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Top 4 Causes of Sewer Backups

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Top 4 Causes of Sewer Backups Clogged pipe in an Austin Springs,TN home

Common Causes Of Sewage Backup

Most residents of Austin Springs, TN, probably take the community’s sewer system for granted. However, it’s a critical component of the municipal infrastructure that can malfunction and cause significant problems for homeowners, such as a flooded basement. Understanding four common causes of sewage backups can help you minimize your risk and possibly spare you a messy cleanup.

1. Tree Root Infiltration

Tree roots can infiltrate pipes and cause a backing up of sewage into your home. To help reduce the likelihood of this dilemma, you should identify the location of sewer lines before planting any trees and shrubs. Keeping vegetation a safe distance from pipes may prevent root infiltration and the need for a line cleaning.

2. A System Overwhelmed by Storm Water

In many communities, storm water channels and sewage lines converge. If a significant storm dumps an excessive amount of rain, the system may become overwhelmed, causing a backing up of waste water. If your home is not equipped with a back-flow valve or other control device, the situation may cause a flooded basement.

3. Clogged Pipes

Clogged pipes are another serious issue that can result in a sewage backup. Items such as paper towels, feminine napkins, diapers and wipes should never be flushed down the toilet. Placing these products into the trash helps minimize the risk of potentially devastating clogs.

4. Damaged Pipes

Like many other components of a community’s infrastructure, sewer lines can deteriorate over time. Symptoms of a potential problem include consistently slow drains and a lingering sewage gas odor. If you have concerns about your home’s plumbing, you should promptly contact a licensed plumber who can properly evaluate your system, as well as diagnose and address any existing issues.

Sewage backing up that results in a flooded basement is an experience all homeowners hope to avoid. Although every home is potentially susceptible to this extremely messy dilemma, understanding common causes can help you take proactive measures to minimize risks and possibly avoid extensive cleanup and restoration endeavors.

Banning Cigarette Odors From Your Home

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Banning Cigarette Odors From Your Home Smoke odors from cigarettes can linger for decades in Gladstone,TN, homes

Whether you smoke cigarettes or think it is a bad habit, you probably don’t enjoy the smell of stale cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, though, smoke odors from cigarettes and cigars can linger for decades in Gladstone, TN, homes. You don’t have to put up with the smell of old cigarettes. By contracting with a restoration specialist for home deodorization, you can leave your home smelling fresh and clean.

A Holistic Cleanup Process

As you probably know, smoke from cigarettes has a funny way of getting virtually everywhere inside your home. When smoke contaminates walls, ceilings, furniture and other belongings, you need a holistic approach to removing it. Restoration professionals typically do the following to remove smoke odors:

  • Open windows and doors to allow fresh air into your home
  • Remove and replace all heating, air conditioning and other filters
  • Scrub walls with ammonia and glycol
  • Use a sealant to lock-in smoke odors on the walls and ceilings of your home
  • Paint walls and ceilings with a fresh coat of latex paint
  • Professionally clean all furniture, fixtures and personal belongings

Ozone
Cigarette and cigar smoke smell so badly because of the gases and toxic substances they release. When odors are extreme, restoration technicians often use ozone-generating machines for home deodorization. Ozone neutralize the foul odors caused by cigarette smoke. Professionals simply plug in the machine, set a timer and create ozone. Note, though, since ozone can be harmful to people, you must vacate your home when the ozone machine is creating the gas. Technicians repeat the process until all lingering odors are gone.

You don’t have to live with the unpleasant smell of old cigarettes. While removing ingrained odors is not necessarily simple for amateurs, professional restoration technicians deal with home deodorization all the time. With the right cleaning process and some assistance from ozone, your Gladstone, TN, home can likely smell as if no one has ever puffed on a cigarette there.

What To Expect After Commercial Storm Damage

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial What To Expect After Commercial Storm Damage Cleaning up water damage in a Cherokee,TN building

Natural disasters can strike at any time in Big Cherokee, TN, with flooding being the most common. For business owners, first know how keep safe after a flood. Second, know the steps for remediating water damage at your property. From tear out of wet materials to other aspects of storm restoration, read below for what to do in the aftermath.

After a Storm: Staying Safe

Before considering the damage to your property, make sure that you are safe. Consider the following tips after flooding recedes:

  • Wait for local authorities to announce the presence of non-hazardous conditions before you return to check on your property.
  • Before entering the building, shut off the main power supply to avoid electrical shock. If you are unable to do so, wait until professionals arrive to assess the damage.
  • Do not touch or ingest flood water. Storm waters are considered “black water” and are contaminated with bacteria, microorganisms and viruses.

After a Storm: Restoring Your Commercial Property

Start the storm restoration process as soon as possible to avoid secondary damage, such as mold, from occurring. Water restoration specialists typically arrive to assess the damage within hours of your call. Restoration involves some or all of the following steps depending on the amount of damage:

  • Excess water and debris are extracted using professional grade vacuums and pumps.
  • Since storm water is contaminated, tear out of wet materials is often necessary. This includes porous items such as drywall and carpet padding.
  • The structure and contents are thoroughly dried. Remaining moisture is removed with industrial dryers and dehumidifiers.
  • Impacted areas are cleaned and sanitized. Air filtration devices are used to remove airborne bacteria and viruses.
  • Building structures and inventory are repaired and restored, as necessary.

After a storm in Big Cherokee, TN, consider your own safety first. Once it is advisable to return to your commercial property, contact your insurance agent and a water restoration professional. Specialists assess the water damage and determine the course, from tear out of wet materials to restoration, which can return your business to pre-flood condition.

What Your Insurance May Cover When It Comes to Water Damage

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What Your Insurance May Cover When It Comes to Water Damage Flooded facility in Johnson City,TN

If you’re facing water damage due to a flood, a storm, or another reason, you may be wondering what part of the damage falls under your insurance coverage in Johnson City, TN. Knowing the details of your policy can be important for something like this. Here is some information you may wish to know.

Basic Policies

While the exact nature of your policy depends on your insurance plan, location, and carrier, there are a few things that can be found in most basic homeowner insurance packages. These can include:

  • Fixing a leaking pipe before a major breakage occurs
  • Pipe breakages from an unpreventable accident
  • Subsequent damage to other parts of the home caused by the water
  • Professional services needed to clean, dry and repair damage after a flood

It’s important to know what exactly is in your policy in case you feel extra coverage is necessary.

Additional Policies

An insurance company may provide additional policies for water damage that occur outside the normal events of a home. These usually include natural disasters, such as flood or extreme storms. Damage that occurs from raising water levels is typically considered flooding and is usually covered by these policies.

Special Circumstances

Certain services may not be covered. This is why it’s best to know what’s in your policy and to talk to an insurance professional about the coverage you need. These circumstances could include negligence, such as knowingly failing to fix a broken pipe before it floods, or damage caused by storm or natural flooding, which is usually covered by another policy.

In many cases, insurance coverage can include the damage that occurs after a flood or the services needed to fix a broken pipe. However, it’s best to know what is in your policy beforehand and to acquire any extra coverage you feel you may need before water damage occurs.

Understanding Water Categorization

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Understanding Water Categorization Flood water presents a serious risk to people, and when it reaches category three, black water, it should be avoided.

As a property owner in the Johnson City, TN, you may have to deal with several water issues. While a toilet overflow is a simple issue to deal with, in this area you’ll probably have to deal with problems involving flood water. Flooding can cause not only significant property damage, but it also poses a potential health risk as well, and being a property owner in this area you should become familiar with the different levels of water classification.

1. Sanitary Water

Category one water is considered sanitary water. This water is the safest water to drink, cook with, and bathe with. Sanitary water is also commonly referred to as clear water, which is a reference to its appearance and an indicator that it is clean, meaning that it has not been contaminated by other sources.

2. Gray Water

Gray Water, category two, is not sanitary and can pose a risk of illness if you come into contact or consume this water. Typically, this water occurs in the event of appliance or toilet overflow, which means that it is contaminated by chemicals and sewage.

3. Black Water

Black water, category three, is the most dangerous of all waters and is likely the result of flood water. This water is formed by a mixture of rising rivers and overflowing sewers. With the high level of contaminants in this water, it is also toxic to humans and animals, causing illness and potential fatality if ingested. If you’re building is submerged in black water, it is best to avoid it and allow professionals to do the final cleanup process.

Flood water presents a serious risk to people, and when it reaches category three, black water, it should be avoided. As a business owner, you should be aware of the various levels of water categorization to ensure both your safety and the safety of your tenants. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.

How to Take Care of Your Pump

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How to Take Care of Your Pump A basement can shield you from a storm by giving you an enclosed space away from large windows.

A basement can shield you from a storm by giving you an enclosed space away from large windows. The basement in your home in Johnson City, TN, needs protection from the storm itself, though. A working sump pump helps remove water from your basement when it floods, which can lower the cost of water damage repair services. To keep your pump working so it can extract water from your home, you must commit to regular pump maintenance. Here are some tips for taking care of your pump.

1. Clean the intake screen regularly. About once every quarter, your intake screen needs to be cleaned. Remove any gunk or debris so that it doesn't get clogged.

2. Clear debris out of pipe and pit. If the pump has had to extract water from the basement, it may have gravel or other debris in the pit near the floater or in the discharge pipe. By clearing these areas, you ensure that floodwater has an open passage to the area where you want it distributed.

3. Test your sump pump monthly. Testing is merely a matter of creating the situation the pump is designed to combat. Fill a bucket with water and pour it into the basin to see if the float mechanism activates the pump like it should.

4. Confirm that the unit has power. The cord to the power supply should be checked periodically for defects and replaced if anything looks suspicious. Make sure the pump is plugged in.

5. Maintain backup power supply. It is a good idea to have a backup power supply for your pump. If it is backed up by a battery, make sure you replace the battery at least every two years, even if you haven't had to use it.

Your basement may be prone to flooding, but a sump pump can help move some of the water our and give you peace of mind. Take care of your pump, and it will take care of your home. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.

4 Reasons to Hold Off on Mold Testing Kits

9/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 4 Reasons to Hold Off on Mold Testing Kits Choosing the best option for mold testing is essential for planning treatment.

Mold testing is a vital part of figuring out where mold is so you can act to remove it from your Johnson City, TN, home. You may consider buying a mold kit, but those have a number of flaws that make them unreliable. Here are four reasons why DIY mold tests are inferior compared to the alternatives.

1. They Don’t Give Much Information

A mold sample only tells you that there is mold at your home. It doesn’t inform you of the species or location. You may also be oblivious to any potential water problems feeding the mold.

While it can be used to verify that there is a fungus in your home, you need more information to know if it could cause property damage and is worth removing.

2. They Are Scientifically Questionable

These mold testing kits are Petri dishes that give a place for a mold sample to grow. There is no comparison control sample to compare what’s in the air versus where you sampled.

Additionally, any that offer a service to send them off for evaluation involves sending them through the mail. Depending on shipping, the kit’s receipt could take days. This potentially taints the sample due to heat or package mishandling.

3. They Are Not Effective for Every Infestation

Dead or airborne mold spores will not show up in a test with a mold kit. Different species may settle more easily on the testing dish, so the tests tend to have dominant growths. With the other types overshadowed, you could miss finding a specific mold infestation.

4. They Don’t Compare to Professionals

An environmental hygienist has the commercial tools and methodology necessary to find all mold and identify problematic locations. Mold is almost unavoidable in your home, but only certain infestations need treatment. An expert mold damage restoration company can act on these findings to remove the mold growth and its cause.

Choosing the best option for mold testing is essential for planning treatment. By understanding these reasons against DIY mold products, you can make the right choice to protect your home. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.

Which Contents Can Be Cleaned After a Flood?

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

After a flood in Johnson City, TN business and commercial property owners may be curious about which contents can be cleaned and which will need to be discarded and replaced. Nonporous materials tend to be able to withstand the process of content cleaning, but exposure to black water may irreparably damage porous materials.

Can Porous Materials Be Cleaned?

Several types of porous materials call for special cleaning methods or may not be able to be cleaned:

• Carpets and carpet pads
• Rugs
• Mattresses
• Upholstered furniture

Porous materials absorb contaminated floodwater and may be difficult or impossible to clean. Leaving these contents intact may increase the likelihood of microbial exposure or mold growth and lead to undesirable odors.

Content Cleaning Methods

Some porous materials can be cleaned using the following methods:

• Abrasive cleaning involves agitating the surfaces of contents
• Dry cleaning is an effective method of pretreating contents or cleaning delicate materials
• Foam cleaning may be suitable for upholstery to avoid shrinkage
• Immersion cleaning involves dipping items into a cleaning solution
• Spray and wipe cleaning is suitable for items that cannot withstand wet cleaning
• Wet cleaning can help to remove heavier residues

It is a good idea to consult with content restoration experts as soon as possible after flooding occurs. There could be some cases in which these experts may be able to salvage a rug or remove the upholstery and stuffing from furniture and reupholster the item. Other items, such as mattresses, may not stand up to any of these methods and should be replaced.

How To Hire Cleaning Experts

A commercial restoration firm in Johnson City, TN can provide content cleaning services and help owners ensure that the structures of their properties are safe following a flood. Restoration experts may be able to limit the extent of secondary damage caused by black water and make it possible for more contents to be restored. Visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com for more information on storm damage. 

Three Steps To Minimize Damage Due to Leaks in Your Home

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

One of the most common sources of home damage in Johnson City, TN is a slow leak that doesn't get the attention it deserves. Did you know that a faucet leak under the kitchen sink can lead to hundreds of gallons of wasted water in a single day? The estimated costs of even average leaks can total a couple hundred dollars a year per leak. If you've found a leak under your kitchen sink, act fast to minimize the damage of flooding.

Act Fast to Prevent Serious Damages

• Shut off the water at the shutoff valve. There may be a valve located under the kitchen sink. If you have a basement, the home's main shutoff valve is probably there. Otherwise, check in the crawlspace or near your water heater.
• Call the insurance company. If you have leaks, flooding, or standing water in the home, there's a potential for significant damages. The insurance company may cover the costs of hiring professionals to complete repairs or to take steps to ensure that long-lasting water damage doesn't cause further trouble.
• Call restoration professionals. If you catch the leak quickly enough, you may be able to handle any necessary kitchen repair on your own. However, if the leak has been happening for several days or weeks, you'll want the expert attention of flooding remediation professionals. These experts have the tools and training to locate leaks, recognize the signs of further damage, and completely dry building materials, so your home and family aren't exposed to further damages.

Protect Your Home and Family

Your home may be one of your most significant investments and even minor leaks can pose a serious risk to the well-being of the building. Learn to recognize the signs of hidden leaks and keep the phone number of your plumber or water restoration professional on hand. When you do notice signs of trouble, use these three simple steps to avoid further, expensive damages. Visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com for more information on water damage

Who to Hire After a Business Fire

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

After your building has been affected by fire, there will be a lot of fire and smoke damage, as well as water damage from the firefighters' work. At this point, you'll have many decisions to make. Naturally, you'll want to turn to some experts whose advice is relevant to your situation.

• Your insurance company should be one of the first calls you make. The company will probably send a professional, such as an insurance adjuster, to assess damages and provide you with coverage information.
• Contact a fire damage restoration company. The sooner these professionals can begin correcting the damage to your business, the better off you'll be.
• You'll naturally want to check in with employees, vendors, and customers to let them know what your plans are during the reconstruction period.

Sometimes, business owners consider hiring multiple agencies to handle their cleaning and restoration work. For example, they may plan to hire a water or fire mitigation company to contain the fire damage and then hire a restoration company to complete repairs. Should you hire two sets of professionals?

Mitigation vs. Restoration

As you decide how to proceed, you should understand that mitigation companies focus on preventing further losses. They may board up windows, take steps to control mold, and work on removing any remaining water. However, they don't repair damaged property and they don't treat lasting effects, such as mold.

Restoration companies may or may not be able to handle mitigation. Their focus would then turn to necessary repairs and rebuilding. They'll replace structures that have been damaged beyond saving and put an end to mold growth and smoke damages.

Which Is Best for You?

Ask your insurance adjuster whether you have coverage for both services; some do. However, many in Johnson City, TN don't. Also, you may find that choosing a company that can handle both types of work resulting from fire damage is a more efficient way to restore your building and get back to business. Visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com for more information on fire damage.