Cleaning Your Personal Belongings After A Fire
After a recent fire, soot covered every surface in this home. Our SERVPRO Team cleaned each item by hand, restoring all of the belongings.
If having a fire happen in your home isn't detrimental enough, there is still the aftermath of cleanup that has to be addressed. Fires not only affect the home but also all of the items inside your home. Here at SERVPRO of South Columbus, we understand this process can be difficult and we are dedicated to making it go as smooth and painless as possible.
With fire comes soot and ash which in turn may engulf some or all of your personal belongings including sentimental items. We always go into each job with the mindset that we would rather restore than have you replace your beloved belongings. We have many different cleaning methods that we use to restore your most valuable of items. These methods include...
- Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
- Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
- Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that withstand wet cleaning.
- Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
- Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
- Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.
When special care is needed our SERVPRO Team will be there.
How Can I Reduce The Level Of Flood Damage In My Home?
Our SERVPRO technicians had to remove the furniture in this basement and take it back to our warehouse to be stored and cleaned.
For many Columbus residents, any storm-related flooding can be a traumatic event. While there are methods to prepare for flooding like reinforcing your roof or removing expensive furniture, there is little help in an emergency's immediate aftermath. Our SERVPRO technicians can help you overcome flooding by performing vital mitigation acts quickly after a storm event.
Flood mitigation in Columbus may include actions like removing standing water from the home, drying inner rooms, or temporarily storing possessions at our warehouse. Contacting a highly qualified restoration company immediately after discussing your coverages with your insurance carrier can go a long way to reducing the losses caused by a flood after the fact.
What preventative measures are useful for storm areas?
- Taking out a flood insurance policy
- Maintaining water disposal in the home such as basement sump pumps, gutters, and drainage
- Turning off water mains access ahead of time to avoid backups
Do floodwaters permanently damage furnishings?
Furnishings are frequently victims of flood damage for residents. We understand how many items may be difficult to replace in a home, so our dedicated SERVPRO technicians are expertly trained in contents restoration. Larger items like sofas may benefit from temporary removal to a dry area where they can be thoroughly dehumidified to remove any excess moisture. Our technicians can also apply an extensive range of cleaning products and techniques to return upholstery to its preloss condition. By pre-testing on discrete areas of the fabric, we can avoid lasting damages of color fade or spot.
What restoration is available for furnishings?
- Thorough drying of the affected furniture
- Special services for leather, satin, or other unique upholstery
- Buffering and mechanical cleaning of furniture fibers
An unexpected summer storm can lead to extensive damage to both your home and its contents. Contact our SERVPRO of South Columbus Team at (614) 863-1392 for assistance.
Summer Is Approaching With Possible Storm and Wind Damage
A tree blown over caused damage to a pole barn and truck.
With summer upon us thunderstorms can not only bring water damage to homes, it can also bring wind damage. Damage from severe thunderstorm winds account for half of all severe reports in the lower 48 states and is more common than damage from tornadoes.
Below are some steps to take if your home is damaged by wind.
- Call and report your damage to your insurance company.
- From a safe location, take pictures of any damage.
- Inventory any belongings that may have been destroyed or damaged, noting the brand, price, age, etc.
- If you have pictures of your home before the damage, include them with your insurance claim.
Preventing Further Damage:
- If you suspect possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
- Cover broken windows and doors with tarps, heavy plastic or plywood to prevent further damage. Save repair receipts for reimbursement.
Repairs and Cleanup:
- Don’t start permanent, major repairs or renovations until your property has been inspected by an insurance representative.
- If your roof needs to be replaced, hire a professional roofing contractor who is licensed and insured.
- Fallen trees or large branches also are best removed by a professional tree service. This service may be covered depending on your policy coverage.
If your home suffers wind damage, please contact SERVPRO of South Columbus 614-863-1392 for any board up, tarp up, tree removal, or roof replacement services.
First 48 Hours After a Flood
Don't wait! The first 48 hours are critical!!
Act fast. The sooner you clear the contents out of your basement during a water incident, the more likely you will be able to restore the condition to your items and possessions.
When a finished basement experiences significant water damage, such as a basement flooding or a water pipe burst, timing is everything. Where the sooner you begin the disaster recovery process, the more likely you will be able to restore the condition of your possessions and the finished basement environment.
The first 48 hours are considered the most important time period to react, as it is crucial to preventing further damage to the basement and the items within, as well as preventing a wide spread mold problem. Below are the first steps to take, preferably within these first 48 hours.
- Turn Off the Power. Never enter a flooded basement or touch the flood waters without cutting off the power.
- Call your insurance company. Policies differ. Most require special flood insurance to cover ground water leaks, but homeowner’s insurance may cover damage from indoor plumbing and hot water heater leaks.
- Get the water out as soon as possible. Call SERVPRO of South Columbus to extract any standing water. If there isn’t a lot of water, you might try to get it out yourself, with a “floor sucker” or a shop-vac.
Dry everything out as quickly as possible
To prevent items and building materials from becoming ruined, dry your basement as soon as the water is removed. Ideally, the basement should be completely dry within 48 hours. After that, the potential for mold growth increases considerably. A professional restoration company might help expedite this process. Alternatively, you can consider acquiring a powerful basement dehumidifier.
Common Causes of Water Damage in Commercial Buildings
The unexpected flood at this car dealership interrupted normal business operations but our SERVPRO Team saved the day!
Unexpected flooding in commercial buildings can happen very quickly, especially if there is no one on site to access the problem. What starts out as a small water leak can instantly turn into something larger, and cause significantly more damage than expected. If your commercial building isn’t in pristine condition, there is a much higher chance of water damage occurring. Here are some of the typical causes of water damage in a commercial building:
- Broken Pipes. Broken or cracked pipes are very common to occur in commercial buildings, especially as they age. When a pipe bursts, water rushes out of them, spraying throughout the whole building. A busted pipe can cause damage to the walls, ceilings, flooring, and any other contents you have occupying that space.
- Malfunctioning Sprinklers. It is a law that all commercial properties are equipped with an overhead sprinkler system. It works in conjunction with the fire alarm, and is activated when the fire alarm goes off. This causes water damage in two ways. First, if there is a fire in the building, the smoke will set off the fire alarms, activating the sprinklers causing water damage. And second, if the sprinkler system malfunctions and activates on its own, causing the water to cover the entire building.
- Backed Up Sewer Lines. Bathrooms are another common source of possible problems. Sewer lines can get backed up, releasing water into the building. This type of water damage is extremely dangerous because the water is filled hazardous waste and other contaminants.
- Damaged Appliances. Almost every office building has a kitchen or break room. Typically these rooms have a refrigerator or a dishwasher and when these appliances malfunction they can leak a significant amount of water, flooding entire room or more.
Steps to Take if You and Your Business are Victims of a Fire
Fires can happen quickly. Have a plan in place!
No matter the severity of damages, a fire is a chaotic occurrence for any business owner. In addition to loss, every hour spent restoring your business is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. Once the fire has ceased and the site has been cleared, follow these steps to promptly restore order, productivity and profitability of your business.
Account for Everyone Affected
The safety of your employees and patrons is of the most importance. Be sure all of your employees and guests are accounted for proceeding the incident. Check guest sign-in sheets or logs if you use them or surveillance cameras to ensure that everyone is accounted for. Once accounted for, retrieve contact information so that you are able to get in touch with anyone affected by the fire. This may also include board members, external partners and customers. Don’t leave your staff and business partners in the dark regarding the future of your company. Any activities or services that need to be postponed or suspended should be clearly communicated and announced. Communication is key to help keep your staff calm and alerted.
Contact your Insurance Company
Promptly contact your insurance agent to report the incident, damages and loss. The quicker you report the incident the quicker the rebuilding and reimbursement processes may begin. If you happen to rent or lease your space, don’t forget to contact your property owner or manager.
Once the fire has ceased and you’ve accounted for everyone who may have been affected, survey your property for damages and take photos. Avoid costly mistakes and easily fetch important facts and numbers by documenting and organizing all records. Maintain phone call logs to include times and reasons for each contact. Keep all receipts to document any expenses paid for during your business’s recovery period. Insurance companies will require proof of claimed losses, so have pertinent documentation (receipts, user manuals, credit card statements, photos, etc.) easily accessible.
Recover Critical Data Servers: hard drives and computers that hold data critical to the day-to-day operations of your business. If damaged, you run the risk of losing data as well as exposing employee and customer information. Depending on your exact case, take the necessary steps needed to recover any sensitive data.
Safeguard Your Property
Once the property has been cleared by professionals, collect and remove salvageable valuables, paperwork and data devices. As a business owner, you are responsible for mitigating damages. If the fire has caused significant damage to the structure of the building (exterior walls, doors, windows or the roof) safeguard the premises. Temporarily patch any holes, pitch tarps or make arrangements to have the building boarded up to prevent further damage, vandalism and leaks. Remember to keep all receipts of expenses for reimbursement.
Proceed With Caution
It will be tempting get your business up and running as quickly as possible following the incident, but it is important to be patient and not to rush into any repairs. Contact experienced professionals to assist in the assessment of damages as they will have the knowledge, technology and resources needed to restore your space promptly and properly.
While any disaster to your business, big or small, can be worrisome - know that you have access to the resources to restore your business. Of US based businesses, about 60% have been able to reopen their doors after a disastrous fire and many have gone on to achieve great success and profitability. Above all, it is important to be smart and remain hopeful.
Spring Showers Bring... FLOODING?!?!
Let SERVPRO of South Columbus take care of your residential and commercial flooding needs.
We have all heard the saying “April showers bring May flowers”. Large amounts of rainfall is not only common during this time of the year, at the beginning of spring but also in this region of the country. It has become something all of us Ohioans "put up" with in hopes of sunny, warm, and beautiful summer weather.
Unfortunately April showers not only bring May flowers, they bring rainy days. These rainy days often lead to flooded basements, sump pump overflows, and more water damage. Oh no! But have no fear SERVPRO of South Columbus is here to help 24 hours a day with any flooding disasters you may experience.
We have a team of trained professionals ready and waiting to help get your life back to normal. Call our SERVPRO team today at (614) 863-1392!
Causes And Signs Of Water Damage In Your Columbus Home
These homeowners knew they had water damage from the brown water spots on their ceiling.
SERVPRO of South Columbus knows that when you experience unexpected water damage it can be costly and set you back. It can occur at any time. Here are some examples of situations that can cause water damage in a home:
- Problems with the HVAC system.
- Cracks in the foundation or walls.
- Severe storms, floods and other extreme weather.
- Leaky or busted pipes.
- Malfunctioning dishwashers or washing machines.
- Roof damage, such as missing shingles or cracked flashing.
- Leaks from toilets, sinks, and showers.
- Drainage problems on your property.
Water damage is recognizable when it’s caused by a flood, but with other causes, it is sometimes hard to spot. If you are unsure of what to look for, it can be easy to miss until it becomes a major problem. Here are the usual signs of water damage in a home:
- Paint peeling from your walls
- Mold growth (which can look like dark discoloration) on any surface
- Warping of your floors.
- A strong musty smell.
- Sagging in parts of your walls or ceiling.
- Stains or discolored patches on walls or ceilings.
- Water pooling in your yard after a storm.
Who Should You Call After Experiencing Storm Damage
This home experienced water damage due to cracks in the roof which lead to water making its way inside the home.
Who Do You Call?
When a storm comes down quick and fast, it often finds the cracks in the roofs, or the storm floods a part of your home and remediation is often needed. Most homeowners do not think about who their remediation company might be if needed. Most people may never experience something like this and the idea of a contractor coming into your home is sheer terror. With all the nightmare stories that exist about contractors, it is no surprise!
We Will Put You At Ease
Here at SERVPRO of South Columbus, we want to put your anxiety about hiring someone to come and make repairs to your home. We are here to help you get your home put back together and walk you through the entire process. We want to make sure that you have the confidence when you hire us that we will get the job done efficiently and correct the first time. Things are going to happen, how we react to them and how we prepare for them is the difference.
Call our SERVPRO of South Columbus Team today at (614) 863-1392 for all of your storm damage needs. We are always here to help!
IICRC Certified Firm
Our SERVPRO Team is IICRC Certified!
SERVPRO of South Columbus is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) create the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of South Columbus
SERVPRO of South Columbus specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.