Service Increases With Knowledge
Water damage may not look tremendously devastating to a home initially, but if left untreated it can cause great harm to the home and the homeowner.
IICRC Water Restoration Technician training
Running the office at SERVPRO is a pretty interesting job. The scenario changes day to day; you literally have no idea what the next phone call will bring.
With our extended winter and several rain storms so far this spring, the bulk of our work lately has been water damage mitigation. I know my fair share about water damage (I thought) just from processing the jobs, taking the calls and speaking with the technicians that complete the work and take the pictures of job sites.
When the Water Certification Class came around, my boss, Kevin suggested that I take the course. I thought….me? Why would I need to be certified in Water Damage mitigation if I’m not a technician? I just work in the office. Well, after taking the class, I now know why he wanted me to.
Getting Down To Business
For the average person, the thought of learning the ins-and-outs of water damage mitigation may be mind-numbingly boring. However, the folks that work for SERVPRO are a different breed. I sat in a class of about 30 people, most of them new technicians for several SERVPRO franchises across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. This group was stoked to learn the “right way” to get these jobs done. They were full of enthusiasm and questions. What I thought would be the longest three days of my life, flew by.
I learned how to address each situation upon entering the premises, to make sure to do no further harm, and to spot safety issues at the start. I learned how to STOP the “bleeding” and start the healing for each homeowner. I learned what things are the most important, and which things can be addressed a little later. I learned the technical aspects of which product to use, which dehumidifier works for each specific situation and why you don’t direct an air mover onto a surface that contains mold (it could contaminate adjoining areas). But beyond that, what I realized is that these trainers that journeyed from our corporate office in Tennessee to teach us…was not just how to clean up a backed up sewer or overflowing washing machine….but how to put people back to “whole”. How to help a distraught customer who sees his belongings floating in river water. How to empathize with someone who just bought new furniture and now sees it soaking in water from an upstairs bathroom leak.
A New Excitement
I realized that SERVPRO isn’t just about cleaning up the job and moving onto the next one. They really are about putting the customer at ease and assuring them that everything WILL be all right….and the phrase “Like it never even happened.™” isn’t just a slogan. I realized that these people in the class with me were EAGER to learn how to do this, so that they too would be “hero ready” when the time comes.
I think I did pretty well on the test (we won’t know for a few weeks), but what I took away from the class was not just a possible certification in Water Damage Mitigation, but a better understanding and lesson in compassion for our fellow man. I just run the office at SERVPRO of Cheviot and Cleves, but I think that’s a lesson that we all could learn.
Cheviot - All Mucked Up After Water Main Break
A water main break in Cheviot, OH caused massive amounts of water and mud to flow into our customer's basement. Good thing we're Here to Help!
Water damage is one thing, but . . .
Sometimes it would be great if there was only water damage. SERVPRO of Cheviot and Cleves helped this customer in Cheviot clean up from a water main break that brought hundreds of pounds of mud into the house. The water was so powerful that it actually knocked the bottom section of the garage door off the tracks! No worries though, our Hero Ready technicians are up to the task.
Where do I start?
Most homeowners would not know where to start with damage this severe, but SERVPRO of Cheviot and Cleves has been there before and has a plan for your recovery. In this case our technicians had several needs to satisfy including:
- Classify, inventory and remove damaged contents
- Fix the garage door for security purposes
- Get the mud out!
- Inspect for water damage throughout the entire basement
- Sanitize the entire basement
- Help with the insurance claim process and billing
- Preserve the value of the property
Spring rains....flooded basements
Is that water heading to the basement??
My roof caused a flood in my basement?
Most people think that their roofs are just there to keep rain from getting in the house, so how could it cause a flood in the basement? Roofs are just a part of a complete drainage system where each part must work together to keep water from coming into the house anywhere. Like any system, if any part is not maintained it could cause the whole system to fail. Here is a quick look at some of the components of the drainage system of most properties:
- Roof (shingle, tile, rubber, metal, etc.)
- Gutters (and other metals like flashing and valleys)
- Drain pipes (above ground, underground)
- Sump Pump (and drain tile)
- Landscape grading
Where's the breakdown?
Roofing materials can wear out over time, gutters can become clogged or damaged, downspouts can get dented which reduces water flow, sump pumps can seize and mulch and dirt can wash out over time and build up against the foundation. When a part of the drainage system fails gravity takes over and generally deposits the rain into the basement. Do I have anyone interested in home ownership yet? The good news is that with a little bit of maintenance and inspection all of these parts of the system can keep water out of your basement as long as you live there. Lack of maintenance could result in the situation you see in the picture!
A season of opportunity
Spring is the season of opportunity. The season to sow, to try something new, to clean up and shake off the remnants of winter. So take the opportunity to walk around your property and look at these different drainage systems. You could even test some of them by spraying water on your roof to inspect for problems. You may not exactly feel like singing in the rain, but it is the best time to see how your drainage system is working. Keep safety in mind when you inspect and ask for help if you are unsure. If you believe water has already gotten into your basement we'll be happy to come out and inspect for wet materials and damage at no charge. Some simple maintenance will provide for years of happy homeownership.
Heavy Rains Predicted
1"-2" of rain is predicted for Cincinnati. If your sump pump fails or sewer backs up, call 513.467.6666. We'll be there to clean it up!
This pipe burst was one of the worst we've ever seen and the damage it created was substantial. We found 3 separate pipe bursts in this home.
An ounce of prevention . . .
The 3 day outlook shows lows in the single digits with negative wind chills. Pipe bursts can cause the most damage of any water source we deal with. Sometimes there can be multiple pipe bursts in the same property and many times they burst when no one is there or when everyone is asleep. We have even seen times when a copper pipe pops out of joint allowing a 1/2 water line to run wide open! Imagine the damage that can cause! so what can be done to prevent this type of damage?
5 tips to keep your pipes warm
Below are some simple tips to keep pipes from freezing at your home or business:
- Open any cabinetry that houses plumbing on exterior walls to help keep the pipes from freezing!
- Wrap pipes that are at risk, like in a garage or attice, in the foam insulation sleeves designed for pipes.
- Keep your thermostat no lower than 60-65 degrees if you are away for a day or more. Many poeple think 55 degrees is sufficient, but we have seen many troubles arise with thermostats set that low.
- Use pipe heating wires when appropriate. Make sure they are installed accourding to instructions.
- Use hose bib covers outside to prevent cold air from entering around the pipe and freezing it.