How To Salvage Water Damaged Documents
Damage ceiling from a failed water pipe in a Cleveland, TN home
Even in the current age of digital records, it is likely that you still house some important paper files at your business in Cleveland, TN. When flooding occurs, what becomes of the wet documents?
What Types of Records Can Be Saved?
Depending on the severity of the flooding it is possible for a wide range of paper documents to be saved. Although not all papers may be salvageable, you increase the likelihood of restorable contents when you take immediate action. The following items may benefit from the document drying process:
- Paper documents including personnel files, contracts or manuscripts
- Commercial property blueprints or facility maps
- Photographs, archival microfiche or film
- Collections of magazines or books
What Document Drying Methods Are Used?
Restoration specialists use a multitude of professional cleaning and drying techniques to recover wet documents:
- For storm water and sewage exposure, documents need to be disinfected and sanitized. Items are sterilized using gamma irradiation.
- Some papers respond best to air drying or a dehumidifying environment.
- Vacuum freeze drying is an advanced technological process used for antique papers or irreplaceable books. First the documents are frozen, then the air pressure is reduced causing remaining moisture to evaporate. Large quantities of items can be dried simultaneously.
- Vacuum thermal drying is a quicker process than freeze drying, but it also may distort some materials. This less expensive method is best for common papers where the state of the dried product is not as critical.
- While not a drying method, the process of digitizing documents is useful. Rather than restoration to a physical item, the documents are available as computer files that can be stored and backed up for future use.
When flooding strikes your commercial property in Cleveland, TN, wet documents are not necessarily lost forever. A variety of professional methods are available to save your important business files, photographs or book collections.
After a Flood: What Not To Do
Storm damage led to flooding family room in a Charleston, TN home
If your home in Charleston, TN, is plagued by flood water, you will undoubtedly get a lot of advice about what to do to make the recovery process smoother. Avoiding unnecessary or harmful behavior, however, is just as important, if not more so, than taking positive steps. Here are five actions to avoid so that you don't make a situation that's potentially dangerous worse for you and your family.
1. Don't Stay.
Step one of dealing with a flooded home is getting out of it. Don't try to stay in your house, especially if you have significant damage or if evacuation is recommended or mandated. You could be putting your family's safety at risk.
2. Don't Wade.
A number of problems could arise from standing flood water. It could be charged with electricity, hiding sharp or dangerous items or filled with bacteria. At any rate, you don't want this water to touch your skin or be anywhere near you.
3. Don't Play.
If you are waiting to be rescued or waiting on an adjuster to arrive, you may feel bored. Fight the urge to play games on your phone or use it in any way that depletes the charge. You may need it for emergency reasons, and you may not have any place to recharge it.
4. Don't Buy.
Purchasing new furniture or replacing destroyed items is the very last item on the restoration to-do list. Buying these things before you have a clean, restored place to put them is inadvisable.
5. Don't Hesitate.
You may see widespread water damage all around you, but don't assume that your insurance company and flood restoration specialists won't have time to come and assess your property. Go ahead and give them a call to report the damage to your home. The sooner you call, the sooner they can help.
Flood water in your home is a situation that calls for smart action. Take the steps you need to take, and avoid the things that work against you.
Detecting a Mold Problem in Your Home: 3 Steps To Take
Mold damage in a Charleston, TN home
Finding and resolving a mold problem in your Charleston, TN, home can be a stressful process. Mold can hide and grow almost anywhere there is moisture present and does not need sunlight to grow or spread. However, if you believe there might be mold in your home, there are a few steps you can take, from calling an indoor environmental specialist to learning how to be an amateur mold detective.
1. Learn What You Can
Before you can detect mold, you might want to learn a little about how it grows and what types of environments it likes so you can search your home with more effectiveness. Mold growth is most common in places where moisture and humidity are present, such as a basement, attic or bathroom. There are different types of mold, and you can spot different strains by their light green, white, dark green or black colors.
2. Become a Mold Detective
Once you feel confident that you can identify mold by sight, take a tour around your home to look for patches that might be hiding out of sight under kitchen cabinets or around a leaky water line in your basement. If you do find mold, it is a good idea to call in an expert that can do a mold test and let you know the best way to deal with the issue.
3. Work With a Professional
An indoor environmental specialist from a mold damage and cleanup service can perform a variety of tests to gauge what type of mold is present in your home, how it got there and what can be done to eradicate it. Be prepared with a list of questions for your mold tech so you can feel confident that you are doing everything possible to have the issue resolved so that mold does not return.
Calling in an indoor environmental specialist can help you decide how to handle mold growing in your Charleston, TN, home. However, there are a few steps you can take on your own to kick start the process and be proactive about ridding your property of fungus.
3 Actions You Can Take After a Fire at Your Business
Fire damage roof in a Charleston, TN home
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire at your Charleston, TN, business can be stressful. Even moderate fire damage requires considerable cleaning, and it is likely you are concerned about the safety of your employees and customers as well. However, there are a few actions you can take before you call in a fire restoration and cleanup service that may kick start the recovery process.
1. Take Photos of the Damage
Before you call your fire insurance company, take photos of the damage and avoid touching anything. Focus on areas affected by flames, smoke and water. If flooding from the firefighters’ hoses has occurred, try to take photos from an angle where the depth can be seen if you can do so safely.
2. Evacuate the Area
After a fire, areas of your business may be unsafe or unstable. Evacuate your employees and customers and move them away from the area. Board up damaged windows and doors to let people know the business is temporarily closed. Your fire restoration service can help you with mitigation services that may help keep everyone safe until cleanup efforts begin.
3. Leave the Cleaning to Your Restoration Team
Your cleanup crew will probably offer you a variety of services, from smoke cleaning to water drainage. However, once you discuss the process, it is best to leave the damage as it is so the cleanup technicians can assess it and decide the best way to approach restoration. If you are concerned about any belongings that might have been affected by the fire, ask your techs to keep an eye out for them, but it is a good idea to stay out of the building until it has been properly cleared.
After a fire affects your Charleston, TN, business, the cleanup process can be a daunting one to face. However, having a plan of action can help you move forward to the fire restoration phase as quickly as possible.
How Do I Deduct Storm Damage on My Taxes?
Roof destroyed by storm damage in Cleveland, TN home
Finally, the past year is behind you. Your business in South Cleveland, TN, suffered serious storm damage. After partnering with your commercial insurance agent and a storm restoration specialist, your business is back and better than ever. But, now it is tax time and you have questions. Is the damage tax deductible? If so, how do you deduct the damage on your commercial income taxes?
How To Know What Is Deductible
Taxes are confusing for many people, and business owners are no exception. What aspects of the storm damage to your property are tax deductible?
- Before you consider the costs of the damage, remember that commercial property insurance is also deductible on your business taxes. With that being said, you cannot deduct the funds that were covered, or reimbursed, by your insurance company.
- If you have damage to your business and personal property from the same natural disaster or event, you may only be able to deduct the business loss.
- You can deduct the loss from damage whether you itemize or not.
- For a presidential declared disaster, there may be flexibility in terms of the tax year you deduct the loss.
How To Claim the Tax Deduction
There is a process for claiming a tax deduction for damage to your commercial property. What does this include?
- Complete the Casualties and Thefts IRS Form 4684.
- Only deduct the property loss, not loss of income.
- Prepare to provide documentation of ownership, including initial cost of the damaged property.
- Purchase replacement property within the tax year if you end up with a gain after factoring in insurance reimbursement, or you may end up paying taxes on the gain.
Owning a business in South Cleveland, TN means paying taxes. When your commercial property experiences storm damage, this complicates your tax situation. Understand what is deductible, and what necessary to complete the process to provide the most benefit to you and your company.
Best Ways To Drain a Flooded Basement
Water damage on ceiling in Cleveland, TN home
In some settings, water offers the perfect opportunity for fun, games, play and relaxation. Of course, it’s never good to find it on the floor of your Cleveland, TN, home. A basement flood can cause severe problems, and these incidents can start from many sources. No matter what the culprit may be, it’s essential to get rid of the water as soon as possible so you can avoid further health and safety issues.
Call a Trained Professional
A flooded home can be a daunting task to tackle. Luckily, you don’t have to combat it on your own. If you’ve had water damage, you need to contact a qualified restoration specialist right away. The professionals have the knowledge and tools to remove the water.
- The pros will use a heavy-duty pump to remove standing water.
- For saturated carpets and for smaller problems, the technician will use a wet vac.
- The professional will then thoroughly dry the area to prevent mold growth.
If your basement flood has brought a significant amount of water into your home, you’ll need more than a simple water extractor to get rid of it. This is why the professionals use waterproof pumps to get large volumes of water out of your home. The technician will use different sizes of hoses, depending on how much water is in your home. The person will pump the water out of your home so it will slope toward the storm drain outside.
Even minor floods require intervention. If you neglect this step, mold could grow in your home, and you may have a problem with insurance coverage as well. Wet vacuums are easy to operate and can suck out up to 5 gallons of water per tank from your floor.
As basement flood is nothing you should take lightly. Make sure you hire competent help that will use these effective methods.
An Explanation of Black Water and Its Effects
Any type of flooding can be dangerous and can cause widespread damage to your property and home. It’s important to protect yourself and those things you value most so that when water damage does occur at home, it’s as minimal as possible. The worst situation you can find when flooding occurs is black water. If you find this making its way into your Cleveland, TN home, you must exercise extreme caution and place appropriate safeguards to ensure your safety.
What Is it?
While any type of water that invades your home is a concern, black water poses serious health concerns to you and your loved ones. This type of water mixes with raw sewage, including your toilet water. It can make you ill if you come in contact with it. This type of floodwater can even cause serious bodily harm if you ingest it. Here’s why it’s so hazardous:
• Contains feces from septic systems, toilets and sewers
• Contains urine
• Contains other dangerous materials such as bacteria
How it Gets in Your Home
Water damage can ruin furniture, walls, flooring and even treasured keepsakes such books, pictures and trinkets. However, water mixed with sewage can be destructive. When heavy storms overwhelm storm drains and get into sewage, it can infiltrate homes and other buildings. This type of water can also be a problem if you have plumbing issues, and your toilets overflow or your pipes break.
While this type of flooding should alarm anyone, you can combat it and take appropriate measures. First, if you notice this flood type of water, avoid it at all costs. Get to a safe place, and ensure your children don’t come in contact with it. You should then call a disaster cleanup company and public works official to address the matter.
You worry about water damage anytime there’s flooding. Black water is an even bigger problem, so it’s vital that you take the right steps to remedy this situation. Visit http://www.SERVPRObradleycounty.com for more information on storm damage.
Top 5 Causes of House Fires
Regardless of the cause, a home fire in Cleveland, TN can be devastating. Still, knowing the leading causes of these fires can empower you to take steps to avoid them. Here are the top five most common fire causes according to the National Fire Protection Association.
1. Cooking Equipment
Nearly half of all residential fires started as a result of leaving cooking foods unattended. Frying food increases the danger of fires because grease is highly flammable. Be sure to monitor your cooking at all times, and call for help should a problem arise.
2. Heating Equipment
Central heat does not pose as great a risk as space heaters and wood stoves. Never leave a space heater unattended and keep all flammable materials at least three feet away from the appliances.
3. Electrical and Lighting Equipment
Electricity is everywhere in the home, which is why it is imperative that all equipment and wiring is installed correctly. Faulty lighting, plugs and cords, or meters and switches all contribute to electrical fires. They account for nearly 13 percent of all home fire accidents.
Arson is a serious crime with serious consequences. Between 2010 and 2014, intentional fires were the cause of 8 percent of residential fires. Unfortunately, children are often held responsible for these fires; 40 percent of arson arrests were individuals under the age of 18.
5. Smoking Materials
Even though smoking only accounts for 5 percent of all house fires, it is the number one cause of fire deaths. The biggest risk factor is smoking near or on mattresses, bedding, or upholstered furniture.
There can be many causes of a home fire, but there are even more ways to prevent one. Using common sense safety measures can help keep your Cleveland, TN house safe for years to come. In the unfortunate event of a fire, there are companies that can help with fire cleaning and you get back on track. Visit http://www.SERVPRObradleycounty.com for more information on fire damage.
5 Things You Should Know About Mold Damage
Mold is a microscopic substance that can quickly turn into a macroscopic issue under the right conditions. Mold in your Cleveland, TN property can disrupt business, damage property, and if black mold is present, create significant health risk. Here are five tips to keep in mind until the mold remediation experts arrive:
1. Prevention Is Key
Mold spores are a natural occurrence present everywhere, and thus it is impossible to completely eliminate their existence. To prevent mold is to prevent the key factor needed for its growth: water. A moisture problem in your building, whether from a leaky pipe or malfunctioning HVAC system, can be a breeding ground for colonies, including black mold. Limit the opportunity for growth by immediately addressing any water issues that arise.
2. Growth Is Fast
Spores can begin growing into colonies within 24–48 hours of initial exposure to water. Clean and dry materials immediately after water damage to prevent mold growth.
3. Spores Go Everywhere
It takes a moist, dark surface for spores to land on to grow, but they are carried via everything: shoes, clothing, hair, skin and even airflow. If mold has appeared in your property, restrict access to the area and turn off the HVAC system to prevent spores spreading through the air.
4. Porous Materials Are Vulnerable
While every surface can be subject to mold growth, porous materials are particularly vulnerable because of their ability to withhold moisture. Ceiling tiles, carpet and interior walls are all subject to absorbing condensation and should be addressed immediately when water spots appear.
5. Safety Is Priority
To limit exposure and impact on property, mold cleanup should begin quickly and aggressively with safety protocol in mind. Full personal protective gear, including eye goggles and air filtration masks must be worn to limit any contact with potential irritants from black mold and debris from the cleanup process. Visit http://www.SERVPRObradleycounty.com for more information on mold.
What to do About Water Damage in Your Home
When pipes break, disaster reigns. Even a small drip in the bathroom can lead to a large problem down the road. Utilize these tips when confronting water damage in your home and remember that safety is always top priority when dealing with standing water.
1. Survey for Personal Risk
Water near electronics is a hazard to anyone nearby. Survey the risk and consider turning off the power to your home to avoid potential electric shock. Unplug devices and place them safely away from the source of water.
2. Take Pictures for Your Home Insurance
If you are looking to receive coverage from your home insurance for water damage, be sure to take pictures before beginning any cleanup process. Insurance companies must have documentation of the original damage, so be sure to take extensive photos of the source of water and its effects before beginning cleanup.
3. Remove Excess Water
Blotting with towels and mopping are easy ways to handle small amounts of water. If broken pipes have created a larger problem in your home, look for a sump pump and water vacuum at a hardware store for removing the excess water.
4. Clean Personal Belongings
Remove any items touched by water and air dry them in a well-ventilated area. Any wet cushions, upholstery or other fabrics should not be left soaking in place, but promptly removed to a dry location with good circulation. Finally, ensure there are no magazines, books, or colored rugs left on wet carpet.
5. Know Contact Information for a Restoration Company
Broken pipes can be small or large, but there is no denying the enormity of water damage once it hits your home. A good cleanup and restoration company in Cleveland, TN can remove the water, assess the damage and handle all drying, cleaning and sanitizing of the effected items in your home. Keep contact information on file in case the water cleanup is a case for the professionals. Visit http://www.SERVPRObradleycounty.com for more information on water damage.