With Hurricane Irma projected to arrive in north central Florida in the next few days, we know that many residents are looking for ways to protect their properties and families. As disaster restoration specialists, we wanted to offer our expertise as you prepare. We’ve pulled together 11 key steps to prevent damage and handle emergency situations to help you stay safe and secure this weekend.
- Be aware of the hurricane’s progress. Stay tuned to local forecasts, storm warnings, and hurricane trackers. By following the hurricane’s progress, you can make an informed decision of whether to evacuate your property, if necessary. Be ready to make this decision if you live in an area that could be flooded. If you live in a prefabricated house that isn’t sturdy enough to stand up to the wind, you should evacuate early to avoid the rush.
- Clear weak or dead tree limbs around your property. Loose branches pose a significant danger during high winds, which can blow them down and cause damage to your property. Make sure to dispose of any branches in a closed container.
- Secure and clear out your gutters. Hurricanes and tropical storms typically bring heavy rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding. Securing loose gutters and downspouts will also prevent them from being whipped out of place by winds.
- Shut and reinforce windows and doors. This will help protect against strong winds and rain, keeping the storm outside. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option, though not a last-minute one, is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. If you haven’t done this already, be sure to put it on your list in preparation for future storms. Don’t forget to secure any outside shed or garage doors as well.
- Clear your yard, porches, and patio. Make sure to safely store any outdoor furniture, grills, trash cans, bird feeders, hanging plants, kid’s toys – anything that high winds can pick up and use as a projectile. Playhouses, storage sheds, or any other outdoor structures should be anchored securely. If they are not already secured to a permanent foundation, you can use straps and ground anchors to keep them in place.
- Locate gas pilots and water mains. You will need to be able to find these and know how to safely shut off your utilities.
- Take photos or videos of the interior and exterior of your home and of your personal belongings. For insurance claims, it’s important to create a record of your personal property. This will help assist adjusters in case you need to file a claim. You can also create an itemized list of your furniture, clothing, and other valuables.
- Find and secure your important documents and insurance policies. If you don’t have time to access a safe deposit box, try to use a watertight box or make sure your documents are backed up online. If you plan on riding out the storm in your home, make sure you have a “safe room” inside the house.
- Put together a disaster supply kit. This kit should include a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.
- Charge your cell phone now. The worst time to run down your battery is mid-storm, after your home has lost power.
- Know your local emergency service providers. In case of extensive damage to your home during a storm, it’s important to learn ahead of time who will be available to help. Look for licensed contractors in Gainesville, FL who specialize in restoration and provide all-hours service. Maven Construction Group provides these services to the north central Florida region, and can be reached 24/7.
For further information as you plan for Hurricane Irma, please see these emergency preparedness and response resources:
Is it a Job for a Plumber or Gainesville Restoration Company?
When it comes to water leaks and other emergencies in your home, both plumbers and restoration companies work to repair the issue and prevent water damage. However, there are instances when a restoration company might be more suitable than a plumber and vice versa. At Maven Construction Group, we provide restoration of water damage Gainesville, FL, residents can trust.
Common Water Issues for Homeowners
- Leaking Pipes: Leaking or cracked pipes can happen quite often and if not taken care of can cost you a significant amount on your water bill and even cause water damage to floors and walls. However, water leak detection is fairly easy and quick to spot, as well as to resolve, so it is often a job more suitable for a plumber as long as there is no extensive damage.
- Clogged Drains: Clogged drains can cause water to spill over onto other areas, however, because it is easily noticed it will often be repaired before there is extensive water damage to the surrounding areas. A plumber would be the ideal choice for clogged drains.
- Leaking Shower Pan: Leaking shower pans are not easily detected and due to the constant flow of water it is easy for water to damage floors and walls. The excess moisture often causes mold growth in the bathroom as well. For water issues involving mold damage restoration, a restoration company should be contacted.
- Water Heater Burst: A water heater burst can release large amounts of water instantly, possibly flooding the surrounding areas and causing water damage. In this instance, a Gainesville restoration company would be necessary for emergency water removal and to repair the burst.
- Slab Leaks: Slab leaks can cause serious structural problems to your home if not addressed. They can cause cracks in walls and flooring, extensive water damage to the foundation, mildew and mold growth, and raise your water bills significantly. A restoration company can help repair the leak and address any water or mold damages caused by it.
Restoration Company in Gainesville, FL
What makes water restoration companies different from plumbers is the gravity of the situation. Plumbers stop and repair the source of water loss but do not address water damage caused by it. Restoration companies, on the other hand, use advanced equipment to dry, remove and repair water damage as well as mold damage caused by the water source. At Maven Construction Group, we can also bring in a plumber to repair a leak or other water issue if needed and, unlike normal plumber services, the repairs would be covered under your insurance. Contact us today for all your water and mold restoration services.
When removing water from commercial and residential buildings you must understand the science of drying. The science of drying requires understanding of thermodynamic properties of air and water vapor mixtures. Measuring and evaluating these properties enables restorers to better analyze and manage conditions during drying. Rapid drying requires the proper equipment and understanding of the elements listed below.
Although equilibrium is not the primary goal in structural drying, the forces that continually seek this state are the same forces used to achieve drying goals. Managing psychrometric conditions influences the rate at which moisture moves from wet building materials to the air, when seeking equilibrium. The objective of drying is to minimize the amount of time materials spend in an abnormally wet state. This time can be reduced by better understanding the forces that move moisture through materials.
Evaporation is the transfer of moisture from water damaged building materials to the air. This can be achieved by rapid air-movement by using high velocity air-movers. When a building suffers from water damage the humidity inside the building goes up. Because of the the wet building materials inside, the moisture has no place to go once the materials are saturated. Elevated humidity levels means excess moisture in the air which leads to secondary water damaged building materials. For example, water may flood a building as a result of a plumbing malfunction but only go 6 to 12 inches up the drywall. The elevated moisture within the air-space of the building will rise causing wet air to damage upper cabinets and other building materials that were not actually touched by water. Elevated moisture levels or elevated Relative Humidity or (RH) can lead to mold contamination in areas of the dwelling that were not actually touched by water. The best way to reduce elevated (RH) is the installation of dehumidifiers. Dehumidification is the process of removing moisture from the air. In closed drying systems dehumidifcation is essential for removing evaporated moisture from the air to minimize or prevent secondary water damage.
Once structural drying is completed and the drying goal is achieved, inspection of damages is performed. Building materials such as drywall can lose structural integrity once damaged by water. Often times insurance companies think that drywall can be saved once dried however, if the structural integrity of the drywall has been compromised it should be replaced. Drywall is considered to be a porous and should always be removed if the category of water is 2 or 3 (which means it is an unclean source). Drywall that is contaminated with mold should always be removed no matter the situation.