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 si 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.
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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”

Three Steps for Drying Out

Three Steps for Drying Out

There are many causes of water damage to homes and buildings, ranging from heavy rains, leaky roofs, broken pipes, failure hot water heaters, sewage back-ups and more.

The cause of the damage must be considered when drying out a home or building. If it is “fresh” water, such as a broken pipe or leaky roof, the drying process is a little simpler than a sewage back-up.

Small water damages that are concentrated to an area, such as under a kitchen sink, can quickly be cleaned up. Large water damages can take days to clean and dry out, often resulting in pesky odors that then must be dealt with. It’s that pesky odor that tells you not all is well, and more work needs to be done.

Remove, Clean, Dry

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces quickly means less microbial growth, which can lead to potentially dangerous mold. Some people are highly sensitive to mold spores, while others show no physical reaction at all. Don’t take the chance in learning the hard way how you might react to mold. Prevention is best.
To ensure the safety of your family, there are three basic steps:

  1. Remove the water/contamination: This means get the affected areas dry, and quickly.
  2. Clean the area: No matter the water source, a quality disinfectant should be used.
  3. Dry the area: Air movement is important. Directed air on damp areas aids in the evaporation process.

Remember, water damage can be potentially dangerous even after you think surfaces are dry. If it feels dry, it just might be… but it might not. Professional water damage removal pros have meters and devices to determine when surfaces are totally dry. And they have the products and equipment necessary to do the job right — items you can’t buy at your local grocery or hardware store.

Play it safe. Protect your family. Call your restoration pros at Regency DRT for any type of water damage to your home.

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?”

The Dangers of Soot

It doesn’t seem that dangerous. It’s just the byproduct of a fire… maybe from a chimney, a furnace puff-back, even an over-zealous gas grill. When the fire is out, you should be able to clean up the soot residue easily, right?

Not so fast! Soot has some characteristics that everyone should consider before attempting to clean. Those who perform fire
damage work understand the dangers of soot. So do emergency personnel like firemen. In fact, outdoor soot is regulated by the EPA, classified as a criteria pollutant.

Consider these facts about soot. Continue reading “The Dangers of Soot”

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? Continue reading “Sensitive to Mold and Other Allergens?”

How Dangerous is Mold in Your Home?

Everyone wants the safest, healthiest home environment for their families. You would do anything to protect your loved ones from exposure to any substance that could cause them harm.

One of those feared substances is “mold” and with what you have seen in the news in recent years, exposure to harmful or “toxic” mold has affected the health of countless people — folks just like you.

This brings up the all-important question: Just exactly how dangerous is mold in homes?

That’s a tricky question, because there are many types of mold and mold is virtually everywhere. There is probably a little bit in your basement right now. Your shoes when you came home yesterday no doubt brought in a few mold spores. Mold spores can be in breathable space and travel in the air.

When you step outside, you are surrounded by mold. There’s nothing you can do about that. The main concern is usually what’s in the home, not outside, although if you are sensitive to mold you should avoid all damp areas that could promote mold growth, inside and out.

Some people are affected by even the smallest amounts of mold. They may have nasal issues, watery eyes, coughing and other physical reactions. A smaller segment of the population are very sensitive to exposure to mold, having severe reactions that can be life threatening. Others aren’t affected at all, and can be around and/or exposure to all types of molds with no apparent sensitivities.

The CDC has plenty of information for those concerned with mold in homes. One of the issues they raise is keeping moisture out of homes. “Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding,” according to the CDC government website.

The issue is twofold if mold is growing in your home. You must clean it up or have it cleaned up, and you must fix the moisture problem. You can do your research on how to fix the problem, but the best solution is, no doubt, getting expert advice from your professional water damage restoration contractor or mold removal or remediation company. Keep your family safe. Call the experts.

Water, Water Everywhere!

DID YOU KNOW that water is the most essential element of life? That’s right. We all need water. We need it to bathe, to drink, to water plants and the grass, and even to enjoy recreationally, such as in a swimming pool.

But are there times when you may wish water was scarce? Yes, such as when some water ends up where it shouldn’t be, like on your valuable wood floor.

When that happens, you must clean it up quickly. If you don’t, permanent damage can occur. Continue reading “Water, Water Everywhere!”

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!

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? Continue reading “Fire Prevention Safety Tips”