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Out with the Old: Changing your Pipes

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Out with the Old: Changing your Pipes Broken pipe causing water loss in a Sugar House, UT home

From the 1970s to the 1990s, a specific sort of pipe was used in a lot of commercial plumbing. Polybutylene was thought to be the pipe of the future because it was inexpensive to make and easy to install. After a few years, however, those buildings started having plumbing problems. These pipes are not used in Sugar House, UT, today because they inevitably wear out, and they cause significant water damage when they do.

Here are some reasons these pipes must be replaced if they are part of your building's plumbing.

  1. Exposure to treated water makes it brittle. One of the reasons this particular piping does not work for plumbing is that the water itself destroys the pipe. The chlorine and antibacterial chemicals used to make drinking water safe make the polybutylene pipes brittle and prone to breakage. Over time, they cannot be fixed. They must be replaced.
  2. Disintegrating parts get stuck in water. Another startling effect of this type of piping is that as it disintegrates, it flakes off and leaches chemicals into the water supply. New plumbing made from safer materials is a necessary upgrade.
  3. It costs more to maintain than to replace. Replacing these pipes have a comparable cost to replacing the carpet in your house. The piping change isn't inexpensive, but neither are all the costs from having to hire water remediation experts to clean up every time you have water damage.
  4. It drives down the resale value of your building. Because this piping causes so many problems, it needs to be fixed before you put your property on the market. Most realtors won't even show a commercial property that still has old pipes in it. The pipes must be replaced before the building is likely to sell.

If your commercial building seems to have more water damage problems that it usually does, polybutylene pipes may be the culprit. Have the pipes replaced to avoid additional repair expenses.

Does This House Come With a Floaty: Understanding Flood Zones

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Does This House Come With a Floaty: Understanding Flood Zones Roof damage during a storm in Salt Lake City, UT

Many homeowners are not familiar with the idea of a flood zone, especially if they’ve never lived in a high-risk flooding area or an area prone to severe weather, and when searching in the Salt Lake City, UT area they may be shocked at the necessities of these zones. As a way of minimizing the shock, it helps to understand the zoning designations and some of the necessary requirements.

1. The Four Main Zone Types

There are four Main zone types, and if you have never heard of these zones, you likely live in a minimal flood hazard area. The four zone types are:

  • Minimal Flood Hazard Areas: typically designated as Zone C or X, these areas are considered low risk.
  • Moderate Hazard Flood Areas: typically designated as Zone B, these areas likely experience flooding but not frequently.
  • Special Flood Hazard Areas: these are the areas with the highest risk of flooding, and they are typically designated as Zone V or A.
  • D Zones: these are areas that FEMA has not given a designation to yet.

2. Zone Maps

Every flood zone is designated on maps readily available through the FEMA Map Service Center. FEMA created these maps to offer valuable insights for the creation of flood management plans as well as insurance coverage by compiling information from the statistical research of river flows, storm tides, rainfall, topographic surveys, and even hydraulic analysis.

3. Zones and Insurance Requirements

While many homeowners might be irked at the idea of paying for additional insurance coverage, it is necessary to keep in mind that in specific high-risk areas the likelihood of your home succumbing to a flood is significantly increased. Therefore, FEMA, the government, and insurance companies have your best interests in mind when they require this type of coverage in high-risk areas.

If the concept of a flood zone is new to you, it can be slightly intimidating, but the reality is that FEMA designates the zones to ensure that you and your property are protected. You can check FEMA’s website, your local municipality, or you can reach out to flood and restoration specialists in your area for more information.

3 Strategies for Cleaning Up Small Mold Patches in Your Home

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Strategies for Cleaning Up Small Mold Patches in Your Home Mold damage on a ceiling in a Park City, UT home

Getting rid of mold in your Park City, UT, home and preventing new growths can be a challenge. Moisture problems, high humidity and other circumstances can cause fungi to grow in almost any room. Smaller mold patches can be equally frustrating because if they are treated improperly, the spores can spread to other areas and grow anew. Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to clean up these spots before they can multiply.

1. Identify the Mold Type

If you find some house mold while cleaning, it may help to try and identify what type you are dealing with so you can use an effective strategy to destroy it. For example, if you are cleaning out your fridge and find leftovers with mold on them, it is likely a penicillium strain and can be spotted by its white or light green, fuzzy appearance. Throw the food away and then disinfect the container and the fridge shelf with an equal mix of distilled water and baking soda.

2. Avoid Using Bleach

Finding mold growth in your home may cause you to reach for the nearest bleach-based household cleaner, but this may do more harm than good. Bleach contains a good amount of water, which may only feed moisture-loving mold. Instead, battle those small patches of mold or mildew with baking soda or diluted white vinegar and dry the spot thoroughly to discourage further growth.

3. Call in a Professional

While cleaning up one small patch mold on your own is probably harmless, multiple patches may need the attention of a mold cleanup and remediation service. Splotches that grow near each other may indicate that the fungi is spreading, so having professionals come in to clean out the mold and the odor it causes may be the best choice for protecting your home.

House mold can be frustrating for you as a Park City, UT, homeowner. However, when you know how to clean up small patches before they spread, you can prevent a serious infestation later on.

How To Maintain Your Building's Fire System

8/24/2018 (Permalink)

Your commercial property in Jeremy Ranch, UT, should have a working fire sprinkler system. While no method of protection is a guarantee for safety if a fire breaks out, sprinkler systems have an excellent track record for helping to put the fire out more quickly and keeping everyone safe. They can only do this if they work properly, though, so regular inspection and maintenance is critical. Here are some tips for keeping your fire suppression system in good working order.

Keep to the Code

One of the most common causes of sprinkler malfunction is lack of adherence to fire codes. There are many examples of issues that can keep your system from working as well as it should:

  • Boxes or furniture stacked above the fire line in the room, blocking sensors
  • Painters' tape left on fire sprinkler after remodeling project
  • Bags placed over sprinkler to keep it from detecting cigarette smoke
  • Items hanging from sprinkler

Any of these actions or others like them can cause malfunction. The sprinkler may go off in the room even though there's no fire, or the it may fail to register a fire that does exist. Every room with a sprinkler should have a sign posted with guidelines for adhering to fire code and protecting the fire system.

Lock the Control Valves

A faulty sprinkler valve can wreak havoc on your building, causing it to flood so badly that you need water remediation specialists to perform the fire sprinkler cleanup. One way to avoid this problem is to lock all the control valves in the system, keeping them in the open position. A monthly visual inspection is a good idea, but it's also important to monitor the sprinklers through their communication with the system itself. Your fire panel should alert you if a sprinkler valve is closed.

While a yearly inspection from the fire marshal is required, it is not enough to keep your fire sprinkler system in good working order. You must also inspect and maintain your fire system throughout the year.

Common Causes and Remedies for Sewer Odor

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Common Causes and Remedies for Sewer Odor Roof damage from storm in Sugar House, UT home

Having a sewer smell in your commercial building is unpleasant. While the fumes may not be harmful, they can certainly be an unwelcome distraction. There are several reasons you may be smelling sewer gas in your building in Sugar House, UT, and most of them have pretty simple remedies.

Causes of the Odor

Smelling sewer odor does not usually mean that you have raw sewage wreaking havoc somewhere in your building. The more likely cause is the failure of one of several apparatuses that function to direct the gas outside. There are three main causes of indoor sewer smell:

  • Dry traps with no wastewater to prevent gases from coming back through the plumbing
  • Blocked vents with a clog or backup that is preventing the gas from escaping through the normal channels
  • Damaged drain lines that release sewage under the property instead of carrying it away

To get rid of the smell, you must first locate the problem. It may have an easy fix that you can do yourself, but it's important to call a plumber or sewer remediation services if you need to do so.

Solutions for the Odor

The first thing you should try to do is pour clean water down the drain from whence the smell comes. Dry traps from underutilized drains are the most common cause of sewer odors in buildings, and making sure that you use the drain frequently can help prevent the problem or help resolve it once it occurs. If that doesn't work, your drain may need to be cleaned. Disinfecting the drain takes care of any bacteria that may be causing the smell. If none of your efforts get rid of the smell, however, it is time to call in the professionals to assess a potentially larger problem.

Sewer smell can happen any time there is a backup or some other type of plumbing problem. If you can't get rid of the problem on your own, calling a plumber can help you get your building smelling fresh and clean again.

3 Tips for Cleaning Up After a Sewage Flood

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Tips for Cleaning Up After a Sewage Flood Ceiling damage from water loss in Salt Lake City, UT home

There are some possible disasters you can prepare your Salt Lake City, UT, home for, but one that might catch you completely unprepared is a sewer flood. These floods can happen when weather conditions back up your neighborhood’s sewer line and then back up out of your toilet. You will likely need the assistance of a professional sewer cleanup crew to rectify this issue, but there are a few actions you can take to ensure your family and the remainder of your home stays safe.

1. Do Not Touch the Flood Water

After a sewer backup, the water that flows from your toilet is likely contaminated and is what professionals call “black water.” It may contain human and animal feces, sewer chemicals and other biohazards. Seal off the nearest door and avoid touching any of the water with your bare hands. If you must block water with towels or other absorbent material, wear thick rubber gloves and a breathing mask to protect yourself.

2. Clear the Outdoor Area

Once the sewer cleanup crew arrives, they may bring one or more large tanker trucks and other vehicles that transport sump and trash pumps that will help them drain away the contaminated water. Try to give them plenty of room by moving your cars and other objects that might block their way. Prevent children and pets from roaming too close to the vehicles once they arrive.

3. Ask About Deodorizing Services

A flooded toilet can cause unpleasant sewer smells to linger, even after the water is gone. However, a professional cleanup crew might have several options for deodorizing your home. This service goes a step beyond cleaning, as the processes these professionals use are unique and clean the air as well as your home’s floor and walls to ensure unwanted odors do not return later.

When sewers malfunction and cause a flood in your Salt Lake City, UT, home, it can be distressing. However, a professional sewer cleanup crew can give you peace of mind when it comes to draining away the water and leaving your home smelling clean and fresh once more.

Get Rid of Musty, Moldy Odors

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is always around. It exists inside and outside, it floats on the air, and it grows on many types of surfaces. It has been on the Earth and in Salt Lake City, UT, for millions of the years and will grow wherever there's moisture. Mold spores enters buildings through windows, open doors, vents, and on clothing, pets, and items carried inside. Mold spores will begin to grow and colonize when they come into contact with areas of moisture, such as:

• Older windows
• Leaky roofs
• Around doors
• Wet pipes
• Behind wallpaper

You may not see the mold, but you may be alerted by its presence by a musty odor caused by the release of mycotoxin and gases.

Remove Moisture to Reduce Odors.

It is difficult, but not impossible, to get rid of those bad smells. The first step is getting rid of the cause of mold growth and the spread of mycotoxin. You may need to call in a mold remediation expert to locate the source of moisture, especially if it is the result of a cracked foundation or leaks in the attic. If you don't address the moisture problem, you won't be able to contain the growth of mold.

Dry and Disinfect Problem Areas. 

Sometimes, drying out the area isn't enough to get rid of the musty odor. You may also need to thoroughly clean the affected area. Before trying to treat these areas with homemade treatments, discuss your options with a professional. Some well-known DIY treatments aren't as effective as they seem. Professionals in Salt Lake City, UT, may use HEPA air filtration devices when cleaning up mold.

Leave Odors in the Past.

Once the area has been treated appropriately, there are several steps you can take to keep mold and musty smells at bay. Fresh, circulating air and plenty of sunshine are two of the most effective ways to reduce odors. Some minerals and substances, such as zeolite and activated charcoal, are also effective at absorbing odors. Remember, however, that none of these methods will be adequate if you haven't resolved the moisture at the heart of the problem.

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How to Make a Home Fire Escape Plan

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

No one in Salt Lake City, UT, wants to experience the devastation of a house fire, but in order to keep your family safe, you need to put a plan in place should once occur. Experts recommend working with your family to create a fire escape plan and practicing it at least twice a year so that everyone knows what to do. Here are some ideas for what your plan should include.

1. How to Get of the Rooms.

Every household member should know at least two ways to escape each room in the home. If the fire prevents someone from leaving through the door, is there a window to crawl out of? Teach children how to open windows.

2. How and Where to Find Fire Escape Ladders.

If you have a two-story home, ladders can help people escape through top-floor windows. These are best used by adults and older children. Make sure everyone knows how to use them.

3. Where to Meet.

As part of your emergency escape plan, pick a meeting spot a safe distance away from the home. Everyone should know where it is. It is very important that children understand that everyone will meet at this safe meeting place and that they don’t need to try to rescue anyone on their way out of the home.

After your fire escape plan is established, your family should practice putting it into place. Practice until it can be completed in less than two minutes. In addition, your household can practice low crawling and waking up to a smoke alarm. Teach everyone how to dial 9-1-1 and stop, drop and roll.

The thought of experiencing a house fire is a scary one, but it’s better to come up with a fire escape plan in case of an emergency than it is to ignore the issue. Having a plan in place will help keep you and your loved ones safe.

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Understanding a Flood Cut

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Unless you have experienced past house flooding in Salt Lake City, UT, or are an experienced home renovator, there is a good chance that you do not have the phrase “flood cut” in your vocabulary. For the typical homeowner, many questions come to mind when the water restoration specialist uses this expression after assessing the storm damage in your home.

What Does “Flood Cut” Mean?

• A flood cut refers to the removal of drywall from the bottom portion of the rooms in your home that experienced water damage.
• Typically, this cut is made between 12 – 18 inches above where the water damage stopped.
• The restoration specialists then tear out the drywall below the flood cut line.

When Is a Flood Cut Necessary?

• After flooding, the excess water is removed from your house. However, there may be moisture behind the walls and the drywall may be damaged. Removal of the bottom portion of the wall allows the contractors access to the interior structures of your home.
• If there is contamination in the water that touches the drywall, such as from sewage backup, all affected walls require removal to prevent the spread of bacteria.
• When insulation is present behind water damaged walls, it is necessary to remove the drywall because insulation cannot be properly dried out or replaced with the wall intact.

How Does a Flood Cut Work?

• Restoration contractors begin the flood cut process soon after water removal to prevent the formation and spread of mold, which can occur within 24 – 48 hours.
• The flood cut line is measured and determined before a laser level marks the wall. A tarp is placed to catch the debris, and the cut is made.
• Once the restoration specialists inspect behind the drywall, another cut may be needed if the damage is larger than expected.
• Damaged materials are removed and adequate ventilation is put in place.

By knowing the meaning of “flood cut”, you are one step closer to understanding the terminology used in your home’s recovery from flooding in Salt Lake City, UT.

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3 Things To Do With Your Pipes Before Vacation

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

When you're planning a trip, don't forget to make plans for your pipes before you leave Salt Lake City, UT. Under normal circumstances, they work quietly and harmoniously, carrying water to and fro, but they can't be trusted to do the work when nobody is there. You need to prepare those pipes for the trip. If not, you may come home to a broken pipe and a water park in your basement. Here are three things to do before you leave town:

1. Repair any known problems.

You may already know about a tiny problem here or a little chore there. Now is the time to make that necessary water pipe repair.

2. Shut it all down.

Find the main water supply line to your house and turn it off. This is the best solution to prevent a flooded home. The most difficult part of this task is finding the main water supply valve. It may be in a basement, the garage, or by the hot water heater. A couple days before your vacation, do a practice run of shutting down your water supply. This is much better than explaining to your family later why you're calling in restoration and flood specialists.

3. Only shut down the troublemakers.

If you have someone coming over to take care of the pets, shutting off the main water supply may not be convenient. You can still turn off individual supply valves to the areas most likely to leak, which include lines for the washing machine, dishwasher, ice maker, and toilets. Do you really want your pet sitter working on a water pipe repair?

Of course, this all assumes you have kept up with the regular maintenance (cleaning gutters, septic tank pumping, water heater flushing, and minor water pipe repair) that would help prevent water damage while you are away. If you happen to have pushed these tasks down your list, then you should make sure they are finished before you go. Your preventative actions will ensure that your vacation-induced state of relaxation may continue when you return to your undamaged home.

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