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What To Do Immediately After a Pipe Break

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a room in a commercial building with flooded floors. Flooded commercial property due to a broken pipe in Park City, UT.

Three Steps to Take When You Discover a Broken Pipe

A broken pipe can cause extensive damage within a matter of minutes. Bursting pipes can swiftly flood a commercial property in Park City, UT. This damage may be significant even if someone is on site when a pipe breaks. Severe flooding can take place if a pipe break occurs while a building is unoccupied. A property owner, manager or any occupant who discovers a broken pipe can take three steps to minimize damage.

  1. Contact a Plumber

Plumbers have the tools and expertise necessary to fix broken pipe. It may take some time for a plumber to arrive. In the meantime, there are several measures that can limit the extent of damage caused by a pipe break.

  1. Shut Off the Water Supply

Bursting pipes tend to be supply lines. It is possible to slow and eventually stop the flow of water by turning off the main water valve. This valve is typically located on the water pipe where piping enters the structure. A valve is often located near the water meter. Building owners and managers are likely to be aware of this location. It is a good idea to inform occupants who may be in the building at other times about the location of this valve. Relieve remaining pressure in pipes by turning on a faucet.

  1. Try To Limit Damage

Collecting water in containers can limit the extent of damage to building materials. Try to use garbage bins or other containers with wheels that will be easier to move than heavy containers which require lifting. It is also a good idea to start removing water with any equipment available on site, such as towels, mops or a wet vac.

After bursting pipes have been fixed, a property owner or manager should immediately arrange for mitigation and restoration. Contact a company that specializes in commercial water damage in Park City, UT.

Does Your Homeowner's Policy Cover Water Damage?

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Image of broken pipe flooding the laundry room. Pipe breaks can flood your basement resulting to severe water damage in Salt Lake City, UT.

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

How To Prepare Your Commercial Building’s Exterior for Severe Weather

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Image of an exterior of a commercial building. Protect the exterior of your building before severe weather hits.

While regular exterior maintenance is a smart way to minimize costs at your commercial property year-round, a thorough building inspection is crucial for preventing damage during a severe weather event. Next time a storm threatens your building in Salt Lake City, UT, remember these four tips.

4 Tips To Prepare Your Commercial Building From Storm Damage

1. Put Your Walls to the Test

Water and walls can be a dangerous combination if those walls are harboring unseen cracks, leaks or other defects. In addition to performing a simple visual assessment of your building’s exterior walls, you might also consider enlisting the help of a trained professional. He or she can test for a variety of issues that are otherwise difficult to detect, such as water and air leaks or malfunctioning gaskets.

2. Check In With Your Cladding

Cladding may exist to lower your energy costs and protect your building from extreme weather, but that doesn’t mean it’s invincible. Before the next storm hits, make sure the last storm — or even a weather event that seemed harmless at the time — didn’t dislodge any cladding or cause the need for any other exterior maintenance.

3. Pay Attention to Susceptible Spots

Your building’s exterior contains a variety of components. Some of them are more weather-resistant than others. A commercial property’s windows, for example, are particularly vulnerable to storm damage. As you perform your building inspection, be sure to check not only your windows' general appearance but also that their weather stripping and insulation are intact and free from holes. Leaky seals don’t just inflate your monthly energy bills; they can also give storm damage a convenient entry point.

4. Don’t Forget the Roof

It may be a hassle, but taking a field trip to your roof is a vital part of keeping your building maintained. In addition to removing debris and checking for leaks and dislodged shingles, make sure your gutters are clean and free from obstructions. Any trees that approach your roof should be trimmed regularly to avoid scratches and falling debris, too.

The first step in water damage mitigation is storm preparedness. Make it part of your regular exterior maintenance, and you can minimize time and expense when extreme weather hits.

Tips For Handling a Partial Fire Loss

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a smoke detector with smoke around it It's important to have a smoke detector in your commercial building in Salt Lake City, UT

If a fire completely guts your commercial building in Salt Lake City, UT, you have a good case for collecting the maximum coverage amount from your insurance company. When you suffer a partial fire loss, however, the payment amount can be skewed by several factors. Follow these tips to make sure you get the full compensation you actually need.

3 Tips For Handling a Partial Fire Loss

1. Report the Loss Immediately

One of the first calls you should make when you have any kind of smoke damage is to your insurance provider. The company will send an adjuster to your building to identify problems that your policy covers:


  • Structural damage
  • Soot damage
  • Secondary damage


The sooner adjusters can come to your building, the more accurate their survey of the affected space is likely to be. This makes your claim more likely to be accepted.

2. Document the Damage

Don't just depend on your insurance adjuster to report everything that is wrong with your building after a fire loss. Remember that the adjuster represents the insurance company and thus may be motivated to underestimate the amount of payout that is necessary. Pictures of the destruction, an itemized list of damages and a copy of the invoice from the fire restoration company can all be used to back up your claim.

3. File in a Timely Manner

You may have as little as 60 days to file the claim for your partial loss. If you miss the deadline, you probably won't receive any payment at all. To be on the safe side, file all your paperwork as soon as you have adequate documentation to support it. The sooner you get your payout, the faster you can move on.

A partial fire loss may cost less money to mitigate, but it can also complicate the claims process. Report the damage promptly and be vigilant about documentation and repairs to ensure that you get the full amount you need.

How To Choose the Right Smoke Detectors For Your Home

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a smoke detector with smoke around it A smoke alarm plays an important role in keeping your family safe

A smoke alarm plays an integral role in keeping your family safe as well as preventing extensive fire damage in the event of a fire. It lets you know you need to put your evacuation plan in action, and it can alert you early enough that minimal damage is done. It's important to know the specifics of what your home needs in terms of fire detection.

Types of Detectors

A gas explosion alerts you to fire pretty quickly, but with most home fires, the first sign you'll hear is the chirp from your detectors. There are several types of detectors to choose from:

  • Photoelectric Detectors – useful for detecting large smoke particles from electrical fires or smoking upholstery
  • Ionization Detectors – useful for detecting small smoke particles from grease or paper fires
  • Dual-Sensor Detectors – have both photoelectric and ionization components
  • Combination Detectors – may include carbon monoxide detectors

You can use all of one type of detector or a combination throughout your home. If you have a large home, it is helpful if all of them are wired together. That way, if one smoke alarm goes off, they all do. Then you can escape and call for fire damage cleanup from a safe distance away.

Locations of Detectors

You need a smoke detector in a central area on every level of your home. If you have an attic, it is advisable to install a device that detects heat rather than smoke, as most smoke detectors are not designed to be used in areas with extreme temperatures. For proper fire safety, you also need a detector outside each sleeping area and inside every bedroom.

A reliable smoke alarm system can mean the difference between needing fire cleanup and needing to find a new home altogether. Having the right type of detectors in the right locations can help you keep your home and your family safe.

Mold Remediation and Personal Belongings

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growing in white wall on corner of a room Contact SERVPRO to assess your property and belongings damaged with mold.

Have you recently discovered a mold infestation in your basement or attic? Are you concerned about your belongings, and curious if anything is salvageable? While mold cleaning performed by a professional mold remediation company in Salt Lake City, UT, can restore your property, the salvageability of your keepsakes depends on the material and the level of exposure. There are essentially three items that require addressing.

  • Porous items
  • Nonporous items
  • Sentimental items


Porous Items

During mold remediation, the company you hire will likely throw away any porous items. Porous materials have gaps that mold spores root into. Unfortunately, mold roots deeply, which means that it is incredibly challenging to eliminate any remnants of the mold, even after a thorough cleaning. Therefore, the typical industry recommendation is to discard any items that have come into contact with the mold.

Nonporous Items

Nonporous items are different from porous items because there are no deep pores for the spore to root into. Most nonporous surfaces, like metals, glass, plastics and varnished woods, can be saved using standard mold cleaning methods. However, unless you know the species of mold you are dealing with, necessary safety measures, like gloves and the use of a mask, are suggested.

Sentimental Items

While the standards for mold damage removal and the elimination of affected property are pretty stringent, many companies will try to accommodate homeowners when it comes to sentimental items. You can find specialty cleaners who are willing to try to save contaminated porous items, but sometimes cleaning is not possible or recommended. It is best to consult with the remediation company to identify salvageable materials.

Mold cleaning is a job reserved for trained and certified companies. While it can be challenging to let go of certain items affected by mold, it may be necessary. Contact a local mold company to assess your property and belongings and allow them to take on the risks of a cleanup.

How To Avoid Water Damage While You Are Away From Home

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded living room with sofa and decorations Make sure your home is protected.

Vacation is a time to relax with your family and get a break from the worries of everyday life. Making sure your home in Salt Lake City, UT, is protected before you leave lets you enjoy your getaway. Whether you need water pipe repair or just someone to check on the house in your absence, completing this checklist can help put your mind at ease.


Inspect


A week before you leave on vacation is a great time to inspect your home for potential issues. You can ensure that your home is in good shape with a few key tasks:

  • Check pipes for leaks.
  • Look for supply line damage.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Test sump pump.
  • Insulate pipes to prevent freezing.

If you see any damage during your inspection, call a plumber to have it fixed before you leave home. If a leak from a broken pipe has already caused water damage, have water restoration specialists repair the damage. Taking care of these issues before you go can prevent a bigger mess.


Delegate


Even if you hire someone to complete water pipe repair before you leave, something could still happen in your absence. It's a good idea to have trusted friends or neighbors check on your home while you are gone. Make sure they know which plumber you prefer and where the water main is located. They should also have a reliable way to contact you in case they need to do so.


Block


If there is no one to watch your place while you're gone, it's best to turn off the water main for the whole house. A damaged pipe can't flood your house if there is no water running through it. Minimize your risk of a flooded home by shutting the water off at the source.

No one wants to come back from vacation to a flood that could have been prevented by simple water pipe repair. Check your home before you leave to avoid such problems.

Is It Necessary To Hire Coronavirus Cleanup Professionals?

6/17/2020 (Permalink)

Professional cleaning surfaces in commecial building Hiring cleaning and remediation professionals is one of the best ways to limit coronavirus exposure.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has caused a lot of upset for people all over the world, as well as in the communities of Salt Lake City, UT. Individuals, families, and businesses have had to take steps to protect themselves from coronavirus exposure. Considering the severity of the virus, including serious medical issues and fatalities, it's important that businesses take appropriate steps to limit the risk of exposure within their buildings.

Hire SERVPRO Professionals for Cleaning and Disinfecting

One of the best ways to limit coronavirus exposure is to hire cleaning and remediation professionals for preventative and restorative cleaning. There are several steps SERVPRO professionals may take:

  • All technicians use personal protective equipment appropriately
  • Infected areas are cordoned off
  • The use of industrial-strength disinfectants
  • All surfaces are cleaned and disinfected
  • All infected materials are treated and disposed of

Whether you believe that no one has been affected or you know that someone with the virus has been in your building, it's important to hire professionals with FDA-approved disinfectants. Look for professionals with specialized training and resources to handle your coronavirus cleanup. Remember that SERVPRO professionals are Here to Help.

Involve Employees in Safety Procedures

Of course, there are steps that all employees should be taking during the pandemic. These come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up-to-date information is available online:

Download the Restart Readiness Checklist


Encourage employees to stay home when they are sick, to wash hands appropriately, and cover mouths with tissues when coughing or sneezing
Avoid using items from other employee desks
Use masks and social distancing as appropriate

Some employers may consider conducting health checks to make sure the virus doesn't get carried into the business inadvertently.

Cooperating To Reduce Workplace Exposure

The covid-19 cleanup efforts taken by SERVPRO professionals and the steps that employers and employees complete may significantly slow the spread of the virus and reduce coronavirus exposure for everyone who enters the business and for their families and communities. It takes everyone working together to create safe workspaces.

3 Steps To Stop a Toilet From Overflowing

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Image of bathroom If you need to replace your toilet, contact a water damage mitigation and restoration company.

A drain line blockage can result in a flooded toilet. Homeowners can take three steps to stop a toilet from overflowing and limit the extent of sewer damage at a residence in Federal Heights, UT.

Steps To Stop a Toilet From Overflowing

  1. Contain Damage

Contaminated water can cause major water damage. If this water sinks into carpet or porous building materials such as drywall, these materials will likely need to be torn out and replaced. Use towels or a mop to stop the spread of sewage backup.

  1. Use a Plunger or Snake

Once a homeowner has taken measures to try to stop the spread of sewer damage, he or she should address the cause of the problem. If the backup is due to a minor clog close to the floor drain, plunging a toilet may be enough to clear the clog and stop the overflow.

If the clog is more severe, insert an auger or snake into the toilet. Some augers have hand cranks while others can be attached to a power drill. It may be more effective to remove the toilet and snake the floor drain directly. You will need to use specialized tools and remove water from the bowl and tank or use a solidifying gel. Clear deeper clogs by snaking the drain cleanout in a basement or crawlspace.

  1. Contact a Plumber

Calling a plumber can be easier than removing a toilet or dealing with a drain cleanout. If you do not have a snake or the skill or tools necessary to attempt advanced plumbing techniques, a trained professional is your best bet. If the problem originates in a municipal main, contact a sewage company.

If a flooded toilet causes extensive sewer damage, a homeowner should contact a water damage mitigation and restoration company located in Federal Heights, UT. Experts can remove damaged materials, promote drying to prevent mold and restore the affected area.

The First 24 Hours After a Disaster

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on top of each other, prepared to be distributed in the places that are needed. SERVPRO has the proper drying equipment to help cleanup your home after suffering water damage in Salt Lake City, UT.

When your home is on fire or your basement is filling with floodwater, you don't want to wait long for trained technicians to arrive. As you know, a fast response is the best way to prevent further damages. The first 24 hour period after experiencing damages is vital to the well-being of your home. Take a look at what you can expect:

  • Within one hour
  • Within four hours
  • Within eight hours


Salt Lake City, UT, restoration professionals can accomplish a lot during the first hours after a disaster.

What You Can Expect From Restoration Professionals


The First Hour


A representative from the restoration company will call you within an hour after your first request for emergency help. During that phone call, you'll cover a lot of vital information that helps professionals determine which equipment and supplies to have available. You may discuss safety concerns or how to maintain communication with each other.
If the situation requires, technicians will arrive to cover holes with tarps or board up broken windows and doors. This emergency response team focuses on preventing further damages with temporary solutions. Even if repairs don't require a lot of work within the first 24 hour period, technicians will be on-site to verify whether an immediate response is necessary.


On-Site in Four Hours


Depending on the type of damage and safety concerns, clean up and restoration technicians will arrive at your home ready to thoroughly inspect your home. During these assessments, technicians can provide estimates regarding the type of repairs necessary and how long the job will take. They may talk to you about your insurance coverage and direct you to the next steps you should take. The restoration company is always open and committed to arriving Faster to Any Size Disaster; they'll load up the appropriate equipment and search out the best route to your home.


Eight Hours After Damages


Within those first hours, after gathering information and making assessments, a restoration representative will communicate with you, to share the information they've gathered, and to go over the plan for getting your home back in shape.

Within the first 24 hour period, you and technicians from the restoration company will share a lot of information, go through an onsite home inspection, and put together a plan for restoring your home so that it looks "Like it never even happened."