insulation, wood beams, and dry wall. They will even take preventative measure to restore any potential structure hazards that can result from the damage.

There is a lot to deal with when you come into the unfortunate problem of business water damage. Save time and money by calling a professional water restoration company to take care of the job for you.

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