What To Do in Case of Flood

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What To Do in Case of Flood

Call your Insurance Company

It’s important to call your insurance company as soon as possible.  Ask them what you need to do to ensure that you can receive coverage.  Don’t start cleaning anything up until you have spoken with your agent

Take LOTS of Pictures

It’s important to document everything that you can. Take a video and do a walkthrough of the home.  Try to show everything that was damaged, both on the interior and exterior of your home. Take as many close-up pictures as you can as well of items that were damaged in the flood.  It’s important to have ample evidence of the water damage before you start removing items or cleaning up.

Meet with Adjuster

Make sure that you keep written proof of any interactions you have with the adjuster.  Keep records of all the paperwork or emails you have with the adjuster and insurance agent.  Before they come you should prepare yourself with your insurance information and your pictures of the damaged property.  The adjuster will also take photos and measurements and will provide you with a Proof of Loss which you will then submit to your insurance company.

Contact your Flood Repair Company

At Rain Fire Restoration, we have a 24-hour Emergency Restoration Crew available any day of the week to help with your disaster cleanup. Your problem is our priority, no matter the size of the flood.  Call us at (385) 336-7246

fireworks

Firework Fires in Utah

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Firework Fires in Utah

The 4th of July is right around the corner.  You know what that means — Fireworks! Fireworks are a fundamental part of the celebrations of our freedom.  But that doesn’t mean we are free of potential hazards.

Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires every year! These fires have lead to an average of $43 million in direct property damage every single year. Last year, 2018, in the Salt Lake City area alone there were 45 calls, generating 85 responses from the Salt Lake City Fire crews.  We know that these fireworks are an integral part of the holidays, but we need to make sure we are exercising caution! Below are a few reminders to hopefully bring down that number of fires we had last year!

Make sure to Obey Local Laws

If fireworks have been listed as illegal in a certain area, this is for a reason! The state is not trying to spoil your fun by limiting the areas where you can light off your fireworks.  They are trying to ensure that those areas which are drier and more susceptible to fire are protected.

Keep Buckets of Water

Make sure that you keep buckets of water on hand at all times.  It is great to be able to throw sparklers or other hot fireworks into a body of water to cool them down rather than throwing them into a trashcan or on the ground where they may catch something on fire.

Don’t relight “dud” fireworks

It may be a little disheartening to spend large chunks of money on fireworks only to have them not go off after lighting them.  Do not attempt to relight a “dud”. You should wait 15-20 minutes and then soak them in the previously mentioned bucket of water.  These are not to be messed with.

Do not Alter or Make Homemade Fireworks

Fireworks should not be altered or combined with other fireworks in an attempt to make them bigger, louder, more powerful, etc.  In addition, you should never try to create your own homemade fireworks or explosives. These can be very dangerous and are the number one cause for fires during this time!

Ensure that you are being safe, wearing shoes, and using common sense and you shouldn’t have any issues.  Make sure that you are only using fireworks in the areas where they are legally allowed. Following these simple rules should allow you to safely enjoy your holiday celebrations and firework shows!

mold clipart

Let’s Talk About Mold

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Let’s Talk About Mold

Let’s talk about mold.  I know, I know. This is the last thing anyone wants to talk about.  Here in Utah where it tends to be drier, many homes brush it aside and think we don’t have to worry about it.  Unfortunately, this isn’t true! Mold can be tricky and expensive to remove so we’ve compiled a few tips that can help prevent the growth of mold so you can refrain from having to talk about it in the future!

Moisture Control

The number one way to help prevent mold is to watch those areas that tend to get a lot of moisture.  Bathrooms are a big one. Basements that tend to flood. Anywhere that you have seen a leak, or maybe just a window that has a lot of condensation.  Keeping an eye on these areas and putting extra effort into drying them right away is a proactive way to keep the mold away!

Check Your Ventilation

In areas that do tend to get a lot of moisture, especially the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room, it is important to make sure that you have the proper form of ventilation to help air these rooms out.  Moisture that gets trapped in these rooms is begging for mold to grow. Dehumidifiers and AC units can be a game changer.

Get it Checked by an Expert

Unfortunately, mold is usually an issue in places that are difficult to see.  Under carpets or behind walls are the perfect place for an unwanted mold infestation to begin.  If you are worried about areas that have flooded in the past, or that maybe have had leaks, don’t hesitate to call in an expert! Catching the problem before it spreads is the best thing you can do! At RainFire Restoration, our experts are trained in identifying, containing, and remediating mold so don’t hesitate to give us a call to put your mind at ease!

flood with sandbags

Minimizing Damage From Flooding

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Minimizing Damage From Flooding

 

Disaster strikes sometimes when we are not prepared, but if you’re lucky you can minimize the damage from the disaster. Here are a few tips to help save you money and protect your property:

1. Identify the problem:

When you notice your home might be having a flooding problem, the first step is to see if the source of your flood is something you can stop. Is the flooding coming from your plumbing?  Answers to these questions can help with step 2.

2. Solve the problem:

When your pipes are leaking or some other plumbing is causing your flooding, then shut off the water. If it is an external source, utilize sandbags to prevent more water from entering, and make sure all the potential drainage points (like gutters) are free and clear of debris.  

3. Protect Belongings

Now that you have done everything you can to prevent further damage to your home, now is the time to protect all precious items and other belongings from water damage. Don’t forget decor such as rugs.

4. Dry it out

As soon as there is no threat of rain damage, open up all windows and doors to allow airflow through the room so as to dry out damaged areas and prevent mold growth.

Sometimes problems are too urgent to seek professional help immediately and these steps are for those situations, however, professional disaster services can help and potentially save you money of further damages, so once your initial steps are taken, give us a call.

 

Family watching their house burn.

Top 5 ways to prevent house fires

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Top 5 ways to prevent house fires

 

1- Make Sure Your Smoke Alarms Are Working Properly

37% of deaths related to house-fires came from homes which did not have smoke alarms.  23% came from homes which had smoke alarms, but that were not working properly. We get it, sometimes when the battery is low and your fire alarm starts making that annoying BEEP it can be tempting to just take out the fire alarm until you have time to replace the battery.  While it may seem tedious, it is worth it to make sure that your Smoke Alarm is working properly at all times.

 

2- Pay Extra Attention to the Stove and Cooking Equipment

Leftover food particles can get too hot and cause a fire, whether left on the stove or on a pot for too long.  It’s important to watch these surfaces and make sure they are cleaned regularly. Similarly, it is important to make sure that nothing else is left on these surfaces! A paper towel or dish rag left haphazardly on the stove, or curtains too close, can easily get too hot and start a fire!

 

3- Watch Your Electrical Equipment and Wiring

Frayed cords or faulty wiring can spark and cause a fire.  Check your cords before plugging them in to make sure that they are not frayed or broken in any way.  Pay attention to your outlets as well and ensure that you are not overloading them. Some extension cords can cause fires as well with overuse of electricity going through them.  If you notice that some circuits are shorting frequently, or lights are dimming when you use another piece of electrical equipment in your home, this may be a sign that you are at a greater risk for a fire.

 

4- Ensure that Bedrooms Also Have Smoke Alarms

Many people believe that most house fires start in the kitchen. While the kitchen is a very likely place for a fire to start, bedrooms are also a high-risk area! Curious kids may experiment with matches or lighters in their bedrooms so it is important to keep those out of reach for young ones.  Many people will light candles in their bedrooms as well which increases the risk of fire! Smoking is another thing which is commonly done in bedrooms but is best left away from the carpeted bedrooms. In any case, it is smart to make sure that all bedrooms also have their own smoke alarms!

 

5- Keep a Fire Extinguisher on Hand and Have a Safety Plan

A fire extinguisher is your best weapon when a small fire first breaks out so ensure that you have AT LEAST one in your house at all times, but preferably to have one in any room with a higher potential risk of fire.  It may be worth your time to make sure that everyone in the family knows how to properly handle the fire extinguisher as well, in case something happens while you are not home. We recommend having a fire safety plan as well.  Include training on “STOP, DROP, and ROLL”, safety evacuation plans, and practice drills with your family to avoid any questions they may have in case of a fire.

Wasatch Valley

Snow-melt and Rain Levels in Utah Raises Concern for Potential Flooding

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Snow-melt and Rain Levels in Utah Raises Concern for Potential Flooding

 

Spring and Summer are teasing us here in Utah, but the rain and snow just keep on coming.  As it does start to grow warmer, the snow is beginning to melt and you know what that means – potential flooding! After last year where Utah had its driest year on record, we’re all very grateful about how much rain and snow we’ve gotten, but we do need to be cautious!

“Right now, there is well over the volume in the snowpack that would fill that reservoir, even if it was empty,” says Scott Paxman, Assistant General Manager of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District according to the Salt Lake Tribune.  

This means we have much more snow than we anticipated!

Floods can be unpredictable but there are a few things you can do to be more prepared in case of this unfortunate event!

  • Check with your local council to go over local flood plans and to see if you are in a problem area.
  • Make sure to have those emergency kits on hand!
  • Make a flood plan with the members of your household.
  • Check your insurance policy to see if you are covered for flood damage.
  • Make sure to keep important personal documents or valuables in a waterproof container or safe.

And always remember, if you do need any flooding repair in Utah, at RainFire Restoration we are equipped to repair your home professionally, and efficiently.  We have the best equipment, and our technicians use standards established by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification), to ensure that you receive the best services possible!

Mold makes me sick!

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When I was in first grade, my teacher told us that if we ever opened a container of food and found mold growing there, we should throw the whole container of food away immediately. “Don’t just scrape off the moldy part and eat the rest,” Mrs. Jensen said (that’s not her real name, by the way). “You should always throw away moldy food and never eat it.”

Fast forward to when I was a Boy Scout. On week-long Scouting trips to the canyons, lakes, and mountains of Utah, it can be hard to keep food fresh. During one trip, we found some of our food was moldy. Some of my twelve-year-old peers suggested we eat it anyway. Into my mind came the warning of my first grade teacher: “Don’t just scrape off the moldy part!” I didn’t eat the moldy food, and I warned my companions not to eat it either. Not all of them listened, and they suffered the consequences. Those of us who didn’t eat it didn’t get sick!

The truth is, most folks don’t realize how bad mold can really be. My first grade teacher saved me a severe illness—perhaps even saved my life. Certain kinds of mold can be deadly (especially black mold), and most mold will make you very sick. I assume you probably aren’t eating mold on a regular basis (if you are, I strongly suggest you stop!), but ingesting mold is not the only way to be affected by it. Mold spores in the air can make you ill if you breathe them.

But you don’t have mold spores floating around in the air, do you? I’ve been quite surprised—most people aren’t aware that they have mold growing in their house. During home inspections, we commonly find mold behind walls, in insulation, behind cabinets, in food storage rooms, and anywhere else where there is moisture, a food source, and just the right temperature. Whenever we go out to remediate mold, we always wear protective gear, seal off the area, and clean ourselves up afterward with special chemicals. Why? Because mold can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and pretty bad illnesses. I don’t want that for myself, and I definitely don’t want it for you. You wouldn’t eat mold. Why would you live with it in your home?

The Mysterious Water Leak

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Water damage and black mold

We had an interesting week with two separate clients calling about unknown water leaks. In both homes we found that there had been a small water leak, but from an unknown source. We did our normal routine—first a visual inspection, and second, we pulled out our protimeter. The protimeter is a great way for us to look behind the walls and get a better idea of where there is moisture. It does this by quickly penetrating the wall or floor with a radio wave.

In both homes we could see that there had been some  moisture behind the sheetrock or directly on the wall. The first home had another restoration company who had tried their best to find the water leak but was unable to pinpoint the problem. They had made a cut in the wall and taken out mold, but didn’t see any source of water. I’m sure it must have been baffling to them, as it was to us at first. But we kept searching. We pulled down the insulation form the wall in each home. When we did this in the second home, we found black mold and quickly set up a containment barrier with a Hepa filter. This is a precautionary step to prevent mold from spreading further.

Containment barrier: this helps seal in spores from black mold. Inside is a Hepa filter that removes harmful particles and debris.

We had hoped that without the insulation, we would easily be able to see the water leak. But removing the insulation did nothing to reveal the problem. Our mysterious water leak seemed to have no origin. We checked the wall with our camera and still saw no water pipe or leaking source.

It started to become apparent that our mysterious water leak was coming from the foundation wall of the home. Our inspection quickly lead us to the outside of the house. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. We began spraying water down the outside of the foundation. Within minutes the foundation had sprung a leak, and we had found our culprit!

Foundation leak that caused both water damage and mold growth.

You couldn’t believe the shock and gratitude of each homeowner that we had found the source of the leak. We will now begin the steps for both mold remediation and well as water remediation. We found that a little dedication and detective work goes a long way when you’re helping someone in need…especially in the case of an unknown water leak!