Protecting Important Documents

 

It’s natural. It’s human nature. You don’t really think about this very often.

What are we talking about? Water, fire and smoke damage.

When you do think about what may happen to your home, and then take action to prepare, what you do is usually minor and easy to do… such as turning off your outside water supply when winter approaches and testing smoke alarms and replacing fire extinguishers on a regular basis.

Yet there is one very important action you should take right now in preparation for the unthinkable. That’s right, protecting your important documents, such as your birth certificates, marriage license, financial papers, insurance policies and social security cards. 

Most homeowners keep all their important papers and documents in what they consider a safe place, such as in an organized folder in a home office or secure location where they know exactly where everything is. Unfortunately, that’s not really very safe when there is flooding or fire and
smoke. Others might utilize a water and fire proof safe, which is a great idea.

Yet there is something additional you can do to 100% guarantee your important documents are safe no matter what happens.

Scan them and put them on the “cloud.”

You may already do this, and if so, congratulations. No matter what happens to your home, your documents are safe and can be accessed from any device connected to the internet.

But if you don’t, get a cloud-based storage account that has plenty of storage space for your needs and start scanning those documents. Keep them organized in online folders, and make sure those in your family who should have access to them have username and passwords they can use in an emergency. You should still keep the originals as safe as you can, of course.

And when the unthinkable happens, when you do have a fire, flood or mold damage, don’t forget there is professional assistance for you: Call your disaster restoration pro for help.

(more…)

Detergents, Soaps and More (What’s the Difference?)

Detergents, Soaps and More

When it comes to your home, you usually have two prime, important goals in mind: Keep your home clean and keep your home healthy. Family is important to you.

To do that, it takes a lot of thought. Not about your cleaning technique… but about the products you choose to do the cleaning.

When you wander the cleaning supply aisle at your favorite department or big-box store, the options are endless. The list of ingredients is long and the descriptive words are confusing. While a scientist working in a laboratory knows what those ingredients are, it’s not your fault that they mystify you.

What do you really need to know? The basics. Here they are. Continue reading “Detergents, Soaps and More (What’s the Difference?)”

Sensitive to Mold and Other Allergens?

DID YOU KNOW that even the healthiest of individuals can still feel negative effects in the presence of some common things around the house?

It’s not something that necessarily has to start growing in the basement of your house after a flood. It’s something that can “just happen” and it’s not good news. But it can be easily fixed.

First of all, what are we talking about?

(more…)

Safe or Not Safe?

Have you ever walked or drove down a road and came across a sign that declared, “Floodplain Zone!”

If it was near your home, you might have panicked. But if it was somewhere far from your home, you felt safe.
A floodplain can be dangerous because any home in or near one is subject to flooding. If you have a basement, you have more to worry about.

But did you know that even if you live outside a floodplain, there are flooding issues that you must be aware of? Continue reading “Safe or Not Safe?”

Fire Prevention Safety Tips

While a water damage occurring in your home from a rain or windstorm, a broken pipe or perhaps an overflowing sink or toilet is a terrible event to experience, virtually nothing is as devastating as a fire. And while statistics indicate a downward trend in house fires, mainly because of better, modern safety protocols, it is still a huge issue that must be addressed. For example, in 2013 there were more than 1,200,000 home fires, nearly 3,500 deaths and 16,000 injuries reported by the National Fire Protection Association. More than half of home fires start in one of your favorite places: The kitchen. That’s right. Cooking is an everyday occurrence and it is the number one cause of fires. Usually on the stove. Other causes include candles, Christmas trees, overburdened electrical cords/outlets, appliance malfunctions and cigarettes or cigars, to name just a few. What can you do to make things safe in your home and protect your family?
(more…)

Leaks Happen – Be Ready!

You know the normal sounds your home makes.

The air conditioner kicking on as the dog days of summer begin. The heating system starting up on a cold, winter evening. The creak of a loose floorboard as someone rises early in the morning.

What you don’t normally hear — and you do not want to hear — are the sounds of spraying water from a broken pipe or hose, or a malfunctioning hot water tank or water filter system. Even worse is when this happens when you are nowater-leakst home and upon arrival you wade through inches of water on the floor, or duck from the dripping water from an upstairs leak.

When water damage occurs (and statistics say water damage claims are among the highest with
insurance companies) you need to act quickly. The #1 concern is to think “safety first.” Before entering into any areas of the home that are damage from flood waters, be sure that the power is turned off. Nothing is worth getting an electrical shock!

Next, find the water turn-off valve and stop the flooding. Many homeowners aren’t sure where the water turn-off valve is located. Now is the time to figure that out, and even put a tag on it so it is easy to find, especially in the dark or in the beam of a flashlight. Don’t delay… find that valve and mark it!

It’s always best to be prepared. Contact your water damage restoration contractor and get the info you need to be safe… just in case.

Keep Mold at Bay: Take Away its Food

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes how water damage situations (such as from a flood, leaky or broken pipe, sewage backup, etc) can be potentially hazardous… not just initially, but over time as well.

Why? Because of the potential of mold and how it affects human health. Exposure to damp and moldy environments and materials can be especially harmful to those sensitive to irritants common to mold contamination. Some find that even being outside near plant life in the process of decomposition is a problem. Mold and mildew can run rampant under certain conditions, causing allergic reactions.

So when a water damage does happen in your home, don’t take chances. Mold needs moisture. It needs to be fed. It will grow on organic materials that are wet. If you take away its “food” you inhibit the ability of mold to grow.

Important reminders

Remember that mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, anywhere there is a leak. This can be around windows, behind walls where water has intruded, from leaky roofs, and especially from leaky pipes – especially those that are leaking and you didn’t knptp_info_moldow about it!

Many homeowners are tempted to clean up water that comes into their home, such as when a sump pump might fail or when a toilet might overflow. Good intentions for sure. But if you don’t get it really dry, really fast, there can be problems.

Here’s a scary thought: Some professional water damage experts won’t even do a water removal job if they can’t get to it within 24 hours. They know mold could have started to grow and that means more work than simply extracting water and drying the home could be required.

You don’t want all that headache. When any water intrudes into your home, remember it’s more than water. It’s breeding ground for mold. Do what’s best. Call your water damage pro!

Closet Cleaning & Organizing

Although traditionally a spring cleaning chore, cleaning and organizing a closet can be done any time of year. And no, keeping the door shut isn’t the best solution to a messy, disorganized closet, although it may give you moments of sanity that quickly disappear when you venture inside for that favorite pair of pants you haven’t seen in months. Here are a few quick tips on cleaning and organizing your closet.
(more…)

Avoiding Wood Deck Woes

Avoiding Wood Deck Woes

Wood decks can be beautiful things, add value and enjoyment to your home. Unless they are ignored or neglected, of course.

Like any surface in your home, a wood deck needs some special care. While a lower-cost alternative to pavers, concrete and other hard surface materials, wood decks are very attractive, especially if you chose a color tone that matches your home and is one you enjoy.

But after a year or two, aging happens and dirt and grime accumulates. Stains as well. You start to wonder what you can do to bring back to life the deck you admired so much. Continue reading “Avoiding Wood Deck Woes”

Water Damaged Electronics

It’s a terrible sinking feeling (pun intended) you get when you drop your iPhone, iPad or Android — or other expensive hand-held electronic device — into water, such as a sink, bathtub or (gross) toilet.

When that happens, you respond quickly. You dip your hand into the offending reservoir, grab the device and shake it vigorously, hoping against all odds that you can force all moisture out before permanent damage occurs.

You may even dunk your device into a bag of rice, hoping that online tip you read about rice pulling moisture from electronic devices is true. You may submit it mercilessly to the business end of a hairdryer until it is too hot to hold.

What’s the best thing to do when electronic devices suffer from water damage? Continue reading “Water Damaged Electronics”