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How To Protect Your Home After Fire Damage

9/13/2023 (Permalink)

Image of a residential fire Fire damage in Sandy, UT.

Whether you are waiting on the insurance company or the contractor, it can take a while for repairs to be completed on a fire-damaged home. Protective steps, such as board up service, can prevent additional damage from occurring to your home while you wait.

Emergency Board Up Service

If your home has extensive fire damage, you may be tempted to think it couldn't possibly get any worse. However bad the damage may seem, there are several reasons you should protect your property:

  1. Theft or Vandalism

Vacant homes are attractive targets for thieves and vandals because the risk of being caught is lower. Burned homes may contain valuable property that thieves may steal if your home is not properly protected.

  1. Insurance Requirements

Most insurance policies require homeowners to take reasonable steps to prevent additional damage from occurring to their homes. Failing to take these steps may result in additional damage not being covered by your insurance. Fortunately, most insurance covers the cost of these protective measures.

  1. Liability

If you don't secure your damaged home and someone goes inside and gets hurt, you may be liable for that person's injuries. However, you should not enter an unsafe building yourself. You may need to contact a professional restoration service in Sandy, UT, to safely secure your property.

  1. Weather and Animals

Holes in the roof and walls of your home provide entry points for wind, water and animals. Covering up these openings prevents additional damage from occurring because of a storm or animal infestation.

What Is Board Up Service?

The heat from a fire can cause windows to break. Additionally, windows are often targets for vandals or thieves. Windows can be secured by covering the openings with plywood and securing them with bolts attached to the interior walls. Plywood may also be used to cover sections of the exterior walls or roof that have holes.

What Is Tarping?

Tarps may be used to cover damaged portions of your roof to prevent rain from entering your home. Because working on a fire-damaged roof can be dangerous, it is a good idea to contact a professional to provide this service. 

What Other Steps Should I Take?

The water used to put out fires can cause additional damage if steps are not taken to dry out your home as soon as possible. Do not attempt to enter your home until the fire department says it is safe. Once you can go inside, start removing wet items. Consider contacting a restoration service to assist with drying out your home. 

Do not attempt to move back into your home until all of the fire and smoke damage has been cleaned up. If you have insurance, your insurance policy may pay for you to temporarily live somewhere else, such as a hotel room or a rental, while your home is being cleaned and repaired.

Protective steps, such as board up service, can prevent additional damage to your home.  Your insurance professional or local fire department can assist you if you are unsure which steps to take to secure your property.

What To Do When Your Toilet Leaks With Every Flush

8/18/2023 (Permalink)

Image of a person holding their head while looking at a toilet Toilet leak can lead to several water damage in Sandy, UT.

Toilets are pretty hardy units. Those porcelain commodes remain sturdy and durable, usually lasting for decades after installation. However, like anything in the home, it can break down. When homeowners in Sandy, UT, observe a leaking toilet, they should take action.

A leak is a time to assess and react quickly. Small leaks can lead to significant problems such as water damage and mold. Therefore, owners shouldn't wait and see or put it off for another day. The following are tips for handling this situation.

  1. Understand the Common Causes of a Leaking Toilet

What is essentially wrong? Focus on this question as you begin your leak hunt. Water could escape from the toilet for many reasons; thus, learn the intricacies of the device and its various parts. For instance, any of the following situations could explain the mishap:

  • Someone improperly installed it.
  • The bowl or tank has a crack.
  • The bolts are loose.
  • The wax ring broke or dissolved.
  • The base is weakly sealed.
  • The wax ring is busted or old.
  1. Create a Plan To Locate the Main Issue

Find the bathroom leak by running some tests. Start with observation. When you flush, do you visually see when the drips or leaks happen? Where is the release? How much is coming out? For instance, you may observe water around the base with a weak wax ring or a bad flange. Check out those parts before moving to something else.

If that isn't the answer, tighten the bolts to see if the base needs more security. A wobbly seat may lead you to this option. Furthermore, drips may happen from the lines or minor breaks in the porcelain. Drop color-safe dissolvable tablets into the tank. Flush and keep your eyes open for color outside of the unit.

  1. Assess for Additional Water Damage

If water drips into the floor, walls or ceiling, the material soaks it up. This situation proves problematic for several reasons. When the fluid sits for long periods, it could harm the structure's integrity, beginning to weaken and rot. In addition, mold spores thrive on dampness. They exist everywhere and migrate through the air and the movement. If present, they reproduce in moist, organic substances. Thus, owners could find fungus growth with long-term leaks.

Call a professional water remediation team to assess the bathroom and surrounding area. These porous items permit dampness to go deep inside, reaching microscopic levels that dehumidifiers and bleach cannot reach. These experts evaluate the conditions and can create a plan to clean and restore the room. They may not fix the toilet, but they can attend to the secondary damage.

  1. Determine a Strategy to Resolve the Problem

Be sure to fix the origin of the water source. Once you know how it occurred, work with plumbers to correct the trouble. Buy new parts and ensure that specialists install them to avoid future issues.

When you push the handle down, water shouldn't come out. If you observe puddles or drips, then examine the unit for concerns. Determine the cause of your leaking toilet and repair the source of trouble.

3 Flood Safety Issues You Should Know About

8/4/2023 (Permalink)

Image of a person standing on standing water. Flooding can cause severe water damage.

One of the primary concerns for property owners during and after a flood is water damage to property. However, there are also safety issues that you should be aware of. These are three of the most common.

  1. Contaminated Water

Floodwaters are often contaminated with sewage, human or animal waste, chemicals, pesticides, microorganisms and other potentially harmful substances. Water that is possibly highly contaminated, such as floodwater from rivers and streams, is called black water. This type of water requires protective gear and specific training to be removed safely.

If your building requires water remediation due to flooding, contact a professional water remediation company in Sandy, UT.

  1. Flooded Roads

Attempting to drive through standing water can cause water damage to vehicles and create a safety hazard. While large commercial vehicles may be less likely to be washed away than passenger vehicles, there is still a risk that the driver could lose control of the vehicle or the vehicle could stall out resulting in the driver becoming stranded.

Additionally, it is difficult to know what may be under the water on a flooded road. The road could be washed away or contain hazardous objects.

  1. Electrocution Risk

Storms that cause flooding often also lead to downed power lines. Live wires that come in contact with standing water can create a risk of electrocution. Avoid walking through standing water if at all possible. If you or your employees must enter a flooded area, wear protective rubber boots and gloves and shut off the power to the building before entering. If you can not safely get to the main shut-off, contact the power company and ask them to shut the power off for you.

Water damage to property is not the only risk property owners face after a flood. Be aware of these three common safety hazards and how to avoid them.

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mold

8/4/2023 (Permalink)

Mold growing around a window frame. Mold damage found in a local home.

Most people have encountered mold growth at some point. However, many have questions about this common unwanted fungus. These frequently asked questions will help you better understand mold and what you can do about it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mold

  1. What Is Mold?

Mold is a variety of fungus. Mold reproduces through spores that travel easily through the air and land on indoor and outdoor surfaces. Because mold needs moisture to grow, it is more prevalent in areas with high humidity. This is why mold is often found in damp areas, such as shower rooms, refrigerators, laundry facilities and property with water damage from leaks or flooding. There are thousands of species of mold and some have beneficial properties; however, mold can also cause property damage because it feeds on the materials it grows on.

  1. How Can You Tell If You Have a Mold Problem?

Mold naturally occurs in the environment and is always present in most buildings. However, excessive mold growth can lead to problems. One of the first signs of mold is often musty odors. If you are noticing musty smells, it is a good idea to inspect areas that are prone to mold, such as bathrooms, basements, sink areas and windows. Mold often appears as black, brown, gray, green or pink stains that may have a fuzzy appearance.

  1. What Causes Mold To Grow?

Mold needs oxygen, food and water to grow. Mold grows best in temperatures between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit and can not grow at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It also thrives in wet conditions, such as buildings that have water damage. It can consume almost any organic matter, which makes it difficult to fight mold by removing food sources since even very clean buildings usually have some organic matter on surfaces.

  1. Where Can Mold Grow?

Mold can grow on any material that provides it with a food source. Organic materials, such as paper, wood and dust provide optimal food sources for mold; however, it can also grow on some synthetic materials, such as adhesives, textiles and paint. Mold can not feed on inorganic materials, such as metal, concrete or glass, but it can digest the dust, dirt and other organic residues that may accumulate on these surfaces. Replacing materials made from wood and paper, such as drywall or wallpaper, with mold-resistant alternatives can reduce the chance of mold problems in your property.

  1. How Does Mold Damage Surfaces?

Mold eats the materials it grows on, which can cause the material to rot or decay. Mold that is not promptly removed can cause undesirable smells, stains and other cosmetic damage and structural damage. The longer mold is allowed to grow, the more it breaks down materials and spreads to new surfaces, so it is important to contact a mold remediation company in Sandy, UT, as soon as mold is discovered.

Even though mold is a natural part of the environment, excessive mold growth can cause serious property damage. Reducing sources of food and moisture and promptly removing mold when discovered is the key to limiting mold damage.

5 Times When You Should Call a Restoration Company

8/4/2023 (Permalink)

Image of a professional looking at a damaged ceiling Severe water damage to a local property.

If you have water damage in your building, you may be wondering whether you can handle the cleanup and restoration yourself or if you need to call a restoration company. These are five situations where you should contact a restoration company to handle pipe burst cleanup or other services you need.

When to Contact a Restoration Company

  1. You Have a Sewage Problem

Raw sewage contains contaminants that aren't safe to handle without professional safety equipment and training. If you have a sewage backup or an overflow from a toilet that contains urine or feces in your building, contact a sewer cleanup company in Sandy, UT, for assistance. Avoid entering the area until cleanup is complete. Doing so risks spreading bacteria around your building.

  1. You Have a Major Plumbing Problem

A broken pipe can dump a lot of water into your facility if you don't take quick action to shut off the water source. You will need to get your pipes repaired or replaced before you can turn the water back on. Contact a plumber to fix the problem quickly and correctly. Once you have stopped new water from leaking into your building, consider contacting a water restoration company to clean up the damage. Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours if you don't completely dry out your property. Hiring a professional may reduce your risk of additional property damage.

  1. There Is a Large Amount of Water Damage

Small leaks can often be handled with a mop and bucket or a wet/dry vacuum. However, if you have a large amount of water damage, trying to handle pipe burst cleanup by yourself may not be realistic. A water restoration service can clean and dry your property fast, reducing the chance of mold or mildew growth and structural damage caused by excess moisture.

  1. You Have Water Damage From a Major Storm or Flood

Water damage from storms and flooding also requires professional cleanup, because the water may be contaminated. Additionally, storms often cause downed power lines and other damage that can increase the risk of electrocution when entering standing water. Restoration professionals have the equipment and training to deal with these types of risks safely. Additionally, they have the resources to clean up large amounts of water damage faster than you are likely to be able to accomplish on your own.

  1. Your Building Was Damaged by Fire

The water used to put out large fires may cause more structural damage than the fire itself. Restoration companies can work to restore all of the different types of damage, including fire, smoke and water, that your building may have after a fire. Additionally, technicians will sort through the contents of your building to determine which of your property may be salvaged and which needs to be discarded.

Attempting to save money by doing cleanup yourself may cost you more in additional property damage in the long run. If you need pipe burst cleanup or have another large or complicated water damage situation, contacting a professional restoration service may save you time and money.

Immediate Steps To Take After a Pipe Burst

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded office Flooding can cause severe damage.

A frozen or broken pipe can wreak havoc on your building in Sandy, UT. Having a list of water damage tips can help you spring into action when it happens.

Cleaning Tips for a Commercial Building With Water Damage

You will probably notice the signs of a broken pipe pretty quickly. The problem can get out of control quickly, and it may be a few hours before someone is able to get to your building and do something about it. Here are some things you can do while you wait to minimize damage.

Shut Off Water

The first thing you want to do is cut off the water at the source. After all, a broken pipe can't leak if there is no water flowing to it. Shut off the water main in the building, and let everyone present know that it will be off until the problem is resolved.

Turn Off Electricity

Electricity and water don't mix. The longer the broken pipe has been leaking, the more caution needs to be taken to separate the two. Your safety protocol should include a step for turning off the power. By shutting off all breakers that release power to the affected area, you are protecting everyone in its vicinity.

Call the Professionals

A flood in your building is not something you should try to handle on your own. There are three main calls you need to make right after a pipe bursts:

  • Plumber to fix the pipe
  • Water damage mitigation experts to clean up the building
  • Insurance provider to start the claims process

In addition to getting professional help with the problem at hand, calling the experts can also verify that you are on the right track with the progress you are making. They can give you the specific damage tips and extra steps you need to take so that you are ready for them when they arrive.

Remove Standing Water

The longer water stands in your building, the more damage it continues to create. If you can safely do so, it's a good idea to pump any excess water out. Your personal protection must come first, though. If you don't know how deep the water is or if part of the structure is damaged, it's better to wait for the mitigation team to get there.

Document the Damage

Your insurance company is going to want to know the full extent of the problem in order to review your claim. Take pictures and videos of the affected area so that you can include them in your report. Make a list of everything that may need to be replaced and how much it would cost to do so. You can always make revisions if the cleanup technicians are able to salvage some items, but this initial list gives you a solid starting place.

It's easy to feel helpless after a broken pipe floods your building, but don't despair. You may not be able to tackle the whole cleanup process by yourself, but following these damage tips can ensure that you are being proactive and protecting your building as well as you can until reinforcements arrive.

After Fire Damage, Securing the Building Is Essential

7/26/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke on a stair case that caught on fire Fire damage.

After a fire happens in your Sandy UT, business, getting back on track doesn’t happen overnight. As you wait for the adjuster to arrive and approve the fire damage and restoration company to start the work, the damage to your business may leave it in a compromised position. To avoid additional damage, it is essential to secure the property via tarping or boarding up holes and other potential entry points.

Preventing Secondary Damage Prior To Fire Cleanup

Along with the damage from the fire that may have created unwanted openings to your building, there are likely broken windows from the emergency responders putting out the flames. Leaving those exposed areas as is may become a costly endeavor.

Benefits of Board Up Services

Board-up services are a relatively simple way to keep your business secure. In most cases, the restoration company you have selected will provide these services. Ensuring that the property is properly secured while awaiting restoration offers many benefits.

  • Maximize Insurance Coverage: Most insurance carriers will require roof covering and board-up services. While your business insurance will likely cover the damage from the fire, as well as the water damage sustained while putting it out, secondary damage likely won’t be covered. If the openings are not covered and heavy rain happens, it means more damage to the property. That additional damage will likely not be covered. Neglecting the property may also affect how much your insurance provider is willing to cover.
  • Prevent Looting: A property with clear entry points is a prime target for thieves and vandals. That leaves any area of the property that wasn’t affected by the fire open for unwanted guests. From expensive electronics to fixtures and pipes, there are many items in a business that may be worth stealing. Securing the property minimizes the chances of someone gaining entry into the property.
  • Keep Animals Out: Wild animals love to find new places to make a home. Even a small, broken window may provide enough space for something to get in. Once the property is riddled with pests, it means extra cleanup and potentially damaged furniture, walls and other items.

How Board Up Services Work

A restoration company typically offers these temporary services as part of the restoration plan. During the initial property inspection to determine restoration needs, a certified specialist will also determine areas that require temporary covering. This may include tarping over a hole in the roof or installing plywood over broken windows or other holes. For boarding up, a professional will use high-quality plywood that has been recommended for such purposes by FEMA. This wood is designed for exterior use and is a minimum of 5/8 inches thick. The affected area will be carefully measured, and then plywood pieces will be attached with screws to ensure it stays put until proper cleanup can begin.

When your business sustains fire damage, it isn't always a simple cleanup. Considering that it takes time to properly restore the property, it is essential to ensure that any openings are properly covered to ensure additional damage doesn't happen.

The Importance of a Professional Category 3 Flooding Response

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded neighborhood. Know the different categories of flooding waters.

The damage to your home after flooding from natural sources is much more troublesome than the damage that occurs after a broken pipe or overflowing dishwasher. When your Sandy, UT, home is subjected to rising water from heavy rainfall or a river that has grown past its banks, you’re dealing with contamination from multiple sources.

Distinguish Between Category 1 and Category 3 Flooding

Water is one of the number one causes of damage to homes and accounts for some of the most frequent insurance claims. However, not all water damage is the same. There are three categories to label the risks associated with encroaching water:

  • Category 1 or Clean Water comes from sanitary sources, such as the water supply line in your kitchen or from rainwater. You may not want to drink this water, but there’s very little risk to you when you’re exposed to it.
  • Category 2 or Gray Water comes from less sanitary sources, such as an overflowing toilet bowl or a broken aquarium. This water is contaminated and poses some risk. Cleaning and restoration professionals generally treat this type of damage with anti-microbial sprays and other disinfectants.
  • Category 3 or Black Water is highly contaminated. This water may come from rivers, seas, or sewage lines. Windblown rainwater may also fall in this category. This water carries and picks up multiple contaminants from many sources of pollution, including feces, toxic chemicals, and pathogens.

Category 1 Flood Cleanup

When your home is flooded from a break in a pipe or melting snow, the cleanup steps are straightforward:

  • Shut off the water and power.
  • Remove everything within the exposed area.
  • Extract water and thoroughly dry the affected rooms.
  • Disinfect the area.
  • Complete repairs and restoration.

Professionals and homeowners may work together to address Category 1 flood damage because there is limited risk associated. It is worth pointing out that Category 1 water contamination could worsen if not addressed promptly. As water sits, it absorbs chemicals and contaminants from carpeting, furniture, and other materials throughout the home until eventually qualifying as Category 2 or 3.

Category 3 Flood Cleanup

When flood water is full of hazardous pollutants, it poses significant risks. This necessitates the use of personal protective equipment by trained water damage cleanup professionals. This gear may include tall boots, a protective jumpsuit, gloves, and face masks. Storm damage restoration requires all the steps of Category 1 cleanup and also calls for professional removal of contaminated materials. Professionals provide a specialized response depending on the source of water, i.e., sewer lines, seawater, and river water. You should not try to clean up this wastewater on your own. Any contaminants absorbed by the structural components and furnishings of your home could lead to secondary damage and lingering effects such as stains and unpleasant smells.

Your insurance provider may recommend professionals to address Category 3 flooding, and you should never attempt this on your own. It is possible that you could clean up Category 1 damage or assist cleanup technicians but contact your insurance provider first. It is often the case that professional cleanup is faster, more complete, and less likely to cause further harm.

Does Your Toilet Overflow When You Run the Shower? Clean the Mess With These Sewage Cleaning Tips

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

A flooded Toilet. Have a better Water Cleaning Experience following Our Tips.

When sewage lines become clogged, the obstruction prevents the fluid from moving through the pipes. It builds up, escaping from the nearest outlet. Sinks and toilets offer the most viable openings, so when you step into the shower and the plumbing is blocked, the water is likely to pour out of the toilet, leaving owners to handle sewage cleaning. 

How To Manage Toilet Overflows and Sewage Cleaning

As a homeowner in Sandy, UT,, you need to protect your house and seek professional help for clean-up procedures. With a few tools and expert assistance, your shower and toilet can function correctly again. The following are three essential tips to follow.

1. Locate the Clog Causing the Toilet Overflow

Turn off the water to the immediate area. You don't want another overflow to occur while hunting down the source. Then, move from one location to another to find the blockage. The following are possible zones of trouble. Check each one to ensure that you catch any concerns.

  • Drain Cleanout
  • Outside sewage pipes
  • Commode

Plungers work well for smaller obstacles. However, this clog is likely larger and further down the plumbing. For more efficiency, control and force, use a snake. Begin with the toilet. The snake is a long flexible tube that can enter the lines. It has a crank that creates pressure to push the clog through. You can move through the various home openings, testing for concerns.

If you can't find the issue, move to the drain cleanout. It's usually located outside. Wear gloves and use the torque to remove the lid. You're entering the main sewer line, filled with microorganisms and waste. If you're reached this point, it's best to call in a water restoration company in Sandy, UT, to assess the trouble.

2. Tackle Outside Troubles

After a while, older pipes corrode, weakening your structure. Also, tree roots can grow into lines, leaving cracks and holes. These permit sand and dirt to collect, blocking movement. The specialists have high-quality video scopes to scrutinize the plumbing. They can clean the drain out and identify external concerns. In addition, they begin necessary repairs.

3. Start Sanitizing and Sewage Cleaning Procedures

Sewer water is a class 3 fluid, also called black water. It's not something you want to stick around in your home because it hosts bacteria and mold. The longer it lingers, the more contamination you face. Spores such as mold, for instance, migrate into your porous materials like drywall and flooring. Mixed with the water, they reproduce quickly, infesting places within one to two days. Therefore, immediately work with the remediation team to initiate clean-up procedures once you've located the blockage.

Have the team assess the clogged pipe aftermath, collect samples and take moisture readings. Attack the fluid. Dry out the impacted spaces using industrial dehumidifiers and air scrubbers. Discard porous, overly saturated materials.

Deodorize and treat the bathroom with antimicrobial cleaners. Then, rebuild and replace the space, returning it to proper working order.

Running your shower can trigger the toilet to overflow if you have a clog. Shut off the water and find the source. A team of water experts can assist in your trouble and begin critical sewage cleaning. Don't wait. It's imperative to improve fluid movement and sanitize the space.

How Frozen Pipes Put Your Home at Risk

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

A man fixing a Pipe. Learn more about Frozen Pipes by following these Tips.

Throughout much of the country and in all parts of Canada, temperatures have the potential to fall below zero. In certain conditions, that could result in pipes that rupture and spray large quantities of water into your home in Sandy, UT.

When this happens, your home is at risk for multiple forms of water damage. Electronics could be destroyed, flooring could suffer warping, insulation could be rendered useless and furniture could need to be replaced. If you are faced with this problem, calling a local SERVPRO franchise will likely be your best option.

Solid Methods To Avoid Frozen Pipes

The best solution is to avoid letting your pipes freeze in the first place. When this happens, the expansion of the water in the pipes to ice can result in broken plumbing components. A few precautions can nearly eliminate this from happening:

  • Make sure the temperature in the home never falls too low
  • Wrap pipes that have an outdoor exposure in an insulated covering
  • Have someone monitor your home if you are away for a week or more
  • Pay attention to unusual cold snaps in your region

At times, through no fault of your own, you could experience a pipe freeze. This could happen due to a power outage, similar to what happened in Texas in 2021. At this stage, you might need to turn your attention to a professional water cleanup.

The Best Process for Dealing With a Pipe Burst

Once you discover significant water has leaked somewhere in your home, you will need to call for professional help. A nearby SERVPRO franchise works 24/7 and is always available with trained technicians to help out. The #1 choice in cleanup and restoration is Faster to Any Size Disaster and they will likely dispatch a crew to your home within two hours. Professionals understand that a fast response to frozen pipes can reduce damage and expenses.

After an initial inspection and damage assessment, the team will work quickly to improve the situation. The following steps are critically important:

  • Stopping the flow of water
  • Ensuring safety for everyone
  • Establishing an effective plan of action
  • Limiting damage through timely water removal

Workers will see what materials in the home can be restored and what will need to be replaced. They will have an orderly process for identifying salvageable items and then they will use the most effective restoration techniques.

The Important Methods for Completing the Cleanup

After the initial stage, the team will go to work on sanitizing, cleaning and deodorizing your home. This process makes use of specially formulated cleaning agents and addresses impacts to flooring, furniture and personal belongings. It makes sure no odors linger and reduces the chance of mold forming on surfaces. Drying technicians also make sure the home returns to a comfortable humidity level.

Frozen pipes can damage your home in many ways. If a pipe breaks, a fast response is required by a professional organization to reduce damages and manage a successful cleanup and restoration. A SERVPRO franchise will use the best methods to restore your home to its original condition.