What Should You Do If You’re Struck By a Flood?

You might not want to think about it, but if you are in a location at risk of flood damage – you need to be prepared! Luckily it is possible to call Fireservice Disaster Kleenup to come out and restore your property to its former glory if you’re struck by a flood. But it is important to be prepared to act quickly so that you remain safe despite the hazardous conditions.

In today’s post we will look through the most important things for you to do if you’re struck by a flood.

#1 Prepare!

Obviously, this comes before the flood strikes. But a well known saying is “prevention is better than cure” and that is Struck By a Flood
certainly the case when it comes to a flood. If you are in an area which there is a possibility of flooding you must ensure that you have insurance to cover you in the case of floods.

Make sure that you are up to date with all flooding forecast in your area so that you can move important documents to higher ground and safeguard any electrical equipment if a flood is forecast. If you are in an area which suffers from regular flooding then you will want to be prepared by storing all important documents on higher ground in case you’re struck by a flood.

#2 Stay Safe!

Make sure you heed any warnings from the authorities and evacuate when you are told to do so if you’re struck by a flood. What Should You Do If You're Struck By a FloodIf you do not listen to these warnings you may put you and your family in danger. Always follow the route specified by officials and never take a shortcut. If you have time, leave a note informing people when you left and where you have gone.

Never, ever cross a flooded area. Flood water is very fast moving and if you are on foot it may sweep you away. If you are
in a car you may be swept away by the fast water or your car may get stuck if you attempt to drive through flood waters. Flood water is dangerous, keep away from it!

#3 Going Back Home

Only re-enter your home when the authorities tell you it is safe for you to do so. Get in touch with your insurance as quickly as possible – even during big disasters, most insurance companies have time limits on claims. Get in touch with a clean up service like Fireservice Disaster Kleenup to assess the damage to your home and to start the process of restoring your home.

Conclusion

If you’re struck by a flood, you will often be unaware of what you should do. You need to be prepared and you must take all advice given to you by the authorities in order to keep you safe. Remember to put people before property and, even if there may be damage to your possessions, you need to get out quickly when floods strike. Keep in mind that property damage can be fixed much easier than injuries sustained by people during floods.

Once you are back in your home, get in touch with your insurance as quickly as possible. Once you have done this you can start to arrange for everything to be fixed up by a clean up team.

Images:  Keith Edkins

How Many Gallons of Water Does An A/C Unit Generate Daily?

Being so warm outside here in SW Florida all year long, our air conditioning units are working extra hard to keep our indoor temperatures cool and comfortable. Did you realize that your AC Unit can cause water damage and leaks if not properly maintained?

ac-air-conditioning-handler-leak-drain-wet-water-damage-fixWhen working at peak efficiency, an air conditioning system can collect over 30 gallons of water daily. Ideally, this water drains off of the condensation coil into a collection pan and then is disposed of automatically out of your drain line. But if the drain lines becomes clogged and the unit produces more water than it can easily handle, the overflow of water can lead to damaged floors and carpeting in addition to creating unhealthy deposits of mold.

Fireservice Disaster Kleenup sees that a clogged drain line is often the major source of creating water damage, but other causes include excessive condensation that occurs when the unit is running round the clock in addition to evaporator coils that may freeze up and then defrost on a regular basis.

Because most of the units are typically hidden from view, unless regular inspections take place, water damage can be occurring on a daily basis and accumulating into hundreds of dollars worth of damage.

The best ways to avoid air conditioner water damage is to change the HVAC air filter at least once a month.

This also gives you the opportunity to see whether or not there is excessive moisture collecting on the condensation line or drain pan. A nice clean air filter helps prevent the unit from overworking a situation that causes freezing and then defrosting on the evaporator coils, leading to water damage. An Air conditioning contractor once told me an AC unit running with a dirty filter is like a person running with a cloth covering their mouth and not allowing enough air flow.

It’s also important to regularly check to see that water is indeed flowing from the opening of the condensation line directly as it was designed to do, especially during periods of very high humidity. You can normally find this drainage line outside of your house near the AC Unit.

It’s a good idea to get a professional air conditioning repair service to clean the condensation line at least once a year or every six months if the AC system is used on a year-round basis. The repair technician may recommend installing a device known as a safety float switch which will automatically shut down the power to an AC unit whenever condensation builds up and there is a danger of water overflow.

Fireservice Disaster Kleenup is called out to clean up the water and mold caused by the air conditioner hundreds of times a year in Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Marco Island, Port Charlotte and surrounding areas and more common at this time of year than any other. Your AC has been working extra hard the last few months.

 

Jamey Nassef
Business Development

Fireservice Disaster Kleenup
2241 Trade Center Way

Naples, FL 34109
Office 239-261-1422
Mobile 239-823-7278
Fax 239-936-5420

jnassef@fireserviceusa.com
www.fireserviceusa.com

Emergencies don’t wait until morning. Neither do we. 24-Hour first response for water, fire, flood, and storm damage

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tony Greene, our After Hours Emergency Service Manager. Tony is one of four team members who personally answer the phone calls that come into Fireservice Disaster Kleeenup after business hours.

After that phone call, Tony immediately coordinates a team of technicians to get out to the loss. Whether it is a fire, flood or biohazard- he knows who to get to the job.

You might say that Tony is always geared up for his position. He lives in a state of constant readiness for when the next emergency call comes into Fireservice Disaster Kleenup. Our clients are the ones who really get the benefit though; Tony is quick to the loss site and shows up equipped to assist.

He’s known for bringing an optimistic attitude to each disaster and getting right to work. He understands that each job is someone’s misfortune.

“What is most satisfying to me working here at Fireservice Disaster Kleenup is being able to help people out in emergency situations. Our customers are often panicked and reassuring them that this is what I do day to day allows them to relax a bit,” says Tony.

Tony is an IICRC certified Water Damage Restoration Technician and has worked in the restoration business for 12 years. He is also an experienced thermographer, recording moisture readings with a thermal imaging camera and a moisture meter. This ensures the structure of a water loss is dried properly and most important-efficiently.

When he’s not mitigating an emergency, he loves to spend time with his beautiful wife of 10 years and his children. Tony’s daughter is 4 years old and is an aspiring dancer and his son is 6 years old and working on his future career in baseball. Tony enjoys fishing and golfing when he can find the time.

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Chuilin Lo
Customer Advocate

Fireservice Disaster Kleenup
P.O. Box 6986
Fort Myers, FL 33911
Office 239-936-1033
Mobile 239-823-7677
Fax 239-936-5420

clo@fireserviceusa.com
www.fireserviceusa.com

Fire Alarm Code Change

In an effort to reduce residential fire fatalities and damage, new smoke alarm regulations will go into effect Jan. 1 for Florida families whose homes have battery-powered smoke alarms.

As outlined in the Florida Building Code, starting in 2015 homeowners must install 10-year, sealed-battery smoke alarms when replacing outdated or non-working alarms or installing new ones.

In Florida, 114 residential fire deaths were reported by U.S. news media between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2014. Of those incidents, 43 percent of the homes did not have alarms or working smoke alarms. Missing or disconnected batteries are a main reason smoke alarms fail to operate in residential fires.

A recent survey conducted ranked late-night low-battery chirps as the top smoke alarm annoyance, with 40 percent of respondents opting to either disconnect the alarm or wait a day or more to replace the battery.

A long-life battery sealed inside an alarm makes it virtually tamper-proof and reduces the risk associated with disabling the alarm. In addition millions of dollars in damage, cleanup, and restoration repairs would have been minimized.

“Millions of Florida homes use battery-operated smoke alarms, and we can’t emphasize enough the importance of upgrading these to help ensure families have working alarms in case of a home fire,” said Jon Pasqualone, executive director, Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association.

“By sealing the battery inside the alarm, the unit becomes tamper-resistant and removes the burden from consumers to remember to change batteries, which will save lives.”

Also in the code changes for 2015, homeowners updating one and two family dwellings and town homes may now use 10-year sealed-battery smoke alarms instead of retrofitting the dwelling with hard-wired models, saving the owner time and money.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years, yet industry data from found that nearly a quarter of U.S. homeowners with homes built before 2000 have outdated alarms.

A recent survey by ORC International also found that nearly five times as many Americans knew the shelf life of a Twinkie™ snack cake than the operating life of a smoke alarm. In the survey, 44 percent of respondents correctly identified 45 days as the shelf life of a Twinkie, while only 9 percent correctly noted 10 years as a smoke alarm’s operating life.

Someone dies in a U.S. home fire every three hours, and most of those deaths occur in homes without a smoke alarm or with one that isn’t working.

Long-life sealed battery alarms provide continuous protection for a decade and are recommended by national fire experts, including the National Association of State Fire Marshals.

Ten-year sealed-battery smoke alarms are available at Home Depot & Lowes in Ft. Myers & Naples or online and cost between $25 and $50. Consumers save up to $40 in battery costs over the life of one alarm.

In addition, the alarms contain location-based features, such as an LED light for the hallway model. After 10 years, they will indicate it is time for replacement.

Contact me to learn more

Mike Joyce
Customer Advocate
Fireservice Disaster Kleenup
Mobile 239-823-5049

mjoyce@fireserviceusa.com

Shop-Vac vs. Restoration Contractor

What’s the difference between buying a Shop-Vac and hiring a restoration contractor like Fireservice?

It’s a fair question. A savvy homeowner would leave it to professionals to repair smoke and fire damage, but water seems so much simpler and benign. One could swing by any home improvement store in the Naples-Ft. Myers area, invest in a wet/dry vacuum, and attempt a DIY water mitigation. After all, how much water will a little bit of carpet hold? The answer is surprising. Depending on the material type, nine square feet of carpet and pad can hold up to two full gallons of water.

Consider this example: a pipe bursts and the water saturates the carpet of a 10’ by 10’ guest bedroom. The 100 square feet of carpet and pad of the small bedroom will contain over 22 gallons of water. This is just one room. And this is all assuming the water is shut off at the point of saturation, which means additional standing water isn’t accounted for!

Suppose a homeowner decides the inconvenience is worth the money saved and proceeds with a homespun water cleanup. Once the last few ounces of water have been drawn out of the carpet fibers, the DIYer may deem the job complete, providing the opportunity for structural damage and mold growth. Alternatively, they could leave a fan running, thinking it’s enough to settle the matter.

On the other hand, a qualified moisture analyst can use thermal imaging to determine precisely where a structure has been affected. Drying these affected areas is a two-part process. The structure needs the proper amount of airflow (which common household fans can’t provide), and it needs dehumidification as governed by the principles of psychrometry. Even with state-of-the-art commercial drying equipment, periodically re-adjusted and monitored by trained technicians, this process takes days.

Given all this, it’s clear that water damage needs attention from a restoration company just as much as any other disaster–and the wet/dry vacuum is best kept for small spills in the garage.

Chuilin Lo
Customer Advocate

Fireservice Disaster Kleenup
Office 239-936-1033
Mobile 239-823-7677
clo@fireserviceusa.com