Smart Home Innovations to Help Keep Your Home Water and Fire Damage Free
Unfortunately, residential flooding and fires are disasters that may occur in all regions, at any time. But the good news is, today's technology has made protecting your home easier than ever.
The best smart home devices can minimize your risk of costly water and fire disasters, allowing you to monitor your home for dangerous conditions whether you're across the room, across town or across the country.
Discover how turning your home into a smart home can help protect your property and your family. Below are some of our favorites.
Water Leak Monitoring
When it comes to home flooding and water damage, the faster you can stop leaking water, the better. Water leak detectors can make a huge difference in helping you detect problems early.
These small, battery-operated detectors, which look similar to smoke detectors, can be placed near toilets, sinks, water heaters and anywhere else water damage tends to occur. If a leak is detected, these smart sensors will alert your phone and can even sound an alarm in your home.
To further protect your property, if you feel you live in an area prone to weather-related flooding, you can invest in a complete flood-monitoring system. Some with multiple detectors, automatically shut off valves at a central hub.
Look for smart flood sensors available at a variety of price points to customize your monitoring system and better protect your home from water damage.
Common Types of Water Damage
Some types of water damage are pretty straightforward. It's helpful to be familiar with three of them. When you call to make a claim and to find out if you're covered, the insurance company may use terms like the following list:
Sewer backup or water backup
Overflow and discharge
Flooding (due to a variety of causes, from weather to appliance and pipe leaks)
The source of water damage is not always obvious. Before deciding if it is a covered claim or not, the insurance company will have to determine how the damage happened.
Note that a good water damage restoration company will be experienced in helping identify the source of loss, working directly with your insurance company, and will understand your policy and what it covers.
They will also work directly with your insurance adjuster to try and ensure coverage if possible.
Categories of Water Damage
There are many forms of water damage. Not only can water damage be an issue for your property but for your health as well. The first step you’ll want to take is to determine the type water problem itself.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) defines three types of water damage. The types are categorized by source, length of time in the structure, history of the structure, and other impactful factors like chemicals.
Category 1 Water Damage
This type includes burst water pipes, leaking appliances, and small amounts of rainwater. Category 1 water is clean at the source and if consumed, does not pose a health hazard.
It also requires much less equipment and time to remedy. Though not necessarily hazardous, if a category 1 is not dealt with quickly, due to “dwell time” it can turn into a Category 2 within 24 hours.
Category 2 Water Damage
Category 2 is most commonly “gray water.” Gray water is characterized by containing a small amount of contamination or Category 1 water that has been neglected. This type is moderately dangerous and if exposed to it, could cause some sickness or discomfort for people or animals.
The most common water damage of this type is washing machine or dishwasher discharge, overflowing toilet containing urine, hydrostatic pressure seepage, broken aquariums, and punctured water beds.
These instances of water damage may contain chemicals, bio-contaminants, and other forms of contamination that may be hazardous to human health. It will become a Category 3 within 48 hours if left untreated.
Category 3 Water Damage
This is the most dangerous type of water damage and commonly comes from black water. Black water is highly contaminated, contains pathogens, and can cause serious illness or even death in extreme conditions.
If your property is in a flood zone and your home becomes flooded, it is automatically a Category 3. With Category 3, those with weak immune systems, individuals suffering from respiratory illness, allergies, or young children should avoid exposure to the structure.
Fire Detection and Prevention Devices
Household fires are one of the most significant disaster risks that homeowners face. Luckily, today's smart home features and technology take your fire protection a step beyond your classic smoke detector.
Smart smoke detectors can notify you of smoke and a potential fire even if you're away from home, thanks to updates sent directly to your mobile device. These detectors can even minimize the spread of fire by shutting down other home devices, such as your HVAC, when smoke is detected.
If you aren't ready to replace every smoke detector in your home, try using a smart battery in your existing smoke detectors to receive these real-time smartphone updates.
Other types of smart home fire-detection devices rely on temperature readings to alert you of a potential fire. Some models set off an alarm and send you an alert when your home reaches a certain temperature, while others activate when a rapid rise in temperature is detected.
Finally, you can reduce the risk of electrical fires by using smart plugs. If you're afraid you left the clothes iron or coffeemaker on, these plugs can come to your rescue. Simply use your smartphone to cut off electricity to any devices plugged into the smart plugs, and you're all set.
Seeing your home or business consumed by fire can be one of the most severe losses that someone can experience. After such a devastating experience, reassurance comes from having clear guidance and support in salvaging as much as possible from fire and smoke damage.
At Five Star Restoration, our technicians are trained professionals; they're caring people ready to get you back in your home or business as quickly as possible, while keeping you informed every step of the way.
Common types of Fire That Can Occur
1. Protein Fire
Food from the oven or stove has burned, leaving strong burnt food odors and smoke residue on contents and surfaces.
2. Complex Fire
Multiple natural and synthetic items inside your home or business have burned causing black smoke residue on contents and surfaces and synthetic smoke residue on contents and surfaces and synthetic smoke odors. Here, emergency corrosion mitigation is needed to protect at-risk surfaces.
3. Natural Fire
Trees, shrubs and bushes have burned and smoke has penetrated the structure from outside, so smoke residue and odor are present.
4. Furnace Malfunction
Heating appliances such as oil-fired furnaces have malfunctioned and caused smoke to be distributed throughout the property.
In all these cases, structural restoration is merited, including removing any charred content that may seal in smoke such as insulation and burned wood. Evaluation of carpets and floor coverings that may need to be removed should be done as well.
Inspecting the framing of the structure and subfloors for safety is also a necessity as this type of damage might be hidden and not readily apparent on the surface.
The residue left behind after a fire is a biohazard and can cause health problems if it is not taken care of correctly and thoroughly. You do not want to attempt to clean up your home or business on your own after a fire or you may cause more damage.
Only experts with the right training and tools can assure the job is done properly.
A good restoration company can help identify the source to determine the type of fire that occurred, and evaluate the areas that are wet as a result of firefighting that may need treatment as well.
They will remove contents from the home including immediate need items, and pack out the remaining contents for cleaning and storage.
Smart Home Innovations - Saving You Money In the Long Run
Equipping your living space with smart home features is a simple and effective way to get real-time updates on dangerous conditions in your home, which can help you avert disasters such as fires and floods.
What's more, making an investment in this smart technology can save you money in the long run by preventing costly damage. For more information on preventing water damage while you are away click for more preventative measures you can take.
Be sure to keep your eye on the Five Star Restoration blog for more tips on water damage and fire and smoke damage. And contact us at 951-368-2227 if you have an questions. We are always happy to help and we are available 24/7.
Five Star Restoration delivers the best service that you can rely on in times of need, especially when unexpected situations takes over. We provide reliable professionals that you can depend upon, discuss your disaster problems and the rest is worry-free.
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