Frozen pipes? No problem!
Winter is on its way but the cold temps are already here. Frozen pipes are one of the most common issues home owners can face during the winter months. If your home has a tendency of having water pipes freeze over during winter months there are a few ways you can try to clear up that blockage!
1). Keep the faucet dripping. This will help ease your pipes into having water flowing properly again.
2). Apply heat to the affected section of the pipe with a heating pad or hair dryer. Doing this will slowly thaw out any ice that has formed in the pipe.
3). Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.
Finally, if you noticed that you are still having problems after all of this it is probably best that you contact your nearest licensed plumber to come and take a look at it.
Winter Pipe Bursts Can Be Prevented
When the weather starts to get colder during the winter months it is a good idea to start taking initiative and make some changes or check some things to make sure your home is safe from unwanted water damage. Firstly, you're going to want to check your home's water pipes to see whether or not you need to make some changes. If your pipes have already been insulated then you're already a step ahead of the curve and your home is safer for it. Secondly, if you don't have insulation on your piping you need to look into getting it done. This will help keep your pipes warm enough so that they don't break from extreme cold. Thirdly, you can take extra precaution by running your tap at a trickle, this will keep water flowing and help mitigate ice forming in or around your pipes! Use these few tips to help ensure that your home is protected from winter time water damage.
Categories of Water Damage
Having a water loss in your home can be much more damaging and dangerous depending on what category of water damage your loss is. These categories range from 1 to 3 and the differences could mean life or death depending on the circumstances.
Category 1 water damage is considered to be a water loss that comes from clean and/or sanitary sources. Examples of these are water lines, faucets, toilet tanks, fountains, etc. This category normally doesn’t cause any issues other than the damage to your property from the water.
Category 2 water damage is considered to be a water loss that comes from sources with levels of contaminants that can potentially cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Some examples of sources that would cause this are dishwashers, toilet overflow with urine in it, or other sources with “used” water.
Category 3 water damage is considered to be a water loss that comes from sources that are deemed to have dangerously unsanitary contaminants. These can cause serious illness or even death if ingested. This includes water damage caused by sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow containing feces, and stagnant water with bacterial growth.
It is important to know the differences between these damage categories so that you know what to do and how to act if you are in a situation involving water damage to your home or other property.
Cooking Fire Safety
Fire safety is extremely important to know when your own a home or business, many fires are caused by negligence and can spread fast enough to leave those who aren’t prepared in serious danger. The USFA and FEMA estimate that just over 50% of all house fires in 2016 were caused by cooking accidents. There are on average over 400,000+ house fires per year in the United States, and to have over 50% be caused by cooking helps show that negligence is a serious issue in the matter. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice at cooking or a master chef, if you leave an active stove or other kitchen appliance unattended it can create a fire that spirals out of control in just a few seconds if not caught right away. Taking proper precautionary measures when cooking can help make it a fun and safe hobby, but failing to do so can lead to fire/property damage in a worst case scenario.
Smoke Alarm Safety
Safety for you and your family while sleeping or in situations where you are preoccupied with other things is extremely important. One of the many things the you can do in your home to make sure that that safety exists is to either install smoke alarms on every level of your home or if that has already been done to your home for you and your family make sure the ones that were installed were installed correctly and work properly. Doing this will give you and your family the much needed time to escape a disaster scenario where your home catches fire. Make sure to check the alarms monthly and replace the batteries yearly to keep the safety that they provide in place. Doing all of these things will drastically increase the likelihood that you and your family will be safe and sound in the event of a fire.
Books/Records with Water Damage
Water damage leaves nothing untouched and most things un-repairable. Important books and records for your home, bank, job, business, etc are able to be restored however. SERVPRO specializes in mold remediation and that means that we are able to come to your place of work or home and gather the items that need to be restored and bring them to our offices/warehouses and make sure that they get the proper attention they need to be fully restored so that you don't lose hours upon hours of work. Make sure that if you do have a water loss, and you know that you have paperwork that was damaged, to NOT touch the items that you wish to be restored as they are extremely fragile and can easily become much more damaged than they originally were.
Summer Heat Safety
During the Spring and Summer the temperature outside begins to get hotter and hotter, and in some parts of the country heat waves become common and unrelenting. To help combat the unrelenting heat here are a few helpful tips for home use.
1). Cover your windows to block heat from direct sunlight. This helps cool down the room.
2). Use fans strategically, don't just place them and forget them. Ceiling fans should rotate counter-clockwise to be most effective at moving the air in the room.
3). Cooking with smaller appliances like a slow-cooker or a tabletop grill helps minimize the heat.
4). If you know that you have some elderly neighbors and are able to you should check on them every once in a while. Summer heat waves leave the elderly in a tough spot and it can be more dangerous for them during it.
Summer Grill Safety
On average 9,000 fires are caused by grilling accidents every year. These accidents increase in frequency a lot over the summer due to things like increase in barbecues and the foliage and grass getting much dryer in different places around the country. There are a few ways in which you can help prevent things like this from happening. The first would be to make sure to pay more attention to your grilling setup, make sure it isn't near dry grass or bushes, especially if you're using a charcoal grill. If your setup is indeed near a location like this then you should take one of two actions, either move it to a safer location or take the time to water or remove the dangerous spots. The second way to help prevent this is to take more care in paying attention to what you're doing when grilling. A lot of these accidents happen due to carelessness.
Hurricane Categories Information
Here at SERVPRO we deal with all types damages to property, one of the most common types that we deal with is water/storm damage. On the topic of water and storm damage the hurricane season is beginning soon and with that it is important to know and understand the differences between categories and what type of damage they can produce.
Category 1 - 74-95 mph winds - Can cause damage to roof, gutters and siding. Trees may snap and there could be extensive damage to power lines.
Category 2 - 96-110 mph winds - Can cause major roof and siding damage, trees will snap and uproot, near-total power loss.
Category 3 - 111-129 mph winds - Can cause removal of roof decking, roads will be blocked by trees, power and water will be lost.
Category 4 - 130-156 mph winds - Can cause severe damage to homes, power will be lost for months, the area will be uninhabitable for months.
Category 5 - 157+ mph winds - A high percentage of homes will be destroyed, power will be lost for months, the area will be uninhabitable for months.
Use this information for when a potential storm is coming your way, and be sure to evacuate if directed to, your life if more important than your home. SERVPRO will always be there to help in the clean up.
Prevent Water Damage
Statistics show that 93% of water damage losses can be prevented before they occur. With training and experience that the specialists at SERVPRO obtain and the utilities that they are given to deal with it help make SERVPRO inform others in dealing with water damage losses we know how to properly prevent. Not only can SERVPRO prevent damage from occurring but we can restore and replace things that were.
Losses involving leaky roofs, windows seals needed replacement, flooding, malfunctioning sprinklers and many more are the types of things to be on the lookout for. It's important to take some time every few months or years to make sure that your home or business is in the safest condition it can be when dealing with the unknown, from checking roof tiling to making sure water pumps are working 100% correctly, all of the possible steps you can and should take will leave your home and business in a safe and comfortable place.