Not All Water Damage Is Treated The Same
To most homeowners in Lincoln, NE, water damage is all the same. It is a nightmare situation that disrupts daily routines and makes life rather difficult. It is destructive, cruel, and costly to put right. Whether the flooding is from a burst pipe or a blocked drain, it’s all the same right?
Well, in reality, there are some crucial distinctions to be made.
The information below explains the main types of water damage and could help you identify the problem quickly if it ever happens to you.
Category One: Clear Water
This water is the cleanest, most non-toxic form of water damage. It is potable water, perhaps directly from the tap. It is unlikely to cause you any harm, even if you are exposed for some time. Nevertheless, even clean flooding can lead to electrical and structural faults, so it is safer you to call in the experts for repairs. Clean water comes from things like a broken water supply line, tub or sink overflow with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water-supply lines to name a few. However, once clean water leaves the exit point, it might not remain clean after contacting other surfaces or materials. Although it is considered the "safest" of the categories, it can degrade to category 2 or 3 if left untreated.
Category Two: Gray Water
Gray water damage is a little bit more serious and requires a speedier removal process. This is because it may contain potentially unsafe levels of chemicals, microorganisms, or dirt. Examples of Cat 2 water include, but are not limited to: overflow from dishwashers or washing machines; overflows from toilet bowls with urine; seepage due to hydrostatic pressure and broken aquariums.
If left untreated, it can quickly degrade into category 3.
Category Three: Black Water
Cat 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Cat 3 water can include, but are not limited to: sewage; toilet backflows from beyond the trap; flooding from seawater, rivers or streams, ground surface water or other contaminated water entering the indoor environment.
It is important to use experts like those at SERVPRO Lincoln East who are very skilled in the safe handling of black water and will use breathing filtration apparatus and protective clothing to eliminate the risk of sickness. They will also contain the affected area so that no dangerous materials are allowed to escape during the restoration process.
Knowing what type of water is damaging your property or where it is coming from helps restoration experts to approach the situation in a safe way.
Please contact your local experts at SERVPRO Lincoln for immediate action. 402-466-4004
We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Storm sewer backup
- Sanitary sewer backup
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
- And many more
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.
The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Lincoln and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
Your Winter Checklist
Brrrrr… freezing temperatures are starting to spread throughout parts of Southeast Nebraska. Preparing your home or business for winter doesn't have to be hard, a little maintenance now can prevent a big headache later. Learn how you can prepare today for the cold weather that will be here before you know it.
One of the most important things you need to do is prevent freezing pipes! Did you know a burst pipe due to freezing weather can cost you more than $5,000 in water damage? Don’t let a burst pipe soak your wallet, take the time now to prepare to prevent costly damage this winter.
- Insulate all accessible pipes using pipe insulation.
- Prior to the winter months, ensure that all cracks, holes, and other openings on the exterior walls are sealed tightly with caulk or insulation to prevent cold air from penetrating the wall cavity.
- Disconnect all hoses from hose bibs and install insulating covers over the hose bibs.
- Keep all exterior entry, exit and garage doors to unheated spaces closed as much as possible during the winter months.
- If the temperature drops lower than usual and any pipes are located adjacent to exterior walls or within base cabinets or in closets, leave the cabinet/closet doors open or use a fan to increase warm air circulation around the pipes.
- When extreme cold weather is predicted, let all faucets drip to prevent freezing of the water inside the pipe, and if freezing does occur, to relieve pressure buildup in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet. The pressure buildup is the actual cause of bursting pipes.
- Be sure to drain your water supply system before leaving the home unoccupied.
Finish off the winter maintenance checklist by completing the following tasks:
- Clean gutters to allow water to drain freely.
- Seal windows with caulking or weather stripping.
- Insulate pipes in bathrooms and laundry rooms with exterior walls.
- Seal doors with weather stripping.
- Insulate pipes in cabinets on exterior walls.
- Add insulation in your attic.
- Cut back branches from hanging over roof and gutters.
- If you are leaving your home, do not turn the thermostat below 55 degrees???????.
Winter is coming whether we like it or not Southeast Nebraska! We might as well be prepared.
What to do until help arrives.
After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
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What To Do After Flooding
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floors.
What NOT To Do After Flooding
- Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
- Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
- Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Don't use television or other household appliances.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
Water Damage Timeline
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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.
SERVPRO of Lincoln Knows what to do if Mold Grows in your Home
It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.
If the right conditions exist, mold will grow. Those conditions include:
- Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.
- Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
- Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.
Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.
If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Lincoln to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.
Cleaning an Artificial Christmas Tree
As the holiday season rolls around, it's likely that you'll be pulling your artificial Christmas tree out of storage. About 70 percent of Americans will celebrate Christmas this year, and of those who celebrate the holiday, only about 20 percent of trees are real! Many people recognize the benefits that come with artificial Christmas trees; namely, reliability, easiness, and attractive looks.
After eleven months in storage, however, many artificial Christmas trees both look and smell a little dusty. No matter how well you try to keep the dust out, it always finds a way in. Here are some tips for cleaning an artificial tree to keep it looking as good as the day you bought it.
One of the foremost necessities in cleaning an artificial Christmas tree is to remove any dust clinging to its branches and needles. Using a static cling cloth, gently wipe it along the branches. The static will pick up loose dust and stop your tree looking drab.
Shake with Salt
If your tree needs something a bit more intensive, salt can actually help! This is a method that is effective for small trees or larger trees that come apart into smaller pieces. Add small trees or tree pieces to a large bag with a handful or two of Kosher salt, then vigorously shake. The salt will act as an abrasive cleaner, scrubbing away any grime that's clinging on tightly.
A Seasonal Sponge Bath
For heavy cleaning, a light dusting won't be enough. At the start of every season, carefully wipe each branch down with a gentle, wet sponge. This will pick up the dust and dirt that settled between the needles while the tree was in storage. Sponging a tree, especially a larger one, can be time-consuming, so plan to tackle this at short intervals or enlist the help of others.
After your tree is clean, you'll still need to deodorize it periodically. You can hide a scented air freshener intended for a car in the branches of your tree to give it a seasonal scent, or periodically spritz the branches with an air freshener to keep them smelling fresh.
Sometimes, home cleaning just doesn't cut it. For more extensive cleaning services around your home, SERVPRO of Lincoln is locally owned and operated, and has expert solutions to keep every part of your house clean.
Rely on SERVPRO for Safe Biohazard Cleanup
Rely on SERVPRO for Safe Biohazard Removal from Your Lincoln, NE Home or Business
Blood, bodily fluids, and other biohazards can endanger anyone who comes in contact with them. Even trace amounts so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye can pose serious health risks. When a site in your home or business has been contaminated, how do you make it safe again? Rely on the professionals at SERVPRO of Lincoln for top-notch biohazard cleanup and restoration services.
Avoiding Health Risks Is it necessary to seek professional assistance in cleaning up a location impacted by crime, trauma or death? With the risks posed by blood-borne pathogens and dangerous communicable diseases, cleaning a scene contaminated with biohazards like blood is a perilous undertaking for anyone who lacks the proper training and equipment. It is unpleasant to think about, but blood and bodily fluids are prone to splattering so that minute amounts can affect a wide area. The air at these scenes can be hazardous since small particles can become airborne if dried material is disturbed. Anything removed from the scene must also be disposed of properly to avoid spreading the contamination. Besides, you cannot assume the area is safe again just because the visible traces have been removed. If a space contaminated with blood or other biohazards is not appropriately cleaned, sanitized and restored, these unseen hazards can linger, posing a threat to anyone who enters it. Ultimately, the best way to make sure that a place is once again safe is to use a professional organization like SERVPRO that is experienced in biohazard restoration.
Preventing Legal Repercussions As if the health risks created by biohazards are not dire enough, failure to have a contaminated space properly cleaned can also have serious legal consequences. The responsibility for cleaning up after a crime, trauma or death falls on the Lincoln property owner, and there are regulations and laws regarding how biohazards are handled that must be followed. These rules are designed to safeguard everyone, and ignorance is not considered an acceptable excuse for disregarding them. Individuals and businesses that do not follow these rules may find themselves facing hefty fines. They might even be held liable if someone else is injured by their actions. Using a professional team that understands what is required to comply with the various rules and regulations governing biohazards in your area can shield you from both health risks and legal issues.
Focusing on Your Safety At SERVPRO of Lincoln, we are committed to the well-being of our customers. Offering emergency services 24 hours a day, we will rapidly respond whenever you request our assistance. Our technicians follow the protocols established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so you can be confident that they have the expertise and training to remove all biohazards and dispose of them properly. We use specialized equipment that allows us to detect the presence of even a minute trace of a biohazard, and we do not stop until your scene is thoroughly sanitized. As biohazard restoration professionals, we can often salvage items that others might have to discard, and we ensure that any material that does need to be removed from your location is disposed of appropriately. Dealing with a crime, trauma or death is undoubtedly difficult, but you can depend on SERVPRO of Lincoln for courtesy, empathy, and the quality biohazard cleanup and restoration services that you need. Safety-minded, we are ready to do our part in restoring your space and your peace of mind. If a traumatic event has occurred on your property and you require assistance with the cleanup, contact us now to discover more about our http://www.SERVPROlincolneast.com/biohazard-cleaningservices and secure our help. (402)466-4004.
Avoid Damage by Getting Your Home Ready for Fall
Cooler temperatures and pretty soon falling leaves serve as a reminder that the fall season is fast approaching. As the seasons change, so do our activities and home needs. Even though summer has just ended,it’s a good time to do some seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly. The weather can change quickly, especially if you live in a colder climate and you don’t want to be caught unprepared. A bit of attention now will save costly repairs and aggravation later.
Interior Maintenance • Pipe Insulation. Your pipes are more susceptible to freeze damage when temperatures drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Wrap the pipes in insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. Take extra care with pipes that have frozen during previous winters or have been repaired in the last 12 months, asthese pipes are more susceptible to damage.
- Investigate and identify any musty smells and odors.They are often an indicator that there is a hidden moisture problem.?
- Check the basement. If you have a basement, look for cracked basement windows that could allow cold air to make contact with pipes. Check for worn or missing insulation around garage and utility doors. Reducing the amount of cold air in the area minimizes your pipes' vulnerability.
- Do a roof check for leaks.You should be able to do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Grab some binoculars to get a closer look or if you’re able and can do so safely, climb on up for a better view. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, you may need to remove leaves and debris.
- Check the chimney and fireplace.Prevent chimney fires. If you have a wood fireplace and use it often, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.
- Fix Exterior Cracks. Note any cracks or holes along the outside walls and foundation of your home. Filling holes and cracks with spray foam insulation and caulking can help stop the cold air from coming into contact with your water pipes during extremely cold weather.
- Clean the gutters. Prevent icicles and ice dams. Hire a service to clear your gutters or do it yourself. Remove leaves, nests, and debris from gutters and check for leaks.
- Check water drainage.Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.
- Turn off faucets and store hoses.Drain garden hoses and disconnect from the outside spigots. Shut off exterior faucets, and if you have an older home, you may need to turn off the valve inside your home. Store hoses in a dry place so any residual water won’t freeze.
- Service sprinklers and irrigation system.Depending on your climate, your irrigation system may need to be drained and checked. Have a professional perform any necessary repairs and mark sprinkler heads near snow removal areas.
As you’re enjoying the last bits of summer, make sure that your home is prepared for the coming fall season. Preventative maintenance now will save money on expensive emergency repairs and wasted energy costs. Properly maintaining your home also enhances its value and appeal and is less effort than managing a crisis later. When the chilly weather approaches you and your home will be ready.
Safety Tips when using a Space Heater
Nothing can take the chill out of a cold room quite like a space heater, but they are also dangerous, 40-percent of home heating fires are caused by space heaters. Before purchasing a space heater, it is important to think about how you will be using it. Will it be used for supplemental heat in colder rooms or other areas, or will it be used for emergency heat? As a general rule of thumb, electric space heaters are typically safer than portable fuel-burning models (e.g. natural gas, propane, kerosene.) When choosing a unit try to find one that is listed or labeled by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as CSA (Canadian Standards Association), UL (Underwriters Laboratories), or ETL (Intertek). Doing this will ensure that the heater’s construction and performance meet voluntary safety standards. Continue reading for some tips for keeping your home or office safe while using a space heater. While some may seem obvious, others may surprise you:
- Protect with Smoke Alarms -Make sure you have smoke alarms/carbon monoxide on every floor of your home and they are tested them regularly.
- Keep it Level -Always make sure the space heater on a hard, level and non-flammablesurface
- Use a Timer - Many models feature programmable timers that can be used to program automatic on and off times for when you sleep or head to work.
- Area Free of Flammable Liquids- Do not put them on easily ignitable or combustible surfaces, such as rugs or carpets, or use them to dry wet clothing.
- Don't Extend the Power Line -Avoid using an extension cord. Plug a space heater directly into an outlet with enough capacity.
- Remember the 3 Feet Rule -Ensure the space heater is at least 3ft away from anything that isn’t non-flammable.
- Keep it a Kid Free Zone -Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- Clean Your Space Heater -Be sure to clean your space heater regularly, and follow your manufacturer’s guide for specific advice on maintenance and inspection.
- Don't Leave it Running -Never leave a space heater on when you leave.
Most space heaters will warm you up, but not all are created equal. The best space heater will included safety features like tip-over protection and UL certification. It should also be easy to move and operate, dispersing heat without wasting energy. Below is a great website you can use to find the best space heater for you and your needs.
If fire or water damage strikes your home or business, give us a call. We are on call 24 hours a day, 356 days a year. SERVPRO Professionals have been helping home and business owners for more than 45 years. ContactSERVPROof Lincoln at (402)466-4004 or SERVPROilncoln.com