5 Steps to Make a Fire Escape Plan
It is good to have a fire escape plan for your home.
5 Steps to Creating a Fire Exit Plan
A well-thought-out fire escape plan can help you get away from a home fire as safely as possible. Developing a plan is one of the most important fire preparation measures. Proceed through these five steps to develop a potentially lifesaving plan.
1. Study a Floorplan
Look over an accurate floor plan. You should test every escape route you come up with to ensure it will be practical in the event of an emergency.
2. Identify Primary and Secondary Escape Paths
A fire escape plan should have primary and secondary paths leading out of every room in your home. You may want to obtain a fireproof escape ladder to make secondary paths more viable.
3. Display Pet Decals
Don't forget to factor pets into your fire safety plan. You may be able to evacuate animals with other occupants, but it is also a good idea to post a window decal near entrances to help firefighters rescue any remaining animals.
4. Practice Sealing In
If you cannot take any escape route, seal into a room with a window that opens, access to a phone, and one that is equipped with duct tape and towels. Close the door and seal the cracks and any air vents to keep out smoke. Open the window to admit fresh air and be sure to notify firefighters of your precise location in the residence.
5. Do a Fire Drill
Test the plan you have made at least twice a year and demonstrate how to move low to the ground, feel doors with the back of your hand, and assemble at a safe location outside.
These steps will help you create an effective fire escape plan for a residence in Sanibel, FL. Practice fire safety and make sure you have a sufficient number of functional smoke detectors. If a home fire causes damage, contact a mitigation and restoration service.
What to do When Sewer Backup Threatens Your Business Property
Sewage cleanup in Ft. Myers Beach, FL.
If your business is located in Ft. Myers Beach, FL, it may be at risk for flooding and sewer backup during the next storm. Knowing what preventive measures to take, and what to do if your business does flood, can help you in the event flooding does occur.
Reasons Backup Occurs
There are a number of factors that can play into sewer backup. These may include:
- Excessive storm and rain water which can cause overflow
- Recent construction that changes the landscape and redirects water into the sewer
- Fresh pavement with a new drainage grade can change the runoff flow
- Failure to regularly clean a septic system can cause a backup
If you think there’s a chance your business might face sewer back up with the next storm, it’s best to take preventative measures.
Take Preventive Measures
Flood water is classified as black water because some of it can come from contaminated sources such as a sewer. This means clean-up can require extra sanitation steps. Taking preventive measures beforehand may help mitigate the damage. Ensure than trap plugs are clean, snug, and secure as these can filter debris that may back up in your pips. Some buildings may also qualify for a backwater check valve.
Conduct Cleanup as Quickly as Possible
In the event you do find flooding it’s best to take care of the cleanup process as quickly as possible. Remember to turn off the electricity to the flooded area before entering. Remove items from the flooded area and be sure to clean and dry them. Because flood water is classified as black water, everything should be sanitized as well. You will also need to clean, dry and sanitize the flooded area after the water has been removed. A professional service may also be able to help.
Flooding from sewer backup can cause a number of problems for your business. This is why it’s important to take preventive measures beforehand. If excessive rain water does lead to sewer flooding at your business, knowing what to do beforehand can help save valuable time.
3 Steps to Snake a Clogged Pipe
A snake may clear a stopped pipe without the need for a plumber.
Steps To Snake Out a Drain
A drain auger or snake is a coiled metal spiral about a quarter-inch thick with a handle that has a hand-crank or drill attachment. If plunging does not clear a clogged pipe, you may want to try this tool. A snake is not difficult to use and may clear a stopped pipe without the need for a plumber. Here are three simple steps to snake out a drain.
1. Insert the Snake
Put the auger down the sink drain and continue to push more of the length in until you encounter resistance. The sharp curve of the sink trap may pose an early challenge. Apply pressure while cranking to make the snake bend and proceed down the pipe toward the blockage.
2. Push Until You Encounter Resistance
Continue feeding the snake down the sink drain until you encounter more resistance. This should be the cause of the clogged drain. Now it is time to crank or drill the snake.
3. Drive the Snake Through the Clog
Some augers require cranking by hand to rotate the tip. Other designs have an attachment for a power drill. Soft clogs tend to get broken up by the snake and go down the drain. Solid clogs may get caught in the auger's head. If twisting does not gradually become easier, try pulling up the snake. The head may have captured a solid clog.
Run water down the affected drain for several minutes to make sure the clog is completely clear, and then clean off the snake. Homeowners may want to purchase an auger or snake, but you can also rent this equipment from home improvement retailers.
Contact a plumber if you cannot clear a clogged drain yourself or experience a pipe break. If a sewer backup causes damage to your home in Estero Island, FL, you should also hire a residential water damage restoration service.
How Can Fire Damage Cause Water Damage?
Fire in a commercial building in Sanibel, FL.
How Does Fire Damage Lead to Water Damage?
In the event of a fire, your Sanibel, FL property may need a good deal of fire cleanup work, even if there was only damage from smoke. Yet did you know you may need to handle water cleanup, as well? After a fire, water damage is just as likely as smoke or fire damage.
So How Does It Happen?
Water damage usually happens in one of three ways:
• Pressure and high-volume water saturation from fire hoses used by firefighters to douse the blaze.
• Burst water mains and pipes damaged during the fire.
• Sprinklers activated by smoke.
Each of these instances can saturate your belongings in water, which can be highly damaging for electronics and inventory. Water cleanup is imperative as you recover your property from catastrophe, and to prevent additional health and safety issues caused by standing or stagnant water.
How Can I Prevent Water Damage?
It may not be possible to wholly prevent water damage when much of it happens during times when you should either be in the process of evacuating the building or should have already evacuated. However, you can make it a practice to cover your inventory with waterproof materials, and cover your electronics once you leave for the day.
How Do I Clean Up After Water Damage?
The first step of water cleanup is safety. Water conducts electricity, and after a fire, you may have exposed wiring or other safety hazards. Do not enter the building until a fire professional has cleared it as safe. Once you are able, dry the building as much as possible. Mop water from the floors and wipe down any surfaces. Open windows and doors to air everything out, and tear out waterlogged carpet and drywall. Haul anything wet out into the sun to dry. Take inventory of everything water-damaged and keep accurate records for your insurance company.
When Home Fires Are Not Covered By Insurance
Home fire in Ft. Myers Beach, FL.
Houses That Are Not Covered By Typical Insurance
A residential fire in Ft. Myers Beach, FL, can be costly. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average home fire or lightning strike between 2011 and 2015 caused $43,983 in damage.
Thankfully, insurance can cover much of the damage. But there are two types of house fires that are not covered by typical insurance.
1. Arson Insurance Fraud
Any time you make an insurance claim for fire damage, investigators come to your home to determine the cause of the blaze. If the fire was the result of an electrical failure or a weather event, you should be covered.
Insurance even pays for your damages if the fire was accidentally set by someone in the household. However, if investigators determine that the fire was intentionally set for the sole purposes of collecting insurance money, the insurer will not cover your claim.
2. Vacant Home Fire
Insurance may not cover a home fire if the property was vacant at the time of the blaze. The National Fire Protection Association reported that there were an average of 30,200 vacant property fires annually between 2011 and 2015, causing an average of $710 million in damages each year.
Vacant doesn't just mean abandoned, either. Most insurers define a vacant home as one that has been unoccupied for 30 days in a row.
That means a fire in your summer home during the winter months could cost you money out of your own pocket. However, you can supplement your existing policy with vacant home insurance that covers fire or storm damage.
Whether your home fire is covered by insurance, the potential for damage doesn’t stop once the blaze is put out. Soot can linger in the carpets, and the water used by firefighters can cause flooding and other issues. Fire restoration experts can help mitigate these damages and limit how much you or your insurer has to pay.
How Does Blasting Remove Mold?
Mold damage in Estero Island, FL.
How Does Blasting Remove Mold?
You pride yourself on your homeownership skills. If a problem arises with your Estero Island, FL, house, you know exactly how to fix it. And, if you can't do it yourself, you know who to call. That's why you weren't too concerned when you found mold in your crawlspace. Rather than fret, you plan to simply call in a residential mold remediation expert. This professional may come to your house, inspect the damage and give you a cleanup plan. For many snug areas, a mold soda blasting technique is considered best.
Consider the Cleaning Process
While you trust the advice of experts, you still want to learn more about the process. The typical blasting procedure is done in the following steps:
1. A cleaning solution is combined.
2. The solution is put into the spraying equipment.
3. The spray is applied to the moldy walls, floor and ceiling of the crawlspace at a high-pressure setting.
4. A vacuum is used to suck up the fallen mold spores.
5. The surfaces are given a final wipe down to ensure the fungus has been cleaned away.
With these steps, most mold damage will be removed from the space.
Learn About the Benefits
Now that you know how it works, why is this mold removal process right for your space? The high-pressure cleaning and the mixture used cleans deep into the pores of the wood to ensure even the mold roots are washed away. You'll also be surprised with how quickly mold soda blasting can be completed. If the same team came into your crawlspace to clean the fungus growth by hand, it would take them almost four times as long to clean the space.
If your home has recently been touched by flooding, you may be extra concerned about the possibility of there being new mold growth. Thankfully, you know exactly where to turn should you find any suspicious signs or smell anything musty.
Mold Always Follows a Flood
Before you start the final restoration, you want to make certain that mold growth is no longer a problem.
Once a flood invades your home, the mold isn’t far behind. It won’t wait for the water to recede or for your home to dry out. In 24 to 48 hours you can expect that mold growth has begun and there is only so much you can do until the moisture is removed. Before you start the cleanup, contact your insurance agent and take pictures of the damage.
Following that, there are several things you can do to hurry the cleanup along.
• Eliminate standing water using pumps and wet/dry vacuums.
• Discard items in the flooded area that will not be restored.
• Send items that are to be restored out for restoration.
• Put undamaged items into storage to be brought back later.
• Treat wet areas with disinfectant to minimize the negative effects of bacteria.
• Tear out damaged sections of walls and floors but not structural components.
Remove the Moisture From What Remains
Typically, this means opening windows and operating fans to circulate the air and send the moisture out of the house. You can find nearby restoration specialists in Sanibel, FL, who will bring their experience and specialized equipment to help with the drying process.
It Is Never Too Soon to Start Looking for Mold
While this moisture removal is underway, use your eyes and nose to look for evidence of mold growth. Assume you will find some. A mold problem can be addressed even if your house Is still wet, but removal cannot be declared complete until the house is dry and carefully inspected. Also, bear in mind that mold needs to be removed. Covering mold with caulk or paint is not an effective method of control.
Don’t Finish the Restoration Until You Are Certain That the Mold Is Gone
Before you start the final restoration, you want to make certain that mold growth is no longer a problem. You didn’t go through all this effort only to bury mold behind walls and under floors. Your restoration specialists can help you determine that you are ready to complete the restoration.
Flooded Homes Have an Unpleasant Odor
The key to flood cleanup and the prevention of mold growth is knowing how to deal with the several different aspects of flood damage.
Although the smell of your flooded home in Estero Island, FL, may be repulsive, that is not your biggest problem. Your biggest problem has to do with the source of the odor. Frequently, that is mold growth. No two flooded homes have the same issues, but they all have things in common.
1. Floodwater Sets the Stage for a Massive Mold Problem
From a property damage perspective, this may be your biggest threat. If the odor you smell has a musty component to it, you may already be well on your way to a mold problem. The only way to remove the musty odor is to quickly dry out your home and remove any mold that has started to grow.
2. Sewage Backup Is a Serious Health Hazard
Sometimes, flood water will cause sewage to back up from the sewer system into your home. The pungent odor it brings with it is a reminder of the bacteria and other dangerous organisms that the sewage contains. It is a risk to humans and animals and can result in significant property damage and sewage system loss. Left untreated, sewage can also be the source of mold growth. This odor will not disappear until the sewage is removed and the affected areas are cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.
3. Floods Bring in Other Sources of Odor
When the water recedes, you can expect to find that the flood left just about everything imaginable behind including topsoil, garbage, and other debris. There may also be traces of gas, oil, and other petroleum residues. In small quantities, none of this poses a significant hazard. They can be easily cleaned up and deodorized.
The Foul Odors Are Gone, and a Fresh Smell Has Returned
The key to flood cleanup and the prevention of mold growth is knowing how to deal with the several different aspects of flood damage. Consider bringing in a team of local flood remediation specialists with the experience and equipment to do the job right. Your home will thank you for it.
Black Mold and Why It Shows Up in Homes
Remember, black mold is a living organism that lives in your home because it thrives in moist places.
Mold exists in many natural forms and is found naturally in indoor and outdoor environments. Most of the time, mold isn't a problem, but it can quickly develop into one when it spreads throughout Sanibel, FL, homes. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent black mold from spreading through your home.
1. Control Moisture
The most effective way to prevent and control the growth of black mold in your home is to keep moisture at bay. If you live in an area where humidity is consistently high, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier. Other steps you can take include immediately cleaning up any spilled or leaking water, keeping appliances and appliance filters clean and dry, clean and repair roof gutters, and remove condensation from windows. Make sure you have adequate ventilation wherever water is used in the home.
2. Guard Against Leaks
It isn't unusual for older pipes to weaken and develop leaks. You may find that your pipes burst during an especially hard winter. Learn as much as you can about the potential for leaks in your home and then take steps to prevent them. For example, removing hoses from the outdoor spigots and protecting spigots from winter weather is a good way to guard against flooding in the spring.
3. Respond Immediately to the Presence of Mold
If you do find that mold has developed in your home, act immediately to arrange for mold cleanup. This means thoroughly cleaning the area and then using appropriate cleaning materials to kill remaining mold spores. If drywall or carpeting was affected, you may need to contact mold remediation professionals for stronger cleanup measures.
Remember, black mold is a living organism that lives in your home because it thrives in moist places. You can take steps to prevent mold growth and there are many professional resources available for when mold gets out of hand. As soon as you notice mold, take steps to eliminate it for the long-lasting well-being of your home and family.
3 Reasons You May Have Noisy Pipes
Broken pipe in Estero Island, FL.
Three Possible Causes of Noisy Pipes
It can be unsettling to hear knocking, hammering or whistling coming from your walls. However, plumbing can get noisy as the years go by. You don't always have to suspect a pipe break when you hear a funny noise in the wall. Check out the three reasons for noisy pipes below.
1. Momentum Changes: If you're running a shower and quickly close the faucet, you may hear a clanging in your pipes. This is caused by the water's rapid change in speed. While not necessarily a problem by itself, the vibrations caused by the hammering can actually lead to loose pipes or a pipe break in extreme circumstances. You may be able to fix the problem in two ways. First, try to tighten or replace your straps. Second, install an anti-hammer device.
2. Obstructions: Blockages in your pipes can lead to a whistling sound whenever the water is forced past it. Distorted washers in valves, loose screws or sediment buildup could be a cause of an obstruction in your plumbing. You can fix the noise by locating where the whistling sound originates from, and then replacing the appropriate faucet washers and screws. If the blockage is somewhere within the pipe, you may have to worry about the possibility of a burst pipe should the obstruction grow. The best way to clean out the pipes is to call in a plumbing cleaning service.
3. High Pressure: If the water pressure in your Estero Island, FL, home is set too high, it can cause your pipes to become quite noisy. While the sound may be annoying, you should be more concerned about the potential problems it can cause. It may not cause a pipe burst, but it could damage your dishwasher, washing machine or other appliances. You can fix this issue by making sure your water pressure is set no higher than 80 pounds per square inch.
The pipes in your home may be noisy for a wide range of reasons. Some of the noises can even leave your plumbing vulnerable to a pipe break. It is important you fix a broken pipe as soon as you find the problem.