February 27 2015

Basement Flood Cleanup is Best Left to Professionals

Anyone who has dealt with a flooded basement knows that cleanup is complicated, costly and potentially dangerous. You will likely feel in over your head if trying to tackle the job alone. Below are some general guidelines and things to look for when doing flood cleanup, but consider consulting City Vibe as our professional technicians can identify safety hazards and handle ongoing concerns such as mold growth.

Basement Flood Cleanup Checklist

  • Inform your insurance company.
  • Do not enter the basement until the water level has fallen to reduce risk of electrocution or contamination from sewage.
  • Shut off all electricity.
  • Wear rubber gloves, boots that are waterproof and a face mask. Avoid touching your face during clean up.
  • Seek medical help for injuries right away as the risk of infection in flood waters is very high.
  • Do not turn on faucets below flood waters.
  • Call your gas company right away if you smell gas and do not turn on any electronics or light any open flames.
  • Remove everything from the flood area and let everything air dry.
  • Replace your air filters and get your HVAC system and all other appliances inspected after cleanup.
  • Once it’s safe, run the air conditioning, furnace, fans or a dehumidifier to hasten the drying process.
  • Remove any chemicals stored in the area such as cleaning supplies.
  • Wash all affected floors, walls and faucets with clean, warm water.
  • You can disinfect cleaning equipment with a mixture of eight tablespoons of chlorine bleach per gallon of water, but never mix bleach with ammonia because the fumes produced would be highly toxic.
  • You can wash rugs and cushions with hot water and bleach, but don’t hesitate to dispose of anything you think could be hazardous.
  • Install new dry wall to prevent mold from growing after cleanup.

As you can see, cleaning up a flood site is sensitive and time consuming work. You may be tempted to do it all yourself, but calling on City Vibe for help can save you from maintenance costs and a health issues down the road.

February 07 2015

Why You Should Start Preparing for the Snow Melt in February

Before winter wraps up, you need to get prepared for the changing of seasons. All of the snow on your property will soon turn into water, and if that happens rapidly, you could have a flood on your hands. February is the perfect time to start getting ready for the impending snow melt, so grab a shovel and start defending your fort. Here is a checklist of measurements you can take to reduce your risk of flood damage this year.

  • Shovel snow away from the foundation of your home giving special attention the vicinity of window wells
  • If your lot drains along the outside edges of your property, make sure to remove snow from those spaces
  • Do not shovel snow onto the streets as it can block drains and cause accidents
  • Regularly check and clear catch basins of ice, snow and other debris that accumulates
  • Make sure downspouts are free of ice and extend them by two metres or more to ensure water drains away from your home’s foundation
  • If you have low lying spots around your foundation, consider filing them with sandbags to prevent water from pooling there
  • Use a pump to draw water into the gutter if it starts getting too close to your foundation. Check your local city plumbing guidelines before pumping.
  • Use a roof rake to clear snow from your roof and eaves. Snow removal from high rooftops can be dangerous, so carefully consider hiring a professional to do the job for you.

Most importantly, stay safe! Since you’re putting all of this effort into your home, you want to make sure you can fully enjoy it during the rest of the year. Whether you’re preparing for the snow melt on your own or calling in a professional, labour and costs can quickly add up; however, the costs of repairs from flood damage are much more expensive. Don’t sit back and just let Mother Nature take her course; consider shoveling snow as a long term investment in the value of your home.