What Are “Secondary Damages”?
What are secondary damages in Water Restoration?
Water damages that are left unmitigated quickly develop secondary damages. The most common secondary damage is mold growth. Mold growth can begin as soon as 3 days following a water loss. It’s extremely crucial for homeowners and business owners to get water damages properly mitigated as soon as they happen, because most insurance policies have zero mold coverage/secondary damages coverage.
Another secondary damage is dry rot. Dry rot is what happens when spores in the air combine with wood that is holding more than 20% moisture, so it’s most likely when the structural integrity of the wood is compromised due to prolonged exposure to water. Dry rot can affect the foundation of your home and present very expensive repairs.
Unmitigated water damage also can encourage rodent infestations. Many times, even in brand new buildings, one small supply line leak can cause mice to occupy the structure. Rodents follow water and will go where there is a steady supply. Rodents can also more easily chew through affected drywall and wood.
Corrosion is also a clear sign that a water damage has been going on longer than it should have. With metals like pipes and nails, if there is rust or corrosion buildup that is an indication that coverage may not be a guarantee on your insurance claim.
Bottom line, if your home or business suffers a water damage, it’s important that you take immediate action and call a restoration company like SERVPRO of Salem West to mitigate the damage and prevent further issues. It may be an expense to mitigate a water loss, but it’s far more affordable than paying for secondary damages!!
Fire and Heat...how they affect a structure.
Fire Damage alone is always difficult to remediate. But when you mix fire damage with extreme heat it can be impossible to bring the structure back to preloss condition. The hotter a structure gets, the more that will need replacement during the restoration process.
When heat reaches intense levels, it can permeate walls and surfaces rather than leaving a smoke/soot dusting on the surface. When heat causes soot and smoke to enter materials and bind with them…the materials become non-restorable.
So when a fire is small, but gives off a ton of smoke that affects the whole house, it will be easier to restore that house because the smaller the fire the less heat and adhesion.
When a fire gets large, heat starts to penetrate objects and materials, heat also can melt electrical and siding of homes as well as cause light fixtures, appliances, and engineered trim to distort and melt. Sometimes large fires don’t give off as much smoke, but due to the extremes of the heat they are just as detrimental to the integrity of the home.
Also, the source of the fire can cause how restorable the house may or may not be. For instance, a small fire that occurs due to a candle catching a newspaper is much less time consuming than a fire from cooking in the kitchen. Protein fires in the kitchen, while often confined to the stove, are extremely difficult to bring back to preloss condition. This is due to the oils that are often what started the fire. The residue that comes off of these fires is oily and difficult to remove from surfaces that it has affected.
So no matter the source of fire, or the size of fire, you can trust SERVPRO of Salem West to return your home to the sanctuary it once was again. With our knowledge and approach of restoring a fire affected home, you can expect the great results our customers have received for the past 20 years.
Consistency in the restoration industry is of utmost importance. People need to have a restoration that they can depend on to take care of their home or their business.
What also is one of the foundations of our company’s success is handling issues and concerns as they arise and making it right again. This is paramount for a company to survive and thrive in the modern-day business world.
Consistent and well performed services are something that our customers here at SERVPRO have grown accustomed to. That is one reason that SERVPRO of Salem West, and SERVPRO of Lincoln & Polk Counties, get so many repeat customers.
From our office personnel to our account managers, from our water restoration technicians to our project managers, we all understand the importance of seeing a job through and paying attention to details along the way. That way, if a problem pops up, we can handle it quicker and more efficiently.
What we do here at SERVPRO is really a science, and a key element for science experiments to be successful time and time again is consistency.
Consistency in the way we dry wood, as opposed to drywall. Consistency in how we go about cleaning a structure affected by a fire…cleaning top to bottom to prevent recontamination of the area.
So once again, consistency matters. It builds trust, builds perseverance, and sets the standard at the right place from the beginning of a job to the finished product.
Local & Nationwide Heroes
As a franchise, each SERVPRO branch feels like a small community. We all pull strength and knowledge from each other in order to excel at each job we take on. Each technician is trained and tested in-office before working within the field.
Proper Training helps to set an expectation and gain a knowledge of how restoration services are performed and what the result should look like. On the job training is also a big deal, reading and taking tests can be informative, but it is different to experience a loss firsthand. That is why our new technicians accompany a skilled and experienced project manager when they first start to go out on jobs.
Each of our technicians knows that we are coming into peoples homes and businesses that have recently suffered a loss, be it water, fire, mold or any other damage…they understand that they must treat each encounter with our customers in a professional and compassionate way.
It takes a certain kind of individual with a serving heart to be a part of the SERVPRO family. Our values and ethics are instilled in us from the moment in time we choose to be SERVPRO team members, and we know from day one that we are a part of the restoration industry that exemplifies the values and standards that shine time and time again.
SERVPRO is nationwide, and the training process for our technicians is the same throughout the corporation. It is up to each individual franchise, and each individual SERVPRO Team Member to practice and uphold those core values. SERVPRO also has a Storm Team, which is who we call when a loss is so substantial it falls outside of our local resources to mitigate and return to preloss condition.
Across America, local and nationwide SERVPRO Heroes are at the ready to serve and restore. Here at SERVPRO of Salem West, we hope you don’t experience a loss…but if you do we want you to feel comfortable reaching out to us to help you return your home or business to the space you love and feel proud of.
SERVPRO’s Work On Recent Wildfires
In the recent weeks every single restoration company in Oregon has been swamped, busy, overwhelmed, and stretched to maximum hours and employees.
At SERVPRO of Salem West, we are fortunate to have national resources to call in for back up when disasters strike and local resources aren’t enough to care for the magnitude of homes affected. We know when we have to turn our customer over to our Storm Team.
These wildfires, and the wind storm that accompanied it, were unprecedented. Many vendors try and help as many people as possible, it’s human nature to do so. But it takes integrity and experience to know when the right time is to step aside and hand a job off to someone who can take care of the customer quicker.
At SERVPRO of Salem West it’s been an honor to take on the Wildfire jobs we have, it’s been a long and hard process. But seeing the end result has been worth every minute spent.
SERVPRO of Salem West wants to reach out and say thank you to our customers.
You have been patient while we worked with your insurance to confirm approvals of our services, you have been patient also knowing that other customers were ahead of you on our schedule…and you waited…having already waited so much.
First, you waited and prayed for rain.
Then, you waited for roads to open back up to get to your house.
Then you called us and waited for our inspection.
You waited once more for us to begin services.
You waited at your in-laws house…
You waited at your brothers apartment…
You waited in a hotel room an hour away from your home with your kids and large dog…
You waited in an RV on your property, not wanting to leave your home…
You waited and knew that disasters like this do not have easy fixes.
You waited, and while you waited, you did as we all did…and continued to live each day.
I hope it helped know you could always call if you had any concerns or questions throughout this process.
Finally, after all your waiting…you got the word from us that you could go home.
You thanked us, and we thanked you for your patience.
That is about the best feeling in the world for us at SERVPRO of Salem West.
Hearing our customers tell us how happy and pleased they are to have a safe and clean home to come back to, and after an event like this it is a great source of pride.
Thank you customers, for allowing us to help you through this disaster.
We are proud to serve you!!
House Fires in American Homes
You may think that house fires increase in the winter months, and you’d be right, but only ever so slightly (about 1% more than warmer months). When house fires actually increase a noticeable amount its not during the colder months or because of the temperature outside, but during certain hours of any given day within the year.
What are the peak hours during the day that the most fires happen within American homes you may ask? The answer is from about 4:30pm-8:30pm. Why? Most of us are home by that time and should be able to catch a fire if it happens, right? But most fires caused between that 4 hour period, are caused by homeowners themselves…and they are caused, by cooking dinner.
Cooking fires make up almost 50% of all household fires. And while many homeowners catch the fires before they cause substantial damage, many can get out of control within minutes…seconds even.
We cook with highly flammable materials and substances. Butter, oil, and fatty substances can catch fire and create a toxic coat of soot within the area in minutes.
When you are cooking, never leave something unattended and keep a fire extinguisher handy and close by. Make sure you know how to operate the fire extinguisher as well. Seconds and minutes can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and a few hours of a smoky smelling house, and an entire home that needs fire restoration cleaning. If you have suffered a cooking fire, call SERVPRO of Salem West. We can help you return your space to it’s preloss condition.
What Is Water Damage?
Understanding water damage is something that is more scientific than you may think. When we think about objects and buildings, we don’t think of them containing water…but they do. Most materials we interact with every single day have a moisture content within them already. Even us as human beings are 60% water (H2O). You may think that the water in the human body is limited to the soft tissue, but it isn’t. Our bones even contain water, they are made up of 31% water. Water Damage can occur in the human body as well, over-hydration (water intoxication) can be detrimental to our health.
Now, when we think about our homes, what are they made out of? Wood.
The wood we use to build homes is made up of roughly 5%-25% of water. This number is affected by the density of wood, the age of the wood, the humidity in the air, and how long the wood has acclimated before being used/installed. Water damage occurs in wood, just like in the human body, if the wood absorbs more water than it’s natural resting water content.
What happens when wood absorbs too much water? The wood swells, it buckles, it rots, it begins to grow mold, it begins to lose it’s structural integrity. But, much like the human body, if water damage to the wood is addressed quickly and correctly, the wood can return to it’s natural state without long term effects.
Drying is one of the most important aspects of our job here at SERVPRO of Salem West. Our technicians are trained to monitor the moisture levels in affected materials and see that they are drying properly to their preloss condition. So if your home suffers a water damage, call SERVPRO of Salem West, we can get your house returned to its happy level of moisture content!
Mold Discovery In Commercial Properties
When mold is discovered in a commercial building, it’s paramount that the building owner has it remediated promptly. Known mold problems without remediation can lead to health effects, depreciation of property value, increased financial burden to remediate, and lawsuits against building owners from tenants.
The best thing you can do as a property owner/manager is maintain your commercial properties on a regular basis. This includes keeping a close eye on your tenants, seeing to it they know the proper procedures to keep the building moisture free, make sure they know that they need to report each water loss, leave fans on during and after bathes and showers, use a fan in the laundry area, report mold as soon as the first signs appear.
As a property manager, inspect your roof regularly, educate your tenants on caring for the building/residence, perform inspections as often as law allows, be proactive about addressing your tenants concerns. If your tenants feel comfortable reaching out to you to report problems, they will most likely report them as soon as they occur…and not wait.
Remediating mold can be costly, but not near as costly as ignoring the problem. If you or your tenants notice mold, try to figure out what is causing it first and get that fixed. If you can’t locate the problem, SERVPRO can help you figure it out. After the source of the mold has been fixed, SERVPRO of Salem West can get rid of the mold safely and efficiently.
Power Outages Preparedness
Power outages can be particularly inconvenient if you rely on the electric for your heat, cooling, and cooking needs. If you have multiple days straight of power not being available, hundreds of dollars worth of food/meat could go to waste as well. There are options and measures one can take to be prepared and more equipped to maintain your lifestyle during such an outage.
- Invest in a generator. Generators can be pricey and costly to run, but even if you only run them for a few hours a day, that’s enough to re-cool/freeze your fridge & freezer, take a warm shower, cook your meals, and cool or heat your home to a comfortable level. Generators are expensive, but for the particularly vulnerable to such power outages they could be worth the trade off.
- If a generator isn’t an option you wish you explore, you can always invest in a large cooler & a propane camp stove. A large cooler, with bags of ice changed out daily, can rescue the food you have in your fridge. A propane stove can still allow you to cook homemade meals. But as far as cooling you or house, heating your house, or taking showers or baths…those will not be alleviated with the cooler and propane option.
There are multiple things you can do right now to prepare for such an outage.
-Buy canned food, ready to eat!
-Buy extra gallons of fresh water
-Buy wet cleansing wipes for refreshing when showers aren’t an option
-Know where your cold weather clothes are kept/sleeping bag
-Invest in a solar charger, so you can continue to charge your phone and contact family
There are many other things you can do as well, these are just some ideas. If you know someone at risk (a senior citizen, someone with a health condition, someone with small children) check in on them during a power outage. Being prepared yourself, allows you to be better prepared to help others.
Wind Damage...Rare, But Costly
Here in the Pacific Northwest we don’t get much wind damage, but when we do, it can cause serious damages. Our coastal region is more prone to stronger winds, but our coastal region is also more prepared for strong winds…being that it’s normal out there.
The main cause for concern with high winds is power outages and fallen trees. We have all seen the men from the city in their bucket trucks trimming limbs back from power lines. Keeping tree limbs clear of power lines and falling dead trees as soon as they are noticed prevents disasters due to trees falling into homes and over power lines.
If you notice a large tree next to your house or a city power line, it’s best to inspect it regularly to insure it’s healthy. Also, you will want to trim it, or have it cut back if it starts to impede the path of the electric line. Strong winds can take down even healthy trees, so be diligent about the height of the tree and weigh the risks of letting it tower above your house.
Most windows are storm resistant now, but many older homes still have single, or double pane glass windows installed. Broken windows due to limbs and high winds are often due to older windows not being replaced when needed.
An old roof is also cause for concern when it comes to wind damage. If a roof is already rotting or falling apart in places it needs to be replaced before high winds make the likelihood of wind and water damages more costly and inconvenient.