SERVPRO Tips: Readiness In Case Of A Disaster
When disaster strikes, the last thing you want to think about is where the spare batteries are or whether your perishables have passed their expiration date. Make sure you're ready for any situation — and how to handle the aftermath — with these top tips.
1. Pack a "Go Bag"
If you have to leave your home in a hurry, you'll want to have some essentials packed and ready to go. Keep the following supplies, recommended by FEMA, in a portable container in the area of your house where you'll take shelter:
- Three days' worth of food and water (at least a gallon per family member)
- Battery powered (or hand crank) flashlights and radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Trash bags and duct tape, along with a dust mask
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Regional maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger
- Moist towelettes and any personal sanitation or specific family needs, like pet supplies
(For additional recommendations, be sure to check out ready.gov)
We also suggest having smaller versions of your kit stocked with a few necessities like walking shoes, snacks, and a flashlight at work. In general, you'll also need enough cash on hand for five days of basic needs (gas and food), but any amount of ready money will help if ATMs are down.
Once you have your supplies together, it pays to go through them at least once a year too, to weed out expired food and batteries.
2. Make an Action Plan
When things get chaotic, you want to make sure that every family member knows what to do. We suggest designating two meeting places (one close by and one a little further away in your neighborhood) and hang a map with the spots marked near your emergency kit.
It also pays to have important contacts written down if the power goes out and there's nowhere to charge your cell phone. Make a mini contact list — ready.gov has templates you can print out — with important numbers that everyone can stow in their wallets. Leave a copy in your emergency kit, too. Establish a plan for checking in with relatives in case local lines get jammed. Text messages will often go through, even when phone lines are clogged.
3. Prep Your Home
If the power goes out and you have time, unplug appliances and electronics and turn off air conditioners, whether you stay or go. This will prevent damage when the electricity surges back on. Leave one lamp on so you'll know when the power's back.
How you store food can also make a difference when it comes to salvaging items afterwards, according to the FSIS. If there's a chance of flooding, be sure to store dry goods in waterproof containers high enough that they will be safely out of the way of contaminated water.
Grouping food together in the freezer can help it stay colder longer in the case of a power outage. If you have advanced warning, freeze any items you don't need right away, like leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry to keep them at a safe temperature longer and stock your freezer with as much ice as you can fit. Coolers stocked with ice can also be helpful if the power is out for more than four hours.
Though you'll want to minimize the amount you open and close your refrigerator door once the power goes out, FSIS recommends keeping an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer to help you determine if food is safe to eat. The refrigerator temperature should be lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer temperature should be below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
After the Emergency
Coming home after a major disaster can be daunting. Call SERVPRO to help you in the event your home is affected. We are faster to any disaster and are ready to help make things "Like it never even happened."
Why SERVPRO? We bring you all the important info!
Do you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association, it is estimated that some 370,000 home fires occur each year, costing close to $7 billion in total property damage?
In many of these fires, however, the fire starts and is contained in a certain area of a home or business. Even though containment eliminates the necessity for complete demolition and reconstruction, it is still necessary for proper cleaning of soot and smoke. Smoke and soot have a way of getting into places that do not seem possible. Proper cleaning and deodorization are vital in order to restore your business or home to preloss conditions.
Fires are extremely dangerous, leaving you with nothing. Always remember to check your smoke alarms to make sure they are working properly. In business, you need to make sure you check all the outlets and make sure you do not have too much into one outlet.
There are so many different ways to avoid a fire, but so many ways that can go unnoticed by the average eye. Make sure you have a Fire Marshall check your commercial building often.
In the instance of any type of emergency in your business or home please call SERVPRO of Porter County! We are faster to any disaster and are here to make things "Like it never even happened."
We Have The Extensive Education And Training For Fire Damage Cleanup In Valparaiso
We removed charred materials and appliances and set up hydroxyl generators to neutralize the airborne particulates in this kitchen after a fire.
5 Reasons to Choose SERVPRO for Fire Damage Restoration in Valparaiso
Fire damage can occur in a home at any time in many ways, and the end result, even from a small scale fire loss is charred belongings, damaged structure, and smoke odors.
When choosing a restoration services company to mitigate fire damage in your Valparaiso property, there are a few points to consider.
Qualifications for Cleaning and Restoring Fire Loss
SERVPRO technicians undergo extensive education for cleaning up fire damage. They know cleanup is not a one-size-fits-all undertaking and fibers and surfaces require testing before cleaning, so they use the proper methods. Their training is through the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards in fire and water cleanup and restoration.
Locally Based SERVPRO is available 24/7 and arrives within an hour of your call for fire loss cleanup. Being members of the local community, they know the rules and regulations for the disposal of charred items. As residents, they know the unique things about this part of the state of Indiana.
The technicians have access to a diverse array of equipment for cleaning up fire damage. Air quality is a considerable concern, and the removal of odor-causing soot is a priority. They use techniques such as negative air chambers to inhibit the possibility of cross-contamination as well as machinery such as air scrubbers with HEPA filtration for the capture and removal of airborne particles.
Assistance Expediting Insurance Claims
SERVPRO technicians provide an itemized loss inventory to maximize the accuracy and expedite insurance claims for faster reimbursement. The report includes detailed descriptions and photographs of items, including before and after photos.
Odor Control in the Home
There are numerous types of scents left behind after a fire. Soot winds up driven into porous materials, carpet, furniture and even paint on the walls. The technicians know how to prep the property for rebuilding with controlled demolition for the removal of charred items, sealing walls when necessary for the application of fresh paint and neutralization of smoke odors in the home.
SERVPRO of Porter County at (219) 476-1883 is ready to assist the local community with the cleanup and restoration from fire damage and make it, "Like it never even happened."
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The Use of Air Movers Stops Water Damage from Spreading within a House in Valparaiso
SERVPRO can show you how to get your home back to normal after a Valparaiso water damage.
The convenience of a bathroom on every level of your Valparaiso home also means that disasters caused by water can happen in upstairs areas that might have otherwise never experienced problems. Many newly constructed homes house the water heater in the attic area or in another enclosed space overhead, as opposed in the basement.
When an upper-level bathroom's fixtures or pipes overflow or leak in a house in Valparaiso, water damage can spread downward quite rapidly. We use air movers and Injectidry systems to stop this from spreading after we arrive at your front door.
Forcing air into enclosed wall cavities and across their exteriors means that water continually evaporates. Because of this steady evaporation, water cannot spread deeper into materials or spread to currently dry areas. Seepage stops, and drying begins.
With overhead leaks, water can end up inside not only walls but also inside the ceiling of the downstairs rooms and hallways. We drain this trapped water and then again use an Injectidry system to remove the remaining moisture. Although we must drain small weep holes initially to drain the water, we often use an already-existing hole, often for the room's lighting fixture, to insert the flexible tubing for the Injectidry system.
In a hallway, an overhead fixture might not exist. Our Water Damage Restoration Technicians (WRTs) might use the area behind a smoke detector for this, or some other inconspicuous area. If our work leaves the area marred, our building services department can assist in restoring the area near completion of the job.
Another factor in restoring homes with water damage involves their HVAC and electrical systems. Ventilation ducts, once damp, can harbor microbial infestations, and this can lead to odors and unwanted health effects. Electrical wiring can short out when damp. Light switches might begin failing or working oddly. Our building services can help with these issues, also. Our Odor Control Technician works with customers closely to eliminate odors from water, fire, and other causes.
SERVPRO of Porter County trains our WRTs in how to use air movers and our other pieces of water damage restoration equipment and related tools helping your home's damage remain a temporary event with no long-lasting impact on your property. We answer our 24-hour services line, (219) 476-1883, every day of the year, helping ensure We're Faster To Any Size Disaster to all our customers across Portage, Chesterton, and Kouts.
To learn more about Valparaiso, click here.
The Real Truth Behind Fire Damage Remediation in Valparaiso
If fire damage affected your attic or other parts of your home, call team SERVPRO for remediation services.
Why SERVPRO Deodorizes Smoke Damage that Happened Inside an Attic in Valparaiso
Three aspects of your attic over your Valparaiso home can become the refuge of soot particles that continue plaguing your family with foul odors. Anything your family stored in this area of your home can become saturated in soot particles and slowly give off odors. We also must consider the soot affecting the wooden structure and exposed insulation.
When your property in Valparaiso sustains smoke damage in the attic or another enclosed space, stripping it of the soot makes deodorization of the rest of the house more complete. Soot particles and ash, as well as aerosolized oils and other liquids from the fire, can become airborne and travel through the HVAC system. We want to prevent this from happening, as it can affect the rest of your home.
We bring the items stored in the attic down and place them into a chamber where we can clean them. We might approach you about moving these items to our secure warehouse if we do not have sufficient space or the items seem highly damaged. Cleaning these and then placing the contents in new boxes eliminates any residue that might produce odor.
Attic insulation can retain large amounts of fire-related particles. When we determine this to have happened, our building services staff remove the damaged insulation. If soot deposits only cover the outer layer of the insulation, we can vacuum this away and leave the insulation intact. Once we finish the cleaning and other work required, we install new insulation.
The structure of a typical attic consists of exposed timbers and other wood pieces. This can include the floor, ceiling, walls, among other structures. Small doors might separate smaller sections of the attic, too. Unsealed wood quickly absorbs soot particles into the pores because these small molecules retain a lot of the heat from the fire. Once in, they often become wedged into place.
Sanding these items also removes the wood, so we only use this where charred wood occurs. Blasting with soda pellets is a non-toxic way that pulls embedded soot out of these pores. It also extracts soot from in between wooden pieces. However, it is gentle enough to be used on any painted surfaces, such as window frames and smaller doors.
SERVPRO of Porter County performs odor control after a fire by looking at all areas of the affected home. Our coverage area includes Chesterton and Porter, as well as Kouts and Burns Harbor. Call us at (219) 476-1883 for these and other services that help restore your property after a disaster.
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Do Not Panic Our Team Can Restore Your Flood Damaged Portage Home
If you don't take care of your gutters this can cause flooding in your home. Call the remediation specialists at SERVPRO today for help.
Professional Solutions for Late Summer Flood Damage in Portage
When the sticky, hot air common during the “dog days” of summer collides with a cold front hinting of fall, Portage can be deluged with torrential rain. Areas of the city struggle with stormwater runoff issues, with flash flooding threatening to invade the lower levels of homes in locations with poor drainage history. If your home is the unfortunate recipient of unwanted water because of overland flooding, we can help manage it safely and quickly.
Poorly Maintained Gutters and Downspouts Contribute to Flooding
If it has been some time since your roof drainage system has had attention, clogged gutters and disconnected drains could be making flood damage in Portage more intense. When the system does not guide roof runoff properly, excess water saturates the ground right next to your foundation and can seep inside. The water moves through cracks or even straight through the semi-porous materials like cinder blocks or concrete that form the walls of the foundation. Wet moves to dry, and if the extra water has nowhere else to go, it can force its way inside to flood your basement.
Flood Water Contains Contaminants
Professional mitigation and remediation follow a thorough professional assessment of all aspects of residential flood damage. Our managers and technicians complete comprehensive training developed by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) before working on your project. We master the techniques needed to pump and extract and then contain floodwaters. Our technicians expect that water is contaminated with road and landscaping chemicals, sewage, organic waste such as dead animals and vegetation, topsoil, and silt. Our team follows local regulations when disposing of contaminated fluids, for your health and welfare and also that of the community. We clean and disinfect all affected surfaces with EPA-registered products to inhibit mold and other pathogen growth.
Thorough Structural Drying Must Follow Flood Water Removal
Removing flood waters is just the first step to complete flood damage mitigation and remediation. We follow up with a drying plan designed to return the moisture levels of structural components to normal readings. We use air movers and heaters to facilitate the transfer of absorbed water to vapor. Then we use evaporative or desiccant dehumidifiers to capture the moisture for off-site disposal.
SERVPRO of Porter County is ready to respond if your home suffers flooding from late summer storms. Call (219) 476-1883 day or night, secure in the knowledge that We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.
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Is Mold Becoming a Fashion Accessory in Your Valparaiso Clothing Store After Flooding?
Water damages not only the structure of your store, but also the inventory. Call SERVPRO of Porter County for fast remediation.
Keeping Your Business Afloat after Commercial Flood Damage in Your Valparaiso Clothing Store
A flooding incident has the potential to drive you out of business or force you to start from scratch. It probably took you long to build a customer base and make all the customizations that make clients love your store. Watching as all that disappears in a moment and your customers seek services elsewhere is very disheartening. Help from a professional restoration team can keep your business afloat after commercial flood damage.
One thing an incident of commercial flood damage affecting your Valparaiso clothes store can create is uncertainty. Even when it is possible to save the store, knowing when normal operations can resume is hard. From site assessment and experience in handling similar situations, our SERVPRO technicians can help estimate the likely restoration timeline. This way, you can inform your customers when to expect the resumption of full services.
Removing all excess moisture from the premises fast should help save more items. In a clothes shop, the moisture not only affects the building materials but also the clothing items you have in your stock. Such damage can come from exposure to actual water or higher than usual levels humidity. In a moist or heavily humid environment, problems like mold can start developing in less than 48 hours affecting all items made from organic materials, including clothes. Our SERVPRO crews utilize advanced procedures, including making flood cuts and vent holes to remove water. We also have a range of specialized equipment to dry excess moisture, including:
- Injecti-dry Systems
- Desiccant Dehumidifiers
- Venting Box Fans
- Wall ventilating Systems
Restoring the shop to its preloss state is necessary. The process might involve rebuilding areas such as floors and parts of walls demolished when removing the floodwaters. Even in cases that do not involve any teardown, resetting contents moved during the flooding can be a tedious process. Our SERVPRO technicians help carry out these finishing steps quickly so that you can resume normal operations faster.
A flooding incident can push you out of business, but professional assistance can help you recover faster. Call SERVPRO of Porter County at (219) 476-1883 to help. We have the resources to deal with any incident "Like it never even happened."
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SERVPRO of Valparaiso Can Help Your DIY Water Removal Succeed
SERVPRO has the equipment to dry water damage thoroughly after a leak from your vanity sink.
Professional Water Damage Restoration or DIY?
While some water-leakage problems in your home may leave you in need of professional water removal services, not all of them do. Sometimes, with a little guidance, you can clean up the water by yourself and avoid the extra cost of calling professionals to your home. It all depends on the size of the leak, and if it has been allowed enough time to cause water damage.
If you had not found the overflowing sink in your bathroom right away, you would have found yourself in need local Valparaiso water removal services. However, because you found the overflowing sink as soon as the problem started, you were able to stop the flow of water immediately. When it comes to water leaks, fast action is what minimizes damages.
Most people would assume using some towels to clean up the puddle on your bathroom floor, along with a mop, would be sufficient enough job. However, here at SERVPRO, we recommend you take a few extra steps, to ensure that water damage doesn't become a possibility. The most important aspect of cleaning up a water spill is to ensure that no excess moisture remains behind and that you check underneath the sink-vanity as well.
To clean up the water, using a mixture of towels and a mop is adequate. However, if you happen to own a wet/dry vacuum, it can help you clean up the spill faster. Once the water is gone, SERVPRO recommends for you to consider putting a space heater inside of your bathroom. The heater can help encourage any excess moisture left behind to evaporate, helping you avoid any water damage. It is especially wise to place it near the vanity, to ensure that hot and dry air is hitting the underside. Otherwise, it may be hard to remove all of the moisture adequately.
When it comes to small water spills, it is always a possibility to remove the water yourself, so long as you do not wait too long. However, should you feel unsure about handling the water, or worried that you may not do the job well, you can always reach out for help and call SERVPRO. Remember, We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.
When you need professional water removal services, never wait. Get in touch with SERVPRO of Porter County by dialing (219) 476-1883. Whenever you need us, we are ready to help.
We Act Fast To Return You Valparaiso Home To Pre Fire Damage Conditions
A fire can happen in a kitchen in seconds and cause destruction to the whole house. We are available 24/7 to come to the rescue.
Residential Fire Damage For Valparaiso
With one of the Great Lakes and a couple of major cities close by, Valparaiso is a centrally located community great for raising families, enjoying water recreation, and more. Like any town its size, there are still issues to deal with like the house fires that plague residences everywhere.
Most Valparaiso fire damage is considered minor to medium thanks to good fire department response times, residential sprinklers, and having a fire extinguisher nearby. Because of this, much of what SERVPRO technicians do after a fire is cleaning off residues left by the smoke as it moved through the home. Unless the property is physically damaged, our teams can restore affected items using one of these methods.
Dry wiping takes care of most surfaces. Technicians use sponges, cloths, and even feather dusters to remove powdery residues left by a hot, quick-burning fire. It is very effective on light-to-moderate, non-greasy residues like from burned paper or wood.
Wet wiping then usually removes the thicker layers dry wiping cannot. SERVPRO technicians apply water or a mild cleaner to sponges and cloths to remove these moderate-to-heavy residues.
Spray and Wipe is needed to prevent color bleeding or fading fade in drapes and covered furniture after fire damage. Team members utilize spray bottles to use as little cleaning agent as possible.
Foam Cleaning uses even less detergent and water. Technicians use a pump-up or powered sprayer to create a foam and then work it into the affected item with a sponge or brush. The method is very effective on sofas and other upholstered items to prevent shrinking the fabric.
Abrasive Cleaning is our method for rough surfaces. Since surfaces such as rock and marble are not affected by most cleaners, technicians can use stronger chemicals with a thick-bristle or wire brush to remove every bit of the residues left by the fire.
Immersion Cleaning is the last effort possible for many items and is only appropriate for those not affected by soaking them completely. Technicians remove the item to our offices and place it in a holding tank filled with a cleaning agent. They next generate sound waves that force bubbles through or across the surface. The method is effective but costly and time-consuming.
Remediating fire damage and returning every home to its owners in its original or better condition is our goal here at SERVPRO of Porter County. To learn more about what our response teams can do for your home here or in Portage, Chesterton, and Kouts, call us today at (219) 476-1883. We are here for you.
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Valparaiso Property Owners Know SERVPRO Provides the Total Cleanup and Restoration Package
SERVPRO Teams Clean and Restore at Valparaiso Properties and at Our Facility with Advanced Equipment, Products, and a Smile
Why SERVPRO Makes Sense for Restoration Services in Valparaiso
For many decades, our SERVPRO of Porter County team has worked to provide every customer in our service area the same fast response and quality output regardless of the disaster or its severity. We have continued to grow, and now we offer a comprehensive, full-service approach to recovery and restoration services, including specialized niches like air duct cleaning and biohazard cleanup along with full-scale rebuilds and construction solutions. We can help you to get your property back to preloss conditions quickly.
Water damage in Valparaiso is a nearly constant threat for our home and business owners, and a situation that our professionals must remain prepared to face at all times. For this reason, many of our staff have accreditations with water restoration through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) so no customer ever has to wait for qualified and experienced professionals to reach their address.
In this niche of the restoration industry, our SERVPRO professionals are experienced and knowledgeable. Many of our management overseeing our technicians on water damage recoveries in Valparaiso homes have more than a decade of experience on their own – adding a level of depth and expertise to each job that we do. Along with being accredited through the IICRC as Water Restoration Technicians (WRT), many of our team members also pursue the added coursework of Applied Structural Drying (ASD) to become even more valuable assets when disasters strike.
For as widespread as water damage can become throughout Valparaiso homes and businesses, we have the tools, products, and equipment to help noticeably reduce its presence the same day that we arrive. From our inventory of extraction machines to our mighty air movers and dehumidifiers, we can quickly gain control on issues like saturation and standing water damaging your property.
When you are addressing fire damage in Valparaiso homes and businesses, it is essential to have a team of professionals that understand how quickly these situations can get out of control. From the spread of soot and smoke effects to the infiltration of harsh odors into materials and clothing in the house, our SERVPRO professionals have effective strategies, equipment, and products to overcome these damaging circumstances right away.
Our team has experience and continual education in employing the latest practices and approaches for fire loss recovery in Valparaiso homes. Not only do we arrive with advanced products like our HEPA vacuums, chemical sponges, cleaning products, but we also utilize the Esporta Wash System to help clean textiles and soft contents better than ever before. Also, we can address lingering odors in the house with multiple deodorization units for different scenarios and affected materials, such as:
• Thermal & UV Foggers
• Hydroxyl Generators
• Ozone Machines
We are a full-service contractor to help our customers through fire loss scenarios in their Valparaiso homes and businesses as well. We have a construction arm led by a senior manager with decades of experience, helping us to complete jobs quickly and up to our high standards. When emergencies occur in your property, we can also help you deal with the insurance company to get the approval process started as promptly as possible.
Much of our successes with our disaster relief team rely most heavily on our ability to manage storm damage to Valparaiso homes and businesses fast. The primary concern in these scenarios is the harm that has occurred to the outside of the structure, which could leave the property vulnerable to flooding and other harmful situations. We can offer a full-spectrum approach to restoration and mitigation in these circumstances, helping to both address breaches to the exterior of the house and to begin drying and cleaning out damages to the residence.
Our contracting division is led by one of our production managers with decades of experience, helping to provide the most effective and efficient approaches for your Valparaiso home. We can help to quickly address structural concerns temporarily with board up and tarping services to allow mitigation work like extraction and drying to begin. Once the storm even has passed, our team members can work on projects like tree removal and full-scale build back and reconstruction to make a structural compromise “Like it never even happened.”
We contend with many natural disasters in our area, including tornadoes, heavy snowfall, hailstorms, and other compromising situations. Flash floods and unnatural flooding that occurs from structural breaches in your Valparaiso property require a fast and confident response with extraction, drying, and cleaning equipment. Our SERVPRO professionals arrive with the full measure of our deep inventory of recovery machines and products to get your residence back to normal quickly.
While our entire team boasts decades in various facets of the restoration industry, many of these same managers holding multiple certifications from the IICRC, remediating mold damage in Valparaiso properties involves our most experienced and highly trained professionals. This division of our SERVPRO company gets led by a senior management professional boasting more than 20 years of experience in mold remediation.
Colonization can get out of control quickly, often spreading wildly out of sight in Valparaiso properties. We must work first to reduce the moisture feeding this organism by employing multiple drying tools like our air movers and dehumidifiers in key locations throughout the property. With moisture content readers, we can help to determine when relative humidity has dropped back below the established baseline, and it is safe to begin colony removal and recovery efforts for damaged construction materials.
Our team offers wrap-around support, walking you and your property through every phase of remediation, repair, and reconstruction your Valparaiso home needs when facing mold damage concerns.
We have been a prominent presence throughout the Greater Valparaiso area for decades, helping our friends and neighbors to overcome the worst of disasters that affect their properties. Our SERVPRO of Porter County team offers a comprehensive approach that can take your home or business through initial inspection, mitigation, restoration, reconstruction, and cleaning stages. Give us a call anytime disasters strike at (219) 476-1883.