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Rain Isn’t the Only Thing To Worry About During a Storm

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of water bursting from a building wall A winter storm can cause bursting pipes.

When you think about your business flooding, your mind might automatically go to rain and storm surge. This is not always the case. During winter storms, you have to worry about things like a burst pipe due to freezing conditions. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to prevent this type of flooding from happening.

4 Things To Do To Prevent Flooding

Drain What You Can

Drain water from where it builds up.

  • Pools
  • Pipes
  • Sprinkler supply lines
  • Toilet tanks

No matter where your business is, these things should be drained before a bad storm, if only to prevent standing water from becoming a problem.

Close Valves

Depending on the type of pipe, you may want to close off any valves before you drain them. A burst pipe is easily prevented by making sure that it doesn't have water in it. No water usually equals no freezing or bursting during a storm.

Prevent Freezing

Aside from insulation, there are a few ways you can prevent a frozen pipe. One way is to make sure warm air is circulating around your plumbing. You can leave sink cabinets open or prop your office bathroom door open if your heat is on in the building.
You can also leave your faucets dripping. Moving water is less likely to freeze. You can also keep your climate control system set higher than you normally would at night. Although this might increase your heating bill, it is a lot less expensive than having to replace pipes and utilize a flood remediation company in Salt Lake City, UT.

Insulate Pipes

If you cannot completely drain pipes or as an added measure of protection, make sure your pipes are insulated. You can purchase sleeves and other forms of insulation to make sure that your pipes are protected. In the case of pipes that you cannot insulate, you can wrap them when winter storms are imminent.

No matter what type of storm it is, a burst pipe can lead to big problems for your business. You can prevent this from happening.

Prevent Mold and Other Secondary Damage

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a person with proper clothing and equipment removing mold Untreatted water damage can lead to black mold.

Molds exist naturally and over thousands of years have developed the ability to survive in harsh conditions. However, some circumstances provide an open invitation for black mold and other varieties to move in:

  • High humidity levels
  • Organic materials
  • A day or two

When flooding, pipe leaks, or other water damage has affected your Salt Lake City, UT, commercial property mold growth is a concern as part of the possible secondary damage.

A Second Wave of Trouble

It's not surprising that water causes a significant amount of property damage, and property owners generally move quickly to prevent lasting destruction. Secondary damage, on the other hand, sometimes goes unnoticed until the problem has grown to expensive proportions. When water is allowed to sit for days or even hours, new damage occurs:

  • Black mold growth
  • Corrosion
  • Electrical damage
  • Wood rot

The damage caused directly by flooding or a burst pipe is primary damage, and the damage that develops as the water sits is secondary.

Your Best Course of Preventative Action

It is possible to prevent or at least limit secondary water damage. After addressing the initial event, it's time to take preventative steps:

  • Work quickly to combat high humidity caused by evaporating water. The added moisture in the air warps and weakens building materials, such as wood and drywall. Remove water, plug in fans, and increase ventilation as much as possible.
  • Make sure that all surfaces are completely dry. Mold often lurks behind the walls, in the vents, and under the carpets. Ensure the safety of your commercial property by hiring cleanup and restoration professionals with the experience and resources to locate and address problem areas.
  • Chemical biocides are usually required to ensure that existing mold is treated successfully. It is also necessary to prevent future colony growth. Some filtration devices and sanitization techniques remove spores before they settle on vulnerable surfaces.

Don't give black mold time to cause secondary damage. Act quickly when water affects your property to completely dry and clean all surfaces to protect your property's long-term survival.

4 Tips About Smoke Detectors

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a smoke detector Smoke detectors are very important to keep you and your family safe.

How often do you think about your smoke alarms, and do you have multiple alarms? A fire alarm is an essential piece of safety equipment, but many American households do not have an adequate number of devices in working order. If you are not aware of the current state of your alarms or are unsure of the number you should have for your home, contact the fire department or a fire restoration service in Salt Lake City, UT. However, to make the process easier, you can follow the four tips below.

4 Things to Know About Smoke Detectors

1. Number of Smoke Detectors Needed

Preventing extensive smoke damage is about early disaster intervention, meaning immediate response to a house fire. The best way to ensure the fastest response time is to have the appropriate number of smoke alarms for your home. The basic rule is to have at least one smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas, and on every floor of the home. For a two-story, three-bedroom home, that would mean a minimum of three alarms.

2. Average Lifespan of Detectors

A fire alarm does not have the same lifespan as your roof or some appliances. Most alarms have a maximum usable lifespan of between eight and 10 years. It is a good idea to put a date on detectors or set notifications on your phone or calendars as reminders.

3. Types of Detectors

Fire damage can occur during fast-moving fires or slow, smoldering fires. There are different devices to alert you to which type of fire you are dealing with. An ionization alarm reacts quickly to flaming or fast-moving blazes. A photoelectric alarm is quicker to sense smoldering or smoky fires. You should have each type in your home or look for combination detectors.

4. Emergency Escape Plan

Did you know you likely only have about three to four minutes to escape a house fire? Because of changes in furniture and construction, house fires can spread more quickly than ever before. Make sure you have a practiced fire escape plan.

A fire alarm can save your life. Make sure you have enough for your home to protect your family.

3 Steps To Take After a Home Flood

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded home Flooding can lead to severe damage.

Even if you don't live near a water source a home flood can happen to you. It is important to have a plan in place before a flood occurs so that you can minimize the amount of damage to your home. Consider including these three steps in your flood plan.

3 Steps to Include in Your Flood Plan

1. Contact Your Insurance Company

Most homeowners policies exclude flood damage; however, some types of storm damage may be covered. If you have a separate flood insurance policy, you should contact the insurance company to file a claim. Because floods can cause extensive damage that requires water restoration services, it is a good idea to purchase flood insurance, even if your home is not located in a high-risk area.

2. Begin Cleanup As Soon As Possible

You should not attempt to reenter your house after a home flood until local authorities say it is safe. However, as soon as you are able, you should begin the cleanup process. Avoid coming into contact with floodwaters. Most homeowners should contact a restoration company in Salt Lake City, UT, rather than attempt a do-it-yourself solution. Standing water can be a safety hazard and flood damage can be very difficult to clean without the right equipment and training.

3. Dry Out Your Property

The longer your property stays wet, the more likely you are to have issues with rot, mold and other damage. Anything that can not be completely dried out should be discarded. If it is safe to enter your home, you can begin removing wet contents and placing it outside to dry if the weather permits. Some amount of drying can be accomplished by using fans and dehumidifiers, but professional equipment may be necessary.

The damage that occurs during a home flood will continue to get worse the longer it takes to clean and dry the property. Taking the proper steps after a flood can prevent unnecessary additional damage.

Tips for Cleaning Up After a Sewage Flood

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a collapsed ceiling due to water damage 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.

3 Tips to Clean Up After a Sewage Flood.

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.

Dealing With the Aftermath of Water Damage

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded room Water damage can lead to severe damage if not treated right away.

The aftermath of water damage on a residential property can be devastating for unsuspecting homeowners. It is easy to look at a flooded living area and feel like all is lost, but fear not, the damage is not typically as bad as it seems. However, as with any natural or manmade disaster, you need to take action to limit the loss. Every homeowner should take three steps to protect their property after a water problem.

3 Steps To Deal With The Aftermath Of Water Damage

1. Mitigate Further Damage

Whether the damage is the result of an exterior flood or broken pipes, you should try to limit as much damage as possible. In fact, many insurers require homeowners to take mitigative action to prevent further loss. You can turn off the water supply to your home or the affected area, put out buckets for a leaky roof, or call for assistance.

2. Contact Your Insurer and a Mitigation Specialist

When water damage occurs, your first phone call should be to your insurance company, notifying them of the problem. The insurer will typically schedule a time for an insurance adjuster to come out and assess the property.
Beyond the insurance company, contact a water restoration service in Salt Lake City, UT, for an emergency assessment. The company will send out a crew to inspect the property and offer any mitigation services to limit damage to your house.

3. Document the Loss

Before the restoration service gets too far along in the water cleanup process, you should take pictures of the damage. Most insurance companies will want homeowners to create a statement of loss and having photographs to prove damage help speed up the claims process.

No homeowner wants to deal with water damage, but if you have to, it pays to know how. The three steps above are not exhaustive. For more extensive information, you might consider contacting your insurance representative or a water restoration specialist.

Alternatives to Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

4/16/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded sink due to a clogged drain Clogged drains can cause damage to your home.

A chemical drain cleaner is a powerful tool when it is used correctly in a clogged drain. However, they can cause damage in the wrong situation.

The chemical cleaners produce heat, and this can lead to damage:

  • Weakened older pipes may develop cracks and leaks.
  • Plastic pipes may become warped and misshapen.
  • If the drain is completely blocked, the chemicals will sit in one place and eat through the pipes even if they are relatively new.

In addition to these risks, the chemicals could harm you and your environment:

The chemicals in drain and sewage cleaning products are toxic and are generally more damaging to skin than to plastic and metal pipes.
Even breathing the fumes could lead to irritation.

Before you treat your drain with chemicals, consider the risk of damage to the piping system. It may be worth your time to reach out to water damage cleanup and repair professionals.

How Chemical Cleaners Work

If you understand how drain cleaners work, you'll be better prepared to make the right decision about whether to use them in a clogged drain. There are three types of chemical cleaners:

  • Acid
  • Caustic
  • Oxidizing

Although the makeup of these products are different, they all cause a chemical reaction, either adding electrons or removing them from the gunk in your pipes. However, as the fats, oils, and grease break away from the clog, they simply move further down the drain and end up forming a new clog deeper in your pipes.

Alternatives to Drain Chemicals

There are two methods you could try before pouring chemicals down your drain. First, you can try manually clearing the clog. Secondly, you could try a non-toxic enzyme cleaner that introduces living bacteria or enzymes into the pipes. This option may take 24 hours or so before you see results.

For the Best Results

Professional cleaners are some of the best Salt Lake City, UT, professionals to address your clogged drain issue. If you have already put a chemical in the drain, be sure to alert the technicians before they start working.

What To Do When You Have Black Water From Flooding

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a sewer system. Sewage water is called black water.

When you have flood water in your building it is important to remove it as quickly as possible to mitigate the amount of water damage to your property and reduce the chance of future problems, such as mold growth. Before you can begin removing the water, you must first determine what type of water is present in the structure.

Categories of Water

The type of remediation you need depends on how the water in your structure is classified. Water from flooding is categorized in three ways:

  • Water from a source that does not contain excessive microbial content is called clean water. Water from a broken supply line is an example of clean water.
  • Water that contains a large number of microorganisms and their nutrients is considered gray water. Water from a sump pump failure is an example of gray water.
  • Water that is grossly unsanitary because it contains pathogens such as sewage is called black water. Contaminated flood water is one such example.

Remediating Black Water

This type of water may contain hazardous substances such as human or animal waste, pesticides, gasoline, and heavy metals. Because special equipment and training are needed to safely remove this water, contact a professional storm damage remediation company in Salt Lake City, UT, rather than attempt to remove it yourself.
Standing water should be removed immediately and disposed of in a septic waste transporter or sanitary sewer system. The building should be dried out as soon as possible to reduce the spread of bacteria and mold.
Workers should use protective gear, such as respirators, goggles and rubber gloves when removing this type of water and wash their hands with soap and water before smoking, eating, or touching their mouths.

Because of the risk of contamination, flood water should always be treated as black water. Prompt remediation will reduce the amount of property damage and the risk of exposure to contaminants.

3 Tips for Fixing a Flooded Basement

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded basement from a broken washer Electrical items should be removed after a basement flood.

A basement flood can be a frustrating problem to deal with. If your home has a basement, it is important to familiarize yourself with what steps you can take to fix a flooded basement before a flood occurs. These three tips can help.

Tips for Fixing a Flooded Basement

1. Remove the Water Before You Go in

Many basements have electrical appliances, wiring, and electrical panels that can create an electrocution hazard in a flooded basement. If you are dealing with a shallow flood, and you can access the service panel to turn off the electric circuits in the basement without going into the water, you may be able to remove the water using a hose from a shop vac on an upper floor. However, if the water level is above electrical outlets, it is best to call the fire department, rent a heavy-duty gas-engine pump or contact a water remediation company in Salt Lake City, UT, to assist you.

2. Don't Try To Save Your Flooded Electrical Items and Appliances

The Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association recommend replacing any mechanical or electrical equipment that has been exposed to a basement flood. Any fixtures, outlets, switches, wiring, electrical motors or appliances that have been exposed to flood water should be removed and discarded, rather than repaired. Check with your insurance professional if you need clarification about whether your insurance coverage will cover replacement versus repair costs for damaged items.

3. Take Preventative Measures

Once you get your basement restored, take steps to prevent flooding from occurring again. Adding foundation drains, a generator to keep your sump pump operating during a power outage or a backup sump pump can help keep water out of your basement.

A basement flood can result in serious water damage to your home. These three tips can help you restore your home to preloss condition and prevent future problems from occurring.

What Is mold?

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Image of mold growing on the side of a window with a person upset Mold thrive in places with high moisture.

Most homeowners are familiar with the type of mold that grows on their shower curtain or the food that has been in the fridge for too long. However, when stories about black mold started making the news, many people became much more concerned about it. This is a brief overview of what mold is.

Facts About Mold

What Mold Is

Mold is a kind of fungus. Mold can live almost anywhere but tends to thrive in places with high moisture. Small amounts of mold are present in most environments but do not become problematic until they begin to rapidly reproduce due to changes in the environment, such as a moisture problem, that promote their growth. Mold can be one of several different colors:

  • Black
  • Orange
  • White
  • Green
  • Purple

Where Mold Grows

Mold can grow on floors, walls, appliances, carpet or furniture. It tends to grow more rapidly in moist conditions, which makes mold more common in bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, crawl spaces and basements. However, black mold and other types of mold can also become a problem in homes with water damage from floods, severe storms or leaks, which makes prompt water remediation an important defense against mold problems after water damage has occurred.

Mold Prevention Tips

One of the most effective ways to avoid mold problems is to promptly address any moisture issues in your home. If your home has water damage, contact a professional in Salt Lake City, UT, to remove the source of the water and dry out your home. If you find mold growth, the earlier mold cleanup is done, the better chance you have to prevent the problem from spreading throughout your home.

Black mold and other types of fungus can cause severe property damage when left untreated. However, you can mitigate this problem by quickly eliminating sources of excess moisture and promptly removing existing fungus issues in your residence.