Recent Posts

How do I Restore my Home After Water Damage?

7/8/2020 (Permalink)

close-up of water damaged hardwood floors Water and handwood flooring don't mix. SERVPRO knows how remediate the issue and repair the damage.

The Best Way to Restore Your Exeter Home After Water Damage is to Call a Water Restoration Technician

Your home in Exeter probably boasts of historic character and the charm of fine craftsmanship. However, older homes may pose additional risks to their plumbing, which could lead to leaks. Even worse, some of the water leaking from an older pipe may not become apparent until you smell a musty odor or your water bill increases. By then, water has probably made its way through flooring, cabinets, and walls. Discoloration in your ceiling and peeling paint can also be symptomatic of a more significant problem.

Repairing water damage in your home in Exeter is a job for our water restoration technicians at SERVPRO. Our training and knowledge about the treatment of different materials such as wood, composite, and textiles are differentiators in our field. Whenever you face the consequences of excessive moisture, you must avoid using one cleaning product for all items, causing further damage or doing a poor job of restoring your home. It is best to leave the work to our expert team and rely on our fact-based restoration plan.

Can I save my hardwood floors after water damage?

Homeowners with natural or engineered wood floors often worry that water damage is equivalent to a total loss. However, our SERVPRO crew can take several steps towards preventing permanent damage. Ordinarily, hardwood floors change as humidity levels shift. Our goal is to reverse the effect of cupping or buckling by closely monitoring humidity levels and allowing the wood planks to return to their ideal state. A few extra steps may also entail-

  • Removing the floor's finish if it becomes an evaporation barrier
  • Increase beneath the floor airflow itself with minimal perforation of the floor finish
  • Create a drying chamber with a polyethylene tent when there's a need

Rather than jump to conclusions about your flooring state, call SERVPRO of The Seacoast, SERVPRO of Dover-Rochester, and SERVPRO of Durham for help. Our expert team is at your service by calling (603) 433-4300. Like you, we aim to want to leave your home, "Like it never even happened."

More about Exeter.

Are There Ways to Protect My Home After a Flood?

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Storm clouds and lightning After your home suffers flood damage, you need a team of professionals to assist you with cleanup. Call SERVPRO right away! We are always available.

With a fast response and experienced technicians, our SERVPRO team can help your Portsmouth home return to preloss condition quickly. 

After a flood loss in your Portsmouth home, you can wonder if things will ever look and feel the same again. Standing water alone can cause devastation throughout affected areas of your home, providing an overwhelming sight for the DIY restorer. Our SERVPRO team can help with a fast response to these emergencies when you call and the equipment and expertise to manage the current conditions and return your home to its original state. 

While there are multiple degrees of flood damage in Portsmouth homes after a loss incident, several of the approaches necessary to restore the current effects are the same. We have pre-stocked trailers loaded with water restoration equipment like extractors, air movers, dehumidifiers, and potent cleaning products to help. Arriving quickly with these tools and technologies already in hand ensures that vital mitigation begins as soon as possible and that there are no further opportunities for irreparable structural damage. 

What Are the Main Threats of a Flood Scenario?

Every flood situation comes with threats and risks to your home and its occupants. In many ways, this disaster is one of the most devastating that can befall a home, and that is why our professionals stay ready to respond to these water restoration needs as soon as you need it. Understanding some of the main threats to your property can help you know why you need to secure professional restoration to protect your house. Some of these pressing concerns include:

  • Material Deterioration – Direct exposure to standing or migrating water after a flood can weaken construction materials. 
  • Microbial Threats – Moist and damp conditions created by the presence of floodwater and saturation of many materials can present the appropriate conditions for mold growth in as little as 48 hours. 
  • Contaminants – Natural flooding gets considered to be a blackwater incident, meaning that the likelihood of contamination and health threats are elevated. 
  • Structural Damage – The longer that materials stay exposed to water, the more likely that they become weakened and deteriorate.

Is There a Way to Help Before SERVPRO Arrives? 

Often, homeowners want to do more to help their situation as soon as possible once disasters like flooding strike. While We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster and can often reach your property within hours of the first notice of loss, there are still ways to prepare for these possibilities and act when disasters strike in the small window before our competent professionals get there. Here is what you should do:

  • Emergency Plan – Emergency plans are an excellent way to prepare for any loss situation that could impact your property. It assigns all of the occupants of your house with a path and destination so that they can safely get out of the house during a disaster. 
  • Keepsakes and Heirlooms – There is no doubt that you have some irreplaceable valuables in your home that can become ruined by rising or spreading floodwater. If possible, in the earliest stages of this emergency, you can relocate some of your home contents to other areas of the property or take heirlooms and treasures with you when you vacate the house.
  • Turn Off Utilities If Possible – If it is possible for you to get to them safely, you can cut the electrical service throughout your home by severing the primary breaker in the box, shut off water service with a valve where the water comes from the meter into your home, and other similar steps. These steps prevent damage to these elements that can amplify the hazards or work to get done.

What Can I Expect from Professional Restoration? 

While there is an allure to cleaning and restoring your home yourself, this is rarely feasible with flood losses, as so many areas of your property can become damaged without you even realizing it. We have sophisticated equipment to track water migration and the success of drying and restoration solutions that we implement. We have multiple strategies that set our professional restoration apart, and people have come to trust our SERVPRO team thanks to our immediate actions after a flood, including:

  • Content Management
  • Extraction
  • Muck Out 
  • Drying 
  • Cleaning 

No matter how detrimental a flood loss situation can be, the right preparations and fast responses can make a substantial difference. Our SERVPRO of The Seacoast team can help with experience and capable equipment to make flood losses “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call today at (603) 433-4300.

How Can I Get Rid of Smoke Odors After a Small Kitchen Fire?

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fire SERVPRO of The Seacoast is quick to get your fire damage under control.

For Fire Damage Restoration and Deodorization of Your Portsmouth Home Call SERVPRO.

Odors are volatile molecules that people's noses sense when they are present in the air. Since fragrances are easily evaporative, they eventually go away or dissipate once the source gets removed; however, the removal process can take a long time.

What can cause smoke odors to exist?

During fire damage projects in Portsmouth, foul aromas usually get caused by burnt materials or soot residues that are present after the blaze gets extinguished. The first step our SERVPRO technicians take during the restoration process is to remove all charred items and clean any surfaces that contain soils and soot residues. Once we capture all soils, residues, and burnt materials, we dispose of them in sealed plastic bags, so other previously unaffected areas of your home do not get contaminated.

What do you do if unpleasant smells still exist after all soot residues have been cleaned and burnt materials have been removed?

In some situations, foul aromas can still be present after soots have been disposed of because the smoke can penetrate porous materials deeply. When this occurs, we can use the following products and equipment to deodorize your house:

 Odor Counteracting Beads- These are made of a special treated porous material that, as soon as the bag is opened, deodorant molecules get released into the air.

 Deodorant Granules or Pellets- These specialized pellets or granules are odor absorbers that act as a sponge and hold in odors.

 Water-Based Odor Counteractants- Specialized chemicals can be added to cleaning solutions that can help counteract malodor particles.

 Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) Misters-  ULV foggers break down water-based deodorants into a mist so the chemicals can penetrate porous materials.

 Thermal Foggers- Thermal machines break oil-based deodorants down even smaller so it can travel through your structure in the same way smoke did.

 Sealers: Specialized sealant paints can trap in malodor molecules.

If you ever smell smoke in your home after you have a small kitchen fire in Hampton or Exeter, call SERVPRO of the Seacoast at (603) 433-4300.

See more about Portsmouth.

My Exeter Hotel Has Mold. Who Can Help Me Remove it?

6/14/2020 (Permalink)

hotel room with key in the door Make sure to contact SERVPRO at the first indication of mold damage in your hotel. We are available 24/7.

Call One of the Leading Commercial Mold Removal Companies in Exeter to Handle the Issue

Travelers typically expect a refreshing and clean hotel room to rest. What they do not expect is mold infestation. If your Exeter hotel has mold damage, you should hire a restoration company like SERVPRO to eliminate it so that your guests and employees do not experience health effects.

Why should I hire a professional mold cleanup service?

When you notice the signs of a mold infestation in your hotel, it is vital to seek assistance from commercial mold removal companies in Exeter. Although mold treatment devices and cleaners are available in hardware stores, you cannot be sure which ones are effective. Also, you do not want to expose yourself to mold. Professionals have proper training and advanced mold remediation products and equipment.

What causes mold to grow?

Mold enters a building as tiny spores that need moisture, nutrients, favorable temperatures, and oxygen to start growing, digesting, and destroying. Molds grow best in areas with lots of moisture or humidity. The bathroom is the likeliest place where mold grows in hotel rooms. Humidity and moisture from constant use allow mold to grow between the grout. Molds can grow on many surfaces, including:

  • Ceiling tiles
  • Wood
  • Paint
  • Wallpaper
  • Sheetrock
  • Carpet
  • Insulation

Hotels usually rely on repeat customers and word of mouth referrals to remain in business. Mold in your hotel can lead to loss of customers because of negative reviews. Our SERVPRO team can take the right measures to eliminate the mold.

What does mold remediation involve?

Mold remediation is the process of removing or cleaning up mold from an indoor environment. When removing mold, it is vital to understand that when you disturb it, its spores can get into other areas of the building, creating new mold problems. Before we remove the mold, we can build a containment using negative pressure. We also wear the right personal protective equipment and follow the stipulations of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) with regards to mold removal.

Our team can eliminate the mold by physically removing the affected porous materials and drying the environment effectively. We can also use disinfectants to remove some molds. Direct contact between certain molds and some disinfectants inhibits or slows mold growth.

How long does it take to remove mold?

The time it takes to remove mold depends on various factors like where the mold is growing, how much mold is present, and the materials it is growing on. Mold removal can take anywhere from one to five days.

If you need to remove mold from your hotel, call SERVPRO of The Seacoast, SERVPRO of Dover-Rochester, and SERVPRO of Durham at (603) 433-4300. Our staff is certified in mold remediation and mold removal by the IICRC.

Click here for more information about Exeter. 

How Do I Remove Water from Different Flooring Types?

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged hardwood floor being removed Water quickly damages flooring materials. Depending upon the scope of damage, sometimes the floor can be salvaged.

SERVPRO has the Knowledge for Flooring Restoration After Portsmouth Water Loss Events

Your Portsmouth home has many different flooring types, and our SERVPRO professionals have different tools and equipment that can help to restore these after water losses. Many materials compose the construction of your home's flooring, walls, and ceiling systems. Different strategies are necessary to remove water and moisture from these structural elements because so many materials make up your Portsmouth home. Our team of professionals has extensive training and experience to provide the ideal approach for whatever wet surface we encounter. 

Recognizing what tools are best for actions like water removal in Portsmouth homes gets determined during the initial evaluation and damage assessment. Scoping the job is a process where our project manager and crew chief work with the customer to identify preloss conditions and pre-existing conditions so that we can return the property to its original state as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. 

Can You Remove Water from Carpeting?  

In areas like your living room and bedrooms, carpeting is one of the typical flooring types encountered in area homes. When migrating water reaches the fibers of carpeted floors, this moisture can get quickly absorbed. It is critical to remove water from carpeting as soon as possible so that moisture does not penetrate the padding and, eventually, the subflooring material. When reconstruction is necessary, the cost of recovery amplifies. Some of the water removal tools and practices for carpeted floors include: 

  • Carpet Wands – Wands are fierce attachments for wet vacuums and extractors that can pull water from the surface layer and the padding of carpeted floors. These tools are wise choices when the padding is getting replaced. 
  • Weighted Extractors – Stand on and ride on extraction tools can force the surface layer of carpeting and the padding together against the subflooring. This action forces moisture to the surface for an onboard vacuum to remove. 
  • Floating Practices – By placing a centrifugal air mover between the top and padding layers of carpeted floors, we can dry both of these materials simultaneously in a floating process. 

Is Wood Flooring Salvageable After Water Damage?  

The composition of wood surfaces, especially flooring, makes it a sensitive material to standing surface water. Absorption can happen quickly, which can be disastrous if the water does not get removed quickly. Within as little as 48 hours, saturation can reach the point where it begins to warp and distort wood planks, leaving no option but removal and replacement. Some of the approaches for drying wood floors include: 

  • Air movers
  • Drying Mat System
  • Tenting 

Does Standing Water Damage Tile?  

Many homeowners believe that tile flooring is impenetrable, even to standing water in Portsmouth. While it is far more difficult for water to breach even the grout joints between floor tile, a small opening or breach in this water-tight seal can allow penetration to the mortar bed and subflooring material. The water beneath tiling can be destructive and hard to detect initially. Our SERVPRO team can address potential concerns with a simple three-step formula for removing water: 

  • Extraction – We cannot determine the damage that standing water has done in areas like the kitchen or bathroom until we have removed it. There are multiple extractors, but often wet vacuums and electric submersible pumps are the common implements. 
  • Surface Moisture Meter – With pooling water addressed, our technicians can work to determine the damage to tile flooring and other exposed materials. Finding moisture pockets often falls to a surface moisture meter device or probing tool to identify if damp areas exist beneath the top layer. 
  • Drying Mats – If pockets of moisture get detected with thermal imagery and surface meters, we can lay drying mats to slowly draw moisture from the mortar bed and subflooring materials to preserve and protect these areas. 

Does SERVPRO Replace Flooring?  

We can offer effective solutions for extraction and drying after a full-service restoration and recovery team after a water loss incident. While we strive to restore before replacing, this is not always possible. We have a full team of licensed residential contractors that can repair and reinstall flooring materials that required discarding from water damages. In this way, we can seamlessly transition between mitigation and repairs to get you back to normal life as soon as possible. 

While you might not be able to avoid water loss incidents, you can choose the team that oversees your property's restoration and recovery. No matter what materials become affected by water exposure, our SERVPRO of The Seacoast team can help. Contact us today at (603) 433-4300.

Help Protect The Seacoast Community with SERVPRO

5/24/2020 (Permalink)

green gloved hand spraying  liquid out of a blue bottle onto a countertop SERVPRO cleans homes using EPA-registered disinfectants.

SERVPRO is here to help the Seacoast area!

Like the rest of the nation and much of the world, the Portsmouth area is in high alert due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is strange to think that in just a couple of weeks, we went from our regular lives to maintaining social distance and working from home, but Governor Sununu has been clear. We must take every step to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. Children, adults, and the elderly are all vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, so we must do our best to keep it away from our homes.

Residents can reach out to our SERVPRO crew to help disinfect your Portsmouth home or workplace. Contrary to other companies offering cleaning or disinfection services, it’s something we are trained and certified to do.  We have been we offer cleaning and sanitizing services for years. Our staff trains specifically to address cleanup situations with biohazard threats.

To date, there is no specific protocol proven to eradicate the virus from frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, kitchen counters, and bathrooms. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is encouraging the use of hospital-grade, EPA registered disinfectants typically used to remove certain pathogens. Our standards of service include the use of EPA registered cleaning solutions suitable for this kind of work. As the CDC releases new recommendations, we adapt and apply them as appropriate.

In your home, you get to decide what you do to protect your family in this crisis. However, some entities, such as schools and nursing homes, require a third party to verify the effectiveness of the cleanup process. SERVPRO is prepared to coordinate services with any relevant entities as required. Our technicians are professionals in our field and accustomed to high-stakes situations, so dealing with potentially hazardous microbes is nothing new for us.

SERVPRO of The Seacoast, SERVPRO of Dover-Rochester, and SERVPRO of Durham are your resources at home and work. Call us at (603) 433-4300 and let us add a layer of protection for your loved ones.

Advice from the medical and scientific community regarding how to deal with the coronavirus is based on present knowledge, which is subject to change as the situation continues to develop. There can be no assurance that disinfectants alone will be adequate to fully eliminate the virus. We are not physicians or infectious disease professionals. Consult your medical professionals for individual medical advice.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open in Portsmouth, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of The Seacoast today at (603) 433-4300 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

Where Can I Find Portsmouth Water Cleanup Services?

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

A white laundry room with a folding table and iron. SERVPRO will be there Portsmouth, no matter where the water damage is located.

Call SERVPRO of The Seacoast Today For Expert Water Cleanup Services!

Owning a home in Portsmouth comes with many responsibilities, including reaching out for water cleanup services when a significant spill occurs. Now that spring is here, many people have found that some of the pipes in their homes didn't survive the winter. Imagine yourself in this situation. Picture a pipe just broke in your basement laundry room. What would you do? 

Immediately reaching out for local Portsmouth water cleanup services could save your home exponential costs and further damages. You may think that with some hard labor, and a wet/dry vacuum, you could clean the water up yourself. It is not impossible, but time is essential to factor into your calculations. The longer that water damage sits addressed, the more problems it can cause for you. 

What Can Standing Water Do to My Basement Laundry room?  

Many people own unfinished basements. However, unfinished does not mean unmanageable. Unaddressed water could cause: 

  • Calcium deposits to rise from the concrete floor and efflorescence
  • Mold growth due to activated spores
  • Damage to the framework and insulation of your home

Leaving water to its own devices for any amount of time is unwise. The best thing you can do for the longevity of your home is to reach out for professional help. 

How Can SERVPRO's Services Help Me? 

Here at SERVPRO, we have entire teams of water damage restoration technicians ready to help you. Furthermore, we can: 

  • Quickly travel to your home at any time, on any day
  • Use advanced technology to clean up and reduce moisture levels in your home 
  • Help you take inventory of your belongings and file insurance claims 

Here at SERVPRO, we believe in helping you. 

If you feel like your home might need water cleanup services, get help right now! Communicate with SERVPRO of The Seacoast by dialing (603) 433-4300. We're open and here for you. 

To find out more about Portsmouth, click here.

How Can I Remove Salt Water From My Portsmouth Home?

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

house with furniture out of place and walls peeling from flood damage When flood damage occurs in your home it can be hard to take care of. Contact SERVPRO to remediate the damages.

Salt Water Removal In Portsmouth is a Job for a Professional Service

Living close to the water is idyllic. Whether you enjoy swimming, the seashore, or life on a yacht, the calming effect a body of water can have on your soul is like nothing else. Recent weather events teach us that we are vulnerable to the elements, and a rise in water levels can cause saltwater to reach your home.

When you live in Portsmouth, and you face flood damage, you must call a professional service to assist you in the restoration process. Saltwater can seep into your crawl space and other areas of your home, causing corrosion and weakening of structural elements. Anticipate and resolve damaging consequences by reaching out to SERVPRO as soon as the emergency happens. Our team is available 24/7 to meet your needs.

Is saltwater flooding different from freshwater?

Flooding in your home can be devastating, regardless of its source. Ocean water adds a layer of complexity due to its salty nature, which can be corrosive to your home. Your furniture, paint, flooring, and the foundation of your home may suffer as a result of the water. Our professional services at SERVPRO can help you address the needs of each area of your home by taking a targeted approach to the restoration and cleanup.

Many of our customers are surprised to find out that a thorough restoration process requires much more than extracting water. It is a continuous evaluation of humidity levels and gradual extraction of water accompanied by ancillary services focused on restoring the contents of your home. Through this period, our crew at SERVPRO can take action such as-

  • Isolating essential documents and prepare them for freeze-drying or other document preservation processes.
  • Removing carpet and other porous surfaces that pose a threat to the overall health of your family.
  • Pumping water from your home using varying sizes of pumps and extractors and observing environmental recommendations and regulations.

For a full evaluation and action plan, SERVPRO of The Seacoast, SERVPRO of Dover-Rochester, and SERVPRO of Durham are at your service. Call us at (603) 433-4300 and let us work for you. Our goal, like yours, is to leave your home, "Like it never even happened." 


Learn more about Portsmouth here.

How do I clean my house after flood damage in Portsmouth?

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

"We can help" Storm damage in your Portsmouth home? Don’t let moisture take over, call SERVPRO right away.

Flood damage cleaning is a multistep process, and SERVPRO can help with skills and other resources

When your Portsmouth home floods, you have to address a wide range of problems, including deep soiling, contamination, and bad odor to restore the home to its pre-loss condition. Even from casual observation, you are likely to identify several problems that need immediate attention, whether it is your expensive upholstered furniture submerged in filthy water, appliances filled with murky water, or layers of mud or silt inside your house. Although the ultimate goal is to address all the issues, deciding what to start with is not easy.

How do professional restorers determine what step to prioritize?

Because of dealing with numerous flood damage incidents in Portsmouth, professional restorers develop systemic procedures that help determine the steps necessary in each situation and how to schedule them. Some of the crucial issues our SERVPRO technicians consider include:

  • The type of items the flood affects
  • Perceived chances of further deterioration
  • External factors connected to the flooding

Flooding can damage some items permanently, even after minimal exposure. Carpets and upholstered furniture may be damaged irreparably by exposure to contaminants due to the porous nature of their constituent parts. Our crews are, therefore, likely to focus initial efforts on salvageable contents such as appliances. When scoping the property, we also try to establish the level of deterioration likely to occur and use it as a basis for determining the steps to prioritize. A factor like the amount of standing water left in the building has greater ramifications than the inconvenience it causes to anyone wading through. Such water continues to intrude surfaces or materials, worsening the damage. Therefore, removing the water or moving items away from the flooded areas have top priority over other steps, unlike a case where the floodwater drains out of the home immediately. One external factor likely to influence the restoration process is the time it takes water outside the structure to recede.

Which steps does a typical flood cleanup exercise involve?

  • Removal of soaked materials
  • Removal of foreign materials such as mud and silt
  • Removal of contaminated materials 
  • Scrubbing walls and floors

As the floodwaters flow into your property, it soaks into different materials, leading to deterioration. Structural materials such as sheetrock, insulation, and wallpaper develop various problems when exposed to water. Since cleaning and drying cannot restore them to the pre-loss state, the best action is the immediate removal of the wet sections for disposal. Apart from dealing with the wetness, removal also prevents additional problems such as wicking of moisture from the wet areas to the drier ones. 

As the floodwater fills your house, it is likely to deposit materials collected outside, including silt, mud, and leaves. In most cases, manual removal is the only way to get rid of such materials. Our SERVPRO technicians bring shovels, plastic bags, and other tools to the loss site to handle the removal conveniently.

Many of the soils left on surfaces such as walls and floors adhere to the material or cause staining. Cleaning such materials can be challenging. Our crews use a combination of manual scrubbing with brushes or dusters, and chemical action from professional cleaning agents. For large surfaces such as the floors in several rooms, we can use automated tools such as rotating brushes to ease the workload. 

How do I tell what is contaminated?

The presence of contaminants in floodwater increases the burden you have to bear after your home floods. Contamination is high when an incident involves groundwater because such water collects materials over vast areas. Typical contaminants might include:

  • Farm or industrial chemicals
  • Heavy metals
  • Fuel oil
  • Biohazards including sewage

The water dumps these contaminants on the contents or surfaces it affects, so you should treat the entire property as contaminated and use personal protective equipment such as rubber gloves, boots, and other protective material when venturing in or performing clean up tasks. The level of contamination left on different materials differs. For non-porous materials such as metal or plastics, the contamination is only on the surface. Cleaning such items thoroughly and use of disinfectants helps remove all traces of contamination. Porous and semi-porous materials can retain some traces of contamination even after cleaning, so they must be handled carefully.

Our SERVPRO technicians inspect the items in your house to determine whether to dispose of or keep them. We consider whether an item is made from porous materials and whether it is exposed directly to the contaminated water. Apart from physical observation, we use advanced tools such as luminometers to test surfaces for organic contamination. 

Cleaning up a flooded house presents many challenges. Assistance from SERVPRO of The Seacoast, SERVPRO of Dover-Rochester, and SERVPRO of Durham can help you deal with any incident, "Like it never even happened." You can reach us at (603) 433-4300.