What's down in the basement?
Our crew was at a new water loss in Mackay, ID. The owners were gone for two months. They came home to find their flooring was severely buckled and there was standing water in the basement.
The loss was from a water line that was going to the kitchen sink that had frozen and then broke. Our crew had to pack out all of the contents before they were able to start the demolition process.
According to www.consumerreports.com they have a few ideas to possibly help avoid a freezing pipe.
Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, especially if your sinks are on an exterior wall. (If you have small children, be sure to remove any harmful cleaners and household chemicals.)
Let the cold-water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during day and night. Again, during a cold snap is not the time to set back the thermostat at night to save a few bucks on your heating bill.
If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
For the long term, add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in those areas and prevent drafts, seal cracks and openings around windows, doors, and at sill plates, where the house rests on its foundation.
If you have a fire, water, mold, or asbestos disaster give us a call today at (208) 523-5365.
A storm is comming
Winter storms whether it be snow, hail or rain can cause substantial damage to your home. There are plenty of checklists online you can search for to make sure parts of your home weren’t damaged during a storm.
On www.propertycasualty360.com they list seven different areas they feel are important to check over.
- The roof
Ice dams and winter storms can do a lot of damage to your roof.
An ice dam occurs when snow on the roof melts, runs to the edge and refreezes there, forcing water back up under the roof where it can cause leaks and shingles deterioration.
At the same time, high winds, hail and winter storms can tear off shingles or drive moisture beneath them, causing further damage.
Ice dams can do damage not only to your roof, but to gutters as well.
That’s because the heavy ice building up on the edge can pull gutters away from the roofline.
At the same time, water freezing inside the gutters and downspouts themselves can lead to separations in some areas, which means that they’ll need to be replaced.
- House exterior
Cold, snow and hailstones can also take a toll on the outside of a house.
This can result in peeling paint, which if left long enough, could mean that your siding can become susceptible to moisture infiltrating it, which in turn can lead to wood rot and future repairs.
Repainting your exterior in the spring can help prevent these problems.
If the paint has peeled enough on the siding of the house, moisture can begin to infiltrate, causing the wood to begin rotting.
In addition, hail stones or fallen tree limbs can damage siding, whether denting aluminum siding or cracking vinyl. Because the siding is a home’s first line of defense against the elements, it needs to be repaired in a timely way.
A little known problem that can occur during the cold winter months is damage to a driveway.
Small cracks that develop naturally over time are the perfect place for water to collect. When that water freezes, it expands, causing what’s known as a frost heave. Frost heaves are responsible for large cracks, as well as potholes in your driveway, making just getting home a bumpy adventure.
Repaving your driveway can correct these issues and help prevent additional damage by eliminating those small cracks as well.
- The foundation
The same freeze/thaw cycle that causes cracks and potholes in a driveway can also affect a foundation.
Hairline cracks in the concrete of a foundation that develop naturally over time because of a home settling can expand during the winter months, causing major structural issues if they aren’t taken care of in a timely way.
Getting a foundation repaired in the spring can help prevent more problems from developing as time goes by.
Your home isn’t the only area that can sustain damage during a winter storm. Trees in your yard can also take a hit.
Heavy snow and high winds can knock down tree limbs, taking out power lines, damaging siding, and generally making your landscaping look a mess.
Getting your trees trimmed can help prevent this type of damage, as well as keep your trees healthy and looking great.
Duct not Duck
SERVPRO is now offering duct cleaning to commercial businesses! We are so excited to be able to offer this service and educate business owners on the importance of making sure your ducts are cleaned.
It is very important to make sure you have you vents cleaned for numerous different reasons. Two reasons in particular would be dust buildup and allergens. You may suspect that your ducts are dirty if sneezing occurs every time you walk into the building. If that is the case than you might want to consider duct cleaning as a possible solution.
A lot of people ask us “how long should I wait between cleanings”? Our answer to that is that it depends on what kind of business you are running. For example, an automotive repair shop may have a substantial amount of dust buildup compared to an office building.
If you suspect that you may need your ducts cleaned give SERVPRO a call today at (208) 523-5365
We love reviews!
I know a few people who have used SERVPRO, they have excellent customer service, do a great job, are fast and efficient.
This is a great company! I needed work done in my house after a leak and water damage and they were wonderful to work with. Very professional and punctual. would definitely recommend SERVPRO of Idaho Falls & Rexburg/Rigby to our friends and family.
My older brother and father both had the opportunity to work for SERVPRO a few years ago. I have always been impressed with the quality work this business cranks out. Great business and even greater owners!
Britten Hafen was on time, very professional, quick and a complete pleasure. My dishwasher broke and flooded into the living room carpet. We cleaned it but had them come check for mold. Once she arrived she took care of everything, I didn't have to do anything after that. Next time I will call them quicker and just have them take care of everything!
We take pride in ourselves
SERVPRO prides itself in always making sure the customer is happy with our work as well as being happy with the customer service we provided to them. It starts from the first call the front office staff, then to our estimators, followed by our crews, and finally to our Marketing team and our Production managers. We train every one of our SERVPRO employees to know the importance of great customer service and strive to always to our best!
SERVPRO has gone above and beyond to make us whole despite our insurance companies lack of co-operation. There employees have been considerate, and professional. The office staff is fantastic with follow up and follow through. The owner Skylar exceeds expectations and strives to provide quality work for his clients. I highly recommend them for any home repairs or renovations.
Great company!!! Highly recommend.
SERVPRO did a great job cleaning up the fire in Mud Lake, Idaho. They were friendly and efficient while cleaning the museum and demoing the Painted Pony Bar and Grill. Pretty much the best people for any job!!
Stormy weather or sunny sky's?
Snow Birds! This is a term I’m sure we have all heard but may not know what it means. According to Wikipedia, Snowbirds are typically retirees who wish to avoid the snow and cold temperatures of northern winter, but maintain ties with family and friends by staying there the rest of the year. In recent years, younger people with jobs tied to seasonal tourists often migrate southward, following the tourist season to southern resorts. Some are also business owners who have a second home in a warmer location or whose business can be easily moved from place to place. Many families in the United States often spend their Christmas holiday time (up to 2 weeks) at beach resorts in Florida and California.
Getting away from the winter definitely sounds amazing from time to time but make sure you take the proper steps before running away from Jack Frost and properly prepare your home. According to www.filterbutler.com they suggest a few things whether you are running from snowflakes or running from sunshine.
Make a List. Check it Twice
Look carefully at the interior and exterior of your property and make note of everything that needs to be done. Come up with an action plan that will also come in handy once you open the house again. When you return to your home at a later date, you more than likely will have forgotten several tasks that will now need to be undone.
Turn Off Your Water at the Exterior
Don’t just turn off your water sources inside. If your furnace fails while you’re away, water in the pipes could freeze and potentially burst the pipes causing extensive damage. After you have turned off the main source, open up every faucet and drain the water lines. Go through your home and make sure the toilets, water heater (turn off the gas or electric supply first), and the expansion tank have all been drained.
Walk around the home and unplug any appliances or gadgets including microwaves, TVs, and even your oven. This will avoid the risk of fire in the event of a faulty switch or a rodent gnawing on the wires. For a very long absence, experts suggest turning off gas hot water heaters completely. Hot water heaters use a lot of energy, just keeping water in the tank hot. For gas water heaters, the simplest option is to switch the unit to “pilot”.
Clean It Up
Don’t keep any food that is likely to go bad while you’re away. Empty your freezer. If the electric fails in your absence and then is restored, the food in your freezer will thaw and refreeze, which is very dangerous. If you must keep food in your freezer, place a coin on top of a frozen ice cube tray. If the ice cube melts while you’re away, the coin will sink into the ice cube and will freeze inside of it once the power kicks back on. If this happens you will know that there was a power outage while you were away and now you can discard any frozen foods.
Remove any items that could freeze in your absence such as beer bottles, paint containers, sodas, and mineral water. These items could burst and cause damage to your home.
Handle the Outside
Store outdoor furniture such as tables, chairs, hammocks, and delicate garden ornaments inside a garage, shed or storage unit. A strong wind could blow these pieces away or they can become damaged in a storm.
Tips and tricks to help avoid a fire
How to avoid fire damage in your home?
Having a fire in your home or business can happen fast and unexpected. There is something little or no warning so knowing how to help avoid it is a very smart idea.
On www.safewise.com, they offer several tips and tricks on how you can help to prevent a house fire.
Test your smoke alarms.
Properly maintain your smoke alarms by testing the batteries once a month. If they’re not working, replace them immediately.
Inspect heating sources.
Regardless of what kind of primary heating you have in your home, an annual inspection will reduce your risk of fire.
Keep the stove and oven clear.
Don’t leave anything flammable near the stove or oven. Make sure curtains don’t hang over the stove, and never rest towels or a cookbook on the stove.
Stay in the kitchen.
Don’t leave a hot cooking surface unattended. Whether it’s a pot on the stove or an electric griddle, you need to be close by. If you have to leave the room, take the pot off the stove or turn off the griddle first.
Check the dryer.
If you have a gas-powered dryer, have it inspected once a year to make sure all connections are secure. No matter what type of dryer you have, always clean out the lint trap after a load is finished. Regularly check behind and around the dryer for pockets of lint or items of laundry that have fallen under or behind.
Regularly check the condition of cords and watch out for frayed wires: repair or replace cords with frayed wires immediately. Electrical cords can produce heat, so don’t trap them under a rug or between furniture and the wall.
Store flammable products properly.
Many household cleaners and cosmetic products like shaving cream and hair spray are flammable. Keep flammable products away from heat, including exposure to sunlight. Designate a cool, dark cupboard for flammable products and make sure all family members know where they go.
Be careful with candles.
Never leave candles unattended and always keep them away from flammable items like blankets and curtains. Place candles in secure, tip-proof holders and extinguish them before leaving or going to sleep.
Use the fireplace responsibly.
To keep errant sparks from escaping, install a durable metal fire screen in front of your fireplace. Don’t leave a fire unattended, and give ashes ample time to cool down before disposing of them. Always place fireplace ash in a dedicated metal container that isn’t used for any other household refuse.
Keep fire extinguishers handy.
Stock key areas of your home with fire extinguishers. At the very least, keep one in the kitchen and others near high-risk areas like a fireplace. Regularly review the instructions and make sure all members of the home know how to properly use the extinguisher.
If you have a fire, water, mold, or asbestos disaster, give SERVPRO a call today at (208) 523-5365
Are your alarms ready?
Having fire alarms in your house and working is one if the most important things you can do to stay prepared if a fire did happen. It is a small items that seems to be overlooked quite a bit but with just a few minutes of your time it could save yours and your families lives.
According to www.cpsc.gov, they indicate why smoke alarms are important and also where smoke alarms should be installed in your home.
Why Are Smoke Alarms Important?
Every year in the United States, about 2,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. In a fire, smoke and deadly gases tend to spread farther and faster than heat. That's one reason why most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not from burns. A majority of fatal fires happen when families are asleep because occupants are unaware of the fire until there is not adequate time to escape. A smoke alarm stands guard around the clock, and when it first senses smoke, it sounds a shrill alarm. This often allows a family the precious, but limited, time needed to escape. About two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms are considered to be one of the best and least expensive means of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire and could reduce by almost half the risk of dying from a fire in your home.
Where Should Smoke Alarms be Installed? Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms A smoke alarm should be installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When installing a smoke alarm, many factors influence where you will place the alarm, including how many are to be installed. Consider placing alarms along your escape path to assist in egress in limited-visibility conditions. In general, you should place alarms in the center of a ceiling or, if you place them on a wall, they should be near the ceiling.
If you have a fire, water, mold, or asbestos disaster, give SERVPRO a call today at (208) 523-5365.
Mold at your business
Mold isn't just in homes, it can be in commercial buildings as well. Small leaks under sinks and in crawl spaces can cause a lot of damage and over time that damage can be severe and double or triple in cost.
According to www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com suggests If mold of any type is discovered in a workplace, it is a potential health risk to employees and should be removed as soon as possible. According to NIOSH, the following health conditions are associated with mold exposure:
- Allergies: Symptoms include sneezing; irritation of the nose, mouth or throat; nasal stuffiness and runny nose; and red, itchy or watery eyes. For employees who already have allergies, mold can trigger asthma-related symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing.
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: HP is lung inflammation that occurs in people who develop immune system sensitization to inhaled organic dust. It can be mistaken for pneumonia, but cannot be treated with antibiotics. With continued exposure, the persistent lung inflammation may cause permanent damage.
- Asthma: With this lung disease, the airways develop inflammation in response to sensitizing or irritating exposure. Asthma sufferers may experience shortness of breath, coughing, chest tightness and wheezing.
If you have fire, water, mold, or asbestos issue give SERVPRO a call today at (208) 523-5365.
How to prevent a large loss
A thorough routine scheduled investigation of your building can help reduce a large loss at your home or business. This is an example of a rusted pipe causing sewage to flow into a basement of a commercial building.
According to www.cchos.ca this is why workplace inspections are effective and important.
Why are workplace inspections important?
Workplace inspections help prevent incidents, injuries and illnesses. Through a critical examination of the workplace, inspections help to identify and record hazards for corrective action.
What is the purpose of inspections?
Inspections are important as they allow you to:
- listen to the concerns of workers and supervisors
- gain further understanding of jobs and tasks
- identify existing and potential hazards
- determine underlying causes of hazards
- recommend corrective action
- monitor steps taken to eliminate hazards or control the risk (e.g., engineering controls, administrative controls, policies, procedures, personal protective equipment)
If you have fire, water, mold, or asbestos issue give SERVPRO a call today at (208) 523-5365.