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Got a Sewer Backup? Get Professional Cleanup Help

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

Cartoon of a Flooded Bathroom. Got a Sewer Backup? Just call Our Specialists!

As a homeowner in Park City, UT, you want your home to be a safe and welcoming place. If you come into find the sewer has backed up, it means black water is seeping into the porous materials in the home and potentially spreading. Sewer cleanup requires extra attention to safety, which is why it’s best to call a water damage and restoration company to handle the mess.

Important Steps in the Cleanup Process

Sewer Backup Cleanup Process

Black water, classified as Category 3 by the IICRC, means that there are potential contaminants, bacteria, chemicals and microorganisms lurking within it. Even a flooded toilet may be in this category, so it’s important to not just dive right in.

Sewer Cleanup Process

When you hire a professional company, you get peace of mind that the entire problem will be handled by one trusted company. Trained and certified professionals will have the expertise, safety gear and industry-grade tools to get your home back to like new. While every situation has different degrees of severity, the cleanup process typically involves the following steps.

  • Containment: Containing the affected area is the first vital step. This will help ensure that secondary damage doesn’t spread to other areas.
  • Extraction: Standing water and waste will be extracted using high-grade pumps and other tools. The waste and contaminated water will be properly disposed of. Water-logged belongings will also be removed and taken off-site to be inspected for salvageability.
  • Dry Out: Air dryers and movers, along with dehumidifiers, will be used to thoroughly dry the area.
  • Clean, Sanitize, Deodorize: After the area is dry, the real cleaning process begins. An array of industry-recommended cleaning methods will be used to ensure peace of mind.
  • Restoration: The final, and often longest step, involves restoring the property to preloss condition. This may include replacing drywall, carpeting, flooring and other structural components depending on the degree of damage.

Prevention Tips

Once you have dealt with a sewer issue, you don’t want a repeat situation happening. While there may not be much a homeowner can do if it was due to a city sewer issue, there are ways to minimize the risk in regard to your sewer line.

If it’s been a while since you have had your plumbing inspected, now is a perfect time. A professional plumber will inspect the valves and pipes to ensure they are working properly and have the know-how to detect potential problems.

The easiest way to keep your sewer working right is to practice good habits. Avoid flushing chemical products or any items other than waste and toilet paper down the drain. In the kitchen, ensure that grease is being properly thrown away and not going down the drain. This causes a buildup in the pipes that will eventually affect the main sewer.

While trees add to a property’s aesthetic, know where your sewer pipes are before planting. Tree roots will quickly make their way through older pipes, causing an eventual clog or collapse.

Sewer cleanup is a messy job and one that requires adhering to strict safety protocols. Instead of dealing with it on your own, it's best to consider hiring a professional to handle the job from beginning to end.

What You Should Know About Water Damage

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Homeowners look at their Leaky Roof Follow our tips and Know more about Water Damage.

Water damage involves apparent (and not-so-apparent) destruction that comes from the presence of water in places that it shouldn’t be, especially for an extended length of time.

Damage can range from something as minor as a leaky water line to a refrigerator to something more catastrophic such as flooring or sewage backup.

Unattended water issues can impact building materials, compromising the structural integrity of your home. Water also creates the right environment for the growth and spread of mold. Cleaning up water quickly is an important part of taking care of your home.

Categorizing Water Damage

Damage from water falls into three categories, based on the source and severity of contamination:

Category 1:

The least severe category of damage, this water usually comes from broken pipes or overflow of a sink. Category 1 water is free of toxins and sewage, and usually the places impacted are also clean. Sometimes this water is called clean water.

Category 2:

Water in this category probably contains some contaminants and should be cleaned as quickly as possible. Also known as grey water, this damage usually comes from toilets (without feces), sump pump backups, and discharge from appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines that clean dirty objects. Clean water that has been standing around for more than 48 hours can become category 2 water. 

Category 3:

Also known as black water, this category includes water that is severely contaminated with bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. Category 3 water sources include toilets containing feces, groundwater, outside flooding, and sewage backup among others.

Grey water that hasn’t been removed or cleaned in 48 hours should be handled as black water.

While clean water can usually be safely handled through drying, different types of water damage require approaches. Because this damage can lead to severe problems, it’s important to reach out to your nearest SERVPRO franchise in Salt Lake City, UT to professionally clean and remediate damage in any category.

Understanding the Cleanup Process

Generally, the water cleanup process should include the following steps, some of which should be left to the professionals:

  • Shut off the water: Before you do anything else, make sure to stop the flow of water when applicable. Turn off the main supply to your home before proceeding further.
  • Turn off the power: Electric and electronic items may be affected by water damage. It may not be safe to unplug items, so cut off the electric supply to affected areas using your breaker box.
  • Check for mold: Mold may be visible on some surfaces. You may also detect a musty order. Because mold can grow and spread under floors, behind walls, and in ceilings, your professional damage restoration provider is equipped to remove structural elements to assess the extent of the spread.
  • Remove the water: Remove excess water with buckets, vacs, or through drying, where possible.
  • Remove damaged objects: Water-soaked carpet, drywall, insulation, and other materials should be physically removed.
  • Disinfect and sanitize: Grey and black water involve contaminants that should be thoroughly cleaned.

Water damage is serious business at your home in Salt Lake City, UT. The longer it’s left unaddressed, the bigger your problem. Reach out to the professionals who are equipped to return your home to pre-damage conditions with special approaches to cleaning, drying, repair, and reconstruction.

How To Make a Flood Claim?

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Car covered by water. Learn how to make your Flood Claim by Following These Tips.

Floods can cause devastating damage to homes. The first step to restoring your property after a flood is to file a flood claim.

How To File a Flood Insurance Claim

Filling your claim for flood damage is a multi-step process:

1. Contact the Insurance Company

The first thing you must do is contact your insurance company. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage so your flood insurance may be with a different insurance company than your homeowner's insurance. If you aren't sure who your insurance carrier is, you can call the National Flood Insurance Program Call Center at 1-800-427-4661 to find out.

2. Provide Information

Your insurance company will need several pieces of information. This may include your policy number, a phone number and email address where your insurance company can contact you and the name of your mortgage company if you have one. If you don't know all of this information, your insurance or claims agent may be able to look it up for you.

3. Document Your Damage

It usually takes 24-48 hours for your insurance company to assign an adjuster to your claim. However, if flooding is widespread, it may take longer. While you are waiting, take photos and videos of your damaged property and the flood lines on the outside and inside of structures. Photograph the make, model and serial number of electronics and appliances. Do not enter flooded areas or structures until you have been told they are safe.

4. Discard Flood Damaged Items That Are Unsafe

After you take photos and keep samples of materials such as pieces of carpet, flooring, drapes or wallpaper, throw away flood-damaged items that are unsafe to keep, such as perishable food, cushions, clothing and pillows.

5. Contact Repair Services

If the electrical, HVAC or water systems of your home are damaged, contact repair services. However, talk to your insurance company about your flood claim before you sign any contracts. This is also a good time to schedule a flood remediation company in Park City, UT, to begin drying and cleaning your damaged home.

6. Meet With the Adjuster

When the insurance adjuster arrives, ask to see the adjuster's Flood Control Number card and other official identification. This protects you against scammers who may be posing as insurance adjusters. Review the adjuster's written report and estimate for any errors. A legitimate insurance adjuster will not ask you to pay your deductible, charge you a fee or ask for money for any other reason.

7. Receive Payment and Begin Repairs

Once the insurance company receives the adjuster's report and estimate, it will review the report, along with any documentation you have provided, to establish the value of your claim. If you disagree with the value the insurance company determines, you may need to submit additional supporting documentation to prove your claim. Once a settlement is reached, the insurance company will issue you a check and you can use the money to make repairs.

The flood claim process can be lengthy, particularly if there are many people in your area with damaged property. The faster you get the process started, the sooner you can expect to receive payment.

How Pretesting Property Reduces Insurance Claims

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

Owner dealing with Water Damage Know more about Insurance Claims. If you have more doubts, just contact us.

Is pretesting for damage before claim approval in your customer's best interest? Is the procedure helpful to you, the insurer? Our locally owned SERVPRO franchises seek to help both sides, satisfying our clients and their insurance agencies. Staff members in Salt Lake City, UT work to provide vital data to guide both parties through the restoration and claim process. We can minimize future troubles and filings with swift action and early detection. Here are three main points to know and understand.

Important Points to Know about Insurance Claims

1. Awareness Reduces Insurance Claim Costs and Secondary Damage

Water damage requires intense cleanup because the moisture harms the building and items. Improperly treated or untreated water damage leads to several problems, particularly mold and mildew. Water sits idly within objects and materials, allowing spores to reproduce. These microbes multiply quickly. Within a day or two, an infestation can spread throughout a room.

Without early testing, commercial owners may miss critical steps in the repairs, focusing on the drying procedures and ignoring the potential for eventual growth. What if a room is saturated but isn't visibly detectable? The fungus could grow, requiring a claim in a few months or a year. Furthermore, people may realize that personal objects such as chairs and clothing received impact, requesting property loss reimbursement months after the event.

Prompt detection allows clients to file simultaneously and reduces confusion and debates.

2. Testing Focuses on Immediate Needs and Future Complications

When owners call a team for help, the crew arrives ready to complete a thorough pretesting evaluation. They look to the source, immediately working to resolve the problem. By stopping the water flow and identifying the origin, owners and agents have less to fix.

It's about the present and the future, so experts then begin collecting specimens to note the level of contamination. Air and physical collections provide a clear overview of whether microbes have set into the walls, floor and belongings. Moisture reading tools detail the extent of fluid saturation, and inspections occur within various rooms to note deterioration and structural concerns.

The goal is to identify both visible and invisible sources of immediate and long-term hazards. Catching trouble early allows for early intervention and reduces owner claims.

3. Testing Informs Insurance Agents About Property Conditions

When proprietors submit a claim, you, as the insurance agent, want assurance that this problem did not result from prior negligence or misconduct. Did an owner know that the water heater was leaking? Was there an underlying problem that they should have caught earlier? Business leaders often underestimate the potential for mold and water development from something minor, but it does matter. You need this factor ruled out before you release a claim check.

After an early investigation by remediation professionals, agencies and clients receive a detailed report noting how something happened, what experts can do about it and how the team could prevent future contamination issues.

Pretesting benefits both the commercial owner and the insurer, guiding both through the restoration process and understanding the impact of the damage. Using innovative technology and reacting quickly allows SERVPRO to get ahead of issues, minimizing additional claims.

What To Do If Your Commercial Building's Roof Is Damaged in a Fire

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire. If Your Commercial Building's Roof Is Damaged in a Fire, just Call the Professionals.

Even a relatively small fire can cause major damage to your Park City, UT, commercial property. The flames could burn important documents, and the smoke odor could permeate carpets and furniture. However, there can be other causes of harm. Firefighters often cut holes in the roof of a burning property to prevent the flames from growing. This strategy removes the dark smoke that can hinder the firefighters’ visions as they battle the flames. Yet it also necessitates roof repair after the fire has been extinguished.

Hire a Tarp Services Provider After a Fire

You should hire fire cleanup professionals who will put a tarp on your property. A tarp can temporarily cover any holes in the roof, keeping out the elements until the roof has been fully repaired. The experts should also board up the doors and windows so vandals cannot enter the premises. Here are three other steps to take if your roof is damaged in a fire.

1. Call Your Insurance Provider

While professional restoration services can be expensive, the money from your insurance policy should cover at least some of this cost. Ask your insurance representative for a written estimate. You should also ask the rep what else you can do to minimize further harm to the property.

If you do not have property insurance, or if your coverage is limited, you may be able to find help from other sources. Local organizations and public agencies often provide emergency funds. You could also ask the Salvation Army or American Red Cross for assistance.

2. Stay Safe

Do not re-enter your building until firefighters say that you can. After they are done putting out the flames, they will check your gas and electricity systems. Any rainwater that does enter the property through your damaged roof may affect these utilities.

If the utilities are unsafe to use, the firefighters will disconnect them. The fire cleanup experts should tell you when it is safe to turn on the utilities again.

Even if you are given permission to enter the property, you should still be extra careful. Walls and floors may not be as sturdy as they appear.

3. Replace or Restore Valuables

Your commercial property likely has important documents, such as tax records and insurance policies. A fire could burn these documents directly, or it could cause a roof defect that leads to weather elements harming the documents.

You may be able to obtain new copies of some of these items. However, more proprietary documents may be tough to replace. Try to find restoration experts who can salvage important paperwork. Be sure to save the bill or receipt from the remediation company. You may have to show it to your insurance provider.

Excessive roof damage can make the fire cleanup process more difficult. However, by taking advantage of tarp services, you can limit any harm caused by a hole in the roof. Calling your insurance provider, keeping off your utilities if necessary, and having important documents restored or replaced should also expedite the recovery.

What Role Does the Federal Emergency Management Agency Play After a Storm?

5/7/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded home after a storm Take into account these tips and Avoid Storm Damage in your Property.

Wherever you reside, the unthinkable could occur at any time. When a disaster devastates your property and others' in Salt Lake City, UT, you'll probably feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. If the loss is significant enough, the Federal Emergency Management Agency may be dispatched to the scene.

FEMA was formed in 1979 to "lead America to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters with a vision of 'A Nation Prepared.'" For example, it assists survivors of disasters such as severe flooding in rebuilding their lives. It has helped with numerous tragedies in the past and continues to now. It serves several important roles, including the following.

4 Roles FEMA Serves After a Storm

  1. Assessing the Affected Areas

First, it performs detailed assessments of the area in which tragedy has hit. It determines what type of assistance the victims require. These needs can vary depending on the kind of disaster. It basically operates as the "boots on the ground" for everything from hurricanes to wildfires to terror attacks."

  1. Acting as a Liaison Between Federal and Local

It acts as a liaison between the affected area and the federal government. Various factors are controlled physically and financially by FEMA. It usually involves allocating supplies, maintaining resources and working with local and state officials.

  1. Determining the Appropriate Response

It determines the required response and assembles the appropriate troops. Law enforcement, for example, may be needed. Hurricanes and other kinds of disasters can bear several types of significant losses. This can include damage from wind, flooding and even fires.

  1. Coordinating the Response

Finally, it helps coordinate responses such as mobilizing troops to evacuate people, provide tarps for roofs and distribute food and water. It also locates and provides shelter and other basic needs for displaced victims.

Although FEMA takes significant control after a disaster occurs, their help is no substitute for insurance. If you have a flood or other kinds of loss, storm damage remediation experts will likely also be necessary. They can return your home to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.

Does Your Homeowner's Policy Cover Water Damage?

5/7/2022 (Permalink)

Image of broken pipe flooding the laundry room. Learn more about Your Homeowner's Policy by following Our Tips.

Many homeowners who experience a basement flood or water damage are concerned about the cost for a remediation and restoration company in Salt Lake City, UT. However, while the general thought is that your insurance coverage will not cover water damage, that is likely not entirely accurate.

Most homeowner's policies will cover some water damage, but it is vital to know the specifics surrounding each situation, those covered and not.

4 Situations That May Need Insurance Coverage

  1. Accidental and Sudden

Most insurance companies will cover accidental or sudden water loss. Therefore, if you experience a pipe break or if your water heater suddenly failed and flooded your basement, your policy will probably cover some of the resulting damage, like structural issues or drywall damage. However, not every plan will include the damaged component or appliance that caused the problem.

  1. Unresolved Maintenance Issue

Nearly all insurers will refuse to cover unresolved maintenance issues that result in a basement flood. If you know about a leak, or if you have an appliance that is well past its prime, then you will likely have to pay for any resulting damage.

  1. External Flood

If you live in a flood zone, or if you are concerned about the possibility of a flood, make sure you have flood insurance. A standard homeowner's policy will not cover flood damage. While most homeowner's plans will not cover flooding, if you are in a flood zone, it is a possibility that flood coverage is regulated and required.

  1. Outside Source

Sewer backups or other external causes for internal water damage are also likely not covered by your homeowner's policy. Check with your insurer to be sure.


It is vital to know what you are protected against through your standard insurance plan. If necessary, you can purchase more coverage from other insurers to ensure that your home is protected against a basement flood.

If you have concerns about your protection needs, consider talking to a remediation company in your area. They can assess your property and give you advice about possible mitigation and preventative steps you can take.

Safely Use a Plumber's Snake To Fix Your Clogged Pipe

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

A house with a Clogged Pipe Learn how to Safely Use a Plumber's Snake so as to Fix Your Clogged Pipe.

A clogged pipe can quickly lead to water damage and the need for repairs. In Salt Lake City, UT, SERVPRO professionals respond Faster to Any Size Disaster, helping you avoid serious disruptions to your normal schedule. Sometimes, however, clearing a clog on your own is possible.

How To Snake Your Clogged Pipe

Clearing the pipes may be a messy chore, but it prevents more significant trouble, such as a pipe break or sewer system backup. To get started, you'll need a few tools:

  • Plumber's snake
  • Bucket for garbage
  • Rags for cleanup
  • Gloves and goggles for your comfort and protection

Most drain snakes are generic and can be used for multiple drains and pipes. However, there are some snakes specifically for toilets or showers. If you have questions, ask for advice from an experienced plumber or property maintenance professional. Once you've gathered your tools, clear the area and spread out rags to protect the floor from water damage.

Try Other Options

Before pulling out your plumbing snake, you could try other methods of unclogging the drain, such as a combination of baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water. This mixture may dissolve a variety of organic clogs. You could also try using a plunger, forming a vacuum seal, and pulling out the obstructions.

Remove Visible Obstructions

Pushing the snake into your drain often results in shoving stopped objects further into the pipes. This can compound the clog rather than clear it. Before taking this step, pull out all of the objects you can see. This includes hair, food, and other items that shouldn't be in the drains:

  • Fats, grease, oil
  • Soap buildup
  • Hard water minerals
  • Inappropriately flushed items

Understand How the Snake Works

A plumbing snake consists of a handle, a flexible pole, and a rotating auger. As you slide the snake into the drain and connecting pipes, rotate the handle. This extends the tool up to 50 feet long. As the auger turns, it should break through blockages, loosening the clogged materials and allowing the debris and the water to flow through as intended.

When you feel resistance, you may have reached a corner or the obstruction. Move the head back and forth and from side to side. The snake should turn the corner or break through the clog.

If the head is stuck or if you hear a scraping sound, use the handle to retract the snake. Either the obstruction will come back with the auger, or you can try one more time. It may be necessary at this point to contact a plumber to remove the obstruction. It is possible to damage your pipes with a drain snake, so don't proceed if you aren't sure of yourself.

Perform Routine Maintenance

In general, using a drain snake is a task you perform after a clog has formed, and it's pretty common to use the tool once or twice a year. However, proper maintenance and system assessments are important steps in enjoying a smoothly operating water system. The cleanup and repair professionals at SERVPRO can help you recover from water damage. With consistent maintenance and attention, you can avoid many clogged pipes and related troubles.

Best Tips for Dealing With Puffback Damage

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Interior of a fireplace with signs of fire. Repairing Puffback Damage needs Experienced Hands. For more questions, contact us.

A puffback takes place when your oil-burning furnace fails to ignite properly due to clogs, leaks, and other issues. It’s also a sign that your heating system demands the attention of a serviceperson.

Because your system is connected to multiple rooms, this blowing back of soot and smoke not only contaminates the air, but it also leaves a sticky residue on various surfaces that requires the equipment and cleaning techniques offered by a professional restoration services provider. If you experience puffback damage in your property in Park City, UT, here’s what you should know about dealing with the aftermath.

Important Steps After Furnace Puffback

If you detect evidence of puffback or experience it when operating your oil furnace, take the following steps first:

Call 911: Because a puffback happens due to an explosion, you’ll need the fire department to either extinguish any fires or confirm that there are none.

Shut down: Turn off the power to your furnace and heating system.

Evacuate: A furnace puffback increases the level of carbon monoxide in your facility, so exit the premises as quickly as possible.

Open up: Open windows and doors if possible on your way out.

Unplug: If safe, unplug electric and electronic devices as you exit the building

Discard: After returning to the building, throw away food and other perishables with soot and smoke damage.

Call: Schedule a certified technician to repair your furnace and hire professionals to clean affected rooms and belongings.

The Need for the Professional Touch

Cleanup of puffback damage requires a professional approach for multiple reasons:

DIY cleaning methods aren’t effective for removing smoke and soot from surfaces. In fact, often these approaches can exacerbate the situation. For example, vacuuming will push soot particles deeper into carpets, rugs, clothing, and upholstery, leading to permanent stains.

Special cleaning techniques prevent soot and odors from being embedded in walls, floors, and ceilings. It’s impossible to cover the oily residue with primer and paint.

Glass, metal, and other surfaces are susceptible to corrosion and other damage if left exposed to smoke and soot.

Furnace puffback will not only cover every surface, but particles may end up in cracks and openings below floors, behind walls, above ceilings, and other difficult places to reach.

Your damage restoration services provider has the experience, equipment, and expertise to restore your property to pre-damage conditions, including cleanup of damage due to fire and water if needed. The experts will prioritize cleanup and repair over replacement to help control costs. If your building requires reconstruction, the pros can take care of that also. While you hope to never experience puffback damage in your building, it’s important to be aware of the gravity of the situation.

Assessing the immediate damage, fixing your heating system, and cleanup should only be handled by the pros, namely the fire department, a certified technician, and a restoration services provider respectively.

This is your charge as a responsible property owner, committed to proper maintenance and upkeep for the benefit of your building occupants. Keep in mind that insurance companies prefer to work with professional restoration companies

What To Know About Making a Residential Water Damage Claim

4/9/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking Faucet. Know More about Residential Water Damage Claims by Following our Tips.

Making a water damage claim for your home can be a stressful experience. That is because homeowners' insurance policies are often confusing. Typically, damage caused by emergency situations, such as bursting pipes, is included in your policy. Other types of damage that may be covered include:

  • Sewer backup
  • Floods
  • Storms
  • Overflow

Yet even a robust policy does not cover all kinds of damage. Here are some things you should know before making an insurance claim.

When Is Water Damage Covered by Insurance?

Your insurance policy should cover a sudden and accidental discharge of water in your Salt Lake City, UT, home. However, most policies exclude coverage for gradual damage that occurs over an extended period.

Over time, parts of your home will experience wear and tear. This could result in water damaging various parts of the house. For instance, basement cracks could cause liquid to seep into the lower level of your home. A leaky pipe could also lead to a buildup of water inside your walls.

Insurance companies believe that you need to take reasonable steps to care for your home. That means inspecting the property regularly and fixing any issues right away. If your house suffers gradual damage, the insurance company will assume that you were negligent in your maintenance of the home and will likely deny your claim. You will then have to pay for water restoration services yourself.

Still, even this general rule has some exceptions. You may have to pay to replace or fix broken pipe yourself if the harm to the pipe occurred over time. However, the insurer may still cover any resulting damage that occurred as a result of the break.

Another common yet complicated situation occurs when a tree falls onto a roof and creates a hole. Your insurance provider will likely cover the costs of fixing the hole and addressing any damage caused by the water entering your home through the hole.

Yet what happens if you notice new water or mold damage near the hole months after the repairs have been completed? In this case, your insurer may still cover this additional harm if it was also caused by the original roof hole.

In general, mold is not covered by home insurance policies. Yet you may have coverage if the mold results from bursting pipes or another covered peril. Ask your insurance broker if it is possible to add mold coverage to your policy.

How Can You Decrease the Chances of Your Claim Being Denied?

There are several things you can do to prevent the denial of your water insurance claim. First, make sure to purchase a policy that addresses all of your needs. Do not be afraid to ask about any add-ons, such as mold coverage.

Performing timely repairs of your home is important, as well. Your claim will likely be denied if the provider determines that you have not been taking care of your property. Keep records of all repairs that you or a third party has performed over the years.

While damage caused by bursting pipes is often covered by insurance, your provider may reject other water-related claims. By performing regular maintenance on your home, you should increase the odds of your claim being accepted.