NORTH SALT LAKE—Emergency preparedness means more than just being ready for an earthquake.
According to Josh Grimstead, owner and president of SERVEPRO of Bountiful and SERVEPRO of Layton/Kaysville, he knows that firsthand. His company specializes in cleaning and restoring homes after water and fire damage, and he said that fires and burst pipes are a far more common risk than major disasters that happen infrequently.
“A disaster doesn’t have to be an earthquake, or a landslide,” he said. “Disasters can happen every single day.”
He said that fires can range from a kitchen with smoke damage to a home that’s been mostly burned to the ground. Water damage is especially common in the Davis County area, and can come from spring runoff and a variety of other sources.
“Water damage from Weber Basin water happens all the time in Davis County,” he said. “Sewers also back up a lot, and that comes into homes as well.”
Repairing this damage, both to the home and the items in it, can be a challenge. Mold is a common problem with water damage, as well as contamination from sewers and other water sources. That contaminated water, and the mold it causes, can soak far beyond the surface.
“You can’t just carpet clean it and hope the smell goes away,” said Grimstead.
SERVEPRO will take out all the damaged material, disinfecting the area as well as cleaning it. They then make the space look like it did before the damage.
“We handle all parts of the cleanup and restoration,” he said. “We can put in new sheetrock, insulation, carpet and paint, and make it look (the disaster) like it never even happened.”
SERVEPRO also cleans and restores items in the damaged area of the home, from furniture to clothes and electronics. These items are often stored separately, and are cleaned, dried and restored at the same time as the house.
“It often allows people to save money if they don’t have to replace everything,” he said.
How much time this all takes depends on the size of the disaster that caused the damage.
“It can take anywhere from two weeks to six months,” he said. “For water loss, it takes about four weeks on average to do all the draining, cleaning and restoration.”
No matter what the size of the disaster, Grimstead has some tips for homeowners to help them be ready for whatever happens.
• The worst place to put your food storage is on the floor in the basement, since burst pipes and flooded basements are common side effects of any natural disaster. If you do store your emergency food supply in the basement, make sure it’s on pallets or in waterproof buckets.
• Take a video of your home and everything in it, then store the video in a fireproof safe along with your important papers. In case of a fire or other disaster, the video will help prove your losses to the insurance company.
• Double-check that your insurance covers everything you hope it does. “Often, coverage on personal items is far under what it needs to be,” he said.
For more information, visit serveprobountiful.com or serveprolaytonkaysville.com.