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What To Do When a Toilet Overflows During a Shower

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

 Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe If you have water damage in your home, you can count on SERVPRO, we offer our cleanup and restoration services around the clock, 7 days a week

When A Toilet Overflows During A Shower, What Should You Do?

A toilet overflow that occurs during a shower is a clear sign of a clogged pipe. If you own a toilet snake, you may be able to clear the clog. Otherwise, it will be necessary to call a plumber. Use the following sewage cleaning methods to clear clogs that form between the toilet and sewer.

1. Snake the Toilet

Use an auger or snake designed for use in toilets. Models are available with hand cranks or adapters that fit a power drill. Depending on the severity of the clog, you may want to run the snake through the toilet or remove the toilet and insert the snake directly into the floor drain.

2. Clear the Drain Cleanout

If snaking does not work, try clearing the clogged pipe at the drain cleanout. This cap on the main drain is located in the basement or crawlspace of a home. Use a long pipe wrench to remove the cap. Keep in mind that sewage cleaning may be necessary if the backup flows out of the uncapped cleanout. Run the snake through the cleanout opening.

3. Call a Plumber

If snaking the toilet, floor drain, or drain cleanout does not clear a clog, it will be necessary to call a plumber. Professionals have tools that can reach further than consumer-grade snakes and can also help with issues such as a sewer line that has become blocked by tree roots or that has collapsed.

The best way to test whether each measure is working is to run the shower and see if another toilet overflow occurs. If you are not sure how to use a snake, you may want to call a professional as soon as you notice the toilet overflowing during a shower. If your residence sustains sewage damage, you should also call a sewage cleaning and water damage restoration service in Kennewick, WA.

Nonstop Flushing: Solving the Flushometer Toilet Enigma

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

 Plumber unclogging a toilet with manual auger To avoid overflow or a possible toilet flood, you should first shut off the water to the affected toilet.

Nonstop Flushing: The Mystery of the Flushometer Toilet

A flushometer is a device found on most commercial toilets. While it works well, it does occasionally get clogged, leading to water continually flowing into a toilet and causing nonstop flushing. When this happens, property owners may grow concerned about toilet overflow or flooding. Thankfully, for manual flushometers, there can be an easy fix to this problem.

1. Shut Off the Water

To avoid overflow or a possible toilet flood, you should first shut off the water to the affected toilet. There should be a flathead screwdriver slot on either the left or right side of your flushometer. Turn the screwdriver to shut off the water supply. On some models, the groove may be hidden under a cover.

2. Remove Flushometer Lid and Flange Cover

Once you have eliminated the worry of toilet overflow by turning off the supply, you can remove the flushometer lid followed by the flange cover. To do this, you will need a wrench. You do not need to remove the top nut, only loosen it. The lid and flange cover should screw off easily. However, be aware that water may spill out when removing the cap.

3. Remove the Gasket and Clean

To stop a toilet from continually flushing, you must resolve the main issue, which is likely a dirty gasket. Once the cover is removed, you will see the gasket, likely with a lot of built-up sediment. Remove the gasket and clean it thoroughly, remembering to clear any debris from the weep hole.

4. Return Elements and Test the Fix

Once everything is clean, replace all the parts and turn the water back on. Hopefully, the cleaning worked, and your toilet stopped flushing. If not, you may want to contact a plumbing specialist in the Richland, WA, area to take a look.

A continually running and flushing toilet can lead to toilet overflow, so it is vital to resolve the issue quickly. Try the steps above to clean the gasket, but if that doesn’t work, then shut off the water supply and call in a professional.

Two Simple Chores That Can Prevent Fires

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

A house damaged by fire This was the aftermath of the Living Room area of a home that had a fire near the Living Room/Kitchen

Two Simple Tasks That Can Help You Avoid Fires

Learning about common sources of house fires can arm you with a little knowledge that can lead to a little change, and that change can lead to a big impact. Clothes dryers, for example, are one such common origin for many residential fires - about 2,900 per year according to the National Fire Protection Association. Learn how to reduce the chance of a dryer fire in your home in Finley, WA, with simple steps you can do yourself:

  1. Clean the lint trap with every use. Clear the lint screen every time you start a load of clothing. This is an important, routine step that removes the source of tinder and keeps the vent clear from blockages. This is critical to reducing your chance of a lint fire. Never operate your dryer without a screen.

  2. Do a deep lint removal once per year. The lint screen is the first line of defense, but the frequent use of your machine will certainly cause lint to accumulate in the vent pipe. It’s critical to do a deep cleaning of that pipe once a year.

Deep Cleaning Details

Deep lint removal is critical to preventing a lint fire, and it’s really easy to do. Just remove the screen and brush out the entrance of the vent pipe. Next, unplug your dryer and vacuum any visible lint from the backside. Disconnect your exhaust hose and clear it by snaking it, or take it outside to blow out dust with a shop vac or simply shake it out. Lastly, clear lint from the outside vent flap. Make sure air can flow freely in the hose by laying it out, so it is not kinked when you reconnect it.


Cleaning your dryer is one of those small things that can make a big impact. If a lint fire causes damage to your home, it can be helpful to have a fire damage assessment done by a professional recovery company. Unlike general contractors, they specialize in damage recovery from major incidents like fires, floods and other major events.

Do I Have To Worry About Flood Damage If I'm a Tenant?

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

A home flooded While not legally required to, landlords are also urged to let renters know about the potential for flooding in the area.

Do I Have To Be Concerned About Flood Damage As A Tenant?

Mitigating the risk of home flooding can be nerve wracking, and doing so in a landlord/tenant scenario brings its own set of unique worries. Both renter and tenant may wonder about practical things like who handles flood cleanup or whether renter’s insurance covers flood damage. Be prepared by understanding the responsibilities of renters and tenants in Kennewick, WA.

Landlord’s Responsibilities

Unfortunately for tenants, landlords are not responsible for insuring their tenants. It’s for this reason that so many rental properties insist on tenants obtaining a renter’s insurance policy to cover their belongings. The good news is that such policies are cheap and plentiful. In general, the landlord’s responsibilities when it comes to flood damage extend to:

  • The building structure itself as well as flooring, wiring, plumbing, and appliances
  • Repairs required to make a space legally habitable

While not legally required to, landlords are also urged to let renters know about the potential for flooding in the area. Doing so can shield landlords from liability suits.

Tenants' Responsibilities

Tenants have limited responsibility in the face of flood damage to a rental house or apartment. That responsibility generally extends only to the things that are inside a unit. Personal items are typically addressed by tenant insurance coverage, as is the cost of temporary relocation and normal living expenses if the building is unlivable.

With that said, flood insurance policies are indeed available to renters. Tenants can buy a policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to cover contents up to $100,000. Like standard tenant insurance, this type of policy covers personal property and contents during a flood.

The decision to purchase flood insurance is up to the individual renter. In most cases, renter’s insurance is enough, but flood insurance can put your mind at ease. Use the above to inform your decision, or contact a local expert in flood damage cleanup to help you choose.

Grill Safety: Avoiding Fires

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Grilling salmon on a gas burning grill on the backyard patio. Clean your barbeque on a regular basis to lessen your chances of starting such a fire.

Grill Safety: How to Avoid Fires

If you are a grilling enthusiast, the risk of starting a grill fire may have crossed your mind once or twice. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure better security while barbequing outside in Richland, WA. You just need to learn what those steps are. Here are 3 safety tips to keep in mind when cooking with your propane or charcoal grill.

1. Grill Placement Is Important

Never place your grill too close to your house. Keeping it away from hanging branches, rails and eaves is also a very good idea. The main thing to remember is that you want to keep as many flammable objects and surfaces as far away from the grill as possible to avoid a far-reaching barbeque fire that could cause extensive damage.

2. Clean Your Grill

Grill fires sometimes start because grease and other types of buildup have been left to sit on the grill’s trays and surface. Clean your barbeque on a regular basis to lessen your chances of starting such a fire. You will likely be pleased to have a cleaner piece of equipment, as well.

3. Stay by the Grill

A lit barbeque should never be left unattended. Stay very close to it during the entire time that you are cooking. You also need to make sure that no children or animals come near it at any time, as they will be unable to prevent an incident and may even cause one. Any time you are not watching your grill, a fire and subsequent smoke damage can occur.

Now that you have some ideas about how you can keep your home and family safer while grilling, you can cook some barbeque favorites with an easier mind. A grill fire is not fun, but taking the right precautions allows you to avoid many disastrous accidents outside of your Richland, WA, home.

My Toilet Leaks Every Time It Is Flushed

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet If you have problems with a leak in your house, call SERVPRO. We are specialists ready to help you with any water damage in your home.

Every Time I Flush My Toilet, It Leaks.

Nobody wants a leaking toilet. The biggest problem is that the leaks can be difficult to find. However, if a toilet leaks when flushed, that narrows the possibilities considerably. There are three toilet components that need to be examined on a toilet that leaks when flushed. They are the:

  • Flange that is attached to the drain.
  • Closet bolts that secure the toilet to the floor.
  • Wax ring that seals the connection between the toilet and the flange.

Try the Simplest Fix First

For the wax ring to do its job, it needs to be tightly compressed between the toilet and the flange. This compression is delivered by the closet bolts that attach the toilet to the floor. If these bolts are loose, water can leak around the wax ring when the toilet is flushing. You can tighten the bolts as follows.

1. Remove the caps covering the bolts.

2. Tighten the first bolt a little and rotate through the rest of the bolts doing the same. Repeat the process until all the bolts are snug. Do not overtighten the bolts or you may crack the toilet’s base.

3. Place the caps back on the bolts.

The Next Step Requires Removing The Toilet

If tightening the closet bolts didn’t stop your leaking toilet, the next step is to remove the toilet and examine the wax seal, the flange and the toilet. You are looking for:

  • A broken Flange.
  • Toilet damage where it meets the flange.
  • A dry or damaged wax ring

If the toilet and flange seem undamaged, replace the old wax ring and reattach the toilet to the floor. Hopefully, the new wax ring eliminates the leak.

Leaks You Don’t See

The only thing worse than a leaking toilet is a toilet where the leak is out of sight. By the time such a bathroom leak is discovered, the damage can be significant. That’s when you call in water and sewer cleanup specialists located in the Finley, WA, area.

4 Ways To Bolster Your Business Against Flood Damage

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

A specialist is removing a flood in a business SERVPRO is always ready to respond to any flood damage in your business.

4 Ways To Protect Your Business From Flood Damage

Even if you’ve never dealt with the issue personally before, you know that flooding is no joke, especially when it involves a business like yours. While being aware of the intensity of flood damage is important, it’s critical to take some precautions within your business in Kennewick, WA, to mitigate damage to your property if the issue ever does occur. Some effective steps include:

  • Contracting a team of professionals ahead of time for faster responses during emergencies
  • Backing up tech and databases
  • Investing in the right insurance policies
  • Preparing for damagesç

1. Seeking Professional Help

Regardless of how well you prepare your business, you’re still likely to see some sort of damage if the flood is bad enough, especially if you’re dealing with a threat like black water. Having a chosen team of professionals contracted and on hand means you’ll get faster response times during floods, meaning you’ll receive better damage mitigation thanks to more timely efforts.

2. Uploading Information to the Cloud

Not only do you run the risk of losing computers and other tech during floods, but also the important records and data that they hold. Take the time to back up your data on discs or to a cloud service so you have one less thing to worry about when and if flooding occurs within your business.

3. Adding Extra Insurance Coverage

Of course, having the right insurance can go a tremendous way towards recovering your business after flood damage has occurred. However, you may also want to check into adding business interruption insurance to your policy in order to have the best security possible during renovations.

4. Taking Preventative Measures

Prevention is often the best medicine, and the same can be said for keeping flood waters out of your business. Upgrade your weather stripping, have professional plumbers inspect your waterworks annually and take a few other steps to decrease the likelihood of flooding occurring in the first place. Dealing with floods is never simple, but following these 4 steps can help to mitigate the damage and make the cleanup process easier and less stressful.

How To Handle a Flood in the Basement

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

A flooded basement SERVPRO can help you to handle any flood damage in your home.

How To Handle A Basement Flood

There are many factors that can contribute to the flooding of your home’s basement. While there are some things you can do to lower your risk of damages, at some point in the life of your house in Richland, WA, the presence of unwanted water in your basement is almost inevitable. When it happens, experienced water restoration specialists can help get it dry and functional again.

Causes of Water in the Basement

No matter how vigilant you are to waterproof your basement, you may still find the occasional puddle or even standing water on the floor. Excess water can have myriad causes:

  • Rising water table after a heavy rain
  • Cracks in the foundation that allow groundwater to seep in
  • Intense runoff from gutters and downspouts
  • Broken or leaking pipes
  • Overflow from appliances
  • Malfunction of sump pump or flood control devices

The first thing restoration technicians will want to do is find the cause of the flooding. They may have to perform pipe repair or some other task to keep the water from entering. Once they have taken care of the source, they can begin the repairs.

Dealing with Damage

When you experience a basement flood in Richland, WA, it is important to take the advice of the professionals you hire. Once they have removed the excess water and repaired or replaced the flooring and walls affected by it, they can finish with the drying process. These technicians can also be rich sources of information on how to control the humidity level in your basement so you can avoid mildew or mold problems.

While flooding in your basement is likely to occur at some point, do not let the threat of floods stop you from maximizing the space. As long as you keep a watchful eye on it and call experienced professionals when you need water restoration services, you can enjoy your basement for years to come.

3 Ways To Prevent Mold From Growing Inside Your Home

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

A specialist removing mold from of a room For any mold growth in your home, SERVPRO is always ready to respond.

3 Ways To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Home

Protecting your Finley, WA, home from mold can prevent costly repairs and the time it takes to treat it. While mold spores are naturally present in the air, they can multiply during times of high humidity or after a residence suffers water damage. However, there are ways you can prevent mold from taking hold inside your home, whether you are dealing with the aftermath of flood damage or simply want to protect your home from unwelcome fungi.

1. Maintain Your Plumbing System

Leaky pipes under sinks, old toilets and corroded plumbing in your basement or attic can all cause conditions ripe for mold growth. Leaky pipes and appliances can keep surfaces constantly moist, and since mold spores are attracted to moisture, this can cause them to latch on and multiply. Maintaining your plumbing and having a flood cleanup and restoration company come in to find trouble spots if water damage occurs can keep your home free of the moisture that attracts mold spores.

2. Use an Air Filter

One way to practice mold prevention in your home is to invest in an air filtration unit that captures mold spores. Consider using one with a HEPA filter and carbon cartridge to keep your home's air safe and fresh. There are many different models available, and some include a programmable system that allows the unit to run without daily adjustments.

3. Maintain From the Outside In

Keeping your property free of pooling or stagnant water and maintaining your home's drainage system can prevent water from seeping into your basement, where mold is commonly found. Mold spores do not need sunlight to grow and can thrive in dark, moist environments, so keeping your basement dry and ensuring moisture drains away from your home can control mold growth.

While mold occurs naturally, keeping it from encroaching on your Finley, WA, home can prevent costly treatments and the spread of different species of fungi. Maintaining your plumbing and drainage systems and cleaning up water damage quickly are the best ways to keep it at bay.

The Water Damage You Can’t See

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Floor with mud, mud covering items of a home. Storm damage in Prosser, WA.

Water Damage That Isn't Visible

Living through a catastrophic storm of any kind in Prosser, WA can be devastating. In addition to the disruption of daily life, your home may also suffer physical damage that requires extensive repair. High winds, torrential rain, and infrastructure damage can easily leave you in the midst of a flood.

When you think of the water damage from flooding, you may envision waterlogged carpets and furnishings, structural damage, and ruined documents or keepsakes. However, the damage from contaminated water under these conditions can be far more dangerous and harder to fix.

What Is Contaminated Water?

Any floodwaters that include raw sewage are considered black water. They can carry a variety of potentially dangerous pathogens, including salmonella, E. coli, hepatitis, and rotavirus. These and other contaminants can cause serious diseases including the following:

  • Gastroenteritis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Shigellosis
  • Giardiasis

This kind of contamination can occur as a result of runoff from waterways or backed-up sewer drains or systems. People and pets can be infected by contact with contaminated water, by surfaces that have been saturated, or even by breathing in microbes that are present in the environment where this kind of water damage has happened. Most professionals suggest that you treat any residential flooding, particularly in urban and suburban areas, as if this sort of damage has occurred.

What Should You Do?

It’s important to take action as soon as possible since even clean water left standing can become gray or black. It’s important to call a restoration professional as soon as possible; do not try to clean up on your own. Without proper cleaning, microbes may linger in the air and in dust, leaving you at risk of illness. Professional restoration experts in Prosser, WA, can assess the damage, test for pathogens, and create an action plan. They have the tools and equipment needed to safely extract the water, thoroughly dry out and clean up your property, and repair the water damage left behind.

If your home is affected by a flood, call in the professionals quickly. Doing so can prevent further damage.