Saving Your Books After a Flood

The clean up after a disaster can be overwhelming. Professionals will be needed for handling a great deal of the clean up. Their technology will ensure a safe, effective cleaning job. However, it can be difficult to stand by and let the professionals handle things when you want to take control and restore your environment.

If your home is filled with books and papers, you can take specific measures following a flood to lessen the amount of damage caused by exposure to water. The restoration of bound materials can be expensive. There is a lot of controversy among professionals regarding the best way in which to dry and restore books. Some believe restoring the books is not worth the cost. But others find simple, cost-free methods often work fairly well.

The Beginning Phase of Drying

The initial condition of the book will determine the flood’s effects. Different types of paper absorb water at different rates. So some restoration methods will work for some books, but not for others. The first step is to ensure you will be working in a safe environment. Restoration efforts should not begin until flood waters have subsided and the home has been officially declared structurally sound.

The professionals will help manage the overall environment of your home so you will not have to be concerned with health and safety of the environment while taking care of the restoration of your personal library. Speak with them about creating the ideal environment for book restoration. Temperature, humidity, and bacteria will all play a role, and they will have the technology and experience to help you control these things. You will want air flow to help with drying, and you will want to reduce the humidity in the home. The dehumidifiers used to dry the carpet and other damaged areas should be enough to help with the books. While the books are still wet, do not open them, separate the sheets of paper, or remove paper covers. This can result in further damage and increase the cost of the restoration.

If the books have been exposed to dirt, debris, and mud damage, cleanup will be more complicated. The safest time to clean them is once they are completely dry. The outside of books can have their mud damage lightly scraped or wiped away. Avoid rubbing and brushing the pages. In extreme cases, wetting the books to remove the mud prior to the extensive drying process may be advisable. Holding the book tightly closed, you can submerse it in water to remove the mud, and then compress the book to remove the saturation of water.

How Freezing Will Help

One of the most widely used methods of restoring water damaged books is by freezing. This can be done in your home freezer. However, if your collection is too large, speak with neighbors and family members concerning their available freezer space. Remember that freezing is not a drying method and it does not kill mold spores. It is effective in controlling the mold growth, and gives you time to determine which books can be cleaned in the home, which may need professional methods of cleaning, and which can not be restored. Freezing may also help keep the structure of the book intact. It stabilizes dyes and inks which may otherwise bleed and make the book unreadable.

Following the freezing and stabilizing of your book collection, additional restoration may be required. As you sort through your book collection and other items, determine which of your belongings are worth the effort of restoration. While most homeowners will want to save everything, it can be costly to pay for restoration of all items in the home.

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What to Do If An Emergency Strikes

Those who have experienced disaster in their homes and places of business understand that the first few minutes of response are critical. If the appropriate measures are taken in the immediate moments following an emergency, it can ensure the safety and well-being of the entire family. Those involved will also find that an organized response will save them money and time in the long run, possibly allowing things in the home or office to be saved that otherwise may be damaged or ruined.

Whether you are dealing with the crisis at home or at work, many issues are the same in an emergency. Common occurrences include weather-related and natural disasters, human error and terrorism, and a variety of issues brought on by broken appliances and shoddy maintenance. Any of these issues may lead to flooding, fires, collapsed roofs, and a variety of other unfit living or working conditions. The situation could be just an inconvenience, or it may be extremely dangerous. In dangerous situations, the authorities need to be called so determine whether the police, fire department, or an ambulance are needed.

Once everyone on the scene is safe and the proper authorities have been contacted, begin thinking about a plan of action. In some cases, you may have already planned for an emergency. There may have been fire drills or plans of escape established ahead of time. In the case of an evacuation, you may have a designated area where everyone can meet and be accounted for. It is important to consider everyone involved in the ordeal. If anyone has special needs, or is too young or old to transport themselves, another adult will need to take responsibility for this person. Again, this is something which should be determined ahead of time. Caring for another person during a crisis is a big responsibility. Be sure whoever is chosen understands their duties and is physically and emotionally capable of handling them under duress.

Finances During a Crisis

An issue no one wants to deal with at the time of a crisis is financial difficulty. If you require the assistance of a cleanup company, but you are concerned about their fees, it can be stressful to determine whether or not to contact them. In many cases, homeowner’s insurance will cover the damage in your home. However, it can be difficult to coordinate the various entities needed to deal with an emergency.

Companies assist you in organizing the most qualified professionals to help with your crisis, and they will offer those who need it a discount for their services. Companies should have the smarts and integrity to help customers who cannot afford home or flood insurance. Good companies are proactive and work with the community. When needed, they usually offer a good will discount ranging from 5% to 20% for their services. This means home owners can relax, knowing they will be able to afford professional clean up and maintenance in emergency situations.

Often, it is the days and weeks following a disaster when the highest levels of stress are felt. At the height of a crisis, a community often pulls together to help those affected. But as time passes, people return to their normal lives. Those affected by emergency situations may no longer have the option of returning to normal. It is important the restoration process continue. While it may not be possible to return everything involved in the emergency to its original form, professional, experienced service will do everything possible to return your life to normal.

No one can ever be completely prepared for emergencies in their homes and places of employment. Having a plan in action helps to ease stress and lessen danger, but you may still find additional support is needed. Should your family or company require emergency clean-up services, you can contact contact many companies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Cleaning Up After Smoke Damage

Fire is one of the greatest fears of homeowners. The damage left in the wake of a fire can leave an emotional scar long after the home is cleaned and the property restored. Once a fire emergency has passed, call on a reputable restoration company to assist you with the safety and aesthetic aspects involved in the clean up of a fire.

While it may be tempting to jump in and begin clean up procedures following a fire, there are a lot of things to remember. Most fires are not small and people realize they can’t do it. People should give the authorities a chance to see if it’s arson, and insurance company will want to know if the situation was an accident. It is important to allow the authorities to do a thorough inspection of the property. Not only will your homeowner’s insurance company require a report, it will give you piece of mind to understand the cause of the fire. Once the premises have been inspected, you will want to contact a professional cleaning and restoration service. Even if it seems possible for you to handle the clean up, there may be hidden dangers only a professional can recognize.

Following a fire, do not wipe or attempt to remove residue from the walls or absorbent surfaces. Do not use any food that was exposed to the fire or smoke. Avoid walking on carpeting and do not use upholstered furniture that was impacted by heavy smoke. Finally, do not turn on any appliances, computers, or other electronic equipment until they have been cleaned and checked for safety.

Effects of Smoke

It is important to realize a fire can create smoke damage that may not be seen by the untrained eye. Smoke can get into the duct system, jeopardizing the air quality throughout the entire home. It may also have seeped into the plumbing system or into the other areas of the home, like the attic or crawl space. Smoke also comes in a variety of types, creating different types of damage and risk.

A trained professional can test the smoke type and determine how much risk is associated with it. Once he has identified the smoke type, he can create a treatment plan that will best combat the effects of the damage. He will understand what has the potential to be restored, what will need to be replaced, and what cleaning method will be most effective. Eliminating the odor of smoke damage is one of your main concerns, but keep in mind, it may not be the only issue.

Extent of Damage

While a homeowner may have the ability to surface clean a smoke and fire damaged home, there may be a number of issues associated with the damage they are not able to see. Aside from smoke damage, there may be structural issues. In order to feel confident your home is structurally sound following a fire, you need to have a thorough inspection performed by professionals. There is no reason to invite additional problems following a fire. Many companies will provide you with the services of professionals who can assess the safety of your home and recommend needed repairs during the restoration process.

What You Can Do

You, no doubt, will feel helpless following the tragedy of a fire. Following the inspection by authorities, a few things can be done to ease your anxiety while awaiting professional recommendations. Wipe the chrome on faucets and fixtures by washing them down with detergent, and protect them by applying a coat of petroleum jelly. Blow off or vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery, carpeting, and draperies. Create as much ventilation as possible by opening windows. If electricity and heat have been shut off during the winter, pour antifreeze into toilet bowls, tanks, sinks, and tub drains in order to prevent freezing. You will ultimately want to contact a plumber to blow out the water lines until everything is repaired. Take some clothing to the dry cleaners so you will have an idea of what can be cleaned successfully and what will need to be replaced.

Following a fire, you will face a variety of issues. While the emotional trauma of a fire can not be alleviated, a professional emergency company will work to ease the burden of clean up and restoration. It may be impossible to save all of your belongings, but you will have peace of mind knowing professional services have been provided, allowing you to return to a safe, clean home.

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Dealing With Natural Disasters

Home ownership is the dream of many people. Owning your own property and having a home where you can relax, unwind, and leave the stress of the world behind is a benefit that is worth the risks and responsibility associated with it. Many homeowners jump into the experience with both feet, only to find themselves surprised at how many things can go wrong.

A major challenge homeowners may face are weather-related events. As much as they prepare, weather emergencies can wreak havoc on homes and personal property. Depending upon your location, there are a number of weather events you can anticipate such as California is susceptible to earthquakes. But, if the proper precautions are taken, you may lessen the damage inflicted on your home.

Those living in an area prone to hurricanes will want to be sure they have the materials on hand to protect their homes with relatively short notice. They may have to board up their windows, or use sandbags to prevent water from flooding into their homes, so they should have a supply of necessary items on hand. They should have an evacuation plan and ensure that all members of the family know where to meet, should an evacuation occur. Assembling an emergency preparedness kit is a great way to ensure the appropriate materials are on hand, should the need arise.

In parts of the country where hurricanes are not an issue, tornadoes may cause problems. When shopping for a home, those in tornado-prone areas will want to ensure there is a cellar or other safe option should a retreat be required. Be aware of the surroundings on your property including trees, other buildings such as garages and barns, and free-standing items like patio furniture and children’s toys. During a tornado, any of these items can create unnecessary damage. Ensure structures such as garages and barns are in good shape before they can be affected by tornado conditions and be sure you have places to stories larger on your property like patio furniture. Taking the proper precautions before there is a tornado will save homeowners a great deal of damage and money in the long run.

No matter where you are in the country, your home and property will be at risk for damage from thunderstorms. During extreme storms, wind can tear off roofs and bring trees down onto buildings; lighting can strike, creating fire damage; and torrential downpours can create flash flooding, which may allow water to seep in through the foundation of the house. Overflowing sewer drains may back up into your home, creating a toxic environment. All these situations are emergencies and must be dealt with using proper protocol. “(It is important for homeowners to) follow environmental company protocol. (Those facing an emergency should) use the services of an industrial hygienist, if there is time.” An industrial hygienist will ensure proper protocol is being followed, and thoroughly check the conditions of the home. While an untrained professional may recognize damage visible to the naked eye, an industrial or environmental hygienist conducts tests that may reveal harmful chemicals in the environment. They are also able to determine if the current crisis could lead to problems in the future if not handled properly.

If the unexpected should occur, it is important to deal with it promptly and professionally. The first thing homeowners need to do in the event of an emergency is to contact the necessary authorities. In the event of a fire or vandalism, an investigation will need to occur prior to any clean up or restoration. In any incident, you will need to take photographs of the damage for insurance purposes. Once you have everything under control, you will want to begin the clean-up phase. Good companies will ensure that clean-up procedures follow protocol and work to protect your home and your family, with the goal of restoring your property to its original form. They work with the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals in several industries, ensuring you will get the services you need to restore your home. Preparation is your first line of defense.

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The Effects of Floods

leaving almost the entire city submerged under ten feet of flood water. It has also recorded six tragic drowning deaths. Though severe flooding is extremely rare, significant property losses, tremendous destruction and loss of lives often loom in the aftermath.

Natural disasters such as floods brought by heavy storms, do not happen on an instant, though but it is better to be prepared more than anything else. Avoid placing your chances for survival in the hands of another person. This will be like going to a war without any weapons at all. Thus, arming yourself and preparing for the worst is crucial to your survival. It is top priority that you have the telephone numbers of the different evacuation centers and rescue centers in your area or even neighboring towns and cities if you already know that you live in a flood-prone area. Prepare an emergency bag that has some emergency medical kit, bottled water, flashlight, cellular phone where it will come handy in case of evacuation. What are the things that you have to do and remember when you are stranded in flood-stricken land?

The very basic that you should have first and foremost is presence of mind. This will keep you at your feet while panic attack clouds your decision-making abilities thus hinders sound judgment especially in life-threatening situations. Try to take deep breathes, compose yourself and focus on the situation when panic attacks. Taking deep breathes during panic attacks have been proven to decrease the severity of panic thus helps one to think wisely.

Since fire often times simultaneously occur during flashfloods, be sure to unplug all electrical equipment and make sure that the main source of electricity is switched off and the gas pipeline outlet is shut off. This will not only prevent electrocution but also minimize the danger of potential fire, totally damaging your home.

Transfer your valuables as well as furniture to the highest and safest part of the house keeping them away from the door. Place your valuables inside a deposit box if you have one where possible looters will not see.

Once the flood warning is released, immediately leave your building but do not walk on flooded area as floodwater as shallow as six inches deep will definitely push you away. Drive to safer and higher grounds as water current can push your car uncontrollably downstream if you are in a car.

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