Hurricane Ida Recovery Update
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville helps homeowners and business owners recover following Hurricane Ida.
Hurricane Ida first made landfall in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on August 29th, 2021. As a Category 4 Hurricane, Hurricane Ida caused damages throughout most of Southeast Louisiana. From northern parishes such as St. Tammany Parish and Tangipahoa Parish to lower-lying parishes like St. Charles Parish and Terrebonne Parish, many residents and business owners have a long recovery road ahead of them.
As of September 21st, some areas are still without power and the internet. We would like to say thank you to everyone who is working tirelessly to help us recover. We want to specifically thank all linemen, government officials, police officers, firefighters, emergency personnel, non-profits, and business owners who have stepped up to serve our community.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has been working diligently to help restore homes and businesses damaged by Hurricane Ida. Three weeks after the storm, our list of customers in need is still long. Please know we are doing our best to help everyone we can as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience during this difficult time. Please reach out to our office if you are still in need of mitigation or mold remediation services. Our office number is 985-871-5375.
Hurricane Ida Storm Recovery Resouces and Updates:
- St. Tammany Parish Government Updates
- New Orleans Hurricane Ida Relief Resources
- United Way Southeast Louisiana
- Red Cross Louisiana Hurricane Ida Relief
- Operation Blue Roof
- Nola Ready Updates
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Becomes an Elite Sponsor of LASHFM
Professional organizations are a great way to stay up to date on industry news, network, and collaborate with trusted, accredited industry partners. For over a decade, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has maintained membership in numerous professional organizations including Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana (New Orleans and Northshore Chapters), Louisiana Claims Association (New Orleans and Northshore Chapter), St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, and Covington Business Association.
This month, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville joined the Louisiana Society for Healthcare Facilities Management (LASHFM). LASHFM brings together healthcare management professionals and industry partners to exchange ideas on the latest healthcare issues. As an emergency restoration vendor for commercial properties like healthcare facilities, we chose to sponsor this organization to assist their mission.
The upcoming meeting will be held in Lafayette on August 26th. Contact our marketing manager Kayla Theriot if you are interested in attending a meeting or joining LASHFM.
2021 National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month 2021
Every September we observe National Preparedness Month, intent on raising awareness about the significance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. The theme for 2021 is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” A specific theme is designated for each week and relevant tips are provided. Take time to work through each week's tips. Review the resources with every member of your household to best prepare for an emergency.
Week 1- Make a Plan
Week 2- Build a Kit
Week 3- Low-cost, No-cost Preparedness
Week 4 – Teach Youth About Preparedness
3 Tips to Prevent Your Water Heater From Leaking or Exploding
Performing regular maintenance on your water heater will help prevent water damages in your home.
Can you imagine 40 or 50 gallons of water gushing out of your water heater? Water heater leaks and explosions are two of the most common culprits responsible for water damages in homes. And where are water heaters usually located? That’s right. In the South, especially in Louisiana, water heaters are stored in attics. Storing your water heater out of sight in an attic is convenient. However, this positioning in your home often leads to a major disaster when the water heater leaks or explodes.
So, how do you avoid your water heater causing water damage in your home? Regular maintenance on your water heater can help extend its lifespan and avoid malfunctioning. Follow the three tips below to keep your water heater working properly. Be careful while attempting any maintenance on your water heater though. Contact a local plumber for assistance if you are unsure how to perform these tips or if you need help.
Tip 1 - Test the Temperature & Pressure-Relief Valve
The temperature and pressure relief valve (TPV) works to prevent an explosion by releasing pressure. If your valve is leaking or releases too often, you may have a problem. The best practice is to test your TPV twice a year. To do so, place a bucket below the discharge pipe on your water heater and gently lift the lever. Replace the valve if water does not release when you lift the lever. If water leaks after the test, move the lever up and down a few times to shake away debris that may be an issue. If the leaking continues, try lowering the temperature and/or pressure.
Tip 2 - Inspect the Anode Rod
If your water begins to smell or seems discolored, it may be time to change the anode rod. The anode rod is designed to corrode instead of deteriorating the lining inside the water heater. Because of this breakdown, anode rods should be replaced every few years.
Tip 3 - Drain the Tank and Rinse Out Sediment
If you hear gurgling, knocking, or popping sounds coming from your water heater, then you may have a buildup of sediment. Sediment buildup can lead to a malfunction and reduce efficiency. About once every few months, drain the tank to avoid sediment buildup. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on how to properly drain your water heater’s tank. Be careful because the water will be extremely hot.
Our water damage restoration team is here to help 24/7/365 if your water heater does leak or explode. When this happens, you must first turn off the water supply valve to stop the flow of water. Locate the cold-water supply valve and turn it off. Contact a local plumber if you are unable to do so. Then, call our office to have an emergency response team dispatched for water extraction and drying.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher: the PASS Method
When using a fire extinguisher, remember the acronym PASS - Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 353,100 home structure fires per year from 2014 to 2018 according to the National Fire Protection Association’s Home Structure Fires report from November 2020. Most of which were caused by cooking, heating equipment, and electrical or lighting issues. Being wholly prepared for a home fire means creating and practicing your fire escape plan, knowing fire safety tips to prevent a fire, and understanding how and when you should use a fire extinguisher to suppress the flames.
The PASS acronym was created to simplify how to safely use a fire extinguisher.
PASS – Pull, Aim, Squeeze & Sweep
Pull – Maintaining control of the nozzle, pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher.
Aim – Stand back from the flames. With one hand, aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
Squeeze – Firmly squeeze the nozzle with your other hand.
Sweep – Quickly contain the fire by making a sweeping motion with the nozzle.
Only utilize a fire extinguisher on a small fire. Never attempt to suppress a massive fire. If the fire seems too big for a fire extinguisher to suppress, then quickly get outside and call your local fire department for help.
Every home should have fire extinguishers in kitchens, in workspaces or garages, and at least one for each level. Be sure to read the fire extinguisher label to know which class of fire it is meant to put out. And according to firefighterinsiders.com, “you can use a fire extinguisher more than once, as long as it is not damaged or expired, but it must be recharged between uses. It is important to check the label of the fire extinguisher, so you know if the one you have is reusable or not”.
After the fire is extinguished, our team is here to help with cleanup and restoration. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville’s fire restoration team has the experience and knowledge to make fire damage not only look “Like it never even happened,” but smell like it too. Contact our office for more information about our fire restoration process.
Your Water-Resistant Vinyl Floors are not Waterproof in the Event of a Water Loss
Affected vinyl plank flooring must be removed after a water damage event to ensure proper drying.
Vinyl plank flooring has become a popular choice for renovations and new construction. Both homeowners and business owners are opting for this low-cost flooring material for a few reasons. Vinyl plank flooring is easy to install, looks fresh and modern, and is easy to clean. Vinyl plank flooring is also advertised to be water-resistant. While vinyl plank flooring does resist water damages like warping, cracking, or peeling, this type of flooring presents other challenges when a water damage event occurs.
Common water damage events are caused by sources such as a broken water heater, an overflowing washing machine, or a burst water supply pipe. Despite the cause or size of the disaster, the water damage mitigation process is always the same. Our professional water mitigation team inspects and assesses damages, extracts the loose water, utilizes air movers and dehumidifiers to dry affected materials, and cleans remaining materials. Vinyl plank flooring interrupts this process, adding more required demolition to the scope of work.
Our team must inspect all potentially affected areas during the initial inspection to determine where the water has traveled and where it may be hiding. If not addressed, the water you can’t see can lead to future secondary damages such as mold growth. Water may not penetrate through the vinyl plank flooring, but it will almost always migrate under the flooring by way of the edges of the room. Water trapped behind baseboards will flow under the flooring.
Vinyl plank flooring acts as a vapor barrier, trapping the water beneath. This presents two issues. One, our mitigation team cannot extract water hiding underneath the flooring. The hidden water will not vaporize through the flooring to be extracted via dehumidification either. And two, the subfloor will not be able to dry properly with this vapor barrier holding moisture. Both issues can lead to future microbial growth problems. Therefore, all affected vinyl plank flooring must be removed after a water damage event to ensure proper drying. Luckily, some vinyl plank flooring is easy to reinstall once mitigation is complete. This depends upon the initial installation method though.
Our team is here to help if your home or business has incurred water damages. We have emergency restoration professionals ready to respond 24/7/365. Please contact our office if you need assistance.
Insurance Continuing Education Class- Cleaning and Restoring Smoke-Damaged Contents
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville offers quarterly continuing education classes for local insurance professionals.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is pleased to invite all local insurance agents and adjusters to our upcoming continuing education class - Cleaning and Restoring Smoke-Damaged Contents.
This class explains the different tools used by restoration professionals to clean contents damaged by fire and soot. Insurance professionals can also expect to learn about the various methods and products we utilize for restoration.
This two-hour class will be held at our office located at 68424 James Street in Mandeville on August 26th. Registration will begin at 8:00 am. The class will start at 8:30 am and end promptly at 10:30 am.
We will provide coffee and a light breakfast for all attendees. Please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com to learn more and to register.
What's Inside a Fire Extinguisher?
In the United States, fires are characterized by five classifications, Classes A, B, C, D, and K. Fire extinguishers are rated based upon the specific fires they are meant to suppress. This is important to note when purchasing a fire extinguisher for your home or business. Which type of fire is most likely to occur at your property? Read the fire class classifications below to determine which fire extinguisher would be helpful in each specific situation.
Class A Fires
- Involve common combustibles such as wood, paper, and cloth
- Should be extinguished with a dry chemical fire extinguisher or a Halotron extinguisher
Class B Fires
- Involve flammable liquid fuels such as oils, grease, gasoline, alcohols, and paint thinner
- Should be extinguished with a dry chemical fire extinguisher
- Do not use water to extinguish this type of fire
Class C Fires
- Electrical fires
- Should be extinguished with a dry chemical fire extinguisher
- Do not use water to extinguish this type of fire
Home fires are commonly Class A, B, or C.
Class A, B, and C dry chemical fire extinguishers are usually filled with either mono ammonium phosphate ( yellow powder) or sodium bicarbonate (white powder). Mono ammonium is corrosive and should be properly cleaned up as soon as possible. Sodium bicarbonate is nontoxic and noncorrosive.
Class D Fires
- Involve combustible metals like magnesium
- Mostly occur in manufacturing and industrial facilities
- Class D fire extinguishers contain powdered metal such as copper, sodium chloride, sand, graphite, or sodium carbonate
Class K Fires
- Cooking fires due to cooking oils or grease
- Should be extinguished with a wet chemicals fire extinguisher
- Mostly occur in commercial kitchens
- Do not use water to extinguish this type of fire
- Class K wet chemical fire extinguishers contain a potassium acetate-based agent which suppresses the fire with soapy foam.
Please read the color-coded label on your fire extinguisher prior to use and always air out a room after using a fire extinguisher. Consult the Safety Data Sheet(SDS) before attempting cleanup. The cleaning method varies for each type of fire extinguisher chemical. Depending on the type of fire extinguisher used and the amount of residue, you may want to leave the cleanup to our experienced fire restoration professionals. While dry chemical fire extinguishers are nontoxic, inhalation of mono ammonium phosphate or sodium bicarbonate can cause health effects. To learn more about fire extinguisher safety visit https://www.poison.org/articles/fire-extinguisher-safety-184.
Please contact our office if you need assistance with fire damage restoration or cleaning up after using a fire extinguisher.
2021 Flood Insurance Update- FEMA Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is a leader in flood damage restoration.
Have you heard about the NFIP's new flood insurance risk rating change? For the past few decades, flood insurance rates were mostly determined by a property’s elevation within a zone on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). Utilizing decades of flood data and cutting-edge technology, FEMA Risk Rating 2.0 will now incorporate numerous factors to provide more equitable rates that better reflect a property’s flood risk. The new rating methodology will take into account a wide variety of variables like flood frequency, type of flooding, distance to water, and cost to rebuild.
FEMA’s Risk Rating 2.0 will be implemented in two phases.
New policies beginning on October 1, 2021, will be subject to the new rating methodology. Also, beginning October 2, existing policyholders eligible for renewal will be able to take advantage of the immediate decrease in their premiums.
All remaining policies renewing on or after April 1, 2022, will be subject to the new rating methodology.
According to FEMA, “under the new pricing system, 96% of current policyholders will see either an immediate decrease or an increase of $20 or less per month increase in their premiums”.
Contact your local insurance agent now to learn more about Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action and to purchase flood insurance. Remember, every property in St. Tammany Parish is technically located in a flood zone, every zone is simply either low risk, moderate risk, or high-risk area.
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville specializes in flood damage cleanup. If your home or business has been affected by flooding or storm damage, contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375. We are available 24/7/365 for emergency services.
Preparing for Hurricane Season - What is a storm deductible?
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville's emergency response team cleans up and restores properties damaged by storms.
Preparing for hurricane season includes understanding your property and casualty insurance policy benefits and storm deductibles. In Louisiana, insurance policies designate three different deductibles related to wind damage: hurricane, named storm, and windstorm and hail.
A hurricane deductible is triggered when the National Hurricane Center reports a tropical storm has reached hurricane strength, 74mph. Named storm deductibles are activated when a tropical storm reaches winds of 34 mph. Windstorm and hail deductibles can be required for damages caused by any kind of storm, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, or other storms.
Policyholders must pay the required deductible before their insurance carrier will cover the expense of the claim. Storm deductibles are generally more costly than typical homeowner or business owner policy deductibles though. Storm deductibles are expressed as a percentage of the value of the home, usually a value between one percent and five percent. However, storm deductibles for coastal homes may be even higher.
We advise speaking with your insurance agent before you need to file an insurance claim, especially a storm-related claim. Ask your agent what your storm deductibles are. Prepare to have that amount saved. Also, please keep in mind building material costs are substantially higher than normal this year. Ask your insurance agent if your policy will cover actual cash value or replacement cost. Replacement costs may be most beneficial in today’s market.
Our team is here to help if your home or business incurs storm damages. We work with all major insurance companies and are we are available 24/7 for emergency services. Please contact our office with any questions regarding storm cleanup or to schedule a service.