Tornado Damage and Your Home
Tree uprooted by a tornado
Tornadoes are a terrifying, often devastating, weather event.
They can turn houses into dust, and flip lives upside down. Living through a tornado can be traumatizing, and sometimes the aftermath is just as bad. Parts of your home may be destroyed, and the idea of fixing it can be overwhelming. Recovering from a tornado could be a huge task, depending on how bad the damage was. However, there are steps to take toward recovery and people ready to help along the way. There are steps that should be taken right after the storm passes, and other steps to take down the road when it is time for repairs and cleaning.
Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
The first step is to stay in your safe place until the storm has completely passed. If you are able, try and wait until you get the all clear from local officials. After the storm, check yourself and those with you for any injuries. If someone is hurt, the next step is seeking out first aid. After everyone has been checked and is okay, you should see how bad the damage to your house is. Make sure to watch out for anything that is unstable and likely to fall. If you go outside, look out for any downed power lines. They can be life threatening, so if you see downed power lines stay inside.
Protect Your Property
After you make sure yourself and your loved ones are protected, start protecting your property. You can make temporary repairs in order to prevent further damage. Many insurance companies will reimburse you for the cost, so make sure to keep receipts just in case. In addition to temporary repairs, living expenses may also be reimbursable. If your house is damaged to the point of you having to stay in a hotel, keep the receipts. Your policy may pay you back for the cost of it. Make sure to make a list of anything that was damaged, and don’t throw out damaged belongings. An adjuster will need to assess them for value if your policy covers replacing them. You should also inspect all utility lines and appliances. Any damage could lead to a gas leak or electric shortage. Damaged electric wires may also cause a fire. You may even have to turn off the main valve in order to prevent more harm to your house. Once these steps have been taken, contact your insurance company. From there, they can work with you to see what your policy covers. Most of the time, they will hire services to come out and repair damages.
Clean Up and Repair
SERVPRO of Paris has an incredibly fast response time when it comes to disasters. We have equipment and personnel ranging across 1,700 franchises. Our experience and training will allow us to restore your property quickly and efficiently. In addition, we will document the entire process.
The Need for an Emergency Plan
Make sure you and your loved ones have a PLAN!
In recent years, many different types of disasters have affected the United States.
Flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and blizzards are natural disasters that can threaten your home, business and community. Your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals want you and your customers to be aware of the steps to take to help prepare for Mother Nature's worst.
Right now is the perfect opportunity to review your emergency plan. Emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people just like you. Tornado outbreaks, river floods, flash floods, historic earthquakes, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities affecting millions of people for days at a time.
The more you know about what to do in an emergency, the more confident and secure you will feel in your abilities to manage through a disaster. Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it. Contact your local SERVPRO of Paris for more information and tools to help you be "Ready for whatever happens."
Cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries, with Thanksgiving and Christmas being the peak days for cooking-related fires. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you enjoy a safe holiday.
- Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- Never leave cooking food unattended- stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
- Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
- Keep anything flammable- pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains- away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
- Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.
Smoke and Soot Cleanup
SERVPRO of Paris has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor.
Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Paris will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
What's in Flood Water
SERVPRO of Paris deals with flood damage so that you don't have to.
Contaminated Flood Waters Contain Pathogens and Dangerous Debris
When we respond to a case of flood damage due to a storm, one of the most frequent questions our technicians get is, "What is black water?", Black water is heavily contaminated water which is not only unsafe to drink but can also be hazardous simply to be around. It can be difficult to judge conditions in black water due to its typical gray, brown, or black coloration, with small particles often hiding potentially far greater hazards lying within. Here are a few things that can be found in a typical sample of black flood water.
Dirt and Soil: Typically, most of the coloration in black water comes from dirt and soil trapped within. Many cases of flood damage result from heavy storms and rain, and these floodwaters more often than not pick up significant amounts of soil before they ever reach a home. Although this dirt may sound harmless, it, in reality, makes the water much heavier and more difficult to navigate if you get caught in it.
Microorganisms in Black Water: Although the amount and type of organisms in flood can vary depending on its causes and specifics, almost all samples of black water contain very high levels of microorganisms. These may be parasites, bacteria, viruses, mold, or many other types of organism, and they may be able to cause health effects if ingested or absorbed through the skin. This is why it is never advised to drink flood waters and to seek medical attention immediately if you have.
Sharp Metal and Glass: It can be very difficult to see sharp objects in a mass of floodwater, but even if you feel you are confident that such materials are not in the water, it is best always to assume they are. Sharp materials, even if they are tiny, often constitute one of the water's greatest risks. If they open up a small cut or wound, this spot may go unnoticed by you but later on can possibly develop a bad infection. If you have been cut or had black water touch an open wound, immediately disinfect the wound and apply medical aid as needed.
SERVPRO of Paris deals with flood damage so that you don't have to. If your home has been caught in a flood, call us at (903)784-2700 for mitigation and restoration services.
Why Should I Call Professionals for Water Cleanup and Restoration?
After your home suffers water damage, you need a team of professionals to assist you with cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Paris right away!
SERVPRO of Paris Offers 24/7 Emergency Services to Handle Your Water Damage and Restoration Needs
A sudden water intrusion like a leaking pipe or the breakdown of your water heater can be a sizable inconvenience. However, this inconvenience turns into a substantial loss if not addressed quickly and using the right methods. Hiring trained water restoration technicians (WRT) to come to your home helps you limit the loss and get your home back to normal faster than DIY methods alone.
What is SERVPRO’s Response Plan for Water Damage?
Whenever we get called for water damage restoration we formulate a plan based on any combination of methods to help us:
- Minimize the need for demolition
- Repair or restore rather than replace
- Create an optimum atmosphere for drying, such as closed drying systems
- Expedite restoration to have you back to your routine fast
How is the Need for Demolition Determined?
With many water removal project demolition is required to remove any wet structural components or wall materials. Controlled or partial demolition efforts allow us to remove and replace just a portion of the materials to have it finished off to match the preloss condition. Our team always uses a variety of non-invasive techniques to ensure no moisture is left behind, including:
- Moisture sensors
- Moisture detectors
- Thermal cameras
Of course, whenever your interior has standing water, we use extraction tools and a combination of methods to facilitate faster removal. Some of the standard options our SERVPRO technicians will use include:
- Submersible pumps
- High-powered extractors
- Draining any trapped water behind walls using bore-holes
- Wet-Vac, and more
Why Should I Have SERVPRO of Paris Restore My Carpets?
We are well-versed in best practices for restoring carpeting impacted by water loss within the home. Upon arrival and formulation of our restoration plan, we inspect your carpeting and select the best equipment and methods to achieve our goals. The process includes:
- Inspecting carpeting using moisture probe technology – this allows us to determine how deep the moisture has embedded into the carpet and the pad below.
- Detachment of the carpet with the proper tools so our technicians can further inspect to see if the carpet has delaminated or mold has begun to colonize.
- In cases where the water has not infiltrated the carpet pad or the subfloor below, we may use centrifugal air movers to float the carpet, thus allowing warm air to circulate beneath.
- In cases where water moisture saturates the carpet fully, we will remove the padding below and dispose of it to be replaced after the drying of the zone is complete.
In general, carpet detachment is the fastest way to facilitate drying as it allows air to flow underneath. However, we have some in-place drying methods that will enable us to achieve drying goals without detachment. This may involve using a weighted extractor, or rover, that works from the perimeter inward while drying. In-place drying is ideal when moisture has not made it all the way down to the carpet padding.
Why is Professional Restoration Better Than DIY?
What many homeowners may not realize is that there does not have to be extensive water damage for it to add up to an immense loss. There could be hidden moisture left behind in wall cavities and other tight spots that make it difficult for DIY methods to get the job done. SERVPRO features IICRC-certified technicians that have the choice between two distinct systems to ensure your home is back to appropriate humidity levels. These systems include:
- Open Drying System – This works by using outside air to speed up the drying of the impacted area. Warmer months allow us to use an open system for active, time-efficient drying. This method helps to promote evaporation while using equipment like air-movers and box fans to exchange evaporated moisture with drier outside air. We can do this by opening up doors and windows in conjunction with a centrifugal motion to create fluid air movement.
• Closed Drying System – This system works by using dehumidification equipment within a concentrated drying zone for air exchange. Such a method is excellent during times of the year when temperatures are lower, and access to the outdoors is limited. This works on the same principle, yet a closed system gives more control of the temperatures. Higher temps mean the air holds more moisture, and drying is faster. We also use desiccant dehumidifiers within the work zone for moisture removal and to thwart the potential for mold growth.
If a Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Ready?
Sign up for local alerts and warnings
It is important to prepare before a storm or disaster occurs. Consider the following steps to better prepare for an emergency situation:
- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
- Develop and test emergency communication plans with your family.
- Assemble or update your emergency supplies.
- Learn about local hazards in our city, and conduct drills to practice emergency response actions.
- Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class.
- Collect and safeguard critical documents.
- Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
- Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
- Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.
Emergencies and storms can happen anytime to anyone. Taking action now helps to protect not only yourself, but also your property.
Stay away from floodwaters - Turn around don't drown
Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.
There is always potential for flood damage no matter where you live. According to the American Red Cross floods cause more damage in the United States every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers these flood safety tips:
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are riding rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If a flood occurs and affects you, call SERVPRO of Paris 903-784-2700. Even minor floods have potential to cause major damage. We are faster to ANY size disaster. Let us help you get your life back in order.
Circumstances for a Flood Cut
A flood cut can prevent this and keep mold at bay.
When flooding affects your home our technicians may perform a technique called a "flood cut".
This specific technique requires cutting out sections of drywall about a foot above the flood line to inspect the wall behind it. While this process is not always necessary, there are a few circumstances that may require it after a flood occurs.
- Black Water Floods
When outdoor flooding invades your home from overflowing streams or rivers, it may contain sewage, chemicals or dead animal carcasses. This water can be considered contaminated and is known as black water. A flood cut is usually necessary when this type of flooding occurs because your home’s drywall and any insulation behind it may be affected by the dirty water and may need replacing.
- Wet Insulation
Flood technicians may perform a flood cut and tear out sections of drywall if they believe any insulation behind your home’s walls has water damage. Because insulation cannot be properly dried, a flood cut may be needed to remove any wet material. Once the interior wall is cleaned and dried, new insulation can be installed.
- Mold Growth
After flooding, mold can begin to grow behind interior walls and spread quickly if it is not addressed. Flood technicians may perform a flood cut to check for mold and treat the area if any is found. Because mold does not need sunlight to grow, it can spread from interior walls to other areas and cause an unpleasant odor in your home. A flood cut can prevent this and keep mold at bay.
IICRC Certified Firm
We are an IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Paris is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Paris
SERVPRO of Paris specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Meet Our Crew