Electrical Woes During Flooding

Witnessing the devastation of a flood can make you overlook the more dangerous aspects of the damage. Take for instance the electrical supply. Everything in your building or home that has a cord or wire can suddenly turn into a death trap for visitors. Hopefully, someone has arrived that has shut the main power source, but now the real work begins. Will everything electrical have to be replaced? How do you know for sure?

Who to Call Before Entering the Building

Your local electric company will be able to disconnect any questionable service to the flood-damaged home. They can also add safe temporary wiring for when the cleanup begins. Do not attempt to start a generator before consulting with the electric company or a trained electrician first. Carbon monoxide poisoning could result.

Are Electrical Appliances and Electronics Safe to Use after a Flood?

You should never assume that anything electrical or electronic is safe for use. Your cleanup crew will be able to better assess the situation. It is better to just grab what change of clothes you will need, move to a safe location and wait for further instructions.

Can I Shut Off Power to the Electrical Box if I See Water Coming in?

Never try and turn off power at the breaker box if there is standing water. You may have to wait for the electric utility company to arrive and shut off power at the meter. Also avoid turning off light switches that may be exposed to water.

Guidelines for Handling Water Damaged Electrical Equipment is a brochure that has been put out by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), for use by suppliers, installers, inspectors, and users of electrical products to provide advice on the safe handling of electrical equipment that has been exposed to water. You can download this material to keep as reference in the event of a flood.

If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call our Flood Damage Experts so you can be sure to be safe with electrical issues during that time.
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6 Common Cause of Water Damage in Arizona

Water damage can occur unexpectedly or over time, causing mold growth and other unwanted problems in your house. These problems can drain you financially since most of them are not covered by homeowners insurance. It is thus important to regularly check for potential causes of water damage and deal with them before they result in costly damages.

1 Pipe Bursts and Leaks

Bursting and leaking pipes are common culprits of water damage. Pipes leak or burst when the drains and toilets block over time. The blocked sections can cause undue pressure in the pipe, causing it to burst or leak. Damaged garbage disposal units are also known to cause pipe bursts and leaks. The same applies to roots that grow on the sewer line and constant rusting.

2 Leaking Bathtub and Toilets

Overflowing bathtubs and toilet can cause a serious water damage if you don’t identify the problem earlier enough. Quite often, a faulty supply line is the main culprit here. The joints in the supply line may become loose over time, allowing water to seep through. A broken toilet tank, stuck flapper and faulty connections can also cause serious leakages.

3 Sewer Backups

Sewer backups occur when the water from the toilet or kitchen sink moves back to the outlets as a result of a blockage in the sewer line. The blockage may be due to trees and shrubs in the sewer line. A blockage in the city sanitary main can also cause sewer backup if the plumbers fail to detect the problem in time.

4 Attic Concerns

Certain parts of your house are more susceptible to water damage than others. Sections such attics, crawl spaces and basements are highly affected because they house pipes and other plumbing components. A damp crawl space, attic and basement allow mold to grow rapidly. This can result in serious structural damages and basement leaks.

5 HVACs

Damaged heating, ventilating and air conditioning units can cause water damage if not handled properly. Air conditioners, for example, may cause moisture buildup. When the moisture cools, it can activate the mold spores inside the house and encourage mold growth.

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6 Natural Disasters

Flash floods, sudden storms and hurricanes can cause water to build up in the house. It is important to take the necessary precautions ahead of time to minimize the extent of damage.

If you are in the Arizona area contact our qualified water damage restoration experts as soon as possible after the weather-related event to address any problems that may come up.

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The Right Way to Clean Soot Off the Ceilings and Walls

When synthetic and natural materials burn, soot is left behind. This black residue clings to hard surfaces, ceilings and walls. Soot is a messy irritant, and it can damage the materials it touches. Therefore, you should use the right safety methods and cleaning techniques, especially when cleaning soot off the ceilings and walls.

Bio Hazard, Bio-hazardous

Biological Hazard Professional in Protective Clothing

Protect Yourself Before Cleaning

The key to properly cleaning soot from the walls is to not spread it around. Before starting the cleanup process, you should visually inspect the room that needs to be cleaned. If you touch any surfaces during the inspection, you may inadvertently transfer the residue to other surfaces or rooms. After putting on a face mask, gloves and protective clothing, open all of the room’s windows and doors. This ventilates the area, minimizing soot particle inhalation. Finally, remove all debris, so you can clean as efficiently as possible.

Use the Proper Cleaning Techniques

If you approach the cleaning process incorrectly, you may further damage the walls. Vacuuming the soot is one way to remove it. If you choose to vacuum, avoid smearing the soot by making sure the nozzle never touches the walls or ceilings.

After vacuuming, you can use a dry sponge or a degreaser-soaked sponge to wash away the soot. This method is usually an effective approach to cleaning dry soot caused by a high oxygen fire. You should avoid using soap and water; wet cleaning is more likely to smear the soot unless the soot came from a low oxygen fire. Low oxygen fires are those that smolder and leave behind wet residue.

These tips can help you clean some soot off the walls and ceilings. However, a water damage remediation technician utilizes dry cleaning chemicals and expert techniques that completely remove soot and prevent additional damage. With more than 30 years of experience in restoring smoke-damaged homes and businesses in the East Valley region and greater Phoenix, Arizona, the employees of Lotus Services know precisely how to approach every post-fire cleanup scenario.

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5 Tips to Review for Your Mold Removal Project

Mold removal is a complex issue that must be understood before it’s undertaken. Removing mold quickly and easily is not possible without doing the research first. Review several tips to help you succeed in removing this substance from your home.

Stop the Leaks First

In many homes, mold is caused by leakage in a faulty pipe or appliance. Not fixing the leak means allowing the mold to grow and spread.

First, find the leak by checking the walls and floors for dampness. The leak could have traveled a far distance from the mold. Locating this problem may require the use of leak detection equipment that is mainly associated with water restoration experts.

Fire and Smoke Damaged Kitchen, Smoke Damage, Fire Damage

The Work Involves More Than Wiping

Removing mold is a more difficult task than wiping it off the surface. Removing surface mold does not remove its source. The mold could reappear after a few weeks and require additional cleanings. Also, removing mold from the walls is ineffective if more grows behind the walls or within air vents.

Ignoring the Problem Is Dangerous

Failing to act on a mold problem will lead to negative results. The most visible result is the structural degradation of the walls, ceilings or floors. Then, there are mold-related health problems that threaten anyone who enters the house. Ignoring the mold and downplaying its effects will increase the health risks along with repair bills.

Use Antimicrobial Treatments

Avoid using regular treatments to get rid of mold. Use antimicrobial treatments to prevent the problem from reappearing. There are sprays available to treat certain areas and fogging tools to treat the entire room. The disinfecting agents are useful in helping to prevent the spread of illness.

Build a Mold-Resistant Home

Preventing the return of mold is part of the removal process. Mold-resistant materials are available if you need to rebuild or renovate the damaged structures. Most waterproof materials are resistant to the moisture that causes mold growth. Specially treated wood and paperless drywall are two common options for repairing homes.

The biggest problem with most homeowners is inaction – they don’t act on a problem until the damages become too severe. Another problem is lack of knowledge because they assume they can handle the problem themselves. Removing your mold problem is not effective if you make assumptions based on what you think.

Learn more about removing mold before you take on the task and then consult our mold remediation expert in your local area of Arizona.

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Keep Mold from Gaining a Foothold in Your Home or Building

Mold growth can be a big problem for home and business owners alike. Even in a dry, arid place like Arizona, property owners aren’t immune to the effects of this invasive, unhealthy form of fungus. Mold growth is bolstered by the presence of moisture, so keeping your structure free of any excess water is the best way to reduce the presence of mold. Below are several specific steps that you can take to prevent mold from flourishing in your home or commercial property.

Mold on Walls, Mold Damage on Ceiling

Keep Humidity under Control

Although you can’t see the small water droplets that are often present in indoor air, even that small amount of moisture can foster mold growth over time. It’s important to install and use ventilation fans in areas that are frequently subjected to high humidity, including bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas. A dehumidification unit may also provide a long-term solution in basements and other areas with consistent exposure to moisture.

Take Care of Leaks

A damaged roof or problematic pipe can cause unsightly discoloration due to water damage, and that same moisture may also encourage mold to take hold. Regular roof and plumbing inspections will give you advance warning of any potential leaks before the damage spreads, and timely repairs can cut off the source of moisture and head off mold growth before it has a chance to occur.

Call in a Professional after a Flood

The best time to respond after an indoor flood is as soon as possible. Even if the flooding seems localized and insignificant, the water damage and mold growth that result can be widespread. An experienced flood damage professional will use state-of-the-art water extraction methods to quickly dry carpeting and furniture and will assess the need for any further repairs as the floodwaters recede.

If you’d like more information about mold prevention, mold remediation or water damage control services, give Lotus Contracting Services a call today at 480-500-5481!

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Why You Shouldn’t Handle Your Own Flood Damage Restoration

If your home has recently been affected by a flood, then you probably want to do what you can to salvage your home as quickly as possible. This means that you might want to get to work yourself in tackling the job. Even though it’s certainly understandable that you might want to grab a mop and get to work, the truth is that it’s usually a much better idea to hire a team of professionals. Here’s why.

Water Damaged Basement

It Can Be Dangerous

What a lot of people do not realize is that flood damage restoration can actually be a very dangerous job. In fact, this is the case for a few reasons. First of all, if the electrical wiring in your home got wet during the flood, you could have to worry about an electrical fire starting or about being shocked while you’re working in your home. The water that is in your home could also be contaminated and could be harmful. Plus, there could be sharp or otherwise dangerous items floating in the water that could hurt you if you aren’t careful.

You Might Not Have the Right Equipment

In most cases, simply using old towels to sop up the water just isn’t going to do the trick. Water damage restoration companies use special equipment to pull as much water as possible out of your carpet and upholstery, for example. They also have the equipment to find mold, get rid of odors, dry up water more quickly and more.

You Could Spend More Money

If you’re thinking that it will be a good idea for you to handle your own water damage restoration project so that you can save a few bucks, you should know that this generally is not the case. For example, it is common for many homeowners to throw away items that could actually be restored because they don’t have the knowledge or equipment to save them. This could lead to you having to pay for a lot of property repairs and furnishings that you wouldn’t have had to pay for if you would have hired a team of professionals.

As you can see, if you are thinking about doing your own flood damage restoration rather than hiring a professional, you should know that it might not be the best idea. If you contact a flood damage restoration company, however, you can find out more about what is involved in having your home restored.

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Are you Prepared for Monsoon Season?

Hey Arizonans, monsoon season is upon us! It’s time to enjoy that much needed rain, those gorgeous storm photos and to experience the amazing smell of rain in the desert. Although we may enjoy those aspects of the season, monsoons can be unforgiving and damaging to our homes, vehicles and businesses. Here are a few tips on how to prepare yourself and protect your most valued assets from the monsoon season this year.

monsoon

1. Have your roof inspected. Make sure there are no missing shingles, broken roof tiles or cracks in your flat roof. Make sure everything is sealed and in good condition to withstand the strong winds and rain that often accompany the monsoon storms.

2. Prepare your landscaping. Trim any large trees that are near your home. Weak overgrown branches can break and damage your roof or anything in their path if they snap or break. Stake down any small immature trees to protect them from the damaging winds and water logged soil that becomes soft and unable to stabilize the trees.

3. Evaluate your storm drainage. If you have noticed areas on your property where water pools and puddles, it’s important to address these issues so that water runs away from your home or business and not towards it. Addressing these issues may require that you hire a landscaping company to correct the drainage issues, but it could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in damage to the interior of your home or business should we get heavy rain in a short amount of time.

4. Gutters and downspouts. If you already have gutters and downspouts on your home, now is the time to free them of any built up leaves and debris that may have accumulated. If you don’t have gutters and downspouts, now may be a good time to invest in them. Gutters and downspouts work by directing rain from your roof, microbursts or downspouts away from your home’s foundation.

5. Make room in the garage. If at all possible take this time to clear out the garage and make room for your vehicles to protect them from the monsoon storms. This also allows you the opportunity to get any valuable belongings up off of the floor, out of cardboard boxes and stored safely so that if any water does get in the garage during the storms, your personal belongings are protected.

6. Talk to your insurance agent about Flood coverage. I know you think this sounds crazy because we live in a desert but we actually do have floods here…quite a few of them. Every year there are thousands if not millions of dollars in structural damage in the Phoenix valley due to flooding. While most homeowner’s insurance policies cover water damage from an INTERNAL source in your home, very few policies cover water that enters from the outside. This requires a special rider that many people don’t know about. Flood coverage is relatively cheap when you consider the cost of restoring your home or business after it has been covered in inches of water, mud and clay soil. It is worth talking to your agent about and evaluating how close you live to a wash, canal or street that floods each time it rains.

We hope these tips are helpful and get you through the monsoon season unscathed so you can just sit back and enjoy the beauty that the Arizona desert storms can bring. But…should you do suffer from the wrath of the monsoon storms, don’t hesitate to call Lotus Contracting Services for any of your damage related needs! 480-500-5481. www.LotusServicesAZ.com

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5 Signs of Hidden Mold Contamination Every Homeowner Should Know

If you or someone in your household experiences asthmatic symptoms, runny nose, nose bleeds, shortness of breath, rashes, coughs or related symptoms that have no explanation and/or go away when you leave your home, you may have a mold contamination.

Because of their tight sealing, modern energy-efficient home designs can trap moisture in your home creating ideal conditions under which mildew thrives. When that’s paired with an opportunistic food source such as wallpaper, cloth, wood, etc., the situation can quickly become a problematic and potentially life-threatening mold infestation.

In this article we discuss 5 signs of hidden mold.

  1. Odor
    The musty smell of mildew is hard to miss for those who have been exposed to it. However, because there are thousands of different types of molds the smells vary accordingly and can sometimes present as a sour stench, damp clothes or the smell of pungent potted soil. When an active mold contamination is the cause, the smell will keep returning regardless of odor treatment.
  2. Visible Growths
    More often than not, the mildew will begin as a black patch. However, some mildews are pink/red, yellow, green, blue, brown and orange. Any such growth in a humid or damp environment points to contamination and should be inspected and treated.
  3. Water Leaks
    Because they create the ideal conditions for mold growth, puddles, water seepage from inside of walls and dripping pipes should be investigated as sources pointing to hidden mildew growth.
  4. Stains and Discoloration
    Related to the visible water leaks are the stains and discolorations, associated with water damage, that result from unseen leaks in your home. A leaking roof or a burst pipe can cause moisture and water seepage that create spots on walls that are lighter or darker than the color of the wall, ceiling, cabinet or floor. Mold growth can cause further discoloration. If your home has water spots or has ever been flooded, you should have it inspected for mold.
  5. Physical Symptoms
    As mentioned in the introduction, the symptoms that result from mold growth are highly unpleasant and often difficult to relate to a specific cause. However, any prolonged cough, chest tightness, sinus condition or symptoms that are commonly associated with allergies or asthma should raise suspicions about possible hidden mold contamination that requires prompt attention.

If you have a mold issue or need mold removal services in the Phoenix, AZ Metro area including the east valley in Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe and Queen Creek call us today for help!

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What To Do When You Have Water Damage in Your Commercial Building

Arizona has hot temperatures, so you probably don’t think that water damage can occur in a commercial property. While it seldom rains in this region, when it does, you may learn that you have a leaking roof on your commercial building.

In the states where rainstorms occur frequently, property owners notice when a building’s roof has a small leak, but you may not think about inspecting a building’s rooftop in Arizona. If a roof on a building is damaged, then when a torrential rainstorm occurs, the rainwater will seep underneath the shingles.

Immediate Responses To Telephone Calls

Occasionally, a major rainstorm does occur in Phoenix, and not only can a building’s roof leak, but also, the rainwater may create flooding conditions. When your commercial business is flooded by rainwater or the rooftop on a structure leaks, you must contact a water damage company immediately for assistance. An emergency water damage team can arrive at a residential or commercial property in less than an hour to begin the cleaning process.

Installation of Tarps On a Rooftop

First, the restoration technicians must determine why a building is flooded with water, and a property owner must fix the problem to prevent additional water damage. If a roof is leaking, then the team of technicians can place a tarp over the roof to protect a structure’s underlying materials. This is often necessary because a roofing company isn’t available right away to make the essential repairs.

Emergency Restoration Teams Work On a 24-hour Basis

When a water-damaged building doesn’t have any power to use industrial-strength fans or dehumidifiers, the remediation company will use a generator to operate the equipment. To remove standing water, the technicians will install a sump pump. The moisture in a water-soaked business requires fast removal, so a team of technicians will work on a 24-hour basis to pump out the water before drying the wet materials.

Degraded Materials Are Ripped From the Building

A lot of the moisture in a water-damaged building is removable with extraction machines, but when materials such as carpets, dry wall or floor tiles are degrading, the technicians will tear out the items for proper disposal at an off-site location. During the water-damage cleanup, the technicians will apply deodorizing chemicals to eliminate mildew odor along with cleansers that will destroy mold spores.

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How to Clean Up Flood Damage in Mesa AZ

Floods are a common occurrence across the country. Frequent floods lead to significant water damage. This water damage affects the home, vehicles, and property inside the home. There are several times a year that floods occur in Arizona especially during monsoon season.

Electronic equipment in the home really does take a big hit. Think about the water damage that might occur to any of your precious electronic equipment. Everything from a smartphone to a HD television could take a massive hit, during the flood. Of course, the first step to take after water damage occurs, is to contact our disaster restoration service for immediate help.

However, it is also important to realize that some of the electronic equipment might suffer severe damage and that corrosion could set in, while other electronics might survive the water damage.

Phoenix Water Damage

Muddy water from storm flooding

Taking Assessment After Flood Damage
The first step is to take a quick assessment of electronics after the water damage occurs. Determine if electronic property should be replaced or repaired.

Here are important issues to consider. Was the electronic equipment completely submerged under water? For example, electronics left in a basement that flooded were completely covered and left in standing water.

Generally, the electronics are not salvageable, under these extreme conditions. Repairing the damaged parts would cost more than the electronics are worth. Replacement is the best solution. Perhaps, the item was not submerged, but left out in the rainstorm.

The odds are that corrosion is an issue and the item should be replaced. Certainly, electronics that were exposed to extreme humidity because of water damage, might develop corrosion too. This item should be assessed by an expert or simply replaced.

After Water & Flood Damage
The first steps that you take after water damage are important. Take a quick assessment of all the water damage. Take pictures for insurance purposes. Remember, some water damage might stay hidden behind the walls in the home. Corrosion of pipes and electronics might happen immediately.

Contact our Flood Damage Restoration experts for our flood damage service to have your complete home assessed, cleaned, and dried immediately.

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