Recent Posts

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.

3 Ways Business Interruption Insurance Protects Your Business

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a sign saying "Sorry we're closed" Protect your business with interruption insurance

Interruption insurance provides coverage for income lost due to damage to a business caused by a covered cause of loss. There are multiple ways that this coverage helps protect your business, including these three.

3 Ways That Business Interruption Insurance Protects Your Business

1. Replaces Lost Income

If a covered cause of loss causes damage to your property that results in lost income due to a business interruption, destruction of inventory or another issue, your insurance will compensate you up to the limits of the policy. The amount of reimbursement is based on your preloss earnings and is usually calculated as revenues less ongoing expenses. For example, if a severe storm damaged your roof, leading to water damage in your building that forced you to close while a restoration service in Salt Lake City, UT, worked to dry out your building, you may be compensated for the lost revenue that resulted from that closure.

2. Covers Extra Expenses

In addition to replacing lost income, interruption insurance provides reimbursement for extra expenses incurred due to damage from a covered cause of loss. For example, if your building was damaged in a fire and you had to temporarily move your business to a different location while fire restoration repairs were being made, the cost of moving to and renting that location would be covered as an extra expense.

3. Helps Businesses Re-Open Faster

Without coverage for lost income and extra expenses, many businesses struggle to make payroll and cover ongoing expenses after a loss. This can cause some businesses to close permanently. Business interruption coverage makes it easier for businesses to cover immediate expenses and return to operations as quickly as possible.

Interruption insurance protects businesses from the financial risks of not being able to operate during the period between when damage occurs and when the business can resume normal operations. An insurance professional in your area can help explain how this coverage can benefit your business.

Three Steps for Safety as a First Responder

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Image of first responders trucks: ambulance, police and a fire truck First responder's safety is important.

As a first responder in Park City, UT, your ability to keep others safe is dependent upon your own safety and well-being. This means that you have a responsibility to prepare yourself, as well as your home and family for possible flood disasters.

3 Steps for Safety

1. Develop Appropriate Handwashing Skills

As a first responder, handwashing is one of your most valuable means of avoiding illness and sharing illness with family members. Don't rush through this task:

  • Use running water when possible.
  • Lather enough soap to cover all parts of your hands, fingers (including fingernails), and wrists.
  • Scrub your hands, between your fingers, under your nails, and over your wrists for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse thoroughly under running water.
  • Dry hands with a towel or allow your hands to air-dry.

Finally, avoid touching your face as much as possible.

2. Stay Up to Date With Vaccinations

Immunizations, such as a Hepatitis B vaccination and a new tetanus booster every ten years can help you avoid serious illness as you come into contact with a variety of contaminants, especially when you are part of a flood response. The CDC also recommends the rabies vaccine series in case of exposure to potentially rabid animals. As always, check with your medical professional for more information.

3. Personal Protective Equipment

When emergency restoration professionals arrive at your home to address necessary cleanup and repairs, they'll probably arrive in waterproof clothing, heavy-duty boots and gloves, eye protection, and protective masks. You should have access to the same. This type of PPE provides a barrier between your skin and contaminants in the floodwaters. After your work, remove this equipment in an isolated space and store it in a plastic bag away from your other clothes.

Just Three Steps

Take the time to thoroughly wash your hands. Get recommended vaccinations. Suit up in personal protective gear. These three simple steps can you stay safe as a first responder, so you are able to carry out your responsibilities on the job and at home.

Tips for Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher for Your Home

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a fire extinguisher Choosing the right fire extinguisher for your home can help you avoid further fire damage.

No homeowners like to think about a fire breaking out in their homes, but having a proper safety plan means preparing for the worst case scenario. Sometimes, the fire starts as a small, manageable flame that you can put out yourself, but in order to do this effectively, you have to have the right fire extinguisher within reach. Here are some tips for choosing the appropriate models for your home in Salt Lake City, UT.

3 Things to Consider When Choosing the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher

1. Effectiveness

A home fire can be caused by several issues:

  • Ignited combustibles, such as wood or textiles
  • Flammable substances, such as grease or gasoline
  • Electrical problems

Some extinguishing agents work better on typical combustibles than others. You want to either make sure the label on your extinguisher indicates that it can cover all three categories of fire or purchase multiple extinguishers to place near high risk areas such as the kitchen.

2. Placement

There are several areas throughout your home where you need a fire extinguisher. Fire restoration experts recommend that you have an extinguisher in your garage and any other area where you work with electricity or flammable materials. You need one near your kitchen so that you can put out any fires that happen while you are cooking or baking, and you may consider adding an additional extinguisher within arm's length of the stove itself. Because of the risk of lint fires, you should also have an extinguisher in the laundry room. Since a home fire can break out anywhere, though, it's smart to have enough extinguishers that there is always one within a short distance.

3. Size

The size of the extinguisher depends on its potential use and the area it may have to cover. For large open spaces, a 10-pound extinguisher is appropriate. Most of the canisters throughout your home should be 5-pound models to cover smaller spaces. A 2-pound portable extinguisher is useful to have in your car.

Unless your home is very small, you likely need more than one fire extinguisher. Knowing what to buy and where to put them is a vital part of your fire preparedness plan.

Tips for Maintaining Your Fire Sprinkler System

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a fire sprinkler system. Proper sprinkler maintenance can protect your business from further damage.

If not serviced properly, a sprinkler based suppression system go off accidentally, causing massive water damage to a business. You might even have to find a water remediation company in Park City, UT to repair the damage. Fortunately, there are some sprinkler maintenance tasks that you can do to avoid accidental activation.

Tasks for Fire Sprinkler System Maintenance 

Schedule Regular Maintenance

Sprinkler systems have to be checked and serviced at regular intervals. Contact your systems contractor:

  • When your yearly maintenance comes up
  • Every fifth year for a full pipe inspection
  • If a sprinkler head is damaged
  • When you notice any rust or decay

Regular sprinkler maintenance by a systems contractor is essential to the health of your system. It can keep your system running correctly and save you thousands in damages due to accidental activation.

Avoid Blocking the Sprinklers

It is extremely important that the sprinkler heads remain clear of any furniture, supplies or other materials. When they are covered or hindered, they cannot put out a fire effectively. Blockages also interfere with heat and smoke sensors. Each head needs at least 18 inches of clearance between the sprinkler and anything beneath or around it.

Check Your Sprinkler Caps

You can check these yourself. The sprinkler caps are also called Fire Department Connections and are located outside of your building. These water intake caps allow your local fire department access to your sprinkler system. They can link their equipment into the network of fire sprinklers and use it to help fight the fire in your building. You will want to check these around every third month.

Visually Inspect Pipes

A visual inspection of your pipes can save you time and money down the road. Signs of rust, decay or leaks are easily spotted before they become a serious problem. Look for white edges and rust, particularly around pipe joints. These are early signs that the pipes might be failing.

An automatic sprinkler system is one of the best precautions you can have against a fire. Proper sprinkler maintenance can help keep your sprinklers functioning perfectly.

How To File a Flood Damage Claim After the Disaster

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded basement after a severe storm. Flood damage in Salt Lake City, UT.

If your home in Salt Lake City, UT, was flooded by a natural cause or disaster, it’s time to file a flood claim. This can help you get the funding you need to recover from the damage. However, filing an insurance claim can be confusing. Here are three things you can do to successfully make a claim.

Three Things To Do To Make a Claim

1. Start the Process

The first thing you can do is notify your insurance agency of the flood. Do this as quickly as possible so that an adjuster can contact you within the next few days. You can discuss what action to take and what you should be doing on your end while you wait. Be sure to have the name of your insurance, the policy number, and your phone number ready.

2. Document Everything

Next, photograph the damage. It’s important to document everything that was damaged during the flood so that you have evidence of what losses you suffered. Take pictures and videos of your entire home. You can also make a list of damaged or lost items and use that in your flood claim. Don’t forget to place damaged items outside to prevent mold growth within the house.

3. Back Up Your Claim With a Proof of Loss

With the help of your adjuster, you can create a Proof of Loss to prove that you are claiming the correct amount of money. This contains specific details concerning the damage from the flood and must be filed within 60 days of the disaster. Once you and your insurance company agree on the amount, the claim payment should come.

Insurance can be beneficial when dealing with the water restoration process, and filing a flood claim doesn’t have to be complicated. By carefully and concisely compiling evidence and keeping in touch with your insurance company, you can file the claim and receive payment. Keep in contact with your insurance company to find out how you can best receive the help you need.

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

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded home after a storm Heavy rains can lead to flooding.

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."

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.