Friday, January 15, 2021

How to Salvage Your Valuables After Serious Flooding

Saving family keepsakes after a storm can be painstaking, but it's worth it


Heavy rain and severe weather can upend your life. And if you're faced with mucking out your house and tearing out saturated drywall, recovering keepsakes and family treasures might seem like a task for a later day.

But saving your valuables can be a race against the clock—mold can form within 48 hours. To help, the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, cosponsored by FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution, has developed guidelines for how to salvage what you want and dispose of what can’t be saved.

The first step is to determine what type of water you’re dealing with—salty, dirty, or contaminated by sewage or chemicals. If your valuables have come in contact with toxic water during flooding, you might have to call a professional conservator because trying to clean them yourself can be a health risk. If the water was untainted, then take steps to reduce the humidity around your items as you work to clean and dry them. Here’s how from FEMA’s checklist:

Save Your Valuables

Prioritize. You may not be able to save everything after flooding, so focus on what’s most important to you, whether for sentimental or monetary reasons.

"We always hear about dollar-amount damages, but often the losses that affect us the most are the ones to which a dollar amount cannot be assigned," says Lori Foley, administrator of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force. "What do you own that you’d miss terribly if you lost it? Photographs of loved ones in frames, albums, or shoeboxes? Books and paintings passed down through generations? Grandma’s recipe box?"

Air-dry. Gentle air-drying indoors is best. Weather permitting, open your windows to increase indoor airflow. If it’s too hot and humid, use fans, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers. Avoid using hair dryers, irons, ovens, and prolonged exposure to sunlight, which can do irreversible damage.

Handle with care. Delicate items can be especially fragile when wet, so be careful when you handle them. Separate sodden materials by removing photographs from damp albums and taking paintings and prints out of their frames. Place white paper towels between every few pages of wet books.

Clean gently. Loosen dirt and debris on fragile objects carefully with soft cloths and brushes. Avoid rubbing, which can grind in dirt.

Salvage photos. Clean photographs by rinsing them carefully in clean water. Air-dry photos on a plastic screen or paper towel, or by hanging them by the corners with plastic clothespins. Don’t let the image come into contact with other surfaces as it dries.

Cold storage. Damp objects and items that cannot be dealt with immediately should be put in open, unsealed boxes or bags. If you can’t attend to items within 48 hours, you can put photos, papers, books, and textiles in the freezer and clean them later.

"In general, you can freeze many items that cannot be dried out in 48 hours – photos, books, documents, textiles," says Foley. "Freezing stops mold from growing, ink from running, and dyes from transferring. Freezing items allows you to buy some time to devote to other activities. When you are able, you can return to the frozen items and recover them on your own time."


Dispose of the Debris

Once the waters recede, residents will be able to go back into their homes and start cleaning up, and piles of ruined household belongings will be put on the curb. Cleanup can take months if not years.

Because mold creates a serious health risk, it’s important to remove wet items from your home as soon as possible. FEMA recommends not waiting for your insurance adjuster before cleaning up. Instead, document the flooding damage on your cell phone or camera. Before dragging debris to the curb, check with your municipality on how it wants you to separate items for the garbage haulers. FEMA recommends sorting items into the following six categories:

  • Bagged household garbage such as food, packaging, and paper.
  • Building materials and furniture, including drywall, carpeting, and mattresses.
  • Vegetation debris such as tree branches, plants, and leaves.
  • Hazardous household waste, including batteries, paints, and cleaning supplies.
  • Large appliances such as refrigerators, water heaters, and air conditioners.
  • Electronics such as TVs, computers, and stereo equipment.

For more information and resources, see FEMA’s After the Flood: Advice for Salvaging Damaged Family Treasures.

Article Source: https://www.consumerreports.org/cleaning/how-to-salvage-valuables-after-flooding/

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Smoke Alarm Testing and Maintenance


Smoke alarms save lives (they reduce the risk of dying in a fire in half), but they need to be working properly to protect you. Make sure your smoke alarms are fully functioning by learning how to test and maintain them, ensuring that you and your household will be properly alerted in a fire, providing the time needed to safely escape.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Right of Entry Info for Fire Survivors: Top Five FAQ


If you are a survivor of the recent fires in August/September, please watch this video with the top five most frequently asked questions about beginning the recovery process.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Alltek Restoration's Commitment and Dedication to Client's Satisfaction is Second to None



You can expect a professional staff when working with Alltek Restoration, Inc. We value and expect quality, efficiency, punctuality, cleanliness and courtesy from our team. Our commitment and dedication to our client's satisfaction is second to none.

  • Quality work, Integrity, and Commitment
  • Prompt completion and timeline.
  • Detailed estimates upon invitation to bid.
  • Explanation of contract and specification

Alltek has established successful working relationships with qualified and competent professionals, and subcontractors who share our customer oriented philosophy.

Our Guarantee: We warranty all work that is done with your project whether we ourselves do the work or our subcontractors do the work.

Choosing the right contractor is crucial for any project to be successful. We specialize in Emergency Services, Contents, Restoration, and Reconstruction. You can rest knowing that your project's interest is at the top of our concerns. Alltek is committed to providing our clients with the highest quality work and exceptional customer service, while assuring you of a well executed plan to complete your project. You and everyone involved in your project will feel confident we are leading the way.

OUR ESTIMATES

Xactware® is recognized in the claims industry and used by many insurance providers. All of our restoration scopes and reconstruction estimates are generated using the Xactimate estimating software or Xactcontents for personal property.

With our estimating staff’s knowledge, combined with the power of Xactimate, our estimates indicate exact quantities and materials & labor. This is accompanied with a clear description of work to be performed and graphical reference providing you with a clear concise scope of work that Alltek will perform on your project.

PROPERTY RESTORATION | STRUCTURE RECONSTRUCTION

There are many aspects to your claim, that our trained and expert staff will guide you through the process. We provide you with a single claim solution from start to finish. Once you choose Alltek Restoration, Inc. you will have one point of contact for your entire claim. No call centers. You will never be a claim number.

Alltek performs both residential and commercial restoration for insurance claim repairs for both small and large loss. For all properties we provide complete restoration services for the following loss categories:

Fire Damage, Water Damage, Smoke Damage, Storm Damage, Vandalism, Vehicle and more.

BOARD UP SERVICES

Are very common requirements after storm or fire loss. The damages caused by the actual fire and tactics use to extinguish can leave your property with broken or blown out windows, burnt doors or broken doors, ventilation holes in roofs, and structural deficiencies all of which leaves the property open to accessible, in distress, and insecure. We will secure all loss related openings with temporary measures securing the property and temporary structural repairs to help prevent further damages.

Contact our office in Antioch, CA, at 925-732-7208 to speak with one of our construction designers about your upcoming project.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Returning To Your Flood Damage Home


Returning home after a natural disaster. This video will discuss how to return to your home for the first time after a natural disaster. This phase normally follows the immediate aftermath and clearances from authorities.

The video goes through a checklist of things to do and look for to ensure the safety of you and your family. The video will highlight things like: what to do if you smell gas, protecting yourself from electrical injuries, wearing waterproof boots to avoid floodwater touching your skin, preventing carbon monoxide poisoning by keeping fuel burning devices outdoors and away from windows, only eat and drink food and water that you know is safe, etc.