Prevent Flooding Caused by Frozen Pipes
Frigid winter months can bring significant problems to commercial buildings in Wichita, KS from ice dams that cause roof leaks to burst pipes. As water freezes, it expands, putting pressure on its container. This container, whether plastic or metal, may not be able to hold it. When the container is a pipe, it may burst, causing standing water and damage to the surrounding area. However, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of a burst pipe.
Why Pipes Burst
Although the most basic explanation for pipes freezing is cold weather, it’s not quite that simple. There are other contributing factors, which can include:
• They have inadequate or no insulation.
• They are in cold or exposed areas in or around the building.
• There is water sitting in the pipes instead of circulating through them.
When Pipes Freeze
Depending on the building and usage, frozen pipes may be a minor inconvenience or a catastrophic event. The consequences a burst pipe can include:
• No access to water or use of drainage pipes
• Irrevocable pipe damage, which requires that the pipes are repaired before they can be used
• Water damage that may be limited to drips or result in flooding areas of the building
How To Prevent Pipe Bursts
Taking some time during the warmer months can help prevent a frozen pipe during the winter season.
• Insulate exterior pipes and those located in unheated areas, such as basements or crawl spaces.
• Let water drip, allowing it to run and prevent pressure from building, which can cause a burst pipe.
• Check shutoff valves and levers, ensuring they are in good working condition.
• Keep heat and water on in areas of the building that are not in use.
If a water event does occur, water restoration professionals in Wichita, KS restore your premises to its former condition, “Like it never even happened.” allowing you get on with business as usual. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on commercial storm damage.
How Much Damage Can Sewage Cause?
A sewage leak can quickly cause serious secondary damage. A leak in an environment with high humidity creates conditions ideal for the growth of black mold. Determine the type of water involved and the extent of the leak, and then take steps to address the issue as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours.
There are several categories of water involved in leaks:
1. Category one water is clean and poses the least risk as long as a leak is quickly dried.
2. Category two water or gray water includes toilet overflow that only contains urine or water from appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. This water may contain bacteria and viruses.
3. Category three water or black water is contaminated with fecal matter that contains microbes and other dangerous substances. A large black water leak will probably require expert damage restoration services.
Once you determine the type of water involved in a leak and the extent of the damage, you can determine whether you want to dry, clean, and disinfect the area yourself or call in damage restoration experts. Sewage leaks may cause several major types of damage:
• Water damage: Sewage involves the leaking of contaminated water, which compounds the effects of ordinary water damage.
• Mold risk: The longer sewage sits around after a leak, the more damage will be sustained and the higher the risk of black mold growth.
• Staining: Sewage tends to be dark colored and can stain flooring, furniture, and other items. Reduce or eliminate staining with steam cleaners and professional wet-dry vacuums.
• Lingering odor: If sewage is allowed to sit for a prolonged period, the smell may stay even after cleanup efforts are over. Air circulation and industrial air scrubbers can help to restore the affected area to a safe and comfortable condition.
To prevent potentially serious secondary damage such as black mold in the wake of a sewage leak, you should immediately clean and dry the affected area and prevent high humidity. If you are dealing with a serious sewage leak, you may need to contact damage restoration experts in Topeka, KS. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on water damage.
How To Clean Your Chimney and Avoid Chimney Fires
If you have a chimney in your Wichita, AL home, it’s imperative to keep it clean and in good working order if you want to reduce the risk of chimney fire and keep your family safe. Here are a few steps you can follow to clean your chimney and avoid thick black smoke and chimney fires.
1. Determine If You Can Clean It Yourself
Before you can effectively clean your chimney, you need to make sure you have the ability to do the job yourself. One easy way to tell if it’s an appropriate DIY project or if you should hire professionals is by checking to see if you can reach all parts of the chimney either from inside your home or from your roof. Creosote buildup causes fire damage, so you need to be able to remove it from every part of your chimney.
If you can reach the smoke chamber from inside your home and have the tools necessary to clean the flue efficiently, you may be able to clean your chimney yourself. If you have any trouble reaching all areas of the chimney, it’s wise to hire a professional. If the flue isn’t cleaned properly, the risk of a chimney fire goes up.
2. Minimize Mess
Cleaning a fireplace is messy business. To keep your carpets and furniture protected, put a canvas tarp or plastic paint sheet on the floor around your fireplace.
3. Brush the Flue
Use a large chimney brush to thoroughly clean the flue. Simply ram the brush into the flu and pump it up and down several times, working in small sections.
Take Care of Your Chimney
If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning your own chimney, there’s no shame in hiring professionals to do it for you. That way you’ll have greater confidence that your risk of chimney fire is severely reduced. If you’ve already had smoke damage due to burning fires in an unclean chimney, call professional smoke and fire restoration services. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.
The ABCs of Fire Escape Planning
Should your Wichita, AL home fall victim to a fire, the best response is a good emergency escape plan. Luckily fire safety is easy as long as you think smart, prepare in advance, and follow a few simple rules to ensure you stay cool no matter how high the flames reach.
A.) Always know where your exits are. The first and best course of action when you detect any fire in your home is to get out quickly before smoke and heat can overwhelm you. Make sure to plan an escape route from various locations in the house, and memorize where your safest, most convenient exits and alternatives are from all points.
B.) Be prepared in advance. There are many steps you can take to prepare before a fire ever occurs, not just for yourself, but also for children and pets. Ensure that your home is properly protected with smoke alarms, and test the batteries frequently. Periodically check your sprinklers and fire extinguishers for functionality. Keep all your important personal documents in a locking fireproof safe. Drill children on what to do in the event of a fire. Always have pet supplies such as leashes and carriers close at hand in strategic areas of the house so you can quickly escort your pets from burning areas.
C.) Call 911. In the event of a fire in your home, your safest option is to let trained professionals handle the blaze. The moment you have exited to safety, call 911 to request emergency and fire services to contain and douse the flames.
By following these steps and creating an effective fire escape plan, you can easily prevent further safety issues or damage in the event of a fire. While you may still have to deal with some home cleanup, you and your loved ones will be safe and grateful that you planned in advance.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
From Winter to Ice Dams to Mold Infestations
It’s a well-known fact that mold and water damage go hand in hand. Leaking pipes and trapped humidity contribute to the growth of black mold. In the winter months of Wichita, AL ice dams routinely form along rooftops exposing structures to water and mold damage.
Formation of Ice Dams
An ice dam is a block of ice on a roof that prevents water from draining correctly. These occur regularly after cold storms. The process involves the following:
• Low temperatures, rain, and snow cause ice to freeze to the roof.
• Residents use heating to stay warm and comfortable inside.
• That heat rises to the roof, melting the bottom of the ice.
• The ice on top traps water next to the roof’s shingles.
• Moisture trickles down between small cracks in the roofing material.
Older buildings with worn out roofs are more susceptible to this problem. Trapped water along the wooden eves contributes to rot and mold growth.
Rapid Mold Growth
Molds are microscopic fungi that clump together in groups. The spores float on air currents, and they land everywhere. The wood in the beams of a structure and the cellulose in the drywall provide plenty of food for molds. With enough water, mold colonies expand within 24 hours of taking root.
In some instances, a small mold colony already exists along the roof of a house. When ice traps water and moisture in the wood, the growth of a new colony is aggressive. Molds destroy the structural integrity of the host materials they rest on and lead to expensive repairs.
Inspection and Prevention
You can reduce the risk of damage by removing an ice dam when it forms. Install heaters on the roof to completely melt the ice away, or knock blocks of ice away with a specially designed tool.
If the damage is present already, a mold remediation expert can identify the extent of the contamination and help you with the mold cleanup and repairs. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on mold.
The Importance of Deodorizing Your Home After a Flood
After your Wichita, KS home suffers damage from a flood, there is much to consider when it comes to cleanup efforts. From preventing mold growth to salvaging furniture and other belongings, it may take quite an effort to get your house back to normal. However, one important step that you do not want to overlook is having your home deodorized by a professional home restoration company. Without this vital detail, the memories of the flood may linger in unpleasant ways.
Mold and Mildew Odors
After a flood, mold growth may occur where you cannot see it. This can be especially problematic if the area is prone to remaining damp or moist, such as under a cupboard or deep in the corner of a closet. Not only does mold grow quickly when it finds the right environment, it carries a musty, dirty odor that can permeate your home. Having a home restoration company find the mold and deodorize the areas where it was growing can eliminate this smell for good.
Dirty Flood Waters
During a heavy or torrential flood, your city might suffer sewage loss, which can cause water from sewer drains to mix with flood water. This mixture is known as black water and can include such toxins as
• Toilet cleanser chemicals
Even after black water is cleared away from your home, it can leave an unpleasant sewer-like smell behind. Professional deodorizing can neutralize this odor in ways that household cleansers may not be able to.
Items that are salvaged from a flood can be cleaned, but unless they are properly sanitized and deodorized, they may always carry a wet or musty smell. Since this smell can pervade a room quickly, having furniture and other items deodorized before they are retuned inside can prevent persistent odors from lingering.
Your Wichita, KS home can suffer from mold growth and the persistent musty odors that often remain after a flood. However, having your home professionally deodorized by a home restoration company can eliminate these smells and leave nothing behind but a clean, fresh scent that helps the whole family breathe easy.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on storm damage.
3 Easy Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes can lead to a lot of damage around the house. Not only will you be unable to get water through certain faucets, but the pipe can burst entirely, causing a flood. You need to seek out water line repair in Wichita, KS as soon as you notice your water system not working the way it should. However, one option better than that is to simply prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place.
1. Keep the Heat Running
Homeowners may be hesitant to leave the heat running all day long even if people are going to be gone, but the slight increase in the power bill is well worth it to prevent frozen pipes. Bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage, especially if the water floods a room with a lot of valuables. A house does not have to be kept at a particularly high temperature. As long as a home’s interior is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be fine.
2. Prop Open Interior Doors
If you are going to run the heat all day, you want to be certain you are getting the most out of it. Leave all the interior doors open so that heat can flow easily from one room to the next. This includes cupboards in the bathrooms and kitchen.
3. Let Faucets Drip
The main cause of frozen pipes is a buildup of pressure in the system. Homeowners in Wichita, KS can relieve some of this pressure by letting faucets drip throughout the day. You should ordinarily address dripping like this as soon as you can, because it can increase water bills. Similarly to keeping the heat running, the small increase is well worth it to prevent more catastrophic damage. In the event your home does develop a burst pipe, then you’ll need to contact a professional service to repair the pipes and dry the affected room. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on water damage.
Understanding Category 2 Water Damage
If you need water pipe repair, you might hear the cleanup crew talking about the category classification of your damage. That categorization is important, because it lets you know the level of risk involved in exposure to the water. When you are dealing with Category 2 water damage from a broken pipe, it’s important to understand what that means, so you can be safe around the flooded area.
Category 2 Water Criteria
Water that has come into a building is classified in this category if it meets the following criteria:
• The water is from a clean source like a supply line or broken pipe needing water pipe repair.
• Biological or chemical contamination makes the water likely to irritate human tissue.
• Health complications are unlikely to be serious beyond irritation and minor discomfort.
Typically, Category 2 water starts as Category 1 water and then becomes contaminated due to exposure to building materials, sources of biological contamination, and so forth. Over time, it is possible for Category 2 water to degrade further.
Understanding Category 2 Water Cleanup
Since there are health risks involved in cleaning up Category 2 water, it’s important to understand what to do after a broken pipe has caused water to mix with potentially harmful materials.
1. Turn off the water main. This is a vital first step.
2. Contact a damage restoration company in Wichita, KS with Category 2 cleanup certification.
3. Secure the area to prevent exposure.
4. Make sure water pipe repair is handled as quickly as possible.
Avoiding the flooded area is going to be important, especially if there are small children or people with health vulnerabilities to skin irritants and other problems that could be exacerbated by irritants. After certified cleanup professionals in Wichita, KS finish with the area, it will be safe to re-enter, but until that time, it’s important to keep the area clear.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on commercial water damage.
What Needs To Be Thrown Away After a House Fire?
What Needs To Be Thrown Away After a House Fire?
Few things can wreak havoc on your home like a fire. If your home in Wichita, KS has been devastated by smoke or flames, it can be difficult to know what is safe to keep and what you’ll need to throw away. Here are some tips to help get you started.
Watch for Things Damaged by High Heat
Even items not ruined by flames can be rendered unusable and even dangerous by the high heat of the fire. Food products in cans, bottles or packages can be unhealthy to consume after a fire. The high temperatures can not only affect the ingredients of the food but also the pressure levels inside the containers. Opening pressurized containers can result in small explosions and may physically harm you. Other items may cause injury although they appear fine:
Take Special Precautions With Anything Electrical
Both large and small electrical appliances can be affected by a house fire and you may need to throw away more than a few. Anything with a power cord can sustain wire damage from heat and flames. Connecting an appliance to a power source or turning on appliances already plugged in can cause damaged wires to flare up and electrocute you or burst into flames. These are some items to pay special attention to:
Look for Warped Furniture
Heat can warp and damage both wood and metal, making seemingly unaffected furniture items structurally unsound. Test any load-bearing furniture to make sure it is stable before setting anything on it. Items like the following can collapse or buckle under only a small amount of weight if they have been warped:
Couches and chairs
Fire damage to your home in Wichita, Kansas is never easy to deal with, and it can be physically and emotionally draining. Although it might be tempting to try to salvage everything you can, sometimes it is safer to err on the side of caution and follow the advice of fire restoration experts when deciding what you need to throw away. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.
5 Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires
5 Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires
It may not come as a surprise to learn that the kitchen is the most likely starting point of a home fire. While a grease fire is something many people worry about in Wichita, Kansas there are numerous potential causes of disaster. Fire damage can result from lack of attention, poor preparation or honest, everyday mistakes. Here are five tips to keep your food-preparation area safer.
1. Where There’s Smoke…
There’s a reason firefighters and fire recovery professionals constantly discuss the importance of smoke detectors, and that’s because they save lives. Make sure you have an alarm installed near the kitchen; check and replace batteries as recommended by the manufacturer.
2. Wear It Right
It’s easy to forget how dangerous cooking can be, but exposed flames and hot surfaces can cause major problems. For this reason, it’s important keep clothes and other such items in mind:
Don’t wear loose, long sleeves or other clothing that could come into contact with heat sources.
Ensure curtains won’t interfere with cooking surfaces, even with windows open.
Store potholders, aprons and other cloth items safely away from heat-generating appliances.
3. Wash Regularly
Keeping your cooking surfaces clean is more important than you might think. Greasy buildup is a potential fire risk, so make sure to clean thoroughly and on a routine basis.
4. Watch the Clock
The simplest tips are the most important ones to remember: use timers, monitor heated appliances properly and always double-check to ensure that everything’s turned off before going to sleep at night.
5. Work-Area Control
You never want too many cooks in the kitchen, nor do you want rambunctious youngsters running around near sources of heat. Establish a three-foot space around any cooking area, and make sure kids stay clear.
Preventing fire damage in Wichita, KS is largely about planning, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Mitigate your risk of a grease fire or other such disaster by following these handy tips when it’s time to prepare your food-prep area. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.