Tackling Toilet Overflow While Running Water
If your toilet begins to overfill or spill while you’re taking a shower, this indicates a blockage issue between your toilet drain and the sewer system. Assuming that you’ve taken care of any obvious problems that a simple plunger can handle, the next step involves more specialized pieces of sewage cleaning equipment.
1. Using a Pipe Snake
A pipe snake is a flexible, reinforced steel coil, typically around an inch in diameter. They are used to break up and move drain clogs that cause toilet overflow and other sewage backup issues. Many clogs are not deep enough to require professional intervention and can be removed simply by snaking from the toilet bowl. If the U-bend or other feature of the toilet proves to be an obstacle to snaking, then the entire toilet can be moved to expose the drain. In either case, be prepared to absorb any excess water that may leak out as a result of the snaking process.
2. Deeper Clogs
Sometimes the toilet backup is the result of a clogged pipe closer to the sewer and will require venturing out of the bathroom and into the crawlspace or basement. Removing the main drain and inserting the snake will likely require additional tools such as a pipe wrench. Depending on the design of your home, the required direction and distance for proper snaking may vary. If the backup is severe or has persisted for a long time, additional sewage cleaning may be necessary beneath the home.
Sometimes the nature of the clog can require professional intervention. If the apparent distance of the clog is too far for a homeowner-grade snake or if you believe the cause is related to damage or root-blocked pipes closer to the sewer, call a local plumber.
The above strategies ensure proper maintenance and function of your sewer system. If water backup becomes extreme and sewage cleaning becomes necessary in your living space, contact a certified cleanup professional.
Broken Pipes and Water Cleanup: Cleaning Your Business After Water Damage
Broken pipes often lead to extensive water damage, and the water cleanup process can be all-encompassing, especially for a business that has to remain shut until all is restored. Luckily, the cleanup process is pretty straightforward, and, while only suggestions, the steps below can help to make an overwhelming process a manageable one.
1. Ready the Pumps
You are likely aware of this first step, as it is common knowledge that the longer water stays in a building, the more damage it inflicts; therefore, you should get rid of any excess water as soon as possible. Many home improvement stores will allow you to rent large water pumps and wet vacs, which can help in reducing water levels quickly.
2. Clear Out the Waste
After removing the water, there will be items and materials that may need to be discarded. For instance, if sewage contaminated the excess water, you will likely want to throw away any porous items. Additionally, it may be necessary to remove drywall up to the level that the water rose, because insulation can lead to mold and mildew growth.
3. Dry and Dehumidify
Once all of the water and damaged items have been removed, preventing further water damage, you can begin the process of drying the space. You can take another trip to the home improvement store of your choice and rent air movers, dehumidifiers, and possibly industrial fans. These tools can help speed up the drying process, which can take a couple of days.
4. Call In the Experts
If you find that this process may be too overwhelming, you can check with emergency management offices to see about a list of potential restoration specialists that specialize in flood damage.
Water damage, especially from burst pipes, can be stress-inducing. However, when you break the cleanup process into manageable pieces and maybe decide to call somebody in, it becomes a little easier to deal with. This process can help you cope with the temporary loss of business.
Cleaning Up Your Contents After a Flood
Cleaning After Water Damage
The water inside your property can be a headache, and cleaning up can be an even bigger one. Where do you start? Whether you haven’t found the right water remediation company or prefer to handle content cleaning yourself, here are some key ways to effectively clean after water damage.
There are a few items you will want to gather and keep handy as soon as you get started. These include:
- Rubber gloves
- Sponges and cleaner
Get Rid of the Water
Whether your property has had an inch of water or several feet, it can be a breeding ground for mold, which can ruin personal items as well as property. This makes early water removal and content cleaning vital.
Flood water is considered black water, so it’s best to have professionals remove this. If you can’t wait, the old-fashioned way of water removal works. Once you’ve turned off all electricity to the area, use buckets, mops, and towels to soak up as much water as possible.
Dry Things Out
Once you’ve gotten everything initially dry, use a dehumidifier and fan to remove whatever moisture remains. Opening windows can also help you dry the area out quickly before mold or insects take hold.
Disinfect Your Items
When everything’s dried, use a disinfectant to remove any bacteria that the water may have carried inside. Wipe down walls, wood and non-upholstered furniture. Prevent mold growth by applying antimicrobials.
Dispose of Damaged Goods
Non-porous materials can be saved but porous materials may have to be thrown away. These can include electronics, paper and other delicate items. Organize those items into piles and take them to recycling centers when possible.
Flood content cleaning can be hard work, but it’s necessary. Use these tips to get your space back to normal, or better yet, call a remediation company to make things like new.
How a Post-fire Board Up Can Protect Your Home
How a Post-Fire Board Up Can Keep Your Home Safe
If your home has suffered a fire then you may be wondering if it’s necessary to board up the building. Many fire damage restoration professionals recommend using tarps or boards to cover the damaged areas of your home for several reasons.
1. Helps Prevent Further Damage
On its own fire damage may leave you with costly repairs, but it can also leave your home open to other elements that can cause further damage. Using tarps and boards to cover the damaged areas can help prevent flooding from rain or snow, wind damage, and even animal intrusion. Covering damaged areas may also make it easier to conduct repairs one section at a time.
2. Helps Maintain Your Insurance Coverage
When you board up your home after a fire you may also be following the requirements of your insurance provider. Protecting your home against additional damage can be considered part of your responsibilities as the homeowner. Failure to do so could cause problems with your claim. In many cases your insurance provider may have professionals they recommend for the job.
3. Helps Prevent Additional Loss
Using an emergency board up to protect your home can help prevent other kinds of loss as well. Boarding over the damaged areas may dissuade intruders from taking advantage of the opportunity to get inside via an unprotected opening. Boarding over damage is also one way to show that the home has not been abandoned, and will be receiving repairs.
Constructing a board up over the damaged areas of your home after a fire can help you in a number of ways. This practice can help protect your home against further damage, help dissuade intruders from taking advantage of damaged areas, and in some cases help maintain your insurance coverage. If you are unsure how to properly cover the damaged area, a professional may be able to help.
Protect Your Family and Home from a Fire
A home fire can happen in an instant. One occurs in the U.S. every 86 seconds, according to National Fire Protection Association data. Prevention is the best way to protect your family and your home.
What Are the Leading Causes of Home Fires?
Knowing the primary fire causes can help safeguard your treasures:
1. Did you leave cooking unattended? On the list of causes for home fires, cooking takes the lead. Be especially careful when you are frying; always stay nearby, as this type of cooking is the likeliest to start a fire.
2. Is that heater getting too hot? Portable and stationary heating units are the second most common causes for fires. Keep all heating units a safe distance away from other objects in a room and on stable surfaces (per the units’ instructions).
3. Should an electrician be doing that? You want to reconsider fixing something yourself when it comes to electrical issues. Fires caused by lighting equipment or electrical distribution are ranked third.
4. Is arson an issue? Help protect your family from home fire cause number four by checking your environment. Reduce hiding places around your home, keep your gardens watered and make sure no flammable liquids (e.g. a mower gas container) are left outside.
5. Are you sure you placed that cigarette on the nightstand? Keep ashtrays available in each room and point them out to your guests who smoke. Move nightstands and tables where cigarettes will be placed away from the couch, bed, curtains and other fabrics. Taking these precautions will help prevent your family becoming a part of the fifth cause for and number one reason for deaths by home fires: smoking.
Even when you take precautions, a home fire can still occur. Ensure that your family is equipped with a fire extinguisher, smoke detector and escape plan. Include in your plan what professional you should call to assess the fire damage and do the fire cleaning. Taking time for prevention and planning can go a long way, so if a fire does happen, you and those you value most will be ready.
Understanding Mold Growth in Commercial Property
Mold Growth in Commercial Properties: What You Need to Know
Upon noticing the smell or sight of black mold in your business, you probably wonder what caused it to appear. Despite so many different varieties, molds have a single process of growing and spreading. Knowledge of how and why these fungi infest businesses teaches how to prevent them from taking over yours.
Knowing the Water Where Mold Often Grows
Mold needs time, temperature, food, and moisture to thrive. A moisture problem is often the cause of mold growth. Water that gets into building materials, utilities or flooring comes from plenty of sources:
- Burst or leaking pipe
- Flooding from nearby overflowing bodies of water
- Humid weather
- Broken supply line
- Defective sprinkler systems
- Clogged gutter drainage systems
- Defective HVAC systems accumulating condensation
Once identified, any broken utility or component should be fixed by an appropriate professional. This prevents additional water damage and the mold that comes with it.
Preventing Spores From Finding Ideal Conditions
Microscopic spores float through the air looking for a suitable place to settle. Even if the spores are floating in the air of a room, no mold species will grow without a place to settle that has food and water. The parasitic nature of black mold and other organisms means that they can be stopped from being a problem by denying the environments they desire.
Treating the Mold That Grows
Proactive water cleanup can prevent the need for mold cleanup. Fixing any existing water damage stops the airborne mold from ever finding a place to survive inside your property.
Contacting a professional water cleanup crew with mold expertise is advised to make sure any water is completely removed with the power of their industrial-grade tools. Additionally, experts can find mold and water hiding in unnoticeable locations that most people miss. This prevents mold from quickly recolonizing.
Getting a Hold on Mold
Black mold may seem daunting at first, but prevention can make it seem like a nonissue. Even if mold does take advantage of a water accident at your property, there are ways to remove it without much hassle.
How To Protect Your Business in a Power Outage
Suddenly, the room goes dark. When you are at home during a power outage, you light some candles. When the electricity goes out and impacts your business, your concern level rises far above looking for light. Depending on your type of industry, you could lose a significant amount of inventory or machinery may malfunction. Investing in a generator is a smart way to protect your commercial property.
How To Choose the Best Generator
There are a variety of choices to keep your business running in the event of a power outage. The most common commercial options have the following features:
- There are portable and standby generators. Commonly, stationary businesses use the standby variety as it is always on site when needed. If you run a mobile business, the portable type is more relevant for you.
- For standby, use a single-phase for small operations, such as a retail location or office. For larger spaces that are multi-level or occupy a large building, a three-phase is a good fit.
- Generators can be turned on manually or have an automatic transfer switch. If your property is unsupervised for a period of time, such as overnight, a switch that recognizes when the power supply is interrupted is a helpful feature.
How To Prevent Generator Problems
With proper maintenance, you can reduce generator problems. Generators can last up to 30 years, depending on the amount of usage. Help it run smoothly with the following tips:
- Run the device weekly, and visually inspect for any leaks or other problems.
- Monthly, check all relevant fluid levels.
- Twice a year, have a qualified technician conduct an inspection.
- Annually, have a qualified technician change the necessary parts and test the device.
When inclement weather hits having a generator at your commercial property is one way to plan ahead and protect your business. Unfortunately, regardless of planning, sometimes storm damage occurs. In that case, contact a storm restoration specialist as soon as possible.
Water Damage Is One of the Most Common Reasons for Business Loss
3 Common Reasons for Commercial Water Damage
Water damage is one of the most common reasons for insurance claims made by businesses. Take just a few minutes to learn more about damaged pipes and other sources for water trouble, as well as some steps you can take to reduce risk for your building in the greater Muskogee, OK area.
Commercial building water damage usually comes down to one of three main reasons:
1. Winter Troubles. Frozen temperatures can be a disaster to pipes indoors and out. Ice can also build up on roofs and block drainage channels.
2. Sewage and Drainage. Sewer systems are the unseen heroes of a commercial building, but if they aren’t getting routine attention they can cause big problems. Blockages, wear and foundation settling can all cause trouble with this important system.
3. Poor Pipe Maintenance. Many damaged pipes start as small leaks that are best addressed early to prevent large-scale floods. Routine inspections of pipes for symptoms like drips, excessive moisture and mold can be useful to catch problems before they get big.
Knowing where the most common problems are can help you take steps now to reduce the risk of damaged pipes in your building.
Simple Steps to Reduce Water Damage Risk
If you could make just five changes to help reduce your risk of flooding, these are the ones to give you make the biggest impact:
1. Keep heat on throughout the winter, at a minimum of 55°F.
2. Insulate exposed pipes.
3. Keep gutters and roof drainage clear of debris.
4. Know how to shut-off the main water supply.
5. Regularly inspect pipes appliances, and don’t ignore small leaks.
Knowledge is Power
It really doesn’t take long to learn a little about the most likely areas for leaking pipes and ways to reduce your risk for damage. Sometimes damage is sudden and unexpected, so if you need water cleanup in your building you can count on a commercial building restoration expert to help you recover.
5 Steps to Commercial Fire Safety
Establish an evacuation plan.
5 Commercial Fire Safety Steps
It is impossible to guarantee that a fire will never break out in your commercial property in the Muskogee area, but you can increase fire safety. If you do not already have a contingency plan in place for employees or other occupants to follow in the event of a fire, here are five simple steps you should take.
1. Establish an emergency plan. This plan should include a method for reporting fires as well as an evacuation plan. You may want to hold a mandatory meeting on a regular basis in which you inform employees or occupants about their roles and responsibilities.
2. Post maps with emergency escape routes at strategic locations. People may panic in the event of a fire and forget the specifics of the contingency plan. It is a good idea to post the best evacuation routes in strategic places throughout a building, such as near stairs or elevators. Make sure that these plans indicate that elevators are not safe to use during a fire.
3. Create a contact list. This list should include the names, titles, departments, and contact information for all employees.
4. Identify essential services. Depending on the businesses in the building or the needs of the facility itself, you may want to specify which services require attention and who will perform these tasks in the event of an emergency.
5. Store important records in a secure location. Keep important documents such as accounting, employment, or insurance records in a safe location on- or off-site.
These five steps are intended to help you create a contingency plan to promote the safety of all employees or occupants in a business or commercial property. Following these steps will make you better able to account for all of the people in your building. If you do experience a fire, contact your local certified commercial restoration service, SERVPRO of Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah at 918-913-4490.
What To Do When Water Gets In Your Crawlspace
Water in a crawlspace can come from a variety of sources.
Three Methods For Fixing a Wet Crawl Space
Water in a crawlspace can come from a variety of sources. Some of these causes are preventable, whereas others call for quick action to eliminate standing water caused by flooding. Here are three methods for fixing a wet crawl space and preventing the issue from recurring.
1. Identify the Source
A crawlspace may flood for a variety of reasons. Conditions brought about by overflowing surface or subterranean water can be difficult to prevent, but should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Grading problems, clogged gutters, and improperly installed downspouts can also lead to crawlspace and foundation issues. A broken water line or sewer backup can also cause water to collect in a crawlspace.
2. Pump Out Water And Dry
Residential water damage restoration services have all of the expertise and equipment needed to quickly restore a wet crawl space. Professionals rely on pumps to get rid of water and blowers and dehumidifiers to speed drying. This equipment can limit the extent of damage and mitigate mold.
3. Fix the Cause
You may be able to prevent water from collecting in a crawlspace by adjusting the grading of your landscaping and carefully monitoring watering in beds near the foundation of your home. Clear your gutters and make sure that downspouts direct water away from the foundation and have a two-foot splash block. Have plumbing regularly inspected to prevent pipe breaks and take measures to prevent bursts due to freezing temperatures by heating your home and allowing a faucet to drip.
Mold may have already started to develop if water has been standing or moisture has lingered in your crawlspace for 24 to 72 hours or longer. Conditions in a wet crawl space are ideal for mold growth. You may want to hire a water damage restoration service with certified mold prevention, testing, and mitigation experts on staff at SERVPRO of Muskogee McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah at 918-913-4490.