Common Sewage Problems
If a sewer problem occurs, give SERVPRO a call at the first sign of water damage
Sewer problems are an unfortunate inevitability in most buildings. The good news is that these problems are usually easy to fix, especially if you catch them early. However, if you don't find them soon enough, it's likely that your sewage system will fail and need to be replaced entirely.
If a large tree has fallen on your property and it's blocking your sewer line, you could have a big problem on your hands. The roots of the tree can grow into the sewer line and block it completely. This can cause sewage backup or overflow in your home, which can be extremely dangerous for anyone who lives there.
If this happens to you and you're not sure what to do next or how much damage has been caused by the root intrusion into the pipe system under your property, contact us today! We'll send out one of our experienced technicians who will assess all aspects of this situation so that we can come up with an action plan tailored specifically for you and your unique needs.
The most common reasons for a toilet to overflow are too much toilet paper. If you're like most people, you've probably heard that it's better to use less toilet paper when you go to the bathroom. However, this isn't always true and can actually cause problems if done incorrectly. If your toilet begins overflowing unexpectedly after flushing, try using less paper next time until you find the right amount for your particular type of plumbing system.
Debris clogs in the pipes or sewer line outside of your house may be causing blockages in your plumbing system as well. Debris such as wet wipes and sanitary products should not go down the drain because they don't break down easily--they can clog up drains instead. When taking care of these items make sure they are disposed properly so they don't end up causing problems later on down line either by throwing them away or recycling them instead.
If you're not sure how old your pipes are, get them checked. If they are older than 40 years, they may be corroded and leaking. This can cause sewage backup in your building.
If you've noticed a foul odor coming from one of your toilets or drains in the past few weeks (or even months), then it's time to call a plumber right away.
Have you noticed water in places that shouldn't have any? It could be a broken pipe or line. If you're noticing water where there shouldn't be any, there's a good chance that your building has a problem with its plumbing system. This can cause structural damage and other issues, like mold growth, flooding and more.
Sewage backups can occur when too much water enters your plumbing system at once and overwhelms it. This is more likely to happen if you have an older home or building, as well as if you live in an area that gets heavy rain or snowfall.
There are several things you can do to prevent sewage backups from happening. Check for leaks around faucets and toilets by turning off all sinks and running each fixture individually while watching for drips on the floor below each one. If necessary, replace washers with new ones where needed, you may find them at any hardware store as part of kits designed specifically for this purpose.
If you think your building has any of these problems, it's important to call a professional right away. The last thing you want is for sewage backup or broken pipes to damage or destroy your building and its contents. Give SERVPRO a call at the first sign of sewage damage to your home or business.
Tips For Grease Fires in your Home or Business
If your property suffers a fire loss, give us a call today!
Grease fires are scary, but if you know what to do when they start, there’s no need to panic. Grease fires can be started by cooking oils (vegetable oil or shortening), bacon grease, butter and margarine. It's also important to keep these items stored safely away from heat sources and out of reach from children and pets. However, if you’re like most people on any given day of the week—and if you're reading this article—you already have some food that's been left on the stove unattended until it catches fire. So let me tell you exactly what steps to take if that happens.
First things first, don’t panic.
The first thing you should do when a grease fire begins to heat up is to stay calm. Panicking will only make the situation worse, which makes sense: Panic can cause you to make bad decisions, like trying to put out a grease fire yourself or running away from it instead of towards an exit.
Instead of panicking, take these steps:
- If possible, get everyone out of the house and call 911 immediately. Do not try to put out the fire yourself—it's dangerous and could result in injury!
- Make sure that everyone is safe before doing anything else (including calling 911).
Don’t use water to put out a Grease Fire
While you may have been taught to use water to put out a grease fire, this is actually the worst thing you can do. Water will spread the fire and make it worse.
If it's safe for you do so, turn off the heat source and see if that stops the flames. You might also try smothering the flames—but only if you're sure no one will get burned in the process of doing this! Finally, if all else fails, use your kitchen extinguisher (if one is available).
Use a fire extinguisher instead! The best option for putting out a grease-based fire is an ABC-type extinguisher, which will coat the burning fuel with foam, preventing oxygen from getting to it and smothering the flames. If you don’t have one of those handy (and most people don’t), gather up some baking soda and throw that on top of your burning grease. It won’t stop the combustion process altogether but will help cool off your frying pan enough so that if there are no sparks nearby, it should go out on its own.
Turn off the Heat Source
If it's safe to do so, shut off the heat source. This may mean turning off your stove, oven or other appliance. Or it may mean turning off an electric or gas supply to your stove. If you are using a microwave, turn it off but don't open the door—a vacuum could cause sparks and reignite the grease fire.
Smother the fire with a Fire Blanket
If you have a fire blanket nearby, this is another option for how to stop a grease fire. A fire blanket is made of a special material that makes it easier for you to smother the flames by covering them with the material. Use the same technique as above: Cover the entire area with water from your sink or bucket, then place the blanket overtop of it so that it covers all of the burning grease.
After you’ve successfully stopped your grease fire using these methods, dispose of your used fire blankets according to local regulations—often they need taken back to specialized recycling centers or disposed in certain ways depending on what material they're made out of.
If your home or business suffers from a fire loss, give SERVPRO of Tri Cities West / Franklin County a call for further questions and we will be happy to help!
Are Smoke Damage and Fire Damage Similar?
SERVPRO of Tri-Cities, specializes in fire damage
Are Smoke Damage and Fire Damage Similar?
Smoke and fire damage are often used interchangeably, but they're very different issues. Smoke damage is the residue left behind after a fire, while fire damage refers to the actual destruction caused by flames. Both can be mitigated using similar methods, but they require different approaches in order to be addressed properly. Keep reading to learn how to tell them apart.
Smoke Damage is Caused by Fire Damage
Smoke damage is caused by fire damage. Smoke damages your Finley, WA home, but it does not destroy it. Smoke and soot cause a lot of distress for homeowners because they can make your home unlivable for months or even years.
Though smoke damage is most often associated with fires, there are many other causes of smoke damage as well—including cooking grease fires, burning candles or incense indoors, electrical short circuits and even spontaneous combustion due to chemical reactions within household items (these are called "inherent risks" and are covered under homeowner's insurance policies). In most cases, these conditions do not cause permanent structural changes to homes; however they do cause extensive property damage that can be extremely costly when the property owner decides to sell the home at some point in the future (or if they decide to rent out their property instead of selling).
Fire Damage Affects a Much Larger Area Than Smoke Damage
Fire damage is typically more severe than smoke damage. In fact, the two terms are often used interchangeably in conversation. However, the two can be distinguished by how they affect your home.
Smoke damage typically affects a smaller area than fire damage. The fire department will often stop at a wall before extinguishing it completely to prevent further damage from spreading throughout your home. Smoke is much more likely to travel throughout your house than flames because of its consistency (it consists of tiny particles), which allows it to spread through vents and other small spaces easily. Fire on the other hand usually stays in one place until it's extinguished entirely or goes out naturally on its own (if left alone).
Fire causes smoke as well as leaving behind soot and charred remains after being put out by firefighters, who have special equipment designed specifically for fighting fires like these! So whether or not there was any actual "smoke" involved during this disaster may not matter; if there were flames going on inside your walls somewhere then you're still looking at significant amounts of both types of residue left behind after everything has been cleaned up
Smoke and Fire Damage can be Mitigated Using Similar Methods
Smoke and fire damage can be mitigated using similar methods. Both require cleaning, deodorizing, and repairing to restore the home. There are some differences in how each material is treated, but the end goal is still the same: a clean, habitable space that looks like it did before the trauma occurred.
Although fire damage and smoke damage are both results of an unfortunate event, they are different issues that need to be mitigated in different ways. Smoke damage is a result of fire damage. In other words, smoke can only be present when there is fire. The smoke and the flames are two different issues, but they both need to be mitigated in order for you to get your home back to normal.
While it may seem like we’re splitting hairs here—and maybe we are!—the distinction between them has implications for how you repair your home after an unfortunate event has occurred. For example, if there was a fire in your kitchen, it will likely have caused destruction throughout the room (if not beyond). Although this might sound like an obvious point, it’s important because the scope of this destruction will likely mean that you need professional help with repairing or rebuilding certain parts of your house before moving forward with any cleaning efforts at all
In the end, it’s important to remember that both smoke damage and fire damage can be mitigated by contacting the right professionals. You should never try to handle these issues on your own or attempt DIY repairs. Instead, you should call in experts who have experience with these situations and know exactly what they are doing when it comes time to clean up after a fire or other disaster strikes!
How Can I Protect My Home From Mold?
Mold is a fungus that grows in damp, dark places.
How Can I Protect My Home From Mold?
Mold is a fungus that grows in damp, dark places. It can grow almost anywhere if there's moisture present, including inside the home. It typically starts as a small spot on an indoor surface—your bedding or clothes, for example—and then spreads as the spores develop and spread.
Mold can be found on almost any type of material or surface because it thrives in damp environments with little light and air circulation. Some common places you might find mold include:
- Bathrooms (bathtubs and showers)
Places Likely to Develop Mold
Mold is more likely to grow in areas that are warm and humid. However, mold can also grow on surfaces that are dry, as long as there is moisture in the air for it to condense on.
Some of these places include:
- Bathrooms: Shower curtains can collect mold if they're not cleaned regularly. A leaky toilet or sink can cause water damage and create a damp environment where mold thrives; it's not uncommon for this kind of damage to go unnoticed until you notice a musty smell coming from your bathroom.
- Damp basements: Basements should never be left unoccupied for extended periods of time without being adequately aired out (either by opening windows or running an exhaust fan). This is because basements tend to stay humid due to their location below ground level and proximity to moisture-holding soil and concrete walls—both of which can trap humidity even during summer months when air temperatures are higher outside than inside your house! You'll also want to keep any windows facing northward closed during winter months so they don’t get covered in snowdrifts—this will help prevent cold drafts from carrying off all those nasty allergens you’ve got stuck inside them all season long!
When mold is left untreated, it can cause damage to your home and be a fire hazard. In addition, the longer you allow mold to grow in your home, the more expensive it becomes to remove it.
Waterproof Your Walls
If you have an older home, it could be that the walls are not completely waterproof. You can purchase a sealant at your local hardware store or home improvement store and apply it to your baseboards and window frames to help prevent water damage. You should also make sure that any doors in the house are sealed properly as well (you may need to replace them if they're not). If you have a crawlspace under your house or garage, consider sealing this area too.
Finally, you can use a sealant on any visible areas of drywall since mold will often begin growing behind them before spreading throughout the rest of the wall cavity.
If you want to go above and beyond when considering how to protect yourself from mold from leaking pipes or roof damage due to hurricanes/tornadoes/etc., consider hiring an expert who specializes in waterproofing techniques for homes like yours!
Preventing Mold Growth
As you can see, mold is a common problem in homes. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to prevent mold from growing in your home or on its surfaces.
- Keep humidity levels low (around 30%) by using exhaust fans when cooking or taking showers, opening windows during humid months, and using dehumidifiers when necessary.
- Use ventilation systems to keep air circulating throughout the house. If you don't have a ventilation system, make sure your windows are open at least one inch per square foot of room size per day; this will help equalize temperature levels throughout the house more efficiently than just opening doors with no extra circulation (which may actually increase humidity).
- Repair leaky plumbing pipes as soon as they're discovered—leaky sinks, toilets, and faucets will all contribute to higher humidity levels if left unattended!
If you're not sure whether or not it's time to take action against mold, consider these signs: There are patches of black or green mold growing on walls or ceilings; You have found mold growing in places where there shouldn't be any moisture (like behind cabinets); The house smells musty or damp at times when it shouldn't (like after a rainstorm).
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, contact SERVPRO of Sri Cities West/Franklin County today. We will remediate the mold in your Franklin County home and get you back to normal quickly.
Signs of a Shower Leak and What to Do
If you have a leak in your shower, it could be caused by any number of things. Call SERVPRO of Tri Cities West/ SERVPRO of Franklyn County.
Signs of a Shower Leak and What to Do
You've just stepped out of a relaxing shower, and the water is still flowing. You think nothing of it—it's just extra water, right? But what if that extra flow could be an indication of a much bigger problem that leads to costly repair bills and even more frustration? Read on to learn how to detect leaks in your bathroom or basement before they get out of hand.
Inspecting a Drain and Shower Pan
The shower pan is the base of your shower. It's usually made of fiberglass, concrete, or plastic. The drain and valve are connected to it so that water drains away from your house when you use the shower. Shower pans can be damaged by water, mold, or rust.
To inspect for a leak, you should start by looking at the shower drain. If you notice water stains on the ceiling or walls in your bathroom, this is an indication that there may be a leak in your drain.
If you think something might be wrong with your shower pan, it's also important to check that area as well. You can find out if there are any leaks by using a pool tester—essentially a tube filled with black dye and chalk that detects moisture when placed against an object.
If you have a leak in your shower, it could be caused by any number of things: a cracked floor tile; corrosion on piping joints; or maybe even a burst pipe! If you suspect there's an issue with your plumbing system in your Franklin County home, call SERVPRO of Tri Cities West/Franklin County today!
Calling a Professional
If you're not sure whether or not you have a leak, don't be afraid to call a professional. Your first step should be to take your time and look around the room. Look for small puddles of water on the floor and feel along walls for dampness and mold growth. If this doesn't work, it's time to call in an expert.
There are many reasons why a professional damage restoration expert or plumber may be needed:
- if you can't find the leak
- if there is a leak coming from behind a wall
- if there is no visible evidence of where the leak is coming from
- if your attempts at fixing it yourself have failed (or are too difficult)
If you ignore the problem, it can lead to serious consequences. Water damage is one of the most common results of a leaky shower. The constant moisture can cause mold growth and insect infestation, as well as wood rot or rust on fixtures like pipes and faucets. If you notice any water damage around your house, it's important to get it addressed immediately so that it doesn't become an even bigger issue down the road!
Tips for Preventing Shower Leaks
To prevent leaks in your shower, you should:
- Perform regular maintenance on your shower pan. This includes checking for any cracks or chips in the tile and fixing any that are found.
- Make sure you have a drain cover designed to fit over your drain. A good choice would be a grated drain cover made out of stainless steel or fiberglass, which will help prevent clogs from hair and soap scum buildup while also allowing water to flow freely through the grate without damaging it or causing other problems with drainage flow rates and pressure levels when used as directed by manufacturer recommendations (i.e., keep at least 1” away from walls).
- Make sure that your drain is properly aligned. This will make sure it drains correctly, leading away from where water could leak into another part of your house.
Water Damage Can be Expensive
Water damage caused by a leak or malfunctioning drain or valve can be expensive to fix. If you ignore a leak, it can cause more damage than if you had fixed it right away. This is why it’s so important to know what to look for when inspecting your shower pan. Look at the floor around the base of your shower curtain rod. If there is any evidence that water has seeped through the subflooring and onto the carpet underneath, there may be a problem with your drain assembly or some other system in place below your shower pan.
The most important thing to remember is that your home is your castle. If there’s something wrong with it, you want to know about it before it becomes a serious problem. Don’t put off investigating any signs of water damage—it could lead to much more expensive repairs down the road!
What is Business Interruption Insurance and Should You Have It?
Business interruption insurance (BI) is a type of insurance that covers your business when it’s unable to operate due to a covered event.
What is Business Interruption Insurance and Should You Have It?
It doesn't matter how large or small your business is, you always want to be prepared for the worst-case scenario when it comes to a fire in your business. When it comes to fire damage in your business, there's no telling what kind of financial impact it will have on your bottom line. Before fire even breaks out, you should consider business interruption insurance.
Business Interruption Insurance Coverage
Business interruption insurance (BI) is a type of insurance that covers your business when it’s unable to operate due to a covered event. Business interruption coverage typically only applies after the initial phase of damage repair and may include:
- Losses that occur during the time period when the insured is not able to conduct business activities at their normal location because of fire, vandalism, or another insured peril that causes physical damage to premises;
- Losses resulting from loss of use, rental income, lost profits, and additional expenses incurred as a result of relocation for an extended period; and
- Costs associated with maintaining employees’ jobs during the temporary closure.
You Need Business Interruption Insurance
As a business owner, you are probably aware that your company has certain risks. You need to take precautions and make sure that you have coverage in case something goes wrong. Business interruption insurance is a policy that covers revenue loss due to fire, natural disasters, and other events that can damage your property or shut down operations for an extended period of time.
If you have fire damage on your property and your business location has been rendered unusable, this type of coverage will help pay expenses like temporary space rental until repairs are made at your original location or lost revenue if it becomes necessary to close permanently until repairs are made.
Fire damage is a terrible thing for any business owner. It can be hard to keep things going when all of your equipment and products have been destroyed. That’s why it’s important that you have business interruption insurance. With this kind of insurance, you can pay someone else to take care of your business while you recover from the loss caused by fire damage or other disasters. Whether it’s rebuilding or just getting back on track, having coverage will help ease some of the stress associated with these situations so that you can focus on what really matters: rebuilding your livelihood!
After Disaster, Call SERVPRO of Tri Cities West/Franklin County
Call SERVPRO of Tri Cities West/Franklin County for fire, water, or storm damage restoration in your business. We are the best choice for restoration work in your area, and we work with all major insurance carriers.
SERVPRO has been helping families and businesses handle the effects of fire, water, and storm damage for years, so you can trust that we'll be able to help you handle your claim from start to finish. Our experts have extensive experience working with a variety of claims, so no matter what kind of loss you've experienced, we will be able to handle it quickly and efficiently.
As soon as we get your call, we'll dispatch a team with specialized equipment and training to begin working on cleaning up your fire damage problems immediately. The sooner this happens after your incident, the less likely that there will be further damage or complications down the line (which could lead to additional costs).
4 Ways SERVPRO Helps With Claims
SERVPRO restoration specialists are available 24/7 to clean up after fire, water, mold and more.
4 Ways SERVPRO Can Assist With Claims
Experiencing a disaster at a Benton City, WA, business causes feelings of frustration and stress. Frustration is a common reaction because disasters hinder your normal workday. Stress is also a typical response to emergency situations because there is increased concern for the well-being of employees, as well as the need to work with insurance companies to handle claim services. Fortunately, there are four ways that an emergency response team assists business owners with claims to reduce these stresses.
1. Emergency Disaster Response
Fire, flooding and storms wreak havoc, and the longer the situation is left unattended, the more damage is done. SERVPRO offers a team of professionals with the training and skills to quickly attend to any situation. Restoration specialists are available 24/7 to clean up after fire, water, mold and more. A fast response to any disaster reduces damage by enabling businesses to restore items rather than replace them.
Another way that emergency specialists assist with claim services is by performing pretesting. Trained technicians inspect items before throwing them out, evaluating furniture and belongings to see if they can be restored.
3. Electronic Claims
Business owners and insurance adjusters are busy people, and disasters only add to their amount of work. Fortunately, SERVPRO has a claims information center that enables all parties to see claims electronically. Electronic job files contain important information such as loss info and photos, estimates, pending jobs and completed jobs.
4. Best Practices
Finally, insurance companies want to ensure that a restoration job is handled correctly. SERVPRO outperforms the competition by ensuring that all franchises meet the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration’s certification requirements. Insurance companies and business owners can rest assured that their cleanup and restoration project is done correctly.
Take advantage of the claim services offered by emergency response specialists. The amount of frustration and stress you experience can be decreased by utilizing their expertise.
Everything You Need To Know About Sump Pumps
Installing a sump pump can be a great way to prevent water damage in your home
If you live in an area where flooding is common, you've most likely heard of a sump pump, but you may not know what it is or if you need one. Here's everything you need to know about them, including what they are, who needs one, and pump maintenance.
What are They?
These pumps are used to prevent flooding. They are installed in a small hole in the floor on the lowest level of your house. When the hole starts to fill with water, it will turn on and begin pumping the water to a storm drain, well, or pond.
Who Needs One?
There are several reasons that installing a pump could be the right option for you:
- You live on a low-lying lot
- Your yard grading causes water to flow towards the house
- Your area experiences frequent flooding
- You have had flooding problems before
- You have a basement
- If your home in Finley, WA, fits into any of these categories, a sump pump could save you a lot of time and money.
- If you have recently experienced a flood, a storm damage restoration service can repair damages and tell you if a pump is a good option for your home.
How Do You Maintain a Pump?
You should always follow the pump maintenance directions provided by the manufacturer. You should also remove debris from the pit, vent, discharge pipe and intake screen regularly. It is especially important to make sure the float switch is clear, so it can turn on the pump when water is detected. You can check that your system is working properly by filling the pit with water and making sure it properly drains the water.
Installing a sump pump can be a great way to prevent water damage in your home, especially if your home is at a high risk of flooding or has had problems with it in the past. Once it is installed, proper pump maintenance will ensure that your system is working correctly so you're prepared in case of an emergency.
5 Inspection Points for Storm Preparedness
Flood damage in South Highlands, WA.
Operating a business in an area susceptible to storms means planning for the inevitable. In South Highlands, WA, businesses need to make storm preparedness part of their exterior maintenance schedule. Keep in mind each of these inspection points when judging your building's storm liability.
Loose Exterior Elements
During a storm, any loose elements outside of your building could become airborne. Not only could your business lose these, but they could become dangerous projectiles in a storm. Create a list of elements that need to be secured before a storm. Look for things like:
- Outdoor signs
- Exterior displays
- Landscaping features like bushes or trees
- Parking lot gravel
Know the Location of All Glass
All your windows will need to be secured for a storm, but don't forget about glass doors on your building. As you perform your building inspection, look for all outside facing glass. Then you can inspect the damage after a storm and point a professional restoration service where to go.
Don't Forget About Your Roof
During exterior maintenance, many businesses only consider what they can see from the ground. Don't forget about your roof and any vents, skylights, pipes, or other equipment that could be damaged during a storm.
Be Mindful Of Propane and Gas
If your business uses propane for manufacturing or power, make sure all of these elements are completely protected during a storm. Keeping your gas lines safe a secure is an important part of keeping your building maintained, especially during a storm.
Examine Areas at Risk of Flooding Cancel
Your building should be sloped to prevent most rainfall from damaging it. However, in extreme circumstances, places that normally do not flood may. Be prepared and examine your building's walls and thresholds. Exterior maintenance should keep sandbags around in case of storm flooding.
The best way to prepare your building for a storm is to integrate preventative measures into normal exterior maintenance. Preparedness is your business's best tool for fighting storm damage.
3 Ways a Winter Storm Can Damage Your Commercial Property
SERVPRO is ready for when crazy storms come through causing damage to your property. Call us!
Three Ways A Winter Storm Can Destroy Your Commercial Property
Residents of Finley, WA, know of the dangers a winter storm can bring for their property. A storm that lowers temperatures to below-freezing corrodes building materials. You can prevent irreparable damage by:
- Replacing your building's roof every 20-30 years
- Updating appliances
- Insulating your building's plumbing system
Damage from a storm can catch property owners off guard, especially if they are new to owning a commercial building. Here are some of the most common damages inclement weather can do to a building.
1. Plumbing Issues
A common cause of burst pipes is freezing temperatures from bad weather conditions. Lowered temperatures cause water to freeze inside of pipes. The frozen water then increases the pressure inside of your building's plumbing system. Pipes can burst under the pressure of the water. The resulting water damage can be devastating for property owners. If you have experienced a pipe break in your building, stop the flow of water immediately to prevent water damage.
2. Roof Collapse
Roofs are engineered to carry at least 20 pounds per square foot. When a winter storm hits, the snow can pack on top of your roof adding extra weight. An older roof can cave in under the stress of packed snow. Ice dams are another common cause of roof collapse. Insurance companies will often cover a replacement roof if you have experienced this type of storm damage.
3. House Fires
Property owners crank up the heat during inclement weather by using furnaces and gas heaters. This increases the risk of a fire, especially if the appliances are outdated. The stress of added heat can cause the old appliances to catch fire, causing severe damage to a building. To prevent a fire, keep your heating and electrical systems updated before a storm hits.
Damage from a winter storm means costly repairs for your property. Prevent overspending on repairs by keeping your property well maintained and updated. If you have experienced damage from inclement weather, contact a storm damage restoration service to help you clean and restore your property.