Protecting Your Home During Fire Season and All Year Long
It’s been an active fire season in Arizona and across the country. While temperatures are starting to cool, there are still fire risks that homeowners should be aware of to keep their property safe. Recent rains have caused properties all around the Valley to experience a lot more over-growth this year. When the sweltering heat dried all those shrubs up, overgrowth can leave your Phoenix home or business property at risk. Here are a few ways you can protect your property from fire.
Eliminate brush and overgrowth from your property
Dead bushes, broken branches, dried weeds, leaves, and other dead plants serve as kindling and can quickly ignite under the right circumstances like an errant cigarette or other flammable objects. Eliminating them is the first thing you'll want to do to make your property safer. It is recommended that you create at least a five-foot barrier around the property that is free of any fire dangers like flammable items. Use rocks instead of grass or keep your grass short and healthy. Even healthy plants can dry up quickly under the right circumstances like a broken drip system that goes undetected until the plant expires. Play it safe and keep the brush clear.
Store firewood away from your home
Keep firewood and other lumber away from your house. As we get into the colder season, it’s tempting to stock up on firewood for cool outdoor firepits; it's best to keep the wood in a fire-resistant box or at least cover it with a tarp, keeping it a safe distance from the property at all times. Never pile up wood right up against your house; you’re just adding potential kindling to the fire! Fire remediation specialists often see this as a contributing factor to fire starting or spreading in a home. Keep it away and stay safe.
Keep your rain gutters clean
When gutters aren't cleaned regularly, they fill up with dead leaves and other potentially flammable materials which will easily spark, especially during the hot days or from a random spark from that outdoor firepit. Cleaning them regularly keeps them clean of any potentially flammable debris. Make it a habit to regularly check your rain gutters to ensure there’s no blockage or debris.
Check smoke detectors frequently
Smoke detectors are one of your home’s last lines of defense should a fire occur. Be sure to check the batteries and test the smoke detectors regularly. New smoke detectors on the market can even alert you on your phone to any fire dangers putting your property at risk so that you can take necessary precautions. A small fire or a smoldering item in your home can be prevented from turning into a full-fledged fire with fast action. Smoke detectors are critical to keeping your home safe.
The weather in Arizona has been more than a little unpredictable this year. While sizzling hot weather and monsoon lighting appear to be gone, don’t stop being diligent about fire safety in and around your home. Should you experience a fire, contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix 24/7 at 602-386-4268. We’ll work with you to restore your home before the fire happened.
Storm Damage Continues Even After Monsoon Season Passes
Monsoon season is officially over, but someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. Several days into October have seen storms, from light sprinkles to torrential downpours. If the rainy season in Arizona is new to you, then here are a few things you should understand about monsoons and the damage they can cause.
Flash flooding happens... a lot
One frequent item you’ll see on the news during the rainy season is how cars get stuck in flash floods. What most people are surprised about is how this can happen within city limits, not just remote backroads that are prone to flooding. Neighborhoods all over Phoenix experience flash flooding from storms every year. Flash flooding can cause anywhere from a small amount of damage to your property to substantial damage requiring remediation. Because of Phoenix's unique geographic location, it is vulnerable to the leftovers of tropical storms, which originate from the Pacific ocean and make their way to our state. Just because we don’t have beachfront property in Arizona doesn’t mean we don’t experience storms coming in off the ocean. The water from these storms can be torrential, which can lead to flash floods. Make sure your home has proper drainage so excess water doesn’t permeate your home. Flash flooding is just one of the many ways that these storms can impact your home and cause damage.
High winds can damage homes
Storm damage can be exceptionally damaging to your home, regardless of whether it’s old or new. High winds and flying debris can break a window and allow the water to enter. It can rip off rain gutters, loosen roof tiles and permeate into your home. It can uproot trees that can fall on your home, vehicle, or wall. As the winds from the storm recede and some of the water goes with it, the damage may continue. With high winds and water, undetected and unaddressed water can result in mold growing within moist walls and attics, so be sure to inspect the damage thoroughly from the wind as well as the water that may have entered your home and call for professional help if you find any damage.
Floodwaters and the aftermath
Floodwaters are not always clean; in fact, they can often come teaming with chemicals, pesticides, petroleum products, and sewage depending on where they came from. When the water becomes mixed with such things, disposing of it is not a job for a layperson. When black water or otherwise compromised water floods your home, it is best to call SERVPRO because we have the proper equipment and tools to deal with the problem. If left unaddressed, flood water can ruin furnishings in your house. It is essential to understand and know what possessions and materials are safe to keep and dry out inside of your home and what needs to be discarded. SERVPRO can sort through your belongings and advise you on what you can and what you should not keep. We even offer a document drying service should you need it.
New residents of AZ are often taken by surprise by the amount of damage caused by monsoons and other seasonal storms. If storm damage impacts your Phoenix home, call SERVPRO of Central Phoenix so that we can assist you with the damage and get your house back to normal. Call us today (602) 386-4268.
Older Phoenix Homes May Be at Risk for Water Damage
If you relocated to Phoenix from colder climates, you may have thought that the risk of broken pipes in your home was left behind when you moved to Arizona since freezing is no longer an issue in hotter weather. While damaged pipes from freezing might not affect Phoenix homes, the area is still susceptible to water pipe breaks, especially if you live in an older home. Many areas in Phoenix have older, historic homes, and with those homes come older water pipes. Though a water pipe break can occur in a home of any age, older homes can be exceptionally susceptible. Learn more about what to do if your older home experiences a pipe break and how water remediation professionals can help.
Why older homes carry more risk of water damage
There are plenty of Phoenix homes that become susceptible to water damage from events like broken pipes, and a bad enough break could cause a fair amount of damage. For many houses, the indoor plumbing is sufficient to handle this added pressure, but with older or improperly installed plumbing, this could quickly lead to a water emergency for your home. Houses built between the years 1978 and 1995 often used plastic resin called polybutylene to manufacture piping systems. Unfortunately, polybutylene proved unable to handle the oxidants commonly found in water supplies, which led to weak or failing pipes. If your older home has this kind of pipes, there is an increased risk of leaks and breakage.
What to do if your home experiences water damage from broken pipes
SERVPRO technicians have experience in various water damage situations and have the tools and expertise to clean up the mess for you and return your home to preloss condition. The process starts with eliminating the root of the problem, which means initially cutting the supply of water into your home via the primary service line valve. Depending on the severity of the damage that is visible when entering your home, SERVPRO professionals get to work extracting water and addressing the damage. Technicians will also ensure water is completely removed to discourage the growth of mold or unpleasant odors caused by residual dampness. Depending on where the break occurred, you may have damage to carpets or drywall that may need to be repaired; SERVPRO can help with that as well.
Many people are not aware of the condition or strength of their indoor plumbing in their older home until it fails. If you have a water emergency due to older pipes leaking or breaking, do not hesitate to call our experienced team of professionals at SERVPRO of Central Phoenix. You can reach us 24/7 at (602) 386-4268.
Common Causes for Mold Growth in Your Home
Mold is always a nasty discovery in your home. Oftentimes the homeowner wonders what they did wrong or perhaps feels they weren’t keeping their home as clean as they should. However, mold growth can happen for a number of reasons, a few of which end up being the homeowner’s fault considering mold spores are present everywhere and it takes very little to encourage growth.
What typically causes mold growth in homes
Mold damage in Phoenix is not always a random occurrence. Specific events cause mold to grow in your home, and while they may not always lead to a mold growth problem, SERVPRO has seen enough cases over the years to know just how vulnerable most residences in the Phoenix area are, especially after heavy monsoon seasons. Mold grows best in dark, humid environments, which can occur frequently after a storm. The truth is that spores might be waiting for a chance to grow anywhere in your home if any of these events happen.
You've experienced a leak in your home
Leaking pipes, faucets, and other water-based fixtures in your Phoenix home could contribute to mold growth. Spores grow quickly around any water source they can find, even if the volume of water is negligible. As long as moisture remains consistent in the affected area, the types of mold spores found in Arizona can start to grow. If you have discovered any leaks in your home or suspect that they may exist, there is a good chance that your home is hiding a past or present mold infestation. Even if the leak is long gone, if there is residual water damage, chances are there is mold growth as well.
When monsoon storms come through the Valley, they create an ideal opportunity for mold to grow in your home. Any leaks in your roof or siding could contribute to an infestation somewhere in your home, oftentimes undetected. SERVPRO technicians can use advanced moisture detection tools to detect unusual levels of moisture anywhere in your home. While mold growth may go unseen, a musty odor is a sure sign that mold growth is present and needs to be addressed.
Flooding in your home
Many of the damage-causing floods in homes start with problems as mundane as a malfunctioning dishwasher or an overflowing bathtub. Any time a large part of your home's flooring becomes covered in water, it should be treated as a potential precursor to a mold problem because of the substantial amount of water that may have seeped into flooring and drywall.
What to do if you have mold issues
Regardless of whether your mold issue is a result of leaks, floods, or storms, it’s important to get the issue addressed immediately. If you experience mold, contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at 602-386-4268 to handle the mold immediately. Don’t try to clean up mold on your own; leave it to the remediation experts to get it done!
Be Prepared for Any Disaster That Can Impact Your Business
September is National Preparedness Month, and business owners should take note. While no one expects a disaster in their place of business, it can happen for a number of reasons, so it’s important to be prepared.
Planning for unforeseen disasters
Business owners know that the unexpected will eventually happen, even if the event is minor. Putting business emergency plans in place is key to navigating disastrous events, such as flooding from a broken pipe, mold, vandalism, or fires. Being prepared for downtime, lost revenue, and other negative effects can make or break a business. The more you are prepared, the faster you can recover.
While some issues are unavoidable, having a strong understanding of potential risks, what they may mean to your business, and how to bounce back is necessary to prevent substantial loss from occurring. Every business is different and may face different issues that could result in an interruption or complete shutdown. Along with potential environmental problems, such as flooding, other factors also need to be considered such as fire, vandalism, or arson. Once the risks are known, it is easier to figure out which situations may be preventable or at least mitigated. Analyzing the risks includes knowing their costs. Factors that come into play include lost revenue, expenses for property loss and repairs, and possible penalties if you are liable for the damage experienced. Insurance is easy to forget about until it is needed. If significant damage occurs, it’s important to know who to call for help.
What to do if disaster strikes your business
Even with all the planning, disasters can strike businesses of any size. With a disaster plan in place, facing emergencies will be a little more manageable for business owners. The plan to minimize losses does require immediate action to get the situation under control. Once you file a claim, contacting a damage mitigation and restoration company is the next step. Along with finding the source of the problem, the remediation process should be started as soon as possible. Calling in trained disaster professionals like SERVPRO of Central Phoenix can help the recovery process happen quicker and go more smoothly.
Call SERVPRO for your business recovery needs
Running a business of any size comes with many unknowns but knowing how to deal with a loss doesn’t have to be one of them. Creating a solid plan of action and knowing the possible risks may help minimize claim losses and get your business back to operating "Like it never even happened." If your business experiences a disaster, contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix immediately to get the recovery process started and your business back on track. We can be reached 24/7 at 602-386-4268.
Why Air Movement is so Important to the Water Remediation Process
No one expects water damage to their home but when it happens, working with a water restoration company that knows how to utilize air movement to dry out your home is critical. Extracting the water and drying your properties as soon as you can is necessary. When some materials stay wet for up to 48 hours, there are chances of mold growth taking place. Air movement can help when salvaging your contents and restoring your home after a flood or other water damage to your home.
The water damage restoration process by SERVPRO
During water damage restoration, our SERVPRO technicians use air movers to speed up the rate of evaporation and decrease the drying time to help get your home back to preloss condition. They work by increasing airflow around the wet surface and in the process, push the moisture into the surrounding air. It means drier air replaces the wet air. Technicians may also float carpets by using a carpet clamp which is present in some air movers and blow drier air. If we need to direct the air into wall cavities, we have attachments for air movers to get into those smaller spots and get the area dried out. When it is necessary to move higher quantities of air during the restoration process, technicians may use heavy-duty venting fans. These devices are also known as axial fans. As wet air is added into the surrounding air, the humidity rises, and there reaches a point where the air cannot absorb any additional moisture. That’s when our SERVPRO technicians perform dehumidification by using dehumidifiers.
Following a tried-and-true water remediation process
Our trained technicians follow a proven water damage restoration process, starting with inspection and ending in restoration. Step 4 of that process is specifically dedicated to drying and dehumidification, which our trained pros follow to ensure all water is removed to prevent further damage. Our drying equipment used includes Industrial-grade dehumidifiers that help prevent secondary water damage like swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture, as well as high-speed air movers that create airflow across walls, carpets, pads, and furniture, which accelerates the evaporation of moisture. We know what works and work the process for the best results!
Contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix if your home experiences a flood
SERVPRO of Central Phoenix is a trusted restoration industry leader that is locally operated and owned. Call us at (602) 386-4268 when you need experienced and highly trained technicians to restore your property using proven techniques.
How Mold Grows in Phoenix Homes
Homeowners are often quite surprised that mold can grow in a traditionally dry environment like Phoenix. Except for monsoons, the weather is too dry to encourage mold growth, yet it can happen! Here’s how mold grows in Phoenix homes and what to do about it.
The desert isn’t protected against mold growth
Phoenix may be going through a dry spell outside of monsoons, but that does not mean the area is free of mold. Mold spores are always present and waiting for an opportunity to grow in your home, posing a major problem even when the weather is dry, and temperatures are soaring. Mold damage can happen in Phoenix any time of year, regardless of weather, for many reason reasons. Here are a few ways mold could come to your home even when the city is at its hottest and driest.
Hidden leaks are one of the top causes of mold damage in Phoenix area homes, and for good reason. These leaks are difficult to identify before they develop into a larger problem and tend to occur in out-of-sight places like cabinets, spaces between walls, and high-up areas of the home. Unfortunately, that can lead to real mold problems. Even a small leak can create a significant mold problem if the flow or drip of water is consistent, keeping the area moist and prime for mold growth. This is the common cause of mold damage behind walls in homes.
High humidity in your home
Some homes are much more humid than the surrounding environment. While high humidity is common during the monsoons, other situations can cause higher than normal humidity in homes. This may be caused by water fixture usage and HVAC system operations, or it may be due to the introduction of artificial humidifying devices. The elevated humidity levels typical in most homes when one of these situations is present can provide some types of molds all they need to begin to grow. SERVPRO is very careful in all mold remediation projects to monitor atmospheric humidity and make adjustments as needed. While mold remediation is the first step, we’ll help you understand how it happened to avoid such growth in the future.
Occasionally, individual events in the home may lead to the development of a mold colony. Perhaps Monsoons storms seeped through windowsills or cracks in the ceiling. Other leaks such as appliance failures have spilled across the floor and soaked into the carpet and was never completely dried out. Perhaps that bathtub was forgotten while it was getting filled and overflowed into the bathroom and possibly even adjacent rooms. Regardless, our services are flexible to accommodate a wide range of accidents and scenarios with maximum efficacy.
Work with professionals if you have mold growth
SERVPRO of Central Phoenix is ready 24/7 to respond to local calls for help with mold issues. For our assistance in dealing with a mold infestation, give us a call at (602) 386-4268. We’re here to help get your home back to pre-mold infestation condition quickly and professionally.
Fire Remediation Services You May Need After a House Fire
A fire in your home can be an overwhelming experience. Smoke, soot, and flames can cause significant damage to your property. Residues from chemicals used by firefighters can also damage furniture, carpeting as well as the flooring in your Phoenix home as they try to extinguish the flames. Fire can also burn or char parts of the structure and materials in the home. Once the fire has been extinguished, ash, soot, and nasty smoke residues can linger inside the home and be difficult to clean. Learn about fire remediation services you may need after a house fire.
Fire remediation specialists at SERVPRO
Professional fire damage restoration services can restore your home and its belongings when possible. SERVPRO’s trained crew can use a variety of cleaning methods to remove fire residues from the affected areas of your home inside and out. Fire can damage or weaken the structure of the home, which is why contacting SERVPRO right away is a good idea. We are nearby and can be at your residence in a matter of hours after your initial contact. We’re available 24/7 to help you recover from fire damage as quickly as possible.
How SERVPRO assists with fire remediation
After our trained team inspects your home for damages, we may perform minor repairs to the structure such as boarding up a missing window or door or taping to protect specific areas of the structure as we do our work. Removing items from the home that are unsalvageable like charred furniture and burned clothing and drapery is also part of the fire restoration process. Items and materials in the home that are salvageable are cleaned, and sanitized and can be stored in a safe area away from the structure until the restoration is complete. Our trained professionals will communicate their assessment every step of the way so you’re always informed about what can be repaired and what cannot. Homeowners can rest assured that we follow a very specific fire damage restoration process to get the best possible results.
Cleaning up fire damage as a next step
In addition to charring and soot, as well as chemicals used to extinguish the flames, strong odors can remain after a fire. SERVPRO technicians can use air scrubbers, fans, and top-grade fogging equipment to quickly eliminate strong smoke odors in your home. They may also use industrial cleansers to remove soot and dirt from the floors, walls, and ceilings. Industrial odor removal products may also be utilized to clean and remove odors from items and materials affected by the fire. SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other shortcuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.
When possible, SERVPRO of Central Phoenix can restore your fire-damaged property to its pre-fire condition. We endeavor to make you feel “Like it never even happened.” Contact us at (602) 386-4268 for our professional fire remediation services.
Arizona Storms Can Bring Unexpected Damage to Your Home
Monsoons in Arizona can be quite spectacular to behold. Depending on the strength of the storm, your home could experience flood damage, fallen trees, or a leaky roof. If you’ve experienced a particularly strong storm and noticed no damage, you may feel like you’re in the clear. However, Arizona storms can bring unexpected damage to your home. Learn more below.
The unseen damage of storms
While water may not be dripping from your ceiling or pouring down your walls, there is a chance that some water may have seeped into walls, ceilings, or attics after an especially strong storm. Unfortunately, unless you’re in the habit of inspecting every inch of your home after each storm, you may not realize there is any damage until it’s too late. A common result of unseen water is mold. Left alone, mold can spread and cause significant damage to your home.
Mold is always present
What most homeowners don’t realize is that microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors, and outdoors. If your home experiences mold growth after a storm, know that our mold remediations specialists will come in and remediate the mold in your home. We’ll inspect the extent of the damage, contain the mold growth, remove any mold-infested materials, and ensure there are no residual odors so that your home is back to normal after a mold growth situation.
Small water damage, bigger issues
If your home does experience visible water damage, you may be tempted to simply mop up the visible water, throw open the windows for some air, and run the ceiling fans in hopes of everything drying out. Unfortunately, that may not be enough to address the damage done by the storm. If water is not completely removed and materials such as walls and carpeting dried out, mold growth and accompanying odor issues may happen. May also not be aware that the small amount of visible water damage from the storm may be much more significant behind your walls or in your attic. Storm water can be deceiving, entering small spaces, and causing more damage if it’s undetected. Water remediation specialists like SERVPRO of Central Phoenix are trained to not only address visible damage but look extensively for unseen water damage from storms.
If you experience even minor damage from monsoon storms, contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix 24/7 at 602-386-4268 to ensure your home is free from ongoing issues.
Grease Fire Prevention and What to Do If One Occurs
With monsoon season upon us, some find it far too difficult to cook outdoors between the heat, rain, and high winds. Since summer is still high season for parties and get-togethers, that means more time in the kitchen. Grease fires can be particularly challenging as people are unsure to how to prevent them and what to do if they occur. Be sure to stay safe and avoid kitchen fires with these safety tips.
How to prevent a grease fire
Here are a few helpful tips to prevent experiencing a grease fire in your kitchen.
- Keep any objects that could potentially catch on fire away from the stove or cooking area. That includes cookbooks, towels, paper towels, etc. These type of items can instantly fuel a grease fire.
- Avoid wearing loose, flowing clothes that could get too near the flames, such as sleeves.
- Keep your eye on a hot pan that’s cooking; leaving it unattended even for a short period of time can result in fire.
- Heat oil gradually and add food slowly to minimize grease splatter, which can burn skin or catch fire. Remove as much moisture as possible from food before submerging it in grease to avoid splattering.
- Smoking grease is dangerous, as the flash point of a grease fire is 500 degrees so use great caution when it starts to smoke. If grease starts smoking, turn the heat down immediately. Not only will this prevent a fire, smoking grease is not ideal for cooking. Turn those flames down!
How To Put Out a Grease Fire
Sometimes no matter what you’ve done to avoid a grease fire, they happen regardless. Many people are unsure how to put out a fire; the wrong move can exacerbate the situation, so know what to do if you experience a flare up.
- Equip your kitchen with a Class B of K fire extinguisher.
- If your pan does catch fire, smother it placing a lid on top of the pan. Never throw water on the fire or run it to the sink or outside as this will result in worsening the flames and potentially causing burns.
- Turn off the heat source immediately.
- If the fire is small and manageable, smother it with baking soda or salt, though still use a lid to be sure the flames are out and to protect you from splattering grease.
- If necessary, spray the fire with a fire extinguisher that’s suited for oil fires (Class B or K).
- Do not try to extinguish the fire with any cooking powders (flours, baking powder, etc.) or water as these won’t help extinguish the flames and could make it worse.
- Do not try to move the burning pot or pan outside.
- Call a fire remediation specialist to help with any damage you experience.
Call SERVPRO for fire damage assistance
If your home experiences a fire of any kind, contact SERVPRO of Central Phoenix to help with your fire remediation needs. We’re available 24/7 to help you with fire damage cleanup. Contact us at 602-386-4268.