How to prevent house fires caused by BBQ’s

How to prevent house fires caused by BBQ’s

There’s nothing like outdoor grilling in the summertime. From camping and cabin living, to even just trying to escape the heat of your home, outdoor grilling can be a great alternative to cook outdoors and beat the heat. But beware; a BBQ placed too close to a home becomes a hazard for burning.

Keeping your BBQ a safe distance from your property

Keeping a safe distance between your property and BBQ lowers your risk of causing any avoidable fire and smoke damage to your property. Regardless of whether your BBQ is charcoal or gas, it should be at least 10 feet away from your property. That includes your garage, deck railings and any other structures!

What is a grill flare-up?

If you’re a frequent griller, it’s likely you are familiar with flare-ups. Grill flare-ups can creep up on you and grow quickly. If you combine that with a BBQ that has a lot of grease built up, you have created the potential to experience a catastrophic fire. Although grill flare-ups are preventable, it’s still imperative to understand the characteristics of a grilling flare-up and how to practice safe outdoor grilling.

Although a grill flare-up may appear like a grease fire, they are not the same thing. A grill flare-up is a large burst of intense flames that results from fat dripping onto hot coals. Although a flare-up could happen from lack of maintenance, it usually starts when you place meat on the grill. Typically, it dies down quickly. Rather than causing alarm, simply move the food you are grilling onto a different location on your grill to allow for the flame to settle.

Grill flare-ups most commonly occur on charcoal grills where the dripping fat pools down onto the hot coals and causes the dripping fat to ignite. Although many gas grills feature drip guards designed to divert the dripping fat from the heating element, that grease can build up over time and can risk accumulating into a serious grease fire.

How to prevent a grill flare-up

The main reason for a fire getting out of control is due to a dirty grill. Ensure you are brushing your grill to scrape off any remaining food. Another common way to prevent grill flare-ups is to trim off any excess fat from the edges before grilling or reduce the oil amount on the food you will be grilling. Minimizing the amount of oil you brush onto your foods will reduce the risk of a grill flare-up. Additionally, if you are planning on grilling marinated meat, make sure the marinade isn’t dripping onto the grill, especially if it is high in oil content.

Even though most grill-flare ups are preventable, if you happen to find yourself in a situation where the flames are continuing to burn even after moving the food, or they’ve spread into the grill, this likely means, your grill-flare has evolved into a grease fire.

How to extinguish a grease fire

The number one rule when it comes to grease fires is to never put water on a grease fire. Water causes the fire to continue spreading, putting you and your property at risk. Instead you need to deprive the fire of oxygen. If your grease fire is minor, simply close the lid and vents or dump baking soda onto the fire. Baking soda can reduce a small fire quickly. 

Lastly, it’s always good practice to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case a minor fire advances into a more serious fire, but if the fire spreads beyond your control or gets too hot, call 911 immediately and get far away from the fire.

Fire and smoke disaster recovery and restoration

Following a fire, or any smoke related damage, Streamside Property Restoration is here to get your life back to normal as soon as possible.  We are available for immediate response and inspection of your property following a fire or any smoke related damage. We have the experience and resources to restore your property back to its pre-loss condition, no matter the level of damage.

What to expect when water damage goes untreated

What to expect when water damage goes untreated

Whether you notice a small water stain on your ceiling or a little drop under your sink, both can lead to bigger, more costly problems. Water damage has now become one of the leading causes of personal property insurance claims. What makes water damage especially problematic is that it can easily go unnoticed, and if it is left untreated it can cause extensive damage to your property. If you suspect you may have water damage on your property, keep reading for indicators to help detect if water damage is present on your property.

Ceiling discolouration

If you start to notice brown stains or soft patches beginning to appear on your ceiling it is likely due to an active leak or a build up of condensation coming from your roof. 

If you suspect a hidden water leak, finding the source is the first step to putting a stop to stains and soft patches on your ceiling. You may also see similar stains or soft patches appearing on your walls.

Weakened flooring

The wood from your floor acts like a sponge so water damage to wooden floors can be very common. Due to wood being so absorbent, the longer you wait to take action with water damage, the more the moisture will continue to travel and spread out throughout your floors causing warping, buckling and loose flooring. If left entirely untreated, the wooden flooring may start to decompose and break apart altogether.

Damaged drywall

Drywall doesn’t need much exposure to water before it begins to crack and become brittle. If you notice cracking, peeling, or crumbling on your walls there could be moisture present. If the untreated water damage is left, mold-infested water will continue to damage your walls.

Musty odors

Trapped moisture due to undetected water can cause odors to be present. Odors from water damage may be immediately noticeable or may occur some time after the initial cause is resolved and the water has been removed. Some odors are directly related to the source of water that has inundated the property; while others are residual due to bacterial and fungal growth that typically accompany water damage.

What happens if I leave the water damage untreated?

Any moisture or water will instantly weaken the structure of building materials that are not designed to be water-resistant. Any natural materials will begin to decompose and become weaker over time. This includes the building envelope that is the structure of your property. The dark moist environment inside your ceiling and walls will become conducive for mold and bacterial growth which can have devastating effects on your health and your property.

When to call a professional

If you have any indications of water damage present on your property you can contact Streamside Property Restoration to assist you. We have expertly trained technicians and inspectors to immediately respond to water damage.

Will air dehumidifiers and air flow fans help dry out my property after water damage or flooding has occurred?

Will air dehumidifiers and air flow fans help dry out my property after water damage or flooding has occurred?

Will air dehumidifiers and air flow fans help dry out my property after water damage or flooding has occurred?

If your property has become the recent victim of water damage or flooding due to a bursting pipe, a storm or other unplanned events, you are going to want to take immediate action to put a stop to the water source and take the time to remove excess water from the area.

How quickly do I have to take action after water damage or flooding?

When water damage occurs, fast action is required to keep any property damage minimal. Mold can set in as early as 24 hours after the water damage has occurred, so it’s vital to take fast action and ventilate the affected area. Using air flow aids, also known as drying fans and dehumidifiers, can help reduce any water damage your property has experienced. 

About air flow aids and dehumidifiers

Air flow aids are among one of the most effective ways to eliminate moisture remnants as quickly as possible from saturated walls and floors and any soaked articles. The science behind using an air flow fan is quite simple. The air from the fan blows away the humidity-laden air, and allows it to be replaced with dry air. The more air that circulates the better. Dry air has the ability to absorb excess moisture in the process of being blown away by the drying fan, therefore assisting in the process of removing moisture from the air. Once the drying fan has extracted all of the moisture from the floors, ceilings and drywall, the dehumidifier can be put to use.

The dehumidifier will pick up any excess moisture in the air and remove it. Dehumidifiers are an important step in ensuring any excess water has been removed. Even if you can no longer see any water, it doesn’t mean it isn’t present. The dehumidifier assists in condensing the water vapor in the air and collecting the condensed water in a basin. Additionally, the reduction in water vapor will promote the evaporation process, in order to assist in removing any moisture in the air.

While using air flow aids and dehumidifiers as a way to ventilate the affected area, it’s important to note that problems can occur if you have too much or too little air movement and not enough dehumidification. The same can be said for the reverse situation when you have too much dehumidification.  In order for water damage to be properly taken care of, it’s important to contact a professional property restoration team to ensure the main source of water has been properly looked after, allowing a professional to evaluate and manage your situation. Our expertly-trained technicians and inspectors will immediately respond to water damage emergencies on your property. We will develop a recovery plan, then reconstruct and restore your property back to its pre-flood condition.

How long does it take for my carpeted floor to dry out after a flood?

How long does it take for my carpeted floor to dry out after a flood?

How long does it take for my carpeted floor to dry out after a flood?

Experiencing water damage can be an overwhelming process from the moment flooding occurs to days after the flood has taken place.  Water damage can have serious effects on your property and belongings. When it comes to water damage, there are multiple factors when determining how long it will take to get your property back to its pre-loss condition. If water damage has occurred over a carpeted area, there are several aspects to consider when it comes to determining how fast your carpeted floor will take to dry out after a flood.

Determining the substrate under the carpeted area

In order to facilitate with the drying process, you first need to determine what the substrate is under the carpeted areas of your home. The substrate’s material make-up will vary greatly when determining how fast it responds to the introduction and removal of moisture.

Plywood substrate

 If you have a plywood substrate, you may experience swelling and distorting when exposed to moisture. Once plywood has become wet, it’s important to remove the moisture as soon as possible with the combination of a dehumidifier and a drying fan which usually takes a minimum of three full days. Plywood is extremely porous and has the ability to absorb water very fast, but on the reverse side, plywood also has the ability to dry out fast. It’s important to note that plywood subjected to moisture is at risk for mold growth. You can prevent this risk by taking immediate action at the first sign of any moisture.

Oriented strand board substrate

Similar to plywood, orientated strand board (OSB), is vulnerable to moisture and can become damaged very easily by prolonged water damage. OSB can lose its strength and will warp, however it is not as sensitive to small amounts of water and will absorb water slowly. If your OSB substrate has been badly damaged by water exposure, it’s best to have it replaced.

Concrete substrate

Concrete can vary greatly in porosity due to the materials used and whether any finishes or sealants have been applied to the concrete. In most cases, when concrete gets wet, it can be recovered as long as you have a restoration company deal with the moisture right away.  Unlike plywood or OSB, concrete is not at risk for mold growth, however it can be at risk for stress cracks which are difficult to dry out. In order to properly dry out concrete, you will require normal drying procedures put into place with dehumidification and drying fans.

Is the carpet padding still in place?

Your carpet padding can be restored if it has been wet from clean water for less than 48 hours, however if you notice your substrate such as plywood, OSB, or concrete is wet, your carpet padding should be removed and thrown out. Additionally, if your carpet padding has been exposed to dirty water, it should also be removed and discarded.

If you notice only a small area of your carpeted floor has water damage, you can cut away the wet padding from that area. It’s important to note that you should not replace your carpet padding until the subfloor is completely dry.

Take Action after Flooding

Regardless of the type of substrate beneath the carpeted area, you should still take immediate action to ensure any water damage has been properly dealt with. Contact your Property Restoration Experts to respond to any water damage, and restore your property back to its pre-flood condition.

Do I have to repair water damage to my building?

Do I have to repair water damage to my building?

When you experience flooding or other water damage, is it necessary to restore your property?

We often associate water damage with flooding, especially since the 2013 Calgary Flood remains fresh in the minds of many Calgarians. However, leaks can be more common than you think. Even a small leak can cause large issues, especially if you’re living in a condo building. 

Condo Buildings and Water Leaks

One of the main perks of renting in a condo building is that you can personally avoid dealing with any property upkeep, construction or renovation costs your building takes on. You will likely contribute financially for it indirectly through rent or condo fees, but usually someone else coordinates the maintenance and repair of your building envelope and common spaces.

How quickly will water damage start to affect my property?

Be aware that any water damage can result in the growth of mold. Mold can begin to form within the first 24 hours of the water damage so it’s important to take action and notify someone whether you notice water damage inside or outside of your unit. If water damage is left unattended, it can detrimentally impact the structure of the property, or produce other complications, including mold and mildew that pose a health risk to those residing on the property.

Does water damage have to be repaired?

Because each situation is unique, it is best to have a professional assess the situation. In many cases, if the leak or flood is caught right away, steps and actions can be taken to reduce the affects of the water damage and ideally maintain the integrity of your building. Again, because each situation is totally unique, in many cases, it will not be possible to just “dry it out” and leave the water damage untouched. If it is left unaddressed, your building can be put at risk for safety and health. If in doubt, there are experts who see and deal with water damage every day and can offer professional advice on your best next steps. 

Do you know who is responsible if unexpected water damage occurs to your unit or building? 

If you are a renter, it’s important to double check the details of your lease and have a thorough understanding of what you are agreeing to and what is covered when you sign your lease. Many landlords recommend tenant insurance to cover any damage to your personal belongings while occupying their building. While it’s up to the renter to contact the landlord if any issues occur in their unit, it’s up to the landlord to make sure their unit is liveable. This includes any upkeep and maintenance such as plumbing repairs due to leaks. We believe everyone deserves to live in a building that is properly maintained and therefore a healthy and safe place to live. 

calgary apartment condo

What should I do if I notice water damage in my condo building?

Regardless of whether you rent or own the unit in the building, condo associations maintain insurance and financial surpluses to cover unexpected and planned maintenance of common areas of the building complex. Often, individual condo unit insurance policies are responsible when covering the ceilings, floors, walls and contents of the unit. It’s best to contact your condo association or landlord if you notice any water damage occurring outside of your unit such as a ceiling leak, or an overflowing washing machine in a communal area.

When it comes to water damage in your unit,the area of responsibility can become a little murky. Determining the cause of the water damage will come into play when deciding who is liable for the repair.  If water damage in your unit occurred due to a toilet overflow or a bathroom pipe burst, it is likely that the claim will go through your personal insurance. If you are the victim of water damage caused by an adjoining unit, your insurance company will make the decision of determining who becomes liable. When damage is to the building envelope such as unplanned damage to the roof, it is likely that the condo board or building owner will handle the situation. The bottom line is that the situation is unique every time, depending on the source of the damage, whether or not an insurance claim will be made, what the repair entails, and much more. 

Is water damage more likely or less likely in a condo or apartment building?

When living in a multi-dwelling building, more water is used than living in a single-family house, therefore it puts more people at risk of water damage to the building. To avoid any water troubles, property owners need to maintain their buildings and seek professional help at the first sign of water damage.

If you become the victim of water damage at your property, Streamside Property Restoration can help. Our expert technicians and inspectors are trained to immediately respond to water damage emergencies, develop a recovery plan, then if necessary, reconstruct and restore your property back to its pre-loss condition.

What to do when you have water damage in your home

What to do when you have water damage in your home

Water damage can arrive at your property in many forms when you least expect it. Your response time is everything when you’re trying to alleviate the potential amount of damage water can have on your property. If you find yourself suddenly having to deal with water damage, you can take immediate preventative action to protect your property by following these steps:

1. Stop the water at its source. The first consideration when evaluating water damage is finding the source. If it’s safe to do so, cut the water off by shutting off the water at the source to prevent any further damage from occurring to your property. One of the most common sources of water damage originates from a burst pipe or leaking water pipes.

2. Remove the water. After you alleviate the source of the water, take the time to remove any excess water from the area. You can do this with the assistance of a mop, or a broom, or any other tool you may have on your property to assist in removing any excess water out of the area.

3. Ventilate the affected area to prevent the potential growth of mold or mildew. Mold can set in as soon as 24 hours after water damage has occurred, so it’s crucial to start the drying and ventilating process as soon as possible.

4. Inspect for mildew and mold growth. You will need to check the walls, ceilings, and carpets for signs of mold and mildew. Visual signs of active mold growth mean moisture is still present. If you notice an odor, or see black or green spots building up, it’s important to contact a professional for help as you may have a mold problem.

5. Notify your insurance company of any water damage. Your home insurance will cover many types of water damage, but not all water damage. It’s important to review your policy if you are uncertain because different policies have certain conditions, restrictions, and exclusions. Whether your insurance company covers the water damage or not, it’s imperative to take immediate action to protect your property from water damage.

If water damage is left unattended, it can detrimentally impact the structure of your property, or produce other complications, including mold and mildew that pose a health risk to those residing on the property.

Whether your water damage is brought on by a pipe bursting during cold temperatures, or a basement flood caused by warm chinook winds, we have expert-trained technicians and inspectors to immediately respond to water damage emergencies on your property. We will develop a recovery plan, then reconstruct and restore your property back to its pre-loss condition.